• Exactly and I have no problem with it being made clear that civil marriage is a government thing and churches and choose which marriages to recognize and perform within their religion. Separation of church and state goes both ways.

    Now if only they'd keep their religious based ideas out of policy discussions on the serious business of running government and we'd be on the right path.

  • 20 points

  • I agree with Krugman that we need to spend large sums of money to fill the gap in the economy, but I don't also see why that means the money can't be spent on pressing concerns with transparency and waste control provisions. We can double the size of the stimulus, and spend it on things that will have a stimulative impact now and also leave us with something we want in the longer term while being transparent and without being wasteful. We can do both things and we should if we want to get the biggest bang for our buck now and down the track as well.

  • comment on a post Hating the Poor for Not Being Poor Enough over 5 years ago

    The entire idea of what poverty "officially" is in this country is reprehensible. Take a look at the facts for a minute and clearly none of the numbers add up. All of the metrics are off. Just try and live your own life or raise a family of x size on (or just above) the established "poverty" guidelines and you'll see it's absolute nonsense.

  • We do, though, I think, need to push out the message the reasons for why a "poor" person would have access to a cell phone, though. And those reasons are numerous. This includes non-profit and individual efforts to provide phone access to individuals (regardless of their economic situation) for employment and family purposes.

  • Sure. Try applying for a job (successfully) without a permanent address. That doesn't work out so well either. The whole system (even applying for jobs) is completely against those who have fallen through the cracks far enough to become homeless.

  • on a comment on Howard Dean For Surgeon General? over 5 years ago

    Dean is already a civic-minded blue blood. He doesn't need to worry about making money. I hoped he would have had a bigger role in the Obama administration or at least the party going forward, but eh. I'm waiting to see what happens.

  • The US House sets it rules at the beginning of each new congress because it's considered an entirely new body as they all just stood for election. The US Senate on the other hand is an enduring body as only 1/3rd of the members are up for election at any one time. The rules of the Senate endure unchanged between Congresses and it does take a 2/3rds vote to change a Senate rule.

    I don't know what to say regarding what you've pasted (perhaps that is just there thoughts on how it should be), but I can tell you that 2/3rds to change a rule is how the Senate operates in fact.

  • Why are all of your ideas always so terrible? oh well, at least I amused.

  • This is what the Courage Campaign has been working on out there.

  • I don't drive, but I am luckily able to take the bus most of where I need to go. I'm pretty centrally located so getting to downtown, or oakland, or squirrel hill isn't a big problem. Though they are talking about changing the 64C route so it won't go between squirrel hill and shadyside anymore. That'd suck.

  • Oh you better believe the US military (amongst others) has been keenly interested in alternative energies that can give them the advantage on the battle field. The other big factor is that they plan for all reasonable eventualities including the (not so unlikely one really) possibility of co2 and other polluting emissions being required to dramatically reduce by 2020. They fully expect to be covered under that and they want to be capable of keeping all their currently energy-inefficient toys running.

    It's telling, I think, that the US military has been researching alternative energies during these last 8 years even though the Bush administration was deadset against such research and outright denied that climate change was an issue with talking about. Oh and who says humans are causing anything screwy to happen with the climate anyway? Very telling that somewhere up the food chain at the Dept. of Defense was allowed to be practical and pragmatic despite the Bush admin. line.

  • Maybe Toomey could be convinced to run after all if enough people contact him expressing their support for him. I think he'd have better chances in the republican primary this year than he did in 2004. Turn out will be lower as it's not a presidential year, which will bring out the activist base voters. The republican primary has also gotten more conservative in PA in the last few years as people left the republican party for the democratic party or re-registered as independents.

    Considering Toomey came within a few thousand votes last time he or another conservative with funding ought be able to take out Specter this time around and that would make it so much easier for us to pick up the seat in the general.

  • on a comment on Happy 111th Congress Day over 5 years ago

    It seems like there's precedent for seating Franken provisionally until the legal challenges are ironed out.

  • We do have to maintain a strong progressive majority in the house that's for sure. The re-apportionment and redistricting won't change the house map until the 2012 election though. It's not immediately clear to me whether that's a good thing or not though. That'll all depend on how many state legislature's and governorships both parties control in the states that have partisan redistricting. We had better keep our eye on the ball with the states that have partisan redistricting.


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