Right Wing Watch reports.
DC Council members have taken entourages 2 Vegas! Includes candidate 4 Mayor, Bowser. We need affordable housing, jobs but they play!— Graylan Hagler (@Graylanhagler) August 16, 2014
@Graylanhagler Rev, I'm sure they have that on their wish list. They just have to keep their chips on #22. Oh, sorry, that's Casa Blanca.— Richard Rosendall (@RickRosendall) August 16, 2014
@RickRosendall lol!— Graylan Hagler (@Graylanhagler) August 16, 2014
@Graylanhagler They'll always have Vegas.— Richard Rosendall (@RickRosendall) August 16, 2014
Rev. Graylan Hagler is a candidate for At-Large Council.
Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:
Mike Huckabee appeared on Monday’s edition of Iowa-based Steve Deace’s radio talk show, where he said President Obama “absolutely” deserves to be impeached but cautioned that Republicans should not pursue impeachment at this time since the GOP doesn’t have the votes to convict him in the Senate.
In another excellent commentary, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow blows to smithereens the claim by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) that Democrats are waging a "war on whites." Blow notes the Republican Party's extensive history of racially divisive politics and policies, going back to Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy which was based on exploiting white voters' fears of and hostility toward blacks. Here's a portion:
The racial divisiveness ... continues as Republicans trade racial terms for culture-centric euphemisms. Newt Gingrich, in 2011: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” although most poor people of working age work. Paul Ryan, earlier this year: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” And Bill O’Reilly said recently in a discussion about legalizing marijuana that the left’s position was that marijuana was harmless and “It’s blacks, you know, you get, you’re trapping the blacks because in certain ghetto neighborhoods it’s part of the culture.” ...
Whites are not under attack by Democrats; Republicans like Brooks are simply stoking racial fears to hide their history of racially regressive policies.
Talking about a "war on whites" is like calling marriage equality a threat to straight people. You might well call it a war on exclusivity, which is to say discrimination; but that is not what is being claimed. Those who practice this wedge politics are manipulating voters into voting against their own interests by exploiting fears. If we let cynical men divide us in this way, or if we become discouraged by partisan gridlock and withdraw from participating in elections, we hand over control to those who pick our pockets and line their own at the expense of the common good.
The above is my response to At-Large D.C. Council candidate Christian Carter, who tweeted this morning in response to City Paper reporter Will Sommer's unflattering coverage of Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry. Marion, a charming rogue and wily politician, has long had a penchant for invoking the history of racial injustice to get himself out of jams. Evidently Mr. Carter is eager to pick up the baton from the aging former mayor and current councilmember from Ward 8.
Granted, Marion remains invulnerable in Ward 8, whose voters gave him nearly 73 percent of the Democratic primary vote in 2012; but Mr. Carter is running at-large. If Carter wants to challenge Sommer's "Loose Lips" reporting, he should cite specifics instead of just talking trash.
LL's latest on Barry is here.
(Photo of Christian Carter from Twitchy.com)
Ian Silverstone at Right Wing Watch reports:
As if their first video didn't quite hammer the point home, Religious Right advocacy group Truth in Action Ministries has returned with part two of "We the People: Under Attack," an exhausting indicment of the federal judiciary and its allegedly anti-Christian agenda.
In the spirit of defending the rights of the “majority,” Phyllis Schlafly paints a grim scenario of judicial tyranny usurping American values:
"We have judges who have created new rights, who have knocked down laws and practices that have been part of our heritage since the beginning, and you can call the roll of what they’ve done: tried to throw up traditional marriage between a man and a woman; throwing out the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag because it has the words ‘under God’ in it; creating new rights that are not in the Constitution, like the right to abortion, the right to sodomy, the right to same-sex marriage licenses, the right to have pornography even with taxpayer’s money. You know these are not in the Constitution, and it is an offense against the American people, against We the People, and against our whole form of government. And the result is that the First Amendment has been turned on its head."
The video above shows excerpts from the film.
Miranda Blue reports at Right Wing Watch:
In a campaign ad that began airing last week in Arizona, Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas boasts of having “stood up to the gay lobby” and promises to stop undocumented immigrants “before it’s too late.”
“When I enforced the law, illegal immigrants fled this state. Now they stay and protest” Thomas, a former Maricopa County attorney, says in the ad, as he’s flanked by a mostly-white crowd.
Thomas was disbarred in 2012 after facing corruption charges. He isn’t considered a frontrunner in a large Republican field that includes executive Christine Jones, State Treasurer Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former Rep. Frank Riggs, and others.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America on how the gays have stolen our freedoms.
The utter incapacity of some politicians to feel shame or be self-aware is almost charming. Almost. The photo op shown above turns it into something very ugly. This nitwit is unfazed by having made a mockery of himself in 2012, and is now calling out the Texas National Guard to shoot at what his predecessor's once called "the little brown ones." I wonder what more refined conservatives are thinking these days as so many on their side of the partisan divide overrun their genteel bigotry with a cruder variety.
Thanks to the Birther nonsense, an unusually large number of us knows the date, year, and place of BHO's birth, even the hospital. I have a drink tray with a reproduction of his birth certificate. But I don't think 44 will notice whether I sign his birthday card. Yet I am getting multiple reminders a day. The thing is, Barack and I are just not close enough that we exchange birthday cards. So, you know, knock it off already, okeydoke?
Untrue email subject line of the day: "You don't want to miss this!"
(Apologies to supporters of the candidate in question. It's nothing personal. It's political message and subject-line hype fatigue.)
UCBComedy explains: "Ron Spiner is the only candidate brave enough to fight for your right to marry whoever you want, as long as they're a dog and not the same sex as you." Apparently they're parodying Dr. Keith Ablow, who is seen below on Fox News discussing his concerns about polygamous bestiality.
For students of depravity, I note that these guys don't go nearly as far as Madonna did in her sex book twenty years ago. But what's with the guy and the peanut butter? How insensitive toward people with peanut allergies.
Another gem from Miranda Blue at RWW.
Sen. Thad Cochran narrowly defeated Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in Tuesday's runoff election. As you can see from the above non-concession speech, the GOP's internal blood-letting ain't over. Get your popcorn.
My theory: Thad Cochran may have been helped by his porn star name. See Mississippi's broadband porn rental rate.
The subject lines from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are annoying me more and more. At 21:49 on Tuesday I got a message from DCCC Breaking News titled "DEVASTATING news," and it was about GOP fundraising. Oh STFU.
Independent D.C. mayoral candidate David Catania is interviewed on MSNBC.
ABC News reports:
A Democratic candidate who reluctantly made public his homosexuality last year found himself serving as the grand marshal of Maine's biggest gay pride parade and festival Saturday and urged activists to continue fighting to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.
Mike Michaud, who would become the nation's first openly gay person to be elected governor if he unseats Republican Paul LePage in November, said it would be powerful for the gay community to have a seat at the table in discussions with governors across the country on equality issues.
"Maine has come a long ways and our nation has come a long ways, but there's still a long way to go," he said in an interview before he marched alongside a white convertible down the roughly milelong route in downtown Portland.
Meanwhile, the National Journal reports that Rep. Michaud leads Gov. Paul LePage in a new poll.
USA Today reports on comments made Tuesday night by President Obama at the DNC gay rights dinner. The President is right: much has changed in the past decade.
Igor Volsky reports:
Oklahoma state house candidate Scott Esk wrote on Facebook last summer that gay people are “worthy of death” and should be stoned, later claiming that violence against gays is “in the old testament under a law that came directly from God.”
Ah, what would the Bill of Rights look like if we called a Constitutional Convention today?
The earthquake with its epicenter in his district may have been an omen for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who lost his primary to a Tea Party novice. But while the shadenfreude is thick in the aftermath of his loss, it is tempting fate to get too gleeful over his loss to someone to his right. The notion that he is not conservative enough is not just that Tea Partiers are loony, but that his leadership role required him to cast certain votes and serve as an emissary in ways that were bound to rub the right wing base the wrong way. Cantor is the first majority leader in history to lose his party primary. Brian Tashman comments at RWW.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) beat his challengers without the need for a runoff.
None of the mentioned candidates will be very happy with the lively analysis by Mark Lee of how Carol Schwartz shakes up the mayor's race by entering it. A sample:
Popular in the gay community for her straight-talking, full-throated brashness and frequently oversized accessories, she was beloved partly for being the closest thing to a drag queen on the dais – in the most positive possible portrayal of both. Until her confounding reluctance to break from a controversial go-slow stance on same-sex marriage through most of her final term diminished support, the woman known city-wide as “Carol” had long garnered the lion’s share of the gay vote.
Given the lackadaisical nature of past campaigns and tepid public enthusiasm for this one, collecting the 3,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot is not assured. The disorganized nature of her lackluster launch appeared as if hastily concocted over a bottomless brunch during Pride festivities last weekend....
A gadfly Schwartz campaign, however, might impact Bowser as well. Not only could her entry spark a mud-wrestling dynamic in a campaign not yet of much voter interest, the deer-in-headlights uncertain cautiousness of Bowser may not contrast well alongside seasoned debaters.
My latest article is based on a handout I wrote for GLAA's booth at Capital Pride. Here's a portion:
My late friend Lawrence Guyot, a veteran of Freedom Summer, testified at the D.C. Council's marriage equality hearings in 2009 that when he went to work with Fannie Lou Hamer in the Mississippi Delta in 1964, the right to vote on other people's rights was not their purpose. He believed equality was for everyone.
Today, the voting rights he helped win face a renewed onslaught. Gerrymandering and vote suppression aim to preserve the power of the few over the many who sustain and enrich our country. Christian theocrats insist that religious freedom belongs only to them. Women's reproductive choice is threatened at every turn. As our rights are under assault, science is attacked by Know-Nothings. The political alliance between plutocrats and the radical social right has metastasized into a backlash of resentment and intolerance that hamstrings our ability to solve problems and innovate for our future.
We must stand together to prevent our republic from sliding towards oligarchy and feudalism. We cannot remain in separate silos, divided by race, religion, gender, class, immigration status, and sexual orientation. Our lives and bonds cross multiple categories. We must cooperate and learn from one another to secure equality and opportunity for all. And we must vote.
To continue reading, visit my new page at Daily Kos.
I will discuss this on Thursday, June 5 at 7 pm with Mark Thompson on SiriusXM Progress, Channel 127.
Just over a day after transgender Americans won a major victory at the national level, Marylanders fighting for equality won another battle for transgender rights when opponents of a bill signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley failed to obtain enough signatures to force a referendum on the law by midnight Saturday.
Equality Maryland, the state’s largest organization lobbying for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, announced the outcome on their Facebook page just after the clock struck midnight Sunday morning.
Congrats to Maryland.
Young Democrats of America reports that Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes this week won more votes in the Democratic primary than Mitch McConnell won in the Republican primary.
Nicholas Riccardi of AP reports on the shifting electoral politics of gay equality.
Boise State Public Radio reports that voters in Pocatello, Idaho yesterday voted to uphold their city's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance (which I learned this morning thanks to Marty Rouse of HRC, who is there). In honor of this fine news, I give you Judy Garland, singing the only song I know that mentions the place.
Steveningen at Daily Kos looks at Brian Brown's reality-challenged money beg.
From Elizabeth Warren, an email titled, "Will you join me in Oregon?" I mean, I think you're fab, Senator, but I have other vacation plans.
The Daily Mail reports:
A North Carolina Republican candidate campaigning against same-sex marriage has been outed as a former drag queen performer known as 'Miss Mona Sinclair'.
Steve Wiles, a conservative state Senate candidate, donned a wig and fake lashes for eight years at the now defunct gay-friendly lounge Club Odyssey, where he directed and emceed a weekly drag show.
The club's former owner Randy Duggins told Winston-Salem Journal he broke his silence because he wants voters to know that Wiles is, he believes, a 'hypocrite' and 'liar'.
As our friend Will said, what goes around, comes around.
Pat Robertson actually said this:
You know how the Republicans are, they can snatch defeats from the jaws of victory with great ease. The next thing you know, there’s a whole bunch of radicals on the right knocking off established figures and saying, we’re going to call on them to be responsible. Before long, the candidates the Republicans put out aren’t capable of beating the Democrats and so the Democrats laugh all the way to the ballot box and beyond. In any event, it’s there’s to lose right now, we’ll see what happens. The people have had enough of what’s going on in Washington and they will show their displeasure at the polls unless the Republicans screw up, which they’re perfectly capable of doing.
Yes, Pat, I agree. We mustn't have right wing radicals wrecking the GOP.
(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)
AP (by way of WJLA) reports that D.C. Councilmember and independent mayoral candidate David Catania is confident that he will beat Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser, the Ward 4 Councilmember. David is quoted as saying:
Having an LGBT mayor of our nation's capital sends an important message to our entire country about what America is. America is a place where there is equal opportunity... But that's it. We're not going to have fabulous parties.
Well there goes the fabulous parties vote.
HuffPo reports that Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to appear at yet another hearing on the fabricated Benghazi scandal, this time on May 21 (Frank Kameny's birthday, incidentally). Issa accuses the State Department, which has responded voluminously to his nonsense, of "a disturbing disregard for its legal obligations to Congress."
Issa is lying. There is no scandal. The Benghazi affair has been more thoroughly investigated than the deaths in several similar incidents under Obama's predecessor. My first reaction to this is to say that Obama should publicly forbid anyone in the executive branch from wasting any further time responding to this partisan smear campaign led by Issa, should tell Republicans who are so inclined to lose their frigging minds over it, and should tell the GOP-controlled House to go ahead and pass articles of Impeachment over it if they are that reckless and unscrupulous. It is time to stop reasoning with these aggressively unreasonable and morally treasonous opportunists and start fighting them.
Right Wing Watch reports:
On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton explained that women were not given the right to vote when the Constitution was written because the Founding Fathers were trying to protect the institution of the family by giving every "family" a right to vote through the male head of the household.
Responding to a question from a listener who argued that the Founding Fathers denied women the right to vote not out of sexism but rather based on the biblical principle that a house divided against itself cannot stand, Barton said that this interpretation was exactly right because not allowing women to vote was designed "to keep the family together":
Those who think Mr. Jefferson did not entertain the idea of a "wall of separation" should try reading Mr. Jefferson. His January 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists includes this:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
Las Vegas Review-Journal reports a welcome bit of news.
Tuesday's D.C. primary election results included the defeat of Mayor Vincent Gray by Ward Four Councilmember Muriel Bowser, and the defeat of Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham by challenger Brianne Nadeau. Here are several related news stories:
I'm sure we'll have commentary here on the election results and their implications; for the moment, I offer these news links. You can find competing commentaries by Peter Rosenstein and Mark Lee in the Blade. I almost got whiplash from Rosenstein's speed in getting behind Bowser after her defeat of Gray. But as the story on Independent mayoral candidate David Catania above reminds us, the race isn't over.
Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:
During Scott Lively’s interview with Michelangelo Signorile last week, the anti-gay pastor denied ever having said that President Obama is the Antichrist … until Signorile played audio captured by Right Wing Watch of Lively saying exactly that.
Good for Signorile and RWW. Lively is a right-wing evangelical who helped push Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, and is now running for governor of Massachusetts. He recently called President Obama "a radical homosexualist" and suggested that the President may even be homosexual. He just can't stop making crap up.