Friday, September 28, 2007

Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much

The Senate passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill.

Larry Craig, who is straight as straight can be, opposed it.


Keep on Diggin' That Hole

I wish I could vote to give myself more credit:
With the U.S. government fast approaching its current $8.965 trillion credit limit, the Senate on Thursday gave final congressional approval of an $850 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority. The Senate voted 53-42 to raise the debt ceiling to $9.815 trillion, the fifth increase in the U.S. credit limit since President George W. Bush took office in January 2001.
Thank god those tax-and-spend liberals aren't in office!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Richardson v. BSA

Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday night that he is if elected president he would her would refuse to accept the position of Honorary Chair of the Boy Scouts of America because of Scouting's ban on gays.

The New Mexico governor made the pledge during a Democratic presidential debate in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Richardson was asked if he would accept the chair of the organization, traditionally offered to presidents.

"No, I wouldn’t, because I think as president I would commit myself, number one, that I will be a leader that prevents discrimination on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation," he replied.

No president has refused the offer of chair of the Boy Scouts.


Federal Hate Crimes Bill Passes Senate

And Kennedy is doing his damnedest to prevent Bush from derailing it:
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crime bill passed the Senate on Thursday, setting up a potential battle with the White House.

The measure has already passed the House. The two versions of the bill must be reconciled before heading to President Bush.

In a bid to head off a threatened veto, the Senate's chief sponsor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) tacked the bill onto a Defense spending bill as an amendment.

The president is desperate to have the spending bill passed. The White House has not said if the president would veto the Defense bill to kill the Shepard Act.


Verizon: Anti-Choice

I quit using Verizon because their coverage, while good in Austin, is horrible in Oshkosh.

But now, I'm very glad I did for an entirely different reason:
Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.

The other leading wireless carriers have accepted the program, which allows people to sign up for text messages from Naral by sending a message to a five-digit number known as a short code.

Text messaging is a growing political tool in the United States and a dominant one abroad, and such sign-up programs are used by many political candidates and advocacy groups to send updates to supporters.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Retire Already

I for one am sick and tired of this bigot:
Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he said he believes homosexual activity is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.

Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring (story), which he said were misreported.

"Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes," he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon's 2008 war spending request.

"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law."


Gays No, Transsexuals Yes!

Iran is even weirder than I thought:

The Guardian's Tehran correspondent, reports that 25 years ago, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa, or religious proclamation saying that transsexuality was a medical condition that could be corrected through surgery.

Since then the government authorized thousands of reassignment surgeries the Guardian reports.

Under Sharia, or Islamic law, homosexuality is a moral choice and punishable by hanging.

While President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad drew jeers and laughter Monday declaring there were no homosexuals in Iran (story) his government has been providing about $5,000 towards the cost of sex reassignment surgery and additional money for hormone therapy.

Quoting government statistics the Guardian reports that Iran carries out more gender change operations than any country in the world besides Thailand. The paper said that some unofficial estimates put the number of transsexuals in Iran at up to 150,000.


More Money, Less Time

This administration's "war policy" is just all over the map.

More money:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will go before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, when he is expected to deliver budget amendments to Congress that will substantially increase the president's 2008 war spending to $200 billion from the approximately $150 billion that the administration initially estimated it would need in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Less time:
Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey Jr., who is scheduled to testify today before the House Armed Services Committee, intends to move as quickly as possible to grant soldiers more relief from the war zone, having argued that the troop rotations of 15 months in combat and 12 months at home -- required by the buildup of U.S. forces in Iraq and the conflict in Afghanistan -- are "not sustainable" for the Army.
How about this idea: Let's just bring the troops home right now.


Bush Talk Pretty Won Dai

I cannot wait until I don't have to hang my head in shame at how stupid my president is:

Apparently, a marked-up draft of the president's speech popped up on the U.N.'s website as President Bush delivered his remarks this morning before the General Assembly, USA TODAY's David Jackson reports. The draft included phonetic spellings of some names and countries, and the cellphone numbers for Bush speechwriters.

Press secretary Dana Perino downplayed the incident, and said phonetic spellings are used to help interpreters. Asked if the president has trouble pronouncing some country's names, Perino deemed it "an offensive question."


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iran: Hetero Paradise

Based on this information, perhaps we'll be seeing a grand exodus of right-wing homophobes from the US:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad skirted a question about the treatment of homosexuals in Iran on Monday, saying in a speech at a top US university that there were no gays in Iran.

"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," Ahmadinejad said to howls and boos among the Columbia University audience.

"In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it," he said.



Who could put a price on the tragedy of 9/11?

These people:
The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd said Tuesday a fundraising party for Republican Rudy Giuliani seeking $9.11 each from guests exploits the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for political purposes.

The Dodd campaign called on Giuliani to refuse the money raised at the event, saying the theme "is absolutely unconscionable, shameless and sickening." A Giuliani spokeswoman said the $9.11 idea was selected without the campaign's knowledge.

"Mr. Giuliani was quick to express much vitriol for the independent ad created by last week; we would hope he would express the same kind of outrage and indignation about this group that he is the beneficiary of," Colleen Flanagan, a spokeswoman for Dodd, said in a statement released by his campaign.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Long-Term Brain Damage

This war will be with us for a long time:
Scientists trying to understand traumatic brain injury from bomb blasts are finding the wound more insidious than they once thought.

They find that even when there are no outward signs of injury from the blast, cells deep within the brain can be altered, their metabolism changed, causing them to die, says Geoff Ling, an advance-research scientist with the Pentagon.

The new findings are the result of blast experiments in recent years on animals, followed by microscopic examination of brain tissue. The findings could mean that the number of brain-injured soldiers and Marines — many of whom appear unhurt after exposure to a blast — may be far greater than reported, says Ibolja Cernak, a scientist with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

This cellular death leads to symptoms that may not surface for months or years, Cernak says. The symptoms can include memory deficit, headaches, vertigo, anxiety and apathy or lethargy. "These soldiers could have hidden injuries with long-term consequences," he says.

Physicians and scientists are calling TBI the "signature wound" of the Iraq war because of its increasing prevalence among troops.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


For the first time in over 30 years:
Thousands of United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors plants around the country Monday in the first nationwide strike against the U.S. auto industry since 1976.