Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daschle needs to withdraw

ABC News is reporting that Tom Daschle's tax problems are a lot more significant than a borrowed car and driver: "Mr. Daschle also didn't report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007." I was okay about Geitner's problems because it just seemed like an honest mistake. Even a car and a driver seemed understandable, but people don't forget $83,333 in personal income. That's tax evasion plain and simple.

Senator Daschle, you need to withdraw your name; you are an embarrassment to the President and the Party.

The President's Weekly Address

Politico reports:
In his weekly address, Obama announced that a new bailout strategy is coming soon "that gets credit flowing to businesses and families" and will "lower mortgage costs and extend loans to small businesses … ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery. And we will insist on unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight, and clear accountability…"
That sounds to my ears like music.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Republicans wants to raise your taxes

Yes, that's right. The Republicans carelessly crafted a Stimulus Plan that would force many Americans to pay the alternative minimum tax, a tax that actually would increase their tax burden.

With their characteristic lack of judgment and caution, the Republicans really would like the privilege of hammering the last nail into the coffin they've been building the last eight years.

Michelle Obama was right around the corner


My bank is right around the corner from Georgia Brown where Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty had lunch today. I missed the First Lady by just minutes as I stood in line at my bank to make a deposit. I could hear the cheers from the crowd when she came out of the restaurant.

What "Bipartisan" Becomes...

When left to Blue Dogs. Ugh.

He really was the gift that just kept giving

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Tell Obama & Congress to Support Family Planning Health Care!

I just found this at TalkLeft. After all the hell progressive/feminist activists raised over needed family planning funds being cut from the economic stimulus package, President Obama may be listening to our concerns after all. And better yet, he may be willing to do something about it!
Women's health advocates were dismayed this week to see the removal of family-planning aid from Congress' economic recovery bill after a push by Republicans to politicize a generally cut-and-dry issue of Medicaid waivers. [...] But the dismay may not last long. A source present at today's White House signing ceremony for the Lilly Ledbetter bill tells me that President Obama gave assurances that the family planning aid would be done soon -- perhaps as soon as next week, when the House is set to take up a spending bill that would keep the government funded until October.
But hey, you know me better than to think I'll just "hope" that Congress just magically includes this in the spending bill next week. No, we need to make it happen!

So what can we do to ensure working-class women can access the health care they need? We talk to President Obama! We call Congress! We take action to make it happen!

It's a shame that so many women have been denied family planning health care for the last eight years simply because Dumbya Bush and his Rethuglican Party have been vehemently opposed to any and all forms of contraception. But now that those @ssclowns are out of office, we have a chance to fix this problem and fully fund the health care that so many women need. Please join me in asking the Democratic leaders in Washington to stand up for the many women who helped put them into office.

Finally! Payback for Obstructionism!

This is the new ad in support of President Obama's stimulus plan about to be broadcast nationwide. And really, it's about time that our side starts applying pressure and stops allowing The Bush Party (aka Rethuglicans) to keep framing the debate on economic recovery. After all, the American people just voted for Democrats to take this nation in a new direction of balanced, sensible, Keynesian, progressive economics. So really, Dem leaders in DC need to stop being afraid of what the big, bad corporate media villagers will say and tell them & their GOP buddies who's in charge now!

John Kerry has it exactly right

Politico reports that Kerry says we should ignore the Republicans if they aren't going to vote for bills where they negotiate changes:
if Republicans aren’t prepared to vote for it, I don’t think we should be giving up things, where I think the money can be spent more effectively.
Hear, hear.

Sarah Palin for Republican Presidential Nominee 2012!

Go, Sarah! A first step toward reelecting Obama-Biden in 2012.

President Obama Signs Lilly Leadbetter Act

Good. Equal pay for equal work. What a concept!

Okay, folks, leave Mayor Adams the hell alone

The media are all aflutter once again about the relationship between a politician and an intern. This time, the media's obsession happens to be two men, one of them the mayor of Portland and the other of them, a legislative intern.



I am not going to retell the story. If you don't know about it but want to learn about it, go to the link and read all about it. I want to talk about the media and their obsession with people's zipper-related behaviors.

Personally, I think the reason we vilify persons who make a living, one way or the other, off of sex is that it's just too easy. It preys on an almost universal vulnerability and takes advantage of a place of real but mysterious weakness in the human psyche.

So too it is with reporters and media when they pry into this area of our lives. Really, who among us doesn't have some sexual thing we have done that we don't talk about and we don't want others to know.

Good grief. Stop it. Is this man a good mayor? Portland didn't hire a guidance counselor; it elected an advocate for the people and an executive for the government. Is Sam Adams going to do that job? That's all we need to know.

I am sick of the media exploiting issues related to human sexuality to sell papers.

More thoughts on the Republicans' big mistake

I think the Republicans made a horrible tactical error yesterday. By not allowing even one of their members to vote for the Stimulus Bill, they made themselves effectively irrelevant not just to this process but every subsequent process over the next two years. They sent the message to their fellow members on the Democratic side and the president that any efforts to extend their hands would be met with clenched fists and that concessions made by Democrats (like funding for abortion) would receive no reward (Republican votes.) Moreover, they taught us a lesson that united Democrats can walk all over the minority party and achieve progressive objectives.

What fools these irrelevant Republicans are as they march lockstep into the dustbin of history.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Republicans demonstrate they're irrelevant

The House has passed President Obama's $819 billion stimulus bill. The measure passed the House by 244 to 188; 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voted against it. Not a single Republican would unclench her or his fist to shake President Obama's open hand of friendship and bipartisanship. But something more important happened tonight. Wow, I have to confess it hadn't dawned on me how irrelevant Republicans had become until this vote came up in Congress. They're sort of like the crowd who stood on the dock yelling to Columbus that he was going to fall off the edge of the ocean. We now know that every one of the Republicans can oppose us, and they can't win.

It's a pity. I mean, for them. Not for the country or us: It's a pity for them.

Jon Stewart on the Republicans and Guantanamo

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let DC Get Away With Cutting Women's Health Care!

If you're like me, you must be quite irritated right now that President Obama & Democratic Congressional leaders caved into the radical right in tossing needed aid to poor women out of the economic stimulus bill. Well, guess what? We can do something about this travesty!

Sign this petition now, then write your Congresscritters and ask them to support this bill!

Support the Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention Bill
Target: U.S. Congress
Sponsored by: National Partnership for Women & Families
With the goal of moving reproductive rights to the top of the legislative agenda in the 111th Congress, Reps. Diana DeGette, (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter, (D-N.Y), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), have reintroduced "Prevention First" legislation.

The measure's goals are lofty - to tackle the unacceptably high rate of unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. Currently, half of pregnancies are unintended and half of those end in abortion. The bill would tackle the problem from several angles, by:

* Increasing family planning funding,
* Ending insurance discrimination against women,
* Improving awareness about emergency contraception, and
* Requiring programs to focus on medically accurate sex education.

If we want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, the path is clear - empower women to prevent unintended pregnancies through education and access to contraception. Please sign our petition and urge your elected officials to sign onto this important legislation today!

60 Minutes: The Palestinians in Israel

Watch CBS Videos Online

The problems that confront Israel and Palestine in creating the two state solution.

Stimulate the Stimulus

Has this what it's come down to?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Is "Bipartisan"?

Caving in? If that's what it is, then how is that good?

Republicans who voted for Geithner and Democrats who voted against him

Timothy Geithner, born exactly two weeks after the President, received 60 votes to confirm his nomination 34 to oppose it. These votes, as the numbers might intuitively suggest, were not close to a straight-party line vote. There was a fair amount crossover in both the yeas and nays; about a quarter of Senate Republicans voted to confirm while a number of Democrats opposed the nomination.

Republicans Who Voted to Confirm

Corker (TN)
Cornyn (TX)
Crapo (ID)
Ensign (NV)
Graham (SC)
Gregg (NH)
Hatch (UT)
Shelby (AL)
Snowe (ME)
Voinovich (OH)

Democrats Who Opposed Confirmation

Byrd (WV)
Feingold (WI)
Harkin (IA)

*Sanders, of course, is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats; Lieberman, an independent who also caucuses with the Democrats, voted to confirm.

Doris Kearns Goodwin on why Obama must be the Explainer-in-Chief

The President gives an interview to Al-Arabiya

Saint Rod Blagojevich, pray for us

Who knew? Here we thought that Rod Blagojevich was a lying, foul mouth, abysmally corrupt politician interested in absolutely nothing but what he could get out of whatever came his way. It seems that we got it all wrong. Rod Blagojevich is a saint. I stand corrected, and I abjectly apologize to the Governor that I misjudged him.

Over the weekend, Rod "Bleepin' Golden" Blagojevich informed us that his situation was akin to Martin Luther King's, Nelson Mandela's, and Mahatma Gandhi's. Like Saint Rod, each of the three men suffered unjust imprisonment as they doggedly pursued liberation for ordinary people.

Now comes new testimony from the Governor-Saint about the moral stature of his presence in our lives. On ABC's Nightline, Saint Rod last evening observed:
I'm a very honest politician and I see myself -- and you can laugh and call this delusional -- but when all the facts come out you, will see that I'm right. This is a modern-day Frank Capra story. You remember those old movies? Those black and white movies with Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper? The guy who was siding with the little guy, trying to fight for them, create more opportunities for them and protect them from big, powerful forces? Well, that's my story. It's a modern day version of it.
With this new word about his intentions and the forces arrayed against him, I urge all of us to rally around the Saint's cause. Free Rod Blagojevich!

Monday, January 26, 2009


What bipartisanship? Congressional CReeps aren't getting the memo. So really, why are President Obama & Congressional Dem leaders still hoping for mass kumbaya?

About Time...

Keep those subpoenas coming, Rep. John Conyers! ;-)

After Prop H8: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

(Originally posted at The Liberal OC)

In a typically rare occasion, I had to cross "The Orange Curtain" last weekend to attend two major LGBT civil rights events in Los Angeles, Equality Summit and Camp Courage. And even though I hardly got any sleep Saturday night, I'm glad I did both. One helped me understand what went wrong with the No on H8 campaign in California last year, while the other helped me realize what needs to be done to make it right in 2009 and 2010.

On Saturday, I attended Equality California's Equality Summit in Downtown LA. I didn't quite know what to expect when I first stepped in the Convention Center. But once the summit began, I quickly realized what this was becoming.

When the leaders of the No on H8 campaign began speaking, anxiety was already beginning to fill the room. And when some of them didn't really want to answer the questions on what went wrong, the anxiety quickly turned into anger. The election may have been nearly three months ago, but that doesn't mean LGBT people aren't still hurting after losing fundamental rights at the ballot box. People wanted accountability, but the campiagn leaders still seemed afraid to own up to what happened.

Well, not everyone was afraid. Some, like EQCA's Geoff Kors, actually seemed open to learning from mistakes. And better yet, the folks from Marriage Equality USA seemed ready to undo the damage. However, others just preferred to shift blame to someone else. Fortunately, the lovely Eva Patterson of Equal Justice Society was able to calm the crowd after a storm of fury. She broke to us the hard fact that we'll eventually need to forgive and move on if we intend to build a strong coalition.

After the venting was done, we were then able to engage in some constructive dialogue. David Binder, one of the Obama Campaign's pollsters, gave some definitive answers on what went wrong in the Prop H8 vote. Also at the summit, I was able to meet with local leaders to talk about preparing a winning plan for OC. All in all, I found good use out of Equality Summit.

If Equality Summit was about dealing with the past, then Courage Campaign's Camp Courage seemed all about preparing for the future. I could feel something different in West Hollywood yesterday as I stepped in the auditorium. Instead of the soul searching and frustration I had witnessed the previous day, this event would be more upbeat and action oriented. But hey, what should I have expected from an event modeled after Camp Obama?

I'll be brutally honest, the "Fired Up! Ready to Go!" and "Yes We Can!" chants seemed a little creepy at first. As someone who supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary (before moving to Barack Obama for the general election), I was starting to feel uncomfortable. But once the program got rolling, I was blown away... In a good way.

We had "old school" civil rights activists, like Lisa Powell and SEIU's Liz Moore, train us on telling our stories and persuading voters. We also had newer activists, like Calitics blogger & Courage organizer Julia Rosen, train us on new tools like Courage's Equality Hub. All in all, I felt like I was actually being empowered to undo the damage of H8 at Camp Courage yesterday.

And ultimately, this is why I'm glad I did both. This is why the LGBT community needs to have both experiences. The marriage equality battle has been tough, and numerous mistakes have been made in the past, so we need to vent and scream and shout and forgive and understand and ultimately learn from our mistakes. And then, we need to move on and start figuring out what we must do now and in the future to succeed in the beautiful struggle for equality.

But hey, this doesn't come cheap. EQCA can't do this alone, and neither can Courage Campaign. We need to support these California groups that are working hard in court and on the ground to overturn H8. Oh yes, and let's not forget the local groups that are doing the same here in my area and in yours. We need to look back, look ahead, and ultimately get to work to make equality happen.

Disgraced Blago Expects Ouster

Disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich said on NBC's "Today" show that he doubts whether he may get a single vote for acquittal. Notes the The Chicago Tribune reported:
(Blagojevich) alleged the Senate trial was "rigged, and it's fixed."

With senators serving as Blagojevich's judge and jury, House representatives prosecuting the case, and the governor mounting no defense and likely not attending, the Senate trial is expected to conclude within days. A conviction, which would require at least 40 of the 59 senators, would result in the governor's immediate removal from office.
Balgojevich perceives his situation to be akin to Nelson Mandela's, Martin Luther King's, and Mahatma Gandhi's.

Bishop Gene Robinson discusses Rick Warren

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Inauguration

This is quite cool.

The President speaks about the economy in his weekly address