DemocracyMeansYou

Daily political commentary and satire. We encourage your comments and participation!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Everyone Should Care, Republican or Democrat, Horse or Goat

It would be easy for Republicans to stand back and call our demands for recounts, black box software, and electoral reform sore losing.

But if you ever hear that, call them a commie pinko. Because every American should care whether the votes were counted properly, whether the machines were accurate, or worse, rigged, and whether we have an electoral system as pathetic as say, Afghanistan, or if we are an example of how a democracy should run.

It's not a partisan issue. Ask anyone whether they think there should be paper trails on voting machines. I'll lay $20 on 95% of them saying "hell yes." That alone should do it.

If your Republican friends really believe they won the election, they should be happy to protect America by supporting investigations of voting systems that were declared unsafe for democracy. Anything less makes them hypocrites. And don't be afraid to say it.

If you are truly "conservative," then you want to conserve our Constitution and the protections it affords. At base, it's the right to vote and to have that vote counted.

If not, you must believe you are above the law.

And that makes you a criminal, remember?




Thursday, November 11, 2004

Demand Recounts NOW

As you all know by now, the election is questionable. Now is the time to start demanding recounts loudly and incessantly.

Don't have much time today, so I'm just going to post a little note that my co-conspirator John sent me...

So now I’m a conspiracy theorist… But if you’ve been following the post
election buzz online, you know that it’s not completely crazy to think
something might be amiss in Election 2004. Given the Republican track record
of late, it ain’t too much of a stretch to think they might not have played
fairly…

In case you missed it, Kieth Olberman has been reporting on MSNBC about all
of this:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/
Olberman’s post from November 9 is especially good. Meanwhile some members
of congress are pushing for an investigation. MoveOn.org is now pushing for
that too, and they ask you to send an email showing your support of that
effort (http://www.moveon.org/investigatethevote/).

I hope you'll take the time for that.

The greens are now trying to demand an Ohio recount (Candidate David Cobb
has standing to do so), but they need money as recount requesters have to
foot the bill from the state. You can donate to that cause here:

http://web.greens.org/c/cobb/supporters.cgi?function=donate

I did.

Who knows where all of this will lead… but if you read the article below, by
Ohio Professor Bob Fitrakis, you’ll probably at least agree that there’s
some stinky business going on in Ohio…

http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/983

And Fitrakis’ more recent post continues that smelly theme…

http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/985

Also, I add this http://www.blackboxvoting.org

Enjoy your day. It’s a great country.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

“Bipartisanship” and “Cooperation”

Bush says that he will reach out and hopes that Democratic leaders will join him. It’s clear to me that after four years of ramming legislation through the throat of Congress with little-to-no consultation with the party that won the popular vote in 2000, and a standard modus operandi of actually excluding the Democratic party, it’s up to the Bushies to prove that they are doing more than talking.

Democratic leaders should definitely NOT cooperate with the hard-right agenda of the Bush administration, and should, yes, OBSTRUCT, and filibuster all attempts to push anything through. It will require discipline and some balls. Which unfortunately, seem pretty rare in the Dems these days.

We, the people, need to turn up the heat on our leadership to NOT cooperate unless the means is fair and inclusive. Do NOT bend over. See where it got Daschle?

Fences are for property lines, not for sitting.

Religious Wrong and “Moral Values”

Religious Wrong and “Moral Values”

I have said this hundreds of times, and will say it until I’m red, white, and blue in the face. The religious right is a bunch of hypocrites. Period. Now, of course YOU know that, but the problem is that THEY don’t know it.

It seems that the only thing “moral values” means to the born-again crowd is being against abortion and against those nasty, dirty homos.

At least that’s what it looks like to everyone outside of their little fold.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the bible, the original five books or the New Testament, it’s very clear that there are far more important issues in the bible than homosexuality. Abortion, I can sympathize with their assessment that it’s crucial, from their perspective it’s murder. I get that. But to vote for a candidate who is supposedly against abortion, but is also against environmental stewardship (regardless of what he says), against peacemaking, against sharing with the poor, against economic structures that help the poor improve their lot, and so much more… is sheer hypocrisy. And absolutely counter to the teachings of Jesus.

I’ve had conversations with both friends and adversaries about this and all I can conclude is that the born-again community is stark denial of anything that doesn’t fit with the world they want to see. You can see it in so many tracts written by obviously one-sided, right-leaning Christians who want to believe in both Bush and the other scripture-quoting righties. Like all of us, they see what they want to see. (See: http://www.bible.com/answers/awar.html for more of this, with no questioning at all of themselves or possibility of another valid opinion. It’s called pontificating, by the way. It’s what I like to do here, but I don’t pretend to be objective.)

For the record, here is the section of the New Testament that’s called the “Beatitudes,” or the Sermon on the Mount.

The text of St. Matthew runs as follows:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land. (Verse 4)
  • Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
  • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
  • Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
  • Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)

(from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02371a.htm)

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Beatitudes/beatitudes.htm

Basically, the New Testament is full of love for thine enemy. But you will always find “devout” Christians quoting the “Old” testament when rationalizing war, even though Jesus was clear about his ministries being a new and correct interpretation of it.

But it’s just not convenient enough, apparently.

So, dear readers, go forth and multiply your knowledge of what Jesus really had to say, and remind people that they’re full of shit when they talk about the Republican party being the party of “moral values.” Cuz it’s not. It’s the party of anti-abortion and anti-gay. Or, really, the party of convenient religiousity when it’

Monday, November 08, 2004

Karl Rove On Wisdom, Humility, and Other Bullshit

To hear Karl Rove talking about wisdom, patience, and humility is like listening to Ron Jeremy talk about abstinence. Don’t be ridiculous.
(Showing a video of Jan, 2004 of Rove heading to church)

MR. RUSSERT: You're heading over to the national cathedral for a prayer service with our new president. What are you gonna pray for?

MR. ROVE: Wisdom and patience. Humility. That's important, I think, for people who come here to realize that we are here for only a time and we have an obligation of service and we need to keep things in perspective.

MR. RUSSERT: Wisdom, patience, and humility, the watchwords for the second term?

MR. ROVE: Yes. Those that the Gods destroy they first make prideful. So, absolutely.


Sunday on Meet the Press, Karl Rove, looking affable and kind, put out about as much disinformation in a few minutes as is possible for one human being to do. For a transcript of the interview, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6430019/

First, let’s recall that Eva Braun said during the storming of Berlin, “It’s hard to believe this is happening; it almost makes one question one’s faith in God.” Of course, the difference is that I think she was being sincere.

Q: How can you tell Karl Rove is lying?
A: He’s awake

During the interview, Karl Rove masterfully blamed everything from the “coarseness of society” to the deficit, to so-called “activist judges” to the fact that Bush “had not succeeded in being a uniter...” on the “Democrat” party.

Democrat party. This is a ploy by the Republic party to avoid painting the Democratic party as the party that is Democratic. By changing English usage, as they often do, the spinners at the GOP say “Democrat Party” for a few very important reasons.


  • As I said, the phrase “Democratic Party” insinuates that one party is “democratic” while the other is not. I think part of the reason they can’t stand this is that it’s actually truer than the GOPers would like to believe. But by changing it to purposely not include “Democratic,” there is now by insinuation a sense that the Republic party is now the more “democratic” party. Scary, eh?

  • By changing the English usage to “Democrat Party,” because it’s not the correct usage, it leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth to say or hear it. I believe this is by design, not accident. If every time one hears the name of the Democratic Party it sounds just a little “off,” because it’s misnamed, the very idea of the Democratic Party sounds distasteful and a little “off” as well. There’s a clear advantage to having one’s adversary make people feel a little uncomfortable on the mention of their name. It affects the public. Truly. Really, are the Democrats being painted as “they who cannot be named?”

  • Don’t underestimate the power of sound. “Democrat Party” can be spit out, whereas “Democratic Party” is much softer sounding. I kid you not.



These guys, especially Rove, are scary smart, and are masters of spin and psychological manipulation. Every thing they do is for a reason. Don’t doubt it. Remember “partial-birth abortion?” “The marriage penalty?” Remember how effective those were? Pay attention.


You’ll notice I used “Republic” party to make a point. I think we should use it regularly. For more on the importance of naming, see http://www.democracymeansyou.com/articles/article.php?ID=152

DEMOCRATIC FILLIBUSTER OF JUDGES
At every opportunity, the mouthpieces of the Republic party talk about how Democrats “filibustered the President’s judicial appointees.” More misinformation. More Bush-appointed judges were approved in the last four years than under Clinton. But if they say it, it’s true.

MR. ROVE: The president said during the campaign that in virtually every speech that he gave that he would continue to nominate men and women to the bench who are well-qualified and who would strictly interpret the law, who knew the difference between personal agendas and personal views on the one hand and the strict interpretation of the law.

He believes that he ought to pick people who will impartially apply--interpret and apply the law, not people who have a political agenda or a personal agenda that they want to pursue on the court.


Absolutely untrue, misrepresenting, and manipulative. See our earlier writing on this, http://democracymeansyou.blogspot.com/2004/10/judging-conservative-judges.html

PROTECTING THE WEAK AND VULNERABLE
If you look, whenever Rove (or any Republic spokesman) mentions the “weak and vulnerable,” it’s about fetuses, not the poor or weak. Interesting, yes?


THE LITIGATION ENVIRONMENT
According to the Rove and the Republicans, most economic woes, healthcare costs, business costs, etc., are due to either taxation or litigation. They rarely acknowledge either the usefulness of litigation, or address the overuse of litigation by both themselves when convenient, or the corporate community as a regular way of doing business and intimidating competitors.

The truth is that health care is skyrocketing as much from litigation as it is from prescription drug gouging. And this year, the Republic party gave a huge boon to the pharmaceutical companies by disallowing negotiation of drug prices by Medicare.

The true focus on “litigation” and “trial lawyers” is an attempt to reduce the financial base of the Democratic party. The Democratic party receives a huge amount of donations from trial lawyers; the huge base of donations the Republic party gets from corporations (who are the ones that trial lawyers sue for negligence most of the time) is offset by a huge base of donations to the Democratic party from trial lawyers. Rove and gang know that by limiting litigation winnings, they can limit the donations to the DNC.

Don’t fall for it. Just remember “Erin Brockovich.” These are the lawsuits the Republic party is trying to limit. Nice, eh?

SOCIAL SECURITY
Just about everything Rove implies about Social Security is misrepresentative. Of course, would you expect any less? http://www.democracymeansyou.com/articles/article.php?ID=204

CHANGING THE TONE IN WASHINGTON
(Being a divider, not a uniter)
To hear Rove or any Republic operative tell it, this is entirely the fault of the Dems. Rove was, as usual, blaming the Democrats, this time with an anecdote apparently about Tom Daschle, implying that the President was trying to make unity but Daschle was two faced.

MR. ROVE: Well, it's part of the process. Look, I'll tell you. It's been an interesting experience for those of us who came up from Texas. I remember well after 9/11 sitting with the president and a leader of the Democratic Party talking about the economic stimulus package. The president said, "Look, our economy's been hit hard on 9/11. We need to do something to jump start our economy. You know, my advisors at the Council of Economic Advisors tell me the number one thing we can do to jump start the economy is A." And this Democrat leader said, "Well, Mr. President, I can't get the votes for A, but I can get the votes for B." And the president said--listened to him and several days later laid out his package and included as one of the principle elements of it B. And that Democrat leader immediately went out and criticized it. And, you know, I was angry at the time. I remember the president saying, "Look, that's the way the town works. Let it go."


Democrats—and others—need to fight this misinformation tooth and nail, and come out loudly with the truth in ways that are just as concise and catchy. We need to call the liars to the carpet in public. Over and over and over.