October 2007
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Month October 2007

Mukasey: Can the Democrats lead?

This is about as simple as it gets. Per the New York Times: If Mr. Mukasey’s nomination reaches the Senate floor, moderate Democrats appear likely to join Republicans to produce a majority for confirmation. But a party-line vote in the Judiciary Committee, which seemed a possibility, could block the nomination from reaching the floor. KLAXON! Spin Alert Disregard the editorializing by the Times about what will happen should Mukasey’s nomination reach the Senate floor. That’s just the grey lady helping to enable the flaccid wing of the Democratic Party. Now, concentrate on the fact that the Democrats can block the confirmation of this ludicrous nominee — who first claimed not to know what waterboarding was and now, his education apparently more complete, can’t decide whether it is legal or not. The Senate might as well confirm a Muppet for Attorney General if this is the analysis we get on a difficult issue. The Democrats have a chance to vote against waterboarding and against a nominee who insults us with his prevarications. They should use it.

Well, DUH!

The opening paragraph says it all -

Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry.

The rest of the story is here , and is equally hilarous.

Poll beyond the jump -

Search Committee for UMass Chancellor Stacked? Not Much.

Cross-posted to Granby01033 This is a follow-up from my previous post on a graduate student senate. I received an email from the UMass Graduate Student Senate about the lack of graduate student representation on the search committee for a new chancellor at UMass. From the GSS’s point of view, there’s something political going on with the UMass Board of Trustees. The 22-member Board of Trustees, consisting of 17 gubernatorial appointees and five student Trustees, is the governing body of the five-campus University of Massachusetts System. If subtext of today’s article in the Republican is correct, and I think it is, politics is definitely playing a part on the search committee. The chair of the search committee says grad students should focus on helping the committee find the best candidate. Helping is a vague term, but it clearly doesn’t mean helping decide. Search committee chairwoman Jennifer C. Braceras said she wishes that critics of the committee make-up would focus on helping the committee find the best candidate. Trustee Ruth Thompson, who’s also a student, was selected to represent the undergraduates but Napolitano was not selected to represent graduate students. He offered several other names that he believed would represent the graduate […]

Do You Want a Government of Laws, and Not Men (and Women)?

Next Monday, November 5th, the Supreme Judicial Court will be hearing oral arguments in a citizen suit that goes right to the heart of what it means to live in a constitutional democracy. 

The plaintiffs are asking a basic question.  When the Legislature ignores its constitutional duty and violates the People’s rights can the Court provide a meaningful remedy?  The answer will determine whether the Legislature is free, for practical purposes, to repeal without the consent of the voters, the People’s right to put a constitutional amendment before the voters if they can jump all the procedural hurdles designed to protect us from “wing nut” proposals.

Daughter of Prominent Anti-Gay Activist Comes Out

Amy Contrada is the other half to the Brian Camenker MassResistance duo, which gained national infamy when it was parodied on the Daily Show last year.

Their group has been very involved in fighting gay marriage, “homosexuality in schools,” and creating national media frenzies by alarming people about the “dangers” of the gay community.

Most recently Amy Contrada organized a forum against the Laramie Project play to be held at Acton High School this November, even though her own daughter is starring in it.

And now, her daughter Claudia has revealed that she is a lesbian and living with her anti-gay activist mom is no treat.

AFSCME to Endorse Clinton

Here’s a snippet: CLINTON: Any doubt that the Democratic primary campaign is taking a toll on Clinton’s free trade tendencies? She’s apparently not decided yet on whether to vote for a free trade agreement with Peru. Obama is for the agreement; Edwards is against.  Clinton’s big labor get? AFSCME just sent out a release saying that it will make a “major political announcement” in DC at 1:30 pm ET. Looks like Clinton will pick up the union’s endorsement? http://firstread.msn…

October 31 Rate Cut: Trick or Treat?

I’m not saying but here is a treat … Ron Paul & Sex Pistols Rock Leno

Edwards in NH: “The poison fruit of corruption”

cross-posted at dailykos

On Monday I attended an Edwards event at Exeter Town Hall in NH. It was NH Retail at its very best.

The Edwards stump has taken a major step forward since I saw him two weeks ago, the content has changed and the tone has shifted to that of an urgency in his current speech. The distinctions are now razor sharp between John Edwards and the rest of the field, “you have choices in this election and you need to be aware of them.” The reality of where we are as a country today and the vision for where we all want to be as a people are now painted in excruciating and moving detail on one issue after another: universal health care; corruption; disenfranchisement of the citizenry; economic fairness; our two unequal school systems; global warming and conservation the list goes on …

And it’s only about 23 minutes so you can imagine, man. Follow me below the fold for the full video and the antidote.

Insult to Injury: What the Legislature Does to Cities and Towns

From their lofty perch on Beacon Hill, the masters of the Commonwealth from time to time look down on the ridiculous struggles of those cities and towns. Why can’t they “live within their means?” Why can’t they grow some backbone and make the tough choices? Why do they think it’s our problem?

And mostly, why won’t they leave us alone?

This shtick has played unchanged for nearly two decades. But is it fair? What is going on anyway?

Dispatches from the Unreality-based Community

Today we learn that Karen Hughes is leaving her position in the State Department. The Bush Administration has long felt that their policies should be popular in the Arab and Muslim worlds. It was just a matter of explaining them, of providing the right advertising. So they put one of their most trusted players in charge of informing the rest of the world what good things they were doing.

The result?

Polls show no improvement in the world’s view of the U.S. since Hughes took over. A Pew Research Center survey earlier said the unpopular Iraq war is a persistent drag on the U.S. image and has helped push favorable opinion of the United States in Muslim Indonesia, for instance, from 75 percent in 2000 to 30 percent last year.

On the other hand, actually contributing to peace rather than empty PR would have had more appeal:

Hughes said the Iraq war was usually the second issue that Muslims and Arabs raised with her, after the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Hughes said she advised Bush and Rice two years ago that U.S. help in ending the six-decade old fight over Israel would probably do more than anything else to improve the U.S. standing worldwide.

Unfortunately for Ms. Hughes’ suggestions, we have a Secretary of State who doesn’t believe in diplomacy.