Quit Being Such a Bunch of Democrats!

Here we go again, performing hari-kari so all the Republicans have to do is step on our pointy little heads and put us out of our misery.

An A.P. story that ran all over the place, including USA Today is quoting Joe Biden and John Edwards (for whom I voted in 2004) as saying Doktor Howard Dean (hey, if it’s good enough for Condi, why not use it for a real M.D.?) went too far when he made the shocking observation that the GOP is the party of wealth and privilege.

Edwards responded that Dean “is not the spokesman for the party.”

Dean is “a voice. I don’t agree with it,” Edwards, a former senator and the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2004, said Saturday at a party fundraising dinner in Nashville.

Well, let’s see, Johnny. Howard Dean is the chairman of the Democratic Party. That makes him pretty much the guy who speaks for Democrats, aka, the Spokesman for the Party.

What really burns me is while we’re so busy throwing ourselves on the flames of penance for “going too far,” the Killer Whales of the Republican Party (great name for a rock band) are gloating and coming out smelling like roses.

Asked about Dean’s remark about Republicans and honest living, GOP chairman Ken Mehlman told NBC’s Meet the Press: “I’m not sure the best way to win support in the red states is to insult the folks who live there. I think that a better approach might be to talk about the issues you’re for.”

Hey Ken, would you like some sanctimony with that hypocrisy?

I can’t remember a single campaign since I’ve been able to vote (lo these many years) when the Republicans took pains to paint the opposition as anything but moronic, tax-and-spend, Ivy League, Commie, feminist/homosexual/anti-nukular family, bleeding heart liberals.

It’s our own fault that sleezebags like Ken Mehlman look noble and pure. We do this to ourselves. Joe, John, what do you think you gain by throwing Howie under the bus? Yes, he can’t be trusted with a microphone. Yes, he says stupid things. But he’s our idiot and we have to stand behind him. Did the Repugs get where they are today by saying W. needs to attend a Toastmasters meeting? Hell no! They watch his remote-controlled, microphone-humped backside. When are we going to wake up and start doing the same?

Ominous News About the Draft from Florida

Why is Washington making sure Florida’s draft board is at capacity?

The Gainesville Sun:

What the federal government is looking for are at least 78 Floridians willing to serve on draft boards even though the nation has not had a draft for 25 years.

“These local folks would decide cases that involve individuals who may be claiming a hardship, or that they are a conscientious objector, or ministerial student, or member of the clergy, or have some other reason why they believe they should not be drafted,” said Dick Flahavan, associate director of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Selective Service System.

Hmmm. Doesn’t sound good. And, the government wants you to know, you’ll need to available for extra hours in the remote chance the draft is re-enacted. Remote. Right.

The time commitment is minimal during peacetime, Flahavan said…However, the time commitment could increase significantly during a draft.

Have no idea if the government is trying to make sure all draft boards are ship-shape but I’d be very interested to hear if the call is going out nationwide. Please make a comment if this is happening in your state.

California Dreaming, Republican Talk of Turning Golden State Red Is Wishful Thinking

Republicans are floating the idea in the media that California could flip to Red in the next presidential elections. The population in the state’s Red counties is growing, Republicans say, therefore the number of GOP voters will rise.

They made the same wild claim recently about the rising population in southern states. If the population in Red states grow, so will the number of Republican voters.

It is logical to assume that when populations rise, the number of voters will also increase. But to assert that new voters moving into Red states or counties will increase Republican rolls more than Democratic numbers implies that more Republicans than Democrats are moving in. And that factor is not necessarily true in the case of either California counties or the Southern states.

For example, most new arrivals in the South emigrate from Blue states like New York, New Jersey and Michigan and Purple states like Pennsylvania. In California, many, if not most, of the emigrants to the Red counties are moving to escape the high cost of living in the vastly more desirable Blue counties.

Here is an example of writer for the Associated Press buying into the Republican’s wishful thinking about taking California:

California is home to nearly 37 million people — one of every eight Americans — and is projected to add as many as 11 million more in the next two decades, roughly the equivalent of the state of Ohio. But while population growth is slowing in left-leaning coastal areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is accelerating in more conservative regions such as the Central Valley and the Inland Empire area east of Los Angeles.

The state’s large Hispanic population, long staunchly Democratic, has become somewhat less so in recent years. Bush won 32 percent of California’s Hispanic vote in 2004, up from 28 percent in 2000. Schwarzenegger won about a third of Hispanic voters in the 2003 recall election even though Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Hispanic, was also on the ballot.

To buy this you have to believe 1) only Republicans will move to Red states or counties – or 2) when Democrats move to Red states, they quickly drink the Kool-Aid and become Republicans.

Since most of the voters are Democrats in the states and counties these people are leaving, why wouldn’t the majority of the people moving also be Democrats?

Here in the reality-based world, the decision to uproot and move to another place is a serious and stressful undertaking. Statistically, the top reasons people move are financial/job-related and to be near family. I’ll bet the number of people who move primarly in order to live in a more politically amenable area is zero.

OAS Déjà Vu: Rice Uses Democracy Excuse to Grab Oil

Condeleeza Rice hit the nail on the head at the Organization of American States meeting in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel,

In a thinly veiled reference to oil-rich Venezuela, which is engaged in escalating tensions with the United States, Rice said the OAS “must insist that leaders who are elected democratically have a responsibility to govern democratically.”

Since our leader wasn’t elected democratically, he has no responsibility to act as if he was. This explains everything.

But really, aren’t people getting sick of this stuff? The United States wants oil so it tells the U.N. or OAS or NATO that the leader of a country that has it is a bad guy. Boom, now the U.S. can go in and take what it wants.

The OAS meeting comes at a time when left-of-center leaders are ascendant in Latin America, having campaigned against old ills–corruption, nepotism, economic inequality– that democracy has failed to cure.

The last time the United States hosted an OAS summit, in 1974, almost half the 23 member states were military dictatorships, whereas all but Cuba have democratic governments in place today. Yet the transition is perceived by many in the hemisphere as a futile experiment in combating poverty. One in three people in Latin America lives on less than $2 a day.

Our hypocrisy is nowhere more evident than in our dealings with Haiti, as Jean-Robert Lafortune, chairman of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition in Miami, pointed out.

He criticized the United States for denying protective immigration status to Haitians while their country combats chaos in the streets and storm damage.

“As Haiti continues to spiral into insecurity, the Department of Homeland Security continues to apprehend and deport, constantly, Haitian nationals to their homeland,” he said.

We are advocating gathering intelligence (an oxymoron if there ever was one) on our neighbors, just as we are on our own citizens.

The United States is proposing that the OAS…set off early warnings that would avert the kinds of crises that led to the ouster of presidents in Bolivia, Ecuador and Haiti in just three years.

Some Latin American groups, however, have said they’re not keen on a list that would embarrass individual countries. Nor is it clear how the OAS would implement new policies given limited funding and financial strains.

Same old stuff. I can hear Bush saying OAS is ineffective so it’s O.K. to ignore them, and then send John Bolton in to represent us. I cannot wait until 2008.

Bushes Forever. Psych!

Hilarious and terrifying Borowitz Report today:

In an appearance on CNN’S “Larry King Live,” former President George H. W. Bush unveiled ambitious plans to extend the Bush dynasty in the White House, indicating that if all goes as planned the Bushes will rule the U.S. until 2090.

When asked if he hoped that his son, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, would run for president in 2008, the former president replied, “Yes, Larry, I think it’s the smart one’s turn.”

…Presidential historian Davis Logden of the University of Minnesota said he sees advantages in such an unprecedented White House dynasty: “It could provide useful continuity to have a Bush in the White House in 2090, because we will most likely still be in Iraq.”

Race Issues Suddenly on Front Burner for LA’s Mayor-Elect

On May 26, racial tensions at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles erupted into a brawl for the third time in six weeks. This time the LAPD was called in but the level of tension was so high they had to use batons and pepper spray to tamp down the violence.

These brawls are the latest incidents in on-going racial conflicts between Latinos and African-Americans in Los Angeles. They have the attention of the city’s mayor-elect, Antonio Villaraigosa, because he is Latino – the first Latino mayor of the city since 1872 – and in his campaign, he promised to be “mayor for all Los Angeles.”

Although he won’t take office until July 1, Villaraigosa went to Jefferson on the day after the violence.

He is reviewing the organization of the mayor’s office to determine if a special office for race and safety issues is needed to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District, which runs the 800-campus system.

“One of the most important responsibilities for the next mayor is to help bring this city together,” said Villaraigosa, 52, the son of a Mexican immigrant. “We cannot allow — in a city as diverse as this one — racial violence in our schools. We’ve got to have a zero tolerance for it.”

(Thanks to PR contributor Judy for the tip.)