Day: August 4, 2010

Finally, Federal Government Aid To States For Education And Medicaid Support!

Thanks to the two Maine Republican Senators (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins), the Senate was able to overcome a GOP filibuster and provide $26 billion in aid to the states, to help support education and medicaid, and partially relieve the crisis in state budgets in this worst economy of the past 75 years!

Approximately 160,000 teaching positions nationally will be saved, and medicaid assistance to the states will help to plug the shortfall which threatened the continuation of the essential programs for the poor and handicapped!

The House of Representatives had adjourned for the summer break, but will return next Tuesday to pass the bill and help to relieve the economic crisis for the coming year!

Again, however, the Republican leadership in the Senate, headed by Mitch McConnell, complained that the states should not receive this extra aid, an amazing assertion when McConnell’s own home state of Kentucky is one of the poorest, most backward of all the states, and yet McConnell seems to have no concern! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND DISGRACEFUL! ๐Ÿ™

The United Nations And The “Bike Riding Conspiracy”: Tea Party-GOP Lunacy In Colorado Governor’s Race! :(

You would think that the Tea Party Movement has reached the high point of craziness, what with Rand Paul running for the Senate in Kentucky, and Sharron Angle running for the Senate in Nevada! But if you thought that was as loony as things could get, you have not heard of Dan Meas!

Dan Meas is competing for the GOP nomination for Governor in Colorado, and seems to be ahead of his opponent, Scott McInnis, a former Congressman who has been accused of plagiarism!

But Maes is a Tea Party favorite who claims that the Denver mayor, John Hickenlooper, who will be the Democratic nominee for Governor and is heavily favored, has been promoting bringing the city under United Nations control by promoting BIKERIDING! ๐Ÿ™

This is also the state where Tom Tancredo, former Congressman and GOP Presidential candidate in 2008, and a loony nativist, is running as an Independent for Governor!

Under the circumstances, the Republican Party of Colorado is going off the deep end, with the best choice for them being to select the “plagiarist”, and hope that Tancredo flops on his face politically as an Independent!

So the Tea Party Movement further undermines the Republican Party, and makes them look more and more whacko, loony, and outside of the political mainstream! ๐Ÿ™

An Amazing Alliance: David Boies And Ted Olson!

The California District Court case today, declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, was won because of the strong arguments of an amazing alliance of two leading attorneys–David Boies and Ted Olson!

David Boies is a liberal Democrat and Ted Olson is a conservative Republican, who opposed each other in the Supreme Court case of Bush V. Gore, which led to the Court declaring the vote count in Florida over, and awarding the state’s electoral votes to George W. Bush over Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential Election!

But the two men now have joined together in an impressive alliance, based on the idea that gays have the same rights as other citizens, and that prejudice and discrimination cannot be allowed to deny basic civil liberties and human rights, including the right to marry!

Olson was Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, and therefore has argued cases before the Court other than the Bush V. Gore case! Boies also has a very impressive record in court on numerous cases, so this is an alliance of power!

Hopefully, the two men will go down as the equivalent of Thurgood Marshall was in the Brown V. Board of Education case in 1954!

The battle must still be fought through the higher courts, but with such stalwart figures behind the gay marriage case, hopefully the moral and right thing will win out, and justice will be served! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Major Victory For Civil Liberties And Human Rights: Proposition 8 In California Declared Unconstitutional!

The decision of a Federal District Court judge in California today, declaring that Proposition 8 (denying gay men and women the right to marry) was unconstitutional, is a major victory for civil liberties and human rights! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is not a question of religious belief! No one is forced to become a part of gay marriage! If you do not like two gays being married, you can have your view, but you don’t have the right to tell others who to marry!

Only 43 years ago, people of different races could not marry, until the Supreme Court declared it constitutional in 1967! Not everyone likes interracial marriage, but who cares? It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS who marries whom, as long as they are consenting adults!

Prejudice and hate and narrow mindedness must not be allowed to deny a group of Americans, estimated at 3 to 10 percent, the rights that the rest of us have! This is not something that should be based on a vote of the people, as the people can be wrong, as they have often been, and are not entitled to deny other people their basic human rights!

Of course, this is only the beginning, as the decision will be appealed to the Federal Circuit Courts, and ultimately is likely to go to the Supreme Court!

No one knows how the Supreme Court would rule, but the odds seem good that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was the decisive vote in the gay rights case of Lawrence V. Texas might side with four other Justices thought likely to back gay marriage–Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Stephen Breyer!

Additionally, there are hints that Justice Antonin Scalia, despite his anger at the Lawrence V. Texas decision, has stated that there is no compelling state interest in interfering with the right of marriage, so who knows? He just might be on the side of the right of gays to marry, when the case comes to the Supreme Court!

So we just might be seeing a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court, making this the last basic human rights issue to be decided by the Supreme Court!

Conservatives who oppose this basic human right, and religious zealots who preach hate and prejudice, are going to be seen in the future as part of the dustbin of history, as once again, being on the wrong side of the concept of human rights!

There Is No Global Warming Or Climate Change! Yeh, Right! :(

Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and most other conservatives and Republicans claim there is no global warming or climate change!

Of course, they are right, heh? NO, THEY ARE TOTALLY WRONG, and the evidence continues to grow! ๐Ÿ™

We are on the way to the warmest year on record, and July could be the hottest month since weather data were first collected in the late 19th century!

At the same time, Russia has been suffering from the highest temperatures on record, and dealing with disastrous wildfires unseen in their recorded history!

We have seen warmer weather conditions in the past decade than at any time since records have been kept!

We are seeing more and more erosion of shorelines all over the world, and the rapid deterioration of icebergs in the Arctic at an alarming rate!

As carbon emissions rise, the crisis is growing worse, but yet the Congress is unable to gain support across party lines to deal with the environmental crisis that the planet faces!

Instead, we are being told that there is no crisis, and instead we are allowing so called “religious” zealots to defy our scientists who warn of impending disaster in the next century!

The argument seems to be that if we “pray” enough, then we can overlook science in favor of religion! Faith will solve our problems, rather than observable evidence based upon research and investigation!

When religion and science mix, religion wins, science loses, and mankind suffers! ๐Ÿ™

Skepticism That BP Oil Spill Is No Longer A Crisis! :(

Just as the BP Oil Spill Crisis seems to be reaching its end, in regards to capping the well, the US government is informing us that the oil spillage, the massive amount of 4.9 million barrels by latest estimate, poses very little threat, as only 26 percent of the oil spilled is still in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico or onshore in a form that could do harm! Supposedly, the damage that could be done on the surface or under the surface of the waters is minimal, and the oil is evaporating and dispersing rapidly!

Of course, no one knows for sure the effect on the people of the Gulf and their livelihoods, which seems long term! Also, there is no answer yet to the effect on sea life–fish, crabs, shrimp and birds–that have been affected by the oil spill, as to their long term impact on the eggs and larvae of these species!

The damage to the environment and economy of the Gulf States, long term and short term, cannot yet be measured! The relief effort by BP and the federal and state governments may have succeeded to some extent, but still one has to wonder whether the government scientists and experts are correct, or if BP will be somehow let off the hook for long term damage that cannot yet be assessed! ๐Ÿ™

It seems to the author that the media must continue to monitor and report on the situation, and not let the company or the federal government dismiss the issue as no longer a big deal, as the suspicion is clear that both want to get past this issue without clear cut responsibilities being taken for the damages done! ๐Ÿ™

Libertarianism Gone Loony: Rand Paul And Coal Mine Safety!

Back in April, we had the horrible coal mine disaster in West Virginia, only the most recent of several such disasters in one of the most dangerous occupations in America!

The need for stronger coal mine safety regulations by state and national governments is obvious to anyone who has a brain in his head, but apparently not to Kentucky’s Republican Senate nominee, Dr. Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul!

Rand Paul said in a public appearance before the primary election in May that it was not the job of the US government to regulate the mines, since people in Washington do not have the expertise and experience to know how to regulate that industry!

He also said that if coal miners do not wish to do that work because it is dangerous, then they can always quit, but there will always be people who will do that work!

Paul has no understanding of the fact that economic conditions are so poor in much of eastern Kentucky in particular, that coal miners will take on the work, even though the work is dangerous, because there are few alternatives for those workers!

Mining companies are infamous for fighting unions and evading work safety rules, and for a politician to come out with outrageous statements such as Paul made, after 29 miners died in April in West Virginia, is clearcut evidence that he is totally incompetent to be a United States Senator!