And They Think We Should Vote for Them Because … ?

By now you’ve probably heard that the Gang of 14 scuttled the Alito filibuster. But I agree with Kos; we accomplished something amazing. “The Alito vote may have fizzled,” Kos writes, “but you better believe the Dem establishment knows we exist.”

So the next step is to get more Dems in Congress. But what about the Dems who caved today? They are: Akaka (HI), Baucus (MT), Bingaman (NM), Byrd (WV), Cantwell (WA), Carper (DE), Dorgan (ND), Inouye (HI), Johnson (SD), Kohl (WI), Landrieu (LA), Lieberman (CT), Lincoln (AR), Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), Rockefeller (WV), Salazar (CO).

Some argue that red state senators like Landrieu need to walk carefully, but there’s no excuse for blue staters like Lieberman to be such a toady. That’s why Ned Lamont needs to win the Connecticult Democratic senatorial primary this year.

Short takes:

Via Steve M: Fox News reports:

A new provision tucked into the Patriot Act bill now before Congress would allow authorities to haul demonstrators at any “special event of national significance” away to jail on felony charges if they are caught breaching a security perimeter.

Sen. Arlen Specter , R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sponsored the measure, which would extend the authority of the Secret Service to allow agents to arrest people who willingly or knowingly enter a restricted area at an event, even if the president or other official normally protected by the Secret Service isn’t in attendance at the time.

Rightie blogger Bruce Kesler says leftie bloggers are vulgar. Has this guy tuned in to the Rottweiller lately? And are wingers born with a hypocrisy gene, or what?

Jeanne d’Arc explains how to escape from Guantanamo: Be Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard. If you’re an innocent nobody locked up by mistake, however, be prepared to stay awhile.

Wes Clark endorses single payer. Yes!

Freedom Is Slavery, and Other Republicanisms

Here are the rules: Republicans own the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and all issues touched by the attacks. Therefore, when a Republican waves the bloody WTC tower, so to speak, to stir up emotional support for a GOP policy, that is not politicizing 9/11. Because they own 9/11, see. However, whenever a Democrat mentions 9/11 in any context, that is politicizing 9/11.

Further, wherever the GOP has used 9/11 as part of an emotional appeal for a GOP policy (which is not politicizing), Democrats may not criticize that policy. Because to do so “politicizes” the policy and is an insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11.

Further, whenever the Republicans stir up fear of terrorism to justify curbing civil liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, that is “resolve.” As in, we must be resolved to compromise our constitutional heritage and the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for, because of 9/11. To do otherwise is an example of “pre-9/11” thinking, as well as an insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11.

Whenever someone (such as a Democrat) expresses reluctance to jettison long-established civil liberties for the sake of security, that is an example of “paralyzing self-doubt.”

In the post-9/11 world we must be resolute and decisive. We must not hesitate to destroy the Bill of Rights in order to save it.

Phrases like “Article II authority,” “separation of powers” and “right to privacy” are code words for paralyzing self-doubt. We no long stand on constitutional principles in the face of events; rather, we allow events to dictate our constitutional principles. Anyone with any resolve at all knows this.

Because our President is a man of action and resolve, he doesn’t have to bother with following laws passed by Congress regarding surveillance, nor should he be expected to ask Congress to revise regulations to make them easier to follow. He can just ignore them. Anyone who wants to make the President accountable to the law is risking the lives of American citizens.

Whenever a Republican, such as Vice President Richard Cheney, claims that a controversial Bush Administration policy would have prevented the 9/11 attacks if only we’d had it sooner, that is an example of reasoned political discussion.

Whenever anyone else brings up the myriad clues we had before 9/11 that a terrorist attack involving al Qaeda cells and hijacked airplanes crashing into major landmarks like the World Trade Center, which the Bush Administration ignored, that is not reasoned political discussion. It is irresponsible discussion; nothing but ‘connect-the-dots’ reporting.”

Real Americans don’t connect dots. Connecting dots lets the terrorists win.

I must admit that before today I didn’t understand these rules. But then I read “Our Right to Security” by Debra Burlingame.

It’s all clear to me now.


Finally, someone in the “MSM” gets the Abramoff/”bipartian” scandal story straight. It’s Paul Krugman, behind the New York Times subscription firewall. Fortunately you can read the column on True Blue Liberal. It begins:

“How does one report the facts,” asked Rob Corddry on “The Daily Show,” “when the facts themselves are biased?” He explained to Jon Stewart, who played straight man, that “facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda,” and therefore can’t be reported.

Mr. Corddry’s parody of journalists who believe they must be “balanced” even when the truth isn’t balanced continues, alas, to ring true. The most recent example is the peculiar determination of some news organizations to cast the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff as “bipartisan.”

Krugman goes on to explain that Abramoff is a long-time “movement conservative” who gave money only to Republicans. “There’s nothing bipartisan about this tale, which is all about the use and abuse of Republican connections.”

What about the claim that Abramoff “directed” tribes to give money to Democrats?

… the tribes were already giving money to Democrats before Mr. Abramoff entered the picture; he persuaded them to reduce those Democratic donations, while giving much more money to Republicans. A study commissioned by The American Prospect shows that the tribes’ donations to Democrats fell by 9 percent after they hired Mr. Abramoff, while their contributions to Republicans more than doubled. So in any normal sense of the word “directed,” Mr. Abramoff directed funds away from Democrats, not toward them.

True, some Democrats who received tribal donations before Mr. Abramoff’s entrance continued to receive donations after his arrival. How, exactly, does this implicate them in Mr. Abramoff’s machinations? [emphasis added]

Abramoff’s “guidance” caused his tribal clients to loosen long-time ties to Democrats. Yet “journalists” like Katie Couric and WaPo Deborah Howell report that the Abramoff scandal is “bipartisan,” and the fact that Abramoff gave money only to Republicans is just a small, unimportant technical detail.

Why does the insistence of some journalists on calling this one-party scandal bipartisan matter? For one thing, the public is led to believe that the Abramoff affair is just Washington business as usual, which it isn’t. The scale of the scandals now coming to light, of which the Abramoff affair is just a part, dwarfs anything in living memory.

More important, this kind of misreporting makes the public feel helpless. Voters who are told, falsely, that both parties were drawn into Mr. Abramoff’s web are likely to become passive and shrug their shoulders instead of demanding reform.

So the reluctance of some journalists to report facts that, in this case, happen to have an anti-Republican agenda is a serious matter. It’s not a stretch to say that these journalists are acting as enablers for the rampant corruption that has emerged in Washington over the last decade. [emphasis added]

And, once again, that’s why I blog.