Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from Canadian Arctic

Anyone who has seen An Inconvenient Truth would probably appreciate this, let alone anyone who cares about the environment and is somewhat educated on it...

TORONTO: A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a "major" reason for the event.

"This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years," Vincent said. "We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead."

"It is consistent with climate change," Vincent said, adding that the remaining ice shelves are 90 percent smaller than when they were first discovered in 1906. "We aren't able to connect all of the dots ... but unusually warm temperatures definitely played a major role."

Copland said the speed with which climate change has effected the ice shelves has surprised scientists.

"Even 10 years ago scientists assumed that when global warming changes occur that it would happen gradually so that perhaps we expected these ice shelves just to melt away quite slowly," he said.

Click here to read the full story

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Barack Obama Announces...!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Howard Dean Speaks

Wait for the end... Jon Stewart wants him to do "the yell" and he takes it all in stride. A great interview, overall.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Global warming will devastate economy: report

Global warming could devastate the world economy on a scale we haven't seen since the world wars and the Great Depression, a major report by a British economist says.

Sir Nicholas Stern, the report's author and a senior government economist, said unchecked global warming could shrink the global economy by 20 per cent -- and cost a whopping $7 trillion in lost output.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who introduced the report today, called for "bold and decisive action" to cut carbon emissions and stem the worst of temperature rise.

He said the Stern Review showed scientific evidence that global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous."

If no action is taken, says Stern, up to 200 million people could become refugees as their homes are hit by drought or flood from rising sea levels.

Further, up to 40 per cent of wildlife species could become extinct, and melting glaciers could cause water shortages for one sixth of the world's population, the report says.

Despite the gloomy forecast, Stern said he is "optimistic" that if the world powers act "strongly and urgently," the effects can be minimized.

Stern's report is expected to increase pressure on the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to step up its efforts to fight global warming. The Bush administration never approved the Kyoto climate-change accord.

Stern is a former chief economist of the World Bank.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bruin Democrats Flickr

The Bruin Democrats are proud to announce a new addition to their website: a Flickr photo gallery account, where photos from all events will be added! You can view our pictures in an easy to navigate way, and save full sized pictures to your computer (ideal for printing). Also, please feel free to comment on photos. New pictures will be added shortly after every event, and pictures from previous years may be added slowly as they turn up. If you have any pictures from previous events that you would like to see added, please contact the webmaster, Taylor Kayatta, through the Bruin Dems email address

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Absolutely Bone-Chilling Democratic Commercial

Just another reason why we need to keep up the heat these next few days.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bruin Democrats Kickoff BBQ!!

Do you like free food?

Do you like free fun?

Do you like free hangout time with UCLA Democrats???

Then come to the Bruin Democrats Quarter BBQ Kickoff!!!

The BBQ starts at 6:00 PM this Wednesday (10/4) at Sunset Rec. Meet up with everyone at the Sproul turnaround at 5:45 to walk up to the ever-elusive location of the BBQ. Tasty food will be provided (Vegetarian food as well, for our non meat-eating friends). There will be tons of hot political talk: "Congressman Foley said WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? And the Speaker of the House knew about it WHEN?!???!?!?!". And best of all, there will be a ton of Bruin Democrats to hang out with.

So come on out to our BBQ, it'll be a ton of fun, we'll discuss the very important upcoming quarter, and everyone will love it!

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A New Post For a New Year

Well things have been quiet on the Bruin Democrats blog, being summer and all. But that is going to change! 2006 and 2007 are going to be very important years for Democrats, students, and all Americans. With the Midterm elections now only 39 days away, we're in for a fun ride, a few surprises, and hopefully a lot of victories (Knock on wood).

Speaking of wood, there's a premature October surprise that has seemed to burst onto the electoral scene. Yes, it has come out that Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL), is a bit of a...err...shall we say...bad man. Foley had several AIM and email conversations with a 16-year-old Congressional page. The aim conversations were a tad inappropriate to say the least, and Foley has resigned in disgrace. Click here to read a transcript of an AIM conversation between Foley and the underage Page. WARNING: These convos are sexually explicit. The kicker? Foley was chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children caucus, and had once criticized the Supreme Court for 'protecting pedophiles.'

Well, if it doesn't seem bad enough for Republicans that one of their own is a child predator, it now appears that some senior GOP House leadership knew of Foley's emails for nearly a year and took no action on them. Evidently, this may go as high up as Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the man who is two heartbeats away from the Presidency. This is sure to be big news if it's stay tuned to your blogs and news channels.

We will all have our chance to contribute to a Democratic victory this November - Bruin Democrats plan to put on a series of events and volunteer opportunities that will help out our favorite Democractic candidates. So stayed tuned to the Bruin Democrats website: Stay tuned to this blog, and come to our meetings every Wednesday at 6:30 pm! This year is going to be super-exciting, and I hope everyone will help us pwn the Republicans come November.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

IT'S OFFICIAL: Ned Lamont Wins In Connecticut

In my opinion, this is a huge event, and a clear example of democracy in action. Joe Lieberman did not represent the views of Connecticut Democrats, and tonight's results prove it.

This isn't over, however. Joe Lieberman, in a stunning 'fuck you' to America's system of democracy, has vowed to run as an independent in the General Election, despite his loss. The race for the Senate in CT is bound to be an interesting one - with Lamont winning the Democratic Primary, most of the Democratic establishment is now obligated to support him. However, there's a big difference between support in words and support in actions. Because of this, there's going to be intense pressure for Lieberman to drop out of the race. As Joe has been fairly douchey for such a long time (Supporting the GOP in their invasive actions regarding Terri Schiavo, and telling Dems to STFU about the Iraq War come to mind), it wouldn't suprise me if he stayed in the race despite the intense pressure.

There is something everyone can do, however, if we wish to see our system of Primary elections and representative democracy respected:

Call or email the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and tell them to vigorously support Ned Lamont, the Democratic Nominee...

Phone (202) 224-2447

Email Harry Reid, the Democratic Leader in the Senate, and tell him to support the Democrat in this race...

Email Form Here

Contact California Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and tell them to campaign vigorously for Ned Lamont...

Senator Boxer:

Phone: {213) 894-5000
Email Form

Senator Feinstein:

Phone: (202) 224-3841
Email Form

By doing these simple things in the coming days, we will be able to help Ned Lamont in his campaign. This November is definitely going to be very exciting.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Even if he is made of foam. Bruin Democrats now have a lifesize cutout of State Treasurer Phil Angelides!!!
Look forward to seeing Foam Phil at all Bruin Democrats events!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Six for 'O6

The Democratic leadership announced their game plan today, a document called "A New Direction for America." (CNN article here) I fear that it might be too late for the midterm elections but who knows, a lot of people don't start caring until right before November. Anywhere, here are the legislative priorities chosen:

# National security

# Jobs and wages

# Energy independence

# Affordable health care

# Retirement security

# College access for all

On the one hand, I seem to agree that these are all important topics (and I'm actually glad higher education got a mention since it's usually neglected). But I wonder if they're too vague to excite and motivate people. We have a lot of work cut out for us if we're going to get back the House this November.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Open Thread: Your Political Crush

Despite all the turmoil around the world, we're going to lighten things up a bit and encourage some reader participation.

Question: Who's your political crush? It can be an already elected official, a former one, a candidate, even a Supreme Court Justice. Feel free to post multiple crushes, especially if you have a guilty pleasure from the Republican side.

Everyone can comment, you don't have to be a user, so do it! You can do so under your name or anonymously.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

CT-Sen: Lamont SURGES in Polls

Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont has absolutely SURGED in a Quinnipiac poll.

Taken from Daily Kos:

It appears that Holy Joe Lieberman is going to be having some seriously bad days rather soon. This is GIGANTIC news though - Lieberman is so unpopular, and Lamont has been such a hit in CT, that Lamont has gone from a virtually unknown businessman challenging a 18-year incumbent to a nationally known candidate besting Holy Joe by 4 points.

Interestingly enough, this 4-point lead is no fluke, another 'Unpublished Independent Poll' has Lamont up 48-44. The road now appears uphill for Joe Lieberman.'s not over yet. The biggest Democratic rock star we have, Bill Clinton, is going to be campaiging for Lieberman on Monday.

The next three weeks are going to be fun to watch.

Political Science*

So I realize that there should be restrictions on science, but as Bush used his first veto and talked about this moral boundary that we can't cross with this newest bill on stem cell research, I just cringed. Frankly, I don't think any President should become the moral authority on everything, especially a President had torture in his prisons and more scandals in his administration lately than I can count. But suddenly the Religious Right has given him this authority. Yet, how about our moral obligation to be the leader in finding cures to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, spinal cord injury, strokes, and more? I never try to look at any issue in strictly a utilitarian point of view but I don't believe that embryonic stem cells are life and I think the research that can be done with them has more possibilities than we could probably imagine. And I'm not just totting some party line or interest group line. There's a reason why this passed the Republican controlled House and Senate. Even uber conservative Senator Trent Lott from Mississippi voted for this.

For all those science kids who scoff at us studying political science or going into government, wake up to the fact that you can't completely seperate science from politics, for better and for worse. For better we have the power to grant you millions of dollars for research on ground breaking science; for worse we can cater to a narrow constituent base and withhold that funding. It's just a reality.

In the end, I think Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee summed it best. "Yesterday [he] compared Bush's position to those who opposed Columbus, locked up Galileo, and rejected anesthesia, electricity, vaccines and rail travel. Such attitudes 'in retrospect look foolish, look absolutely ridiculous,' said Specter." --Washington Post

*To give full credit, the title political science comes from segment that NBC Nightly News did on this issue.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Notice to Phil Angelides' Negative Nellies

This is for anyone and everyone who claimed that Phil Angelides is not competitive against Arnold Schwarzenegger in the November Governor's race:

Yes, Phil Angelides is currently leading Arnold in Rasmussen's latest poll. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5% -- which really just amounts to the fact that this race is close and Angelides is doing really well considering the brutal Primary race.

This race is far from over, and anyone who says anything different is a fool.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bush's First Veto?

Rove: "Bush would use first veto on stem-cell bill"

I didn't realize that Bush hadn't vetoed anything, but I guess it makes sense when Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress.

I'm glad (and even a little surprised) that the House passed this and I really want the Senate to pass this. It will be interesting though to see if Bush would actually go through with what Rove says he will. Ugh Rove. The fact that Bush would veto this angers me enough but the fact that Rove is still issuing statements for the White House gets under my skin even more.

Finally, we'll see how the Republicans and their presumptive nominees for President in 2008 deal with this. I remember last time they were debating this, it led to a big showdown between First and Santorum (hmm, his race has been flying under the radar lately).

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ned Lamont's Hilarious New TV Ad

Things are heating up in the Connecticut Democratic Primary for Senate. Ned Lamont is running attack ads...against himself? This is a must see.

To visit Lamont's site, click here.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Opportunity to get on TV AND support Phil Angelides!

A little birdie has whispered into this Democrat's ear that Treasurer Angelides is going to be making a major policy speech regarding California infrastructure at the Skirball Museum! Only 3 miles north of UCLA!

What's even MORE exciting is that they asked us Bruins to show up to show their support! And....since this is a media event, there's a good chance that you could be shown on TV in all your Democratic glory!

So if you have a hankerin' for some Angelides love, head out to the Skirball museum on Monday, July 10th, at 9 AM. The Skirball Museum is on Sepulveda Boulevard, 2701 Sepulveda, to be exact.

So come show up, support Phil, and maybe get on TV!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ned Lamont vs. Joe Lieberman

As some of you undoubtedly know, all hell is currently breaking loose in Connecticut. Joe Lieberman, an 18-year Senate incumbent, is facing a primary challenge from Ned Lamont, a local businessman. This race, initially not very interesting, has exploded into one of the most exciting things to happen this summer.

I've never been a fan of Joe Lieberman - Personality-wise, I find him boring, uninspiring, and slightly noobish. Politically, I viewed him as just another DLC moderate. However, over the past 6 years, Joe Lieberman has separated himself from Democratic moderates, by both his positions on the issues as well as his complete abandonment of party unity.

Let's take those two factors one at a time, starting with Lieberman's positions on the issues. I don't have a problem with moderates in the Democratic Party, hell, many people consider me one. I happen to be a huge fan of Harry Reid, the current Democratic leader in the Senate who is also pro-life. Why do I support him? Because he is a party stalwart - voting his conscience on the issues important to him but never, ever, throwing the party under the bus, and working tirelessly to promote Democratic values.

Joe Lieberman has consistently been on the wrong side of several issues. When George W. Bush was attempting to privatize social security, the Democrats in the Senate were *almost* united in opposition. Why was there not complete unification you ask? Well, one needs to look no further than Joseph Lieberman. While most Americans, and even a lot of moderate Republicans, were opposing Bush's proposed privatization of Social Security, Joe Lieberman (Along with 2 other Democrats who were from deep red states) publicly flirted with the idea. Why? Two Words: TV Time.

Faith-Based Initiatives? Count Lieberman in!

The Iraq War? Lieberman remains foolishly ardent in his support for a failed policy that has cost the lives of over 2,500 brave American soldiers. Perhaps even more quizzically he remains a stalwart supporter of Donald Rumsfeld, a man who obviously, has made a crapload of mistakes.

Now I'm going to get to the really, really sad positions...

Terri Schiavo? Ol' Holy Joe Lieberman was jumping on the Republican bandwagon there too - supporting Jeb Bush's efforts to keep Terri Schiavo alive despite her husband's, and HER, wishes.

Emergency Contraceptives for RAPE victims? 'Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said...' Yes, there's Joe Lieberman, telling recently raped women to take a 'short ride to another hospital.'

The list can continue for pages and pages, but the simple fact is this: Joe Lieberman's views do not represent the views of most Democratic (Not to mention Connecticut) voters. Ned Lamont's do.

But what about the second factor I mentioned above, how is Joe Lieberman working against party unity you ask? Well, we can move beyond the example given where Lieberman was fouling up Democratic unity against social security privatization, and take a ride back to the lovely 1990s. At the height of the Clinton impeachment fiasco, when Democrats were struggling to support Clinton, in ran Holy Joe Lieberman, firing off rhetorical moralistic broadsides against Bill Clinton, and playing right into the GOP hands. But presently, Lieberman's antics work every single minute of every single day against the Democratic Party. Every time he gets on the television and supports the current planless situation in Iraq, Lieberman gives credence the failed Republican policies, and makes Democrats look more divided than we actually are. Yes, that picture is real.

The primary challenge against Joe Lieberman is NOT solely about the Iraq is about wanting a Senator in office who represents the views of his constituents, a Senator who will not actively and gleefully seek to undermine his party and its principles. Joe Lieberman has recently announced plans that if he legitimately loses the Democratic primary, he'll run as an independent. So much for party loyalty or respect to the democratic and Democratic process...I suggest all of you to call your Senators, and encourage them to support the DEMOCRATIC nominee, not an 18-year incumbent who doesn't want to play by the rules.

Check out Ned Lamont's new campaign ad:

The first Lieberman-Lamont debate will be tonight, at 7 p.m. Eastern time, on CSPAN and MSNBC.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday USA!

Happy Birthday America!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wedge Issues

Wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which is used by one political group to split apart or create a "wedge" in the support base of an opposing political group, with a view to enticing voters to give their support to the first group.

Both the Republican and Democrat Parties have been accused of using social issues as wedge issues to divide the opposing voting base. For example, some Republican strategists hoped that African Americans, a traditionally liberal voting bloc yet also one that possesses some of the most conservative views on matters of homosexuality, may be more inclinded to vote for the Republican Party because of their opposition to the gay marriage issue. Likewise, Democratic strategists have hoped that the issue of stem cell research could be used as a wedge issue against the right, since some Republicans support the research, while others are morally opposed to the use of fetal cells in research. --Wikipedia

It's that time of the year again! When Congressional recess is around the corner and members roll out wedge issues to divide the opposing party in the upcoming November election. While both parties may do them, the Democrats frankly suck at them (which may be a good thing fundamentally but bad electorally). The wedge issue du jour is flag burning. Is there anything less relevant to our country right now? Never mind the war, economic woes, poverty, even high gas prices. We're really debating flag burning...something that's happened publicly 2x in the past 5 years?

So here's your time to post which wedge issue you think is most ridiculous...and if you're really bored, give your reason why. For me, gay marriage is #1 and flag burning is #2 (my reason can be found here). What's yours?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Futbol Fundraising?

So you know this new graduate is really bored when she watches multiple World Cup games a day, finds an article about politics in the World Cup, and writes about it.

While skimming the LA Times, I came across this odd article: World Cup Tickets to Help Fund Ballot Measures. "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez is selling tickets to Berlin games for $25,000 to help raise money for November proposals."

I'm not sure which is more interesting/amusing to me. The fact that "for $25,000, corporations can send representatives to Berlin to attend three World Cup matches with Nuñez, an avid soccer fan. The package includes the match tickets, three nights in a hotel, travel to the soccer stadium and tickets for pregame parties, but not the airfare to Europe." Or the fact that one of these propositions deals with term limits, my nerdy poli sci obsession that I've written multiple papers on.

It's definitely a creative idea (even if it's for propositions....I'm not a fan of propositions). I just kind of wonder if it's legal...I guess it is if they're writing about it in the newspaper without lambasting the plan.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

An Immigration ACT

So the latest state buzz has been about Arnold standing up to President Bush and refusing to send 1,500 more national guard to do border patrol after California had already sent 1,000. At first I thought it was Bush just getting shafted by his own party, again, but I never thought of the whole situation as an orchestrated act. Here's one Democratic take:

Bob Mulholland, an advisor to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, said: "This so-called request [from the White House] was a phony political request to try to give Schwarzenegger political cover: 'Look it. I'm standing up to Bush.' But last week Schwarzenegger was a French poodle in Bush's lap — authorizing 1,000 stressed-out, overextended National Guard members to spend weeks and months at the border, even though many of them have done two tours in Iraq."

Who knows if this was all planned out; it is the oppositions job to come up with conspiracy theories but I frankly wouldn't be surprised if this was all a ploy. It'll be interesting to see if this strategy (if it is a strategy) will work or totally backfire. Arnold's walking a very fine line between his conservative base that wants more border patrol and the large Latino vote in California.

Finally if it is all an act, shame on people for playing politics with our National Guardsmen. I think they've already been disrespected enough.

Check out more here: Gov. Refuses Bush Request for Border Troops

Friday, June 23, 2006

My 2nd Amendment rights have been violated on account of ageism

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

For a while now I've decided that I wanted to buy a revolver to do a little target shooting. I was thinking about a 38 special or maybe a 9mm. I looked around for gun stores online, and found one that was just a few miles east of me, L.A. Guns on Sunset.

So I decide to head on down there and see what they had. Once there, I walked in and looked at the cabinets of revolvers they had. I told the man what I was looking for, and he showed me a nice little 9mm revolver for about $375 that seemed to be what I was looking for. Interested, I asked if I could see it. He asked for my ID.

Well that's no problem, I thought, I'm 20, a voting-age citizen of the United States - I didn't expect a problem. I was wrong.

The man looked at my ID and told me that he couldn't sell me what I wanted, he couldn't sell me any handgun because it's illegal to sell a handgun to anyone between 18 years of age and 21 years of age. In fact, he told me, it's illegal for me to even be there.

Now, I was pissed. Hell, I AM pissed. I'm a liberal - but I do believe in the right to own a gun, something I feel is a basic liberty. I sincerely believe in gun control though - in background checks, waiting periods, training sessions, safety locks. Regulations meant to ensure safety and societal security while preserving liberty. But this is just ridiculous.

I am able to vote for elected officers. I am able to buy cigarettes to kill myself. And I am able to participate in the lottery (Also known as the Moron Tax). I am able to be drafted into the military, given a gun and told to kill people, all in the name of my country and on account of my citizenship.

But now, in the Great State of California, I am not permitted to purchase a handgun on account of my age, even though I'm a full-fledged citizen. This is ageism, pure and simple. Whatever the logic behind this (And I'm sure there is some), it is wrong to restrict liberties on account of age.

Instead of banning the sale of guns to American citizens, we should focus on the true cause of crime and gun violence: poverty. Not spending our tax dollars to prevent some twenty year old from target shooting, but using them to ensure that no child is forced to grow up poor in a bad neighborhood.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Arnold v. Phil: it begins.

Today, some of the other members of Bruin Democrats and I talked with the Angelides campaign about the best possible ways to publicize our guy Phil, highlight the differences between he and Arnold, and the all-important aspect of actually getting college students to vote.

Rallies, facebook, celebrities, campus visits by the Treasurer himself, and even a Phil cut-out to display while tabling were all mentioned. Does anyone else have any ideas?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Phil Angelides Releases New Campaign Ad, 'Direction'

Treasurer Angelides' campaign wasted no time responding to Governor Schwarzenegger's ad depicting Angelides as wanting to make seagulls and children walk backwards (I'm serious).

It's purely amusing that on the one hand, Governor Schwarzenegger says Phil Angelides wants to take California backwards, while on the other hand the Governor has raised college tuition and fees, allowed corporations to get a free ride, and has attacked California's firefighers, teachers, nurses, and police officers.

No, Arnold, it is you (And President Bush, whom you campaigned for), who has taken California backwards.

By the way, this ad features the Bruin Democrats' own Caitlin Harvey! She's in the purple shirt in the final shot.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hillary Clinton Comes in Second in Iowa Caucus Poll

Hillary Clinton has come in second with 26% in a poll of Iowa Democrats' preferences for '08 Democratic Presidential nominees. Edwards came in first with 30%. I truly find this interesting. I mean, it isn't particularly surprising that John Edwards has polled relatively high in Iowa (He's practically moved there since the 2004 election). He's been smoozing with the caucus-goers for some time now.

What this shows, I think, is that Hillary Clinton is most assuredly NOT a shoe-in for the nomination. Some of you will be sad about that (I'm not), but the next couple years should definitely prove interesting.

The complete article by the Des Moines Register is under this link.

He's got a point...,0,3792221.story?coll=la-home-commentary

However, who read George Lakoff's "Don't think of an elephant" with us last quarter? It seems like the author of this article (also a professor at Berkeley) just ripped off some of his ideas.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

False Attacks on Angelides

June 1, 2006

The False Attacks on Angelides

Steve Westly's latest attack ad against Phil Angelides is an outright lie. "The Truth About Tahoe" ad alleges that Phil Angelides was the developer of a big condo development in Tahoe. It claims that he damaged the environment. In fact, Angelides purchased part-time ownership of a single condo - after it was built - for his family's use a few weeks a year.

Additional fact: when Phil Angelides discovered that the actual developer had done damage, he filed a lawsuit against him. It was the developer-not Phil Angelides-who was responsible and who was fined for the incident.

Phil Angelides has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, the California League of Conservation Voters and over 70 leading environmentalists from all over the state. That's because they actually researched his environmental record.

On June 6, Vote for Phil Angelides, he's always on our side and he's the candidate who's tough enough to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger in November.

For more information go to

Thanks to Derek for sending this out.


The Democratic Primary is on Tuesday! Don't forget to get out to the polls and vote!

BRUIN DEMOCRATS have endorsed PHIL ANGELIDES for Governor. Angelides has been a longtime supporter of Bruin Democrats, and he is the one Democrat who will be able to beat Schwarzenegger.

Phil Angelides has offered real solutions for California's problems, knows what it takes to get things done in Sacramento, and is truly capable of making California the pride of the nation.

Join the Bruin Democrats in turning out to vote for Phil Angelides and other Democratic candidates on Tuesday, 6-6-06!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Decider, eh?

A couple days ago, Karl Rove came out and told us that "President Bush's poll numbers are down because of the Iraq war", and that people "like the president."

I hate to be the bearer of bad news to Mr. Rove...but President Bush's poll numbers are not low because of a single issue...that's like saying Tom Cruise is crazy for one specific thing that he did. No, the President's poll number's are a result of...

-Hurricane Katrina and the complete and unequivocal national disgrace that followed...
-Getting pwned on Social Security...
-Getting pwned on the Dubai Ports Deal
-Having outrageously high gas prices, and only responding by saying you "don't have a magic wand" to deal with the problem. The American people expected a President, not a wizard.
-Going against American law by wiretapping phone calls without court warrants
-Data mining the phone records of 200 million Americans
-Dealing nothing but empty rhetoric to confront the illegal immigration crisis facing this country
-Allowing poverty to increase
-Doing ABSOLUTELY nothing about healthcare
-SCREWING students
-Talking like a n00b
-And yes, Karl Rove, the war in Iraq. For months years this presidency has attempted to present the Iraq war as being in its 'last throes,' as making progress. I may believe them, if it weren't for the utter incompetence this administration has shown on all levels of governance on a variety of issues, including this one.

No, It's fairly simple: Iraq is the manmade Hurricane Katrina of the middle east. Nothing more, Mr. Rove, nothing less.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Court upholds Israeli spouse ban

I think this is utterly ridiculous. Reminiscent of Japanese internment.

"Court upholds Israeli spouse ban
Israeli Arabs
Israel's 1.3 million Arabs are being discriminated against, activists say
Israel's Supreme Court has upheld a controversial law barring West Bank Palestinians from living with their spouses and children in Israel itself.

By a six-to-five majority, the court rejected petitions brought by civil rights groups, members of the Israeli parliament and Arab Israeli families.

The government says the law, passed at a time of rising violence in 2002, is based on security concerns.

But critics say it is discriminatory and violates rights to a family life.

The case has been described as one of the most important questions the Supreme Court has dealt with in recent years.

One of the groups that challenged the law said thousands of families were affected, that they have been forced to move abroad or live apart.

Orna Kohn, a lawyer for a group defending Israeli Arabs, said Sunday's ruling caused "grave damage to the basic rights of thousands of people".

But the Israeli state says the recent election victory of the militant group Hamas strengthened its case that Palestinians were a security risk and should not be allowed into the country.

There are some 1.3 million Arab citizens in Israel - just under 20% of the population."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mission Accomplished?

Today is the third anniversary of Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech, which said that the Iraq war was over. It seems that the mission isn't actually accomplished. What does this mean for the Democratic party? Can it help us get in office? For more information, check out an article about it on click here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


What to do about illegal immigration?

Make illegal immigrants felons?
Build a wall?
Allow a guest worker program?
Flat out amnesty?
More border patrol agents?
Fine employers?


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I'm a firm believer that consequences of actions will always follow a person, whether they're good or bad. And while it seemed that the Republicans were getting away with absurd amounts of things, it finally seems to be catching up to them.

As a Bruin fan, yesterday's loss was tough. But there was one good piece of news yesterday: Tom DeLay will not be seeking re-election. It's a pretty big symbol of Republican leadership taking a hit and I'm certainly glad that the "Hammer" is gone (ever since I was a Captiol intern and saw him give a fire and brimstone speech about gay marriage, I've been scared of him). I can't judge if he's guilty, he'll go through a trial for that, but with everything he's done like the absurd gerrymandering in Texas, Congress is better without him. I'm not sure if will have any effect on the 2006 midterm elections, but it's a good thing nonetheless.

And in another piece of news of a person who used up all their good Karma: Katherine Harris's core staff all bailed on her.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Looks like Jack Abramoff won't be enjoying spring break like the rest of us. He's looking forward to a pretty chunk of time in prison instead. Granted, he still only received the minimum sentence allowed under federal guidelines, but six years is still six years, no?

There's more to be found here.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hopefully good news for you, not so much for the President

Happy 10th/Finals week to you all. I hope you are all having a better time at things than this man.

Bush's poll numbers have plummeted, and are now at 33%.

Not only that, but he is losing support from his base by the 10s of percent.

Additionally, 'incompetent' is now the word most associated with the president. Followed shortly by 'idiot' and 'liar'

Outline of all the results here. I definitely suggest looking at it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

National Security

I wanted to write a follow up on Kyle's post on Bush's pathetic approval ratings, and bring back a story from a couple weeks ago.

The one strong suit Bush has held on to, through all his ups and downs as president, is the public's approval ratings of his job "protecting the homeland," a traditional GOP strength. We as Democrats have always had to jump through hoops to explain why we are not unpatriotic/traitors, and even Democrats who lost three limbs in combat have been successfully compared to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, causing them to lose re-election. I don't think any of us need a reminder to what happened to another war hero named John Kerry.

So it should have suprised no one when a month ago, Karl Rove set the tone for the 2006 midterm elections, calling on Republicans to focus heavily on national security in their attempts to save Nov '06 from being a total disaster. The reaction from some Democrats, however, was quite surprising. It appears that some within our party still insist on fighting elections on domestic issues, thinking that people will honestly put their social security check before the lives of them and their children. In a post 9/11 world, if people do not trust you to protect our country, they will not vote for you- and rightly so! What we need to realize, as Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) points out, is that not only is this a issue we need to fight on, its one we can and should win. It is not only in our best interest for political reasons, but for the safety of our country that we need to be the one's shaping our national security and foreign policy.

Not only can we win it, but the fight is looking increasingly easier. Quoting from the same article Kyle just did, only 43% of Americans approve of the way Bush is conducting the war on terror. 43% approval, on their "strongest issue"? Is that's not a political opportunity, I don't know what is. Only 30% approve of the way the Iraq war is going, and only 30% approve of the Bush administration's plan to give control of our nation's ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, where two of the 9/11 hijackers came from. But none of this will ever matter unless Democrats finally stand up and stop being so afraid of talking about protecting our country. If we lay out a comprehensive and forward-thinking plan about how to secure our country, not only will we win big in November '06, but we will deserve it. So to Bush, Rove, and the rest of the GOP, I would simply say, bring it on.


Bush approval rating at 34 percent

Yes, 3-4.



Oh Lordy that's bad...

The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.

Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement.

Mr. Bush's overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.

Wowee..but there's more..

There is a bright spot for the administration, most Americans appeared to have heard enough about Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident.

More then three in four said it was understandable that the accident had occurred and two-thirds said the media had spent too much time covering the story.

Still, the incident appears to have made the public's already negative view of Cheney a more so. Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.

Well, I suppose when your poll numbers have hit 34%, when you've bungled Iraq, Katrina, social security, and port security, the cloud always has a silver lining. And in this case, that silver lining is Cheney's 18% approval rating.

Rest of article here.

-Love Kyle

Financial Abandonment of Palestine

To explain the issue, here is a quote and direct link to a BBC article:

"Aid has already begun to drop off after last month's Hamas victory in the polls, with Hamas still regarded as a terrorist group by Israel, the US and the EU.
At the weekend, the authority agreed to return $50m (£28.7.m) of US aid following a request from Washington, which said it did not want the money going to a government that refused torecognizee Israel. And now, to make matters worse, the Israeli government has frozen the transfer of millions of dollars in funds to the authority - a move which the UN has called unhelpful and premature."

I see this as wrong. Preaching such strong ideals of Democracy in Iraq, it is hypocritical of the United States to withhold aid to a democratically elected Hamas, regardless of their past actions. More than hurting the government, the financial collapse of Palestine will ruin the lives of thousands of innocent Palestinians who have no connections to Hamas. Many of these people are simply trying to subsist and have no concern for political issues. This is a horrible example of the United States and Israel putting political motives ahead of the welfare of human beings.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cartoon Protest Against the USA

In light of the attack on the US Embassy in Indonesia, I do not understand why such anger is directed at the United States when only newspapers within Europe published the inflammatory cartoons.

Of course, the obvious conclusion is that such protests are actually stemming from anger over American foreign policy in the Middle East. Despite what resentment some Muslim factions have for the United States, I think it is absurd to attack American targets because of cartoons that are totally unrelated to the United States. The cartoons have given fuel to an "anti-Western" protest when only a minority of Western countries are to blame. How these cartoons can be used for motivation to attack America and Israel is ridiculous.

While it was both ignorant and irresponsible for the conservative Danish paper (with a readership of 500) to print such cartoons, it is equally irresponsible of Muslim militant leaders to use these cartoons to inflame their followers and then place the blame where it is not deserved. Moreover, it was not only the few Muslim leaders who are to blame, but the European press should have exercised more discretion when deciding to take a stand on freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The European press should have been more aware of the possible ramifications of their actions. There was no need to make such a stand with such a controversial topic; and I believe that the decision to reprint the cartoons, for at least some of the European newspapers, was not motivated by free speech, but more so by anti-Muslim and xenophobic sentiment. Thus, those who reprinted the cartoons are just as guilty for the ongoing violence as are the Muslim leaders who used the cartoons for ulterior motives.

Lastly, the media should take responsibility and broadcast coverage of the larger Muslim community who denounce the violent backlash against the cartoons. There has been far too much coverage of the violence and not enough on the efforts by Muslim community in its efforts to quell the fighting. In doing so, the media only further solidifies the idea that the majority of Muslims are violent fundamentalists. While that view may seem laughable to most, sadly, there are many more who will fall victim to this ignorant bias.

This blog represents the main points of my thoughts on the issue. If I had more time, I would further elaborate, as this is an extremely complex topic.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Howard Dean is coming to UCLA!!
Date: Wednesday, February 22
Location: CS50

Make sure to bring a UCLA id (student/faculty). Line up early, he will begin speaking at 5pm, entry will begin around 4:40pm.

He will be giving a short speech then open up the floor for a Q&A session.

Don't forget, the Bruin Democrats will be debating the Bruin Republicans that night as well.
6:30pm in DeNeve Auditorium
Free Admission

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney-Quail '06

Vice President Dick Cheney shoots a man, no really.

While it is good to note that the 78-year-old man whom he shot is doing fine, there is a fairly large hubbub over the White House's failure to disclose the shooting.

In fact the story only broke because the owner of the property told a reporter. I have a strong hunch that this story may have never broken if left to the Bush administration. And with good reason.

As with many policy issues, the Bush administration is simply incompetent, plain and simple.

However, this highlights an incompetence that can be deadly. Every year, nearly 1,000 people die because of accidental gun deaths. As a gun owner myself (Though not a hunter), I know that when one fires a gun, one assumes the ultimate responsibilty. I have the responsibility to know that what I am shooting at is in fact what I'm supposed to be shooting at, and not some poor 78-year-old Republican donor. I'd hope that the Vice President of the United States would know this an act as a role model for gun owners everywhere (Especially those who hunt with children).

The individual firing the gun has the ultimate responsibility of knowing where everyone is and ensuring that everyone is kept safe, and it is simply disingenuous to suggest that it is the victim's fault (As the Republican spin is attempting to do now).

The lesson? Don't go hunting with the vice president. And if you do shoot a gun, know that you're not aiming at another person.

Monday, February 06, 2006

We like freedom of the press. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that we generally like the press, as long as it does its job and tells the truth. The New York Times had an interesting column recently about the role of the press in a democracy. I thought I'd include the more amusing part here.

So here's something to ponder: where would you be without your local newspaper? I'll tell you where I'd be - not in the Bruin Democrats. I became interested in politics at roughly the same time I discovered the newspaper at age six. It's been a beautiful marriage ever since.


The Pumas Must be Monitored

I was watching a great program on the capuchin monkeys of Costa Rica last night around four in the morning. The narrator pointed out the various behaviors and duties of each individual tribe member. While most of the capuchins hung from limbs, playing and eating berries, a special group of monkeys with the best eyesight scurried about the perimeter, scanning the jungle for predators – big cats, birds of prey and venomous snakes.

Of the entire tribe, these sentry monkeys were a small, but important, slice of society. When a bloodthirsty puma came sneaking around, the sentries erupted in wild screams, alerting their ignorant brothers and sisters and saving them from danger.

At four in the morning, this nature program was merely entertaining, but now as I am thinking about the role of a newspaper in a democracy, I find myself identifying with those furry capuchins on the rain-soaked fringe. I let out a horrible howl in my empty office. The pumas must be monitored for the good of the whole.

Read the rest here:

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

So what was everyone's thoughts on the State of Union? I must say, I was amused by the Democrats' thunderous cheers and applause in response to Bush's "Last year, Congress did not act on my social security plan."


Link - Radio Interview

Word to the wise: Don't have controversial opinions if you can't back them up. You might just end up like this guy...

This is a text transcript of a radio interview of:
Hughs (Radio spokesman, for I believe a fairly conservative radio station) vs.
Joel Stein (A columnist for the LA times who recently wrote the peice 'I don't support the troops, ever.)

Admittedly, there are some unfair tactics being played here by Hughs to illegitimize Stein' position by twisting his words over and over again on itself, but the core of the argument against him is still roughly the same, and I think it's fair to say that people of all spectrums tend to ignore it:

Don't have strong opinions about stuff you don't know about. You will get torn to shreds in cross-examination. :/

In this polarized politicized society, it seems that the majority of people only care about WHAT you believe, forgetting that WHY you believe is what fuels your cause. What you know, what you've read, and how much thought you've put into your views are equally important in the realm of debate and opinions as much as the opinion or stance itself.

Food for thought.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What’s with giving up?

By Philippe

This Monday afternoon the Senate will decide whether or not Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito will get an up or down vote, or at least WHEN that will happen. Despite the nominee’s appearance as a staunch conservative and his opinion that Roe is NOT settled law, many Democrats are not behind a filibuster motion, proposed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. This leaves me asking “why the ‘quitter’ attitude boys and girls?”

Alito’s addition to the court could have a catastrophic effect on many of the issues that Democrats, and many of their constituents care most about; most notably the abortion issue. If a case were to present itself in front of the court, it seems fairly obvious, at least to me, that Alito, with the encouragement of every right-wing group that backed his nomination, would elect, along with Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia, to review the issue, and possibly deliver a significant blow to a woman’s right to choose.

Of course this isn’t news to anyone’s ears. For months, liberals and Democrats across the nation have been pulling their hair and making noise about Alito posing a possible threat to the right of a woman over her own lower half. But what about the other issues that Alito’s addition to an off-balance court might effect.

While I’ve not taken the time to read very much about his opinions on the specific matters regarding the various splinter issues (marriage/civil unions, adoption, etc) it seems fairly obvious that for gay men and women, this guy’s addition to the court could prove to be a gigantic hurdle along the path towards complete political acceptance. It is apparent that our legislature has, and may remain, conservative, and anti-gay legislation minded. In California, our own state, conservative groups are trying to put a measure that, if passed, would make gay unions unconstitutional. Now imagine this issue causing a stir, and then a court case. I doubt very much that Alito and company will be inclined to help out the gay Californians in their quest for rights. I imagine it is much more likely that he deals a blow that would set the community back by leaps and bounds.

And gay rights aren’t the only other issues that Alito might have an adverse effect on (at least as far as this Democrat is concerned). Backed by right-wing groups that advocate teaching “intelligent design” and who regard advancements in the field of science, particularly in the area of stem cell research, as “playing god” and/or “murder” he may, along with his conservative peers on the bench, deal out massive blows that could hold America back from scientific inquiry, and make our citizens less competitive, if not the laughing stock, in the global marketplace.

So why aren’t more people supporting John Kerry’s effort to block this guy’s entry into the body of government that decides what our laws mean and whether or not they are valid? Why, when the stakes are this high, are some Democrats giving up? Is it possible that they’re giving in?

I wish I had a confirmed answer but the best that I can do is offer a theory about what might be behind this madness. It might be, whether they know this or not, that those Democrats, like Dick Durban of Illinois, are hoping that this nomination hammers the last nail into the Republican Party’s coffin.
After the great depression hit, Herbert Hoover’s mismanagement of the nation sent the country BEGGING AND PLEADING FOR A DEMOCRATIC ANSWER (which arrived in the form of FDR). After countless Republican legislative blunders, the Democrats controlled our government, alongside the occasional liberal/moderate Republican, for forty years, until Reagan.
All that it took for people to “see the light” was to see our country hit it’s economic and emotional “Rock Bottom”.

Well, maybe that’s the idea behind not supporting the filibuster and continuing to search for votes to keep Alito off the bench. Maybe, just maybe, the result of Alito’s appointment will be that he’ll prove to deal such disastrous blows to the lives of many Americans that his appointment will, indirectly, usher in a new era of Democratic domination.

Of course, we’d still have to deal with the ramifications of having this guy on the court. And as he is, from what I have read and understand, in relatively decent health, we could be looking at some major blows to the rights of many Americans, not to mention possible blows to our nation’s progress.

Alito may not touch the abortion issue, but he’s far too much of a liability, in my opinion, for Democrats to give up. Have we learned nothing from Al Gore’s “giving up” in 2000? The stakes are just too high!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Peace in the Middle East

The election results from this week's Palestinian parliamentary elections, the first in a long time, are starting to come in, and it looks like Hamas has won a majority in the parliament. This is a turning point in palestinian politics and Israeli - Palesitinian relations. What Hamas is going to do from this point on, no one really knows. i'm not sure even Hamas knows. I have no doubts that they will try to do what they think is best for the Palestinian people, and that they will most likely be less corrupt than the current Palestinian Authority. However, I am worried about what this election signals for the future of peace in the Middle East. These election results will definitely have a profound impact on the upcoming israeli elections.

If, and this is a probably won't happen in a million years if, Hamas is willing to negotiate on the issue of peace with Israel, it could have a large impact in terms of creating a less volatile region. If peace can be made between between Hamas and a Likkud government, it truly will be a peace. As the saying goes, "It takes a Nixon to go to China." Thus, it takes a Likkud and a Hamas to make peace in Israel. Another result of this election, perhaps more undesirable, could be the galvanization of opposition parties and extremist parties in the surrounding Arab countries. This would make the Middle East a much more volatile region and a hotspot for years to come.

So, what do you think? Opposing and supporting opinions always welcome. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alito: The End of the Anti Abortion Movement?

My public policy professor posed an interesting question to us today. If Judge Alito was confirmed, and Roe v. Wade was not overturned, would that be the end of the "pro-life" movement?

It's interesting and what's probably more important is that this could all play out. Reports are showing that as much as Democrats don't like Alito, blocking his confirmation is highly unlikely. On the same token though, analysts believe that the liklihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is also highly unlikely even if Alito was on the bench. Thus, if this all pans out, can conservatives still use the argument that anti abortion folks should doll out lots of money for them and mobilize for them because they will appoint judges that will overturn Roe v. Wade? If you can't ban abortion with a conservative President, Congress, and Supreme Court, can you at all?

To throw in my own two cents, I think that if two new Bush Justices, along with the current court, don't touch the abortion subject, it is possible the movement might wane. It will always be one of the "big" issues, like the death penalty, but it probably won't have the weight that it has had in these recent years. For example, people might just realize that they shouldn't be single issue voters on the subject of abortion because their electorale power isn't as direct and productive on the abortion issue as they thought.

Ultimately, I don't think it will that this issue will create a large swing in the partisan power though. Even if some people finally realize that Roe v. Wade won't be overturned, a lot of anti abortion people are obviously still conservative on other issues and will continue to vote accordingly. The only thing I could see this having any effect on are single issue voters who's ideologies and self interest align with Democrats except on the one issue of abortion. Who knows, I could be completely wrong because I must admit but that I never really understood them anyway.


Friday, January 13, 2006

From the annals of history

In middle school, my English teacher had us all memorize a passage from a speech that the fabulous Bobby Kennedy delivered at the University of Kansas in 1968. Since then, I've kept a copy of it in my journal, both for its stark view of the present and its powerful hope for how the world could be. I thought I'd pull it out in hopes that some of you could also draw inspiration from it.


"Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product ... if we should judge America by that - counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

"Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

Robert F. Kennedy
Delivered at the University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
March 18, 1968

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ted Kennedy v. Arlen Specter

Ted Kennedy vs. Arlen Specter on the issue of Alito's involvement in a borderline racist/sexist group. Hilarious shouting match.


Our First Post!

I hope everyone had a fantastic break and are all refreshed for a new
quarter of great events and activities. It will be really wonderful to
see everyone again, whether you?re a returning member or completely
new. See you at our first meeting tonight!

Katie Tokushige
Bruin Democrats Internal Vice President

1. General meeting in ROYCE 362
2. Join the Bruin Dems Dance Marathon group!
3. Divestment from Sudan: HUGE events this week and next

1. The first general meeting of the quarter will be at 6:30 on
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2006 in ROYCE 362. ***Please note the room
change*** We will be discussing all of the great things we have
planned for this quarter, including dinner with Michael Dukakis, a
party for Ted Kennedy?s birthday, and scandals of the week! See you
all there!

2. The Bruin Dems are participating in Dance Marathon 2006. If you
are interested in joining our group as a moraler or a dancer please
e-mail the club at

3. The University of California has millions of dollars invested in
Sudan; a country that has been experiencing a genocide for the last 4-5
years. An estimated 400,000 people have already perished as a result
of the genocide and 2 million people have been displaced into refugee
camps. Next week, on Thursday January 19, the UC Regents will vote
upon whether to divest from their stocks in companies that do business
in Sudan. The Darfur Action Committee at UCLA cordially invites you to
join us in solidarity at this meeting. The Bruin Dems are putting
together a group to attend the meeting. UCLA students will leave
Thursday morning at 5:00AM and return at 5:00PM. The trip is
completely free. If you are interested in going please sign up on the
website Also, don?t forget to sign the petition
to divest at this website also!