Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GOP Former Senator Slashes Bush On Gay Marriage, War, Abortion

Sad that none of what I read here surprised me in any way. It just reaffirmed everything I believed had been going on since Dubya took office.

by The Associated Press

Posted: March 25, 2008 - 5:00 pm ET

(Providence, Rhode Island) Former Rhode Island Senator. Lincoln Chafee often seemed to be odd man out in Washington.

He was one of the Senate's most liberal Republicans, bucking his party on big issues such as Iraq, tax cuts, abortion and the environment. His reserved, sometimes quirky personality was never a smooth fit in the clubby Senate, where friendships can mean more than political ties in making things happen.

In his new political memoir, Chafee revels in his outsider status as he chronicles his disillusionment with the bitter partisanship that dominated his seven years in the Senate. He wields a broad brush, heaping blame on Republicans and Democrats alike for putting party loyalty and ambition ahead of the public good.

Chafee points plenty of fingers, but President George W. Bush, whom Chafee backed in 2000, earns his harshest scorn.

He brands Bush as two-faced for solemnly promising during the campaign to be a ``uniter, not a divider,'' but later pursuing a hard-line GOP agenda using wedge issues like abortion and gay rights. Chafee complains about Bush's ``juvenile streak.'' And he rails at Bush's pretending to search for weapons of mass destruction behind the White House furniture during a skit at a black-tie Washington dinner.

``It was obscene for him to joke about a falsehood that American troops had gone to their graves believing,'' Chafee writes.

As U.S. casualties in Iraq mounted in fall 2003, Chafee says he even considered a primary challenge against Bush but quickly scrapped the idea after Saddam Hussein's capture boosted the president's political stock.

Chafee bemoans the GOP's rightward drift and the disappearance of moderate Republicans such as himself. Chafee's independence was a matter of political survival in a Democratic-leaning state.

Chafee's hopes for a second full term were dashed in 2006 by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in the Democratic wave that swept control of Congress from the GOP. Chafee in 2004 voted for Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, as a symbolic protest against the younger Bush. Last year he became an independent.

Readers may detect a bit of pettiness, too. Chafee does not bother to refer to his 2006 GOP primary opponent Steve Laffey by name.

He recalls being ``irked and amused'' at the parade of ``Democratic Bush enablers'' who campaigned in Rhode Island for Whitehouse, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

``I was the only candidate in the race with a record of standing up to entrenched powers,'' writes Chafee, the lone GOP senator to vote against authorizing the Iraq war.

The seeds of bitterness with Bush were sown early on.

Chafee recalls Vice-President Dick Cheney outlining a ``shockingly divisive'' agenda during a meeting with a handful of moderate GOP senators shortly after Bush won the presidency in 2000.

``Cheney was not asking for support _ he was ordering us to provide it,'' writes Chafee, who somehow seems surprised at such hardball tactics by Cheney, a man infamous for his take-no-prisoners brand of politicking. Chafee, too, seems stunned that none of his GOP colleagues put up much of a fight.

Chafee reminded Cheney that the votes of their small group of moderates would matter in a closely divided Senate.

``I chose my words carefully, and probably stammered with the effort to contain my fury,'' he writes.

Cheney, ever the conservative warrior, brushed Chafee aside.

Six years later, Rhode Island voters did roughly the same thing, ending the political balancing act that was Chafee's Senate career.

Sometimes You Just Want to Tear Your Hair Out!

Reading ridiculous stories such as this:

by Newscenter Staff

Posted: March 25, 2008 - 10:30 am ET

(Atlanta, Georgia) The Georgia Court of Appeals has overturned a criminal contempt charge against a woman who was sentenced to 10-days in jail for not handing her daughter over to foster care after she lost custody solely because she’s a lesbian.

The little girl, now aged seven, was eventually returned to Elizabeth Hadaway but the contempt sentence had not been rescinded, although it had been stayed to allow Hadaway to appeal.

The appeals court ruled a year and a day after the lower court judge passed the sentence.

"Just yesterday I was watching Emma hunt for Easter eggs and thinking how the possibility of going to jail and being separated from her again made it hard to just enjoy the moment,” said Elizabeth Hadaway, a 29-year-old paramedic who first took in the little girl when the child’s biological mother asked her to raise and adopt the little girl named Emma.

"I’m just so grateful that the court has lifted this burden so we can move on and I can keep focused on making sure Emma has a happy home and a good life."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented her in the appeal and secured the little girl’s return home from foster care last May, applauded the appeals court decision.

"We’re pleased that the court has agreed with us that Elizabeth Hadaway shouldn’t do jail time simply for doing the right thing for her child, but it’s unfortunate that it’s taken almost two years of court proceedings to end up with things where Elizabeth, Emma, and Emma’s biological mom wanted them to be in the first place," said Debbie Seagraves, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia.

"None of this would have ever happened if the trial court had recognized this child’s needs and not been swayed by misguided beliefs about gay people," said Ken Choe , a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.

"No child should fear being torn away from home just because his or her parents happen to be gay."

Hadaway was granted legal custody in 2006 and under Hadaway's care, the child began making great strides in her schoolwork, self-confidence, and emotional well-being.

In January, 2007, Wilkinson County Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott appeared to be on the verge of granting Hadaway's request to permanently adopt Emma when he noticed in a home study report that Hadaway was living at the time with her same-sex partner of seven years.

At that point Parrott abruptly denied the adoption, ordering that Emma be sent back to her biological mother.

Hadaway complied and met with the biological mother at a truck stop to hand over the girl.

After accepting custody, the biological mother saw how distraught Emma was at being taken from Hadaway and again insisted that Hadaway should raise the girl, according to court papers.

Hadaway, who had ended her relationship with her partner, then moved with Emma to Bibb County, where she applied in a Bibb County court for custody with the biological mother's full consent.

Shortly after that Parrott found Hadaway in contempt of his ruling and ordered the little girl be taken from her home to live in foster care in spite of the biological mother's wishes.

In early April a Bibb County judge then granted custody of the child to Hadaway, after hearing evidence from an expert commissioned by Wilkinson County DFCS to study Emma in her foster home.

The expert found that the little girl is unable to get the individualized attention she needed in her foster home and was experiencing emotional trauma because of the separation from Hadaway.

Nevertheless, the child remained in foster care, with the Division of Family and Children Services uncertain of which judge's ruling to follow.

In May DFCS agreed that the biological mother's wishes should be honored, and little Emma was reunited with Hadaway. (story)

The contempt charge against Hadaway remained outstanding, however, and her ACLU attorney filed a motion with the Court of Appeal to have it overturned.

© 2008

Let's see: The biological mother wants her daughter to be raised by this woman. The daughter wants to be raised by this woman. The woman wants to raise this woman's daughter.

Do I have that right?


Ignorant, conservative, Bible-up-their-ass idiots are the problem! Worst part is they are judges! You'd think they would have to exhibit some sort of....some sort of.....uh, what's the word???? be appointed to the position!

Apparently not.

I guess those who do are the "rogue judges" we keep hearing about. You know, the ones who read (imagine that) the constitutions of their state and find nowhere does it say marriage can only be between persons of opposite genitalia, so rule in favor of gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry, since nothing says they can't.

Yeah, what renegades!

Conservatives call that "legislating from the bench".

I call it "doing their job"...even if it meant a verdict I was unhappy with.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just Imagine...

Spitzer Out. Do the Same with Oklahoma's Kern!

"I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even
more so than terrorism or Islam."

That's from an Oklahoma lawmaker's speech about gay people.

You heard right. A secret recording has just emerged of State
Rep. Sally Kern speaking to a Republican group in January, where
she equates both sexual orientation and religion with terrorism.

That her views are merely expressions of her own personal hate towards homosexuals as evidenced by the following quotes:

* "No society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted
for more than, you know, a few decades."

(What society? Obviously she has no idea what she is talking about.)

* "What's happening now is they're going after, in schools,

(Two-year-olds?? Where do children that young go to school??? I've heard of Head Start, but this is ridiculous. Again, she doesn't have the slightest idea what she is talking about.)

Also, as a Christian, I am appalled by her remarks towards another religion. All religions have swept a lot of dust under their rugs and have closets full of skeletons...all Christian faiths included. Does she truly believe Islam is as much a threat to us as the Christians were to the Inca and Aztec people?

All this and few people have taken note because 1. it regards Oklahoma, and 2. there are no adulterous affairs involved.

New York governor Elliot Spitzer was forced to resign today after he was caught in a prostitution ring. (At $1,000/hour, she better have been worth it, Mr. Spitzer!) But what he did was NOTHING compared to what Sally Kern is doing. I don't condone what he did, nor his hypocrisy. But it is a matter which pretty much only ruined things with his wife. I don't really care where my governor's penis is, so long as the state is run well. What Kern is doing effects the entire population of her state. And since her arguments are pure fabrications pulled out of the air around her, she seems ill-qualified for the office to which the voters (people voted for her???) have elected her.

But we must remember, this is Oklahoma, where everyone accused Islamic terrorists of the Oklahoma City bombing until it was discovered a man neither Muslim nor from the Middle East was responsible.

Thursday, March 6, 2008