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Tilting at Windmills

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January 16, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

OUR LAPDOG CONGRESS....There's plenty to highlight from Al Gore's speech today, but here's an excerpt that probably won't get the attention it deserves:

The most serious damage has been done to the legislative branch. The sharp decline of congressional power and autonomy in recent years has been almost as shocking as the efforts by the Executive Branch to attain a massive expansion of its power.

....There have now been two or three generations of congressmen who don't really know what an oversight hearing is. In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive Branch to the fire no matter which party was in power. Yet oversight is almost unknown in the Congress today.

....Look for example at the Congressional role in "overseeing" this massive four year eavesdropping campaign that on its face seemed so clearly to violate the Bill of Rights. The President says he informed Congress, but what he really means is that he talked with the chairman and ranking member of the House and Senate intelligence committees and the top leaders of the House and Senate. This small group, in turn, claimed that they were not given the full facts, though at least one of the intelligence committee leaders handwrote a letter of concern to VP Cheney and placed a copy in his own safe.

Though I sympathize with the awkward position in which these men and women were placed, I cannot disagree with the Liberty Coalition when it says that Democrats as well as Republicans in the Congress must share the blame for not taking action to protest and seek to prevent what they consider a grossly unconstitutional program.

Democratic timidity in the face of a "wartime" president who's not afraid to play the patriot card combined with Republican subservience to a president of their own party has turned Congress into an embarrassing caricature of itself. Read the whole speech if you're interested in Gore's suggestions for turning this around.

C-SPAN has the video here.

Kevin Drum 8:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (164)

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In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive Branch to the fire no matter which party was in power

And they say that conservatives like to harken back to a mythical golden age. Did the Congress really hold Carter's feet to the fire? All the other administrations in the 70s and 80s were Republican.

Posted by: contentious on January 16, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

What would be the reaction if Obama stood up and said, "I cannot, in good conscience, allow onto the Supreme Court a man who has lied to the Senate and written his desire to overturn Roe. Thus, I will fillibuster his appointment with all my ability."

Gore wouldn't sit around and whine, "Oh, I might lose the cloture vote."

Leadership, not corruption!

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on January 16, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oversight is for apostates - it would interfere with the Divine Right of W.

Silly Dems. Only radicals like James Madison would have supported such an unsubservient role for Congress.

Posted by: alex on January 16, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Did the Congress really hold Carter's feet to the fire?

It sounds like they did. But if you're skeptical, I'm sure you can do some research and find out for us.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 16, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, yes, Congress held Carter's feet to the fire. Congressional Democrats never liked him; Kennedy challenged Carter for the 1980 nomination, doing considerable damage to him.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 16, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, right Kevin. However, just a few days ago the meme seemed to be don't get pulled into a pissing match with the GOP over spying illegally. They will turn it around on the Dems as soft on terror. So, is Gore a leader or not? Or is Gore a Dem problem Kevin? Which is it? By the way where is your guy on this spying thing? What does Gen. Clark think the Dems should do? With Kevin Drum you just can't afford to stand on anything really. If you protest too much it moves too far right. If you just sit back and blame the Democrats for not speaking up when the spying game was told to them then everything in Political Animal will be as it should be. A very in-depth issues blog with no spine attached. I'm sorry Kevein, but fence sitting just seems so "wussy" to me. Is the word impeach too scary for you Kevin?

Posted by: Poncho & Lefty on January 16, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me Mr. President why I should be afraid. Remind me about the fear. Terrorize me. Again.

Its about time for the court of public opinion to come into session.

Posted by: Sideline on January 16, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

And "the war" goes on forever.

Posted by: The Heretik on January 16, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Did Congress really Carter's feet to the fire?

They also battled the Carter administration over the issue of charter legislation for each of the intelligence agencies. Essentially, this proposed legislation would have defined in law precisely the mission of each intelligence agency and the activities each could and could not undertake. The executive branch opposed such definitive legislation, and it eventually succeeded in preventing its enactment. - http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/97unclass/wagenen.html

We are entering an austere budget year. President Carter wants to hold the federal deficit at $29 billion (or less), and there will be far fewer adventurous new programs.

Instead, a good share of the work of this Congress can be expected to shift to the oversight committees in both the House and the Senate -- committees that are there to serve as watchdogs on one or another government functions, agencies or departments...Has the intent of legislation been carried out -- or badly distorted? Is money appropriated by Congress for essential programs being wisely spent -- or wasted? Are agencies that were created for a specific function really performing -- or are they just snowing us? Are the taxpayers getting the most for their money? - Mo Udall (D-AZ), "Congressional Oversight: Making Things Work", March 1979, http://dizzy.library.arizona.edu/branches/spc/udall/congrept/96th/7903.html

Notwithstanding this feature, the percentage of days devoted to oversight actually declined early in the Nixon Administration, even though divided party government continued in effect. (Later in the Nixon Administration, as would be expected, the amount of oversight escalated as his Presidency was embroiled in Watergate, which led to criminal investigations of the President and top White House staff, to high-visibility congressional inquiries, including impeachment proceedings in the House, and eventually to his resignation.) Furthermore, the Carter Administration in 1977, when the Presidency and Congress were controlled by the same political party, witnessed an increase in the number of days of oversight hearings, although the percentage was roughly the same as under his predecessor. - http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/jcoc2at.htm

...the last Senate hearing [on nuclear weapons] was before the Foreign Relations Committee in 1980 (concerning President Carters PD-59 on planning for a protracted nuclear war). - http://www.carnegieendowment.org/static/npp/2005conference/presentations/Schwartz.pdf

Google. Try it sometime.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 16, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Moaning about the loss of the Constitution -- that was soooooo 2001.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 16, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Good Lord, Kevin. You're shilling for Al Gore?! I thought you were interested in helping the Dems craft a majority and actually win some elections. If this is who you think is going to deliver the goods, all I can say is you don't get it. The point is to atract independents, not alienate them.

Posted by: Chris on January 16, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Chris, you do recall that Gore won the popular vote in 2000, don't you? (i'm not encouraing him to run in 2008, mind you, but yes, i'm all for al gore calling bush out.)

the intresting thing is that gore not only got at the specifics of bushian lawbreaking, he also did what i think that the dems must do: remind the public that terrorism is a threat, but not an existential one that should lead us to panic.

Posted by: howard on January 16, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

During the period when this eavesdropping was still secret, the President went out of his way to reassure the American people on more than one occasion that, of course, judicial permission is required for any government spying on American citizens and that, of course, these constitutional safeguards were still in place.

But surprisingly, the President's soothing statements turned out to be false.

Hmm ... sarcasm? I also note in the very beginning he referenced common ground with Bob Barr. A person willing to agree on basic principle with those who they greatly disagree on other matters.

Is this not something many independents look for?

Anyway, if Gore showed this much gumption in 2000, he might be President right now.

Posted by: Joe on January 16, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, if Gore showed this much gumption in 2000, he might be President right now.

Let's call him a late bloomer, like Carter.

And howard at 8:59: Exactly what I'd have said in response to Chris.

Posted by: shortstop on January 16, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Hoiward handled that for me...Well put.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Has it ever occurred to Algore, that maybe Congress agrees with Bush?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 16, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's call him a late bloomer, like Carter."

More like a typical liberal who can trash talk before and after the game, but can't actually win on the field.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 16, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

More like a typical liberal ...

I love it when Al Gore causes the Bush-following lunatics to blow a fuse... Gore is your your moral better, FF-- you DON'T bad mouth him.

Posted by: Constantine on January 16, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

"but can't actually win on the field."

Uh, except he did.

Posted by: Joel on January 16, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

And CSPAN never showed DiFi... I bet she was squirming in her seat during that part of his speach. Throw in a "lazy old Senators" and a finger point and he could have brought the house down.

Posted by: spiny on January 16, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

freedom fighter, that's a nice word choice there, "congress," but what we are told (and you wouldn't want to accuse that nice man playing attorney general of lying, now woudja?) is that they asked Congress and were told that they wouldn't get permission - and went ahead and did it anyhow.

so i'd say that on the face of it, no, congress doesn't agree with bush, although that doesn't mean that the aging money machine can't hammer out a victory if it comes to it.

just like that spectacular medicare prescription drug bill, right?

shortstop, Global Citizen, thankx.

Posted by: howard on January 16, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

I just finished listening to Al Gore's speech. If you haven't heard it, go to C-span and listen. It's a powerhouse. Passionate, powerful, and detailed. If Gore had spoken like this in the 2000 campaign, he'd be president for real and we would have avoided this nightmare.

I never thought I'd say this, but if he can keep this up, I'd be glad to have him head the Democratic ticket. Maybe with Warner or someone of that stripe in 2nd place.

Gore makes the rest of them sound like trimmers.

The speech took me back to Kennedy days, hearing someone delineate and defend the values we all --well, most of us -- take as bedrock. A fantastic experience to hear.

Posted by: BWR on January 16, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

My pleasure, Howard.

Thanks for taking the lead in the "Whack a Troll" tournament!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

More like a typical liberal who can trash talk before and after the game, but can't actually win on the field.

"...this will be a cakewalk..."

"...I'm taking Iraq out..."

"BRING 'EM ON!"

Gosh - Bush is a liberal! Who knew?

Oh, and BTW - you have such an honest name, "Freedom Fighter". It's a pity 'Freedom' keeps on whipping your ass - how long you going to keep fighting it?

Posted by: floopmeister on January 16, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

I read Gore's speech and listened to parts. It should be listened too or read by every American. It should be shown to every high school civics class tomorrow morning. It is electric and right on point. All you trolls would be well advised to go give it a listen. The voice you would hear would be the voice of a real American patriot. Think your handlers will give you permission? I don't. They don't want you to hear the truth. It might stunt your growth or something.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 16, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Globe,

Is it whack a troll night? Hopefully, we can deliver a righteous beat-down.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 16, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Watch the whole thing: Al hits it out of the park while covering most of the bases...Should be required viewing for anyone who thinks of themselves as a patriotic American...Well worth the hour spent watching ithe clip (thanks Kev); one part I liked is about a two-minute stretch starting at about 58:30...

...And fuck that weasel Ken Mehlman. "Partisan politics" my ass. Gore just called out yer boy, Kenny...Kenny's gotta come up with something stronger than that...Or can Rove handle 'swift-boating' Murtha and Gore at the same time?...

As for the 'whack-a-troll' tournament, can I play too?

Posted by: grape_crush on January 16, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Democratic timidity in the face of a "wartime" president who's not afraid to play the patriot card combined with Republican subservience to a president of their own party has turned Congress into an embarrassing caricature of itself."

Geez, isn't Democratic timidity what many of us have been complaining about for a long time? This is the very reason many of us would like to see a feistier bunch of Democrats in Congress, even if we have to dump the entire batch of incumbents now warming seats there.

There's a hell of lot at stake now but the normal political process has broken down. It's going to take extradordinary efforts to ever get a Democratic majority in either house of Congress again or another Democrat in the White House. I don't see any of the Republican Lite Democrats in Congress now who are able to lead this effort. They clearly need the threat of losing their jobs before they'll acquire the gumption required to even participate in the effort.

Posted by: Taobhan on January 16, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

BWR--"I just finished listening to Al Gore's speech. If you haven't heard it, go to C-span and listen. It's a powerhouse. Passionate, powerful, and detailed. If Gore had spoken like this in the 2000 campaign, he'd be president for real and we would have avoided this nightmare.

I never thought I'd say this, but if he can keep this up, I'd be glad to have him head the Democratic ticket. Maybe with Warner or someone of that stripe in 2nd place.

Gore makes the rest of them sound like trimmers.

The speech took me back to Kennedy days, hearing someone delineate and defend the values we all --well, most of us -- take as bedrock. A fantastic experience to hear."

Oh,please. I am a believer in the Almighty, but I have my doubts, as does any thinking person. If there is a Diety, he will allow the completely deranged remnants of what used to be Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States, to be the Democratic candidate for President come 2008. Failing that, I beseech Gaia to allow this bloated-face caricature to have as much influence as possible over the Democratic campaign--its focus, rhetoric, and posture. Let it be, Oh Lord.

Posted by: GorecouldbeaGod? on January 16, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care if Gore actually runs for president again, but whoever does would be wise to hire him as a speechwriter--this is one of the best I've read in years.

Oh, and I'll take Gore over a bloated moron like George Allen any day. So will most Americans--they already chose him over another moronic Republican once.

Posted by: Ringo on January 16, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm up for a rousing round, Pale Rider.

Have you been by Rabbit's place lately?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Poncho up there. One minute we're talking about Democrats not laying into Bush over the NSA because it gives them a chance to be portrayed as "weak" on national security, and now we're castigating politicians that didn't break ranks and infurate the White House by speaking out? Which is it??

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on January 16, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Gore was painted with the "wooden wonk" brush early in the 2000 campaign, and Bush was painted with the "affable aristocrat" brush. (Problem is, no real "affable aristocrat" actually exists.)

It didn't matter what he proposed, the frat-boys were jabbing at the dweeb.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

alexander, my answer is very simple (can't speak for anyone else): i want dems to criticize bush in precisely the terms that gore used.

the program is lawless, the expansion of presidential power under the guise of his commander-in-chief status for an endless "war" is unconscionable, and the problem of terrorism, while very real, is not the gravest threat we have ever faced and doesn't call for the extraordinary rewriting of the constitution now taking place.

bitching about civil liberties isn't a winner (sadly, but there you have it); bitching about whether it's a good program isn't a winner (even though we should, of course, actually have a clue whether this program is a good or bad idea); but calling the president on lawlessness while re-examing the supposedly unprecedented nature of the threat of terrorism is a position dems should be able to pound home to the satisfaction of a modest majority of the public.

Posted by: howard on January 16, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

My grandchild just spit up on me for the what?--200th time, but I'm still up for a rousing diatribe against Bushhitler. My husband, who has served his country in the military, begggggsss me to stop this incessant shit(excuse me--crap), but I am compelled to log on and drop a few logs on the current Fascist Regime. I cannot understand the lack of outrage from all right-thinking(no pun intended)Americans. Oops, just got some grand-offspring feces on my hand. What can you do? Pale Rider--If you can draw yourself away from planning your next Star Trek/MST3K convention, I would love to get into this, once AGAIN, with you and secularanimist(whatever that means), et. al. Don't let me down. All I have is you guys, and my unrelenting anger.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

That wasn't me at 11:47. Apparently the trolls are desperate.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 16, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gore for President! And this time let's inaugurate him, too.

Posted by: G. Jones on January 17, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Word, howard.

As an aside: Can anyone explain why conservatives find it amusing to refer to Gore as "Algore"? Not for the first time, I reflect that they're a strange lot.

Posted by: Gregory on January 17, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

And I always call it "BushCrimCo" - If you are going to troll me, get it right!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 17, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

As fun as this could potentially be, vacation is over and it's back to work tomorrow. I gotta go to bed. Any further posts by me will be from my troll.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 17, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

I like Gore-Kerry in 2008.

This will be an important contest, so let's go with the varsity.

Posted by: Steve High on January 17, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Almost as soon as he lost the election, Gore grew a spine. Too late.

Was it because his stupid handlers deserted him? Or because he wouldn't believe he could lose until it actually happened? Either way, he now strives to channel Clinton and Kennedy. Give him credit--he's a smart guy and he's saying all the right words. Great words, in fact. Whoever the speechwriter is needs to give this material to someone with credibility. Because it's wasted coming from Too Late Boy. EVEN IF GORE HIMSELF is the speechwriter, he needs to give the material to someone else. The material is great. The messenger is crap.

Don't get me wrong ... the words are powerful, the message is compelling, it's precisely what the country needs to hear. But this presentation is a PAINFUL revisit of Gore-Bush, with Gore's inability to get his message out completely emasculating the actual content.

Oh sure. Now he's got a spine. And actually-good advice. But the Democrats better figure out how to package this blockbuster material in a better way - some way that actually makes headlines, some way that makes the prime time newscasts during the week, some way that speaks to actual voters.

Posted by: curious on January 17, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Congress might like it"

FF, are you refering to the current best Congress money can buy?

When is your armored plated tricycle coming off the line in Indiana, so you can repair to Fallujah? Remember, FF, just don't tell.

Gore ain't wooden no more - Take that Kit Seelye and Bumiller.

Posted by: stupid git on January 17, 2006 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

That wasn't me at 11:47. Apparently the trolls are desperate.

Whoever the idiot is who's posting the fake Global Citizen, or anyone else, at least use a different e-mail address.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 17, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

This is just the latest in a number of remarkable speechs.

I never thought I'd say this, but if he can keep this up, I'd be glad to have him head the Democratic ticket. Maybe with Warner or someone of that stripe in 2nd place.

Al Gore for President! And this time let's inaugurate him, too.

I like Gore-Kerry in 2008.

Gotta agree with all this. If ever a man were ready for the presidency it is Al Gore now.

But nooooooooooo...... (wail of despair) to Kerry anywhere, anywhere, anywhere near the ticket - absotutely and utterly miserable. Biden too. And heaven save us from Hillary (she seems interested in people as theoretical constructs)

Obama as Vice though would really kick!! OR Jennifer Granholm (if it weren't for that being born in Canada thing) OR Brian Schweitzer.

Course I don't get to vote, just to opine.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe, nice post up above. but does this really substantiate the claim of "oversight"? The executive branch opposed such definitive legislation, and it eventually succeeded in preventing its enactment. - That doesn't sound like holding feet to fire. And the quote from Udall is just as much self-promotion as the quote from Gore.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Has it ever occurred to Algore, that maybe Congress agrees with Bush?
Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 16, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I'd agree with Bush if I knew I had hundreds of millions of illegal brib- er, campaign contributions flowing into a smear campaign directed at me. I'd be even more likely to agree if I suspected Bush was using a tens-of-billions-of-taxpayer-dollars secret apparatus dedicated to listening to my phone conversations without judicial oversight. But I'd be especially likely to agree with Bush after noting the stunning regularity with which Democratic lawmakers small planes have fallen out of the sky over the years. . .

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 17, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

Curious (post above at 12:25) has it right. I think the speech was excellent in terms of hitting the right notes re: the future of governance, and how critical that is right now. It's a foundation kind of speech, with the action/tactics not yet hanging from it. But they must be placed there. The Democrat's version of a much improved "Contract with America" can be built from it.

BUT.... Gore is NOT going to come up off the stool and throw the knockout punch after already being cuffed around and beaten by a TKO. There is such a thing as momentum (he does not have it), the alternative to which is to be a "stealth candidate" with a lot of perceived potential (which he could not and cannot be, given his long history in DC and his Clinton dance card).

Let's be candid here. The man failed to beat a candidate that had very little going for him in terms of substance. Gore was probably NOT the best choice then, coming off his service to Clinton, but that's the hand history dealt him. I think he is a good man, but it's kind of like in sports --- scoreboard. Coaches get fired for losing, and they don't go back to the same team.

Giving speeches is an attribute for a POTUS candidate, but just an attribute (not the reason we should fall head over heals in love) and used to be even more important when people were starved for exposure to candidates and would hang on every word. No more. Now the speech is little more than the overture to the next 10 million words of op-eds and online commentary, at least half of which will be full of pushback and putdown.

Fair or not fair, running Gore out there again will be perceived as evidence that the Democrats lack promising new "now" candidates, and are falling back on old strategies of aligning with certain voter blocks and finding comfort in nuance.

I suppose you already can guess how I feel about the other half of that proposed Gore/Kerry '08 ticket. You are pulling our legs here, right? The "varsity"? No, it is the alums. Respected; maybe even revered by some. But no longer eligible to play.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 17, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Terry,

couldn't disagree with you more re. Al Gore (though it sounds like we're in agreement re. the junior senator from Mass) It's not the speeches themselves, it's what they reveal of the man, his hopes, his fears and his priorities.

Re. the idea, he's had his shot, I thought stories of redemption, tales of comeback were the staple of America.

I was lukewarm towards Al Gore in 2000 (my support for him more contingent on how George Bush made the hairs on the back of my neck stand absolutely straight up - especially during that creepy interview with him on his "ranch" during the showdown in Florida when he had his face apparently nicked up from a series of shaving accidents) but his eight years in the wilderness have seen him grow in an entirely good way. As for your assertions re momentum, well he has it with me at least and I suspect I am hardly alone on this.

Course I'm a Canuck, just an outsider looking in (it looks like our Liberals btw are going to get a well-deserved kick in the backside next week; hopefully, some time in the wilderness will do them good as well).

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Course I'm a Canuck, just an outsider looking in (it looks like our Liberals btw are going to get a well-deserved kick in the backside next week; hopefully, some time in the wilderness will do them good as well).

Even if it puts the Bush-clone Harper in the saddle? Maybe it's just me, but putting the Dems in the wilderness only got them more lost. I fear for the Canadian Liberals if they wind up in the same boat.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 17, 2006 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

I fear for the Canadian Liberals if they wind up in the same boat.

No. I don't think the Consevatives will do too much damage - in essence in Canada the Liberals are the natural ruling party. We occasionally kick them out for a term or two then let them back in for three or four or five... They do need their time out of power though. I'm actually glad in a way (though I won't be voting Conservative!) to see that the Conservatives can pull this off. For a time it looked like they were never going to get their act together and the Liberals were beginning to get way too much of a sense of invulnerablility.

But I wouldn't worry. Last time we let the Conservatives in ended with the Conservatives in the next election going from 169 to 2 seats IIRC. And while this unlikely to be repeated (some of the factors leading to this such as the emergence of the Bloc Quebecois cannot be replicated) this is still more likely to be a conservative interregnum than mark a political shift. It's likely to be a minority government (with perhaps under 35% of the vote), with limited room to manouever and unless Harper surprises in a positive way (which wouldn't be a bad thing), unlikely to survive more than one term. And Harper and the party itself have moved considerably to the centre - our conservatives are not your conservatives. Harper, for instance, has promised not to send Canadian troops to Iraq (although his does look like he wants to revisit the issue of Canadian participation in a continental missile shield) and not to revisit abortion. I won't be enthusiastic about Harper, but I can live through him and look forward to one day having a leader I can be enthusiastic about (Martin is not it!!).

Re. the wilderness, I find parties are more likely to get lost in power than out of power. I mean look at the current Republicans, they are absolutely naked and have nothing left other than a pretense of a philosophy). Though I will admit the Democratics seem to be giving the UK's Conservatives a good run at trying to be a party getting ever more lost (the leaders, anyway). Actually, though, I do think the worm has turned in your case.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

For the first time in who knows how long, I am actually proud to be an American. I cried at this speech--especially because I was talking about some of the same stuff to someone yesterday. We are "in thrall" and need to snap out of it. Thank goodness--you go, Al.

Posted by: Lisa on January 17, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Well,
I like Gore's speeches in 92, too. Then he played puppy dog to the centrists. He had a lot of good stuff to say in 2000, too. Then he choked. As bad as the media coverage was, if he had fought through to the end, he could have built up an invicible lead and won by a large margin. Trying to coast to a victory was suicide.
I don't trust him. He's sure to wimp out again --just like Kerry and his damned month-long vacation.

Posted by: joe on January 17, 2006 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

Go Gore. Gore in '08!

Posted by: McA on January 17, 2006 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

Ah Mickey Spittle, you ran away to this thread.

Don't you mean Abdul Hadi Awang in 08? or maybe Ong Ka Ting? Most likely Ong Ka TIng... Definitely not Wan Azizah Wan Ismail but...

Not very exciting, is it?

Let me go out on a limb. I'll lay odds it's gonna be Badawi again.

Is there ever a chance of UNMO ever, ever, ever losing a national "election" in Malaysia? (and ending the punishment of states such as Sabah when they step out of electoral line?). Not that American democracy as currently practiced is much better but at least there is a pretense that an election should be more than show...

Oh and I second your call (again)...

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

AL GORE (AND KEVIN, SEE NO DEMOCRAT EVIL DRUM) FORGET HOW MUCH THEY JUST LOVED SPYING ON AMERICANS DURING THE CLINTON YEARS.

AL GORE WAS FOR SPYING ON AMERICANS , BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT!

In the February, 2000 60 Minutes story, former spy Mike Frost made clear that Echelon monitored practically every conversation no matter how seemingly innocent during the Clinton years.

A lady had been to a school play the night before, and her son was in the school play and she thought he did a-a lousy job. Next morning, she was talking on the telephone to her friend, and she said to her friend something like this, Oh, Danny really bombed last night, just like that. The computer spit that conversation out. The analyst that was looking at it was not too sure about what the conversation w-was referring to, so erring on the side of caution, he listed that lady and her phone number in the database as a possible terrorist.

This is not urban legend youre talking about. This actually happened? Kroft asked.

Factual. Absolutely fact. No legend here.

Even as the Times defended Echelon as a necessity in 1999, evidence already existed that electronic surveillance had previously been misused by the Clinton Administration for political purposes. Intelligence officials told Insight Magazine in 1997 that a 1993 conference of Asian and Pacific world leaders hosted by Clinton in Seattle had been spied on by U.S. intelligence agencies. Further, the magazine reported that information obtained by the spying had been passed on to big Democrat corporate donors to use against their competitors. The Insight story added that the mis-use of the surveillance for political reasons caused the intelligence sources to reveal the operation.

The only reason it has come to light is because of concerns raised by high-level sources within federal law-enforcement and intelligence circles that the operation was compromised by politiciansincludingmid- and senior-level White House aideseither on behalf of or in support of President Clinton and major donor-friends who helped him and the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, raise money.

So, during the Clinton Administration, evidence existed (all of the information used in this article was available at the time) that:

-an invasive, extensive domestic eavesdropping program was aimed at every U.S. citizen;

-intelligence agencies were using allies to circumvent constitutional restrictions;

-and the administration was selling at least some secret intelligence for political donations.

These revelations were met by the New York Times and others in the mainstream media by the sound of one hand clapping. Now, reports that the Bush Administration approved electronic eavesdropping, strictly limited to international communications, of a relative handful of suspected terrorists have created a media frenzy in the Times and elsewhere.


GORE EVEN PASSED NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DATA TO BIG WIG DEMOCRAT DONORS AND THE DNC.

SHOULDN'T WE REALLY BE IMPEACHING AL GORE???

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

Howard YANKS ONE:

"""Chris, you do recall that Gore won the popular vote in 2000"""

Just what is the 'popular' vote? is that like a concellation prize or something?? Ohh, Gore won most congenial. Ha ha ha ah

Gore also won the dead people vote, the felon vote and the ever popular, most likely to die in a hostage shoot out and most likely to be shot by his own troops votes.

Ha

You guys are sooo funny

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

A Patton Montage: LOVE... SUCKING... Massive... YANKS

um, yeah... right (Pat, I think you're right about this one)

Alice my screechinomious friend, I'm all for bombing eschelon (think that combo'll warrant an alert?) too. It has no place in the country I'd like (and my government participated too). But I'll discuss it with someone with at least an inkling of respect for facts. You my harpy dear, are not it.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 7:11 AM | PERMALINK

Watch or read all of Gore's speech, Patton, then get back to us with more of your inane blather...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 17, 2006 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Gores a complete idiot.....is he even aware that FDR illegal arrested and interred THOUSANDS people of Japanese descent before he claims no past war led to violations of civil liberties...IS HE ON CRACK???

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

EVEN THE ACLU COULDN'T STOMACH THE CLINTON/GORE VIOLATIONS OF CIVIL LIBERITIES, CALLING THEM THE MOST WIRETAP HAPPY ADMINSTRATION IN HISTORY.

ACLU Launches Web Site On Global Surveillance System (11/16/1999)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
Tuesday, November 16, 1999 DC Media Relations Office


WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union today launched a web site designed to shed light on a global electronic surveillance system known by the code name "Echelon" that reportedly allows the United States and other governments to eavesdrop on private citizens.

"Echelon is perhaps the most powerful intelligence gathering network in the world," said Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director of the ACLU. "But it is still very much a black box, which apparently operates without the oversight of Congress or the courts."

The website -- www.echelonwatch.org -- encourages public discussion of the potential threat that Echelon poses to civil liberties, and allows visitors to fax free letters to Congress, urging their support for a congressional inquiry into the Echelon project. It also provides a collection of research documents on Echelon.

After many years of reports by investigative journalists, the existence of Echelon became an international issue when the European Parliament received two reports detailing its operations and after the Australian government confirmed its participation in the operation. According to those reports, Echelon is led by the U.S. National Security Agency in conjunction with its counterpart agencies in England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Echelon reportedly attempts to capture all satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications worldwide, including communications to and from North America. Computers then use sophisticated filtering technology to sort through conversations, faxes and emails searching for keywords or other flags. Communications that include the flags are then forwarded to the intelligence agency that requested them. The report to the European Parliament charged that Echelon had been used in the United Kingdom to spy on charities such as Amnesty International and Christian Aid.

"Echelon can no longer be dismissed as an X-Files fantasy," Steinhardt said. "The reports to the European Parliament make it quite clear that Echelon exists and that its operation raises profound civil liberties issues."

The NSA has refused to share with Congress and the public the legal guidelines for the project. This refusal prompted passage of a bill, now in the final stages before becoming law, requiring the intelligence agencies to prepare a report on the legal standards they use for monitoring communications. Within the next few months, the U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee will hold hearings on Echelon.

"It appears that the U.S. government is once again spying on Americans' private communications," said Gregory T. Nojeim, a legislative counsel in the ACLU's Washington National Office. "Congress must determine if Echelon is as sweeping and intrusive as has been reported, and most importantly, it must ensure that Americans' conversations are not intercepted without a court order."

The ACLU created and administers the site in conjunction with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Omega Foundation of Great Britain, which prepared the first report to the European Parliament.

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Obama on the ticket is a superb idea. In fact, if Gore doesn't run or cools, Obama just might do it. The guy has the magic, and he could give a speech with the same themes as Gore's, and make it sail. People would believe him.

Posted by: BWR on January 17, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

It makes you wonder if Algore even knows what his own adminstraion was upto.

DOES ALGORE KNOW THAT RENDITION OF TERRORISTS TO COUNTIES THAT TORTURE BEGAN UNDER CLINTON/GORE???

DOES ALGORE KNOW THAT CLINTON ASKED SAUDI ARABIA (A KNOWN TORTURE STATE) TO TAKE OSAMA BIN LADEN IF WE CAPTURED HIM IN THE SUDAN???

Extraordinary Rendition - FACT SHEET (12/6/2005)
ACLU


Beginning in the early 1990s the Clinton/GORE, Central Intelligence Agency, together with other U.S. government agencies, has utilized an intelligence-gathering program involving the transfer of foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism to detention and interrogation in countries where -- in the CIA's view -- federal and international legal safeguards do not apply. Suspects are detained and interrogated either by U.S. personnel at U.S.-run detention facilities outside U.S. sovereign territory or, alternatively, are handed over to the custody of foreign agents for interrogation. In both instances, interrogation methods are employed that do not comport with federal and internationally recognized standards. This program is commonly known as "extraordinary rendition."

The current policy traces its roots to the administration of former President Bill Clinton and AL GORE.


GEE AL, SHOULD YOU NOT HAVE RESIGNED WHEN CLINTON IMPELMENTED HIS TORTURE BY THIRD COUNTRY POLICY???

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

ou will be able to play some great table games all for free! Click for a preview and youll find a host of poker and more fun games of chance and skill available for free, that you can play right on your desktop.

Posted by: dany on January 17, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

here's an excerpt that probably won't get the attention it deserves:

Congratulations!

You've picked the one part that actually DID get covered.

You're ready for prime time, Drum. Totally lacking in any insight, you are ready to get paid for your insight.

Way to go.

Posted by: sixteenwords on January 17, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic timidity

I don't think it's timidity so much as plain old fashioned not-doing-your-jobbity. On both sides, not just dems. If Bush briefed any of congress on this, as the people's reps they should have raised all of the questions that are now being raised, and done so back when they found out. Who was the 'tard senator who said he was unqualified to judge the material? Kripes. Gore got that one right.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 17, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

On both sides, not just dems.

Well, to be fair--when you can't get the committee that you're serving on to do anything except protect the administration, there's a real problem.

Democrats like John Conyers have repeatedly called for investigations--which are within the oversight purview of Congress--and he can't get the Republicans to budge.

No one is suggesting that every time a Democrat says 'let's investigate' that the Republicans should jump up and down and say, 'heck yeah!'

I'm thinking they should have been looking into vehicle armor and body armor sometime in late 2003, and that would have been a good thing. But since then, Democrats have been trying to perform some sort of oversight on the DoD; the Republicans have been scrambling to cover Rumsfeld's ass since day one.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

The case for Gore-Kerry.

These guys both came as close to winning as is possible to do without being sworn in. If you imagine that Bush was a pushover, then you can fault them, but there is little evidence that Bush--or his brother--is a pushover. My guess is that any other Democrat would have been beaten worse, both times.

But I don't know what WOULD have happened, and neither do you. What DID happen is that both men piled up huge vote totals.

Suppose JFK had lost to Nixon? Would that have meant that he should never have run again?

The country will still be at war, and voters are more likely to trust two experienced names than a new face. Warner looks good now, but we have to imagine how he will look after the GOP smear machine cranks up. These attacks don't last forever, but they usually last until the day of the election. John McCain, for example, is now the most popular Republican in South Carolina.

Both Gore and Kerry have taken all that could be thrown at them and are still standing. The voters (as distinguished from the activists) know generally like them.

The weakest part of the Gore and Kerry tickets were their respective running mates, neither of whom could throw a punch in part because they were so recently introduced to the voters. Kerry is an honest-to-god war hero and everyone knows it. He would be a very effective attack dog, and god knows he has the motivation.

As liberals, we are always ready to try something new, but to win conservative votes, let's try the tried and true.

Posted by: Steve High on January 17, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

One thing Gore can offer Americans that no other candidate can is the ability to do it over. The nineties were an excellent time for most Americans, and then we went and elected these malevolent incompetents, and have had most of a decade of economic malaise, unprecedented corruption, and needless war.

Well, we're sorry. We made the wrong choice and we want to go back and choose differently.

And Gore can offer that, and frame his message accordingly. We can once again have a time of responsible, intelligent, honest government. Government that doesn't [insert interminable list of Republican failures here].

There are some long years before '08, but if Gore has learned how to keep the fire in his belly he could certainly win, and win big. Remember, they can only steal it again if it's close.

Posted by: S Ra on January 17, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

One thing Gore can offer Americans that no other candidate can is the ability to do it over.

Heck. Gore could be the first President since FDR to win three elections.

And he has the fire.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack

Al Gore has gone whacko! There's no shot of him running again. Even his friends in the press realize he's gone off the deep end. He's been on the wrong side of every issue starting with his comically mismanaged voter recount. What is about to get worse for him is his long record of insane ranting on the environment. He was the champion of Kyoto and it's on the verge of total collapse. Sure 30% of the population think that's a tradegy but 70% knew it was a dumb deal to begin with. Few treaties get voted down 95 - 0.

As we now know Steve Harper and the Conservatives in Canada are running double digit leads in the polls 6 days from the election and after a very public statement of intent to pull out of Kyoto. They pulled into the lead AFTER that annoouncement. This was only a few weeks after Bill Clinton made his impassioned plea to the Kyoto faithful to keep at it. We're going to have an ecological disaster all-right. 95% of the eco-freaks living off of Kyoto are going to have to find real jobs.

None of this will be happening immediately. Harper will maximize the political advantage by waiting to see how far over their limits the Camadians are and how much this liberal scheme will cause the Canadian people to pay to the Russians so they can drill even more. Kyoto is going to be held up for the ridicule it so richly deserves just as you think Albert should take a higher profile. Perfect timing!

Even consider the irony of advancing the cause of the guy who invented the internet knowing how much damage this interent has caused liberals? (Think Dan Rather and Sam Alito) I get none of my news from the MSM

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Al Gore has gone whacko! There's no shot of him running again.

Since the opposite is always true in rdw world, Gore must have done something right yesterday.

Al Gore showed America what a responsible adult looks like. But for Ralph Nader, America could have had a responsible adult as President, not a puppet controlled by Karl Rove.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that this part about Congress not fulfilling it's Constitutional duties of overseeing the President's actions was a strong, but easily overlooked point. The whole speech was one really good point after another. It may have suffered from information overload. But given the wide scope and sheer number of Bush crimes, Gore no doubt felt compelled to cover as many as he could.

Posted by: ISLEDBYNONE on January 17, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, Snicker-snack,

If you are going to dig up a dinosaur like Albert why not try Teddy? Here's why the interent Al invented is so destructive for liberals. This news will make Talk Radio and Fox again and again and again. You just can't make this stuff up.


HIGH-FRICK'N-LARIOUS

Ted Kennedy is going to quit an organization he's been a member of for five decades -- and to which he still pays dues -- because he's just discovered that it discriminates against women. When Kennedy tried to smear Alito as a sexist, critics noted the Senator belongs to an all-male group called the Owl Club. In 1984 Harvard cut ties to the group because of legislation Kennedy sponsored but he remained a member nonetheless.

But here's the best part. He says he will quit, as fast as I can.

Because, you know, the Owl Club is like one of those LA gangs where you gotta walk the line of a beat down by other members and so it takes a while to get in good enough shape to quit.

Oh, he also says that he "probably" couldn't pass muster on the Judiciary Committee himself.

Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

Courtesy of nationalreviewonline.com

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Steve High. I won't change your mind, but I would like to point out the flip side of your Gore/Kerry proposal. The spirit of my comments is, "let's look at this from all possible angles".

I don't think Bush was a pushover, but he was poorly qualified. Bush got people to overlook that. Gore's job was to expose that "empty suit" thing and look better than ever by comparison. He (Gore) was obviousy better qualified (resume-wise) but enough people didn't buy. I'm capable of imagining (and voting for) a "new improved version", but more leery of imagining a voter reaction like "there you go again." Those of us on this site are not typical voters.

"Suppose JFK had lost to Nixon? Would that have meant that he should never have run again?" He didn't, so it is hypothetical. But, Kennedy had a charisma and vision that Gore never came close to articulating. He didn't do that in this speech either, not that he HAD to. To paraphrase: "I voted for John F. Kennedy, and you are no JFK, Mr. Gore." Kennedy was indeed the poster child for "fresh face" was he not?

As for the "at war" argument, And, Kerry was portrayed as thinking we needed to use a law enforcement approach, not an "eradicate them" approach. Kerry has more of a problem here than Gore, but the Clinton administration's record on combating terror is not very stellar.

"Both Gore and Kerry have taken all that could be thrown at them and are still standing. The voters .... generally like them." Kerry has returned to the only job he has had long term, one of 100 senators and representing a liberal state. Gore is out of the mainstream in politics, looking back in through the window.

If Kerry is an honest-to-God war hero, I missed that part of his resume. War heroes don't work the system to get back to an office job and tout their battlefield action. Let's just say, "he served" and leave it at that. I don't think we want to crank up the Swift Boaters all over again. And I don't think serving in the military is much of a qualification for being POTUS, although it CAN be a nice resume builder if someone is a high ranking officer (Eisenhower; Clark) in terms of showing an ability to "run something".

"Conservative votes" is not what this is about. "Fed up with Bush" votes is what this is about. The LAST thing people like me need is evidence that there is no new blood, or new thinking, on the Democrat side.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 17, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

But for Ralph Nader, America could have had a responsible adult as President, not a puppet controlled by Karl Rove.

And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. Ralph was there and clowns like Tim Robbins promoted him. I suspect Timmy is none too happy about that one today. The good news is Ralph refuses to go away. He owns that whacko core the left needs to have a prayer of winning elections. Here's the bad news. They're all getting old. These are the 60's freaks. Many of them are moving into their 70's and they just don't make them that way anymore Even since Dick Nixon created the EPA and gave it teeth this country is getting cleaner by the day.

It's not the issue you want it to be and the small segment still enamored shrinks every day. At some point you need to realize this is a new century.


Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Even consider the irony of advancing the cause of the guy who invented the internet knowing how much damage this interent has caused liberals?

Still promoting the Al Gore invented the internet lie, I see.

Ho-Hum.

GOP loses another one at the Supreme Court: Oregon's assisted suicide law upheld & Scalia and Thomas once again prove what liars they are when it comes to discussing their own claimed judicial philosophy which they ignore anytime it conflicts with the outcome they desire.

rdw: I get none of my news from the MSM.

We know. You get all of your news from WhiteHouse.gov and that mendacious rag National Review.

Which is why 99% of what you post is lies.

rdw: Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

rdw is morally and intellectually unavailable, still pushing swill as truth and defaming Kennedy.

Ho-Hum.

Bush 44% approval and going nowhere fast.

DOW once again falling and going nowhere fast.

rdw lying again and again and going nowhere fast.

rdw: traitor, liar, and hypocrite.

All rolled up into one.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Even since Dick Nixon created the EPA and gave it teeth this country is getting cleaner by the day.

What dementia must feel like, only rdw can tell us.

It must be comforting to those people in West Texas who have to live in the shadow of chemical processing plants that cause their kids asthma to know that Dick Nixon solved their problems. Of course, those same people will continue to vote Republican right along with dementia sufferer rdw as the chemical companies shove wads of cash down Karl Rove's pants and get exemptions from the now-gutted EPA to spew poison into the atmosphere.

Spew poison...spew poison...I knew rdw was good for something.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.

No one cares which family member is currently sodomizing you, rdw.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Pale rider,

Sorry, the environment is getting demonstrably cleaner. The air, land and water are all much cleaner and getting cleaner every day. As the wealthiest country in the world we have more to invest and we are doing so. After 30-yrs experience we're getting better at it as well. We create a lot less pollution and we're cleaning it up faster. Even today the Philly papers are covering a big story about the development of the waterfront. The Delaware River is the cleanest it's been in 150 years and they're making sure it gets even cleaner.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Even today the Philly papers are covering a big story about the development of the waterfront. The Delaware River is the cleanest it's been in 150 years and they're making sure it gets even cleaner.

Notice how I mentioned West Texas and ignorant ass rdw took it to mean his own backyard?

Who runs Philadelphia, by the way, rdw? Who runs Pennsylvania? In fact, who's run both for the last decade?!?

Democratic governor Ed Rendell.

The EPA didn't clean up Philly; Ed Rendell did.

Among his many accomplishments as Mayor, Mr. Rendell eliminated a $250 million deficit; balanced the City's budget and generated five consecutive budget surpluses; reduced business and wage taxes for four consecutive years; implemented new revenue-generating initiatives, and dramatically improved services to the City's neighborhoods. The New York Times called the Philadelphia renaissance under Rendell the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history.

Dubbed America's Mayor by Al Gore, then-mayor Rendell worked tirelessly to revive Philadelphia's economy and position it as a destination city. During the Rendell administration, Philadelphia saw the end of six years of job losses and enjoyed six straight years of job gains. Philadelphia is nationally and internationally recognized for its enhanced historical tourist attractions, a thriving downtown, and a vibrant Convention Center.

Remember, if Al Gore says he's a good guy, he must be.

What say you now, dementia-boy?

Thanks for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can hang you with your own words and reduce you to shamefaced lies and bullshit without even trying.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Sorry, the environment is getting demonstrably cleaner.

Due to legislation by Democratic congresses.

A clean environment doesn't happen overnight. It is the result of years of implementation of Democratic legistlation.

It is the GOP that is trying to undo that and the effects will be felt years from now as they roll back environmental efforts.

Once again, you lie.

It's not the issue you want it to be and the small segment still enamored shrinks every day.

That segment could shrink for 100 years and not be as small as your brains and balls combined.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic governor Ed Rendell.

I firmly believe if hte dems want to get back in charge on the national stage, it needs to do so from the states, not from the senate or congress. The best dems can do in Washington right now is be obstructive. No matter how correct that obstruction might (be percieved to) be, its still a form of whining. And everybody hates a whiner.

In the states and cities they run, they can be constructive and lay rightful claim to it. All the difference in the world. Just don't use Kathleen Blanco as an example.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 17, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike,

Hold on--rdw us trying to think of a reason to link Ed Rendell to moveon.org and the Black Panthers.

A really good Democratic ticket in 2008 would be Mark Warner-Ed Rendell. How much more 'competence' could you get?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

In 2000 Gore was the bigger man and he proofs in 2006 he still is the bigger man. He is heads taller than Bush.

His speech was great, he knows and believes what he said.

Bush gave a speech too, but no one talks about it. What did he say, did anyone see it? Could we compare and see them side by side? We could see the incompetence of the little man who is president and the competence of the man who was elected in 2000.

Posted by: Renate on January 17, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: I firmly believe if hte dems want to get back in charge on the national stage, it needs to do so from the states, not from the senate or congress.

More advice for Democrats from someone who hates Democrats.

Just pretend Red State Mike is the scorpion in the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike,

the dems need to be a true red blooded opposition, do what is good for the country and the hell with worrying about the next election. That is not obstructionist, that is what democracy is all about.

Posted by: Renate on January 17, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just pretend Red State Mike is the scorpion in the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog.

Ah, dear Advocate, you are quite correct; RSM is the scorpion.

But remember that the scorpion teaches us many things, and when he is no longer useful, he stings himself in the abdomen and cries out in pain for his country, and then he falls alone on the field of battle, bemoaning the lack of grace amongst the multitudes that he has defeated and the shame of those who have forgotten to erect a white granite obilisk to mark the place where he fell.

Or not, I dunno.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

A "revised" version of the story of the frog and the scorpion has the scorpion saying this (I had to add the bracketed text also since conservatives truly do care about their own lives, and only their own lives) . . .

"I am not like you; we don't care about [others] dying or making friends. We lie and sting. It is our nature, didn't you know that?"

Isn't this a direct quote from the Bush administration and one that the Red State Mikes and rdws of the world embrace?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

the dems need to be a true red blooded opposition, do what is good for the country and the hell with worrying about the next election. That is not obstructionist, that is what democracy is all about.

Hey, fine. Read what I wrote...that the obstructionism may well be what is most needed from the dems in congress. Everyone should be doing their part. Cool.

But, that's not the point of my post. The point is, along the lines of people talking about who should run in 2008, is that you should look to the states where democrats have been able to demonstrate constructive actions through their leadership and having their hand on the tiller (vice back seat driving) that they can take credit for. Frankly, that one deserves a hearty "duh". I live in PA, and I generally like Rendell.

And Advocate for God (why'd you stop using Conspiracy Is Nuts, by the way? Figured out it was stupid to name yourself after a conservative?) You are THE BIGGEST moron on this blog. You single-handedly and repeatedly lower the group average IQ of liberals in threads by 10 points with your mere presence.

Cheers!

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 17, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

You are THE BIGGEST moron on this blog. You single-handedly and repeatedly lower the group average IQ of liberals in threads by 10 points with your mere presence.

Advocate is actually brilliant, and rdw is the stupidest sumbitch on this blog, bar none.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: You are THE BIGGEST moron on this blog.

Better than being the biggest liar, like you and rdw compete to be!

Cheers!

:-)

I LOVE IT!

BTW, I was "Advocate" before I was "conspiracy".

PS, look up the word "mockery" - it will be instructive for you.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is the stupidest sumbitch on this blog, bar none.

Don't be pickin' on my relatives...

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 17, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the defense, Pale Rider!

But "brilliant" may be going a bit of an overstatement.

Let's just say I'm a competent aggravating thorn in the side of Bush and conservative apologists who can't seem to get their terms, facts, history, or logic straight.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Don't be pickin' on my relatives...

rdw: a Navy veteran who admitted to shortstop that he lied to his children about the service medals that he was awarded while serving on an Atlantic fleet supply vessel.

RSM: a Navy veteran who has served honorably, and will continue to do so.

You guys ain't related.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Bush gave a speech too, but no one talks about it. What did he say, did anyone see it? Could we compare and see them side by side?
From what I saw, Bush gave a completely dutiful but uninspired speech yesterday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his unfinished legacy, full of his trademark smirk. He looked like he would rather be on the ranch watching reruns of Bonanza. The audience at the Kennedy Center probably had to be electro-shocked at the end to politely applaud.

Posted by: Bud on January 17, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gores BIGGEST job was running the airline safety commission during the Clinton years.

He declared airlines safe rom terrorism and made no requirements for the airlones to increase security, hardened cockpit doors, etc.

Of course he declared airline travel safe after substantial donations to the DNC from those same airlines.

DON'T BELIEVE ME...GO LOOK IT UP.

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

I'm a fan of Fast Eddie. He is a very, very good guy and a rarity today, a sane Democrat. He comes at it the only way liberals can be successful and that's with a background in the DA's office as a tough on crime lib. He's no bleeding heart and he is a tax cutter. He's very outgoing, gregarious and likes everyone. He's not in the Kennedy/Schumer/Clinton mold that says anyone that disagrees with him is a racist. The city would take him back in a heartbeat.

That said the cleanup efforts in Philly had zero to do with the nearly bankrupt city. They're lucky they can collect the trash. The cleanup efforts were 100% State and Federal and they occurred over 3 decades. My cross country practice in High School was a 9.5 mile loop around the east and west river drives of the Schuylkill river from the Art Museum to the Falls River brige. It's a beautiful vista yet in 1970 the river smelled like a sewer and looked it. Since then the river is dramatically cleaner. Several fish ladders have been installed at the major dams and in good weather the banks are populated with groups of people fishing. This was unthinkable in 1970. The same has happened along the banks of the Delaware where marina's and condo towers are starting to go up.

This all started with Dick Nixon's EPA. What is just as cool is the state and federal government continue to invest in the environment and it continues to get even cleaner. PA is a beautiful state getting greener every day. I'm looking forward to the coming day when magnificent Chestnuts and Elm trees are restored after devastating blights over 40 years ago. The state is helping to coordinate a progam with Penn State and a larger group of other state and private groups to bring back these trees. The most recent generations have been testing throughout the state to verify their resistance levels and reports are positive. In a few years mass plantings can begin. There are hundreds of similar programs throughout the country all spawned by Dick Nixon's EPA.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck writes:

"Hell, yes, Congress held Carter's feet to the fire. Congressional Democrats never liked him; Kennedy challenged Carter for the 1980 nomination, doing considerable damage to him."

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 16, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK


I never have understood Kennedy's purpose. He gave some great speeches, but cost the Democrats the White House.

Posted by: MarkH on January 17, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

You were gone about two hours. How was Brokeback Mountain?

Did you cry when the rough handed cowboy kissed the other rough handed cowboy?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 17, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN WAS A FARCE...WHY DIDN'T THESE GUYS COMMITT SUICIDE?

Suicide is the number one killer of gay men, and these guys couldn't taken that way out.

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: This all started with Dick Nixon's EPA.

There is no lie too big that rdw will not tell it.

The above is yet another example.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Back in 2000 I thought that Mr. Gore ran the lousiest campaign possible and screwed up the whole Florida recount business.

Right now he sounds like a different man. Of course he has nothing to lose. But who else do we have? Unless a new face shows up, Gore is the best the dems. have got!

And yes, I think both Gore and Kerry made lousy choices for running mates. They were too cautious when it counted the most. So maybe they did deserve to lose.

Posted by: ppk on January 17, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Even consider the irony of advancing the cause of the guy who invented the internet .....
Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 10:39 AM

Anyone still using this canard has effectively disqualified himself from participation in serious discourse.

Posted by: Cabaret Voltaire on January 17, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

The proper perspective on rdw's and Red State Mike's hero and his administration:

Josh Marshall writes . . .

In its policy on the Korean Peninsula, the White House came in talking tough and making threats, but then proceeded to do nothing over five years as the North Koreans proceeded to build a small nuclear arsenal (at least that seems to be the present consensus of where they are). The Bush administration policy on North Korea has been the worst sort of policy failure. Better to cower from the start than make threats and draw lines in the sand and then cower and make excuses later, which sums up what the administration has done.

How many American soldiers will we lose to correct the Bush 43 administration's failures in North Korea and Iran?

At least as many as we're going to lose to correct Bush 41's failures (supporting and arming Saddam and the Taliban) in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ohio Rep. Robert Ney personally lobbied the then Secretary of State Colin Powell to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran. Who asked him to? A convicted airplane broker who had just taken the congressman and a top aide on an expense-paid trip to London, NEWSWEEK has learned.

As Josh Marshall says, it just keeps getting better and better.

Clap harder, rdw, the GOP is imploding, but surely your faith embodied in clapping will bring it back to life.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Gore didn't INVENT the internet...he funded the intiative that invented the Internet, 8 years BEFORE Gore got to Congress.

Here is Gore's exact quote: ""During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."""

Gore first got to Congress in 1977. The Internet
began in the 1960s.

ARPA awarded the ARPANET contract to BBN. BBN had selected a Honeywell minicomputer as the base on which they would build the switch. The physical network was constructed in 1969, linking four nodes: University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah. The network was wired together via 50 Kbps circuits. Then we had e-mail, TCP/IP in 1971/2, etc.

1969...some 8 years before Gore even got to Congress

Posted by: Patton on January 17, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

No Brokeback. Not today. Not tomorrow. No interest. I never go to watch Hollywood message movies or chick flicks. This is a chick flick. No Munich, Syrianna, Goodnight and good bye, etc. I'm not the reason Hollywoods receipts are down because I didn't watch their crap the year before either. I never saw an episode of West Wing and I'll never see Commander-in-chief.

My congrats to Ang Lee for making what is supposed to be a fine movie but I just don't do chick flicks.

There may have been a time these shows were influential but those days passed many years ago. We have too many entertainment choices and message movies are to well previewed. They only attract the choir. In some cases like Munich many more people will read about Speilbergs moral abhorance than will actually see the movie. If he was trying to make Americans feel guilty for wanting to kill terrorists he failed miserably. If he was trying to equate Israel with Palestine he did even worse.

Stephen has more money than he could ever spend but this will in fact hurt future box office sales. It's so easy today to vote with one's feet.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The proper perspective on rdw's and Red State Mike's hero and his administration:

that's probably your biggest single point of stupidity, that I think Bush is my hero. Do you open your eyes when you read?

And I'm the lying liar who tells lies? Well then, based on the things you said were lies, I guess you think the truth is that Rendell sucks, that Democratic Governors make crappy presidential candidates, that a Democratic Senator would be the best choice for candidate in 2008, and that the democratic senators should sit back quietly and take what the republicans give them without dissent.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 17, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Gore didn't INVENT the internet...he funded the intiative that invented the Internet, 8 years BEFORE Gore got to Congress.

You are taking your usual liberties with history, I see.

In any event, you merely prove once again that conservative claims about what Gore said are utterly false and typical of the defamatory tactics that they employ as SOP.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I never saw an episode of West Wing and I'll never see Commander-in-chief...

rdw's a "24" man doncha know? That torture works! And that sweaty Jack Bauer is one hot agent!

Posted by: ckelly on January 17, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I never have understood Kennedy's purpose. He gave some great speeches, but cost the Democrats the White House.

Teddy had little to do with Jimmy losing in 1980. The 444 day hostage is at the top of the list followed by double digit unemployment, inflaton, interest rates and a energy crises. Reagan, the most conservative candidate of the age, didn't just beat Jimmy but crushed him.

Teddy correctly recognized what was coming and knew the only way he could overcome Mary Jo was to run against a very conservative candidate and hope to paint him as a war mongering racist. 1980 was his only shot. No one else would challenge Jimmy so he tried to pull the inside straight.

I can't imagine he would have won but Jimmy was always toast. He was the worst President of the last century. The Russians did everything but spit in his face.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly,

Never saw '24' either. Although I will get to it.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone still using this canard has effectively disqualified himself from participation in serious discourse.

Cabaret,

Either buy a clue or buy a sense of humor. We all know Albert didn't claim to invent the internet. It's just a rare great example of MSM backlash against a liberal. Al did do what so many politicains do and that's grossly overstate his role in it all. It was stupid and clumsy and the MSM killed him. When a conservative repeats it it's merely because it's a fond memory. No doubt it contributed to the general feeling the man was a dick.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

That torture works!

Ckelly,

Allow me to recommend Dirty Harry. I'd like to see you tell Clint Eastood torture doesn't work!

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

advocate,

This is bad for the GOP. But is it good for Democrats? Two polls have now shown 80% of Americans thing both sides are equally culpable. The liberal meadia will smear conservatives and the conservative media will smear liberals. Congress gets trashed. Is that the agrument FOR big government? The pew poll said 80% believe equally guilty and 11% no opinion.

This might be good for conservatives. They are getting the big spenders out of the leadership. Tom Delay lost support when he said there was no fat in the budget. He's gone and Ney is gone and they're having major elections to replace them. It's good for the party. I'd be concerned except Harry Reid and a large number of Democrats joined the party. This will be an ugly mudfest but with plently of mud on both sides. If it turns people away from Big Government conservatives win.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK


pale rider nailed it: Democrats like John Conyers have repeatedly called for investigations--which are within the oversight purview of Congress--and he can't get the Republicans to budge.

its in sharp contrast with the house during clinton when they never found a investigation they DIDN'T like....

for example...the white house travel office?

a 10-year old land deal?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Allow me to recommend Dirty Harry. I'd like to see you tell Clint Eastood torture doesn't work!

Psst rdw, it's make-believe. Kinda like Bush's foreign policy strategery. Clint is an ACTOR. Try "Bridges of Madison County". Clint can portray a pussy too.

Posted by: ckelly on January 17, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly,

There's no deny you're a lib. Can't get anything past you.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

this space,

Conyers doesn't count. The man is crazy. He's already chaired impeachment hearings. Even the Washington post certified him as crazy. It's a house rule. Investigations can only be initiated by sane peopple

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Conyers doesn't count. The man is crazy.

Sounds kinda funny coming from you...

Posted by: obscure on January 17, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

rdw.....

its crazy that the gop controlled congress has only conducted a few investigations...

still waiting for phase-2.....from sen. pat roberts.....wonder what the hold up is?


The role of senior officials in the abuse of detainees: No Investigation

Leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame: No Investigation

The role of Vice President Cheney's office in awarding contracts to Cheney's former employer, Halliburton: No Investigation

The White House's withholding from Congress the cost of a Medicare prescription drug plan: No Investigation

The Bush administration's relationship with Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi: No Investigation

The influence of corporate interests on energy policy, environmental regulation and tobacco policy: No Investigations

AND THERE ARE MANY OTHERS....

The existence of secret U.S. prisons abroad

The CIA's detention overseas of innocent foreign nationals

The discovery that the military has been engaged in domestic spying.

(thanx advocate of god i think for the above....)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: [Carter] was the worst President of the last century. The Russians did everything but spit in his face.

No, Bush is and he's let the North Koreans and the Iranians do everything including spit in his face!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace,

Elections have consequences. We have adults in charge now and adults don't waste time chasing their tail. This have proven to be an exceptionally scandal free administration. There are no blue dresses. THese people have some class.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

advocate,

Bush wasn't President last century.

The Koreans spit in Jimmy and Bill's faces. They started cheating on Clinton before the ink was dry and Slick Willie never knew they were cheating for 4 years.

GWB has wisely allowed the Europeans to lead on Iran led by the UK, France and Germany. WE're going to see how critical and useful soft power is. We're also finding out how useless the UN and EU are as a result.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We have adults in charge now...

so when gop sen. pat roberts promised that he would hold phase-2 of an investigation into whether the white house hyped up intell with iraq....

especially in light of the downing street memo...

yet....14-months after the 2004 election...he has not followed through...

how exactly is that adult?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: They started cheating on Clinton before the ink was dry and Slick Willie never knew they were cheating for 4 years.


so when bush came on board.....his tack was to allow korea to apparently double their number of nukes?

that's better for america...how?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Elections have consequences.


i agree with you there....

its evident when you compare the number of deaths of americans due to al-qaeda terror attacks...

under clinton....1st wtc: 6 + african embassies: 12 + uss cole: 17......total: 45

and then under gwb......9/11: 2895 + iraq: 2200......total for bush???

we are still counting....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

oops!

the total of dead americans due to al-q during clinton totals: 35


not 45....

(mcveigh actually killed more americans under clinton...at okla. city: 167)

either way...its wayyy under gwb's...running total

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 17, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We have adults in charge now and adults don't waste time chasing their tail.

So, exactly where are the Al Queda No. 1 and No. 2 leaders incarcerated by the Bush administration right now?

Neither Bush nor you ever reached adulthood.

Which is why you think the adults are in charge.

This have proven to be an exceptionally scandal free administration.

Well, a bold lie is always best conservatives say and rdw just proved they adhere strictly to that belief.

Bush wasn't President last century.

Well, then to clarify, since you do not seem to be able to write precisely, Bush is the worst president in the last 100 years.

It is revealing, however, that you clearly and deliberately limited the list of possibilities to exclude the Bush 43 presidency, which we can agree means you know that Bush 43 is a worse president than your understanding of Carter's standing.

rdw: The Koreans spit in Jimmy and Bill's faces. They started cheating on Clinton before the ink was dry and Slick Willie never knew they were cheating for 4 years.

Revisionist history is fun for twits like you who can't absorb reality, but we really aren't buying it so you can put your toy away.

GWB has wisely allowed the Europeans to lead on Iran led by the UK, France and Germany.

So, in your very own opinion Bush is willing to risk a nuclear nightmare solely in a vain attempt to demonstrate alleged European incompetence.

There is not enough room on this blog to symbolically print all the laughter at your pathetic attempts to defend the indefensible with the silliest and most contradictory of rationalizations.

No power is softer than Bush's; no head is softer than yours.

The UN and EU were so useless that they got Iraq right while Bush got it wrong.

Now, that's funny!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Did somebody up there call this a "scandal-free administration"?!? Wow. Incredible.

Posted by: skeetskeet on January 17, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

rdw's "adults" in action:

(from Mark Kleiman): . . . we also need to point out that corruption does real damage to things real people really care about. For example, the millions of dollars Duke Cunningham stole, and the tens of millions of dollars he helped his bribors steal, came out of the defense budget. That money could have been used for, let's say, body armor.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

accurate comment on rdw's "adults":

The idea of Republicans reforming themselves is like asking John Gotti to clean up organized crime. I thought Id seen the last of corruption when I helped clean up Las Vegas thirty years ago. But, while its not quite the mafia of Las Vegas in the 1970s, what is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt and the consequences for our country have been just as severe."

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate,

rdw is to put it kindly, fast and loose with his facts, even looser with the connections he draws, and certain that what he feels he has learned from life is the sum total of what is to be learned from life. He may be amiable but he is as complete a waste as Alice/Patton. I think the word 'bullshitter' was devised to describe these two (or more politely a Dr. Pangloss Republican). Despite his copious posts he has yet to say anything that gives me pause for thought.

Red State Mike does not belong in the same category.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK
Has it ever occurred to Algore, that maybe Congress agrees with Bush?

Agreement in principle is not an excuse for lax oversight. Oversight is a prerequisite for informed agreement or disagreement.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 17, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Snicker-snack,

So how did you think the Kyoto lovefest went last month in Canada? As a lib Kyoto must be near and dear to your heart. You must have been moved when Slick Willie arrived on his White Steed to rescue the day. Did you have chills when they announced a watershed agreement....to talk some more next year! Wow!! I know that blew me away. Those Kyoto folk know how to get things done.

How do you think your fellow citizens will react when they find out your lovely country is going to totally blow it's Kyoto goals and be forced to pay the Russians, who could give a rats ass about Kyoto, tens of millions of dollars? That is unless Canada puts it's tail between it's legs and pulls out.

I don't know about you but I'm going to have a front row seat to watch that soap opera.

BTW: I came across an article last predicting Canada will be the worlds #2 Oil exporter. I happen to think this has to be wrong. But if accurate it suggests an incredible expansion in the tar sands. Do you have any idea of how filthy that process is? I am all for sitting on ANWR another 10 years. That oil can only get more valuable. Meanwhile rather than pollute America we get to pollute Canada.

How's that for irony. We tell the Kyoto folk to stuff it and Canada gets all the pollution.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

You're quite right the Tar Sands will have us missing our Kyoto targets. May 12% of all the carbons released in Canada will be from this one source. And that it's a massively dirty process. And? Not quite sure what this has to do with the price of Bratwurst in Bavaria. This seems more like flailing to trying and score a point but it's pretty boring such give-and-take, a rather pointless exercise.

I would have been for an expansion of CANDU among other things. Not a perfect solution but...

Likely you are right and we will withdraw from Kyoto. But all partisan rhetoric aside, externalities such as the pollutants released in mining the Tar Sands need somehow to be brought back to the producers so they are factored into the economic decision making.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

The UN and EU were so useless that they got Iraq right while Bush got it wrong.

That explains all the car-b-ques. Those people are in a much different position. There's no way they could go into Iraq or any other Islamic country. They are for all practical purposes defenseless. They have large Islamic populations they cannot control. They have little ability to project power outside the EU. They could do nothing to stop Milosovitch and they could add nothing in Iraq.

Meanwhile we've sent the Islamic world a clear message. Maomar for one received it. The Saddam trial is certainly a circus but it's not one any other leader wants to see repeated in their contry. And know this isn't Car-B-Que central. America will always be America. Europe will soon be Eurabia.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Don't bother with rdw...he trys to kill meaningful dicussions through disinformation. If you look through his posts, you'll spot these traits with some consistancy:

Avoidance. rdw never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials.

Selectivity. rdw tends to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against commentators supportive of his opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues.

Coincidental. Overall, rdw tends to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial (and often tangental) topic.

Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of 'artificial' emotionalism and an unusually thick skin...rdw has a weird ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. No amount of criticism deters him, and he doesn't adjust his pattern of behavior no matter how obvious it is that he plays that game. A more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up. Not rdw.

Rapid and Multiple Postings. rdw tends to respond quickly and often...It's like he sits there and watches for an opportunity to do some damage. If the occasional visitor sees his frequent lies and blather, that visitor may be swayed away from the more sensible and truthful content in the site...

So you can try to debate him, snicker-snack, but I believe his purpose in commenting on this site is something other than engaging in reasoned debate...Oh, and apologies to all for the plagiary in an attempt to make a point...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 17, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Was Al Gore this crazy when he was Vice President?

Posted by: GOPGregory on January 17, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

This seems more like flailing to trying and score a point but it's pretty boring such give-and-take, a rather pointless exercise

There's no give and take. Kyoto was/is a massively idiotic exercise and you can't deny it. You weren't meeting Kyoto even before the Tar Sands expansion But the thought that Canada, or anyone, would sign a treaty that would require them, serious folk trying to do well, to fork over tens of millions to a place like Russia, unserious folk not doing a thing about pollution. That's absurd. The Russians expressed their contempt for the science repeatedly. They only signed becasue there's no chance they hit the 1990 level AND someone might be stupid enough to pay them for doing NOTHING.

That's not the worst.

The worst is the transfer of manufacturing capacity from the 1st world with it's environmental protectons to the 3rd world, which has no protections. It's a fact that Kyoto increased global pollution.

Just look at ANWR and the Tar Sands. The US could drill out 1M a day using a small footprint and creating relatively little pollution. But it can't happen because liberal Senators block it. Meanwhile every drop of that 1M barrels will be replaced out of the Tar Sands using dramatically higher polluting processes. There's absolutely no question the global environment, and specifically the Canadian environment, will be much the worse for it.

To any true environmentalists this is insultingly stupid.

How are you going to add costs AFTER the fact? The best you can hope for is the producers are able to improve their methods and become far more efficient. If you were a serious environmentalist you'd hope they went after the natural gas up further North.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems should also let lose on another obvious and frightening point: Dennis Hastert is in line to become President after Cheney. (See Mike Crowleys post from the TNR Plank for material that could be used to frighten any sober sole).

The Dems need to eliminate the ridiculous urban myth that Republicans are better, more solid, rational, and cautious at preserving and protecting the Nation.

Time for the Dems to exploit the desperate and scary state of the nation No Holds Barred. However, unlike Swiftboat and other Rovian/Cheney/Bush distortions, this frightening story is the truth, and goes to the security and safety of the public and their children.

Posted by: Greg on January 17, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush,

point taken. Think old rdw is pretty harmless although his slurs and innuendo and love of salacious gossip (which, consistent as always in his partisan way he derides it when it's used against those he defends) is pretty unattractive as is his constant droning on with no idea of the points being made against him. He lives in his own happy world and if he shouts it loud enough he can assert its reality above all else. Al Gore's a wierdo, doncha know? So's... and... and... Unfortunately, the world is full of opinionated guys with little basis for their opinions (I apologize though if I've done anything to encourage same on this site). Sometimes though there is something that jibes with reality - the even a broken clock jibe. He's right that Canada has big problems with the development of the tar sands and with meeting our Kyoto limits and that this is going to be a black mark for us - and Canada's environmental record btw is nowhere near as good as our image on this. But that's one of the few things I've seen him right about. He's hardly on the side of let's not be doctrinaire about environmental policy and just do what works. He made some absolutely insane comments to me about EU expansion the other day on another thread which he had to take back.

But yeah, it's always been wasted time talking with him and not time enjoyably wasted...

And he and Patton always have so much drivel ready to hand that I sometimes wonder... Sometimes it seems like half of these threads are spent refuting the absurd.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 17, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

patton is back, and off the meds obviously, ranting in all of Alice's foam-flecked glory. Never makes any sense, but it's good that the vocational rehab officers let her have some internet time.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 17, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

How the hell does rdw end up talking about Kyoto and the Tar Sands on virtually every single thread, no matter what the topic???

I do believe a groove has formed in certain neural pathways. One might even say it was a "rut."

I thought Gore did a nice job with his speech. It touched on all the right points: a summary of the NSA issue, executive overreach, Congress' abdication of its oversight and checks roles by valuing party and politics above principle, historical precedents for this kind of thing and how they were handled, and some remedies for going forward.

I particularly like the Jefferson quote in addressing the dark road this country walked down with the Alien and Sedition Acts:

"[The essential principles of our Government] form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation... [S]hould we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety."

This administration continually leads us away from the bright constellation of those essential principles by constantly keeping people alarmed and off balance. They've done it with endless talk of terrorist attacks and mushroom clouds and death drones and weapons that melt your skin off. Would that we had an FDR or Churchill in office telling people not to be afraid.

I saw an interview with an Israeli girl who lost part of her face to a blast from a suicide bomber. When they rebuilt the deli in which it happened she went back to eat there every day. When asked why she explained that if she stopped going then she would just be ceding victory to the terrorists by changing her life, not to mention giving in to fear. When a disco destroyed by a bomb in Israel -- people go back and dance as soon as it's rebuilt.

Americans need to find that kind of courage, and hopefully Al Gore and Bob Barr will be the first among many to try and inspire it. It's a truism that a basic aim of terrorism is to undermine a society's strengths using fear. Once an individual really understands that, it's easier to work up the courage to say, "I'm not going to give in to terrorists by changing my life or giving up my rights."

Posted by: trex on January 18, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Gore in 2008!

He's right the executive should only have the power to call out the army and declare war on Branch Davidians. Wiretapping is too far!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Don't bother with rdw...he trys to kill meaningful dicussions through disinformation. If you look through his posts, you'll spot these traits with some consistancy:

Guys, rdw is the tree upon which you sharpen your claws. He is a free ranging idiot, and he is meant to be used for target practice and zeroing your firearm, nothing more.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 18, 2006 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

The latest poll release from CTV, Tories have an 18 point lead nationally!

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

How the hell does rdw end up talking about Kyoto and the Tar Sands on virtually every single thread, no matter what the topic???

Actually I don't. In this thread it tied in very nicely with snicker-snack getting acclimated to the prospect of a conservative government in Canada and what that means. It will be the single biggest issue in the next few years. I do refer to it often because it's such a towering acheivement of grotesque incompetence and a measure of just how whacko the participants in a certain thread might be.

Believing in GW is one thing. We're not scientists and the MSM covers it as if it's accepted fact. Thus many just don't know any better. Shame on them for not diversifying their sources but it happens. But believing in Kyoto is something quite different. I remain stunned a man as brilliant as Bill Clinton remains a slave. There is absolutely no chance for a Kyoto II. The concept that Canadian citizens might have to pay Russia Tens of Millions is utterly preposterous.

You have to see how perfect this is for conservatives. Kyoto is one of uniting causes of the worlds liberal elites. It's becoming a monument to stupidity and they barely recognize the embarrassment to come. This is all yet to unfold for our viewing pleasure.

GWB ignored Kyoto because it wasn't worthy of our attention. He is being proven quite correct. He is also doing something about it. There will be a new global agreement and it will be managed outside the UN AND the EU. Count this as a huge loss for global liberalism. They will either shed their anti-Americanism or continue to lose influence.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Don't bother with rdw...he trys to kill meaningful dicussions through disinformation

What is the problem? Do you pople want an echo chamber? What good is that? I don't spread disinformation. I've been dead on regarding the incompetence at the Alito hearings, the UN and the EU. I was also dead on it telling the NSA impeachment crowd they were badly overplaying their hand and it would backfire and it has.

You need to see the world as it is not as you want it to be. Liberalism across the globe is becoming irrelevent in front of your eyes and you are not seeing it. Schroeder is out, Martin will be out, Chirac might as well be out and Blair will not run again. The UN has been severely damaged by a series of scandals and they're stewardship of the environment is about to end. The EU is large but weak and doomed to lag further.

The US needs two parties. Liberalism needs to change or it will be replaced.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

When asked why she explained that if she stopped going then she would just be ceding victory to the terrorists by changing her life, not to mention giving in to fear

It's true the Israeli's don't give in to fear. They fight back with everyhing they have. When someone kills a jew there is hell to pay. They kill right back. That's why the infatada ended. They don't whine about terrorists. rights. They kil them.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

One Dem
[Kathryn Jean Lopez 01/17 07:08 PM]

Ben Nelson will vote for Alito: "I came to this decision after careful consideration of his impeccable judicial credentials, the American Bar Association's strong recommendation and his pledge that he would not bring a political agenda to the Court."

It's over. No chance for a filibuster and Frist can allow the Blue State republicans to vote as they need to without pressure to preserve their positions.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Liberalism across the globe is becoming irrelevent in front of your eyes and you are not seeing it.

Schroeder is out,

and oh boy what a convincing victory it was - we knew the victor within minutes. (snark aside, will admit to having been impressed with Merkel - she was masterful at her first European summit - but rdw, she has nothing to do with American style Republicanism. Really. Trust me on this one and I'm sure Stefan could add tons here)

Martin will be out, Not a bad development. We do it sometimes when the Libs get too comfortable being in power. Now is one such time. Keeps them sharper. You'd be a fool though to read anything more into this (but yeah, go ahead, from the confines of suburban Penn tell me all about my own country's politics; glad you have some interest though and fair's fair, I guess I do it back)

Chirac might as well be out Um, hate to break this to you rd but the government in France is currently conservative. Mitterand, Chirac's arch enemy, was the pinko. It's the righties that have traditionally been anti-American in France (though with the best efforts of staunch Americans like you, this is now spreading across the political spectrum).

They (the Israelis) don't whine about terrorists. rights.

They also had something like one quarter of the population in the streets protesting when they embarked on a stupid-minded invasion of another country (something btw that marks them out as the only real democracy in the ME). Oh, and no one claimed the protesters were un-Israeli.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 18, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

It's over. No chance for a filibuster and Frist can allow the Blue State republicans to vote as they need to without pressure to preserve their positions.

Oh, rdw. Parliamentary procedure simply isn't your strong suit, is it?

How many votes does it take to sustain a filibuster?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 18, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

What is the problem? Do you pople want an echo chamber? What good is that? I don't spread disinformation. I've been dead on regarding the incompetence at the Alito hearings, the UN and the EU. I was also dead on it telling the NSA impeachment crowd they were badly overplaying their hand and it would backfire and it has.

You've been wrong at every turn, you can't get through a single blog thread without several major gaffes and factual errors and you make the Republican party look more buffoonish than it already is.

But keep posting. Remember to wear your beach towel victory cape, your rose-tinted goggles and your Rick Santorum t-shirt when you do your mad dash around the rumpus room in your rolling chair, howling for blood after every post.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 18, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

rdw on January 18, 2006 at 8:59 AM:

What is the problem?

Your repeated attempts to derail topics. What is the connection between Canadian tar sands and Al Gore's speech, by-the-way?

Do you pople want an echo chamber?

If that were remotely true, most of your comments would be deleted shortly after you posted them. We 'pople' want honest discussion without having to deal with needy egos such as yours.

I don't spread disinformation.

Though you may not be just out-and-out lying, your posts demonstrate use of the same tactics frequently used to change a debate...Whether you are doing it unintentionally, on purpose, or as a result of copying other people's talking points doesn't really matter to me. The end result is the same.

I've been dead on...blah blah blah...

Typical. Declare victory before the discussion has concluded...yawn...

You need to see the world as it is not as you want it to be.

Projection. Remind me again who said "We're creating our own reality"...

Liberalism...blah blah..further.

That's nice, rdw...run along now and let the adults talk for a while.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 18, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

They also had something like one quarter of the population in the streets protesting when they embarked on a stupid-minded invasion of another country (something btw that marks them out as the only real democracy in the ME). Oh, and no one claimed the protesters were un-Israeli

Not under Sharon they didn't. Quite true they are the only democracy there and our only real friend. Under Sharon the Israeli's have been as aggressive as anytime in their existance. The the Israeli's don't get their panties in a bunch over wiretaps.

As far as Chirac being a conservative that's a joke. By French standards that means liberal. I don't expect either France or Germany to change a bit either with a change in governments (jacques is there for at least another year). Merkel will be less obviously anti-American but that's it. That's why I think GWBs reliagnment is so important. Old Europe has a series of severe problems on it's horizon and distance is warranted. I have seen no sign they are addressing their economic, demographic and assimilation issues.

Canada's problems are less severe because despite Iraq they are still have an anglo-saxon leaning economy, no assimilation issues and much safer geographic location. Vast mineral resources don't hurt either.

The USA/Canada relationship can remain on auto-pilot forever. It doesn't matter if you support Iraq or not. Or if you support Kyoto or not. The fact is from a military perspective you can only slow us down. You don't have the training, experience, equipment or size to be a factor. Outside foreign policy we can get along just fine.

As far as the conservative surge I read it as you do. It's probably short term and will force the liberals to do a needed house cleaning. I do wonder if the demographics in Canada are similar to our's. I don't have the data to support it but I am convinced there is a divergence between the birth rates of secularists and religious folk and thus liberals and conservatives. And I think it's substantial. If in fact Harper proves popular and can stay in power 4 more years I suspect the conservatives will get a demographic boost.

Looking at the birth rates of secular France, Germany and the UK it's clear birth rates are quite low and possibly as low as 1.1 for the secular segments. I suspect that mirrors secular NY, NE and CA. The last two US census's were a disaster for the blue states and a 3rd disappointment is assured. This isn't just migration either. More northerners are moving south but the south is still getting more conservative.

If the Democrats do not win the WH in 2008 they will lose 7 more blue state electoral votes in 2012 and fact a daunting challenge. There is no way they could nominate a liberal. Kerry would not use the term but that superfical change won't do. They'll need an authentic moderate. 60's liberalism will be dead.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: America will always be America. Europe will soon be Eurabia.

And rdw will always be a racist.

McAnustotle: He's right the executive should only have the power to call out the army and declare war on Branch Davidians.

More perversions of the truth from McLiar's McAnus.

rdw: Quite true they are the only democracy there and our only real friend.

More laughter follows another idiotic rdw post.

Under Sharon the Israeli's have been as aggressive as anytime in their existance.

The laughter doubles as rdw rewrites the early history of Israel.

When someone kills a jew there is hell to pay. They kill right back. . . . They don't whine about terrorists. rights. They [kill]them.

In other words, they give in to fear, contradicting the first part of your paragraph.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 18, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

An uncomfortable but necessary challenge to the Left
Andrew West
January 18, 2006 03:11 PM

Surely the biggest question confronting progressives today is this: How does a tolerant society accommodate those who are themselves intolerant? We have ignored it, at our own peril, for 30 years.

Sometimes -- often, in fact -- it takes our opponents to jolt us out of this convenient ignorance.

Mark Steyn is a cranky right-winger whose career prospered by writing pieces agreeable to his even more right-wing boss, the fallen media magnate Conrad Black. He lacks the impish humour of fellow conservative David Brooks or the patrician charm of William F. Buckley.

But in this piece he cuts brilliantly to the core of the issue.

The refined antennae of Western liberals mean that whenever one raises the question of whether there will be any Italians living in the geographical zone marked as Italy a generation or three hence, they cry, "Racism!" To fret about what proportion of the population is "white" is grotesque and inappropriate. But it's not about race, it's about culture. If 100% of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy, it doesn't matter whether 70% of them are "white" or only 5% are. But if one part of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy and the other doesn't, then it becomes a matter of great importance whether the part that does is 90% of the population or only 60%, 50%, 45%.This is the heart of it. For multiculturalism to work properly, all its constituent parts must be equally tolerant.

Steyn challenges the defenders of multiculturalism (I support a multi-ethnic, non racial state, which is very different) with a stark scenario.

According to a poll taken in 2004, over 60% of British Muslims want to live under Shariah--in the United Kingdom.

This is a real predicament for liberals and democrats. If a large and growing proportion of the population in a liberal democratic state wishes to live under a distinctly illiberal dogma, such as sharia, what do we do?

*********************************************
The above was copied from the Sydney Morning Herald. He nails it. Eurabia is a real threat. There is no doubting the demographics. That's a done deal. Will the French culture change and assimilating? Or will the French culture disappear entirely?

BTW: The racist charges stopped working a long time ago. It's one reason why Democrats haven't won a majority of the vote in 30 years.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

How many votes does it take to sustain a filibuster?

It takes 40 votes and you don't have them. We knew this when Feinstein said she won't vote for him but he deserves to be on the court. Nelson is just further confirmation and a little more interesting because he's part of the gang of 14. They already ruled the filibuster out anyway.

This could not have played out better for Conservatives. Feinstein, Schumer, Biden and Kennedy have all been smacked around in the press. Lindsay Graham and Arlen Spector have been rehabilitated. Alito will get enough red state democrats to give Lincoln Chaffe and other GOP moderates free reign to vote against Alito if they think they need to do so to get re-elected. Alito will get at least 30 to 35 votes against. Thus setting up a scenario whereby in 2009 if a Democratic President thinks about nominating a liberal to replace Stevens or Ginsburg the conservative base will do to that candidate what they did to Meirs.

With Roberts and Alito the Senate Democrats changed the rules. There will never be another 98 - 0 vote. Of the 55 GOP Senators at least 45 are solid conservatives and with 31 Red States that's not going to change much. The Democratic Senators pandered to their base. This will now be the rule. With 31 Red states this was stunningly bad strategy.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

When someone kills a jew there is hell to pay. They kill right back. . . . They don't whine about terrorists rights. They [kill]them.

In other words, they give in to fear, contradicting the first part of your paragraph.


You have it exactly backward. The French and Germans try bribery. That's giving in to fear. Fighting back is the act of over-coming fear. This is the difference between Bush and Clinton. Clinton would have needed European approval to move. Bush is strong enought to do what is right without them.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

For those hoping to end talk radio.

CONGRATS, MARK! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ABC RADIO NETWORKS TO SYNDICATE THE MARK LEVIN SHOW

Top-Rated Conservative Talker, Best-Selling Author and Constitutional Lawyer To Be Heard In Four of the Top 10 U.S. Markets Beginning January 30

NEW YORK, NY (January 17, 2006) ABC Radio Networks today announced a multi-year agreement with talk show personality Mark Levin to nationally syndicate The Mark Levin Show to radio stations around the country. The program will air on four stations in the top 10 markets beginning January 30: WABC in New York, WMAL Washington, D.C., WBAP Dallas and WJR Detroit.

Posted by: rdw on January 18, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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