Ted Kennedy is one of the giants of American political history and has been a strong voice for social justice; we'll all be much worse off if that voice is silenced. I wish him a speedy recovery:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, was hospitalized on Saturday after suffering a seizure at his Cape Cod family vacation home.
Kennedy, 76, was rushed from the family compound at Hyannisport, Massachusetts, to Cape Cod Hospital at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT), before being airlifted to Boston.
"He is undergoing a battery of tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure," his office in Washington said in a statement.
"Senator Kennedy is resting comfortably, and it is unlikely we will know anything more for the next 48 hours," it added.
The Boston Globe reported Kennedy, youngest brother of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, suffered one seizure at his Cape Cod home and a second seizure aboard the helicopter transport flight to Boston.
My featured blog for Saturday is 2008 Democratic Convention Watch, an excellent source of information for just about anything you'd want to know about the upcoming convention in Denver. This blog is where I have gotten my delegate counts from, because it uses a hard count of people who have publicly announced their endorsements so its numbers are more reliable. It's also a useful source of information about the upcoming DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting, which will determine the status of the Florida and Michigan delegations.
One thing Obama and McCain have in common is that they each have a Vice-President problem. In both cases the choice is fraught with peril. Do you go for someone who strengthens your base or extends your appeal? Do you try for balance or amplification? How do you avoid saddling yourself with one ingrate and a dozen disgruntled spurnees?
The solution is obvious. Obama should ask McCain to be his running mate. McCain should ask Obama to be his. And both should say yes.
Where do I begin? Let's put aside the fact that Obama putting a Republican, any Republican, on the ballot as his running mate would be like drawing a bullseye on his forehead for the benefit of every right-wing kook who owns a gun and thinks he's doing the lord's work. The fact is that Obama's "Vice-President problem," to the extent he has one, is picking someone who both helps advance his goal of unifying the party, and ensures that the country will be governed competently in accordance with Democratic values in the event that something happens to him. Having McCain as his running mate accomplishes neither of these goals. And it also sends mixed signals at best when at the same time you're trying to tell people that McCain wouldn't make a good president, you're also telling them that he's good enough to be president if you die before leaving office.
Far too many of our professional pundits hold the foolish and misguided notion that things would be so much better in this country if we would just eliminate all the conflict from our politics. What's wrong with our political system is not that we have acrimony in our politics, but that our media cover politics the same way that they cover everything else, with an emphasis on entertaining people with banal horseshit about flag pins and radical preachers rather than informing them with details about the candidates' track record and stance on the issues. Our politicians have always slung mud at each other, they just haven't always had a cadre of 24-hour news networks to reinforce the sleaze they're pushing by constantly repeating it, ignoring everything else unless it involves a missing white girl or a high-speed car chase.
Obama should pick someone to be his running mate who he would happily vote for as president if he weren't running himself. And so should McCain.
Unwilling to accept the fact that their candidate is going to lose and move on to the next best option on the ballot, a group of angry, bitter old white women has decided to band together and do what they can to sabotage Barack Obama's efforts to get elected president, working under the apparent assumption that it takes a village to burn down the village in order to save the village:
Just talked to a 55-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident named Cynthia Ruccia, a spokesperson and organizer for a group calling itself "Clinton Supporters Count Too." She said the group -- numbering in the hundreds, and organized in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan -- stands ready to boycott the Democratic Party if Clinton doesn't win the nomination, and will work against superdelegates who support Obama over Clinton as a means of registering their displeasure with the party.
"We have a plan to campaign against the Democratic nominee," the group said in a press release Thursday. "We have the (wo)manpower and the money to make our threat real. And there are millions of supporters who will back us up in the swing states. If you don’t listen to our voice now, you will hear from us later."
Ruccia tells ABC News that she believes "millions" of women share her group's views, though they have only begun to make contact with like-minded women. They're disgusted, she said, that Democratic Party leaders haven't more aggressively denounced sexist media comments and coverage in the campaign, and are angry at the drumbeat for Clinton to get out of the race.
"We're just at the boiling point," Ruccia said. "Women will sit back and be quiet about things for a while, but we've had enough. Unless Hillary Clinton is our nominee, we are not going to support the nominee."
Yeah, you tell 'em, sister! Nevermind that if you succeed, you'll be handing the presidency to a Republican who has promised to stack the court with anti-choice judges, and thus pretty much guaranteeing the overturning of Roe vs. Wade - because you're all probably past menopause and don't have to worry about pregnancy anymore anyway. So what if a few teenagers die here and there because they have to resort to back-alley abortions? And disregard the fact that you'll be condemning the party that has consistently stood up for women's rights to another generation in the wilderness. What really matters is that you're about to die of old age in a few years, and you want to see a woman, any woman, elected president before you snuff it. And by god, if you can't have that, you'd just as soon see the country obliterated by another right-wing idiot.
Get it through your thick fucking skulls: she lost. Deal with it. You'd like to see a woman elected president before you die? Yeah, so would I - just not this one. But more importantly, I'd also like to see someone competent and emotionally balanced elected president before I die, and this country's future means a lot more to me than fulfilling your gender-identity fixation. You're not going to pout Barack Obama off the ballot, and even if you succeeded in doing so, you'd be accomplishing nothing, because millions of African-American and young voters would be pissed off enough to stay home this November. For that matter, they'd probably be pissed off enough to reduce Denver to a smoldering pile of rubble, and your girl Hillary would be at the bottom of that pile. Either way, she wouldn't be any closer to getting elected president than she will be when the delegates from Illinois put Obama over the top on August 27. It's just not going to happen, and the best thing that you can do for yourselves as women is to accept this and support the only candidate left in the race with a track record of supporting women's rights.
A group of Texas cities and business groups has sued the Department of Homeland Security to stop the construction of a fence along the border with Mexico.
The Texas Border Coalition, which includes the mayors of Eagle Pass, Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo and Hidalgo, filed the suit in federal court in Washington on Friday, asking a judge to block construction of 70 miles of border fences and walls in the Rio Grande Valley.
The lawsuit seeks class-action certification and accuses Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Customs and Border Patrol officials of not telling landowners they had the right to negotiate the price for the federal use of their land, concealing how they decide what constitutes a reasonable price for land seized for the fence and showing favoritism to wealthy or well-connected landowners.
Concealing information to deceive people, showing favoritism to the rich - sounds like standard operating procedure for the Bush administration to me...
Yeserday Barack Obama picked up six delegates in all, including 3 Edwards pledged delegates and two superdelegates from Michigan, whose status is pending the decision of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee. Per Democratic Convention Watch, here's a look at where the race now stands:
Without Michigan and Florida: 122 delegates needed to secure nomination 428 delegates remaining (189 pledged, 230 superdelegates, 9 Edwards delegates) Barack Obama needs to take 28.5% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination
With Michigan and Florida: 229 delegates needed to secure nomination 526 delegates remaining (189 pledged, 260 superdelegates, 22 Edwards delegates, 55 uncommitted) Barack Obama needs to take 43.5% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination
Bush and Cheney have turned into the Dukes of Hazzard, just like every week, they get themselves into these crazy predicaments, "ain't no way the Duke boys are gettin' outta this one," then they jump the General Lee over the Bill of Rights, it's fucking insane!