Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gingrich's New Contract with America: Free Speech is Bad, Mmmm'k? Except for Political Corporate Donors...

Gingrich raises alarm at event honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.
The beautiful thing is that the awards banquet is, "The annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, which fetes people and organizations that stand up for freedom of speech."

Oh dear. Did someone give Newt the wrong invitation?

But Mr. Contract with America wasn't saying that freedom of speech is bad for everyone. He's very fond of free speech where political donations are concerned:
At the same time, Gingrich advocated what he called an expansion of free speech rights by allowing people to give any campaign contribution amount to any political candidate as long as the donation is reported online within 24 hours.

"Just as tax lawyers always succeed in out-thinking the (Internal Revenue Service) because they stay after five and the IRS goes home, the private-sector lawyers will always out-think the (Federal Election Commission) because they stay after five and the FEC goes home[...]"
Oh, and separation of church and state? Also bad for freedom of speech. Again, from the Union Leader:
He also said court rulings over separation of church and state have hurt citizens' ability to express themselves and their faith.
Wow. My brain hurts in trying to follow that "logic."

(Keith Olbermann's got it right, yet again.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Something Is Rotten in the County of Riverside

(crossposted to Daily Kos - ordgddss diary)

In recent months members of SoCal Grassroots traveled to Moreno Valley to work hard for the election of David Roth in the 45th Congressional District, where we hoped to oust Do-Nothing Republican and Bush-Rubber-Stamp Mary Bono. David is an inspiring and energetic man and was a perfect candidate for the Riverside/Palm Springs/Moreno Valley area.

We phoned. We precinct walked. We contacted voters of every stripe to let them know about David. Many voters were impressed by what they heard. Many Republicans, fed up with Mary Bono's disinterest in the district she was supposedly representing (the 45th CD was 57th out of 58 congressional districts in federal funds per capita, meaning only one Californian representative brought home less federal funding to the district), told the canvassers and the phone bankers that they were sick of Bono, sick of how she voted to cut benefits for soldiers and veterans, and would be voting for David Roth instead.

We were energized come Election Day, but it seemed that David was not destined to represent the 45th CD in the 110th Congress come January.


It was discovered last night that over 75,000 ballots had not yet been counted in Riverside County. Included in that staggering total? Every absentee ballot that was filed in the county.

As of this writing, this blogger is not certain that David Roth has officially conceded the race, or, if he has, whether there is something that can be done to reverse the decision, should it be determined by a recount that David is, indeed, the next representatve of the 45th Congressional District. However, I urge all readers to contact Riverside's Registrar of Voters and demand that they count all uncounted ballots:

Registrar of Voters
2724 Gateway Drive
Riverside, CA 92507

Customer Service -
ph: (951) 486-7200
fax: (951) 486-7272
tty: (951) 653-3718

Hours: 8 am - 5 pm
Mon - Fri
(No email address seems to be on the RoV website.)

In related news, Ventura County also has 71,000 votes uncounted as of yesterday. We have to remember that, in our speedy, high tech, microwave world, needing an immediate result is not always the best case scenario, especially when it comes to our democracy.

This ain't over, my friends.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now We Can Breathe

The results of yesterday's elections are enough to make this blogger weep and dance for joy. Rumsfield's resignation just makes it that much sweeter.

It wasn't a perfect election, by any means. The Governator is still in office. Propositions 87 and 89 - the two propositions I really wanted to pass - were left in the dust. We may not know about the outcome of Virginia's Senate race for several months. Far too many "marriage acts" were voted into law yesterday, thereby ensuring second class citizenship for men and women whose choice in partners doesn't jibe with the socially backwards.

But the Dems took the House. The Senate is only one seat shy of turning Blue. California's next Secretary of State is the amazing Debra Bowen. Dirty, rotten Pombo is out and will be replaced by McNerney, a man who actually cares about the environment and knows a thing or two about alternative energy. And South Dakota's horrendous abortion ban law was rejected.

The hard work comes next. The newly Blue House has got to realize that they didn't so much win as the Repiblicans lost resoundingly. They need to draft workable policies that will bring the US back from the brink of terminal illness and set it back on the path to health. And these policies need to be implemented as much as is humanly possible, considering that Bush is still in office. If not, then we'll lose across the board in 2008.

Still, let's enjoy today. We've all worked hard for it. One day of free breathing is not too much to ask before we jump back into the fray.

After all, the 2008 Presidential Election Season is just starting.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today is Midterm Election Day!

It's imperative that the Democrats regain control of the House and Senate. For only two reasons amongst the hundreds:

(Thanks to Ray in New Orleans for the second video.)

Polls close at 8PM. To find your polling place, go to the California Democratic Party website. Help take back America from the destructive hands of the current incarnation of the Republican party - vote today!