It’s That Time

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Help Mark end Santa Dan’s gift-giving to big oil

SantaDan23    Even though the oil companies have  been very, very naughty, Santa Dan Lipinski keeps putting them on the ‘nice’ side of his holiday gift ledger.
    Over the years, he’s voted to give them $8 billion worth of tax breaks and permission to drill for oil in
Santa Claus’ own backyard – the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    Maybe the reason why
Santa Dan keeps giving gifts to the naughty oil companies is because, instead of cookies, they leave him cash every year, and a lot of it.

In fact, he took $26,000 from big oil between 2005 and 2007.

Help Democrat Mark Pera end Santa Dan’s gift-giving on Election DayContribute Online Graphic by contributing today to our campaign for Congress.

Our goal is to raise more than $26,000, the same amount of  money that Santa Dan took from big oil, by Dec. 31 (not Jan. 31).

For more information or to get involved in our campaign, call (708) 579-2834 or visit

Funny Thing About Validating Right Wing Loons

It comes to bite your candidate in the ass….

Taylor Marsh tries to use the Alan Keyes claim that Obama is for infanticide and that is why he needs to be vetted. This, of course, comes from Stanek who has misrepresented the differences between the federal and the state level on many occasions.

What was one of Stanek’s most recent pieces:

Hillary vs. Obama: Who’s the biggest baby killing champion?

They are going to lie about whomever the candidate is and they’ll do all the same things to Clinton.  Trying to split Democrats by using right wing talking points only gives wingnuts some aura of respectability.

Congratulations on screwing your own candidate! Beautifully done.

Perhaps you’d like to discuss how Stanek’s defense of beating women to stop them from having an abortion is wonderful. From that column:

One of the best scenes in the Godfather movie trilogy was in “Godfather II,” when Kay Corleone (Diane Keaton) told her husband Michael (Al Pacino) she was taking their two children and leaving him. The dialogue:

Michael: Do you expect me to let you take my children from me?…. Don’t you know that’s an impossibility, that that could never happen, that I’d use all my power to keep something like that from ever happening?…. I know you blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant to you. Kay. I swear I’ll make it up to you…. I’ll change. And you’ll forget about this miscarriage, and we’ll have another child, and we’ll go on, you and I, we’ll go on.

kay.jpgKay: Oh – oh, Michael, Michael, you are blind. It wasn’t a miscarriage. It was an abortion, an abortion, Michael! Just like our marriage is an abortion, something that’s unholy and evil. I didn’t want your son, Michael! I wouldn’t bring another one of your sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael. It was a son, a son, and I had it killed, because this must all end. I know now that it’s over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael, no way you could ever forgive me, not with this Sicilian thing that’s been going on for 2,000 years….


Michael: You won’t take my family!

And she doesn’t.

That spontaneous slap was the reaction of a real man who a woman had just told she aborted his baby. Compare that to the modern day cowardly male response, “It’s your choice. Whatever you decide, I’ll support you.” Or worse, his threat to abandon her if she does not abort.

It was this fierce devotion to family that strangely endeared us to the Corleone men despite their otherwise heinous behavior.

Or the more recent column:

In Mr. Brooks, the teenage daughter of serial killer Earl Brooks (Costner) turns up pregnant midway through her first semester of college. When Jane tells her parents, Earl emphatically states abortion is out of the question and offers to raise the baby. Jane is equally emphatically abortion minded until that moment, when she says she will reconsider. Typical. If a mother in a crisis pregnancy is offered love and support, she will most often choose life.

I won’t give away the end of Mr. Brooks except to say the prospect of his seeing future grandchild became Earl’s motivation for a life or death decision.

All of this is way twisted, I know. But similar to Godfather II, even a schizophrenic serial killer knows abortion is wrong, and similar to Godfather II, this became a redeeming quality of one who had no others.

Mr. Brooks’ pro-life stance was an obviously planned juxtaposition.

On one hand he was a serial killer no better than Dahmer and Gacy.

On the other, he was pro-life. Of of all possible character attributes, the writer and director chose this as Mr. Brooks’ one featured nobility, something they decided demonstrated the exact opposite of the schizophrenic killer mentality.

Why is that?

Stanek, Keyes, the entire wingnut crew over at Illinois Review are going to attack whomever our nominee is. Don’t help them by giving them some sort of relevance.

But He’s a Moderate

If you define 1/3 of the population as being the median voter.

Dan Seals Blasts Mark Kirk For Continued Support Of War in Iraq

DEERFIELD, IL—Dan Seals, Democratic candidate in the 10th Congressional District of Illinois, criticized Congressman Mark Kirk today for continuing to support President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq. Monday night, Kirk voted against a spending measure that would increase funding to operations in Afghanistan, while prohibiting those funds from being spent in Iraq. The House approved the measure by a vote of 206 to 201.


Not only did Kirk vote to deny additional funding to our troops in Afghanistan, but his vote also signaled that he wants even more money for the war in Iraq


“Once again, Mark Kirk is putting partisan politics before principle by continuing to stand with the Bush administration in support of an open-ended engagement in Iraq,” Seals said. “Kirk’s vote is yet another sign that he is more interested in siding with the national Republican Party and the Bush Administration than he is in representing residents of the 10th District who are done with this war.”  


“Unlike our current representative, I support a timetable for withdrawal and believe we need to begin bringing our troops home. The 10th district deserves more than empty rhetoric on the war, they deserve a representative with the strength to change the course in Iraq.”

Donate to Pera and Get Matched

If you – or your friends or family – give to Mark Pera on my Mark Pera fundraiser page by next Saturday, I’ll kick in a matching donation of my own.  Check it out.

(I’ve done this kind of matching pledge before (including earlier this month for Mark Pera) so take that as assurance that my pledge is for real).

The details:

Mark Pera is a great candidate, he’s got endorsements from Chicago’s reformers, and he’s trying to throw out a Chicago-machine, Bush Dog Democrat named Dan Lipinski.

I’ve supported Mark Pera with contributions in the past, but won’t any more…..  unless you (or your friends and family) do.

I’m through with donating money to candidates without leveraging it against other folks donations.  So, I simply won’t be donating another dime to Mark if I can’t get you and others to join with me.

Of course, I am doing this to get you to donate if you haven’t already.  But more importantly, I want you to approach your off-line friends and family who’ve never once been asked to donate to Mark Pera or Dan Lipinski, but who you know would want to donate to help a progressive, reform-minded, pro-choice Democrat replace a Bush Dog, “pro-life” Democrat in a super-safe Democratic district that will never elect a Republican.

We in the left blogosphere have seen a kazillion ‘asks’ for Mark Pera – we all have been pretty thoroughly canvassed.  More “roots-spreading” action on all of our parts can make $15 or $25 donations turn into a really impressive amount by widening the reach of the campaign.  All it takes to do that is a donation on your part (which you may have done) and a quick email of your own to select contacts asking them to do the same.

I will be kicking in a matching donation for ones received on my ActBlue page for Mark through next Saturday night (Dec 22) — and when I match them you’ll know it because you see my donation here.  This isn’t a match program like you see at the DCCC or other Democratic organizations — unlike those, you’ll literally be able to see when I’ve put down my money for Mark – and I’d love it if you help tap me out for Mark.  Check out the site for details.

Chances are, you’ve donated to Mark if you’re reading this diary.  (If not, please do).  But I hope this diary will encourage you to approach a handful of contacts you know who believe in the importance of electing great progressives like Mark but who don’t know about him yet.   The case should be an easy sell all by itself (this recent post makes a damn good case that Pera’s got a campaign that can win), but just to give you another hook, I’m adding on the incentive that they can make their donation bigger because I will match it – as well as the sense of urgency for them to act now, since my offer expires on December 22.

Please give and ask others to give!

Daily Dolt: Bob Kerrey


After the event, he mused about her chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama.

“The fact that he’s African American is a big deal. I do expect and hope that Hillary is the nominee of the party. But I hope he’s used in some way. If he happens to be the nominee of the party and ends up being president, I think his capacity to influence in a positive way . . . the behavior of a lot of underperforming black youth today is very important, and he’s the only one who can reach them.”

Kerrey continued: “It’s probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There’s a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal.”

He returned to Clinton: “She does inspire my confidence. She can do the job. In my view, she’s the complete package.”

Now, Kerrey says dumb things all the time, but what’s really weird out of this quote:

Kerrey continued: “It’s probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There’s a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal.”

Not something that appeals to him? WTF?

Schock Won’t Attend Videotaped Events

Seriously. What a goof.

I believe we need to make sure Bill has a video camera

State Rep. Aaron Schock won’t permit his two congressional primary opponents to videotape him at any forums or debates.

Well, it’s not that he’s not allowing it, he just won’t attend events if taping is allowed. So the net result is the same.

That’s ticking off the John Morris camp. “I figure if it’s a public forum, I should be able to videotape my candidate,” said Morris campaign manager Ryan Steusloff. “We’re trying to get John out there and I would like to be able to videotape my candidate. There’s nothing nefarious going on.”

So what’s the big deal?

Schock doesn’t believe the intentions are so innocent. “If they’re suggesting that I have something to hide, that’s bogus,” Schock said. “Part of the concern is that it could be taken out of context.”

The issue came to a head at a recent Southwest Kiwanis Club meeting.

A Morris aide showed up with a video camera. But the rules permitted only the media to videotape.

Schock’s camp watched closely to be sure the red blinky recording light wasn’t on while Schock was speaking. There were whispers and stares; finally Morris mouthed for his aide to stop the recording.

“It’s not that they’re doing a public service by taping it and putting it on the Web. That’s not their goal,” said Schock campaign manager Steve Shearer. “What they are there for is to get three or four seconds out of context, and make a TV commercial out of it and that does a disservice to voters.”

This guy is the great GOP hope?

And the two GOP opponents need to tell him to take a hike then and don’t show up at events. They are events open to the public and recording them on videotape is certainly reasonable in such circumstances.

This guy is going to be the picture next to WATB in the dictionary.

In more fun Schock news:

Schock downplayed reports that he would like to see the United States supply Taiwan with nuclear weapons if China does not support sanctions against Iran. Schock made his comments in early November and other candidates criticized the thought of providing other nations with nuclear weapons.

“People were pulling it out of context” and treating it like a serious proposal on foreign affairs, Schock said.

Errr…you own campaign manager claimed it was well thought out. And it wasn’t out of context given Bernard Schoenberg provided the full speech as did both Bill Dennis and I. So again, what a WATB.

He told (Springfield) State Journal-Register reporter Bernard Schoenburg that Schock showed immaturity as he committed a “terrible, terrible blunder” by offering, then retracting, a foreign policy scenario that included the possible sale of nuclear missiles to Taiwan.

He also said GOP candidate John Morris’ statements that millions of illegal immigrants should be deported once the nation’s borders are secure is a “silly solution” that is “not going to work.”

The Peoria congressman also has issues with Schock using his name without permission in campaign materials. He also said he has problems with Schock’s campaign manager.

“On two occasions, in personal meetings that I had with Aaron, I had expressed my concern about his campaign manager,” LaHood told Schoenburg last week about Shearer. Asked if he was referring to campaign tactics, LaHood said, “I guess it’s probably more prudent for me not to get into that.”

Schock said Shearer has run both his winning campaigns for state representative, and he is “very proud of the type of positive campaigns” he’s run.

But here’s the kicker:

Shearer said Schock agreed to endorse Giuliani in the spring, before he knew LaHood was retiring and that he was going to run for that congressional seat. Since then, Schock has said he would remain neutral because he must focus on running his race for Congress.

Small problem. You don’t have to do anything, but endorse the guy. If you don’t think he’s the best candidate, what changed between then and now? It shouldn’t matter whether you are running for office or not.

Uh-Oh, The GOP is in Panic Mode

If you head over to Illinois Review you can observe a rather bizarre panic over Huckabee’s rise and all sorts of ethics problems that are just now surfacing.

The panic is hysterical because they don’t seem to like anyone, but more to the point, Huckabee is now second in Illinois, 2 points behind Guiliani.

This could be one of the most amusing GOP Nomination races. Very seldom do Republicans choose an outsider.  Usually the nomination is reserved for someone long in the party who works their way up (or is born up high).  This time, there is a serious divergence between the establishment and the grass roots and it looks to be quite the circular firing squad.  ICFST goes national!

Pattern Identification over At Rich’s

What is the pattern?

Frontrunner billionaire Democrat plummets in the polls after press reports that he hit his ex-wife’s shin during a drunken, late-night argument.

Attractive Republican millionaire forced out of race after press reports that he dragged his TV star ex-wife to a swingers club.

High-flying, millionaire out-of-state African-American former presidential candidate and ambassador anti-gay rights ultra-conservative embarassed to no end when blogs report that his daughter is an anarchist lesbian activist.

Universally known, widely acknowledged prohibitive rontrunner ex first lady loses frontrunner status after she and staff go on the attack.


Snark heavily encouraged.

Comment over there 

Mark Kirk R-Torture

Let’s be clear on this vote.  It was a vote against banning a form of torture.  That this vote even had to be held demonstrates how low this administration has taken this country and Kirk is a willing accomplice.  The practice is banned by the military as torture and a violation of the Geneva Convention.  It should have been a unanimous vote.

And given we know people were tortured, it is time to start investigating who and then put them on trial.  War crimes are not acceptable.
Huff Po
Thirty retired admirals and generals have penned a letter to key Democrats, urging them to defy President Bush’s veto threats and pass legislation requiring U.S intelligence agents to follow strict standards for detainee treatment.

December 12, 2007
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV, Chairman
The United States Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Silvestre Reyes, Chairman
The United States House of Representatives
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Reyes and Chairman Rockefeller:

As retired military leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces, we write to express our strong support for Section 327 of the Conference Report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, H.R. 2082. Section 327 would require intelligence agents of the U.S. government to adhere to the standards of prisoner treatment and interrogation contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Collector Operations (the Army Field Manual).

We believe it is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States not sanction the use of interrogation methods it would find unacceptable if inflicted by the enemy against captured Americans. That principle, embedded in the Army Field Manual, has guided generations of American military personnel in combat.
The current situation, in which the military operates under one set of interrogation rules that are public and the CIA operates under a separate, secret set of rules, is unwise and impractical. In order to ensure adherence across the government to the requirements of the Geneva Conventions and to maintain the integrity of the humane treatment standards on which our own troops rely, we believe that all U.S. personnel – military and civilian – should be held to a single standard of humane treatment reflected in the Army Field Manual.

The Field Manual is the product of decades of practical experience and was updated last year to reflect lessons learned from the current conflict. Interrogation methods authorized by the Field Manual have proven effective in eliciting vital intelligence from dangerous enemy prisoners. Some have argued that the Field Manual rules are too simplistic for civilian interrogators. We reject that argument. Interrogation methods authorized in the Field Manual are sophisticated and flexible. And the principles reflected in the Field Manual are values that no U.S. agency should violate.

General David Petraeus underscored this point in an open letter to the troops in May in which he cautioned against the use of interrogation techniques not authorized by the Field Manual:

What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight. . . . is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect…. Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone “talk;” however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.

Employing interrogation methods that violate the Field Manual is not only unnecessary, but poses enormous risks. These methods generate information of dubious value, reliance upon which can lead to disastrous consequences. Moreover, revelation of the use of such techniques does immense damage to the reputation and moral authority of the United States essential to our efforts to combat terrorism.

This is a defining issue for America. We urge you to support the adoption of Section 327 of the Conference Report and thereby send a clear message – to U.S. personnel and to the world – that the United States will not engage in or condone the abuse of prisoners and will honor its commitments to uphold the Geneva Conventions.


General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.)
General Paul J. Kern, USA (Ret.)
General Charles Krulak, USMC (Ret.)
General David M. Maddox, USA (Ret.)
General Merrill A. McPeak, USAF (Ret.)
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Donald L. Kerrick, USA (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Albert H. Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Major General Paul Eaton, USA (Ret.)
Major General Eugene Fox, USA (Ret.)
Major General John L. Fugh, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Don Guter, USN (Ret.)
Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, USN (Ret.)
Major General Melvyn Montano, ANG (Ret.)
Major General Gerald T. Sajer, USA (Ret.)
Major General Antonio ‘Tony’ M. Taguba, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David M. Brahms, USMC (Ret.)
Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Richard O’Meara, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Anthony Verrengia, USAF (Ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.)

Statement from Dan Seals on Destruction of CIA Interrogation Tapes

DEERFIELD, IL? On Thursday, Dan Seals, Democratic candidate for Congress, criticized Congressman Mark Kirk for supporting the CIA?s decision to destroy videotaped footage of its officers engaging in harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists, including the controversial waterboarding technique.

“Mark Kirk’s defense not only of the use of ‘waterboarding,’ but also the destruction of videotaped interrogations, shows how far he is willing to go to support the Bush Administration and their flaunting of the law,” said Seals.

“I fully support Congress’ investigation into the tape destruction to get to the bottom of whether there was illegal activity or not. This is yet another sign that our country needs wholesale change – from the White House, to our representative in Congress.”

The Natural Result of the Fox Watching the Hen House

When you appoint someone to be your point person on gambling because he’s an avid gambler, not much good can come out of that.

A 12-count indictment against Kelly, 49, of Burr Ridge, alleges he placed millions of dollars in wagers with a bookie in Chicago and casino in Las Vegas, then paid the debts out of corporate funds from his roofing business, portraying the payments as legitimate business expenses.

As a former adviser to the Blagojevich administration on gambling issues, Kelly once had been asked to represent the administration in negotiations between the Illinois Gaming Board and the Emerald riverboat casino.

Blagojevich had said he picked Kelly, in part, because Kelly is an avid gambler.

The charges outlined Thursday against Kelly include five counts each of filing false federal income tax returns and filing false corporate tax returns, one count of obstructing or impeding the Internal Revenue Service and one count of illegally structuring monetary transactions. A message seeking comment was left for Kelly’s attorney, Michael Monico.

Rezko and Kelly were some of the closest people to Blagojevich and given what we know about Fitzgerald, it’s certain he’s applying the pressure to get the guy at the top.  How many prosecutors can claim two Governors’ scalps?