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July 02, 2007

"The rich are different than you and I"

At least in the eyes of the law....

Bush Spares Libby 30-Month Jail Term

This decides it for me... Obama gets my nod. Hillary is just more of the same, too invested in the status quo to ever change anything.

This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law. This is exactly the kind of politics we must change so we can begin restoring the American people's faith in a government that puts the country's progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years.


http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post_group/ObamaHQ/Cvb7

ITMFA

June 15, 2007

Kudos

Five months ago, Gale Candaras, a lawmaker in Massachusetts, voted in favor of a amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Yesterday, she reversed that vote.

Here is what she had to say about it afterwords:

"We have had an open and vigorous debate on this issue for several years now, and every possible argument on all sides has been made and has had a thorough hearing. No one can honestly say that they have not had the opportunity to be heard, and to participate in a wide ranging, public discussion. As difficult as it has sometimes been, I think we should be proud of how we have conducted ourselves to arrive at where we are today, and that we have done right by the generations that have come before in the hope of making a democratic and constitutional order work as well as humanly possible—just as we now seek to do right by those who will come after us."

"For me, what all this comes down to is this: Same gendered couples are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, who are important community contributors, well-loved and well-respected by their families, friends, neighbors and employers. They deserve and are entitled to the same legal protections enjoyed by all others citizens of our state. This is the law of the Commonwealth, articulated by our Supreme Judicial Court in Goodrich v. The Department of Public Health, decided in November, 2003".

Link

It's pretty cool to read about a lawmaker with enough insight (and courage) to reassess a situation and actually reverse their own vote. The people in western Massachusetts should be proud of their senator - she is one of the good guys, and we could certainly use a few more like her.

June 12, 2007

Yeah, I sorta figured as much...

It's good to know that MSNBC considers the reinstatement of Habeas Corpus to be a "setback"...

ss_goog.gif

Hey W - you lose something?

This is just too funny - the decider now has to go all the way to Albania to find a group of people who will actually cheer for him - and even then someone steals his watch... (check it out - it happens about 50 seconds into the clip)


I know you shouldn't laugh at someones else's troubles, but damn it, sometimes you just can't help it.

(spotted on Reddit)

June 07, 2007

Something to think about...

This is like a week old, but Garrison Keillor made a few points in his Memorial day post that bear repeating:

A Prairie Home Companion - Garrison Keillor

"Dishonesty makes for poor rhetoric and that's what has gutted this beautiful holiday. The ideas it celebrates — that our young men and women did their duty and died in defense of their country — are simply not true. Vietnam was lost and it didn't matter to the security of the United States. Saigon fell and life in the States went on without a blink. And since the end of selective service, these honored dead are somebody else's sons and daughters, not ours — one good reason why there is so little protest of this war: If the Army was conscripting our children to go to Baghdad, the Occupant's approval rating would be in the low teens."

The last paragraph resonates just as loudly...

"...And then comes the speech. That's the problem. It is time for the truth to be told and we cannot bring ourselves to tell it. Good men and women were sacrificed to the vanity of politicians and generals. It is a miserable business to tell lies over the graves of good soldiers, but we do, and then we all sing "America the Beautiful," including the verse about heroes proved in liberating strife, and the honor guard fires its rifle salute and somebody presses Play on a boombox and we hear "Taps" and the guard turns about-face and marches off and we walk away, thoughtfully, and there is much to think about."

ITMFA and bring our kids home... we simply can't let this go on...

June 01, 2007

Whoops...

The Albemarle County, VA school district, like many others, uses a neat little program called “Backpack Mail" to keep parents informed of school-related functions and extra-curricular activities. In a nutshell, teachers send students home with fliers and pamphlets for the parents to review.

All was good and well, right up to early 2006. Prior to that time, the school board had a written policy that prohibited the distribution of "literature for partisan, sectarian, religious or political purposes". If it didn't pertain to school, it didn't get placed in the backpack.

Then Jerry Falwell came along. His team of lawyers and lobbyists used a 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals decision to argue that the program should be opened up to include fliers and literature from outside community groups. Like churches.

The school board agreed.

Now I won't profess to speak for anyone else, but the original plan sounded pretty sensible to me. A school district as large as Albemarle County is bound to encompass people of many faiths, races and cultures – lets just agree to keep everything simple and non-controversial, thereby keeping everyone happy.

Now it seems the Jesus freaks want to rethink things. Again.

Why, you ask?

In December 2006, local Pagans used to the program to distribute invitations to a "Pagan Christmas Ritual".

In May 2007, an atheist group distributed fliers advertising a summer camp that actually taught kids to think for themselves.

Umm, you boys might want to go back to the drawing board on this one. Sounds to me like you've been outsmarted.

---


World Net Daily Exclusive - BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS - Teachers rebel over atheism promotion

Backpack Blowback: Religious Right Activists Want Preferential Treatment From Public School Forum They Created

May 29, 2007

Wingnuts exposed...

Professor Myers and Glenn Greenwald heap some much-deserved scorn on a couple of GOP mouthpieces:

Glenn Greenwald - Salon - Right-wing blogger geniuses expose another journalistic fraud!

The genius investigators in the right-wing blogosphere -- who serve as our Watchdogs over the Corrupt "MSM" -- made a major, major discovery this weekend. Last Wednesday, former CIA agent Larry Johnson published a Memo (.pdf) sent from the U.S. Mission in Iraq which advised troops and other military personnel in Iraq of a "theater-wide delay in food delivery" which would likely limit the available food supply.

As has been true for the last four years, right-wing bloggers simply shut their eyes and refused to believe that any news reflecting poorly on the Leader's War could be real. Just as was true for news reports of civil war and a growing Iraqi insurgency, this Memo just had to be a fake, so they declared it to be such.

As you probably guessed, the news got out this morning that the memo was legit...

Right-wing bloggers and "Pajamas Media" spent all weekend calling Larry Johnson a liar and a fraud when the only liars and frauds were, as usual, them. And now that they stand exposed, yet again, as reckless and fact-free hysterics, they will simply move, unperturbed, onto their next manufactured scandal, with the expectation that they will be taken seriously. Is it really any wonder that not even their own party -- which venerates people like Rush Limbaugh -- takes right-wing blogs seriously?

But media figures like Howard Kurtz take them very seriously. And it is important to note they are really nothing more than an online extension of the right-wing noise machine, employing the same tactics and demonstrating the same sense of integrity. The most basic facts which conflict with their political agenda are derided as false. Those reporting those facts are subjected to the most vicious character assaults. And they launch one lynch mob after the next based upon the most serious accusations which repeatedly turn out to be as factually false as they were plainly ridiculous. What else could they possibly do to lose credibility altogether?

Professor Myers made a good point this morning:

Pharyngula: Hummelgate? The right has sunk lower than I imagined

Personally, I wouldn't give a damn if that piece of paper were real or fake. The reality of the war does not hinge on the words in one memo or a thousand — the military produces memos like a blizzard produces snowflakes — but on the fact that people are dying. The dead do not walk nor are the wounded made whole if only some far right cheerleader for destruction can find vindication in a scrap of paper. It's as if they hope their myopia gets even more severe, so the blood in the background will blur out of focus and text on a screen becomes the only reality.

Good work, guys...

May 19, 2007

Barack Obama - on growing up

The Daily Dish: Becoming A Man

The first lesson came during my first year in college.

Back then I had a tendency, in my mother’s words, to act a bit casual about my future. I rebelled, angry in the way that many young men in general, and young black men in particular, are angry, thinking that responsibility and hard work were old-fashioned conventions that didn’t apply to me. I partied a little too much and studied just enough to get by.

And once, after a particularly long night of partying, we had spilled a little too much beer, broke a few too many bottles, and trashed a little too much of the dorm. And the next day, the mess was so bad that when one of the cleaning ladies saw it, she began to tear up.

And when a girlfriend of mine heard about this, she said to me, “That woman could’ve been my grandmother, Barack. She spent her days cleaning up after somebody else’s mess.”

Which drove home for me the first lesson of growing up:

The world doesn’t just revolve around you.

There’s a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit – the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through those who are different from us – the child who’s hungry, the laid-off steelworker, the immigrant woman cleaning your dorm room.

As you go on in life, cultivating this quality of empathy will become harder, not easier. There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care. You’ll be free to live in neighborhoods with people who are exactly like yourself, and send your kids to the same schools, and narrow your concerns to what’s going in your own little circle.

Inspiring stuff...

May 11, 2007

Peace Activist?

The Daily Dish: Face of the Day

fistmusaalshaerafpgetty.jpg


"A Palestinian peace activist shows his fist to an Israeli soldier as he and other Israeli and foreign activists protest against the building of the controversial Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank village of Umm Salamuna south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem 11 May 2007."

I don't think so... raise your fist to somebody's face and you loose the title. Besides, what kind of moron shakes their fist at an armed IDF soldier, anyway? A Darwin Award may indeed be in his future, but I doubt he ever sees the Nobel Peace Prize.

$456 Billion - another look

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald testified before Congress yesterday - he had prepared a four minute clip to show the committee, but GOP lawmakers blocked him from doing so...

Take a look for yourself:


(HT - The Interesting, The Fascinating, The Bizzare)

May 08, 2007

Bigot

Don Imus is out of work, while this self-serving pus-bag gets speaking engagements...

The Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer
Imus Ranch Foods

(HT - Andrew Sullivan)

May 07, 2007

A picture says a thousand words...

The Daily Dish: If Looks Could Kill ...

queenmarkwilsongetty.jpg


Cool hat...

May 06, 2007

Just what will $456 billion get you?

The Commander dude has invested $456,000,000,000 of your money into his little Iraqi escapade. Take a look at what else you could have done with that kind of money:

1. Newton North High School is the most expensive school ever built in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It took $154.6 to complete. We could have built 28 more just like it, and still had a few bucks left over...

2. Provided free gasoline for the entire country - for 1.2 years...

3. Paid for 14.5 million student-years at Harvard - or 44 million at UMass...

4. "According to World Bank estimates, $54 billion a year would eliminate starvation and malnutrition globally by 2015, while $30 billion would provide a year of primary education for every child on earth.

At the upper range of those estimates, the $456 billion cost of the war could have fed and educated the world's poor for five and a half years."

May 02, 2007

I voted for this guy! :-)

Sen. Webb (D-VA) on the president's veto: "We won this war four years ago. The question is when we end the occupation."

April 28, 2007

Yeah, right....

The Blotter

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.

Tobias recently served as the Occupier-in-Chief's "Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief" ambassador - where he promoted abstinence over condoms.

Like all the other repugs who keep getting caught with their pen...err, hand in the cookie jar, Tobias says he used the hookers for a massage, not sex.

(HT: SLOG)

UPDATE: Yikes! Lookout everybody, this thing has legs!

C&L - White House Officials Involved in Prostitution Scandal

"There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers, and there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers — a long, long list, and as well, the women who work for the service, David, include university professors, legal secretaries, scientists, military officers."