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11:47 am EST        43°F (6°C) in North Las Vegas, NV

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With the sorry performance of so-called “Democrats” in the recent coronation “hearings” for Samuel Alito, I have been doing a lot of thinking and mourning about politics lately. There are a number of really rather important things I have realized, and I think I can say that I’ve come to an equally important decision regarding my future voting patterns.

Last May 25, I said that there were 44 people who stand in the way of the swift imposition of a totalitarian dictatorship in this country. I now realize that I was wrong, because a fair number of these 44 are nothing more than appeasers of the wannabe right-wing regime; it is thanks to this appeasing faction within the 44 that I will likely never be able to legally marry a potential future partner. By knuckling under so easily on Alito, these castrated cowards are throwing away my “inalienable right to … the pursuit of happiness” that millions of people in previous generations have given their lives to defend, and needless to say, I AM FUCKING FURIOUS ABOUT IT.

I have come to realize that, in fact, there are only two people right now who stand in the way of the end of the true American way of life; their names are Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens. These two Supreme Court justices are the two who, frankly (and sadly), are the least likely to survive long enough to be replaced by a president who actually has a commitment to upholding the Constitution; Stevens is 85, and Ginsburg has well-known health problems. If either one of these patriotic individuals dies or must retire for health reasons within the next three years, it’s over — kiss the Constitution good-bye, as dictator Dumbya will then have the five-vote majority (wife-sodomizer Scalia, sexual harasser Thomas, lap-dogs Roberts and Alito, and whoever he nominates to replace Stevens or Ginsburg) he needs to do any goddamn thing he pleases.

In fact, it’s even worse than that, because when (probably, at this point, it’s not a question of “if” any more) progressives split from today’s corporate-controlled Democratic Party and become a potent political force in their own right, they still won’t get anything done with the Wacko Satanic Anti-American Righty-controlled Supreme Court striking everything down. (At that point, I might suggest that progressives hone their skills as snipers and assassins and find ways to stealthily and strategically take out a couple of these Dumbya-appointed Nazis.) Frankly, assassinating Roberts and Alito (and if necessary, Scalia and Thomas) ten years from now, when progressives have had the chance to take solid control of the executive and legislative branches, is probably going to be the only way to restore America to its rightful position as the world’s beacon of freedom before 2030, if ever. (You never know, the American public may well lose its patience with a progressive- controlled Congress that can’t do anything because an activist wrong-wing Supreme Court strikes down everything they do, and may very well vote wrong-wingers right back into power.)

Granted, I don’t have any direct control as a citizen over the judicial branch of the federal government, but I do have the power of my vote (and however many other persons’ votes I can influence) over the executive and legislative branches. That said, out of total frustration with the likes of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- California), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York, and the party’s probable 2008 presidential nominee), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), and Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Delaware), I have decided upon a new policy for voting in the future.

The simple version is this: either you support ALL progressive causes (and, if you’re an incumbent, have a demonstrated voting record of doing so), or you will not get my vote — not even to try to avoid electing a Rethuglican. Voting for the lesser of two evils means you’re still voting for evil, and I am sick and fucking tired of it. Under this policy, which I will apply to all elections going forward from this date, I would either have voted for Nader or not voted at all in the 2004 presidential election, rather than holding my nose to vote for Kerry simply because I hoped to re-defeat Dumbya.

First and foremost among the requirements you must meet to earn my vote is a demonstrated and concrete commitment to full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans. You will support and work toward the passage of full marriage equality (and the repeal or overturn of state constitutional amendments that ban it), non- discrimination laws (even something as simple as adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964), and full and open participation in the military by GLBT Americans (i.e., a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”). You will stand firmly opposed to homophobia in all forms, and you will set a strong example against it, countering the anti- Christian wrong-wing lunacy that perpetuates it. To that end, you will support and work toward the passage of strong hate-crimes laws with harsh punishments to protect not only GLBT people, but all commonly-hated minority groups in our society, against any and all forms of bodily harm and tangible property damage.

You will be a staunch supporter of Americans’ right to privacy in all aspects of their lives. This covers not only a woman’s right to control her own body and consenting adults’ rights to be free of government intrusion in their bedrooms, but also covers the creep of government intrusion into places it doesn’t belong in the public arena. You will renounce the use of illegal wiretapping and spying on Americans, and will work to focus the efforts of the FBI and CIA where they really belong — on combatting terrorism and crime in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution. You will work against the police state that is currently flourishing in America today under this 43rd Reich. In fact, I would even go further than that and insist on the addition of a right-to-privacy amendment to the Constitution to forever protect this fundamental underpinning of liberty; we wouldn’t be the first country to have such a thing.

To that end, you will put principle above politics and properly secure the Canadian and Mexican borders. We are the greatest country in the world, supposedly, yet we can’t afford the border-protection measures used by Middle Eastern totalitarian dictatorships? Bullshit. We must build a high wall along the land portion of the Mexican border, and we have to figure out some way to secure the Rio Grande as well — perhaps this would entail the construction of a similar wall along the Texas bank of that river. We must at the very least add a significant number of Border Patrol personnel along the Canadian border, if not even consider building some kind of fence or wall along the open portions of that border. Hell, a lot of U.S.-Canadian border crossings aren’t even fully staffed 24 hours a day — this would be a damn good place to start. Not only are the porous borders a threat to our security, considering how any old Osama Yomama can just walk across the border in a lot of places, but frankly, they are also a threat to our economy — it is high time to shut off the flow of illegals from Mexico and reserve American jobs for American citizens.

You will restore fairness to our economy, including our tax and wage systems. Americans whose incomes are 133% or less of the poverty level should be freed from federal income taxes altogether, and those who make less than $90,000 should see their tax burdens reduced significantly — with greater tax relief going to those with lower incomes. There must be a top marginal rate of 55%-60% for incomes of greater than $400,000 per year, instead of the 35% joke currently in place. Estate/inheritance taxes must remain in place, although I could certainly support raising the threshold below which no estate taxes are due. Additionally, you will work to improve the standard of living of lower-skilled Americans by sharply increasing the minimum wage, which pro-corporation Rethuglicans have held at $5.15 per hour since 1995; it needs to be at least $8.00 per hour NOW, and the longer it goes without being raised, it will only have to go higher than that. You will be a staunch supporter of labor unions, and support stiff criminal penalties and fines for companies (and/or their officers) that attempt to break unions, intimidate workers seeking to form unions, and/or ignore collective-bargaining laws. Finally, you will resume the enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which Reagan halted in the 1980s; this will help to restore fair competition to our markets and destroy monopolies.

You will work to reform electoral politics and the media coverage thereof. Campaigns must be publicly financed to bring an end to the control of politics by corporations and the wealthy. Broadcast media outlets must be required to run a certain number of political ads, during all parts of the day, at a price no higher than what it actually costs to broadcast a signal for those 30 or 60 seconds; in return, their licensing fees can be reduced. You will restore the Fairness Doctrine, which Reagan eliminated in 1987, to restore balance to the one connection most Americans have to their government — the broadcast media, particularly television.

You will stand firmly against the influence of radical so-called “Christianity” in government. I am by no means opposed to reasonable, true Christians allowing their faith to guide them and their votes, but these Falwell-worshipping ideologues we see dominating today’s Rethuglican Party are a hundred times more dangerous than al-Qaeda and must be stopped at any cost. They are not Christians by any stretch of the imagination, appearances and the (mis-)use of the Bible aside; they are guided only by their drunken thirst for power and control, and they take the name of God in vain as a threat against those who are too feeble-minded to know any better. Not only will you stand against everything they stand for, you will work to educate the American public about these theocrats and their satanic ways.

I’m really not asking for much from anybody who wants my vote to become my elected representative — just a commitment to put people before profit, the Constitution before corrupt cronyism, and principle before partisanship. (How’s that for alliteration? wink) The two Congressmen I have had at various points in the last few years, Rep. John Conyers (D- Michigan, 14th District) and Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan, 15th District), have both demonstrated many of these values in the past; while I can say at the moment that I plan to re-elect Dingell (in whose district I now live) to a 26th full term this November, he is not exempt from me holding his feet to the fire if need be.

At the same time, with this update, I am putting Michigan’s two Senators (Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Democrats) on notice that if they want my vote (or any votes I can influence by speaking out) in the future, they best demonstrate a clear commitment to all of the patriotic values I have detailed above. In fact, given the “Republican Lite” behavior of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, Stabenow and Levin would be well served to speak out in clear opposition to the capitulations of Reid, the do- nothing grandstanding of Biden, the rightward pandering of Clinton, and the DINO (Democrat In Name Only) lunacy of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut).

I will no longer stand for Democratic politicians co-opting wrong-wing positions because they’re afraid of being defeated at the ballot box. God fucking damn it, at least go down fighting for progressive/liberal principles instead of weighing the political ramifications of everything. “Oh my God, if we filibuster Alito, Senator Frist is going to invoke the nuclear option, so we just shouldn’t fight this” … Fuck you, Harry Reid! Show some balls and bring Senate business to a halt if the Rethuglicans nuke the rules of the Senate — if they want anarchy, for God’s sake give it to them.

Anywhere between 55% and 75% of Americans support a more progressive social agenda, depending on the issue in question, but this majority of Americans is not adequately represented on Capitol Hill. It’s high time that the Democratic “Leadership” Council (DLC), which advocates a centrist and sometimes even right-wing approach to the issues, stepped aside and allowed progressives to implement measures that will tangibly improve the lives of millions of Americans. I’m willing to accept some level of centrism, but a move back to the left on a large number of issues is long overdue.

Once I get the vast majority of this load taken off here, I will be taking off to deliver what little remains of it in Coll-ee-fawn-yuh (speaking of Rethuglicans we must unseat this fall).