Hello and TGIF evera-body. It's been quite the week, hasn't it! Greenspan admitted that we "are over committed" fiscally, Martha lucked out and had the most serious charge against her dropped, and the President declared war on tens of millions of his own citizens, But, enough! Enough, I say, of the serious news. Here's me own look at some of the other recent news...
Don’t look too hard:
News Headline: “Intelligence Probe Would Be Risky for Bush”
The reader can insert their own punch line here…cuz there are about 1,000 places to go with that one!
That’s not a good thing:
News Item: “Prosecutor calls Martha Stewart a liar.”
Does that mean she didn’t really refill the woodbin and diversify her exercise routine last week?
Let’s see Meryl Streep try something with this:
News Item: Dinky, a singing and piano playing dingo, is about to be immortalized in an Australian version of Trivial Pursuit. The dingo’s manager claims that Dinky will sing anything, but really prefers something “gay and high.”
Queer dingos on crack! Next Jerry Springer.
Father knows best:
News Item: Engineering geek Jon Blake Cusack of Holland, Michigan, and his wife Jaime, named their newborn son Jon Blake Cusack 2.0
And when Jon 3.0 is born, what are we supposed to do with 2.0???
Better dead than gay:
News Headline: “Woman Marries Dead Guy”
Straight people once again reminding us of the importance of preserving the sanctity of marriage.
We’ve just drifted apart:
News Headline: “It’s splitsville for Barbie and Ken.”
Ken and GI Joe are in line at San Francisco City Hall as you read this!
The South shall rise again:
News Headline: “Bush: Protect marriage.”
News Headline: “’Red states’ lead nation in divorces.”
Your duty seems clear, sir.
News Headline: “Gas prices up 70%!”
News Headline: “Oil profits soar.”
And to the everyday driver who thinks this is anything more than coincidence: What the hell sort of patriot are you? We’re at war, damn it!
Supermarket Headline of the Week: “Howard Dean Picked As New Tarzan!" Yeeearrrrggh!
Dumb Crook of the Week Award: Goes to the woman in Barstow, California who stole a pair of pants from a department store, then returned to have them shortened.
Operation Kettle One: 218 days, 8 hours, and 24 minutes until National Vodka Appreciation Day.
Today’s birthdays: Bernadette Peters, ageless; Battle of Wounded Knee, 31; Elizabeth Taylor, 109.
And finally, your Bushism of the Week:
The President in an interview with a Middle Eastern Television Network: “First of all, I appreciate your willin-ness to allow the people of the Middle East to hear my views. My views is one the speaks to freedom…”
It is reported that the President’s translator quietly wished he had stayed home that day.
Thankyouallverymuch and Happy National Kahlua Day!
Predictions for Sunday’s Academy Awards:
Best Supporting Actress: Renee Zellweger, “Cold Mountain”
Best Supporting Actor: Tim Robbins, ”Mystic River”
Best Actress: Charlize Theron, “Monster”
Best Actor: Bill Murray, “Lost In Translation”
Best Director: Peter Jackson, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Best Picture: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Here's a quiz: About what did conservatives say this:
1. Allowing [blank] would "virtually destroy the moral and social efficacy of the marriage institution."
2. [Blank] "is not what the God of nature and grace, in His Divine wisdom, ordained marriage to be; but the lustful indulgence of man and woman .... Religion shudders at the wild orgy of atheism and immorality the situation forbodes."
3. [Blank] is a concept so "revolting, disgraceful, and almost bestial" that it would lead directly to "the father living with his daughter, the son with the mother, the brother with his sister, in lawful wedlock"--and bring forth children who would be "sickly, effeminate, and ... inferior."
4. [Blank] is a proposal that "criticizes the Bible ... degrading the holy bonds of matrimony into a mere civil contract ... striking at the root of those divinely ordained principles upon which is built the superstructure of society."
5. Allowing [blank] would be "tantamount to polygamy," thereby throwing "the whole community ... into a general prostitution," making us all "loathsome, abandoned wretches, and the offspring of Sodom and Gomorrah."
1. Married women to own property; (A 19th century legislator on granting married women the right to own property.)
2. Legalizing contraception; (A Catholic archbishop on the legalizing of contraception in 1930.)
3. Interracial Marriage; (A Tennessee Judge in 1892 on interracial marriage; Scott v. Georgia, 1869)
4. Making wives the equal of their husbands; (A 19th century legislator on granting legal equality to wives.)
5. Divorce (19th century Yale president, Timothy Dwight)
Sort of puts all the hue and cry about gay marriage into perspective, doesn't it.
All of the quotes come from EJ Graff's book "What's Marriage For," (1999) pp. 251-2 quoted in "Rock salting the slippery slope, why same-sex marriage is not a commitment to polygamous marriage." by James Donovan, 29 N.Ky.L.Rev 521 Fn 4. Courtesy of Greg Gentry
Step Right Up, Folks!
You just knew that this carnival sideshow was coming.....
Social Security Cuts Necessary, Greenspan SaysGee, really? I-am-shocked, I tell ya --- just shocked! We HAVE taken action, Alan baby -- the wrong actions, repeatedly, and you, sir, hopped on the Bush-buggy and went for the ride. I once respected this guy, but how in hell can he give this testimony with a straight face? The facts are nothing new -- the huge tax cats for the wealthiest Americans are the problem, and he very well knows this.
Action is needed 'as soon as possible' to address deficits and demographic changes, the Fed chief tells Congress. His remarks revive a volatile issue.
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress on Wednesday that it needed to reduce Social Security benefits "as soon as possible" if the program was to withstand the waves of baby boomers rapidly approaching retirement. [...]
The influential central banker's controversial recommendations came during congressional testimony that also focused on the nation's soaring budget deficit, now projected to reach $521 billion.
Greenspan warned members of the House Budget Committee that the record deficit would worsen once the estimated 76 million boomers — born between 1946 and 1964 — start to become eligible in 2011 for Social Security and Medicare benefits.
"This dramatic demographic change is certain to place enormous demands on our nation's resources — demands we almost surely will be unable to meet unless action is taken," Greenspan said. "I am just basically saying that we are overcommitted at this stage."
The long-envisioned GOP "strangle the treasury" plan has been implemented -- are we gonna let 'em get away with this shit?
Rosie and Kelli sittin' in a tree...
Rosie O'Donnell and Kelli Carpenter leave San Francsico City Hall after their wedding ceremony Thursday.
A little bit o' this, a little bit o' that
Kevin Drum reports that President Bush has offered five proposed amendments to the Constitution:
-And, of course the most recent fascist amendment.
Game, Set, Match:
Josh Marshall and the Democratic Underground have done some checking on Capitol Hill. It seems there are at least 34 senators on record opposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages (including Republicans Alexander, Chafee, Hagel, Lugar, McCain, and Snowe, among others). That would put "yes" votes in that chamber at 66 - one short of the necessary 67, with some senators still undecided.
Josh Marshall also reports that House Speaker Dennis Hastert has told the White House and fellow Republicans that he will not bring up legislation to extend the May 27 deadline of the 9/11 commission.
Cleland's Band of Brothers:
The New York Times has a touching and heartfelt profile of former Senator Max Cleland (Democrat-GA), who is traveling the country in support of John Kerry's quest for the presidency. Cleland was painted as unpatriotic by his 2002 opponent, Saxby Chambliss (Fascist-GA), despite losing two legs and an arm in Vietnam. It shows the extreme lows the Republican Party will go to win an election.
New York Times Endorsement:
And the NY Times editorial page endorses Sen. John Kerry (Democrat-MA).
We the People?
A Thousand Words
The picture leading this essay says it all, my friends.
The essay is by Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan. It is heartfelt and, without really saying so directly, highlights the fact that hatred and intolerance are the basis for this fascist amendment.
The Day After
Perhaps the best debate on the right-wing amendment issue came last night on Larry King Live. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and actor Chad Allen on the pro-marriage side; nationally syndicated Christian broadcaster John MacArthur and the author of the proposed fascist amendment, Representative Marilyn Musgrave (Fascist - CO) on the anti-marriage side. The debate was lively and spirited and Larry King, bless his heart, continually called MacArthur and Musgrave on their bullshit and hypocrisy; and Newsom was amazing in his debate with Musgrave. You can read the transcript here.
The editorial pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Seattle Times (among many, many others) weigh in against this attack on the Constitution.
The lovely, wonderful Margaret Cho gives here response to the President's announcement here.
And, as always Andrew Sullivan continually provides eloquent commentary and perspective.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DECLARES WAR
fascism: An extreme form of nationalism that rejects individual freedom, liberal individualism, democracy, and limitations on state.
fascist: An adherent of fascism or other right-wing authoritarian views.
hypocrisy: See Republican
The long, slow crawl toward fascism in the United States has picked up tremendous speed.
With his trademark smirk, President George W. Bush today declared war on gay citizens - and their families and friends - by proposing an Amendment that would defile the Constitution - the most sacred government document in the history of the World.
This President has proposed fifty-one words that would make discrimination Constitutional. This President has proposed that we be deemed "un-citizens." This President has proposed that civil rights be stripped from a group of Americans that number in the tens of millions...that discrimination be written into the Constitution.
In doing so, George W. Bush not only declared war on gay people and their families & friends, he declared war on the Constitution of the United States of America.
His message is plain as day: "You don't belong here."
A uniter, not a divider? The hypocrisy slays me.
In his statement this morning Bush took issue with what he called "activist judges" who have made "an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage." (Actually Mr. President, they are simply doing their job...interpreting constitutional law without regard to politics!)
No, the real issue here is with an "activist president."
Mr. Bush has revealed his true colors here. He's a divider, not a uniter. There is no "compassion" in his conservatism. As a matter of fact, he's a right wing zealot and by taking this action has proven beyond a doubt that he is the most dangerous man ever to occupy the presidency.
To the 1.1 million gay citizens who voted for the President in 2000, I offer this: Your president has betrayed you. He has announced to the world that you are now his enemy and that he will fight the ultimate political war to make sure you are discriminated against. He has disassembled his Republican Party's "big tent." The mighty elephant is now the definitive emblem of cruelty, division, and intolerance. If even one of you votes for Bush's re-election in November, then you will have betrayed us all.
And so a war has been declared against us, as human beings and citizens of this country, by the hateful, simple-minded man in the White House. My friends, within the realms of the law we must fight back. We must oppose his fascist agenda with every ounce of our being. The fight will be a hard one, but we must defend ourselves - we HAVE to defend ourselves...and, Mr. President, "make no mistake"... we will.
In the February 17th issue of the Advocate, marriage rights proponent Andrew Sullivan offered an argument that essentially rips through the heart of the conservative movement to ban gay marriage. The final paragraph from that essay:
Here's a deal for straight conservative America. You're perfectly entitled to rhapsodize about traditional marriage. If that's your reason for barring gays from marriage, fine. But until you criticize straight trashing of traditional marriage, until you support a constitutional amendment banning or restricting straight divorce, until you show even a scintilla of moral consistency, no one need take you seriously. You're not pro-marriage. You're antigay. And the evidence of your prejudice mounts daily.Brian Fitch makes an excellent point: "What's next? Pink Triangles?"
Two San Francisco politicians have weighed in as well:
"The truth is, this is a ploy to appease the right wing of his party and change the subject from his dismal record on job-creation and foreign policy," - Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco
"It's a desperate act by a desperate man who has lost control of the economy and job flight, the war on terrorism and the war he began in Iraq," - Sate Rep. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
Update: Apparently the "Presidential Prayer Team" (God, help us!) is currently urging Americans to "pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government."
My partner responds to that request (thank you!!)...
Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:Here, here!
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe, and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)
In the California presidential primary, a write-in.
Author’s note: The endorsement in this post is the sole opinion of the writer and not those of Points West.
With the California Democratic primary election fast approaching, I find myself in a quandary: None of the candidates, whether they are still in the race or not, appeal to me. There is no spark and I find myself wishing for a stronger slate of candidates.
This presidential election is, without a doubt, the most important of our generation. Never in our nation’s history has there been an era in which the responsibilities were greater for the United States, and never has a president been called on to meet such extraordinary responsibilities for the homeland and the world.
The Republican incumbent, in my view, has failed miserably. Current polling indicates he is by no means a shoe-in. Yet the Democratic Party’s top tier candidates are absent from the 2004 nominating elections. Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Jane Harman…all taking the proverbial powder.
That is a damn shame, and here is why:
This election is going to be decided on national security issues, homeland security, and the war on terrorism – like it or not. Voters can tell pollsters that the economy, education, or taxes top their list of important issues, but when Americans head to their polling places on November 2, visions of 9/11 will be on their minds. Mark my words.
As such, the candidate who will eventually go toe-to-toe with President Bush needs to have a fundamental understanding of international and foreign affairs, namely in the Middle East; someone who is serious about fighting the war against the Islamist extremists threatening the United States and other open societies; a candidate who understands that we are in the early stages of a Cold War-like struggle in which we want to strengthen the moderates - and weaken the violent, intolerant radicals - in the Arab-Muslim world. That is what the real war on terrorism is about.
John Kerry is a serious candidate who, if he wins the presidency, would increase our chances of winning the war – and more importantly, the peace - in Iraq. But when it comes to the campaign, will he be able to hold the Bush administration responsible for a failed foreign policy while at the same time offer a solid, credible alternative?
To date, the Democratic Party has been intimidated and unable to hold the Bush team accountable because their party couldn't offer a credible alternative. With Kerry as the party’s probable nominee, I trust the debate will heat up and hope the exchange will give the American people a clear choice between the failed policies of the Bush administration and a clear, focused, winnable alternative.
(On domestic policy the Democrats, in my view, have a clear advantage over the President. If we are to have an America worth saving, the current fiscal recklessness of the United States government has to stop.
Three tax cuts, loose monetary policy, and out-of-control spending have stacked the deck against our futures and, more importantly, the future of our children. Saddled with large new liabilities, the future looks bleak.
Without a doubt, Mr. Bush’s fiscal policy has been irresponsible beyond imagination.
On this issue alone, the Democratic presidential ticket will beat Bush to a pulp. But only if Kerry and Edwards offer up sensible policy on global trade.)
But as I said earlier, the underlying concern in November will most certainly be the war on terrorism.
I am sure John Kerry (and John Edwards, should he be the nominee) will offer well thought-out alternatives to a president who has failed at every turn. But right now I am not hearing the debate. I yearn for more substance from these two gentlemen. Until I hear more, neither one of them will get my vote on March 2.
As the two front-runners slug it out in the final Democratic contests, I’d like to offer up a suggestion:
I’d like Kerry and Edwards to have one debate - exclusively devoted to foreign policy; a debate that will put into focus exactly how they plan to run against George W. Bush on the most important issue of this election.
The debate should be moderated by a man who knows the Middle East more than any politician currently holding office; a man with an illuminating perspective on international affairs; a man whose twice-weekly column in the New York Times gives voice to America’s awakening reality that we now live in a radically changed world; a man whose unique views are, frankly, exactly what the United States needs to fight this new “cold war;” a man whose name I will write in on my March 2 Democratic primary ballot. Thomas L. Friedman.
We can't ALL marry Liza Minelli!
Following is a transcript of Bill Maher's closing commentary from "Real Time" on Friday, February 13:
"You can't claim you're the party of smaller government and then make laws about love. On this Valentine's day, let's stop and ask ourselves, 'What business is it of the state how consenting adults choose to pair off, share expenses, and eventually stop having sex with each other?'
"And why does the Bush administration want a constitutional amendment about weddings? Hey, why stop at weddings? Birthdays are important; let's put them in the great document. Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake. You know, to send the right message to kids.
"Republicans are always saying we should privatize things like schools, prisons, social security -- hey, how about we privatize privacy! Because if the government forbids gay men from tying the knot, what is their alternative? They can't all marry Liza Minnelli.
"You know, the Republicans used to be the party that opposed social engineering, but now they push programs to outlaw marriage for some people and encourage it for others. If you're straight, there's $1.5 billion in the budget to promote marriage, but gay marriage is opposed because it threatens or mocks or does something to the sanctity of marriage, as if anything you can do in Vegas drunk off your ass in front of an Elvis impersonator could be considered sacred.
"Half the people who pledge eternal love are doing it because one of them is either knocked up, rich or desperate. But in George Bush's mind, marriage is only a beautiful lifetime bond of love and sharing, kind of like what his dad has with the Saudis.
"But at least the right wing aren't hypocrites on this issue. They really believe that homosexuality is an abomination and a dysfunction that's curable. They believe that if a gay man just devotes his life to Jesus, he'll stop being gay, because that worked out so well with the Catholic priests.
"But I have to tell you that the greater shame in this story goes to the Democrats because they don't believe homosexuality is an abomination, and, therefore, their refusal to endorse gay marriage is hypocrisy. Their position doesn't come from the Bible; it's ripped right from the latest poll which says that most Americans are against gay marriage. Well, you know what? Sometimes most Americans are just wrong, and where is the Democrat who will stand up and go beyond the half-measures of civil union and hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner and say loud and clear, "There is no sin. It's not an abomination and no one can control how cupid aims his arrows, and the ones who pretend they can usually turn out to be the biggest freaks."
"The law in this country should reflect that some people are just born one-hundred-percent outrageously, fabulously, undeniably Fire-Island gay. And they do not need re-programming -- they need a man with a slow hand."
More signs of serious trouble for President Bush. Some Republicans - and many indepenendts - who voted for him in 2000 intend to vote for the Democratic ticket this year. Are things snowballing out of control for ol' Dubya??