politics

David Byrne on "Jesus Camp"

Apparently there's a new documentary out, Jesus Camp, about a religious indoctrination summer camp. David Byrne comments in his blog:

There were some perfect sound bites — at one point Pastor Fischer instructs the little ones that they should be willing to die for Christ, and the little ones obediently agree. She may even use the word martyr, which has a shocking echo in the Middle East. I can see future suicide bombers for Jesus — the next step will be learning to fly planes into buildings. Of course, the grownups would say, “Oh no, we’re not like them” — but they admit that the principal difference is simply that “We’re right.”

Rolling Stone asks, Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

I'd pretty much chalked up W's victory in 2004 to the successful application by the GOP of the politics of fear and bigotry. But now RFK Jr, in a piece in Roling Stone, shows that GOP opertives managed to prevent more than 350,000 voters in the pivotal state of
Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted
. That's more that twice W's margin of "victory" there.

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations. A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes, malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots. Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.

SubGenius in trouble: "Why a goat?"

When I'm at Starwood, I always make it a point to attend the Reverend
Ivan Stang's "rants", always entertaining and thought-provoking. This time,
though, Ivan had a story to tell that was more frightening.

It seems that a lovely SubGenius
lass, Reverend Magdalen, is stuck in a custody battle with her ex over
their young son. Ok, sad, but common. What's uncommon is that the ex used
photos of her from the SubGenius's "X Day" celebration (held at the
Brushwood Folklore Center, same location as Starwood).

state of the union

So just how are we doing on the land of the free these days? Let's see:

First, The Boston Globe reported on Bush the Second's assertions that he can ignore more than 750 laws, laws he himself signed, including military rules, affirmative-action law provisions, requirements to report to Congress about immigration services problems, nuclear regulatory whistle-blower protections, and laws against political interference in research.

The Globe notes that W is the first president in modern history to never veto a bill, thus making him immune from veto-overrides; instead, he signs them and then quietly files "signing statements" in the federal register, in which he lays out his "legal interpretation" of the bill. These often assert that the president has the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- including provisions negotiated with Congress in order to get the bills passed in the first place.

Steven Colbert at White House Correspondent's Dinner

You must see this, or at least read the transcript, or with analysis from Chris Durang here. In the midst of the Washington press corps, standing right next to W, Colbert let 'em all have it:

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Americans don't elect Senators to the Presidency (Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

On a topic I've covered before: Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Regarding Hillary Clinton and the race for the White House ["If Clinton runs in '08, can she win?", April 9]: no, Clinton can't win.

The reason has nothing to do with her being a woman, or her position on the issues, or her relation to Bill Clinton.

Americans simply don't elect Senators to the Presidency.

"You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

A beautiful political moment: March 1st in Annapolis, a hearing on a proposed constitutional ban on equal protection for gay and lesbian couples was taking place. Professor Jamie Raskin, from the law school of American University, testified againt this piece of crap.

Apparenly right-wing dingbat Senator Nancy Jacobs stood up and shouted: "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?" To which Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

Grand jury decries 'arrests without merit'

The Baltimore Sun reports that a grand jury convened to "address the lack of confidence that exists between many members of the public and law enforcement", has decried a tremendous number of arrests made by city police without merit.

Just within the African-American population, over 21,000 arrests without charges being filed were made between April 2004 and April 2005.

The grand jury also handed down indictments of three cops: one accused of raping a woman brought to the station house in handcuffs, the other two accused of doing nothing to stop it.

Cops gone wild. Welcome to the police state, brought to you by the War on (Some) Drugs.

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