Random Liberals

We are random liberals (who knew?). Collectively, we make up the greatest blog in the history of ourselves. We will blog about anything that suits us; mostly politics, with a little bit of religion and randomness to make the blog exciting.


Friday, February 27, 2004


I now have comments!

Now, if only I knew what Trackback was for and how to use it...


Thursday, February 26, 2004

Dean is back in the news

From the San Francisco Chronicle (actually, written by the AP, but I got it off of the Chronicle's site), Howard Dean says that the Democratic Party must continue to show its recently gained spine. In his words, the Democrats must:

| "not paper over its differences with the most radical administration in our
| lifetime. In order to win, the Democratic Party must aggressively expose
| the ways in which George W. Bush's policies benefit the privileged and the
| most extreme ideologues.
| ...snip...
| "I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs
| as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes
| for a better future. Because -- I will say it again -- that is the way to win in
| 2004."

The Democratic Party would be well served to listen to this man. He may not have won the nomination, but he knows what he's talking about. He watched the 2002 mid-terms, like the rest of us did, and he knows that we must stay on message, and must stay on the offensive. If we don't, Roveco will tear the nominee to shreds.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Doing my civic duty

That's right. I voted yesterday, in Texas. I voted early, and I intend to vote often. OK, maybe not.

In case you're curious, I voted for Edwards. Not that it's any of your damn business. :-)


Woohoo! I got me a refund!

That, and I figured out that I'm smart. I figured out how to link my e-mail address, so you can click on it and it will go to Outlook, if you have that, and automatically put my e-mail address in the "To:" line. Try it, and see if it works.


What equal rights?

"President" Bush today said that he will fully support the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). Several blogs have commented on this, but my favorite was from conservative pundit and homosexual Andrew Sullivan. His sense of betrayal is very real, and is strong enough to make me feel sorry for the guy. He, and many other gay conservatives, are shocked that their leader would hang them out and ostracize them like this. While I could have told them that Shrub never gave a rat's backside about anyone other than himself and his cronies, I do sympathize.

The Right Christians have very good posts about Bush's decision here and here. Incidentally, I feel that I must further clarify my stance. While I believe that the state should get out of marriage, I don't think it will. As such, I believe that homosexuals should get full marriage rights, including the title "marriage." I do not believe there is any point in supporting civil unions but not marriage, as many mainstream Democrats unfortunately do. It's only asking for comparisons to the old "separate but equal" days.

I do not believe that this proposed amendment will get out of the Senate. There are more Democrats there that will stand on principle than there are in the House. However, if the bill does get out of Congress, I'm afraid of what may happen. There are recent poll numbers saying that there is a plurality of Americans that oppose such an amendment, but there is no telling what can happen once the polls actually open, especially with the sort of campaign that will happen once the amendments are put to a vote.

Here's hoping the people of the United States are smarter than the Bush administration thinks.

UPDATE: Color me stupid. According to this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the state legislatures will vote whether to ratify, not the people. This being the case, I think that the amendment will be home free if it passes Congress. Already, 38 states have passed or are in the process of passing laws restricting marriage rights for homosexuals, and 38 is exactly how many states are needed to ratify a Constitutional amendment.


Monday, February 23, 2004

Ralph Nader

I watched Ralph Nader's interview with Jim Lehrer tonight (here's the transcript), and I have to say that I came away more impressed with Nader than was before. Don't get me wrong, I still think that he's running for egotistical reasons, but I'm less hostile to him now than I was. He has a good message, and this year I think he will not hurt the Democrats as he did two years ago. His goal, and what I think (and hope) will happen, is to draw votes away from George Bush. There are many conservatives who are disgusted with Shrub (mainly because he's not really conservative; he's actually closer to authoritarian), but do not trust the Democratic Party. So, instead of having to hold their noses and vote for the Democratic nominee, Nader gives them another alternative.

Nader has also said that he will not attack the Democrats unless they attack him first. He wants to focus all of his efforts on Bush. I believe that as long as this happens, and as long as Democrats stay on message, and keep up the spirit of Howard Dean, as they have done fairly well so far, they have nothing to worry about. So, I won't worry. Yet.



That's what I was after I read this. Rebels in Uganda attacked a refugee camp and killed 192 people. Many of the people were burned alive when the rebels set fire to the huts they were living in.

Why? Why do people do this? They were innocent civilians who had been displaced by the rebellion, which has been raging for 17 years. This is not the first instance of brutality by the rebellion, either. In 1995, they gathered 300 civilians and murdered them in cold blood.

Here's hoping there's still some sanity in the world.

UPDATE: This article places the death toll at 213 now. The name of the rebel group is the Lord's Resistance Army. I watched the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and they said that the LRA wishes to rule Uganda guided by the Ten Commandments. Normally, I'd make a snide remark about this kind of statement, but this is just too sad to make fun of. Unfortunately, today's News Hour has not yet been transcripted (other than the Nader interview), but as soon as I find the transcript, or some other confirmation of this, I'll update and link to it.


Death penalty

According to this article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, there is a major challenge in the works over lethal injections. Several people sentenced to die in the next year have claimed that one of the three chemicals used in lethal injections, pancuronium bromide, can cause major suffering for the person it is used on, but no one would know, because it is a paralysing muscle relaxant, and therefore would leave render the inmate unable to scream or show signs of suffering.

During a lethal injection, a prisoner is given three drugs. The first is sodium thiopental, a powerful anesthetic which is supposed to induce unconciousness and leave the recipient unable to feel pain. The second is pancuronium bromide, which as I mentioned earlier, is a super-powerful muscle relaxer. It's design is to paralyze the lungs and diapragm, making the prisoner suffocate. The third is potassium chloride, which stops the heart. If all goes well, and the deadly chemicals are introduced very soon after the anesthetic, then the inmate simply drifts away. The problem is that there is the very real possibility that the anesthetic wears off before the prisoner is dead. This means that the person being killed is fully aware of his suffocation and chest pains, which soon become incredibly fierce. However, witnesses to the execution would not know that the prisoner is feeling excruciating pain, because the muscle relaxant paralyzes all muscles, meaning that he cannot contort his face, nor can he speak. This is the epitome of torture, because no one other than the inmate knows what is going on.

I will conclude by saying that, according to the article, the use of pancuronium bromide has been banned for the use of euthenizing pets. Now, maybe it's just me, but I figure that if it cannot be used for killing cats, there's no way in hell that it should be used for killing people.


Sunday, February 22, 2004

One final word for the night

This morning, I watched the CBS political show Face the Nation. On the show were DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and RNC chair Ed Gillespie. For most of the show, McAuliffe smacked Gillespie up and down the table, sticking it to him on every issue. I was even inspired to pull some cheers for McAuliffe, he was so good. However, at the very end of the show, McAuliffe made a HUGE mistake. The moderator, Bob Schieffer, asked Gillespie if the preznit would take a stand for an amendment banning marriage rights for homosexuals. Not surprisingly, Gillespie danced around the question, but left the general impression that, yes, Bush would support such an amendment. Schieffer then asked McAuliffe the same question. McAuliffe said, "John Kerry said he's against gay marriages. I'll let the senator speak for himself." Schieffer then said that they were out of time for the segment.

This is where Kerry's stupid, nuanced, pragmatist stance can get him into serious trouble. This dumb statement by the chair of the Democratic National Committee leaves the impression that Kerry may well support just such an amendment. Now, anyone who knows Kerry's votes (he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996) would know that this is not the case. However, those who do not pay such attention to Congress are left with the wrong impression. Kerry should just bite the bullet and come out for marriage rights for homosexuals. He already does support those rights; the only thing he does not support is letting homosexuals use the word "marriage" to describe their unions. All it is is a word. That's what this fight is about in most people's eyes. Now, there are those who do not believe homosexuals should not even have the right to enter into civil unions, but those are not the sort of people that would vote for John Kerry in the first place. He's not going to fool them by giving marriage rights to homosexuals under a different name.

Full transcript to Face the Nation here. It's a .pdf file.



OK, not really...Ralph Nader is going on another ego trip. Or running for president. Call it what you like.

Incidentally, I don't care that he's running. If the Democrats can't beat Bush with what they have, even if Nader is running, they wouldn't deserve to win even if he wasn't running. I'm not with those people who think Nader should stay out of it. He has a right to make an ass of himself, same as the rest of us. I just hope Kerry (or Edwards, if he makes the come back) doesn't make an end run to the right in response. He should just ignore Nader.


Saturday, February 21, 2004

SBC to pull out of Baptist World Alliance

Following up on a story I wrote about in my first ever post (scroll to the very end), the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee voted 62-10 to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance earlier this week, claiming that the association had become "too liberal".

Of course, the media is considered liberal by the SBC, so that should tell you something about how much their opinion means to me.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Someone destroyed the Constitution!

One of my absolute favorite columnists, Linda Campbell, writes about an absolute monstrosity of a bill, the Constitution Restoration Act. I don't really know very much about the bill, because today was the first I had heard of it. However, it is clear that it is a right wing reaction to judicial "activism," especially the decision last year that former Judge Roy Moore could not post the Ten Commandments in the state courthouse. That decision, if you'll remember, wound up costing Moore his seat on the state Supreme Court. Not coincidentally, Moore was in on the writing of the bill, which Linda summarizes thusly:

| 'In essence, the bill would negate the federal court rulings that forced the
| removal of the Ten Commandments monument that Moore, then Alabama's
| chief justice, had installed in the state's Supreme Court building.

| The bill would remove the authority of any federal judge to hear any suit
| against a state, federal or local official claiming a violation of the First
| Amendment based on that official's "acknowledgement of God as the
| sovereign source of law, liberty or government."

| And it specifically says that any rulings in this area before the law becomes
| effective aren't binding on the states.

| That's sweeping enough, but it doesn't stop there. The bill would declare
| that federal judges interpreting the Constitution may not rely on anything
| besides "English constitutional and common law."

| Judges, even those on the Supreme Court, could not look to other court
| rulings, administrative rules, executive orders -- and no foreign law,
| dadgummit -- though the bill says nothing about reliance on divine
| inspiration.

| Any judge who entertains a legal claim based on a public
| official's "acknowledgement of God" would be committing an impeachable
| offense.'

I can't add anything to this. Incidentally, if you don't know who Linda Campbell is, it's because she isn't syndicated.


College Republicans

Yesterday, the College Republicans of Roger Williams University in Providence, RI awarded a scholarship open only to whites to a junior named Adam Noska. The junior said that he accepted the award because he needed the money, which as a collegian myself, I can understand. The group said that they wanted to make a statement about Affirmative Action and scholarships open only to minorities, which is their right. It was a completely tasteless and insensitive way to do so, but again, it is their right. What chaps me more than anything else is that the president of Roger Williams' College Republicans is of Puerto Rican descent who benefitted himself from a scholarship open only to minorities. I cannot begin to describe how hypocritical that is, so I won't try. Suffice it to say that even the state Republican Party is denouncing the scholarship.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Equal rights

Bush is troubled by something. That's good to know. I was beginning to wonder when all this lying was going to get to him, being the good, compassionate man he is.

Wait...that article is talking about homosexuals getting married. Ah yes. He's troubled by the stance that conservatives have been taking. He wants homosexuals to be able to know the pure joy of getting married.

Wait...that's not it either. He's troubled because homosexuals are getting married. Well, to tell you the truth, I'm troubled, too. I'm troubled that they are having to rush through their marriages. I'm troubled that they are not able to relish the moment. Marriage is something one should be able to spend months planning, and the wedding day should last...well...an entire day. I'm troubled that there are people who are trying to spoil the happiness that these people who are getting married must be experiencing. I'm troubled that a judge is likely going to strip these people of their marriages. (Side note: I don't blame the judge, I blame the law, and those who are filing suit.) I'm troubled that Bush is willing to strip an entire group of people of their rights, just because he thinks they are icky and immoral. There are lots of heterosexual people who are immoral, but they still get to keep their rights, because they were immoral with someone of the opposite sex.

(My use of the word "icky" in this context is not original. I credit Lean Left for being the first that I saw use "icky" when speaking of the Right's impression of homosexuality.)

Incidentally, John Kerry does not escape my wrath right now. He needs to quit waffling on this one. Being for civil unions but against marriage is a little stupid, since civil unions are, in effect, marriages without the title.

In writing the above about Kerry, it occurred to me that I should clarify my stance on marriage rights for homosexuals. To do that, I need to tell you my stance on marriage as an institution, period. I think that the government should not have a say on marriage. Marriage is, in effect, a religious institution (yes, the religious right does actually have a point there). Whether or not two (or more, if you're old school splinter Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) people can get married should be left to the religious institutions. Find a church that will hitch you, and get hitched. What should happen on the government side is this: for tax and legal purposes, any two people should be able to enter into a contract (a civil union, if you will). These two people would have all the rights now afforded to married persons. It would not matter if they lived together or not, whether they were gay or straight, or anything else. The only restriction placed on the union is that there could only be two people in the contract.

The above is not an original idea. I've seen similar ideas floated around elsewhere, though I can't remember where. If I ever see something similar to this, I will link to it.


And now, a moment of silence...

For my man Howard Dean, MD, who is dropping out, according to Calpundit.

Thank you, Dr. Dean, for the spine transplant. We're sorry to see you go, and we hope you continue to use your support to help us beat the "President" this November.

Your candidacy will be sorely missed.


Monday, February 16, 2004


I can't begin to guess what is going to happen, but I can say that it probably will not be good, neither for the people of Iran (especially women), nor for U.S./Iran relations. Even though those relations are virtually non-existant (which we can, to an extent, blame on Shrub and his assinine "axis of evil" speech), they stood a chance of improving as long as the reformers were at least partially in control. Now, with parliamentary elections coming this Friday, we are likely going to see a parliament dominated by Islamic fundementalists. President Mohammed Khatami is begging the people to vote for the few reformers left on the ballot, but the public is very apathetic right now. Things are not looking up for the Iranians.


India and Pakistan talking

For the sake of everybody in South Asia, let us hope that these two nuclear powers can work out their differences.


Bush is on crack

If he believes this crap that he's touting as the truth, then he must be. Either that, or he's a dumbass. Of course, it could be both.

Side note: Of course Democrats want to raise taxes. That is, if you call keeping the tax cuts for people with under $200,000 dollars of yearly income, while reverting taxes for everyone else to their pre-Bush administration levels a tax increase. Moron.


Tutu on Bush and Blair

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on "President" George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair to apologise today in London England.

| 'In an evening lecture delivered in Westminster, central London, the Nobel
| laureate said Bush and Blair would reap a revival in credibility if they
| apologised for waging a war that left the world "a great deal less safe".
| "How wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit they are only
| fallible human creatures, and not God, and thus by definition can make
| mistakes," Tutu's speech said, according to an advance copy.
| "Unfortunately, they seem to think that such an admission is a sign of
| weakness," Tutu said.
| "Weak and insecure people hardly ever say 'sorry'. It is large-hearted and
| courageous people who are not diminished by saying, 'I made a mistake.'
| "President Bush and Prime Minister Blair would recover considerable
| credibility and respect if they were able to say, 'Yes, we made a mistake'." '

Wise words. Not that an apology from Shrub would make a difference in whether or not I vote for him. I merely present it as good advice. Incidentally, it would make a minor difference in how I feel about Tony Blair. I've waffled when it comes to him. Sometimes I think he's a great guy, and other times I think he's a tool. No, that's a lie. I always think he's a tool. He allowed himself to be used by the Junior administration, and now he's stuck. It didn't help him in my eyes that the Hutton report was a complete snow job.

Here's hoping that the Iraq "independent" committee didn't take notes. Not that I'm holding my breath.



According to alleged affair-haver Alex Polier, there was no affair!

Count me among those folks that aren't surprised.


Sunday, February 15, 2004

I hate this, but...

Following up on Drudge's stupidass unverified story, John Kerry unsurprisingly denied having an affair with an intern for the Associated Press. I have nothing more to say, except that Matt Drudge is a blankety blank blank blankhole.


Chairman of Dean's campaign to resign

This from Talk Left: The chairman of Gov. Howard Dean's campaign is going to resign and sign on with the campaign of John Kerry if Dr. Dean does not win Wisconsin, which is very likely.

The good doctor has to drop out if he loses in Wisconsin. As the article says, he has no plans for campaigning after Tuesday, and most of his staff is leaving, either for vacation or for good. It has been a fun ride, but it must come to a close. Here's hoping that Edwards can keep up the good fight, if only to ensure that the race continues, and the Democrats continue to get media exposure.


Friday, February 13, 2004

Donald ducks

Ok, so Rumsfeld didn't really duck questions. At least, not like McClellan did during the questioning mentioned in my last post. But the title is catchyish. Anyways, Rumsfeld held a press conference where he said that prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay will now have a chance to appeal their imprisonments. Once a year. To a board being created just for this purpose.

This is ridiculous. If a prisoner is lucky enough to be released, then congratulations. I have my doubts. The administration is still claiming that the prisoners can be held indefinitely, or until the "War on Terror" is over. How can it ever be over? It's a "war" on an idea, which can never end. As long as there are people, there will be people who want to kill. Terrorists, if you will. Absolutely ridiculous.


Helen Thomas is a beast

And it's good to have her jumping down resident idiot Scott McClellan's throat. Josh Marshall has the exchange here.

Why oh why does McClellan not answer? It makes absolutely no sense. If he answers in the affirmative (that Bush did in fact have to perform community service as punishment), then the press corps would simply move on to the next question, and the "President" would be no worse off. As many people have pointed out, what Shrub did 30 years ago doesn't really matter. What does matter is that he continues to stonewall and avoid his past. Freud would say that he has some sort of problem (if I knew Freud better, I might could specify that problem, but I don't). If Junior would simply own up to his past, he would be much better off because of that. Instead, he continues to lose trust. It's akin to a story I was told in middle school about a group of ostriches. They were convinced that when they stuck their heads in the ground, they became invisible, and that everything would simply pass through them without harming them. Of course, when a nearby herd of elephants stampeded and the ostriches stuck their heads in the ground instead of running, they were trampled. The administration seems to think that they can stick their heads in the ground and pretend that there is no problem. They're going to get trampled underfoot if they don't look up to see the stampede.


Bush shocks all of us!

In a move I didn't think Bush would make, he has authorized the release of his military records. However, according to several different sources, including the AP and the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, these records do not say anything that will clear up the question of Bush's service in Alabama.

Curiouser and curiouser...


More Equal Rights...

The latest from San Francisco: Superior Court Judge James L. Warren refused to immediately block the city from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples. This means that San Francisco will continue to perform the marriages at least through the weekend. Justice Warren ordered lawyers for conservative activists to come back to his courthouse on Tuesday to present their arguments.

In other news, the Massachusetts constitutional convention disbanded without approving an amendment banning gay marriage (ignore the headline; apparently, Yahoo! has some really crappy headline writers). As the story says, this is not necessarily a victory for civil rights, but it is a promising sign. More on all of this tomorrow.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

Equal rights, revisited

Yesterday, Massachusetts legislators narrowly defeated two proposed constitutional amendements that would ban marriage for homosexuals. There are two other proposed amendments today, so this is not over yet.

Update: Some officials in San Francisco have issued marriage licences and performed weddings for about 20 same-sex couples today, in direct defiance of state law.

Link via tgirsch at Lean Left.

POSTSCRIPT: I'm not really sure what's going to come of this thing with the city of San Francisco. The legislators in Sacramento cannot be at all happy about this decision by mayor Newsom. One of several things could happen. First, the state legislature could change the law. I find that unlikely. Second, they could just do nothing. Also unlikely. Third, they could start screaming for Mayor Newsom's head. If that happens, we will have a serious fight on our hands, because I guarantee Newsom won't go quietly. More on this later.


Kerry's affairs...

I hate doing this following crap, because I think the story is dumb and irrelevant, and because it's part of one of the true media biases (the scandal bias, usually sex scandals), but Drudge is saying that John Kerry had an affair with an intern. According to Daily Kos, this is old news. It appears that, if true, this does not necessarily mean that Kerry cheated on his wife. The affair probably occurred while Kerry was between wives. Kerry apparently was known as a playboy on Capitol Hill.

I don't think that will matter to the Bush/Rove smear machine. Bush panders to the religious right, which overwhelmingly believes that any sex outside of marriage, even if it's not adulterous, is immoral. Bush will hack this to death, casting Kerry as a man without any morals, and cast him in the same light as Clinton. While most Americans won't care, it will have the added affect of replacing actual issues on the front page. Depending on if the papers run this story tomorrow, as many bloggers expect, I may or may not have more on this subject.

Looking on the bright side, this can only help my man Dean. I hope it doesn't come down to that, but...


Bob Novack

This guy is unbelievable, literally and as a figure of speech.

| "Two government officials have told the FBI that conservative columnist
| Robert Novak was asked specifically not to publish the name of undercover
| CIA operative Valerie Plame in his now-famous July 14 newspaper column.
| The two officials told investigators they warned Novak that by naming Plame
| he might potentially jeopardize her ability to engage in covert work, stymie
| ongoing intelligence operations, and jeopardize sensitive overseas sources."

Here is the full article.

Why does Bob Novack still have a job? The media seem to have forgotten about him in their zeal to nail the Bush administration. While that is an admirable goal, we must remember that if not for Novack, this would not be an issue. In all likelyhood, he knew that he was breaking the law in releasing Valerie Plame's name, but he did it anyway. He seems to have done it out of sheer spite. There's no other reason that I can think of for him to release her name.

Link via Atrios.


Was I right, or was I right?

As I guessed last Wednesday, in the post titled "Dean is finished," Clark dropped out after a fairly disappointing finish in Tuesday's primaries. Clark had contemplated dropping out after last Tuesday, but he was talked out of it, reportedly by his wife. It's a crying shame that he couldn't last any longer. Clark is a good man, and he gained invaluable political experience. I think he would make a fine candidate in 8 years. In the meantime, it would probably be in his best interests to run for a smaller office; he would gain even more experience, and chances are good he'd win, especially if he ran for a statewide office in Arkansas.


Monday, February 09, 2004

Bad, bad weekend

In case you, the one person who reads this blog, were worried, I'm still alive, thankfully. Saturday, I decided that it would be a good idea to cross a busy highway right in front of a full-sized sedan in my compact car. I didn't see said full-sized sedan until it was about two feet from the rear-quarter-panel of my car. Needless to say, I don't have a car anymore. I escaped with only a headache and an abrasion on my forehead, and my sister, who was in the car with me, escaped with a strained neck. That didn't stop the local hospital from charging $1000 to my auto insurance so they could take pictures of my head and tell me that I would, in fact, live to see tomorrow. This has put me in a bit of a spot, but I'll make it.

In other, more politically important news, Tim Russert is, as we all knew, a wuss inside. He did ask some fairly tough questions of our "President," but he refused to follow up when Shrub, unsurprisingly, lied. I don't have a link to the transcript at this moment, but I know where to find one (or two or three; that happens when one looks at blogs all afternoon). I probably won't post the link until tomorrow, because I won't be able to get back on the computer tonight, and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, a program I've only recently discovered, is on in five minutes. (This is where I say that I hate being on a 56k modem, especially when DSL was supposed to be installed last week. Screw the phone company.)

Hopefully, I'll be back to the form I had on Thursday and Friday. Equally as hopefully, I won't wreck a car tomorrow.


Friday, February 06, 2004


This from Talking Points Memo. It is a snip of today's press gaggle. I'm not going to post the whole thing, but I want to highlight a key point.

"MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I know that you do not feel that we are safer because we removed Saddam Hussein from power. I think most people believe the world is safer and better because we removed Saddam Hussein from power.

QUESTION: A lot of people are dead, thousands.

MR. McCLELLAN: And the President remembers those who lost their lives on September 11th. That taught us that we are living in a different --

QUESTION: They had nothing to do with September 11th, the Iraqis.

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, I beg to differ. September 11th taught us that we are living in a dangerous new world. September 11th --

QUESTION: So you attack somebody who is innocent?

MR. McCLELLAN: September 11th taught us that we must confront gathering threats before it's too late. September 11th changed the equation. And this President -- and this President's highest responsibility is protecting the American people. And he will not wait and rely on the good intentions of Saddam Hussein, given his history, to confront that threat. Saddam Hussein had the choice, and Saddam Hussein continued to defy the international community."

Absolutely disgusting. I realize that Scott McClellan is saying that 9/11 changed everything, and doesn't explicitly connect Iraq and 9/11, but the implication is there. He knew exactly what the questioner meant, and twisted her (assuming that this Helen is a woman) question into a completely different animal. Can someone please tell me how we ended up with these idiots in office?


Thursday, February 05, 2004

One final note...

Maurice Clarett, noted dumbass, will be allowed to enter the NFL draft this April, assuming U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling withstands appeal. I'm not quite sure how I feel about 18 and 19 year old kids being allowed in the NFL, but regardless, Clarett is absolutely the wrong person to go first. He has an attitude problem, trouble with authority, and as far as anyone knows, is injury prone. I think that Clarett will end up embarrassing himself, and setting everyone back about five years. Not that that's necessarily bad.



According to this article, two of Dick Cheney's underlings are to be investigated in connection with the Valerie Plame case. Not that I think anything will become of the investigation, but hey! I can dream, can't I?

Link via Talk Left.

This is interesting...

According to Reuters, his eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani survived an assassination attempt in the city of Najaf. However, according to ABCNEWS.com, the report coming out of Iraq is a lie.

If the report is true, which I suspect it is, then Iraq, and indeed, the entire world, got incredibly lucky. If the report is false...I'm not quite sure what's going on, then.

Links via Josh Marshall and Hesiod.

Equal Rights

Yesterday, a Massachusetts court told the state Senate that only full gay marriage rights would be acceptable under the state constitution, and not merely "Vermont-style civil unions." Predictably, "President" Shrub lambasted the court, and again called for a Constitutional ammendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman only.

Interestingly, and sadly, while gay marriage will be allowed in Massachusetts starting in May, the state legislature has called for a constitutional convention, where they will discuss adding a similar ammendment banning gay marriage. The ammendment is supported by the Republican governor. Who says that Massachusetts is out of touch with "mainstream values"?

Update: As though to snub their collective noses at Massachusetts, and homosexuals in general, the Ohio Senate has approved legislation denying homosexuals not only the right to marry (something they had already banned), but also the right to domestic partner benefits for state employees. The ban also extends to unmarried heterosexuals. The Ohio House of Representatives has already passed the bill, and the Governor, Bob Taft, has said he will sign it. This will make Ohio the second state, after Nebraska, to deny homosexuals domestic partner benefits.

Link via Liberal Oasis


Dean is finished

Dean wrote an e-mail to his supporters today saying that ."We must win Wisconsin." His goose is cooked. He keeps pushing back where he is going to heavily campaign. At one time, he was the only candidate with people on the ground in all seven states for the elections of February 3. Then, he gave up on those and said he would focus on this weekend. Now, it appears that he is giving up there, and on the February 10 elections, and putting all his chips into the Wisconsin primary. Obviously, this is not a good sign for former Governor Dean.

Incidentally, Wes Clark is not far behind.

"Two officials close to Clark, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he considered dropping out of the race Tuesday night after
scoring a single victory, a nail-biter in Oklahoma. They said his wife, Gert, helped talk him into staying in the race against the
advice of some backers."

Even though he was talked out of dropping out, I don't think his heart will be in it anymore. I look for him to drop out after this Tuesday's primaries.



OK, folks, I now have e-mail up and running. Unfortunately, Yahoo! blows, so I didn't use them. Either that, or the computer I'm sitting at really hates me. I'm not sure which. In any case, my e-mail address is randomliberal@email.com. Feel free to drop me a line.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Well, the blog movement is catching fire these days, with the election this year, so I figure that I ought to get in on the action. Most of what you (yes, you, the one person who will ever read this blog) need to know about me is already up in the description. I will tell you more about myself as I progress this year (assuming I stay with this blog for that long). As you have probably gathered, I am a liberal. I am also a Christian. A Baptist to be more precise. Before you have a heart attack, though, rest assured that I am not Southern Baptist. I don't think. It depends on how you determine what Southern Baptist is. I would say that I am not Southern Baptist, but I am a member of a church that still, for reasons beyond my comprehension, has a few members who insist on their money going to the Southern Baptist Convention, and not the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. That may have to change in the next few years, however, because the Southern Baptist Convention has recently begun very serious talk of severing ties from the World Baptist Alliance.

For those of you who do not know, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is the moderate reaction to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was formed in the late 1980s, I believe, when it became clear that the moderates were steadily losing their voice to the fundementalists in the Convention. While officially, the Fellowship still holds out hope for reconciliation with the Convention, with the recent revelation that the SBC is leaving the World Baptist Alliance, it is unlikely that reconciliation will ever occur.

Now to my favorite subject: politics. Specifically, United States politics. (First, an aside. I refuse to refer to the United States as "America." I hate that, for two reasons. First, the United States is not just the name of a country; it's an idea, and a wonderful idea at that. For this same reason, I would like to see the Latin phrase "e pluribus unum" a little more often. Second, the U.S. is not "America" by itself. America is made of many diverse countries, spanning much of the Western hemisphere. I also would like to refrain from using "American" to refer to a U.S. citizen or occupant, but this is harder, since English does not have an equivilent for the Spanish word "estadounidense," which literally means "one who is from the United States.") As you might guess, I am a Democrat. Except when the Democratic candidate looks, smells, and talks like a Republican (yes, I'm talking about you, Zell Miller). Then I'm a supporter of the Greens. As far as this year's presidential election goes, I'm a Howard Dean supporter. I've followed him since before anyone outside of Vermont had even heard of him, thanks to my father, who sent me a link to his website in the fall of 2002. He is the most honest candidate in this race. He also was the first Democrat to show any signs of having cajones (apologies to Carol Mosely Braun, who I hope will never have cajones). Even as he fades, his effect is being felt throughout the nomination process. Almost every candidate has adopted at least some of his platform. Yes, I realize they're all Democrats, and therefore will have similar agendas to begin with. However, when I look at the race now, and compare it to the race of a few months ago, I sense that Dean pushed most of the other Democrats toward a tougher stance against Bush.

I realize that nearly every other pundit and blogger out there is handicapping the race right now (and to those few that aren't, I salute you), but I can't much resist doing it myself. Dean is likely cooked. He must absolutely do well this weekend to stay viable, and I just don't see it happening. Wesley Clark, I believe, is also cooked. He barely won Oklahoma, and he got clobbered in South Carolina, losing even to Al freaking Sharpton! I know that Sharpton spent gads of time in South Carolina, but that is still incredibly bad for Clark. He will probably stay in the race until at least Super Tuesday, but I don't see him lasting past the 9th of March, a week later.

That leaves it as a two man race between the two Johns, Kerry and Edwards. Edwards must win in Tennessee and Virginia to stay viable, but if he does, he may present a very formidable challenge on Super Tuesday, and if he wins big there, he could win the nomination. Otherwise, it's all Kerry. Kerry will make a fine presidential nominee, with a (mostly) untouchable national security record. Yes, he did vote to authorize Shrub to go to war, but in his speech before the vote, he spoke of making sure that the United Nations inspections were completed and of getting a large coalition to help the U.S. should we decide to go to war. He said that if Dubya failed to do either, then Kerry himself would be the first to denounce the "President," which he has done. I have no problem with Kerry, and I would be even more thrilled if he was to choose Wes Clark as his running mate. I like Clark very much, mostly because he has been against the Iraq war from the start, despite lies to the contrary, but also because, while he did vote for Republican Presidents in the past, his platform is quite progressive.

A postscript: in the future, I will have links to articles and/or quotes. I don't really have an excuse for not having links on this post. I don't quite remember where they are. This is an introductory post, and as such, the information came from what I remember reading. The Kerry speech is public record, as it was made on the Senate floor. Clark's platform can be found at his website. There. A link. Here's hoping it works. My future posts will be about current events, mostly, so the information that I have will be from current websites, so I will likely have just looked at the information, and therefore will have the link handy, making it easy to link. Kind of like this link to my old roommate's band's website.

Post-postscript: The links work! Woohoo!

Another postscript: I just realized that blogspot doesn't post my e-mail address. While I realize that very, very few people will ever read this, I would like feedback from those that do (if anyone does). My computer is stupid, and won't let me register a new e-mail address, so I will post one tomorrow. It will contain some variation of "random liberal" in it, and will probably be a Yahoo! address. Beyond that, who knows?