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Archive for August, 2007

In 2006, Nikki Tinker refused to say where she stood on any actual issues in the congressional primary, instead allowing surrogates to attack Steve Cohen for (a) not being black and (b) ridiculous misinterpretations of bills he voted for.

And in 2007, she still refuses to speak out on the issues, deigning to do the attack work for herself only when Steve Cohen accurately points out the game she’s playing.

From the city’s best newspaper:

“Rep. Cohen is playing the worse [sic] kind of politics and attempting to lay his failure to have a positive and constructive dialogue with the constituents at my feet — and his accusations are pure fiction. I am not going to play the politics of divide and conquer with Rep. Cohen — my values simply will not allow it.”

She says a lot in that brief statement.  She tells us she doesn’t like having her hand tipped— She wants her surrogates to Swift Boat Steve Cohen, but she doesn’t like being pointed out as the George W. Bush of Memphis politics, thus benefiting from their attacks.

Note what she doesn’t say— She doesn’t say where she stands on this issue.  She doesn’t say how she would vote on a bill that allowed for the use of federal resources in investigating hate crimes.

According to the FBI, 53.9% of hate crimes in 2004 were committed because of racial bias, with an astounding 67.5% of the victims being black.  Bias based on sexual orientation made up just 15.6% of the hate crimes.

Almost three and a half times as many hate crimes are committed against blacks as against homosexuals— Yet Nikki Tinker’s surrogates oppose a law that allows federal resources to be used in the investigation of those crimes?

As I’ve said before, reading the bill tells you what you need to know about it.   There is nothing in the language of the bill that says that you cannot preach against homosexuality.  All that you cannot do is all that you could not do before— You cannot stand in the pulpit and encourage violence against gays.  You couldn’t do that before this bill either, as it’s illegal to incite violence against another human being.

And let’s be perfectly honest here— If you stand at the pulpit and encourage violence against another human being, you’re not exactly a man of God.  He has a place for people that fan the flames of hate and encourage violence against others, and I would forget about getting an iced tea down there.

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Imagine if you will two scenarios:

  1. Senator Larry Craig is allowed to enter into a civil union, perhaps even a gay marriage, with the man of his choice. His personal life remains unremarkable, and he lives out his days pushing a conservative agenda while going to a stable home every chance he gets.OR
  2. Senator Larry Craig marries a woman, adopts several children, is implicated in 1982 for having sex with male teenage congressional pages, denies all stories about his homosexuality, and trolls bathrooms from the Minneapolis Airport to Union Station looking for gay sex, all the while consistently voting against reinstating the rights that are denied to gays in an attempt to avoid suspicion that he might be (Gasp!) gay himself.

He’s not a homosexual. He just plays one in the bathroom.

Craig’s defense: “I’m not gay. I just take a wide stance in the bathroom.” If I was that full of shit, I would probably take a wider stance while seated on the toilet as well.

Craig is far from alone in being a gay Republican. Even if you discount Jeff Gannon (Technically, he was getting paid for it, so he might have been straight in his personal life) and Matt Sanchez, the gay porn star that won the Jeane Kirkpatrick Award at CPAC, you’re still left with Mark Foley, David Dreier (Passed over as Majority Leader in 2005 for being gay), and Jim Kolbe.   Matt Drudge was outed by several, including former gay Republican David Brock (Who said in Blinded by the Right that there are several prominent gay Republicans in Washington DC that call themselves the “Laissez Fairies“). Even commentator Armstrong Williams paid $200,000 to settle out of court with a male employee that he made unwanted sexual advances towards on 50 separate occasions.

Not counting Kolbe, the only openly gay Republican congressman, that’s one seriously crowded closet.

I couldn’t list my nearest and dearest without a lesbian couple, and I couldn’t have done so fifteen years ago without naming a gay couple that, as of last I heard, were still together after thirty years.

I don’t like privilege. That’s what you call it when you enjoy a right that is denied to others. I believe in rights. I have the right to marry the consenting adult of my choice because I gravitated towards a certain set of parameters— I’m attracted to members of the opposite sex. It was not a conscious choice I made any more than it was a conscious choice they made (And no Governor Richardson, you idiot— It’s not a choice). It’s just who we are.

In this modern age of monotheism, we’ve forgotten something that the polytheists of ancient Rome and Greece that we snicker at for their pantheon of gods knew all along— Family comes in all shapes.

Is there anything wrong with Craig or any of the others named in this piece being homosexual? Of course not. The wrong comes when they defame and hurt others who make the same choices they do.

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And when she grows up…

… she wants to be a Republican Congresswoman!!

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First, it was Turd Blossom, the “Boy Genius”, an operative with a predilection for leaks and a mean streak longer than our border with Mexico. Be it little girls, US Attorneys that believed that the justice system should not be misappropriated for partisan purposes, or Democrats in general, there was no one he wouldn’t demonize in his drive to devolve American politics to the level of team bloodsport. It didn’t matter who was actually wearing the red jersey simply as long as they weren’t wearing a blue jersey.

The beginning of the end for Rove was not two weeks and change ago when his departure was announced. The beginning of the end was the White House’s hamfisted targeting of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, a political milquetoast who spent his last three years in office rolling over for the White House at almost every turn. By teaching Democrats what their reward for compromise was, he set the stage for the next two contentious years and gave the party its spine back— Which came in handy in 2006.

In the end, he demonstrated theWalter Mitty-ish grasp of reality that has been the trademark of this White House:

SIEGEL: I’m looking at all the same polls that you are looking at.
ROVE: No, you are not. I’m looking at 68 polls a week for candidates for the US House and US Senate, and Governor and you may be looking at 4-5 public polls a week that talk attitudes nationally.
SIEGEL: I don’t want to have you to call races…

ROVE: I’m looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I’m entitled to the math.

And then there’s Alberto “Gone-Zo” Gonzales.

One upon a time, our word was our bond. We said we wouldn’t torture, and we didn’t. While their fathers’ generation managed to subdue Germany and Japan into submission simultaneously without losing sight of American values, this Alberto Gonzales and his boss cannot take out a moderately funded terrorist group and a nation crippled by a decade of sanctions without losing sight of American values. The Geneva Conventions we signed onto? Gonezo called it “quaint“.

The administration of justice in the United States was treated no less cavalierly. He played a lead role in firing US attorneys for refusing to take part in politically motivated indictments designed to help swing an election, showed his utter contempt for Article I of the Constitution, and signed off on the warrantless surveillance that reduced civil liberties in this nation to that of Soviet-era Russia, all before trying to convince the Judiciary Committee that, while he didn’t remember who told him to fire the US attorneys, he’s certain it was neither Bush nor Cheney, two statements that in complete contradiction with one another. His resignation might help him avoid perjury charges. Then again, it might not.

And who are their replacements?

Karl Rove is being replaced as Bush Crime Family consigliere by Ed Gillespie, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute (Do you ever get the feeling that the Bush White House’s idea of diversity is hiring people from two different oil companies?) and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and former spokesman for George “Macaca” Allen. Nothing too surprising there.

More troublesome is the idea that Gonezo might well be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, one of the head honchos that forgot where New Orleans was two years ago this week.

Of course, the name being tossed around as a replacement for Chertoff is Clay Johnson III.

The good news is that we know Johnson has an extensive background in disaster management. He was George W. Bush’s roommate at Andover. If he has any otherqualifications, they remain to be seen.

It’s certainly not unusual for a president’s inner circle to depart in the last half of a second term. But in this case, it appears to be a symptom of political impotence. It’s been said that 32 is the temperature at which political influence freezes. With this White House’s approval ratings, 32% seems like the good old days.

When you play politics like it’s a game, the time comes when you eventually have to lose. All the president’s best players have left the field.

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Hope Runner

As many as you know may already know, our dear friend and star marathon runner Stacy is raising funds to support the Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure on October 20, 2007 in the fight against breast cancer. She will be participating in this race as well (go girl!).

According to the information she provided, one in eight women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. That, sadly, means that it is highly likely that a woman you know and love may someday become a victim of this deadly illness. That may very well be one of us, if you are woman.

This is a golden opportunity to contribute to an invaluable cause –one that may some day save your life, or that of someone you know. Also, it is a great opportunity to reach out to our Arkansas neighbors and help them out with this great effort. The Arkansas Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure raises funds to promote vital breast cancer education, develop screening and treatment programs in the community, and support the national search for a cure.

Please join Stacy, and all the other women involved, by pledging in support of her participation in the Race or contributing generously to Komen Arkansas Affiliate.

Your generous tax-deductible contribution will fund innovative outreach and awareness programs for medically underserved communities in Arkansas and national breast cancer research.

It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause – you can make a donation online by simply clicking RIGHT HERE.

 Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated!

 Now, go give!

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The problem with our lack of gun control in this nation is that many of our people are idiots, and we place destructive firepower in their hands.

Allen S. Davis was sentenced last month to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty in a shooting incident on his front lawn. A jury would have had a difficult time believing he could see well enough to pull off a head shot, yet couldn’t see well enough to determine that his “attackers” were two teenaged girls trying to catch a closer look at his “spooky house”.

As the judge said during sentencing, “…in this country, life is valued over property, and if someone is fleeing your property or on your property but not threatening you, you’re not allowed to just shoot them.”

Rachel Berezinsky, now 18, is paying a harsher price for trampling the grass on the sections of his property closest to the street than Davis is for recklessly firing two bullets that nearly ended her life. His sentence is nineteen years in prison. Hers is a lifetime in a wheelchair, as the bullets crippled the entire left side of her body.

When I read about this case, I couldn’t help thinking back to the Yoshihiro Hattori murder (And yes folks, despite what a jury says, this was a murder). On October 17, 1992, Hattori, a Japanese exchange student staying with a host family in Baton Rouge, was cut down by a bullet from yet another panicky homeowner.

Hattori and his friend Webb Haymaker had been invited to a Halloween party and got the address wrong. Neither of the boys were wearing anything that would obscure their identities— To the contrary, Hattori was dressed up in a “Saturday night Fever” disco suit. Yet when the two of them knocked at the door, Bonnie Peairs looked at her husband and said “Rodney, get your gun.”

Hattori and Haymaker went back to their car and were about to get in when Rodney Peairs answered the door. Haymaker saw the gun, but Hattori did not. As Hattori walked back to the door explaining in broken English that they were there for the party, Peairs fired a shot into his chest.

Hattori died in the ambulance a few minutes later from blood loss.

The defense in the criminal trial depended on making stupid sound reasonable. The boys rang the doorbell and never attempted to look inside a window; Yet the defense had to convince a jury that the Peairs family had reason to believe they were intruders. Rodney Peairs was a large man over six feet tall; Yet they had to convince a jury that he was reasonable to be frightened of a small Japanese boy weight only 130 pounds dressed not in a terrifying mask, but a white suit.

“You were safe and secure, weren’t you?” [District Attorney] Moreau asked Peairs during his appearance before the grand jury. “But you didn’t call the police, did you?”
“No sir.” Peairs said.
“Did you hear anyone trying to break in the front door?”
“No sir.”
“Did you hear anyone trying to break in the carport door?”
“No sir.”
“And you were standing right there at the door, weren’t you – with a big gun?”
Peairs nodded.
“I know you’re sorry you killed him. You are sorry, aren’t you?”
“Yes sir.”
“But you did kill him, didn’t you?”
“Yes sir.”

This is yet another weakness in the argument of gun control zealots who try and pretend that limiting the availability of the Street Sweeper is somehow tantamount to telling people they can’t defend their homes— How many times do Americans have to be demonstrated as having been too stupid to make the judgment call?

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