Yesterday, I reported that several major labor unions expressed support for Barack Obama's statement that he supports the right of all Americans to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation. More unions expressed their support for the president and marriage equality in a move that, as I pointed out yesterday, is good for Obama, for unions and for LGBT Americans:
This is a great development for a number of reasons. One, it's a clear statement from unions that they recognize that LGBT families are working families, too. Two, it gives Obama strong public support on an issue that he is certain to be attacked on. Third, it is a good way to attract new people to the labor movement who might have otherwise not paid much attention to unions because they had other issues that were more important to them. If it is clear that unions support LGBT families -- which it is -- there is more reason for people to move out of issue silos, recognizing that they have allies they can work together with to improve everybody's situation.
UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm (via press release):
We applaud President Obama's statement in support of marriage equality. Our members support full equality for LGBT Americans in all matters governed by civil law, and we are grateful for the President's
courage and leadership. Today the United States took an important step towards fulfilling the Constitution's promise of equal protection under the law. UNITE HERE stands with working families of all descriptions in the ongoing struggle for social and economic justice.
I am proud that UNITE HERE is on the side of justice for the LGBT community. Thanks, and congratulations on this important step, to all those in our Union who work to achieve full equality for our LGBT members, and for all our members. I have been especially grateful that Cleve Jones, a life-long warrior for equality, has become such an important leader in UNITE HERE. President Obama?s announcement is an important step. The struggle continues.
United Auto Workers President Bob King:
?The UAW applauds President Obama?s remarks on same-sex marriage, and we regard it as a historic and courageous leap toward equality for all Americans.
We oppose all discrimination and believe there is a definite connection between civil, human and workers? rights. This belief continues to define us today.
Solidarity means economic and social justice for all, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. This commitment to civil and human rights for all helped fuel many early UAW organizing victories. The UAW helped organize African-American workers during the 1930s when companies used race as a divisive anti-union strategy. In 1955 we were the first industrial union to establish a Women?s Department, its mission to encourage female participation in the predominantly male UAW ? and to ensure that a woman?s place was in her union. We were arm in arm with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ?60s.
The ongoing struggle for civil and human rights for everyone ? including LGBT Americans ? cannot be separated from the fight for justice for all workers. That?s something the UAW has known from the start.?
Today, Veda Shook, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), sent a letter to President Obama commending him for his support of marriage equality. AFA has been a longstanding supporter of equal rights for all, as evidenced in 1976 when the union?s Board of Directors amended its by-laws to include the following objective: ?To unite all Flight Cabin Crew members regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation or nationality.? In addition, in 2006, the AFA Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution in support of marriage equality.
AFA is a leading advocate for the Flight Attendant profession and is proud to be part of labor?s decades-long tradition of standing up for fair and equal treatment for all workers. We support marriage equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers. Marriage equality is not only an economic and social justice issue, but also a human rights issue.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:
?Today President Obama took the right and just position on marriage equality. As president of the AFT and as a gay American, I strongly support President Obama for his bold action.
?America?s greatness has been based in large part on our continual journey toward equality. President Obama?s action today on marriage equality continues that journey. I am proud to lead an organization that has, from our founding, stood firm against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability or sexual orientation. The fight for civil rights not only in the workforce but also in every aspect of American life, is ongoing. Every American is entitled to equal shares of equality, liberty and happiness.?
Pride at Work applauds President Obama?s groundbreaking and moving statement today in support of marriage equality.
Relationship recognition matters for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers as a basic union issue, an economic justice issue and as a social justice issue. Thank you, President Obama, for standing up for justice and standing in solidarity with the LGBT community.
Same-sex couples take a unique financial hit because their relationships aren't recognized under federal law due to DOMA; and they have less ability to care for and support their families in times of need. The right to equal pay and benefits for equal work is a fundamental component of labor struggles, as is the ability to work and support one?s family with dignity and respect.
The ability of leaders and average citizens alike to have thoughtful conversation, to listen, and develop their views is part of how change happens. We appreciate President Obama for having the grace and dignity to engage in real dialogue and ultimately stand in support of the LGBT community on the issue of marriage equality. We look forward to continuing those conversations this year and beyond on other key issues, particularly with the vital need to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
The President's groundbreaking statement today follows on the heels of a track record of actions that have made a real difference in the lives of LGBT workers and their families, including:
Hospital visitation & decision making rights for gay and lesbian couples Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Enactment of the Affordable Care Act, expanding access to health care Signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act Ensuring Transgender Americans can get their true passport regardless of surgery status Ended discrimination against LGBT people in federal housing
We have more work to do. Today, President Obama showed true leadership, and this country took a vital step forward in the march for equality and justice for all people.
Rasmussen's status as an infallible pollster to the right, and a inevitable source of derision to the left, has been well established for years. But, looking at some of their recent polling (most notably, their daily tracking poll of the presidential race), it becomes difficult not to ask some serious questions about their data. When you are on an island as often as they have been lately, they are either prescient, or completely full of shit.
And while we have to wait till November to find out which one of those polar-opposite descriptions match the House of Ras, it is worth exploring today how far on the island they are, in a number of races.
Before that, though, the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (50-43)
OREGON (SurveyUSA): Obama d. Romney (47-43)
WISCONSIN (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (49-45)
WA-GOV (SurveyUSA): Rob McKenna (R) 40, Jay Inslee (D) 38A few thoughts, as always, await you after the jump ...
WI-SEN (Rasmussen): Tommy Thompson (R) 50, Tammy Baldwin (D) 38; Mark Neumann (R) 44, Baldwin 42; Baldwin 45, Jeff Fitzgerald (R) 41
Cast that spell, pay like hell.
Just what kind of place is Liberty University, the religious college that invited Mitt Romney to their commencement despite him carrying the notable burden of being considered, according the university curriculum, a member of a cult? Apparently Jerry Falwell instituted some pretty strict rules on the student body. Right Wing Watch takes a look at what sorts of student behaviors merit the harshest penalties, according to the student handbook:
30 Reprimands + $500.00 Fine + 30 hours Disciplinary Community Service + possible Administrative Withdrawal. NOTE: For each accumulation of six (6) or more reprimands after 30, an additional $150 fine will be assessed.That's an, er, interesting list. Committing a felony or using a weapon carries the exact same penalty as witchcraft, abortion, or "spending the night with a person of the opposite sex." Sheesh.
- Assault/sexual assault (minimum two (2) semesters out)
- Commission/conviction of any felony
- Failure of three (3) Christian/Community Services without reconciliation
- Illegal drugs-association/possession, use/distribution (minimum two semesters out)
- Involvement with witchcraft, sťances or other satanic or demonic activity
- Life-threatening behavior or language to others or oneself (immediate removal/exclusion from campus and a minimum of two semesters out)
- Non-participation/disruption/non-compliance (possible removal/exclusion from campus)
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Spending the night with a person of the opposite sex
- Stealing or possession of stolen property (plus financial restitution; minimum two semesters out)
- Two or more individuals of the opposite sex together in motel room
- Unauthorized possession/use of weapons
Murder a guy? That's 30 demerits for you, buster. Spending the night with someone of the opposite sex? Also 30 demerits, you sick freak. And if we catch you casting demonic spells on your classmates, maybe turning your roommate into a newt, or being able to multiply two numbers in your head without pen or paper, well, that's?actually, that's also 30 demerits. Everything's 30 demerits. (Being in a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex during any time of day, I will point out, is a point entirely separate from "spending the night" with them. They just want to be really, really clear about the whole "opposite sex" thing. Same sex, on the other hand, is fine.)
Is it common for universities to level monetary fines against students who commit felonies, abortions or are caught with beer? A minimum $500 fine strikes me as just trying to bleed your wayward students for a little extra cash, but I suppose it's in line with what you might expect from a university founded by a televangelist. You pray, and you pay.
Our regular featured content-On This Day In History May 11 by: TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by: TheMomCatAnd these featured articles-Donkey Show by: ek hornbeckThe President Supports Same Sex Marriage But . . . by: TheMomCatIs It Time For Schneiderman To[...]
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE?
Raise whatever ya got handy and wish a Happy Birthday to the late George Carlin, who would've been 75 tomorrow. He spent many a glorious decade dissecting language, culture, politics and human nature, wielding a comedic scalpal and jackhammer with equal dexterity. All the reason we need to take a moment to revisit a mere smidgeon of his comedic Esprit de George?
Working-class people "look for work." Middle-class people "try to get a job." Upper-middle-class people "seek employment."
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
It's the old American Double Standard, ya know? Say one thing, do somethin' different. And of course this country is founded on the double standard---that's our history! We were founded on a very basic double standard. This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
You know how you speed up baseball? Everybody gets one swing. That's it. One swing, fuck you, you're out, sit down.
Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn---they will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're fucked.
Where ideas are concerned, America can be counted on to do one of two things: take a good idea and run it completely into the ground, or take a bad idea and run it completely into the ground.
The real reason that we can?t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post ?Thou shalt not steal,? ?Thou shalt not commit adultery,? and ?Thou shalt not lie? in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.
Have you ever wondered why the Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer for their communities? It's because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.
I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.
Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins heard the arguments on Friday in Washington, D.C., and is deliberating now on the question of whether young people can sue to compel their government to take serious measures to stop global warming.[...]
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Here is the latest newsletter of Occupy Wall Street: Houston. OWSH is an ongoing effort to revitalize the Occupy Wall Street effort in Houston. Please read the newsletter and consider getting involved. Contact information is on the newsletter. It is up to each of us to do the work of freedom. News from the 5/6/12 [...]
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I was the MC Tonight at Susan Fisher's Cinco de Mayo celebration. It was a wonderful gathering. There are very few politicians that I really get excited about. Susan Fisher is in that select few. She works for us and not herself or special interests.
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The problem, of course, is not that Friedman desires to talk about China, Jobs, or the internet, these are important topics! Unfortunately, Friedman himself is the Dane Cook of prophecy?overrated, overearnest, and having been exposed as fraudulent, in rapid decline. Dammit, we can do better.
No disrespect intended to bloggers by comparing them to Friedman, in many ways Friedman is the anti-blogger?well-financed, entrenched in Washington, and being printed on actual paper. Unfortunately, his legacy may be a generation of writers who think his "Lonely Planet That Is Hot And Crowded" travel-guide approach to punditry might actually be a good idea. Writers: just because you use some form of transportation that is not a car does not mean you have sufficient content for a column, or special insight into the internet age.
So shine on, you crazy mustache. Just don't do it where I have to see it, it makes me want to throw up.
A neat video by two Americans visiting Paris, set to a fun song. It encapsulates nicely why I love Paris so much - nothing in particular, just all around fun and pretty and cool. In a very real way, this video is what Paris feels like (without the soundtrack :)