30 November 2009

No Timetable, No Conditions

Marc Ambinder previews President Obama's speech on Afghan war policy:
Officials said last week that while [the President] would outline a clear exit strategy, he would not tie troop withdrawals to any specific political developments in Afghanistan, which might run into opposition from Democrats in Congress, who are demanding benchmarks. Nor is the President likely to impose direct conditions on Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
The speech is scheduled for tomorrow night. If this is truly the strategy he is to propose, then I am not on board. It sounds a bit to Bush-esque for comfort.

The Second Dip

If Friday's events in Dubai are any indication, the Great Recession is about to take a most worrisome second dip.

26 November 2009

Stuffing Mix

The 2009 Thanksgiving Day Mix. The perfect soundtrack for your holiday. Press play and enjoy...

Evil Ways - Rusted Root
She's a Lady - Tom Jones
Love Is Just a Game - The Magic Numbers
Give the Drummer Some - Nickodemus
Straight Back - Fleetwood Mac
Saint - Texas
Thinking of You - Sister Sledge
Maybe Tomorrow - Stereophonics
Ben's Letter - 54 Seconds
Speak - Nickel Creek
Cry Me a River - Julie London
Peg - Steely Dan
Couldn't Get It Right - Climax Blues Band
Cold Heart - Elliott Yamin
The Very Thought of You - Nat "King" Cole

25 November 2009

Rewriting History

George W. Bush's former press secretary has a rather limited memory, it seems...

Yes...because...you know...9/11 happened on President Gore's watch.

24 November 2009

Obama's Plan For Afghanistan

Reports this morning say the President will announce his plan on Tuesday, December 1.

23 November 2009

"Right Across the Street From Russia"

Dumbed-down on steroids...

Holy hell! Makes you want to stick an ice pick in your eye, doesn't it?

Spoiled Fucking Brat

This is exactly the kind of cry-baby bullshit that makes me extremely happy that this guy bowed out of the 2010 race for governor. As it is, it makes me want to take back my 2007 mayoral vote - one he BARELY earned.

Disgusting and Beyond Vile

From the Huffington Post:
A group called the Chicago Tea Party Patriots publicly heckled a grieving family and suggested that the couple fabricated their tragic story.

Midge Hough was heckled by anti-reform crowd members. "You can laugh at me, that's okay," she said, crying. "But I lost two people, and I know you think that's funny, that's okay."
These people are not patriots. They are hate mongers and hypocrites, and the #1 reason why would never EVER be able to cast a Republican vote in a federal election.

To the Brink

Quote of the Day:
We need citizens who will convey to their leaders that they are ready to sacrifice, even pay, yes, higher taxes, and will not punish politicians who ask them to do the hard things. Otherwise, folks, we’re in trouble. A great power that can only produce suboptimal responses to its biggest challenges will, in time, fade from being a great power...
-NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman, laying down the gauntlet.

Alas, it will take an economic downturn of unfathomable proportions for U.S. voters to demand that their representatives make such hard choices (and even then a small but significant percentage of the American public would resist). For we only make the important decisions when we have to - as a last resort - and not a single second before hand.


Earlier in the piece, Friedman makes a strong point (numbers 2, 3, and 4 of which are quite important):
..at least six things have come together to fracture our public space and paralyze our ability to forge optimal solutions:

1) Money in politics has become so pervasive that lawmakers have to spend most of their time raising it, selling their souls to those who have it or defending themselves from the smallest interest groups with deep pockets that can trump the national interest.

2) The gerrymandering of political districts means politicians of each party can now choose their own voters and never have to appeal to the center.

3) The cable TV culture encourages shouting and segregating people into their own political echo chambers.

4) A permanent presidential campaign leaves little time for governing.

5) The Internet, which, at its best, provides a check on elites and establishments and opens the way for new voices and, which, at its worst provides a home for every extreme view and spawns digital lynch mobs from across the political spectrum that attack anyone who departs from their specific orthodoxy.

6) A U.S. business community that has become so globalized that it only comes to Washington to lobby for its own narrow interests; it rarely speaks out anymore in defense of national issues like health care, education and open markets.

22 November 2009

60 to 39

The United States Senate voted 60 to 39 yesterday to stop a filibuster on their version of health care legislation. The vote simply allows debate to begin on the bill.

While this is a huge step in the right direction, this is far from over. The actual bill still needs to go through an actual vote. Then it has to be reconciled with the House bill (essentially merging both bills into one), and then that bill needs to be voted in both houses of congress. Filibusters are still a threat.

So, a step in the right direction. But we still have quite the road to travel.

20 November 2009

9th Circuit: Defense of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

From Bill Egnor at FDL:
Something somewhat big happened in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the 18th. Judge Stephan Reinhardt issued a ruling, which finds a significant part of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional...
What DOMA did was to deny federal benefits or recognition of any same sex marriage. This is a real problem as many of the rights, which married folks enjoy, are Federal rights not State level. As a practical matter this affects Federal employees the most as they are ineligible to have their same sex spouses on their insurance plans, ineligible to have their spouses as beneficiaries of any pension, and the like.

Normally there is nowhere for a Federal Employee to sue to try to change this, but in California (where the 9th Circuit is located) they have a program for Federal Public Defenders which resolves disputes about benefits. In this program they expressly forbid discrimination against anyone for gender or sexual orientation in awarding of benefits.

Along comes Mr. Brad Levinson, a Deputy Public Defender. He is also gay and married his long time partner Tony Sears in California on March 16, 2008. He then tried to have his husband added to his Federal Employee benefits program. This was denied, with a citation of DOMA as the reason.

Judge Reinhardt has found and states conclusively that the denial of benefits based solely on the sex and sexual orientation of Mr. Levinson’s husband is unconstitutional because is violates the 5th Amendment Equal Protection clause. He spends 25 pages detailing how he has the power to order the benefits office of the 9th Circuit to either add Mr. Sears to his husbands insurance or order them to pay a for a similar plan.

Sarah Quits Again

This should surprise no one...

Jed Lewison nails it:
It's hard not to feel bad for these folks after they took time off work to meet their hero, but when your hero is a failed vice presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska who resigned halfway through her first term in office, you shouldn't really be surprised when she ditches you in the cold for something better.

End-of-the-Week Levity

You gotta love Wanda...

Santorum of the Day

Catholic Charities has threatened to stop feeding the hungry and housing the homeless in D.C. unless the city council there votes down same sex marriage.

Wolf, uuuhh, Blitzer reports...

19 November 2009

Don't Prea...Stop Trying To...Just... DON'T

I have had way too much religion forced down my throat today. First a former co-worker posted on Facebook that there isn't enough god in America today. I don't know what he's been smokin', but I think most would agree there's TOO much god, and that reams of hate are being spewed in his name.

And earlier today, a rather nice lady in the parking lot at the shopping center saw my "REPEAL PROP 8" bumpersticker, walked over to my car, and asked, "Have you found love and peace in the bosom of Jesus Christ?"

My response? (In my best non-British Ian McKellen) "As a matter of fact, I did. Back around 1996, I think. Although his last name wasn't Christ. Perez, I think it was. A rather sturdy boy."

I smiled a rather wicked grin, thanked her, got into my car, and drove the hell away.

Disgusting and Beyond Vile

From Andy Towle: On November 14, the body of a gay 19-year-old was found on an isolated road in the city of Cayey, Puerto Rico partially burned, decapitated, and with both arms, both legs, and his torso dismembered.

What makes this more unfathomable is the statement released by the police. According to Towle, the police agent that is handling this case said in a public televised statement that "people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen."

What. The. Fuck!??!

Another Huge Step Forward on Health Care

MSNBC reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has all his ducks in a row and will hold a vote to kill a Republican filibuster this weekend, with a possible vote for final passage of the health care bill scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Lawrence O'Donnell, sitting in for Keith Olbermann, has the goods...

Changing Minds

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Democrat-WI) and the House Oversight and Government Reform committee have voted to move the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act to the House floor for a vote. If the bill become law (a very tall order), same-sex partners of federal employees would be able to share the workers' benefits, including those covering health insurance, retirement and disability.

Peeing. My. Pants.

The Incident at NBC


I See Stupid People

Bush's Torture Lawyers to Be Disbarred?

That's where things could be heading.

Detroit's Devastation

In yet another sign of how far the Detroit area has fallen over the last several decades, the infamous Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Lions, has just sold for $580,000.

The stadium was estimated to be worth $20 million last year.

18 November 2009


Mid-Week Brain Break

This is a hoot!

"Poker Faces" by Lady Gaga vs. Cartman vs. Christopher Walken

'It Was Hard to Believe That I Was In America"

Many of you may have seen this "Countdown" segment from Monday night, but I post here for those who haven't. (Although if you have, it would do you well to watch it again.) I only just watched it for the first time last night.

Keith Olbermann reads a blog post, in its entirety, by "Countdown's" senior producer, Richard Stockwell, after Stockwell attended the first of several free health clinics beings sponsored by Olbermann and his newscast.

If you watch only one video clip regarding the health care debate, this is it.

Santorum of the Day

Now that the blog is back, it's time once again to start handing out the occasional "Santorum of the Day" award.

The definition of the word:
Pronunciation: san-TOR-um
Function: noun
1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex;
2. The former right-wing Republican United States Senator from Pennsylvania
With the fascist-wing of the modern conservative movement clearly on a bat-shit bender, a week doesn't go by where at least one or two of them make a really fascist remark. On occasion, I will highlight those remarks here as the "Santorum of the Day."

Today's goes to Faux News fuckwad, Bill O'Reilly. When Judge Andrew Napolitano argued that the 9/11 conspirators had the constitutional right to be tried in the place where the crime was committed, O'Reilly countered with, “I don’t care about the Constitution!”

Behold pure, unadulterated fascism at work:

Make no mistake, people. The fascists on the far right want to get rid of the United States Constitution. These guys aren't patriotic Americans. They hate their country and everything it stands for.

Questions of the Day

1. Why is it taking so damn long to count 10,000 absentee ballots in New York's 23rd congressional district?
Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has "unconceded" in New York's special House election after reports that the vote margin narrowed between him and Rep. Bill Owens (D). Officials in the upstate New York district are still counting over 10,000 absentee ballots (and Owens' margin has dropped from 5,335 votes to 3,026).
In the overall scheme of things, 10,000 ballots should have been counted THAT NIGHT. I don't understand why it's taking so damn long.

(For the record, Hoffman's chances of overtaking Owens' lead are zero.)

2. Why are absentee ballots always counted after Election Day? Shouldn't they be counted with all of the other ballots?

Just sayin'.

16 November 2009

Rogue Wave

All the talk tonight is of the appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show by former half-term Alaska governor, and failed 2008 vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Two things: First, it was OPRAH! I don't know why ANYONE was expecting anything of substance. Second, why are we still paying attention to this dim bulb!?

I mean, look, if you were president of the local bank and a very nice 40-something mother showed up and applied for a job as the bank vice-president, yet didn't have a working knowledge of the basics of banking, would you really hire her just because you like her and think she holds personal values similar to yours? Of course you wouldn't.

That 40% of Americans would entertain voting for the dim bulb from Alaska is absolutely perplexing.

From my endorsement of Barack Obama last year:
The differences in judgment between these two candidates - Obama's solid, thoughtful steadiness versus McCain's wild flailing - couldn't be more evident than in their choices for vice-president.

In Joe Biden, the Democratic ticket has an elder statesman, much respected around the globe, who epitomizes the essential definition of vice-president: He is more than ready to step into the role of president if need be.

As many readers of this blog know, Biden was my original choice for the Democratic nomination. As such, I look forward to seeing what the Obama/Biden ticket can do if they are fortunate enough to serve as President and Vice-President of the United States. They are an all-star team in my book.

And then there is Sarah Palin. By all measures John McCain essentially disqualified himself for the presidency when he tapped Gov. Palin to be his running mate. She is nowhere near qualified for the job...not by a long shot. Her tremendous lack of understanding of the vice-presidency and, more importantly, of our Constitution, let alone the fact that she has little working knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs, is more than enough to reject the Republican ticket outright on Tuesday.

The irresponsibility of McCain, a 72-year-old cancer survivor, to add Palin to his party's ticket is unfathomable. His decision to do so - one that could very easily result in a "President Palin" - should shake every American to their very core.
Enough said.

15 November 2009

Happy 20th!

Released on this very day in 1989...

Dancer With Destiny, Tempter of Fate

This week's playlist begins with a 1995 track from an incarnation of Fleetwood Mac that did not include Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. The lead vocal on "Winds of Change" is beautifully done by Bekka Bramlett, with guitar work by Dave Mason.

Set also includes a track from Robbie Williams' brand new album, "Reality Killed the Video Star," and concludes with a gorgeous song by Duncan Sheik.

Press play and enjoy...

Winds of Change - Fleetwood Mac
Electric Feel - MGMT
Pop Goes the World - The Gossip
Squeeze Me - Kraak & Smaak
Under Your Spell - Phyllis Hyman
Sexy - Los Amigos Invisibles
Clean Living - RJD2
The Real End - Rickie Lee Jones
Cry of a Dreamer - The Sylvers
Nemesis - David Gray
All I Want Is You - Andy Caldwell
Morning Sun - Robbie Williams
Lady Madonna (from "Love") - The Beatles
Choo Choo Cha Cha - Rinky Dinks
Earthbound Starlight - Duncan Sheik
(Playlist photo: T. Boyer)

Healthcare Around the World

I missed the original airing of this "Frontline" when it aired in 2008, but watched it last night On Demand. It is well worth the hour, and will make you wonder why the Fascist-Republicans (and that includes you, Joe Lieberman) are trying to block healthcare reform.

Take the time to watch this, and you'll find yourself agreeing with me: With some alterations here and and a bit of strong-arm nudging there, the plans currently making their way through congress might just work.

Click here to watch. The episode begins with the healthcare system in Britain. Click on the links above the video to watch segments on Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland.

10 November 2009

Long Days at the Office

A major "everything else waits" project fell into my lap last week and goes into overdrive today in anticipation of a deadline this Friday. Post will be light or non-existent until the weekend.

Chat with you all then.

04 November 2009

Mid-Week Brain Break

Time lapse stormy weather...

One Year Ago, Tonight

I will post an assessment of President Obama at the one-year point of his presidency in January, when he reaches the official 365 day mark from his inauguration. Today, I want to focus on the historic election that took place on this day, one year ago. No matter your feelings of Mr. Obama then or now, one can't deny the huge step forward America took that evening.

Let's flash back, shall we?

Although my first choice for the Democratic nomination was Joe Biden, he dropped out of the race before California's February primary, and I shifted my support to Barack Obama. My passionate support for the junior senator from Illinois went against many of my friends, as well as my partner, who were all supporting Hillary Clinton. I held firm, though. I believed strongly that Mr. Obama truly was the best choice for our great country. As Election Day neared, I laid out my reasoning in my official endorsement. You can read that essay by clicking here.

In the final weekend before the election, polling showed Obama leading his Republican opponent, John McCain, by an average of 7 percentage points. I thought things would tighten up and that some sort of "Bradley effect" would take place in a few key states. Thus, I predicted the final result would be much closer: 311 to 227 in the Electoral College. (For the record, the pundits were right, I was wrong. Obama won 365 to 173.)

On the morning of Election Day, Brent and I walked down to our polling place and stood in line for an hour to cast our ballots in that historic election. Later in the day, with hopes high and fingers crossed, our friends Gil and Duane joined us at our place to watch returns come in. Things started off well and never let up. By 7:35pm California time, the math looked really good - Barack Obama had 207 electoral votes, and polls were scheduled to close here, as well as in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii at 8pm. I knew that if pre-election polling in those states held true, the networks would be able to call the presidency at the top of the hour.

I poured the champagne, made sure everyone was in front of the TV, and sure enough, at 8pm straight up...

This reaction from the crowd in Chicago's Grant Park still puts a lump in my throat...

My post-election analysis can be found here.

Like I said, I will post my personal critique of Mr. Obama's first year as president in January. Suffice it to say, I'm pleased and displeased depending on the issue. But I wouldn't take back that vote for anything. I'm proud of what my country did a year ago. And I think, deep down, my fellow Americans are just as proud.

LGBT Issues: A Mixed Bag

A mixed bag of results from the scattered off-year elections last night. First, the heartbreak in Maine:
"Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry...?"


The result was about 50/50 for the first couple of hours following poll closure, with each side swapping a small lead. But then around 8:30pm California time, the "yes" side took a solid lead and never let it go. The current margin is much bigger than I anticipated, and marks yet another lost battle in the overall war to win marriage equality.

The LGBT and senior communities can rejoice at the results in Washington State:
"Approve or reject a bill that expands the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.”


Two things on Washington: 1. The vote wasn't regarding marriage, but rather for or against civil unions that, similar to California, give gay couples the same rights as marriage, just without calling it "marriage." 2. The "Approve 71" side is not declaring victory, as the current small margin will likely result in a recount request. I don't see a recount changing the result, but I understand why they want to hold back.

In Kalamazoo, Michigan, voters overwhelmingly cast ballots against discrimination:
"Shall an ordinance be adopted to generally prohibit discriminatory practices on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, physical or mental disability, family status, sexual orientation or gender identity in the provision of housing, public accommodations, and employment, take effect?"


In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, openly gay two-term city councilman Mark Kleinschmidt won the mayoral race:
Mark Kleinschmidt

Matt Czajkowski

In other races:
Openly gay former news anchor Charles Pugh received the highest vote total in the races for Detroit City Council, and will thus serve as that body's leader.

James Llanas in Maplewood, Minnesota fought off some hideous anti-gay attacks to win a seat on that city's council.

Annise Parker, the openly gay comptroller in Houston, received the most votes in the race for mayor, but because no candidate reached 50% +1, the contest is headed for a run-off between Parker and Gene Locke.
Overall, the night was essentially one step forward, a step and a half back.


In last night's off-year elections, the biggest surprise came out of the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district. Those upstate voters were asked to choose a replacement for Republican John McHugh, who was named Secretary of the Army by President Obama earlier this year. Because the state Republican Party nominated a moderate to run in the contest to fill out the last year of McHugh's term, the national fascists had a temper-tantrum, sending the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to stick their noses in the political affairs of a solid Republican, yet very moderate district.

The fascists endorsed a conservative third party candidate, resulting in a split among Republican base voters, which in turn caused the official Republican candidate to bow out of the the race this past weekend.

The Limbaugh-Palin wing of the GOP were absolutely giddy, and the Republicans who had endorsed their party's nominee were falling all over themselves to endorse the Conservative Party candidate. That candidate, Doug Hoffman, was on his way to victory and a seat in the United States House of Representatives.

But the voters had a different idea:
Bill Owens

Doug Hoffman

Dede Scozzafava*

(*The Republican candidate's name remained on the ballot.)
The moderate Republican district essentially told Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to fuck right off, thank you very much. And, for the first time since the Civil War, this area of upstate New York will be represented by a Democrat in congress.

Well...at least until next year's mid-term elections.

Republican Pick-Ups

Republican candidates for governor went two for two last night: In New Jersey, the much-hated Republican candidate defeated the much-hated Democratic incumbent by a small but comfortable margin:
Christopher J. Christie

Jon S. Corzine

Christopher J. Daggett
In Virginia, it was a landslide:
Robert McDonnell

R. Creigh Deeds
Many on the right will argue that these results are a rejection of President Obama's first ten months in office. While that may have been the case for some voters, the reality overall is that these contests were decided based on local issues. 60% of voters in NJ said Obama was not a factor in their balloting choices. In Virginia, that number was 56%.

My take on the Republican victories here.

03 November 2009

Tonight's Results Already Clear

All signs seem to point a Republican landslide tonight in Virginia's race for governor, and to a possible victory for the GOP in New Jersey. In New York, a right wing candidate of the states's Conservative Party looks to be the beneficiary of the moderate Republican's withdrawal from the race for an upstate congressional seat.

I would argue against the temptation to call such victories a repudiation of President Obama's performance in office. Take a look at Virginia's gubernatorial election in 2001. That contest took place in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when President Bush's approval ratings were in the stratosphere. Yet, the Democratic nominee won a comfortable victory. No one, not even an anti-Bush progressive like me, would argue that the result was a repudiation of Mr. Bush's presidency at that time.

If we take anything away from tonight's elections - even if the Democrats lose NJ, VA, and NY-23; even if marriage loses in Maine - it is that the civil war within the Republican Party has now fractured it beyond recognition. And tonight's victories will be one of only a few inconsequential ones for the GOP over the next generation.

The right-wing-dominated Republicans in 2009 resemble the left wing Democrats of 1981 - overwhelmingly rejected by voters the previous year and banished to the political wilderness. Sure, the Dems picked up congressional seats in the 1982 mid-terms, handing the Reagan White House a small set back at the peak of a pretty nasty recession, but the party remained in tatters, with the left wing dominating and Walter Mondale losing 49 states two years later.

So, as for tonight, the actual vote totals won't matter. The real result of the 2009 off-year elections is already clear: The Republican Party's downward spiral into civil war has come its next logical step - a complete and utter implosion.

Today, In Maine

Fingers crossed.

Today, In Washington State

The ballot initiative there is to preserve civil union protections.

Dysfunctional California

Ronald M. George, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, makes the same argument I've been making for years on this blog - that ballot initiatives put in front of voters have put the state legislature in a straitjacket. Some key points:
One might reasonably ask: Is the voter initiative, in its current form, an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process? The nation's founding fathers, wary of the potential excesses of direct democracy, established a republic with a carefully crafted system of representative democracy.
Meaning, our elected representatives are to make decisions for us. If we feel those representatives are bucking our interests, we have the right to replace them at the next election. More from Chief Justice George:
California's Constitution permits a relatively small number of petition signers - equal to at least 8 percent of the voters in the latest gubernatorial election - to place before the voters a proposal to amend any aspect of our Constitution.

The Legislature (by a two-thirds vote of each house) shares the power to place proposed amendments before the electorate. California, however, is unique among American jurisdictions in prohibiting its Legislature, without express voter approval, from amending or repealing even a statutory measure enacted by the voters unless the initiative itself specifically confers this power.
So, unlike the federal government, where a 2/3 vote of both houses of congress and 3/5 of the fifty state legislatures are needed to amend the Constitution, the California legislature can only vote to put a proposed constitutional amendment before the voters. The office holders themselves are unable, by law, to amend the state constitution directly. More:
Thus it is considerably easier to amend the California Constitution than the U.S. Constitution...

As a result, while only 17 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (in addition to the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791) have been adopted since that document was ratified in 1788, more than 500 amendments to the California Constitution have been adopted since the document's ratification in 1879.
FIVE HUNDRED AMENDMENTS!! One can easily see how this makes it impossible to govern:
Perhaps most consequential in their impact on the ability of state and local government to function are constitutional and statutory mandates and prohibitions - often at cross-purposes - limiting how elected officials may raise and spend revenue. Lawmakers, and the state itself, have been placed in a fiscal straitjacket by a steep two-thirds-vote requirement - imposed at the ballot box - for raising taxes.

A similar supermajoritarian requirement governs passage of the state budget. This situation is compounded by initiatives imposing constitutional requirements of specified levels of financial support for public transportation and schools. These constraints - when combined with a lack of political will (on the part of some officials) to curb spending and (on the part of others) to raise taxes - often make a third alternative, borrowing, the most attractive option (at least until the bankers say "no").
Alas, being able to change the California constitution with such ease, some rather bogus amendments have been passed:
Initiatives have enshrined myriad provisions into California's constitutional charter, including a prohibition on the use of gill nets and a measure regulating the confinement of barnyard fowl in coops. This last constitutional amendment was enacted on the same 2008 ballot that amended the Constitution to override the California Supreme Court's decision recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry. Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them.
George concludes:
Californians need to consider some fundamental reforms. Otherwise, I am concerned that we shall continue on a course of dysfunctional state government, characterized by a lack of accountability on the part of our officeholders as well as the voting public.
When it comes right down to it, I don't trust the voters to make the important decisions. The onslaught of misinformation from both sides of any issue skew the facts and render an informed decision impossible. More over, the ease at which we are able to amend our state constitution goes against everything America's founding fathers stood for. They understood fully that putting the decision making directly in the laps of the people would lead to the impossible situation California finds herself in today.

The Golden State finds herself falling deeper and deeper into the abyss. We need a total overhaul of the state constitution - a full-fledged convention to re-write the document from scratch. Alas, I know my fellow Californians...and it will probably take a crisis of unfathomable proportions to change how we govern ourselves.

01 November 2009

A Sunday In Autumn

The perfect Sunday morning: A hot cuppa joe, the Sunday paper, and some really good music. Enjoy this week's playlist, put together by yours truly...

Whatever You Want - Club 8
Enjoy the Ride - Morcheeba, with Judy Tzuke
Candy - Paolo Nutini
Reserver - Redlounge Orchestra
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) - Marvin Gaye
The World Is a Beat - N'Dambi
Menina Moca (Young Lady) - Stan Getz
Manhattan - Ella Fitzgerald
Mrs. Cold - Kings of Convenience
Fin de Septembre - Aimee Ailen
What Are You Like - Indigo Girls
Save Me, San Francisco - Train
Silver Lining - Bonnie Raitt
Clouds - Amy Duncan
Revolutionary Road - Thomas Newman