Jun 192010
 
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Say It To My Face

Here’s the first in a brand new series at Deep Something. I’m sick and tired of hearing the Republicans and krazy kristian kooks like the American Family Association and Tony Perkins and many others just make shit up about gay people and the issues faced by LGBT people in this country (and around the world). They do it because they get to try to hide behind press releases, podiums, security and websites. So I’ve decided to call them out. I’m going to find a number and do my best to get through to them or their staff person, and I intend to respectfully and thoughtfully challenge them to say it to my face (or at least over the phone).

First up was Orrin Hatch early this week. The Utah Senator was at a town hall meeting in St. George, UT when he decided he needed to snuggle up to the Tea Baggers. So Hatch said, “Gays and lesbians don’t pay tithing, their religion is politics.”

So I called Senator Hatch’s office. I explained to the staffer the reason for my call, and expressed my disgust at the fact that the Senator would just make up a statement like this without even knowing me. I asked him to explain why the Senator would say such a thing. Naturally, his first response was to claim the Senator didn’t really mean it “that way.” So I asked him to explain in “what way” the Senator meant it…which he couldn’t. So then he admitted he didn’t know why the Senator would say that, so I asked to speak to the Senator to get that understanding. He was, of course, too busy.

I responded that I suspected the Senator wasn’t too busy, but was just not man-enough to say it to my face. I then asked the staff person, given that Senator Hatch could go around just making up stuff about me, could I just go around making up stuff about the Senator…that maybe I should issue a statement saying the Senator and me had been engaged in a many-years running torrid homosexual affair that included drugs and drunken debauchery?

I loved the staffers immediate response (before he started trying to roll back his statement…you could definitely picture him trying to reach through the phone and pull the words back in). He said, “Why would you want to do that, then you’d just be stooping to his level.” Indeed Senator.

The BS on Reconciliation

 Congress, Constitution, Featured, Politics  Comments Off on The BS on Reconciliation
Mar 082010
 

Below is a youtube of a segment from Meet The Press this past Sunday in which E. J. Dionne calls out Sen. Orrin Hatch for the Republican’s continuing bullshit about the use of reconciliation to pass things based on a simple majority vote in the Senate. We need to be discussing policy and health insurance reform (or elimination), but instead, all the Republicans can come up with to try to “win” is to run around like Chicken Little complaining that the sky will fall if some Senate procedure is “out-procedured.”

[callout title=Misdirection on the Polls.]At one point during the interview Hatch claims the polls show that 58% of Americans don’t like the reform bill, “and only a few like it.” Well, sounds me to as if 42% must like it…that’s not just “a few.” In addition, while there is one poll with that result, others show a majority favoring reform, and when the provisions of the Bill are explained to people, they actually like the provisions in the bill. Funny how that works.[/callout]The host puts up portions of a Hatch statement in which he says things like:

  • “would be unprecedented in scope,” – BS meter high-turns out the Republicans used reconciliation to pass the Bush the tax cuts which added $1.7 trillion to our federal deficit. I realize in Congress they don’t have much of a concept of money, but $1.7 trillion to me is pretty unprecedented in scope.
  • “the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances” – BS meter through the roof-the system of checks and balances is based on three equal branches of government, each have a check on the other two. What procedures Congress decides to use in how it how it acts on legislation has nothing to do with “checks and balances.”
  • “corrode the legislative system” – BS meter headed to low earth orbit-lest we all forget (which the Republicans are counting on) there is NOTHING, nada, zilch, zero, in the Constitution about the Senate requiring a sixty vote majority to pass normal legislation. The Constitution does require certain super-majorities in very special situations, but not for passing every-day legislation. This magical sixty vote thing is purely a creation of the Senate, and for those who argue about majority rule, this “super-majority” requirement would seem to fly in the face of that.
  • “degrade our system of government” –BS meter now on an inter-planetary trajectory-A sitting member of the most corrupt Senate (and government in general) has the temerity to talk about “degrading our system of government?” This is the system has not created a system of state sponsored torture, taken us into a war of aggression against a country that had done nothing to us, has shredded the Constitution with the so called PATRIOT Act. Senator, “have you no shame?”
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bjFKvhxzjg]

I just can’t fathom how these people can sit there and lie with a totally straight face. I am convinced they could not and would not tell the truth if that actually favored them.

GOP Hypocrisy and The Sotomayor Nomination

 Featured, Politics, The Courts  Comments Off on GOP Hypocrisy and The Sotomayor Nomination
May 292009
 

I pointed out in a post on May 8 that the GOP was already gearing up for a smear campaign on Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, whoever it turned out to be. Well, the hypocrites have certainly rolled out of the woodwork to condemn Judge Sotomayor. Let’s take a look, shall we?

court_rustic2_1.jpgThe leader of the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh claims she should be stopped because, “She is a horrible pick, she is the antithesis of a judge by her own admission and in her own words. She has been overturned 80 percent by the Supreme Court, she may as well be on the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals given all the time she’s overturned.” Let’s get right to this reversal thing. Out of nearly 300 decisions, she’s had 6 reviewed by the Supreme Court, and been reversed 3 times…That’s 50%, but then Rush is using that Republican math I guess.

The average reversal rate is 75%. Let’s remember, the SCOTUS reviews cases in which it thinks there may have been an error. So I would think the reversal rate would be on the high side. The issue is how many cases reached the SCOTUS.

Rush goes on to say, “So she’s not the brain that they’re portraying her to be, she’s not a constitutional jurist. She is an affirmative action case extraordinaire and she has put down white men in favor of Latina women. She has claimed that the court is all about making policy.”

Well, first, I’ll take a smart Latina over old white men any day. Let’s see what Rush and the other old white men have brought us:

  • A stolen Presidential Election
  • The Presidency of George W. Bush
  • Two simultaneous wars, one of which we entered on false terms
  • Government sponsored torture
  • The erosion of our Constitutional protections
  • The health insurance industry
  • Jim Crowe laws
  • The Wall Street debacle
  • The economic meltdown

And the hits keep on coming. So, I think it’s about time we give someone else a shot. But of course you can’t base a SCOTUS nomination on just that. So let’s take a look at the context of the comment on which they are relying to make their claim that she is a racist. Here’s what Media Matters has on it:

“Contrary to Kelly and Greenburg’s claims, Sotomayor did not say or suggest that Latina or Latino judges are “better” than white male judges, but was instead talking specifically about “race and sex discrimination cases.” From Sotomayor’s speech delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and published in 2002 in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal:”

And now Orrin Hatch has weighed in opposing Judge Sotomayor. Never mind that he voted to confirm her for the Court of Appeals (and, oh by the way, it was George H. W. Bush who nominated her for appeals court). Hatch has his nickers all in a wad over a comment where they claim she said that Judges make policy. The statement on which they are relying is:

“The saw is that if you’re going into academia, you’re going to teach, or as Judge Lucero just said, public interest law, all of the legal defense funds out there, they’re looking for people with court of appeals experience, because it is — court of appeals is where policy is made.”

It was made as part of panel discussion at Duke University, but let’s get, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” You see Sotomayor continues:

“And I know — and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law, I know. OK, I know. I’m not promoting it, and I’m not advocating it, I’m — you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating –”  Continue reading »