Saturday, June 03, 2006

DNA, Good Guys Win One, Iran, Ahmadinejad, Misquote?, Sell-Out Senators and A Real Family Values Republican.

They've got our phone records, and they know everything we do on the internet. Now they want our DNA.

I can understand where that could come in handy on some criminal investigations. But the idea of the government, especially this government, having my DNA is just something that needs a little more time and debate. And the government has been less than forthcoming on the growing DNA database they're making now.

With little public debate, state and federal rules for cataloging DNA have
broadened in recent years to include not only violent felons, as was originally
the case, but also perpetrators of minor crimes and even people who have been
arrested but not convicted.

Now some in law enforcement are calling for
a national registry of every American's DNA profile, against which police could
instantly compare crime-scene specimens. Advocates say the system would dissuade
many would-be criminals and help capture the rest.

Hell, if capitol punishment don't dissuade would-be criminals, I doubt if a DNA sample will.

Good news for those of us who believe in seperation of church and state, it's bad news for Bush and the Religious Right. So that makes it double good news.

A federal judge ruled yesterday that Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship
Ministries and the state of Iowa violated the Constitution by setting up a
government-funded program to rehabilitate prison inmates by immersing them in

The case, brought by the Washington-based advocacy group
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has been widely viewed as a
major challenge to President Bush's faith-based initiative, the White House's
effort to deliver more government funding to religious groups that provide
social services, particularly in prisons.

In even more good news, Iran still hasn't rejected the plan laid out to deal with their nuclear development program. Let's hope that Iran works something out with Germany, Russia and China. Bush seems determined not to reach an agreement and Tony Blair will do as he's told.

TEHRAN, June 2 -- Iranian officials on Friday appeared to be studying a plan
laid out by the United States and five other major powers for the future of the
country's nuclear program but offered no clues on what their decision might be.

In a statement that reflected the public relations challenge Iran faces
after months of insisting it would never scale back its nuclear program,
Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of the country's atomic energy agency, told a
student news agency: "Accepting the conditions that America has set at the start
of the talks is almost impossible."

While Bush's numbers tank, his counterpart in Iran is becoming increasingly popular. The Iraqi people feel that Ahmadinejad actually gives a damn about them. And after five and half years we know how Bush feels about us.

Here, ordinary people marvel at how their president comes across as someone in
touch, as populist candidate turned caring incumbent. In speeches, 17-hour
workdays and biweekly trips like the one that brought him here to Central
Province, Ahmadinejad showcases a relentless preoccupation with the health,
housing and, most of all, money problems that may barely register on the global
agenda but represent the most clear and present danger for most in this nation
of 70 million.

The White House said that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was misquoted on his statements about the American violence to Iraq civilians. This announcement was an
excellent example of White House planning.

They couldn't say how or what he was misquoted on.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
had told U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad that he had been misquoted. But Snow
was unable to explain what al-Maliki told Khalilzad or how he had been

"That is a little too complicated for me to try to read out," Snow said at a
briefing where he was pressed to explain how al-Maliki's remarks were supposed
to have been distorted. "It becomes a little convoluted and so I don't want to
make a real clear characterization because it's a little hazy to me," Snow

Some Senate Democrats are making a deal to repeal the estate tax. Senator Max Baucus of Montana is the ringleader of these sell-out Democrats who know what to give the person who has everything.

Giving the GOP its way would hand a fabulous reward to the country's wealthiest
families but, worse than that, create a $1 trillion hole in future federal
revenue. If this happens, forget about universal health care or other major
social reforms and public investment that Democrats are promising to pursue.

Democrats do not need do anything about the estate tax at this point since the
Bush version expires automatically in 2011. Let the next president decide what
to recommend. For now, Dems merely need to hold the 40 votes to sustain a
filibuster. The caucus overwhelmingly supports that position. The problem is the
handful of potential deserters.
The first chore for activists is to bang on
Baucus--quickly and mercilessly--because a Senate vote is expected next week.
More to the point, grassroots Democrats need to bang on the handful of wobbly
Democratic senators disposed to go along with Senator Sellout or flirting with
the idea. These include the two Nelsons (Bill of Florida, Ben of Nebraska),
Salazar of Colorado, Lincoln and Pryor of Arkansas and--most
shocking--Washington's two usually progressive senators, Cantwell and Murray.
Their state includes a bunch of techie billionaires and the family-owned Seattle
Times that hammers them on the supposed injustice of the estate tax. They need
to know a price will be paid for defection.

And finally, a little humor.

Republican Jim Galley, who is running for Congress as a “pro-traditional
family” candidate, was married to two women at the same time, defaulted on his
child support payments and has been accused of abuse by one of his ex-wives.

“He used to only hit me and now he is hitting my children. I'm very scared
of what my husband is capable of,” Beth wrote.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)