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Tilting at Windmills

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December 20, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

OUR POTEMKIN LEGISLATURE....Roll Call tells us about the latest shenanigans from the leaders of the modern Republican Party:

Shortly before midnight on Sunday, the leaders agreed after House and Senate negotiators had already signed the report and announced its details to the public to insert controversial language that protects vaccine manufacturers from product liability claims in the event of a viral pandemic, such as one caused by avian flu.

Observers familiar with the procedural history of conference reports said that they were unaware of any precedent for inserting language after conferees had signed off on the report. A review of several Congressional Research Service guides to conference proceedings make no reference to any prior example.

It's not enough that Republicans have already corrupted the normal conference procedure beyond recognition, stacking conference committees solely with allies and routinely amending bills to make them almost unrecognizable. Now they're adding language to conference reports after the report has already been signed off.

It's our latest step toward a Potemkin legislature. I hope conservatives are proud.

UPDATE: More here on a different subject. Apparently Republicans, who have been delaying the Pentagon budget bill because they want to stuff it full of unrelated goodies, are now getting ready to adopt a "temporary" nuclear option that would allow them to add a provision for ANWR drilling and defeat a Democratic filibuster by a simple majority vote despite longstanding rules that clearly prevent this. But hey rules are for suckers, right?

Kevin Drum 1:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (102)

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Comments

I'm sick of "It's okay if you're a Republican", but mostly because it's so damned true. Oh, for a Democratic Congress after the 2006 elections (assuming the election will be held despite the "war" on terror).

Posted by: Zeno on December 20, 2005 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

This is bad, but given how perverted the GOP leadership has made the rest of the conference committee proceedings, I'm not sure it's a big difference.

Posted by: P.M.Bryant on December 20, 2005 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Where were you guys when Sensenbrenner officially (for Congressional record) characterized a Democratic amendment as the opposing party supporting child molestation or some such absurd thing?

Once that happened, all this is small change.

Posted by: lib on December 20, 2005 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Chamber of People's Deputies exists to serve the Party, not the other way round.

Posted by: G.E. Zinoviev on December 20, 2005 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

They are proud, because power is the only thing that matters. Not actually governing. Certainly not, oh, values or morality.

"Potemkin legislature" - I think that's a fine phrase.

Posted by: craigie on December 20, 2005 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

to insert controversial language that protects vaccine manufacturers from product liability claims in the event of a viral pandemic

This sounds like a good law. Vaccine manufacturers are doing a public service by manufacturing drugs which could save many many lives. Fear of lawsuits however could scare them into not manufacturing the life saving drugs anymore which could lead to the death of many many lives. By banning lawsuits against them therefore we are saving lives by ensuring that they continue manufacturing the life saving drugs.

Posted by: Al on December 20, 2005 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Rumsfeld has substantial holdings in the company that makes tamiflu:

- The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.

Rumsfeld served as Gilead Research's chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.

The forms don't reveal the exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns, but in the past six months fears of a pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu have sent Gilead's stock from $35 to $47. That's made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on December 20, 2005 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Luckily, our liberal media will be all over this, right?

Followed swiftly by tbrosz, who will tell us that Democrats also fail to stop at stop signs, and so what's the problem?

Posted by: craigie on December 20, 2005 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I hope conservatives are proud.

Sure they're proud... even though it involves being worthless, dishonest pieces of shit, they're still definitely proud of their accomplishments. Hey, fucking up a great country does take organizational skills, if nothing else.

Posted by: latts on December 20, 2005 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's lies (some of them) even in chronological order!

Have fun Al-bot and tbroz!

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on December 20, 2005 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Al may be correct -- it *may* be a good and useful law. But why then did the Republican leaders not agree. A good law should go through the normal klegeslative process.

Posted by: Dan on December 20, 2005 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Not only proud, deliriously happy. While war, domestic spying, Bush incompetence, and the Daily Liberal Outrage etc. fill the front pages and talk radio, the raid on the treasury, the scrapping of environmental regs, and the deliberate and lavish kowtowing to their business and wealthy constituencies continue unabated, and relatively hidden.

Fan-fucking-tastic time to be a Paris Hilton, eh what?

The delusion is that folks such as these have the "good of the country" in mind, ever.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on December 20, 2005 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Aahhhh.... poison pill....

Posted by: cdj on December 20, 2005 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

And where exactly is the vigorous, outraged opposition to this behavior from the Democrats?

They should walk out en masse and refuse and make a real stink about these corrupt practices.

But...they won't.

Posted by: mondo dentro on December 20, 2005 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Al-bot: Some Republican donor will make money, so [insert atrocity here] is inherently good.

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on December 20, 2005 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

craigie: Followed swiftly by tbrosz, who will tell us that Democrats also fail to stop at stop signs, and so what's the problem?

No, someone already did a perfect Flanders imitation on the ID thread below. He would say something like this:

"Sounds interesting, but Bush haters should wait before they start celebrating. When all the facts come out, and I am eagerly waiting for them to do so, everyone will be surprised by what they see."

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

And then there's this:

As predicted in this statement, the House Republican leadership did use the martial law gambit to rush the House to a vote on the spending cut reconciliation bill before Members (much less the press or the public) had a reasonable chance to examine the legislation and understand what it would do.

Just before midnight on Sunday, December 18, the House adopted the martial law rule that allowed the leadership to bring up the conference report on the reconciliation bill shortly after the conference report was finalized, without waiting until the next legislative day as required by House rules.

At 1:12 a.m. on Monday, December 19, the 774 page conference report on the reconciliation spending cut bill was filed in the House.

At 5:43 a.m. Monday morning, after less than 40 minutes of debate on the measure, the House began the final vote on the reconciliation spending cut bill.

Under this procedure, longstanding House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation are swept away. Instead, under martial law, the Leadership can file legislation with hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted in the legislation behind closed doors. This is the procedure the Leadership hopes to use today to muscle through these bills.

http://www.cbpp.org/12-18-05bud.htm

Posted by: Windhorse on December 20, 2005 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

It is the nature of politics to play just the sort of partisan games you mock here. It dates long back to Plato's Republic and before. People are self-serving creatures. We as an educated population must make our opinions know to have the public interest served.

Posted by: dillyberto on December 20, 2005 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

We as an educated population must make our opinions know to have the public interest served.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Public Interest! That's rich.

Posted by: Baldrick on December 20, 2005 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Since it's obligatory, I'll go ahread and call this Calvinball so no one else will have to.

Posted by: E. Nonee Moose on December 20, 2005 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

This, on top of gerrymandered house districts, an overwhelming percentage of incumbents reelected, an ineffectual media, and an absolutely brain dead public that gives low marks to the congress but reelects them every term. Our democracy is in shambles.

Posted by: lou on December 20, 2005 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I know I'm in the minority, but I support the permanent revokation of the fillibuster. Stupid Republicans don't realize that the fillibuster is way more of a conservative tool than a progressive one.

Look at all the progress the fillibuster has prevented or delayed, and you'll see its not a friend to the progressive.

It might hurt this year, but getting rid of the fillibuster will help us in the years to come.

Posted by: derek g on December 20, 2005 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I hope conservatives are proud.

It would be hard to tell if we conservatives are proud, since there are so few of us left in the Republican Party any more.

I'm one conservative who's mortified at the damage this bunch of clowns has done to the ideal of small, transparent government.

Posted by: EqualOpportunityCynic on December 20, 2005 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

"It might hurt this year, but getting rid of the fillibuster will help us in the years to come.
Posted by: derek g on December 20, 2005 at 2:06 PM |"
Nonsense -- the Rethugs will just reinstate the filibuster when it suits their needs. "A foolish consistency is the hobgolbilin of little minds" -- the Rethug motto.
"The current Republican party is not only more evil than you imagine, it is more evil than you CAN imagine" -- my motto.

Posted by: smartalek on December 20, 2005 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Secret police.

Secret orders.

Secret laws.

Secret courts.

Secret prisons.

Domestic spying.

Torture as state policy.

Invasion of countries that have not attacked us.

Unfettered executive power.

And now, we can add secretly amending legislation.

Reminds one of Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam, now doesn't it.

Posted by: Advocate for God on December 20, 2005 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

People are self-serving creatures. We as an educated population must make our opinions know to have the public interest served. Posted by: dillyberto

The public has made its wishes known on this issue just as they did on allowing snowmobiles in Yellowstone - they want neither.

This whole things is Ted Stevens' doing. Alaska has squandered most of its North Slope trust fund, and needs new unearned income.

There isn't an honest petroleum geologist out there that believes there is a reserve worth going after there. Furthermore, it will take between five and ten years to bring what little oil there is to market. At that time, the crude will not be sold directly to the American public, but will, like all oil, go into the market place to be sold to the highest bidder.

You will not find a clause in the ANWR drilling proposal dedicating this oil to American consumption. Why would you find that? How can Ted Stevens then get a kick-back?

Posted by: Jeff II on December 20, 2005 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the Republicans believe that America simply can't handle the truth. It has to be shoved down their throats via secret backroom deals, illegal covert spying on our own citizens, as well as secret 'extraordinary rendition' torturing. All to keep America 'safe'.

Safe for them to keep power in their hands as well as their corporate buddies. God, I need a drink.

Posted by: Kryptik on December 20, 2005 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

They should walk out en masse and refuse and make a real stink about these corrupt practices.

Actually -- why the hell don't they? The Congress still needs quorums to get anything done, doesn't it? Why shouldn't Dems throw a wrench into this broken machinery? Worst that can happen is, they get some time in front of the cameras to explain what the GOP is doing with their dead-of-night "legislating".

Posted by: sglover on December 20, 2005 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Unchecked Power; yet aWol has the nerve to deny it in public, knowing no one at the press conference will defy him.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on December 20, 2005 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why bother even having a congress? The democrats are all ignored and the Republicans simply rubberstamp whatever it is Bush wants. Maybe it's time to do away with congress. A dictatorship is much easier.

That being said, we need to do something about protecting vaccine manufacturers if we ever want a viable vaccine industry. Vaccines are not 'drugs' in the classical sense. They are typically live organisms that can induce unexpected immune responses in a very small portion of the population. But why can't the issue be publically discussed and compromised on?

Posted by: whosays on December 20, 2005 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm one conservative who's mortified at the damage this bunch of clowns has done to the ideal of small, transparent government.

Well, they are consistent. It's just that their definition of "smaller government" is "just one party".

BTW, does your mortification extend to voting against these clowns? Or are criminal conservatives still better than anything else?

Posted by: craigie on December 20, 2005 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"But hey rules are for suckers, right?"

No, no, apparently rules are just for Democrats.

Oh...wait...I get it. Never mind.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on December 20, 2005 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

How do they get away with this? How come they can't be stopped? How do you shame the shameless?

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway on December 20, 2005 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Did they get away with it??? If this report is out, then haven't they been stopped? If not, doesn't this tactic somehow nullify the bill?

Al - maybe it is a good law. If so, then this would really be a shame, wouldn't it?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on December 20, 2005 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I have posted a ton on this topic over at slingshot.org.

For instance, the Democrats went back in and "amended," for lack of a better word, their signatures on the conference report, adding things like: "Except ANWR + 1% ATB cut + AVIAN FLU VACCINE AND COMPENSATION PROVISIONS"

Also, it just so happens that Senator Frist has a fair amount of stock in a couple of pharmaceutical manufacturers that will benefit from this deal. Actually, 42 Senators have stock in pharmaceuticals, all of whom will likely benefit from this package. As Jay Ackroyd mentioned up thread, Don Rumsfeld owns between $9 and $37 million worth of stock in Gilead Sciences, Inc., which is the sole patent holder of Tamiflu. Gilead and Roche (tamiflu's manufacturer/distributor) will benefit mightily from the Frist scheme.

Posted by: Dave Meyer on December 20, 2005 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Roll Call: "Observers familiar with the procedural history of conference reports said that they were unaware of any precedent for inserting language after conferees had signed off on the report."

For precedent of a post-conference agreement insertion of an item, look to the Senate floor debate on the passage of the spending reconciliation bill in 1997. As recollection serves, a provision was inserted to give tobacco companies a multi-billion dollar credit against tobacco taxes (an tobacco tax increase was a part of the tax reconciliation bill), based on amounts paid to tobacco settlement fund. There was some heated debate, a procedural motion, and a vote on the issue.

Posted by: Joe Camel on December 20, 2005 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Who leaked this? Wasn't the original text of the bill classified? What if the evil doers figure out how we pass controversial legislation? I'm putting the justice department on this one.

Roll Call -- you are on notice!

Posted by: W on December 20, 2005 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

For the previous poster, yes a quorum is required in committee and on the floor of both chambers to do business. But a quorum is a simple majority. In other words, Republicans can form a quorum on their own. Minorities in the U.S. Congress have not been able to pull the "disappearing quorum" trick you describe since the late 1800's.

Dave Meyer is correct, and it does appear to me too that some of the exceptions on the signature sheets were in the same hand, arguing that they were added after by someone else. But the House does not even count signatures on conference reports when the House signer adds an exception. THe Senate does. But either way, it is much like the quorum issue I just mentioned. A majority could still make a sufficiency of signatures with just the majority members signing. So technically there probably is nothing that can be done. But it is damn sleazy.

The more serious problem in my mind is the "mini nuclear option" Sen. Stevens is using to get ANWR around rule 28. Expect every Senator to now try to use this to get their own projects and pet issues through the Senate. And if that is the case, the Senate becomes exactly like the House, with every conference committee becoming the equivalent of the House Committee on Rules -- able to, by simple majority vote, waive any rule any time it wants. Very, very bad for the country.

Posted by: Pat on December 20, 2005 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, does your mortification extend to voting against these clowns? Or are criminal conservatives still better than anything else?

I've generally voted Libertarian since I've been eligible (starting in 1992). The difference is that I used to believe that the Republicans would better respect our liberties among the two majors. As of the GWB Administration I no longer believe that.

Posted by: EqualOpportunityCynic on December 20, 2005 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

"It is the nature of politics to play just the sort of partisan games you mock here."

-- Posted by: dillyberto on December 20, 2005 at 1:50 PM


Wrong. Dead wrong. Just the kind of mamby-pamby "they all do it, it's nothing new!" thinking that the Republicans depend on. But you are, in fact, flamingly ignorant about our nation's history.

Congress operated, for decades, under predictable, relatively fair rules that certainly gave the majority Party loads of perks and power ... but also extended basic courtesies to the minority Party, including the power to be heard and to have an influence on things. Those rules, most of them, evolved or were re-affirmed following the Civil War (some, however, really dated back to the very founding of Congress). The violence of the Civil War impressed on the minds of folks back then just how essential such fairness was. The resulting rules were followed and respected by Democrats AND Republicans alike throughout the 20th century, with only occasional (and, usually, rather modest) modifications.

What we're seeing now are not "modest modifications," but wholesale abandonment or alteration of the rules -- in both letter and spirit. And, without exception, those changes have been designed to utterly strip the minority Party of any and ALL ability to influence events or even meaningfully raise objections.

So, no, as a plain matter of demonstrable fact, in American democracy these kinds of "partisan games" have not been played -- have NEVER been played -- until now. The current Republican majority is unspeakably radical, and they've committed horrible violence against the American political compact that served this nation so well for so long. The current Republican Party is truly despicable, and I would contend, profoundly un-American.

Posted by: Roger Keeling on December 20, 2005 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Roger is correct. I am under no illusions about the Democrats and what they did when they were in majority. Lots of minority rights were shortcut. But this is at a whole new level.

Now, if the majority loses, or is stymied by any rules, the rules are rewritten or ignored. That is what the "nuclear option is. It is saying that despite the fact that the BLACK LETTER of Senate Rule 22 -- in force since 1917 -- that a supermajority of some kind is required to end debate, on the things that are being blocked, the majority can end debate by 51 votes if it wants. And whether you guys want to admit it or not, when a majority rewrites the rules whenever it suits them to get the result they want in any given situation, that is El Salvador. That is where your guy loses and instead of saying, I'll get them next time, you start a revolution. There is no respect for the institutions.

Posted by: Pat on December 20, 2005 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's amusing to see all the hyperventilating about NSA and ANWAR and filibusters while a public employee union in the bluest city in a blue state destroys the week before Christmas with an illegal strike.

I think the whole NSA debate is a loser for the Democrats and all I can say is "Please throw me in that brier patch!"

All the while the strike in NYC shows people what they get from Democrats. It will be interesting to see what Pataki and Bloomberg do about it. Everybody knows what Rudy, or Reagan, would have done.

Posted by: Mike K on December 20, 2005 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think the whole NSA debate is a loser for the Democrats and all I can say is "Please throw me in that brier patch!" Posted by: Mike K

I rather doubt that the ghosts of Nixon or Hoover would agree with you.

Posted by: Jeff II on December 20, 2005 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"But hey rules are for suckers, right?"

Wow...
It only took him 5 years to catch on.

Posted by: Christian Charlie's Ghost on December 20, 2005 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Mike: Look, over there, a puppy!

What might Rudy or Reagan have done? Told those commie strikers to get back to work. There's capital to be generated.

The legality or illegality of a strike is quite irrelevant. Labor doesn't need laws to direct them to the equivalent of a "free speech zone".

Posted by: DiscoStu on December 20, 2005 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Mike: Look, over there, a puppy!

What might Rudy or Reagan have done? Told those commie strikers to get back to work. There's capital to be generated.

The legality or illegality of a strike is quite irrelevant. Labor doesn't need laws to direct them to the equivalent of a "free speech zone".

Posted by: DiscoStu on December 20, 2005 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I love it when guys like Mike ask "why are you posting about filibusters and Senate procedure when Democrats in the transit union are stiking?" Uh, because that's the subject of this thread? In addition to NOT posting about the transit strike, I am also NOT posting about every others subject that is off the topic of this thread. Well, except the subject of what a stupid fuck you are, that is.

Posted by: Pat on December 20, 2005 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently Republicans... are now getting ready to adopt a "temporary" nuclear option that would allow them to add a provision for ANWR drilling and defeat a Democratic filibuster by a simple majority vote despite longstanding rules that clearly prevent this.

This is too good to be true! It would totally gut the Republican argument that Filibusters are bad only when used to hold up a Supreme Court Nominee. If the Republicans show themselves to be against filibusters in general, their position becomes all the more untenable -- even among fellow Republicans.

Such a preciptious move now would make it all the more likely that Alito's nomination will crash and burn come next month.

Posted by: LiberalMinded on December 20, 2005 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think that they should be indemnified against lawsuits.

If they surrender their government-granted monopoly (aka "Patent").

You get them as a package deal.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on December 20, 2005 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Calvinball anyone?

Posted by: Hokieannie on December 20, 2005 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Two things are going to happen.

1) The country goes down the crapper.
2) 2006, the country throws the Republican rascals out.

If #1, hey, I'm well past middle aged. It was good while it lasted.

If #2, since they've bypassed the filibuster rule, so can we. I was hoping they'd blow away the filibuster rule over a judge, but this is nice too.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on December 20, 2005 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Damn those Republicans! You'd think they had a majority or something.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 20, 2005 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

" love it when guys like Mike ask "why are you posting about filibusters and Senate procedure when Democrats in the transit union are stiking?" Uh, because that's the subject of this thread? In addition to NOT posting about the transit strike, I am also NOT posting about every others subject that is off the topic of this thread. Well, except the subject of what a stupid fuck you are, that is.

Posted by: Pat"

Hey, Pat ! Maybe it's because you would rather talk about stuff that will never happen than about the poor working stiffs who are walking across the bridges to work. There IS NO THREAD about something as basic as an illegal public employee union strike that is killing a lot of jobs and income for people who can't afford limousines.

Please don't let me interrupt your mental masturbation about why vaccines are now $60 a dose instead of the $3 a dose they were when I began practice. That was before you were an itch in the neighborhood trash collector's pants.

Go ahead and lose the next election. Suits me.

Posted by: Mike K on December 20, 2005 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, remember, no matter how venal the trolls, DO NOT FEED THEM. They crave attention; give them none.

Posted by: Roger Keeling on December 20, 2005 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: All the while the strike in NYC shows people what they get from Democrats.

No, it shows what you get from Republicans: desperate, desperate workers who have been bilked and left out in the cold by GOP economic policies and, thus, left with no other options but bad ones, illegal ones, and wrong ones.

One doesn't have to support their strike to sympathize with their plight.

And calling them "Democrats" is more or your disingenous mendacity that we've come to expect.

These are not party members, but working stiffs who've been given the shaft by the GOP, despite their obvious value and importance to the City of New York.

I don't see the president taking a cut in pay for the abominable job he has done, yet these workers are expected to take a cut in pay despite a fabulous job.

Once again proving what an asshole you are, blaming the victims, just like you blamed the victims of Katrina, for their plight.

Funny how you fail to blame the Iraqis for their own plight, despite the fact that the vast majority never revolted against Saddam, never lifted a finger to help themselves, only a few stray Kurds and Southern Shiites and the latter only after the US implicitly indicated their support (followed by shameful denial of that support by the Bush 41 administration).

Posted by: Advocate for God on December 20, 2005 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Pat ! Maybe it's because you would rather talk about stuff that will never happen than about the poor working stiffs who are walking across the bridges to work. Posted by: Mike K

Can you name any of these bridges Mike? Do you know anything about NYC? If someone is walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is actually a very nice walk, you probably aren't a "working stiff" (unless he or she is employed by Macy's, as Macy's seems unable to employ sentinent beings). You probably live in Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights. What can you tell us about those neighborhoods Mike?

Do you imagine people walking across the GW or Narrows, Mike? How about the Tri-Borough?

Tell us all about the working stiffs of NYC!

Posted by: Jeff II on December 20, 2005 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: Please don't let me interrupt your mental masturbation about why vaccines are now $60 a dose instead of the $3 a dose they were when I began practice. That was before you were an itch in the neighborhood trash collector's pants.

Well, at least Pat's mental masturbations, to the extent they exist at all, aren't to visions of Bush, like yours.

Posted by: Advocate for God on December 20, 2005 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

no matter how venal the trolls
Venal? Was that the word you were looking for? Let me check my Merriam-Webster:

capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration
You must have been talking about another troll. One that possibly didn't watch Democrats for years.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 20, 2005 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an interesting item for your next Hubbert's Peak column:

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/front2453724.9715277776.html


Also good for your next Kyoto Treaty whining.

Posted by: papageno on December 20, 2005 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Now, now poor little Doc MikeyK,

The LA Transit did not go on strike - You can still get up to Hollywood Blvd to buy those crotchless panties you adore at Fredericks of Hollywood. Pass them out to your "friends" on both Santa Monica and Sunset Blvds.
Ho-ho-ho Dr Mikey - How many work comp people did you get to turn down today?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 20, 2005 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, for a Democratic Congress after the 2006 elections

There used to be one, didn't there? If the Democratic California legislature continues to shine as the beacon that it does, a Democratic federal legislature isn't likely.

Posted by: papageno on December 20, 2005 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

I rate Bush the worst President ever.
I rate this Congress the worst ever

People tend not to realize how bad something is while it happening. Those who point it out with straight talk are judged biased because, let's face it, when it comes to politics, people can be extremely biased... to the point of treating their political beliefs like religious beliefs.

But I think time will justify my ratings.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on December 20, 2005 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

this is rich: Rumsfeld has substantial holdings in the company that makes tamiflu:

You probably think that he wants to use the power of the American military to ensure that any flu pandemic spreads as rapidly as possible, at least right after the DoD makes its superfluous volume purchases.

Posted by: papageno on December 20, 2005 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

I rate Bush the worst President ever.
And this said while Jimmy Carter still walks the planet.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 20, 2005 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

this is rich: Rumsfeld has substantial holdings in the company that makes tamiflu:

You probably think that he wants to use the power of the American military to ensure that any flu pandemic spreads as rapidly as possible, at least right after the DoD makes its superfluous volume purchases. Posted by: papageno

No moron. It's simpler than that. The government is already stockpiling Tamiflu, which is useless against avian flu.

Whether avian flu mutates sufficiently to infect large numbers of humans or not, with holdings in a company that makes a drug now being stockpiled will make more money.

Posted by: Jeff II on December 20, 2005 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tamiflu is barely effective against regular flu

Posted by: WhoSays on December 20, 2005 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Pat ! Maybe it's because you would rather talk about stuff that will never happen than about the poor working stiffs who are walking across the bridges to work.

Mike: Not too obscure. Just what did I post about that will never happen? I posted about the specific abuse of power that Congressional republicans are doing. Today. Which is the subject of this thread. You changed the subject. Which, frankly, I can't balem you for. By the way, which prison are you the physician at?

Posted by: Pat on December 20, 2005 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of ANWR, slightly OT, George Will, another conservative gone batshit crazy, annoyed me mightily in a recent column.

He argues that the debate between conservatives and environmentalists "is only secondarily about energy and the environment:" The real mission of those of us who want to see ANWR preserved is socialism since, in Will's words, "environmentalism is collectivism in drag." Our ultimate evil goal is to change society's politics, ...in the name of equality," by "enlarging governmental supervision of individuals' lives." In this conservative hell, everyone is to be conscripted to dependent "status as wards of a self-aggrandizing government". This oppressive, intrusive government will allocate scarce resources--heh!-- "equitably". Thus, as a tactic, collectivist/environmentalists seek to create shortages of those resources which "makes modern society modern", that is, "the energy requisite for social dynamism and individual autonomy." So, whoa, resource shortages aren't real--they are all just part of a liberal plot to seize the government!

Can we count the ways in which this paranoid delusion is wrong? However, conservatives believe it and their mistaken belief that environmentalism is just another liberal attack on their freedom must underlie the conservative quest to drill ANWR.

What is frightening is that, like so many of the conservative crackpot notions, it cannot be refuted. Any resource shortage proves that liberal have succeeded and just whips the believer into a frenzy of opposition: We need a strong leader to stomp out those that threaten our society.

It just makes me tremble to consider what these fascists will justify as the reality of resource scarcity sink in.

Posted by: PTate in MN on December 20, 2005 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

I knew I'd find use for this today. Seguing from PTate in MN . . .

Dec. 17, 2005, 7:02PM
North Slope oil decline leaves Alaskans somber
Production slide highlights nation's energy problems

By TAREK EL-TABLAWY
Associated Press

NEW YORK - Alaskan North Slope oil production, once heralded as a domestic mother lode, has hit a new output low embodying the precarious balance confronting the U.S. as it struggles for energy security in an era of volatility in the international oil market.

The decline in Alaska is led by a slump in output from the once-mammoth Prudhoe Bay field, which has been producing since 1969. At its height in fiscal 1988, the field produced an average of 1.6 million barrels per day; but in fiscal 2005, it was down to 381,000 barrels per day. Overall production in the North Slope has dropped to an average of 916,000 barrels per day from 2.01 million barrels in the same period.

In Alaska, re-boosting output is as much dictated by politics as it is by geology.

While President Bush's administration has pushed for opening a pristine refuge believed to hold about 10 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil, environmentalists argue such a move would only temporarily delay the inevitable while ruining the
delicate Arctic habitat.

For Alaskans, Prudhoe's decline in particular, and the North Slope's in general, transcends politics and raises fiscal and emotional issues. Each year, state residents receive a substantial dividend from an investment account built over the year by a portion of oil tax revenues.

Those dividends, based on market investment performance, have ranged from a record $1,964 per resident in 2000 to $845.76 in 2005.

State officials have been negotiating with three major oil producers to build a North Slope natural gas pipeline to markets in the Midwest they hope will compensate for losses from the decline in oil. State officials say oil is expected to account for at least 74 percent of Alaska's unrestricted general purpose revenue through 2013. However, Alaska officials said Friday that negotiations have been halted for the next few weeks.

The fall in the North Slope comes even with the startup of the Northstar and Alpine fields which, with a combined pro- jected output of over 200,000 barrels per day, many hoped would partially offset the decline in Prudhoe Bay.

Only delaying the inevitable
Prudhoe "was one of the last great fields in America," said Bill Samuelson, an analyst with Houston-based consultancy Purvin & Gertz.

Projections for new fields slated to come on-stream over the next 10 years are expected to do little but temporarily offset the decline. North Slope output, according to the state, is pro- jected to drop to about 833,000 barrels per day by 2015, with 50 percent of that production coming from new fields.

The steady decline, both in domestic crude production and in Alaskan output, has fueled repeated efforts by the Bush administration, as well as by Alaska's congressional delegation, to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge east of Prudhoe to oil development.

The government estimates that 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude may sit untapped in the refuge.

Many Alaskans back the push for opening the reserve, where only one exploratory well has been drilled. But there are caveats.

"It's important to understand that no one has really gone there and punched holes in the ground to see if there's anything in there," said Michael Williams, the Alaska Department of Revenue's chief economist, referring to the lack of extensive drilling to accurately determine the volume of oil there.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/business/3531485

Posted by: Jeff II on December 20, 2005 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Carter inherited raging inflation, an energy crises, and expanding defit spending from Nixon/Ford. He proceeded to take on the oil companies (first President ever to have the guts to do so)and pass budgets which reduced deficit spending and eventually reduce inflation.

Bush inherited a surplus, then proceeded to set records with his deficit spending, like Reagan before him, only worse. Hard facts.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on December 20, 2005 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lets also point out that Jimmy Carter is the most decent ex-president the US has ever had. It's going to be really fun to see what 'W' does after his term is up.

Posted by: WhoSays on December 20, 2005 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter conspiracy nut: Look over there! It's Jimmy Carter! Why, he's history's greatest monster! *crossing fingers and closing his eyes* please, please don't let them notice King George....

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Poor conspiracy nut. Another pitiful victim of Carter Derangement Syndrome. So sad....

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's going to be really fun to see what 'W' does after his term is up.

You'll never see a "ranch" cleared of more brush. Why, it'll be the prettiest fake ranch in Texas!

Assuming, that is, that Bush doesn't abandon the "ranch" (or, more accurately, his 1,000 plus acre private estate) once it's not needed anymore to fool the suckers.

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Damn hyperlinks! Khaaaaaaaaannnnnn!!!!!!

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Or maybe, like Carter, he will be invited to the middle east, as a trusted statesman, to monitor elections!

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on December 20, 2005 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

"One doesn't have to support their strike to sympathize with their plight."

Plight ???

The usual raft of obscene juvenalia instead of reasonable discussion.

Did you see the pictures of people walking across bridges ?

It's a "nice walk" in 15 degrees ?

I just cancelled a trip to NYC for early January and I suspect the cancellations are rolling in.

You folks can roll around in NSA intercepts, which are legal and have been going on since 1990. They should have been going on since 1979 when the worst president in all of history allowed the Iranians to make fools of us.

Do you recall the story of the FBI trying to get a FISA search warrant for Moussawi's laptop ? That was before 9/11 for the ahistorical among you.

Did you like the Germans releasing the killer of the navy diver from the 1985 TWA hijacking ? Robert Stenholm. An innocent passenger who was selected because the German for navy is "marine" and the stewardess had to tell the Hezbolah terrorists who the Jews were and what the passengers info was.

They swapped the killer for a hostage. Guess when the next hostage will be taken. Social Democrats !

The Christian Democrats kept the Red Brigades in prison.

14,000 German girls converted to Islam last year. When's your turn ?

Posted by: Mike K on December 20, 2005 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah Mike, good ole 1985 when we had a serial hostage trader (for some of our best weapons) as our President. Too bad he could not take a measured, intelligent response to terrorist, like his predecessor.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on December 20, 2005 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: Plight ???

Yes.

The cutting of the transit workers health care benefits makes their situation an economic plight.

What about that don't you understand, asshole?

Had your health care benefits cut lately so the rich can have their tax cuts?

You folks can roll around in NSA intercepts, which are legal and have been going on since 1990.

Not without warrants, liar.

They should have been going on since 1979 when the worst president in all of history allowed the Iranians to make fools of us.

You're confusing Carter with Reagan and Bush 41, who negotiated with terrorists, gave them weapons in exchange for hostages, and were thoroughly embarrassed as a result.

We found out what "tough" in a president means for the GOP: talk the big talk to the American public and whimper like a baby when talking directly to the terrorists.

I just cancelled a trip to NYC for early January . . .

Good. NYC is overstocked with asshole conservatives already. They don't need any more.

Posted by: Advocate for God on December 20, 2005 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Did you like the Germans releasing the killer of the navy diver from the 1985 TWA hijacking ? Robert Stenholm. An innocent passenger who was selected because the German for navy is "marine" and the stewardess had to tell the Hezbolah terrorists who the Jews were and what the passengers info was.

Hey, when you fuck with your allies don't expect them to roll over for you. But just in case you'd like to let facts into this, the terrorist was released from our equivalent of a state prison, not a federal government one. Berlin had no say in the matter.

They swapped the killer for a hostage. Guess when the next hostage will be taken. Social Democrats !

Actually, it's the right who's in charge in Germany now, with Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats having taken power lately. Christian Democrats!

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Did you see the pictures of people walking across bridges ?

Did you see me? I was waving!

It's a "nice walk" in 15 degrees ?

More like 30 degrees. But I've had nicer walks.

I just cancelled a trip to NYC for early January and I suspect the cancellations are rolling in.

Thank Christ. We don't need your kind here.

Posted by: Stefan on December 20, 2005 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, get a woman. If you can, that is.

Posted by: Mykeee Kayy on December 20, 2005 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think we should just let them go drill ANWR.

With global climate change, the environment up there's totally fucked anyway. It's way too late to save it; whether it's a result of anthropogenic climate change, or increased solar output, or an angry nature-god. Doesn't matter, the Caribou are all going to be extinct in a decade anyway.

But if Mike wants to talk about terrorist coddling, perhaps we can remind him of the Venezuelan airline bomber we keep refusing to extradite. Or perhaps our close freindship with the Iraqi terrorist group, MEK. Or perhaps our coddling of economic terrorist Ken Lay (if ever there was a case for a military response to terrorism, Enron is it).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on December 20, 2005 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

The usual raft of obscene juvenalia instead of reasonable discussion.

I can only assume you meant that as a descriptive header for your comments.

Jimmy Carter's bad? German girls converted to Islam and when's "our turn"??? WTF does that have to do with the anything? Tourette's much?

Rather than fellating your party's leaders in exchange for nothing but your self-respect, you'd be better served by paying more attention to the erosions of government transparency, separation of powers, checks and balances, and the culture of corruption -- all of which this thread is about and all of which pose more of a threat to the well-being of this country than Jimmy Carter's ghost or swarthy men with box-cutters.

200 Trappists took a vow of silence last year - when's your turn?

Posted by: Windhorse on December 20, 2005 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

Serves those damned NYCers right for electing a Republican mayor :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 20, 2005 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse.

Good name.

Great arguments you folks come up with.

And you wonder why you can't win elections ???

Actually you keep thinking you'll win the next one. Luck.

Posted by: Mike K on December 20, 2005 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

WWRD?

Read another chapter of Churchill curled up in bed? Speechified through a bullhorn? Called the press nitwits? Blamed the strike on Al Sharpton?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 20, 2005 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

Rudy Guiliani is the most overrated politician in America. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

Prior to 9/11 he was nearly universally loathed on every side of the political spectrum.

Remember what he did to is wife? Remember how the tabloids played it?

He had the good fortune of the Clinton economy and a nationwide reduction in crime that had not all that much to do with chasing the squeegie guys off the street and shuffling the homeless out of Penn Station.

Rudy "Quality of Life Crime" Guiliani.

What an asshole.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 20, 2005 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Great arguments you folks come up with.

If you had a cogent thought to respond to I might do something other than troll-bait. But instead you arrive on scene as usual and call everyone losers for not talking about something off-topic you'd rather whine about and try to beat us with.

So: Republicans are abusing parliamentary procedure to push through bills they woudln't otherwise be able to, even to the point of forcing votes on bills reps haven't even read.

Do you think that is good representative government? Do you think it is a sign of a healthy democracy? And what does it say about a majority party that can't even get its legislation passed by the usual means?

Posted by: Windhorse on December 20, 2005 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Stupid Republicans don't realize that the fillibuster is way more of a conservative tool than a progressive one.

And stupid Republicans don't realize that a neocon-infested White House is way more progressive than conservative.

Posted by: AlanDownunder on December 20, 2005 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

A few lessons for Kevin:

1. Our English language and mixed metaphors. The term, "Potemkin village" is a noun and is used as a metaphor to cast something as "elaborate and impressive but lacking substance". Potemkin, the man (Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin) was the Russian minister to Catherine II and was accused by his detractors of building phony villages and camps to impress his empress. The Russians named a battleship, Potemkin (presumably after the minister) and it was on this ship a famous mutiny occured and the premise for a famous film was laid.

So, I'm not sure which metaphor you've mixed, Kevin. "Potemkin Legislature"? No doubt an example of the product of a public school education in California, eh? Have I misunderestimated you?

2. Your wailing about Republicans "breaking the rules" of Congress is really funny. Perhaps a great Constitutional scholar like yourself can 'splain to us all what section(s) have been violated.

Here's a lesson in life for you Kevin, "Elections have consequenses." Your team lost (and the country is far the better for it).

3. You may have forgotten (short California attention span and all), but a few months ago you were pissing and moaning about how the world was running out of oil. But you're against drilling in ANWAR, right?

And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

Posted by: Norman on December 20, 2005 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Norman just has to be a parody. Has to be.

No one could be so critically un-aware of their own hate and projection and idiocy and still be able to string together sentences. Could they? Well, there is Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh....

Noting the obvious appeal to Wikipedia to try and score cheap points, "Potemkin" has been become an advective in common parlance that as a modifier has the same meaning as "Potemkin village." Google around and you will see that this is the case.

Only raving trolls would suggest it has something to do with battleships.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 20, 2005 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Doc MikeyK,

Not withstanding your other tripe, at least get your facts right about the horrible incident aboard the TWA Flight. It was not because of any mistake of the word "marine" in German. The USS New Jersey had fired into suburbs of Beirut. Homes were hit and innocent people died. They thugs were questioning anyone about New Jersey.
They associated the sailor with the incident.
All in all there was horror for everyone. Reagan's misguided "peace ploy" for the civil war in Lebanon led to much suffering on all sides.
However, with triumph in Grenada, all was forgiven from his adoring mindless herd of sheep.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 20, 2005 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Rules--and laws--are for suckers, especially IOKIYAR.

Posted by: jawbone on December 20, 2005 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K:

Rudy Guiliani is the most overrated politician in America. Talk about being in the right place at the right time."

Yeah. He probably flew those planes too.

"Prior to 9/11 he was nearly universally loathed on every side of the political spectrum."

Except by people who saw what he did in NYC.

"Remember what he did to is wife? Remember how the tabloids played it?"

Oh, you mean how he played in the Vagina Monologues ?

Oh wait, that was her!

Gee, I wonder what that was all about?

"He had the good fortune of the Clinton economy"

You mean the Reagan economy ?

"and a nationwide reduction in crime that had not all that much to do with chasing the squeegie guys off the street and shuffling the homeless out of Penn Station."

Oh. A criminologist too.

"Rudy "Quality of Life Crime" Guiliani.

What an asshole.

Bob"

Whatever you say.

As far as Marine and the diver Stethem, third Paul.

Why don't you read a little ? I could provide a short reading list for you but you'll have to sound out the words yourself.

The German stewardess was asked about the passengers and used the word "Marine" to indicate that Stethem was a navy diver. The Hezbollah idiots knew the word and that was enough.

Tripe would be an improvement for you. Do you know enough to eat ? You're alive so you can't be as dumb as you seem.

Posted by: Mike K on December 21, 2005 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Carter inherited raging inflation, an energy crises, and expanding defit spending from Nixon/Ford. He proceeded to take on the oil companies (first President ever to have the guts to do so)and pass budgets which reduced deficit spending and eventually reduce inflation.
Your revisionist history is entertaining. Maybe you can explain how Carter worked himself to a resounding approval level of 28%.

That's some good presidenting, to be able to achieve that 28% approval.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 21, 2005 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: Tripe would be an improvement for you.

For someone claiming Reagan's economy was in action during the second half of Clinton's term, two presidencies later, it is pretty bold to be calling other people's posts tripe.

Yours are clearly far short of even crap.

What an asshole.

An apt description of Guiliani, but your description of him seems to run counter to your worship of him.

And you wonder why you can't win elections ???

And you wonder why your heros can't win wars and stay out of jail.

Actually you keep thinking you'll win the next one. Luck.

Funny from someone whose presidential candidate only won by cheating and whose party hasn't controlled Congress for most of the past century.

What a hoot!

You are such a buffoon, Little Mikey.

Posted by: Advocate for God on December 21, 2005 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut:Your revisionist history is entertaining. Maybe you can explain how Carter worked himself to a resounding approval level of 28%.

Speaking of revisionist history...a quick google turns up that Carter's 1st year approval was 62%, his second year was 51%, he ended at 34% approval--in large part due to the Iran hostage situation and the oil crisis. He was more popular than Reagan in his first two terms. His overall average was 47% overall. If we had indeed sought to reduce our dependence on oil, as Carter tried to make us do, we would be a far, far stronger nation today so sometimes popularity polls are meaningless.

Perhaps you are confusing Carter with Richard Nixon, who ended his presidency at 24%? Given that Nixon was about to be impeached for crimes, you have to really wonder about that 24%.

But not for long...after several weeks of hysterical campaigning around the Iraqi elections, George Bush's ratings have surged back up to almost 50%. And now the terminal decline will begin in earnest. The only question, really, is whether he'll beat Nixon or just see him. What percentage of the electorate are so delusional or corrupt that they approve of GWB's performance?

Posted by: PTate in MN on December 21, 2005 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Doc Mikey,

Suggest you read "Triumph over Terror on Flight 847", published 1987 (Fleming Revell Publishers, Old Tappen, NJ. It was written by the late Captain John Testrake, the Captain of the ill-fated TWA Flight 847.

Or you can read excerpts from his book at:

http://www.semp.us/securitas/may_june_2005.html

Scroll past the first article on the Red Cross to the excerpts from the book.

Lays out the chronology of our involvement in the Lebanese Civil War.
The first firing on the Lebanese "Druze" was by the USS Virginia.
The firing by the USS New Jersey came later - they did fire into Beirut, but the suburbs as well.

As I was stationed in Germany for 33 months, I am well aware of the word "marine" in German. One of the hi-jackers spoke fluent German and conversed with the German flight attendant. He and she used the "marine" to mean navy.

Pay particular attention to the paragraph which reads:
"The Hizbullah guards were extremely facile with their Russian weapons, even if they had a tendency to leave them lying around. They were "family oriented" and "almost every one of them "spoke about how President Reagan ordered the USS New Jersey bombardment which killed family members".

I suggest that this killer team went on board with a tremendous grudge against the US Navy and the CIA which they thought had been behind a car bombing which killed many Lebanese. Interestingly they treated the US Army personnel slightly better, even though they would have killed them in a heart beat.
The hi-jackers were not confused over the difference between our use of Marine and Sailor. As they had already retaliated against the Marines in Beirut, they were aware of the difference. They were after US Navy personnel.
Meddling in Civil Wars of others can lead, and often do, to tragic events.
I, also, believe that "life imprisonment" should have meant life - unfortunately, the killer has been released.
They killed a fine man - Look at his photo sometime - The members of our Navy who serve aboard the destroyer named in his honor should be proud.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 21, 2005 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

The only question, really, is whether he'll beat Nixon or just see him.
Ya, and Kerry will win with over 300 electoral votes. Given your prediction, I'm expecting Bush to be one of the most popular presidents of modern times.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 21, 2005 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

sometimes popularity polls are meaningless
I've noticed there are 2 times popularity polls are meaningless, and 2 times when they are dead nuts right. They're meaningless when:
- Repub shows high numbers
- Dem shows low numbers
They're dead nuts right when
- Repub shows low numbers
- Dem shows high numbers

Funny old world, ain't it?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on December 21, 2005 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

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