Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Bill Clinton says Barack Obama must 'kiss my ass' for his support"

The man needs not to ruin what reputation he has left...not to mention unload that huge-ass chip on his shoulder.

Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama's victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support.
And here is the rest of it.

Mult. Dems at Pride

We have some great grassroots folks in the Multnomah County Democratic GLBT Caucus. Just one question...Do these people EVER sleep?!

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

HRC Protest

From the SF Chronicle:

As gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people prepare to celebrate gay pride in San Francisco this weekend, many of them also are organizing a boycott and protest of the country's largest gay rights organization.

Activists plan to be on the streets during the festivities to inform people of the boycott and protest of the Human Rights Campaign's annual fundraising dinner in San Francisco next month, a major event that raises tens of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Similar actions took place at fundraising dinners in Philadelphia and New York City earlier this year.

The controversy stems from the Human Rights Campaign's decision last fall to support a bill in Congress that would bar employers from firing a person because of his or her sexual orientation. The bill, which passed the House but has stalled in the Senate, did not include the same protections for transgender people. More than 370 gay rights organizations opposed the bill for that reason.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement from its leaders defending the organization's actions and saying they want to "put to rest any remaining misconceptions about HRC's commitment to an all-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act."

The letter says the organization "exhausted every resource" in supporting a bill that included protections for transgender people.

"HRC's position is that we could not oppose - and, in fact, should support - legislation to provide crucial civil rights protections that would be brought to the House floor for a vote, even though we did not and, certainly, would not have chosen that course," according to the statement signed by Joe Solmonese, the organization's president, and the co-chairs of the group's board of directors.

The statement also makes reference to the November election, when California voters will decide whether to ban same-sex marriage in the state's constitution.

"At a time when our community is threatened, once again, with a cynical election-year ploy that could hurt our families, we believe that it's time to set aside our differences and fight for what we all want," it reads.

I have to admit that I am not completely sure where I stand on this. I tend to think of myself as a "radical" pragmatist which, as you can imagine, results in alot of lost sleep sometimes. I can see both sides of this, and the need for both sides. Every major human rights movement in United States history has had the passionate agitators as well as the incrementalists. And every time they needed each other. Without Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt would not have been moved to act. Without Catt's connections and ear of President Wilson, Paul and the others would not have been released from prison, or hailed as heroes. Without the SNCC's sense of urgency and push for more (not to mention their numbers and time in the civil rights effort), Dr. King would have likely failed more often than he did. Without Dr. King's measured approach and connections to the power players, SNCC and others (Malcolm X, for example) would have been marginalized into ineffectiveness. And on and on.

I've been a partner member of the HRC for eight years (Pride weekend was my eight-year anniversary) and I know the great work they do. I also know that they were unprepared for this fight. In talking to their DC office, when I was considering withdrawing my membership, that was clear. The organizer I spoke with was blunt in acknowledging that they were caught off-guard by the strength of the opposition to the inclusion of transgendered citizens in the ENDA bill. And when Solomese made the declaration that they would not accept anything that wasn't all-inclusive, I don't think they were expecting to be eating that foot in their mouth months later. However, he did say it, and now they have a really big legitimacy problem on their hands. Do they really represent everyone, or is it lip service to increase donations? How can we really know? I sure don't. Any ideas? How do ya'll feel about all of this?

And here is the rest of it.

Stonewall and Pride

I know that Portlands' Prides are over (thank you again), but the event that started it all has its anniversary this weekend.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We interrupt for this moment of silliness

It's time for another break from the seriousness.

The Value of a Drink

'Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink
I feel shame . Then I look into the glass and think
about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes
and dreams . If I didn't drink this wine, they might be out
of work and their dreams would be shattered.
Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this wine and let their
dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'
~ Jack Handy
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you won dering what the hell
happened to your bra and panties.

'I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they
wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're
going to feel all day. '
~Frank Sinatra
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher,
smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

'When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.'
~ Henny Youngman
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

'24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.'
~ Stephen Wright
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.

'When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk,
we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all
get drunk and go to heaven!'
~ Brian O'Rourke
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.

'Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.'
~ Benjamin Franklin
**Warning removed due to the evolution of a society in which such things are no longer considered humorous.

'Without question, the greatest invention in the
history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the
wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does
not go nearly as well with pizza.'
~ Dave Barry
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group. Salvation in a can!
~ Dave Howell
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

And saving the best for last, as explained by Cliff Clavin, of Cheers.
One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the ' Buffalo Theory' to his buddy Norm.
Here's how it went:
'Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That' s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.'
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dodd Filibuster

No, he wasn't doing it for the brownie points during the primaries.

And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cluster bombs ban

Common Dreams is sending a petition to all of the Presidential candidates asking them to lead the country away from the use of cluster bombs (damn nasty things).

The United States is the largest producer, stockpiler, and user of cluster bombs in the history of the world. These horrific hybrids between aerial bombs and land mines kill and maim hundreds of innocent civilians all around the world every year—many of them children.

Last month, 111 nations committed to a much needed global ban on cluster bombs, but Bush won't sign it. So far, the leading presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, have been silent on whether they will endorse this important treaty.

We need a President who will do the right thing. Ask all the presidential candidates to commit to sign the global cluster bomb

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

DOJ Pride

Hmm...although it is obvious he found a way to walk the politically public line, this is good to see. Mukasey is by no means an enemy to the Chief Bubba, but this bodes well.

DOJ Pride, the association for gay employees at the Justice Department, held its first Pride event in five years at the department’s Great Hall Wednesday.

Bush administration officials had barred the celebration from taking place in the Great Hall since 2003. The event was able to take place this year because U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in January revised the equal-employment-opportunity policy barring discrimination in the department.

Mukasey gave a speech at the event touting the inclusiveness of the Justice Department toward gay employees.

The attorney general said “men and women of different backgrounds, including different sexual orientations” comprise the lawyers, law enforcement agents and other staff in the Justice Department.

“The theme of today’s event is ‘Pride is for Everyone’ and it is a theme I embrace because all employees in the Justice Department have a right to be proud of who they are and the work they do here,” he said.

Mukasey did not use the word “gay” or the acronym “LGBT” during his speech.

The attorney general’s policy toward gays in the Justice Department workforce reverses the policies of previous Bush administration attorneys general John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales.

**The Victory Fund is an excellent source for LGBTQ news and information that doesn't get alot of coverage in other areas. by the way. It also does some good in-depth stuff, as well.
And here is the rest of it.

Smith insults my intelligence

Aside from distorting and being dishonest about where he really stands, Gordon Smith does something that I absolutely detest and will not tolerate from anyone. He insults my (and our) intelligence, with not only the assumption that we aren't paying attention, but that we won't know what is going on when we do look. I am not in any way, shape or form, lacking in intelligence and skills of observation. Nor are most people I know.

And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ribbons and car magnets don't cut it

MGx caught this piece (surprise surprise..NOT from the MSM).

The processing rate from DoD to VA varies around the country. Around here it is roughly four months but can take up to nine months in Hawaii. This story from Rawstory details how severely wounded veterans can lose their homes waiting for their benefits to be approved.

Read the rest at Rawstory

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The haters give up...for now

According to Oregon Live:

Social conservatives and church groups are admitting defeat in their efforts to collect signatures for initiatives to repeal two Oregon gay rights laws in this November's election.

Opponents say they are dropping their efforts to qualify the repeal initiatives for this fall's ballot because neither has received a state-approved ballot title and the deadline for turning in signatures is only a few weeks away -- July 3rd.

Former state Sen. Marylin Shannon, a Brooks Republican who was co-sponsor of the measure to repeal the domestic partnership law, said opponents aren't going to give up and will work to place a repeal measure on the 2010 ballot.

Rest assured, the haters will be back...alot like bad pennies, or last night's crappy pizza.
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A proactive Obama

I have to admit I am a huge fan of proactiveness. Obama has launched a site to combat the rumour mill that has kicked in to a high gear smear campaign. Check it out.

Fight the Smears

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wexler signs on for Impeachment

Congressman Robert Wexler sent out this email:

Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 16:28:43 -0400
Subject: Wexler Co-Sponsors First Bush Articles of Impeachment

Our effort to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable has taken another dramatic step forward. Last night, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the first Articles of Impeachment ever to be introduced against President Bush. It includes, in total, thirty-five Articles detailing this Administration's blatant abuse of power. Today, I enthusiastically co-sponsored this vitally important bill.
I am grateful for Dennis' leadership on this issue and for the steadfast support that countless Americans have given to both of our efforts to redeem our government and expose the crimes of Bush and Cheney.
I will now expand my efforts to secure impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee for these new Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush.
Many of the charges against President Bush are well known – and would shock the conscience of everyday Americans if only the national media would be willing to report on these stark facts.
The Articles present a stunning narrative of offenses that have go well beyond previous crimes committed by any US chief executive. In fact no President or Vice President in history has done more to undermine our constitution.
These charges are broad, with 35 separate allegations including the deliberate lies regarding WMDs that led us to war and the approval of illegal wiretapping of American citizens. The Articles also include new allegations of high crimes – including the explicit approval for high Administration officials to violate treaties and US law banning the use of torture.
The Democratic Party gained a majority in the House and Senate due in large part to our promises to end the corruption of the Republican majority and to hold the Administration accountable to the law. This courageous bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise, but – like the Articles against Cheney – they require your support to convince Democrats and open-minded Republicans to support this bold but necessary action.
Time is running out so we must work together to spread the message and apply pressure.
First, please encourage your friends and family members to sign up at – as it will allow us to keep in touch with you and speak to a wider audience. If you haven't yet put in your phone and address, please sign up again, as we will be doing telephone town halls in the near future.
Second, call your representative and urge them to support Impeachment hearings.
Finally, contact newspapers, news stations, and your favorite bloggers and urge them to report on this movement. We need to keep Impeachment a significant news story until the Democratic leadership sees the value in it.
McClellan Agrees to Testify:
I was pleased to inform you yesterday that Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers met my call to have Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testify under oath. I am thrilled to inform you that McClellan has agreed to testify on June 20th at 10AM. This will be the first step in what we hope will be ongoing and deepening examinations of the stark evidence and charges against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Thank you for your continued passion and advocacy. Your support means so much to me.
Congressman Robert Wexler

I know my rep (Blumenauer) hasn't been supportive of pursuing impeachment, for a variety of reasons, but he will keep hearing from me anyhow.And here is the rest of it.

McCain-What's in a vote?

I love it. Katie Halper has this totally snarky (with enough truth to make the point) directed to Clinton folks who are pledging to vote for McCain. What are they pledging? Let's see....

The McCain Loyalty Oath for Gays

I, _____________, pledge to transfer my support from Hillary Clinton to John McCain. I agree to do all I can do to get McCain the vote. In order to achieve this noble goal I promise to support McCain's

* commitment to the Army's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy because to "even reopen the issue" would be a "terrific mistake."

* promise to protect "the sanctity of marriage as between a man and woman."
* commitment to banning federal recognition of gay marriage and domestic partnerships.
* opposition to gay adoption which he doesn't think is "appropriate."
* opposition to expanding the federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation.

As a gay person, I promise to apply McCain's principles to my own life and vow to...

* stop engaging in gay sex.
* never try to marry or adopt.
* enroll in a program to treat my homosexuality and "straighten" myself out, such as a "M.A.N.S. Journey" (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, Surrender Journey).
* install nanny cams in my house to prevent any gay relapses.
* take responsibility for natural disasters**, including Katrina.

Once McCain is elected, I will continue to support him and his programs and I will not complain about my loss of civil rights. And I will continue to refrain from gay sex.

Signature __________

The McCain Loyalty Oath for Women

I _____________ pledge to transfer my support from Hillary Clinton to John McCain. I agree to do all I can do to get McCain the vote. In order to achieve this noble goal I promise to support McCain's...

* fight to overturn Roe v. Wade and my right to choose.
* fight against equal pay for men and women.
* opposition to providing low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control.
* opposition to sex education and support of abstinence-only education.
* making birth control covered by insurance.
* endorsement of women's rights more "in theory" than in practice.
* pet name for his wife.

As a woman I promise to apply McCain's principles to my own life and vow to...

* call myself and my female friends the C word.
* picket abortion clinics.
* not use contraceptives.
* drink bleachso I don't catch HIV and drink Mountain due so I don't get pregnant.
* give back part of my salary to male coworkers.
* not vote, but pursue education and encourage my father/husband/brother male friends to vote for McCain.

Once McCain is elected, I will continue to support him and I will not complain about my losing my right to choose, and other reproductive freedoms. And I will continue to refrain from pursuing equality for women.

Signature __________

The McCain Loyalty Oath for Straight White Men

Straight white men, I bet you thought we left you out. This country may have turned its back on you, but we haven't. Here's a pledge of your own:

I _____________ pledge to transfer my support from Hillary Clinton to John McCain. I agree to do all I can do to get McCain the vote. In order to achieve this noble goal I promise to support McCain's...

* commitment to follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell.
* oppositionto limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months.
* fight against benefits for veterans.
* support of Bush's preemptive war doctrine.
* Operation Infinite Presence in Iraq.

As a straight white man I promise to apply McCain's principles to my own life and vow to...

* use Iran/Iraq and Shiites/Sunnis interchangeably.
* clear my schedule for the next 100 years.
* enlist in the military.
* follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell (while smiling).
* be willing to kill and/or be killed in Iraq.
* be willing to kill and/or be killed in Iran.
* be willing to kill and/or be killed in Syria.
* be willing to kill and/or be killed in Venezuela.

Once McCain is elected, I will continue to support him and I will not complain about my loss of limbs or life. And I will continue to refrain from questioning the war in Iraq or any other wars we will be fighting.

Signature ________________________________

*Although McCain and Hagee have since unendorsed each other, that was not until Hagee's controversial Holocaust speech was discovered. McCain didn't think Hagee's position on gay people (or women of Muslims, for that matter) warrant his disavowal.

Halper has links from her page to follow the history of each "pledge."
And here is the rest of it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Midwest flooding disaster

DarkSyde over at DailyKos is drawing attention to a catastrophe-in-the-making in the Midwest. Be sure and follow the links Dark provides. One is the blog diary of an Iowa resident that paints a pretty stark picture of what is going on.

More rain in the Midwest this week could turn an already bad situation into a national catastrophe.

Tom Murphy AP -- Rescuers in boats continued to pluck people from rising waters in Indiana yesterday, a day after more than 10 inches of rain deluged much of the state. In Iowa, pumps and thousands of sandbags were sent to the Iowa City area, where officials fear a reservoir could top a spillway and flood the city of about 63,000 by tomorrow.

Michael Crumb, Trib -- In Des Moines, plans were being made to build temporary levees and begin sandbagging to hold the water back. In Iowa City, City Manager Michael Lombardo said as many as 150 homes near the Iowa River are "directly in harms way," with another 130 homes in two mobile home parks also being threatened.

Need we point out that a number of Iowa National Guard units are deployed overseas, others are just returning or preparing to leave? That means the local guard is at roughly half their normal strength in both manpower and equipment thanks to Bush and McCain's war. Oops!

Sara Stewart, KCRG News -- This Memorial Day weekend, the Iowa Army National Guard says it needs more equipment to effectively fulfill its duties. The guard's continued presence in Iraq means it only has about 60 percent of the necessary materials. Iowa National Guard Soldiers respond to local emergencies, protect our country at home and serve overseas.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

RIP Monk Seals

According to a report in Time:

Federal officials have confirmed what biologists have long thought: The Caribbean monk seal has gone the way of the dodo.
Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left the population unsustainable, say biologists who warn that Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals could be the next to go.

The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service confirmed Friday that the species is extinct.

Kyle Baker, a biologist for NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast region, said the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes.

The seals were first classified as endangered in 1967, and wildlife experts investigated several reported sightings over the past few decades. But officials determined they were other seal types.

The federal agency says there are fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian and 500 Mediterranean monk seals remaining, and their populations are declining.

"We hope we've learned from the extinction of Caribbean monk seals, and can provide stronger protection for their Hawaiian and Mediterranean relatives," Baker said.

The Hawaiian monk seal population, protected by NOAA, is declining at a rate of about 4 percent annually, according to NOAA. The agency predicts the population could fall below 1,000 in the next three to four years, placing the mammal among the world's most endangered marine species.

There is more in the article, but you get the idea. And here is the rest of it.

Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform

I love, love, LOVE this man. Not long before she passed away, Molly Ivins tried to convince him (and get US to convince him) to run for president, because she was convinced (and rightly so) that Moyers could so greatly elevate the level of discussion and exemplify a moral compass that would be hard to deny.

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

McCain called out

I promise not to make every post about McCain, but I just can't pass up opportunities to notice when he works so hard to to be called out!

From Firedoglake:

During a press conference today in Louisiana, Senator McCain was asked why he twice voted against creating a commission to investigate the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. McCain responded, "I have supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy." However, Senator McCain has voted against such measures on multiple occasions. In response, Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan issued the following statement:

"Whether he simply wasn't aware of his voting record again or he was intentionally misleading the people of Louisiana, John McCain certainly isn't offering us 'leadership you can believe in.'"


McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Establishing A Commission To Study The Response To Hurricane Katrina. In 2005 and 2006, McCain voted against proposals to establish a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local government response to Hurricane Katrina in U.S. Gulf Region. Both proposals were sponsored by Senator Clinton. [S. Amdt. 2716, Senate Vote 6, 2/2/06; S. Amdt. 1660, Senate Vote 229, 9/14/05]

The article goes on to talk about what the impact will be if Obama's campaign continues to call McCain out on his BS. Suffice to say, McCain isn't looking so pretty.And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

To kill or not to kill

Whether you support or oppose the death penalty, this article better give you something to think about.

For example:

A Supreme Court ruling recently gave states the green light to resume executions; two of the first three executed prisoners were mentally disabled. And here is the rest of it.