Friday, June 02, 2006


Imagine for a moment that you're Republican Bill Frist, the Senate's Majority Leader, and you have the power and awesome responsibility to control what issues the Senate considers and when it considers them. Knowing everything you do about the crises facing our nation and the things that most concern Americans, would your top priority be to:

A) Force the administration to change its failed strategy in Iraq;

B) Help consumers walloped by $3.00 a gallon gas and take steps to reduce our oil addiction;

C) Pass the first minimum wage increase in 10 years and develop plans to create good jobs in America;

D) Expand educational opportunities for college by providing relief from skyrocketing college tuition;

E) Ensure access to health care for every American;

F) Amend the Constitution to deprive gay people of equal rights under the law?

As someone who cares deeply about this nation, its problems and its future, you probably said A, B, C, D, or E. But Republican Majority Leader Frist chose F. Why?
Because it's an election year, and Republicans are in deep trouble. So they've decided that instead of addressing the things Americans really care about, they're trying to change the subject and using wedge issues in hopes of distracting from their failures and dividing Americans to win elections. It worked for them in 2004--this time the U.S. Constitution is their pawn.

Majority Leader Bill Frist plans to bring up the "Federal Marriage Amendment" as the first order of business when Congress reconvenes. And to drive the message home, President Bush will host a Rose Garden event that same day, to reiterate his support for this divisive, unnecessary and diversionary attack on LGBT Americans and on our Constitution. Even Vice President Cheney opposes the amendment and Laura Bush has opposed such tactics. Our soldiers are being killed at the rate of 2 per day in Iraq, and are snapping under the strain of doing an impossible job. Hurricane season is upon us again and still thousands are not able to return to their homes after Katrina. Global Warming is accelerating, drougts threaten farmers at home and around the world, and cures for diseases like Bird Flu and HIV/Aids still have not been found. Yet Republicans like Frist are only interested in issues that divide Americans, not phony campaigns that the people are not really concerned about.

Republicans have intentionally put divisive, anti-gay initiatives on the ballot in many states as well, and no doubt many nervous GOP Congressmen hope they can get reelected by scapegoating LGBT Americans instead of dealing with the challenges confronting our nation.
You can show Bill Frist just how wrong he is by signing this petition to stop this divisive amendment and tell him to put the Senate to work on the things that really matter to America and to Americans. Sign on here, and your message will be delivered the day the Senate begins debating the issue:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Maybe I'm crazy but ...

Someone whose opinion I value highly has advised me in no uncertain terms that I must open up this forum to comments from ANYONE (not just registered users) if I hope to get much input and feedback. Even though a registered user can remain anonymous, I'm going to try opening up the blog as widely as possible to see what happens. "Bring it on."
Mike / Misha


The two voters with whom I've discussed my Congress race most recently have both been Republicans ( one a strong supporter of the President AND his war.) I felt very comfortable talking about my views, though I was pretty certain that the more I said the less likely I was to win their support. I pray to God that this will continue to be my course of action--perhaps one or two Republicans will end up voting for me simply because I had the honesty to defend my views in plain terms. The woman with whom I spoke today is an executive administrator, well educated, and somone with whom I have much in common. Yet we also have profound disagreements.

Asked to outline my platform, I spoke about the 3 main issues I'd listed in my talk to the Maui and Big Island Democrat delegates at the Democratic Convention last weekend. First I listed the necessity of bringing the Iraq debacle to an end, "with or without honor." Of course this phrase will shock and offend some who hear me say it, but we must not make the mistake the country made during the Vietnam era, when it elected the Republican Richard Nixon, who claimed to have a "secret plan" to end the war. Seeking to end the war "with honor", Nixon and Henry Kissenger widened it by expanding the bombing to Laos and Cambodia, overthrowing neutral King Sihanouk in the process, and setting the stage for Pol Pot's genocide in the years after the ignominious withdrawal of the U.S. from Saigon. During those four years of futile searching for "peace with honor" another 25,000 American soldiers died, along with hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians. President Bush claims that the U.S. will "stand down" when the Iraqi forces and police "stand up." In the meantime gigantic military bases are being built all over Iraq, and a U.S. embassy is going up in Baghdad that will be the world's largest, bigger than Vatican City. This is an indication that the mayhem will still be going on when a Democrat Congress is elected this fall, and it will be up to the new Congress to set a deadline for withdrawal. So be it. I welcome the opprotunity to participate in that process. "Bring it on."

The second major issue I'm talking about is the frightening danger of global warming. I'll be adding a link here to a recent article in the Honolulu Advertiser by a scholar at the Brookings Institution who in the past has been skeptical about the scientific evidence of the thawing of the polar regions and the fundamental changes in the ocean currents that have warmed Europe and North America for thousands of years. He is skeptical no longer. The article methodically lists the scientific experts and public entities that are now making nearly unanimous and identical statements warning of a dark and violent future due to climate change. The list includes organizations which advise President Bush directly. Even the President's newly nominated Secretary of the Treasury is a believer in the need to make fundamental changes to lessen the threat. For the people of Hawaii, and Pacific Island peoples in general, the threat could not be more serious. One of the reasons I have entered this political contest is because I want any grandchildren I may have, and all those who come after our generation of "boomers", to know that not everyone sat behind the wheel of a Hummer or Escalade listening to Rush Limbaugh while their future was being destroyed. Well known Christian Evangelicals are joining the call for sanity when it comes to protecting the Earth's environment. None of us can afford to do less.

Finally, I believe that I have the ability as a communicator to be effective in moving the U.S. House of Representatives to support passage of a companion to Senator Daniel Akaka's legislation for Native Hawaiians. The "Akaka Bill", though far from perfect in its present form, will begin the process of restoring a measure of "nation within a nation" sovereignty to an entity made up of Native Hawaiian people, the decendents of those who were wronged by the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to whom the Congress and the President offically apologized in great detail and with admirable frankness in 1993. The federal courts are threating the Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaiian Homelands program--who can doubt that by doing so our treasured Aloha Spirit will be destroyed forever?

I believe that Senator Inouye and Senator Akaka can get the bill through the U.S. Senate in the next session of Congress, and Hawaii's delegation in the House must be ready to do its part when the time comes. I am fully prepared to meet that challenge, and highly qualified to do so.