Sunday, July 22, 2007

Obligatory Harry Potter Post

Can one be too prescient? I would have thought not before reading the latest post at I generally like this site. Mark Kleiman is very smart, articulate, and his political leanings are close to mine. Apart from the times where we disagree, the main criticism I have of the blog is that there's an arrogant tone that undercuts his intent to persuade, assuming that's what he intends [I know that's my main intent in blogging].

Anyway, check out what as of now is his latest post making his predictions for what happens in the last Harry Potter book. If anyone's reading this post, and doesn't want to have some major plot points spoiled, stop reading this now.

Am I the only one who thinks Kleiman's a little too accurate? I really doubt he'd cheat at something so trivial. Assuming he just is that good a guesser, I wonder if he cares that his being so right here may have damaged his credibility on more important matters in the future. I'd have commented there, but I don't think that's an option.

I'm happy to discuss Potter generally. I devoured the whole thing yesterday. Bottom line - it's worth it. If she has it in her, J. K. Rowling really ought to start another series soon. One last tidbit to stir conversation, the movies are fine, but when the books are that good, what's the point?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Random Monday

So much happening, so little time to blog.

1. First things first - Bush and Cheney still suck and should be impeached. The reasons for, and sources of information on why, are obvious and need not be repeated here. The latest news is somewhat positive, in that today Sen. Majority Leader Reid appears set to pull an all-nighter tomorrow, unless, of course, a sufficient number of Republicans blink, which is doubtful.

2. Health care - Have you seen Sicko? You should. Whatever you think about Michael Moore, he is doing all of us a favor by highlighting what would be our number one issue if Bush and Cheney hadn't committed war crimes by waging an illegal war. The latest news on this is pretty good, too. CNN picked the wrong guy to challenge. In their latest rationalization, CNN said the following:

"CNN has always prided itself on balanced reporting of claims made by special-interest groups. Moore's documentary "Sicko," which makes an impassioned case for a complete overhaul of the U.S. health care system, was not exempt from that reporting."

Excuse me?! Are they seriously accusing Moore of being a "special-interest?" For my part, I'm damn grateful that he's done what he's done. Sicko is a powerful statement that may do more to improve more of our lives than CNN has ever or will ever do. I actually think CNN was lazily displaying their knee-jerk approach to journalistic objectivity by assuming that any opposing force to a clear special interest, like the for-profit health care industry, must also be a special interest. At what point, do the needs of individuals get to be heard, if not for heroes like Moore? If CNN really thinks we have no more moral standing than corporations who exist solely to make money, I will gladly join him in doing whatever it takes to bring that corporation to its non-corporeal knees.

3. Chap, naturally. How great is it that Chap actively blogs at oxroadsouth and not only do we get to hear about personal stuff that demonstrates how a part of our community he really is, but he's taken on some really hot button issues like guns. His latest posting is on the number one local issue - the newly imposed abusive driver "fees". Chap nails it by calling a spade, a spade. These "fees" are nothing but disguised taxes, and, as such, are very poorly designed. Chap is able, as even some Dems (even Gov. Kaine sadly) aren't because they supported the "fees," to criticize. He even points out that a one cent increase in the state gas tax would raise the same amount of revenue as the "fees." I only hope he isn't Walter Mondaled about this. Thanks to Alice at GOTV for alerting me to Chap's latest post.

4. Finally, the 2008 Presidential race, for which, I'll make an exception to my policy of not talking about 2008 before we settle the 2007 elections. Ben, over at NLS, has endorsed Hillary. How can I break it to my Chicago brother the Obama supporter that it's now over? Seriously, I can see a strong case for the Dems coalescing around Hillary and making history. Anna Quindlen at has made a good case for a Clinton/Obama ticket (for the record, I touted this a while ago - ask my brother). We would even have a very good local reason for supporting Hillary, namely that an excited electorate seeing an older blonde at the top, might sweep another older blonde, namely Leslie Byrne, to victory in the 11th CD. I wonder if Jeannemarie would bleach her hair to continue her disguising her GOP dark roots if Hillary got the nomination.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Today, Tom Davis, who was elected to represent us in the U.S. House of Representatives, again spat in our faces by voting against a bill that establishes a timetable for withdrawing our troops from Iraq. He's not listening to us. He's not even listening to Sen. John Warner, the man whose seat Davis badly craves. Instead, he appears to be one of the few remaining diehards who still listens to Bush and Cheney. I wonder if he would listen to his wife. Is she even brave enough to state her position on the number one issue? Shouldn't she have to come out of the closet on this? After all, she not only wants us to give her another term in Richmond and not vote for a damn impressive challenger, Chap Petersen, this November, a number of people believe her husband would love to have her succeed him in his House seat as he ascends to the Senate. Dream on Davises. Until we hear otherwise, we have to assume that on this, as on every other issue, Jeannemarie would vote exactly as her husband does, and increasingly against the interests and wishes of their constituents. See, for example Jeannemarie's vote for the very flawed transportation bill. Also, please note how she crows about her leadership on that very bad bill. What's next? Is Tom going to lecture us on how courageous he is in prolonging our nightmare in Iraq, just as Bush claimed today to be standing on principle, as if either of them has any principles? Would a prinicpled person subpoena Terri Schiavo? Give us a break! Better yet, let's give ourselves a break.

Impeach Cheney.
Impeach Bush.
Vote for Chap.
Never vote for Tom.

Monday, July 9, 2007

9/11, The Last Refuge of a Certain Scoundrel

Bill Kristol has labeled Senators Domenici, Lugar, Voinovich, and our very own (and Kristol's, too, I think) Warner as "pre-9/11 Republicans." If Karl Rove is Bush's brain, we should remember that Bill Kristol was Dan Quayle's brain. It's also instructive to remember that the Weekly Standard is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to put a pseudo-intellectual face on neoconservatism. Finally, we should remember that neoconservatism is nothing more than a fancy way of saying "might makes right." Check out what Straussians have to say about the noble lie. It is true, as Kristol writes, that our soldiers' sacrifices should be acknowledged. It is nonsense, however, for him to wrap himself in their courage, especially as he attacks politicians who actually put themselves up for re-election every six years. What penalty has Kristol paid for being consistently wrong in his policy recommendations? I imagine that Murdoch's checks have been consistently coming all these years. Moreover, what the hell does "pre-9/11" as a perjorative even mean? Lots of very sensible things were done in the aftermath of 9/11, from increased airport security to better intelligence coordination among previously stove-piped agencies. Of course, much remains to be done, like stepping up port and border security. Additionally, much foolishness (airline bans on liquids) and deviousness (the Patriot Act) was foisted on us in the wake of our fear. Nothing, however, was more foolish or more devious than invading and occupying Iraq. Long before 9/11, Kristol and the other armchair warriors were recommending using our military to "solve" the Middle East. It has been proven in the writings of O'Neill, Woodward, and Tenet that the opportunity 9/11 presented to get rid of Saddam was openly debated by Bush and Cheney by 9/12 at the latest. Given all we know now about the deceit that put us in Iraq, the incompetence that has failed to prevent the civil war now engulfing Iraq, and the sheer absurdity that every day we delay in orderly withdrawing from Iraq makes us less safe, to hide behind 9/11 is truly the last refuge of the scoundrel named Kristol.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Is the iron hot enough?

With national Dem silence, Paris Hilton's travails, the Libby commutation, and Live Earth, I forgot about the summer campaign to target Republicans who might break with Bush and Cheney on Iraq. See for more details.

Anyway, how convenient is it that one of the targets is our very own Tom Davis? It's even more convenient for those of us blessed to live in both Tom's Congressional District and his wife Jeannemarie's VA Senatorial District.

So, while Chap deftly counters Jeannemarie's ill gotten money and negative campaigning, simultaneously presenting his positive vision for our VA Senatorial District's concerns, let's help him out and ask Jeannemarie what she's doing to get her husband to do the right thing on Iraq.

A while back I extolled the happy chance we have to kill two birds with one stone in defeating Jeannemarie this November and badly damaging Tom's political future next year. This became three birds with the likely retirement of Sen. John Warner. Now, we can make it four birds with a serious blow to Bush and Cheney on Iraq.

I refuse to believe that my fellow voters of both Tom's District and Jeannemarie's District aren't snugly in the majority of current polls. Only Republican attempts to get us to stay home on election day can stop us. Frankly, I think it'd be immoral not to vote for Chap this November.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

If The Hague Pardons Bush and Cheney Will They Go Away?

Nixon resigned over a tape showing he participated in covering up a bungled burglary. Clinton was impeached over a dress with DNA proving he lied about, and obstructed the investigation of, an extra-marital affair.

After all this spilled blood and treasure, can't we throw out Bush and Cheney over their "plan" to indefinitely maintain over one hundred thousand of our military personnel in a place where the best case scenario is that our losses and their civilian losses will be held to a minimum and the worst case scenario is unsustainable losses for us, unconscionable losses for their innocents, and the strengthening of Iran at the very time we're rattling our sabers against them only helping those there who want Iran to join the nuclear club?

How ironic is it that Bush and Cheney are hiding behind the legalistic fiction that, because they haven't committed any high crimes or misdemeanors, they can't be impeached? This from the gang who thinks the Geneva Conventions are "quaint" anachronisms.

The problem is there seems to be no political leverage to bear. Democrats only benefit from the further degradation of the Republican Party. Republicans are so close to the bottom they see no upside at all. What could possibly force Bush and Cheney to orderly bring our troops home? More frighteningly, what could possibly prevent them from taking the fight to Iran?

If the thought of a lying politician being allowed to remain President from August 1974 to January 1977 was abhorrent, the thought of Bush and Cheney being allowed to remain in office one more day ought to be doubly so.

Still, I don't think a sufficient number of people are ready to break the law. I know I'm too afraid to. I can only cowardly confess that I hope my representatives come back from their August recess and use the power of the purse to force a Constitutional showdown.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Should we care?

Should we care about today's attempt by the Washington Post to define the race between Chap and Jeannemarie? (

Is it fair that they mention Jeannemarie's huge amount of campaign money from corporate donors and support from her husband without drawing a connection between the two?

Is that especially unfair because they paint Jeannemarie as the more liberal of the two candidates who might otherwise be expected to be less favored by business?

Is it also unfair to mention not only the gun control issue but to elevate the "whisper" campaign about Chap's church being part of the anti-gay group of churches that split off from the Episcopal Church?

Is it possible that the Post left on the cutting room floor more pro-Chap quotes from Gerry Connolly, leaving only Connolly's calling them both "titans?"

Is it responsible for the Post to not mention at all that party affiliation matters?

Finally, can Chap afford to sit by and let the Post define this race as anything other than it is - positive, effective, and badly needed leadership to solve our problems vs. more of the same?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Win Win Win

In addition to stopping the bad and starting the good (see post immediately below), impeaching Bush and Cheney would send a sincere signal to the rest of the world that we regret the harm Bush and Cheney caused in our name, beginning the healing process. It would also be an unmistakable warning to our future leaders that there are lines that must not be crossed.

It's never too late to do the right thing.

Bush and Cheney have equated themselves with the Constitution, daring us. How simple, how orderly, how peaceful it would be for the House to impeach. I think it could be done quickly, too. The number of Bush and Cheney supporters who think impeachment proceedings would redound to Bush and Cheney's benefit, as happened to Bill Clinton, is shrinking every day. Only our own fear to call for it allows Bush and Cheney to continue to delude themselves into thinking only they can keep all Hell from breaking loose.

I don't believe that even Bush's own daughters believe he is that important.

On the other hand, Bush and Cheney can all on their own cause tremendous damage as long as they're in power. They can also prevent good and necessary things from happening.

If Scooter Libby did not deserve to spend one day in jail after a Republican prosecutor successfully convinced a jury of Libby's peers to convict him and a Republican judge to sentence him, according to Republican instituted guidelines, what the fuck could we have done that was so bad to deserve one more day under Bush and Cheney's rule?

Just because we accepted the official results of the 2004 election, does not mean we are stuck with Bush and Cheney for a full four years.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Regime Change Begins at Home

On today's Libby commutation fiasco, Larry Johnson made an excellent point at; Bush can still pardon Libby.

The less anguish we hear from Libby's pals, like DeGenova, when the pseudo-liberal mainstream media points out that Libby is still being punished by having to pay a fine, losing his law license, and being labeled a convicted felon, the more we'll know that commutation is just Bush's down payment to keep Libby happy and quiet. The full pardon will come later.

There are no more excuses for voting Republican at any level.

Even Ralph Nader has got to realize at this point that change is imperative. The ascendence of a purer progressivism will just have to wait.