Thursday, March 23, 2006

sign of hope for Utah Dems?

Courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune and Pat Bagley

A Sunday or two ago, the LDS church asked that a statement be read at the wardhouses and stake centers in advance of the precinct meetings political parties would be holding. The statement said that the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints could be found in both political parties. This is what Wayne Owens has always said, that the Democratic belief in helping the less fortunate is compatable with LDS teachings.

As a result, the turn out in various ultra-red areas for Democratic precincts was suprisingly strong. This prompted a KUER radio show on whether Democrats have a shot of legitimacy now and why the tie between the GOP and LDS church seems so strong.

I sure hope that the tie between the parties can end and Mormons everywhere will not feel compelled or pressured to be a Republican. There are some aspects of each party that should find appeal to LDS church goers, just like it does for Catholics or Jews or many other major religious groups.

This year Democrats in Utah may do a bit better, but I am not expecting much. I would like to have the power to block stuff in the State Senate so the GOP leadership would at least consult and listen to Democrats. By 2012, I am hoping to have 1 safe Democratic seat, 1 toss up and 2 solid GOP seats. Oh and whenever Hatch or Bennett retire, I would like Jim Matheson to run for the vacant seat. Utah Democrats are a practical bunch.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

photo of the day

Courtesy of the Washington Post

Bush's trade ambassador, Robert Zoellick, is trying to get US-China trade in even better shape so that he is hugging babies, baby Pandas. "You want to know how the panda felt?" he asked. "Very soft."

Is he soft on China's human rights record? Trying to get more cuddly pandas for our Zoos? Trying to get the Chinese to float the Yuan? Or endorsing the engagement policy/theory on China?

I think it is a little bit of both...and pandas are soft and I am very jealous. Some day, I want to be trade ambassador so I can hold pandas.

the nerves of Steele

The Balimore Sun seems to have found yet another ethical violation with the Ehrlich/Steele Administration: Pay for Play with Steele.
Officials with three of four African-American groups that in early 2004 received a combined $250,000 - the result of an insurance settlement received by the state - gave $13,711 to the lieutenant governor about the same time or in the months after, according to a state elections board database....The proceeds were distributed to four groups without a competitive application process and were announced in letters stating that the money was given "on behalf of Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele."

Michael S. Steele of course is running for U.S. Senate to replace Sarbanes. First he makes up the Oreo cookie story, then he compares stem cell research to the holocaust in front of a jewish audience, and now we learn he either diverted state tax dollars to his campaign or that in order to win contracts, all you have to do is donate. Something is rotten in Annapolis.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Who will be at this party?

Courtesy of Hotline On Call blog

the obligatory look back

canvasing the blogs I read (see sidebar) it seems like some thoughts on the Iraq War are necessary since we have reached an artifical milestone-- 3 years of war. This is just as artifical and just as sad as the other milestone-- 1,000 dead. Now we are over 2,500 dead American soldiers and many more wounded.

A great way to sum up how badly things have gone in Iraq-- how divergent those outcomes have been from the rosy projections of hawks-- is Professor Juan Cole's Top Ten Catastrophes of the third year of the war. Not even top ten of the whole period...and that there are so many to choose from, that one can create a top ten.

The only good things that the Bush Administration did was topple Saddam and appoint this current Ambassador. The trial has been a mess, the security never existed, the country is in civil war, terrorist have the perfect training ground to attack our troops, etc.

Like most Americans, I tire of reading about another bombing in some market somewhere, or a checkpoint bombing, or a mass grave found, or a car full of executed men found. Likewise, I tire of the "things getting better, says Bush" articles and stories on the TV. I tend to just skim the headlines, because if I were to know more, I would be more and more angry and depressed.

Occationally, I think about what would have happened to our world in the last 6 years had Gore won the recount. Saddam might still be in power, but most of those 2,500 soldiers would be alive (and 10,000s of Iraqis). Bin Laden would probabbly have been caught (as more resources would have been directed towards finding him instead of WMD's in Iraq and prepping for the other war). Our air and water would be cleaner, the courts would be filled with moderates rather than extremists. There would have been mass evacuations of the lower 9th ward and many lives would have been saved (Gore himself rented a chopper to save people with his own money and asked for no press) Plan B would have been available over the counter for years now. The Abramoff , Enron, Worldcomm and so many other scandals would have been agressively pursued from the get-go. Global Warming would be a State of the Union issue, and real measures would be made for citizens to curb consumption (Conservative Pundits would compare Gore to Carter). The congress would have tried everything to stop Gore, only to lose Jeffords in 2001 and then the majority in the Senate in 2002. The house would have fallen later, once all the bribery and lobbying scandals became to the fore.

Instead, Gore is a CEO of a TV station and on the board of companies like Apple. And Bush is at 33% and striving to run the country further aground. I wonder if O'Connor regrets her vote.