Sunday, October 29, 2006

GOP Get Contributions from Gay Porn Maker!

Well is there no end to political hypocrisy?? The GOP ran ads accusing Harold Ford Jr. of taking political contributions frm "porn movie producers," and cum (sic) to find out, the RNC has been the recieving end of regular contributions from Nicholas T. Boyias, owner and CEO of Marina Pacific Distributors, one of the largest producers and distributors of gay porn in the U.S. Some of their recent releases include "Fire in the Hole," "Flesh and Boners,' and their new hit "Velvet Mafia."

Now, I have nothing against porn, especially gay porn, since I am a mass consumer of it myself, but the hypocrisy of the GOP accusing Democrats of being too "gay" and taking contributions from porn when they seem to have a gay closet the size of a Wal-Mart Super Store and take not just PORN contributions, but GAY PORN contributions! Now if HFJ got contributions from a STRAIGHT porn maker, and the GOP is getting contributions form a GAY porn maker, now that would be an interesting ad for HFJ to run in TN!

And, why would a GAY PORN producer want to support the GOP???

I'm off to Inz & Outz to rent "Velvet Mafia"!

See Talking Points Memo For more on this story!

P.S.
I was kidding, I will NOT be renting Velvet Mafia and support the GOP! Now I'm worried, which gay porn studios are supporting the GOP so I will know which ones to not rent or buy. I want a list!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bush & Ford Attack Gays for Political Gain

Harold Ford Jr. and George W. Bush have so much in common: both are from political families and used their family names to get elected; both support the imperialist neo-conservative plan for U.S. global domination; both supported the illegal invasion of Iraq; both support the theocratic agenda of the religious right; neither respects the "separation of church and state"; both *use* relligion for political power; both pander to religious fundamentalists; and both claim to be defending the "traditional family" by opposing equal civil rights for gays and lesbians.

You would expect, then, that both would offer the same response to the New Jersey court decision that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same rights and obligatons given to married heterosexual couples.

Harold Ford Jr.'s response:
"I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it."

On his website, HFJ contradicts himself by saying he is opposed to marriage equality for gays and lesbians, but not opposed to the civil rights of gays and lesbians:
"I will continue to be pro-family, including supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, without taking away the civil rights of gays and lesbians."
Harold Ford Jr., "My Faith as My Guide" (www.HaroldFordjr.com)

Similarly, George W. Bush has attacked the NJ court decision, trying to shore up support among the anti-gay religious right by attacking "activist judges" and campaigning for GOP candidates to "defend traditional marriage."

Both Bush and Ford share the untenable position that gay couples are entitled to equal civil rights, but not marriage. Both misrepresent what the NJ court decision actually says. It says exactly what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney said in 2004!

As pointed out by John Aravosis on AmericaBlog:

George Bush came out in support of gay civil unions before the 2004 election. He believes gay couples should get the benefits of marriage, but not marriage itself. The New Jersey Sup Ct just ruled the same. The rules specifically says NO to gay marriage, but YES to providing some kind of benefits to gay couples. That is George Bush's position as enunciated prior to the 2004 elections.

Here is the ruling.
Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this State, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution....

To bring the State into compliance with Article I, Paragraph 1 so that plaintiffs can exercise their full constitutional rights, the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes or enact an appropriate statutory structure within 180 days of the date of this decision....

We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.


Here is George Bush endorsing gay civil unions in 2004:
Elisabeth Bumiller
The New York Times
Published: October 26, 2004

"President Bush said in an interview this past weekend that he disagreed with the Republican Party platform opposing civil unions of same-sex couples and that the matter should be left up to the states."

"Mr. Bush has previously said that states should be permitted to allow same-sex unions, even though White House officials have said he would not have endorsed such unions as governor of Texas. But Mr. Bush has never before made a point of so publicly disagreeing with his party's official position on the issue."

"In an interview on Sunday with Charles Gibson, an anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC, Mr. Bush said, "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so." ABC, which broadcast part of the interview on Monday, is to broadcast the part about civil unions on Tuesday."....

"I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others."
-----

Now Bush is contradicting his OWN position by attacking the NJ court decision which says exactly what HE said in 2004! While Bush is on the record as supporting "civil unions" which would grant gay couples most of the same rights as marriage, HFJ has not even gone that far. Does he belive that gays and lesbians should have equal civil rights? If so, how can he oppose civil unions or marriage equality?

HFJ's clearly stated opposition to "gay marriage" has not stopped his Republican opponent from accusing him of supporting it. The GOP is so desperate they are trying to use "gay marriage" as a wedge issue again, hoping it will win them more support among African-American voters. Conservative Democrats lilke HFJ respond likewise by vehemently opposing marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Both parties are guilty of pretending to support the "civil rights" of gays and lesbians while OPPOSING their civil rights!

My question for both parties is: "Do you support equal rights for everyone? Do you support equal treatment for gays and lesbians? If so, how can you oppose equal civil marriage rights for them? Please justify denying us the same rights you enjoy!

I would also ask both Republicans and Democrats to quit denying basic human rights for gays and lesbians for their own political gain. Have some decency and respect the U.S. Constitution which gurantees equal rights for all and the separation of church and state!

A Progressive Mandate: Beyond Nov. 2006

Given the sorry shape of the Democratic Party, we will be lucky if they take back one or both ends of the Capitol Nov. 7, and it will only be because the Republican party is in even worse shape, for a change. Progressive Democrats will have their work cut out after Nov. 7, as we will have to fight to take control of our party back from the pro-war, corporatists who have been leading us to defeat for the past decade.

I couldn't say it better than Jeff Cohen on Commondreams.org

Two new videos...

"I Get Around" --- Someone made an ad of my confrontation with Isaac Ford, and they did a good job.

"Another Day, Another Meltdown" --- I'll repost the original description:

(Nashville) - Just days after Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D-Memphis) was caught on camera during his Memphis Meltdown, Ford senior staffers were caught on tape using profanity and aggressively manhandling a young Republican staffer – all while Congressman Ford stood by watching idly.

Friday, October 27, 2006

People Are Talkin'

A freind in Philly just sent me a link to this editorial blog from the Philladelphia Daily News about the recent ad campaign against Harold Jr. and his response. Here's an excerpt:

If we lived in Tennessee, we would be offended beyond belief by what's going on down there. The national political parties think that you're all "trailer trash," that Volunteers are going to drive their beat-up Silverado to the polls on Nov 7 to decide, who am I more scared of, the black or the gay? The gay, or the black?


Be sure to check out the comments underneath the piece. It gets really interesting.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bloggered

Anybody else having trouble with The Flypaper Theory? It won't finish loading and locks up on me. I think it might have something to do with that Kos posting.

You know, Kos controls all liberal blogs. I think we're seeing a display of his power.

HFJr Attacks New Jersey Court Decision/To the RIGHT of Bush!

Harold Ford jr. condemned the New Jersey Supreme Court decision that gay couples should have the same legal rights as married couples:

"I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it."

From the Daily Kos Harold Ford Jr. On New Jersey Court Decision on Gay Marriage

That means that HFJr is to the RIGHT of George W. Bush, who supported "civil unions" in 2004!

Do you need another reason to vote for Chris Lugo for U.S. Senate?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersey S.C. Agrees With George W. Bush!

The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the SAME legal rights as heterosexual couples. They stopped short of requiring the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, however, and gave the NJ legislature 180 days to either legalize marriage or offer an alternative like "civil unions" that would give the same rights as marriage. Three of the seven justices favored marriage, but the other four held out for civil unions.

I don't really understand why the courts, and a majority of the public, agrees that gays and lesbians should have the same "legal rights" as married couples, but they cannot accept gay "marriage." Sounds like the old "separate but equal" attempt to have it both ways.

Personally, I think "gay marriage" is a political loser for the next decade at least, and the LGBT movement should maybe focus on getting "civil unions" in every state and after the public and political leaders get used to the idea of "equal rights" for gay couples, then challenge the "separate but equal" argument in court and either force governments and the public to go with "marriage equality" or "civil unions" for gay and straight couples--pick one or the other. Even though it will take more time, I think this gradual approach to "marriage equality" would give the public and political leaders some time to accept gay marriage, and it will take away the right-wing's major election issue in the short run, which is hurting the Democratic Party.
Even Republicans seem to be embracing the "civil unions" and the need for "equal rights" for gay couples, including GEORGE W. BUSH, who endorsed civil unions back in 2004!

The anti-gay right will use the MA and NJ decisions on gay marriage/civil unions to press for the passage of anti-gay amendments like Amendment 1 in Tennessee. The ruling could be a set-back for gay marriage advocates fighting anti-gay marriage amendments, since it underscores the fact that in many states the courts are likely to follow the precedence of MA, NJ, and VT and require either marriage equality or civil unions for gay couples. But the anti-gay religious/Republican Right should be reminded that the NJ Supreme Court decision is THE SAME POSITION taken by GEORGE W. BUSH! See John Aravosis' post on America Blog:
NJ Supreme Court Decision Adopts the Position of George W. Bush

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Will the Dems Blow It ?

I share some of the concerns of Robert Parry in Will The Democrats Blow It?. I'm not allowing myself to buy into all the pre-victory celebration by many Democrats and progressives. Yes, the poll numbers show the Republicans are in trouble, but if you look close, there is not much enthusiasm for the Democrats either. If the Democrats win back either end of the Capitol, it will be because of an anti-Republican mood among voters and the disenchantment of the conservative Republican base with their party.

As usual, and expected, the Republican Party is playing mean and dirty with their ads and campaigns. They are using outrageous personal attack ads, and fear of terrorism and "San Francisco Liberals" like Nancy Pelosi. I have to say that I'm not too excited about Nancy Pelosi being the face of the Democratic Party in Congress either. Sure, on most issues she is "liberal", but I don't believe she will have the backbone and political support to stand up to Bush and possibly the Republican Senate. The Republicans will demonize her as they have Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy. In fact, they rarely mention one without the other. This will scare and rally southern conservatives to the Republican Party. And they are STILL attacking Demcrats for supporting gay marriage, even in states where conseravtive Democrats also oppose gay marriage and helped pass anti-gay marriage laws and amendments!

As Parry points out, while the Republicans are doing a pretty good job of scaring voters about having Nancy Pelosi and liberals in control of Congress, the Democratic Party is NOT counter-attacking with the scenario of what will happen if Repblicans win again! Bush used the GOP victories in 2004 as a justification for usurping more and more executive powers, subverting U.S. and international law, and "staying the course" in Iraq, with thousands more dead, with an eye on Iran and or Syria next. Why aren't the Democrats painting that picture clearly for voters? And what about some bold initiatives on health care (anyone heard of "universal health insurance" lately?)? The Democrats are in a bad position politically as well, since they have to appeal to "independent" moderate and conservative voters to win the House and Senate. If they go too far to the right (as they are in Tennessee with Harold Ford Jr.) they risk losing progressives. If they don't go far enough to the right, they will not win enough of those conservative voters in the tight races in "RED" states. And if the Democrats do win, will they drop the ball like they did the last time they were in control of Congress?

So while I hope the Democrats can at least win the House, I'm not ready to celebrate. Trick or Treat?

(Cleaned up a few typos and added paragraph breaks. - autoegocrat)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Judas Goat

I usually don't do this, but once in a while, I have to make an exception. I do this not to call out someone who's made a comment here, but because I think this is something that should be addressed publicly.

TennMom wrote to me in a response to another post:

As a lifelong Tennessee Democrat, I understand your frustration. I'm not thrilled with Ford's votes during this latest session but, throwing away your vote in a race this close is no solution. Yes, Ford voted with the Republicans half the time on key votes. Rest assured that Corker will vote 100% of the time for whatever Bush wants. I'll settle for 50% anti-Bush over 100% pro-Bush any day. Corker must not be elected if we are to loosen Bush's grip on Iraq and on our own freedoms. Every Democrat who refuses to vote in this race is helping Bob Corker. Now that is something to think about.

MORE...

That is SO Jake...

For all those who wondered, Harold Ford Jr. has proven once again that yes, he and Jake are related. For Harold’s latest campaign stunt clearly seems to be more in line with the Jake Ford “This is WWE stuff. We gotta bark at each other. Bark!” campaign style than anything one could expect to see out of sober adults.

MORE...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vote NO on Amendment 1!



Here's another reason to voter for Chris Lugo for U.S. Senate!

Vote for the candidate who is on OUR side!

Chris Lugo for U.S. Senate!

Vote NO on Amendment 1!

Chris Lugo for U.S. Senate!



Because the "Democratic" candidate for U.S. Senate has been outspoken in his opposition to gay and lesbian civil rights, and has twice voted for the REPUBLICAN anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment, which the Democratic Party Platform and DNC chair Howard Dean has condemned as a Republican attempt to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution, I cannot and will not vote for or support the election of Harold Ford Jr. to the U.S. Senate. More than gay marriage, HFJ has crossed party lines and supported many other Republican anti-democratic bills, including the anti-consumer bankruptcy bill, he supported the illegal invasion of Iraq, he sides with the theocratic Christian Right and does not respect the separation of church and state, he most recently voted for the Republican attempt to change U.S. law on torture and unconsitutional wire-tapping of U.S. citizens to support the illegal criminal actions of the Bush Administration. Furthermore, he has refused to endorse or support the DEMOCRATIC candidate for his current congressional seat, Steve Cohen.

For all of these reasons, I have endorsed the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Chris Lugo!
If you are a progressive who supports the rights of gays, women, workers, if you support the separation of church and state, if you oppose the illegal invasion of Iraq and unjustified wars, you have only ONE choice for U.S. Senate, Chris Lugo.

I've heard all the reasons for voting for HFJr, mainly to help the Democrats take control of the Senate. It looks like the Democrats will take back the House of Representatives, but to take the Senate they will probably, though not necessarily, need Harold Ford Jr. to win. It is not worth sacrificing progressive, even DEMOCRATIC PARTY, principles and positions just to elect Harold Ford Jr. Even if he were elected, he would NOT be a voice for progressive issues in the Senate. He will move further to the RIGHT. He will be focusing all of his attention on getting re-elected in a conservative Republican state, so he will (contintue) to vote with Republicans on many issues to appeal to conservative voters in Tennessee. He is already attacking Nancy Pelosi (who he opposed as minority leader in the House), and other "liberal" Democratic leaders, and he would continue to position himself as a conservative "democrat" in the Senate. Progressive Democrats should not help elect him to the Senate!

I've heard some pretty lame personal attacks on Chris Lugo by some progressives who do not like his appearance, or attack him for not "proving" himself worthy of their vote. I"m not sure exactly what someone has to do to "prove" themselves. Chris Lugo is not rich, he is not a "lawyer" or wealthy business owner. Chris Lugo is honest, hard working, and committed to social justice. And he offers the ONLY progressive alternative to Harold Ford Jr. or Bob Corker.

Some have said they would rather not vote at all or write in a vote. Why? If we want to send a "message" to HFJ and the Democratic Party inTN, we need to make our votes "count" as much as possible, and the best way to do that is for us all to vote for Chris Lugo, and vote for the issues we believe in and support. Not voting for a Senate candidate or just writing someone in will not do anything. Voting for Chris Lugo will make it clear how many voters support progressive values and positions and may add up enough votes to stop HFJ from winning.

Join me in voting for peace and social justice.. Vote for Chris Lugo for U.S. Senate!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Two and a Half Men - The Ninth District Congressional Debate

When a candidate as ill-suited for public life as Jake Ford comes along, the people that are writing about him hold back a little bit. Telling the truth can start to look like a rambling polemic if you're not careful, and the line separating the two is a delicate one.

But sometimes, the elephant in the room becomes impossible to ignore.

We reached that point Monday night at The Warehouse downtown, scene of the Ninth District Congressional Debate.

Two of the three participants performed exactly as expected. Steve Cohen was poised and professional, only briefly giving way to anger when a relentless barrage of attacks reached a fevered pitch. Mark White, as always, came across as poised, well spoken, and genuinely nice, if perhaps not a wellspring of ideas. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you could watch either of their performances without saying “I’m moving” if they win.

Despite the statements Jake Ford made Sunday night, he did indeed show up for the debate. All in all, it likely would have been better for his campaign had he stayed home.

MORE...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Voting Ford--- Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

If you ever needed proof that the political world has been turned upside down, this is it. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has posted a response to “blatantly false accusations” that Ford… acted like a Democrat.

To borrow a phrase from my friend Pesky Fly--- I’m shitting you negative. The DSCC, in defending a Democrat, has decided that a wise course of action is to point out just how often he breaks ranks with the Democrats.

My problem isn’t just with his voting record, although that’s deplorable enough. It’s his pathological need to undermine the Democratic Party at every turn.

The Washington Post compiled a list of sixteen key votes in the 109th Congress. Of those sixteen, Harold voted with the Republicans on eight of them. And this page was compiled before his votes on the torture bill and the wiretapping bill. Of eighteen major votes in his most recent term, he voted against us on ten of them.

MORE...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just Like A Republican...

In case you were still holding back on deciding whether to vote for HFJr, this should bring you over to the growing list of progressive liberal Democrats who have jumped ship with me and will not be voting for Harold Ford Jr. Daddy Ford Sr. came to town to help out his boys, and at a campaign rally advertised as a Harold Ford Jr. rally, asked DEMOCRATIC voters to vote for his other son Jake, who is running as an INDEPENDENT in the 9th Dist. House race against the DEMOCRATIC candidate, Steve Cohen. Not only that, but he attacked Steve Cohen as being "too liberal" and accused him of supporting same-sex marriage, gambling and legalizing marijuana (he must have given those talking points to Jake), and he said Memphis is a "Christian city." I don't know where to begin, but it is very sad to see Harold Ford Sr. sink so low. Not only is he lying about Steve Cohen's record and positions, he is attacking the civil rights of gays and lesbians and disregarding the constitutional separation of church and state. The Ford's are playing the race, religion and gay cards, just like REPUBLICANS!

Harold Ford Sr.:
"I’m a proud papa! I’m a proud papa. If someone would tell me that Jake is running as an independent and I’m a Democrat, well, Jake is a Democrat. Jake couldn’t have been raised in my house unless he was a Democrat! And a person was saying, I want a real … Well, there ain’t no more real Democrat than me! Jake is a product of me. He’s a part of me. If you like what you had in the past, don’t give it up now!
His opposition won’t even come to the community and ask for their votes. He’ll run and put out pictures and put out press releases and try to distort my son. I’m asking all of you: Don’t let this man reject Jake Ford Jr (sic). Now, Jake Ford Jr. is the man that you need. And I promise you that Jake Ford Jr. – he don’t believe in no same-sex marriages! We’re from a Christian city here. He doesn’t believe in legalizing marijuana. This man that’s running against Jake wants some sex shops running in downtown Memphis on a Sunday! That’s our religious holiday. He shouldn’t be doing that and then saying he’s the most liberal Democrat. He is too liberal! I mean, paramutual betting. And this lottery! A lottery ain’t nothing but a tax on poor people. And why would you brag about lottery. And the very people that the lottery’s supposed to help are the very people that can’t go to college and benefit from it. So I say to you: Trust me, you trusted me as your congressman. We don’t know much about the other person. He missed 49 percent of his votes in 18 years in the state Senate.
And I’m asking you: when you go to that poll, don’t vote for no Steve Cohen. You vote for Jake Ford as your next congressman."

Read HFSr.'s full speech at the Memphis Flyer Senior on the Stump.
I guess being a lying, two-faced opportunistic, spineless politican runs in the family.
Now many people are still saying we have to vote for Jr. in order to help the Democrats win control of Congress, but I agree with Marty Assenburg's excellent column in the Memphis Flyer Are the Religious Right?, if we care about the separation of church and state, we cannot support or vote for Harold Ford Jr.! The Democrats will probably take back the House, we do NOT have to sacrifice our PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC Principles by voting for Harold Ford Jr., who does not even support the Democratic Party's candidate for his current position in Congress.
And if those "win at any cost" lemmings over on Daily Kos(who attack those of us speaking out against HFJR and call us "trolls") represent the Democratic Party, then it is truly a bankrupt party, which will support a candidate running AGAINST his own party, AGAINST the platform of the Democratic Party, attacking the leadership of the Democratic Party (Nany Pelosi, etal.) and will not even support the Democratic Party's candidates! Why should we support HFJr to "defend the Democratic P arty" if he does not represent or support the Democratic Party??!!?? Why did the DNC and Bill Clinton etal. support a candidate who is running a REPUBLICAN campaign? How can the DNC, Howard Dean, etal, condemn BUSH and the GOP for trying to write discrimination against gays into the constitution and support a "Democratic" candidate who supports the same thing? What about legalizing torture? Same thing. How can the Democratic Party defend the separation of church and state, and support candidates who do NOT and who appeal to religious bigots who support a theocratic government??
I will say it again: STOP HAROLD FORD JR.!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Jake Ford to Miss Tonight's Debate

I have the complete story on the River City Mud Bugle.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Wages of Spin

Jake Ford held a press conference. That's part of the playbook for a politician whose campaign is about to be rocked by scandal; When you find out that the story will be broken by a major media outlet the next day, you hold a press conference as the story goes to press so that it looks like getting the story out there was your idea.

Unfortunately for Jake, his performance at the press conference actually made his performance at the League of Women Voters debate look solid by comparison.

He had mentioned ONE arrest on the Jennings Bernard Show. In the press conference, he admitted that it was more like four, but he sounded less than convincing even when he said that. "I've been arrested, I believe, maybe four times total".

Huh? Has it happened so often that you can't remember? Personally, I've never been arrested, but I would assume that it's a more memorable event in your life than that. I think most law abiding citizens wouldn't have to guess at that one.

He says that the assault arrest was "erroneous". Is he saying that his father didn't recognize the guy that was beating him up? As in "I only thought it was my son that was breaking my ribs. It was actually the one-armed man"?

MORE...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jake's Arrest Record

I wasn't expecting it online until much later tonight, but the Commercial Appeal has given us a taste of tomorrow morning's cover story: Jake's arrest record.

Go check it out.

Try to keep a straight face as he insists that getting arrested over and over is simply a case of "mistaken identity" and discrimination.

Also try to keep a straight face as he pretends that the stress of his father's indictment for bank fraud was so overwhelming that little Jake had no option other than attacking his father and breaking his ribs.

MORE...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love, Scare Tactics, and the MMA

North Korea has been in the news for the last several days because they’ve allegedly tested a nuclear weapon. But did it really even happen?

Is anyone suspicious of the fact that the Financial Times website has overhead satellite views of the North Korean nuclear facilities, yet the North Koreans managed to test a nuclear weapon in the one pocket of the world not covered by aerial satellites?

Would Kim Jong Il try to pump up his nation’s image by creating the myth of a nuclear test? At home, he tells the North Koreans that international leaders abroad refer to him by a series of absurd honorifics including “The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love”, “Master of the Computer Who Surprised the World”, and “Present-day God”. He also claims to have scored 38 under par the first time he ever played golf, so the idea of him stretching the truth to grandiose proportions is not an unrealistic notion.

It’s certainly true that a seismic event was detected in North Korea the day the test is alleged to have happened. South Korea measured it at 3.6 on the Richter scale. To put that number into perspective, the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994 was a 6.7--- 1000 times stronger than the seismic event measured in North Korea that day. The South Koreans estimate that to trigger the kind of seismic event that took place in North Korea, the blast was equivalent to 550 tons of TNT. The bombs we dropped on Japan over half a century ago are estimated to have been the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. If nuclear fission even took place that day, it carried less explosive power than some of our traditional munitions.

Is this cause to take this lightly? Not quite. The thoughts of a leader such as Kim Jong Il in possession of even the weakest nuclear weapon is a discomforting thought. It’s estimated (Again, assuming that what the North Koreans have told us is true) that they have enough fissionable material to make between 4 and 13 nuclear weapons, depending upon the size. In the meantime, every ship coming out of North Korea is closely watched by our intelligence agencies. Those are their only delivery systems--- Their missile that they claimed could reach the west coast of the United States crashed less than a minute after liftoff when it was tested in July, traveling only slightly less distance than a Jason Giambi foul ball before crashing.

The greatest danger of the North Korea situation is not some attack from North Korea. As much as Kim refers to himself as “the Supreme Commander at the Forefront of the Struggle Against Imperialism and the United States”, in the grand scheme of things, he’s a mosquito at worst.

The greatest danger is that while the media and the government focus their attention on this, we’re letting the greatest danger to America fester.

And no--- I’m not talking about Iran. Much like North Korea, Iran has no long range delivery options for a nuclear weapon, and a navy that consists of slightly more than three guys in a fishing boat.

MORE...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya

Journalism, at its best, goes beyond the bald recitation of facts. Sometimes it fails, and sometimes it succeeds, but it always carries the responsibility of giving a voice to the voiceless. It gives us facts we do not know while giving us a perspective that we can’t find anywhere else.

Such a journalist was Anna Politkovskaya.

The Chechen struggle for independence from Russia has been undermined and overshadowed by the violent acts of a handful of extremists. Everyone knows of the downing of the Russian jetliners and the horrific siege at Beslan.

Not everyone is as familiar with Chechen separatists being picked up by Russian military or police and being found dead days later, or the routine beatings doled out by Russian authorities as they struggle to hang onto the last remnants of their former empire. Nor are they familiar with the stories of Chechens crowded into refugee camps, nor had they heard the tales told by injured Russian soldiers fighting an insurrection for reasons that no one could explain in terms that made any sense.

Those were the stories that Anna Politkovskaya told. And perhaps they were the stories that got her killed. She was murdered in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building yesterday.

MORE...

The Gay-Bashing Ford Bros.

It sure seems like Jake and Harold Ford Jr. are in some kind of contest to prove which one can get the most homophobic votes Nov. 7. Harold has been campaigning all over the state attacking gay rights and laughing at the idea of gay marriage with the Joe Bob and Sally May rebel flag wavers across the state, and Jake, being the very macho hetero man HE is (sic), attacks Steve Cohen for supporting queer marriage, but suggesting maybe Cohen is a fag!

Here's the exchange in Sunday's debate as reported by Jackson Baker in the Memphis Flyer:

Ford asserted that Cohen was too “liberal” for the 9th District, citing what he said was the longtime state senator’s support of “gambling” (Cohen is the acknowledged father of the state lottery), “legalized marijuana” (the senator sponsored legislation on behalf of medical marijuana), and “same-sex marriage” (which Cohen denied favoring, saying that he had voted for legislation on behalf of traditional marriage and only opposed constitutional tampering).

The exchanges between Ford and Cohen became ever brisker, with Ford continuing to harp on the same-sex issue and saying that Cohen’s position was "certainly I hope not for personal reasons.."

Here we go again, Harold Ford Jr. played the same gay-bashing card when Cohen ran against him for the Dist. 9 seat several elections ago. It's bad enough that Cohen had to say that he opposes the civil rights of gays to marry, but to still get attacked for being too gay is really pathetic. By the way Jake, I didn’t realize that was you lurking outside the SCDP Exec meeting last Thursday night! Work on firming up that handshake and work on that lisp!

I didn't watch all of the Ford/Corker debate, because I cannot stand to watch HFJr primp around on stage and avoid answering questions directly and continue to say absolutely NOTHING. I still don't know where stands on ANYTHING! He gives new meaning to the phrase "slick willie".

I detest Harold Ford Jr, and I hope there are not enough stupid homophobic bigots to elect his brother Joke!

Cohen still gets my vote, but it will be a blizzard in hades before I vote for Harld Ford Jr.

P.S.
And JR., is there ANY truth at all to those stories circulating in the gay community about you and a certain adult bookstore near a certain airport??? And now you are quoted on WKNO as saying "I like girls. I can't help it. If that's a bad thing, I'm in trouble." Hmmm.. I ain't touching that!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Problem with the "Foley Problem"

I have to agree with this commentary by John Nichols in The Nation, The Problem with the Foley Problem
Democrats, especially "liberal progressive" Democrats have mistakenly labelled Foley a "pedophile" (which involves sexual attraction to pre-adolescent children), which we have no evidence of (yet), and have reinforced the anti-gay Religioius Right's stereoype of gay men as child molestors. So far all of pages Foley has tried to seduce have been over the age of consent in Washington D.C. (16). What Fole did was wrong and unethical for other reasons, just like a teacher pursuing sexual relationships with students even if they are over the "age of consent," i.e., abuse of their power and position.

As Nichols points out, the real scandal is not Foley, that is another problem, the scandal is a REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP scandal and coverup. It is one of many scandals plaguing the most corrupt Congress in decades (from the Jack Abramoff scandals, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham...) one by one, Republicans in Washington are being hauled off to jail, or "rehab". And the most criminal of all is still occupying the White House and needs to be removed from power if the Democrats win back Congress and have any political backbone.

Democrats and Progressives have not been able to focus on the big scandals, or the lies and crimes of the Bush Administration. It has taken a "sex scandal" that does not seem to involve any sexual contact thus far, to get the media and the Democratic Party fired up.

Let's hope between now and Nov. 7, the personal attacks on Foley do not back fire, and the Democrats can get as much traction out of the far more serious issues and scandals plaguing the Republican Congress and White House.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

GOP/Foley-Gate Unravels

The Foley-gate Page scandal continues to unravel, taking so many twists and turns that even I am having a hard time keeping up with it myself.

For what it is worth, it turns our that Mark Foley was a "quiet" champion of gay rights, contrary to my initial suspicions that he was an "Uncle Tom Republican" who was working against the civil rights of gays and lesbians. See this Palm Beach Post story for more info.

In addition to former Foley Aid, and recently resigned chief of staff for tom Reynolds (R-NY), Kirk Fordham, several other Republican leaders and staffers have contradicted House Speaker Dennis Hastert's denial of prior knowledge of Foley's inappropriate interactions with pages. On Sept. 30, National Republican Congressional Chairman Tom Reynolds issued a statement in which he said that he had informed Speaker Dennis Hastert of the allegations of improper contacts between Foley and a former male page. Accoding to Roll Call, GOP sources said Reynolds told Hastert in early 2006.

The Washington Post reports on Oct. 7, that one of Hastert's own staff members says that Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, met with Foley at the Capitol to discuss complaints about Foley's behavior long before Hastert says aides in his office dispatched Rep. John Shimkus (R-ILL) and the clerk of the House in Nov. 2005 to confront Foley about the emails sent to a Louisianna page. The staff member's account buttresses the position of Foley's former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who said that he had appealed to palmer in 2003 or earlier to intervene.

There has been a lot of discussion of a "list" of closted gay Republican staffers, including some of the names mentioned above, in the blogs and some news media outlets. David Corn and other bloggers have been talking about such a list but no one was sure about its source. It appears that one source is Mike Rogers, who is threatening to begin publicizing one closted gay staffer a day beginning Monday on his blog BlogActive. "Beginning Monday, and every weekday thereafter, I will be identifying the name of a closeted senior staffer in Congress with the hopes that those investigating this matter will make sure to include them in their questioning. And I hope the press looks for them as well. It's time to rid the government of those that would harm us." (This is the blogger that Mike Fleming asked me about on his radio show, and at that time I did not know about.) Several "gay activists" have been advocating "outing" these closted gay Republicans to expose their hypocrisy of working for anti-gay politicians to advance the GOP's anti-gay agenda and to educate the anti-gay Christian Right Republican base about the fact that closted homosexuals are advancing their agenda in the Republican Party. Not sure if this is a good idea.

At the same time, CBS reports (Oct. 4) that "several top Republican staffers who handled the Foley matter are also gay. Their role in this controversy has caused a firestorm among GOP conservatives, who charge that a group of high-level gay Republican staffers were protecting a gay Republican congressman." (CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger, Oct. 4)

Anti-gay conservatives from groups like the Family Research Center have been circling the news talk shows making the claim that Republicans were being "politically correct" by not wanting to appear to attack gays and that it is why they covered up knowledge of Foley's behavior toward pages.

So it seems like two opposed groups from the Left and the Right are trying to finger the closeted gay GOP staffers. Some on the gay left want to expose the hypocrisy of these gay Republicans working on behalf of the GOP anti-gay agenda, while anti-gay conservatives want to blame these closted gays for covering up for Foley.

In more news, conservatives (including Sean Hannity and local conservative radio host Mike Fleming) are now targeting CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), the group which helped publicize the emails sent from Foley to former pages. CREW monitors violations of ethics and has exposed many recent ethical violations by members of Congress. Hannity and other conservatives have FALSEY accused CREW of withholding Foley's communications and putting politics over the safety of congressional pages. As Media Matters points out however, CREW provided the FBI with the emails two months before ABC News reported their existence, and the FBI failed to act on them.

The evidence is that it was the REBPUBLICANS who put their own partisan interests ahead of the truth and the welfare of congressional pages by not acting on the repeated warnings by REPUBLICAN staffers and leaders about Foley's innappropriate behavior toward the congressional pages. It is REPUBLICANS, NOT Democrats, who are in control of Congress and the committees overseeing the pages, it is the REPUBLICANS who knew about Foley's behavior and did nothing, it is the REPUBLICANS who tried to coverup the facts in this case. It is REPUBLICANS who are accusing Hastert and the GOP leaders of not responding to their warnings about Foley and it is REPUBLICANS as well as Democrats calling for Hastert to resign.

Those, are the facts you won't hear on right-wing talk shows!

Friday, October 06, 2006

La Cage Aux Foley II: Got Irony?

Man, someone has to hit me with some instructions on how to get footage from my cable DVR into the computer and upload it onto YouTube...

I love those "To Catch a Predator" shows on Dateline NBC. I'm violently opposed to adults preying on underage kids for sex, and I damn near jump up and cheer every time one of these sick bastards gets put in the cuffs.

I was watching one tonight--- After all this Foley stuff this week, I could stand a pick me up. I like knowing that, unlike Dennis Hastert and others, there are indeed people willing to step up and protect underage kids.

As the show drew to a close, they ran a teaser talking about Mark Foley. So I started recording.

Until I figure out how to do the whole video thing, here's a transcript:

MORE...

Chism Endorses Cohen

“I am going to vote for every Democratic nominee, including Senator Cohen.” - County Commissioner Sidney Chism

Read Jackson Baker's fine article by clicking here.

In addition, Governor Phil Bredesen and Mayor Herenton voiced their support for Cohen. Cohen, Herenton, and Chism all voiced their support for Harold Ford Jr. in his Senate race.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shelby County Democrats Pass Resolution Opposing Amendment 1!

Thank you Shelby County Democratic Party Executive Committee for passing this resolution opposing the anti-gay Amendment 1! I'm proud of the SCDP!! Thanks to Desi Franklin, David Holt and the rest of the EC for defending LGBT people and supporting the Democratic Party Platform!

RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE SHELBY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPPOSING AMENDMENT 1 TO THE TN STATE CONSTITUTION:

RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, On November 7, 2006, Tennessee voters will go to the polls to vote on whether or not to amend the Tennessee State Constitution to prohibit same gender marriage by the adoption of Amendment 1 (the text of which is set out in full as an attachment to this resolution.); and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Constitution contains no language discriminating against any group of Tennesseans and has never, heretofore, been amended to include language that expressly denies equal treatment to any group of Tennesseans; and

WHEREAS, the position of the Democratic Party in opposition to the adoption of Federal and State constitutional amendments prohibiting same gender marriage is on record through the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee as follows:

"…Because Democrats value all families, we are committed to the funda-mental principle that every American has the right to live in dignity, with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. …Republicans in Washington are …scapegoating LGBT families for partisan gain.”

"This is morally wrong, and it hurts LGBT Americans. Democrats are committed to fighting this hateful, divisive amendment and to fighting similarly discriminatory ballot initiatives in states across the country. We strongly oppose any attempt to write discrimination into law - whether it be at the local or state levels or in the United States Constitution." (Chairman Howard Dean, Proclamation 6/1/06); and

WHEREAS, the Executive Committee of the Shelby County Democratic Party wishes to join the National Democratic Party in its opposition to writing discrimination into the Tennessee Constitution by opposing the adoption of Amendment 1;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that all Tennessee voters are hereby urged to oppose the attempt to write discrimination into the Tennessee Constitution through proposed Amendment 1 by voting “NO” against the adoption of Amendment 1 during early voting or on election day, November 7, 2006; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be adopted and recorded in the minutes of the Executive Committee of the Shelby County Democratic Party; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Officers and committee members and each of them are hereby authorized to publicize this resolution as appropriate, including, without limitation, its publication on the website of the Shelby County Democratic Party and the websites of other organizations opposing the adoption of Amendment 1.

ADOPTED, this 5th day of October, 2006

ATTEST:

Chair Secretary

Harold Ford Jr. Gets the OJ Treatment

Okay, the fact that I'll never be president of the Harold Ford Jr. fan club is well documented.

But this is so wrong that it's making me reconsider my neutral position.

A recent campaign mailer sent out by the TN GOP soliciting funds for the campaign of Bob Corker features a darkened image of Harold Ford Jr., along with other racially tinged rhetoric.

I've got the full story up on the River City Mud Bugle website. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Get Ready for "The List" (The Coming Gay GOP Purge)

Get Ready.. the GOP and Karl Rove, are preparing their last desparate attempt to save the GOP in the November elections and fire up their anti-gay Religious Right base--they will blame the Foley scandal on "a cabal of gay staffers." Several blogs are reporting a developing story involving "the List"--a list of closeted gay Republican staffers who will be accused of protecting Foley and keeping information from the GOP Leadership.

You can read more about it on Joshua Marshall's Talking Points Memo and David Corns Blog

According to David Corn, The List includes 9 Chief of Staffs, 2 Press Secretaries and 2 directors of communications. He says that "some of the Religious Right's favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping to advance their agenda," including Katherine Harris, Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum." I believe Rick Santorum's dir. of commmunications (or someone like that) came out recently and even praised Rick Santorum! One person sure to be on The List, Kirk Fordham, Mark Foley's ex-chief of staff and the current Chief of Stafff for Rep. Thomas Reynolds. (BREAKING NEWS: FORDHAM IS RESIGNING!)

I'm sure this is something Karl Rove is busy planning, and don't forget that he had a gay step father who he was said to be very close to....

If things were not already pretty difficult for gays in the Republican Party, it is going to get even worse in the coming weeks as gays are purged from the party in Washington D.C.

Firewall

And the First to Fall on the Sword Is…

Kirk Fordham, Chief of Staff for Rep. Tom Reynolds. CNN is developing a story that he’s resigned in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal.

MORE...

Refuting the anti-gay Family Research Council

From River City Mud
Family Research Council Uses Foley Scandal to Bash Gays

The Family Research Council sent out the following press release this morning.

Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. Foley, an unmarried 52-year-old representative, had always refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation. Now that his emails and messages to teenage male pages have been revealed, it appears clear that Foley is a homosexual with a particular attraction to underage boys. While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. Although almost all child molesters are male and less than 3% of men are homosexual, about a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys–and in one study, 86% of such men identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual. Ignoring this reality got the Catholic Church into trouble over abusive priests, and now it is doing the same to the House GOP leadership. They discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley’s behavior–probably because they did not want to appear “homophobic.” The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children.

_____
Here is a refutation of Paul Cameron, the anti-gay “researcher” these claims are based on::

Facts about Molestation

This is also a good site to bookmark for general information about homosexuality and sexual orientation, it is maintained by real psychologists:
http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/index.html

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Foley & Uncle Tom Republicans

Initially, even I was sceptical of the attacks on Mark Foley, not because I like the man, but because I didn't see how asking a 16 year old congressional page for his picture made someone a "pedophile." But after seeing the more explicit emails and Instand Messages, he clearly went over the line of acceptable behavior, even if he is not technically a "pedophile" (sexual attraction toward pre-pubescent children).

Now Mark Foley "comes out" and says he is gay, and that he was molested as a child. Just what we need, another repressed homosexual Republican who decides to accept being gay after he is caught acting just like all those stereotypes the anti-gay religious right, the base of the Republican Party, pushes about gay men. The Family Research Council has already sent a press release blaming the Foley Scandal on "political correctness" that keeps society from treating every gay man as a pedophile who preys on children.

I'm not sure about Foley's record on supporting gay rights, but I imagine he was on the side of the ant-gay Republican Right most of the time. I call anti-gay conservative Republican homosexuals "Uncle Tom Republicans." Foley is now in the same club as James West (the anti-gay homosexual mayor of Spokane), Jeff Gannon (the the right-wing "journalist" and part-time gay hustler), Matt Drudge, Andrew Sullivan, and all the other "gay" Republicans who support an anti-gay party and who care more about getting capital gains tax cuts and nationalistic militarism than they do about the civil rights of their own "community." (and I have my suspicions of Glenn Beck, the new right-wing talking head on CNN.)

So, now I have no sympathay for Mark Foley or any other Uncle Tom Republican. Talk about "sick"...

Monday, October 02, 2006

What a Democrat.

Unbelievable. If voting to allow torture wasn't enough, Harold Ford has now voted yes on HR 5825 (Text here), also known as the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

For those unfamiliar with HR 5825, here is the single most important thing to know about it.

The FISA Act of 1978 already allowed the NSA to run surveillance on a target for up to 72 hours without a warrant, but after that 72 hours, they had to justify it to the FISA court or drop the surveillance. Section 9 of HR 5825 allows warrantless surveillance and searches of American citizens for up to 60 days, 90 days for a foreign national, as long as the president certifies that there is an imminent threat of attack. If the original 60 or 90 days yields nothing, it's okay--- As long as the president still says there's an imminent threat, it's all good.This particular president tends to say that we're under constant threat--- So it's entirely possible (Perhaps even likely) that there will never come a time when our government under current leadership will feel the need to ever submit a warrant to the FISA court.

This, simply put, is yet another power grab by a White House that has proven time and again that if they are given power, they not only abuse it but fail miserably in the process.

MORE...

*Special hat tip to my friend Wintermute for forwarding the roll call to me and inspiring this one.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Republicans Pander To Anti-Gay Religious Right (Where was Harold Ford Jr.?)

A long line of 2008 Presidential candidates paid their respects to the radical anti-gay Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit" in Washington last week. It seems gay marriage is a greater threat to the United States than Osama bin Laden, terrorism, health care, jobs, poverty, class inequality, and the erosion of constitutional rights under the Bush Regime.

I'm surprised that Harold Ford Jr. didn't show up!
Read Alternet's full story.
The Religious Right Goes to Washington