Friday, September 28, 2007

Ok, how much for him to NOT run??

Fred Thompson took his sweet time before finally jumping into the Republican fray, leaving Newt Gingrich as the last remaining candidate who was not a candidate in the GOP. Well, Newt has made a move takes him one step closer to becoming a candidate. He wants money. If he gets enough of it, he will run. Specifically, he wants $30 million over the next three weeks and he will get into the race.

Gingrich: $30 million will get me into presidential race

MARIETTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told supporters on Thursday that if they pledge at least $30 million to his campaign over a three-week period starting Monday, he will compete for the GOP 2008 presidential nomination.
This should make things on the Republican side quite interesting. Will there be enough folks out there that have looked at the current crop of Republican candidates and said to themselves, "eh, don't like a one of 'em"? Will these folks cough up enough dough to entice Newt? I suspect that they will in the far right that doesn't trust a Romney because of his religious beliefs and don't buy Johnny-Mac and his sudden shift to the right. We know they don't trust Guliani because of his abortion stance.

And if it appears that the Republicans won't give him enough money to get in, will some anonymous democrat step in with big bucks to get him in, if just to watch the fireworks?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4th Amendment is ALIVE!!!

Portions of The Patriot Act have been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

The man behind the suit that challenged the constitutionality of the law was the Oregon man that was wrongly accused in the Madrid bombing. This man found out first hand how intrusive this law is.

(CNN) -- A federal court on Wednesday struck down two provisions of the Patriot Act dealing with searches and intelligence gathering, saying they violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures with regard to criminal prosecutions.

"It is critical that we, as a democratic nation, pay close attention to traditional Fourth Amendment principles," wrote Judge Ann Aiken of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in her 44-page decision. "The Fourth Amendment has served this nation well for 220 years, through many other perils."

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, set up to review wiretap applications in intelligence cases under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, "holds that the Constitution need not control the conduct of criminal surveillance in the United States," Aiken wrote.

"In place of the Fourth Amendment, the people are expected to defer to the executive branch and its representation that it will authorize such surveillance only when appropriate."

The government "is asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. The court declines to do so," Aiken said

Aiken ruled that FISA, as amended by the Patriot Act, permits the government to conduct surveillance and searches targeting Americans without satisfying the probable-cause standard in the Fourth Amendment.

"Prior to the amendments [to FISA], the three branches of government operated with thoughtful and deliberate checks and balances -- a principle upon which our nation was founded," Aiken wrote.

But the Patriot Act, she said, eliminated "the constitutionally required interplay between executive action, judicial decision and Congressional enactment."

"For over 200 years, this nation has adhered to the rule of law -- with unparalleled success. A shift to a nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised," she wrote.

Aiken noted that FISA does not require that the subject of a search be notified, although the Fourth Amendment ordinarily does. In addition, she said, the Fourth Amendment requires particularity -- authorities seeking a search warrant, for example, must list what they are looking for and where they are looking for it.

Break out the champaign, at least for now. This ruling will very likely be appealed. The article mentions that this judge is a Clinton appointee and is very liberal. However, the points raised by this judge seem solid.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No homosexuals in Iran

In his speech today @ Columbia University, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that Iran doesn't have any homosexuals:

Asked about widely documented government abuse of women and homosexuals in his country, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "I don't know who told you we had it," he said.
Could it be because they 're-educate' or execute homosexuals in Iran??

And you thought that the United States Military "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy was harsh!

Scott Adams: 'spot on' with his Dilbert Blog

I am a big fan of Dilbert creator Scott Adams, and regularly read his Dilbert blog. His posts are usually funny, almost always thought provoking, often full of satire, and regularly controversial. In his September 22nd Post, A Feeling I'm Being Had, he is all of that and more.

A Feeling I'm Being Had

I was happy to hear that NYC didn't allow Iranian President Ahmadinejad
to place a wreath at the WTC site. And I was happy that Columbia
University is rescinding the offer to let him speak. If you let a guy like
that express his views, before long the entire world will want freedom
of speech.

I hate Ahmadinejad for all the same reasons you do. For one thing, he
said he wants to "wipe Israel off the map." Scholars tell us the correct
translation is more along the lines of wanting a change in Israel's
government toward something more democratic, with less gerrymandering.
What an ass-muncher!

Ahmadinejad also called the holocaust a "myth." Fuck him! A myth is
something a society uses to frame their understanding of their world, and
act accordingly. It's not as if the world created a whole new country
because of holocaust guilt and gives it a free pass no matter what it
does. That's Iranian crazy talk. Ahmadinejad can blow me.

Most insulting is the fact that "myth" implies the holocaust didn't
happen. Fuck him for saying that! He also says he won't dispute the
historical claims of European scientists. That is obviously the opposite of
saying the holocaust didn't happen, which I assume is his way of
confusing me. God-damned fucker.

Furthermore, why does an Iranian guy give a speech in his own language
except for using the English word "myth"? Aren't there any Iranian
words for saying a set of historical facts has achieved an unhealthy level
of influence on a specific set of decisions in the present? He's just
being an asshole.

Ahmadinejad believes his role is to pave the way for the coming of the
Twelfth Imam. That's a primitive apocalyptic belief! I thank Jesus I do
not live in a country led by a man who believes in that sort of
bullshit. Imagine how dangerous that would be, especially if that man had the
launch codes for nuclear weapons.

The worst of the worst is that Ahmadinejad's country is helping the
Iraqis kill American soldiers. If Iran ever invades Canada, I think we'd
agree the best course of action for the United States is to be
constructive and let things sort themselves out. Otherwise we'd be just as evil
as the Iranians. Those fuckers.

Those Iranians need to learn from the American example. In this
country, if the clear majority of the public opposes the continuation of a war, our
leaders will tell us we're terrorist-humping idiots and do whatever they
damn well please. They might even increase our taxes to do it. That's
called leadership.

If Ahmadinejad thinks he can be our friend by honoring our heroes and
opening a dialog, he underestimates our ability to misinterpret him.
Fucking idiot. I hate him.

This great piece of satire expresses how I feel. I think that Ahmadinejad and Iran in general are not to be trusted. But I think that it was wrong try and exclude him from speaking at Columbia. Our country is supposed to have this little thing that we call freedom of expression. Some feel that this little freedom should not be extended to foreign leaders that disagrees with us. (well, for that matter, they also want to stifle the free speech of Americans that disagree with the current Administration).

I think that America can prove that it is a great nation by allowing Ahmadinejad to speak freely and openly. We need to show him and the world just how democracy is supposed to work. (Hell, it would be nice to show Gee-Dubya how democracy is supposed to work)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Looks like a flake VS Flake inCD-6

Russel Pearce making moves towards running against Jeff Flake:

Pearce takes step toward run for Congress

MESA - State Rep. Russell Pearce has announced the formation of a Congressional campaign exploratory committee, the first formal step toward a run for Congress.
The move allows the Mesa Republican to raise money for a run at Arizona's 6th Congressional District while retaining his office in the state House of Representatives.
If he chooses to go for it, Pearce would face Jeff Flake, a fellow Republican who will be seeking a fifth term in the seat next year. The 6th District includes parts of Mesa and Chandler, plus all of Gilbert, Queen Creek and Apache Junction.
If the flake beats Flake, paint CD-8 blue.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Spinning Wheels got to go 'Round

As I predicted, McCain says that he was just joking around with the NH high schooler when he called him a "little jerk".
McCain: Little jerk Comment Made in Jest

Speaking with CNN about the remarks, McCain added that "especially with young people, but with everybody, you got have a sense of humor and exchange."

McCain added, "He's entitled to his views and I respect them and that's why I made sure he was able to respond three or four times. I think that's what young people expect."

Gee, I thought that young people wanted to be respected, especially one that asks a very serious and valid question. McCain is like that old man that knows everything and gets pissed when you point out that he is wrong, often going into a tirade about something completely different to change the subject. You don't dare question his knowledge or his view of the world.

This is why Johnny-Mac can't see that his campaign is all but dead.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Senator to make AZ proud!

I thought Idaho had a reason to be embarrassed about the actions of one of their Senators, until today's news from our very own Senator McCain.

Seems Johnny-Mac thought it was OK to begin answering a relatively serious question from a New Hampshire high school student with some humor, which would have been fine had he stopped there. But the senior Senator from the great state of Arizona decided that he needed to finish his answer by saying “Thanks for the question, you little jerk … you’re drafted.”

I am sure that the McCain spin doctors will claim that he was joking. Watch the video. McCain starts out with some humor, gets to a serious answer to the question, then calls the kid a little jerk. There was nothing in that exchange that would lead the Senator to insult a student.

Clearly, this man does not have what it takes to be President. Another student at the event had an exchange with McCain about gay rights. McCain reiterated his stance opposing gay marriage. Here is the next bit of the exchange:

"You want to take away someone's rights because you believe it's wrong," Sleaster followed up.

"I don't put that interpretation on my position, but I understand yours," McCain responded, seeming to enjoy the back and forth.

It seems to me that John was trying to imply that the student is gay. The student, however, did not get upset, he got in the last word:
"I came here looking to see a good leader. I don't," Sleaster said before leaving the microphone to some boos and gasps from the audience and an eventual scolding by a school administrator.
I like the fact that these students asked tough questions of a candidate and unwilling to back down. Shame on the administrators for chastising a student for speaking his mind and defending himself against a veiled insult.

Sleaster was right, he didn't see a leader, he saw the true Johm McCain. A man who insults and puts down those that question him, his abilities, or integrity. I have been on the other end of McCain's wrath too. I didn't respond as well as Sleaster.

Arizona, normally considered a red state, today, we are just red-faced. At least Craig has some very credible deniability.