Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Poor George

Boo hoo hoo, poor little George; his poll numbers are in the tank; and more than likely will remain there for the duration of his presidency.

In the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, a majority of Americans do not approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

This is becoming a regular media non-event.

With the high cost of gasoline, rise in poverty, whack-a-mole insurgencies, Iraqi constitutional unrest, growing war movement, and just about everything that could go wrong, including acts of God by way of Hurricane Katrina, our Commander in Chief is in deep hot water.

The Post reports that 60 percent of poll respondents believe the administration could do something to alleviate the high cost of fuel, if only they wanted to. Recent colossal earnings by oil, oil services and energy companies probably have more than a tad to do with this sentiment.

Why the president is even getting heat from the right. Bush’s immigration policy has created the call for Bush's impeachment by conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan for his failure to secure our national borders.

The news story warns the mood of the country does not favor incumbents. But Republicans, who control both the House and the Senate, have more to lose; and with Roberts' nomination, the public will surely attach blame to the party who controls all three branches of government.

Contrary to characterization by the Post, public ire at feckless Democratic opposition is also a good thing for their party.

When more than half the country is dissatisfied with mere “tepid opposition” from Democratic officials to Bush’s agenda, an opening to get tough with Bush's priorities, including harsh and thorough questioning of Judge John Roberts during his upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearings, will only enhance their future political prospects.

Let them howl and call Democrats obstructionists; the citizenry seems to finally have woken up from their self-imposed slumber; and is now demanding truth in governance.

Let’s face it, Bush's brand is tattered by hubris and lies. He has a credibility problem.

For starters, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq, nor were any Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda discovered. A CIA operative was outed; and as it turned out, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan ‘misspoke’ when he said Rove had nothing to do with the matter.

The rosy economic prognostications never materialized, in spite of huge tax cuts for the wealthy that added billions to the country’s deficit. The war in Iraq is an unholy mess. At every turn, the administration has miscalculated and come out on the short end of the fuse.

Add rising living and health care costs to Bush’s failed attempt to convince Americans to accept his version of how to fix Social Security, a scheme that became increasingly unattractive as the public learned more of the details, and you have a prescription for not just skepticism, but unadulterated distrust.

People may have fond memories of jolly bar hopping from earlier days in the Bush administration, but they no longer trust him to pay his share of the tab.

Like the guy in the bar stool who buys a round, skips the bill, and then makes excuses the next time you meet, people are leery and weary of the president’s ever-changing rationale for why things have not gone as he said they would and the wine has turned to vinegar.

One word of caution to Democrats, though. People may opt to sit out the next round of festivities. So enough people must be persuaded that Democrats can bring fun times back; or at least stop the wretched incessant pain.

Remarkably, the Christian Radio Broadcasting Network responded to my e-mail expressing outrage at Pat Robertson's recent remarks calling for a hit on Venezuela's president.

I guess they realize Robertson really f/u this time. Oops, time for crisis management.

Here is my letter to CRB and their lame response.


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Subject: Outrageous Robertson comments

As a born again Christian who tries to follow my spirit's calling, I must write you to condemn Robertson's comments about assassinating the president of a sovereign nation.

The cozy relationship between Venezuela and Cuba is truly a private matter; and Robertson's words confirmed that certain Christian factions are allowing the flesh of politics to overtake Christian principles.

How else to explain the words of death that were so vile to Jesus?

I will ask God to forgive him and bring light to his thoughts.

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The following is a [pained] statement by Pat Robertson:


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., August 24, 2005--I want to take this opportunity to clarify remarks made on the Monday, August 22nd edition of The 700 Club where I adlibbed a comment following a very brilliant analysis by Dale Hurd of the danger that the United States faces from the out-of-control dictator of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. In this story, Col. Chavez repeatedly claimed that Americans were "trying to assassinate him."

In my frustration that the U.S. and the world community are ignoring this threat, I said the following:"

Thanks, Dale. If you look back just a few years, there was a popular coup that overthrew him; and what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing; and as a result, within about 48 hours, that coup was broken, Chavez was back in power. But we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger, and this is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, and we have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another 200-billion-dollar war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him. Col. Chavez has found common cause with terrorists such as the noted assassin Carlos the Jackal, has visited Iran reportedly to gain access to nuclear technology, and has referred to Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro as his comrades. Col. Chavez also intends to fund the violent overthrow of democratically elected governments throughout South America, beginning with neighboring Colombia.

As I report the news daily from around the world, I am acutely conscious of the fact that our nation is at war. Not only are there active wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but there is a war of terror being waged against civilized nations throughout the world.

We are in the midst of a war that is draining vast amounts of our treasure and is costing the blood of our armed forces. I am a person who believes in peace, but not peace at any price. However, I said before the war in Iraq began that the wisest course would be to wage war against Saddam Hussein, not the whole nation of Iraq. When faced with the threat of a comparable dictator in our own hemisphere, would it not be wiser to wage war against one person rather than finding ourselves down the road locked in a bitter struggle with a whole nation?

The brilliant Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who lived under the hellish conditions of Nazi Germany, is reported to have said:"

If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver."

On the strength of this reasoning, Bonhoeffer decided to lend his support to those in Germany who had joined together in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and killed by the Nazis, but his example deserves our respect and consideration today.There are many who disagree with my comments, and I respect their opinions.

There are others who think that stopping a dictator is the appropriate course of action. In any event, the incredible publicity surrounding my remarks has focused our government's attention on a growing problem which has been largely ignored.

Operation Freedom Oil

Operation Freedom Oil.

A foreign knight on a white horse may soon brandish a little "something something" for all Americans: cheap oil and gas.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to directly sell oil to poor communities and hospitals in the United States.

“There is a lot of poverty in the U.S. and I don’t believe that reflects the American Way of Life." he told a national TV audience on Sunday. "Many people die of cold in the winter. Many die of heat in the summer.”

According to Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Venezuelan ambassador to the United States, they have already received more than 140 inquiries, even though there is no official program as of yet.

What a scrumptious way to start a dialogue with the Yankees, especially after they've been gouged at the pump by oil conglomerates feathering their American coffers.

Perhaps after enough auto tanks fill-up with spare change from a $20 bill, red and blue states will exact California-style recall efforts; bringing a Chavez ally, crony or kin to power instead of a washed-up movie face.

You know, anything to preserve America's way of life and ensure oil pipes are filled to the brim.

Here comes Operation Freedom Oil, bringing economic liberty to the cold hungry children of rich Uncle Sam; and perhaps on its heel by next year's election, we can also welcome Operation Mission Miracle.

This is where the Venezuelan government awards 150,000 lucky Americans free eye operations, just as they have in their country and plan to do in the rest of the world by the millions.

Think of the possibilities: New eyes for voters before fresh leaders are tapped.

Monday, August 29, 2005

God is Love

To the exclusion of other points of view, too often media elites parrot born-again Christians' version of salvation and truth.

With the conservative Christian faction in the news from Pat Robertson's latest blunder (calling for an intelligence officer to “take out” Venezuela’s elected president), comments regarding faith and Christianity that travel under the radar screen and are regularly accepted as gospel beckon a dialogue today.

Evangelicals, same as Orthodox Jews and Catholics, assert the Bible is not only the word of God but recorded history, exactly as it happened; no digressions from dogma.

Yet many followers of the faith accept the former but reject the latter; and the wide gorge between the two is not renounced but instead embraced.

For them, the Bible is simply the elixir from which Western man sustains his spiritual life while on earth. It is the riddle solving ale that quenches mankind’s thirst for knowledge of God and His purpose for humanity. The New and Old Testament weep drops of the divine to help humankind understand the world around him.

But so do the Koran and other holy books. Humans are forever seeking the ultimate knower and chronicle their findings in writings.

From the Old Testament, King David said of God in 1 Chronicles 28:19, "I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of his plan."

The Bible is a book of God. But only the Lord imparts understanding.

John Stott, preacher and evangelist extraordinaire, asserts there is no room for “all faiths [to be] independently valid; and David Brooks, of the New York Times in a column, agreed with him in the not-too-distant past.

Still how can Brooks and Stott assert the “central message of the gospel [is] not the teachings” that may also be found in other faiths...?

The New Testament certainly seems to quibble with their dubious notion.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy ‘mind.’ This the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as your self. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

The central tenet for all religions is love of God and fellow man. All satisfy this cardinal command.

What is more, evangelicals of the Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell ilk seem to exalt Jesus a tad too highly, who after all is only divine because according to scripture God's spirit permeated every drop of blood He gave on the cross.

For televangelists, Jesus is the sole advocate who can guarantee heaven; and any person who does not believe likewise is condemned to hell.

What of a life that is lived as ethically, morally and holy as possible for an earthly being? What of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Taoists, take your pick, are they condemned to perdition because they don‘t believe what they don’t...?

Inquiring minds like those of Larry King, Bill Maher, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews and other panel hosts want to know.

But any discussion on the subject is forever stopped on its track by Bible thumping Christians with a quote.

Shrugging shoulders as if to say, "Well sure, if it were up to me I'd let the sorry heathens in…” they cite John 14:6 as proof positive non-Christians are all going to hell.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life," they quote. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

This is an excerpt from Jesus explaining to his doubting apostle of the path one must take to go where the Master was going, presumably heaven.

This passage is forever enough to stop any foolish, mulish nonbelievers dead on his hoof marks and stop further inquiry. Believe or hell is ones eternal home address.

Yet Jesus never said one “must” believe or else. In fact He also told Thomas to stop worrying about his salvation. In John 14:1, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

He was clarifying to Thomas that He was the way; the spirit of God that was in Him. A spirit, which some might reason could just as easily have permeated every fiber in Buddha, Mohammed or any person God so chose to endow His spirit with.

After all, God is God. Who can argue...?

Out of the mouth of man and to your heart, Jon Meachan, editor of Newsweek once discernibly noted, “We’re all seeking the means of grace in the hope of glory.”

No exactitudes here on earth, please.

What if more people were to hear and heed this added notion...? Just think how the moral focus might change from panic about salvation to security about grace.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pardon me for giving voice to my pesky thoughts, but what business does the United States have in telling a foreign leader how much to charge for its oil...?

It seems President George Bush and his petroleum cronies have a problem with Venezuela selling oil to Cuba at a discount.

In looking at their relationship, it is evident Cuba and Venezuela are merely engaging in the classical economic principle of comparative advantage as touted by the late British economist, David Ricardo.

Venezuela delivers a portion of its overflowing oil coffers to Cuba at below market rates. Subsequently, the island nation, with its highly trained workforce, ships medical practitioners to Venezuela to help serve the medical needs of the country's poor.

After the major brouhaha over Pat Robertson's suggestion that American intelligent officers might want to "take out" the Venezuelan president, the oil nation is now suggesting prices are needlessly high because greedy middle brokers are gouging the public.

On Tuesday, while visiting Cuba, President Hugo Chavez said, "We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States." He said he could offer oil to poor Americans at half the price they now pay at the pump.

Venezuela currently owns Citgo with 14,000 stations in America.

Imagine the rich irony if Chavez could figure out a way to "cut out...intermediaries" and help solve the U.S. energy price crunch. Instead of toadying up to Saudi Arabia, a major sponsor of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, why won't Bush make nice with Chavez...?

Venezuelans are not the people plotting to kill us; and just think of the savings, both in capital and lives, if both nations were to forge a meaningful dialogue.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

After Pat Robertson’s comments advocating for an intelligence operative to polish off the Venezuelan president, one might wonder what other Christian victuals Robertson offers on his website.

But fret not, the 700 Club is happily filled with enough snake oil to nourish every faithful Christian and keep them focused on the Divine.

Protein pancakes to ward off aging, a quiz to test ones spiritual quotient; testimonials of miraculous cures; a poll of viewers opinion (…just to make sure everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid); a rallying cry for foot soldiers in Operation Supreme Court Freedom (amazingly the same dub as used in Bush's Iraqi war); and yet another call to arms, this time for the upcoming Supreme Court battle.

Geez, can you feel all the love?

Pat offers sweet restoration, unless you’re pro-choice, advocate sex ed, same-sex union, pastoral feminism or any other deviant notion or behavior as spelled out by the reverend leader.

Fortunately for blonde, blue-eyed Emma, she was one of the faithful. One day as she watched the 700 Club, Pat proclaimed his healing powers across the air waves and she was touched.

‘There is a person suffering from headaches.' Robertson cried out. ‘There are serious problems but God is healing you.'

Amen, Brother Robertson; lo and behold, in a supernatural flash, Emma was cured from her paralyzing migraines.

Now lest any person want added proof of miracles, even more amazing stories are linked, only they have zilch to do with Robertson's healing powers.

For the curious, these delectables are available on the site: “Breaking the Bondage of Bulimia,” “Finding Daddy,” “Single, Saved…And Not Having Sex,” “Chasing Perfection,” and free bumper stickers for all.

Now as to Pat's call for liquidation, he recently told us, "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one...strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job..."

Just in case he was really serious and needs to raise money to carry it out, be sure to sign-up as a CBN partner. Membership to the Founders Club, a mere $417 a month, to the 2500 Club, $209, to the 1000 Club, $84, to the 700 Club Gold, $40, and the lowest membership at hand, the $700 Club, a dribble at $20 a m0nth.

Follow the yellow brick road to refinement and wisdom. Red America, you have channel options.

No longer must you parrot Republican ideology; yes, dear citizens, no more excuses for ignorance. Simply side with the light, flick your wrist and tune to the Al Franken Show on the Sundance Channel.

The show is available Monday thru Friday at 7:00 am and 10:30 pm.

Sweet fresh dreams, for those who did not already know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Embedded/Live," is the movie version of a Tim Robbins’ play, shot with a live audience in an off-Broadway production.

The initial drama, “Embedded,” exposed the hubris in government and journalism in the lead-up to the Iraqi war; and the deadly synergy between the two on the road to glory and the “big story.”

Shortly after the war, Robbins wrote a play about the marketing of the Iraqi war. Complicit in the drama were acquiescent journalists who blindly accepted administration talking points about the battle’s predestined course.

Allowed to be embedded with the military, reporters became a cheerleading arm for the armed forces. Just let them ride along for the shock and awe and hey, move along, only Saddam and his al-Qaeda sidekicks stood behind the curtain of piles of weapons of mass destruction.

The play shows newshounds becoming too cozy with military units and failing to note and report how things on the ground floor were not all peachy keen; so much for the idea of embedded journalists as conveyors of authenticity and rawness in news reporting.

Right around late spring of 2004, the web of dissembling began to unravel.

In May, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a national audience on “Meet the Press” that the CIA had been 'deliberately misled about evidence that Saddam Hussein was developing unconventional weapons,' according to the New York Times on page A-8.

During the same period, the New York Times also apologized for their previous sloppy reporting. No front page placement for such trifling either.

Embedded on page A-10 and more than a full year and nearly 13,000 American casualties too late, the mighty Times admitted oops...they got the narrative all wrong.

Robbins movie chronicles the story of herd mentality, and the deadly exchange between the dark forces of denial, “see-no-evil, hear-no-evil” mindset that preoccupied news and government officials during the prelude to war in 2002.

Too eager to curry favor with White House officials, toady reporters and government minions suppressed misgiving and echoed administration sentiments with ample government official quotes of assured success.

Fortunately, a new audience can now see Robbins’ work. This past Sunday, Sundance Channel aired "Embedded/Live,” the shattering truth that there were no weapons of mass destruction, the administration knew the likelihood of this eventuality, they tried to hide the truth from Americans, and reprehensibly, the media aided and abetted them every step of the way.

The station is also airing the movie on Thursday, August 25 at 9:00 pm, Tuesday, August 30, at 5:30 pm, Friday, September 9, at 1: 15 pm, and Wednesday, September 21, at 7:00 pm. Their official website for "Embedded/Live" is http://www.embeddedlive.com/ and the DVD is available for $19.99.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ideology be damned; hell hath no fury as the proverbial financial bottom line!

In delicious irony, the same company whose chairman told Republicans he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to” Bush in ’04, has now decided to show a little love to Democrats as well.

Chief Executive Officer Walden O’Dell recently hired former Democratic National Committee chairman Joe Andrew to help him launch a national campaign to bring electronic voting to every booth in the land.

O'Dell must have concluded that writing off nearly one-half of the country is bad business and can definitely choke profit margins. Although Bush and Company were able to win without such swarming states as California, it’s an entirely different matter for profit-making enterprises such as Diebold.

Who knows, maybe this election cycle Mr. O’Dell will write yet another letter, only this time to Democratic bigwigs and promise to “deliver votes to” Ohio Democrats.

O’Dell envisions bringing his malfunctioning, error-ridden touch screen voting machines to the country, but alas, more than a few blue states aren’t buying.

As of today, 25 states require voting paper trails, and fourteen states have legislation pending that would also require paper footprints.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Much like most utterances by Bush, it seems our unerring leader almost certainly witnessed the wrongful execution of some poor sap while governor of Texas.

The Houston Chronicle, who has extensively written about problems with DNA evidence that eventually shut down a Houston’s forensic laboratory, reported this week that police has discovered items that could well have exonerated three death row inmates in Texas.

The paper notes more than a 100 items were recently found by the Houston Police Department as they moved and tagged forensic evidence into a new computerized system.

Unfortunately for Ponchai Wilkerson, any fresh evidence that might have freed him arrived a tad bit too late for him.

Under the watchful eye of its ever-vigilant governor and presidential candidate, George W. Bush, he was executed on March 14, 2000; and this in spite of Bush’s assurance to the nation at the time that no one, not a single soul had ever been wrongfully executed under his administration.

Chief Harold Hurtt told the newspaper that discovered goods included “evidence that ‘could not be located due to being misfiled or lost” at the time of trial.

The Chronicle writes: “The revelations are the latest in a 2 1/2-year saga of problems that have plagued the HPD evidence analysis and storage divisions. Shoddy science, [and] substandard facilities” eventually led to two men being “released from prison because of faulty testing, and the integrity of thousands of cases.”

Oops…so much for our errorless war president/pilot/rancher/cowboy/biker.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Virginians need to be reminded that honest government is best guarded by a vibrant two-party system.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine is an attractive and charismatic candidate, much like Ohio's recent congressional candidate Paul Hackett who almost pulled off a stunning upset in an overwhelmingly scarlet red district.

Although Kaine can't get away away with Hackett's “Aw shucks, I’m just a plain old citizen/soldier trying to do what I can for my country,” he could frame his opponent, Kilgore, as the right wing's “rubber stamp” and himself as a man of principles who wants to ensure Virginians remain on the road to prosperity.

In Ohio, people responded to Hackett's message of a fresh, independent voice. They were tired of Republican clones, especially in view of the problems facing Ohio with their one-party rule.

In Virginia, we need to remind citizens what an unholy mess Republicans made when they were solely in charge.

The “rubber stamp” meme can be used for Republican party hacks in Richmond and will resonate with voters.

The Washington Post recently mischaracterized Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine's educational campaign proposals as pie-in-the-sky shameful vote pandering as he tries to become the next governor.

The paper took Kaine to task for putting forth a plan to provide universal access to preschool education in Virginia without detailing every minutia of how he plans to fund it.

Investing in pre-kindergarten schooling should be a fait accompli. Same as the state was able to unearth added revenue to reopen DMV offices after Gilmore's disastrous administration, fund nursing care for veterans, maintain the state's credit rating, and so on, resources to ensure every child has equal footing in education from the start, as the Post knows, is a matter of priority funding.

The op-ed begrudgingly notes long-term financial and social benefits from early childhood education, yet fails to mention how state spending is four times as much for remedial instruction than for early childhood education, a disparate order of priorities.

Hopefully, voters will be smart enough to realize Kaine’s educational platform is a simple statement of his central concern for early education; an issue too often disdained by his opponent, former-Attorney General Kilgore, who opposed every educational initiative put forth by the Warner/Kaine administration.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Excuse me for being a hardened idiot but...I just don't get why progressive bloggers are harping and complaining when like-minded political spirits now ask for their help in upcoming political campaigns; especially after their overwhelming success in mobilizing resources and the near-win in Ohio’s special election this past August.

Yea, I know it's not ALL about $$$. But try telling that to some poor sap who is struggling to just catch a news byline.

Besides….weren’t these the very same blogers who complained about the lack of DNCC contributions earlier on the Hackett campaign...?

As one who spent nearly a week in the 2nd district trying to drum up votes in Ohio as a direct result of the cyberspace publicity given the Hackett campaign, I, for one, would welcome and love to see the same kind of attention given to our lieutenant governor's campaign against former-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore for governor in the crimson red state of Virginia.

Leave no state behind means support for candidates with blood, sweat, tears and yes, that crazy aunt's in the attic (by way of blogs) all-out support.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Members of congress are responding to constituent concerns over Karl Rove's role in outing a CIA operative with courtly mindfulness.

Contrary to what party hacks would like you to think, that's it's no big deal, legislators have come to realize that the public is none too happy about the breach in national security. Just today I received a response from Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-VA, to my initial letter of complaint.

In her letter she says, "I certainly understand your concerns surrounding allegations that Karl Rove leaked pertinent, classified information to the media. I can assure you that I do not support any individual who poses a threat to our national security."

Why I couldn't have framed the issue better myself.

In spite of Republican talking points, I am happy to see a few Republican legislators undertand how the outing of Valerie Plame may have done irreparable damage to the global fight against terrorism and rogue nation's use of weapons of mass destruction against the West.

A little late in posting my musings on the electrifying 2nd congressional district race in Ohio but...here it goes.

A motley crew of about 200 volunteers from all over the nation swarmed Ohio to try to make a difference this past week and what a difference we made.

In a district that overwhelmingly supported Bush in ’04, Paul Hackett, an Iraqi War veteran, nearly won; and for all we know, he may well have.

After going door-to-door in nearly 100 degree temperature for days and making endless phone calls to voters, it came down to one reporting district: Clermont County.

The truly interesting thing is the race was neatly tied-up as late as Tuesday night at 11:00 p.m., when lo and behold, the tallying machine in the last county to report, which interestingly enough was the very place where Jean Schmidt hailed from, jammed.

As the gods of close election would have it, the last votes to report were to come from the district of Hackett’s opponent. Now some people might find it a bit curious that every time there is an “equipment malfunction,” it seems to come from an area that amazingly puts the Republican in office. Someone with a pay grade higher than I will have to see what's up with that!

In the meantime, if there is one lesson to be learned from the Ohio Hackett campaign, it is this: Court the bloggers. They can raise some serious $$$$ for your campaign; and flood "them" air waves, streets and phone lines with an army of volunteers.

And his framing of Schmidt as a Taft “rubber stamp” went a long way in framing his opponent; and it could also be the meme to frame Republicans in future elections and lead to success for Democrats countrywide.

In Ohio, people responded when you told them Hackett would bring a fresh, independent voice to Congress. They were fed up with Republican clones who always vote exactly alike, especially in view of the problems facing Ohio with their one-party rule. And with new SCOTUS appointments, the House, Senate and executive branch in Republican hands, the “rubber stamp” meme will resonate with voters.

Those two little words can work miracles; and just by that one catchy phrase, Americans can readily visualize the danger and folly of one-party rule.

Apparently House Minority Nancy Pelosi agrees with me. In today's Washington Post, she says: "People are tired of a rubber stamp congressman...They have serious questions about war, serious questions about abuse of power in Washington, serious questions about the economy. Republicans can diminish this all they want, but they do so at their own peril."

Indeed, no one wants to think of themselves as dupes; or as the case may be “rubber stamps” to any idea, party or person.

An appeal to voters love of freedom and abhorrence to “dominance” can go a long way to pound the message of electing an independent voice who knows the real bosses are not party hacks or political operatives but the voters back home.

In the end, every voter who has voted for a Democratic candidate within the last 20 years, whether for dog catcher or president, must be contacted more than once; and asked to vote for their independent self-interest by way of new independent voices in Congress.

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