Archive for Politics

Meet the Candidates: Rudolph William Louis Giuliani (Update)

Okay, I was wrong. A week ago last Sunday I wrote this about Rudy Giuliani:

Giuliani’s single biggest weakness right now is his support for the occupation in Iraq and his continued support for neo-imperialist wars. This is almost certainly calculated to draw as many fundamentalists and industrialists to the primary polls as possible, but it’s a bit like shortening a baseball bat so you can swing it faster. By taking a position opposed by a good two-thirds of voters, he might as well give up now.

While anyone still supporting the occupation of Iraq is nearly as boneheaded as a Pachycephalosaurus, his main weakness right now is the fact that he is certifiably insane. While Giuliani was speaking about (read: lying about) the Democratic candidates’ foreign policies, he said: “Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden] to the inauguration or the inaugural ball.” Uh-huh.

To review, we have a paranoid-delusional Baptist minister, a “dumb as hell” actor, a senator with clear signs of senile dementia, and a simply idiotic serial monogamist running for the Republican nomination. So, Mitt, it’s up to you to make it a perfecta: might I suggest schizophrenia? Who knows, maybe receiving campaign advice straight from God will help.

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Let’s Play the Forest Fire Blame Game!

Politicians in California and the federal Government have already begun their bickering over who is responsible for the poor response to the fires in southern California, with Ruben Grijalva, the head of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, blaming the Marines and the federal Forest Service’s poor leadership for grounding two dozen water dropping helicopters. To tell the truth, I’m not all that interested in this fight, since I already know where to put the blame.
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Just Say No (To Drug Laws)

Turns out that punishment doesn’t decrease the number of people smoking marijuana. My source? No, not Cannabis Culture. Actually, the British Crime Survey (the equivalent of FBI crime statistics) released today found that the number of 16- to 24-year olds using marijuana has fallen 7 percent in the last decade, even though it was downgraded from a class B illegal drug (up to 5 years in prison) to a class C drug (up to 2 years) in 2004. In fact, since it was downgraded, it has fallen each year. Aside from being an ostrich-sized egg in the face of PM Brown, who’s taken up Reagan’s mantle, spreading urban myths about “super-weed” and trying to put marijuana back on the B list, it’s a bit of a blow to American drug policy, especially the “lock kids up ’til they have gray hair” part. Which is, of course, the only part of American drug policy.

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Meet the Candidates: Rudolph William Louis Giuliani

You may recall that, way back in February, I started a series on the presidential candidates. I’m afraid, dear hearts, that there’s only two more (Giuliani and Fred Thomson). Not because I’m leaving (deity-of-your-choice forbid!), but because Hilary Clinton is so far ahead of her competitors that the primary campaign might as well be over. But don’t worry, this one’s a doozy. Let’s meet Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, the election-postponing, national-security-endangering, flip-flopping, ball-dropping, child-abusing-priest-protecting, 9-11 exploiting, philanthropist-money-stealing, freedom-hating, waterboarding, Parkinson’s-patient-abusing, phony-phone-call-taking, free-speech-muzzling sonuvabitch with more ties to the mob than Mitt Romney has follicles.

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I Do Love My State

I have been sans internet (and worse, sans news) for the last several weeks, so I’m sorry for the sudden disappearance of sane, conservative-taunting, bleeding heart commentary you’ve come to expect from me.

With that out of the way, I have this little bit of news I heard last night listening to my local Air America/Nova M/Mother Jones radio station. Oregon is now the seventh state to protect student journalists in high school and college from censorship, even from their parents. If a student-run paper is censored by the administration, they can now sue for relief (a provision that would allow for recovery of attorney fees was stricken from the bill, unfortunately). A small victory, yes, but a sweet one.

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Why We Have Hate Crime Laws

I just read this wonderful article by Michael Dorf on FindLaw about Bush’s threat to veto the proposed hate crimes bill. He points out that, while it is possible to argue against hate crime laws in general on the basis of constitutionality, Bush’s real motive is more likely homophobia. Well, that’s a little obvious, but it needed to be said.

Anyway, I was listening to Thom Hartmann on Friday, and he and his callers were talking about the veto and why we need hate crime laws in the first place. Thom said that the reason we have harsher punishments for crimes motivated by hatred towards a certain group is because it is intended to spread fear. (Which, BTW, is not prohibited by the First Ammendment; see Virginia vs. Black. Fuck off, libertarians.)

True, but the main reason we must have federal hate crime laws is because local law enforcement (especially in conservative areas, where hate crimes are more likely to take place) tends to turn a blind eye to crimes against blacks, gays, transexuals, etc. Hate crime laws allows the federal government to step in and investigate a crime when the local authorities fail to do so.

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Quick Hit: My Dream Cabinet

Okay, like I said, updates have been sporadic lately; aside from finals, I’m in a back brace (enormous pain in the butt). So, in lieu of a weighty tome, allow me to jump way ahead of even the most speculative pundits, and propose a partial cabinet for the Democratic administration beginning in 2009 (I’m assuming a Clinton/Obama ticket):

  • Secretary of State | Bill Richardson (but, by the way, out here in the real West, people know that handguns are used only to kill people)
  • Secretary of Defense | Wesley Clark
  • Attorney General | John Edwards
  • Secretary of the Interior | Bobby Kennedy Jr.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services | John Kitzhaber (and not just because he’s from Oregon)
  • Secretary of Education | Paul Evans (a little known Oregon State Senate candidate and professor from here in Salem)
  • Secretary of Veteran Affairs | John Kerry or Max Cleland
  • White House Chief of Staff | Mike Gravel

This leaves:

  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of Energy

which I’m not sure about yet.

(And, yes, I deliberately left out the Secretary of Homeland Security. That’s another, very long post.)

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