The State of the Union

28 January, 2010 at 11:13 am (Civil Rights, Historical Figure, Politics, President Obama)

Okay, while I would love to write all about this – I actually do need to work. Terrible, right? But I wanted to just mention one thing…

I have become frustrated with how President Obama has handled “the gay issues” (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act). I, along with many, feel he hasn’t done all he could (and should!) for equality. And last night, many felt he should have said more on this issue. His full quote in his speech about DADT:

This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.

No, that’s not a lot. And it’s also not a promise, or him issuing an executive order. However, his saying that he’s going to work to end the repeal – and that he said so in front of a joint session of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Supreme Court Justices – is promising.

But I started thinking… The first time a president ever mentioned advocating for gay rights in a SOTU was President Clinton (the one who signed DADT and DOMA into law, let’s remember), back in 1999. And all he said was:

Discrimination or violence because of race or religion, ancestry or gender, disability or sexual orientation is wrong and it ought to be illegal. Therefore, I ask Congress to make the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act the law of the land.

Talk about vague, eh? And let’s remember he was on his way out of office; Obama still has three years on this term.

And so it helped to remind myself what President Bush (#43) said about gay equality. Oh, he talked about gay rights during his SOTU – about how there shouldn’t be any. From 2004:

A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.

I won’t go into all of Bush’s points – thankfully, he’s out of office and can’t do any more damage. But he certainly did dedicate a large chunk of his speech to that, huh?

So all I am saying is, when we’re frustrated with Obama’s ‘lack of action’, it’s important to remind ourselves where we’re coming from, and what we’re trying to correct from the past. I hope (and trust) that he’ll do more before he leaves office; in the meantime, I am just happy we no longer have a bigoted man in the White House who uses anti-gay rhetoric to ‘motivate the base’.


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What to Do?

3 November, 2009 at 11:37 am (Books, Historical Figure, Politics, President Obama)

So it’s a Tuesday afternoon, and three things are happening tonight in the city. Well, technically there are more than three things happening – but these would be on my list:

1. Cast of Glee signing copies of the new Glee Soundtrack at Borders in Columbus Circle

2. Jen Somethingorother, who does the Cake Wrecks blog, signing copies of her Cake Wrecks book at the Barnes & Noble in Lincoln Triangle. I don’t really want a copy of the book, but this book signing has free cake…

3. David Plouffe speaking about and signing copies of his new book The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory at the B&N at Union Square.

So which one am I going with? Obviously the Plouffe reading/signing. I’ve been looking forward to this book anyway – regardless of what happens with his Presidency, Obama’s campaign and win were game-changing and historic, and I think reading Plouffe’s inside take will be interesting. However, it’s also gotten good reviews – and Arianna Huffington at HuffPo had a great take on it this morning: What would Candidate Obama think of President Obama? What indeed. I really recommend reading the piece – and I think that the book will serve as a great reminder of why we all got on board with Obama to begin with – and what he could be doing differently in his presidency.

But I’ll let you know after I’m finished reading it 🙂

UPDATE: David Plouffe responds on HuffPo: “No Difference Between President Obama and Candidate Obama

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The Washington Post on “Right Wing Rage”

17 August, 2009 at 10:02 am (Politics)

My worldly friend Matt (how’s Papua New Guinea treating you?) posted Rick Perlstein’s OpEd piece from the Washington Post on Facebook…and I thought it was good, so I’m stealing it. It’s basically a reminder that irrational outrage is nothing new. My favorite bit is this:

The various elements — the liberal earnestly confused when rational dialogue won’t hold sway; the anti-liberal rage at a world self-evidently out of joint; and, most of all, their mutual incomprehension — sound as fresh as yesterday’s news. (Internment camps for conservatives? That’s the latest theory of tea party favorite Michael Savage.)

Now, before anyone says anything: I know there are rational concerns about the health care overhaul, and not everyone that is against it is ‘crazy’. But death panels? Seriously? Oh, and people: Medicare is a form of socialized health care. All I’m saying is: fight with reason, not with irrational rage.

You can read the Perlstein piece here. Check out the White House’s site about health care reform here.

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Shatner Does Palin

3 August, 2009 at 4:17 pm (Funny Stuff, Politics, Strange Stuff)

Man, I love some Shatner. I am sure everyone has seen this by now, but if not…enjoy.

[clearspring_widget title=”Shatner Does Palin (07/27/09)” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”4a7753fd9ee8014e” width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=””]

Video Recaps | Full Episodes | Webisodes

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Minnesota May Finally Be Getting Its Second Senator?!

30 June, 2009 at 2:11 pm (2008 Election, Politics)

About bloody time

P.S. Coleman, it is time to stop being a sore loser, buddy. The voting happened in November. You were just rejected by the Supreme Court of your state in a unanimous decision. Let it go.

UPDATE Coleman concedes

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Bill Maher on Obama

16 June, 2009 at 9:54 pm (Politics, President Obama)

Alright, Bill Maher can be a bit of a blowhard sometimes, and I definitely don’t always agree with him. However, his criticisms of Obama are pretty spot-on:

…and he didn’t even get into the issues of DOMA and DADT.

Criticisms come for Obama come from Republicans, but I think it means a lot more when Democrats are critical of what he is (or isn’t!) doing in office. We hired him to do a job; it is up to us to ensure that he gets it done.

(Desi: thanks for the clip!)

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Proclamations Are Great and All…

1 June, 2009 at 7:18 pm (Civil Rights, Politics, President Obama, SuperGay)

…but actions speak louder than words, Mr. President. From the proclamation:

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security.

Look, we all know I love President Obama, and am (overall) just fine with the job he’s done thus far. And I know that these things take time, and that he needs to spend political capital wisely. BUT – enough with the rhetoric, President Obama. You know who can actually end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? YOU. I understand waiting to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act – let the states gradually come around to give us equal rights before changing the federal law that President Clinton so erroneously signed into existence. But DADT (another anti-gay law given to us by President Clinton)? We’re in so many wars (excuse me, “military actions”) right now, I hardly think it would be all that unpopular to give our military MORE people who are willing and able to serve.

So thanks for the kind words of support, Mr. President. Now can we have some action to go along with it?

(And spread the word – March On Washington October 10 and 11th! Sign up for updates, and join me there! Because, unless the federal laws change in the next four months, you bet I will be there!)

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So Much For Secession…

27 April, 2009 at 11:44 am (Funny Stuff, Miscellaneous, Politics)

Texas Governor Rick Perry asks for federal help to deal with swine flu

I haven’t written in awhile, and don’t have much time to now – I’m busy prepping for my vacation which starts eeeeeeearly Wednesday morning! But I’ll post more soon 🙂

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Bobby Jindal = Kenneth the Page

25 February, 2009 at 1:21 pm (Funny Stuff, Politics, President Obama, This Can't Be Good)

Okay, I’m a busy girl at work today and so I haven’t yet blogged about Obama’s speech to the joint session of Congress last night. I honestly don’t know that I will…so quickly, I will say that I thought it was fantastic (big surprise there), and was impressed at the number of Democrats and Republicans that applauded during the speech (these things are usually more party-centric, or so I’m told; I haven’t been able to sit through one since around 2001. Not because I refuse to listen to Repubicans – but I couldn’t STAND to watch G.W. talk. That smirky, shit-eating grin! But I digress…)

Last night, the GOP response was given by Bobby Jindal. Now, I don’t know much about Bobby Jindal, other than he is the governor of Louisiana and has had his name thrown around as a possible candidate in 2012. But last night? Definitely not the best response ever. Perhaps it wasn’t a true reflection of himself or his typical style… but yeah, not great. But what I didn’t even pick up on, until it was pointed out today at HuffPo, is how much he sounds like Kenneth the Page (from the show 30 Rock). Check it out for yourself!

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Happy Presidents’ Day!

16 February, 2009 at 1:33 pm (Historical Figure, Music, Politics)

This was obviously made well over a decade ago…but gee, I forgot how much I loved “Animaniacs”

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