Tony Snow resigns

 Posted by at 20:15  Politics
Aug 312007
 

White House Press Secretary Snow Resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush named a new press secretary on Friday, replacing the high-profile showman Tony Snow with his quieter, stickler-for-detail deputy, Dana Perino.

Snow, 52, battling cancer, said he was stepping down because he needed to earn more than his $168,000 White House salary – an amount far less than he made as host of the “Tony Snow Show” on Fox News Radio and “Weekend Live with Tony Snow” on the Fox News Channel. “I ran out of money,” said Snow, the father of three.

I think the cancer probably had a lot more to do with it than the money — that and the desire to spend time with his family. It may be just the lighting, but he doesn’t look all that well in this photograph taken today…

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Perino – Bush – Snow

At any rate, and despite the terrible job he has had to endure these past few years, I wish Mr. Snow and his family well.

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Craig announcement tomorrow?

 Posted by at 16:51  Politics
Aug 312007
 

From The Idaho Statesman (the newspaper that Senator Craig blames for all his problems)…

Sen. Craig likely to make announcement Saturday morning

craig_070829_mn.jpgSen. Larry Craig plans to make an announcement Saturday about his future.

“We haven’t quite scheduled anything, but we’re looking at doing something tomorrow,” said Craig’s spokesman Sid Smith. “We haven’t set a time or place yet.”

The clamor for Craig to step down intensified today, with the news that the Republican Party had been prepared to issue a statement calling for his resignation, a GOP source said today.

But they didn’t put it out because “party leaders had received an indication that Craig was going to step down,” on his own, the source told McClatchy Newspapers.

The Republican Party chairman, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, was on a plane headed back from Jordan, and was not expected to comment until he returned to the U.S. Until now, Martinez has said only that Craig’s arrest and guilty plea is “disappointing” and a “sad situation.”

But the move to consider sending out a statement asking Craig to resign is sign of how worried Republicans are about the scandal, and how they would rather call on one of their own to step down than see further damage to the party’s reputation.

The chairman of the Senate Republican re-election committee, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, told reporters Thursday it would be best for the Republican Party for Craig to resign, but stopped short of calling for him to step down.

While GOP leaders in both Idaho and Washington have asked Craig to resign, Craig has given no public indication of whether – or when — that will happen.

I still maintain that if the Republicans force Larry Craig to resign, they should do the same to David Vitter.

Fair is fair, after all.

Update: The Statesman has updated their story…

risch_jim.jpgIdaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig will resign from the Senate amid a furor over his arrest and guilty plea in a police sex sting in an airport men’s room, Republican officials said Friday. Craig will announce at a news conference in Boise Saturday morning that he will resign effective Sept. 30, four state GOP officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity…

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter appeared Friday to have already settled on a successor: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch [pictured at left], according to several Republicans familiar with internal deliberations.

Senator Craig has my sympathies. He really does. He is only six years older than me and we are from the same state (though I got out as soon as I could). I can remember when he was elected State FFA President and then National Vice President. My dad was, at the time, an FFA adviser. Craig then went on to be student body president at the University of Idaho, state congressman, United States Representative and finally Senator from the state of Idaho. It is sad to see his career end in this manner, but he really has nobody to blame but himself. He’s been living a hidden secret life all these years and it was bound to eventually catch up with him.

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One shining moment

 Posted by at 16:33  Lifestyle, Politics
Aug 312007
 

For a brief period of time, equal rights existed in the state of Iowa…

1 Gay Marriage, Then Judge Stays Ruling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Two men sealed the state’s first legal same-sex marriage with a kiss Friday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out Iowa’s ban on gay marriage and about two hours before he put that ruling on hold.

It was a narrow window of opportunity.

Polk County Judge Robert Hanson temporarily cleared the way for same-sex couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses in the county when he ruled Thursday that Iowa’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.

County attorney John Sarcone promised a quick appeal and asked Hanson to stay his ruling until that appeal was resolved.

A dozen gay and lesbian couples were waiting at the county recorder’s office when it opened at 7:30 Friday morning.

“This might be our only chance,” said Katy Farlow, who waited in a lawn chair with fellow Iowa State University student Larissa Boeck.

Just after 11 a.m., about 20 gay couples had finished applying for marriage licenses when Recorder Julie Haggerty announced she could no longer accept applications. Hanson told The Associated Press about an hour and half later that he had formally stayed his ruling.

The stay meant the recorder’s office was not permitted to accept any more marriage applications from gay couples until the Iowa Supreme Court rules on the county’s appeal.

The Republicans, of course, immediately seized on the opportunity to get their rabid base all riled up…

Mitt Romney was the first to seize on the ruling, promptly aligning himself with Iowa political leaders in denouncing the decision.

The former Massachusetts governor’s swift criticism served to bolster the conservative image his campaign has been working hard to promote to Iowa’s Republican voters. Romney stressed his support for a federal amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, a stand that distinguishes him from his top rivals, who have said they prefer to leave such decisions to the states.

“The ruling in Iowa … is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act,” Romney said in a statement shortly after the ruling was made. “This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”…

Republican White House hopeful John McCain called the ruling “a loss for the traditional family.”

“I have always supported the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman,” he said. “The ruling of the court only reinforces my belief that we must have a president who is committed to appointing strict constructionists to the bench.”

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, who has worked hard to gain the backing of social conservatives in Iowa, offered a sharp rejection of the judge’s ruling.

“The people of Iowa reject the redefinition of marriage, and I pledge today to defend the bond of marriage, as I have consistently done in the past,” he said in a statement.

Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Rudy Giuliani, said simply: “Rudy Giuliani believes marriage is between a man and a woman.” Giuliani has supported limited legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, who will officially enter the presidential race next week, has offered support for a federal amendment that would prevent states without gay marriage laws from having to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

I’m guessing that Judge Robert Hanson is a shill for the Republican party and ruled as he was ordered to rule by the right wing. I definitely question the timing.

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Aug 302007
 

The Associated Press is reporting that Grandpa Fred Thompson will finally become a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination on September 6.

Adam B explains the significance of the September 6 announcement date.

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Grandpa & Mrs. Thompson

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Cruising 101

 Posted by at 15:54  Politics
Aug 302007
 

oconnor082907.jpg

A lot of bloggers, especially from the right, have been writing that there was nothing wrong or illegal with what Senator Larry Craig did in the men’s room at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. I am not familiar enough with Minnesota law to tell you if it was illegal. He entered a guilty plea for disorderly conduct. Whether it was wrong or not is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

As for Craig’s claim that he did nothing… that’s just pure bunk. Gay journalist Rex Wockner explains:

When I was a college student in Champaign-Urbana — perhaps when you were still in diapers — there weren’t too many places to meet other gay people.

There was one gay cha-cha palace full of cologne queens and drag queens.

There were four or five adult bookstores around town with glory holes drilled between the video booths.

There was the sauna at the University of Illinois Intramural-Physical Education Building.

There was the campus gay group, where none of the guys was attractive to me.

And then there were the 15 or so campus “tearooms” (or, if we follow Associated Press Stylebook hints, then “T-rooms”) — men’s rooms where people like U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (according to a police report) meet for sex.

Or, sometimes, simply just meet.

I met my boyfriend of those years in the T-room in the southeast corner of the basement of the student union. We actually never had sex there; it’s just where we met, given the limited options for meeting other gay guys that existed in 1985 in Champaign-Urbana.

But it took me a while to meet Rick — a year or so during which I spent enough time in University of Illinois T-rooms to learn precisely how T-rooms work.

I learned the ropes even though in my own (probably very atypical) case I was looking for a boyfriend rather than public sex. I simply had realized, via process of elimination, that the U of I T-rooms were my best bet for finding the sort of guy I was looking for in the time and place in which I found myself.

Now, to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho…

The police report says Larry Craig peered through the crack (the one that allows the bathroom-stall door to swing) into the undercover police officer’s stall for two minutes. This is what cruisers do in T-rooms. They look through cracks.

Larry Craig sat down on a toilet and subtly tapped his foot several times and waited to see if the guy on the other side of the partition subtly tapped his foot in return. This is precisely how T-room cruisers communicate to each other that they’re there to hook up rather than to take a dump.

Larry Craig then took his hand, palm upward, and ran it along the bottom of the stall divider so that the individual on the other side of the partition could see Larry’s fingers making an inviting “come hither” gesture.

This gesture has a precise meaning and is universally understood in the men’s-room cruising scene. It translates, “Get down on your knees and place your penis underneath the partition so I can touch or fellate it.”

Larry Craig has said he’s not gay. Perhaps he’s not. Maybe he’s bisexual. Or maybe he’s a straight guy who has sex with other men. It happens.

Larry Craig has said he didn’t do anything inappropriate in the Minneapolis airport bathroom in which he was arrested.

From this we have no choice but to conclude that Larry Craig doesn’t think T-room cruising is inappropriate.

Because cruising the T-room is exactly what he was doing, unless the police officer made up all those very precise, on-the-mark details.

There are about 10 million other gay guys in America who, like me, are perfectly fluent in the language that Larry Craig was speaking in that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men’s room — and millions more around the globe, because it’s truly an international language.

I couldn’t care less if Larry Craig comes out of the closet.

But I will not let him tell me he wasn’t cruising. He could teach a Cruising 101 course.

Unless, of course, the officer made it all up.

Our current poll (in the left column) asks if you think Senator Craig should resign his post. Be sure to cast your vote.

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Drink lots of water

 Posted by at 20:05  Humor, Politics
Aug 292007
 

I am not a fan of Chris Muir’s Day by Day cartoons, which you’ll find on a lot of right wing weblogs. I think he’s just another Gary Trudeau wannabe, and not a very good one at that.

His cartoon today, however, was kind of funny. See for yourself (click it to make it bigger)…

muir082907.jpg

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Should Craig resign?

 Posted by at 19:02  Politics
Aug 292007
 

Way to stick up (no pun intended) for one another, Republicans…

GOP Senators Say Craig Should Resign

WASHINGTON (AP) – Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s political support eroded by the hour on Wednesday as fellow Republicans in Congress called for him to resign and party leaders pushed him unceremoniously from senior committee posts.

The White House expressed disappointment, too – and nary a word of support for the 62-year-old lawmaker, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge stemming from an undercover police operation in an airport men’s room.

Craig “represents the Republican Party,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the first in a steadily lengthening list of GOP members of Congress to urge a resignation.

The senator’s spokesman declined comment. “They have a right to express themselves,” said Sidney Smith. He said he had heard no discussion of a possible resignation.

Craig said Tuesday he had committed no wrongdoing and shouldn’t have pleaded guilty. He said he had only recently retained a lawyer to advise him in the case that threatens to write an ignominious end to a lifetime in public office.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of Minnesota joined Hoekstra in urging Craig to step down, as did Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida – and others who joined them as the day wore on.

McCain spoke out in an interview with CNN. “My opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn’t serve. That’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier-than-thou. It’s just a factual situation.”

Coleman said in a written statement, “Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator.”

Should Senator Craig resign? Let your opinion be known in our current poll in the left column.

Personally, I don’t believe he should. I think he should stick it out and even run for reelection next fall. Let the voters of Idaho have their say as to his future employment. They put him where he is, let them decide if he should stay. If David Vitter gets to keep his seat, then Larry Craig should definitely get to keep his.

Should Craig resign, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Butch Otter, a Republican. Chances are we would get another “compassionate conservative” as bad as or possibly even worse than the toe-tapping Larry Craig.

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Mr. Bush understands

 Posted by at 16:01  Politics
Aug 292007
 

New Orleans Marks Katrina Anniversary

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Prayers, protests and a lingering disgust with the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina marked the disaster’s second anniversary Wednesday, with a presidential visit doing little to mollify those still displaced by the storm.

Clarence Russ, 64, took a dim view of politicians’ promises as he tried to put the finishing touches on his repaired home in the city’s devastated Lower 9th Ward.

“There was supposed to be all this money, but where’d it go? None of us got any,” said Russ, whose house was the only restored home on an otherwise desolate block.

Not far away, President Bush visited a school. “We’re still paying attention. We understand,” he said before heading to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, also devastated by Katrina.

Yep, George W. Bush is still paying attention and he understands. Just like he was paying attention and understanding two years ago:

bush_guitar.jpg

The rich, spoiled frat boy could care less.

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Carter on Edwards

 Posted by at 15:53  Election 2008, Politics
Aug 292007
 

Carter Headlines With Edwards

AMERICUS, Ga. (AP) – Former President Carter welcomed Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards to Georgia on Wednesday, embracing the fellow Southerner as a kindred spirit on poverty and the environment.

Carter and Edwards shared the stage at Carter’s alma mater, Georgia Southwestern State University. Carter stopped short of endorsing the former senator from North Carolina but called him “a candidate whom I really admire.”

“I can say without equivocation that no one who is running for president has presented anywhere near as comprehensive and accurate a prediction of what our country ought to do in the field of environmental quality, in the field of health care for those who are not presently insured, for those who struggle with poverty,” Carter said.

He predicted that Edwards “has a very good chance to do well” in the presidential race.

Carter told The Associated Press afterward that it was too soon to make an endorsement in the 2008 race and that his comments were not meant as a criticism of other Democrats.

Brings to mind another candidate who “visited” with President Carter four years ago. Remember what happened to him?

dean-carter.jpg

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