Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ensign claims to be Indepedant - he just happens to AGREE with Bush, 96% of the time.

Jack Carter, is gaining on incumbent senator John Ensign of Nevada. Ensign, long thought to be election-proof, is losing ground quickly according to the latest poll by Rasmussen, which shows that Carter only trails 9 points, by a 50 to 41 margin.

That's a great trend, given five weeks to go. And it's only going to get better, the more the two candidates are compared side by side.

Check this response to Carter's major talking point - Ensign's uncritical support of the Presiden'ts agenda.

Bush's approval ratings in Nevada have been hovering in the 30s. Your opponent has been making it known that you have voted with the president 96 percent of the time. Do you think this will resonate with voters?

People in Nevada know that I am independent. I will continue to support the president when I think he's right, and when he's wrong I'll oppose him.
I swear to God, he must be dumber than a box of hair to say something like that out loud. I mean, if he had a reputation for being a man with principles, who stood up and balked once in a while. But the man is a sock puppet. He's Bush's Boy. And if you read the entire interview, he even seems to brag about it.

Ensign voted for the Torture Bill, which Harry Ried has come out against as clearly nconstitutional, aside from being, well, bad, wrong, immoral and the product of a particularly questionalble backroom deal which likely involves threats and/or blackmail, so I wonder what it will take for Ensign to call George Bush "wrong." Strangling kitttens? Shooting up in the office during a televised address? Co-celebrating a Black Mass with Jane Fonda?

Lord knows there's enough that's clearly and obviously wrong from the perspective of EITHER major party that it takes the exertion of willful blindness to say something like that. And that result is anything but "independant."

Berkeley Bubble » NV-Sen: Carter-Ensign Race Narrows that Ensign has cast a vote in favor of torture and against basic safeguards like judicial review and habeas corpus contained in the US Constitution, Carter should be able to narrow the race further.

The MSM has only recently started paying attention to the race as it gets more competitive. MSNBC is running a story today on the Carter-Ensign race, and how Bush’s very low approval ratings in Nevada (in the 30s), and Ensign’s unequivocal support for Bush on the Iraq War, may give Carter a chance to win. The article actually interviews both Ensign and Carter on the key issues in the race.

If Carter is able to continue to highlight Ensign’s strong support for Bush and his failed military strategy in Iraq, along with Ensign’s support for the Bush-MCain torture bill, I think he can win. And if Carter wins, Democrats will take bake the Senate. You heard it hear first.

Either Ensign miscalculated, or he's being squeezed very hard by a president that considers anyone other than George Bush to be an expendable asset. Or maybe he's even stupider than George Bush. The Torture Bill and the new and very scary possiblity of pretty much anyone being declared an "enemy combatant" and disappeared isn't going to play well to informed voters - not even Republicans. And especially not Nevada Republicans, where the key idea of conservative is "First, don't do nothin' so damn stupid that ah gotta come lookin' for you, 'cause ah will be pissed."

AlterNet: Why the Torture Bill Matters: "...this is so much worse than even that pathetic deal reached last Thursday between the White House and Republican Sens. Warner, McCain and Graham. The White House has since reinserted a number of 'technical fixes' that were the point of the putative 'compromise.' It leaves the president with the power to decide who is an enemy combatant.

This bill is not a national security issue -- this is about torturing helpless human beings without any proof they are our enemies.

Perhaps this could be considered if we knew the administration would use the power with enormous care and thoughtfulness. But of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything. Among other things, this bill is a CYA for torture of the innocent that has already taken place."

Ensign is wired in very tightly to a shadowy group of Theocons sometimes referred to as "The Family," and they are very strong backers of the overall "Plan for a New American Century." Hegemonists, if you will.

In supporting this agenda Ensign is often at odds with the rather Libertarian brand of conservatism found in Nevads, and his shiny suits and capped teeth create an unfortunate perception for him as being "a box of hair" outside of Washington and Las Vegas.

Between Carter's centrist common sense policy statements - which are actual statements of a legislative agenda, not a list of feel-good platitudes and talking points, Ensign, and his supposedly safe seat are very much under threat.

Interestingly enough, though Ensign has my name, address and phone number, I've not gotten so much as a call or letter in anything other than in his official capacity as Senator, in response to issues I've raised through contact websites like

Boilerplate, all of it - and not especially well-written boilerplate, that leads me to believe that his grasp of the issues involved in some rather complicated social issues might be less than complete.

Thank you for contacting me about random drug testing for those who collect welfare, unemployment, and other government benefits. I value the opinions of every Nevadan and am always grateful to those who take the time to inform me of their views.

The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program was created in the 1996 overhaul of the federal welfare system. I had the opportunity to play a pivotal role in that effort as a Member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. The TANF program has had great success nationwide in getting families off federal assistance and on the road to economic self-sufficiency.

If he valued my opinion, at least, my opinion of him he would have had TWO form letters. Seems to me that it's not a good bet that bragging to me about TANF would be a great bet for influencing my opinion of him, considering that I took the trouble to tell him that drug testing was something I was deeply opposed to.

Strikes me that man has as much political finesse as ... well, as George W. Bush. He's relying on incumbency and the Shock and Awe of a huge influx of Republican ad buys in the last week or so.

But meanwhile, Carter is you-tubing and tootling around Nevada with a portable stage and a rock band, just doing his thing and telling his stories in a genuinely folksy way. He's talking in terms of real issues with real impacts on Nevadans, while Ensign cannot be found save via C-Span videos from the senate floor. I'd give a link, but he's so perishingly dull reading from his notes it's not a real comparison.

I think that the personal differences between the two candidates is going to end up being the critical issue. Jack is just a lot more real, he's personable, and he has answers instead of transparent bafflegab. While midterms are traditionally sleepy yawners, this time the senate and house are at stake and there are some VERY pressing issues on the agenda.

I'd like to elect folks smart enough to do the job. For a Senator of any party to vote the party line 96% of the time tells me that he's doing what he's told and repeating what his handlers told him. He sure as HELL is not giving his constituants any priority.

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Carter for Nevada, Collectables and Campaign Finance Reform

2006 Election Collectibles.

The first sale of a button went to Sam in Colorado. Thanks, Sam!

I expect that Sam is buying buttons to add to his collection of 2006 election memorabilia. Campaign buttons, stickers and other ephemera are highly prized because after the shouting is over, most of it hits the landfill.

Independently produced, short run items are a whole new area. It's quite possible that if nobody else buys one of these buttons, it will be the only one in existence!

Heck, that could triple it's value, perhaps more!

Ok, I haven't got a freakin' clue, but maybe a button collector will help us out with some real information. And if these collectibles are seriously collectible, we just may (tongue in cheek) have a simple means of campaign finance reform.

You see, I just used my available Cafecash to send 20 of Proud Non-Member Corrupt Bastards Club Stickers to Jack's campaign for them to distribute to donors, with the suggestion that they be signed.

I also sent Jack a shirt with a related design. I'm looking forward to seeing it on Youtube!

They are NOT official materials, of course. I am not in any way affiliated with the Carter Campaign.

But if signed, that makes them instant collectibles, easily worth the donation I suggested. This is my way of raising some real money for the campaign.

While I only bought twenty for the campaign, if you to show up with one, sharpie in hand, I'll betcha he'd sign it. But I suggest you donate an amount that is a fair representation of it's possible future value. $20 would not be out of line.

Meanwhile, I may just have to make some first day covers.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Why I became my own news director

I just took an online survey about this and realized that I do not depend on offline news at all. If I watch cable "news" at all, it's for the entertainment value. Other than that, it's Stewart and Colbert. Seriously funny news, that is. Oh, and The Buzz in the morning.

Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler: " To find any news on the cable news networks these days is getting as hard as finding a pay telephone in an airport. This weekend I went to MSNBC three separate times to see if anything was going on in the world, only to find Matt Lauer interviewing Deborah LeFavre, the blonde babe Florida schoolteacher who got down-and-funky with a 14-year-old student. ('He wanted it; I gave it to him.') I guess the network execs could not resist running the segment nearly around the clock. If they could show porn instead, perhaps they would be even happier. Elsewhere around the cable menu, CNN-Headline has passed the baton to geeks like Glen Beck and Nancy Grace, who offer the equivalent of biting the heads off chickens, CNBC ran a seemingly endless loop of cops-in-cars-chasing-lowlife around (pick it) Florida, Las Vegas, or Phoenix, while over at regular-CNN Larry King was discoursing with Sean Penn on world politics (in lieu of someone who actually works in government or foreign policy)."

There's more, and it's snarky. But if I want real News from a tv-like medium - I head over to CTV.CA for better coverage of US news than any US news source, alced with arch bemusement.

Jim, I think you'll like it.

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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public."

Teddy Says Bumpersticker (Black & Yellow)This is my best selling sticker on Cafepress. I hadn't realized that I was ranked number one in politics! Of course, a few more comments wouldn't hurt at all! - Find & Rank The Best Stickers On The Web - Ratings and Reviews

Or, just click here to get your own Teddy Says Bumpersticker!

The beautiful thing about this sticker is that TR was a Republican, so it's not an insult - it's a call to uphold basic American values. Who can argue? It says something that needs to be said, and says it very well.

A fair number of people order two or more. One for each car!

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Originally uploaded by !HabitForming.

Here's a question for you. What's the difference between vandalism and public art?

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ops to Senators: Just Say No To Torture!

"We write as experienced intelligence and military officers... We are very concerned that the proposals now before Congress... run the risk of squandering the greatest resource our country enjoys... our commitment as a nation to the rule of law and the protection of divinely granted human rights"

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Kiss


I've been persuing the idea of collaborative artwork for the last several years now. I find it interesting to take a picture that has the value of spontaniousness and rework it into artwork.

The subject of this photo is a friend of mine, Saber Maurer, who is young - but as they say, young enough to know better - and like many young women is somewhat concerned with the idea of her image, and how she appears to others.

The idea is to take something that might end up being lost or forgotten and turn it into a permanant work of art.

What do you think? Posted by Picasa

George, you say "Jewish" like it's a BAD thing!

Sen. George Allen of Virginia, being a good Right-Wing Christian and all, was no doubt praying to God for a way out of the mess his Macaque remark put him into.

And God or Providence responded with a golden political opportunity, one that, had he been capable of recognising it, might have saved his political career and perhaps even his Presidential ambitions.

He just forgot one thing. She has a helluva sense of humor!

Aspersions and Lies | The Daily Gotham

The details are widely known: a reporter at a public forum asked him about his supposed Jewish roots, and whether or why these were being hidden; and entirely true to the form revealed by the Macaca incident, Felix demanded that said reporter not "cast aspersions" on him.

Had Allen had the wit to say "Yes, I sure am Jewish, but I don't know a lot more than you do. I'm gonna have to trace my roots. I'm hoping I'm related to Golda Meir or David Ben-Gurian," he could have wrapped himself in the Star of David and just charmed his way out of the problem.

That's what a smart politician would have done.

A really stupid one, one stupid enough to be a self-made racist blurts out that he considers the idea of Jewishness to be "an Aspersion." No doubt that will come as a surprise to several Senatorial colleagues, and no doubt to some of them "libruls" at the Washington Post.

So that was God's little prank - assuming of course it was God's idea, and not the work of his mother. Ah, but She works in mysterious ways, her wonders to perform!

Etty Allen said she is relieved to no longer have to keep a secret about her past. She said she hopes the revelation does not hurt her son's bid for reelection to the Senate.

Indeed. Do you think a Jew from Tunis of her age could possibly be such a naif about the intersection of Jewishness and political consequence?

Well, I suppose it's possible, considering George's apparent IQ.

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