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Friday, July 15, 2005

The Case For Joining The Democratic Party

There's an excellent argument for libertarians to join the Democratic party, along with a history of it's Jeffersonian roots, here.

It was written by Mike Renzulli, who recently started the Radical Liberal blog online magazine, which is an excellent read, and well worth checking out.

Pennsylvania's Jr. Senator

I'm not really sure what I think of , current PA Treasurer, heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination for seat in the 2006 election. I know I don't like , Casey's only announced competition for the Democratic nomination.

Casey has consistently over the past 4 months polled double digit leads over lil' Ricky "man-on-dog" Santorum. This is expected to be one of the highest profile Senate races in 2006, with lil' Ricky being the #3 man in the Senate, after all. Over $20 million is expected to be spent on this race. But lil' Ricky has this little problem, see. He just can't keep his mouth shut about his extremist views that most Pennsylvanian's don't like. He's also highly likely to have many principled conservatives (accord to many articles and editorials in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review) sit this one out for his support of the re-election of Sen. Arlen Specter over Rep. Pat Toomey in the 2004 Republican primary).

Why Casey over Santorum?

Two main reasons: Santorum is truly a frightening individual; and it helps to lower the Republican majority in the Senate and removes one of their leaders.

Why am I not sure about Casey?

I don't really know too much about his stance on the issues. His website has no issues page. I know that he's anti-choice. I don't know if this is something that would try to legislate or just a personal position. That's my biggest concern with him. Maria over at 2 Political Junkies really doesn't like him because he's anti-stem-cell research; but I like his position (and ) that there should be no federal funding of stem-cell research (although private sector should pursue it), as that's not a Consitutional power of the federal government, and is forcing people who do have moral objections to finance it in a round-about manner.

Why don't I like Pennacchio?

I've read his positions on the issues, and listened to him speak and talked to him at last month's PA Young Democrats State Convention. He's very big on federal power, and many of his positions lean towards socialism, but my biggest problem with him is his continuing advocation of more victim disarmament laws.

How about Santorum?

Too many to list, but for a brief sampling:
His shameless exploitation of Terry Schiavo;
His ethical problems in Pennsylvania;
His advocacy of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions;
His statements that the cause of sexual abuse of children by priest's is due to liberalism in Boston;
His utter disdain for individual rights and advocacy of state restriction:

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Senator suggested that the government has the right to prohibit gay and lesbian individuals from expressing love for each other physically. "The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that," said the Senator, "I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society."
Santorum needs to go.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Smoke and Mirrors -- Business as Usual

It's not easy to criticize the Bush White House.
Just ask Richard Clarke, or Paul O'Neill, or Joe Wilson. Look at the . Heck, look at John McCain or Max Cleland.

The Propaganda machine of Bush, Rove, Cheney, the RNC, the Ditto-head radiohosts, and Fox News go into full-on attack mode whenever someone with some knowledge criticizes policies or actions of the Administration. Denials are de-riguer. Ad hominem attacks are a large part of the strategy. Every possible attempt is made to sidestep every answer the claim or argument on its merits.

For years it has seemed that the media has rolled over and played along with this, backing away from agressive pursuit of dissenting views.

Finally, with the Rove/Wilson/Plame affair, it appears they're regaining their spine. While some outlets tried to focus on the journalist efforts to protect confidential sources, many more pushed forward with the actual story, of what did Rove say, and will he be held accountable like McClellan and Bush had promised over the last two years.

They were aggressive during the press briefing a few days ago, continually pressing McClellan about his abrupt change from commenting on the "ongoing investigation" when he was assuring that Rove was involved, or that "that person would no longer be in this administration," to having to repeat over and over that he wouldn't comment on an "ongoing investigation," even in the face of reporters who reminding him that he had no qualms over doing so in the past.

And stories like this one in the Washington Post are not just parroting the Republican talking points, but actually pointing out what the propaganda machine is trying to do.

Republicans mounted an aggressive and coordinated defense of Karl Rove yesterday, contending that the White House's top political adviser did nothing improper or illegal when he discussed a covert CIA official with a reporter.
With a growing number of Democrats calling for Rove's resignation, the Republican National Committee and congressional Republicans sought to discredit Democratic critics and knock down allegations of possible criminal activity.

It's about time.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A question for Mr. Bush, Mr. Rove, and/or Mr. McClellan

Although they might decline to answer because a criminal investigation is underway, I have one question for them. Just one question. For any of them, or all of them.

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Monday, July 11, 2005

McCain-Feingold Strikes again

[Note -- although this was actually decided under Washington state campaign finance laws, that law itself is very similar to McCain-Feingold]

As every blogger online-publisher is well aware, the FEC is prepared to regulate the Internet for "in-kind" campaign contributions when a publisher voices an opinion on a candidate or issue or links to a candidate's website.

Well, talk radio is the next target -- Judge Christopher Wickham, a county judge in Washington state, ruled that two Seattle-area talk show hosts were making in-kind contributions when they campaigned on the air for an initiative they launched opposing a state gas-tax increase. [article here]

What's next...newspaper endorsements of candidates?

And people actually thought McCain-Feingold was a good thing? Politicians [with some exceptions] will do almost anything to maintain their power and priviledge -- and cutting off the means of dissent is one of the most basic strategies for that.

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