Thursday, July 31, 2003


But then, anyone can miss a deadline, right?

Either way, Edwards paid up, and according to Jennifer Palmieri, "Sen. Edwards takes full responsibility for any of those bills that were paid late."

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Clinton: "Is it the right thing to do? Then fucking do it."

I got your moral clarity right here:

In 1998, Al Qaeda struck the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than two hundred people. In retaliation, Clinton signed a secret Presidential finding authorizing the C.I.A. to kill bin Laden. It was the first directive of this kind that Clarke had seen during his thirty years in government. Soon afterward, he told me, C.I.A. officials went to the White House and said they had "specific, predictive, actionable" intelligence that bin Laden would soon be attending a particular meeting, in a particular place. "It was a rare occurrence," Clarke said. Clinton authorized a lethal attack. The target date, however - August 20, 1998 - nearly coincided with Clinton's deposition about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clarke said that he and other top national-security officials at the White House went to see Clinton to warn him that he would likely be accused of "wagging the dog" in order to distract the public from his political embarrassment. Clinton was enraged. "Don�t you fucking tell me about my political problems, or my personal problems," Clinton said, according to Clarke. "You tell me about national security. Is it the right thing to do?" Clarke thought it was. "Then fucking do it," Clinton told him.

Via Hesiod of Counterspin Central.

Punish the victim.

Student on student harassment is a problem at every school. The only good solution is to establish an environment where the victim may disclose the harassment with the certainty that the harasser will be punished, and that the punishment will end the harassment. This solution requires vigilance on the part of parents, teachers, administrators, and even fellow students. But it is the only good solution.

New York City didn't choose the good solution. Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having admitted that "some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," has decided to remove the victims of this harassment from the general student population and place them in another school:

The Harvey Milk High School, an expansion of a 1984 city program consisting of two small classrooms for gay students, will enroll about 100 students and will open in the fall.
"I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a briefing today. "It lets them get an education without having to worry. It solves a discipline problem. And from a pedagogical point of view, this administration - and previous administrations - have thought it was a good idea and we'll continue with that."
The school, at 2 Astor Place in the East Village, is undergoing a $3.2 million renovation approved by the old Board of Education last year.
On its Web site, the Hetrick-Martin Institute[, a gay-rights youth advocacy group that has managed and financed the program since its inception,] describes the Harvey Milk School as "the nation's first accredited public high school designed to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth (LGBTQ)."
It says the school "offers LGBTQ youth an opportunity to obtain a secondary education in a safe and supportive environment. � We believe that success requires the ability to respect and value the diverse human community."
The school is named after San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor, Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone.

Few other than the most desperate victims of harassment would consider this an attractive option. Gay students don't appear from nothing; their only relationship is not with their harasser. They've attended school with their peers since kindergarten. They have friendships and relationships that would be disrupted, if not destroyed, by such a transfer. They have scholastic plans based on the schools they expect to attend. Few would voluntarily choose this; no one should feel compelled to simply to avoid harassment.

Bloomberg says this "solves a discipline problem," but I don't see how. The source of the discipline problem - the harasser - is not punished. They're not removed from their school. Their victim is. How does this discourage harassment? If anything, it encourages harassment by capitulating to the harasser's demands and in doing so confirming the harasser's perception that the victim is different and deserving of punishment.

That said, if it's either this or nothing, this is better. As noted at The Fifty Minute Hour,

Would it be a better idea to implement programs in the public schools to meet those needs [for support and understanding that simply aren't being met in the public school system]? Probably. I think most people, including advocates of the new school, would agree that it would be much better if we could make the New York City Public Schools a place where students of all orientations felt welcome. But that's easier said than done. And while we're trying to do that - and I hope that this school won't make the district abdicate its responsibility to improve the climate at other schools - gay students are at risk.

I hear that, but I wonder: if New York City is willing and able to place the victims of harassment in a particular school, why aren't they similarly willing and able to place the perpetrators of harassment in a particular school? Why are the choices this or nothing, and why are the victims forced to choose? Really, is there any aspect of this solution that considers the well-being of the victims above that of their harassers?

Monday, July 28, 2003

The Democrats are gone, but their votes aren't.

Via BJ of StoutDem:

The Texas AFL-CIO's newletter reports "The House, for its part, conducted business in the apparent absence of a quorum. The decision to concur in Senate amendments to House Bill 5, which among other things purports to make it legal to deny new teachers access to the Teachers Retirement System for the first 90 days of their employment, allegedly came on 101 votes, or one more than a quorum. But Texas AFL-CIO lobbyists witnessed several buttons being pushed on behalf of absent members, in an obvious violation of House rules. When Democratic lawmakers sought to verify whether a quorum was present on the vote, House Speaker Tom Craddick angily denied the motion, ruling that the House rules offer no mechanism for challenging the existence of a quorum on a vote if it appears that 100 lawmakers voted."

Rules? What rules?

Via Lambert of Eschaton, more rulebreaker Republicans:

A Republican effort to redraw Congressional districts in Texas in a special legislative session has failed, the state's lieutenant governor said today.
The bill stalled when a Republican senator, Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, joined Democrats in opposing the measure, saying it would hurt rural areas. Republicans hold 19 Senate seats and Democrats hold 12. Ten Democrats had said they would vote to block a debate, so Mr. Ratcliff's vote gave them the 11 they needed, according to Senate rules, to stymie the measure.
The lieutenant governor has said that in a second special session he will remove the rule that requires two-thirds of the 31 members to agree to bring a bill up for debate, so that support from only a majority of senators will be needed to debate the bill.

Helpful, isn't he?

This is wholly appropriate.

However, Democrats should be ashamed of their behavior at Paul Wellstone's funeral.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Audie Bock: Green, Independent, Democrat, Opportunist

Who is Audie Bock? It depends on when you ask. In 1999, Bock was a Green. In a special election, she defeated Oakland Democrat Elihu Harris for a seat in the California Assembly. Her slogan: "Vote Green, Not Machine." By 2000, she was an independent, and she was defeated for re-election by Democrat Wilma Chan. Bock turned Democrat by 2002, in time to challenge Democrat Barbara Lee for Congress. Her slogan: "Dump Barbara Lee." Catchy! Again, she was defeated.

Well, she's back. Ever the opportunist, Bock is running against Davis: "My party, our party, the party of the majority, is telling us we have to keep him and I think it is a real disaster. I must step forward to offer Democrats an alternative to Gray Davis." Generous, isn't she?

The Democrats do need an alternative to Gray Davis; it's common sense. But they don't need an opportunist. They need a candidate who will call the recall what it is: an attempt to undo an election because the outcome didn't suit the losing party. Unfortunately, it would be hard to argue that while simultaneously running for governor. My solution? Let the candidate campaign on the promise to resign upon victory. Victory for that candidate would then be the same as if Davis himself had resigned. Bustamante would become governor, and the government would proceed as it should.

Friday, July 25, 2003

You can have tax cuts or homeland security, but not both.

So which do you choose? If you're a Republican, you choose tax cuts:

Despite a blue-ribbon task force report warning that more money is badly needed, the Senate Thursday rejected, 54-41, a bid by Sen. Christopher Dodd to dramatically increase the nation's homeland security budget.
The chief reason for the loss was that the $15 billion Dodd wanted for "first responders," such as emergency medical technicians, firefighters and others, would have come from rolling back some of the tax cuts that people with salaries and other compensation of $1 million or more are due to get this year.

Not a single Republican supported this bill.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The rules don't apply to Republicans.

First, they ignore an objection to unanimous consent in order to force a bill out of the House Ways and Means Committee. Then, they ignored a rule they themselves had previously applied to hold Democratic judicial nominees - one requiring at least one vote from the minority to move a nominee out of committee - in order to ensure their own nominee, William Pryor, received a vote.

Republicans will do anything to win, even cheat.

How can you doubt BushCo?

Oh. Ahem.

Uday and Qusay are dead.

Good, say the righties. Not so much because Uday and Qusay tortured and murdered thousands, but because their deaths allow the righties to expand their left wing purity test: Did the left express sufficient joy at the news of Uday's and Qusay's deaths? Were they sufficiently credulous when they learned of the circumstances? The answer, of course, is no. Now for the fun: What does this say about the left?

The Spoons Experience: "Remind me again why it's wrong to wonder whether liberals are really on our side?"
USS Clueless: "[S]ome people just don't want to believe good news when they hear it. A threat to their world-view, and all that. It's just too disillusioning to believe that things may actually go well sometimes."
Hud's Blog-O-Rama: "These people aren't happy unless they can tear down our country and impugn the motives of our leaders. This says more about their own issues than the actual nature of the war itself."
Right Wing News: "I'm going to be interested to see the negative spin that the left tries to put on this - and yes there will be negative spin. If Bush said he liked 'fluffy kittens,' the left would claim that his comment was really a slight to dog owners, that we invaded Iraq to steal their kittens, and that Bush should be impeached for lying about how he actually feels about fluffy kittens."
A Small Victory: "I could have called this, practically word for word. . . . It's getting oh, so very predictable. I think at this point the U.S. could eliminate poverty, stop AIDS and discover a way to make chocolate healthy for you and some people will still find a way to bitch about it or suggest a conspiracy." And: "My soul is much lighter today, thank you, knowing that two evil bastards are no longer breathing. I rejoice because they have killed hundreds - maybe thousands - before they were snuffed out themselves. I would worry about the souls of those who are upset that the two bloodthirsty brothers are dead."
Random Nuclear Strikes: "A few of us knew deep in our bones that the anti-Bush leftwing lobby just couldn't have a single good thing to say about the killing of Saddam's hellspawn." And: "Christ this guys need medication. I doubt I could spend ten seconds in a room with them without having to leave before I started collecting skulls like trinkets. There is opposition, there's rabidly partisan, then there's just plain nuts. These fools are just flat out crazy, when they believe Bin Laden and George Bush are the same, it's proof that any capacity that they may have had to make moral judgements is as shriveled and dead as their twisted little souls. I can't even find pity for them, just indifference if they stepped in front of a moving buss."

See? Fun. Much more fun than simply reporting the deaths of Uday and Qusay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

America returns to "knock and announce."

Via Jeralyn of TalkLeft, the House voted to forbid unannounced searches of suspects' homes. The vote was 309 to 118. Since I'm more partisan than the proprietor of TalkLeft, I'll note that only four Democrats opposed the move; the remaining 114 were Republicans. Of those Republicans, five were from Georgia: Mac Collins, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, Johnny Isakson, and Charlie Norwood.

Remember that in 2004, Georgia voters.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Where's the outrage?

The Republican Party has as much as said that it will silence anyone who airs an anti-Bush ad, and yet there's nary a peep from the right. Compare to the outrage over Gephardt's remark, "When I'm president, we'll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day."

Further, anyone who cares about truth wouldn't claim that Democratic opposition to Republican judges is rooted in anti-Catholic prejudice: "Ads run in Maine and Rhode Island newspapers last weekend show a sign hanging from closed doors under the words 'Judicial Chambers.' The sign reads: 'Catholics need not apply.'"

You know us Democrats. We don't want Catholics in positions of power. Well, except Nancy Pelosi and Tom Daschle. But only them!

Squires: "I don't prove myself to the party; I prove myself to the individual voter."

Squires again has money concerns. This time it's the millions she'll need to run a statewide campaign to become the first woman in Georgia history to win election to the U.S. Senate.
"I don't think it will be easy," she said. "But . . . if I can't raise money from the people of Georgia, I don't need to be running."
Seven months after popular Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) announced he would not seek re-election, Squires has emerged as the lone Democrat in a race crowded with Republicans.
Best known for publicly calling Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue a racist during a volatile debate on the state flag, Squires said she had no illusions about the uphill battle. She also said she had no doubts about her ability to win, even though she has yet to win the support of her own party leadership.
"Absolutely," the strawberry blonde cheerfully replied when asked if she thought she was electable. Squires said she had been warmly received by rank-and-file voters as word of her candidacy circulated.
"My races have always been grass-roots races," she said. "I have always had to prove myself. But I don't prove myself to the party; I prove myself to the individual voter."
She blames Republicans for running up the deficit and creating unemployment through failed economic policies. And she thinks her populist message will play well with voters if the misery mounts.
"I got into this race because I've become very concerned about the direction of the county," Squires said. "It's absolutely tragic that veterans' benefits have been cut, Social Security has been dipped into to continue to spend, and No Child Left Behind [a major education initiative] has not been funded. I'm a single working parent, and to me those are all prescriptions for disaster."

Monday, July 21, 2003

Congressional Republicans on the Earned Income Tax Credit

[M]any Republicans in Congress say they feel uncomfortable about using the tax code as a welfare system. Welfare ought to be labeled welfare, they contend. "If we want to turn our income tax code into a welfare system, let�s be honest with the American people," Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., said recently. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N. C., said, "When someone is exempt from taxes and still gets a check, it�s not a rebate; it�s public assistance."

Dean v. Defenders: "My job is to make your job as difficult as possible."

More choice words from Howard Dean, via Jeralyn of TalkLeft:

I was a public defender in Vermont during part of Dean's tenure. He was openly hostile to the defense function. He once addressed a meeting of defense attorneys by stating that "my job is to make your job as difficult as possible." He is a man of his word, at least on this campaign promise. He did not want to fund public defense.

But he opposes the Patriot Act! He does!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Why do Republicans still hate retired veterans?

Because Bush wants them to, of course:

Action this year, if the Bush administration continues to oppose concurrent receipt, would be for Republicans to join Democrats in signing a discharge petition by Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., to force a vote on HR 303, legislation that would end the ban on concurrent receipt for all 710,000 retirees who served 20 or more years and have VA-rated disabilities.
Marshall's petition has turned an uncomfortable spotlight on Republicans who co-sponsored HR 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act, but balk at forcing a vote on it because Bush opposes the bill. Only one Republican, Tom Tancredo of Colorado, has signed the discharge petition.

At last count, there were 348 cosponsors and 201 signatures on the petition. Now, there are 352 cosponsors and 202 signatures on the petition. So, basically, there are 150 people who want their names on this legislation, but don't really care if it passes or not. Given that 201 of the signatures on the petition belong to Democrats, and there are only 204 Democrats total, you can guess how many of those 150 are Republican. All of them.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

My Rep, John Lewis, on same-sex marriage.

At some point in the recent past, I got a note from a mailing list telling me to write my elected officials and ask them to oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. I figured it'd be of little use, but why not? Better than not sending one at all.

Today, I got a form letter from my representative, John Lewis. This brightened my day:

I will not turn my back on another American nor oppress my fellow human being. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Every individual is endowed with fundamental rights as stated in the Preamble of the Delcaration of Independence. This amendment denies gay men and women the right to liberty and the persuit of happiness. Marriage is a basic human right. You cannot tell people they cannot fall in love. If two individuals love each other and want to express their love and commitment by becoming married, they must have the right to do so. Therefore, I support of the marriage of gay and lesbian couples and will oppose H. J. RES. 56 [The Federal Marriage Amendment].

Of course, I knew he'd opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, but it's nice to hear that his dedication to civil rights hasn't changed.

Republicans at work.

Via Billmon of Whiskey Bar. To Republicans, the rules are irrelevant:

[T]he Democrats objected to a normally perfunctory motion to dispense with the reading of the 200-page original bill and the 91-page substitute. Thomas ruled that reading of the original could be dispensed with since it had been distributed weeks ago, but conceded that the Democrats could demand a line-by-line reading of the substitute.
The reading began, with Thomas interrupting at one point to say loudly, "In the House, the minority can delay. They cannot deny." When the Democrats left for the library, Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.) stayed behind to prevent the Republicans from obtaining unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.
After several minutes, Thomas again asked unanimous consent to dispense with the reading, and instantly brought down his gavel. Stark said later that he had objected, and Thomas had replied, "You're too late."
Thomas then recognized Portman for an opening statement on the bill. Stark attempted to make a "parliamentary inquiry," and Thomas ignored him. Stark then joined the other Democrats in the nearby room.
With no Democrats present, Thomas and the rest of the Republicans approved the substitute and then the final bill unanimously by voice vote and adjourned.

When septuagenarians attack!

Via Kos of Daily Kos, the Democrats released a wild septuagenarian on helpless Republicans at a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee. The septuagenarian hurled deadly insults at fellow committee members. One Republican, Representative Scott "Fruitcake" McInnis of Colorado, feared for his safety: "We were within moments . . . of a physical engagement and I considered that threat serious. I fully intended to defend myself."

Thankfully, it didn't come to that. Republicans called the police - but not on the wild septuagenarian. They called them to harass the Democrats who had adjourned to the committee library to discuss the Republicans' unannounced changes to a bill.

When asked why he chose to send the police after the Democratic members of the committee rather than the wild septuagenarian threatening them, Representative Bill Thomas responded, "How the fuck should I know? We make this shit up as we go along."

Friday, July 18, 2003

Who can beat President Doofus?

So asks Molly Ivins. Her take on Edwards:

John Edwards in the early appearances struck me as almost a little too pretty, a little lite. But he's got a populist streak I like--his daddy spent thirty-seven years working in a North Carolina mill, and Edwards ain't forgot it. Seemed to me he might develop. In a recent speech at Georgetown University, the sumbitch hit a home run. (Look it up.)

On Dean:

Naturally, I've been leaning toward Howard Dean: He's at 2 percent in the polls and has the full weight of Vermont behind him. On a recent visit to Austin, Dean sounded alarmingly moderate, appealing to the centrist vote. Sheesh, what good is Dean if he doesn't pull the whole field to the left?

To: George Bush. From: SoLeft. Subject: A Supporting Comment on Social Security Notch Babies

Yeah, I don't know what it means either. But it's a potential subject for a letter to the White House, both under "Health" and "Social." More creative categories:

Economy - Corporate Responsibility
Economy - Economic Issues
Economy - FY 2004 Budget
Economy - Fire Act
Economy - NAFTA/Free Trade
Economy - Steel Imports
Economy - Vocational Rehabilitation
Environment - Atmospheric Issues
Environment - Clean Air/New Source Review
Environment - Clean Water
Environment - Energy
Environment - Healthy Forest Initiative
Environment - Yucca Mountain
Foreign Policy - Afghanistan
Foreign Policy - China
Foreign Policy - Foreign Aid
Foreign Policy - Human Rights
Foreign Policy - Iraq
Foreign Policy - Landmines
Foreign Policy - Nuclear Weapons
General Defense / Homeland Security - Bioterrorism
General Defense / Homeland Security - Federal Air Marshall Program
General Defense / Homeland Security - Federal Air Marshall Program (Req.)
General Defense / Homeland Security - General Defense
General Defense / Homeland Security - Military Tribunal
General Defense / Homeland Security - National ID Card
General Defense / Homeland Security - Nuclear Weapons
Health - HIV/AIDS Research Funding
Health - Human Cloning
Health - Medical Research
Health - Mental Health
Health - Smallpox Vaccine
Health - Social Security
Health - Social Security Notch Babies
Health - Stem Cell Research
Health - United Nations Family Planning
Legal / Judicial - 245I Immigration Issues
Legal / Judicial - Amnesty (Mexico/Canda)
Legal / Judicial - Campaign Finance Reform
Legal / Judicial - Death Penalty
Legal / Judicial - Election Reform
Legal / Judicial - Immigration
Legal / Judicial - Pledge of Allegiance
Legal / Judicial - Pornography
Legal / Judicial - Racial Profiling
Legal / Judicial - Tort Reform
Legal / Judicial - United States Refugee Program
Science and Technology - Energy
Small Business - Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
Social - Anti-Semitism
Social - Child Abduction
Social - Crime
Social - Gun Control
Social - Hate Crimes
Social - Legalization of Marijuana
Social - Prayer in Schools
Social - Social Security
Social - Social Security Noth Babies
Social - Welfare Reform
Veterans - Veterans' Concurrent Pay
Volunteerism - Freedom Corps

Canadian, Queer, Tattler, Traitor

Via Jesse of Pandagon, Lloyd Grove in the Reliable Source:

Some folks in the White House were apparently hopping mad when ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman did a story on Tuesday's "World News Tonight" about the plummeting morale of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq.
So angry, in fact, that the next day, a White House operative alerted cyber-gossip Matt Drudge to the fact that Kofman is not only openly gay, he's Canadian.


Privatization is a racket.

When Republicans call for privatization of public services, Democrats take them at their word: they believe that Republicans believe that privatization will save public dollars. So when they argue against privatization, they argue that there is no evidence that it will save public dollars. Yet Republicans still argue for it. I'd come to see privatization as religion for Republicans - and to some, it no doubt is - but now, I've come to agree with Paul Krugman: more likely, it's a "cover story."

Consider Florida. Republican Governor Jeb Bush has privatized like mad. Has privatization been profitable for the people of Florida? That's debatable. But without question, it has been very profitable for Bush and his fellow Republicans. Examples from the Miami Herald:

The Anderson Group of Companies, based in Pittsburgh, gave $100,000 to the state GOP last year. The firm's top officers formerly headed Com-Net Ericsson, which beat out Motorola for a $365 million contract to modernize Florida's law-enforcement communications system over the next 20 years.
PHP Holdings Inc., of Coral Gables, has given $285,000 to the state GOP since last year. Its HMO, Physicians Healthcare Plans, signed a $275 million, two-year state contract in 2000 with the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Wackenhut Corrections Corp. has contributed $194,100 to the state GOP and $65,750 to the Florida Democratic Party since 1998. The Palm Beach Gardens-based company operates two state prisons, collecting $33.3 million in revenue during the past year.

They've also been generous to former Republican Party hacks:

Take Convergys, the Cincinnati-based company that has taken over the state's human resources system. The firm's $280 million, seven-year contract to provide hiring, firing and payroll services was approved at the last minute by the Republican-dominated Legislature in May. An estimated 800 state employees will lose their jobs. Convergys gave only $500 to Bush. But one of its lobbyists is Richard Heffley, a Bush friend and a member of the Florida Elections Commission. Records show that his Tallahassee political business, Strategic Direction, has received almost $1.2 million from the state GOP since 2000 as a political consultant.
Last year, Health Management Systems, based in New York, won a $9.2 million, four-year contract to collect Medicaid payments owed to the state. About 40 state jobs were eliminated. Health Management gave no money to the state GOP. But it hired lobbyist J.M. ''Mac'' Stipanovich, a former campaign manager for Bush. Stipanovich, a lawyer, said he was paid $30,000 and is receiving thousands more as a consultant on the contract.

(Republicans have used similar techniques to secure power in Washington, D. C.)

The Florida Republican Party has denied that there is any connection; speaking for the party, Towson Fraser said that "the relationship between donations to the party and government contracts is like the connection between advertising dollars and newspaper reporters' stories. They have nothing to do with each other." (Clearly, they've never heard of complementary copy.)

Get ready: Florida is only the beginning. Via Dave of Seeing the Forest, the word is that other Republican governors are considering the same scheme. Again, the assertion is that this will save public money, but as Florida shows, there's no guarantee of that; the only guarantee is that the politicians handing out the contracts will be the ones receiving the campaign contributions.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Yesterday and Today.

In The Washington Post, March 30, 2000:

Republican state attorneys general are soliciting large contributions from corporations that are embroiled in--or are seeking to avert--lawsuits by states.
The Republican Attorneys General Association expects to collect $ 550,000--in chunks of $ 5,000 and up--from various companies gathered in Austin for a two-day session beginning today. The meeting features a "political briefing" Friday morning by Karl Rove, Texas Gov. George W. Bush's chief political strategist.
Membership in RAGA costs anywhere from $ 5,000 to $ 25,000, with increasing levels of access to the attorneys general depending on the donation. Microsoft Corp., which is being sued by 19 states that have joined a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit, contributed $ 10,000 last year, according to company spokesman Rick Miller. Telecommunications giant SBC Communications Inc., whose acquisition of Ameritech Corp. was facing review by state officials, says it contributed $ 35,000.
Officials of the Republican National Committee said RAGA raised $ 100,000 last year, but they declined to identify where the money came from. The donations are used for state attorney general races.
However, there is no way of knowing which companies have contributed to RAGA or how much. Contributions solicited by the group go into the general "soft money" account of the RNC and are reported in the RNC's monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. "We disclose every cent we raise," said RNC spokesman Mike Collins.
Insurance company Aetna gave $ 10,000 to the RNC's soft money account last July 26, around the time of RAGA's first fund-raising drive, but Collins declined to say whether that was for a RAGA membership. Aetna U.S. Healthcare was one of six managed-care organizations accused of HMO fraud by Texas Attorney General Dan Morales, a Democrat, in 1998 just before he left office. The litigation has been moving slowly under Morales's Republican successor, John Cornyn, host of this week's RAGA conference.
Critics of the group say they are troubled by such spotty disclosure and by the use of state law enforcement officials as fund-raisers for the GOP. Several present and past attorneys general, Republican and Democrat, complain that RAGA puts attorneys general in the position of asking for money from potential or even actual defendants.
"I think this erodes every attorney general," said former Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger, a Democrat who is now president of Common Cause. "If you don't prosecute a case against someone when people think you should, or defend someone when people think you shouldn't, that's your job. But once somebody thinks one of us is doing that for political reasons, it affects us all."
RAGA's leaders reject charges that the group's solicitations present a conflict of interest.
"I am proud to support [RAGA], and it does not create a conflict of interest," said Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, who founded the group last year. Cornyn said it was "outrageous" to suggest he would be influenced by contributions to RAGA. "As attorney general, I will always take action against those who have broken the law," he said in a statement. "No exceptions. No excuses."
So far, RAGA has enlisted seven of the 15 Republican attorneys general in the nation, and some have told colleagues they joined reluctantly, urged by GOP officials in their states. Besides Pryor and Cornyn, attorneys general in Delaware, Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming have signed up.
Asked why he did not join the group, Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher said, "I'm a Republican and I try to keep politics out of my business as attorney general."
"We're a family, and families can disagree," Grant Woods, former Republican attorney general of Arizona, told the National Association of Attorneys General during a discussion about RAGA at its spring meeting here last week. "But don't do this."
One of RAGA's founding members and its first chairman, South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon, had joined the Microsoft lawsuit but dropped out in December 1998, citing changes in the industry. A few months earlier, Microsoft had given $ 20,000 to the South Carolina GOP, one of the largest gifts in the state party's history.
RAGA is an outgrowth of the increased activism of states and their attorneys general in recent years. A number of states have banded together in lawsuits against such companies as cigarette makers and car manufacturers. The group is in part a backlash against activist attorneys general who have teamed up against big business on issues from false advertising by carmakers to price-fixing in the women's shoe industry.
RAGA was conceived by Alabama's Pryor, who said he was alarmed by the dwindling number of Republican attorneys general and the public-private lawyer alliance in the tobacco litigation. He said he began discussions with colleagues, including Condon and Cornyn, about how to elect "conservative, crime-fighting attorneys general in other states."
They joined forces with the RNC, and RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson announced RAGA's formation in June 1999. Nicholson called it "a tremendous opportunity" for the GOP because a large number of attorney general seats up for election in 1999 and 2000 were held by Democrats. The group later said it would not go after incumbent Democrats but would help Republicans seeking reelection or running for open seats.
The attorneys general who formed the new organization and supporters in the business community say what alarms them most is the prospect of more alliances between attorneys general and plaintiff's lawyers that can cost billions, including huge contingency fees such as those awarded to the trial lawyers in the tobacco litigation.
James Wootton, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform, said the $ 246 billion tobacco settlement has opened the door to similar arrangements between private lawyers and state officials considering claims against gunmakers and manufacturers of lead-based paint.
RAGA's Austin meeting is closed to the public, but an invitation described it as an opportunity for business executives to talk with attorneys general about how to preserve "conservative principles in the political marketplace."
"I encourage you to round up your clients and come see what RAGA is all about," Cornyn wrote in a January letter to Austin lawyer Hector DeLeon.

In The Washington Post, July 17, 2003:

Republican state attorneys general in at least six states telephoned corporations or trade groups subject to lawsuits or regulations by their state governments to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions, according to internal fundraising documents obtained by The Washington Post.
One of the documents mentions potential state actions against health maintenance organizations and suggests the attorneys general should "start targeting the HMO's" for fundraising. It also cites a news article about consolidation and regulation of insurance firms and states that "this would be a natural area for us to focus on raising money."
The attorneys general were all members of the Washington-based Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). The companies they solicited included some of the nation's largest tobacco, pharmaceutical, computer, energy, banking, liquor, insurance and media concerns, many of which have been targeted in product liability lawsuits or regulations by state governments.
The documents describe direct calls the attorneys general made, for example, to representatives of Pfizer Inc., MasterCard Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Anheuser-Busch Cos., Citigroup Inc., Amway Corp., U.S. Steel Corp., Nextel Communications Inc., General Motors Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Shell Oil Co., among other companies. They also make clear that RAGA assigned attorneys general to make calls to companies with business and legal interests in their own states.
One of those soliciting funds between 1999 and 2001, according to the documents, was Alabama Attorney General William Pryor Jr., a pending nominee by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Sources said that a former RAGA employee recently turned some of the fundraising documents over to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which could vote as early as today on his nomination. A source who asked not to be named provided the documents to The Post.
The nomination had already provoked a partisan battle, with Democrats contending that Pryor is a conservative ideologue and raising the possibility of a filibuster.

Some things never change.

Suddenly, electing an ambulance-chasing multimillioniare trial lawyer doesn't sound so bad. With all the corporate lawyers in the judicial and legislative branches, America needs a good lawyer in the executive.

Update: Wyeth Wire on Charlie Condon, Edward of Votelaw on Bill Pryor.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Baker v. Perdue continues.

You know the story. Baker defended a Senate map that favors Democrats in the federal courts. Sonny told him to stop. He refused. Sonny sued. Since, the Supreme Court has decided the case and hinted that the Senate map is Constitutional. As a result, Baker asked the Georgia Supreme Court to dismiss Sonny's suit, since the relief sought - the dismissal of the Supreme Court case - could not be granted. Now, the Georgia Supreme Court refused, 6-1. In his dissent, Robert Benham agreed with Baker:

Because the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its decision in (the map appeal), the relief the governor sought, that the Georgia attorney general be ordered to dismiss that appeal, is no longer an option. Any decision by this court concerning whether the governor had the authority to direct the Georgia attorney general to dismiss that appeal would amount to an advisory opinion, an improper determination by this court of an abstract question not arising upon existing facts or rights.

This has been reported as a minor victory for Sonny, but in reality, it may simply permit the court to say, once and for all, that Baker has the authority to direct the legal actions of the state, and that Sonny has none.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

How to be a principled conservative:

1. Criticize Democrats for being insufficiently supportive of gay rights.

2. Vote for a Republican who is less supportive of gay rights than the Democratic opponent.

3. Go to 1.

If every conservative who is supposedly supportive of gay rights were to vote Democratic in 2004, gays would at least be protected from employment discrimination by 2006; if every conservative who is supposedly supportive of gay rights were to call their Republican Representative, Senator, or President and threaten to do so, gays might be protected before then. But how likely is that?

Until then, I have a request: if you are a conservative who is supportive of gay rights, before you criticize a Democrat for being insufficiently supportive of gay rights, state how you voted in federal elections in 2000 and 2002. For example: "Hi, I'm John. I voted for George Bush in 2000 and Saxby Chambliss and Jack Kingston in 2002." Then criticize. It will make it that much easier to dismiss you.

Monday, July 14, 2003

But Vermont has a good system of public defense!

Even if Vermont's system of public defense is good, the question is whether it remained so because of Dean or in spite of Dean. The latter seems more likely.

He replaced two defender generals: both Appel, mentioned here, and E. M. Allen, his predecessor. A third, David Curtis, publicly accused him of cutting his funding; that accusation is repeated in this editorial: "During the 1990s, state's attorneys, police, and corrections all received budget increases vastly exceeding increases enjoyed by the defender general's office."

All this suggests that as governor, Dean sought to remedy the problem he saw with Vermont's system: "My view is that the justice system is not fair. It's not fair. It bends over backward to help defendants and is totally unfair to victims and to society as a whole."

Dean v. Defenders, III

"My view is that the justice system is not fair. It's not fair. It bends over backward to help defendants and is totally unfair to victims and to society as a whole."
Howard Dean, quoted by The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 14, 2001, from an interview ten years earlier.

Dean v. Defenders, II

Vermont's public defenders, concerned that Gov. Howard Dean might try to cut back their services, are seeking the right to join a union.
The lawyers, who work for the Vermont Defender General's office, have petitioned the Vermont Labor Relations Board for the right to conduct a union election. They want to be represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, an affiliate of the United Automobile Workers, which represents Legal Aid lawyers in New York City.
William Nelson, a public defender who is one of the organizers of the union drive, said of the effort, "The major impetus has been uncertainty and concern about how the Dean administration is going to treat public defense in the years ahead." Mr. Nelson said the union drive is "only partly" about salaries and job conditions.
To cut spending, Governor Dean, a Democrat, has said he might try to limit the number of defendants who are eligible for public defenders or to restrict the types of services public defenders can provide.
More than two-thirds of the 48 people in the public defenders' office signed the petition to the labor relations board. They include paralegals, investigators and secretaries. All of them would be eligible to join the union.
The state's public defenders provide free legal defense for low-income clients charged with a crime for which they could be sentenced to jail. In some counties the state contracts with private law firms to provide public defenders. Those lawyers are not involved in the union effort.
The New York Times, February 5, 1993

Dean v. Defenders

The relationship between the defender general's office and Dean has been difficult from the time Dean assumed the governorship a decade ago.
In an interview his first week as governor 10 years ago, Dean made it clear where he stood:
"My view is that the justice system is not fair. It's not fair. It bends over backward to help defendants and is totally unfair to victims and to society as a whole," he said.
Dean subsequently supported toughening the guidelines for people qualifying for a public defender and limiting the services defenders provide to prisoners.
Dean's decision not to replace Appel echoes a similar situation eight years ago when Dean hired him.
In 1993, Dean opted not to reappoint then-Defender General E.M. Allen. Dean said he wanted someone in the position who would focus more energy on the fiscal management of the office.
Dean replaced Allen with Appel, who at the time was an assistant attorney general.
The defender general's office oversees the state's public defender system and provides legal counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford a private attorney.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 14, 2001

Appel went on to head the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

Dr. Defund Public Defenders

Via TalkLeft, from an editorial:

Dean tried to prevent Appel[, the Vermont official who heads the state's public defender program,] from accepting a $150,000 federal grant aimed at assisting defendants with mental disabilities. For Dean to block a government agency from receiving federal money was unusual in itself. But Dean's openly expressed bias against criminal defendants provided a partial explanation.
Dean has made no secret of his belief that the justice system gives all the breaks to defendants. Consequently, during the 1990s, state's attorneys, police, and corrections all received budget increases vastly exceeding increases enjoyed by the defender general's office. That meant the state's attorneys were able to round up ever increasing numbers of criminal defendants, but the public defenders were not given comparable resources to respond.

Well, at least he didn't vote for the Patriot Act, right?

"Polygamy is not worse than gay marriage, it is better."

I shit you not.

We are poised to lose the gay-marriage battle badly. Arguments about a slippery slope to polygamy are not untrue, but ineffectual, signs of a profound weakness in our culture of marriage. Polygamy is not worse than gay marriage, it is better. At least polygamy, for all its ugly defects, is an attempt to secure stable mother-father families for children.

Courtesy of The National Review, of course.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Jonah Goldberg is an idiot.

But you knew that.

I was reading the conservative blogs for justifications for Bush's inclusion of questionable (and ultimately bad) information in his argument for war, and I come across Jonah Goldberg of The Corner's dismissal of Jesse of Pandagon's response to his criticism of O'Connor's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. Jesse, he says, doesn't "understand the difference between amending the constitution and making up what the constitution means." Of course, Jesse does. But even if he didn't, you may want to consider the source.

Goldberg criticized O'Connor because "O'Connor changes her mind all the time. Seventeen years ago, for example, she thought anti-sodomy laws were constitutional. Now she doesn't. And since the words on the constitutional parchment haven't changed, it's pretty clear that the woman behind the curtain is the real Wizard of Oz."

Now, I'm no lawyer, but I can read. O'Connor didn't join the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas; she wrote a concurring opinion. The first two sentences: "The Court today overrules Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U. S. 186 (1986). I joined Bowers, and do not join the Court in overruling it." Think Goldberg got that far?

Probably not. So he certainly didn't get this far: "This case raises a different issue than Bowers: whether, under the Equal Protection Clause, moral disapproval is a legitimate state interest to justify by itself a statute that bans homosexual sodomy, but not heterosexual sodomy. It is not."

As Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?" Apparently, O'Connor shares Keynes' philosophy. Goldberg doesn't. Like most conservatives, when the facts change, he ignores the facts.

But you knew that.

Friday, July 11, 2003

It's Tenet's fault.

So, Bush uses information he knows to be questionable when persuading Americans to go to war. However, it isn't Bush's fault that he used the information; it's Tenet's fault becuase he let Bush use information.

I want to be president when I grow up. Even if you know you're lying, it's not your fault. It's the fault of the people who let you lie.

Ralph Reed is Bush's Southern Strategist.

His first contribution: Bush will offer a national referendum on incorporating confederate symbols into the American flag.

Dr. Deceit.

Now comes the Dean campaign picking on Edwards. They had some folks attend the town hall meeting and some others watching on C-SPAN. When they saw Edwards criticize Bush for his "No Child Left Behind" education law, they pounced, sending out an e-mail charging that he (and Kerry) missed a March 19 vote authorizing full funding for the bill.
On that tally, the bill passed, 50-48, but Edwards spokesman Van Ostern said that even if Edwards had opposed it, with Vice President Dick Cheney holding the tie-breaking vote, "whether or not he was there would not have changed the outcome."
Besides, he said, a week later, a similar vote came up, and authorization of full funding passed with Edwards� support. Later still, the bill failed to receive full funding in an appropriations vote.
"Perhaps the Dean campaign should be checking their facts before they launch criticisms and attacks on other Democratic candidates," Van Ostern said.

You know, I hope Dean has a lot of volunteers by the time he wins the nomination. Because with tactics like these, he's not going to find any in other campaigns. Me, I know of a Senate campaign that'll need my help.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Republicans vote to cut the wages of more than 8 million Americans.

How will you know if your vote is properly counted?

Via South Knox Bubba, New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt has sponsored the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003," which would establish the following requirements for voting systems:

The voting system shall produce a permanent paper record, each individual paper record of which shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved within the polling place in the manner in which all other paper ballots are preserved within the polling place on Election Day for later use in any manual audit.
The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error made by the system before the permanent record is preserved for use in any manual audit.
The voter verified paper record produced . . . shall be available as an official record and shall be the official record used for any recount conducted with respect to any election in which the system is used.

The bill has 20 cosponsors. If your Representative is not among them, call and ask them to cosponsor the bill. If your Representative is among them, call and thank them for having done so. The number for the capitol hill switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Rep Baird, Brian - 6/17/2003 [WA-3]
Rep Brown, Corrine - 7/9/2003 [FL-3]
Rep Brown, Sherrod - 6/24/2003 [OH-13]
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. - 6/17/2003 [MI-14]
Rep Eshoo, Anna G. - 6/24/2003 [CA-14]
Rep Filner, Bob - 7/9/2003 [CA-51]
Rep Frank, Barney - 6/24/2003 [MA-4]
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. - 6/17/2003 [NY-22]
Rep Hoeffel, Joseph M. - 6/24/2003 [PA-13]
Rep Kaptur, Marcy - 6/17/2003 [OH-9]
Rep Lantos, Tom - 7/9/2003 [CA-12]
Rep Lee, Barbara - 6/17/2003 [CA-9]
Rep Owens, Major R. - 6/24/2003 [NY-11]
Rep Rothman, Steve R. - 7/9/2003 [NJ-9]
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. - 6/24/2003 [IL-9]
Rep Scott, Robert C. - 6/24/2003 [VA-3]
Rep Strickland, Ted - 6/24/2003 [OH-6]
Rep Van Hollen, Chris - 6/17/2003 [MD-8]
Rep Wexler, Robert - 6/17/2003 [FL-19]
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. - 6/17/2003 [CA-6]

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Why do Republicans hate disabled veterans?

So you're a veteran. You served your country and you were disabled as a result. When you retire, you receive retirement and disability, right? Nope. For each dollar of disability pay, you have to give back a dollar of retirement pay.

Not fair, you say? You're not alone. A bill that would allow veterans to draw both retirement and disability has 348 cosponsors. Unfortunately, because Bush opposes it, it remains in committee.

Jim Marshall began a discharge petition to force a vote on the bill. Currently, it has 201 signatures. The list includes every Democratic House member from Georgia - and none of the Republicans. That's representative of the list. Where are the Republicans?

It is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that redressing the retirees' grievance would cost the Treasury between $3 billion and $5 billion a year - and the Bush administration has turned thumbs down because they see it as a budget-buster . . . "Republican representatives are being forced to represent the White House," complains retired Air Force Lt. Col. B.E. Cushing, a Florida resident. He adds that the word is that the Republican leadership is "urging and even threatening" members to keep them from signing the Discharge Petition.

Bush could give trillions in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, but he can't spare a few billion for our disabled veterans. What kind of person is he?

Which of the following candidates would you say is most conservative in his or her political philosophy?

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman15
Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt6
Florida Senator Bob Graham5
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry3
North Carolina Senator John Edwards2
New York Minister Al Sharpton1
Former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun1
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean1
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich1
Not sure62

National poll by Fox News of 900 registered voters.

Which of the following candidates would you say is most liberal in his or her political philosophy?

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman9
New York Minister Al Sharpton7
Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt6
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry5
Former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun4
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean3
North Carolina Senator John Edwards2
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich2
Florida Senator Bob Graham2
Not sure57

National poll by Fox News of 900 registered voters.

Eye for an eye, recall for a recall.

So, if California Republicans recall Davis, I say California Democrats should immediately move to recall his Republican successor, too. Why the fuck not? This recall isn't about anything Davis has done since he defeated the Republicans in the last election; it's about Republicans wanting a Republican in office. If that's the only reason the Republicans need, it should be sufficient for the Democrats, too. What Republicans do to Democrats, let Democrats do to Republicans. Let's see who wins.

Is Dean a liar?

Or is there a vote I've missed?

As it is, among the many political rules Dr. Dean might have upended this year is the one about attacking: At least initially, he criticized his opponents without reservation for much of the year. An aide to one of the candidates who might attack Dr. Dean was quick to note this.
"Dean's been the only candidate so far who has been comfortable with engaging on a personal level," this aide said.
That, though was back in the days when Dr. Dean was the maverick. This weekend, even he seemed to be trying to restrain himself � though he was not entirely successful.
"Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman, they all voted for the war, they all voted for tax cuts," he said at one stop on Saturday.
Dr. Dean beamed as his audience applauded its approval.

Yes, they supported the war. However, I've yet to find a vote in favor of Bush's tax cuts from any of them. Not in 2001 and not in 2003. What am I missing?

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Dean qualifies for matching funds.

Actually, he could have qualified last quarter, as could Edwards, both having received sufficient contributions from at least 20 states. Dean received sufficient contributions from 26 states; Edwards received sufficient contributions from 30 states. Other candidates, however, weren't so lucky: Braun (19), Gephardt (1), Kerry (1), Kucinich (19), and Lieberman (4) failed to receive sufficient contributions to make that cut.

Matchable Contributions by Candidate and State
Candidate State Contributors Contributions
Braun, Carol Moseley IL 47 11750
Dean, Howard CA 525 130460
Dean, Howard CO 69 17150
Dean, Howard CT 30 7500
Dean, Howard DC 144 35570
Dean, Howard FL 90 22400
Dean, Howard GA 50 12300
Dean, Howard IA 24 6000
Dean, Howard IL 51 12455
Dean, Howard MA 305 75841
Dean, Howard MD 112 27910
Dean, Howard ME 35 8480
Dean, Howard MI 32 7950
Dean, Howard MN 25 6150
Dean, Howard NC 23 5750
Dean, Howard NH 62 15449
Dean, Howard NJ 63 15550
Dean, Howard NY 386 95999
Dean, Howard OK 21 5250
Dean, Howard OR 43 10750
Dean, Howard PA 92 22901
Dean, Howard RI 54 13500
Dean, Howard SC 41 10175
Dean, Howard TX 44 10850
Dean, Howard VA 93 22750
Dean, Howard VT 332 82260
Dean, Howard WA 61 15010
Edwards, John AL 190 47500
Edwards, John AR 41 10250
Edwards, John AZ 57 14250
Edwards, John CA 752 187909
Edwards, John CT 81 20250
Edwards, John DC 67 16750
Edwards, John DE 22 5500
Edwards, John FL 237 59250
Edwards, John GA 168 42000
Edwards, John IL 234 58500
Edwards, John IN 36 9000
Edwards, John KY 58 14500
Edwards, John LA 113 28250
Edwards, John MA 26 6500
Edwards, John MD 65 16250
Edwards, John MI 90 22500
Edwards, John MN 38 9500
Edwards, John MS 79 19750
Edwards, John NC 827 206725
Edwards, John NJ 152 38000
Edwards, John NY 718 179500
Edwards, John OH 85 20950
Edwards, John OK 38 9500
Edwards, John OR 61 15250
Edwards, John PA 159 39750
Edwards, John SC 132 33000
Edwards, John TN 75 18750
Edwards, John TX 662 165500
Edwards, John VA 56 14000
Edwards, John WA 64 16000
Gephardt, Dick CA 432 108000
Gephardt, Dick CO 36 9000
Gephardt, Dick DC 145 36250
Gephardt, Dick FL 120 30000
Gephardt, Dick GA 29 7250
Gephardt, Dick IL 220 54975
Gephardt, Dick LA 25 6250
Gephardt, Dick MA 67 16600
Gephardt, Dick MD 114 28500
Gephardt, Dick MI 46 11500
Gephardt, Dick MO 683 170750
Gephardt, Dick NJ 86 21500
Gephardt, Dick NV 57 14250
Gephardt, Dick NY 202 50470
Gephardt, Dick OH 57 14200
Gephardt, Dick PA 50 12500
Gephardt, Dick RI 32 8000
Gephardt, Dick TX 64 16000
Gephardt, Dick VA 100 25000
Graham, Bob FL 709 177250
Kerry, John CA 1106 275500
Kerry, John CT 116 29000
Kerry, John DC 184 45750
Kerry, John FL 286 71450
Kerry, John GA 29 7250
Kerry, John IL 205 51200
Kerry, John LA 61 15000
Kerry, John MA 1441 354975
Kerry, John MD 99 24750
Kerry, John MI 86 21500
Kerry, John NH 27 6750
Kerry, John NJ 425 104950
Kerry, John NY 801 199500
Kerry, John OH 25 6250
Kerry, John PA 118 29500
Kerry, John RI 125 31000
Kerry, John TN 21 5250
Kerry, John TX 21 5250
Kerry, John VA 90 22300
Kucinich, Dennis CA 50 12200
Lieberman, Joe AZ 63 15750
Lieberman, Joe CA 288 72000
Lieberman, Joe CO 34 8500
Lieberman, Joe CT 452 113000
Lieberman, Joe DC 115 28750
Lieberman, Joe FL 212 53000
Lieberman, Joe IL 93 23250
Lieberman, Joe MA 40 10000
Lieberman, Joe MD 99 24750
Lieberman, Joe NJ 126 31475
Lieberman, Joe NY 412 103000
Lieberman, Joe OH 30 7500
Lieberman, Joe OK 62 15500
Lieberman, Joe PA 28 7000
Lieberman, Joe VA 101 25250
Lieberman, Joe WI 25 6250

"Slavery is bad!" Bush proclaims.

If this were the 19th century, I'd be impressed.

Oppose the war, lose your job.

When I was a kid, my mom drove me and my sister to school. We'd listen to WMYI 102.5 on the trip; the morning show, Love & Hudson, was funny and decent enough for us kids to hear.

Now, Love & Hudson leaned conservative; it wasn't the hateful conservative of Rush Limbaugh, but it was conservative nonetheless. However, unlike a lot of morning shows, this one had a liberal voice: Roxanne Walker. She read the news, but she was as integral to the show as Love or Hudson.

Well, that couldn't last. According to the Greenville News:

A former Upstate radio personality says she was fired for opposing the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Roxanne Cordonier, who went by the name Roxanne Walker on the air at WMYI-FM/MY 102.5 in Greenville, alleges she was belittled, reprimanded and ultimately fired on April 17 for disagreeing with her co-hosts on the "Love and Hudson" show.
WMYI, its parent company Clear Channel Communications, Bill McMartin, the company's regional vice president and general manager and Greg McKinney, station program director, are all named as defendants in the suit.
A spokeswoman for San Antonio-based Clear Channel said the company does not comment on pending lawsuits. McMartin and McKinney could not be reached for comment.
The suit alleges that co-hosts Herriott Clarkson Mungo III, also known as Bill Love, and Hayden Hudson, also known as Howard Hudson, encouraged Cordonier to join their pro-war discussions regarding the invasion of Iraq.
The conversations became contentious on several occasions and management's tolerance for opinions decreased as war drew closer, the suit alleges. The suit also alleges that Love and Hudson belittled her both on and off the air because of her political beliefs.
"I went through hell," Cordonier told The Greenville News Monday. "I was forced out because I would not comply with their orders to be silent."
Cordonier alleges in the suit that some of the Clear Channel officers and directors have financial ties and are loyal to President Bush and his policies. It alleges that Cordonier was forced to participate in a pro-war rally.
The suit cites a state law that declares a person cannot be fired because of political opinions.
Cordonier, who was named the 2002 Radio Personality of the Year by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, said she believes it's an employer's right to broadcast what it wants, but that it shouldn't stifle opposing views. "Either don't talk about it at all or make it fair," she said.

Hopefully, ClearChannel has finally picked on the wrong woman in the wrong state for the wrong reason.

Who deserves a .gov?

From Alex of Heretical Ideas, I learn that the Democrats do have a .gov, same as the Republicans:

However, unlike the Republican .gov, the Democratic .gov redirects the user to the Senate Democratic Caucus.

I'm okay with that, same as I'm okay with a similar page for the Senate Republican Caucus, or any other site that indicates it is strictly subordinate to the legislative body of which the caucus is a part. It's one thing to have a domain under .gov; it's another to have a subdomain under that domain. Anyone can have a subdomain. Everyone at BlogSpot does. It's not the same as having your own domain, as I'm sure anyone who's moved from BlogSpot to their own domain can attest.

Now, what about these?