Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Mess With Texas...

Like many states in 2010, the state of Texas has a number of pressing social, and economic issues that would be worthy of inclusion in the recently released 2010 Texas Republican Party Platform. A few issues that come to mind would be...
  • Every four minutes a student drops out of  Texas Public Schools
  • Texas has the highest percentage of  uninsured children in the United States
  • Texas has over 15 counties with disturbingly  high infant mortality rates.
  • The  current  unemployment rate in Texas is  8.l%
  • Texas has four of the top ten U.S. cities with the  highest rates for home foreclosures  (Austin, San Antonio, Dallas & Houston)
So with all  these issues to choose from,  what do you think the  Texas GOP decided was the most pressing threat to the  good people of  their state?    Why,  Gay  Marriage of course...  What  else??   (via the Huffington Post)
Texas Republicans recently unveiled a policy platform that includes a statement of support for legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples as well as for an official to perform a marriage ceremony for gay partners wishing to wed.
The 25-page proposal debuted last week as a guiding light for the state GOP over the next two years defines its position by saying:
Marriage Licenses - We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.
The proposal from Republicans in the Lone Star state makes the following claims related to the party's view of homosexuality:
  • "We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases."
  • "Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have beenordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans."
  • "Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples."

The recently rolled-out platform from the Texas GOP has also come under scrutiny for advocating to outlaw all "sexually-oriented businesses" -- including strip clubs and "all pornography" -- while allowing virtually unrestricted access to oil and gas drilling.
So it looks like  the  Texas GOP is finally going to  close the "Chicken Ranch!"

And  just to make sure  the  next  generation  of  Texans aren't exposed to any dangerous "facts"  the Texas State Board of Education  has decided to revise some of their textbooks to better reflect  their own peculiar Texan perspective.

Of course this isn't the first time the Republicans in Texas have entertained the rest of us with their adorable home-spun eccentricity. Let us not forget the annual call by the Texas GOP for their state to secede from the union.

Now all this would be funny if this was just some fringe group of nutjobs or random postings on Sarah Palin's facebook page. But stuff like this is part of the official platform of a State Republican Party. Even more interesting is the window this gives us on the post- BP oil spill strategy of the national GOP going into this November. 

When you can't campaign as being FOR anything, except really stupid ideas and failed policies,  you do the next best thing. You pick something really scary you can run AGAINST.  Because over the eight years of the Bush-Cheney Administration the GOP cried wolf so often with "Terror Alerts" and totally failed to catch Osama Bin Laden, they can't really play the "Terrorism Card" anymore.   Also more than a few Republicans have recently figured out that scapegoating Hispanics by using the scary "illegal immigrants" card is just a great way to piss off millions of Hispanic American Voters.

So what's left? Oh yeah...The Gays

It just gets  clearer and clearer every day,   The Republicans have lost their minds...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ok, You have GOT to be kidding me.....!

This is getting ridiculous. It's to the point now any right wing "evangelical" who rails and rants against "the gays" may as well be wearing a dress. As they CLEARLY are nothing more than closeted, self-hating hypocrites, desperate to hide their own sexual orientation and their inability to accept themselves.

Our latest closet door to fly open is that of former Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Pastor Tom Brock. Who was one of the first to claim that a tornado that struck Minneapolis during the ELCA's national convention, was "God's response" to a vote by the Church to accept Gay and Lesbian Clergy.

His videos on YouTube have all suddenly been taken down. (Gee.. I can't imagine why...) But the delightful thing about the internet is nothing really ever gets truly deleted. Here is closeted Gay Pastor Tom Brock sharing his personal fears and insecurities with the world..

. Queerty.com brings us the delightful details....
The Rev. Tom Brock, the senior pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, is the winner who blamed August's tornado during the ELCA conference's gay clergy vote on The Gays. Yes, for real. Brock took his congregation out of ELCA because of their tolerance for homosexuality (and funding for pastor abortions), and has spent countless sermons and YouTube videos railing against you queers. But, what's this, Brock is a member of a group therapy group for recovering homosexuals?

Brock belongs to Faith in Action, the Minnesota chapter of the Catholic Church’s Courage group, which teaches gays how to avoid giving in to their gay feelings. That's the report out of Lavender, the Gay Minnesota magazine, which exposes Brock as a member of the tribe, struggling with his same-sex attractions — which proved too great on a recent trip to Slovakia. Reporter John Townsend writes about his encounter with Brock at one of these meetings.  ==========>
It has gotten to the point now that  I can't even get  angry about this sort of thing anymore,  I just feel sorry for  people like Tom Brock.   Living a lie  is full-time job.   It drains  the energy from all other aspects of a person's  life.  Until  "protecting  the lie"  becomes  all consuming,   

This is why we end up  hearing about men like Brock, George Rekers,  Ted Haggard and their like,   When their lie finally does fall apart it is almost always in a very big and very public way.

This weekend over One Million people will converge on San Francisco for the 40th San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade. Millions of other people Straight, and Gay will do the same in cities all over the world. And what is the sinister "gay agenda" of all these celebrations? All the people who will march in these parades want people like Tom Brock to know that they really are welcome, and hope they will find the courage  to simply be themselves.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From the Closing Arguments at the Prop 8 Trial

Right now the judge in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is hearing closing arguments in the Federal suit to overturn California's ban on Same-Sex Marriage. Ted Olsen, the lawyer for the Plaintiffs (Pro Marriage Equality) has the quote of the day:

 Follow the  trial  LIVE at  Pam's  House Blend

 Here is some  background on the  trial:

Ok... Apparently I'm not the ONLY one who's confused.

Jon Stewart  isn't  feeling the  audacity of hope much  these days either...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Respect My Authoritah
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Obama Puzzle...

Like many people who supported and voted for President Obama, I have watched the first two years of his Presidency unfold with a growing sense of dismay and even at times, buyers remorse. Over at Americablog, John Aravosis puts the frustration many Americans are feeling with the Obama Administration in a brilliantly worded "Memo to the President". 

Reading John's post, I found myself thinking back to the eight years of the George W. Bush Administration, and how I would often find solace in watching the make-believe presidency of Jed Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing". Where I would watch and wish reality would for once imitate art. One of my favorite moments from the series came on a episode dealing with the Bartlet Administration's stalled agenda, and President Bartlet's inability to "be himself" out of fears of losing the next election. (Sound familiar?).

My favorite scene is where the President played by Martin Sheen and his Chief of Staff, (played by the late John Spencer) come to the realization that the feelings of futility and fear that seem to permeate the White House are crippling Bartlet's Presidency. They both agree that Presidential leadership is more important than getting re-elected.

In reading  John's memo to President Obama  the passage that  leaps off the  computer screen at me was this;

"More often than not, you make a public statement about your general goal, and then you sit back and don't get involved until things are ready to fall apart. It's what you did on health care reform, it's what you're doing on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and immigration, and lots of other issues you campaigned on.     

Time after time, you didn't work behind the scenes to fulfill your public promise. Instead, you sat back and let your staff, or worse, the Congress, take a stab at the issue, while you waited to see what they came up with, as the issue careened out of control. Then, at the last minute, after your initial promise had been obliterated, you got involved, only to find that the compromise being discussed looked little like what you had promised the American people in the first place."

President Obama failed to keep his promises on Health Care reform. Instead we got minimal crumbs of insurance reform that really do nothing to address the issues of the Health Care crisis in America. On civil rights and human rights. The prison camp at Guantanamo Bay is still open. and President Obama's sweeping promises on ending Don't Ask Don't Tell, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and enacting real employment non-discrimination laws have been left to Congress to make a complete and utter mess of trying to enact. And members of his own administration are now working against his own campaign promises on financial services reform.

Back last October I was in a bookstore in London and I came across the current issue of "The New Statesmen" . Their cover was a photo-morph of Barack Obama as George W. Bush.

So who is Barack Obama?    In 2008 I thought I was voting for change. I thought for once life was going to imitate art. I thought I was getting Jed Bartlet, not George W. Bush only in kinder, gentler packaging.

Now as a disclaimer, I will confess, the lens by which I view and judge the Obama Presidency is not an objective one. But the reason for that is Obama himself. He campaigned as the guy who was running against "politics as usual". Yet as President he seems paralyzed with fear that any sort of decisive action will jeopardize his chances in an election still more than two years away. It is as if Barack Obama doesn't quite realize he is President of the United States right now. He ran for President as a transformational leader, but governs as if he was still a back bencher junior Senator from Illinois, deferring to his more senior Congressional colleagues and only stepping up after all the wrangling and hard work has been done.

That isn't what I voted for. I want a President who understands there are more important things than re-election. 

I want a President who doesn't just say Health Care for all Americans is important. I want a President who will fight for it harder than he worries about getting re-elected. I want a President who doesn't just say he believes I deserve equal protection under the law. I want a President who will fight for my civil rights harder than he worries about getting re-elected. I want a President who won't just say Main Street is just as important as Wall Street. I want a President who will spend the needed political capital to enact REAL financial reform instead of trying to stuff that now rapidly diminishing capital under a mattress for an election that is still years away.

Some things ARE more important than re-election. The basic problem with the Obama Presidency is nobody in the White House really believes that. Whereas I truly believe that if a President conducts his first term like it's his second, the American People who have a far greater appreciation for action than they do for just words, will give that President a second term. The problem with the Obama team is they want certainty of that before they will risk taking any action. Sorry guys and gals, democracy doesn't work that way.

Unless Barack Obama can find his "inner Bartlet", his entire legacy will amount to a one term President who took credit for mostly symbolic reforms to the health insurance industry, and an utterly ineffective response to the worst oil spill in American history.

The week before he was elected President of the United States, Barack Obama spoke in Ohio about the difference between him and John McCain. Saying how the Republicans didn't have a record to run on.

Barack Obama should go back and listen to that speech. Unless he finds the courage to turn those words in action. His only option in 2012 will be to make "a big election out of small things", as small things will be all he has to run on.

Serious Food for Thought...

From RSA.org

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Today in the world of bigoted Jack-Assery

Meet Congressbigot Ike Skelton (D-MO)

Sent to Congress to supposedly represent the people of Missouri's fourth congressional district. Mr. Skelton, who chairs the very powerful and influential House Armed Services Committee is, for all practical purposes a full time employee of the Defense Industry.

In the 2009-2010 reporting year, Ike's top 5 campaign donors all had one thing in common. They are all companies who depend on large military contracts for their profitability

For the moment we can set aside the questions of whether Congressman Skelton's focus is on what is best for the good people of the Missouri 4th, or for the Defense Contractors who pay his bar tab.

Because recently Ike gave us more interesting things to talk about. Congressman Skelton is a conservative Democrat who strongly opposes allowing Gay and Lesbian Americans to serve openly in the United States Military.

What sets Ike Skelton apart from his conservative Republican colleagues who also hold a similar view, is his current line of reasoning as to why he opposes the repeal of the Military's current "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" policy. Ike admits the people who sent him to Congress really don't care about this issue; “I was everywhere in my district, everywhere. It just wasn’t raised,” Skelton said. “There are other things on people’s minds, like jobs and the economy.”

No, the reason Congressman Skelton is obsessing about Gays  in the military,  is because the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell could mean seven year-olds might find out there are Gay people.  (from the New York Times)

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday that he thought the military should keep its ban on openly gay service members in part because he did not want to open a national discussion about homosexuality. The chairman, Representative Ike Skelton, a conservative Missouri Democrat, said he thought the debate in Congress over the proposed repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy might force families to explain homosexuality to their children. “What do mommies and daddies say to their 7-year-old child?” Mr. Skelton asked reporters at a news media breakfast.
(Cue Rachel Maddow- for a brilliant  take on  Ike's "logic")

Ok, let's pretend for just a moment that Ike Skelton is not a demented loon. If Ike's concern is truly one of saving parents from being asked questions about human sexuality by their children, the Congressman's own voting record needs to be examined and called into question. Skelton has repeatedly supported bills that would lead to a far larger national debate on the subject of Homosexuality in America.

Back in 2004 Ike was all in favor of a Bush Administration push for a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. Which would require three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approving it.

So just to be clear,  according to  Ike Skelton,  a vote in House Armed Services Committee would prompt a rash of questions from America's seven year-olds on the nature of human sexuality. But a national debate on changing our Constitution wouldn't.

I can only urge Congressman Skelton to take is own advice on what to do with his opinions..

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bill O'Reilly is a Terrorist Loving bigot... oh yeah, and a Pervert too...

If the recent and very public  sex scandals of  self-proclaimed ultra conservative moralists   have  taught us anything,   it is to be  justifiably suspicious  of   those who tend  to  be the most vocal about their  "opposition"  to  LGBT equality.   As these folks more often than not turn out to  perverts leading sad,  pathetic and  kinky double lives.

Which brings us to  the ever blustering,  never boring, and  oddly-gay-obsessed  Fox News superstar  Bill  O'Reilly.   Over the years  O'Reilly has had a bizarre  schizophrenic  approach to  his  treatment of  LGBT issues on his  program  "The O'Reilly Factor".   Early on in his career he  often took a  very Libertarian  approach  and  was even somewhat  critical of  things like a Constitutional Amendment to ban  same sex marriage.

Yet in more recent years mindful of his audience demographics, O'Reilly  turned around and often will  rant about  some phantom "radical homosexual agenda"  to  destroy the American Family  and way of life. 

Our good friends over  the Center for American Progress  have done the homework on this...
  • While discussing the case of two male Massachusetts prison inmates who requested prison officials' permission to marry, O'Reilly asserted that "this crazy gay marriage insanity -- is gonna lead to all kinds of things like this" like "somebody[]" coming "in and say[ing], 'I wanna marry the goat.' " (Radio Factor; 04/13/05) 
  • O'Reilly has argued that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to nuptials between humans and other species, saying that "[o]ne of the arguments against gay marriage ... is that if it becomes law, all other alternative marital visions will be allowed." He then related the story of a British woman, Sharon Tendler, who "married" a dolphin in Israel. (O'Reilly Factor; 01/04/06)  
  • While discussing New York City Councilwoman Christine Quinn's decision to boycott Manhattan's St. Patrick's Day parade over the decision by the Ancient Order of Hibernians to ban the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) from marching, O'Reilly attacked Quinn, calling ILGO's potential participation in the parade "inappropriate." O'Reilly asked, "Why doesn't Ms. Quinn and others who support her wise up?" and stated: "You have your Gay Day parade. You have your Stonewall celebration. You have your Halloween deal, OK? You don't need this." 
Now let me be clear,  I do not  believe that  Bill O'Reilly is gay.  There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. What is clear, is while he may be  heterosexual he is certainly a pervert. (WARNING- the following video contains explicit language taken from court records.)

And now this sex-obsessed loudmouth freak has decided  that a company that has any marketing targeted specifically to  Gays and Lesbians may as well be marketing to  Al-Queda .  Yes,  in Bill Reilly's world being Gay is  no different than being  a terrorist.  (via Media Matters) 

Wow  that ad  has two of  three things FOX hates most.  It was French and Gay.  If they could  have found a way  to work  Hugo Chavez  or Barack Obama into it,  O'Reilly's head  would have exploded.  What is interesting here  is how often  O'Reilly  tries to link homosexuality  and  terrorism.  The two topics clearly  get him excited in ways  that  not even sharing Greek food in the shower could.

What is  clear  is this,  a sexually  dysfunctional  pervert  is comparing  millions of Americans to terrorists simply to try to show how butch he is.   Bill O'Reilly is  a freak, who's personal obsession with attacking the lives  and rights of  LGBT Americans (and French fast food patrons too apparently...) rather than adding anything to our  national debate on issues of diversity,  instead says far more about Bill O'Reilly's own personal  demons and  insecurities.

And what's more by spouting off his ignorant bile,  Bill O'Reilly  owes a huge apology to all the friends and  families of  LGBT  Americans  who  were victims of  Al-Queda.   Heroes  like  Mark Bingham who helped thwart the hijackers of  United flight 93.    (John A at  Americablog has brilliant post on this ...)

By slamming their memory and sacrifice  Bill O'Reilly  has shown his  true colors.   He is an anti American, amoral, sociopath  who equates  being  loud  with being right.