Friday, November 30, 2007

The Rescue

crossposted at firedoglake 29 november 2007

Video by SNPS Brian Shajari

Looks like the perfect storm, doesn't it? This post is in honor of Old Coastie's success in helping to save California from election fraud.

Repubs know they can't win a fair presidential race in '08, so they were trying to siphon off part of the CA electoral votes. And cheating besides.

If you go to the website of newly elected Secretary of State, Debra Bowen-D, you will see the following exciting language:

1250. (07-0016 Amdt. #1NS) Requirements for Presidential Electors. Statute. WITHDRAWN from Initiatives in Circulation. [egr bold]

Music to my ears! Link for the full text, scroll down.

It all began when Old Coastie [named for her work in the Coast Guard], along with Vikingkingq and PeteB2 from Kos and a few other sharp-eyed observers saw people gathering signatures on multiple petitions in a way that looked suspicious. While ostensibly signing for a children's cancer hospital [I mean really, how heartless could you be not to support a children's cancer hospital?] people were asked to put their name on 'multiple copies.' But these weren't duplicates, they were other initiatives, with the deception hidden by using rubber bands across the pages.

OC's Kos diary, pushed up onto the Recommended list by a surge of firepups, has all the juicy details. Instead of just shrugging and doing nothing, OC and others took action by calling officials and demanding to know what was going on. See this FDL comment where she asked pups for help in figuring out the next steps. Word spread, many more people got involved, and they scored one for the good guys.

Loo Hoo found a SacBee article that links the shenanigans to good ol' Congressman Issa. Who could have guessed? And BradBlog ties the whole thing to the increasingly desperate Giuliani campaign.

So the Repub attempt to steal yet another presidential election, this time by splitting the electoral votes in California, has been thwarted---for now. Still hoping that loosehead and colleagues succeed in keeping New York State from losing authority over its own elections.

Gee, isn't it amazing that the Republicans don't want electoral reform everywhere, just the places that could tip the election to them? And even then only thru deception? They can't win fair and square, so they have to cheat. US Attorneys scandal among sooo many others. Nice party ya guys got there.

But at least one part of the government has escaped being eviscerated by the Repubs, and still works the way it's supposed to: the Coast Guard performed heroically in New Orleans while so many others did nothing. [Truth in advertising, despite being in a Navy family I'm fond of the them because my brother was in the Coast Guard Band.] Their motto is Semper Paratus = Always Ready.

Coast Guard to the rescue---a toast to our Old Coastie and all who helped! To firepup citizen action!


Firedoglake: Pull Up A Chair

crossposted at firedoglake 20 october 2007

113238982_58a9895f84_m.jpgHooray for Saturday! When we were little kids that was the greatest day of the week. Time to run around barefoot, ride bikes, play ball, do whatever we wanted.

Saturday, or Sunday for my friends who went to temple, was just the most glorious day. We could sleep in, linger over breakfast, ignore homework, and head outside for a long day of happiness.

My best friend Sarah and I would spend endless hours exploring our neighborhood creek with all its treasures. She was always picking up a beautiful rock and telling me all kinds of things about it.

It might not surprise you to learn that she went on to study geology, and now works in a national park teaching kids how great nature is. For her 50th birthday she asked her husband to take her to see where the monarch butterflies winter over in Mexico, how cool is that? We live hundreds of miles away but have kept in touch over the decades.

So I got to thinking how fun it would be to ask you guys about your best friend when you were little. Who was your friend and what did you love to do?

Big shoutout to Christy, we know you're peeking! Have a great vacation and see you back soon.

Now I want to hear all about you and your friends and the joy of Saturday. I especially want to hear from you readers who have yet to make a comment. Come on in and pull up a chair...


A Beautiful Day

crossposted at firedoglake 6 october 2007

The struggle to find beauty in a broken world, the search for hope and love, and the traveling musician scenes in this video all appeal to me.

This song goes on first thing in the morning to get the blood stirring, to lift my spirits for the new day.

"I know I'm not a hopeless case...." See, right there is reason enough to wake up to this every morning. Just need a little reminder from time to time.

A toast to you all: brave and beautiful, hopeful and loving, traveling and grounded, wonderful firepups.


California Girl

crossposted at firedoglake 29 september 2007

While you all are partying, I'm out here in California at a Sark writing and creativity workshop.

When she was 10 years old, SARK announced to her mother, "I’m supposed to be a beacon of hope to the world and write books." Her mother told her to eat her peanut butter sandwich.

SARK [those are her initials] went on to become an internationally beloved writer on healing and inspiration with books like Make Your Creative Dreams Real and one on naps called Change Your Life Without Getting Out Of Bed. You can see why I wanted to sit at her feet for a while and soak up the goodness.

A friend asked me if I'm really going to a Snark conference :)

Carry on with saving the nation and the world for me, please, and I'll be back soon.

Love and cookies,


Dire Straits

crossposted at firedoglake 22 september 2007

What a week! We are in dire straits indeed.

Our Congress---that we sacrificed so much for to elect in '06---speaks out boldly on habeas Iraq censuring freedom of speech. Bush says Hussein killed Mandela and Return on Success means it's the troops' own damn fault that we can't bring them home.

But it's not all storm clouds. The stupendous outpouring of support for the Jena 6, reported for FDL by Ben Chaneles, showed the nation and the world we will not suffer injustice silently. There was significant pushback against Blackwater in Iraq. Looseheadprop approves the judge who is up for Attorney General to replace the odious Gonzo.

And things are good at FDL. Look out world: Jane is BACK and taking names. Christy organized massive call-ins for habeas and for the Webb amendment. Senator Gary Hart came to listen to us about a range of concerns.

Let's celebrate having the A team here: TRex, Pach, Siun, Howie's continuing success with BlueAmerica, Phoenix Woman, Teddy, Eli, Tula's series on labor, Donita, Ian, Swopa, Thers, Peterr, and RJ Eskow to name just a few of our talented folks. Several commenters noted that Scarecrow has been absolutely on fire this week. A shoutout to the backstage folks that keep things going smoothly for us. Our community continues to learn how to treat each other with kindness as we head into battle again and again.

We are in this for the long haul---marathon not sprint. It's easy to see the obstacles and the dangers, but let's also take time to celebrate how far we've come and the amazing community we are becoming. Leave the Fired O'Glake by the door for the morning battle, for tonight we dance!


Heard It Thru the Grapevine

crossposted at firedoglake 15 september 2007

It might be that the best thing this week is an event that didn't happen. I heard it thru the grapevine...

The a cappella version is above, with about 20 seconds of silence before he plunges in, and below is the music you're probably more familiar with.

Sometimes we get news, sometimes we get rumors. This week there was a lot of talk about the US Air Force standing down nationally to run thru nuclear procedures, and whether that meant trouble. It calls forth the very best tinfoil among us to have a stand down this close to 9/11.

We spend a lot of time worrying about things that might happen [moi?] and forget to be happy when things go well. Of course with this administration, "going well" means the country scraped thru another week without going visibly bankrupt or having the entire top tier under indictment, but hey. Let's rejoice in the good stuff while we've got it.

We survived another week! Be happy!


Dancing in the Streets

crossposted at firedoglake 8 september 2007

And when we win, when we push thru to the end, when we defeat the forces of darkness, there will be dancing in the streets.

Let's celebrate what we have already won, and raise a toast to our victories in the future!


Save A Life

crossposted at firedoglake 13 october 2007

We're seeing a lot of anguish on the blog and in real life these days, people becoming infuriated about administration abuses and gloomy over a Congress that refuses to hit the Stop button.

It's a geniune grief for our nation, and it's taking a toll on our psyche. Such strong emotions need to go somewhere---we fight with each other on the blog instead of uniting against the real evildoers---or worse, we take the pain internally and struggle with it there alone.

I've been pretty far down that path at times as many of you have witnessed. Thanks to teamEgregious, which includes quite a few firepups, I'm currently doing well. But there are other people who need someone to lean on, and I fear that number will soar as these outlaws damage our future.

So please, reach out and take care of each other.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Can't Find My Way Home

crossposted at firedoglake 24 november 2007

Clapton, East, and Knopfler creating magic, Toronto '88
h/t Wildvideoguy

On the eve of Thanksgiving Sunday when half the country is on the road, this feels like the right music. Hope all you pups found some goodness for yourselves, a visit or a great meal or a vacation or some time to think and relax.

As we pick up the reins again Monday it may seem that we've lost our way politically. Our confidence is shaken, trust in the government damaged, hope for one political party or another weakened by the cowardice of our elected representatives. How we mourn our innocence, that blind faith in the secure, stable nation we grew up in. Even during Vietnam and Watergate the country did not seem so broken.

Transitions can be difficult to manage, and that's when everybody is operating in good faith, which seems dubious as we observe the actions and inactions of the nominal leaders in the Democratic Party. Turns out we are the authentic leaders, we are creating a new path for ourselves and inviting others to join us.

I know a little bit about transitions, leaving one home and coast and establishing a new home on the other side of the country. It's kind of a rollercoaster, the adventures and disappointments, discoveries, more knowledge if not more wisdom.

Once the decision is made to change, there is an inherent momentum whether it be personal or political. We can't find our way back, but we can work together to find the way ahead.


BREAKING: Good Guys Win In Australia

crossposted at firedoglake 24 november 2007


Bush ally Howard booted out by the voters of Australia.


From Reuters/MSNBC:

SYDNEY, Australia - Australia’s Labor Party swept into power at national elections on Saturday, propelling 50-year-old former diplomat Kevin Rudd into office on a wave of support for generational change.

The surge to Labor left conservative Prime Minister John Howard struggling to hold on to even his own parliamentary seat, which he has held since 1974, putting him in danger of becoming the first prime minister since 1929 to lose his constituency.

Wow. Wonder what the issues were? [egr bold]

Rudd presented himself as a new generation leader compared with Howard, 68, promising to pull Australian combat troops out of Iraq and sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, further isolating Washington on both issues.


The election was fought mainly on domestic issues, with Labor cashing in on anger at workplace laws and rising interest rates which put home owners under financial pressure at a time when Australia’s economy is booming.

To our Aussie pups, got your Snoopy Dance right here. And your Dancing In The Streets!

Better foreign policy, responsive domestic policy...taking notes, fellow Americans? This is how it's done.

Australian fireworks graphic from Flickr Creative Commons artist woowoowoo, a pretty darn good name for this celebration


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


crossposted at firedoglake 3 november 2007

Hope you all saved all the daylight you wanted, 'cause it's over. Extra hour for late nite partying tonight! So turn those clocks back and let's celebrate!

With this free gift of time I would like to share what is making me so happy tonight. Virginia Democrats are in the midst of unrolling an unprecedented get out the vote effort for this Tuesday, when we elect our new legislature. There are not so many elections in '07, so our gains will be seen as symbolic progress for the national party.

Yes, I know, Blue Dog Dems, traitor Dems, et al, but we are talking about a conservative state that is moving in a good direction at a fairly rapid clip. Two consecutive Dem governors, for the Senate we are on track to replace the Repub Warner with the Dem Mark Warner, and the outcome of the presidential election in Virginia is now uncertain---our electoral votes do not automatically go to Thug-in-Chief Giuliani (R-Terra/Be afraid!) or other subpar candidate. From WaPo:

"A win in Virginia will send a powerful message around the nation about next year and the outcome of the 2008 elections," Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) said while soliciting Democratic volunteers to help get out the vote.

Did I mention how much I adore Webb, who is front and center in the Senate efforts to delegitimize an attack on Iran, establish a new Truman Commission on war contracting scandals, and spare our military from being sent back to the hellhole that is Iraq before they have had adequate rest? Talk about supporting the troops, this is it.

A particularly splendid victory would be in my own district where incumbent Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, wife of Congressman Tom Davis [who unlike Waxman, found nothing worth investigating] is pitted against the seasoned and reasonable Chap Peterson for State Senate. The Davis campaign has been predictably nasty and a victory would be very sweet. It's all about get out the vote, and we are so working on it.

And, at least in Virginia, we are finally beginning to get the winning coalition together:

Labor unions, who view Virginia's elections as a test run for next year's presidential race, are also flooding the state. The AFL-CIO is mobilizing 150 union volunteers in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Roanoke...also getting help from the Human Rights Campaign...and the Sierra Club.

In a week where we have experienced many setbacks and disappointments---and as one who works in Russia I bow to no one in my capacity to be depressed about how the world is going---I do see signs of hope. If states like Alaska and Virginia can turn blue so quickly, we might just make it after all.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

You've Got A Friend

crossposted at firedoglake 17 november 2007

This early James Taylor, with Carole King on piano, is dedicated to old and new friends at the Northern California pup meetup from this afternoon.

We struggled bravely thru an enormous amount of appetizers, entrees, and desserts including one which we dubbed The TRex:

TRex cookies
Thanks especially to the wonderful Suzanne who shared her redwoods, her creek, and Token, the cutest dog in the world with us.

The firepups:
Mary McCurnin
writer/musician Sahra
and the one, the only, Freeway Blogger: scarlet p.


Added: Teddy's pictures

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Can't Make It On Your Own

crossposted at firedoglake 10 november 2007

In celebration of all the firepup meetups this month! I love this version, he is singing his heart out and the audience is feeding him.

We need each other. There is so much work to do and it seems so discouraging at times. We faced a huge disappointment this week with the Attorney General confirmation. People write in the comments about losing hope and not knowing what to do.

To those who are despondent I would hold up news of our victories. Jane and Matt raised a quick $100,000 for Donna Edwards which got the attention of the Washington Post.

In Virginia this week a predicted close race to eject Tom Davis' wife succeeded 55-45 because of our get out the vote effort, and may in fact drive this very senior Congressman into early retirement; conservative/military Hampton Roads helped us vote in a Democratic State Senate; and it looks like our 13 electoral votes are no longer safe for the Republicans in '08.

We lost the battle, not the war. Count on taking more hits and having more wounded as this goes on, and let's take care of each other.