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The stretch of Broadway on the side of City Hall is empty now, but for the past two hours thousands of people have been circulating within several blocks of Lower Manhattan. Gay and straight alike came down on this humid Saturday afternoon to protest the passage of Proposition 8 in California. It is equally a rally against similar measures in Arizona and Florida as well as the gay adoption ban in Arkansas.

It should be a no-brainer that all Americans should receive equal rights under the law, yet hate, ignorance and bigotry have prevented us from that from the beginning of our country. Yet as Jon Stewart so eloquently shoved in Bill O'Reilly's face the other night, the side of history is with us. That isn't just in Greenwich Village but every village and every city across our country. This is what progress looked like here in New York City.

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There is no Saturday Night Live with the strike going on, and since only 150 people got to see the stage version (mostly SNL insiders) at UCB last weekend, I thought I would bring this to the orange worldwide theater in its place. Today, the Writers Guild of America East held a solidarity rally in Washington Square Park, and oh what a rally it was. Hundreds, if not over a thousand people came to show their support for the writers in Greenwich Village.

Many of course were the writers themselves. I saw a few from the Daily Show hanging in the back, as well as one correspondent, Aasif Mandvi who went up on stage. The event lasted over an hour, but the enthusiasm will last much longer than that, and the passion of the crowd can resonate with the bigwigs at the major studios.

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Somehow this year has fast-forwarded itself and it is already the middle of November. The Macy's Day parade is next week and then the holiday season will be in full swing. Forget about the chestnuts on the open fire and the miracle of the oil, what people care about is...."whatcha get me?" There are plenty of things to buy, society throws out myriad ideas on what to get your mom, dad, spouse, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, best friend, acquaintance, mailman....you get the point.

In the past I used to freak out right about now. The anxiety of what to get everyone, including a mother that has everything would rip my mind to pieces. By the end of the gifting holiday, I would feel a sense of relief that it was over, and rarely enjoyed the time. I was conditioned to like the crap that I got as a kid, playing with whatever piece of plastic or plastic/electronic combination that was hot that year. Using it obsessively helped to numb my head, thats for sure.

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When I arrived at Pace University this morning, I was a little bummed to find myself at the end of a 250 person line, many students and locals waiting to get in to hear Edwards' major policy speech on global terrorism. In what seemed like divine inspiration, I turned to see Philip Anderson's press badge on a table behind the gates.

After a couple quick text messages to Philip and a little persuasiveness talking to the security guard and the girl behind the press desk, I skipped the line and got myself a nice, close-to-the-stage seat inside the auditorium. A guy named Adam with the campaign also helped out by handing out advanced copies of the speech. So I was all ready to go when John took to the stage.

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Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas may be a second-tier candidate for President next year but that didn't keep him out of the news today. Apparently this conservative member of the boys club made an uncouth remark to the brand new Senator from Minnesota. What exactly did he mean by this?

It started off innocently enough as he made small-talk with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, mentioning, in passing, that senators often take off their ties when negotiating bills behind closed doors. Klobuchar needled him about it.

Klobuchar: "Ties off?... But I don’t wear a tie."

Brownback: "I could say ‘dresses off’ but I won’t."
Klobuchar (laughing, blushing): "Not while you’re running for president."

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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In a heavily Democratic town such as the Big Apple, you would think that the laws of New York would reflect a population that prefers liberty over tyranny, freedom over oppression and the right to public assembly (as stated in the Bill of Rights). Even if a majority of New Yorkers feel this way, it is apparent that the lawyers for the city of New York do not.

Recently a federal judge issued a ruling for the police department to stop videotaping public gatherings and protests so that people who went out on the streets would not feel intimidated by those that are charged to protect and serve, not protect and spy.

Crossposted from Joshing Politics and at the Daily Gotham

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No, this isn't about Kurt Vonnegut's latest novel. This is a story about a diplomat who realized what he was doing for the British government was morally wrong and that he needed to make a change. Carne Ross was a man who negotiated deals for Great Britain for over 15 years and realized that he could do more with his life. He went from a promising career by holding the status quo and then did everything he could to fight it. He spoke against the war and how intelligence was used to bring this 'war' about. He thoroughly debunked the WMD claims as a man on the inside.

Ross has been ostracized by his former employers in London for doing the 'right thing.' Instead of being a diplomat for one of five nations on the UN Security Council, he sits at the table for the voiceless, for the countries that have had little chance at negotiating favorable deals on the world stage and for people that don't even have a nation-state to call their own.

Crossposted at Joshing Politics

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New Orleans was left in shambles following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. We all know that the disaster preparedness plan was nearly non-existent. We know that the government failed New Orleans and the region in the days, weeks and months following the hurricane. The problems still continue.

I visited New Orleans in October and saw a city in shambles. Sure there was some activity in the Vieux Carre, the Garden district and downtown, but besides that the city has a long way to go. The Crescent City lost half of its population after Katrina, yet for the half that still resides down there there is no justice system.

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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After so many years of being bashed by Republicans, Hillary sought to find a centrist middle ground in the Senate. The junior Senator reached out across the aisle to many Republicans to work on legislation. One of those Republicans was Newt Gingrich. You might even remember the two of them teaming up to work on health care. This was only a few short years after he helped lead a charge to smear the then First Lady's failed bid to provide Universal Health Care shortly after Bill became President.

So what does Newt do after she reached out to him and other Republicans to build a consensus?

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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At 2pm eastern standard time, Congressman Marty Meehan will introduce a bill to end the inequality in the military. After many years of a failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' recruitment policy, we have the power to end the systematic revokement of gays in the armed forces.

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act will be re-introduced by the Democratic Representative from Massachusetts. The bill (H.R. 1059) was originally brought to the house with 122 co-sponsors, yet it still failed to become law. Backed by the new Democratic majority, this time around things look more positive to end this ridiculous policy that our military imposes on its troops, including the $250 million to $1.2 billion that has been spent to enforce it.

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 04:18 PM PST

"Do Not Marry A Muslim Man"

by proudprogressiveCA

Free speech is a cherished practice in our country despite the constant attacks on the First Amendment that are going on in America right now (Patriot Act, etc). If someone told me to not to marry another person because of their religion, I would promptly tell them to get out of my face. I believe that I am intelligent enough to make the decision on my own and base it on the person, not their faith.

When a faculty member invites someone that purports to represent Christian morals and denounce the Islamic culture to a class of 9th graders that is a serious problem. Passing handouts titled "Jesus not Muhammad" and "Do Not Marry A Muslim Man" is a slap in the face to parents that entrust their schools to teach a secular curriculum without offending people of faith, no matter what faith that may be.

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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Senator Ted Stevens, who also goes by 'Techno Ted' and Mr. 'The Internet is a series of tubes' has yet another whacko moment. On his campaign website, an interesting message appears. What on Earth, or outside of this planet can it be?

"Through a series of highly sophisticated and complex algorithms, this system has determined that you are not presently authorized to use this system function. It could be that you simply mistyped a password, or, it could be that you are some sort of interplanetary alien-being that has no hands and, thus, cannot type."

But wait, it gets even better....

Crossposted from Joshing Politics

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