Thursday, January 31, 2008

George Bush Meets Another Law He Says He Can Break

It is the Supreme Court that is charged with finding whether a law is Constitutional. Not so in Bush's world. No, in George Bush's world, he is the decider of what laws are Constitutional.

WASHINGTON - President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill.

Bush wants to build permanent bases in Iraq, and he is negotiating with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for that very purpose.

The negotiations have drawn fire in part because the administration has said it does not intend to designate the compact as a "treaty," and so will not submit it to Congress for approval. Critics are also concerned Bush might lock the United States into a deal that would make it difficult for the next president to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

What Bush is doing is laughing at Democracy and the rule of law, again. This is dangerous and why I posted my question about the theory of the Unitary Executive. It is this type of action that makes my question so important.

via Boston Globe


Servers Overwhelmed

Update below

I recieved an email from Obama08 camapaign inviting me to Oakland to hear Senator Ted Kennedy and/or John Kerry in San Francisco. I clicked on the link to RSVP for the San Francisco event and got this:

I choose to think of this as a good sign that so many people want to support Obama's campaign, the servers can't handle the request.

Want to RSVP?


San Francisco

update I got through and I am signed up the the San Francisco event.
9:30 am
450 Church Street
Everett Middle School

Will I see you there?


A Question

Andrew Sullivan posed a question about Democrats. He then posted an email from one of his readers. I am posting the entire email because I fear the reader is correct.

You ask:

The Democrats aren't that stupid, are they?

"Yes, yes, we are. In fact, we're probably even more stupid than you can possibly imagine. After all, we're too stupid to realize that when we worry that the Republicans say we're weak, we are being weak; too stupid to realize that when you consent to an Attorney General who won't say whether waterboarding is torture, you get an AG who says later that waterboarding is not torture if it's done to the right people; too stupid to realize that people want us to confront Bush more, not less; too stupid to realize that Hillary voted for the war with Iraq and another possible war with Iran; too stupid to realize that the Clintons both supported limited torture until the polls said otherwise; too stupid to realize that the Clintons are totally unethical (and why? because Bill is so damned charming!); too stupid to recognize that Bill Clinton sold us all out (I'm sorry, but gays and lesbians were not the only ones to give hand over fist only to be disappointed); too stupid to realize that 50% of the country will never vote for Hillary; too stupid to realize that we've got our Reagan, the reincarnate of JFK, staring us in the face; and too stupid to realize that, for the first time that I can think of, the most liberal candidate is the one that is most acceptable to independents and Republicans.

We don't deserve to win this election if we don't nominate Obama. And you'll see a lot of Democrats like me abandon the party if we don't. Just watch. It's hard to keep associating yourself with this kind of ineptitude."

via Sullivan

Yes, I am a Democrat. Let's not be stupid. Vote Obama!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Retro Castro In Pictures

I know housing prices are supposed to be going down, but wow!

The entrance to Castro Street MUNI station

Louie's Barber Shop is now Pinto's Barber Shop

Used to be the Sprint store

In-Jeanous in now Jambalaya

US Bank (I think) is now Eureka Federal Savings

Daddie's (or 420 Castro as it is now called) is now Toad Hall

Hot Cookie is now Double Rainbow Ice Cream Shop

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Ralph Nader

John Aravosis has the funniest headline today:
"Ralph Nader is bored again, may decide to put John McCain in the White House to relieve his ennui"

It's funny because it's (sad, but) true.


Blogger Crush

I can't help myself. I must tell the truth. I have a new blogger crush on The American Prospect's Ezra Klein. He's smart, funny and let fly when talking about blow hard, Tim Russert.

And has a nice smile.

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Edwards Is Out

John Edwards, he of the populist message is out of the Democratic primary race.
Now, of course, is the question of who will his supporter choose to support? Let the punditry speculation begin in 4..3..2..1.

There is the rumor that Obama has made a deal with Edwards that if he throws his support to Obama's direction, Edwards will the Attorney Gen. But, who knows?

My totally unscientific feeling is his supporters, if not Edwards, will turn to Obama

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Terroist Alarm Clock

If you watched the SOTU last night, you no doubt heard how if the Senate doesn't pass the FISA bill, the terrorist will attack AT 12:00 AM THURSDAY! Well, not so much. As Dahlia Lithwick explains.

"[W]arning the Congress that, with respect to FISA, "[I]f you do not act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger." This is classic Bush-speak: Specify the precise day on which we will all suddenly become less safe while skateboarding over the nature of the danger or the proposed fix.

Similar FISA alarm clocks were ringing all over the place this week. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned from the Senate floor: "The terrorists are not going to take a vacation a few weeks from now or six months from now or next year." He upped the ante: "The American people should be frightened." Roger Pilon warned in the Wall Street Journal that "the clock is ticking." But which clock? Where is the big terrorist alarm clock that sounds every time the president doesn't get his way?"

Did you get that? "the terrorist are not going to take a vacation..." and we "should be frightened."

But, guess what? FISA does not stop if the Senate doesn't extend the PAA bill.

"If the PAA had been allowed to expire this week, or is permitted to do so in two more weeks, it would not mean FISA itself expires, as some sloppy reporting has consistently implied. It would mean that expanded secret authority to spy on Americans without connections to terrorism—allowed by Congress last summer—would not be immediately extended. Existing warrants will survive the new deadline and live a long and healthy life thereafter. FISA itself will still be in effect. In other words, if a terrorist attack were to be launched against America on the same day the PAA expires, it would not be because Senate liberals had turned out the lights on intelligence-gathering."

There needs to be enough time to come up with a bill that protects our liberties, not protect the Republicans fear mongering.

via Slate


Clinton's "Word"

"COURTING VOTERS in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot when others removed theirs, she campaigned this past weekend in Florida, and she is pushing to seat Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The party stripped those states of delegates as punishment for moving up their primary dates.

"I will try to persuade my delegates to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida," Clinton said last week, after the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses were safely over.

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers."

Again, Clinton shows she can't be trusted to keep her word.

What is Obama doing? Keeping his word.


via Sullivan



Missed the first 15 minutes or so, but the rest...


Was I the only one that found his smirking a little childish? The man even smirked when he talked about Darfur. Sheesh. Maybe President Bush was thinkin, "Srew it, I'm outta here."

And what about the hooting and hollering coming from the Republican side? Say what you want about the state of our government, let's keep some decorum. What is this, Monday night football?

and a qoute from Andrew Sullivan:
"I tried not to watch it and failed. It felt phoned in. The contrast between the banal cheeriness of the president's demeanor and the grave threats he faces was unsettling. It's good for a president to have some emotional resilience in that job. But Bush seems almost pathologically detached from any real understanding of the effects of what he says and does. If you're him, that's probably a good thing. If you're anybody else, it's horrifying."

It's called, cognitive dissonance.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Castro's Looking A Bit Dated

David Corbell has some photos of the transformation in The Castro for the filming of "Milk"

It is kinda of cool walking out of the Castro MUNI station everyday after work to see the changes, especially The Castro Theater. It's so colorful now!

Sometimes I can forget that I live in a neighborhood that holds such history for the gays.

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FISA Email

How authoritarians thinks:
"Of all the creepy post-9/11 phrases to which we've been subjected ("The Patriot Act" - "Protecting the Homeland" - "enhanced interrogation techniques" - "Department of Homeland Security"), I think the creepiest and most Orwellian is the phrase "good patriotic corporate citizen," used to describe companies which broke our laws because the President told them to. It's now apparently a Patriotic Duty to obey the President even if he tells you to violate the law.

The accompanying claim that companies should never "second-guess" the "judgment of the President regarding what's legal" -- which I just heard from John Cornyn and Saxby Chambliss -- is equally creepy, and is the crux of the authoritarian case for telecom immunity."

via Glenn Greenwald

Received this email this morning:

"Dear Michael,

Today there will be a showdown in the Senate over FISA legislation. Thanks to your phonecalls and emails, both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton will be there to vote "no" on cloture for the bill that would give retroactive immunity to Dick Cheney and the telecoms.

Glenn Greenwald gives the background here:

Please join us today at as we liveblog the action in the Senate (which you can also watch on CSPAN-2), followed by the State of the Union Address.

Jane Hamsher"

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Endorse-orama For Obama!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Telecom Immunity

Good new on the Telecom Immunity front. Clinton and Obama will break away from campaining to travel back to Washington to vote no on the Intel version of FISA (that's the one where immunity is granted to the law-breaking telecom companies).

Glenn Greenwald has a good piece on what the push back from Chris Dodd, John Edwards, and others against Telecom Immunity. He does, however, remind us all that the fight is not over, the White House and its supporters will not give up the fight.
It is important, as Greenwald notes, that, "As the events of the last two months demonstrate, if citizen opposition is channeled the right way, it can make a genuine difference in affecting the course of events in Washington. Defeating telecom immunity will keep alive the lawsuits that will almost certainly reveal to some extent what the Government did in illegally spying on Americans over the last six years or, at the very least, produce a judicial adjudication as to its illegality. And, in turn, the effects from that could be extremely significant. Because victories are so rare, it's easy to get lulled into believing that none of these campaigns are ever effective and that citizens can never affect any of it, which is precisely why it's so important to remind ourselves periodically of how untrue that proposition is."

The fight is not over, but by keeping the pressure on Congress, the rule of law will win.



Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Speech

I've high-lighted the passages that resonate strongly with me.

"Over two weeks ago, we saw the people of Iowa proclaim that our time for change has come. But there were those who doubted this country’s desire for something new – who said Iowa was a fluke not to be repeated again.
Well, tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina.
After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.
They are young and old; rich and poor. They are black and white; Latino and Asian. They are Democrats from Des Moines and Independents from Concord; Republicans from rural Nevada and young people across this country who’ve never had a reason to participate until now. And in nine days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business-as-usual in Washington, we are hungry for change, and we are ready to believe again.
But if there’s anything we’ve been reminded of since Iowa, it’s that the kind of change we seek will not come easy. Partly because we have fine candidates in the field – fierce competitors, worthy of respect. And as contentious as this campaign may get, we have to remember that this is a contest for the Democratic nomination, and that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies of the current administration.
But there are real differences between the candidates. We are looking for more than just a change of party in the White House. We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington – a status quo that extends beyond any particular party. And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got; with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face, whether those problems are health care they can’t afford or a mortgage they cannot pay.
So this will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against.
We are up against the belief that it’s ok for lobbyists to dominate our government – that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.
We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose – a higher purpose.
We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it’s the kind of partisanship where you’re not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea – even if it’s one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it’s bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all.
We are up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that young people are apathetic. The assumption that Republicans won’t cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor, and that the poor don’t vote. The assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-American candidate; blacks and Latinos can’t come together.
But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in. I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina. I saw crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children. I saw shuttered mills and homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from all walks of life, and men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. I saw what America is, and I believe in what this country can be.
That is the country I see. That is the country you see. But now it is up to us to help the entire nation embrace this vision. Because in the end, we are not just up against the ingrained and destructive habits of Washington, we are also struggling against our own doubts, our own fears, and our own cynicism. The change we seek has always required great struggle and sacrifice. And so this is a battle in our own hearts and minds about what kind of country we want and how hard we’re willing to work for it.
So let me remind you tonight that change will not be easy. That change will take time. There will be setbacks, and false starts, and sometimes we will make mistakes. But as hard as it may seem, we cannot lose hope. Because there are people all across this country who are counting us; who can’t afford another four years without health care or good schools or decent wages because our leaders couldn’t come together and get it done.
Theirs are the stories and voices we carry on from South Carolina.
The mother who can’t get Medicaid to cover all the needs of her sick child – she needs us to pass a health care plan that cuts costs and makes health care available and affordable for every single American.
The teacher who works another shift at Dunkin Donuts after school just to make ends meet – she needs us to reform our education system so that she gets better pay, and more support, and her students get the resources they need to achieve their dreams.
The Maytag worker who is now competing with his own teenager for a $7-an-hour job at Wal-Mart because the factory he gave his life to shut its doors – he needs us to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas and start putting them in the pockets of working Americans who deserve it. And struggling homeowners. And seniors who should retire with dignity and respect.
The woman who told me that she hasn’t been able to breathe since the day her nephew left for Iraq, or the soldier who doesn’t know his child because he’s on his third or fourth tour of duty – they need us to come together and put an end to a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged.
The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It’s not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.
It’s about the past versus the future.
It’s about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today, or whether we reach for a politics of common sense, and innovation – a shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.
There are those who will continue to tell us we cannot do this. That we cannot have what we long for. That we are peddling false hopes.
But here’s what I know. I know that when people say we can’t overcome all the big money and influence in Washington, I think of the elderly woman who sent me a contribution the other day – an envelope that had a money order for $3.01 along with a verse of scripture tucked inside. So don’t tell us change isn’t possible.
When I hear the cynical talk that blacks and whites and Latinos can’t join together and work together, I’m reminded of the Latino brothers and sisters I organized with, and stood with, and fought with side by side for jobs and justice on the streets of Chicago. So don’t tell us change can’t happen.
When I hear that we’ll never overcome the racial divide in our politics, I think about that Republican woman who used to work for Strom Thurmond, who’s now devoted to educating inner-city children and who went out onto the streets of South Carolina and knocked on doors for this campaign. Don’t tell me we can’t change.
Yes we can change.
Yes we can heal this nation.
Yes we can seize our future.
And as we leave this state with a new wind at our backs, and take this journey across the country we love with the message we’ve carried from the plains of Iowa to the hills of New Hampshire; from the Nevada desert to the South Carolina coast; the same message we had when we were up and when we were down – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope; and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people in three simple words:
Yes. We. Can."


via Time


Obama Wins S.C.

With 54% of the vote to Clinton's 27%. 27%!

And Bill Clinton uses race, again. Shameless.

The future won today.

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New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton

The New York Time endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President in its January 25th editorial. The Times goes to great lengths to point out that the diffence in policy proposals between Clinton and Obama are slight, and the (perceived ability) to cross the aisle and work with the Republicans is strong, the paper never speaks to the 600 pound gorrilla for the Clinton(s) campaign - can she be elected?
Most of you know my feeling about Hillary Clinton, that she will be devisive, polarizing, and she will, and, currently, is, resorting to Rovian tactics to win at all costs - tactics she is already using against Obama. The Clintons have no sense of shame by bringing in race into the election all the while, claiming Obama is the person that has raised the race issue - a flat out, egregious lie. The Clinton campaign has even gone so far as to discount a possible Obama win in South Carolina because, "the Clintons' bid to portray Obama, who is aiming to become the first black U.S. president, as the clear favorite, thereby lessening the potential fallout if Hillary Clinton does not win in South Carolina." (see link above for full story). Who is the one injecting race into the election? By discounting a possible win by Obama in S.C., the Clintons are boldy using race to strike fear in white and latinos Americans by saying, in essence, see the scary blacks are all behind Obama. These kind of tactics used the Clintons show just how much they disrespect the electorate. By choosing to tell these lies, the Clintons are hoping the electorate will not look at whether what they are saying is true. Do we really want someone in the White House that has such little respect for the very people that vote? These kind of tactics are something you expect to see the Republicans use with impunity, but to see a Democrat use? It's disgusting. Hillary Clinton even says, with a straight face, that she has "35 years of experience" to bring to the White House. Fortunately, NPR has done a little background investigating on that very question. There ample evidence of the lies the Clintons use as easily as breathing. My point is, do you see the lies stopping if Clinton makes it into the White House? And to the question of electibilty, as I said before, can she win in a general election?
As Scott Martin says, "Many have known that Hillary has that unique ability to heal the fractures in the GOP." My feelings are she will not win in the general election for the very reason she will be a rallying cry for the GOP to come together, no matter who the GOP nominee will be. The memories of the first Clinton Presidency are too fresh in the minds of many Americans to want to bring back the drama of the Clinton years (and this is coming from someone that voted both times for Clinton).
Back to the NYTimes endorsement. The Times talks about how Clinton will be able to work with the GOP because she has worked with the GOP while in the Senate. But the Times fails to consider that it is easier to "cross the aisle" as a Senator than as a President. The way the country views the parties, would a Republican be able to be seen working with a Democratic President? More than anyone, the President is scrutinized for every move, likewise any Senator that is seen as working with the President. This is not the same in the Congress. Members of Congress can work together without the scrutiny, and, therefore, the pressure of the electorate when crossing the aisle. I fear that the pressure for a Senator not to be seen as working with a Democratic President would be to great - we would, again, see the gridlock and partisen fighting we have seen with the current administration if the Clintons are elected. Barack Obama has shown he has a better chance of wininng against the Republican.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Pushing Us Into A Deeper (Economic) Hole

I wonder if the Chinese have been consulted about the stimulus package since they are the ones paying for the thing.?

$140 Billion dollars?

How, exactly, does pumping non-existant money into the economy help?


The Clinton Dynasty And The 22nd Amendment

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting post questioning what the, let's face it, consequences a 3rd term Clinton Presidency means.

Money quote (as they say)...

"The problem of political dynasticism is the least of it. American politics have been riven by dynasties from the start. What America has never dealt with is this strange and corrupting arrangement whereby voters are being asked to support two-people-as-one as president. The last two weeks have shown beyond any doubt that this is indeed what is going on. By blurring the lines of accountability, by giving a former president vague but enormous powers in what amounts to an unconstitutional third term, we are sacrificing an important democratic principle and the transparency required to stymie corruption and secret deals kept from public scrutiny by the sacred bonds of matrimony."

Via Sullivan

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Senate Kills Anti-Immunity Bill

Good. Very Good!

The rule of law has not been hijacked by the fear-mongering of the Bush Administration.

This is a VERY good day.

Via: TPMmuckraker


The Democrats Smear Their Way To Lose 2008

"I didn't think that there was a way Democrats could fail to win the Presidency in 2008.

But I underestimated us.

We not only can lose the election; at this point, I think we will.

I have been writing for weeks that I believe that the injection of race into the campaign was not an accident. Nor is the campaign in the Jewish and Christian communities to label Obama a Muslim fundamentalist. Nor the accidental-on-purpose references to drugs or even to Obama's youth (older than both Clinton and JFK when they ran, why is Obama's youth a negative?).

In fact, virtually the entire campaign against him has been smear and innuendo with a racial subtext.

It better stop, but I expect it won't. It won't stop because after Iowa it was decided that Obama could not be defeated fair and square. So fair and square went out the window.

The result?

A Republican victory especially if McCain is the nominee and pledges to serve only one term.

That shouldn't happen. Democrats should be able to pull together and defeat any Republican. But we won't if some of us (especially African-Americans and young voters) come to feel that the nomination contest was decided not on the merits but on smear, fear, and race.

Right now, that seems to be where we are heading.

Leave it to the Democrats to lose when everything is going our way. How utterly stupid not to mention shameful."

-M.J. Rosenberg

Clinton doesn't care about party, she only cares about herself. By smearing Obama at every turn, she will be the one responsible for the Democrats losing the White House. Way to go, Hillary!



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gratuitous Puppy Pic

Enough with all the politics, I'm starting to get heartburn.


The Dem Debate

I wasn't able to watch the whole thing since I don't have cable (does that disenfrancise me?), so I was only able to watch what I could via YouTube during breakfast this morn.

My impression is that we were able to see the gutter tactics from Clinton I knew we would see. She kept distorting what Obama said about everything. No surprise there. I was dissapointed in Obama's response re. the dust up over what Obama said about Reagan and the republicans. Obama should have had his exact quote ready to counter the lies coming out of Clinton's mouth - that's Debate 101 in my book.

I was a bit tired of the "Yeah, well, I was helping the poor while you were on the WalMart board!" With the rejoinder of "Yeah, you were paid by a slumlord! So there!"

I know it's too much to ask for the people running for President to, I don't know, stop with the name calling. Leave that to the, ahem, bloggers.

I started to see Obama slowly falling into the muck and mire of the Clinton mindset - a little dissapointed with that.

Obama has never really been steller in the debates - needs to work on that, but he just barely kept himself above the slime of Clinton.

Edwards? Was he even there?

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EPA Claims "Executive Privilege"

Remember when I asked the question about the powers of the Presidency? Well, I give you the kind of fallout that comes from the dangers of the Unitary Executive.

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Invoking executive privilege, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday refused to provide lawmakers with a full explanation of why it rejected California's greenhouse gas regulations."

This is the exactly what I knew would happen.

The consequences of the Unitary Executive go beyond the White House. We are now seeing how governments agencies are using the same argument to keep secret how they work. This is the antithesis of what a free democracy is supposed to be.

via SLOG


Surprise! Clinton, both of them, lie

Jake Tapper has a breakdown of the most recent lies from the Clintons.

I'm not surprised. The Clintons will say anything, anything, to get into the White House.

The further this primary race goes on, the more I dislike the Clintons.

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The Answer Is Yes.


Monday, January 21, 2008

What Hasn't Been Talked About

The issues discussed during this primary race are the usual, economy, Iraq, health care. But issue that has not been talked, but, for me, is one the the most important issues of our time is the theory and practice of Presidential authority. In other words, the Unitary Executive.

For those that may not know what the theory of the unitary executive is, it is the idea that the President of United States is not bound by the law of the Constitution. That the President, in order to fulfill his duties is not beholden to the laws past by Congress, or the laws written in the Constitution.

George Bush has taken this theory and ran with it. He has actually said he does not have to follow the laws passed by Congress.

My feeling is this is anti democratic and completely counter to what the founders of this nation had in mind. Essentially, Bush is calling himself a monarch.

mon·arch /ˈmɒnərk, -ɑrk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mon-erk, -ahrk] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a hereditary sovereign, as a king, queen, or emperor.
2. a sole and absolute ruler of a state or nation.

What I wonder is, why hasn't anyone asked the candidates their feelings on the theory of the Unitary Executive?

Beyond the economy, Iraq and health care, as I said, I feel this is the most pressing issue of our time. It goes to the very heart of what this nation is supposed to stand for. Simply put, the theory and practice the Unitary Executive has very real and damaging costs to the very survival of our democracy.

So. Why isn't anyone asking the question?

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clinton Wins Nevada - Kind Of

Hillary Clinton has won Nevada giving her 36 delegate votes to Obama's 38 delegates (Obama received more delegates due to how the count is done in Nevada). While the count was close, this shows the race to the White House is not over.

With the Clinton "win" in Nevada, I fear Democrats are not thinking strategically. My fear is that if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, the Democrats will surly lose the White House to the Republican. This election is not happening is a vacuum - people remember the Clinton years in the White House and they don't want a repeat of that. I know I don't. It is not that I think Bill Clinton was a bad President, I think he could have been great. But I don't want to relive the psychodrama of another Clinton Presidency. Going beyond the possible drama of the Clintons, do you really think Hillary will be able to concentrate fully on the Presidency when she has to worry about what Bill is up to?

As for an Obama candicy being stronger, poles show that an Obama canidicy has better cross-over apeal than a Clinton canidacy. People see Obama as someone that can work with both side of the aisle. Clinton is just too polarizing.

But my worries about some possible drama in the White House if we have the Clintons there, again go beyond those fears. I do not understand why people like Clinton. When she had her moment of tears, she seemed to regain momentum. But the real Hillary quickly emerged when she said she had found her voice. I find it hard to believe that someone that claims to have 35 years of experience has suddenly found her voice! Whose voice was she using for those supposed 35 years of experience? I'm not saying Clinton isn't smart or accomplished, but to say she has finally found her voice after "35 years of experience", is a bit of a stretch.

And I also fear she would be just as secretive as Bush/Cheney are now when it comes to being President. You may recall how during the first term of Bill Clintons Presidency, he appointed Hillary to come up with a solution to the health care problem the U.S. is having. While the Clintons decry the secrecy of the Bush/Cheney Administration, the Clintons seem to suffer from the same bout of secrecy.

And as a gay man, I know I can't trust her to do the right and honorable thing towards us. I know she may talk the talk, but that's only when she is talking to a gay group - has she ever touted gay rights to a group that wasn't a gay group? I can't think of one. Obama has - and to a Christian group! Hillary will never speak of gay rights to anyone other than a gathering of gay organizations. And if push comes to shove, she will do exactly what Bill did when faced with making the right decision and what the base wants - she will go with the base, and that means leaving the gays in the dust.
Obama gave a speech to Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta today:

"For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.
And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.
We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.
Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for president, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation."

Obama directly challenges the anti-gay bigotry within the black community. Who else does that? No one.

Obama's habit of speaking the groups about things they may not want to hear goes beyond gay rights. He gave a speech to a group of teachers touting merit pay - not a popular idea among teachers. As someone that has a brother and sister that are highschool teachers, I know someting about the problem with teachers unions and the power they have and the problems that power can sometimes bring. As an example, my sister techeas economics to her highschool students. One problem. My sister never took economics in college. Now this is not to debase teachers or the unions, but to show there needs to be something done to improve our schools. And unpoplular ideas that Obama speak about is a good start. Unions are vital for our country, but it is clear there needs to be reform. Obama is not afraid to talk about reform. Obama is willing to work with unions to make the U.S. better. Clinton, again, would never speak openly about these problems to a group of teachers beacause she is incapable of not pandering.

What we need is someone that will speak his beliefs to all, not just a targeted audience. That someone is Barrack Obama.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Star Trek

There will be a teaser trailer before the showing of J.J. Abrams' produced Cloverfield (starting 1/18). I imagine the trailer will be something along the lines of montages of alien planets, explosions with a the usual deep voiced narration intoning something along the lines of, "For over 30 years, they've boldly taken you where no one has gone before. Now, prepare yourself to see how it all began..." followed by a rousing brass horn heavy symphonic blast of sound followed by the appearance of:

The voyage begins 12.25.08

Paramount has released a teaser photo of the new Enterprise from the new J.J. Abrams helmed Star Trek Movie.

We only have to wait until December of 2008 for the movie. December? Of 2008? Are they crazy?


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So Sayeth The Savage

Here's a quote from Dan Savage over at SLOG referring to Huckabeeeeesssssss latest idiocy about bringing the Constitution of the United States more in line with "God's standard"

"There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the Bible about family life—when it’s permissible, excuse me, righteous to allow your daughters to be raped, or the correct way to sell your daughters into slavery, or when you’re allowed to kill your children—but Mike isn’t talking about any of that. Not to worry, heterosexuals. None of the crazy-ass crap in the Bible that applies to you will be written into the U.S. Constitution under a Huckabee administration, just the crazy-ass crap that applies to the homos.

When I brought up the fact that fundamentalists ignore plenty of stuff in the bible that applies to them—like a ban on eating lobster—he assured me that Jesus’ blood on the cross he redeemed even lobster. “But not me?” I asked. “No, not homosexuals.”

Rejoice, shellfish! You are redeemed and the followers of Christ can boil you alive and serve you with melted butter and hush puppies! Repent, homosexuals, for the blood of Christ wasn’t powerful enough to redeem you."

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Obama And Fox News

Gee, why wouldn't Obama appear on Fox?

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Four Horseman Part 1 and 2

On September 30, 2007, four of the (currently) most famous writers about Atheism (anti-theist, as Christopher Hitchens prefers) sat down for a two hour discussion about there expereinces and reasons for being seculerist.

Authors’ Recommended Books: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins  Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris The End of Faith by Sam Harris God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.

Part 1

Part 2


Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Audacity Of Hope, Indeed!

Obama 38% of vote

99% of precincts reporting

Obama wins Iowa Democratic Caucus.

Huckabee wins Republican Caucas.

Change is possible.


via CNN


Hoping For Obama

Here's hoping, hoping, hoping...REALLY HOPING that Barack Obama comes in 1st in Iowa. We need someone that can fix the massive clusterfuck that is the Bush/Cheney legacy of corruption and democratic and constitutional subversion.

I've almost finished Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy by Charlie Savage. I have never been so angry in my life. What Bush/Cheney has perpetrated is simply the most disgusting, anti-democratic crimes I can remember.

I have such a feeling of disgust for Bush and Cheney (along with Congress that has allowed these two criminals to perpetuate such crimes), that I can hardly stand it.

If you only read one book this year, make it Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy

Note to Bush: You are not exempt from obeying the law. At any time. Ever.

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