Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back in the saddle

It’s time to resume more normal blog posting, and there have been several things lately that deserve comment. So, here are a few brief shots on some of them:

H8ers fear their own hate?

A US District Court in California correctly rejected an attempt by the proponents of California’s Proposition 8, which re-banned same-sex marriage in that state, to keep their donors secret. “Project Marriage” claimed that their donors where “victims” of “harassment” and “intimidation”, but the judge noted that most the so-called “harassment” was, in fact, perfectly legal—things like consumer boycotts and picketing. The few incidents that may have crossed into illegality could easily be handled by law enforcement.

The far right has been claiming victimhood ever since they won the ballot measure, and this court found no substance to that absurd claim. Democracy demands openness and anyone who wants to contribute financially to a cause or candidate should expect that fact to be a matter of public record. What the proponents of Prop 8 never manage to mention is that those who contributed to stop Prop 8 also had their contributions publicly reported. I’m sure there were opponents of 8 who were victims of harassment, maybe even more severe than what the supporters of 8 claim they experienced, but our side doesn’t go around filing frivolous lawsuits over it.

About the stimulus

Republicans in Congress are playing a dangerous game in opposing the economic stimulus package. If the stimulus plan works, they’ll seem like they were being obstructionist and even downright ornery. I think the Republicans are wrong about this. I’d hoped they’d learned to stop playing games, but instead they’re still using lies and deception, this time about the President’s stimulus plan. Oh, well. I guess playing politics is all they really care about.

“Liberal Media” favours Republicans

Speaking of political games on the stimulus package, ThinkProgress reported (via Joe.My.God) reported that over the past week, the five US cable news networks—CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC—have had twice as many Republican lawmakers on to discuss the plan as Democrats. Oddly, Fox Noise was more likely to have Democrats, but still had more Republicans and, in any case, their hosts usually spout Republican talking points on any given issue. So much for the right wing myth that the mainstream media is favouring Democrats.

Steele won’t help GOP elections

The Republican National Committee has selected their first African American chairman, rejecting both the Bush-backed incumbent and a gaggle of party hacks. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is regarded as a “moderate” (whatever that means—is any Republican truly moderate by any objective standard?), which is the first strike against him. Most of the party apparatus is controlled by those on the far right, especially far right christianists, who don’t take kindly to “moderates” or compromise. Similarly, if the GOP thinks that all they have to do is pick an African American to woo Independents and Democrats to their side, then they’re pretty stupid—and insulting. Still, it’s progress of a sort, I suppose.

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