Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Matthew Shepherd Act lands in Purgatory

Regarding the Matthew Shepard Act (S 1105) which is included in the conference report of the Department of Defense Authorization Act (HR 1585) to be sent to the President's desk for signature:

I'm mystified that legislation like this has to be fought for and strategically maneuvered to keep it from dying. Bizarre. Like hate crimes are okay as long as they're confined to certain federally approved minorities? And verbal or physical abuse of those minorities is a form of free speech and must be protected? I wish I understood the complex logic behind the resistance to hate-crimes legislation. I wish I understood why the absence of such legislation is essential for the safety and well-being of the nation. But I don't.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

DiFi, D'ohFi

Versen (of Hugo Zoom):

You are the Bad News Bear.

Why...oh why didn't I read the blue article? (A reference to that darn movie again.) First I read the Greenwald article you pointed me to, and then (can you believe this?) I clicked on "getting richer" and read the article. Now there's this very stern email/blog post percolating in my head calling for DiFi to switch parties and offering whatever assistance I can to the investigation into her conflicts of interest so that she will end up resigning from the Senate in disgrace. How long has this been going on? She's been in California politics forever, since before Harvey Milk was assassinated. If I were a political junkie I'd research her entire political history to see how long she's been a Republican in Democrats' clothing (dark-blue Chanel suits, as opposed to Nancy's blood-red Chanel suits). But I have other things to work on, like getting my second CD of Xmas music into the online retail channels preferably before Xmas. I probably won't even write the stern email/blog post expressing the hope that they run DiFi and all of her cases of L'Oreal Dark Ash Brown dye out of town.

"Bring me somethin' I can use, but don't nevah, nevah bring bad news!" (From The Wiz)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Madam Speaker, listen up!

I'm appalled to learn that Cheney is still pushing for an invasion of Iran. Why is he persisting in this? Do people occasionally hear him say things like "What's the frequency, Kenneth?"

Impeachment hearings would bring to light for the entire country what laws were broken in the time leading up to the invasion of Iraq, by whom they were broken, when and how. Do you remember how much TV airtime was given to Ken Starr over Whitewater? Impeachment hearings now, in contrast, would be good for the nation because we would learn specifics about how government operates and about the ways a government can be derailed. An impeachment doesn't have to succeed. The impeachment hearings would provide a classroom in which the nation could be re-educated in the subject of ethics. It would also be a demonstration to other nations that the U.S. is able to admit its mistakes and take steps to correct them. As it is now, we are about as morally credible as the Pharisees in the time of Christ.

It is alleged that Cheney committed serious crimes regarding the justification for war, and it appears that there is some significant proof that crimes were committed. (I could point you to websites for the proof, but you yourself know of far more sources of credible proof than I do.) In a situation like this outside of government, of course there would be legal proceedings to determine guilt or innocence. A trial isn't avoided because prosecution doesn't think they can win. A trial is held, regardless of potential outcome, to determine if crimes were committed. A federal official should be held to at least the same degree of scrutiny, if not more.

If you are reluctant to push for impeachment hearings because it would deeply divide the nation, you need to rethink that. The nation is already fatally divided. Impeachment hearings would provide catharsis and healing.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

H.Res. 333

Congressman Schiff:

Please support Kucinich's resolution to impeach Dick Cheney, H.Res. 333.

I don't understand the reasoning behind not going forward with impeachment proceedings because there aren't enough votes for it to succeed. You yourself know how important it is to be seen as taking a stand on an important issue. Not going forward with impeachment proceedings, regardless of the reason, communicates to the rest of the world that we as a country condone Cheney's criminal actions. It is the attempt itself to bring the lawbreaker to justice that is important. Impeachment must be attempted. If it doesn't succeed, at least the attempt to bring justice will have been made.

When Speaker Pelosi said that if anyone can show her that any crimes were committed by the Vice President she would consider the evidence seriously, I imagine her email inbox was flooded with long, exhaustive emails explaining in exacting detail what laws were broken, by whom, how, and when. It's incredible that she would say, much less believe, something like that. The message Congress is now communicating to the world is that impeachment proceedings will not be undertaken because the Vice President did nothing wrong.

Please support H.Res. 333. The effort itself is extremely important. Making no effort at all looks like collusion.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

DiFi, listen up!

Senator Feinstein:

Regarding Judge Mukasey, is it your age? Is it your ethnicity? I honestly don't know what you're thinking. It may actually be that you have been working too long past the traditional age of retirement. Born in 1933, you are currently 74? It may be that your impressive cognitive abilities actually have begun to slow down in the normal aging process. Nothing to be ashamed of, but something to be considered in an office as important as yours.

Is it your ethnicity? You believe that torture is wrong, unless it's Muslims who are being tortured?

Regarding waterboarding as torture, you yourself know that it has been prosecuted as torture in military courts in the U.S. since the Spanish-American War in 1898. What's to be unsure about?

I see from a quick glance at Wikipedia's profile of you that there has been some concern over an alleged conflict of interest regarding your voting billions of dollars in appropriations to your husband's firms. You know from observing the Bush Administration that denying any ethical conflict is not the same as there being no ethical conflict.

Not long ago I learned from one of the political commentators on CNN that, because you will be 80 in 2012, you will not be seeking reelection. Does that mean you will be spending the next five years being unrepresentative of the people you represent? I do believe that the possibility exists, since you now truly have no real need to be concerned about voter approval. Your voting with the Republicans in August to modify FISA to allow bypassing the special intelligence court established by FISA may be an indication of that. Your voting for Mukasey as Attorney General will also be an indication of that. As the New York Times put it, "He believes the President has the power to negate laws" and he hasn't committed himself "to enforcing Congressional subpoenas." Why would you even consider voting for him as Attorney General?

I feel betrayed by you in what I perceive as your migration to the right. I feel betrayed by you in what I perceive as your declining interest in voter approval. Along with all the other Californians who elected you, I request that you listen to us and vote No on Mukasey's nomination, and continue listening to us for the remaining years of your term. We. Hired. You. Get it?