Saturday, May 23, 2015

Time to bring him home.

History is being made, for good or ill

RTE Radio is broadcasting live coverage of the Irish marriage equality referendum this morning.

Friday, May 22, 2015

They think of it as a terrorist tracking poll

North Carolina's senators face a test in the coming Patriot Act extension votes: will Richard Burr- up for re-election in '16- continue all-in for spying on his constituents? Will Thom Tillis- so far a good McConnell clone- prove he's capable of independent thought?

No need to ask about South Carolina's two.

Amid the buck-passing and self-forgiving, who speaks for the victims?

Jeremy Hooper raises a good point:

What to even say about Josh Duggar?

by Jeremy Hooper
Screen Shot 2015-05-21 At 9.06.44 PmAs someone who has written about Family Research Council Action Executive Director Josh Duggar and the way he has used his TV fame to subjugate the rights of LGBT people (among others), I feel like I have to say something about this sad and disturbing news:
Josh Duggar Admits Molestation; Resigns from Family Research Council[TMZ]
But what to say, really?
I could focus on the jaw-dropping fact that someone who has these skeletons in his closet would take a job where he puts himself in a place of judgement against the rights and welfare of others.
I could focus on my longheld unease with the way they media portrays the Duggars as just some sort of fun, light-hearted kicker story, even as so much other stuff comes out.
I could focus on the Family Research Council's truly inadequate statement on this development, which focuses only on the fact that this came to light rather than that it happened (and how different the standard would be if it were a gay parent rather than Josh).
I could focus on the fact that Josh insists his lesbian aunt "chooses" her "lifestyle" while seeing no need to even acknowledge his own literal "lifestyle choice."
I could focus on whether or not TLC knew about this and gave it a pass, the same waythey've given a pass to all of the Duggars' anti-LGBT activism.
But instead, I'm going to focus on the victims, who very well might have suffering quietly this whole time while the Duggars seize TV fame (and the profits attached). We know there are victims; these are not just allegations. We know justice went unserved;Christian "therapy" and prayer was the only corrective. And we know that no one—not Josh, the Duggar parents, his wife, nor FRC—have seen any need to even mention them or what they went through at Josh's (admitted) hand.
So since they won't think of them, I will.

"As soon as we can find the right shade of lipstick for this pig, we're gonna get back in the game."

The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said Thursday that he believes religious freedom bills that target gays and lesbians are likely dead for the legislative session.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Thursday that he did not think the issues would get a floor vote.
One House-passed bill would give legal protections to probate judges who refuse to marry gay couples. Another that has cleared House committee would give protections to church-affiliated adoption agencies and children’s homes that refuse to let gay couples adopt.
“What I do not want to do is give a perception Alabama is attacking any group. … We are a very conservative state, I understand that, but I don’t want to give any perception that we’re attacking anyone,” Marsh said.
Marsh said the bills would be bad for state’s image as it attempts to recruit companies. Marsh said he believes lawmakers will be concentrating on the budget and other issues for the remainder of the session.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Conservative crowdfund welfare update.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the baker-martyrs of Gresham, Oregon, have hit 9% of the $150,000 goal they set in their latest beg. The Kleins, who are facing a recommended $135,000 fine for emotional distress they have cause the lesbian couple whose wedding cake order they rejected with the admonition that their children are an abomination, then followed up with a two-year media campaign to portray themselves as the victims, raised $109,000 from a campaign previously.

The Kleins are also getting money from a beg Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse organization is stretching its nonprofit status to run. SP won't say how much they have raised, nor will the Kleins. The Kleins have also been accepting donations via a local church. They won't say how much that has generated, either.

So far, then, the Kleins have made upwards of $118,000 tax-free dollars. If they make their second $150,000 target, they will be looking at a haul of over $275,000.

Barronelle Stutzman, the martyr-florist of Richland, Washington, continue to stonewall questions how much she has made since her gofundme beg was shut down at $173,000, but continues a brisk round of media appearances claiming she will be ruined financially for her faith. Nor will she say how much she is getting, or has gotten from Jack and Crystal O'Connor, of Memories Pizza in Indiana, who have said they are giving some of their $842,000 haul to Stutzman.

Luis Lang, the South Carolina Republican who hated Obamacare when he didn't need it and hated Obamacare for his failure to get in on it before he did, has experienced a checkbook conversion after 1300 self-described liberals raised $25,000 for him to get vision-saving eye surgery. He has embraced universal health care and realized, he says,he really isn't a Republican after all.

Jimbo Boggess, the New Jersey deli owner who put himself out of business asking his customers to join him in celebrating White History Month, has raised $1905.

Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, is still raising funds to pay for buses to bring carless opponents of marriage equality to a rally he held in Washington, DC, on April 25.

A third of the Republicans Fox News will let debate August 6 are former Fox News employees.

Fox News, which is hosting the first GOP presidential debate, says it is limiting the stage gaggle to ten candidates. Three three of its five former employees qualify.

Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Rick Santorum all appear the have enough heft in the polls to make the cut, Media Matters says.

A fourth Fox employee, John Bolton, recently announced he won't run. A fifth, Ohio Governor John Kasich, is currently in 11th place, a tenth of a point behind Santorum.

The 18 actual or potential candidates in the Republican field, as a group, have appeared on Fox News programs 804 times in the last two years.

Qualified, to the Genth degree

Have you noticed how political activists in early primary/caucus states develop such a keenly-honed sense of superior insight as to who should be president?

Here's Dean Genth, an Iowa gay Democrats apparatchik hosted a do at his and his husband's abode:
“We just felt as a lot of people did that it was [Obama's] moment and it was his time, but I think we feel equally as strong now that this is Hillary’s moment and this is Hillary’s time,” Genth said. “We think she’s tremendously a more mature and stronger candidate than just eight years ago. You could sense in the house today, her demeanor and her sense of knowing what she knows now that she’s served four years as the most traveled secretary of state in the history of our country. I think she’s more comfortable in her skin.”  
But Genth recalled that during the 2008 presidential primary, when he helped set up the first Obama campaign office in Iowa and allowed Obama campaign workers to stay at his home, the split in the LGBT community was palpable.

“A lot of our LGBT folks, especially our lesbian friends, were just adamant for Hillary,” Genth said. “We were back in that mode of saying we got to go for the person that can win in November. Our LGBT issues and progress is going to depend on somebody holding the White House for us.”  
This time around, Genth said Clinton’s experience in the Obama administration as secretary of state places her at the top of the list of candidates seeking the White House.  
“There is no human being alive and breathing on this planet Earth that has her resume,” Genth said. “Not Abraham Lincoln, not Thomas Jefferson, not Ronald Reagan, not Bill Clinton, nor Barack Obama. No one has — male or female, or for that matter worldwide — that resume of hers now."
Grandiose as that sounds, it seems like Genth is setting the bar a bit low. At one end is Jefferson: state legislator, governor, Continental Congress member, author of the Declaration of Independence, minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice President, President, and founder of the University of Virginia.

On the other, there's Lincoln: a one-term Congressman; Barack Obama, a former state legislator and US Senator; Reagan, a former actor and state governor; and Bubba, a former governor. And that's not considering the rest of the planet. Unpacked, Genth's effusion seems like declaring that the moon s round, and pizza is delicious. "Her qualifications put her somewhere between a random phone book listing and God."

Waldo was a she-Clinton skeptic in '08. Her treatment of the gay tribe showed a tin ear and a thin veneer of briefing-book awareness on the part of a woman who, with her husband, used up and threw away all their gay supporters over the years.
Ans as Waldo noted in 2008, if credentials were all, John Quincy Adams and James Buchanan were America's two best-qualified presidents. And what's with this "It's her turn" stuff? Isn't that how the Republicans do it?

In the end, it little matters. If Mrs Clinton can get the nomination, she will get the gay vote. There will simply be no other choice.

Mr Haney worries about gays- the Islamic ones.

"Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex?” Cruz asked after fielding multiple questions on gay rights. “ISIS is executing homosexuals — you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals — that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic.” 
“With respect, I would suggest not drawing your questions from MSNBC. They have very few viewers and they are a radical and extreme partisan outlet,” Cruz told a reporter. He cited the expansion of “mandatory same-sex marriage” as an assault on religious liberty in the United States.

Jindal: watch me create law from thin air!

President George W. Bush (right) is greeted by...
President George W. Bush (right) is greeted by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (left) and his wife, Supriya Jolly Jindal (center), on his arrival to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Monday, April 21, 2008, where President Bush will attend the 2008 North American Leaders’ Summit. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, irked that, after five years of trying, he can't get his Death Star Antigay Bill passed, has issued an executive order telling agencies to pretend it's law.

Jindal might, in other circumstances, call this sort of action "executive overreach." He would know.

When the Department of Justice asked Louisiana for an analysis of the racial makeup of the state's private schools, Jindal declared, "The federal government's new request is a frightening overreach of the federal government and shows it knows no bounds."

Jindal knows overreach when he sees it: in a 2014 speech to the conservative Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit, he criticized President Obama on everything from education and foreign policy to what he called his administration's "silent war on our religious liberty."

It was a full-throated attack on what Jindal called federal overreach..." Last November, criticizing action by the president on immigration reform, Jindal said, "The President is lecturing us and not listening to us. He's bypassing Congress, and ignoring the American people...If the President wants to make the case that the law should be changed, he should go make the case to Congress and our people. This is an arrogant, cynical political move by the President.."

Jindal's own lieutenant governor has called the governor's war on Common Core standards in education (which Jindal supported before deciding he wants to be president, and now must jettison), an "executive overreach."

Jindal's order, issued just hours after the legislature handed his hat, expires shortly after the 2016 election in Louisiana. J. Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Center Bureau and a former chief of staff to Republican governor Mike Foster, issued a 932 word statement responding to Jindal's order, in part:

Since the resounding legislative defeat shortly after noon today, Governor Bobby Jindal, who formed a presidential exploratory committee this week and has positioned himself as a national leader on religious freedom matters, has announced plans to issue an Executive Order that would mirror some of the narrow intent of HB 707 as related to state actions. We perceive this as largely a political statement by our conservative governor in support of his national position on the issue. That is certainly his right. The issuance of this Executive Order will have very little practical impact, however, since under the Louisiana Constitution and statutes, and according to on-point court decisions as recently as December of 2014, no Executive Order of a governor may create substantive law, even in an emergency situation. Thus, any belief that the Executive Order could enact law similar to that proposed by Rep. Johnson is simply unfounded and would not survive a court test. Furthermore, there are no current cases of such discrimination pending in Louisiana, something of which the Louisiana business community may be proud.

Perry previously called the bill "toxic," adding, "The issue is so radioactive that most people will not look at the details." The chair of the committee that killed the bill politely described it as "just too problematic."

Anticipating corporate opposition in an April 23 New York Times op-ed, Jindal huffed:

As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your’s time for corporate America to make a decision. Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all. This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom’s defense possible.


Here's an interesting meditation on where casuistry for political ends can get you:
Bush seems to believe that gay people shouldn’t face discrimination for being gay but should accept discrimination for getting married. If that’s really true, the logic should hold in other contexts: Christians shouldn’t face discrimination for being Christian, but they should accept a restriction of their rights when they open a store to the public. Of course, opening a bakery doesn’t implicate fundamental aspects of the Christian identity the way getting married implicates intrinsic elements of the gay identity. But who cares? With his carefully prepared statement, Bush elegantly laid the groundwork for a firm distinction between legal protections for identity and conduct. Now all he has to do is move it to the proper setting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

He's seen the light, you could say

Luis Lang, the man rescued from blindness by the kindness of strangers, has undergone a checkbook conversion:

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Lang joked that he might be the most hated Republican in the country right now. But he also said that, thanks in part to a flood of media attention that led him to learn more about health care policy, he doesn’t identify with the GOP anymore.
“Now that I’m looking at what each party represents, my wife and I are both saying — hey, we’re not Republicans!” Lang said. He added that, though he’s not a political person by nature and has never voted solely along party lines, he wants to rip up his voter registration card on national television so Americans will have proof that he’s making the switch.
Although the Charlotte Observer article positioned Lang against the ACA, he insists he has never been completely opposed to the law. He does, however, have some issues with the way it’s been implemented.

A gaffe is when you get caught saying what you truly believe.

How much your life has America been at war?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Another financial Schock in the GOP congressional ranks

English: Official portrait of US Rep Frank Guinta
Official portrait of US Rep Frank Guinta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
National Journal:

May 18, 2015 For five years, Rep. Frank Guinta has dismissed allegations that he broke campaign-finance laws as a political witch hunt orchestrated by Democrats. Now, his time in Congress may be over because of them, and Republicans are trying to make sure he doesn't take the party down with him.
After the Federal Election Commission found last week that Guinta illegally accepted $355,000 in campaign donations from his parents, the New Hampshire Republican is facing calls for his resignation, even from inside his own party. On Monday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the state's most prominent Republican officeholder, said Guinta should step down. For his part, Guinta said he's not going anywhere, according to an Associated Press report, though Ayotte's statement is just the latest sign Guinta's support is waning.

Huckabee issues the new Ten Commandments, adjusted to 17 for inflation

The Huckster borrows from ex-UK Labor leader Ed Milliband, who, just before vanishing from the electoral radar, unveiled a tablet of Labor promises he said he would erect in the back garden at No. 10:

I, Mike Huckabee, pledge allegiance to God, the Constitution, and the citizens of the United States:

  I will adhere to the Constitution of the United States.
  I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.
  I will advocate for a complete overhaul of our tax system. This means passing the FairTax and abolishing the IRS.
  I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
  I will now, and will for the duration of my presidency, promote and sign all measures leading to Obamacare’s defunding, deauthorization, and repeal.
  I will oppose amnesty and government benefits for illegal immigrants who violated our laws, repeal President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders, and secure our borders.
  I will stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. Taking this unequivocal stand includes fighting to defund Planned Parenthood.
  I will stand for the Institution of Marriage and vigorously oppose any redefinition.
  I will defend our 2nd Amendment rights and oppose gun control legislation.
  I will fight for the United States military to be the most feared, respected, and capable fighting force the world has ever known. I will restore our military infrastructure after years of abuse and neglect.
  I will stand with our friend and ally Israel in our shared fight against Radical Islam.
  I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capability.
  I will end the national disgrace of failing to properly care for our veterans.
  I will protect Social Security and Medicare and never rob seniors of the benefits they were promised and forced to pay for.
  I will fight to kill Common Core and restore common sense. Education is a family function - not a federal function.
  I will support the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices. They must be committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench.
  I will fight for term limits for members of Congress and judges.