Posts Tagged ‘bigots’
The Arizona legislature sent a bill to the Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk Thursday that would carve a massive hole into state law allowing business owners to turn away gay and lesbian customers, employers to deny equal pay to women, or individuals to renege on contract obligations–as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of religion.
Brewer, a Republican who vetoed similar legislation last year, has not said whether she will sign the bill.
“With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation,” Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said in a statement Wednesday after the bill cleared the state Senate. “This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.”
The Arizona bill is one of several bills across the country aimed at providing legal protection to those who wish to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. As of Friday, however, it’s the only one to actually pass, with similar bills in Idaho, Tennessee, and South Dakota being defeated and a bill in Kansas being held up in the state Senate.
While the bills vary in scope, Arizona’s is among the most broad, expanding that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to make it easier for individuals and for-profit businesses to bypass neutral state laws or regulations as long as religion is the reason for doing so…
I presume by now the Arizona legislature includes a line item in the state budget for “funds to be wasted defending unconstitutional laws which make bigots feel happy about who they elected”.
Utah tried civil rights for a week or two – and turned their backs on love
The Obama administration on Friday made the latest contribution to a fast moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights, as the Justice Department said that the federal government would recognize as lawful the marriages of some 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah even though the state government is largely refusing to do so…
“I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in an unusual video announcement on the Justice Department website. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds…”
On Wednesday, Gov. Gary R. Herbert announced that the ban, an amendment to the Utah Constitution, was back in legal force while the litigation continued, something that could take years. During that time, he said, the state would not recognize or confer new marital benefits to those same-sex couples who had married.
But with Friday’s announcement, same-sex couples in Utah who married will be able to file joint federal income tax returns and will be eligible for other spousal benefits, like health insurance for the families of federal employees and the ability to sponsor a noncitizen spouse for a family visa…
In Utah, gay couples and supporters of same-sex marriage cheered the federal government’s move. Many were disappointed and angered by the state’s decision not to recognize their new marriages, and have argued that, despite the continuing legal battle, their nuptials are just as valid as any other in Utah.
“It feels like a little victory after the last couple days with our governor,” said Austin Vance, who married his partner last month at the Salt Lake County clerk’s office, with hundreds of other gay couples. “It definitely raises spirits a little bit. It was disturbing that our governor would make those assertions that we wouldn’t be recognized.”
“We’re going to continue to file and act as if we’re married,” he added. “Some people have said that’s an act of civil disobedience. If it is, so be it…”
Sooner or later, Utah – like other backward states – will have to move into the 21st Century. They may not wish to recognize science trumping superstition, reality taking precedence over bigots and know-nothings. But, so far, our Constitution is still recognized as giving superior rule by law for our federal Union over States Rights and the hypocrites that invoke them whenever convenient to their need to have some Americans declared second-class citizens.
A new poll indicates as Congress returns to session, an overwhelming majority of Americans rated lawmakers’ job performance in the cellar.
A Rasmussen Reports poll indicated just 8 percent of likely voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Sixty-six percent rate its performance as poor.
While both numbers represent a marginal improvement from voters’ sentiments at the end of 2013 — the good/excellent rating was 6 percent and the poor rating was 75 percent — the numbers are still near historic lows.
They’ve been out of town a few weeks. We haven’t had a recent chance to see how backwards Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats can be.
Congress as an institution has long proved unpopular in opinion polls though voters tend to express more optimism when asked about their local congressman or senator, though Congress’ positive rating bottomed out at just 5 percent in December 2012.
Making matters worse, nearly seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) agreed with the statement no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse…
Got that one right!
The Civil War might be long over, but a battle about putting a monument honoring Union soldiers at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park in Florida is still underway.
The proposal to install a monument at the park — the site of the biggest Civil War battle fought in Florida — was met with opposition on Monday night during a public hearing…
Each year, Olustee hosts a reenactment of a four-hour battle in which Union forces were routed by Confederate troops…
A descendant of someone who died at the Battle of Olustee, Mike Farrell, proposed the new memorial because of his experience serving as an historical exhibitor at the park.
“I always have the visiting public approach me and ask me where the Union monument is on the battlefield, and I often tell them, ‘There isn’t any.’…What I’m talking about is a battlefield monument,” Farrell said.
Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley…proposed halting the monument from within the state house. “I can do a very simple proposal to the Legislature that we protect all monument sites,” he said.
Racists have grown more practiced in the semantics-based lies they use to answer questions about bigoted proposals. I guess that in itself is recognition of growing understanding among Americans still dull enough to be suckered into rightwing politics. They don’t care to admit publicly how much of their craptastic chicanery is proposed to satisfy racism, justify slavery.
They’re only kidding themselves. The rest of the nation looks and nods – “Yes, these are the village idiots who continue to think they weren’t defeated by the strength of the Union. They believe the South will rise again and Jim Crow laws will be reinstated.”
Illustrating once again how easy it was for Nixon to decide on the Southern Strategy, just how easy it was for Republicans to lock up the bigot vote.
On the morning of Sept. 3, the first day the Pentagon said they could, Alicia Butler and her spouse, Judith Chedville, who is a Texas Army National Guard officer, went to Austin’s Camp Mabry so Ms. Butler could get a military spouse identification card and register for the same federal marriage benefits provided to wives and husbands of heterosexual service members.
The two women handed a sheaf of official papers, including their 2008 California marriage license, to a clerk who glanced at the documents and declared, “It’s one of those.” She then called over her boss, who told the couple that they would have to travel to a federal military base like Fort Hood, 70 miles to the north, to get the ID, Ms. Butler recalled.
The reason: Texas is one of six states refusing to comply with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s order that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses. Mr. Hagel’s decree followed the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that had prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages…
But the six states are violating federal law, Mr. Hagel told an audience recently. “It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice,” he said. Mr. Hagel has demanded full compliance, but Pentagon officials have not said what steps they would take with states that do not fall in line…
The military grants a range of significant benefits to the spouses of active-duty guardsmen, including the right to enroll in the military’s health insurance program and to obtain a higher monthly housing allowance. Spouse IDs allow unescorted access to bases with their lower-priced commissaries.
RTFA if you think you’re going to find new lies to supplement those offered when bigots used the States Rights defense in their attempt to maintain segregation and all the other crimes of racism.
Civil Rights under the US Constitution have always been a class of laws where federal law eventually and appropriately takes precedence. Hypocrites and liars like Rick Perry and Mary Fallin, the governors of Texas and Oklahoma and their backwards peers vacillate between hatred and cowardice in their excuses. Nothing new to offer. The facts remain the same. Homophobia is just one more ignoranus crime against constitutional democracy and should be dealt with as such.
279 Republicans in Congress, 30 Republican governors – how many showed up for March on Washington? Zero, None, Nada!
Martin Luther King Jr, Walter Reuther, Everett Dirksen, John Lewis
…Not a single Republican elected official stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday with activists, actors, lawmakers and former presidents invited to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — a notable absence for a party seeking to attract the support of minority voters.
Event organizers said Wednesday that they invited top Republicans, all of whom declined to attend because of scheduling conflicts or ill health…
It seems pretty obvious, but if you want to change the fact that your party is viewed skeptically by minorities, and you want to claim Martin Luther King Jr.’s mantel — I’m looking at you Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) – then blowing off the highest profile civil rights event of the year is probably not a smart move, if for no other reason than “optics.” After their losses in the 2012 election, Republicans vowed to make a better effort to reach out to minorities, and just two weeks ago at its summer meeting, the GOP launched a program to attract minority voters by highlighting young “rising stars” in the party.
So what gives? According to Ed O’Keefe, the lawmakers said they “received formal invitations only in recent weeks, making it too late to alter their summer recess schedules.” Republicans had no problem appearing in droves at a hastily organized tea party rally in June, where “[GOP] lawmakers sweltered in a long line waiting to take the stage,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Some weren’t even invited but just showed up hoping to get a chance to speak to the party faithful…
So what was did they do instead? Well, Boehner was in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and had no public events scheduled, but he has been headlining GOP fundraisers all this month, so it’s a fairly safe to assume that he was raising cash at the time. Cantor, meanwhile was touring an oil field in North Dakota. The Grand Forks Herald reports:
Cantor, hosted by Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., met with energy industry and community leaders at a crew camp in Williston, toured a drilling site and other oilfield locations in the Bakken and met with North Dakota Petroleum Council members in Watford City…
The North Dakota Petroleum Council, by the way, is a lobby group that represents the state’s oil and gas industry. That’s what Cantor was doing on the day of the march.
“They asked a long list of Republicans to come,” civl rights leader Julian Bond told MSNBC yesterday, “and to a man and woman they said ‘no.’ And that they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not gonna get ‘em this way…”
Bond did credit Cantor for trying hard to find a replacement speaker, but, ultimately, the leader was unable to find a single Republican to attend the event.
I just happened to pick this article of the dozens on the topic. I knew I would be able to find one easily. We are dealing with today’s version of the Republican Party. White and Right.
Fifty years ago there were Republican officials from my home town who rode our Freedom Train from New England to Washington, DC. There were friends of mine who were Republican activists who came along. Further along – as push came to shove – there were Congressional Republicans like Everett Dirksen who stood up and opposed the “official” government bigots, Southern Democrats, and joined the fight to get the Civil Rights Act passed.
He said “The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied.” Try that out with the Tea Party Republicans, nowadays.
Memos from the right-wing strategy for war with progressives, liberals, moderate independents and – Republicans!
Frank Gaffney – Ginni Thomas – Allen West
Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner—has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation,” according to documents obtained by Mother Jones.
Dubbed Groundswell, this coalition convenes weekly in the offices of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group. During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and “clueless” GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks…
RTFA for a comprehensive list of loonies.
…At its weekly meetings, the group aims to strengthen the right’s messaging by crafting Twitter hashtags; plotting strategy on in-the-headlines issues such as voter ID, immigration reform, and the sequester; promoting politically useful scandals; and developing “action items.”
A certain amount of secrecy cloaks Groundswell’s efforts. Though members have been encouraged to zap out tweets with a #GSW hashtag, a message circulated to members of its Google group noted that the role of certain advocates should be kept “off of the Google group for OPSEC [operational security] reasons.” This “will avoid any potential for bad press for someone if a communication item is leaked,” the message explained…
“We want to protect the strategic collaboration occurring at Groundswell and build on it. Please be careful about bringing guests and clear them ahead of time.”
Washington is full of coalitions that meet to coordinate messaging and strategy…and more… Groundswell…and its emergence—given the prominent role of Ginni Thomas and the participation of journalists—prompts several intriguing questions.
Critics have contended that Thomas’ work as a lobbyist opposing Obamacare posed a conflict of interest for her husband, who would rule on the constitutionality of the health care reform initiative…And Common Cause has maintained that Justice Thomas had a conflict of interest when he participated in the Citizens United case because his wife at the time was running a conservative nonprofit fighting the “tyranny” of President Barack Obama that would benefit from removing limits on such groups’ spending and fundraising. With her involvement in Groundswell—which zeroes in on contentious issues that come before the high court, including voting rights, abortion, and gay marriage—Ginni Thomas continues to be intricately associated with matters on which her husband may have to render a decision. Ginni Thomas did not respond to requests for comment.
As I said above, RTFA for the details. This semi-secret cabal makes the Congressional Republican clown show look like a Harvard Business School colloquium on animal spirits. Between racists, assorted and more specialized bigots, irrational religious nutballs and proto-fascist ideologues it is easy to understand why they consider Karl Rove as much an emissary of the anti-Christ as Barack Obama.
Their spookiness, their belief that the right choice of phrases, hashtags and appropriate code words can disguise the bigotry they admit is plaguing their party adds just the right touch of insanity to freshen up the political stench they represent.
What do some MLB and NBA fans have in common? Well, it seems like it’s a general intolerance for Hispanics singing national songs.
Just over a month after Texas’ Sebastien de la Cruz received a slew of racist tweets for performing the National Anthem at game three of the NBA Finals, Grammy-winner Marc Anthony withstood his own downpour of xenophobic Twitter remarks after singing “God Bless America” at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.
The “Public Shaming” Tumblr site gathered several tweets in which baseball fans called choosing the 44-year-old star to sing “unAmerican” and some even used racial slurs and referred to the singer as “a Mexican.”
Other fans quickly tweeted defending Anthony and clarifying that not only is the artist of Puerto Rican descent but he was born and raised in the United States.
On Thursday, Anthony stopped by “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” to promote his upcoming world tour “Vivir Mi Vida.” During the interview, the singer himself brought up what he called the “trending topic” and addressed the tweets.
“You know, something happened that I really wanted to mention, and I wanted to clarify… you know, me singing the national anthem, there were some statements made that people were upset that they would have somebody from another country sing the national anthem,” Anthony told hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. “ But to set the record straight, I was born and raised in New York, you can’t get more New York than me.”
The star added that he was also “more Puerto Rican than ever” before receiving cheers and applause from the audience.
The Brown Shirt idiots of America are alive and well. Though it’s easy to characterize this super-patriot crap as leftover from the crap-brained spawn of the Confederacy, in reality this is a sickness that stinks up the whole country. Age, gender, class aren’t restrictions.
That political movements like the Tea Party, louts like Cruz and Limbaugh, embrace this kind of behavior as appropriate to right-wing populist ideology continues to bring it out into the open – is all.
After nearly 40 years of performing “gay-to-straight conversion therapy,” Exodus International is closing its doors. The board of the Florida-based Christian ministry, which has grown to include more than 120 local U.S. and Canadian ministries and more than 150 ministries in 17 countries, voted unanimously Wednesday to shut down after a year-long internal discussion.
“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living breathing organism,” said Exodus President Alan Chambers on Wednesday. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical…”
Chambers also issued a series of apologies to the LGBT community for promoting reparative therapy and for failing to stand up to fellow Christians who persecuted gay individuals. “More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection,” he said. “I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives.”
The shutdown comes six years after three former Exodus leaders apologized and left the organization. In 2007, former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, former president of Exodus International Europe Jeremy Marks, and the former director of an Exodus referral agency Darlene Bogle issued a joint statement acknowledging the harm reparative therapy caused…
The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement Thursday applauding Exodus for closing its doors. “This is a welcome first step in honestly addressing the harm the organization and its leaders have caused over the past 37 years,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of the HRC Religion and Faith Program. “Now we need them to take the next step of leadership and persuade all other religious-based institutions that they got it wrong. This is the right kind of reparative work that is left for them to do.”
I don’t doubt the core of fundamentalist bigots who hate the LGBT community sufficiently to deny them civil rights will continue the anti-Gay campaign under one or another name. The Michele Bachmanns of the political Right will continue the campaign in the halls of Congress. Truly corrupt loons who skim millions of dollars from ignorant and fearfilled religious folk – will continue to crank out their ministries of fear via opportunist radio barons.
Still, a victory as significant as this cannot be overlooked. And credit of some kind must be given to Alan Chambers who appears to have chosen honesty over greed. A decision rarely seen among religious hustlers.