World-famous Nike-endorsed boxer Manny Pacquiao recently spoke out against marriage equality, suggesting same-sex couples are violating God’s law:
PACQUIAO: God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man. God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other. It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.
Pacquiao’s comments imply the annihilation of gays and lesbians, putting him in stark contrast with his primary sponsor, Nike. Not only does Nike have a 100 percent score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, but it has also been a vocal advocate for marriage equality. The Courage Campaign has now launched a petition calling on Nike to drop Manny Pacquiao for his offensive remarks, urging the company not to let its pro-equality reputation be tarnished by such a negative role model.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is often cited to condemn homosexuality, because in it, God destroyed the two towns after its citizens attempted to gang rape two male visitors who turned out to be angels ? though little in the story resembles modern-day understandings of same-sex orientations or relationships. In his Examiner story about Pacquiao’s comments, journalist Granville Ampong also invoked Leviticus 20:13, which calls for men who lie with men to be put to death, confusing other outlets to believe Pacquiao had quoted it himself. Ampong has since clarified that he added the verse himself because of his own desire to emphasize his view of the Bible’s anti-gay perspective.
According to a statement from Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, the boxer meant no harm by his remarks. He implied, however, that Pacquiao perhaps did reference the “put to death” Leviticus verse:
KONCZ: Manny was asked about same-sex marriages and he quoted a verse from the Bible to drive home a point. He did not wish ill will on anybody.
Pacquiao has clarified that he does not believe gay people should be put to death and that he is not even familiar with Leviticus 20:13, so he definitely did not quote it. He did stand by the intent of his remarks, though:
PACQUIAO: I didn?t say that, that?s a lie … I didn?t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven?t read the Book of Leviticus yet. I?m not against gay people … I have a relative who is also gay. We can?t help it if they were born that way. What I?m critical off [sic] are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God.
The National Organization for Marriage is promoting the original article with Pacquiao’s comments without any disclaimers about what he actually did and did not say.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been meeting with Democratic colleagues to discuss legislation to require disclosure for outside group political spending, he told The Hill yesterday.
?I’ve been having discussions with Sen. [Sheldon] Whitehouse [D-R.I.] and a couple others on the issue,? the one-time campaign finance reform advocate said, noting talks have been ongoing for a couple of months and that he wants any legislation to be “balanced and address the issue of union contributions as well as other outside contributions.”
McCain, who famously co-authored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 with then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), has been noticeably AWOL on these issues since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.
In 2010, after the high court ruled, McCain declared campaign finance reform dead and essentially washed his hands of the cause, telling CBS?s Bob Schieffer, ?I don?t think there?s much that can be done.?
Without McCain?s help, Democrats created the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. The bill ? which sought to ban campaign expenditures by foreign-owned corporations and to require disclosure of the true sources of the money behind independent expenditures and electioneering communications ? passed the House in June of 2010. When the bill came to the Senate, McCain refused to back the measure. Decrying provisions in it as ?a bailout for the unions,? McCain attacked the bill as tougher on corporations than unions.
McCain joined a filibuster and the bill failed to achieve cloture by a single vote. Rather than offering amendments to the bill or working behind the scenes with sponsors to reach an agreement, McCain was the deciding vote to kill the bill without even allowing an up-or-down vote.
Now, with an even more closely-divided Senate and Speaker John Boehner running the House, the climb for any disclosure legislation will be steep.
If McCain is serious about rejoining the campaign finance reform fight, it is welcome news. But thanks to his earlier obstruction, he may find his efforts to be too little, too late.
The former Secretary of Defense to the George W. Bush and Obama administrations Robert Gates said in an interview on CBS aired this morning that getting Iran to give up any potential ambitions to nuclear weapons was the “only good option” for dealing with the nuclear standoff with the West. He warned that an Israeli attack on Iran could spark a regional war.
Interviewer Charlie Rose asked Gates about his comment that Iran was the toughest challenge he has faced. Gates suggested, in line with the Obama administration, that a diplomatically negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis was the sole way to deal with the issues without major drawbacks. Gates said:
GATES: The only good option is putting enough pressure on the Iranian government that they make the decision for themselves that continuing to seek nuclear weapons is actually harming the security of the country and, perhaps more importantly to them, putting the regime itself at risk. And there are signs that those sanctions are beginning to really bite and some much more severe European Union sanctions will come into effect this summer.
ROSE: What if Israel does it on its own?
GATES: That would be worse than us doing it. Because I think that then has lots of regional complications that may end up in a much larger Middle East conflict. So I think that would be worse.
Watch the video:
Gates has offered warnings about attacking Iran before, declaring that even a U.S. strike would be a “catastrophe.” So his statement that an Israeli strike would be “worse” is significant. And a Pentagon wargame reported by the New York Times this year found the U.S. got dragged into the conflict after an Israeli strike.
A top U.S. security thinktank that advises the Pentagon released an article in its journal yesterday advising against a U.S. or Israeli strike against Iran. The article from the RAND Corporation by, among others, top former U.S. diplomat James Dobbins, noted that a strike “would make it more, not less, likely that the Iranian regime would decide to produce and deploy nuclear weapons” — in line with assessements from some top former Israeli officials. The RAND article called for more U.S.-Israeli cooperation and for the U.S. to quietly “support the assessments of former and current Israeli officials who have argued against a military option.” Many former top Israeli security officials have criticized Israel’s hawkish government for an eagerness to attack Iran without dealing with potential consequences of such an attack.
Gates seemed to be using shorthand when discussing Iran’s “continuing to seek nuclear weapons.” While a potential Iranian nuclear weapon is widely considered a threat to both the security of the U.S. and its allies in the region, as well as the nuclear non-proliferation regime, reports on U.S. and Israeli estimates state that these intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran has made a decision to build nuclear weapons. Those estimates give the West time to pursue a dual-track approach of pressure and diplomacy to resolve the crisis. American officials including President Obama vow to keep ?all options on the table? to deal with the Iranian nuclear program, but questions about the efficacy and consequences of a strike have led U.S. officials to declare that diplomacy is the ?best and most permanent way? to resolve the crisis.
My husband Melvin and I bought our first home when we were expecting our first child. After an exhaustive search, we settled on an up-and-down duplex. It was built in the 1940s and had a rental suite in the basement.
The purchase was a good decision from a financial standpoint. Rental payments covered a substantial part of . . . → Read More: These Stocks Yield Up to 13.5%… But I Doubt You Know About Them
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The State Department has taken action against one of its employees, Peter Van Buren, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes is in retaliation for criticism of the State Department's reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Here's an[...]
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Oh sweet merciful Zeus, they're at it again. About a year ago, Republican women in the House of Representatives had themselves a little consciousness-raising session, "telling their own stories," trying to correct the "misconception about who are the Republican women," and declaring, "The Republican agenda is indeed pro-woman."
Well, since that went over like a lead balloon, those same women have now penned a column, insisting that "The Republican Party is the real party of American women." And if those meanie Democrats would just stop pointing out all the horrible things Republicans do and say to deprive women of their basic rights, women would finally "see that it?s the Republican Party that?s advancing their values, not the Democrats."
So how do the lady Republicans go about demonstrating their pro-woman bona fides? By opening with an "old joke":
There?s an old joke about a married couple that?s asked about their hobbies and interests. The husband says he?s focused on ?important things? ? like the federal budget, health care reform and peace in the Middle East. The wife says she?s focused on the ?small things? ? like their household budget, their children?s health care and keeping peace within their family.Hahahahahahahahahaha! Get it? Women care about small stuff that doesn't matter! Hahahahahah! Hilarious! And feministical!
But let's continue down this ovarian acid trip of fauxminism below the fold:
The House votes today on the Violence Against Women Act, with Republicans introducing amendments to tone down their version and escape some of the heat they're getting and Democrats saying, not good enough. [...]
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IT’S NICE TO be Pete Peterson.
But who is this guy? Besides the man who can get all the cool millionaires into a room to bargain away the U.S. social safety net?
Read Ryan Grimm and Paul Blumenthal, consider it your assignment today.
But if you haven’t figured it out by now why Pres. Obama thinks he can get away with a grand bargain, which will likely come in his second term, all you need is three of the most potent words in American politics: William Jefferson Clinton. The grand bargainer himself.
The Rich Get the Elevator. The Middle Class Gets the Shaft.
“Simpson-Bowles makes the Social Security system more progressive,” said Bill Clinton. Actually, it would gut Social Security benefits while lowering the top tax rate for billionaires like Peterson and millionaires like Clinton. That’s the opposite of “progressive.” But it would give the illusion of ‘progressivity’ by offering a slight benefit bump to the extremely poor, funded by benefit cuts for the middle class.
It would also give a tiny bump to seniors who live an especially long time after retirement. That would also be funded by middle-class benefit cuts. And since minority and low-income life expectancy is still far below that of white people in general — and white women in particular — this would also be economically regressive.
The fact that this false ‘progressively’ would transform a social insurance program into a welfare program seemed to disturb the former President not one bit. And he seemed entirely unaware of the what it means to the political discourse when a former Democratic president argues for a plan that would cut taxes even more for the wealthiest Americans, while cutting the few hundred dollars per month received by many elderly and disabled Americans in order to provide benefits for the poor. Bill Clinton calls that “progressive.”
And that was the leftmost wing of the Fiscal Summit’s leadership.
Note to everyone, there is no “leftmost wing” in politics. It does not exist, otherwise there would have been a primary challenger for Barack Obama.
There’s more to the story than just a few bad potatoes (and bad potato jokes). Read on:
Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a liberal housing group which formed to pressure state Attorneys General like California's Kamala Harris to not agree to a bad robosigning settlement deal, has released a poll that paints a brutal picture of how voters in swing states view President Obama's handling of the housing crisis.The poll also shows that voters think the President hasn't done enough to...