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Author of Uganda’s anti-gay bill to attend Washington prayer breakfast

I can’t believe this.

In February, David Bahati, the mover of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill is expected to attend a prayer breakfast in the American capital of Washington DC.

David Bahati

Mr. Bahati, according to reports, may speak at the event where President Barack Obama – a gays-tolerant liberal president, is also expected to attend. On Friday, Mr Bahati said he would attend. The event is organised by The Fellowship- a conservative Christian organisation, which has deep political connections and counts several high-ranking conservative politicians in its membership.

“I intend to attend the prayer breakfast,” said Mr Bahati – himself a part organiser of the Ugandan equivalent of the national prayer breakfast.

The bill assigns a penalty of life imprisonment for a person convicted of homosexuality and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as homosexual sex with someone under 18 or a disabled person or if the “offender” is HIV positive. All activities that would promote homosexuality–even blogging–are banned, and the bill requires anyone who knows of anyone engaging homosexual activities to report them to authorities. The entire text of the bill is at the above link.

According to the Box Turtle Bulletin, Mr. Bahati is

a member of the secretive American evangelical group known as the Family, which founded and organizes the National Prayer Breakfast held on the first Thursday in February, typically at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue N.W. The Monitor reports that the Family has invited Bahati to the prayer breakfast.

This profile in The Independent UK provides some interesting background on Bahati and perhaps gives some clues to his motivations.

Left orphaned when he was three-years-old Bahati was sent to live with his grandmother. Later she also passed away and the boy had to work at the local market selling and carrying bananas to raise money for school fees. He was separated from his siblings and only reunited with them at 13 when his sister came to the market to buy fruit and recognised him….

The story of how Bahati came to be the face of the anti-gay campaign in Uganda goes back a couple of years. The MP, a father himself, first became interested in the issue of homosexuality after hearing testimony from sexually molested children. “I’m passionate about the issue of homosexuality because of both the danger for our children and our society,” he said.

Is President Obama really going to attend this prayer breakfast in February? If so, what is he planning to say to Mr. Bahati? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Martha Coakley and the Despicable Democratic Spin Meisters

The Dems are fashioning a pre-emptive strike in advance of Martha Coakley’s potentially disastrous loss on Tuesday.  Let the record show that the Democrats are starting to parrot the Fox News pundits.  From the NY Times this morning comes these tasty tidbits to savor:

“It comes from the fact that Obama as president has had to deal with all these major crises he inherited: the banks, fiscal stimulus,” said Senator Paul G. Kirk Jr., the Democrat who holds the Massachusetts seat on an interim basis pending the special election. “But for many people it was like, ‘Jeez, how much government are we getting here?’ That might have given them pause.”

and…

Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, said the atmosphere was a serious threat to Democrats. “I do think there’s a chance that Congressional elites mistook their mandate,” Mr. Bayh said. “I don’t think the American people last year voted for higher taxes, higher deficits and a more intrusive government. But there’s a perception that that is what they are getting.”

I love this stuff.

Presumably, the 2008 primary voters of Massachusetts realized that Obama would inherit a lot of crap from his predecessor.  This is not news to them.  That’s probably why they didn’t vote for him. Maybe it’s just me but when I was written off by my own party as an inconvenient vote, a rage simmered in me just waiting for an opportunity to strike back.  Maybe, if Jon Corzine had acted like a real Democrat and had spent his four year term making the NJ tax system fairer, he would have gotten a second chance.  But Corzine wasn’t done in by more Republicans voting so much as he failed to get Democrats to the polls.  You can call it an enthusiasm gap if you want.

Or you can parrot the Republican line and say that people are objecting to more big government.  {{snort!}} Yes, that may be the perception that they’re getting because that is the perception that Democrats like Bayh are promoting.  But if that’s true, why the heck is my email account cluttered up with appeal after appeal for money for Coakley in Massachusetts.  I mean, don’t Democrats want government that works for voters?  So, they are saying one thing to the cable news audience and another thing to their (former) Democratic base?  Whoda thunkit?

Could you Democrats just cut the crap already?

If Martha Coakley loses on Tuesday it will be because she succumbed to a trait common to most tragic heros: arrogance.  Everyone thought that she was a shoe in when she won the primary, including the candidate herself.  What she is instead is a very bad politician.  Politics requires some showmanship.  You have to be able to read your audience.  But Martha Coakley is stupidly honest about what she thinks of her sucker voters.  She roped in her liberal Massachusetts constituents by presenting her liberal credentials in the primary and then did a 180 on them a short time later by embracing the health care reform act.  She signalled in advance that she didn’t really give a damn about what her liberal constituents thought.

Martha didn’t have to do this.  This is Massachusetts.  Democrats outnumber Republicans by millions.  It remains a mystery why she tacked right in a state where tacking right is a non-starter.  I can’t imagine what DC Democrats thought they could get from it unless they wanted her to lose.  But then, why all of the appeals for cash?  Why the sense of panic and desperation?  What nitwit in Washington thought it was a good idea for Coakley to broadcast the fact that she was going to screw her voters?  The loyalty pledge to Obama and the powers that back him up has finally met its match.

I wouldn’t presume to tell Massachusetts how to vote on Tuesday and they’re not looking for me for guidance anyway.  But we can look at the likely outcome.  It’s going to be Democrats that determine this thing, either by defection or by staying home.  If they elect Scott Brown, they send a potent message to the party and the country that they’re sick and tired of being jerked around by Democrats In Name Only that pretend to share their values but are really beholden to a small evil group to which no one they know belongs.  That gives national Democrats about 10 months to get their shit together and quit playing games.

If they vote for Coakley, even if the outcome is close, they signal to Washington that they are perfectly willing to be suckers but they end up with a woman who will get them closer to that 30% critical mass of female legislators that will eventually have the power to tell the Rahm Emannuel types to go take a long walk on a short pier when it comes to selling out their gender for the sake of some uber shmoozer’s political reputation. Unfortunately, that 30% level is still a loonnnng way off. Still, going forward is a potent argument.

But it Coakley loses on Tuesday, the Democrats would be wise to yank the Kirks and Bayhs from the airwaves.  The base won’t be buying it anymore.

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Scott Brown slurs Obama with the truth!


(I decided to elevate this to the front page)

This story originates from Blue Mass Group. Over at Salon Joan Walsh posted the above clip under the heading:

Smiling Scott Brown slurs Obama
Watch the “moderate” GOP leader backed by teabaggers and Birthers suggest the president was born out of wedlock

Joan goes on to say:

Brown poses as a reasonable Republican, but told a reporter during the Republican National Convention that he wasn’t sure President Obama was born within wedlock. In the interview he looks like the same smarmy dude who’s now backed by the right wing but posed for a Cosmopolitan centerfold.

Let’s leave aside the slut-shaming of Mr. Brown and deal with the allegation he was slurring our president. First of all, Barack Obama WAS born out of wedlock.

Barack Obama Sr. was already married to Kezia Aoka and had two children when he met Stanley Ann Dunham, and he never divorced his first wife. That means BHO Sr. was not legally married to BHO Jr.’s mother. To be fair, Ms. Dunham may not have known this, but it doesn’t change the facts. Nor does this have anything to do with Barack Jr.’s qualifications for President.

This commenter at Salon makes an excellent point:

Out-of-wedlock birth is a slur on the child? Is this 1510 or 2010?

I’m curious. Is Ms. Walsh a time-traveling refugee from the days when “bastardy” was held to reflect badly on the child born out of wedlock?

“Barack saw his mother, who was very young and very single when she had him, and he saw her work hard to complete her education and try to raise he and his sister.” (Michelle Obama speaking in Kansas City in 2008 as quoted at http://blog.showmeprogress.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1297 .)

Was his wife slurring her husband when she said this?

But there’s another important point here. Brown’s statement was made during the 2008 GOP convention. That clip is pretty short, but if you’ll think back to that event you may recall that a certain female governor was the big story there, and part of that story concerned her pregnant and unmarried teenage daughter.

I’m guessing a longer version of the clip would show that the reason he brought up Stanley Ann Dunham in the first place had to do with a question about Bristol Palin. Just a hunch.

But wait! There’s more:

Now Obama himself is forced to come to the Bay State to campaign for Coakley, in a race that shouldn’t be close. Smart political observers say Obama only decided to show because he knows Coakley can and should win. But even if she does win, this race shouldn’t have been close. What should this tight race tell us?

First and foremost, it tells us that the overconfident, undercharismatic Coakley has botched the race since she won the primary. Every political reporter I’ve talked to has stories about how she and her campaign thought they were just going to walk into Kennedy’s office. This was Massachussetts, after all, and some of their confidence was understandable. But a certain kind of hubris wasn’t. Asked by the Boston Globe why she was running such a disengaged campaign, she joked, “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’

If Coakley loses, that will go down as one of the worst political lines in history. And if she does fall, party leaders will be blaming it only on the candidate. They’ll be wrong: DNC chair Tim Kaine as well as the DSCC should have to answer for the party’s terrible overconfidence in Massachusetts, too.

If she wins, though, Democrats can’t take for granted that their message was validated. This party is in trouble: Nobody understands its complicated health care reform plan; the economy is still pinching many people, and too many voters don’t know if Obama and the Dems are on the side of the overdogs or the underdogs. Like most Americans, and most Democrats, I have better things to do this weekend than pay attention to a race that shouldn’t be one. Let’s hope this is a wakeup call to the party that just a year ago was celebrating what seemed like a glorious realignment.

We’ve been covering the special election in Massachusetts pretty closely, and the key issues seem to be Obamacare and Obama himself. Unfortunately for Martha Coakley, Tuesday’s special election has turned into a referendum on the leadership of the Democratic party. In parliamentary terms Obama and the Democrats are losing a vote of no-confidence.

If they’ve lost “bluest of the blue” Massachusetts, November will be really ugly for the donkey party.


UPDATE:

Below is the mailer the Massachusetts Democratic Party sent out:

According to Greg Sargent:

The mailer — paid for by the Massachusetts Democratic Party — says the claim is based on “a law to let emergency hospitals turn away rape victims in need of emergency contraception.” That appears to be a reference to a Brown-sponsored 2005 amendment that would have exempted hospital personnel, on religious grounds, to inform victims of the availability of the morning after pill.

As Coakley’s own Web site says, after Brown’s amendment was rejected, he voted in favor of the bill to require emergency rooms to provide rape victims with emergency contraceptives, and the whole debate seems to be more nuanced than the mailer suggests.

The old Democratic party might have lost most elections, but they weren’t so sleazy they made me feel like I needed a shower.


UPDATE II:

Here’s a longer version of the Brown comment you can compare to the original: