Thursday, August 31, 2006

Republicans Make it Easy for Democrats!

Republicans in America have made it easy to be a Democrat.

They preach fear and intolerance.
Democrats preach optimism and understanding.

They talk about the evils of taxation and the curse of government.
We understand that taxes are the civic duty of every citizen, and that government is merely the combined cooperative effort of all Americans accomplishing things that individually we could not make happen.

They believe is that the best tax is no tax. That the role of government is to reduce the tax burden on the wealthy who pay the most taxes.
Democrats believe that taxes should be progressive, that those who can pay should bear the greatest burden. And that balancing a budget is a reasonable responsibility of government.

They prefer to advocate torture, rendition, and detention without charges to advance the war on terror. We fight the same war but respect the dignity of every human being, advocate following the Geneva Conventions and cherish our Constitutional freedoms.

They scoff at global warming and place profits ahead of environmental safeguards.
We look to recycle and conserve; they believe in drilling and exploitation.

We respect every individual's right to worship God and insist on keeping government and religion separate. They view their religious views as paramount and wish to insert them into the public square.

They look at civil liberties and organizations that work to protect them as somehow subversive. That why would anyone want to believe or say those things they are protecting anyhow. Democrats believe that civil liberties are the key element of our nation that separates us from totalitarian regimes. That protection of liberty is more important than reaching desired political results.

We trust science and look for cures for diseases.
They depend on primitive fundamentalist views to dictate our understanding of the universe and prefer to restrict science.

We believe in evolution.
They advocate creationism.

We believe in sex education and supporting youth.
They believe in silly ideas of "abstinence only" whether or not they represent good health policy, and that youth should be denied healthcare and access to reproductive support as a matter of policy. Even if this means more disease.

We support public education as the great equalizer.
They prefer to support parochial education on public moneys.

We protect the right of every woman to choose her reproductive destiny.
They wish to turn back the clock and deny women the freedoms they have earned.

They wish to protect the "institution of marriage" by hurting individuals with different sexual orientations than theirs and denying them the right to enjoy marriage. We believe in respecting the rights and freedoms of every American regardless of their sexual orientation.

They believe in rugged individualism, that society is better if more people carried concealed weapons.
We believe in the modern police force and the rights of citizens to live in a society without the fears of others carrying guns.

It is easy being a Democrat.

One just has to care about others. Love the unloved. Feed the hungry. And educate the ignorant.

We understand family values. That is what we are about.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Keith Olbermann Responds to Rumsfeld: "Good-Night and Good-Luck!"

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday at an American Legion convention speech attacked dissenters against the war in Iraq as suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" and accused them of lacking the courage to fight back. It appears that the new strategy of this President who is trying to bolster flagging support for the war in Iraq is to go on the offensive. To attempt to stifle dissent and make it appear unpatriotic.

In another era and another time, it was the commentator Edward R. Murrow who stood up to the fearful rants of another demagogue, Joseph McCarthy.

As noted by Joseph Wershba, a former producer of 60 Minutes:
"Murrow did not kill off McCarthy or McCarthyism, but he helped halt America's incredible slide toward a native brand of fascism. Unbelievable. You had to live through the times to know how fearful -- indeed, terrorized -- people were about speaking their minds. The cold war with Russia, the threat of a hot war with China, security programs and loyalty oaths -- all had cowed the citizens of the most powerful nation on earth into keeping their minds closed and their mouths shut. The Senate of the United States. in order not to appear Red, chose to be yellow. It was the Age of McCarthyism. Edward R. Murrow helped bring it to an end."
Today it is not Joe McCarthy, yet we have Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney spreading fear across America. Fear of dissent. Fear of terrorism. Fear of personal safety. And fear of speaking out.

Senator Kerry understands the role of dissent in a democratic society.

Recall what he had to say about this same subject:
"Dissenters are not always right, but it is always a warning sign when they are accused of unpatriotic sentiments by politicians seeking a safe harbor from debate, from accountability, or from the simple truth.

Truth is the American bottom line. Truth above all is fundamental to who we are. It is no accident that among the first words of the first declaration of our national existence it is proclaimed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident…".

This hall and this Commonwealth have always been at the forefront of seeking out and living out the truth in the conduct of public life. Here Massachusetts defined human rights by adopting our own Bill of Rights; here we took a stand against slavery, for women's suffrage and civil rights for all Americans. The bedrock of America's greatest advances-the foundation of what we know today are defining values-was formed not by cheering on things as they were, but by taking them on and demanding change.

And here and now we must insist again that fidelity, honor, and love of country demand untrammeled debate and open dissent. At no time is that truer than in the midst of a war rooted in deceit and justified by continuing deception. For what is at stake here is nothing less than life itself. As the statesman Edmund Burke once said: "A conscientious man should be cautious how he dealt in blood."

Think about that now-in a new era that has brought old temptations and tested abiding principles.

America has always embraced the best traditions of civilized conduct toward combatants and non-combatants in war. But today our leaders hold themselves above the law-in the way they not only treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib, but assert unchecked power to spy on American citizens.

America has always rejected war as an instrument of raw power or naked self-interest. We fought when we had to in order to repel grave threats or advance freedom and self-determination in concert with like-minded people everywhere. But our current leadership, for all its rhetoric of freedom and democracy, behaves as though might does make right, enabling us to discard the alliances and institutions that served us so well in the past as nothing more now than impediments to the exercise of unilateral power.

America has always been stronger when we have not only proclaimed free speech, but listened to it. Yes, in every war, there have been those who demand suppression and silencing. And although no one is being jailed today for speaking out against the war in Iraq, the spirit of intolerance for dissent has risen steadily, and the habit of labeling dissenters as unpatriotic has become the common currency of the politicians currently running our country.

Dismissing dissent is not only wrong, but dangerous when America's leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion of the nation's direction, and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure, or genuine debate."

And today, instead of Edward R. Murrow, we find ourselves listening to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.

From Crooks and Liars, click HERE and listen to the Keith Olbermann commentary on this.

Thank you Senator Kerry. Thank you Keith Olbermann. And yes thank you Mr. Edward R. Murrow.

If we do not embrace dissent, if we do not challenge politicians and political appointees who threaten dissent, we can all say good-night and good-luck to America! Keep on coming John! We have got your back!


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Keeping Katherine Harris Separate from State!

Katherine Harris helped George W. Bush to the White House over Al Gore.

As noted in this article from The Nation:
"...In the months leading up to the November 2000 presidential election, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local election supervisors to purge 57,700 voters from the registries, supposedly ex-cons not allowed to vote in Florida. At least 90.2 percent of those on this "scrub" list, targeted to lose their civil rights, are innocent. Notably, more than half--about 54 percent--are black or Hispanic. You can argue all night about the number ultimately purged, but there's no argument that this electoral racial pogrom ordered by Jeb Bush's operatives gave the White House to his older brother."
I guess we should forget about the voter purge.

But this wasn't Harris' strategy. She doesn't deserve all of the credit! Ohio's Blackwell used the same strategy, (he was also Secretary of State as was Harris, and he was also the campaign manager for Bush for Ohio as was Harris in Florida. It was Ohio that gave the election to Bush over Kerry. Coincidence?) as reported:
"...Blackwell's two most potent acts of disenfranchisement, skeptics say, were the purging of 133,000 mostly Democratic voters from the rolls and the non-counting of 92,000 ballots rejected by voting machines as unreadable. "It's clear to me that somebody thought long and hard back in 2001 about how to win this thing," says Fitrakis. "Somebody had the foresight to check an obscure statute that allows you to cancel people's voter registrations if they haven't voted in two presidential elections." Fitrakis notes that newspapers reported the purging of 105,000 voters in Cincinnati and another 28,000 in Toledo. But because the purging was conducted gradually between 2001 and 2004, no one saw the big picture until the Free Press connected the dots.
So haven't these two stalwart soldiers for "W" earned higher office?

Ken Blackwell wants to be Governor of Ohio.

And Katherine Harris would like to make you think she is qualified to be a Senator from Florida.

Unfortunately, Ms. Harris is better at applying make-up than understanding America!

Katherine Harris had a very nice interview in the Florida Baptist Witness. In this interview, which I would encourage you to read in its entirety she had this to say:
"The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
That "LIE" Ms. Harris? About Separation of Church and State? And the bit about "...because God is the one who chooses our rulers."? We ELECT our REPRESENTATIVES Ms. Harris. We don't have rulers.

Ms. Harris went on:
"But the real issue is why should Baptists care, why should people care? If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong. ..."
We should only be electing Christians? What kind of advice is that? Bigotry plain and simple. Asking voters to vote only for one religion as if that was any guarantee of leadership. Denying votes to those who believe differently than you Ms. Harris. Simply shameful, backwards, and bigoted.

Ms. Harris you do not belong in any elected office in the United States of America.

Mr. Blackwell does not deserve to be Governor.

Al Gore should have won the election in 2000.

John Kerry should have won the election in 2004.

Instead we have these charlatans running around pursuing higher office for themselves. This is no time to reward past misbehavior and current lack of judgment and tolerance to these scoundrels. Send them all packing.

Hey Senator Kerry, keep on coming! We got your back! America needs your brand of leadership now more than ever. We need educated Americans like Senator Kerry to bring us back onto the track of brotherhood, freedom of religion, freedom of press, and yes the freedom to elect those who get the most votes in an election.

Help is on the Way!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman Does a "Zidane" on Lamont!

One of the memorable moments of the World Cup was the now infamous "head butt" given by retiring Zinedine Zidane of France to Italy's Marco Materazzi. Nobody understood how Zidane could have lost his composure and in the final game threaten the success of his team, which in fact, went on to lose to Italy without his assistance.

So it is with Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman who, having lost the Democratic Primary to anti-war millionaire Ned Lamont, has now refused to support the winner of the Primary.

After his loss to Lamont, Senator Lieberman had this to say:
"As I see it, in this campaign we just finished the first half and the Lamont team is ahead," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman last night after his Democratic primary loss to Ned Lamont. "But, in the second half, our team, Team Connecticut, is going to surge forward to victory in November."
In the "second half" Senator Lieberman?

It is reasonable to assume that when you ran in the Democratic Party Primary in Connecticut you were seeking the endorsement of the Democratic Party. If you had wanted to be an Independent, you shouldn't have run first as a Democrat. It is not fair to the Democratic Party nor to Ned Lamont to have it both ways!

I like and admire Senator Lieberman. I even have visited with him when he and Al Gore came through Wisconsin during that unsuccessful campaign. He is a man of high ideals, strong religious convictions, and high moral standards.

But he lost the Primary.

Senator John Kerry had this to say about the Connecticut Primary. As reported:
"Calling the result of the vote, "a strong statement about the current course in Iraq," Kerry has "strongly" endorsed Lamont over current Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman.

"I’ve worked with Joe Lieberman since our days in college together," Kerry said in a statement today, "and I respect his many contributions to our public life. But the Democratic Party stands for something, and the Democratic Party in Connecticut has made a choice."

"The events of the past months make even more clear," Kerry added, "the differences Democratic leadership would make for our country on Iraq, in making America safer, in having an economy that works for everyone, and in achieving energy independence. That’s who we are as Democrats, and that’s what we’ll be fighting for. It’s time for all Democrats to come together to support Ned Lamont. It’s time for Democrats to unite.”
Thank you Senator Kerry!

"The Times They are a-Changin'"
sang Bob Dylan.

And indeed they are. In Connecticut. In the State House and in the White House.

America is crying for new leadership. Leadership that will move us beyond a war with no end in sight. Leadership that will fight for the little guy raising the minimum wage on the lowest paid workers without bankrupting our nation with further tax cuts on the multi-millionaires among us.

Keep on coming John! We have got your back!

And Senator Lieberman, go gracefully into the sunset. You have one heck of a Senate record and are one heck of a great guy. We love you Joe. But today's problems need the leadership and ideas of tomorrow. Not more of the same as yesterday.