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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Theocrat Halloween Event

Truly scary.

Is There Something in the Water in Big Lake?

Earlier this month Police Chief Sean Rifenberick received a written reprimand after he sent pornographic e-mails to two employees.

Letters to the editor at the West Sherburne Tribune are a hoot.

In the recent letter to the editor by Jason Schmidt he mentions that Police Chief Rifenberick is "kissing the butts of council member's so us council Members would feel guilty of firing him."

I want all citizens and readers to know that "I would not lower my pride so low to allow Chief Rifenberick to kiss my butt" I oppose his type of administration, I oppose of his behavior and I oppose the way he treats his staff.

If all you readers and citizens want to see whose butts he is kissing, stop and see me. I will show you emails sent by Chief Rifenberick and his wife to a selected three on the Big Lake City Council; after I complained about this email issue, I was sent a copy by City Administrator Johnson and Mayor Orrock.

Now is it time for Sheriff Anderson to bring his troops to Big Lake ? to save tax dollars and to bring real police administration.

Richard "Dick" Backlund

City Councilman

Big Lake, MN

In another letter, a former officer writes in going after the chief.

Big Lake also elected the infamous Rep. Mark Olson to office.

St Cloud Times Larry Schumacher Beats Out Star Tribune On 6th District and Michele Bachmann Coverage

Larry Schumacher has done some excellent posts recently about the 6th District race. One talks about the race between Olson and Tinkenberg and mentions the Americans United for Change ads against Michele Bachmann. Another discusses a recent CQ article and DC conventional wisdom.

Schumacher also analyses a bill Michele Bachmann may or may not have co-sponsored that would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (and also make Bush's Tax cuts permanent), without finding the revenue to replace the revenue loss. So this bill would increase the deficit.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., on Friday unveiled a bill promoted as "major tax reform."

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

The so-called Taxpayer Choice Act, which Bachmann co-authored with U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and John Campbell, R-Calif., would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and allow taxpayers to choose how they want to pay their taxes -- either through the current system or a simplified tax with a 10 percent tier for joint income below $100,000 or a 25 percent tier for those at or above it, according to a news release.

The simplified version would include a $25,000 deduction for married couples, $12,500 for individuals and a personal exemption of $3,500.

Bachmann bills it as an alternative to other AMT middle-class fixes:

"We should give taxpayers, not Washington, the power to choose which system best fits their circumstances," she said. "Unlike other AMT proposals, this plan will not increase taxes for any American. Rather, it modernizes our inefficient Tax Code to better serve the interests of American families."

No word in the release about how the bill pays for eliminating the AMT, if nobody gets their taxes raised. And I'm not a federal tax attorney (or a former one), so if somebody out there can tell me how it would change the overall tax burden, I'm all ears.

UPDATE: I'm getting a little confused. This Washington Post column from Bob Novak mentions Ryan, Hensarling and Campbell as the bill's authors, but not Bachmann.

UPDATE II: Further Googling reveals this blog post from Campbell including Bachmann as a co-author of the bill.

UPDATE III: Apparently, the bill would make permanent President Bush's tax cuts and would not replace the lost AMT revenue.

Why don't other reporters dig beyond Michele Bachmann's press releases?

Do St Paul and Minneapolis Schools Teach Nothing About Revolutionary and Civil War in History Classes?

Mitch Berg just made this claim on the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

The schools might not teach the Christian Nation nonsense perpetrated by Edwatch and David Barton, but I'd have a hard time believing they don't teach about the founding fathers.

Can parents who have kids in the school comment?

Berg's listeners tend to take his word for things. I'd like more evidence for this claim.

Matt Entenza's Organization Minnesota 2020 Shows Surprising Lack of Women in Key Positions

Check it out.

Joseph A. Amato, Senior Fellow

Conrad deFiebre, Fellow

Lee Egerstrom, Fellow

John Fitzgerald, Fellow and Staff Researcher

Paru Shah, Fellow

John Van Hecke, Fellow and Director of Operations and Planning

Tommy Kim, Undergraduate Research Fellow

Ben Pierson, Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellow

Kelly Russell, Graduate Research Fellow

Andy Ver Steegh, Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellow

Glen Fladeboe, Director of Communications

Chris Shields, Deputy Communications Director

Judy Bartlett, Office Manager

Board Chair and Founder
Matt Entenza

Republican Convention Logo Gets Farked

Check it out.

NGLTF Responds to Pelosi's Announcement

Task Force responds to the announcement from House Speaker Pelosi to go forward with a vote on a non-inclusive ENDA:

Statement from Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We completely disagree with this proposed strategy – it simply makes no sense. If the goal is moving an ENDA that protects all of us, passing a flawed, gay-only bill utterly undermines that objective. The notion that the House of Representatives will be willing to revisit a different ENDA before the end of the calendar year – when it has been unwilling or unable to take up a single pro-gay matter over the last 34 years - is more than implausible. We will do everything possible to convince members to end this misguided course of action.”

Human Rights Campaign:

Human Rights Campaign Secures Unprecedented Commitment from House Speaker for Vote on Inclusive ENDA

HRC Works with Speaker to Develop Solution to Bring Inclusive ENDA for a Vote Once Support Is Demonstrated by GLBT Community

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign has collaborated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to craft a solution to the controversy surrounding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Today, in a meeting with HRC and other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, Speaker Pelosi took an unprecedented step and committed to giving H.R. 2015, the fully-inclusive version of the bill, a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured. This commitment by the Speaker of the House is an unprecedented departure from the usual delays seen in Congress on an issue that will have already been considered by the full House.

Additionally, as the community continues to advocate and educate Members of Congress to secure enough commitments for final passage, the inclusive version of the legislation will receive committee hearings.

Although H.R. 3685, the version of the bill that provides workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation only, will move to committee mark-up next week, Speaker Pelosi has given HRC her word that as soon as the commitments to pass a fully-inclusive ENDA are acquired, she will move that bill ahead.

“Speaker Pelosi’s promise to put a fully-inclusive ENDA to a vote continues to underline HRC’s passionate advocacy on behalf of the entire GLBT community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Our strategy throughout has been to stay at the table and fight for the ultimate goal that we all share. Today, that strategy has proven to be successful. With this commitment, the inclusive ENDA bill will continue to receive legislative action as it moves through the committee hearing process during the time HRC, and other coalition organizations, continue to advocate directly with Members to support this critical inclusive workplace protection bill.”

Solmonese continued, “Since the introduction of a sexual orientation only ENDA, HRC has ramped up its efforts to push for a fully inclusive ENDA that protects our whole community. Through calls to action to our supporters and frequent visits to Capitol Hill by our staff, Board of Directors and volunteers, HRC has fought hard to receive the kind of commitment that Speaker Pelosi gave us today.”

HRC has generated more that 80,000 calls, e-mails, letters and visits to Capitol Hill—more than any other GLBT or allied organization.

“Now the real work begins,” continued Solmonese. “We must maintain the momentum we have built up to persist in educating members of Congress and the public about issues facing the transgender community. HRC will continue to lead the lobbying and education campaign until we reach the goal we all share—workplace protections for the entire GLBT community.”

There is quite the discussion - promoting the inclusive ENDA over at Pam's House Blend.

Is this a Greg Wersal Type They Are Pushing

If so, I'd do the opposite.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More ENDA Commentary

Andrew Sullivan:

This ad hominem attack on anyone's views who veers from far left orthodoxy is routine among the professional GBLTXYZers who mau-mau the rest of us. John Aravosis is an almost pathologically partisan Democrat, a gleeful outer of insufficiently correct closeted public figures, a blogger in the mold of Atrios ... but he still can't be oppressed enough to be valid for the gay left. Hey, John. It's wake-up time. They hate you too. Welcome to the club.

As for the matter at hand, the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, I was told two decades ago that this was the non-negotiable number one priority for gay Americans, that gay people couldn't afford to fight for marriage equality or military service or anything else until this vital law passed.

I was told to shut up about everything else in order to support this central goal. The Human Rights Campaign raked in tens of millions of dollars over twenty years with this message (while the private sector, with HRC's help, actually enacted many legal protections for gay employees, and while the debates about marriage and military service transformed the movement, in the face of HRC's opposition). But now ... not so much. The transgendered movement is so important that it's worth subjecting gay people to many more years of employment insecurity. Not so urgent, after all, is it? Gay people in red states without employment protection have to wait while pomo lefty activists in cushy gay lobby jobs preen about p.c. purity.

I'm no big supporter of ENDA and don't truly believe it will make much of a difference. Nonetheless, holding it up for transgendered inclusion after two decades of waiting seems bizarre even for the p.c. hell that is the gay rights establishment. I can't believe I'm with Barney Frank on this one. But I am.

A commenter on Gay Patriot notes:


If there was any doubt as to HRC’s motivations, it was made clear to me by this sequence of events:

ENDA early drafts include transsexuals

ENDA looks like it might get near passage, transgender removed from protected classes “because it might prevent passage”…points to ADA for justification.

ENDA fails to gain any traction…HRC drops back and punts

Gender activists continue to lobby for transinclusion.

HRC decides they’d like the tranny money too, decides transinclusion is A Good And Noble Thing, now that it doesn’t matter so much

HRC collects piles of cash for years. (Phase 3: Profit!)

ENDA revives with Democratic Congress, HRC decides they like how things are now, thanks.

It really sucks to be lesbian, transsexual *and* conservative. It’s hard to know who to be more pissed at.

Comment by MaggieLeber — October 12, 2007 @ 5:07 pm - October 12, 2007

Nancy Pelosi on ENDA

Office of the Speaker
Hon. Nancy Pelosi
H-232, The Capitol

October 12, 2007

Drew Hammill said, "In her 20-year career in Congress, the Speaker has been a strong advocate in the fight to end discrimination against all LGBT Americans.

"The Speaker has committed to passing the broadest ENDA bill possible.

"As the Speaker told the audience at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner on Saturday, ‘Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and others will do the inside maneuvering. But we cannot succeed without outside mobilization. Working together, we will mobilize, and educate. Each and every one of us must take personal responsibility for passing the strongest possible ENDA – one vote at a time.’

"The House will move forward on H.R. 3685, however the Speaker is committed to passing a fully-inclusive bill once it is proven that the commitments to pass the legislation exist."

John Aravosis comments:

So basically she's promised the trans-inclusive-ENDA-or-nothing crowd a floor vote once they do their homework and get enough votes to pass their bill. (They don't have the votes, Barney Frank has said the trans-inclusive bill will lose by 50 votes.) In the meantime, she's going to move ahead with the GLB ENDA, which does have the votes. This way both 25 million gays and lesbians benefit, as do a hundred thousand trans community members.

What remains to be seen is whether the NGLTF and its allies will join James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Lou Sheldon and Pat Robertson in trying to kill ENDA.

It will be very interesting to see what OutFront Minnesota will do. I have contacted them for comment.

Mark Kennedy's Former Campaign Manager Tears Into Jim Dobson


I thought it was important to post on the matter of Giuliani v Dobson, et al, but I wanted to take a day to reflect because if you’re going to take sides in a family dispute, you better think it through.

To hear Jim Dobson, Richard Viguerie, and Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council, not the star of Psycho and Fear Strikes Out) tell it, our movement is heading into the abyss if Republicans dare to nominate Rudy Giuliani, and they’d rather join a third-party than support him. In their minds, there’s no difference between him and Hillary.

Strong stuff. But upon closer reflection, this is more about some of the conservative leaders than it is about Rudy Giuliani.

I think what we have here is a somewhat vain effort at “Interest Group Conservatism” the ugly step-child of the Interest Group Liberalism of the 60s-80s. While a few folks in Washington would, I’m sure, find it perfectly appropriate for them to select the next President of the United States, that’s not quite how it works.

In the case of whether conservatives should support Rudy or back a third-party candidate, Dobson, Viguerie, Weyrich, etc, could not be more wrong.

First of all: Is conservatism so weak, is its hold on the GOP so tenuous, that nominating a social moderate is the end of both the conservative movement and the Republican Party?

Will values voters really decide that their allegiance to the Republican Party is gone because our standard bearer is squishy on social issues?

They will? Really? They will ignore the pro-life credentials of their local elected officials, their members of Congress, their Governors, their Senators, the Party Platform, and years worth of pro-family legislative success?

Only a seriously declining movement would be so threatened by the prospect of nominating Rudy Giuliani. The Republican Party is, and will continue to be, a conservative party. Though, if it doesn’t get its house together in quick order, fiscal and economic conservatives will continue to abandon it at an alarming rate.

Supporting a third-party candidate who will get 3-8 percent of the vote and allowing Hillary Clinton to be elected President is the height of irresponsibility.

Gary Gross (the founder of this blog) comments:

Had I been in town I would have added “ass clowns” to your post tags.

Dr. Dobson should have to take a mandatory time out for being part of the Miers confirmation fiasco. He may know a thing or two about raising kids, but he knows nothing of advancing his own causes in the political realm.

What’s going to be real interesting is some of this will show that just as rank and file union members don’t vote with union leadership, rank and file evangelicals don’t follow Dobson like blind sheep.

I think Dobson, Perkins et al would rather have Republicans lose the election (with Giuliani) then have it blamed on lack of base support from them (since this is a bad GOP year, they can make that bet), than have Giuliani win - and they become more irrelevant to the GOP.

It will be interesting to see whether this emperor has no clothes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Minnesota Gay Groups and ENDA

I interviewed Joe Carlile, Chair of Stonewall DFL, to get their position on the controversy over strategy to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I asked him for Stonewall DFL's position on ENDA and he said:

We support a full and conprehensive ENDA that includes full transgender protections.

I asked if this meant that Stonewall DFL would oppose ENDA legislation that falls short of this, and Joe said there is nothing on the record that says that Stonewall DFL would take a public position against an ENDA that doesn't include transgender, but their public strategy now is to push - along with other gay groups - for a version of ENDA that includes transgender protections. Joe answered:

We are part of a national effort to ensure that any bill that comes to the floor would have protections for all. I can say that as an organization we favor the inclusiveness of the Minnesota legislation and would like to see it enacted on the federal level.

I asked again whether this meant they would oppose ENDA if it didn't include Trans protections. Joe stated:

I can't answer that right now. Our public strategy is to work within the party to make sure a trans-inclusive bill is the bill presented.

Contrast this to OutFront Minnesota's script that they encouraged people to use when calling Keith Ellison's office:

"I'm a constituent calling to let Representative Ellison know that I strongly support H.R. 2015, the version of ENDA that protects all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. I oppose any efforts to cut transgender people out of the bill, and I oppose any substitute bill that would leave transgender people behind."

The email they encourage says the same thing:

(1) Support only an inclusive ENDA, HR 2015 -- the original ENDA, which provides the only real protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

(2) Oppose a Motion to Recommit -- Do not allow an inclusive ENDA to be stopped by procedural maneuvers that could strip out some protections.

(3) Oppose a Non-Inclusive ENDA -- Any bill that does not include gender identity and expression does not effectively protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, OR transgender people. It leaves ALL members of our community vulnerable to employment discrimination. [emphasis mine]

There is much argument on this point. Dale Carpenter, from the University of Minnesota School of Law argues against this perspective:

That brings us to pragmatic considerations. The relevant choice, if Barney Frank is right about the temperature of Congress on this issue, is not between a limited ENDA and a comprehensive ENDA. It's a choice between a limited ENDA and no ENDA. It's hard to see how it serves any principle at all if it can't be enacted.

In other words, ENDA doesn’t “include” anybody if it can’t pass. Nobody knows how long it might take to educate Congress about trans issues. In the meantime, in 31 states there will be no job protection for gay people. After working so hard for this moment, shall we make them wait another year? Five years? Forever?

Just how much are activists’ uncompromising principles worth in terms of the lives of gay Americans in 31 states?

Some observers have noted that even if a gay-only ENDA overcomes a filibuster in the Senate, President Bush might veto it. That’s certainly possible and maybe probable, but a trans-inclusive ENDA would make both Senate passage and presidential approval less likely. Even if Bush vetoed ENDA, simply winning in the House would be a historic victory. It would build political momentum for more advances later, including eventual coverage for gender identity.

Progress in civil rights has never been an all-or-nothing proposition. If it were, we’d still be waiting to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protected blacks from job discrimination, but left out the aged and disabled people. When the law was expanded in 1991, but still excluded sexual orientation, gay people didn’t picket the NAACP.

Dale concludes:

Ironically, many of the activists demanding trans inclusion live in states where an incremental approach to gay and trans rights is well understood. California adopted gay civil rights laws long before trans protections. One of the groups opposed to a gay-only ENDA is the Empire State Pride Agenda, the New York gay-rights group, which just four years ago lobbied successfully for a gay-only state antidiscrimination law because a trans-inclusive one couldn’t pass.

The opposition to ENDA is coming mostly from a cadre of articulate, politically aware, and protected gay activists living in cocoons on the coasts and in large cities. They are imposing gender and queer theory on the lives of millions of gay Americans throughout the South, Midwest, and West. They charge that a gay-only ENDA manifests a selfish willingness to throw transgenders out of the boat.

Instead, the all-or-nothing ENDA manifests a self-satisfied willingness to sell the fly-over gays down the river. Hearts pure and integrity intact, elite activists who already have their rights will defend their high-minded principles right down to the last gay Alabaman.

Avidor AKA "Crayola Boy" Seems to Have MOB Parrot Mitch Berg's Undies in a Bunch

Polly wanna cracker?

Thanks, Crayola Boy! Maybe someday someone’ll give a rat’s ass about what you “write”/”draw”/whatever!

This is what strikes me. Why isn't someone more independent than Mitch Berg aka the MOB Parrot posting the original article about Captain Ed's blog? Captain Ed and Mitch are the co-hosts of the same NARN segment every Saturday. That would like having me post a bio of Ken Avidor - or Avidor Studios on Wikipedia.

I believe Wikipedia has guidelines on this sort of thing.

A commenter over at the Parrot's site writes:

Oh, I don’t know, having read some of the fawning, spin-til-you-die pablum on Wiki that this guy cites (if it Mitch that is the author of those cited articles) - well, the criticism certainly is highly deserved.

E.G. other than the Health Impact Fee - I guess Pawlenty kept his promise.

My reply is “gives a rat’s ass” is really fostering discourse.. very civil, very adult - and ‘Man-crush’ meet Rabbit Ears.

If we hung on your every utterance, considering the volume of bilge, there’s little else we could do during the work day - as that seems to be when you write most of your commentary these days - and even that’s ironic, considering you chastised your ‘adoring public’ (well, okay, only your critics, for commenting during the day- not so long ago.. hrmmmm).

Dream a double standard you object of a big-man-crush you.

# Kermit Says:
October 11th, 2007 at 5:35 pm

The parrot photoshop was kinda cute. AC would approve.
# jroosh Says:
October 11th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

The parrot photoshop was kinda cute. AC would approve.

…True but red’s not his color. I think he looks better in black.

Avidor points out:

Wikipedia is not an advertising service. Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products, or articles created as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, will be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies. For more information, please see Wikipedia:Spam.

Mitch Berg, Wikipedian

Berg's edits:

Berg created the Northern Alliance page:


The link from the Northern Alliance off the Wikipedia page doesn't work anymore:

... Berg also created The Taxpayers League Wiki page:

and this one:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Update: The Parrot's initial efforts on Captain Ed - and the resulting comments were hilarious:

# (cur) (last) 20:51, 28 July 2006 Eleemosynary (Talk | contribs) ("I don't have time") (undo)
# (cur) (last) 19:54, 28 July 2006 Mitchberg (Talk | contribs) (→Adscam - Attribution #2. I don't have all the time in the world to dig this stuff up - but if I write it, odds are it's a fact.) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 19:53, 28 July 2006 Mitchberg (Talk | contribs) (→Adscam - Attribution #1) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 05:03, 28 July 2006 Eleemosynary (Talk | contribs) (→Adscam) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 04:58, 28 July 2006 Eleemosynary (Talk | contribs) (Unsourced claim removed.) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 04:58, 28 July 2006 Eleemosynary (Talk | contribs) (Removed cheerleading and POV. Substantiate the claims.) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 04:56, 28 July 2006 Eleemosynary (Talk | contribs) (Deleted unsourced conjecture and POV.) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 13:07, 24 July 2006 Mitchberg (Talk | contribs) (→Trivia - added cat) (undo)
# (cur) (last) 13:05, 24 July 2006 Mitchberg (Talk | contribs) (Started article)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Barney Frank's Speech on ENDA

Pam's House Blend has the full text.

Mr. Speaker, I want to address today a very important issue that is generating an intense discussion among a fairly small segment of people who follow things, and it seems to us it's not healthy and that we ought to have a broader discussion, both of the specific issue, which is a question of how to protect people against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and at some point I would hope their gender and their gender identity, and also how do political parties relate to those in the population who are the most passionate, the most committed and the most legitimately zealous about their feelings, often on one particular issue to the exclusion of a broader set.

Before I came to Congress in 1981, former Members, the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Abzug), gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Tsongas) and others, in the House filed legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against people in employment based on their sexual orientation; that is, they would have made it illegal in the same way that the 1964 Civil Rights Act made it illegal based on race, but in a different statute for a variety of reasons, for people to be fired, for people to refuse to hire people, for people to be denied promotions or in other ways discriminated against in the job based on their being gay or lesbian or bisexual. That was, and has been, the number one legislative goal of gay and lesbian, bisexual people for more than 30 years.

In many States subsequent to that enactment, that introduction, laws were adopted to do that. Wisconsin was the first in 1982; Massachusetts, the State I represent, the second in 1989. Many States now have it.

As we kept that fight up in the face of a good deal of opposition and as we began to educate people as to why the prejudice against people based on our being gay or lesbian or bisexual was, in fact, invalid as a grounds for economic discrimination, movement expanded to cover people who are transgendered, people who were born into one sex physically but who strongly identify with the other sex and who, in fact, choose to live as members of the sex other than the one they were born in, often but not always having surgery to enhance that new life.

Let me add one point here. I am, myself, of course, gay, so when I talk about passing legislation against sexual orientation discrimination, it's fair for people to say, well, you think about yourself. But I first got elected to a legislature in 1972. In the intervening 35 years, I have worked very hard for legislation further banning discrimination based on race, discrimination based on ethnicity, based on gender to protect women, based on age to protect the elderly, based on disability.

At the time that I voted to protect people against those forms of discrimination, I was not, myself, a victim of any of them. I was not a beneficiary of banning discrimination against women or against African Americans or against Hispanics or people who were disabled. I was not when I voted for it one who was protected against discrimination based on age, but I now am, but I wasn't when I voted for it. I have just been around long enough to do that.

I reject the notion that somehow I have only been concerned with the category in which I am a member. I will say this, every time I voted for one of those, I was voting to protect one group of people and not another. Because at the time when we voted, that was all that we could do, that was all that we could get the votes for, because a fight against discrimination is an incremental fight. I wish it wasn't.

Go read the whole thing at Pam's House Blend. If I can find a youtube of this speech, I'll post it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

OutFront Minnesota Alert on ENDA

Support an Inclusive ENDA: One Community, One Bill, One Vote

Members of Congress announced on Oct. 1 that they are still deciding whether to move the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or the sexual-orientation-only bill. The lgbt community has worked very hard to add transgender protections to this legislation, and now we must work to keep those protections in ENDA.

It is critical that our representatives hear from each of us to urge them to keep both sexual orientation and gender identity in the ENDA--and to oppose any weakened version of the bill.

To omit a segment of the community from anti-discrimination legislation is wrong - philosophically, morally and strategically -- and removing protections based on gender identity and expression actually leaves a huge loophole in protection for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people. If the revised ENDA were to pass, employers could simply fire anyone for expressing their gender in a way that does not conform to gender stereotypes.

Finally, given that our current president is unlikely to sign a law protecting lesbian and gay people from employment discrimination, we are currently facing a choice between standing on principle and losing or abandoning principle and losing. We see only one correct position to take: ENDA must protect all Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Please take action today to help ensure that ENDA protects every member of the LGBT community.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a federal bill that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person's qualifications and job performance.

Write or Call Today!

Call: (202) 225-4755

"I'm a constituent calling to let Representative Ellison know that I strongly support H.R. 2015, the version of ENDA that protects all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. I oppose any efforts to cut transgender people out of the bill, and I oppose any substitute bill that would leave transgender people behind."

Write: Representative Ellison's email form

Subject: Support Inclusive ENDA Only: One Community, One Bill, One Vote

Dear Representative Ellison,

I am writing to urge you to:

(1) Support only an inclusive ENDA, HR 2015 -- the original ENDA, which provides the only real protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

(2) Oppose a Motion to Recommit -- Do not allow an inclusive ENDA to be stopped by procedural maneuvers that could strip out some protections.

(3) Oppose a Non-Inclusive ENDA -- Any bill that does not include gender identity and expression does not effectively protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, OR transgender people. It leaves ALL members of our community vulnerable to employment discrimination.

This is hotly debated in the gay community. The issue being debated is whether to oppose an ENDA bill if transgenders are not included. Democrats will rightly look bad if they can't get ENDA passed in this congress. They can't blame republicans any more.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Norm Coleman Has More to Say About Rush Limbaugh

Last week I speculated that the Strib's Doug Tice was doing damage control for Norm Coleman with a Big Question post. Now my speculations are confirmed.

CNS News via Leo:

Limbaugh Critic Argues Against Fairness Doctrine

By Fred Staff Writer
October 05, 2007

( - Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), the only Republican senator to criticize conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh - and who faces a 2008 challenge for his seat from failed liberal talk radio host Al Franken - warned against government regulation of talk radio on Thursday.

However, he did not retract his criticism of Limbaugh.

The issue of the Fairness Doctrine was raised again this week as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democrats took to the Senate floor to blast Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment.

More from CNS:

Coleman also compared Limbaugh's statement to the liberal's controversial ad calling Gen. David Petreus , commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, "Gen. Betray Us."

"Labeling an active duty general a traitor, or calling a soldier a phony for having a different opinion does not rise to the level of discourse we hold ourselves to in this country," said Coleman.

On Thursday, Coleman acknowledged that Limbaugh may have been talking about one individual rather than every veteran opposed to the war, but Coleman did not retract his criticism.

"My point about that, not what did Rush say, what he didn't say, I'm very clear about this," said Coleman, when speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

"I think we need to elevate the level of debate. The MoveOn thing was absolutely clear and explicit. It was calling the commander-in-chief of our armed forces in a time of war a traitor. It clearly crossed the line, and folks understood that," he added.

"What was originally reported with Rush in his comment, my first reaction was if those are his comments, it's wrong," said Coleman.

"Rush has clarified, but my point is still the same point. I think we just need to do better, I think we need to rise above the level of debate. Here's a legitimate concern about an individual, if they were a legitimate soldier. That's a different issue. But again, I think we need to do better," he said.

Leo comments:

Norm Coleman appears to be so petrified of losing any votes that he's finding it difficult to take a principled stand on any controversial issue. His continued attempts at placating both sides via rhetorical left and right switchbacks aren't gaining him any friends on the left, and certainly aren't serving to light any fires of support on the right.

To utilize Coleman's own verbiage, "I think we need to do better."

Physician, heal thyself.

Norm Coleman has always said different things to different people. This is nothing new.

Norm Coleman Irritates Base Voters with SCHIP

Leo Pusatari:

It may also be a good time to remind Norm Coleman just whose party he represents, and that he's running the risk of being laughed at when he takes the floor at the '08 Republican convention which just happens to take place in his home state.

The closer to election time Norm Coleman gets, the more clear it becomes that he is in dire need of a spine transplant.

The base has nowhere to go, though they can sit home at election day. That's Norm Coleman's challenge.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Drama Queen Gets Petty and Picky

Check it out here and here. Mike McIntee calls him out but gets a bit nasty.