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According to a November 2006 study put out by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the global livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Now environmental groups around the country are using the scientific study to encourage vegetarianism among environmentalists.

There was an interesting article in today's NY Times about the uneasy relationship between environmentalists, climatologists (and, specifically, Al Gore) and the vegetarian and animal rights activists who see a clear solution to the problem of global warming. Matt Prescott, Manager of vegan campaigns for PETA, charges in the article that "you just cannot be a meat-eating environmentalist", and his opinion is characteristic of the views of his organization and others like it. To them, Gore's decision to focus on vehicle emissions is a clear abnegation of the reality of the situation. Check out the article here. It's well worth the read.


The Hotline's Wake-Up Call today said, "Number of days since we've had a good caught-in-the-bathroom-mid-solicitation scandal: 40." I mean, seriously, is this the party we want defining morals and winning elections because they are bringing religion back to government (since we Democrats supposedly have none)?

This is unacceptable. Just this summer we've had Senator Vitter, FL State Rep. Bob Allen, the Chair of the Indiana Young Republicans, and now Senator Craig (and who could possibly forget last year's Rep. Foley affairs?).

It's important to realize that I am not saying Republicans are evil and should be completely ignored as moral leaders. I am sure there are perfectly respectable ones out there, they just don't seem to be running for President. Even as they all say they will work to ban gay marriage, promote abstinence-only education, and ensure the teaching of creationism, these men can't be separated from their past of divorces, infidelity, and other indiscretions.

So, what am I saying? I'm saying that I hope that soon people will realize that even politicians represent the diverse, and human, population of our country. Maybe we can see that even politicians make mistakes and so we should be more careful to cast judgment on people's lifestyles and try to legislate the choices people are making in the way they live. No, I don't think we should hope for cheating spouses and rampant divorce, but I think we have to accept the right of all people to make such choices as free-thinking individuals (and ensure that those who have harmed others are punished rightfully).

I hope that one day both Republicans and some Democrats can stop worrying about and legislating against the gay population of our country, and that then their friends and coworkers can stop hiding in bathroom stalls and start living a healthier, happier life in the open. I also hope that the next generation of moral leaders in our country are not those who say certain things and then act in a different way. I hope that our generation will be one of leading by example. I hope that ours will live good, honest lives so that others will be influenced and understand how to do the same.


Tom Tancredo's office window, apparently.

Living in Arizona, I've had plenty of chances to seethe this summer at the barely-veiled bigotry of conservatives (falsely) accusing immigrants of everything, and then some-- but this just takes the cake. Notice how he stuck "9/11" in there as a reference point, too -- just in case the attempt to appeal to conservatives' basest fears wasn't blatant enough.

If only Tancredo had included a little bit of gratuitous homophobia, like specifying that these were gay illegals. That would have made people really mad.

Type rest of the post here and it will be hidden with a "read more..." link


Yet one more reason to thank God you're not a Young Republican.


I noted while watching the debate last night that Joe Biden seemed to be doing a lot of Hillary Clinton's dirty work for her. He was incredibly outspoken in his criticism of both Edwards and Obama, allowing Clinton to stay mostly above the fray and then twice agreed with answers she provided. Towards the end of the debate, Clinton returned the favor, and agreed with a comment of Biden's, then moments later, he made a semi-awkward, semi-conspicuous plug when he referred to the next President as a "he or she".

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post's political blog The Fix, saw an even bigger trend emerge, and he writes in a blog post today that "The Democratic field split into two factions Tuesday night at the AFL-CIO forum in Chicago, with Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Joe Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) on one side and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on the other."

Cillizza's argument is well-developed and deserves a read!

(And btw, that picture is not even from last night. It just seemed too good to pass up!)


The AFL-CIO debate last night with 6 of the Democratic contenders for 2008 might be best summed up by the Chicago Sun-Times - "The winner last night was Big Labor" - but, in this debate, there were many honorable mentions.

This decade opened with 9/11, continued with Hurricane Katrina, and is now ending with awful heat waves, mines collapsing, and bridges crumbling. Instead of divisive issues like gay marriage and abortion, the Democrats last night got to finally talk about things that matter to working people everyday.

From Kucinich's passionate lines about NATO and the WTO to the disabled man, with tears in his eyes, asking "What's wrong with America and what will you to do to change it?" to Hillary's "I'm your girl." - this was a debate for everyone with the voices of average Americans being heard.

It's easy to be pessimistic after such a great debate; it's easy to see the father whose daughter had to buy part of her soldier's uniform in Iraq and the woman whose husband had died in the mine in West Virginia last year and think about the many obstacles the next administration has. But, this debate made me optimistic. These trials had truly made these, and all, Americans ready for something more. They were ready to ask the tough questions, while putting themselves on the line on national television, and this gives me hope that one of those Democrats onstage can help to start bringing this country back in the right direction.

Basically, if you didn't see the debate last night (and who thought they wanted to watch another in the long series?), you really should YouTube it/watch as many clips as possible/read some live-blogging. This very real debate was a refreshing break from the campaign non-realities we all get so caught up in.


This might not be completely relevant to the subject of this blog, but there's a song I've been listening to for the last two days that I can't get out of my head. Written and performed originally by James Taylor, the song is called "Shed a Little Light". I heard it for the first time on Friday, during an episode of West Wing (where else?). The song begins:

"Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together..."

It's a little bit sappy, perhaps, but at the same time, it's all I've been able to think about for 48 hours.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a conservative friend of mine to define my beliefs. Am I liberal or progressive? And if I saw a difference, what was it? A few weeks before that, I attended a conference held by People for the American Way's Front Line Leaders Academy. We spent much of the weekend talking about the same questions: What did we believe? Why did we believe it? How do our beliefs manifest themselves?

I'm not going to say that listening to a little James Taylor changed my life. That would be overly simplistic and, you know, not true. But I do know that in this song Taylor is saying something, and it's something important.

There is a section of Ephesians (Again, with my West Wing education. It's possible I should skip the rest of school and just keep watching West Wing.) that tells us that we must be subject to one another, and now James Taylor's singing the same refrain. It's gotta mean something-- this responsibility to one another that everyone's talking about-- right?

If you boil down my beliefs... really reduce my progressivism to its most basic principles, I believe in that same responsibility. I'm committed to affordable health care, a quality education for all, civil rights and civil liberties, conservation, and helping those who need it the most. All of it is pretty much common sense if you start with a fundamental responsibility to your brothers and sisters.

Anyway, I just couldn't get the song out of my head. Give it a listen, and maybe post a little about your progressivism...


Newflash: A new study from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research "shows young people [are] profoundly alienated from the Republican Party and poised to deliver a significant majority to the Democratic nominee for President in 2008." The polling also notes that "Young people react with hostility to the Republicans on almost every measure and Republicans and younger voters disagree on almost every major issue of the day."

This isn't exactly a shock-- young voters aged 18-29 were the only age segment to favor John Kerry over George Bush in 2004-- but the survey proves what most of us already know: That the mistaken and short-sighted policies of this administration are screwing the next generation, and we're not going to take it in 2008.

Never underestimating the talent of Republicans for seeing only what they want to see, National Review contributor (and former Bush speechwriter) David Frum manages to find the silver lining in the study, noting that "White young people continue to favor Republicans by a thin but real margin of 2 points" and somehow blaming the whole thing on... immigration?

Republicans truly have their own reality. You'll have to read it for yourself to believe.