Thursday, November 30, 2006

Podcast: Cuba Libre!

Pour yourself another rum and Coke. You'll need a drink after hearing how your tax dollars were spent.

Download MP3 File

Today's Political News Video

Already Breaking a Campaign Promise

A key campaign promise from the Democratic Party is already getting scaled back. Democrats promised to implement all 41 reccomendations from the 9/11 Commission.

They're leaving one out. From the Washington Post:

"Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers."
The Commission wanted Congress to give more power to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. They wanted the Committees to help shape the nation's intel policies.

But doing that would strip power from the Armed Services Committees and their ability to fund the military.

And it's hard to get a Congressman to give up power. (WaPo)

Jeb Bush Defends his Third Wolrd Country

Rep Tom Tancredo (R-CO) likes to brag about the wealth of the upscale Denver suburbs he represents in Congress. And you really can't build up your neighborhood without tearing down someone else's, now, can you?

Rep Tancredo is in the middle of a political shouting match with Gov Jeb Bush (R-FL) after the Congressman called Miami "a third world country." Gov Bush calls the Congressman "naive." (CBSNews)

Iraq Study Group: Draw Down the Troops

The bi-partisan Iraq Study Group issues it's report next Wednesday. The New York Times reports it will call for a gradual pullback of 15 US combat brigades -- roughly half the troop strength currently in Iraq.

The report comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki suggested the US begin withdrawing troops in June, 2007. (NYT)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad North Korea, No More iPods for You!

In the latest US move to show it's displeasure with North Korea's missile and nuke programs, the Bush administration wants to ban the import of iPods, plasma screen TVs and Segway scooters to the country that doesn't have enough money to buy food.

This satelitte photo shows the lack of lights in North Korea -- suggesting that expensive electronics won't exactly be missed.

Other items on the list the Associated Press obtained:
  • Conac
  • Rolex watches
  • Artwork
  • Luxury cars
  • Harley Davidson motorcycles
  • Jet Skis
The idea is that the ban on shipping luxury items into North Korea would hurt leader Kim Jong Il's extravagant lifestyle because, lord knows, a rogue nation's despot hellbent on exporting missiles and building a atom bomb would never resort to smuggling his goodies in. (AP)

Wear and Tear Adding Up

Wear and tear on Army and Marine Corps equipment may lead to equipment shortages in the near future.

USA Today reports as much as $2 billion worth of equipment is wearing out or being destroyed every month in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's about a quarter of the $8 billion a month spent on the wars.

The newspaper quotes Leon Panetta -- former Clinton advisor now serving on the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group -- as saying the military needs $50-to-$60 billion just to re-equip and restore units returning from Iraq. (USAToday)

Them's Fightin' Words

Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) says he was mad enough to punch the President. It came when the two met and over comments the President made referring to Mr Webb's son -- who's serving in Iraq. From the Washington Post:

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House."
During the campaign, Mr Webb wore a pair of his son's combat boots at his appearances. (WaPo)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Podcast: Eliminating Hunger

Your government has eliminated hunger. Really pretty easy. They just quit using the word "hunger."

Download MP3 File

This Stuff Only Happens in the Movies

Hollywood wants you to pay them fifty bucks to watch television in your home.

The movie industry lobbyists are pushing a bill to require you to register your television and stereo system as a "home theatre" -- or face a stiff fine if you want to see Biodome 3:
"The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown."
Wanna play critic and send them your review? Here's the MPAA's contact info. (Slashdot)

Poll Position: Bush Bottoming Out

President Bush has hit his second lowest approval rating ever in the Harris Interactive Poll. Only 31% of those polled approve of his job.

The Wall Street Journal tracks six major polls (above) on President Bush's approval rating since taking office in 2001. Click on the graphic to see a larger version. (

Can't Be -- No One's Wearing Blue & Gray

With NBC now referring to the sectarian violence in Iraq as a "civil war," the White House publicly rejects the term.

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley says it's simply a "new phase."

A "new phase." From the same people who replaced "hunger" with "very low food security." (TampaBay 10)

Watching the Watchers

The Justice Department Inspector General has launched an investigation into what the Department's been doing with information gleaned from the warrantless wiretapping program. (AP via Yahoo!)

$13.7 Million -- Will You Accept Change?

An Ohio judge has ordered GOP fundraiser Thomas Noe to repay $3 million spent to investigate and prosecute him.

That's part of the $13.7 million he has to repay taxpayers for his role in a rare-coin scandal that embezzled millions from state investments.

Backlash from "Coingate" led to political collapse in the Ohio GOP this year, as Democrats swept statewide races and won House seats and the US Senate seat from Republican incumbents. (NYT)

Monday, November 27, 2006

What would the Prince of Peace Do?

A Colorado homeowners association has joined the "War on Christmas" -- demanding that a peace symbol be taken down.

The association promises to fine Lisa Jensen $25 a day until she takes down a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace symbol.

An HOA committee ruled the wreath was acceptable, but the association's president fired them and ordered it removed anyway. (AP via Yahoo!)

The HOA has backed off the fines.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Podcast: Ain't Love Grand?

Arkansas' Governor may run for President. But he's got some ethical problems. Like getting around the gift law by setting up a wedding registry -- 32 years after he got married.

Download MP3 File

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bush's Biggest Hits -- and Greatest Misses

President Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope. President Bush has pushed the envelope on mangling the English language. Honest Abe's word was credible. It's incredible just how much President Bush's words strain credibility.

"Bush's Biggest Hits" -- order your copy today:


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Camera Never Blinx

I'm on vacation through the Thanksgiving week.

Until I get back, keep up to date with these cool video search engines from Blinkx.


White House:

On to Vietnam, Bush Hears Echoes of 1968 in Iraq 2006 - New York Times

It took 38 years, but President Bush finally made it to Vietnam:

"Did I think about going to the Army post and saying 'Send me to Vietnam?' Not really. I wanted to fly, and that was the adventure I was seeking." -- President Bush, quoted in the New York Times

Rednecks, White Sox, and Blue State Victories

Rep Adam Putnam (R-FL) offers up his theory on why the GOP lost their majority in Congress:

“[H]eck, even the white rednecks who go to church on Sunday didn't come out to vote for us.” (Hotline)

A Congressman, A Criminal Probe -- Whodathunk?

State law enforcement in Florida has opened a criminal investigation into former Rep Mark Foley's (R-FL) IM's and emails to teenage boys.

The FBI is already looking at whether Mr Foley broke federal laws and the House Ethics Committee is checking to see if Republican leaders knew about and covered up his activities. (AP)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

How Can You Fight for Freedom -- Playing GTA and Eating Truffles?

Money that was supposed to inspire democracy in Cuba inspired fraud and waste among those spending it.

The Government Accountability Office has found $74 million in contracts spent on things like:

  • A chainsaw
  • Sony PlayStations
  • Nintendo Game Boys
  • A mountain bike
  • Leather coats
  • Sashmere sweaters
  • Godiva chocolates
All those items purchased by Accion Democratica Cubana -- which is supposed to provide humanitarian help to Cuban dissidents. (WaPo)

The Elections Aren't Over Yet

The 2006 elections aren't over yet.

Reuters reports that seven House races are still undecided.

But a couple of races have been certified -- giving the trailing candidates until sometime Friday to ask for a recount. From the Washington Post:

In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow (D) defeated Republican Max Burns by 864 votes out of more than 140,000 cast. In Wyoming, Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) beat Democrat Gary Trauner by about 1,000 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast.
And a Republican incumbent also conceded Wednesday. Again from the Post:

Another Democratic pickup became official yesterday, when Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) conceded to Joe Courtney (D) after a recount gave Courtney a 90-vote edge in the closest race in the country.
Democrats trail in the five remaining House races.

Rep Heather Wilson (R-NM), Rep Robin Hayes (R-NC), Rep Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and Rep Deborah Pryce (R-OH) all have narrow leads.

In the final race, election officials are trying to account for 18,000 missing votes in a race where Vern Buchanan (R) leads Christine Jennings (D) by just 375 votes in the race to replace Rep Katherine Harris (R-FL) . (WaPo)

House Leadership

Leadership Posts in the House for the 110th Congress. Click here for Senate posts.

Democratic House Leaders

  • Nominee for Speaker: Rep. Nancy Pelosi D-CA
  • Majority Leader: Rep. Steny Hoyer D-MD
  • Majority Whip: Rep. Jim Clyburn D-SC
  • Caucus Chair: Rep. Rahm Emanel D-IL
  • Vice-Caucus Chair: Rep. John Larson D-CT

Check back for updates on Republican Leadership choices and Democratic Commitee Chair assignments.

A Change of Address

A change of address for everyone's favorite lobbyist. Jack Abramoff sent out an e-mail before heading off to the big house. It included his change of address info:

FPC - P.O. BOX 1300
CUMBERLAND, MD 21501-1300

TIME-LIFE operators, if you're reading this, could you make sure his subscription (left) gets forwarded? Yeah. That'd be great. (AP)

Hoyer Keeps Job

Rep Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has held onto the #2 spot in the Democratic House leadership. He was elected House Majority Leader by a vote of 149-86 over Rep John Murtha (D-PA). (A via Yahoo!)

Pelosi the Democrat's Choice for Speaker

Democrats have elected Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Speaker of the House. (CNN)

McCain's Running

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) is off and running. He's filed papers to launch his presidential campaign exploratory committee. It allows him to raise money for the campaign. (CNN)

The End of Hunger in America

The Agriculture Department has eliminated hunger in America.

Pretty easy, actually. They just chose to no longer use the word. Americans are no longer "hungry." They just go to bed with "very low food security."

The USDA issues an annual report that measures hunger -- er, very low food security -- in America. It's latest report finds that 12% of Americans couldn't afford to put food on the table at some point in the last year. That's 35 million people. (WaPo)
Today in Congress -- from the Washington Post

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Picking the Plumb Assignments

The leadership elections are done. Here's how things shook out.

Democratic Leadership
  • Majority Leader: Sen Harry Reid, D-NV
  • President Pro Temp: Sen Robert Byrd, D-WV
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Sen Dick Durbin, D-IL
  • Vice-Chair of the Conference: Charles Schumer, D-NY
  • Secretary of the Conference: Sen Patty Murray, D-WA
  • Policy Committee Chairman: Byron Dorgan, D-ND
  • Chief Deputy Whip: Barbara Boxer, D-CA
Republican Leadership

  • Minority Leader: Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY
  • Minority Whip: Sen. Trent Lott, R-MS
  • GOP Conference Chairman: Sen. John Kyle, R-AZ
  • GOP Conference Vice Chairman: Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX
  • Policy Committee Chairman: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee: John Ensign, R-NV
Democratic Committee Chairs
  • Agriculture: Sen. Tom Harkin, D-IA
  • Appropriations: Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WV
  • Armed Services: Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI
  • Banking: Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CT
  • Commerce: Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI
  • Energy: Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM
  • Environment Public Works: Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA
  • Finance: Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT
  • Foreign Relations: Sen. Joe Biden, D-DE
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA
  • Homeland and Government Affairs: Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-CT
  • Judiciary: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT
  • Intelligence: Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV
  • Budget: Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND
  • Aging: Sen. Herb Kohl, D-WI
  • Veterans: Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-HI
  • Small Business: Sen. John Kerry, D-MA
  • Rules: Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-CA
  • Joint Economic: Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY
  • Indian Affairs: Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND

Committee Assignments for new Democratic Senators

  • Jim Webb, D-VA: Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Veterans
  • Jon Tester, D-MT: Banking, Energy, Homeland and Government Affairs, Veterans, Small Business, Indian Affairs
  • Claire McCaskill, D-MO: Armed Services, Commerce, Homeland and Government Affairs, Aging, Indian Affairs
  • Sherrod Brown, D-OH: Agriculture, Banking, Health Education Labor and Pension, Veterans
  • Ben Cardin, D-MD: Environment Public Works, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Budget, Small Business
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI: Environment Public Works, Judiciary, Intelligence, Budget, Aging
  • Bob Casey, Jr., D-PA: Agriculture, Banking, Foreign Relations, Aging, Joint Economic
  • Amy Klobuchar, D-MN: Agriculture, Commerce, Environment Public Works, Joint Economic

Lott wins by a Little

Trent Lott (R-MS) is back on top -- in the number two post of the Senate Republican leadership.

CNN has the clip of the words that cost him the number one post back in 2002:

Sen Trent Lott (R-MS) won the number two spot in the Senate Republican leadership by one vote. The former Senate Majority Leader edged out Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 25-24.

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unanimously elected Senate Minority Leader. (CNN)


Former US Capitol Police Chief Terry Gainer will be the new Senate Sergeant of Arms -- the Senate's top law enforcement post.

Mr Gainer stepped down as Chief of the Capitol Police after questions about his son being hired on the force. He was unpopular with the GOP majority and replaces a close friend of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). (CNN)

Count them Out

The population of Census Bureau honchos is down by two. Bureau boss C Louis Kincannon and career statisitcian Herman Habermann have resigned. That's complicating the job of counting Americans. The resignations come as the Bureau is working on plans for the 2010 headcount. (WaPo)

Congressional Freshmen

Congress' new freshman class showed up for orientation at the Capitol this week. Boy, are they in for some hazing. (NYT)

A Potential Drag on Rudy Giuliani

Now that he's formed a Presidential exploratory committee, let's watch him explore his penchant for cross dressing.

Expect to see clips like this in his opponents primary ads down South. (HT: Crooks & Liars)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Happy Couple

Arkansas has this law to keep the Governor from getting bribed with gifts. No one is allowed to give the Governor anything worth more than $100.

Unless it's a wedding present.

No problem. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and his wife Janet (right) set up a wedding registry.

Forget the fact they've been married since 1974.

They're registered at Dillards and Target if you want to chip in before he launches his Presidential exploratory committee.

Getting Her Priorities Straight

"My No. 1 goal is to not go to jail." -- Newly elected Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN), quoted in the Star-Tribune

Democrats Target Rudy

Within hours of Rudy Giuliani creating an Presidential exploratory committee, the Democratic Party is already opening fire. They say he's not conservative enough. This from a DNC statement:

"It's unclear whether or not Rudy Giuliani will be able to just 'explain away' the fact that he's consistently taken positions that are completely opposite to the conservative Republican base on issues they hold near and dear."
Didn't one campaign just end a week ago today? We're already onto another one? (CNN)

McCain Ready to Launch

CNN reports Sen John McCain (R-AZ) will launch his presidential exploratory committee sometime this week.

Sen McCain ran an unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination in 2000, stumbling early on in the South -- an area he's been paying careful attention to as he builds a potential campaign organization for 2008. (CNN)

Rudy's Running

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) has filed to form an exploratory committee for a Presidential run.

Creating an exploratory committee allows candidates to create a campaign organization and raise cash. (TheFix)

Lott's Back and Roll Call both report that Sen Trent Lott (R-MS) will run for Senate Minority Whip. Defeated Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) had held the post.

Sen Lott had been Senate Majority Leader until 2003, when he was done in with a racially insensitive remark.

President Bush -- The Democrats' Secret Weapon quotes political watcher -- and "The Hotline" honcho -- Chuck Todd as saying President Bush campaigning for Republican candidates may have cost the GOP the Senate.

Number crunching suggests the President's campaign trip to Missouri was enough to tip 11% of the people who voted toward Democrat Claire McCaskill in the Missouri race. (

More Final Throes

Up to 80 masked gunmen carried out the mass kidnapping of between 100 and 150 civilians at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Scholars and Cultural Relations Directorate in central Baghdad.

The kidnapping prompted the Iraqi government to close all universities in the country today.

Monday, President Bush met with the independent Iraq Study Group -- and while saying he'd listen to new ideas on the war, he came away sounding like he still wants to "stay the course." He says “people making suggestions to recognize that the best military options depend upon conditions on the ground.”

But any mention of the meeting is absent from the main page at the White House website. (CNN, NYT, White House)

Today in Congress

Today's schedule for Congress.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Branding Irons for Pork

Democrats plan to link lawmakers with the pork they provide to special interests. Republicans had promised to do the same thing -- but never got around to it.

"Earmarks" -- federal spending slipped in by individual Congressmen -- has to be used for a specific project. The spending is referred to as "pork." Most earmarks are slipped in anonymously. The number of earmarks has ballooned under GOP control of Congress -- from 1,500 earmarks in 1994 to 15,000 last year.

The rule change would require a Congressman's name to be linked to the spending.

The link is #1 on incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) agenda. (USAToday)

Mel Martinez Tapped as RNC Chair

CNN reports Sen Mel Martinez (R-FL) (right) is the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Sen Martinez is Cuban-born and was first elected in 2004. Under the plan, he would remain in office while serving as Party Chairman.

It was Sen Martinez's general counsel who created and circulated conservative talking points in the Terri Schiavo case in 2005. The Washington Post quoted some the memo with at the time:

"This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue." -- Comments in the Schiavo Memo from Senator Martinez's (R-FL) office, April, 2005
The Schiavo case is often cited as the start of a decline in the polls for both President Bush and the Republican Party in Congress. (CNN/WaPo)

The Bridge to Somewhere the Senator Owns Land

The incoming Senate Majority Leader promises to cut the pork -- but there are questions about whether he personally benefited from pork slipped into the 2005 highway bill.

Sen Harry Reid (D-NV) owned land near the location of a bridge he slipped into the bill. From the LA Times:

Reid called funding for construction of a bridge over the Colorado River, among other projects, "incredibly good news for Nevada" in a news release after passage of the 2005 transportation bill. He didn't mention, though, that just across the river in Arizona, he owns 160 acres of land several miles from proposed bridge sites and that the bridge could add value to his real estate investment.
The $18 million bridge is expected to boost real estate prices in the region. (LAT)

Memorializing the Dream

Groundbreaking in Washington, DC today for the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.

You can see more about the Memorial's design here -- or take a virtual tour of the Memorial here.

The new memorial will sit in a direct line of sight between the Lincoln Memorial -- where Dr King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech -- and the Jefferson Memorial.

Oh, the Humanities!

Remember former CIA Director George Tenent getting that Medal of Freedom for that "slam dunk" assessment on Iraq?

Get ready for a repeat.

The Washington Post reports getting a low key press release one day after the elections:
"Why so little fanfare? Could it have been because the humanities honorees included Middle East scholars-turned-Bush advisers Fouad Ajami and Bernard Lewis, whose views helped get us into Iraq in the first place?"

Democrats Want a Phased Withdrawal

The new Democratic majority in Congress will push for a phased withdrawal from Iraq beginning as soon as four months from now.

Sen Carl Levin (D-MI), appearing on ABC's "This Week" (see video below) said the US will have to tell Iraq that the US commitment is not open ended and they need to pick up the slack as US forces pull out. (ABC, Reuters/HT: for video)

Gibbons Gets Subpoenaed

Police are serving subpoenas on Rep Jim Gibbons' (R-NV) gubernatorial campaign staff. From the Las Vegas Sun:

Metro Police have subpoenaed telephone records of Republican Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons, political strategist Sig Rogich and other witnesses in the investigation into allegations that Gibbons assaulted a woman and tried to force himself on her sexually.

Home and cell phone records of everyone who was drinking with Gibbons and Rogich at McCormick & Schmick's restaurant before the Oct. 13 alleged assault on Chrissy Mazzeo were among the records subpoenaed, sources close to the investigation told the Sun.

Others at the restaurant whose records were subpoenaed, the sources said, include Mazzeo's friend, Pennie Puhek, and two women, Georganne Bradley and Michelle Diegel, who work in a law firm that shares a Hughes Center suite with Rogich's public relations company.
Rep Gibbons won the Nevada Governors race in last Tuesday's elections. (Las Vegas Sun)

Pelosi Endorses Murtha

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is endorsing Rep John Murtha (D-PA) for House Majority Leader.

"I salute your courageous leadership that changed the national debate and helped make Iraq the central issue of this historic election. It was surely a dark day for the Bush Administration when you spoke truth to power." -- Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), quoted in the Washington Post

Rep Murtha is a decorated Marine combat veteran who first raised the call for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. (WaPo)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Screw You, Wolves!

Gerald Ford has become the longest living US President in history. At 93 years, 121 days old, he surpassed Ronald Reagan's record.

He is reportedly uneaten by wolves, but still delicious. A bit of Dana Carvey and SNL to mark the day:

MP3 File

Iraq Accountability

Democrats are targeting waste, fraud and abuse in their first attack on how the Iraq War's been fought.

Republicans earlier this year quietly eliminated the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. It looked at where the money was going -- and found a lot of it missing.

Democrats plan to bring it back.

When the War Comes Home has a narrated slideshow featuring modern day vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars celebrating with vets from previous wars this Veterans Day.

The Bitch Set 'Em Up

Republican activist Grover Norquist knows just where the blame needs to fall for Tuesday's GOP defeats. It's the fault of people who, once attacked, didn't just roll over and take it. From the Financial Times:

“Bob Sherwood’s seat [in Pennsylvania] would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled,” said Mr Norquist. Any lessons from the campaign? “Yes. The lesson should be, don’t throttle mistresses.”

Reason enough to re-air our favorite political ad with subtitles:

Veterans Day Tribute: D-Day

Continuing our weekend salute to veterans, this is the vodcast we presented on the D-Day anniversary in 2006:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day: An Air Force Memorial

My dad and his Uncle Herbert were Airmen. They have a new memorial this Veterans' Day. This is a tribute to them and all veterans this week.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Republican Political Advice

Time for some navel gazing on the right? Republicans would have done well this election year to have listened to one of their greatest members -- Teddy Roosevelt -- who helped give them their own "thumpin'" back in the 1912 campaign.

Vaya Con Dios!

A little traveling music for the Republicans exiting stage right....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Veterans Day, 2005

We're saluting veterans in the lead up to Veterans Day.

This was our Veterans Day Tribute, 2005:

President Bush Ushers in the Golden Age of Aggie Jokes

Here is the official biography for Dr Robert Gates, posted at the Texas A&M website.

President Bush nominated Mr Gates today to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

Mr Gates was CIA Director from 1991-93 and is currently President of Texas A&M University.

Hey, hear why the Aggie brought a ladder to the bar? He heard the drinks were on the house.

You're Doin' a Heckuva Job, Rummy!

President Bush has anounced that former CIA Director Robert Gates will be nominated to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who announced Wednesday he is resigning. (MSNBC)

Dems take House, Governorships, Legislatures -- Senate still Undecided

The Democrats have set a political precedent. reports for the first time in history, a party did not lose a single Senate, Governor or House seat it was defending.


Democrats needed 15 seats to take over the US House.

They picked up 28 seats in the House.


As of Wednesday Morning, Democrats picked up 4 of the 6 they need to take the Senate -- but Virginia and Montana are still in play, giving the Democrats the potential to take the upper chamber.

Update: AP has called the Montana Senate race for Democrat Jon Tester. That leaves only Virginia in play at 2:00 pm EST, Wednesday.

Early this morning, Republican Bob Corker won the Tennessee Senate seat, Democrat Claire McCaskill took Missouri. Democrats held New Jersey and made gains taking Senate seats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island early in the evening.

An all night hand count is still going on in Montana where election officials failed to set the automatic count feature on voting machines.

The count's still going on in Virginia, where Democrat Jim Webb declared victory in the Senate race. The count appears close enough to allow a recount. That can't begin until after the votes are certified November 27.


Democrats gained 6 Governorships.

That now gives Democrats a majority of Governors -- 28.

Democrats also made gains in state legislatures. From Reuters:

So far, Democrats control both chambers in 21 states, while Republicans control 15 and 9 were split between the two parties....

Control of state capitols could spark new redistricting plans to benefit Democrats in Congress. (CNN)

Marty McFly in a Landslide

Actor Michael J Fox was a huge winner in Tuesday's election. All of the Democratic candidates he campaigned for -- and cut TV ads for (see below) -- have won, with one exception. And in that case, Virgina, Democrat Jim Webb leads. (YouTube)

Is It Over Yet? The Virginia Recount

Control of the US Senate may come down to the razor thin margin in the Virginia Senate Race -- and the Commonwealth's automatic recount law.

Any recount won't happen until late November, and the results could be delayed until December. (Code of Virginia)

Speaker Pelosi

The two most feared words in the GOP lexicon: Speaker Pelosi.

She's made changes in Iraq the main focus of the new Democratic Majority.

I gave up on other coverage. CNN broke away quickly when a principle in the election showed up at a podium. Click to FOX or MSNBC, and you were stuck with their talking head of the moment. (CNN)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Never Choked My Mistress!

Rep Don "Mistress-Choker" Sherwood (R-PA) was not only a casualty of the Democratic Party offensive Tuesday night, he is the subject of the most popular Watching Washington video on YouTube. More than 7,600 views by election night.

Here it is again -- our translation of his infamous campaign ad -- "I Cheated on my Wife, But I Never Choked my mistress."

Grand Old Party Poopers

In what may be the most telling sign yet of how down in the dumps over the election the GOP can get -- the Republicans are not throwing their traditional election night party in DC tonight.

"The Reliable Source" column in the Washington Post reports:

"...the DCCC and DSCC are throwing election-watch parties tonight at the Hyatt Regency for victorious (they presume) Democrats.".

But they've been unable to find a single party in the District set up for the Republicans.

You've Seen his Picture

Arnie Sachs was a Washington newspaper photographer.

He died Friday.

He won the Grand Prize and Spot News Awards from the White House Photographers' Association back in 1958. That was for a picture he snapped during the Little Rock Central High integration crisis. "Fallen Integration Fighter" showed a protestor lying on the ground, trying to take a bayonet away from a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne.

But you remember another picture with an Arkansas connection he snapped.

He was working freelance for the American Legion at the White House when he took it.

Mr Sachs was taking pictures during Boys Nation at the White House Rose Garden on July 24, 1963. Lots of pictures of Legion leaders posing with the President.

That's when a teenage kid broke through the lines and ran right up to JFK. Arnie Sachs probably didn't think much at the time of the picture he took with JFK shaking hands with 16-year-old Bill Clinton from Hope, Arkansas.

It would one day be the most famous shot he ever took.

Arnie Sachs was 78. (WashPost)

Mo Trouble for Voting Politicians

Missouri's election chief calls her voting experience "very troubling."

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D-MO) was ordered to show photo ID at the polls -- even though courts have ordered that poll workers may not require photo ID. (AP via Yahoo!)

Chabot's Troubles at the Polls

Rep Steve Chabot (R-OH) was turned away from his polling place because he didn't have sufficient ID with him. His drivers license listed his office, rather than his home address -- so he had to return to the house to find a utility bill. (

"Mean Jean" and the Vote Machine

Rep Jean Schmidt (R-OH) was among those having problems with them new-fangled electronic voting machines. The Congresswoman, who accused Rep John Murtha (D-PA) of cowardice on the House floor earlier this year, couldn't get her ballot to go through the optical scanner.

And just two years ago the good folks at Diebold promised to "deliver Ohio" for President Bush and the GOP. Guess the warranty expired. (WKRC-TV, HT: HinesSight)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Approve this Message, Too

Politicians with heads up their butts, bullhorn brandishing voters, and gay-vampire-terrorist-marriages.

The last in our collections of the most memorable political campaign ads.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Apologizes

Sen John Kerry (D-MA), facing a firestorm of criticism for a botched joke that ended up disparaging US troops in Iraq, has aplogized for his comments. From his statement:

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended."

Democratic candidates have canceled appearances with the Senator since his remarks earlier this week. (CNN)

War Probe Promise?

The latest ad from the Democratic Party suggests Congressional investigations into the lead-up to the Iraq War: