Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

>Leonard Pitts Column

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I love a Leonard Pitts POV; especially this one from the Miami Herald:

Dear Sarah: Say it is so, run for president
By Leonard Pitts

Dear Sarah Palin:
I hear you’re pondering a run for the White House in 2012. Last week, you told Fox news it would be ‘absurd’ to rule it out.

I’m writing to ask that you rule it in. I very badly want you to run for–and win–the Republican nomination for the presidency.

I know you’re waiting for the punch line. Maybe you figure I think you’d be a weak candidate who would pave the way for President Obama’s easy re-election.

That’s not it. No, I want you to run because I believe a Palin candidacy would force upon this country a desperately needed moment of truth. It would require us to finally decide what kind of America we want to be.

Mrs. Palin, you are an avatar of the shameless hypocrisy and cognitive disconnection that have driven our politics for the last decade, a process of stupidification creeping like kudzu over our national life.

As Exhibit A, consider your recent speech at a so-called “tea party” event, wherein you dismissed the president as a “charismatic guy with a teleprompter.” Bad enough you imply that teleprompter use is the mark of an insubstantial man, even though you and every other major politician uses them. But what made the comment truly jaw-dropping is that even as you spoke, you had penned on your left palm, clearly visible, a series of crib notes.

Mrs. Palin, if Obama is an idiot for reading a prepared speech off a teleprompter, what are you for reading notes you’ve inked on your hand like a school kid who failed to study for the big test?

In the Fox interview, you scored Obama for supposedly expecting Americans to ‘sit down and shut up’ and accept his policies. But when asked when the president has ever said that, you couldn’t answer. Obama, you sputtered, has just been condescending with his ‘general persona.’

I found that a telling moment. See, ultimately what you represent is not conservatism. Heck, I suspect that somewhere, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are spinning like helicopter rotors at the very idea.

No, you represent the latest iteration of an anti-intellectualism that periodically rises in the American character. There is, historically and persistently, a belief in us that y’all just can’t trust nobody who acts too smart or talks too good–in other words, somebody whose ‘general persona’ indicates they may have once cracked a book or had a thought. Americans tend to believe common sense the exclusive province of humble folks without sheepskins on the wall or big words in their vocabularies.

I don’t mock those people. They are my parents, my family elders, members of my childhood church. I honor their native good sense, what mom called ‘mother wit.’ But if it is insulting to condescend to them, it is equally insulting to mythologize them.

More to the point, something is wrong when we celebrate mental mediocrity like yours under the misapprehension that competence or, God forbid, intelligence, makes a person one of those ‘elites’–that’s a curse word now–lacking authenticity, compassion and common sense.

So no, this is not a clash of ideologies, but a clash between intelligence and its opposite. And I am tired of being asked to pretend stupid is a virtue. That’s why I’d welcome the moment of truth your campaign would bring. It would force us to decide once and for all whether we are permanently committed to the path of ignorance, of birthers, truthers and tea party incoherence you represent, or whether we will at last turn back from the cliff toward which we race.

If the latter, wonderful, God bless America. If the former, well, some of us can finally quit hoping the nation will return to its senses and plan accordingly. Either way, we need to know, and your candidacy would tell us. If you love this country, Mrs. Palin, you can do it no greater service.

Run, Sarah, run.

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5 Comments

Filed under Leonard Pitts, Mama Grizzly Bore, Quotes, Uncategorized

>This Is Why I Support Candidates And NOT The DNC

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Once again, from Iowa, we have news on the marriage equality battle.

Now, it seems that four Democratic state senators–Dennis Black, Keith Kreiman, Rich Olive and Joe Seng–have broken with their party and joined with another Democrat, Tom Hannock, to sign a Republican petition to force a vote on same-sex marriage. The good news is that last week was the deadline for bills to clear committee in order to stay eligible for consideration this year, so the ban on marriage equality is officially dead.
Also last week, the Republicans attempted to use a procedural move, called a discharge petition, to pull Senate Joint Resolution 2001 out of committee and put it before the full Senate for debate and a vote. Senate Joint Resolution 2001 would begin the process of amending the Iowa constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Naturally, all Senate Republicans, and Tom Hannock, signed the petition. A similar attempt was made in the House, but it also failed to find enough votes to bring a gay marriage ban up for a vote.
With the addition of party turncoats, Black, Kreiman, Olive and Seng, it brings the total to 23 votes, just three shy of the majority needed to force a vote on a constitutional ban on gay marriage; twenty-eight Democratic Senators refused to sign on.

Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Mike Gronstal, has repeatedly vowed to block any effort to bring a ban on same-sex marriage up for discussion, telling The Iowa Independent before the legislative session began that he would “block that at every opportunity. There will be no vote on the constitutional amendment.”
Gronstal deserves our dollars and our support, for, as an elected official, he is not only doing the right thing to guarantee that all citizens of Iowa are equal under the law, but he is listening to the people of Iowa. A recently conducted Des Moines Register Poll found 62 percent of Iowans felt lawmakers have more important things to worry about than same-sex marriage.
So, to the Republicans of Iowa: listen to your people, the ones who elected you to office, and the ones who cane remove you from same. And to those five Democrats who now side with discrimination, be ready to fight to keep your seats.
Tell the turncoats how you feel:

Dennis Dlack

Senate Switchboard: 515-281-3371
Mailing address:
State Senator Dennis Black
Iowa Statehouse
Des Moines, IA 50319
E-mail:
Dennis.Black@legis.state.ia.us
Phone: 515-975-8608
Mailing address:
State Senator Dennis Black
Box 1271
Newton, IA 50208
E-mail:
dblack@black4senate.com

Keith Kreiman

Home Address:
406 Parkview Dr.,
Bloomfield, IA, 52537
Home Telephone: 641-664-2811

Rich Olive

Home Address:
PO Box 273,
Story City, IA, 50248
Home Telephone: 515-733-2427

Joe Seng

Senate Switchboard: 515-281-3371
Mailing address:
State Senator Joe Seng
Iowa Statehouse
Des Moines, IA 50319
E-mail:
Joe.Seng@legis.state.ia.us
Phone: (563) 391-1627
Mailing address:
State Senator Joe Seng
4804 NW Blvd
Davenport, IA 52806
E-mail:
josephmseng@gmail.com

And while you’re at it, tell Mike Gronstal you appreciate the work he’s doing for the LGBT community and equality in Iowa.

Mike Gronstal

Home Address:
220 Bennett Ave,
Council Bluffs, IA, 51503
Home Telephone: 712-328-2808
Business Telephone: 515-281-4610
Business Fax: 515-281-3361

2 Comments

Filed under Democrat, Dennis Black, Iowa, Joe Seng, Keith Kreiman, Marriage Equality, Mike Gronstal, Republican, Rich Olive

>Careful What You Think

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Ah, only in America can things like this happen.

Out in Iowa, Christine Taylor was pregnant, already the mother of two, and splitting up with her husband. As is her right, she considered the options available to her as a soon-to-be single mother; she thought about abortion, but decided against it; she thought about giving up the baby for adoption, but changed her mind. She decided that, going through a divorce, having a child, being unemployed, would be the right path for her.

As is her right.

Then one day everything went crazy. See, Christine Taylor had just gotten off the phone from a very argumentative conversation with her estranged husband. She became dizzy then fell down a flight of stairs in her home. She called 911, and paramedics arrived quickly enough and declared her healthy. But, since she was pregnant with her third child, Christine Taylor thought she should see a doctor, and they took her to the local emergency room.

It was there that the world, at least Christine Taylor’s world, went nuts.

Worried, and alone, Christine Taylor confided in the nurse treating her about her situation; she told the woman that she hadn’t always been sure she’d wanted to keep this baby, now that she was out of work and soon-to-be divorced; she mentioned that she had considered adoption and abortion. She was just venting to someone she thought might have a compassionate ear.

Not so; that nurse summoned a doctor, who questioned Christine further about her thoughts on ending the pregnancy, and the next thing Christine Taylor knew, she was being arrested for attempted feticide, which, according to Iowa state law, is trying “to intentionally terminate a human pregnancy, with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person, after the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy.” Apparently the nurse and doctor thought she had thrown herself down the stairs on purpose.

Christine Taylor spent two days in jail before being released. Yes, a pregnant woman was jailed because she’d thought about abortion, and then fell down some stairs a couple of months later.

After a nearly month-long investigation, the District Attorney declined to prosecute Christine Taylor. Now, the DA didn’t come to his decision because it seemed moronic to prosecute a women for thinking; no, the decision was made because it came to light that Taylor was late in her second trimester when she fell, not early in her third as the nurse and doctor had thought.

See, it’s okay in Iowa to fall down a flight of stairs in the first two-thirds of your pregnancy, but after the last third begins, well, it’s the slammer for you. But, what for me, feels even more disgusting, is that this woman thought she was speaking confidentially and compassionately with the staff at her local hospital. How does a doctor-patient conversation get handed over to the police department?

Thought police?

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

>I Don’t Want a Civil Union-ersary

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With what might be seen as a huge win for the LGBT community getting closer every day, by ending DADT, people are still quite divided over whether or not to allow gay men and lesbians the right to marry. There are those who believe that ending DADT will lead right into marriage equality, which is why they favor keeping the discriminatory practice in place.

But others, some two-thirds of all Americans depending on where you live, now believe gay and lesbian couples should be able to have the same rights as heterosexual couples through civil unions.

Nothing infuriates me more. first off, the use of the word allow annoys me. Who are you to allow me equality; it should be a given. And then, the whole notion of civil unions pisses me off, too. It’s not the same thing no matter who tells you it is; it doesn’t allow the same rights, benefits and privileges as marriage [for proof of that see HERE] it just a little better than we have now.

And I, for one, don’t believe that if we are to be allowed civil unions it would lead to marriage equality; we would simply be told that we should be happy with the status quo, the almost-but-not-quite marriage.

Civil unions, while not the back of the bus, are not the front of the bus either. Civil unions are standing in the aisle, getting tired of being denied the same things many straight Americans take for granted every day.

Civil unions are less than.
Civil unions are separate but equal.
Civil unions are a placebo which won’t cure what ails us: lack of equality.

2 Comments

Filed under Civil Union, LGBT, LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality