Saturday, December 18


Texas is full of loonies, and I don't mean just Republicans. I refer to the pathetically mentally ill women who kill their children because they're trying to "save them from sin" or from a sinful world. These are unspeakable tragedies, not just for the children but for their mothers as well.

Now that I've officially branded myself as one of the demonic leftists who have some compassion, and thus culpability, for these murdering moms and their despicable acts, permit me to question why the very communities, families, and churches that are harshest in condemning these women fail to recognize their own contributions to the problem.

When we lived in rural Arkansas the precious wife of the pastor of a local non-denominational charismatic church called me one day in confidence. Her newborn was suffering from an elevated bilirubin count (jaundice), and she was getting increasingly worried as his condition failed to improve. She was aware that all our five children had experienced the same thing, and that our oldest had become slightly brain-damaged and partially paralyzed as a result (not for lack of medical help, but as a result of bad doctoring), leading us to develop a certain knowledge and expertise of our own on the subject. The reason for her call soon became clear: her husband's congregation, believing prayer to be the only correct action, would look upon her critically if she sought medical help for her infant son. Her husband, the pastor, and his family were also opposed.

What she wanted from me was validation in doing just that. She knew I was a so-called "spirit-filled Christian" and was desperate for a like-minded mother to tell her to get the lead out and get expert medical aid for her child.

If that baby, as a result of lack of treatment, had died, become retarded, or experienced any of the other tragic consequences of unrelieved high bilirubin levels, I would have likened that story to that of Andrea Yates or Dena Schlosser. I would have blamed her family and congregation every much as the mother, if not more so.

Prayer doesn't work miracles. God works miracles, and we petition Him to use His power on our behalf THROUGH our prayers. I'm a firm believer in the "wonder-working power" of our Lord. I have reason to be. If I keep on with this blog, sooner or later I'm bound to recount some of the amazing miracles our family has experienced, and by "miracle," I do mean "unable to be explained by science or reason." But having said that, I must state, with emphasis, that nowhere in The Bible does God indicate that His children should just make prayer or reliance on Him a panacea for everything. We're not told to quit our jobs and rely on God to put food on the table. We're not instructed to become irresponsible robots doing nothing to improve our lives or the world, trusting in God to do all the heavy lifting. On the contrary, we're supposed to be workers, doers, laboring TOGETHER with God, supported by Him in our endeavors but not supplanted by Him.

Yeah. Conservatism sure is "compassionate." More likely, "hypocritical." Andrea Yates was a well-documented sicko, yet her self-righteous husband sought no help for her and offered no protection for his at-risk children. Is he in jail? Is he ostracized for life? No, he's free and experiencing the "love and support" of his fellows, seeking a new wife and more children.

Is this the new conservative mantra? Not "kill a Commie for Christ," but "kill a baby to prove the power of prayer" and then execute the poor demented mother or lock her away for life. Seek professional help to prevent a tragedy? Hell no! After all, everyone knows that psychiatrists and medical doctors are only for heathens and going to one demonstrates a lack of faith.

UPDATE: A couple of e-mails have persuaded me that I should state emphatically that I don't endorse letting child-killers of any ilk get a "get-out-of-trouble-free" card. My points in this post were that (1) others share culpability, and (2) that the conservative/Republican religion crowd are first to cry for the heads of these women, while fully supporting and endorsing the institutions that first inspired these horrendous acts through false or misleading teaching, then failed to assist them and their children.


Oh dear. Thanks to Atrios (look at the Social Security Wall of Shame at the top), I've become aware that my hometown Congressman, Democrat Allen Boyd of Florida, has stepped forward to support Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.

I must have about 150 relatives (I'm only counting the close ones) in his district, besides being a family friend of the Democratic mayor of its second largest city. Six of them will be arriving Sunday to spend Christmas with us in Dallas.

You can just bet he'll be hearing from all of them, if I have to write the letters myself.

THERE IS NO SOCIAL SECURITY CRISIS. Only when lumped in with other entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid is there a problem. SOCIAL SECURITY is one of the greatest achievements of modern American politics -- IT WORKS. Paul Krugman points out that where it's been tried, privatization hasn't.

UPDATE: Thinking of this bozo reminded me of his predecessor Earl Hutto, Democratic Congressman from the same district for 16 years (till 1995). Earl was a close friend of my dad's. I'll never forget the time he stopped by Mama and Daddy's riverfront weekend home to visit on his way to a major political gathering. Earl fell off the dock, completely drenching his suit, and had to wear Daddy's "fish camp" duds to his speech. Didn't bother him a'tall.

Earl, I'm waiting to hear from you about this manufactured Social Security crisis. You're still highly respected in the district -- denounce this quisling now, please.


Moe Blues of Bad Attitudes has a plan for making America competitive that BushCo would certainly embrace if they could get away with it.


Happened to hear Michael Medved today insist that abortions have decreased under King George II. Wonder where he gets his information?

If I hear one more right-wing pundit screed against Democrats trying to destroy Christmas and Christians, I'm going to do something desperate.

For the past three days I've been closeted in a darkened windowless video edit suite with a devout Roman Catholic (female) and two verging-on-middle-age male agnostics. The only ones who respect, and delight in, Christmas are the Catholic and myself (a Baptist), both Democrats and Kerry voters. The two agnostics are passionate Bush supporters.

I am unaware of a single Democratic Party initiative to undermine or eliminate Christmas. But I do acknowledge that two members of my family and two of my closest friends are Jewish and that I believe both courtesy and enlightenment dictate that I should be respectful of and interested in their traditions as well as my own. Yes, we're probably the only house on the street to have both a menorah and a Christmas tree in the window -- so what? It's our house.

Government buildings and taxpayer moneys, in my view, are analogous to a multi-cultural home. If the only ones who are welcome are Christians, then why should the others be required to help pay the mortgage?


Won’t be home for Christmas,
Back-door draft is here.
We were snowed and buffaloed
By Bush election cheer.

Now I’m just a pawn in
Bush and Cheney’s schemes,
The end of my enlistment
Is only in my dreams.

Friday, December 17


I've been fuming ever since I heard heard that Bush was awarding the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Young King George's fiddlers three: Tenet, Bremer and Kerik. Three long, intense, exhausting days in post-production have discouraged me from posting about it, but it's OK -- Bob Herbert is on the job:

This administration has many things on its mind besides the welfare of overstretched, ill-equipped G.I.'s dodging bombers and snipers in Iraq. In addition to the inauguration, which will cost tens of millions of dollars, Mr. Bush is busy with his obsessive campaign against "junk and frivolous lawsuits," his effort to further lighten the tax load on the nation's wealthiest individuals and corporations, and his campaign to cut the legs from under the proudest achievement of the New Deal, Social Security.

So much for America's wartime priorities.

Even domestic security gets short shrift. During the Republican convention, Mr. Bush said, "I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country." Try squaring that with the Bernard Kerik fiasco, in which the administration's background check of its candidate for the nation's ultimate domestic security post was handled with the same calamitous incompetence as the intelligence effort that led to the war in Iraq.

Thursday, December 16


More great stuff about Jesus and Bush:

Remember during the 2000 campaign when Bush said Jesus Christ was his chief political influence? When you look at the things Bush has done as president, you can see how empty that claim is.

It was Jesus who said that "it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" and deemed "the love of money" as "the root of all evil."

It was Jesus who tossed the moneychangers out of the temple, and flatly said that one "cannot serve both God and Mammon."

It was Jesus who turned a few loaves and fishes into enough food to feed the multitude who gathered to hear him preach him the Sea of Galilee, and didn't care who got fed.

It was Jesus who warned about the people who make a big show of their faith on Sunday morning and are less than godly the rest of the week. "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them," warned Jesus.

When you strip the teachings of Christ down to the essentials, they are about love for your fellow man and about an active display of that love. That is precisely what is lacking from the version of Christianity that currently controls the Republican Party,
If there was a real push for moral values, George W. Bush wouldn't be president. The real value that Bush and his staunchest supporters seem to believe in is as long as someone other than them gets screwed, all their policies are good. Let Social Security be destroyed. Let the poor pay more taxes. Let some other family's son get blown to bits in Iraq. Love, tolerance and helping your neighbor is a sucker's game. Acquiring and maintaining power is all that matters.
That President Bush can wrap the most reactionary policies in American history in the cloak of Christianity is a perversion of the central tenets of that faith. That he can get away with it is even worse.


Please read this AWESOME discourse on Jesus' revolutionary social/political teachings:

Today we can draw on the cumulative historical experience of nonviolent social struggle. But the spirit, the thrust, the surge for creative transformation that is the ultimate principle of the universe-this is the same one we see incarnated in Jesus. Freed from literalistic legalism, his teaching reads like a practical manual for empowering the powerless to seize the initiative even in situations impervious to change.

To risk confronting the Powers with such clown-like vulnerability, to affirm at the same time our own humanity and that of those we oppose, to dare to draw the sting of evil by absorbing it-such behavior is unlikely to attract the faint of heart. But to people dispirited by the enormity of the injustices that crush us and the intractability of those in positions of power, Jesus' words beam hope across the centuries. We need not be afraid. We can assert our human dignity. We can lay claim to the creative possibilities that are still ours, burlesque the injustice of unfair laws, and force evil out of hiding from behind the facade of legitimacy.

Welcome A Progressive Christian to the blogroll!

I knew there were more of us out there.

Tuesday, December 14


Interesting newly discovered blog. A former GOP activist bares his soul (and in my opinion, deserves a welcome redemption).

You see, thanks to Republican brainwashing I believed the lies Rush Limbaugh had told me about their positions. I believe in fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and personal freedom. It turns out the Democratic Party is the only party representing those values. Republicans say they are, but it's just another sleazy lie. Republicans are the ones responsible for the current deficits, Republicans are the ones leaving corporations unaccountable, Republicans are the ones taking away my freedoms and liberties via the Patriot Act.
The right knows it can misrepresent any policy that's bad for ordinary Americans into a reason to keep the establishment in power. Observe the following...
Problem: With total Republican control of all three branches of government, never in our history has this nation been so in debt.
Right Wing Lie: Shamelessly exploit 9/11
The Republican Party is a cancer, and the populace of this nation must rise up and stop them.

This is just one person, but "from a single acorn, a mighty oak did grow."

Thank God for serious, courageous, independent thinkers.

Monday, December 13


Okay, I've read enough mainstream press recently to realize that non-Christians, or even non-evangelical Christians, don't understand the "faith versus works" debate. So here's my attempt at explaining it as simply as I can:

The New Testament Gospels center around the life, origin, body and teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus the Nazarene is declared the Messiah, the Son of God, the completion of God's revelation of His nature and the physical, earthly incarnation of the Word of God (His ultimate messenger to mankind). The Acts of the Apostles are a history of the early Church, starting with Christ's ascension into the Heavens after His resurrection, and his admonitions to His followers. The Epistles (most written by Paul) are lessons to the Church and the faithful (early Christians) on the behavior expected by and aligned with God and His plan for humanity. In succeeding books in the New Testament we find Peter, James, John and other apostles revealing their knowledge of God's will for the Church (I should explain that "the Church" is defined in the N.T. as the Body of Christ, those followers of Christ who are born again of the Holy Spirit, that is, have repented of their sins and accepted the grace of God's forgiveness and therefore redemption, or covering, for those sins).

Most world religions require some kind of valiant effort on behalf of the petitioner to reach "paradise," "nirvana," or otherwise called salvation. Christianity is unique in that its God provides to His children His own solution: it requires of the petitioner only a confession of one's personal sin or inadequacy in the face of God's law and an acceptance of the gift of grace, or God's favor. In the Old Testament God required a sacrifice of blood (the blood of lambs was especially well received) to cover or atone for sin. In the New Testament Jesus Christ was revealed as God's ultimate sacrifice on behalf of mankind, His only Son given up voluntarily (both by God and by Jesus himself) to atone for man's transgressions. That is, Christ died bleeding on the cross, He was the "lamb of God," His suffering offered to cover the sins of mankind throughout the ages. All that is required for an individual's salvation is to acknowledge and accept His sacrifice, and one thing more: to trust God with one's life, to put oneself into His hands. As The Good Book says, "The devil himself believes, and trembles." In other words, knowledge in the mind is not sufficient; trust, or faith, is required to complete the transaction. And what is faith? Acknowlegement, with actions supporting it, that the unseen is as real, powerful, and motivating to the believer as the seen.

Now to works. James says, "Be ye doers of The Word, and not hearers only" and "Faith without works is dead." He goes on to explain that BELIEF is not faith until it is "has legs" or is put into practice. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" Satan knows the truth, but is not willing to align his will with God, the reason for his fall from Heaven. The man or woman who believes but does not practice Christianity is as doomed, or maybe more so, than the unbeliever. "What doth it profit a man, my brethren, though a man say he have faith, and not works? can faith save him?" And "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Some evanglical Christians remember, and despise, the 19th century Christian movement in the United States and elsewhere that emphasized making progress in the social teachings of Christ -- "Give unto any one who asks of you"; "Turn the other cheek"; "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God"; and "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To care for the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted before the world." Today, many enjoy a campaign of erasing the "spots" not in themselves, but in others, but are not too willing to care for the widows and orphans.

For many of us who continue to believe that the entire New Testament is our faith guide, and not just the Old Testament (which is described within the Bible as God's attempt to train a nation who would understand His nature and be prepared to accept His only Son as final revelation), the Christian right emphasis on conversion to Christianity and (primarily sexual) moral behavior neglects the principle of discipleship, to which a great deal of the New Testament is devoted. Discipleship, obviously, is training in actually FOLLOWING Christ's teachings, not just blindly worshipping Him while rejecting His leadership. As disciples of Christ, if we have faith in Him, we believe that the results of our obedience to His teachings are up to Him and not subject to our re-evaluation.

When right-wing Christian activists justify their political agenda by citing Christian values and Biblical teachings, I cringe. Sexual "misbehavior," which seems to be their primary target, is definitely addressed in The Bible. It is lumped together with the sins of lying, stealing, idolatry, etc. It is never intimated that sexual misbehavior is in some kind of premier category of sin.

Here is how Jesus himself defined His message:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind, and all your soul; and love your neighbor as yourself."

You simply can't accept Christ without accepting His Father's teachings. And the Bible, both Old and New Testament, makes clear that to God the Father, faith means believing Him. Abraham believed God's promise that He would give him and Sarah a son though they were extremely elderly and beyond human child-bearing years, "and it was accounted to him for righteousness." David sinned but was beloved of God because David believed God whenever and whatever God spoke, even when he didn't obey Him. It was also made plain that David truly loved God. I get that, and I can't explain my whole life in a few words, because I do too.

The Republican right claims righteousness because of their alignment of "values" with what they interpret of the Scriptures. But they are miserably deficient in the areas of sincere caring for the plight of widows and orphans, of peacemaking, which the Scriptures clearly identify as the issues closest to God's heart other than those associated with our trust in Him. It's obvious to me, through my studies and, probably more to the fact, through my prayers, that our trust is important to Him because He loves us so much and knows He knows what's best -- but He won't impose it upon us. He wants us to want Him.

I've taught my five children from their infancy, according to my own reading of the Scriptures (unlike that of so many commentators, I've actually read The Book several times all the way through, participated lifelong in any intense Bible studies I could, helped The Sage through seminary, and outlined my personal Bible in twenty-two colors according to subject) that God is not a meanie authoritarian or prude but, aside from His being the Creator, is the coolest of dudes, not just instructing us on what is RIGHT but on what is SMART. It's my Christian orientation that has made me a lifelong Democrat and progressive, because that is where I find the social activism most closely aligned to my understanding of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).

Bottom line is, if the people of the Christian "right" don't act like Jesus would, it's up to us Christian Democrats to insist on it. And remind them WHY.

Hope this helps some. Though mightily motivated, a mom of five with a big executive job still has to cook dinner. And I always take advantage of the lure to the good cooking smells to preach and teach to those hovering.

If you're not reading Eric Alterman, you should be:

When the next attack on the United States comes, Americans will wonder just what the hell was occupying our government as it ignored the vulnerability of our chemical plants, nuclear plants, ports, and food supply in order to waste lives and resources chasing chimerical enemies in Iraq and creating new terrorist enemies across the Middle East.  As currently constituted, this administration’s effort to protect us is often little more than another pork barrel for Republican members and senators to fund unneeded and wasteful projects while our true vulnerabilities go ignored.

Sen. John McCain has "no confidence" in Rummy.


This is priceless.


This SFGate article provides a simplified Biblical context for the Great Gay Debate and other "moral values"/"Christian right" issues, and is worth a read, especially by the theologically challenged:

At issue is a question that probes the core of Christianity: How literally should Scripture be interpreted?

Fundamentalists maintain that every scintilla of Scripture reveals divine instruction. They are propelled by this adherence to a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible -- remember that they view straight people who have sex outside of marriage with a similar moral reprobation.

For these believers, the church loses its bearings when individual Christians pick and choose which passages to follow and which to jettison -- or as philosopher/rocker Bob Seger would say, "what to leave in, what to leave out."

But over time, nearly all Christian churches have opted to disregard certain Old and New Testament prohibitions -- against women speaking or appearing without their heads covered in church, for example -- as applicable to the year A.D. 60 but outdated two millennia later.

For centuries, Christians who practiced slavery cited biblical support, noting that Paul explicitly urged slaves to "obey your masters," although only the KKK fringe of the Christian right would today argue for reinstituting the slave trade.
In a perfect world, perhaps, political liberals would honor the right of conservative Christians to morally oppose certain types of sexual activity, much as they respect the right of vegans to morally oppose eating animal products. And conservative Christians would recognize the difference between holding personal moral beliefs and requiring their government to legally impose them on everyone.

For now, however, a perfect world seems rather far away.



American bishops have made a wrongheaded decision to cut back their auditing of local dioceses' compliance with the church's new child protection measures. The bishops concluded that 90 percent of dioceses had been examined, found in compliance and can "self-report" next year. The auditors will focus on dioceses that are not carrying out the safeguards fully. This easing of scrutiny hardly jibes with pledges of ongoing accountability.

Well, there're only so many hours in the day and only so many parishioner offerings to pay for the really IMPORTANT work of the Church. Who's got time to check that kids aren't being molested by their priests when a much more urgent priority is identifying pro-choice politicians in the parish so they can be denied communion?


Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter on the Oil-For-Food scandal:

United States Senators, led by the Republican Norm Coleman, have launched a crusade of sorts, seeking to "expose" the oil-for-food programme implemented by the United Nations from 1996 until 2003 as the "greatest scandal in the history of the UN". But this posturing is nothing more than a hypocritical charade, designed to shift attention away from the debacle of George Bush's self-made quagmire in Iraq, and legitimise the invasion of Iraq by using Iraqi corruption, and not the now-missing weapons of mass destruction, as the excuse.

The oil-for-food programme was derived from the US-sponsored Security Council resolution, passed in April 1995 but not implemented until December 1996. During this time, the CIA sponsored two coup attempts against Saddam, the second, most famously, a joint effort with the British that imploded in June 1996, at the height of the "oil for food" implementation negotiations. The oil-for-food programme was never a sincere humanitarian relief effort, but rather a politically motivated device designed to implement the true policy of the United States - regime change.
The corruption evident in the oil-for-food programme was real, but did not originate from within the United Nations, as Norm Coleman and others are charging. Its origins are in a morally corrupt policy of economic strangulation of Iraq implemented by the United States as part of an overall strategy of regime change. Since 1991, the United States had made it clear - through successive statements by James Baker, George W Bush and Madeleine Albright - that economic sanctions, linked to Iraq's disarmament obligation, would never be lifted even if Iraq fully complied and disarmed, until Saddam Hussein was removed from power. This policy remained unchanged for over a decade, during which time hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result of these sanctions.

While money derived from the off-the-book sale of oil did indeed go into the purchase of conventional weapons and the construction of presidential palaces, the vast majority of these funds were poured into economic recovery programmes that saw Iraq emerge from near total economic ruin in 1996. By 2002, on the eve of the US-led invasion, Baghdad was full of booming businesses, restaurants were full, and families walked freely along well-lit parks. Compare and contrast that image with the reality of Baghdad today, and the ultimate corruption that was the oil-for-food programme becomes self-evident.

UPDATE: Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations (2000-2003) Paul Heinbecke warns Americans against a rush to judgment.

Sunday, December 12


"Differentiation" has been a buzzword in business strategy and discourse for such a long time, at least a decade, that it amazes me that the DLC, the most pro-business of all Democratic organizations, hasn't realized its relevance to the electoral process.

Differentiation refers to the pursuit of market or service offerings that distinguish one competitor from another. Without differentiation, all products and services become commodities indistinguishable except by price. For example, sand is pretty much sand. Unless one aggregates company can offer an additional value beyond his competitors (e.g., product quality, superior service, personal relationship, transportation savings, technology advantages), the product is subject to a downward price spiral as industry participants are forced to compete solely on price. As you would expect, there's not much opportunity for differentiation in the aggregates industry. That's not true in the politics business.

The DLC has been acting like a sand salesman, telling Americans that the Democratic Party is not so different from the Republican, except that we'll do it more competently. (Not great since 51% of us think that to say the president isn't competent is to empower our enemies.) As an afterthought, we say that we'll see that more of the profit goes into the people's pockets (or programs) than they will. That's not an especially provocative value offering given our credibility problem for doing so. Republicans have, for decades, been perceived as the party of fiscal responsibility. Now we obviously have an opportunity here, given the Bush administration's flagrant disregard for Republican history and tradition and Clinton's well-remembered success in turning deficits into surpluses and overseeing a renewed American prosperity that reached both the low-income electorate as well as the wealthy.

But it's not enough of a differentiation. It's not a powerful enough (or believable enough, at this time) argument to persuade voters to contract with us instead of them.

We can't agree with all of Bush's policies -- the Iraq war, for example -- or buckle under to his agenda -- Social Security and income tax reforms -- and expect the voters to see the difference between us, even if we say "we'll do it more competently." We must point out our ideological differences, position ourselves as the defenders of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, educate the populace on precisely how a successful Bush agenda will affect them and the nation. THAT'S the narrative that will grip the electorate. We must create an atmosphere of urgency and crisis, not, as the Republicans have done, about bogus threats, but about the very real threat the Bush agenda presents to average Americans.

If we're not DIFFERENT in strategic, ideological and fundamental ways from the Republican Party, we might as well hang it up and run candidates as moderate Republicans.


Great read -- a speech by Bill Moyer warning of the dangers to the environment by apocalyptic theology and its adherents.

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the oval office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts...So what does this mean for public policy and the environment?

UPDATE: Don't miss this other Bill Moyers story. Like another distinguished media retiree, Walter Cronkite, Moyers isn't silencing himself just because he's signing off PBS' Now. "I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee," says Moyers. "We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don't have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people."


Political Strategy updates us on the hypocrisies evidenced in Inaugural ball planning and the redecorating of the Lincoln Bedroom.

Gilded crowns and royal colors strike an unusual note in a house carefully stage-managed to symbolize the democracy. Neither element would have been acceptable to George Washington, who was advised to surround himself only with things that were "substantially good and majestically plain." Eagles were fine in "the President's House." Allusions to monarchy would have been anathema.


Hearings on Election Problems Begin.

HOWARD DEAN will be on Meet The Press this morning.


(With apologies to Country Joe)

Well come on, all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam's telling lies again,
Figured out that to fight a war
All you have to do is send the poor.
While Georgie and his buddies laugh and feast
They'll send you to the Middle East.

And it's one, two, three, what were you voting for?
Oil profits and endless war?
Did you think there was something more?
And it’s five, six, seven, let the theme reverberate:
“Muslims, gays, and liberal states,
Whoopee! We got lots to hate.”

Come conservatives throughout the land,
Now’s the time to take a stand,
Get it into liberal weenies’ heads
That the only good Iraqi is one who’s dead.
Raze their cities, destroy their lives
And convert ‘em all to Jesus Christ.

And it’s one, two, three, who were you voting for?
One deserter and a chickenhawk?
Who else could win Iraq?
And it’s five, six, seven, let the theme reverberate:
“Muslims, gays, and liberal states,
Whoopee! We got lots to hate.”

On 9/11 the country changed
And some of us became quite deranged.
With fears abounding from out and in
We launched a crusade to battle sin.
We all see something’s going wrong,
It’s about the time to drop a bomb.

And it’s one, two, three, what were you voting for?
Don’t you see or don’t you give a damn
‘Bout the lessons of Vietnam?
And it’s five, six, seven, let the theme reverberate:
“Muslims, gays, and liberal states,
Whoopee! We got lots to hate.”

-- Motherlode and Silmarill, 12/10/04


BOP News has an interesting discussion on the DNC chairmanship. Seems former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk has the inside track.

Tell me no. The man's a charmer and a terrific speaker. End of story. There is nothing new here, not in terms of leadership, ideas, unique appeal, and certainly not in courage of conviction, which in Ron Kirk's case blows with the prevailing winds. We're talking Republican lite, victory for the DLC, and a disaster for the Democratic Party if Kirk wins. He brings nothing more to the table than old-style Chicago machine politics. As Dallas mayor he was the willing captive of rich business interests. The qualities that have helped Ron succeed thus far -- his urbanity, sophistication, and crony insiderism -- are precisely what disqualifies him as a populist. There's no one more GQ than Ron. He'll go over big (not) in the rural South and Midwest.

This is the 21st century, folks. And Howard Dean is the only viable candidate, in my mind, who gets that. Think Reagan after losing the nomination in 1976. He was too radical, too factional to win, right? Yet he won the presidency in 1980 and remade the Republican Party.

Dean can do the same. The nation is too polarized for a DLC-er to do the Dems any good. We desperately need someone who will hammer the Repugs on every single issue and visibly and vigorously fight for the common man. Dean's post-primary activities have been admirable and impassioned AND successful. He proved he wasn't just in the race for ego -- he wants to see the nation, and the party, back on track towards progress, not regression. He's the man for the job.

Besides, the media owes him big-time, they know it, and they secretly feel guilty about it. He just might get some mileage out of it.

UPDATE: For more about Ron Kirk, see this and this.

UPDATE: Just thought of another important reason to elect Howard Dean as DNC Chair: we desperately need a foil, or more accurately a cattle prod, for Harry Reid. His fellow Dem Senators sure don't look up to the job.