Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cashing in on the "Bash-Bush" Craze

Scott McClellan's new "tell-all" book about the Bush administration (no, I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of directly linking to or listing the title) is only the latest in what has become a cottage industry in the publishing world - the "Bash-Bush" craze. Go into any bookstore and you'll find a whole section devoted to anti-Bush screeds about how he is the worst president we've ever had (how quickly we forget James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter) or scathing tell-alls by former administration officials looking to disassociate themselves from their former boss and make a few bucks. Any publisher worth their weight in fertilizer knows what sells, particularly in Barnes & Noble in New York and San Francisco.

McClellan claims that he didn't set out to write a book that would be added to this fleeting yet popular publishing trend. He says he just wanted to tell his story. Accusations of heavy editing and possibly rewriting entire sections of the book make sense when considering the publisher's intent was to produce a book that would sell - a book that was critical of the Bush administration.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Government Handouts for the Rich

Though I feel Bush has been soft on fiscal issues while in office – there are two things that I give him a lot of credit for – his attempts at Social Security reform, and his attempt to reform the farm bill. I find it disgraceful that enough Republicans voted for the bloated bill to override the veto, and hypocritical to that the “tax the rich” Democrats voted to increase subsidies for wealthy farmers. The bill costs tax payers a significant amount of money and damages our relationships with international trading partners.

The Economist sums it up quite nicely:

“IF YOU measure the success of a pressure group by its ability to cram lousy policy through Congress, you might imagine that Big Oil or Wall Street would top the league: they are the lobbies most berated on the campaign trail. You would be wrong. If there were any doubt, the past few days should have confirmed that America's farmers are the capital's handout kings.”

The Economist – A Harvest of Disgrace

Ah, Berkeley...

At the University of California, Berkeley, the hippie heyday is long past. For more than a year now, a group of activists has been living in a grove of trees in protest of a planned fitness center expansion, despite the fact that UCB is going to plant three trees for every tree it takes down. But unlike the takeover of People’s Park in the 60s, this protest has minimal student involvement and support. Hopefully, a county judge will soon rule to have the activists removed from the trees.

The Economist - Coming down from the trees (This link is worth checking out at the very least to see the uncharacteristically risqué photo accompanied by a suggestive caption.)

Japan gets wise about the Final Frontier

It's no secret that if there should be a war with China in the next 20 years, space will be a battlefield. Their anti-satellite missile test in 2007 was as clear a sign as any that they intend to mess with America's space-based communications network should we end up in a tangle with them. Of course, weak-in-the-knees folks over here (read "liberals") spend more time castigating our government for space-based military testing than China, which is typical of the internationalist view held by the left since the days of the Cold War.

Japan for one seems to be recognizing the dangers in their neighborhood with China and North Korea. This week the Diet passed a law that will allow funding for an early-warning satellite system to be developed in conjunction with the United States. It seems that it is easier to recognize the threat posed to safety and security when it is just a few hundred miles away. Then again, we've actually been attacked right here on our soil, and there are still those among us who want to buckle like belts in the face of aggression. Go figure.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Disaster Fatigue

Donations to the Red Cross and other international organizations can be tough to come by when the whole world is falling apart, or at least that's the sentiment of this story that talks about donor fatigue in the wake of so many disasters taking place these days. Are Americans growing unsympathetic to the plight of others? Hardly.

The NYYRC cannot be accused of being cold-hearted. We organized fundraisers that gave thousands of dollars to victims of the Asian tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina.

This recent downward trend in donating cash has more to do with fiscal belt-tightening at home and the nature of the governments in Burma and China (never big on help from outsiders, lest they actually be in someone else's debt) than some perceived lack of good will by Americans. We consistently provide more aid, publicly and privately, than any nation on Earth, and that has been true for quite some time now.

School Choice Gains Dem Support in FL

The WSJ editorial board brings us encouraging news on the school choice front out of Florida – a number of Democrats that initially opposed a school-choice program voted to extend it because their constituents have embraced it.

The teacher’s union is a powerful lobby, but hopefully as more and more of these programs help poor families secure a better education for their children and word spreads of their success, more families will gain access to alternatives to failing public schools.

The Wall Street JournalDemocrats for School Choice


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hang in there, Hillary (jk)

Hillary Clinton told primary voters in Kentucky this weekend that Democrats should not to rush to judgment in choosing their nominee. I don't think she has to worry about that. This primary has already outlasted her campaign's bank account, her ability to win the nomination, and the public's belief that she can still pull it off.

At least no one is rushing to judgment, though, 'cause that's bad when voters do that.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Equality for CA Gay Couples

Of course, the morals police are all up in arms about the CA ruling, but at least one GOP group can celebrate. Here is the Log Cabin press release on the CA ruling:

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2008

Log Cabin Republicans Applaud California Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage Equality

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans applaud today’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court of California. In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled that loving, committed gay and lesbian couples in California cannot be denied a civil marriage license. Republican governors appointed six of the seven justices on the high court.

“We commend the Court for carefully reviewing this case and reaffirming the principles of liberty and justice for all,” said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon. “This ruling is a conservative one. The justices have ensured that the law treats all Californians fairly and equally,” said Sammon. “This decision is a good one for all families—gay and non-gay. Two people in a loving and committed relationship deserve the support and dignity that come with marriage.”

Immediately after the Court issued its ruling, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) issued the following statement: “I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

In April 2008, Gov. Schwarzenegger publicly opposed any effort to pass a state constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. He called such an effort a “total waste of time” and told a national gathering of Log Cabin Republicans “I will always be there to fight against that.”

“The California legislature has voted in favor of the freedom to marry, the State Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and in November, the people likely will have the opportunity to support the freedom to marry by voting against a proposed constitutional ban on marriage,” said Sammon.

Opponents of marriage equality are pushing a signature gathering effort to put an anti-gay constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The California Secretary of State is reviewing the signatures. If the state certifies enough signatures, this initiative will go on the November ballot.

“The debate does not end with this decision,” said Sammon. “Discussions about the freedom to marry will continue with our families, co-workers and neighbors.

“Marriage is good for all Americans—gay and straight. It promotes values that strengthen society and the family,” said Sammon. “Today’s ruling shows once again that states are capable of making these decisions on their own, without unnecessary intervention from the federal government. Marriage has always been, and should continue to be, a state issue. This is the essence of federalism.

This ruling by the state Supreme Court does not affect the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents any state from having to recognize a marriage performed in another state.

Click here to read the court’s opinion in the case. Background on the case is available on the court’s website.


Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time offices in Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

According to, one anti-gay/anti-choice Southern politician is already using this issue to garner votes. Republican candidates need to stop relying on politics of hate and start talking about real issues like the economy and national security.