Politics: September 2006 Archives

My friend Sean Bonner's Metroblogging unit in Bangkok is a good place to get some "person on the street"-style reporting on the military coup in Thailand.

Related: There is already a Wikipedia entry of course.

If you're voting in the New York Democratic primary today, and still undecided on Hillary Clinton versus Jonathan Tasini, just choose based on your beliefs:

Gay Marriage
Tasini: for
Clinton: against

Clinton: for
Tasini: against

Iraq War
Clinton: for
Tasini: against

Death Penalty
Clinton: for
Tasini: against

Cluster Bombs
Clinton: for
Tasini: against

I realize he has little chance to defeat her, but a big turnout for Tasini would certainly help put some fear into her plans to win elections by moving ever rightward.

Gay City News has two good articles on Tasini:

From the endorsement:

On a shoestring campaign, Tasini has raised critical questions—most prominently about this nation’s disastrous policy in Iraq. Not incidentally, he is also a supporter of same-sex marriage.

Clinton has ducked fair dialogue on where she stands on the most pressing foreign policy question facing the nation. Just because she can get away with it does not make it the right thing to do. Clinton has also bobbed and weaved this year on gay rights. Activists have pressed her on her opposition to gay marriage—and come away disappointed that did not even speak out on the dignity of gay families on the Senate floor when Congress debated the ugly Marriage Protection Amendment.

Note that I'm not saying the gay issue overrides all. I think the fact that both of New York's senators voted for the Iraq War, when the overwhelming majority of their constituents were opposed to it (and millions demonstrated on the streets), should be enough reason to get rid of both as soon as possible. The Democratic primary is really our only chance to have a say in this.

Have you noticed that Tasini button over on the right of this page? Here is a reminder of why it's there:



An unexploded bomblet from a cluster bomb marked by the UN in a field near the village of El Maalliye in southern Lebanon. (AP) [source]


Clinton Joins with Republicans to Reject Limits on Cluster Bombs

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a move by Democrats to stop the Pentagon from using cluster bombs near civilian targets and to cut off sales unless purchasers abide by the same rules.

On a 70-30 vote, the Senate defeated an amendment to a Pentagon budget bill to block use of the deadly munitions near populated areas. The vote came after the State Department announced last month that it is investigating whether Israel misused American-made cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon.

Unexploded cluster bombs — anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area — litter homes, gardens and highways in south Lebanon after Israel's 34-day war with Hezbollah militants.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have long sought to keep cluster bombs from being used near concentrated areas of civilians. They say that as many as 40 percent of the munitions fail to detonate on impact — they can still can explode later — leaving innocent civilians and children vulnerable to injury or death long after hostilities have ceased.

Relief organizations and the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Center reported finding evidence that Israel used three types of U.S.-made cluster bombs during the war with Hezbollah militants. Israel also manufactures its own cluster munitions.

"For too long, innocent civilians, not enemy combatants, have suffered the majority of casualties from cluster munitions," Leahy said. "The recent experience in Lebanon is only the latest example of the appalling human toll of injury and death. Strict rules of engagement are long overdue."

The AP story doesn't mention that Clinton and Schumer voted with Republicans on the bill. I had to get that information from Tasini's web site. The roll call vote is here.

The New York Democratic Party primary is this Tuesday. Don't forget to vote!

Related: Daniel Millstone at Daily Gotham on cluster bombs in Lebanon.

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from September 2006.

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