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2006 January 31 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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State of the Union


Too many Americans don’t have one, or the window to throw it out.

January 31, 2006   Comments Off on State of the Union

Free Speech?

Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D-CA] gave Cindy Sheehan a ticket for the gallery in the House for the State of the Union speech. Ms. Sheehan was arrested and removed from the Capitol prior to the speech for violating the ban on demonstrating in the Capitol. She was wearing a t-shirt with an anti-war slogan on it.

Well, we certainly can’t tolerate free speech in the House chambers. Lobbying by former members of Congress on the House floor is fine, but citizens wearing t-shirts with words on them in the balcony is illegal.[/maximum sarcasm]

Update: Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young [R-FL], was ejected some time afterward because she was wearing a “Support the Troops” t-shirt. Young is upset that the rules were applied to his wife.

Glenn Greenwald points out that the latest court ruling on the law specifically exempts t-shirts.

Maybe Ms. Sheehan will let Ms. Young join her lawsuit?

Update 2: Charges against Sheehan to be dropped:

“We screwed up,” a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn’t violate any rules or laws.

January 31, 2006   Comments Off on Free Speech?

Joe Biden!?

The irrepressible snarkmeister, Tbogg, noticed an op-ed on MSNBC that advocated Joe Biden as the savior of the Democratic Party.

The Case for Joe Biden is actually a Newsweek “web exclusive” by Ron Goldstein, who is identified as “a veteran of 10 Democratic presidential campaigns dating back to 1976” and “president of Free Media Inc in New York”. [Not to be picky but 10 campaigns in 7 campaign cycles is a bit odd.]

Anyway, Ron thinks: “Biden’s tough, compassionate, experienced, left-of-center political profile may be just the answer for the Democrats and the country.”

Ron, has anyone explained the recent bankruptcy bill that Joe backed to you? This is the “conservative” attempt to see if we can recreate the 19th century London of Charles Dickens in the US, complete with poor houses and debtors’ prisons. Why Democrats would be willing to back a man who has failed them on such an important issue is beyond my understanding, as is the designation as “left-of-center”. Is Ghengis Khan now the center? Were you with any of the winners in your 10 campaigns, like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton?

January 31, 2006   Comments Off on Joe Biden!?

Enough Is Enough

My Democratic Senator Bill Nelson voted against the confirmation of Samuel Alito, but I will not vote for him this November because his vote was negated by his earlier vote for cloture. If everyone who voted against Alito had also voted against cloture, Alito’s nomination would have been blocked.

Alito supports the imperial presidency and these people know it. Alito supports the government and big business over the rights of the individual and these people know it. Alito is a prime example of “pre-7/4 thinking” and these people know it.

Some will say that if I don’t vote for Bill Nelson this November I’m helping Katherine Harris to win. So what? What difference would it have made for my rights if Katherine Harris had been in the Senate rather than Bill Nelson? Both would have helped Samuel Alito to be appointed to the Supreme Court to steal my rights and make a king of the President.

This vote wasn’t about legislative matters, this was about fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution being eroded. This isn’t a policy question, it is a basic question about what America means. Why support people who don’t care?

Any individual only has limited resources available for politics: time, money, and their vote. They shouldn’t waste any of those on people who refuse to do the right thing. I’m not going to compromise when my basic rights are being brought into question and put at risk.

Senator Obama talked about the need to explain the situation to the people. Sorry, Senator, but that’s something that is required for elections, not for business before the Senate. There were only 100 people who had to understand what Alito really stood for, not an electorate. Those 100 people represented the electorate and were supposed to be acting in the best interest of the people. First you do what you know to be the best thing for the people you represent then you can explain why you did it. Refusing to do what you know is right because you are unsure of how to explain it makes you unsuitable to lead. Don’t expect people to follow when you refuse to act like a leader.

For all those who bring up the “nuclear option”, so what? The Republicans breaking the rules to get their way is not exactly news. Does anyone other than Senator Byrd think the Senate still functions in a collegial fashion. The Republicans corrupt everything they touch and have no more respect for rules, than they have for laws or the Constitution.

You can’t housebreak a puppy without discipline. Senator Nelson, you’ve just had your nose whacked with a rolled ballot.

Update 1: Bob Geiger has a list of the enemies of the people, the so-called Democrats who voted for cloture. Not a second, not a penny, and not a vote should be wasted on any of them.

Update 2: Dave Neiwert of Orcinus lets Maria Cantwell know he feels like I do.

January 31, 2006   Comments Off on Enough Is Enough