Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Will History Be Kind...I Sure Hope Not

Little Georgie has figured out he's the kid nobody likes. His father's fame and money can't fix this disaster, and Little Georgie's feeling down in the dumps. Here's what the Peter Baker had to say in a recent Washington Post:

At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers. One at a time or in small groups, he summons leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House to join him in the search.

Over sodas and sparkling water, he asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I'm facing? How will history judge what we've done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?

When will he figure all this out? Does he really need philosophers and theologians to tell him he's wrong and needs to make it right? Exactly how much are we all paying for these consultants anyway?

He's been so insulated from real folks for so long, limited to watching Fox News and allowed no contact with protesters (who are kept far away). Only strong supporters get invited to his speaking engagements. Hey Dick [Cheney, that is], what the heck did you think would happen to your boy?

Now we read that Little Georgie is feelin' bad, his best hope being that history will prove him right years after he's as dead as the uncountable Iraq casualties.

Explain to me why we should feel sorry for him. Tell me why his stress level is more important than that of a soldier wearing body armor in the heat of an Iraq summer day, a soldier who can't go out on patrol knowing that he'll come back with all his body parts intact.

Georgie's feeling bad? Don't ask us to feel sorry for the guy, ask him how he intends to fix what he started. Does he have what it takes to accept this responsibility, or will it just be more cold drinks in the Oval Office?

Call me cold and callous, but I'm glad he's finally worried about what people think about him. I'm delighted that he feels like the mistake he is. Now let's see how he intends to make things right.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Learn To Take "NO!" For An Answer!

The Maine Heritage Policy Center is preparing to revise the so-called Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, their usual Republican wedge issue in recent elections. Bill of Rights, indeed. It's an overly-complex, one-size-fits-all set of rules imposed on our towns that will reduce local services without any guarantee of actually reducing local taxes.

As before, this attempt to substitute state fiat for for local control will be financed from away, and will originate from an organization which claims to be

a 501 (c)3 non-profit, non-partisan, independent public policy think-tank

Let's see how true that claim is.

Their home page invites us to have lunch with Jeb Bush. OK, wanna know how to have your picture taken with Jeb? Follow the handy link and start putting your pennies together, 'cause it's $100 for the photo op. Guess I'll have to find something else to cover our dart board with.

Wanna actually get to talk to Jeb? No problem, you can have coffee with the guy for only a thousand bucks. Who are they kidding? Access to the guy who's not running for pres, and we gotta pay a grand? This guy is really raising the bucks to reduce the local control Mainers hold so dear.

So, more on the nonpartisan nature of this group:

President Bill Becker was the finance director with the Republican Cianchette for Governor campaign and a fundraiser at the Republican National Senatorial Committee.

The Center's vice president and economist, J Scott Moody, is also associated with the national Heritage Foundation. This is a prime conservative group which, when it's not telling us how dangerous liberals are, is relieving us of our misconceptions about Gitmo Bay:

Misconception #1: The U.S. must either put Guantanamo Bay detainees on trial or release them.

Misconception #2: The Guantanamo Bay detainees received inadequate due process when they were designated enemy combatants.

Misconception #3: The Guantanamo Bay detainees are entitled to habeas corpus relief.

While U.S. troops are deployed in the field in Afghanistan and Iraq, Congress should focus its efforts on strengthening their ability to succeed. Congress should not hamper our troops' efforts with shortsighted legislation extending unprecedented rights to foreign terrorists and other enemy combatants. Rewarding or releasing captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters is not any way for legislators on the home front to support U.S. troops fighting abroad.

And this is the guy directing the economic policies being foisted on the Maine voters....again!

Tarren R. Bragdon is in charge of health care initiatives. He's a Republican, formerly in the Maine legislature, and was special assistant to the President of the Maine Senate, Republican Senator Richard Bennett.

Jason Fortin, their director of communications, served in the same capacity for the Republican House Caucus.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the Jeb Bush event sponsored by the supposedly non-partisan Maine Heritage Policy Center is listed as an upcoming Maine GOP event...check it out!

So this bunch of Republicans in disguise is going to tell us how Maine Democratic governor, and Democrat-controlled legislature is spending too much money. We don't really need those libraries; there's only book anyone ought to be reading, and you can get a free copy in any motel room. We don't need good schools; let's teach our kids at home. Feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick....we don't need that either. Oh wait....do I remember hearing that somewhere that those were actually good things?

Bill Becker and the rest of you at the so-called nonpartisan Maine Heritage Policy Center, here's my message to you: be honest about who you really are and about your clearly partisan agenda, and learn to take "no" for an answer.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is Homophobia Really a Christian Value?

If you take a gander at Michael Heath's blog entry, you'll find links to some interesting homophobic websites.

MassResistance appears to be run by folks who will never forgive Republican Mitt Romney for somehow destroying all marriages in Massachusetts by allowing gays to wed.

Imagine those dykes thinking they should be treated like real people!

Of course there were objections and lots of protesters. I wonder if the Dignity people remember why they got married in the first place. Quick, get my walker, I think I see my wife coming! Or is that my girlfriend? Quick, get my glasses too!

Give it up, folks, you lost in Massachusetts, and you'll lose elsewhere as well. Find another wedge issue, as long as it isn't Harry Potter.

If you're looking for something a bit more, well, contemporary, try Americans for Truth (or what passes for truth in the homophobic would-be Christian community at any rate). Here you snowbirds will find a link to extensive sex cruising locations in Florida, including the toilet in the Fort Lauderdale Home Depot. Do they use orange condoms? Hand tools? Will we ever go into the Augusta HD without wondering what's happening in their bathrooms? Forget it, folks, stick to Aubuchon's!

So I guess we should thank Michael Heath and the would-be Christian Civic League for this travel guide and other useful information. Have fun exploring these sites, then let me know if you can figure out why Michael Heath and company are offering a links to a list of gay cruising locations on their website. We can be thankful they didn't post any vacation pictures.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Kids Aren't Alright

I found this reading a DailyKos diary today, part of the Energize America series. Watch the whole thing. Get pissed off. And then act.

At the rate we're going, we really will trash this planet by the time our kids are grandparents. What are you doing, in your daily life, to address the climate crisis? Here's just a sampling of ideas:

  • Put more insulation in your roof.
  • Run the air conditioning less, and the fan more.
  • Install Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs (and don't go on about mercury, the power to run that incandescent bulb puts more mercury in the ground than is in the CFL. And you can recycle the CFL).
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room.
  • Put your TV and DVD player on a power strip. Turn off the strip when you aren't using the TV.
  • Turn down your thermostat 1 or 2 degrees in the winter. Or be brave like me and run it at 62.
There are a lot of small things that you can do every day to reduce carbon emissions. It is not someone else's job to do. It is the job of all of us. So act. And if you need help acting, then ask for advice. There are a lot of Democrats who know energy, and we even have who I'd consider an energy expert on this blog (Gary, don't be so modest).

Get involved. Not tomorrow. Today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thank You, Susan!

After months (years?) of pretending to understand how her constituents feel about the Iraq War, Susan Collins (seen here telling us how well Homeland Security handled things in New Orleans) has finally taken a public stand supporting the patriarchy of King George rather than the Mainers who elected her.

This is, of course, the best possible news for Democrats. I'd loved to have been at Tom Allen's campaign headquarters yesterday when Collins' statement was announced. I heard it on Maine Public Radio (where else?), on my way into Augusta to mail some "begging letters" for a fundraising efforts, and cheered.

Sitting on the fence, talking the moderate line and voting the party line, is something both of Maine's Senators have become experts at. Collins' admission that she intends to vote to continue this bloody war is a clear departure from her usual MO, and I hope it will be just one more thing that will bury her under a landslide of Tom Allen votes next year.

Old Hallowell Days this Saturday!

Just a reminder that the County Committee will be marching in the parade on Saturday. We're also going to have a booth there- be sure to check them both out! We expect to have some 1st District House candidates joining us, including Adam Cote, and Ethan Strimling.

If you'd like to join the parade, please e-mail me at quelgash (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blog Wars...the movie

Just got a chance to see the Sundance Channel movie Blog Wars. OK, so I'm six months behind my TIVO...chalk it up to having to get to too many meetings!

Anyway, I loved the Lamont stuff, even knowing that he ended up losing the general election. As a county committee chair, I was encouraged by how the bloggers worked together to support a candidate they believed in.

Too many "political insiders" think bloggers just talk a good game, but don't actually do anything beyond doing a bit of research, and writing controversial blog postings. Not so! It's time bloggers took their rightful place in the political arena, and got the respect they deserve from the "mainstream" political parties.

How to do that? It's easy...just do what we saw the national-level bloggers do on Blog Wars: show up at meetings, make phone calls, and help out doing what else is needed. The reality is that political groups are all pretty small ponds, and becoming indispensable is the key to getting the biggest lily pad.

The world is run by those who show up. If you truly believe our political parties need to change direction, grab hold of the steering wheel.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Perjury, What Perjury?

Yesterday, despite the overwhelming opposition of the American people (3 to 1 against, according to recent polls), George Bush decided that Scooter Libby will not serve a day of jail time.

Does this president care what the people (including the Republican base) believe is right and just? Clearly not. His actions, from signing statements to warrantless wiretapping, prove he believes he's above the law. And now he's proved he puts his hired staff above the law as well.

Commuting Libby's sentence is a violation of the Justice Department's policies, as well as a slap in the face of the American people on this week in which we celebrate the founding of this nation in justice and freedom.

OK...so I'm preaching to the choir. You've already called your Senators and Congressmen to tell them you're not happy with this. You've already gotten dozens of e-mails from others who share your core values. Why am I telling you this?

Here's why: as others have said before me, all politics is local politics, and I need your help to keep Kennebec County blue. Between now and the 2008 election we will need your time and your money if we are to run an effective campaign, both on the federal and on the state, county, an local levels (and believe me, it all matters).

If you are outraged, as I am, and want to join in our efforts, go to our website, and follow the links to donate or volunteer.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Insanity is...

...when Paris Hilton spends more time in jail than Scooter Libby.

Can we impeach Bush yet? Please?

If you weren't pissed now, you should be. Investigate. Impeach. Imprison.

And remember that Kennebec County Democrats were the first in Maine to demand impeachment in 2006. We got it in the state platform. We want them gone. While following the advice in the previous post, also think of independence from Republican rule.

I always ask, and I'll ask again: if you believe that what we do is right, if you believe we fight the good fight, then join us. And if you can't join us, then donate to us so we can carry out the work that is so vital.

Happy Independence Day, all. Surely Scooter will be enjoying it. Won't you?

Make an Independence Day Promise

July 4th serves as a reminder that our nation was founded by dissenters. Most of the earliest settlers were folks who risked their lives to come to a land where they didn't have to follow the dictates of King George's government. And when that government tried to control their lives, they dissented again, fought for freedom, and won it with their blood.

This Independence Day I urge you to declare your independence from the current "King George", and also from your own fear that nothing you do will make things better.

Complaining is easier than rolling up your sleeves and getting to work...but we've reached a time when even voting is just not enough. It's time to do more, to work even harder to be sure that 2008 is not a repeat of the 2004 presidential election....close, but not a win.

What can you do? Promise yourself you'll be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Decide to be part of what's happening, not just a spectator. Sign up for our county committee e-mail list and we'll tell you what volunteer opportunities are available. Just visit the Kennebec County Democrats website and follow the links to join, to volunteer, or to make a donation. If you live in our Maine county, you're already one of us. If you don't, we'd love to have you join those from all over the country who have contributed to our work through Act Blue.

Have a great 4th...we'll have a presence at the Augusta Independence Day parade, and in Winslow we'll have a group in the parade and a vendor booth as well.

Hope to see you there.