Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
February 2004 Archives

February 29, 2004

Gay Marriage; It’s A Case of Due Process and Equality Before The Law

The debate for and against Gay marriage in America is undeniably in full swing. From coast to coast, cities and towns are marrying gay and lesbian couple at a brisk rate in deviance of state laws prohibiting such practices. And just last week the city of San Francisco upped the ante considerably when it threw down the preverbal gauntlet and sued the state of California over its laws which prohibit same-sex marriages, stating that they violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clause’s of the California state Constitution, and are thereby discriminatory.

» Continue reading "Gay Marriage; It’s A Case of Due Process and Equality Before The Law"

February 27, 2004

More important issues

It strikes me as odd that Kerry's comments on gay marriage are not headlines today. He points out (accurately, I think) that the Bush administration is trying to use this issue to distract people from real issues, like the 43 million Americans without health care. This strikes me as an incredibly serious accusation and yet the media seems to have no interest in covering it. I also think it was a huge mistake on Bush's part to do this now. Even if it's a win issue for the GOP, it's way to early in the cycle to be able to capitalize on it. Though I suppose Newsom and the MA courts forced the issue.

Moderately related: Seems the photographers who own the photos that were doctored to discredit Kerry are a little miffed. Of course, the culprits see no problem with stealing and misusing someone else's property for their own purpose.

Posted by rev_matt_y at 9:38 AM

February 26, 2004

Making Unborn Children Matter

Today the House of Representatives passed a bill treating unborn children as a second victim in murders of pregnant wome. This is an amazingly important measure not only because it punishes those who attack pregnant women, but because it establishes the principle in our law that unborn children actually matter.

» Continue reading "Making Unborn Children Matter"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 10:53 PM

Free Speech Under Attack

The recent rash of abuses by the FCC is getting worrisome, and citizens concerned about their first amendment rights need to stand up. Just last week, the FCC forced a radio DJ off of the air with a record fine, and now the threat of more such fines from the FCC has caused several Clear Channel Radio Stations to pull Howard Stern off of the air in some markets for some racially and sexually “insensitive” comments. And lets not forget the “outrage” and the amount of money the FCC is wasting on breast-gate (aka Justin and Janet’s desperate cry for attention).

» Continue reading "Free Speech Under Attack"

Sounds Like a Good Plan

Greenspan urges cuts to future Social Security, Medicare benefits

"Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan weighed in Wednesday on the contentious debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare by suggesting that Congress scale back future benefits, saying America can't afford the programs."

Sounds like a good plan to me. Let's scale back the future benefits and allow the younger workers who would be affected invest a portion of their SS taxes in private accounts. I've always said I'd be willing to give up any benefits I've already earned if I was allowed to put future payments into a private account.

Posted by JasonTromm at 11:14 AM

February 25, 2004

Hyper-surreal Future Marriages

"Hello everyone and welcome to the marriage planning class. My name is Saul, your government appointed counselor, here to teach you about the process of getting married."

"I want to get everyone up to speed on the new requirements that you will have meet if you'd like to get married and stay married, it may sound difficult and tedious, but please understand that this is for your own good. After all, I'm from the government, and I can attest to knowing what's good for you." [laughter from group]

» Continue reading "Hyper-surreal Future Marriages"

Posted by SoL at 8:27 PM

February 24, 2004

Bush Calls for Marriage Amendment

It's official, the same government who used to be content snooping in your bank account, local library, and fishing out your wallet every April 15th, would like to extend it's powers into your underpants. President Bush now approves and is pushing for a federal ban on same-sex marriages.

Update: Woops, looks like Anthony (Democrats Column, look left) and I caught the story at the same time, so instead of having two threads going, please use the comments on his article: Pres. Bush calls for constitutional amendment against gay marriage. Thanks.

(comments closed on this post)

» Continue reading "Bush Calls for Marriage Amendment"

Posted by SoL at 11:30 AM

A Change Whose Time Has Come

When I was a kid, I would always talk to everyone that would listen about politics. My fellow students would sometimes ask me, “I bet you want to be president some day, right?” Even at that young age I knew a little something about the Constitution, and I would explain to them that I could not be president because I was not born in this country (nor was I in the United States at the adoption of the Constitution). Recently we even had a candidate post on WatchBlog that he wanted to run for president, and I had to politely tell him that he could not serve as president under our constitutional rules.

» Continue reading "A Change Whose Time Has Come"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 12:13 AM

February 23, 2004

Nader running

Nader runs as independent. Is this really a surprise? He's been making noise more and more and in interviews has expressed his anger at those who tell him not to run. He spins it as people trying to infringe his constitutional rights (Free Speech, Assembly). I think this is disingenuous at best. Private individuals asking him to not run hardly qualifies as violation of his constitutional rights. Those asking him not to run (of whom I am one) are excercising their right to free speech in opining that it would be in the best interests of the country that he not run.

» Continue reading "Nader running"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 10:01 AM

February 18, 2004

Repeal Incumbent Protection Act

Bill Would Reduce Anti-Free Speech Effects of Campaign Finance Law

Campaign reform legislation that prohibits organizations other than political action committees from mentioning candidates in advertising before primaries and elections has stifled pro-life groups. That's why pro-life Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has introduced a bill that would restore the First Amendment Rights of the excluded organizations.

It's not just Pro-Life groups that had their free-speech rights taken away, groups like the NRA and CAGW are also affected by the "Incumbent Protection Act." (That's what the "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002" should really be called.)

» Continue reading "Repeal Incumbent Protection Act"

Posted by JasonTromm at 3:38 PM

February 16, 2004

Woman Denies Rumors of Kerry Affair

This news item just went out across the wire: Alex Polier denies rumors of affair with Kerry. Polier, the woman that everyone was talking about (yet no one was talking about), issued the following statement to the Associated Press in Nairobi: "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

The tabloid Sun Newspaper, who was the first to point at Alex Polier, claims there's an interview that was done months ago that was killed and should resurface soon.

» Continue reading "Woman Denies Rumors of Kerry Affair"

Posted by SoL at 1:13 PM

February 15, 2004

It Was a Breast – Get Over it Already!

Okay, now that we have all had a good laugh, or cry at Janet Jackson’s expense can we please get back to concerning ourselves with the state of our Union and of the world. You would think that the one minute exposure of a woman’s pasty clothed breast could bring ruination to the nation and forever devastate the minds of our child who most likely suckled at a breast for the first 18-24 months of their lives.

» Continue reading "It Was a Breast – Get Over it Already!"

February 14, 2004

The Libertarian Principle- Social Security and the Drug War

Among the mainstream of American politics, there are two seemingly unrelated government policies which are especially destructive, coercive, and paternalistic. Social security and the war on drugs. Interestingly, the strongest defenders of each of these policies often diverge in their political ideology- there are few programs as important to the left as social security, and there are few measures that social conservatives are more committed to than the war on drugs. Both of these two positions are wrong, and they are wrong for the same reason. Yet neither party has taken a strong stand against either social security or the war on drugs, largely because these two programs are based upon the same paternalistic rationale, and neither party can offer a complete critique of one without seeing the flaws in their defense of the other.

» Continue reading "The Libertarian Principle- Social Security and the Drug War"

Rumor Machinations: Who gains from it?

It appears that the John Kerry affair story is growing legs, albeit slowly, after a giant explosion on the blogosphere thanks to the alert from Drudge. I'm not one to gloat over scooping this news from the man who broke the Lewinski story, instead I'll say thanks to everyone who linked to the original. However, Jonah Goldberg from National Review Online must have noticed an interesting link at the bottom of the site: "© 2003 - Cameron Barrett". He then either clicked that link or knew Cam was an Internet star and knew that he had been working for the Clark campaign. He seemed to conjecture that Cam was vetting through WatchBlog on behalf of Clark in order to defame Kerry. Armed with this, and the juicy Drudge quote from Clark: "Kerry will implode over an intern issue", a conspiracy was born.

» Continue reading "Rumor Machinations: Who gains from it?"

Posted by SoL at 12:53 AM

February 13, 2004

Good dirty tricks

Not all dirty tricks are bad. Among politicians, those who have the most to hide or whose opponents have the least would like you to believe they are.. But sometimes, 'dirty tricks' will tell you more about a candidate than you would ever find out otherwise. And sometimes, the scandals that seem least relevant to governing (for example, John Kerry's rumored adultery) are more important than those that seem relevant.

» Continue reading "Good dirty tricks"

Posted by Rob B. at 4:44 PM

Read between the lines

New York – February 13, 2004. The first primaries/caucuses are a thing of the past, along with the once promising Clark candidature. From media "prince charming " in the first weeks of 2004, Dean became a goofy toad that nobody wants to kiss anymore. Kerry got the publicity he needed after his first victories, and nobody could have expected that so much coverage on "being a winner" - coverage that usually tends to turn sour easily - would bring even more support. Some standouts of these last weeks where not surprising at all. Reading between the lines, the media not only reported each advance as a horse race, but also made its own bets.

» Continue reading "Read between the lines"

February 12, 2004

Dirty Politics

The White House is of the opinion that people who want to know more about Bush's Air National Guard service are playing dirty politics. The word hypocritical doesn't begin to describe this. Karl Rove invented modern dirty politics, and built his career on his expertise in teaching just that. Remember the push pulls in South Carolina in 2000 that ended McCain's campaign?

Apparently the White House believes that it's OK to engage in dirty politics as long as you're telling people lies about your opponent. If you're telling the truth then it's unfair and should be outlawed. It's perfectly OK for the GOP to paint Max Cleland, a multiple amputee war hero, as a coward and unpatriotic but it's not OK to question the apparent lack of service of Bush.

This will be my first year ever voting for a Democrat for President.

Posted by rev_matt_y at 2:19 PM

Drudge picks up on Kerry/Intern affair

Matt Drudge is blowing up over this, it is plastered all over his front page and though it only has one link, it looks like he finally got the tipoff that this will be running in the newpapers (probably tomorrow) and the online editions should pick up on it later today.

Gee, they're only a week behind WatchBlog.

» Continue reading "Drudge picks up on Kerry/Intern affair"

Posted by SoL at 12:17 PM

Civil Debate and Conspiracy Theories

The consensus is that George W. Bush has become a uniquely divisive president. Recently, there has been a Time article making this point, and many pundits on TV have made that same observation. Yet I believe that it is not Bush that has caused this divisiveness, but that the culprit is the acrimonious, emotion-laden, and conspiracy-driven tenor of contemporary American political debate.

My moment of epiphany came when I went to my local bookstore and looked over at the contemporary politics section. I saw two kinds of books- those who claim that George W. Bush and his immoral, cowboy, corporate driven leadership has caused all of America’s problems; and the same number of books blaming Bill Clinton for compromising our national security and committing several acts of treason along the way. At this moment I took a step back and made a realization I should have made a long time ago- I had been fooled and so have many of you.

» Continue reading "Civil Debate and Conspiracy Theories"

February 11, 2004

Green Party Candidate Introduction

Kent P. Mesplay, Ph.D.
Green Party Presidential Candidate, 2004

Mesplay Campaign Goals Long Term Goals Biography

Mesplay Campaign Goals:
Achieve the nomination of my party as the presidential candidate.
Obtain admission to the presidential debates in the Fall.
Press for: Instant Run-Off Voting (I.R.V.), Health Care Reform, Equitable payment for the Iraq War (by petroleum companies), Bring the troops home, Recognition of Global Climate Change as a serious problem, Promote National Energy Independence based upon Renewable Energy, Regional security (energy, food, water, transportation), and Indigenous Rights

» Continue reading "Green Party Candidate Introduction"

February 10, 2004

Dean Won't Admit Defeat

Howard Dean (D) now says he won't give up if he is defeated in Wisconsin. Crickets could be heard chirping though, as what was once a gangbuster campaign that roiled Internet blogs, is now sliding further into the abyss of has-been status after losing all 12 primaries or caucuses to date. Humorists would point to a political (and metaphorical) kiss of death, or perhaps a passing of the torch, from Al Gore, which has transmogrified Dean into the candidate who just won't quit, no matter how low his numbers get or the "Yeaaaargh" jokes circulate.

At this rate, Dean is well on his way to becoming the most talked about candidate (and most derided), even after the race is won by someone else. Someone tell this man it's over.

Posted by SoL at 1:00 PM

February 7, 2004

If we only knew then what we know now.

Life in the United States with the Bush Administration at the helm has been strange to say the least. As I look back on the past three years and all that has gone on I find myself looking for that one phrase or theme that could define these times. One thought that keeps recurring over and over again is the simple phrase, “If we only knew then what we know now”. Actually I could expand that phrase to read, “If we only knew then what the Bush team knew then and we are only finding out now”. It is a concept that has played itself out over and over again to disastrous results for the United States and the world. Just take a moment to think about it.

» Continue reading "If we only knew then what we know now."

Posted by William Flynn at 4:20 PM

February 6, 2004

How Many Americas?

Class warfare is a tool Democrats often use in a fool-hardy attempt to recapture what they believe is a modern-day new deal coalition, in which all those who aren’t rich will rise up and vote for the left. The clearest example of this use of class warfare is John Edward’s divisive and ridiculous notion that we live in “two Americas”. One for the privileged and one for the rest of the people.

I would like to ask Edwards and those who echo this message this question: Which of these “Two Americas” does the average American today live in? Keep in mind that the average American lives almost twice as long as those in America a hundred years ago, and lives better, by all objective measures, than kings (!!!) did throughout most of history (in terms of nutrition, medicine, average life span). For more facts of this sort, check out “The Progress Paradox” by Gregg Easterbrook: you can check out some exerpts from the book here. Even the poor in America live well in objective terms compared to most of the world and most of history. That doesn’t mean there cant or shouldn’t be improvement, but the truth is that almost all Americans live incredibly well by the standards of history and by the standards of life around the globe.

» Continue reading "How Many Americas?"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 10:39 PM

Rumor: A Kerry Affair & Push Polling

Rumor has it that John Kerry (D) is going to be outed by Time Magazine next week for having an affair with a 20 year old woman who remains unknown. The affair supposedly took place intermittently right up to Kerry's Fall 2002 announcement of candidacy. At present, this is nothing more than a rumor; and after such sordid tactics as the "push polling" that took place in South Carolina in the 2000 elections, can such rumors be credible during campaign cycles? Could this create a Democratic backlash against Republicans for perceived scandalmongering?

» Continue reading "Rumor: A Kerry Affair & Push Polling"

Posted by SoL at 1:00 PM

February 5, 2004

Barking up the wrong tree

Howard Dean's descent did not begin with his semi-tantrum after the Iowa caucus. Personally, I still don't understand what was so awful about his rant, but that's off point for now. It was certainly the bottom. But it was not the beginning of his downfall, as it seems the media wants us to believe. Why did the candidate most identified with the fervently anti-war left finish a disappointing third in Iowa? Why is he now essentially dead in the water in race for the presidency?

» Continue reading "Barking up the wrong tree"

Posted by Rob B. at 9:20 PM

The Politics of Appearance

Recently there was an outcry that John Kerry used Botox to improve his looks for his presidential run. Faced with this momentous accusation, one which would leave Rene Zellweger staggered, Kerry strongly denied the allegations. Reminiscent of Clinton, he could have defiantly declared: “I did not inject”. Whatever the truth about this silly rumor, what is really being “covered-up” here is the hypocrisy of presidential politics. Why is John Kerry in the commanding lead of the democratic nomination process today? Sure his war record is impressive, but the major reason is that he looks presidential (and why is John Edwards in second place…) Lets not fool ourselves, an ugly person will not be elected president- people want a leader who projects the persona they imagine as a leader. That is why he got Botox.. or did he? Does it matter?

» Continue reading "The Politics of Appearance"