April 28, 2005

The "Thought Police" Are Here

Since the gay marriage issue was thrust upon the national scene as a so-called "wedge issue" by Republicans, progressives on the left have screamed foul for a host of reasons. At the top of the list is blatant government intrusion into our personal lives. However you feel about homosexuality, most freedom-loving Americans aren't interested in creating a world where the government can start poking around in your bedroom. No pun intended.

Unfortunately, this crowd of morality manipulators, who claim that "preserving marriage" can only be accomplished by targeting people for discrimination. In my America, the land of the FREE and the home of the brave, it is none of the government's business with whom I spend my time.

If gays want to petition the government or challenge the courts for legal protections, that has nothing to do with me. My wife and I are unaffected by whatever happens. Our marriage, like all marriages, lives or dies based on our relationship and our choices. We are neither "protected" nor "threatened" by the legal status of any couple, gay or straight.

Another major concern of progressives is the slippery slope created by an attack on gays. For years, conservatives argued this was unfounded. "We just want to preserve marriage", they claimed. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The "Thought Police" are coming, in fact, in Alabama and Texas, they've already arrived.

In Texas, a new law banning gays from adopting children also contains a provision to ensure the sexual orientation of adoptive parents. Under the new law, the state has the right to INVESTIGATE the sexual orientation of a potential parent. Let that sink in just a little: The right to INVESTIGATE your sexual orientation.

So how would this be accomplished? Is someone from social services going to show up with a slide show of erotic images to determine what excites me? Will I have to take a lie-detector test and profess my undying devotion to hot women? Will I have to swear that I've never had any impure thoughts about a man? Seriously folks, at what point do we realize that the government does not deserve this type of power over our lives?

In Alabama, legislators are trying to go one step further: Book burning. That's right, imagine big stacks of books ablaze in downtown Montgomery because that is where Alabama legislators are going.

Under a new bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters. So not only are gays not allowed to marry or adopt, but now every reference to them must be purged from our libraries! Aren't you pleased with the world these people are trying to create? A world where the government can save your soul by cleansing your public library of any book written by, speaking of, or referring to a gay person. Truly the land of the free.

Contrary to the propaganda of the religious right, this issue should not be divided along party lines, though they desperately wish to make it so. Conservatives, once the staunchest defenders of individual freedoms and liberties, must reject the idea of the government in your bedroom. As we've seen in Texas and Alabama, once these moral crusaders get their foot in the door, its only a matter of time before they're rummaging through your underwear drawer, reading your books, and questioning your children.

I have only one thing to say to these people: Stay the hell out of my house.

April 27, 2005

What Makes YOU A Democrat?

Below is an Email I received from a friend here in Oconee County, SC. I found Stephanie's words very inspiring and asked her permission to post them to the blog. So now the question is: What makes YOU A Democrat?

I was listening to morning radio this past week and a radio host said something that has really bothered me. She said that the choice wasn't rather you are a republican or a Democrat. The choice is are you a Christian or a Democrat. I am a Christian and a Democrat!

I believe in helping the less fortunate
I believe in helping the sick
I am against abortion
I am against tax cuts for the rich
I am against a big government
I am for balancing the budget
I am for spending our money wisely
I am for protecting what jobs we have left
I am for protecting our borders
I am for Education First!
I believe in God
I believe in Jesus

So, what does this all make me if I am either a Christian or a Democrat? We need to do some PR and let people know that this is not the choice!! Stephanie Brewer

Reid outmaneouvers Frist again

by Daily KOS:

So Frist says:

Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn't interested in any deal that fails to ensure Senate confirmation for all of President Bush's judicial nominees.

Reid just engaged Frist in a game of chicken, and Frist blinked first. Reid has been extrememly effective in whipping up opposition to the Nuclear Option, garnering strong grass- and netroots support, editorial board support, and popular support (as the latest polls show scant appetitite for ending the filibuster).

But in order to avoid looking like obstructionists, Demcorats had to make efforts to "find a compromise", lest the chattering class get the vapors from such Democratic intransigence.

Had Frist accepted the offers for compromise, Bush would've gotten the majority of his judges through, and Democrats would've gotten -- who knows what. All published compromise offers didn't seem to give our side anything.

So Democrats would've faced a sea of criticism from our own side for snatching defeat out of the hands of victory. Frist and Co. would've finally gotten a procedural victory against Reid (who has run circles around them thus far). And all that good will Reid had built in the netroots over the past four months would've evaporated in one fell swoop.

It was one heck of a gamble, but the Senator from Nevada played his cards right.

Frist painted himself into a corner, having whipped up the forces of wingnuttery into a froth, he could not back down without damaging his White House aspirations for 2008. He's banking on the crazies to get him the nomination.

So Reid got the Democrats to look conciliatory, forcing Frist and his Republicans to look even more inflexible than before.

Damn the guy is good. I'm glad he's on our side.

April 25, 2005

Bill Frist is a liar and a crazy man

Below is a blog posting from South Knox Bubba, a Tennessee Blogger. I thought Bubba hit the nail on the head... what do you think?

The local TeeVee news had Bill Frist on for a brief interview after Bush's remarks at the hanger on Friday. First of all, the guy is just creepy. I wish I had taped it so you could see for yourself. When he talks he sounds like a crazy street person, and gets a weird, wild-eyed look that is, well, creepy.

Anyway, he was asked about the filibuster rule. He went off, looking even crazier, saying that "never in the history of the Senate had judicial nominees been blocked." Sorry, I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the exact quote, but I distinctly remember this "never in the history" remark because it was such a shocking, bald-faced lie.

I'm sure that's not exactly what he meant and that he can explain* his remark, but he saw an opportunity to spread right-wing propaganda to the local bumpkinry who would not understand the "nuance" and he jumped on it. What a creep.

OK, then.

(*Maybe he can start by explaining how the Senate only "blocked" ten Bush nominees during his first term, and blocked more than sixty of Clintons, or how he himself voted to filibuster a Clinton nominee in May of 2000.)

Holy war Sunday

At the rate things are going in American politics, next week will bring ads by the Noah's Ark Veterans for Truth claiming that the two Democrats on board were actually stowaways, whom God had intended for drowning but who snuck on cross-dressed as gayals.

That wouldn't be much more bizarre than what's planned for today: Bill Frist, the majority leader of the United States Senate, is going to Sunday meeting to preach that some deeply flawed and highly ideological judicial nominees are actually bloodied victims of religious persecution.

"Justice Sunday: Stop the filibuster against people of faith," the revival's being called.

It should be called, "Injustice Sunday: Demean the holy and foment schism for partisan gain."

Whatever you think of these nominees and the Democrats' filibuster of them, it is not the religious faith they possess, but the judicial qualities they lack -- restraint, balance, experience, respect for law -- that have brought the nation to this sorry point.

Otherwise, they would have fared just as well as the more than 200 other conservative nominees that President Bush has successfully appointed to the bench.

As you hear the Christian soldiers' trumpets of holy war and hymns of righteous rage today, keep in mind exactly who some of these nominees are.

There's Priscilla Owen, the token white woman and Texas judge whose eagerness to substitute her own values for the rule of law was too much for even Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who rebuked her for it when both served on the same court.

There's Janice Rogers Brown, the token black woman and California judge who believes that our vibrant nation of free-market capitalism -- this economy of Wal-Marts, Pfizers and Enrons and of Googles, Yahoos and Apples; this home of a pitiful $5.15 minimum wage and of a staggering 44 million people without health insurance; this land of soaring CEO pay and declining real wages for workers -- has actually been crushed by the boot of collectivism ever since what she calls the 1937 "triumph of our own socialist revolution."

There's Brett Kavanaugh, who has never tried a case, but rose from Ken Starr's impeachment crusade to become a White House operative.

There's William G. Meyers III, who also lacks trial experience but who has put in plenty of time rabidly fighting against environmental laws and in favor of mining interests.

And there's William Haynes II, whose meager courtroom work is offset by his considerable contribution, as the Defense Department's counsel, to the shameful abandonment of America's deepest legal principles regarding the treatment and rights of prisoners of war and detainees.

It's no wonder their advocates are so intent on diverting attention from their legal limitations, ideological excesses and partisan activism with claims of anti-Christian discrimination.

But religious martyrs, they're not -- nor jurists worthy of the damage their nominations are doing to both politics and religion.

April 24, 2005

Republican Jackass

In the 2004 election, a young Democrat running for office for the first time almost beat John Graham Altman, Republican House Representative in Charleston. Oh how I wish a few more people had voted for the Democrat. We would be spared last weeks comments by this moron.

Altman is the "typical" right-wing Republican candidate. He uses religious rhetoric, gay bashing, and blatant lies about Democrats to stay in office. He's a bully, a jackass, and the poster-boy for the WRONG TURN that the Republican Party has taken by aligning itself with extremists who hate the constitution, despise diversity, and seek the end of the New Deal and the privatized of everything in the public realm.

Below are some experpts from Andy Brack's Statehouse Report on Altman's moronic comments. Get ready to be shocked. Get ready to be motivated. Democrats must make it their mission to regain control of our state government at all levels to rid our state of people like this:

GOP Rep. John Graham Altman of Charleston verbally attacked and insulted a Columbia television reporter asking questions about two bills dealt with by the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee approved a bill to make cockfighting a felony, but tabled action on another bill that would toughen penalties and boost judicial education on criminal domestic violence. (Current law does classify criminal domestic violence a felony if it is of a "high and aggravated nature" that involves a weapon or results in serious bodily injury. The law, however, provides for the lesser misdemeanor version that is commonly used by law enforcement officials.)

The fact that the committee voted to make cockfighting a felony while putting off action on a tougher measure for batterers prompted WIS TV reporter Kara Gormley to ask Altman, a member of the committee, about the difference.

Gormley: "Does that show that we are valuing a gamecock's life over
a woman's life?"

Altman: "You're really not very bright and I realize you are not accustomed to this, but I'm accustomed to reporters having a better sense of depth of things and you're asking this question to me would indicate you can't understand the answer. To ask the question is to demonstrate an enormous amount of ignorance. I'm not trying to be
rude or hostile, I'm telling you."

Gormley: "It's rude when you tell someone they are not very bright."

Altman: "You're not very bright and you'll just have to live with that."

It got worse. Here's one of the Neanderthal comments that outraged women across the state:

Altman: "I mean you women want it one way and not another. Women want to punish the men, and I do not understand why women continue to go back around men who abuse them."

Democratic Convention

This is an open thread for attendees of the Democratic Convention to post their comments and experiences.

I attended workshops put on by Democracy For America on Friday afternoon, attended the Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Friday night, attended Jim Clyburn's fishfry on Friday night, the convention on Saturday morning/afternoon, and wrapped up the weekend with more workshops and campaign training session on Saturday afternoon.

The MOST INSPIRING part of the weekend for me came not at the podiums, but in the ailes of the convention. I met HUNDREDS of excited Democrats who are ready and willing to come back to their communities and FIGHT LIKE CRAZY for Democratic candidates and Democratic values. I am dedicated to standing with those good people in fighting the fiscal mismanagement and social divisiveness being promoted by the Republican leadership in Columbia and Washington.

Let's keep working: 526 Days until the next election!!!