Posted in C-Haze, Children, Conservative, Current Events, Dating, David Letterman, Democrats, Family, Funny, Humor, John McCain, Liberal, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Relationships, Sarah Palin, Sex, Willow Palin

David Letterman, John McCain and Willow Palin

Ok, so David Letterman may have crossed a line with his recent jokes regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter, with some people even calling for his termination from CBS.

I thought the jokes specifically about Governor Palin were pretty funny- and not the slightest bit out of line- though perhaps slightly off-color.

I did, however, cringe at his quip about Palin’s daughter.

The Governor had taken her 14 year old daughter to a Yankees game while recently visiting New York. Letterman joked on his show that during the Seventh Inning Stretch, Willow, the daughter, got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.

Disgusting, for sure.

I’m not here to condone Letterman’s comments. Personally, I feel that for the most part, children of politicians should be off limits for all of us- late night comedians included. I do make an exception for people such as Megan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) and Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter) because A) they are not minors and B) they have chosen a life in the public eye- Megan as a popular blogger, Bristol as a public advocate for abstinence.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the double standard here.

Can you imagine, for example, had Conan O’Brien quipped, during Michelle Obama’s recent trip to London with her daughters, that Sasha (or Malia- pick a kid), had been knocked up by Hugh Grant?

Or worse, Boy George?

David Beckham?

I realize that politically incorrect, often distasteful humor, is par for the course in late night comedic television… but sometimes, as we all know, lines do get crossed, and feelings get hurt.

Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this- as I am a Letterman fan- his so-called apology on the matter was grossly inadequate. Letterman claims that his joke regarding Palin’s daughter was actually geared towards Bristol Palin, but I’m not buying it. Everyone knows Bristol was not the one who accompanied her mother to the Yankees game, and surely,  considering all of Letterman’s staff, if not the big man himself, someone would have picked up on this fact.

This, at best, was a terrible gaffe on the part of his research department. At worst, he knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it about.

Regardless, it was a completely inappropriate thing to say.

What enrages me, however, even more than Letterman’s false and disengenuous apology, is certain Republican politicians’ reactions to his comments.

John McCain, for example, when asked his opinion by news source Reuters, stated, “I don’t understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman… They deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts.”

Really?

Funny, considering McCain’s own comments about then-President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, on the Letterman show back in 1998:

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because Janet Reno is her father.

It makes one wonder… are John McCain and friends truly against the idea of people attacking the children of politicians… or does it only become a no-no when said politician is a fellow conservative?

Letterman was wrong for saying the things he said about Willow Palin, and that family deserves a genuine apology.

… But as we all know, peoplewho live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Willow Palin deserves our outrage on her behalf. Unfortunately, when it comes from such sources as John McCain, the anger appears phony, crafted, politically motivated and most of all, horribly hypocritical.

Pedophilia, rape and teenage sex are not humorous topics- regardless of who is making the joke, or who the joke is about.

It is, after all, a national epidemic, as Sarah Palin and family know first hand.

Perhaps, instead of duking it out over which public figures’ children are and aren’t off limits, our time would be better spent advocating on behalf of the children who find themselves the butt of these most reprehensible jokes.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, Liberal, News, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Judge Sotomayor, New Haven and Reverse Discrimination

Along with bogus charges of racism, we are now hearing rumblings of discontent regarding Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in the infamous New Haven firefighters’ reverse discrimination case.

First, a little background.

New Haven, CT adopted a written exam in 2003 for the purpose of determining which of the city’s fire fighters are eligible for promotion to Lieutenant and Captain within the department. The city ended up throwing the test out a year later, after determining that no eligible black workers had passed the exam.

A white fire fighter by the name of Frank Ricci scored exceptionally high on the test, and would have received the promotion, had the test not been deemed inadmissable by the city. Ricci in turn sued the city of New Haven for reverse discrimination, claiming that he was in effect losing his rightful promotion as a result of a policy that catered to blacks and minorities.

The trial court disagreed, and Frank Ricci lost the case.

Ricci appealed the lower court’s decision to the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, where it fell into the lap of Judge Sonia Sotomayor (and 3 other judges, as part of a panel. For the sake of this post, we’ll just talk about Sonia Sotomayor). Sotomayor rejected the appeal, upholding the lower court’s ruling. The case is currently being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, with a ruling expected by late June of this year.

Judge Sotomayor’s decision was a controversial  one, especially among conservatives, who tend to believe she should have sided with the fire fighters.

If one truly understands how the oft-squeaky wheels of justice turn, and the responsibilities of an appeals court judge, the case isn’t quite as controversial after all… and one begins to see it has less to do with Judge Sotomayor and more to do with the legal precedent she had no choice but to utilize in making her decision.

The city of New Haven did not simply throw the written test out because it felt like it, nor was the test deemed inadmissable by a single party, hell-bent on building a blacks-only department.

Hardly.

The test was found to be in violation of Title VII, which is the federal civil rights law that requires employers to consider the racial consequences of any hiring or promotion practice. Whether on purpose or inadvertent, if the practice excludes minorities, it is illegal. The New Haven test, according to the law, was an illegal promotion tool, as eligible black fire fighters were not able to pass it. As a result, the city had no choice but to throw the test out.

If one is to take issue with this situation, the issue must be taken with the law itself- Title VII- not with the city’s actions, nor the judges’ rulings on the case.

The city, as well as the trial court, and most especially the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, were simply following the applicable law.

Most would agree, whenever possible, it is important that a judge apply the already-written law(s) when making a ruling, and follow the constitution to its letter. Generally speaking, it is inappropriate for a judge to disregard current laws in making a decision on a case. The law is the law, no one is above it, and if a law exists when a case is heard, that law must be followed.

This is exactly what Judge Sotomayor did when ruling against Frank Ricci of the New Haven Fire Department. Her ruling was a direct result of her following an already existing law.

Period.

 The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals was not the appropriate venue to fight the merits of Title VII, and whether or not the law lends itself to the creation of reverse discrimination. Judge Sotomayor was charged with making a decision based on the laws that are already in place- and determining whether the original trial court had correctly utilized the applicable law in making its ruling.

So that’s exactly what she did, and did so using the strong legal precedent that had already been set by her court, her jurisdiction- the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals.

As the GOP knows all-too-well, for Judge Sotomayor to have ruled any other way, her decision would have amounted to Judicial Activism.

Ironically enough, many key Republicans have voiced concerns over Sotomayor, claiming that they are worried she may be a Judicial Activist.

Funny, considering how up-in-arms these same people are today as a result of her refusing to do just that in the New Haven case. 

Judicial Activism occurs when a judge legislates from the bench. Typically, it is a judge’s responsibility to apply applicable law- using legal precedent- in making his/her rulings. Creating new laws is the responsibility of Congress- the Legislative Branch of government. When a judge attempts to circumvent written law, he/she is called a Judicial Activist.

Some famous cases involving judicial activism include Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade, Brown v. The Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson. While landmark cases for sure, their rulings were the response to scenarios in which no previous legal precedent existed, and so judges had no applicable law to fall back on. Therefore, they had to interpret the Constitution, resulting in a ruling that in effect created its own legal precedent for future cases to utilize.

Generally speaking, I am no fan of Judicial Activism. I think the law is in place for a reason, and if I disagree with a law, the proper venue for me to express my dissatisfaction is with my congressional representatives. They are the people charged with making the laws, while judges are responsible for upholding them, as written.

I don’t know how I feel about the New Haven case. 

I  sympathize with Frank Ricci. I learned, while researching this case, that he is dyslexic, and had to work exceptionally hard to pass the test- let alone score as highly as he did.

However, I also sympathize with any hard-working minority, who as the result of a racially-skewed test, is effectively shut out of a promotion process that he or she deserves to be a part of as much as anyone else.

Overall, I am happy that a law such as Title VII is on the books, and I’m happier that it’s a federal law. To me, any law that makes discrimination illegal in all 50 states certainly has its merits.

If anyone, I fault the city of New Haven in this case. Had they come up with a non-biased test to begin with, both Frank Ricci and any other qualified employee would have been promoted… and everyone would be happy. I applaud the city for taking the steps necessary to correct its error by throwing out the test, but I mourn the casualties such an action created. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easy thing to do… and sometimes when we make mistakes- even honest ones- it’s the innocent bystanders that are hurt the most.

Frank Ricci, it seems, has suffered quite a bit, as have other hard-working minority fire fighters. Every last one of them deserved a chance at bettering themselves… and yet all of them have suffered greatly.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, La Raza, Liberal, News, Newt Gingrich, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Sotomayor, Supreme Court and Spindoctors

One of my readers hipped me to “La Raza”, while commenting on my recent post on Judge Sotomayor- stating that she is a member of this particular group.

I didn’t know anything about the organization, and promised to research both the group and the judge’s alleged ties to it.

What I learned, not surprisingly, is that what’s often thought to be common knowledge isn’t always accurate information.

How dangerous misinformation can be.

First of all, let’s talk about that which cannot be disputed. La Raza is a Latino organization that currently operates in the U.S., and is active in 41 states. It’s a relatively large group, with over 300 local-level affiliated groups that are under the La Raza umbrella.

Officially known as the National Council of La Raza, its website claims that as “the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans”. To meet its objective, La Raza gives a latin prospective via applied research, focusing on five areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health.

Founded in 1968, the group claims to be a private, tax-exempt, non-partisan organization that is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Now, on to a couple of misconceptions.

Some people have a lot of negative feelings about this organization, as obviously, being hispanic in nature, there is the perception that La Raza is an open-borders advocate, or a lobby group for illegal aliens. The organization has been bastardized, based on inaccurate data.

An opinion is an important thing to have, and as free-thinking Americans, our opinions will not always gel with one anothers’.

It is inconscionable, however, to base one’s opinions on something that isn’t even true.

La Raza, according to its website, does not support a United States of America that has open borders. They absolutely recognize- and support- this country’s right, as a sovereign nation, to control its borders. In fact, in 2005, the National Council of La Raza supported, in partnership with such Republicans as John McCain (R-AZ) , Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. This bill, among other things, provided for the stronger enforcement of labor and immigration laws. It was to help secure our borders while keeping America safe in the process.

The organization certainly supports immigration reform, but it just as fiercely advocates for a strong enforcement program as well. The group has never condoned the act of illegally crossing the United States of America’s borders.

Another misconception about La Raza is its name, and what it translates to mean. Many people claim the name means “The Race”, which understandably makes quite a few folks uncomfortable. A white organization would get ten different kinds of hell, were it named “The Race”, most especially if a Supreme Court nominee were rumored to be a member.

*Shudder*

Can you imagine?

La Raza, however, does not mean “The Race”- this is merely a loose and factually inaccurate translation- but rather,  “The People” or “The Community”. Certainly “The People” has a much less Hitler-esque tone, and suddenly, the group doesn’t seem quite so threatening anymore.

Hispanics, if we are honest with ourselves, do not have an easy time in America. Obviously it is not impossible to be both hispanic and successful, much like one can be black and successful, but like many other minorities, Latinos do face a certain amount of bigotry, unfair stereotypes and all-out hatred. La Raza tries to make these speedbumps a little more manageable, fighting to make sure Hispanics are afforded the same opportunities as non-minorities (translation: white people).

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, is a memberof the National Council of La Raza.

Some people act as if we should be shocked by this, but realistically, looking at Sotomayor’s history, along with La Raza’s stated mission, it all becomes quite understandable.

Not only that, but it isn’t a negative thing in the least.

Sonia Sotomayor, daughter to Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in New York- in the Bronx- in a public housing project. She knows poverty and discrimination first hand, as the recipient of what amounted to two strikes against her- being both poor and hispanic. This did not make for an easy go of things. Yet she chose not to use her economic status (or lack thereof) or her race as an excuse to fail. Instead, she chose to thrive, putting herself through college and law school- Ivy League, no less- ultimately graduating from both Princeton and Yale, serving as editor of the Yale Law Review to boot.

Keep in mind, this was no trust fund baby. She did it the old-fashioned way, with her own blood, sweat and tears.

Learning of Sotomayor’s background and the adversity she has managed to overcome, it is anything but surprising to learn that she is a member of an organization whose entire purpose is to protect the civil rights and improve the quality of life of Latinos throughout America.

After law school, Judge Sotomayor went on to become the Assistant Attorney General for the city of New York, ran her own private practice for several years, and (due to then-President George H.W. Bush’s nomination), served on the bench for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Clinton Administration later nominated her to sit on the federal bench at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District.

The woman is on fire, and has managed to successfully navigate not one, but two Senate Confirmation hearings, after having been nominated for bench positions by two different presidents- both a Democrat and a Republican.

Recently a group of Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, have accused Judge Sotomayor of reverse discrimination, claiming she’s racist, and therefore should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Their claims are based on a something the judge said in 2001, while speaking to The University of California Berkley’s School of Law. She said at that time, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Apparently, the fact that Sotomayor admits that she believes her personal life experiences make her a better judge, is offensive to some. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that Justice Samuel Alito, during his own Supreme Court confirmation hearings, said the same exact thing– only about himself, of course- and these same Republicans didn’t bother blinking an eye.

Of course, when Alito said it, we called it “empathy in judging”.

With Sotomayor, it’s racism.

I guess it’s only a problem when the statement is made by a liberal.

The GOP  wasn’t terribly concerned about her qualifications when they confirmed her in the past- twice- but now, suddenly, she’s a racist.

Ah, hypocrisy at its finest.

Though without it, I would have nothing to write about, so onward we go.

I’m not saying we should all welcome Judge Sonia Sotomayor with open arms. Legitimate questions still need to be asked, more information needs to be had. I stated in my previous post, for example, that I am a little leary of her Catholic background and how that may (or may not) translate to her decisions on such topics as abortion, gay rights and stem cell research.

In many ways, the jury is still out.

None of that, however, lessens the importance of committing to forming educated opinions based on fact. My ultimate opinion of President Obama’s nominee may or may not be a popular one, but I take comfort in knowing that my decision will be based on fact and not fear, conjecture or rumor.

Hopefully, all of you will be able to say the same, when that time comes.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Capital Punishment, Catholic, Conservative, Current Events, Death Penalty, Democrats, Gay Rights, News, Newt Gingrich, Politics, President, Religion, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, Barack Obama and the GOP

Obama has made his decision, nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the new Supreme Court Justice.

From a purely political standpoint, I think this is a genius move on the president’s part.

The GOP, already somewhat hampered due to the stink they made over filibusters during Justices Roberts and Alito’s confirmation hearings, can only complain so much- regardless of whom Obama names- because they don’t want to look like complete hypocrites.

During the Bush Administration, they wanted a simple up-or-down vote for judges… and… well, now they have the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.

Normally, especially in politics, hypocrisy would be par for the course- something the Republicans need not think twice about. Currently, however, they stand to lose even more than they can afford to, considering that the GOP’s already critically injured.

Their party is on life-support.

The GOP needs the support of the Latino community… which is exactly Judge Sotomayor’s background. How can they justify fighting to exclude a woman who is Catholic, Latina, and more experienced than either justices Roberts or Alito were at the time of their confirmations?

I don’t think they can.

Gingrich can scream that Judge Sotomayor is racist all he wants to… that seems to be his current plan of attack… but really, no one’s listening to that nonsense.

Personally, the thought of another Catholic on the bench- we currently have 5, not including Sotomayor- makes me a little nervous.

Catholics typically don’t support a woman’s right to choose, gay rights or stem cell research… all things that are very important to me. Sotomayor has not had the opportunity to rule much on those issues, so we don’t really know for sure where she stands.

Hopefully, if confirmed, she will keep her religious beliefs off the bench, ruling instead to preserve the rights of all people- recognizing that the freedom to make individual decisions for ourselves is a bigger priority than exulting her own beliefs from on high.

The greater good and all that.

On the flip side, Catholics tend to be adversaries of the death penalty, and that’s something I would love to see abolished… so who knows…

It would have been nice to see a good lesbian, protestant judge nominated, but I do realize we don’t yet live in a country where such an individual’s confirmation would have been possible.

Still… a person can dream, right?

Posted in C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, News, Newt Gingrich, Politics, Republicans, Torture, War on Terror

Newt Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi and Torture

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi engaged in a “despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort” when claiming to know little about the use of waterboarding and other CIA-sanctioned “enhanced” interrogation methods.

She lied to the House of Representatives and to the American public.

That’s what Newt Gingrich says, anyway, while trying to justify his belief that the House should open an inquiry to investigate her claims that the CIA never briefed her about the use of torture on terror suspects.

The “despicable, dishonest” part of his quote sounded familiar somehow, so I immediately got to researchin’.

Lo’ and behold…

… I found what I was looking for.

How about this

The House ethics committee recommended last night that (the) House Speaker face an unprecedented reprimand from… colleagues after concluding that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented “intentional or . . . reckless” disregard of House rules.”

Huh.

I bet your average Pelosi-hater will read that and begin foaming at the mouth… nodding their heads in agreement… “Yup-yup, that’s right… they’re gonna recommend a punishment for her? That’s great!!”

… Except that the quote’s not referring to Nancy  Pelosi at all. 

See, Newt Gingrich knows a thing or two about lying to the House of Representatives and unethical behavior himself.

In January of 1997 the House Ethics Committee voted, 7-1, to reprimand then-House Speaker Gingrich, as well as fining him $300,000 in additional sanctions. This action concluded the investigation against Newt Gingrich for illegally using tax-deductible money for political purposes, and for lying to investigators.

The above quote was said about Newt more than 12 years ago.

Gingrich, in fact, holds the distinction of being the first-ever, and to this day, only House Speaker to ever receive an official reprimand by the House of Representatives.

Yeah. I said ever.

In the meantime, he’s going off on Pelosi every chance he gets. He says she only has 2 defenses with regards to this CIA waterboarding fiasco… she was either dishonest or incompetent.

I wonder which defense worked best for him?

The dishonesty defense? Or the incompentence one?

Unfortunately, Gingrich, who never had that much credibility to begin with, simply sounds ridiculous right now.

He’s unusually rabid with regards to Speaker Pelosi, and knowing his own history as Speaker of the House, it simply seems he’s being over-zealous for the wrong reasons.

He just wants someone else to join him in his rare distinction of “Reprimanded House Speaker”.

Poor guy’s gettin’ lonely.

Gingrich himself does not support torture, and for that I congratulate him. His is not a popular position within the Republican Party right now, and I applaud him for taking a stand.

His motivation for calling for Pelosi to be investigated may, perhaps, seem more genuine if he would back off a little from the rabid-attack-dog act, and hold off until all the facts are known.

I sincerely hope the rest of us will do the same, waiting until all the facts come to light before condemning Nancy Pelosi to Newt Gringrich’s ‘hood.

Personally speaking, if it does turn out that Speaker Pelosi knew that our soldiers were torturing people and never did anything to either bring the behavior to light or stop it, and then turned around and went on a media-blitz after Bush left office, condemning him for knowing about torture, supporting torture, and not actively working to end torture, I will not only be calling for her to be reprimanded, but impeached entirely.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Catholic, Conservative, Current Events, Notre Dame, Politics, President, Religion

Barack Obama, Notre Dame and an Imagined Scandal

There’s a big controversy brewing at Notre Dame as a result of President Obama’s invitation to give this year’s commencement speech.

A lot of people don’t want him speaking at the school, claiming his beliefs are at odds with the university’s teachings.

Many of these people are Catholics- as is the university itself- and are using this fact as an excuse to try and keep Obama from accepting the college’s invitation.

He’s pro-choice, he’s pro-gay rights, he’s pro-stem cell research… and so for these reasons, they argue, he should not be allowed to give the address.

Quite frankly, it is absolutely ridiculous.

First of all, the Catholic Church has stated, on more than one occassion that Obama cannot be considered a violator of Catholic principals since he, himself, is not Catholic.

This would be the same thing as condemning Jews for not believing in Jesus as the son of God.

It simply isn’t done.

Not in any official capacity, anyway, and not by the Catholic Church.

Second, President Obama is but one in a long list of non-Catholic political figures to have spoken at the University in the past.

He isn’t even the first pro-choice person to be asked.

Obama, one has to assume, likely will not be attempting to convert the students of Notre Dame into bleeding heart liberals… supporters of all-things abortion and gay.

It’s a graduation speech.

Give me a break.

Where was the outrage back in September of 1984 when then-Governor of New York (and Catholic), Mario Cuomo spoke at the University?

Governor Cuomo’s entire speech was centered on the defense of liberal politics and his pro-choice stance.

This guy was not only pro-choice… but he is a Catholic who’s pro-choice… which is a direct violation of that church’s doctrine.

I’m pretty sure it’s punishable by death, in fact.

Prob’ly says something like that in the book of Leviticus.

A Catholic speaking at a Catholic university to defend his pro-choice beliefs sounds way more controversial than a non-Catholic speaking at a graduation ceremony…

…A ceremony in which, due to the theme of the day, will most likely center around nothing more eyebrow-raising than a motivational speech designed to give graduates the ambition they need to go forth into the world and follow their dreams.

Barack Obama simply follows a long line of presidents before him… a tradition, if you will… of giving commencement addresses at Notre Dame.

He joins the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy (coincidentally, this country’s only Catholic president- ever), Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

Interestingly, it was later said of Regan’s speech, that while Notre Dame is definitely an institution of prestige and national influence, Regan’s actions “opposed the values placed on social justice in Catholic moral teaching”.

You paying attention, Conservatives?

Even Regan didn’t get it quite “right”.

Pardon the pun.

What better way to show the world that even people with deeply opposing belief-systems can still find common ground, than by having a man such as Barack Obama speak at a university such as this one?

It’s a wonderful idea.

Hopefully people will get off their moral high ground for long enough to see this for mind-opening opportunity that it truly has the potential to be.

Really, it’s almost as if some people are so terrified that if their children, their innocent li’l college grads, are ever exposed to anyone with different ideas than their own, then these most-precious kids will instantly self-combust.

It’s getting ridiculous.

Let’s work harder at working together, and let’s focus on the goal of killing off closed-mindedness.

If that’s too hard, fine.

Just let the man speak.

Posted in C-Haze, Change, Conservative, Current Events, Dick Cheney, Elections, George Bush, Homosexuality, Hope, News, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Religion, War on Terror

Dick Cheney, Irony and The Mortally Wounded GOP

Dick Cheney thinks it would be a mistake for the Republican Party to ‘moderate’ itself in an attempt to save itself from slowly dying.

This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas … what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles,” Cheney said in an interview with North Dakota radio host Scott Hennen Thursday, according to a transcript.

“You know, when you add all those things up, the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy,” Cheney also said. “I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most of us aren’t. Most Republicans have a pretty good idea of values, and aren’t eager to have someone come along and say, ‘Well, the only way you can win is if you start to act more like a Democrat.'” –CNN Political Ticker, May 7, 2009

How ironic that Cheney today finds himself arguing for, claiming to support people’s constitutional rights when he fought so desperately during eight years of the Bush Administration to  single handedly destroy them.

This isn’t the Party that protects rights… it has made a name for itself by destroying them.

To list a few…

  • Human rights- by torturing people who do not share “American” beliefs
  • Women’s rights- by attempting to do away with a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive path, and giving a cluster of cells inside her body more consideration than the living, breathing woman whose body they reside in
  • Religious rights- by attempting to silence non-right leaning Christians, by perpetuating hatred for Muslims and others, by shoving a narrow doctrine down the throats of people the world over
  • Gay rights- by actively shaming homosexuals and seeing to it that they do not enjoy the same treatment or benefits of their heterosexual counterparts
  • Minority rights- by fighting against progress, and actively seeking to do away with the very protections (such as affirmative action) that can help our nation achieve racial parity…

The list is endless, really.

I wonder if Dick even realizes that it is his party’s philosophies, ideals and “fundamental beliefs” that are causing the problems- causing their recent and overwhelming defeat-  to begin with.

People, with little exception, do not inherently subscribe to the GOP belief system- a system that systematically destroys the freedoms of so millions… and yet, this is exactly what the Republican Party is fighting to maintain.

Protection for the few, persecution of the many.

If Dick Cheney has his way, that is.

This party, for so long, has been the one to set the narrow standard of what it means to be an American.

You’re either with them or you’re against them.

Not too long ago, to be against them was a dangerous thing.

It was not ok to simply have philosophical differences… to do so was un-American, it was traiterous, it was downright dangerous.

Our country, at long last, is changing.

I’m happy for it.

I hope Dick Cheney eventually grasps the fact that in large part due to his actions, his philosophies- his ideals- and his very Party are an endangered species.

It begs the question…

… Is he with us, or against us?

He has drawn his line in the sand.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Comments, Conservative, Current Events, Homosexuality, Joe the Plumber, News, Policy, Politics

Joe The Plumber, Queers and Honkies

Joe the Plumber, while not my most favorite person in the world, certainly provides me endless entertainment.

For that reason, he can’t be all bad.

Well, that’s not completely true.

He certainly is fun though!

Most recently, Joe was hatin’ on gay people… enjoying his favorite past-time of judging others in the name of God.

My, my, my.

What a Christian thing to do.

He’s had friends, you know, in the past, who are gay… and he’s cool with them and all…

… but he’d never let those “queers” around his kids.

He even took the time to defend his use of the word “queer”, claiming it is not a slur, nothing derogatory.

It simply means “strange” or “unusual”… it’s not really really ignorant, like calling a white person a honky, for example.

Cuz that’s what gay people are, after all.

Queer.

Funny, considering good ol’ Joe is much more queer- as in strange and usual- than any gay person I’ve ever known.

I wouldn’t think twice about allowing someone who’s homosexual around my children.

No way in hell, however, is Joe the Plumber ever gettin’ anywhere near ’em.

Posted in Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, C-Haze, Change, Conservative, Current Events, News, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Supreme Court

Sessions, Specter and the Supreme Court

Things are getting really exciting on Capitol Hill.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter has recently announced his retirement, paving the way for Obama’s first Supreme Court nomination.

In a coincidental turn of events- a side plot, perhaps- Representative Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) will be taking Arlen Specter’s place as the top Republican in the Senate Judiciary committee.

All of this becomes interesting when we take a look at some of the stuff Representative Sessions is best known for.

Most political junkies recognize Sessions from way back in the day, when the Democrats were dukin’ it out with President George W. Bush over his Supreme Court pick, Justice Samuel Alito.

The Dems, hating this choice of nominee, fought tooth and nail to keep him from being appointed… ultimately prolonging the process of confirming the Justice’s nomination.

Jeff Sessions was the ultra-vocal senator that felt judges needed to be appointed by a simple up-or-down vote.

Simple majority, people.

No arguing, no filibuster…

… In short, no muss, no fuss.

Just Yea or Nay.

Since the founding of the Republic, we have understood that there was a two-thirds supermajority for ratification and advice and consent on treaties and a majority vote for judges. That is what we have done. That is what we have always done. But there was a conscious decision on behalf of the leadership, unfortunately, of the Democratic Party in the last Congress to systematically filibuster some of the best nominees ever submitted to the Senate. It has been very painful. -Senate Floor Speech, Rep. Jeff Sessions, 2005

I wonder, now that President Obama is holding the reigns, if Representative Sessions still feels the same way.

Obviously, it won’t be difficult for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to win a simple majority vote, considering the Dems control both houses.

Will Sessions put his money where his mouth is and support a straight vote…

… Or not?

Just when things begin to get interesting, the plot thickens.

You see, Representative Sessions was nominated 20 years ago to be a U.S. District Judge.

The Senate rejected his nomination.

The reason?

Sessions’ was alleged to have made racially insensitive remarks. A U.S. attorney, in fact, testified that he’d heard Sessions claim that he used to respect and admire the Ku Klux Klan-

Until he learned many of its members were pot smokers.

The deciding vote that doomed his confirmation in the Senate?

Arlen Spector.

This is gettin’ good.

Posted in Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, C-Haze, Change, Conservative, Current Events, Elections, News, Policy, Politics

Specter, Spectacles and Death Scenes

People really are buzzin’ about representative Arlen Specter’s switch from the GOP to the Democratic Party.

I find the whole thing exciting… though hardly surprising.

I do wonder if this most recent blow to the fledgling Republic Party will be the much needed wake-up call for hardcore Conservatives, or if they will continue to bury their heads in the sand… business as usual… while their very ideals and ideologies die.

True, the death has been slow and painful…

… but appears imminent, nonetheless.

Unless, of course, Specter’s party jump is taken for the big, loud, eye-opening jolt that it should be taken for.

Fox News’ Michael Goodwin even goes so far as to call Specter’s switch a nail in the clueless GOP’s coffin.

Ouch.

I expect GOP talking heads, as Michael Steele has done, to publicly complain, crying foul at Specter’s “flip of the bird” at the Republican Party…

… But if they’re smart, they’re searching their souls behind closed doors.

Michael Steele is 100% correct after all.

Specter’s flippin’ y’all the hell off.

We are 100 days into Obama’s presidency, and while critics have certainly had a lot of fun in the past 3+ months, it seems the Democratic Party is getting increasingly stronger.

Already dangerously close to that magical number of 60, the Dems have now gained Arlen Spector… and likely Al Franken from Minnesota (heck, he’s already hired a chief of staff!).

If it works out… and it looks like it will… the magic number will be met.

This means the Repubs will officially be screwed.

Err… worse than they already are, that is.

I’m not so naive as to think Specter is a “real” Democrat… he’s still Conservative, and has all but admitted to switching parties solely to keep his seat.

He hasn’t had any great epiphanies, and his ideals remain unchanged.

His motivation is to win, and he knows his own party, the GOP, is not currently the winning ticket.

Regardless, for the time being, he is more likely to vote with the Dems… Personally I don’t care what his motivation is, provided we get the job done.

All I can do now is grab my popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show, and knowing how predictable this ending will be- doesn’t lessen the fun I’m having at all.

Not even a li’l bit.

The question is, underneath all the spewing and sputtering, does the GOP recognize what they are doing to themselves?

Are they now beginning to see that their long-held ideals are being unraveled by their own hands?

… And even if they do finally see it, will it be too late to make a difference?

Regardless, it’s all quite entertaining.