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We’re Winning This, at Least

BILLVictories should be taken when they come. With the passage of Proposition 8 and all the Drama with Miss California and Perez Hilton, the LGBT Community needed something good, and it came.

We all love the Big Dawg. Regency said it best in what is possibly one of the best posts ever written at the Confluence.

I lived in this country during the 1990s. I knew the Clintons. I grew up worshiping Bill Clinton, that Bubba from a place called Hope with an affinity for Big Macs and a little bit of “soul” in his soul.

[…]

Millions of new jobs created throughout this country. Millions raised from poverty to hallowed middle-class status. Even with the battles he couldn’t win—like the Defense of Marriage Act, which he abhorred but that prevented the passage of a Federal Gay-Marriage Ban; like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that as best it could prevented an outright ban of gays and lesbians in the military—things were a little better, positive steps in positive directions had been taken. In that decade, it was good to be alive in America. And it was my party that had made it so.

[…]

I remember the man who cried as those around him struggled and deigned to share their struggles with him. I remember the President who apologized for the Tuskegee Experiment and asked that those still standing in its wake found it in their battered hearts to forgive a nation whose morality once stood so terribly bigoted. I remember the man who helped to re-enact the March on Selma because it meant so much to him. I remember a President who walked into Office on day one ready to lead, only to be stabbed in the back by the very people that brought him—but he soldiered on. That was the Way I was a part of, the Way that “embraces ‘tolerant traditionalism,’ honoring traditional moral and family values while resisting attempts to impose them on others.” There was no battle too small to undertake, no cause unworthy of effort or tears, nobody left behind. Anybody who “worked hard and played by the rules” got ahead, because no way was William Jefferson Clinton going to leave them in the dust.

Modo could never say as much. Recently, Bill came out in favor of Single Payer Health Care. In case you’re wondering why he didn’t go for it while he was President, he explained:

Mr. Clinton said that as he looked at the matter in 1993 he believed that he had two options for providing universal coverage: either a tax increase or an employer mandate. Since he had already expended a lot of political capital on a deficit-reduction plan that included tax increases as well as spending cuts, he said he had to rely on the employer mandate.

“If you had an employer mandate, then you could leave the small businesses out or come up with enough revenues to subsidize the smaller employers — and since we couldn’t raise taxes, having an employer mandate guaranteed that the National Federation of Independent Businesses would join with the insurance companies,” he said. “Now they don’t have to have an employer mandate, because they can offer buy-ins. I hope they won’t give up on this public option.”

Oh, Bill! In a similar vein, the Big Dawg has also come out in favor of same sex marriage.

He is now the most high profile politician to do so, beating out even Dick Cheney in his endorsement of gay matrimony. And since Bill and Hillary agree on most things politically, I predict that she will also come out in favor of Same Sex Marriage shortly.

In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, “Yeah.” “I personally support people doing what they want to do,” Clinton said. “I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].”

We all ready know what the Obots will scream. We have heard the song and dance so many times before we could recite it in our sleep. Bill passed DOMA! Bill passed DADT! The Clintons are Racist and EEEEEEEVVVVVIL!

Crimony. Tell them Bill.

Talking about Melissa Etheridge’s comment about the Clintons “throwing the gay community under a bus” when introducing DOMA, Bill Clinton said:

“I think it’s a slight rewriting of history that, let me just say, let me remind you, one of the raids that the Republican Party used to get its base out, I think it was in 2004, to have all these amendments on the ballot, right, to change the constitution of these states to ban gay marriage.

“There was at the time, a serious effort to argue that the congress ought to present to the states a constitutional amendment, a national constitutional amendment, on gay marriage. So the idea behind the defense of marriage act was not to ban gay marriage but simply to say that just because Massachusetts recognized gay marriage, which Hillary and I at the time defended their right to do, that marriage had always been a matter of state law and religious practice.

“The defense of marriage act did nothing to change that, all it said was that [the state of] Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and its a slight rewriting of history for Melissa, whom I very much respect, to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in. That’s a little bit of rewriting of history there.”

In the Nineties, public support for Gay Marriage, Equality of Benefits, and the right for Gays to serve openly in the Military wasn’t very strong. In fact, Gay rights were still something of a taboo back then. When Bill was President, he dealt with a foaming Republican Congress, Democrats on the Hill who loathed him, an overly hostile Press Corps, and a Right Wing Conspiracy Independent Counsel sniffing for his impeachment every time he or Hillary so much as farted. Because of Ross Perot’s Candidacy, he wasn’t elected with a majority, and he defeated an extremely popular incumbent. He didn’t have much Political Capitol at all, but he still tried to push as much liberal legislation through Congress as he possibly could before the midterm elections, when the party in power almost always loses seats. Even Dubya, when he was first elected President, passed whatever legislation he wanted, despite not being elected by a majority (and in fact, stealing the election) because his party was in power.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a fawning Press Corps and solid, filibuster proof majorities in the House and the Senate at his disposal. He is following an extremely unpopular administration into the White House and he was elected with 53% of the vote. At the moment he doesn’t seem to have much opposition for reelection in 2012. He should be the liberal God Obots claim him to be, but sadly, he is wiping his ass with the Constitution, continuing the War in Iraq, passing Stimulus Bills that stimulate nothing, Bailing out Banks with taxpayer money and proposing lousy Healthcare Reform.

On Gay rights and everything else, he has no viable excused. Polls show that a majority of Americans favor Gays serving openly in the Military and Gay Marriage. Similarly, with the roll out of several high Profile endorsements of Same Sex Marriage, it is apparent that Americans have evolved with their favorite President on the issue of Gay Rights. Not only should Obama be stronger for the LGBT Community, he should be shoving Single Payer Healthcare, which a majority of Americans also support, up Congress’s Bum-ol-ey and prosecuting Bush Administration Officials, but he obviously isn’t.

Obama is just a self absorbed, arrogant, immature, narcissistic coward. I hate to call him names, but there it is folks.

But regardless of what TOTUS does, we do have this victory of changing attitudes about LGBT rights in America. Americans clearly favor treating our Gay brothers and sisters with humanity and respect. And that is a victory worth celebrating, because it is a step in the right direction, and it makes equality for Gays, Lesbians, Bis and Trannies that much more attainable.

Cross posted at Age of Aquairius

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News.

News – Health Care edition

First of all – READ Ezra. He’s totally correct….

What August Means for Health-Care Reform

August, after all, is not like any other month. It’s recess. Members of Congress return home. How those members vote when they return to Washington will depend on the reaction they get in their districts. If the town halls and poll numbers and editorial boards convince them that health-care reform is a winner, they’ll vote with the president. If not, not.

(and demonstrations?)


Reach of Subsidies Is Critical Issue for Health Plan

But Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, acknowledged that “there are some questions” about whether insurance would be affordable. “People who are making $50,000 or $60,000 a year and are spending $13,000 on health insurance may not get much of a subsidy,” said Mr. Wyden, a member of the Finance Committee. “Those people will ask, ‘How am I going to make this work for me and my family?’


The NY Times has a chart with a strangely limited number of example situations but, if you fall anywhere near these scenarios (I don’t) it might be helpful:  Impact of Health Care Measures


Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul

“When I take this bill to the floor, it will win,” Pelosi (Calif.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This will happen.”

Ezra’s impressed:

Nancy Pelosi hasn’t lost many big votes. Nor has her primary lieutenant on health care, Henry Waxman. So when she says that “when I take this bill to the floor, it will win,” history suggests that she knows of what she speaks.
. . .
It’s easy to forget that this process is quite a bit closer to completion than health-care reform has ever been. Two committees in the House and one in the Senate have already voted out legislation. That’s never happened before. But if a bill actually passes the House, that will be a gamechanger. It will put tremendous pressure on the Senate.

What I can’t figure yet is, should WE be impressed? I pretty much agree with this line from Crooks and Liars, Mugsy’s Rap Sheet: A special place in hell for healthcare reform opponents but I can’t quite decide if ANY of the plans under discussion count as reform.

Health & Science

Swine flu could kill hundreds of thousands in U.S. if vaccine fails, CDC says

But the broad range of potential deaths highlights the unpredictability of flu viruses in general and this swine flu virus in particular because it hasn’t behaved the way researchers have expected.

The number of potential deaths is much higher than that usually seen in seasonal flu, which kills an estimated 36,000 Americans a year, and is even higher than the nation’s most recent pandemic.

Healthy fat link to bowel disease

A high intake of polyunsaturated fat in the diet, while good for the heart, may lead to inflammatory bowel disease, say researchers.

Opinion

Single-Payer Advocates Must Seize This Openning

A bigger test could come this week, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee considers Congressman Anthony Weiner’s proposal to replace the convoluted public-private scheme that is outlined in the Obama/House leadership bill with the easily-understood and efficient single-payer plan contained in HR 676 that has been endorsed by 86 members of Congress.

Were the committee to endorse the Weiner amendment, single-payer would be on the table — as it should be.