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This is the personal weblog of Aakash Raut, established Sept. 2002. It will cover current affairs, worldwide & national topics, local & university events, and provide insight and commentary on contemporary issues and the news from his perspective. Enjoy!

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    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    Update: Wow! The first vote - on whether to convict Governor (should I still be calling him that? ;-) [!!!!!] :-) Rod Blagojevich, was unanimous! [Save possibly for a 'PRESENT' (?)].

    Now, they will vote on whether to bar him from holding public office ever again, in this fine state. (I didn't know that the IL Senate / General Assembly even had the power to do that!)

    I wonder if this vote will be unanimous as well, or near-unanimous (with some people, like Chicago Democrats, afraid to vote "No," out of fear), or whether it might be close - or even fail!

    Pissed Off, More Missings

    [More blast-the-backlog, Blago blogging]

    The Illinois Senate has reconvened, and I am now even-more pissed off that I didn't plan ahead so as to (and am still too undercaffeinated to) be there (at the Illinois Capitol) - only about 10 minutes away from where I live. I didn't even get to compose/publish those entries below, before going to bed (though they will be soon). Nor did I post anything about the Blago-Oprah thing, nor about his bizarre appearance on that bizarre show, The View, and his other acts that day.

    Then again, I don't know why this blog's hit count isn't going back up, as it has before, when I started updating regularly (or even semi-regularly). I am doing something wrong, here.

    Anyway... State Senator Dale Righter, who has an excellent grip on current technology [see entry below], is speaking right now.

    They are allowing the senators to make a statement, with officially a five-minute limit.

    I was hoping that they would delay the end of the trial, and actually call some of the witnesses (the Illinois ones), whom Governor (for the moment! ;-) Rod Blagojevich requested.

    The senator who's speaking now (forgot the name, and I'm listening online, via WUIS; for some reason, the AP video feed (via the SJ-R home page), which is supposedly "live" - is broadcasting something different from what is on the radio), mentioned that Governor Blagojevich is "an unusually good liar." That is the characterization that U.S. Senator Bob Kerry (D-NE) made about President Bill Clinton... And that's not all that Bill Clinton and Rod Blagojevich have in common (aside from the fact that they've both been impeached), another topic that I wish I was able to blog about. (!!)

    There are 59 members of the Illinois Senate. At least 40 votes are needed to convict, while only 20 votes are needed, for an acquittal.

    Note: With [new] Senator Duffy's statement, being broadcast right now, I just realized that the WUIS audio feed is a bit behind the live feed from the AP Google link.

    I am glad that freshman Senator Dan Duffy (R) is pointing out that the General Assembly voted in favor of raising the Governor's salary three times.

    I like the Senator's idea about internet accountability, for the Illinois government. (That's something I would love to have implemented, at the local levels, in Illinois and elsewhere - that may be something I'll soon be involved with, on a more first-hand level.)

    Ah.... Senator Chris Lauzen. He is a solid and independent conservative voice [one of the original "fab five" Illinois senators, and is still there... He lost the primary for U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat, in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois, to Jim Oberweis, who went on to lose the election, to the politically inexperienced Bill Foster.

    However, Senator Chris Lauzen has certain shortcomings as well... But it is a relief that he is serving in the Illinois Senate (three of the other "fab five" no longer are).

    I am going to lie down, let my weary eyes get some rest, and listen to the 'show.'

    (I guess that's one thing that I couldn't have done, if I was at the Capitol. :-)

    Note: Chris Bennett just kindly called, asking where the party was gonna be at tonight! :-) :-) :-) I mentioned that I was listening to the audio feed, but not as much the online video feed. However, he mentioned that it's being shown on C-SPAN... I had checked the major networks, which had shown Governor Blagojevich's statement this morning (see entry below), but they were showing Senator (oops... President) Barack Obama, with the new (unfortunately!!) Treasury Secretary [Timothy Geithner], after having been focused on another national news item [perhaps the Ford Motor Company situation], while WICS (ABC NewsChannel 20), our local television station, was showing the soap opera. I had checked the Illinois Channel [on television; had already been to their site, for which the streaming didn't seem to work too well, though that could've been due to something on my end] - the Illinois Channel is a great, CSPAN-like, resource, but it isn't broadcasting anything this afternoon, at the moment.

    I hadn't even thought to check C-SPAN itself... For some reason, I haven't been tuning in much there, since around Election 2002.

    Aside from the television, you can also watch live via C-SPAN's website, or via The Associated Press / Google, or at a number of other places online.

    Live Coverage: Rod Blagojevich Senate Trial (and the Governor's "closing statement") - from right here in Springfield, Illinois

    [More blast-the-backlog, Blago blogging]

    State Senator Dale Righter: Live video

    WUIS [from our campus] (and NPR)

    Illinois Channel

    State Journal-Register

    Note: You don't necessarily need to watch online, if you have a television - It's being covered by the major national networks, as well as on WICS (ABC NewsChannel 20), here in the state capital.

    Everyone is using the newfangled technology, and social media, to cover this trial. This is a historic day.

    It looks like the Governor may not resign (which is great, in a way ;-)... I hope that the trial does not end today; the process has been too fast.

    Why not let him call those witnesses? (At least the Illinois ones.) We need to know who those "public officials, X, Y, & Z, etc..." are. Rahm Emmanuel, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Valerie Jarret, and the others should be subpoenaed to testify... Perhaps President Barack Obama should be called back as well (he can stop by, when he [potentially] comes back to Springfield next month).

    Then again, it was hard enough getting answers (or good questions) from, and posed to, Roland Burris [see entries below!].

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Kirsten Gillibrand: Pleasantly surprised

    I know I've been dealing with the issue of the U.S. Senate vacancy (Barack Obama, now President, which I've also been dealing with this month) in this state, and the Rod Blagojevich situation (which will be resuming soon; at least I have a little time to catch up, on this blog - though maybe not, as life interferes!... ;-).

    However, as someone who entered this world in the Empire State, I wanted to post something on what I just heard, regarding the U.S. Senate vacancy (Hillary Clinton, who I wish I had a chance to blog about!...), in that state. Some people were surprised yesterday, when Caroline Kennedy withdrew her name from consideration; people are currently speculating as to what the real reason behind that decision might be.

    I was wondering, as were others, though on the other side of this issue, whether Caroline Kennedy might be anti-abortion. I am not sure whether JFK and Bobby Kennedy were pro-life; Teddy Kennedy is unfortunately not (keep him in your prayers, despite who he is, and what he's done), but Eunice Kennedy Shriver is a pro-life advocate (affiliated with the Susan B. Anthony List, Democrats for Life, and Feminists for Life); her husband was (quite unfortunately!) the last pro-life Democrat nominee for elected federal executive office (Vice-President of the United States).

    Now, I am pleasantly surprised to have just heard, on Chris Matthews' MSNBC show (I wish he really would run for Congress; I have been a fan of Chris, since the Clinton administration - other true-blue conservatives should be, as well, despite his Democrat Party involvement), that New York Governor David Patterson's choice for this seat might be new U.S. Congresswoman Kirsten Gillebrand (D-NY); the video clip they showed was of her with a baby. Especially with what day it is today (see entry above), I was wondering if the Congresswoman was pro-life, or at least moderate, on that and other issues.

    So, I went over to Wikipedia (after wanting to defend that online encyclopedia, against conservative [and esp. neocon] attacks, I am starting to have problems with the way certain immature Wikipedia contributors are acting), and was delighted to see that not only does U.S. Representative Kirsten Gillebrand serve in a Congressional District (U.S. House District NY-20) that has longtime Republican tendencies, she is a member of the great Blue Dog Coalition. Blue Dog paw icon (Keep in mind though, that some of those "Blue Dog" Democrats are not really conservative, nor moderate... but at least they are willing to show independence, against the Democrat Party establishment, and the liberal agenda... i.e., they are truly "progressives" - unlike those who label themselves as such ;-) As addressed in that Wikipedia article section, the "Issues" section of Congresswoman Kirsten Gillebrand's official U.S. House page is not afraid to emphasize her strong support for the 2nd Amendment*, and her solid opposition to illegal immigration (I am very glad to see that she was a co-sponsor of the SAVE Act, which I regret I didn't have a chance to lobby for, this past summer).

    * - - - - - - - though it also mentions her support of certain gun regulation initiatives, such as the NICS [not to be confused with NCIS, or CSI!] Improvement Act of 2007 [H.R. 2640], which she points out was supported by the NRA (though that organization is known for compromising; the more-principled Gun Owners of America GOA expectedly strongly opposed it, as did JPFO and the National Association for Gun Rights, along with U.S. Senator Jim DeMint [R-SC], rock star Ted Nugent, and some of our nation's veterans [though not all], and the great Tom Coburn (R-OK), who may've been responsible for stopping it [Hat tip: The Liberty Sphere])

    The corresponding section of Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign website, dealing with the issues of immigration and Second Amendment rights [Hat tip: Benjamin Sarlin] take even stronger stances on those subjects.

    Speaking of gun control issues, New York congresswomen, and this Hillary Senate vacancy, there was also earlier speculation that U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) would be appointed to this spot. On the one hand, she was a Republican shortly before she ran for Congress, and she is also from a previously-Republican U.S. House seat - one that was held by the great commentator Dan Frisa (though he managed to win it in a very-Republican year). However, being a Republican in New York (some parts of that state) is different from being a Republican elsewhere (though unfortunately, not as much in Illinois... I really, really, REALLY!!!! wish there was some way we could change that - it's been a losing battle, for many years now, and things may not get better, even with the Blago scandal - though as I pointed out before, things can, and have, shifted very-quickly in this state... At least they have once not that long ago). On the other hand, I don't know what issues Congresswoman McCarthy has taken a "Republican" stand on... and her signature issue - the one that prompted her to run in the first place - is support for gun control. [Note: Here in Illinois, that might be considered a "Republican" position - quite unfortunately!]

    Now, regarding the abortion issue. That Wikipedia article makes clear that she supported [federal funding for!] [embryonic!!!] stem cell research. Her short voting record in Congress creates no clear legislative stance on this issue. Already, some liberals are expressing strong concern over this appointment, including on the abortion issue.

    Please take a look at the Google search results page, for Gillebrand abortion, before it changes dramatically, as this issue is presumably being discussed by more than just my blog. I just realized that I spelled her name wrong, so here is the Google results page (for Gillibrand abortion). [Yes, I know, we should be using GoodSearch, instead of Google, but I don't know if GoodSearch, or Blingo, another beneficial search engine, permit linking to search query results.]

    As you can see, from the immediate results (before they get altered, due to her potential promotion), it was the "pro-choice"/pro-abortion organizations that were enthusiastic about Kirsten's candidacy for Congress.

    New York Lawyer Puts Heat on U.S. House Incumbent, October 17, 2006
    "A solidly pro-choice Democrat, Gillibrand has been endorsed by abortion rights advocacy groups Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America."
    Gillibrand Win Marks a Pro-Choice Pick-Up in Congress, Nov. 8, 2006
    Pro-choice victories, November 8, 2006
    NARAL Pro-Choice New York PAC: 2008 Voter Guide,
    Kirsten Gillibrand (Dem.)

    New York 20th District From Hudson

    First elected in 2006

    Congresswoman Gillibrand is a true champion of women’s rights and reproductive health. After winning an extraordinary grassroots victory in 2006, during her first term in Congress she has demonstrated a passionate commitment to our cause and the kind of impressive leadership our movement needs in Washington. Let’s help send Kirsten Gillibrand back to DC where we need her.

    The thing is, despite these shortcomings, a United States Senator Karen Gillibrand (D-NY) will likely be MUCH better than U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) - then again, that would be true for just about any individual!! ;-)

    Speaking along those lines... After the Bill Richardson withdrawal, I mentioned that Hillary might be the next to go; I was remembering how so many of her husband's nominees and appointments ran into trouble, only during the first and second years of his presidency (not to mention all the scandals, resignations, Independent Counsels, charges, convictions [or acquittals] that his Cabinet-level appointees encountered thereafter!!). The new Secretary of State, who was just confirmed [on the same Chris Matthews segment, mentioned above, I liked how he pointedly questioned the Democrat viewpoint-provider, over Hillary's conflict of interest, regarding her hubby... The Democrat guy was forced to respond by saying that her critics should then have voted against her, rather than just speaking out - on that point, I agree; kudos to U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA) for voting the right way!!] has SO MUCH BAGGAGE, and if she shares, with her husband and our current Governor, the arrogant proclivity to commit crimes and indiscretions, even after knowing their past activities have placed them on the radar, then it might not be long before she is booted from her office as well.

    That's one good thing about Senator Barack Obama becoming President - all the vacancies it has created. His own position became vacant (though it was just controversially filled, which I dealt with below), and may switch parties in two years (though considering how much our State Party fumbles, don't be surprised if they piss it away - like by nominating the R.I.N.O. Mark Kirk), and the 5th Congressional District of my state has fallen vacant [new White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, who was an establishment Democrat, not necessarily liberal]; it was briefly Republican-held, but only due to the combination of it being Election 1994 (see Dan Frisa mention, above), and the incumbent being Dan Rostenkowski ("Rosty the Postman!" ;-)].* Who knows, maybe the Blagojevich scandal - and the fact that it's a special election, though also on the same date that Municipal elections will be held - will result in a Republican winning that seat! It would be great if Latina Minuteman (or Minutewoman?) Rosanna Pulido were to win that seat! And what if Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) goes down, in the Blagojevich corruption scandal? Then again, I've heard that the Congressman is "much better than his father," and who knows who would replace him, in Chicago? I still don't know why Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has long had a section on his website, listing conservative (and even some pro-Confederate heritage) websites... But I'm glad that he does!!

    * Note: I had forgotten that, in Michael Patrick Flanagan's (R-IL) bid to keep his seat [in Democrat territory!], the congressional candidate who made it Democrat again was none other than... Rod Blagojevich!! (U.S. House District IL-5) Maybe memories of that - and of Rostenkowski - will allow Republicans to pick up this seat, after all! (Though, that is likely just wishful thinking...)

    [ Also, I just realized that redistricting has occurred since that time as well; I don't know whether that hurts or helps us; previously, the 5th Congressional District of Illinois included the City of Chicago. Does it have more suburbs now... or a conservative part of the city (if such a thing exists? ;-) ]

    And in New York, the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton has been "promoted" - to a position she was ineligible for (until the "Saxbe fix") and to which she may lose before long, has created an opportunity to a hopefully-moderate replacement.

    And here's the thing: As discussed above, Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) represents a longtime Republican district; had it not been for the fact that it was 2006, she may not have won. Now, Republicans have a chance of making another net gain, in the U.S. House of Representatives. (I am still thrilled due to the Joseph Cao victory last month over "cold cash" Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), in the Big Easy - Vietnamese-Americans generally lean Republican, but Congressman Cao is the first to serve in the United States Congress; after the Bobby Jindal victories, maybe this is a sign of things to come.)

    Maybe Sandy Treadwell can win this seat... He did poorly last time, but if there's a special election [though is that how it works in New York?], we may pick up yet another seat in Congress!

    [Note: Although, if Rudy Giuliani gets the Republican nomination, for that seat... (See Benjamin Sarlin in The Daily Beast... Does NY, like IL, allow people to run in Congressional Districts in which they don't live?), it might be a weird situation. Giuliani is a lot more liberal than most people now realize, and if Kirsten Gillibrand does in fact turn out to be pro-life, or at least against partial-birth abortion, and maintains a strong pro-gun record, unlike Rudy, then that would ruin everything.

    Mark Kirk from this state, and Rudy Giuliani from New York, have very extreme records on abortion - refusing even to support the Partial Birth Abortion Ban legislation. Even the Democrat leaders, in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, voted in favor of those bills, and voted to override President Clinton's vetoes... The bill was signed into law when they were passed again, during the George W. Bush administration (though that could now become undone, if that FOCA atrocity gets signed into law by the new President).

    We need to be smarter about who we nominate. How many failures have to arise before we realize that the "median voter theory" is bogus?

    Over to you, Al D'Amato.]

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Live-blogging the Inaugural Address (the second time I've done so, for an Obama speech)

    Thank you, for thanking President Bush - that's something I've got to do (in connection with my change-of-heart, regarding my attitude towards W.). I wasn't able to live blog his speech, at the last Inauguration (from the snow), but I wish I'd done a commentary on it; I disagreed with it [re: President Bush's embrace of liberal internationalism, in foreign policy - a topic that I was harraunging on continually, these past years, and which I've even-recently been criticizing the Bush administration for], and was glad, at the time, to see the conservative backlash, over the Wilsonian neoconservative vision, that it generated.

    That all seems like a moot point now. I really need to get that article written - it will be my first-ever appreciation piece towards President Bush, albeit too late.


    Back to the speech...

    Those who are anti-war will soon be disappointed, towards the Obama administration - but that is something that myself and others predicted, before he even got the Democrat nomination. (The same thing was true, with regard to if John Kerry had been elected last time - those those at RedState of course disagree - and the same thing was true, "if" the Democrats had taken control of Congress, in the 2006 elections; when they did, what I predicted came true.)
    cc: College Democrats

    The Inaugural Address is over. There was a lot of flowerly rhetoric, some of it powerful... But I expected more substance. (Then again, that type of speech is what Obama has long been known for - but I was thinking that, at this point of his political progress, he would be talking in more concrete terms.) However, it could be that he didn't want to get into specifics, for this key [and historical!!] speech, which is understandable. The last one (which I was privileged to see first-hand, though I disagreed with it's theme), did have specifics and objectives addressed, but it was President Bush's second one... His first Inaugural Address may have been more like this one we just had, since he was also assuming a national executive office for the first time, following an unpopular (or at least, highly-controversial - Clinton's "high" exit approval rating would plummet fast, with the final days scandals) President. So, if the conservative/neoconservative Blogosphere, et. al., complain about the lack of substance in Inaugural Address, I am thinking that perhaps it was justified, considering the circumstances.

    Hopefully, President Obama will not be delivering another Inaugural Address.

    It's Roberts (once again ;-)

    So, it is going to be Chief Justice John Roberts. [who may, like Sandra Day, end up being a great mistake - or not...]

    ABC News just reported that the official White House website has changed, since it's past noon.

    He was just sworn in (middle name and all, though without the "II"). He had trouble saying the oath, which is understandable, considering the circumstances.

    How will his speech turn out?

    President Pelosi??

    It's 11:02 AM CST... and now past noon Eastern time, when the new President is supposed to be sworn in.

    Does this mean that [U.S. House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is now the President of the United States?

    [see pertinent section, from both of the two entries, right below]

    Live-Blogging the Presidential Inauguration

    I am relieved that Pastor Rick Warren closed his prayer with the name of JESUS!! I was afraid that he was going to close, with one of those general statements.

    U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) should be thanked, for pushing for clemency for U.S. Border Patrol agents Complean and Ramos. She has had some good positions on immigration (especially illegal immigration) in the past, despite her recent problematic actions, on this crucial issue.

    I can't believe I was expecting Chief Justice William Rehnquist to swear in President-elect Obama. I really, really, really can't believe that - This once again shows that I must be getting old.

    I was wondering why John Paul Stevens was delivering the oath... Then I realized, that it's not the Oath of Office for the President, but rather, for the Vice-President-elect (oops... He just became Vice-President, as it's 11 AM here - unless the other legal theory holds true - see entry below).

    I wonder if Chief Justice (of the United States!) John Roberts will be the one, to swear-in President-elect (or now President?) Barack H. Obama II.

    Maybe they will let Stevens do it, due to his age. (Sandra Day O'Connor was chosen, to swear in President Ronald Reagan, to his second term - but that was due to another characteristic. Her appointment ended up perhaps being the Gipper's greatest mistake, though.)

    Inaugural Delays, and interim "Presidents" of the United States

    Please see here, to see what's going on...

    They just said on ABC News that the swearing-in ceremony may be delayed, and there is debate among historians, as to what would happen in that case (i.e. - when the President's term truly begins... Whether it's when he takes the Oath of Office, or whether, in accordance with the 20th Amendment, at noon EST). This relates to the issue of David Rice Atchison, which I alluded to below. (Today however, the Speaker of the House is third-in-line, though it made more sense the way they had it back then, since the U.S. Senate President (Pro Tempore) seems to be a higher position... I don't know whether it would be worse, however, for Robert Byrd or Nancy Pelosi to be President - even if it is just for a few minutes/hours... or seconds!)

    Though I've known the story for years and years, annotating my entry below is the first I recall being at the Wikipedia encyclopedia article on U.S. Senate Pro Tempore/Possible President Atchison. It refreshed my memory of the fact that President (?) Atchison slept through most of his "term" in office. [What would you do, if you were President for 24 hours?]

    This connects with my current situation, as I did end up pulling the all-nighter (though did spend much of the morning/night on the couch - unfortunately not getting anything productive done, however). I did the same thing, the night before the last Presidential Inauguration (and the following night, and then got a few hours the next night, before getting a tour of the Capitol) - but that was different, as I was there, in Washington, D.C.

    They just mentioned on ABC that Bill Clinton stayed up all night as well, revising his speech... And that Al Gore stayed up as well, doing his speech, but then fell asleep, when he read it!

    I will be live-blogging above, rather than below.

    Bow your heads now, to join Pastor Rick Warren, for the invocation.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon Please see here...

    Was I wrong about Bush?

    This entry will mention my regrets (which I hope to do an article about soon), about having been too hard on President George W. Bush, not realizing the integrity and honor that he has restored to the Presidency, after it was destroyed, during the previous 8 years. My re-thinking alas, comes too late.

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Pardon Me

    This entry will discuss the pardon issue, as there is still time for our current President - George Walker Bush - to issue clemencies... I will mention some people (or at least one person) who I believe is deserving of a clemency [now that the two Border Patrol agents - see below - have been granted it, I'm having trouble thinking of more than one - Wait, there is another one who comes to mind, and another one who does, but doesn't...].

    And I will discuss how President Bush's retraction of a recent pardon is one additional factor that is leading me to think that I've been too hard on our President, over these years.

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Clemency in time: Border Patrol agents Complean and Ramos

    This entry will be about how, in the final period of his presidency, George W. Bush has finally agreed to grant clemency to U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. When I went to Google Blogsearch's main page, that was the top topic cluster, with this entry featured, and the caption photo was from here.
    The Right Perspective blog: Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are finally freed. (Google Blogsearch's main page still has that... Thanks to all those who worked hard, through the web and other modern media methods, to coordinate the pressure that resulted in this clemency.)

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Presidential Inauguration 2005 2009

    Sadly, I never got to blog about my leading a group to the last presidential Inauguration... Nor properly share those photos (or photos/videos/media) from other national, regional, statewide, local, and campus events that I helped coordinate attendance for, or participated in). This post will deal with that, or at least help me deal with that... ;-)

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Lincoln wasn't that great

    This entry will be about how:
    I have addressed the issue of Lincoln before, and even got over 70 hits to this past blog entry one day, after I posted a comment at 'Lt. Smash,' linking to a comment at 'Shape of Days', on how, despite living in the heart of the 'Land of Lincoln,' I now know the truth about him.

    That entry by Lt. Citizen Smash was one of many in response to an article, ironically enough, by Senator Obama, in Time magazine, reiterating a point he made, about Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, when he spoke at the Grand Opening of that Library and Museum we have downtown. It stuck in some of our minds, at that event - I was glad that he raised that issue.

    It's too bad, therefore, to see how the Senator, now President-elect, is wrapping himself in the legacy of a President who wasn't so great... It's troubling how so many people, all over the world, are deluded by this myths of 'King Lincoln.'

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Pastor Rick Warren, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and homosexual rage

    This will discuss today's altercation during Pastor Rick Warren's appearance at Ebeneezer Baptist Church, and will also discuss the recent-but-forgotten work of this church, and the King family members (except for his wife, who held a different position) against homosexuality, and especially against gay marriage.

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    I've addressed this holiday [at least] one time before on this blog, but this entry will be more balanced - kind of like Josh Claybourn's regular posts (I am still upset that that weblog, along with Hoosier Review, and others that we would participate in, in the comments section, etc... have gone the way of the dodo bird!) on MLK - but will also provide additional perspectives on him - which are rarely heard in today's time period.

    ENTRY IN PROGRESS... will be published soon *

    Martin vs. Malcolm

    The differences between the political perspectives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X will be discussed here - from a conservative and pro-liberty perspective.

    Apologies Demanded, Distractions Remanded (Hat tip: Christopher Arndt & Barack Obama)

    Blast the 'Blast the Backlog Blago/Burris blogging' Barack blogging...

    I want to first off apologize for the OCD-like mentality that I've been displaying, insofar as planning of blog entries... I guess I should perhaps apply 'free-market principles' to this blog as well. It is just so tormenting though, having an organized series of blog posts in mind, but not having free time/stamina.

    Another thing that is particularly painful today is the fact that there are is a ton of bloggage & commentary that I want to get done (not to mention other related tasks, such as e-mails, Flickr posting, and media sharing), before the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. (Can you believe that, after having led a group there for the last one, I hardly posted anything about it... Not to mention never shared a photo compilation*, nor got the major newspaper article about us posted online**, nor got the ABC (then NBC) NewsChannel 20 WICS television segment on us converted to digital format? And it's been almost four years now...

    * A fledgling Flickr photostream was set up, but contains only like 1% of all there is to share!

    ** Here is the Google News link... Why have I never put that article on the web? [The Hartford Courant write-up was also published on the websites of other related newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Newsday.]

    I have been somewhat-active [though not as much as I'd like to be], in the "Web 2.0" realm, to take advantage of the fact that the whole country was focused here, in Springfield, Illinois (also kind of did so, the last time they were, which wasn't that long ago), first for the Governor Rod Blagojevich, and then with regard to the Roland Burris fiasco. (I just saw him being interviewed on Fox News, by the way... It was crazy seeing him say that he "didn't know about the pay-to-play" stuff, regarding Governor Blagojevich; if only more people knew what some of us here in this state do). But there was some more work I wanted to do on that... Roland Burris has [unfortunately, though not from everyone's perspective] been seated in the U.S. Senate, and there is not media that I said I'd share on him [audio and newspaper], which I haven't done, but fortunately, with regard to our Governor, those hearings are on hold, so that the Democrats (and some Republicans as well) leading in this state can go see their guy get sworn in.

    I really wish that there could be a delay, before that happens (though that would require Nancy Pelosi becoming President - a situation that has happened before, for 24 hours - though some disagree) - just so I would have more time to get this stuff done! ;-)

    As that is not the case, and as I've still not found a way to make time stand still, it's time to turn to my two friends from the past - Mr. R. Bull, and Mr. Al Knight R. (And now, Miss Jen Teal as well! ;-)

    I think I will, instead of saving draft blog entries this time, actually publish a little blurb, with the title and topic. Then maybe it'll be more likely that those topical thoughts and polemics will see the light of day.

    (Maybe that's what they mean by "the audacity of hope"! ;-)

    Monday, January 12, 2009


    As my other family members were watching that global-dance-competition show on NBC, and while I was wasting precious time getting [even-worse] computer eye strain (and now I feel a headache coming on... and a little nausea), I totally forgot (until it was like 30 minutes before 9 PM CST - the opposite situation I found myself in yesterday... see below), that the second part of the premier of this season's 24 on Fox was this evening.

    I could've spent this afternoon/evening catching up on yesterday evening's two-hour season premier, and/or the 2-hour pre-premier (24: Redemption) [though I've been having trouble watching streaming programs on this laptop - and while there were several variables to consider, in what the cause of that might be, the fact that CBS Innertube streaming worked beautifully at the Motel 6 in Jefferson City, when I worked for the RNC's Victory 2008 (a lodging expense that I still hope to have reimbursed, by another party [no pun intended]), and the fact that my brother (who actually does have a MacBook ;-), also experienced the same problem, from the wi-fi in this house, shows me that it's not a computer problem]

    ... and then live-blogging the second-part of the premier this evening.

    Or, I could've spent this afternoon/evening chipping away at the zillions of things that that I am behind on, and need to get done.

    Instead, that time is now past.

    And lost time is never found again. :-(

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Jack Bauer - Jack's Back! 24 merchandise image

    Back from the "break"...
    24 season premier live-blogging

    It is 8:38 PM (or was it AM, Jack-Bauer time... Interesting, if it is PM, then they're starting this show out not only in real-time, but in real real-time... at least for those one time zone to the right of us here).

    I just remembered that last time I live-blogged the 24 premier (I mean the last time, not the entry that I decided to just-publish, below... rather that doing this all in one post - I wonder how the other 24-live bloggers are doing it), I was also late to the game... But fortunately (unless it was unfortunately - I don't quite recall what caused the delay), the premier was also late.

    Is Tony Alameda now a bad guy? (Is he still alive?) I really need to get caught up... Fortunately, Wikipedia is great for that, and for many other things.

    7:50 PM CST
    (real time, not 24 time - though we're only about 2 minutes behind Jack Bauer & them...

    Why was she wrong to dress him down?

    I am suspecting (without knowing if this has already been revealed, in the part I missed) that that guy's "it's okay" attitude is a ploy. This is the first time that the 24 world/universe has had a female president - and with a woman in charge, many men have trouble serving under them. (Just ask the Hon. Rachel Paulouse - Well at least in this season, there is not a racial factor, like in Rachel's case... Maybe they'll have a minority female President in the next one, or perhaps and Indian-American. I just saw this related post (on Bobby Jindal).


    Ah... Now maybe I will get a chance to real... Never mind.

    7:24 PM - Crap... I thought the Superbowl was tonight, and was think I should post something, regarding that.

    I found out that the Golden Globes is on (which my father and brother are watching)... But from going over to Steve Eggerson's blog (After doing a web search, I was glad to discover that he has also linked to my "Roland Burris file" - see below), I realized that this evening is (very IS***) the start of a new season of 24!!

    This is something that I should be [blast-the-backlog]-blogging about, especially considering that I have done it for a 24 premier before - but this time, don't feel that funny about it, as I just saw that Steve is doing so, and others must be as well. (I am still, as far as I know, part of "Blogs 4 Bauer" - but I might need to update my blogroll listing.)

    ***Because I'm now about one-fourth of the premier's time late (i.e. - "12 hours" into the premier) - not to mention that I never got around to watching that 2-hour pre-premier (or whatever it was) in its entirety - this is going to be a bit rocky. (At least the commercials - unless there are none, for this! - will give me a time to catch up. If not, the "Previously on 24," at the top of the hour, and the intermission between these two "hours" (if there is one!) will give me at least a moment to catch my breath.

    I wish I had a chance to do a recap, of prior seasons, as I did, when I last live-blogged a premier.

    Ahh... I see that they are having commercials, after all. Considering my late start though, I don't think I even have a chance to go to the bathroom...

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    The Roland Burris file

    I finally got published, and e-mailed out (though I had meant to do it before going to bed... Now, I'm stuck at home, instead of downtown, to watch this hearing live). The whole country is currently focused here in Springfield, Illinois, for Roland Burris' testimony to the Illinois House of Representatives Impeachment Committee (re: Governor Rod Blagojevich). Fortunately, I can still listen live (and audio record), from here.

    The Roland Burris media dossier is below, at this blog:

    A 'bare-bones' version is at the UIS College Republicans blog:

    Shortly after I started writing the e-mails about this, last night/this morning, I found this item, from the Huffington Post:

    Burris Impeachment Panel Testimony Key To Senate Seating

    The top news wire item, on my Yahoo! Mail, was: Illinois panel to grill Burris on Senate appointment... That link now goes to another article, but that AP piece is everywhere else.

    [Update: Rich Miller at Capitol Fax and at Clout Street at the Chicago Tribune have been live-blogging this Impeachment Committee Hearing. Live-blogging Burris' testimony at impeachment panel]

    Though I'm not expecting it, perhaps something big will happen this afternoon, which shakes things up.

    (Pass the popcorn, please...)

    Update (1/9/09): I am still kicking myself for not being there, when it seems the whole world (or at least, CNN and Fox News ;-) was just 10 minutes away from my house. I had to stay up late, to try to finish (though more'll be added - and has already been [see below**]) the Roland Burris media file, and publish a stripped-down version at the blog of the College Republicans. I then wanted to e-mail the major (and minor, and Illinois) bloggers, since this is a very-unique compilation - one that has been alluded to, by Rich Miller, the Daily Herald bloggers, and Steve Rhoads, but those two links (see above) are still, as far as I know, the only places where the full media pieces are available.

    Due to eye strain/other issues (becoming increasingly obstructive!), I lied down on the couch here, at about 5:00 yesterday morning, intending to get back on the laptop, publish everything, and fire off the e-mail. That didn't work out well.

    After waking back up, I published (over there as well - the draft post had been saved for New Year's Eve, like here), and then only barely had time to get an e-mail out, before the Impeachment Committee hearing began. Fortunately, Nathanael Arthur took my advice from the night before last, and did go over to the Capitol yesterday afternoon, and also, I found that the hearing was being broadcast online. My RCA digital recorder had trouble getting started, but I got it working, and recorded (except for the first couple of minutes), the entire hearing.

    I only know of one blogger who has linked to my Burris backgrounder (thanks, Mr. Epstein!) yesterday, but I just found that our good friend Mike Tosh (who wasn't able to attend, due to his Master's Thesis work) has kindly linked as well.

    I will try to have that audio uploaded soon, and make it downloadable. I've found several places where one can watch, even after-the-fact, the Impeachment Committee hearing, but as a Flash video stream (tried to download it, using that RealPlayer function, but it didn't work).

    **Here is the article I added today, for the Roland Burris file:
    02/02/1992: Burris borrowed $28,000 from campaign fund, Chuck Neubauer & Mark Brown, Chicago Sun-Times, February 2, 1992

    As mentioned there, that award-winning series of exposes from our city's excellent daily, on Roland Burris and others involved in "pay-to-play" politics, will soon [hopefully] be online as well - at least, selections from it. I'd also recommend purchasing the book based on that newspaper series:
    Illinois for Sale: Do Campaign Contributions Buy Influence?
    (It only costs a penny! :-)