Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite: Democrats want to KILL Seniors

Take Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), who said in July: "Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead."

We could itemize about 100 other, outrageous comments from the GOP from the floor.

A Brief History of ACORN

ACORN is the largest community organizing group in the United States. It has chapters

in 110 cities in 40 states. ACORN and its affiliates have an annual budget of over $100

million, over 1,000 employees, and nearly 500,000 dues‐paying families.

ACORN emerged out of the anti‐poverty activism of the 1960s. By the late 1960s, one of

those groups, the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), had built an

organization with affiliates in 60 cities across the country. But because it focused

exclusively on welfare recipients, its narrow constituency base guaranteed that it would

remain a marginal force in the nation's politics. George Wiley, NWRO's leader, and

Wade Rathke, one of NWRO's best organizers, believed that the time was ripe to build a

broader multi‐racial movement for economic justice, with a membership base of lowincome

people, including the working poor, but with support from middle‐class allies. In

1970, Rathke agreed to go to Little Rock, Arkansas and try a different approach. He

started a new group called ACORN (it initially stood for Arkansas Community

Organizations for Reform Now). At first it organized welfare recipients and low‐income

working families around issues that could unite them, including free school lunches,

Vietnam veterans' rights, hospital emergency room care, and unemployment.

ACORN soon expanded in Arkansas and started building chapters in other cities

throughout the South, then later in other parts of the country. By 1975, it was

organizing in eight cities in three states. Five years later, ACORN had chapters in 35

cities in 24 states. By 1990, ACORN counted 40 chapters in 27 states. Its growth

continued in the 1990s, so by 2000 it had 46 affiliates in 29 states. After 2000, ACORN

rapidly accelerated its expansion effort, growing to 92 cities in 35 states by 2005, then

to 103 cities in 37 states two years later. As a result of its expansion outside Arkansas,

the group kept its name but soon revised the acronym to stand for Association of

Community Organizations for Reform Now. Most people, however, simply know the

group as ACORN.

ACORN has focused on issues that improve living and working conditions for low‐income

Americans, including housing, mortgage discrimination, schools, wages, welfare, health

care, and voting rights. ACORN identifies issues by knocking on doors in low‐income

neighborhoods and bringing people together in local chapters. There are thousands of

local groups around the country engaged in community organizing around similar issues.

What makes ACORN unusual, and what accounts for its significant growth, is its

"federated" structure. ACORN is a national organization with state offices and local

chapters. This allows ACORN to conduct organizing campaigns simultaneously at the

neighborhood, local, state and federal levels. As a result, its chapter members are often

"in motion" on a variety of issues, and so that its local organizations can link up with

their counterparts around the country to change national policy on key issues that can't

be solved at the neighborhood or municipal level.

ACORN organizers recruit leaders and identify issues by regularly knocking on doors in

low‐income neighborhoods. People tell ACORN organizers about the problems they

face in their communities. These conversations became the basis of local organizing

campaigns to improve conditions. Its organizing staff works to build strong local

organizations and local leaders that can influence municipal and county governments,

and local corporations or other employers and institutions (such as hospitals) to address

the needs of the poor and their neighborhoods.

Neighborhood organizing defines ACORN's core issues. At the local level, ACORN

members can be organizing to close down a crack house, clean up vacant lots and turn

them into parks, put up stop signs to prevent children from getting killed at a dangerous

intersection, or counsel people on how to negotiate with their bank to stop a

foreclosure. But when national leaders and staff recognize problems that are energizing

members in several cities, they can consider whether the issue can also be effectively

addressed by changes in state or federal policy. Because many problems cannot be

solved solely at the neighborhood or city level, ACORN also educates its members about

the importance of mobilizing at the state and national levels. ACORN employs a staff of

researchers and lobbyists in its national offices in Brooklyn, New York and Washington,

DC to serve the needs of local chapters.

So at the same time that ACORN is tackling local issues, its members may also be

mobilizing voters to approve a referendum to raise the state minimum wage, or push

Congress to pass a federal law tightening rules against mortgage abuse by banks or to

enact universal health insurance, or meeting with top executives of major banks to push

them to change their business practices to be more consumer friendly.

For example, during one week in July 2008, the New York Times reported on ACORN's

successful campaign to save 5,881 rental units of working class housing in Brooklyn. The

Las Vegas ReviewJournal and the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel reported on ACORN's local

voter registration drives. The Pittsburgh PostGazette recounted an ACORN

demonstration at a local bank, with members blowing whistles and chanting "Criminal

offenders, predatory lenders." The New Orleans TimesPicayune described ACORN's

ongoing work to rebuild homes in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood battered by

Hurricane Katrina. A Connecticut paper described ACORN's counseling program that

helped homeowners save their houses, and local media in Tucson, Arizona reported

ACORN's campaign to pressure local officials to adopt a law to prevent unfair lending

practice. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed

a bill pushed by ACORN that will help desperate California homeowners avoid

foreclosure. The Dallas Morning News reported on ACORN's campaign to expand health

insurance in Texas, while dozens of papers highlighted ACORN's key role in a national

coalition of unions, consumer and religious groups to fight for universal health care.

Most of ACORN's members are low‐income, predominantly black and Latino residents of

urban neighborhoods, although there are also white and Asian members in some of its

chapters. ACORN members pay dues, but these don't provide sufficient resources to

pay for the group's operations, so it also depends on local fundraising (such as bake

sales, raffles, and annual dinners) and grants from philanthropic foundations and

wealthy donors. In its earliest years, most ACORN organizers and researchers were

drawn from idealistic college graduates. Increasingly, ACORN has sought to recruit

organizers from among its volunteer leaders, in order to employ a staff that is more like

its members.

Since its founding in 1970, ACORN has mobilized low‐income and working class

Americans to challenge powerful banks, corporations, and government officials around

such issues as wages for the working poor, predatory lending and foreclosures, welfare

reform, public education, affordable housing, and voting rights. It has registered millions

of Americans, mostly poor people, to vote. ACORN's success has depended on staking

out progressive stances, mobilizing poor people, especially its dues‐paying members, on

issue campaigns, and enlisting allies among foundations, unions, religious groups, and


ACORN is often called a "protest" group because it often organizes rallies,

demonstrations, and pickets to draw attention to its campaigns – public events that

generate media attention. But much of ACORN's success is due to its less visible

activities. ACORN staff conduct research that help frame issues and become reliable

sources of information for reporters – for example, research on the discriminatory

lending patterns of specific banks. ACORN engages in quiet negotiations and lobbying

with politicians and other government officials as well as top executives of corporations.

ACORN organizers spend much of their time canvassing neighborhoods, talking to

residents about their problems and recruiting them to attend meetings with their

neighbors. Once ACORN staffers have identified potential leaders, they spend many

hours talking with them in their kitchens, church basements, and other meeting places,

helping them talk about their frustrations and training them in such leadership skills as

chairing meetings, negotiating with people in powerful positions, and public speaking.

At the same time, ACORN recognizes the limits of protest as a tactic as well as the limits

of community organizing as a strategy. One of ACORN's strengths is its combination of

"inside" and "outside" tactics and strategies. ACORN's activists and leaders often work

both inside the system (organizing the poor to participate in politics) and outside the

system (recognizing the need for protest and confrontation).

ACORN has also learned to forge partnerships with some corporations, banks, and

politicians whom it at one time opposed, recognizing that successful organizing

campaigns involve negotiation, compromise, and winning over new allies.

ACORN's signature issues deal with banking practices, housing, the wages of the

working poor, and voting rights.


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Attacks on Acorn are a Vast-Right-Wing Conspiracy hatched by Karl Rove as far back as 2000

 Read how the attacks on Acorn is a Vast-Right-Wing Conspiracy hatched by Karl Rove as far back as 2000

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Why the Dow is Hitting 10,000 Even When Consumers Can't Buy And Business Cries "Socialism"

Why the Dow is Hitting 10,000 Even When Consumers Can't Buy And Business Cries "Socialism"

By Robert B. Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

So how can the Dow Jones Industrial Average be flirting with 10,000 when consumers, who make up 70 percent of the economy, have had to cut way back on buying because they have no money? Jobs continue to disappear. One out of six Americans is either unemployed or underemployed. Homes can no longer function as piggy banks because they're worth almost a third less than they were two years ago. And for the first time in more than a decade, Americans are now having to pay down their debts and start to save.

Even more curious, how can the Dow be so far up when every business and Wall Street executive I come across tells me government is crushing the economy with its huge deficits, and its supposed "takeover" of health care, autos, housing, energy, and finance? Their anguished cries of "socialism" are almost drowning out all their cheering over the surging Dow.

The explanation is simple. The great consumer retreat from the market is being offset by government's advance into the market. Consumer debt is way down from its peak in 2006; government debt is way up. Consumer spending is down, government spending is up. Why have new housing starts begun? Because the Fed is buying up Fannie and Freddie's paper, and government-owned Fannie and Freddie are now just about the only mortgage games remaining in play.

Why are health care stocks booming? Because the government is about to expand coverage to tens of millions more Americans, and the White House has assured Big Pharma and health insurers that their profits will soar. Why are auto sales up? Because the cash-for-clunkers program has been subsidizing new car sales. Why is the financial sector surging? Because the Fed is keeping interest rates near zero, and the rest of the government is still guaranteeing any bank too big to fail will be bailed out. Why are federal contractors doing so well? Because the stimulus has kicked in.

In other words, the Dow is up despite the biggest consumer retreat from the market since the Great Depression because of the very thing so many executives are complaining about, which is government's expansion. And regardless of what you call it – Keynesianism, socialism, or just pragmatism – it's doing wonders for business, especially big business and Wall Street. Consumer spending is falling back to 60 to 65 percent of the economy, as government spending expands to fill the gap.

The problem is, our newly expanded government isn't doing much for average working Americans who continue to lose their jobs and whose belts continue to tighten, and who are getting almost nothing out of the rising Dow because they own few if any shares of stock. Despite the happy Dow and notwithstanding the upbeat corporate earnings, most corporations are still shedding workers and slashing payrolls. And the big banks still aren't lending to Main Street.

Trickle-down economics didn't work when the supply-siders were in charge. And it's not working now, at a time when -- despite all their cries of "socialism" -- big business and Wall Street are more politically potent than ever.

Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration.

© 2009 Robert Reich's Blog All rights reserved.
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Have The Right Wing Haters Committed Murder

Associated Press reporter Devlin Barrett was on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow" show Wednesday night to discuss the shocking death of a census worker in Kentucky.

"Obviously the details -- the few details we know at this point are very disturbing," said Barrett, "and could feed a larger political argument if this ends up being the result of anti-government sentiment. But they don't know that for absolute certain yet. And part of the investigators' job is to rule out any other explanation for what happened."

Maddow asked if Barrett had seen any evidence that the crime had political motivations.

"I don't think federal law enforcement would still be involved a week and a half after the body was found if there wasn't still that very serious concern," he responded. "And they don't have all the answers yet. And some of the things they know they're not going to tell us because they're concerned that there may be perpetrators out there that they would very much like to catch. But ... part of the process we're in now is proving all the other alternate explanations."

Barrett added that "in the county where this death occurred, they have instructed their workers not to go door to door while this investigation continues. Clearly there's a great deal of concern within this census worker community in that area."


Read more at: Huffpost

Myth vs. Reality: Know The Truth About Climate Change Negotiations

The following is from a brand-new report by the Center for American Progress titled "Myth vs. Reality on International Climate Change Negotiations." Check it out.

Myth #1: The United States should not have to act if China and India are not doing anything.

Reality: Both China and India are now moving forward with ambitious plans for emissions reductions and low-carbon development.

  • China's fuel economy standard for passenger cars is equivalent to 36.7 miles per gallon, and China is reportedly considering raising this to 42.2 mpg. The U.S. standard remained at 27.5 mpg for 20 years until President Obama recently announced a new standard in May of 35.5 mpg by 2016.
  • China is also making steady progress toward reducing energy intensity—energy consumption per unit of GDP—by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2010. And China aims to generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010, and 15 percent by 2020.
  • India recently announced that it will quantify greenhouse gas emissions and take actions to reduce emissions through deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. India has announced the most ambitious solar energy goal in the world and is moving forward with a plan to radically improve home appliance efficiency.

Myth #2: China, India, Brazil and other developing countries refuse to accept binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

Reality: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change does not require developing countries to accept binding targets because they have different needs than the developed world.

  • Nearly 50 percent of Indians—half a billion people—do not have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of Chinese live below the poverty line. Such nations should have different obligations than the United States or Europe. But this does not mean that these countries won't eventually accept binding emissions cuts.
  • Chinese government officials have already made explicit statements that China will peak its emissions growth at some future date. South Korea and Mexico have also indicated a willingness to consider future caps. And these countries have already agreed in principle as part of the Bali Action Plan to reduce their emissions in a measurable, reportable, and verifiable way.

Myth #3: Joining an international agreement will leave the United States at a competitive disadvantage and jobs will go overseas.

Reality: Passing domestic climate legislation and investing in a clean energy economy will make the United States a leader in the clean energy race, boosting job creation and the economy.

  • Clean-energy investments prompted by the American Clean Energy Security Act will generate around 1.7 million jobs.
  • The American Clean Energy Security Act includes provisions to assist energy-intensive, trade-sensitive industries with competition from firms in nations without reduction plans. Steel, glass, cement, and other energy-intensive industries would receive pollution allowances that they can use or sell to keep them competitive with foreign firms. Companies in countries without emissions reductions programs would have to purchase allowances after 2020.
  • A Pew Center on Global Climate Change study found that these provisions will ensure that industries would experience less than a 1 percent decline in overall production as a result of a cap on emissions.
  • An international agreement will catalyze public and private actors to capitalize on emerging clean-energy investment opportunities abroad. A recent report by the China Greentech Initiative found that China has enormous potential for a mass market in green technologies, reaching up to $1 trillion a year. U.S. companies are already hungry for investment opportunities in China, recognizing a growing desire among the Chinese to reduce environmental threats and be a leader in clean energy technology.
  • Duke Energy signed an agreement in August with Huaneng, one of the biggest Chinese utilities, to cooperate on renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.
  • And American company First Solar signed a deal with Chinese government officials in September to build the largest photovoltaic plant in the world—producing enough solar electricity to power 3 million Chinese homes.

Myth #4: The United States is doing little to curb emissions, falling out of step with other developed countries.

Reality: The present proposals for midterm emissions reductions in ACES in conjunction with complementary measures achieve strong midterm targets equal to those of developed countries.

  • The economy-wide cap proposed in ACES would reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. This target falls short of the demands of the European Union and will not trigger the EU's commitment to lower their emissions from 20 to 30 percent below 1990 levels if the United States makes a comparable effort.
  • Yet a recent study by the World Resources Institute, however, calculates that this legislation could achieve emission reductions of 23 percent below 1990 levels if all complementary measures are taken into account, such as international forestry projects, industrial performance standards, energy efficiency measures, and international offsets. If this analysis can be verified, it will satisfy the EU's requirement for a comparable effort and trigger their increase in emissions reductions.
  • CAP proposes measuring "carbon cap equivalents," or taking a full accounting of what countries are prepared to do in terms of emissions reductions that are not completely expressed under an economy-wide cap.

Myth #5: The U.S. Congress must pass climate change legislation before international negotiations begin in December 2009 to achieve a successful outcome in Copenhagen.

Reality: The United States has already undertaken steps to reduce its greenhouse gas pollution and these efforts can demonstrate our commitment to reducing emissions at the UNFCCC meeting in December.

  • The Obama administration set the first national limits on greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, which will reduce pollution by 900 million tons for model years 2012-2016. And the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February made a $90 billion down payment on the transition to a clean energy economy, including $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Efforts at the state level, including renewable energy standards in 28 states and the District of Columbia, have jumpstarted the growth of clean-energy jobs and leadership in new technologies with minimal rises in electric rates. States recognize the benefits of investing in clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • The imminent endangerment finding decision, in which the Environmental Protection Agency will determine that "global warming is endangering the public's health and welfare," will enable the EPA to set pollution limits on major industrial sources such as power plants.
  • The House passed American Clean Energy Security Act reduces greenhouse gas pollution by 17 percent by 2020. It is now pending in the Senate, with debate expected this fall. There is strong public support for a clean energy bill like ACES. The majority of voters support ACES and say they would be less likely to vote for a senator who opposes the bill.
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"Protect" insurance company profits from the evils of health care reform

In a satiric video from Funny or Die, Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, and other celebs band together to "protect" insurance company profits from the evils of health care reform.

"People are saying a lot of mean things about health insurance companies and their executives and it's gotta stop," pleads Thomas Lennon.

"These great business men are American heroes," says Linda Cardellini.

"So why is Obama trying to reform health care when insurance companies are doing just fine making billions of dollars in profit?" Will Ferrell asks.

Funny or Die has history of using celebrities and humor to take a stance on political issues. Last year they released "Prop 8: The Musical" starring Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Margaret Cho, and more satirizing the push for a ban on gay marriage in California.

This "Insurance PSA," paid for by, ends with a call to action, asking people to call their congressmen and tell them we need a strong public option.

What Would Jesus Do?

If there is any doubt that the Christian family values crowd is out of touch with America it was never more evident than at the Value Voters Conference held this month at Regent University–Pat Robertson's joint.
Notwithstanding two ongoing wars and the worst recession since the Great Depression, the delegates voted "abortion," "religious liberty," and "gay marriage" as their most important issues. 
Going one step more into irrelevancy was the straw poll won by Reverend Mike Huckabee.  Last place, went to Mitt Romney who is actually the strongest national candidate. 
Even if with a snap of his fingers, Romney could bring peace, prosperity and cure cancer, he will not get much support from the Christian Right.  Along with the Old and New Testaments, Mormons believe there is a New, New Testament called, not surprisingly, The Book of Mormon. 
 For Pat Robinson and his supporters it might as well be The Koran. 
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Straight Porn Makes You Gay

Straight Porn Makes You Gay (Who Knew?)

At the Values Voters Summit over the weekend, Sen. Tom Coburn's chief of staff opened a new front in the War Against Hormones (WAH) when he explained that if we tell teenage boys that straight porn will make them gay, they'll never touch the stuff again.

--Josh Marshall

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10 Racist Attacks on Obama

1. Oh no! Evil monkeys stole our balls!

You know who really had their act together? British colonists in India. But oppressing a country of hundreds of millions for more than a century was not without its dangers. For instance, sometimes monkeys descended on the Brits' golf courses and stole their balls.

And that it is how former House Whip Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., chose to illustrate the challenges facing conservatives in the Obama era. Friday, AlterNet's Adele Stan reported Blunt's words to the conservative Values Summit:

"... Something they didn't anticipate was monkeys came running out of the jungle, and they grabbed the golf balls ... and they might throw the golf ball back at you. ... So for this golf course, and this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule, and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it."

The crowd roared with laughter.

He went on to say that he recently saw a bumper sticker he liked that read: "Don't let Obama find out what comes after a trillion."

2. Rush Limbaugh, worried about future of favorite cookie, blows off steam by making racist joke about Obama

In a July broadcast, Rush Limbaugh voiced his displeasure -- nay, outrage -- about food-safety advocates potentially "going after" Oreo cookies. Added the great wit: "Might have to put that off until Obama's out of office, but they'll eventually go after Oreos."

Get it?

3. When you weren't looking, Obama snuck reparations into the health care bill

This is why we have to be vigilant. According to Beck and Limbaugh, Obama is using health reform to force reparations for slavery from white America. Beck: "Everything getting pushed through Congress -- including this health care bill -- is transforming America. And it's all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea: reparations. ... He believes in all the 'universal' programs because they 'disproportionately affect' people of color" (All of whom Obama knows personally, cause … you know … ).

Not one to be outdone, Limbaugh cast a wider net, saying: "Obama's entire program is reparations!"

4. Addendum: When you weren't looking, Obama snuck affirmative action in the health care bill

Obama's plan to make African Americans the white man's evil overlords doesn't end with secret reparations: Apparently, the health care bill is also being used to smuggle in affirmative action. "The medical schools will get more federal dollars if they have proven … that they are putting minorities ahead" according to Beck.

5. Obama responsible for school bullying

Last week, a Drudge headline screamed: "White Student Beaten on School Bus; Crowd Cheers."

Drudge is presumably aware that this isn't the first time school children have engaged in fisticuffs. But in highlighting the item as breaking "news," the site was clearly trying to tap into the bizarre race paranoia sweeping Wing-Nut Nation. It did not take long for Limbaugh to make Drudge's implicit race bating explicit:

"In Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, 'Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,' " said Limbaugh, in a very accurate approximation of how black kids talk, of course.

6. Limbaugh comes up with a solution to America's complex race issues: Separate but equal!

Then, Limbaugh used the incident to essentially propose a return to the doctrine of "separate but equal," saying, "I mean, that's the lesson we're being taught here today. Kid shouldn't have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses -- it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama's America."

Or, you know, the black kids could just sit in the back of the bus.

7. Our president is angry?

Obama comes across as a pretty even-keeled, pleasant person. But maybe it's all an act, meant to mask his true nature, which, according to Limbaugh, is that of a really common racist archetype: the angry black man.

"[T]hey're finally hearing me. 'He's an angry black guy.' I do believe that about the president. I do believe he's angry. I think his wife is angry."

Surprisingly, Limbaugh did not add that Michelle Obama was also good at nursing other people's kids or preparing pancakes.

8. Birther conspiracy

A while back, a bunch of people felt kinda weird publicly saying that Obama shouldn't be president because he's black. They came up with this enterprising solution: latch onto an insane conspiracy theory claiming that the president is illegitimate because he's not a natural-born citizen of the U.S.

One of those people was Lou Dobbs, who managed to destroy the last shreds of his reputation and dignity by pushing the birther conspiracy onto prime time on CNN.

9. Half-white president hates whites?

Carter's remarks that many of the attacks against the president are fueled by racism really, really hurt conservatives' feelings. Beck, for example, sniffed (but didn't break into wild sobbing, as he often does) that it was wrong to accuse someone of racism without hard evidence. This lesson in etiquette is one Beck must have learned recently, because less than two months ago, the shock-jock accused Obama of being a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for white people … and white culture."

Beck did not elaborate on what he meant by "white culture."

10. General tea-baggery

Conservatives are trying to sell town hall disruptions and the various forms of tea-bagging going on as legitimate protests against the Democrats' agenda. While that's certainly true of many people who show up at these events, it's hard not to be a little wary of the real reason some people take part, when we see signs like this, this, this and this.


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What Does The Health Insurance Industry Have Against Women?

  • In a 2008 study, the National Women's Law Center found just 12% of health insurance policies include comprehensive maternity coverage. Another 9% of plans provide coverage for maternity care that is not comprehensive." [National Women's Law Center]
  • Only 14 states require maternity coverage in policies sold on the individual market, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Anthem Blue Cross: "Having a child is a matter of choice. Dealing with an adult onset illness, such as diabetes, heart disease breast or prostate cancer, is not a matter of choice." [San Francisco Chronicle]
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Behind the Scenes Video at 9/12 Protest Shows Fox News Producer Directing Crowd

We just received the following behind the scenes footage from an anonymous tipster showing what appears to be a Fox News producer encouraging a crowd to scream and holler during a "report" by Fox News' Griff Jenkins at the 9/12 protest:

Here's how it looked on Fox News:

Can You Still Call It A Compromise...


..when one half refuses to sign on? We'll find out as we continue to check out the new health care bill from Max Baucu

We're still reading through it, but Sen. Max Baucus released the hotly awaited health care compromise bill yesterday. The bill, which didn't attract the support of a single other Republican Senator, upset many on the left for not containing a public option and left Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., WV) warning the bill contains "a big, big tax" on the middle class. [ABC News]

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The Anti-American Home Schoolers Come Of Age

We are now several generations into this experiment of holier-than-thou withdrawal from our American mainstream culture. If you wonder who it is that's both running and underwriting organizations such as the Family Research Council, Focus On The Family, Freedom Works and other organizers of the 9/12 March and who are the most faithful followers the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh or viewers of Fox News your answer is: it's the home school/Christian school generation of men and women now hitting their thirties and even forties who might as well have been raised on a different planet.

What are these home school and Christian school children taught? Here's a quote from one of the far right's leading home school curricula creators:

"The political question is this: By what biblical standard is the pagan to be granted the right to bring political sanctions against God's people? We recognize that unbelievers are not to vote in Church elections. Why should they be allowed to vote in civil elections in a covenanted Christian nation? Which judicial standards will they impose? By what other standard than the Bible?"
Read More............

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Kaine delivers with LGBT historic "Change We Can Believe In" Appointments

Signaling President Barack Obama's commitment to the LGBT community and as a precursor to what the community can expect in the future, Democratic National Committee Chair Gov. Tim Kaine tonight released his nominations for key DNC positions and committees which delivered historic LGBT numbers and diversity.
Responding to the DNC's LGBT Caucus priority for the appointment of the first transgender Democrat to the national body, Gov. Kaine delivered in the appointment of Babs Casbar Siperstein, a nationally-known advocate for transgender rights and education.  Her appointment was only one of six LGBT at-large nominees made in his 75 total appointments.  Kaine doubles the number of LGBT individuals ever appointed through this process and brings the overall LGBT representation on the DNC to near parity to the estimated LGBT Democratic vote loyalty.  Kaine further delivered on historic diversity with his remaining five representatives--who come from the labor, elected official, Hispanic, Asian, and African American communities.  They are Hon. Evan Low of California, Hon. Lupe Valdez of Dallas, Texas, Earl Fowlkes of the District of Columbia, Terry Bean of Oregon and Randi Weingarten of New York.
In addition, Kaine appointed Maryland DNC Member and State Delegate Heather Mizeur as one of his 10 Executive Committee appointments.  She will join DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, ASDC Chair and DNC Vice Chair Raymond Buckley and myself on the 45-member DNC Executive Committee.
Kaine continued making history in his Standing Committee appointments by doubling LGBT representation on the four bodies--Rules & Bylaws, Credentials, Resolutions, and Budget & Finance.
One sad note was that Garry Shay of California, a key leader in the 2007 enactment of the LGBT Inclusion Program provisions in the DNC party affairs process was not reappointed to the Rules and Bylaws Committee.  However, the LGBT community will see three new LGBT representatives on this important and powerful committee--an increase of one.  I personally want to thank Shay for his leadership and tenacity on behalf of the LGBT community!!
President Obama told LGBT representatives at the White House in June to judge him by what he delivers, and I can hardly wait  to see the great public policy victories the  LGBT community will see from this administration.  While impatient, I know President  Obama will deliver the "Change We Can Believe In" for the LGBT community.

Rick Stafford, Chair
DNC LGBT Americans Caucus
DNC Member, Minnesota

NCAAP Chariman to LGBT Community-"Victory is Just Ahead"

That's a quote from an e-mail NCAAP Chairman Julian Bond sent to blogger/activist Pam Spaulding. This is not a surprise, Bond has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights for some time, but it is still encouraging to see him engage someone like Pam and to be so encouraging in his message. His full response, from Pam's House Blend:

I do not believe the battle for LGBT rights will ever be won until we can diminish the homophobia in black communities and until more in the black LGBT community join the battle openly.

(It is awfully easy for a straight man to say "come out" - I can only imagine the scorn and derision that would follow some who did so.)

I've often wondered what would be the result of black LGBT church goers standing up in the churches they attend and saying "I'm gay - you know me - I'm like you. I am what God made me. Why do you treat me so badly?"

(It is equally easy for a non-church goer like me to say that.)

If not a church goer, I am an optimist - and I believe the day when equality for all reigns will soon come.

He also sent Pam a copy of a 2008 address he made on equality and LGBT rights.

Click here to read it and Pam's comments at Pam's House Blend.


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