Monday, January 30, 2006

SCOTUS Post-Mortem

Crossposted at Political Cortex

I am obviously disappointed with the vote today regarding the destruction of the final check and balance on George Bush's Imperial Reign. I will never understand how the Beltway Brigade operates. I'm actually happy about that. Why should I be sympathetic to a powerful group of Senators who rely more on collegiality and spin rather than the will of the people who gave them that power?

As far as I'm concerned, the 20+ Democrats who voted for cloture today are traitors to their base, the everday Americans who canvassed and advocated for their votes in neighborhoods across this country. There is no excuse for their capitulation. Alito's judicial record speaks for itself and will prove our greatest fears substantiated. The far-right wing of the Republican party (a.k.a. its string-pullers and overlords) will gain one more vote to fulfill their greatest wish: the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I've already written about my thoughts on that issue here.

But it's more than that particular issue. A vote has also been gained for the corporate forces in this country who seek to de-regulate their industries that will erode the protections of workers, the needs of the disabled, usher the rapid decline of environmental protections, blur the lines of discrimination and other horrific ideals that I do not share.

I live in a so-called "Red State", so this has been an especially bitter pill to swallow. I was counting on the Democratic Senators to proclaim my position strongly on the floor since it will be a cold, snowy day in Gila Bend before McCain or Kyl vote according to my wishes. Too many Democrats watered down that position today, effectively silencing my opinion and that of many of my friends in the lefty blogoshere.

So now what? Do I leave the party? Do I finally say "Fuck this" once and for all?

I am way too stubborn for that.

In fact, this whole charade pissed me off so badly that I went straight to the Democratic Party's website and signed up for a Democracy Bond. I don't have a lot of discretionary money, but I believe that the time has come for me to step up my activism and make sure demand, once and for all that my voice is heard.

I resolve to work my Democratic ass off for progressive candidates who will speak with a loud, clear voice that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I can only reform the party if I remain within it. I can only ensure the election of progressive candidates with infrastructure support by sucking it up and demanding accountability.

I refuse to be silenced and the Beltway Brigade has another thing coming if they think today's capitulation will result in their continued support. Their era is over, and I will give my time, money and passion to make it so.

I will no longer be ignored.

[UPDATE] Forget the babbling, cosmic debris' statement says it all for me:

The Final Push

When I was in high school, I ran long-distance events in track. I remember being exhausted by the time I reached the 8th lap of the 2-mile race. There were many times where I didn't gauge my pace correctly, and was exhausted when I rounded that final turn to the last stretch.


There always seemed to be a way for my adrenaline to surge strongly, allowing me to finish in a sprint across the line. I may not have won a lot of races, but it was always satisfying to end with my heart racing and sweat pouring.

We have reached the final stretch in the push to stop "the coup" of the Supreme Court, and the race to maintain the final check and balance of the U.S. Government on George Bush's Imperial Reign.

We are within TWO VOTES of victory. It can be done.

Contact these Senators today:
Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D- AR), 202-224-4843
Joseph I. Lieberman (D- CT), 202-224-4041
Thomas R. Carper (D- DE), 202-224-2441
Daniel K. Inouye (D- HI), 202-224-3934
Tom Harkin (D- IA), 202-224-3254
Evan Bayh (D- IN), 202-224-5623
Barbara A. Mikulski (D- MD), 202-224-4654
Carl Levin (D- MI), 202-224-6221
Mark Dayton (D- MN), 202-224-3244
Max Baucus (D- MT), 202-224-2651
Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ), 202-224-3224
Jeff Bingaman (D- NM), 202-224-5521
Jack Reed (D- RI), 202-224-4642
Patrick J. Leahy (D- VT), 202-224-4242
Maria Cantwell (D- WA), 202-224-3441
Patty Murray (D- WA), 202-224-2621
Herb Kohl (D- WI), 202-224-5653
John D. Rockefeller, IV (D- WV), 202-224-6472
James M. Jeffords (I- VT), 202-224-5141

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D- DE) , 202-224-5042
Bill Nelson (D- FL), 202-224-5274
Daniel K. Akaka (D- HI), 202-224-6361
Mary Landrieu (D- LA), 202-224-5824
Byron L. Dorgan (D- ND), 202-224-2551
Olympia Snowe (R- ME), 202-224-5344

link to full post

Compassionate Conservatism in Action

An outrageous display of stupidity and ignorance comes via Monday's WaPo:

More than a dozen states are considering new laws to protect health workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs, a surge of legislation that reflects the intensifying tension between asserting individual religious values and defending patients' rights.

About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians. (emphasis mine)

This is the latest manifestation of division that has been caused by the Bushista Regime. When George was running for the Presidency, he promised an era of "Compassionate Conservatism". What we've learned in the past six years is that the term actually means "Compassionate to Conservatives just like me" - the rest of us can "Go Fuck Ourselves"

I'm so sick of reading the headlines, only to discover that the flesh-eating disease being spread by this White House is spreading like the plague across this country. How do supporters of bills such as this go to bed at night without being haunted by the guilt stemming from their rotting hatred of others?

I'm a Christian, but I hold no pretenses that the faith I practice would meet the standards of these folks. You know what? I couldn't give two turds what they think. I would rather have my faith motivate me to help the poor and expand rights to my fellow Americans rather than this type of crap. Not only will I sleep better at night, it's the right thing to do as an American, as a human being.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I'll be damned

It appears the shift in the wind has begun. Even GOoPers are starting to call out the Imperial Presidency for its stonewalling tactics.
Republican lawmakers said Sunday that President Bush should publicly disclose White House contacts with Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who has pleaded guilty to felony charges in an influence-peddling case.

Releasing the records would help eliminate suspicions that Abramoff, who helped raise more than $100,000 for Bush's re-election campaign, had undue influence on the White House, the Republicans said.

"I'm one who believes that more is better, in terms of disclosure and transparency," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. "And so I'd be a big advocate for making records that are out there available."

The president has refused to reveal how much access Abramoff had to the White House, but has said he does not know Abramoff personally. Bush has said federal prosecutors are welcome to see the records of Abramoff's contacts if they suspect something inappropriate, but he has not released them publicly.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who appeared with Thune on "Fox News Sunday,", said all White House correspondence, phone calls and meetings with Abramoff "absolutely" should be released.

The indispensable folks over at Crooks and Liars have the videos of Thune and Hagel asking the White House to come clean.

Release the records, George! If you have nothing to hide, then what are you waiting for?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Open Thread

Image hosting by Photobucket

Filibuster Support List Grows

Yesterday it was just Kerry and Kennedy willing to step up to the plate to fight for our democracy. Today, several names have been added, including two prominent female Senators: Clinton and Feinstein. Go Kerry! Go!

Despite describing the filibuster drive as "an uphill climb," Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy Thursday backed Kerry's efforts.

"This is a vote of a generation and a test of conscience," Kennedy said in a statement. "Judge Alito does not share the values of equality and justice that make this country strong. He does not deserve a place on the highest court of the land."

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, tells CNN that she will support the filibuster, as will California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"Based on a very long and thoughtful analysis of the record and transcript, which I tried to indicate in my floor statement yesterday, I've decided that I will vote no on cloture," Feinstein said in a statement.

Everyone is calling it an "upward hill climb". So what, they are fighting. It's about time. He is doing this based on his convictions:

However, a Kerry aide told CNN the senator is not concerned about the gossip on Capitol Hill and is standing on principle in backing the filibuster.

"Judge Alito's confirmation would be an ideological coup on the Supreme Court," Kerry said in a written statement.

Contact your Senators NOW:

The Quack is Quacking

I could see the point in hesitation for standing up to George on the Alito nomination if he was a popular pResident. He is not. At all.

A majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate in November's congressional elections who opposes President Bush, and 58 percent consider his second term a failure so far, according to a poll released Thursday.

Fewer people consider Bush to be honest and trustworthy now than did a year ago, and 53 percent said they believe his administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq's purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found. [snip]

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Bush's second term has been a failure so far, while 38 percent said they consider it a success. A smaller number -- 52 percent -- consider his entire presidency a failure to date, with 46 percent calling it successful.

Worst. President. Ever.

And a liar to boot:
"We've got a record, and a good one," he said. "That's what I intend to campaign on and explain to people why I made the decisions I made, and why they're necessary to protect the American people, and why they've been necessary to keep this economy strong -- and why the policies we've got will keep this economy strong in the future."
Really? Nice try Shrub.
The economy grew at only a 1.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year, the slowest pace in three years, amid belt-tightening by consumers facing spiraling energy costs.

Even with the feeble showing from October through December, the economy registered respectable overall growth of 3.5 percent for all of 2005 — a year when business expansion was undermined by devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes. [snip]

The 1.1 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter marked a considerable loss of momentum from the third quarter's brisk 4.1 percent pace. The fourth-quarter's figure — lower than the 2.8 percent pace economists were forecasting — was the weakest performance since the final quarter of 2002, when the economy expanded at just a 0.2 percent rate.

The weakness in the final quarter of last year reflected consumers pulling back, cuts in government spending and businesses being more restrained in their capital spending.

Here's something to ALWAYS keep in mind with these crooks in power: they will spend the vast majority of their efforts to spin rhetoric in your face rather than work to solve the problems that are facing the country.

Their leadership style has proven to be a failure. Their course of action on virtually every facet of governance has proven to be a failure. And now the numbers are finally starting to reflect the reality of our dire situation.

You can stop the madness in November by working to elect Democrats or other third-party candidates with a progressive platform. It is obvious that things cannot continue in the current fashion. The Bush Cabal have left our country worse than they received it in January of 2001. Let's take back our country.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Alternative Reality

Either I am a complete Wacktivist (as my politically-connected cousin calls me on occasion) or there is no justification for this Op/Ed headline from the Baltimore Sun:

Bin Laden's reappearance is boost to Bush

Really? Why? Doesn't his reappearance signal the FAILURE of the Bush misAdministration to capture the terrorist mastermind and "bring him to justice"? What happened to "Wanted: Dead or Alive"?

A quick refresher for the kool-aide drinking minions of this country who would follow George off a cliff if he told them that he was doing it to protect their freedom. From a March 13, 2002 White House Press Conference:

Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of --

THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.

Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.

So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. [snip]

Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we -- excuse me for a minute -- and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will or our friends will. That's one of the things -- part of the new phase that's becoming apparent to the American people is that we're working closely with other governments to deny sanctuary, or training, or a place to hide, or a place to raise money
This government is so full of shit, I can hardly contain my outrage. We are truly fucked with these people in power. To all the media puppets who magnify the lies of the Bush War Council, and to all the Senators who trust these batshit crazy assholes' judgement (especially on the Alito nomination): "Fuck you very much!"

It's Not Over Yet!

It seems like every Democrat I talk to wants this nomination stopped, except for the @#$!%ing Senators who are apparently refusing to listen to their constituents. This "representative government" is proving to be a farce.

The Rovian Smear Machine has been successful in ripping the spine out of the so-called oppositition party. They control the media, and therefore control the way our messages make their way to the masses. Yet, I refuse to back down on calling for a filibuster until the final vote is counted, or the Dems surprise me with some cojones.

Here's an update, courtesy of

Harry Reid met with progressive lobbyists on Tuesday and told them he has nearly 44 votes against Alito, but there are 8 Democratic Senators who will not support a filibuster.

Only 41 votes are needed for a filibuster. If Reid has nearly 44 votes against Alito, every one of those Senators should support a filibuster or their vote against Alito is meaningless.

So call the Democrats who are leading this battle and demand a united Democratic filibuster:
Harry Reid (NV)
Dick Durbin (IL)
Chuck Schumer (NY)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Pat Leahy (VT)

Use these toll free numbers to call the Capitol: 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641. If you can't get through, look up the Senator's District Office number in your phone book or by clicking here

Reid would not name the "Alito 8" who are blocking a Democratic filibuster - so we need to identify them and tell them not to betray the Democrats who funded them and voted for them.

The most likely suspects are the "Red State" Democrats:
Tom Carper (DE)
Kent Conrad (ND)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Mark Pryor (AR)

Also call these "Blue State" and pro-choice Republicans:
Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Susan Collins (ME)
Lisa Murkowsky (AK)
Bob Smith (OR)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Ted Stevens (AK)

For extra credit, call all the 2008 Presidential candidates who are sitting Senators - Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, and John Kerry - and tell them to either LEAD THE FILIBUSTER or FORGET ABOUT YOUR SUPPORT.

You can also send that message to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (202-224-2447) and the Democratic National Committee (202-863-8000).

Janet Strange, over at BooMan Tribune, has also compiled phone numbers for every Senator. Make your voice heard!

(And if you have no idea why this could usher in the destruction of our constitutional democracy, read this good round-up of atrocities by NeuvoLiberal).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Open Thread

Sorry for the sporadic posts, it has been crunch time with deadlines at work. Here's someone to keep you company in the meantime...

Image hosting by Photobucket

Monday, January 23, 2006

Economic Gut Punch

This news is enough to knock your wind out:
Ford Motor Co., the nation's second-largest automaker, said Monday that it will cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 facilities by 2012 as part of a restructuring designed to reverse billion-dollar losses in North America.
I was listening to NPR this morning on the drive to work, and they mentioned that the job cuts will be in addition to previously announced layoffs for their salaried work force. The round will also be coupled with the closure of several of its factories. That has real consequences in areas that have long relied on the job market these facilities provide.

The Bush Economic Experiment is blowing up in the face of hard workers across this country. I know plenty of middle class workers that vote for Republicans because they feel its in their best financial interest. Isn't it far past the time when everyone say together in a loud voice, "Where's the beef?"

The Bubble Presidency will continue as long as its horrific policies are met with soft murmurs of outrage or worse, silence, instead of calls for real accountability by Congress and the people who elected them.

While tens of thousands of Ford workers wait to hear of the fate of their careers, George continues to smirk. It's as if he is driving us all down a rocky 4x4 trail in a Mustang without a spare tire. Wanna bet the gas tank is full? He has alot more planned for his passengers.

Buckle up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pederson Campaigns in Southern Arizona

Here are a couple of notices I received for upcoming events with Jim Pederson, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, who will hopefully send the repugnant Jon Kyl to his permanent retirement in November.


Sunday, January 22
Jim Pederson and the Catalina Democrats
Jim Pederson will speaking to the Catalina Democrats and helping the Pima County Democratic Party raise funds for our local 2006 Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Campaign. 11:30-2:00 Brunch at the home of Diane & David Diamond. RSVP required. 326-3716.

Catalina Democrats make a pledge of $1000.00 per year (or $83.00/mo) to the Pima County Democratic Party to Get out the Vote! For more information call Barbara 326-3716.


Join U.S. Senate Candidate


For A Rally With Local Students And Families
"Strengthening Arizona's Future"

Monday, January 23rd, 12:00 P.M.
At the University of Arizona

Rogers Plaza
(In Front of the Student Union)


By working together Arizonans will elect an honest, dedicated, and hardworking native Arizonan into the United States Senate.


Monday, January 23
Join Congressman Raul Grijalva as he welcomes Jim Pederson, Candidate for U.S. Senate to Tucson!
Monday, , 2006 , 5:30-7:00 PM at Las Cazuelitas de Tucson , 2615 S. 6th Avenue
$25 per person for Pederson 2006
Please RSVP to or call 629.0050

For more information about Pederson for Senate, visit:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

President Gore's Speech

If you have a spare hour, watch the entire speech. It was fantastic.

Link to C-SPAN.

ePluribus Media's Fact-Checked Transcript

Irony Surrenders

Hypocrisy being spewed forth from the biggest reason the Dream is rapidly turning into a Nightmare.
President Bush hailed Martin Luther King Jr. Monday as one of the greatest Americans who ever lived, but said more must be done to ensure that his dream of equality becomes a reality.

"At the dawn of this new century, America can be proud of the progress we have made toward equality, but we all must recognize we have more to do," Bush said during a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. "The reason to honor Martin Luther King is to remember his strength of character and his leadership, but also to remember the remaining work."


"We recommit ourselves to working for the dream that Martin Luther King gave his life for — an America where the dignity of every person is respected; where people are judged not by the color of their skin -- by the content of their character; and where the hope of a better tomorrow is in every neighborhood in this country," Bush said.

George later added that his speech didn't pertain to homosexuals, women, the poor, minorities or anyone else he felt irritated with that day.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Torture Camp to be Kept Open

How else will George be able to keep us safe? Remember, the hard hand of the law is being forced down the throat of the world. Nevermind the proof of widespread abuse. Nevermind the lack of judicial due process for the "caged animals" (they have long been stripped of their humanity or presumption of innocence). Nevermind the role it plays in the souring of international relations towards the United States; cuz the Boy President needs his fix.
President Bush rejected on Friday a suggestion by Germany's new chancellor that the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be shut down.

The camp on the U.S. Navy base there is "a necessary part of protecting the American people," Bush said after meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

In a joint news conference, Merkel said she raised the issue with Bush, and she described it as one of the differences between the United States and Germany.

"There sometimes have been differences of opinion, I mentioned Guantanamo in this respect," Merkel said.

Good for the Chancellor. While it is obvious international pressure means squat to the Bush War Council, I am glad to hear them still voicing their opposition to its abhorrent practices.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Which One's The Joker?

It's been a while since there was a caption contest, have at it

Anatomy of a Collective Coma

I wrote that lengthy piece below and left to lunch. Now that I'm back, I realize that it's horribly worded and all over the place, but it is a reflection of my frustration today. I feel like George and his minions are getting ready to pull the ultimate fast one on the country, and no one is paying attention to it.

Over at firedoglake, Jane Hamsher pieced together a great summary of the Republican-led scAlito bait-and-switch trick.

Also, kid oakland gives the reason perfectly with this:
We Democrats may not be perfect, but we can answer those questions in a straightforward manner. The Republicans can't.

There's a reason for that. Put GOP values out in the light of during Katrina, or with the torture memos, or Tom DeLay's backroom money laundering, or Grover Norquist's behind the scenes power brokering, or Jack Abramoff's swindels, or any time Pat Robertson opens his mouth...and they STINK.

Americans are about to get a big helping of Supreme Court "Surprise" courtesy of the GOP.

Don't complain if it tastes like tuna casserole and we have it for dinner every night...

for the next twenty five years.
I think I'll stick to enchiladas, rice and beans.

Equal Rights Under the Law

I am going to break a personal rule here and talk openly about my religion and how it affects (or doesn't affect) my views on abortion rights. There are some things I leave close to my heart, because they are difficult and complex issues for me; but the time has come to process the way I feel about all this, seeing as scAlito will likely usher in the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Alito edged closer to suggesting that he might be willing to reconsider Roe if he is confirmed to the high court, refusing, under persistent questioning by Democrats, to say that he regards the 1973 decision as "settled law" that "can't be reexamined." In this way, his answers departed notably from those that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. gave when asked similar questions during his confirmation hearings four months ago.


Alito told several senators that he felt constrained from saying whether he regards Roe as settled because abortion remains a live issue in the courts. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) reminded Alito that he has willingly said other areas of the law were settled even though they remain in play and that, in a 1985 application for a promotion in the Reagan administration's Justice Department, he had written he did not believe the Constitution protects the right to an abortion.
I am a practicing Roman Catholic. Very practicing. And proud of it. My faith is something so engrained in my identity that I can't imagine my life without it. It's what fuels my passion for social justice issues and fostering fellowship. I read about the vigilance of some of the Saints in their tireless work for the poor and downtrodden, and it revs me up to seek the same devotion to make this world better.

The past several years have been just-short of unbearable as I hear the uniting of platforms between conservative Catholic prelates and groups with the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world. It utterly disgusts me when I hear more decrees coming out of the Vatican regarding homosexuality or abortion rather than economic relief for the poorest of the poorest or the spread of war.

The truth is, the notion of "abortion rights" is a smoke-screen for the real issue: equal rights under the law.

Roe v Wade is not the bogeyman reason for the destruction of human life that the pro-life movement claims, it is the law of the land that provides women the exact same rights as men to have control over their bodies. By stripping this precedent, our society will revert back to a time when a husband or significant other lorded authority over their mate.

Are conservative wignuts like Senator Coburn of Oklahoma so distrusful of women that he would rather rule their medical decisions with a heavy hand than allow them equal rights in our country? The answer is a big neon-light flashing YES, and since he's representative of the freakish of the freakish, the Republican Party gave the freshman Senator a powerful voice on the Senate Judicial Committee overseeing the confirmation hearings of the Supreme Court.

My friends, we are truly on the brink of sending our democracy in a backwards slide rather than moving forward. We are experiencing a time of governance that seeks to restrict rights rather than expand them. It is appalling to me and I feel utterly helpless because even my so-called representatives in Congress won't ask the tough questions that I demand.

My faith has given me a powerful tool: my conscience; but it's an empty tool if I don't listen to it. That is why I try to spent more time using my ears rather than my mouth.

I firmly believe that if our elected officials spend more time listening rather than pontificating, then Samuel Alito will not be confirmed to the SCOTUS. I have very little hope though, given the past couple of days of questioning.

"Of the people, by the people, for the people" - what a joke.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Price of Humanity

The case against the two volunteers for No More Deaths is starting to wrap up. The ruling will be a temperature test on the political climate heading into this year's congressional election season.

As I read the article, what jumped out at me was not that these people broke the law, but rather that they were being punished for trying to save lives. I guess it's all a matter of interpretation and that small difference of perspective is what is fueling the fires of the immigration battle.
Shanti A. Sellz, 23, and Strauss, 24, face charges that they knowingly and intentionally conspired to transport an illegal entrants while volunteering for the local faith-based No More Deaths movement, which during the summer provides food, water and medical aid to people entering the United States illegally on foot. The pair say they were taking three entrants to get emergency medical care when they were arrested July 9 en route from the Arivaca area to Tucson.
Prosecutors say the illegal entrants were not seriously ill. But Sellz and Strauss say they contacted a nurse and a doctor before transporting the men and that they were following No More Deaths protocol, which calls for medically evacuating illegal entrants to Tucson if they are seriously ill. Prosecutors say the protocol was never approved by federal officials and that Border Patrol officials had warned religious leaders in April that they'd risk arrest if they transported migrants. (emphasis mine)
Welcome to America, the land of opportunity, where anyone giving you basic humanitarian needs is a criminal.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Wrong Bridge

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read.
Cuban-American community activists and politicians lambasted the U.S. government's decision to repatriate 15 Cubans picked up from the base of an abandoned bridge in the Florida Keys.

An attorney for the families of the migrants said he planned to file a suit Tuesday asking a federal judge to allow the group to return.

The migrants were sent back to Cuba Monday after U.S. officials concluded that the section of the partially collapsed bridge where they landed did not count as dry land under the government's policy because it was no longer connected to any of the Keys.

Under the U.S. government's "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, Cubans who reach dry land in the United States are usually allowed to remain in this country, while those caught at sea are sent back.
The Republican administration is already beginning their sell-out of the diverse cultural block of Hispanic Americans. They have spent alot of money to woo Cuban Americans based on economic advantages for entrepreneurs, but incidents like this show their true colors. To the Bush Gestapo, these human beings are nothing but ocean creatures that they seek to net up before they reach the shore. Semantics, Semantics.

Let's see if this will be the beginning of an awakening for the puppet Senator in Florida

U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., called the government's decision an example of "the complete and utter failure" of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy.

"Because they reached an old bridge and not a new bridge there's a judgment they didn't reach American soil? The semantics used to return these men and women — who have risked so much to reach freedom and are now returned to an uncertain future — are an embarrassment," Martinez said in a statement.

The entire George W. Bush Presidency is an embarrassment. Abras sus ojos, SeƱor Martinez.

SCOTUS Hearings

Since I'm stuck in cubicle hell, I'm unable to live-blog the scAlito hearings before the Senate Judiciary Commitee. Not to fear, you can check out threads here, here, here, or check out videos from yesterday's hearings here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Only Five?

Thanks to Mountain Cerridwen, I've been tagged to divulge five weird habits of mine. With the arrival of 2006, I bring you some insider knowledge from my quirky life.
  • I love pumpkin seeds. I can't get enough of them. That's not so bad, except for the fact that I eat the shell and the seed together. I think they taste better that way instead of cracking each one. A bit of a warning though, don't try this with sunflower seeds. You'll feel like a porcupine is coming out of your rear-end when nature runs its course, at least that's what a friend of mine told me. heh.
  • Seeing indentions from furniture or chairs in my new apartment's carpet drives me insane. I have to get a broom and whisk it away or else I have one eyeball staring in that direction as I blog or watch tv.
  • When I get nervous or anxious, I twitch my nostrils from side-to-side. I'm sort of the male version of Samantha on Bewitched. An old girlfriend of mine nicknamed me Mowgli from the Jungle Book.
  • If I'm on a road trip, I often look at the milepost markers and work out mathematically how long I have before arrival at the next city/landmark. Sometimes I will cross-reference with my odometer just for kicks. My damn analytical brain never stops working!
  • I have a cupboard full of coffee mugs, but I only use one. Prior to 2005 it was a UA Alumni Mug, now it's my Booman Tribune mug. I'll wash it everyday and use it rather than get a clean one out of the cupboard. Wish I could say the same thing for the rest of my dirty dishes...
Alright, those are just a few of my irregularities. Now it's your turn.

I tag: Dean at the Art Crit, olivia at Parvum Opus, spiderleaf at Jaded Reality, Duke1676 at Migra Matters, and James Benjamin at Left End of the Dial. Have fun!