Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bush and the Politics of Fear

Fearful of a potential massive defeat in next week's election, the unpopular and scary pResident says, if you vote for the Democrats, the "the terrorists win."

Scarier yet, if you vote for the Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will torture Republicans!

And Americans will have more sex.

And aliens will land on the planet and enslave earthlings and Bush will be impeached!

Now we know why the scary Dems keep showing up on "no fly" lists.

Graphic via Internet Weekly

And the Winner of the Gay Vote Is . . .

When Harold Ford bragged that he will be voting for Tennessee's anti gay marriage amendment, the Democrat may have picked up votes on the Right, but he lost votes on the Left.

Most especially, Harold Ford lost votes in the LGBT community.

As I made clear in a recent post, I will be holding my nose and voting for Harold Ford, but it’s not hard to understand why some simply cannot bring themselves to vote for candidates who think it's okay to ask Americans to go to the polls and vote on whether or not some of us get rights.

According to a newly released study, there are now 13,570 same-sex couples living in Tennessee.

That's 27,140 potential votes, plus a considerable number of votes from single gays in this state. In the nation, there are an estimated 8.8 million gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) persons.

Obviously, that's more than enough to swing an election.

So, who are gays going to vote for?

In the following letter to Harold Ford, Joyce Arnold -- editor of Nashville's weekly LGBT newspaper, the Church Street Freedom Press -- explains why she did NOT vote for the Democrat.

A Letter to Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN)

Mr. Ford,

No one wants, more than me, a change from the Republican majority in both U.S. Senate and House. To that end, my plan had been to vote for you.

My plans changed in the last few days, as I listened to you, once again, use the minority population of lesbians and gays in Tennessee, and around the nation, as a political strategy. That is ethically and morally unacceptable. In truth, you are "for Tennessee" only selectively. Some of us are clearly expendable.

I, and the many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of Tennessee who are the constituents of whoever sits in the Senate and House as representatives of this state, deserve respect. You, Mr. Ford, have gone out of your way to show the opposite. I had convinced myself that I could cast a vote for you, toward hopes of a Democratic majority in the Senate. But after listening to your gratuitous statements following the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling earlier this week, I knew I could not cast a vote for someone who so shamelessly uses me.

We who are LGBT citizens of Tennessee are not an "issue" for your, or any other politician's, use. We, in fact, are not an "issue" -- we are individuals, real people who, like everyone else, simply want equality. We, and those who support us, are maligned when we work for that equality, most often by those purporting to speak for God. Your actions are no different, including your use of God, along with us, toward your own ends.

When someone continues to slap you down, no matter how many times you give that person another chance, the time comes when out of self-respect, you walk away. Based on conversations I've had with a number of people in the last few days, LGBT and heterosexual, I'm not the only one who has had enough, and is walking.

In general, the Tennessee Senate race is, from Mr. Corker as well as you, an embarrassment. Neither of you deserve to win. One of you will. And the fact is, as far as the civil rights of the LGBT minority of Tennessee are concerned, it won't make a bit of difference which one of you it is.

You, of course, won't read this, and I doubt anyone in your campaign will either. If someone does, I'm quite sure it will not make any difference to you. But at least I know I've taken the tiny step I needed to take, on behalf of "Liberty and justice for all" rather than for "some."

Joyce L. Arnold, Ph.D.
Church Street Freedom Press

[Photo via Church Street Freedom Press]

Clinton, Obama, McCain and Laura Bush to Campaign in Tennessee

An impressive line-up of political rock stars and Stepford Wife Laura Bush will be doing some last minute campaigning here in Tennessee this week.

Bill Clinton will appear with Harold Ford at a get-out-the-vote rally in Memphis on Wednesday. On Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama will be in Nashville. Obama will appear at several locations, including the Historically Black Tennessee State University.

At stake is the election of the first black senator in the South since Reconstruction and "the first black candidate elected in a major statewide race in the South since Virginia's Douglas Wilder was elected governor in 1990."

Sen. John McCain will also be in Nashville on Sunday "for a $250-per-couple fundraiser for Corker at the Cabana restaurant."

George Bush is so unpopular in Tennessee that he's sending Laura to do his dirty work. Laura Bush is speaking at a campaign luncheon for Bob Corker in Republican stronghold Franklin today.

Unlike the Republican events, the Democratic events will be free and open to the public.

Making Gay Marriage Compulsory

Quote of the Day

"I’m the Libertarian/Republican candidate for Congress in NY’s 11th Congressional District and I was recently asked my opinion on the subject of gay marriage. I think it should be not only legal but compulsory. I’d like to see those guys get up each morning and apologize just like us straight married guys do. Give us something in common." -- Steve Finger, N.Y. Republican/Libertarian Candidate for Congress

There you have it, another reason to Vote No On Amendment One!

Found on The Hill's Congress Blog via Wonkette where we learn that Finger is running "in New York’s solidly Democratic 11th District" but has just earned a coveted Wonkette endorsement!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Racy Photo of Corker's Daughter in Memphis Newspaper

See Bob Corker's Lesbian - or Bi - Daughter Making Out in Memphis Commercial Appeal

Bob Corker's been bragging a lot about his wholesome family. Just the other night he was trying to make Harold feel bad for being a bachelor.

Who's feeling bad now?

Nobody really cares who your daughter kisses unless you are a holy family values candidate for the U.S. Senate who uses homophobia as campaign strategy.

In one of Republican Bob Corker's latest campaign ads for the U.S. Senate race, he introduces his daughters, Emily, 17, and Julia, 18, who predictably gush about their daddy.

It's good for his wholesome, traditional, conservative Christian family image, but Julia's picture on the Facebook Web site, not so much.

On the site, you'll see Julia in a full-on lip lock with another blonde. A young man puckers up behind them, as if he's eager to make it a threesome.

Julia's near menage a trois has been bandied about the blogosphere for months, but it didn't seem to be particularly newsworthy. That was before the pic reappeared on wonkette.com last week, and Corker, who has repeatedly ragged on his opponent's family, brought his daughters into the race with the campaign ad invitation to meet his girls.

Junior's campaign is not helped one whit by his family's antics, past and present.

But will the conservatives who believe homosexuality to be an abomination be turned off by the same-sex exploration of Corker's college-age daughter?

Will Corker's base question his parenting skills, given that he didn't teach his teenage daughter not to share her kissy-face moments on the Web with the world, especially not when daddy is trying to run a conservative campaign?

The sexual orientation or legal sexual activities of the candidate or his family don't matter -- unless you've been courting the vote of people who oppose same-sex marriage and all things gay and lesbian. Then they do.

Via Wonkette, and yeah, we had the story too: Bob Corker's Daughter Strikes Blow for Gender Justice

The Debate and Liberal Discontent with Harold Ford

Harold Ford’s best line in the Nashville debate was the one about the 'bimbo' ad. The Democrat said that if his side had put out an ad as sleazy as the 'bimbo' ad, it would have been pulled an hour after he learned about it. It was the biggest applause line of the night. The audience loved it.

Ford challenged Corker’s conservative qualifications by making the point that as mayor, Corker never ever cut taxes.

The Democrat took the time to name and stroke a number of small Tennessee towns. He was wooing right-wingers, but he also presented himself as the candidate for change. He said he could stand up to Bush, and he could work with Rick Santorum. Ugh.

Overall, the ‘debate’ was on the dull side. It was not an actual debate, of course. Questions came from the audience, and there were no really difficult questions.

Bob Corker rambled on and on about how he’s lived “a Tennessee life.” Can someone please tell me what the heck a “Tennessee life?” is? Does he mean he hasn’t traveled much? Whatever he means I fail to see how it’s a qualification for the U.S. Senate. Corker tried to rub Ford's 'nose in it' over the fact that Bob has a wife and kids, while Harold is a bachelor. Cuz it takes real brains to get married and reproduce yourself.

There was one startling and surreal moment when the audience laughed at Corker. When the Republican said he was proud of the way his campaign has been run, the audience actually broke out into a round of loud and sustained laughter. Hilarious. Pundits are calling this the nastiest campaign in the nation, and Corker’s proud of it. I guess he really hasn't 'traveled' much.

Harold Ford came to court conservatives. He dropped the names of more right-wingers - Republicans and conservative Dems - than I could count. And he dropped 'the God' name. So he’s going to represent Christians. How nice for them.

Harold Ford thinks he has the left all sewed up, but he’s losing some of us.

While his statement about gay marriage was made because he felt backed into a corner by this ad, which suggests that he supports gay marriage, he has further angered the left and lost yet more votes because of the statement.

I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it.

He could have offered some small apology, some acknowledgement or show of respect for the lesbian and gay Tennesseans who he will not be representing.

Liberals in this state have been without representation for so long that many of us are decidedly pissed. When we finally do get a shot at a Democratic seat in the Senate, they give us a man who supports prayer in the schools, votes against gay rights and has the gall to brag about it. In a race this close, Harold Ford just might lose too many of us.

Some of us are so desperate to disempower the crazed and corrupted GOP that we will vote for whatever they offer us. After all, there are problems like habeas corpus, war, torture, a woman’s right to choose, and the threat of another crazed right-winger on the Supreme Court.

But still there are valid reasons aplenty to cast a protest vote. Using homophobia as campaign strategy is as low and despicable as you can go. It’s Karl Rove politics.

I have nothing but respect for my friends who have decided that they cannot in good conscience vote for the man who signs on to the demonization and persecution of gays, but in my view, taking power away from the GOP is the surest path to moving this country in the direction they want it to go.

In the big picture, Ford the individual Christian homophobic candidate is insignificant.

When I 'hold my nose' and vote for Harold Ford, I will be voting to give power to Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold. I will be voting to move this country to the left. Ford can vote for the Hate Amendment in Tennessee, but if the Dems control Congress, he won’t have the opportunity to vote for hate in Washington.

We desperately need to find a way out of this archaic winner-take-all two-party system where 51% of voters have representation and 49% have none. But until we do, the choice is stark: it’s Harold Ford in all his blatantly intolerant conservatism, or it’s Bob Corker.

It’s a Democratic controlled Senate or a Senate possibly even worse than the one we have now.

A Message from Senator 'Working-for-Dobson' Fowler

The Senator Wants You to Write Some Letters to the Editor About Gay Marriage!

Senator David Fowler is still calling himself 'Senator.' I thought by now he'd be calling himself "former Senator." I guess it's a lifetime position.

The Senator, who is President of the Family Action Council of Tennessee and Director of RealMarriage.org, wants you to write some letters to the editor about the Tennessee Hate Amendment.

Well, actually he only wants you to write letters if you are straight, selfish, and determined to make life difficult for everyone who differs from you.

Here's what Senator 'Working-for-James-Dobson' Fowler has to say:

Message from Senator Fowler

As director of RealMarriage.org, I want to thank you for all of your hard work in supporting marriage in Tennessee over the past several months. With less than 10 days left before Election Day on Nov. 7th, and with early voting going on now, there is still much we can do to help protect the institution of marriage and pass Amendment 43 and defeat Referendum I.

One great thing you can do that will help people know about the amendment and the need to vote Yes is to write a letter to your local newspaper editor. It won’t take but a few minutes. You can find sample letters to the editor in Word format that you can pull up, tweak to suit your style, address and print out. http://realmarriage.org/letters.html It’s fast, easy and so very important.

And, if you’ve not heard of the bus trip, please attend one of the stops closest you to. The schedule is on the link at www.RealMarriage.org. Show the media in Tennessee that we will not let our state become another New Jersey!

Thank you for your continued support.


David Fowler
The Family Action Council of Tennessee
Director, RealMarriage.org
2479 Murfreesboro Road, No. 362
Nashville, TN 37217

So, there you go. You can just help yourself to any of the twelve letters so thoughtfully provided by Senator David Fowler, and all you have to do is 'tweak' them, and then sign your name, almost like you wrote them yourself! No word on whether Fowler is also providing postage.

I guess we should be on the lookout for some very unoriginal letters to the editor. Or maybe we should help ourselves and do our own 'tweaking.'

You can see them here. And here's the one titled Polygamy:

Dear Editor:

I do not buy the argument by proponents of same sex marriage that marriage is simply about love and commitment. If that is all that is required for marriage, then anything can be a marriage.

When asked why she did not support polygamy, Cheryl Jacques, formerly of the Human Rights campaign, could only say, “because I don’t’ approve of that.” If that is a good answer for her as to why not polygamy, why is it not a good answer for me that “I don’t’ approve of same sex marriage?”

If marriage is simply love and commitment, then there are no logical boundaries anymore. We didn’t’ create marriage. It just is. And we can’t redefine it.

Join me in voting Yes on Amendment One on November 7th.

Okay guys, if you see any of these funny letters (quoting people from the HRC!) let me and the world know and maybe we can raise a little hell.

The Hate Amendment Bus Tour kicks off today. They'll be at the Courthouse in Murfreesboro at noon.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Report of Corker Campaign Push Polling

Update, I'm hearing more reports of push polling for Corker from a Virginia area code. Does anyone know if this is legal?

Reader stellans reports:

"Speaking of Harold, this afternoon I received a pushpoll call from a 703 (Virginia) area code.

It was for Corker; the voice asked me a series of questions, beginning with the innocuous 'Are you registered to vote in TN?' and ending with 'Are you aware Harold Ford is in favor of raising your taxes, taking away your right to bear arms, and allowing gay adoptions?'

It was disgusting, hearing the sneer in the disembodied voice when I didn't answer the way I was supposed to, in his (oh yes...it was a male voice) opinion.

Are push polls illegal in TN, as they are in some other states? It is especially creepy that it was from an out-of-state company."

Also, see this report of Corker Push Polling.

Ford vs. Corker Debate Tonight - Protests Planned

Tonight's debate will take place in Nashville at Vanderbilt University’s Ingram Hall. It will be town-hall style in front of a live audience at 7 p.m. (central).

You can see it across the state via CBS affiliates. C-Span will also carry it.

At least three different groups of protesters will be there.

Protesting Homophobia

Vote No on One will be present, out front, with signs, about 6 p.m. I heard about this via email, there's nothing on their website at this time.

Protesting Exclusion of Third Party Candidates at Senate Debates

Green Party candidate Chris Lugo will be on hand for a protest over his exclusion from the debates, "which he has petitioned to be included in for the past two months. 'I believe that Tennesseans have a right to hear from their candidates. Tennesseans want to know what their candidates think, where they stand on issues, but here they are excluding the candidates from being heard. So I am going to have to stand outside of the debates with my friends from the Peace Coalition and hope that they hear us from out here.'"

Protesting U.S. Occupation of Iraq

Nashville Peace Coalition Rally:
GIVE PEACE A VOICE Calls for End to Occupation of Iraq

"'We will be gathering on the evening of the most important statewide debate in Tennessee to call attention to the ongoing occupation of Iraq,' said Nini Thomas of the Nashville Peace Coalition, 'This has been the deadliest month for US casualties in over a year and we want to know why Americans are continuing to die in Iraq. Tennesseans want to know what our candidates are going to do to get us out of this quagmire.'"

I haven't heard of anything planned for inside Ingram Hall, but there is a whole lot of anger going round. Since Ford made his infamous homophobic statement on the New Jersey court ruling, I've heard no less than a dozen liberals say they've changed their minds; they cannot vote for him.

Ford's homophobia is getting to all of us. Pundits across the nation keep telling us that Tennessee is just like this, homophobia is what it takes to win in Tennessee. Only conservatives can win in Tennessee. Yeah, cause the last time the Democratic Party backed a liberal in this state, a liberal who argued for equal rights for all, s/he lost. Maybe Tennessee is just like this because all our choices are this Republican rightwinger or that Democratic rightwinger!

I keep saying it, I'll say it again - no lefty in their right mind is going to vote for Harold Ford the individual candidate. We are going to vote for Feingold and Kennedy; we are going to vote for the Democratic Party. Ford is merely a vehicle, a pawn. If he wins and the Dems control the Senate, there will not be any more Hate Amendments at the federal level, and the Dems will have the power to stop Bush from appointing another crazy righwinger to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court, maybe they will even stop him from bombing Iran. This is not the time for a protest vote. Gawd I hate to vote for Ford. But I will. End of rant.

Harold Ford on Bill Maher's Real Time

Ok, so he may have been taken off guard by some of the questions, but overall I think he did really well (for a conservative). He's especially good at talking about Sleazy Slimey Republicans.

NY Times On Homophobia As Bush Campaign Strategy

Today’s editorial is excellent. George W. Bush will not be remembered as ‘The Decider,’ but the miserable excuse for a human being will be forever remembered as The Divider.

Here’s a snippet:

Conserving That Compassion

When future generations of Americans look back on the current era, they’ll puzzle over what it was about George W. Bush that made people imagine there was anything compassionate to his conservatism.

Having apparently lost all hope that he can use terrorism to scare voters into electing Republicans this November, the president has now begun raising the threat of gay marriage.

All this is, as everyone knows, just a show for rousing the base. If the last month has taught us anything about the Republican Party, it is that homophobia is campaign strategy, not conviction. Congressmen who trust their careers to gay staffers vote for laws to enshrine second-class citizenship for gays in the Constitution. Gay appointees and their partners are treated as married people at official ceremonies and social gatherings. Then whenever an election rolls around, the whole team pretends it’s on a mission to save America from gay marriage.

Mr. Bush and his faithful acolytes seem perfectly willing to stoke fears that create division and sorrow in a country that doesn’t need any more of either. The president has just a little more than two years left in office. You’d think that for once he’d want to consider devoting his time to making things better instead of worse.

Lynne Cheney Freaks Over Questions About Lesbian Novel

Angry VP's Wife Denies Her Lesbian Novel is About Lesbians

Lynne Cheny was angry on CNN. Angry about CNN's Broken Government series, angry about CNN airing "terrorist propaganda," angry that Wolf wanted to talk about Dick's apparent endorsement of torture, angry that there is sex in Jim Webb's novels (and afraid her grown children or her lesbian daughter might actually read about lesbian sex!).

But, especially, Lynne Cheney was angry about the charge that sex and lesbians are in her own racy novel.

Angry Lynne Cheney says it ain't so.

Hey, I'd be angry too if I lived with Dick. Gawd, what a thought! Talk about torture!

BLITZER: "In 1988, Lynn Cheney wrote about a Republican vice president who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress." Is that true?

CHENEY: Nothing explicit. And actually, that was full of lies. It's not -- it's just -- it's absolutely not a...

BLITZER: Did you write a book entitled "Sisters"?

CHENEY: I did write a book entitled "Sisters".

BLITZER: It did have lesbian characters.

CHENEY: This -- no, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I'll stand on that.

Via Taylor Marsh -- Lynne Cheney Loses It

Graphics via White House Org - there are more!

Crooks and Liars has the video (of angry Lynne, not Sisters).

'Brothels, Sex Kittens, Pedophilia?’

Novel Baiting

Republicans panicking is not a pretty sight.

Candidates around the country have been race-baiting, gay-baiting, Michael J. Fox-baiting and Hispanic-baiting. But now it has come to this: Republicans are novel-baiting.

Still trying to recover his balance, after slipping on a macaca and admitting he was a Jewish bubba, one criticized for using racist language, displaying a Confederate flag at home and keeping a hangman’s noose at his old law office, Senator George Allen of Virginia unleashed a vicious attack on Jim Webb Thursday night. He called him a fiction writer.

Senator Macacawitz, as he is now known in Washington, sent the cyber- gossip Matt Drudge a press release called “Webb’s Weird World.” It featured racy quotes from his rival’s novels and the contention that they were “very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians.” It said Mr. Webb’s novels about the military and war portrayed women as “servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these.”

Excerpts from Webb novels included passages in which a man performs a sexual act on his son; a “naked young stripper” performs a sexual act on a banana, and male guards at a Vietnamese prison camp perform a sexual act on each other.

“There is nothing that’s been in any of my novels that, in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating surroundings or defining a character or moving a plot,” Mr. Webb said on Washington Post radio yesterday.

Mr. Webb, a 60-year-old former Republican and Vietnam vet who was President Reagan’s secretary of the Navy, was already defending himself for a 1979 magazine article called “Women Can’t Fight,” in which he called a Naval Academy dorm a “horny woman’s dream.”

He bridled at the latest attack, snapping, “You ought to read what George Allen’s sister wrote about him if you want to read about attitudes toward females.” Mr. Allen’s younger sister, Jennifer, wrote a memoir in which she described her brother pulling a Michael Jackson and dangling her over a railing at Niagara Falls, and slamming a pool cue against her boyfriend’s head. (She later said the pool-cue story was a joke, calling the book a novelization of the past.)

So the Old Dominion race now comes down to one guy denying he’s a racist and the other denying he’s a sexist, and the supposed sexist attacking the supposed racist as a sexist. Webb’s campaign sent out a press release yesterday noting that Mr. Allen nearly joined a males-only country club in the ’90s, when he was Virginia’s governor, and opposed co-education at the Virginia Military Institute.

Women make up half of all Virginia voters, so it’s a good bet they will determine who wins the race between two candidates who “exude machismo,” as The Washington Post put it: “James Webb, the marine firing his M50 antitank rifles in the jungles of Vietnam, and George Allen, the tobacco-chewing cowboy who as governor once stirred G.O.P. delegates with this line about Democrats: ‘Let’s enjoy knocking their soft teeth down their whining throats.’ ”

The Republicans’ usual trick — having Dick Cheney terrify women into thinking that terrorists will kill their children if they vote for girly Democrats — isn’t flying this year, so now the G.O.P. is resorting to more personal, and goofy, attacks.

Senator Allen may be able to hurt Mr. Webb, especially if he prints up all the steamy quotes on fliers and puts them on the windshields of Virginia churchgoers on Sunday.

Gary Hart, who used to write novels with another former senator, William Cohen, once told me that politicians are suspicious of other pols who read novels, much less write them. “They thought I was strange,” he said, “because I was caught reading Tolstoy and Kierkegaard.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fought back yesterday by putting out excerpts from G.O.P. pulp fiction. “Brothels, sex kittens, pedophilia?” they began their sampling of Republican scribblers, including Lynne Cheney, Newt Gingrich and Scooter Libby.

The Democrats also turned up a romance novel by Susan Combs, a Republican candidate for Texas comptroller. Ms. Combs wrote “A Perfect Match” about “a freckle-faced brunette,” a cryptologist from the National Security Agency who falls for her “gray-eyed bodyguard” with his “powerful, strong arms” and his erotic pistol-cleaning technique. She desired him to “fill the aching void at her center” where a “deep heaviness throbbed in her belly.”

It’s what the Democrats’ candidate, Jim Webb, would diplomatically call “a horny woman’s dream.”

NBC Tells Dixie Chicks to Shut Up and Sing

Assuming you live in America -- aren't you glad you don't live in a country that has government-owned media?

NBC refuses to air the ad for the Dixie Chicks documentary -- Shut Up and Sing -- cause freedom's on the march right out of this GOP-controlled country.

Cause criticizing the government is unamerican, which is, of course, exactly what Shut Up and Sing is all about.

NBC says it cannot accept ads for the film because they are "disparaging to President Bush." And everybody knows that the First Amendment is all about protecting speech that is not critical of the government.

Via ThinkProgress -- Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing the movie, issued the following statement:

It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American.

Gawd, this is so not my America!

See the ad your government and NBC do not want you to see at ThinkProgress and see Shut Up and Sing at a theater near you, unless that theater is owned by a Republican.

Friday, October 27, 2006

See the New Bob Corker Miscegenation Ad (heh)

Bob Corker ain't miscegenated!

Via the venerable Jesus General, who once again has come to the aid of Tennessee.

Olbermann Blasts Limbaugh for Attack on Michael J. Fox (video)

According to Rush Limbaugh Parkinson's disease is just another Liberal Plot and Michael J. Fox is just another actor!

Included are clips of Michael J. Fox and clips of hillbilly heroin and viagra addict Rush Limbaugh actually ridiculing people with Parkinson's disease!

I was hoping to post Katy Couric's interview of Michael but it doesn't seem to be at Youtube (yet?). Thankfully, John Amato at Crooks and Liars has it!

Here's an excerpt from John's astute comments on the Slimebaugh:

Watching Fox's condition up close and personal is so sad to see and for Rush to mock him for a political agenda is tragic. Limbaugh will never apologize or honestly regret what he's done because it's part of a long term strategy to once again attack the messenger.

Fortunately most of us are not strung out on hillbilly heroin and actually have something called compassion. Fortunately, Michael's ad is waking people up to the reality-based world, you know the world where people actually have real diseases that need real cures.

The Michael J. Fox Effect

"Republicans who indicated that they were voting for a Republican candidate decreased by 10% after viewing the ad (77% to 67%). Independents planning to vote for Democrats increased by 10%, from 39% to 49%."

Homophobes to Get Out the Anti Gay Vote in Pre-Election Bus Tour

State Senator David Fowler Launches 'Vote Yes for Hate Amendment' Bus Tour in Tennessee

Lock up your children and bring the pets inside -- the homophobes are coming to a town near you. Your State Senator will be following the will of your pResident by working to get out the GOP vote and pass the anti gay marriage amendment. Here in Tennessee that means Senator Fowler will be bringing a whole busload of homophobes to your community or to a community near you.

The lily-white small-minded folks over at the pathetically titled RealMarriage.org are taking the hate on the road. Apparently all those letters from James Dobson, all those church bulletins and biblical hate inserts that State Senator David Fowler has so graciously made available to all kinds of churches may not be enough to persuade Tennessee to Vote for Hate on November 7.

So in the name of famed hatemonger Jesus, State Senator Fowler is taking the hate on the road!

For some reason, Tennessee has other things on its mind. Things like the Bush War in Iraq that is scheduled to go on and on forever. Things like Congresspeople who have world-class healthcare while 50 million ordinary Americans have none. Things like how crazy is it that we live in a state that has Third World infant mortality rates?

Just like all the other states, Tennessee has begun to wonder if a country that is Ruled by One Party can really be called a democracy.

The Vote Yes on Hate Bus Tour aims to get Tennessee's mind off such worrisome trivialities. So what if your country is ruled by One Party of incompetent crooks? The important thing is enshrining discrimination into the state constitution!

Led by your Tennessee State Senator David Fowler, the Real Marriage gang plans to take the Vote Yes for Hate Bus Tour on "a five-day, 25-stop, statewide bus tour" beginning on "Monday, October 30, with a press conference in the Nashville suburb of Franklin and conclude on Friday, November 3, in Memphis with an evening rally."

Nashville, TN - RealMarriage.org Director, Sen. David Fowler, today announced a five-day, 25-stop, statewide bus tour he has dubbed the "Vote Yes on #1 to Protect Marriage" tour to raise awareness of and to promote passage of Tennessee's Marriage Protection Amendment during early voting and on election day, November 7tht. A "Yes" vote for the amendment will be a vote to enshrine in the safety of the state constitution the definition of marriage in Tennessee as one man and one woman.

The tour will also feature evening rallies in churches in Chattanooga, Johnson City, and Clarksville. Guest speakers at the rallies will include RealMarriage.org advisory board members, Bobbie Patray (President, Tennessee Eagle Forum), former state Senator and original sponsor of Tennessee's DOMA legislation, Jim Holcomb, and Sen. David Fowler. Democrat and Republican legislators who are supporting the amendment are expected to join the tour at various points along the way.

We're sure it really helps your cause when your leader in bigotry is also a State Senator. Tax-payer-funded hate campaigns are apparently legal in this state. We are still waiting for news that Senator Fowler has resigned, as promised, we are still waiting for the president of Tennessee's Focus on the Family affiliate to stop calling himself our senator!

You can see the Hate Bus Tour schedule here. If you plan to meet and greet the homophobes, please send me photos!

Note that the Hate Tour will NOT be stopping in Nashville - the homophobes are apparently afraid of Nashville's large and thriving LGBT community, not to mention Nashville's large and thriving progressive community of LGBT and straight folks.

The Hate Tour begins on Monday, at 10am in Franklin and moves on to Murfreesboro at noon and Chattanooga at 7pm. If you live in those areas and plan to meet and greet the homophobes, please send photos!

Vote No on the Hate Amendment!

Photo of Vote NO on 1 billboard on West End Avenue, in Nashville via Nashville's LGBT progressive weekly paper, Church Street Freedom Press.

Is the NY Times Against Women's Rights?

In 2006, is it really too much to ask for the New York Times to refer to Senator Clinton as Senator Clinton and NOT as somebody's wife?

Mrs. Clinton Is Said to Be Open to a Law Allowing Gay Marriage

I hear that Congresswoman Pelosi, soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is also married. Is the Times writing stories about Mrs. Pelosi?

If Senator Clinton should one day become President Clinton, will the Times call her Mrs. President?

Just because Bush is leading the country back to the 19th century, doesn't mean the New York Times has to follow!

Al Gore Thinking of Running in 2008

"I'm a recovering politician. I'm on about Step Nine," he joked to the audience.

As he was leaving the auditorium, however, Gore was confronted by Cindra Zugel of Mukilteo, wearing a campaign button that said, "Al Gore for President in 2008."

She told him he has a responsibility to run for president, to change U.S. energy and environmental policy. "He said, 'We'll give it some thought,' " said Zugel, who considers Gore "the only choice" for 2008.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bimbo Ad Won't Go Away

Bimbo Ad Targetting Democrat Harold Ford Reportedly Still Playing in Chattanooga

Apparently, everyone in the world has not yet seen the Sleazy Blonde-Bimbo Ad targetting Harold Ford.

This blog is still getting positively slammed by people who haven't yet seen the RNC's racist ad -- as we have been ever since Talking Points Memo first linked to us!

This Belgium forum is one of the more recent sites sending people here in droves to be amazed at just how low the Republican Party is willing to go. The ad may be off the air, but it is still being widely condemned as "vular and desperate." Many expect the ad to backfire against the crazy Republicans who actually thought the public would believe that Republicans are "powerless" to stop their own ads from running!

As Chris Matthews observes, the dirty ad business now belongs exclusively to the GOP. The Dems are NOT participating.

Although the ad has officially ceased airing and been replaced with a new ad claiming that Harold Ford is the answer to all our liberal dreams (and this overtly racist radio ad), there are reports that the bimbo ad is still playing -- in Corker's hometown. One of our readers from Chattanooga confirms that she saw the ad air today. Has anyone else seen it?

The ad -- which people are now calling 'the bimbo ad' -- is definitely still playing on this blog and on countless other sites, and the mainstream media coverage is so great, it's become impossible to keep up with it!

Here are a very few of the latest stories about the bimbo ad, and note that Canadians are pissed.

Washington Post -- Howard Kurtz: Down in the Mud -- "A GOP ad against Senate candidate Harold Ford -- featuring a white seductress who says she met the black lawmaker at a Playboy party and that he should call her -- is so odious and racially tinged that Ford's Republican opponent, Bob Corker, denounces it."

International Herald Tribune: In South, latest Republican ad strikes some as playing on racial fears

New York Times: Ad Seen as Playing to Racial Fears

NPR: Republican Ad Shocks Some in Tennessee

ABC NEWS: Playboy Party Jab Could Hurt Republican's Senatorial Hopes -- Controversial Ad Against Democrat in Tennessee Pulled After Backlash

Globe and Mail: Republican election ad calls Canada a freeloader

Globe and Mail: Canada complains to White House about ad

Ottawa Sun: Tories blast Republican ad

In Your Liberal Dreams -- GOP's New Anti Harold Ford Ad

New Republican Ad Says Harold Ford Is the Answer to Your Liberal Dreams!

Republican Party Broadcasts More Lies

According to the latest dirty RNC attack ad:

Harold Ford wants to give the abortion pill to our school children!

Harold Ford is pro gay marriage!

Harold Ford is Tennessee's most liberal Congressman!

The Republican Party is now so convinced of the people's stupidity that they pull lies out of the sky and don't even bother to attempt to make their lies believable.

What the ad meant to say:

Harold Ford is not as rabidly rightwing as most Tennessee Congresspeople, therefore Harold Ford must be liberal.

Like Bushie says, you're either with us, or against us, you're either white or black, right or wrong, left or right. You're either a rabid rightwinger or a flaming liberal.

And the other 'liberal' Congressman is Blue Dog Democrat, Jim Cooper. I'm sure you've heard about Jim Cooper and Harold Ford traveling across the nation advocating equal rights for gay couples, reproductive rights for women, universal childcare, universal healthcare, and the abolishment of poverty.

In your liberal dreams!

Harold Ford and Jim Cooper are Tennessee's most liberal Congressmen because Tennessee Congressmen/women are conservative. If you define liberal as anything left of center, Tennessee has ZERO liberal Congressmen/women!

Tennessee liberals have no representation! And I'm getting really tired of the GOP rubbing it in.

'Shaky' Ad Blatantly False and Libelous

Ford's campaign lawyers said in a letter to station managers that the two charges are "blatantly false and libelous" and demanded they be taken off the air. Campaign spokesman Michael Powell said stations have asked the RNC to substantiate the claims and if it won't or can't, will remove them.

The ad cites a Sept. 19, 2000, vote on a bill that RNC spokesman Danny Diaz said would have prohibited elementary and high schools from distributing "emergency post-coital contraception to minors."

Ford's campaign said the so-called "morning-after pill" hadn't even been approved in the U.S. by then.

The Ford lawyers said the gay-marriage vote cited in the ad was on whether state or federal courts had jurisdiction to review claims under the Defense of Marriage Act, not a vote to "recognize" gay marriage and that Ford voted for the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage the two times it has reached the House floor.

The RNC's Diaz said Tuesday night the ad "is 100 percent accurate. It's going to stay on the air."

Vanderbilt University political science professor John G. Geer, author of a new book "In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns," attended Ford's downtown speech and told reporters the RNC ad is unlike any he's ever seen.

"You don't run these ads when you think you have a chance of winning. You run these ads when you're behind. They must have internal polling that tells them they're in trouble," said Geer, who likened the new ads to the "Swiftboat" ads against Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race. A new Mason-Dixon Tennessee Poll conducted last week showed Corker at 45 percent and Ford at 43 percent.

Thanks to Kleinheider for the ad. He reports that the ad - dubbed "Shaky" - is now being broadcast on Channel 5.

Related post: On Bob Corker's Tall Liberal Tales

Tennessee Liberals

Bob Corker Approves this Racist Ad: The Jungle Drums Ad

Sheesh, I go away from cyberworld for a day, and the Bob Corker campaign decides to turn the racism up to the max.

Jungle drums?? (Listen to the Jungle Drums Corker Radio Ad )

Good Gawd! We're back in the 1950s?

Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe:

We got a copy of the ad from a producer from WGOW radio in Chatanooga. Bill Lockhart, the program director for WGOW, confirmed the authenticity of the ad and that it's running on the station. "They're freaking jungle-drums," Lockhart tells us. "It's racist -- it tries to conjure up deep, dark African moods. Yeah, it's overtly racial."

I listened to the ad. It's true. Every time the narrator talks about Ford, the jungle drums play, when it's Corker's turn, the jungle drums can't be heard.

Unbelievable! They really do think we're stupid.

But this time, the racist ad is not from the RNC, it's from Bob Corker!

This time, Bob Corker has been caught -- for all the world to hear -- My name is Bob Corker and I approve this racist ad.

Is this racist ad playing all over the state, or only in red counties?

I've often wondered if we'd have any racism or homophobia in this state if all 'our leaders' went somewhere else. They don't call them 'leaders' for no reason.

NJ Court Mandates Equal Rights for Gay Couples

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that gay couples are entitled to the same rights held by heterosexual couples. But the Court refused to say whether gay couples will access those rights through marriage or civil unions. State legislators have 180 days to create a bill that will mandate equal rights for same-sex couples via marriage or equal rights via civil unions.

If they call it 'civil unions', is it equal rights?

New York Times:

In a decision filled with bold and sweeping pronouncements about equality, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave the Democratic-controlled Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones to provide gay couples benefits including tuition assistance, survivors’ benefits under workers’ compensation laws and spousal privilege in criminal trials.

“Our decision today significantly advances the civil rights of gays and lesbians,” Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the majority. “We have decided that our state Constitution guarantees that every statutory right and benefit conferred to heterosexual couples through civil marriage must be made available to committed same-sex couples.”

But the ruling passed along the thorniest question, of whether true equality demands the same name, to the Legislature, saying “such change must come from the crucible of the democratic process..”

Washington Post:

"Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state constitution," the court said in its 4 to 3 ruling.

Seven gay couples had sued in state court for the right to marry but lost their cases in lower state courts. On Wednesday, they gathered in the offices of their attorneys in Newark to await the court's decision.

When the high court's ruling was announced shortly after 3 p.m., there was less jubilation than stunned puzzlement. Karen Nicholson-McFadden of Aberdeen, N.J., gave a little laugh, and then the tears came. Her partner, Marcye Nicholson-McFadden, held Karen's hand.

"I'm supposed to feel relief, right?" said Karen, who sat beside the couple's two children, Kasey, 7, and Maya, 3.

Marcye noted that their relationship to each other has been questioned at the most critical moments. They pay higher premiums for car insurance and health insurance, and they have spent thousands of dollars to secure joint property ownership and custody of their children. She is choosing to be hopeful.

"Our neighbors, after being told we deserve our fair rights, will not relegate us to a separate class," Marcye said later at a news conference.

Changes in New Jersey could set a more momentous precedent. New Jersey has no law like the one in Massachusetts that bars nonresidents from marrying there if the weddings could not be recognized in their home states. Thus, same-sex couples from across the nation have hoped New Jersey might offer a refuge for those seeking to marry.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The GOP's Dirty Politics of Race, Class and Sex

There's a discussion about the Republican Party's Sleazy Blonde-Bimbo attack ad and the Ford vs. Corker race over at The Caucus - a blog at the New York Times.

Under a post titled, Tennessee Mud: Of Porn and Substance, readers weigh in on the significance of the dirty RNC ad with views like: 1) the ad is racist 2) the Republican Party is racist 3) Tennessee is racist and the ad is a play to the rampant racism in the state.

There's even a thought or two about the RNC's appeal to classism.

Myself, I don't think the dirty ad creators had much choice about the race of the 'bimbo.' Can you imagine the outcry if they'd painted a black woman with the cheap and tawdry dumb bimbo persona they put on to the white woman? It would have been stark, and not even believable. The stereotypical black woman is strong and in charge. I don't believe I've ever heard a black woman talk in the dumb blond bimbo dialect that this actress does so well. It's more of a white woman thing. Of course, we're talking stereotypes here. That's what the ad is all about, the stereotypes of race, class and sex.

The discussion could use some more Tennesseans. But especially, it could use some more women. In my view, politics in the U.S. stinks so bad because it continues to be a male sport. Even when women get to play in roles other than the bimbo, we play by rules we were not permitted to help create.

Harold Ford is going to be on Chris Matthews' Hardball today. Too bad for me, I have a lot of non-blogging demands lined up for the day, and I can see I'm going to miss a lot. But it should be a good show.

Will Corker summon enough courage to go on Hardball? If so, watch for that smug little holier-than-thou arrogant smirk he seems to wear every time the cameras roll.

Bush Pining to be Back on the Ranch

Quote of the Day

"One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see — I’ve forgot the name of the program — but you get the satellite, and you can — like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes." -- George W. Bush

Bush Cuts and Runs from Stay-the-Course

"We’ve never been stay the course." --George W. Bush, First Idiot of the 21st Century

When George Stephanopoulos asked Bush about "James Baker’s plan to develop a strategy for Iraq that is 'between stay the course and cut and run,' the Bubble Boy tried to drop stay the course down the old memory hole. Did Bushie think no one would notice? Is he off his meds again? It's not like the Bubble Boy doesn't know we have "the google" - he says he's used it, but apparently he's used "the google" only for the pictures.

Washington Post:

President Bush and his aides are annoyed that people keep misinterpreting his Iraq policy as "stay the course." A complete distortion, they say. "That is not a stay-the-course policy," White House press secretary Tony Snow declared yesterday.

Where would anyone have gotten that idea? Well, maybe from Bush

"We will stay the course. We will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed," he said in Salt Lake City in August.

"We will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course," he said in Milwaukee in July.

"I saw people wondering whether the United States would have the nerve to stay the course and help them succeed," he said after returning from Baghdad in June.

NY Times:

“He stopped using it,” said Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. “It left the wrong impression about what was going on and it allowed critics to say, ‘Well, here’s an administration that’s just embarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is,’ when, in fact, it is the opposite.”

Death and destruction and a world full of dissenting opinions can't sway this pResident, but an election nightmare looms , and suddenly The Decider is Mr. Flexibility!

Cause little things like wars, and even hurricanes, are trifles compared to the looming nightmare of a disempowered George W. Bush.

GOP Stands By Sleazy Blonde-Bimbo Ad

Bob Corker Pretends Not To

Update and bump: Questions about Corker's illegal-sounding campaign tactics continue to spread across the state. Hamdems - in Corker's hometown - offers a summary: "The bottom line here is this: Corker said that he or his campaign could not talk directly to the RNC about the ad that is currently running slandering Congressman Ford. However, it actually turns out that Corker travels daily with the spokesperson from the RNC who issued statements about the ad. Did Corker and his campaign violate federal election laws by having coordination in this ad? It's nearly impossible to imagine that Anderson and Corker traveled together and yet did not "communicate" once about the ad, as both were issuing conflicting statements."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Speaking of the King of Lies, is it just me, or is there something fishy about Bob Corker's widely publicized claim that he's asked the RNC to pull the sleazy blonde-bimbo ad targetting Harold Ford - because Corker's just not sleazy enough to approve of his party's ad?

Check out the following snippets from three different papers, The Washington Times, The Tennessean and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

When Corker was asked about offensive RNC ads, he said (Washington Times):

"As you know, we can't talk directly with the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] or the RNC, so I don't know about 'em till I see them, but if we see an ad we don't like, we'll ask for it to be pulled."

The Tennessean:

Republican Bob Corker said the 30-second commercial is not reflective of the type of campaign he wants to run. The RNC is standing by the ad, said spokeswoman Camille Anderson.

The national party can air commercials independently of campaigns — but they can’t communicate with each other.

That’s why Corker’s campaign said they issued a news release saying the ad should be taken off the air, because that’s something they can’t tell the RNC directly.

The RNC’s Anderson said: “Whether it’s the Congressman's careless lifestyle or liberal record, Harold Ford seems like a better fit for his hometown of Washington, D.C., than for the state of Tennessee.”

Knoxville News Sentinel:

Camille Anderson, Republican National Committee spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., who is working from Chattanooga for the Corker campaign, said the RNC wants to "make sure we have the resources to get the message out across the state of Tennessee. The RNC is focusing on making sure we maintain a majority in the Senate and Bob Corker is part of that equation."


Update: Chris Jackson has more: Illegal Coordination? --via Sean Braisted -- who speculates on the consequences should Corker and his out-of-control Republican Party be caught on the wrong side of the law. Outside the law? Now there's a novel idea about Republicans.

Iraq and Your Wallet

The Cost of War

For every additional second we stay in Iraq, we taxpayers will end up paying an additional $6,300.

So aside from the rising body counts and all the other good reasons to adopt a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, here’s another: We are spending vast sums there that would be better spent rescuing the American health care system, developing alternative forms of energy and making a serious effort to reduce global poverty.

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld estimated that the overall cost would be under $50 billion. Paul Wolfowitz argued that Iraq could use its oil to “finance its own reconstruction.”

But now several careful studies have attempted to tote up various costs, and they suggest that the tab will be more than $1 trillion — perhaps more than $2 trillion. The higher sum would amount to $6,600 per American man, woman and child.

“The total costs of the war, including the budgetary, social and macroeconomic costs, are likely to exceed $2 trillion,” Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist at Columbia, writes in an updated new study with Linda Bilmes, a public finance specialist at Harvard. Their report has just appeared in the Milken Institute Review, as an update on a paper presented earlier this year.

Just to put that $2 trillion in perspective, it is four times the additional cost needed to provide health insurance for all uninsured Americans for the next decade. It is 1,600 times Mr. Bush’s financing for his vaunted hydrogen energy project.

Another study, by two economists at the American Enterprise Institute, used somewhat different assumptions and came up with a lower figure — about $1 trillion. Those economists set up a nifty Web site, www.aei-brookings.org/iraqcosts, where you can tinker with the underlying assumptions and come up with your own personal estimates.

Of course, many of the costs are hidden and haven’t even been spent yet. For example, more than 3,000 American veterans have suffered severe head injuries in Iraq, and the U.S. government will have to pay for round-the-clock care for many of them for decades. The cost ranges from $600,000 to $5 million per person.

Then there are disability payments that will continue for a half-century. Among veterans of the first gulf war — in which ground combat lasted only 100 hours — 40 percent ended up receiving disability payments, still costing us $2 billion each year. We don’t know how many of today’s veterans will claim such benefits, but in the first quarter of this year more people sought care through the Department of Veterans Affairs than the Bush administration had budgeted for the entire year.

The war has also forced the military to offer re-enlistment bonuses that in exceptional circumstances reach $150,000. Likewise, tanks, helicopters and other battlefield equipment will have to be replaced early, since the Pentagon says they are being worn out at up to six times the peacetime rate.

The administration didn’t raise taxes to pay for the war, so we’re financing it by borrowing from China and other countries. Those borrowing costs are estimated to range from $264 billion to $308 billion in interest.

Then there are economic costs to the nation as a whole. For example, the price of oil was in the $20- to $30-a-barrel range early in this decade but has now shot up to more than $50, partly because of the drop in Iraq’s oil exports and partly because of war-related instability in the Middle East. Professors Stiglitz and Bilmes note that if just $10 of the increase is attributable to the war, that amounts to a $450 billion drag on the economy over six years.

The bottom line is that not only have we squandered 2,800 American lives and considerable American prestige in Iraq, but we’re also paying $18,000 per household to do so. We still face the choice of whether to remain in Iraq indefinitely or to impose a timetable and withdraw U.S. troops. These studies suggest that every additional year we keep our troops in Iraq will add $200 billion to our tax bills.

My vote would be to spend a chunk of that sum instead fighting malaria, AIDS and maternal mortality, bolstering American schools, and assuring health care for all Americans. We’re spending $380,000 for every extra minute we stay in Iraq, and we can find better ways to spend that money.