Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Stingy Bush, Randi Rhodes, Ohio, A Winding Road, Ohio, Democracy Now!, Juan Gonzales, Ohio, Jesse Jackson, Ohio, Howard Dean and the media

The Incurious Resident is also the Ungenerous Resident. Karl e-mailed in this item (

Bush is giving a 'whopping' 10,000 dollars of his own money.

Karl: "Remind me again, Sandra Bullock gave how much? And this only after people started commenting that if he was asking Americans to donate, how come he's not donating?"

Sandra Bullock gave one million to the American Red Cross. Good point, Karl.

Elaine points out this link from Buzzflash (

Dems retake control of Vermont House. Funny, I thought gay civil unions were supposed to be their deathknell. Now the party will have to find someone else to blame for its losses. 1/6

Five other people wrote regarding links (none wanted to be named) on Buzzflash. I know Beth feels I push it but it's a great resources. And it doesn't go on vacation and there are new links constantly.

Tampa: "I was one of the people asking that this site not go on vacation during the holidays. I graduated college last spring and was lucky enough to find a job. I know that's not easy in this economy and I don't want anyone to think that I think it is or I don't appreciate my luck in finding a job. But it meant relocating across the country from my family and friends. I do celebrate Christmas. But I didn't have the money to fly home and I didn't want my parents doing without by trying to scrape it together. So my Christmas was me with a little plastic tree in the window and a TV dinner because I'm a lousy cook. The friends I've made from work all had their own celebrations to go to. It was one of the loneliest days of my life because I knew my family was all together and I'd pretended I had plans so no one would try to pull money together that they don't have. (My father was laid off in May after 21 years at the same job. What I don't spend on rent or student loans is money I try to send home because my parents really need it right now.) It was really sad to be all alone at Christmas for the first time ever. (I know many people have to go through that every year.) And when some of my favorite sites started going on holiday, I was really upset because the one thing I'd planned was to be online that day. I know a lot of people enjoyed all the contributions to the Year in Review but I want to say a thank you to everyone for that because it was a nice long piece that made me laugh and think (about something other than being alone) and made the day go by a little quicker. To have that, the daily commentary on NY Times and the Joan Baez and Michelle Phillips posts really helped me get through my 'big baby can't be home for Christmas whine' day."

It's never easy to be alone and it's especially hard on a day built around the idea of people being together. Tampa wasn't the only one who worried we would go on holiday. Other people wrote in saying that they didn't celebrate Christmas, or they celebrated it by themselves, or they had to work that day and would be alone except for their computers. There were a number of people writing in.

I've logged holidays alone before when I was working my way through college and couldn't afford to turn down the hours that no one else wanted. We posted on Thanksgiving and I can't imagine (short of computer problems) ever not posting because the day happened to be a holiday for some people (even a large number of people).

We're a community here and I don't know that we can justify taking a vacation. It's like the episode of Friends when Rachel, Phoebe and Joey can't afford to go out to eat or go to a concert.
People who are on holiday can come back and read any entry they missed or just pick up on that day. But Tampa wasn't the only one who expressed concern that we'd go on holiday. (The e-mails really poured in around the 22nd or the 23rd if I'm remembering correctly.)

But Buzzflash wasn't on holiday and I always assume that everyone is familiar with Buzzflash. If you're not and you have the time, you should check it out. And if it's at a time when people are taking vacations (that are probably well deserved), always know that Buzzflash is posting every hour of every day.

Democracy Now! and Buzzflash were our first permanent links and they are great resources. Because they were our first links, I probably don't highlight them as much as I should even though I know we've got new members in the community. That's my mistake. And here's another one below.

Beth: "I agree the paper [New York Times] deserves credit for the strong coverage of the tsunami but what about Democracy Now! which deserves credit too?"

Beth is correct. Democracy Now! is worth your time every day. If you've checked it out, you know that. And it was honored with a well deserved citation/shout out/honor in our "Year in Review" that Francisco did a wonderful job of. He captured all that is great and wonderful about Democracy Now! If it's not being mentioned enough it's only because I don't feel the need to play watchdog with it. They do real news at Democracy Now! and they deal with real issues and stories that the mainstream overlooks.

The praise for the Times should have conveyed that what they did on the tsunami needs to be the blue print for their other coverage. If anyone read that as "The Times is wonderful and it's above Democracy Now!" then I wasn't clear and I apologize for that. I'm glad Beth brought it up because if there was any implication that the Times was doing a better job than Democracy Now! then I wasn't clear and I apologize for that.

Bob: "Are you listening to Randi Rhodes right now? You've got to turn it on because she's even more than her amazing self. She's just pointed out that if the Congress is forced to decide the presidency, that will be two times that the people did not put Bush in office!"

Yes, I was listening and I hadn't heard anyone else make the strong points that Randi Rhodes was making with regard to why Senators should sign on to support the House members.

I was listening and got on to post but Martha had already e-mailed about The Randi Rhodes Show and sent this from A Winding Road:

I'm listening to Randi Rhodes' radio show right now, and she is in fine form. She's directing her comments to the Democrats in the United States Senate, and she's making a whole lot of sense.
Tomorrow is the day that Congress confirms that Electoral Vote. We have members of the House who are going to come forward, as they did in 2001, and contest the results from Ohio on the basis of fraud and voter disenfranchisement. Their efforts will matter little if they do not have at least one member of the United States Senate joining them in their effort.
Should they succeed in getting a Senator or two to join them, the United States Congress will then have to decide who won the election.
While we all know that Bush is most likely going to be chosen by Congress in the case of their having to decide, barring some miracle, Randi is making that case that regardless of that, the Democrats in the Senate need to make sure that Bush is once again selected by someone other than the people of America. And she's right. Bush has laughably been strutting around bragging about 'political capital' as the result of his 'victory'. Even his imaginary capital vanishes in the face of having to once again be chosen by someone other than the people.

That's from "Calling All Democratic Senators" ( is well worth reading in full so please check it out.

At NOW's website, Kim Gandy remembers Shirley Chisholm, NOW Honors Guts and Glory of Shirley Chisholm:

The National Organization for Women is saddened by the loss of a true feminist trailblazer and a founder of New York NOW, the organization's first chapter. Shirley Chisholm spoke fearlessly for women and people of color throughout her 80 years and it is an honor to recall a few of her accomplishments.

Read the full item and at the bottom they're asking for anyone who has a tribute to Chisholm to send it in (they provide an e-mail form).

To highlight another permalink:

In These Times spoke with Free Press founder and In These Times contributing editor Robert McChesney about current media reform battles and the challenges of getting the word out about crucial but highly technical communications policy issues.

Click on the link (above) to read the interview.

Have you been checking out Dahr Jamail's blog (Iraq Dispatches):

The dump is a dusty wasteland. Heaps of Baghdad’s rotting wastes are strewn about several square miles of the battered capital city. Engaged in their futile battle to remove the endless amounts of garbage from streets, blue garbage trucks rumble through the stinky dump, adding their loads of filth.
32 year-old Hattim lives in this wasteland
with his family.
“We are living in a dump. We are living a bad life. We have children, and no school. We have nothing. We are asking the new government to take small care of us. Not big things, just small things. We are transporting water with animals, with donkeys, and it’s not clean water. It’s not clean water at all and we have a lot of diseases.”


Science And Politics is following the blogs addressing evolution:

On the other hand, Amanda Doerty's understanding of evolution is quite sophomoric, which is OK as she is, actually, a sophomore. With the first tools and terms of philosophy proudly hanging from her tool-belt, she is putting them to use in a series of posts on evolution (as well as drugs, gay marriage, racism, affirmative action etc.) that is utterly confusing. Sometimes she uses typical creationist arguments to argue FOR evolution. The next minute she repeats some of the ancient, million-times-rebuffed, IDC arguments to argue against evolution. Then in the next paragraph she debunks another typical IDC argument. In the end she surprises by saying she believes evolutionary theory is correct but NOT scientific!!!! Well, most of the stuff on her blog is incoherent like this, but I would rather see this - that she is learning and thinking about the big issues of the world - than doing what most of her peers do at her age: get drunk, get high, get laid. With some reading, discussing, and thinking, she has a chance. Most of her peers do not.

(Molly, you weren't the only one feeling fascinated but out of depths. Your comments yesterday resulted in Domnick and Cedric checking out Science And Politics for the first time. They both said they felt the same way as you did and that they too were hooked.)

Dallas alerts us to an AP story at the Times' web site. We'll highlight it now because these AP stories on the site don't always make it into the paper. "Dem Lays Out Case Against Bush's Ohio Win:"

The report by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan says Congress should challenge the Electoral College vote when it is tallied Thursday in the House of Representatives and investigate all claims of voter problems in Ohio.
"We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election,'' the report said. "There are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the state of Ohio.''

. . .
The 102-page report titled "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio?'' lists such problems as unusually long lines, a shortage of voting machines in Democratic-leaning areas, confusion over provisional ballot rules and computer problems.
The report also contends there were widespread instances of intimidation and misinformation, improper purging of voter registration lists, a lack of inspection for about 93,000 ballots where no vote was cast for president, and vote totals not matching registration numbers or exit poll data.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson says that "Senators Should Object to Ohio Vote" in this AlterNet post
(thanks Jim for e-mailing it):

If Harry Reid, the new leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, has any sense, he will lead members of the caucus to support their colleagues from the House and demand a debate that will expose the irregularities in Ohio. If Kerry wants to establish his continued leadership, he will stand first to join with Conyers and demand a debate.
Will the debate overturn the outcome of the election? That is doubtful, although the irregularities in Ohio suggest that Kerry may well have won if a true count could be had. But the debate is vital anyway. This country's elections, each run with different standards by different states, with partisan tricks, racial bias, and too often widespread incompetence, are an open scandal.


Also at AlterNet, Keesha found this (via Buzzflash):

Do you think that the national DNC should control the state parties like they do in the RNC?
No, I don't. In order to make good on the new empowerment, we have to genuinely give power to the states and grassroots. That's what we did in our campaign. I believe in order to have power, you have to give up power. I know that sounds Zen-like, but it is true. In order to get it back, in order for us to win, we have to empower the grassroots.
Ultimately outsiders have to take over the party and that is very painful for the insiders ... insiders can't make this work out. Power needs to come from the grassroots. The current Democratic Party is the old mode. You know, they say people go to see the psychiatrist when the pain of doing the same thing becomes more than the pain of changing. It is time to face the pain of change.

That's from Don Hazen's interview with Howard Dean entitled "Facing the Pain."

And to close out on Ohio, Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzales uses his New York Daily News column to address the "recounts" in Ohio:

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the litany of irregularities and acts alleged in the recount lawsuit is chilling.
State law, for example, stipulates that each county must do a hand recount of at least 3% of the votes cast by randomly choosing precincts. If there is a discrepancy between the machine count and the hand count, then all votes in the county must be recounted by hand.
But according to the lawsuit, in county after county, officials refused to randomly select the initial precincts for a hand recount, with each county determining what to recount by its own arbitrary methods.


[Note: This post has been corrected to move a sentence above the last item and to add Randi Rhodes to the title of this piece along with a few more "Ohio"s. Note II: "I apologize" not "I'm apologize." Thanks, Shirley, for catching that, as always.]