Brothers in Arms - Max Cleland

The primaries are 3 years past and I still see the quizzical remarks and accusatory attacks on John Kerry's campaign in Iowa.  For those who still don't understand the win, it's as simple as reading Max Cleland's statement in support of John today.  You can't fake that kind of loyalty.  You can't fake the loyalty of a man who injures his only remaining hand, yet puts off treatment to help a friend.  If you haven't heard the story, you should first ask yourself why not, and after you've googled it up, ask yourself if you have an ounce of the courage and dedication of men like Max Cleland.   That's who won Iowa.  Vets and firefighters and those of us who watched them and learned from them and were inspired by them; and couldn't possibly stop when those who had already given so much were willing to give even their last hand to get a veteran's veteran in the White House.

So when Max has something to say, I listen.  When he says Senator Kerry's Iraq strategy is "the best of his head and heart", I believe him.  When he says "This is too important for our country -- we can't sit here silently and let history repeat itself", I know it is time to put aside political differences and focus on ending this war.  Once again, those who have given so much continue to lead with such dignity and courage, that it is impossible not to follow.  I'm proud to associate myself with these words of Max Cleland's, and hope, in whatever small way, that I can encourage others to do the same.

"Say what you will, but my friend John Kerry today stood up and spoke out about what he believes has gone wrong in Iraq and what has to happen - how he believes we can get tough with the Iraqis, get our brave troops home, and give the Iraqi people a shot at their own democracy."

Links: p=20

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Two Thoughts for a Tuesday

I was on the Young Turks radio show tonight to talk about Delay.  I'll have the audio up soon.  I addressed a problem I'll call the Devil's Gambit, and that is this concern that some people have that Delay's resignation is a bad thing for Democrats because 'then we won't have him to kick around anymore'.  The Devil's Gambit is a disease of losers.  It's a disease that has infected the Democratic Party to the point where no matter what, the latest political news (a) is bad for Democrats and (b) means we shouldn't attack Republicans.

The Republicans ran against Clinton for the first three years of the Bush presidency, and they ran against Carter until 1996.  We can do the same.  Tom Delay is gone, but his corruption remains.  Therefore Tom Delay is a valid campaign personality.  When extreme right-wing Republican leaders get put out of office, it's a good thing.  Period.

Two, John Kerry came out with this withdrawal plan.  It's good.  But even though I am a bit skeptical, at least Kerry has put something on the table.  What is the Republican plan for Iraq?  What are they going to do?  They're in charge and they have no plan, no coherence, and no agenda.  It's pathetic.  It's weak.  It's what cowards do when the world they created is crashing in around them.  Leaders step up and present a pathway forward, and can accept debate and criticism.  

Kerry has a plan.  Any Republicans out there have a plan?  Bueller?

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Paul Weyrich, Matt Stoller and the Need for Primary Challanges

We should learn from the opposition.

In the main section here on MyDD Matt Stoller has raised a ruckus in his post on Chuck Schumer and his argument that the netroots should foster more primary challenges to some Democrats in 2008.

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The mile-wide earmarks loophole in the 'ethics' bill

The aim of S 2349 is, of course, to provide the nation's legislators with enough cover to beat back corrupt Congress charges while ensuring that the most lucrative abuses remain available.

Thus, the Boston Globe on one of the wrinkles in the bill, which meant to control the spiraling number of earmarks -- local projects designed to help a specific industry -- that are often put into bills with no public debate.

The measure would not ban such projects, but it would require lawmakers to disclose any earmarks at least 24 hours before debate begins.

But because the lobbying bill defines earmarks as only non-federal projects, at least 5,283 of the 12,852 earmarks in the 2006 spending bills alone would have been exempt from the rules. This is because the earmarks were funded through federal agencies...

Geddit? A legislator can still work the earmark trick without drawing attention to himself so long as he launders the cash through a Federal agency!

And this was a bill passed by the Senate 90-8.

(Feingold, Kerry and Obama voted against, as did Coburn, DeMint, Graham, Inhofe and McCain.

No idea.)

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A Different Interpretation of Illinois 06

I too have meditated a lot on the results and the various events coloring the race in Illinois 06.  

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