Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Profiles In Courage (Part Six: We Are In A Different Place, Now)

For as long as I live, I will never EVER forget that day. I couldn't sleep the night before and woke up with a headache. My daughter was just 1 1/2 years old and I decided to take her to the gym so she could play in the nursery and I could work out. I had an appointment with a trainer and we were going to work on some volleyball specific training.

When I dropped off my girl, I heard one of the moms at the nursery say that it was "just crazy today." I thought she was talking about the kids there. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw CNN on the television and heard one of the other employees say that a helicopter had crashed into the World Trade Center. When I got down to see the trainer, my friend Ryan, informed me that America was under attack.

I sort of sleepwalked through the session, with Ryan and I talking about what was happening...who was under attack and where. After the hour was up, I picked up my daughter and went home to watch TV. The utter horror and devastation that unfolded before my eyes was tempered by the sight of one man and the sound of his voice...the person who I considered to be our leader for the next 48 hours.

His name was Rudy Giuliani.

Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani III was born on May 28th, 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in Garden City South on Long Island and attended Manhattan College before graduating from New York University School of Law magna cum laude in 1968. Between the years of 1970 and 1980 he rose to prominence in the field of Public Law eventually making it to Associate Attorney General, placing him in the third-highest position in the Department of Justice.

In a well-publicized 1982 case, Giuliani testified in defense of the US government's "detention posture" of interning over 2,000 unlawfully-immigrated Haitian refugees in refugee camps, at one point stating that there was "no political repression" under President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier (source: Wikipedia)

In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It was in this position that he first gained national prominence by prosecuting numerous high-profile cases, including the successful prosecutions of Wall Street figures Ivan Boesky and Michael Milke for insider trading. He also spearheaded the effort to jail drug dealers, combat organized crime, break the web of corruption in government, and prosecute white-collar criminals. He amassed a record of 4,152 convictions with only 25 reversals. (source: Wikipedia)

It was in 1983 that Giuliani indicted Marc Rich on charges of tax evasion and making illegal oil deals with Iran during the hostage crisis. (Sonds like my kinda guy!)

Mr. Giuliani ran for the Mayor of New York for the first time in 1989 as a Democrat AND a Republican ultimately losing the election to David Dinkins. He ran again in 1993 and defeated Dinkins by 56 thousand votes. He became the first Republican elected Mayor of New York City since John Lindsay won re-election in 1969.

Giuliani won primarily on his position on cracking down on crime. He felt that if smaller crimes such as jaywalking or turnstyle jumping were actually prosecuted, the trickle effect of actually obeying the law would spill over into larger crimes. It worked. Crime dropped drastically in New York City.

Many critics cited an improved economy as the main reason why crime dropped nationwide in the 1990s but I believe that Rudy really cleaned up New York by showing people how to respect ALL law, regardless of who they were or what color they were. His early days of prosecuting white collar criminals carried over to his tenure as mayor as "Wall Streeters" found themselves with all sorts of misdemeanor citations!

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Mayor Giuliani felt as though he had become irrelevant. Primary season was about to begin and his term as Mayor was over. He had served his two terms and was finished. When news reached him that a plane had hit the First Tower at the World Trade Center, against the advice of his aides, he rushed to the scene to set up a command post. When the second plane hit, his temporary command post was almost destroyed with him in it. As the fire and glass burst into the sky, Mayor Giuliani looked up to the towers and saw people jumping out the buildings. He turned to one of his aides and said:

"We are in a different place, now."

As I write this, I can feel myself beginning to well up again at the thought of what happened on that day. The sadness that I feel at the loss of life on September 11th....why is it more powerful...more stinging....harder to overcome than when I see it every other day in the news?

Everyone has seen the pictures of people jumping but have any of you seen the ones after they have landed? I have seen a few and they are utterly horrific. I also remember video of that day called 9/11, shot by two French filmmakers, in which you could hear the bodies landing on the street. I look at all the bullshit going on in the news today and does anyone but me remember what happened? Does anyone still care?

I think Rudy Giuliani does and I will never forget his service to our country on that day. While President Bush was busy reading My Pet Goat and being secured in an undisclosed location, Mayor Giuliani, as Time Magazine put it, "took to the airwaves to calm and reassure his people, made a few hundred rapid-fire decisions about the security and rescue operations, and toured hospitals to comfort the families of the missing." (Time Magazine)

He was the one who seemed like he was in charge on that day and most of the next day as well. He made key decisions about how to organize rescue efforts, when to open the New York Stock Exchange, and attended funeral after funeral.

When Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal suggested that the attacks were an indication that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause," Giuliani met the assertion with defiance, declaring:

"There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it... And one of the reasons I think this happened is because people were engaged in moral equivalency in not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism. So I think not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem."

With that, New York City rejected the prince's $10 million donation to disaster relief in the aftermath of the attack. (source: Wikipedia)

He tried to make some sense of what happened on that day. He looked as we all did: shocked, bewildered, and deeply saddened.

He was our "Everyman" and we saw 9-11 through his eyes and became a singular, collective broken heart.

I remember that every time I saw him on TV in front of that podium, I felt better. I have to admit that on more than one occasion during that day, I pretended he was our president.

Maybe in 2008 I won't have to pretend anymore. While he has not formally announced his candidacy, he is the leader in poll after poll for the Republican nomination for the Presidency. He easily beats Senator Clinton by over 10 points in every poll and is another example, like Colin Powell, who has across-the-board appeal.

Imagine any disaster with President Giuliani at the helm and you can instantly picture how he would react as we have already seen him in that capacity....decisive, strong, organized, and intelligent.....four traits that have been conspicuously absent these last six years.

So, Mr. Mayor, how about you throw your hat in the ring? You will probably get this "stinkin liberal's" vote.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Profiles In Courage (Part Five: The Reluctant Warrior)

I have always felt that the mark of good president would be a person who could easily admit his faults and learn from mistakes. On September 13, 2004, Colin Luther Powell testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs committee that his testimony of Feb 5th, 2003 to the UN regarding Saddam Hussein's weapons program was wrong and filled with half truths. Many people viewed this as a sign of weakness or capitulation to Bush critics.

I viewed it as a man who was telling the truth.

Colin Powell was born on April 5th, 1937 in the Bronx in New York. Powell was educated in the New York City public schools, and gained a bachelor's degree in geology from CCNY. While at City College Powell joined the ROTC. He later described it as one of the happiest experiences of his life: finding something he loved and could do well, he had "found himself". Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a variety of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General. Powell obtained an MBA from George Washington University in 1971 and then served a White House fellowship under President Richard Nixon.

During his service he received many awards, most from his service in the Vietnam War. They included the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Presidential Citizens Medal and the Purple Heart. At the age of 49, Powell served as National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. In 1989, he became the Chairman of of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the youngest man to ever serve at that position and his last military position.

It was during this time that he earned the nickname "the reluctant warrior" citing diplomacy and containment as preferable to war. In his autobiography, My American Journey, he talks of being haunted by the Vietnam War and the utter inhumanity on both sides during the conflict. I believe it was there they he developed his distaste for bloodshed and an outspoken eagerness to solve international crisis peaceably.

In 1997 Powell founded America's Promise with the objective of helping children from all socioeconomic sectors. Powell often wears the logo of the organization in the form of a red wagon pin on his lapel.

In 2001, he became the Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold such a high rank in the government. He was perceived as a moderate in the administration and argued vociferously against invading Iraq as a part of the War on Terror. In the end, he was promised by President Bush that international support would prelude any invasion. He then gave his reluctant support.

When he gave his fateful UN Address in Feb of 2003, I believe that he thought he was doing the right thing for America. I also felt that he was telling the truth. Most of you probably don't remember or won't believe that I was originally a supporter of the War in Iraq. I, like General Powell, made a horrible mistake and am still having trouble forgiving myself. Powell announced on November 15, 2004 that he would be stepping down as Secretary of State and return to private life. I believe that he felt that his moderate voice was not being heard in an administration determined to pursue their reckless policy in Iraq.

Since leaving office, he has popped up here and there with very moderate criticism of the war and an unbelievably apologetic tone in regards to his involvement in the run up to the Iraq conflict. I am hoping this changes soon because I believe that the honest person inside of him is in conflict with the duty bound officer.

I think that the time is right for General Powell to stand up and tell us what he thinks about Bush Co. I believe that he was "quietly" courageous in countering the Rumsfeld/Cheney penchant for war in Iraq. His objections went under-reported and his thoughts unheard. I also think he would be an excellent candidate for the Presidency. Why?

I have always said that I yearn for a candidate who fully realizes the horrors of war. Done. I want someone who is honest. Done. His work with America's Promise shows that he cares about the future of our country by caring about its children. He is pro-choice, would be against any constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and is fiscally honest enough that many of our country's financial woes would be diminished under a Powell presidency. And that's not even what's really great about a Powell candidacy. Care to guess what that is?

EVERYONE loves him. Democrats, Republicans, Independents...hell, even Markadelphia, Just Dave, John Waxey, PL and Crabmaster Scratch would vote the same way if Powell ran. I wonder what would happen if we were all (shudder) in agreement about something?

Maybe our country could finally start out on a path to a better place. For real, this time. Imagine a country with citizens that all loved their president. That hasn't happened in a long least 40 years.

So, what do you say, General Powell? How about one last tour of duty?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Profiles In Courage (Part Four: A Sacred Voice)

This Friday, May 19th, the much anticipated film adaptation of the best selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown opens in theaters across the country. Throughout the course of this week and in the weeks after the film's release, I suggest that all of you buy as much stock in Fruit of the Loom, Jockey, and all other major producers of underwear. Why?

Evangelicals, Catholics, and other strict disciplinarians across the nation will be shitting themselves so much that the "last garment to be removed before the fun begins" could be an unusually scarce commodity. Pseudo-Christians around the country will be screaming at the top of their lungs about how "their" Jesus Christ is being if Christ was owned personally by them...

Personally, I can't wait to see all the hubbub and brouhaha that is going to unfold in the next week. Protesters, malcontents, and strict religious fervents will all be lining up to blast the film and the book as being sacriledge, hogwash, and full of lies. I mean, the very thought, that Jesus could have been married and been a father as the result of (gasp!) relations with a woman. A WOMAN! What heresy! Everyone knows that all women are evil and should eternally be subordinate to men, right?

I know it's horrible to think that son of God could in anyway be normal, loving, caring or devoted. And you really can't blame Dan Brown. After all, his book is just a spy thriller. the problem really lies within our own culture and our inability to accept that a woman was actually held in the highest esteem by the Son of God.

Most of the citizens of our great society, for all of its forward thinking, still believe that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, a belief that was finally set right by the Catholic Church in the 1960s. She was, in fact, not a prostitute, but, in my opinion, the OD....Original Disciple. And I think, until recently, the lost voice of True Christianity.

What do I mean by True Christianity? Well, it's hard to find people like that in this country, that's for sure, what with all the folks here who are against abortion and yet have no problem with 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians.....many of them children.

True Christianity can be found in the New Testament (the parts about of loving each other, be tolerant, abhorring war, not judging people, respecting the earth) and the so called Gnostic gospels which detail another sort of history of the earliest followers of Jesus. These people believed in sacred feminine power, the divine goddess, and it's relation to the the natural energy our earth gives us. They believed in ancient healing techniques, Tantric sex, and the harmony of man's aggression with women's compassion.

Sadly, these people were at first ostracized and then executed by evil, gluttonous men who hijacked Christianity in the 4th century. These men knew that they could consolidate their power by using "their" version of the story of Christ to control and manipulate people....people who were better off, in their mind, NOT knowing about this ancient wisdom because after all, an ignorant population is easier to control.

Hmm...sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Well, it should because that is who is running all three branches of our government right now. Conservative lobbyists and right wing talk show hosts disseminate their propaganda to "educate" the public on what it means to be a Christian. There are a few people, thanks to Dan Brown, who are getting out the truth. One of them has carried the message of the sacred feminine to the 21st Century, inspired much of the Da Vinci Code, and become my favorite author in the last two years. Her name is Margaret Starbird.

Margaret Starbird (left) holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Maryland where she concentrated in comparative literature, medieval studies and German language, studies she pursued on a Fulbright Student Grant at the Christian Albrechts Universitat in Kiel, Germany. She later studied at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN.

Ms. Starbird's theological beliefs were profoundly shaken when she first encountered the suggestion that Jesus Christ was married and that his bloodline survived in Western Europe. Shocked by such heresy, this Roman Catholic scholar and former University instructor set out to refute it, but instead found compelling evidence in support of the forgotten Bride of Jesus.

She has lived and traveled extensively in Europe including pilgrimages to Black Madonna and Mary Magdalene shrines and Cathar citadels in Provence. Starbird and her husband of 37 years now reside in the Pacific Northwest. They have five grown children and two grand- children. Starbird conductnationwidede seminars and retreats honoring the Sacred Union at the heart of Christianity.

She has written several books on the subject including The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Magdalene's Lost Legacy, The Goddess in the Gospels, The Feminine Face of Christianity, and the most recent Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile. I urge all of you to read these books as I believe they represent the most courageous pieces of literature to be released in our times.

Ms. Starbird illustrates, through historical documents and evidence in the scriptures, the importance of Mary Magdalene in Christian history. If she was the Bride of the Jesus, than the history that we have been taught our entire lives is a half truth...a fabrication and distortion made to minimalize the role of the female in the last 2000 years.

In effect, Ms. Starbird illustrates how many of the world's ills could have been avoided if we had embraced the sacred feminine and restored the balance that should exist between man and woman.

Currently, we are out of this balance. Our society, and the world in general, is run by violent men who have lost touch with their feminine side and need to be reminded where it is. Or educated on how to find it. Now, I am not saying that Ms. Starbird would make a good president necessarily. But how abou Secretary of Education. Or Secretary General of the UN? She has been undeniably courageous in asserting what she profoundly believes. We NEED a voice like this in our leadership!!

Her ideas and beliefs need to be spread, particularly in this country. She has said

The "sacred union" of Christ and Magdalene which, I believe, was always at the heart of the Christian story, is only a model for this much deeper "partnership" of "God" and "man/woman"--the "divine" and the created vessel (each individual as well as the entire 'human family') in which it is incarnated.

These beliefs are not in contrary to many of the basic teachings of Jesus. In fact, I believe that if Christ was married, embraced the goddess power, fathered a child, and believed in harmony between and man and a woman that makes him MORE appealing as my savior. All of these idiots that are protesting this movie are missing this point completely.

For the record, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the King of Kings and is the most wonderful being to ever grace this planet. As with many of us, he had a partner who was with him every step of the way. She was his equal, his teacher, and his pupil.

She was Mary. She was his beloved. And, in these troubled times, we need to hear that sacred voice again.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Profiles In Courage: (Part Three: California Girl)

I had drinks recently with a female friend of mine who is every active in the local political scene. We spoke of many things: the state of health care in our country, terrorism, the education system....all the major issues we, as a nation, face everyday.

Towards the end of the conversation she said something to me that I thought was very poignant. "Y'know, Mark, the future of politics rests in the hands of women. The next president should focus their agenda on women's issues because that is where elections will be won and lost." We went on to discuss what those issues were. Most women, in poll after poll, consider health care, education, and the environment to be the most pressing issues of our time...not the war or the economy.

If you think about it, this really makes sense. Women make up the majority of voters in this country and being a mom myself, I have become deeply concerned about similar issues. I think about what kind of a place we are going to leave our children and then I look at what our current government is doing with health care, education, and the environment and it just isn't good enough. In fact, it's downright awful.

So, what better person to tackle women's issues than a.......WOMAN. Folks, we need a female president. It has been way too long. Not only do we need a female president, but we need female leadership overall. I am sick and tired of seeing a bunch of old, fat men in suits getting their guns off for four to eight years. Our country desperately needs someone who can put these three issues at the forefront of the country's agenda.

Surprisingly, there is a certain woman Senator in our government who has fought long and hard on these three issues and has achieved some success in addressing these concerns. She is extremely popular in her home state, winning her last election by a margin of 20 percentage points, the largest in direct election history.

Oh, and her first name is not Hillary. It's Barbara.

Barbara Levy Boxer was born on November 11, 1940 in New York. She attended Brooklyn College and got a degree in economics in 1962. She married Stewart Boxer and moved to Marin County California where she worked as journalist, congressional aide and the first female president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

She was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1982, representing Marin country, and served for five terms. During this time she has focused on human rights, environmental protection, military procurement reform and pro choice issues. She was also involved in seeking protection for whistleblowers in government, and pushed for higher budget allocations for health, biomedical research, and education.

In 1992 she was elected to the US Senate and has since served three terms. She almost didn't run in 2004 but decided that someone should "fight for the right to dissent" against the conservative agenda. In her terms as Senator she has:

1. Authored successful bipartisan legislation to accelerate America's contribution to the global war on AIDS.
2. Written a bill to make health insurance tax deductible and another bill to let any American buy into the same health insurance program that members of Congress have.
3. Supported comprehensive prescription drug coverage through Medicare and the right of all consumers to purchase lower-cost prescription drugs reimported from Canada.
4. Been a strong supporter of stem cell research.
5. Increased autism awareness
6. Introduced legislation providing federal funding for local after-school programs, which have been shown to increase student performance while decreasing juvenile delinquency, crime, and drug use. Her 'Computers in Classrooms' law encourages the donation of computers and software to schools.
7. Established the Excellence in Education award to recognize teachers, parents, businesses and organizations that are working to make positive changes in education.
8. Successfully led the 2003 Senate floor battle to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge In 2005, Boxer voted again to block oil drilling at ANWR.
9. Been an original co-sponsor of Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Clean Power Act. This legislation would reduce emissions of four pollutants coming from power plants; sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and mercury.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Oh, and on the subject of national security, Senator Boxer voted against the war in Iraq, authored a bill to protect commercial airliners against attacks by shoulder-fired missiles, and wrote the law allowing airline pilots with special training to carry guns in the cockpit. She also wrote the High-Tech Port Security Act, and sponsored the Chemical Security Act to address terrorist threats against chemical plants. Senator Boxer also cosponsored comprehensive rail security legislation.

What the??!!?? A Democrat concerned about national security? I thought all Democrats were "lilly livered, chicken faggots who want to hand the keys of America over to the evil doers" (source: FOX News).

What makes me the most proud of Senator Boxer is her tireless, unnoticed work on international women's issues. In 1997 the Senate passed a Boxer resolution calling on the United States not to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan because of its human rights abuses against women. In October 2001, Boxer successfully authored a resolution calling for the inclusion of women in the temporary government of Afghanistan.

In March 2005 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed Boxer's amendment to the Foreign Affairs Reauthorization Bill strongly urging Saudi Arabia to permit women to run for office and vote in all future elections.

And thousands of Saudi men just sharted themselves at the thought of women governing.....

Which brings me to my final point of why it would be great to have a female president: what better weapon in the War on Terror than a WOMAN fighting and winning against a bunch of Arab men? Can you imagine the looks on their faces when they see President Boxer ordering an assault on their Bat Cave hideouts?

As a matter of fact I have a better punishment for the recently imprisoned for life Zaccarias Moussaoui and any other psycho Islamist that is captured by US forces. They are all to be put to work on a chain gang building abused women shelters across the country. Oh, and all of the police in charge of said chain gang will be female. So, Marwan el-Suckditch gets to spend the remainder of his days working for and helping women. How's that for some REAL torture?

Anyway, I know that Hillary is the one to beat but I think if she is elected then our country would be still be too divided. There are so many people that just hate her. We would be right back to square one and make no progress in unifying this country. Barbara seems more pure to me.....she seems to really stick to her guns, regardless of whether or not it is popular.

The achievements I mentioned above are just a small portion of the service she has given this country. She has raised awareness to issues that are not very popular (Florida and Ohio voting irregularities, voting against Bush judicial nominees, weapons bans) and come out bluntly in defense of issues that are very much in the minority (gay marriage, troop withdrawal from Iraq).

It takes courage to take a stand on these things and I find that appealing. And, dude, I'm sorry I hate to be a total guy here but.......Barabara is hot. I have seen her on several chat shows and she is bloody gorgeous. I don't get the screaming thigh sweats for many 64 year old women but she just does it for me. Maybe, as always, it's the slightly more than average sized love shaker.

Anyway, as we head to the polls in 2006 and 2008, let's think about selecting a candidate who will focus on these issues with great care, gentleness, intelligence, and inner strength.

In other words, how about a woman?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Profiles In Courage (Part Two: The Man Who Can Bring The Cheese)

Most of you who know me are aware of the fact that I think baseball is one of the most beautiful things to grace our world. I look forward to every season on pins and needles with bated breath. In April, I watch the season unfold in all it's glory and hang on every pitch...every hit that my beloved Cardinals make. Throughout the season, I thoroughly and completely enjoy the ONLY sport that one can say is truly part of God's magnificent creation.

In baseball, one of the prerequisites a pitcher must have is the ability to throw a fastball. Obviously, the faster he can throw, the more outs he gets. When a pitcher throws the ball really fast, they say that he can bring the cheese.

On Oct 25, 2001, the US Senate voted on the Patriot Act and it passed 98-1. One Senator, Mary Landrieu from Louisiana did not vote. Another Senator, from Wisconsin, cast the lone dissenting vote.

His name was Russ Feingold. And being from the land of neverending dairy, my homeboy can bring the cheese.

Russell Dana Feingold was born on March 2, 1953 in Janesville, WI. As a child his three heroes were John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King (funny, those three gentlemen sit in poster form above my desk and look down upon me every week as I write....). He went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Oxford, and then earned a law degree from Harvard.

He began his career as a Wisconsin State Senator and in 1992, was elected to the US Senate with a surprising victory over Republican incumbent Bob Kasten. One of the main reasons he got elected was an "underdog, grass roots campaign" that symbolized the everyman running against big government. He went so far as to put five promises on his garage door which read:

1. I will rely on the Wisconsin citizens for most of my contributions.
2. I will live in Middleton, Wisconsin. My children will go to school here and I will spend most of my time here in Wisconsin.
3. I will accept no pay raise during my six-year term in office.
4. I will hold a "Listening Session" in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties each year of my six-year term in office.
5. I will hire the majority of my Senate staff from individuals who are from Wisconsin or have Wisconsin backgrounds

Upon his election, Feingold promised: balancing the budget by raising taxes, cutting unnecessary military spending, campaigning finance reform (the McCain-Feingold bill), and a national health care system. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle attacked him for being too liberal...too out of touch....a quirk election....obviously a one term Senator.

In 1998, he ran again for Senate. During that campaign he refused soft money from lobbyists and prohibited them from running ads in his favor. Groups such as the AFL-CIO scratched their heads and said, "Oh well, he can't possibly win."

He won the Senate again in 1998.

In 2001, less than two months after 9-11, Senator Feingold was the only dissenting vote against the Patriot Act. He believed that too many provisions infringed upon the civil liberties of US citizens. He was one of the few members in Congress that actually read the bill. At this point, all talk of Senator Feingold centered around two words: "political suicide"

In 2004, he ran again. He won by his biggest margin yet, 56 to 44 percent, and even carried many of the counties where George Bush defeated John Kerry. I guess this proves that, even though people in Wisconsin suck ass because of all their Packer bullshit, they actually know a good, decent man when they see him.

His "maverick" attitude is continuing to this day. At one of his famous listening sessions, Feingold gave his opinion about gay marriage.

"Gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy," said Feingold. "The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I think that it should be defeated."

He is an outspoken critic on War in Iraq. He voted against the use of force in Iraq. He has called repeatedly for an exit strategy and has said that not having one plays into our enemies hands. His position on gun control is as follows:

"I have never accepted the proposition that the gun debate is a black and white issue, a matter of 'you're with us, or you're against us.' Instead, I have followed what I believe is a moderate course, faithful to the Constitution and to the realities of modern society. I believe that the Second Amendment was not an afterthought, that it has meaning today and must be respected. I support the right to bear arms for lawful purposes — for hunting and sport and for self-protection. Millions of Americans own firearms legally and we should not take action that tells them that they are second-class citizens or that their constitutional rights are under attack. At the same time, there are actions we can and should take to protect public safety that do not infringe on constitutional rights."

On March 13, 2006, the Man who can bring the Cheese "committed political suicide" again by calling for the censure of President Bush because he did not follow the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) which mandates use of a surveillance court for approval of wiretaps on Americans. In its history, the court has understood the request for intelligence and in only rare instances has turned down a request. Feingold made a 25 minute speech on the Senate Floor declaring that Congress must "hold the president accountable for his actions".

Hmm...sound like Mr. Feingold might have something here. Be honest...follow your heart....follow your what you know to be right and just, whether or not it is popular....ignore loud, blowhards (ie neocondouchbags) because, in the end, they will get what's coming to them....and people will notice that you took a stand.

Well, Senator Feingold, I have noticed. And as a result, I think you would make an excellent choice forpresidentt of the United States in 2008. Imagine our country under a Feingold presidency:

1. The War on Terror...actually fighting and policing those who are trying to attack us.
2. Universal Health Care...similar to Massachusetts (Republican governor btw)
3. Improved Education system
4. Sensible gun laws
5. Campaign finance reform for REAL.
6. Equal Rights for all (sorry ncds, gay people will be married. I know it frightens you to think about what gay people are doing in the privacy of their own homes but, TOO FUCKING BAD, bitch!)

Since these things all make sense, are just and honest, and for the general good of all, I guess it is time to hear the NCD spin about how this is all impossible, evil, and anti-patriotic....change being a word that most people on the right seem to not have in their vocabulary.

My only hope is that the completely inept Democratic leadership does not look passed Mr. Feingold in the their myopic quest for a Hillary Clinton presidency. He has obviously defied the odds and is extremely popular, with seemingly unpopular views, in a state that by all rights should be located somewhere between Mississippi and Alabama....politically speaking.

Harry Reid,Howard Dean, and Chuck Schumer take you really want to win?

Russ is your man.