Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bush doesn't let reality intrude in his little world

BushCo just released a statement about the CHIP bill, with all sorts of outright lies. He's the most pathetic excuse for a president that I can imagine. I sure hope America smartens up and picks a president who will be president of everyone, not just those who think he is God's mouthpiece. Take a look at the rhetoric vs. reality, from the Democratic Caucus's Senate Journal:
The Administration Incorrectly Asserts the Senate Bill Would Provide Coverage for Families Earning $83,000 or More.
RHETORIC: The Senate bill changes the focus of the Children’s Health Insurance Program “from those who cannot afford coverage to include families with incomes of up to $83,000 per year or even more.”
REALITY: The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a federal-state partnership where states make the determination as to eligibility levels. Under the Senate bill, any state that makes new plans to offer coverage for children in families above 300 percent of the Federal poverty level will receive lower matching funds for that coverage.

The Administration Incorrectly Describes the Program as Being Underfunded After the Authorization Expires.
RHETORIC: The bi-partisan Senate bill sets the Children’s Health Insurance Program on an “unsustainable course by expanding and then drastically underfunding the program in the future by at least $60 billion.”

REALITY: The Senate bill is fiscally responsible, following Democratic-established ‘Paygo’ rules. The bill provides health insurance coverage for an additional 3.2 million low-income children by implementing a modest increase in the excise tax on tobacco products. In addition to an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting an increase in tobacco taxes to pay for children’s health care, higher tobacco taxes will result fewer smokers, particularly among teens. To be clear, this bill seeks to reauthorize the program for five years. Before the program expires in 2012, the Congress and a new administration will work to provide funding for this program.

The Administration Falsely Claims the Senate Bill Would Federalize Health Care in America.
RHETORIC: “The bill is inconsistent with the principal of choice for American consumers and instead goes too far in federalizing health care.”

REALITY: The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a public-private partnership that focuses on providing low-income children with health care coverage. The Senate measure in fact encourages public and private solutions to cover children.

The Administration Wrongly Asserts The Senate Bill Would Reverse the Course of Moving Adults Out of CHIP.
RHETORIC: “The Administration is also concerned that S. 1893 will delay the Administration’s efforts to transition adults out of SCHIP and into Medicaid.”

REALITY: The bi-partisan Senate measure curbs adult coverage in three key ways. First, the bill prohibits new waivers for parents and preserves the bar on new waivers for childless adults. Second, the bill calls on states covering childless adults to transition them out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program within two years. Third, federal funding for coverage of low-income parents in states with existing waivers will be reduced after a three to four year period.

The Administration Wrongly Describes the Bill’s Coverage of Pregnant Women.
RHETORIC: “The Administration strongly objects to provisions in [The Senate Bill] that wrongly weakens the current option available to States to cover unborn children and their mothers.”

REALITY: States will have an additional option to cover pregnant women as a state option as well as maintaining the options to cover them through regulation.

Casualty of War

Parents Mourn Son's Suicide After Returning From Iraq Duty: "He's a Casualty of War But He'll Never Be Known As That"
During the Democratic National Convention in Boston, the parents of Jeffrey Lucey, a U.S. soldier who killed himself after returning home from military duty in Iraq, spoke publicly for the first time on Democracy Now!

Lucey signed up for the Marine Reserves straight out of high school. In February 2003, one month before the invasion, he was shipped out to Iraq. He was deployed there for five months, during which he fought in the battle of Nasiriyah. He returned to the U.S. later that year.

A few months after his return, Jeffrey's parents, Kevin and Joyce, began noticing signs of what they later came to know as post-traumatic stress syndrome. In late May 2004, they had Jeffrey involuntarily committed to a military veteran's hospital after he ignored his parents' and sister, Debbie's pleas to seek help. The hospital discharged him after a few days.

Three weeks later on June 22nd, Jeffrey Lucey took his own life. He was 23 years old. His father, Kevin came home to find his son had hung himself with a hose in the cellar of their house. The dog tags of two Iraqi prisoners he said he was forced to shoot unarmed, lay on his bed.

Shortly after his death, Kevin and Joyce Lucey joined us on the program to talk about their son. After the broadcast, we continued our conversation with them.

Continue reading the transcript of the conversation at DemocracyNow.
(h/t Janel)

The Bethlehem Christmas Project

I received this information in an email, and this looks like a very good political and social cause, and seems to have a good reputation online when looking it up. So, here's the information about The Bethlehem Christmas Project:

Thank you for taking the time and allowing me to introduce The Bethlehem Christmas Project to you. Our project may be simple but it has the potential of making a significant impact. We have partnered with Musalaha (a non-profit organization promoting reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians) to bring together former Israeli soldiers and Palestinians to deliver Christmas gifts to children in Bethlehem . We are bringing with us a delegation from the United States to interact with the Palestinians and Israelis and work side-by-side with them as they deliver Christmas gifts.

Our goal is to bring some modicum of joy to Palestinian children, build bridges of understanding between Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, and last but not least, educate Americans on the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as perceived by everyday Israelis and Palestinians.

We have momentum behind us and are asking for your help to build upon it. We have a $10,000 matching gift promised to us, and I recently appeared on South Florida’s NPR station to discuss the Middle East , Israel/Palestine and our project with a member of the State Department. In addition, we have a Palestinian-Israeli documentary director who has committed to film our effort this year in order to reach the media upon our return. Following the text of this letter is information about our board and web links for you to better familiarize yourselves with us.

What we are asking for are the following: 1) Your help in directing individuals interested in visiting Bethlehem with us this December as members of our delegation. 2) Giving us the opportunity to speak with your about the project and the need to engage the Middle East in peacemaking. 3) Any fundraising assistance you can offer.

I look forward to speaking with you soon. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

The Bethlehem Christmas Project

Board Members:
Ali Elhajj
Ali has visited the West Bank on a fact-finding mission and has met with B’Tslem and Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. His focus is on educating the American public and building bridges of understanding.

Chuck Wenger, Chairman, The Wenger Group
Chuck has served as a member of Billy Graham’s management team and has been chairman of the Chuck Wenger Group for over 25 years.

Dr. Gerald Wright , Professor of Cross-Cultural Studies, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Gerald has taught at the seminary level for 20 years. He has lived in Lebanon and in various parts of the Middle East.

Rod Reding, REL Productions
Rod has produced corporate videos for Fortune 500 companies and is an expert in marketing, media, and branding.


Bethlehem Christmas Project Website

Musalaha Website

Ali Elhajj, NPR interview blog entry and audio

Monday, July 30, 2007

Time to start reading those HIPPA Privacy Practices Notices

When I see a doctor, and I'm given a copy of their Privacy Practices, I think I'll start reading them.

Cedars Sinai Hospital says they'll give out your personal information "to protect the president."
(h/t Cory Doctrow)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Make The Call and Follow Directions and No One Gets Hurt

Dial this number, recorded message: 1-800-395-9646. Creepy.

Then click HERE

Then, read the message.

Look at the picture - clicky

Then, click on that tiny little sparkling box.

(h/t JM Bell)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

There are no words

I hope to God this isn't correct.

Obama Timeline

Barack Obama's web site released a bunch of great new content today. This was my favorite:

Start your own timeline at OurStory.com

Check out the images and other things that are also available.

These are not the droids you're looking for

Last night, I had the rare opportunity to sit down and watch television, instead of cleaning, playing referee between children, working or whatever other emergency comes up, so I chose Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann.

Keith showed a clip where Tony Snow said (regarding Congressional investigations into the White House):
But make no mistake, based on legal precedent this is something that the drafters of this particular referral know has very little chance of going anywhere. And so the question is, why are they doing this rather than the people's business?

Excuse me? Is he seriously trying to say that the White House breaking the law is not the people's business? I half expected him to wave his hand, saying "these are not the droids you're looking for."

I recently posted about Orange Day and the grassroots efforts to begin impeachment proceedings against Cheney. I'm still 100% behind the idea of impeachment, for both Darth Cheney and King George. However, the Cindy Sheehan movement, backed by Democrats.com (not to be confused with Democrats.org), has really disappointed me. I like that they went to John Conyers' office, but I disliked the things that they have said since that time. John Conyers is not one of the bad guys, and he obviously wants impeachment as badly as I do. I respect him for showing patience, and making sure that impeachment isn't doomed to failure if he begins the proceedings.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Orange Day (Impeach Cheney) July 23 [Updated]

I'll be wearing orange, as well as flying an orange ribbon from my Jeep antenna, on July 23, to show solidarity with those committing acts of civil disobedience across the nation by sitting in their Representative's office reciting either the Constitution or names of soldiers who have given their lives in the Iraq War.

From Democrats.com:
In Washington, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Ann Wright, Debra Sweet, Dave Lindorff, David Swanson, Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Kevin Zeese, Tina Richards, and others will march from Arlington National Cemetery to the office of Congressman John Conyers. They will sit in Conyers' office reciting the U.S. Constitution until they are either arrested or he agrees to start impeachment. See http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/sit for time and location.

From a Democrats.com email:
The Orange Revolution Begins July 23

On July 23, 2002, the head of British intelligence reported that Bush and Cheney were intent on invading Iraq and planned to "fix the intelligence and facts around the policy". Five years later a million people have died in Iraq as a direct result of these lies with no end in sight. Torture has been institutionalized, habeas corpus eviscerated, and illegal spying made routine. New Orleans lies devastated along with the Constitution and the rule of law. And Bush and Cheney are making a mockery of the Democrats' feeble gestures towards accountability.

Enough is enough, and this July 23rd we will launch a new phase in the movement for peace and justice. We call it the Orange Revolution because starting that day wearing orange will signify that you want Congress to START IMPEACHMENT and STOP THE WAR. The majority of Americans, who want to see Bush and Cheney impeached and want an immediate end to this war, are made effectively invisible by a complicit media. Wearing orange will be our signal to each other, and to the world, about where we stand. Anything orange will do: a t-shirt, a wristband, your shoelaces. Get creative and send us your ideas. Here are a some great items you can wear designed specifically for the Orange Revolution:

The Orange Revolution will be launched with acts of civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere to show Congress that we are serious.

I just got to the articles for this next part. Yeah, I'm that far behind on my RSS feeds.

WaPo tells us:
Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

On a 7-3 ruling, House Democrats moved rapidly Thursday afternoon to rule that the White House had asserted executive privilege in a manner that was 'not legally valid.'

It's going to be one hell of a fight, but the Democrats better damn well get this done. The time has come.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Google Hiding Information For Bush?

Cliff Lyon, at One Utah, posted a new blog (Are We Under Martial Law NOW?) that has my attention. In fact, I decided to do some research on the information that he presents, because if he's right, I'm damn scared of our government right now, and you should be, too. Hopefully, I'll have my research posted soon, but for now, I want to point out something else I discovered.

Google has an Advanced Search feature that will allow you to search for pages that link to another page. So, if I wanted to find out if anyone has linked to a blog I have posted, I can put my link in that search box, and it will show me any pages they've found that link to it.

As an example of how this works, you can enter http://utahbloghive.org/, and you'll be taken here, to all the pages that link to Utah Bloghive.

So, I thought I'd check to see who else might have done analysis on Bush's Executive Order. I put the URL into Google's advanced search, and it came up empty. I had tried this a couple of days ago, and it came up empty on that one, too. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I grabbed an old link from an Executive Order in May, so there would have been plenty of time for Google to find pages that link to it. That, too, came up empty.

I've always admired Google, but this is rather bothersome to me. Why can't they tell me who else might be linking to the page? Is it their policy, is there some type of law, did Bush just ask them not to?

If anyone has any further information on the reasons behind this, please let me know.

Miscellaneous Commentary for the Day

KSL has yet another "bottled water" story for us. This one is titled "Bottled Water Policy Leads to Controversy with Some Firefighters", but in reading the story, I don't see where the controversy is. I'm left to guess that KSL is imagining it, because it was a slow news day.

Matt Groenig clarified a few things in his interview on The Daily Show. I hope you'll watch the video, but here are the two things he said that really turned the light bulb on for me:
We actually think that keeping Bart 10 is really good. Because we think that his teen years are going to be ... not so good. We think that he will be tried as an adult.

We love biting the hand that feeds us. We love attacking Fox. Yes. It's really good. But let me clarify. There are many suction cups on tentacles of the News Corp octopus. we're a little suction cup at The Simpsons. But we've gotten in trouble for attacking Fox News, for instance. We had an espisode in which we had Fox News and we had the little news crawl, and that was one of our favorite moments. "Albert Einstien + Brad Pitt = Dick Cheney". That was one of them. "Rupert Murdoch, terrific dancer". We have been forbidden to do that again, because the Fox viewer might confuse our cartoon with actual news.

That's all, folks.

Just to be silly

I love the LOLCats websites, so I had to take this.

If you don't know LOLCats, prepare to be amused:

Meme Cats (my favorite)
I can has cheezburger?

So, I took a test to find out which LOL Cat I was, and this was the result:

Your Score: Longcat

70% Affectionate, 27% Excitable, 31% Hungry

Protector of truth.

Slayer of darkness.


Longcat may seem like just a regular lengthy cat, but he is, in fact, looong. For proof, observe the longpic.

It is prophesized that Longcat and his archnemesis Tacgnol will battle for supremacy on Caturday. The outcome will change the face of the world, and indeed the very fabric of lolcatdom, forever.

Be grateful that the test has chosen you, and only you, to have this title.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

In Terms a Child Could Understand

Maybe if we could get all of the Republicans to watch this cartoon, they'd finally understand what's going on.

(h/t Cliff Lyon over at One Utah)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Filibuster

I have very mixed feelings about last night's happenings in the US Senate. Harry Reid had planned to force the Republicans to carry out an old-fashioned filibuster, rather than the more common way of declaring a filibuster and then the other side giving in, without going through the process of one.

Here is what Wikipedia says a filibuster is:
As a form of obstructionism in a legislature or other decision making body, a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage. The term first came into use in the United States Senate, where Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless a supermajority group of 60% of senators brings debate to a close by invoking cloture.
Under Senate rules, debate generally need not be relevant to the topic under discussion, and there have been cases in which a Senator has undertaken part of a speech by reading from a telephone directory. Strom Thurmond (D/R-SC) set a record in 1957 by filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes, although the bill ultimately passed. Thurmond broke the previous record of 22 hours and 26 minutes set by Wayne Morse (I-OR) in 1953 protesting the Tidelands Oil legislation.

Preparations for a filibuster can be very elaborate. Sometimes cots are brought into the hallways or cloakrooms for senators to sleep on. According to Newsweek, "They used to call it 'taking to the diaper,' a phrase that referred to the preparation undertaken by a prudent senator before an extended filibuster. Strom Thurmond visited a steam room before his filibuster in order to dehydrate himself so he could drink without urinating. An aide stood by in the cloakroom with a pail in case of emergency."
In current practice, Senate Rule 22 permits procedural filibusters, in which actual continuous floor speeches are not required, although the Senate Majority Leader may require an actual traditional filibuster if he or she so chooses. This threat of a filibuster can be just as powerful as an actual filibuster.

That last paragraph covers the method used as of late. However, Harry Reid did require the traditional filibuster, and that's where the Senate Slumber Party came in last night.

The subject at hand was whether to vote on the Reed-Levin Amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Bill, known as the Iraq Redeployment Bill. The Republicans did not want to be forced to vote for or against it, and so instead, they filibustered, so that they wouldn't be put in that position.

Last night, cloture was not reached, and this morning, I watched as Reid voted against cloture on the bill, so that he could move to reconsider it next week.

Four Republicans voted for invoking cloture on the bill. They were Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Hagel (NE), and Gordon Smith (OR).

On one hand, I'm glad we have leaders in the Senate that have enough balls to force this issue, at long last. But, I think they should have done more. Reid could have kept this going, if he had chosen to. Then again, I think he's been around long enough that he probably has more up his sleeve than we know about.

Interestingly, the White House released the new National Intelligence Estimate yesterday, just as the debate began. The White House also announced that they'd captured a major al Qaida leader. Of course, the fact that they captured him 2 weeks ago has been largely ignored. I don't believe the timing of these two issues was a coincidence. But, I do think it will continue to be ignored, much like the rest the smoke Bush blows.

It doesn't have to be this way, though. I wish everyone would speak out, by sending email to our Senators through Democrats.org, calling or writing them, and/or initiating the conversation with people around you.
Senator Robert Bennett
Phone: 202-224-5444

Senator Orrin Hatch
Phone: 202-224-5251

Senate Democrats give us the results of yesterday's 24 Hours of Debate on Iraq: By The Numbers:
In the 24 hours that the Senate debated the Levin-Reed Amendment, thousands of Americans across the country made their voices heard in support of a new direction in Iraq. In that time, millions of dollars more were spent, and even more lives were lost in Iraq. In the Senate, as Democrats pushed for a new direction in Iraq the Grand Obstruction Party continued their tactics to block the will of the American people.

Support accross the country for changing course in Iraq:
59,603 - Faxes and counting sent to Senators in support of Levin-Reed Amendment

10 – Iraq Veterans who spent the day lobbying Senators for a change of course in Iraq.

155 - Events held around the country hosted by Americans Against Escalation, Moveon.org, and the “Iraq Summer Campaign” in support of changing course in Iraq. [Americans Against Escalation in Iraq Memo, 7/18/07]

450 – People who attended a Call to Action by Candlelight in Upper Senate Park.

21 – Democratic Senators who attended a Call to Action by Candlelight in Upper Senate Park.

57 – Democratic House members who attended Call to Action by Candlelight in Upper Senate Park.

33 – Democratic Senators who spoke on the floor in favor of a change of course in Iraq. [Senate Floor Proceedings, 7/17/07, 7/18/07]

2 – New Senators to vote for a change of course in Iraq. [Senate Vote 252, HR 1585, 7/18/07]

Costs of war in Iraq continue to rise:
3 - U.S. soldiers reported killed in Iraq on July 17. [icasualties.org]

168 - Iraqis reported killed on July 17. [IraqSlogger.com, 7/17/07]

86 – Iraqis reported wounded on July 17. [www.IraqSlogger.com, 7/17/07]

$322 Million – Amount of taxpayer dollars spent in Iraq on July 17. [CRS, 6/28/07]

Grand Obstruction Party blocks efforts to change course in Iraq:
8 – Number of times Republicans obstructed giving the Levin-Reed amendment a majority vote. [Senate Floor Proceedings, 7/17/07, 7/18/07]

7 – Number of Republican Senators who have recently spoken out against escalation and for redeployment, but who voted against changing course in Iraq. Senate Vote 252, HR 1585, 7/18/07]

I find it really odd that there are so many Senators who are unwilling to show where they stand by voting on the issue. What are they so afraid of? Yes, the answer is obvious, but then again, do we really want our legislators to be that dishonest with us, that they refuse to take a real stand on what they believe?

Ah, well. I'm done with my rant. One last thing I want to say - if you appreciated what Harry Reid did yesterday and today, here's a good way to say "thanks" (or send him an email).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pajama Party at the Senate

Crooks and Liars has a whole lot of information about What You Can Do Today To Make Your Voice Heard On The Filibuster, including a timeline of events planned in DC this evening. Rumor has it that Madame Speaker herself will be leading the Candle Lite Call to Action.

MoveOn.org tells me that there are at least 2 counter-filibuster events planned near Salt Lake, including this one:
Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007, 5:00 PM
Senator's office bldg, 125 S. State
125 S. State
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Directions: The local offices of Senators Hatch & Bennett are at 125 S. State, Salt Lake City
Description We need to take letters, petitions, go to, the offices of Senator Hatch & Bennett, asking them not to filibuster the bill to wind down the war.

If my kids were in better moods, I'd bring them down with me to that event, but I don't think they'd be pleasant about it, so I'm going to skip this one. I'll be with everyone else across the nation in my thoughts, though. And maybe I'll even get to catch parts of it on tv.

Utah for Obama at the State Convention

Saturday morning, at least 10 of us (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!) ran a Utah for Obama booth at the Utah State Convention. As all of our events have been, this one was a blast. We got a few special treats this time, though!

Janet Lee made this incredible banner:
I'm truly amazed at her talent!

This photo was taken for us by a passer-by:
Mark Rothacher (Co-Chair of Utah for Obama), Gail Turpin (Voter Registration Coordinator), Me, Janet Lee, Nikki Norton, Rafe Langston (Left to right, top to bottom)

We had t-shirts available for a $25 donation to Obama for America, one of which Nikki is wearing here:
Janet Lee and Nikki Norton

Our booth was right next to the Young Democrats booth. They had a Guitar Hero setup going, and it looked like a lot of people had fun with that. Goodies that other booths had, that just had to come home with me, were: a Democratic Women's Caucus LED fan (for Maria, who was wonderful and volunteered to watch my munchkins and take them to the zoo), a couple of light-up flag pins (from the guy with the huge red-white-and-blue Cat-in-the-Hat style hat), and an Obama pin from the "pin guy".

Gail Turpin went to the Women's Caucus, and I never did really get details about how that went. It seems that the whole day was a flurry of activity, between people stopping to either argue that Barack is for the war (huh, what planet are you from?!) or wanting to see how they could help us. We sold quite a few t-shirts, which made me quite happy. I think I'm going to have to carry some with me, though. But, I'll get to that story in a bit.

Nikki went to the store and got some post boards, and we each made signs. I wish I had photos of Janet Lee's - she's one of the most talented people I've had the chance to meet! We had our own little cheering section for Obama during the main caucus.

Bill Richardson didn't end up speaking, because he had to go out to California for some other fundraiser or rally. I wish I could have heard him at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, though. I really respect a lot of what he's accomplished, and I'd love to hear him speak.

Chris Dodd did show up, though. Turns out his wife is from Utah, and she has a huge family. Since I didn't know much (or anything, really) about Dodd personally, it was very interesting to hear his wife's introduction of him. I have to admit, I haven't watched Dodd closely, because I don't have any prior knowledge (like I did of Richardson's accomplishments in Darfur, for example). I do have a bit more respect for him than I did previously, though. I still don't think he's got a snowball's chance in hell of winning the primary, but then again I do think of Utah as hell at times, and it does freeze over regularly. I will say this - should the unexpected somehow happen, and he won the primary, I wouldn't feel the least bit bad about casting a vote for him in the General Election. The one thing that he said that bothered me a bit was something to the effect of mandatory service. I got the idea that he was talking about volunteer programs, rather than military service, but I still think that would be a bad, bad thing. Maybe having incentives for volunteering would be good, but mandatory would be wrong. At one point, I went outside and Dodd was standing out front, so I shook his hand and thanked him for coming to Utah. I fully believe that the more Democrats pay attention to Utah, the more that the popular vote will lean toward Democrats, which can only make our state better, especially given the current Imperial Presidential administration.

After Dodd spoke, Mike Moffo, the Nevada HQ Field Director, took his turn. He showed a video by Barack that was quite impressive, and I think (in general) sent exactly the message it should have. Mike spoke for a bit, and I wish I had a transcript. Our cheering section made quite a bit of noise, and many in the audience participated with us. Prior to the caucus, we handed out most of the remaining signs that we had, but I don't think anyone but our group used them. I had been hoping they would.

Oh, on a side note - I had noticed that Dodd had quite a cheering section, but it turns out that most of them were related through marriage. But, that's still impressive, considering the stories Chris and his wife, Jackie, told about them being die-hard Republicans.

I was surprised that Edwards and Clinton didn't have anyone speak, or if they did, I must have missed it. I went to check on the booth before it was over, and there were a lot of people coming by, so I stayed out by the booth.

One last picture:
Myself, Theo Cowan (Secretary) and Paul Sticca (Treasurer)

I spoke with Christian Burridge, chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party, about what I need to do to get a fill-in delegate spot, and he mentioned needing some kind of coordinator to help with events. He suggested I speak with Angela Romero, Secretary of the SL County Dems, to get more information. I'll be doing that in the next few days.

Something that was very interesting to me (and this ties into the t-shirts thing I mentioned above), is that in the past when I've worn an Obama t-shirt, no one has really said anything to me. But, Saturday I had at least 5 people stop me to ask about Barack, including one lady at the gas station that went out of her way to drive over and ask where I got the shirt. I think I should carry some, so that people can buy them. Regardless, that tells me that people are definitely taking notice.

Go Obama!!!!

And thanks very much to Saturday's volunteers:
Theo Cowan, Janet Lee, Mark Rothacher, Rafe Langston, Nikki Norton (especially for making the run to the store for more supplies!), Janet Hurley (she still came, even with her sprained ankle!) Gail Turpin, Duchess Schuman and Paul Sticca

More than meets the eye

My boyfriend and I took the kids to see Transformers last Sunday. Since the boys are 7 and 9, I wasn't going to let them see it before I did. But, some other friends saw it, and said they thought both of them would be fine with it.

I've got to say - that movie ROCKED! Especially Bumblebee. The story was good, the special effects were good, pretty much everything about it was good. I can't wait to see it again (very soon!). The only issue I had was the blurry camera during some of the action scenes. I'm hoping that by sitting farther back, that won't be as bad, but it really is blurry.

I'm debating on getting the toys for my children, but they sure look fun!

On the way home, Preston (my 7-year old) has this conversation with us:
Preston: I just don't get it, Mom.
Us: Well, see there are good robots and bad robots from another planet...
Preston: No, I mean the DNA. Why did they need DNA?
Us: Ummm, see DNA is what you're made up of, all of your cells, they're kind of like Legos, and they all have DNA which is kind of like a book that tells the cell what it should do. So, that's what DNA is.
Preston (getting irritated): Ugh. I know, Mom. I know what DNA is, but what did it have to do with anything in the movie?

I need to remember I have smart kids.

Anyway, I have no regrets letting them see the movie. They've see Star Wars and every Harry Potter (well, we haven't made it to the newest one, yet), so I didn't think there was anything in Transformers that they shouldn't have seen. The violence wasn't gory, nor was it anything remotely close to something they would experience in real-life, and even though the scorpion was scary, it wasn't all that creepy. I'm sure not all kids would handle the movie well, but I'm glad I got to see this with them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Put Bush in a tent in Congo

This is just too funny not to post. The Daily Background is reporting that McCain's campaign must be even more cash-strapped than reported earlier this week. McCain's Florida Co-Chair was arrested after offering an undercover policeman oral sex for $20 in a public restroom. The story gets better, offering many opportunities for puns, but I'll leave those to your own imagination.

On another note, and not at all funny like US Politics are, the BBC has this sad story:
Human rights activists have criticised the organisers of a music festival in the Republic of Congo for housing pygmy musicians in a tent at a zoo.

Other artists at the Festival of Pan-African Music (Fespam) are staying in hotels in the capital, Brazzaville.

The organisers say the grounds of Brazzaville zoo are closer to the pygmies' natural habitat.

It seems so foreign to me that anyone could think this was ok! Granted, I do want to impeach Bush and Cheney, and sent them off to Guantanamo, but that's a different story. Whose brilliant idea was it to put a tent up in the zoo and tell these people they belonged there? It doesn't seem that it could even be an act of stupidity, to me. It was either done out of meanness, or bigotry. Either way is inexcusable. And the story goes downhill from there:
Roger Bouka Owoko from the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights said the pygmies were having to collect firewood in the zoo to cook their food, and were being stared at and filmed by tourists and passers-by.

On a better note, JM Bell has 100 reasons why Kirk is better than Picard. I'm not saying I agree with all of them, but #59, 55, 22, 18 and 3 are pretty good.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Utah State Democratic Convention

This Saturday will be the Utah State Democratic Convention. Utah for Obama will have a booth there. We have t-shirts (and hopefully the bumper stickers will get here before then!) to sell. They were purchased from the campaign, so all proceeds benefit Obama '08. I'm excited to see how the various caucus meetings go. I won't likely attend any of them, but we plan to have members at as many as possible.

Last year was the first time I'd attended one. I went as a volunteer with Pete Ashdown's booth. I really had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a great day, though. Timmy met Jenica there. Well, they actually met at the Cinco de Mayo parade, but this was really when they hit it off, and started dating. We had a lot of excited people come by the booth, hopeful that maybe Pete really could oust Orrin. That didn't happen, but I have no doubt it will next time.

Anyway, I'm excited at the number of volunteers that have signed up, and I think Saturday will be a great day for us. I look forward to some very interesting conversations.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What a Sad Day in History

Yesterday will always be one of the saddest days in history, in my opinion. George W. Bush commuted the sentence I. "Scooter" Lewis Libby, saying that he thought the sentence was too harsh.

Too harsh? Really, 2 years in prison for (covering up for those) having outed an undercover CIA officer, putting her and her family's lives at risk, and other CIA officers lives at risk, and harming the security of our country was too harsh. Everyone who had a part in this crime is a traitor to the United States. And 2 years is too harsh? Is that perhaps because Bush himself was a party to the crime?

What about the truly excessive sentence that Weldon Angelos recieved? If Bush will display public "compassion" for anyone, why not for the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who have lost their lives because of the occupation of their country? Or the thousands more who probably will?

How can the people of our country sit by and watch Bush give a "Get out of jail free" card to those in his administration, and ignore the fact that his Vice President seems to have invented a "4th branch of government", which puts him above the law? Why are we not "in the streets banging pots and pans"? Why are we not rioting and taking our country back from George W Bush? I really, truly do not get it.

I feel like the only thing I can personally do right now is support Barack Obama's candidacy for president. I only worry that it will be too late before he or another person takes office. Even if it's not too late in general for the revival of the great country we should be, it will be too late for our fallen soldiers, for the heartbreak of their families, for America to prove that we are a country run by the people, and for yesterday to not be a day that goes down in history as a giant mistake. And we have 18 more months for Bush to continue to try to beat his own records at making mistakes. Perhaps, instead of praying for rain, we should direct our prayers to the future of our country.

I can only hope that our country is turned around enough that, in 20 years, I can tell my children about the mistakes that Bush made, and how they impacted us all. So that when they cast their votes for president, maybe they'll have more foresight than most of the country did in 2004.

Update: BBC News is reporting:
On Tuesday Mr Bush declined to rule out a complete pardon for Libby at a later time.

"As to the future I rule nothing in and nothing out," he told journalists in Washington.