Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for October, 2006

They embarass him

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

John Cole laments the pathetic state of today’s Republican’t party:

In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.

And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

I hate getting up in the morning, surfing the news, and finding more and more evidence that my party is nothing but a bunch of frauds. I feel like I am betraying my friends in the party and the blogosphere when I attack them, even though I believe it is they who have betrayed what ‘we’ allegedly believe in. Bush has been a terrible President. The past Congresses have been horrible- spending excessively, engaging in widespread corruption, butting in to things they should have no say in (like end of life decisions), refusing to hold this administration accountable for ANYTHING, and using wedge issues to keep themselves in power at the expense of gays, etc. And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power. Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why?

I sympathize with John. I’m not a Republican, but I have often supported GOP candidates, including Dubya in 2000, which is why the betrayal of conservatism and the absolute disastrous policies have been such a disappointment.

I feel John’s pain, and I long for the day when the GOP will have something real to offer again. Only one sane party isn’t good for anyone, least of all, for good government.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Fighting old battles

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

The wingnut caucus seems to have jumped the shark with their latest, most desperate attempt yet to distract the American voters from the Republican’t’s tripartite legacy of failure.

Rather than focus on the quagmire in Iraq, rather than focus on out of control spending and deficits, rather than focus on the latest dance at the GOP ball – “the perp walk”, rather than focus on their supposedly safe candidates like Barbara “bitch slap” Cubin and George “have you stopped beating your wife yet” Allen, the political machine has decided to rely on the short attention span of some Americans by partying like it’s 2004.

That’s right. They want to pick a fight with John Kerry over Iraq, aided of course by the lapdog media and sycophants in the blogosphere.

But people are a little better informed now than a couple years back. And people who, like myself, were willing to give the chimperor the benefit of the doubt have come to realize the truth of the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

The uncomfortable facts are what they are. Iraq is falling into civil war. The military has lowered its standards in order to meet recruiting targets. We have no coherent policy, plan or strategy to bring about a favorable end in the Middle East. That it is lamented by the “French looking” John F. Kerry doesn’t make it less true. And only the truly flailing and desperate are going to misinterperate Kerry’s remarks as somehow a negative reflection on our men and women serving overseas. This is indeed a case where the rot starts at the top – at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Not that reality is going to stop the presidunce from lashing out impotently at Kerry’s “shameful” remarks. You can’t blame them for trying. But smart people recognize the true shameful activities are the suspension of habeas corpus, the illegal wiretapping, the deceit and manipulation of intelligence to justify the Iraqi occupation, the failure to secure American ports, the cronyism, the profligate spending, the deferral of science to superstition, the influence peddling, the corruption, the pedophile coddling, and the list could continue ad nauseam.

Smart people will ignore them. It’s just more distraction from a party apparatus that’s growing increasingly desperate and morally bankrupt.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Election 2006, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Fairness in Registries

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

Interesting piece by Paul at Shakespeare’s Sister:

I’m all for keeping children safe. I’m all for working to eliminate possibilities of children being exposed to the risk of sexual assault. However, I also feel that the nature of sexual crimes have to be defined a little more accurately when people are listed as registered sex offenders. I don’t think it’s really fair to label someone a pedophile, when they’re really just a “pervert.”

Don’t forget to read the comments too.

Posted in Civil Rights, Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

Back to Reality

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

Courtesy of Shakespeare’s Sister.

Posted in Election 2008, Humor | Leave a Comment »

Buying judges

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

But nobody’s in jail.  Alas:

At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

Bad Jonah

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

Kevin Drum slaps down Jonah Goldberg silliness. 

I don’t have the patience to listen to an entire bloggingheads.tv conversation, but this claim struck me as so peculiar that I listened to a couple of minutes of it to see if maybe Jonah had just misrepresented himself in a hastily written post. Nope. He says it directly: “The idea that liberalism in America hasn’t been about shoving things down people’s throats is just factually untrue.”

Well, it’s certainly true that liberals, almost by definition, push for social change more than conservatives. And most social change doesn’t gain majority support overnight. Still, Jonah’s caricature is absurd as a definition specifically of liberalism, as opposed to a definition of anyone fighting for social change, whether progressive or reactionary. Every political movement worth the name starts out trying to convince the public about one thing or another, and sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail. When liberals succeed (civil rights, gay rights), the country eventually comes around. When liberals fail (busing, gun control), the country doesn’t. 

Worth a read in full.

Goldberg.  Sigh.  National Review in general has gone so downhill of late.  It appears their little choo-choo has not only gone round the bed, it’s being towed by the Wingnut Express and is reflexively incapable of examining life beyond Bush’s sphincter.  So my subscription is being allowed to expire.

Posted in The Right | Leave a Comment »

Theocratic meddling

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

Just when you think they can’t get dumber…

The Bush administration is now in the business of encouraging adults to stop having sex? Seriously? And they accuse liberals of using government power in the service of utopian social engineering?

HT: Kevin Drum

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Culture War, Religious Wrong | Leave a Comment »

Theocratic meddling

Posted by Greg on October 31, 2006

Just when you think they can’t get dumber…

The Bush administration is now in the business of encouraging adults to stop having sex? Seriously? And they accuse liberals of using government power in the service of utopian social engineering?

HT: Kevin Drum

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Culture War, Religious Wrong | Leave a Comment »

Lest we forget

Posted by Greg on October 30, 2006

GOPers who desperately deserve to lose include:

–AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
–AZ-01: Rick Renzi
–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
–CA-04: John Doolittle
–CA-11: Richard Pombo
–CA-50: Brian Bilbray
–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
–CO-05: Doug Lamborn
–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell
–CT-04: Christopher Shays
–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
–FL-16: Joe Negron
–FL-22: Clay Shaw
–ID-01: Bill Sali
–IL-06: Peter Roskam
–IL-10: Mark Kirk
–IL-14: Dennis Hastert
–IN-02: Chris Chocola
–IN-08: John Hostettler
–IA-01: Mike Whalen
–KS-02: Jim Ryun
–KY-03: Anne Northup
–KY-04: Geoff Davis
–MD-Sen: Michael Steele
–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
–MN-06: Michele Bachmann
–MO-Sen: Jim Talent
–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
–NV-03: Jon Porter
–NH-02: Charlie Bass
–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
–NM-01: Heather Wilson
–NY-03: Peter King
–NY-20: John Sweeney
–NY-26: Tom Reynolds
–NY-29: Randy Kuhl
–NC-08: Robin Hayes
–NC-11: Charles Taylor
–OH-01: Steve Chabot
–OH-02: Jean Schmidt
–OH-15: Deborah Pryce
–OH-18: Joy Padgett
–PA-04: Melissa Hart
–PA-07: Curt Weldon
–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
–PA-10: Don Sherwood
–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
–TN-Sen: Bob Corker
–VA-Sen: George Allen
–VA-10: Frank Wolf
–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
–WA-08: Dave Reichert

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Congress | Leave a Comment »

When Bin Laden no longer needs the Republican’ts

Posted by Greg on October 30, 2006

Great piece by Tim at Balloon Juice:

Let me follow up on a point from my Monday Thread below: what exactly does it mean if al Qaeda decides that it doesn’t need the Republicans anymore? What is this phase two that Kevin Drum mentioned?

Recall that al Qaeda’s overall mission statement doesn’t specifically involve killing Americans. Like most terrorist groups Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s outfit has an agenda that relates more to their local environment than to the people they attack. It may serve America’s self-absorption to think the evil men attacked us for our freedoms or some such pap but it just ain’t so. Ultimately al Qaeda’s endgame serves Bin Laden’s pseudo-messianic fantasies about uniting the Arab middle east under a populist, fundamentalist banner. A Greater Caliphate. Bin Laden’s primary problem is the British partition of the mideast, which functions exactly as designed by keeping any potential Ottoman empire bottled up in conflicts between more than a dozen competing nation-states.

Read it in full.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, International, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

A reminder

Posted by Greg on October 28, 2006

GOPers who desperately deserve to lose include:

–AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
–AZ-01: Rick Renzi
–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
–CA-04: John Doolittle
–CA-11: Richard Pombo
–CA-50: Brian Bilbray
–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
–CO-05: Doug Lamborn
–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell
–CT-04: Christopher Shays
–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
–FL-16: Joe Negron
–FL-22: Clay Shaw
–ID-01: Bill Sali
–IL-06: Peter Roskam
–IL-10: Mark Kirk
–IL-14: Dennis Hastert
–IN-02: Chris Chocola
–IN-08: John Hostettler
–IA-01: Mike Whalen
–KS-02: Jim Ryun
–KY-03: Anne Northup
–KY-04: Geoff Davis
–MD-Sen: Michael Steele
–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
–MN-06: Michele Bachmann
–MO-Sen: Jim Talent
–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
–NV-03: Jon Porter
–NH-02: Charlie Bass
–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
–NM-01: Heather Wilson
–NY-03: Peter King
–NY-20: John Sweeney
–NY-26: Tom Reynolds
–NY-29: Randy Kuhl
–NC-08: Robin Hayes
–NC-11: Charles Taylor
–OH-01: Steve Chabot
–OH-02: Jean Schmidt
–OH-15: Deborah Pryce
–OH-18: Joy Padgett
–PA-04: Melissa Hart
–PA-07: Curt Weldon
–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
–PA-10: Don Sherwood
–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
–TN-Sen: Bob Corker
–VA-Sen: George Allen
–VA-10: Frank Wolf
–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
–WA-08: Dave Reichert

Posted in Congress | Leave a Comment »

Clearer heads prevail

Posted by Greg on October 26, 2006

Great news from Denmark

 

The City Court in Aarhus rejected claims by seven Danish Muslim groups who said the 12 drawings printed in Jyllands-Posten were meant to insult the Prophet and make a mockery of Islam.

Islamic law forbids any depiction of the Prophet, even positive ones, to prevent idolatry.

“It cannot be ruled out that the drawings have offended some Muslims’ honor,” the court said. But it added there was no basis to assume that “the purpose of the drawings was to present opinions that can belittle Muslims.”

Hat tip: Michael van der Galien, who observes:

Well, I would say to the plaintiffs: welcome to the West where freedom rules. If you don’t like it, if you’re afraid of being ‘hurt’, please go back to whatever place it is you come from.

Posted in Civil Rights, International | Leave a Comment »

Worst Congress Ever

Posted by Greg on October 26, 2006

Rolling Stone’s cover story discusses the worst congress ever, but equally entertaining is the list of the ten worst congressmen.  It’s worth reading, but the list is:

Hastert, R IL

Sensenbrenner, R-WI

Young, R-AK

Jefferson, D-LA

Lewis, R-CA

Tancredo, R-CO

Pombo, R-CA

Weldon, R-PA

Rodgers, R-KY

Musgrave, R-CO

Nothing to disagree with on that list.

As a reminder:

GOPers who desperately deserve to lose include:

–AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
–AZ-01: Rick Renzi
–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
–CA-04: John Doolittle
–CA-11: Richard Pombo
–CA-50: Brian Bilbray
–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
–CO-05: Doug Lamborn
–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell
–CT-04: Christopher Shays
–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
–FL-16: Joe Negron
–FL-22: Clay Shaw
–ID-01: Bill Sali
–IL-06: Peter Roskam
–IL-10: Mark Kirk
–IL-14: Dennis Hastert
–IN-02: Chris Chocola
–IN-08: John Hostettler
–IA-01: Mike Whalen
–KS-02: Jim Ryun
–KY-03: Anne Northup
–KY-04: Geoff Davis
–MD-Sen: Michael Steele
–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
–MN-06: Michele Bachmann
–MO-Sen: Jim Talent
–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
–NV-03: Jon Porter
–NH-02: Charlie Bass
–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
–NM-01: Heather Wilson
–NY-03: Peter King
–NY-20: John Sweeney
–NY-26: Tom Reynolds
–NY-29: Randy Kuhl
–NC-08: Robin Hayes
–NC-11: Charles Taylor
–OH-01: Steve Chabot
–OH-02: Jean Schmidt
–OH-15: Deborah Pryce
–OH-18: Joy Padgett
–PA-04: Melissa Hart
–PA-07: Curt Weldon
–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
–PA-10: Don Sherwood
–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
–TN-Sen: Bob Corker
–VA-Sen: George Allen
–VA-10: Frank Wolf
–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
–WA-08: Dave Reichert

Posted in Congress, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | 1 Comment »

Dear Rush

Posted by Greg on October 25, 2006

She nails it:

Dear Rush,

Michael J. Fox takes drugs to stay alive. You take drugs to get high and to get an erection. You should be in jail.

All the best,

Shayera

Posted in Humor, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Hell to break loose in New Jersey

Posted by Greg on October 25, 2006

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled on marriage equality.

Despite the initial cries of victory from the plaintiffs, this is a Vermont victory, not a Massachussets one.   The court ruled the same rights and benefits must be granted, not that marriage by the name marriage must be allowed. They gave the legislature 180 days to decide h0w to move forward.  Now, of course, the legislature may decide to go whole hog and do marriage, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

From the actual ruling:

Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this State, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution….

To bring the State into compliance with Article I, Paragraph 1 so that plaintiffs can exercise their full constitutional rights, the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes or enact an appropriate statutory structure within 180 days of the date of this decision….

We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.  

Now the ironic thing here is that this is exactly what George W. Bush said in 2004.

“I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so.”….

“I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.”

But that’s the goal of the wingnut caucus – to deny equal treatment under the law.

Of course this has to come down right before the election.  It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect this ruling has.

Other voices:

Daily Kos:

What did the court rule today?  That no matter what you call it, the rights and burdens have to be equal for all couples, straight and gay.  What rights?  Mundane things like:

  • health insurance and family leave for same-sex spouses;
  • equal treatment under wills;
  • equal rights and obligations under family law for custody, visitation and support;
  • the rights to spousal and family benefits under such things as workmen’s compensation law and survival benefits; and
  • the testimonial privilege given to the spouse of an accused in a criminal action.

Andrew Sullivan:

I think this is a perfectly sane compromise. It’s what the Brits have done. Leave the m-word to the churches; but let the state grant equal protection under the law. The Christianists can no longer claim that we are redefining civil marriage in New Jersey. We’re just being fair to gay couples who, as citizens, have every right to be treated equally under the law.

My own position, of course, is that full civil marriage rights, with the m-word, is the only just solution. But in a democracy, there is not a majority for that yet. The court, by the way, is not being activist. It had no logical option but to apply its equal protection clause to everybody. Gay people are citizens, entitled to the same civil treatment by the government as anyone else. But the court has now left it to the legislature to decide on the name.

GOP Wingnut Jeff Gannon thinks it tilts the midterms to the GOP.

Towleroad:

It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on the upcoming elections. Much of the division over gay couples gaining equal rights in this area comes over the word “marriage”. I think that by pushing the decision of what to call the same-sex union to the legislature, the Court has effectively blocked many of the arguments of those who would object to the decision purely on semantic terms.

Posted in Civil Rights, Culture War | 2 Comments »