The professional pundits had more than enough analysis of how the respective 2012 political conventions went. Obviously we hosted the Republicans here in Tampa, and it would have been fine with me if they’d stayed home. I will write more about all that later this week. It was a disaster for downtown Tampa businesses, and the security was simply over the top.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) behind the perfect podium
You will be thrilled to know that Florida now has a member of Congress who supports forced child marriages. Incoming House Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) defeated a bill Thursday evening that would have committed the United States to combating forced child marriages abroad, by invoking concerns about the legislation’s cost and that funds could be used to promote abortion.
You should know that there is template language in all such bills which prevents the funds being used for abortion. Her concerns about spending are knowingly false, but you know, who wants to spend protecting children anyways? Here’s the letter I wrote her:
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
2206 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515-0918
Dear Rep. Ros-Lehtinen:
Congratulations. Once again you’ve acted to further advance the opinion of the rest of the world that Florida is backwards “hick” riddled state.
We’re already viewed as people who can’t count votes, and inbred bumpkins who marry our cousins, and now here you go opposing a bill to help stop forced child marriages around the world?
You claimed the bill would cost $108m over five years, but the CBO estimates an outlay of only $67m, and you were aware of this. You claim to have offered a “less expensive bill” (because really, who wants to spend money protecting children anyways), but your bill lacks implementation procedures, and you knew that too.
So all I can do is ask, “Why do you support forced child marriages, or do you just hate children?”
I look forward to your answer.
Fax number of her Washington, D.C. office is 202-225-5620
We’ve got a new poll up at Deep Something asking who you are planning to vote for (or who you voted for) by party. We just want to know if you are voting mostly for one party or the other, going independent, or sitting this one out.
The President and Democrats are working hard to motivate the base, but frankly they are scrambling because they clearly blew off the progressive wing of the party for the past two years, in some cases being verbally dismissive, and the “chickens have come home to roost.” A younger motivated electorate sent them to Washington with a mandate for big change, and we got a few tepid bills that have done nothing to improve our lives, and no advances on the social issues.
So while Democrats shouldn’t expect the same level of enthusiasm, it pains me to look at the crop of Republican candidates and think they could regain control of Congress. that’s just downright scary shit there.
So take our poll and tell us what you think.
Who are you voting for in the 2010 elections?
Mostly Democrats (83%, 5 Votes)
Sitting this one out (0%, 0 Votes)
Mostly Republicans (0%, 0 Votes)
Independents (17%, 1 Votes)
Anyone Sponsored by the Tea Bag Party (0%, 0 Votes)
We’ve added a poll today asking what you think about the Tea Party. Some people involved claim it’s non-partisan, and is a purely grass-roots organization of disaffected voters. There is some evidence that it is an Astroturf group sponsored by big business to help them advance their aims (I’m looking at you David Koch), and some folks believe it is definitely a part of the Republican Party.
I think some of the organizers have, as is often the case, seen an opportunity to make money, but those seem to have mostly failed. They also seem to be having a problem developing a cohesive message, but many in the movement would argue that’s the way it should be.
Leading up to the Rethuglican National Convention in St. Paul, the federal government is leading local law enforcement in a disturbing number of high profile raids on homes and protesters. Most disturbing is the show of force involved in these raids, and the lack of evidence of any intent to commit any violence (other than protesting the state the Rethuglican have put the country in). Of course, trying to squelch these protests would be a violation of the Constitution. China has no Constitutional Protections, yet all the main stream media here in the U.S. was hand wringing over China’s efforts to quell protests during the Olympics…yet nary a peep from them about what’s going on in St. Paul.
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article about all this on salon.com. Sadly, he makes the very valid point that we are basically getting what we deserve here, and that the great tradition on which this country was founded seems lost on us today. Notes Greenwald:
So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated — preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror — we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry.
Beyond that, there is a widespread sense that the targets of these raids deserve what they get, even if nothing they’ve done is remotely illegal. We love to proclaim how much we cherish our “freedoms” in the abstract, but we despise those who actually exercise them. The Constitution, right in the very First Amendment, protects free speech and free assembly precisely because those liberties are central to a healthy republic — but we’ve decided that anyone who would actually express truly dissident views or do anything other than sit meekly and quietly in their homes are dirty trouble-makers up to no good, and it’s therefore probably for the best if our Government keeps them in check, spies on them, even gets a little rough with them.
Greenwald links to a number of articles, many with videos, of these displays of force. If you care about America, I suggest you read the article, and contact your Congressional representatives and demand better. If you live in Ramsey County, MN, demand the removal from office of Judge Joanne M. Smith, if, as It appears from the video below, that she may be the person signing at least some of the illegal search warrants. This is what disturbs me the most…that the FBI is able to get these search warrants. Judges are supposed to hold a high standard, but look to be falling right in line, and not requiring any real probable cause.
So, they can hold these people for 36 hours…starting after today’s holiday, and then manage to keep a little longer as they are processed for release, and by then the Rethuglican Convention is over. Then, the local prosecutors will drop all the charges, maybe issue some mild apology about inconveniencing people, and then say they’ll investigate what happened, and that will be the last you hear of it. The Administration knows this is how it will work, and are using the process to prevent protest.
Kay Hagan is a Democrat running against Elizabeth Dole for a U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina. After trailing by as much as 14 points, Hagan has now pulled slightly ahead of Dole in a PPP Poll. This gain appears to come largely as a result of an ad being run by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. It is a great ad.
And this gain before any bounce that may come as a result of the Democratic Convention. I’d love to see North Carolina send a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
My oh my, it seems another gay bashing homophobic republican has been caught with his pants down, or rather his lingerie up. Richard Curtis, a Republican in the Washington State House has had to resign after an extortion attempt resulted in the disclosure of some pretty kinky sexual behavior.
It appears he wanted to have unprotected sex, and it involved women’s lingerie. Now it really shouldn’t matter whatÃ‚Â someone does with another consenting adult in private, but that is precisely the point. Mr. Curtis has been one of the manyÃ‚Â Republican “family values” hate mongers out there trying to force the government into the private lives of gay…all the while, indulging in someÃ‚Â pretty kinky same-sex affairs himself.
So, while I hope we someday get past the need to put such salacious discussions out there, these people, who choose public life, and try to force their public beliefs on others, get whatÃ‚Â they deserve.Ã‚Â
I can’t seem to get my copy of The Gay Agendaâ„¢, but the Republicans sure can get a theme going in a hurry when their butts are on the line.
The real scandal isn’t that a Republican congressman was hitting on 16 year-olds, the real scandal is the media is talking about it.
The real scandal isn’t that Don Rumsfeld “encouraged” military contractors to beat the crap out of prisoners the real problem is that the media is talking about it.
The real scandal isn’t that Americans are being killed in Iraq, yet the President doesn’t really have a plan, the real scandal isn’t that the administration is falsifying government reports, the real scandal is that the American people are finding out about it. If these pesky Americans could just stick their heads in the sand everything would be OK.
Katherine Harris wants to get to the bottom of Foleygate — that is, the role in the scandal allegedly played by Democrats and the media. Today’s Miami Herald reports that Harris had this to say about the Foley scandal: “We are going to be very interested to find out who in the media or on the other side of the aisle knew about this and kept it from the public interest because our children were at stake.” The DSCC quickly rejoined that unlike other Republicans, Harris has yet to return the $2,000 she received from Foley.
President Bush is out in Arizona today attending a fundraiser for Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ). All the local Republican officeholders were there. And after the event Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) took some questions about Foleygate.
Franks said he supported Denny Hastert and then (quoting from the pool report) …
Franks said he did not know Foley personally, and did not know about his conduct with congressional pages, but he believes leaders of the Democratic party knew about it 10 months ago. He said he does not think the Foley scandal will impact his campaign, but it is likely to hurt other Republican incumbents.
Truly through the looking glass. No one in the GOP leadership caught word of it. But the Democratic leadership knew. Quite a place they’re running up there.
This guy fits right in with the current crop of Republicans. During his 1990 nomination as an appeals court judge, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito promised to recuse himself, to avoid potential conflicts of interest, in cases "involving Vanguard, in which he owned mutual fund shares; Smith Barney, his brokerage firm; First Federal Savings & Loan of Rochester, N.Y., which held his home mortgage; and his sister’s law firm." But in cases involving three of the four companies, senators on the Judiciary Committee question whether Alito has truly attempted to avoid ethical conflicts. In a 2002 case, Alito ruled in Vanguard’s favor, even though the judge owned between $390,000 and $975,000 in mutual fund shares from Vanguard. He later withdrew from further involvement in the case only after the protests of the other party. Alito also ruled in a 1996 case involving Smith Barney and in 1995, Alito failed to recuse himself from a case involving his sister’s law firm.