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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Openly Gay Democrat Runs Against Liddy Dole for US Senate

Pam Spaulding has the story.

Obama Gets Anti-Gay Singer at Campaign Event

Americablog quotes NY Times.

As religious conservatives gather in Washington this weekend for the “Values Voters Summit,” Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announced its latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour.

All three of the dates of the “Embrace the Change” tour are in South Carolina, where Mr. Obama is locked in battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for black voters.

Gospel acts including Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage and the Mighty Clouds of Joy are scheduled to appear.

“This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level,” Joshua DuBois, the campaign’s religious affairs director, said in a release.

I left this question with their online press form:

Donnie McGurkin - an anti-gay activist will be singing at an Obama event according to the NY Times quoted by Americablog:

I'm curious why Obama is giving this guy legitimacy. Can you please let me know? Specifically can Joshua DuBois - who issued the release about McGurkin - get back to me on this.


Eva Young
Lloydletta's Nooz

I will let you know if I get any response.

Politico on the FRC Straw Poll


Romney wins online, Huckabee wins room

By: Mike Allen
Oct 20, 2007 06:30 PM EST
Composite image by
The Arkansan was the overwhelming favorite of those casting “Values Voter Straw Poll” ballots in person.

Mitt Romney was announced from the podium Saturday afternoon as the winner of the Family Research Council’s "Values Voter Straw Poll" of Christian conservatives, but it turns out that Huck-mentum was in the air.

The 5,775-vote total included thousands of people who had voted online, and might have become eligible by paying as little as $1 to join FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council.

Although the audience of evangelicals at the Washington Hilton was not told about the alternate count, the crowd favorite by a mile among the 952 attendees who voted in person was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He took 51 percent of the in-person votes, compared to just 10 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.

Organizers said they wound up with more than 2,200 attendees, plus more than 400 journalists. Further complicating the voting totals, about 600 attendees voted online, so making it tougher to generalize about the discrepancies, organizers said.

The scrambled results obscured a clear message: To the degree that the group represents evangelical voters, they remain flummoxed about where to put their prestige and muscle in the ’08 race.

Huckabee, who got whistles and standing ovations when he spoke to the crowd Saturday morning, took a clear shot at Romney when he said: “It’s important that a person doesn’t have more positions on issues than Elvis had waist sizes.”

FRC President Tony Perkins told reporters after the results were announced: “I think Governor Huckabee gets the biggest bounce of this.… I know a lot of people are critical of Governor Romney … but Governor Huckabee worked very aggressively online to get votes as well.”

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani fared poorly in both polls. But Perkins said Giuliani “was a winner by coming” to give a well-received Saturday morning speech in which he said the social conservatives “have absolutely nothing to fear from me.”

Perkins said Giuliani may have even taken some of the air out of a push among some social conservatives to support a third-party candidate if Giuliani becomes the nominee. Perkins still said he would not vote for Giuliani, because of his pro-choice stand on abortion.

Romney’s campaign had recognized the voting loophole ahead of time and sent a mass e-mail Thursday alerting social conservatives that the FRC was “allowing people to vote whether or not they attend the conference.”

The e-mail continued:

“Let me tell you how simple this is! Just go to and click on the large banner 'Participate in the 2008 American Values Straw Poll.' "

This led one rival to suggest the headline, “Romney Win$ Straw Poll.”

And here are the results:

Here are the total results:
Mitt Romney – 1,595 votes – 27.62%
Mike Huckabee – 1,565 votes – 27.15%
Ron Paul – 865 votes – 14.98%
Fred Thompson – 564 votes – 9.77%
Undecided – 329 votes – 5.70%
Sam Brownback – 297 votes – 5.14%
Duncan Hunter – 140 votes – 2.42%
Tom Tancredo – 133 votes – 2.30%
Rudy Giuliani – 107 votes 1.85%
John McCain – 81 votes – 1.40%

And here are the in-person results:

Mike Huckabee – 488 votes – 51.26%
Mitt Romney – 99 votes – 10.40%
Fred Thompson – 77 votes – 8.09%
Tom Tancredo – 65 votes – 6.83%
Rudy Giuliani – 60 votes – 6.30%
Duncan Hunter – 54 votes – 5.67%
John McCain – 30 votes – 3.15%
Sam Brownback – 26 votes – 2.73%
Ron Paul – 25 votes – 2.63%
Undecided – 11 votes – 1.16%

Did Bush Staffers Help Craft the Religious Exemption in ENDA?

Peter LaBarbera is reporting they did, and he is hopping mad.

BREAKING NEWS/URGENT UPDATE: Americans For Truth has learned that a White House official has boasted to pro-family leaders attending a private Administration briefing that White House staffers were involved in the negotiations to craft expanded religious exemption language for the new ENDA bill, H.R. 3685 (discussed below). Call President Bush at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 ( to urge him to publicly pledge to veto the dangerous ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) bill, H.R. 3685 in ANY form should it pass.

At the briefing, the White House official did not commit to the assembled evangelical leaders that the President would veto H.R. 3685, saying that they will wait to see the bill’s final language, according to our source. This is troubling in that vetoing ENDA in any form is regarded as a “no-brainer” by pro-family activists, who are counting on Bush to stop it. Failure to veto ENDA would be a devastating defeat for pro-family forces and a huge gift to homosexual lobbyists. Call the President (202-456-111) and urge him to “please publicly pledge to veto ENDA, H.R. 3685, in any form if it passes Congress.”

Some religious leaders take comfort in ENDA’s exemptions; we do not (see Points 8 and 13 below). White House involvement in negotiations over ENDA is problematic in that makes it more difficult for President Bush to veto the bill. As you can read below, H.R. 3685’s current religious exemption will hardly affect the many ways in which ENDA would erode and destroy the freedom of Americans to act on their deeply-held moral beliefs about homosexuality.

Bush reaffirmed the Executive Order banning discrimination against gays, originally signed by President Clinton.

Does Jim Wallis Respect the Constitution?

A while back I wrote to request an interview with Jim Wallis, a self-appointed leader in the Religious Left to ask him whether he thought being a believer should be a job requirement for a politician.

From: Eva Young []
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 5:30 PM
To: Media
Subject: Does Jim Wallis have a comment about Romney's recent statement?

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was recently heckled for being mormon.

His response:

"We need to have a person of faith lead the country."

Does Jim Wallis agree with him?

Wallis's communications director responded:

Good to hear from you -- thank you for being in touch. I'm not sure if
Jim Wallis is available for a comment on this particular question at this time, but please do check out, a recent posting on on this
issue by Tony Jones

The post didn't answer the question so I tried again:

The post I mentioned does not address the issue I'm asking about. Romney said that a person should be required to be a "person of faith" in order to be President. The logical conclusion to that would mean that atheists or agnostics could not be President under Romney's qualifications. Does Jim Wallis believe this or does he respect the constitution on this matter (no religious test)? Does Wallis believe that atheists or agnostics have no morals because they do not have faith?

Article VI:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Colin from his staff directs me to another post.

How about this recent posting by Jim

Wallis's post has lots of words in it - but doesn't directly address the issue - which is whether he believes someone has to be a person of faith in order to serve in a political capacity. I've always found it ironic that "strict constructionists" like Judge Scalia have evidently not read Article VI in the constitution - which was very clear on that topic - not to mention the first amendment.

Friday, October 19, 2007

How Same Sex Marriage Marriage Threatens Liberty

Michele Bachmann in her own words at Worldnet Daily, and published in a number of local publications:

How same-sex marriage threatens liberty
Posted: April 24, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By state Sen. Michele Bachmann

We are engaged in the hottest political debate of our time; that is, whether marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples or other alternatives.

Everything from morality, legal benefits, the impact on children, public schools, government and private businesses have been discussed in the media. Incredibly, almost no attention has been focused on the very real threats to our civil and religious liberties.

Specifically, the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status given to thousands of churches, nursing homes, schools, ministries, universities and radio stations may be at risk if an organization "discriminates" against a legally protected status, such as same-sex marriage.

What does this mean? If gay marriage is legalized, then any church or religious organization that doesn't agree with same-sex marriage will likely come under intense pressure to either change their views or go silent. Tax-exempt status for faith-based organizations that fail to agree with same-sex marriage will be at risk.

That is already happening in Canada. Recently, judges imposed same-sex marriage in three Canadian provinces. Today, the Canadian Parliament is discussing a bill (C-250) that Canadians claim could be used to outlaw parts of the Bible as hate speech and could criminalize individuals in organizations that teach that same-sex contact is immoral. Same-sex marriage is a serious threat to our civil and religious liberties and could lead to widespread discrimination against people who disagree.

John Leo, columnist for U.S. News and World Report, wrote on April 19, "The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission ruled that a newspaper ad listing biblical passages that oppose homosexuality was a human-rights offense. The commission ordered the paper and Hugh Owens, the man who placed the ad, to pay $1,500 each to three gay men who objected to it.

"In another case, a British Columbia court upheld the one-month suspension, without pay, of a high-school teacher who wrote letters to a local paper arguing that homosexuality is not a fixed orientation but a condition that can and should be treated. The teacher, Chris Kempling, was not accused of discrimination, merely of expressing thoughts that the state defines as improper."

Persecution isn't confined to Canada. Leo went on to write, "In Sweden, sermons are explicitly covered by an anti-hate-speech law passed to protect homosexuals. The Swedish chancellor of justice said any reference to the Bible's stating that homosexuality is sinful might be a criminal offense, and a Pentecostal minister is already facing charges.

"In Britain, police investigated Anglican Bishop Peter Forster of Chester after he told a local paper: 'Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves. I would encourage them to consider that as an option.' Police sent a copy of his remarks to prosecutors, but the case was dropped.

"In Ireland last August, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties warned that clergy who circulated a Vatican statement opposing gay marriage could face prosecution under incitement-to-hatred legislation.

"In the United States, the dominance of anti-bias laws and rules limiting free speech and free exercise of religion is clear on campuses, not so clear in the real world. Still, First Amendment arguments are losing ground to anti-discrimination laws in many areas." (John Leo, "Stomping on Free Speech")

A court in England ruled in January that a preacher who held up a sign in a town square calling for an end to homosexuality, lesbianism and immorality was "properly convicted" of a criminal offense.

The newly elected socialist prime minister of Spain said, "We are going to present a bill to set gay unions on the same footing as marriage. � It will have the same legal effect [as marriage]."

Canada. Sweden. Ireland. England. Spain. Now, the United States.

What is incredible is the speed at which our culture has moved on this issue. Only one year ago no major political figure, from either party, would have publicly embraced same-sex marriage – that was viewed as political suicide. Neither the media nor the mainstream press was pushing gay marriage. So, what happened?

June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court released Lawrence v. Texas, which held that states could not outlaw sodomy. Justice Scalia in his dissent wrote, almost prophetically, that Lawrence could lead to gay marriage. The court's majority dismissed Scalia's concerns as overreaching scare tactics. Five months later, Scalia, to his dismay, was proven right when the Goodridge decision ordered the Massachusetts Legislature to legalize gay marriage by May 17, 2004.

Six legal scholars wrote of Massachusetts' effort to equate civil unions with man/woman marriage, "Churches and other religious organizations that fail to embrace civil unions as indistinct from marriage may be forced to retreat from their practices, or else face enormous legal pressure to change their views. Precedent from our own history and that of other nations suggests that religious institutions could even be at risk of losing tax-exempt status, academic accreditation and media licenses, and could face charges of violating human-rights codes or hate-speech laws." (Institute for Marriage and Public Policy)

How could this happen? A 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision said, "An institution seeking tax-exempt status must serve a public purpose and not be contrary to established public policy. To warrant exemption under 501(c)(3), an institution must fall within a category specified in that section and must demonstrably serve and be in harmony with the public interest." (Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 US 574 (1982))

If courts buy the argument (opposed today by many African-Americans) that the plight of gays is equal to that of oppressed racial minorities, then the courts may find a "public interest." That finding could lead to a denial of tax-exempt status to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.

We have a window of opportunity here in Minnesota to act before May 17. On that day, the Minnesota Constitution requires that the Legislature adjourn its business, ironically the same day that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Massachusetts for the first time in the history of our nation.

I am the Senate author of SF 2715, the constitutional amendment allowing the people to vote on marriage. This bill, authored by Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, passed overwhelmingly 88-42 in the Minnesota House of Representatives on a bi-partisan vote. Gov. Tim Pawlenty supports this bill. Now the challenge is in the Minnesota State Senate. All we need is to impact the senators of our state and ask them to pass SF 2715, unamended, so that millions of Minnesotans, rather than one judge or 201 legislators, can decide the definition of marriage at the ballot box in November.

With the experience of other nations as a guide, we have our civil liberties to lose and little to gain by doing nothing. Our counterparts in Sweden, England and Canada are giving us a glimpse into our future if we fail to act.

The senators need to hear from their constituents today. Nothing less than our civil and religious liberties are at stake!

For more information you can also visit

April's edition of Whistleblower magazine, "Sexual Anarchy," clearly documents how same-sex marriage exploded on the scene over the last several months and explains how the homosexual-marriage juggernaut can be stopped dead in its tracks.

A former tax litigation attorney, Michele Bachmann is serving her second term in the Minnesota State Senate, representing Senate District 52.


FRC Values Voters Straw Poll - Are Candidates Stuffing the Ballot Box

Right Wing Watch:

Perkins returned to a theme Jackson had started working at breakfast – that the Republican Party had been using white evangelicals while pushing them to the back of the bus, the way he said the Democratic Party had done with blacks – and maybe black and white evangelicals should get their own bus. Jackson wanted to make sure people understood that “our vote will at least be a spoiler vote,” and could keep someone out of the White House. But he said he was open to any candidate having a “road to Des Moines” moment on the movement’s issues.

Perkins clearly isn’t expecting many attendees to support Giuliani, though he gave Giuliani points for agreeing to attend. Asked specifically about Giuliani’s pledge to appoint “strict constructionists” to the Supreme Court, Perkins cited disappointments with Reagan and Bush I, and said of the current president, “We wouldn’t have Alito if we hadn’t opposed Harriet Miers.”

Perkins refused to predict the winner of FRC’s straw poll, but said he thought two or three candidates would come out of the weekend with credible support from social conservatives, enough to give them a boost in the early primaries.

Several reporters seemed skeptical that FRC’s straw poll will be immune to ballot-stuffing my candidates. Perkins defended the process but did say a couple of thousand people had become eligible by becoming FRC Action members in the past few weeks (you could become a member by registering for the conference.)

The Romney campaign is known for this sort of thing.

Is this the Way "Pro-Lifers" Promote Their Cause?

MOB Parrot Mitch Berg is whining about a post of Jeff Fecke's on Shakespeare's Sister. He fails to link to the post to allow readers to see for themselves.

It's the blog equivalent of demonstrating with jars with fetuses. Whine in the Dark:

Abortion is, obviously, one of the most contentious issues there is. Like many such issues, there is a hard core of 10% on the right that wants it banned and criminalized, and 10% on the far left that wants to make it a civil sacrament. In between, there are an awful lot of shades of belief, including many - myself included - who are fundamentally libertarian, but believe personally that life begins at conception and that a “fetus” - given the fate that God or physiology or remorseless fate has in mind for at least half of them if you leave them alone - is attended with a little more moral gravity than a toenail or a plantar’s wart, and that just because God or evolution or what-have-you has set things up so that that incipient life form needs a female uterus for a few months isn’t a sign of its lack of ethical and moral weight, but a sign of how much weight the whole idea of physiology, sex, pregnancy, reproduction and men and women themselves have in the great scheme of things.

Actually this is a straw man description of what pro-choice means. The issue is whether or not abortion should be criminal, not whether abortion is right or wrong. I don't know anyone on the pro-choice side who is "pro-abortion." That is the political issue here. So Mitch, if you oppose criminalizing abortion, that makes you pro-choice.

As Jeff Fecke wrote:

Back in May, my friend and then-editor at Minnesota Monitor, Robin Marty, announced she was expecting a child. It was great news for Robin and her husband Steve, and obviously those of us who know them were happy for them.

Now, Robin was and is a longtime supporter of abortion rights. Something about women having the right to determine what happens in their own bodies. Anyhow, like many pro-choice women, Robin was still able to enjoy her pregnancy, knowing that even though it was early in her term, the fetus that she carried was going, eventually, to grow into her child.


So like any good blogger, she posted an image of the first ultrasound.

At this point, enter Tom Swift, crazy Minnesota blogger and erstwhile GOP candidate for school board in St. Paul. (I won't link to him, and if he finds his way back here, Melissa, terminate him with extreme prejudice.) He blogs under the name Swiftee, and he created an image to welcome Robin and Steve's child into the world:

You get it? Because Robin was pro-choice, she might decide to abort the child she wrote about, so let's get it some protection.

Disgusting doesn't even begin to touch it. The insinuation Swiftee makes is that Robin would want to harm her child, not just as a fetus, but once born, too. It's attacking Robin, using the image of her eventual child to do so.

That's not the interesting part of the story, though. Swiftee's image got those of us on the left seething, but we let it go, primarily because we don't want to give him the traffic. But that seething got back to local blogger Mitch Berg, who styles himself as a "reasonable conservative," someone who believes in hitting his opponents hard, but fairly. And Mitch's response to Swiftee was what I remembered:

Is Robin and Smarty’s baby “fair game” for satirists, given that

1. she put the ultrasound out on her public website, and
2. she and her colleagues from the “Minnesota Monitor” rentablog she “edits” have stumped for abortion on demand and partial birth abortion, and fumed and phumphered when the SCOTUS shot the procedure down?

Well, I’d say “I hope not” - but of course, in the world of internet “cartoonists”[...]pretty much everything is fair game. If there’s an unflattering or embarassing pic of yourself out there somewhere online, it’s going to pop up sooner or later, intended to dink at some belief of yours or another.

So - did Swiftee “cross a line” with his cartoon? What line? Where? In the coarse thrum of the political blogging interchange, I’m not sure there’s a line left anymore; any line one person draws is someone else’s sport to cross, and ones’ best bet is to strictly separate the personal and the public (as, indeed, I do). The one that civil people try to observe when dealing with one another…

Very Pilate-like, Mitch was. But it was that line -- "fair game" -- that caught my memory. Mitch styles himself as reasonable, but if you cross out the official hemming and hawing, Mitch's meaning is clear: heck yes, the child of Robin and Steve is fair game. If you can make a political point by attacking the Martys, then by all means, go for it.

Mitch responded:

Not to speak for Tom Swift - a person who truly needs nobody to speak for him - but that is the most overdramatic possible reading of his point.

What was his point? Maybe that any “fetus” - not Robin’s, in particular, or not just hers - might have reason to be nervous, since the same consciousness that decides he or she is important enough to carry to birth can change his or her mind. Or maybe - given the number of people who don’t credit a fetus with “existence” until the umbilical is cut - that given the existence of partial birth abortion the “fetus” is never really safe. Maybe that a mythical, cognitive “fetus”, lacking an objective, hard-wired standard like “Tenure” that’d cause his/her parents (in general, not Rew and Smartie) to consider him/her a real person, isn’t any safer than that non-tenured professor - except the fetus isn’t going to wind up teaching freshman literature at Normandale if he/she doesn’t make the convenience cut.

So do Mitch Berg and Tom Swift think that people who believe abortion should be legal should not have children?

Mitch Berg defends himself with this:

A fetus baby with a helmet. It’s kinda funny, if you don’t know the people involved. Still funny when you do, but it makes me a little uneasy. I generally prefer to keep politics impersonal. And yet it’s hard to look at, say, this (not safe for work or queasy stomachs; it’s the end-result of a “partial birth abortion”, and it’s horrific) and not want to make it very personal and not-abstract-at-all for those who support it.

Berg also tries to compare Avidor's post that exposed his public online record at Wikipedia with Swiftee's post:

I’ve had stalkers (and still do, although they’re really not very smart ones) - and so I keep my kids, my job, my girlfriends (when I have one) and their kids religiously out of this blog and everything else I write. Partly because anything you do put out there is “fair game”; partly because the concept of “fair game” is unfair.

Tom Swift later followed up his photoshop of Robin Marty's sonogram, with adding his cartoon image of me to the sonogram. I didn't post about this at the time, so I never understood why he brought me into it.

Berg concludes:

And while I wish that the world - and its agent, in this case, Tom Swift - had left Rew and Smartie’s ultrasound pictures alone, and that this flap wouldn’t have involved two sets of friends of mine (and that puppies didn’t die, for that matter), the fact is that Swiftee was right. It was perfectly-aimed satire - and for left-leaning public figures (as Fecke is) to barber that it’s “tasteless” opens us all up to an endless dissertation about “tasteless” satire that the left defends even more blythely on principle, and with even less consideration, with counterexamples and counter-counterexamples, ad infinitum.

It sucks that it involved people I know.

I have no problem with tasteless satire. I just totally disagree with the point Tom Swift was trying to make. Tom Swift's posts were the blog equivalent of fanatics demonstrating near public schools carrying jars with fetuses.

Bill Richardson Calls on AG Nominee to Denounce Torture

I get the Richardson press releases for some reason:

Governor Bill Richardson Calls on AG Nominee to Answer the Question on Torture or Withdraw

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2007

Contact: Tom Reynolds
(505) 681-1832

GUTHRIE CENTER, IA-- In response to U.S. Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey's refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture, New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson this morning issued the following statement:

"Waterboarding is torture, and anyone who is unwilling to identify it as such is not qualified to be the chief legal officer of the United States of America. If I were in the U.S. Senate, I would vote against Mukasey unless he denounces such specific forms of torture.

"Torture does not work. Mistreatment backfires and destroys our international leadership, as we saw with Abu Ghraib. Torture also endangers our own troops. The standards we adopt may well be what our own troops are subjected to.

"Anytime one makes a person think he or she is being executed, the very nature of waterboarding, it obviously is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, international law, and basic human decency.

"ABC News has described waterboarding as follows: 'The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face, and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in, and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.'

"If another nation engaged in waterboarding against American citizens, we would denounce that country and call the practice barbaric, and rightly so.

"We must stand against torture without equivocation, without compromise, and without exception. Torture is a violation of everything we stand for as Americans and as human beings."

Another Campaign Finance Scandal for Hillary Clinton

Eric Black Ink:

Reacting to a story in the LA Times, Eric wrote:

Clinton has raised hundreds of thousands (and when the full tale is told, I expect it will break a million) from New York’s Chinatown, a mostly-poor neighborhood that has never been known for involvement in politics at this level. Many of the donors on the Federal Elections Commission reporting form are listed as waiters, busboys, hairdressers, etc. who seem unlikely sources of $500 to $2,300 campaign contributions.

In a great example of shoe leather reporting, Tom and Peter Nicholas, his partner on this story, went door to door looking for the donors to ask what motivated them to give. They found a great many of the donors do not live at the addresses listed by the FEC reports, many are not registered voters, at least one “donor” said he hadn’t written Clinton a check, and some did not have the legal status (you don’t have to be a citizen or a registered voter, but you do have to be a legal resident alien) to give.

Eric concludes:

My takeaway: With the presidential candidates feeling the need to raise unprecedented huge sums, with the latest version of McCain-Feingold erecting new barriers to some of the old ways of raising it, the Clinton campaign — and I don’t doubt that others are doing similar things — are inventing new subterfuges to smuggle improper campaign money past the legal requirements.

Bill Clinton is coming to Minneapolis to raise money for Hillary. Tickets are very reasonable. Yet they seem to be having trouble selling them:

Dear Eva,

There are just a few days left before President Clinton comes to Minneapolis on Tuesday, and tickets are running out. This is a great chance to meet the former president and to help Hillary Clinton make history.

I'm not missing this event, and neither should you. I hope to see you there!

Click here to get your tickets now.

Matt Entenza

I went over to the site. Here's the scoop: Tuesday October 23 at 6:00 PM at the State Theater.

What type of tickets would you like?
$25 (Student)
$50 (General Entrance)
$100 (Sponsor - Priority Seating)

Lloydletta's Nooz Interviews with Senate Candidates

I sent requests to the Norm Coleman, Al Franken, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Mike Ciresi campaigns for an interview about GLBT issues.

The Ciresi campaign has responded and agreed to an interview.

We will see how the other campaigns respond.

Republican District Chair Andy Apikowski Unhappy with Norm Coleman Again


That is the aim of the Al Gore global lunacy crowd. They are using fearmongering to destroy our capitalistic society, and worse, create their social conformity eutopia. Think Soviet Russia, only worse.

Do you realize there is virtually no way to reduce powerplant emmissions by 70% except by reducing output? That means your own personal usage will also be cut.

But not one has the strong bipartisan support. In addition to Warner, Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Susan Collins of Maine are co-sponsors, as is Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

“It is imperative that our nation acts now to address the concerns over growing greenhouse gas emissions, while carefully addressing the effects it could have on working families and our economy,” Coleman said.

Of course Coleman is a sponsor.

Hey, look, more demoralized conservatives. It is an election year Norm, you need us to defend you and work for you, not constantly work to keep you aligned with us.

Just imagine if all those calls and emails were on your behalf, rather than directed at you.

Oh and so you blind loyalists in the GOP, just to give you an idea of how bad this legislation is, Sen. Klobuchar is piling on too.

Oh and so you blind loyalists in the GOP, just to give you an idea of how bad this legislation is, Sen. Klobuchar is piling on too.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is the author — along with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine — of a so-called “carbon counter” provision in the Lieberman-Warner bill that would establish a national greenhouse gas reporting registry.

This is not the kind of working across the isle people on the right have in mind. Why is it that Democrats never cross over to our side? Nope it is always people like Coleman working on liberal issues. Frankly, it is nothing to brag about.

Government-imposed limits would cover about three-fourths of all releases of greenhouse gases. Warner and Lieberman say other parts of the legislation could lead to further emissions cuts from sources such as private homes, which are not covered in the restrictions. Examples include new energy efficiency requirements and possibly more stringent actions that state could have permission to take.

Your private home!

I believe there is a pretty large group of conservatives who won’t support Coleman anymore no matter what, and a growing number of people seriously wondering why in the world they should bust their butts to get him elected. We feel on most of the critical issues on our conservative agenda, that Coleman is no better than the Democrat. He’s pissed off too many of us, and continues to rhetorically spit in our face with his liberal positions on core principles.

Coleman is running a general election campaign. He's following the Amy Klobuchar playbook. It worked very well for her.

A realist responded in Andy's comments:

1. bmetzler Says:
October 19th, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I believe there is a pretty large group of conservatives who won’t support Coleman anymore no matter what, and a growing number of people seriously wondering why in the world they should bust their butts to get him elected.

I know. We may as well concede the seat to Franken already. I mean, we pretty much have proved that he’ll represent conservatives better then Senator Coleman ever will.

I for one enjoy the new non-butt busting approach to politics. Why fight for a majority when you can just sit back and enjoy a veto-proof minority?


Al Franken Takes Money from Creationist

PZ Myers nails him on it.

Return Ben Stein's Money

Category: Politics
Posted on: October 19, 2007 11:22 AM, by PZ Myers

I'm a bit disappointed with Al Franken. Ben Stein has donated to the Franken campaign, and he has accepted the money — come on, Al, let's see some principles. Stein is a dishonest fraud who is peddling Intelligent Design creationism in his upcoming movie, Expelled; he's a former Nixon speechwriter, and he defends Nixon. I know they might be friends in their personal life, but this is politics — Franken should stand up for his liberal ideas and courteously refuse to take money from a stupid right-winger.

Besides supporting pseudoscience in the schools, here's another reason to reject Stein. There's a letter that's been going around for some time, purportedly from Ben Stein. According to Snopes, only part of it is, so I'll just tackle the part that we can assign to Stein's feeble brain.


So that's Ben Stein: not very bright, illogical, and an unthinking mouthpiece for the religious right's dream of declaring America a Christian nation.

Return the money, Al. Tell him, as a friend, to donate it to the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center. If he's really a friend, he won't mind.

Stein's producer got Myers to interview in this movie under false pretenses. Read all about it on Pharyngula here.

Here are some comments:

I wonder if Stein has also given money to Norm Coleman, the sitting Senator from Minnesota Al Franken would run against if he gets the nomination. Coleman is also Jewish, but had changed his last name from Goldman to Coleman to sound more Irish than Jewish.

As for the Designated Hitter Schism, it is still going on. I am an apostate to the True Baseballism, cause I like the DH rule.

Posted by: Mike Haubrich | October 19, 2007 12:35 PM

It's kind of hard to see the exchange as principled on either side.

Pre-Expelled, I'd say that Franken should just thank Ben and be glad that it's as Coleman says, friendship trumping politics. But with Ben getting paid for that hatchet-job against science (even if he undercuts the premise: "he [Ben] said there was a 'very high likelihood' that Darwin was on to something"), and sending $2000 to Al's campaign, one could see this as money from anti-science activities being accepted by Franken's campaign (not that the accounting works out, but that's how people might view it).

One of the two ought to be principled, and the ball's in Al's court now.

Glen D

Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness

The Human Rights Campaign has put together a business coalition who support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Take a gander at this list, and think about the Minnesota Senate Race. Does anything pop out at you?


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tom Swift's Lies About the Gay Community

Andy Birkey took the unhinged Tom Swift aka Swiftee up on his challenge.

Tom Swift of the blog "Pair 'o Dice" or "Restraininorder" not sure which, has spent a considerable amount of time over the past few years making untruthful assertions about LGBT people, particularly gay men. I wrote that he makes such assertions which he disputes: "Listen sport, if you're going to call *me* a liar, you had better be prepared to back it up. Let's see proof of a "less than truthful" assertion I've made."

To clear the air and back-up my claims, I spent about 20 minutes compiling a few examples. This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more, I'm sure, at his blog, in other blogs comments, and on political list-serves. I looked for instances where he discussed gay men and AIDS specifically on his blog. Here is what I've found (Swiftee as synonymous with Tom Swift).

Go read the whole thing.

Avidor's Excellent Point about the First Amendment

I encourage people to read it.

OutFront Minnesota Action Alert on ENDA

The Washington Post covers the internal controversy within the gay community over this bill.

Trans-Free ENDA passes committee:

The House Education and Labor Committee voted 27 - 21 to mark up the legislation, sending it to a full vote in the House.

ENDA, as currently worded, would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee. Churches and the military would be exempt.

Federal law already bans job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion.

A number of Democrats on the committee attempted to reinsert gender identity without success. Several of them refused to vote in favor of marking up the bill as it stands - among them presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

GOP attempts to weaken the bill also failed.

"Today marks the first vote ever taken on this important legislation in the House of Representatives since it was first introduced in 1975," said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the committee following the vote.

"It never should have taken over 30 years to get to this point, but I am proud that we have taken this historic step today."

OutFront Minnesota Alert:

Over the past two and a half weeks, the collective power of the GLBT and allied grassroots has been felt in unprecedented ways on Capitol Hill. We have been urging members of Congress to take up the original Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 2015), and drop consideration of the sexual orientation-only ENDA (H.R. 3685).

Gender identity must be included in this legislation!

Although we have not yet gotten what we are asking for, an up-or-down vote on the original Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015), Congresswoman Baldwin is now planning on offering a gender identity amendment on the floor of the House when the bill reaches the floor next week. This isn't normally allowed to happen - the Democratic majority rarely allows members the chance to amend a bill on the floor. The only reason this amendment is even an option is because of the grassroots pressure of the last few weeks.

Next week, possibly as early as Tuesday, the House will be voting on the Baldwin Amendment to add gender identity back into ENDA.

It is critical that you contact your member of Congress in support of the Baldwin Amendment immediately. We have only a few days to win over the necessary YES votes on the amendment.


Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to your Representative based on your zip code. Here is a suggested message:

Hello, my name is _____ and I live in your district. I am calling to ask the Representative to support the Baldwin Amendment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The Baldwin Amendment adds gender identity protections back into ENDA and it is critically important to me that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are protected by this legislation. I only support passage of H.R. 3685 if the Baldwin amendment passes. Thank you.

Or contact your US Representative directly:

District 1: Representative Tim Walz, (202) 225-2472
District 2: Representative John Kline, (202) 225-2271
District 3: Representative Jim Ramstad, (202) 225-2871
District 4: Representative Betty McCollum, (202) 225-6631
District 5: Representative Keith Ellison, (202) 225-4755
District 6: Representative Michele Bachmann, (202) 225-6475
District 7: Representative Collin Peterson, (202) 225-2165
District 8: Representative James Oberstar, (202) 225-6211

Suggested text of email:

Dear Representative ( ),

I am writing to urge you to support the Baldwin Amendment to HR 3685, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which is likely going to be voted on next week on the floor.

The Baldwin Amendment restores the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to its original language with gender identity protections intact.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is one community and the community wants to move forward together with one unified bill. As you have heard over the past few weeks, the majority of the GLBT community, myself included, opposes moving forward with a sexual orientation-only bill.

Thank you.


So where was OutFront with getting these action alerts out during the key last few days of the session when Margaret Anderson Kelliher and the house democrats threw the gay community under the bus?

The Mob Parrot is Pwned

Mitch Berg and his booze-soaked pals in the MOB have been having a cow lately.

Berg thinks he has a big scoop on me:

"I’ve also pretty much dismissed Ken Weiner, AKA “Ken Avidor”. I dismiss him because he’s pretty dismissable. A former art director at a pr0n mag even other pr0n merchants giggle at with derision..."

Berg links to an art review that mentions that I was the Art Director of Screw Magazine back in the mid 1980's....(big yawn).

The first Screw Art Director was Steve Heller who went on to become the NYT Book Review Art Director:

Steven Heller is editor of the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design and the chair of the MFA design department at the School of Visual Arts. He is the author or editor of more than seventy books on graphic design, and he is a contributor or contributing editor to nearly 25 magazines, including Print, U&lc, Eye Magazine, Communications Arts, ID magazine, Graphis, Design Issues, and Mother Jones. Since 1986 he has been senior art director of the New York Times, which he first joined as an art director in 1974. From 1967-1973, he served as art director for numerous publications, including Interview magazine, The New York Free Press, Rock Magazine, Screw magazine, Mobster Times, Evergreen Review, and the Irish Arts Center.

He was awarded three design grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in 1986,1988, and 1990. In 1996, he received a Special Educators Award from The Art Director's Club of New York. He has been the curator of ten design exhibitions, including "The Art of Satire" at the Pratt Graphics Center and "Art Against War" at the Parsons School of Design. Since 1986, he has directed "Modernism & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design," an annual symposium at the School of Visual Arts. He lives in New York.

Heller even wrote about working for Screw in the Times Book Review last year:

As for me, had I not been Screw’s art director, and been given the freedom and encouragement to learn my craft, I would not have gotten my job at The New York Times.

The publisher of Screw Al Goldstein helped expand 1st Amendment Rights in the days when you could get arrested for talking dirty in public. The court cases Goldstein's lawyers fought and won set precedents that help protect obscenity-slinging bloggers like Mitch Berg and his pals.

Like Heller, I have no problem saying I worked for Al Goldstein.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pat Shortridge on Mitt Romney

Truth v Machine:

This year, perhaps more than any in my political memory, voters are searching for authenticity, both personal and political. I think we’re all very tired of politicians who talk a good game, but then fail to deliver, or deliver the opposite of what they promised.

One of my theories on the continued strength of Giuliani is that he’s displaying an old fashioned virtue, honesty, and it’s working with voters. He’s not pretending to be something he isn’t. He isn’t telling me he agrees with me on every issue that’s important to me. He’s not pretending that his personal life has been perfect. He’s admitted mistakes and tried to learn from them. I don’t know about you, but I can identify with that.

The Romney strategy makes so little sense because he has an interesting story. Successful businessman. Fixed the Olympics. Governor of Massachusetts. But there are a heck of a lot of us who just aren’t going to take seriously the idea of Mitt Romney handing out the litmus test for what it means to be a Republican or a conservative. He just wasn’t there fighting with us often enough to have acquired that kind of standing. It takes someone like Newt to pull that off.

For all his positive qualities, he’s simply not credible as THE CONSERVATIVE. His past defenses of the pro-choice position, his calling himself an Independent during the Reagan years, his attacks on the Flat Tax, his refusal to support the Contract with America, his record as Governor of Massachusetts, and on down the line, just don’t qualify him as THE CONSERVATIVE.

I don't get it either.

More on Project 515

Here are their goals according to Lavender Magazine:

Building capacity to achieve equality. Documenting laws that involve married Minnesotans; developing a structure and function to implement their efforts; identifying and engaging new allies to support their mission.

They seem to have documented the laws with their report.

Mobilizing the public. Creating a statewide public advocacy campaign to disseminate through all media information about the 515 discriminatory statutes; being a resource for the media on equality issues for same-sex couples and their families; being a resource for faith, business, and other local communities.

They have started to do this.

Advocating for effective legislative action. This component will include legislative action, including a lobbyist, an electoral strategy supporting a multi-year plan; and active efforts both to strengthen grassroots support networks and to oppose efforts to restrict the rights of Minnesota same-sex couples and their families. Why now? Why another group? Why this one? Because of its singular focus, explains Laura Smidzik, Project 515 board member. While working collaboratively with other GLBT groups and allies, Smidzik notes that, “Project 515 will be exclusively dedicated to, and will stay laser-focused on, the elimination of the 515 statutory inequities to secure equal rights for same-sex couples and families under the law.”

Hopefully they will have a bi-partisan strategy and look at ways to work with the Governor. I'm curious about their timeline for this strategy.

“We need to change the debate,” stresses Lee Anderson, Project 515’s Board Chair. “Minnesotans have really only talked about gay marriage, which polling shows is polarizing and something that most Minnesotans don’t support. But, those same polls show that Minnesotans support fairness for all Minnesotans, including same-sex couples. When we talk about the 515 state laws that treat same-sex couples unequally, people are shocked by the actual discrimination we face. Project 515 will use this broad-based support to advocate for change over time.”

Over time, the support for gay marriage is changing. I don't have problems with discussing gay marriage. Incremental advances will help move the ball forward towards full equality.

OutFront Minnesota on Project 515

From the OutFront Minnesota ENews:

Project 515

In its current issue, Lavender magazine features a new organization called Project 515 whose focus is the estimated 515 Minnesota statutes that discriminate against same-sex couples by providing benefits to those who are married. Additionally, the Star-Tribune featured a guest editorial discussing some of those statutes.

What the newsletter doesn't mention is the author of the column is John Sullivan, corporate secretary at Imation, and a major donor and player in the Human Rights Campaign. The Board of Directors includes some heavy hitters in the gay community including Laura Smidzik, former ED of Rainbow Families.

OFM continues:
OutFront Minnesota welcomes the additional attention Project 515 will bring to the legal issues and obstacles same-sex couples in Minnesota face. We appreciate Project 515's acknowledgement in its report on these statutes of OutFront Minnesota's earlier work in this area.

The challenge facing those who advocate for full GLBT equality in Minnesota is daunting: public opinion is against permitting same-sex couples to marry, but open to finding other ways to address the current shortcomings of the law. OutFront Minnesota welcomes new voices and resources to this conversation, which has been going on for several years - and which will likely continue for many more. OutFront Minnesota is proud of its successful work beginning in 2004 to keep anti-marriage amendments off Minnesota's ballot - a largely "defense" effort. This past year, OutFront Minnesota worked to pass legislation to expand rights for same-sex couples. Despite the nearly 60 legislators from around the state who signed on as co-sponsors of the pro-GLBT legislation, the bills were derailed by Governor Pawlenty. We look forward to continuing our work with Project 515 to shift the discussion to advancing more proactive measures that will lead Minnesota toward GLBT equality.

The bills were pulled by DFL legislators. Governor Pawlenty made a veto threat, but wasn't forced to act on it. Margaret Anderson Kelliher couldn't throw the gay community under the bus fast enough.

OutFront Minnesota will also continue to work for strong public policies to address issues concerning discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and elsewhere, school-related issues, protections for transgender people, anti-violence work and more.

OutFront Minnesota on ENDA

From their ENews:

ENDA Update

On Thursday, the Labor and Education Committee in the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the non-transgender inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) (HR 3685). Because Congress has heard from thousands of Americans who support a fully inclusive bill protecting GLBT people from discrimination, many Representatives do not want to pass a bill that is not inclusive. Your calls and emails have paid off. As soon as the United ENDA campaign sends out information about Thursday's vote, we will send an email out to all of you.

OutFront Minnesota supports a fully-inclusive ENDA bill not only for its public policy importance but for the impact the process has on our entire community.

In the early 1990's, OutFront Minnesota worked with legislators and leaders around the state in the It's Time Minnesota campaign to pass Minnesota's GLBT non-discrimination law. Before the bill passed in 1993, some people thought the legislation would have an easier chance of passing if the transgender protections were removed. The people working to pass the legislation did not weaken the bill because it did not make sense to move a bill forward that did not protect all Minnesotans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Once legislators understood the bill and grasped the importance the bill had to the people in their district and across the state, they voted to pass the fully inclusive bill. Because of the great work of people working for GLBT equality over fourteen years ago, Minnesota became the first state to pass a comprehensive GLBT non-discrimination bill. Let's ask our Congress members to allow the rest of the country to have the same protections we do.

Here are some other reasons OutFront Minnesota has joined the United ENDA campaign opposing the a weakened ENDA (HR 3685):

*HR 3685 does NOT provide sufficient protection against discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Not only does this bill completely fail to protect transgender people, but it also fails to protect lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and straight people who do not conform to gender stereotypes.
*HR 3685 includes a sweeping religious exemption. Under this version of ENDA, tens of thousands of hospital and university employees would NOT be protected.
*HR 3685 allows discrimination in the provision of employee benefits. Under this bill, employers could provide benefits to families of straight employees and not to families of GLBT employees.
*HR 3685 will undermine state efforts to pass inclusive legislation. The trend in state legislatures over the past five years has been to keep gender identity in civil rights legislation - the last seven states to pass these laws were successful at banning discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. We have been able to do this because we refused to back down on the need for inclusion - but if Congress passes HR 3685, it will send a powerful and negative signal to state legislatures. We do not want to turn back the clock on equality!
* HR 3685 is morally and strategically wrong. Not only is it morally wrong to leave part of the GLBT community out of this bill, but it is also strategically wrong. We have learned from our work in the states that it is far easier to include gender identity in civil rights legislation the first time it is passed than it is to try to go back and add it in later.

Stay tuned for more updates and action alerts!

And finally, here are some thoughts from our Operations Director, Sian Nelson:

As a transgender woman, I have felt some real, personal distress at having the door closed in my face by supportive, but pragmatic, politicians and some pragmatic Washington GLB movers and shakers. Really, though, isn't that what always happens?

Well, not this time...

... this time, over three hundred GLBT organizations have signed onto the United ENDA letter and campaign willing to forego any bill rather than have one that splits our community. How unexpected and wonderful for this to emerge from the usual wheeling and dealing! I believe it was completely unlooked-for, as much by transgender people as by the many mainstream GLBT organizations who found in this a rare and important opportunity to speak their values aloud.

The distress I feel about those supportive politicians and pragmatic GLB movers and shakers, well, it's pretty minor, given this outpouring of support - and the chance to get some publicity, finally, about the appalling level of unemployment among transgender people.

Fair Wisconsin vs OutFront Minnesota

Fair Wisconsin urged their members to contact congress in support of an inclusive version of ENDA. They stopped short of urging a no vote on a bill that did not include transgenders. Here is their alert:

Today, National Coming Out Day, honors individuals who live openly as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. For some, being out means being ostracized, harassed, excluded, and treated differently by employers or communities.

Today is the perfect day to stand up for equality and stand with those who are harassed and treated differently because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, as we are celebrating National Coming Out Day, an effort is under way to exclude transgender individuals from protection under an important piece of federal legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Come out today in support of fairness for ALL!

Contact your U.S. Representative to ask for an ENDA that protects all members of the LGBT community.

Earlier this year, a broad and inclusive ENDA was introduced to expand federal employment non-discrimination laws to protect those individuals discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Gender identity is the term used in the legislation to describe transgender individuals. Recently, however, some members of the legislature decided to move forward with an ENDA that includes sexual orientation only and excludes protections based on gender identity.

We believe that no part of our community should be without these important protections.

This contrasts with an alert that OutFront Minnesota sent out that urged people to ask their congress person to oppose ENDA without transgenders.

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.

Stonewall DFL supports an inclusive bill, but hasn't pushed their members to encourage opposition to a GLB bill.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lavender Finally Looking for Political Reporter

From an ad on p. 105 of their October 12-25 2007 issue:

Lavender is looking for a politically savvy freelance writer to cover news stories, local and national. We are not seeking a columnist, but someone to observe and report objectively.

Please send resume and published writing samples, preferably on political issues to:

Lavender also has started a podcast: Big Gay News.

The podcast is clearly not getting too many visits yet. A site poll on ENDA shows:

Do you support an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that does NOT include gender identity protections?

* Yes. Protecting some is better than protecting no one. (25%, 1 Votes)
* No. It would only serve to divide and weaken the community. (75%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 4

It will be interesting to see who Lavender finds for this. Lavender DOES pay their writers. (That's not always true for gay publications). I'd encourage people who are interested in this to apply, and improve the gay political coverage in Lavender. This should be easy to do, since Lavender currently has NO political coverage beyond running wire reports.

OutFront Minnesota To Encourage Gays and supporters to Call Congress to Oppose ENDA

I requested comment from OutFront Minnesota about Speaker Nancy Pelosi's commitment to bring the inclusive version of ENDA up to a floor vote as soon as the votes are there. In her statement, Pelosi also said that the version of ENDA that includes gays - but not transgenders (3685) will be marked up on October 18.

This will be the same version of ENDA that's been introduced until this year.

I emailed OutFront Minnesota for comment on this point:

Specifically, will OutFront be encouraging it's members to contact members of congress to oppose HR 3685 - since Pelosi has indicated this will move forward? There was some rhetoric from some gay organizations saying that they would oppose any version of ENDA without transgenders included.

Eva Young for Lloydletta's Nooz

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."

4 days later, Jo Marsicano, OutFront Minnesota's Communications Director responded:

Yes - that will be in our E-news coming out tomorrow.

There's an excellent report of where things stand now on this at the Gay People's Chronicle.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Larry Craig on Mitt Romney


Sen. Craig told Lauer it was a "tough call" not to tell anyone about the incident. "I didn't want to embarrass my wife, my kids, Idaho and my friends," Craig said. "And I wrestled with it a long while. ... I should have told my wife. I should have told my kids. And most importantly, I should have told counsel."

The senator also discussed his relationship with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Craig was Senate liaison for Romney's campaign, a post he abandoned when the scandal came to light.

"I was very proud of my association with Mitt Romney," Craig told Lauer. "... And he not only threw me under his campaign bus, he backed up and ran over me again."

Lauer's interview with the Craigs will be broadcast Tuesday night on "Matt Lauer Reports" and Wednesday morning on "Today."

Grab the popcorn!

Romney to Speak to Theocrats Tomorrow

The strib talks about his balancing act.

Chad the Elder from NARN: Republicans Likely to Lose Big in Minnesota


MN OB IN '08

For a while now I've been holding my tongue as I continue to read and hear talk about how Minnesota is "in play" in the 2008 presidential election. However, it's time to stop being polite...and start getting real.

Republicans in this state and elsewhere need to wake up and smell the roses (Moses). Not only is Minnesota not "in play" in '08 as far as the presidency goes, it's possible--although probably not likely--that we could have an all-Democratic slate representing us in Washington after the 2008 elections.

You think an all-blue delegation is impossible? If you don't believe that Coleman is vulnerable, you just aren't paying attention. And if you don't think the Dems are going to throw everything they can at Michele Bachmann in the Sixth, you're dreaming. With Ramstad's retirement and John Kline apparently having to face a real candidate for a change (how real is still TBD), it's not outside the realm of possibility to imagine that the MN GOP could lose Coleman's Senate seat and all three House races.

Again, I don't think it's likely that Kline will be knocked out, but the Third District is very much up in the air and Bachmann is going to have to weather a ferocious media and money onslaught to hold on to her seat. Meanwhile, the prospects of picking off any of the current Democratic holds does not look good. Earlier, I would have thought that Tim Walz might be vulnerable, but unless something changes dramatically, he looks like he'll be returning to Washington.

The reality is that 2008 is going to be another tough year for Republicans in Minnesota. And it's going to be even worse at the top of the ticket.

In 2004, John Kerry beat George Bush by just over three percentage points in Minnesota. Heading into that election, there were high hopes among the GOP faithful that it would be the year when Minnesota could finally be counted in the Republican electoral college tally. Looking back now, 2004 looks like the high water mark for the GOP tide. 2006 showed the tenuous nature of whatever inroads Republicans had made with Minnesota voters and I believe we'll see the trend toward blue continue in 2008.


The eventual Republican candidate would do well to avoid wasting precious time and resources here. Minnesota Republicans should focus their efforts on trying to save Norm Coleman, hold their three House seats, and maybe chip away at the DFL stranglehold in the State House of Representatives. Those are the boundaries that they should be playing within. Anything else should be considered out of bounds.

I think that's what the RPM is doing this year. In 2004, the state party focused on Bush at the expense of the other races on the ticket. In 2006, the state party focused on Michele Bachmann at the expense of legislative and statewide races other than the governor. Tim Pawlenty didn't end up winning. Mike Hatch ended up losing.

Tim Pawlenty is reasonable on the Environment


A group assembled by Gov. Tim Pawlenty is strategizing how to cut greenhouse emissions by getting Minnesotans to drive less.

By Bill McAuliffe, Star Tribune

Last update: October 14, 2007 – 8:30 PM
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Minnesota's driving mileage: An upward trendPlay

Graphic: Minnesota's driving mileage: An upward trend
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For the sake of the planet, kids born this year could be the first generation of Minnesotans since the invention of the automobile to drive less than their parents.

In fact, they would drive a lot less, and so would everybody else, as part of a broad transformation of behaviors, policies and economies that a governor's panel is weighing in an effort to blunt Minnesota's contribution to climate change.

"The question is, 'Can we get there and what's it going to take?'" said Jan Callison, mayor of Minnetonka and a member of the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group. A reduction in driving is "one piece of a really big and complicated puzzle," Callison added, "but one conclusion is probably that we're going to need to change our driving habits."

The advisory group is a panel of more than 50 business, environmental and community leaders assembled by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to design strategies to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions -- primarily carbon dioxide -- by 80 percent by 2050. The group is more than halfway through nine months of brainstorming intended to produce a package of proposals for the 2008 Legislature to consider.

Because transportation contributes about 27 percent of the carbon dioxide poured into Minnesota's atmosphere, one of the panel's goals -- a rollback in miles driven in Minnesota to 1990 levels by 2025 -- could significantly reduce or even help reverse pollution trends.

The usual suspects are having a cow.

Sue Jeffers, Pawlenty's opponent commented:

We were told Governor Pawlenty was to be our “goalie” to prevent this type of legislation from being passed. Unfortunately he had a lot of help furthering the lefties agenda from both parties.

The Global Warming Mitigation Act of 2007 requires the state to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors to a level of at least 15% below the 2005 levels by 2015. An economy wide climate change plan must be submitted to the legislature by Feb. 1 2008. The state is then required to establish comprehensive and enforceable state law or rules pertaining to greenhouse gasses that directly limits and substantially reduces state wide power sector carbon dioxide emission by August 1, 2009. This piece of trash passed 59-5 and 125-9.

The Renewable Energy bill, passed last session is considered the strongest renewable energy standard in the country. The Democrats called this the best piece of legislation they passed, will translate into increased energy costs of 30%. This piece of trash was passed 123-10 and 64-4.

This is only the beginning folks, 2008 will be even worse as we lose more freedom, liberty and money. You can be sure the Dem’s learned from their mistakes last year, I wonder if the R’s did? Where have all the conservatives gone?
Sue Jeffers

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stonewall Democrats Applaud 35 Years of Pro-Marriage Democratic Party

This press release doesn't mention the ads the Minnesota DFL ran in 2006 telling people in the Wilmar area that Dean Johnson opposed gay marriage. The ads didn't help, and Johnson still lost. It also doesn't mention that Collin Peterson (D, MN) was an original co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). It is interesting to note that Amy Klobuchar came to this party. As I've mentioned before, Amy Klobuchar won't take a clear position on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and she dissed a recent gay conference held at the University of Minnesota. We'll see real progress when we see Brian Melendez, state party chair argue this issue from the Almanac couch.

Contact: John Marble
(202) 436-5966

Stonewall Democrats Applaud 35 Years of Democratic Support for Marriage
Minnesota Democrats Mark Historic Support for Marriage with Statewide Celebration


Friday, October 12, 2007

Washington, DC - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats congratulated the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party for 35 years of supporting the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. The Minnesota DFL (as the Democratic party is known in the state) first adopted support for the freedom to marry in 1972.

"Minnesota models how Democrats can boldly stand for the values we profess while building success across both the urban and rural electorate," said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director. "Democrats should never let fear distract us from pursuing successful strategies which deliver progress. For over 35 years, the Minnesota DFL has built a statewide majority by never letting anti-gay Republican efforts deter them from their core values and strategic efforts. We applaud Democrats in Minnesota."

The state Democratic parties of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington State fully support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. Additionally, the state Democratic parties of Nebraska and Vermont voice support for civil unions.

"This is a major milestone in both Minnesota and National politics," said Joe Carlile, Chair of the Minnesota Stonewall DFL Caucus. "The commitment that the Minnesota DFL has shown in support of the struggle for LGBT equality reinforces that the Democrat Party has been a party of inclusion and diversity for a very long time."

The Minnesota DFL celebrated its 35th anniversary of support for marriage with a statewide party this week that attracted more than 300 attendees. Hosted by the Minnesota Stonewall DFL, attendees included U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez, DNC GLBT Americans Caucus Chair Rick Stafford and U.S. Senate Candidates Mike Ciresi and Al Franken. The event was sponsored by several of Minnesota's openly-gay officials including State Senator Scott Dibble, State Representative Karen Clark and Minneapolis Councilmembers Scott Benson, Robert Lilligren and Gary Schiff.

Tracy Eberly: Native Americans Are Dirt Worshiping Heathens

Over on Anti-Strib:

Doug whines that we tried to educate the Indians, but what choice did we have? Their acts of terrorism against the settlers and the military assured that they could no longer be allowed to roam at random over other people’s lands. Their poverty-based societies filled Indians with a deep desire to steal and kill at will. The only alternative to integration was extermination. Andrew Jackson reached this conclusion and rode this issue to the White House. He was veteran of the many wars with the Indians and had no illusions about the Indians.

So skip the noble savage crap. American Indians were domestic terrorists permanently stuck in the Stone Age. Even the God Damned French contributed more and managed to create a better society than the humanoid animals that once roamed our continent.

Labels: Dirt worshippers, food stamps, Indians, Mad Dog

An anonymous commenter on the blog tried to threaten Tracy's work.

The best answer to nonsense like this is more speech refuting it - not trying to go after Tracy at his job because you disagree with his opinion.

The post did get lots of comments - and Tracy probably used the language he did to generate lots of comments:

Sorry,Tracy, your critics are right. You paint with too broad a brush. You need to go read about the Algonquians that met the Jamestown settlers and about the Iroquois in NY. To Europeans they appeared as savages (still do), but their culture was, while often violent, also sophisticated in many ways. It was also quite well adapted to North American flora and fauna, which baffled Europeans for a couple generations after they arrived. Shit, 80% or so of the original settlers in Jamestown died in the first 10 years, many of starvation.

Also, kimosabe, don't forget what Europeans were like before the 19th/20th century. Some Indians were probably more successful in their environment and more sophisticated culturally than Russian serfs, for example. London was pretty fucked up unless you were wealthy. Remember the Smallpox and Plague? European wars were pretty ugly, also. European advantages over Indians were in technology and in immunities gained by living in close proximity to domestic animals and in cities, which are not necessarily elements of cultural superiority. Incidentally, bison and are NOT domesticated.
Paco | 10.11.07 - 2:04 pm |

OK, you compare the plague, which was caused by civilization clumping in complex living units called cities to a knowledge of fruits and berries?

The crux of the argument is the definition of sophistication.

How can you even compare (let alone equate) the works of just one man, Leonardo DaVinci April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, with the entire collective output of the American Indian culture?

Too much ink has been wasted trying to avoid the cold hard fact the Indian society produced nothing of lasting value. The left is especially wedded to the idea that some intangible oral story is somehow equivalent to Oedipus Rex written in 700 BC?

The best you got is some totem poles as many animals are capable of mounding dirt.

Seriously, is there anything in Indian culture that can even begin to compare to things like the Magna Carta issued in 1215. Bullshit!

This is why I hate the public schools, the ignorance of the importance of Western Civilization coupled with Liberal moral relativism that elevates clearly inferior cultures to equivalent or superior status to our own.

I refuse to give in until someone produces anything created by the American Indians that has any historical significance or lasting value.
Tracy Eberly 10.11.07 - 2:31 pm |

Tracy, my problem is that you're moving your goalposts. In your post, you said very incendiary things like, "American Indians did absolutely nothing. They didn’t build any temples or pyramids." Then, when presented with evidence that they did do those things, you say they didn't have a DaVinci.

I'm perfectly comfortable with saying that civilizations evolve and progress over time. I just think it's stupid to insist that civilizations everywhere must all evolve in synch or else the lagging civilizations deserve to get wiped out by war and disease. That view overlooks things like differing levels of resources or that the Old World had a 6000 year head start in developing agriculture and the lifestyle that goes with it.

Also, the New World was completely isolated from the Old. Revolutionary ideas like agriculture and writing were only invented a very few handful of times in history. For example, neither agriculture or writing was invented in Europe. They both were invented in the Middle East and transmitted their through trade and conquest.
Elizabeth | 10.11.07 - 3:38 pm |

More comments here.