Monday, October 31, 2005

Virginia Time Travel Politics

Vote Kilgore! If he had a time machine, spoke German, could worm his way into the Third Reich and keep Hitler from killing himself, he'd bring him to justice by killing him!

Sorry folks, life's been crazy lately. But here's a bit of humor for us Virginians - and here's hoping that people see Kilgore for the idiot he is.

Ghost Busting Virginians for Truth.

Friday, October 21, 2005

It's a good time to be a liberal...

Tom Delay looks downright giddy in his mugshot. Smiling and happy with not a care in the world. That’s not right. I wanted to see a cross between Nick Nolte and Noelle Bush. Someone really needed to muss up his hair just a bit. Smear his make-up. Maybe they’re saving that for his cellmate. Let’s call it institutional foreplay creating a whole new meaning (not to mention disturbing images for you visual thinkers) to his oft toted catch-phrase “bringing down the hammer”. I figure it'd be turnabout as fair play. He's been screwing us for years.

With the wheels coming off the Whitehouse wagon I have to wonder where are the Democrats? Sure it’s fun to watch the republicans turn on each other and eat their own. Ann Coulter getting flack from the religious right. Conservative fighting conservative over the rampant cronyism epitomized by the appointment of Harriet Miers. But without an effective voice of dissent and a vision for a better tomorrow all we have is the spectacle which will fade at the whim of the media spotlight or metamorph under the able manipulation of the political spin machine.

It is very telling that the most effective voices of opposition have come not from any elected official but from among the people themselves. Cindy Sheehan. Bloggers. Veterans speaking out against the war. Grassroot organizations taking the dissatisfaction and disgust which has finally moved from simmer to full boil and given that anger voice.

I don’t know if a progressive politician (if such an animal can ever actually exist) will rise to follow our lead. I hope so. I hope the democrats will stop stumbling and fumbling and sitting on the sidelines and decide to actually get into the game.

I know it's tempting to sit back and watch. It's nice to have something to smile about again on the political side of life. It's a good time to be a liberal.

But there’s too much at stake for us to be satisfied with the spectacle.

Just my rambling 2 cents (Canadian)


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Official Welcome to Kidcanuck!

I'd like to officially welcome my better half as a contributor. He makes me look downright middle of the road in comparison. Here's hoping I can coax a few thoughts out of him from time to time.

Oh, and unlike me, he can actuallly write.

Virginia Gubernatorial Race

In May, 2004, I had the opportunity to hear Virginia governor Mark Warner (D) speak at a college graduation ceremony. I wasn't sure what to expect - politics had taken a particularly nasty turn as the presidential election loomed large on the horizon. I watched the governor greet people and talk before the graduation began. He seemed at ease with people and honestly glad to meet those being introduced to him.

I remember thinking he looked taller in person than he did on television.

As he took the podium and spoke to the class of 2004, I was immediately impressed. It was clear he was there to honor those graduates. There were no jabs at the Republican party. No partisan rhetoric. No political jokes although I think the crowd would have given him some latitude. He was just a man (albeit a prominent one) sharing some words of wisdom with some kids about to get their sheepskins. Truly, a class act.

I will be sad to see Governor Warner go. I hope will continue in politics and would be proud to campaign for him as a presidential candidate some day. (There are some folks who think he should be a candidate in 2008.)

Now Virginians are faced with a choice: Tim Kaine(D), Warner's Lieutenant Governor during his tenure or Jerry Kilgore(R). Personally, I don't think it is much of a choice. Virginia has been named the Best Managed State in the Nation and frankly, I can't think of a better person to mentor a future governor than Mark Warner. But, here's a few thoughts for those of you from the Commonwealth who may be riding the fence:

- Car tax. Come on folks, it wasn't that long ago that former governor Jim Gilmore deadlocked the government over this issue. Who benefited from these cuts? I can tell you it wasn't me, driving my 10+ year old Pontiac with 150K miles on it. A vast majority of the cuts benefited seven localities in the northern part of the state. I think that Kilgore has made it plain that he intends to pick up Gilmore's hatred of taxes (for the wealthy) and run with it even though we know it was disastrous. (See below!)

- State deficit. Now, if you listen to Jerry Kilgore, there was no deficit. While answering a question at the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce on September 8, 2005, Kilgore stated that the administration was "not meeting revenue expectations." Yeah. To the tune of $1.5 billion.

You can check it out for yourself.

And what did we experience last year, folks? What... a surplus? Under a Democrat??? Stop. Surely we're in some weird turnaround universe where you have to look to Democrats for fiscal responsibility!

- Republican Kool-Aid. Seriously, Kilgore takes every play out of the how to confuse and frighten your voters and fuck with your opponent playbook by Karl Rove. There was no deficit. Pay no attention to the published reports of such. My opponent favors RAISING TAXES. You're paying over $3 a gallon and the evil Tim Kaine suggests raising the GAS TAX! We're going to have the HIGHEST GAS TAX in the nation! Tell him to go to hell and vote for me!

Uhm... Mr. Kilgore? Really. That was a Republican initiative to raise the gas tax. Now, Mr. Kaine isn't saying he won't raise the tax on gas (the lowest in the nation, btw) but he never supported this plan.

When you can't dazzle 'em with substance, make shit up. Scare people. It's a hell of a tactic.

I remember the Gilmore years. I remember lay-offs and hiring freezes and rumors of forced unpaid time off for state workers. I remember the state workers didn't get any pay raises but kept working their butts off regardless with hopes of "better days." Well, the better days came with Mark Warner.

So, Mr. Kilgore, aka Gilmore Light? I'm still driving a piece of shit and I think I'll stick with Mr. Kaine, thanks.

From November 4, 2004

I was doing some research for another post I'm working on and happened upon the words I wrote on that dark day in November when John Kerry conceded the election. I thought it appropriate to post here, for my new readers. (You're out there - I know you are!!)

Yesterday was pretty bleak. I was unapologetically miserable. Even my faithful sense of humor, which has gotten me through the worst times in my life, failed me. There was nothing positive about yesterday and I said as much to anyone who asked.

I listened to people say that folks like me were blowing things out of proportion. I smiled as many people joked about the world not ending. I listened without comment to Bush supporters as they celebrated their victory and cried quietly as the man I voted for conceded the election.

Politics is a funny thing. Rarely is there a position between passion and indifference. Even those who follow with mild disinterest will have some issue that pushes their buttons. And for someone like me, who has been engaged in this process and believes very strongly in her convictions about this country and its leadership, the word passion doesn't really adequately communicate how completely invested I was in the outcome of this election.

Nobody likes to lose. Losing sucks. And when you personally feel that so much is at stake... well, losing certainly feels like the end of the world. I will not apologize for mourning yesterday. I will not apologize for being angry or feeling betrayed when I heard that the concession call had been made. I will not apologize for my tears.

John Kerry was not my first choice for our presidential nominee. I was a Deaniac. I found Howard Dean refreshing and electrifying. I was caught up in his momentum and for the first time in a long time, believed that I could make a difference. I was and am proud to say that I supported Dr. Dean. I even contributed to his campaign. Would Dean have been able to win? Apparently the Democratic Party didn't think so. Shame on all of us for letting him be thrown to the wolves in favor of the "safer" more mainstream candidate.

I'm still on the Dean mailing list and the very first political email I received yesterday was from Dr. Dean. Here's what you're not going to hear today, he said. Here's the good news - the victories that are going to get overshadowed by the bad news. We're not going away. Thank you, Dr. Dean. Thank you for reminding me that while it is bleak now - and it should be in the wake of such a disappointment - it won't be this dark forever.

I'm not going away, Mr. Bush. I'm not going to sit down, shut up, and let you get back to the business of flushing our country down the toilet all in the name of "unity". I despise everything you and your thugs stand for. I am a LIBERAL.

Democrats, you're not off the hook. Get your shit together. It's time to take some chances, stop being such suck-up wimps, and get in some faces. It's okay - don't be afraid. What have we got to lose???

We're angry now but it is only October, 2005. Who knows what will happen between now and November, 2006? I heard a liberal talk radio host suggesting the other day that Bush still has plenty of time to pull things out, to work with his smoke and mirrors - to get people thinking that all of the things going on right now are just some bad dream. I wanted to remind myself of where I've been... and what I need to do.

I need to remember.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pregnancy Permission Slips...

I don't think there is anyone in the liberal blog world who hasn't read about and commented on the deplorable legislation suggested by Sen. Patricia Miller - R of Indiana that was quickly withdrawn after a "firestorm" of criticism according to the GOP spokeswoman Jamie Jorczak. But just in case you missed the party, you can learn more about it here.

So why am I mentioning it now? Well, thanks to a link in the comments over at Shakespears Sister I've learned that bad ideas don't really die, they just go someplace to be born again when fewer people are paying attention.

Idea shelved but not dead.

I may not be a Hoosier, Ms. Miller, but I will be watching. Because if something like this can get through in Indiana, tomorrow it will be Virginia... and reasonable people have to be vigilant to keep the government OUT of our reproductive lives.