June 2005

It seems just as international women’s rights take one step forward, they take ten steps back.

In Pakistan, 33 year old Mukhtaran Mai was raped by a gang of 14 men trying to punish her brother for having an affair with a woman “above his caste”. Thirteen of the thugs were acquitted in court and one got a life sentence. On appeal to the Pakistan Supreme Court, all thirteen men were ordered to be rearrested.

In the end, this is only barely a victory. The Pakistani government confiscated her passport and placed travel restrictions on her after she was invited to speak to human rights groups in the US. As President Musharraf explained it, they didn’t want her to “bad-mouth Pakistan”.

In India, 28 year old Imrana Ilahi was raped by her father-in-law and has now been ordered by the leading Muslim legal body in India to divorce her husband, leave her children and return to her parents home.

I feel murderous fits of rage when I read about stories like Mukhtaran’s and Imrana’s. The human race hasn’t figured out how to end the brutal, dehumanizing violence against women that occurs every hour on our planet, but at the very least, in 2005, we should have figured out that it is never ever ever the victim’s fault, no matter what religion you belong to.

I am going to go throw up now.

A request was filed on Monday with the town of Weare, New Hampshire. It was a request to begin the process of building “The Lost Liberty Hotel” in town – on a piece of land that currently has a house on it. A house owned by Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

The request was filed by Logan Darrow Clements, CEO of the libertarian media company Freestar Media. He seems to be pretty serious about his request and is in the process of getting some investment capital to get the thing built. If he can get three people on the town’s five-person Board of Selectmen to vote his way, the eminent domain rule will allow him to begin his development.

Well, I guess Justice Souter will just have to move. I mean, his house isn’t bringing in nearly the revenue for the town that “The Lost Liberty Hotel” would. It’s ok Judge, I’m sure you can find another house. Or hey – maybe Mr. Clements will let you stay at the hotel for cheap?

Via CapitolBuzz: Bill Frist is having a bad day. This morning, CREW filed an ethics complaint at the FEC against the good Doctor claiming that his 2000 Senate campaign “failed to disclose a $1.44 million loan taken out jointly by Frist 2000, Inc. and by Frist’s 1994 campaign committee…”

Majority Leader, Speaker of the House….who’s next???

UPDATE: Here is a little irony for you – according to the CREW complaint, Dr. Frist took $1 million in contributions to his 2000 Senate campaign and invested it in the stock market. Can’t you just guess what happens next? Yep, it started losing money. So then he goes back and tries to collect on a $1.2 million loan he made to the campaign in ’94, only now the campaign can’t afford to pay it back cause of the stock market losses. Chaos and ethics violations ensue.

Back to the irony part – this same doctor who supports putting MY social security contributions into the stock market can’t even keep his own campaign funds safe while in the market…

I am sincerely sorry about the size of your penis. Perhaps a nice exotic high performance sportscar would help you to stop hating America? Just a thought…

Yours truly,

When the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain came down today, I thought about the political clients I work with and wondered what I would do if I were a campaign blogger.

I know that my gut reaction would be to write a flaming, Anakin Skywalker-like post about how awful the ruling is. A “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, what the hell is our country coming to???”-type post is what comes to mind.

Because I am such a level-headed and non-emotional person however — ahem — I would of course take a deep breath and realize that my boss, (enter candidate’s name here), probably would not appreciate me editorializing on her blog. I would, straight away, ask her what her position on the ruling is.

Which brings me to my point. Candidates are pretty busy, most of them hold full-time jobs in addition to running for public office, so who can really blame them for not formulating a position on every issue that comes down the pike. That’s where the blogs come in.

If campaign bloggers do their jobs well, they will know a) which current issues are important to blog about and b) that they need to find out what their candidate’s position on the issue is before blogging about it.

The upshot is that even if a candidate hasn’t thought about their position on eminent domain and the government seizing private property to build new space for Pfize…um “public use”, they will have to decide what their position is. This may be the second greatest thing blogs are doing for politics today (with community building being first).

What could be better than forcing politicians to take a stand, for better or for worse, on the issues that are important to voters?

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