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Saturday, September 25, 2004

White House on the Defensive about Bible Ban Claims

From the Press Gaggle in Wisconsin. Hat Tip Christian Grantham.

Q Scott, the RNC sent out letters to voters in two states saying that liberals want to ban the Bible. Does that include John Kerry, in President Bush's view?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know -- I haven't seen what they sent out, so you might want to talk to the RNC.

Q It's all over the wires and in the paper.

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't seen what they sent out. I like to know more about what it says than just going by what's in the news accounts.

Q You haven't seen the stories?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I saw the stories, but I don't know what it says.

Q But does he think that John Kerry wants to ban the Bible?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you need to address questions to the RNC about the flyers that they put out. I don't know what they put out.

Q But on principle, does the President think John Kerry wants --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's an end around to try to talk about what the RNC put out. I don't know exactly what they put out.

Q Could we ask you about that later in the day, after you've had a chance to look at it?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- refer those questions to the RNC. You know what the President's views are. He stated them very clearly.

Q Does the President think Democrats want to ban the Bible?

MR. McCLELLAN: That was an end around to talk about this RNC -- what the RNC put out.

Q It's a direct question.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're asking in the context of what the RNC put out.

Q The question --

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't seen what the RNC put out. And the President has never made such an assertion, so you know that that's not something he has made an assertion about. You know what the President's view are.

Wilmington North Carolina Paper Blasts Republican anti-gay mailing

Here....

Holy cow, what next?

Now the people of Arkansas and West Virginia know what the Republican National Committee thinks of them: that they're ignorant, stupid, prejudiced hayseeds who can be conned.

The GOP's national committee has acknowledged – without apology – that it sent mass mailings to those states warning that if "liberals" get elected, they might ban the Bible.

Perhaps the RNC is under the impression that people in West Virginia and Arkansas are incapable of reading the United States Constitution. Or perhaps that they are incapable of understanding the part that says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …"

That would seem to cover printing Bibles and reading them out loud.

An official with the Southern Baptist Convention said "some people" might argue that reading the Bible is "hate speech." But he conceded that accusing Democrats of wanting to ban the good book "is probably stretching it a bit far."

"Stretching it a bit far" is one way to put it. Another might be "bearing false witness against thy neighbor."

Possibly the next mailing from the Republican National Committee will warn that if "liberals" get elected, they will seize first-born sons and bus them to racially integrated government schools where they will be forced to marry other little boys, worship the devil, drink fluoridated water, burn the flag – and learn French.


Minnesota Democrats Exposed - an anonymous blog that is heavily promoted by the Minnesota Republican Party is going after Betty McCollum over the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't see what the problem would be with removing the words "under god" from the pledge. The Leviticus Crowd would have a cow if the pledge included the words "under allah".....

Powerline on Log Cabin Republicans

They are silent about Log Cabin's non-endorsement of Bush. They were upset with the interpretation of their screen names on Kicking Ass - the DNC blog.

"Nick - The name 'Hindrocket' is interesting. He's not one of those Log Cabin guys, is he?

"Posted by Ed Farley :: 12/28/03 01:57 PM"

Ouch! Hey, guys, let's keep it clean! I have to say, that's an interpretation that never occurred to me....

BIG TRUNK asks: Hey, what about me?

Calling out a Former Focus on the Family Employee: Stacy Harp

I'd also be interested in your thoughts on this article - from the Wockner Wire. Rex Wockner is a leading gay journalist - who covers gay politics.

This was written before the Republican National Convention...

Dubya is for gay rights

Every once in a while, George W. Bush slips up and reveals that he really doesn't share the radical right's antigay agenda.

Yes, he sucks up to them, but he doesn't believe what they believe.

It happened again Aug. 12 on CNN's Larry King Live.

Larry asked George, "What about the union of gays?"

George responded: "Well, that's up to states, you know. If states choose to do that -- in other words, if they want to provide legal protections for gays, that's great. That's fine. But I do not want to change the definition of marriage. I don't think our country should -- from the traditional definition of marriage that's between a man or a woman."

EY: Now how is this different than John Kerry's position?

Wockner:
George continued: "And I want to say something about this debate. It is a debate that must be conducted with the greatest respect for people. And that my judgment -- I think our society is great because people are able to live their lifestyles, you know, as they choose or as they're oriented."

EY: Ofcourse we have Swaggart saying that he'd kill anyone looking at him like that. Many have commented that they don't take that statement so seriously because Swaggart's not going to appeal to gay men anyway.... It's probably just wishful thinking on his part.

Wockner:

There's more, but let's stop here and dissect what George said.

1. It's "great" if states want to provide "legal protections" for same-sex couples. George approves of Vermont's civil-union law and the domestic-partnership laws in California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey.

2. America is great because gays are free to live as they are "oriented." George accepts that homosexuality is an orientation, not a choice, as his radical-right pals insist.

EY: I've always like Cheney's statement: Freedom means freedom for everyone.

Wockner:
OK, here's more from George:

"You know, people have said to me, well, if you're gay, you can't inherit because -- and you don't get the exemption from income tax. Well, my answer there is get rid of the inheritance tax forever, the death tax, which I'm trying to do. And there are ways to make sure gays have got rights. And you can do so in the law."

Let's try to take that gaping non sequitur apart.

1. George believes gays should be able to inherit from their partners without a will, like a spouse. As a quite separate matter, he wants to abolish inheritance taxes, something I support. That money already has been taxed.

2. George believes gay couples should be able to file their income taxes jointly.

3. There "are ways to make sure gays have got rights. ... You can do so in the law."

George would support laws that give same-sex couples matrimonial rights. There's no other possible interpretation. Well, I suppose there is one: He says contradictory things.

That may be true, but I think if we listen to what George Bush says when he's not reading a prepared speech, we are more likely to hear the real George W. Bush. And that person seems to favor equality for gay people except for granting them access to marriage.

Guess who else believes exactly that? John Kerry and John Edwards. Interesting stuff. George also believes we don't choose to be gay. I wish he'd tell his radical-right buddies this to their faces.

Now, you should still vote for Kerry and Edwards because they will actually work to give us everything short of marriage. Bush, on the other hand, might ignore his personal beliefs and, when push comes to shove, throw raw meat to the carnivores who hate gays.

EY: Exactly.... And it seems that the latest "raw meat" is this idiotic flyer sent out by the Republican National Committee saying that bibles will be banned and gay marriages will be allowed under liberals.....

Wockner:
That's too bad, but it's nice to know he's not a crazed, right-wing, fundamentalist-Christian gay-hater himself. And it's nice that he periodically let's that fact slip out.

It makes me ever-so-slightly less terrorized by the (still unthinkable) idea of Four More Years.

EY: Now I'm curious what your thoughts are on this. It seems to me that both Bush and Kerry are talking out of both sides of their mouth on this issue.

Hopefully you'll leave these comments up since this is an "open thread."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Black Gay Republicans in the Nooz

Dennis Sanders, who maintains the Moderate Republican blog, and VP of Public Relations for Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota was profiled in the Star Tribune on Tuesday. Dennis and I have been working together on this quixotic adventure that is Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota.

Dennis Sanders, who runs the Moderate Republican website, and is Vice President of Public Relations for Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota has made the news again in the Star Tribune.

The Rev. Dennis Sanders laughed at the suggestion that he's your typical gay, black, Republican minister.

"No, I'm more of a moderate, old-style Rockefeller Republican, which makes me even more of an oddity," said Sanders, 34, a vice president of Minnesota's Log Cabin Republicans and a minister at Lake Harriet Christian Church in Minneapolis.

The Rev. Terry Steeden, senior minister at Lake Harriet Church calls Sanders "an anomaly," describing the Flint, Mich., native as a man who "encompasses some very meaningful old traditions, but, on the other hand, is a rebel ... with a cause."

"Dennis defies stereotypes," added Joe Grubbs, the retired minister at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ who helped with Sanders' ordination. "You wouldn't want to label him."

But this is a story about labels. Black. Gay. Republican. Minister. Let's throw in tall and good-looking while we're at it, Grubbs suggested.

"Labels at least help identify who a person is," Sanders said. "It's only a problem when the labels basically become the people.

"People who have labeled me have asked, 'Why would you stay in a party that doesn't want you?' Well, I'm a Republican, but I hope people don't think all Republicans sit and listen to Pat Robertson."

The only child of retired auto-factory workers who urged him at an early age to question things, Sanders studied journalism at Michigan State University. He spent one summer in Washington, D.C., as a congressional intern, working for Rep. Dale Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. Sanders said that in the 1992 presidential primary, he voted for Paul Tsongas, a Democratic reformer from Massachusetts.

Sanders came to grips with his sexuality when he was 22, "concluding that this wasn't a terrible sin," and says he has many black and gay friends who are Democrats. He says he is a Republican by choice, not by default. He is affiliated with a political party that, he acknowledges, remains outwardly uncomfortable with gay marriages in an era when TV shows like "Will and Grace" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" are celebrated in mainstream culture.

"The attitude of the gay community is if you want equal rights, you've got to have Democrats," Sanders said. "But it would be dangerous for the gay community as a whole to put all our eggs in one basket. To me, equal rights should not be a partisan issue."

A military issue

Sanders became interested in the Log Cabin Republicans, a small organization that backs gay-friendly Republican candidates for office, in 1992, when gays in the military was a big issue.

Minnesota's governor at the time was Arne Carlson, whose political career defied stereotypes and labels. Carlson, a longtime Republican, campaigned for governor in 1990 as an independent. He was elected with the blessing of Republicans only after the party's endorsed candidate, Jon Grunseth, withdrew from the race just weeks before the election after being accused of sexual misconduct involving adolescent girls.

Eva Young, president of Minnesota's Log Cabin Republicans, recalled telling Carlson in 1992 that "we wanted an executive order that would ban discrimination against people in state employment.

"We got it," Young said recently, because "Carlson wasn't afraid to stand up and do what needed to be done, even if other Republicans might not agree."

But Republicans have never been easy to stereotype and are continuing to change and become more diverse, Carlson says.

"I've never met Dennis Sanders, and while a gay, black, Republican minister may sound unusual, it doesn't surprise me," Carlson said. "Look at how the Republican Party has changed. What happened to the party that was cautious about war? Talk about flip-flops! It's the parties that flip-flopped.

"Who defines what a Republican is? Tim Pawlenty? Norm Coleman ... a former Democrat? The Republican Party is becoming the party of the South. Nobody challenges a new breed of Republicans in love with deficits. Rudy Giuliani and [Arnold] Schwarzenegger are keynote speakers at the Republican Convention. No, the party is changing."

Changes in the party are obvious in the Twin Cities. Peter Bell, chairman of the Metropolitan Council, is well-known for his conservative views. Bell is black. And a Republican.

Carleton Crawford, co-chairman of the Fifth Congressional District, is black, a Republican and an admirer of Sanders.

"Joining a political party is not about being accepted," Crawford said. "It's about trying to make changes. Being accepted is essentially determined by what you do."

If any label need be applied to Sanders, it's "determined," said his partner, Eric Doughty. "And maybe a little stubborn."

Wanted to write

Sanders became a Republican because, in part, as a gay, black man, the party could not ignore him.

"Political parties are tools to get things done," he said. "But before you can get things done, sometimes you have to be noticed first."


The day after Dennis's profile was published, I got this in my email:

Abe Lincoln Black Republican Caucus Letter of Endorsement Will Be Delivered to the Republican National Committee Headquarters at 11:30 a.m. Today, Wednesday, September 22

Now how much do you want to bet, we see ads from this group running in the gay and black press pushing this Bush endorsement.

A Log Cabin insider comments:

This is a total set up by the White House political strategists.

Four years ago, they used their friends brother, Charles Francis, to have a meeting. It was an attempt to screw Log Cabin by setting up a meeting on their terms.

They used Log Cabin for three years to get their appointees through the Senate.

In December of last year, they told us to leave the table and slammed the door in our face by not returning any phone calls, refusing to talk to us and telling us in clear English they did not want us around.

When we said O.K., but we do have self respect. Well, the vast majority of us anyway. We are not going to support you. Now, they find some guy from their home state to put this little attention grabber together to put a "fuck You" Log Cabin to the country.

Yes, Bush will probably win, and yes we have a lot of work to do amongst our friends in the Republican party and to get ready in four years.


Exactly..... It's the way Rove et al exploited internal divisions within Log Cabin Republicans before.

UPDATE: More press releases from the group here and here.

They sure do race bait.

"We are not afraid of the white gay economic and political behemoth that continues to treat us like third class citizens and trash. It is the epitome of hypocrisy for White gays and lesbians to base their claims for rights to marry upon prejudice, discrimination and civil rights violations, when they are prejudiced, discriminatory and disrespectful of Black gay's and lesbian's human rights each and every day," stated Mr. Sneed. "The White gay community is one of America's last strongholds for White Supremacy. We will begin the dismantling of that stronghold today in downtown Dallas," stated Willie Beard, an ALBRC member.


This rhetoric also sounds alot like the rhetoric from the left.

See also Wonkette, Andrew Sullivan, BoifromTroy.



Sunday, September 19, 2004

Nooz at Outlet Radio

Ripped Sign Gate

Remember the picture of the 3 year old little girl crying because a Bush Cheney sign was ripped away from her. Well it turns out that her father has a habit of staging these things.

Captain Ed has more. According to one of his commenters: "You should also know that the photographer (who is not an AP photographer) is the same one who took photos at the 2 previous times that Parlock says he was assaulted at political rallies."

This was bad enough that Mitch Berg retracted his story (rare for Berg) - but not without this:

I'm sick and tired of the abuse Republicans take. I'm tired of the drumbeat of Goebbelsian Big Lies coming from the left, about the SwiftVets and the economy and the situation in Iraq. I'm tired of people genuflecting to the alleged balance of the mainstream media, while the biases are as plain as the nose on your face (if you nose was plastered with Kerry/Edwards stickers). I'm tired of the endless petty acts of venality I'm seeing coming from the left - like this, and this, and this, and the endless vandalism of all things Republican in Saint Paul that seems to claim most GOP lawn signs, sticker and so on in the weeks before every election.


Strike up the violins...

PK of Wog: Log Cabin Republicans are Quitters

My oped in the Star Tribune got noticed. A few minutes after I read it on the Star Tribune, I got this....

Eva,

Read you piece in the Strib tomorrow ;-)

Ya got me all worked up and I wrote a letter to the editor, but the freaking website somehow failed to accept it -- Server Error or some such.

Should I re-submit?

It's pretty heartfelt and even has a couple sly turns of phrase, so I hope it won't "queer" you to going out to Keys!

Let me know what you think:

Luckily it copied it before the Strib site lost the form.

I am disappointed with my good friend Eva Young and the Log Cabin Republicans for withholding their support for President Bush's re-election.

We Republicans have by and large welcomed disparate factions, ie, we are truly the "Big Tent" party, but we need to focus on what we agree on, rather than single issues where we might not.

Republicans embrace a gamut of individuals, versus specific organized influence groups whom the Democrats increasingly rely upon.

If the Log Cabin Republicans agree on more conservative issues than they agree with the Democrats, they should support the Party and work from within to try to influence its future direction.

By it's non-endorsement of President Bush, the Cabinites risk queering the mainstream Republicans who are willing to accept the gay lifestyle, but are not willing to sanction it.

PK


PK ran an edited version of this on Wog's Blog. He ends that with: "Change takes time. Quitters never win."

PK... We are not quitting. Log Cabin Republicans has just decided to withhold endorsement from President Bush. Individual members of LCR will make different voting decisions.

The Bush campaign decided to exploit anti-gay bigotry for political gain. This doesn't come without political cost.

Dale Carpenter, Professor of Law (who debated Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family on gay marriage at the U of MN), has some very good commentary on the LCR decision to withhold endorsement. As Log Cabin Republican ED Patrick Guerriero states:

"Log Cabin is more committed than ever to its core mission to build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party. There is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and that fight is bigger than one platform, one convention, or even one President."

"Intelligent Design Theorists" aka Creationists Get Defensive about Quote Mining

Here.... Hat Tip: Catshark on talk.origins.

The Purpose: The quotes have been officially put here for the sole purpose of your own personal reading enjoyment and to assist and encourage you in research. Some of these quotes are admittedly quite provocative in their meaning and their intentions, and it is our hope that you might be affected by them in some wayb (others. though are just for fun). Ultimately we are not trying to say anything in particular by posting them, and we take no responsibility for the way you interpret or use them. They are officially just there for you to read, consider, and hopefully spur you on to your own further research.

Accuracy Estimate: Given the sources for the quotes, my rough-conservative guess is that a very high percentage (probably > 85%) of them are highly accurate, not out of context, and usable in their presented form perhaps in a discussion, debate, or paper. We make this claim for no quote in particular, this is just an unofficial helpful estimate for the collection as a whole.

Proper Usage of Quotes: That being said, please be careful if using these quotes in any official forum. One of the biggest charges leveled at creationists (by evolutionists) and at evolutionists (by creationists) is that they quote one-other out of context, and misrepresent one-anothers' views. Regardless of whether such charges are true, let none of us make them true. If you are going to use any of these quotes in any official format, I highly recommend checking them out the original source beforehand, and maybe even doing some background research on the issue and the author.


Ofcourse in biology, research methods typically aren't just quote mining, it involves experiment and data analysis. Even theorists and modelers try to predict results based on their models.....