Sep 302007

This is rich. A bunch of right wing religious fanatics are now threatening a third party candidacy if Rudy “9/11” Giuliani wins the Republican nomination…

Christian Conservatives Consider Third-Party Effort

Alarmed at the chance that the Republican party might pick Rudolph Giuliani as its presidential nominee despite his support for abortion rights, a coalition of influential Christian conservatives is threatening to back a third-party candidate in an attempt to stop him.

The group making the threat, which came together Saturday in Salt Lake City during a break-away gathering during a meeting of the secretive Council for National Policy, includes Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who is perhaps the most influential of the group, as well as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie and dozens of other politically-oriented conservative Christians, participants said. Almost everyone present expressed support for a written resolution that “if the Republican Party nominates a pro-abortion candidate we will consider running a third party candidate.”

The participants spoke on condition of anonymity because the both the Council for National Policy and the smaller meeting were secret, but they said members of the [group] intend to publicize its resolution. These participants said the group chose the qualified term “consider” because they have not yet identified an alternative third party candidate, but the group was largely united in its plans to bolt the party if Mr. Giuliani became the candidate.

I hope they follow through. I really, really do.

Hey, nutjobs, I hear Tom DeLay is available and Larry Craig probably will be soon.

I hadn’t picked a favorite in the Republican primaries, because, frankly, I didn’t care. They’re all losers. But now I do believe I’ll start cheering for good old 9/11… er, I mean, Rudy. Go, Rudy!

Further reading: “The religious right’s political power ebbs.

Sep 292007

Airport to Overhaul Men’s Room Stalls

Dividers intended to make soliciting sex much more difficult will be added to stalls in two men’s rooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The metal dividers will fall two or three inches above the floor, an airport spokesman, Patrick Hogan, said Friday. Stall partitions are now a foot off the floor.

The two restrooms include the one where Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, was arrested in a sex sting in June. Those two sites have elicited the most complaints regarding sexual activity, Mr. Hogan said.

It will cost about $25,000 to buy and install the dividers, he said, calling that “a drop in the bucket” compared with the expense of prosecuting Mr. Craig on a disorderly conduct charge and handling the 40 arrests made in sexual solicitation cases since May.

Send the bill to Senator Larry Craig, Right Side of the Aisle, Washington, D.C.

Sep 292007

Gingrich Says No to White House Bid

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.

“Newt is not running,” spokesman Rick Tyler said. “It is legally impermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions (for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president.”

Gingrich decided “to continue on raising the challenges America faces and finding solutions to those challenges” as the group’s chairman, Tyler said, “rather than pursuing the presidency.”

Over the past few months, Gingrich had stoked speculation he might enter the crowded GOP field, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenge of entering the race several months after the other Republicans have been running…

He abruptly dropped the idea Saturday, apparently unwilling to give up the chairmanship of American Solutions, the political arm of a Gingrich’s lucrative empire as an author, pundit and consultant.

American Solutions, a tax-exempt committee he started last October, has paid for Gingrich’s travel and has a pollster and fundraiser on staff. The outfit has raised more than $3 million, mostly from two benefactors who each gave $1 million: Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), and North Carolina real estate developer Fred Godley.

Gingrich makes hundreds of speeches each year, many paid. He will not say how much he charges, and neither will the Washington Speakers Bureau, which books him. But some clients have said they paid $40,000 for a speech.

He also has a contract with Fox News for commentaries and specials; Fox said it does not disclose the terms of its contracts. Gingrich also is a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Gingrich has a daily radio broadcast on more than 400 stations, and he writes a free online newsletter with 200,000 subscribers that is distributed by the conservative news magazine Human Events.

He also has a for-profit think tank, the Center for Health Transformation, which grew out of the consulting firm he started after leaving Congress in 1999.

Though a Gingrich run would have been fun, especially for the Democrats, it is difficult to argue with his logic. There is lot more money in what he’s doing than there is in being President.

Sep 282007

It’s looking promising…

GOP-backed bid to reform California’s electoral process collapsing

Days after a controversial organization began collecting voter signatures for a ballot measure to change California’s winner-take-all presidential vote, a founder of the GOP-backed group says its major players are resigning – and the group will fold – due to lack of funding and support.

“The levels of support just weren’t there,” said Marty Wilson, the Sacramento-based fundraiser, in a telephone interview Thursday.

Wilson was among the founding members of Californians for Equal Representation, the group led by Sacramento attorney Thomas Hiltachk that intended to collect roughly 434,000 signatures to qualify the Presidential Election Reform Act for the June 2008 ballot.

The measure would have changed the state’s winner-take-all means of awarding Electoral College votes to a proportional system that would have awarded 53 of the state’s 55 electoral votes – one by one – to the popular vote winner of each of the state’s 53 congressional districts. The other two electoral votes would have gone to the statewide popular vote winner.

The change, Democrats had complained, would benefit the GOP – and perhaps alter the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.

“There has not been the financial level of support necessary to run a viable campaign, and there wasn’t sufficient interest from donors inside or outside the state to qualify the measure for the ballot,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he has disassociated himself from the committee, and he confirmed that Hiltachk, who has represented both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state GOP, resigned from the committee Wednesday, as has spokesman Kevin Eckery.

Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist, reacted with caution to the news, saying that Democrats, who have fought the effort aggressively from the start, intended to verify fully the committee’s demise before they dropped protests and even possible legal action against the organization.

But, he said, “it was clear that the legal exposure and the media scrutiny given the effort have led to what appears to be mass resignations” in the group.

Global warming flip-flop

 Posted by at 11:18  Politics
Sep 282007

The rabid right wing of the Republican party insists that there is no such thing as global warming. They’ve been ridiculing Al Gore for his stance on the issue for years. Now, all of a sudden, their Glorious Leader believes in global warming? Wait a minute…

Bush Seeks New Image on Global Warming

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush called on the world’s worst polluters Friday to come together to set a goal for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the climate to heat up. He didn’t exempt his own country from the list.

“By setting this goal, we acknowledge there is a problem, and by setting this goal, we commit ourselves to doing something about it,” Bush said in a speech that capped two days of talks at a White House-sponsored climate change conference. “We share a common responsibility: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping our economies growing.”

He said each nation should establish for itself what methods it will use to rein in the pollution problem without stunting economic growth…

In his speech, Bush acknowledged that climate change is real and that human activity is a factor.

Now do you see why its time to put the adults back in charge again?


 Posted by at 22:26  Weblogging
Sep 272007

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Thanks. We now return you our regularly scheduled programming.

Sep 272007

A message from Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic National Committee:

If you can’t win, cheat.

Apparently that’s the Republicans’ answer to our work in California. If they have their way, this reliably “blue” state won’t be so blue in 2008.

Faced with a strong Democratic presence, Republicans are campaigning for a new election system instead of their own candidates.

If they get what they’re after, it could cost us the White House.

In California, Republican operatives — including some of the 2004 Swift Boaters — are working on a proposition for the June ballot that would essentially hand over 20 of the state’s electoral votes before the elections even begin next November.

Electoral reform is a good thing — but this proposition doesn’t even come close to an honest effort. It’s designed for just one thing: to make California the only big state in the country to break up its electoral votes, handing the White House back over to the Republicans. We need election reform, but let’s do it for real — and let’s not pick and choose which states we do it in.

We can’t let this proposition get on the ballot. Reject the Republican power grab in California:

California, like 47 other states, awards all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes. In the last four elections, all of California’s electoral votes have gone to the Democratic nominee.

Republicans want to change the rules to award one electoral vote for each Congressional district a presidential candidate wins. In 2004, that would have given George Bush 20 of John Kerry’s 55 votes.

These so-called “reformers” aren’t proposing to do this in Texas, or Florida, or Ohio, or any other large state that the Republicans won in 2004.

Only California.

This isn’t electoral reform — it’s a blatant power grab. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is against the proposal, saying:

“I feel like, if you’re all of a sudden in the middle of the game start changing the rules, it’s kind of odd… It almost feels like a loser’s mentality, saying, ‘I cannot win with those rules. So let me change the rules.'”

Don’t let the Republicans cheat to win the election. Make your voice heard now:

For Republicans, it’s not Iowa or New Hampshire that matters most in 2008 — it’s California.

Tell them to play by the rules.


Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

Sep 272007

Remember the Republican mayor who changed his mind about gay marriage about a week ago? Yesterday, Mark Morford devoted his entirely column to the event…

The Republican who likes gays

It was one of those surreal, suspended moments, an unexpected little hiccup in the otherwise bleak sociopolitical continuum where you couldn’t help but pause and gasp and sit back and let your bitter cynicism and your hard-won ennui fall away and actually allow yourself, for now, just this once, to really and truly believe what you were seeing.

Could it really be happening? Was there really any way in hell a straight white male BushCo-era Republican would dare step up to a live microphone in front of a TV camera in a major American city and honestly admit that, well, he was wrong, and he is very sorry, and he has now officially reversed his position and now fully supports gay marriage and will actually sign a city council resolution acknowledging and advocating same?

And furthermore could this politician, during said cynicism-defying announcement, actually choke back tears — real, human tears, not the fake, creepy kind you see from, say, Ted Haggard or Larry Craig or Lynne Cheney after four martinis and an hour staring at her husband — such a genuine display of emotion that you can’t help but think it might actually be coupled to a living, breathing human soul?

Yes, it happened. Just recently, down in San Diego. Jerry Sanders is the politico, and he’s apparently very much a (moderate) Republican mayor and a former police chief, and he apparently has a gay daughter no one really knew was gay and members of his mayoral staff are also gay and somehow, some way, both these facts played into his decision to reverse his position on gay marriage and go public in what has to be one of the most honest, humble and heartfelt public displays of ideological evolution by a Republican since … well, I can’t even think of any. Can you?

But truly, it’s one thing to read of Sanders’ announcement. It’s quite another to see and hear it for yourself. Do it. Go to YouTube. See for yourself.

Here’s why you must: The speech contains that rarest of displays for an American politician, the thing we’ve all been convinced through years and decades simply no longer exists anywhere in the political biosphere, but especially among the famously heartless members of the famously homophobic GOP — that is, astonishing honesty, humility, openness, heartfelt emotion in matters of love and human connection, sans rhetoric or spin or typical political bulls–t. The speech is, simply put, a deeply touching thing to watch.

Click on the headline to read the entire column. It is well worth your time.

TDWCC Dinner

 Posted by at 14:21  Politics
Sep 272007

Kelly Van Aucken of the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County e-mailed the following:

Mary Mapes to speak at TDWCC dinner on Oct. 20th

Dallas resident Mary Mapes has devoted her distinguished career to finding and reporting the truth. Especially during the Bush Administration, uncovering the truth has often been a daunting task. In addition to the Bush National Guard story, Mapes broke the Abu Ghraib prison torture story, for which she won a Peabody Award.

As an award-winning journalist and news producer for 25 years, the last 15 of them for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes II, Mapes has kept digging in order to accurately report the important stories we need to hear. She has waded through blacked out memos, interviewed countless witnesses afraid to speak out, and visited dangerous war-torn countries. America, and particularly Democrats, owe her many thanks for her service and determination!

Mary Mapes will be the keynote speaker at the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County 1st Annual Dinner: Countdown to Change on October 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Southfork Ranch. This event is open to the public. It will be a sit-down dinner. The silent auction will include a signed copy of Mary Mapes’ book, My Life personally addressed to a winning bidder and signed by President Clinton, a framed hand-written note from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and much more! There will even be pictures with a live Democrat donkey.

For more information, to RSVP, or to make a donation in support of this event, visit this website.

Sounds like an interesting evening.