Archive for October, 2008

Since I’m a day late again

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

…you get my Greatest Hits of last night’s liveblogs of the debate:

From Daniel Larison:

Hatchets and scalpels and katanas, oh my!

Ayers and ACORN have landed. McCain: ACORN possibly destroying the fabric of democracy. Obama: Ayers is an education professor, but used to be despicable. They were on the Annenberg board, as were some Republicans. Ayers will not be in the White House–that’s a stroke of luck. ACORN? I hardly even know those guys! I am so mainstream it’s not even funny. No, really, it’s not. McCain: I’m not saying that this stuff matters; I’m just informing people!

Weird question about the VP candidates from Schieffer. He’s basically asking each candidate to explain why it would be better if he died. Obama: Biden is awesome. Blather, blather, talking points. McCain: Palin is even more awesome. Rehashing the myth of Palin. “A reformer through and through.” McCain wants to get rid of the old boy network in Washington–I have a suggestion how he might help reach that goal.

McCain: Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil will not be imported when I’m President, because I don’t understand how the oil market works. Apparently Russian oil is okay!

I take it that McCain doesn’t want to spread the wealth. He really dislikes that phrase. I guess that means he wants to lump the wealth all together. Presumably it will all be under Henry Paulson’s control.

Justices should be chosen based on their qualifications, unlike Vice Presidents. Did he just say that Obama voted against confirming Breyer? Obama can also time travel? He is impressive.

From Alex Massie:

McCain wants a hatchet and then a scalpel. What can you achieve with a scalpel once you’ve taken a hatchet to someone?

“I was forced to call you a terrorist because you wouldn’t do a town hall with me”

McCain: It pains me as I seek the votes of racists, to be caught asking for the votes of racists…

McCain looks grumpy, it’s true. The thing is, though, that when he doesn’t look grumpy he grins in a manner that makes him look like he’s in the process of asking schoolchildren to come and look at the puppies in the back of his car. So it probably all evens out.

I’m not an American of course, but I like being cynical about politics. And I think heaps of Americans do too. You can take my cynicism from my cold dead hands.

Joe Biden has never forgotten whre he comes from because he never bloody shuts about about where he comes from

Sweep out the old-boys? Like, er, John Sydney McCain?

We all know that autism is caused by pork barrel spending and earmarks.

McCain wants to put health-care records online, so any competent telegraph operator may retrieve them.

Correspondence: Obama says “We can only sell 4-5,000 cars to South Korea a year at the moment”. It wouldn’t matter if you could sell 40-50,000, they wouldn’t buy them because they’re crap.

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Another State Upholds Civil Rights

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The Connecticut Supreme Court, citing the equal protection clauses of both the state and the US constitutions, today struck down the ban on same sex marriage in that state. You can read the whole rule here (PDF files) but a couple of choice bits follow:

We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm.

Please note that Connecticut has a civil union statute – CT was the first state to create a domestic partnership contract for same sex couples that gave them everything but the word marriage. I and many others are proud of the state for this progressive view. However, as the CT Supreme Court stated:

Although the legislature has determined that same sex couples are entitled to ‘‘all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities . . . [that] are granted to spouses in a marriage’’; General Statutes § 46b-38nn; the legislature nonetheless created an entirely separate and distinct legal entity for same sex couples even though it readily could have made those same rights available to same sex couples by permitting them to marry. In view of the exalted status of marriage in our society, it is hardly surprising that civil unions are perceived to be inferior to marriage. We therefore agree with the plaintiffs that ‘‘[m]aintaining a second-class citizen status for same-sex couples by excluding them from the institution of civil marriage is the constitutional infirmity at issue.’’

Furthermore:

Although marriage and civil unions do embody the same legal rights under our law, they are by no means ‘‘equal.’’

In other words, no separate but “equal” institutions allowed. That was law settled many decades ago by Brown v Board of Eduction. (Another SCOTUS ruling I’m sure Palin wouldn’t be able to name.)

Cheers to the CT Supreme Court for doing The Right Thing.

(Icon ganked from the LJ of my lovely ‘wife’ Lynn.)

Kix and Cathy, I’m expecting an invitation to come do a wedding ceremony any day now! 😉

Also, did I mention I did a  wedding for a same-sex couple last week in Santa Barbara? I was so honored that my friends Sue and Cathie asked me to marry them and so proud to be a small part of a larger and grander movement. The experience was really awesome. I almost cried myself.  I like to believe that Dad would have approved and I know Mom would have.

Bringing this back around to the election (because it is ALL about this election here at Caer Corvus) if you are in California, please remember to VOTE NO ON 8. No separate but “equal” institutions here either. No second class citizens in my state.

No way. No how. No On 8.

(Waiting to see if I get hit by the Prop 8 bot. Apparently it is going around.)

Blessings all,

Janice

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He Would Have Had Me with This

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

If I was an undecided voter (which as we all know I am not ::VBG::) Obama would have had me with this one:

BROKAW: [Health care] Privilege, right or responsibility? Let’s start with that.

OBAMA: Well, I think it should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills — for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.

Those of you who don’t know me well may not realize that I lost my mother to a recurrence of breast cancer 4 years ago. We spent the last weeks of her life arguing with the Never-sufficiently-damned “health” insurance company about everything from her chemotherapy to which hospice to send her to. It was the most horrible experience of my life to this point: watching, knowing I was going to lose her, unable to do anything about it and then have to argue with frakin’ bureaucrats because they wouldn’t move her to a hospice close to her home and family.

It was only by the grace of a social worker in the hospital where she spent her last days that we did not have to send her 60 miles away from her home and her entire family to die.

I am not alone in this nightmare. Millions of people across this country are faced with horrifying situations when it comes to paying for their health care. It is time and past time that the people of one of the richest nations in the world have universal and meaningful health care coverage. And no, McCain, taxing the current employer provided system into non-existence is not a solution to the problem!

Whew! OK, got that out of my system for now.

Other than that, I think the latest “debate” was pretty terrible. The “town hall” format sucked rocks, Tom Brokaw was terrible (seriously, he can’t even ad-lib a good night when the candidates got in the way of the idiot screen?!) and I have at least two candidates for Worst Question Ever. I find it very hard to believe that there were not more interesting and thoughtful questions than “what don’t you know and how will you learn it?”

I do think Obama was poised and calm as always and McCain once more seemed like my Grandfather T – the original Angry Old Man. And the initial polls once again appear to have Obama winning amongst the undecideds. So I guess you can call it a win. But I don’t think it provided much more than a chance for them both to recycle talking points. (Although, it might have been helpful to McCain if he had actually listened to Obama – twice he repeated nearly verbatim points that Obama had just finished making. Seriously…)

I haven’t checked out the format for the last debate or who is moderating. Kinda afraid to look actually. I hope it is better than this one.

Blessings,

Janice

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Late to the party again

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Busy night and day, so I’m sure anyone out there who cares has already read and discussed the debate to death.

For what it’s worth, my two drachma anyway:

Has there ever been a previous instance where a candidate for high national office came on stage and said straight-out that they weren’t going to answer questions they didn’t want to and would just give prepared sound bites in place of on-topic answers? I know it’s not unusual for politicians to dissemble and deflect inconvenient questions during a debate, but has one ever actually come on stage and immediately announced that this was their intention? And why isn’t this a bigger story than it is?

Biden looked both professional and human. I still disagree with him on a ton of policy issues, but he carried himself well last night. On a somewhat-related note, Daniel Larison continues to impress as an intelligent conservative who didn’t drink the Kool Aid:

I rehash all of this not to dwell on Palin’s problems, which are increasingly irrelevant as McCain heads towards defeat, but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography. Besides being bad for the quality of conservative thought, it embraces the caricature that conservatives are indifferent to knowledge and have no use for expertise, which has become an all too legitimate critique of how conservatives have responded to the misrule of the Bush administration. That was not always the case, but if conservatives insist on making elaborate arguments that understanding and knowledge are not significant criteria when choosing our top elected officials they will lose whatever credibility they may still have. More than that, they will be crippled by their embrace of cheerful ignorance when it comes time to oppose the policies of the Democratic administration that is surely about to be elected.

Another area I was surprised about was Palin announcing several key policy changes for the McCain campaign that seemed to have gone largely un-remarked. She came out in favor of gay rights, a windfall profits tax on oil companies, and stringent banking regulation, all of which her campaign vehemently opposed prior to the debate. I’m hoping the press actually calls the campaign on these things soon and gets them to either stand behind them (yeah, right), or walk them back (which would at least be entertaining to watch).

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SCOTUS Meme

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Nicked from several folks on LiveJournal

As evidenced by Katie Couric, Sarah Palin is unable to name any Supreme Court Case other than Roe v. Wade.

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historical your blog/Live Journal/My Space page/whatever. (Any decision, as long as it’s not Roe v. Wade.) Also, leave a comment if you participate so I can check it out!

Loving vs. Virginia

This one is personally significant and it also has bearing on the current marriage rights debate going on across our country. However, I readily admit I had to look up the specifics again. I could recall the name of the case but not the first names of the couple and couldn’t recall the exact date of the decision, though I really should! You’ll see why in a minute.

The case: In June of 1958, Mildred Loving, a woman of African and Native American ancestry, and Richard Loving, a white man, were arrested IN THEIR HOME (take a moment to think about that) in Caroline County, Virginia for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which outlawed the marriage between a white person and a person of any non-white racial background. Specifically, they had gone to Washington DC, where interracial marriage was legal, gotten married and returned to Virginia, where mixed-race marriage was “agin de law!” (Incidentally, the police broke into their house at night hoping to catch them having sex – which was also illegal between whites and non-whites – so they could be arrested for THAT!)

In January of 1959, they pleaded guilty to the “crime” of miscegenation. They were each sentenced to 1 year in prison, which was suspended so long as they agreed to leave Virginia and not return for 25 years. The Lovings moved to DC, got an ACLU lawyer and sued the pants off of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

On June 12, 1967, nine years after the Lovings’ home was invaded by government-sponsored racists, the Supreme Court of the United States of America declared Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act unconstitutional and threw over all race-based restrictions on marriage across the country.

Political significance – one of the last of the legally codified social barriers between whites and blacks to be removed by the work of the Civil Rights movement. Between 1968 and 1975 there was a 500% increase in the rate of interracial marriage in this country. Although interracial couples still face discrimination, no rational person in the country can argue now that the SCOTUS was wrong on this one.

Personal significance – Otto M, a man of Indonesian and white ancestry, and Anna T, a white woman, were married in the state of Washington in December of 1966. Yes, those would be my parents. Again, just think about that for a second. For almost six months the marriage of my parents was illegal in Virginia and 29 other states. At the time only 17 of those states were actively enforcing those laws but still… hello! Technically illegal in more states than it was LEGAL. (BTW: interracial marriage was legalized in Washington prior statehood.)

Which leads me into the significance of this decision today – I think that should be self-evident but in case you don’t get it, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision, Mildred Loving said it best:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

I’m sure either Darren or I will have some more to say after the debate tonight.

Blessings,

Janice

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