What's up party people? Been a little busy lately. But I'll get back at you all soon and very soon. In the meantime, here's a roundup of some of the stuff going on in the news. Read it and weep. Seriously. Most of this stuff will really cause you to cry:
Senate tramples Habeas Corpus
Last week, Republican members of the Senate successfully twarted a bipartisan bill designed to completely restore habeas corpus rights to individuals detained indefinitely by the government. The 56-43 vote against the bill, drafted by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to cut off debate.
But I guess this isn't all bad. Just don't get wrongfully arrested for being a suspected terrorist and you should be fine.
Craig back at work
Senator Larry Craig -- you know, the gay-sex-in-the-public-restroom guy, has returned back to the Senate. From what I hear, any time he enters a bathroom, all the other Senators run out. But that's another story.
Black, dirty water
If you haven't been following the stories about Blackwater, you should. This is where your tax dollars are going.
I don't know about you, but I'm a little worried when I think about how much work in Iraq is being done through private military companies like this group. Between massive civillian shootouts, smuggling illegal weapons that get resold to terrorists, and possibly staging prison breaks for crooks; we are left with overwhelming evidence of what happens when we let certain private contractors loose in a hostile region without any oversight. They are not beholden to government and certainly not the military. Yet they cash the checks we write.
Halliburton, move over. You've got company.
Russian bomber spotted over North American coastal areas
Call me an alarmist, but I'm really starting to get worried about our relations with Russia. Ever since we decided to maintain our missile defense stations in Eastern Europe, the Russians have made their objections known. And now, for the first time since the start of the Cold War, we're starting to see Russian bombers in our area. Calls for a little concern if you ask me.
Judge slam dunks the Patriot Act
A federal judge in Oregon ruled last week that major sections of the USA Patriot Act were unconstitutional because they allowed federal surveillance and searches of Americans without demonstrating probable cause. This ruling came from Judge Anne L. Aiken of Federal District Court in Portland during a case where a lawyer in Portland was arrested and jailed after the FBI falsely linked him to the 2004 Madrid train bombings.
Pimp my tragedy
Apparently, pimpery is not exclusive to the pulpit. A supporter of Presidential candidate Rudy Ghoul-iani is sponsoring a 9/11 party as a part of his campaign; with a per person charge of $9.11. I guess that I shouldn't jump the gun too quickly on this one. As far as I can tell Guiliani hasn't responded to this idea. For that matter, the former mayor of New York is pretty reserved when it comes to using 9/11 to boost himself up.
Oh. Scratch that.
One less stereotype. Horray!
Fox News editorialist (I refrain from calling him a "journalist", for obvious reasons) Bill O'Reilly insists that his comments about a black restaurant weren't racist. Last week, O'Reilly joined civil rights activist Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, the famed restaurant located in the heart of Harlem. Later on a his radio talk show he commented on how suprised he was at the civility of black patronage. Who would've thunk it: black people can be civilized after all. I guess now the possibilities for black people are endless. Who knows, maybe we might graduate to actually using a knife, fork, and a napkin too. C'mon Bill. For real, dawg?
I've been to Sylvia's before and I actually met Mrs. Woods in person. Not only is her establishment wonderful, but the food is unreal and the service was spectacular. I should also note that she's incredibly humble and down to earth as a person. I feel like I had to add that in because if it were left up to Bill O's review, nobody with dark skin could ever possess any of such qualities.
Man shoots his pregnant girlfriend
Another story we can file under "Things we can't blame on racism." Apparently Andre Stewart, 32 is facing charges of homocide after he shot his girlfriend's 6-month fetus. In an paternally-related argument, Stewart drew a sawed off shotgun, pressed it against the woman's stomach and shot. The woman, whose identity has not been released, was last known to be in critical condition.
This story is screwed up on so many levels. One, I can't say enough about dumbasses like this Stewart character. But I'm also continuously fascinated at how appealing these thuggish, bad boy types are to women. I'm certainly not casting blame on the woman who was victimized, but I can't help but wonder why the hell they choose knuckleheads like this.
GOP candidates ignore black voters
Four of the major players in the GOP presidential race decided to skip out of a debate at Morgan State University, an HBCU. Apparently, they had better things to do. Rudy Ghoul-iani, Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Mitt "John Kerry, Jr." Romney were all no-shows at the debate, each citing "scheduling conflicts." The Republican candidates who actually did show up were quick to drill those who didn't attend. Frankly, their criticism is well earned.
This reminds me of why most black folks will never vote Republican. Here these losers have a great opportunity to share their views and reach out to a potential force during next year's elections, and they don't even give them the time of day.
No childs left behind
While your president was in New York campaigning for his controversial No Child Left Behind Act, he showed us the true value of education when he emphatically reminded us that "Childrens do learn." Between that, his infamous "Is our children learning?" line, and countless other Bushisms, I'm not so sure that we should leave it up to ole Dubya to be a spokesperson for education. Where's Laura the Librarian when you need her?
Normally, I don't follow women's sports. I certainly won't waste time blogging about them. Generally speaking, women's sports bore me. But I thought this story was pretty interesting. The US women's soccer team was just pounced by Brazil in the World Cup semifinals 4-0. To add fuel to fire, goalkeeper Hope Solo went public in bashing her coach's decision to bench her for veteran goalie Brianna Scurry. Scurry, a former Olympic winner was previously undefeated against Brazil while Solo was impressively on a 41 game non-losing streak herself.
While I agree that benching Solo for an aged Scurry was questionable and I think everything she said was on point, her decision to openly blast her 'team' and her coach shows how classless she is. Rather than voicing her opposition in a closed door session and allowing the media to go after him, she did it on her own. Frankly, I'd kick her off the team for that.
Well, I guess that's it. Back to work. Catch you again soon. Have a great weekend folks.
It appears that a shutdown of the Michigan government is pretty imminent. I can't say I'm suprised to see this coming. Disappointed, but definitely not suprised. The Michigan legislature had almost eight freakin' months to get this done and -- even in the face of a complete shutdown of governmental services -- haven't gotten off their asses. This is a clear example of what happens when politics gets in the way of the day-to-day operation the clowns we put in office are supposed to be doing.
Being a person who still needs his plates renewed (this was actually my fault. I just forgot to get it done), I can personally attest to how much having the state shut down will suck. But above my own personal angst, I'm concerned that all state-sponsored aid programs and committee oversights will cease; affecting millions of people. With foreclosures skyrocketing, and social programs having on by the thinnest of threads, the last thing we need right now is for these jokers to wage silly schoolyard fights with each other. I suppose that my ultimate fear is trying to legitimize our state's functionality for outside investors. I mean, who in their right mind would want to invest in a state that can't create sound policy and put away their partisan bitching for the sake of their state? I know I wouldn't.
OK. Now I'm really out. Peace!