Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our Smoke-filled Room

Our anger doesn't come from a hate-filled place - it just means that the Republicans are doing way too much to screw up this country.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

De-Bunking Bushisms

The President is in full election year mode. In my estimation, President Bush is like Bill Clinton in that they are both excellent campaigners. The similarities end there, of course. But to invoke Joe Lieberman for a moment, those who underestimate President Bush’s political skills do so at their own peril. That being said, the audio of Bush’s Monday press conference revealed a desperate man. He continues to spew the talking points, but they seem to lack their former (circa 2002, 2004) tone of superiority. His points, as paraphrased below, are now more easily refuted.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Van Taylor Gets Beaned On HardBall

Chris Matthews and Paul Hackett made like Nacho Libre and Esqueleto today as they tag teamed Van Taylor on this afternoon's edition of Hardball. Taylor is the only Iraqi War vet running as a Republican, and the opponent of Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards in Texas' 22nd District. Taylor is quite simply a tool, and he stumbled his way into a trap that Matthews set for him in regards to why we went into Iraq. When Taylor tried to get out of it by linking the War in Iraq to al-Qaeda and the War on Terror, Hackett jumped in and made him look silly. Just abused him.

Watch the video here, courtesy of Crooks and Liars. And when you feel bad for Taylor for that split second because he looks so clueless, just remember, he's with this guy.

Hackett is great, by the way, and needs to be approached by the Democratic Party sooner rather than later about running for public office in 2008. He's smart, tough, and simply tells it like it is. He takes absolutely zero shit, and is the kind of candidate Democrats need when they're facing people (read: Republicans) who have no qualms about getting dirty.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Breaking News - Ford Leads Corker In New Poll

This evening, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.’s campaign announced a new poll that shows Ford up by 2% in the race to succeed Fancy Bill Frist as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee. This is a 9% improvement for Congressman Ford from the last poll in June, and his first lead since Bob Corker was chosen as the Republican candidate.

While not as liberal as many Netroots candidates, Congressman Ford is a man who nevertheless represents a younger generation of Americans. He is young and dynamic, and while he has made foreign policy his area of expertise he also has some very interesting ideas on a diverse array of issues, from energy independence to strengthening the country’s pension system. Bonus points for getting in Mean Jean's face when she tried to Swift-Boat John Murtha.

On Energy Independence:

“We need to significantly increase use of hybrid engines. Despite their fanfare, hybrids will still only account for 4 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2010, while gas-guzzling SUVs will account for 27 percent of the market. That is why I sponsored a law that will aggressively promote the next generation of hybrid and advanced diesel engines. It will also create quality, high-paying jobs here at home, like the 6,700 men and women who produce Nissan’s hybrid vehicles in Smyrna and the dedicated workers at FedEx who recently launched a new hybrid delivery truck that increases fuel efficiency by 57 percent and improves our environment by reducing harmful emissions by 65 percent.

I also propose removing the current cap on the number of tax rebates for hybrid vehicles, requiring 30 percent of the government auto fleet be driven by hybrid and advanced diesel engines, and creating a 35 percent tax credit for automakers to retool their factories to make energy efficient, advanced technology vehicles.

Finally, we must require federal agencies to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 10 million barrels of oil a day by 2031. By creating meaningful incentives to change behavior, we can reduce consumption and overcome our addiction.

Invest in Alternative Sources of Energy. To reduce our addiction to oil, we need to push promising examples of “green” and energy efficient prospects right here in Tennessee. For example, experts at Oak Ridge National Laboratories and the University of Tennessee system are developing farm-based fuels based on soybeans, corn and switchgrass grown in Tennessee.
Soydiesel is more efficient than ethanol and no new technology is needed to use it in our cars and trucks; existing diesel engines can run cleaner and just as powerful on soydiesel blends as on traditional diesel fuel. In fact, some new farm equipment now comes with fuel tanks full of biodiesel fuel. The United States already produces enough soybeans to replace 5 percent of diesel fuel, and Tennessee farmers can lead the way. Every year, they produce 46 million bushels, or 1.4 million tons, of soybeans. We need to provide tax breaks and meaningful incentives to increase production of biodiesel and make it widely available.

On Protecting Pensions:

“Last year, Congress passed a personal bankruptcy reform bill aimed at preventing individuals from using the bankruptcy system to avoid creditors. It is now time for Congress to reform the corporate bankruptcy system to prevent companies from resorting to bankruptcy to rid themselves of their pension obligations.

That is why I have introduced the Employee Retirement Preservation Act, mandating that when a company declares bankruptcy, and its creditors line up to collect what is owed to them, the pension obligations to employees are given the highest priority. In restoring companies to financial health, the retirement security of loyal workers should be the last thing sacrificed.”

This race is usually considered to be 6th on the list of possible Democratic Senate pickups. However, unlike some of the candidates considered to have better shots at winning seats (ahem, Bob Casey), Ford has been running an excellent campaign. He’s been touring the state, producing issue-oriented campaign spots, and even had a rally in Nashville with the Big Dog that generated a ton of positive press (and money, of course). If the progressive blogosphere is serious about taking not only the House but also the Senate, we need to be as focused on winning a race like this as we are on keeping Bush's lover Joe Lieberman from winning back his seat. Ford’s got momentum, he’s got national cred, and he’s got an opponent with plenty of weaknesses, not the least among them the fact that his fortunes are tied to George W. Bush. With less than 100 days until Election Day, it’s time to start paying some serious attention to the race that could keep the next Samuel Alito off of the Supreme Court.