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An Historic Moment

In the year 2000, George Bush stole an election in part by disenfranchising thousands of african-american voters in the incredibly close state of Florida. A Supreme Court case ensued; but the verdict was never issued, because the media was in a frenzy about "hanging chads" and how no one knew who won the election the night after it, even though that really wasn't important.

In the year 1848, a group of mostly white women gathered together in New York under the banner of the Seneca Falls Convention. Their mission: to ensure UNIVERSAL suffrage; not only for their fellow women as is commonly heard, but for the lowest of the low in their society, the black man.

It is the year 2008, June 3. In direct repudiation of George Bush's policies and attempt to destroy Hope in this nation, in honor of the thousands of african-americans in Florida that were disenfranchised, and in culmination of the very beginning of what was to become the feminist movement, a black man, Barack Obama, has become the presumptive democratic nominee.

I have never been so proud of my country in all my life.
Its about time! It's just so sad that republicans held it back for so long. This will also give us a huge boost in our progress in genetics. Does anybody have a problem with this bill? I wonder how much else Bush will get through looking for something positive in his final year???

Federal law would ban genetic test bias
April 27, 2008

Never mind what took so long. Finally, the way has been cleared for legislation proposed 13 years ago by Rep. Louise Slaughter that outlaws use of genetic information in hiring or insurance decisions.

On second thought, it needs to be known that politics, as usual, is why this sensible legislation, which catches up with the growing reliance on genetic testing, was pigeonholed for so long. Slaughter and fellow Democrats were in the powerless minority when she proposed the antidiscrimination measure in 1996. The Republican majority was sympathetic to the business lobby, which argued Slaughter's bill would lead to frivolous lawsuits.

It didn't seem to matter to Republicans that evidence from the 1970s showed African Americans were denied jobs if they were found to have the gene for sickle cell anemia.

Nor did it seem too noteworthy that in 1998, it was discovered that workers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Berkley tested employees for years without their knowledge for pregnancy and such diseases as syphilis. And since 2002, polls have shown that Americans overwhelmingly support denying employers access to their genetic histories.

Under Slaughter's bill, which was unanimously approved last week by the Senate, more Americans will be likely to get genetic testing that could save their lives. This removes a huge impediment to potentially groundbreaking research into the causes of diseases that have baffled scientists for centuries. In the current environment, many people are understandably reluctant to be tested due to fear that they could lose their health insurance or jobs if found to be predisposed toward certain diseases.

President Bush, who is expected to be sent the bill this week, should make signing it a priority. Too many lives have already been wasted.

A General Rule

Supporters of one candidate should not bully or intimidate supporters of other candidates.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll now finds that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both have an edge on John McCain in hypothetical general election matchups. The survey found that Obama led McCain by 12 points, while Clinton led the presumptive Republican nominee by 6 points.

Poll respondents indicated that their primary objections to McCain included his stance on the war, his close association with the unpopular incumbent president's policies, and the candidate's advanced age (if elected, McCain would at inauguration be the oldest person ever to assume the office of President of the United States).

Newsweek article on expat vote

"In a tight race for delegates, Democrats voting abroad could be crucial to winning the nomination."


Ya Think?

Study: False Statements Preceded War
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.
I thought the above news story was interesting just because of the sheer number of lies told, and the nice summary it gives in one place. Kinda gives a perspective. I like the way he says the media is responsible, too.

Check your registration

The folks from moveon.org have created a tool to help prevent the problems that have occurred in the past few elections.

Votepoke.org is a secure site where you can check the status of your voter registration. In many states, checking to see if you are properly on the voter rolls is an involved process starting with a trip to the Secretary of State's office and purchasing a copy of the entire list of voters. Votepoke is free and also has links to help you register in your state.

My Simple Commentary on the Iowa Caucus

It struck me that the election last night could be described the way Samuel Johnson defined second marriages: The triumph of hope over experience.