Sunday, September 25, 2005

$200 Billion for New Orleans? From where?

Not from the pork-laden Transportation Bill apparently:

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) is a self-proclaimed “little oinker” and aspires to be the “chief porker.” As chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Commitee, he’s ensured that the six-year $295 billion transportation bill is “stuffed like a turkey” with $721 million in projects for Alaska, including $223 million for the infamous “bridge to nowhere.”

But don’t you dare suggest that money is pork, especially if you’re sitting in his office.

REPORTER: Isn’t there a bunch of stuff in that highway bill, at least 24 billion dollars, that could be taken out and used for the people in New Orleans and Mississippi and the places that were affected?

REP. YOUNG: No! That money is not there! That money is for transportation! That is not added pork. See, that’s why the whole media — Wall Street Journal, yourself, respectfully, you know, Sam Donaldson — don’t know what the hell you are talking about. This is grandstanding by individuals that don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll go back to that. It’s ignorance and stupidity.

It's amazing. Fiscal conservatives are now using President Bush's projected spending for Katrina as a reason to gut long-despised programs from the budget as a means of cutting costs. I know what you're thinking.... NOW they're interested in cutting costs, after five years. No, they're not going to raise taxes on Billionaires. That would be Un-American. Nor are they touching their pork projects. It's the poor and needy who will be left out in the cold (literally considering projected heating costs this winter) to fend for themselves.

Still waiting for that trickle-down effect, Neo-Hawks. The assumption that Millionaires and you're average business owner would take their tax cuts and tax breaks and immediately turn around and invest them in their employees in the form of lower heath insurance costs and higher salaries, as opposed to taking the profits and living off the interest, is the biggest scam fiscal conservatives played on the middle class.

PA ID controversy goes to court


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) -- A new battle over teaching about man's origins in U.S. schools goes to court for the first time next week, pitting Christian conservatives against educators and scientists in a trial viewed as the biggest test of the issue since the late 1980s.

I for one will be watching this closely.

Right-Wing blogging about the Anti-War demonstrations

Here's some cutting and pasting:

While about 100,000 aged hippies, anti-American socialists and assorted conspiracy-theorists gathered in DC for a hate-America fest,

The anti-war protestors aren't really anti-war - they are actually anti-American. I feel for those who are just misguided into the anti-war movement, but one has to face the fact that if you are within a country mile of the really horrible people of ANSWER, then you are besmirched with the muck of treason. The broad mass of the American people will never sign on to a group which not only says that the war should end, but calls our efforts to date part of a criminal conspiracy.

This crowd of immature has-beens, wants one thing - America to lose. Their goal is to destroy it as it was, and turn it into the idiocy preached by thousand of godless communist loving professors who have hated this country from day one. These useful idiots have no idea that if they win - what they get won't resemble anything like they think. Be careful what you wish for liberals - if you succeed in taking America down, there will be no room for your beloved liberalism in the new order. That is your puppet master's dirty little secret!

Dregs, flotsam, and jetsam to be sure. Some are there because they believe the loony-left's propaganda. Some are there because they work for the overthrow of America - like A.N.S.W.E.R. Some are there because they, like most moonbats, like to swarm - they delude themselves into thinking that their paltry numbers mean strength or unity. And a large percent of the young males, I suspect, were just looking for a party and some loose chicks - which I'm sure they found in abundance. This is like the jackpot for college-aged guys who want a female who subscribes to the hedonistic beliefs of the left, and if anything goes wrong, she'll happily get an abortion. What could be better?

Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy, don't it? And do you think there's any room for Liberals in their vision of America?

Me either.

Keeping my Tin Foil hat close at hand

Just read.

Back to Blogging

I love the internet.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Seeing "Liberal Conspiracies" Everywhere

This post from a conservative blog:

A "--" reader emailed to inform me he's tested out Google's new Blog Search tool, and tried entering the term "President Bush." He reveals, "I was surprised (not really) that "--" did not [come up] until page 7."

I tried it myself, with the term 'President Bush' in quotation marks, and I had to go to page 10 to see the first link to "--".

Search queries for "George W. Bush" and "George Bush" produced worse results, as "--" was not within the first 10 pages of results (I stopped looking after that.)

It is a bit suspect when "--" comes up so late, or not at all after a few basic queries relating to Bush.

A day or so earlier I had tested the new blog search engine and immediately determined it was not only a bad search engine, but ridiculously slanted to the left in its results. Disappointing, but not unexpected.

Despite meeting the criteria for inclusion as a news source on Google News, "--" has been repeatedly denied because we are a pro-Bush blog... no they didn't tell me that was the reason, but considering they kept changing their reasons every time I proved "--" met their stated criteria, it's not hard to figure out what was going on.

Speaking of Google News, one would think that the launching of this new blog search engine would mean they'll start purging all blogs as news sources from Google News. Some of the blogs that have slipped through the cracks and made it as news sources have proven to make using Google News more frustrating when looking for actual news stories.

Google's Blog Search certainly has potential... But it is in serious need of improvement.

I have no doubt that Google has a secret department whose job is to thoroughly review all of the millions of blogs in the world, determine their political leaning, and adjust their search tool accordingly. What other explaination could their be?

Susie's grab bag - 3 of 3 (she catches all the good stuff)

Bush now says he wants to rebuild New Orleans with federal dollars. But for four and a half years, he has embarrassed even fellow Republicans by his annual proposals to slash Community Development Block grants. He talks now of federal accounts of up to $5,000 for job training, education and child care expenses for evacuees. Yet before Katrina, he has proposed to slash job training programs, adult literacy programs and let his own No Child Left Behind program go underfunded by billions of dollars a year. Nearly every state in the nation is either suing the government or complaining about having to follow unfunded mandates.

Bush says he will now create a Gulf Opportunity Zone to stimulate business, ‘’including minority-owned enterprises.” But he also suspended the Davis-Bacon act for Katrina rebuilding, meaning that contractors need not pay the prevailing wage for laborers. Bush says he wants to ‘’help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives.” But between relaxing wage rules for the CEOs and heading a Republican Party that has for eight years blocked a rise in the $5.15 federal minimum wage, Bush’s plan to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will squeeze yet more pulp out of the poor.

Bush proclaimed that we are about to witness ‘’one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen.” For that to happen, he will have to become everything he has not been for his first four and a half years. That is only possible if he does things like drop his tax cut program or end the needless war in Iraq.

Bush says Katrina was cruel and wasteful. He was right in a way he did not intend. Katrina laid bare the cruel waste of so much of his presidency.

here. Susie's link here.

Susie's grab bag - 2 of 3

The President suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before he declared a national emergency. That means he was so focused on cutting the wages of people who’d be returning to the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and their communities that, in order to hasten the suspension, he failed to follow the law. And at the same time the White House was cutting workers’ wages, it was busy awarding no-bid contracts. The President has proven once again that he’s more interested in governing for the few than in governing for all of us.

The President’s pay cut affects tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Americans who desperately need a decent income to rebuild their lives. People working construction jobs in the Gulf Coast might only have earned $7 or $8 in the first place; now, the only protection left for them is the federal minimum wage, which is a disgraceful $5.15 an hour because Republicans repeatedly refuse to increase it.

What the President has done is immoral.

here. Susie's link here.

Susie's grab bag - 1 of 3

AUSTIN – White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove personally called the Texas secretary of state about a newspaper story quoting a staff lawyer about whether Mr. Rove was eligible to vote in the state.

The lawyer was subsequently fired.

Secretary of State Roger Williams said that he decided to dismiss the lawyer after talking with Mr. Rove but that the White House adviser didn’t request that he do so.
“Absolutely not,” said Mr. Williams, a longtime supporter of President Bush and a major GOP fundraiser.

article here. Susie's link here.

It is Curious, don't you think?

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) penned a letter to Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday asking why the Justice Department was able to successfully prosecute a teenager for hacking into Paris Hilton's cell phone, but has yet to fully investigate two Republican staffers who hacked into the Senate Democratic Judiciary computer system, RAW STORY has learned.

The Massachusetts teenager was sentenced to 11 months in juvenile detention earlier this week for hacking into the hotel heiress' cell phone and other corporate computer systems.

Durbin refers to two Republican Judiciary committee staffers who were caught hacking into confidential memorandums between Democratic Senators and their attorneys in April 2004. The case was referred to the New York Justice Department, but has never come to fruition.

One of the men involved, Manuel Miranda, has now gone on to become the head of a coalition of grassroots conservative organizations involved in judicial issues and is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He also claims to advise members of Congress on judicial issues. He and the other Republican staff member, Jason Lundell, were dismissed from their Senate positions when the break-in was discovered.

Friday, September 16, 2005

MYDD on Healthcare

While many have been understandably focused on Katrina, Roberts, and Iraq lately, some interesting information has come out recently shedding some light on the healthcare situation in this country. It's certainly not the most exciting story to be following right now, but it is, over the long run, perhaps the most important. An article in New York Newsday sums it up well.

Health insurance is becoming ever more unaffordable for workers.

Premiums have soared 73 percent since 2000, far outpacing the rate of inflation and wage growth, which grew at 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent respectively, according to the 2005 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey, released yesterday.

Meanwhile, more companies are shifting costs to employees - requiring they shell out more for office visits, deductibles and drugs - and fewer are offering insurance coverage at all.

"Health insurance is becoming more expensive for the average person," said Gary Claxton, co-author of the survey, which was sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust.

And some the companies putting more of the burden on their employees aren't the ones you might think. Costco, which champions fair wages as good business practice, and Starbucks, which famously offers health coverage to employees who work more than twenty hours per week, are two companies that are looking to legislators to help them solve this problem.

To put their dilemma in perspective, Starbucks is now paying more for employee healthcare than they are raw materials for their coffee. This is a similar statistic to the one constantly cited about General Motors. About $1,500 of every GM vehicle sold goes to paying for employee and retiree healthcare costs. Figures like this are constantly cited by anti-labor conservatives, who view such healthcare expenditures as excessive and frivolous. But companies shouldn't have to choose between happy shareholders and healthy employees.

The Republican response to the healthcare crisis is nearly always blame shifting. The President and his cabal in Congress constantly claim that the rising cost of healthcare is due to malpractice lawsuits. There is overwhelming evidence however, to prove that is completely untrue. In fact, rising healthcare costs have been matched by record profits for private health insurers.

The only reason they blame malpractice suits is that trial lawyers are an overwhelmingly Democratic constituency. That's not news to anyone, but it is important to make the case, over and over again, until everyone understands it, that Republicans are completely devoid of innovative healthcare ideas at a time when it is one of the most pressing issues facing both the American people and economy. For them, the nation's healthcare problems just serve as another excuse to beat up Democrats.

This is also so important right now as it relates to the news that Democrats are now more trusted than Republicans on almost every major issue, from the economy to Iraq. Our party's largest advantage is in the area of healthcare. Only 28% of voters see the GOP as preferable to the Democrats when it comes to handling healthcare.

The GOP has thrown up road blocks and smoke screens every time the Democrats have pushed a national healthcare agenda. But now, with the problem continuing to get worse and the GOP having such little credibility on any issue, much less one that has historically favored Democrats, healthcare has to go right back to the top of our platform. It's no longer just a matter of doing what is morally right, making sure that healthcare is a right and not a privilege. It's also a matter of maintaining a competitive economic edge in global marketplace full of nations who wouldn't dream of putting the burden of healthcare on private business.

article here.

The main talking points behind the push for Tort Reform was that higher jury rewards are passed along to the insured as higher premiums. If that was indeed the case, however, why haven't we seen lower premiums after the passing of Tort Reform? Surely they weren't just lying through their asses, were they?

Bush Administration: economic priorities

Making workers take home less pay, instead of making Federal Contractors lower their profit margins: check.

Making workers take home less pay, instead of making Private Corporations lower their profit margins: check.

Demoting personnel who criticize no-bid contracts: check.

Well... it's good to have priorities.

Insurance Companies looking out for #1

From John Cole:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood sued insurers in his state Thursday for taking advantage of Hurricane Katrina victims and not covering damage to homes caused by flooding in the aftermath of the storm.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., Allstate Property and Casualty Co., United Services Automobile Association and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. were listed as defendants in the suit.

Hood’s office is investigating charges that claims adjusters from these companies offered homeowners affected by the storm $3,000 in personal expense money in return for signing waivers agreeing their home’s damage was from a flood and not from wind.

Apparently, the position of the insurance companies is that even though these folks thought they were buying hurricane insurance, the companies only will pay for wind damage (which is not surprising, because rarely do insurers in flood plains offer flood insurance*- you have to go through FEMA for that). The problem is, how do you prove your house was damaged by wind, and not the water? And what about the fact that the storm surge is caused by the wind?

Essentially, this is like having medical insurance that covers gunshot wounds, but doesn’t cover wounds by small pieces of metal that act as a projectile. It makes no sense, and, based on the information I have right now, it is an act of bad faith and is unconscionable.

And I am not impressed with claims this will ruin insurance companies. Years and years of record profits would suggest they have a way to rebound. Or they should find another way of making a living, something a touch more honorable. Like beating old women over the head on their way to church and stealing their purses.

*Post edited.

...but we should privatize more services currently handled by the Federal Government, because private corporations are notorious for putting the American People before profits.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

If the GOP can't pull it off, no one can

In his Prospect column this week, Matt wrote:

The other possibility is that Republicans are so convinced that government is inefficient and full of people who don't know what they're doing that it just doesn't occur to them to do it any other way.

In response, Wil Wilkinson said:

Naturally, Matt is implying that there is some other way to do it. But, no. The Republicans are right; that's just how government works. The problem with the Republicans is that they, being invested with power, are insufferably opportunistic hypocrites. They're not uniquely prone to cronyism. They're just prone to being in power, which is the enabling condition for the cronyism to which all political types aspire.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Clinton's nomination of the incredibly qualified James Lee Witt totally blow Wil's theory to shreds? Because considering the decidedly non-constant nature of the dynamic Wil describes, this strikes me as but another chapter of "Republicans who ideologically dislike government can't run it effectively and thus it stands to reason that no nobody else can either."

Ezra Klein's post here.

Specter: Foot in Mouth

From AmericaBlog:

Reportedly, Specter's office is telling callers the following regarding Specter's opposition to the independent commission to investigate the Katrina mess:

I called Arlen Specter... phone person said-- quickly-- he supports bipartisan but not independent. Asked why not independent she said she didn't know.

Unfortunately, that's an outright lie. And I quote the Washington Post's coverage of the panel the Republicans ACTUALLY set up:

House and Senate GOP leaders announced the "Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee," which will include only members of Congress, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by a yet-to-be-determined ratio.

I'm sorry, but it's not "bipartisan" if Republicans outnumber Democrats on the panel. That makes it a Republican panel with Democrats just bearing witness.

A bipartisan panel would be one with equal numbers of Dems and Republicans. Not to mention, is Congress expected to investigate its own role in Katrina? Are the Republicans really expected to give Bush a fair shake? Are the Dems? Neither party is going to be fully honest about Bush's deeds or misdeeds. This is a crock. Specter doesn't care about American lives, he only cares about partisan gain.

Call Senator Specters office and ask them why they're liars.

Specter, Arlen- (R - PA)
(202) 224-4254
Web Form:

More Compassionate Conservatives react to the Pledge ruling

Yet this is EXACTLY how the present their own children. Apparently their kids are so "sheeplike" that they don't even have the backbone to not say "under God." And are so mindless that just hearing the words "under God" will indoctrinate them.
Congress shall make no law... nevermind. I'm sure he's read it.
This is what people are accusing their children of being when they bitch about "under God" being "coersive."
There's nothing coersive about it. Be a parent. Your kid is going to have to learn eventually that not everything they do will be popular and they'll just have to grow a backbone and deal with it.

Do what you're told. Never question authority.
They're going to have to learn to not just do what everyone else is doing.
If "under God" is coersive to your child then you better keep them away from cliffs. Because if everyone else started jumping you can be sure your own kid is going to as well.

Yes. The two are exactly the same. Your average human is born with an innate survival instict that might keep him or her from jumping off a cliff, even if others were doing it.
If "under God" is coersive then you better ban them from having friends who smoke or drink because your child is going to die of cancer at the age of 15 with a bottle of whiskey hanging out of their mouth.

No, liberals actually PREFER their elementary school kids having friends nursing Jack Daniel bottles during recess.
The world is going to say and do things you don't like. Live with it.

We're in power so you can go to Hell.
You can't legislate your house rules for the rest of the world just so your mindless, spineless child doesn't have any influences in their life that you wouldn't allow in your own home.

Now i'm going back to banning all books in my local library that deal with any influences I wouldn't allow in my home.

To claim to be an atheist you are really stating you know all things about everything in this universe and any other universe that might exist. No one can say that truthfully.
Except us Christians. Stay off our turf.

If the poor athiest kids are offended, it's up to their parents to EXCUSE them, not END the practice for all. As a minority, I want minority rights protected, but there is protection and tyranny. This type of ruling is just one group oppressing the majority.
Declaring it illegal to force teenagers to pledge their allegiance to a nation under God actually oppresses those who do believe in God. Makes sense to me.

Some Sanity on the Pledge

Blogenlust is on it:

An important fact to know before the shitstorm over the pledge of allegiance begins: The "under God" clause was only added to the pledge in the 1950s.

Does this remind you of anything?

The efforts to bring God into the state reached their peak during the so-called "religious revival" of the 1950s. It was a time when Norman Vincent Peale grafted religion onto the era's feel-good consumerism in his best-selling The Power of Positive Thinking; when Billy Graham rose to fame as a Red-baiter who warned that Americans would perish in a nuclear holocaust unless they embraced Jesus Christ; when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed that the United States should oppose communism not because the Soviet Union was a totalitarian regime but because its leaders were atheists.

Hand in hand with the Red Scare, to which it was inextricably linked, the new religiosity overran Washington. Politicians outbid one another to prove their piety. President Eisenhower inaugurated that Washington staple: the prayer breakfast. Congress created a prayer room in the Capitol. In 1955, with Ike's support, Congress added the words "In God We Trust" on all paper money. In 1956 it made the same four words the nation's official motto, replacing "E Pluribus Unum." Legislators introduced Constitutional amendments to state that Americans obeyed "the authority and law of Jesus Christ."

The campaign to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was part of this movement. It's unclear precisely where the idea originated, but one driving force was the Catholic fraternal society the Knights of Columbus. In the early '50s the Knights themselves adopted the God-infused pledge for use in their own meetings, and members bombarded Congress with calls for the United States to do the same. Other fraternal, religious, and veterans clubs backed the idea. In April 1953, Rep. Louis Rabaut, D-Mich., formally proposed the alteration of the pledge in a bill he introduced to Congress.

The "under God" movement didn't take off, however, until the next year, when it was endorsed by the Rev. George M. Docherty, the pastor of the Presbyterian church in Washington that Eisenhower attended. In February 1954, Docherty gave a sermon—with the president in the pew before him—arguing that apart from "the United States of America," the pledge "could be the pledge of any country." He added, "I could hear little Moscovites [sic] repeat a similar pledge to their hammer-and-sickle flag with equal solemnity." Perhaps forgetting that "liberty and justice for all" was not the norm in Moscow, Docherty urged the inclusion of "under God" in the pledge to denote what he felt was special about the United States.

The ensuing congressional speechifying—debate would be a misnomer, given the near-unanimity of opinion—offered more proof that the point of the bill was to promote religion. The legislative history of the 1954 act stated that the hope was to "acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon … the Creator … [and] deny the atheistic and materialistic concept of communism." In signing the bill on June 14, 1954, Flag Day, Eisenhower delighted in the fact that from then on, "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town … the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." That the nation, constitutionally speaking, was in fact dedicated to the opposite proposition seemed to escape the president.

Let me be blunt: the pledge of allegiance means very little to me, with or without the inclusion of "under God." Of course, I could recite it in my sleep, but that has more to do with some sort of Pavlovian response to the words "I pledge allegiance...", then it does to a desire on my part to know what it is I'm saying. That's what happens when you start reciting the pledge on a daily basis in the first grade--you know the words but not the meaning, and if that's the case, what's the point? (by the way, I was probably 10 before I realized that indivisible was not invisible).

If the pledge is an expression of patriotism, I'm not sure how it's not still patriotic if the words "under God" are excluded, especially since that particular clause was added to the original pledge for explicitly religious purposes. But, then again, if being patriotic depends on your willingness to recite a silly pledge written for a popular magazine in 1892 (by a socialist, no less!), then we're more screwed than I thought.

article here.

A funny post on the Liberal Media Myth

Go read it. And don't forget the comments section.

Condi Rice does another 180, this time on Poll Numbers

Last night on O’Reilly, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed she couldn’t assess Bush’s current poll numbers:

O’REILLY: How do you assess President Bush’s falling poll numbers? He’s at the lowest level of his presidency now. Why do you think that’s happening?RICE: Well, Bill, I’m not one who can assess poll numbers in American politics.

But when Bush’s poll numbers weren’t at the lowest levels of his presidency, she had no trouble telling O’Reilly what those high poll numbers meant:

RICE: Look, the president — first of all, I think one has to look at polls. And he was at astronomically high levels. But see, when you go out there and you talk to Americans, they trust this president. They know that this president is doing everything that he can on the war on terror.

article here.

Command and Control

The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) is almost required daily reading. Highlights from this post:

Ever since the New Deal, successive GOP administrations have regarded the federal government as hostile territory to be occupied and, if possible, pacified. Under Nixon and, to a lesser degree, Reagan, cabinet secretaries were seen as unreliable, and prone to "go native" -- especially since many of them were ideological moderates, who were appointed to mollify powerful interest groups with a vested interest in the status quo.

For conservatives, this made the White House the political equivalent of the Green Zone -- a fortified command and control center beyond the reach of the insurgent bureaucrats. And out in the agencies, hard-edged conservative subcabinet appointees began to take on something of the role of political commissars in the Soviet military, monitoring both their nominal superiors and their career subordinates for signs of disloyalty.

article here.

GOP corruption at State Level -- Massachusetts

I swear, I'm going to wear this keyboard out on these stories:

BOSTON —The vice chairman of the state Republican Party was charged Tuesday with money-laundering after he allegedly offered to “cleanse” drug proceeds for a legal client.

Lawrence Novak, 54, an attorney from Brockton, was arrested at his home Tuesday after investigators said he allegedly offered to launder drug profits for Scott Holyoke, who is awaiting trial on federal drug trafficking charges and agreed to be a cooperating witness against Novak for the FBI.

Novak was taken into custody after he allegedly deposited money in a Brockton bank, federal authorities said.

"Has the place blown up?"

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - John Bolton's reputation as a difficult diplomat gave his boss, U.S. President George W. Bush, an opportunity to tease the new American ambassador to the United Nations.

"How's he doing? Has the place blown up?" Bush asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the president and Bolton arrived at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday for a world summit.

The president's jest was captured on videotape by a U.N. television crew.

Rove to Cheney: "We've got to stop letting him near open mics!"

Cashing in on Disaster

What better time to push the neo-conservative agenda than after a natural disaster? What a great time to help poor people by lowering taxes on the rich? What a great time to help workers by eliminating worker safety rules and fair wage laws? What a great time to help those who lost everything by pushing school vouchers? What a great time to revert back to the beginning of the 20th century when businessmen, ruled the country on the back of the workers they exploited?

So sayeth the Heritage Foundation.

Compassionate Conservatism -- post # 1592

President Bush’s vow to speed welfare assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina overlooks the gruesome determination of many Republican Congressional leaders to make $13 billion in cuts for Medicaid and food stamps. They quietly plan this even as they throw short-term emergency money at the crisis.

Sustaining their health and income is vital to the storm’s impoverished survivors now and well into the future. But the most basic cuts in antipoverty programs are planned for enactment later this month by the same Republican majorities that approved the president’s upper-bracket tax cuts and created deficits for a generation to come.

Congress’s budget hawks are clearly hoping that the cacophony of sympathetic speechifying about the storm victims will distract the public from these cuts and from the fact that they will land heavily on the three states most devastated by the hurricane, where roughly one out of three children were already dependent on Medicaid.

article here.

Judge rules Pledge Illegal -- Wing-nuts respond

I knew I'd find some good responses to this ruling calling the Pledge of Alligiance illegal. It took me about five seconds. Just one glance at one of our favorite conservative blogs brought these. More to come as the day progresses (I promise!):

I can not believe even our Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional to these traitors. What do liberals care about the Constitution? They think combining 10 amendments, switching half the words, asking the French to rewrite it, and then burning it eventually shows how murdering children is a Constitutional right.... yet things like the 2nd amendment and electoral college are bogus. I think I get where they are coming from.
I personally have seen a lot of ballot initiatives looking to burn the Consitution after letting the French re-write it. Haven't you?

This next comment is a prime example of what bloggers call a TROLL. In his post the Troll is responding, line by line, to an earlier post:

I agree with this.

Were you looking for someone to pat you on the back? Do you think anyone cares with what you agree? I think you might be having a little issue there with overestimating your own importance.
You disagree with me and therefore you're opinion as an American Citizen does not matter.

Just revert the pledge as it was originally written. What's the problem?

It is really quite simple. So simple that even someone of your obvious limited abilities should be able to see. The pledge was modified to its current version - WITH the Under God phrase - by the US Congress in 1954.

As Rush Limbaugh would say, for those of you in Loma Linda, that means it was done by representatives of the people - put there specifically to act in their interest. That means that our elected representatives did what they felt was what the people of this great country wanted them to do. Again, for you social engineers, that is called democracy.
It's also illegal. Just because the majority wants it, doesn't make it legal. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

The problem is that what this judge is attempting to do is overthrow the will of the people via judicial fiat. He is not elected, and therefore represents no one. If the people want to change the pledge, then put it on the ballot and lets get their decision. I said the justice is attempting, because this decision will not stand. It will be tossed out.
Congress should in fact be able to pass any law they wish, with no oversight whatsoever. Especially now, since my party is in power. The Judicial Branch only exists because the Founding Fathers were drunk.

Why must people feel the need to inject their religion onto other people?

A better question is why do people like you think that your misconstruing of the pledge as "trying to inject" any religion is anything more than a sweeping lie? Exactly WHAT religion is being injected? Come on, don't be shy.
In this case, all of them.

I believe in God. And I am very comfortable with my relationship with him (although It's a daily struggle).

Again, who cares what you believe?
People less bitter and self-involved than this particular hate-filled troll.

But this is between me and God. Not between me, the government and God.

I find it bordering on hilarious that you, someone who professes to believe in God, is opposed to a simple phrase in the Pledge, while I, an atheist who believes in no deity or region, see nothing wrong with it at all.
We should all think the exact same thing in this country. Meaning you should think what I tell you to think.

I want the government to stay out of my religion, regardless of how popular it may or may not be.

The government is not in your religion. You are acting and thinking like a paranoid schizophrenic. You want the Pledge changed? Get Congress to change it. Otherwise, STFU.
Yes, STFU. Who do you think you are? An American? No Liberals in America matter. Don't you know that after five years?

One more quick thought: Since the judge answers to no one - not even you - what do you think he cares about what you think either?
This particular troll obviously cares what he thinks or he wouldn't have spent so much time denouncing him. Not his policies or his beliefs, mind you, but the poster himself.

more to come...

54 US Senators today KILLED legislation establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong with Hurricane Katrina.

76% of Americans want an independent bipartisan commission, like the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks, to investigate what went wrong. In fact, according to the same poll, Americans of all stripes, Republicans and Democrats, are united behind their support for such a commission (64% of all Republicans and 83% of all Democrats want a commission) even though they were aware that the Republicans in Congress are doing their own biased and partisan investigation (see below).

So why did every Republican US Senator (save the Senator from Louisiana, who simply didn't vote) vote AGAINST forming this independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong, and to find out how we avoid an even larger catastrophe the next time Osama attacks a major American city with a chemical, biological or nuclear bomb?

more here.

I appreciate John's fervor on the subject, but... we know why the Republicans voted against an independent commission. It's not about open government or the american people. It's about Power; obtaining it, keeping it, and taking it from the other guy.

Yes -- Tom Delay said this with a straight face.

From Think Progress:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay yesterday declared an “ongoing victory” in his effort to cut spending, and said “there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.” Here’s a list of vital programs Tom DeLay has marshaled through Congress:

$25,000 to study mariachi music in Nevada

$1.5 million for an Alaskan bus stop with heated sidewalks and electronic signs

$75,000 set aside for the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wisconsin

$100,000 for a film festival in Rochester, New York.

$50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa.

$18,000 for a smoking booth at a private New Jersey airport.

$200,000 for a peanut festival in Alabama

$200 million to build a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to a nearby island with 50 inhabitants.

$1 million for the B.B. King Museum in Indianola

$300,000 to construct the Great Falls Parking Garage in Auburn, Maine

$ 240,000 for potato storage research in Madison, Wisconsin

Granted, a Congressman's job is to look out for his state first. But Delay was speaking for the Federal Government as a whole, and the mere fact that he can publicly announce something to blatantly false (and stupid) is simply absurd. But when there's no checks and balances in a Government dominated by one party, why not say it?

The Congressional Republicans and the Bush Administration are like smash-and-grabbers who run into a store, take everything they can hold and run out before the police come or the manager shoots them. And we are all left to foot the bill through higher prices.

The Bag of Dirty Tricks expands

MANCHESTER, N.H.—The New Hampshire Democratic Party added more defendants Wednesday to a lawsuit over the jamming of its phone lines on Election Day 2002.

Repeated hang-up calls overwhelmed the party’s get-out-the-vote phone banks and a ride-to-the-polls line for more than an hour that day. Former state GOP director Chuck McGee and

Republican consultant Allen Raymond pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme and James Tobin, a former regional director for the Republican National Committee from Bangor, Maine, is scheduled for trial in December.

As those criminal cases proceeded in federal court, Democrats sued the state Republican Party, McGee and Raymond in Hillsborough County Superior Court seeking more information about the plan and reimbursement for its costs of setting up the phone banks.

On Wednesday, they expanded the civil lawsuit to include Tobin, former state GOP chairman John Dowd, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

hat tip Susie.

Sure, a few GOP martyrs may have to go to prison as part of the Systematic Campaign on local and state levels by the GOP to win the 2004 election. It's a small price to pay for four more years of the Bush Administration, and they no doubt happily martyr themselves upon the alter. They've served their purpose, and much like in the animal world, their time is over.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Daily Kos on Fiscal Conservatives and Katrina

Please help the real victims of Hurricane Katrina...

Those poor "fiscal conservative" Republicans. They Approved $54.4 billion for the Iraq War (enacted in April 2003) $70.6 billion (enacted November 2003) $21.5 billion (passed as part of regular appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2005) $58 billion (enacted April 2005). Our war of choice is costing us $5.6 billion per month and that's just peachy.

They rammed a $530 billion Medicare bill through Congress in the middle of the night and that felt soooo goooood. (the original price tag, you might remember, was $400 billion. But what's $130 billion among friends?)

This was nice: a $14.5 billion energy bill that, according to the president, doesn't do a damn thing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but does give financial hoochie-koochies to the oil companies which they can stack on top of their record-breaking profits. Suh-weeet!
How about $2.2 trillion with a T in
tax cuts for the rich---during wartime even! Or a pork-laden, $286 billion transportation bill. That's orgasmo-tastic!

And while we're at it, let's not forget Social Security privatization, which would toss at least another $1 trillion onto the pile.

But...funding for relief efforts to help victims of the worst natural disaster in our nation's 229-year history? Well...that's cause for grave concern by Republican "fiscal conservatives":

"We have to be there for the families and the communities, but we also have an obligation to the rest of the American people and to future generations," says Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana). "We're going to have to put a real sharp pencil to the budget, sharper than we have ever had to do before," says Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Illinois). "When figures start flowing up to $200 billion, I have concerns. $1 billion is a lot of money," says Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

Clearly, "fiscal conservative" Republicans need our support more than ever in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They're suffering and no one seems to feel their pain. Please show you care and donate as much as you can by placing (non tax-deductible) donations into the ExxonMobil baseball cap in the lobby. God Bless You...and God Bless the Fiscally Conservative United States of America!

Article here.

SCOTUS Hypocrisy

IOKIYAR: It's OK If You're A Republican:

Orrin Hatch flip-flops on questioning Roberts

Live Blogging from Supreme Court Watch:

"A second Repubican senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah (defying conventional political tie conventional wisdom in a very nice gold striped number), seems to be trying to lay the groundwork that it’s okay for Judge Roberts not to answer questions he find uncomfortable. Hatch tried to bring up a Harding nomination from years ago, citing a same-day nomination and confirmation as some kind of gold standard."

Senator Hatch himself in 1997 said:

"The Senate can and should do what it can to ascertain the jurisprudential views a nominee will bring to the bench in order to prevent the confirmation of those who are likely to be judicial activists. Determining which will become activists is not easy since many of President Clinton's nominees tend to have limited paper trails... Determining which of President Clinton's nominees will become activists is complicated and it will require the Senate to be more diligent and extensive in its questioning of nominees' jurisprudential views." (Address of Senator Hatch before University of Utah Federalist Society chapter, February 18, 1997)"


Foxes in the Henhouse


Before the body count is even reasonably guesstimated, or New Orleans pumped even half dry, the awarding contracts on the backs of the dead, dying and displaced to the same fucking group of Bush/Cheney Usual Crony Suspects has
begun in earnest and in broad daylight.

Remember that these are the same bloody-handed banshees who have been keening about what a horrible heap of unseemly horribleness it is to point fingers. How awful it is to, y’know, hold people to account for the massive failures before, during and after Katrina...since about eleven seconds after it became abundantly clear that the lion’s share of this shitburger is going to land on a certain Big Boy Desk in the Oval Office.

So less than 300 hours after the levees broke it is somehow too disrespectfully soon to ask why the President of the United States failed his country so stupidly and utterly, but hardly soon enough to begin shoveling out lucrative contracts to Dick “House of Pain” Cheney’s former company and current nest egg -– the Thieves of Baghdad -- and to butt-nuzzling pals of Joe Allbaugh; Bush family fixer and apparently the oleaginous genius behind stocking the management of FEMA to the rafters with the likes of Mr. Ed’s Attorney-of-Record.

Yes, of course the government must retain the service of whole host of companies to help fix the city and the lives they helped destroy: that’s a given. But this, especially that last one –- pumping your tax dollars for cleanup and recovery out of the Treasury and directly into the change purse of one of the men who appears to bear no small measure of responsibility for this fuckup -- this goes so far beyond the typical Bush tone-deafness, stupidity and emotionally autistic detachment that simple fucktardery can't explain it.

This is a Bob Beaman broad jump straight into the heart of “We Really Just Don’t Fucking Care” terrority.

This is what happens when your criminality-and-denial reflexes have become so routinized, so completely automatic, that you literally can't smell your own moral stink anymore. And then a hurricane rips your roof off an all of the maggoty habits you have built up in private are suddenly dumped out into the glaring light. Your poll numbers drop like lemmings packing anvils. Your own Media Tribbles suddenly stop cooing and chirping, race right up your pants-leg and sink their tiny teeth into your sack. And yet you still can't dope out exactly why an overwhelming majoriy of the public is so pissed at you, so you keep right own showing your sticky ass on prime time teevee.

This has the reek of burglars making one, last slow pass to make sure they've picked the joint clean down to the nailheads before the cops show up. Of Visigoths, having completely sacked Rome, going back and razoring the change out of the pockets of the corpses they left behind just to make damned sure they took everything.

And it also just goes to show that as callous and lazy as the Bush White House is when it comes to the plight of the “least of these”, that is exactly how ruthless and efficient they are at hacking up and rendering down the disasters they visit on others into tidy little parcels of profit for for their loyal family retainers.

As was said of Chicago hog-butchers a century ago, if nothing else, when it comes to exploiting the misery and tragedy of others, the Bush Crime Family knows how to “use everything but the squeal.”


The Bush Administration's 3 - Point Plan

1) Save our Political Asses

2) Send as many no-bid contracts for Post-Katrina rebuilding to our Corporate Friends

3) Blame everything on as many Democrats as we can find

Billmon has more.

Red-State Priorities

Yes, let's destroy the Federal Government so that we may give State Governments more power, because the state you're born in should dictate what rights you have. See for example Jane's take on the Governor of Texas. Yes, Texas:

As Governor Rick Perry two-steps around the State of Texas showing residents how much Republicans care about victims of Hurricane Katrina, he has been urging Texans to contribute through three groups: The Red Cross, Salvation Army and the OneStar Foundation.

The third group happens to be an organization that supports "faith-based initiatives" and was founded by Perry himself, who earlier this year in a Forth Worth Church was pleased as punch to sign a law making it a crime punishable by death (yes, death, capital punishment, death, say it again death) for a doctor to perform an abortion on a teenage girl without the consent of her parents, or in any way not conform to the letter of the extremely restrictive State of Texas abortion laws.

The same Rick Perry who said gay soldiers who served in Iraq should come back to some place other than Texas.The same Rick Perry who has spoken repeatedly at private events in Texas where a minister reasoned that God sent Hurricane Katrina to purify the nation of gays.According to the Dallas Morning News:

Mr. Perry created OneStar as a nonprofit charitable organization in January 2004 to coordinate faith-based initiatives and promote volunteerism. Its chief executive is Susan Weddington, who left the state Republican Party chairmanship to run the organization.

"Coordinate faith-based initiatives." Well that's a pretty partisan objective wouldn't you say? Should probably be subject to separation of church and state and all. Right?Wrong. We're talking about Texas:

Through legislation, the governor placed his divisions of faith-based initiatives, adult mentoring and the AmeriCorps volunteer program in the OneStar Foundation. It operates with federal grant money.

One-Star's web site says that the foundation was "birthed from the heart and vision of Governor Rick Perry."

Well nobody ought to work themselves into a froth contesting that one.

So as you watch the dead bodies being fished out of the drink in New Orleans, know that there are people already out there willing to manipulate your compassion (and your pocketbook) to finance the Christian invasion of your bedroom and your doctor's office.

The Republic of Gilead is most certainly at hand.

...but it's Howard Stern that should be censored...

Nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck referred to survivors of Hurricane Katrina who remained in New Orleans as "scumbags." Also, after acknowledging that nobody "in their right mind is going to say this out loud," Beck attacked victims of the disaster in general and the families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying: "I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims."

From the September 9 broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Let me be real honest with you. I don't think anybody on talk radio -- I don't think anybody in their right mind is going to say this out loud -- but I wonder if I'm the only one that feels this way. Yesterday, when I saw the ATM cards being handed out, the $2,000 ATM cards, and they were being handed out at the Astrodome. And they actually had to close the Astrodome and seal it off for a while because there was a near-riot trying to get to these ATM cards. My first thought was, it's not like they're going to run out of the $2,000 ATM cards. You can wait! You know, stand in line. Maybe it's because I'm the kind of guy, when I go to a buffet, I either have to be first in line, or I'm the very last. Because I know there's going to be extra food, and I just won't stand in the line. I'll wait until all the suckers go get their food, and then I'll go get mine. Or if I'm really hungry, I hate to admit this -- and really, I don't even have to be really hungry. If I'm really being a pig, I will kind of, like, hang out around the buffet table before the line is -- you know, chat with people right around the table: "Oh, they just opened the line! Let's go!" And then you're first in line.

When you are rioting for these tickets, or these ATM cards, the second thing that came to mind was -- and this is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year. And I had such compassion for them, and I really wanted to help them, and I was behind, you know, "Let's give them money, let's get this started." All of this stuff. And I really didn't -- of the 3,000 victims' families, I don't hate all of them. Probably about 10 of them. And when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, "Oh shut up!" I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining. And we did our best for them. And, again, it's only about 10.

But the second thought I had when I saw these people and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims. These guys -- you know it's really sad. We're not hearing anything about Mississippi. We're not hearing anything about Alabama. We're hearing about the victims in New Orleans. This is a 90,000-square-mile disaster site, New Orleans is 181 square miles. A hundred and -- 0.2 percent of the disaster area is New Orleans! And that's all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags -- and again, it's not all the people in New Orleans. Most of the people in New Orleans got out! It's just a small percentage of those who were left in New Orleans, or who decided to stay in New Orleans, and they're getting all the attention. It's exactly like the 9-11 victims' families. There's about 10 of them that are spoiling it for everybody.

Beck's program is syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks (owned by radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications) on more than 160 radio stations across the country to an estimated weekly audience of 3 million listeners.

article here.

Faith-Based Payback

Proving there's not any area of government from which one cannot receive some sort of political payback:

Sep. 9, 2005 - Charity and religious leaders are questioning why the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated Operation Blessing as the No. 2 charity for donations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Operation Blessing is the charity founded and still chaired by Pat Robertson, the politically well-connected television evangelist, who recently called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. "Ladies and gentlemen, we've never had anything like this," Robertson told his audience. "Let's rally together and do what we can."

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government, through FEMA, issued a list of charities to which Americans should donate. On that list, Operation Blessing was only second to the American Red Cross. Charity leaders say this FEMA recommendation is a huge boost for Robertson's charity. "It could be worth tens of millions of dollars," said Richard Walden, president and founder of Operation USA, a non-governmental organization specializing in disaster relief.

However, as Robertson hosted his daily television show in Mississippi this week, other charity leaders were questioning why FEMA had recommended Robertson's operation and left others off the list, including Walden's Operation USA. "I was shocked," said Walden upon seeing Robertson's charity so prominently displayed on the FEMA Web site. "It stuck out for a reason because of Pat Robertson's activities over the years."

Questions of Accountability

Seven years ago, those activities led Virginia investigators to say there was evidence to prove Robertson "willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements." Robertson denied the allegations. He then personally reimbursed Operation Blessing. No action was taken.

"Based on their track record, I would say that, as an individual, I would not give to Operational Blessing," admitted the Rev. Charles Henderson, a Presbyterian minister, who is the executive director of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life.

According to its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service, Operation Blessing gave more than half of its yearly allocation of cash donations -- $885,000 -- to the Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, of which Robertson is also the chairman.

"There is no accountability when you have two boards working hand in hand like this," said Henderson. "One never knows when you're contributing to Operation Blessing whether the money is really going to the hurricane victims, or whether it's going to pay for some more television time for Pat Robertson's television show."

Some charity watchdog groups have given high marks to Operation Blessing. Bill Horan, the charity's president, at first denied his charity gave any money to Robertson's television operation.

"Well, that's an absolute, total and complete distortion of the truth," Horan said. "Operation Blessing does not give 1 red cent to CBN." When he was told of the Operation Blessing documents obtained by ABC News, which show a contribution of $885,000 to CBN, Horan called it an accounting issue.

"I'm president of a charity that's been working 22 to 24 hours a day for the last week trying to save lives down there," he said, "and I'm not going to talk any more about the issues that involve accounting."

A spokesman for Operation Blessing later told ABC News that the charity utilizes Robertson's television network as a conduit for delivering donations overseas, and that none of the money has been used for network activities.

As for FEMA, Director Michael Brown says that he does not know who decided to recommend Robertson's charity so prominently.

article here.

the best Free Press that money can buy

It's not the crime (or embarassing porno tape and derogatory relationships with women), it's the cover-up.

"We were protecting him"

hat tip: Huffington Post

Winning means never having to admit you're wrong

From Media Matters:

On the September 11 edition of NBC's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, New York Times columnist David Brooks revealed that he has learned from private conversations with Bush officials who "represent" what "Bush believes" that from its earliest days, the Bush administration adopted a policy of shielding itself from political damage by never publicly admitting any mistake -- even if it meant lying to the media and the American public. The fact that Bush doesn't admit mistakes has been reported by the media for years. For instance, in the September 11 edition of The New York Times, David Sanger reported, "Mr. Bush, his aides acknowledge, is loath to fire members of his administration or to take public actions that are tantamount to an admission of a major mistake." Brooks himself has previously noted the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit to mistakes. But what Brooks's September 11 account adds is that Bush is being intentionally dishonest -- in Brooks's words, "totally tactical and totally insincere" -- in resisting such public admissions and in blaming others when failures are too obvious to deny.

Moreover, on the Matthews Show, Brooks disclosed that "from Day One," the Bush White House "decided our public relations is not going to be honest," and that "privately they admit mistakes all the time." Brooks's revelation would appear to be of major significance, particularly in light of recent attempts by Bush administration officials to shift culpability in the Hurricane Katrina disaster away from the White House. But while he claimed on the Matthews show to have debated this strategy with administration officials "since Day One" -- indicating that he has known about it from the beginning -- a review of his columns and television appearances since Katrina struck reveals that Brooks has refrained from telling viewers and readers that the administration's campaign to rehabilitate its public image over the poor handling of the Katrina crisis by blaming others was apparently another manifestation of this dishonest strategy.

read on

Are you kidding me?

Bush Not Aware That His Own FEMA Director No Longer Works For Him

“Maybe you know something I don’t know.”

That was President Bush’s reponse to a reporter who asked whether he had heard that his own FEMA director, Michael Brown, resigned today from the administration.

then check out this post in the comments:

And yet, CNN reports, quoting Brown:

“As I told the president, it is important that I leave now to avoid further distraction from the ongoing mission of FEMA.”

Who's running this government?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fool Me Once...

Bush's critics aren't backing off, because they've been here before. Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who cooperated with Bush in the days after Sept. 11 but lost his South Dakota seat after a long, White House-inspired campaign accusing him of being "obstructionist," speaks from experience. "Democrats to this day remain outraged at the blatant efforts that Republicans, especially in the administration, made to undermine the perception of our patriotism and our motivations," Daschle said in an interview.

This time around, Democrats won't be waved off by right-wing commentators or by contrived and insincere appeals to national unity. "I don't think we should pay a whit of attention to administration criticisms," Daschle said. "Democrats need to ask the hard questions and ignore the political attacks that are destined to come when we ask them."

Article here. Hat tip Daily Kos.

Really... who would have thought that kicking a Donkey in the nuts for five years would make it angry?

My Values are Your Values (or else)

So there's this parent who disagrees with the (admittedly controversial) subject being taught in his kid's school. He meets with school officials, refuses to leave, gets arrested, and tries to make himself into a martyr. Furthermore, he attempts to dictate more or less the entire school cirriculum, and make decisions about other parents' children for them. Needless to say, Jesse at Pandagon is all over this:

Remember David Parker? Sure you do...he was the "concerned parent" who demanded that his child's school reshape the entire school day so that he never be exposed to the idea that people of the same sex can ever touch outside of sports?

Well, the Concerned Women for America have taken up the non-oppressed, kinda-lame white Nelson Mandela's cause, with spectacular results.

The rally on Tuesday, held on the site of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War more than 200 years ago, featured Mr. Parker as a speaker. The participants faced a large counter protest. The counter protestors, who included members of the local school board, carried signs bearing the misleading slogan, “Massachusetts welcomes every child.” (Except, of course, Mr. Parker’s child.)

Hold on...wasn't Mr. Parker the one asking that his child be taken out of class every time the gayitude comes up?

“The media has tried to turn the focus from this as a parental rights issue into an anti-gay issue,” says Tammy Mosher, CWA state director for Massachusetts. Her organization worked to get the word out about Mr. Parker’s situation and the Tuesday night rally.

Police were present at the rally to prevent violence. Afterwards, they kept Mr. Parker from giving interviews to local media who were covering the story. Parker told the Article 8 Alliance, "The police felt that once the cameras were on it would get 'totally out of control' and could become 'incendiary' and they weren't willing to take that chance and be accountable for this."

Howsabout you give out contact information to let the media get in touch with you at your home? You do realize that we live in an era of mass communications, right? Anyway, he looked like enough of a dumbass without the interviews.

The Lexington Public School Superintendent has secured a restraining order to keep Mr. Parker off all school property. This means that among other things, he may not pick up or drop off his son at school, attend school sporting events or the school board meeting, and since in Lexington voting is conducted at public schools, he is unable to exercise that right.

From, you know, an actual news source (the above-linked article):

Parker said the restraining order, put in place after his arrest forbidding him from entering any public school property in Lexington without advanced permission, still stands and is working to be "hurtful to my family and make us feel unwelcome."

You see, if Parker gets permission to come on school property, which he'll most likely get for non-school purposes such as voting, he can bring his happy homo-hatin' ass wherever he needs to go.

Mr. Parker’s trial is set to begin September 21. Mrs. Mosher plans to be in the court room that day. She and a member of her CWA of Massachusetts Steering Committee attended the pre-trial hearing as well.

Mr. Parker addressed Mrs. Mosher’s CWA prayer/action chapter last month. She was impressed with the polite and articulate way in which he presented his message. “He just wanted to do what was right in his eyes for his son’s education,” she said. Mr. Parker stayed for an extra hour after the meeting answering questions.

Unfortunately, what was right in his eyes was crazy in the eyes of sane people.

Parker also appeared on Mrs. Mosher and her husband Timothy’s talk show Family Time, which airs on a cable access channel that reaches much of western Massachusetts.

Reflecting on Mr. Parker’s situation, Mrs. Mosher said, “This is a good way to drive home the point that parents should be involved in their children’s education. Don’t relinquish control! Read your children’s textbooks; listen carefully to what they tell you about their classes. As things are right now, the schools are wielding way too much power.”

What's strange is that the problem in this situation is that Parker wants the schools to wield power they simply don't have. Here were his demands:

The Parkers' proposal was simple: notify them in advance if there is a planned discussion about same-sex issues, and, if an adult becomes involved in a discussion spontaneously begun by a child, then remove their child from the discussion. Their concern is that impressionable children will hear for the first time from a respected adult that a homosexual headed family is a normal family structure, and an equally "good" one at that. Regardless of whether one agrees with that premise, it is a matter of one's values and beliefs. It is not borne in hate, but in a concern for his children and a desire to see them equipped to make decisions in a healthy manner.

So, if anyone ever brings up homosexuality, their child must force class to be interrupted to be escorted from the room until the question is answered, at which point he will be allowed back in. I don't know of a single school, a single teacher who could realistically handle that, along with the attendant responsibility entailed. Imagine you have a classroom of fifteen kids, and three can't hear about homosexuality and four more can't hear about evolution. Now, imagine you're a science teacher.

"Timmy, you take Sherri and Joseph in the hall, and let Neil, Sara, Jenny and Heather back in. Oh, wait, was your question about how gays and lesbians evolved? Damn. Okay, all of you in the hall, and I'll call up another teacher to watch over you."

His "concern" for his kids demands that the entire school day be shaped solely around special treatment for his child. He embodies the conservative view of diversity perfectly: protecting my child from your diversity is just as imporant as actually promoting it...perhaps more so!

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