Coup d'état: Republican Style

California Assembly member Ray Haynes (R-Riverside County) admits in an op/ed piece for the Santa Barbara News-Press that the recent recall election was a "bloodless coup" and compares it to the overthrow of Mikhael Gorbachev. It's a pay site, so I'll quote the key parts here:
"When Boris Yeltsin removed Mikhael Gorbachev as president of the Soviet Union, it was hailed as a major change in the direction of that Communist government. Much like the recall in California, the people of Russia rose up against the leaders of the country and, in a bloodless coup, removed the leader of that country."
Disturbingly, Mr. Haynes goes further:
"Well, by analogy, even though California has changed its leader, the communists are still in charge of the California Legislature."
So, let me get this straight.... The Democrats won an election in California fair and square. The Republicans hated the fact that they lost, so they bankroll a "do over."

And who's Un-American?

Coup d'état: Republican Style, Part Duex

It seems the Republican Party is aware that demographic shifts are working against them. "Sore Loserman" my ass! It seems the GOP are up to some big time - and frankly, disturbing - voter fraud and election rigging. The scary details are here.

My question is this: Why did I have to find this story on a U.K. news site? Why, oh why, is the American media ignoring this huge, potentially scandalous, story?

My friends, there's a pattern here; and the argument that the American people will be turned off by any mention of foul play by the GOP needs to stop. This is dangerous terriorty and I am convinced the American people need to be hit over the head with this until they understand exactly what's at stake.

Al Gore won more votes nationally than George W. Bush in 2000; a shady Supreme Court ruling gave Florida's contested electoral votes to Mr. Bush, despite the fact that all signs indicated a Gore victory in the state. Gray Davis is re-elected governor of California in November, 2002 and the Republicans cry and whine for a "do-over" and thus the results of a legitimate election are overturned.

And so, the wrong man was inaugurated on January 20, 2001 and California has made history by kicking its chief executive out of office in mid-term because the Republican Party cried like little babies that they wanted the Governors Mansion.

These are no small matters in our nations history, folks. Howard Dean's motto rings oh so true today. I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!



Springtime for Limbaugh

Via Atrios' Eschaton: Rush sings "I'm a Nazi!" According to one of the commenters at Eschaton, this was put together by a couple of Miami DJ's from real Rush audio clips! Warning: Don't play this at work unless you have headphones, but oh man, you gotta hear it -- preferably really loud.

Mel Brooks must love this one, LMAO funny shit.

NOTE: I'm outta here for the weekend, and though I'll try to post, I'm sure ya'll can hold down the fort. Now, off to the beach I go....


The Ball's In Your Court, Guys
by Hoffmania!

Howard Dean has unveiled his economic plan. The four objectives:
Bring back high-paying jobs
Be a responsible steward of our nation’s finances
Relieve the crushing burdens on American families
Restore fairness as a guiding principle of American life.
And while a particular actor-turned-governor of a west coast state would stop there, Dean goes into quite a bit more detail. Check it out.


lies, damnable lies and statistics

On Tuesday, the day before the campaign's Q3 fundraising filing deadline, Bush and Co. released this statement, as reported on CNN's Inside Politics:
The Bush-Cheney campaign has released its fund-raising totals for the just completed third quarter. The campaign brought in an impressive $49.5 million during the period. That brings the total race since May to almost $84 million. The campaign says it has about $70 million in cash on hand.

Well, who is donating all that cash? According to the campaign, 262,000 people have made donations, representing 99 percent of all the counties in the nation. About 145,000 donors gave $200 or less.
Sounds down-home grassroots, right? Well not so fast.....on the day of the filing, this from Wednesday's Inside Politics:
Of the $49.5 million for the Bush camp raised from July through September, most of it was raked in at events headlined by the president, the vice president, or the first lady. The campaign estimates that 262,000 Americans donated to the reelection effort in the third quarter.

But the super fund-raisers, known as "rangers" and "pioneers," brought in the lion's share of the money. Most of those rangers and pioneers come from the president's home state of Texas.
Sure wish I could show you the graphic -- these folks are responsible for something like 80% of the donations. And remember all those critiques of Gray Davis regarding pay-for-play? Rangers and pioneers in most cases have business before the administration or Congress -- and would it surprise you to learn that they usually get what they want?

In my view, Dean must opt out of matching funds. We can't have Dean -- or the Dem nominee, whomever it may be -- sitting in their home state doing satellite interviews for 4 months and unable to afford a plane ride without suckling at the teat of the DNC. This is the reverse of what the Dean movement, and public financing, are all about. Like it or not, if the Dems use a safety net, we might as well call it a game and go home. Is it even worth the fight if we don't have a shot at winning?

Crossposted at Dean Nation and Daily Kos.



Shriver Obsessed: O'Keeffe & Points West

Thank The Lord that Points West reader Jon Cortez subscribes to Michael Musto's dirt-dishing column in the Village Voice or we never would have known that Lady Maria was one of our biggest -- well, ummm, errr, our thinnest -- fans:
Another tragic heroine in the news, Maria Shriver, is starting to resemble a Georgia O'Keeffe cow skull, and I say that with deep concern. Has marriage to such an exacting Terminazi (who survived all the last-minute slimings mainly because they made Gray Davis look even worse) caused her to starve, not only for attention but for actual food? Would she not kick serious ass if empowered by some samurai swords -- and Ginsu knives?
BACK TO US: Maria, we know you are reading this, and we've heard your cry for help! We understand fans and all, and we respect your obsession, but please, don't become our logo!

OUR LADY, WE HAVE an idea, it's a wild idea, but it just might work! Let's meet at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Sunday, October 26th for some art-shock-therapy -- and then, once you've come face-to-face with your future self -- how's about a nice lunch? Seriously. Our treat.



Dick Facts-Dot-Com & John Waffles-R-Us

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Gephardt launched his bogus DeanFacts.com site? Since then, he's changed the spooky black and red color scheme to soothing grays and blues -- I guess he was scaring those Iowa seniors a little too much -- they gotta be alive to caucus! Well, I've been meaning to blog this for some time, but today I could resist no longer.

Amid reports that Gephardt and Kerry are gonna tag-team-up to bitch-slap Dean around, I can no longer resist. First, this cloying sweetness from the NY Times via the International Herald Tribune:
Perhaps it was not so surprising to see Representative Dick Gephardt of Missouri and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts arm in arm, all smiles, whispering in each other's ears on stage at the Democratic debate last week in Phoenix, Arizona.

These two contenders for the U.S. presidency, who for months have been eclipsed by the surging campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, have been fairly chummy of late - at Dean's expense.

At a debate two weeks ago in New York, for example, when Gephardt questioned Dean's support for Medicare, it was Kerry who defended Gephardt's tactic.

Aides to both men say there is no overt conspiracy, but they acknowledge that at a staff level, the Gephardt and Kerry campaigns are more than friendly: They are sharing intelligence about Dean that helps fuel each other's attacks on him. On Sept. 30, for instance, the two campaigns fired off press releases within 18 minutes of each other referring to a column in The Boston Globe critical of Dean.

Shortly before, according to Steve Elmendorf, Gephardt's chief of staff, he and Jim Jordan, Kerry's campaign manager, told each other of the column by e-mail. "Either I sent it to Jim, or Jim sent it to me, I can't remember," Elmendorf said.
Telling, eh? They are in such frequent contact that Steve can't remember who sent what to whom -- guess they are kind of getting desperate.

For a bit of perspective, take a look at DickFacts.com by Jeremy Falcone, which sports the tagline "Because honest campaigning sucks."
We begin with a story.

Once upon a time there was a man named Dick. Dick ran for President in 1988, and changed a lot of his political views to try and win. Dick lost. A few years later, Dick ran for President again. Dick was losing again.

Another man, we'll call him Howard, had come from nowhere to be the leader of the pack. Dick was mad.

So Dick made a website about Howard that was mean, untrue and, well, kind of stupid. The website was stupid for three reasons :

1) The website took stuff way out of context and made Howard look like someone he wasn't.

2) Dick himself had a long and well-documented (thank you LexisNexis!) history of changing his views, the very thing he was accusing Howard of doing

3) This election was the most important in decades. Howard and Dick were on the same side. By being mean to Howard, Dick was making another man, we'll call him Karl George Cheney, real happy.
He goes on to list a great volume of things that Dick has flip-flopped and waffled over lo! these many years. And, unlike Gep's dumb Medi-scare site, he does it with a great sense of humor. Hey, at least that Kerry supporter's WafflePoweredHoward site is kinda fun! And you have to check out Jeremy's Dean/Dick integrity meter!

Speaking of Kerry, his (shock!) waffles are showing too. Anna over at Dean Nation takes Kerry to task over his rather blatant hypocrisy on a host of issues, and here's this on Kerry's Dean attack at last week's debate regarding seniors, Medicare, drug benefits, and the cigarette tax in Vermont:
Guess who voted to authorise a $130 BILLION dollar reduction in Medicare over a five year period in 1997? Guess who's "yes" vote increased Medicare copays by about $60 per month over five years? Guess who voted to authorise a $13 billion dollar decrease in Medicaid spending? [...]

In 1997, Kerry voted yes on HR2015 - the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. This bill increased medicare copays, reduced government funding of Medicare over a five year period, and also decreased medicaid spending.

Oh, but I haven't gotten to the good part yet. The bill also gave $24 billion to the states for health insurance for low income uninsured children -- (I guess to make up for cutting them from the national rolls) -- partially financed by a gradual 15-cent increase in the tobacco tax!! BWAHAHAHA! And Kerry's going to attack Dean for expanding health benefits in Vermont via increasing the cigarette tax! He's attacking Dean and accusing him of doing exactly what Kerry's yes vote did. That's just rich!
But back to that Times via Tribune piece, a warning to Dick and John:
Marriages of convenience can be dangerous for their participants because they are inevitably temporary. Elmendorf said he believed each campaign was basically out to attack everyone else.

Another danger is that the informal information swapping can be made to look sinister, or at least unsportsmanlike. "This is the kind of inside Washington politics that people are sick of," said Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager.
Yup, Joe, that's right -- they certainly are! So as things heat up, Mr. Trippi, while you watch Dean's back and watch the frontlines -- don't forget to heed your own advice.

UPDATE: MSNBC Embed Felix Schein provides this insight from Dean HQ: Much of the focus around Dean Headquarters Sunday was on the New York Times article alleging cooperation between Kerry and Gephardt. It is something the campaign had suspected of happening for some time and receiving the proof seemed to vindicate that speculation. However, the danger of such collusion was also readily perceived. In short, we have not heard the end of this and it is likely the governor will begin to refer to this on the road. The first opportunity presents itself at a town hall meeting in Iowa on Monday night.


Ha ha ha ha

Kerry Says Bush, Cheney Must 'Apologize' Over Iraq
Oh like that's going to happen. And what an about-face. Worse, despite the headline grabbing 'apology' statement, by the bottom of the article, it only says
... he was "inclined" to vote against the president's $87 billion package that is being considered by Congress, if he can't convince lawmakers to make changes to the funding proposal.
Inclined? And he voted for the damn thing in the first place. He may be trying to sound like he's on my team, but I don't think he's on my team.



Lunatics Running the Asylum

You know, this is the shit that drives me nuts about key leaders in the modern Republican party: they are certifiable whackos, and no amount of evidence to the contrary of their positions will move or sway them from their ideological course. Kevin Drum over at Calpundit has this to say:
But it's become much more than that over the past couple of decades. It has become completely unhinged. Try this on for size:
Republicans won't rest until abortion is completely outlawed, Social Security is abolished, the welfare state is completely rolled back, the book of Genesis is taught in science classes, and the federal income tax is abolished.
When I occasionally repeat (milder) versions of this here, my conservative commenters think I'm nuts. "Every party has a few wingnuts," they say. "These guys don't have any real influence." And the thing is, I think they're telling the truth. With a couple of exceptions, I think the kind of conservatives who visit here don't believe this. It's absurd. It's a caricature.

But the problem is that I'm not sure they realize what their party is becoming. The heart and soul of Republican grass roots activism can be found pretty easily: it's in Texas.
He goes on to list various sections of the Pug Party Platform in Texas, but this one is notable:
No homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be limited to supervised periods.
The ease with which these folks lump gays and lesbians with sexual predators makes me sick to my stomach. At first glance, it's kind of like saying that all business owners are evil because some of them are crooks, or that all straight people are sexually obsessed nymphos because they go to Spring Break and Mardi Gras. But you know? It's worse than that. It's really more like saying that all fathers can't be trusted because extremely significant numbers of dads -- and an easy majority of child molesters -- molest their own daughters, therefore, fatherhood itself should not be recognized. It's nuts. Perhaps they should clean out their own closets rather than poking around in everyone else's business. What happened to the conservative protection of privacy rights for adults who are breaking no laws? Kevin's rather long post on the rest of their platform here -- it's worth a read, but keep a brown lunch bag and some smelling salts handy -- you'll need 'em.

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