Tuesday, November 30, 2010
former L.A.P.D. Chief Bill Bratton, criminal justice reformer Connie Rice, and former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and George Shultz...This is, I believe, barring any ridiculous corruption or something out of the blue, the beginning of what will be a quick rise to even larger prominence.
What's in a name??
Democrats have now become the party of the [Atlanta] metro area and of blacks. That’s not to be derogatory. It’s just what it is.to the other party. The South can continue to vote against its economic and political interests in favor of divisive social issues which they will lose in the long run. While doing so, they will condemn the Republican party to irrelevance and force it to reevaluate. We may see a resurgence of Conservativism despite Republicanism, if all goes well. Until then, I say good riddance to those who would abandon their party to get a coveted R after their names and look forward to the rise of a new Democratic Party in the South and a new Conservative party everywhere else.
The funny part is, even after writing that list of unpronounceable chemicals that no sane person would want to inhale, she immediately goes into an argument AGAINST regulating said chemicals. This was all done in an article generally deriding anything the Obama administration has accomplished with very little in the way of suggestions or otherwise of how to move forward.
But, governing has never been a strong point of people like her, unless it's in the bedroom. But, at least she was upfront an honest that she doesn't think the above mentioned chemicals are dangerous. If she wants more of them in her life, maybe she can move to Love Canal? Until then, I'm perfectly happy with the Environmental Protection Agency protecting, you know, the environment.
random musings on a long, boring day
- Best quote about Wikileaks I've read yet:
Just as the modern right requires frequent reminders that prior to Europe's liberalism and America's New Dealism life was for many a living hell utterly without safety nets, the modern left needs reminding that not all national security measures are a "military-industrial" scam.PM Carpenter.
- Joe Scarborough finally speaks truth to...I don't even want to call her "power"...so speaks truth to self-perpetuating fame:
I am offended by Palin’s attempt to build herself up by tearing down great men like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Palin is not a stupid woman. But like the current president, she still does not know what she does not know. And she does know how to make millions of dollars, even if she embarrasses herself while doing it.
That reality hardly makes Palin unique, but this is one Republican who would prefer that the former half-term governor promote her reality shows and hawk her books without demeaning the reputations of Presidents Reagan and Bush. These great men dedicated their lives to public service and are too good to be fodder for her gaudy circus sideshow.
If Republicans want to embrace Palin as a cultural icon whose anti-intellectualism fulfills a base political need, then have at it. I suppose it’s cheaper than therapy.
But if the party of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio wants to return to the White House anytime soon, it’s time that Republican leaders started standing up and speaking the truth to Palin.
- SEN Ben Nelson (worth mentioning he's a Democrat) said the following about the DREAM Act:
I’m not going to support any act that I don’t think adds to jobs, or military or to the economy. Consequently I won’t support any motion to proceed or any kind of cloture on the DREAM Act.It seems clear to me that the DREAM Act would help the military as well as the economy. By legalizing immigrants who are here illegally (brought as children under the age of 18), we create further incentive for people to join the military, help to integrate marginalized people, spur further assimilation of immigrants and their families and help to broaden the tax-base. To deny that the DREAM Act is related to these issues is incredibly short sighted. Apparently if something isn't in the name of the Act itself, SEN Nelson can't see the connection.
Luckily, a member of the White House sees this obstruction (which is mainly Republican, even with defector Senators like Nelson) and said the following:
This is about accountability, not amnesty. It will take a few Republicans to get this through Congress, but they have to realize we can’t keep kicking the can down the road. They have to help govern and to solve some of the problems.
- I'm hesitant to post this, because a good friend of mine is involved with the making of the video as well as deeply involved with the group the video promotes. But, I saw the video and had a rather negative reaction to it. While I will admit the guy on the right can dance pretty well (the guy on the left, unfortunately, not as well--better than me probably, but not as well as the other guy), what I could not shake was the genuine distaste for this kind of advertisement.
Watch the video and try to guess what it is the video is promoting. Is it a bar? A club? A game show? No. It's Church! Now, I can understand the need to draw a new crowd--the point is to get people in and then get them to God, but seriously? A "money machine"? I'm not sure what it is, but something seems entirely too...too...money-changers about luring people to church with a "money machine" for me to be comfortable.
That's it for now kids. I'll probably be posting a lot come the next few days as work is slow...I apologize to those of you who are annoyed by my all-too-frequent posting, but hey, you can always click the little "x" box that says to hide me...right?
double your donations!
Monday, November 29, 2010
so rare...and yet so scary
- plug her book
- display her ignorance
- manage to GAIN support
START treaty--the triumph of politics over policy
- START treaty (reducing nuclear arms)
- DREAM act (allowing for citizenship based upon military service of college)
- repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell
- extending Bush Tax Cuts (let's not kid ourselves...allowing them to expire isn't a tax increase, it's simply a return to normal, despite people claiming otherwise)
Graham is, by virtue of the fact that he has served in the military (as a JAG lawyer), widely considered a leading GOP spokesman on defense matters.Now, here is where journalists and the general public's lack of understanding about the military comes into play. You see, statements like this seem perfectly logical: SEN Graham was in the military, so he's obviously knowledgeable about military issues. Right?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
reframe the debate
This dangerous bill would create same-sex marriage by another name – extending to same-sex couples all ‘the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits of marriage.I don't even need to point out how it is the OPPOSITE of dangerous to push people into relationships where they have "obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits"...hell, there was a time when Conservatives actually believed those things were GOOD for people. So it's a group entirely devoted to excluding people from obligation and responsibility, but it's called the "National Organization FOR Marriage"...explain that one to me?
we make a grave mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party.So, you'd think Republicans would focus not on divisive social issues, but on the economy.
No such luck. What's first on the agenda? From McClatchy News:
As one of its first acts, the new Congress will consider denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States.
You would think this is blatantly unconstitutional, considering the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone born into the United States. Currently, most of Europe has citizenship laws similar to that which some Republicans are now pushing for--that only the children of current citizens are granted citizenship, and look at how well that's worked out.
You see, America is based upon a system wherein we assimilate people with differences, draw upon their strengths and help to build an ever greater union. By creating two classes of Americans (those whose parents are American and those who are not) we do nothing to help new arrivals assimilate and instead create an entire class of people who are denizens of the United States, but have no buy-in to the system. Remember the riots in the outskirts of Paris by the Arab under-class? Many of them grew up in France, but were not French citizens because their parents weren't both French. Look how well that worked.
This effort to undermine the fourteenth amendment would be less offensive if it were coupled with an actual plan of how to reform our immigration policy. However, there is nothing that is being forwarded to actually change the laws to make it easier for children of immigrants to become citizens.
SEN Reid has committed to bringing the DREAM Act to the floor as a stand alone bill during Lame Duck. This Bill would grant citizenship to children brought illegally to the US as children if they complete College or enlist in the military for a defined period of time. It will be interesting to see how supporters of repealing birthright citizenship vote on this ACT. If being an American is no longer a function of birth, nor of accomplishment (college) or dedication to the country (military service), then what is it a function of?
In all fairness, I should state this issue holds more than academic interest for me. My mother's parents were illegal immigrants. Were this law to pass, my mother would be illegal, and as such, I imagine, so would I. My father, while from the Philippines, came across legally. So what would we, as a country, be missing out on were we to make the children of illegal immigrants non-citizens? A Doctor, a Lawyer, a West Point graduate and decades of military service. And this, all within the first generation.
But hey, we're all just sitting around waiting for our dole of government cheese right?
Monday, November 22, 2010
What I'm reading...
- Joe Miller, the Tea Party crazy who won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alaska is calling for a full re-count of all ballots in the state. This wouldn't be too terrible a thing if the intent was to ensure full enfranchisement of all voters, or if he had a chance of winning. The thing is, numerically speaking, he can't. The number of ballots he wants thrown out are still over 2,000 shy of catching Murkowski. It's a quixotic attempt to become a Senator and a waste of Alaska's money.
- Sharon Angle, another failed Tea Party candidate (this time in Nevada) took a page out of Palin's playbook (I know, after saying I'd heard too much of the dirty-P-word, I wrote it) and decided that some people aren't real-Americans. Where does she draw the line? Around urban areas. Here's her awesome quote explaining why she lost the election (because, you know, it couldn't have been calling a room full of Latino students "Asian looking" or her horrendous debate or the fact she literally ran from reporters a few times). No no, it was because,
"I find the people in the rural counties more educated on the issues and seem to be more tied into their communities. The urban areas seem to have more of a disconnect from the issues that affect their communities."Seriously, if politicians keep excluding those of us who live in cities and suburbs of being un-American, uneducated or otherwise, my head will pop.
- Meghan McCain, an occasionally smart republican but always firebrand, says she wants to "Kick Obama's Ass in 2012." She's also said she's on team Romney, which I find ironic considering Obamacare so closely resembles Massachusetts' Health Care law, which Romney signed into law as Governor. The thing that really bothers me, however, is her saying,
I want to go out and do it all over again with somebody else -- I want to go get a Republican elected. I want to kick Obama's ass the next election and get a Republican elected.Even this, to be honest, wouldn't bother me if she would categorically reject supporting Palin (yes, again) if she becomes the Republican nominee. Otherwise, it rings not of honest policy and instead of pure politics.
- Michelle Bachmann, another crazy who happens to be running America right now, refuses to back down from saying on the news that Obama's last overseas trip would cost voters 200 million dollars a day. While her refusal to say she was wrong bothers me, what bothers me more is what she considers justification for her ignorance. She says,
I didn't say if I believe it or not. What I said was a I was quoting a newspaper.You see, when you're a Congresswoman for the United States of America, the idea that you would go on the news and say something that may, or may not, be true because, well, it was in the newspaper (an Indian newspaper), seems ridiculous. Wait, not ridiculous, it seems absurd. How can we expect her to vote non-ignorantly if she can't realize something is absolutely absurd on its face...not only doesn't realize it's absurd, but freely spreads it as truth. The answer is, we can't, and shouldn't. But her base loves her, so it doesn't matter.
- Kamala Harris is gaining in her lead to become California's next Attorney General! This is good news for California and pits California's Democratic takeover of government against Texas's Republican takeover. Both states have similar deficits and similar problems to face. What happens over the next four years will be interesting. The rise of Kamala Harris is a good thing for the California Democratic party, but a better thing for the state. She's smart, she's just and she's a much needed breath of youth and intellectual rigor.
- A dot-matrix birthday card from Jeffrey Zito to me. He was my best friend in first grade. The card is an 8.5x11 sheet of pre-perforated dot-matrix
- Photos of my sisters when my sister was my niece's age.
- My "Golden State Exam" scholar certificate.
- My Junior High yearbook.
- Freshman high school ID card.
- A newspaper from the month I joined the Army. Front page, above the fold: Survey of Troops Finds Antigay Bias Common in Service
- An 8x10 of my Grandpa, Jack, in his Navy uniform
- A newspaper clipping of my Grandpa, Frank, getting his dog blessed by the old Monsignor of the parish my whole family went to on Saint Francis of Assissi's celebration
health care chamber of commerce
The Health Care debate (debacle?) is a prime example of what happens when ridiculous amounts of money are spent and by whom is hidden. Bloomberg news just released an article with their findings about the matter. Apparently the Chamber of Commerce (not the local group that promotes small, local business, but the national group that fights against taxes, worker safety, unions etc.) had more than HALF...that's right HALF...it's budget paid by the Health Care Lobby.
What does that mean? When the government was attempting to write and pass a health care bill to ensure that all Americans had access to affordable health care (our country still falls on the bottom half of industrialized nations in terms of the health care available to our citizens even though we are the richest country in the world), the Health Care lobby was actively spending money fighting against it. They were, however, smart enough to know that people would see the blatant conflict of interest there, so just gave the money to a more innocuous sounding group...the Chamber of Commerce, who would do their dirty work for them.
Read the article here, and be upset.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Congressman Pence on MSNBC
honesty is too much for some...
American Family Association--not JUST against gays
We have feminized the Medal of Honor.
Read the article. The author makes himself sound like an idiot far better than I could.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
hidden in plain sight
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
TSA debate online
Without being able to talk about real issues without immediately reverting to fear, pandering or worst-case scenarios, how can we be expected to solve issues?
With this particular issue, I'm becoming more and more frustrated with people throwing around words like "rights" and "unreasonable search" when neither fits correctly. What I mean to say is, there are words and phrases which are particularly important to our legal lexicon. I am no lawyer, but I know what a right is, and I know that "unreasonable searches and seizures" are vitally important terms to understand when studying Constitutional Law. By using them inappropriately, or out of context, it muddles the ACTUAL context and lessens their impact and importance.
She has now admitted to "considering" a run for President. Is there anyone who doesn't think she will? That being said, a quote from her upcoming profile demonstrating not only her lack of a grasp on facts, but on simple definition:
I’m on television nearly every single day with reporters … Now granted, that’s mainly through my job at Fox News, and I’m very proud to be associated with them, but I’m not avoiding anything or anybody. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I’m out there. I want to talk about my record, though.”
You see, the difference between being "out there" and being a pundit on Fox news as well as posting on twitter and facebook is that none of the above (and yes, that includes Fox news) requires one to face a hostile audience or answer questions that are other than leading or softball.
By avoiding actual media scrutiny, a tactic she advised Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell to follow, she enables herself to not only present her best side, but simply avoid all issues that she either does not know about (foreign policy) or is obviously lying about (remember her bridge to nowhere support/lack of support). If there is no one to ask the "tough questions" damn near anyone can seem electable. Why? Because you're a living info-mercial. The Ronco Food Dehydrator seemed AMAZING on TV too...but it wasn't running for President.
I have a facebook and a blog (twitter seems silly). When I post, people write comments and, assuming I notice them, I write back. It's generally civil debate and people agree or disagree. You'll find that on her facebook, where Palin is "out there", there isn't even debate...there is just...her, yelling into the echo chamber. See here for an example. I'm not running for President and I'm pretty sure you all know more about me and what I believe or think, what I've thought over the years, and when I've made mistakes than we do about this woman. She's the Miss America of politicians...a human twinkie...vacuous and without substance, but difficult to resist if you're looking not sustenance, but entertainment and comfort.
This is a CHRISTIAN Church!
There was also, oddly it seemed to me, a banner tied to the middle of the dome which read, "This is a CHRISTIAN Church" or something similar. I thought it odd and then drove on, not thinking of it again.
Then, today, I stumbled upon this on Crooks and Liars. Apparently, the mere shape of a dome causes anti-Muslim hysteria. Because, you know, Phoenix is high on the hit list of al-Qaeda. Not that I haven't said so before, but this kind of ignorance--being afraid of a structural shape (!!) because it MIGHT be the future home of worshipers who share the same religious title as people who are terrorists--it's ridiculous. Not only is it ridiculous, but it's scary.
Speaking of which, the woman who was running for Congress on a platform of "not letting the terrorists win" by building the ground zero "mosque" (Renee Elmers, who is from North Carolina and therefore very concerned with lower Manhattan)--she won. She is now a legislator for the United States of America.
Let us hope for a short two years.
OMG OMG OMG OMG!
Seriously cool for some awesomely wonkish stuff. Want to know how many prior Hill staffers are now Congressmen? It's here! Highest income Freshmen House Members?? It's here as well! There is some random crap, some policy, and some things like all earmarks from fy 08 and fy 09. Then, there are gems like this one:
in 2008 Minnesota's Congressional delegation delivered 158 earmarks costing $330 million. The average earmark from Minnesota members was not $70 million as Bachman claimed but $2.1 million which is less than the $3.7 million Bachman earmarked.
So, for those of us who want our information from somewhere other than email forwards or cable news shows, this should kill hours and hours of our all-too-abundant free time!
We know that [X] wasn’t vetted through the campaign, and now, you know, some things are coming home to roost, if you will, which is inexperience, [X's] associations, and that ultimately harms our republic when a candidate isn’t — isn’t vetted by the media, that cornerstone of our democracy,"
So, a politician is saying that someone wasn't vetted by the media? Who is it?? And who is he/she talking about??
Find out here.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
That being said, I found myself this morning in a bind. When a good friend of mine (someone I went to basic training with in 2000) aligned himself with Dan Choi, what do I do? Do I feign support or do I restate my previously stated opposition to these tactics?
I came to the conclusion that by inserting oneself into the national political stage, especially in a very public manner, then I cannot disassociate the person from the actions. While it may hurt my friend's feelings, not supporting his actions, it is important to my own sense of self that I maintain my beliefs. The conversation we had about this is below (name redacted).
While I don't generally try to elicit comments, this time I do. A lot of you know who my friend is, since many of us were in the Army together. What is your opinion? Does my obligation to him as a friend trump my obligation to the cause and to my self? Moreover, have you been in this position before? What did you do? It is not the first time I've dealt with having someone in the national spotlight. Two of the guys I've known since DLI founded Servicemembers United. I am friends with JD, the founder of Citizens for Repeal and another friend worked closely with the Palm Center. This is, however, the first time I've had a friend try to leverage my friendship into accepting and supporting his political decisions--and it is not something I enjoy.
IM conversation post-DC actions (with no spelling changes...stupid spelling)
i did some stuff yesterday
you online right now?
sorry, I leave my computer on at home so my mom can use it, I wasn't there this morning
now I'm at work :(
that is fine. :)
yeah, i'm around.
looking at the ridiculous picture of me hogtied by DC park police
still in DC or home now/
any more tying up I should prepare to see?
nah, dan and I thought about it but we're tired and are going to sit in a hot tub instead
did you love it?!
have you never read my reactions to this before?
or do you mean do I love you sitting in a hot tub?
but this was me
because I can support hot tubbing, for sure
what I di, that I was insanely trussed up and yelling at newspeople!
I don't see the efficacy of chainging oneself to the whitehouse. a tree to keep it from being cut down, a gate to keep it locked
but an amorphous idea, I don't get
nor do I see storming Reid's office as altogether helpful
we didn't storm, we told them we were coming and had a very polite conversation.
that wasn't the press coverage
anyways, adam: your friend (name here) was the front page on the goddamn advocate.
in any case, I particularly don't like seeing uniforms on capital hill if they're not military advisors. I think it undermines the civil/military relationship we have and sets a horrible precident
we have had this conversation. plus, we have already agreed to disagree
plus, you're being a douchetard. a friend of your s is excited about something he did, and you're cutting him down on abstract ideals.
you and I have? when have you and I had this conversation?
when choi and HRC first had a falling out.
if my friend does something, public, that affects me and is a public political statement, I can't ignore the "abstract ideals" he is representing. asking me to do so is slightly ridiculous don't you think? Especially if you ask me, "what did you think"?
please refrain from making negative comments on my facebook in the future.
I'm sorry, I'm actually feeling very insulted.
i have supported everything you've ever done. I'm not even asking for your support, just an understanding that this was a big deal to me and it was a very cool experience.
I didn't make a negative comment, I said I just hope you sat and thought about it first. If I had said I didn't think you did, that would have been a negative comment
i think you're very carefully ignoring the last part of that statement.
i just don't want to have this conversation right now
CNN and Fox
As per usual, I challenged him to point out an actual EXAMPLE of CNN's "obvious liberal bias" that counters Fox's "equally conservative bias" and was told that my "liberal indoctrination wouldn't allow me to see the point of his argument."
Not only was no argument made other than general assertions that they were opposing sides of the political news spectrum, but no evidence or examples were given. Why is it that when it comes to math or science, we expect evidence, logical follow through and then conclusion, but when it comes to politics, simply asserting a conclusion as fact is enough? Moreover, when you ask for evidence, you get the look of "how cute...he thinks this isn't true on its face."
So I throw out the challenge again, since no one has accepted on FB or in conversation. Where is there evidence of CNN's pervasive liberal bias? Where is the Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Hannity, Fox and Friends or Gretchen what's-her-name on CNN? Are there examples on video of some of this liberal propoganda?
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
What I've taken from her is that there are FAR more things to be excited about in the course of any given day. She wakes up and gets surprised and excited about everyone she'll see. It's just me and her watching Grover and she goes through the list..."Nona? Auntyrene? Momma? Pappa? Unclrich???" And then, when she sees each, her eyes light up and she waves, "HI Unclerich!" And this goes on all day, every time she sees you...it's a surprise, and she's genuinely happy.
She also applauds at the end of every song. Sing the alphabet? Applause! Watch a commercial...applause!
I like it. It makes me feel like there is a lot I miss on my usual days because I've become too jaded to what's around me. Maybe I should be more genuinely happy just to see my mom every time I see her?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wonkish people of the world UNITE~!!!
The Committee on Debt Reduction released their report today. It weighs in at 50 relatively easy to understand pages. This should dominate the news for the next few days if the posthumous discussion of the last elections and war-gaming for the next can stop. I've posted it below because I'm awesome!
things to come...
The earth will end only when God declares it is time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.It is here in lines 233-245 that he makes this argument.
While this isn't theocracy in the definite sense of the word, it does strike me as an affront on reason and the separation of church and State that this guy uses his theological beliefs to dismiss the scientific arguments of those who are testifying. Actually, in all fairness, he brought up this argument because for some reason the House felt the need to have someone speak on behalf of the "Council of Lutheran Churches" in favor of action on global warming. So, his argument was against the Bishop who was speaking. He was basically trying to undercut the Bishop's testimony (that if global warming affects the poorest of the poor and the marginalized, then we have a moral obligation to combat it) by arguing that the Bishop was theologically incorrect in even believing global warming was real.
It is ridiculous that this is part of the national, political discourse in the US. Now, people like this Representative will be making policy for the Country. Let us hope his knowledge of the bible is exceeded by his knowledge of the Constitution since he is, after all, a legislator and not a pastor.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
reading at work II...
- While it is tongue-in-cheek, the reaction of Limbaugh to the twinkie nutritionist says a lot about how he views the world. The quote that really hit me was the following:
One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama's gonna be out there ripping into "food desserts" and saying, "This is why people are fat," I know it's not true. "Rush, do you really believe that? It's that simple to you, liberals lie?" Yes, it is, folks. Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy. Very, very simple. Now, my doctor has never told me to restrict any intake of salt, but if he did, I wouldn't. I'd just spend more time in the steam or the sauna sweating it out.Here's what really gets to me about this quote. It's the logic that's implied--his doctor is a liberal. Why? Because he's an expert. Experts are liberal intelligentsia, by default. Doctors can't be trusted. Physicists can't be trusted. No one who KNOWS what they're talking about can be trusted to make policy decisions, only "soccer moms" and "average joe" isn't "liberal" and should be listened to. Disgusting.
- Rick Perry won for Governor...or, should I say, he won the position of "good springboard to run for President." Any Texan who voted for him who doesn't see this coming needs to go see the bats fly out from under the bridge...then jump off. Worse, his brand of anti-governmental populism is exactly the kind of thing that, while completely lacking in detail, knowledge and solutions, will sell well to a public that is looking for answers. While everyone is focusing on Palin and Huckabee, Perry is quietly working to position himself to come from behind. Immediately after beating Bill White for Governor, Perry quickly got to work fixing the $25 BILLION shortfall that the entirely Republican leadership of Texas has created. Wait? What is that? Never mind. In the face of opting out of Medicair, cutting education, and slashing CHIP forcing thousands of children living in poverty off of their current health care plan, the Governor of Texas has fled to the East Coast to promote his book in which he rails against...the 17th amendment (allowing for us to vote directly for our Senators) and Woodrow Wilson. Good job Texans...way to pick em. Looking forward, we can safely say that Texas is a bell weather of his conservative, tea-party agenda. Why? Because (see earlier link):
Perry is arguably the most powerful governor in Texas history. His long tenure means he has named the people in every appointed position in state government. The House and the Senate are controlled by his party, and the opportunity to set an agenda and carry it through has rarely been better for a sitting governor.
- Jim DeMint talks about how he and the Republicans will balance the budget and fix the deficit. He wants to cut Obamacare. Why? Because it cuts Medicaid. Um...does that make NO sense to anyone else? How should we fix the deficit? Cut health care. Why? Because it cuts the deficit. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's because it's illogical BS.
- While the ability to quickly move people and goods quickly from one market to another should be an obvious economic win that would not only stimulate the economy by bringing jobs, but also improve infrastructure for the better lessening traffic and increasing business opportunities. However, the new Governor of Wisconsin has denied the federal stimulus funds that were allotted for these "shovel ready" projects. How "shovel ready"? The state has already spent $14 million and prepared over 400 workers to build the project. The incoming Governor says it will be "expensive to upkeep" and so has vowed not to continue the project. Governor Cuomo, of New York, has already petitioned the Government for the funds to bring HSR to his own state.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Sirius XM: Gays Explain "Why I Voted Republican" to Signorile
random readings and musings...
- Admiral Mullen is "surprised" that General Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, spoke out against repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell. Besides the fact that his surprise seems a bit underwhelming, I wonder what Gates and Obama were thinking in picking him. Let's imagine, if you will, that the position of Commandant is unfilled and Obama is picking a replacement. Now imagine, hypothetically, that there is a General Officer who is a brilliant strategist, but he is also on record as having said something like, "Well, women don't belong in the military." Would that person be in line to be Commandant of the Marine Corps? Probably not. If nothing else, this shows you where Obama is in terms of being a "fierce advocate". He is, at best, a political tactician who does not prioritize equality in a way that is, as of yet, meaningful. In the balance of things, equality will always fall somewhere below economics and political ambition.
- The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a high school cheerleader who wanted to sit out cheering for a boy who later admitted to raping her (the school new he was accused of raping her) was NOT exercising her right to free speech AND ordered her family to pay the schools court costs. Years ago I wrote about Judge Patricia Owens and will not do so again. Suffice it to say, this was not an unexpected decision considering the make up of the fifth court and the judicial outlooks of those Justices. I would have to read more about the pertinent legal background to have a less emotional and more educated reaction, but the decision seems absurd from an emotional point of view (admittedly, not the point of view from which to judge jurisprudence).
- In related but opposite news, a really good reaction to the ousting of three Iowa Supreme Court Justices is here. I highly recommend reading this...and then getting active. The forces of bigotry and homophobia have organized, have fund raised, and have influenced the last bastion of protection that minorities have. It is time that those of us who take seriously the role of the courts, the belief that all men are created equal, and the pursuit of happiness seriously to do so ourselves. The ousting of these judges is a travesty and a triumph of ignorance over the forces of reason. We must fight back. Here is a good quote from the article:
What happened in Iowa on Tuesday deserves more attention from the press and public, in the same way that cancer cells that have taken root in the body and flourished into a tumor with its own blood supply deserve more attention. It’s time for our collective immune system to focus on these toxic intruders roaming from state to state with their multimillion-dollar war chest, metastasizing in a series of mean-spirited ballot measures that — particularly as of Tuesday’s vote — strike at the very core of our democracy.
- Five Anglican Bishops have taken up the offer of the Pope to become Catholic. Their move is a deeply seeded conviction that the truth of the Catholic Church's primacy, which they had previously disbelieved, is less unpalatable than women bishops or gay equality (I know...that was a convoluted sentence, but read it again and it is clearly a sarcastic masterpiece). They will join more in what will be, I am sure, a larger exodus from Anglicanism to Catholicism. By turning its own back on its less-important "doctrines" (married clergy, primacy of Rome etc.) the Catholic Church has opened its doors to those Anglicans who believe their own Church isn't homophobic or anti-woman enough. Apparently, if you can't beat em, just re-brand em!
This is one of those rare elections which has wide-reaching consequences, both for the future of California as well as the future of the Democratic party. Kamala Harris is someone who could be a future Democratic star, if her rise isn't stopped earlier than it should. Her competitor received large amounts from Crossroads America, the Karl Rove funded super-PAC as he sees her as a future threat as well.
I only post this because it's an ongoing race, and one to watch. Moreover, Kamala Harris is someone to watch if you want to know what the future holds.
Voter approval of Proposition 8 that November raised questions about whether Newsom was electable statewide or would be too closely associated with gay marriage.Here is the article.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Why is this ridiculous? OK, I am not a Constitutional Scholar, but this seems to be obviously Un-Constitutional on its face. How can a state Constitution be amended to directly contradict the US Constitution which reads:
This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.
International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.
The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.
Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohamed.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.Also, by singling out ONE religious law as being inapplicable in American courts, doesn't this "establish the free exercise" of religion somehow? Even if not, it seems ironic to me that a state which CONSTANTLY attempts to institute religious laws is now enshrining in its own constitution that "they" (Muslims) cannot enshrine their own religious laws in the state.
What I mean is this--the US Constitution provides for the Separation between Church and State (even if those words aren't directly in the Constitution it is pretty well decided by the Supreme Court). If the residents of Oklahoma who amended the State Constitution understood this, they would see it's redundant to specifically then say "Religion X will not be applicable in this state". Why? Because it's ALREADY ILLEGAL. However, these people are trying to have their cake and eat it too saying that Muslims cannot enact Sharia, but leaving the door open for Christians to impose their religion.
Also, by this definition, what about things that are both Islamic and Judeo-Christian in nature. Can Judges still site those, or does anything that would be covered under the "Koran and the teaching of Mohammad" be outlawed? If so, then the religious right may have just shot themselves in the foot.
It's ridiculous and wrongheaded...and passed with 70% of the vote.
Paris and New York
The short story. Sarah Palin "favorited" the following image on her twitter from Anne Coulter
After the "lamestream" media caught on, she released the following statement:
“Jake, I've never purposefully ‘favorited’ any Tweet. I had to go back to my BlackBerry to even see if such a function was possible. I was traveling to Alaska that day...it was an obvious accidental ‘favoriting,’ but no one can mistake that Ann Coulter was obviously being tongue in cheek with that Tweet. Shall I correct this with whichever wonderful media outlet ran with this (an obviously bored reporter...since there must be nothing going on in the world today, like, um, ramifications of a shake up of power in the U.S. House of Representatives?).”
After releasing that statement, she immediately deleted her favorites (all of which were other conservative "tweets" [I use scare quotes because I think twitter is stupid...if it's important enough to tell the world, it shouldn't be able to be distilled to 140 characters]). Apparently she doesn't know how to "favorite" something on twitter, but does know how to delete them.
So, where does that leave us? She didn't favorite it, because she doesn't know how and it was a mistake, and even if it wasn't a mistake, then it was a joke, and any other time she had done it, it was a mistake, but now she has deleted it--so it was never true to begin with.
Welcome to 1984. Screen shot below of her page BEFORE revising.I'm sure someone will bring up the New Black Panther's page on the Obama election website. So I'll quickly preemptively rebut anyone who tries to make these analogous. 1. The New Black Panthers posted to the Obama website, Obama (et al) did not link to them. 2. Obama's team admitted the mistake and said it would be immediately removed. 3. After removing, team Obama denounced the New Black Panthers and what they stood for instead of trying to justify it.
What's important here? The Kingmaker of the Republican/Tea Party thinks that we can re-write history damn near immediately. Let's all not let her.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
My point is simply, I will miss the Pelosi era in the House, and she will be remembered as one of, if not THE, most effective House Speakers were ever had. Boehner would do well to learn from her if he intends on accomplishing anything under his short tenure--I give it four years, tops, but possibly only two.
A good article here.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Reading at work...
- The Tea Party Patriots, the largest organization of Tea Parties across America, released their "plan" going forward. It's ambitious, at forty years, and includes everything from reforming the Judiciary to taking on culture. So, if anyone had any doubts that the libertarian leanings are bastardized by cultural conservatism, doubt no more, they've outlined their cultural-warrior plans as "lane four" of a four year plan:
“All civilizations and empires have fallen because their cultures became decadent,” Meckler said. “We need to lift up conservative culture, family values and wholesome things by supporting conservative musicians, writers, artists and producers.”
- Democrats released a memo analyzing the election results. BLUF: Healthcare Reform is a scapegoat for general economic woes when Democrats lost seats.
- An interesting article on districting (aka. gerymandering). The article makes the case for an algorithmic definition of districts, and how that could be done. It reminded me of an academic project I read about years ago where a geographer tasked his students to re-do states today if the cultural geography stayed the same. How would they re-define state boundaries taking into consideration the lay of the land as it is. The most interesting one I saw used water sheds, existing population centers and mobility corridors to redraw states. I can no longer find the map, but it was interesting. There were only twenty states, each centered around an urban area, and each with its own (nearly own) water-shed.
What to expect of Republican House Leadership, these are mostly quotes from articles linked below:
- The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.
- Both parties have promised to crack down on earmarks, and Republicans will face significant pressure from their base to do so.
- My Rep, Darrell Issa, will begin issuing subpoenas for White House Staff.