The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, September 23, 2011

Clown fest 3

Republican presidential candidates held their third debate last night.  I watched.

For those who missed it, here is the debate in 100 seconds.

Remember how President Obama was criticized for not holding his hand over his heart during the National Anthem? This picture was taken during last week's debate.

Can we assume that Rick Perry is un-American?  Is his patriotism questionable?

And Joe My God points out what we've heard from the three debates.

CHEERS for the death penalty.
CHEERS for letting people die without insurance.
BOOS for active duty gay soldiers.
I cannot believe that Republicans would boo an active duty soldier who is putting his life on the line every day for our nation. Of course, last week I couldn't believe they cheered for letting an uninsured 30 year old man in a coma (hypothetical) die, or that they would cheer because Texas murders a lot of it's citizens.

Seriously, though, while the president is out promoting his jobs plan around the country, his foes are not offering any solutions to the problems the country faces. All they can do is bash the administration. And they can't even be honest while doing it.

Some statements from last night's debate; there are more from this source.

BACHMANN: "President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern time."

THE FACTS: That's true, if you leave out Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. All of them at some point in their terms dipped lower than Obama's low point of 38 percent job approval, according to Gallup's comparison.

ROMNEY: "I don't support any particular program that he's describing," he said, disputing Perry's claim that Romney favors some of President Barack Obama's education initiatives, specifically the Race to the Top program.

THE FACTS: Romney was reluctant to tell Republican primary voters he doesn't hate every Obama policy. Romney does indeed support some of the specific policy changes encouraged by the Race to the Top program and said as much earlier in the week. Speaking in Miami on Wednesday, he praised the president's education secretary, Arne Duncan, for the program. And during the debate, Romney acknowledged supporting elements of the initiative, including teacher evaluations and charter schools.

BACHMANN: "I didn't make that claim nor did I make that statement," she said when asked by a moderator if she stood by her comment that the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer was "potentially dangerous."

THE FACTS: Bachmann can't escape the tape. Bachmann used that exact phrase during the last debate when she criticized Perry for trying to order pre-teen girls to get the vaccine in Texas. "Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan. They don't get a do-over," Bachmann said then. Bachmann has tried to distance herself from remarks she made after the debate linking the vaccine to mental retardation — a claim debunked by scientists. She said then and now she was relaying the story of another mother whose daughter had the shot.

PERRY: It's not the first time that Mitt has been wrong on some issues before. And the bottom line is, we never said that we were going to move this (Social Security) back to the states."

ROMNEY: "Well, it's different than what the governor put in his book just, what, six months (ago), and what you said in your interviews following the book. So I don't know. There's a Rick Perry out there (who) ... says that the federal government shouldn't be in the pension business, that it's unconstitutional. Unconstitutional and it should be returned to the states."

THE FACTS: In his book Perry heavily criticized Social Security, advocated states' rights and suggested federal entitlements were unconstitutional in general, but he never tied these beliefs together as succinctly as Romney claimed.
Even so, he danced close to branding Social Security as unconstitutional. He called Social Security the best example of a program that tosses "aside any respect for our founding principles of federalism." He also lamented: "If only the New Dealers had been kind enough to allow workers to make their own choice about whether to participate." And he said the program was introduced "at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government."

Republicans will have to choose one of these clowns as their candidate (or someone who has not entered the race yet). But American's will have the final choice, and surely we will not be fooled.  We must re-elect President Obama.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


No, gays are not the barbarians, as Michele Bachman's husband infamously said.

State governments that continue to execute citizens are barbaric.The individuals that sanctioned these executions, and that did nothing to prevent them from happening (i.e. SCOTUS, governors, boards of pardon) are barbarians.

This is 2011. We live in an educated and supposedly civilized society, yet today, in the Birmingham News, are at least 4 stories that reflect our culture of government killing its own citizens.

The most heart wrenching story is the execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia, who by most accounts is not guilty of the crime for which he was killed, and by all accounts had reasonable doubt established as to his guilt.

In this country, in which a vocal segment of the population claims to be "pro-life," isn't it odd that many of those same people are "pro-death."  And isn't it even odder, that so many of those same people claim to be Christians, yet their book of inspiration speaks of forgiveness and loving your enemies and commands us not to kill and not to seek retribution.

Last night  in Texas white supremacist Lawrence Russell was killed for the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American who, along with Matthew Shepard are recognized in the name of the Matthew Shepard James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act which strengthened the existing law and added LGBT protections. Governor Rick Perry, who gloats over his states record on killings to wild cheering from supporters, is probably dancing today.

In Alabama Derrick Mason is scheduled to die at 6:00 pm today. Mason apologized to his victim's family years ago and gave his life to God. The state (or an employee of the state) will insert a needle into his vein, and inject a liquid into his body that will kill him. How can a person do that?  Are they any better than the person they are killing? Even if it is rigged so they don't actually push the plunger, or know who starts the process, whatever they do to try to absolve their role in killing another human, it fails.

Also in Alabama the lawyer for a man charged in Shelby county of killing 5 people is asking for the trial to be moved. This is a death penalty case, and the prosecutor will ask the jury and judge to let the state kill him.

It may be hard to imagine how one might feel if a loved one was murdered. But that doesn't matter. We need to take the emotion out of the picture, and step back. Look at the process. The state does not like a citizen, or what he did, so the state kills him. That is sick. Again, this is 2011, and we live in a society that claims to be civilized. It's hard to make that claim, however, today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rally for Alabama's Future: Photo Essay

These photos were taken at the Rally for Alabama's Future: Repeal HB56. They are self explanatory.

Leviticus 19:33-34 - When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.