December 18th, 2010


Senate, Voting 63-33, Paves Way for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

From the New York Times

The measure would end the policy that allows gays to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation quiet. The House had previously approved the measure, 250 to 175. More than 12,500 service members have been discharged since the policy was mandated by Congress in 1993. A Pentagon report released on Nov. 30 concluded that allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces presents a low risk to the military's effectiveness, even at a time of war, and that 70 percent of service members believe that the impact of repealing the law would be either positive, mixed or of no consequence at all.

"As Barry Goldwater said, 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight,'" said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., referring to the late GOP senator from Arizona. This of course is great news. More details will be added to this post as events warrant. Unfortunately the Dream Act fell five votes short earlier today.
Christmas - ACLU

Michael Moore and Sicko in Cuba ....and the REAL facts.

Several conservative and right wing blogs (including some here on Livejournal) giddily picked up on a report that a Wikileaks document indicated that Cuba had banned showings of Michael Moore's Sicko because "for depicting a'mythical' health care system - Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash."

The Wikileaks cable states

January 31, 2008
XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that Cuban authorities have banned Michael Moore's documentary, "Sicko," as being subversive. Although the film's intent is to discredit the U.S. healthcare system by highlighting the excellence of the Cuban system, he said the regime knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.

The only trouble is, Sicko had a Cuban premiere, and was also being shown on Cuban national TV!

Cuba's health minister also gave an interview to an AP reporter, and praised the film as well, saying "Cuba's health minister Jose Ramon Balaguer said Friday that American filmmaker Michael Moore's documentary 'Sicko' highlights the human values of the island's communist-run government... "There can be no doubt this documentary by a personality like Mr. Michael Moore helps promote the profoundly human principles of Cuban society." Additionally, an extensive clip was available on the Cuban National Media Roundtable website.

Michael Moore rightfully blasted the media for failing to do even basic homework in an editorial today. In the documentary, several 9/11 responders were taken to Cuba when they were unable to get treatment in the United States for treatment for illnesses related to their rescue efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The victims were treated with no charge, and the only questions asked at intake were their names and date of birth.

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(1). Source translated from Spanish: "The documentary Sicko, the U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore, which deals about the deplorable state of American health care system will be released today at 5:50 pm, for the space Cubavision Roundtable and the Education Channel."
Godzilla, default

Caudilloism is marching on:

CNN) -- Venezuela's lame-duck National Assembly has granted President Hugo Chavez the power to pass laws by decree for the next 18 months, the website of state-run Venezuelan Television reported Friday.

Critics say the 56-year-old president sought the power in order to push his agenda through the legislative body. Elections in September weakened the ruling party's hold on power. The new lawmakers are to be seated January 5.

"It's a coup d'etat," said Pastora Medina, a member of Congress from the Humanist Front Party who is opposed to Chavez. She called on Venezuelans "to show their rejection of the move by all means" possible.

"It's going to cause a lot of damage," she told Globovision, the nation's last television station critical of the ruling party about Friday's events.


Friends, fellow Talk_Politics Nerds, Denizens of the Western Hemisphere in the Community, I come not to condone Chavez but to condemn him.

The man was halted in a coup d'etat by the army, and he purged all of the generals who stopped him, but he is an honorable and a brave defender of freedom.

The man backs thugs and cutthroats who deal cocaine and keep a civil war going in a neighboring country he threatens war with every other week or so but he is an honorable and brave defender of freedom.

The man acculumates steadily brick by brick a dictatorship, but he is an honorable and a brave defender of freedom. He now has an Enabling Act all his own. No doubt this is the evil Yanqui media distorting how the mirror-flip of Alberto Fujimori indeed is accumulating freedom with every act that consolidates power in his own hands, without Evo Morales' actions that actually improved things in addition to the power grabs. And if you believe that, in this picture there are five lights.

He's not a totalitarian like Castro and Kim Jong Il, but by this point it should be obvious to all save the most myopic that he's another in a long run of populist Caudillos. There is nothing he's also actually *done* to change anything, again by comparison to say, Evo Morales who actually *did* lift a country out of feudalism without the horrendous bloodshed that the same process produced in another society I will not name.