Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA, approached Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell (a Republican) yesterday, asking him to detail the inaccuracies he claimed existed in the organization's report on ALEC.
ALEC, formerly led by Speaker Howell, ghost-writes conservative legislation for state legislatures, and has gotten into some hot water of late, being dumped by the Gates Foundation and Coke, among others.
Scholl attested to the accuracy of the report, pointing out that all of the information included was publicly available for fact-checking. That's when this happened:
Apparently, Speaker Howell isn't used to women speaking their minds, using multi-syllabic words, or being right.
And Howell, not surprisingly, is now in trouble with women's groups for his sexist comments.
It didn't have to be like this.
The White House could have done the right thing and issued the LGBT non-discrimination executive order for federal contractors. But, somehow, the geniuses that run the place decided against it. Not sure why, but no doubt, it was another inane political calculation on their part. Now, it's a big story.
Today, an editorial in the NYT takes the President to task:
Many federal contractors already have antidiscrimination policies. With Congress gridlocked over the issue, Mr. Obama had the chance to immediately extend protections against anti-gay employment bias to the rest of the employees of federal contractors without imposing a significant new burden on business. Yet the White House said no such executive order ?will be issued at this time.?I think this White House makes political calculations based on what their opponents will do (see, for example, this NYT article on how FOX News sets the agenda for the FDA.) The President's political strategists don't factor in what their allies will do in response to negative news. That's because most progressives just sit back and take it. We don't. You'd think they'd know that by now.
It is unclear why Mr. Obama declined to do the right thing here. He has taken actions against discrimination, like repealing the military?s ?don?t ask, don?t tell? policy against openly gay service members. And he has voiced opposition to proposed state constitutional amendments in North Carolina and Minnesota to bar same-sex marriage. His hesitation to ban gay bias by government contractors, like his continued failure to actually endorse the freedom to marry, feels like a cynical hedge. It?s hard to see the political sense in it, and it is certainly unhelpful to the cause of full gay equality under the law.
Gay rights activists vowed Thursday to step up political pressure on the White House over President Obama?s refusal to sign a nondiscrimination executive order, with some decrying the decision as an attempt to avoid controversy before the November election.It shouldn't have to be like this. But, it is.
One prominent liberal donor said he would spend $100,000 to fund a ?We Can?t Wait? campaign targeting Obama, a takeoff on the president?s own slogan for his efforts to use administrative actions as end runs around what he has termed an obstructionist Congress. The donor?s money will be used to fly victims of discrimination at federal contractors to Washington to confront Obama and his aides and gin up public attention.
What?! Someone's pants are on fire, and they're not mine.Here's why she wrote that:
On ENDA, the White House never weighed in, despite the fact that there only a few votes needed to pass it, and, in fact, declared they wouldn't, as it wasn't their place to do so.The White House doesn't have a valid policy reason for why they're not doing this executive order, which means politics is at play. And, it means they're more worried about the reaction from the professional homophobe community than what the LGBT community thinks. Disturbing to think that's how these decisions are made by the Obama team.
This is a shell game -- watch the pea under the shell and see if you can figure out where it is this time. The Democrats have successfully played a shell game with LGBT rights for quite a long time.
In my 2010 meeting with Melody Barnes, the Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, this is what happened:She also noted he has mentioned ENDA, and that he believes it should be integrated into the agenda. He has articulated his support and will continue to. "We are not a barrier," she said. But, she continued, "we look to the Senate leadership; they know what we support and if the President were to push issues it would be a long list. It's up to them."
Russia is openly distancing itself from language included in a joint statement released by the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair Thursday, wherein a number of foreign ministers reaffirm the charge that “human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all individuals, male and female, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.” Likely referring to the anti-gay-propaganda bill currently making its way through the Russian legislative body, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday, that ?under the pretext of protecting the so-called sexual minorities, in effect there?s aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.? Nearly three-quarters of Russians consider homosexuality an amoral mental deviation, a poll by the Levada Center reveals, while lonly 15 percent believe members of the LGBT community should have equal rights. — Fatima Najiy
At a campaign event yesterday, former GOP congressman and current Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra said the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 should not be law because interferes with job creation. The law has been in the news lately after presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney hedged on his support for it earlier this week. But Hoekstra, who is running against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), was clear.
Asked if he would “work to repeal” the law — which empowers women to hold employers accountable for pay discrimination — Hoekstra replied, “It shouldn’t be the law“:
“Will, you know, will repealing it be a priority? If you came back and said, you know, that’s really the thing that’s hurting my business the most. My guess is there are other things that we can do that have a higher priority in terms of what I, what I believe might need to be done. I think you know we need to create — that thing is a nuisance. It shouldn’t be the law,” replied Hoekstra.
Listen to it:
With the housing crisis still plaguing America’s economic recovery and the Obama administration’s housing programs not doing much to help, Congressional Democrats and progressive groups have recently upped their calls for a broad mortgage relief program that reduces the amount struggling homeowners owe on their loans.
Thursday, those calls got a boost from International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Lagarde reiterated that mortgage relief was a “long-standing position” for the IMF, and that the U.S. should institute such a plan in order to return consumption and the appropriate level of indebtedness back to the American economy:
LAGARDE: This is something that the IMF has had a long-standing position of. The housing problem is something that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. And measures have been taken, there are proposals made by the administration. The big boys and girls, Fannie and Freddie, have to be a part of the equation. Because clearly, American households have to be able to unload a bit. Just in the way we’ve encouraged banks to lend, the households have to helped to borrow, so that consumption and appropriate indebtedness can be reinitiated. That’s our position.
The IMF has, indeed, had a long-standing position on mortgage relief for homeowners in the United States and around the world. In April 2011, it issued a report calling for mortgage relief, noting that American banks could withstand the losses principal reduction would bring about, despite their claims to the contrary. Lagarde called for mortgage relief in her initial speech as IMF head in August, and the IMF has made similar calls for struggling economies in Ireland and other countries, and recently issued another report calling for such a program in the United States.
Federal Housing Finance Agency head Edward DeMarco has thus far resisted calls for principal reduction, claiming that it “would protect big banks” at taxpayer expense, despite studies showing that it would save taxpayers money in the long-term. With progressive Democrats calling for DeMarco’s ouster and outside analysts criticizing his opposition to principal reduction, however, he has started to change his tune. Tuesday, DeMarco finally showed openness to principal reduction, and he is expected to make a decision on such a program sometime this month.
Federal Election Commission Chair Caroline Hunter, a former deputy counsel for the Republican National Committee, told Bloomberg BNA yesterday that the Commission is considering an appeal of a federal court ruling requiring greater disclosure of outside campaign spending. On March 30, a federal judge ruled that the FEC had ignored the explicit requirements of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) in promulgating regulations for “electioneering communications” by outside groups that shielded them from having to disclose the large donors who funded the efforts.
The Arizona legislature recently passed an unconstitutional bill that generally requires federal law enforcement officials to notify county sheriffs such as Joe Arpaio before they take action within the state. The lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. David Gowan (R) is tied to the “Oath Keepers,” a far right law enforcement group that encourages law enforcement to defy federal ?orders? the Oath Keepers believe are unconstitutional. To her credit, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed this bill on Wednesday.
- "Bully": Getting past "boys will be boys," by Laura Clawson
- A book review of Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain on Science, by DarkSyde
- The Contorted Contours of the Commerce Power According To The Radical Roberts Court, by Armando
- Could the fall of the Affordable Care Act be a progressive win, by Scott Wooledge
- The cruel stupidity that is economic austerity, by Laurence Lewis
- A raft for racists: The National Review?from Buckley through Derbyshire and beyond, Denise Oliver Velez
- Ann Romney: Allow others the choices that you made, by Dante Atkins
In 300,000 tests, the six baboons distinguished between real and fake words about three-out-of-four times, according to the study published in Thursday's journal Science.
The 4-year-old Dan, the star of the bunch and about the equivalent age of a human teenager, got 80 percent of the words right and learned 308 four-letter words.
On average, about 13 additional people were involved in fatal car crashes every tax day, an increased risk of about 6%. This may sound small, but it happens every year. And the risk has increased in the last two decades, with 1990-2010 being more hazardous than 1980-1990 was.
I?m vindicated. Everybody gasped and fainted like a bunch of fucking spinsters at a nursing home dance when I said that when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. Now it?s the law of the land. Vindicated. When the president takes you out, it is not illegal. When the president taps everybody?s phone, it is not illegal. Not illegal. Bomb who I want, where I want. Not illegal.
If I had the same tools in my time that these pantywaists have in theirs, I?d still be the fucking president, dead or not. It?s my time again.
A new report from Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington policy group, found that the United States took in $48.1 billion in public and private financing in renewable energy technologies last year, up 42 percent from 2010. That catapulted America past all other G-20 nations for the first time since 2009, when Pew began ranking the world's leading economies on their clean energy investments. In its first report, the United States was second to China. The next year it slipped to third behind China and Germany.
"I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through. [...] "In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than Fox this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we're more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That's just a fact." [...]
"I assume it's because Murdoch at some point said, 'I want Romney,' and so 'fair and balanced' became 'Romney,'" Gingrich said.
He's just looking for a contributor's job at CNN, a Fox spokeswoman said.
Do you know what's more obnoxious and offensive than the GOP and their war on women? When a man decides that it's over, move along, nothing to see here.
I've met Dave Weigel. We were both at Netroots Nation 09 in Pittsburgh. He's a nice guy, and his wit is just as sharp in person and after a couple of beers as it is on the teevee machine and in his columns and tweets.
But when he gets it wrong, he really gets it wrong. He achieves levels of wrongness that are rivaled only by PB&J in one jar, Baconaise, anything whipped up in Paula Deen's kitchen and John Boehner's spray-on tan...in the aggregate.
And, earnestness aside, boy-oh-boy did he get it wrong today. He starts by tracing the arc from New York Representative Jerry Nadler's use of the term "war on women" back in early 2011 when the GOP House majority that had been elected on the economy immediately chucked their campaign rhetoric and turned their attention to my lady parts and started passing legislation to restrict access to abortion. Because that's how jobs are created...or something. The phrase was picked up by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and repeated. As the legislation got more odious and the states got into the act, the meme gained traction. It came to full flower with the introduction of "personhood" amendments and found it's cadence as a counter to the imaginary "war on religion" that the right wing conjured when people balked at letting 276 supposedly-celibate old men dictate our birth-control choices. Then, per Mr. Weigel, it died on Wednesday night in the studio where Anderson Cooper 360 is taped with one utterance from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen -- who, for the record, didn't say anything wrong, she just told the truth in a way that sounded bad.
That, per Weigel, is all it takes. Never mind the fact that Ann Romney has never worked for an employer a day in her life, nor had to face the difficulties choices the rest of us who aren't married to gazillionaires have to make, because her cocoon of money protects her from life's harsh realities.
Sorry Dave, but you whiffed this one. One impolitic comment does not a wholesale surrender make, nor does it truncate the actual policies that GOP lawmakers are instituting nationwide to disenfranchise old women at the ballot box and to turn young women who have sex into brood mares. It doesn't undo the attacks on our access to abortion, it doesn't undo the fact that equal pay provisions are being rolled back, that women's jobs have been eliminated at the state and local government level when funding for schools and healthcare is slashed (most teachers and nurses are women) and it doesn't obviate the fact that there are people who, in all plaintive seriousness, want to make contraceptives illegal.
In other words, all the weapons they have been using against us are still at their disposal, still trained on us and still being fired, and Hilary Rosen's comment doesn't change any of that, no matter what a tweed-wearing, penis-bearing American happens to think.
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The scary enemies to humanity over in North Korea launched their long-range rocket yesterday, and let's just say it had some... problems.[...]
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