Tag Archives: "don't ask don't tell"

Obama makes it easy to be Green

Updated below

Unlike both Barack Obama and Mittens Romney, a Green Party president wouldn’t be just a puppet of the corporations.

I yet to have been inspired to give Barack Obama’s re-election campaign a single fucking penny, and I already have cast my (mail-in) vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for California’s June 5 presidential primary election.

I am not sure which is worse: to have had the unelected Bush regime use opposition to same-sex marriage to “win” “re”-election in 2004, or to have the (at-least-actually-duly-elected) Obama administration use support of same-sex marriage to win re-election.

In both cases, we of the “LGBT” “community” are only being used by the “leaders” of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party in order to raise million$ and in order to pander for votes.

The Obama campaign earlier this month released an incredibly pandering five-minute re-election campaign video in which the Obamanistas act as though all throughout his first term Obama has been fighting fiercely for the LGBT community when, in fact, his fairly recent “breakthrough” announcement that he finally has “evolved” and now supports same-sex marriage — even though he had proclaimed that position way back in 1996 in Chicago, and even though he still maintains that each state should be allowed to decide the issue, meaning that we will continue to have gross inequality and unfairness and injustice throughout the nation — came quite late in his first term.

Yes, the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a good thing, but let us recall that it was “Democrat” Bill Clinton who gave us “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place, as well as DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration does not defend in court, but which remains the law of the land).

The Dems are our friends? They enact awful, discriminatory, unlawful/unconstitutional legislation, and then want to take credit and want praise for reversing it? Really? Really?

And “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, someone who doesn’t see why anyone of any sexual orientation would aid and abet the criminal U.S. military in the first place, someone who recognizes clearly what a fucking racket the U.S. military is — it’s not about actual “defense” or “national security” nearly as much as it is about funneling the contents of the U.S. Treasury (billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars) to the pockets of the traitors who comprise the military-industrial-corporate complex. (Well, the nation’s treasury is empty these days, so what they’re doing is making sure that those of us who have to follow them inherit a mountain of national debt.)

The members of the U.S. military these days primarily serve as the thugs for the corporations to exploit other nations’ natural resources — thugs that we, the taxpayers, pay for, even though it’s the plutocrats, and not we, the people, who get the lion’s share of the spoils of the wars that we, the people, pay for.

(The Vietraq War, for instance: Saddam Hussein’s real crime was not that he tyrannized his people, but that he nationalized Iraq’s oil fields. Now that the people of Iraq have been “liberated,” so have the nation’s oil fields — for Big Oil. No one in Iraq died for freedom or for democracy or for puppies or for kittens or for butterflies or for marshmallowy goodness. No, all of them died primarily for the profiteering of Big Oil and the profiteering of the military-industrial-corporate complex, such as Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton, which couldn’t profiteer without a war, so the unelected BushCheneyCorp gave it a war from which to profiteer, using 9/11 as a pretext, much as how the members of the Nazi Party had used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to ram their right-wing agenda down their fellow countrymen’s throats. Happy fucking Memorial Day, by the way, and it’s so awfully nice to know that we of the “LGBT” “community” now are “free” to be cannon fodder in the plutocrats’ war profiteering that we call “national security” and “national defense” and the like.)

I suppose that I digress, but I like — well, I love — what Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi had to say earlier this month about Presidential Race 2012:

…But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. …

This is exactly the John Kerry scenario. Kerry was never going to win, either, and everyone pretty much knew that, too. [No, actually, I, for one, thought that Kerry had a pretty good chance, having recognized that an incumbent president usually is difficult to unseat, and I still suspect that Kerry actually would have won the pivotal state of Ohio, and thus the White House, had the election in Ohio not been overseen by the Katherine-Harris-like Kenneth Blackwell.] But at least in the Kerry-Bush race there was a tremendous national debate over the Iraq war, which many people (incorrectly, probably) thought might end more quickly if a Democrat was elected.

This year, it’s not like that. Obviously Republican voters do hate Obama and genuinely believe he’s created a brutally repressive socialist paradigm with his health care law, among other things. But Romney was a pioneer of health care laws, and there will be dampened enthusiasm on the Republican side for putting him in office. [No, they hate Barack Hussein Obama primarily because he’s black. The “Muslim” and “socialist” charges are just code words for “nigger,” which you can’t utter in the public domain anymore without repercussions. Let’s be real about that fact.]

Meanwhile, Obama has turned out to represent continuity with the Bush administration on a range of key issues, from torture to rendition to economic deregulation. Obama is doing things with extralegal drone strikes that would have liberals marching in the streets if they’d been done by Bush. [Absolutely.]

In other words, Obama versus [John] McCain actually felt like a clash of ideological opposites. But Obama and Romney feels like a contest between two calculating centrists, fighting for the right to serve as figurehead atop a bloated state apparatus that will operate according to the same demented imperial logic irrespective of who wins the White House. [Emphasis of that money shot is mine, although the money shot of Taibbi’s piece actually might be his hilarious but fairly accurate assertion that this year’s presidential election “will be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse.”]

George Bush’s reign highlighted the enormous power of the individual president to drive policy, which made the elections involving him compelling contests; Obama’s first term has highlighted the timeless power of the intractable bureaucracy underneath the president, which is kind of a bummer, when you think about it. …

That, to me, is the main reason that I’m not at all excited about this cycle’s presidential race: Both Obama and Romney indeed are calculating centrists. But since the Repugnican Tea Party has succeeded in moving what used to be the center to the right, that makes both Obama and Romney, in my book, center-right candidates. Romney is a bit more to the right than is Obama, but not enough to see the two as much more different from each other than are Pepsi and Coke. The tiny plutocratic minority will continue to do well while the rest of us, the vast majority of Americans, will continue to suffer, regardless of which calculating centrist wins in November.

Obama panders to the left now and then — when he or his spokesweasels aren’t calling us such things as “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left” — but it’s his actions, or lack thereof, that I pay attention to, not his words, especially after his words “hope” and “change” fizzled specfuckingtacularly.

Speaking of Obama’s lack of actions, on June 5, not only will California hold its presidential primary, which will help Mittens finally get the 1,144 delegates that he needs to be the Repugnican Tea Party’s official presidential candidate (he has 1,084 delegates right now, according to Politico), but Wisconsin will hold its gubernatorial recall election.

Unfortunately, as I type this sentence, intrade.com puts Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s chances of surviving the June 5 recall election at 92.6 percent.*

That’s in no small part because Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party have been conspicuously missing in fucking action where the fight for the right to collectively bargain in Wisconsin has been concerned. Wisconsinites have been on their own since early 2011, after Walker took office and gave tax breaks to the state’s plutocrats and announced that it was the state’s public-sector labor unions that were the cause of the state’s fiscal problems.

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet Obama has yet to appear once in Wisconsin to stand up for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-beseiged members of the working class and the middle class there. The national Democratic Party has thrown some money Wisconsin’s way at the very last fucking minute, too late to make much of a difference, if any difference at all (Scott Walker’s corporate sugar daddies have thrown many more millions his way than the Dems in Wisconsin have had available to them), but now, I suppose, the national Dem Party can say, and will say — well, actually, it has said — that it did something in Wisconsin, even though this has been just a repeat of the Democratic cowardice and incompetence and sluggardry that we have seen before.**

I remember the debacle that was California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election all too well: The state’s Dem Party was in incredibly stupid denial that its uber-uncharismatic incumbent governor, Gray Davis, might actually lose the Repugnican-orchestrated recall election, which more than anything else was just a do-over of the 2002 gubernatorial election that the Repugnicans had lost, only this time they would front as their candidate against Gray Davis testosterone-movie-star Arnold “Baby Daddy (We Know Now)” Schwarzenegger. Because of their denial, the state’s Dem Party elites staunchly refused to rally around another Democratic candidate to run against Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger. To do so, the Dem elites rationalized, would be to admit Davis’ impending defeat.

Then-Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, apparently recognizing that Davis indeed might lose, ran against Schwarzenegger in the recall election, but he did so on his own, without the support of the state party. Had the state party supported Bustamante, or another viable Democratic candidate, he or she might have won the recall election.

It’s incredibly fucking difficult to support a party that absofuckinglutely refuses, repeatedly, to fucking fight for you in return for your support.

Should Scott Walker survive his June 5 recall election, I will chalk that up in no small part to the fact that Barack Obama utterly reneged on his 2007 promise to “put on a comfortable pair of shoes” and join “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain” — “because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

We workers do deserve to know that somebody is standing in our corner, but nobody fucking is — at least no one who actually can win the White House in November.

However, I’d much rather vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein again in November, even though of course she can’t win the White House, than to vote again for Barack Obama, to continue to be punk’d by the party that claims that it loves me so much — but that can’t show me such “love” unless it can then use me in its fundraising efforts immediately thereafter.

P.S. Disclaimer: I have been registered with both the Green Party and with the Democratic Party. Currently I am registered with the Green Party, in large part because I can’t stomach the Democrats’ pseudo-progressivism, their unwillingness to fight the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, and the party’s ever-increasing move to the right. Background:

In 2000 I voted for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for president because he was the candidate whose platform most closely matched my own beliefs and values, and because it was obvious that Democrat Al Gore was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway (and, of course, he did).

In 2004 I supported and voted for Democrat John Kerry, primarily because preventing a second term by the unelected Bush regime was my No. 1 priority, and Kerry early on struck me as the strongest candidate to put up against Bush. (Of course, the spineless, incompetent Dems didn’t let me down; when it was announced that Kerry had “lost” the pivotal state of Ohio, Kerry couldn’t concede fast enough, and shortly after the election, word came out that Kerry had not spent millions of dollars that he’d collected, millions that might have made a difference in the outcome of the election.)

In 2008 I still was not sure, as I entered my polling place, whether I would vote for Barack Obama or whether I would vote for Ralph Nader again. I knew that Obama would win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, just as it was a foregone conclusion that Gore would win them in 2000 and that Kerry would win them in 2004. (Until we get rid of the Electoral College, millions of Americans’ votes for president won’t really matter at all.) At rather the last minute, I blackened the oval by Obama’s name.

That is a mistake that I won’t make again, unless, perhaps, by some miracle it actually looks like Mittens Romney might win California. (That, of course, will not happen.)

Update (Monday, May 28, 2012): Oops. I wrote above that Mittens should seal the deal on June 5. Actually, Mittens is expected to finally reach 1,144 delegates tomorrow, when Texas holds its presidential primary. If for some reason Mittens does not get enough of Texas’ 155 delegates — Reuters reports that he needs fewer than half of those to reach the magic 1,144 — then he would get the remaining delegates on June 5, when California and four other states hold their primaries. (The very last state in the presidential primary season is Utah, which doesn’t vote until June 26.)

*As I type this sentence, intrade.com gives Mittens Romney only a 38.7 percent chance of winning the White House and gives Obama a 57.4 percent chance of winning re-election, which seems about right to me, about 40 percent to 60 percent.

**While I have yet to give Obama another penny for his re-election — I gave him hundreds of dollars in 2008, primarily during the 2008 Democratic primary fight because I believed that as president he would be significantly more progressive than would Billary Clinton — I have given hundreds of dollars towards the recall elections in Wisconsin, because that, to me, is where the real fight has been, and because, as I noted, the Wisconsinites for the very most part have been on their own, having been abandoned by the Obama administration and the national Democratic Party.

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‘HoBos’ in HELL

In his syndicated column for which he presumedly actually is paid, wingnut Jonah Goldberg — perhaps best known for having penned this lovely little tome:

(Ha ha ha! Comparing liberals to Adolf Hitler is funny! And original!) — makes the “argument” that because liberals* finally repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it must mean that militarism is a great thing.

Wow. This “ironic progressive victory,” as Goldberg calls it, sounds like the kind of bullshit “logic” that Goldberg was roundly criticized for employing in his book with the Hitlerized smiley face on the cover.

Goldberg does in his column make some statements of fact, such as that the gay community very largely has been co-opted by the dominant, corporate-dominated American culture. (That he makes some statements of fact among all of his distortions and lies apparently is his tactic; many people, I surmise, believe that if they read one sentence that they recognize as truth, then all of the sentences that they read must be truthful.)

But Jonah Goldberg is no historian. In his column he bizarrely actually asserts:

Two decades ago, the gay left wanted to smash the bourgeois prisons of monogamy, capitalistic enterprise and patriotic values and bask in the warm sun of bohemian “free love.” And avant-garde values. In this, they were simply picking up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s, who had sought to throw off the sexual hang-ups of their parents’ generation along with their gray flannel suits.

Really?

There are leftists who are gay, but I’ve never known, in my 42 years on the planet, of a strong “gay left.”

“Two decades ago,” by my math, was the early 1990s, and I recall the 1990s being more of the same from the 1980s: unbridled materialism and consumerism among all Americans, gay or straight, male or female, white, black, brown, red or yellow. I don’t recall the 1990s as having been some sort of a repeat of the 1960s, as much as many of us might have wished that that had been the case.

The baby boomers, including gay baby boomers, of course, had some rebelliousness to them, but from the late 1960s to at least the early 1980s they largely were about partying. And — consequently… — from the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, it was combating AIDS, not combating capitalism, that the gay community was most concerned about, if my memory serves.

I just don’t remember that Big Gay Anti-Capitalism Era that Goldberg posits existed in our history (“two decades ago,” to be exact), and as far as is concerned that “bohemian ‘free love'” thing that the gay community wanted two decades ago, according to Goldberg, well, I can tell you that ever since about 1983 or 1984, when the AIDS epidemic started to decimate the gay male population, I, for one, have been quite careful not to become infected with HIV, which pretty much fucking precludes “free love.”** Two decades ago, in the early 1990s, when gay men were still kicking off from AIDS (until the protease inhibitors came along in the mid-1990s), “free love” was the last thing on this faggot’s mind.

But the wingnuts are still fighting the culture wars of the late 1960s and the 1970s, so Goldberg just reaches into his rectum and scrawls that my generation of gay men (Generation X) were copycats of the party-hardy gay baby boomers when no, we were not and we are not.

And Goldberg also stupidly asserts that the “gay left” “simply [picked] up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s” as though no gay people were a part of the sociocultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s when, in fact, the gay rights movement was a large part of those two decades, and of course many individuals in the other movements of the 1960s and the 1970s, such as the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and anti-war movement, happened to be non-heterosexual. Fucking duh.

And presumedly Goldberg’s sloppy assertion that the “gay left” “wanted to smash the bourgeois [prison] of … patriotic values” means that perpetual fucking warfare, a value of the right, is a “patriotic value,” so that if you don’t support perpetual warfare, then you are unpatriotic. (Nice try, Jonah. While you were at it, why didn’t you just write that members of the “gay left” wanted to “smash” puppies and kittens, too?)

Goldberg writes that “the sweeping embrace of bourgeois lifestyles by the gay community has been stunning” (he calls the “homosexual bourgeoisie” “HoBos,” borrowing from the book Bobos in Paradise), and this has been stunning, but this does not mean, as he asserts, “that such bourgeois values — monogamy, hard work, etc. — are the best guarantors of success and happiness.”

“Hard work” is what the filthy rich who don’t work claim to value, and those who are poor, the filthy rich lie, are poor because they “hate hard work.” It’s not exploitation of the poor by the rich, you see; it’s that if you’re poor, you’re lazy, and if you’re filthy rich, you’re industrious — even though you are filthy rich only because of the hard work of others. (The right wing loves “hard work,” all right — hard work performed by others from whom they obscenely profit.)

And we all know how well monogamy is doing among the heterosexuals in the U.S. these days.

Goldberg essentially asserts (as far as I can tell from his inartful prose) that gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals) want same-sex marriage because marriage inherently is (and monogamy, by extension, inherently is) wonderful — and that they wanted “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because militarism is so fucking great.

I, however, long have found it beyond unfortunate that instead of creating something new, so many non-heterosexuals have only wanted to mimic their heterosexual counterparts (yawn). Yes, as Goldberg points out, gay men and lesbians and other non-heterosexuals have been co-opted, but this is not testament to the greatness of capitalism or militarism or monogamy or any other of Goldberg’s wingnutty fetishes. This is testament to, among other things, the degree to which the plutocrats and corporatocrats have been able to zombify the American masses over several decades, regardless of their sexual orientation or race.

And, with virtually nothing else widely modeled for them, what else can we really expect of so many same-sex couples other than that they (desire to) mimic their heterosexual counterparts, and in a nation that doesn’t want to educate its college-age citizens and doesn’t want to provide them with decent careers or even living-wage jobs, can we blame financially and occupationally desperate non-heterosexual young people for wanting to join the U.S. military when so many heterosexual young people are in the same boat?

It also is a failure of imagination, as well as it is intellectual laziness, political apathy, materialism, self-centeredness and zombification by the corporate media (which want Americans to be obedient to the corporatocrats, not to be informed and to be free) — and it is not a testament to the inherent greatness of the wingnutty values that Goldberg and his ilk espouse (such as capitalism and militarism) — that accounts for why so many non-heterosexuals want to mimic their heterosexual counterparts.    

Further, there is much more about the ongoing push for same-sex marriage and the successful push for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” than great love for the institution of marriage or love for the institution of the military.

I, for one, have great reservations about monogamy and marriage. Scientists are coming to the conclusion that just as monogamy is not normal or natural for our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, monogamy is not normal or natural for most human beings, either — thus the high rates of infidelity and breakups and divorce. (Google it.) I’ll take science over religious/hocus-pocus moralizing any time.

However, for me the issue of same-sex marriage is not that the institution of marriage or that monogamy is so fucking great the issue is fucking fairness. You allow all consenting adults to marry each other, regardless of race or biological sex, or you allow no one to marry.

While I have reservations about marriage myself, I can’t see myself telling any other consenting adults who wish to marry each other that they can’t. The wingnuts, however, have no problem whatsoever depriving others of the freedoms that the wingnuts claim to be all about.

“So now openly gay soldiers get to fight and die in neocon-imperialist wars too?” Goldberg snarkily begins his column.

Um, yes, they do, but no, that they do doesn’t mean that those wars for the war profiteers and corporatocrats and other assorted traitors are now just wars. That so many non-heterosexuals want to be able to serve in the U.S. military is just testament to the shitty national economy, with its lack of decent-paying jobs, and to the zombification of Americans, heterosexual and non-heterosexual, who believe, stupidly, that the U.S. military actually exists primarily to defend and protect the nation when, in fact, the U.S. military exists primarily for the obscene profits of the war profiteers and the corporate expansionists.

So I did not want to see “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because I think that the U.S. military is so fucking great. I generally believe that no one with two brain cells to rub together would join the U.S. military when the U.S. military hasn’t fought a just war since World War II. (Again, I do, of course, cut at least some slack to those who join the U.S. military because, unfortunately, they see no other career option than to make themselves cannon fodder for evil rich men who cavalierly send them off to bogus wars for their war profiteering and for their corporateering.***)

But, if you’re going to allow heterosexual dumbfucks and the heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, then out of fairness, you have to allow non-heterosexual dumbfucks and the non-heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, too.

It’s about fairness and equality, something that Jonah Goldberg and his wingnutty ilk wouldn’t know about, and while I understand that Goldberg is desperate because his dinosaurian values are in their death throes, I am one faggot who’s not going to allow him to actually Orwellianly attempt to twist the cause of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals into being some sort of “proof” that his sick and twisted beliefs and values are OK.

Goldberg concludes his sick and twisted column: “And given that open homosexuality is simply a fact of life, the rise of the HoBos — the homosexual bourgeoisie — strikes me as good news.”

Yes, homosexuality is simply a fact of life (referring to it as “open homosexuality,” however, curiously sounds like Goldberg would prefer that all non-heterosexuals pose and pass as heterosexuals), but “the rise of the HoBos” is not “good news.”

The co-option of heterosexuals or non-heterosexuals (or whites or non-whites or…) by the toxic, militaristic, materialistic, consumeristic, capitalistic, jingoistic, ultimately soul-crushing system that Goldberg so slavishly supports is fucking tragic.

We’re not talking about “HoBos” in paradise — we’re talking about “HoBos” in hell.

P.S. Goldberg also writes in his column:

Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability, for good or ill (most likely both). I do not think that the arguments against gay marriage are all grounded in bigotry, and I find some of the arguments persuasive. But I also find it cruel and absurd to tell gays that living the free-love lifestyle is abominable while at the same time telling them that their committed relationships are illegitimate too.

Goldberg sounds like he’s trying to please all sides.

I don’t find him to be an ally simply because he states, correctly, that same-sex marriage in all 50 states is inevitable. (I’m sure that many supporters of slavery saw its eventual demise, too. That doesn’t mean that they were anti-slavery — just that they were realistic about the current of events.)

If he’s going to assert that same-sex marriage is an inevitability for “ill,” then Goldberg should tell us how it would be for “ill,” and in his column he curiously doesn’t fucking bother to share any of the arguments against same-sex marriage that he says aren’t “grounded in bigotry” and/or that are “persuasive.”

And the only two possibilities that Goldberg apparently offers to us non-heterosexuals are the “free-love lifestyle” (you know, with its diseases and death and sinfulness and such) or the strictly monogamous married lifestyle that so many heterosexuals find to be stifling and soul-eroding.

But he’s happy to grudgingly allow us non-hets to take part in the misery that is monogamous marriage.

Gee, thanks, Jonah.

While Goldberg asserts in his column that “there isn’t” “some grand alternative” to these two miserable choices, I wholeheartedly disagree with him. Maybe heterosexuals’ biggest concern about allowing same-sex marriage has been that once non-heterosexuals got marriage, they would be able to transform it in a way that heterosexuals never have been able to do. 

*I prefer “progressives,” not because I’m ashamed of being a leftist, but because so many so-called “liberals” actually are milquetoast Clintonistas with whom I don’t want to be associated. (After all, it was the “liberal” Bill Clinton who is responsible for “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place!)

**The AIDS epidemic first hit when I was still a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I saw the images of dying AIDS-stricken gay men (looking like concentration camp victims) before I seriously thought of having sex with another male, and to this day HIV transmission is a significant concern of mine, so this “free love” thing that Goldberg claims my generation perpetuated did not, in my experience, ever fucking exist.

***Goldberg snarkily remarks that “the folks who used ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as an excuse to keep the military from recruiting on campuses just saw their argument go up in flames.” Ha ha ha!

Well, the primary argument against allowing military recruiters to recruit fresh cannon fodder on our high school or college campuses is that so many young people have no fucking idea what the U.S. military is really all about and so they are easily duped. And so many young people notoriously believe that they are immortal, a mistaken belief that the deliberately mispresentative, “Top Gun”-like military recruitment ads, which never show maimed or killed soldiers, perpetuate.

Our young should not be fed to the meat grinder that is the military-industrial complex, regardless of their sexual orientation. I invite Jonah and his ilk to go fight the wars that they claim are all about patriotism and actual national defense and leave our children the fuck alone.

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Don’t be fooled: Repeal of DADT is just a scrap of a scrap

So today the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 31 to repeal the woefully misguided and unconstitutional “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that then-President Billary Clinton got into law in 1993. The U.S. House of Representatives had already voted to repeal DADT by a vote of 250 to 175, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the law repealing the policy.

But we progressives and non-heterosexuals need to resist the urge to feast on this latest scrap of a scrap that has been thrown to us by the powers that be and put this in perspective: Discrimination based upon sexual orientation never should have been written into the law in the first fucking place. No one deserves a fucking medal for putting an end to what never should have been initiated.

Nor is it a “victory” for non-heterosexuals to be allowed to serve openly in a corrupt U.S. military that has been about war profiteering and enabling corporate global expansion, not about national defense, for several decades now. The last justified war that the U.S. military fought was World War II, a point that even my uncle, who is a contractor for the bloated U.S. military, freely admits.

Instead of fighting for equality within a toxic, dysfunctional, bloated institution that is destroying our nation, bleeding it to death — and certainly not making us “safer” when our military (mis)adventures in the Middle East, for instance, are making us more enemies, not fewer — non-heterosexuals should be fighting against the continued existence of that evil institution instead of fighting to be able to openly aid and abet it.

Nor is it as if the powers that be just wuv us non-heterosexuals. In a great little piece on Salon.com titled “It’s Still OK to Hate Joe Lieberman,” writer Alex Pareene notes:

While his opposition to “don’t ask, don’t tell” is one of the handful of positions Joe Lieberman hasn’t reversed himself on, his support for gays in the military is pretty much directly tied to his blood lust. Of course he wants gay people in the military — he wants everyone in the military, and he wants the military everywhere.

He supports the right of every American to serve his or her country regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation, and he also supports making those brave young heroes invade and occupy the entire Middle East, forever.

Yup. Lieberman is still one of the top Israel-firsters in Washington, if not the top Israel-firster, and putting Israel’s welfare far above that of his own nation’s is — well, the word for that would be treason. Which is why I always refer to him as Benedict Lieberman.

Nor has Barack Obama redeemed himself for finally fucking having actually fulfilled a campaign promise almost two years into his administration.

Obama still hasn’t done jack shit. Others worked hard, for years, on repealing DADT — not he. He gets to sign the repeal into law, but he’s just the rubber stamp, not the crusader.

The best that the repeal of DADT can do is to perhaps gain non-heterosexuals wider acceptance and more rights in a nation in which in most states they — well, we — don’t have the same human and civil rights as do non-heterosexuals, including the right to marry.

And John “You Damned Kids Get Off of My Damned Lawn!” McCainosaurus — wow. It was Jon Stewart, if memory serves, who compared McCainosaurus to a crazy Japanese soldier still fighting World War II on the island of Japan even after the war had ended.

Even though not a full one-third of the U.S. Senate voted against the repeal of DADT, and almost a full two-thirds of the Senate did vote for the repeal, the petulant, senile McCain ominously huffed and puffed that members of the U.S. military “will do what is asked of them — but don’t think there won’t be a great cost.”

Surely there were such dire, baseless warnings from the white supremacists when the U.S. military was desegregated.

So now McCainosaurus gets to be remembered not only as the right-wing dipshit who shamelessly used his POW experience for political gain during his whole political career (the “logic” was that the poor POW should be made president because he was a poor POW), but now he gets to be remembered as the hateful, spiteful old coot who, after he was rejected for the U.S. presidency (twice), warned of “a great cost” that would accompany the granting of more freedom and equality to historically oppressed and discriminated-against citizens.

Isn’t it about time for Ebenezer McCainosaurus to be visited by four Christmastime ghosts?

Right after they pay their visits to Barack Obama, that is.

P.S. Lest you think that McCainosaurus has the monopoly on bat-shit crazy, The Associated Press reports:

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has said he thinks lifting the ban [on openly non-heterosexual military personnel] during wartime could cost lives.

“I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction,” he told reporters this week. “I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (Naval Medical Center) with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

Um, the repeal of DADT is going to cost members of the military their legs?

Really?

Really?

How would that happen? Instead of being on watch, male soldiers are going to be distracted from all of that oral and anal sex that they’re having?

Luckily, not every U.S. military leader is that insane. The AP immediately goes on to note:

Adm. Mike Mullen and Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, respectively, have said the fear of disruption is overblown.

They note the Pentagon’s finding that 92 percent of troops who believe they have served with a gay person saw no effect on their units’ morale or effectiveness. Among Marines in combat roles who said they have served alongside a gay person, 84 percent said there was no impact.

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Mississippi is still burning

Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba County ...

Associated Press photo

Lesbian high-school student Constance McMillen was told by her rural Mississippi high-school officials that she could neither wear a tuxedo nor bring her girlfriend to her high-school prom — which the officials then canceled altogether because of her insistence that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend, wearing what she wishes to wear. It wasn’t that long ago that mixed-race dancing was prohibited at red-state high-school proms, and the same “arguments” that were used to justify racial discrimination are now used to justify discrimination based upon sexual orientation — not only in rural Mississippi but even in the U.S. military, as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is debated even though it clearly violates the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

If you have read me for any time at all, you know that there is a lot that I fucking hate.

I hate the U.S. military. Not the individual members of the U.S. military, necessarily — although I question how they can support the U.S. military when it has been debased into becoming little but bands of thugs for the megacorporations’ profits (bands of thugs paid for by us, the American taxpayers, and of course the megacorporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes) — but the whole damn idea of the U.S. military, with its might-makes-right, jingoistic bent. The majority of those in the military call themselves devout Christians, too, as though Jesus Christ would have had anything to do with their maiming and killing for the expansion and the preservation of the American Empire in the names of freedom and democracy — and even in the name of Jesus Christ.

Yet, as much as I never would have joined the U.S. military, opposing pretty much all that it stands for (patriarchy, violence and aggression, jingoism, misogyny, homophobia, “Christo”fascism, xenophobia, etc., etc.), I have a real fucking problem with the fact that non-heterosexuals don’t have equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military, that they can be expelled from the military or prevented from joining the military for solely who and what they are.

I never went to my high school prom, either. Not so much because I’m gay and because in the red state of Arizona in the mid-1980s there was no way in hell that I had the opportunity to go to my high-school prom with another male, but because I hate the whole concept of proms, too. I find them to be pretentious wastes of money, relics from the past. (I love the original film version of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” by the way…)

But the idea that high-school officials in rural Missifuckingssippi canceled the high school’s prom because a lesbian student wants to attend prom with her girlfriend boils my blue-state blood.

Reports The Associated Press:

School officials in a rural Mississippi county told a lesbian student to get “guys” to take her and her girlfriend to a high school prom and warned the girls against slow dancing with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to documents filed [today] in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Itawamba County School District and some officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School on behalf of Constance McMillen, 18, who wanted to escort her girlfriend to the prom and wear a tuxedo. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to hear an ACLU motion that seeks to force the district to hold the April 2 prom it canceled after McMillen made her requests.

In the court documents, McMillen said Rick Mitchell, the assistant principal at the school, told her she could not attend the prom with her girlfriend but they could go with “guys.”

Superintendent Teresa McNeece told the teen that the girls should attend the prom separately, had to wear dresses and couldn’t slow dance with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to court documents.

The school district last week said it wouldn’t host the prom “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.” District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a dance. The decision came on the same day the ACLU asked the district to act on McMillen’s prom requests.

McMillen said she approached school officials weeks ago about wanting to take her girlfriend to the prom.

“I want my prom experience to be the same as all of the other students, a night to remember with the person I’m dating,” McMillen said.

The district, located in northern Mississippi near the Alabama state line, prohibits same-sex dates at the prom. The ACLU has said that violates the rights of gay and lesbian students.

The school district had not responded to the ACLU filing by [this] afternoon.

Christine Sun, a senior counsel with the ACLU’s national gay rights project, said the organization is determined to put the prom back on the school calendar.

Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said he has heard that parents are making plans for a private dance but he didn’t know the details. It’s unclear if gay couples would be welcome at that event….

Shit like this makes me wonder why in the hell the blue states didn’t just allow the red states to secede way back in the day of President Abe. (Speaking of whom, did you know that red states started seceding from the Union after his election but even before his inauguration? Um, yeah.) But then I remind myself that the oppressed peoples of the red states, without the help of those of us of the blue states, would be completely at the mercy of the mouth-breathing fucktards who dominate the red states. It’s not right to allow that to happen.

Equal human and civil rights — liberty and justice for all — just don’t grow naturally in the red states. They have to be forced upon the red states from without. It’s unfortunate that that is so, but it is the red states’ fault — for all of their talk of the founding fathers, for fuck’s sake — for their absolute refusal to live up to the American ideals that every0ne is created equal and that everyone has the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Two female students or two male students dancing at prom together would “push people’s buttons.” Oh, boo fucking hoo!

Was not the very same argument made to outlaw mixed-race dancing at red-state high-school proms past? Or to disallow non-white students to attend prom at all?

And the prom was canceled “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events”?

Really?

Or was the prom canceled because the high school officials are a bunch of fucking homophobes and/or fucking cowards?

“Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” — that is what you call blaming the victim, who in this case is the lesbian student who just wants the equal human and civil rights to which she is entitled by the founding documents of the United States of America, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (which, I understand, are being rewritten for the Texas public-school textbooks…).

Goddess bless the ACLU.

If a good number of high-school students truly do have a problem seeing same-sex couples at their schools’ dances, that’s probably because they just never see it. What you never have seen, when you see it, can feel and seem quite alien.

But it’s fucking circular: Same-sex dancing at high-school proms is rarely or never seen at most high schools, and so it’s taboo, and because it’s taboo, it is banned at many if not most high schools, and because it is banned, it is never seen, and because it is never seen, it remains taboo, and…

Constance McMillen is brave; she is a sort of Rosa Parks for 2010.

I admire her.

I love her balls.

I hope that she gets to go to her high-school prom with the person of her choice, wearing what she wishes to wear, and that by so doing, she shows her classmates what the noble American principles that the red-staters only claim to value actually look like.

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Assorted shit

Why the dick won’t shut the fuck up

In this photo released by ABC former Vice President Dick Cheney ...

Associated Press photo

Gas bag Dick Cheney appears on a political talk show aired this morning in order to (what else?) bash the Obama administration. The Associated Press correctly although too diplomatically deems Cheney’s “public criticism on a successor administration” as “unusual.”

Gay conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan and I agree on one thing (besides our attraction to members of our own sex): Former Vice President Dick Cheney is still talking, more than a year after he left office, because he’s afraid that he might, just might, actually be prosecuted for his war crimes one day.

Politico quotes Sullivan as having stated in an e-mail:

“Cheney’s unprecedentedly aggressive approach … reflects his own knowledge that he has committed war crimes of a very grave sort, war crimes that at some point could lead to prosecution and will undoubtedly lead to historical infamy.”

“If that becomes the prevailing narrative — because it is true — he will go down in history as a man who betrayed the very core principles of Western civilization out of panic and then covered it up,” Sullivan continued. “So he has to change the subject and launch this kind of PR campaign to throw everyone off the scent….

“Cheney is cornered. He knows justice is coming, and he knows that one day the full truth will come out and there will be no hiding. Until then, he will fight and fight and break every taboo that respect for the Constitution and for civil discourse requires.”

Sullivan has been one of the leading voices criticizing the news media — and Politico specifically — for giving Cheney a platform for his rhetorical blasts in interviews without challenging his premises and also forcing him to answer for his own alleged misdeeds in office….

Cheney isn’t fooling anyone, though, isn’t throwing anyone off of his stench. And by keeping himself in the limelight, he is drawing more attention to himself and to his treasonous war crimes. Stupid.

I mean, George W. Bush, a dumbfuck extraordinaire, is smart enough to keep a low profile, and why is Dick Fucking Cheney criticizing the Obama administration when Al Gore, President Bill Clinton’s veep, didn’t routinely criticize the BushCheneyCorp administration, even though there was plenty to criticize?

(I can recall that Gore only made one fiery speech critical of the unelected Bush regime, in the wake of the breaking of the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors scandal to the entire world community. That speech was quite appropriate, given that it had turned out that Americans had treated Iraqi prisoners, most of them innocent of any crime, in a Nazi-like fashion. I don’t believe that during the eight long nightmarish years between January 2001 and January 2009 Gore made more than one or two prominent speeches in which his main topic was criticism of the BushCheneyCorp, yet here is Cheney, who can’t keep himself off of the Sunday morning political shows.)

Anyway, it isn’t like it was Sullivan who made me see the light of the truth. It was in a post titled “Die, Dick, Die!” in October that I wrote:

Cheney, with his latest act his rant against the Obama administration’s handling of Afghanistan (where he would have proclaimed “mission accomplished” already), is trying to salvage his “legacy” by acting as though he really cares about national security instead of war profiteering (he did deliver his war-profiteering corporation Halliburton the Vietraq War, after all), the pundits are chattering, but my best guess is that Cheney is terrified that he might actually be charged as the war criminal that he is and that he therefore is trying to drum up public opinion to be sympathetic toward his sorry, felonious, treasonous ass should justice actually ever be done and he actually be held accountable for the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths of our men and women in uniform and of innocent Iraqi civilians (and many, many other innocent civilians throughout the Middle East).

I also have to wonder if perhaps Tricky Dick still believes that he is in power; maybe that faulty, Grinch-like, two-sizes-too-small heart of his isn’t supplying his brain with enough oxygen. Politico quotes Cheney as having said, when asked how George W. Bush feels about his outspokenness, “I’m the vice president now — ex-vice president. I have the great freedom and luxury of speaking out, saying what I want to say, what I believe. And I have not been discouraged from doing so.” 

“I’m the vice president now”? Sounds like a Freudian slip to me.

Fuck the filibuster!

Rachel Maddow has called — I think — for doing away with the filibuster.* While she focuses on how boring (but how important) the concept of the filibuster is, and calls for renaming the filibuster, what she seems to be aiming at is doing away with the filibuster altogether.

Maddow notes that the filibuster used to require two-thirds, or 67 votes, of the U.S. Senate, to be overcome. The filibuster threshold now stands at 60 votes.

While I believe that a simple majority is good enough in a democracy — we don’t require a presidential candidate to get 60 percent of the vote — I could compromise and put the filibuster at 55 votes. That is one-half of the Senate plus one-tenth of one-half of the Senate. That seems fair enough to me.

(And indeed, the infamous progressive Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has called for a 55-vote filibuster threshold, and you can sign his petition for this more reasonable filibuster threshold at StopSenateStalling.com.)

As Maddow and Grayson note, the filibuster is not contained anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but is only a Senate rule. Wikipedia notes that Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority vote of the Senate — and that this is what the Repugnicans, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime, threatened to do with their “nuclear option,” to do away with the filibuster, an option that the Democrats thus far have been too pussy to take.

I say: Nuke the motherfuckers. Now. 

The 60-vote filibuster is preventing any progress from being made and has hamstrung the U.S. government.

The 60-vote filibuster reminds me of how the two-thirds vote requirement for the California Legislature to pass the state’s budget has only hamstrung rather than helped my home state’s budget process.

Unfortunately, that ridiculous requirement for a super-majority is contained in the state’s Constitution, and the easiest way to change that would be to amend the state’s Constitution at the ballot box. Many if not most proponents of changing the state’s two-thirds-vote budget-bill requirement are OK with making it a 55-percent-vote requirement instead. I’m OK with that.

Dick Cheney and I actually agree on something!

An Associated Press article on how long it might take the U.S. military to finally stop discriminating against non-heterosexuals reports:

The goal, according to senior defense and military officials, is to avoid the backlash that could result from imposing change too fast. While officials expect resistance from only a minority of service members and believe that it could be contained with discipline, officials fear isolated incidents of violence could erupt as a means of protest.

What does it say of the quality of the individuals in our military that “violence could erupt as a means of protest” against granting equal human and civil rights to everyone in the military?

Actually, though, I don’t think that really is the stupid white men’s concern. I suspect that once again, the stupid old white men are just using our troops as political human shields for themselves. (The members of the unelected Bush regime did that routinely when they tried to morph any valid criticisms of their launching and their handling of their Vietraq War into attacks on our troops.)

It’s the stupid old white men who are far more afraid of the change than are the young people in the military.

Even Dick Cheney, whose daughter is a dyke, has my back on this one. Reports the AP:

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the military. The 75 percent figure is far above the 44 percent of Americans who said so in May 1993.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, defense secretary in the first Bush administration, said [today] he supports a review of the [“don’t ask, don’t tell”] policy.

“When the chiefs come forward and say we think we can do it, it strikes me it’s time to reconsider the policy,” he said. “I’m reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard.”

Cheney, who has an openly gay daughter, said he thinks society has moved on from staunch opposition to gays serving in the military.

“It’s partly a generational question,” he told ABC’s “This Week,” adding that “things have changed significantly” since the [“DADT”] policy took effect.

“Partly” a generational question? No, it’s almost wholly a generational question.

OK, so I guess that I still have plenty of disagreement with the dick…

Move over, Margaret!

Speaking of dykes, Wanda Sykes is my new favorite comedian.

I recently bought the DVD of her HBO stand-up special “I’ma Be Me,” which was recorded in Washington, D.C., in August, and my boyfriend and I have watched it twice.

Wanda rocks.

Margaret Cho, a self-proclaimed fag hag, has been the default gay guy’s comedian for some years now, and I still love ya, Margaret, but Wanda is funnier and fresher than you are.

Wanda’s political sensibilities seem to be much sharper than those of Margaret, who, if her autobiographical claims about herself are accurate, apparently spent a lot of years partying before she woke up to the political scene circa 2003 or 2004.

And while Margaret’s material is stale, Wanda’s is new to me.

Wanda comes to her comedy from the perspective of being a black lesbian. (She came out in November 2008, after the odious Prop H8 passed here in California.)

In her HBO stand-up special Wanda doesn’t talk too much about lesbianism — her comedy is much less sexually graphic and less scatological than is Margaret’s — but her take on what it’s like to be black in white America is hilarious and even eye-opening.

“White people are looking at you!” she intones throughout her routine, and while it’s comedy, it rings true. Her bit about finally being able to buy a whole watermelon at the supermarket — now that Barack Obama is president — is hilarious and probably only she could get away with something like that.

Wanda’s riff on pirates (yes, pirates — a reference to when the Somali pirates were in the news) also is ROLF-level good, and the way that she brings back certain themes throughout her routine is masterfully funny.  

Wanda’s 15-minute performance at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner probably gave her the most national exposure that she’s ever had, but, as she says right off in “I’ma Be Me,” she had to hold back at the correspondents’ dinner.

She’s much better when she’s off-leash, so to speak, as she is in “I’ma Be Me.”

The only criticism that I have of “I’ma Be Me” is that Wanda uses at least two or three of the jokes that she already used at the correspondents’ dinner. She’s allowed to rehash her own material, of course, but you would think that she would have realized that many if not most of us had already heard those jokes.

Wanda’s facial expressions and her willingness to move around on stage liberally add entertainment value to her already-funny material, and she’s so adorable that even when she chuckles at her own jokes it’s quite forgivable.

You owe it to yourself to watch “I’ma Be Me,” whether it’s still showing periodically on HBO or whether you buy the DVD (such as via amazon.com).

Out to pasture for the McCainosaurus?

There is talk that Repugnican John McCainosaurus might lose the Repugnican primary to his even wingnuttier challenger, J.D. Hayworth, ending McCainosaurus’ stint in the U.S. Senate, which began in 1987.

Reports The Associated Press:

Phoenix – Defeated just two years ago as the Republican presidential candidate and with his bonafides as a true conservative again being challenged, John McCain finds himself in a struggle to get even his party’s nomination for another term in the Senate.

Many conservatives and “tea party” activists are lining up behind Republican challenger and former [right-wing] talk radio host J.D. Hayworth, reflecting a rising tide of voter frustration with incumbent politicians. Only 40 percent of Arizonans have a favorable view of McCain’s job performance.

Faced with his toughest re-election battle ever, McCain has moved to the right on several hot-button issues, like gays in the military and climate change, and has built a campaign war chest of more than $5 million. Former running mate Sarah Palin and newly elected Republican Sen. Scott Brown, both popular with conservatives, are pitching in.

Hayworth, who will officially launch his campaign [tomorrow], began using his talk show on conservative radio station KFYI to drum up opposition to McCain.

“You have a consistent conservative challenger and an incumbent who calls himself a maverick but in fact is a moderate,” Hayworth said, outlining what he views as the central choice for conservative GOP primary voters in August.

McCain is launching his own statewide tour, complete with visits next month from Palin and Brown, who already has recorded calls asking Republicans to support McCain.

The four-term senator and his allies also are taking aim at Hayworth. In December, they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the talk show host was a de facto candidate and his radio station was providing a corporate gift by allowing him to campaign on the air. And they’re attacking Hayworth’s 12-year record as a [U.S. representative] representing the eastern suburbs of Phoenix….

Democrat Harry Mitchell defeated Hayworth four years ago, winning the GOP-dominated [U.S. House] district amid a rough national climate for Republicans and questions about Hayworth’s dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Hayworth ran a conservative campaign emphasizing his opposition to illegal immigration, but he was dogged by a reputation for being an angry and combative partisan, highlighted by an editorial in the state’s largest newspaper recommending “Mitchell over the bully.”

Hayworth said he decided to quit the [right-wing radio talk] show and run for [the U.S. Senate] in late January after holding “town-hall meetings five days a week” with his conservative listeners.

They are angry, Hayworth says, about McCain’s history of teaming with Democrats on key issues. In the past decade McCain has worked with Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin on campaign finance reform and with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on an immigration bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants….

A poll last month by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center found [McCain’s] lowest approval rating since January 1994, when McCain was in the midst of the “Keating Five” scandal in which he and four other U.S. senators were accused of trying to intimidate regulators on behalf of a real-estate developer later convicted of fraud.

McCain’s once-powerful support from independents is particularly lacking; just 38 percent approved of his performance…. Arizona allows independents to vote in primaries. They could make the difference in a state where 30 percent of the electorate doesn’t belong to a political party….

While I suspect that the McCainosaurus will beat Hayworth, who I remember only as a fugly, goofy-looking

(  )

local television sportscaster when I lived in Phoenix more than a decade ago, it would be hilarious if the McCainosaurus were to lose the Repugnican primary to a tea-baggin’, mouth-breathing, Sarah Palin-Quayle-like stupid white guy whose main platform, like that of Repugnican former U.S. Rep. Tom “Bring Back the Literacy Tests!” Tancredo, is to beat up, like the ignorant bully that he is, on powerless, brown-skinned, “illegal” immigrants, who, as Wanda Sykes correctly points out in “I’ma Be Me,” aren’t criminals, but who just want to make a better life for themselves. (I would tell her joke, but I don’t want to spoil it for you; you’ll just have to watch “I’ma Be Me.”)

*Wikipedia’s entry “filibuster” states:

A filibuster, or “speaking or talking out a bill,” is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body whereby one attempts to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a proposal by extending a debate on that proposal. A popular saying is “filibuster it to death!”

The term “filibuster” was first used in 1851. It was derived from the Spanish [word] “filibustero,” meaning “pirate” or “freebooter.” … 

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Assorted shit

I wish that the whole John Edwards thing would just go the fuck away already. It was way back in August 2008 that I wrote, in a piece titled “Good Riddance, Guy Smiley!”:

I never much cared for John “Permasmile” Edwards. A millionaire trial lawyer who perpetually grins from ear to ear and claims to care sooo damned much for the poor — I always sensed that something about him was, um, off. I could tolerate him, but he never made me moist

Thank Goddess that Permasmile never really had a chance at the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, now that he admits that he cheated on his cancer-stricken wife in 2006.

Just when you thought that the Permasmile sleazefest couldn’t get any skeezier, there is this from The Associated Press today:

Raleigh, N.C. – Dealing with a pregnant mistress and a suspicious wife, John Edwards and a close aide agreed by the middle of 2007 to solicit funds from a wealthy widow who had promised to “do whatever it takes” to make him president, according to the former confidant’s new book.

Bunny Mellon, the widow of banking heir Paul Mellon, began sending checks “for many hundreds of thousands of dollars” hidden in boxes of chocolates, according to The Politician by former Edwards aide Andrew Young.

The tell-all account describes how Young took the money and used it to keep mistress Rielle Hunter happy, hiding her from the media and a cancer-stricken Elizabeth Edwards.

Young claims the former vice-presidential nominee later said he didn’t know anything about the cash even though the two discussed the matter and the cash began arriving soon after Edwards made a call to Mellon.

The Politician is due in bookstores Saturday. An advance copy was given to The Associated Press by publisher St. Martin’s Press.

The book has received a lot of attention because of its racy details about the affair, the crumbling Edwards marriage and the candidate’s efforts to keep the paternity of his child with the mistress hidden. John Edwards finally admitted last week that he was the father of the girl, who is now almost 2 years old….

I said good riddance to Permasmile back in August 2008, but now we have stories of Gumpian boxes of chocolates. The man’s political career is over, but he just won’t go the fuck away.

Oh, well; as I noted back in August 2008, at least Baby Daddy Permasmile seems to have proved wrong Ann Cunter, who once called him a “faggot.”

Now, all of a sudden, ending discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the U.S. military is a priority of the Obama administration.

It wasn’t that long ago that we dykes and faggots were told that the nation has more pressing issues, that we’d just have to wait.

Why now, then?

I’m thinking that Team Obama wants a progressive win in order to get its base fired up again, and this probably is the quickest and easiest win that Team Obama can achieve within the near future. (Much easier than, oh, say, real health care reform….)

I don’t know why anyone, heterosexual or non-heterosexual, would want to join the U.S. military when the U.S. military hasn’t been about actually defending the nation from actual threats since — when? World War II?

If you have two brain cells to rub together, it will be clear to you that the U.S. military these days primarily is about funneling billions and billions of our tax dollars to the fat cats legally via the military-industrial complex’s perpetual war machine.

The military-industrial complex is about killing innocent individuals in foreign lands, ensuring that the United States is hated around the world, giving the military-industrial complex a constant supply of “enemies,” real or imagined, an excuse for its continued bloated-beyond-belief existence.

“National security” — what fucking Orwellian bullshit. Yeah, to steal billions upon billions of dollars from us, they have to tell us that it’s for our own good (health care, by contrast, is bad for us). Fucking traitors is what they are.

But I digress. My point is: Why do gay men want to waste their gifts that they have to give the world on the military-industrial complex?

OK, for lesbians I can see the attraction of the military, I guess, but for gay men? [Insert dropping-soap-in-shower joke here…]

Still, discrimination based upon sexual orientation in any sphere is wrong, and equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military, such as the U.S. military is, is another step toward equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals throughout the United States in all spheres of the nation.

And it’s about time that the Obama administration accomplish something, for fuck’s sake.

P.S. The Repugnicans are arguing that we can’t change the U.S. military’s current policy of discriminating against non-heterosexuals while we’re still fighting in the Middle East.

Oh, fuck them.

As the Repugnicans want nothing short of perpetual fucking warfare for their defense-contractor cronies, that means that non-heterosexuals would never get equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military if we wait until the wingnuts deem that it is the “right time.” (I wonder if it never was the “right time,” according to the stupid white men, to stop racial discrimination in the U.S. military, too.)

If the members of the U.S. military can’t handle the fact that there are non-heterosexuals among them, then they are too fucking pussy to defend us anyway — even though they aren’t about defense anyway, but are about enabling the war profiteers and basically amount to being thugs for the corporations (a la “Avatar”) paid for by us taxpayers (and corporations, of course, don’t pay their fair share of taxes).

Can I sense a trend or what?

After Open Salon created an “open call” for our favorite most underrated actor and I picked Joseph Gordon-Levitt as mine, The Associated Press posted a nice piece about him titled “Gordon-Levitt Goes from ‘3rd Rock’ to Sundance Kid.”

According to the piece, Gordon-Levitt has wowed this year’s Sundance crowd with his latest starring role, in the film “Hesher,” as he wowed Sundance last year with “(500) Days of Summer.”

Here’s another gratuitous photo of a shirtless Gordon-Levitt from “Hesher”:

In this film publicity image released by The Sundance Film Festival, ...

Associated Press image

And after I got my first Open Salon “editor’s pick” — which means that my piece appeared on Open Salon’s home page — for my piece titled “Urgent Memo to Jerry Brown: Be a Scott Brown, Not a [Martha] Coakley,” a Sacramento Bee political columnist wrote a column titled “Will California Be the Next Massachusetts?” He wrote:

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and the lone likely Democratic candidate for governor, Jerry Brown, are taking their cue from [President Barack] Obama and lashing out at corporate executives, including potential Republican challengers, for leading the nation to economic downfall. It’s potentially potent positioning in a state with 12-plus percent unemployment.

Their Republican foes, meanwhile, are portraying Boxer, who is 69, and Brown, who is 71, as aging career liberals who are part of the problem, not the solution, clearly hoping to capitalize on the angry, anti-establishment wave that Scott Brown rode to victory.

Robert Cruickshank, a Monterey college teacher who writes on the liberal website Calitics, declares in a recent article that Jerry Brown could be California Democrats’ Martha Coakley – the Senate candidate Scott Brown defeated.

Is California ripe for a political shift? Anything is possible in a state as inherently volatile as this one in a year like this one.

We are in confusing times, and so yes, I can see California’s voters making stupid (that is, self-defeating) choices at the ballot box in November 2010, but I surmise that Boxer’s re-election is surer than is Jerry Brown’s getting another crack at being California’s governor.

I think that the title of “aging career liberal” sticks to Brown — who still is haunted by the retarded, unfair moniker of “Governor Moonbeam” — much more than it does to Boxer, but again, if Brown doesn’t act like Martha Coakley did, like his win is inevitable, then, well, I think that he’ll most likely win. His most likely Repugnican challenger, billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman, is truly repugnant, which should be a big boon to Brown.

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‘The gay ATM ran dry’

I and millions of other non-heterosexuals won’t give President Barack Obama or the Democrats another fucking pink penny until they follow through on their campaign promises and stop taking us for pansies who will bend over and take it perpetually. We’re beyond sick and fucking tired of being treated like a pink ATM.

I don’t usually regurgitate others’ work in its entirety, but this piece by gay blogger John Aravosis (via Salon.com), titled “President Obama Betrays the Gay Community,” is worth regurging in its entirety (links are Aravosis’); I agree with every word of it. As I wrote back in December, I regretted my vote for Obama even before he took office.

Team Obama keeps telling lesbian and gay Americans like me to be patient. If we just wait a little longer, administration officials whisper to us lovingly (and out of earshot of the media), after the White House finishes with healthcare reform and getting the troops out of Iraq, your time will come. In the meantime, cheer up — we put a gay band in the inaugural parade!

Everyone loves a parade, but we don’t like being betrayed. And while gay and lesbian Americans were initially willing to cut our new president some slack, the president’s now-clear reticence to follow through on even one of his many campaign promises to the gay community has put the Democratic Party on the precipice of an ugly and very public divorce with this once-solid constituency.

During the presidential primaries, then-candidate Obama promoted himself as the biggest defender of gay rights since Harvey Milk. He would be a “fierce advocate” for our rights, he promised, and he even out-gayed Hillary Clinton: telling gay and lesbian voters that while she was for a partial repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he’d get rid of the whole damn thing.

And there was much rejoicing.

Then, not so much.

About a year before the November election, primary challenger Obama invited Donnie McClurkin, a homophobic gospel singer who claims to have been “cured” of his own homosexuality, to lead a series of concerts in the South in order to woo the black vote. The gays were not amused, but candidate Obama held firm.

The gays forgave the Big O until a year later, when then-President-elect Obama chose evangelical preacher (and well-known homophobe) Rick Warren to give the inaugural prayer. Again, the gays expressed their ire, Obama wouldn’t budge, and his advisors continued to whisper sweet nothings in our ears about how glorious the future would be once Dear Leader was finally in office.

But a funny thing happened on the way to equality. Rather than clouds opening up and angels descending from on high, Barack Obama became president and things never got better for the gays. In fact, they got decidedly worse.

On taking office, Obama immediately announced that he was doing away with the Clinton-era concept of special assistants who served as liaisons to various communities like gays and Latinos. He then went ahead and appointed special liaisons to some of those communities anyway, but never to the gays.

Around the same time, the White House website, once detailing half a page of presidential promises to the gay community, overnight saw those pledges shortened to three simple sentences. Gone were five of the eight previous commitments, including the promises to repeal both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and DOMA.

Adding to a growing sense of angst, senior White House officials kept telling the media that they weren’t sure when, if ever, the president would follow through on his promises to the gay community.

Then there were the Cabinet appointees. Three Latino nominees but nary a gay in sight.

And finally, last week our president had his Department of Justice file a brief in defense of DOMA, a law he had once called “abhorrent.” In that brief, filed on the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia (which outlawed bans on interracial marriage), our own interracial Harvey Milk, not lacking a sense of historical irony, compared our love to incest and pedophilia.

Shit, meet fan.

Tonight, President Fierce will try to make amends by signing either a memorandum, a directive or an executive order, directing some federal agencies, but not others, to provide some benefits, but not others, to some gay federal employees, but not others, at some undisclosed time in the future. (And the benefits may reportedly go away when Obama leaves office.)

First problem, federal agencies already have the right to provide these benefits to gay employees — and several, including at least one DOD agency, do. Second problem, the administration can’t tell us exactly which benefits they’re talking about and for which employees.

That’s because this was all hastily thrown together after the incestuous and pedophilic gays nearly brought down a Democratic National Committee gay pride fundraiser scheduled for next week. A gay blogger got hold of the event’s guest list and published it, and once D.C.’s gay paper, the Washington Blade, announced that it would be staking out the entrance to the event with camera and video, the $1,000-a-head attendees started dropping like flies.

In other words, the only reason we’re getting anything: The gay ATM ran dry.

Don’t get me wrong. Some federal employees getting some benefits at some future point is definitely something. But it’s not an answer to why this president directed his Department of Justice to defend a law he previously opposed when he didn’t have to. It doesn’t explain why the DOMA brief linked a key Democratic constituency to pedophilia and incest. Or why this president has already overseen the discharge of 253 gay service members, and has refused to issue a stop-loss order ceasing those discharges. Or why he won’t lift a finger to push Congress to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The president would like us to believe that he’s awfully busy being president, and if we only wait a little while longer, we’ll get our rights. Of course, the president isn’t too busy to stab the community in the back by continuing the military discharges, defending DOMA, and comparing us to pedophiles. (On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs was given a chance to repudiate the DOMA brief’s language about incest and pedophilia and would not.)

When, Mr. President, will be a good time to set my people free? When will the leader of the free world get a breather, a presidential timeout as it were? (And I thought this was the administration that could walk and chew gum at the same time.)

Are we really to believe that 2010, a congressional election year, will be any more timely than today? Or 2011, the beginning of the presidential primaries? Or 2012, with a congressional and presidential election? There is quite literally no time like the present.

The real problem is that Team Obama is stuck in 1993. Perhaps some advisor has convinced our once-fierce advocate that gay rights is the third rail of presidential politics. Just look at what happened to President Clinton 16 years ago when he tried to help the gays, the insider is likely warning.

But 2009 is not 1993. Sixty-seven percent of Americans now favor granting same-sex couples the right to marry or join in civil unions. Sixty-nine percent support letting openly gay men and lesbian women serve in our military, including a majority of Republicans (58 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and even churchgoers (60 percent). And an overwhelming number of Americans have long since supported passing legislation banning job discrimination against gays.

The controversy is in President Obama’s mind — at least it was until it became real and moved to the Democratic Party’s pocketbook.

What can the president do to avoid outright rupture with the gay community? He needs to start fulfilling his campaign promises — even one would be a nice start. He needs to stop the discharges, and stop the Falwellian legal briefs in support of a policy he opposes. He needs to push — really push — for legislation banning job discrimination, repealing DOMA, and lifting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Many of us were willing to cut our new president some slack. Not anymore.

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