Cause for Hope

Did anyone watch Jim Webb and Jon Tester on Meet the Press this morning? They sounded very, very good, especially on issues of economic fairness.


Comments: 23


I didn’t see them, but welcome back.

I know you have lots of work to do, but I wondered if your hiatus didn’t have something to do with those J-E-T-S….


Sure did and they both did well. Neither of them fell into any rhetorical traps that Timmy threw at them. They both came out in support of the working man andt eh middle class. The both supported fair trade and investigating the effects that globalization has had on all working individuals around the world and they both support a multifaceted approach to the Iraqi war, global terrorism and the Iraeli/Arab problem. They both have their strengths with Tester’s being the agricultral industry and Webb’s being international relations. I had my doubts about Webb in the begining but let me tell you he is awesome.


Watching the McScreamer group right now, and good ol’ Tony is the only one of the bunch who thinks we won’t begin pulling out troops in four to six months. He is such an alternate reality kind of person.

Pat Buchanan just said Trent Lott got a bad rap.

Ha! Somone’s cell phone just rang on the set.

I remember now why I quit watching this show.


Yes, it was an interesting Press the Meat for a change, although, sorry Candy, I think you’d have to add one or both of these new Senators to Fat Tony’s group in that they didn’t come across in support for pulling troops out of Iraq in 4 to 6 months. The economic populism was encouraging.


I was just on the Creators web site, reading Scheer, Solomon, Cockburn, et al, and I am afraid that they are right; we aren’t going to see anything dramatic in the way of reform or significant troop withdrawals anytime soon.

My personal prediction for the next session, for what it’s worth:

(1) We will see the minimum wage raised, not to a livable wage, but it may have a slight trickle up effect.
(2) We will see slight troop reductions in Iraq, but not the mass exodus many of us are hoping for.
(3) Committees wll be formed to look at health care reform, but absolutely nothing of significance will come of it. That will have to wait until 08 is in the bag, if then.
(4) There may be some sort of campaign funding reform bandied about, but it will have loopholes you could drive a Hummer limo through, and will just cause the money to go underground, if it is even passed.
(5) On the positive side, no extreme nuts will be appointed to the Supreme Court. I feel almost 90% confidence in this.
(6) Some sort of scaling back of the Patriot Act will be attempted, but probably nothing meaningful. Will we get habeus corpus back? I’d say that’s 50/50.
(7) A major positive, we should be seeing fewer attacks on medical marijuana and right to die laws, and less danger of any sort of sweeping federal legislation against a woman’s right to choose.

Sorry to be so negative, but as thrilled as I’ve been with the election results, I never did believe we’d even get most of what we wanted, or even half. Certainly not everything.

Molly Ivins column really did brighten my day, though. If she’d run for Pres, I could seriously get on that campaign bandwagaon. 🙂


Oh, and I’d forgotten that Rummy’s replacement was deeply involved in the Iran Contra mess. Lurvely.


Let’s remember that the dems didn’t get a veto proof majority, so there’s going to be limits on what can be done. Truth be told, all they really can do is investigate, tho I doubt even Bush has the gonads to veto a minimum wage increase. He would veto any attempt to mitigate the damage from the patriot acts or to return habeas corpus. John Dean was on Olbermann friday and made a convincing case the best hope for habeas corpus is in the courts, cause it is rather blatantly unconstitutional, n shrub can’t veto a judge, much as he’d like to.
And besides that, I’d like to see the dems focus on being the opposition party for once. It might just teach the class of 07 the value of having balls. Plus real investigations will just help show the country just how staggeringly corrupt these fuckers are, and maybe help make the public react strongly enough to push real reform. The only way we’re going to get genuine campaign finance reform is if congress feels like they won’t keep their jobs without it. Showing how corrupt the system is will, hopefully, piss off the public enough to get something done. Me, I think the simplest solution is to force tv stations to give up an alloted amount of ad time in election years to each candidate who qualifies for matching funds. Those bastards get the public airwaves for pennies on the dollar anyway, fuck their ad revenues. (And yes, I realize the propoganda campaign that would be waged against such an idea makes it nearly impossible it’d happen.)


(6) Some sort of scaling back of the Patriot Act will be attempted, but probably nothing meaningful. Will we get habeus corpus back? I’d say that’s 50/50.

Carl Levin is already making some interesting noises about new legislation designed to . . . uh . . . re-constitutionalize American law. But I think diffbrad’s right on this one — MCA and all its attendant raping and pillaging will have to be smacked down in the courts.

Molly Ivins column really did brighten my day, though. If she’d run for Pres, I could seriously get on that campaign bandwagaon.

Actually, I was thinking the other day that a Wes Clark – Ann Richards ticket would have been nice if only Richards hadn’t, y’know, died. But I could get behind Clark-Ivins ’08.


you know, Molly Ivins reminds me of Ann Richards a lot. Smart, smart-aleck, and dead-on correct, almost all of the time. I love Molly ivins.

you guys are right about the courts having to deal with the constitutional mess, but dammit, I want the Dems in congress to try! I want them to put forth legislation, and let Bush veto it, for all the world to see! I want them to show that there really is a difference between the two parties. I don’t care if they can’t get anything passed, if what they are trying to pass is some watered down compromise. I want them to stand up for what is right.

I’ve been a political pragmatist all my adult life, and I even understand Dems in fairly conservative districts who vote for things we don’t like, because it is what the constituents in their districts want, and we do have a representative democracy, after all. But when something is so clearly wrong as the war in Iraq, when our presence there is causing more harm than good, when multitudes are dying, I want them to stand up and do the right thing! Sometimes, as my great granny used to say, you have to let the Divil take the hindmost.


I guess it depends on your expecations. I remain excited, because all I really hoped for in a Democratic midterm win is a halt to the accelerating slide down that famed “slippery slope” to America becoming a corporatist, authoritarian police state where due process is eliminated and rights only belong to those that can afford them. And I remain convinced that, whether or not the power exists to actually roll back the most egregious of legislation from the last six years, they won’t be allowed to make things any worse. As far as Iraq goes, I understand that the congress can’t really force any progress there, but the increasing American casualties will. Look, the “change in tactics” is going to be wholly formulated to get american troops out of combat ops. First, we’ll pull back to “superbases” in the hinterlands to stop the bleeding and then somewhat stealthily we’ll begin drawing down the numbers. Any attempt by the Iraqi government to actually control the Mehdi army or the Badr brigades willl result in Baghdad becoming Sarajevo, and the american’s ain’t gonna stay around for that.

So I remain basically optimistic, except for the middle east and peace in our time. Oh, and one other thing. Before he leaves office, bush/cheney WILL launch a major military attack on Iran. There’s nothing in the world that can stop him, and that’s what ought to be worrying everybody…



As usual I pretty much agree with you mikey, except that I’m not ready to say the tide has genuinely turned yet. I need to see this congress show they’re something more than the previous generation of dem leaders who seem to think the best way to respond to a bullying repub is to bend over and spread their cheeks. Real investigations, big names behind bars, and taking back billions from profiteering military contractors. All of which is quite possible, finally, but I want to see it happen.
The dems need to realize they’ve got an amazing opportunity. The nation’s best interests and their own political interests are in alignment. Republican corruption is literally destroying the american way of life. Using the next two years to show the average voter that corruption is actually worse than they think is arguably more important than an actual legislative agenda. It’ll help them solidify congress, and make it that much harder for saint McCain in 08. And, frankly, unless Gore or Obama get the nod I think the dems don’t have a shot against him, so a stronger hold on congress is especially vital. At this point I don’t see McCain doing much to change course except give the troops armor, which, while wonderful, wouldn’t be nearly as effective as taking them out of the line of fire.
My question for mikey is whether you think they’re really building those megabases in Iraq with the view of eventually giving them up. Not a rhetorical q, you obviously know far more about military matters than I do, but I don’t know that I agree it’s likely.


Well, I guess if the best we can hope for is that the Dems can keep nuts off the Federal courts, keep abortion safe and legal, keep from going further down the road to being a police state, and to slowly untangle ourselves from Iraq, then that ain’t all bad. It’s certainly way better than the alternative. And I am really happy about that.

But I really would like to see some proof that we voted for something, not just against something.

This election was truly a delight, and I’m not unappreciative. Besides, it was such a pleasure to watch the shoe switch to the other foot so swiftly and firmly. Ahhhh…………. the sweet smell of wingnut angst.


Re: Iraq superbases. The world has changed a lot in the last three years, but with bush and cheney hardly noticing. (My belief is) the original intent of the Iraq invasion/occupation was to establish a permanent us military presence on the oil fields of the gulf. The plan was to topple saddam and install a friendly puppet government, build the huge embassy and the military infrastructure and live happily ever after. Sistani outplayed bush and forced elections, and the plan has been a non starter ever since. But in the bubble, denial reigned and they’ve continued to act as if the originally planned outcome was just around the corner. Now, there’s no real hope of a permanent american presence in Iraq, as the american and iraqi publics won’t stand for it. The only iraqis calling for the americans to stay in iraq are the people who’s retention of power requires the american forces.

And now things have come to a head. The militias are driving most of the violence now, instead of the insurgency. The most powerful militias, Mehdi army and Badr brigades are shi’a, although the first is iraqi nationalist/anti iran and the second is a wholly iranian creation. If the iraqi government goes after the militias, the shi’a will take off the gloves and the americans will be in the worst imaginable crossfire, from the sunnis, from the shi’a, from the government forces whose loyalty is to the clerics and parties. So no path forward that doesn’t lead to disaster. This time, the light at the end of the tunnel really is a train…



But if they do manage to start a war with Iran won’t they need those bases as staging areas and a means of some defense of Iraqi oil reserves? I half expect any war with Iran to ultimately be fought in Iraq, at least on the ground, if Bush wants to try and start it while he’s still around. I still have no faith we’ll be out if Iraq before a new president is sworn in.
I just don’t see how we could go to war against Iran without those bases, considering we’d not likely have support from any neighboring countries. Starting shit with Iran is one thing, full blown war without a close by command center and staging area is another. All of which is probably why Cheney’s so amped for bunker busting tactical nukes. Delusions of regime change via air power are sadly plausible. (As an explanation, not as an actual possibility.)


Let’s all chip in and buy Gorgeous George a Playstation 3 and some kick ass war games (like Killzone and Warhawk). If he’s really hitting the sauce, he may mistake the high-res graphics for real-life video footage. Then he can pretend the enemies in the game are Iranians! We need something to keep him distracted for the next couple of years.


For those who may not have seen it, here’s Jim Webb’s op-ed piece, “Class Struggle,” from the Wall Street Journal of 11/15/06.


Good thing is, all the reader responses make sure WSOJ knows — they aren’t buying the class warfare crap. Work harder.


Good thing is, Jim Webb just beat an incumbent GOP Senator who had been considered a front runner for the 2008 Gooper Pretendisential nomination.

Stick that in your crack pipe and smoke it, Gary.


No way — Wall Street Journal readers reacted badly to being challenged to confront issues of class? What’s the opposite of “cognitive dissonance”?


It’s gonna be good to watch some Dems shine for a while after having lurked in the shadows. Bring on the spotlights.


The only bad thing about that Webb piece is that I was not in Connecticut to see the apoplectic look on my wingnut brother’s face when he read it.

I have since received e-mail from him, so he didn’t actually die, in case anyone’s worried about him. I never worry about him. He’s rich, he’s too old for Charlie Rangel’s draft, WTF does he care about anything? He probably voted for Lieberman, too, the stupid git.


Gary, Gary, Gary. Pat and facile, as per usual. By all means work harder, Gary–They sure don’t! That’s your job–to support the upper class!

Below is the note They would include in your holiday card this season if honesty were Their forte (which of course it isn’t, or They’d be just like you or me, instead!).

Just remember that no less a rich person than Warren Buffett noted that there most certainly IS a class war in America and all the West, and that Buffett’s side is winning.

A Note Of Appreciation From The Rich

Let’s be honest: you’ll never win the lottery.

On the other hand, the chances are pretty good that you’ll slave away at some miserable job the rest of your life. That’s because you were in all likelihood born into the wrong social class. Let’s face it — you’re a member of the working caste. Sorry!

As a result, you don’t have the education, upbringing, connections, manners, appearance, and good taste to ever become one of us. In fact, you’d probably need a book the size of the yellow pages to list all the unfair advantages we have over you. That’s why we’re so relieved to know that you still continue to believe all those silly fairy tales about “justice” and “equal opportunity” in America.

Of course, in a hierarchical social system like ours, there’s never been much room at the top to begin with. Besides, it’s already occupied by us — and we like it up here so much that we intend to keep it that way. But at least there’s usually someone lower in the social hierarchy you can feel superior to and kick in the teeth once in a while. Even a lowly dishwasher can easily find some poor slob further down in the pecking order to sneer and spit at. So be thankful for migrant workers, prostitutes, and homeless street people.

Always remember that if everyone like you were economically secure and socially privileged like us, there would be no one left to fill all those boring, dangerous, low-paid jobs in our economy. And no one to fight our wars for us, or blindly follow orders in our totalitarian corporate institutions. And certainly no one to meekly go to their grave without having lived a full and creative life. So please, keep up the good work!

You also probably don’t have the same greedy, compulsive drive to possess wealth, power, and prestige that we have. And even though you may sincerely want to change the way you live, you’re also afraid of the very change you desire, thus keeping you and others like you in a nervous state of limbo. So you go through life mechanically playing your assigned social role, terrified what others would think should you ever dare to “break out of the mold.”

SEE The New World Order letter Naturally, we try to play you off against each other whenever it suits our purposes: high-waged workers against low-waged, unionized against non-unionized, Black against White, male against female, American workers against Japanese against Mexican against…. We continually push your wages down by invoking “foreign competition,” “the law of supply and demand,” “national security,” or “the bloated federal deficit.” We throw you on the unemployed scrap heap if you step out of line or jeopardize our profits. And to give you an occasional break from the monotony of our daily economic blackmail, we allow you to participate in our stage-managed electoral shell games, better known to you ordinary folks as “elections.” Happily, you haven’t a clue as to what’s really happening — instead, you blame “Aliens,” “Tree-hugging Environmentalists,” “Niggers,” “Jews,” “Welfare Queens,” and countless others for your troubled situation.

We’re also very pleased that many of you still embrace the “work ethic,” even though most jobs in our economy degrade the environment, undermine your physical and emotional health, and basically suck your one and only life right out of you. We obviously don’t know much about work, but we’re sure glad you do!

Of course, life could be different. Society could be intelligently organized to meet the real needs of the general population. You and others like you could collectively fight to free yourselves from our domination. But you don’t know that. In fact, you can’t even imagine that another way of life is possible. And that’s probably the greatest, most significant achievement of our system — robbing you of your imagination, your creativity, your ability to THINK and act for yourself.

So we’d truly like to thank you from the bottom of our heartless hearts. Your loyal sacrifice makes possible our corrupt luxury; your work makes our system work. Thanks so much for “knowing your place” — without even knowing it!

Again, thanks so much!
— Rich $cum of America


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