30 October 2009

This guy rocks. Seriously.

A friend of mine made the news.
Jimmy Gillispie got the story for the Baldwin City Signal, headlined 'Karaoke Joe' rocks the tunes. Money quote:
I’m overweight, married and a father of two kids. There’s no possible way I can look cool.
And yet, there's something inherently cool about seeing a regular guy grab a mic and rock a classic vocal in a way that's every bit as good as the original.
It's not just cool, it's kinda shocking.
You like him, you love him, now get a shirt of him.

29 October 2009

Outstanding.

Excellent analysis of the COMBAT tax by Patrick Tuohey over at the Missouri Record. If you live in Jackson County, Missouri, this is a mandatory read before next Tuesday.
His conclusion is a great summary:
...voters ought to look not at how tax dollars are being spent, but how effective the programs are at achieving goals. COMBAT has not made the case, even to the satisfaction of its supporters. Furthermore, given that the County has spent $800,000 to hold a special election so early before the current tax is due to expire, voters have a rare opportunity to express dissatisfaction with the program and its administration by voting no, without actually endangering the program. Voting to support this program before it issues a report on it's mission and goals is more than unwise, it is an act of democratic malpractice.

Don't know, don't care.

I used to think that Barack Obama generally understood the issues surrounding LGBT civil rights, but he just didn't particularly care (except to the extent his vague expressions of support for somebody else to do something helped him raise money).
Now I must concede I was wrong.
He doesn't understand the issues. Want proof?
EXHIBIT A: Yesterday, President Obama had this to say in front of a military audience with regard to his signing of the Matthew Shepard Act (which adds perceived sexual orientation and disability to the existing federal hate-crimes law).
After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are.
That short sentence is wrong in at least 4 ways:
1. The MSA wasn't a standalone bill that triumphed over "opposition and delay," it was amended to the Defense Authorization Act to force its natural opponents to vote for it.
2. A victim's nationality, race, and religion have been relevant to federal hate-crimes law since 1969.
3. Hate-crimes laws are simply sentencing enhancements, which provide for an additional punishment to a convicted violent crime perpetrator. It doesn't become relevant until the crime is complete, so it's kind of a stretch to say hate-crimes laws "protect" anybody, except in the general sense that any successful prosecution protects society.
4. The MSA doesn't selectively protect based on "who they love." If a heterosexual is gay-bashed by mistake, the perpetrator/s can now be subject to a sentencing enhancement. Who a victim loves is utterly irrelevant.
EXHIBIT B: While running for president, Obama promised:
As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.
Maine duly passed legislation recognizing same-sex couple's full equality in family and adoption laws, which law is now being contested via a "people's veto" referendum as Question 1.
Has Obama "used the bully pulpit to urge" support for Maine's equality legislation or condemn efforts to strip that right from LGBT citizens?
Nope.
In fact, the administration apparently doesn't know what the hell is going on in Maine. Obama's chief law-enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, doesn't know what Question 1 is. He got buttonholed yesterday by Corey Johnson. They shared this exchange:
JOHNSON: You were in Maine earlier this week and were asked about Question 1, which would take away same-sex marriage. You didn't comment on it at the time but would you like to clarify?
HOLDER: Well, what I said was that the President has indicated, and I personally favor the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and that is something we are working to do.
JOHNSON: And the referendum in Maine — would you like to speak further on that?
HOLDER: I don't really know enough about the referendum over there to comment.
Vague support for somebody else to do something, coupled with an absolute failure to comprehend the actual issues. Par.

27 October 2009

Jackass.

Now that he's got a chance to deliver on those promises, Senator Joe Lieberman is saying WOAH! I wasn't...like...serious. Yep. He's now threatening to block the bill with the public option because it has a public option.
Talking Points Memo's got the quotes:
I think they're just putting an unnecessary burden on top of [the reform bill] by creating another Washington-based entitlement program...all the history we have of health entitlement programs, including the two big ones that I dearly support, Medicare and Medicaid, is that they end up costing more than we're prepared to pay, and they add to the debt, and then they add to the burden on taxpayers.
Wow, I don't even know how to parse that — it's wrong to create another expensive entitlement program like Medicare and Medicaid which are burdensome and unaffordable for taxpayers but I dearly support them? WTF?
Politico quotes him saying:
We’re trying to do too much at once. To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.
Spoken like a guy with publicly funded health insurance.

Yet more "fierce advocacy."

In February 2008, Candidate Obama issued the following open letter to the LGBT community:
I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all — a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans. Equality is a moral imperative.
...as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.
Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)...I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.
...having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones...
...I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBTAmericans....I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.
[emphasis added]
As luxurious, deep-pile, wall-to-wall bullshit goes, that was beautiful.
It's still bullshit, though. Here's the deal: there are two major upcoming statewide public votes that deal with substantive LGBT equality.
1. Referendum 71 in Washington state is a so-called "everything but marriage" law. It legislatively expands the rights of domestic partners to include unpaid sick leave for family crisis, family health insurance benefits, and allows partners to realize certain pension and death benefits. Pretty basic stuff.
Unsurprisingly, a group of religious zealots banded together to fight the expansion of DP benefits. They call themselves "Protect Marriage Washington," although this law has nothing at all to do with marriage, gay or otherwise. PMW has cannily and illegally concealed the identities of their donors, but even that can't mask the stench of the Catholic and Mormon churches. Here's the kind of paranoid whackadoo shit PMW proudly includes on their site: Val Stevens writes, "Are the homosexuals finally going to take control of our culture and push their depraved lifestyle on our children and families?" That's Washington State Senator Val Stevens, proving that no matter where or how high you go in America, you can still find some Alabama circa 1953.
2. In Maine, without being compelled to do so by a court, the legislature passed a law allowing marriage equality and the governor signed it in May.
The Roman Catholic church leaped into action to spearhead a religious coalition to repeal that law by referendum as Question 1. The marriage equality law already specifically states that no religion can be required or obligated to solemnize a same-sex marriage, but the religious jagovs argue that the law still somehow encroaches on their freedom to discriminate. Oh, and it's bad for the children. Seriously.
So what has President Bully Pulpit done as Fierce Advocate-in-Chief regarding these twin attacks on LGBT equality and separate-but-equality?
Well, after being badgered by Kerry Eleveld of the gay news outlet The Advocate, the White House finally released this written statement:
The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes "strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away." Also at the dinner, he said he supports, "ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country."
Yep. That's it: a list of passive verbs from Obama's recent speech to a gay PAC, reheated for the gay press. Now, I'm not saying I'm surprised that's all he could be bothered to do. During the Prop 8 fiasco, Obama's "fierce advocacy" was likewise limited to issuing a slightly different written list of passive verbs to a different gay group.
Mr. Obama, privately cheerleading friendly audiences is not helpful. As you said, having the right position is only half the battle, the other half being winning broad support by engaging skeptical audiences.
You also said "we." Get out of the wagon and pull.

25 October 2009

The Internet Freedom Act of 2009.

The issue is net neutrality, which essentially means that a ISP must be reasonably neutral in the content it provides to its customers. That is to say, it can't select what content it will serve, or decide to serve disfavored content at a slower speed than content it favors.
To understand it functionally, imagine you have Verizon DSL. Absent net neutrality, Verizon might choose to increase its competitive advantage by blocking your ability to search for a competitor's ISP or telephone services. Say you have TimeWarner broadband. They might choose to deliver Warner Brothers films at regular speed, but cripple or block your ability to download Universal Pictures films. Those ISPs might also choose to require you to pay a premium to have unfettered to the internet.
Unsurprisingly, ISPs don't want net neutrality because it prospectively shuts down another way to squeeze more revenue out of customers. Also unsurprisingly, the majority of the public favors net neutrality. The FCC already favors it and has some guidelines in place. Now they want to make rules and regulations to enforce it. This is a reasonable and appropriate use of FCC's regulatory powers.
Senator John "I'm computer illiterate" McCain (R-AT&T) doesn't agree, so he introduced the Internet Freedom Act intended to strip the FCC's power to regulate broadband internet providers entirely.
Yes. I said entirely.
Absolute deregulation, so corporations can do whatever they like, because y'know, that's worked out so goddam well so far. I can remember back all the way to the 1990s, when Senator McCain also favored broad deregulation of the financial industry. Last year, as Candidate McCain, he watched his largely deregulated financial industry melt down and take the world economy with it. Only then did he notice Wall Street's "reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed."
Candidate McCain hastily recast himself as a noble champion of regulation, saying at a Tampa rally: "Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do!"
Well, maybe not exactly.
Not one to be shamed into learning a hard lesson, McDumbass now apparently cannot conceive of the possibility of any recklessness, corruption or greed in the internet service industry that might be ameliorated by effective governmental oversight in the public interest.
His "internet freedom" doublespeak doesn't merely provoke George Orwell to rise from the grave to kick him squarely in the balls, it also a legislative expression of his empirically false beliefs that net neutrality enforcement is "onerous federal regulation" and constitutes a "government takeover" of the internet.
The Internet Corporate Profiteering Act of 2009 lacks subtlety, but it does demonstrate who McCain's real constituents are. And citizen, it ain't you.

In which I agree with Clarence Thomas.

My brother and I have a longstanding argument about the role of the Supreme Court, which I've written about here. Anyway, I was reminded of our argument when I saw this AP article.
Clarence Thomas...compared Senate confirmation to selecting the referees for a college football game in hopes of getting favorable calls for one team or the other. "That's all based on a particular outcome you want. That is the antithesis of judging. You're corrupting your process," he said. "I think the confirmation process is both unnecessary, it's uninformed with respect to what the court actually does and it's very dangerous."
A native of Georgia and the only current justice from the South, Thomas said the court is too dominated by Ivy League lawyers and lacks regional diversity. People constantly worry about racial, gender and ethnic diversity, he said, and home states matter, too. "My goal is to have a court that is fair, and I think it's fair when we are fair in selecting people from all parts of the country, from all walks of life," Thomas said.
Thomas graduated from the Yale University law school. In all, eight of the nine current justices graduated from Ivy League schools.
Yes, and 100% of the current justices were promoted from the federal appellate bench. However talented they may be, that's a pretty shallow experiential gene pool.
Anyway, Thomas couldn't be philosophically farther from me on the spectrum, yet we share the same position on my two biggest complaints about SCOTUS. (A) It's overly homogenous, and (B) It's become a partisan political office.
The Constitution only requires the "advice and consent" of the Senate with regard to the president's federal judicial appointments. The current Senate confirmation process is something the Senate invented over the years and continues to follow by tradition. That is to say, the current iteration of the Senate judicial confirmation process isn't mandated by the Constitution. "Advice and consent" might be satisfied by distributing a candidate's CV to the senators, permitting no candidate interrogation, and deciding with a simple majority on a single yes/no ballot.
Clarence Thomas was elevated to the Supreme Court because of his partisan and extremely conservative judicial philosophy, and he's admitting that there's a problem with partisan court-packing. Folks, you know there's a problem when the beneficiaries of an unfair policy are complaining about that very policy!
The lifetime appointment clause was intended to insulate federal judges from politics, but the appointment process has centralized a judge's politics. The solution is that the confirmation process needs to be completely overhauled to de-partisanize it, or there needs to be a Constitutional amendment to impose terms on federal judges.
It's not as radical as it sounds.
What's radical is that the U.S. is the only country in the world whose constitution allows for lifetime appointments for judges. Of all the countries that borrowed from the U.S. Constitution — and there are legion — nobody borrowed this. Other nations apparently recognized that a lifetime political appointment is simply too dangerous to permit. It's a turd in our Constitutional punchbowl and it could and should be amended away with no ill-effects.
A workable solution was proposed here. Interesting read if you're into that sort of thing.

24 October 2009

Killer app.

I'm a Mac user. Always have been. Love everything about it, except how Safari causes my hard disk drive to clatter away senselessly.
The problem, it turns out, is Adobe's Flash plug-in for Safari. It holds the processor hostage and causes the disk to spaz out constantly. While trying to figure out a solution I discovered ClickToFlash. Now my computer is quiet, cool and happy.
If you don't have this app, you need it. I can't say enough good about it.
CAVEAT: It simply won't install unless your account is an administrator.

23 October 2009

Holy sh!t.

"Islamic fundamentalists clearly understand the damage that homosexual behavior inflicts on a culture. This is why they repress such behavior by death...It may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers...is a culture that at least knows how to value self sacrifice..."
Those astonishing words come from the Catholic Archdiocese of Agana in Guam, rallying the troops against a proposed domestic partner law.
If you'd like to try to gag down the original, go here.
Wow. Just wow!

21 October 2009

Possibly over-served.

20 October 2009

Bittersweet progress.

After farting around for nearly a year, President Obama has finally revised its medical marijuana enforcement policy to make good on Candidate Obama's campaign promises to suspend prosecutions of law-abiding medical marijuana users and sellers.
The New York Times reports that the Justice Department, FBI and DEA have been informed that the president does not consider it a good use of their time to arrest and prosecute people who use or provide medical marijuana in the 14 states where medical marijuana sale and consumption is legal. I applaud this sensible development. However, it does underline the Obama administration's pervasive and irrational homophobia.
Woah, what?
You may recall that the administration's explanation why they are not only enforcing, but defending the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in court (a reversal of Candidate Obama's campaign promises to eliminate both) is that they're obligated to respect and defend all laws regardless of their personal belief in a given law's validity.
That's most certainly not true, but let's pretend for a moment that it is.
Federal drug law doesn't make exceptions for marijuana sale and possession, whether it's for medicinal purposes or legal under state law. So why isn't Obama's position that he's duty bound to enforce federal drug law as a presumptively valid? And why is Obama's position that medical marijuana prosecutions are a poor and indefensible use of the federal government's limited resources, but throwing two valuable servicemembers out of the military every day just because they're gay is apparently an excellent and defensible use of the government's limited resources?
Because President Obama and his administration are pervasively and irrationally homophobic. At some point somebody besides the gay blogosphere needs to make that point.
But, but, but...Obama just gave a super-supportive speech at the HRC!

15 October 2009

Good kitty.

Last night started out very typically. Beloved and I were watching TV, and our cat Nubs was playing. Her favorite toys are those little fur mice. She prefers the gray ones.
She bats them around all over the hardwood floors and eventually sends them irretrievably underneath furniture. (When all the mice are gone, it's time for me to dustmop.)
Last night, as is her wont, Nubs disappears for a while into the basement, then comes back up. I glance over and she's brought a little gray mouse and left it, as usual, on the middle of the rug across the room. She's crouched down about 2' away, in pounce position.
"Aw, Nubs must've found one of her lost mice in the basement. It's so cute how she carries those things around."
About a minute later, Beloved screams!
As you may have already guessed, the little gray fur mouse was not of the artificial variety this time. So the three of us end up chasing the mouse around the living room, and I finally catch it with the combination of a dustpan and a FedEx envelope and throw it out the front door.
Nubs is riding high on her splendid triumph. Rightfully so.
No animal was harmed in the making of this blog post.

Prop 8 lawyer gets PWNED.

This is my paraphrased (and translated from Legal to English) version of yesterday's summary judgment hearing regarding the Constitutional validity of Proposition 8, as reported by MSNBC.
US District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is questioning Charles Cooper, esq., attorney for the anti-gay groups that brought Prop 8 to California voters.
COOPER: Your honor, there is no case. Prop 8 is valid and gay marriage is properly prohibited because it furthers California's goal of encouraging marriages that produce children. We deserve summary judgment.
JUDGE: How does a gay marriage prevent anyone in a straight marriage from having children?
COOPER: Uh...well, I don't know. I don't know.
JUDGE: That's your argument?
COOPER: Well, okay. Um, in the Netherlands straight people are increasingly entering civil partnerships instead of getting married.
JUDGE: How does that harm those children?
COOPER: Uh...I don't know. Well...there's no proof that there's no harm.
JUDGE: Are you familiar with American Constitutional law? "No harm" is not the standard. Motion for summary judgment denied.

14 October 2009

Lying for Jesus.

I'm a stealth subscriber to the American Family Association. Today I got this email:
...with your help we have successfully beaten back attempts to pass so-called "hate crimes" legislation since the 1990s. However, as the president points out, this legislation is now closer to becoming law than it ever has been. The House passed this bill last Thursday, and our last chance to stop this dangerous bill is when your senators vote on it this week. Here's what wrong with the "hate crimes" bill:
It criminalizes thought. For the first time in American history, criminal penalties are being attached to thoughts, not actions. Perpetrators will receive extra punishment not for what they did but for what they were thinking when they did it.
It endangers freedom of religion and speech. Everywhere in the world "hate crimes" laws have gone into effect, they have quickly been used to harass, intimidate, silence and punish people of faith. Your pastor could go to jail if even a tenuous link could be established between a sermon on homosexuality and some act of violence.
It destroys the American principle of equality under the law. It creates a judicial caste system, in which some victims get more legal protection than others. It actively discriminates against heterosexuals by giving them less protection in law than victims who engage in non-normative sexual behaviors.
In a devious maneuver by Democrats, it's attached to a Defense Appropriations bill. Our military deserves a stand-alone vote on funding.
Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts are worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible contribution to help us continue?
Fascinating. Completely, 100% empirically false except for the part about their being a tax-exempt organization funded by tax-deductible donations. Nonetheless, a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the Christian right wing.
1. Hate crimes laws don't criminalize thought, they criminalize motive. Motive has always been relevant in criminal law. Only where the motive of a crime is an attempt to intimidate a community is hate-crimes penalty enhancement invoked.
However, even if it was true that hate crimes legislation criminalized thought, it would hardly be "the first time in American history, criminal penalties [were] attached to thoughts, not actions." Conspiracy is the crime of agreeing to commit a crime. Conspiracy doesn't require a criminal act, but only a thought plus some action to advance the crime.
2. The Matthew Shepard Act explicitly excludes religious speech. Pastors and religious people will continue to be free to spew all the venom and ignorance they're spewing today.
3. The MSA actually enhances "equality under the law." There are already several special classes of people protected by existing federal hate-crimes law (18 U.S.C. § 245). One of those classes is religion.
If a gang of gays stalked and beat the hell out of a Mormon because of his religion, existing federal law permits the feds to bring a hate-crime case. However, if the tables were turned and Mormons stalked and beat a gay man because he was homosexual, the feds cannot bring the case as a bias crime because gays are not covered. The MSA puts LGBT and disabled citizens on equal footing with other groups who have tended to be victims of bias crimes — including religious people. Sounds like progress toward equality under the law to me.
4. Attaching the MSA to the Defense Appropriations Bill isn't a "devious maneuver," it's a chicken-shit maneuver. This MSA adds the disabled and LGBT community to an existing list of groups who are typical victims of bias crimes. There's nothing controversial about that unless you don't have a particular problem with certain people being the victim of violent intimidation. So for that reason, it should have been a standalone bill if only the Democrats had a spine among them. Anyway, there was a voice vote, so everyone got a chance to say they were for one part of the bill but not another.
Also attached to the Defense Appropriations Bill: the Victims of Iranian Censorship [VOICE] Act. It appropriates $55 million to the State Department to propagandize in Farsi. The VOICE Act was "deviously attached" to the Defense Appropriations Bill by Senator John McCain. Does the AFA have any problem with this? Apparently not. Gee, I wonder why?
Anyway, if the AFA is so profoundly against hate-crimes legislation, I'd suggest that they work at least as diligently to exempt Christianity from 18 U.S.C. § 245. After all, religion is a choice, and why should people who choose to live a certain lifestyle be entitled to additional rights? Heh, just kidding.
Finally, I'm no expert on the Bible, but I seem to recall it saying something about "bearing false witness." In fact, I believe that sin even made God's Top 10 List.
Conspicuously absent from that list: homosexuality.

12 October 2009

Sign of the times.

Seen at the National Equality March:
Nice.
Rex Wockner reports:
The praise for Obama inside [Human Right's Campaign]'s fancy dinner and the denunciations of Obama in the streets of D.C. seemed to unequivocally confirm the split that's emerged in the gay community in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 in California.
On one side, the grassroots, the netroots, many younger GLBT people and the Stonewall 2.0 folks, who are pissed off, mad as hell and aren't gonna take it anymore.
On the other side, the gay activist establishment, which seems to believe that business-as-usual "slow and steady" is still the way to go.
About halfway through the National Equality March, when it became clear that the turnout was big enough for the march to be deemed a huge success, a reporter said to Cleve Jones, "You realize you just split the gay movement in two."
Jones nodded and grinned.
The fresh hotness: gay allied political activism
I used to think that the gay civil rights movement suffered for want of a Martin Luther King. I don't think that anymore. I think the new internet-based movement doesn't require one. Like the net, it is diffuse and there's a place for everyone. Its enemies can't decapitate it. Democrats better recognize before they get nadered again.
Old and busted: gay politicians
Congressman Barney Frank didn't attend the march. Barney went to a left coast fundraiser instead. Priorities. As usual, he was against actually doing anything beyond helping himself and cheerleading his party. The train left without you, Barney. But here's an onion for your belt, you useless old fart.

01 October 2009

DNC Supermajority = Abstinence > Healthcare reform

As you've probably already heard, the Senate Finance Committee killed the "public option" on the same day that it funded abstinence-only sex education.
The American public gave the Democratic Party a strong mandate for reform. Ten months along, they have utterly failed to deliver any meaningful change.
Our National Guardsmen are still being uprooted to police Iraq, and Obama is calling for more troops in Afghanistan.
Most gay citizens today have fewer rights than they had a couple of decades ago, directly traceable to the political activities of organized religion. Churches are regularly awarded taxpayer monies in grants and contracts, and there is an executive agency designated to facilitate this transfer of public money to advance religious activities. Obama promptly expanded the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives upon taking office.
The President and Congress used taxpayer money to bailout, among other "too big to fail" companies, Ford Motors. Given the transfusion, Ford, unlike many taxpayers, was able to keep the lights on. Recently Ford announced a plan to build a new manufacturing plant. In China. There has been no effort to address the issue that certain businesses must be subsidized and others not.
The ratbastard bankers and brokers who fucked up the economy to begin with still have their jobs and are still being paid unfathomably massive "performance" bonuses. There has been no meaningful market regulation reform.
The stock market has largely recovered (meaning businesses are getting healthy), but jobs continue to be cut and nobody's hiring.
The national Democrats have spent the last 8 years talking about all the things they'd do if they just had the opportunity. They were given a supermajority in Congress and haven't done shit. I really think that Democrats believe that the threat of Sarah Palin will once again drive their constituencies to the polls. I'm sure they'll be simply dumbfounded when voters decide en masse that the trip to the polls just isn't worth the trouble.
No public option, abstinence-only education, massive corporate welfare, cultivating theocracy, defending discrimination, offshoring jobs, expanding war, rich getting richer and the poor getting pink slips...it really hasn't been worth the trouble, has it?