I received the following email from MoveOn.org yesterday:
Dear MoveOn member,

Just yesterday, the Los Angeles Times ran a column talking about how hard it can be to connect with presidential hopefuls face to face.1 Grueling travel schedules, an imbalanced primary system, and a premium on media appearances mean dwindling time for candidates to talk with—and listen to—voters. But we're turning that dynamic on its head.

Tuesday, April 10th, MoveOn is partnering with Air America Radio to bring you our first ever Virtual Town Hall meeting with the '08 presidential candidates. (The full list of candidates invited to attend is below.) The topic is Iraq, and we want you to have a front row seat.

You can join other members of your community and tune in via the Internet to hear the top candidates answer questions chosen by MoveOn members. Afterward, you'll have a chance to discuss what you heard, and then vote by email on who will do the best job of bringing our troops home.

I signed up for Oakland hosted event this coming Tuesday night. I also said I'd bring my laptop so we can have more people online from the party. I hope to gods he has wireless. I guess I'd better go buy me a damn wireless card, huh!

If you're not a member of MoveOn.org or if you are and your curious about this event, I encourage you to hit their website and look for a location near you to participate or host your own party!
We are set for a SHOW DOWN:

WASHINGTON - A House panel on Wednesday defied the White House and authorized subpoenas for President Bush’s political adviser, Karl Rove and other top aides, setting up a constitutional showdown over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.

By voice vote and without objection, the House Judiciary subcommittee on commercial and administrative law decided to compel the president’s top aides to testify publicly and under oath about their roles in the firings.
Nevada Democratic presidential debate that was to have been co-hosted by Fox News Network was canceled by organizers, in part because of a joke by Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes about presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama.

Democrats canceled the debate Friday. They said a comment by Ailes during a Thursday night speech to a group of radio and television news directors indicated the network was biased against their party.

"It's true that Barack Obama is on the move," Ailes said, deliberately confusing the Illinois senator's name with that of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. "I don't know if it's true President Bush called [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?' "

Even before Ailes' remarks, there was intense pressure from the liberal group MoveOn.org to cancel the August event as part of its boycott of Fox.

Ailes has served as a campaign adviser to Republican candidates, including former Presidents Reagan and Bush.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards dropped out of the debate Thursday, citing, in part, Fox's participation.

Fox News Vice President David Rhodes responded to the debate cancellation with a written statement saying MoveOn.org owns the Democratic Party.

Entire article quoted from: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/10/debate.canceled/index.html
I came across this article in the Columbia Journalism Review. It really made me stop and think about how a good idea--bootstrapping society out of ignorant hate and into sensitivity and enlightenment has in many ways really bitten us in the ass. Doug Marlette makes several good points.

Those who scream and demand tolerance for their views very often do not extend that tolerance to others.

Many people believe there is truth and then there is "their truth."

And, most resonant with me: the use, misuse and lack of understanding of our First Amendment:

I gave my Journalism 101 lecture on the First Amendment, explaining that in this country we do not apologize for our opinions. Free speech is the linchpin of our republic. All other freedoms flow from it. After all, we don't need a First Amendment to allow us to run boring, inoffensive cartoons. We need constitutional protection for our right to express unpopular views. If we can't discuss the great issues of the day on the pages of our newspapers fearlessly, and without apology, where can we discuss them? In the streets with guns? In cafés with strapped-on bombs?

I hope you'll take a few moments this morning and read this wonderful article
Those of you who know me, won't be surprised that I have declared my support so early in the primaries. Tonight I joined the Barack Obama campaign, opening a user profile on his website: http://www.barackobama.com (user: Aamused, zip: 94073) and making a donation.

My reason is simple:

He is a voice of compassion, of hope, of clear thinking--all of which are sadly missing in the current administration. There is a quiet strength of resolve that we have not seen in politics for 40 years. The '08 run needs to be about change, a return to rational thinking, a rejection of blind zeal and fear-mongering, we need to focus on our children, our schools, our environment, our renewable resources, and begin the very long road of repairing our reputation in the world. I trust Senator Obama's vision and determination to get that job done.

I have no doubt that my reason, my hope, my cynicism, my temper, my patience, my fears will all be tested in the coming year. However, I stand by my choice and my motto:

Change begins in your own heart. Push that hope and desire for change outward and watch the world change with you.

Whether you join me for Obama or join the campaign of your own candidate of choice, the most important thing is to participate with intelligence, passion and determination. The more citizens of this nation that speak up and speak out, the better--for everyone. Let's prove to ourselves and the rest of world that democracy works in all of its mess, its media circus, its protracted campaigning, conventions, commercials, and controversy. It works because we make it work.
I think this is VERY pertinent for today's governmental crisis:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-Theodore Roosevelt
Edited: 12:35am PT

Okay, I have to wonder really; just WHO is holding up the announcement of results for Senate in MT and VA? I have suspicions, that's for sure.

11:08pm PT.

OMG. Looks like we might also welcome: Montana, Missouri and Virginia.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island:

WELCOME to Blue State Status. Here's your cap!

South Dakota, THANK YOU for rejecting the abortion law.

We have the house...the Senate remains to be seen. I predict a tie.
I found this article from Vanity Fair astonishing in many ways:

Vanity fair.

Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong neocon activist and Pentagon insider who served on the Defense Policy Board until 2005, wrote a famous op-ed article in The Washington Post in February 2002, arguing: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." Now he says, "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."
If we confuse dissent with disloyalty— if we deny the right of the individual to be wrong, unpopular, eccentric or unorthodox— if we deny the essence of racial equality then hundreds of millions in Asia and Africa who are shopping about for a new allegiance will conclude that we are concerned to defend a myth and our present privileged status. Every act that denies or limits the freedom of the individual in this country costs us the ... confidence of men and women who aspire to that freedom and independence of which we speak and for which our ancestors fought.

Edward R. Murrow
The famously liberal city of Berkeley is expected to become the first in the nation to put forth a ballot measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The City Council will decide tonight whether to put the measure on the Nov. 7 ballot, at a cost of about $10,000. The measure, if approved, would create a task force to monitor the president and vice president, who backers of the initiative say should be impeached because of the Iraq war, federal wiretapping and other issues.

Dozens of cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, have approved resolutions advocating impeachment, but Berkeley could be the first to let voters decide.

Full article is here.

My opinion (not that you asked for it) is that this resolution is total crap and a waste of our money. I do not support impeachment for a variety of reasons. At this point its unfeasable anyway and would simply tie up Congress and waste both time and money.

Berkeley still has about 1/3 of its population living in 1969. Those that do were barely even knee high in 1969. Pardon me while I roll my eyes at my own city council. I'm about to start hanging out at City Hall on Wednesday nights and getting really VOCAL.
I'm just back from Washington, DC, where the Campaign for America's Future staged its fourth annual Take Back America conference at the Hilton hotel near DuPont Circle. Bringing together close to 2,000 of the country's most dedicated progressive activists and strategists for a series of speeches, conversations, panels, workshops and parties, TBA showcased a raft of innovative policy proposals, initiatives and projects. Also on hand to make speeches was much of the Democratic Party leadership, including Senators Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Russell Feingold and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

Full Article here.
This caught my eye today:

People who live in mud huts should not throw mud, especially if it comes from their own roofs. As Scripture says, don't point to the speck in your neighbor's eye when you have a piece of kindling in your own.
Whew, our Primaries are done. Maybe now these godawful political commercials will come to a halt for a few months!!

True to form the Great State of California lost my re-registration I mailed in when I moved. It occurred to me, somewhat belatedly--like yesterday afternoon at 2pm, that I had not yet seen my new voters registration card. I called the 800 number to find out what address I was registered under. I was still under my old address and so at 3:30 I announced I was shaving my head bald, donning yellow robes and going to the Hare Krishnas. And I did--well, some of it. My polling place is/was the Hare Krishna temple on Stuart street. I had not been there since the last election. Our electronic voting machines are history thanks to the Diebold scandal. I stood there with my sharpie and my paper ballot carefully marking each item.

I'm well aware that I'm not just voting for myself I'm also voting for the Enigma. He has no vote, he's a resident alien still in queue for citizenship. Of course he's a homeowner, a business man, a tax payer, and often grouses about taxation without representation. I let him grouse and we discuss and debate issues, propositions and candidates. Most often we agree, rarely we disagree. If I'm fence-sitting on an issue or a person I swing my vote in his direction so he has some kind of voice at the polls through me.

I'm not entirely happy with how the Primaries turned out, but I'm not surprised either. After Absentee votes are counted we will likely face a run-off for mayor of Oakland. While I don't live in Oakland (Berkeley's mayoral race and local issues are on the November ballot) I am interested in how the politics go. I work in Oakland, we're on the Chamber of Commerce and as such we have a vested interest in Oakland thriving. There may or may not be a run off for Democratic candidate for governor. I'm not a fan of Angelides, but it looks like he may have it over Westly. Jerry Brown, our exiting Oakland Mayor, easily won Attorney General for the State. That man is addicted to politics.

My biggest dilema was Proposition 82. The idea of the prop is a good one to provide universal preschool to all California children. Unfortunately it was also poorly written. I'm one of those really annoying citizens. I'm one who doesn't listen to the ads, tally up the list of endorsements, or just skim the pros and cons that come in my election ballot guide. I get online and pull the entire text of the Proposition and I READ it. Cures insomnia, let me tell you. I did that in this case and it sparked one of the rare debates between me and the Enigma about voting for or against. In the end we agreed to vote against even though it rankled because we both agree it is a very worthy idea, however this particular proposition is not the way to codify that idea and put it into action. I see in this morning's results listing that it was soundly defeated. Apparently I'm not the *only* one who dug a little deeper and looked at this thing.

On my way home from voting I took another long walk down hill to my house. The day was gorgeous and warm. We're now into our 30 degree temperature swings from morning to evening. I have to wear a microfiber jacket in the morning or I freeze while catching the bus. That means I have to CARRY the thing in the afternoon when I'm swealtering in 80 degree sunshine! By 6 o'clock, however, the fog has rolled in and we're back down to 50 degrees. Not wearing the jacket in the mornings will get me a cold, carrying it about in the afternoons will not. So, I am doomed to carry it.

I stopped in at Walgreens and picked up a few essential items and one non-essential one. Dork doggie has a new toy! It's a soft, fuzzy, squeaky, pastel colored lobster. We named it Rock. I brought it home and she seized it in her mouth as soon as I showed it to her. She growled at the cats if they got to close and carried it around in her mouth for a good ten minutes before I could get her to drop it so I could put on her leash and take her for a walk. She even turned down a peanut butter treat biscuit to keep it! While we were walking the Berkeley Free Market (aka a box on the curb of junk) yielded some small stuffed animals. I picked up a Wile E. Coyote with the tag still on for me and a 3" tall yellow Pikachu because Dottie dived into the box nose first and grabbed it. So now she has two new toys. She's a happy dog and very spoiled.

The cats have a new toy too. I discovered yesterday afternoon that someone, probably Frankenkitty, had managed to pull the tie string out of my workout pants. I found her and Sammy on opposite ends pouncing on the string and playing tug-a-war. That was a very entertaining sight!

Tonight, drinks with Dr Strangelove at Spats, tomorrow lunch with the Enigma. But for now--it's time to get to work. Oh, and have more coffee of course!

Ciao for Niao
What this will create or whether it will stick:

(04-06) 09:11 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.

Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Valerie Plame's CIA identity.

But the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The authorization came as the Bush administration faced mounting criticism about its failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the main reason the president and his aides had given for justifying the invasion of Iraq.

Libby's participation in a critical conversation with Miller on July 8, 2003 "occurred only after the vice president advised defendant that the president specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the National Intelligence Estimate," the papers by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald stated. The filing did not specify the "certain information."

"Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller — getting approval from the president through the vice president to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval — were unique in his recollection," the papers added.

Found at the end of my Borowtiz Report newsletter I receive each day.

Elsewhere, in an ominous sign that Iraq may be sliding into civil war, Ken Burns and his camera crew turned up in Baghdad today.
An interesting editorial in "In These Times" has this to say about the recent passings of Betty Friedan and Coretta Scott King:

So let’s remember what economic, political and social life was like for women in 1964. Want ads in the newspapers were segregated by gender, meaning that women simply could not apply for some jobs. Discrimination and admissions quotas to graduate and professional schools meant that women could be nurses but not doctors, teachers but not professors, secretaries but not managers or executives, paralegals but not lawyers. It was worse for African American and Latina women, who were consigned primarily to domestic and agricultural work. High school and college sports were for boys, not girls. Women could not get credit cards or mortgages in their own names, and when a couple applied for a mortgage the wife’s salary was not counted because it was “pin money.” Abortion was illegal, there were no sexual harassment laws, no battered women’s shelters and a woman had to have two eyewitnesses to get a rape conviction. There was no pregnancy leave, and once a married working woman got pregnant, she also got fired.

Full article found here.
Because I think this one is important and even though it was written 60 years ago it is very, very timely:

"When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained."
- Edward R. Murrow
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 — Federal agents have interviewed officials at several of the country's law enforcement and national security agencies in a rapidly expanding criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a New York Times article published in December that disclosed the existence of a highly classified domestic eavesdropping program, according to government officials.

The investigation, which appears to cover the case from 2004, when the newspaper began reporting the story, is being closely coordinated with criminal prosecutors at the Justice Department, the officials said. People who have been interviewed and others in the government who have been briefed on the interviews said the investigation seemed to lay the groundwork for a grand jury inquiry that could lead to criminal charges.

The inquiry is progressing as a debate about the eavesdropping rages in Congress and elsewhere. President Bush has condemned the leak as a "shameful act." Others, like Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director, have expressed the hope that reporters will be summoned before a grand jury and asked to reveal the identities of those who provided them classified information.

Mr. Goss, speaking at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Feb. 2, said: "It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information. I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserve nothing less."

Full article found here.
aamusedinatx: (dorothy)
On Hiliary Clinton's outspoking nature now and what I might or might not do in terms of her canidacy for President in 2008. (Mind you I would nearly rather gouge out my eyes than vote for her...but that has to be considered in context of who is running at the time. If she is the lesser of two or more evils, I would).

The hit on Hillary may seem crude and transparent. But in the void created by dormant Democrats, crouching in what Barack Obama calls "a reactive posture," crude and transparent ploys work for the Republicans. Just look at how far the Bushies' sulfurous scaremongering on terror, and cynical linkage of Saddam and Osama, have gotten them.

The gambit handcuffs Hillary: If she doesn't speak out strongly against President Bush, she's timid and girlie. If she does, she's a witch and a shrew. That plays particularly well in the South, where it would be hard for an uppity Hillary to capture many more Bubbas than the one she already has.

It's the riddle of the Sphinx that has been floating around since the selection of Geraldine Ferraro. Betty Friedan worried then that a woman seen as a threat to men would not get to the White House. But how can a woman who's not a threat to men get there?

The full column is found here



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