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LittleClarkie's Journal
Let me cut to the chase: If you want anything big to happen after January, you need to give President Barack Obama a big progressive majority. Period.

We need a more progressive Senate to fight for a better America. With your help, we can elect some more great progressives and take another jump forward to a government in DC that works for all of us.

In my lifetime, there's only been one moment of truly progressive legislating - and it came in the 1960's. We've had great Democratic Presidents before and after those years - so why didn't we have comparable burst of major, dramatic legislative progress?

It's no secret - it's because it takes a President with big majorities in the Congress. Especially in the Senate where the truth is it takes 60 votes to do anything controversial. And it will take more progressive Democrats to fix the result of years of Republican assaults on our fundamental freedoms, our environment, and our workers.

In June of 2006, Russ Feingold and I stood up and demanded we set a deadline to get our combat troops home from Iraq. Yesterday, on FISA Russ and I stood together with Chris Dodd and voted against rubberstamping George Bush's abuse of the Constitution and retroactive immunity for the big telecom companies. Both times, we got around a dozen Senators to stand with us.

But in 2006, you spoke up during the election, helped us elect more progressive Democrats who agreed with us, and by the beginning of 2007, the Democratic caucus was united around a deadline for Iraq.

You'll watch that happen again and again after January if we elect more progressive Democrats who can help change Washington. As you know, I didn't get good grades in math, but I know how to count: we need more progressive Democrats and fewer Republicans.

Follow this link to help us get more progressive Democrats that will get us to 60 seats in the Senate and clear the Roadblock Republicans once and for all:

Sounds like a plan.

Y'all in?
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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Dec 20th 2006, 02:06 AM
Some folks are looking for the brand new NEXT BIG THING. A pol fresh out of the box, with no scuff marks yet and no visible defects. Oh but just wait til you've played with him a bit.

On the other hand, some of us have our Velveteen Rabbits. Their fur is a bit rubbed off in spots and they aren't as spiffy as when when we first got them. We know where all the imperfections and defects are, but we love them anyway.

I still fail to see what's so magical about new, and unknown. The unknown becomes known soon enough. And the new toy is never quite as cool as you thought it was going to be before you got a chance to look at it up close.

(This little post is brought to you from someone who's gotten exactly 8 hours of sleep in three days. Hopefully someone somewhere will think it makes a weird sort of sense. )
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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun Nov 12th 2006, 03:52 PM
Don't let this happen to you.

I pledge that as we enter this highly partisan time of primaries and lining up behind potential candidates, that although I may express disagreement or displeasure at various candidates that are not mine, I will not bash. I will attempt, though I'm sure I will not always succeed, to consider thoughtfully each candidate and their words, and treat them fairly. I will not name-call. I will not distort. I will not slant their words. I will strive to keep what they say in context.

God forbid we should give ammo to the other side like we did in 2004. I don't want the Republicans being able to pick up the primary playbook and use it to defeat the man or woman we ultimately choose to represent us in 2008.

I will not eat my own. I will dine on tasty elephant instead.

Will you take that pledge with me?
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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Jul 05th 2006, 10:39 PM
I didn't like Ronald Reagan. I had even less use for Nancy.

But the sight of her on his coffin, overcome and needing the kids to pry her off the thing, made me cry. Maybe it was because I'd just lost my dad a few months before. I dunno. A couple of my Republican friends looked over at me and said, "What are you crying about? You're a Democrat."

But another Conservative friend understood. This wasn't about Democrat or Republican. And he hoped that if the tables were turned and it was Bill Clinton who'd died, that he'd react with compassion for another human being despite what he might feel about the man or his family.

The conversations today just reminded me of that day. Carry on.

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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu Jun 22nd 2006, 03:37 PM
I see one reference to Saddam having chemical weapons, and wanting to make more. I'm not sure 15 year old mustard gas counts as "having chemical weapons" at least not in the way Bush meant here, and especially since we're not even sure the stuff wasn't degraded beyond use.

Nevertheless, it was not his focus. His focus in this speech was on nuclear weapons.

I repost the speech as part of a debunking of what we did, and did not, go to war for. We did NOT go to war because we feared the man had 15 year old mustard gas.

I bolded a couple of other things that caught my eye. One was what he was saying about war not being eminent (hence, lying) and the other about the Iraqi people, as in "gee, I wonder when we're gonna start doing THAT."

It seemed like a good time for a reminder. Hope it is of interest.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you for that very gracious and warm Cincinnati welcome. I'm honored to be here tonight; I appreciate you all coming.

Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.

We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability -- even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.

Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons. Since we all agree on this goal, the issues is : how can we best achieve it?

Many Americans have raised legitimate questions: about the nature of the threat; about the urgency of action -- why be concerned now; about the link between Iraq developing weapons of terror, and the wider war on terror. These are all issues we've discussed broadly and fully within my administration. And tonight, I want to share those discussions with you.

First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people. This same tyrant has tried to dominate the Middle East, has invaded and brutally occupied a small neighbor, has struck other nations without warning, and holds an unrelenting hostility toward the United States.

By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons inspector of the U.N. has said, "The fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself. Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction."

Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?

In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions.

We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran, and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who died in the attacks of September the 11th.

And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet, Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons despite international sanctions, U.N. demands, and isolation from the civilized world.

Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work. We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. And, of course, sophisticated delivery systems aren't required for a chemical or biological attack; all that might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi intelligence operative to deliver it.

And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace.

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary; confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. When I spoke to Congress more than a year ago, I said that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network.

Terror cells and outlaw regimes building weapons of mass destruction are different faces of the same evil. Our security requires that we confront both. And the United States military is capable of confronting both.

Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem. Before the Gulf War, the best intelligence indicated that Iraq was eight to ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon. After the war, international inspectors learned that the regime has been much closer -- the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. The inspectors discovered that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a workable nuclear weapon, and was pursuing several different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb.

Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nuclear weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites. That same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nuclear engineer who had defected revealed that despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had ordered his nuclear program to continue.

The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nuclear technology to terrorists.

Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there's a reason. We've experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, "Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril."

Understanding the threats of our time, knowing the designs and deceptions of the Iraqi regime, we have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring.

Some believe we can address this danger by simply resuming the old approach to inspections, and applying diplomatic and economic pressure. Yet this is precisely what the world has tried to do since 1991. The U.N. inspections program was met with systematic deception. The Iraqi regime bugged hotel rooms and offices of inspectors to find where they were going next; they forged documents, destroyed evidence, and developed mobile weapons facilities to keep a step ahead of inspectors. Eight so-called presidential palaces were declared off-limits to unfettered inspections. These sites actually encompass twelve square miles, with hundreds of structures, both above and below the ground, where sensitive materials could be hidden.

The world has also tried economic sanctions -- and watched Iraq use billions of dollars in illegal oil revenues to fund more weapons purchases, rather than providing for the needs of the Iraqi people.

The world has tried limited military strikes to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities -- only to see them openly rebuilt, while the regime again denies they even exist.

The world has tried no-fly zones to keep Saddam from terrorizing his own people -- and in the last year alone, the Iraqi military has fired upon American and British pilots more than 750 times.

After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.

Clearly, to actually work, any new inspections, sanctions or enforcement mechanisms will have to be very different. America wants the U.N. to be an effective organization that helps keep the peace. And that is why we are urging the Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough, immediate requirements. Among those requirements: the Iraqi regime must reveal and destroy, under U.N. supervision, all existing weapons of mass destruction. To ensure that we learn the truth, the regime must allow witnesses to its illegalactivities to be interviewed outside the country -- and these witnesses must be free to bring their families with them so they all beyond the reach of Saddam Hussein's terror and murder. And inspectors must have access to any site, at any time, without pre-clearance, without delay, without exceptions.

The time for denying, deceiving, and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself -- or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.

Many nations are joining us in insisting that Saddam Hussein's regime be held accountable. They are committed to defending the international security that protects the lives of both our citizens and theirs. And that's why America is challenging all nations to take the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council seriously.

And these resolutions are clear. In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the Oil For Food program. It must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown.

By taking these steps, and by only taking these steps, the Iraqi regime has an opportunity to avoid conflict. Taking these steps would also change the nature of the Iraqi regime itself. America hopes the regime will make that choice. Unfortunately, at least so far, we have little reason to expect it. And that's why two administrations -- mine and President Clinton's -- have stated that regime change in Iraq is the only certain means of removing a great danger to our nation.

I hope this will not require military action, but it may. And military conflict could be difficult. An Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may attempt cruel and desperate measures. If Saddam Hussein orders such measures, his generals would be well advised to refuse those orders. If they do not refuse, they must understand that all war criminals will be pursued and punished. If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is possible. We will plan carefully; we will act with the full power of the United States military; we will act with allies at our side, and we will prevail. (Applause.)

There is no easy or risk-free course of action. Some have argued we should wait -- and that's an option. In my view, it's the riskiest of all options, because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become. We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world. But I'm convinced that is a hope against all evidence. As Americans, we want peace -- we work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.

Failure to act would embolden other tyrants, allow terrorists access to new weapons and new resources, and make blackmail a permanent feature of world events. The United Nations would betray the purpose of its founding, and prove irrelevant to the problems of our time. And through its inaction, the United States would resign itself to a future of fear.

That is not the America I know. That is not the America I serve. We refuse to live in fear. (Applause.) This nation, in world war and in Cold War, has never permitted the brutal and lawless to set history's course. Now, as before, we will secure our nation, protect our freedom, and help others to find freedom of their own.

Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq. The lives of Iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if Saddam Hussein were no longer in power, just as the lives of Afghanistan's citizens improved after the Taliban. The dictator of Iraq is a student of Stalin, using murder as a tool of terror and control, within his own cabinet, within his own army, and even within his own family.

On Saddam Hussein's orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured.

America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights, to the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of terror and torture. America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children. The oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, Shi'a, Sunnis and others will be lifted. The long captivity of Iraq will end, and an era of new hope will begin.

Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time. If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.

Later this week, the United States Congress will vote on this matter. I have asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves necessary, to enforce U.N. Security Council demands. Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable. The resolution will tell the United Nations, and all nations, that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something. Congress will also be sending a message to the dictator in Iraq: that his only chance -- his only choice is full compliance, and the time remaining for that choice is limited.

Members of Congress are nearing an historic vote. I'm confident they will fully consider the facts, and their duties.

The attacks of September the 11th showed our country that vast oceans no longer protect us from danger. Before that tragic date, we had only hints of al Qaeda's plans and designs. Today in Iraq, we see a threat whose outlines are far more clearly defined, and whose consequences could be far more deadly. Saddam Hussein's actions have put us on notice, and there is no refuge from our responsibilities.

We did not ask for this present challenge, but we accept it. Like other generations of Americans, we will meet the responsibility of defending human liberty against violence and aggression. By our resolve, we will give strength to others. By our courage, we will give hope to others. And by our actions, we will secure the peace, and lead the world to a better day.

May God bless America. (Applause.)
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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Mon Jun 05th 2006, 04:57 PM
about how our media treats Democratic presidential candidates. See also the article about Gore's new film and how a certain NYT op/ed columnist is reacting to it.

FOSER GETS IT RIGHT: Good lord! Jamison Foser rocks the world in this report from Media Matters. We’ll quibble with Foser on one small point. But liberals and Democrats need to grasp what he says in this important passage:

FOSER (6/2/06): Too many people chalk up outrageous media treatment of, say, Al Gore or John Kerry to the men's own flaws, pretending that if they were better candidates, they'd have gotten better press coverage. That's naïve. The Democratic Party could nominate Superman to be their next presidential candidate, and two things would happen: conservatives would smear him, and the media would join in. To illustrate this, we look back over the last dozen or so years.


Later, Foser makes a second point, one which is very important:

FOSER: And then Al Gore came along and, as The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby argues convincingly, was treated to the most relentlessly hostile (not to mention dishonest) media coverage any major party presidential candidate had ever seen. He was mocked for wearing "earth tones" (who doesn't?). Reporters simply made up quotes they attributed to him, then declared him a liar because the quotes—which he never spoke—were exaggerations. And, to be clear: when we say reporters made up quotes, we aren't talking about Rush Limbaugh or Matt Drudge. We're talking about the New York Times and the Washington Post.


We’ll offer another example of that silence tomorrow. But Foser makes two important points. When we focus on Gore’s alleged flaws, we completely miss the main thing that happened. And the main thing that happened—that War Against Gore—was driven by the mainstream press corps. If liberals want to understand the real world, we have to stop pretending that what happened was Gore’s fault—or that this war was run by Rush Limbaugh. It’s simply amazing to see the way liberals still cling to these false story lines.

(more at link)
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There is more than a dime's worth of difference.

And the Murtha plan had the troops stationed thus as well.

This is not the man I see. They are welcome to whatever delusion they see fit. But this is not the man I see. Not when it comes to the troops.
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1. Republicans often try to blame 9/11 on Bill Clinton, saying he didn't do enough to combat terrorism.


2. Republicans often also say that one can not criticize the president, censure him or otherwise not support him, lest you make the terrorists stronger.


3. Since the Republicans criticized Bill Clinton, impeached him and otherwise didn't support him, and if my second premise is true, then are Republicans to blame for 9/11?

Just trying to stab them with their own hypocracy. What do you think?
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among other things...

You can read the article here: -

But the interesting bit for me was a question on Iraq:

"Iraq: "I think we have to get out of Iraq as fast as we can. ... Our guys are in the middle of a civil war. Who's kidding who?"

It appears his opinion of the war contiinues to evolve. I see the Winter Soldier emerging, bit by bit. Anyone else?

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Posted by LittleClarkie in The DU Lounge
Mon Oct 03rd 2005, 06:40 PM
(Erica's adventures in Campaign land continue -- August 2004)

Just for a bit of background, my local pub is Bush Country. I was
once told, when it became clear which side of the fence I was on,
to "get out of my bar." Another likes to point at me, tell me what
liberals like me believe, and then argue against that stance. Jokes
on him, though. If he'd ever ask, he'd find out I'm a moderate. I
only look liberal in comparison.

Even so, in this conservative suburban town, my local pub is the best
place to go to find people my age with whom I can have relatively
intelligent conversations. It is the proverbial "Cheers" pub, the
place where everyone knows your name. We even have a "Norm," except
his name is Chip.

The hobby of most of the regulars is Trivial Pursuit, and other
trivia games. These are in general not stupid people.

Even so, it was with some trepidation that I started wearing my Kerry
button there. In self-defense, I've been memorizing Bush's flip-flops
so that I might have some ammo ready.

You can only imagine my surprise when, this Tuesday, I found out that
Bush's appeal there wasn't quite as strong as I'd thought.

I never expected to hear "Bush is an idiot" followed by "And Cheney's
worse!" come out of anyone's mouth at my local pub. And yet that's
what happened on Tuesday. Not to mention that for the first time
someone actually listened to me talk about Bush's presidential
shortcomings without interrupting.

Several of the regulars were talking about the troop redeployment,
you see. So I piped in with my concern about a South Korean pullout
at such a critical time. To my surprise, got a few nods of approval.
Several had only heard about the plans for Germany and some vague
mutterings about Asia. The Korean deployment was news to them. I have
noticed since then that alot of the radio commentators are focusing
on mainly the Germany deployment as if that were the most important
part of the plan. It is at the very least the most popular.

And when I mentioned Bush's flip-flop on same sex marriages, the
person who'd only ever labeled me a liberal looked shocked and
said "I did not know that." At the very least, I think he may have
realized he wasn't as informed as he should be.

I'll probably never turn any of them into Kerry fans. One in
particular can't forgive the senator for his testimony and the medal-
throwing ceremony in 1971. And there's probably no talking to someone
who would wear an "If Democrats were smart, they'd be REPUBLICANS" t-
shirt in public. But if I can at least get some people to think
outside their usual model of the world, I'll have done some good.

Little Clarkie, reporting for duty


And one about an email to my local DJ for dissing Max Cleland

I just sent an email to my local DJ

"This is what I wrote:

I'm upset with you Bob. I have been for a while, ever since you
started singing "B-Double-E-Double-R-U-N" at the mention of Max
Cleland's name as if he were some redneck instead of a veteran who
served our country.

We are supposed to support our troops. That should transend politics.
We support the troop in Iraq. And we should support the people who
fought for us in year's past, Democrat or Republican.

Neither of us know what it's like in Iraq. But neither do we know
what it was like in Vietnam.

I like you, and I like Brian. You've made me laugh through tough
times. But I get so mad when I think of what you said during the
Democratic National Convention when Mr. Cleland's name was mentioned
that I start crying. Please tell me you understand what I'm getting
at. I hope you do. I don't mean to make you feel bad. But that's just
how I see it. I'm the daughter of a vet, so maybe that's why it hurt
so much.

Max Cleland will be in Cutler Park at 321 Wisconsin Avenue in
downtown Waukesha on Saturday August 21st at 2:30 pm. That fact alone
made me feel like writing to you. I wasn't going to, though I had
thought about it. But that reminder brought up the hurt feelings

Please, let's leave the veterans out of the political rhetoric, on
both sides. They served, we didn't. Let's just leave it at that. Okay?

Thanks for listening, if you made it this far.


What do you think? I kept having to edit the thing to tone it down. I
almost asked him if he'd like to go and sing his song in Max
Cleland's face. But in the end I decided to be more civil than that."


Sigh. So young. So innocent. Me heart hadn't been ripped out and put in sideways yet.

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Posted by LittleClarkie in The DU Lounge
Mon Oct 03rd 2005, 06:35 PM
Another State Fair chronicle from the election year.
Like a little campaign chronicle. What do you guys think. Can I get away with these in GD? This one was called: Kerry Fair Report, part deux

I went back to the State Fair today, to see how the Democrat
Party booth was doing and to see if I could help. It was Veteran
Day at the Wisconsin State Fair, and the booth was full of
Veterans for Kerry. I'm happy to say that this time the Democrat
booth was quite stocked with buttons and bumper stickers, both
Kerry/Edwards and Veterans for Kerry. I bought $10 worth at 50
cents a piece. I wanted a t-shirt too, intending to add "Family of"
to the Veterans for John Kerry slogan, but they were in relatively
short supply, so I didn't press the issue. They should go to actual

It was interesting to see the Vets for Kerry by the other veterans
booths in the middle of the fair. They hadn't been invited to set up
a booth, so they were congregated right by one of the booths that
had a ton and a half of anti-Kerry literature, mostly relating to his
anti-war stance and his work in normalizing US/Vietnam
relations. They were an enthusiastic and friendly bunch, happily
shaking my offered hand and talking about what Kerry had done
to save lives with his efforts to end the war sooner. Some were
older, some were clean cut, a couple others where quite the
psychedelic relics in action.

I also wandered over to the Republican booth, which was
stocked to the gills with all manner of yard signs, t-shirts, buttons
and the like. I picked out a "No Flip/Flops in the White House"
button and put it next to my Kerry one. Alittle later on, I wandered
over again to see if the booth had any issue papers on Bush. No,
not really. Just one brochure, which I took. The Kerry booth at
least excelled in that regard. They had literature on Kerry's
stance on veteran issues, health care, the economy and such.

On this second visit, the person manning the booth noticed my
buttons. "Hey wait a minute! You've got a Kerry button and a
flip/flop button! What are you doing, fence-sitting?" I commented
that Kerry was not the flip/flopper I was referring to. I wish I would
have had my list of Bush flip/flops to rattle off, but I didn't, so I left
it at that. I won't be doing that again until I'm more prepared to
back it up. Even so, I loved the reaction I got. Definitely an
attention getter, and using their own button, too. Hee hee!

In other news, anyone else feel like they're going to have an ulcer
by November? I do. I'm not used to this stuff. I'd better pace
myself, emotion-wise, or I'm never gonna make it.

Little Clarkie, reporting for duty

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Posted by LittleClarkie in The DU Lounge
Mon Oct 03rd 2005, 06:30 PM
In case y'all were wondering, this is why I'm a Kerrycrat named Little Clarkie. This post also includes one of my experiences during the election year at the State Fair.
I was just surfing around the old "Republicans for Kerry" yahoo group, looking for my old posts, when I happened upon my very first one. I hadn't found y'all yet. I still had my political training wheels on. I remember thinking how neat it was that a bunch of Republicans were putting their country over their party, so I hopped on in, despite my Democrat-ness, like that "Gorilla in the Mist" lady. (Can't spell her last name, and I don't want to make it sound like she does Broadway or something... Fose... Fosse?... fuck it.)

Anyway. This post is where I got dubbed "Little Clarkie". They liked that designation at the top.

Just thought I'd share this little blast from the past.


"I'm just a little Clarkie for Kerry in the swing state of Wisconsin,
poking my nose in. Can a Dem join the fun if she promises to behave
herself and be civil?

I also wanted to pop in and see if any of you had read "The New War:
The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security"
by John Kerry? What did you think of it? I've just glanced at it so
far, but I've been impressed by what I've read so far. I get the
impression that Kerry is a knowledgeable, thinking person. His
problem seems to be that he has trouble distilling all that he knows
into nice little sound bites. Thank God for Edwards.

I've also checked "Tour of Duty" and "A Call to Service: My Vision
for a Better America" out of my local library. I'm still checking out
the Chosen One, you see. So far I've found nothing that's changing my

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have my own Bush/Kerry story to
share. I've been volunteering down at Kerry HQ, the first time I've
ever done such a thing for any candidate. It's not the prettiest
thing you've ever seen. Dingy, home-made signs everywhere, rummage
sale-quality furniture, and staff that have to hand out bumper
stickers as if they were gold.

The Republican headquarters, on the other hand, is very nice. Clean,
plenty of buttons, t-shirt, bumper stickers, etc., nice old people
who didn't yell at me and my Kerry button. God, it wasn't easy
walking in there with that button on, but dagnabit, I refuse to take
it off any more. I used to, since I live in a mostly Republican area,
and was afraid of offending. But if I hadn't worn it to church, I
wouldn't have discovered the Conservative Republican for Kerry there
who now wants me to get him a yard sign. Those are nigh impossible to
get. Apparently Kerry doesn't believe in them.

But I digress.

At the Wisconsin State Fair this week, in the main expo building,
there are 2 Bush booths. Well stocked they are, just like the HQ. And
there's the Democratic booth, half the size of one Bush booth. An
over-abundance of Feingold stickers, a dearth of Kerry ones. I
couldn't take it. I drove the 10 miles to the Kerry HQ to see if I
could finagle some supplies. I found them putting together a care
package and wondering how they would get it down there. Enter me.

Back I go to the State Fair, where several happy folks get a few
buttons. The Veteran for Kerry buttons are in especially short
supply, and pretty good demand. So much for veterans hating Kerry.

But just today I got an email from HQ saying that the Dem booth has
been told they are not allowed to give out stickers, as they may get
plastered to the newly built expo walls. Fine, we say, we'll sell
them. Not allowed to do that either. "But the Bush people are handing
out stickers like fiends, why aren't you stopping them?," we ask. So
far, no answer. The volunteers have been asked to hand out supplies
outside the expo and on the street by State Fair next to a truck with
Kerry signs all over it. I hope we have enough.

Why is the Kerry campaign so undersupplied!!??

Geez. I just scrolled up. I'd better stop here.

Anyway, howdy!

Erica (The demublican. Or is that republicrat? I can never remember)"
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Posted by LittleClarkie in Election Reform
Thu Dec 16th 2004, 01:56 AM
The greatest hits of 2004 continues
It took me an amazingly long time to understand that Bush and Co. were using 9/11 politically. I thought they were wrong-headed, misguided and incompetent, but wrapping my head 'round the idea that they would take one of the worst days in our collective memories and use it for their own ends took me forever. Even now my brain looks for alternatives, that they actually think that the neo-con plan is the way to deal with terrorism. Some in the administration might. But others, like Cheney, have dollar signs in their eyes -- cha-ching! That's so entirely heinous, it's almost inconceivable. It's positively Unamerican.

I agree with your assessment of how Kerry's mind was working. I've read the speech he gave on the Senate floor. I've read the accounts of what he was doing and how he was feeling right after 9/11. I've read his book on international terrorism from 1997, where he practically predicts an event like 9/11. This was a serious subject for him, one he's been focused on forever. And he was very, very angry after 9/11. And so he chose to believe the president would do the right thing and believe the evidence they were shown that even we didn't get to see.

I don't think he'll ever make that mistake again.

I think Kerry could understand Nixon-style corruption. But this administration is so insanely past anything Nixon ever dreamed about it boggles the mind.

As I've said, Kerry was in some ways a sleeping giant. And now they've gone and woken him. Not a good idea, that. It's not a fast process. It appears from his usual pattern he has to work his way into these things step by step, fighting through normal channels first, then building.

I put no stipulations on what I expect Kerry to do. The dude's smarter than I am, and knows way more than I do, so who am I to say he should be doing one thing or another. I expect him to be active. And I will be watching with interest. For though I'm no giant, I'm awake now too.
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This is an explanation of how I felt at the beginning of the war, and as I look at it now, another explanation as to how I got here. Hmm. Alittle redundant. I may have to cut one of these out. But for now, I thought they were good autobio pieces, re:
Colin Powell did much to, if not convince me that we needed to go to Iraq, then at least convince me to hold my tongue until I saw what happened.

That was why, when I finally woke up politically I gravitated to Clark, though I really knew little about him. He said exactly what I had thought when we started the Iraq war, that this administration did NOT have a blank check dated 9/11. When the mission suddenly went from WMD to "liberation" because it spun better, that was my wake up call.

I followed Clark until he fell out of the race, and then sort of sat there politically until about April. I found the article that triggered phase two of Erica's political awakening. It was an account of what was going on in Guantanamo. The article quoted the military as saying that everyone who was there deserved to be, but that they'd been there for almost two years with no due process and were not considered to be covered by the Geneva Convention because they weren't on American soil and were terrorists rather than soldiers in a war. As if due process was something we grant ourselves because we're cute, and not something that is due any human being. As if we were going to hold these people until the "war on terror" was over. And when was that going to be?! That's like declaring war on air! (or drugs, for that matter)

That drove me into John Kerry's arms, esp. after I went to Clark's old site and saw that he was advocating we jump on the Kerry bandwagon. Eh, ABB. I dutifully got a round Real Deal sign like my avatar, if only to announce to my Republican neighbors that I was NOT down with what was happening in Iraq.

I didn't know much about Kerry, except what I'd heard about his personality, which was that he had the charisma of styrofoam ("That good?" said one source.) But as I looked up articles, read books, and just generally researched my new candidate. I warmed up for real when I saw him do it first. He was in a group of veterans, and you could just see him loosen up around them.

Then I found out about Iran/Contra, BCCI and his anti-war stance back in the day, and I started to fall in love. I started showing up at HQ with goodies, whatever I thought they could use. Then I started actually working on the campaign. I even took off work for the last 5 day GOTV. I have never, never done that for anyone. I'd barely been in a Dem HQ before, except for maybe a token hour.

The first debate and then "Going Upriver" have cemented me in place. I ain't goin' no place.

As for Kerry's vote, I think he was in the same boat we were at about the same time. He should have known better, but from his writings on terrorism and his reaction to 9/11, I think he really wanted to see something done, and he foolishly believed the president. Whatever evidence they drummed up for the Congressmen must have been relatively convincing. But even so, he had this to say at the time:

"I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein ... I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days -- to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out."

He did, and he was. Others may have been playing politics, but I believe Kerry honestly thought he was doing the right thing at the time, and didn't think his actions would necessarily lead to war. I read in a subsequent article that yes, he'd foolishly trusted the administration but that no, he would never do that again.

Others may have seen through the bullshit, and with his history, Kerry should have too, but I still remember the climate just a year ago. You could not say a mumbling word without getting "why do you hate America" slapped in your face. Many of us have since woken up.

Shant be fooled again. Not going back to sleep either. I wonder how many of us there are. Not enough, I suppose... yet.
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Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion (Through 2005)
Sat Dec 11th 2004, 04:00 AM
A gut-wrenching encounter at my local pub in Freeperville.
... at the bar tonight. All I did was listen, but he kept telling me what angel eyes I had and what a good heart I had and how beautiful I was. He also talked about being a ticking time bomb, about trying to kill himself when he was 23, about how none of it will go away. I'm glad if I was able to help him by listening, but I kept thinking about the boys we have in Iraq, and how they'll come back with stories they can't tell, and bitterness they can't get rid of, and how we're putting them through all that for no good reason. Years from now, they'll still be harboring the hate, and the current administration doesn't even have a clue as to what that means.

They're doing irreparable damage that they don't even fathom. Neither, from the looks of things in NY, with a boy who lost an arm and yet they he owes them, will they or even really care. They put little ribbons on their cars and think they're done. Yep, we support the troops alright. But don't let them ask for anything for the future. Twenty years from now some of them will look like the guy I met tonight.

He was very intense. He was very complimentary. I had the feeling he'd lived about three lifetimes in one. And all he really wanted to do was go ahead and die to end the pain. I don't even know how he ended up telling me all this, as he had shied away from it earlier in the evening. But he needed to talk I guess. And I was a compassionate ear and a beer that he kept filling. I hope I helped.

And I hope we can find a way not to create people like him for no good reason. He kept saying he was nothing. The real heros in his eyes were the ones left on the field. His best buddies killed. Marines with their heads cut off and sitting on fence posts. Was there any wondering why he was bitter he said, why he can't even look at an asian person still without wanting to snap their heads off for killing the best friends he had in the world.

I fear for the kids coming back from Iraq. They will need help that this administration isn't prepared to give.
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