Saturday, September 1, 2007

Craig Resigns

Senator Larry Craig's (R-ID) last day will be September 30th. Claiming that the constituants of Idaho deserve a Senator who can concentrate on his job 100% of the time, Craig said that his upcoming legal battle will prevent him from doing so and therefore be unfair to Idahoans.

And to top it off,
Craig hired Billy Martin as his attorney. Who is Billy Martin you might ask? He's the 21st century Johnnie Cochran. Martin's latest defense case involved a certain football player named MICHAEL VICK!!!

Senator Craig had better hope that martin will do a better job on his case than he did on Vick's.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Tony Snowjob Resigns

The latest rat to desert a sinking lame duck ship,Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary will resign as of September 14th. Snow has been looking more and more feeble in his ongoing battle with cancer.

He will be replaced by "Legally Bland", Dana "Too Much Cappuccino" Perino. If you don't understand the cappuccino moniker, you will as soon as you hear her speak.

She's a hottie - unfortunately she becomes less and less attractive with each Republican talking point uttered from her mouth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Hillary Hate Factor

For quite a while now, I've been thinking about the Democrats running in the Presidential primary looking to get the votes needed to be the next nominee for President of the United States. As we all know, it's been Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who have been leading the pack in the polls, campaign contributions and in media exposure.

Both are worthy candidates, in my opinion, but there are always a couple of questions that come across my mind as I imagine either one as the Democratic nominee. Could one of these two actually win? It would be devastating for this country to elect another Republican. I don't say this because I'm a Democrat or a liberal or progressive or whatever label you want to put on it. I seriously believe that if we, as a nation, elect another Republican to the highest office in the land, we'll continue down this horrible road we've been traveling with Bush and his band, and the rest of the world will conclude that this is where we all want to be. Not just the people that vote Republican, but all of us, and needless to say, we're not anyone's favorites right now.

There may be an exception or two. I've been listening to Mike Huckabee on different talk shows and debates and he seems to have his head on straight on certain issues. But he's not a front runner. The
leaders in polls on the Republican side show Rudy Giuliani holding a double digit lead over Fred Thompson, who hasn't even announced yet! And believe me as a New Yorker, living in a Giuliani world is not all its cracked up to be. Mike Huckabee has been holding steady at 3% for the last three months.

Anyway, back to my point. The Republican Party is on the ropes. Their base has had their head smashed in with scandal after scandal, the Iraq War is a mess, resignations are crippling White House computer printers and Congressional subpoenas are flying out of the Capitol Building fast than you can say "Alberto Gonzales". At this point, the Republican base will stay at home on Election Day. But the one thing they will rally around is who their political opponent will be .

Hillary Clinton has this hate factor that has manifested itself into an 800 lb. gorilla. And hell, where did it come from? What did Hillary do to make her so vilified, not only among Republicans, but some Democrats as well?

I had a conversation with a colleague at work who said she would vote for John McCain before Hillary. JOHN McCAIN!!! Mr. Baghdad Is Doing Great, Surge Is Working While Helicopters Protect Me From Overhead McCain. When I mentioned to her that there was probably no way McCain would get the nomination and asked her who she would vote for if it were Hillary or Giuliani, she begrudgingly said Hillary. "But I don't trust her as far as I could throw her" was her caveat. Why did this African-American woman not trust Hillary?

Is the distrust a culmination of Hillary's ambition to high office, so much so that she stood by her husband after it was revealed that he had an affair? Did my friend feel betrayed as a woman, perhaps thinking that Hillary lost some dignity in staying with Bill? We all assume the Clintons moved to New York so Hillary could run for office, but everyone does it, and I have to say that she's done a pretty good job as a New York Senator (despite voting for the war), so why is this so different? What is it about Hillary Clinton that pisses people off?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a strong Hillary supporter. I don't approve of what she says regarding her foreign policy. I do belive she's trapped herself in a corner and is now beholden to lobbyists and corporate interests. This is especially upsetting to me, because she's gone from being the most outspoken person on a national health care system as First Lady, to accepting campaign contributions from insurance and phamaceutical companies (that's for another post). But I'd still take her over ANYONE on the Republican ticket.

Barack Obama first got my attention at the 2004 Democratic National Convention with his Keynote Address. That great speech that literally took my breath away and got me excited about politics for the first time in a very long time:

"...there's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

That galvanized me, and I hope most of the Democratic party, into thinking of what could be possible. It fell on deaf ears, however, to the other side. Before long, they were trying to make Obama the latest demon, calling him Barack Hussein Obama (his real middle name) in an attempt to associate him with Saddam, and saying he went to a madrassa when he was a boy. Now they claim his downfall is his inexperience, to which he replies, "Nobody had a longer resume than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and that hasn't worked out so well." I sensed the attacks coming, but what are you going to do?

My one hesitation about Barack: he's black. I have absolutely no problem with Obama's African-American heritage. However, I think too many other people in this country still do, including many in the Republican party. So the question there is: Is America ready to vote for an African-American to be President?

Which comes to my final point. This week's Time Magazine has a John Edwards article worth reading. I've always liked Edwards. He comes across as genuine to me. Not looking for the patented, rehearsed answer, or not saying what any particular audience wants to hear. But I believe he deeply cares about people and trying to make it better for everyone. He's big on health care and hasn't taken any money from lobbyists, corporations or political action committees.

His wife Elizabeth is quoted in the article regarding what I call the Hillary Hate Factor:

TIME MAGAZINE, Elizabeth Edwards: "The media goes to this very engaging story about a legitimate woman candidate and a legitimate candidate with an African-American heritage, and that drives up their fund-raising numbers," says Elizabeth, the unfiltered voice of the campaign, during an interview on the bus a week before that speech. "Then the media folks say, 'See, that proves we were right to focus on these two candidates' ... It's enough to make you tear your hair out." Soon she's pressing the argument that her husband is the most electable candidate, the one who will help other Democrats win in the South and West--and she's managing to attack Clinton while defending her. "I want to be perfectly clear: I do not think the hatred against Hillary Clinton is justified. I don't know where it comes from. I don't begin to understand it. But you can't pretend it doesn't exist, and it will energize the Republican base. Their nominee won't energize them, Bush won't, but Hillary as the nominee will. It's hard for John to talk about, but it's the reality."

My only reaction? She's right. But where do we go from here? Is middle America ready to vote for a woman? Or a black man? Can people who say they support either candidate be completely honest with themselves when they are all alone in the voting booth with no one looking over their shoulder?

Do yourself a favor and read the entire Edwards article in TIME (linked above).

(In the interests of total disclosure, I have donated to the Edwards and Kucinich campaigns.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2nd Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Can you believe it has been two years already? I wonder how many Bush photo ops we'll see of Chimpy and his wife, Bubbles, in New Orleans today? Perhaps sitting in Jackson Square having a bignette at Cafe DuMonde or maybe they'll go visit a school! You know, it's all about the children, isn't it?

He can sit there and tell them how he's fucked up so badly, that the students and their own children someday will still be footing the bill for the War in Iraq. But don't worry, I'm sure the Bushies will pray for them.

Guardian Unlimited:

There are residents who want the city rebuilt as it was, but there are many others - city officials, engineers and environmentalists - who argue that there needs to be a more compact city, built on higher ground, more easily protected. Many of the areas to be abandoned would be the poor, black ones.

The Army Corps of Engineers, a mainly civilian organisation, has rebuilt the levees, pumps and locks over the last two years but admits that is not enough. There was nervousness in the city last week as the residents watched Hurricane Dean cross the Caribbean, and the hurricane season is not over yet.

Jeffrey Buchanan, Huffington Post:

When confronted with the failing Katrina recovery, President Bush and his various spokespeople continue to insist the federal government has done its job. The proof, they say, is "the big check" Washington has allegedly signed for the Gulf Coast, allegedly more than $114 billion.

Chris Kromm, executive director of the
Institute for Southern Studies and I just issued a report to get to the truth and weed our way through the White House talking point on Gulf Coast rebuilding and why alleged federal funds had not made a greater impact.

You can read it as part of the report
Blueprint for Gulf Renewal. We found less than $35 billion in federal funds actually available to rebuild the region. Most of the $114 billion Bush administration officials refer to was for the emergency response, not to help rebuild the region. Still the White House continues to mislead the public about our country's investment in rebuilding the Gulf Coast and New Orleans to avoid its obligations to aid in recovery and help families and communities rebuild.

The region suffered $150 billion in damages, more damage than the September 11th attacks, Hurricane Andrew and the Northridge Earthquake combined, and displaced over 400,000 people (the largest displacement in U.S. history) yet our federal government has relied on old systems and paradigms meant to repair damage from much smaller disasters.

Even more shocking: less than 42% of the money set aside for rebuilding has even been spent, much less gotten to those most in need.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another Anti-Gay Republican Caught With His Pants Down

Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho is the latest in a string of "Family Values", anti-gay, conservative politicians in trouble with the law for illegal homosexual exploits.

The GOP may as well call itself the Gay Ol' Party after Senator Craig entered a guilty plea on "misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis airport."

Craig was arrested by an undercover agent in a Minneapolis airport after playing footsie with the man in the next stall. His excuse? "I have a wide stance."

He must need a wide stance to accomodate the size of the balls it takes to think the public would believe that excuse plausible. Of course, everyone is having a comedic field day with this one.

Here are a couple of goodies:

Martin Lewis, Huffington Post: Senator Larry Craig has not only been a vociferous opponent of the gay movement (except apparently his own gay movements) but it turns out to that he is yet another steaming hypocrite who has pandered to the vast gay-loathing base of the Republican Party.
Only like so many Republicans who have come before him (insert your own joke here) - he is revealed by his recent actions and guilty plea to be a self-loathing gay.

Nick Gillespie, Reason Magazine: The 62-year-old Craig doesn't just put the party back in the "Grand Old Party," though he certainly does that. Back in the day, he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, a clearly anti-gay measure, and he supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
America is the land of opportunity and more power to Craig if he wants to have consensual sex with men in toilets (although, good libertarian that I am, I do believe the owners of said facilities should be allowed to regulate what behavior goes on in their crappers).
But I find it despicable that Craig would deny the option of matrimony to gay men who want it. Shouldn't the people he wants to fuck have the right to decide if they, like Craig, want to enjoy the bounty of marriage? (Not to mention, as seems likely in Craig's case, the right of divorce?)

Since his guilty plea, Craig has resigned from his post as a co-chairman of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Idaho Leadership Team, and is due to have a press conference in Boise, Idaho today at 4:30 EST.

UPDATE: Senator Craig denies any wrongdoing, blames the press, infers that the officer arresting him lied and claims, "I am not gay!" He starts his news conference with the unfortunate phrase, "Thank you for coming out today." If only you had, Larry, you might not be in this predicament.

Here's what hypocrite Craig had to say regarding Bill Clinton's heterosexual affair with Monica Lewinsky:

Reaction to Gonzo's Resignation

Here's some video I put together of the reaction and speculation that arose from the Alberto Gonzales resignation, including Hillary Clinton at the Livestrong Presidential Cancer Forum, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Gonzales Spin Begins

Republican pundits everywhere are trying to spin the Gonzales resignation as a "win for the White House."

Tucker Carlson just called him a liberal!!!

Carlson: I'm not defending Gonzales, I just attacked him. I thought he was mediocre, another baby boomer... talking about himself and his stupid personal journey and he's doing better than his dad, like we care. I don't care.

However, the guy's actually kind of liberal. He's kind of inoffensive. Of all the people you could attack in the Bush administration... I get why the left hate Karl Rove, but this guy?

I guess Tucker was sleeping during the torture memos, the Patriot Act, firing US attorneys for political reasons and not remembering a single thing about it when asked.

Luckily, Rosa Brooks of the Washington Times slaps him back into place, and Tucker laughs it off like the punk that he is.

Gonzo Gone!

Alberto Gonzales Resigns

Of course, Bush called Gonzo "a man of integrity, decency and principle" and an "honorable person" whose "good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons", but did you expect anything else? An honorable man to Bush is someone who will do your illegal bidding and take the fall for it.

I have a suspicion that there hasn't been a truly honorable man in Bush's presence in quite some time.