December 30, 2004

"We Need a New Election"

No, not the Democrats, but the Republicans ... in Washington ... state:

Republican Dino Rossi on Wednesday urged his Democratic rival in the closest governor's race in state history to join him in calling for another vote.

"The uncertainty surrounding this election process isn't just bad for you and me — it is bad for the entire state," Rossi said, reading from a letter he said he sent to Democrat Christine Gregoire. "People need to know for sure that the next governor actually won the election."

Gregoire spokesman Morton Brilliant said she would not be joining Rossi's call. "It's irresponsible to spend $4 million in taxpayer money on a new election just because you don't like losing this one," Brilliant said.

Gregoire is scheduled to be certified as governor-elect today, by 129 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast.

Rossi made his plea for a revote, which would have to be approved by the state Legislature, during a news conference. "A revote would be the best solution for the people of our state, and would give us a legitimate governorship," his letter said.

Posted by Eric at 11:47 PM | Comments (9)

December 23, 2004

It's Gregoire

The Democrat wins the Washington state gov race:

Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire won the state's governor's race by 130 votes, according to a hand recount that overturned a 42-vote victory initially awarded to Republican Dino Rossi.

Gregoire's lead widened from unofficial results released yesterday after King County, which includes Seattle, added 566 votes that were mistakenly left out of earlier tallies. During a third count completed today, Gregoire gained 920 votes, while Rossi picked up 748, according to election officials.

``As far as we're concerned, Christine Gregoire is the governor-elect,'' Kirsten Brost, a spokeswoman for the Democrats, said in an interview. ``We've had three counts and we're done.''

Posted by Eric at 09:20 PM | Comments (12)

Gregoire leads by 10

Seattle Times: "After winning the first two counts in the state's closest race ever, Rossi fell behind Democrat Christine Gregoire by 10 votes in what was supposed to be the final day of an unprecedented statewide manual recount. And he could drop even more after the state Supreme Court yesterday rejected a Republican attempt to block King County from reconsidering more than 700 ballots that the county said had been mistakenly disqualified."

Posted by Eric at 05:03 AM | Comments (4)

December 22, 2004

8 Votes

This is quite amazing: "Democrats have claimed victory in the race for Washington governor by a razor-thin margin of eight votes, citing preliminary results of a hand recount they say puts Christine Gregoire in front for the first time. Republicans maintained the race was still too close to call."

Posted by Eric at 11:24 AM | Comments (2)

December 13, 2004

Flood Wipes Out 95% of University of Hawaii Library Items

On its first floor, where there are 2.8 million items. The already budget-constrained university faces a daunting cleanup; Honolulu Advertiser:

Librarians hope they can save about 20 percent of the library's 166,000 maps, including historic maps going back to the 1600s, and almost all of its 91,000 aerial photos.

Government documents on the devastated first floor total about 20 percent of the library's overall collection.

Of the approximately 33,000 maps saved, about 17,000 are going to a firm in Texas for recovery and another 16,000 will stay in Hawai'i to undergo years of work to remove debris and dry them out. Restoration work could take up to seven years, say librarians.

"In talking to professionals around the world, there hasn't been another disaster in a library involving mud that anyone can think of," said Lynn Davis, head of preservation for Manoa campus libraries.

Posted by Eric at 10:41 AM | Comments (22)

December 08, 2004

Pataki Unpopular vs. Popular Spitzer

In a hypothetical match-up for the NY governor's seat:

Quinnipiac Univ. 12/3-6. MoE 2.9% (No trend lines)

Spitzer (D) 50
Pataki (R) 38

Posted by Eric at 06:44 PM | Comments (114)

November 19, 2004

Texas Widely Supports Med Marijuana

In that red state, this poll result:

A strong majority of Texans favor legalizing the medical use of marijuana, according to a new poll.

Seventy-five percent said people with cancer and other serious illnesses should be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes as long as their doctor approves, according to a Scripps Howard Texas poll question commissioned by Texans for Medical Marijuana. Nineteen percent said they would oppose such a bill.

"I'm surprised support is that high," said Dr. Richard Evans, president of the Texas Cancer Center and medical adviser to Texans for Medical Marijuana. "That should help when we next testify before the Legislature."

Bills that would have legalized the medical use of marijuana have been introduced in the last four sessions of the Texas Legislature but have never passed. Evans said he expects legislation again will be introduced in 2005.

Meanwhile, in the US Senate, the first-ever Senate medical marijuana bill has been introduced.

Posted by Eric at 12:19 AM | Comments (77)

November 17, 2004

"How a Montana Democrat bagged the hunting and fishing vote, and won the governor's mansion"

David Sirota in the December 2004 Washington Monthly:

How did Schweitzer pull off such a dramatic victory in an election year when Democrats seemed to have lost their capacity to win red states? The answer should give Democrats everywhere some hope and Republicans reason to worry ... But in addition to a winning personality and strong populist convictions, Schweitzer had an innovative, three-part political strategy, one that perfectly fit the current conditions in Montana, but which Democrats across the country could learn from. First, Schweitzer took advantage of public dissatisfaction with two decades of insular one-party rule in the state capital, casting himself as an outsider and a reformer. Second, he rallied small business, usually a solidly GOP constituency, to his side by opposing the deals Republicans had cut in Washington and Helena to favor large or out-of-state corporations over local entrepreneurs. Third, and most interesting of all, Schweitzer figured out how to win over one of the most important, reliably Republican, and symbolically significant groups of voters: hunters and fishermen ...

But that underestimates the path Schweitzer has blazed for a national Democratic Party that desperately needs to reconnect with the working-class and rural regions it was originally built on. His success in using outdoorsmen's priorities helped him bridge a cultural divide that ultimately allowed voters to hear a message they already know deep down is true: that the GOP has sold out its small business roots and has abused power when left unchecked. As the Missoula Independent wrote, “Montanans, having suffered through more than a decade of one-party control of state government, have cast their ballots to bring the state back into balance.”

When I arrived back in Washington after the election, I found Democrats despondent, furious and desperate to find a way to reach out to red state voters. Despite the national disaster, one message from this election is clear: Just head to Whitefish, Mont., and follow the gregarious mint farmer with a smile on his face—he's already out of the wilderness.

Posted by Eric at 11:34 AM | Comments (5)

September 23, 2004

Watch Out for Hurricane Jeb

From the always useful Progress Report:

With Floridians still recovering from the economic destruction caused by hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan, Jeb Bush and his corporate allies are determined to make matters even worse for low-income Floridians. Jeb and his big business supporters are working to defeat a November ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage in Florida by one dollar, to $6.15 an hour for most employees. If the measure passes, the Florida minimum wage would have a yearly cost-of-living adjustment equal to the inflation rate to ensure that the value of the minimum wage does not erode over time. The front group created by corporations to fight the initiative claims that the modest increase in the minimum wage "would cost businesses billions, lead employers to cut benefits and slow job growth in Florida." The proof? They polled themselves as to what they thought the impact would be. Real economic analysis, released yesterday by the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, demonstrates that the minimum wage increase would significantly benefit low-income Floridians and have a negligible impact on the state's business community. For more information on the effort to pass the initiative, check out Floridians for All.

Those nerds at CAP have even more on the min wage.

Posted by Eric at 05:22 PM | Comments (39)

September 13, 2004

The Official Beer of Illinois?

Could happen:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration is considering selling, to a yet-unchosen beverage company, the rights to Illinois' name. No other state has ever done it.

The concept of designating an "official state beverage" could bring in millions of dollars to Illinois' cash-strapped state budget, as soft-drink companies compete - and pay - for the right to hawk their soda, juice or other beverage under Illinois' state banner.

The idea isn't going down too well with some critics, who worry that Illinois will be taking sides in the fiercely competitive soft drink industry. The concept is different from that of industries that market themselves with the states where they're based - Florida orange juice, for example, or Wisconsin dairy products. The Illinois proposal would entail a contract with one specific beverage company, which would pay the state for the privilege of calling itself the "official" state beverage - and selling its products in about 1,300 vending machine at roughly 100 Illinois state parks, rest stops, offices and other government facilities.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (42)

September 09, 2004

Poll: Tex Gov Perry Vulnerable

A Houston Chronicle poll finds that "results appear to favor challenges by Hutchison and Strayhorn."

Some 47 percent in the Scripps Howard survey rated the governor's job performance as fair or poor, a five-point drop from last spring's poll during a failed special legislative session on school finance, when more than half disapproved.

The results, showing Perry's approval rating at 43 percent, are contained in the latest Scripps Howard survey of 1,000 adult Texans Aug. 9-26. Last spring, Perry was popular with only 37 percent of Texans.

The latest poll includes 38 percent Republicans, 26 percent Democrats and 25 percent independents.

Posted by Eric at 12:57 PM | Comments (19)

September 08, 2004

Cali to Sue Diebold

Over "allegedly making fraudulent claims to Alameda County and the state about the security and reliability of voting machines the company sold the county." From the Sac Bee:

Lockyer plans to join a lawsuit originally filed by electronic-voting watchdogs who claimed that Diebold provided Alameda County with software that was not federally certified and could be tampered with. The lawsuit, now pending in Alameda County Superior Court, seeks restitution of the nearly $12 million in taxpayer money used to purchase the touch-screen voting machines, many of which did not work properly in the March primary election.

Lockyer's office said it was dropping a criminal investigation into Diebold, but that prosecutors had enough evidence to pursue a false claims lawsuit against the company.

"False claims cases involve lying to obtain payment of taxpayer dollars, or to avoid making payments to government entities,'' said Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar.

One of the best sites about fraud voting is still Black Box Voting.

And you'll remember this:

The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

Posted by Eric at 11:06 AM | Comments (67)

August 17, 2004

Corzine Likely to Run for NJ Gov

From The Star-Ledger, Gov. James E. McGreevey is under increasing pressure to resign quickly now that Corzine is in the wings:

With U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine signaling he will answer his party's call to run for governor in a special election this year, key Democratic leaders are intensifying their efforts to persuade Gov. James E. McGreevey to quit immediately and clear the way the senator's candidacy.

Three of the state's leading Democratic power brokers this week are planning to call on McGreevey to resign within the next three weeks instead of waiting until Nov. 15, three high-level party officials said yesterday.

Middlesex County leader John Lynch and South Jersey Democrat George Norcross III plan to reach out to McGreevey and urge him to resign before Sept. 3, the officials said, which would set the stage for voters to elect a new governor in a Nov. 2 special election. They are upset that McGreevey's time frame would make Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) the acting governor for 14 months.

Posted by Eric at 11:22 AM | Comments (25)

Corzine Likely to Run for NJ Gov

From The Star-Ledger, Gov. James E. McGreevey is under increasing pressure to resign quickly now that Corzine is in the wings:

With U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine signaling he will answer his party's call to run for governor in a special election this year, key Democratic leaders are intensifying their efforts to persuade Gov. James E. McGreevey to quit immediately and clear the way the senator's candidacy.

Three of the state's leading Democratic power brokers this week are planning to call on McGreevey to resign within the next three weeks instead of waiting until Nov. 15, three high-level party officials said yesterday.

Middlesex County leader John Lynch and South Jersey Democrat George Norcross III plan to reach out to McGreevey and urge him to resign before Sept. 3, the officials said, which would set the stage for voters to elect a new governor in a Nov. 2 special election. They are upset that McGreevey's time frame would make Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) the acting governor for 14 months.

Posted by Eric at 11:22 AM | Comments (8)

August 10, 2004

Washington GOP Embarrasses Itself

Picks jailbird as candidate:

The state Republican Party this week picked a candidate fresh out of jail for harassing politicians to run against Democratic state Auditor Brian Sonntag.
After no other Republican filed to run against Sonntag, party officials on Thursday filed Will Baker, well known in his hometown of Tacoma and at the Pierce County Jail but apparently not at GOP headquarters.

Yesterday, the party was trying to get Baker "unfiled," which state election officials say can't be done without court action.

"We are stuck with him," said Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance. "It's somewhat embarrassing. We should have been more thorough in checking him out."

So McDonalds can do background checks, but the state GOP can't?

Posted by Eric at 09:49 AM | Comments (55)

Washington GOP Embarrasses Itself

Picks jailbird as candidate:

The state Republican Party this week picked a candidate fresh out of jail for harassing politicians to run against Democratic state Auditor Brian Sonntag.
After no other Republican filed to run against Sonntag, party officials on Thursday filed Will Baker, well known in his hometown of Tacoma and at the Pierce County Jail but apparently not at GOP headquarters.

Yesterday, the party was trying to get Baker "unfiled," which state election officials say can't be done without court action.

"We are stuck with him," said Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance. "It's somewhat embarrassing. We should have been more thorough in checking him out."

So McDonalds can do background checks, but the state GOP can't?

Posted by Eric at 09:49 AM | Comments (2)

July 30, 2004

Pataki Says NO to Min-Wage Hike

Rejects $7.15 plan.

Posted by Eric at 12:12 PM | Comments (14)

Pataki Says NO to Min-Wage Hike

Rejects $7.15 plan.

Posted by Eric at 12:12 PM | Comments (7)

July 01, 2004

Female Dispatcher Fired For Living With Boyfriend

Talk about stupid laws:

A former dispatcher for the Pender County Sheriff's Department said her bosses forced her to choose between her job and her live-in boyfriend.

Debora Hobbs picked her boyfriend of 12 years, but said it isn't a decision she should have had to make.

Sheriff Carson Smith declined to specifically discuss the matter, but says he holds his employees to a high standard. North Carolina law prohibits unmarried, unrelated adults of the opposite sex from living together.

"It is a violation of general statute and it goes against something that I believe is a moral issue," Smith said. "Personally and morally, I think it's best to be married if you're going to be living together."

I'm a little shocked that such a law exists, but apparently it's true:
Sec. 14-184 of the North Carolina statutes reads : "If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor."

The statutes also contain a law against "opposite sexes occupying same bedroom at hotel for immoral purposes; falsely registering as husband and wife."

Cohabitation is illegal in a handful of other states.

Posted by Eric at 09:54 PM | Comments (52)

Female Dispatcher Fired For Living With Boyfriend

Talk about stupid laws:

A former dispatcher for the Pender County Sheriff's Department said her bosses forced her to choose between her job and her live-in boyfriend.

Debora Hobbs picked her boyfriend of 12 years, but said it isn't a decision she should have had to make.

Sheriff Carson Smith declined to specifically discuss the matter, but says he holds his employees to a high standard. North Carolina law prohibits unmarried, unrelated adults of the opposite sex from living together.

"It is a violation of general statute and it goes against something that I believe is a moral issue," Smith said. "Personally and morally, I think it's best to be married if you're going to be living together."

I'm a little shocked that such a law exists, but apparently it's true:
Sec. 14-184 of the North Carolina statutes reads : "If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor."

The statutes also contain a law against "opposite sexes occupying same bedroom at hotel for immoral purposes; falsely registering as husband and wife."

Cohabitation is illegal in a handful of other states.

Posted by Eric at 09:54 PM | Comments (11)

May 19, 2004

Mixed Support for Bush on Iraq and Econ in Texas

Bush takes Texas easily, no surprise, but the poll numbers on Iraq and the economy are somewhat interesting:

As for Bush's specific handling of the economy and the war, however, Texans were less approving. Forty-nine percent said they approved of his handling of the economy while 50 percent said they disapproved.

While half said they approve of the president's handling of the war in Iraq, 48 percent said they disapproved.

Posted by Eric at 10:00 AM | Comments (96)

Mixed Support for Bush on Iraq and Econ in Texas

Bush takes Texas easily, no surprise, but the poll numbers on Iraq and the economy are somewhat interesting:

As for Bush's specific handling of the economy and the war, however, Texans were less approving. Forty-nine percent said they approved of his handling of the economy while 50 percent said they disapproved.

While half said they approve of the president's handling of the war in Iraq, 48 percent said they disapproved.

Posted by Eric at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)

May 13, 2004

Colorado GOP Won't Support Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's Anti-Gay Measure

All politics is local, so it sucks to be Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (link from the Brown Democrats):

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's home- county Republicans voted against supporting her federal amendment to ban same- sex marriage.

Morgan County Republicans fell one vote short of approving a resolution at their county assembly earlier this month to support fellow Republican Musgrave's amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Alright, well what else?
Among those who didn't vote for the resolution: Musgrave and her husband, who left the assembly early.
AHAHAHAHA. Ohhh ironic snap! What say you, John Straayer, Colorado State University political science professor:
said the resolution's failure in Musgrave's home county could indicate waning support. He added that the debate brings into focus not only the issue of gay rights, but a discussion of government's size.

"I think it would make sense for the Republican Party to pay attention to the fact that not everyone in their fold is excited about small government in the area of taxation and regulation and big government for behavioral controls," he said.

Posted by Eric at 03:55 PM | Comments (15)

Colorado GOP Won't Support Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's Anti-Gay Measure

All politics is local, so it sucks to be Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (link from the Brown Democrats):

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's home- county Republicans voted against supporting her federal amendment to ban same- sex marriage.

Morgan County Republicans fell one vote short of approving a resolution at their county assembly earlier this month to support fellow Republican Musgrave's amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Alright, well what else?
Among those who didn't vote for the resolution: Musgrave and her husband, who left the assembly early.
AHAHAHAHA. Ohhh ironic snap! What say you, John Straayer, Colorado State University political science professor:
said the resolution's failure in Musgrave's home county could indicate waning support. He added that the debate brings into focus not only the issue of gay rights, but a discussion of government's size.

"I think it would make sense for the Republican Party to pay attention to the fact that not everyone in their fold is excited about small government in the area of taxation and regulation and big government for behavioral controls," he said.

Posted by Eric at 03:55 PM | Comments (12)

April 21, 2004

Fl. Rep Jokes About Hillary Assassination

From the AP:

One of the remarks caused Democrats to demand an apology: State Rep. Jennifer Carroll made a joke that suggested Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton could help the country best if she was assassinated.
Now that's laugh out loud Sundays.

Posted by Eric at 11:56 AM | Comments (53)

Fl. Rep Jokes About Hillary Assassination

From the AP:

One of the remarks caused Democrats to demand an apology: State Rep. Jennifer Carroll made a joke that suggested Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton could help the country best if she was assassinated.
Now that's laugh out loud Sundays.

Posted by Eric at 11:56 AM | Comments (35)

April 15, 2004

Romney Goes In for the Same-Sex Marriage Kill

To ask lawmakers "to let him bypass the state attorney general and ask the state supreme court to stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriage." CNN:

Romney, a Republican, asked Attorney General Thomas Reilly last month to request a stay of the court's ruling, which is set to take effect on May 17. But Reilly, a Democrat who argued the state's same-sex marriage case, said the governor's request contained no new legal basis for an appeal.

"I feel very deeply that the people's voice should be heard -- that a matter such as the definition of marriage is fundamental in our society, and that the citizens should have a right to be heard," Romney said.

But a lawyer for Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders -- the group that represented plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case -- called Romney's move "a last-ditch and hopeless effort."

"In refusing to go to court for a stay, the attorney general acknowledged reality: The case is over," GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto said in a written statement.

Posted by Eric at 10:02 PM | Comments (44)

Romney Goes In for the Same-Sex Marriage Kill

To ask lawmakers "to let him bypass the state attorney general and ask the state supreme court to stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriage." CNN:

Romney, a Republican, asked Attorney General Thomas Reilly last month to request a stay of the court's ruling, which is set to take effect on May 17. But Reilly, a Democrat who argued the state's same-sex marriage case, said the governor's request contained no new legal basis for an appeal.

"I feel very deeply that the people's voice should be heard -- that a matter such as the definition of marriage is fundamental in our society, and that the citizens should have a right to be heard," Romney said.

But a lawyer for Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders -- the group that represented plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case -- called Romney's move "a last-ditch and hopeless effort."

"In refusing to go to court for a stay, the attorney general acknowledged reality: The case is over," GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto said in a written statement.

Posted by Eric at 10:02 PM | Comments (9)

April 14, 2004

California Activist Dies in Kaua'i Surf

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

A grandfather saw his two grandkids, an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, in trouble Monday in the surf off Anahola and leaped into the rough water to help.

The children made it to shore. But their grandfather did not.

Victor Schaub, 61, the former mayor of Arcata, Calif., had spent two years in the Islands in the early 1970s, some of it living in a communal environment on North Kaua'i called Taylor Campjust 15 miles down the coast from where he would die 30 years later ... "Victor was an unabashed liberal," Hoover said. "He coined the term for our more belligerent conservatives curmudgeons. The Wall Street Journal picked it up, and pretty soon there were bumper stickers, 'Proud to be a curmudgeon.' "

Schaub was mayor, a planning commission member and a council member, and also served on local and state Democratic Party central committees.

While he had distinct political leanings, Schaub was also a peacemaker with deep roots in his community. His law office doubled as a mediation service and he served as a magistrate for local Indian tribes, once taught history and political science, and was an active Rotarian, a former president of the Arcata Rotary.

Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (41)

California Activist Dies in Kaua'i Surf

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

A grandfather saw his two grandkids, an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, in trouble Monday in the surf off Anahola and leaped into the rough water to help.

The children made it to shore. But their grandfather did not.

Victor Schaub, 61, the former mayor of Arcata, Calif., had spent two years in the Islands in the early 1970s, some of it living in a communal environment on North Kaua'i called Taylor Campjust 15 miles down the coast from where he would die 30 years later ... "Victor was an unabashed liberal," Hoover said. "He coined the term for our more belligerent conservatives curmudgeons. The Wall Street Journal picked it up, and pretty soon there were bumper stickers, 'Proud to be a curmudgeon.' "

Schaub was mayor, a planning commission member and a council member, and also served on local and state Democratic Party central committees.

While he had distinct political leanings, Schaub was also a peacemaker with deep roots in his community. His law office doubled as a mediation service and he served as a magistrate for local Indian tribes, once taught history and political science, and was an active Rotarian, a former president of the Arcata Rotary.

Posted by Eric at 01:09 PM | Comments (5)

Priest Mixes Prayer and Politics

In the Colorado House, Rev. Bill Carmody is coming under fire for criticizing JFK and his politics:

Saying the official prayer at the start of House work, Carmody, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Security, said Kennedy's pledge to keep his own Catholic faith out of the president's office has led to a "vacuum of morality in public debate."

Kennedy made the pledge in 1960, facing southern Protestant groups' fears that all Catholics had to answer to the pope. Kennedy said he believed in the separation of church and state and that he didn't speak for the church, or vice versa.

"Almighty God," Carmody prayed, "please change and convert the hearts of all representatives in this house. May they be the antithesis of John Kennedy. May they be women and men of God, and may their faith influence and guide every vote they make." ... "I thought I would just prick their consciences," Carmody said. "I didn't expect a firestorm."

Posted by Eric at 11:07 AM | Comments (22)

Priest Mixes Prayer and Politics

In the Colorado House, Rev. Bill Carmody is coming under fire for criticizing JFK and his politics:

Saying the official prayer at the start of House work, Carmody, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Security, said Kennedy's pledge to keep his own Catholic faith out of the president's office has led to a "vacuum of morality in public debate."

Kennedy made the pledge in 1960, facing southern Protestant groups' fears that all Catholics had to answer to the pope. Kennedy said he believed in the separation of church and state and that he didn't speak for the church, or vice versa.

"Almighty God," Carmody prayed, "please change and convert the hearts of all representatives in this house. May they be the antithesis of John Kennedy. May they be women and men of God, and may their faith influence and guide every vote they make." ... "I thought I would just prick their consciences," Carmody said. "I didn't expect a firestorm."

Posted by Eric at 11:07 AM | Comments (5)

April 08, 2004

State Republican Farts at Democrats

Perhaps he's just a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Kansas City Star:

The Missouri House opened debate Tuesday on a long-delayed state budget, and arguments immediately broke out over funding for public schools and higher education.

The debate was marred by frequent yelling matches and attempts by Majority Leader Jason Crowell to shout down his opponents by making siren noises into the microphone as Democrats were speaking .... Rep. Bill Ransdall, a Waynesville Democrat, said Republicans were counting federal money for preschool programs that cannot be used for public schools. Minority Leader Rick Johnson, a High Ridge Democrat, said the Republican plan was a paltry boost in spending.

This amounts to $9 a student, Johnson said. This is all about political positioning. You took $100 million out at the start (of budget work) and put it back in now.

Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, responded by making flatulence sounds into his microphone. He said Democratic complaints were sour grapes over the Republicans' ability to find money for schools by cutting lower-priority programs such as social services instead of resorting to higher taxes.

Posted by Eric at 03:18 AM | Comments (31)

State Republican Farts at Democrats

Perhaps he's just a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Kansas City Star:

The Missouri House opened debate Tuesday on a long-delayed state budget, and arguments immediately broke out over funding for public schools and higher education.

The debate was marred by frequent yelling matches and attempts by Majority Leader Jason Crowell to shout down his opponents by making siren noises into the microphone as Democrats were speaking .... Rep. Bill Ransdall, a Waynesville Democrat, said Republicans were counting federal money for preschool programs that cannot be used for public schools. Minority Leader Rick Johnson, a High Ridge Democrat, said the Republican plan was a paltry boost in spending.

This amounts to $9 a student, Johnson said. This is all about political positioning. You took $100 million out at the start (of budget work) and put it back in now.

Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, responded by making flatulence sounds into his microphone. He said Democratic complaints were sour grapes over the Republicans' ability to find money for schools by cutting lower-priority programs such as social services instead of resorting to higher taxes.

Posted by Eric at 03:18 AM | Comments (11)

April 04, 2004

49% of Hawaii Feel Misled on Iraq War

According to the Honolulu Advertiser poll. Savage, hula hoop humping bastards.

Almost half of Hawai'i residents think the Bush administration misled the American people about the rationale for the Iraqi war, and most don't think the world is any safer because of it, according to the latest Honolulu Advertiser Hawai'i Poll.

The poll found that 49 percent of those surveyed felt the American people were misled about the reasons for the war. Only 40 percent said they thought they were provided correct information about the reasons for the war, and 11 percent said they did not know whether they were misled.

Fifty-six percent said they didn't believe the war made the world safer for the United States.

"I didn't believe them from the start of the war, and nothing I've seen since then has changed my mind," said Karren Sayre, a 51-year-old mother and entrepreneur living in the Puna district of the Big Island.

"The war didn't have anything to do with terrorism," she said. "They didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, and, if anything, it has made us even more of a target today."

Recently 11 Hawaii soldiers were injured in a rocket attack and a Hawaiian was one of the four civilian contractors killed in Fallujah
Aloha Dela Rosa, Batalona's younger sister, said her husband, Fredo, tried to talk Batalona out of going to Iraq at a February birthday party for a family member in Haina. It was the day before Batalona left the Big Island for the Middle East.

Batalona, who lived with his wife, June, in Pa'auilo, wouldn't consider staying home, his sister said.

"He said, 'Braddah, you know, it's not your life. I gotta go,'" Aloha Dela Rosa recalled. "He was worried about the (Iraqi) kids up there. He said he needed to be there to help them."

Posted by Eric at 07:53 AM | Comments (25)

49% of Hawaii Feel Misled on Iraq War

According to the Honolulu Advertiser poll. Savage, hula hoop humping bastards.

Almost half of Hawai'i residents think the Bush administration misled the American people about the rationale for the Iraqi war, and most don't think the world is any safer because of it, according to the latest Honolulu Advertiser Hawai'i Poll.

The poll found that 49 percent of those surveyed felt the American people were misled about the reasons for the war. Only 40 percent said they thought they were provided correct information about the reasons for the war, and 11 percent said they did not know whether they were misled.

Fifty-six percent said they didn't believe the war made the world safer for the United States.

"I didn't believe them from the start of the war, and nothing I've seen since then has changed my mind," said Karren Sayre, a 51-year-old mother and entrepreneur living in the Puna district of the Big Island.

"The war didn't have anything to do with terrorism," she said. "They didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, and, if anything, it has made us even more of a target today."

Recently 11 Hawaii soldiers were injured in a rocket attack and a Hawaiian was one of the four civilian contractors killed in Fallujah
Aloha Dela Rosa, Batalona's younger sister, said her husband, Fredo, tried to talk Batalona out of going to Iraq at a February birthday party for a family member in Haina. It was the day before Batalona left the Big Island for the Middle East.

Batalona, who lived with his wife, June, in Pa'auilo, wouldn't consider staying home, his sister said.

"He said, 'Braddah, you know, it's not your life. I gotta go,'" Aloha Dela Rosa recalled. "He was worried about the (Iraqi) kids up there. He said he needed to be there to help them."

Posted by Eric at 07:53 AM | Comments (5)

March 26, 2004

GOP Criticizes Herseth for Associating with Sites Like Hamster

As first noted by Daily Kos, GOPers are criticizing Stephanie Herseth for receiving donations from liberal blogs like this site. AP:

Republicans have accused Democratic U.S. House candidate Stephanie Herseth of maintaining a secret Web page to receive campaign donations raised from ads on liberal groups' Internet sites.

But a Herseth campaign official scoffed at the charge, saying the Web page is not secret and can be found easily with a standard search of the Internet.

Herseth faces Republican Larry Diedrich in a June 1 special election to fill the vacancy left when Bill Janklow resigned as South Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House.

Jason Glodt, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party, said the Herseth campaign arranged the special Internet donation site to prevent most South Dakotans from knowing about Herseth's relationship with such liberal groups.

The Herseth Web page takes campaign donations from people directed there from Internet sites called "blogs," which are online bulletin boards that feature journals, opinionated articles and messages.

"There's a reason she's got that secret site. She doesn't want to advertise the fact she's doing this," Glodt said Thursday.

"I think the real point is you judge a person by the friends they keep, and look where she's focusing her fund-raising efforts," Glodt said. "Anybody can look at these blogs and the content, and realize the values they are promoting are completely contradictory to the South Dakota values she purports to represent."

Crap, I suck. =(
However, Herseth campaign spokesman Russ Levsen said that particular Internet page merely takes donations from people who find out about the campaign when they visit political blogs that feature Herseth ads.

"I would dispute the premise that it's secret because it's an open site on the Internet that anybody can get to," Levsen said.

The supposedly secret Web site is one of the first results when an Internet user does a standard search for the terms "blog" and "Herseth" on the Google search engine, Levsen said.

Most of the donations that result from ads on the blogs are for amounts of less than $50, Levsen said. "This is grass-roots politics."

The "secret page", with about a dozen blogs listed. Crazy liberal Instapundit is listed too. Hm ..

Make a donation today, big or small, remember the .04 addition!

Posted by Eric at 10:55 AM | Comments (46)

GOP Criticizes Herseth for Associating with Sites Like Hamster

As first noted by Daily Kos, GOPers are criticizing Stephanie Herseth for receiving donations from liberal blogs like this site. AP:

Republicans have accused Democratic U.S. House candidate Stephanie Herseth of maintaining a secret Web page to receive campaign donations raised from ads on liberal groups' Internet sites.

But a Herseth campaign official scoffed at the charge, saying the Web page is not secret and can be found easily with a standard search of the Internet.

Herseth faces Republican Larry Diedrich in a June 1 special election to fill the vacancy left when Bill Janklow resigned as South Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House.

Jason Glodt, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party, said the Herseth campaign arranged the special Internet donation site to prevent most South Dakotans from knowing about Herseth's relationship with such liberal groups.

The Herseth Web page takes campaign donations from people directed there from Internet sites called "blogs," which are online bulletin boards that feature journals, opinionated articles and messages.

"There's a reason she's got that secret site. She doesn't want to advertise the fact she's doing this," Glodt said Thursday.

"I think the real point is you judge a person by the friends they keep, and look where she's focusing her fund-raising efforts," Glodt said. "Anybody can look at these blogs and the content, and realize the values they are promoting are completely contradictory to the South Dakota values she purports to represent."

Crap, I suck. =(
However, Herseth campaign spokesman Russ Levsen said that particular Internet page merely takes donations from people who find out about the campaign when they visit political blogs that feature Herseth ads.

"I would dispute the premise that it's secret because it's an open site on the Internet that anybody can get to," Levsen said.

The supposedly secret Web site is one of the first results when an Internet user does a standard search for the terms "blog" and "Herseth" on the Google search engine, Levsen said.

Most of the donations that result from ads on the blogs are for amounts of less than $50, Levsen said. "This is grass-roots politics."

The "secret page", with about a dozen blogs listed. Crazy liberal Instapundit is listed too. Hm ..

Make a donation today, big or small, remember the .04 addition!

Posted by Eric at 10:55 AM | Comments (16)

March 24, 2004

20-year Old James Gilbreath for Texas House

The College Dems blog on 20-year old George Washington U student James Jake Gilbreath and his run for State Representative in Texass 10th District.

Posted by Eric at 04:04 PM | Comments (24)

20-year Old James Gilbreath for Texas House

The College Dems blog on 20-year old George Washington U student James Jake Gilbreath and his run for State Representative in Texass 10th District.

Posted by Eric at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

March 23, 2004

Kerry - Bush Tied in NM

Albuquerque Journal favorability poll finds Kerry and Bush mostly even:

Forty-three percent of registered voters said they had a favorable impression of Bush, compared to 44 percent for Kerry. New Mexico has been identified by both sides in the 2004 presidential contest as a battleground state. Democrat Al Gore carried the state over Bush four years ago by just 366 votes ... More voters said they had an unfavorable impression of Bush than Kerry 38 percent compared to 24 percent. But more voters were undecided about Kerry, who probably remains the lesser-known candidate.

Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (4)

Kerry - Bush Tied in NM

Albuquerque Journal favorability poll finds Kerry and Bush mostly even:

Forty-three percent of registered voters said they had a favorable impression of Bush, compared to 44 percent for Kerry. New Mexico has been identified by both sides in the 2004 presidential contest as a battleground state. Democrat Al Gore carried the state over Bush four years ago by just 366 votes ... More voters said they had an unfavorable impression of Bush than Kerry 38 percent compared to 24 percent. But more voters were undecided about Kerry, who probably remains the lesser-known candidate.

Posted by Eric at 03:16 PM | Comments (7)

Poll: Nevadans say leave Constitution alone

From the LV Review-Journal:

Fifty percent of likely voters polled last week said they would oppose a federal amendment. Forty-three percent supported an amendment, and 7 percent were undecided. The poll, conducted for the Review-Journal by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., has a 4 percentage-point margin of error. Opposition to the federal amendment is higher among Democrats, 65 percent, and in Clark County, 43 percent, while 53 percent of rural Nevadans support the amendment

Posted by Eric at 02:59 PM | Comments (10)

Poll: Nevadans say leave Constitution alone

From the LV Review-Journal:

Fifty percent of likely voters polled last week said they would oppose a federal amendment. Forty-three percent supported an amendment, and 7 percent were undecided. The poll, conducted for the Review-Journal by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., has a 4 percentage-point margin of error. Opposition to the federal amendment is higher among Democrats, 65 percent, and in Clark County, 43 percent, while 53 percent of rural Nevadans support the amendment

Posted by Eric at 02:59 PM | Comments (3)

March 18, 2004

Tenn. County Wants to Charge Homosexuals

Seriously, now.

The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.

Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county.

"We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said.

8-0!

Posted by Eric at 04:09 AM | Comments (43)

Tenn. County Wants to Charge Homosexuals

Seriously, now.

The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.

Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county.

"We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said.

8-0!

Posted by Eric at 04:09 AM | Comments (13)

March 12, 2004

Aloha Friday Edition

Autism Society: "Childhood autism in Hawaii is growing at an epidemic rate." Star Bulletin:

The state Department of Education has categorized more than 720 kids with autism out of about 23,000 in special education in 2002, or about 3.1 percent, compared with 1 percent nationally, said Naomi Grossman, Autism Society of Hawaii president.

"It's no longer just an alarming rate; it's an epidemic pace, and we're really concerned because it could be due to a lot of things, like the Brick Township in New Jersey," Grossman said ... Every state has shown a triple-digit or higher increase in autism cases in the past 10 years, said Lee Grossman, chairman of the Autism Society of America. Other countries are seeing the same growth rates, he said.

He said the incidence is climbing at 10 percent to 17 percent a year and is as high as one in 166 children in some communities. Scientists cannot explain the drastic increase.

"I would hate to guess," Lee Grossman said, suggesting there may be "myriad reasons."

He said some attribute it to a broader diagnosis of autism, which might account for 20 percent to 30 percent of the growth. "But what about the other 70 to 80 percent?" he said.


"It's 80 degrees every day, it's 25 cents to Waikiki Beach and it boasts several top flight programs. Why isn't every top athlete flocking to paradise?" Sports Illustrated:

Other athletes are attracted, believe it or not, by academic offerings. Hawaii has a curriculum that mainland schools can't duplicate. Brittany Grice, a freshman on the women's basketball team from Redondo Beach, Calif., was recruited by Cal, Dartmouth and Brown, but she came to Oahu in part because she wanted to study marine biology; she hopes to practice environmental law someday. Hawaii's unique course listings include volcanology and tropical agriculture, and classes are held at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, a.k.a. HURL. Who doesn't have the urge to HURL every now and then?

Another selling point for the school's nonrevenue teams is media exposure: Nearly every sport is mentioned on TV and/or written about in local papers on a regular basis because when it comes to team sports, UH is the biggest show for literally thousands of miles in any direction. "The amount of coverage we get is amazing," Grice says ... Hawaii's football coach, June Jones, says the island's appeal actually can complicate the recruiting process ... Jones himself is perhaps the best example of the island's allure. He turned down a four-year, $3 million contract from the San Diego Chargers to take a job at Hawaii that paid $320,000 -- he had played there in the early '70s and always wanted to return. This past season was a breakthrough one for Jones. An upset of Alabama and a Hawaii Bowl victory over Houston were among the Rainbow Warriors' nine wins. The incoming recruiting class includes players from Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina -- all of whom approached Jones's staff, asked to be recruited and passed the screening test to gauge their sincerity.


'American Idol' contestant on her mission of aloha

Posted by Eric at 02:23 AM | Comments (10)

Aloha Friday Edition

Autism Society: "Childhood autism in Hawaii is growing at an epidemic rate." Star Bulletin:

The state Department of Education has categorized more than 720 kids with autism out of about 23,000 in special education in 2002, or about 3.1 percent, compared with 1 percent nationally, said Naomi Grossman, Autism Society of Hawaii president.

"It's no longer just an alarming rate; it's an epidemic pace, and we're really concerned because it could be due to a lot of things, like the Brick Township in New Jersey," Grossman said ... Every state has shown a triple-digit or higher increase in autism cases in the past 10 years, said Lee Grossman, chairman of the Autism Society of America. Other countries are seeing the same growth rates, he said.

He said the incidence is climbing at 10 percent to 17 percent a year and is as high as one in 166 children in some communities. Scientists cannot explain the drastic increase.

"I would hate to guess," Lee Grossman said, suggesting there may be "myriad reasons."

He said some attribute it to a broader diagnosis of autism, which might account for 20 percent to 30 percent of the growth. "But what about the other 70 to 80 percent?" he said.


"It's 80 degrees every day, it's 25 cents to Waikiki Beach and it boasts several top flight programs. Why isn't every top athlete flocking to paradise?" Sports Illustrated:

Other athletes are attracted, believe it or not, by academic offerings. Hawaii has a curriculum that mainland schools can't duplicate. Brittany Grice, a freshman on the women's basketball team from Redondo Beach, Calif., was recruited by Cal, Dartmouth and Brown, but she came to Oahu in part because she wanted to study marine biology; she hopes to practice environmental law someday. Hawaii's unique course listings include volcanology and tropical agriculture, and classes are held at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, a.k.a. HURL. Who doesn't have the urge to HURL every now and then?

Another selling point for the school's nonrevenue teams is media exposure: Nearly every sport is mentioned on TV and/or written about in local papers on a regular basis because when it comes to team sports, UH is the biggest show for literally thousands of miles in any direction. "The amount of coverage we get is amazing," Grice says ... Hawaii's football coach, June Jones, says the island's appeal actually can complicate the recruiting process ... Jones himself is perhaps the best example of the island's allure. He turned down a four-year, $3 million contract from the San Diego Chargers to take a job at Hawaii that paid $320,000 -- he had played there in the early '70s and always wanted to return. This past season was a breakthrough one for Jones. An upset of Alabama and a Hawaii Bowl victory over Houston were among the Rainbow Warriors' nine wins. The incoming recruiting class includes players from Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina -- all of whom approached Jones's staff, asked to be recruited and passed the screening test to gauge their sincerity.


'American Idol' contestant on her mission of aloha

Posted by Eric at 02:23 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2004

California Supreme Court Stops SF Marriages

SF has to turn away requests for licenses, AP:

The California Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to same-sex weddings in San Francisco on Thursday and said it would hear arguments in May or June on whether Mayor Gavin Newsom had the authority to allow such marriages. Teary-eyed gay couples were turned away at City Hall, where 4,161 same-sex couples have been wed since Feb. 12.

One of the first couples to be denied a license were Art Adams and Devin Baker from suburban Mountain View.

"We were filling out the application and they told us to stop," said Adams, who has been with Baker for more than three years. "It's heartbreaking. I don't understand why two people in love should be prevented from expressing it."

The action by California's highest court came two weeks after state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and two conservative groups asked the seven justices to immediately block the gay marriages.

Posted by Eric at 08:52 PM | Comments (8)

California Supreme Court Stops SF Marriages

SF has to turn away requests for licenses, AP:

The California Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to same-sex weddings in San Francisco on Thursday and said it would hear arguments in May or June on whether Mayor Gavin Newsom had the authority to allow such marriages. Teary-eyed gay couples were turned away at City Hall, where 4,161 same-sex couples have been wed since Feb. 12.

One of the first couples to be denied a license were Art Adams and Devin Baker from suburban Mountain View.

"We were filling out the application and they told us to stop," said Adams, who has been with Baker for more than three years. "It's heartbreaking. I don't understand why two people in love should be prevented from expressing it."

The action by California's highest court came two weeks after state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and two conservative groups asked the seven justices to immediately block the gay marriages.

Posted by Eric at 08:52 PM | Comments (3)

Unfunded Mandate

President Bush, January 8, 2002:

There are no more excuses, as far as I'm concerned, about not teaching children how to read. We know what works. The money is now available, and it's up to each local district to make sure it happens. It's up to you, the citizens of Hamilton, to make sure no child is left behind. And the federal government can spend money and we can help set standards, and we can assist upon accountability. But the truth of the matter is our schools will flourish when citizens join in the noble cause of making sure no child is left behind.
Is the money now available? Just a few interesting examples. Newark Advocate in Ohio:
A recent study estimated it could cost Ohio $1.4 billion per year by 2010 to implement NCLB, with initial costs of $450 million per year in 2005 and 2006.

"We all believe there should be standards and measuring tools," said state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, state chairman for Edwards' campaign. "The problem is, there aren't the dollars needed to implement the act at the local level, which means local homeowners will continue to bear the brunt."

Palm Beach Post:
Florida is entering the rebellion against the federal No Child Left Behind Act and doing it as quietly as possible.

A position paper authored by the state's largest public school superintendents group will implore Education Commissioner Jim Horne to negotiate with federal education officials to reform parts of the 2002 rule and reconsider Florida's self-imposed standards in complying with the legislation ... Last month, Utah's Republican-dominated House passed a resolution barring state educators from using local money to pay for the No Child Left Behind Act. In January, Virginia's Republican-controlled House of Delegates passed a resolution urging Congress to exempt the state from the law.

Republican legislators in Arizona and Minnesota introduced bills that would allow the states to reject parts of No Child Left Behind or opt out of its provisions. And Vermont passed a law in 2003 refusing to implement unfunded federal requirements.

Even in the small conservative state of Alaska:
Nationally, the federal government has underfunded states' schools by about $17 billion a year for requirements under No Child Left Behind and Title I, Knowles said.

In Alaska, that amounts to about $180 million in unfunded mandates, Knowles said.

And even more conservative state of Utah:
There, federal officials said Utah would lose $106 million in NCLB funding if it opted out of the program entirely.
Dayton and others then had to weigh whether the money would be worth keeping with so many strings attached.
"We as the state Legislature are not going to be reduced to clerks" for the federal government, Dayton said. "We will take the funds we have, but we will not commit to obligate our state funds to fill in the blanks."
The original bill estimated Utah would need anywhere between $200 million and $1 billion plus to fully implement NCLB.

Posted by Eric at 02:58 PM | Comments (36)

Unfunded Mandate

President Bush, January 8, 2002:

There are no more excuses, as far as I'm concerned, about not teaching children how to read. We know what works. The money is now available, and it's up to each local district to make sure it happens. It's up to you, the citizens of Hamilton, to make sure no child is left behind. And the federal government can spend money and we can help set standards, and we can assist upon accountability. But the truth of the matter is our schools will flourish when citizens join in the noble cause of making sure no child is left behind.
Is the money now available? Just a few interesting examples. Newark Advocate in Ohio:
A recent study estimated it could cost Ohio $1.4 billion per year by 2010 to implement NCLB, with initial costs of $450 million per year in 2005 and 2006.

"We all believe there should be standards and measuring tools," said state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, state chairman for Edwards' campaign. "The problem is, there aren't the dollars needed to implement the act at the local level, which means local homeowners will continue to bear the brunt."

Palm Beach Post:
Florida is entering the rebellion against the federal No Child Left Behind Act and doing it as quietly as possible.

A position paper authored by the state's largest public school superintendents group will implore Education Commissioner Jim Horne to negotiate with federal education officials to reform parts of the 2002 rule and reconsider Florida's self-imposed standards in complying with the legislation ... Last month, Utah's Republican-dominated House passed a resolution barring state educators from using local money to pay for the No Child Left Behind Act. In January, Virginia's Republican-controlled House of Delegates passed a resolution urging Congress to exempt the state from the law.

Republican legislators in Arizona and Minnesota introduced bills that would allow the states to reject parts of No Child Left Behind or opt out of its provisions. And Vermont passed a law in 2003 refusing to implement unfunded federal requirements.

Even in the small conservative state of Alaska:
Nationally, the federal government has underfunded states' schools by about $17 billion a year for requirements under No Child Left Behind and Title I, Knowles said.

In Alaska, that amounts to about $180 million in unfunded mandates, Knowles said.

And even more conservative state of Utah:
There, federal officials said Utah would lose $106 million in NCLB funding if it opted out of the program entirely.
Dayton and others then had to weigh whether the money would be worth keeping with so many strings attached.
"We as the state Legislature are not going to be reduced to clerks" for the federal government, Dayton said. "We will take the funds we have, but we will not commit to obligate our state funds to fill in the blanks."
The original bill estimated Utah would need anywhere between $200 million and $1 billion plus to fully implement NCLB.

Posted by Eric at 02:58 PM | Comments (9)

Hamster Numbers: Ohio

"President Bush faces a tough crowd as he heads to Cleveland today, touting his economic policies to a state ravaged by his economy. Ohio, with an unemployment rate of 6%, has lost more than 10% of the 2.3 million jobs that have disappeared nationwide 270,000 jobs -- since January 2001. That is more than any other state in the country. And the real hit has come in the manufacturing sector: "Six in 10 of the jobs lost in Ohio over the last three years 155,000 in all have been manufacturing jobs, a far bigger share than the national average." In passing his most recent tax cut for the wealthy, President Bush promised the bill would create 60,400 jobs in Ohio. Instead, from June 2003-December 2003, the Buckeye State actually lost 67,000 jobs a shortfall of over 127,400 jobs. Meanwhile, a recent study shows that the wages in "growing" industries in Ohio are 29% lower than those of "contracting" industries in the state." --Center for American Progress.

Posted by Eric at 10:52 AM | Comments (21)

Hamster Numbers: Ohio

"President Bush faces a tough crowd as he heads to Cleveland today, touting his economic policies to a state ravaged by his economy. Ohio, with an unemployment rate of 6%, has lost more than 10% of the 2.3 million jobs that have disappeared nationwide 270,000 jobs -- since January 2001. That is more than any other state in the country. And the real hit has come in the manufacturing sector: "Six in 10 of the jobs lost in Ohio over the last three years 155,000 in all have been manufacturing jobs, a far bigger share than the national average." In passing his most recent tax cut for the wealthy, President Bush promised the bill would create 60,400 jobs in Ohio. Instead, from June 2003-December 2003, the Buckeye State actually lost 67,000 jobs a shortfall of over 127,400 jobs. Meanwhile, a recent study shows that the wages in "growing" industries in Ohio are 29% lower than those of "contracting" industries in the state." --Center for American Progress.

Posted by Eric at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

March 09, 2004

1/2 or 1/4 of a Person?

Some California lawmakers want to give teens the right to vote ... well, sorta, from anti-Christ MTV:

If a group of California lawmakers gets its way, Golden State teens under the age of 18 may soon get the right to vote. According to the proposal, ballots cast by these underage voters would count as one half or one quarter of an adult vote.

The four lawmakers, led by State Senator John Vasconcellos, proposed an amendment to California's Constitution Monday that would grant 16- and 17-year-olds a half vote and 14- and 15-year-olds a quarter vote. The votes would be valid for state elections only.

Explaining the plan, Vasconcellos, a Democrat from Santa Clara, told The Associated Press that teens today are essentially more informed than ever before, thanks to the Internet, advancements in television, cell phones and a society that is simply more diverse.

"When we gave the vote to those who didn't own property, then to women, then to persons of all colors, we added to the richness of our democratic dialogue and our own nation's integrity and its model for the world," he told the AP, noting that it was time to further extend the vote.

The plan would need "two-thirds' approval by the legislature to appear on the November ballot." Why not? Have teens vote in school with their history or civics class, and get them involved with the political system at an early age. Austria, Germany, and Israel, to name a few, already have under-18 voting rights. Hip Republicans, of course, bashed the proposal:
Republicans immediately bashed the plan. "To waste taxpayer money having children cast votes would be ridiculous at any time, but in the face of our current fiscal crisis, it's an obscenity," State Senator Ross Johnson, a Republican from Irvine
According to the BBC, "The amendment would also not violate the US constitution, as long as it only applied to state and local ballots."

Posted by Eric at 05:57 PM | Comments (59)

1/2 or 1/4 of a Person?

Some California lawmakers want to give teens the right to vote ... well, sorta, from anti-Christ MTV:

If a group of California lawmakers gets its way, Golden State teens under the age of 18 may soon get the right to vote. According to the proposal, ballots cast by these underage voters would count as one half or one quarter of an adult vote.

The four lawmakers, led by State Senator John Vasconcellos, proposed an amendment to California's Constitution Monday that would grant 16- and 17-year-olds a half vote and 14- and 15-year-olds a quarter vote. The votes would be valid for state elections only.

Explaining the plan, Vasconcellos, a Democrat from Santa Clara, told The Associated Press that teens today are essentially more informed than ever before, thanks to the Internet, advancements in television, cell phones and a society that is simply more diverse.

"When we gave the vote to those who didn't own property, then to women, then to persons of all colors, we added to the richness of our democratic dialogue and our own nation's integrity and its model for the world," he told the AP, noting that it was time to further extend the vote.

The plan would need "two-thirds' approval by the legislature to appear on the November ballot." Why not? Have teens vote in school with their history or civics class, and get them involved with the political system at an early age. Austria, Germany, and Israel, to name a few, already have under-18 voting rights. Hip Republicans, of course, bashed the proposal:
Republicans immediately bashed the plan. "To waste taxpayer money having children cast votes would be ridiculous at any time, but in the face of our current fiscal crisis, it's an obscenity," State Senator Ross Johnson, a Republican from Irvine
According to the BBC, "The amendment would also not violate the US constitution, as long as it only applied to state and local ballots."

Posted by Eric at 05:57 PM | Comments (11)

"Greens Face Defections, Divisions"

Many Greens are beginning to abandon their 3rd party start-up effort in the wake of the Bush administration. In Maine, for example, Bangor Daily News:

But Maine Green Independent Party officials say this year is different, with members defecting in droves to the Democratic ranks, leaving those who stay divided on whether to field a presidential candidate at all.

"People are afraid of the spoiler label," said Heather "Betsy" Garrold, a state party chairwoman, explaining the reluctance to back a presidential contender amid renewed resentment surrounding the 2000 run of Ralph Nader, whom many see as handing the election to George Bush by siphoning votes from Democrat Al Gore, especially in key states such as Florida ... With anti-Bush sentiment at a fever pitch among progressives, however, there has been an anecdotal but "not unsubstantial" drop in membership in the past few months, Rensenbrink said.

For instance in Belfast, membership has dropped 11 percent since November of last year, with many of those jumping ship in the weeks before February's Democratic caucuses, according to city officials.

Two of those former Greens, Marina Delune and Wesley Rothermel, showed up to the Belfast area caucus Saturday, to "build bridges," they said, between Greens and progressive Democrats.

Now Delune and Rothermel, both of Belfast, are running for the Maine Senate - as Democrats.

Without visible people like Ralph Nader and Michael Moore, can the Greens survive? The history of 3rd parties in America isn't favorable.

Posted by Eric at 02:36 PM | Comments (43)

"Greens Face Defections, Divisions"

Many Greens are beginning to abandon their 3rd party start-up effort in the wake of the Bush administration. In Maine, for example, Bangor Daily News:

But Maine Green Independent Party officials say this year is different, with members defecting in droves to the Democratic ranks, leaving those who stay divided on whether to field a presidential candidate at all.

"People are afraid of the spoiler label," said Heather "Betsy" Garrold, a state party chairwoman, explaining the reluctance to back a presidential contender amid renewed resentment surrounding the 2000 run of Ralph Nader, whom many see as handing the election to George Bush by siphoning votes from Democrat Al Gore, especially in key states such as Florida ... With anti-Bush sentiment at a fever pitch among progressives, however, there has been an anecdotal but "not unsubstantial" drop in membership in the past few months, Rensenbrink said.

For instance in Belfast, membership has dropped 11 percent since November of last year, with many of those jumping ship in the weeks before February's Democratic caucuses, according to city officials.

Two of those former Greens, Marina Delune and Wesley Rothermel, showed up to the Belfast area caucus Saturday, to "build bridges," they said, between Greens and progressive Democrats.

Now Delune and Rothermel, both of Belfast, are running for the Maine Senate - as Democrats.

Without visible people like Ralph Nader and Michael Moore, can the Greens survive? The history of 3rd parties in America isn't favorable.

Posted by Eric at 02:36 PM | Comments (13)

March 03, 2004

Boycott Girl Scout Cookies

Some in Crawford, Texas, home of GW Bush, are taking their 'pro-life', anti-liberal crusade to a new target: the Girl Scouts. AP:

Parents were upset to learn that the local Girl Scout organization had given a woman of distinction award last year to a Planned Parenthood executive.

And they were disturbed to find out that the Girl Scout organization has been giving its endorsement for years to a Planned Parenthood sex-ed program in which girls and boys are given literature on homosexuality, masturbation and condoms.

Its not that were a bunch of activists. Were just a bunch of moms who care about their kids, said Lisa Aguilar, who took her 10-year-old daughter out of her eight-member Girl Scout troop. For us, its the morality. Where is Girl Scouts going?

The two troops in Crawford, population 700, decided not to deliver the cookie orders that they had already taken.

But cookie sales have skyrocketed this year as many people bought cases just to show their support for the Girl Scouts, said Becky Parker, a troop leader who is the cookie distributor for Waco-area troops.

People thought the boycott was ridiculous and was one mans extremist views, Parker said.

Whore mints.

Posted by Eric at 05:46 PM | Comments (46)

Boycott Girl Scout Cookies

Some in Crawford, Texas, home of GW Bush, are taking their 'pro-life', anti-liberal crusade to a new target: the Girl Scouts. AP:

Parents were upset to learn that the local Girl Scout organization had given a woman of distinction award last year to a Planned Parenthood executive.

And they were disturbed to find out that the Girl Scout organization has been giving its endorsement for years to a Planned Parenthood sex-ed program in which girls and boys are given literature on homosexuality, masturbation and condoms.

Its not that were a bunch of activists. Were just a bunch of moms who care about their kids, said Lisa Aguilar, who took her 10-year-old daughter out of her eight-member Girl Scout troop. For us, its the morality. Where is Girl Scouts going?

The two troops in Crawford, population 700, decided not to deliver the cookie orders that they had already taken.

But cookie sales have skyrocketed this year as many people bought cases just to show their support for the Girl Scouts, said Becky Parker, a troop leader who is the cookie distributor for Waco-area troops.

People thought the boycott was ridiculous and was one mans extremist views, Parker said.

Whore mints.

Posted by Eric at 05:46 PM | Comments (2)

Town Votes to Secede From Vermont

And all because of Howard Dean's scream! AP

Voting with a thunderous "aye," residents endorsed a plan Tuesday for this ski resort town to secede from Vermont and become a part of New Hampshire instead.

The overwhelming voice vote opened the next chapter in what could be a long and costly push to join New Hampshire, 25 miles to the east.

Ultimately, the vote could prove to be only symbolic. State lawmakers in New Hampshire and Vermont will have the final say. And Vermont legislators said secession will probably be voted down. Town officials said about two-thirds of the 200 to 300 people who attended the town meeting supported secession.

The main source of discontent is Vermont's new system of financing education, adopted in 1997 on orders from the state Supreme Court. It dramatically increased property taxes in wealthy communities like Killington.

Secession activists say Killington's restaurants, inns and other businesses send $20 million a year to Montpelier in sales, room and meal taxes, while the state returns just $1 million in municipal and education aid to the town of roughly 1,000 residents.

Posted by Eric at 08:50 AM | Comments (39)

Town Votes to Secede From Vermont

And all because of Howard Dean's scream! AP

Voting with a thunderous "aye," residents endorsed a plan Tuesday for this ski resort town to secede from Vermont and become a part of New Hampshire instead.

The overwhelming voice vote opened the next chapter in what could be a long and costly push to join New Hampshire, 25 miles to the east.

Ultimately, the vote could prove to be only symbolic. State lawmakers in New Hampshire and Vermont will have the final say. And Vermont legislators said secession will probably be voted down. Town officials said about two-thirds of the 200 to 300 people who attended the town meeting supported secession.

The main source of discontent is Vermont's new system of financing education, adopted in 1997 on orders from the state Supreme Court. It dramatically increased property taxes in wealthy communities like Killington.

Secession activists say Killington's restaurants, inns and other businesses send $20 million a year to Montpelier in sales, room and meal taxes, while the state returns just $1 million in municipal and education aid to the town of roughly 1,000 residents.

Posted by Eric at 08:50 AM | Comments (3)

And Now Oregon ...

Multnomah County has issued a legal opinion for same sex marriages, meaning gay couples can apply for marriage licenses very soon. LA Times:

TV stations reported licenses would be issued starting at 10 a.m. today, after a 9 a.m. news conference that was announced in a written statement.

That statement reads: "Based on a legal opinion released today by the county attorney, a majority of the board of county commissioners supports a policy change to allow the county to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples."

Roey Thorpe, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said the group had been working with county commissioners on a policy "in regard to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

"I know a lot of people who are going to get licenses" today, she said.

"It's impossible to tell what the response will be; I would guess there will be hundreds of couples. Many of these couples have been waiting decades, and this is the first time they've been seen as equal under the law."

Multnomah County Judge Linda Bergman told KGW-TV that she would schedule and perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples if they had a license when they made an appointment.

All well and good right, since Dick Cheney said: "It's really no one else's business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard. I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area."

Posted by Eric at 08:46 AM | Comments (10)

And Now Oregon ...

Multnomah County has issued a legal opinion for same sex marriages, meaning gay couples can apply for marriage licenses very soon. LA Times:

TV stations reported licenses would be issued starting at 10 a.m. today, after a 9 a.m. news conference that was announced in a written statement.

That statement reads: "Based on a legal opinion released today by the county attorney, a majority of the board of county commissioners supports a policy change to allow the county to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples."

Roey Thorpe, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said the group had been working with county commissioners on a policy "in regard to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

"I know a lot of people who are going to get licenses" today, she said.

"It's impossible to tell what the response will be; I would guess there will be hundreds of couples. Many of these couples have been waiting decades, and this is the first time they've been seen as equal under the law."

Multnomah County Judge Linda Bergman told KGW-TV that she would schedule and perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples if they had a license when they made an appointment.

All well and good right, since Dick Cheney said: "It's really no one else's business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard. I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area."

Posted by Eric at 08:46 AM | Comments (1)

March 02, 2004

Arnold, Davis Party Together

The governator and the former gov appeared on the Tonight Show together to promote two ballot propositions:

Schwarzenegger told Leno on Monday night that he and former Gov. Gray Davis are now good friends. The former movie star said he's even been advising Davis about a possible acting career.

"He's helped me a lot with acting, particularly with my pronunciation," said Davis, going on to mimic one of the Austrian-accented Schwarzenegger's signature movie lines, "I'll be back."

"You have to do it with the Terminator glasses," Schwarzenegger quipped, referring to the dark sunglasses he donned for his "Terminator" films.

The Republican Schwarzenegger and Democrat Davis hatched the idea of a joint appearance to promote Propositions 57 and 58 over a recent dinner, according to aides for both men ... Asked to evaluate Schwarzenegger's performance as governor, Davis replied, "I think Arnold is off to a good start."

Then he added, "He's certainly doing a better job than he did in `Hercules in New York.'"

Arnold also made these comments on gay marriage on the Leno show:
But his comments Monday also mirrored another Schwarzenegger mantra: Let the people decide. The governor said he opposes San Francisco issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples because "we have a law on the books here ... I think they should abide by the law."

Leno then asked Schwarzenegger if he would mind if the courts ruled gay marriage legal, and the governor said: "No, I don't have a problem."

"Let the court decide," Schwarzenegger added. "Let the people decide. The people have voted just in the last election on Proposition 22. They voted very clearly that marriage is only between a man and woman. That's the law, so we have to abide by the law."

Posted by Eric at 08:10 AM | Comments (16)

Arnold, Davis Party Together

The governator and the former gov appeared on the Tonight Show together to promote two ballot propositions:

Schwarzenegger told Leno on Monday night that he and former Gov. Gray Davis are now good friends. The former movie star said he's even been advising Davis about a possible acting career.

"He's helped me a lot with acting, particularly with my pronunciation," said Davis, going on to mimic one of the Austrian-accented Schwarzenegger's signature movie lines, "I'll be back."

"You have to do it with the Terminator glasses," Schwarzenegger quipped, referring to the dark sunglasses he donned for his "Terminator" films.

The Republican Schwarzenegger and Democrat Davis hatched the idea of a joint appearance to promote Propositions 57 and 58 over a recent dinner, according to aides for both men ... Asked to evaluate Schwarzenegger's performance as governor, Davis replied, "I think Arnold is off to a good start."

Then he added, "He's certainly doing a better job than he did in `Hercules in New York.'"

Arnold also made these comments on gay marriage on the Leno show:
But his comments Monday also mirrored another Schwarzenegger mantra: Let the people decide. The governor said he opposes San Francisco issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples because "we have a law on the books here ... I think they should abide by the law."

Leno then asked Schwarzenegger if he would mind if the courts ruled gay marriage legal, and the governor said: "No, I don't have a problem."

"Let the court decide," Schwarzenegger added. "Let the people decide. The people have voted just in the last election on Proposition 22. They voted very clearly that marriage is only between a man and woman. That's the law, so we have to abide by the law."

Posted by Eric at 08:10 AM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2004

Arlen Specter in Trouble in PA

From the DSCC and Quinnipiac University poll:

Well Under Half of Pennsylvania Voters Want to Re-Elect Specter. After 23 years in the United States Senate, only 44% of Pennsylvania voters say they want to see Sen. Specter re-elected. In fact, less than half of Republican voters want to see Specter re-elected this year.
Arlen Specter's Approval Rating Continues to Slide. Specter's approval rating - only 53% - is lower now than it has been since the first Quinnipiac poll was taken in June of 2002.
Pennsylvania Voters Know We Need Change. An astonishing 67% of voters rate the state's economy as either "not so good" or "poor." More voters believe that they are worse off, not better off, than they were a year ago, and less than one-third of voters believe that the economy will improve during the next 12 months.
Interestingly enough, one PAC, Club for Growth, is calling Arlen Specter and John Kerry"Two Liberal Peas in the Same Pod."

Posted by Eric at 09:56 PM | Comments (105)

Arlen Specter in Trouble in PA

From the DSCC and Quinnipiac University poll:

Well Under Half of Pennsylvania Voters Want to Re-Elect Specter. After 23 years in the United States Senate, only 44% of Pennsylvania voters say they want to see Sen. Specter re-elected. In fact, less than half of Republican voters want to see Specter re-elected this year.
Arlen Specter's Approval Rating Continues to Slide. Specter's approval rating - only 53% - is lower now than it has been since the first Quinnipiac poll was taken in June of 2002.
Pennsylvania Voters Know We Need Change. An astonishing 67% of voters rate the state's economy as either "not so good" or "poor." More voters believe that they are worse off, not better off, than they were a year ago, and less than one-third of voters believe that the economy will improve during the next 12 months.
Interestingly enough, one PAC, Club for Growth, is calling Arlen Specter and John Kerry"Two Liberal Peas in the Same Pod."

Posted by Eric at 09:56 PM | Comments (9)

February 20, 2004

Majority Want Connecticut Gov John Rowland Out

From the latest Quinnipiac poll, quite a large majority:

Some 67 percent of those surveyed in the latest Quinnipiac (KWIN'-ih-pee-ack) University Poll say Rowland should quit, just under the 68 percent figure from a month ago in the same poll.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents say that Rowland can no longer govern effectively.

Rowland's 24-percent job approval rating hasn't changed since last month's poll.

The governor is under federal and state investigation for accepting gifts and free work on a vacation cottage from politically connected friends, state employees and a state contractor -- and lying about it.

Posted by Eric at 01:34 AM | Comments (133)

Majority Want Connecticut Gov John Rowland Out

From the latest Quinnipiac poll, quite a large majority:

Some 67 percent of those surveyed in the latest Quinnipiac (KWIN'-ih-pee-ack) University Poll say Rowland should quit, just under the 68 percent figure from a month ago in the same poll.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents say that Rowland can no longer govern effectively.

Rowland's 24-percent job approval rating hasn't changed since last month's poll.

The governor is under federal and state investigation for accepting gifts and free work on a vacation cottage from politically connected friends, state employees and a state contractor -- and lying about it.

Posted by Eric at 01:34 AM | Comments (6)

February 19, 2004

More Dumb Activist Mayors

Ohhh, all these liberal Democratic mayors trying to force their anti-American agenda on the rest of the country. Rubble Rubble.

Taking a position at odds with many of his fellow Republicans, the openly gay mayor of this city said he supports same-sex marriage.

"I am on the opposite side of this issue _ I understand that _ but, as a gay man, I have to fight for equality," Mayor Daniel Stewart told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Gay marriage has become a high-profile issue since a Massachusetts court ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage. With officials in San Francisco expected to marry thousands of same-sex couples this week, President Bush on Wednesday said he was troubled by gay weddings and by the Massachusetts court's decision.

Stewart, 41, said he long preferred civil unions for gay couples over gay marriages. But since he has been mayor, he has performed more than 50 marriages of straight couples.

"I'm able to perform these ceremonies and see the happiness, the excitement and the commitment on the faces of these people getting married, and I realized that I was not allowed to have those same feelings because of my sexual orientation, and that is just wrong," he said.

Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (82)

More Dumb Activist Mayors

Ohhh, all these liberal Democratic mayors trying to force their anti-American agenda on the rest of the country. Rubble Rubble.

Taking a position at odds with many of his fellow Republicans, the openly gay mayor of this city said he supports same-sex marriage.

"I am on the opposite side of this issue _ I understand that _ but, as a gay man, I have to fight for equality," Mayor Daniel Stewart told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Gay marriage has become a high-profile issue since a Massachusetts court ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage. With officials in San Francisco expected to marry thousands of same-sex couples this week, President Bush on Wednesday said he was troubled by gay weddings and by the Massachusetts court's decision.

Stewart, 41, said he long preferred civil unions for gay couples over gay marriages. But since he has been mayor, he has performed more than 50 marriages of straight couples.

"I'm able to perform these ceremonies and see the happiness, the excitement and the commitment on the faces of these people getting married, and I realized that I was not allowed to have those same feelings because of my sexual orientation, and that is just wrong," he said.

Posted by Eric at 10:34 PM | Comments (4)

Mayor Daley "No Problem" Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago may do his part to assure future Ben-J LOs. Sun Times:

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Meanwhile, SF has sued California over the state gay-marriage prohibition.

Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (113)

Mayor Daley "No Problem" Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago may do his part to assure future Ben-J LOs. Sun Times:

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Meanwhile, SF has sued California over the state gay-marriage prohibition.

Posted by Eric at 05:23 PM | Comments (4)

February 12, 2004

South Dakota Bans Most Abortions

Opponents say it's a waste, because the law will just be challenged and thrown out in court. AP:

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in South Dakota, but opponents said it would do nothing but cost taxpayers money if it becomes law.

The bill, passed 54-15, would outlaw abortion unless a mother's life is in danger. It makes no exceptions for rape victims or women who could suffer permanent serious health problems by having babies.

"When we're considering an innocent life, the health of the mother is not a substantial enough justification to take the innocent life," said Republican Rep. Matt McCaulley, chief sponsor of the bill.

Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (71)

South Dakota Bans Most Abortions

Opponents say it's a waste, because the law will just be challenged and thrown out in court. AP:

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in South Dakota, but opponents said it would do nothing but cost taxpayers money if it becomes law.

The bill, passed 54-15, would outlaw abortion unless a mother's life is in danger. It makes no exceptions for rape victims or women who could suffer permanent serious health problems by having babies.

"When we're considering an innocent life, the health of the mother is not a substantial enough justification to take the innocent life," said Republican Rep. Matt McCaulley, chief sponsor of the bill.

Posted by Eric at 07:38 PM | Comments (8)

February 09, 2004

Hawaii Army National Guard Recruits Decrease 30%

Paralleling a national trend, recruitment numbers are down significantly in Hawaii, where military is a large part of the culture. Guess why the numbers are down ...

Posted by Eric at 10:13 PM | Comments (15)

Hawaii Army National Guard Recruits Decrease 30%

Paralleling a national trend, recruitment numbers are down significantly in Hawaii, where military is a large part of the culture. Guess why the numbers are down ...

Posted by Eric at 10:13 PM | Comments (4)

February 07, 2004

Judge Gag Order Silences Drake Campus

On Des Moines Reg:

Much of the Drake University campus was silent Friday about a federal investigation into an anti-war group meeting held on campus last fall.

Sources say a sealed court order issued Thursday prohibits Drake University employees from talking about a subpoena calling for all university records of the Drake group sponsoring the meeting.

President David Maxwell said he couldn't comment.

Chief of Security Hans Hanson referred calls to the university's marketing office. Several Drake Law School faculty said the dean's office was handling calls, while a secretary said the dean was out of the office.

"Good luck finding anyone who's going to talk," said Robert Rigg, a law professor.

Across campus, some faculty members were talking. They expressed outrage about the investigation, saying it appeared to infringe on free-speech rights. The subpoena asks for all records relating to the Nov. 15 anti-war conference on campus hosted by the Drake chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. The request calls for information about leaders of the group, security reports reflecting observations about the meeting and any annual reports since 2002.

"It's a very disturbing development," said Kathleen Richardson, a Drake professor and executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. "A university atmosphere should encourage intelligent discussion and debate about the important issues of our day."

Meanwhile, groups are fighting the decision.

Posted by Eric at 08:48 PM | Comments (16)

Judge Gag Order Silences Drake Campus

On Des Moines Reg:

Much of the Drake University campus was silent Friday about a federal investigation into an anti-war group meeting held on campus last fall.

Sources say a sealed court order issued Thursday prohibits Drake University employees from talking about a subpoena calling for all university records of the Drake group sponsoring the meeting.

President David Maxwell said he couldn't comment.

Chief of Security Hans Hanson referred calls to the university's marketing office. Several Drake Law School faculty said the dean's office was handling calls, while a secretary said the dean was out of the office.

"Good luck finding anyone who's going to talk," said Robert Rigg, a law professor.

Across campus, some faculty members were talking. They expressed outrage about the investigation, saying it appeared to infringe on free-speech rights. The subpoena asks for all records relating to the Nov. 15 anti-war conference on campus hosted by the Drake chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. The request calls for information about leaders of the group, security reports reflecting observations about the meeting and any annual reports since 2002.

"It's a very disturbing development," said Kathleen Richardson, a Drake professor and executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. "A university atmosphere should encourage intelligent discussion and debate about the important issues of our day."

Meanwhile, groups are fighting the decision.

Posted by Eric at 08:48 PM | Comments (5)

January 31, 2004

Just Checking on O'Reilly

Remember this?

"And I said on my program, if -- if -- the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again." Bill O'Reilly, Good Morning America, 3-18-03

Last time I checked, O'Reilly's been doing a lot of trusting the Bush administration. As of today, over 318 days since he said he would apologize to America.

Posted by Eric at 04:53 AM | Comments (69)

Just Checking on O'Reilly

Remember this?

"And I said on my program, if -- if -- the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again." Bill O'Reilly, Good Morning America, 3-18-03

Last time I checked, O'Reilly's been doing a lot of trusting the Bush administration. As of today, over 318 days since he said he would apologize to America.

Posted by Eric at 04:53 AM | Comments (21)

January 29, 2004

When Judges Attack

Yeah, that's not nice.

Circuit Judge Gene Stephenson on Thursday publicly apologized for insulting comments he made about a rape victim and removed himself from the case.

"The remarks were inappropriate. It's something I've never done before and won't do again," Stephenson said.

"I would just ask that she accept my apology. If she could find it in her heart to accept it, I'd appreciate it," the judge said

During proceedings in the rape case Monday before the prosecutor and defense attorney, Stephenson looked at a photograph of the battered victim and said, "Why would he want to rape her? She doesn't look like a day at the beach," according to a transcript reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel.

The victim was not in the courtroom at the time.

Posted by Eric at 11:07 PM | Comments (112)

When Judges Attack

Yeah, that's not nice.

Circuit Judge Gene Stephenson on Thursday publicly apologized for insulting comments he made about a rape victim and removed himself from the case.

"The remarks were inappropriate. It's something I've never done before and won't do again," Stephenson said.

"I would just ask that she accept my apology. If she could find it in her heart to accept it, I'd appreciate it," the judge said

During proceedings in the rape case Monday before the prosecutor and defense attorney, Stephenson looked at a photograph of the battered victim and said, "Why would he want to rape her? She doesn't look like a day at the beach," according to a transcript reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel.

The victim was not in the courtroom at the time.

Posted by Eric at 11:07 PM | Comments (11)

January 27, 2004

How States Deal: Find New Revenue

With state budgets shrinking as tax revenue decreases in wake of the Bush recession, local governments are being forced to get creative. Oh how, you ask?

Rather than drain Waterford dry, officials are looking to another liquid asset: renting out advertising space on the townships five water towers. Supporters say it would mean a free paint job and as much as $200,000 a year in ad revenue.

I think it could be done in good taste, Fortino said. The township is still considering the idea. Its not like theres anything that glamorous about a big silver water tower anyway. ...There arent a lot of things we can do (to raise revenue), not in large amounts anyway. Things are going to get worse before they get better.

In Ferndale, the city accepted a donation of a new police cruiser from Schmid Ford saving the city $20,000 in return for a small, tasteful mention of the dealership on the side of the cruiser. South Lyon leases space in its city hall to the local school district. Livonia staged a fund-raiser when it could no longer afford to put up its Christmas lights. Plymouth Township is selling off excess capacity in its sewer system.

Unfortunately, most of the money-making schemes are nickel-and-dime affairs compared to the money the communities have lost. Even if Waterford goes ahead with the water tower deal, and even if it gets the hoped-for $200,000, the money pales beside the $1 million-plus in state cuts the township has already endured.

Since 2001, the state of Michigan has held back more than $422 million in revenue sharing funds money collected through sales taxes and meant to be shared with communities. Each year, state government has kept more and more of the sales tax revenue for itself to offset the ballooning budget deficit. The state must, by law, balance its budget.

In Feb of last year, Max Sawicky of the EPI suggested ways the fed government could help states with their budget problems. For wonky numbers on the falling total revenues, see the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The cliff-notes:
In recent years, the overall fiscal position of the government reflecting federal, state, and local governments combined has shifted from one of surpluses to one of substantial deficits. Just-released government data show the principal reason for this shift is that revenue collections have shrunk markedly. Combined federal, state, and local revenues fell in fiscal year 2003 to their lowest level, measured as a share of the economy, since 1968.

Posted by Eric at 12:17 PM | Comments (9)

How States Deal: Find New Revenue

With state budgets shrinking as tax revenue decreases in wake of the Bush recession, local governments are being forced to get creative. Oh how, you ask?

Rather than drain Waterford dry, officials are looking to another liquid asset: renting out advertising space on the townships five water towers. Supporters say it would mean a free paint job and as much as $200,000 a year in ad revenue.

I think it could be done in good taste, Fortino said. The township is still considering the idea. Its not like theres anything that glamorous about a big silver water tower anyway. ...There arent a lot of things we can do (to raise revenue), not in large amounts anyway. Things are going to get worse before they get better.

In Ferndale, the city accepted a donation of a new police cruiser from Schmid Ford saving the city $20,000 in return for a small, tasteful mention of the dealership on the side of the cruiser. South Lyon leases space in its city hall to the local school district. Livonia staged a fund-raiser when it could no longer afford to put up its Christmas lights. Plymouth Township is selling off excess capacity in its sewer system.

Unfortunately, most of the money-making schemes are nickel-and-dime affairs compared to the money the communities have lost. Even if Waterford goes ahead with the water tower deal, and even if it gets the hoped-for $200,000, the money pales beside the $1 million-plus in state cuts the township has already endured.

Since 2001, the state of Michigan has held back more than $422 million in revenue sharing funds money collected through sales taxes and meant to be shared with communities. Each year, state government has kept more and more of the sales tax revenue for itself to offset the ballooning budget deficit. The state must, by law, balance its budget.

In Feb of last year, Max Sawicky of the EPI suggested ways the fed government could help states with their budget problems. For wonky numbers on the falling total revenues, see the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The cliff-notes:
In recent years, the overall fiscal position of the government reflecting federal, state, and local governments combined has shifted from one of surpluses to one of substantial deficits. Just-released government data show the principal reason for this shift is that revenue collections have shrunk markedly. Combined federal, state, and local revenues fell in fiscal year 2003 to their lowest level, measured as a share of the economy, since 1968.

Posted by Eric at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2004

Ohio GOP leader ignores order to liquidate secret account

Ahhh, money and politics, what a beautiful mix.

As leader of the Ohio Republican Party, Bob Bennett is happy to take credit for the GOP's 10-year dominance of state government.

A big supply of campaign cash also helps. On Friday, Bennett refused to back away from one controversial method to help keep that money coming.

The state party, and its county parties, can accept large amounts of money from secret donors to their operating accounts. These funds pay for salaries, get-out-the-vote drives and other day-to-day party activities.

Campaign reformers say these accounts need to be disclosed.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Ohio's top election official, has ordered party leaders to liquidate the accounts. He argues changes in federal campaign finance laws require party officials to do this.

Bennett disagrees. The destruction of those assets "may be a goal of Secretary Blackwell, but it is not something mandated by law," he said.

Blackwell says he's not trying to bankrupt the party. He just wants them to follow the law.

"There are alternative ways of moving that (money) that won't decimate the party's coffers," he said. "If there was money raised in a secret account, as of the end of last year they should have spent all the money in those accounts."

Posted by Eric at 11:28 AM | Comments (15)

Ohio GOP leader ignores order to liquidate secret account

Ahhh, money and politics, what a beautiful mix.

As leader of the Ohio Republican Party, Bob Bennett is happy to take credit for the GOP's 10-year dominance of state government.

A big supply of campaign cash also helps. On Friday, Bennett refused to back away from one controversial method to help keep that money coming.

The state party, and its county parties, can accept large amounts of money from secret donors to their operating accounts. These funds pay for salaries, get-out-the-vote drives and other day-to-day party activities.

Campaign reformers say these accounts need to be disclosed.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Ohio's top election official, has ordered party leaders to liquidate the accounts. He argues changes in federal campaign finance laws require party officials to do this.

Bennett disagrees. The destruction of those assets "may be a goal of Secretary Blackwell, but it is not something mandated by law," he said.

Blackwell says he's not trying to bankrupt the party. He just wants them to follow the law.

"There are alternative ways of moving that (money) that won't decimate the party's coffers," he said. "If there was money raised in a secret account, as of the end of last year they should have spent all the money in those accounts."

Posted by Eric at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)