From Econospeak, I learn that Republican Governor Bob McDonnell was the first governor of Virginia in 30 years not to ban discrimination in state employment within a day of his inauguration, but now that he has found time in his busy schedule of fake State of the Union Addresses to do so, he has failed to protect his employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation:
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has signed an executive order barring discrimination in the state workforce on grounds that include race, sex, religion and age, but not sexual orientation.
So with the restoration of Republican governernance in Virginia, we also see the restoration of Republican anti-gay bigotry to Virginia.
John McCain, via Twitter:
$2 million "for the promotion of astronomy" in Hawaii - because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy
Clearly, McCain and the Republican Party's effort to divide America into "real" America and "other" America did not end with their defeat in 2008. He and his ilk, as well as their enablers in the media, want to continue that fight in 2009.
Moreover, they want to combine it with their anti-science agenda. Average Americans, it seems, do not do science.
It being both the holiday and campaign season, it's easy to get wrapped up in yourself. You forget to think about others - the huddled masses, the less fortunate, the downtrodden, the wayward, and so on. I know I do. I haven't thought about the downtrodden since August.
But not Hillary Clinton. She is vigilant. So it's not surprise that today, when John Edwards told the most downtrodden of the wayward, our Congress, that they should go without health insurance for as long as the rest of America does, Hillary's campaign was there to say, "Heck no!"
Bravo, Hillary! It isn't easy to defend an institution that is, at present, less popular than many of the diseases from which uninsured America currently suffers, but that is no reason to deprive Congress of their health care. Be proud, because we are proud of you!
After Edwards released his health coverage plan, and after it was roundly praised, the heat was on the other campaigns to provide their own. It was a challenge, and Barack Obama responded to that challenge with his own health coverage plan.
He did, and it wasn't bad - but it wasn't as good as Edwards'; it did not require that everyone buy in, and thus share the cost of health care for all, and it did not permit everyone to choose a public alternative. Obama had an opportunity to shine, and instead, he played it safe and fell short.
But I'll vote for Obama, because he has money.
I'm neither blessed nor cursed with a photographic memory, but I do remember this - Molly Ivins' view of John Edwards, from her August 2003 column on the Democratic candidates in The Progressive:
John Edwards in the early appearances struck me as almost a little too pretty, a little lite. But he's got a populist streak I like--his daddy spent thirty-seven years working in a North Carolina mill, and Edwards ain't forgot it. Seemed to me he might develop. In a recent speech at Georgetown University, the sumbitch hit a home run. (Look it up.)
Apparently, way back in 2003, before John Edwards supposedly "reinvented" himself as a populist, a fine judge saw a populist in him herself.
And so did I.
Edwards has taken some heat from Kossacks for the bellicose tone of his recent speech on Iran. Yesterday, Ezra Klein interviewed Edwards on Iran, in which he asked Edwards to elaborate on what he said. Specifically, he addresses his statement that "all options must remain on the table," including the use of force against Iran:
EDWARDS: I think the reason people react the way they do -- I understand it, because, when George Bush uses this kind of language, it means something very different for most people. I mean when he uses this kind of language "options are on the table," he does it in a very threatening kind of way -- with a country that he's not engaging with or making any serious diplomatic proposals to. I mean I think that he's just dead wrong about that.
KLEIN: So we should, first step, talk to Iran, try to open up negotiations?
KLEIN: Do it, if necessary, bilaterally?
As you may know, in Georgia's 8th district, incumbent Democrat Jim Marshall appears to have barely won re-election against former incumbent Republican Mac Collins. However rather than conceding like a good Republican, Mac Collins has chosen to push forward - to a recount, and perhaps further.
I thought it would be interesting to look at what Collins thought of recounts in 2000.
Not exactly what he said
, but exactly what he meant:
In his speech, Bayh said the party has focused most of its attention on the needs of lower-income Americans, but it also must address issues that matter to people on the next rung up the economic ladder.
"Without an agenda that speaks directly to the middle class and all who aspire to it, we will no longer be the party of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Clinton. And we will not be a majority party," Bayh said, invoking the names of former Democratic presidents.
Raise your hand if you think that the Democratic Party has been too focused on the poor and working class. Anyone?
This afternoon, I was doing the laundry and reading Adbusters' "The Good, the Bad and the Google." From the article:
Google announced that the new Chinese version of its site, Google.cn, would comply with Beijing policy by removing politically sensitive websites from search results. . . . In the months since the launch of Google.cn, Adbusters has been intermittently returning to the site to test out a few of China's most troublesome bugaboos. Filtering is usually obvious. A text search for "Taiwan Independence" was met with about 210,000 results in mid-March; on Google.com, the results numbered over 12,000,000. "Free Tibet" scored 19,600,000 on Google.com, but a paltry 170,000 on Google.cn.
I thought it would be interesting to see how my every day Google searches would be different if I used Google China, so I wrote a Greasemonkey user script to find out. If you install the script, you can find out too.
Across the country, Republican legislatures have restricted the forms of identification a voter may present in order to vote, ostensibly in an effort to reduce fraud. In reality, it's an effort to restrict the vote to those who can afford those forms of identification, and to disenfranchise the rest: the poor, the elderly, the people of color, and the city dwellers who might, but for identification, vote Democratic.
And today, that effort almost disenfranchised a Congresswoman.
I suspect our conservative friends would say so; but then, they always have:
This afternoon we gather in the quiet of this sanctuary to pay our last tribute of respect to these beautiful children of God. They entered the stage of history just a few years ago, and in the brief years that they were privileged to act on this mortal stage, they played their parts exceedingly well. Now the curtain falls; they move through the exit; the drama of their earthly life comes to a close. They are now committed back to that eternity from which they came.
These children - unoffending, innocent, and beautiful - were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.
I don't know why this surprised me. The Bush Administration has been willing to play politics with health at the FDA; why wouldn't they play politics with voting rights at the DOJ?
A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents.