Tag Archives: filibuster

We still have no real national leader on stopping the use of killer drones

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Senate Democrats pushed Wednesday for speedy confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director but ran into a snag after a Paul began a lengthy speech over the legality of potential drone strikes on U.S. soil. But Paul stalled the chamber to start what he called a filibuster of Brennan's nomination. Paul's remarks were centered on what he said was the Obama administration's refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes inside the United States against American citizens.  (AP Photo/Senate Television)

Associated Press image

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has aligned himself with the Repugnican Party, the “tea party” and the libertarians, filibustered on the topic of the use of killer drones from yesterday afternoon until early this morning. Unfortunately, Paul’s concerns about the use of killer drones apparently is limited only to their use on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, and it seems to me that the upstart Paul’s goal is to promote and position himself as a future president at least as much as it is to tackle the problem of killer drones.

It was a breath of fresh air to see Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Rand Paul filibuster on the topic of the use of killer drones, a topic that the spineless, useless Democrats in D.C. (who are only about protecting the brand name and who have no sense of right and wrong) have refused to touch, since Papa Obama wuvs his drones, and Papa Obama must not be crossed.

The first slaughter of a human being by a U.S. drone occurred in Afghanistan in November 2001, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime. Pretty much nothing but evil came from the unelected Bush regime, yet DINO President Barack Obama decided to continue with the use of drones as remote-controlled killing machines.*

Most of the the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. want to preserve the use of human-snuffing drones for use by future Repugnican Tea Party presidents, and while many if not most of the DINOs in D.C. probably have a problem with the use of drones to kill human beings, none of them has the balls to stand up to Obama in a public and meaningful way.

So it was great to see Rand Paul buck both party establishments and speak out against at least one of the obvious problems that the use of human-killing drones poses. (I might say that that problem is their “abuse,” but since I believe that they should not be used at all, I won’t say “abuse,” because that connotes that their use at all might be OK.)

Don’t get me wrong. I could never cast a vote for Rand Paul.

Among other things, he opposes a woman’s right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but would leave it to each state to determine whether or not to allow legal abortion, Roe v. Wade be damned.

At least at one time he held the view that Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits private businesses from engaging in race-based discrimination, is unconsitutional, because a private business should be allowed to discriminate by race if it so wishes.

Although Rand Paul claims to be a strict constitutionalist, he doesn’t like the fact that the 14th Amendment makes anyone who is born on American a soil a U.S. citizen, regardless of the child’s parents’ citizenship status, and so he wants so-called “birthright citizenship” to end (he supports a constitutional amendment to end “birthright citizenship” if it can’t be ended otherwise).

Rand Paul apparently wants to pick and choose among the constitutional amendments, because he vehemently supports the Second Amendment, opposing all gun control. (As I’ve noted before, no civilian needs an assault rifle, and when the so-called founding fathers crafted the Second Amendment, no such weapons 0f mass destruction existed, so to claim that of course the Second Amendment extends to them is quite a fucking stretch.)

Rand Paul personally opposes same-sex marriage but is OK with allowing each state to decide the matter. (I have a personal problem with his personal opposition to it, with his ignorance and his bigotry on the matter, his heterosexism and homophobia, and I also disagree vehemently that any state should be able to decide whether or not to honor any U.S. citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil rights.)

All in all, although the term “libertarian,” which Rand Paul uses to describe himself, implies a love of liberties and freedoms, with the libertarians (most of whom are right-wing white males), it is the same-old, same-old: These liberties and freedoms belong only to white, right-wing, “Christian,” heterosexual men (especially those who have power and money). They were the only ones who (regardless of what the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents proclaimed) had liberties and freedoms at the nation’s founding, and it should be that way forever, right? Just like the rich, white founding fathers intended!

That’s where Rand Paul is coming from. Indeed, he is considered a member of the “tea party” also. (I suspect that he just jumped on to the “tea party” bandwagon because the “libertarian” bandwagon wasn’t going to get him into the U.S. Senate, but if he says that he’s a member of the so-called “tea party,” and he does, then I’m going to hold him to that.)

While there is nothing that the “tea party” traitors believe that I also believe — far from being “revolutionaries” who are fighting for “freedom,” the “tea-party” dipshits support our corporate oppressors, which makes them treasonous fascists, not revolutionaries, and their belief system, if fully implemented, would bring about the even further enslavement of the American people, not our further freedom — the so-called “libertarians” are right on a few issues.

Rand Paul’s libertarian daddy, Ron Paul, for instance, although a patriarchal, misogynist homophobe also, opposed the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, a rarity for someone aligned with the Repugnican Party.

Of course, Ron Paul’s reasoning for his opposition to the Vietraq War wasn’t the same as mine. My main problem with the Vietraq War was the carnage — thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians as well as more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel died pointlessly in the bogus war — carnage that benefitted only Big Oil and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

From what I can discern, Ron Paul’s biggest problem with the war was not the cost in human lives, but was that the war, he argued in October 2002, was unconstitutional**; the U.S. Congress just giving the U.S. president carte blanche approval to declare war was akin to monarchism, he declared. I agree with that, but it was the foreseeable death and destruction, not the constitutional arguments, that were my biggest concern during the Bush regime’s run-up to its Vietraq War in 2002 and early 2003.

It also has been the gargantuan fiscal cost of the Vietraq War to the American taxpayers that has concerned Ron Paul and other libertarians — and that has been a huge problem, too, as the cost of the Vietraq War is a nice chunk of our federal budget deficit — but it troubles me that Ron Paul and his fellow libertarians haven’t focused on the human costs of such bogus warfare.

Still, I suppose, although we did our calculations very differently, at least Ron Paul came to the same, correct answer: The United States never should go to war unless it absolutely, absolutely is necessary, and, as the U.S. Constitution mandates, the U.S. Congress must keep the U.S. president in check when it comes to waging war, and must never abdicate its sole constitutional authority to declare war to the president, under any circumstances.

And wars of choice for war profiteering — robbing the U.S. treasury via bogus warfare — are intolerable. And they are treasonous. Knowingly taking the nation to war with another nation based upon lies cannot be anything other than treason, except, of course, also war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On the topic of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, Rand Paul, much like his daddy, at least partially comes to the right answer, but with calculations that are too cold.

In his nearly 13-hour filibuster, Rand Paul’s main or even only concern about the use of drones, I understand from the media coverage of his filibuster, is that killer drones might one day be used on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that no U.S. citizen shall be deprived of his or her life or liberty as punishment for an accused crime or crimes without first having been granted a fair trial.

That’s way too narrow a problem to have with the use of killer drones.

Why should only American citizens be granted such fairness, decency and justice? Is not every human being on the planet worthy of such fairness, decency and justice, or are Americans superior to other human beings? Are only American lives valuable?

Further: Drones are a cowardly, lazy and sloppy way to kill, and their use quite foreseeably could explode to the point that innocent people all over the world (including in the U.S., of course) are being maimed and slaughtered by drones, like something out of one of the “Terminator” movies.

Therefore, the use of drones to slaughter human beings should be prohibited worldwide. Their use should not be prohibited only against American citizens, whether on American soil or whether on foreign soil, whether they are deemed “combatant” or “non-combatant,” but should be prohibited against any human being. You can’t trust the average adult with the “proper” use of a killer drone any more than you can trust the average child with the proper use of a shotgun.

Sadly, however, even Rand Paul’s public stance on killer drones is to the left of the public stance taken by the DINOs (which mostly is an eery silence).

DINO Nancy Pelosi, for instance, on the subject of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, to my knowledge only has offered a reassurance that of course Barack Obama never would use a drone to kill a “non-combatant” American citizen on American soil.

That’s not nearly good enough, Nancy.

Maybe Obama would not, but what if another election-stealing would-be war criminal like George W. Bush got into the White House? That could happen in less than four full years.

It would be wonderful if our “representatives” in Washington would actually lead, which means having an eye on the future — fuck, even the near future.

As Rand Paul stated himself during his filibuster, it’s not about Barack Obama (whose handlers constantly are asking us if we have his back when it sure would be nice if he had ours). It’s about the principle of the use of drones to slaughter human beings becoming so widespread and so out of control that we Americans or we human beings anywhere on the planet can’t fucking leave our own homes without worrying about whether or not a fucking drone might maim or kill us that day, accidentally or intentionally.

Neither Rand Paul nor any other member of U.S. Congress, to my knowledge, has stated publicly that that is the issue here.

And I’m still very leery of Rand Paul. I have no idea how much his filibuster actually was about the use of killer drones against “non-combatant” Americans on American soil and how much it was showboating because he has presidential aspirations.

It fairly clearly was such showboating when he remarked during a hearing in January to then-Secretary of State Billary Clinton on the subject of the September attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya: “Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I  would have relieved you of your post.”

He came off as a major prick because, well, he apparently is a major prick.

Although he’s only in his third year in the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul already was talking about his being president one day while he was attacking a woman who has been in national politics far longer than he has been. Would he have talked like that to a white male secretary of state? I doubt it. It was a sickening, nauseating display of that stupid-white-male sense of entitlement again.

While I’m glad that someone finally spoke out against the use of killer drones in some meaningful way in D.C., the patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and apparently racist/white-supremacist Rand Paul would make as awful a president as his daddy would have, and, because he limited his argument against killer drones to the protection of only “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil — and, of course, whether or not someone targeted for slaughter by drone is a “combatant” or a “non-combatant” in many cases could be up for interpretation, and thus is wide open to abuse — we still have no real leadership in Washington, D.C., on the subject of drones used to slaughter human beings.

*DINO Barack Obama’s having continued the use of drones to slaughter human beings is one of the many reasons that I could not cast a second vote for him in November 2012. Obama is an immoral man, perhaps not immoral as most of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are, but still immoral. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

**In his October 2002 speech in which he stated his opposition to the U.S. Congress giving then-“President” Bush the power to declare war on Iraq, Ron Paul also stated, “There is no convincing evidence that Iraq is capable of threatening the security of this country, and, therefore, very little reason, if any, to pursue a war.”

That is common knowledge now, and during the build-up to the Vietraq War it was clear to me, also, as just a consumer of the news, that Iraq posed no threat to the U.S. and that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime were lying through their teeth (“aluminum tubes,” “yellowcake from Niger,” “mushroom clouds,” “anthrax,” etc.) and were dead-set upon invading Iraq no matter what.

In his speech Ron Paul also interestingly stated that the impending Vietraq War did not pass the “Christian” litmus test for a “just war.” He said:

First, it [the “Christian” litmus test for a just war] says that there has to be an act of aggression; and there has not been an act of aggression against the United States. We are 6,000 miles from [Iraq’s] shores.

Also, it says that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. I do not believe that is the case. It seems to me like the opposition, the enemy, right now is begging for more negotiations.

Also, the Christian doctrine says that the proper authority must be responsible for initiating the war. I do not believe that proper authority can be transferred to the president nor to the United Nations.

In his speech Ron Paul also, besides engaging in the usual libertarian United Nations-bashing (the U.S. should call the global shots, not the UN, you see), attacked the Bush regime’s neo-conservative concept of “pre-emptive war,” stating, “No matter what the arguments may be, this policy is new; and it will have ramifications for our future, and it will have ramifications for the future of the world because other countries will adopt this same philosophy.”

It’s too bad no one is that far-sighted when it comes to the use of human-slaughtering drones!

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Obama gets his balls back?

President Barack Obama has endorsed a plan that would allow the Democratically controlled Congress to pass health-care reform with a simple majority vote without being hamstrung by an obstructionist Repugnican filibuster.

Repugnicans are agog, of course, but the filibuster is only a Senate rule, and Senate rules can be changed. (Indeed, during the years of rule by the BushCheneyCorp, the Repugnicans threatened to do away with the filibuster with their “nuclear option.”)

Perhaps the Democrats should kill the filibuster altogether; that would suit the minority — again, the minority — Repugnicans right.

The Senate’s Repugnican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that the Democrats’ doing away with the filibuster would be “met with outrage” by the American public — never mind that the Repugnicans themselves were poised to do so. (Do as the Repugnicans say, not as they do, please.)

McConnell is full of shit. The majority of Americans, who voted for Obama in November 2008, are fine with Obama’s agenda being enacted on simple majority votes. They prefer that progress over the gridlock that the Repugnicans want.

The tea-baggers will fume once health-care reform is passed on a simple majority vote, but fuck them — they’re going to fume anyway, as long as Obama continues to commit the crime of presiding while black.

Supremes refuse to kill same-sex marriage in D.C.

WTF?

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to kill same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C.

Notes The Associated Press:

Washington, D.C., [now] is the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue licenses to same-sex couples.

To prepare for [same-sex marriages], the [D.C.] marriage bureau changed its license applications so they are gender-neutral, asking for the name of each “spouse” rather than the “bride” and “groom.” …

The [same-sex] marriage law was introduced in the 13-member D.C. Council in October and had near-unanimous support from the beginning. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed it in December, but because Washington is a federal district, the law had to undergo a congressional review period that expired March 2.

Notes AFP:

Although the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request to hold a referendum on gay marriage, which would have delayed the day the law took effect in Washington, it said opponents of gay marriage could seek to hold a “ballot initiative” in the capital to try to get the act repealed.

That would be similar to what happened in California, where residents voted in a referendum in November 2008 — known as Proposition 8 — to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, overturning a state supreme court decision six months earlier which legalized gay marriage.

Interesting… The U.S. Supreme Court apparently doesn’t want to decide on the matter 0f same-sex marriage, but is willing to allow the people of each state (and D.C.) to decide the matter for themselves.

While that’s not as bad as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage (because there is), I still find it fucked up that anyone’s equal civil and human rights should be put up for a vote.

Whose equal civil and human rights should we put up for a vote next?

The response from wingnuts to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to stop the D.C. same-sex marriages was predictable. Reports AFP:

Outside the courthouse, a handful of protesters held up banners and chanted slogans, saying the United States was doomed because it has allowed same-sex marriage.

“When this Congress acted to let fags marry in D.C., they bound this country,” anti-gay activist Shirley Phelps-Roper, who had travelled to Washington from Kansas, told AFP.

“This is the last generation. This nation’s destruction is imminent and they did it to themselves,” said Phelps-Roper, brandishing signs reading “America’s doomed,” “God hates you,” “You’re going to hell” and “Fag marriage.”

You know, if these are the “end times,” it’s only because the end-timers have brought the end times on. It wouldn’t be a “fag” who causes Armageddon; it would be a wingnut.

KKKopycats plaguing University of California campuses?

There are news reports about racist/white supremacist and anti-Semitic incidents cropping up at University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.

While I believe that university students — and everyone — should not be subjected to hatred and intimidation, I have to wonder how many of these acts (which thus far have been acts of vandalism and the intentional or unintentional creation of offensive displays, and not of violence) are the acts of actual haters and how many of them are the acts of copycats who don’t hate nearly as much as they just get a thrill from stirring shit up.

I can see male students who are young, dumb and full of cum thinking that it’s great entertainment to put a swastika on something, or to put a mock Ku Klux Klan hood on display, and then watch the ensuing reaction.

Stupid, yes. Racist/white supremacist? Not necessarily, not if the perpetrators aren’t actually racist/white supremacist.

Things not intended as racist or white supremacist can be interpreted that way, too.

For instance, The Associated Press reports that at UC San Diego recently, a noose was found dangling from a library bookshelf and that

UC San Diego campus police said they had completed their investigation into the noose incident and turned their results over to the city attorney on Tuesday for possible hate crime charges.

One of the students responsible for the noose apologized to the university community in an anonymous letter published Monday in the campus newspaper. She said the noose was formed while she and friends were playing around with a piece of rope and had no meaning as a lynching symbol.

The student said she is not black, but is a minority.

The student’s story is plausible, but the noose put the campus into an uproar nontheless. So think of what a display that is meant to stir people up can do.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and act rationally, not emotionally. WWOD? (That’s “What Would Obama Do?”) He would be as cool as a cucumber high on weed. He wouldn’t freak out.

Actual racists and white supremacists shown to have violated laws against hate speech and hate crimes should be prosecuted. Dumbfucks who thought that it sure would be funny to stir up shit by making it appear as though their handiwork were the handiwork of an actual hater should be prosecuted under the appropriate criminal law, such as vandalism or disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.

And again, we need to calm the fuck down.

There are crazies out there who feed on our frenzy, and if we don’t feed them, they’ll just go away.

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Why the dick won’t shut the fuck up

In this photo released by ABC former Vice President Dick Cheney ...

Associated Press photo

Gas bag Dick Cheney appears on a political talk show aired this morning in order to (what else?) bash the Obama administration. The Associated Press correctly although too diplomatically deems Cheney’s “public criticism on a successor administration” as “unusual.”

Gay conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan and I agree on one thing (besides our attraction to members of our own sex): Former Vice President Dick Cheney is still talking, more than a year after he left office, because he’s afraid that he might, just might, actually be prosecuted for his war crimes one day.

Politico quotes Sullivan as having stated in an e-mail:

“Cheney’s unprecedentedly aggressive approach … reflects his own knowledge that he has committed war crimes of a very grave sort, war crimes that at some point could lead to prosecution and will undoubtedly lead to historical infamy.”

“If that becomes the prevailing narrative — because it is true — he will go down in history as a man who betrayed the very core principles of Western civilization out of panic and then covered it up,” Sullivan continued. “So he has to change the subject and launch this kind of PR campaign to throw everyone off the scent….

“Cheney is cornered. He knows justice is coming, and he knows that one day the full truth will come out and there will be no hiding. Until then, he will fight and fight and break every taboo that respect for the Constitution and for civil discourse requires.”

Sullivan has been one of the leading voices criticizing the news media — and Politico specifically — for giving Cheney a platform for his rhetorical blasts in interviews without challenging his premises and also forcing him to answer for his own alleged misdeeds in office….

Cheney isn’t fooling anyone, though, isn’t throwing anyone off of his stench. And by keeping himself in the limelight, he is drawing more attention to himself and to his treasonous war crimes. Stupid.

I mean, George W. Bush, a dumbfuck extraordinaire, is smart enough to keep a low profile, and why is Dick Fucking Cheney criticizing the Obama administration when Al Gore, President Bill Clinton’s veep, didn’t routinely criticize the BushCheneyCorp administration, even though there was plenty to criticize?

(I can recall that Gore only made one fiery speech critical of the unelected Bush regime, in the wake of the breaking of the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors scandal to the entire world community. That speech was quite appropriate, given that it had turned out that Americans had treated Iraqi prisoners, most of them innocent of any crime, in a Nazi-like fashion. I don’t believe that during the eight long nightmarish years between January 2001 and January 2009 Gore made more than one or two prominent speeches in which his main topic was criticism of the BushCheneyCorp, yet here is Cheney, who can’t keep himself off of the Sunday morning political shows.)

Anyway, it isn’t like it was Sullivan who made me see the light of the truth. It was in a post titled “Die, Dick, Die!” in October that I wrote:

Cheney, with his latest act his rant against the Obama administration’s handling of Afghanistan (where he would have proclaimed “mission accomplished” already), is trying to salvage his “legacy” by acting as though he really cares about national security instead of war profiteering (he did deliver his war-profiteering corporation Halliburton the Vietraq War, after all), the pundits are chattering, but my best guess is that Cheney is terrified that he might actually be charged as the war criminal that he is and that he therefore is trying to drum up public opinion to be sympathetic toward his sorry, felonious, treasonous ass should justice actually ever be done and he actually be held accountable for the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths of our men and women in uniform and of innocent Iraqi civilians (and many, many other innocent civilians throughout the Middle East).

I also have to wonder if perhaps Tricky Dick still believes that he is in power; maybe that faulty, Grinch-like, two-sizes-too-small heart of his isn’t supplying his brain with enough oxygen. Politico quotes Cheney as having said, when asked how George W. Bush feels about his outspokenness, “I’m the vice president now — ex-vice president. I have the great freedom and luxury of speaking out, saying what I want to say, what I believe. And I have not been discouraged from doing so.” 

“I’m the vice president now”? Sounds like a Freudian slip to me.

Fuck the filibuster!

Rachel Maddow has called — I think — for doing away with the filibuster.* While she focuses on how boring (but how important) the concept of the filibuster is, and calls for renaming the filibuster, what she seems to be aiming at is doing away with the filibuster altogether.

Maddow notes that the filibuster used to require two-thirds, or 67 votes, of the U.S. Senate, to be overcome. The filibuster threshold now stands at 60 votes.

While I believe that a simple majority is good enough in a democracy — we don’t require a presidential candidate to get 60 percent of the vote — I could compromise and put the filibuster at 55 votes. That is one-half of the Senate plus one-tenth of one-half of the Senate. That seems fair enough to me.

(And indeed, the infamous progressive Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has called for a 55-vote filibuster threshold, and you can sign his petition for this more reasonable filibuster threshold at StopSenateStalling.com.)

As Maddow and Grayson note, the filibuster is not contained anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but is only a Senate rule. Wikipedia notes that Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority vote of the Senate — and that this is what the Repugnicans, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime, threatened to do with their “nuclear option,” to do away with the filibuster, an option that the Democrats thus far have been too pussy to take.

I say: Nuke the motherfuckers. Now. 

The 60-vote filibuster is preventing any progress from being made and has hamstrung the U.S. government.

The 60-vote filibuster reminds me of how the two-thirds vote requirement for the California Legislature to pass the state’s budget has only hamstrung rather than helped my home state’s budget process.

Unfortunately, that ridiculous requirement for a super-majority is contained in the state’s Constitution, and the easiest way to change that would be to amend the state’s Constitution at the ballot box. Many if not most proponents of changing the state’s two-thirds-vote budget-bill requirement are OK with making it a 55-percent-vote requirement instead. I’m OK with that.

Dick Cheney and I actually agree on something!

An Associated Press article on how long it might take the U.S. military to finally stop discriminating against non-heterosexuals reports:

The goal, according to senior defense and military officials, is to avoid the backlash that could result from imposing change too fast. While officials expect resistance from only a minority of service members and believe that it could be contained with discipline, officials fear isolated incidents of violence could erupt as a means of protest.

What does it say of the quality of the individuals in our military that “violence could erupt as a means of protest” against granting equal human and civil rights to everyone in the military?

Actually, though, I don’t think that really is the stupid white men’s concern. I suspect that once again, the stupid old white men are just using our troops as political human shields for themselves. (The members of the unelected Bush regime did that routinely when they tried to morph any valid criticisms of their launching and their handling of their Vietraq War into attacks on our troops.)

It’s the stupid old white men who are far more afraid of the change than are the young people in the military.

Even Dick Cheney, whose daughter is a dyke, has my back on this one. Reports the AP:

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the military. The 75 percent figure is far above the 44 percent of Americans who said so in May 1993.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, defense secretary in the first Bush administration, said [today] he supports a review of the [“don’t ask, don’t tell”] policy.

“When the chiefs come forward and say we think we can do it, it strikes me it’s time to reconsider the policy,” he said. “I’m reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard.”

Cheney, who has an openly gay daughter, said he thinks society has moved on from staunch opposition to gays serving in the military.

“It’s partly a generational question,” he told ABC’s “This Week,” adding that “things have changed significantly” since the [“DADT”] policy took effect.

“Partly” a generational question? No, it’s almost wholly a generational question.

OK, so I guess that I still have plenty of disagreement with the dick…

Move over, Margaret!

Speaking of dykes, Wanda Sykes is my new favorite comedian.

I recently bought the DVD of her HBO stand-up special “I’ma Be Me,” which was recorded in Washington, D.C., in August, and my boyfriend and I have watched it twice.

Wanda rocks.

Margaret Cho, a self-proclaimed fag hag, has been the default gay guy’s comedian for some years now, and I still love ya, Margaret, but Wanda is funnier and fresher than you are.

Wanda’s political sensibilities seem to be much sharper than those of Margaret, who, if her autobiographical claims about herself are accurate, apparently spent a lot of years partying before she woke up to the political scene circa 2003 or 2004.

And while Margaret’s material is stale, Wanda’s is new to me.

Wanda comes to her comedy from the perspective of being a black lesbian. (She came out in November 2008, after the odious Prop H8 passed here in California.)

In her HBO stand-up special Wanda doesn’t talk too much about lesbianism — her comedy is much less sexually graphic and less scatological than is Margaret’s — but her take on what it’s like to be black in white America is hilarious and even eye-opening.

“White people are looking at you!” she intones throughout her routine, and while it’s comedy, it rings true. Her bit about finally being able to buy a whole watermelon at the supermarket — now that Barack Obama is president — is hilarious and probably only she could get away with something like that.

Wanda’s riff on pirates (yes, pirates — a reference to when the Somali pirates were in the news) also is ROLF-level good, and the way that she brings back certain themes throughout her routine is masterfully funny.  

Wanda’s 15-minute performance at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner probably gave her the most national exposure that she’s ever had, but, as she says right off in “I’ma Be Me,” she had to hold back at the correspondents’ dinner.

She’s much better when she’s off-leash, so to speak, as she is in “I’ma Be Me.”

The only criticism that I have of “I’ma Be Me” is that Wanda uses at least two or three of the jokes that she already used at the correspondents’ dinner. She’s allowed to rehash her own material, of course, but you would think that she would have realized that many if not most of us had already heard those jokes.

Wanda’s facial expressions and her willingness to move around on stage liberally add entertainment value to her already-funny material, and she’s so adorable that even when she chuckles at her own jokes it’s quite forgivable.

You owe it to yourself to watch “I’ma Be Me,” whether it’s still showing periodically on HBO or whether you buy the DVD (such as via amazon.com).

Out to pasture for the McCainosaurus?

There is talk that Repugnican John McCainosaurus might lose the Repugnican primary to his even wingnuttier challenger, J.D. Hayworth, ending McCainosaurus’ stint in the U.S. Senate, which began in 1987.

Reports The Associated Press:

Phoenix – Defeated just two years ago as the Republican presidential candidate and with his bonafides as a true conservative again being challenged, John McCain finds himself in a struggle to get even his party’s nomination for another term in the Senate.

Many conservatives and “tea party” activists are lining up behind Republican challenger and former [right-wing] talk radio host J.D. Hayworth, reflecting a rising tide of voter frustration with incumbent politicians. Only 40 percent of Arizonans have a favorable view of McCain’s job performance.

Faced with his toughest re-election battle ever, McCain has moved to the right on several hot-button issues, like gays in the military and climate change, and has built a campaign war chest of more than $5 million. Former running mate Sarah Palin and newly elected Republican Sen. Scott Brown, both popular with conservatives, are pitching in.

Hayworth, who will officially launch his campaign [tomorrow], began using his talk show on conservative radio station KFYI to drum up opposition to McCain.

“You have a consistent conservative challenger and an incumbent who calls himself a maverick but in fact is a moderate,” Hayworth said, outlining what he views as the central choice for conservative GOP primary voters in August.

McCain is launching his own statewide tour, complete with visits next month from Palin and Brown, who already has recorded calls asking Republicans to support McCain.

The four-term senator and his allies also are taking aim at Hayworth. In December, they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the talk show host was a de facto candidate and his radio station was providing a corporate gift by allowing him to campaign on the air. And they’re attacking Hayworth’s 12-year record as a [U.S. representative] representing the eastern suburbs of Phoenix….

Democrat Harry Mitchell defeated Hayworth four years ago, winning the GOP-dominated [U.S. House] district amid a rough national climate for Republicans and questions about Hayworth’s dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Hayworth ran a conservative campaign emphasizing his opposition to illegal immigration, but he was dogged by a reputation for being an angry and combative partisan, highlighted by an editorial in the state’s largest newspaper recommending “Mitchell over the bully.”

Hayworth said he decided to quit the [right-wing radio talk] show and run for [the U.S. Senate] in late January after holding “town-hall meetings five days a week” with his conservative listeners.

They are angry, Hayworth says, about McCain’s history of teaming with Democrats on key issues. In the past decade McCain has worked with Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin on campaign finance reform and with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on an immigration bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants….

A poll last month by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center found [McCain’s] lowest approval rating since January 1994, when McCain was in the midst of the “Keating Five” scandal in which he and four other U.S. senators were accused of trying to intimidate regulators on behalf of a real-estate developer later convicted of fraud.

McCain’s once-powerful support from independents is particularly lacking; just 38 percent approved of his performance…. Arizona allows independents to vote in primaries. They could make the difference in a state where 30 percent of the electorate doesn’t belong to a political party….

While I suspect that the McCainosaurus will beat Hayworth, who I remember only as a fugly, goofy-looking

(  )

local television sportscaster when I lived in Phoenix more than a decade ago, it would be hilarious if the McCainosaurus were to lose the Repugnican primary to a tea-baggin’, mouth-breathing, Sarah Palin-Quayle-like stupid white guy whose main platform, like that of Repugnican former U.S. Rep. Tom “Bring Back the Literacy Tests!” Tancredo, is to beat up, like the ignorant bully that he is, on powerless, brown-skinned, “illegal” immigrants, who, as Wanda Sykes correctly points out in “I’ma Be Me,” aren’t criminals, but who just want to make a better life for themselves. (I would tell her joke, but I don’t want to spoil it for you; you’ll just have to watch “I’ma Be Me.”)

*Wikipedia’s entry “filibuster” states:

A filibuster, or “speaking or talking out a bill,” is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body whereby one attempts to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a proposal by extending a debate on that proposal. A popular saying is “filibuster it to death!”

The term “filibuster” was first used in 1851. It was derived from the Spanish [word] “filibustero,” meaning “pirate” or “freebooter.” … 

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