Wednesday, September 28, 2005

give 'em hell harry

Despite being a pro-life moderate, Harry Reid has very quickly earned my trust as a hard-fighting, take-no-crap Democrat. Despite being dealt one of the smallest minorities in a long time, Reid has fought Republicans to a draw or even victory on numerous occasions. He took all the wind out of Bill Frist's sails as leader of the Senate, preserved the filibuster, completed incapacitated John Bolton, and held together to reject the partisan investigation into Hurricane Katrina's foul-ups. I don't agree with him every time, but he has been a big plus for our side.

He has a new blog up, obviously connected to someone at the DNC, cause the style is almost exactly the same. When our leaders reach out to the activists and new netroots this way, I think it is only fitting that we return the favor.

Thank you Sen. Reid, and welome to the Blogs.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

People who will definitely not be president

Bill Frist will not be president. If the big compromise or his flip-flop on Stem Cells didn't kill his chances, this Martha Stewartian diversion definitely will.

I believe this makes Republican leadership 3 for 3 in terms of corruption. We have the president fighting an illegal war and filling posts with all his inept cronies. We have Tom Delay in the house literally selling his influence. And now Bill Frist in the Senate, caught red-handed for insider trading. Republican governance is massively corrupt and ineffective.

I'd be willing to bet that in 2006, we will run our campaign as one to end corruption. And thankfully, the Republicans will keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

what you are seeing on TV

This is, in all honesty, the first time I can actually applaud the president's behavior. His handling of Hurricane Rita looks to be as cautious and extensive as possible. No doubt, hurricanes must hit somewhere once they enter the Gulf Coast. Bravo to the president and to Governor Perry; they are at the very least, doing all they can to coordinate a mass evacuation of the likely target areas.

The "pre-sponse" to Rita, however, is directly contrasted to the piss-poor response to Katrina (just a few weeks ago!). Everything they are doing right now should only reinforce how poorly they fumbled last time.

It is inexcusable that it took over 1000 deaths for the federal government to learn this lesson, but at least they have. At least they are doing the right thing this time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The post-Bush era

The veil has been lifted. Anyone who has watched any decent coverage of Hurricane Katrina has no doubt seen George Bush for what he really is: weak, incompetent, stupid, phony, fraudulent, a miserable failure. He's a lame duck now, his plan for Social Security is dead, his plan for the Estate Tax is dead, and Iraq is dying almost as quickly as our soldiers. What can he accomplish with a Democratic leadership finally united against him? John Roberts. That is it.

We are seeing the absolute failure of conservative governance. How will they fix the Gulf Coast, with so much already invested in Iraq and Afghanistan, with so much invested in ridiculous tax cuts for the obscenely rich? How will they trim fat out of a budget that Tom Delay called very lean already? You expect Republicans to actually trim it out of that transportation bill? Or maybe their bloated and ineffective Medicare-drug package? Maybe out of the leviathan Defense budget?

Not these Republicans, they'll pass the debt on to our children and our children's children (or die trying). In what should be the largest domestic recovery package since the New Deal, the president has appointed Karl Rove to oversee Katrina Recovery. They will use our tax dollars to fatten the coffers of (yes) Halliburton, just like they've done in Iraq. Americans will not accept this. Republicans cannot even be counted on to do the right thing in plain sight.

It is time for Democrats to show America what we really stand for. In the post-Bush era, the future is for us to make.

The Presiden'ts Katrina Speech

7:55 Still waiting for the president.

8:00 Flipped over to Fox (ehh) they pointed out how this is a long-term issue. Very astute, those guys.

8:01 Here he comes! Seriously, he picked a really pretty place to hold this speech. HAHAHA! "I'm speaking to you from the city of New Orleans." I wouldn't have known otherwise. Thank you W.

8:03 Very positive so far. No complaints.

8:04 Ah! The argument emerges. He's doing his darndest to tie himself to the private citizens of America. They did their job beautifully, the president did not.

8:06 We will rebuild New Orleans. Good.

8:07 I cannot explain his expression. It is as if he wants so hard to make his failure right. He looks eager, anxious even. I hope maybe this will change the way he governs.

8:10 Red shirt guy in Mississippi looks really mad at the president. This speech takes me a bit by surprise. It seems more like a round-up of news stories as opposed to political spin.

8:13 This is the sort of speech a real leader would have made that Monday morning. It is sad it has taken this long.

8:14 Gulf Opportunity Zone, GOZ, will be this president's Tennesee Valley Authority. We'd be lucky if it was even half as good as the TVA was.

8:16 A lottery based free zoning district for low-income housing?? Someone please explain how this would be a good idea.

8:17 Curse you, curse you for gutting the funding of the Army Corps of Engineers and levees. I'll never forgive him for that, even if he makes them ten times better.

8:19 This speech is making me realize just how much the American people have stepped up to fill the vacuum that our federal leadership had left. We really are a great country, and we deserve better representatives.

8:20 Here it comes... I know the president wants the so called "bi-partisan" investigation. Not good enough. WE NEED AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION.

8:21 woot! 9/11. My hat is safe.

8:22 the president must back an Independent Investigation.

8:23 biblical tones, which means the president is wrapping this up.

8:24 and he's finished. The speech was remarkably concilliatory and free of politics. In all honesty, it really was one of his better speeches. That said, it will not fix his anemic poll numbers. Indeed, I believe the tone of this speech reflects just how weak the President's position has become. The one political issue that came up was the President's push for the investigation currently in the works in Congress. There is ZERO chance Democrats will accept the set-up, it is little more than criminals prosecuting their own trial.
I would like to see us make a concerted push for an Independent Investigation. It is overwhelmingly popular (something like 75% approval, with distinct preference over a partisan investigation). The complications of Katrina are massive. At some point, I believe, Republicans must capitulate to an Independent Investigation (it's a talking point, get out there and spread it).

Eventually, we will have a real picture of just how many people lost their lives (the number will be big and horrible), and just how much money we will need to overcome this. It will become obvious how wrong-headed Bush's policies have been, from Iraq, to Tax-Cuts for the very wealthy, and refusing to take budget deficits seriously.

As a president, I think Bush couldn't be quacking any louder. I hope he realizes this and instead use this opportunity to become a better person. Accept responsiblity, and all the consequences that come with it, and redeem your soul. Fix this situation and you will at least have some of my respect, and not just the begrudging type

UPDATE: There will be no joint-congressional investigation. Democratic leaders have effectively killed that. I saw this coming, but I still think Reid and Pelosi deserve credit for enforcing such a rigorous point. Go read all about it over at Kos, cause the LATimes is subsricption only.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Live-Blogging tonight

I just want to preface this by saying I am not at all satisfied by the president's response to the recent disaster. At the very least, he could have directed his Republicans to sign on to an independent investigation into exactly what went wrong. He didn't, and every last Republican voted against a measure that is not only overwhelmingly popular (somewhere around 70% approval), but also overwhelmingly the right thing to do.

This should be a campaign issue. Radnofsky will have another weapon with which to take down Hutchison.

Anyway, tonight the President will be doing some damage control. Not actual damage control mind you, that would be truly bizarre, but damage of the political type. I'll be live-blogging during his speech tonight. Tune-in, log-on, and let us hear what you think.

Last time we did this, I ended up having to eat my hat. It wasn't that bad. This time, I'll eat my new hat if the President manages to NOT say 9/11.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

TTU Democrats, Katrina overload

Synthesis and I attended the Texas Tech University Democrats meeting tonight and were very impressed at the turnout -- somewhere around 50 people!

Check out their website for information on their upcoming meetings and activities. And, to any TTU students who stumbled onto this blog, welcome!

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I don't know about y'all, but this 2005 Katrina coverage is overloading me, much like the 9/11 coverage in 2001. Only now, the media is pushing back against the spin machines just a little bit harder than before. That cheers me up.

Dr. John Barkdull, one of our own Lubbock DFAers, has a blog with a good summary of how things stand in the aftermath of Katrina, along with a call for Bush to resign. Good stuff, John!

Way to go Pelosi and Reid

So here's how it is- Republicans wanted a "bi-partisan" committee to "investigate" the "failures" of what happened during Hurricane Katrina/Aftermath.

Here's what the Republicans actually did-

They locked out any Democrats from forming the rules of the committee.
They made the panel to purposefully include more Republicans than Democrats.
The panel would purposefully have very weak subpeaona power.

Democrats naturally rejected this.

For the record. I would much prefer a trully independent investigation than a bi-partisan one. Let's find out the truth, who really botched things and how we can improve for future disasters. If such an investigation implicates Democrats along with Republicans, I say hold them all accountable.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A LubbockDFA first

Yesterday marked the first time our blog got mentioned by another blog.

We also got a lot of traffic last night, mainly from I didn't know about them until right now. All in all, we got more than 50 unique visits, which is a lot considering that it is a part-time, un-advertised endeavor.

I really enjoy this medium, and hope it can become something akin to what Talk Radio has been for conservatives. The words and ideas of Lubbock Democrats are spreading out into the ethers.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Help Katrina Victims Locally

Do you want to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in a local way? There are a few things you can do:

* Offer a room for displaced victims to stay -

* Donate money to the South Plains Food Bank, which is coordinating with other food banks around the nation -

* Help out - the Salvation Army (765-9434) and Red Cross (765-8534) are looking for money and volunteers.

The consequences of a failed presidency

The other day I was talking with my wife about how important an event Hurricane Katrina is and how it will probably be the #2 event of this decade (9/11 being the first). Well, that was days ago, and I’m bumping the Hurricane up to #1.

I’ve never been angrier with the President and his Administration than I have been the last few days. He might be politically brilliant, but he cannot govern his way out of a paper bag. He has failed the people on the Gulf Coast and thus failed America. We could have been better prepared for this. One of my Bush Apologist friends asked what I would have done, if I were in the President’s shoes. I promptly rolled out the Ian Barba plan:

-I would have left Vacation Sunday.
-I definitely wouldn't have been in Arizona and California on Monday or Tuesday.
-I wouldn't have started the war in Iraq, and thus I'd have 20 thousand Nat'l Guardsmen ready to roll. I'd pump that up with 50 thousand US soldiers.
-I wouldn't have cut 44% out of a budget (Army Engineering Corps) designed specifically for handling these situations.
-I'd have signed the Kyoto Agreement, and worked my butt off to curb green house emissions.
-I wouldn't have privatized so much of FEMA.
-I'd make a direct appeal to the American People in Prime Time, asking them to please open their hearts and wallets.

This is just part of a common sense course of action that any reasonably informed American could have come up with. Our president miserably failed to enact any of these actions. We are seeing the results of his failed presidency play out so horrifically.

There are consequences for voting for this man. There are consequences for his policies. He didn’t have to gut FEMA, but he did. He didn’t have to reverse Wetland Policy, which would have made the flooding much more marginal, or prevented it entirely. But he did. He didn’t have to fight the stupid war in Iraq, thus making us less secure at home. But he did. He didn’t have to eat cake on Monday, and play guitar on Tuesday. But he did. So many of his policies have direct consequences to how bad the Hurricane damaged these areas, and how piss-poor our response has been. Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned. Bush plays guitar while New Orleans drowns. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

People are dying. Dying. I want this president, to summon his whole administration, his precious department of Homeland Security, and fix this mess. I want him to lead, to save lives, to make all of this OK. I’ll help, we’ll all help. But we need the federal government to lead. I don’t think Bush can do it, I think it is too late now.

Please, Mr. President, prove me wrong.