Blasphemy in Ireland

Ireland’s new blasphemy law is being purposefully flouted by the atheists of Ireland. The group has put up a website that publishes 25 quotations that are blasphemous to contest the law in the courts. Right now the site is getting crushed with traffic, so I will link instead their Google cache. As a proponent of individual liberties and rights I have to show my solidarity, so please take some time to read up on this ridiculous law.

If you are religious you will most likely find these quotes offensive, and I used to really care a lot about not offending religious people even though I’ve been atheist all my life. (Even as a child going to Sunday school I never really believed, bible stories were just another genre of fiction to me – not quite as good as Tom Swift, nor the factual articles in Encyclopedia Britannica and Americana, however I’ve always taken pains not to offend the religious with my atheism.)

That has changed slowly over the past four years as the Religious Right in the US has hijacked the Republican party. Rather than being another PAC or group within the big tent, they have declared themselves owner of the tent with veto power over who gets in and who doesn’t. All of their bigotry against atheists and homosexuals and other minorities is now on virulent display across the right wing blogosphere, and some things that used to be confined to hate groups like Fred Phelp’s church and Randall Terry’s hate group Operation Rescue, are now on virulent display and just accepted. So I’m not worried about offending them anymore – there’s no God that can shut me up either.

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My Advice to Republicans: Don’t Vote on the Bill Until we Have a New Speaker

The title of the post says it all.

The American people know who has held the US economy hostage for housing the past few years, it’s time for a new speaker. If the Dems want a vote on this, they can put forward a speaker who is less incendiary.  IHT 11/08/2006:

Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who will soon become the head of the House Financial Services Committee, said he and other Democrats who have been advising Pelosi, the party’s leader in the House, were planning to propose a “grand bargain” with business interests.

If the Republicans support the Democrats’ efforts to increase minimum wage, extend student loans and expand affordable housing programs, Frank said, then the Democrats would support efforts to reduce trade barriers and burdensome regulation.

Representative John Dingell, who will head the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that he intended to focus on an energy bill that would make America more independent of foreign oil and another one outlining a bill of rights for patients. He also plans to hold hearings on unfair trade practices that have hurt American industries and workers.

Dingell, who is the chamber’s senior member, said he intended to work with Republicans in crafting legislation because “it’s best to legislate from the middle.” But he also said that “it won’t be the easiest task because the far right has controlled the House and I’m not sure how we can emancipate the Republican party and work with them.”

For some large companies, the Democratic victory is a major one. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage finance giants, which have been recovering from accounting scandals, had faced the possibility of tight new oversight laws pushed largely by Republicans. But some powerful Democrats had resisted, preferring to promote the companies’ housing mission over tighter capital standards and portfolio limits.

Here’s a prime example of Pelosi’s dangerous leadership and demagoguery:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest U.S. mortgage-finance companies, would be allowed to expand their $1.5 trillion mortgage portfolio to buy subprime loans under a Democratic plan to help struggling borrowers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats also called on President George W. Bush to increase funding for foreclosure prevention and appoint a coordinator to oversee the administration’s response to the mortgage-market turmoil in the plan they unveiled today in Washington.

“Our country faces a challenge that threatens the economic security and the dream of homeownership of many of America’s working families,” Pelosi, of California, said at a news conference.

Just a year ago she was begging to shove more crap loans down the american taxpayer’s throats.

Here’s her friends Chuckie Schumer and Barney Frank trying to lower lending standards on homes costing nearly half a million dollars — yes we should give half million dollar homes to people not worthy of credit Chuck & Barney, I mean the taxpayers are always willing to take it up the bum from Dems in congress right?:

Schumer and other Democrats have called on the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight to relax government restraints barring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from buying home loans exceeding $417,000 and from expanding their assets.

The senator introduced legislation last month to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac temporarily increase their mortgage portfolios by 10 percent. The bill would also allow the companies to buy loans in “high-cost areas” where values are 50 percent higher than the current $417,000 cap.

U.S. Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Congress would pursue “sensible regulation” to restore investor confidence in the mortgage markets. Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he wants to meet with mortgage lenders to urge them to help borrowers refinance.

We need the people who hold the paper to be more flexible,” Frank said.

Am I angry? No, I am enraged at Pelosi’s speech. It seems intended to politicize this and ensure that there is no fix. The Dems are not happy unless we are all poor victims with a tanking economy because they are party-power first people.

UPDATE: John McCain’s Comments:

“From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.

“Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.

“Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

“This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.” — McCain-Palin senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin

More History from 2006 — When the Bankers and the Dems shot the fix for this down in flames.
Here’s the timeline:

Along the same vein, I want to know who in the WUSSANIMOUS Republican leadership decided not to put John McCain’s bill up for a vote in 2006. What are the names?

More at Robert Bidinotto’s Blog

UPDATE: I’m taking a bit of heat over this post, so let me clarify, I am in favor of doing this save for the credit markets, and unlike most I always have been. What I don’t think we need to do is rush into it and be hammerlocked by expediency into bad choices. Like Steve Forbes I do think it absolutely necessary to prevent a deep recession. However I also have a lot of faith and confidence in both the breadth and depth of our economy, and do not think it would lead to depression.

What we don’t need with it is political posturing of the sort Pelosi pulled that is transparently false and riddled with Bush derangement syndrome. The Dems in the house have fought off any reform or any change to FNMA GMAC and CRA since 2001, to point at Republicans as the cause is very heinous demagoguery and a flat out big lie. She needs to be replaced by the Dems, or she needs to resign, or she needs censure. Holding this bill hostage a day or two until she at least does a mea culpa isn’t going to absolutely kill the economy, and it will give people a couple more days to digest why it’s necessary, and to improve it.

Update: More at Hot Air

Energy and Jobs

As long as energy is expensive and less abundant we will be harming our ability to compete on the world market, and decreasing jobs at most local levels. It’s a steady static downward spiral that we cannot afford to stay in.
One party has blocked new sources of energy steadily for thirty years, and during that time we’ve seen steady offshoring jobs and decreasing expectations in America. It’s time to put a stop to that, it’s time to build America anew. But ignoring reality will not gain us any relief.

There are new technologies for solar, wind, and geothermal that show a great deal of promise, but they are not ready today and cannot do the job. We must continue to use coal over the next thirty years, and we must find ways to make it cleaner while doing so. We must expand our use of nuclear energy as well to fill the gap of burgeoning energy needs.
Remember when energy prices go up, so too do food prices. While that’s a discomfort here in the US, in many countries it’s the difference between having flour or soy protein for a meal, or eating grass or foraging in the woods for food daily in poor countries. We must make energy abundant for our children and grandchildren, as well as relieve this dire pressure for the rest of the world, but we must first immediately increase our energy production capabilities across the board in our own country if we are to maintain the ability to solve the future energy problems. 50-70 Petawatthours of electricity will be needed by 2050, and we are in the 12-15 petwatthour range now. That’s a huge task and challenge, and it will take Americans working together and using an “all of the above” approach to solve.

The other impact to jobs of importing so much energy is that it’s money we send offshore – if we send the money offshore, it’s not here anymore working in our economy, which also leads to fewer jobs. The wealth of the future lies in energy creation, and it’s about time that the US started leading that new wave energy sources as we have all others. Here you see John McCain speaking in Ohio on the extreme import of extending the energy base we have now to create jobs and security while building the path to our energy future.

This topic might seem a bit dry, but it’s actually critically important to our future, especially now in this time of economic downturn. Please give it your attention.

Some Humor From the Campaign Trail

From John McCain speaking in Chicago last night:

“We don’t pay any attention to polls,” when they show him behind, McCain said. “Now we’re up in the polls, 5 points up in Gallup. So those polls are always exactly right … right on the mark, totally accurate. It’s funny how life is with polls.”

Also it’s funny how the latest Obama ad gets things exactly wrong, from the McCain Campaign site:

It appears that two of the citations that the latest Obama ad uses are actually examples of John McCain voting for education funding and Joe Biden voting against it:
John McCain Voted For The Concurrent Resolution That Recommended “Increases In Defense And Education Spending.” “Adoption of the conference report on the concurrent resolution to set broad spending and revenue targets for the next 10 years. The report would reserve Social Security surpluses to shore up the program, call for $777.9 billion in tax reductions over 10 years, recommend increases in defense and education spending and reduce federal debt.” (H. Con. Res. 68, CQ Vote #86: Adopted 54-44: R 54-0; D 0-44, 4/15/99, McCain Voted Yea)

Joe Biden Voted Nay.
In 2000, John McCain Voted For The Labor, Health And Human Services, And Education Department Appropriations Bill, Which Provided $354.6 Billion. “Passage of the bill that would appropriate approximately $354.6 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments and related agencies, including $99.8 billion in discretionary spending.” (H.R. 4577, CQ Vote #171: Passed 52-43: R 44-10; D 8-33, 6/30/00, McCain Voted Yea)

Joe Biden Voted Nay.

Who Owns the Democrats and the Superdelegates?

Whoever does own the delegates, the Denver Police department doesn’t want us to know. According to ABC news their reporter was arrested covering one of the many high dollar meetings in Denver this week at the Brown Palace Hotel. He was arrested trying to film the donors while they were leaving. Story here.

Here again is the ad:

More on Ayers and the Annenberg project at Lawhawk’s.