Sunday, June 11, 2006

Yearly Kos, Net Effect on Democrats, The Internal Fight, The Grassroots Giveth, Too Close to Call and Greedy Old Pricks.

Here's the Yearly Kos promo, I've had it for days and always forgot to post it. Sorry 'bout that.

The Yearly Kos Convention is taking place right now in Las Vegas. More than 1,000 blogger and activists are getting together to enjoy their new found prominence as the left's answer to the right wing propaganda machine.

Quite a few prominent Democrats had the good sense to show up. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid D-NV was the keynote speaker and showed his understanding of the power of the internet.

"Because of you, no attack will go unanswered," Reid told the audience.
"Because of you, no lie will avoid the truth."

Reid's proposed bill, called the Iran Intelligence Oversight Act, would
require an updated national intelligence estimate on Iran, with an unclassified
summary made public.

It also would require the president to report to Congress his
objectives and strategies for Iran.

The Daily Kos and the other big time progressive blogs and news services sure have my thanks and best wishes for continued sucess.

If it wasn't for the progressive internet sites the Democratic party still wouldn't know it had grassroots or how they felt.

The Democratic Party leaders in Washington continue to stumble about looking for
a coherent message. But the message from the grassroots is getting louder and
clearer: Democratic voters want to fight the 2006 Congressional elections as a
progressive party that promises the country a course correction--out of the
quagmire that is Iraq, out of the swamp of corruption and incompetence that is
Republican Washington and, as described elsewhere in this issue, toward a
renewed and real politics of the common good.

Even in Congress, the real Democrats are starting to take on the establishment Democrats for control of the party. It's up to us to help them get it.

When the House of Representatives voted Thursday on the question of whether
to allow old media companies to colonize and control the internet, the two men
who would like to be majority leader in a Democrat-controlled Congress split
their votes.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who has long
been seen as the heir apparent for the majority leader post if Democrats regain
power, stuck to his usual pattern: He did as the lobbyists for the largest
corporations – and their allies in the Bush administration – asked.

The Dems had better take notice, because the grassroots are hard at work helping them close the fundraising gap with the GOP.

A surge in small, individual contributions is lifting Democratic campaigns
this year and is helping close a Republican fundraising advantage that has
existed for years in national politics, according to Federal Election Commission

Democratic House and Senate candidates and their two major campaign
committees are enjoying stronger grass-roots support than at any time since the
GOP took over both chambers of Congress in the 1994 elections, according to
strategists from both parties who have reviewed the most recent FEC data
released this spring.

The fight for the House still has too much time and too many variables to call. But this is the real battle between good and evil.

The wise people of Washington are knee-deep in numbers these days, trying to
compute which candidates are vulnerable and which ones are lost causes, and
where to devote precious money and resources. Oh, the joy and the horror of all
those calculations, all those parsed polls and historical averages -- like
fantasy baseball, only with the future of the country at stake.

Just a couple of reasons you shouldn't vote Republican.

First you know that the GOP loves a huge military budget, but for the GOP, the military is secondary to the defense contractors. Fort Sam Houston in Texas can't afford to pay it's electric bill.

It's stranger than fiction, a tale bizarre beyond belief: The Army that helped
conquer Iraq in three weeks doesn't have enough cash to keep the lights on at
Fort Sam Houston.

Second, the GOP doesn't believe in accountability, at least for themselves. $21 billion has just vanished and they don't even want to know how or why.

When word of the missing money first surfaced in 2004, Congress passed
legislation creating an office of Special Inspector General, assuming that this
new agency would root out the problem and figure why all that taxpayer money had
disappeared, and why only minimal reconstruction was going on in destroyed Iraq,
instead of a massive rebuilding program as intended.

The new inspector general, an affable attorney named Stuart Bowen, went
to work and came up with a report in early 2006 that sounded scathing enough.
Bowen found cases of double billing by contractors, of payments for work that
was never done, and other scandals. But he never came up with more than $1
billion or so worth of problems.

Now we know why.

Enjoy today, Monday's coming fast.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)