The LGBT media outlets speculating about Schock are doing so because we’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. Ask David Dreier, Mark Foley or Larry Craig, to name a few. Schock invites this speculation with the obnoxious, preening persona that he’s cultivated via Instagram, Twitter and Men’s Fitness photo shoots. He has spent more time developing a social media following than on crafting legislation in Congress.
Naff has much more, all of it spot-on. If Aaron Schock is a victim, I am a power forward for the Blue Devils. For some reason, the Post has become a throwback to an earlier time when "gay" meant "icky" and the Establishment wagons were circled as in 1942 with Sen. David Walsh. 73 years later, some things haven't changed.
I for one look forward to our Canadian overlord.— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) March 23, 2015
Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050, c: 202-225-8143
March 23, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following what appear to be new threats against two anti-discrimination bills recently passed by the District of Columbia Council, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that she will oppose any effort to overturn the bills in the U.S. House of Representatives as strongly as she indicated last week she would oppose the disapproval resolutions introduced in the Senate. In an interview with Roll Call, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over D.C., said about the D.C. bills, “we want to take some action in the House too” and that “we’re still working on that.” The two bills are the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, which prohibits employers in D.C. from discriminating against employees based on their personal reproductive health decisions, and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students from discrimination by educational institutions in the District.
“I still hope that Chairman Chaffetz will respect D.C. home rule as he said he would when he took the chairmanship of the Committee,” Norton said. “I was not surprised that Senator Ted Cruz would leap at the opportunity to introduce two disapproval resolutions last week, perhaps in anticipation of announcing his bid for presidency at Liberty University, where reproductive choice and sexual orientation are hot-button issues. I recognize that the District’s protection of employees who do not want to answer to their employers on their reproductive choices as well as its protection of LGBT students who are singled out for discrimination at their own universities may not be the policies of other jurisdictions. We who live in the nation’s capital are American citizens and demand the same respect that is given to citizens in other jurisdictions whose local governments pass similar legislation. I appreciate the more than 50 organizations that have stepped up to oppose these disapproval resolutions. The broad coalition fully recognizes that D.C. residents not only deserve their support, but also that attempts to curtail rights here can easily spread to other parts of the country.”
Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, all D.C. bills must be transmitted to Congress for a review period before they can take effect. The anti-discrimination bills were transmitted for a 30-legislative-day review period on March 6, 2015. A bill takes effect at the expiration of the review period unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted into law during that period. Norton has prevented a disapproval resolution from being enacted into law since 1991.
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.
You cannot be too crazy to be taken seriously by a politician like Rick Santorum.
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long enjoyed bipartisan consensus in America until now. Netanyahu appears headed to another term as PM after reversing his previous stated support for a Palestinian state and stoking racist panic to turn out the far-right base. The American far right is already in bed with him and will surely back his reckless position. Will liberals and responsible conservatives stand up to this madness, or be intimidated by charges that they are anti-Israel? Netanyahu is harming Israel's long-term interests by embracing a policy of apartheid west of the Jordan River. If we do not say that loudly and clearly, we might as well dig her grave, and the world's with it. #SupportJStreet
One of the fatal revelations was that Rep. Schock (R-Closet) had gotten reimbursed for 90,000 more miles of work- and campaign- related driving in his Tahoe than the vehicle had been driven.
Barney Frank, who is on a book tour, commented that Schock spends far too much time in the gym for a straight guy.
Here are news stories about GLAA's candidate ratings for the April 28 special election in D.C.:
There are a few candidates who still promise to give us their questionnaire responses. We will rate them as promptly as we can and issue an update as necessary.
Ward 8 D.C. Council candidate Sheila Bunn, who has served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former mayor Vincent C. Gray and Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, dominated the field in the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) candidate ratings for the April 28 special election, earning a score of +9. She has the highest rating of any candidate in this election cycle. The top-rated candidate in the Ward 4 race is Dwayne M. Toliver, who earned a +7. No candidate earned GLAA's hard-to-get championship point in this election.
One response common among many candidates was their hedging on the "Death with Dignity Act of 2015," introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh and endorsed by GLAA. There were virtually no other issues of controversy in the questionnaire, judging by the responses.
The following are explanations of individual ratings. Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire and provided no information regarding his or her record on LGBT issues.
Ward 4 Councilmember
Democratic candidate Dwayne M. Toliver (+7) has a strong questionnaire and a good record on LGBT issues as an attorney for the Department of Human Resources. In his answer to GLAA's first question, Toliver showed a strong grasp of the issues surrounding the District's repeal of the congressionally-imposed Armstrong Amendment, which repeal GLAA had urged.
Democratic candidate Edwin W. Powell (+6.5) turned in a strong questionnaire, including a good discussion on healthcare, and documented a pro-LGBT record.
Democratic candidate Brandon Todd (+5.5) turned in a solid questionnaire but showed little by way of a record on LGBT issues.
Democratic candidate Acqunetta Anderson (+3) agrees with GLAA on most of the issues but offered little substance and no record on LGBT issues.
Democratic candidate Renee L. Bowser (+2.5) agrees with GLAA on the issues but offered little substance and showed no LGBT-specific record.
Democratic candidate Leon T. Andrews, Jr. (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Ron Austin (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Gwenellen Corley-Bowman (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on her record.
Democratic candidate Judi Jones (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on her record.
Socialist Workers Party candidate Glova Scott (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on her record.
Democratic candidate Douglass Sloan (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Bobvala Tengen (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Ward 8 Councilmember
Democratic candidate Sheila Bunn (+9) has a strong questionnaire and a solid record on LGBT issues as a senior staffer to both Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and former mayor Vincent C. Gray.
Democratic candidate Marion C. Barry (+4.5) agrees with GLAA on all the issues and provided some substance, but has a limited record on LGBT issues.
Democratic candidate "S.S." Sandra Seegars (+4.5) agrees with GLAA on most issues but provided limited substance. She has a record of supporting LGBT issues.
Democratic candidate LaRuby May (+4) agrees with GLAA on all the issues but provided limited substance. She documented no LGBT-specific record.
Democratic candidate Eugene D. Kinlow (+3.5) agrees with GLAA on the issues but offered almost no substance. He has been an ally on LGBT issues.
Independent candidate Keita Vanterpool (+3.5) agrees with GLAA on the issues but provided little substance or LGBT-related record.
Democratic candidate Stuart Anderson (+3) agrees with GLAA on the issues but provided little substance or LGBT-related record.
Democratic candidate Jauhar Abraham (+2) agrees with GLAA on the issues but offered no substance or LGBT-related record.
Democratic candidate Greta Fuller (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on her record.
Democratic candidate Anthony Muhammad (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Leonard Watson, Sr. (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Trayon "WardEight" White (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on his record.
Democratic candidate Natalie Williams (0*) did not return a questionnaire and provided no information on her record.
President Obama spoke today at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. A very fine moment.
This latest entry in NYT's "Op-Doc" series is by Andrew Beck Grace and features Rev. Clark Olsen remembering the day in Selma, Alabama fifty years ago when his colleague Rev. James Reeb was murdered for supporting voting rights. He notes with great emotion that at the time, the murder of young black activist Jimmie Lee Jackson got very little attention, while the murder of a white minister was so shocking that it helped President Johnson pass the Voting Rights Act.
Fifty years later, DOJ's Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department shows that we have still not overcome.
Ben Carson tells Sean Hannity that his anti-gay comments were somehow the media's fault, and said he's not going to talk about gay rights any more. Sure.
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.
Ah, the homocons and their privileged play in the gardens of the oppressor.
Polls are showing that Speaker John Boener's invitation to Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu to address Congress two weeks before he is up for re-election is unpopular with Americans. A recent story in Haaretz shows Boehner's dishonesty and recklessness:
House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that he had asked Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer not to inform the Obama administration about their contact over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Congress speech so as to avoid "interference."
"I wanted to make sure there is no interference," Boehner told Fox News' Sunday morning program. "There is no secret here about the animosity that this White House has for Netanyahu and I didn’t want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity,” Boehner continued.
How dreadful it would be for the president to interfere with Boehner's foreign policy. Pardon me, I seem to have fallen down a rabbit hole.
President Obama is denying a former top political adviser's contention that he intentionally deceived voters about his position on gay marriage in an interview published Wednesday.
The president said David Axelrod, his former senior adviser, was “mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue” when he said Obama publicly backed civil unions rather than gay marriage because it was more politically palatable.
“I always felt that same-sex couples should be able to enjoy the same rights, legally, as anybody else and so it was frustrating to me not to, I think, be able to square that with what were a whole bunch of religious sensitivities out there,” Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed....
“I think the notion that somehow I was always in favor of marriage per se isn’t quite accurate,” Obama said.
Unfortunately, Mr. President, we have this evidence from 1996.
It's a good thing the president isn't a news anchor.
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.
Olivia Nuzzi at The Daily Beast reports on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's history of being "pro choice" on whether parents should vaccinate their children. This means he is fine with people endangering the health of other people's children by embracing junk science. Because everyone is entitled to their own truth. Or something. Could there be a virus that only kills stupid people? That's just an idle thought.
Mike Huckabee again.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Contact: Rick Rosendall 202-328-6278
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., today launched its 2015 Election Project as the group Heritage Action called on Congress to overturn District bills that protect reproductive health decisions and LGBT students.
GLAA President Rick Rosendall stated, "We thank Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her strong statement today that included this: 'Just as my colleagues insist that the laws of their constituents be respected by Washington, you better bet that we will insist on the same American principle and will target members who dare disrespect the people of the District of Columbia by trying to overturn our local laws.'"
Rosendall continued, "The Congresswoman is right. As the District prepares for a special election on April 28, we should not have to look over our shoulders for fear that congressional overseers will substitute their judgment for that of D.C. voters by blocking our local enactments."
This week, GLAA released its LGBT policy brief, "Building on Victory," and its questionnaire for candidates in the April 28 special election to fill D.C. Council vacancies in Wards 4 and 8. The deadline for receipt of candidate responses is March 5, after which GLAA will assign ratings to the candidates (on a scale of -10 to +10) based on their questionnaire responses and their records on LGBT issues. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.
Christian Science Monitor reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is testing the waters for a presidential run.
Seriously? The closet case who just this week demanded to know from AG nominee Loretta Lynch why gay marriage would not lead to polygamy? If you are that delusional, Senator, bring it on.
Jack Jacobson, Ward 2 representative to the D.C. State Board of Education, has been elected by his colleagues as the body's president. A State Board news release states:
Mr. Jacobson’s focus has been on raising educational achievement in the District’s traditional public and public charter schools, constituent services, public safety, and cooperation between District agencies. Most recently, Mr. Jacobson served as the Chair of the State Board’s Implementation Committee, where he oversaw the review and subsequent adoption of the District’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver....
After taking office, Mr. Jacobson shared, “I look forward to working with all of my colleagues, as well as the community, our students, teachers, principals, and other stakeholders, to ensure that our education system is exemplary and that all students have the opportunity to receive an excellent education. I also look forward to strengthening the relationship between the State Board and the State Superintendent of Education, the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Chancellor, the Public Charter School Board, the DC Council’s Committee on Education, and all of our school leaders.”
Congrats to Jack, who is my own State Board rep and is the highest-ranking openly gay elected official in the District, following the departures of David Catania and Jim Graham from the D.C. Council. Best of luck to him in his new post.
Linda Greenhouse at NYT explains why.
Instant reaction is calling this the "best burn in SOTU history."
Entire address is below. I thought it was a strong speech. It didn't have the laundry list lots of people wanted, but it challenged the Republicans and showed his confidence. Bisexual and transgender people were recognized for the first time in a State of the Union address. And he celebrated the advance of marriage equality. Overall I was very pleased.
Score one for Jon Stewart. Notice that Huckabee manages to put his anti-elitism in the nicest possible light, though Stewart isn't having it. Huckabee is a lot more likeable than the other whackjobs.
My column looking at the year ahead appears in this week's Blade, revised a bit. Here's an excerpt:
2015 promises continued fights against right-wing aggressions that include vagina policing and other gender-based discrimination; attacks on church-state separation; xenophobia; quackery disguised as science; biased profiling and excessive force by police; and criminalization of healthcare issues.
None of these will be resolved by the likely nationwide victory for marriage equality in the U.S. Supreme Court. Thus, in the words of Ella Baker, "We who believe in freedom cannot rest." Here are some thoughts for the work ahead.
Curb the language cops. We will win the marriage fight even if some use the misleading phrase "gay marriage." If people who are not belligerent use the wrong pronouns or otherwise display their ignorance, be like my amazingly patient transgender friends and politely clue them in. Creating change requires the politics of addition; we must always seek new ways to connect with people.
Congratulations to the District's new attorney general, Karl Racine, who was sworn in this morning. The Office of the Attorney General can be found here.
My year-in-review is now up at the Washington Blade. Here is an excerpt:
Military and international. The transition to openly gay military service has gone so smoothly it has generated little news. The fight to end discrimination against transgender service members continues; two dozen have been discharged in the past two years. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit by Sexual Minorities Uganda against Scott Lively for crimes against humanity can proceed. In diplomatic news, Ted Osius III joined a growing list of openly gay envoys when he was sworn in as ambassador to Vietnam.
Health. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led 80 senators and House members in urging an end to the lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men, calling for science to replace stereotypes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for wider use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, despite strong opposition by Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. There have been no new HIV infections among more than 500 Kaiser Permanente customers using PrEP. New York and the District of Columbia adopted rules forbidding health insurers from denying medically necessary treatment to transgender people. D.C. joined California and New Jersey in passing legislation banning "ex-gay" conversion therapy for minors.
Media. Schadenfreude was rampant after Sean Eldridge failed in his bid to buy a congressional seat and husband Chris Hughes provoked a mass walkout at The New Republic by sacking top editors. Hughes was faulted for wrecking a century-old magazine in his effort to create a "vertically integrated digital media company," that is, a word salad. Former TNR writer Jamie Kirchick at The Daily Beast dubbed them "America's worst gay power couple," but their youthful hubris and confusion of wealth for wisdom transcend sexual orientation.