Friday, January 26, 2007

We did everything just the way grownups would have. Why didn't it work? Things would be much better here if it wasn't for him. I wish he was dead.

Al Gore.

At this point that's who I want to be the next President of the United States.

Today's Oregonian ran a follow-up piece to the The Inconvenient Truth controversy in the Federal Way, Washington school district. It seems the student environmental club that wanted to show the film after school (facts conveniently omitted from the original piece) will be allowed to show the film but it will be the principal as to whether a film expressing an "opposing viewpoint" will be shown afterwards. I'm sure you recall the original story. Frosty Hardison, the ignorant rube, er parent, leading the fight against the film had summed up her outrage thusly: "Condoms don't belong in schools and neither does Al Gore."

Sure he does. He belongs in the front of the classroom where they hang the picture of the current President right next to the American flag.

Really there are three reasons why I personally want Al Gore to run and why I want him to win. The first two are noble, the third I recognize is less than mature on part.

The first reason is that it would simply be good for the country to once again have a smart, engaged President.

The second is that Al Gore's post-VP endeavors and particularly his work on global warming have won him huge good will with the world. President Gore could do a lot to restore all of the global good will of friends and allies tossed away so carelessly by President Bush.

My own petty selfish reason for wanting Al Gore to be President? Imagine if you will a January in 2009 when the next President of the United States, Al Gore, is being sworn in. In front of him holding the bible and administering the oath of office is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Just behind him is the man vacating the office - George W. Bush. Surrounded by people that hate him Bush would have to sit through a ceremony honoring a man and correcting the historic mistake of 2000. He'd have to hand the keys back to the grown-ups.

Run Al, run!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined.

It's all well and good that some of the Supremes who handed Bush the presidency are still claiming it was the right decision. But would it kill the author of "Supreme Conflict" and those writing articles about that book to at least try and acquaint themselves with the decision and politics surrounding Bush v. Gore, the constitution of the United States (especially the equal protection clause) and the media consortium recount findings that O'Connor tries to hide behind? I mean it's seven years after the fact, you'd think they might have the time to be able to do a little background before putting pen to paper. Is that really asking too much?

Just a few examples-

"A no-brainer! A state court deciding a federal constitutional issue about the presidential election? Of course you take the case," Kennedy told ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg in her new book, "Supreme Conflict."

Yeah, that is nuts. Except for the fact that the U.S. constitution reads- "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. "

The legislature of the state of Florida set down the rules for the election of Presidential electors from that state prior to the 2000 election. They provided rules for a recount in a disputed election. The Secretary of State chose not to enforce those same rules for recounts in certifying the electors before the recounts were complete and owing to her allegiance to one of the candidates. The legal challenge in Florida was simply an effort for to force the state election apparatus which was solely under the control of one of the candidates to actually follow Florida election law as provided by the U.S. Constitution. There is no federal constitutional issue there that would justify the intervention of the supreme court.

A "no-brainer" indeed, Kennedy. Perhaps you actually should have used yours.

In a decision made public on the evening of Dec. 12, 2000, the court said the recount violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because Florida counties were allowed to set their own standards for determining whether to count a vote.

This is of course the square peg the prevailing five justices pounded into the round hole of their decision giving Bush the election. The Equal Protection Clause- "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. "

The majority members of the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Florida Supreme Court was unconstitutionally depriving George W. Bush's right of "life, liberty or property" which was an obvious grievous injustice. To right this justice they simply decided that the rights of the millions of people who voted for Gore in Florida and nationwide need to be set aside so that this wrong could be righted. Let's not even get into the question of whether there was something for Bush to lose to begin with. To accept this argument you have to take at face value that Bush "won" before all of the votes had been counted. Bush couldn't have been deprived of a right he hadn't yet earned through election. The reasoning is just plain nuts.

Still, O'Connor said the outcome of the election would have been the same had the court not intervened.

She was referring to media consortium study that suggested Bush would have won a recount limited to counties that Gore initially contested, although other studies said Gore might have prevailed in a statewide recount.

You mean the that found Gore would have won in all cases under all standards except under the strict requirements and four county recount strategy he was ironically employing at the time? A full statewide recount under any counting standard, something the Florida Supreme Court would've almost assuredly have ordered had they been allowed to proceed, would have given the presidency to Gore.

I'm sure O'Connor, Kennedy and Scalia would love history to remember them well in light of this incident. It won't. It simply can't. Their disgustingly political extra-constitutional decision will stand as a black mark on their names and the history of the court they served on, far into the future.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Well, those are the boobs that make our laws. That's the democratic process.

Seems to me that Republican Senators have already successfully filibustered more bills than the democrats were able to in the entire six years they were the minority party. First the ethics bill and now the minimum wage hike.

I'm at a loss as to why senate democrats feel they need to allow for any republican input on a modest hike to the minimum wage. It's not like the bill is controversial or unpopular. They're not trying to keep a terminally braindead patient on life support, for example.

But you're not talking to a soldier now, you're talking to an expedition. I'm an expedition!

On his program this morning Thom Hartman was suffering an aneurysm over this passage from the President's speech last night:

A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

Thom reads that proposal as establishing something between the French Foreign Legion and a voluntary mercenary force which he sees as ominous. I'll admit I find it concerning on it's face, barring details but my take on it's face is different than that of Hartman's. It appears to me as if he's proposing interns for Haliburton i.e. even cheaper labor than the slave wages they're currently paying foreign workers they're importing into Iraq. This question seems to fall on whether or not these civilian reservists are actually armed.

Ultimately anything that gets the 101st Fighting Keyboardists away from their cheeto-encrusted desk and closer to the conflict they so strongly support I'm all for.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?

Ladies and gentlemen the state of our union is... funky fresh.

As we head into tonight's speech with the administration promising to push to revitalize Bush's domestic agenda let's remind ourselves that his sheer incompetence at foreign affairs isn't limited solely to that arena. He's plenty incompetent at things that are closer to home.

One need only to think back to that wonderful time a little over a year ago when bodies floated down the streets of New Orleans to remind oneself of just what a poor administrator President anti-Midas can be. I would hope congress would keep that in mind. He's failed at everything he's tried. Listen politely to his speech and his "new" initiatives and then ignore him and go back about the people's business.

Monday, January 22, 2007

This week Brad Pitt was voted the Sexiest Man Alive by "People" magazine but unfortunately he may lose the title in the Sexiest Man Electoral College.

With this weekend's announcements and the intention of expanding on my personal view of who should win the Democratic nomination for the presidency- no sitting U.S. Senator who has declared appeals to me. In my opinion the Iraq war hasn't just defined Bush, it's defined them. Their failure to fight forcefully against the war, even if they want to hide behind the weak argument that they were duped by the administration, makes them all appear a bunch of feckless weenies. They may be great politicians but they certainly aren't leaders.