Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tancredo Will Likely Drop Out and Run for Senate

This is absolutely stupendous news if it's true.

Tancredo would be very likely to win the GOP primary as Colorado Republicans tend to invariably choose crazy right-wingers in their primaries, which is part of the reason they haven't done so well recently in the state.

Mark Udall would absolutely crush him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty!

So Ellen Tauscher has introduced a non-binding resolution urging the Senate to consider and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. While it won't have any binding effect even if it passes, it's good to send the upper house a message.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No More Death Penalty in New Jersey!

Great news! The bill to repeal the death penalty in New Jersey has now passed both houses of the NJ legislature

My awesome Governor (despite some of the grumbling and his lack of popularity in polls, I'm very happy with him) Jon Corzine, who opposes capital punishment, is going to sign the bill.

The vote follows approval by the state Senate on Monday, and the measure is now expected to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, a foe of capital punishment

My personal thoughts on the death penalty are as follows: In theory, I don't have a serious moral objection to executing first-degree murderers (although I'm not supportive of it even in theory). I have three big problems with it. In order of importance:

  1. It's irreversible. Our justice system isn't perfect. New evidence has turned up in many cases exonerating those on death row. Innocent people have almost certainly been executed; nothing overrides that. Life without parole as the maximum sentence means if there's new evidence, that person can be freed and only years of their life will have been taken instead of life itself

  2. It hasn't been applied fairly. If you look at the people Texas has executed, almost none of them have even graduated from high school. They're poor. While there may be proportionately more murders committed by those with less education (I don't know), it's definitely not even close to that overwhelming. It's clear that those with more education and money get top-notch lawyers who ensure that they don't get the death penalty.

  3. It's too expensive. It's cost New Jersey millions and millions and millions in extra court costs for appeals and such, and nobody's been executed (thankfully) in the 40 years we've had it

A look at the vote in the Senate is interesting:

3 Dems voted NAY (Madden, Sacco, Scutari) and 3 Repubs voted YEA (Allen, Coniglio, Martin, Palaia). I guess bipartisanship is still possible in NJ (40 person Senate).

R0|\| |>4v1 is crazy!!!!!!!

I found a solid, solid smackdown of Ron Paul on Youtube.

It's got nearly everything. But it is missing a few things.

These include:

Ron Paul's racist voting record: against giving Rosa Parks a Congressional medal of honor, against the Voting Rights Act, if he'd been there, against the Civil Rights Act, that's more than enough evidence.

Ron Paul's anti-Israel voting record: Nobody goes against AIPAC and stays in office. Nobody!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why Bill Shaheen is Wrong

First I want to note that this "concern" about Obama's past drug use is despicable, and that if she doesn't immediately drop Shaheen as her New Hampshire campaign chair, she risks losing a lot of Democratic votes in the general election. I haven't heard any Democratic candidate or their campaign surrogates bring up Vince Foster or claim Hillary is a lesbian.

But I have a separate point to make: past history proves Shaheen is wrong.

See, Obama first admitted his drug use in Dreams of My Father, published in 1995.

Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though,

So it was well established when he ran for the open United States Senate seat in 2004. You can be certain the Republican National Senatorial Committee read through his book. And even if they didn't, The Associated Press ran a story about it in March of 2004, before Ryan even dropped out, so they knew about it.

They were very competently run that year (George Allen is much better at running campaigns than at running for elections). Moreover, since George Allen was the chair, we know they weren't shy about making ads to play on racial stereotypes/fears.

And we know the NRSC can make some dynamite racist ads.

Not that that one really worked, either. Ford did significantly better on election day than the polls indicated he'd do, matching Al Gore's 2000 numbers.

And the NRSC had pretty good recruitment that year for open seats/incumbent races. In addition to the 6 seats they picked up and Tom Coburn in Oklahoma, there was Rep. George Nethercutt and millionaires Tim Michel and Pete Coors.

Not close to as good as Schumer's recruitment for 2006, but not bad.

And yet, look at what happened after Jack Ryan was forced to drop out of the race due to his penchant for public sex and the Republicans were able to choose a new nominee.

According to Bill Shaheen, the Republicans had a dynamite chance here. They were running against a black guy with a first name coming from Arabic and a last name sounding like the first name of the man who the Bush administration has so far failed to bring to justice. And he'd admitted to drug use!

Especially then, Illinois was no Massachusetts. It was full of ambitious A-list statewide Republican politicians who were waiting for a "great opportunity" like this to manifest itself. There was:

There were also numerous Republican millionaires in the state who could've run, including Jim Oberweis, Andy McKenna, David McSweeney, and many others

But not only could they not get any of them to run, they couldn't get anyone from the state of Illinois to run. Nobody considered even minimally decent from Illinois felt they had a shot at victory at that point.

They were forced to go with nutjob Alan Keyes of Maryland. Alan Keyes is despised by the Republican party, and for good reason. His presidential runs have been basically to attack the party for not being sufficiently hateful towards gays and women, and he's just generally nuts. Witness his performance in today's presidential debate (shame on the Des Moines Register for letting him in the debate but excluding Dennis Kucinich, who is polling as well as Chris Dodd, at 1%).

Moreover, Keyes hadn't done all that well in (admittedly somewhat more Democratic) Maryland, getting 38% of the vote in 1988 and 29% of the vote in 1992 in Senate races (Mikulski's opponent in 1998 did just as badly, and moderate Republican state Senator E.J. Pipkin got 33% against her in 2004, so Keyes wasn't that bad; Keyes 1988 performance vs. Sarbanes was several points better than that of Republican Congressman Lawrence Hogan in 1982 against him; fellow carpetbagger former Senator Bill Brock managed 40% against him in 1994; the 2000 candidate also did worse than Keyes). Even the very, very strong Michael Steele got only 44% of the vote.

And Obama, of course, demolished him in the general by a (possibly) unprecedented 71-27.

So that leads to 3 possible conclusions.

1. No Republican in Illinois felt it (and his name and everything else about him) was enough to give them a chance at victory.
2. Every single Republican in the state of Illinois tried cocaine, too, so they couldn't use it.
3. There was a vast conspiracy by the Republican party. They were so confident that he'd run for and win the presidential nomination in 2008 that they were willing to sacrifice a Senate seat (and, as it turns out, Senate control right now) in order to use it against him this year and thereby retain the White House.

I'm thinking it's probably #1.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stupid and Wrongheaded "Christmas" Resolution Passes Overwhelmingly

So the House passed a resolution by Steve King "Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith"

It passed overwhelmingly, with 372 YEA, 9 NAY and 10 PRESENT

It was mostly bland and non-controversial, except for these parts:

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its roots in Christianity;

and this part

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

Sadly, only 18 Democrats (and oddly, Mike Pence) were willing to vote NAY or PRESENT (I don't care which, I just find YEA offensive).

Most of the founding fathers were Deists or even agnostics (Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson), not Christians, and Christianity had no part in the founding of this country. As a Jew, I'm offended that they passed this. Western civilization really got off to a start when non-Church learning was disseminated during the Renaissance.

Thankfully, my Representative, Rush Holt, was one of the few with the courage to oppose this resolution.

The others included African-American members of Congress (who probably have an issue with Christianity-sanctioned enslavement of their ancestors being a contribution to Western civilization) Yvette Clarke, Alcee Hastings, Barbara Lee, Bobby
Scott, John Conyers and Donald Payne, atheist Congressman Pete Stark, Jewish members of Congress Gary Ackerman, Barney Frank, Jan Schakowsky, Allyson Schwartz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and John Yarmuth, as well as progressive white Christians Rush Holt, Jim McDermott, Diane DeGette, Lynn Woolsey and Peter Welch.

I want to say that I'm very disappointed with the Jewish Democratic members of Congress who voted for this tripe.

Shame on them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Huckabee Still Wants Log Cabin Republican Support

Mike Huckabee still stands by his belief that gay Republicans should support him.

Unfortunately, he also stands by his beliefs that being gay is unnatural and sinful.

During his Senate run, Huckabee also told the AP in the questionnaire that he found homosexuality to be "an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle."

Speaking Monday in Miami, Florida, Huckabee said he still stands by his earlier remarks on homosexuality.

"Let's understand what sin means," Huckabee said. "Sin means missing the mark. Missing the mark could mean missing the mark in any area. We've all missed the mark."

He's also made his stance on marriage clear. Unlike Larry Craig, it's not a wide stance.

The former Baptist minister said the "proper relationship" is one between a married man and woman having children.

I'm glad to see him take this view. I hope he'll join me in outlawing straight divorce; he'd be narrowing his competition to Willard Romney and R0|\| |>4u1 were my proposals made law, after all.

Of course, as long as it's between a man and a woman, it's acceptable to Huckabee. After all, Mike Huckabee is a big supporter of rapist's rights to be free and continue to prey on women.

Two former parole board members in Arkansas said yesterday that as governor, Mr. Huckabee met with the board in 1996 to lobby them to release the convicted rapist, Wayne DuMond, whose case was championed by evangelical Christians.

In fairness, this may be because Huckabee's positions on social issues are unflinchingly taken from whatever the religious right says, no matter how outlandish.

And of course, he fails to retract his 1992 statements that AIDS patients should be quarantined.

Responding to an Associated Press questionnaire, Huckabee said steps should be taken to "isolate the carriers of this plague" during his failed run for a U.S. Senate seat from Arkansas 15 years ago.

This was bad enough then, 2 years after the Ryan White Act had passed the Senate 95-4
and the House 408-14.

But as long as 7 years ago, 2000, objections to the Act had vanished. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent, and even the supposedly principled Ron Paul didn't vote against it (he missed the vote, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not).

This man is disgusting.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cynthia McKinney for President! (as a Green)

Last year the good people of Georgia's 4th district elected staunch progressive (and Buddhist!) Hank Johnson to represent them in Congress over incumbent Cynthia McKinney. McKinney had punched a Capitol Hill police officer last year, and is a notorious anti-Semite, having blamed "the Jews" for her primary loss to Denise Majette in 2002 (she regained the seat in 2004 when Majette inexplicably decided to run for the Senate).

She's now running for president as a member of the Get Republicans Elected Every November party (a.k.a. the Greens).

It looks like she'll have a pretty easy time at getting the nomination, since income tax conspiracy theorist Cindy Sheehan has endorsed her, and she holds more sway in purity troll circles than anyone except St. Ralph the Nader, who, despite my demands at the September 15th war protest (Video with my demands clearly audible can be found here), has not yet apologized for enabling the Iraq War.

And Ralph likely will go with her as well.

So the question is, who will she pick as her running mate. My guess is former Republican state Representative from Louisiana David Duke. He's of course a big fan of Ron Paul today along with the rest of the white supremacists. But Paul may not run in the general. More importantly, David Duke's big issue has always been the Jews, not the blacks. When he ran for Senate in Lousiana, his campaign managers wanted him to stick to attacking blacks, because they felt it would help him. But he focused almost exclusively on Jews. So I think they can bond on their hatred of Jews and have a balanced ticket getting the crazies on both sides of the spectrum to vote for them.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Clinton Campaign Bribery via Charitable Contributions

I wouldn't bring this up except that the Clinton campaign has accused Barack Obama of bribery & violating campaign finance laws due to the PAC having given money it had left to the campaigns of Democratic candidates in early states.

Turns out the Clinton campaign has done the same thing via charitable contributions

African American Museum of IACedar Rapids, IA$909/18/2007
Assumption Greek Orthodox ChurchManchester, NH$1757/13/2007
Bobby Stephens' Fund for EducationManchester, NH$5003/16/2007
Capital Pride FestivalWashington, DC$1256/8/2007
Capitol City PrideDes Moines, IA$1006/12/2007
Democracy Fest, Inc.Pittsford, VT$2506/7/2007
New Hampshire Polit LibraryConcord, NH$1,5003/16/2007
Reno-Sparks NAACP Branch #1112Reno, NV$1005/25/2007
Rich Eychaner Charitable FndnDes Moines, IA$2506/12/2007

That's 3 donations to Iowa, 3 to New Hampshire, and 1 to Nevada, in addition to one to D.C. and one to Vermont. Is the extreme disproportion a coincidence? Very hard to believe.

Now, why is the Clinton campaign making charitable contributions in the first place? My guess is that it was money received from criminal sources that they didn't want to directly return.

After all, they've pledged to donate the $23,000 Norman Hsu had given Hillary in the past to charity. Will that money be going to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada as well? They need to answer this question now, because the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries occur before the 4th quarter filing deadline.

Rhode Island Gay Couples Can Marry, Not Divorce

Cross-Posted from Hat Thief

There's been a big setback for equal rights in the state of Rhode Island.

As you may recall, last year, the Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that Rhode Island couples could get married in Massachusetts, because "No evidence was introduced ... from Rhode Island that explicitly deems void or otherwise expressly forbids same-sex marriage."

Earlier this year, a greater victory came when the Rhode Island Attorney General issued the following statement: "Rhode Island will recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in Massachusetts as marriages in Rhode Island,"

But yesterday, this advance hit a setback, with the following ruling:

In a 3-to-2 decision, the court ruled that it was up to the legislature, not the court, to determine whether same-sex marriages and divorces would be recognized in Rhode Island.

The court said its role was “not to determine policy, but simply to determine legislative intent.”

The ruling said, “The General Assembly has not granted the Family Court the power to grant a divorce in the situation described.”

I fully support this ruling, and I think it's our highest priority to extend it to prohibit divorce among opposite-sex couples as a stopgap measure to prevent the destruction of marriage.

I have two legislative proposals to help that happen.

First of all, the Defense of Marriage Act must be amended by adding the following provisions:

1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need recognize a divorce, even if the divorce was concluded or recognized in another state.
2. The Federal Government may not recognize divorce for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

This will help preserve marriage from the secular progressives who want to destroy it.

And it'll be a huge below to the feminists, who, as the extremely Reverend Pat Robertson notes, are nearly as big of a danger to our country, and are also big divorce fans

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

Second of all, the House of Representatives must immediately move on Lincoln Davis(D-TN) proposal to protect the sacred insitution of marriage.

Representative Lincoln Davis
Marriage is for life, and this amendment needs to include that basic tenant. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I think we should expand the scope of the amendment to outlaw divorce in this country. Going further Mr. Speaker, I believe in fidelity. Adultery is an evil that threatens the marriage and the heart of every marriage, which is commitment.
And, Mr. Speaker, I personally think child abuse may be the most despicable act one can commit. This is why if we are truly serious about protecting marriage to the point we will amend the constitution, we should extend the punishment of abuse to prevent those who do such a hideous act from ever running for an elected position anywhere.

We should also prevent those who commit adultery, or get a divorce, from running for office. Mr. Speaker, this House must lead by example. If we want those watching on CSPAN to actually believe we are serious about protecting marriage, then we should go after the other major threats to the institution. Not just the threat that homosexuals may some day be allowed to marry in a state other than Massachusetts. An elected official should certainly lead by example.

Granted, if this passes, it'll be a big blow to the presidential campaigns of Fred Thompson, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, but that's a small price to pay for saving marriage.

Victory for Lamar!

Lamar Alexander has won the race for the Republican Conference Secretary position being vacated by Senator Kyl thanks to Senator Lott's decision to retire. His victory was lopsided, 31-15, despite the fact that his opponent, Richard Burr(R-NC), received the strong backing of Senator and presidential afterthought John McCain.

Interesting trivia note: Before Senator Kyl, the Republican Conference Secretary position was held for six years by none other than Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum.

Can we expect such great things from Lamar!? Only time will tell. I sure hope not, though.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Gravel's Awesome Video

Power to the People! Give Peace a Chance!

If this doesn't get him support, nothing will.

My personal opinion is that nothing will. Still, the video is worth watching again and again and again and again.

Pages Gone Wild!

One remembers the huge outrage (read: no outrage) from Republicans when Florida Congressman Mark Foley was caught preying on House pages, among other things, asking them if he made them horny, as well as to get out a ruler and measure the length of their genitals.

But with a new page scandal, Ginny Brown-Waite and Shelley Moore Capito are so distressed that they've resigned from the House Page Board.

What's the scandal?

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Florida, Friday said she resigned because she was angered to learn that two pages had oral sex in public areas of the their Capitol Hill dorm. The pages were dismissed from the program, but Brown-Waite said the incident is an example of lax supervision of the teens.

That's right. A page had consensual oral sex with another page of the same age. Of course, they got dismissed, but that's not enough for Rep. Brown-Waite.

"It wasn't kissing and hugging -- let me put it that way," Brown-Waite said. "It did go beyond that, there were not only a young male and female involved, but there were also observers and other page participants who were, let's say, enablers."

"This had been going on for months," she said. "Almost all of the pages knew about it."

That's right. It wasn't even depraved homosexual consensual oral sex. And she's outraged, just outraged! Ms. Brown-Waite, this sort of thing has almost certainly always happened, and the, uh, ringleaders got dismissed. Nothing to get upset about. I don't recall you calling out Dennis Hastert or Tom Reynolds or John Shimkus for covering up Foley's preying on underage kids, which was a real issue.

I'd like to close with some solid language usage from CQPolitics on Speaker Pelosi's response to this scandal.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday ordered an internal probe into whether proper adult oversight exists at the residence halls for the 72 House pages.

Bob Latta: Good Friends with Corrupt Tom Noe.

Bob Latta, candidate for Ohio's 5th district, was very good friends with Tom Noe, who robbed the Ohio State Worker's Pension Fund, a very despicable thing to do.

So don't vote for Bob Latta

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Judge Upholds DNC Refusal to Seat Florida Delegates

Man, Florida don't get no respect when it comes to upholding their voting rights in court. Judge Robert Hinkel has ruled that under the First Amendment's rights to freedom of association, the Democratic party has the right to set its primary calendar and punish those who violate.

Ironically, the lawyer on behalf of Floridians was none other than U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, who also argued on behalf of the Gore campaign in Bush v. Gore.

Attorney Kendall Coffey, a veteran of the 2000 post-presidential race litigation, unsuccessfully asked Hinkle to make the DNC recognize the Florida delegation because the Jan. 29 primary date was set by the state Legislature. He said the DNC's alternative — picking delegates in congressional district caucuses after the primary — was unsuitable. Absentee and overseas votes couldn't participate, Coffey said, and there would be only about 150 caucuses, compared to about 6,000 polling places in the primary.

Coffey is infamous for having bitten a stripper after losing a tough case. Read Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway for hilarious insight into Coffey and our amazing government and political system, especially if you're a fan of giant prehistoric zucchini.

This decision is, more than anything else, a blow to the Clinton campaign. Clinton supporters Senator Bill Nelson and Representative Alcee Hastings were behind the lawsuit, unsurprising as Clinton has been polling very well in polls of Florida.

However, it's also a big blow to the voters and Florida. Voters should not be disenfranchised because of where they live [as a student in D.C., this is a rather big deal for me].

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peru Free Trade Agreement Passes Senate

The Senate has just approved the Peru Free Trade agreement 77-18, with the 5 presidential candidates not voting

Although this bill was by far the most labor and environmentally friendly free trade agreement ever negotiated by the U.S. (thanks to the insistence of the Dems on the House Ways & Means Committee, Bush was forced to renegotiate it to be more labor and eco-friendly; otherwise, they'd have voted it down), it still had some problems, leading Change to Win, Public Citizen and many other progressive groups opposed it. The AFL-CIO took no position.

John Edwards, in particular, has been vocal in opposing this agreement

1. The Clinton campaign just yesterday issued a fiery statement stressing the importance of a legislators duty to vote. It would've been nice to see them hold that position for a full 24 hours.
2. The Senate is full of traitor DLC Vichy Dems!
3. The Democratic Senators first elected in the fall of 2006 voted quite well; 7 of 10 of them opposed it. Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Bernie Sanders, and Sheldon Whitehouse all voted NAY.
4. The other Democratic Senators were terrible; only 11 of 40 of them opposed it.

But the most important question: What the hell is with Jim Webb's vote?

He made economic fairness a central tenet of his campaign. He released an ad in the primary denouncing his opponent, Harris Miller, as the "anti-christ of outsourcing."

And yet he's one of the few to vote for this bill?

Hutchison Drops Out; Lamar! vs Richard Burr

From Politico via CBS:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has withdrawn from the leadership race for Senate Republican Conference chair, according to Republican insiders.

The Conference Chair position is being vacated by extremely far-right Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. He's currently runnning unopposed for the position of Minority Whip.

The current minority whip, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, shocked the political world by stating his intention to resign after managing to be one of the few Republican Senators re-elected in the fall of 2006

There are several thoughts on why Senator Lott might be leaving.

1. Lott wants to avoid the new Democratic lobbying rules that close the revolving door allowing members of Congress to lobby their former colleagues after just one year.

All that's changed since Lott won last year is an ethics rule that slightly infringes -- slightly -- on a lawmaker's ability to make millions off his public service the moment he steps through that revolving door. By resigning before the end of the year, Lott sidesteps the rule, which doubles to two years the waiting period before senators can lobby former colleagues.

2. He's "not gay" just like Senator Craig, but has more shame:

Rumors have been floating around about Lott being involved with gay escort Benjamin Nicholas (Nicholas has issued a not-so-clear denial).

Escort Benjamin Nicholas denies that he ever had a "working relationship" with the anti-gay senator from Mississippi.

I have a third theory.

Remember what lost Senator Lott the position of Majority Leader?

I want to say this about mah state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.

So I think the real issue is that he was misled by the term "Minority Whip." Now that he's found out it doesn't involve whipping minorities, he has no desire to stay in the Senate.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Good News on the Transit Front

I am a huge advocate of mass transit, to the extent that I don't yet have a driver's license (I've had a permit for well over a year, but I haven't yet had the time or need for a license, nor can I afford to buy a car or pay for the insurance).

Anyway, I love mass transit, especially rail transit. In the past year, I've ridden MARTA (Atlanta), NJ Transit on the Northeast Corridor (New Jersey), Newark City Rail(Newark, NJ), PATH (NY/NJ Port Authority), MTA (New York), Subte (Buenos Aires), Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (right now only Hudson County, NJ), Metro (Washington, DC), the El (Chicago) and of course Amtrak.

The Subte in Buenos Aires stood out from all of them. First of all, it cost 70 centavos (about 20 cents American at the time) to ride anywhere. Second of all, it was jam-packed as tightly as possible with people during times even close to rush hour. I mean jam-packed tightly! Granted, Buenos Aires is far, far more densely populated than most American cities (this was clear when comparing the overhead nighttime view of Buenos Aires [tightly packed going quickly to rural in terms of lighting] to that of Houston [godforsaken sprawl from hell].

Anyway, there's some good news in the transit world:

The #7 line on the MTA is being extended to 10th Avenue by Hudson Yards (granted, the subway already goes within about a half mile of just about everywhere on Manhattan Island, still, it could be a quarter).

Phoenix's light rail system is beginning to be tested in traffic and will hopefully soon be in operation [hopefully with expansion].

Paul Wolfowitz is Back. To Start Another Iraq?

That's right. The man who admits he failed badly on getting us into Iraq and stacked the World Bank with his cronies to such an extent that you'd think it was located on K Street is back in the Bush administration. (in fact, it's located across the street from my dorm last year at 1900 F)

Condoleeza Rice has offered him the Chairmanship of the
International Security Advisory Board at the State Department.

This board was formerly known as the "Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board."

The State Department website description:

The Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board (formerly called the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board (ACNAB)) provides the Department with independent insight and advice on all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy. The ISAB is sponsored and overseen by the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. The Board provides its recommendations directly to the Secretary of State. The Board currently has 18 members and is chartered to have up to 25. Board members are national security experts with scientific, military, diplomatic, and political backgrounds. The Board meets in a plenary session on a quarterly basis.

This is a very disturbing place for the man arguably most responsible for spinning the intelligence on WMDs and rounding up the support in the Bush administration to get us into Iraq.

Of course, Director of National Intelligence McConnell just released a report stating Iran halted its weapons program in 2003. But knowing Wolfowitz, he'll find a Slider, Sinker, or most likely, a Screwball who gave "intelligence" that contradicts that finding, and play it up as much as possible.

If this were an office filled by appointment and subject to Senate consent, I'd be less worried; Harry Reid, after all, played hardball for the last two weeks by holding pro-forma sessions to prevent recess appointments.

But it doesn't look it is.

Incidentally, the man he's replacing? Fred Thompson.

Wolfowitz will probably take the job more seriously, but I'd rather have Grandpa Fred doing nothing than Wolfowitz doing horrible things.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Craig: "Not concerned About Criticizing Boxer's Stance"

Senator Craig may be having sex with 8 different men, but that hasn't stopped the good Senator from continue his important work in ensuring that global warming continues unabated.

His latest target: Senator Barbara Boxer and the Lieberman-Warner bill on Climate Change.

While there are some real problems with this bill from a progressive standpoint-Friends of the Earth contends it's full of obscene giveaways to polluting industries, it's a start.

And it's certainly far too much to stomach (which is saying something!) for Senator Craig.

Granted, Craig pales in comparison to Inhofe, who's famous for claiming that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" (evolution is second, the geocentric theory of the solar system is 3rd, and the moon landing rates at a dismal 4th for the senior Senator from Oklahoma).

But one can't deny that the Senator is working his ass off in trying to thwart Senator Boxer's attempt to get this legislation to the floor.

My job is to get this bill as far as I can, and get it to the floor of the Senate," Boxer said in a recent interview. "We'll work on this all night if we have to."

Whereas Craig says that

would cost thousands of jobs and "demonstrate nothing more than her intent to revert the United States to a developing country."

One wonders at the audacity of Craig's coming out in such full force on this issue when he has other things to worry about.

In his defense, his spokesman, Sidney Smith, made the following remarks:
Sidney Smith, a spokesman for Craig, said Craig was "not concerned about criticizing Sen. Boxer's stance on climate change," even though she heads the ethics panel.

He doesn't elaborate on the Senator's own stance, but we can safely assume that it's wide.

One final note of interest

Boxer and Craig may be able to debate the bill in Bali, where both are scheduled to attend a United Nations conference next week on climate change.

Craig, who has attended three previous U.N. climate conferences, said he expects a familiar scene: "Sen. Boxer will be welcomed as the liberator, and Al Gore will probably receive another award, but in the end, the only impact the conference will have will be the pollution and consumption they all create in traveling to Bali in the first place."

Two main points in this blurb:

  • Larry Craig has, contrary to popular opinion, NOT been banned from airports

  • He's obviously leaving something out of his "familiar scene". I don't even want to think about what

Ron Paul Wins Virginia Republican Straw Poll

That's right. DR. RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! got 38 percent (182 of the 479) votes cast at the Virginia Republican Advance

That put him ahead of Frederick's of Hollywood (112 votes), I <3 Huckabees (at 51), Willard (45), The Serial Adulterer Ghoul(43), John McCain (23), Military Industrial Complex Patron Hunter (19), and 4 votes for the Native American candidate [his name sounds suspiciously Italian, though].

Some might explain this victory simply by claiming that Ron Paul supporters are "organized" and enthusiastic.

I have another theory-Ron Paul is the natural candidate of the racists who are in charge of the Virginia Republican party.

My evidence:

  • Fairfax County Republican roast full of racist jokes
  • Rep. Virgil Goode bashed Muslim African-American Rep. Keith Ellison and use that to bash immigrants [Ellison was born in Detroit]
  • George Allen-noose-hanging, Confederate-flag lover who lost his race by disgusting Independent Virginians with his racist attack on S.R. Sidarth
  • Ron Paul, the candidate of white supremacists, won the straw poll

For good measure, let's end with the famous "Macaca video." The applause of racism by the Republican rank and file really brings my point home.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chris Dodd: Stop Killling the Democratic Party

That may be a little bit harsh. But only a little bit. If these were black voters or Jewish voters or female voters or any other voters they were trying to disenfranchise, this big of a deal would be made.

Note what the Dodd campaign has said about college-age kids who've been showing more enthusiasm for the Obama candidacy than college students have shown about any presidential candidate since Eugene McCarthy's anti-Vietnam war candidacy in 1968 [Clinton, incidentally, was one of the many students at Massachusetts colleges who went to New Hampshire to campaign for Eugene McCarthy].

Dodd on Iowa students who have become so into the process that they're willing to cut short their winter break solely to come back and caucus in the state where, by the way, they're registered to vote. You can't vote absentee in the caucus. If I went to school in Iowa or New Hampshire or Nevada or pretty much anywhere else that has representation , I'd be registered there too. After all, I live at college for more than 2/3 of the year. As it is, Republicans have chosen to continue to disenfranchise D.C. residents, so I vote absentee in Princeton, New Jersey where I can actually have a say.

“I was deeply disappointed to read today about the Obama campaign’s
attempt to recruit thousands of out-of-state residents to come to Iowa for
the caucuses. Given that the Obama campaign once said they
‘absolutely condemn any attempt to fraudulently influence the caucuses,’ we had
hoped they’d follow the Dodd campaign’s lead in working to protect the
integrity and spirit of the caucus process.

“‘New Politics’ shouldn’t be about scheming to evade either the spirit
or the letter of the rules that guide the process. That may be the way
politics is played in Chicago, but not in Iowa.”

They need to listen to what Howard Dean said about young people at the YearlyKos convention this past August.

So what, you might say? Where are the young people going to go? The Republican party?

In most years, all that would happen is that they wouldn't vote. This is bad enough; we can't afford to turn off young people; the ideologies shaped today will likely stay with them for the rest of their lives.

However, this year, there's a worse danger that comes in the form of Ron Paul. Ron Paul has a huge following among young people; he's the overwhelming leader on Facebook among Republican candidates, and he's widely expected to make a third-party run after he inevitably loses the GOP nomination.

What attracts young people to Paul?

1. His Opposition to the Iraq War
2. His Opposition to the Drug War
3. His Opposition to Taxes

That should be scary enough, having young people get involved in a campaign that's based primarily on eliminating the government and sending us back to the 1880's robber-baron era.

But it gets worse. Ron Paul's campaign is the #1 choice of white supremacists. And the Paul campaign chooses to embrace them. They have refused to return a $500 donation from Don Black.

Don Black is probably the 2nd most influential white supremacist in the U.S. after former Republican state Representative David Duke (also a Paul fan).

From Wikipedia:

Don Black ([1]) (born July 28, 1953) is an American white nationalist neo-Nazi. He is the founder and current webmaster of the "Stormfront" forum and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). He was convicted in 1981 for attempted armed overthrow of the Dominican government in violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act.

And the rank-and-file white supremacists are just as gung-ho about Ron Paul. The prospect of young people's political ideologies being shaped by a campaign full of white supremacists, is, to say the least, terrifying.