May 2005 Archives

Dr. James Dobson is a spokesperson for 7 million Fundamentalist Right-wing Evangelical Christian (FREC) radio listeners. He told them before the 2004 election that not voting could be a sin. He and his followers are splitting the GOP's unity and could be weakening the GOP's future election potential.

Some Dobson Republicans are now calling the venerated Senators Warner and McCain traitors to their party because of the compromise of seven Republican Senators with seven Democrats to avert the nuclear option over judicial nominees before the Senate. Further, they are casting their traitor net over house Republicans who yesterday voted for a bill to grant federal tax dollars on discarded embryonic stem cell research.

America may be marching headlong toward another civil war. Many of the descendant players are the same. Many of the strategies are the same. The motivations are the same. Even the flags are symbolically similar. Only a date of commencement and outcome of this second civil war remain unknowable.

The Players: In 1860, the Southern states stated a demand or they would secede from the Union. It was to preserve slavery and extend it into the new territories using the argument that blacks were inherently inferior to whites, and more akin to oxen or mules which justified using them for labor. The Northerners, largely not depending upon slavery for their economic base, were opposed to seeing slavery extended into the new territories, and would have eventual designs on eradicating slavery everywhere.

Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo fame, has one of the most lucid interpretations of the current judicial crisis in the Senate I have yet to read. In a nutshell he argues that if preventing Presidential nominees from receiving an up or down vote in the Senate is unconstitutional, then this process has been unconstitutional for 200 years. The simple reason is that both parties have, in committee, or on the floor of the Senate, blocked up or down votes for the nominees by a President of the opposing party.

His article is an excellent read.

In a move by Republicans in the House of Representatives revealed yesterday, their Medicare strategy is going to be applied to Social Security. Their strategy has but one goal and outcome, to end the program. Medicare/Medicaid already had a dismal finacial future last year when the Republicans made the program exorbidently more expensive not only with the addition of the Rx drug benefit, but, also by putting in language that prevented the Government from competitive bidding for the cost of benefts and prescriptions.

As I see it we have 3 choices regarding reforming the UN.

Choice 1 - tell them to change or we will withdraw support. That is a false choice since that will leave a UN in greater hands of those who would oppose our interests. Also sets a dangerous precedent for our allies. The last thing the US and freedom loving people need is a United Nations Against The US (UNATUS), despite the fact that it 3/5 of the way already exists.

Choice 2 - Go in demanding changes and backing those demands up with threat. In the end, this choice has the same outcome as choice 1 above.

Choice 3 - Send a representative to the UN who will demonstrate to the world that the US will lead by example, doing what we ask others to do, and promising only what we can back up with integrity and actions. Also send a representative who is as much like PT Barnum as we can find.

When men in Congress contemplate rape in US prisons, two thoughts probably comprise most of their opinions. 1) What do prisoners expect, daycare? 2) Men are by natural definition driven to sex, therefore, it is an unsolveable problem. But, underlying both of these thought processes is the assumption that rape in prison just comes with the punishment, free gratis. Ending rape in prisons would have an effect on the number of rapes in civilian society. If it were not tolerated in prison, fewer parolees would be conditioned to it upon release.

For quite some time now I have been warning of a pending pension crisis. At the end of last month, even the President felt it was prudent to get it on the record by also warning of a pending American pension crisis. The first hit against workers took place this week when a bankruptcy court judge granted United Airline's request for abdicating its responsibility to its approximately 120,000 employee's and retiree's pension plans.

The nuclear option to deprive Democrats of the longstanding filibuster in the Senate which was designed to balance power in Congress is having an imploding effect on the GOP. When conceived, it was thought GOP solidarity would make unbalancing power in Congress for the benefit of Republican extremists a slam-dunk. Little did the dreamers realize that the GOP has patriotic American members who actually believe, and will stand up for, our American government and balance of power of a multi-party system.

This would be laughable were it not for the fact that such Republicans are repeatedly getting their way on issues like this. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a Republican policy and lobby group is conducting a meeting on May 11, 2005, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 P.M. They are offering a free lunch to offer a policy initiative to exempt Republicans and their businesses from criminal law.

The policy primer's topic is "The Threat of Overcriminalization." Their invitational email states:

This program will address the recent proliferation of criminal laws that regulate business and individual conduct traditionally left to the free market or civil law.

There is a poetic justice when mercury laden clouds head toward masses of Republican voters in Nevada and Utah. Hopefully this threat to their children and their unborn and others will cause them to rethink their support for a party that will never choose the environment over making money. This AP story is especially poetic due to the fact that the cloud emanates from gold mining operations which were exempted from EPA mercury emission laws.


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