Tag Archives: aclu

Netroots Nation recap

I wasn’t there this year. This is the second year in a row in which I missed the gathering. Sorry!! I was truly inspired by what I saw via streaming. My friend Marcy was there. Here’s her recap. (BTW, I completely agree. This thang has to be about the middle class. If we do right by the middle class we will do right by the county!):

Howard Dean at NN11

Sorry to be AWOL for most of Netroots Nation. bmaz says I’ve been offline for the last few days because we’ve been drunk and busy, but it seems to me I’ve just been incredibly busy for five days straight. There were a lot of conversations, but the overall theme seemed like a desperate conversation on saving the middle class.

Early in the week, I had some extended conversations with labor folks, including some interesting discussions about the UAW’s plans to organize transplants–I hope to do an extensive follow-up on that.

On Thursday, I had the honor to be on a podium between Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, two of my political inspirations. Though the speakers of the night were probably a Pakistani and Zimbabwean woman talking about how important blogs are to giving women voices in oppressive societies. American Federation of Teachers President, Randi Weingarten, also gave a great talk.

On Thursday, I joined the ACLU and Julian Sanchez talking about all the surveillance we’re under. I think we succeded in scaring a lot of people.

I had conversations with a number of elected officials: Luis Gutierrez on immigration, Keith Ellison on saving the middle class, Sheldon Whitehouse on saving the middle class. Alan Grayson talked about what he’s reading about our increasing inequality in Fed documents. While he’s not elected, Jared Bernstein and I had a great talk about the MI auto bailout (and the fact Republican leaders are now claiming credit for results of stimulus in the midwest). (more…)

Grab bag Monday

How are you this evening?

  • Several years ago, as I was searching for a theme for my blog, I started watching the O’Reilly factor. I would listen to his rant and then I would post the rant plus whatever I thought he got wrong or distorted. I got tired of documenting the egregious errors of Fox news. I just figured that Fox doesn’t care. They are going to say what they want to say regardless of the facts. (watch the video)

  • Libya confuses me. Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi appears to be a repugnant dictator with little or no redeeming qualities. If he gets overthrown, ousted or otherwise booted out of power… This would be a good thing for the United States and for the world. It would be a great thing for the Libyan people. This thing is very complex. So, after a series of moves, a ragtag coalition has come together to enforce “no-fly zones” over Libya. On one hand, I think this is a good thing. I think that letting Gaddafi indiscriminately kill his own people is simply wrong. Does this riddle have a military solution? I think we all remember the genocide that went on in Rwanda in the mid-1990s. We should not let that kind of killing go on again, ever. On the other hand, what is our goal? Is our goal to destroy every airplane and helicopter that Colonel Gaddafi owns? Is that enough? As I see it, there are many pitfalls to this strategy. Remember Somalia? We were just delivering humanitarian aid. Then we were going to stop folks for stealing the aid. Then there is this serviceman being drug threw the streets.  Finally, if the former Russian president, Vladimir Putin, opposes this action, I’m thinking this action is a good thing.
  • A federal appeals court has reinstated a case against the government which was filed by the ACLU and multiple other groups. The case contends that it is unconstitutional for the executive branch to vacuum up all this information found in e-mails and international phone calls.
  • I find it interesting that the Obama administration is not going to ask for any funding for this Libya campaign. By the way, how much military action can a president engage our troops in without Congressional approval?
  • Former Minnesota governor has made it official, sort of. Tim Pawlenty has formed an exploratory committee. He has really been running for president for the last 2 years. I’m not sure what this committee is for. He knows where he stands with the American public. He has been monitoring his status for the last 24 months.
  • ATT is going to buy T-Mobile. Is this good for you and I? I can’t think of a single merger that has happened in the last 10 – 15 years that has benefited the American consumer. Watch Morningstar’s thoughts on this takeover.

  • BTW, if the Tea Party throws a convention and nobody shows up (about 300), does that mean that the Tea Party was just a fad?

"Everybody hates me," states judge who blocked interracial marriage

Nope, I don’t hate you. I think that you’re ignorant and ill-informed, but I don’t hate you. So you got that wrong, too.

From RS:

Terence McKay: ‘If it wasn’t for interracial couples … we wouldn’t have our president’

Beth and Terence McKay wouldn’t be married today if Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Hammond, Louisiana, had his way. Bardwell became the subject of intense controversy last week when he refused to grant a marriage license to the interracial couple, saying he fears for the offspring of mixed-race marriages.

Since then, the Louisiana chapter of the ACLU has called Bardwell’s decision “tragic and illegal,” and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has called for the justice’s license to be revoked. But Bardwell is refusing to resign.

“Despite calls for his resignation, the justice himself says he’s not going anywhere, that he’s not sorry, and that in fact he’s done nothing wrong,” CNN’s Kieran Chetry reported Monday morning.

Asked by a WFAB-TV interviewer if he was a racist, Bardwell responded: “Absolutely not. My definition of a racist is to hate black people, or treat black people differently than anybody else.”

“Everybody hates me,” Bardwell told the Associated Press. “Really. I don’t know why. I treat people, I figure, equal. I have one problem with mixed marriages and that is the offspring.”