Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Boss Supports Gay Marriage

Bruce Springsteen Backs New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill
Bruce Springsteen has thrown his support behind legislation backing same-sex marriage in his home state of New Jersey, with a note posted Tuesday night on his website. The proposal is due to be voted on Thursday by the state’s Senate.

“Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton,” Springsteen writes. “I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor [Jon] Corzine when he writes that, ‘The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.’ "

Springsteen continues, "I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now."

Of course, The Boss has long support gay & lesbian civil rights, and recorded a song about a gay man with AIDS for the movie Philadelphia.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The "Healthcare Reform" Nightmare Before Christmas

SPUSA co-chair Billy Wharton has a great post on the Socialist Webzine on the Healthcare Bill Nightmare Before Christmas

It is also posted on Common Dreams.org

While some liberals are championing the Senate healthcare reform bill, Arianna Huffington explains why they are wrong!

No Public Option/Massive Public Subsidies--Health Insurance Stocks Rise

The for-profit health insurance industry and their lobbyists won!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

GOP Prayer Guru Says Gays Possessed by Demons

As Rachel Maddow recently showcased, on December 16th the Family Research Council sponsored a "Prayercast" event, attended by GOP luminaries including Senators Jim DeMint and Sam Brownback, and House Representatives Michelle Bachmann and Randy Forbes. Lou Engle, Founder of TheCall led the prayer at the event. Besides leading the capstone stadium rally for pro-Proposition 8, antigay marriage organizers last November 1, 2008 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, Lou Engle could also be found, at a special ceremony at a Virginia Beach megachurch last summer, anointing and blessing GOP presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.

Meet the Republican Party's new spiritual guru, Lou Engle

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some Good News

First, sorry I haven't been posting a lot lately. My step-father died last friday and I've been dealing with that and visiting my mother in north Arkansas. My step-father Dave was a good man who gave my mother and my family lots of love and happiness. He will be missed...

Now, after a string of bad news for LGBT civil rights, we have a couple of good news items this past week.

First, Houston Texas elected a lesbian Mayor! Change is possible even in a conservative state like Texas!

Second, Washington D.C. Legalized Same-Sex Marriages!

Justice and equality prevailed over right-wing religious bigotry.

The bad news is that the Democratic Congress and the Obama Administration are putting off LGBT equality for at least another year...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Big Sell Out

Obama's Big Sell Out

In “Obama’s Big Sellout”, Matt Taibbi argues that President Obama has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway. Rather than keeping his progressive campaign advisers on board, Taibbi says Obama gave key economic positions in the White House to the very people who caused the economic crisis in the first place. Taibbi also points to the ties Obama’s appointees have to one main in particular: Bob Rubin, the former Goldman Sachs co-chairman who served as Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton.

Video: Matt Taibbi On Obama's Economy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rachel Maddow vs. Anti-gay Religious Wing Nuts

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been exposing the connections between the U.S. religious right and the anti-gay government in Uganda.

Rachel Maddow on Ties Between "The Family" and Uganda's Anti-Gay Legislation
Watch Rachel Demolish "Ex-Gay Therapist" Richard Cohen, who has inspired the anti-gay movement in Uganda

Uganda's "Kill the Gays" Bill Tied to Rick Warren

Thanks in part to Rachel Maddow's exposure of his connection to the anti-gay movement in Uganda, Rick Warren Finally Condemns Uganda's "Kill the Gays" Bill

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Republican Party using Anti-Gay Innuendo Against TN Dem Candidate?

It looks like the Republican Party is up to it's old tricks in the race to replace TN Blue Dog Democratic Rep. John Tanner.

The NRCC has been quick to attack Tennessee state Sen. Roy Herron, who has emerged as the Democratic candidate for the seating of retiring Blue Dog Rep. John Tanner -- and along the way, they seem to be using some rather interesting rhetoric.

Herron is a former minister and an attorney, and he has taught at both the divinity and law schools at Vanderbilt, his alma mater. He has been married for 22 years, and has three sons. He has also written several books, including Tennessee Political Humor, How Can a Christian Be in Politics?, and God And Politics. However, the NRCC says Herron isn't being honest about his social liberalism.

Over the course of the past week, the NRCC has mounted a series of attacks on Herron that taken together could suggest they're trying to say that Herron is gay or effeminate. The NRCC denies that's their line of attack, and the Herron camp hasn't publicly raised the issue, but TPM takes a look at what the NRCC has been saying.

Is the NRCC Using Anti-Gay Innuendo Against Dem Candidate?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Class Struggle Update

Here's some articles summarizing the class struggle here in the U.S.A.

First, this must-read article by Elizabeth Warren on the withering middle class
American Without a Middle Class

This article from the Financial Times looks at the growing underclass of working poor who are unable to get banking accounts and rely on other expensive alternatives like pawn shops to survive:
Report Reveals Vast Banking "Underclass" in U.S.

According to the article, The FDIC found that some 17m US adults are in households without any bank accounts. Another 43m had accounts but were "underbanked", relying on non-bank services such as pay-day lenders and pawn shops.

The number of underbanked Americans dwarfs the estimated 46m citizens who lack health insurance. Barack Obama has staked his presidency on bringing that group into the system.

The FDIC survey revealed vast racial disparities in access to financial services.

Almost 22 per cent of black households had no bank account compared with 3.3 per cent of white households.

Food Stamp Use Soars, Stigma Fades

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Marriage Equality: NY-NO (D.C. Maybe)

Advocates for marriage equality suffered another loss in New York where the NY Senate voted down marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples by a vote of 38-24, a larger margin than expected. All Republicans voted against it, joined by 8 Democrats.
New York Senate Rejects Gay Marriage

There is more encouraging news from Washington D.C.
D.C. Council Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
The vote was 11-2. The bill will be voted on one more time before going to the D.C. mayor who promises to sign it.

FRC: Obama Has Plan to "Impose Homosexuality"

From the Wing-Nuts at the Family Research Council:

Obama Has a Plan to "Impose Homosexuality" !

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christian Reich's War on Gays

The Christian Reich continues to expand its war on LGBT people. In the United States, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have united to make their anti-gay Manhattan Declaration against women's right to abortion and marriage for gays and lesbians.

The Declaration, released last week and signed by over 150 Christian leaders and social conservatives, identifies abortion, gay marriage, and religious liberty as the three most important issues facing modern Christians, and pleads with both believers and non-believers to stand up against the first two and in defense of the third.

Nathaniel Frank does a great job of deconstructing their hypocritical and irrational defense of "traditional marriage" from the civil unions of gays and lesbians: Christian Leaders Scapegoat Gays on Marriage

The religious war against gay people is an international endeavor. In Uganda a bill is being proposed by the parliament that would call for the execution of gays.

Britain and Canada today led Commonwealth protests against a law proposed by the Ugandan parliament which would introduce the death penalty by hanging for "aggravated homosexuality".

The suggested legislation would apply to sex between gay men or lesbian women in which one person has HIV.

The bill also proposes the introduction of a three-year prison sentence for anyone who knows of the existence of a gay man or lesbian woman and fails to inform authorities in Uganda within 24 hours.

Fury at Uganda Proposal for Gay Executions

Furthermore, the Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda is supported by U.S. conservative Christians known as "The Family." According to Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family, the Family has been very active in supporting Uganda's right-wing government and the anti-gay legislation.

Rachel Maddow on Uganda and the Family

Rick Warren Can't "Take Sides" on Gay Executions in Uganda

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Remembering Harvey Milk

Jim Sanders, Vice Chair of the Socialist Party USA, and chair of the SPUSA Queer Commission has a great tribute to Harvey Milk on the SPUSA's Socialist Webzine

Here's a YouTube link to view the excellent documentary The Times of Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Gay Teen Murdered

Black Gay Teen Murdered in Baltimore
Jason Mattison Jr., 15, an openly gay high schooler, was found dead last week in his aunt’s home; the suspect charged, Dante Parrish, 35, was a family friend. Mattison was raped, gagged with a pillowcase, stabbed repeatedly in the head and throat and shoved in a closet.

Vigils will be held on Sunday across the country to honor the lives of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado of Puerto Rico and Jason “Jaysen” Mattison Jr.

Both teens were brutally slain in separate instances last week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Queer Anarchists Defend Destruction of Memphis Gay Solider Billboard

"Bash Back," a group of Queer Anarchists, Takes Credit for Destruction of Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center Billboard

The group mocks the MGLCC and Memphis gay community rallies against the vandalism as a "hate crime," and claim that the billboard was destroyed for promoting militarism. The Billboard featured a gay soldier saying "I am Gay and I Defended Your Freedom."

Bash Back: Memphis Anti-Gay Hate or Call Out Against Gay Militarism

On MySpace, Bash Back Memphis states:

We'll tear your heteronormative wet dream of corporate pride, gender roles, state militarism and marriage to shreds, and sew a fucking dress out of it. We are those trannies and queers your mother warned you about... We are Bash Back! Memphis.

Points of Unity:
1) I will fight for absolute liberation. Nothing more, nothing less.
2) I will reject capitalism, imperialism, and all other forms of state power.
3) I will actively oppose oppression both in and out of the “movement.”
4) I will respect a diversity of tactics in the struggle for liberation. I will not solely condemn an action on the grounds that the State deems it to be illegal.


OK, I have some problems with the mainstream "gay assimilationist" movement, but this going too far, and is counter-productive. I'm not convinced this group committed the act of vandalism, they may just be taking credit for it, like some terrorist groups like to do. And dressing up like Al-qaeda terrorists is not going to win support for "gay liberation" within or outside the "gay community."

UPDATE: Queer Anarchists Deny Destroying MGLCC Billboard

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Arkansas 10 Year Old Refuses to Cite Pledge Until Gays Can Marry

Well there's some hope for the future... even in Arkansas

Ten-Year Old Refuses to Cite Pledge of Allegiance Until Gays Can Marry

Arkansas 10 year old refuses to say Pledge of Allegiance because there is no "liberty and justice for all" as long as gay people do not have equal rights.

He puts a lot of older politicians to shame...

Anyway... Is The Pledge of Allegiance Un-American?

19 Year Old Gay Youth Brutally Murdered in Puerto Rico

A Suspect has Been Arrested in the Brutal Murder of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado in Puerto Rico

(CNN) -- A suspect has been arrested in the slaying of a 19-year-old Puerto Rican man found Friday decapitated, dismembered and partially burned, police said Tuesday.
Members of the U.S. gay community are asking authorities to investigate whether the slaying was a hate crime because the victim, Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, was gay, said Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The suspect, John A. Martinez (26) claims that he picked the victim up because he was dressed as a female prostitute. When he got him home and discovered he was a male, he killed him for making sexual advances. His defense will be "temporary insanity" because of homosexual panic. We've heard that before...

365gay: Suspect Arrested in horrific PR hate crime

Urge Attorney General & FBI To Investigate Hate Crime

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Arrests in Attempt to Burn Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center Flag

Man Arrested for Attempting to Burn MGLCC Pride Flag
Memphis Police arrested 23-year-old Ross Burton early Wednesday morning after he attempted to burn the gay pride flag at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC).

A MGLCC billboard depicting gay local former Marine Tim Smith was destroyed in September. The billboard, located at Poplar and High, read, "I'm gay and I protected your freedom."

Update: Attempted Flag Burner Has Military Ties
Memphis Flyer is reporting that Ross Burton is a member of the Memphis-based 164th airlift wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard.

WMCTV: Second Arrest in MGLCC Vandalism

Towerland: Military Ties to MGLCC Arson, Second Man Arrested

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Ex-Gay" Homophobe Donnie McClurkin Attacks Gay Youth

Donnie McClurkin Picks on Gay Youth

From the Advocate:
Donnie McClurkin, the "ex-gay" gospel star who sang for the Barack Obama presidential campaign last year, returns to controversial form with remarks he made about “broken and feminine” gay youths at the Church of God in Christ convention in Memphis on Saturday.

Watch the Video of this sick Man

This is what religious fundamentalism can do to you! I'm so glad the COGIC is moving their annual hate fest out of Memphis! Audios Bigots!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Veteran's Day

Some things to think about for Veteran's Day:

Lack of Health Care Killed 2,266 U.S. Veteran's Last Year
The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.

US soldiers attend a "Veterans Day" ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul. The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.
(AFP/Massoud Hossaini)The analysis produced by two Harvard medical researchers estimates that 2,266 US military veterans under the age of 65 died in 2008 because they lacked health coverage and had reduced access to medical care.

That figure is more than 14 times higher than the 155 US troop deaths in Afghanistan in 2008, the study says.

AMA: Repeal "Don't Ask,Don't Tell"
The nation's largest doctors' group has agreed to join efforts to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and rebuffed dissident members who sought to turn the doctors' group from supporting any health care reform legislation that included a government-back health insurance plan.

The American Medical Association also voted to declare that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.

Both gay-rights policies were adopted Tuesday at the AMA's 2009 Interim Meeting of House Delegates in Houston.

The AMA says the "don't ask, don't tell" law creates an ethical dilemma for gay service members and the doctors who treat them.

The other measure declares that marriage bans leave gays vulnerable to being excluded from health care benefits, including health insurance and family and medical leave rights.

New Survey Raises Doubts on Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

The Obama administration received more research yesterday to help make its case for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces.

A survey of troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan concluded that having gay or lesbian soldiers in fighting units has no significant impact on unit cohesion or readiness.

The data raise new doubts about the underlying assumption of the congressional ban, namely that military discipline will fall apart if gays and lesbians are permitted to serve openly.

Vets to Obama: Do Not Escalate Afghanistan

Monday, November 09, 2009

Don't Ask, Don't Give--DNC Boycott

The guys over at AmericaBlog have launched a boycott of the DNC until the Democrats do more for LGBT civil rights:

"President Obama promised to be a "fierce advocate" for LGBT Americans. But while making modest progress on a scant few issues, on the major campaign promises made to our community, the President and the Democratic party have failed to keep their commitments.

There has been little, if any, pressure from the White House for votes on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The administration continues to send mixed signals on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). And we've been told not to expect the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to even be considered until President Obama's second term. In the last two weeks alone, we were angered that the Obama administration continued to defend DOMA in the courts -- last June, the administration's lawyers even compared loving gay relationships to incest and pedophilia -- and we were saddened that the White House and the Democratic party refused to help us defeat anti-gay ballot initiatives in Maine and Washington state. LGBT Americans, our families, and our friends kept our promise at the ballot box, we now expect President Obama to keep his in the White House.

Until the Democratic Congress passes, and President Obama signs, legislation enacting ENDA, repealing DADT, and repealing DOMA, we ask you to join us in pledging to postpone contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign. This temporary (we hope) boycott is sponsored by AMERICAblog, and cosponsored by Daily Kos, Michelangelo Signorile, and Paul Sousa, among others.

This isn't forever, the Democrats have it in their power to end this today -- all it takes is choosing to keep their promise."

Take the Pledge: Don't Ask, Don't Give

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Democrats Give Up on Single-Payer Universal Health Insurance

The few remaining Democrats who were pushing for at least a vote on "single-payer" (Medicare for All) universal health insurance have given up and called off votes on their amendments:

Rep. Weiner Gives Up Single-Payer Amendment to Back House Party Leaders

Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers: Time is Not Right for Vote on Single-Payer

The House of Representatives is expected to pass a healthcare bill today which will include a weak "public option" which will only cover about 2% of the American people. While it may increase healthcare insurance to millions more, it also includes big give-a-ways to the insurance and drug companies. So I'm not sure that Socialists, and those who support REAL universal healthcare, should support it or not. It certainly NOT guarantee healthcare to all Americans.

Socialists must step up our attack on the "for-profit" healthcare industry and keep making the case for Medicare For All, or even better, socialized medicine. It may be a long fight, but the current capitalist system, especially when it comes to healthcare, is in crisis and will not stand. It is up to us to fight for a better future, and universal healthcare that is not rationed based on ability to pay and does not enrich a few at the expense of the many.

UPDATE: U.S. House Passes Watered-Down Healthcare Bill (220-215)

Dennis Kucinich: Why I voted NO

Thursday, November 05, 2009

SPUSA Response to Nov. 3 LGBT Election Results

Response to the November 3, 2009 LGBTQ Referendum Results
by Jim Sanders, Chair SPUSA Queer Commission

Referendums effecting the lives of LGBTQ people were on ballots all over the country this week. A few
of the higher profiled ballot questions included:

Voters in Maine overturned by approximately 53 to 47 percent, a law passed by the Maine legislature that established same-sex marriages in order to end marriage inequality in Maine. The failure to attain marriage equality in Maine is particularly disheartening, but the fact that 47 percent of the voters in Maine supported marriage equality is significant.

Voters in Washington approved by a scant margin of approximately 51 to 49 percent, a law that would give
domestic partners some of the legal rights previously only available to married couples (only heterosexuals can marry in Washington state). The fact that 49 percent of the voters in Washington would oppose recognition of domestic partnerships is troubling.

Voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan approved by approximately 65 to 35 percent, an ordinance that grants
anti-discrimination protections to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals. The rare inclusion of transgender individuals is cause for celebration.

Jim Crow style localized oppression is no more acceptable for queers than for any other group. It's a shame
that human rights can still be held hostage to human prejudices.

Socialists will always fight beside those struggling to improve conditions in their daily lives. But, under the oppression of a capitalist system, reforms will always be necessary, and they will never be sufficient. Socialists need to constantly make clear that we fight for the power to create and maintain justice in our own lives, and not for fleeting opportunities to occasionally wrest concessions from the state.

Lasting freedom for LGBTQ people will only come about in a society concerned with, and conscientiously
working for, the liberation of all people.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday Election Roundup

Tuesday's elections were a mixed bag for gays and liberal democrats.

Maine voters rejected marriage equality Obama and the Democratic party were AWOL in Maine, LGBT activists are partly blaming Obama who did not speak out forcefully in support of Maine's marriage law.

But, Washington state voters approved domestic partnership benefits for gay couples
and Kalamazoo, MI voters approved a non-discrimination ordinance that covers LGBT people.

Anti-gay Republicans won the Gov. races in Virginia and NJ

The lesson for the Democrats is that if you run a moderate/conservative Democrat who runs AGAINST progressive values you will lose to a conservative Republican. Young, progressive Obama voters, and the progressive base of the Democratic Party, stayed home. The Democratic Party better pay more attention to its base, or they will loose big in 2010 (and 2012!)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Maine Repeals Marriage Equality

Maine Set to Vote on Gay Marriage

Will Maine be the first state where VOTERS decide to keep gay marriages legal?

Doesn't look like it..
Poll: 51% yes on 1, 47% No

AmericaBlog: Obama's "Organizing for America" Silent on Maine's Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Mixner: Obama Zero Help in Maine

UPDATE: Maine Repeals Gay Marriage Rights

It's another upset for the LGBT civil rights movement. Gay marriage has lost in all 31 states where it has been put up to a popular vote. Voters still do not want us to have equal rights. Should civil rights be an issue for popular vote??

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Memphis Socialist Blog

I've created a new Memphis Socialist Blog  to help organize socialists in Memphis, Tennessee.  Specifically, I'm working with the Democratic Socialists of America and the Socialist Party USA, the two remaining groups left from the Socialist Party of Eugene Debbs and Norman Thomas.  
I hope we can work together to build a larger socialist movement/party in the future.  We need to work within the broader "Democratic Left" AND build a distinct Socialist Party in the U.S.  Let's work together to do both!


The Beginning of the End of Capitalism?

From Thom Hartman, Black Tuesday:
"80 years ago today, on October 29th, 1929, Wall Street saw the worst day in its history. The shock of “Black Tuesday” came to an end, but the misery of the Republican Great Depression was just beginning. As a result of the disaster that followed three successive Republican administrations – and their cutting regulations and dropping taxes on the most wealthy from over 70 percent to under 30 percent – the Roosevelt administration through most of the 1930s re-regulated the economy and raised taxes on the very rich back up to 91 percent. That led to fifty years of growth and prosperity, which came to an end with Ronald Reagan re-introducing the Harding/Cooledge/Hoover tax cuts and supply-side economics. Hopefully the Obama Administration will soon learn the lesson of the last Republican Great Depression and follow in FDR’s footsteps."

Doesn't look like it Thom!

Thousands Protest Bank Power and Abuse in Chicago

Geithner Defends Collapsing Banking System 115 Banks Fail This Year. "Recovery will be choppy"

Inside the Bank Bailouts

Obama Goes Wobbly Over More Stimulus
Unemployment swelled to 9.8 percent, "with nearly nearly 26 million workers—17 percent of the workforce—unemployed or underemployed," according to economist Mark Zandi. The economy remains extremely weak and is expected to lapse back into recession if the Obama administration fails to provide a second-round of stimulus.

Propping Up a Broken Capitalist System

Mat Taibbi (Rolling Stone), Wall Street's Naked Swindle

Related: McClatchy series on How Goldman Secretly Bet on Housing Crash

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama Signs Hate-Crime Bill

Obama Signs Matthew Shepard, James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act Today

President Barack Obama Wednesday signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.

“After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation that protects people based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are,” Obama said, addressing the crowd. “I promised Judy Shepard when she saw me in the Oval Office that this day would come.”

I'm mostly happy today for Matthew Shepard's Mom, Judy Shepard.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obama to Sign Hate Crimes Bill Wed.

The Advocate is reporting that Barack Obama will sign into law the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act on Wednesday.
The new law will protect victims of crimes who are targeted because of sexual orientation or gender identity, which is an expansion of the federal hate crime law.
Obama will sign the legislation – and make remarks – at 4:45 pm EST on Wednesday.

Official White House Note on Hate Crimes Signing
bama to Sign FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act into Law; Will Host Reception to Commemorate the Enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, October 28th at 2:30 PM President Obama will sign into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. He will deliver brief remarks and will be joined by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Members of Congress, and others.
Later that day, the President will host a reception to commemorate the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He will deliver brief remarks at 6:05 PM, and will be joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, civil rights community leaders and others.

In Wing-Nut Land:
AFA: Hate Crimes Bill is Un-American

Saturday, October 24, 2009

FOX vs. News

FOX has declared war on the Obama White House

The Obama White House has finally started to respond by not treating Fox like a legitimate "news" organization. Of course, the "mainstream" corporate news organizations are siding with FOX!

It is time that legitimate news organizations quit treating Fox like a "news" network. With crazy neo-fascists like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly organizing "tea party" protests against health insurance reform and publishing lies and false stories about anyone who disagrees with their corporate anti-liberal, anti-Democractic, anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-gay, etc. agenda, we need to BOYCOTT the fake news network!

Media MAtters: Fox News: A 24/7 Political Operation
Fox News: Fears, Falsehoods
8 Reasons Fox is NOT a News Organization
10 Most Egregious Fox News Distortions
30 Reasons Fox News is Not Legit
FAIR: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Boycott Fox News
BuzzFlash: Turn Off Fox!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hate Crimes Bill Approved by Congress

Congress Approves Hate Crimes Bill

They had to sneak it in a Defense appropriation bill, and Republicans STILL opposed it!

Congress has finally added sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate crimes protections.

The main LGBT organizations (HRC, NGLTF) are beating their breasts in victory, and asking for more donations. I know I should be excited about this but I'm not. Seems like a consolation prize. This is the 21st Century and the best LGBT people in America can get from our elected representatives is protection from hate crimes?? I want FULL equality!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Maine Down to the Wire

Marriage Equality in Main is Down to the Wire

Less than two weeks away from the vote on Maine’s marriage equality law, things are looking up for marriage equality supporters.

The latest poll, released Tuesday, shows voters evenly split—48 percent to 48 percent, with four percent undecided and a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. The firm of Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,130 “likely voters” between October 16 and 19. Prior to that, a poll conducted between September 30 and October 7, showed 51.8 percent of “likely” voters in November would vote “No” on Measure 1, 42.9 percent would vote “Yes,” and less than 6 percent were undecided.

Measure 1 seeks to repeal the state’s newly approved law allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses the same as straight couples.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Public Supports PUBLIC Health Insurance Option

You wouldn't know it listening to the corporate media or U.S. politicians, but according to a Washington Post/ABC News Poll, a growing majority of Americans support the "public option" (57%) and over half (51%) support the public option over "bipartisan" support, even if the Democrats have to do it without any GOP support!

What's really amazing is that the public is supporting the "public option" even after months of anti-reform "Tea Party" rallies and a massive misinformation campaign by the insurance lobby.

Why isn't Obama pushing what the American people want, and he campaigned for??

Monday, October 19, 2009

Obama Speaks Out Against Anti-Gay Referenda

White House Says NO to Anti-Gay Referenda

The Obama administration has finally spoken out against the anti-gay referenda in Maine and Washington.

In response to an inquiry from The Advocate, the White House sent the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s position on same-sex relationship recognition voter referenda in Maine and Washington.

“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes ‘strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.’ Also at the dinner, he said he supports, ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’"

Hopefully this will help with the campaigns in Maine and Washington, but why didn't Obama speak out on Maine and Washington in his "big gay speech" to the HRC?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Insurance Companies vs. Health Care Reform

Once again, the U.S. Insurance Inc. Cartel is fighting REAL "healthcare reform" especially universal public healthcare or even a choice of a public health insurance plan. The Obama administration started out trying to get big PHARMA and the Insurance Companies on board by making promises to them to protect their profits and minimize any public option, but now that they are not getting their way they are balking at their deal with the White House.

The problem? The insurance companies want Congress to mandate (require) everyone to buy their private plans, and want heavy fines on those who do not buy their plans. They thought they would be getting 40 million new customers out of this "reform." Now that the Senate has reduced the fines so that young healthy people would still save money by paying the fine rather than paying expensive premiums to the insurance companies, the insurance companies are waging a campaign to STOP the healthcare reform train in its tracks. They are already threatening to raise premiums on everyone!

By doing so, the insurance companies have handed Congress and the Obama administration an excellent weapon to use against them and push for a public health care plan! If the insurance companies are going to jack up healthcare premiums, then how can any healthcare reform NOT offer people the choice of a less expensive public insurance plan?

Insurers Make Case for Public Option

FACT CHECK: Health Insurers Cherry-Pick Facts

More Right-Wing Distortions on Health Reform

While opponents want people to FEAR a public insurance plan, they should be fearing the private insurance cartel which is denying healthcare to millions of Americans!
Sick for Profit

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gays March on Washington D.C.

Equality March: Gay Rights Activists March on D.C., Divided on Obama

Now we have to get everyone politically active back home. The March is just an organizing tool for real action to put political pressure on Congress and the President to stand up for equality and pass legislation to back up their campaign promises.

Rep. Barney Frank really pissed off a lot of us today by making headlines with his comment that the march is a waste of time! Really Barney? Is your head so far up Obama and HRC's butts that you would spit on the gay community again? Yes, we know marches and parades are not the way to get laws passed in Congress, that work needs to be done at the local and state levels by getting politically active in our local LGBT organizations and contacting our representatives. We need more grassroots activism. That was ONE of the purposes of the National Equality March!

Great coverage and pics on AmericaBlog

Why Gays Can't Wait--Gay Rights Are Civil Rights

Equality Across America

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama Speaks, Gays March!

This weekend gay activists are marching on Washington to pressure Obama and Congress to ACT on legislation to support equal rights for LGBT people. The National Equality March is being organized by gay activist/Harvey Milk friend Cleve Jones.

The march underscores some divisions within the LGBT community between grassroots activists who are impatient with Obama and Democrats in Congress, and beltway politicans, like Barney Frank, and gay lobby groups like HRC:

Gay Rep. Barney Frank Says the March is a waste of time

HRC says gays should be more patient and give Obama and the Democrats more time--until 2017!?
(This is one reason I don't give any money to HRC, Joe Solmonese is the most over-paid "gay executive" in the country. I urge progressives to support the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force instead!)

On the eve of the March, President Obama will be giving a "Big Gay Speech" to the HRC. What should/will he say?

Can Obama win over the gay community?

I agree with Barney Frank that marching on Washington D.C. is NOT enough, we've done it before. We have to get more politically active at the grassroots level and put more pressure on our elected officials, HOWEVER, the organizers of the NEM are trying to energize the LGBT community to do just that--and send a wake up call to Obama and Congress, so I support it.
We cannot wait until 2012 or 2017! Democrats will probably loose Congress in 2010. and we can't count on Obama being re-elected in 2012. We have to ACT NOW!

UPDATE: Obama Pledges to End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at HRC Dinner/Fundraiser A repeat of his campaign promises, no mention of Main or Washington where marriage equality is being fought for. Like a true liberal, Obama says he is for "equal rights" for gays, but NOT marriage equality!

AmericaBlog: Obama's big speech--Heard It All Before!

Friday, October 09, 2009

House Approves Hate Crimes Bill

House Gives Final Approval to Hate Crimes Bill
The House on Thursday gave its final approval to legislation expanding federal hate crimes to include attacks on gays and transgenders. LGBT advocates hailed the vote as a long-awaited victory, but the GOP accused Democrats of "valuing some lives more than others," and of "immorality" for tacking the measure to the 2010 Defense budget.

Attached to the bill is a measure named after two murder victims: Matthew Shepard (left), a gay Wyoming university student who died in 1998 after being tortured, and James Byrd, Jr., a black man who was dragged to death by white supremacists the same year as Shepard's murder. (Image: familyequality.org)The National Defense Authorization Act, or H.R. 2647, passed by a vote of 281-146. Forty-four Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill.

GOP Leaders Voting Against Defense Bill Because of Inclusion of Gays in Hate Crimes Protections

Boehner: Hate Crimes Bill is Offensive

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Right-Wing Attacks Gay Obama Administration Official

Fox News/Right-Wing Media Target Kevin Jennings, "Gay Czar"
Looks like the next target of Fox News and the right-wing "czar" witch-hunt is Kevin Jennings, an official appointed by Obama in the Dept. of Education to over see "safer schools." Sean Hannity has falsely claimed that Jennings has ties to NAMBLA (he doesn't) and that he counseled a 15 year old who had a relationship with an older man (he was 16, which is above the age of consent in MA).

Media Matters is keeping track of these right-wing smears and lies.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Gay Marriage Coming to Washington D.C.

D.C. Gay Marriage Bill Seems Unstoppable

WASHINGTON — A bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the nation's capital was introduced Tuesday, a measure that even opponents acknowledged seems almost unstoppable.
The bill was nearly certain to pass the D.C. city council, but whether it becomes law is more complicated because Congress gets an opportunity to review D.C. legislation before it takes effect. Still, even challengers in Congress acknowledged the bill was likely to become law.
The city began in July recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Congress had a chance to act on that legislation but didn't.

Friday, October 02, 2009

What is Wrong With Capitalism?

Michael Moore's timely new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story Opens today. Hopefully those who see it will realize that capitalism is a failure and we must create a more democratic (socialist) society. Go see it, take some friends/family and spread the word!

Here's a message from Michael Moore: Tea Bag Nation Ends Today

Sen. Bernie Sanders Responds to Michael Moore: "What is Wrong With Capitalism?"

Alternatives to Capitalism:
Democratic Socialists of America
Socialist Party USA

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Memphis Gay Community Bill Board Vandalized

One of five billboards sponsored by the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center to celebrate National Coming Out Day has been vandalized. The billboard displayed a Memphis gay marine stating "I'm Gay and I Protected Your Freedom."

Triangle Journal News:
On Friday evening September 25, passersby and community members began reporting to Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) that one of the billboards erected by MGLCC honoring National Coming Out Day had been destroyed.

The billboard, which contained a picture of community member Tim Smith dressed in his marine uniform proclaiming “I’m gay, and I defended your freedom,” was completely torn from the Clear Channel Billboard frame, exposing remnants of prior postings. No identifiable portions of the MGLCC billboard remained.

The MGLCC billboard campaign honoring National Coming Out Day on October 11 has been underway for one week and will continue for three more weeks. The initiative aims to clarify to the Mid-South that our community is not afraid of being out and that we are unashamed of being who we are. The billboard that was defaced is one of five erected throughout the city as part of the initiative. MGLCC Executive Director Will Batts, who is in Philadelphia attending a national conference for LGBT community centers, was contacted by phone by Triangle Journal and informed of the defacement. He stated, “Some people choose tactics of violence and intimidation in an attempt to silence minority voices. What will happen, though, is that our voices will become louder and stronger and we will become even more relentless in our fight for full equality.”

WREG: Billboard Featuring Gary Marine Vandalized

Memphis Flyer: Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center Unveils "Coming Out" Billboards

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Republican: Gay Marriage is SOCIALISM!

GOP Congressman: Gay Marriage is "Socialism"

Speaking to a conservative radio show, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said socialists are pushing gay marriage because they have "to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal" of undermining the "foundations of individual rights and liberties."

Not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis," King said, according to The Hill.

If there's a push for a socialist society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together living collectively off one pot of resources earned by everyone, this is one of the goals they have to go to, same sex marriage, because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal. They want public affirmation, they want access to public funds and resources."

Guess someone needs to alert the Log Cabin Republicans!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Values Voters Summit Highlight: "All Pornography is Homosexual Pornography"

Think Progress had someone videotaping at the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit" and they caught Michael Schwartz, the chief of staff for Republican Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), saying some bizarre things about homosexuality and pornography. During a panel discussion on "The New Masculinity", Schwartz denounced pornography as a "blight" and a "silent disease" before stating that it causes young boys to become homosexuals.
Homosexuality is inflicted on people... But all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. And that in fact is what it does. I know couples now who are struggling with the husband's addiction to pornography. It's a terrible thing. And that's what happens. And, you know, if it doesn't turn you homosexual, it at least renders you less capable of loving your wife. And it's something you need to be healed of."
From Huffington Post

What is it about Oklahoma and anti-gay homophobic religious bigots? I was born there, but now I wish the Cherokee had killed off all the White People in that territory!

Read more about Schwartz's homophobic history at Think Progress

See also: The Washington Independent

Republican candidate for Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell cites Michael Schwartz in his 1989 thesis!

Will the Christian Right take down the Republican Party?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Right-Wing Hate

The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American U.S. President, has brought out the worst instincts of the radical right in the United States. Even the Republican Party across the south have promoted racist attacks against Obama. It's hard to pin down the exact source of the hatred of Obama on the right, but racism is one of several factors, including right-wing fundamentalist Christianity.

Bill Moyers: Conservative Radicals and the Politics of Vengeance

Right-Wing Hate Mongering Fueled by Christianity?

10 Horrifying Racist Attacks on Obama

The Last Time Right-Wing Hatred Ran This Wild A President Was Killed

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In Defense of ACORN

ACORN (Association of Communities Organized for Reform Now) has been under attack from the right for some time, but because of some recent slip ups, is really under the gun from the corporate right who oppose the organizations opposition to corporate power and defense of the working poor. Republicans have distorted or fabricated scandals surrounding a few ACORN workers and tried to tie Barack Obama to the progressive group.

ACORN is a 40 year old organization of low-income, poor and working class families and communities who have organized against "red-lining" by insurance companies in poor, minority neighborhoods, pushed for raising the minimum wage, stop foreclosures, etc. It is largely run by low income people, and the "organizers" are usually part-time, seasonal, and paid very little.

I worked as an organizer for ACORN in Little Rock while in graduate school one summer. It was tough work, I couldn't take it and quit after only a few weeks. But I saw a dedicated group of low-income people fighting to improve their lives and their communities.

The first attacks against ACORN were fabricated by the Republicans to attack Obama during the election. They falsely claimed that ACORN was guilty of "voter fraud." It was not. A few ACORN workers engaged in "voter registration fraud" by filling in false names on voter registration forms. ACORN found discovered these cases in their own investigations and turned the information over to the FBI and the election commission. ACORN never engaged in "voter fraud"--since none of these cases involved votes cast in an election.

For more see: The Real ACORN

Now ACORN is under attack because a couple of its workers were caught on tape advising undercover conservative activists trying to entrap them on how to avoid taxes on illegal activity. ACORN has responded to this problem by making some changes in its oversight of its operations.

It appears that the conservative film makers were also engaged in falsifying information about the actual exchange with the ACORN workers: Attack Videographer Caught in Manipulation and Lies

ACORN is under attack because of its anti-corporate, pro-labor, anti-poverty history of activism and organizing. The right-wing media has manipulated the story and the "mainstream media" in an effort to take the focus of public attention off of the corporate crimes and Wall Street scandals, and focus it on the poor and racial minorities, part of the larger right-wing racist attacks on Obama. ACORN is being used by the racist RIGHT to stir up racist anger against Obama and progressive policies.

John Conason, In Defense of ACORN

The GOP's Blame-ACORN Game

The Real Reason the Right Attacks ACORN

Brave New Films (2008): The Real Truth About ACORN

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rep. Tammy Baldwin on LGBT Health Care Reform

Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) addresses National Stonewall Democrats members on the need for comprehensive, progressive, and LGBT-inclusive health care reform.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nashville Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Nashville Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance
An ordinance prohibiting discrimination against LGBT municipal employees in Nashville passed the city council on Tuesday.

The bill passed by the Nashville metro council bans discrimination against city employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In the final vote for the hard-fought ordinance, the tally was 24 council members in favor, 15 opposed, and one absent member, according to The Tennessean.

Tennessee is starting to catch up to most of the rest of the country on LGBT civil rights. Earlier this year the Shelby County (Memphis) commissioners passed a watered down resolution against discrimination against anyone based on any non-job related criteria including sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill to Overturn DOMA Introduced

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced on Tuesday the Respect for Marriage Act, which would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, a law Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed in 1996 that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

At a Capitol Hill press conference, Nadler called the Respect for Marriage Act “the first step to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and sending that ugly law into the history books where it belongs.”

David Mixner: The Tea-Baggers and the LGBT Community

Cleve Jones: Repealing DOMA The First Step
National Equality March Oct. 10-11

Monday, September 14, 2009

Economic Crisis: It's Worse than Before

Nobel-Prize Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Post-Lehman Things are Worse than Ever

"In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger," Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in an interview today in Paris.
Stiglitz leveled his criticism directly at the Obama administration for not placing stricter limits on the largest institutions or requiring them to simplify their structure.
"The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis." The statements come on the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
"We aren’t doing anything significant so far, and the banks are pushing back," he said.

Stiglitz: The Financial System Isn't Fixed

The Big Plunge Is Just Ahead

How the Federal Reserve Bought the Economics Profession

Arianna Huffington: Why Obama Won't Be Able to Reform Wall Street

Robert Reich: The Continuing Disaster of Wall Street, One Year Later

Financial Crisis (On Huffington Post)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Angry White Moron March on Washington

Thousands of right-wing Morons are Marching on Washington today.

Following the marching orders of their coprorate masters and Glenn Beck, the "thousands" of anti-American morons calling for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

For more on Glenn Beck and the 9/11 sponsors see ThinkProgress

Guess Who is Pulling the Strings of the Tea-Baggers?

Pictures speak a thousand words...

The Right's Fringe Festival

Here's What Fox News Didn't Broadcast:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gay Killings--Iraq's New Surge

Iraq's New Surge: Gay Killings

As the world hails Iraq's supposed return to normality, the country's militias -- the same ones that spent years waging a sectarian civil war -- have found a new, less apparent target: men suspected of being gay. The systematic killings, which began earlier this year, reveal the cracks behind Iraq's fragile calm. Iraq's leaders may talk of security and democracy from behind barbed wire in the Green Zone, but the surge of murders against gay men is a stark sign of how far Iraqi society still has to go.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

US Poverty Rate Hits 11-Year High

Census: US Poverty Rate Hits 11-Year High
The U.S. poverty rate hit its highest level in 11 years in 2008 as the worst recession since the Great Depression threw millions of Americans out of work, a government report showed on Thursday.

Food aid is unloaded by the Care and Share food bank as local residents await their share in August 2009 in the rural town of Hugo, in eastern Colorado. Nearly 40 million people lived in poverty in the United States last year as the recession forced the first significant rise in the US poverty rate in five years, the US Census Bureau said in a report Thursday. (AFP/Getty Images/File/John Moore)The Census Bureau said the poverty rate rose to 13.2 percent in 2008, the highest level since 1997, from 12.5 percent in 2007. About 39.8 million Americans were living in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007.

The government defines poverty as an annual income of $22,025 for a family of four, $17,163 for a family of three and $14,051 for a family of two.

Real median household income fell 3.6 percent, the biggest annual drop since 1991, to $50,303 in 2008.
The Census Bureau also said 46.3 million Americans were without health insurance last year compared to 45.7 million in 2007. The numbers could feature in arguments over President Barack Obama's plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and dramatically expand medical insurance coverage.

The family poverty rate rose to 10.3 percent last year and 8.1 million families were in poverty, the Bureau said. This compares to 9.8 percent and 7.6 million respectively in 2007.

Poverty was higher among blacks and Hispanics, the report showed. About 14.1 million children under the age of 18 lived in poverty last year, up from 13.3 million in 2007.

Obama's Comeback?

Obama to Congresss: "The Time for Bickering is Over"

Obama took off the kid gloves and came out swinging in his address to Congress Wed. He laid out a progressive vision on healthcare, though fell short of demanding a public healthcare program as most progressives had hoped.

Alternet: This Was the Obama We've Been Waiting For

Perhaps the most telling point in the address was when Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.) interrupted Obama's speech when he rebuked the lie that the healthcare plan would cover "illegal" immigrants. Wilson yelled "You Lie," to the astonishment of the whole country. Turns out Joe Wilson is a LIAR

Reactions to the Speech

Rachel Maddow: President Offered Full, Formal Defense of Liberalism

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Not So Happy Labor Day

It's a not-so-happy Labor Day

Labor Day By the Numbers


• New jobs needed per month to keep up with population growth: 127,000
• Jobs lost in August 2009: 216,000
• Jobs needed to regain pre-recession unemployment levels: 9.4 million
• Manufacturing jobs lost since the start of the recession: 2.0 million (14.6% of sector’s jobs)
• Construction jobs lost in the recession: 1.4 million (19%, nearly one in five construction jobs)
• Mass layoffs (50 or more people by a single employer) in July 2009: 2,157; jobs lost: 206,791


• Number unemployed: 14.9 million (up from 7.5 million in December 2007)
• Underemployment rate: 16.8%; Share of workers un- or underemployed: roughly 1 in 6
• Under- and unemployed, marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers: 26.4 million
• Unemployment rate, ages 16 to 24: 18.2%
• Male unemployment: 10.9%; female unemployment: 8.2%
• White unemployment: 8.9%; black unemployment: 15.1%; Hispanic unemployment: 13%
• Unemployment rate, young college graduates: 5.9% (2nd worst on record); Worst recorded unemployment rate for young college graduates: 6.2% (1983)
• Traditional ratio of young college grads’ unemployment to overall rate: 50%; Current ratio: 70%
• Portion of unemployed who have been jobless more than six months: one third

Workers Have Less to Celebrate This Labor Day
Robert Kuttner: Hard Labor
Robert Reich: The Real News About Jobs and Wages--An Ode to Labor Day
DSA: Talking Union

UPDATE: Obama Speaks at AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Democrats and The Sick Health Care Debate

Obama and the Democrats continue to loose the public war over health care by failing to use all of their political power to fight the Republicans and the insurance companies. Instead, Obama has been turning every cheek, and kissing a few as well, to get Republican support for "insurance reform"-- never mind UNIVERSAL PUBLIC INSURANCE to cover every citizen!

Here's essential reading by Matt Taibbi in the Rolling Stone explaining how the Democrats have screwed up again:
Sick and Wrong: How Washington is Screwing Up Health Care Reform

Bill Moyers exposed the Democratic Party's ties to corporate lobbyists and the insurance industry on HBO's Bill Mahers:

Bill Moyer's on Democrats and Healthcare Debate:

MOYERS: I don’t think the problem is the Republicans . . . .The problem is the Democratic Party. This is a party that has told its progressives -- who are the most outspoken champions of health care reform -- to sit down and shut up. That’s what Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of Staff at the White House, in effect told progressives who stood up as a unit in Congress and said: "no public insurance option, no health care reform."

And I think the reason for that is -- in the time since I was there, 40 years ago, the Democratic Part has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who is a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama’s re-election will come from the health care industry, from the drug industry, from Wall Street. And so he’s a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won’t be something in this legislation that will turn off these interests. . . .

Money in politics -- you’ve had in the last 30 years, money has flooded politics . .. the Supreme Court saying "money is free speech." It goes back to the efforts in the 19th Century to give corporations the right of personhood -- so if you as a citizen have the right to donate to campaigns, then so do corporations. Money has flowed in such a flood into both parties that the Democratic Party gets a lot of its support from the very interests that -- when the Republicans are in power -- financially support the Republicans.

You really have essentially -- except for the progressives on the left of the Democratic Party – you really have two corporate parties who in their own way and their own time are serving the interests of basically a narrow set of economic interests in the country -- who, as Glenn Greenwald, who is a great analyst and journalist, wrote just this week: these narrow interests seem to win, determine the outcomes, no matter how many Democrats are elected, no matter who has their hands on the levers of powers, these narrow interests determine the outcomes in Washington, even when they have to run roughshod over the interests of ordinary Americans. I’m sad to say that has happened to the Democratic Party.

I’d rather see Barack Obama go down fighting for vigorous strong principled public insurance, than to lose with a [corporate-dominated] bill . . . . the insurers are winning. Everyone already knows the White House has made a deal with the drug industry -- promising not to import cheaper drugs from Canada and Europe – promising not to use the government to negotiate for better prices -- that deal has been cut . . .

There’s this fear that Barack Obama will become the Grover Cleveland of this era – Grover Cleveland was a good man, but he became a conservative Democratic President because he didn’t fight the powerful interests – people say Obama should be FDR – I’d much rather see him be Theodore Roosevelt --– Teddy Roosevelt loved to fight – … I think if Obama fought instead of really finessed it so much . . . I think it would change the atmosphere."