Friday, April 15, 2005

Remember When CNN was a Real News Station?

The 10:00 Seinfeld episode showing on UPN channel 24 last night was a greatest hits one, so I flipped to CNN to see what Aaron Brown had to say on NewsNight.

His "news" program was all about military unit 507, the one with Jessica Lynch. It was entitled What Really Happened? Sigh. It was pretty much a puff piece about the glorious military.

Call me crazy but I'd a thought it might be worth covering Tom DeLay's comments about the separation of church and state, or his comments on the right to privacy (he opposes both), or the John Bolton nomination and its intersection with current U.S. military plans regarding Iran and its supposed nuclear ambitions and the nomination of John Negroponte as head intelligence czar (BTW, have you ever seen anyone as self evidently evil as Negroponte?).

Maybe they'll get around to covering Bolton, Negroponte and Iran once the administration finishes cooking the intelligence books on Iran, is saying that "inspections aren't working", and that before we endure a "mushroom cloud", we have to strike Tehran.

Changing the Culture in Washington

TPM has an apt summary of an article in today's NYT highlighting Senate Majority Leader Frist's pandering to the theocratic right, which we now understand will take the form of a Family Research Council-mega church sponsored video conference alleging that by opposing a few of Bush's judicial nominees, Democrats are conducting a war against "people of faith". Dobson, Sheldon, and the usual despotic gang of Bible abusers and faith malpracticers are expected to be on hand to encourage the fatwa.

This on the heels of the publishing this week of Tom DeLay's stated and vigorous opposition to the separation of church and state, judicial review, and the right to privacy.

This on the heels of this week's guilty plea entered by theocratic terrorist (I'm using the conservatives' own loose definition of the word) Eric Rudolph for bombing abortion clinics AND Atlanta's Olympic Park.

This on the heels of last week's conference in Washington in which prominent conservatives called for the impeachment of the Republican appointed Supreme Court.

And this on the heels of last month's pandering to the theocratic right regarding Terri Schiavo and the lust for judicial blood it spawned.

And this on the heels of last year's Gay Marriage Amendment and the eleven anti-gay "marriage" state constitutional amendments it birthed last fall.

For the record, I am a "people of faith" and I don't support Bush, Frist, DeLay or this conference or its organizers or intentions.

Hall of Shame

Steve Soto at The Left Coaster has the sorry list of Democrats who voted for both the repeal of the Paris Hilton Inheritance Tax AND the Leave No Credit Card Company Behind Bill.

As Soto says, I don't care what they want to call themselves, New Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats, or Ring Around The Rosy Democrats, legislators that vote in favor of the wealthiest one day, and in favor of bankers the next are Republicans.

What He Said

I was thinking of posting something about the latest round of the Democratic-Party-culture-and-values debate, but then I noticed that Billmon went and said exactly what I was thinking.

So, please, go and enjoy a good read.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

His Ethics Are His Best Quality

Here's Tom DeLay in an interview with the Moonie Times:

I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.

1. So, the reason the judiciary imposed an "unconstitutional" separation of church and state is because Congress didn't stop them (the courts)...

2. And the reason we have judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them...

3. And the reason we have a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them...

Let's examine these statements from the House Majority Leader about the Constitution and our civil liberties for just a moment, beginning with the most stupid of them.

2. Judicial Review. I'm pretty sure the principle of judicial review has been around since, oh, I don't know, the Jefferson Administration.

1. Separation of Church and State. The Majority Leader doesn't believe in the principle of the Separation of Church and State. Which means he believes that Church and State should be united. Which means he believes that the State, through the Church, or a Church, can impose itself and its doctrines on the rest of us, seemingly without regard for the rights enumerated to us in the Bill of Rights. Which means he doesn't believe in democracy or any of the principles given to us by the founding generation.

Paging Howard Dean and Harry Reid. You're wanted on deck. I trust I'll find your responses in my morning newspapers.

3. Tom DeLay hates the right to privacy. Tom DeLay is against the right to privacy, for individuals to have the right to their persons and the liberty to conduct themselves within the confines of their homes and bodies as they see fit provided they don't interfere with the rights of others. Tom DeLay and the Party he heads are against this. Yes. He. Actually. Said. That.

Memo to any prospectives 2008 Democratic candidates: You should emphatically and unapologetically state your support for the right to privacy, the separation of church and state, and reaffirm the two centuries long principle of judicial review in your declaration of candidacy. You can get a lot of the other stuff wrong, but these are the essential items you need to get right. I know it all sounds pretty basic, but that's what things have come to in the year 2005.

If there's one thing you can't say about today's Republican Party, that is that they haven't shown us. They have shown us. They are telegraphing in perfectly clear language where they want to take the country, if only the "courts" weren't in there way.

How will we respond?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Why Go Nuclear?

As I've been shaking in my boots (OK, I don't wear boots, but you know what I mean) waiting for the Senate Republicans to drop the nuclear bomb on the filibustering of judicial nominees, I've suddenly taken to wondering why they're bothering. It seems like a move that will get them a lot of negative press and provide Democrats with a 2006 campaign issue, all just so they can shoehorn 8-10 more radical Bush nominees through the confirmation process. I have a hard time imagining they couldn't as easily line up an alternative slate of conservative candidates with equally appalling views and authoritarian aims who wouldn't have the damaging paper trail and disreputable baggage. Of course as I write this I recognize the "pre-emptive" element here; by changing the law they would not only get to ram the backlog through, but also be given more leeway to choose even more hideous nominees. In any event, it seems risky. A good Democrat could take advantage of this.