Thursday, November 30, 2006

George Will's Phony Outrage


Howling Latina supposes George Will is trying to mend fences with GOP bigwigs after he trashed them during the recent election cycle, especially since they so totally lost.

And what better way to burnish one's phony genteel conservative credentials than to write about the Webb-Bush incident in a totally perverted way that has no resemblance to reality?

Why, it's what GOP batwings love; but hell, even the Richmond Times-Dispatch got the story right, this time!

Well, Mr. Highfalutin Will, where was your outrage when Vice President Dick Cheney told a Democratic senator to fuck himself on the Senate floor a few years ago? A quick search on LexisNexis and yep, not a word of condemnation from your pompous pen or lips.

In fact, your GOP buddy, soon-to-be former Senate Majority Bill Frist rallied around the vice-president and excused his boorish behavior. But take HL's word for it, read on.
Majority Leader Bill Frist refused on Sunday to criticize Vice President Dick Cheney for cursing on the floor of the Senate in a confrontation with a Democratic senator.

The Tennessee Republican indicated that Cheney's outburst at Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could be attributed to political passions aroused by the election year.

GOPers, don't look at the plank in your brother's eyes when your entire party has been tainted and blinded by an entire forest of lies and venom for the past six years.

Give it a rest; you lost; it hurts, but first is denial, then rage, than acceptance. Move on.

Update: It looks like plenty of folks agree with HL over at Americablog.

DCCC Is In The House




Daily Kos posted on YouTube the great commercial that DCCC is running in TX-23 where Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla is in a run-off against former Democratic Rep. Ciro Rodriguez.

If you recall, this is the district the Supreme Court demanded be redrawn after ruling that Texas had disenfranchised Mexican-Americans with the disgraced gerrymandering scheme of Tom DeLay.

Rodriguez has been a favorite of national bloggers since he ran against Blue Dog Democrat Henry Cuellar in the March primary and lost in a close race.

The Stakeholder reported a day ago that Election Day had been strategically designed to keep Mexican-American voters home by Republican Gov. Rick 'Hairspray' Perry.
If Republicans seem to be working to keep the Latino vote low in Texas' 23rd Congressional District — by rushing the election, setting it on a Catholic feast day and keeping the early voting period short — it isn't the first time.

In 2001, Republicans in the Texas Legislature blocked congressional redistricting, effectively handing that job to federal judges.

They tweaked the existing map, which favored Democrats. And while more districts the GOP could win were created, they were not enough to give Republicans the majority of the state's congressional delegation.

So, then-U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay set out to give the GOP control of the Texas House, a feat that would allow them to redraw the congressional map yet again.

Communiqués between DeLay and remapping engineer Jim Ellis indicate that while they wanted more GOP House seats, they had two other key objectives.

They wanted badly to oust former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, the de facto leader of the Texas Democratic Party, and they wanted to solve the "Bonilla problem."

The only Mexican American Republican ever elected to U.S. House, Henry Bonilla was an important symbol for the GOP, which, until his election in 1992, enjoyed little support from Texas'fastest-growing population group.

Now seeking his eighth term in a runoff against former Congressman Ciro Rodríguez, Bonilla's first victory came by ousting scandal-plagued Albert Bustamante. Later, he was quick to hop on Newt Gingrich's bandwagon, becoming an avid supporter of 12-year term limits for House and Senate members.

Bonilla also became a trusted and loyal soldier for DeLay, and in 1999 was made head of American Dream PAC, whose mission, he said, was "to give significant, direct financial assistance to first-rate minority GOP candidates."

But with each re-election, Bonilla's Mexican American support slipped, and in 2002, only 8 percent of those voters cast ballots for him.

To keep Bonilla in office, DeLay's 2003 redistricting plan shifted 100,000 voters from heavily Mexican American areas out of his district,and in 2004, the more heavily Anglo district re-elected Bonilla by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

But solving the Bonilla problem became a part of DeLay's undoing.DeLay's use of corporate money to win a Texas House majority triggered several probes.

And when it became apparent that DeLay would probably be indicted in Texas, Bonilla came to his benefactor's defense. He proposed that the GOP's U.S. House rule requiring leaders to resign leadership posts if indicted be amended to require them to step down only for federal indictments.

As for Bonilla's Dream PAC, it was revealed that of the $547,000 he raised for it, only $48,750 went to other minority GOP candidates.

Other GOP groups and causes — among them, the 2003 redistricting effort and Bonilla's own re-election bid — got about $100,000.

A PAC staffer was convicted of embezzling another $119,000, and the rest was spent on plane tickets, hotels, catering services — and Tom DeLay's legal defense fund.

Nevertheless, in Nov. 2004, when Bonilla introduced DeLay at a news conference, he praised him as "one of the greatest leaders that this nation has ever seen, one of the most honorable Americans that I have ever had the privilege of knowing and serving with ... (and) a person who truly cares about his colleagues."

He sure did, didn't he?
Yep, and now Cirrrrrrrrro Rrrrrrrrrrodriguez is going to even the score.

Howling Latina just loves the extra roll of the "r" in the ad when the announcer mentions Cirrrrrrrrro Rrrrrrrrrrodriguez!

Hell No, We Won't Go...


There's something Howling Latina has been thinking about for the last few weeks, perhaps even longer; and that is, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and other cable news personalities having Democratic senators and consultants on their shows.

Why bother talking to the batwings at all?!? Do a Bush-Allen and give interviews only to folks that you like.

In fact, Brent Budowsky of Huffington Post articulated the exact sentiment ruminating in HL's mind about punishing idiot shock cable types by no-showing.

I would respectfully propose to the Democratic Leadership, and I am not beyond doing this in person, that they cut off one or two people who are the most egregious offenders. And that may include a couple of so-called Democratic consultariats who go on these shows.

When these Democrats get invitations to these shows because they are Democrats, they should say to the Fox and Baby Fox shows: no way, aint going to participate, we do not do "Democrats beat their wives yes or no" interviews. You want to do that stuff, you can do all Republican television and make it official and Democrats will take their views and news elsewhere.

Most important of all, everybody needs to get this straight: bipartisanship does not mean that Bush is intolerant, rude, avoids responsiblity, will continue to make the same mistakes, and undermines the Baker Group before they have even reported.

It's a new day in America; and the new boys and gals in town with lots and lots of power running the show are DEMOCRATS!

Yes, Chris, remember you deriding Jim Webb during his Senate campaign?!? Start sucking up, like only you know how, or Jim-no-show on "Hardball."

Oceana May Be Sinking


An article by Virginian-Pilot Online reports that Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina is pitching the Navy to move Oceana to Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station.

Republican Rep. Thelma Drake who recently won a close election over Virginia Beach Commissioner of Revenue Phil Kellam said "that a move would be expensive and unnecessary because the state has taken steps to ease encroachment around the base."

Drake said she spoke with Wilson and thinks his proposal is only a fallback position in case the Navy is forced to move. The Navy is committed to Oceana,she said.
Well, Howling Latina hates to break up the lovely cat fight between GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee, but here's one teeny weeny dose of reality. You are now the MINORITY!

That's right, Thelma, all that hype about "[b]ringing higher-paying jobs to the Hampton Roads region" is wishful dreaming. Hell, you may not even be a committee member in the next Congress. In other words, your super-duper junior no-body status makes you a likely target for committee reassignment.

Yes, 2nd District voters, now don't you wish you'd have voted differently and had Kellam fighting for Oceana Naval Air Station in the new 210th Congress as part of the MAJORITY?!?

A new BRAC [Defense Base Closure and Realighment Commission] reignited the rivalry last year by ruling Oceana had become dangerously crowded by homes, offices and shopping malls. The BRAC Commission gave Florida until Dec. 31 to prepare and return the former Cecil Field to the military
Don't despair, though.

Help is on the way of the Democratic kind via our newly elected member to the Senate, Jim Webb. Because of his gravitas and intellect, Webb has been auspiciously assigned to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Just be greateful enough wise Virginians voted Goober Allen out of office.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Webb & Bush - Duking it Out at the White House?!?


Speaker-elect Nancy Peloski hasn't even taken the gavel and already there is animus between a certain newly elected Senate Democrat and President George 'Dubya' Bush.

The Hill reports of a testy exchange between Sen.-elect Jim Webb and our 'presidente."
At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

Hmmm, guess Webb wasn't drinking any of the president's kool-aid with happy-talk and insincere reflection about how important the mission in Iraq is and just how very proud Bush is of our soldiers.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the
source.
Hit me with a feather; and excuse the living hell out of me!

Guess the "Decider" is feeling a little grouchy now that he knows the jig is up; fun and games with Dick are coming to end in January.

Cuban-Americans Smeared by Tancredo


To all those loyal rabid wingnut Republicans in Miami, the xenophobic wing of the GOP 'don't like you or need you no more.'

That's right, a Miami Herald headline reads, "Colorado congressman calls Miami a 'Third World country.'"

Oh dear, that'll probably go over real well at the house of newly-minted Republican National Committee Chairman Mel Martinez during the season of good cheer and brotherly love.

No matter. "In South Florida to attend Restoration Weekend, a gathering of conservative activists," Rep. Tom Tancredo a "Colorado Republican, whose district includes suburbs of Denver, pointed to Miami as an example of how ''the nature of America can be changed by uncontrolled immigration.'"
''Look at what has happened to Miami,'' the WorldNetDaily quotes Tancredo as saying in an interview. ``It has become a Third World country. You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America. You would certainly say you're in a Third World country.''
So much for the Republican Big Tent; or even its GOP nylon leftover scraps.

Well, Howling Latina has always believed in the Biblical precept that one reaps what one sows. As she pointed out to a befuddled Cuban-American from Texas a few months ago when he carped about the people in Texas tarring and feathering him as a wetback, there's more indignities where that came from, my Cubanito.

Oh yea, lots more!

First his complain and then HL's response:

I am a first-generation Cuban-American born of immigrant parents who were granted asylum from Fidel Castro's Cuba.

I am also a Marine Corps veteran who is fiercely loyal to this country. But in Texas, I am a Mexican.

I say clean up immigration law, deport criminals and let hardworking people of all racial and cultural backgrounds prosper or fail, according to their abilities.

To the demonstrating students: Go back to class, where you can truly make a difference for your families.

[...]

[D]ear Pedro, er, I mean Pete. People in Texas don't give a rat's ass about Fidel Castro; to them he might as well be Zorro; and yes, that's commendable that you were in the Marine Corps, but hell, probably half the volunteers from Texas fighting in Iraq are minorities.

Tell me why anyone should care more about your plight than the thousands upon thousands of Mexican-American soldiers who are discriminated against when they return from service?!?

Bigots don't need to justify anything to be bigots. They're red, white and blue baby; born in the USA; yes, born in the USA and so was their daddy and their daddy's daddy, or at least that's what they claim and no one is around to dispute anything different.

In closing, HL would like to dedicate the following poem by Rev. Niemoller, a prominent Nazi-era Lutheran minister, "First They Came," to Republicans who continue to support racist outrage from their party.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lefty-Blogs Has Zapped Howling Latina


Ever since Howling Latina switched to beta blogger, any new posts fail to appear on Lefty Blogs.


She'll try to keep plucking away and blogging and hopefully, soon, the problem will be fixed. If anybody has a clue how to fix the hitch, please leave a comment and do-tell!

Friday, November 24, 2006

President-elect of Christian Coalition resigns


The Christian Coalition is losing its president before he even takes over, the Associated Press reports.

Rev. Joel Hunter, of Longwood's Northland, A Church Distributed, wanted to shift the focus of the national group that was founded in the late 80s by Rev. Jerry Falwell from abortion and gay marriage to the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.

Hunter, who was scheduled to take over the socially conservative political group Jan. 1, said he had hoped to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment.

"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said.

Oh my, such daring heresy, the brazen heathen!

The Christian Coalition admitted to the media that Hunter resigned because of "differences in philosophy and vision." And apparently, everyone was happy to see Hunter go. His resignation was "unanimously" accepted by the board.
"To tell you the truth, I feel like there are literally millions of evangelical Christians that don't have a home right now," Hunter said.
Amen, Brother Hunter, Howling Latina knows exactly what you mean.

Hmmm, just where would Jesus be allowed to preach and worship today. especially since there's not one word in the Bible from his lips about same-sex marriage or abortion but lots and lots about feeding the poor and taking care of his sheep?!?

E.J. Dionne Weighs In


Howling Latina has been howling of late about the disgraceful voting shenanigans in Sarasota County, Florida.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., pens an op-ed today in the Washington Post.

Here's the story so far: The official vote count in the battle for -- you won't believe this -- Katherine Harris's seat put Republican Vern Buchanan 369 votes ahead of Democrat Christine Jennings out of roughly 238,000 votes cast.

But in Sarasota County, there was an "undervote" of more than 18,000 -- meaning that those voters supposedly didn't choose to record votes in the Buchanan-Jennings race. Jennings carried the county 53 percent to 47 percent.

The Sarasota undervote in the congressional race amounted to nearly 15 percent. Kendall Coffey, Jennings's lawyer, has pointed out that in the other four counties in the district, the undervote ranged from 2.2 to 5.3 percent. Put another way, roughly 18,000 of the 21,000 undervotes in the contest came from Sarasota County.
Fifteen percent; let that number slowly sink in your mind.

Now, during a careful analysis of the voting, the Orlando Sentinel previously observed: "Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat -- agriculture-commissioner candidate Eric Copeland -- outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes." In other words, the vanished voters were Democrats.

As Dionne points out, just think of the nightmare if the disappearing votes had been from Big Sky Country or the commonwealth of Virginia, where a tiny margin of victory decided whether Harry Reid is to be the next Senate majority leader in the 210th Congress or not.

[I]f anyone still needs evidence that all electronic systems should provide verifiable paper trails so real ballots are available in the event of a recount, let them go to Sarasota.
For the integrity of the voting ballot and our democracy, let's hope the next Congress makes paper trails no longer optional and up to individual states but mandatory and the law of the land.

George Allen Made the Top Ten List


Bridget Johnson of National Review Online has a top-ten list, only it's five: the top five reasons Republicans should be happy this Thanksgiving in spite of the thumpin' at the polls by Democrats on Nov. 7.

Headlining the list and straight out of Fox News Election Day talking points is the stale canard that Al Qaeda was rooting for a Democratic victory.

Second on the list is the fact that "Iran probably won’t have nukes by next Thanksgiving." No thanks to the Bush administration, Howling Latina might add.

Next on the list is George Allen's loss, which means the goober senator won't be running for president in '08, after all.

Sen. George Allen, fresh off his defeat by steamy-book-writer Jim Webb, will most likely not be the Republican nominee for the White House in 2008. And that’s a good thing, because I want the GOP to keep the White House, and Allen would not win. I admit I never was a champion of his candidacy even before he uttered the “macaca” heard ’round the world. I used to disagree with pundits who lifted him up as the next beacon of light for the GOP just on the grounds that the man is about as exciting as paint thinner. Put against a charismatic, if ideologically lamebrained, Democratic opponent in the presidential race, he would lose. After the Webb race, Allen’s political closet is now very obviously stuffed with things for the Democrats to use. And the Republicans can’t afford to go into such a key contest already limping.

Well, Virginia Democrats aim to please and are happy to bring a little good cheer to GOPers during the holiday season.

Moving right along, John Murtha's Congressional leadership loss is number four. You see, it proves he's not "as cool as he thought." Or as Leader Pelosi thought; or as progressive bloggers wanted; or as Dandy Jim Moran devined; or....

The final item GOPers are grateful about is that "Saddam Hussein is a dead turkey walking."
Ramsey Clark will have to find a new judiciary to annoy. Saddam’s appeal — which will take about 20 years less than a capital case in the U.S. — has been proceeding even as European progressives attempt revenge by ludicrously trying to nail Donald Rumsfeld on war crimes. We don’t yet know if Saddam will be executed by Christmas, New Year’s, or Groundhog Day, but it will be a holiday in Iraq nonetheless (except perhaps in pouty Tikrit).
Oh, such warm and joyful thoughts around the fireplace with some eggnog.

One word of caution, though. You may want to be careful what you wish for; there may be a few skeletons of the dead that might one day rise and be linked to all sorts of leaders; some, gasp, even from the United States, like Rummey, Big Time or Dubya.

One thing is for sure. Johnson is right. Allen's loss to Webb is a win for Republicans. But let's not lose sight of the big picture; it's not only a win for Republicans, but for nation, world and universe.

No Comment from Soon-to-Be Former Sen. George Allen



As Virginia bloggers have noted, Sen. George Allen, Jr., introduced a bill that would allow concealed guns in U.S. parks.

Fox News reports today that this last-minute parting shot from Allen has absolutely no chance of passing in the upcoming lame duck session.
Allen, who lost to Democrat Jim Webb in this month's election,told the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition in a Nov. 4 letter that he had urged the secretary of the Interior to repeal the gun prohibition.

"Since no action has been taken, I will introduce legislation in the Senate in the week of November 13 to repeal the gun ban," Allen wrote. He introduced the bill Nov. 16.

With Democrats about to take over Congress in January, it is unlikely that such a controversial measure would pass in the current lame-duck session. The bill would not carry over to the next Congress.

No matter.

The National Park Service also pointed out to Fox that "serious crimes in the parks are rare and there is no data showing a need for visitors to carry concealed firearms." Moreover having folks "with minimal or no training to carry firearms in national park areas will not lower the already negligible crime rate but will most likely increase the possibilities of basic altercations turning into something much more serious."

Hmmm, just exactly who is Allen trying to win over with this bizzare bill?

Well, Virginians are not likely to find out soon. When asked to comment on the story, Allen's office, like throughout most of his Senate campaign, refused to comment.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Evidence of Fraud in Florida

TPM Mukraker reports that missing votes in Florida's contested 13th District were from Democratic voters. The Orlando Sentinel analyzed the votes and discovered that most "undervotes" were from Democrats.

What an astonishing SURPRISE!

The Sentinel reviewed "roughly 18,000 ballots on electronic voting machines where voters had failed to register a vote in the congressional race, but had voted in the other races." Here is part of the Sentinel's report via Mukraker:

The group of nearly 18,000 voters that registered no choice in Sarasota's disputed congressional congressional election solidly backed Democratic candidates in all five of Florida's statewide races, an Orlando Sentinel analysis of ballot data shows.

Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat -- agriculture-commissioner
candidate Eric Copeland -- outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes....

[...]

[T]he results of the Sentinel analysis, two experts said, warrant additional investigation.

[...]

David Dill, an electronic-voting expert at Stanford University, put it this way: "It seems to establish with certainty that more Democrats are represented in those undervoted ballots."

Are there any GOPer wingnuts who want to claim the election was fair in the 13th District in Florida?!?

The rule of law and democracy cry out for a revote.

Come BACK!

Never write a post at 3:00 a.m., no matter how much you think it's a great idea.

Let's try this one more time.

Update: Or right after you wake up:)

Bring Back The Draft



Congressman Charlie Rangel is dead serious about bringing back the draft.

Howling Latina shouts with joy, "Bring it on!" But as Firedoglake observes, this time everybody goes, not like the last time.

After all, this is the megawar to preserve America's freedom and our way of life against the stealthy archfiend who plots to destroy Western civilization. We must immediately act before it's too late and everything we hold dear to our hearts is destroyed.

Islamic extremists want to exterminate every Western icon and will not rest until we are no more. It is up to us to dedicate our national resources by way of the draft and stop the evildoers and immediately act.

Our children and our children's children face oblivion or worst, life under Osama bin Laden as the burka adorned seventh bride to a third-cousin or jihadist chauffeur. Our decision today will determine whether we fight them overseas or have to fight them in the backstreet alleys of Chicago, New York or Las Vegas.

Our national will must be unshakeable. No deferments like the bad ol' days when "the rich people figured out how make sure that only poor kids" had to go to war and fight. No more saving clauses--not even for the Bush twins or their coked-crazed cousin, Noelle. After all, nothing like a hearty calisthenic workout and two-mile run at 6:00 a.m. each morning to keep the gals sober and help them shed pesky leftover baby fat.

Indeed, that's what's wrong with this country, FDL sagely points out. "A shiftless generation of mouth-breathing, Cheeto-eating, Generation X-Boxers" is what we've got. But bring back the ol' draft and folks will be getting stronger, more disciplined and better all-around. Hell, "[g[etting shot and maimed builds character! That is, if it doesn't kill you, of course, but then you [would] get to bestow a Legacy of Glory on the loved ones you leave behind. AND WHO DOESN'T WANT THAT?!"

You know all the claptrap we were hearing a couple years ago about the Greatest Generation? You know what made them great? The military. They had to fight real fascists and they came out of it better Americans, leading our nation on to an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity.

[...]

9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING! This is the fundamental crisis of our times! It's the Clash of Civilizations! All [the] tough-talking GOP water-carriers [who] were so goddamn eager to get into this war...it's only fair that [they] all help bat clean-up. Don't worry, with so many eager new recruits, this should be a cake-walk. It's just a little Arab nation. And they'll be soooooooooo glad to see us, they'll Greet Us as Liberators! Can you smell the flowers and taste the candy, yet? It should all be over in five or six weeks, and then we'll send you to Afghanistan, where (according to Ann Coulter) things are going SWIMMINGLY!

Remember, Freedom Isn't Free. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good, like giving up our privacy to warrantless wire-taps, suspending Haebas Corpus, and kissing government accountability and transparency goodbye. Hey, listen, it's hard to bitch about the draft WHEN YOU'RE DEAD. The Islamonazis hate our freedom(!!) and they won't rest until we're all bowing to Mecca and praying five times a day. You said it yourselves. We MUST fight the Great War on Terror! And what better way to do it than all together?

Who doesn't want to see our 50-50 nation reunite with the common purpose of defeating an enemy who lusts to ascend to world domination over the West? No more blue or red America; no more class warfare; just poor and rich young men and women getting shot in the ass, or the knee cap, or the heart.

Uncle Sam wants you, step right up!

Small Victory for Latinos in Houston


Baby steps, baby steps are a start.

Latinos in Harris County Texas won a victory on Monday when five major cleaning companies caved in and agreed to a new contract that raised their pitiful wages and offered health care.

The Houston Chronicle reports:
After weeks of marching on downtown streets, blocking traffic at busy intersections and subjecting dozens of union members to arrest, 5,300 janitors who make on average $5.30 an hour, will be paid $6.25 an hour come Jan. 1. By the end of the three-year contract, janitors will be up to $7.75 an hour and work longer days.
"No one thought that a group of poor Latinos from Houston would be able to win anything, but today we can lift our heads up very high," one of the striking janitors told a crowd of about 2,000 supporters in Spanish.

This is really pathetic. These poor janitors had to fight tooth and nail for subsistence wages that more than likely will be law of the land in the 210th Congress after Democrats take over.

No doubt, national bad press and immediate future prospects had more than a little something-something to do with corporate bigwigs' caving in and doing the right thing by increasing the disgraceful low wages of the poor janitors.

One major victory for the cleaning crews is that the new contract finally addresses their previous lack of health care. Starting Jan. 1, 2009, janitors will be able to purchase individual health care for $20 a month and family coverage for $175 a month.

The new contract also guarantees more hours of work. Many only work four hours a shift; the new contract calls for a minimum of six hours a night within the next two years.

¡Sí Se puede!

H/T to Brown Pride.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Riding High," the Slime Has Already Started


Even before Barack Obama acknowledges presidential aspirations for '08, conservative pundits have already started to slime his character.

And why not? After all, Obama is perfectly positioned to not only win the Democratic nomination but the whole enchilada, for sure. Someone has to take him down--sooner rather than later, si?

"Barack Obama: A Radical Masquerading as a Moderate," warns the conservative weekly, Human Events.

His sins? Well, Obama allegedly "hates Ronald Reagan...loves Jimmy Carter...slimes Rush Limbaugh...insults evangelicals...suggests that the Bible tolerates homosexuality...rehashes worn-out liberal anti-religious arguments...believe[s] in global warming...wants to dramatically raise fuel efficiency standards as well as taxes on oil companies....wants to raise [the] minimum wage and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit."

Yep, a raging Marxist liberal with a homesexual agenda; and what's more, Obama's fast rise has been totally constructed by the liberal media without ANY justification.

"Not since William Randolph Hearst determined that for the good of his newspapers’ circulation and secondly for the nation’s self-confidence, a war should be fought against Spain and that Theodore Roosevelt would be its hero," writes Tom Roeser, the op-ed curmudgeon from the Chicago Sun-Times, Tom Roeser, "has a newspaper undertaken on its own…out of whole cloth…to invent a hero for the ages that should be made president by its own fabrication."

Not since Hearst glorified TR has a newspaper undertaken to run a political career-this time the “Chicago Sun-Times” in behalf of presidential candidate Barack Obama. On its mischievous front-page yesterday, the newspaper plays in full color the Obama portrait with this banner-line: His plan to get this Joe out of Iraq and showed a photo of one Sgt. Joseph Antole of Lockport, Illinois, one of 150,000 serving “in the war that divides America.” Thereupon the newspaper’s Scott Fornek writes that Obama (in a sub-head) unveils plan to cut U.S. troops in Iraq.

Great! What are the details of the plan? After reporting several paragraphs of Obama rhetoric in a speech to the former Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Fornek reports the details of the Obama strategy in all its majesty: It is that we should conduct “a phased redeployment of U.S. troops.” It is that we should “sit down with Syria, Iran and other nations in the Mideast to find a lasting solution to end the war.” That’s all there is, folks.

But wow! What hype! Why didn’t anyone else think of that? Then the progenitors of the old Hearst pop culture give the full text of this magnificent contribution to world strategy together with a lavish editorial saluting Obama for his prescience.

Mr. Roeser, Howling Latina hates to break it to you, but, there are no easy solutions. The current administration has totally screwed up the Middle East for years to come; and for all of the perceived shortcomings of Obama's plan, it sure as hell beats what Pres. Bush and his cronies have done to date.

Refusing to talk to neighboring Syria or Iran or vigorously nudge the Sunnis and Shiites to make nice, Bush and his merry band of neocons have created a preemptive mess in the entire region.

Do tell us ol' sage, what exactly exactly is the GOP plan to stop the violence and carnage in Iraq?

That's what HL thought, nothing but more of the meaningless same. Stay the course; or worst, make the situation even more horrific for all parties involved by sending more men and women to die for the hubris and false pride of the current administration.

The Killing Fields of Iraq


The carnage continues in the killing fields of Iraq.

The Washington Post reports that October was the most violent month in Iraq with 3,709 Iraqis dying in sectarian violence.

[T]he U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq described the many ways civilians have been killed, from roadside bombs to drive-by shootings to kidnappings. Many were found handcuffed, blindfolded and bearing signs of torture and execution-style killing. Most had gunshot wounds.

Culling from figures kept by Iraq's Health Ministry, private hospitals and Baghdad's morgue, the report described a rapidly deteriorating society that has forced an estimated 1.6 million people to flee to neighboring countries since the war began in 2003. No longer are terrorists and insurgents the main perpetrators of the killings. Death squads linked to militias, often in collusion with the Iraqi police, and criminal gangs are also responsible, the report found. Many slayings were simply acts of vengeance.

What an unholy nightmare.

Pres. George Bush will privately meet with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in Jordan next week and drop a few bombs of reality at the feet of the Iraqi leader, CBS reports.

"[O]ne State department official described the purpose of next week's suddenly announced trip to Amman, Jordan by President Bush for a two-day summit meeting" as the needed way to explain the "new realities" of U.S. election results to the Iraqi leader.

The meeting between the two leaders will come as multiple Iraq policy reviews are under way by nearly everyone with a role in the reformulation of American strategy in Iraq. Officials note Mr. Bush has had regular contact with Maliki but most of that has been via telephone or video teleconference, not in face to face meetings. Maliki has visited the White House and the president did drop in to see Maliki last June, but the fact that trip was unannounced and came as a surprise even to the Iraqi leader caused some friction in Baghdad.

Now, a senior State Department official said, the American people are demanding new actions from the Bush administration and that, by extension, means they are expecting the Iraqis to do more to control security in Iraq. Violence in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, appears more and more to be out of control. A new United
Nations report records high levels of civilian deaths (120 a day in October), and both leaders are feeling increasingly pressured to find new solutions designed to improve daily life inside Iraq, starting with the security situation.

Not to toot her own horn, but Howling Latina was talking about the Iraq Study Group way, way back in March when election buzz and Jim Webb were all the rage in Virginia. On the third anniversary of our horrendous decision to invade Iraq, she wrote:

Like everything about this administration, the latest news out of the White House about Iraq is disjoined. One minute the US is on the march with Operation Swarm, and Ken Mehlman is scolding Democratic leaders who would cut and run; and in the next breath, the administration is blessing a 10-member panel headed by the Bush family consigliere, James Baker, "to take a fresh look" to see how the US can extricate itself from Iraq.

[...]

[M]ake no mistake about it, something is going on inside the White House. Cheney and Rumsfeld have fallen from grace, the question is how far was their fall.

The big boys are back in town; like days of old, Bush needs daddy and his friends to bail him out; and truth to the dope is back in vogue. Or as in the words of the consummate diplomat Baker, to render the administration “an honest assessment of where we are and how we go forward..."

Some folks have been wondering where Darth Cheney has been hiding. Come to find out, Cheney is flying to Saudi Arabia on Saturday to "hold talks with King Abdullah...amid a flurry of diplomatic activity over Iraq," the Washington Post reports.

Oh dear probecito. Humpty Dumpty has had a great fall; and all the king's horses and all the king's men are trying desperately to put Humpty Dumpter together again.

The trip, according to the Post, "reflects the wider scramble to shape the war-torn country's future at [this] critical juncture." Cheney hopes to strong-arm, er, persuade the Saudi government to use their influence to bring Sunni Iraqis to the bargaining table.

Oh yea, and help out with the cost of Iraqi reconstruction and no-bid Halliburton cost overruns. No doubt, they'll be delighted.

Wait, Cheney could always guarantee the Saudis a piece of the huge taxpayer subsidized profiteering pie.

Who Knew?

Howling Latina never liked Glenn Beck, equal to Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly; and certainly less than George Will, Pat Buchanan or Charles Krauthammer.

Now, perhaps she knows partially why.

Flipping through the channels, she came across Beck's smug mug. He was interviewing someone about sexual addiction and shared with the audience that he was an alcoholic. At least three or four times. Just in case the viewer had been too busy running back and forth from the refrigerator to get a beer or make a bathroom run and missed his confession the first couple of times.

Now, was Beck bragging or complaining, like that old refrain HL heard someone ask more than once?

To give full disclosure, HL was once married to a charming, raging alcoholic who never recovered; and yes, she participated in co-dependent 12-step program groups, almost equal to Al Frankin in "Stuart Little Saves his Family."

Faithfully, she went to Al-Anon on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Open Speakers' Meeting on Thursdays. Her entire world for nearly 10 years revolved around Alcoholic Anonymous, Al-Anon and her husband's elusive recovery.

And after watching nearly every movie about an alkie or druggie from "Days of Wine and Roses" to "Blow," reading "Charming Billie," "Love is a Choice," and other spiritual guides with the hope of gaining insight, she and four of her Al-Anon buddies who'd entered recovery around the same time pronounced themselves cured of their co-dependency, ditched their druggie or alkie hubbies and embarked on a new life.

"Friends of Bill," as members of the fraternity call themselves in honor of AA's founding father, Dr. Bill Wilson, admit their personality malady consists of grandiosity mixed with an inferiority complex; charming schemers overflowing with unfulfilled potential of "if onlys" and "give us one more shot." The lure that snares do-gooders like HL who want to save the world and play God.

Alcoholics are natural born leaders; and quite naturally, they usually end up in positions of power and/or public display. They have an ego the size of Andromeda with an insatiable appetite for emotional stroking and positive feedback.

Don't believe? Just go to any AA Open Speaker's Meeting and listen to their "drunkalogues." Cheers, way to go; here's a chip, keep coming back. The only problem is that a majority of alcoholics who go to AA never stop drinking for good. It's a tale of slips and recovery, with the hope that recovery increases over time for those few honest enough to confront their well-deserved humiliation of yet one more one-day chip to add to their endless stack.

Glenn Beck, like George Bush, fit the perfect stereotypical profile of the dry or wet drunk. Mean bastards with a streak of the Divine to confuse and confound.

Here are a few of their characteristics; remember, if the profile fits, you shouldn't acquit; it's all about accountability.
(a) excessive dependency; (b) emotional immaturity; (c) low frustration tolerance; (d) inability to express emotions; (e) high level of anxiety in interpersonal relationships; (f) low self-esteem; (g) grandiosity; (h) feelings of isolation; (i) perfectionism; (j)ambivalence toward authority; and (k)guilt.
HL would add absolutism. No shades of gray, just black and white. And yes, anecdotically, she can vouch that most alcoholics are Republicans. This is how they purify their souls. Interestingly, the ones who need the most grace for past sins are the least willing to grant it.

Thanksgiving Florida Update


Although Vern Buchanan, the Republican candidate for the House seat in Florida's 13th District has been certified as the winner, Christine Jennings, the Democratic candidate is challenging the results. The final outcome is still very much in the air.

Now, this is the district where 18,000 “undervotes in Sarasota County, the district’s largest jurisdiction and the source of Jennings’ greatest electoral strength" miraculously and myteriously disappeared; it is also the House district of losing Senate candidate and controversial 2000 secretary of state Katherine Harris.

As Congressional Quarterly Politics explains, undervotes in the 13th District represent "votes...registered for other offices but not for the House race between Buchanan and Jennings." Jennings lost by 369 votes.

Where the votes went, no one can explain.

Ultimately, the challenge "could end up before the House Administration Committee, which has oversight over federal elections," Roll Call observes; and with Democrats taking over the House in January, it will be up to Democrats to decide whether to seat Buchanan or not.

Times notes that "in the 1996 Louisiana Senate race, which Democrat Mary L. Landrieu won by a razor-thin margin over Republican Louis “Woody” Jenkins," the challenger also claimed voter fraud.

Although the Republicans who then held a Senate majority seated Landrieu when Congress convened in January 1997, they later authorized an investigation of the election.

The matter was not concluded until that October, when the Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to uphold Landrieu’s victory, ruling that Jenkins had failed to provide sufficient evidence of fraud.

With so many votes inexplicably vanishing into the ether, the national Democratic Party has weighed in with $$$ to help pay for the legal cost of the recount and challenge.

Even before butterfly ballots and the 2000 Florida voting fiasco, the Sunshine State has had an ignoble history of voter fraud. In March 1998, a judge overturned the 1997 Miami mayor's election between Xavier Suárez and Joe Carollo, the initial results drowning from voter fraud.

Ruling in the case almost a decade ago, Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson said, "The evidence presented in the case clearly demonstrated fraud and abuse of the absentee ballot laws," as he ordered entire new elections within 60 days.

Let's face it; there is no logical explanation for the missing 15,000 votes; and to preserve election integrity, voters in the 13th District are entitled to full and legitimate representation in Congress.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Help Wanted - Outreach Director


Soon-to-be former Rep. Harold Ford has a job opening as Confederate outreach director for his 2008 U.S. Senate campaign, Skeptictal Brotha reports.

Brotha helpfully lists the job duties, qualifications and contact information. Unless soon-to-be former Sen. George Felix Allen is running in '08, experienced staff from his Confederate outreach program in Virginia are encouraged to apply.

Here are a few of the qualifications; for further details, see Brother Brotha.
Plan and implement confederate outreach strategy for Tennesse for Harold Ford, Jr. for U.S. SENATE 2008. Identify and cultivate allies among right-wing, neo-fascist, confederate nostalgia groups. Partner with existing confederate nostalgia groups to work in areas of public opinion, grassroots organizing, and coalition building to increase awareness of Harold Ford, Jr and his right-wing, confederate friendly agenda. Plan, organize and/or attend educational events, community forums, cross burnings and other “speaking” engagements;Identify dissemination points for Harold Ford, Jr propaganda materials and messages, including potential local ad placement opportunities that feature Harold Ford, Jr flanked by all manner of confederate regalia, flags, and all other types of confederate bulls#*t.

Monday, November 20, 2006

CNN & MSNBC Gain on Fox

Now that Democrats are in charge of Congress, Fox has seen their audience continue to slide as CNN and MSNBC snatch their viewers.

Howard Kurtz of Media Notes at the Washington Post writes that MSNBC, "perennial third-place cable news channel enjoyed a nice bump in the ratings during the midterm campaign."

Of course, it didn't hurt when "the likes of Brian Williams, Tim Russert, David Gregory and Campbell Brown broke away from their NBC duties to help out."

During the midterm campaign's stretch run, Abrams devoted two full days to politics and persuaded some of NBC's heavyweights to anchor hour-long programs. In October, MSNBC's ratings were up 14 percent over a year earlier, while Fox News was down 17 percent and CNN was down 8 percent...[T[he NBC channel started from a much lower base. Fox averaged 792,000 viewers for the month, CNN 491,000 and MSNBC 287,000. (CNN scored a rare ratings win between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. on election night, drawing 2.54 million viewers to Fox's 2.39 million and MSNBC's 1.58 million.)

NBC hotshots once looked down their noses at their cable sibling. But Andrea Mitchell, the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent, who made frequent MSNBC appearances during the campaign, is now anchoring an hour most mornings at 11. Although the cable audience is far smaller, "you would not believe the kind of reaction I've had from people I really respect," Mitchell says. As for potential guests, "many people want to do live interviews as opposed to edited interviews where they'll be a 15-second sound bite."

Mitchell also sees a certain synergy, such as when she was interviewing an Iraq expert last week on MSNBC and gleaned information for a piece she was preparing on the subject for NBC's "Today" show

Howling Latina has been howling for a very long time that MSNBC needed to stop trying to be like Fox and mold their own brand ALA Keith Olbermann's "Countdown."

Hell, if HL were a Democratic congresswoman or senator, she wouldn't go on Fox for any amount of gold or silver. More than likely, a few Democrats share her sentiment.

Oh, and by the way Fox, how's that O.J. interview special working out for you?!?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Step-by-Step Recovery for Black Republicans

Steve Gilliard of The News Blog has a funny/sad tale about America and black Republicans in need of intervention and recovery.

Here are a few comestibles for readers to chew on:

[T]he worse. That's Ken "I ain't no negro" Blackwell. He did his master's bidding by denying blacks the right to vote in 2004, thinking his white masters would be so pleased. Sitting up in his big willie chair, with a cigar in one hand, talking like the white folks would let him run the show. They could trust him, he'd done what they'd asked, he'd kept them coloreds away from the polls,now he'd be on the way to the White House. First, a stop in Columbus, then in a few years, he'd be running to be the first black president.

Yeah, right. They used your silly, football playing ass to keep your people down and then let you think you could run for something. Sure, you were on the team. Until they had to do something for you.

You even got that mega church lunatic Rod Parsley to back your play. Too bad most of his parishoners would no more vote for your black ass than root for Michigan. They didn't care if you were a Godly man, you were a nigger, and that mean you wouldn't get their vote. No matter how much they smiled in your face.

Howling Latina lived in Texas in the early 70s, just as schools and housing were being integrated; and folks, it was UGLY.

Hell, she taught English at a local high-school in Virginia only a few weeks ago and students bantered around the school hallways in Confederate tee-shirts and writing racial epithets on the board in classrooms.

Here's a little tune to match the zeitgeist in Dixie.
O, I wish I was in Dixie!
Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away,
Away down south in Dixie!

Old Missus marry Will, the weaver,
William was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

But when he put his arm around her
He smiled as fierce as a forty pounder
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

O, I wish I was in Dixie!
Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away,
Away down south in Dixie!

About God and Gays


Howling Latina is on a spiritual winning streak.

Trolling through the blogosphere, she came across this gem of an article on Record Net that refutes the biggest canard told by religious zealots regarding God and gays.

The headline reads, "Dont' take God's word too literally."

The word of God condemns homosexuality, a Record letter writer said ("Record column seems to have missed the point," Nov. 9).

Since Jesus of Nazareth never spoke on the subject, one assumes the reference is to Leviticus, the third book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible.

Leviticus, compiled almost two millenia before the birth of Jesus, contains hundreds of religious, dietary and social regulations for the Israelites from an age when a people's survival depended on tribal cohesion, a safe diet, elementary sanitation and a high birth rate.

Has he actually read this book? If so, does he truly believe all of its contents are relevant to Christians and Jews today?

Do we regularly sacrifice an ox, sheep or goat at church? Do we keep women in our families in purdah for five days each month?

Do men's beards remain unshaven since they first appeared? Do religionists stone to death fortune tellers, magicians and those who deny God?

Do people commit adultery only with their servants and enslave only those of differing religions?

If people ignore these commands and restrictions, why then are they obsessed with the one rule among many that opposes homosexuality?

Do they believe homophobic diatribes prove that they're exclusively heterosexual?

They should realize that, especially after the scandal involving the stridently homophobic Rev. Ted Haggard, it doesn't work that way.

The sentiments of HL, exactly, to the very last word! Perhaps she'll post a few more delicacies in the future from the Old Testament, you know, like the lovely story of Lot and his maiden daughters and that business about wine, caves and incest, si?!?

Obama To Visit Purpose-Driven Life Mega-Church on World AIDS Day


The Mercury Daily News reports that Sen. Barack Obama will be visiting the megachurch of Pastor Rick Warren, "evangelical icon and author of the popular Christian book 'The Purpose-Driven Life.'"

And can you believe this? Right-wingers are throwing a hissy fit and demanding, yes, demanding that readers email the good reverend and insist that Obama be disinvited.

Well, that's the spirit of the holidays and mighty Christian of them, don't cha think?!?

These frigging Pharisee wolves in sheep wool clothing are making Howling Latina sick to her stomach. Obama's sins? Read for yourself.

Obama believes in condoms, Warren is biblically bound to believe in abstinence...Obama believes in abortion, Warren is biblically bound to believe in life...Obama fought for the right of hospitals to allow children to die outside the womb... i.e. Christ Hospital in Chicago. Obama fights against the protection of the institution of marriage on the state and federal levels...Obama promotes homosexual unions as being the same thing as marriage...Obama believes advocates for "hate speech" laws that would require the silencing of clergy on the issue of homosexuality and the relation that behavior has to the practicing of faith...Obama so strongly believes in abortion, that in running for the United States Senate in Illinois he had his wife write a letter to the voters of Illinois to assure them that he is a champion of abortion rights...Obama (when he occassionally (sic) attends goes to a Chicago "church" that does not adhere to any doctrinally sound positions in its theology...
Hmmm, sure sounds like Obama is the devil in the flesh. In fact, one of the headlines read, "Barack Obama: Angel of Light, or Anti-Christ - Rick Warren knows...

Yes, the modern-day Pharasees are a bunch of hard-core doctrinaires who want people to believe that they are the light, the truth and the way. No one cometh to worship the Father, but by them.

You see, Obama had the audacity to agree to "appear at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, drawing attention to the kind of issue the senator from Illinois says should unite all people of faith, regardless of their particular religion."
"Sen. Obama has a deep respect for Mr. Warren's commitment to fighting AIDS and poverty," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor. "They met in January of 2006 while Mr. Warren was in Washington and have become friends, speaking on the phone with some regularity."
Meow. What a bunch of catty covetous clueless idiots.

Who Goes to Heaven and Who Goes to Hell?!?

A very, very interesting article in The Dallas Morning News on the subject.

Howling Latina is knee deep in notes trying to whip out an analysis of George Allen's loss for graduate school so she'll reserve many of her comments for a later date.

Suffice it say, though, she proudly stands next to the folks who don't want to make "doctrinal claims" that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior is forever doomed to perdition.

Yes, as the article noted, the argument starts with John 14:16: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But Jesus was merely explaining to Thomas how one finds the way to where Jesus was going.

Here's a point to ponder. Is Jesus divine because He is the spirit of God who lived on earth as man? Howling Latina advances the notion that Jesus was and is divine because the spirit of God permeated every drop of blood he gave on the cross more than 2000 years ago.

But in that same vein, who are we, mere moral men, to divine God's ways?

Could God not have elected to speak to other nations through the Holy Spirit incarnate in another human body, like Mohammed or Budhha?

In fact, since we're on the subject, Jesus never said you “must” believe in me or else. In another passage he tells Thomas to not worry about his salvation. In John 14:1, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

HL submits that Jesus was explaining to Thomas that He was the way; the spirit of God that was in Him. A spirit that could just as easily permeated every fiber in Buddha, Mohammed or any person God so chose to endow His spirit with.

As to remarks from Warped View who gave HL a chuckle with this post, here are a few of the reasons she is a devoted Democrat and believes Republicans are on the wrong side of many biblical perspectives.

The Greatest Commandment (Mark12:28-31)
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" 29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[b] 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c]There is no commandment greater than these."

Words without Deeds (James 2:14-17) 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if people claim to have faith but have no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Judging (Matthew 7:1-5) 1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person's eye.

True and False Prophets(Matthew 7:15-16) 15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

And the Heart of the matter: (Matthew 25:31-39 )
31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will eparate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Barack Obama For President


Howling Latina has made up her mind; if Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) runs for the Democratic presidential nomination, she will support him over all others.

Tonight on CNCB, Tim Russert interviewed Obama; and she concluded that Obama is the real deal. A man of faith and character who is also humble, honest, reflective and grounded.

Yes, unlike soon-to-be former Rep. Harold Ford of Tennesee who lost his bid to become the first elected black senator from the South since Reconstruction by trying to triangulate the vote but ending on the losing side, Obama reminds her instead of our soon-to-be junior senator from Virginia, Jim Webb.

Like Webb, Obama is a man of conviction and intellect; he says what he means and means what he says. He speaks from the heart--rather than from focus group tested language.

The yummy gravy on the political souffle is Obama's opposition from the very beginning to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Just like Webb.

Indeed, if Obama runs and wins the Democratic nomination, Virginia would vote blue for the first time since forever, as would other swing states like Ohio.

Unfortunately, Obama is mulling his decision and the enormeous commitment that a presidential run requires of him and family. Moreover, he says he only wants to run for the right reasons and motive--not simply because people want him to run or because he thinks he can win.

In other words, Obama wants to resolve in his mind that his message to nation of hope is best expressed by him. For Obama, America's future is bright with endless possibilities but the nation must first pull together in harmony to solve its many challenges.

Obama's politics are not about a red or blue America--but one of inclusion for all. As Americans, he notes, we share the same goals, aspirations and challenges; and we must work together in solidarity and unity to discern the best solutions to the problems we face as a nation.

Indeed, for Obama, this is not only the noblest way to secure our joint future--but the optimal and safest as well.

The Spirit of God


Within the span of a few minutes, Howling Latina came across two posts that brought tears of recognition of God's love on earth.

The first was a so-called "joke" from A Moderate Voice. It reads more like a divine parable about choosing wisely than a comic quip.

Then in perfect heavenly harmony and splendid synchronicity, AOL headlined a story about a "Secret Santa" who has been traveling the country and giving thousands of dollars away to total strangers and now is "gravely ill."

The man who has spread cheer for 26 years is Larry Stewart, 58, of Lee's Summit, who made his millions in cable television and long-distance telephone service.

Stewart told The Kansas City Star that he was the man who would walk up to complete strangers, hand them $100 bills, wish them "Merry Christmas" and walk away, leaving astonished and grateful people in his wake. He handed out money throughout the year, but he said it was the Christmas giving that gave him the most joy.

Now, he wants to inspire others to do the same. He said he thinks that people should know that he was born poor, was briefly homeless, dropped out of college, has been fired from jobs, and once even considered robbery.

Read the story, it will speak to your heart.

For HL, the tale thoroughly expresses the ideals of the Democratic Party and why she is a devout Democrat. Read both posts and enjoy the Spirit.

Hmmm, Does Anyone See Anything Wrong with this Picture?!?


Cruising the blogosphere, Howling Latina came across this charming picture. Skeptical Brotha who headlined the picture observes, "Harold Ford., Jr. on Election Day chats up the good-ole boys in front of the Rebel Flag."

No doubt the bewitching image will impel blacks in Tennessee to come out in droves when he runs in '08 against Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, don't ye know.

Here's Brotha's take on the subject:
To say that the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol understates its inflammatory power. As a black southerner, Harold Ford, Jr. understands what this flag means. Every generation of his family and mine have been oppressed under it’s divisive perch atop the Capitols of every southern state in the union. Indeed, this flag, and its accompanying confederate monuments, combine to form racist monuments to white supremacy in every former state of the confederacy that remain to this day.
Amen, Brother Brotha.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Jim Webb on "Meet the Press"

Sen.-elect Jim Webb of Virginia will be a guest on "Meet the Press" this Sunday. Sen.-elect Jon Tester of Montana will also be on the show; and both will talk about how they view their roles in the new Democratic Senate majority.

Later, Ted Koppel, managing editor of Discovery Channel and Robin Wright of The Washington Post and author of several books on the Middle East will switch gears and discuss policy options for the U.S. in the region.

Discovery Channel is airing with Koppel a two-hour documentary on Sunday night that "examines the U.S. relationship with Iran 27 years later: 'Iran -- The Most Dangerous Nation.'"

As many may remember, Koppel became a household name after Iranian "students" held Americans hostage at the embassy in Tehran for 444 days. Koppel kept a nightly vigil each day on ABC until they were miraculously released on January 20, 1981, only "minutes after the inauguration of the new U.S. President Ronald Reagan."

Another incredible koinkidink!

A Cry in the Wilderness from Tom Davis


Heed the warnings of Rep. Tom Davis, R-VA., Republican wingnuts.

The Washington Post front-pages the metro section with the following observation, "After Two Big Losses, the Virginia Party's Ideological Divide Intensifies."

After suffering three consecutive state-wide losses as a result of moderates and independents "running away from the party," Davis thinks the party needs to retool and quit nominating folks "from one region exclusively."
"It's cost us the governorship, and it's cost us the Senate seat," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R) of Fairfax, a leading moderate who argues that the Republican Party has ignored Northern Virginia and its growing number of Democratic voters at its own peril. "A lot of it is cultural. There is a cultural divide.
Of course, some might argue that Davis's centrist message is self-serving. Republican Sen. John Warner is rumored to want to retire in '08 and Davis is gearing up to run for the GOP Senate seat if Warner retires.

Amazingly, the radical conservative wing of the party believes recent losses only prove that GOPers need to stiffen their backbone and cut more taxes.

Here's a little dose of reality. The next governor in the commonwealth will be instrumental on how Virginia draws district lines after the next census. And all those cushy gerrymandered districts (and yes, this shout-out especially goes to delegates like Lingamfelter and Frederick from Northern Virginia), will be in grave danger if someone like Deeds or even Warner presides over the process.

In fact, Howling Latina thinks that the next governor's race will pit former Gov. Mark Warner against Sen./Gov. George Allen. Both have presidential ambitions; and both know how important the winner will be to the task of Virginia either remaining red or turning a shade of blue.

When thinking about Ed Gillespie as the new Republican Chair for Virginia, HL can't help but note how far and fast Gillespie has fallen. Only a few months ago, the New York Times reported whispers of Gillespie as new White House Chief of Staff to replace outgoing Andrew Card.

Gillespie is a horrible choice. It's not like his political design made for a winning Allen campaign team. Davis is right to warn his ultra-rightwing friends.

Work with Gov. Tim Kaine and solve the traffic problem in Northern Virginia or watch your safe districts go up in smoke, sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Will Texas Soon Go Blue?!?


Howling Latina headlines the question because it looks like GOPers in Texas are a bunch of idiots.

The New Times reports on their Web site that Texas state legislators are ginning up a slew of anti-immigration bills.

Texas lawmakers prepared for the 2007 session this week by filing a flurry of bills that would deny public assistance and other benefits to the children of illegal immigrants, tax money transfers to Mexico and the rest of Latin America and sue the federal government for the costs of state border control.

At the same time, a Dallas suburb, Farmers Branch, became the first Texas municipality to enact measures fining landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, authorizing the police to seek certification to act on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security and declaring English the city’s official language.

Many of the bills are unlikely to become law, but, combined with the Farmers Branch action, they have raised questions about whether Texas, where almost a third of the population was listed as Hispanic in the 2000 census, is about to get caught up in the kinds of legal fights about illegal immigration that have occurred elsewhere.

Howling Latina can only pray that Texas does. Mexican-Americans are a sizeable voting block; and she doesn't reckon they'll much like all this tough, anti-immigration shuck and jive talk.

Pelosi Win In Spite of Murtha Loss


Huffington Post has great analysis of the recent Murtha loss as Majority Leader to Steny Hoyer.

She writes:

[D]on't shed any tears for Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. Even though her guy lost, this was still a big win for her. A victory for taking a stand -- and for her leadership. Because that's what real leaders do, they take stands. They listen to their hearts and follow their gut. If you only jump into the fights you're sure you can win -- notches in the W column that will look good on your political resume -- you're a hack, not someone who can move the party and the country forward. It's not about trying to have a spotless record; it's about knowing which battles are worth fighting, whatever the outcome.

It bodes well for Pelosi that was willing to spend her political capital right off the bat -- especially on the issue that will define her time at the helm. Far too many modern politicians save their political capital until it's lost all its value.

Murtha lost to Hoyer in a blow-out, 149-86. But as Howling Latina noted earlier in a post, new legislators, and yes, that especially includes Blue Dog Democrats like Keith Shuler of North Carolina, are on notice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may belong to the Democratic Donkey Party but she also has the memory of a large, five-toed pachyderm: long-term, muscular recollection.

Update: From a comment at Hotline on Call.

Noting all the coverage of this development as evidence the Dems have failed before they even started, I can't help suspecting that if it were Karl Rove instead of Nancy Pelosi at the center of this, pundits would be talking about his genius in backing Murtha - thereby responding to the anti-war grassroots / netroots - while knowing that Hoyer was far enough ahead in pledged support that it wouldn't put his win in jeapordy. Thus rebel grassroots gets something (Murtha support) that costs the insiders nothing (Hoyer still gets the job). And on top of that, Pelosi showed loyalty to Murtha, thereby not alienating him (and really, who would want to be on the receiving end of an angry Murtha?)

Got it? Howling Latina keeps trying to tell you, folks; Pelosi is dumb like a fox.

Hoyer Wins!


Howling Latina received breaking news e-mails from ABC News and MSNBC that House Democrats elected Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland to be their Majority Leader,in the next Congress.

Handing a bitter defeat to Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania who had the backing of soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House chose the steady hand of Hoyer over Murth'a firebrand polemics.

From HL's perch, Nancy Pelosi did the absolute right thing in backing Murtha. After all, Murtha was instrumental to her win over Hoyer as Minority Leader; and his public denouncement of Bush's war policies in late '05 paved the way for a Democratic majority.

On the other hand, Democrats were also smart in rejecting Murtha and electing Hoyer, especially with Murtha's publicly noted ethical lapses.

Even before Pelosi raises the gavel for the first time, no need to give ammunition to the other side; a problematic future situation was taken care of by House Democrats, whether Murtha was ever indicted for Abscam or not. A criminal indictment, after all, should not be the Democratic standard for a leadership post.

Take note, though. Pelosi's endorsement of Murtha was a clear warning shot across the "bowels of Congress" to signal to members that for her, loyalty is EVERYTHING. Cross her at one's peril.

Carville Slapped by Emanuel


Hotline reports this morning that DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel has put some "distance" between himself and Democratic political operative James Carville.

Carville has been publicly calling for the ouster of DNC Chair Howard Dean.

You see, Dean's brilliant 50-state strategy did not originate with Carville or his stale tried-and-true method of losing elections.

Emanuel called Dean this morning to distance himself from the tone and general tenor of Carville's remarks. In a short conversation, Emanuel acknowledged that he shared some of Carville's opinions about the DNC's priorities but said he did not share Carville's wish that Dean ought to be ousted as DNC chair.

Dean called Emanuel on election night, and the two had a friendly conversation, according to sources affiliated with both men.

Both Dean and Emanuel have agreed to meet in the future and strategically plan for the 2008 election cycle. And "[b]oth sides hope to reach, in advance, an understanding about how the Democratic party committees will fund state parties and candidate committees. "

Yes, that would indeed be helpful; in the meantime, Mr. Carville, STFU.

Poof - Up in Smoke

Government funds distributed to Cuban-American groups in Miami to advance freedom in Cuba were totally misused, Reuters reported yesterday.

U.S. funds intended to promote democracy in Cuba have been used to buy crab meat, cashmere sweaters, computer games and chocolates, according to a U.S. congressional audit published on Wednesday.

The survey by the Government Accountability Office found little oversight and accountability in the program, which paid out $76 million between 1996 and 2005 to support Cuban dissidents, independent journalists, academics and others.

It also found that 95 percent of the grants were issued without competitive tenders.

At minimum, the funds were supposed to make life a little easier for Cubans living on the island--not the Cubans living in Miami.

Interestingly, President Bush has requested an increase by $80 million to the Cuba-related programs. But as Reuters observes, "Critics have long charged the grants are aimed more at winning votes in Miami than triggering political change on the communist island."

You think?!?

It seems that folks running the show happily paid themselves $$$ out of the general funds, took personal vacations on the dime of taxpayers and sold merchandise that had been earmarked for free distrubition for personal gain.

The audit was ordered by U.S lawmakers opposed to the 44-year-old U.S. economic embargo embargo on Cuba, and they said the findings confirmed the need for a thorough review of U.S. policy.

"Let me just say that, to continue a current level of funding, given the results and given the disarray this program seems to be in, would be a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars," Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, told reporters in Washington.

Howling Latina has always suspected that grease, graft and gravy flavor the juices of Dade County politics. As for the needed medicines, books and other staples for my poor 'hermanitos' in Cuba, like my long lost suitcase in transit from Cuba to America, some high-ranking henchman, this time in Little Havana, enjoys the fruits of the ill-gotten booty.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Virginia Xenophobic Wingnuts Take Heed


That's right, Virginia wingnuts, before you go around legislating racist immigration laws and policies in this jurisdiction or that one, better read up on your Constitution and check your wallets to see how much $$$ you're ready to pony-up for the cause.

Because you see, courts will make you pay for your bigotry.

In a recent news article, The Star-Ledger reports that a "three-year legal struggle with its day laborer population" in Freehold Borough, New Jersey ended up costing taxpayers some serious $$$$.
The settlement, which still has to be approved by a federal judge, requires the county seat of Monmouth to shell out $278,000 in attorney fees and reimbursement funds and establishes a police protocol for enforcing certain regulations against immigrants.
In other words, don't get cute with your housing code laws; and don't violate privacy laws by illegally releasing confidential school records of immigrant children to folks like city zoning inspectors.

It appears that a filed legal complaint as well as federal data support both of these allegations against the Republican-red city of Manassas. In June, 2006, the Washington Post reported:

Federal housing officials have released the details of their discrimination complaint against Manassas, providing hard numbers supporting allegations that the city's two-year-old campaign against crowded housing has illegally targeted Hispanic families.

The federal investigation focused on the centerpiece of the campaign: the overcrowding hotline," set up in April 2004, that allows residents to complain anonymously about neighbors they suspect of violating city ordinances. At least 342 complaints have been made to the hotline so far.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which began its investigation in January, examined calls to the hotline between July 1, 2004, and Feb. 3, 2006. Investigators found that more than half of those hotline complaints -- 182 -- turned up no violations. Of that number, about 62 percent involved homeowners with what investigators called Hispanic surnames, 4 percent with Middle Eastern surnames and 3 percent with Asian surnames, according to the complaint.

[...]

Federal officials noted that the city said it "voided" 15 complaints to the hotline. About 10 of those complaints were against people with "Anglo surnames," HUD said.

"The numbers tell the story," HUD spokesman Jereon Brown said.

Although Hispanics make up about 14 percent of Manassas's population, more than 60 percent of hotline complaints were against them.

What an incredible koinkidink!

And here's the latest news from a Washington Post article in early November. Manassas taxpayers, get ready for the high cost of your city's racist policies.

New accusations were made against the City of Manassas over its "anti-crowding" efforts, as four Hispanic families filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education last week alleging that school officials illegally turned over their children's records to city zoning inspectors without parental notification.

The complaints raise the possibility of more costly litigation for the city in defense of its attempts to curb the number of residents who can share a dwelling through stricter enforcement of its zoning laws. Manassas is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly discriminating.

"None of the parents were aware that the city was secretly filing overcrowding complaints based on information in the children's student record," Kahn said. "It's very ugly. And it's very illegal."

Hell, that never stopped a rabid wingnut before and yet...federal law under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits schools to disclose students records to ANYONE without explicit parental permission.

Oops...

The Committees

Raising Kaine reported yesterday that Sen-elect Jim Webb was headed to the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Veterans, and Joint Economic Committees in the 210th Congress.

An article by the Virginian-Pilot today reports "that Senate Democratic leaders announced...that Webb will [indeed] serve on both the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committeess" as well as the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.

Not too shabby for a first-term senator; and certainly good news for Virginians should Sen. John Warner opt to retire in '08 as rumored.

If Republicans were to appoint the same committee members next year as in '06, Webb will be joined by Republican Ranking Member Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, George Voinovich of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennesee, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mel Martinez of Florida.

As the new minority party, Republicans will unfortunately have to say a fond farewell to one member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Republican re-elected committee members are Senate Ranking Member John Warner of Virginia, and Sens. John McCain of Arizona, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Susan Collins of Maine, John Ensign of Nevada, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota.

More than likely, Thune will be the one to get the ax.

About Bennie Lambert


Howling Latina was outraged when Democratic State Sen. Bennie Lambert staunchly supported soon-to-be former-Sen. George Felix Allen, Jr., a staunch conservative Republican with a racist past.

Just as Donna Edwards strongly challenged Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn of Maryland for his staunch support of the Iraq War and the bankruptcy bill, HL privately hoped that a Democratic candidate might challenge Lambert next year for supporting the GOP candidate instead of Jim Webb.

Today, Michael Paul Williams of Richmond Times-Dispatch writes, "With George Allen and the Republican majority voted out of Congress, where does Benny Lambert go from here?"
It may be overstating things to call him a man without a home. But state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, D-Richmond, resides in political purgatory since he crossed party lines to back the re-election bid of Allen, a GOP incumbent in need of a course in racial and ethnic sensitivity.
No, that's putting it kindly and mildly.

Yet...as Williams points out, "Webb would be wise to follow through on Allen's pledge to secure the money." But not just because black voters were the margin of victory for Webb but because it's the absolute right thing to do.

With 90 percent of black voters supporting Jim Webb in Virginia, it sure looks like they weren't fooled by Lambert, just as they weren't fooled by Steele in Maryland, Blackwell in Ohio and Swann in Pennsylvania.

Hallelujah and a thousand Hosannas! Virginia black voters overcame and outsmarted GOP political operatives and their evil misleading contortions that an Allen victory was good for black Virginians.

Update: Never, ever trust google image without "fact checking." HL apologizes for posting the wrong picture. H/T to Conaway B. Haskins III in the comment section.

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