Archive for March, 2007

Confessions of a Sodomite

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I was reading through the comments and one particularly vitriolic commenter called Birmingham Blues a “Sodomite Website”.

I was almost amused as I haven’t heard people refer to gays as sodomites in a long time. Reminds me of a sign I saw once “I am NOT a sodomite, I was born in Alabama!”

People who refer to the GLBT community as Sodomites really surprise me. I feel like I should document their existence for a museum somewhere. They could fit right beside the fairy exhibit. Actually, no, they wouldn’t like to be next to fairys.
I don’t understand something.. If God destroyed both Sodom AND Gommorah, why aren’t we called Gammorites? And when Lot’s Wife turned around and then **POOF** turned into a pillar of salt… why salt? why not pepper? or Sugar? I mean, if God doesnt like Sugar, he could have turned her into a pillar of Splenda!

And what’s with the fire AND Brimstone? Does God have an organizational problem up there? He cant keep his fire and brimstone separate, so he just hurls them down together? you never see God just throw brimstone. Though, come to think of it, the tire company “Firestone” might have been better off with Brimstone..

“Nice tires Bob!”
“Thanks, Tom. I got a brand new set of Brimstone tires on sale!”

Well just remember, you homophobe, the next time you put salt on your fried green steel magnolias… You just got a little sodomite in you.

-Zach (The Sodomite)

Prissy (Hearts) Zach

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I’m Blog sitting for Kathy until she returns from her day and a half love fest (congrats Kathy!). Mainly my job to approve comments on a post done earlier in the week (or was it last week?) that has reached near 600 comments. I don’t think I’ve received 600 comments in the entire time I’ve had a blog.
If you’ve paid attention to this blog for any period of time, and happened to venture over to my blog, you know that I’m now living with Kathy and her Hubby and ‘chillens’. Its been a good experience so far, even though Kathy and I will still catch ourselves Instant Messaging each other from across the hall. I’ve also reignited an old flame. Yes, Prissy’s undying love for me has surfaced again. The entire day today she has followed me from room to room to sit on my lap or just curl up next to me. I even laid diagonally across my bed while watching a movie and awoke to find Prissy lying half on my face. I don’t get this much attention from my boyfriend! (Though, it should be noted, if my boyfriend had Prissy’s doggy breath, I wouldn’t want this much attention). I’ve managed to wake up oldest daughter from her deep slumber and we’re heading out for food.

Funniest thing I’ve seen today was on a subway sign that reminded me of the taco bell slogan that encourages you to forget about burgers “think outside the bun”, then i see this: Subway Sign “Subway: think outside the pizza box” on the other side the sign reads “Subway: Now serving Pizza!”

-Zach

Happy Anniversary To Me…

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

…and Dear Husband.  Seventeen wonderful years.  We’re heading off to an undisclosed location for a little R&R.  Back tomorrow.  Meanwhile, talk amongst yourselves.

Here’s What Happens When Alberto Gonzales Picks a US Attorney

Friday, March 30th, 2007

One of Alberto Gonzales’ handpicked interim US Attorneys has just cost the taxpayers at least $100 million.  This is what happens when loyalty trumps competence.

Telecommunications entrepreneur Walter Anderson pled guilty to tax evasion, but U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the binding plea agreement listed the wrong statute. This problem could have been overcome had prosecutors not failed to include any discussion of probation as is routine in such deals.

Because of the technicality, Judge Friedman said, “I’ve come to the conclusion, very reluctantly, that I have no authority to order restitution. . . . This is a very poorly drafted agreement.”

The case was prosecuted by the office of the interim U.S. Attorney for D.C., Jeffrey A. Taylor. Taylor was appointed directly by Attorney General Gonzales without Senate confirmation in November 2006 under a provision of the Patriot Act that Congress has recently voted to reverse.

Sure enough, Taylor came straight from the Bush Administration. He served as Counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Gonzales for four years prior to his selection. Before that he worked as an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, where he actually participated in the writing of the Patriot Act.

Good grief!  This guy graduated from Harvard Law School.  Was it working in the White House that dumbed him down?

Frank Matthews Is So Funny

Friday, March 30th, 2007

NOT.

Today, a source (not Valerie Abbott) showed me an email Ms. Abbott received this week from Frank Matthews.  Mr. Matthews is a local talk radio personality and perpetual candidate who, you may recall, made a complete ass of himself after last summer’s State Democratic Executive Committee meeting.  He was unhappy because the delegates confirmed Patricia Todd’s election victory in Birmingham’s District 54 and stormed out of the meeting room — shoving, swearing, and yelling at the top of his lungs about “n*ggers and gays”.  He vowed to mount a write-in campaign against Patricia, but for some reason it just never happened.

I guess Frank was unhappy with Ms. Abbott for introducing an inclusion resolution this week that included sexual orientation and gender identity.  Even though the resolution failed, he felt he needed to make some kind of point, so he’s now asking her to submit a resolution that has the city of Birmingham apologizing for slavery.  Apparently he’s unaware that Birmingham wasn’t founded until 1871, nine years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Oh.  Never mind.

A Good Day In Montgomery

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Yesterday’s Lobby Day turned out to be fun.  It’s easy for me to forget that our legislators are just regular people who, for the most part, actually like to hear from their constituents.

We started out with a briefing session on the issues that Alabama Arise is highlighting this year and on the related bills under consideration.  This being Alabama, most of those issues — like constitutional reform, tax reform, campaign finance reform, and public transportation – are ongoing concerns, but we did celebrate a couple of victories from the last legislative session:  the passage of a landlord-tenant bill and a bill that began to move the state toward tax fairness.

Then we went on the hunt for our legislators.  The House had just adjourned for lunch, but the Senate was in session.  I don’t know what the Senators were doing, given that they’ve been deadlocked in a rules dispute, but I do know someone was speaking — the audio is broadcast into the offices.  Our mission was to remind the legislators that Arise was hosting a lunch/reception for them in the Capitol Tunnel.  FYI, this is the only meal Arise buys for legislators each year.

The reception was well-attended.  I was glad to see Rep. Greg Canfield (R-Vestavia Hills) and Rep. Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) there, talking with Arise supporters from around the state.  Both are (relatively) new to the legislature, and they live, as I do, in the Over the Mountain bubble.  It’s good for them to speak with citizens who aren’t overwhelmingly white, healthy, and financially secure — and, to give them the credit they deserve, they’re both eager for input.

I talked to Rep. Jeff McLaughlin (D-Guntersville), who is rapidly becoming my new hero.  He’s the sponsor of HB 120, the PAC-to-PAC transfer ban, which has passed the House and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday.  Jeff is trying to quash attempts to add other provisions to the bill for fear they will kill it, and those of us who want to see the Senate pass it need to contact the committee members and give them our input.

Of course, our own Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) was there.  She is a staunch supporter of the Arise agenda.

The highlight of the day was Rep. John Knight‘s announcement of the 2007 Tax Fairness Plan.  Those of you who follow Alabama politics know that, until last year, the state levied income tax on a family of four making $4,600 a year.  The threshold is now $12,600, still well below the poverty line.  The proposed bill would raise it to $17,800 a year, by increasing the standard deduction and the dependent deduction (for all income levels), and it would also remove the state portion of the sales tax on groceries (4%).  It would make up for the estimated $540 million cost by removing the deduction for federal income taxes.  Alabama is one of only three states that still allows this deduction (in full), and it’s not as great as it sounds.  Middle income families only save an average of $66 a year.  Sounds like they’ll do better under the new plan.

Sympathies To Don

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Blues reader Don‘s brother has passed away, and Don sent me a wonderful article about his life.  Don, we grieve for your loss, but we celebrate your brother and his amazing story.  My condolences to you and your family. 

Lobby Day, Etc.

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I’m off to Montgomery for Alabama Arise Lobby Day.  Arise supporters from around the state have the opportunity to meet with our legislators and talk to them (at least briefly) about issues that are important to us.  If you’re in the area, come down to the Capitol and join us.

And if you’re looking for must-see TV, find a way to watch Alberto Gonzales’ senior aide Kyle Sampson testify before the Senate.  The more documents the Justice Department releases, the worse it looks for Gonzo.

Kyle better hope he can outdo GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan, who pulled out the “I don’t recall” defense yesterday about a meeting that took place a mere two months ago.  A meeting for GSA employees at the GSA where Scott Jennings, Karl Rove’s second in command, presented a Power Point presentation showing which Senate and House seats were considered up for grabs in 2008 and where Doan, according to several witnesses, asked GSA employees to consider how the agency could “help our candidates in the next elections”.

As Shakespeare’s Sister says, it was perhaps the most pathetic Congressional testimony ever.  And the meeting in question is almost certainly a violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids executive branch employees from engaging in political activities in government offices.

Delusions of Grandeur?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

It sounds like James Dobson isn’t too happy that Fred Thompson is thinking about running for president.  Dobson called up reporter Dan Gilgoff at US News & World Report to proclaim that Thompson is not a Christian — and to heap praise on thrice-married serial adulterer Newt Gingrich.  Maybe this is a doctrinal difference, but it sounds like pure arrogance to me.

“Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson said of Thompson. “[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian; at least that’s my impression,” Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party’s conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson’s characterization of the former Tennessee senator. “Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”

In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”

“We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians,” Schneeberger added. “Dr. Dobson wasn’t expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy; he was trying to ‘read the tea leaves’ about such a possibility.”

I’m no fan of Fred Thompson’s politics, but this is a low blow.  Does Dobson really think he’s the final arbiter of who is or isn’t a Christian?  If so, I know a guy named Jesus who just might take issue with him.  More likely, he’s just mad because Thompson hasn’t kissed up to him the way Gingrich and John McCain have.

Lott Can’t Get His Story Straight

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Sen. Trent Lott is supporting Bush’s claim of executive privilege when it comes to Congress’s investigation into the firings of eight US Attorneys.  I guess that means he’s had a change of heart, given that he warned President Clinton against claiming the privilege when the Republican congress was investigating everything including the White House Christmas card list.

2007:  On the March 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) claimed that President Bush would be “making a huge mistake” if he allows “his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath,” adding: “There is a thing called executive privilege.” Host Chris Wallace pointed out that “a lot of these Clinton aides testified under oath,” referring to a Congressional Research Service study he had referenced earlier that found 31 aides to President Clinton “spoke to Congress a total of 47 times.” Lott responded that “that doesn’t mean it was a smart thing to do or that it should have been done.”

1998:  …Lott — then the Senate majority leader — argued that the Clinton administration “made a mistake by trying to assert executive privilege when it doesn’t involve national security or national interest conversations.”

…Lott also asserted, “It looks like they are hiding something, so I think they shouldn’t have done it.” Also, a March 2, 1998, article in The New York Times on Blumenthal’s invocation of executive privilege before the grand jury noted Lott’s assertion that “[i]f this White House is intent on phony claims of executive privilege as a means to hide facts from the American people, then it’s going to be time for us to get off the sidelines.”

Uh, yeah, Trent, it does look like the White House is hiding something, and it is time to get off the sidelines.  This isn’t a blow job or a trumped up real estate scandal.  The Bush administration’s actions, and the lying that followed, have made our federal justice system suspect.  That is not in our national interest.  Our citizens need to know that the Attorney General’s office won’t tolerate, much less encourage, targeting people based on their party affiliation.  And if it takes a congressional investigation to clean up this mess, then get busy and do your job.