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President is “Pissy”, film at eleven

The Washington Post has an article about how Democratic activists have found Obama to be an unsympathetic, whining, “Well, what do you want ME to do about it?” useless, all-about-him president when they go to him with problems.

To say this portrait of the president is unflattering would be an understatement.  I hate to blame the victims but you should have seen this coming for all of the reasons we have tried to point out in the past four years.  Still, some of the examples of interactions with Obama have been downright pitiless. Take this exchange that Obama has had with immigration activists who have been alarmed by the step-up of deportations under Obama:

Bhargava, 43, an Indian American who came to the United States as a child, had spent much of 2008 registering minority voters. The rise of a fellow community organizer, a black man, delivered to office on the shoulders of a new ethnic coalition, “hit me on so many levels,” Bhargava would later recall.

So it was an uncomfortable moment when Bhargava looked in Obama’s eyes and told him that he was presiding over a “moral catastrophe” in immigrant communities. He asked Obama to use executive powers to stop many deportations, said it was time to “lean in” on revamping the country’s immigration system and listed a number of Republican senators he should lobby.

The president grew visibly frustrated as each successive advocate spoke. He said that the advocates, too, should be pressing Republican lawmakers, that he sympathized with their concerns but that he did not have the legal authority to stop deportations.

Tensions mounted when Obama argued that his administration’s policy was to focus on deporting criminals and others deemed to be security threats.

“No, Mr. President, that’s not what’s happening,” interjected Angelica Salas, the head of the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. She was seated directly across the table from Obama and leaned toward him as she spoke, her hands trembling and her voice rising. “You’re deporting heads of households, mothers and fathers.” She said that “young people are sitting in detention centers when they should be sitting in the best universities in the country,” according to meeting participants.

Obama looked taken aback by the direct confrontation from Salas and then turned to aides seated against the wall, according to several participants. The aides affirmed that, yes, criminals were the priority.

Turning back to Salas, Obama asked: “What do you want me to do, not enforce the law?” He explained that he could not just ignore laws he didn’t like.

The president spoke sternly. Several participants described him as defensive. One person said that, at times, Obama was “pissy.”

How about working to *change* the law so that it didn’t rip families apart, impoverish children and turn them into vulnerable international orphans? Just a suggestion.

The funny thing is that this article highlights his interactions with immigration and gay rights activists.  It says nothing about women’s groups, which makes me wonder if they were even able to get a meeting or were so discouraged that they didn’t even try.  Isn’t it weird how in this year on the “War on Women” that womens’ advocacy groups are so invisible?  I’m telling you, it’s downright creepy.

There is a danger for the party to look like it’s tied too closely with special interest groups but working people, who the White House blew off earlier this week, and women, who it has always blown off, are NOT special interest groups.  The debacle in Wisconsin is particularly striking.  The White House, in fear of looking like it was sitting next to the dweebs at the loser lunch table, left labor to twist in the wind.  The worst thing that Obama did with respect to Wisconsin wasn’t that he avoided the state.  It was that he made no attempt to argue in any speech to the state or the nation about how important it was to the future of the country, economy and all working people that labor was respected, protected and championed.  There is a very good argument to be made there and Obama did not make it. Bill Clinton, who went to Wisconsin, had to do this.  The 99% need to remember this because the differences between how the two presidents stand up for labor couldn’t be more illuminating.

But that doesn’t mean that the president isn’t passionate about things:

The Barack Obama who spars with liberals in private seems far different from the man most Americans have come to know for his even-keeled, cerebral presence. He drops the formalities of his position and the familiar rhetoric of his speeches, revealing a president willing to speak personally and candidly to his allies, and also one who can be thin-skinned, irritable, even sarcastic and hectoring if his motives or tactics are questioned. He talks about his own ethnicity, his immigrant roots, his political high wire as a black president with a Muslim middle name — and then seems surprised when advocates who took deep inspiration from his election nevertheless question his commitment to their causes.

Awwww, the poor man.  It’s really hard to be half African America son of an immigrant with a funny middle name who is the most powerful person of the free world. He gets picked on. These activists, it’s all about them.  They have no idea how hard it is to be Obama.  First he campaigns as the first post-racial, post-partisan president and then people put unrealistic expectations on him to actually live up to his soaring, aspirational campaign rhetoric.

I think the people spoke in 2008.  They were willing to give Obama a chance to rise above his humble means, his prep school background and Harvard pedigree, and lead and they were willing to do this because he ran as the Democrat and once upon a time, that meant something.  Now, it seems like he didn’t really mean any of what he said.  Either that or he’s not really all that into you, activists, and he’s falling back on being the aggrieved party to get you to back off.  And if that doesn’t work, he’ll just be mean and pissy, reverting back to his “Can I just eat my waffles?!?” personality that was conveniently overlooked in 2008 by the very same groups he captured.

This is not a new Obama, it’s the same guy.  But the smoke has cleared now.  He got away with sidelining the activists in 2008 and now in 2012, they’re frustrated.  Well, no one held him accountable before the 2008 election or asked him to show them his policies.  He didn’t need policies back then because anyone who questioned Obama’s readiness, commitment or preparation was automatically bludgeoned with the “racists!” sledgehammer. They were all supposed to “Hang on a second, sweetie.” while he schmoozed them.

Of course, it isn’t too late to hold him accountable before he gets the nomination in September.  He’s not the only game in town and there are real politicians out there with actual policy plans that would make suitable substitutes.  The question is, do the various factions of the Democratic party have the courage to demand satisfaction?

You can’t complain later if he blows you off next year if you do nothing this year.  And you can’t complain if he gets booted out of office because the general public is disgusted with the excuses while their lives are being ruined.

No one is forcing him to take four more years of abuse and name calling. If he really doesn’t want to deal with those people, ie his base, he can always join the speech circuit, or become the new CEO of Pfizer and hasten its demise. There are options. He shouldn’t worry about disappointing us if he decides not to stick it out and yields the spot to a better Democrat. We’ll understand.

The infamous “sweetie” clip looks completely different to the party activists this year, doesn’t it?

Pentagon Releases Findings on DADT

Today the Pentagon releaseda long-anticipated surveyregarding military service by gay men and lesbians. The study states, as predicted, that service by openly LGBT personnel would have little to no impact on long-term military cohesion and effectiveness.

The study took place over a period of 10 months, and is expected to have huge implications for the future of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—the 17-year-old controversial law prohibiting military service by openly gay and lesbian citizens. Officials familiar with the results of the study—which was based on responses by about 115,000 service members and 44,200 military spouses—said that a clear majority of respondents indicated opposition to the law, with 70% predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed, or no effect on their units. Furthermore, about 70% of respondents reported working with someone whom they believed to be gay or lesbian, and 92% of these reported having a neutral or positive experience in their unit’s ability to work together. The survey authors write that “both the survey results and our own engagement of the force convinced us that when service members had the actual experience of serving with someone they believe to be gay, in general unit performance was not affected negatively by this added dimension.” Over 60% of respondents said repeal would have a positive or no effect on their personal morale, and 67% believed there would be a positive or no effect on their personal readiness.

Those sneaky gays! Always proving to us that they are human beings and more than their sexuality! It makes it so much harder for us to discriminate against them!

Friday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!! TGIF!!!!!!

I got back to Beantown last night around 7PM, after having been in Indiana for more than a month. The drive was very pleasant, with nice weather and minimal traffic through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. The first shock to my system came when I approached the end of the NY thruway and headed toward the Mass Pike. Suddenly, I was surrounded by lots of traffic, with cars switching lanes crazily and driving way too fast.

The Mass Pike is mostly a steep downhill grade for miles through Western Massachusetts. Just after I got on it, there was a sudden downpour–so intense that cars were pulling off the road. I turned into a rest area to wait it out. When I got back on the pike, I saw a magnificent rainbow arching over the highway–it accompanied me for miles as rain alternated with sunshine. The rainbow helped cushion the blow of returning from the rural beauty of Indiana to the urban gridlock of the Greater Boston metro area.

I already miss all the green open spaces of the Midwest. At the same time, I feel that I’m embarking on an adventure. Here I am, a woman in my early 60s, alone and unemployed, with no idea what I’ll be doing next. It’s a bit frightening, but also exhilarating.

Anyway, enough about me and on to the news!

As Dakinikat reported last night, the Senate once again rejected a jobs bill that would have provided some relief for desperate unemployed Americans and extended tax breaks for individual and small businesses. But the House and Senate have reached an agreement on a Wall Street “reform” bill. I’ll leave it to Dak to break down the contents of the bill, but I tend to be skeptical these days about what our “leaders” mean when they use the word “reform.” CNN has an analysis of the bill at the above link. And here’s the NYT take.

At The Nation, William Greider writes about the failure of our “leaders” to deal with the epic economic disaster they helped create when they sold their souls to the banks and corporations: Goodbye Keynes, Hello Hoover

Washington faces…a starkly underperforming economy in which 10 percent of the workforce are without jobs and income. Yet the President and Democratic Congress, spooked by the swollen federal deficits, are unwilling to do what Keynes prescribed in these circumstances—pump up federal spending enormously and run even larger budget deficits in order to force-feed a stronger recovery.

The results of this political decision will be tragic for millions of struggling families, but also potentially devastating for the Democratic party. Democrats are implicitly choosing to do nothing more to rescue the country from the deepening dislocations and lost output. Making mistakes can be forgiven, but not giving up.

The president and his lieutenants have evidently decided they have already done enough. Indeed, they keep reminding us they saved the country from something worse. Millions withhold their congratulations, since something worse is what they are now experiencing. The losses will last longer and multiply more widely so long as Washington declines to act more forcefully. Americans who never heard of Keynes will make their own judgments about whom to blame.

There’s lots of gossip in the news today. We already discussed the Enquirer story on Gore and the masseuse, but it is now hitting the corporate media. Howard Kurtz writes that the woman who accused Gore of attacking her tried to tell her story for $1 million, but the Enquirer refused to pay. Kurtz:

The executive editor of the National Enquirer says that the Oregon masseuse who made a sexual assault allegation against Al Gore asked the tabloid for $1 million but that the Enquirer did not pay her or anyone else in reporting the story.

Barry Levine said in an interview Thursday that the woman offered to sell her account through her lawyer but that “no money exchanged hands” and the paper conducted only a brief interview with her.

The Enquirer story was based primarily on documents.

Asked why the Enquirer published the piece despite the woman’s two-year delay in agreeing to be interviewed by authorities, Levine said: “We felt, if this was in legitimate police documents, that was a story that should be brought to the surface. We felt this was a significant story involving a very powerful man.” He said he had former police officers examine the reports to make sure they weren’t a “forgery” and felt “vindicated” Thursday when Portland authorities confirmed the authenticity of the documents.

The tabloid confirmed that Gore, who had just released the film “An Inconvenient Truth,” was in Portland at the time of the alleged incident to give a speech on global warming. The paper obtained the $540 bill — including a 20 percent gratuity — that the masseuse submitted to the Hotel Lucia, which retained her, along with her subsequent e-mail correspondence with the hotel.

Is it true? Who knows? But The Enquirer did help bring down John Edwards. Gore will probably have to deal with this somehow.

The other big gossip story concerns the “JournoList,” the e-mail list that all the big “progressive” blogger boyz belong to. Someone leaked some embarrassing comments from Dave Wiegel, who now blogs for the Washington Post.

Wiegel apologized for comments he made about Matt Drudge:

I’m a member of an off-the-record list-serv called “Journolist,” founded by my colleague Ezra Klein. Last Monday, I was deluged with angry e-mail after posting a story about Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) that was linked by the Drudge Report with a headline intimating that I defended his roughing-up of a young man with a camera; after this, the Washington Examiner posted a gossip item about my dancing at a friend’s wedding. Unwisely, I lashed out to Journolist, which I’ve come to view as a place to talk bluntly to friends….

- “This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire.”

I apologize to Matt Drudge for this — I was incredibly frustrated with the amount of hate mail I was getting and lashed out. If he wants to link to this post with some headline accusing me of wishing death on him, I suppose he can do so. But I don’t wish that. I was tired, angry, and hyperbolic, and I’m sorry.

Politico writes that this is the third time “confidential” information has been leaked from the JournoList, and members are worried.

“People are feeling betrayed by whoever the leaker is, once again,” said Eric Alterman, the Nation columnist and journalism professor who is a member of the listserv. “I think it’s unwise to put anything on that list that you can’t defend in public. There’s no such thing as off-the-record with 400 people.”

But the off-the-record nature of the listserve has been closely guarded, to the point that a previous article by POLITICO’s Michael Calderone on JournoList last year got only a handful of the three dozen listserv members he contacted to share even basic elements of how the list functions.

“The list is confidential,” said one member who, in typical fashion, declined to be named for this article. “Whoever broke the confidentiality of the list obviously has no respect for some pretty basic journalistic norms. But I can’t talk about it because it’s supposed to be confidential.”

Here is the Fishbowl story that started this whole tempest in a teapot.

Honestly, who cares what these people say to each other on their hoity-toity e-mail list? This story just emphasizes how self-important these people are and how highjacked our “news” really is. Here are these people who consider themselves to be “intelligensia”–keep in mind that Kos is a member of this list–and they are deciding with each other in secret about what to report or blog about. As Katiebird might say, I spit on these people!

Back to some more important news. The Afghanistan war is back in the headlines after the McChrystal firing, and the WP thinks Petraeus will have a difficult time replicating his “success” in Iraq.

This week’s confrontation between a senior Army general and the president of the United States may have signaled the beginning of the end of the war in Afghanistan. In a year or two, President Obama will be able to say that he gave the conflict his best shot, reshaping the strategy and even putting in charge his top guy, the general who led the surge in Iraq — but that things still didn’t work out.

Then he can begin pulling out.

This is not a vote of no-confidence in Gen. David H. Petraeus, whom the president has selected to lead the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, replacing the disgraced Gen. Stanley A McChrystal. It is a simple recognition that the conditions Petraeus enjoyed in Iraq are far from present in Afghanistan, and that the key skills he brought to bear in the first war won’t help him as much in the second.

But Obama says he’s “confident” in his “war leadership.” And Politico claims that “Obama [is] losing Hill liberals” on
Afghanistan.

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, has an editorial on President Obama being “missing in action” on gay rights.

President Obama celebrated Gay Pride Month earlier this week by telling guests at a White House reception that he still favors full equality for gays and lesbians. But despite a steady trickle of small steps Mr. Obama has taken to promote gay rights, on the big issues he is a disappointment.

First and most obviously, Mr. Obama has not made good on his campaign promise to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing the military to continue stalling. Despite his earlier assertion that leadership was the only thing required to abolish this long-discredited policy, the administration’s efforts have been lackluster.

The rest story is subscription only–if you subscribe, please share.

To me, the top story is still the BP oil gusher. I don’t believe we have even begun to see the ultimate effects of this ecological and economic disaster on our country and the world. We have now seen the first known suicide linked to the gusher. Alabama boat captain Allen Kruse shot himself a few days ago on board his boat.

Kruse put a bullet through his head this morning at a marina in Fort Morgan, Alabama. His boat was about to launch today and he was reportedly upset with the oil leak, the cleanup efforts and loss of income, and wondering how he would be paid for taking part in the Vessel of Opportunity program.

The local coroner ruled that the gunshot was self-inflicted. Kruse was found right on the captain’s bridge. He had no known health problems, and leaves behind a wife and four children.

“He had just let his deckhands off the boat and sent them to get something,” Baldwin County Deputy Coroner Rod Steade told the local newspaper, the Press-Register. “He was going to meet them at the fuel dock. They heard a pop and when the boat didn’t come around, they went back and found him.”

CNN has a story and video with interviews of Kruse’s friends and family.

those closest to him say Kruse’s life unraveled when the oil spill hit the Gulf waters where he worked. Authorities say deck hands found the 55-year-old dead in his boat’s cabin, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, before he was scheduled to head out on the water Wednesday morning.

Friends, family and local officials say his death is another tragic casualty of the environmental disaster that has sent crude gushing into Gulf waters. And they’re worried others may be suffering in silence.

“There’s a lot of people on the edge. We feel hopeless. We feel helpless. We don’t feel like there’s an advocate out there,” said Tony Kennon, mayor of Kruse’s hometown of Orange Beach, Alabama.

Kruse was upset because he felt he and his boat were being used by BP not to help clean up the oil, but as a PR prop.

Marc and Frank Kruse said their brother would still be alive today if he had believed he was making an impact against the oil that was threatening the waters he loved.

Instead, he told them, cleanup boats were placed close to shore, just so onlookers would think work was being done.

“Madness. It’s just a dog and pony show,” Marc Kruse said. “Send them out. Ride around. Let everybody see them. Bring them back in.”

Government spokesman/coordinator Thad Allen originally claimed Kruse’s death was not linked to the BP oil gusher. My guess is this won’t be the last story like this we have to read.

Perhaps President Obama will say a few words after each tragedy before head to the golf course, the latest DC gala, or his next vacation. The rest of us are expected to live vicariously as we watch our “betters” having fun. I for one refuse to accept it! I won’t be beaten down by self-important prog bloggers and full-of-it politicians! Somehow we will survive all this.

What are you reading this morning? Let us know in the comments, and have a fabulous Friday!!!!!!
Wil

Let’s Hear it for Civil Disobedience!

Last night President Obama spoke at a fundraiser in LA for Senator Barbara Boxer. In what I see as a very refreshing turn of events, LGBT activists repeatedly heckled a clearly irritated Obama with calls for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Obama tried to calm the hecklers by claiming that both he and Boxer are on their side. Really? So what’s the holdup then? Here’s the video of the speech.

The action starts around 2:00 and then the crowd allows Obama to speak for a bit, then the heckling starts again. This time, the President asks the chanters “Do you wanna come up here?” It’s about time Obama started facing some tough audiences!

At the Atlantic, Chris Good reports: “Gay Rights Advocates Support the Heckling”

Two of California’s top gay-rights leaders said the heckling was by no means out of line.

“I think getting heckled is nothing compared to getting kicked out of the military and losing your job and getting fired simply because you’re gay, because there’s no federal protection, or getting denied Social Security benefits because the administration has made no effort to repeal DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] and has actually defended it in court,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. Kors said he didn’t know the protest was going to take place.

“I think people are getting very, very frustrated that we have a president who promised to be a fierce advocate and the most pro-LGBT Senate and Congress int he history of the country, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell hasn’t been repealed and DOMA is still the law of the land,” Kors said.

Today, several Get Equal activists were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House Fence.

Six people in military uniforms, including Lt. Dan Choi, handcuffed themselves to the North Lawn fence of the White House today to protest the fact that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has not been repealed.

U.S. Park Police cleared the area and used chain cutters to place the demonstrators under arrest, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

Choi, at left, is an openly gay Iraq war veteran and West Point graduate who has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Choi, who announced he is gay on television last march, was also arrested for chaining himself to the White House fence last month.

If you’d like to join Get Equal in their fight to repeal DADT, here is their website.

I’m sorry these folks were taken in by Obama’s act, but I’m very impressed with the actions they are taking now. It’s time for all of us to speak out and express our anger in civil, but attention-getting ways.

You can treat this as an open thread.

Left Behind

1-caesarforobamaseal2

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man,

in whom there is no help” – Psalm 146:3

Two pieces of news this week – Bill Clinton meets with some bloggers and tells them to apply pressure to Congress and the Obama administration from the left and the Washington Post fires liberal columnist Dan Froomkin who was pressuring Congress and the Obama administration from the left.

Last week the LGBT community got a lump of coal in their stocking and this week it was healthcare reform advocates’ turn in the barrel.  Since he became the “presumptive nominee” Obama has broken so many promises that Arthur Silber advises:

Don’t try to keep a list of all of Obama’s broken “promises.” Instead, keep a list of the promises you think he made that he’s kept. In this manner, your work will be brief and undemanding.

So what are the nutroots focused on?  Getting religion.

From PZ Meyers:

Netroots Nation, the big lefty political/blogging meeting, is organizing sessions for their conference in August. Unfortunately, they seem have given up on the idea of a secular nation, because this one session on A New Progressive Vision for Church and State has a bizarre description.

The old liberal vision of a total separation of religion from politics has been discredited. Despite growing secularization, a secular progressive majority is still impossible, and a new two-part approach is needed–one that first admits that there is no political wall of separation. Voters must be allowed, without criticism, to propose policies based on religious belief. (emphasis added)

I wonder if Carrie Prejean will be on the panel for that discussion.

Times are tough in the Kool-aid Kingdom.  It’s like the epitaph on the hypochondriac’s tombstone says:

“I expected this, but not so soon.

What I didn’t expect was that we would be left behind in Left Blogistan.  Richard Nixon described the secret to getting elected President as a Republican as “run to the right as far and as quickly as possible in the primaries, then run back to the center as quickly as possible in the general election.”

Obama’s theory appears to be “run to the left in the primaries and then run to the center in the general election and keep on heading right after you’re elected.”  Obama hasn’t just broken campaign promises, he has betrayed some of his earliest and most loyal supporters.  Well, maybe not his earliest supporters and certainly not his biggest donors.  His moneybags backers should be really happy since they got exactly what they paid for – a conservative wolf in a liberal sheep’s clothing empty suit.

Despite the fact that Obama quickly morphed into Bush III, the Republicans kept calling him a socialist and threatened to obstruct pretty much everything he proposed.  This caused the sippy-kup kidz to rush to Obama’s defense, heedless of the fact that they crossed the border separating moonbat from wingnut, dragging the Overton window with them.

Those of us that never jumped on the Obama bandwagon Kool-aid kart are sitting here all alone in Liberal territory watching “progressive Democrats” defend the same policies for which they wanted to impeach Bush II, such as torture, indefinite detention and domestic spying.

Now, five months into Obama’s administration (and over a year since we warned them) some progressives are starting to wake up and smell the arugula.  But are they apologetic and contrite, humbly admitting that we were right all along?  Hell no!  They have nothing but contempt for our “paranoid band of shrieking holdouts” and act shocked and surprised as they wail that “nobody could have foreseen” what is happening.  They still think we are traitors for not supporting the man who betrayed them.  Go figure.

For years I used to get so frustrated by the way Democrats capitulated to the GOP when it really counted.  It was after the 2006 electoral tsunami that the truth begin to penetrate my think skull.  Even though they had just finished kicking ass and taking names in November, the first thing Nancy Botoxi did in January 2007 was take impeachment “off the table.”

The 2006 exit polling showed that the voters wanted to end the war in Iraq.  So what did the Democrats do?  They voted to fund it with nary a whimper.  All the GOP had to do in the Senate was threaten to filibuster and Dirty Harry Reid would fold like a cheap suit.  “We need bigger majorities and the White House too!” was their excuse.  Then Harry and Nancy (and Barack) led the stampede to pass the FISA revision with retroactive immunity in it.

Finally I realized the truth.  With the Democratic Party, failure is a feature not a bug.  They don’t want to win.  That’s why they hate Bill Clinton so much – he screwed up and won.  Twice. The Democratic victories in 2006 had more to do with the failure of the Republicans and the efforts of non-Villagers than it had to do with the DLC or DNC.

Now the Democrats have huge majorities in Congress and the White House but we’re still supposed to take an old cold tater and wait.  Meanwhile they want mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.

The lesson here is : You can’t trust any politician.

Not any of them, not even Hillary or the Big Dawg.  Put your trust in principles and ideology and advocate for the policies that reflect them.  Support only those candidates that will commit to what you believe in.  Demand promises from them before giving them your vote and then accept no excuses once they are in office.

Never cut politicians or political parties any slack.  Keep up the pressure – even if they did good in the past, keep asking them “What have you done for me lately?”

___________________________________________________


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Punk’d

2-face-obama

The Two Faces of Obama

This would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.  Obama throws some more of his most loyal supporters under the bus:

This week, the Obama administration is facing the ire of gay rights groups after it filed a brief in California federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act and calling it a “valid exercise of Congress’ power” that is saving taxpayers money.

This is an occasion where there is no pleasure in saying “We told you so!”  Okay, well maybe a little – Kool-aid blogger John Aravosis:

We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It’s pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush’s top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).

Andy Sullivan is barely starting to realize he should have spent more time looking at Obama’s homophobic BFF’s and less time rummaging through Sarah Palin’s panty drawer.

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Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, NCLR, GLAD, the ACLU and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force  issued a joint statement:

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Morning Rainy Tuesday Post: Cheney Is to The Left of Obama On Gay Marraige

I… I am speechless.

Dick Cheney rarely takes a position that places him at a more progressive tilt than President Obama. But on Monday, the former vice president did just that, saying that he supports gay marriage as long as it is deemed legal by state and not federal government.

Speaking at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, Cheney was asked about recent rulings and legislative action in Iowa and elsewhere that allowed for gay couples to legally wed.

“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”

And it is so very interesting, isn’t it, that this is just about the exact same position our Current Secretary of State has:

In an appearance early Wednesday evening in front of roughly three-dozen LGBT leaders, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated that she would not oppose efforts by Eliot Spitzer, the odds-on favorite to become the new governor, to enact a same-sex marriage law in New York.

Oh, and…

“Every single time since I’ve been elected speaker, I ever time I’ve picked up the phone to ask Senator Clinton to help the LGBT community, she has said yes,” Quinn said. “She’s assigned staff, she’s taken her own time and political capital to put in on the deal.”

And just to beat the Damned Horse to Death:

In honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and on behalf of the State Department, I extend our appreciation to the global LGBT community for its courage and determination during the past 40 years, and I offer our support for the significant work that still lies ahead.

At the State Department and throughout the Administration, we are grateful for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world. They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity and peace worldwide.

Human rights are at the heart of those efforts. Gays and lesbians in many parts of the world live under constant threat of arrest, violence, even torture. The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end. As Secretary of State, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

This, as the article linked above notes, is to the right of the position Bam has on “Gay Marriage.” Which is described as follows:

Caught up in the debate is the Obama administration. The president has said he supports civil unions for gay couples but that he remains committed to marriage being between and man and woman. His press department has been completely quiet about the recent California Supreme Court case upholding a ban on gay marriage in the state — something that, it seems, Cheney would object to in spirit if not law.

That’s interesting isn’t it, that Dick Cheney is more evolved on this issue than the President is? DICK CHENEY!

You might have noticed that I am slightly obsessed with the issue of Gay Rights, and yes, I am. I admit it freely and without shame.

My identity as a Bisexual Fag Hag aside, the truth is that it was Gay Rights that inspired my half hazard interest in Politics in the first place. (Granted, I have always followed politics since I was very young, but I am talking about politics as a, er… hobby, or whatever you want to call it.) I have mentioned before that a close, old friend of mine committed suicide two years ago. She was a lesbian, and also died in April of 2007. The Presidential Campaign was starting to get it’s water boiling on the stove, but what actually caused me to start paying attention so early was what happened a few weeks after her funeral. That old superstition “Death Comes in Threes” applied in this case. Before she had died, another close friend of mine had also killed himself. And while he wasn’t Gay (he had a crush on me), he was constantly bullied with anti-gay slurs, day in and day out, until he broke.

For those of you who seem to think that bullying isn’t a problem in schools, I’m very happy for you. You seem to live in some kind of alternate reality, and it must be very pleasant: filled with Elves, Unicorns, Journalism, Liberal Baptists, and other things that either have never existed or are now nearly extinct.

But for the rest of us who do live in reality, losing two close friends in one month to suicide can be very hard, to put it mildly. Aside from that, it was just not a good time in my life. The “Third Death” was the loss of a family friend. She was very old and it was her Time, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.

The day after she died, I spoke to one of my friends’ father’s on the phone, and he told me, “You should try to set this aside for a while… focus on something else besides all of this.”

But I have never been good at ignoring or compartmentalizing my own feelings. I could not “set it aside” but I could try to understand why these sorts of things happened to people who didn’t deserve it, on my own time and on my own terms. I could channel my feelings into something important, somehow.

My senior year ended up being only six months long- I graduated from High School early. And thank the Goddess for that. But when I wasn’t working or in school (and that wasn’t very often) I shut myself up in my room and refused to answer phone calls and/or pleading emails from friends and family (before you start lecturing me, I did confide in one person, but that is a moot point). Mostly I was just avoiding my parents, which is always a must, but I was also reading books, thinking, playing Enya on my Xbox to try to make my splitting head aches go away, avoiding my parents some more (I was grounded 99% of the time anyway. Sometimes for breathing too loudly), and doing homework, if it was warranted.

While all this was going on, I was watching The Situation Room on CNN and getting Google updates on the Election in my cell phone. I think the reason I started to get very interested was because of the Research Paper I had to do. It was supposed to be twelve pages, which was the most I’d ever had to write for a paper, and I had to turn it in four months earlier than the rest of my class, since I would be leaving for good after Mid Terms. I tried doing it on a book my old Republican English Teacher had suggested when I asked her for advice, called A Thousand White Women. I liked A Thousand White Women, but there was no way I could do a twelve page research paper on it.

A friend of mine told me I would probably like a book that she was reading called The Mists of Avalon. It was a book, she explained, about King Arthur and Camelot, but it was told entirely from the point of view of the women that wielded power behind Arthur’s “Throne.”

I ended up loving the book. And I did my research paper on it, which ended up being twenty two pages long. The book is focused on Matriarchy; Egalitarianism, even. In the story, Morgan Le Fey is a Druid Priestess and the plot’s tragic protagonist, and the climax occurs when she betrays “Avalon”, the Isle of Apples for King Arthur’s court, causing a sequence of events that eventually leads to the fall of Egalitarian Avalon and the Rise of Patriarchal Camelot through warfare and Religious Dogma.

My paper’s focus was on how the plight of the women of Camelot could be applied to the difficulties women of our society faced. While I was writing it I was all ready keeping track of the sexism of President Obama’s Campaign, even if I did this secretly and thought I was all alone in my thinking.

What struck me most about the story was the sexual antics, the freedom in particular, of the Druid women, particularly Morgan Le Fay. Her sexual orientation isn’t really discussed in the book, but it can’t be described anyway. She loses her virginity to her half brother, has sex with women, copulates with Sir Lancelet, who is Gay, and boinks various other men throughout. At one point she even helps the High Queen Guinevere have a threesome with Arthur and Lancelot so the High Queen can conceive a legitimate child on the throne. (Morgan LF also reminded me of our current SOS… in her character and in the resulting public dehumanization of her by Camelot and King Arthur’s Court that was done by Religious Leaders because of what she was and what she stood for.)

But with the entrance of Patriarchal religious dogma, represented by a rather unflattering portrayal of St. Patrick, women’s sexualities were restricted, their bodies and divinity diminished. In turn, Dogmatic figures seemed almost obsessed with sex, and their intention to control every aspect of a woman’s life seemed to be focused primarily on sex and sexuality.

I noted privately, of course (not in my paper), the duality in our own society. The Clintons had been the last semi-egalitarian Democrats to control the party and the White House, and Right Wing Extremists seemed so obsessed with both Hillary and Bill’s sex lives it was creepy and almost unhealthy.  I was beginning to draw a connection that would take me to the conclusion I am at today: that Patriarchy and Male Social Dominance should be eradicated, or else NOTHING will ever change (you may disagree with me on this if you like, but I will be writing a series on it later, so take it there, if you want to debate it).

Through all this, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my now lost friend, a few months before she took her own life. It was the end of winter break and I asked her what she’d done, and she said, “I came out of the closet to my dad (her father being a phony pseudo religious man). He wouldn’t speak to me all break. He wouldn’t look at me. And on Christmas all he gave me was a Bible with the passages about homosexuality highlighted.”

She was a religious person. There were a lot of factors that drove her to do what she did, and I had long since made peace with her death. That didn’t, however, change my conclusion about that memory. Homophobia, like racism, sexism, ageism, and a number of other things, is a direct result of Male Social Dominance. Homophobia and Misogyny is about sexuality because sexuality and sexual identity is part of being human. And to demean someone on sexual terms is make them less than human.

I graduated from High School on the day I turned in that paper. My Diploma and Community Service Cord was mailed to me a few months later. On the day of my Commencement, I went to  Cedar Point, North East Ohio’s very best Amusement Park, and rode Roller Coasters. To say that I wanted nothing to do with my graduating class and all the baggage that came along with it would be an understatement.

My concern for Gay Rights comes partly from a personal experience. But had that experience never occured, I wouldn’t be writing this right now, I wouldn’t understand the importance of what we are doing here, and at least that is worthwhile. For my part, I still don’t understand what I set out to learn two years ago as a result of those events- but the truth is, I don’t think I ever will.

In other News! This is how a Pro Lifer who is sane and has a conscience

Morgan Le Fay with the Sword of the Druid Regalia

Morgan Le Fay with the Sword of the Druid Regalia

reacts to the News of the Death of poor Dr. Tiller.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin released a statement Monday responding to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor in Wichita, Kansas who performed late-term abortions.

Gov. Palin has a staunchly pro-life record. She opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest, except when a mother’s life is in danger.

Her statement on the Tiller murder was posted on her personal website:

“I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, ‘What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today’s event in Kansas?’
Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller’s abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”

Governor Sarah Palin


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Dear Mr. President: Please Grow a Pair

Not a single word from the President yet on Cali’s recent decision to ban Gay Marriage. Oh, except this courageous, articulate gem:

Bravo! What a leader we have in the White House!

Unfortunately, some LGBT advocates don’t think so. The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center CEO, Lorri L. Jean, has some choice words for the President in her open letter to him.

Welcome to California, Mr. President. I welcome you with a heavy heart because of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop. 8, relegating same-sex couples to second class status and denying us that most noble promise of America, “liberty and justice for all.”

You are arriving in Los Angeles on the heels of emotional demonstrations throughout California and our nation and your silence at such a time speaks volumes. LGBT people and our allies have the “audacity to hope” for a country that treats us fairly and equally and for a President with the will to stand up for those ideals. From you we expect nothing less.

I don’t know WHY Lorri expects anything from him. After all, she pointed it out herself:

You pledged to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Mr. President. You promised to support a “complete repeal” of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and pledged to advocate for legislation that would give same-sex couples the 1,100+ federal rights and benefits we are denied, including the same rights to social security benefits. You said, “federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples.”

What of those promises, Mr. President?

Your commitment to repeal DOMA has been removed from the White House website. Your promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” was removed and then replaced with a watered-down version. And in the aftermath of yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling, you have remained silent while your press secretary summarily dismisses questions about the issue.

But I suppose that is a moot point. What’s done is done and my guess is that Lori’s letter will fall on deaf ears, as will this one with a request for the President to grow some b*lls.

The point, as Egalia from TGW says, is this:

And so it begins. The honeymoon is over. President Barack Obama, aka Fierce Advocate, will face angry gay protesters tonight as he drops in to raise a little money from Beverly Hills in the bankrupt state of Proposition 8.

And Lt. Dan Choi — the Arabic linguist who is being fired from the military for the crime of being gay — will be there.

Is the honeymoon over? Dunno. I can all ready hear the screams of some Obots. “Quit Your Bitchin’! It’s not like Hillary would have been any better!”

This weekend it was announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will soon grant gay American diplomats equal benefits to those that heterosexuals enjoy.In a notice sent to State Department employees, Clinton says regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoyed are “unfair and must end,” as they harm U.S. diplomacy.

“Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad,” she says in the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

“It will also help the department attract and retain personnel in a competitive environment where domestic partner benefits and allowances are increasingly the norm for world-class employers,” she says.

“At bottom, the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners because it is the right thing to do,” Clinton says.

Among the benefits that will now be granted gay diplomats: the right of domestic partners to hold diplomatic passports, government-paid travel for their partners and families to and from foreign posts, and the use of U.S. medical facilities abroad.

In addition, gay diplomats’ families will now be eligible for U.S. government emergency evacuations and training courses at the Foreign Service Institute, the message says.

(from All Things Hillary)

They are so right. We ARE complaining too much.

A Storm is Gaythering

Some of you may have all ready seen this hilariously homophobic ad by the National Organization for Marriage. (According to Egalia from TGW, NOM also is also prejudiced towards single mothers):

OH, Fear Mongering. Doncha just love it? I love the woman who says, “I am a Massachusetts mother helplessly watching Public Schools Teach my Son… that Same Sex Marriage is okay.”

Well, my Public School did nothing when four different students from my graduating class committed suicide. Three boys and one girl, two of them were harassed so relentlessly with anti-gay slurs that parents are now trying to force my (former) High School to increase funding for a better anti-bullying program with a lawsuit (our current one was aimed at children in elementary schools. Obviously ineffective.) The father was quoted in an ABC news article that I have on file as saying that it’s a shame he had to use a lawsuit to get my school to pay attention to it’s “problem”, but it just struck him as strange that they could spend a million dollars on a new football field, but couldn’t bother to increase funding for student harassment prevention. Particularly since violent fights broke out in my school on an almost monthly basis and were something of a spectator sport.

Those terrible events happened when I was a Junior. The girl that killed herself was a Lesbian, and also personally deeply Religious. I cared about her very much. She had been a close friend of mine since we were eight years old, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and think of her.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The NOM Ad has been parodied in several hilarious ways, but this one was my favorite:

But this all leads me back to this silly controversy over Perez Hilton and Miss California. Now, I just want to set the record straight. I don’t do Beauty Pageants. But a couple of days ago I got an email from my BFF, and she gave me links to what Miss California had said, and the subject line was, “what do you think of this?”

I clicked on it, expecting some stupid rant similar to the one above in NOM’s Marriage Ad, but all she really said was, “I was raised to believe that Marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

Well, obviously I disagree. I do support Gay Marriage personally. I don’t always agree with Wanda Sykes, but I like what she says, “If you’re against same sex marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same sex!” And I do think that Same Sex Marriage Laws should be left to the states, but I think equality of benefits is a right.

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CAG Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to Void Prop. 8

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

State Attorney General Jerry Brown, in a surprise turnabout, asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to overturn Proposition 8, saying the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates basic rights guaranteed in the state Constitution.

Brown, who is required to defend state laws unless he cannot find reasonable legal grounds to do so, said after Prop. 8 passed Nov. 4 that he would support the initiative before the state’s high court.

But in a lengthy filing late Friday, he argued that the constitutional amendment was “inconsistent with the guarantees of individual liberty” in California’s governing charter.

“Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,” Brown said.

The authors of the state Constitution, he said, did not intend “to put a group’s right to enjoy liberty to a popular vote.”

I haven’t read his brief but I agree with his logic.  Minority rights should not be subject to the whims of the majority.  The state Constitution shouldn’t be easy to amend, especially when you consider that it requires a 2/3 vote to raise taxes here.  Taking away our civil rights should require at least as much.

Jerry Brown, aka “Governor Moonbeam,” was the last liberal governor of California.  He also served as the California Secretary of State and the Mayor of Oakland.  He and his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, bookended Ronald Reagan’s tenure as governor.  His sister Kathleen Brown was formerly the state treasurer and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994 against incumbent Pete Wilson.

Sometimes dynasties aren’t such a bad thing.

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