Friday, December 30, 2011

Gary Johnson attempts a Hail Mary pass to GLBT voters

The reason I forwent sleep to plug out this entry at 3am was in response to a posting on On Top Magazine's site entitled "Gary Johnson Joins Libertarian Party; Gay Rights A Motivator."

As someone who is committed to supporting President Obama, as well as insuring returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control, I admit the candidacy of former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson has flown under my radar. Ironically, it's taken exchanges with the Twitter troll I mentioned in an earlier post, to make me at least open the curtain on the Republican also ran, who has now declared a switch to the Libertarian Party.

I find do agree with 3 key points of Governor Johnson's platform. The draw down of our military presence abroad, the legalization of marijuana, and protection of everyone's civil rights, including the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.

For me, the road ends there for Mr. Johnson.

Governor Johnson, like a majority of Libertarians, is one of those limited government types that hearkens back to the late 1800s when the world, and America, was far less complicated. Though not stated in his website, Johnson assuredly would work to eliminate New Deal and Great Society programs that have allowed the less fortunate to obtain food, shelter, and healthcare. As fewer Americans that were alive during the Great Depression are with us today, the "screw the poor" rally cry of Libertarian types will only grow louder.

I have been called out by those who claim there is a difference between Conservatives and Republicans. That may be so, but it's painfully obvious that the Republican Party has been hijacked Libertarian types, who fully understand that our (sometimes flawed) two party system will be with us for the foreseeable future. One needs to go no further than the growing popularity of Ron Paul to understand that point.

This whole process started for me when I questioned a gay man's support for Conservative (Republican) politicians. This may have come off as me thinking that the GLBT community were single issue voters. I assure you that is not the case.

I shared my show for almost a year with one of the nicest men I ever knew, Roger Shaver. I learned a lot from Roger. Such as, most gays are very much in touch with the economy, environment, and poverty. I learned that a majority of them are extremely caring individuals, which flies in the face of those Libertarian types, who would pull the rug out from under the neediest in our society.

It has been speculated that Gary Johnson may pull a few votes from the GLBT community away from President Obama. That may be, but mark my words, if a Republican is elected to the White House, along with majorities in the House and Senate, any gains made by gays, such as serving openly in the military will vanish. And while Conservatives say they are for "state's rights," watch how quick laws that allow gay marriage will come under attack.

Let's call a spade a spade here. Gary Johnson has as much a chance of winning in 2012 as I do. I admire his courage in trying to separate himself from the Republican field, but on most issues of importance to a majority of Americans, he's just another voice from the right.

Voting has consequences, we all learned that in 2010. But when you go to the polls in less than a year, you better know what your priorities are. If you are gay or lesbian, voting for the wrong candidate could literally shove you back into the closet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santorum: Marriage is not an 'alternative lifestyle'

By John Skipper 
"There are two things in this country that will assure you of never being poor - graduating from high school and getting married," Santorum said. 

"So marriage is important for our economic security. It isn't an alternative lifestyle.  The bottom line, marriage works."         

What year is this? And, on what planet does Rick Santorum reside? 

Read More:

Suggestion to GOP: With all this defective merchandise, I'd try a different store.

DREW SHENEMAN , Tribune Media Services

Inner cities are still no Shangri-La

A piece in the op-ed section today's Washington Post touted the decrease in violent crime. The writer attempted to debunk both liberal and conservative reasons as to why. Personally, I was more interested in the commentary made by the readers.  A few of them attributed the decrease to the increased number of concealed carry permits. I have two problems with that thought pattern. Bet your bottom dollar, most of these street thugs have no clue what a concealed carry permit is. Also, mark my words, the increase in purchases of legal handguns will translate to more murders, as these guns are stolen from law abiding citizens, and end up in the black market, 5 years down the road.

I would also argue that many nonlethal violent crimes in the inner city don't get reported to authorities. Over the past several years, "snitching" has been frowned upon in urban areas. Some of this stems from distrust of local police departments, while some of it is fear of street gang reprisal.

I invite anybody who thinks that inner cities have suddenly become a bastion of peace and tranquility should take a ride with me some night in my taxi.

This is what you get sometimes when you disagree with someone.

I don't expect people to agree with me all the time. Hell, I've pissed off feminists and liberal bloggers from outstate Minnesota, because I disagreed with how the DFL is going after rural voters. I even get the occasional flame from the racists and bigots.

At the risk of making this guy famous, I wanted to single out this particular tweet. I made the mistake of trying to engage him one morning before I had my first cup of coffee. He is a self labeled Libertarian, who also happens to be gay. He has been a continuous troll on Twitter, that I made the mistake of "feeding."

After one last ditched effort to reason with him this morning, this is what I got. Was I always nice to him? Nope, but I sure as hell never went to this extent.

Oh well... Lesson learned...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Help me make this video go viral... Dear Republicans, FUCK YOU!

Fear Is Exactly the Problem

Homophobia, Islamaphobia, racism in general. These emotions are all fueled by ignorance. If it doesn't fit into our neat little box of knowledge, we fear it, then we hate it.

If we'd only take a little time to learn about other people, it think a lot of the world's prejudices would disappear.

If I can do it, anybody can...

President Eisenhower Predicted the End of the Modern Republican Party

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I challenge Tea Party hypocrites to denounce this bullshit...

This is from Jules Manson, a failed city council candidate from the town of Carson, California.

Tea Partiers claim their not racist. OK, prove it. I want to see them call this guy out.

I'm not holding my breath...

Manson's Facebook page...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Not All Minnesota Republicans Cut From the Same Cloth

While we all speculate on who Amy Koch slept with (I for one could give a rat's ass), It's important to remember the one man who didn't march in lockstep with all the anti-gay, family values bullshit that was spewing from the Minnesota State Capitol, last May.

Romney Gets His Ass Handed To Him By A Gay Vietnam Veteran

Explaining SOPA

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grandma Panties on Fire!

Michele Bachmann says "PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true" in last debate

During the Dec. 15, 2011, Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann made a claim that jolted us out of our seats.

"After the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true," she said.

It came during an exchange between Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Bachmann was attacking Gingrich’s work after he left Congress. He has said he was a paid consultant, but critics such as Bachmann contend he was really a lobbyist.

Gingrich defended his work on behalf of the government-sponsored mortgage-bundling giant Freddie Mac, arguing that government does not necessarily taint whatever enterprise it touches.

He added, "I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization. That was a key part of every agreement we had."

Challenged by moderator Chris Wallace for hard evidence, Bachmann said that "we know that (Gingrich)  cashed paychecks from Freddie Mac. That’s the best evidence that you can have. Over $1.6 million. … The speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior Republicans to keep the scam going in Washington, D.C. That’s absolutely wrong. We can’t have as our nominee for the Republican party someone who continues to stand for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. They need to be shut down, not built up."

Gingrich responded, "Well, the easiest answer is, that's just not true. What she just said is factually not true. I never lobbied under any circumstance. I never went in and suggested in any way that we do this. In fact, I tried to help defeat the housing act when the Democrats were in charge of the House. And if you go back and talk to former Congressman Rick Lazio, he'll tell you, when we were passing housing reform while I was speaker, I never at any time tried to slow down the reform effort. In fact, I helped him pass the reform bill. And I think some of those people ought to have facts before they make wild allegations."

At that point, Bachmann jumped back in. "Well, after the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true. And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million. You don't need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding."

Wait... what? We said that "everything" Bachmann had said was true?

Actually, that's not what we said.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 GOP Talking Points: The Year in Review

Photo: Giampaolo Macorig (Flickr)
While you’re diddling, America is burning, Nero!
The GOP is fighting extending the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans as we speak, because the measure to do it would raise taxes on 350,000 of America’s richest to pay for the cut.  Their latest attempt at “compromise” involves adding several contentious and unsettled issues to the bill—since when does adding things no one agrees on and insisting it’s your bill or no bill make it MORE likely a bill will pass?

Listening to the rhetoric is a walk down a memory lane bordered on both sides with many noteworthy whoppers.  Now that It’s the end of the year, there’s no better time to sum up some of the GOP’s talking points from 2011 before we put them permanently (please God!) in the rear view…

“It’s about the Job Creators, Stupid!”

Great concept – it’s a different take that sounds good, until you realize that the “job creators” aren’t actually creating any jobs.  And that conveniently included in the class of “job creators” are rich people who never did.  But what about the small fraction of the richest 1% in this country who do have companies and could create jobs—why have they failed to actually do so?  It isn’t because their taxes are too high, the regulations too cumbersome or they can’t afford it—it’s because there’s no consumer demand for what they sell because nobody else has any money to spend.

Decades of policies specifically tailored to benefit “job creators” haven’t done squat for job creation—all they did was create a small uber-class of ultra-rich who simply don’t spend enough to sustain the larger economy on their own.  How?  By enabling them to squirrel away a lot more cash while cutting their contribution toward the things that made this nation great in the first place.  You know, things like education, infrastructure, investments in technology and a social safety net that pulled and kept millions out of poverty.

“Job Creators” have been paid handsomely by the American people in the form of huge tax breaks so that they would create jobs for the last 10 years.  Yet the Bush tax cuts led to the worst job creation record on record.  Is there any employer anywhere that would keep paying for that kind of lack of performance?  Hope YOU’VE enjoyed YOUR free ride, “Job Creators,” because your government welfare-driven, taxpayer-funded gravy train ends in 2012. 
“It’s about the deficit, Stupid!”

After spending 8 years blowing a hole in the deficit, the GOP suddenly finds it imperative we fix it NOW, when corporations and the rich are enjoying record profits and spending nothing to create jobs, and cuts will hurt everyone else to the point of drawing blood.  This is all just a distraction—JOBS are the problem, not spending.  

Do they really think we think it's an accident that when they were in power, Cheney said “Deficits don't matter,” which gave them license to spend on the 1% with unfunded tax breaks, on big pharma with an unfunded fix to the Medicare donut hole, and on the military-industrial complex with not one but two unfunded wars, but now, suddenly, when they don’t have a blank check to keep spending, the deficit is the most important thing?   How can they even look themselves in the mirror with a straight face?

“It’s about the uncertainty, Stupid!”

Markets and business need certainty to create jobs, says the GOP.  But In reality, it’s consumers that drive job creation by spending on goods and services.  Want to talk about “uncertainty?” How about certainty for the middle class and working Americans?

There are 160 million people who don’t know if they’re going to have dinner tonight, or if they can get their kid a Christmas present, because they don’t know if they’ll have the money left over after paying their bills to be able to get by after more taxes get deducted from their check on January 1st.  $85 a month might not mean much to our millionaire politicians, but for some of us, it’s the difference between eating and having the gas to get to work, or deciding which you’ll do without.  Again.

These are people who would be shopping, if they knew they could afford it.  But they don’t know if they can because the status of the payroll tax is still up in the air.  So much for certainty.  What really matters is certainty for the middle class and small businesses.  And they wonder why people have taken to the streets to #Occupy wherever they happen to be.

“It’s about the size of government, Stupid!”

The GOP ran on a platform of jobs, but has done absolutely nothing to create any—in fact, they’ve been fighting every effort by others to do so and focusing on other things altogether while pushing the entire time for more layoffs of government workers.  In spite of their distractions, we know that 2-1 doesn’t ever equal 3—you can’t eliminate more jobs faster and then wonder where the jobs are with any integrity whatsoever.  “Government doesn’t create jobs?”  Really?  Government created THEIR jobs, and it employs millions who work for the people.  To say otherwise is a bold-faced lie.  

Nor did government cause the financial crisis in 2008, as they so often claim. Every once in a while, a banker actually admits it, and even Forbes gets that the government didn’t cause the crash!  This is all about creating a self-fulfilling prophecy—if they cut government services, then of course people will complain that the money they ARE spending isn’t getting them anything worthwhile.  This is again all about saving the 1% on their tax bill so that they can hoard even more cash.  It benefits them, but does nothing for the rest of us.

Not surprisingly, the GOP also isn’t complaining that banks received plenty of assistance from the Fed, unbeknownst to the rest of us and Congress.  For people who hate big government, they certainly aren’t outraged by their donors accepting trillions in government-backed aid.  Does that sound like anything even close to a free market?  Don’t think so.

It’s about too much regulation, Stupid!”

Of course corporations would push for fewer regulations, for the same reason that criminals want fewer police—it makes it more likely they can get away with the crimes they commit!  Since Wall Street did such an excellent job self-policing, why WOULDN’T we just trust corporations with the welfare of our citizens, our natural resources and our financial and political systems?

Never mind that the GOP’s claims that regulations kill jobs aren’t true--  even if they were, letting corporations and other bad actors get away with fraud, cheating and stealing from the American taxpayer isn’t worth it at ANY cost.

If the ratings agencies hadn’t been so riddled with corruption, maybe the mess wouldn’t have happened.  Or if the regulators weren’t stuck with rules that are rife with exceptions, so they could actually protect the American people from fraud... But even when there are solid regulations, they’re not always enforced – if anything, we need MORE oversight, not less, and every once in a while, someone, maybe even a federal judge, actually says it out loud.

“It’s about the taxes, Stupid!”

To buy that taxes inhibit job creation requires amazing powers of amnesia and denial--  you have to block out the fact that Clinton raised taxes and yet we experienced great economic growth and job creation, and just disregard that raising taxes generates the revenue needed to fix the shortfall and doesn’t actually cause mass exodus of the wealthy from a particular area or keep companies from hiring.   

Even the Wall Street Journal gets that the Bush tax cuts led to the worst job creation record on record, and the Congressional Budget Office acknowledges that a tax holiday for repatriation of overseas profits would have a “negligible” effect on job creation.  Even Republican Senator Tom Coburn gets that tax breaks for millionaires are just “welfare for the wealthy.”

There’s no evidence to support this from any angle, but the GOP keeps on playing it like a tired old favorite song that sounded good when it first came out but is just lame in hindsight.

Guess what?  We’re NOT as stupid as you think!

Dear GOP,

The time for playing your silly reindeer politician games is over—you’ve had 11 months to jockey for position and dick with the American peoples’ confidence in their government’s ability to act in the best interest of the nation, and with the world’s confidence in your ability to handle our finances.  Did you really think you could threaten the nation and the world with a default on our already-incurred obligations, and that would somehow be acceptable?

Don’t you get it?  We can see you.  We can see through you.  Your telling us what people think and want you to do doesn’t count anymore, because we know what people really think—we communicate with each other directly.  Your lies don’t fly anymore.

Your attacks follow a tired and predictable pattern:
  •  First they’re substantive, your attempt to frame the issues in broad principles that belie what your policies actually do, which is benefit the 1% no matter what. 
  • Then, if you fail to get your way with your propaganda, the argument becomes procedural—it’s about how things are written, how they are presented in Congress, or how they are handled in committee.  Another nice tactic, designed to distract from the real issue, which is that you are still working to change things to benefit the 1% who pay for your election campaigns and then extract beneficial consideration from you in policymaking.
  • Finally, if you still don’t get you way, it becomes personal—it’s about the individual proposing the legislation you don’t like, or the people who support it.  It’s all about demonizing somebody, somehow, through name-calling and inflammatory accusations.  Whatever it takes to stop what your donors don’t want to happen from happening.
Well, here’s a news flash for you: There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to block this and NOT have your actions look like the assault they are on 160 million citizen voters.  None whatsoever.  If for ANY reason you deny the middle and working classes the same tax cut extension you repeatedly fought tooth-and-nail for on behalf of the 1%, you WILL be held accountable by the people you are hurting, loud and clear, in the 2012 elections.

We don’t care about your negotiating stance.  We don’t care about your talking points.  We’re not interested in your latest clever strategy to come up with a way to make this thing benefit the 1% in some way, shape or form.  

We’re not going to follow your accusations wherever your finger currently happens to point in blame anymore, we’re just going to stand here, in your face, and keep insisting you to do something that benefits the rest of us, and if you don’t, we’ll find someone who will.  The 1% may have paid for your election campaign, but we’re the ones who voted for you.  Whether you like it or not, and in spite of your current efforts to the contrary, we still have the power of the vote.

So you can say whatever you want, but we’re now completely focused on the ONE THING that matters: What have you done for US lately?


The 99%

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rachel Maddow with a Civics Lesson

Unfortunately, we thought the same about civil rights and woman's rights.

Not to worry Rachel, I feel strongly that there are more than enough non-bigoted straight people that will go to the mat, to battle for the #GLBT cause. This will get done!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Ensnares Teacher In Rural Part Of State

                    Republican Voter Disenfranchisement - Mission Accomplished!

Amanda Terkel - Huffington Post

 WASHINGTON -- Rita Platt is a teacher in Wisconsin who moved to the small town of Osceola last year. She has gone through FBI background checks in the four states where she has been certified to teach, has her Social Security card, held a Wisconsin driver's license from 1984-1998 and currently has a driver's license from Iowa.

Despite all this, she is currently ineligible to vote in the 2012 elections in Wisconsin.

Platt is one of the growing number of people ensnared by the state's new voter ID law, which requires residents to show valid photo ID when they go to the polls to vote. While Platt is sure she'll be able to get her new license in time for the next elections, she's frustrated that in the end, she will be forced to pay more than $100, endure bureaucratic headaches and take time off from work in order to be able to carry out one of her constitutional rights.

Osceola is a small town in northwestern Wisconsin with a population of under 3,000 people. The two closest Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices are in the towns of Amery and New Richmond, which are approximately 30 minutes away, and rarely open. The Amery DMV is open from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on only the first Tuesday of every month. The New Richmond DMV is open during the same hours on the second Tuesday of every month. 

The closest DMV open full-time during business hours is the one in Hudson, a city about an hour south of Osceola. Platt and her boyfriend, who also needed to get a new license, went there on their day off from work, only to find out that the DMV's computer system was down that day.
"So we drove an hour there. No matter what documentation we had had, we couldn't have gotten our driver's licenses, which is a huge problem, because that's what -- $15 in gas both ways? We're upper-middle class, so we're doing fine. We're both teachers ... But for some folks, that's an impossibility. So you have to have a car, you have to have enough gas to drive an hour there," she told The Huffington Post, outlining some of the difficulties involved in getting ID in order to vote. 

Moreover, neither Platt nor her boyfriend, John Wolfe, had a certified birth certificate or a current passport, one of which is required to obtain a new license.

"My passport is long-expired," said Platt. "I have two small children. It costs money to re-up your passport, and I'm not going to be traveling anywhere until my kids are older ... And I've moved every two years my whole adult life. I'm 42. I have no idea where my certified birth certificate is. I'm not sure I ever even had one, since I've never needed one before."

"It's not that I can't get my voter ID. I will get mine," added Platt, who said she is very active politically and has never missed an election. "It's just that there's a huge poll tax that's going to be upwards of $100 by the time I'm done."

To Read More:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Michele Bachmann's First (and Most Successful) Business Venture

You're a Mean One, Newt Gingrich

Yeah, I know this vid has been seen a gazillion times, but I love it, none the less...

Mitt's $10k Fuck Up

The Mind Behind the Madness

Great meeting Ken Avidor, as well as Karl Bremer, and Eva Young, at their book signing. The trio co-authored "The Madness of Michele Bachmann," which is now available at book stores, and on line.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas for the 99%

Merry, Merry (photo: flickr, mod as hell)        

The 12 Days of Christmas for the 99%

On the 12th day of Christmas, the 1% gave to me:

  • 12 lobbyists lobbying
  • 11 pepper-sprayings
  • 10 Wall Street weasels
  • 9 corporate tax breaks
  • 8 bought politicians 
  • 7 mortgage fraudsters 
  • 6 biased judges 
  • 5 golden parachutes 
  • 4 greedy bankers 
  •  3 SUPER-PACs 
  •  2 backroom deals
  • and a government that does what they want

Dear 1%,

Thanks fer nuthin’.  You can have all your stuff back, we’ll just take our nation back, thankyouverymuch.

Love (ok, maybe not so much),
All Occupiers Everywhere

- @tazshedevl (originally posted on OccupyCincy's Facebook page)

Food Stamp Fraud Targeted, but Not Bank Fraud

Source: AllGov

Going after criminal cases targeting fraud has come down to what’s easier to prosecute for the Obama administration.

While Americans of all stripes have clamored for justice in the wake of the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice has chosen to not pursue jail time for banking executives whose decisions wreaked havoc on the financial industry and the economy. The reason: Building cases against bankers is just too hard to do and carries too much risk of failure in the courtroom.

Instead, the Justice Department has allowed the Securities and Exchange Commission to pursue civil cases directed at banks that can yield large financial penalties, but no criminal prosecutions.

With bank fraud out of reach, federal prosecutors have reached for lower-hanging fruit—namely, food stamp cheaters.

The lousy economy has resulted in a surge of Americans on food stamps and a corresponding increase in those fraudulently using the assistance, according to administration officials. More than 46 million people are receiving about $75.3 billion in help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps). Of this amount, more than $750 million may be spent fraudulently, says Obama’s people.

Seven hundred and fifty million dollars is nothing to sneeze at. But compared to the total expenditure for food stamps, the amount of potential fraud going on amounts to only 1%.

Read More:,_but_Not_Bank_Fraud/16914/0/0/0/Y/M.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Bachmann's demon / Tribal casino monopolies - Tomorrow night's show

Ken Avidor joins me to talk about Frank Vennes, a key donor of Michele Bachmann, that has a rather unscrupulous past.

Also, a debate between Ron Rosenbaum, who represents a move to add slot machines to Twin Cities area horse tracks, and Marsha Kelly, a representative of Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, who says adding slots to these race tracks would have an adverse effect on tribes that rely on gaming.

Click here to listen...