Saturday, October 05, 2013

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

Unease with America Grows Around the World

No one seems to worry more about America's image around the world or blather more about "American exceptionalism" than the self-anointed super patriots of the Republican Party.  Yet no one is doing more damage to America's image and standing in the world at the moment that these very same far right Republican lunatics.  The message being heard loud and clear around the world is that America cannot even mind its own house, so why should other nations listen to its pontificating on issues, not the least on democratic self-governance.  Right now, the far right of the GOP is trying to destroy America's constitutional system that has until now functioned for 224 years and survived the fratricide of the Civil War.  A piece in Huffington Post looks at the damage being done by the GOP.  Here are excerpts:

An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled — shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world's financial system into chaos.

While each of the factors may be unrelated to the direct exercise of U.S. foreign policy, taken together they give some allies the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity, providing an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week.

The U.S. is still a pillar of defense for places in Asia like Taiwan and South Korea, providing a vital security umbrella against China. It also still has strong allies in the Middle East, including Israel and the Gulf Arab states arrayed against al-Qaida and Iran.

But in interviews with academics, government leaders and diplomats, faith that the U.S. will always be there is fraying more than a little.

"The paralysis of the American government, where a rump in Congress is holding the whole place to ransom, doesn't really jibe with the notion of the United States as a global leader," said Michael McKinley, an expert on global relations at the Australian National University.

The political turbulence in Washington and potential economic bombshells still to come over the U.S. government shutdown and a possible debt default this month have sent shivers through Europe.

Germany's influential newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung bemoaned the U.S. political chaos. . . . .  "At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the country will still be solvent in three weeks. What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt," it said.

As Europe worries about economics, Asian allies watch in some confusion about what the U.S. is up to with its promise to rebalance military forces and diplomacy in the face of an increasingly robust China.

McKinley, the Australian expert, said Syria and the U.S. budget crisis have shaken Australians' faith in their alliance with Washington.   "It means that those who rely on the alliance as the cornerstone of all Australian foreign policy and particularly security policy are less certain — it's created an element of uncertainty in their calculations," he said.

In short, those in the GOP who claim they want to "save America" are on the verge of destroying it.  Frankly, I am not surprised.  The GOP is now largely controlled by the Christofascists and no one lies more often or more thoroughly than the "godly Christian" crowd.

Virginia Beach Republican Mayor in TV Ad for Democrat McAuliffe

Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has gone even further in his support for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.  He's now appearing in a TV ad for McAuliffe with two local Democrat Mayors (see above).  His motivations are likely multiple.  First, Sessoms - whom I have known for over 20 years - is not and has never been an extremist on social issues.  In fact, he has spoken at several HRBOR networking event (HRBOR is the local gay and gay friendly chamber of commerce).  Second, with much of the Virginia Beach economy relying on tourism, I suspect that Sessoms understands that the extremist image a Cuccinelli governorship would give Virginia would not be good for business.  Another likely issue is Virginia Beach's need to see the transportation system in Hampton Roads drastically upgraded to ensure that Virginia Beach tourism isn't killed by local gridlock.  Cussinelli opposed the transportation bill passed during the last session of the General Assembly and has basically offered slashing taxes as his cure all for Virginia's economic ills.   Here's a sampling from the Virginian Pilot:
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has gone all in for Terry McAuliffe.

The resort city’s Republican mayor endorsed the Democratic gubernatorial candidate last month. Now he’s appearing in a TV ad on McAuliffe’s behalf along with two Democratic mayors, Paul Fraim of Norfolk and McKinley Price of Newport News.

Peppered with scenes from Hampton Roads, the ad was released by the McAuliffe campaign today. It’s part of a Democratic narrative meant to portray McAuliffe as a more mainstream candidate than his Republican opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Ken Cuccinelli Cannot Escape His Extremist Record

All three of the Virginia GOP's candidates - all of whom in my view are mentally unstable - are striving to suddenly market themselves as moderates despite well documented histories that show that claim to be an utter lie.  None of them is trying harder than Ken Cuccinelli who has proven himself to be the enemy of gays, women and minorities and, of course, anyone who accepts scientific fact.  Humorously, at an event yesterday where Cuccinelli sought to distance himself from the GOP caused federal government shutdown, three representatives of the medical field who had been invited to discuss issues related to the Affordable Health Care Act turned on Cuccinelli and lambasted him for his extremist positions on so-called social issues in front of the assembled audience.  CNN has details:
Cuccinelli was in Fairfax to emcee the latest in his series of “Obamacare roundtable,” in which he discusses the perils of the law with sympathetic Virginia voters. He was joined Friday by nearly a dozen local physicians to discuss the Affordable Care Act.

But the event showcased a nagging problem for the Republican candidate: escaping his reputation as a crusading social conservative under a furious onslaught of attacks from McAuliffe and his Democratic allies who say Cuccinelli would limit women's access to contraception. 

Cuccinelli, who has sought to limit access to abortion in the commonwealth and once sponsored a “personhood” bill as a state senator, is badly trailing McAuliffe among women.

Three of the doctors invited to join him on the Obamacare panel veered from the topic at hand and vented to Cuccinelli, for nearly 10 minutes in full view of television camera crews, about friends and work colleagues who say they refuse to vote Republican because of the party’s perceived fixation with cultural matters like same-sex marriage.

“There are concerns you are going to lose the race because of these social issues,” said Dr. Stephen Weinroth, an infectious disease specialist from Fairfax and a self-described Republican, who urged Cuccinelli to fight back harder against Democratic attacks.

Another local supporter on the panel, Fran Fisher, said “the average Joe on the street can’t get past the disagreement with social issues to look at who would be better with the economy. That’s the problem.”

Dr. Ali Assefi, a Fairfax nephrologist, said “the social issues are scaring people.”  “I talked to both of my neighbors and both of them identified you with transvaginal ultrasounds,” he said, referring to a 2012 effort in the Virginia legislature that would have required women to undergo an invasive ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion. “That has become the single issue that is bothering them. Not the issue of being fiscally responsible or smaller government or creating jobs or making the economy better.”
Sometimes you reap what you have sown and hopefully Cuccinelli is about to reap the results of his slavish, self-prostitution to the file theocrats at The Family Foundation and racist elements in the GOP who seek to disenfranchise minority voters.

The Rise of the New Confederacy

If one looks at where many of the Republican saboteurs in Congress hail from, it doesn't take long to realize the majority are from states that made up the former Confederate States of America.  Now, as was the case 153 years ago - these individuals and the states and districts they represent abhorred the federal government, sought to resist changes in the concept of human rights and equality, and opposed modernity in general.  Some things do not change.  Indeed, South Carolina just passed a bill seeking to nullify the Affordable Health Care Act, apparently having learned nothing from the Civil War.  Andrew Sullivan aptly described these people and their mindset yesterday citing a study I referenced about evangelical Christians:
The bewildering economic and social and demographic changes have created a cultural and existential panic among those most heavily concentrated in those districts whose members are threatening to tear down the global economy as revenge for losing two presidential elections in a row. They feel they have already lost and have nothing to gain from any constructive engagement with a president they regard as pretty close to the anti-Christ of parasitic minorities. They feel isolated in a more multi-cultural country. They feel spied upon and condescended to. They have shut out any news sources apart from Fox.
Bob Felton further zeros in on the root of the problem:
There is a huge reservoir of people out there who are simply not capable of thriving in the modern world. They cannot do the kinds of jobs that need doing, they cannot understand the people doing them, and they resent and dislike the young and educated for whom it is all second nature. The world they grew up in no longer exists; it is modernity itself that is under attack.
A column in the Washington Post follows up on this revolt and willingness to destroy America rather than accept change:

It took on new force with fears of the federal government in Washington interfering with their cherished way of life. It gathered steam with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. And it all came into full flower when shore batteries fired on Fort Sumter. It was the spirit of the Old Confederacy, a state-sponsored rebellion hellbent on protecting its “peace and safety” from the party that took possession of the government on March 4, 1861.

This virulent hostility to the Union led the Old Confederacy to conclude — as expressed by South Carolina — that with Lincoln’s elevation to the presidency, “the slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”

Federal government as the enemy.

Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government. 

The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War.

Not stopping there, however, the New Confederacy aims to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, setting off economic calamity at home and abroad — all in the name of “fiscal sanity.” 

Its members are as extreme as their ideological forebears. It matters not to them, as it didn’t to the Old Confederacy, whether they ultimately go down in flames.
But don’t go looking for a group by the name of New Confederacy. They earned that handle from me because of their visceral animosity toward the federal government and their aversion to compassion for those unlike themselves.

They respond, however, to the label “tea party.” By thought, word and deed, they must be making Jefferson Davis proud today.
Decent people who believe in the U.S. Constitution must stand against these hate and fear motivated elements.  They must be defeated politically and culturally and need to become the pariahs that they deserve to be.   The future of America depends on their defeat.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Friday Morning Male Beauty

New Poll: McAuliffe Continues to Beat Cuccinelli

While I hope Democrats and rational, thinking Virginians don't get complacent and fail to get out and vote, a new poll shows Terry McAuliffe still leading Ken Cuccinelli.  Given the extremism of the GOP slate, candidly, it's disturbing that the Democrat leads are not even larger.  With the November election just a month away, one can only hope that those who have not been paying attention - and I've been shocked by how uninformed some people seem to be - and realize that the GOP slate needs to be sent to an ignominious defeat.  Here are some findings via the Washington Post:

The new statewide poll of likely voters — an inaugural effort by Hampton University’s Center for Public Policy — found that McAuliffe has 42 percent support compared with 37 percent for Cuccinelli, largely because of McAuliffe’s sizable backing from women and African-American voters.

Robert Sarvis, a Libertarian, received 8 percent.

The poll showed McAuliffe with big leads in Washington’s suburbs, such as Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties, while Cuccinelli is ahead in the Northern Virginia exurbs of Loudoun, Fauquier and Spotsylvania counties. In Washington’s suburbs, McAuliffe received 50 percent compared with Cuccinelli’s 29 percent; Cuccinelli led McAuliffe 45 percent to 33 percent in the exurbs.

The poll also found a 15-point gender gap that has helped give McAuliffe an edge. Among women, McAuliffe received 47 percent support, compared with Cuccinelli’s 32 percent.
Like others, the survey found that Virginians have a low view of the two major-party candidates. Thirty-one percent had a favorable view of McAuliffe, while 37 percent had an unfavorable view of him. For Cuccinelli, about 33 percent gave him a favorable rating, while 47 percent had an unfavorable view. Each candidate received overall positive ratings in only one of seven regions in the Commonwealth: for McAuliffe, it was the Southeast — for Cuccinelli, the Southwest. 

In the lieutenant governor’s race, the poll found that GOP nominee E.W. Jackson and Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) are in a statistical dead heat because neither are yet well known to voters. Jackson received 39 percent support, compared to Northam’s 38 percent. Twenty-three percent are undecided. The poll found that heavy majorities still say they do not know enough about the two men to form a favorable or unfavorable opinion of them.

In the attorney general’s race, the survey found that Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) has taken a 4-point edge over Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun), with 41 percent compared to 37 percent. Twenty-three percent are undecided.

Much more needs to be done to educate voters on Northam and Herring.  Next week, on October 12, 2013, from 3:00 PM to 5:00PM, the boyfriend and I are hosting an event in our home for Herring.  Local readers interested in attending can register here:, by emailing, or by calling 703.928.5770.

Inside the GOP Evangelical Mind: Obsession with Gays and Loss of White Privilege

This blog is not kind to the evangelical Christian base of the Republican Party and, in my view, rightfully so.  These people simply put are not nice and selfishness and hypocrisy are their principal attributes.  They seem utterly incapable of seeing the common humanity of others who may have a different skin color, hold a different religious faith, speak a different language or a different sexual orientation.  It's the milder version of the mindset that over the centuries that set the stage for wars of religion and slaughter of men women and children.  Meanwhile, these people pat themselves on the back for their piety even as they disregard every Gospel directive to feed the hungry, cloth the naked and shelter the homeless.  Recently, a study was done utilizing focus groups to get into the minds of elements of the GOP base.  Here are the findings on the evangelical Christians:

Evangelicals are a third of the Republican base; they are the biggest and most intense group:
four in five are "strong” Republicans and straight ticket voters. Over three quarters are married and well over 90 percent are white. Their demographics white, married, religious and older sets up a feeling that they are losing. They talk about how the dominant politics and cultures have encroached on their small towns, schools, and churches. What troubles them when they talk with friends, family, and fellow believers is Obamacare, guns, government encroachment, gay marriage, and “culture rot.”

They sense they are “pretty white” and “didn’t go to Harvard”  and “we’re just not [Obama]”which means they are becoming a pretty “politically incorrect minority.” The so-called “tolerant” liberals just aren’t very tolerant when it comes to them.

It used to be different, as illustrated by several men in Roanoke when describing their own towns. 

It’s a little bubble. So everybody it’s like a Lake Wobegon. Everybody is above average. Everybody is happy. Everybody is white. Everybody is middle class, whether or not they really are. Everybody looks that way. Everybody goes to the same pool. Everybody goes – there’s one library, one post office. Very homogenous.  (Evangelical man, Roanoke)

And the point of departure for being a politically incorrect minority is what’s happening with the acceptance of homosexuality and the gay agenda.

Giving gay and lesbian citizens of the right to marry the person they love can seriously harm them, and seriously harm the children that they were raising. (Evangelical man, Roanoke).

They believe the dominant national culture promotes homosexuality and makes this “minority” culturally “normal.” There is a conspiracy to push “the gay agenda.”

The fact that it is so prominent, that's day to day. Like...that stupid song on 96.1... It's on every five minutes. The “I can't change” song. It's on constantly. It's song promoting gay and lesbian rights and all that stuff. But it's so prominent. It's every 10 minutes.  (Evangelical woman, Colorado Springs)

So, we should not be surprised that the Evangelicals are not politically correct on immigration.  In this case their feeling of being invaded is literal, as when they discuss immigration in graphic terms, and point to language as what bothers them most :

“Don’t come here and make me speak your language. Don’t fly your flag. You’re on American soil. You’re American.”; You come to our country, you need to learn our language.  (Evangelical men, Roanoke)
There's much more, including findings on the Tea Party which is considered almost heroic by the evangelicals. 

GOP Donors Revolt Against GOP Led Government Shutdown

Large GOP donors largely sat on their hands as the so-called GOP establishment allowed evangelical Christians - i.e., the Christofascists - and their equally mentally disturbed Tea Party cousins to infiltrate and ultimately hijack the Republican Party.   It's still not clear if these donors were asleep at the wheel or foolishly thought that they would be able to control the Frankenstein monster that was created.  Either way, the educated donor set now is seeing the results of their indifference and/or arrogance as the GOP shuts down the federal government and now threatens a U.S. debt default. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the far too late revolt among the large GOP donor class.  Here are some highlights:

On a Monday last month, Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, met with some top GOP donors for lunch at Le Cirque on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The donors, a youngish collection of financial industry types and lawyers, had some questions for Walden, a mild-mannered lawmaker from eastern Oregon known for speaking his mind.

Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers, couldn’t understand why the Republican Party—their party—seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised later this month.
“Listen,” Walden said, according to several people present. “We have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don’t, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.”

Walden asked how many of those seated around the table were precinct captains. These were money men, though, not the types to spend night after night knocking on doors and slipping palm cards into mailboxes. “A lot of the people there didn’t even know what a precinct captain was,” said one attendee.
I hear this complaint all the time,” Walden said. “But no one gets involved at the local level. The Tea Party gets involved at the local level.”

It is unlikely that the gilded power brokers in the Republican Party are likely to join their local county political club any time soon, but as the stock market wobbles amid the government shutdown and the continued demand for an Obamacare delay, a number of GOP donors are wondering if it is time for a little outside counter-pressure to sap the Tea Party of some of its energy. 

[S]everal top GOP donors say figuring out a way to “break the fever”—as Obama once put it—or at least keep their fellow party members from damaging the economy any further has become Topic A in their social set.

“We are finding a marvelous way to grab defeat from the jaws of victory,” said Fred Zeidman, a Houston-based businessman who was a major donor to both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns. “The way we are handling this has been a mistake from the beginning. I think we misread where the country was.”

“The Tea Party is not looking at the big picture,” he said. “In the long run it will have deleterious effects on the whole party when we could have taken the high road. There is so much going on right now with Obamacare, and no one is saying a word about it.”
“I am not writing a check to anyone,” he added. “That is not working for the American people.”  Bobbie Kilberg, a Republican fundraiser who has worked for four Republican presidents, echoed Zeidman.. . . . “When you have a small segment who dictate to the rest of the party, the result is what we have seen in the last two days,” she said. “People need to stand up and not be afraid of the Tea Party.” “This may be a turning point,” she predicted. “People may say, ‘Enough already.’”

[T]here is still a sense among the donor class that some countervailing force is needed to push back against the furthest edges of the party, regardless of what it is called.

“I have raised a lot of money, but I am not raising any more for House candidates,” said Munr Kazmir, a New Jersey-based businessman and major donor to George W. Bush. “I am angry. I am embarrassed to be a Republican sometimes, I tell you.”
I'm sorry, but withholding money isn't the answer.  Walking away, funding Democrat challengers and guaranteeing repeated GOP defeats are the only thing that will ultimately force change in the GOP.  This way, the GOP has to change or die.  Here in Virginia some wealthy GOP donors have finally recognized this reality and are backing Terry McAuliffe for governor because they recognize that Ken Cuccinelli is the product of the metastasizing cancer the Christofascists and Tea Party represent.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

More Thursday Male Beauty

Christian TV Host Asks God for Military Coup to Overthrow U.S. Government

I have repeatedly argued that the Christofascists pose a clear and present danger to America's constitutional form of government.  It is no coincidence that the Tea Party element in the Republican Party members of the House of Representatives have shut down the government and are seeking to nullify the 2012 election results and override a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Health Care Act.  There is an approximately 85% overlap between Tea Party members and the Christofascists.  One might even make the argument that the rise of the Tea Party label has been the result of an attempt to hide the Christian Right moniker which carries such a negative connotation with non-far right religious fanatics.  The true extremism of the Christofascists was recently exposed by the  rantings of Christian TV host Rick Joyner (pictured above) who is praying for a military overthrow of the U. S. Government.  Here are highlights via Raw Story:

A Christian TV host this week called on God to consider a “military takeover” of President Barack Obama’s government because it could be the only way to save the country from tyranny.

On his Monday Internet broadcast, Morning Star TV’s Rick Joyner predicted that democracy was “doomed” unless the Lord imposed martial law.

“We’re headed for serious tyranny, a terrible tyranny right now,” he continued. “But guess what? The kingdom is coming, the Kingdom of God is coming. And America is not the Kingdom of God. I think we have been used in some wonderful and powerful ways by God, we’ve been one of the most generous nations in history. We’ve done so much good.”

“That’s why I appeal to the Lord: Don’t let us be totally destroyed, please raise up those who will save us. And as I’ve been telling friends for a long time, no election is going to get the right person in there because the system is so broken.”

Joyner added that the “only hope is a military takeover, martial law.”

Last time I looked, advocating for the overthrow of the the government was a crime - even treason.  Why isn't Joyner under investigation or, better yet, in custody.  He clearly is trying to  encourage violence and insurrection.  I am so over Christian extremist being afforded deference when they deserve none whatsoever.  Making the situation even worse is the fact that Joyner is likely living the good life while fleecing the ignorant and gullible.  Con artist have more integrity than "godly" folks like Joyner and far too many occupants of pulpits across America.

Father Disowns Daughter in Epic Letter After She Disowns Gay Son

I was lucky when I came out to my parents a little over 11 years ago. They accepted me without qualification - as did my entire extended family.  Sadly, not everyone is as lucky and statistics show that roughly 40% of homeless youths are LGBT.   Many are thrown out by "godly Christian" parents who value the writing ignorant herders from over 2500 years ago over their own children.  In my view, it doesn't get much more disgusting or do more to prove that conservative Christianity is an evil to be stamped out and defeated.  But I digress.  Fortunately, not all family members always agree with the "godly folk."  A case in point is a father who disowned his daughter after she threw her son out of her home when he came out as gay.  An image of the letter is set out above.  Raw Story has more details.  Here are excerpts:
The pro-LGBT advocacy group FCKH8 released a letter from an irate father to his daughter on Wednesday in which the father and grandfather disowned his daughter for kicking her son Chad out of the house. According to Yahoo News, the boy had just told his mother that he is gay.

“Dear Christine,” he wrote. “I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a ‘shame in the family,’ but mistaken about what it is. Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real ‘abomination’ here.”

“He was born this way and didn’t choose it more than he being left-handed,” he wrote. “You, however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So while we are in the business of disowning children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gay [sic] put it) grandson to raise…”
The man announced his intention to take Chad in and care for him since his mother has rejected him on the basis of his orientation.
Kudos to this wonderful grandfather.  As for the daughter, she needs to be shunned and treated like the hateful person she is.  She, not her gay son is the abomination.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

The Insane Virginia GOP Slate: A Real-World Test of the Far Right

The current Virginia GOP slate for statewide office - Ken Cuccinelli, "Bishop" E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain - are the dream ticket of the Christofascists at the Family Foundation and hate groups like Family Research Council and American Family Association.  All three are far right religious extremists who hold views dear the the Kool-Aid drinking set even though polls suggest a majority of Virginians find their positions unsettling if not down right scary.  As a column in the Richmond Times Dispatch recognizes, the trio of extremists will provide a real world teat of the far right claim that Republicans have lost elections because the GOP candidates have not been sufficiently "conservative."  I think this argument is yet another part of the alternate universe/fantasy world these folks live in, so I am hoping the trios of crazies goes down to crushing defeat.  Here are highlights from the column:

Conservatives have a ready explanation whenever the GOP loses an election: The Republican candidate was too liberal.

You heard this again and again after Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama. “When conservative principles are the focal point of the election, they win,” wrote Michael Walsh in National Review. “When ‘electability’ and ‘reaching across the aisle’ are personified in a middling candidate at the presidential level, they lose.”

Thirty-four days from today, the Old Dominion will provide a real-world test of that theory. When Virginians go to the polls, they will have the opportunity to vote for the most conservative slate of statewide candidates in modern times.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — for whom “tea party favorite” has become an all but official agnomen — outmaneuvered the Virginia GOP establishment to seize the gubernatorial nomination from the more moderate, less confrontational Bill Bolling. Bolling has since announced the creation of the Virginia Mainstream Project “to call our party back to a more mainstream approach.”

Cuccinelli’s conservatism is unadulterated: He fought the EPA over climate change and filed the first state suit against Obamacare. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest; considers homosexuality “intrinsically wrong”; supports school choice, gun rights, and tax cuts; and takes a hard-line stance on illegal immigration. Three years ago, he even handed out lapel pins to his staff bearing a more demure version of the state seal — one that covered up the otherwise exposed breast of the Roman goddess Virtus. (Racy stuff, if you squint really hard.)

State Sen. Mark Obenshain, running for Attorney General, is less pugnacious but no less conservative than Cuccinelli. He has supported both fetal “personhood” legislation and requiring an ultrasound as a precondition of abortion; favors requiring a photo ID to vote; wants to drug-test welfare recipients; has a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union; and once introduced legislation permitting state regulators to yank the license of any business employing an illegal alien.

And then there is E.W. Jackson, the nominee for lieutenant governor, whose pronouncements on social issues go too far even for his running mates. An August Times-Dispatch profile summarized some of them, noting that Jackson has “linked homosexuality to pedophilia, called gays and lesbians ‘sick’ and ‘perverted,’ ridiculed President Barack Obama’s Christian faith and accused the Democratic Party of being ‘anti-God’. ... Jackson (also has) said ... ‘the Democrat Party and Planned Parenthood are partners in this genocide’” — i.e., the aborting of black children. Sunday before last, he suggested people of non-Christian faiths practice a “false religion.”

After years of enduring candidates too moderate for their tastes, fire-and-brimstone conservatives have the ticket they always dreamed of — precisely the sort of Republican ticket, they insist, that wins elections. It is also precisely the sort of Republican ticket dreamed of by Democrats — who, believing the GOP slate is far too extreme for any rational voter to support, have made its conservative principles the focal point of the election.

In 34 days, we’ll find out whose theory is right.

As I have continued to stress, it is CRITICAL that gays, women, minorities and sane Virginian go to the polls in droves on November 5, 2013, and send this trio of lunatics down to defeat and in the process drive a stake through the heart of this far right theory once and for all.

Ex-Gay Awareness Event Demonstrates Few Ex-Gays Actually Exist

One of the big lies that has been funded by Christofascist organizations and marketed by charlatans like Michele Bachmann's husband "Marcia" is what I call the "ex-gay myth."   In their battle to deprive gays  equality under the civil laws and deny us marriage in particular, the Christofascist have struggled to convince the public and legislators in particular that sexual orientation is a choice and that this damaged condition can be changed through prayer and voodoo like therapy.   Thankfully, more and more of the public has seen through the lie as shown by the growing number of people who believe one's sexual orientation is something you are born with - i.e., the same position held by legitimate medical and mental health experts.  Yet the Christofascists and their "ex-gays for pay" continue to try to convince the world that there are "hundreds of thousands of former homosexuals" despite their invisibility outside of paid positions in ex-gay "ministries" and snake oil merchants seeking to make a buck at the expense of religiously tormented gays and their families.  To try to further market their lie, "ex-gay" marketers held an "Ex Gay Awareness" event in Washington, D.C.  Only 15 "ex-gays" showed up and at the gala dinner, a total of 60 folks attended, most with ties to marketing the ex-gay myth.  Think Progress looks at the debacle.  Here are highlights:

Tuesday night, the ex-gay group Voice of the Voiceless finally held its Ex-Gay Awareness dinner, having been delayed from July because of supposed “security threats.” Ironically, it accomplished the opposite of its supposed awareness-raising goals.

Earlier in the day, all of 15 ex-gay activists went to Capitol Hill to lobby on behalf of ex-gay therapy and its profiteers and victims. It’s unclear who they were able to talk to on the first day of the federal government’s shutdown, and the measly turn-out mirrored the dismal turnout at July’s “ex-gay pride” press conference.

The dinner, which was held at an undisclosed location, was supposedly attended by some 60 people, though it’s unclear who any of them are. The only people who spoke were either people who are not ex-gay, like the Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber and Bishop Harry Jackson, or those who profit from their ex-gay identities and are already established pundits on the topic, like Voice of the Voiceless founder Christopher Doyle and PFOX president Greg Quinlan. The event was closed to the press — and to anyone who doesn’t support ex-gay therapy — so only the Christian Post and WORLD Magazine articles shed any light on what was said.

According to Doyle, ex-gays “need to scream and yell for equality and justice for all.” Indeed, it seemed many of the speakers highlighted the need to be visible — at an event designed to not be visible. It’s unclear what its organizers hoped to accomplish by hiding in the dark. If anything, they proved that ex-gay therapy is based on shame, that there are very few success stories, and that only those who profit from the harmful, ineffective treatment are willing to be visibly associated with it.

But for the harm and misery these frauds cause, they'd be laughable.  As for the "ex-gays for pay" themselves, tawdry whores have more virtue and decency.

Ken Cuccinelli Is Lying About His Anti-Woman Agenda

Cuccinelli's solution to abortion
No one tells bigger lies or lies more frequently than the self-anointed "godly Christian" crowd who seek to impose their fear and hate based religious views on all of society.  The folks I call the Christofascists.  Seemingly, the end justifies the means, so truth, veracity and basic honesty are quickly thrown out the window.  In the 2013 Virginia elections, we are seeing it constantly as the Virginia GOP's slate of Ken Cuccinelli, "Bishop" E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain lie over and over again about their past extremist actions and statements.   In the gubernatorial race, Cuccinelli is shrieking that McAuliffe ads that slam Cuccinelli's anti-woman agenda, including his support for a "personhood" amendment that would have outlawed all abortions and many forms of birth control are "untrue."  Of course, the ads ARE true and that's what really has Cuccinelli's panties in such a wad.  He already trails by a large double digit deficit with women voters and, if more truly understand his agenda, the deficit will soar even more.  A piece in Blue Virginia looks at Cuccinelli's disingenuous crocodile tears.  Here are a few highlights:
You know, for years I've heard that although Ken Cuccinelli might be an extremist, nuts, and all that, he was: a) an ace politician, particularly at the "retail" level; and b) very, very smart. Then 2013 came along, and "a" pretty much went down the tubes, as Cuccinelli has run an inept, flailing, and ultimately LOSING campaign for governor. As for "b," you've really got to wonder when you read stuff like this.
Virginia state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli accused former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe of lying about his record on women's issues... "Take birth control, my opponent is flat out lying and he knows he's lying," said Cuccinelli of a new ad McAuliffe's campaign is running in the Virginia governor's race. "I do not support government playing a role in adults' choices about contraception. Just don't, period. Haven't in the past, he would like to say that I have, but I haven't. And I'm committing to not doing that in the future."
OK, so there are two possibilities here, neither flattering to Cuccinelli. Possibility #1 is that he's just lying through his teeth, knows full well that he's lying through his teeth, and just doesn't care. In other words, he'll say ANYTHING to get elected. . . . .  but Cuccinelli's a "true believer" type, so I tend to think he actually might have convinced himself that he's telling the truth on this.

Which, of course, he's not. As Chris Cillizza notes in his article (which should have just outright stated that Cuccinelli is lying, but of course didn't, because that would be...uh, real journalism or something), the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said about Cuccinelli's "personhood" legislation that it "could limit women's access to preventative health care and contraception, including birth control medication." Don't believe the American Congress of Obestetricians and Gynecologists? Well then, fine, here's what Cooch's actual constitutional amendment said:
"That life begins at the moment of fertilization and the right to enjoyment of life guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization."
Adding to the Virginia constitution that "the right to enjoyment of life" is "vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization" clearly would do several things. 
*First, it would criminalize abortion at any stage, for any reason (including rape or incest).
*Second, it would criminalize embryonic stem cell research.
*Third, it could criminalize in-vitro fertilization.
*And finally, it would criminalize several popular forms of contraception such as birth control pills and IUDs. 
None of this is a secret, by the way . . . . [A]s the top-rated comment on Chris Cillizza's article puts it: "Does he really not understand anything about science?...He's either lying or stupid, neither of which are qualities I want in a governor."
Cuccinelli may be insane (at least in my opinion), but he's not stupid.  For years he has pandered to the ultra extremists at The Family Foundation and pushed their Christofascist agenda, which includes a jihad against gays, abortion and contraception.  He's lived in the far right bubble for too long and now is hitting the brink wall of the media and the McAuliffe campaign quoting his past statements and legislative history.  Indeed, had the media been as thorough with its coverage of his actions in the Virginia Senate, he may never have been elected as Attorney General in the first place.   Virginians - especial women - need to know the real Ken Cuccinelli.  Once they do, his campaign will be toast no matter how much he tries to lie.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Our Democracy Is at Stake

As numerous columnists and pundits have opined, the current federal government shutdown has been brought about by extreme elements in the Republican Party who in effect seek to over throw America's form of government.  The Affordable Health Care Act was passed by Congress, upheld by the United States Supreme Court and Republicans failed to win either the White House or control of Congress in 2012.  They lost and the system put in place by the Founding Fathers worked.  But that's not good enough for the poisonous elements in the GOP.  They seek to nullify elections, court rulings and Congressional action in their quest to inflict their views and beliefs on all Americans.  Indeed, one could argue that the recalcitrant Republicans have broken their oath of office and given their attempts to undermine the government are guilty of treason.  A piece in the New York Times looks at the threat these extremists pose to America's democracy.  Here are excerpts:

This time is different. What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule. President Obama must not give in to this hostage taking — not just because Obamacare is at stake, but because the future of how we govern ourselves is at stake. 

What we’re seeing here is how three structural changes that have been building in American politics have now, together, reached a tipping point — creating a world in which a small minority in Congress can not only hold up their own party but the whole government. And this is the really scary part: The lawmakers doing this can do so with high confidence that they personally will not be politically punished, and may, in fact, be rewarded. When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head — then our democracy is imperiled. 

How did we get here? First, by taking gerrymandering to a new level. The political analyst Charlie Cook, writing in The National Journal on March 16, noted that the 2010 election gave Republican state legislatures around the country unprecedented power to redraw political boundaries, which they used to create even more “safe, lily-white” Republican strongholds that are, in effect, an “alternative universe” to the country’s diverse reality. . . . . In other words, while the country continues to grow more racially diverse, the average Republican district continues to get even whiter.” 

According to Cook, the number of strongly Democratic districts decreased from 144 before redistricting to 136 afterward. The number of strongly Republican districts increased from 175 to 183. “When one party starts out with 47 more very strong districts than the other,” said Cook, “the numbers suggest that the fix is in for any election featuring a fairly neutral environment. 

[Second] Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s inane Citizens United decision allowed a single donor, Sheldon Adelson, to create his own alternative universe.

Finally, the rise of a separate G.O.P. (and a liberal) media universe — from talk-radio hosts, to Web sites to Fox News — has created another gravity-free zone, where there is no punishment for extreme behavior, but there’s 1,000 lashes on Twitter if you deviate from the hard-line and great coverage to those who are most extreme. When politicians only operate inside these bubbles, they lose the habit of persuasion and opt only for coercion. After all, they must be right. Rush Limbaugh told them so. 

These “legal” structural changes in money, media and redistricting are not going away. They are superempowering small political movements to act in extreme ways without consequences and thereby stymie majority rule. If democracy means anything, it means that, if you are outvoted, you accept the results and prepare for the next election. Republicans are refusing to do that. It shows contempt for the democratic process. 

President Obama is not defending health care. He’s defending the health of our democracy. Every American who cherishes that should stand with him. 

The cloumn is right.  Much more is at stake than just Obamacare.  The GOP MUST be defeated for the sake of our democracy.