Friday, June 11, 2004

McCain DEFINITELY Will Not Run With Kerry

The AP finally has the scoop from inside the campaign confirming that John McCain will not be John Kerry's running mate on the Democratic ticket in November. Despite having repeatedly said in public he didn't want the job in public, McCain privately put his foot down to Kerry a few weeks ago.

So that's it, people. It's over. I don't want to hear it any more!

And don't even think about starting in with the Hillary Clinton nonsense to make up for it...

posted by Scott | 6/11/2004 | |

Putin Backs Bush At G-8

I couldn't have made this up if I tried. Perhaps lobbying for an honorary spot in John Ashcroft's Justice Department, Michael Powell's FCC, or Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon, (any of which he'd be right at home in) Stalinist Russian President Vladimir Putin attacked American Democrats for criticizing Bush's war in Iraq.

Comparing the war against Iraq to the war against Serbia, Putin said that Democrats "have no moral right to attack" Bush. The idea, I suppose, is that it's hypocritical to support one and not the other. That logic is pretty weak, however, when you consider that the rationale for going into Yugoslavia was stopping ethnic cleansing that was underway and the rationale for going into Iraq was finding weapons of mass destruction that weren't there. Then again, you don't really need strong logic when you're an anti-democratic (small 'd' there) would-be totalitarian like Putin.

Here are just two of Bush's new best friend's greatest hits...

From Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture:
New Evidence of Enforced Disappearances, Rape, Torture, and Extrajudicial Executions

From The Guardian:
The Kremlin has introduced a draconian election law which threatens the media with closure if they give details of candidates' personal lives or analyse their policies.

I picked those because they seemed to me to indicate why Bush and Putin might be getting so chummy these days.

Well, I guess we shouldn't have blown it off back in 2001, when Bush looked into Putin's soul and told the world that he liked what he saw. The world didn't know at the time what Bush saw, but now that I think I've got an idea, I'm pretty afraid.

posted by Scott | 6/11/2004 | |

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

GOP Seeks To Throw Out Separation Of Church And State

It's official. The Bush administration and the current leadership of the GOP disgust me. Don't get me wrong... I was never really a fan. But up until now, they'd only managed to irritate me, piss me off, infuriate me, and aggravate me. But now I'm disgusted. Ready to toss my cookies disgusted.

Recently, Rove's Reelection Machine waded into a bit of hot water when an e-mail was leaked to the New York Times seeking to "enlist thousands of religious congregations around the country to distribute campaign information and register voters." Direct involvement with a political campaign is a well-known no-no for houses of worship and can result in the IRS revoking a congregation's tax-exempt status as a religious organization.

...But perhaps not for long.

There are two bills in the House right now that would save a religious organization's tax exemption even if they got directly involved with a political campaign. The first, sponsored by NC Rep. Walter Jones, despite having 165 co-sponsors, was introduced in January of last year. Nothing's been done since.

But the other bill is the one we need to worry about. Inserted into the Orwellian-named "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," this new proposal will basically serve the same purpose as Jones' law. Religious organizations, instead of running the risk of losing their coveted tax exemption, will now face a small fine. This fine could even be assumably paid, through donations, with campaign supporters to the church.

It would be one thing--understandable but still nauseating--if this new proposal was just a reaction to the GOP realizing that there was a problem with their plan. But that's not the case. The problem (isn't it always?) is that they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. So basically this proposal is there way of saying, 'yes, from time to time, we may put our hands in the cookie jar; the new rule, however, is that there is nothing wrong with putting our hands in the cookie jar.'

But a few weeks ago, the Seattle Times ran a story about Rove's Reelection Machine coordinating teams of volunteers to "work in evangelical churches throughout [Washington] state." So this isn't something new. This is a long-standing part of the plan.

But I guess this all just fits in rather neatly with Team W's unified theory of everything.

We needed to go to war in Iraq because of WMD.
No WMD in Iraq?
We needed to go to war in Iraq because of human rights.

We needed massive tax cuts because the government was running a surplus of 'the people's money.'
There's no more surplus?
We needed massive tax cuts to stimulate the failing economy.

Something isn't working? Just keep moving ahead, but change the story as to why you were doing it in the first place. Make it look like it's working. But I just don't see how they can spin their way out of this one.

We needed to hold up free speech rights for churches.
There's proof that we just wanted to run our campaigns out of churches?
We needed to help right-wing churches break the law without getting punished.

Yeah... that doesn't quite fly with me, either.

posted by Scott | 6/08/2004 | |

Monday, June 07, 2004

Dean Mounts 'Comeback'?

Listen... Regarding Howard Dean's current 'comeback' attempt, as Taegan Goddard has put it... Don't call it a comeback. Dean's been here for years, rocking his peers and putting suckers in fear.

All jokery aside, this is some seriously awesome news. Dean, as many had predicted he would, is taking all of that momentum he gained during his primary campaign, and pouring it all into a new project unifying the left. There is some speculation in the article that perhaps this new push, modeled on the efforts of the Christian Coalition and the Gingrich revolution, will even give birth to what the Wall Street Journal refers to as a "Progressive Manifesto."

Like I said, many people have seen this coming, but it's good to see that so early in the game, so major a media force as WSJ is sitting up and taking notice. In a year when it may be hard for certain folks to get excited about Kerry, it's crucial to have a progressive, charismatic force on the scene that is anything but boring.

posted by Scott | 6/07/2004 | |
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