Woohoo!!! Slattery just hit a good one. Maybe not out of the park, but he sure as hell put it into the stands.

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This is it! This is the pushback I’ve been waiting for! Roberts constantly bowing for the Bush/Cheney regime and going to his knees for the oil companies is something that is pertinent to Kansans, affects their lives right now and they need to know about. Keep this up!!! Hit him again, Jim! Talk about things that Kansans are having to do without because of Roberts supporting the illegal occupation of Iraq. Or maybe about the tax cuts that Roberts voted for that did nothing for most Kansans, but instead took their tax dollars and gave them away to people who already have more money than they could possibly ever use. Good on ya, Jim!

Bread, Peace and Freedom!

more about “Slattery Runs new ad — Gas Prices“, posted with vodpod

and says absolutely nothing about Roberts being a slander prone ass clown. Now I know he can’t use that exact language on a campaign ad, but still no pushback over the whiny “Slattery is a lobbyist” bullshit. As for the ad that is supposed to be capturing the “youth vote”, you have got to be shitting me. Just because it’s on YouTube doesn’t mean that it’s going to be appealling to young voters. Anyway, both ads are posted below along with transcripts from the Slattery campaign. Sound off in the comments.

Apollo Ad

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Apollo transcript

Young Ad

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I saw this yesterday. These guys are funny, and in politics, if you can’t take a joke, get the hell off of the stage.

Bread, peace and freedom.

Every time I turn on the television for more than 10 minutes, it seems like I see that useless, dishonest ad that Roberts is running attacking Slattery. I even saw it on CNN at the dentist yesterday (as if going to the dentist isn’t unpleasant enough).

Pat Roberts is a lying tool, I think that anyone who agrees with more than 6 consecutive words I’ve posted on this blog would agree with that. So where’s the push back??? Where are the ads where Slattery says,

“America is a mess and Kansas is too. Pat Roberts is responsible for the mess because of votes x,y and z (pick your favorites, Roberts never met a citizen he wouldn’t screw or a corporation he wouldn’t blow) Vote Slattery while you have a chance, or it will be 6 more years of Patty the Bush hand-puppet wrecking the state like an ADD kid in an art gallery. I am Jim Slattery and I approved this message.”

Put it on the radio if you can’t afford the TV machine. Just don’t forget those of us that aren’t in the Topeka/Lawrence/KC market because Roberts sure as shit hasn’t.

Topeka – Today, the Kansas Democratic Party filed an official complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Roberts for U.S. Senate. Roberts’ latest negative ad does not meet the “Stand By Your Ad” requirements set by the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

 “It appears as if Pat Robertswas attempting to dodge responsibility for making personal attacks against his opponent, something he pledged he would not do,” said Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Gaughan.

 Sen. Roberts is trying to have it both ways, but his attempt at pulling the wool over the eyes of Kansas voters puts him in direct violation of the very campaign laws designed to protect us from these deceptive political attacks.”

This is the kind of thing that Cenk Uyger of The Young Turks calls “weak sauce”. I really don’t understand this response. First, the FEC is toothless. McCain’s violation of campaign finance laws that he wrote is so much worse than this and nothing has been done about it. I don’t know what makes the KDP think that this will gain any traction.

Worse, this is what Al Franken described as the “bitch slap theory of electoral politics”. He was referencing the 2004 presidential campaign. He basically said that every time Bush attacked Kerry, he was sending the subtle message, “Kerry is my bitch”. Every time Kerry did nothing about it, he was sending the subtle message, “I am Bush’s bitch”. Slattery needs to do something about this. Here’s an idea. He could say something to the effect of, “When I was a lobbyist, I saw the corrupting effect of lobbyist cash in politics. Pat Roberts has accepted several million dollars in contributions from lobbyists. If elected, I will do my best to shut down the system of legalized bribery known as campaign finance and close all loopholes which allow lobbyists to have this level of influence on our democratic system of government. Pat Roberts, for all of his griping about my former job, has never seen a lobby dollar he didn’t like and has fought tooth and nail to keep this system the way it is; enriching himself mightily over the years.”

Slattery just got slapped in the face. Should we go whining to the principal that he got slapped, or should we hit Roberts in the sack? I know which one will work better in the end.

Bread, peace and freedom

P.S. Down with Tyranny has a great post on this subject that talks about Roberts’s ad here.


Jenny Davidson with the KDP just pointed out that the purpose of this FEC complaint is to hold Roberts accountable for the sleazy politics that he is playing after he said he wouldn’t, so I take back the part about not understanding what the KDP hopes to accomplish.

However, I still stand by my thinking that there still needs to be more of a push back than this. Just because you play fair doesn’t mean that you can’t fight like a badger in a corner when your opponent starts acting like an ass. It’s time to play ball or get off the field. Thump Roberts hard enough and even if he does win, he’ll go back to Washington so bloodied up that he won’t be taken seriously by anyone.

I have some Irish blood in me that I’m proud of and the first time I heard about this group, it made me even more proud. David Rovics sings about a bit of American History that doesn’t get any play in the history books.

I’m trying to get David Rovics to play in Great Bend during his whirlwind National Convention tour. If anyone has any ideas on promotion or fund raising for this, let me know in the comments section.

I’m starting this one with a few choice quotes that have been taken from an email I recieved from Abbie Hodgson, Communications Director for Slattery for Senate. It starts out very well.

$4 gas is a direct result of the disastrous policy decisions made by politicians in Washington, including my opponent, Pat Roberts,” Slattery said….

In addition to the failed energy policy of the Bush Administration, Slattery pointed to failures in economic and foreign policy as contributors to the high price of fuel.

 “The declining value of the dollar has helped drive gas prices to record levels,” Slattery said. “This is a direct result of the irresponsible spend and borrow fiscal policy of the Bush Administration that Sen. Roberts has supported.”

 Slattery said that Americans are paying a “war premium” on gas as a result of the War in Iraq.

 “Stabilizing the Middle East will help to dramatically lower the price of gas,” he said.

Slattery asserted that speculation was artificially driving up the cost of oil and that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission must be directed to aggressively monitor oil markets.

 “Some experts believe speculation on Wall Street is driving up oil prices by as much as $40 a barrel,” Slattery said. “The ‘Enron Loophole’ Roberts voted for has allowed energy commodities to be traded on markets exempt from federal, state, or local oversight. By closing the loophole and restoring the original intent of the law, we can drive down the price.”

Slattery also expressed concern that Big Oil companies were intentionally driving up the cost of oil.

“With the help of Roberts, international oil companies have reaped record profits at the expense of Kansas families,” Slattery said. “Congress should investigate to ensure that oil companies have not intentionally created supply shortages as they did in the late ’90’s.” 


So far, so good. I’ve been screaming about all of this for a while (I also have a pretty damn good way of explaining why unregulated speculation drives up prices which I might get around to posting one of these days). However, suddenly Slattery jumps the tracks and drives the train right into Crazytown.

Slattery also offered long-term solutions in the form of comprehensive energy reform including reduced dependence on foreign oil.

 “The first step to energy independence is conservation,” Slattery said. “The cheapest form of energy is energy we don’t use at all.”

 Alright, fair enough, if a little obvious. But like a good Steven Wright punch-line, you’ve got to wait for it… here it comes… NOW!

Slattery also said that we should expand domestic oil production.

“While I do not believe we can drill ourselves out of this situation, we must engage all of our resources to begin rectifying it,” Slattery said.

 WOW!!! Really? What party do you belong to again??? Do you have any idea how long it would take for drilling now to have an effect on the world oil market??? Any other ideas?

Other energy alternatives suggested by Slattery included revisiting nuclear generation and developing clean coal technology.

WOOHOO!!! Awesome!!! Three Mile Island is such a nice tourist attraction and all, I wish we could do something like that in Kansas! As for clean coal, every time I hear someone use this term, it reminds me of the movie “The Yes Men”. There is a great prank they pull where they make the suggestion that since 90% of the nutrients you consume are excreted, you can take excrement, sterilize it, remove all of the toxic chemicals and feed it to people in third world countries, all while allowing McDonald’s to make a profit selling shitburgers. The problem with that is, no matter how clean, sterile and non-toxic, you are still feeding starving people shit. All of the “clean coal” talk also doesn’t take into account the mining process: both the pollution involved in practices like “mountain-topping” and the deplorable conditions in which the miners live and work. I’m just not so sure of what I think of Jim Slattery’s energy plan.

Bread, peace and freedom.

I did a Yahoo search for Protest Songs to try and get a better idea of what to do today. About.com has a list of top ten protest songs with some great choices (“This Land is Your Land”, “If I Had a Hammer”, “Give Peace a Chance”), but it also had a link down below for Top Ten Labor Songs. Some of these I had heard and others I hadn’t. A few google and YouTube searches later and I had decided on a song. Here is Utah Phillips singing a hymn out of the I.W.W. Little Red Songbook to the tune of the old church song “Power in the Blood of the Lamb”

Bread, peace, and freedom

Yesterday was Memorial Day, which most Americans honestly celebrate by enjoying a 3-day weekend. It’s a day that was originally designed to remember the soldiers who fought and died so we can enjoy the freedom they do now, but there were many who died to secure our freedom without ever setting foot on a battle field. I was reading the Diary Rescue thread on DailyKos last night and read a great piece by Kossack gjohnsit about the Memorial Day Massacre in 1937.

Memorial Day in Chicago in 1937 was hot and sunny. On the prairie outside the Republic Steel’s Chicago plant the strikers and their families began to gather for picnics. Women were dressed in their holiday best. Children could be seen riding on their father’s shoulders.
 Sam’s Place was nearby. Once a dance-hall, Sam’s was now the strike headquarters. Gradually the families drifted over to where a soup kitchen had been set up and where strike leaders gave speeches from a platform. A group of girls began singing IWW union songs, and the men joined in. Plans were being made for a mass demonstration, despite the rumors that the police had something big planned themselves.
 The day seemed just too nice for anything bad to happen.

What happened next is one of the darker moments of U.S. History.

 When the meeting was over, the men, women and children formed lines to march towards the Republic Steel plant. Two men at the front carried large American flags. The whole event resembled a Memorial Day parade more than a strike.
  As they marched across the field, several news photographers showed up and began snapping pictures. This was to be more important than anyone imagined.

  Part way across the field the strikers and their families were met by 200 blue-coated policemen about 250 yards outside the plant. Their clubs were already out. Some carried non-regulation billy-clubs that Republic Steel provided and were equipped with tear gas from Republic stockpiles as well. A police captain yelled, “You dirty sons of bitches, this is as far as you go!”

After a few heated words, a stick was thrown at the police from somewhere in the crowd. Almost immediately tear gas bombs were tossed from the police, and the strikers began moving away. A couple more things were thrown by both sides when an officer in the rear drew his gun and fired into the air.

 Without a command or warning police on the front line drew their revolvers and fired point blank into the huge crowd of men, women, and children.


The entire police line moved forward swinging billy clubs. Marchers who had dropped to the ground to avoid the bullets were beaten where they lay. It didn’t matter if they were grown men, women, or even children. The beatings went on until the marchers had either ran out of reach of the police, or they had been beaten into submission.

 As one newspaper reviewer noted, “In several instances from two to four policemen are seen beating one man. One strikes him horizontally across the face, using his club as he would a baseball bat. Another crashes it down on top of his head and still another is whipping him across the back.”
The film ends with a sweaty, fatigued policeman looking into the camera, grinning, and motioning as if dusting off his hands.

 Four marchers had been fatally shot, while six were mortally wounded. 30 others suffered gunshot wounds, including three children. 28 required hospitalization from their beatings, while another 30 required medical treatment. The gunshot wounds for those that died were all from being shot in the back or sides. Only four gunshot wounds total could be counted as frontal.
  35 police received some sort of injuries, but only three required some sort of hospitalization.

 Paramount cameraman Orlando Lippert actually had a motion picture shot of almost the whole event. You can watch it all, uncut, here (it starts about 4 minutes in). It was indisputable proof. So what did Paramount do? They suppressed the film

The reason given by Paramount News for suppressing its newsreel of the Chicago Memorial Day steel-strike massacre is an obvious sham. Audiences trained on the Hollywood school of gangster films are not likely to stage a “riotous demonstration” in the theater upon seeing cops beating people into insensibility, and worse. Against whom would the riot be directed anyway? The Board of Directors or Republic Steel and the Chicago municipal authorities are hardly likely to be found in the immediate vicinity.
  The real reason behind the film suppression is its decisive evidence that virtually every newspaper in the country lied, and continues to lie, about the responsibility for violence in the strike areas. The myth that the steel strikers have resorted to violence to gain their just ends is now the basis for the whole campaign of slander and misrepresentation against them. That is why Tom Girdler of Republic Steel refuses to confer with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, and that is why 95 per cent of the press carries on a publicity pogrom against the strikers.
  Even after the St. Louis Post Dispatch performed a genuine service to the American people in breaking the story of the film (for which, though it is Pulitzer owned, it is very unlikely to get the Pulitzer award), the venal press still continued to blast away at the strikers with the same old legend. Not a comma has been changed in the editorials which, day after day, have defended the steel tycoons on the ground that there can be no compromise with labor violence.
  And all this time, the film record exists–and has been described–which would enable the public to make up its own mind on this very crucial point!
 – New Masses, June 29, 1937

At the end of the original Kos story, there is a poll for people to voice their opinion on if we should have a memorial day for labor. I voted, “Hell Yes!” which, as of this writing, is winning by a huge margin. The workers who died in strikes in this country are the people who gave us our overtime pay, 40-hour work week and 8-hour day. It’s time we recognized these brave fighters for freedom.

Bread, Peace and Freedom.

The first version of this song I heard was the Rage Against the Machine version. I never was really into that song, but when I was bumbling around looking for protest songs the other day, I found this version that Bruce Springsteen released on the 1995 album of the same name. Lyrics are posted here. Bread, peace and freedom.