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: 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