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Chicago Mayor's Son Enlists

Mayor Richard Daley's 29-year-old son Patrick has enlisted in the Army and will report for duty soon, "It's been in the back of my mind for some time. I left West Point during my freshman year when I was 18 years old and always remembered their motto, 'Duty, Honor and Country.' But I was so young and not really old enough to understand what it really meant. But I know now."

This real patriotism from a man who doesn't have to do this. Will the Republicans applaud this or continue their form of negative patriotism?


Do Nothing GOP

Once again the Republicans seem determined to waste any mandate they earned in the election. Both chambers are exposing themselves as highly partisan entities that care more about politics than actually accomplishing any meaningful legislation.

In the Senate the Republicans are determined to pack the court with Right-Wing wacko judges and are willing to change the Senate rules to do so with the so-called
"Nuclear Option" This option is sure to make Senate Democrats dig in even deeper and make it even harder for legislation to make it out of the Senate.

Meanwhile in the House, Speaker Dennis Hastert is blocking passage of the bill containing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission because a
"majority of the majority" was not in favor of it. Never mind that the White House and a majority of the House favored the bill, enough House Republicans where against it that Hastert has blocked it.

In two years the Republicans will want you to believe that the Democrats are keeping them from passing legislation, don't believe it.


The Race for 2008

I got a pretty good response from my first installment of the Democratic race for the 2008 nomination, so I will do it again. I had a request to publish the candidates position on various social issues, so I am working on that and will do so ASAP. Just a note here, the symbol in the parenthesis is an indicator of movement on the list + - NM (no movement)

1. Hillary Clinton - Senator NY - (+) I know she was number one last week, but I gave her a + because of all the pub she got last week with the opening of the Clinton Library. I still don't believe she would be the best nominee, or that she will in fact be the nominee, but right now she is still on top.

2. John Edwards - Former VP Candidate - NC - (NM) - Edwards stays at number two this week. There really wasn't much news out of Edwards, presumably he is dealing with his wife's health concerns. His name recognition is enough to keep at number two for now, but like with Hillary, I don't believe he will be or should be the nominee.

3. Barak Obama - Sen - IL - (NM) - Again, not much news recently out of Obama. Everyone is waiting to see him in action in the Senate. He stays at number three because everyone has high hopes for him. I still think 2008 is too early for him, but time will tell.

4. Mark Warner - Gov - VA - (+) - Warner is the biggest mover on the list this week, up from number eight last week. The reason for his move is simple, everyone is talking about him. From the Washington Post to blogs dedicated to his candidacy (Warner in 2008, Mark Warner for President in 2008) Warner is the flavor of the month, and with good reason. Here is the formula: Blue Governor + Red State = White House.

5. Bill Richardson - Gov - NM (NM) - Again, Richardson has been laying low in recent weeks, not much new on him. He has the formula (see above), I'm just not sure he wants the job. We will just have to stay tuned.

6. John Kerry - Sen - Mass - (NM) - I still don't think he will be nominated again, nor do I think he should be, but you have to give him credit. This weekend he sent an email to supporters outlining a bill he intends to introduce to the full Senate during the next session. The bill calls for every child in America have health insurance. Kerry said he would take a more active role as a leader in the Senate, and if he gets this done it will be a great start.

7. Evan Bayh - Sen - Indiana (-) Bayh moved down two spots, mostly because Warner moved up and I couldn't put him ahead of Richardson or Kerry. The more I think about Bayh the more conflicted I am. He is a Senator which is bad, but he used to be a Blue Governor from a Red State which is good. He is Pro-Choice which is good, but also Pro-Death Penalty which is bad. I just don't know if this is the guy to energize the base or to bring over moderate Republicans. My fear with Bayh is that we would move the center and still lose and then what?

8. Mike Easley - Gov - (NC) - (-) - Easley moved down one spot, really only because Warner moved up. I like Easley a lot, and can easily see him running a successful campaign. Right now the grassroots movement is behind Warner, but that could change at anytime.

I have a couple of new candidates this week and here they are:

9. Phil Bredesen - Gov - Tenn - (+) He moved up from not rated last week. The New Republic rated Bredesen as the the only A candidate for the Democrats in 2008. He, of course, has the formula on his side, but even fewer people know him than Easley. Bredesen has a record of providing over one-half billion new dollars into the local schools, built a new local library system and drove the crime rate down as Mayor of Nashville. He also created good jobs as he brought Dell Computer and HCA Inc to Nashville. As Governor he has operated on a balanced budget and his focus has been on creating good jobs and bettering public education. He also enacted the toughest ethics rules in the history of Tennessee's executive branch.

10. Tom Vilsack - Gov - IA - (+) - Vilsack was also unrated last week. Vilsack is interesting because he is Blue Governor in a Red State, but that state is just barely Red. The Midwest is a key region of the country and that is a real plus for Vilsack. When Vilsack became governor in 1998 he was Iowa's first Democratic Governor in 30 years, so he know how to break a losing streak. Under his leadership an amazing 94% of all children in Iowa have medical insurance. He has reduced class sizes in elementary schools, and Iowa's elementary school students consistently place at the top in math and science in the country. He has worked hard in Iowa on alternative fuel sources like ethanol and at creating high paying jobs in the agricultural industry. You may remember that John Kerry briefly considered Vilsack for his running mate this year.

There you have it. Keep your comments and criticism's coming.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Now we know why all those Red Staters are so worried about gay marriage ruining marriage in general. Turns out their marriages seem doomed from the beginning. According the the AP the states with the highest divorce rate are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. Now boys and girls can anyone tell me what ALL these states have in common? That's right, they all voted for Bush. Now lets look at the states with the lowest divorce rates shall we? Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Can anyone tell me what these states have in common? And Republicans are worried that same sex couple will ruin the "sanctity" of marriage?

Oh, and here is another funny little tidbit, according the George Barna Research Group, headed by Born Again Christian George Barna, Born Again Christians actually "have among the highest divorce rates," in the country. I wonder how many where "born again" after their first wife caught them in...lets say...a compromising position?


What Could Have Been

While President Bush is floating the idea of more tax breaks for the rich and corporate America while paying for those cuts by making employer contributions to employee health insurance no longer tax deductible, John Kerry is set to introduce a bill in the new Senate to provide health care for every single child in America and also to help lower income adults get coverage. We all need to "co-sponsor" this bill with Senator Kerry so click here to do so. With this one bill Kerry will accomplish more for the less fortunate and the children of America than Bush has in four years.

This only serves to remind us what could have been in this election. By the way, which of these two proposals do you presume Jesus would be in favor of?

Jamal Simmons for President!

Or at least he should be running the campaign for whomever is the next Democrat to take a crack at the White House. Simmons is the only Democrat that I've heard since the elections who seems to totally understand why we lost, why we always lose and how to fix it.

On Fox News on Wednesday he articulated what I feel is the perfect vision for Democrats going forward. He said that instead of insisting on same sex "marriage", fight for civil unions. Don't call it marriage. That's what people object to. As Simmons correctly points out, if you ask most Americans if they feel same sex partners should be able to pass down property, deal with child custody and have visitation rights in the hospital, they will say yes. If however you call that marriage those same people will say no.

As I have been saying here for some time now, we need to stop being the party of Pro Choice or Pro Abortion and start explaining that we are, of course, Pro Life. Just like Republicans we wish for fewer abortions, however we simply don't believe that making abortion illegal is the way to accomplish that. So, lets start the abortion discussion by reassuring all those "morals" voters, that first and foremost we agree with them. There should be fewer abortions. Now that we agree, lets talk calmly about the best ways to achieve that goal together.

As Simmons also correctly points out, if Democrats can better articulate their views on these and other key "moral" issues in a way that does not make middle America fear that we are going to take their guns, let gay people marry and help teenage girls get abortions as a form of birth control, then we can turn the debate to topics of the economy, jobs, security, taxes, immigration, terror, social security, health care, in short, things Democrats can win on. Simmons points out that the new Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer did just that and won in the state of Marc Racicot the chairman of the Bush re-election campaign.

More Tax Benefits for the Rich?

According to yesterday's Washington Post, George W Bush has apparently decided against a Federal sales tax, however, "Instead the administration plans to push major amendments that would shield interest, dividends and capitals gains from taxation, expand tax breaks for business investment and take other steps intended to simplify the system and encourage economic growth, according to several people who are advising the White House or are familiar with the deliberations" What are those "steps to simplify the system" you ask? In part it involves, "scrapping the business tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance"

So if I am following this logic, it was important to give people who make over $200,000 a year a big tax break because a lot of those people are small business owners and if we give them a tax break, they will be able to provide health care for their employees. Now we are going to shield their capital gains from tax and to pay for that we are going to stop allowing those same small business owners to deduct health insurance related costs on their taxes. Seems that they will get a tax break again and are now being encouraged to NOT provide health care for their employees.



That Familiar Old Double Standard

Rush Limbaugh spent all day talking about "racism" today in reference to criticism of Condi Rice. Apparently anyone who questions her ability to be an effective Secretary of State after she was a terrible National Security Advisor is a racist. Then on Hannity and Colmes tonight, Ann Coulter actually called Democrats "racists". Isn't that interesting. Lets review the facts shall we?

Rush Limbaugh:

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in [Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan] McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.'' - ESPN NFL Countdown

After racist Senator Trent Lott made his racist comments about Strom Thurmonds bid for President, Rush had this to say, "the people who are against Lott are being petty". Really? Petty? At least your not being petty now Rush.

Here are some other racist comments that El Rushbo has made on his radio show over the years as compiled by Fair and Accuracy in Reporting:

Limbaugh once told a black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

In 1992, on his now-defunct TV show, Limbaugh expressed his ire when Spike Lee urged that black schoolchildren get off from school to see his film Malcolm X: "Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater, and then blow it up on their way out."

"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

Once, in response to a caller arguing that black people need to be heard, Limbaugh responded: "They are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?"

Ann Coulter is a vary tolerant person as well,

"When asked whether she would recommend "Muslim-free air travel," Coulter said: "This is my idea.I think airlines ought to start advertising: 'We have the most civil rights lawsuits brought against us by Arabs.'" When asked how Muslims would travel, she responded: "They could use flying carpets." (Guardian, 5/17/03) Coulter also referred to Middle Easterners as "camel riding nomads" and said Egyptians have an "aversion to bathing."

Coulter claims that Sec. of Transportation Norm Mineta "is given plumb government jobs solely and exclusively because he is a minority,"

My personal favorite is this one, following Sept. 11, Coulter wrote of the Arab and Muslim worlds that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

"Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave....We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males."

I don't think we need to be lectured to by these two about racism.

Thune on Hannity & Colmes Tonight

Senator elect John Thune is scheduled to be on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes tonight. The show starts at 8:00 pm here in South Dakota. I'm going to be tuning in for one reason and one reason only...to see if Thune will actually wear a tie for the first time since he was elected. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but in every appearance since the election he has been wearing that stupid "Fonzie" leather jacket with an open collared shirt under it. I guess he is a man of the people.

Church's Need to Pay Taxes...NOW!!

The time has come to make churches pay taxes. Any pretense that they are not telling their members whom to vote for is a sham. Now, they don't even want to allow Democrats to be in the choir, "State Rep. Barbara L'Italien was asked by the pastor of her church, St. Augustine's, to step down as cantor and head of the youth choir because of her pro-choice stance on abortion."

The Priest in question, one William Cleary made this ridiculous statement, "In this particular case we're dealing with a person who is against the church's position. I can't allow her to be in a public posture -- to be standing up at the pulpit singing or directing singing."

OK Father, then we can't allow you and your church to be tax-exempt anymore. When was the last time you told a Republican to stop teaching Sunday school because he is in favor of Capital Punishment which is also contrary to the teachings of the church? I honestly don't know from where these people get the guts. The Father went on to say he has no problem with L'Italien working with kids "behind the scenes". What does that mean? Because she is Pro-Choice she is somehow going to corrupt all the kids in the choir by leading them in song on Sunday morning, but she won't corrupt them if she spends time with them where others can't see her? I can't follow the logic.

Just like every other irrational Conservative out there, the good Father is willing to overlook everything else this woman has done in her career and for his church, because of her view that abortion should not be made illegal, "L'Italien is one of five parents who run the youth choir, which serves children from age 4 to grade six. Three of her four children have been involved in the choir since it started in 2001", "L'Italien said she has spoken out against the death penalty and casino gambling, and considers her defining issues as her work for the elderly and the disabled. But she said Cleary seemed only interested in her stance on abortion. L'Italien said she cannot make the decision of reproductive choice for anyone else"

Make them pay taxes now!!!


Four More Years of Hell

It didn't take long did it? After George W Bush won re-election it didn't take long for the descent into hell to begin. In his continuing effort to insulate himself from reality, Secretary of State Colin Powell was shown the door by "W" and replaced by Condi Rice, who was incompetent in her previous role as National Security Advisor but very competent in her role as head of Bush ass kissing, so she will fit right in. This is all in line with a President who does not like to be challenged. I mean when one has to sign a loyalty oath to attend a campaign event and anyone who questions your policies is deemed unpatriotic, it is easy to see why he got his ass handed to him in the debates when someone actually had the gall to talk to back!

I see the economy is also looking up...or maybe not. Inflation is at it's highest rate since another Bush was in office all the way back in 1990. Of course this means interest rates will most likely go up again, but don't worry, they have a plan. It goes something like this:

Scrap the federal income tax and replace it with a federal sales tax of...oh let's just throw out a number...say...25%. Yeah, that should do it. That way people who are in the 10% tax bracket and spend all of what they earn will have the privlege of now paying 25% while those in the 35% tax bracket, will move down to 25%, and even then only when they spend. All that money they put into investments and into the bank will tax free. Somehow a 25% sales tax is going to induce spending? I'm no economist but I think for most people the prospect of buying $100 worth of groceries and having to pay $25 in taxes is pretty scary. Especially when you consider that that doesn't even take into account state and local sales tax. Oh, and don't forget that we are also going to privatize social security even though we have no plan on how to make up the difference that we still owe those who will remain in the program. What's another billion or two when your already in the biggest deficit known to mankind?

Meanwhile in Iraq we have fresh new war crime to deal with (and this one is on tape) and a female aid worker has been murdered by her kidnappers.

And not to be forgotten, the new head of the Republican party, Dr. James Dobson and "Focus on the Family" is planning to protest the new film "Kinsey" about a college professor who had the audacity to both study human sexuality and be...wait for it...homosexual (gasp)! Focus on the Family and other Conservative hate groups "blame Kinsey for a host of ills -- including clearing a path for candid, comprehensive sex education programs espoused by organizations like the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States." Yeah all those are scourges on our society.

Brandi Swindell from a group called Generation Life shows her firm grasp of science by asserting that, "Alfred Kinsey is responsible in part for my generation being forced to deal face-to-face with the devastating consequences of sexually transmitted diseases, pornography and abortion."
Really? Alfred Kinsey is responsible for YOU being exposed to STD's, pornography and abortion? Did he have a gun when he gave herpes while making you look at Playboy and then taking you to Planned Parenthood?

Of course maybe Kinsey was as bad as a Nazi. This from a Dr. Robert Knight, "Instead of being lionized, Kinsey's proper place is with Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele or your average Hollywood horror flick mad scientist." The funny and yet disturbing thing about Mr. Knight is that he is the director of Concerned Women of America's Culture & Family Institute. Did you get that? Robert Knight is the Director of Concerned WOMEN of America's Culture & Family Institute. What's the matter Dr? Couldn't find any actual WOMEN for you little organization?

Here is one more idiot for you to consider, Robert Peters President of Morality in Media had these insightful comments, "That's part of Kinsey's legacy -- AIDS, abortion, the high divorce rate, pornography -- and there's not anything in the film to connect him with it." Wow, AIDS and high divorce rates are Kinsey's fault now too. Whatever happened to Conservatives taking responsibility for their own actions?

Four more years. Makes you proud to be an American.

Swift Boat Vets are Idiots

We found out yesterday that an apparent war crime has taken place in Iraq and it's all on tape. It seems a US Marine shot an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in a mosque. The marine thought that the man was "playing dead" and planning to ambush him when he got close enough. The marine reacted by shooting the man in the head at point blank range and then saying "he's dead now." As is often the case, there is more to this story. The enemy has been faking death and then firing on Americans when they get close and dead bodies have also been booby trapped to go off when Americans try to move them. It also seems that this particular marine had been shot at in that exact same situation just the day before.

My purpose in bringing this story up here is not to condemn the United States military or this particular Marine. I mean these guys are under tremendous stress and after watching their friends be killed by the enemy and being shot at themselves, I'm sure their nerves are on edge. The shear terror of what they are experiencing makes them do things that the average person in middle America finds abhorrent. Indeed, these same people would probably find their own actions abhorrent under normal circumstances. These are clearly not normal circumstances, war never is.

This brings me to the point. The Swift Boat Vets and other Vietnam vets who spoke against John Kerry during the election are simply dishonest. They would have us believe that the Vietnam War was the only war in history that had no atrocities. No war crimes. Nothing but above board behavior by our soldiers. For all their sanctimonious claims that Kerry was less than a hero while in Vietnam, the real reason they hate him is because he spoke out against the war when he got home. The real reason they hate him is his 1971 testimony before congress. They feel he called them war criminals, when in fact they where gallant fighters in a good and righteous war. Kerry, of course, did nothing of the sort. He was simply retelling stories that had been told to him earlier that year at the Winter Soldier Conference in Detroit. He was simply trying to impress on a government that kept sending young men to fight and die in a war they had no hope of winning, exactly what these young men had been driven to in order to survive. He was not calling all Vietnam Vets war criminals. He wasn't even calling the men who committed these acts war criminals, he was simply telling the congress how bad it was and how the war was ruining all these men's lives and for no good reason.

If these young men in Iraq are driven by fear and justifiable hatred of the enemy enough to commit such an act even knowing they are being filmed by a news camera, imagine what must have happened in Vietnam where the fighting was even more intense and there where no embedded photo-journalists to capture the carnage.

War is hell, unless your a Swift Boat Vet with a grudge and then it is a beautiful and virtuous thing. Not only are they idiots but they are liars and anyone who voted agains John Kerry because of their lies should be ashamed of themselves.


On to 2008

With the news today that the only member of the Bush cabinet that could even see sanity from where he was standing, Colin Powell, has resigned (to be replaced by some born again evangelical extremist no doubt), it is just way too depressing to look at the current situation we find ourselves in. So, I've decided to look ahead to 2008 and a brief look at who might be in the Democrat field of Presidential contenders. I might make this a regular feature here...unless I don't.

1. Hillary Clinton - Senator New York - She has to lead the list at this point although I'm not sure she will be the choice in four years. Even though she spent time in Arkansas, nobody is going to buy that she is a southerner. She has a very polarizing effect on people, and it's been a long time since someone went directly from the Senate to the White House. Despite Sean Hannity's prediction that if she wants the nomination she will get it, I think it may not be the right time for her in 2008. That said, right now she has more name recognition and momentum than anyone else, so she is number one on the list.

2. John Edwards - former Senator North Carolina former VP Candidate - Edwards is a close second in name recognition to Hillary at this point. I think he made a favorable impression in his own Presidential bid and as Kerry's VP choice. The fact is that he did serve only one term in the senate and currently is un-employed. He does hail from a southern state which seems to be a plus for a Democratic nominee, but it is doubtful he would have been re-elected in North Carolina had he run, and clearly was no help in getting southern states to vote for Kerry. An unpopular southerner is no better than an unpopular northerner. He is in the running because everyone knows him, but I'm not sure what he will do with himself for the next four years aside from hanging out in Iowa and New Hampshire and maybe that will be enough considering how front-loaded the primary process is.

3. Barack Obama - Senator Illinois - Obama is three with a bullet. He could rocket to the top of the list in a heartbeat. The Democrat's have invested a tremendous amount in Obama as the future of the party, the question is when exactly is that future. He obviously has a exceptional broadbased support. He comes from a Midwestern state which is a plus, and if you wanna talk about mandates look at how much of the vote he received in Illinois. Of course people outside of Illinois don't really know him yet, so a lot will depend on how visible and how effective he is in the next two years as to whether the future is 2008 or 2016 for Obama.

4. Evan Bayh - Senator Indiana - Bayh is a "moderate" from a traditionally Republican state. He seems to have a certain amount of appeal to both Democrats and Republicans and is well liked in the Senate. Of course this moderation that everyone says they want, might make it difficult for Bayh to actually be elected. He is on record as being Pro-Death penalty and yet Pro-Choice which pretty much means nobody on either side will vote for him. He does, however, favor privitization of Social Security and is also in favor of background checks before purchasing firearms at guns shows. He is undecided on school prayer. In short, Bayh thinks for himself and doesn't follow the party line. Even though everyone says they want these attributes in a leader, I think the truth is that they don't. The right wants someone who sees every issue the way they do and so does the left. If Bayh can win over enough "northern liberals" in the next two years, he may gain momentum. If, however, he crosses party lines too often especially when it comes to Supreme Court confirmations, he may doom his candidacy before it ever really gets started.

5. Bill Richardson - Gov. New Mexico. Now we get to the real action. The first of three governors on my initial list. I think these are they guys that will really make a move in the next two years or before. Governors tend to make good Presidents, at least that's what voters seem to think. (Reagan, Clinton, W). Richardson is from a key part of the country for Democrats especially if McCain is the GOP nominee. How many Presidential candidates have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Richardson has been four times. He would have great appeal to both sides of the aisle. In New Mexico he has cut taxes while bringing higher paying jobs to the state and being tough on crime. He looks and talks like a normal guy and if W has taught us anything it's that that is very important. If he decides to run I think he will tough to beat.

6. John Kerry - Senator Mass. - The only reason Kerry makes my list at all is that he seems to want to run again, and if he does he will get a least some support. I really can't envision a scenario in which he would be the nominee again, but then last year I couldn't either, so I guess we shouldn't count him out just yet. He is still in the Senate and has said he will take more of a leadership role, so maybe he has one last comeback in him, but I think he is a longshot at this point.

7. Michael Easley - Governor North Carolina - Again, nobody really knows this guy on a national level yet, but if he makes a bid, he will be a formidable opponent. Again, he is a Governor from an important part of the country, and unlike Edwards, the people love him. Like Edwards he is a lawyer, but instead of a trial lawyer he was a District Attorney who worked to put bad guys away. As DA, Attorney General and Governor he has a long record of being tough on crime. He helped to bring new businesses to North Carolina and has championed school reform that actually works. Let's see, Attorney General, Governor, southern state...remind you of anyone else who was a two-term President? Just like with Richardson, if Easley runs he will start to shoot up to the top of this list in a hurry.

8. Mark Warner - Governor Virginia - Warner also suffers from no name recognition at this point, but would make an excellent candidate in 2008. He is also a Governor from an important part of the country, and has proven he can get elected in a Republican dominated state. He has created many jobs himself as a private citizen. Warner helped to create telecommunications and IT companies as co-founder of Columbia Capital Corporation. When he took office in 2002 Virginia had a $6 billion shortfall that he has eliminated with the help of both Democrats and Republicans. Warner has also brought about meaningful education reform in his state. In possibly his crowning achievement thus far, Warner worked with both sides in 2004 to pass an ambitious and innovative tax reform bill that has allowed Virginia to make huge investments in Public Education, healthcare and law enforcement while preserving fiscal integrity. His plan lowered income taxes on every Virginia resident, cut sales tax on groceries and closed all those fun corporate loopholes. By making sure everyone, including big business, pays their share, everyone got a break on personal taxes and revenues went up. Warner may be the star of the group when it is all said and done, but for now he is number eight until he starts to make more of a name for himself nationally.

There you have it. I'm sure I left someone out or my analysis is way off in one way or another, so let me have your comments.

Johnny Carson

I don't know if Johnny Carson is a Democrat or a Republican, but if there where more people like him the world, we would all be much better off. "Carson's $5.3 million gift to UNL last week was the latest in a long string of gifts from the entertainer to the Nebraska and Iowa towns and institutions he seems to remember quite fondly.

Major donations include $2.27 million for a cancer radiation center in his childhood home of Norfolk, Neb.; $500,000 to the Norfolk Library Foundation; $1 million for a Lifelong Learning Center at Northeast Community College; and a string of gifts to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "

Carson also helps in smaller ways that everyone appreciates, "Carson's gifts generally have big effects. Though not the lifesaving institution the cancer center is, a skate park Carson helped provide for the town of his birth, Corning, Iowa, has had a life-changing effect on the young people in that area."

He isn't doing all of this to get votes or gain endorsement deals, he is, apparently, just a nice guy, "Carson, who rarely gives interviews, did not return a request for a comment for this story. That's in character, said officials of Norfolk, the town where Carson grew up. 'He doesn't come and have a big affair,' said Norfolk Mayor Gordon Adams. In fact, the last time Carson was in Norfolk may have been in 1998 for the dedication of the Carson Cancer Center, Adams said. Norfolk residents will tell you the public appearance was probably because the center was named for his parents, not himself.

I just thought was a refreshing story after everything we've been through for last...oh I don't know...FOUR YEARS!


Imposing Their "Values" on Us Already

I'm sure this is just the beginning of such stories, but the school board in Dover, PA has OK'd the teaching of creationism in public schools.

"With a vote last month, the school board in rural south-central Pennsylvania community is believed to have become the first in the nation to mandate the teaching of 'intelligent design,' which holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by an unspecified higher power."

Carol Brown on of two school board members to resign in protest said, "We have a vocal group within the community who feel very strongly in an evangelical Christian way that there is no separation of church and state. Our responsibility to is to represent the viewpoints of all members of the community."

From what I can tell from the
Intelligent Design website it appears they believe that the original species where created by a higher power and then evolution took over from their.

I'm waiting now for some sort of "scientific proof" of how Jesus turned water into wine and how Moses parted the Red Sea . I mean why not find someone to say science supports things like this so one can sneak them into public school curriculums? It is amazing to me that people don't want sex education taught in public schools but seem all to eager to have have religion taught in public schools. Both seem like something parents would want control over instead of some teacher who may have differing views. Of course they are only OK with this as long as the religion being taught is Christianity. I assume the first time a Moonie teacher starts exposing kids to that religion, or a Mormon teacher reveals that they believe that Jesus visited North America, the "values voters" will have a change of heart.

And The Beat Goes On

The previous post outlines how Attorney General in waiting Alberto Gonzales authored the opinion within the White House that we could treat POW's any way we please, and now on the heels of his nomination comes word of yet more abuse.

"Two new cases of detainee abuse have surfaced at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, including one in which a U.S. military commander failed to properly investigate a prison guard who threw cleaning solvent on a terror suspect"

Here is how the military has disciplined those offending soldiers, "The perpetrators were demoted, reprimanded or sent for more training." Here's a crazy idea, train them BEFORE you turn them loose on prisoners!

It's hard to imagine this administration getting worse, but I think they found a way with the nomination of Gonzales.


It's Going to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales is being named as John Ashcrofts successor as Attorney General. This should scare the hell out of you.

Gonzales was the author of the memo to President Bush that laid the groundwork for what happened at Abu Grahib. In the memo Gonzales told Bush that the war on terror, "in my judgment renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners." The scary thing is, he seemed to know what he was advising was illegal or at least immoral, but he still stuck to his guns. The memo went on to mention some downsides to the policy, "widespread condemnation among our allies," and potentially undermining "U.S. military culture which emphasizes maintaining the highest standards of conduct."

Gonzales is a perfect fit for this administration in that he also believes that international laws are made for others, and not for us. While he was the legal counsel for then Gov. Bush in Texas, Gonzales presided over the execution of a Mexican national in direct violation of the
Vienna Convention which requires that the consulate of an arrested foreign national be contacted at the time of arrest. Texas, of course didn't do this. Gonzales offered this incredible defense, "Since the State of Texas is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, we believe it is inappropriate to ask Texas to determine whether a breach occurred in connection with the arrest and conviction." Sure the United States signed the agreement and the last I checked Texas was a part of the United States, but I guess now whenever an international treaty is signed, the President and the Gov. of Texas both have to sign. Hey, if Texas in not part the the United States then lets take those electoral votes out of Bush's column and see who the new President is. After they illegally killed this man, who could not speak or understand English, Bush released this shocking statement, "Gov. Bush assures the people of Mexico that Mr. Tristan had [a] fair trial, ample opportunity to be heard and the full protections of the Constitution and laws of the United States of America." Sounds a little like Abu Masab al-Zarqawi telling the people of the United States that Nick Berg got a fair trial.

Oh it doesn't stop there. Two years after this incendent, Texas was back in the business of executing foreign nationals without first contacting their consulate. This time it was Canadian Joseph Faulder. Gonzales wrote an execution summary for Bush in which he acknowledged the violation of international law, but concluded it was simply a "harmless error". Faulder was later killed by Bush.

Oh and don't forget this, Gonzales also has Hilliburton ties. Here is a cute little
story. "In 1999, a Halliburton employee had won a $2.6 million trial verdict due to allegations that a company supervisor framed him to test positive for cocaine, only to see the verdict overturned by a Texas Court of Appeals. Just before the Texas Supreme Court ruled on the case, Halliburton gave a number of contributions to the Justices, including $3000 to Alberto Gonzales. None of the Justices recused themselves from the case and the Court refused to hear the appeal against Halliburton."

Oh then there is the fact that before Gonzales was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court, he was a partner at the "Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P. in Houston which had Halliburton as a major client. And Gonzales worked in the section where Halliburton was represented where he had a strong relationship with the firm."

During the time Gonzales was on the Texas Supreme Court, Halliburton and it's subsidiaries contributed nearly $80,000 to Supreme Court Justices re-election campaigns, ranking Halliburton 2nd among all contributors to Supreme Court campaigns. Amazingly enough, during those years Halliburton had five cases come before the court and in every instance they either refused to hear the case or ruled in Halliburtons favor. I'm sure it was just a coincidence though.

Gonzales also did a favor for Bush in 1996 when he got him
out of jury duty. If Bush had not gotten out of jury duty he would have had to disclose his 1976 conviction for drunken driving in Maine. Gonzales reason for excusing Bush was novel, he said that if Bush served on a jury, then later as Governor he wouldn't be able to pardon him. Yeah right, Bush pardoned people as often as he uses his veto power.

I guess we should be thankful, before today Gonzales had been mentioned as a Supreme Court nominee. This way we only have to survive him for four years instead of 40.

I Hope Everyone Who Voted "Values" is Rich

Newly elected crazy person Jim DeMint (Republican Senator - SC) wasted no time in trying to stick to middle America by calling for the abolition of income tax and the implementation of a national sales tax. Yeah, that's fair. A person making $20,000 a year buys $100 worth of groceries and pays $5.00 in federal sales tax. A person making $200,000 a year buys $100 worth of groceries and pays the exact same $5.00 in federal sales tax. That's the new "values" of America I guess.

In related news VP Cheney has also come out in favor of this
regressive plan. It's not surprising since he is still raking in the dough from Halliburton. I'm sure this plan would save him plenty each year in taxes. Thanks for being so moral there Dick.


Ashcroft Calls It Quits...Finally

The Evangelical Christian that once lost an election to a dead man and then was promptly named Attorney General of the United States, has now resigned...finally. John Ashcroft, the architecht of the Un-Patriot Act says there is simply no more work to be done, "the objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." Wow, it's a good thing Ashcroft didn't hit the campaign trail with that message a month ago when Bush/Cheney where out telling us we had to elect them to keep us safe, turns out Ol' John already had the situation under control. Guess he didn't get the memo. Happy Trails John Ashcroft!!!!


They Still Don't Get It

During the 2000 Presidential campaign George W Bush billed himself as "The Great Uniter". After 9/11 it seemed he would have the chance to unite not only America, but the world. The entire planet was behind us after we where brutally attacked. Not only that, but he was presented with an opportunity to heal a nation after a bitterly contested election. I mean even Tom Daschle hugged the President in public.

Instead of taking advantage of all this "political capital" and goodwill both here and internationally, Bush proceeded to alienate nearly every traditional ally this country has while simultaneously pushing away the Democrat party in this country. His "go it alone" attitude in Iraq has made us an international pariah. His zeal to attack Iraq as part of a larger war on terror, even while all signs pointed to no connection between Iraq and Al-Queda, made him a lightning rod for criticism here in America and at a time when America should have come together, the "Great Uniter" became instead the "Great Divider".

One would think that the radical right would have learned their lesson, but sadly it seems they haven't. Last week Bush won re-election and the Republicans made gains in the House and the Senate. They now enjoy a 55-45 majority in the latter. As everyone is quick to remind us however, 55 doesn't mean much in the senate where 60 votes are needed to end filibusters and get legislation and judicial nominations passed.

Once again, Bush has been presented with an opportunity to be a real leader, a uniter. There is a possibility that as many as four Supreme Court Justices will step down during the next four years. Now as we know the Republicans theoretically have 55 of the 60 votes required to get a justice confirmed, and all they would need to do is send up a nominee who would be acceptable to five moderate or conservative Democrats. That's all, just meet five out 45 half way and you get your man or woman on the court for the next 40 years. Alas, it seems the Republican leadership and their policy makers on talk radio seem determined to insist on radical nominees to the High Court.

The man in line to take over the Senate Judiciary committee is Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania. The day after the election he reminded the President that the chances of getting a strictly Pro-Life nominee confirmed by the entire Senate are slim. Ever since then the Right has been going crazy, trying to get Specter canned as Judiciary Committee Chairman. They don't want somebody chairing that committee who might actually work with Democrats and Republicans both to get good solid people confirmed, they want radical appointees to be rubber stamped by the committee and sent to a full vote where, as Specter has already reminded us, they are doomed for failure. These idealogues are more interested in the appearance that they are trying to get radical right wing judges on the court than in actually finding qualified candidates both sides can live with. They are more interested in blaming the Democrats in the next election and the one after that than they are in building a consensus and actually accomplishing something.

Not only will this keep moderate Democrats from supporting Supreme Court nominees, but it may even drive moderate Republicans like Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snowe, John McCain, Susan Collins and even Specter himself to defect and vote with Democrats, thus making a 50-50 tie and nothing gets done. It seems they won't even try to work with Democrats, they only want to ram their radical conservative agenda down everyone's throats even though only 52% of the electorate voted for them.

The Right Wing propaganda machine is calling for Specter to lose his committee chairmanship. They are writing and calling committee members telling them to dump Specter. We need to match them. Click here to email the committee members and click here to contact your senator. We have to stand up now before it's too late.

Brownback in 2008?

Last week we outlined the crazy, religious rantings of Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) on this site. The highlight is probably this,

"Brownback was a co-sponsor of "
Senate bill 2082, designed to allow federal, state, and local government officials to overrule all other laws by appealing to the "higher source" of all law ("God") and to forbid the Supreme Court from doing anything about it.

Unbelievable? Here's S. 2082's proposed addition to Sec. 1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."

Seems that Bush's re-election by the Evangelicals and the realization that people are more concerned about two gay people marrying than about Osama bin-Laden have apparently emboldened this crazy man to consider a run for
President in 2008. In the past a candidacy like this would have just been laughed at, but today it scares the shit out of me. He may not radical enough for the Evangelicals however, as it seems he doesn't really want to stop abortion so much as make it less painful. Brownback hopes to pass something called the "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act" requiring some women seeking abortions to be offered anesthesia for their fetuses. Wait until John Thune hears about this!

More On Crazy Tom

Senator Elect Tom Coburn from Oklahoma just getting wackier and wackier. We already know that he is in favor of the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions, but now we have this, "You know, Josh Burkeen is our rep down here in the southeast area. He lives in Colgate and travels out of Atoka. He was telling me that lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom at a time." The question this article astutely asks is, with all these homo-sexual crazed girls running around, is Senator Coburn going to outlaw two girls riding to school in the same car or two girls hiking together in the woods? I mean who knows what kind of craziness could ensue there?

This one is from awhile ago, but it seems that Mr. Kill The Abortion Doctors loves his big guns more than human life. After the 1999 Columbine massacre, Senator Coburn said he saw nothing wrong with a person owning a BAZOOKA AND USING THEM "IN A LIMITED WAY" At least he thinks the use of bazookas by NRA members should be in a limited way. I have no idea what in the hell that might mean, but at least he envisions some sort of limits. Of course the NRA has fought to protect the right to build pipe bombs as part of the second amendment, so we know what a sane bunch they are.

They Don't Have Daschle to Kick Around Anymore

For all those South Dakota voters that thought replacing Tom Daschle with John Thune would magically confirm any judicial nominee sent up by the President, think again. Presumptive Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has already warned the President about sending the Senate radical right-wing judges. Now Thune and the rest of this Republican "can't do" Senate are busy making excuses for not being able to deliver their radical constituency's the radical judges they so desire. The really amusing part is they are now turning on themselves.

Thune said he was "troubled" by Specter's comments, and went on to say, "there will be some questions asked by those of us who are coming in as freshmen who ran our campaigns built around that very central theme that we need to have good judges on the bench." Thune made the comments in an interview on ABC's "This Week".

Well South Dakota, you wanted it and now you've got it. You have traded in the Senate Minority Leader for a freshman who has no power to get done what you sent him there to do. Do you feel better about yourselves now?

This campaign Thune said you should send him to Washington, in part because Tom Daschle wanted to keep judges from being confirmed, to let gays marry each other and because Daschle was Pro-Choice. When Thune comes home in six years with no radical justices confirmed, no constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and abortion is still illegal, will you listen to his excuses that this time Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chaffee, John McCain and Olympia Snowe kept him from delivering what he promised? It is an embarrassment that Thune, a Senator-elect for less than one week is already on national TV calling for the head of Arlen Specter and covering his own ass for a re-election that is six years away. He should be ashamed, but I'm sure he isn't.

Amen Sister!

This OP/ED piece was written by a teacher in St. Louis Park MN named Deborah Ellsworth and appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on 11/6. It pretty much says it all.

"So the old "Moral Majority" rose up again and swamped the boat this election. With war, global terrorism, unemployment, an elitist health-care system and other serious issues dominating this election, who saw this coming? Who saw this leviathan lurking beneath the surface?
The day after the election, vacuuming furiously while tears of despair ran down my face, I began thinking about the war in Iraq. Clearly this is an unjust war. But what is a just war?
Of course, World War II is always the first one mentioned. Then the next one that seems to come up is our Civil War. Surely, Abraham Lincoln had to fight the war to hold our country together. This has been ingrained in us since our elementary school days.
That's when it struck me: What if Lincoln had just let the South go? What if we now had a country on our southern border made up of the states that formed the Confederacy?
Hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't have died.
OK, the slaves wouldn't have been freed as soon. The Confederacy probably would have been the last holdout country with slaves, but at some point, it would have had to bow to world pressure and give up slavery. In the meantime, perhaps creative Abolitionists in the North would have found ways to make daring raids into the Confederacy, and the underground railroad would have still operated, and ... well, who knows what other methods for freeing the slaves might have arisen?
But think about it. If the South were its own country, then all those people who so desire it could have a Christian theocracy. They could have a country where the Bible is read in schools; where Creationism is taught in science class and evolution is not; where homosexuality would be against the law; where the Internet and Hollywood movies and rap music could be banned by law.
There would be trade relations between the Union of the United States and the Confederacy, and travel arrangements.
Also, evangelical Christians from the U. of the U.S. who desired to live in a Christian theocracy could emigrate to the Confederacy. Likewise, progressive-minded citizens from the South, as well as gays and others who would be persecuted, could immigrate here.
And then, maybe in the 2004 U. of U.S. election, these moral values would have prevailed: tolerance and respect for others; peace and justice; care for our needy citizens; scientific research to advance humankind; and care for the beautiful planet that God gave us.
Yes, I said the God word. I, too, am a Christian: a liberal, progressive Christian who believes that the moral values I just listed would be endorsed by Jesus Christ. And Buddha. And Mohammed. And of course, those dreaded secular humanists, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Yup, maybe Lincoln should have let the South go. As I understand it, many Southerners consider Yankees foreigners anyway."
Deborah Ellsworth, a teacher, lives in St. Louis Park.

Anyone else in favor of letting the South form it's own country?


Even More 2006 Senate Races

Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania. Senator Santorum has been given a "100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record," and yet "Voted NO on allowing importation of Rx drugs from Canada", "Voted YES on killing an increase in the minimum wage", "Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks", "Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards" and "Voted YES on restricting class-action lawsuits"

So I guess as long as you are a family that can afford to pay the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs while living on $5.25/hour, don't mind having your kids playing at the homes of friends who's parents may be gun owners and those guns don't have to have trigger locks and, if a big company does something stupid that injures you or yours, you have no right to sue them, then Mr. Santorum is your guy.

In an interview with the AP that appeared in
USA Today in April of 2003 Senator Santorum has clearly lost his mind,
"AP: Speaking of liberalism, there was a story in The Washington Post about six months ago, they'd pulled something off the Web, some article that you wrote blaming, according to The Washington Post, blaming in part the Catholic Church scandal on liberalism. Can you explain that?
SANTORUM: You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do. And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it.
AP: The right to privacy lifestyle?
SANTORUM: The right to privacy lifestyle.
AP: What's the alternative?
SANTORUM: In this case, what we're talking about, basically, is priests who were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 3-year-olds, or 5-year-olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the world view sense is a a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it.

Wow! I don't even know where to start on this one. The Catholic Church is too Liberal? Really? They must not have received that memo yet. He keeps talking about "consensual" while talking about these kids being molested. What in the hell is he talking about? He thinks these young boys being molested by an authority figure in their church is "a basic homosexual relationship?" I really don't even know what to say.

Later in the interview Santorum, of course compares homosexuality to beastiality, "Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality"

During debate on the Same-Sex-Marriage ban amendment Santorum told us how he was going to defend the "homeland". Was he going to hunt down terrorists? Was he going to put pressure on Iran and North Korea to stop their nuclear activity? Was he going to lobby our former allies to help us? Was he going to fund more police officers and fire fighters? Did he have a plan to secure our borders, ports and nuclear facilities? No, he was just going to stop gay people from getting married.

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

I can't understand why Santorum didn't get the Director of Homeland Security Job. It would have made that whole color-coding thing a lot more fun.

Purple - Be on the lookout for gays, they could be anywhere and they (gasp) may want to get married.

Mauve - A lot of gay-like activity detected. This usually means they are getting ready to demand equal rights just like "normal" people, so keep the kids inside.

Pink - Lock your doors and huddle in the basement. They are having a gay pride parade downtown and if the kids see it they may "chose" to be gay. It's choice you know. Everybody knows it. Don't tell me it's not a choice. Who's there? Is somebody behind me?

And The Revolution Begins

Some "real" Conservatives, lead by John McCain will now spend the next four years trying to take back their party from the radical wing. Here are our first two contestants.

Lincoln Chaffee, Senator from Rhode Island
announced before the election that he "Probably wouldn't vote for President Bush." Senator Chaffee said he had problems with Bush's stances on, "the environment, Iraq, and women's reproductive freedoms."

Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania. Specter is also the likely chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, key in any Supreme Court nomination had
this to say to the President earlier this week, "The president is well aware of what happened when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster. And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning."

This driving the
"moral right" crazy and they are already starting a campaign to keep Specter from chairing that committee. "It is unacceptable for one liberal Republican from Pennsylvania to thwart the desires of the president of the United States to make our federal courts more conservative and more in tune with the values of the American people," said Gary Bauer, President of American Values.

Take minute to drop Senator Specter a note and tell him to keep up the good fight.

There will be more, just watch them stand up and fight for control of their party

More 2006 Senate Races

Trent Lott in Mississippi. Everybody knows Trent Lott is a racist/segregationist who fought to keep African-Americans out of his college fraternity and still seems to support Strom Thurmonds racist run for President, but there is so much more to the man.

Of course like any good Republican he
hates everyone who isn't exactly like he is. Some highlights include voting to refuse to add sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes. Voting to ban same-sex-marriage and getting a whopping 20% rating by the ACLU "indicating an anti-civil rights voting record."

Here's logic only a Republican could follow. Voted "NO" on requiring background checks at gunshows, but then voted "YES" on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms.
Guns Good...Guns Bad.

I could run down the whole list of his
environmental voting record, but this faster. "Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes". Indicating?

Lott has a very nuanced view of military strategy in Iraq. Here is his
advice to our commanders, "If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens." Wow! It seems so simple when you say it that way.

Lott is also a real humanitarian when it comes to the
treatment of POW's. "Lott was reminded that at least one prisoner had died at the hands of his captors after a beating. 'This is not Sunday school,' he said. 'This is interrogation. This is rough stuff.'"

Lott is also a
psychologist who just wants to "help" gay people. "It is [a sin]....You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol...or sex addiction...or kleptomaniacs." Oh...I see. Just see a shrink once a week for a year and you won't be gay anymore. Maybe the Medicare prescription card could pick up some of the cost on that. I would like to ask Lott and you other "moral" right wingers a question. If being gay is a choice, then being straight must also be a choice, so could you please tell me the exact moment you CHOSE to be straight? Simple question. Just a simple answer please.


2006 Senate Races

Why not start looking ahead? It's only two years until the next election. There will be 33 Senate seats up for grabs in 2006. Here are the Republican who we need to unseat starting right now:

Richard Lugar in Indiana. Of course Lugar has towed the
party line on discriminating against gays, women and minorities voting among other things to allow job discrimination based on sexual orientation and to stop special funding for women and minority owned businesses. In the GOP continuing effort to make us safer at home, Lugar voted to end the COPS program which provided $1.15 billion for hiring and training police officers. Unless he retires it doesn't appear he will lose, but you never know.

Orrin Hatch in Utah.
Hatch, like Lugar and most other Republicans, feels they have to protect the flag from being burned (when was the last time anyone burned a flag in America anyway), but that people who aren't like him can just fend for themselves. He voted "no" on including sexual orientation in hate crimes legislation, wants to ban same-sex-marriage and wants to ban affirmative action in Federal hiring. He does however feel we "owe it to veterans" to amend the Constitution and outlaw flag burning. Presumably gay burning would still be ok.

See if you can follow the logic in this
Hatchism, "Capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life."

I especially like this little
story, "Senator Orrin Hatch said that he favored the development of technology that would automatically destroy the computers of people who violate copyright restrictions. It was then discovered that Hatch's own website makes use of pirated software."

Stay tuned for more.


Who Needs More Republican Values?

Meet Sam Brownback - just re-elected to the Senate from Liberal hotbed...Kansas.

Brownback wrote this entire really great article about how the world will end if we allow same-sex-marriage. Here is a sample:

"Social science on this matter is conclusive: Children need both a mom and a dad. Study after study has shown that children do best in a home with a married, biological mother and father. And the government has a special responsibility to safeguard the needs of children; the social costs of not doing so are tremendous"

"Social science tells us that child poverty, child abuse, and child developmental problems increase with the decline of marriage. It also tells us that the children of intact, traditional marriages are much healthier in body, spirit, and mind, more successful in school and life, and much less likely to use illegal drugs, abuse alcohol, or engage in crime than are children from homes without a mother and a father. This is not to say that good children cannot be raised in other family settings"

OK, I'm convinced! In fact, why stop at banning same-sex-marriage? Lets outlaw divorce too. And, how about this? If one of the parents dies lets remove the kids from the surviving parent and place them in a home with BOTH a mother and father lest they fall into poverty and illegal drug use.

The main thing we need to keep in mind is that it needs to be as easy as possible to for people to get guns.

Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted YES on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)

Well, I mean all those "traditional" families need be able to protect themselves don't they? And the best way to do that is obviously to allow...anyone...even the criminals who would do them harm...to buy guns at gun shows...without a background check? Yeah, that makes sense.

And finally, as any good Conservative will tell you, we should always consult God before we do anything. Brownback was a co-sponsor of
"Senate bill 2082, designed to allow federal, state, and local government officials to overrule all other laws by appealing to the "higher source" of all law ("God") and to forbid the Supreme Court from doing anything about it.

Unbelievable? Here's S. 2082's proposed addition to Sec. 1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."
In case you can't make sense of that, let Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party break it down for you,
"This means, that the federal judiciary would be prohibited from interfering with any expression of religious faith by any elected local, state, or federal official. In other words, federal judges could not prevent the Ten Commandments from being displayed in public buildings or Nativity Scenes from appearing on court house lawns or 'under God' from being recited in the Pledge of Allegiance or prayers being spoken in public schools, etc. This bill would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts in these matters."
Wonder how Sam would feel the first time a teacher started having 2nd graders face mecca every morning instead of reciting the Lords Prayer? I'm sure not all religions are created equal, but it doesn't seem to say anything about that in the legislation.

More Of Those Republicans Morals

Richard Shelby - Re-elected Senator from Alabama

At least the Republicans are going to keep us safe from terrorist...right? Remember this gem from Shelby?

"Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to sources familiar with the probe."

Senator Shelby doesn't so much care about people as say...oh I don't know...the flag.

"Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation. Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52"

"Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman"

"Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1 "

"Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.Shelby sponsored a Constitutional Amendment: Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States"

I think we all understand it's way more important to protect the symbol of the flag than actual people. Gee, I sure do feel good about all these "moral" Republicans we elected.

You Just Can't Be Too Conservative Part III

We have been hearing for months how John Kerry and John Edwards where "too liberal", to lead the nation. Why is it that one can be too liberal by apparently there is no way to be too conservative?

Barbara Cubin - Newly re-elected Representative from Wyoming

"Cubin, who supports the bill, was complaining about a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people undergoing drug treatment. 'So does that mean that if you go into a black community, you can't sell any guns to any black person?' she asked."

She went on to explain,
"If I had been able to finish my sentence and my thought, it would have stated that I don't believe in stereotyping anyone, anytime, ever, for anything," Cubin said. "That's what I believe and I believe that from the bottom of my heart."
Oh really?

How is this for a flip flop?

"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg should recuse herself from any Supreme
Court rulings on abortion, Rep.
Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., said, alleging a conflict of interest. On March 17, Cubin and 12 other House members sent a letter to Ginsberg asking her to recuse herself from any cases involving the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund. The partial birth abortion law is expected to end up in front of the Supreme Court. Ginsberg was a member of the board of the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund for a brief time in the 1970s and the organization has an annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture Series on Women and the Law. Ginsberg gave the opening remarks at this year's lecture series and is prominently featured on the organization's Web site: (http://www.nowldef.org/)."

Any yet...

"On another Supreme Court case, Cubin said, Justice Antonin Scalia should proceed with his involvement in a Sierra Club lawsuit against his hunting companion Vice President Dick Cheney. The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit to require Cheney to reveal who he met with while crafting a national energy plan. The case is before the Supreme Court. In early January, Scalia and Cheney were part of a group that went duck hunting in Louisiana. Scalia flew down on Cheney's vice presidential jet. Scalia has rejected the call by newspaper editorial pagesthroughout the country to recuse himself from the Sierra Club case. 'The bottom line is that Justice Ginsberg is helping a pro-abortion group,' Cubin said. 'The worst thing that Scalia is accused of is being Vice President Cheney's friend and hitching a ride on the vice president's plane.' Cubin is confident thatCheney and Scalia did not discuss the Sierra Club case."

Right...because Cheney would never do anything...illegal...would he?

So let me get this straight. If a Supreme Court Justice once worked for group that is Pro-Choice you must sit out every case dealing with abortion, but if you are close personal hunting buddies with the VP you should stay in there and fight when he comes before the court? Interesting.

Here is something sort of scary. Tom Coburn, Dick Cheney, Barbara Cubin and me are all from the same city...Casper, Wyoming. One of these things is not like the others...one of these thing just doesn't belong.

Stay tuned for more completely sane Conservatives.

You Just Can't Be Too Conservative Part II

We have been hearing for months how John Kerry and John Edwards where "too liberal", to lead the nation. Why is it that one can be too liberal by apparently there is no way to be too conservative?

Jim Demint - Senator Elect from South Carolina
"Let's stop whining about job losses."

Sure, you have a job.

“folks teaching in school need to represent our values" if teachers are "openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”

"In a debate Sunday with Democrat Inez Tenenbaum DeMint said openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in the state's public schools. DeMint defended that remark during an interview Tuesday with the Aiken Standard and said he would feel the same way about single, pregnant women who live with a boyfriend teaching if they were teaching a third grade child."

At least he's an equal opportunity hater.

"With the zeal of a true believer, the House member from Greenville has declared that America's future depends on privatizing Social Security and abolishing the federal minimum wage."

"...his unlikely notion of 'tax reform' -- scrapping the income tax and substituting a 23 percent national sales tax"

"South Carolina court records obtained by Salon show that from 1987 until as recently as 2001, DeMint has repeatedly failed to pay his taxes on time, forcing the Internal Revenue Service and the South Carolina Tax Commission to file liens against him and his company, DeMint Marketing Management. In some cases, despite numerous warnings, DeMint has delayed payment for years. If he harbors a special hostility toward the IRS, that might reflect the $1,050 lien in 1987 for overdue taxes against him and his company -- which he neglected to pay for more than three years."

This guy is now in the United States Senate and Tom Daschle is not.

You Just Can't Be Too Conservative Part I

We have been hearing for months how John Kerry and John Edwards where "too liberal", to lead the nation. Why is it that one can be too liberal by apparently there is no way to be too conservative?

Tom Coburn - Senator Elect in Oklahoma
"I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life."

"... The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power. ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."

The most significant controversy is the allegation that Coburn sterilized a woman without her consent in 1990. Coburn contents that he had her oral consent, but he did not get the legally required written consent. Coburn admitted that he performed the same procedure on 'lots' of women.

This guy is now in the United States Senate and Tom Daschle is not.


The only conclusion that one can come to after last night is that the people of America are more afraid of same-sex-marriage and abortion than they are of Osama Bin Laden, Iran, North Korea, losing jobs, running up a record deficit, alienating the rest of the world, losing social security and medicare or any other issue on the table.

All the exit polling data from yesterday shows that people named "morals" as their number one priority in the election, ahead of everything else. These people, of course, think Bush and the Republicans or morally superior to everyone else on the planet and so voted for them at an 80% clip.

Anecdotally, I spent yesterday knocking on doors for Tom Daschle, speaking with people who had already told us they would be voting for Tom, and several of these people brought up Daschle's views on abortion. They said they where voting for Tom, but where concerned about his stance on abortion. Several others said that their kids in high school or college where for Thune because of the abortion issue. I have an eleven-year-old niece who told my father that if she could vote she would vote for Bush because Kerry is a "baby-killer". In today's Argus Leader we have "Governor" Bishop Carlson saying abortion is a greater "evil" than slavery was in America. Not only did we lose older voters on this single issue, but it seems we also lost young voters that agree with us on every other issue but still voted Republican.

The question then becomes are we willing to give up our Pro-Choice anti-marriage-amendment stances to appeal to these voters? I personally hope not. We do, however, need to do a much better job of articulating our views on abortion. Everytime a Republican says we are "Pro-Abortion" we need to shout back that we are not Pro-Abortion, we are Pro-Choice and that is a big difference. Do we believe that adoption should offered as an alternative? Of course. Do we believe that the parents should included in the decision of a teenaged girl? Of course. Do we believe young, un-married people should not have sex? Of course. Do we want to have fewer abortions? Of course. Are we so naive as to think that if we simply make abortion illegal that it will magically stop? Of course NOT! The solution is not to simply make it illegal, but to make resources available to women to help them make the best choice for their situation.

Clearly we have to do a better job of appealing to rural America and fundamentalist Christians or we will never win again.


Bravo CNN

CNN has refused to cave to Fox News and has declared Ohio (too close to call) considering Bush's lead is down to about 100,000 and there are still about 250,000 provisional ballots that have not been counted yet.

Fox Still Clueless

CNN reported an hour ago that Iowa has stopped counting votes because several counting machines have broken and the staff are too tired to continue. Just moments ago the geniuses on Fox stated that we should have a final count in Iowa sometime soon. I guess if you think tomorrow is sometime soon. And this is the station "America turns to"

Kerry/Edwards Not Throwing in the Towel

John Edwards just told supporters in Boston that they "We will fight for every vote", they are not giving up, we shouldn't either.

I Agree

From Daily Kos:
"The more I think about it, the more pissed off I am that the networks are
calling Ohio when the state is still clearly undecided. The odds may be
slight, but this is Democracy. Let the fucking votes be counted. And if the
votes say Bush won, then great. Call it then. But there is no reason to do
so when the outcome is still so clearly in doubt."

Fox News Does It Again

In 2000 Fox declared Bush had won Florida before he had and all the other networks fell over themselves making it unanimous. Now, even with 16% of the vote yet to be counted in Ohio and Bush's lead shrinking before our eyes, Fox has declared Ohio for Bush 30 minutes before anyone else. Now MSNBC has played follow the leader as well. Bush's lead in Ohio continues to dwindle (right now about 117,000) and there are about 1 million absentee ballots yet to be counted. Rather than letting fact get in the way, Fox has insured that most people will go to bed tonight thinking Bush has won. Unbelievable! Maybe Bush will Ohio and if he does then fine, but Fox imposing themselves on the process in such a transparent way is unacceptable.


Electoral College Looking Good

According to Daily Caucus , Slate has the Electoral College Vote as follows:
John Kerry 299 Electoral Votes
149 solid, 75 likely, 75 iffy
George Bush 239 Electoral Votes
168 solid, 59 likely, 12 iffy

Electoral-Vote.com tells a similar tale:
John Kerry 298 Electoral Votes
91 solid, 139 likely, 68 iffy
George Bush 231 Electoral Votes
172 solid, 33 likely, 26 iffy
they show 9 are exact ties in New Mexico and New Hampshire

Fox News In Full Panic Mode

If you haven't turned Fox News on today, do it. It is really pretty funny stuff. You can tell they are in full panic mode. Their own latest poll shows Kerry ahead and gaining even among "likely voters" (I personally think that registered voters ARE likely voters in this election) 48%-46%. More people have a positive opinion of Kerry (50%) than of Bush (49%) and fewer people (44%) have an unfavorable opinion of Kerry than of Bush (46%). Keep in mind this Fox's own poll and it is driving them crazy. The "impartial" hosts are piling on their Democrat guests with such zeal, that most of the time the Republican guest can't even get a word in over the host. It is really fun to watch. I can't wait to see what happens when they have to call Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and New Mexico all for Kerry tomorrow. They may just not show up for work on Wednesday...we can always hope.