Mar. 21st, 2017

drwex: (Default)
Politics rolls along. Look bullet points!

1. I've been dipping my toes into the water of involvement with the ACLU's new "People Power" initiative. Grassroots things seem appealing but are fraught with... well, people. I like the idea but I am unsure if it'll go anywhere.

2. The Comey hearing was an utter nightmare. I'm not sure why no one asked him if (as he's now admitted) both major-party Presidential candidates were under FBI investigation he chose to speak twice about one investigation and zero times about the other.

There's a rule of thumb that the more a spook says, the less important what they're talking about should be deemed. On that basis, it's particularly scary. I think calls for an independent prosecutor are entirely justified. Labels of "treason" or other criminal particulars are not. Comey was very clear that they have not determined whether any activity rises to the level of probable cause, let alone something at the level of treason.

3. The "leaked" tax return thing was such a red herring. I'm sorry Maddow took the bait as far as she did and glad it died quickly. At best it's stuff that happened 10 years ago; what we care about is what happened in the last 2-3.

4. Get ready for Justice Gorsuch. I don't particularly like Gorsuch, and I especially don't like many of the views he has expressed and decisions he's made. But he is not unqualified and that's the standard we're looking for. We can see that from his years on the Circuit. This is what I argued should have been done for Judge Garland - give a fair hearing and determine if the person is qualified for the job. Ideological tests give me the willies and that's what the Dems have to oppose Gorsuch with - ideology (his is terrible). I also don't think the Dems have the political capital or the will to go nuclear in response to how Garland was mistreated.

I am sorry for the people who are likely to suffer as a result of this - I expect it will be mostly women and I respect those who want to make a stand on this because of the anticipated harm to women and reproductive rights. But this issue falls below my current cut-off.

5. I've sort of settled on the issues where I'm going to be putting my efforts: refugee & immigrant rights, and LGBTQ equality rights are at the top. Civil liberties (free press/religion/speech, opposition to militarization/police state/government surveillance) just barely make the cut here. I include here religious discrimination and bigotry - Nazism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia which I regard as three flavors of the same poison. I wish there was more room at the top but it's a marathon and conservation of energy is going to be necessary to get us through it.

Of all the things that fall below the cut, climate change and the likely doomed state of human existence on Earth in the next 50 years is just barely below the line and it's the thing I most regret having to cut down on. In part I'm fatalistic, as I've been predicting climate-driven calamity since the past century. Once the avalanche has begun it's too late for the pebbles to object.

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop giving money to NARAL or NRDC. We increased our funding of Planned Parenthood from once-a-year to monthly, at more than double the previous annual amount. But extra appeals aren't going to get met; instead that money will go to organizations fighting for my chosen issues. Likewise, when I pick up the phone to call, or go to speak to my elected representatives, those first three are the issues I'm going to raise and they're the criteria on which I'm going to make most voting decisions.

I don't claim any superiority for my chosen issues. They're just the things I feel closest to my heart and to my family. They're the things I think are most likely to get people I care about hurt or killed in the next four years. To some degree they're issues I've been involved with for a long time. If you read me here you know I've been advocating for MSF's work with refugees. I've also been involved with gay rights since we thought gay rights were a separate thing back in the 1980s and AIDS was tearing the community to shreds. I also first joined the ACLU in the 1980s. I guess in times of crisis you go with what you know best.

Tell me about your top issues and why you chose them?

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