dodd nancy_pelosi

We’re hearing a lot these days about the Republican Party.  We hear/read about where they’re were.  We hear a lot about where they’re supposedly going. Then we hear a lot about where they should be going, which is different depending on your exact political views.  It’s all exciting debate, and one that is necessary to ensure that the party is successful in the future.

What we don’t hear a lot about these days is the fortunes of the Democratic Party.  The assumption seems to be that there needs to be no discussion of this party’s future because they’re currently in power.  Yet, the actions of those inside the party, especially of those in positions of power, could have reverberations that affect the electoral success of the party come next year.  The only thing that is possibly more important than actions themselves is the response to those actions.

So far, the response to some of the scandals by party members has been pretty awful, and it could harm the Democrats in 2010.

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The following is an entry I hadn’t yet cross-posted from Poligazette.  It was originally posted January 11th.

Season seven of 24 begins tonight, so I thought it was an appropriate time to discuss it.

For years it has been slammed by anti-torture activists as a show that could only be produced during the Bush years, for its alleged promotion of torture.  There can be little doubt that the show does often portray tortures as a means to an end, and its morality is rarely questioned.  Jack Bauer is always right, after all, and few argue with his methods for long.

However, the portrayal of torture is just one element of the show.  Each season also typically has an underlying political struggle going on with those who are in power and those who want to be in power.  Now, with the torture element, surely this is a show that portrays Republicans as the heroes, strong and protecting the country first, and the Democrats as weak and betraying the country.

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

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The New York Daily News is reported that federal appeals court has dropped the $550,000 fine against CBS for the “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl.

The court found that the FCC fine for the “broadcast of a nine-sixteenths of one second glimpse of a bare female breast” deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining broadcast indecency only when it was extremely “pervasive.”

Basically, the FCC made up a new rule after the incident and used it against CBS.  The court said they couldn’t go around making up new rules and then fining people without telling them about the rule first.

I think the ruling is fair, as it never made sense to me.  CBS couldn’t possibly have known about this.  MTV did maybe, but CBS was simply the broadcaster.

It was paternalism at its best.

Last Thursday, McCain campaign economic advisor Phil Gramm received a lot of flak for saying the following:

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline,” said the former Texas senator. “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.”

Later, Gramm clarified his comments by saying he was referring to the leaders, not the people.  Yet, I think his true meaning was that of the people.  Certainly, leaders can be whiners, but what about the people?

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A couple days ago, I wrote about an amendment to the PEPFAR bill that would remove the HIV travel restrictions for visitors and immigrants to the U.S.  Not everyone is having it:

Purpose: To continue classifying HIV as a communicable disease of public health significance that renders an alien inadmissible to the United States.

The amendment comes from Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Have you no shame, Senator?  HIV is NOT communicable.  It takes (in most cases) an active effort on another person to get it.  It’s certainly no cough or chicken pox.  And I think you know that.

You can take your homophobia and shove it.

As I noted a few articles ago, I’ve kinda been ignoring John McCain in favor of covering the end of the Democratic primaries.  But, with those over, and things somewhat quiet elsewhere, the time seems ripe to go back to him.

John McCain, who I’ve always respected and liked a lot more than some other Republican candidates, is frankly starting to disappoint me.  He’s been increasingly shedding his maverick image, at least on the issues of the Iraq war and detainee treatment.

The John McCain of old bucked the Bush administration on detainee treatment.  But, apparently not John McCain, Republican nominee.  He has this thing wrapped up, and he is pandering to the far right on these issues.  Of course, it’s not entirely surprising.  He was one of the cheerleaders of the Military Commissions Act.  He also has to look tough on terrorism toward the base.

Yet, I’d argue that he can still look tough without pandering to the far right.  He can still call for negotiations on our own tough terms (with which I’d agree), and even a presence in Iraq until the Iraqis can effectively take control of military operations themselves (which they are starting to do very well) without compromising his positions on detainee treatment.

I think it looks bad to Independents and conservative Democrats when a candidate who seemed to enshrine human rights for our detainees is seemingly backtracking on this by the day.  The same guy who says our military shouldn’t torture is willing to reserve this right for organizations like the CIA, which I think sends mixed messages to voters.

In short, John McCain needs to decide where he stands on these issues.  It’s important to his electoral future.  I’d argue for a return to his maverick positions.  It may anger some of the base and the far right, but McCain needs the widespread support if he wishes to win in November.

More to come on all the nominees, including John McCain.

Rest in peace, Tim Russert.  I didn’t see a whole lot of his reporting, but he seemed a pretty good journalist to me.  That, and getting accused of bias from both sides of the aisle means you must be doing something right!

So sad to die so young, though. 🙁

For the first time, cross-posted from my LiveJournal account, because the site was originally down for server transfer, and I really wanted to get this out.  WARNING: Spoilers for the last episode of Battlestar Galactica.  If you haven’t seen it and you plan to see it, you might not want to read this.

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Well, I quite literally just got back from shooting a PSA in my college’s town.  The PSA is about talking to your 8-14 year olds about not drinking underage.

In the PSA, I got to play the patient (who sadly dies).  Most unluckily for me, the guy playing the doctor actually works at the hospital in real life, so now my chest hurts because of all the times he had to do chest compressions.  Thankfully they weren’t real chest compressions, or I might be hurting even more.  In real chest compression, the sternum or ribs are usually broken due to the force.  So, I can’t complain, and if it makes for a good PSA, all the better.  The stakes are about $2000, so I’m happy to take some pain for that chance.

We started around midnight, and got done a little after 5am in the morning.  We had to do it then because the hospital is busy at other times.

Now we just need to start editing, and find out if the party scene we planned is needed, so that the stage can be set.  Alternatively, we might decide that the hospital scenes are enough.  However, we shall see.

Now I’m off to bed!