379 posts categorized "Consumers and Business"

March 26, 2015

Quick backlash to reckless Indiana 'religious freedom' law enactment

Advocate reports on the quick and harsh reactions to Indiana Governor Pence signing what is in fact a religious supremacy bill, not a religious freedom bill--unless you mean the freedom to discriminate and split apart our diverse society.

My God is not a bully. I will not worship a god who is a bully. I will not obey a bullying god. I will not attend a bullying church. I will not respect bullying clergy. I will not remain silent as religious bullies seek to impose their beliefs on others in the guise of "religious freedom" bills. I live in a religiously and culturally diverse society, where faith-based discrimination in the public square undermines the civic order and social cohesion. I will fight the bullies. I will demand that editors and reporters call religious supremacy what it is, and not let them swallow the right-wing spin about religious freedom. Please join me in this recognition and this fight to uphold secular American values.

March 24, 2015

Phase 1 reopening postponed

Phase1

Lou Chibbaro at the Blade reports:

The Capitol Hill lesbian bar Phase 1, which has been closed for renovation since early January was scheduled to reopen last Friday, March 20, according to an ad that the club placed in the Jan. 19 issue of Metro Weekly.

But customers attempting to go to Phase 1 on Friday night discovered that the door was locked and noticed through a window on the door that the bar was dark and empty, adding to the mystery surrounding its future.

Apparently, posting a note on the door was too much trouble for the owner.

March 23, 2015

Starbucks ends #RaceTogether initiative

Hardly shocking news, given the mockery Starbucks brought upon itself with this ill-thought-out initiative.

One further thought: The racial oppression in the history of the coffee trade is hardly redeemed by Starbucks hiring lots of black baristas.

March 19, 2015

Fact-checking Obama's critics on the economy

Those who cannot bring themselves to give President Obama credit for anything ever have to work overtime making up excuses for setting aside all the positive news.

Starbucks #RaceTogether conversation starters

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My friend Lateefah on Facebook asked, "Ok, out of sheer curiosity, I have to ask. Have any of you been engaged in a conversation about race while in Starbucks?"

I replied:

I thought of ordering a "Malcolm Xpresso and please don't weaken it with cream," but I didn't want to start trouble, and I don't like Starbucks coffee, so I skipped it. But now I keep thinking of things to say to start a dialog in the coffee line:

  • "Tom Robinson should have been more gangsta and told that cracker freak Boo Radley to mind his own business."
  • "Who stole my black crayon?"
  • "So I told that white b*tch Shirley Temple to take her hands off Bojangles and get over her Mandingo complex."
  • "I would have voted for him, but he wasn't black enough."
  • "Is it racist if I order a pound of Blonde Veranda Blend?"
  • "You know, these 15-second seminars on race are how I am doing my part for reparations."
  • "I know how to pronounce Ta-Nehisi properly. What more do you people want from me?!!"

I'm just trying to help.

(Ducking now)

D&G, call your marketing office

Can you say hypocrisy?

March 18, 2015

Starbucks #RaceTogether moment: "I’m actually black, but you assumed otherwise"

Joanna Rothkopf at Salon writes:

On Tuesday evening’s edition of MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” host Chris Hayes spoke with “CBS Sunday Morning’s” Nancy Giles and video blogger, writer and DJ Jay Smooth about Starbucks’ bizarre attempt at rectifying hundreds of years of systemic racism in the United States.

Score one for Jay Smooth.

March 02, 2015

Carly Fiorina as the GOP answer to Hillary Clinton? Please.

Carly_Fiorina

Just saw this absurd month-old piece touting Carly Fiorina as the GOP answer to Hillary Clinton. This is the sneering fraud who ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground before exiting with a golden parachute ten years ago, and five years ago ran for Senate with the notoriously idiotic "demon sheep" ad. Republican voters have done a lot worse, the article says. This fails the laugh test.

March 01, 2015

They met on Grindr at CPAC

Ah, the homocons and their privileged play in the gardens of the oppressor.

February 26, 2015

Stand with Mayor Bowser to defend #i71 - now the law in D.C.

NBC Washington reports:

Possessing small amounts of marijuana is now legal in the nation's capital, even after some members of Congress threatened prison time for D.C. Council members.

February 24, 2015

Discriminatory Washington state florist chooses martyrdom over $2001 settlement

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(Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

The Blaze reports.

If the discriminators are the victims here, then erase my life.

February 19, 2015

GLAA criticizes police sex work sting

The above tweet quotes from and links to a Blade story by Lou Chibbaro Jr. on a recent sting operation by the Metropolitan Police Department. Here is something I also said to Lou which was not quoted in the article:

Several local officials have privately agreed with us, but this law that only causes harm is considered politically untouchable. Incidentally, for the benefit of the hysterics at Family Research Council (who misrepresented our views), we are talking about consenting adults, not the victims of sex trafficking. Indeed, any resources in the area of sex crimes should go to keeping the former safe and rescuing the latter, not entrapping consenting adults. In these belt-tightening times, that public funds are expended on sting operations for victimless crimes should be considered scandalous. But the greater responsibility lies with the D.C. Council, which allows the laws that MPD uses for such operations to remain on the books.

These related GLAA documents may be of interest:

EEOC says Wal-Mart discriminated against lesbian

AP reports:

A federal agency says Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her ailing wife and has ordered "a just resolution" for violating her civil rights.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ordered the retail giant to work with Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who hopes the determination will help her pay off $100,000 in medical bills.

In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the agency said Cote "was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Our colleague Craig Howell writes, "Now that Wal-Mart has entered the 21st century [See this and this], I hope they can settle this case promptly."

February 06, 2015

Feb. 8 - DC Wedding Expo

SameLoveSameRights

The Rainbow Wedding Network asked us to share this invitation:

You & your partner are invited to the 5th Annual 'Same Love, Same Rights' LGBT Wedding Expo in Washington DC on Sunday, Feb. 8th! Dozens of gay-friendly exhibitors will participate, eager to help you and your fiancee plan the ceremony of your dreams! Photographers, DJs, Officiants, Wedding Planners, Venues, Jewelers, Invitations & more... FREE Raffle Giveaways, LGBT-Planning Tips & Trends!

Sunday Feb. 8th, 2015
12:30-3:30pm

Maggiano's Little Italy
5333 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Doors will open at 12:30pm with the raffles starting at 1:45pm. Bring your family, friends and wedding party!
Advance tickets FREE! Gay friendly wedding & travel professionals, wedding tips, amazing raffles, fashion, music & more!

FREE TO ATTEND - Couples, singles, and allies interested in marriage rights are all invited.
Please RSVP through the website! www.SameLoveSameRights.com

RainbowWeddingNetwork has produced over 100 Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expos throughout the nation! Join the Celebration! This is our 5th event in Washington DC!

February 04, 2015

How many pheasants died for Aaron Schock's new congressional office?

Pheasant_feathers

Ben Terris of WaPo caused quite a stir when he reported Monday on the lavishly redecorated congressional offices of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), which have been done up in the style of the red room on "Downton Abbey." Here is a lovely display of pheasant feathers.

I am concerned that now everyone will want one, and pheasants will be driven to extinction.

The mean people at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, however, asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Schock broke House ethics rules by accepting the redecorating services.

Schock now says that he expects an invoice from decorator Annie Brahler, and dismisses his critics:

"I’ve never been an old crusty white guy -- I’m different, I came to Congress at 27, I’m not going to -- when I take a personal vacation, I don’t go sit on the beach, I go do active things. I’m also not going to live in a cave," he said, adding later: "As Taylor Swift said, haters are gonna hate."

Followed into his office by Zeleny and his crew, Schock said the walls were "Republican red."

Below, the Dowager Countess, dropping by for a visit, gave the congressman a look when he said he was heterosexual.

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February 02, 2015

Konnichiwa

A beautiful ad from MTN, a mobile telecommunications firm based in South Africa.

Konnichiwa, incidentally, is Japanese for "Good afternoon."

February 01, 2015

Michael Sam featured in Super Bowl ad for Coca Cola

Coca Cola describes this Super Bowl ad:

Michael Sam has experienced firsthand how the Internet has grown increasingly negative. Watch as he channels this negativity into positivity and provides great advice for how to #MakeItHappy.

Hallmark moment

Eugenia and Corinna are included in Hallmark's #PutYourHeartToPaper campaign. As simple as that.

January 14, 2015

Obama calls for affordable high-speed broadband for all Americans

More here.

Kordale and Kaleb defend their family in powerful Nikon ad

Chris Witherspoon at The Grio reports on this powerful ad featuring Kordale and Kaleb Lewis defending their family.

January 12, 2015

Tiffany & Co. features gay couple in ad

Tiffany_gay_couple

A first for Tiffany & Co. Mediaite reports.

December 23, 2014

U.S. drops The Gambia from free trade agreement over human rights abuses

December 19, 2014

Creampuff in Crestwood for rent

December 18, 2014

Soccer stadium deal gets final Council approval

Tim Cook makes large donation to HRC

December 17, 2014

Cutting Holes in the Law

Worn_US_Flag_insert_by_Bigstock

My column for this week is now online at the Blade. Here is an excerpt:

The Michigan House of Representatives recently passed a bill modeled on the 1993 federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, which featured in the Hobby Lobby case. The Michigan measure may allow emergency medical technicians to invoke sincerely held religious beliefs in refusing to serve LGBT people.

Where will religious demands in daily commerce end? If you view conscience clauses only in terms of gay families, the problem might seem limited. But what about people who object to interracial marriage or to second or third marriages after divorce? Assuming that gay conservatives are motivated by more than axe grinding against gay liberals, why does their solicitude for the religious right appear reserved for gay-related cases?

If an anti-gay Christian receives legal exemptions, why should a Christian Scientist parent opposed to modern medicine not be exempt from child welfare laws? Why should a Muslim devoted to the subordination of women (which, to be fair, is disputed within Islam) not invoke Sharia Law? Satanists, amusingly, have already responded to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol by demanding equal placement of a monument to the demon Baphomet.

Read the whole thing here.

December 16, 2014

Cory Booker defends D.C. home rule

I neglected to post this several days ago when Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke out against congressional interference with D.C. voters' choice to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Thank you, Senator.

December 13, 2014

Sen. Warren goes after Citigroup and its bailout provision

Sen. Elizabeth Warren lets Citigroup have it.

Update:

December 11, 2014

Congress and Initiative 71

Also:

Chris Geidner mistaken for Harvard professor in Chinese takeout dispute; hashtag #BlameChrisGeidner

Chris_geidner

Poynter reports that our friend, BuzzFeed reporter Chris Geidner, has somehow been confused for the Harvard Business School professor who got into a big fight over a $4 overcharge at a Chinese takeout.

One of my unhelpful comments was:

Screw you PC weaklings! Geidner doesn't apologize! #GeidnerianExceptionalism

Also:

It is a damned lie that Chris Geidner engaged in classified pillow talk with Dianne Feinstein!

And:

Or was it Lindsey Graham that Chris Geidner didn't sleep with? #ewww

(Hat tip: Chris Geidner)

December 07, 2014

The President on continued job growth

Another month of job growth. I have heard from some quarters what a disastrous president Barack Obama has been. For such people, the facts simply cannot be allowed to count.

November 28, 2014

Corporate liberal Hillary rakes it in

Hillary_at_UCal_with_Teleprompter
(Photo: AP / Nick Ut)

Rosalind S. Helderman and Philip Rucker at WaPo report:

When officials at the University of California at Los Angeles began negotiating a $300,000 speech appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the school had one request: Could we get a reduced rate for public universities?

The answer from Clinton’s representatives: $300,000 is the “special university rate.”

Maybe Hillary's new populist slogan will be, "Time to Get Yours." She could model herself after Prosperity Gospel televangelists. That would make me want to hurl, but it would at least be coherent. I do not see how this naked greed helps her politically. Oh, I can think up excuses, and the hacks will dutifully toss them out on command. But who will buy them?

By the way, in the above photo, doesn't she look a bit like Thomas Jefferson?

November 27, 2014

A proud moment for Dan Snyder

November 15, 2014

The Christmas Truce 1914

This year's Christmas ad by Sainsbury's, the British supermarket and convenience store chain founded in 1869, recreates the legendary Christmas Truce that occurred on the Western Front one hundred years ago during World War I. After the jump are videos about the making of the advert in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and the story behind it.

The video's moving reminder that humanity can emerge under the worst circumstances also reminds us of the pointlessness of war. It was rising anti-German sentiment during WWI, in 1917, that caused the British House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to become the House of Windsor, and Battenberg to become Mountbatten. The British, German, and Russian royals were cousins. The Tsarevitch Alexei, for example, famous hemophiliac son of Tsar Nicholas II, was the great-grandchild of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. If you didn't know better, you might think that as the world grows smaller, it would grow less violent.

At least at this point regarding the English and Germans, the prospect is not war but whether Britain will leave the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Prime Minister David Cameron that she would sooner see the UK leave the EU than limit the freedom of movement within EU, with which Britain has a problem. The Iron Lady's ghost hovers, saying "No, no, no."

Continue reading "The Christmas Truce 1914" »

November 07, 2014

Nutso pastor says Starbucks uses semen to flavor lattes

Harlem-pastor-James-David-Manning-YouTube-800x430
(Harlem pastor James David Manning, via YouTube)

Pastor Manning just wants the job himself.

October 30, 2014

Coffee Frenemies

A Starbucks commercial, no less.

Non-news of the day: Tim Cook is gay

Tim_Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out in Businessweek.

I am so inspired by his bravery, I want to announce that I am gay too. There. A burden lifted!

Kidding aside, maybe courage isn't quite the right word. Sacrifice might be closer to the mark. For an intensely private person to discuss his private affairs can indeed be a big deal for that person. Of course, just mentioning you are gay is not giving blow by blow sexual details. Few straight people consider their sexual orientation a secret. That is one of the most pernicious double standards, enforced socially and tacitly. And for such an eminent man of business to break that silence is a great gift.

42 weighs in:

October 04, 2014

General Mills, the anti-Chick-fil-A

As Mark Joseph Stern at Slate writes, this Cheerios commercial for Canada, featuring Quebecois parents André and Jonathan and their daughter Raphaëlle, "hits all the right notes." For a major commercial brand to embrace gay families as part of its diverse customer base, in such contrast to Chick-fil-A, is a big deal, as Stern suggests.

(Hat tip: Bob Witeck)

September 24, 2014

Why people use aliases on Facebook

MyNameIs

Change your uninformed policy, Facebook. #MyNameIs

(Hat tip: David da Silva Cornell)

August 15, 2014

They'll always have Vegas

FCS-headshot

Rev. Graylan Hagler is a candidate for At-Large Council.