Friday, January 27, 2006
All The Halls Within Must Be Filled With His Foul Reek
The investigation of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Republican lobbyist, took a surprising new turn on Thursday when the Justice Department said the chief prosecutor in the inquiry would step down next week because he had been nominated to a federal judgeship by President Bush.I'm sorry. That's just too fucking convenient for words. Is Patrick Fitzgerald gonna be offered a judgeship soon?
The prosecutor, Noel L. Hillman, is chief of the department's public integrity division, and the move ends his involvement in an inquiry that has reached into the administration as well as the top ranks of the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.
The administration said that the appointment was routine and that it would not affect the investigation, but Democrats swiftly questioned the timing of the move and called for a special prosecutor.
The announcement came as Mr. Bush faced a barrage of questions about why he would not make public "grip-and-grin" photographs of him with Mr. Abramoff. The photographs apparently show Mr. Bush and Mr. Abramoff smiling at White House Hanukkah parties and Republican fund-raising receptions.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
If You Can't Fix It, You Gotta Stand It
Canada's newly elected Conservative government has promised to revisit same-sex marriage less than a year after the country became just the third in the world to legalize such unions.
But it won't happen soon, and the effort may be hindered by the Conservative Party's narrow victory Monday, which will force compromise among the major parties.
And reopening the issue seems to contradict the sentiments of most Canadians. Prior to the election, a nationwide poll found that 66 percent felt the issue was settled. The number who said same-sex marriage would determine how they voted was "almost infinitesimal," said pollster Donna Dasko, senior vice president of the Environics Research Group.
A Conservative Party representative said same-sex marriage is not among the party's top five priorities, which are child care, health care, crime, government accountability and lowering taxes.
"We're putting things like same-sex marriage on the back burner to these five," said Melissa Cable, press officer for the party.
"If the resolution is passed, the government will introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage while respecting existing same-sex marriages," according to the Conservative platform.
It is unclear how that could happen. Courts across Canada consistently have ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violates the nation's constitution, and any bill would face an immediate court challenge. And the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
To make any new action immune from the courts, constitutional experts say Harper would have to invoke Canada's wildly unpopular "notwithstanding clause."
That clause allows Parliament to pass a law notwithstanding the charter that would otherwise prohibit it. Even when such a law does pass, Parliament must revisit the issue in five years.
Harper said during the campaign that he would not have to use that clause because the country's Supreme Court would rule in his favor. But many disagree.
Sigh. Even Canada has fanatics, who just freak at the thought of -- ewww! -- guys making out.
So freaked are they that they would use a "wildly unpopular" clause of the law to overturn legislation which has great popular support and yet protect existing violations to the new law.
My ass. This is what is known as "pandering".
Why is it that gays threaten them so? Because, as far as I know, gays who want to get married aren't trying to destroy the institution of marriage -- they're trying to opt in. In the US, there are are many legal and societal benefits to marriage, and gays want to take advantage of those benefits with their chosen life partners.
So why bother with, effectively, a time window for gay marriage, where those who got in under the wire are good to go, and everyone else is an unclean vile heathen faggot perv, or whatever Canadians would call them? Either it's legal or it's not. And, uh, Canadian Conservatives? Where you are, it is. And people want it to be.
You have a lot of actual, real, country-leading legislation on your plate, and you only won by one seat. Don't get cocky.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Did You Hear That, Eh? That's What I'm On About!
Alito Confirmation Supporters Look StrongThey've only got 50 votes out of 100.
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito won a Senate Judiciary Committee vote along strict party lines Tuesday as well as commitments from a majority of senators, assuring his confirmation and a likely tilt of the court to the right.
All of the 55 Republicans — except Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island; Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine; and Ted Stevens of Alaska — have publicly committed to vote for Alito through their representatives, interviews with The Associated Press or news releases.
That gives Alito 50 votes, and Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (news, bio, voting record) of Nebraska's support makes a majority.
Twenty Democrats are publicly opposing President Bush's pick to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, while the other 23 and independent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont are still publicly undecided or refuse to say how they will vote on Alito's nomination.
The only way Democrats can stop the conservative judge now is through a filibuster, a manuever they show little interest in.
They can't even get all the Repubs to vote for the guy.
The Dems are starting to circle the wagons.
But the headline is, "Alito Confirmation Supporters Look Strong".
In actuality, this is becoming a knife fight. But your Corporate Media, your So-Called "Liberal" Media, your untrustable source for lies and misinformation and especially propaganda, is trying to make it look like a foregone conclusion.
Monday, January 23, 2006
A Lot Of Alliteration From Anxious Anchors Placed In Powerful Posts
It's a good and necessary read, and I recommend you follow the link, but in a lot of ways it's just Example #8,473,916 of the biggest problem in our country today: Our media are part of the power structure.
Summary: Numerous media outlets repeated without challenge White House senior adviser Karl Rove's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in which Rove falsely claimed that "some important Democrats clearly disagree" with the proposition that "if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why." In fact, no leading Democrat has said that it is not in our interest to monitor Al Qaeda's communications.
I get as cranked off as anyone when ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc., etc., etc., etc., leave out or distort inconvenient facts or even straight-up lie, let alone when they start rattling off Republican talking points as if they aren't made up of candy floss and dustbunnies. But I think I now have a solution. It's a radical one, I admit, but give it a chance.
Make it a Democratic talking point that the Corporate Media cannot be trusted because they're In On It.
Tell people, "News agencies around the world report facts, figures, cause and effect. They tell you the truth. But, regarding [insert appropriate story here], CNN [for example] flat-out lied. Why did they lie? Because they are part of the power structure. It is in the interests of the owners of CNN to further the radical agenda put forth by the Bush administration and the Republican party. The majority of Americans believes differently. But they are trying to frame the argument so that it appears that their positions have support when they doesn't, quash debate by presenting speculation, innuendo, and flat untruths as accepted truth, and gloss over inconvenient arguments against their positions, based on -- what a concept! -- actual facts, that have, time and again, proven to be correct.
"The Corporate Media lie to you, to protect themselves and the President's radical agenda.
"We call on members of the media to present the truth whenever and wherever possible. Facts, figures, sources, data easily checked over the internet. This is your country at stake here. They are trying to lull all of us into accepting un-American ideas; they are presenting these ideas as necessary to preserve our way of life. They care nothing for our way of life; they care only for their own profit.
"Cronkite and Murrow would be ashamed."
Now, I realize that this is a little nutso. But, really, what are the media outlets going to do? Not have the Dems on? They already barely have them on as it is, and half the time it's Joe "DINO" Lieberman or Joe "Grrr Snarl Roll Over Beg" Biden.
No matter what Democrats say or do, Republicans will have free rein to demonize them -- and, if they don't bother, the media (especially Fox and CNN, but basically anyone besides Keith Olbermann) will be happy to do it themselves. They're protecting their corporate gravy train, or their laughable sources.
They cannot be trusted.
Any Democratic strategy which does not count the major media outlets as part of the enemy camp is doomed to failure. So we might as well start attacking now. Who knows -- some of them might rediscover shame, and start telling the truth once in a while.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
"I'm WHAT!?" "You're Pregnant!"
Couldn't tell it from the punditry.
William Saletan has the kind of
The lesson of those decades is that you can't eliminate the moral question by ignoring it. To eliminate it, you have to agree on it: Abortion is bad, and the ideal number of abortions is zero. But by conceding that, you don't end the debate, you narrow it. Once you agree that the goal is fewer abortions, the only thing left to debate is how to get there. As a politician might put it: "My opponent and I are both pro-life. We want to avoid as many abortions as we can. The difference is, I trust women to work with me toward that objective, and he doesn't."
Isn't that better than anything you heard from John Kerry?
Excuse me while I impart a hearty Fuck You on behalf of all my female friends.
Besides the nauseating and gratuitous slap at Kerry (who is not one of my faves, but that's just a cheap shot), once again we have a pundit telling Dems what they're doing wrong with no factual basis. And the starting point is the notion that (gasp!) abortion is bad.
Says who? You? You've never had to have one, Bill.
Absolutely, abortion is bad -- if your view of women is that they're pretty much baby mills. If you really think Every Sperm Is Sacred. If you can't wrap your mind around mitigating circumstances in a changing world. If you can't keep your damn hands off other people's lives.
There are lots of good reasons to have an abortion. If you've been raped or sexually abused, for starters. If you can't safely bear a child because of some other medical condition. If you find out early on that the child would have catastrophic birth defects. If you are in an economic or professional position that will not allow you to raise the child. If your birth control method fails. If you know you can't handle the responsibility of raising another life-form for eighteen years.
(The moral folk pooh-pooh at this point, usually along the lines of, "Well, you had sex, you're responsible for the results." The idea of terminating an unwanted pregnancy -- sorry, killing a beautiful loving blessed child -- as a responsible act is completely beyond them.)
I don't know if Mr. Saletan has bothered to notice, but the same religious psychos who don't like abortion also don't like birth control. In fact, they don't like sex. And they don't want anyone else to like it, either.
They can't even be honest about it.
Again, this isn't about saving babies. It's about controlling women, legislating God, and sanctifying birth (never mind pre- or post-natal care).
People are going to have sex. We are at least medically in a situation where we can prevent many of the physical problems of sex, and, as much as the religious types may hate to hear it worded this way, one of the problems of sex is an unwanted pregnancy.
A fetus at the outset is not a baby. And treating it as if it is, with rights equal to or greater than the mother, is ludicrous.
The problem to adress, as usual in this age of screwed-up Puritanism, is a combination of the definition of abortion as a necessarily bad thing, the inability to admit that people have sex for reasons other than procreation, and the need some people have to impose themselves into other people's private lives.