YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
How do you FEEL about politics? An event.
Something you might find interesting coming up in 2 weeks...
Friday, June 10th, 2005 7:30pm-9:30pm Atlanta Center for Social Therapy 1758-B Century Boulevard Atlanta, GA 30345
Murray Dabby, Director of the Atlanta Center for Social Therapy (a nonpartisan group), invites you to a dialogue and video showing of a lecture entitled, "Can Americans Come Together?" (Political analysts say America is coming apart. Are they right? Conventional wisdom says that America is deeply divided, we are two cultures: red and blue, urban and rural, liberal and conservative, living uncomforatble, side by side. Are we coming apart as a culture? Has our differences become divisions: And what is the impact on our emotional health and well being? Can Americans come together ..emotionally, spiritually, culturally?) by Fred Newman, founder of Social Therapy. We'll explore the possibilities at this video presentation and dialogue.
For more information or to register (space is limited): 404-633-3282 ext 6 or email Murray@atlantasocialtherapy.com
I love all things tech-dorkiful, but I was really slow on the ball finding out that Air America has not just one, but two podcasts out there -- and I'm a podcaster. Plus, considering how many of you are still saying "what's a podcast," I thought this was worth posting. This is especially handy for those of you who get better digital bandwidth than you do AM reception -- and/or for those of you who would rather go to bed at 5am than get up at 5am (to hear Rachel Maddow).
A few other shows used to be syndicated online as podcasts through secondary hosts, but those links seem to have died. For now, the two shows right up front about podcasting on their Air America show pages are the Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Sedition. Another website, The White Rose Society, apparently records the webstream of the Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes shows (among others) and turns them into podcast feeds.
For those of you who can figure out subscribing to podcasts on your own, the two "official" AAR feeds are right here: http://podcastingcouch.com/air_america/podcast_feeds/The_Rachel_Maddow_Show.xml http://podcastingcouch.com/air_america/podcast_feeds/Morning_Sedition.xml Just copy those into your podcatcher client - although apparently you need a client that supports BitTorrent. I know iPodderX does so for Mac; iPodder for Windows claims to as well.
For those of you still wondering what the heck I'm talking about, podcasting is like TiVo meets internet radio. For example, Rachel Maddow comes on at 7am, right about when I'm getting the best sleep possible. While she's broadcasting, her engineer is recording, and about an hour after she's done, there's an MP3 file of her show on the net somewhere. I told iPodderX I want to "subscribe" to her show by pasting that .xml link into it, and every morning iPodderX automatically checks Rachel's website to see if there's a new show, while I snooze. At 9:30, I undock my iPod and jump on my bike with some pre-recorded Air America just waiting to be heard on my way to work, on my schedule. (You don't need an iPod -- any MP3 device will do for portability -- and you don't even need an MP3 player, it'll be there on your computer to play when you want.)
And just to plug the Maddow Show, if you haven't heard it (and whether you want to listen on air or on "pod"), this is a great way to kick off your morning. She really uncovers some aspects of the news you probably haven't heard of yet, and often before they hit the blogosphere. She's smart, funny, and angry about the Right in a way that doesn't sound like screeching even to a moderate like myself. By the time I finish my coffee, Rachel's got me ready to challenge even the wittiest conservative. So what are you waiting for? Go download iPodder for Windows or iPodderX for Mac, enter those .xml links, and start clearing the air!
Via Ms. President Kimberly, who represents us to the FCDP:
In June, our FCDP Breakfast will be traveling to the Southside for Brunch with Congressman John Lewis.
When: Saturday, June 11th from 11:00am-1:00pm Where: UAW Local 882 Union Hall 377 North Central Avenue Hapeville, GA
Tickets are only $5.00 per person and include a buffet style lunch!
This location is very easy to find and is only 3 blocks off of I-75. From I-75 North or South, take exit #239 (Central Avenue), go West 3 blocks and look for the UAW Circle and 4 flags (right across from railroad tracks and Ford Plant). You can view a MapQuest map here.
This is a great opportunity to visit with our fellow Dems from Palmetto, Union City, Fairburn, College Park and Hapeville. If you live in Downtown, Midtown or in North Fulton County, please consider taking a leisurely Saturday drive down I-75 to visit with our Southside neighbors. We look forward to seeing you there. Please bring friends!
This event is sponsored by the UAW Civil Rights Council. For more information, please contact Mr. Clarence Williams at 404-346-1173.
It's time to start the floor hearing on judicial nominee Priscilla Owen, one that will obviously be long and contentious and ugly. Before beginning, however, our Minority Leader Harry Reid moved to rearrange the schedule to get four other "non-controversial" nominees, already on the calendar, to the front of the line so quick confirmations could take place before rolling up their sleeves and getting into the tough stuff. This would put four judges on the bench within days (remember the backlogged dockets?), rather than make four good judges wait for the results of one ugly fight.
Majority Leader Frist rejected the suggestion. He said that after "careful deliberation" his side decided Priscilla Owen must come first. Picking a political fight (and coming up with an excuse to rewrite the Senate rules) is more important to Frist than actually helping the judiciary get its job done.
Our new president, Kimberly, asked me to post this message for y'all:
Hello, all . . .
As a result of a stimulating ongoing conversation between myself and my dad (a lawyer) on the topic of the current Washington brouhaha over Senate confirmation of judges, I undertook to do a little looking into the history of this Constitutionally mandated practice, and found some very interesting and authoritative sources. You might also be interested in looking at these:
Notable findings: 1) The current Democratic practice of filibustering judicial nominees is not at all unprecedented. Republicans did exactly the same thing to Abe Fortas in 1968. The parallels between the situations are imperfect, but telling . . . .
2) Richard Nixon and LBJ were unambiguously horrible men with no business in high elected office.
3) This country and the principles it embodies have been subject to men at least as bad as the current crop, under tougher historical circumstances, and came out OK in the end.
4) Democratic opposition to the current crop of nominees is not entirely ideological in character, because when they had the chance, they didn't scuttle Scalia and Thomas. Now, remind me why I keep voting for them?!?
5) The vote to confirm Thomas (available at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=102&session=1&vote=00220) was the closest vote to confirm a judicial nominee in over 100 years. A very similar vote is likely if any of the filibustered are voted upon. This is the exception and not the rule in American history. Moreover, Thomas was confirmed by a Senate of the other party. Certainly none of these in question would rise even to that historically minimal test.
6) While there are serious objections raised to the ABA's practice of reviewing judicial appointments (always from the right, as far as I can tell); it is a fact that it, as the largest legal professional organization in this country, performed that service for many years before President Bush discontinued it because of ABA opposition to a few of the nominees in question. Now, because I'm not a lawyer, I won't wade into the strife within the profession about this practice. It appears that it divides people of the legal profession roughly down party lines, like just about everything else. My question: if conservatives can dominate the infrastructure of religious denominations with such ease, why can't they rein in that pesky ABA??? Methinks in the answer to THAT question lies all our current heartache . . . .
6) Buckle your seatbelt if Frist gets his votes . . .
Marijuana Becomes Focus of Drug War: "The focus of the drug war in the United States has shifted significantly over the past decade from hard drugs to marijuana, which now accounts for nearly half of all drug arrests nationwide, according to an analysis of federal crime statistics released yesterday.
The study of FBI data by a Washington-based think tank, the Sentencing Project, found that the proportion of heroin and cocaine cases plummeted from 55 percent of all drug arrests in 1992 to less than 30 percent 10 years later. During the same period, marijuana arrests rose from 28 percent of the total to 45 percent."
ICLU sues to stop voter ID law: "Suing to overturn a new voter identification law, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union said Thursday the law requiring a photo ID before voting will drive the poor, elderly and others away from casting their ballots.
“This is a bad law for many reasons,” said ICLU attorney Ken Falk said, “most persuasively, because it is going to discourage people from voting.”
The voter ID law, signed Wednesday by Gov. Mitch Daniels, requires residents to show a state or federal ID before they will be given a ballot. Those who do not have a driver’s license and can’t afford to pay for a state identification card can be issued a state ID for free. [Expect this to play out in Georgia as well starting any minute now]"
New and proposed federal rules or laws would overturn California's ban on a vaccine preservative some think contributes to autism, and would block any state's efforts to control small-engine emissions. New England would be thwarted in its efforts to control pollution wafting over from other states, while Massachusetts and California would not be able to keep unwanted liquefied natural gas terminals from their shores. A recent banking rule change severely limits the impact of state laws intended to protect consumers from shady banking practices."
DenverPost.com - Jim Spencer: "The protocol of six Catholic hospitals [in Colorado] run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.
If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.
If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura's Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception. That means the victim can end up pregnant by her rapist. [Means essentially if you might need the contraception they won't tell you about it]"
Doubts About Mandate for Bush, GOP: "As the president passed the 100-day mark of his second term over the weekend, the main question facing Bush and his party is whether they misread the November elections. With the president's poll numbers down, and the Republican majority ensnared in ethical controversy, things look much less like a once-a-generation realignment."
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: From 'Gook' to 'Raghead': "The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: 'Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads.'
He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. 'I said to them: 'What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?' And they responded just completely openly. They said: 'Look, I hate being in Iraq. I hate being stuck here. And I hate being surrounded by hajis.' '
'Haji' is the troops' term of choice for an Iraqi. It's used the way 'gook' or 'Charlie' was used in Vietnam."
You can see this happening right now to Medicaid, the nation's most important means-tested program. Last week Congress agreed on a budget that cuts funds for Medicaid (and food stamps), even while extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. States are cutting back, denying health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people with low incomes. Missouri is poised to eliminate Medicaid completely by 2008.
If the Bush scheme goes through, the same thing will eventually happen to Social Security."
Atlanta Airport Shut Because of Truck - Yahoo! News: "Part of busy Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was shut down for two hours Sunday after police found a suspicious truck apparently abandoned at a curb and a bomb-sniffing dog indicated the presence of explosives, airport police said.
A bomb technician found that the U-Haul truck contained fireworks and nonexplosive nitroglycerin heart medication pills, which is what the dog had detected, said airport police Maj. Darryl Tolleson."