Thursday, October 30, 2014

McConnell Reeling After 2 Biggest Newspapers In Kentucky Endorse Alison Lundergan Grimes


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In strong editorials, the two largest newspapers in Kentucky have both endorsed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes over Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate election.

McConnell does have power. He commands a perpetual-motion money machine; dollars flow in, favors flow out.
The problem is how McConnell uses his power. He has repeatedly hurt the country to advance his political strategy.

McConnell has sabotaged jobs and transportation bills, even as Kentucky’s unemployment exceeds the nation’s and an Interstate 75 bridge crumbles over the Ohio River. He blocked tax credits for companies that move jobs back to this country while preserving breaks for those that move jobs overseas. He opposed extending unemployment benefits, while bemoaning the “jobless” recovery. He brags about resolving crises that he helped create.
The Senate may never recover from the bitter paralysis McConnell has inflicted through record filibusters that allow his minority to rule by obstruction.
….
Kentuckians can’t do much to stop a Supreme Court majority that’s enabling the corrosion of our democracy by unlimited, secret contributions, in court cases bearing McConnell’s stamp.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Me Speak English Good: When Homophobes Fail With Their Antigay Signage

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A couple in Meridian, Idaho made headlines last week after painting antigay statements on the back of their pickup truck then cruising around town.

Justin and Melanie Sease told their local news station that they’ve made it their personal mission to protest marriage equality in the state of Idaho because, they say, if they don’t, “homosexual extremists” will “spread like a cancer.”

One of the things the couple wrote on their vehicle were the words “HOMOsexuality is a sin and a [sic] abomination.”

Bless their hearts, the Seases didn’t seem to notice their error: “a abomination” should be “anabomination.”

According to Melanie, the couple now receives all sorts of “waves, smiles, or honks” when they’re out driving.

“They like that we’re takin’ a stand for the voters in Idaho and for the heavenly Father,” Justin added.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps they’re trying to alert the Seases to the embarrassing grammatical error splashed across the back of their rusted out Chevy.

Check out these other times when homophobes completely failed with their antigay signage.

Idaho State Senator Steve Vick Proposes Banning All Marriage Licenses Now That Gays Can Marry

Following the 9th Circuit’s decision striking down Idaho’s constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, Idaho state Senator Steve Vick (R) is proposing a solution to what he sees is a gross governmental overreach, Right Wing Watch reports.
Vick

“If we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.” he explained to WorldNetDaily. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

Vick went on to elaborate on his relatively extreme proposition, saying while he was only in the early stages of discussing it, he had found much interest at a number of local town halls.

Though Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced that he will comply with the 9th Circuit’s ruling earlier this month, he has made a point of stating that his office remains dedicated to the idea of traditional marriage. He has also filed a petition for the full 9th Circuit to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban. 

“I continue to believe that the federal courts are mistaken in abandoning the sanctity of traditional marriage and in undermining the will of Idaho voters and each state’s right to define marriage,” he said in a statement. “We have done all we can through the courts for now to defend traditional marriage in Idaho.”

Sen. Vick echoed the Governor’s sentiment, but admitted that “these rulings will probably stand,” referring to the court’s refusal to hear appeals from other states in which judges dismissed constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.




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A Contradiction in Terms: The Ignorant Conservative Defense of ‘Religious Freedom’

A term that’s become extremely popular among conservative Christians here lately is “religious freedom.” But every time I see conservatives say this, a famous line from the movie The Princess Bride pops into my mind: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Which shouldn’t be surprising considering conservatives are often big fans of repeating words or sayings that might sound good, they just don’t make a whole lot of sense.

And the term “religious freedom” is a great example of that.

By its very nature, religion is the exact opposite of freedom. Religion is a belief based on faith in something you cannot prove. It’s a set of rules, guidelines and requirements which highly restrict the freedoms of those who claim to follow whichever particular religion to which they subscribe.

A Christian, if they were to follow the Bible word for word, wouldn’t be allowed to do many of the things a lot of us do in our day to day lives.

While it’s popular for Christian conservatives to go off on rants about abortion or gay marriage, I see plenty of them with tattoos, eating shellfish or wearing blended fabrics.

All things that are taboo according to the Bible.

It’s an irony I pointed out to someone who once strongly defended Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson to me. His son has tattoos, they all have long hair and their company sells plenty of blended fabrics.

But I just find it humorous how so many of these conservative Christians go on and on about “religious freedom” when what they’re really talking about is restricting the rights of others.

See, they want the freedom to follow whatever set of rules they choose. They just don’t want people who disagree with them to be able to follow the rules of their choosing.

Because when these people say “religious freedom,” what they’re really defending is their right to tell someone else what is or isn’t acceptable based on their religion.

Which is partially what our Founding Fathers were escaping. It’s why they gave us the freedom of religion in our First Amendment. So that no American could be forced to follow the rules (aka control) of another based on religious views that they do not share.

Essentially that’s what the entire Hobby Lobby case was about. A law that stated health care had to cover specific methods of contraceptives and a right-wing Christian stating that their beliefs on contraceptives should matter more than the thousands of employees who work for them. One person’s beliefs ruling over thousands.

That’s not freedom. That’s theocratic rule.

It’s the same thing with gay marriage. It’s still illegal in many states for two homosexuals to get married based on the religious beliefs of others.

Two American citizens, in love, wanting to get married who are unable to do so based on religious beliefs that they do not share.

Again, how exactly is that “freedom”?

Here in Texas (and other places as well) I can’t buy liquor on a Sunday. Heck, I can’t even buy beer or wine until after noon on Sundays. Some counties don’t sell alcohol at all. Is it because I support these laws? Nope.

And where do these laws come from? Religion. 

So even when it comes to something as menial as being able to buy a bottle of whiskey on a Sunday in Texas, I’m not allowed to do it based off beliefs I don’t support.

Where’s my “religious freedom”?

But religion has nothing to do with freedom. In fact, religion is almost the exact opposite of freedom. It’s a set of rules that people are supposed to follow otherwise their souls will be sent to some horrific place upon death.
In what sounds like a story straight from The Onion or The National Report, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stated that he opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because apparently all gay soldiers want to do is lay around and get massages all day.

I’ve listened to his comments, and even read a transcript of them, and I still can’t find a proper way to actually describe them. So I’ll just let his outrageous ignorance speak for itself:

I’ve had people say, “Hey, you know, there’s nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks.” Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it’s a different kind of fighting, it’s a different kind of war and if you’re sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into the big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long. It’s guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and, you know, if that’s what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did, as people have said, “Louie, you have got to understand, you don’t even know your history.” Oh, yes, I do. I know exactly. It’s not a good idea.
The main thing I get from this ridiculous diatribe is the utter and hateful disrespect he showed toward gay men and women serving in our military. He’s more or less saying that he doesn’t believe homosexuals serving in our military are capable of doing their job – because they’re too obsessed with “gay things.”

These are men and women who have risked their lives for this country (and some still are risking their lives overseas). Yet this disgusting pile of garbage has the gall to sit there and show such utter disdain and disrespect for them? Anyone who’s ever voted (or will vote) for this bottom-feeder should be ashamed of themselves.

But this all just ties in with the normal everyday hypocrisy show by so many on the right. Sure, they’ll profess their supposed “love and admiration” for our men and women in uniform – while showing nothing but absolute contempt toward those brave men and women who happen to be homosexual.

I guess to people like Gohmert, and those conservatives who support him and these anti-gay beliefs, the acts of bravery shown by gay members of our military don’t matter. Their courage means nothing and their sacrifices aren’t as selfless just because of their sexual orientation.

It’s an absolute embarrassment that this jackass is a representative of our government.

I Wish Voting Was as Easy Everywhere as...


... it is here in Bernalillo County, NM! 


Bernalillo County makes it so easy to vote. You do not have to go to a specific polling spot any of the several locations around the county will do. They will look you up in the system. No ID required (except for City elections). Print off your ballot that is customized to your local precinct. Fill out the paper ballot (yes there can be recounts if needed!). Turn it in where it is verified and counted. Bam! You're done!

Not only can you vote on election day but you can vote two weeks before THE day the voting centers are open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for the Monday before election day. And on election day there are a ton of additional places to vote so the waits will be limited.

Back home in Virginia, we could only vote on election day itself. Had to go to the actual precinct. Which was a twenty mile round-trip out of my way for me. 
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