Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Congratulations, Senator-Elect Franken! (D-MN)

Al_FrankenWell, I just won $10. I bet a friend at work that Al Franken would be seated in the U.S. Senate before Sonia Sotomayor would be sworn in at the Supreme Court of the U.S.  Today, MONTHS after November’s close election and the recount, Minnesota’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that former comedian, writer, and political commentator (for Air America’s The Al Franken Show) won the election by 312 votes.  After vowing for months to take this to the Supreme Court of the U.S., former Sen. Norm Coleman conceded today and Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) signed the certificate of  election.


Congratulations to Sen.-Elect Franken and to his wife, Franni.  Also, congratulations to the overworked staff of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who  will finally stop having to do the job of two senate staffs.  Congratulations to the people of Minnesota who now have TWO senators working for them.

Now that Democrats will have 60 senators, a theoretically filibuster proof majority, if we don’t get universal healthcare and many other pieces of progressive legislation, Democrats deserve ALL the blame–because they don’t need any GOP votes to get it done.  So, Dems, you’re on notice.

And the inevitable Saturday Night Live reference:  Now, the Al Franken Decade can finally begin!

June 30, 2009 Posted by | U.S. politics | 6 Comments

End Torture and Free the Innocent NOW

Bob Herbert’s column MUST be read.  The U.S. government (and, thus, all of us who are citizens), “detained” a teenaged boy years ago, tortured him, and kept him in various semi-legal prison.  HOW LONG  before he is freed? How long before we free all the innocent and try those who should be tried? When do we STOP the torture and the indefinite imprisonment?  How long will we allow the 3,000 innocent deaths at 9/11 be used to keep justifying things are NEVER justifiable?  When will we realize that WE ARE BRINGING SHAME TO THE MEMORIES OF THE 9/11 VICTIMS??

STOP. NOW.  It has to end.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | human rights., torture | 4 Comments

Big Oil/Big Coal Snuck in Disastrous Provisions in Cap & Trade Bill

Well,  I had a weekend to be thrilled that the Waxman-Markey cap-&-trade bill had passed the House.  Now it seems that Big  Coal and Big Oil had snuck in horrible provisions at the last moment.  If the current version were to pass the Senate and then be signed into law, it would repeal a key provision of the Clean Air Act  and it would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the ability to fight global warming by regulating greenhouse gas emissions!  So, now we have not only to fight for passage in the Senate (which would already be difficult), but must fix the bill, too. Otherwise we have to fight to kill the bill–because this form of cap & trade would be worse than nothing–it would end up with us burning more coal  a decade from now than now. (And there is no such thing as “clean coal.”) These nasty last-minute provisions turn an otherwise good bill into a disaster: we’d be better with no cap & trade and let the EPA regulate greenhouse gasses directly.

MoveOn.org and others are campaigning to fix the bill.  But it shows how truly evil the coal/oil lobbies are to sneakily turn a bill that would greatly reduce greenhouse gasses and turn it into permission to keep doing what they are doing and weaken both the Clean Air Act and the EPA.  If hell exists, it has a major place reserved for lobbyists.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | ecology, U.S. politics | Comments Off on Big Oil/Big Coal Snuck in Disastrous Provisions in Cap & Trade Bill