Monday, February 27, 2006

A Proposal We Can ALL Support!

This story came to my attention thanks to Kirk and

State Senator Robert Hagan (D-Ohio) says he will introduce legislation to ban Republican couples from adopting children. According to Hagan, "credible research" shows that adopted children raised in GOP households are more at risk for developing "emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities." Hagan agrees there is no scientific evidence backing his claims about Republican parents - just as Hagan notes there is none backing State Representative Ron Hood's (R) bill banning gay parents from adopting.

Hood claims children purportedly suffer from emotional "harm" when they are adopted by gay couples. Hagen admins he created his proposal to mock Hood's proposed ban on gay adoption in a way that people would see the "blatantly discriminatory and extremely divisive" nature of the bill. The GOP House leadership does not support Hood's proposal.

You know, if you think about it, Sen. Hagan is right on the money! Allowing Republicans to adopt really does place a child in a potentially dangerous situation. The emotional stunting of growth, the inflated sense of self, and a penchant for theocracy are all bad things. Heaven help those children who turn out gay too! They'll likely fall into the traps of kinky sexual desires, self-hatred, barebacking, and deep shame and depression. It's not a way for a child to grow up and become a productive member of society.

So as the GOP continues it war on gay people by attempting to ban and/or destroy gay families, let's get the REAL source of the problem and ban all GOP adoptions!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

YDA Philly meeting

One word can sum up Philly....BRRRRRRR! It was frigging COLD! As in, it didn't get above freezing the whole weekend. Didn't help that the zipper on my jacket broke which resulted in me being chilled to the bone and catching a cold. Oh well, it was worth it. As usual, the meeting was a good time and seeing my friends from across the country was fantastic.

One innovation I've decided to implement as National Committeeman is to report to YDG members about the meetings. Some people think it's just a free vacation every 3-4 months. Au contraire...things actually do happen, and the between meeting works is also quite involved. Conference calls galore, mass emails, etc.

Attending from Georgia were: myself, Flora Brooke Hesse (National Committeewoman), Billy Joyner (President), Kirk Miller (YDA Rules Chair), and Kyle Bailey (Stonewall Caucus chair). Kirk shepherded through some technical amendments to the YDA charter. The substantive changes created a YDA High School Caucus and a YDA College Caucus, and severed the ties between the College Democrats of America and YDA. The new caucuses elected officers during the meeting.

The National Committee voted to creat a non-voting Jewish Caucus and approved the appointment of an Organizing Director of YDA. A funny thing about the Organizing Director vote: I was th sole "no" vote. I had no idea that I would be the sole "no", so I loudly and clearly said, "Nay!" when the time came. Brooke, Billy and Kirk were horrified, yet terribly amused. This was a girl who was particularly nasty about Brooke's loss in the YDA Secretary's race to Rob Dolin. I like Rob, and we've definitely moved past any bitterness from the campaign. When she was nominated to replace Robert Hooks of Mississippi, I knew she'd be confirmed. She's done a decent job as "acting". Still, for me, it was one last slap for Brooke from San Francisco. Turns out I wasn't particularly alone in my sentiment to vote no, but I'm the only one who actually did so. The funny thing was that the girl in question blamed KIRK for "making" me vote no so the record wouldn't reflect a unanimous yes vote. I guess that's part of being known as "the new Kirk Miller". And personally, there are many things MUCH worse than to be known as "the new Kirk Miller." In many ways, it's a compliment!

Another funny thing about the Jewish Caucus vote was Kirk's principled stand against forming new caucuses of any kind. It's a principle I understand, although I think caucuses have their purpose. All weekend, I was leaning against voting for the caucus even though I knew it could paint me with the same anti-Semite brush that people tried to paint Kirk with. I couldn't get anyone to tell me WHY there was a need for a Jewish Caucus, and whether or not it would open the door for religion-based caucuses of all sorts...Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Atheist, etc. I can just imagine having a Muslim caucus diametrically opposed to the Jewish Caucus. Oy vey! At the committee meeting though, I finally saw literature explaining why they needed a caucus. It goes beyond just advocating for Israel. It's also an anti-GOP thing since the GOP is really pushing to get Jewish voters. Having an official liaison to the Jewish community could be important to keeping Jewish voters.

For me, caucuses are about educating other democrats. I do count on the women, minority, labor, rural, and even disability caucuses to keep me honest. I'm a gay white dude from the South...there are plenty of things I don't know or understand. But being a Democrat means I am open and willing to learn about them and hear others out with a mind at being as inclusive as possible. I do think the explosion of caucuses recently is not the best idea, and I hope it's over. I'll be likely to join Kirk in saying "NO MORE" if people keep trying to add new caucuses, especially those that are single issue.

Anyway, the notion that anyone could say Kirk or Billy are anti-Semites is hilarious. Kirk's blog actually lists some of his Jewish connections, not the least of which is State Rep. Mike Jacobs. Billy ran his campaign for crying out loud and is his legislative aide! Of course, Mike does love pork BBQ, so he's not exactly Kosher, but he and his gorgeous wife are definitely good Jews otherwise. You can't be anti-Jew and a Democrat in Georgia. You'd be run out of the state on a rail...or told to join the GOP.

The National Committee also voted to direct the President and International Affairs Liaison of YDA to apply for candidate membership in the International Federation of Liberal Youth ( There's supposed to be a meeting of the group in Canada this summer, but it looks like it might conflict with the next YDA meeting. We'll see.

Flora Brooke, in her role as YDA Congressional Liaison, hosted a well-received forum with Patrick Murphy who is a congressional candidate in the 8th district in PA. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and spoke about running for congress as a young person and about his experiences inIraq. She impressed him so much, that he offered her a job. Fortunately for us in Georgia, she declined.

A tentative timeline has been set by the Campaign Committee for states to provide information to YDA to help determine where campaign funds will go. In December, YDA committed to funding 10 State Directors and 5 Peer-to-Peer campaigns for the 2006 elections. Georgia was one of the states to complete its assessment, so we are still in the running for campaign funds. We will work with Billy to get the necessary information into the National Office so that Georgia will be as competitive as anyone in getting these investments. It helps that Billy is the Vice Chair of this committee and I am the Southeast Regional Representative. Speaking of which, I was told by the Northeast Region director that people were disapproving of the fact that Georgia has 2 of 11 voting members on the Campaign Committee. Well, boo hoo. I see myself as a Southern advocate in general. As a red region, we're likely to be ignored in sending out campaign resources without good representation. Georgia's worked its ass off, so having two slots on a committee just shows we did our homework well.

There are two bids for the 2007 National Convention. For those who went to San Francisco this past August, you know what a great time the national convention can be. Denver and Dallas are the two cities bidding. Georgia will work with our sister states in the Southeast Region to make sure that the strongest bid gets our votes. There are political as well as financial considerations to this decision. We'll see how it goes. I know that there is no definitive favorite at this point.
The next YDA meeting will be in early June (exact dates have not been set), but the location is going to be Las Vegas! You don’t have to be a voting member of the National Committee to attend YDA meetings, so when the dates come out, we’ll announce them, and anyone who wants to go is welcome. You will be responsible for your own expenses, however. I hope we can get a nice turnout.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Dark Lord Exposes His True Colors

For most mere mortals, even those holding high office, a hunting accident would provoke a reaction where the injured party gets medical attention, and the shooter cooperates fully with authorities as they look into the accident. Most people, especially if they shot someone who is allegedly a friend, would be distraught over the accident and willing to do whatever it took to aid an investigation and help out the injured party.

Not so with our Vice President, the Dark Lord, Dick Cheney. He shoots a friend of his in the face and chest with buckshot while hunting farm-raised quail that are specially released for him to kill (which isn't really sporting if you ask me). He does direct his medical team (the one that follows him everywhere in case that bad heart of his decides to stop) to take care of the friend. The friend is taken to a hospital, and the police are called.

Here is where it takes a turn for the bizarre, as the Dark Lord exposes his inner darkness for all to see. Cheney, as Vice President of the United States, thinks this hunting accident should be kept quiet until everyone's story is straight. To accomplish this, he instructs the Secret Service to bar the police who come to question him about the accident. He has his people tell his hostess what she saw and didn't see. Only when everything is set does he "allow" her to leak the story to a local paper.

By now, the accident is getting to be almost a day old. He didn't even tell the White House what had happened. The whole thing smells of a bizarre coverup, but why? Surely Cheney didn't shoot this guy on purpose. He couldn't be THAT evil, could he? It would be too wreckless to shoot a man in cold blood with witnesses from your Secret Service and medical details. Cheney's not that stupid.

I think the whole thing was an accident, but Cheney's behavior following the incident makes me scratch my head. What could he possibly have been thinking when he approached the aftermath of this accident? He makes it look like he has something to hide. I know the man is used to lying and covering up in his day job, but there's no reason for lies and coverups in an accident like this.

The press has suddenly decided to show some fortitude and hold Cheney's feet to the fire over this episode. It's a shame they didn't have this kind of skepticism when Cheney and Bush led to us to war with Iraq. It's a shame that it's taken over 5 years for the press to realize that they should question Cheney at all about the things he says and does.

I do hope that Cheney's friend does survive. He apparently had a heart attack after a pellet went into his heart yesterday, and he has plenty of buckshot left in his body. There is a small part of me, though, that wonders what would happen to the Dark Lord if the friend dies. The last time we had a Vice President shoot someone, it was Aaron Burr and his duel with Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton died, and Burr didn't end up too well in the end himself. Will it be the same with the Dark Lord?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Muslim Outrage

I have tried as hard as I can to not paint all Muslims with a broad brush stroke since 9/11. Yet, as time goes on, I become more flabbergasted at the reactions of the "Muslim Street" to events. It seems to me that the Islamic faith, with its anyone-can-be-an-imam system, has been hijacked by fundamentalist freaks bent on violence and driving the world back to the 6th century.

I don't want to feel this way. I do believe that millions of Muslims are peaceful and abhor violence. I think that we are obligated to judge people as individuals and fight the urge to stereotype and discriminate based on generalizations. I believe that Muslims who support individual freedom, moderation, and equal rights are allies in the "War on Terror". I don't want this to become a clash of civilizations or a religious war that pits Muslims against Jews and Christians into a fight to the finish. In my gut, I believe that attempts to lump all Muslims into the same category is despicable and completely against the (for now) free, pluralistic society we all value.

The reaction of the Muslim population to the cartoons published by a Danish newspaper have driven me to the point where I'm sorely tempted to throw up my hands and stop fighting my inner prejudices. Are Muslims around the world nuts? Is violence the answer to everything for them? It sure as hell seems like it. I understand that the cartoons were insensitive and that any image of Mohammed is considered a sacrilidge. I understand that part. It's no different than the outrage at an NEA sponsored artist showing a crucifixion in urine caused back in the late 1980s.

Yet there's a difference in how outrages right wing Christians behave and the Muslim population seems to behave generally. (I can't believe I'm about to favorably compare our religious right to something!) The offended Christians protest, picket, write irate letters, make phone calls to representatives, and boycott companies who do things they don't like. What they do not do is march off and burn down buildings, kidnap people, fire weapons at people, commit crimes, and threaten whole groups of people with death. Yes, the antiabortionists have done these things, but they have been roundly condemned, and they represent a very small portion of the anti-choice community.

Many have asked how the West would feel if cartoons depicting pedophilia, bashing Christians (Anyone remember tough Catholic cartoons surrounding the pedophile brouhaha there?), denying the Holocaus, or bashing Jews. Excuse me, but I thought all Middle Eastern countries bashed Jews on a daily basis. If I'm wrong, I'd love to be proven wrong. I imagine that if Muslims regularly made cartoons on the above topics, the West wouldn't be happy. Christians would protest, write letters, condemn the Muslims for being rude and nasty. Ditto for the Jews. What I'd be surprised to see is groups of maurading Christians and Jews going through the streets of major cities worldwide, burning, looting, and destroying mosques, killing or beating random Muslims in the street, and burning down buildings owned by Muslims. You might have some isolated incidents of this, but it would be far from widespread, and the perpertrators would be found and quickly punished. Syria and Iran have been encouraging their rioters. It's ridiculous!

Where is the outrage at these violent protests? Where is the promotion of peaceful, yet loud, protest? Where's the valuing of human life? Of civil protest? Be angry, be outraged, but this looting, burning, and killing stains the entire faith. It makes all Muslims to be like their wild-eyed lunatics ready to behead anyone who offends.

This whole situation disgusts me. Yes, the cartoons might have been offensive. Yes, it was probably in poor taste to run them. But whatever faults the Danish newspaper had in soliciting and printing the cartoons, the Muslims have more than eradicated with their outrageous behavior. Muslims with sense need to stand up and finally be counted. They need to stand up and say that this behavior is unacceptable and makes them all look like fools in the eyes of the world, let alone Allah. Otherwise, people like me who are struggling NOT to stereotype and paint Muslims with one broad brushstroke will lose that battle...and the Great Religious War of the 21st Century will be on.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Step AWAY from the Kool-Aid, Liddy!

A friend of mine takes the phrase "Keep Your Enemies Closer" to a level that would make me ill. He does forward me the most outrageous things he receives, which means I get something about every day from the GOP. We have both watched with alarm as someone we had both once respected from the GOP has quietly, consistently, lost her mind.

I know that being the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee requires you to be a harsh partisan, but even in the depths of the Clinton impeachment, you didn't see the DSCC chair jumping all over himself to defend Clinton's affair with Lewinsky, and its subsequent coverup. But we've never had a President quite like Dubya either. Thus, Senator Elizabeth Dole, who really has nothing to gain, becomes a frothing-at-the-mouth lap dog for Bush. Really, she's too damn old to ever be elected President at this point, so her only goal could be to sit in her Senate seat until she dies. Considering she represents North Carolina, the odds are decent she could keep her seat for 2-3 terms before old age forces her out. Yet, she's acting like someone who thinks she is going to run for the GOP nomination in 2008.

I will now take apart her latest screed to the NRSC faithful.

Dear Friend, (What? No "in Christ"????)This week, the Senate is convening hearings on the National Security Agency's terror surveillance program. These hearings will not only tell Americans more about this critical initiative, but will highlight the difference between Republicans and Democrats on issues of security. (Ah, she got the memo from Karl about "post 9-11 Republicans") We will also learn how closely Senate Democrats follow the marching orders of liberal fringe groups like who irrationally oppose the program at the expense of our safety. (IRRATIONALLY OPPOSE! Really, Liddy, when did it become irrational to defend our Bill of Rights? No one is saying that we should let Al Queda call whomever they want in the USA and not intercept it. What we ARE saying is that we have legal ways to do this, and you have to go before a judge and justify yourself in this country. That's protecting our freedoms AND our safety, you stupid bitch!) I look forward to these hearings, and to finding out just where my Democrat colleagues stand on this important issue. (They stand on the CORRECT side of this issue, as do some of your GOP colleagues who aren't willing to shred our Constitution to please Bush.)