Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Belated Announcement

I may, in fact, be 27 weeks pregnant.

Just possibly.

Either that or I have been eating way too much fudge and kielbasa.

Also, over the past three months, my friend P. has been giving me booties every time knitting group meets:

And my friend KK got in on the action last night, too:

(the purple is tissue paper)

Dear Ralph Nader,

Shut up.

You didn't do well in 2004 before because people realized that voting for you under our system enabled a Bush win in 2000. Now I need to track down your complaint and find out what you are actually claiming was done to sabotage your campaign.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Every time you hear about how Congress has such a low approval rating, think of this. *****Updated


We are upset about this sort of thing:

"Tim Starks of Congressional Quarterly reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bring the Senate's surveillance bill up for floor debate in mid-November. That's despite the hold that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) plans to place on the measure -- something first reported by Election Central's Greg Sargent."

(Here's the lowdown on a hold)

It is important to note that historically the Senate is *very* protective of its procedures and traditions--to the point where Reid has honored holds placed by far-right Senators in the past.

It is important to note exactly how frightening the FISA legislation is:

"Telecom amnesty isn’t the only problem. For example, the Senate bill empowers the Attorney General, not the FISA Court, to determine who complied with the warrantless surveillance program.

The Senate bill would direct civil courts to dismiss lawsuits against telecommunications companies if the attorney general certifies that the company rendered assistance between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2007, in response to a written request authorized by the president, to help detect or prevent an attack on the United States.

Suits also would be dismissed if the attorney general certifies that a company named in the case provided no assistance to the government. The public record would not reflect which certification was given to the court.

As Spencer Ackerman noted, “So you’ll you’ll never know, if the Senate bill becomes law, if your phone company gave any communications material when the National Security Agency came calling without a warrant.' ”

How un-American can it get?


Dodd has responded:

"Just last night, we heard there are plans to disregard Senator Dodd's intention to place a hold on a FISA bill that includes amnesty for telecommunications companies.

That would be a pretty extraordinary move, but Chris Dodd has pledged to stop this horrible bill any way he can.

So if the hold is not honored, he is prepared to go to the Senate floor and filibuster."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wow. Now, that is decisive action.

I never thought that I would say this, but Chris Dodd may have just won my vote in the Democratic Primary:

The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless wiretapping. Shredding of Habeas Corpus. Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons.

No more.

I have decided to place a "hold" on the latest FISA bill that would have included amnesty for telecommunications companies that enabled the President's assault on the Constitution by illegaly providing personal information on their customers without judicial authorization.

I said that I would do everything I could to stop this bill from passing, and I have.

It's about delivering results -- and as I've said before, the FIRST thing I will do after being sworn into office is restore the Constitution. But we shouldn't have to wait until then to prevent the further erosion of our country's most treasured document. That's why I am stopping this bill today."

It has been the lack of action like this that has caused Democrats to loss faith in Congress. Too often there has been only capitulation to the White House with lip service to the reasons this Congress was elected. It is true that Republicans have been blocked every legislative action that they are able to block; however, that doesn't excuse cowardice when it comes to doing what can be done.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ah, Minneapolis

I was filling out a library survey, and this question popped up:

What is the primary language spoken at home? Choose one.

Other, please specify

This is middle America, people. And I think it is awesome. Also awesome? The library has Hmong- and Somali-speaking librarians in addition to ones that speak English and Spanish.

*****I do realize that only people who read English will be able to complete the survey. That's not the point--and note the phrasing of the question.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

SCHIP veto

What they said.

And every time Bush talks about the fact that he vetoed a "Democrat" bill, remember the bipartisan support.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This question is completely serious. (Updated)

Target is being sued by a class of people who are blind for not making their website accessible. The class has been approved by a judge.

How would one make a completely visual medium accessible to blind people? I am sure there is a way (see also: books), and I certainly think it could be done (and should be done, assuming it is reasonably possible), but I would have liked the article to explain exactly *what* the class is trying to accomplish, using specifics. You know, like the blind people who want to have some way to know a hybrid car is coming. That article mentions possible *solutions*, which seems like a reasonable thing for which to ask.


This article *does* explain a little bit about what the class is looking for as a remedy:

"The ruling allows blind individuals, who say that many other retailers have designed their Web sites to be accessible through special software that vocalizes online content, to join collectively in the lawsuit."

See? That's all it took to make it clear. There are other articles with more technical explanations, but that one sentence was enough.

Clearly 59% percent of Minnesotans *have not been paying attention*

Are you kidding? 59% of you approve of Pawlenty's job performance? Is there something wrong with all of you?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

An Open Letter to the Man Who Dialed My Office Number by Mistake Today.


When I said hello, did you recognize my (fairly distinctive) voice? If no, your response to my greeting *should not have been* "Hi, honey. Did you get my message?" I'll cut you some slack on that one, though, since sometimes people take a few seconds to process unexpected things in a familiar setting.
However, when I very politely mentioned that I believed that you had a wrong number, arguing was really not the way to go. Given the implied intimacy (or at least personal acquaintance) implied by the first words out of your mouth, how did you not recognize that you were speaking with the wrong person? I feel that I have had a fascinating glimpse into what your life must be like. Also, you sounded as if you might be drunk.

Yes, I am a nerd, and proud of it.

I got an email about this today. After my amusement regarding the fact that the ABA led their first post-new-US-Supreme-Court-term marketing email with a coloring book faded, I realized that I really want it. To be sure, part of that is to see what is presented and in what terms, but also, I think it is cool.