WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's
dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent
by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said
Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
What the president meant, they said in a conference call with
reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil
imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from
the Middle East in 2025.
But America still would import oil from the Middle East, because that's where the greatest oil supplies are.
Thank goodness it happened during the State of the Union, perhaps the one night that the media pore over and absorb what the President says, and do some fact-checking before coming back with questions. Otherwise, people might have bought that "addicted to oil" stinkola. My God, who the hell is George Bush to tell me I'M the one addicted to oil? I take the fucking bus to work, George--by choice. How about you? You're more concerned about human-animal hybrids than you are gas-electric. Glad to have the traditional media wipe the shine off that garbage right from the get-go, before letting the White House make it sound like an asset.
My two favorite moments of the SOTU, by the way:
1) The look Senator Clinton gave George, as Bush made a rueful joke about her husband and his Dad. An ailing Jon Stewart nonetheless accurately described it as "the place where boners go to die."
2) When Bush started building to his half-hearted diatribe against the Democrats for killing Social Security, he began by poutily reporting that they had done so. Before he could move on to his firm yet folksy rejoinder, the Democrats got in their most enthusiastic applause of the evening. The President stared somewhat blankly as the applause continued for a few moments. I think I saw some high fives. I'm not sure if I'm more impressed whether it was spontaneous or totally planned.
I liked Tim Kaine's speech, and I thought the set and setting were better than some of the truly lame 'responses' of the past--but he's no Cicero. Physical peccadillos should be irrelevant in serious matters of state, but I have to say that every time his left eyebrow shot up like Exxon stock, I totally lost the riddim of the speechifying, and stared at The Brow. And he had a weird way of moving the tagline, "We can do better," back and forth within sentences--sometimes not even pausing between the last word of the previous sentence.
I read a little while ago that Tim Kaine had been given the bittersweet honor of presenting the "Democratic Response" to the State of the Union on Tuesday. I immediately thought hey, decent choice--show off your big winner from 2005 in an implicit presaging of 2006, give Mark Warner a little secondhand smoke up his dress as Kaine's godfather, and push a little of that "new Democrat" blood that shows up in personalities like Schweitzer of Montana and Barack Obama. And I let it go. I moved on, I found other topics, and although I am quite familiar with Kaine having lived in Richmond while he was mayor, I didn't even bother mentioning it here.
If you aren't familiar with Kaine yourself: he is not particularly dynamic (Obama), not particularly senior (this is just his second statewide or federal office), not particularly able to showcase one issue and hammer it into the ground (Murtha), and almost entirely unknown (nearly everybody else). But as I said, he's of a newish breed of Democratic politicians who seem at ease with conservatively usurped "values", but also focus on pragmatic issues and approaches--what used to be called "kitchen table politics." Bill Clinton is definitely NOT of this breed, but he perfected the art of taking small steps with programs that gave off visible results, and then selling himself as not a politician but a governor (small g).
Tim Kaine, still basking in the glow of Mark Warner's coalition-building shadow, is a well-schooled member of this new group. As the mayor in a weak-mayor council system and (if I recall right) the only white member of the council in a majority black city, Kaine learned nothing if not how to get along with different constituencies and interests. But as someone who often debated issues from the right on a strongly liberal council, Kaine now seems at home standing to the left of a strongly conservative House of Burgess...er, General Assembly.
Not THAT far left, perhaps, but well enough. For instance, I was surprised that so few progressive Virginians beyond the gay community were giving Kaine the business for agreeing to sign Virginia's truly shameful gay marriage amendment. This disturbing bill goes well beyond being merely redundant to a state DOMA law, but also takes aim at transactions and associations unmarried couples may enter into. I found nothing at Sullivan under "Virginia amendment," although I recall something he wrote about a similar bill that did not pass last year. But this one passed! And Kaine was going to sign it...until recently, when either he a) actually read the thing, or b) picked up the phone and heard angry people saying, "have you read this thing?"
And as Kaine's supporters also note (and this is something you Portlanders will perk your ears at), he's already exercising his will and pushing a strong-government agenda: smart growth. Folks, traffic is that bad in the DC area, and from personal experience it's worst in Virginia. So people are ripe for any kind of solution.
But it should boggle the minds of Northwesterners to hear people in the East say, "hey--OK, maybe it's time to let localities set limits to development in their area." People would be toppling Portlandia if it came down from government that you couldn't stop a Wal-Mart or a seal-clubbing farm or a toxic mold plant in your own backyard. Heck, they'd rattle her pitchfork just for having fewer than 20 public sessions on it. You can literally see the difference that tight planning makes, and it's overwhelmingly positive, even if it's far from perfect. So that will be an achievement for him if it happens.
So like I said, I have a hopeful view of the guy, and he seems like a rational choice for what is ultimately a rough gig. And as I said, I moved on.
In a season of deserving outrage at the stale joke that the Bush administration has become, for the life of Brian I cannot figure out why choosing Tim Kaine represents a calamity or even missed opportunity for the Democrats. And yet as the days rolled by after his selection, that's what I began seeing in the lefty blogs. Arianna complained the loudest, or at least got the most play--but several places I went to took the time from their day to say, "What idiots, those Democrats--picking Tim Kaine! Ha! Dolts!" Heck, even others at Huffington Post said it, too--like it was the biggest mistake EVER.
A couple of days ago I linked to Peter Daou's complaint that the traditional media is helping reinforce stereotypes of Democrats as weak, fractious losers. There are, however, other groups who are helping reinforce them--Democrats. I have to ask: why are supposedly favorably Democratic writers slamming the party so publicly on this? Why are they basically attacking Tim Kaine personally by denigrating the choice? How do they not have to time to exhort their readers to press the principle and do whatever necessary this weekend to keep Alito off the Court, but they've got virtual printer's ink to spare on the choice of the fucking SOTU rebuttal! Who watches that thing? Who is going to have the captive eye for rhetorical disaster long enough to get through Bush's speech...and then sit up attentively for Democrat X?
Cause that's why the dissent here really bothers me. I like being among the critical thinkers rather than the lockstep zombies. I like being in a coalition as opposed to a private club. I like debate within agreeing positions. But on stuff that MATTERS, how about? Run down the party for cowardice and poor choices on any number of issues over the last five years, and I'll back you. But shut up with the Kaine thing! Who cares?
Bruce Reed at Slate had the same thought, and although he published the day before this came out, I assure you I had all those thoughts he did, a few days before he had them. Here are his:
The Kaine mutiny is troubling not just because a few bloggers are
picking on the wrong guy. It's also a disturbing reminder of how much
time most of us in the blogosphere—and in politics generally—waste
pretending that daily tactical decisions are what matters.
happen to think Tim Kaine will give a good talk next Tuesday. But if I
really thought the Democratic Party's future turned on the Democratic
response, I'd pack it in and start looking for a new profession. I've
watched the post-State of the Union ritual for 20 years now, and not
once has the poor soul giving the response—or his party—come out a
winner for it.
Exactly. So why bust his chops on it? He doesn't mention Alito, but the contrast is clear. Confirmation of a balance-shifting member of the Supreme Court is not a tactial decision needing strategy, it's a long-term strategic reality that needs tactics to support the right path. Nobody wants to talk about prepping up to try to move opinion Monday morning before the cloture vote, except to the extent that they bash Kerry for trying something that might actually fail. Don Quixote of the Swiss Alps, if you will. Well Christ, liberals--wasn't that what you wanted? So why bust his chops in public over it??
If the DLC types win the battle for the soul of the party, it may end up being so because the progressive left became impossible to please, and the party figured there was no point in trying to accomodate them. I hope it doesn't come to that.
There's always something worth talking about going on in the world, but lately it feels like these are momentous times. There's a sense that American political society is balancing on a ledge, looking either to regain its former posture, or topple completely. Broad themes of democracy and authority and formal tension between the branches are at issue, with what seem like lasting effects at stake.
And so we have the two major parties in America: one in full control, albeit under suspicious terms and continuous allegations of scandal; and one that has been, for much of the last five years, unsure of whether it should open its mouth. It was awfully funny that Bush asked Condi for a bathroom pass, but the sad reality is that Democrats have spent much of their minority status discussing between themselves how firmly to ask for the key to the john. Hell, for all I know the Republicans have commandeered all the ground level bathrooms in the House and make the Democrats use the 3rd floor, and so they literally have to ask. They run the building with that kind of hand.
So now we sit at the juncture of several large questions:
Can the President do essentially whatever he wants in the name of "fighting terror?"
Are we going to do anything about the corruptive culture surrounding fundraising and lobbying?
Was there a conspiracy to leak Valerie Plame's name, and is the White House guilty of crimes?
Is the leadership of the Republican Party in both houses going to fall to ethics breaches?
And is a guy quite reasonably expected to give Bush a pass on most of this stuff, going to get a lifetime E Ride ticket on the SupremeCourtterhorn?
In this tabeau sits the minority party, admittedly high-functioning eunuchs at best, but potentially well capable of taking control of these issues and shifting the public debate. There's no doubt the Republicans are staggered a little bit, unable to advance any of the President's pet legislation and the continued cloud of legal developments in ongoing scandals. And so there's a void of momentum, one that is waiting for a movement to seize it.
What's the problem? Peter Daou has an excellent piece that does a nice job trying to exonerate them, but really in its implications it shouts "the Democrats are pussies." Simply put, they can't break through the developed memes from the GOP that are uncritically repeated by the largest traditional media outlets. Which--and as I say, I agree with Daou's thesis about poor journalism being a block to successful message outreach--is a wimpy copout. For goodness sakes! Speak up, but speak up clearly and with one voice. You don't get the benefit of being heard handed to you; you have to say things worth hearing.
The western flanks of the Left have been doing their part to hector the media into playing the game more fairly, stunning establishment stalwarts like the Washington Post and Chris Matthews with blogswarms and boycotts. It helped that they were right, but the effect has been to shock the traditional media into recognizing that they are being watched, and the results are getting noticed and called out.
For weeks nigh on months, the progressive community has been pushing for active declarations of opposition from the opposition party. "Pick your battles, and this isn't one," the DLC kept saying. Heck, even Paul Begala went on the Colbert Report to tell Democrats to wake the frig up. Some new candidates for Congress are getting the message and are using it. Responding to attacks reprinted by Ohio media on Paul Hackett's favorable stance towards gay marriage, Hackett stood and revalidated his position:
“I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it. Equal justice
under the law for all regardless of who they are and how they were born
is fundamental to our American spirit and our American freedoms. Any
person or group that argues that the law should not apply equally to
all Americans is, frankly, un-American.”
Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch
with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson
– a religious fanatic by any measure – that the United States should
assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that
Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to
trade land for peace.”
“Since the Republican Party has
been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created
an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious
fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against
their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who
would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans
should be ashamed.”
Ouch. And today, finally, there was a sign, a rumbling really, that something might happen. Massachusett's two Senators decided they'd had enough, and if the leadership wasn't going to organize any kind of movement or statement on the lifetime appointment of Samuel Alito, they would:
Yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy and I told our colleagues that we
supported a filibuster of Judge Alito’s nomination for the Supreme
Court. And we weren’t alone. But the bottom line is that it takes more
than two or three people to filibuster successfully. It’s not “Mr.
Smith Goes to Washington.” If you want to stop Judge Alito from
becoming Justice Alito, use your own email list and organize. We can’t
just preach to our own choir. We need to prove to everyone – from our
friends and neighbors to our fellow Senators – that the American people
know Judge Alito will take our country in the wrong direction, and they
expect something to be done about it.
Late? Very likely. Politically motivated? Not improbably. A somewhat melodramatic fit of Quixotic politics? Absolutely. But god bless if it wasn't a sign.
I wasn't kidding when I said Quixotic--three have already come out in favor of Alito (West Virginia's Byrd included, on the same day a wealthy challenger entered the race against him), and three more had hinted their opposition to a filibuster besides. Rumors have flown since then at the sites of the usual suspects, including one indicating that Salazar was reconsidering, one that said similar things about Landrieu, that Reid would support but not whip the caucus. However, Dick Durbin has spent the last two nights spreading the word that it's dead, and most recently Daniel Akaka has cited his opposition to filibuster. And in an additional rumor, Barack Obama is apparently strongly urging colleagues not to filibuster on strategic grounds. [cannot vouch for this source...ed]
Mixed messages, to be sure. Which is essentially the same crime the Democrats have committed for 5 years. There is all weekend to see how the temperature changes, and voice mail boxes can fill while constituent buzz builds...but either way, these feel like momentous times.
Just across the mighty Columbia from us, Vankruger's own VanBlog was the first to break a story that has the Washington blogs almost universally discussing it*: the state GOP is up to really foul political behavior again. What are they doing? Sending doctored-up sex offender notices to residents in targeted statehouse districts. What are they being targeted with? A "soft on sex crimes" allegation, using WA Democrats' vote on a bill introduced on opening day of the session, directly to the floor and voted on quickly. VanBlog noted it when it happened last week, and everyone thought that was pretty outrageous and timewasting to begin with.
But following their Congressional daddies' lead with the "Murtha Amendment," they immediately sought to politically press the results of the vote as a wedge issue, using fear as the hook. And what's the bait? Check it out:
The postcards were sent into our district as well. Most of the calls
that I’ve received (at my home and at my office)have been from people
who are angry about the cards – feeling that the Republicans were
politicizing the issue of protecting our kids. We have had a couple of
folks who called to ask if they could get the address of this sex
offender – people who were concerned that it was an accurate portrayal.
Curiously endowed with the identity of Washington's Willie Horton is Stefan Sharkansky, who seems to be going down with the ship, rhetorically speaking. It's a level 3 offender in Pierce County. Which is awfully curious, since so far there aren't any reported sightings of the flyer in Pierce. Walla Walla, sure. Clark, right. Kitsap, yep. But not Pierce. Maybe it's clones! This guy must use a fortune in gas going back and forth across the state, frightening people--but there's a really bitter irony that the one group that might actually BENEFIT from this fraudulent piece of mailed feces, never saw it.
You might have figured that after being burned by the Lori Sotelo registration challenge fiasco, the state Republicans would just try to lie low until primary time. Nope, they needed a topper. They went ahead and took a chunk of money out of the leadership PAC to fund a fraudulent, literally fearmongering postcard and cable buy. These "caucus" repositories for money are nothing but a giant scam. They are even more loosely controlled than individual PACs, and just flow money like a river. Notice that nobody on either side of the aisle in DC had any suggestions for curbing the communal slush fund trough...
*and now Blue Oregon today on this side of the creek, consarnit! I promised myself I'd cover this during lunch today, then got caught up in other things. By evening, that Chisholm chap had laid down the scoop.
And here I thought the worst part of the media attention over the murders of Bryan Harvey and his family in their homes on New Year's Day, was the news-channel hype and Court-TV speculation on whodunit. I think the last thing Richmonders want to see is MSNBC going Holloway on the case.
Since the arrests, worse has apparently happened. After 10 days of positive but relatively quiet commentary on my Harvey lyrical retrospective, the increased traffic from the murder story began to ebb...until this morning, when it spiked again. And there were several new comments, from (apparently) different people. Where were they coming from?
Here. Are we expected to believe that in an effort to save himself, he tried to appease them by disavowing his heritage viaHouse of Freaks music?
We will never know to what extent, if any,
the "hate Whitey" attitude prevailing in the media fueled the rage of
the killers, but we do know that Bryan Harvey's evocation of White
racial guilt in one of his songs -- "White Folks' Blood" -- didn't help
him or his wife or children when the animals got out their knives.
[ http://tinyurl.com/ex4ej ]
That tinyurl comes right back to Also Also. The premise appears to be that if the killers weren't drawn to their spree by media egging on their hatred, certainly their victims' revulsion towards Jim Crow and Klan activities was unproductive when facing the supposed backlash.
But the killers had to be on a race-based spree in the first place for this entire scenario to be even remotely relevant, and no evidence of that yet exists. This wasn't a serial killing, in which the suspect selects his victims with a purpose, usually in some kind of pattern. This was a spree, in which crime is essentially the goal and victims tend to come to it by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But what makes this line of racial pursuit truly ridiculous are the other people allegedly killed by the suspects: Ashley Baskerville, her mother Mary Baskerville Tucker, and her stepfather Purcyell Tucker. They are, to steal the style, Black. So uh, you racialists--is this Black Guilt? Was the Hate Whitey media pushing them to kill three black people during the same spree? Did the color of their skin help them?
At this point the Vanguardians will simply point to the scattershot selection of statistics cited in their article, designed to create a eugenically-based theory of crime: black folks are just more violent. They can't help it, but they also take special unconscious pleasure in offing white people they come across in the midst of reflexively killing their own friends and families. Yeah, gotcha.
Sorry to bring up this whole little trip back to the 1930s, but this kind of absurd, paranoic and desperate attempt to make everything about the evils of miscegenation and integration is something that needs to be repeatedly exposed for the ignorant hatred that it is. One of the more laughable ironies is that for all the complaining that blacks and the media have to make everything about race, for these nuts it's literally true: no matter what, it all goes back to today's impurity of the races. Which always made me wonder--if it's black blood that's bad, doesn't mixing dilute it? So the answer is to so thoroughly mix it that nobody's got enough to make them violent, right? Yeah, I thought not.
Homer Stokes is convinced not only that the Boys are black, but also that their fans' enthusiastic reception is based on ignorance of this fact. He hurries to shut down this "miscegenated" performance, and an-nounces,
"These boys is not white!" The crowd starts rumbling at this disruption, but he, confident of his "constitchency," blathers on.
Gratifyingly, Stokes' fear that racial intermixing will rock the racist social order turns out to be well-founded: his constitchency literally rides him out of the hall on a rail to insure that the band finishes their song.
Let the band play on!
Oh, last thing. Lest you believe that some nationwide force of haters were targeting this story and my site, check out the "join up" page:
National Vanguard is being organized under
the direction of members of the National Alliance Executive Committee
and prominent National Alliance leaders, and we expect that our Board
of Directors will be announced soon. Kevin Alfred Strom is acting as
trustee for the Board and membership at this time. National Vanguard
Post Office Box 5145
Charlottesville VA 22905
Before I knew who Ann Coulter was, there was Kathleen Parker. Thumbing through the stridently conservative editorial pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in my 20s and 30s, I found a wide range of hysteriots and hectorizers were allowed to run rampant over the bi-page spread, supplemented of course by a chorus of Amen Corner letters to the editor--or often as not taking the T-D to task for being too liberal. Early on when Parker began to appear, it was mostly still a boy's club, boys who'd been getting senior discounts at the megaplex for years. So her placement in the halls of Talking Point Central was notable for its singularity, although she tried (and still tries) to act like one of the boys.
Parker is nowhere near as ascerbic, unfunny, vicious, wildly uninformed or just plain classless as Coulter. She is, however, a good faith member of the tra-la-la brigade--those conservative writers who divide their time between assailing "intellectual elites," and dismissing complaints from life's losers as good riddance to bad rubbish, never seeming to notice their intellectual elitism. She has a chirpy, consciously Southern belle arrogance that perhaps rankles only me personally. And she is generally happy to run with whatever line is playing in the subconscious message running underneath the New Age music, put into iPods by the White House for media distribution.
Which is what makes her weekend column on Abramoffukah all the more surprising. No matter how she tries to couch it, to wish with furrowed brow and balled up fist that she could do it, she can't avoid the fact that Jack's Fallout is going to swing deep and sharp into Republican flesh:
The strategy seems to be that by widely
distributing “blame” across party lines, everyone’s equally duped and,
therefore, equally not-to-be-blamed. Dumb ol’ Republicans; dumb ol’
The only problem is, it won’t wash, and it’s bad
strategy if Republicans want to maintain a drop of credibility as the
ethical party. While true that some Democrats did accept money from
Abramoff — and some will get burned — it is more true that this is a
Political Reality No. 1: The party in power gets corrupted.
Political Reality No. 2: Indicted incumbents don’t get re-elected.
exactly how does one rationalize a golfing trip to Scotland, as Rep.
Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) enjoyed, compliments of Abramoff? Nobody expects
politicians to sleep in Motel 8s or dine at Wendy’s while conducting
the nation’s business, but golfing in Scotland doesn’t quite pass the
Meanwhile, there’s a critical difference
between “directly” and “indirectly.” What “indirectly” means is that
many Democrats have accepted funds from the Florida-based law-lobbying
firm Greenberg Traurig, to which Abramoff once belonged. He “left” the
firm when Abramoff’s questionable practices with Indian tribes were
Note again for the record (and not for the last time), that Parker does manage to slip the "Democrats got money from Abramoff" line in there, something that should cause you to slap the taste out of the mouth of anyone who tells it to you...such as Howard Dean did today to Wolf Blitzer. Listen to the heavy sigh Mr. Bojangles gives when he can't run with the storyline he's been handed, and abruptly ends the interview. Priceless. But damned if Howard didn't stop the diahhrea!
So she's not going gently into that good reality, trying lamely as she does to blame Democrats for the culture that bred Abramoff's success, waving Johnny Huang's huang around as if it were some kind of rational comparison. And oh how Republican columnists love to talk about being the party of corruption reform, and how this is so bad because it's just not expected of the GOP! But she does get the political ramifications, something many of her colleagues appear not yet to grasp, and is warning her fellows to ignore them at their peril:
What’s clear is that however the Republican Party tries to spin it,
this is a huge deal, and it’s primarily a huge Republican deal. It’s
also becoming increasingly clear that the ripple effects of Abramoff’s
corruption could alter the political landscape come the midterm
elections and possibly far into the future.
As one Democratic
insider said to me in December just before the Abramoff plea story
broke: “For Democrats, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
This came up while I was still in Virginia on holiday, so perhaps the whole 'sphere was atwitter about it and I am now presenting thoroughly old news. Via DonkeyRising (and apparently onto Kos thereafter), ThinkProgress notes the birth of the guild/support group/PAC known as Band of Brothers: a roster of veteran Democrats, particularly Iraq veterans, running for federal office across the country. (TP follows up on the story here).
This is extraordinarily smart use of money for this cycle, IMO. I think it's worthwhile to consider the cautioning counsel that simply being a veteran is not a winning strategy--"John Kerry, reporting for duty"--but as indicated on their website, the plan is a broader one of support and coalition of message:
We aim to bring middle class and lower income Americans back into
the decision making process by promoting candidates that may not
otherwise be heard.
Band of Brothers 2006 is premised on the basic idea that all
Americans should be given the same opportunities to succeed. We support
policies that promote American Values:
Basic health care coverage for all Americans
Expanded education opportunity
Responsible use of our Military
A foreign policy that promotes US leadership with NATO, the UN, and our allies in the war on terror
Overhaul, reform, and simplify the tax system
The Band of Brothers 2006 campaign will focus on exposing
neo-conservative agendas and policies that are in conflict with great
Values and Patriotism – Clarity on which values are to be honored and which values are under siege.
Corporate Responsibility – Reinforce the sensibilities of the
middle class while illustrating how neo-conservative agendas encourage
corruption and greed in big corporations.
Exposing Bush – Put the spotlight on policies that benefit the 1%, on Republican base strategy, payoffs, and cronyism.
Foreign Policy – Not contesting the need to fight the war on
terror, but illustrating that the Bush foreign policy makes it more
difficult and costly.
The Economy – Serious discussion on low income growth, increasing
inequality, rising health care cost, cuts in public services, and a
deepening middle class squeeze.
There is obviously a concentration on the politics of war, but it's one that's sorely needed. Current Democratic members of Congress have been loathe to speak up firmly about the failures in Iraq and how to go about fixing them, because when they do they get the Murtha Treatment--and it does take a strong constitution (little c and big C) to withstand the attacks. Why is Murtha able to withstand it? Because he's got the credibility, and in general so should the other veteran candidates. They've been there, they understand the reality on the ground, and likely have a feel for what does and doesn't work.
The coalition also recognizes, however, that just being "a veteran" doesn't make you a savvy politician, and aims to help the candidates learn the ropes of campaigning--phone banking, town halls, message development. And of course each candidate has his (or her) own set of values and priorities, and is running in a different district or state with its own priorities as well. The job is to help tailor individual campaigns within an overarching theme: experience and achievement-based ideals.
In this context, the veterans are a good match for the "accomplishment Democrats" like Warner in VA and Schweitzer in OR, who are able to run on the theory that government CAN work if it's run well. This is where the important focus on the "Republican culture of corruption" can be applied in a positive manner to distinguish Democrats: corruption and favors are the ultimate enemies of properly working government. The Republicans don't believe in government, they themselves admit, and thus neglect the hard work that must go into it for it to be run successfully. Corruption is a short-circuiting of the process, a tool for the cravenly disengaged.
The war is a prime example of the triumph of style over substance. Republicans have won elections on the basis of appearing tough, rather than achieving goals based on proper preparation and smart use of resources. Hurricane Katrina went a long way towards exposing the fallacy that we don't need a functioning government, and reminded us that we need competence from our public servants. Few professions are as well-regarded for developing competence and integrity as the military, so putting soldiers to work on fixing government is a natural fit.
The Band of Brothers (there are women; the term "brother" is generic) is seeking to raise $10 million for the 2006 elections; I think it's an entirely worthy cause. If you happen to have one of them running in your area, check them out and do what you can to support their efforts. Here's the full roster, currently (why not? Bandwidth is cheap these days):
AZ-03: Herb Paine
Paine is president of Paine Consulting Services, a leading enterprise
specializing in business strategy, organization development, and
turnaround management for a diverse range of public, private, and
nonprofit sector clients. […] He received his Master’s degree from
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1970,
specializing in American Foreign Policy, Soviet Affairs, and
International Economics. Following his service in the U.S.
Army, he embarked on a career devoted to human services, social
justice, and community problem-solving, spending thirteen years with
the United Way. Prior to establishing his consulting practice in 1989,
Herb was Executive Director of United Way of California and the leading
legislative advocate for the nonprofit sector in California.
Latas arrived in Arizona in 1978 to attend first Pima College and then
the University of Arizona, where he graduated with a degree in
Aerospace Engineering. After a career as a fighter pilot in the United
States Air Force, and after earning a Master’s degree in Public
Administration, Jeff chose to settle in his beloved southern Arizona
for good. A lifelong environmentalist and patriot, Jeff is ready to
serve southeastern Arizonans as their representative in Congress.
his web site: “Born in Iowa, I grew up in small farm towns, doing farm
work and absorbing strong mid-Western values. I received a
Congressional Appointment to the U. S. Air Force Academy and graduated
in 1972. As a rescue helicopter pilot based in Thailand at the end of
the Vietnam War, I participated in the evacuation of Phnom Penh, and
the Mayaguez incident. I was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for
actions in the Mayaquez incident. […] I earned a Masters Degree in
Aviation Management from Embry Riddle University, hold a California
teaching credential and am a certified Red Cross instructor.”
Filson joined the Navy in 1970 and became an Aircraft Carrier Jet
pilot. He served his country faithfully and diligently for more than 20
years before retiring from the Navy in 1994. During his service, Filson
served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Hancock and USS Ranger, and then continued his military career in the Naval Reserves at Alameda, California.
served as a Naval aviator in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
As an officer (rank of captain), he was responsible for both aircraft
and personnel under the most stressful of circumstances. The
competition to become a Naval aviator is intense; only the best are
awarded wings. His experience in the Marine Corps gave him a global
vision with a lasting appreciation for the importance of making the
right decisions and understanding diplomacy.
During 1970-74 Graham served as an officer in U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team Eleven in Coronado, CA and the Philippines. From 1974-79 he served in the U.S. Navy Reserves with UDT/Seal
Team 119, also based in Coronado. He is currently a Professor at the
Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine
was born and raised in San Diego, California. After graduating from
high school, Karen enlisted in the United States Army and served as a
Pershing Missile Crewman. Assigned to Army units in Oklahoma and
Germany, Karen found remarkable the dedication to service of her fellow
soldiers. The discipline and training of the Army engrained in Karen a
superior work ethic and responsibility to service. After leaving the
military, Karen worked in increasingly responsible areas of
administration and management. She obtained certification as a
Community Association Manager. She has extensive experience in
management of entities of a governmental nature where budgets are
essential and rules and regulations are enacted and enforced.
seventeen, Jay joined the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a
Cadet with the class of 1977. Upon graduation he went to Navigator
training and was selected as a Weapon Systems Officer in the F4
Phantom, serving in fighter squadrons in Korea and Spain. He became Air
Liaison Officer for the First Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division,
and was deployed into military action in the first Gulf War. Major
Fawcett was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions in Desert Shield and
the initial helicopter assault into Iraq during Desert Storm.
From his web site: “I’ve been asked to take on, and I have accepted,
the challenge of running for Congress against Tom Tancredo in
Congressional District 6. I did not make this decision lightly and I’m
not in this to win moral victories. I have a total of ten years of
service with the Marine Corps and the Navy, and in good Marine Corps
tradition, I’m in it to win it and I believe we can! […] I want to
serve — the way I served as a 17 year old in the Marine Corps. I want
to give CD6 back to the people.”
Nelson lives in Savannah with his wife, Marty. They married 33 years
ago in Augusta, GA while Nelson served as an Airborne Infantry Officer
during the Vietnam War at Fort Gordon. He also spent more than a decade
in the Army Reserve and National Guard. […] Nelson works as a United
Methodist pastor in Savannah and has been serving churches in South
Georgia for more than 10 years. […] Prior to entering ministry, Nelson
worked in the corporate world for companies such as IBM, Lockheed, GE, and
Apollo Computers. He’s also owned a successful business, Signatures
Unlimited Fundraising Consultants. A long-time community activist,
Nelson has been a leader of local groups such as S.A.F.E. Shelter and the Savannah Mediation Center.
Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates has built her life and career upon
serving her country, her community and those in need around the world.
She is a dedicated, tireless leader and an inspirational example of
what can be achieved through hard work, determination, compassion for
others and a positive outlook. Having recently recovered from serious
injuries sustained while serving on active duty in Iraq, Tammy’s next
goal – in addition to flying helicopters again for the Illinois Army
National Guard – is to fight for the interests of the people of
Illinois’ Sixth District in the United States Congress.
by his desire to serve his country, John enlisted in the United States
Navy in 1995. In 1996, Laesch graduated at the top of his class as an
Intelligence Analyst for the United States Navy and was transferred to
the Middle East for the next three years. While stationed in Bahrain,
Laesch analyzed terrorist organizations and foreign political and
military structures. Before being medically evacuated from the Middle
East and honorably discharged, John meritoriously rose 5 ranks within 3
short years. He received numerous citations for his outstanding service
to our nation. Following his service in the Navy, Mr. Laesch attended
Illinois State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree
with a major in History and minors in Political Science and
Rick is a Navy veteran of the Viet Nam War, earning the Viet Nam
Service Medal with one campaign star. He also served on the secondary
recovery ship for the Moon Landing in 1969. After returning from duty,
he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Social
For more than 30 years, Rick Cornstuble has dedicated his life to
fighting for Indiana’s public schools as a field director for the
Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA). He now seeks to bring that
same commitment and energy as an advocate for the people in Indiana’s
Fourth Congressional District.
Growing up on values he has summed up as “Family, Faith, and Farm Work,” Weaver joined the U.S.
Navy at the age of 17. He served on a Destroyer Escort for three and a
half years as an electronics technician. After marrying his wife, he
spent four years in the Army, including a tour in Korea. Weaver has
already given Kentucky much to be proud of, but as a Member of Congress
would give even more.
Baldwin’s life is demonstrative of using obstacles as stepping stones
to reach her goals. She was one of the first African American woman ROTC
Battalion Commanders. She was the first woman elected twice to serve as
the chairperson of a national community service organization. In
addition, as one of the youngest owners of a national franchise, Ms.
Baldwin has a tremendous understanding for small business needs. Her
experience led to her service of providing advice and assistance to
emerging growth companies as a mentor for the University of Maryland
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. She has effectively restored
breaches, brought hope to the hopeless, encouraged individuals who have
given up, and reached out to individuals who others had thrown away.
Ms. Baldwin hopes to continue making history by becoming the first
African American woman elected to the United States House of
Representatives in the state of Maryland.
Duck’s distinguished military career has found him as a Platoon Leader of the Joint STARS
Platoon in Bosnia, Chief of a Counter-Intelligence Operations Cell, a
Commander, and later an Intelligence Liaison Officer and Intelligence
Staff Officer in Iraq. Duck is a native of Maryland, one of seventeen
children, and has ample business and community experience supplementing
his military background.
Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion
in the spring of 2005 after 24 years in the Army National Guard. After
he was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Chamber of
Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small business
communities, Walz served overseas with his battalion in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom.
Colonel Tim Dunn has served in the U.S.
Marine Corps Reserves since 1994. He recently returned from Iraq and
his posting with the Regime Crimes Liaison Office, where he helped
build the case against Saddam Hussein. In 1995, Dunn established his
own law firm, which concentrates in criminal and military law. The
mission in Iraq will need expertise and experience to see it through to
the best possible conclusion, and Tim Dunn can bring a strong dose of
both to the “People’s House.”
Duffy is a citizen-soldier, community activist, small businessman and a
father. His commitment to country is exemplified by his more than 30
years of military experience as a Judge Advocate General officer in the
active Army, the Army Reserves and the New Hampshire National Guard,
where he recently retired with the rank of Colonel.
Representative Peter M. Sullivan is serving his third term as a member
of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, representing
Manchester’s downtown, millyard and center city neighborhoods. He
serves as a member of the Criminal Justice Committee, and previously
served on the House State-Federal Relations & Veterans Affairs
In 2003, Peter Sullivan was featured in 100 To Watch: The Next Generation of Leadership,
a publication profiling the top one hundred rising stars in the
Democratic Party nationwide. Sullivan joined such notable Democratic
leaders as Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Ken Salazar and Congresswoman
Allyson Schwartz in receiving this prestigious honor.
Sexton has been a leader dedicated to public service his entire life.
Born and raised in New Jersey, he left home at the age of 18 for the
United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated from
Annapolis and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. He
was then stationed onboard an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S.
Enterprise, at the time the largest warship in the world. […] Rich and
his family are grateful for the freedom and opportunity they have
enjoyed in America and while he aims to provide the people of New
Jersey’s Third Congressional District with better representation more
in tune with working class families and mainstream America, Rich is
also running for Congress to help protect and preserve our freedom and
to help extend to all Americans the opportunities that he and his
family have enjoyed.
After graduating from the U.S.
Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, Massa was commissioned as a Naval
Officer and went on to spend a total of 24 years on active duty. He
served in Desert Storm, and later as Special Assistant to General Wes
Clark, in Panama and then when he became Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces.
Massa left a position on the staff of the House Armed Services
Committee, where he spoke his mind on behalf of the troops, to join the
presidential campaign of his former boss Wesley Clark.
Sulzer is an Army veteran who volunteered to serve during the Vietnam
War from August 1967 to August 1968. He was in Saigon during the Tet
Offensive. He has since come back to serve on the city council and
later as mayor in Chillicothe, Ohio, as well as a serving as a state
representative. He is now taking on the scandal-plagued Republican Bob
Ney in his heavily Republican district.
Iraq, Lentz commanded a civil affairs unit responsible for
reconstruction in Mosul, following unique and extensive experience in
international reconstruction projects with MFO and NATO peacekeeping
missions in the Sinai Peninsula and Bosnia. A decorated veteran, he has
received the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Bronze Star
amongst other commendations.
is a young attorney who served in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star
in February 2004. In Iraq, Captain Murphy advised on offensive
operations, initiated reconstruction efforts within the justice system,
trained the new Iraqi Civil Defense Corps on the rules of engagement
and was instrumental in the prosecution of Sheik Moyad, a radical
lieutenant of Muqtada Sadr. At a time when even journalists are having
trouble getting the real facts about the war in Iraq, Murphy’s
knowledge is invaluable.
Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, Chris has
received several medals honoring his service in multiple tours
overseas. He was activated for operations Enduring Freedom and Noble
Eagle. From late 2003 to August 2004, Chris served as the Special
Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations,
focusing on the integration of intelligence in the effort to destroy
international terrorist networks. In the last year, Chris served as a
Special Consultant on Terrorism and Intelligence Issues to the Deputy
Secretary of Defense.
Avillo knows the American Dream well. He has lived it. His mother and
father, a bus mechanic who never finished high school, dreamed their
son would go to college. Phil more than fulfilled his parents’ dreams.
He earned a Ph.D. and, as a York College professor, has inspired
thousands of college students to pursue their own American Dream.That
dream, and America’s middle class, is now in jeopardy. So, as he did
when he joined the Marines, and as he has done throughout his life,
Phil is heeding the call to serve and to lead.
is “proud to be one of the millions of Americans who has served this
country and its defense. I enlisted in the Navy and was trained as a
nuclear machinest mate. Most of my career was spent on USS
Nimitz minding the tea kettle. That experience, training, and
confidence led me to become a fighting Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 18th
District as I will take that seat away from the do-nothing, rubber
stamp of Tim Murphy next November.”
The son of a Southern Baptist minister and a native of Greenwood, Lee Ballenger spent six years in the U.S. Navy as a missile fire control technician and was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for service during U.S. operations
in the Iran-Iraq War and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his
role during operations in the Persian Gulf. He also earned the Navy
Achievement Medal for saving a fellow shipmate’s life in that conflict.
As a veteran, he understands what it is to serve on the front lines on
behalf of our country.
Stulce is a life-long resident of Ooltewah and can trace his ancestry
back 5 generations in Hamilton County. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and
Magna Cum Laude from U.T.K. in 1967 and
earned a Master of Science in Social Work in 1974. He served two tours
of combat duty in Vietnam, one as a Combat Platoon Leader in the 101st
Airborne Division (December, 1967 to September, 1968) and one as a
Senior Advisor to the 69th and 79th Border Ranger Battalions (November,
1970 to November 1971). In addition to the Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
he earned the Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor and the Bronze star
for Meritorious Services in Ground Combat.
Dodd is a dedicated father, husband of 36 years and career Air Force
Officer with an extensive family military background. Character and
effective leadership are the hallmarks of his military, business and
personal life. Dan is a moderate Democrat, running for Congress in 2006
to fill the leadership and accountability vacuum that threatens
America’s welfare and security.
He will work for Texans to return fiscal responsibility to the
federal budget, high standards to education, protect equal rights and
economic opportunity for all Americans - to achieve transparent
government, bipartisan leadership and enhanced national security for
our great nation.
Harris enlisted in the Army in 1992 and served in the infantry,
receiving his commission as an Infantry Officer after attending Officer
Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA in 1994. He was mobilized for
Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and was deployed to Iraq
in February, 2003, spending the next 14 months there as a Logistics
Officer where he received a Bronze Star. He is now an Assistant
Professor of Military Science and Training Officer for the Department
of Military Science at the University of Texas at Arlington, and is
taking on “Smoky” Joe Barton.
Murff’s devotion to achievement and uncompromising ethics have served
him well throughout his personal and professional career. As a single
child, he was surrounded by familial role models that instilled in him
the virtues of sacrifice, dedication, and service. As a young man,
David became the third generation to serve his country through military
service. While stationed at Fort Hood, TX, great
ethical leaders, who not only supported the ideals of his family, but
lived them daily, inspired in David the confidence, creativity, and
committment he continues to exude throughout his life today.
From his website: “I was Special Assistant to the only Astronaut to ever be Head of NASA; Deputy Chief of Facilities Engineering and Chief of Environmental Compliance at NASA; a Diplomat in Australia; and held other Senior Executive positions at EPA, the
Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. I went
from Seaman Recruit to Navy Captain in 15 years of active duty and 15
years of Reserve service. I served four tours in Vietnam, where I was
wounded and received medals for valor. I have a BS Degree in Electrical
Engineering from a Navy scholarship to the U. of Colorado and an MBA from
the GI Bill at Loyola. My wife, Ann, and I live in Cypress, Harris
County; and two of our four children also live in Congressional
Courage’s name embodies what Texans in District 21 are looking for in
their next congressman - the courage to insist that their mainstream
values, and not just Tom DeLay’s, be represented in Washington; the
courage to stand with ordinary Texas families and small businesses
against the corporate special interests; the courage to rekindle that
faith they once had in government to be a force for positive change in
their daily lives.
the September 11th attacks occurred, David was visiting his family in
Virginia Beach. 48 hours after the attacks, David rented a car and made
his way to Manhattan. He entered the perimeter with a group of police
officers and spent several days at GroundZero searching for survivors
with the rest of the “bucket brigades.” Two weeks later, David was
recalled to active duty. Upon return to active duty, David was assigned
as deputy legal counsel to the commanding general of all west coast
Marine forces with geographic responsibility for the Middle East. For
most of 2002, David was part of Operation Enduring Freedom deployed to
Kuwait as sole-legal counsel to the commanding general of a
special-purpose coalition task force, working with Czechs, Germans and
Kuwaitis. […] In March 2003, David was deployed again. Within a few
weeks, he was attached to an infantry battalion assigned to the Al
Muthanna region of Iraq. David was the sole coalition legal
representative assigned to restore the judicial system in an area which
covered approximately 1/9 of Iraq.
spent over forty-two years as an enlisted man, rising to the rank of
Command Sergeant Major (CSM), which he had held for over twenty years
when he retired in 2002. He was in the service continuously from 1959
to 2002, except for a 6-month gap following his honorable discharge
from the Army after his tour in Vietnam ended in July of 1966. For most
of his career he served in Army and Joint Special Operations, serving
as the senior non-commissioned officer at every level from A-Detachment
to Special Operations Command.
[Welcome back and Happy New Year to everyone. 2005 saw the first shades of limit to Bush's untrammelled power and control of the discourse; I see further retrenchment in his vision in 2006 and that's certainly a good thing. We'll have a good time talking about it, nonetheless.]
I'm not sure I have a real solid handle on former White House Counsel John Dean, particularly the latter-day version. Obviously when he became a member of the Nixon mafia, he was no liberal. He was the enabler, perhaps to 60's Cali Republican dweezils like Nixon's group what Hunter Thompson's lawyer was to him: a guy who would take the illegal and try to explain it as fully legal on his boss' behalf. Perhaps more fitting than Dr. Gonzo would be the real Gonzo--current AG Alberto Gonzales, who has a fairly long history of making George Bush's judicially tinged decisions much easier when reframed as legal.
So that was Dean then, intimately involved in the game of hoarding executive power and then explaining why it was all OK to do so--in fact, necessary...and damn you for impeding the safety of the country! Starting to sound familiar? It is to Dean, too:
No one questions the ends here. No one
doubts another terror attack is coming; it is only a question of when.
No one questions the preeminent importance of detecting and preventing
such an attack.
What is at issue here, instead, is Bush's
means of achieving his ends: his decision not only to bypass Congress,
but to violate the law it had already established in this area.
is Republican-controlled. Polling shows that a large majority of
Americans are willing to give up their civil liberties to prevent
another terror attack. The USA Patriot Act passed with overwhelming
support. So why didn't the President simply ask Congress for the
authority he thought he needed?
The answer seems to be, quite
simply, that Vice President Dick Cheney has never recovered from being
President Ford's chief of staff when Congress placed checks on the
presidency. And Cheney wanted to make the point that he thought it was
within a president's power to ignore Congress' laws relating to the
exercise of executive power. Bush has gone along with all such Cheney
No president before Bush has taken as aggressive a posture -- the position that his powers as commander-in-chief, under Article II of the Constitution,
license any action he may take in the name of national security -
although Richard Nixon, my former boss, took a similar position.
Dean describes the argument Nixon tried about Presidents having the ability to break the law for national security reasons, citing Abe Lincoln's declaration that preserving the Union may require drastic measures. But as Dean recalls noted interviewer David Frost pointing out, the hippies and liberals weren't exactly seceding from the Union.
I suppose somewhere on the continuum between Civil War and braless, unshaven women in tie dyes dancing like dervishes to adlibbed guitar jams, is the true line of urgency represented by a domestic terror threat. But do you really have to ask whether the incipient crumbling of a new and fragile nation is comparable to a devastating but limited outside strike on the only superpower of the planet? Are they similarly pervasive and immediate threats? I don't think so.
In any case, you can't bullshit a former (I assume) bullshitter, and Dean--not having bought Nixon's--rejects Bush's rationale as well:
Bush has given one legal explanation for his
actions which borders on the laughable: He claims that implicit in
Congress' authorization of his use of force against the Taliban in
Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attack, was an exemption from FISA.
sane member of Congress believes that the Authorization of Military
Force provided such an authorization. No first year law student would
mistakenly make such a claim. It is not merely a stretch; it is
But the core of Bush's defense is to rely on the
very argument made by Nixon: that the president is merely exercising
his "commander-in-chief" power under Article II of the Constitution.
This, too, is a dubious argument. Its author, John Yoo, is a bright,
but inexperienced and highly partisan young professor at Boalt Law
School, who has been in and out of government service.
I find Professor Yoo's legal thinking bordering on fantasy, I was
delighted that Professor Cole closed his real-world analysis on a very
realistic note: "Michael Ignatieff has written that 'it is the very
nature of a democracy that it not only does, but should, fight with one
hand tied behind its back. It is also in the nature of democracy that
it prevails against its enemies precisely because it does.' Yoo
persuaded the Bush administration to untie its hand and abandon the
constraints of the rule of law. Perhaps that is why we are not
A powerful critique, although certainly just one of many. But the quick refrain from the administration and sycophantic Congresspeople that this is just liberal sniping, will wear out soon. Dean has the luxury of telling the Bushites: don't say I didn't warn you.
Wow, the Portland City Council is really becoming dogged at investigating those who appear to want to cost the city money. Yesterday's Oregonian fronted the story of Wednesday's meeting in which commissioners, particularly Erik Sten, challenged PGE officials to explain why they kept money charged to ratepayers as utility tax. The exchange got quite testy, as you can see if you watch the video of the meeting.
During the 2001 session of the Oregon
Legislature, rural Republicans and agricultural interests, citing news
reports of farmers getting fined for letting a relatively small amount
of cow feces to reach rivers, started complaining that Portland was
getting fined less for doing a lot worse. House Speaker Minnis
sponsored a resolution that asked President Bush and Congress to fine
Portland for its sewage overflows. The measure — House Joint Memorial
13 — passed the House in a fiercely partisan vote, over Democrats’
objections. According to documents obtained by Wyden, a Minnis aide
faxed a copy of the draft resolution to the EPA on March 29, 2001.
Because the measure was never approved by the state Senate, it had
no more legal significance than a used tissue. Legally speaking, “it
had no impact,” says lobbyist John DiLorenzo, who conducted research
for backers of the resolution. “It was never adopted.” This
distinction appears to have been lost on staff at the EPA and the U.S.
Department of Justice. Even though it failed in the state Senate,
Ciannat Howett, a senior enforcement attorney at Regional 10, sent an
e-mail to her colleagues on March 26, 2001, that said the resolution
“provides a window of strong support by the Oregon Legislature for EPA
action against Portland for its CSO violations.”
Minnis aides both deny that her fax was the impetus for federal action, and call Commissioner Sam Adams "desperate" for "trying to pin Portland's environmental problems on the Speaker..." Of course what he's actually doing is pinning the problem of being prosecuted on Minnis, for environmental problems the City is actively engaged in addressing.
There is background in the story to the effect that the EPA had asked its field offices to suggest cities with water runoff problems, and that region HQ in Seattle had reported Portland as one of those cities. But it was not until the Minnis fax that wheels appeared to begin turning towards punishing the city for those problems. And while there is some dispute over what was said, it seems clear that at a minimum, Republican lawmakers from rural parts of the state were intent on seeking punishment for the city as some kind of payback for infractions their own constituents had been noted for.
Minnis clearly knew that Portland was fully underway in its efforts to stem sewage runoff, and her ubsubtle statement to the feds of Republican support for action against the city suggests a partisan, rather than environmental, motive. Thankfully it appears that after intense lobbying by Council, EPA is now willing to extend deadlines for remediation, past the point at which the Big Pipe is scheduled to be finished.
Problem or not, there's simply something entirely unseemly about Minnis trying to get the EPA to force penalties on the largest city that she supposedly represents, or to encourage one part of the state to antagonize another as political payback. Throw another arrow in the quiver being assembled to unseat Minnis in next fall.