Friday, June 20, 2008

Oy. Contact your Senators to Defeat.

Final House vote on FISA, H.R. 6304.

Friday Music Blogging

The inestimable Queen, with Freddie Mercury

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) I'm going to depart briefly from the usual format of this post to talk about a story in-depth. A bit.

Much has been made about Obama's about-face on campaign financing. For one thing, it is the final spike in the coffin of his image as a "politician for change," since he was adamant early on about accepting financing and the limits that go along with it. For another, it's pretty cheesy to do it this early in the game.

That said, I can certainly support his position for a reason I've not seen discussed much in the news.

See, Obama isn't just running against John McCain and the media is painting this as Obama beating up on McCain with his superior fund raising. While true, it is also true that Obama recognizes that he will be running against every stinking 527 group that can be tossed in front of him, and those organizations are under no preset spending limits. He cannot rely on to fund every rebuttal quickly enough and so needs to have his own money and his own war room in place (courtesy the Clintons, my suspicion is).

It is sad that a major party candidate has to stoop to bending his "principles" (quotes, because we don't really know that he has any) for the good of the nation, but there you have it. I have no problem with this.

2) Is anybody surprised by this? In a recent poll across the globe, only Kim Jong Il was a more despised national leader than Robert Mugabe, with Bush a close third!

3) The European Union, a grand idea whose time really had come, has begun collapsing once more. First the Irish rejected the Constitution and now it looks like the Czech Republic is getting cold feet.

4) The EU was positioning itself to be America's greatest economic competitor and to stave off the threat of China as the world's largest economy, which will happen within the next twenty years.

5) As my good friend Blogenfreude is fond of saying, "No one could hae expected this!" Combine a town featured in a popular major motion picture (The Perfect Storm, and yes I resist the temptation to use that here) with the recent rash of featured celebrity pregnancy and add in a dose of Dumbya's "abstinence only" education, and this is what one might expect.

6) They are at it again. We must put a stop to this.

7) Iowa, Missouri, Illinois: all Obama enclaves. I wonder how many of these people have repudiated their guns and their God to keep in with the elitist spiritual tone of the good Senator's campaign?

8) Ice = water = life. We've found it.

9) Compared to WHO, her sister????

10) A personal note: I'm sad to see such a shoddy paean to a great television show has been made, despite my admiration for the cast. This becomes a personal note, because as a child, I counted among my friends Mel's three children, and Barbara Feldon's son. In fact, we always believed that Mel would eavesdrop on us at play to crib ideas for the movies and TV shows he was involved in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Paradigms For Sale

The Constitution does not speak of freedom of contract. It speaks of liberty and prohibits the deprivation of liberty without due process of law. In prohibiting that deprivation, the Constitution does not recognize an absolute and uncontrollable liberty. Liberty in each of its phases has its history and connotation. But the liberty safeguarded is liberty in a social organization which requires the protection of law against the evils which menace the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the people. Liberty under the Constitution is thus necessarily subject to the restraints of due process, and regulation which is reasonable in relation to its subject and is adopted in the interests of the community is due process. -- Chief Justice of the Unitedt States Supreme Court Charles Evans Hughes, WEST COAST HOTEL CO. V. PARRISH , 300 U.S. 379 (1937)
There, in a nutshell, is what a liberal, progressive platform should be.

"We will protect your freedoms." Ok, the wording needs to be cleaned up, but the image we need to leave in voters' minds is one of a knight or a hired gun, taking on the bad guys and beating them back.

True freedom, true liberty, can come only when the individual in a nation is free from worry, from inequality (not talking about prejudice, altho that is part of it) and from power of any kind.

The best society is one where people have banded together to watch out for each other without interfering in each other's lives. That is freedom.

Government, by extension, works best when it provides opportunity and protection from the inequities of power as represented by influence and wealth. When wealth can avail itself of the advantages of power and the advantages of governmental protection, an inequitable system has been created where working people, whose income is wholly dependent on the monied classes, can and likely will bear the brunt of protecting society as a whole.

Meanwhile, the working classes will receive the least benefit from this society. After all, freedom is just a word for nothing left to lose, and the less you have, the less you need physical protection. You can be free, because who would want to take anything from someone who has nothing?

Conversely, the more you have, the more you need physical protection.

This is in large part the rationale behind a progressive tax system: those who have and continue to benefit the most from the bounty of this nation are required to fund a larger proportion of its needs.

The nifty trick the right wing has accomplished is in equating the rich and powerful, and in particular, corporations, with "the people", thus populising that which by definition is elitist. When conservatives talk about "the people," or "compassion," or "economic freedom," you can bet this involves giving more booty to the richest among us.

Leaving the check for the rest of us to pick up.

The revolution starts by taking the weakest link in the chain back out: government. Government is the only entity with both the resources and the force of law behind it to protect people like you, and me, and him, and her, from the predations of rampant abuse by those who should know better and moreover, should be more grateful to us.

We, the people, deserve universal health care.

We, the people, deserve universal public education through college.

We, the people, deserve universal child care for working parents.

We, the people, deserve a voice to speak up for us, collectively, against those who collect against us.

We, the people, deserve guarantees that no longer will government and corporations conspire against us to deprive us of our God-given freedom.

We, the people, deserve the opportunity this nation has promised us from the cradle onward.

We, the people, deserve our nation back!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Quickie

Which news organization is represented in this fictional vignette?

On Monday, dozens of gay couples planned to rush down to their county clerk's office Monday evening to be among the very first to say "I do" under the historic court ruling making California the second state to allow same-sex marriages...and Tim Russert wasn't here to comment on it!


My god, two days wasn't enough to mourn this jackass? Three? We have to make it an even four?

Mother Theresa didn't get the kind of coverage that some fat-ingesting tub of goo with a weak heart got! Even this morning, there was ol' Luke Russert, Timmeh's son, on air for twenty minutes reminiscing not about Dad but about how nice everyone at NBC had been about reminiscing about his dad!

Good lord, there was less pandering at Reagan's funeral....from Republicans!

What makes it worse is to watch the Obombers in their supposed "let's change the political landscape" suck up to this fat bastard's memory, when a year ago (and they were supporting Kucinich), it was all about how "Timmeh" doesn't get it and "Timmeh" is a fat bastard and "Timmeh" is evil incarnate!