Tag Archives: 2012 Election

Get Out The Vote!

5 Nov

Tomorrow is election day and I cannot underscore enough how important it is to get to the polls and vote.  Not only are we voting for President (at this point, I don’t think it is a surprise that TSM is endorsing President Obama), but there are myriad other issues and seats that will be decided. On the national level, control of the Senate is clearly tied to tomorrow’s votes. The House is less clearly up for grabs, but there may be hope. Hundreds of state and local issues, including ballot measures about taxation and marriage equality also abound.

Let us hope that intelligence, compassion, and the social contract prevail over the homophobia, bigotry, lies and lunacy that are so pervasive in the GOP/Tea Party — the party that seeks to crush all who are not white, heterosexual, male, and wealthy.  Let us hope that we stop the victimizing of women, people of color, and the LGBT community. Tomorrow is our opportunity to say: “We will not be intimidated and we will not be deterred.  We will cast our ballots for hope and solidarity.”

We must not succumb to the intimidation tactics from the white rich Republicans who have purchased billboards in Ohio and Wisconsin to threaten minority groups and keep them from voting. Two days ago, in Clackamas County, Oregon, Republicans started tampering with ballots by filling in blanks with Republican candidates. Mailers in Florida are clearly designed to compel Republicans to vote, while intimidation tacics are in place to keep minorities from the polls.

There is only one sound reaction. Stand up and vote. Do not let anyone tamper with your rights. Do not stand for intimidation or suppression. Many issues — including most of the significant ones — will be decided by slim margins. Every vote counts. Let yours be among them.

Making the World Better

29 Oct

As election day grows ever nearer and as I challenge myself daily on the issue, I am charging everyone with the task of reflection. We must each ask ourselves: “What are we doing to make the world a better place for all?”  I suspect many TSM readers fail at this task as often as I do, or perhaps I fail more often than TSM readers.

I have been reflecting a great deal of what life was like in the very early 1970s and how the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the Black Panthers, Gay Liberation, and the American Indian Movement all collectively helped to challenge a dominant white heterosexual discourse, helping marginalized voices to gain strength, visibility, and respect. I will also admit that watching old episodes of Maude and the Sonny and Cher Show helped spark this reflection.  The United States seems to have dropped the conversation of what am I doing for my country and what am I doing to heal the world.

As people are getting ready to cast their ballots on November 6, 2012, I would ask that each person reflect on the following issues: Am I working to ensure that women get the health care they need and not blaming them for being raped? Am I part of the conversation to end racism, or does my silence implicate me? Do I stand with LGBT brothers and sisters for equality, or am I working to deny my fellow human beings basic civil rights? Do I take the time to address issues of poverty and work to create policies that create a level playing field, or do I subscribe to the very false notion that people need to pull them selves up by their boot straps?

I encourage Americans to think about how do we heal a nation so divided while also thinking about how do we help all of our brothers and sisters.

Paul Ryan’s Not-So-Charitable Activity

16 Oct

Well, something in this kitchen is dirty…

It’s not unusual for politicians at every level of government to look for opportunities to show off their good works. They’ll pose with underprivileged kids, pound in a few nails for Habitat for Humanity, speak at a charitable conference, all sorts of things. Some of the resulting photos and news stories show real commitment to social change, some are casual photo ops. Rarely, however, are such things as contrived and ill-conceived as Paul Ryan’s recent moment of let’s pretend.

Last Saturday, the VP hopeful was campaigning in Youngstown, Ohio. One of his stops was at a soup kitchen, where he rolled up his sleeves and pitched in. Sounds great, right? The problem is, the meals had been served, the clients were gone, and the dishes were clean and put away. Ryan bullied his way into the kitchen by pressuring a volunteer and had his picture taken [wait for it] washing a clean pan. Apparently there were no charities in Youngstown that actually needed hope at that moment. Besides, it’s so much nicer dealing with volunteers in a clean kitchen than actually handling food near the >gasp< poor!

Sadly, Ryan’s “out damned spot” moment takes an even darker turn. The Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society that Ryan visited was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit. Brian Antag, president of the Society, was aghast and alarmed because his organization prohibits participation in political events.

We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there and they did not have permission. […] I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals. For us to even appear like we’re backing somebody, it’s suicide.

Yes, you read that correctly. Paul Ryan bullied a volunteer to enter a facility without permission to wash a clean dish for a handy campaign photo. While doing so, he caused the facility to violate its bylaws and potentially put its funding at risk. Way to care for the needy, Rep. Ryan. It’s not as though we need more evidence of the callous disregard the Romney/Ryan ticket has for anyone outside their lily-white Randian pillars of “justice.” Sadly, the proof just keeps coming, and let’s face it, Romney/Ryan is a dirt that just won’t wash clean!

National Coming Out Day: Why This Year Matters Even More Than Ever

11 Oct

National Coming Out Day

October 11 marks National Coming Out Day.  For those of you who had any questions regarding my sexual orientation, allow me to put all questions to rest.  I’m a very proud gay man.  One might ask, so what? Why announce it? Why do I insist on being so visible? Why do we need a National Coming Out Day?

I cannot underscore enough the importance of being out and visible.  The more visible we are as a community, the more difficult it is to marginalize us and treat us as sub-human, or second class citizens, denied over a 1,000 rights that our heterosexual brothers and sisters are granted just for being heterosexual.

This year it matters more than ever. The presidential election shows a stark divide. On one hand we have a party of incremental progress led by a President who has done more for the LGBT community than all his predecessors put together; on the other, a mendacious chameleon who signs pledges to use tax dollars to defend DOMA and to REVOKE civil rights for the LGBT community leading a party whose platform is even more aggressive and inhuman. This isn’t a matter of “single issue voting,” it is a matter of basic human rights and dignity. How can anyone — regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or sexual orientation — place their faith in a candidate and a party who have proved that American citizens don’t matter, only power and privilege. If you know and love ANYONE who is LGBT — and trust me, you do — a vote for Romney and the Republicans is a fundamental betrayal of what this country stands for.

Mitt Romney: Exploiting Death For Political Gain

12 Sep

I’m Mitt Romney, and I approved this exploitative lie…for now.

I am disgusted and revolted by Romney’s behavior in the wake of the loss of four lives in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed by a terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi. This attack, like a protest yesterday in Cairo, was apparently prompted by a YouTube video defaming the prophet Mohammed — a video made by infamous Quran burner and homophobic activist Terry Jones. State Department officials responded to the Cairo protests condemning violence and religious intolerance.

Romney, in typical form, dived in without the facts. Showing no presidential character whatsoever, he politicized the deaths of four Americans in a baseless attack on the President.

I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

Bad form! Bad form Mr. Romney. Have you no decency? Have you no respect for the families of those that have died? Your pathological narcissism knows no bounds! Even John Boehner avoided making a political statement over these tragic deaths. What does that say about how vile your behavior is?

Of course, your statement is also blatantly false, but your allergy to the truth is by now legendary. As a candidate, you have held half a dozen positions on Libya, a near record even for your dissembling campaign. Oh, the famous Romney shuffle: jump the gun, avoid the facts, blame the President, change your position, hold a press conference, find a flunky to issue a rebuttal to yourself, avoid the facts, blame the President. Dancing like that every day, it’s amazing you can still find time to put your feet in your mouth.

Praises for George Herbert Walker Bush?

14 Aug

No wonder Republicans don’t believe in evolution…

Never did I think I would actually sing the praises of George Bush Sr.! Alas this praise is testament to how horrific Paul Ryan is as V.P. candidate.  Not since 1900 have we seen such a conservative (fascist) put up as a candidate for vice president by a major party. Even Ronald Reagan (whose name the Republicans love to invoke but whose policies would fail the Tea test) appointed a smart man, George Bush Sr., who served as a reasonable balance to his experience.  Romney has not only been drinking the tea, but seems now to be brewing his own special blend of tea called, Crazy, hypocritical, bigoted, misogynistic, racist, homophobic special blend.

Is it a coincidence he has picked Ryan from Wisconsin — the state that gave us Joe McCarthy and Scott Walker?  Michele Bachmann’s evil twin, Paul Ryan( I Hate Old People) makes Satan look like Mother Teresa.  He pushes his “Austerity Measures” such as cutting Medicare while applying for government monies. According to International Business Times, Ryan has asked for:

  • $400,000 for a water treatment plant
  • $300,000 for a technical college where General Motors workers (based in a Janesville factory) could be retrained
  • $735,000 to improve Janesville’s bus system
  • $3.3 million for highway projects throughout Wisconsin
  • $1.2 million in government grants toward construction of the Janesville Innovation Center, which was reportedly intended to provide entrepreneurs with commercial space to launch their projects. The funding was made available through the Economic Development Administration, one of President Obama’s major stimulus programs.
  • Janesville was picked as one of the locations for new factories specializing in the production of medical tracers, or a radioactive isotope used to treat melanoma. The federal government offered $25 million matching grants to companies that could devise a way to produce the product domestically; two of those four plants will be in Wisconsin’s Rock County.

Mr. Ryan, where do you think the money you are asking for comes from? It comes from taxes–taxes that are not being paid by the 1%.  Ryan’s philosophy is so typical: “I have mine and I don’t care if you ever get yours.”

It is reasonable that since Romney refuses to be pinned down to any position, we look to his new running mate for clarity. That view is nothing short of apocalyptic. It’s quite telling that John McCain has just called Romney’s pick “bold.” We all know how well McCain’s bold choice went four years ago. It seems there’s something broken in the GOP VP Vetting machine. Just look at the string of choices.

  • Dan Quayle — who could neither spell nor tie his own shoelaces
  • Jack Kemp — not unreasonable on his own, perhaps, but a horrible fit with Presidential candidate Bob Dole
  • Darth Cheney — who picked himself as the Shrub’s deputy in command
  • Sarah Palin — whose contributions to late night comedy do not counterbalance the damage she did to the national discourse

And now, Paul Ryan, love child of Margaret Thatcher and Ayn Rand emerges. It seems a horrible miscalculation by Romney, who needed to win the center rather than secure the base. Let’s hope that as America comes to know this horrific pair better the best choice for America’s future becomes abundantly clear. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s not Romney / Ryan…)

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