Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No, really?

On Monday Exxon Mobil announced that it had earned profits of $36 billion in 2005. The highest profits EVER recorded by a U.S.-based company.

At last night's state of the union address, Bush said, "America is addicted to oil."

What a smart guy. No wonder he's president.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Washington State's gay rights bill

It seems as though the radical right is at it again. After Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) signed a gay rights bill that would add "sexual orientation" to a state law that bans discrimination in housing, employment, insurance and credit, an opponent of the measure has vowed to hold up the law by pushing for a referendum on the matter in November.

The bill was signed into law today after it failed to win passage in the Legislature for nearly 30 years. The vote was nearly split by party line. Democrats overwhelmingly supported the measure and Republicans overwhelmingly opposed it. Shocking I know. A similar law was passed here in Illinois last year. Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill that also failed to win passage through a Republican dominated Legislature and governship in previous years.

The man who is vowing to hold up the law is Tim Eyman. In Illinois we have a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jim Oberweis, that is also working to put an anti-gay constitutional amendment on the November ballot. What kind of message are these two men sending by pushing for anti-gay measures in November? Are they seriously asking that our states allow blatant discrimination of homosexuals? Who will they ask that we discriminate against next?

Bush is at war

Tonight we will hear Bush talk about the war in Iraq and the war on terror. He will make every attempt to rally the nation behind him as our commander in chief. What we won't hear Bush talk about are the other wars that he and his right-wing conservative base are waging.

-the war on homosexuals
-the war on the separation of church and state
-the war on affordable and accessible health care for all Americans
-the war on afforable education for our youth
-the war on our civil liberties
-the war on a woman's right to choose
-the war on a clean environment
-the war on science

This is truly a president at war.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What is DeLay smoking?

“We've had an 11-year run of a Republican majority doing things that I’m incredibly proud of — cutting taxes, strong national defense, welfare reform, balancing the budget, paying down on the debt. I mean, one thing after another, we've been effective on it and the Democrats don't like it,”

DeLay said in an interview on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”

When Bill Clinton left office in 2000, total federal expenditure was $1.7 trillion and the budget surplus was $255 billion.

Under George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, in 2004 total federal expenditure was $2.3 trillion and the budget deficit was around $400 billion.

The Windy City or The Big Apple

There was an article in Friday's USA Today comparing Chicago to New York City. The article started off by talking about the longstanding rivarly between the two cities. Though in terms of population, Chicago is no longer the true "second city," it is truly the only city in the U.S. that can be compared to the Big Apple. No other city in the U.S. can match the extensive mass transit systems, world class museums, world renowned architecture, culturally diverse neighborhoods or selection of restaurants that New York City and Chicago offer.

Though I have lived most of my life in the Chicago metropolitan area and have resided in the city for the last 5 years, I can't say that Chicago is better than New York City. Nor can I say that New York City is better than Chicago; even though it is a much larger city that is both the cultural and financial capital of the U.S. and the world. After traveling throughout Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe, and the U.S., I have come to the realization that both Chicago and New York City are the best. Both cities are well positioned to compete with the best European, South American, or Asian cities.

I'm certainly not discounting the other great cities in this country. In fact, I think that most American cities are unique in their own way. But in terms of true urban cities with thriving centers, the 2 American cities that can be mentioned in the same sentence as London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Toronto are Chicago and New York City.

I personally don't see Chicago and New York City as competitors. Given the right job and the right time, I could just as easily live in New York City as I do in Chicago. Since I refuse to choose between the two of them, I'll take them both.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bush supports Iranian initiative

While the Bush administration and Iran differ on whether or not Iran should proceed with an uranium enrichment program that could lead to the development of nuclear weapons, the two countries have joined forces to deny United Nations consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. On Monday, the Bush administration backed the Iranian initiative that is also supported by Sudan, Cuba, Pakistan, China, and Zimbabwe.

The religious right in the U.S. must be proud of Bush. The same man that is helping to spread democracy across the Middle East and around the world has found common ground with a nation (Iran) that punishes homosexual conduct between men with the death penalty. Zimbabwe President Mugabe has called gays and lesbians "people without rights" and "worse than dogs and pigs."

Bush has once again demonstrated that his bigotry and hypocrisy has no bounds.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bush calls Harper

On Wednesday Bush called Canada's Prime Minister-elect Harper to congratulate him on his victory.

Bush looks forward to working with Harper and the two leaders had a "very good conversation," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

I wonder what made the conversation good. Did they talk about amending both the U.S. and Canadian Constitutions so that homosexuals cannot marry? Did they discuss how all of the scientific evidence supporting global warming is wrong? Did Bush tell Harper that he should pander to the religious right in Canada and push for the teaching of intelligent design in science classes?

Ben said it right

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

-Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Brokeback and Bush

At a question and answer session at Kansas State University, Bush was asked by an audience member if he had seen Brokeback Mountain.

Bush's response, "I haven't seen it. I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie."

After a bit of nervous laughter he then added, "I've heard about it."

This was Bush's opportunity to appease his religious right-wing base and condemn homosexuality. Instead, he just wimped out. I'm actually disappointed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Even those on death row and homosexuals?

“You believe, as I do, that every human life has value, that the strong have a duty to protect the weak, and that the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence apply to everyone, not just to those considered healthy or wanted or convenient,”

-George W. Bush