Holsinger Confirmation Hearings

 Congress, Gay Issues, General, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Holsinger Confirmation Hearings
Jul 132007

Some of you may know that James Holsinger has been nominated by Bush to be Surgeon General. So who is this goober (and a goober he is)? He’s the chairperson of the Methodist Supreme Judicial Committee that ruled it was OK for a Methodist minister to keep a gay person from joining his church.

I spoke to Holsinger, as I did to everyone on the committee. He’s arrogant, condescending, and one of the most homophobic and bigoted people I think I’ve ever come across. And all of that before I even knew about a document he’d once written, “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality.” You can read a review of the paper at Box Turtle Bulletin. It’s extremely poor scholarship.

Frank Lockwood at Bible Belt Blogger is keeping up with the hearings. He wrote today:

The surgeon general nominee, facing tough questioning from Sen. Kennedy, has distanced himself from his own 1991 paper, “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality.”

The paper, which called homosexuality unhealthy and unnatural “does not represent where I am today. It does not represent who I am today,” Dr. James Holsinger said.

So, the guy bragged about, and presented it to the Methodist Church as gospel when it served his ends there…now it doesn’t serve his ends, so he’s changed his mind. He’ll make a great fit for the Bush Administration, but not for America.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to vote NO to the confirmation of James Holsinger for U.S. Surgeon General.

Senate Kills Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Hikes

 Congress, Politics  Comments Off on Senate Kills Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Hikes
Aug 042006

“Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, said. ?And we are turning our back on the middle-class and poor people in this country who depend on the minimum wage and death-tax relief.? ”

yes..all those minimum wage slobs with their $4.5 million estates getting wacked with death taxes…..

Oh the horror!

Jun 252006

I’ve let the dust settle some from the recent insistence of Congressional Republicans to throw their “base” a bone. I am referring to, of course, the recent attempt to ingrain discrimination against gay people into the Constitution.

I naturally called my Senators. I expressed by belief to the intern answering the phone in Mel Martinez’s office that protecting marriage was best done by making divorce illegal. I asked her if the Senator would introduce appropriate legislation to make divorce illegal, given his strongly stated desire to “protect marriage.” I guess I might have stumbled across one of the few honest people on Capitol Hill. This young lady told me, “the Senator’s not interested in protecting marriage, he’s interested in protecting the definition of marriage.”

There is something queer about this Senate crusade to outlaw gay marriage. If you listen closely, the leaders who oppose single-sex unions refuse to talk about gay people. They talk about activist judges, welfare rolls, the rights of voters and the birthrate of single mothers in Scandinavia. But there is not a gay man, a lesbian woman or a bisexual teenager in the mix.

Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, a 2008 presidential contender, led the charge for a constitutional amendment on the Senate floor , dominating the debate with a handful of blue-and-white charts that he said showed the need to ban same-sex marriage. He had line graphs, bar graphs and circle graphs. He spoke about French law and Dutch sociology. He went on about the benefits of two-parent families. “It’s important that a child be raised between a loving couple,” Brownback declared, a phrase that seemed, at first, to be an argument in favor of gay marriage. “Developmental problems are less common in two parent families.” He said that welfare encourages out-of-wedlock births and called for more research on marriage. But the Republican senator made no real mention of men who love men or women who love women.

In fact, the principal argument mounted by social conservative leaders like Brownback has more to do with the fragile state of heterosexual marriage than homosexuality. Their convoluted logic works like this: If society approves of long-term homosexual monogamy, then the “institution of marriage” will be weakened. This will lead straight people to abandon monogamy and harm the welfare of the nation’s children, who benefit from stable, two-parent families. “Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them,” explained President Bush in his Monday address to amendment supporters. “And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure.”

This is why Brownback has been spending so much time studying Nordic marriage trends. He believes there is a direct (albeit inverse) correlation between gay marriage and heterosexual fidelity. “Where gay marriage finds acceptance, marriage virtually ceased to exist,” he said in the Senate, reading aloud from one of his big blue-and-white posters, this one labeled “Scandinavia.” “The institution no longer means much of anything.”

These straight-marriage-in-trouble arguments are everywhere in the current debate. They had dominated a press conference in the Capitol, just a few feet off the Senate floor. “When marriage declines, children and society suffer,” explained Matt Daniels, the founder of the Alliance for Marriage, an umbrella group of churches and synagogues that wrote the anti-gay-marriage amendment. “Violent crime, youth crime, welfare dependency and child poverty track more closely with family breakdown than with any other social variable, including race and income level.”

Continue reading »

Congressional Lapdogs Prepare to Gut FISA-Give President Imperial Power

 Congress, Constitution, Politics, Presidency, The Courts  Comments Off on Congressional Lapdogs Prepare to Gut FISA-Give President Imperial Power
Mar 092006

Republicans are packaging as “reform” a plan that would gut FISA, leaving the president free to spy on Americans without obtaining a warrant. A NY Times editorial expresses appropriate outrage at this cynical ploy to shield the president’s lawless behavior:

Faced with a president who is almost certainly breaking the law, the Senate sets up a panel to watch him do it and calls that control. … The Republicans’ idea of supervision involves saying the White House should get a warrant for spying whenever possible. Currently a warrant is needed, period. And that’s the right law. The White House has not offered a scrap of evidence that it interferes with antiterrorist operations. Mr. Bush simply decided the law did not apply to him.

The Times reports that the deal, negotiated with the White House, “left Senate Democrats fuming on the sidelines.” The Times also reports that the proposal is “likely to win approval from the full Senate.” Isn’t it time for spineless Democrats to stop fuming and start filibustering?

White House Still Pushing Torture

 Congress, Corruption, Crime, Politics, Society, War  Comments Off on White House Still Pushing Torture
Dec 052005

Reuters has a story saying that the White House has been meeting with Sen. John McCain in an effort to obtain an exemption so that the CIA can torture people.

I continue to find it abhorrent that we are even discussing how this country might use torture. It’s proven to be ineffective, so to what end is Dick Cheney so interested in keeping this option open.

I find it even more surprising that these supposedly evangelical Christians continue to support this administration, despite this continuing desire by the Administration to torture people. There will be a day of reckoning, and I hate to tell these people, but the God I worship is not going to be happy that we enabled torturers. It’s really not part of his plan for humankind, and he was actually pretty clear about it.

Sen. Frist; Insider Trading Or Sudden Bout of Ethics?

 Congress, Corruption, Politics  Comments Off on Sen. Frist; Insider Trading Or Sudden Bout of Ethics?
Sep 212005

Stock prices for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) fell 15 percent in late July, but not before Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist unloaded his family’s shares. HCA is the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, founded by Frist’s father and directed by Frist’s brother, who is also a leading stockholder. The senator sold his shares in the corporation by July 1, two weeks before the prices fell, followed by the shares of his wife and children by July 8. His spokeswoman explained Frist’s decision to sell his stocks as an attempt to "avoid any appearance of conflict of interest [with his work in the Senate]" and that the reason he chose that particular moment to sell as "he’s [never] been worried about it in the past." HCA has donated a total of $83,450 since 1989 to the senator’s campaigns. Trading on insider information is illegal.

So, he’s been in the Senate for how long? And its just now a possible conflict of interest? Yeah…right!