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Okay, this video (which originally aired on the east coast broadcast of SNL in 1998 but was edited out of the west coast broadcast a couple hours later) has already been pulled from YouTube, probably because it was embedded over at Disinformation, but it’s still up at Google videos. Watch it quick before NBC makes them take it down for “copyright violations” (and not at all because it is critical of NBC).

jane doe


Well, this is certainly a huge shock. In the current economic climate, largely the result of an almost complete lack of regulatory oversight of the financial markets and a host of poor policy decisions during his disastrous tenure in the White House, former alleged president George W. Bush is having trouble raising the nut for his $300,000,000 presidential library, to be housed at Southern Methodist University (much to the chagrin of the professors in the history and political science departments at that institution).

First of all, what could possibly justify $300 million for a library in honor of an alleged adult whose favorite book – indeed quite possibly the only book he ever read – was The Pet Goat?

Second, in the present economic climate, where is he going to find donors with that kind of cash lying around for such a purpose?

Think about it. Usually, in such instances, there is some sort of wall of donors in a prominent location in the structure, to stroke the egos of wealthy supporters. But even if you initially supported GWB, would you want to have your name memorialized in bronze in connection with what many historians have already labeled the worst president ever?

According to a recent story at Politico.com, George and Laura are hosting a series of dinner parties among their super-rich buddies, trying to drum up support. But, gee, they’re just having a hard time raising the necessary cash.

Doesn’t your heart just bleed for the man?

No?

Mine either.

I’m going to sign off with a video from a new group called Funk Vigilante. This song sums up my thoughts¬† about Bush’s presidency quite nicely…

jane doe


Ordinarily, I focus on national politics in this blog.

There’s a good reason for that. See, I am currently living in Colorado Springs. Mecca for evangelical Christians and right-wing hotbed. Looking at local politics is just too damn depressing.

So for the most part, I ignore it, and focus on the national issues.

Every now and then, though, something from local politics intrudes on my consciousness, and I feel like I have to say something.

This is one of those times.

Our local embarassment of a state senator, Dave Schultheis, cast the only vote against a measure that would provide for HIV testing of pregnant women. The idea behind the bill is that it would allow doctors to take appropriate steps to prevent an infected mother from passing the virus on to her child during delivery (which is when infection of the child usually occurs).

Now, there may be good privacy-related reasons to argue against mandatory testing in other circumstances, though I think the health and safety of the child should trump privacy concerns, since knowledge of the mother’s infection status can allow doctors to take steps to prevent transmission of the disease to the child.

But Schultheis wasn’t making a privacy-based argument.

He was making an “AIDS is punishment from god for immoral behavior, and if the child gets the disease the mother will feel guilty” argument. In his own words:

What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior. (Quote courtesy of the dead-tree edition of the Colorado Springs Independent.)

Nothing like condemning a child to life with an incurable and ultimately fatal disease in order to teach his or her parents (who are already similarly condemned) a lesson.

Forget the fact that many women with HIV were infected with the virus as a result of their husbands’ cheating. We have to PUNISH these women and make them feel GUILTY for their husbands’ behavior.

How utterly appalling.

The good news is, Schultheis was the only state senator to vote against the bill. It passed. Pregnant women and their doctors will have the information necessary to prevent HIV transmission to newborns, in spite of Schultheis’ moralistic myopia.

If you’d like to let Schultheis know what you think of his position, you can e-mail him at senatorschultheis@gmail.com

jane doe


…for Republicans to use to apologize to Republican Party de facto leader Rush Limbaugh if the dare to say something that offends him. Apologize to Rush today!

jd


I was going to write a blog post about how the Obama administration appears to be adopting the prior administration’s positions with respect to the illegal warrantless wiretapping conducted by the Bush White House, but Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com beat me to it, and as usual does a better and more thorough job of it than I would.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too shocked. Much to my disappointment, Obama did vote for the FISA “extension” last year that expanded the government’s wiretapping ability and exhonerated the telecommunications companies that violated existing law with respect to wiretapping following 9/11. So why should it surprise me that he wants to hang on to at least some of that power that Bush seized for the executive branch?

But it does upset me. I expect better from Obama than we got from Bush. Perhaps that’s naive. Differences (and there are many) aside, Obama is a politician, just like Bush. Why would he want to give up power?

The Al-Haramain case may well be, as Greenwald says, “the only remaining case against the¬†Government with any real chance of resulting in a judicial ruling on the legality of Bush’s NSA warrantless eavesdropping program.” From the perspective of all who care about constitutional rights, that is reason enough to want it to move forward.

So why is the Obama administration trying to shut it down?

jane doe


So apparently, the Justice Department has just released nine Bush 43 era White House legal memoranda detailing the rationale/justification for various violations of our civil rights. Yay for that transparency thing, guys! This is how our government is supposed to work.

The Huffington Post has an article about it here, and you can find copies of the actual memoranda here. I’m off to read them now, myself, and may comment on them later…

jane doe


Over at Huffington Post, John Cusack has a very nice blog post, told almost entirely in video clips, about the need for war crimes trials against Bush administration officials who participated in decisions to torture prisoners. Check it out.

jane doe

Note: title changed because the blog post cited is not so much something to read as it is something to watch and think about…

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