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Kick Assiest Blog
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
FL Dems deciding which GOP gov. candidate to support
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

The author is hardly pro-GOP. But she says that Dems in Florida have basically written off any hopes of winning the Governor’s mansion next year.

Pick your person; ax the party

Much more than a year away, the election of Florida's next governor is already great cocktail party talk in the capital city where many Democrats are deciding which Republican they'll support.

It's a matter of practicality to not be too fussy about parties, though it is still good to have some discrimination regarding personnel within the party.

There is, in effect, just the one party despite an almost even split in party registration in Florida. That would be the party with the bank vaults full of money and, I'm visualizing here, Swiss bank accounts holding elusive contributions to the Grand Old Party that will be handed out as party favors in lesser races.

For nearly a decade, a loophole in Florida's campaign-finance laws has allowed candidates to receive money and aid directly from political parties. This loophole means parties simply don't have to be as scrupulously detailed in their give-and-take as individual candidates do. It's wrong and the law should be changed.

Not that the Democratic Party would get a pass on decadent and indiscriminate party spending. It's just that it doesn't have much money to squander on dirty tricks.

I predict, though, that as the primary nears the Republican dirty tricks in the governor's race will be mostly intraparty - the top guns trying to bring down each other, not Democrats. It will get ugly and the test will be of who can respond to adversity best.

By all accounts, it's going to be the most expensive gubernatorial race in Florida history. I can't imagine why since it's also going to be the most politically lopsided race in decades.

I give you as evidence the contribution totals from the last quarterly reports: Attorney General Charlie Crist has raised $3.8 million; Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, $3 million.

By comparison, Democrat Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua had raised $397,000, and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, (D-Tampa) had raised $390,000. Former Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox's campaign may be resurrected, because miracles do happen, but even if he should win the primary, so what?

As for Toni Jennings: Where is she? Is she going to be sent is a the relief quarterback if Crist and Gallagher destroy each other? Just asking.

So that's 10-to-1 in favor of the Republicans. Proof, certainly, that the incumbency amounts to one motherlode of power and cash.

This election is a sad state of affairs if you're a classic Democrat and not a strictly theoretical one. If you've got a fond memory for when Democrats were not so rigid that they were ineffectual; when moderate Democrats won because most people are, at heart, moderate, and when the GOP just couldn't bring itself to get grubby or utter the words "Joe Six Pack."

It's not much easier for today's moderate Republicans, who are dismayed by seeing their party hijacked by either extremists or self-serving muggles.

I hear about more and more people from both parties who are considering registering as independents to at least keep some dignity when their party seems silly or tyrannical.

It is frustrating as an independent to miss out voting in the primary, but now that there is no Florida runoff, even that first vote isn't really about representative government.

Without a runoff, a candidate with as little as 15 percent of the vote can win the nomination if there are enough candidates to divide the votes. This won't happen in a gubernatorial race most likely, but it will in many others on down the ticket where factions and one-issue zealots can hijack the vote.

This campaign law, like the one allowing such loose watch over party money, isn't right and Gov. Bush was wrong to have vetoed a bill to bring back the runoff.

So what's an interested voter supposed to do?

Try to find the candidate who most closely resembles what you once thought of as a noble political warrior - whenever it was that you were at the peak of your political judgment and the least jaded.

Those would probably be pretty good values to go by and look for in a candidate regardless of labels. Decency, a person who can look you in the eye, a sense of humor, just a little indifference to winning at all costs. Beware of too much charm. And study the issues you care about so you aren't a complete fool, trusting in sound bite reasoning.

It will take discipline and a certain high-minded optimism to believe that some individuals really are more than the sum of their party affiliation; that some can accept contributions without selling their soul.

But it's up to you to ferret out what's real and what's fiction and whether you can even trust yourself to do what's best for yourself and your community.

When you reached 18, did you ever dream you'd be signing up up for this?

Tallahassee Democrat ~ Knight Ridder - Mary Ann Lindley ** Pick your person; ax the party

Posted by uhyw at 3:11 AM EDT
More Dem fundraising woes ~ Rove Protest a Windfall for GOP Lawmaker
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Dem sugar daddy "Americans Coming Together" is laying off workers in the face of disappointing fundraising just as the DNC continue to trail the GOP in dollars. All of this spells trouble for the Dems mid-term hopes.

Democratic Booster Cuts Liberal Spending

America Coming Together, the liberal 527 that spent lavishly during the 2004 campaign, is sharply scaling back its operations and laying off employees in the face of lackluster fundraising. "It's been very difficult to raise the amount of money we had hoped to raise," Harold Ickes, one of the group's directors, told Roll Call.

So what has happened to all the liberal money? Ask Howard Dean.

The Democratic National Committee reported that Democrats' fundraising during the first half of this year jumped by more than 50 percent compared with the same period in 2003, the last non-election year. The Democratic National Committee, the party's Senate and House campaign committees along with its constellation of state and local parties reported taking in more than $86 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Their Republican counterparts posted a more modest 2 percent increase over the same period in 2003. But the GOP still significantly outfundraised the Democrats, receiving more than $142 million.

The DNC recorded a 66 percent increase, from $19 million in 2003 to $31 million this year. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's fundraising more than doubled to nearly $23 million. The Republican National Committee said it raised $62 million, up 11 percent from 2003. The National Republican Senatorial Committee said fundraising increased by more than 40 percent to $21 million.

Rove Protest a Windfall for GOP Lawmaker

MoveOn and another liberal activist group picketed Bush aide Karl Rove's appearance at a fundraiser Tuesday on Pennsylvania Avenue for Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.). Some of the demonstrators carried plungers to highlight the Justice Department's probe into Rove's role in the "leak" of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. But Rove, driving a Ford Escape, slipped into the garage unnoticed by the demonstrators.

But the protest -- and the previous effort to get Gerlach to dump Rove from the $1,000-a-head fundraiser -- appear to have had the reverse of the intended effect. The Wayne (Pa.) Suburban newspaper quoted organizers saying that attendance increased from the original plan for 40 people to more than 100 coming out to see what Rove had to say.

Good Politician, Lousy Journalist

Q: Did you take notes?

A: No.

Q: Did you tape it?

A: No. I don't have time to read notes. Anyhow, I was there, why would I need notes? I don't write for the New York Times.

-- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), talking with reporters about his private meeting Wednesday with Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.

Washington Post ~ Dana Milbank, Brian Faler ** Democratic Booster Cuts Liberal Spending

Posted by uhyw at 3:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:16 AM EDT
DNC chief (quite the word-smith) Coward Deanpeace now says: GOP proposals ''screwing working people''
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Howard Dean Again Ratchets up Anti-Bush Rhetoric
Source: Cybercast News Service

Despite being scolded in June by members of his own party for inflammatory remarks targeting Republicans, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Friday showed no willingness to back off.

At one point, he characterized the Republican version of campaign finance reform as "screwing working people and making sure that the fat cats are giving more money."

Back in June, Dean accused Republicans of operating with a "dark, difficult and dishonest vision" of America. Dean labeled President Bush the "most ineffective" president in his lifetime.

And in referring to the long voting lines during the last presidential election, Dean speculated that Republican voters didn't mind the lines as much. "Republicans, I guess, can do that (stand in line) because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives," Dean said on June 2.

Several Democratic governors and members of Congress denounced Dean's comments, but on Friday, the Democratic Party chairman was back to hurling insults.

President Bush "only likes to hear from people who agree with him," Dean told the College Democrats of America, and Republicans, he said, "are all about voter suppression."

After asking the students to donate money to the Democratic National Committee, Dean said "one of the biggest problems in this culture of corruption that the Republicans brought to Washington, is they sold our government to the highest bidder.

"If we want it back, we'll have to buy it back," Dean said.

He also said the president was partly responsible for a recent Supreme Court decision involving eminent domain.

"The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is 'okay' to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is," Dean said, not mentioning that until he nominated John Roberts to the Supreme Court this week, Bush had not appointed anyone to the high court.

Dean's reference to the "right-wing" court was also erroneous. The four justices who dissented in the Kelo vs. New London case included the three most conservative members of the court - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the fourth dissenter.

The court's liberal coalition of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer combined with Justice Anthony Kennedy to form the majority opinion, allowing the city of New London, Conn., to use eminent domain to seize private properties for commercial development.

"We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only," Dean said.

The former Vermont governor cited moral values as the stamp of the Democratic Party.

"We are Democrats because we have moral values," Dean said. "We think it's a moral value to stop stealing money out of the Social Security trust fund." The Democratic Party's moral values, according to Dean, also include an obligation "to balance the budget," and have a "strong public education system."

The Democratic Party chairman suggested that Bush should be "reaching out and putting a collar and a mouthpiece on some of these people in his own party that are encouraging bigotry against immigrants in order to win the 2006 election.

"I am sick of being divided!" Dean shouted over the applause.

Regarding his support for Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat running for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, Dean said that "we ought to respect people's positions of conscience."

"A pro-life Democrat, unlike a pro-life Republican, cares about kids after they're born, not just before," Dean said.

He closed by encouraging the College Democrats to "fight for what you believe in ... We don't need two Republican parties," Dean said.

Townhall.com ~ CNSNews.com ** Howard Dean Again Ratchets up Anti-Bush Rhetoric

Posted by uhyw at 2:57 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:21 AM EDT
Abortion support declines among young women ~ Abortion conflict growing in Dem Party
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Abortion support declines among young women
By: Leon H ~ Section: Culture ~ Red State.org

Support for young women for unrestricted abortion on demand is declining. Of the reasons, the 'sonogram effect' is among the most interesting. Unlike 10 years ago, nearly everyone has seen a sonogram. As they have grown more detailed and, recently, 3D it personifies the fetus. It is harder to write off a baby as tissue when you can see it open its eyes and suck its thumb.

Glamour Magazine Mourns the Pro-Life Shift

Given the extraordinary male dominance of the RedState.org editorial staff, we all collectively almost missed a very interesting article that was stuffed all the way in the back of the most recent Glamour magazine. However, thankfully, some of us have people who live in our households who read these kinds of publications, so with a tip of the hat to Mrs. Nachos, let's examine The mysterious disappearance of young pro-choice women below the fold.

In the first place, it will be noted at once by anyone who takes time to read the entire article that it is ridiculously slanted toward the pro-choice position - to the point that it barely escapes the realm of evangelism. However, my wife reads these things enough to tell me that, for Glamour, this really is pretty even-headed, and the fish are making a somewhat honest attempt to see the water they are swimming in. In my opinion, they fail miserably, but I digress. Let's be honest - we expect to find balanced political commentary from Glamour Magazine about like we expect to find it at Red State.org.

After I resisted the temptation to write a piece blasting the ridiculous inherent bias of the authors, I found that the article actually has a lot of encouraging news for pro-life voters. First of all, the article begins with the premise, established by various polling organizations, that support for unrestricted legal abortion has taken a nose dive among females aged 18-29.

For instance, according to a CBS/New York Times poll cited in the article, 49% of 18-29 year old women believed that abortion should be "available to anyone who wants it" in 1993. In 2003 among the same age group, only 35% of respondents believed abortion should be "available to anyone who wants it." In 2005, only 28% of respondents favored making abortion "available to anyone who wants it."

Furhtermore, in 1993, 30% of female respondents in the 18-29 year old age group believed that abortion should be "available, but with stricter limits." By 2005, the number had risen to 40%.

Most encouraging of all, only 19% of respondents in 1993 believed that abortion should be "not permitted." By 2005, the number had risen to 30%.

The article lists a number of different reasons why support for the pro-choice movement is dwindling among younger women, which merit bullet-pointing and brief commentary.

First, although the authors themselves do not bullet-point this reason, much of the introduction to the article is dedicated to the proposition that today's younger women are pro-life simply because they don't know what it was like back in the scary days when you had to take a legal risk to have an abortion.

Putting aside the fact that this is easily the weakest pro-choice argument (philosophically speaking), in the context of this article, it's also factually implausible. If the poll in 1993 was conducted among women aged 18-29, then the oldest respondents in the initial poll would have been nine years old in 1973 when Roe and Doe were decided.

Now, while I'll grant the proposition that there may have been some respondents to this poll who really wanted to get abortions when they were nine years old, but were forced into the "back alleys", I'll reject the notion that the number is high enough to make any statistical difference whatsoever - and it's certainly not nearly enough to account for the fact that support for the NARAL position (abortion on demand, no questions asked) has fallen nearly in half among the age group in question.

Second, the article notes Birth control confidence as a reason for declining support for the pro-choice movement. Many young women, the article notes, are inclined to have a lot less sympathy for girls who get pregnant and want to have abortions, given the amazing proliferation of free (or very cheap) birth control available these days. They reason, if you are so incredibly irresponsible as to have unprotected sex in this day and age, you ought to live with the consequences of that decision.

This is, of course, a valid point, and yet another stirling example of liberals shooting themselves in the foot.

Third, the article credits a Pro-life movement makeover. Now, the author of this particular article suffers from terminal liberal bias, and so can only credit the campaign against partial birth abortion, and the claimed link between abortion and breast cancer. What the author misses is the general fact that we've become much more effective and organized at getting our entire message out.

The reality is that abortion is an incredibly calloused and gruesome procedure when performed at virtually any time during pregnancy. What we came to realize is that it's much more visibly gruesome in the latter second trimester. When we undertook the PBA fight in the mid-90s with widespread bipartisan support and an effective advertising campaign, it illustrated two things. First, it exposed the fallacy, at least in some cases, that abortion is the medical equivalent of having a tumor removed. Second, when the horrifying pictures and images were made public, the reaction of virtually every human being still possessed of a conscience was abject and utter disgust. "Who could support that?" people asked. And when NARAL and Planned Parenthood stepped forward to do just that, the soullessness of the pro-choice movement was exposed.

The article next credits what it calls The sonogram effect. The theory (and it is a valid one) is that advances in sonogram technology have conspired to make the fetus a much more personal experience. The article states:

"Everyone has seen a sonogram by now," says pollster Conway. "You've seen them taped to a colleague's computer for three months, or your mom's sent you one in the mail and said, Look, this is going to be your nephew.' These scientific images are shifting the debate."

Indeed.

Two valid points need to be made here. First, this the reason that abortion rights groups are furious over statutes that are quietly cropping up in some places mandating that women seeking abortions must first view a sonogram. Why do they oppose this? Well, because women who see them very infrequently go through with the abortion. It kind of gives the lie to the whole notion that nobody's "pro-abortion", as Howard Dean likes to tell (scream at) us.

But further you might ask, "Why, seriously?" If abortion is a medical procedure, between a woman and her doctor, in what other medical procedure would an advocacy group actually fight something that would give a patient more information about a medical procedure they were about to undergo? Have you ever heard of the American Cancer Society opposing CAT-scans? The North American Spine Society opposing MRIs? Would either of those groups have a problem with a patient viewing the results of these tests with their doctor? If abortion really is "just a medical procedure", there is absolutely no justification for abortion advocacy groups to oppose pre-abortion sonograms. One by one, the lies of the pro-choice movement are being peeled away, and their knee-jerk reaction against sonograms is but another example.

Second, pro-life advocates should support companies that specialize in sonogram and prenatal imaging research in whatever way they can. Buy stock in companies that are procuding imaging machines that can render in full-color 3D - do what you can to help make these as commonplace as the grainy sonograms you've seen taped to people's computers. The more human fetuses become, the more the battle for life shifts in our favor.

The article next cites A new reverence for motherhood. According to the article, the stigma of giving children up for adoption has been replaced with admiration. What was once shameful has now become the altruistic thing to do. There is much to be commended for avoiding behavior that leads to unwanted pregnancy. However, when all the failsafes fail, it is a likewise commendable shift in our attitude that we are more willing to forgive and support, and less willing to bathe in shame and disgrace. One can only assume that this attitude will likewise improve with time.

The last portion of the article, Who still needs choice? is really nothing more than a smearing charge of hypocrisy against all the new pro-life young women. When put in a pinch, the article contends, we bet they'd still all get abortions. You can read the final section yourself and make of it what you will, it's late and I've rattled on long enough already.

The final point of this whole discussion is that we've found hope for the future of the pro-life cause in a very unlikely source. Nobody is more prone to fits of desperation on this issue than I am, and I mourn the fact that too often I have allowed my indignation to cross the line and turn people off. But the point of it all is that persuasion is working. Slowly but surely, if we maintain the course, the battle will be swung our way.

Red State.org ~ Leon H ** Glamour Magazine Mourns the Pro-Life Shift

Abortion conflict growing in Dem Party

This is an article on a "progressive" web site. What is important is that abortion is a key issue for Dems. It is how they attract new, young idiot voters and raise big bucks. But it causes increasingly well organized resistance and the appeal of abortion may be declining. This may seem strange source to post content from here but it is important. The theme of this site is that the Dems depend upon a coalition of groups which is unraveling at the seams. I believe that this dependence makes it hard for them to change with the times. Like a stone around their necks environmentalists, abortionists, big labor, socialists, gay-culture radicals and others are killing the Dem party.

Framing Abortion: Gonadal Politics and the Democrats
By: Joshua Frank ~ Dissident Voice.org

"I don't do gonadal politics."

-- Ralph Nader, 1996, thus encountering the eternal wrath of pro-abortion progressives.

How can anybody reasonably consider the Democrats the party of opposition? I mean, what exactly do they oppose? Far too many Dems in Washington are reading whatever dyslexic cue cards George Lakoff flashes in front of them.

The one issue you'd think the Democrats would want to stand behind, as President Bush appoints a pro-lifer to the bench, is the right for a woman to get an abortion. But here we have commander in chair Howard Dean exclaiming that Democrats should drop their pro-choice shtick and do what they can to pull more pro-lifers into the fold.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," Dean said on June 20. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."

Translation: "Abortion is murder, and nobody I know in America is pro-murder!"

The true motives of the Democratic establishment, on occasion, shine right on through their repugnant rhetoric. As if you can really be "pro-woman" if you aren't "pro-choice." As if the Democrats don't already have enough anti-choicers calling the shots in DC.

Harry Reid, the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, is blatantly anti-choice. NARAL reports that Sen. Reid has voted against "choice" 70 percent of the time he's been given a chance. And we're supposed to believe that Reid and Dean can organize any sort of opposition to John Roberts?

Go on hoping. But you can hope in one hand and crap in the other. See which one gets filled first.

Senator Hilary Clinton, a likely presidential candidate in 2008, has recently taken the same anti-choice line Dean has authorized. It's just one more fib in a laundry list of Democratic cant. Like, we're "for labor" but we'll pass NAFTA. Or we are "for the environment" but we'll pass the Salvage Rider. Or "we want to uphold privacy" but love the infringing PATRIOT ACT. Or, like, we "oppose Bush's foreign policy agenda" but want to keep thousands of troops occupying Iraq, and while we are at it why not bomb Iran.

The fact is the Democrats have absolutely no program that will build any alternative to the Republican onslaught. Their ineptness goes well beyond losing a few elections here and there; the Democrats can't even win the hearts and minds of all those disenfranchised Americans who will never go to the polls, simply because they don't see any reason to vote.

How long will we have to wait for the Democrats to embrace a living wage? How long will it be until the Democrats oppose the "war on terror"? How about supporting universal health care? We can rest assured that we'll be waiting for a long, long time. The Democrats are simply not the alternative to the conservative takeover of America. They are the enablers.

At a time when the Democrats can stand behind an issue that actually means something, like "choice", they fade into the shadowy ether, ever increasing their transparent myopia. Go ahead. Sit back and watch the nomination of Roberts be affirmed by the overwhelming majority of the Democrats in DC, despite the fact that Roberts as deputy solicitor general under the first President George Bush argued to the Supreme Court that, "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

Dissident Voice.org ~ Joshua Frank ** Framing Abortion: Gonadal Politics and the Democrats

Posted by uhyw at 2:50 AM EDT
Hillary Clintax to direct creation of Democrats' agenda... her blueprint is due in ONE YEAR
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Clinton to Direct Creation of Democrats' Agenda

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Democratic Leadership Council, an organization of influential party moderates, named Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton today to direct a new initiative to define a party agenda for the 2006 and 2008 elections.

The appointment solidified the identification of Clinton, once considered a champion of the party's left, with the centrist movement that helped propel her husband to the White House in 1992. It also continued her effort, which has accelerated in recent months, to present herself as a moderate on issues such as national security, immigration and abortion.

In her new role, the New York Democrat immediately called for a truce between the DLC and liberal elements of the party, which have engaged in a ferocious war of words over the Democrats' direction since President Bush won reelection in November.

"Now, I know the DLC has taken some shots from some within our party and that it has returned fire too," she told a gathering of the group here. "Well, I think it's high time for a cease-fire, time for all Democrats to work together based on the fundamental values we all share."

Clinton assumed her role as head of the DLC's "American Dream Initiative" at a meeting that drew three other centrist Democrats widely considered possible 2008 contenders and highlighted the maneuvering already underway for the next presidential race.

Besides Clinton, roughly 500 elected officials and DLC supporters who convened at a downtown hotel also heard from Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), the DLC's outgoing chairman; Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who replaced Bayh this month; and outgoing Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.

The session amounted to one of the first multi-candidate "cattle calls" for the potential 2008 contenders.

"I thought I was at a New Hampshire J-J dinner," joked Warner, in a reference to the Jefferson-Jackson party dinners that are frequent platforms for presidential contenders.

Each potential candidate delivered a campaign-style speech that blended criticism of the Bush administration with calls for Democrats to pursue centrist policies on such issues as national defense, energy and the federal budget.

Clinton's speech was built around an elaborate metaphor of what the country might look like on issues from healthcare to homeland security to a similar gathering that assembled in Ohio in 15 years.

Vilsack focused on restoring a greater sense of community and "shared sacrifice," Bayh emphasized the need to persuade Americans that Democrats could effectively safeguard national security, and Warner stressed the economic competition with rising nations such as China and India.

"The race is on for the future," Warner declared.

Those in the audience generally liked what they heard.

"We are going to be able to field an A-team in 2008," said Louis Magazzu, a local official in Cumberland County, N.J., after listening to the speeches.

Despite the calls for unity from Clinton, Bayh and other speakers, the day underscored continuing divisions among Democrats about how to rebuild at a time when Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress.

While many liberal activists insist the party's highest priority must be to block Bush's initiatives, DLC officials universally argued that Democrats would not recover until they fill in their own agenda.

"I think the nation fully understands what we are against," Vilsack said in an interview. "I think it is incumbent now to show what we are for."

The proceedings also highlighted a fissure among centrist "New Democrats." While the DLC recently endorsed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, Clinton voted against it in the Senate. Almost all House "New Democrats" are expected to oppose it when the lower chamber votes on the agreement this week. Several of the speakers sounded more skeptical notes toward free trade than were common among moderate Democrats in the 1990s.

The meeting comes at a time when the DLC is struggling to maintain the influence in the party it wielded when Bill Clinton held the White House.

Leading party centrists formed the DLC after Ronald Reagan's landslide reelection victory in 1984 over Walter F. Mondale, who was allied with the most liberal Democratic interest groups.

Urging Democrats to seize the political center, the DLC helped formulate key "New Democrat" ideas for Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, such as welfare reform and national service. Clinton chaired the group from 1990 through 1991 and brought many figures involved with it into his two administrations.

Since Clinton left office, though, a broad array of liberal activists, many of them clustered around left-leaning websites like the Daily Kos, have accused the DLC of weakening the party by advocating positions, such as support for free trade or the Iraq war, that they say have blurred distinctions with the GOP.

David Sirota, a Democratic consultant who posts indefatigably on his own liberal web log, responded to the news of the "American Dream Initiative" Clinton is leading by warning that Democrats would be doomed to "permanent minority status" if they followed the DLC direction.

"The fact is, the Democratic Party has to make a choice: is it going to continue to follow the DLC, be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America, and lose elections for the infinite future," he wrote in an e-mail. "Or is it going to go back to its roots of really representing the middle class and standing up for ordinary people's economic rights?"

Clinton said that she would reach out not only to centrists but "progressive people from all perspectives" to prepare her blueprint, which is due in one year.

But the fierce remarks from Sirota — and only somewhat more muted criticism of liberal groups like MoveOn.org — show the challenge of devising a program that attracts broad support across the party.

Indeed, Al From, the DLC founder, said in an interview that the plan was not intended to "be a lowest common denominator agenda" assembled by compromising among all elements of the party.

All this suggests that strains could develop between Clinton's desire to write a plan popular with as wide an array of Democrats as possible and the DLC's hope of crafting a sharply focused centrist road map — even if that means continued conflict with liberals that Clinton may be reluctant to antagonize.

LA Times ~ Ronald Brownstein ** Clinton to Direct Creation of Democrats' Agenda

Posted by uhyw at 2:20 AM EDT
Monday, July 25, 2005
NJ Dem Legislature Bill to stop lighting up behind the wheel
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

The libtards claim that Republicans are "Nazis"... but the leftist nanny state shows who the fascists really are.

No butts: Bill to stop drivers from lighting up behind the wheel

TRENTON, N.J. - Ashtrays have been disappearing in cars like fins on Cadillacs, and so could smoking while driving in New Jersey, under a measure introduced in the Legislature.

Although the measure faces long odds, it still has smokers incensed and tearing into the idea as a Big Brother intrusion that threatens to take away one of the few places they can enjoy their habit.

"The day a politician wants to tell me I can't smoke in my car, that's the day he takes over my lease payments," said John Cito, a financial planner from Hackensack with a taste for $20 cigars.

Those cigars, pipes and cigarettes would become no-nos for drivers. Offenders would be stung with a fine of up to $250, under the measure, whose sponsor said it's designed more to improve highway safety than protect health.

Assemblyman John McKeon, a tobacco opponent whose father died of emphysema, sponsored the legislation. He cites a AAA-sponsored study on driver distractions in which the automobile association found that of 32,000 accidents linked to distraction, one percent were related to smoking.

In the past, McKeon has also sponsored legislation to prohibit smoking in college dormitory rooms.

His latest measure, co-sponsored by fellow Democrat, Assemblywoman Lorretta Weinberg, comes on the heels of a proposal to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and the state's casinos. The smoking while driving ban shifts the smoking debate to private property.

The measure, introduced last month just before lawmakers' summer break, faces some improbable odds for passing.

Some lawmakers may fear the bill is frivolous compared with more pressing issues like taxes, said political analyst David Rebovich.

And there's this to consider: Traffic safety groups acknowledge motorists now widely ignore the state's year-old law against using hand-held cell phones, so why would smoking be any different?

Mitchell Sklar of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, said police departments may balk at enforcing such a law.

"In general, we'd rather not try to incrementally look at every single behavior and make those a violation," he said.

Some states, including New Jersey, have considered putting the brakes on smoking while children are in the car. But none have gone for an outright ban on smoking while driving, according to Washington, D.C.-based Action on Smoking and Health, the country's oldest anti-tobacco organization.

Earlier this year, lawmakers in Germany proposed a ban on smoking while driving as a traffic safety measure.

Smokers, feeling like easy targets, say enough already. They argue they've been forced outside office buildings, run off the grounds of public facilities, and asked to pony up more in per-pack excise taxes when states feel a budget squeeze.

"With smoking, it's becoming increasingly fashionable to target legislation or prohibitions," said George Koodray, a member of the Metropolitan Cigar Society, a 100-strong group that meets in Paterson for dinner and a smoke.

A driving ban, said suburban Chicago smoker Garnet Dawn Scheuer, is "completely asinine. It's unbelievable that they want to try it. People have been smoking in their cars since cars were invented."

Scheuer, who tracks anti-smoking measures in the Midwest and Northeast for the New Hampshire-based Smokers Club Inc., disputes the distraction argument.

"You don't have to look at a cigarette to light it," she said.

Cito, who's also a member of the cigar society, was more blunt.

"They put it all under the ruse of this other crap. It's government interference. What's next my house?" he asked.

Maybe, said Assemblyman McKeon, "If your house was on four wheels and going 70 mph, you're right I would."

NY Newsday.com ~ Jeff Linkous ** No butts: Bill to stop drivers from lighting up behind the wheel

Posted by uhyw at 8:29 AM EDT
Hillary Clintax to support Bush court pick, but Anita Hill slams choice of Roberts
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

TWO STORIES IN ONE: Hillary is still trying to play the "moderate." But Anita keeps the fruitcake libtardism alive, being too stupid to see the humor in her complaining about an all-white-male Supreme Court when she is best remembered for trying keep a black from being appointed!

Filed By Matt Drudge
HILLARY CLINTON TO SUPPORT BUSH COURT NOMINEE

Senator Hillary Clinton has confided to associates that she intends to vote FOR Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Unless some unforeseen development occurs around Roberts, Clinton will throw her support behind confirmation, says a top source.

"Look, we're not thrilled President Bush is in office and gets to make these choices," said a top Hillary source, "but we have to make the best of the situation until the next election!"

With her support of Roberts, Clinton ignores pressure from the reactionary-activist wing of the Democrat party.

"She is simply doing what is right for the country, not MOVEON.ORG," the Clinton insider explained.

Drudge Report Exclusive ** HILLARY CLINTON TO SUPPORT BUSH COURT NOMINEE

Anita Hill slams Supreme choice of Roberts

Woman who opposed Clarence Thomas claims Bush pick step back for diversity

Anita Hill, the woman who opposed Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court by alleging sexual harassment, is now blasting President Bush's selection of John Roberts, claiming it's a step back for diversity and fears it could lead to "an all-white-male Supreme Court."

In a commentary published in Newsday, Hill, who is now a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University, writes:

"[W]as John Roberts chosen because he's the best choice for the court or because he may easily be confirmed? And why not choose a woman to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court? Or use this as an opportunity to nominate the first Latino to the court?

"Not surprisingly, the answer to these questions has to do with the politics of confirmability. One thing is certain: If nominees are selected based on the very narrow and elite credentials that brought us John Roberts, a wide range of equally qualified, more diverse candidates will never even be considered."

Hill admits not much is known about Roberts' political ideology, but notes "his career has been built on membership in increasingly elitist institutions that include few women and Latinos or other ethnic minorities."

"With O'Connor on the bench, the Supreme Court was the most diverse in its history," Hill continued. "If confirmability through the Roberts 'primer' becomes the rule, it is not hard to imagine a return to an all-white-male Supreme Court.

"The nomination process may have become so politicized that the only secure nomination is someone who is an ultimate Washington insider, liked by both sides. If so, it misses a chance to reflect the experiences of the vast majority of Americans. Moreover, a gold standard for judicial selection based on exclusivity appears to contradict the values of ever-expanding opportunities we espouse."

Hill's opinion is prompting reaction from bloggers across the Internet, including one from Jon Henke, who said, "Good Lord, is she really arguing that appointments to the Supreme Court should be made based on skin color and gender, rather than judicial merits? Is she really arguing that we're paying too much attention to merit and not enough to appearance?"

Another writes, "It's ironic that the woman who did her best to torpedo court diversity during the Clarence Thomas hearings, is now such a huge advocate."

In 1991, Hill nearly derailed the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas by claiming she had been sexually harassed by Thomas when she worked for him years earlier at the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

She said Thomas would discuss sexual acts and pornographic films after she rebuffed his invitations to date him.

In response to the allegations, Thomas called Senate hearings on the matter "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks."

He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a 52-48 vote.

World Net Daily.com ** Anita Hill slams Supreme choice

Link to 'Hills' Commentary...
Brandeis University ~ Anita F. Hill ** Nomination of Roberts a step back for diversity

Posted by uhyw at 3:09 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2005 3:17 AM EDT
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Report: Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Top left), Jay Rockefeller (Middle Left), and Ron Wyden (Lower Left) leaked details about a secret "black ops" CIA satellite program last December in a move that may have seriously compromised national security, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said on Saturday.

"The CIA made a request to the Justice Department to investigate and possibly bring criminal charges against these three [senators]," Babbin told WABC Radio host Monica Crowley. "My information is that investigation is ongoing."

Rockefeller is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Durbin is the No. 2-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Media reports on the satellite leak last December indicated that the Bush administration was concerned about public comments by Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden and that the CIA had requested a Justice Department probe.

"The formal request for a leaks investigation would target people who described sensitive details about a new generation of spy satellites to The Washington Post, which published a page-one story about the espionage program Saturday [Dec. 11, 2004]," a Justice Department official told The Associated Press at the time.

But the same official told the AP that Justice "has not decided whether to investigate."

Former Deputy Undersecretary Babbin's comments on Saturday were the first indication that such a probe was actually launched and is ongoing.

"The fact of the matter is that [Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden] divulged something that was above and beyond top secret and frankly, they probably blew the strategy and the hundreds of millions of dollars that were being spent to pursue it," Babbin told Crowley.

"The acknowledgement of [the "black ops" program's] existence is not even proper and the acknowledgement of them and the details of them can very well damage national security," Babbin added.

Asked if he thought the three Senate Democrats should have their security clearances revoked for the duration of the leak probe, the former Defense Department official said: "Absolutely and forthwith. I mean, they should have been revoked at the time of the leak."

"There's really not much doubt about the leak having occurred," Babbin told Crowley. "It's in the press records, it's in the Congressional record. We know what they did."

"The only question," he explained, "is how much damage was done by the leak. And that's part of the criminal investigation right now - to do a damage assessment, to figure out how much this is going to cost us strategically and militarily."

News Max.com ~ Carl Limbacher ** Report: Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak

Posted by uhyw at 2:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 2:24 PM EDT
Dems hold another bogus 'hearing'
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

If the news media won't talk to them, Democrats talk to themselves. I LOVE the idea of holding hearings with only one party in attendance, and selectively deciding who should testify. You normally have to pay good money to see this kind of comedic action at a circus or a zoo.

Another term for a gathering like this is "Circle Jerk"

I guess this is what happens when some people age, yet fail to grow up. Whats next? A cartman style tea party?

What do you think of me Polly Prissypants?
"Oh, I think you are polite and handsome and kewl"

And what do you think Peter Panda?
"I think you are so kewl, how do you do it Eric?"
I don't know Peter Panda.....what do you think of me Rumpertumskin?

"I think you're a piece of crap!"
--- Ey!

Democrats-only Hill hearing targets Rove

Democrats convened a partisan hearing yesterday in an attempt to breathe new life into the suspicion that Karl Rove is guilty of an illegal leak to the press.

The hearing, convened in a Senate office building by the Democratic Policy Committee, featured both House and Senate members and a slate of witnesses guaranteed to testify that the deputy White House chief of staff was guilty of misdeeds in leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

"We know that a dastardly crime in all likelihood was committed," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was peppered with questions about Mr. Rove nearly every day for two weeks in early July, and the story dominated the political news. Since Mr. Bush tapped Judge John G. Roberts Jr. for the Supreme Court on Tuesday, however, questions about Mr. Rove and stories about the controversy have dwindled to a trickle.

Mr. McClellan was not asked a single question about Mr. Rove by reporters traveling aboard Air Force One yesterday.

Roll Call reported Thursday that a set of "talking points" was issued Wednesday by Senate Democratic leadership urging rank-and-file senators to do what they could to keep the controversy surrounding Mr. Rove in the news.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said the "faux hearings" demonstrate that Democrats are too eager to score political points to wait for the facts to come out upon completion of the special prosecutor's investigation into the matter.

"If Democrats had any confidence in the investigatory process, they would hold their fire and let the investigation proceed rather than rushing to judgment," Miss Schmitt said.

Mrs. Plame is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who has accused the White House of lying about Iraq's attempts to acquire weapons-grade nuclear material from Niger. A report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the British intelligence service and other intelligence agencies around the world, however, claim the attempt was made.

The bipartisan intelligence committee report also determined that Mrs. Plame recommended to the CIA that her husband -- a critic of the war in Iraq -- travel to Niger to verify the story of attempted "yellowcake" uranium purchases. Though his own report suggested it had occurred, Mr. Wilson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, saying it was wrong of the White House to suggest it did happen.

Mr. Wilson has never publicly reconciled that conflict.

Democrats, however, made it clear that they believe Mr. Wilson's op-ed, and are convinced that Mr. Rove "outed" Mrs. Plame as a form of political retribution.

"The White House launched a smear campaign, and Valerie Plame became collateral damage," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat. "Now the White House has gone silent. It won't answer any questions. It won't take any administrative action against Mr. Rove."

Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, said that what occurred is "at its worst, treason committed by high-level White House officials, and at the best we have seen an abuse of power."

Washington Times ~ James G. Lakely ** Democrats-only Hill hearing targets Rove

Posted by uhyw at 2:52 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 3:25 AM EDT
10 charged in N.J. sex slave ring
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Feds bust girl-smuggling ring in Jersey

An international ring smuggled girls as young as 14 into the U.S. from Honduras and forced them to work as virtual slaves in New Jersey bars - and endure brutal beatings if they protested, authorities said yesterday.

Some of the girls were raped by smugglers and those who became pregnant were forced to take abortion drugs so they could stay on the job, prosecutors said.

"This was inhumane and sadistic treatment of young women who were kept as virtual slaves," said Newark U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie. "These are among the most vile crimes I've seen."

The alleged ringleader, Luisa Medrano, 50, of Cliffside Park, N.J., and nine other suspects, some in Honduras, were charged yesterday with alien smuggling and other crimes that could get them up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

An indictment handed up in Newark alleged smugglers promised the victims jobs as waitresses - but instead forced them to drink and dance with customers at Medrano's three Hudson County bars.

The women were paid $240 for working up to seven days a week - but nearly all the money went to the smuggling ring, which charged $10,000 to $20,000 to bring them to the U.S.

Christie said girls who objected were treated brutally. "One 15-year-old was beaten so badly blood vessels were broken in her eyes and a 14-year-old was beaten with a belt that raised welts all over her body," he said.

He said 10 young women were victimized from mid-2003 until January, when the ring was smashed. But at least 20 others are believed to have been enslaved. The probe is continuing. The victims already identified and located are now under federal protection and getting counseling and schooling, Christie said. He said they're eligible to seek visas to remain legally in the U.S.

NY Daily News ~ Leo Standora ** Feds bust girl-smuggling ring in Jersey

Posted by uhyw at 2:18 AM EDT

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