The Seeping Anti-Gay Hate Boils Over

Since the California Supreme Court ruled AGAINST an amendment based on hate and exclusion in determining that the state cannot limit marriage to a male and a female, the hate loonies have been on overdrive. Some want to make this about Democrats vs. Republicans: that Democrats would force gay marriage down our throats vs Republicans who will make the Constitution a strait jacket and a vehicle for any hatred they wish to inflict. This letter in The News Times (Danbury, CT) and the comments that follow is a good example.

But this issue isn’t blue vs. red. It’s about what America truly stands for vs. those who want to use the constitution for its own hateful purposes.

DNC: Will Democratic Race End Soon?

Well, this is the weekend the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention meets to hammer out what’s happening with delegates and super delegates, Florida and Michigan primary votes and what to do with them, et al.

Both DNC chair Howard Dean and many other ranking Dems have said they expect the race to be over soon after June 3rd, the date of the last scheduled donkey primary; that a commitment from superDs on who they’ll cast ballots for is wanted soon thereafter.

Yet others are beginning to suggest this is a race that may continue all summer through to the Dem National Convention in Colorado, the first time the convention’s been a real political potboiler since at least 1972. And I’m not sure Dems would be hurt badly by a later decision either: as long as the DNC continues its smart ads that target John McCain rather than a Hillary Clinton or a Barack Obama, I doubt there’s a danger. We’ve seen an exodus AWAY from the Republican and even the uncommitted voters coming into this presidential election cycle; I strongly resist the notion that something will magically drive these candidates back to Mad Dog McCain. You?

The War That Opposes Al Jazeera More Than Osama Bin Laden

I don’t know whether you caught it here or elsewhere last week, but we’ve lowered the jackpot someone gets who snitches and leads to the death (wanna bet?) or capture (right, uh huh) of Osama bin Laden. But here in so called “liberal loony” Vermont, we’re fighting a single opposing voice: whether to permit the broadcast of al Jazeera on a cable network here (and al Jazeera does NOT always take the side of Islam, if you have any regular reading experience there) like it’s more heinous than September 11th and what we did to Iraq rolled together.

Now, the Burlington area is considered to be the most liberal part of the state; it’s got a tiny Seattle kind of feel to it, and that it’s a multiple college town doesn’t necessarily make it more conservative.

Really? We can’t listen to the other side occasionally? Sometimes, only by looking at both sides of the supposed truth can you discern the spin, the message, the actual agendae at work.

Your Take On HBO’s “Recount”?

Though I was nursing a miserable stomach flu that had me using my DVR to catch spots I missed in rushing to worship the porcelain goddess, I saw rapt through HBO’s “Recount”.

As honest as it was (and I thought it avoided some of the most fiery yet since proven true material), I realized there was probably no production that could completely tap my sick outrage at what happened in the Gore/Bush 2000 election.

Ironically, I was very ill on Election Day 2000 but I’d dragged myself out of bed, completely dazed, because I never felt like my vote was more important. And yet, at the same time, it never, ever permeated my consciousness that Bush could be named president. My partner voted Nader – and I let him have it for his decision – at least in part for how nasty the so-called left got toward Ralph for running, but though I never thought Bush could steal it, I felt the election was just too important to “waste” a vote.

Late in the day, I was very surprised at how well I heard Bush was doing. But it still did not dawn on me that what was about to happen ever could (and yet his stolen re-election in 2004 also surprised me because I could not fathom that we’d let him get away with it twice). After that, we made a concerted decision to turn off the media until 10 or 11 PM ET when at least some real count was in.

It was around 2 AM when Florida was turned from a Gore win, to a too-close-to-call one, and then around to a Bush victory. We were already hearing some stories about the Palm Beach and poorer Floridians having big problems either with nonsense design or broken voting equipment or being challenged as being on a felon list (and some 500-1,000 or more people were kept from voting for every “felon’s name” listed on the stuff that came from ChoicePoint, who has since been awarded much of the control for our terrorist watch lists, etc).

This is how feverish sick I was, both physically and from the news: around 2:30 am, I started telling God that he’d be welcome to “take me” if only he wouldn’t let Bush win (and I’ve been a little pissed at Him/Her ever since).

As outrageous as that night was, what followed was worse. The media kept telling us we were all tired of the fight to get the recount (I only recall the Bushies being tired) because we were eager to focus on the holidays (sheesh!). But the people I spoke with, while they wanted it over, certainly didn’t feel Gore or anyone else should just capitulate to suit the MSM. And some of these folks were Bush voters. Thus, long before 9/11, we’ve been letting the media, probably at the direction of the politicos it supports, tell us what should happen because of what appears to be an INACCURATE read of where the American public is.

So “Recount” could not quite recapture the terrible dawning horror of that first Tuesday in November of 2000. But could anything, especially knowing the great ruination of our country ever since?

And what was your reaction to “Recount”?

The Puerto Rico Primary – Fair? Or Not?

I know the issue of Puerto Rico’s status – whether its “just” a possession or whether it should ever be granted statehood like Hawaii was after enjoying a similar status – is always a thorny one, but with the news of how the Democratic candidates are putting the pedal to the metal in preparation for PR’s Dem primary, I just have to shake my head.

You see, Puerto Ricans can vote in a primary ahead of a general election, but they have no right to vote in the election itself. Does this strike anyone else as… well… convoluted?

I can understand the argument of not letting them vote at all (not one I necessarily like but the issue does have some weight as does the opposing side), or giving them full state status and letting them have the same voting rights as anyone else (just like DC should have).

I find myself wondering if there’s an agenda being served by allowing the first part but not the second. An agenda serving perhaps the opposing party that doesn’t like any Hispanic vote outside of the GOP’s declining Cuban-American support (has dropped very sharply in recent years).

Catch HBO’s “Recount” Sunday Night

Just in time to make us (appropriately) very worried about November’s presidential vote comes the star-studded HBO docu-comedy-drama “Recount” about the Bush v. Gore 2000 Florida contest. HBO airs it tomorrow (Sunday) at 9 PM EDT.

Just the Laura Dern-as-Katherine-Harris bit looks deliciously worth the watch, IMHO. Might bring a few laughs along with a reminder of the great injustice and tragedy done when Bush was allowed to steal the White House.

“No Child Left Behind” Alive or Free in Iraq?

And this figure does not include the juveniles, some as young as 11 or 12, sent to Guantanamo Bay on specious, oft-never-filed charges:

The U.S. military is holding about 500 juveniles suspected of being “unlawful enemy combatants” in detention centers in Iraq and has about 10 detained in Afghanistan, the United States has told the United Nations.

A total of 2,500 youths under the age of 18 have been detained, almost all in Iraq, for periods up to a year or more in President Bush’s anti-terrorism campaign since 2002, the United States reported last week to the U.N.’s Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Vermont Wrestles With Popular Vote Vs. Electoral College Prez Selection

God forbid the American people, rather than politically connected special people, decided an election. And before Dems started hating the concept of superdelegates, we hated the Electoral College more. That Douglas is a Bushie (yes, Vermont has (too) many rightwingers) makes his bid all the more transparent since Boy King George never won the popular vote in America, despite his two terms.

Gov. James Douglas is “not enthusiastic” about a proposal to have Vermont join a coalition of states calling for the election of the president by popular vote as opposed to the electoral college system now in place, his spokesperson said Monday.

A bill that would have Vermont join Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois in a compact to use the “one person, one vote” system instead of electoral votes to elect a person to the country’s highest political office has passed both the Vermont House and Senate.

The bill is expected to land on Douglas’ desk soon, but his spokesperson Jason Gibbs said the governor has serious philosophical and practical concerns over that proposal, opening up the possibility that he could veto the legislation.

“The governor is very concerned that this bill would put small states like Vermont at a disadvantage and decrease our influence in the election process,” Gibbs said Monday afternoon. “Fundamental changes such as altering the way we elect the process ought to be accomplished by amending the Constitution.”

The Torture Revelations: Why We MUST Act NOW

That representatives of us, the citizens of the United States of America were DIRECTED by senior members of the Bush Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. and with Bush’s full blessing) in secret meetings we now KNOW were held and chaired by former NSA director, Condoleeza Rice (now flunking her way through YET another job as Secretary of State) to perform waterboarding on multiple detainees/arrestees is against our Constitution, against what we claim to hold sacred, and AGAINST U.S. law.

For Republicans who LOVE to present themselves as the moral authority (with their 2, 3, 4 ex-wives, multiple mistresses and other extracurricular sex partners – or whatever the hell Larry Craig was up to in airport bathrooms) yet who can’t think about upholding this nation’s laws and Constitution et al, this is about the most atrocious “sin” I can imagine.

But for Americans as a whole, and certainly for anyone who has read and embraced our Constitution, have a CIVIL, ETHICAL, and MORAL obligation not simply to impeach the Bush Administration as a whole, but to arrest them immediately on charges of war crimes – and I would suggest they more than meet the criteria for charges of treason as well – and try them fairly in a court of law.

To do anything less is immoral and yes, unAmerican. If not, we need to perhaps charge ourselves with a complete patriotic failure.

The Next Bush Rape of Privacy? Overhead Sensors To Monitor Us

People who can’t catch a rather distinctive man of 6’4 and extraordinary means named Osama bin Laden KEEP ACTING like it’s Mom and Pop America that needs to be locked up. Ay carumba! Reported at Common Dreams and filed under the Rape and Plunder of Civil Liberties:

The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation€™s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea€™s legal authority.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department€™s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities €” such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

Obama: End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy With Gays In Military


Someone with a brain FINALLY has endorsed the end of a policy that, to this day, sickens me to my core: the ridiculous rule enacted as one of the first actions of the Clinton White House (and I’m sure it was, as enacted, NOT their idea because I can fault the Clintons for many things, but homophobia never seemed like one of them) to force homosexuals in the military deeper into the closet.

Barack Obama has now come out against it. Exactly how the problem – one that has seriously hurt troop as well as intelligence/translator levels since Bush began his war of wars – would get fixed to give gays equity is yet to be seen. But damn, it’s time to end this sucker.

No Holes Barred, Bob?

Former Republican Georgia congressman – and a man who seems like he might enjoy being president of the NRA’s G. Gordon Liddy Hero Program For Macho Males – Bob Barr has announced plans to run for the 2008 presidential opening on the Libertarian ticket (somebody has to replace Lyndon LaRouche… I suppose).

Now, let’s also give the devil his due. I may not agree with Macho Righty Bantam Rooster Bob, but he has been, on the right, just about as passionately opposed to all the blacktopping over civil liberties that has become all the rage in the Bush years.

However, I think Bob’s chances are about like Mike Gravel’s.

(And where did Mr. Gravel go?)

State Department: Obama Confidential File Access “Not So Bad” Because Other Candidates Were Breached, Too!

The more last night’s breaking news of a minimum of three different condi3.jpgtimes there were unauthorized accesses made to Democratic 2008 presidential hopeful Barack Obama federal-on-file passport records, the more the Republicans in charge of such agencies came out BRAGGING that it wasn’t just Obama that was violated but that of ALL the candidates on file with the State Department/Passport Service, ever-more-to-the-ridiculous right John McCain included.

Say what? This is supposed to make us feel better?

Seriously, “Catch 22” needs to be rewritten to update it based on the last eight years of the most egregious actions and doublespeak of all time, where torture is patriotic and paying a prostitute is a far worse crime than lying the world into a war on Iraq.

And I won’t even discuss how State Dept Secretary Condi Rice – for whom a beginner file clerk has more experience for the job than Condi – argued once more that she couldn’t do her job because it’s so tough and she cannot be held accountable, just as she’s not been held responsible for anything else she’s ever done TO this country under her multiple Bush tenures. And all she does is get promoted, praised, and oil tankers named for her (for her GREAT service to American-based energy companies during the Reagan and Bush I administrations, don’t-cha-know?).

Show Dem Party By Voting McCain In Michigan?

When this poster offered a comment on my piece from yesterday about a decision made not to have a “do over” in either Michigan or Florida after both states insisted on running primaries ahead of “legally deadline”, his suggestion – one I’ve heard more and more lately – is for “Democrats to show Democrats they’re wrong by voting for McCain in November.”

Uh, what kind of sick puppy must you be to decide that the way to deal with a personal disappointment is to force 4-8 more years of self-righteous (while absent any kind of social consciousness) Christian crusades and empire building on not just the rest of the U.S. but on the entire world?

At best, this sounds like an extremely poorly conceived – and done by people who have even LESS respect for the people of Michigan than people outside the state – idea put forth by the closest thing Michigan has to Karl Rove.

Some body please explain what I’m not seeing. How in hell would voting for a dangerous two-faced political felon like McCain who would do even worse things to this nation and to the world will do anything but further EVERYONE’S suffering?

Bush & Cheney Indicted

Well… indicted by some Vermont communities, anyway! It’s a start!

Voters in two southern Vermont towns passed articles Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney for violating the Constitution.

More symbolic than substantive, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere _ if they’re not impeached first.

Pelosi: Let Grand Jury Investigate Bushies For Contempt of Congress

Man, did House Speaker Nancy “Impeachment is not and never will be on the table” Pelosi grow at least a small set of cojones in saying she wants a grand jury to investigate former Bushies Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten for contempt of Congress for deliberately ignoring demands to testify on Capitol Hill?

It’s sure making the White House scream. Good.

McCain Double Talks Torture

John McCain is urging the President to veto a bill which would outlaw the practice of waterboarding by the CIA.  McCain protests that he is being entirely consistent with his past opposition to waterboarding because he has always thought that the CIA ought to be allowed to torture people.  I think it’s patently ridiculous that the Congress would pass a law outlawing torture, when it is clearly illegal anyway… but I digress.

Frankly, McCain’s straight talk on this issue has veered sharply to the right.  Let us look at some past statements from McCain which seem to diverge from his most recent position: 

When I was in Vietnam, one of the things that sustained us, as we went — underwent torture ourselves, is the knowledge that if we had our positions reversed and we were the captors, we would not impose that kind of treatment on them.

Presuming of course that the “them” he talks about were not being held by the CIA…  I wonder if McCain really would have considered the circumstances of his torture in a more understanding way if he had just been led to believe that the people torturing him were from N. Vietnam’s intelligence service, not the N.V. Army.  Of course not!  McCain just knew that he was being tortured by the enemy, and now it appears to be just fine for us to act in kind, as long as it’s the CIA doing the torturing.  Continue reading

Reyes Writes The Pres.

Congresscritter Sylvester Reyes sent President Bush a letter which is simply a thing of beauty.  Reyes presents cogent rebuttals to the various canards floated by the President and his toadies regarding the imminent threat to America if the Congress does not provide everything the President demands. 

I find the closing passages of the letter to be inspirational: 

I, for one, do not intend to back down €“ not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.

Amen… Preach it brother Reyes!  I can only imagine the clenched jaw, swollen vein in the forehead, bad attitude which would beset Bush should this letter ever burst his bubble.   After a year and a half of knuckling under to an intensely disliked President, and watching their approval rating fall through out that entire time, can we actually hope that this is a signal that the Democratic Congress is growing a spine?  Continue reading

Speaking Of Torture, We Can “Do” It, But We Cannot Watch a Film Depicting It

As a sad and sick followup to my previous post re: torture, the Discovery Channel, which previously purchased the rights to broadcast an independent documentary – “Taxi to the Dark Side” that details the torture and death by American troops of an innocent young Muslim cabdriver, has dropped the broadcast, claiming the subject is too controversial.

Now, if you know anything about TV and ratings, controversy is a good thing. So one must wonder WHY they did it, and hope to hell SOME network can obtain the rights from Discovery and its corporate whores to show this film.

If is not just our “right” but our OBLIGATION to understand what is being done, like torture, in our names, by our government, funded by our tax dollars. We may hate to hell what we see and it may make us sick, but we HAVE to know.