Archive for June, 2009

The Seven Month Minnesota Nightmare is Over

This afternoon it became official. In one of the longest and most drawn out contest in American political history ex-Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) has ceded his challenge to ex-SNL star and comic turned Democratic Senate Candidate Al Franken, following a legal tangle.

The state Supreme Court had ruled unanimously today, in favor of Franken, following legal challenges since Franken’s narrow victory in November. The court stated Franken was entitled to have his election certified and to be officially seated, a process that requires the signature of Governor and 2012 prospective Republican Presidential contender Tim Pawlenty (R-MN). This now officially gives U.S Senate Democrats what is officially a filibuster proof majority if all Senators vote the party line.


Republican Norm Coleman has conceded to Democrat Al Franken in the Minnesota Senate race, ending one of the longest Senate races in American history and clearing the way for Democrats to hold a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate.

Coleman’s concession, given from the front of his St. Paul home, came just a few hours after the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously ruled Franken the winner of last November’s Senate race. In a unanimous 5-0 decision, the court upheld a three-judge panel’s April 14 ruling that Franken defeated Coleman in the race by 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast. The 32-page opinion was remarkably decisive, picking apart and rejecting one Coleman legal claim after another.

In its final line of the ruling, the state Supreme Court said Franken is “entitled” under Minnesota law to “receive the certificate election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota.”

“The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result,” Coleman said. “It’s time for Minnesota to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States Senator – Al Franken



Common Sense Prevails

Oregon becomes the latest state of six this year to dismiss the ridiculous hysteria surrounding industrialized hemp and pass legislation allowing people to grow it.

Raw Story:

Oregon’s House of Representatives voted Monday night to legalize the cultivation of hemp, becoming the sixth state to do so just this year.

Oregon’s Senate voted 27 to 2 in favor of the new law last week. Monday’s 46 to 11 House vote means that the measure will become law, barring an unlikely veto by Governor Ted Kulongoski.

The move is part of a rapidly growing nationwide trend to liberalize laws relating to marijuana. Hemp is a botanical cousin of marijuana, traditionally used to make clothing, rope and other durable fiber goods.

Meanwhile on the federal level, HR 1866 sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA,4) as well as Republican maverick and former 2008 Republican Primary Contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX, 14) would seek to do the same at the Federal level.


Is Michael Jackson really dead

Following the ultimate departure of Elvis Presley thirty two years ago, conspiracy theories that he is still alive and faked his own death, as well as a steady stream of Elvis sightings.

Now following the death of his ex-son-in-law Michael Jackson, the question may start to be asked Is Michael Jackson actually still alive? One site has what it thinks is the answer.


Of "Hitler: and "Treason". Shut Up Already!

Found a cogent little bit on Andrew Sullivan that has been on my mind for awhile of this little spat in writing between John Cole and Nobel Prize winning Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

I mention this not because I simply want a new post to occupy space but because this has been my reaction for quite sometime. Two things that make my eyes roll in an almost reflexive reaction is the ease with which people are willing to hurl Hitler comparisons and labels of “treason” that divurge from the true meaning of treason. Enough already on all fronts. Whether it be the Glenn Beck comparisons to America becoming a bastion of Hitler-like Nazism (if you think we are in the early stages of Hitler’s Germany why don’t you just ask the survivors Glenn? After all I am sure Universal Healthcare was a warm-0up to the Holocaust), Ann Coulter’s haranges, those who compared Bush to Hitler, or Krugman who has recently accused those House members who voted against the “Cap and Trade” or clean energy bill who don’t believe in global climate change of “treason of the planet”.

Here is Krugman in his New York Times column on the dissenters in the Cap and Trade House Vote:

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Now here John Cole at Ballon (H/T: Andrew Sullivan)

There needs to be some form of one of the corollaries to Godwin’s Law that applies to the word treason, in that anyone who accuses someone of treason for non-treasonous behavior automatically loses the argument. Yes, the climate change deniers are, in my opinion, wrong, and yes, they are making all sorts of ridiculous arguments, but after the last eight years, can everyone just knock it off with the accusations of treason? It is just a loaded term and does no good, and I assure you that even though Krugman is arguing for “treason against the planet” (whatever the hell that means), this will be used to justify future right-wing claims of treason because Dick Durbin mentioned Pol Pot and the US Army in the same hour, or some other nonsense like that.

Christ. Just stop it.

There are a sliver of lawmakers who don’t believe in climate change (one need look no further then Oklahoma’s Senior U.S Senator). Is it stupid? Yes. Against the majority of the scientific community? Yes. But treason? No. Enough with the comparisons to these two words that are loaded and used with such ease that they do a disservice to cases of actual treason. Through this hyperbolical language and grand standing, these figures may be invigorating thier listeners and readers, but they are reducing the horrors of horrific events like Nazi Germany and a crime of the highest severity to political rallying cries; and the accusers deminish thier own credibility in the process.


Dick Cheney Expresses Anxieties about Possible Waste of Sacrifices

Today is the date for the bulk of U.S forces to cede control of security operations to Iraqi forces. But Think reports former Vice President Dick Cheney says he is worried that the U.S might end up “wasting” the ample time, energy, money, and lives that we have injected into Iraq.

“But what he says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks.

“I hope Iraqis can deal with it. At some point they have to stand on their own. But I would not want to see the U.S. waste all the tremendous sacrifice that has gotten us to this point.“

Just because at some point the security situation there might crumble, is not a logical or desirable reason to remain occupying that nation and managing its affairs in perpetuity. Ultimately Iraq is the country not of the United States or the neoconservatives who view this as a hybrid of both a revolutionary movement and an academic exercise, but of the Iraqis who are natives of that very young country.

But U.S Generals and commanders on the ground are expressing greater optimism as the deadline approaches.

Concerning the point about the possibility that we will “waste all the tremendous sacrifice that us gotten us to this point”, it is a bit late for that anxiety to arise. Six years and 4,316 U.S Casualties later, with thousands of others wounded and mangled by warfare, countless Iraqi casualties, U.S global credibility shaken, and a reservoir of wealth and energy spent, the Vice President nor anyone else can articulate a tangible gain for the U.S that comports with the facts that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, no Iraq connections to 9/11, and no tangible Iraq-Al-Queda links; as the security situation still remains volatile and the U.S backed government remains one of the most corrupt governments on the planet.

Much has already been wasted and much has been lost. But it wasn’t done by the people of the U.S nor our gallant fighting forces, but by the Vice President and his small circle in and allied with the Bush/Cheney administration.

Besides, though U.S and allied forces are set to pull back from the city a large amount of troops will remain in the country as “advisers” if the Iraqis are in need of aid. And there are some reports that some U.S forces may remain stationed in the cities even after the deadline.

Update: (4:27PM/ET)- The fact that the Iraqis are having celebrations regarding tomorrows’ anticipated change of mission of the U.S to a more advisory role suggests that unlike with Dick Cheney, the Iraqi people and the American people alike are relieved to cede control of Iraqi people to the country men and women who live on them and own them. Lets just hope that with this new “advisory” role we don’t get sucked back into to fighting the Iraqi people’s battles for them. Its time to have Iraq for the Iraqis.


The Fourth Celebrity Dead in Less Then a Week

First it was Ed MacMahon, then Farrah Fawcett, then the biggest one of them all Michael Jackson. Now television infomercial pitchman Billy Mays is said to be dead.

New York Daily News:

Spirited TV pitchman Billy Mays was found dead at his Tampa home earlier this morning, police said.

Mays, 50, lent his trademark booming voice to infomercials for products like OxiClean and Orange Glo.

His wife, Deborah Mays, found him at their home Sunday morning, the Associated Press reported. Tampa police said there were no signs of a break in or foul play.

An autopsy will be done by Monday afternoon to determine the cause of death.


This Date in History – The Stone Wall Riots

This date in 1969, the Stone Wall Riots occurred.