Monday, March 31, 2008

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, March 31 -- Chuck Hagel, Senator from Nebraska

Tuesday, April 1 -- TBD

Wednesday, April 2 -- William Safire, Former Op-Ed Columnist

Thursday, April 3 -- George Clooney, "Leatherheads" Star/Director

Sunday, March 30, 2008

O'Reilly Attends Church Services Led by Ex-Nazi

Chris Kelly's blog from the Huffington Post 3/24/2008:

The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church" run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI." Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.

This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.

This would all be holy water under the bridge, except for one disturbing and undeniable fact: Bill O'Reilly is a Roman Catholic, and Benedict "Joey Ratz" XVI worked for Hitler, as did Unity Mitford, whose baby sister was Jessica Mitford, who knew Maya Angelou, who knew Betty Shabazz, who was married to Malcolm X, who knew Louis Farrakhan.

Is there any place in our public discourse for men like Bill O'Reilly, who won't even repudiate their links to Louis Farrakhan? I'll give you the last word, and then cut you off in the middle of it: No there isn't.

I probably shouldn't say, "The Huffington Post has learned..." I don't speak for anyone but myself, and it's all I can handle, just doing that.

It might not seem like an important distinction, but for the last couple of weeks Bill O'Reilly's been accusing Arianna of running a "hate site" just based on the comments.

Which is like pretending you don't understand the difference between a newspaper and a blog, or a post and a comment, or The Great Gatsby and a copy of The Great Gatsby someone has written notes in.

No, Bill, F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't circle those words in ballpoint and write "water imagery!!!" in the margin. That was someone else.

I think it's too bad that we live in a climate when you can get in trouble for something someone else says, where not censoring someone is the same as agreeing with them. Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Wright and Farrakhan. Arianna and everyone who posts a comment on this site.

If we have to take down every comment that Bill O'Reilly might not understand it's going to get pretty quiet around here.

Ronald Kessler, who printed the first Wright quotes at Newsmax, had to pretend they were violently troubling. And that when he heard them, he was so shocked his shirtfront curled up out of his tuxedo, while his wife fainted. And then Nat Turner came back from the dead and killed everyone with a hoe.

No, not that last part. But even if it had happened, it wouldn't have been worse than the things Kessler had heard. Because what makes you a good American or a bad American doesn't depend on what you do. It depends on which blowhard you listen to. If you don't believe me, ask a Dittohead.

But, okay. That's the new rule: All that matters is what people say. So Obama made his speech about Wright last week, and someone asked Kessler what he thought of it, and he said:

"It was very eloquent, it was brilliant, but it's just words."

I swear I'm not making that up.

Hey, here's a funny quote I just found by Googling "O'Reilly" and "Catholic." (It's from a column O'Reilly wrote in 2003.)

"It is fairly easy to understand why France, Germany, China and Russia oppose removing Saddam Hussein by force; all of those countries are doing profitable business with Saddam, and all of them would like to see American power diminished. But Pope John Paul II is another matter... the Pope believes there are still options to war.

The problem with this argument is faith, pardon the pun. The Pope is putting his faith in a system of inspections that very well might fail. If that happens and even a portion of Saddam's unaccounted for 8,500 liters of anthrax are used against people, a worldwide catastrophe would ensue."

I wonder when that anthrax is going to turn up.

Maybe we should have listened to the guy who's infallible.

And I know it's not as simple as that. But that's the difference between the Pope and Bill O'Reilly: The Pope is only infallible ex cathedra. Bill O'Reilly is wrong all the time.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What Do 100 Kendall County Democrats Look Like?

Early today, more than 100 delegates, alternates and interested people came by Fabra Elementary and turned democracy inaction to Democracy In Action! It was a great morning (that stretched into the afternoon). Fortunately, someone had thought to bake some cookies.

...and not just ANY cookies, as you can see by their design.

It was an intense, productive convention, with lots of give-n-take, back-n-forth, and other apostrophe-riddled-phrases that I can't think of right now. We came home and took a 3-hour nap, so it must have been pretty intense.

Thanks to County Chairman John Weir for conducting a well-researched convention, to the executive committee who did a lot of legwork, and for Kendall County Democrats, who clearly are emerging as a power for good in this part of Texas! A Message to all you new folks: now that it's all done, don't be a stranger. It was great having you there.

And here's one of the delegations which is Austin bound:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's All Relative

A New England Historic Genealogical Society research team has discovered some interesting bloodlines of the three presidential candidates. Barack Obama can call Bush I, Bush 2, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, James Madison and Churchill distant cousins. He is also related to Brad Pitt, while Hillary is kin to Angelina Jolie.
McCain claimed royal blood from Scotland, but British researchers found that to be untrue. He is, however, a sixth cousin of Laura Bush.
I like Obama's lineage best, but I'm biased.

It's County Convention Time!

It's come down to this...Saturday morning at 10 at the Fabra Elementary Cafeteria on Johns Road, you can see Democracy in action! The Kendall County Democrats will meet to decide the fate of the county's delegation--who's going to Austin for the convention?--and of course, a number of resolutions.

Warning: It might be a bit like watching sausage being made...a little unsettling, perhaps a tad nauseating...but no one said Democracy was a lip-sticked, botox'd beauty contest winner, now did they? Democracy's not a hothouse flower, but a beautiful Xeriscape toughy, built for drought as well as rain.

Challenge yourself. Come. Be a part of the action!

Also do this: play by the rules. Be kind to your neighbor and the favor will likely be returned.

And whether you're all about Obama or Hell-bent for Hillary, know this: we need one of 'em in the White House, and not Bush, phase II (McCain). May the best man--or woman--win!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday musings while making our bento box lunches for Monday

We decided not to celebrate Easter twice this year. For once we will only celebrate Orthodox Easter on April 27th. It worked out great, we relaxed and the grandkids had Easter festivities at the other Grandma's house. I did get the urge to cook, when I discovered our HEB (grocery store) was closed and I had to fix lunch for Monday with what I had in the house.
I came up with a Tandoori chicken with leftover greek yogurt, and a sort-of tabbouleh with Manchego cheese, tomatoes and green onion. Mexico meets the middle east so to speak.

We are all looking forward to Orthodox Easter and our favorite foods: Pashka (cheese), Kulich (bread), Mama's blini (crepes, which I have not mastered yet) and piroshki (yeast bread rolls filled with a meat mixture). Yummy. Everybody's favorite is the bread and cheese, even my new son-in-law is a fan, and it is sure very different from the food he grew up with in Puerto Rico, but he loves it.

We are the quintessential American family comprising 6 ethnic and/or racial groups, sharing our foods and customs across the board. We are proud of our various heritages and holidays, celebrating Russian Orthodox Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Dia de los Muertos, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King Day, and various saints days (Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopalian). We ARE America, we are what makes our country so special and so great....a mix of cultures, ideas, love and faith. Our children and grandchildren are the future of our nation, and the colors of our nation. We are so proud of all of them.

So, in the spirit of rebirth, in this Easter season, please take time to let new ideas take wing. It is time for us to discuss where our nation needs to go, how we put our dreams into action, and how we work for a future for ALL of us, no matter our color, or belief system.

To quote Barack Obama (who we support):
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, March 17 -- Brian Fagan, author of "The Great Warming"

Tuesday, March 18 -- Jeffrey Sachs, author of "Common Wealth"

Wednesday, March 19 -- Arlen Specter, Senator from PA

Thursday, March 20 -- To Be Determined

Monday, March 10, 2008

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, March 10 -- Lt. General William B. Caldwell, former Deputy Chief of Staff

Tuesday, March 11 -- Grover Norquist, Lobbyist and author

Wednesday, March 12 -- Ronald Kessler, Author of "Terrorist Watch"

Thursday, March 13 -- Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Adventures at My Polling Place

Yesterday's election and last night's caucus was a fun, difficult and interesting window into America, and into where Texans are, at this place and time. I was the alternate judge and I conducted the caucus (!) at the Welfare Schoolhouse outside of Boerne. As you can see, it's a picturesque, sleepy-looking slice of Americana, complete with wood stove for heat, which we definitely needed, and which I kept stoked 'til long after lunch.

My precinct was drawn by drunkards or ridiculously creative people, because Luster Culver, the woman who refurbished this great little place lives 2-3 miles from here, but has to drive into Boerne to vote, while residents of Turkey Knob Road have to drive about 35 miles here to vote. The district looks like an image from a Salvador Dali painting.

Anyway, the 115 people who voted at my polling station yesterday were committed and passionate to their choices. This is probably my 3rd primary to work, and I don't think we've gotten more than 50 people before, and one primary only drew about half that. This is a large, but very rural district.

The caucus drew 40 people, which means we were close to packed in that little one-room schoolhouse. Half the caucus-goers had to stand, as the antique wooden desks couldn't seat them all. Barack Obama was the clear winner, with 24 of those 40 votes.

Probably the memories of the day that I'll retain will be topped by the looks on peoples' faces as they came in to vote, and as they made their wishes known in the caucus. The 50-something horse-trainer with strong European connections who said all her friends there are wanting Obama to be elected...the Schreiner College history major and Clinton supported who talked at length about historical perspective and understanding how the choices we make translate into real effects in our lives.

It was great to be an American yesterday, and I was proud to be a Democrat. And now we move on, ready to back whichever history-making candidate is able to survive this marathon run that will end at the White House next January.

Obama wins Precinct 11-1

Obama 52, Clinton 49; total delegates 8 for each candidate.
There were 101 people who caucused, a big change from the last caucus which I believe consisted of 5 people. All I can say is WOW.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama for Texas! Go vote and caucus for Obama!

Bill Clinton during his campaign, vote for the person with hope

The past always comes back to haunt you.

Limbaugh to Republicans: Pimp Yourselves

Rush Limbaugh wants to make sure the Democratic Party stays at war with itself. He tells listeners to "pimp yourselves", to cross over and vote for Hillary. If Barack Obama wins Ohio and Texas, he'll concntrate on McCain, probably becoming our next president.
What a guy!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Silent Coup

We need a constitutional scholar to put things right, and that would be Sen. Obama. IMOH. Vote Obama Texas.

The Silent Coup:
How a Nation Ruled by Law, Becomes a Nation Ruled by Men

By Liza Persson
OpEd News

Thursday 28 February 2008

"We are living in an era of extraordinary expansion of executive authority…."

- Arlen Specter United States Senator (Republican Pennsylvania)

"[the Adminstration] asserted a broad doctrine of presidential "inherent authority" to ignore the laws passed by Congress when prosecuting the war on terror. In other words, the rule of law is suspended, and the President is above the law, for the uncertain and no doubt lengthy duration of the undefined war on terror"

- Patrick Leahy United States Senator (Democrat Vermont)

"If Congress doesn't have the power to define the contours of the President's Article II powers through legislation…//…If the President's legal theory, which is shared by some of our witnesses today, is correct…//…Under this theory, we no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government, we have a monarchy"

- Russ Feingold United States Senator (Democrat Wisconsin)

"It is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up once the fighting begins. Once the war against Saddam begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if they can't do that is to shut up."

- Bill O'Reilly

There is a battle far from getting the attention it deserves considering the stakes - the rule and governing of the USA.

You would only notice with great difficulty and after spending a lot of time viewing hearing in various congressional committees, picking up a piece here and another there, and painstakingly putting them into a historical context in a far from obvious manner.

At the center is the question of presidential power vis-a-vis the congress, a group of embittered individuals set on making right what they consider a violation of the constitution.

When many Americans saw a restoration of balance of power when Congress went after and eventually reined in the Executive Branch in the Iran-Contra Affair, others saw an unconstitutional and deeply offensive act of neutering. The same people saw the same unconstitutional usurpation of executive powers when, following the Vietnam War, laws were passed and investigations were launched attempting to explore and rein in what was seen as abuses of the executive branch's wartime powers (e.g Church Committee, Pike Committee, War Powers Act ).

Such an interpretations of congressional actions during this period, has been voiced by Robert F Turner - co-founder of the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law who served as counsel to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, 1982-84. "My conclusion is the President has broken no constitutional law, but Congress in the wake of Vietnam broke many, with terrible consequences. I strongly recommend that the Committee rewrite the resolution to censure the post-Vietnam Congress which violated its oath of office of its members, undermined our security and contributed directly to the consignment to communist tyranny in Indochina of tens of millions of people we had promised to defend and to the slaughter of millions of others" One of them was Dick Cheney and the man who would become his legal advisor, David Addington.Turthout