Thursday, May 31, 2007

Barack Obama's Plan

Yesterday Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois), one of eight Democrats running to be his party's nominee for president, unveiled his plan to provide 45 million uncovered Americans health insurance.

The senator from Illinois said he would push for a new public health insurance program that offers those who do not qualify for aid from existing government programs benefits "similar to those offered offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program" at "fair premiums" and provide "income-related subsidies" to help uninsured Americans pay for this or competing programs which a National Health Insurance Exchange in turn would regulate through mandatory coverage standards and price controls barring satronomical cost increases.

Like most Democrats, Mr. Obama would havae the government negotiate for drug prices on the public's behalf, promote generic drugs, mandatory care for children, and open the market for drugs bought overseas

The senator's health insurance program reads more like a set of goals that is short on the specifics than a plan. Mr. Obama implausibly claims he could pay for the new health insurance plan by repealing the president's tax cuts while offering the uninsured benefits "similar to those to those offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program" at “fair premiums” and “minimal co-pays,” investing $50 billion to help the US health system move towards electronic medical records, and reimbursing employer health plans for a portion of catrastrophic costs above an undisclosed threshold.

No suggested premium or co-pay is provided, offering those who would like to a means to test his claim to offer affordable universal health care. Mr. Obama possibly might shift the burden to the health insurers through coverage mandates and price controls but they in turn may cut their costs and keep their profit margins by laying off their workers, and outsourcing their work overseas, or remove themselves from the business,creating a potentially new group of uninsured Americans requiring government-subsidized health insurance coverage.

As we move closer to election day Mr. Obama will be expected to provide American voters with a detailed plan, outlining the benefits he believes the government could offer the uninsured at a given proce.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Illegal Immigration Quotes and a Comment About Providing for the Global Poor

"Now, allowing for hyperbole, of which there is an abundance in the immigration debate, such anecdotal evidence, especially concerning construction and agriculture, underscores a fact: America's economy would suffer substantially without immigrant labor—including much of that which is already here illegally. But consider just one conundrum in the proposed legislation:

It would provide legal status to most of the illegal immigrants who were here before this past Jan. 1. The government, however, has no cognizance of those who are here illegally. They have proved by their presence here that they have limited regard for U.S. legal niceties. So, what is to prevent those who have arrived since Jan. 1, and those who will continue to arrive by the millions, while—"while" means years—the border is supposedly being secured, from fibbing about when they arrived?"
- George Will in Newsweek making sense.

"Americans, meanwhile, should look closely at what they have been offered, and to imagine what a strange country this would be if the bill passed as is, if it morphs into a harsher one, or if it is shot down and we are left with the dismal status quo. We would rattle around in our fortified chunk of North America, bristling at our southern border — nothing is stopping that process — as we check our turnstiles carefully for those bright enough to merit entry, bask in the labor of a churning class of serfs, check people’s ID’s, raid workplaces and fill our detention centers. The antiamnesty fringe will be pleased with itself, but it won’t be an America the rest of us will want to brag about." - The New York Times editorial board, has "come out of the shadows," by choosing to support a comprehensive amnesty proprosal for cheats, but not a "comprehensive immigration reform" package.

Sigh. No. We on the "antiamnesty fringe" as The New York Times calls us, will not be pleased with an America that "basks in the labor of a churning class of serfs." Some of us, this blogger included, would be happy to do away with the guest worker program in its entirety and let no one in who had no intention of applying for American citizenship.

But here's a question for those who, like the editorial writers at the paper of record:

It is suggested by liberals that we have 44 million uninsured Americans in this country and that we, through our government, must cover their expenses with a universal health insurance program. Hillary Clinton once backed one single-payer solution when her husband was in The White House. The presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party, no doubt, will offer their own health care proposals in the future if they have not done so already. How they will pay for them is anyone's guess but must we add to the financial burdens imposed upon our entitlement programs by adding a new underclass into this country? Must we turn this great superpower of ours into a third world country that can't offer its senior citizens retirement benefits in order to provide for them? And why must we give preference to those who had no respect for our laws over the uninsured law-abiding working poor American citizens that we have a stronger obligation to provide for.

Perhaps the bill should be given to those the editorial writers at The New York Times and their supporters who welcome the poor from across the globe into our country.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dan Asmussen

It's been a while and I don't even remember why I stopped but it's time to bring The Bad Reporter back to this web site. Dan Asmussen offers by far the best political cartoons carried in any US newspaper.

Now laugh.

The Weekend Preview

I. THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW SHOWS

1. "Meet The Press" on NBC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topic This Week - "Meet The Candidate." Interview with White House Hopeful Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico). Hosted by Tim Russert. (This show is repeated at 10:00 PM ET on MSNBC).

2. "FOX News Sunday" on FOX (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - a presidential candidate, immigration reform. (a) Choosing Our President - interview with former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas). (b) Immigration reform - Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). (c) FOX News Sunday Panel - Brit Hume of FOX News, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Juan Williams of National Public Radio, and Nina Easton of Fortune Magazine on immigration reform and a war supplemental without deadlines. (d) Power Player of The Week - special graduation season montage. Hosted by Chris Wallace. This show is re-aired at 6:00 PM ET on the FOX News Channel.

3. "This Week" on ABC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): Topics This Week - immigration reform, presidential campaign interview, and remembering a loved one. (a) US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) debate immigration reform. (b) former Governor James Gilmore (R-Virginia) on his bid for the White House. (c) "The Roundtable" - Jake Tapper, Donna Brazile, Ron Brownstein, and George Will on this week's politics (Iraq war funding and immigration are probably the key issues up for discussion). (d) Voices - Beth and Michael Belle speak out about losing their son Nicholas to war in Afghanistan. Hosted by George Stephanopoulos.

4. "Face The Nation" on CBS (Sunday at 10:30 AM ET):
Topics This Week - war and immigration. (a) Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) on the war and immigration reform. (b) CBS News Correspondent Kim Dozier on the war and immigration. Hosted by Bob Schieffer.

5. "Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer" on CNN (Sunday at 11:00 AM ET):
Supplies for American troops in Iraq, interview with a candidate for the White House, and Pakistan. (a) American Troops' Supplies - Representative Charlie Rangel (D-New York) and Representative (and White House hopeful) Duncan Hunter (R-California). (b) Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) on his race for The White House. (c) interview with former US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad. (d) interview with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. (e) Political commentary from CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, CNN Congressional Correspondent Andrea Koppel, CNN White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano, and Aspen CEO Walter Isaacson.

II. THE WEEKEND POLITICAL TALK SHOWS

1. "Beltway Boys" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:00 PM ET):
- Iraq war funding and Rudolph Giuliani's presidential campaign. (a) Iraq War Funding - Congress passing funding bill without timetable. (b) Rudolph Giuliani - his campaign moving up. Co-hosts are Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes.
2. "FOX News Watch" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:30 PM ET): Topics This Week - Iraq War Supplemental Bill, Rosie O'Donnell and a covert operation aimed at Iran. (a) Iraq War Supplemental Bill - portrayal of a Democratic cave on bill. (b) Covert Operation - leak from ABC. (c) Rosie O'Donnell - her controversial comments and her early retirement from "The View." Panelists include Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, Jane Hall, Neil Gabler, and the host Eric Burns.


3. "The Chris Matthews Show" on NBC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - Hillary Clinton and the JFK assassination. (a) Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee for The White House. (b) the controversy surrounding a conspiracy theory involving the JFK assassination re-opened. Panelists will include Katty Kay of the BBC, Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, and David Brooks of The New York Times, and host Chris Matthews.

4. "Reliable Sources" on CNN (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): CNN doesn't offer a preview for this show but anyone who is interested in watching it can tune in on Sunday mornings at the posted time or read the transcripts that are posted on CNN's web site. "Reliable Sources" is hosted by Howard Kurtz.

III. OTHER WEEKEND NEWS/POLITICAL TALK SHOWS


1. "Big Story Weekend" on FOX News (Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - gays in the military, affordable summer vacations, tribute to our troops. (a) debate on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." (b) affordable summer vacations. (c) paying tribute to our troops. Host is Julie Banderas.

2. "Heartland" on FOX News (Saturday at 9:00 PM ET):
Updates for this show have not been forthcoming on show's home web page but if there is one it will be posted here as well. This show is hosted by John Kasich. Hosted by John Kasich.

IV. FEATURE NEWS PROGRAMS

1. "20/20" on ABC (Friday at 10:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - cocktails, a dramatic rescue at sea, and a trick to eating less. (a) a study on drinkers buying the premium brand of vodka. (b) Rose Bard's frightening ordeal on the Excellence while in the Bering Strait. (c) eating in smaller dishes to lose weight.

2. "CNN Presents" on CNN (Saturday at 8:00 PM ET):
Topic This Week - "Combat Hospital" - inside the 10th Combat Support Hospital

3. "48 Hours Mystery" on CBS (Saturday at 9:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - two murder mysteries in this double feature starting one hour earlier. (a) "A Shot In The Dark" - Susan Spencer reports on the murder of a prominent surgeon's wife. (b) "Secrets & Lies on Grapevine Lake" - Troy Roberts reports on the murder of a high-roller.

4. "CBS News Sunday Morning" on CBS (Sunday at 7:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - excessively long commutes, Kevin Costner, summer music recommendations, and an automotive design show.(a) Cover Story: On, and On The Road - Nancy Cordes travels with commuters in the New York City and Washington, D.C. metropolitian areas. (b) Sunday Almanac - jukeboxes. (c) Design: Streamliners - Hari Streenivason on the "Curves of Steel" automitive design shown at the Phoenix Art Museum. (d) Summer Preview: Bill Flanagan's Summer Tunes - Bill Flanagan offers his recommendations, including Arcade Fire, Amy Winhouse, Alice Smith, Welcome to the Voice, and others. (e) Summer Passage - topic yet to be determined. (f) The War: Kimberly Dozier on Iraq's injured women - Iraq's injured women. (g) Postcard From London: Mark Phillips on the Cutty Sark - Cutty Sark. (h) Sunday Profile: Kevin Costner - Rita Braver profiles Kevin Costner, who has a new movie, new baby and a new passion. (i) Opinion: Ben Stein. (j) Ender: Associated Press History, or another topic - Charles Osgood takes a look at a long-forgotten archive. Host is Charles Osgood.

5. "60 Minutes" on CBS (Sunday at 7:00 PM ET): Topic This Week - the 133 Infantry of the Iowa National Guard in Iraq. (a) "Fathers, Sons and Brothers" - Scott Pelley follows this infantry division serving in Iraq and the families back at home. (b) Commentary - Andy Rooney.

5. "Dateline NBC" on MSNBC (Sunday at 7:00 PM ET): Topics This Week - twins and a young woman's disappearance. (a) young woman disappears and the question revolves around a crime committed 20 years before her disappearance. (b) twins - 3 sets of twins, all orphaned.

V. WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT

1. "Law and Order" on NBC:
murder of cop leads investigators to look into a tabloid sensation and her estranged husband. Regular stars include Sam Waterston as Executive Assistand District Attorney Jack McCoy, Alana De La Garza as Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa, Jessie L. Martin as Detective Ed Green, Milena Govich as Detective Nina Cassidy, S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren, and Fred Dalton Thompson as District Attorney Arthur Branch.

2. "Saturday Night Live" on NBC (Saturday at 11:30 PM ET):
Not live. Host Jaime Pressly with Musical Guest Corrinee Bailey Rae.

3. "Cold Case" on CBS (Sunday at 8:00 PM ET):
Double Feature. (a) "Detention" - a 1994 teenager's death which was previously ruled a suicide is reinvestigated after a note is found. (b) "The Key" - Detective Jeffries' 1973 rookie murder case is re-opened. Stars Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush, Danny Pino as Scott Valens, John Finn as John Stillman, Jeremy Ratchford as Nick Vera, Thom Barry as William Jeffries, and Tracie Thomas as Kat Miller.

4. "Without A Trace" on CBS (Sunday at 10:00 PM ET):
"All For One" - 15-year old prisoner disappears from a girl's detention center after receiving a life-threatening note. Stars Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Poppy Montgomery as Samantha Spade, Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Vivian Johnson, Enrique Murciano as Danny Taylor, Eric Close as Martin Fitzgerald, and Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Delgado.

Quotes on Illegal Immigration

"Anything short of kicking them out, as far as some people are concerned, is called amnesty," - President George W. Bush in The Washington Post

But even if (and that's an "if" this is true, must we reward them with amnesty, relief from paying back taxes, access to our depleting entitlement accounts, and a shot of citizenship? Can't we try to throw a few of them out? And to add insult to injury, why must we grant them an amnesty package without doing anything that will make our borders less porous so we do not face another wave of illegal immigrants?

“The point system does not reflect how much Americans value the family ties that bind people to their brothers and sisters or to their parents,” - Senator and White House hopeful Barack Obama (D-Illinois) as quoted in The New York Times.

Well they could always go back from whence they came. They left their families behind at their own volition.

“If you reward illegality, you get more of it,”
- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as quoted in the same article found in The New York Times.

Of course.

“This idea of bringing people for two years, sending them back for a year, bringing them back for two years and then sending them back for a year is nonsensical.”
- Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) in The New York Times

Of course it makes no sense, which is why it won't be enforced and why there should be no guest worker program.

"The chief cause of misunderstanding is the issue of trust. The White House thought that that if they had all sorts of conservative mechanisms in the bill that conservatives would be placated. What they didn't understand is that the anti-"amnesty" wing of the Republican party simply doesn't believe any of these enforcement measures will implemented until they in fact are implemented. "Trust but verify" has simply become "verify." And until there is real enforcement — both in terms of current law and new laws — the base simply doesn't care about any other bells and whistles. "Been there done that" is the de facto official policy of the base when it comes to promises of enforcement, i.e. "No more promises, just enforcement. Then we'll talk" (This basic reality is why I came out in favor of a wall on the border)." - Jonah Goldberg at The National Review

Of course Jonah Goldberg is right. No one from the immigration enforcement side of the debate believes the law barring illegal entry into the United States will be enforced, and as I said yesterday, the reasonsing some of this bill's strongest proponents use to oppose the new requirements forcing guest workers to leave the United States for a year or two before returning only reinforces that perception.
The debate between inviting 400,000 or 200,000 guest workers is essentially meaningless when no one will make sure they leave when their time is up.

"The amnesty is triggered upon presidential certification that these bureaucratic benchmarks are met -- regardless of what is actually happening at the border. What vacuous nonsense. The trigger must be something real. I propose a single amendment, short and very concrete: "The amnesty shall be declared the morning after the president has certified (citing disinterested studies) that illegal immigration across the southern border has been reduced by 90 percent." That single provision would guarantee passage of this comprehensive reform because most Americans would be glad to grant a generous amnesty -- if they can be assured it would be the last."
- Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post

Exactly. Nothing within the bill addresses the primary concern border enforcement restrictionists want addressed - the porous nature of our borders. Build two three triple-layered fencing from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico first. Then we might hold our noses and support an amnesty bill, however disasteful granting access to cheaters will be.

"But compromise is the mother of complexity, which, regarding immigration, virtually guarantees -- as the public understands -- weak enforcement and noncompliance.

"Although the compromise was announced the day the Census Bureau reported that there now are 100 million nonwhites in America, Americans are skeptical about the legislation, but not because they have suddenly succumbed to nativism. Rather, the public has slowly come to the conclusion that the government cannot be trusted to mean what it says about immigration." - George F. Will, who opposes the bill in favor of "benign neglect" in The Washington Post

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Carter and Bush

Really, President George W. Bush and former President Jimmy Carter need each other. Carter will no longer go down in the history books as the only failure. Mr. Bush's supporters could always remind his detractors of Carter's unaccomplished and uninspiring four-year stint as president.

Petraeus' New Strategy: Political Negotiations in Iraq

Now, if only this was implemented earlier, before American voters lost their patience and booted the Republicans out of power. Now the new US military commander is operating on borrowed time - time he may desperately need if we are to leave behind a stable, and , it is hoped, democratic federal Iraq.

That beats the conquer one city plan mentioned here..

Mr. Schumer's Slip

"But the biggest objection I and many Democrats have, which could be a stumbling block to the whole bill, is this guest worker program. It's an additional program. Hundreds of thousands of people come in. There's virtually no protections.

They're going to bring wage rates down, and after their time is up, they're probably going to stay in the country and become a new group of illegal immigrants."
- Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on FOX News Sunday

New York's senior senator unwittingly made our case against these "comprehensive immigration reform bills." Mr. Schumer, himself does not believe the immigration law will be enforced, whether we have a new law or we do not.

Why else would he base his objection to a new guest worker's program on the expectation of it creating a new class of "illegal immigrants?"

The Democrats and the War

Yesterday Congressional Democrats who won control on Capitol Hill in large part by campaigning against the war in Iraq caved into the White House's demand that it send to the president's desk an Iraq War funding bill that included no timetables for a troop withdrawal.

The new bill, which will provide funding for war funding through to September, will include a series of suggested political benchmarks which the Iraqi government should implement within that time frame. Their acquiescence to political benchmarks can at best be described as a means to save face which they would take to the anti-war activists who campaigned for them last fall. Absent a Congressional mandate ordering President George W. Bush to withdraw our troops from Iraq or, or a Congress' refusal to provide the necessary funding to maintain our troop presence in Iraq, Mr. Bush could do what he wants.

Representative Rahm Emmanuel (D-Illinois) on "Hardball" told Chris Matthews this is the "beginning of the end" because the bill will, for the first time, reequire some accountability from the White House and the Iraqi Government but he failed to convincingly answer Mr. Matthews' question of whether those benchmarks "will have teeth" in them. The Congressman from Illinois said anti-war supporters need not worry, since the Republican survivors from last year's elections themselves, have given the president a benchmark or timetable of their own - September, in which they would assess the progress based upon information relayed to them by General David H. Petraus.

The anti-war activist voters that ousted the Republicans from power will question Mr. Emmanuel's reliance upon the opposition's timeline. Had the anti-war activists known of Mr. Emmanuel's reliance upon Republican defectors, they might have stayed home or voted for the Republicans on other grounds (there are probably some conservative anti-war activists out there).

Congressional Democrats no doubt lacked the votes needed to override Mr. Bush's veto but they could have denied the president a war supplmental bill of their own, thereby denying the president the funding needed to raise and maintain an American troop presence in Iraq. The president would blame the Democrats for denying the troops funding but they could have countered that by suggesting that the troop didn't need the supplies since they were ordered to come home.

The House Democratic leadership, however, feared the political backlash that might follow. They belong to the party that, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as being the weaker of the two on national security and warfare. Weak they must be if the leaders which the Democrats look to for guidance can't even fight for the surrender they seek.

Finally, Some Press Coverage

Mainstream Press Coverage for one of the "second-tier candidates!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Richardson To Blame

"Richardson himself can be blamed for much of the unfamiliarity with his ethnic background. Although his mother's maiden name was Lopez, he has rejected advice throughout his career to campaign under her surname. He looks less like Benicio del Toro or Antonio Banderas and more like John Belushi." - Dan Schnur in The Los Angeles Times

Oh sh--. He must be banging his head on the desk for not changing his name. All isnot lost however. It may be too late to change his name but may be able to paint his face brown or, in the alternative, sunbathe his way to Hispanic-looking?

Really, is this how we should choose our presidents? By surname?

Tancredo's Op-Ed

White House hopeful Representative Tom Tancredo has an op-ed in The Washington Times concerning illegal immigration and the prospects of border enforcement.

His thoughts on this debate are welcomed but the representative from Colorado speak out on the entitlements or some other topic that is not getting any press coverage before he is defined as a one-issue candidate.

Link

"But there are other inconsistencies currently afoot in Washington which are a disgrace to man's proud claim to be a reasoning beast.
Consider the current arguments about the immigration bill. For oh so long, the supporters of the bill have been making two points: 1) It is impossible for the U.S. government to actually identify and round up all the illegals in the country; and, 2) a fence on the border is bound to be ineffective as well as immoral. Indeed opponents of the fence have idiotically compared it to the Berlin Wall — although one protects a free country from illegal intrusion while the other kept enslaved people from escaping their slavery"
- Tony Blankley in The Washington Times

Or how about this one - the Democratic Party's proclaimed commitment to providing national health insurance for the + 44 million Americans who do not have it and protecting the middle class while offering these benefits to a new class of uninvited people from third world countries.

My one beef with his column - this faulty assertion of cognitive dissonance:

"Regarding the fence, the supporters of the new immigration law, are, with the exception of the president and Sen. John McCain, mostly people who oppose the surge in Iraq. Yet, while they require that the Iraqi surge have specific performance measures to justify continued funding (e.g., perfectly functioning Iraqi government, no more violence, etc.), they are perfectly happy to measure the success of the new proposed Mexican border fence by inputs — rather than results."


Well, this can be explained as a difference in priorities. The immigration law's supporters believe they should be protecting the illegal immigrants and the employers who hired them and really do not believe the border enforcement mechanisms provided for in the bill will work (hence no need for testing) One need only look to Democrats' assertion that the guest worker provisions will create a new underground class of poor migrants (no such class would exist if the law was enforced).

Those same people calling for strict benchmarks do not believe Iraq is a lost cause and really want us to leave Iraq.

Fit For Print But Not To Air: 2

The Democratic candidate with the resume campaigned in Shenandoah, and Council Bluffs. Iowa's caucas voters will like his support for biodiesal, ethanol, and biofuels as an alternative to oil, though is focus was on electric cars.

Senator Chris Dodd, who is about to air some new campaign commercials fauling the Democrats who did not vote to defund the war in Iraq, and Senator Joe Biden spoke briefly in Dubuque, though neither apparently spoke about their campaign for president. Connecticut's senior senator said he would keep all options, including military force, on the table with respect to Iran. No serious contender would rule it out. Mr. Dodd's assertion that he deserves some credit for winning his presidential rivals' vote (Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) on a measure cutting Iraq war mllitary funding) should not be taken seriously. For his part, the former one-term senator from North Carolina touted his support for increasing the minimum wage, mandatory employer-paid health insurance coverage, an earned income tax credit hike, and gender parity in worker's salaries though his suggestion that "we want women women to have self-esteem and strength and respect" seemed awkward (like they don't have that already?).

A Republican with a domestic policy resume, said he wants the election campaign focus to shift to health care (is he vying to represent the wrong party?), though he apparently did not offer a detailed plan of his own. Senator Sam Brownback touted his socially conservative credentials at a Christian school, comparing the abortion debate to the black slavery debate at a Christian school, which is odd, considering his support for returning the debate over this procedure back to the states. Would he really accept a federal system that tolerates life and murder states? The governor who placed for show at both Republican primary debates said Alberto Gonzalez shoudl resign while Representative Tom Tancredo fends off suggestions that he refer to illegal immigrants with a euphemism. America's mayor, needs to hire new researchers and learn some manners.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Immigration in Brief

In brief the bill which the US senate will review and vote on next week should be rejected since it is unjust towards -

1. the tax-paying American citizens who will squander their dwindling social service programs (medicare, medicaid, social disability, public schooling) for those who did not follow the rules,

2. the legal immigrants we are obligated to provide for since inviting them

3. the rejected now since the law is being rigged to provide for those who broke it.

Raw power trumped reason and justice.

The PoliticalHeretic will offer a longer, more detailed explanation behind his obligation over the weekend.

The Weekend Preview

I. THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW SHOWS


1. "Meet The Press" on NBC (Sunday at 10:30 AM ET):
Topics This Week - Iraq War funding and "The Reagan Diaries." (a) former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) and presidential aspirant Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) debate the Iraq War. (b) Roundtable on "The Reagan Diaries) with History Professor Douglas Brinkley, former Reagan Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver, and former US Attorney General Ed Meese. Hosted by Tim Russert. This show is re-aired on MSNBC at 10:00 PM ET.


2. "FOX News Sunday" on FOX (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - immigration reform, the war in Iraq, Alberto Gonzalez, and an interview with a former Supreme Court Justice.(a) Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on immigration reform, the war in Iraq, and US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez' political fate. (b) interview with former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. (c) FOX News Sunday Power Panel - Brit Hume of FOX News, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Juan Williams of National Public Radio and Mara Liasson of National Public Radio talk about the immigration reform bill, its political future, and a look back at the FOX News Republican debate. (d) Power Player of The Week - House Reading Clerk Paul Hays. Hosted by Chris Wallace. This show is re-aired on The FOX News Channel on Sunday at 6:30 PM ET.

3. "Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer" on CNN (Sunday at 11:00 AM ET): Topics This Week - the new immigration reform bill, the war in Iraq, and US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez' political fate. (a) Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez defend the immigration reform package. (b) Senator Mel Martinez (R-Florida) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) on immigration reform, the war in Iraq, and a confidence vote on US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. (c) Representative Brian Bilbray (R-California) and Governor Janet Napolitano (D-Arizona) weigh in on immigration reform. (d) "The Stakes" author Shibley Telhani of the Brookings Institute and "The Shia Revival" author Vali Nasr of the Council on Foreign Relations on the war in Iraq. (e) Election 2008 interview with Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas). (f) Political commentary from CNN Congressional Correspondent Donna Bash and CNN Correspondent Joe Johns. Guest hosted by John King.

4. "This Week" on ABC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - immigration reform, and Iraq war funding. (a) Sunday Exclusive - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on the standoff over Iraq War funding, the next step in the immigration reform debate and her first five months as the Speaker of the House. (b) Sunday Exclusive - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) offers a response on immigration reform and Iraq War funding. (c) Roundtable Discussion on this week's politics (immigration reform probably) - Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek, and George Will of ABC News. (d) Voices - Rachel Ray on holding bake sales to raise money that could be donated to a campaign to end hunger. Hosted by George Stephanopoulos.

5. "Late Edition" on CBS (Sunday at 10:30 AM ET): Topics This Week - vote on Alberto Gonzalez, the troop surge's effectiveness. (a) Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) debate Alberto Gonzalez' fate. (b) Retired Major General Paul Eaton and Historian Frederick Kagan debate the troop surge's effectivness. Hosted by Bob Schieffer.


II. THE WEEKEND POLITICAL TALK SHOWS


1. "Beltway Boys" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - Rudy Giuliani's moment, Hillary Clinton's evolving position on the Iraq War funding, and the immigration reform bill. (a) Rudy Giuliani - scoring some points at the GOP debate. (b) Hillary Clinton - her evolving positionon Iraq War funding, (c) the immigration bill deal. Co-hosted by Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes.

2. "FOX News Watch" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:30 PM ET):
Topics This Week - Jerry Falwell's death, immigration reform, and Paris Hilton behind bars. (a) Jerry Falwell - Jerry Falwell's lasting mark on the media. (b) Immigration Deal - will the press coverage on "amensty" seal the bill's fate? (c) Paris Hilton - press coverage on her trip to prison. Panelists include Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, Jane Hall, Neil Gabler, and the host Eric Burns.

3. "The Chris Matthews Show" on NBC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): Topics This Week - Iraq Troop Withdrawal Consequences and Michael Bloomberg as a presidential candidate. (a) the real consequences of a US troop withdrawal from Iraq. (b) how Michael Bloomberg could effect the race for the White House should he enter. Guests to include Katty Kay of the BBC, Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Hosted by Chris Matthews. This show is re-aired on CNBC at 8:30 PM.

4. "Reliable Sources" on CNN (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
CNN doesn't offer a preview for this show but anyone who is interested in watching it can tune in on Sunday mornings at the posted time or read the transcripts that are posted on CNN's web site. "Reliable Sources" is hosted by Howard Kurtz.


III. OTHER WEEKEND (POLITICAL) NEWS SHOWS

1. "Big Story Weekend" on FOX News (Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - the search for Lisa Stebic, 9/11 in the 2008 elections, and sex offender treatment. (a) Lisa Stebic - new details on the search of missing mom Lisa Stebic. (b) 9/11 - a "fair and balanced" debate on whether this will be a factor in how Americans will vote at the polls. (c) Sex Offender Treatment - are we treating sex offenders the right way? Hosted by Julie Banderas.

2. "Heartland" on FOX News (Saturday at 9:00 PM ET): Updates for this show have not been forthcoming on show's home web page but if there is one it will be posted here as well. This show is hosted by John Kasich. Hosted by John Kasich.


IV. WEEKEND FEATURE NEWS PROGRAMS

1. "Dateline NBC" on NBC (Friday at 8:00 PM ET):
Topic This Week - "Moonlight Murder" - Dennis Murphy provides an update on his September 2006 report on Justin Barber, the man accused of killing his wife April Barber on a moonlit beach before shooting himself to cover up his crime.

2. "20/20" on ABC News (Friday at 10:00 PM ET):
Topic This Week - verbal taboos and political correctness. (a) the "N" word and racist language. (b) suspected double-meanings behind words that could mean different things depending upon your race.

3. "CNN Special Investigations Unit" on CNN (Saturday at 8:00 PM ET): Topic This Week - "Danger: Poisoned Food". How tainted food is entering the US food supply. Hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

4. Dateline NBC (Saturday at 8:00 PM ET) on NBC:
Topic This Week - Susan Polk murder update. Keith Morrison updates his October 2005 report on the Susan Polk murder.


5. "48 Hours Mystery" on CBS (Saturday at 10:00 PM ET):
Topic This Week - "Beyond The Boardwalk" - Atlantic City killer lures women into a trap. Reported by correspondent Harold Dow.


6. "CBS News Sunday Morning" on CBS (Sunday at 9:00 AM ET):
Topic This Week - "The Design Show". (a) Perfectville - "New Urbanism" and the gentle push to design communities where neighbors talk to and socialize with one another. Rita Braver reports. b) Cleaning Up - James Dyson intervied by Richard Roth. (c) Try Again - Bill Geist reports on unsuccessful products. (d) About Face - Tracy Smith reports on one plastic surgeon's use of his own art training to help redesign patient's faces. (e) Ferrari - Allen Pizzey. (f) Design At Play - Joie Chen reports on playground design. (g) Origami - Serena Altschul. (h) China - Barry Peterson on the endangered Chinese home. (i) Hotels - Anthony Mason interviews hotelier Ian Schrager. (j) Comedy - Second City’s Joe Canale. (k) High on Chicago - high rise living profiled by Cynthia Bowers. (l) Style in the Sky - the ever-shrinking plane seat reported by Richard Schlesinger. (m) Universal Images. (n) Rock of Ages - tombstone design previewed by Martha Teichner

7. "60 Minutes" on CBS (Sunday at 7:00 PM ET): Topics This Week - Topics This Week: Deepwater, hospital dumping, and labtops for school children. (a) "Deepwater" -Steve Kroft speaks to Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) about the $24 billion "Deepwater" refurbishment program he calls a "mess" that has left the United States Coast Guard in bad shape. (b) "Dumped on Skid Row" - Anderson Cooper interviews Hollywood Presbyterian acting CEO Kaylor Shemberger about hospital dumping, the practice of dropping homeless patients who may not be healthy enough to fend for themselves, on skid row. (c) "One Labtop Per Child" - Leslie Stahl interviews MIT Prof. Nicholas Negroponte about his dream of giving every child a labtop as an educational aid and his progress in Cambodia and Brazil. (d) Commentary - Andy Rooney.

8. "Dateline NBC" (Sunday at 8:00 PM ET):
Brian Williams interviews outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair before he steps down.

V. WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT


1. "Law and Order" on NBC (Friday at 10:00 PM ET): ex-senator's wife murdered. former ex-senator's wife is murdered and the family's secrets revealed during the investigation. Harry Hamin guest stars. Regular stars include Sam Waterston as Executive Assistand District Attorney Jack McCoy, Alana De La Garza as Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa, Jessie L. Martin as Detective Ed Green, Milena Govich as Detective Nina Cassidy, S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren, and Fred Dalton Thompson as District Attorney Arthur Branch.

2. "Saturday Night Live" on NBC (Saturday at 11:30 PM ET): - Zach Braff from Scrubs hosts this weekend's show with musical guest Maroon 5.

3. "Cold Case" on CBS (Sunday at 8:00 PM ET)): "Detention" - Lilly and the cold case squad re-open the case of a 1974 death initially ruled a suicide after they found a letter. Stars Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush, Danny Pino as Scott Valens, John Finn as John Stillman, Jeremy Ratchford as Nick Vera, Thom Barry as William Jeffries, and Tracie Thomas as Kat Miller.

4. "Without A Trace" on CBS (Sunday at 10:00 PM ET):
"All For One" - the search for a 15-year old prisoner who disappeared from a girl's detention center after receiving a life threatening note. Stars Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Poppy Montgomery as Samantha Spade, Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Vivian Johnson, Enrique Murciano as Danny Taylor, Eric Close as Martin Fitzgerald, and Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Delgado.

Too Soon To Celebrate

What are they trying to do? Give the anti-gay folks a reason to fight back before the vote? Why not work behind the scenes and give the enemy a gay pride suprise they'll never forget?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last Night's Debates

Republican primary voters got a second chance to listen to the ten candidates vying to be their party's nominee for president this Tuesday on the FOX News channel. Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, and Wendell Goler of FOX News asked the candidates substantive questions concerning their indefinite commitment to the war in Iraq, their use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (ahem, torture) to prevent a fourth shopping mall bombing, the state, tax and spending cuts, and cultural issues.

The three presumed frontrunners - Senator John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and former Governor Mitt Romney were challenged to prove their conservative credentials given their defection on any number of issues. Mr. Hume, Mr. Wallace, and Mr. Goler acquitted themselves well. No time was squandered asking the candidates' views on a potential "Scooter" Libby pardon (Mr. Bush himself would decide this, making their views irrelevant unless no pardon is offered), Karl Rove's future in a new Republican administration (he's history), their plans to increase the organ donation supply, and who among them would make for a good president (the candidates are there to burnish their own credentials, not endorse one of the others).

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-California) and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani held their own yesterday. Mr. Giuliani fended off several challenges on abortion rights, while touting his national security credentials. America's mayor opted to defend his pro-choice record on literarian conservative grounds - state noninterference is in line with the conservatives' limited government aims while adhering to judicial deference on Roe v. Wade. Mr. Giuliani successfully sidestepped a question comparing his agnostic view on abortion to slavery by errantly equating the woman who opts to have an abortion (the one who chooses) with the slave (who does not choose) when in fact the mother, in the pro-life advocate's view, is better viewed as the slave owner who subjects her slave (or fetus) to a fate of life or death.

The former mayor affirmed his support for the war in Iraq, and defended his support for "enhanced interrogation techniques" short of torture (however that is defined) to obtain information about an iminent terrorist attack at a shopping mall. He was confident and self-deprecating. He laughed off the "Rudy McRomney" phrase with a nod to the other presidential candidates derided and accepted with glee the accusation that he was "soft" on anything (in this case illegal immigration).

But Mr. Giuliani was at his best when he interrupted the flow of the debate to respond to Representive Ron Paul's assertion that we were attacked because our diplomatic and military policies in the Middle East have offended the people who live there.

Arizona's senior senator, like Mayor Giuliani, side-stepped questions challenging his conservative credentials by asserting, correctly that Americans would appreciate his willingness to reach across the political divide more. The campaign finance reform package he pushed did not succeed in eliminating the corruption that he suggests, contributed to the Republicans' defeat last Novemeber. Senator McCain affirmed his upport for a "comprehensive" (that is, "amnesty") immigration reform plan for similar reasons. He firmly defended Mr. Bush's troop surge and hinted at an occupation that could last naother couple, few, or several years. The senator may not have won himself more Republican support when he firmly rejected the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" but he offered a plausible answer that people who disagree with him could respect. Torture yields information that may or may not be accurate.

The senator was at his best, however, when he responded to Mitt Romney's unfair linking of his campaign finance reform package and liberal immigration policy (the two are not related), by suggesting that he didn't chang his position "even -- on even-numbered years or have changed because of the different offices that I may be running for."

Mitt Romney held his own but largely resorted to slogans best kept on the campaign trail. Mr. Romney no doubt won some applause when he suggested we should double "Guantanamo," but it could not match Mr. Giuliani's invocation of 9/11.

Representative Duncan Hunter and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee distinguished themselves from the other candidates in the race. Duncan Hunter was prepared to answer the tough questions concerning trade with China, while Huckabee fended off questions concerning his tax hikes in Arkansas (he partly attributed it to a public vote to raise funds for roads and a court decision requiring more education funding).

The other candidates did not perform. Representative Ron Paul presented Republican primary voters with an alternative to the neoconservative foreign policy adopted by George W. Bush but his invocation of deceased Republican presidents, the defeats that helped get them elected, and his inaccurate portrayal of the movives behind 9/11 seriously hampered his efforts to win midwestern Republicans looking for an alternative. Former Wisconson Governor Tommy Thompson could not offer primary voters with a government program he would cut or answer Chris Wallace's question asking how he could force the Maliki government to vote on our troop presence in Iraq. Tom Tancredo could not prove his credentials on any other issue aside from illegal immigration and Senator Sam Brownback could not offer Republican primary voters with a coherent foreign policy on Iraq.

FOX News provided Republican primary voters with the means to hear from all of the Republican candidates on issues the next commander-in-chief will have to consider. MSNBC and CNN should use its format for the next time they host a presidential debate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fit For Print But Not To Air

Joe Biden makes some political news, saying we could offer two years of "free college education" if we got out of Iraq. I doubt it we could afford it.

Kudos go to The Concord Monitor for covering his campaign.

and John Edwards, who now follows Barack Obama in calling for those listening to him to campaign for the Iraq War's end.

Meanshile, The Manchester Union Leader reports on Senator Chris Dodd's political commercial.

Jerry Fallwell

Good riddance. If there is a hell, may he rot there. Mr. Fallwell was a charlatan who denigrated those who didn't agree with his Christofascist designs for America. The charlatan said God had "lifted the veil" on this country on 9/11 for our tolerance towards feminists, gay rights supporters, the ACLU, and secularlists.

The Second Republican Debate

The transcripts for the second Republican Debate, was aired by FOX News.

Okay, I know gay conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan used to do this but, there is no blog patent for handing out awards.

1. First, the "I invented the ... " Al Gore Award goes to Sam Brownback for suggesting that he's been pushing for the "three-state one country" Iraq.

"The other thing we have to do -- a much more aggressive political solution on the ground in Iraq. That has to take place, and that's why I've been pushing a three-state, one-country solution where you have a Sunni region, a Shi'a region and a Kurdish state that already exists, within a weak federation."

Way to go Senator Brownback. Glad you thought about it. You can reach across the aisle and win support from responsible Democrats like Joe Biden.

Runner up goes to Representative Duncan Hunter for claiming to build the San Diego border fence.

MR. WALLACE: Congressman Hunter, we have an internet question for you, sir, from Scott in Colorado Springs. He asked, what would you do to prevent foreign nationals who have entered our country illegally from using social services such as medical, low-income housing and education?

REP. HUNTER: Yeah, and I want to get into this, Chris, because you know, I built the border fence in San Diego. When I built that fence, we had massive illegal immigration across the border. We built the border fence; we reduced illegal immigration and smuggling of narcotics by more than 90 percent. And the crime rate in the city of San Diego fell by 50 percent.

I wrote the bill that the president signed in October that takes the San Diego fence 854 miles across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and it's mandatory. I called up the other day, and they've done two miles of border fence.



2. The Slick Willy Dodge Award
goes to Mitt Romney for misconstruing his Lowell Sun immigration comments.

MR. WALLACE: Governor Romney, you have also called Senator McCain's immigration plan amnesty. Are you prepared to say that sharing the stage with him tonight? And how do you explain your statement to the Lowell Sun last year in which you said, quote, "Those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process toward application for citizenship as they would from their home country." Why isn't that amnesty as well, sir?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, my view is this. People should have no advantage by having come here illegally.

MR. WALLACE: But you're not telling them to go home, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: I am going to tell them to go home, but they start by beginning the process of applying for citizenship.


Oh, but did you tell the illegals to go home in this The Boston Globe article?

Runner Up
- Rudolph Giuliani for his answer any comparison regarding abortion and slavery.

MR. GOLER: You have said that you personally hate abortion but support a woman's right to choose. Governor Huckabee says that's like saying, "I hate slavery, but people can go ahead and practice it." Tell me why he's wrong.

MR. GIULIANI: Well, there is no circumstances under which I could possibly imagine anyone choosing slavery or supporting slavery. There are people, millions and millions of Americans, who are as of good conscience as we are, who make a different choice about abortion.


Right, but I think Governor Huckabee would say, and the questioner might be suggesting, that a fetus would not choose to be aborted.

Self-Deprecation Award
goes to Rudolph Giuliani -

MR. WALLACE: Mayor Giuliani, when you were running New York, you said the following about illegal immigrants: "If you come here, and you work hard, and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city." If that was good enough for New York, why isn't it good enough for the country, sir?

MR. GIULIANI: Well, first of all, I'd like to thank Congressman Tancredo for saying that I'm soft on anything. (Laughter.) That's the first time in about 20 years, since I was U.S. attorney, that anybody accused me of being soft. So it may help my reputation.


Lol. Giuliani soft? Right.

The Blame America First Award
- oh this is easy - Representative Ron Paul.

REP. PAUL: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East -- I think Reagan was right.

We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. So right now we're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us.


Except Paul, that we had no troops in Saudi Arabia or the MIddle East until Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. We were there defending them.


America's mayor offered the perfect emotional response and won the crowd with his response. Good going Mayor Rudolph Giualiani.

The Barack Obama "I'm not Prepared to Be President" Award goes to, surprisingly Senator John McCain:

MR. HUME: Welcome back to the Koger Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.

MR. HUME: Welcome back to the Koger Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

First question to you, Senator McCain. How aggressively would you interrogate those being held at Guantanamo Bay for information about where the next attack might be?

SEN. MCCAIN: If I knew for sure that they had that kind of information, I, as the president of the United States, would take that responsibility. That is a million-to-one scenario. But only I would take that responsibility.

The use of torture -- we could never gain as much we would gain from that torture as we lose in world opinion. We do not torture people.



Okay but the answer was how far McCain would go. Not how far McCain won't go.
Senator Obama responded to a commander-in-chief presidential question as a "responder-in-chief." Here, Senator John McCain answered a "responder-in-chief" question with an answer for how he won't respond.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

HIV Testing

Codey, D-Essex, said the bill stems from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that found medical treatment during pregnancy can dramatically cut mother-to-child HIV transmission.

The Center for Women Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based feminist advocacy organization, opposes mandatory HIV testing, arguing it violates a woman's right to make their own childbearing and medical treatment decisions.
- from The Boston Globe

New Jersey might consider a bill requiring H.I.V. testing for pregnant women and their newborn children. Four states currently require testing for pregnant mothers -- Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas but New Jersey. Its chief sponsor, Senate President Richard Codey, says this could save lives (though no cure for HIV exists so this is doubtful) and at minimum provide the doctors with the knowledge they need to begin HIV treatment early.

The Center for Women Policy Studies, a feminist organization, apparently opposes measures like this because theyimpose restrictions on a pregnant woman's rights to
make their own childbearing and medical treatment decisions.

Codey's bill as proposed, however, would not mandate such testing per se, but require birthing facilities like hospitals to test the pregnant mother once in the first and third trimester unless the mother objects in writing. As written, this bill would merely require hospitals to perform the tests that allow pregnant women to make a fully informed decision concerning her unborn son or daughter's treatment.

The Center's opposition, while principled, makes pro-choice advocates in general appear callous. Their concern for the woman's reproductive rights in this case leads them to undermine the state's attempt and interest in providing an afflicted HIV patient with a relatively sick-and-pain-free life until it succumbs to AIDS.

Pro-life advocates who stand to gain from a renewed focus on the unborn child's life however would have to defend a restriction similar to the one they oppposed in Texas requiring students who attend public schools to obtain a vaccination against cervical cancer. Also questionable

The Center's indifference or callousness towards the fate of the HIV-afflicted embryo or fetus that may get full blown AIDS after the child is born can only hurt the pro-choice advocates case for abortion rights. Pro-choice advocates can either associate themselves with this movement and appear indifferent towards the fate of the afflicted or distance themselves from the Center, exposing their cognitive dissonance on this issue (best exemplified here).

Equal Campaign Coverage for Once

This article focuses on the Democrats in general but it is the first article that I have read that treats all of the Democratic candidates as equals. It's short on specifics but the reporter at least treats Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson as Hillary Clinton's equal.

"He Doesn't Have A Shot"

"No, he doesn't have a shot," - Democratic activist Ben Clifford as quoted by an Associated Press reporter in this news article.

And here's the money question:

Why doesn't Representative Dennis Kucinich "have a shot" if "he talks about the issues that are most important?" Why doesn't he have a shot if "he invigorates" Democratic activists like Mr. Clifford?

Would Mr. Kucinich or anyone else running for the White House "have a shot" if the people who voted thought he or she could win in the general election? Why do they believe Representative Kucinich cannot win? Who gave them that impression?

Perhaps the people who write the headlines like these deserve some of the blame blame:

"Long-shot candidates solider on"

The TV pundits, news reporters, and comedians who pick the frontrunners who get media coverage no doubt deserve some of this blame but why do we as voters believe them when they say people like Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Mike Huckabee, or Tommy Thompson cannot win? Why do we nod in agreement when Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani are declared their parties' before the first state primary is completed?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Peace in the Middle East

One has to question why the Israelis would be expected to negotiate with a government that cannot even get its own act together and why the Iraq Studgy Group would think Israelis and Palestinians would sign onto an agreement designed to help us get out of Iraq with dignity.

If the Palestinians cannot deliver the peace Israelis crave, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would have no reason to deal with them further and if Mr. Omert cannot reign in those who oppose the land-for-peace deal the Palestinians would have no reason to bargain with them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Political Heretic's Election Campaign Series: Fit For Print but Not To Air

Election coverage on cable has been in this political commentators view, abysmal. New s coverage is skewered towards the front runners - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards on the Democratic side, and Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain on the Republican side.

The Political Heretic will rectify this problem as much as he can by offering those lucky enough to stumble onto this site or loyal readers a chance to read the news as it is covered in the newspapers that are covering the 18 candidates that are running for the White House. He believes Democratic and Republican primary voters deserve to hear from all of the candidates and vote for the best advocate for their party's core goals and values.

1. Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) vows to push a national collective bargaining law toional while courting labor union members of the Federation of State and Provincial Professional Fire Fighters. The governor also visited a wood-burning power plant in Portsmouth and a high school in Concord to trump his support for alternative energy and carbon emission reduction.

2. Former Governor Mitt Romney defended his hunting credentials, saying he was a "rodent and rabit hunter" who, for the most part confined his hunting activities to states where licenses were not required, then tries to have it both ways concerning his wife's contributions to a pro-choice group in 1994 and a significantly larger one to an organization that is pro-life.

3. Senator Hillary Clinton visited a hospital in Exeter to tout health care (unfortunately the articles includes no information about her plan).

4. Senator Barack Obama, meanwhile, encourage his supporters to pressure their legislators to vote for a U.S. troop withdrawal.

5. Former Governor Tommy Thompson (R-Wisconson gave a stump speech to a crowd of 25 then headed to the National Motorcycle Museum.

An Addedum

Tam Tancredo's missed votes while campaigning.

The Weekend Preview

I. THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW SHOWS

1. "Meet The Press" on NBC (Sunday at 10:30 AM ET):
Topic This Week - "Meet The Candiate." Host Tim Russert interviews Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) on his bid for The White House.

2. "FOX News Sunday" on FOX (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET):
Topics This Week - election 2008 and the war in Iraq. (a) "Choosing The President" series - former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-New York). (b) FOX News Sunday Panel discussion with Brit Hume of FOX News, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Juan Williams of NPR and Mara Liasson of NPR. (c) Power Player of the Week - check back later. Hosted by Chris Wallace.

3. "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" on CNN (Sunday at 11:00 AM ET): Topic This Week - Iraqi benchmarks and Drew Barrymore's campaign against hunger. (a) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on benchmarks. (b) Iraqi Deputy Minister Barham Salih on the US involvement in Iraq and the push for deadlines. (c) former Senator Max Cleland (D-Georgia) on deadlines. (d) commentary from CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry, CNN Senior Correspondent John King, and CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. Actress Drew Barrymore on her new role as UN Ambassador Against Hunger. Hosted by Wolf Blitzer.

4. "This Week" on ABC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): Topics This Week - election 2008. (a) Sunday Exclusive - Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) on his bid for the White House. (b) Roundtable Discussion - check back later. (c) Voices - check back later. Hosted by George Stephanopoulos.

5. "Face The Nation" on CBS (Sunday at 10:30 AM ET): Topics This Week - War and Politics. Guests include Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), Jeanne Cummings of Politico.com, and Michael McQueen Martin of National Public Radio. Hosted by Bob Schieffer.

II. THE WEEKEND TALK SHOWS


1. "Beltway Boys" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:00 PM ET):
Topics This Week - Giuliani's pro-choice position on abortion, Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs, and the war in Iraq. (a) Rudy Giuliani - running as the Republican's pro-choice candidate. (b) Mitt Romney - his battle with Reverand Al Sharpton over the Mormon religion. (c) Iraq - congress losing its patience with the Bush administration and the war. Co-panelists are Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes.

2. "FOX News Watch" on FOX News (Saturday at 6:30 PM ET):
Topics This Week - the Fort Dix Terrorist Plot and the Reverend Al Sharpton's Comments. (a) Fort Dix Terrorist Plot Foiled - speculation on the potential under-reporting of target plots. (b) former Governor Mitt Romney v. Reverand Al Sharpton on religion. (c) Kansas Disaster - the media fight over Iraq. Panelists include Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, Jane Hall, Neil Gabler and moderator Eric Burns.

3. "Reliable Sources" on CNN (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): CNN doesn't offer a preview for this show but anyone who is interested in watching it can tune in on Sunday mornings at the posted time or read the transcripts that are posted on CNN's web site. "Reliable Sources" is hosted by Howard Kurtz.

4. "The Chris Matthews Show" on NBC (Sunday at 10:00 AM ET): Topics This Week - Bush's waning Republican Support on Capitol Hill and Giuliani's pro-choice stand in the primary. (a) Republican support for Bush's Iraq War. (b) Giuliani's chances for winning the Republican nomination as the pro-abortion choice candidate. Panelists will include Katty Kay of the BBC, David Gregory of NBC News, Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rick Stengel of Time Magazine and moderator Chris Matthews.

III. OTHER WEEKEND POLITICAL TALK SHOWS


1. "Heartland" on FOX News (Saturday at 9:00 PM ET):
Updates for this show have not been forthcoming on show's home web page but if there is one it will be posted here as well. This show is hosted by John Kasich. Hosted by John Kasich.

2. "Big Story Weekend" on FOX News (Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 PM ET): Check back here later. Hosted by Julie Banderas.

IV. WEEKEND FEATURE NEWS PROGRAMS

1. "20/20" on ABC (Friday at 9:00 PM ET): Topic This Week - "Seeing and Believing: The Power of Faith." Hosted by John Stossel.

2. "48 Hours Mystery" on CBS (Saturday at 10:00 PM ET):
"Death of a Dream" - an aspiring broadway dancer is found murdered and her secrets may have contributed to her death. Correspondent Erin Moriarty reports.

3. "CBS Sunday Morning" on CBS (Sunday at 9:00 AM ET):
(a) Cover Story - Super Models. Russ MItchell looks at what life is like becoming and living as a super model. (b) Almanac - Velcro. (c) Art: Movies and Paintings - Nancy Mowll Mathews' "Moving Pictures" Exhibit which shows the connection between art and our country's earliest films. (d) Culture - Makeup. (e) Trends: Nascar Moms - Tracy Smith profiles the "Nascar moms" who like the "family-friendly atmosphere, NASCAR drivers, and the ear-shattering sound of racing car engines. (f) On Broadway: Dog Trainer - Matha Teichner profiles veteran dog trainor Bill Berloni's showcasting techniques. (g) Sunday Profile: Josh Groban - Correspondent Sandra Hughes interviews 26-year old singer and songwriter Josh Groban. (h) Opinion - Mommy Dearest. (i) Ender: By The BookHosted - Bill Geist on his new book about his adventures searching for "the wackiest and most wonderful people, places and things he could find." Charles Osgood.

4. "60 Minutes" on CBS (Sunday at 7:00 PM ET): Topics This Week - election 2008, real estate commissions, and an Iraqi orphan's life. (a) Mitt Romney - Mike Wallace interviews Mitt Romney on his bid for the White House, the Iraq War, and his changing positions on abortion. (b) Six Percent - Lesley Stahl reports on the real estate brokers' new competition online and a potentially declining commission rate. (c) Ali - Bob Simon follows up, tracking orphan Ali Abbas, who lost his family to a stray American bomb in Iraq.

5. "Dateline NBC" on NBC (Friday at 8:00 PM ET, Saturday at 8:00 PM ET): (a) on Friday - Brother's quest for justice - brother tries to solve murder by making a movie pointing to the person he believes is responsible for his sister's quest. Reported by Keith Morrison. (b) on Saturday - Santa Barbara young chemistry scholar - 2004 murder of scholar amd the bizarre investigation and trial that followed. Reported by Keith Morrison.

6. "CNN Special Investigations Unit" on CNN (Saturday at 8:00 PM ET):
"Month of Mayhem" - the human face on the casaulties of war and an account of life in Iraq. Reported by Michael Holmes.

V. WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT

1. "Law and Order" on NBC (Friday at 10:00 PM ET):
Homeless Victims - Police look for a connection between the murder of two homeless men beaten to death. Regular stars include Sam Waterston as Executive Assistand District Attorney Jack McCoy, Alana De La Garza as Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa, Jessie L. Martin as Detective Ed Green, Milena Govich as Detective Nina Cassidy, S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren, and Fred Dalton Thompson as District Attorney Arthur Branch.

2. "Saturday Night Live" on NBC (Saturday at 11:29 PM ET): Former SNL Actress Molly Shannon hosts with musical guest Linkin Park.

3. "Cold Case" on CBS (Saturday at 8:00 PM ET):
"Honor" - Lilly re-opens the 1972 investigation of a Vietnam POW shooting after victim's dog tags are found in an abandoned drug house. Stars Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush, Danny Pino as Scott Valens, John Finn as John Stillman, Jeremy Ratchford as Nick Vera, Thom Barry as William Jeffries, and Tracie Thomas as Kat Miller.

4. "Without A Trace" on CBS (Sunday at 10:00 PM ET): Pre-empted on Sunday and not, unlike "Cold Case," moved to Saturday. Stars Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Poppy Montgomery as Samantha Spade, Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Vivian Johnson, Enrique Murciano as Danny Taylor, Eric Close as Martin Fitzgerald, and Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Delgado.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So True, David Frum

But as much as I blame the candidates, I have to blame the party too. Have Republicans absorbed how much trouble their party is in? To the (limited) extent that we do, we tend to to attribute everything to Iraq — as if Katrina, the Schiavo affair, corruption in Congress, and the intensifying irrelevance of our domestic-policy agenda did not exist. And so we demand from our candidates ever more fervent declarations of fealty to an ideology that interests an ever dwindling proportion of the public.

I wish somebody at the Reagan Library had said: "Ronald Reagan was a great leader and a great president because he addressed the problems of his time. But we have very different problems — and we need very different answers. Here are mine."
- David From, at The National Review.

Right on, David Frum.

Mr. Frum's party could also use a leader in the White House right now. New intelligence brought to Mr. Bush suggests he could veto bills he doesn't like but he didn't hear the intel which suggests that he must sell his ideas to the increasingly skpetical public before any new Republicans in danger of losing an election set their own timetables for a U.S. troop withdrawal.

Oregon's Step Forward

"Many at the signing ceremony will marvel at this moment, finding it difficult to believe it's really arrived. Some former legislators, who first started pushing for a ban on discrimination against gays and lesbians in 1973, will feel almost jet-lagged, as if they just flew in from a different time zone. And in a way they have.

Yet the two bills involve fundamental protections, so basic, so obvious, that Oregonians, only a few historical minutes from now, will wonder how they ever could have engendered so much controversy. Senate Bill 2 bans discrimination against gays and lesbians, making it illegal to reject them from housing, refuse them service in public places or fire them because of their sexual orientation.

House Bill 2007 creates a system of domestic partnerships that, although not the equivalent of marriage, offers roughly similar legal and economic protections to same-sex couples and their children."

editorial board for The Oregonian commenting on the passage of two gay rights bills Governor Ted Kulongoski promised to sign.

Today the governor signed those bills, one banning discrimination against Oregonian gays in employment and housing, the other establishing a civil unions-like domestic partnership program.



Key Passage from Senate Bill 2


The opportunity to obtain employment { + or housing or to
use and enjoy places of public accommodation + } without
discrimination because of race, { + color, + } religion,
{ - color, - } sex, { + sexual orientation, national
origin, + } marital status, { - national origin, - } age or
disability hereby is recognized as and declared to be a civil
right.
{ + (3) + } { - However, this section shall not be
construed to prevent - } { + Nothing in this chapter
prohibits + } a bona fide church or sectarian religious
institution, including but not limited to a school, hospital or
church camp, from preferring an employee or applicant for
employment of one religious sect or persuasion over another when:
(a) That religious sect or persuasion to which the employee or
applicant belongs is the same as that of { - such - }
{ + the + } church or institution;
(b) In the opinion of { - such bona fide church or sectarian
religious institution - } { + the church or institution + },
such a preference will best serve the purposes of { - such - }
{ + the + } church or institution; and
(c) The employment involved is closely connected with or
related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and
is not connected with a commercial or business activity
{ - which - } { + that + } has no necessary relationship to the
church or institution, or to its primary purposes.
{ + (4) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a bona fide church
or sectarian religious institution from taking any action with
respect to employment, housing or the use of facilities based on
a bona fide religious belief about sexual orientation.
(5) Subsection (4) of this section applies only if the
employment, housing or the use of facilities is closely connected
with or related to the primary purposes of the church or
institution and is not connected with a commercial or business
activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or
institution, or to its primary purposes. + }


Comment on This Bill:

Good for the reasons stated in The Oregonian's editorial but with one caveat - and here the law may be subjected to a constitutional lawsuit -

The exemption provided for religious institutions appears narrow and open to interpretation. Oregon has placed itself in the position of determining when employment, housing or facility usage is "closely connected with or related to the primary purposes" of the church."

States should not take it upon themselves to make these callings. Oregon's legislators should have left such decisions to the religious institutions.


HR 2007 grants Oregon's gay couples the same rights married straights take for granted. Though both, the news articles in The Oregonian and the governor's press office refer to such unions as "domestic partnerships," they are referred to as "civil unions" in the bill.

Note the key passage (bold face my emphasis)

SECTION 9. { + (1) Any privilege, immunity, right or benefit
granted by statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common
law or any other law to an individual because the individual is
or was married, or because the individual is or was an in-law in
a specified way to another individual, is granted on equivalent
terms, substantive and procedural, to an individual because the
individual is or was in a civil union
or because the individual
is or was, based on a civil union, related in a specified way to
another individual.
(2) Any responsibility imposed by statute, administrative or
court rule, policy, common law or any other law on an individual
because the individual is or was married, or because the
individual is or was an in-law in a specified way to another
individual, is imposed on equivalent terms, substantive and
procedural, on an individual because the individual is or was in
a civil union or because the individual is or was, based on a
civil union, related in a specified way to another individual.
(3) Any privilege, immunity, right, benefit or responsibility
granted or imposed by statute, administrative or court rule,
policy, common law or any other law to or on a spouse with
respect to a child of either of the spouses is granted or imposed
on equivalent terms, substantive and procedural, to or on a
partner with respect to a child of either of the partners.
(4) Any privilege, immunity, right, benefit or responsibility
granted or imposed by statute, administrative or court rule,
policy, common law or any other law to or on a former or
surviving spouse with respect to a child of either of the spouses
is granted or imposed on equivalent terms, substantive and
procedural, to or on a former or surviving partner with respect
to a child of either of the partners.
(5) Many of the laws of this state are intertwined with federal
law, and the Legislative Assembly recognizes that it does not
have the jurisdiction to control federal laws or the privileges,
immunities, rights, benefits and responsibilities related to
federal laws.
(6) Nothing in sections 1 to 9 of this 2007 Act requires or
permits the extension of any benefit under ORS chapter 238 or
238A if doing so would conflict with tax qualification
requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and regulations
adopted under the Internal Revenue Code.
(7) For purposes of administering Oregon tax laws, partners in
a civil union, surviving partners in a civil union and the
children of partners in a civil union have the same privileges,
immunities, rights, benefits and responsibilities as are granted
to or imposed on spouses in a marriage, surviving spouses and
their children. + }