This week, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Center for Transgender Equality, and National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance released a new report analyzing the experience of people who are both transgender and have an Asian/Pacific Islander (API) ethnicity. Using data from the Injustice At Every Turn study of transgender Americans, the study examined the compounding inequities specifically for Asian Americans and uncovers some disconcerting results:
The report also provides data about discrimination in housing and homelessness, the workplace, and healthcare. It can be read in numerous languages. Previous analyses have been released looking at the experiences of black and Latino transgender Americans.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed a bill yesterday to amend his state’s approach toward drug offenders, requiring drug treatment rather than jail time for low-level, non-violent offenders. The measure’s co-sponsors anticipate that it will add an estimated 1,500 inmates to New Jersey’s drug courts in the first year. Gov. Christie, who has referred to the War on Drugs as a “failure,” said he believes rehabilitation programs rather than jail sentences are the most effective way to combat drug use: ?What we?re dealing with most people here is an addiction, an illness that needs to be treated as such.”
If voters have their input, ending wars and stopping subsidies might make it into the Republican party platform.
The GOP launched a website yesterday that invites Republicans to make suggestions for what should be included in the GOP Party Platform, and in the first 24 hours respondents offered up an array of progressive issue positions for their leaders. The open-source system invites people to write up anything they think should be included, then allows others to “second” the idea. The ones with the most “seconds” will then be voted on.
Here are some of the ideas listed on the site right now:
Remove “Pro-Life” from the Party Platform
It has been almost 40 years since Roe v. Wade, and regardless how we feel about it, it is firmly established as the law of the land. In my opinion, it is more important to save our country by preserving liberty (both economic and individual) than to dwell on the abortion issue. If we let our country be destroyed by the Democrats, the abortion issue will hardly matter anyway.
End All Subsidies
End all energy subsidies (especially oil and gas), because they act as barriers to innovation. This will eventually bring down the cost of energy. All forms of energy should be able to compete within the free market.
The Anti-War Party
Bring home the troops and eliminate most basis in foreign countries. Don’t spread the military thin across the world. Declare war constitutionally through congress. Become the anti-war party.
800 bases in 120 foriegn nations is too costly and not needed
We are wasting so much on unneeded bases around the globe. Bring the troops and the associated funding back to the states.
We still have the best navy, submarines, long range missiles, stealth bombers and Marines.
Banning Indefinite Detentions
?While we strongly support our military and our troops in harms way, we cannot allow the sacrifice of our essential liberties to an over reaching federal government. We support the U.S. District Court?s ruling to block section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allowed for the indefinite military detention of US Citizens…?
Avoid the topic of Same-Sex Marriage
Unfortunately I know most in our party do not agree with me, but I believe that if we continue to push back against Same-Sex marriage it will cause immense damage to our party for years to come. Polls already show that most young-Republicans are either in favor of same-sex marriage or in general do not care about this specific issue.
The open-source website allows voters to participate in party politics in a new way, and gives people mass input into what the GOP does. And anyone is welcome to take part. As the website says, “The best ideas often come from unexpected sources. If you have access to an internet connection (we assume you do if you are reading this), join now and submit your ideas.”
Texas has the worst health care in the nation, with more 25 percent Texans – 6.2 million people – uninsured. And last month, Texas became the largest state whose governor has committed to turning down the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid funds or establish a health insurance exchange. According to a new analysis by the Center for American Progress, Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s decision is especially harmful to Latinos, who make up 18.7 percent of Texas’s population.
A full 38 percent of the nonelderly Latino population in Texas is uninsured, compared to 17 percent of white Texans and 26 percent of Texans of color. Austin’s Center for Public Policy Priorities found that expanding Medicaid would immediately insure 2 million Texans, and this would provide health care to hundreds of thousands of Latinos and address health problems particularly harmful to Latinos.
Latinos are significantly less likely to receive preventative care than other groups. Latinos are also more likely to have chronic diseases such as diabetes. Latino women contract cervical cancer at twice the rate of white women, further highlighting the need for better preventative care in the Latino community.
With billions in newly available Medicaid funds making health insurance affordable for people who couldn’t previously afford it, Latinos would be much more likely to receive the preventative care they need to have healthy lives. The Department of Health and Human Services predicts that, if adopted, the Affordable Care Act will “significantly improve health outcomes for Latinos.”
Unless Perry changes his mind drastically, Texas Latinos are unlikely to have the opportunity to take full advantage of the Affordable Care Act. Perry joins Republican governors across the country in taking a political stance against Obamacare, turning down $258 in federal health dollars and leaving 9.2 million Americans uninsured in the process.
enlargePictured: A US Army private wears un-American headgear.
Today, Nooners takes a close look at Team USA's Olympic uniforms and concludes there's Something Wrong With America.
In the controversy surrounding the uniforms of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, the problem isn't China. That the uniforms were made there is merely a deep embarrassment and a missed opportunity. Our textile and manufacturing companies deserved that work. You wonder how it could be that no one in the American Olympic Committee or in Ralph Lauren's company asked, "By the way, we're making the outfits in America, right?"
Sure, they could've. But Nooners didn't seem to notice or care that in 2008, when a Republican was president, the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms were also made in China. Sure that was an oversight.
But that isn't the biggest problem. That would be the uniforms themselves. They don't really look all that American. Have you seen them? Do they say "America" to you? Berets with little stripes? Double breasted tuxedo-like jackets with white pants? Funny rounded collars on the shirts? Huge Polo logos? They look like some European bureaucrat's idea of a secret militia, like Brussels's idea of a chic new army. [...]
Americans wear baseball caps, trucker hats, cowboy hats, watch caps, Stetsons, golf caps, even Panama hats and fedoras.
I'm not sure Americans have ever worn "trucker hats" as part of an Olympic uniform, but during the 2002 Winter Olympics they wore -- wait for it -- berets with little stripes. But then again, a Republican was in the White House, so no biggie.
Then Nooners shifts gears and wrinkles her nose at the President.
I am certain the president has no idea how patronizing he sounds. His job is to tell us a story? And then get our blankie and put us to sleep?
When he says "a story" he means "the narrative," but he can't use that term because every hack in politics and every journalist they spin uses it and believes in it.
We've written of this before but it needs repeating. The American people will not listen to a narrative, they will not sit still for a story. They do not listen passively as seemingly eloquent people in Washington spin tales of their own derring-do.
The American people tell you the narrative. They look at the facts produced by your leadership, make a judgment and sum it up. The summation is spoken?the story told?at a million barbecues in a million back yards.
Ah, yes -- what kind of out-of-touch hack thinks Americans will listen to some contrived narrative that's been cooked up in Washington instead of on their own grills?
Maybe Mr. Bush should begin to think in terms of his own narrative. Maybe the real question is whether he and his people will write it, or whether it will be imposed on him by the media.
One thing is sure. The media abhor a vacuum. If they find one, they?ll fill it. Which suggests the Republicans, who have despised the sleek savvy of the Clinton years, may have to emulate it to some degree. Mr. Bush has not only got the White House. He?s got a great, grand stage. Mr. Clinton strutted there. Mr. Gore would have too. And Mr. Bush? Will he develop a sharper stagecraft to go with his statecraft? Now that he?s on stage?a large, grand stage?he needs a greater narrative, and a bolder sense of drama.
Nooners' columns would be more effective propaganda if she could lay off the Tanqueray martinis long enough to check her own archives.
The Tour de France 2012, the world's premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the[...]
Read The Full Article:
Minnesota has the longest streak of voting for Democratic presidential candidates of any state in the nation, though Republicans have gained ground in recent years.
Read The Full Article:
There are 11 measures qualified for the ballot in California, but new polling by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University shows only five initiatives polling over 50 percent. Of those five which have a decent chance of passing, the[...]
Read The Full Article:
Police continue to disarm the alleged shooter's booby-trapped apartment: "We could be here for hours. We could be here for days... The pictures are pretty disturbing. It looks pretty sophisticated in terms of how it's been booby trapped."[...]
Read The Full Article:
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
In signs of election year politics the Lesbian PAC and Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry were recently launched. For a bit of LGBT related political context, see Gay Rights Supplants Abortion as Major Platform Battle:
Family Research Council Action, a leading crusader for social conservative values, is sounding the alarm: Support for gay marriage is creeping dangerously close to the Republican platform.
Also, The Advocate?s ?Romney?s Potential Veeps: How Antigay Are They??
Today a group of activists and donors launched LPAC, the first of its kind lesbian political action committee. …
?… we created LPAC because we were shocked by this past year,? said LPAC Chair and Treasurer Sarah Schmidt. ?Lesbians could no longer stand by and witness continued attacks on reproductive freedoms, marriage equality, and be immersed in a political sphere where women are not given a meaningful voice in politics.?
… LPAC will support candidates who champion a range of issues that impact lesbians and their families, Democrat or Republican, male or female, gay or straight. These values include:
– Ending discriminatory treatment of … LGBT … individuals and their families;
- Protecting access to reproductive freedom and quality healthcare; and,
- Furthering social, racial, and economic justice for all Americans.
You can see the list of the LPAC Advisory Board at the same link. The Washington Post headlines its article, ?High-powered lesbians launch first-of-its-kind super PAC … ,? which seems a fair description. The WaPo piece begins:
As a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, her politically active family?s sole Democrat, and a sister with three brothers, Laura Ricketts is comfortable being the odd woman out.
But it has not escaped her notice that lesbians such as her are in the minority at political events for gay donors, whether it?s a White House reception or a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who hopes to become the first openly lesbian member of the U.S. Senate.
A qualifier: ?lesbians such as her? have a significantly greater chance of being at a WH reception than most of us. But it?s also accurate to say there is a greater presence of gay men than lesbians at such ?high-powered? events, mirroring gender discrepancies in general. John Aravosis, at America Blog Gay addresses the inevitable gender questioning:
Sounds like a good, novel idea. Though I wonder what would happen if a bunch of gay men got together and launched a gay male PAC.
It isn?t an unfair question, but it might be a bit out of touch with the male to female ratio present, for example, among Electeds. And the use of the word ?novel? is … interesting. I wish Lesbian PAC was unnecessary, both from the gender and LGBT equality perspective. But reality says differently. As LPAC?s Sarah Schmidt writes:
After decades of being a small subset of players in both women?s … and LGBT rights political efforts, with LPAC lesbians now have an organized way to engage in a significant way.
Note the focus is on ?women?s rights,? not exclusively on lesbian rights. They talk about working with other organizations, LGBT and otherwise, toward shared goals. Something similar happened that lead to the creation of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. At Autostraddle:
The idea for the campaign arose from meetings last year that Freedom to Marry hosted with conservatives and libertarians. It was made clear in those meetings that young conservatives are increasingly in support of marriage equality.
They actually talked. What a concept. Freedom to Marry was begun in 2003, by Evan Wolfson, and is a nationwide campaign to win marriage equality. This organization included ?young conservatives? in conversation, and so the Young Conservatives Campaign is up and running.
Public opinion polls demonstrate that young Republicans, Libertarians, and others who identify as conservatives are increasingly favoring the freedom to marry for all couples. In May, a poll from The Washington Post and ABC News indicated that 46% of self-identified Republicans ages 18-44 support the freedom to marry, and the rate of increase accelerates every year. …
See the list of leadership committee members at the link above.
An Advocate piece provides further indications of conservative shifts.
A Republican-controlled legislature in New Hampshire defeated an attempt to repeal the state?s marriage equality law in March, while last year, the New York state senate became the first Republican-controlled legislative body to pass a marriage equality law. Since then, marriage equality laws have passed with bipartisan support in Washington and Maryland … . In addition, Paul Singer, a … major Republican fund-raiser, recently created a super PAC to support GOP lawmakers who back marriage equality. …
And from The Daily Beast:
Given the way George W. Bush?s 2004 campaign demagogued against gay marriage, it?s amazing to contemplate how many prominent figures from the Bush team now support it. Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and John Bolton all back marriage equality. Ted Olson … is now at least as well known for fighting California?s anti-gay Proposition 8 as he was for litigating Bush v. Gore. Ken Mehlman, Bush?s 2004 campaign manager, came out of the closet in 2010 and now limits his political activities to championing gay rights.
The article goes on to talk about the ?fissure? that is ?opening in the GOP,? but also notes that a ?majority of Republicans continue to oppose marriage equality.? It?s a process. It takes time. And time is something the ?young conservatives? have, more so than the slowly but steadily declining numbers of Republicans who continue to oppose LGBT equality. The ?fissure? shows up in multiple ways, as a HuffPo post indicates: ?Young Conservatives Rally For Same-Sex Marriage, Remain Unsure On Romney.?
Fundamentally, both LPAC and the Young Conservative campaign are politics as usual, but with some less than ?usual? players and positions. One other story to check out, which is also politics as usual, but with an unusual twist: at Buzzfeed, ?Cantor Urges Tolerance On Gays, Muslims.?