Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gov. Christie (R-NJ) Praises President Obama




Mike Brown, the architect of the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina under President Bush as the head of FEMA, was actually saying that President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy was too fast. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is still talking about an alleged Benghazi cover-up. Other Romney surrogates are lambasting Obama because, oh I don't know, the sky is too blue. While they are doing all of that griping and belly-aching, the President is actually on the ground working with local officials, including Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) who is a Romney surrogate, to actually get the clean-up and recovery underway as expeditiously as possible. At least some people are putting politics aside in the face of a huge natural disaster that has affected millions of people.

Romney Ducks Questions on Eliminating FEMA


 

In case you missed the mention, Romney has previously stated that he would get rid of FEMA as president. Then again, this is Romney, so who knows what his position is on the matter now.

GOP Candidate: "The Rape Thing..." (Twice)



Seriously? Again with these people and rape gaffes? When will they learn?

Election 2012: Trouble For The Tea Party


Terminology: Choicer

Choicer: noun

1. A person who believes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is a choice.
2. A person who believes that sexual orientation and gender identification is a choice despite all credible evidence being to the contrary.

Now obviously this word is not really a word. But I had been trying to come up with a word to describe people who believe that this stuff comes down to choice despite all evidence of good repute pointing toward that not being the case. While we do not know specifically what cause these things, all research that has been done points to an as yet undetermined biological cause (whether it is genetics, some in-utero influences, etc.). Some people, most of whom are on the political right or are social conservatives (both groups have shown an antipathy toward scientific facts) have decided to ignore this. 

I have written elsewhere about why, from a practical angle, being LGBT would be a rather nonsensical were it a choice (which you can read HERE). I have also written about my own experience (which you can read HERE). The fact of the matter is that being gay is not a choice and the people who believe that it is are doing no favours to themselves by showing abject ignorance on the matter.

My Decision 2012: The Vice President

The Vice President

Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) is the person that Mitt Romney has chosen to be his running mate. Unfortunately, Ryan has a worldview that runs counter to everything American. He is on-record as saying that he has based much of his political beliefs on Ayn Rand’s writings. Her writings and opinions (which I have mentioned elsewhere) are based on greed and utter selfishness. Much of what most people, regardless of their place on the political spectrum, believe to be good and admirable Rand believes to be bad and undesirable. There is film of Rand talking about her beliefs.


This is the person that potential Vice President Paul Ryan uses as a foundation of governing. Should Romney win the election and thereafter something happens to him rendering him unable to execute his office, is Paul Ryan the person you would want in the Oval Office? For my part, that is a huge NO. The foundation of America has never been selfishness. We are in this country together. We work together to form a more perfect union. Though some would try to paint that as socialism or communism, it has in actuality been what made this land great: from the days of the colonies and the revolution to today.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden understand this, and it has been a guiding philosophy of theirs since day one. We saw it in the economic recovery act, we saw it in the Affordable Healthcare Act. We see it in how this administration is pushing for rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure on which we all, from the wealthiest to the poorest, depend on a daily basis. The people in charge should realize that no person  is an island, nor does he or she, no matter how much drive they have, succeed solely on their own. We are like a team: we win together, and we lose together.

Brad Pitt Pledges a Matching $100k to Equality

From Towleroad:

It's unbelievable to me that people's lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days.

In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples – our friends and neighbors – are worthy of the same protections as everyone else.

But that's the system we have and I'm not going to back down from the fight for loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry. Especially when groups like the Human Rights Campaign are fighting these battles day-in and day-out.

So, here's what I'm going to do. If you make a contribution to these ballot measure campaigns in the next 24 hours, I'll double it – every dollar of the way, up to $100,000.

This is our last chance to make a difference. If you're like me, you don't want to have to ask yourself on the day after the election, what else could I have done?

Every person's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our country's Declaration of Independence, but powerful, well-funded groups are flooding the airwaves with lies trying to take away those rights from certain people... and we can't stand for it.

My Decision 2012: Corporate Personhood

Corporatocracy & Corporate Personhood

To most people, there is an obvious difference between a corporation and a person. A corporation is a business whose primary goal is to turn a profit. A person is a flesh and blood, sentient being like you and I. As Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) put it at the DNC Convention, “People have hearts, they have kids, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die, and that matters.” Very few people will confuse one for the other. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, does NOT see the difference. In the midst of the GOP primaries, he went on-record during a rally saying to an attendee, “Corporations are people my friend.” I don’t want a president who is so unintelligent that he does not know the difference between a corporation and a person.

Luckily, President Obama does see the difference between the two. In fact, during the State of the Union address that followed the Supreme Court’s affirmation of corporate personhood (via the Citizens United decision), President Obama rebuked those Supreme Court justices (the five that supported corporate personhood) to their faces, in front of Congress, and in front of a watching nation. Undoing corporate personhood is very important because of the consequences that can ensue. Some of those consequences have already shown themselves.

Sheldon Adelson
The problem with corporate personhood and the Citizens United decision is that they allow corporations to give excessive amounts of money towards political aims. In essence, it allows corporations to buy elections. We are already seeing the consequences of this today, a mere few years after Citizens United. We have seen billionaires, most notably the infamous Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, pledging hundreds of millions of dollars towards a single election cycle. Adelson recently pledged $500,000 to a single House candidate.

With that kind of money going into political campaigns from a select few donors, especially given that much of it will go towards negative ads and misinformation on either side, how can one call our system of government a democracy? The amount of money put forth by the few will drown out the voices of the many. The road to getting rid of this corrupt system of campaign finance will be a long and uncertain one. One thing is crystal clear, that road will not and can not begin with a Romney presidency.

My friends, corporations are NOT people. Romney does not understand that simple fact, but President Obama does.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Romney Says Obama Thinks Businesses Are Evil


Chrysler & GM Call Out Romney's Lie


Mitt Romney's round of highly dubious television and radio ads suggesting that Chrysler and GM are shipping American jobs to China has managed to offend both car companies. 

A spokesperson for General Motors told the Detroit Free Press that the ad was, more or less, crass and misleading.

“We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

The day before, meanwhile, Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne penned a letter to the Detroit News insisting that there was no validity to the idea that the company was shipping Jeep production overseas. Instead, he noted, the company was looking to open new factories in China to meet increasing demand there.

The Romney campaign has showed no willingness to back off the suggestion that American Jeep workers may end up losing their jobs. In fact, the campaign has released a radio ad in Ohio to complement the one it has on television there that repeats the insinuation.

GOP Voter Fraud in Wisconsin

From Think Progress:

Documents from a recent Romney poll watcher training obtained by ThinkProgress contain several misleading or untrue claims about the rights of Wisconsin voters. A source passed along the following packet of documents, which was distributed to volunteers at a Romney campaign training in Racine on October 25th. In total, eight such trainings were held across the state in the past two weeks and 17 since late September.

One blatant falsehood occurs on page 5 of the training packet, which informed poll watchers that any “person [who] has been convicted of treason, a felony, or bribery” isn’t eligible to vote. This is not true. Once a Wisconsin voter who has been convicted of a felony completes his or her sentence, that person is once again eligible to vote.

The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” instead. As Kristina Sesek, Romney’s legal counsel who just graduated from Marquette Law School last year, explained, “We’re going to have you sign in this election cycle as a ‘concerned citizen.’ We’re just trying to alleviate some of the animosity of being a Republican observer up front...”
You can see the many bogus claim being made by Romney supporters HERE.

Terminology: Serial-Panderer

Serial-Panderer (noun)

1. A person who changes their opinion on a given subject to gain the support of their audience regardless of what the person's actual position is on the given subject.

2. A person whose opinion changes according to to whom the person is speaking.

3. A person whose opinion changes purely for political gain, not for a principled reason.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Romney is Against Gays Having Families


More Voter Fraud By The GOP

From the Examiner:

According to a report by The Press-Enterprise in California, Republican registration in Riverside county increased by nearly 35,000 voters, overtaking the advantage once held by Democrats. The newspaper contacted 350 random registered voters, with 30 of them telling their story of having their party changed without their consent or knowledge. The party affiliation change seems to have happened when workers gathered signatures by doing door knocking and standing outside stores asking people to sign petitions against animal cruelty, lower gas prices and other causes.

California Watch reports that Democrats have filed a complaint with the county registrar of voters, presenting affidavits from over 130 voters who had their party affiliation switched from Democrat to Republican. A spokesman for the Democratic Party, Steve Mavigilo, is blaming the Golden State Voter Participation Project, a Republican registration group. The top donor for the Golden State Voter Participation Project is Republican activist, Charles Munger Jr, who gave over $240,000 to the project over the first six months of the year.

Marriage News Watch: October 29, 2012


Romney on FEMA: Shut It Down!!!

From Salon:

In June 2011, Mitt Romney said in a Republican primary debate that he “absolutely” thinks FEMA should be shut down, and disaster relief moved to the states.
Ryan Grim  of the Huffington Post reported that Romney was asked by CNN’s John King if he thinks disaster relief would be better handled by the states. “Absolutely,” Romney said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”
“Including disaster relief, though?” King asked.
“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney said. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”


Hurricane Sandy Blamed on Gays/Marriage Equality


[John] McTernan believes that it is noteworthy that Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years after the “Perfect Storm,” because 3 is a “significant number with God”:
Twenty-one years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection.
It appears that God gave America 21 years to repent of interfering with His prophetic plan for Israel; however, it has gotten worse under all the presidents and especially Obama. Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood which has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem. Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda. America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!
It was only a matter of time. The only part of this I find surprising is that someone beat Pat Robertson to the punch.

Zachary Quinto on the Election

Never thought I would be using a Chelsea Handler clip to talk about this election, but here we go:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lowlights & Highlights: October 27, 2012

A pregnancy from rape is "a gift from God." Seriously, a guy running for a U.S. Senate seat (Richard Mourdock-GOP) said that in a debate. Normally, few people outside of this state (Indiana) would pay attention to this debate. With this statement, however, the entire nation turned towards Indiana in complete and utter shock.

I have no idea how anyone could think that saying this would be a good idea. It is obvious with this statement that Mourdock has little to no empathy for the physical and emotional trauma experienced by a rape victim. Why is it that whenever a Republican says something about rape, they show a complete lack of empathy, knowledge, and compassion? First Rep Todd Akin (R-MO) and his "legitimate rape" comment, now this? They are really just better off keeping their mouths shut on this issue since they clearly have no actual knowledge on the subject.

Before another Republican says anything about rape, they need to talk to a rape victim before uttering a word.
~
The foreign policy debate was pretty much a role-reversal from the first debate. Whereas in the first debate it was President Obama who seemed submissive and Mitt Romney was on the attack, Romney was the one who seemed to have his tail tucked between his legs. Not only that, but it seemed like Romney agreed with much of what the Obama Administration had done in the foreign policy arena, or at least that is the Mitt Romney that showed up at this debate. Of course on the campaign trail he keeps decrying Obama's foreign policy. Then again, Romney is a serial-panderer.

A statement of Romney's that I found particularly inane was when he said that Iran was four years closer to having a nuclear bomb than when Obama took office...which was about four years ago. In essence, Romney merely acknowledged that four years had passed in the last four years. I don't think anyone needed him to do that.

President Obama pointed out (correctly) that Romney has the foreign policy of the 1980's, social policy from the 1950's, and economic policy from the 1920's.

And of course, there was the "horses and bayonets" statement.

Both in terms of substance and performance, President Obama was on point.

Romney Believes Gays Shouldn't Have Children

From the Huffington Post:

Romney hadn't even previously fathomed that gay people had children. Boston Spirit magazine reported last month that when gay activists met with him in his office in 2004, as Romney was backing a failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state, Romney remarked, "I didn't know you had families." Julie Goodridge, lead plaintiff in the landmark case that won marriage rights for gays and lesbians before the Supreme Judicial Court, asked what she should tell her 8-year-old daughter about why the governor would block the marriage of her parents. According to Goodridge, Romney responded,"I don't really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don't you just tell her the same thing you've been telling her the last eight years."
Romney's retort enraged a speechless Goodridge; he didn't care, and by referring to her biological daughter as "adopted," it was clear he hadn't even been listening. By the time she was back in the hallway, she was reduced to tears. "I really kind of lost it," says Goodridge. "I've never stood before someone who had no capacity for empathy."
Months after his battle with the Registry of Vital Records began, as Wass reports in the Globe, Romney spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington:
He outlined his misgivings about the request from the Registry of Vital Records. "The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother,'' Romney said in his prepared remarks. "What should be the ideal for raising a child? Not a village, not 'parent A' and 'parent B,' but a mother and a father.'' Romney also warned about the societal impact of gay parents raising children. "Scientific studies of children raised by same-sex couples are almost nonexistent,'' he said. "It may affect the development of children and thereby future society as a whole.''
The following year, 2005, Romney spoke to conservative voters in South Carolina, as he trained his eye on the presidency. "Some gays are actually having children born to them,'' he said. "It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father.''
Between this and his 47% comments, Mitt Romney has shown again and again how he does not intend to be a President for ALL Americans. He is unfit for the presidency because he really does not believe in the American ideal of equality for ALL Americans.

Paul Ryan Mocks Unemployed Man


Friday, October 26, 2012

Game of American Thrones


GOP Rape Panels


To Friends Supporting Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan

From Towleroad:

Hey (    ),

Listen, I know you didn’t mean any harm commenting on this post and I like you, we had some great times growing up. But Romney and Ryan believe that I am less than you. They believe I am a second class citizen and don’t deserve the same rights that you had the privilege of being born into simply by being straight. They want to add a constitutional amendment that will ban gay marriage forever. It will set us back decades and ensure that I never legally have the opportunity to have a family or a partner in my lifetime.

They also believe that being at your partner’s side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right. They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights.  Did you know that? 1100.

Ryan doesn’t believe in the hate crimes act fought unwaveringly for by Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, murdered for being gay in Wyoming. Murdered for being gay. Could you imagine if I was murdered for being gay? Could you really look my mom in the eye and say ‘oh well, we can not prosecute this crime as a hate crime’?

I know there are important issues involved in this campaign. I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would. Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime. I have already spent half a lifetime hiding, half a lifetime conforming. It is exhausting, demeaning and I am worn out. I want to love myself full out.  I want a president who can look me in the eye and say ‘You are equal!’ ‘You are equal to everyone else in this country and I will fight for your rights. The time is now and it is long overdue.’ Romney and Ryan could not look me in the eye and say that and I feel sorry for every gay and questioning child who might have to listen to a president who believes that he/she is not equal. Children will take their lives. It is the WORST form of trickle down bullying and it absolutely splits my heart in half. When the president says you are less than, it gives permission to every authority figure, every politician, every teacher, every bully on the playground to push you around and bully you and treat you less than. It is dangerous and lives will be lost.

If this is not important to you, please remove me from your friends list. I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.

Max

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tweet of the Day: October 25, 2012


New Jersey School Cuts Ties With Boy Scouts

From Towleroad:

The school's head, Dr. Joyce Raynor, wrote a letter earlier this month explaining Golda Och Academy's stance: "The scouts represent a problematic image for many families… To exclude same-sex families from membership and adult volunteerism is in direct contradiction of School policies, which place high value on inclusion It has been decided that GOA cannot act as the sponsor organization until [the BSA's] national policy changes.”

Todd Akin Linked to Domestic Terrorist

From Salon:

New documents show Missouri GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin donated to the political campaign of a violent anti-abortion activist named Tim Dreste, whose ties to Akin we reported on earlier this week.

Dreste, as the Riverfront Times described  him, was a “domestic terrorist, religious fanatic, [and] paramilitary right-wing nut.” In 1999, Dreste was convicted in federal court of making “true threats to kill, assault or do bodily harm” to abortion doctors. Before that, as we reported, Akin popped up in several groups led by Dreste, who was one of St. Louis’ most prominent pro-life activists until his conviction. Dreste was also chaplain in the militia that Akin praised in a letter just a few months before the Oklahoma City bombing.

Now, as it turns out, Akin was one of only a handful of contributors to Dreste’s 1993 run for the Missouri state House. Then-state Rep. Todd Akin’s campaign gave Dreste $200, according to campaign finance records, making him Dreste’s third largest contributor, tied with a pro-life PAC. The records were obtained by Progress Missouri from the Secretary of State’s archives and provided to Salon.

Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama


The Second Term Agenda

From CNN:

New details of President Barack Obama's plans for a second term were given in an off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register Tuesday but made public only after the paper protested that leaving it private would be a disservice to Iowa voters. 

The interview was conducted Tuesday but made public Wednesday after the Obama campaign gave permission to the paper releasing them from their off-the-record agreement.
"I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform," Obama said in the transcript of the interview posted online by the paper. "And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community."
~
He also predicted the two political parties reach an agreement over the fiscal health of the United States, buoyed by a combination of financial factors, including the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester and a commitment from himself and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to reducing the deficit. Obama said he was "confident" about an agreement of $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar of revenue.

$1.5 trillion in taxes will likely come from allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, but $848 billion in savings will come from winding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in addition to $1 trillion in cuts already agreed to in budget negotiations with Congress.

Reaching agreements on these topics in the first year of a second term, the president said, would allow a focus on "some things that really historically have not been ideological."

The World Prefers President Obama

Bar graph

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tweet of the Day: October 24, 2012


I think my answer is obvious: Honey Boo Boo.

GOP Statements on Rape

From the Huffington Post:

In the wake of Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's remarks over the summer that in cases of "legitimate rape," a woman's body is able to "shut that down," perhaps the last thing the GOP needed was another candidate making controversial comments about rape and pregnancy. Unfortunately, Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock didn't get the message. His assertion on Tuesday that pregnancies that result from rape are what "God intended to happen" has thrust the issue right back into the national conversation.

But just as there was plenty of evidence that Akin wasn't the only member of his party with strange beliefs about women's bodies, Mourdock also has some company when it comes to his controversial positions.
There are tons more in the article which you can find HERE.

Terminology: Gay Gestapo

Gay Gestapo (noun)

1. A term used by social conservatives (such as American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, pictured) to describe anyone who is not for the complete oppression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

2. Anyone who supports the United States Constitution's promise of equal protections under the law for all.

The Price of Silence on LGBT Issues in This Election

From the Huffington Post:

...The only reason these issues weren't discussed in the debates is because the moderators -- members of the media -- didn't ask about them. And far from a "great thing," right now that helps Mitt Romney, who is racing to the center and would rather not talk about how he's in favor of an amendment making gays second class citizens in the Constitution and how he signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage vowing to appoint federal judges who would rule against gay marriage.

Without having to discuss that as well as his opposition to anti-discrimination laws and his support for the Defense of Marriage Act (now on its last legs in the courts), while getting the late endorsement of the subservient and validation-starved Log Cabin Republicans yesterday, Romney presents himself as a moderate to women, suburban voters, independents and undecideds who might be uneasy voting for someone with harsh views on gay rights. For many, but particularly for those much-discussed low-information voters, seeing a gay group support Romney, while his hard-right positions on the issues haven't been elucidated in the general election, helps convince them his positions aren't as extreme as they've been made out to be.

When LGBT issues were a wedge used against the Democrats, moderators and media interviewers brought them up regularly during presidential elections, hurling them at Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry, forcing the Democratic candidate to either offend a part of his base or alienate other potential supporters, while the Republican candidate could use the issue to shore up his base. George W. Bush did just that, and he didn't worry about alienating independents because they either didn't care about the issue or were as opposed to marriage equality as everyone else.

But now that things are just about reversed, where the issue is a wedge for the Republican candidate -- and when the Democratic candidate actually touts his gay rights record in his stump speech on the campaign trail -- the media has decided it's a non-story? And that's a good thing?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bill & Melinda Gates Donate $500,000 For Equality

From Komo News:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $500,000 to the campaign to uphold the state's gay marriage law.

The donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn't publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday. Referendum 74 asks voters to either approve or reject the law allowing same-sex marriage that was passed by the Legislature earlier this year.

Bill Gates had made a $100,000 contribution to the campaign earlier this year.

About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, with a bulk of it spent by gay marriage supporters. Washington United for Marriage has far outraised its opponents, bringing in nearly $11 million compared to the more than $2 million raised so far by Preserve Marriage Washington, which opposes the law.

A poll released last week showed that 56.3 percent of registered voters back gay marriage in the state, compared to 35.6 percent who oppose it, with 6.1 percent undecided.

Study: Gays As Good At Parenting as Straight Parents


High-risk children adopted from foster care do equally well when placed with gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents, UCLA psychologists report in the first multi-year study of children adopted by these three groups of parents.
 ~
The psychologists found very few differences among the children at any of the assessments over the two-year period following placement. On average, children in heterosexual, gay and lesbian households achieved significant gains in their cognitive development, and their levels of behavior problems remained stable. Their IQ scores increased by an average of 10 points, from about 85 to 95 -- a large increase, from low-average to average functioning.

"The children showed meaningful gains in heterosexual, gay and lesbian families," said Justin Lavner, a UCLA doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the study. "Their cognitive development improved substantially, while their behavior problems and social development were stable."
~
"There is no scientific basis to discriminate against gay and lesbian parents," Peplau said.

Asked whether children need a mother and father, senior author Jill Waterman, a UCLA adjunct professor of psychology, said, "Children need people who love them, regardless of the gender of their parents."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tweet of the Day: October 22, 2012


NYC Mayor Bloomberg Pledges $500k to Support Equality

From Towleroad:

The Mayor pledged $250,000 to Washington United for Marriage, $125,000 to Mainers United for Marriage and $125,000 to Minnesotans United for All Families. The pledges will help each group raise additional money by matching new contributions made in the homestretch of the campaign. If the challenge is successful, it will raise $1 million for the cause of marriage equality in the three states.

“Government has no business denying marriage licenses to a whole class of couples in Maine, Minnesota, Washington or anywhere else,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The 14th Amendment guarantees us all equal protection under the law, and marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom. The barriers to it are bound to fall; the question is not if but when. I was proud to help support the successful effort to achieve marriage equality in New York State, and I’m proud to stand with supporters of marriage equality around the country this November.”

Marriage News Watch: October 22, 2012


Undecided Voters...Who Are They?


Ohio Sec. of State: Early Voting is "Un-American"

From Think Progress:

Husted has sought to restrict early voting, even openly defying a court order to lift the ban on voting on the last three days before Election Day. Once the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal, Husted immediately capped voting hours at just 16 hours for the entire three day period, down from 24 hours in 2008.

At the UT symposium, Husted continued his revolt against the federal courts that restored early voting. The Toledo Blade reports:
Mr. Husted spoke of a recent federal court decision that he claimed intruded on Ohio’s ability to run its own elections and called it an “un-American approach to voting” — an opinion not shared by many who attended the symposium.
“It’s the job of the federal courts to enforce the Constitution; that includes the right to vote,” said Daniel Tokaji, a professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law who was a panelist at the symposium, after the secretary’s comments. “…We should be doing everything we can to improve access to eligible voters.”

Election 2012: Obama Still Up in Ohio

From CBS:

President Obama is holding on to a five-point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Ohio, but that margin has been cut in half since September, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll.

Mr. Obama holds a 50 to 45 percent lead over Romney among likely voters in the Buckeye State, down from a 53 to 43 percent advantage on Sept. 26. Three percent of likely voters there are undecided.

A gender gap persists: President Obama still has a double-digit advantage among women, 55 to 40 percent (down from a 60 to 35 percent lead in the September poll), while Romney leads with men. 

The president enjoys a 15-point lead with women, while Romney is ahead by seven points among men, 51 to 44 percent, virtually unchanged from last month. Mr. Obama has a nearly two to one lead with unmarried women, but married women are more divided in their vote preferences.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lowlights & Highlights: October 20, 2012

If you have been keeping up with voting rights and voter frauds issues as a I have, you are aware that GOP-led states have time and again tried to pass laws in the name of trying to fight in-person voter fraud, incidents of which are very few and far between. These laws, however, have the net affect of disenfranchising many law-abiding, legal citizens who should have the right and ability to vote.

This week, there was an incident here in Virginia (Rockingham County to be specific) where someone was caught throwing away voter registration applications which had been filled out. This happened on the last day here that one could register to vote. Luckily two things happened. First, the culprit has apparently been caught and it seems that he was acting alone (as far as we know so far). Second, he was caught in the act and the applications were turned in in time enough for those applicants to still get registered.

For me personally, this is disturbing because it happened in my home state. Looking at the big picture however, what we have here is a bit of hypocrisy because this person, the apparent culprit, was a Republican operative. How is it that the Republican Party is so ardently against voter fraud, yet when it does happen, they seem to be the ones responsible in one way or another?

~

Even given his poor performance in the first presidential debate, I was highly anticipating the second debate. Maybe it's just my political nerdiness. The important thing is that President Obama did not disappoint. He took it to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney walked himself into a trap and the President had the good sense to do it. He was forceful when he needed to be, including calling Romney out on trying to politicize the deaths of American ambassadors in Benghazi. That ay have been the most presidential I have seen Obama ever when he was talking about securing U.S. consulates and embassies and essentially saying the buck stops with him. Romney's take on what happened that day was so wrong that the moderator (CNN's Candy Crowley) had to fact check him right then and there.

And then there was Romney's "binders full of women" comment. I honestly can't believe he actually said something like that. I'm not sure whether or not Romney can come back from that given that the third and final debate is on foreign policy and I doubt that as many people will be watching that debate as watched the first two.

The President also saved bringing up Romney's 47% comment to throw against him for his closing statement. All-in-all, Obama came across as far more empathetic whereas Romney came off as (surprise surprise) pandering. Between Obama's great performance and Romney's terrible performance, I was very happy with this debate.

Hell, Obama's performance was so good, Tagg Romney (one of Mitt Romney's sons) wanted to take a swing at the President.

Former Prop 8 Proponent Now Supports Equality


The Best Anti-LGBT Equality Speech EVER!!!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune: Too Many Mitts

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

...Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.

More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions, is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out.

If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, "is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found...

Romnesia


Deadbeat Dad Congressman Promotes Intimidation


 

Ladies and gentlemen, Rep Joe Walsh (R-IL). What a geat representative for his people.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Arrest Made in Virginia Voter Fraud Case

From WHSV:

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest in the investigation of voter registration fraud that began on the afternoon of Oct 15, when law enforcement received a citizen complaint of voter registration application forms being found in a dumpster behind a business in the City of Harrisonburg.

Colin Small, 31, Phoenixville, Pa was a Voter Registration Supervisor employed by Pinpoint, an independent private organization contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia, for purposes of general voter registration.

Small is charged with destruction of voter registration application, disclosure of voter registration application and obstruction of justice.
These charges are based on lengthy consultation with and assistance from the Rockingham County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office regarding the investigation.

Election 2012: The Last Virginia Senate Debate

Many people are aware that the Senate race here in Virginia is a close and crucial one. In that race, the two candidates faced off in their final debate before the election. I'm sure followers this blog know that I am a supporter of Former governor Tim Kaine and I was looking for a strong debate performance from him...and that is what I got.Whenever his opponent George Allen tried to get him, Kaine struck back. Case-in-point: Allen tried to pin Kaine as "Obama's senator" because the President asked Kaine to be the DNC chairman (a request that Kaine accepted). Kaine returned with "It is not anti-Virginia to support the Commander-in-Chief." Kaine then went on to point out Allen's hypocrisy, given that Allen supported former Governor Jim Gilmore who served as the RNC chairman as well as current Governor Bob McDonnell who is serving as the chairman of the Republican Governors' Association.

There was a lot of talk about sequestration  - where Congress has to find a certain amount in spending cuts to the national budget or there will be across the board spending cuts, including defense - throughout the debate. In terms of the debt and the deficit, Kaine talked about balancing the budget using a balanced approach: looking at both taxation and spending cuts. Allen however is one of the many politicians who has signed Grover Norquist's pledge to never raise taxes...EVER.

Both candidates were asked if they would sign onto the Simpson-Bowles debt commission recommendations as is (this was a yes or no question). Both candidates talked mentioned changes they would like to see to the plan. The moderator asked them again, requesting a simple yes or no. Finally, Kaine was the one with the gumption to answer "no" for both he and Allen (and I think that the audience knew that this was the answer for both by that point, but Kaine was the one with the nerve to actually say it).

It really seemed to me that of the two candidates, Kaine is more likely to compromise with people from the other side of the aisle. The GOP as it currently stands has shown itself to be, with few exceptions, uncompromising (even anti-compromise). While I prefer Kaine's positions on the issues, there is also the large view that the GOP in charge of the Senate would not be good for the commonwealth of Virginia or for America as a whole. Tonight's debate but a spotlight on the differences between Tim Kaine and George Allen and I believe that Tim Kaine made the better case for his candidacy.

Tweet of the Day: October 18, 2012


Where Are Gay Rights in This Election?

From Salon:

There are gay marriage referendums on the ballot in four states this November, three to legalize it and one to pass a constitutional amendment banning it. Polling has been moving surprisingly quickly in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide, though it’s still never won a statewide vote. But there is a concrete difference between the candidates on the subject, and, what’s more, there is some ambiguity to Mitt Romney’s position on gay rights in general, even if he’s against marriage equality. (To name one example: Romney was pretty definitively against allowing same-sex couples to adopt children in 2008. This year his campaign says it is an issue for the states to decide.)

Same-sex marriage and LGBT issues came up in 2004, when the incumbent president made them a major plank in his campaign. Of course, in 2004, the incumbent president was a Republican and his position was that gay marriage would be a good way to scare conservative religious people into not voting for his opponent. This time around, support for same sex marriage is in the Democratic Party platform, which is a pretty amazing development, but no one is really … talking about it. The president has raised a lot of money from LGBT supporters, but he is not bringing up his recently discovered support for marriage equality on the stump much, or attempting to use it as a wedge issue.

Which is all the more reason for it to come up in a debate: The debates shouldn’t just involve issues one or both of the candidates want to talk about. Unfortunately we’re now done with the debates at which the subject might have been raised. (There’s still a chance we get something related to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” at next week’s “foreign policy” debate, but it’s something of a long shot.)

Virginia Military Institute Pushes Against Romney's Requests


When Mitt Romney addressed a crowd of cadets at Virginia Military Institute on Oct. 8, he was supposed to give a major foreign policy speech that steered clear of partisan politics. That's because VMI personnel observe the US military's tradition of political neutrality when in uniform. But internal emails obtained by Mother Jones show that Romney's campaign pushed to burnish his commander-in-chief credentials by maximizing military optics around the event. Members of Romney's staff sought to use the VMI logo in their campaign materials, requested that uniformed cadets be let out of class early to attend Romney's speech, and asked VMI "to select a few cadet veterans and give them a place of honor" standing behind Romney during his address.

As the campaign pushed for these requests, VMI officials pushed back, concerned that they were for partisan purposes. Each request was denied by the state-run institution, whose students serve in the US military's Reserve Officers Training Corps, so that VMI would not be seen as endorsing Romney's candidacy. The Romney campaign also pressured VMI to play host to "15 to 20" retired admirals and generals at the school who traveled there to endorse Romney; VMI eventually relented to that request.

The nearly 70 pages of email communications between VMI and Romney's staff were released to Mother Jones as part of a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request. They show that even as VMI officers agreed to host the speech and give their cadet corps what they saw as a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity, they were wary of the campaign's intentions.
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Romney's people pushed political requests, however. Noonan later asked VMI to accommodate "no more than 20" retired senior military officers, who would endorse Romney while he was at the school for the speech. Calling this a "new twist" on the original request, VMI Chief of Staff Jeffrey Curtis seemed unenthusiastic. "This isn't something where we're going to roll out a red carpet for them," he wrote to a coworker. Nevertheless, the Institute found a place to host the officers, after setting ground rules "that allow us to remain non-partisan, non-political."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Boehner Hits DoMA Defense Spending Cap

From The Advocate:

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has decried Republican leaders in Congress for hitting the $1.5 million spending cap on the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which is led by House speaker John Boehner, has intervened in 14 DOMA challenges in federal courts now that the Department of Justice and the Obama administration have decided to stop defending the law in court. So far, $1,447,996.73 of the allotted $1.5 million to continue defending DOMA has been spent within one year and three months, according to the Committee on House Administration. The current contract, agreed upon by the committee's chairman, Dan Lungren, specifies that spending to defend DOMA in court cannot exceed $1.5 million.

"The American people should no longer have to foot the bill for Speaker Boehner’s campaign to appease the most conservative forces within the Republican Party," Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. "It is time for the Speaker and Congressional Republicans to drop their frivolous, taxpayer-funded lawsuits without any delay. When they do, we will all look forward to the day when DOMA is relegated to the dustbin of history once and for all."

Investigation Over Trashed VA. Voter Registration Forms

From NBC29:

Just hours before the Monday deadline for voter registration, a Harrisonburg store manager made a discovery that will keep eight citizens from being silenced.  Their completed registration forms were discarded like trash.  Investigators don't yet know if it's criminal activity or just bad business.

A typical Monday afternoon at Tuesday Morning, a store in Harrisonburg, took a strange turn, when the manager Rob Johnson spotted someone putting a bag of trash in his recycling bin.  Johnson went to retrieve the misplaced refuse.

"That's when I realized, this bag is really light and looked inside," Johnson said.  "There was the manila folder with the eight voter registration applications, and I was like, we've got something here."

The Rockingham County registrar says those forms belonged to would-be voters from three different counties.  Their only common thread appears to be a recent registration drive in the Elkton area.

"We don't know what the motive was to throw these away," said Rockingham County Voter Registrar Doug Geib.  "But I don't think it was based on that… because there's no way the people collecting the applications would know what party, what candidate these people are going to vote for."

Romney's "Binders Full of Women" Lie


And here’s the worst part. It’s not even a true story. Mitt didn’t seek out these odd “binders full of women” out. The Boston Phoenix‘s David S. Bernstein explains:
What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.
During last night's presidential debate, Romney made the claim that he specifically requested information on women that were qualified for cabinet and other appointed government positions. This appears not to have been the case. Another instance of Mitt Romney making something up to appeal to a key constituency (in this case women). This is why I consider Mitt Romney to be a serial-panderer.

Pro-Sports Leagues Have Tax-Exempt Status

I'm not often on Senator Tom Coburn's (R-OK) side, but he hit the nail on the head on this issue. From Think Progress:

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) is out with the latest edition of an online chronicle of wasteful government spending, and he is taking aim at several of America’s professional sports leagues. Coburn objects to the fact that the leagues are classified as tax-exempt non-profit organizations, even as they rake in millions of dollars in profits. 

The National Football League, National Hockey League, and Professional Golfers’ Association, according to Coburn’s report, could be costing taxpayers at least $91 million a year because of their tax-exempt status, even though they generate billions in revenue, millions in profits, and pay their top executives multi-million dollar salaries:
The National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) classify themselves as non-profit organizations to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings. Smaller sports leagues, such as the National Lacrosse League, are also using the tax status. Taxpayers may be losing at least $91 million subsidizing these tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits. Taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize sports organizations already benefiting widely from willing fans and turning a profit, while claiming to be non-profit organizations.

Election 2012: Binders Full of Women

In case you missed the debate and are wondering what everyone means by "binders full of women," or maybe you just want to see the clip again:


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tweet of the Day: October 16, 2012


Tea Party Candidate Attacks Disabled Veteran


Bryan Fischer: Diversity = Poisoned Candy

FISCHER: Parents need to understand that this is about pressuring public schools and students in public schools to accept homosexuality as a normal healthy alternative to heterosexuality. You know, it’s interesting to me that they’re doing this October 30, the day before Halloween, and what this problem is, it’s like poisoned Halloween candy. Somebody takes a candy bar, injects it with cyanide, the label looks fine, it looks innocuous, it looks fine — it’s not until you internalize it that you realize how toxic it is. And we want parents to be aware that any program that comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be toxic to their student’s moral health.

Voter Victory in Ohio!!!

From the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a last-gasp appeal by Ohio Republicans and approved early voting for Ohio residents during the weekend before Election Day.

Ohio's Secretary of State John Husted had refused to enforce last week's appellate court decision, in which a three-judge panel came down on the side of the Obama campaign and blocked a law that would have banned early voting.

Husted remained adamant that Ohioans should not be allowed to vote on that weekend, which was a prime voting period for minorities in the 2008 election.

The Supreme Court's order was one line long: "The application for stay presented to Justice [Elena] Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.

One has to wonder why the Republican Party is so adamant about restricting people's voting rights and opportunities? Aren't they supposed to be for freedom and liberty?

PA. Lawmaker Introduces "Reparative Therapy" Ban


Pennsylvania State Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) has introduced a bill that would ban mental health providers from offering "gay-to-straight" reparative therapy for minors.
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Reparative therapy generally purports to change a person's sexual orientation by using such techniques as aversion or psychoanalytic treatments or spiritual interventions.
"No reputable mainstream mental health association considers being gay, lesbian or bisexual a disease or mental illness. Yet, that is exactly the premise behind this kind of therapy – a wrong assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be 'corrected,'" Josephs said, in a statement.
"As homosexuality is not a disorder, so attempts to 'convert' the sexual orientation of anyone, particularly a minor, threatens the individual's short- and long-term health and well-being," she said.
Josephs noted that the potential negative effects of such treatments include depression, substance abuse, self-loathing and suicide...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tweet of the Day: October 15, 2012


Some MS. Schools Rethink Abstinence-Only Education


...With Abstinence Plus, students are still encouraged to abstain from sex but are taught the dangers of having unprotected sex from a health standpoint.

Dr. Martha Liddell, superintendent for the Columbus Municipal School District, said the school district chose to teach Abstinence Plus after consulting with educators, parents, school nurses and a representative from the Mississippi Department of Health.

"We heard statistics that would blow your mind," Liddell said. "There are a lot of children involved in sexual relationships."

Liddell said that during that initial meeting, both she and fellow educators were "floored" to learn that girls as young as nine years old were being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

"This is an issue for our nation and an issue for our state," Liddell said. "We chose Abstinence Plus to teach students how making the wrong decision can affect your health."

Abstinence Plus will be taught at every age level from sixth grade to 12th grade as part of health classes. The students will be separated by gender, and the course will span a six-week period...

Statistics show that places that teach abstinence only education have far higher rates of teen pregnancy and STD's then places that have a more comprehensive approach. More conservative locations are still insisting that the abstinence-only illusion be maintained as a viable education method. This will only happen at the detriment of children, who will end up having children of their own WAY before they thought they would. I'm really glad that these schools, especially given that they are in the very socially conservative deep South, are bucking the trend of other conservative places and embracing the fact that in order for people to make the best possible decision, they need as much information as possible.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/13/4910033/sex-education-in-mississippi-classrooms.html#storylink=cpy