There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.
It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement, not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.
The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.
Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.
In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.
We have read accounts of how the government’s top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review.
Those same lawyers then twisted other laws beyond recognition to allow Mr. Bush to turn intelligence agents into torturers, to force doctors to abdicate their professional oaths and responsibilities to prepare prisoners for abuse, and then to monitor the torment to make sure it didn’t go just a bit too far and actually kill them.
The White House used the fear of terrorism and the sense of national unity to ram laws through Congress that gave law-enforcement agencies far more power than they truly needed to respond to the threat — and at the same time fulfilled the imperial fantasies of Vice President Dick Cheney and others determined to use the tragedy of 9/11 to arrogate as much power as they could.
Hundreds of men, swept up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, were thrown into a prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, so that the White House could claim they were beyond the reach of American laws. Prisoners are held there with no hope of real justice, only the chance to face a kangaroo court where evidence and the names of their accusers are kept secret, and where they are not permitted to talk about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of American jailers.
In other foreign lands, the C.I.A. set up secret jails where “high-value detainees” were subjected to ever more barbaric acts, including simulated drowning. These crimes were videotaped, so that “experts” could watch them, and then the videotapes were destroyed, after consultation with the White House, in the hope that Americans would never know.
The C.I.A. contracted out its inhumanity to nations with no respect for life or law, sending prisoners — some of them innocents kidnapped on street corners and in airports — to be tortured into making false confessions, or until it was clear they had nothing to say and so were let go without any apology or hope of redress.
These are not the only shocking abuses of President Bush’s two terms in office, made in the name of fighting terrorism. There is much more — so much that the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them.
We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.
WASHINGTON — Despite all the claims of improvements, 2007 has been the worst year yet in Iraq.
One of the first big moves this year was the launch of a troop “surge” by the U.S. government in mid-February. The goal was to improve security in Baghdad and the western al-Anbar province, the two most violent areas. By June, an additional 28,000 troops had been deployed to Iraq, bringing the total number up to more than 160,000.
By autumn, there were over 175,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq. This is the highest number of U.S. troops deployed yet, and while the U.S. government continues to talk of withdrawing some, the numbers on the ground appear to contradict these promises.
The Bush administration said the “surge” was also aimed at curbing sectarian killings, and to gain time for political reform for the government of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
During the surge, the number of Iraqis displaced from their homes quadrupled, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent. By the end of 2007, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there are over 2.3 million internally displaced persons within Iraq, and over 2.3 million Iraqis who have fled the country.
Iraq has a population around 25 million.
The non-governmental organization Refugees International describes Iraq’s refugee problem as “the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.”
In October the Syrian government began requiring visas for Iraqis. Until then it was the only country to allow Iraqis in without visas. The new restrictions have led some Iraqis to return to Baghdad, but that number is well below 50,000.
A recent UNHCR survey of families returning found that less than 18 percent did so by choice. Most came back because they lacked a visa, had run out of money abroad, or were deported.
Sectarian killings have decreased in recent months, but still continue. Bodies continue to be dumped on the streets of Baghdad daily.
One reason for a decrease in the level of violence is that most of Baghdad has essentially been divided along sectarian lines. Entire neighborhoods are now surrounded by concrete blast walls several meters high, with strict security checkpoints. Normal life has all but vanished.
The Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that eight out of ten refugees are from Baghdad.
By the end of 2007, attacks against occupation forces decreased substantially, but still number more than 2,000 monthly. Iraqi infrastructure, like supply of potable water and electricity are improving, but remain below pre-invasion levels. Similarly with jobs and oil exports. Unemployment, according to the Iraqi government, ranges between 60-70 percent.
An Oxfam International report released in July says 70 percent of Iraqis lack access to safe drinking water, and 43 percent live on less than a dollar a day. The report also states that eight million Iraqis are in need of emergency assistance.
“Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, healthcare, education, and employment,” the report says. “Of the four million Iraqis who are dependent on food assistance, only 60 percent currently have access to rations through the government-run Public Distribution System (PDS), down from 96 percent in 2004.”
Nearly 10 million people depend on the fragile rationing system. In December, the Iraqi government announced it would cut the number of items in the food ration from ten to five due to “insufficient funds and spiraling inflation.” The inflation rate is officially said to be around 70 percent.
The cuts are to be introduced in the beginning of 2008, and have led to warnings of social unrest if measures are not taken to address rising poverty and unemployment.
Iraq’s children continue to suffer most. Child malnutrition rates have increased from 19 percent during the economic sanctions period prior to the invasion, to 28 percent today.
This year has also been one of the bloodiest of the entire occupation. The group Just Foreign Policy, “an independent and non-partisan mass membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy,” estimates the total number of Iraqis killed so far due to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation to be 1,139,602.
This year 894 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, making 2007 the deadliest year of the entire occupation for the U.S. military, according to ICasualties.org.
To date, at least 3,896 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
A part of the U.S. military’s effort to reduce violence has been to pay former resistance fighters. Late in 2007, the U.S. military began paying monthly wages of 300 dollars to former militants, calling them now “concerned local citizens.”
While this policy has cut violence in al-Anbar, it has also increased political divisions between the dominant Shia political party and the Sunnis - the majority of these “concerned citizens” being paid are Sunni Muslims. Prime Minister Maliki has said these “concerned local citizens” will never be part of the government’s security apparatus, which is predominantly composed of members of various Shia militias.
Underscoring another failure of the so-called surge is the fact that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad remains more divided than ever, and hopes of reconciliation have vanished.
According to a recent ABC/BBC poll, 98 percent of Sunnis and 84 percent of Shias in Iraq want all U.S. forces out of the country.
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal judge on Friday placed on hold a state domestic partnership law that was set to take effect Jan. 1, pending a February hearing.
The law would give some spousal rights to same-sex couples.
Opponents asked U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to intercede after the Oregon secretary of state’s office ruled in October that they had failed to collect enough valid signatures on a referendum to block the law.
The Oregon measure covers benefits related to inheritance rights, child-rearing and custody, joint state tax filings, joint health, auto and homeowners insurance policies, visitation rights at hospitals and others. It does not affect federal benefits for married couples, including Social Security and joint filing of federal tax returns.
After the Legislature approved the domestic partnership law this year, gay rights opponents launched an effort to collect enough signatures to suspend the law and place it on the November 2008 ballot for a statewide vote.
But state elections officials said this fall that the effort fell 116 valid signatures short of the 55,179 needed to suspend the law.
In court Friday, Austin Nimocks, a lawyer for Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes the measure, said the state’s review process was flawed, disenfranchising citizens who had signed petitions.
The state’s largest gay rights group, Basic Rights Oregon, criticized the judge’s decision.
“It’s unfair our families once again are bearing the brunt of this ongoing struggle,” said Jeana Frazzini, a spokesman for the group.
Eight other states have approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples - Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.
Homes Sales Plunge, Feed Recession Fears Looks like we are going to get another BUSH recession. Home sales plunged 9%, the lowest level in 12 years, worse than expected. The signs (credit, housing,falling dollar, rising gas prices, etc.) are growing that a recession is coming just in time for the 2008 election. But if the Democrats win in 2008, will they get blamed?
ETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) -- Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.
The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities.
Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can touch off vicious feuds.
On Thursday, dozens of priests and cleaners were scrubbing the church ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in early January. Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for Christmas celebrations.
But the clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians.
Palestinian police, armed with batons and shields, quickly formed a human cordon to separate the two sides so the cleaning could continue..."
Nataline Sarkisyan Dies After CIGNA Refused Transplant The 17 year Old from Glendale, CA, died because her insurer, Cigna Health Care, refused to pay for her liver transplant, which the company called "too experimental," even though Doctors at the UCLA Medial Center sent a letter urging CIGNA to review its decision. A few hours after CIGNA reversed its decision, Nataline died. In the U.S., even if you have "health insurance," you may not get health care that could save your life!
The Christian Right, and Fox's Bill O'Reilly, have been pounding their drums on the "war on Christmas," an imaginary "war" since there has been no such thing. Christians are not under attack for observing the "birthday" of "Jesus Christ." The Christian Reich has been up in arms over public/government agencies and some businesses using more diverse phrases like "Happy Holidays" to include all religious and non-religious holidays this time of year. Can't have that!
There is, however, a "war" on secularists and non-believers. First, there was Mitt Romney's religion speech in which he tried to assure the Christian Right that he would represent all Christians, not just Mormons, and then he attacked secularists and the "separation of church and state." He wants tolerance for Mormons and Christians, NOT for atheists and non-Christians!
"Christians identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible."
The House did not just acknowledge December 25 as a holiday observed by Christians, it said: "for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace." There are no secular trimmings in that "whereas" clause.
Although falling short of calling the United States a Christian nation, and while properly identifying the United States as a "constitutional republic," the House went on to claim that U.S. history "points observers back to its roots in Christianity."
The Catholic League and other religious groups are boycotting the movie The Golden Compass, based on books by the humanist writer Philip Pullman, because it teaches children un-Christian things like free thought, free will, and feminism.
When will Christian fundamentalists get over their persecution complex and stop persecuting non-Christians?
Meanwhile, people all over the world, including Atheists like me, enjoy our Christmas bonus from work, and observe the "Christmas" season spending money to buy things for people and hope we get something besides socks and ties from Santa Claus. The American economy depends upon a faithful observance of this holiday.
Merry Christmas, Hanukah, Winter Solstice, etc. (HAPPY HOLIDAYS!)
I guess Joe Lieberman isn't a TOTAL loser, he is co-sponsoring (with Gordon Smith R-OR) the Federal Partner Benefits and Obligations Act which would give equal benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal employees. There are 19 co-sponsors, ALL Democrats.
Speaking in New Hampshire, he pledged to try to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, that banned the federal government from recognising gay marriages or unions and allowed states to refuse to recognise same-sex unions from other states.
I think we should get rid of DOMA; I think DOMA was a mistake from the beginning, and discriminatory, and so I will do everything in my power as President to do that," he told reporters, according to the Washington Post. Yesterday the candidate told an audience of several hundred that he approved of New Hampshire's civil union law.
"The key is to have the federal government recognise civil unions between same-sex couples," he said. Edwards also pledged to try to end the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," also enacted by President Clinton, which bans openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people from serving in the US military.
Meanwhile, the Republican candidates continued to compete for the anti-gay vote!
Religious extremism sparked by the war in Iraq has left once-comfortable gays in the Middle Eastern country feeling demonized and afraid, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Outsiders have always been viewed with suspicion in Iraq, but gays were ignored and accepted before American troops invaded in 2003. After the war began, about 400 people were killed for being gay, according to an Iraqi gay rights group, and gays and lesbians were forced to see lovers at night and in secret, according to The Times.
A United Nations report released in January described the growing persecution, torture, and killing of Iraqi gays and lesbians. In 2005, Iraq's highest-ranking Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a decree calling for gays and lesbians to be killed in the "worst, most severe way."
The decree was lifted a year later, but Mohammed and his friends said they still don't feel safe.
"We seem suspicious because we look like a cell of terrorists," Mohammed told The Times. "But we can't tell people what we really are. A cell, yes, but of gays."
The growing influence of Iran, where homosexuality is sometimes punishable by death, has also alarmed Iraqi gays and lesbians.
"I want to get out, but not just out of Iraq, out of the Middle East," Rafi, a 25-year-old law student, told The Times. "To a country that has respect for human rights. And for us. It will never be possible here." (The Advocate)
According to a new CNN Poll, John Edwards is Best Bet to Beat GOP! Despite having the highest "unfavorable" numbers of all the top candidates in either party, most people think Hillary Clinton is the most electable. But, according to the CNN Poll, it's John Edwards, not Clinton or Obama who beats all four top Republican candidates! Clinton, with an average margin of just 6.25 points, is the least likely to beat the GOP candidate, while Obama's spread is 8.75 points, JOHN EDWARDS BEATS THE GOP FIELD BY AN AVERAGE MARGIN OF VICTORY OF 16 POINTS!
Rasussen Reports also shows Edwards with double-digit leads over McCain, Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson, but tied with Giuliani.
Would President Giuliani be as "pro-gay" as the former Mayor of New York? Empire Pride has opened up their Giuliani Files to compare the Mayor of New York's record to the Presidential Candidate.
As Mayor of New York, Giuliani: Rudy Giuliani was Mayor of New York City from 1994 – 2001.* During his time as Mayor, he worked with NYC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to advance a number of important civil rights issues. While the LGBT community often differed with Mayor Giuliani, it also agreed with him in a number of critical areas and was able to work with him to achieve real gains that improved our lives and those of our families.
Not only did Giuliani show a willingness to engage in a dialogue with the LGBT community, he:
-took part in the annual NYC Pride March and held annual Pride celebrations at Gracie Mansion where he lived as Mayor
-established and funded a Hate Crimes Task Force in 2000 so the City could fully investigate and prosecute bias cases
-was one of the first Republicans in New York to publicly support a statewide and federal hate crimes bill that included violence motivated by anti-gay hatred
-supported the passage of a statewide sexual orientation non-discrimination bill
-maintained $1.5 million in funding in the City’s budget for the LGBT community center’s capital campaign
-made high-level appointments of openly LGBT people to his administration
-signed domestic partner legislation in 1998 that at the time was the strongest such bill of its kind in the nation
While as a candidate for President, Giuliani has distanced himself from most of his earlier positions on LGBT issues, the documents and video clips that follow portray the Rudy Giuliani that earned him the “pro-gay” label he still carries with him today in his race for the U.S. Presidency.
For a good overview of the damage George W. Bush has done to the U.S. economy, check out this article by Nobel laureate Joseph E. Siglitz in Vanity Fair: The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush. (Hint: record deficits, poverty, declining dollar, bankruptcy, foreclosures, etc....) What a mess the next President will have to clean up after! (Maybe it would be better if the Republicans won the Presidency one more term so they can get blamed for it and can't blame a Democratic President for it all, like they did Carter).
Here's a good article exposing the "ex-gay" ministries, "Ex-Gay" Ministries Brainwash Thousands, including the Memphis-based cult "Love in Action" and its looney leader John Smid, and survivors including our own Peterson Tuscano.
Here are more resources on the "ex-gay" movement and its victims:
There are reports that Matthew Murray, 24, the young gunman who shot and killed four church members and then himself at Colorado's New Life Church, was struggling with his bisexuality, and was thrown out of an anti-gay youth ministry (Youth With a Mission) with links to ex-gay groups. As reported by Richard Rothstein on his blog Proceed At Your Own Risk:
"Mathew Murray posted on his blog that he had written letters to his mother, complaining that the church had forgiven Haggard, but not him. Last summer, he wrote, "People like us are going to go to hell, according to Christians." He lists several reasons why. Reason number seven is bluntly stated, "I'm bisexual." In other postings, Murray wrote, "... I can never get a female date. I am at least able to get some male action."And later, he wrote about confronting his mother about his bisexuality.Murray wrote that he told her, "Using drugs, alcohol and having gay sex, I'm just trying to do what any Christian pastor would do. At least I'm not doing meth like Ted Haggard."Murray also noted that the Church forgave Haggard.He posted, "I want to know where was all the love, mercy and compassion for my supposed imperfections?"In 2002, Murray was dismissed from the Youth With A Mission group for what they described as "health reasons." Youth With A Mission has been described as "associated with the ex-gay organization Exodus International, has been criticized by some as a 'cult' and attacked for 'brainwashing' members and promoting anti-gay messages."Rothstein concludes his above-linked post with, "At least in Iran, the executions of gay men are swift. In the United States we prefer to slowly drive our gay children insane so that they grow up to be monsters."
Here's a Democrat with a backbone! Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) has an idea on how the Democrats can stop the log jam in congress, push back the GOP/Bush agenda, and improve the U.S. image in the world: IMPEACHMENT!
How long will the D.C. Democratic "consultants" ignore and shun the base of the party????????????
For the second time, Bush Vetoes the SCHIP Childen's Health Bill because he thought $35 billion was too much money for children's health, while Congress has approved a $700 billion Defense Bill which includes $696 billion in military spending with $189 billion more for the Iraq and Afghanistan military occupations. The Democrats caved in again on timetables for military redeployment out of Iraq. (Republicans always oppose spending more for social programs, but always support more military spending!)
I previously endorsed Dennis Kucinich for President because of his progressive views on LGBT rights, Iraq, Healthcare, etc. He is a great, courageous American, but the unfortunate reality is that it is unlikely that he will be the Democratic nominee. That has left me with the question of who among the most likely candidates, who could win, could I support and why.
The current front runner, Hillary Clinton, is good on some issues, and would make a better president than any of the Republicans, but I think we can do better. She has the highest negative/unfavorable ratings of any candidate (55%) and fares the worst against the top GOP candidates than Obama or Edwards ( Rasmussen Reports ). If she is the Democratic nominee, she would probably loose the general election. She will not win any southern states and only a few states on the East and West coast. That would be another disaster for the Democratic Party and the American people. I also have many disagreements with her, especially on economic and military issues. She is part of the moderate-conservative Democratic Leadership Council, now led by Harold Ford Jr., that is moving the Democratic party further to the right. She has equivocated on Social Security, and “free trade” (NAFTA). She is probably the most conservative Democratic candidate!
Barack Obama is looked upon more favorably by the general population and would do better in a general election. But he too has been using GOP talking points and taking “moderate” positions on Social Security and other issues. He has also been misusing religion and appealing to religious anti-gay bigots in the south to win support in the African-American population. He has very little political experience. I don’t think he is ready to be President.
That leaves John Edwards. Edwards is not perfect either, but on economic issues he is the most progressive of the “front-running” candidates. He has the most progressive universal health care program. He has made fighting poverty (something you don’t hear about in mainstream politics anymore) a main issue in h is campaign, he even went on a “poverty” tour of rural American going to places most candidates would avoid. He has a very strong record on labor issues, opposes NAFTA, and wants to take on political corruption. He comes from a poor, working class rural background. And he is a southerner (the last two Democratic Presidents have come from the south!).
ON LGBT issues, like all of the Democratic candidates he supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ending the don’t Task Don’t Tell military policy, and though he doesn’t support gay “marriage,” he supports providing equal rights for gay and lesbian couples (civil unions, etc.). I wish he supported gay marriage, but neither does Hillary Clinton or Obama.
As much as I would like to support Kucinich, who does support single-payer universal health care and gay marriage equality, as well as the impeachment of Cheney and Bush, I think it is more important to make sure Democrats win in 2008. Kucinich will not win. According to most polls, Hillary Clinton would loose to all the top GOP candidates, except Giuliani, and would beat him by a smaller margin than Obama and Edwards. IF DEMOCRATS WANT TO WIN IN 2008, WE MUST NOT NOMINATE HILLARY CLINTON!
Edwards can win! He needs our support, and I’m endorsing John Edwards for president in 2008 and encourage you to join me.
Please take a moment to check out the campaign website at: www.johnedwards.com And Join the Campaign to Save America!
If you need any more evidence that HRC is a political opportunist who will do or say anything to get elected, check this out:Clinton Says Obama Too Left because he once opposed the death penalty and supported "socialized" medicine? If HRC thinks Barack Obama is "too left" what does that make her? Not a "progressive" or a "liberal" by any means! It's not too late to save the Democratic Party! HRC is another Harold Ford Jr. DLC stooge! Stop Hillary Clinton!
And this one, Enough of the D.C. Democrats: "Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton. I will not be supporting Senator Clinton because: a) she has no clear stand on the war and b) Terri Schiavo and flag-burning are not issues where you reach out to the other side and try to split the difference. You want to talk about lowering abortion rates through cooperation on sex education and contraception, fine, but don’t jack with stuff that is pure rightwing firewater. I can’t see a damn soul in D.C. except Russ Feingold who is even worth considering for President. The rest of them seem to me so poisonously in hock to this system of legalized bribery they can’t even see straight."
Hillary Clinton is NOT my preference among the Democrats (that would be Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards), but at least she is SANE! I'll take her over the neo-fascist Republicans! Thank goodness Democrats don't have to choose between Giuliani, Multiple-Mitt Romney, or Cuckoo Mike Huckabee!
Bob Kohler, gay activist, former owner of The Loft on Christopher Street, Stonewall veteran, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, ACT UP member, and longtime fixture of Charles Street, died on Wednesday at the age of 81. The cause of death was cancer, according to friends. A Queens native who lost a kidney in World War II, Kohler was remembered as a tireless fighter for gay rights, transsexual rights, queer youth, and people with HIV/AIDS who never gave up the struggle even as he battled illness and advancing years.
Oh Dear, not again! Democrats Cave on War Funding I know, the Dems don't have enough votes to overcome filibuster theats from Republicans, but couldn't they at least put up a fight and MAKE the Repubs actually filibuster (i.e. stay in the senate and hold up legislation) so the American people can see who is actually blocking progress in the Senate? Instead, Democrats are in Disaray! Great "leadership" Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi!
Wiretapping, torture, illegal military occupation, dropping the hate crime bill, and now this... Are the Democrats TRYING to force progressives to leave and join the Green Party?!
Huckabee Called for AIDS Quarantine. And that ain't all. As a candidate for U.S. Senate in 1992, Huckabee told the Associated Press that "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague." He opposed increased federal funding to cure AIDS and said homosexuality posed "a dangerous public health risk." Oh, Huckabee now has a 20 point lead in Iowa! YIKES!
Congress Drops Hate Crime Bill Once again, LGBT civil rights are getting screwed in the political machine. Bascially, Democratic leaders thought that the best chance of passing the Hate Crime bill was to attach it to a defense authorization bill that Republicans would support and Bush would not want to veto. However, many liberal Democrats do not want to vote to authorize more funds for the Iraq occupation and don’t want to vote for it, and added with the anti-gay conservatives who won’t vote for it, Democrats have been forced to take the Hate Crime bill out of the defense authorization. Sometimes I HATE politics!
Saturday (Dec. 1) was Worlds AIDS Day. For a thought-provoking look at the state of the crisis, go read this speech by Charles King. Has the "gay community" given up on the fight against AIDS? In addition to AIDS fatigue, and the growing numbers of bisexual and African-American AIDS cases, take a look at the growing popularity of "bareback" porn
Oh dear, according to the Idaho StatemenMORE gay men describe sexual encounters with Naughty Boy Larry Craig, including Mike Jones, the former male prostitute who outed Rev. Ted Haggard! My liberal heart had some sympathy for Craig based on his famous toe-tapping with the cute cop in the Minneapolis airport restroom, but in Craig's own words describing Bill Clinton, he has been a "very naughty bad boy". It seems like there is a lot of money to be made being a male prostitute to closeted homocons. The only thing worse than a closeted homocon, is a lying hypocrite who continues to oppose civil rights for gays and lesbians!
UPDATE: Make that EIGHT men! Four describe sexual encounters with Larry Craig, and Four others describe being hit on by Larry Craig.
The Log Cabin Republicans, the gay Republican group that appears to be supporting Rudy Giuliani, ran ads in Iowa attacking Mitt Romney, accusing him of raising taxes as governor of Massachusetts. They should have also pointed out that "Multiple Mitt" flip-flopped on other issues including gay rights. In his failed attempt to run against Sen. Edward Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, Romney claimed he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than Ted Kennedy! In a letter Romney sent to the Log Cabin Repblicans, he wrote: "I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent...If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this, I can and will." He also wrote that Clinton's compromise "Don't Ask Don't Tell" military policy was a "step in the right direction." He continues, "I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share."
But like Rudy Giuliani, Romney has changed his tune and is courting the Republican Christian Right by opposing equal rights for gays and lesbians. Wonder if the Uncle Tom Republicans will support Giuliani despite HIS new opposition to civil unions and support of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy? Remember, they also thought that George W. Bush would do more for gay rights than Bill Clinton!