Saturday, January 24, 2009

House Republicans Jabber On For 40 Minutes About Bush The Lionhearted

I have heard people tell me that I live in a fantasy world to expect that things will change after the election of Barack Obama. They tell me Washington is always Washington and it will always be. Well, I choose to believe otherwise. I think I am living in the reality and the others have been blinded by the fog of fantasy. As proof I offer this note about the House Republicans yesterday.

Thay held a 40 minute floor speech extoling the virtues of President Bush. One quote was particularly telling when Trent Franks (R-AZ) said, "President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us."

Well Mr. Franks you got your spelling wrong, "Bush walked as a LIAR among us", would be a more correct quote.

Talk about living in a fantasy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

State Department Celebrates Arrival Of "Glinda"

A few days ago after the inauguration I posted the Wizard of Oz clip "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead". Little did I know it was an apt comparison, but this time it is from the State Department.
Word is they are having a "Glinda Party" next week, comparing Condi Rice to the Wicked Witch of the West.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

NSA Spied On All Americans - Focused On Journalists

After watching an interview with Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst on Rachael Maddow, I have to wonder when Cheney and Bush will be indicted. The NSA, so the latest revelations tell, was monitoring all, ALL electronic communications. That is not a typo, they were listening to it all, especially concentrating on journalists.

How illegal is this? Comletely and absolutely illegal and punishable by jail time.

Write your Congressperson and let them know how you feel about this!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

White House Web Site Updated With Pro LGBT Agenda!

Here is real change we can believe in. The White House web site updated last night and includes this lengthy section on civil rights for LGBT Americans:

Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ding Dong!

Thanks so much to the folks at AmericaBlog for this clip! I am sure a lot of us feel the same way!

Washington Bursting At The Seams - Inauguration Day

It's only 9:30 in DC and already the National Mall is at capacity. This shot from CNN really makes the point.

Bush Leaves As A Failure

I couldn't have said it better than this quote from a German news magazine:
"A weak leader, Bush was just overwhelmed in the job," said Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung under a headline: "The Failure." "He confused stubbornness with principles. America has become intolerant and it will take a long time to repair that damage."
I feel a lot like the Winkies must have felt when the witch melted.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bishop Robinson's Prayer Absent From HBO Coverage

HBO for whatever reason did not include the invocation by Bishop Robinson for the Inaugural Gala last night. Here is a YouTube video of it.

Word from the Obama people is as follows:

"We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan – but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event."

I really wonder if this is true? If so HBO really showed its ass, if not, well Mr. Obama, "you got some 'splainin to do".

On The Steps Of The Lincoln Memorial

I guess I am just sentimental, but watching the Inauguration Gala last night from the Mall in Washington, DC, I was crying. My partner and I started watching it not expecting to be as moved as we were, but the historic import of the events this week really hit us both.

As a kid, I remember watching the March on Washington on TV. That August I was sitting in my parents house watching Dr. King speak on a black & white TV. More than a little ironically, our housekeeper, a wonderful woman who came in once a week to help my mother out with ironing and cleaning was sitting behind me at the ironing board. She and I were talking about the incredible sight we watched.

Clara, our housekeeper, was African-American, in those days we called her colored, but she was almost a part of our family. She cleaned for my aunt, both my grandmothers and an uncle. Her life and our family's lives were intertwined. Though she worked for us, she was always treated like one of our family. She even ended up inheriting our family car when we bought a new one.

She told me once how her great grandmother had been a slave, and the stories she used to tell of that time. Her great grandmother had lived to almost one hundred years of age, and so Clara got the family history passed directly to her. Now, we both watched as 250,000 people crowded the mall and listened to Dr. King speak.

That day came rushing back to me as I watched Barack Obama speak from the very spot where Dr. King once stood. No wonder I was emotional.

On this anniversary of Dr. Kings birth, I am grateful I could see both these historic speeches and sincerely hope the years ahead fulfill King's dream. "Free at last, free at last. Thank God I am free at last."