Category Archives: Politics

Elton John not playing at Trump’s inauguration

I mean, really? Who thought this was gonna happen?!

From The Hill:

“Elton will not be performing at Trump’s inauguration,” the rep told the New York Post. Anthony Scaramucci, a vice chair of the presidential inaugural committee, claimed Tuesday that John would play on the National Mall for the inauguration in January.

John endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump during the 2016 race, however, and headlined fundraisers for the Democratic presidential nominee as recently as last month.

Source: Elton John not playing at Trump’s inauguration: rep | TheHill

Washington Blade’s Q&A with Hillary Clinton

In an exclusive interview with the Washington Blade, Hillary Clinton pledged to build a “hopeful, inclusive America where everyone counts” as she continues to draw a contrast between herself and Donald Trump over their views on LGBT issues.

The Democratic presidential hopeful answered 13 questions on issues important to the LGBT community in a written interview with the Blade completed Wednesday with less than one week remaining before Election Day.

“We have so much more work to do, and I want LGBT people in every corner of this country to know that as president, I will always have your back,” Clinton said.

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Blade’s Q&A with Hillary Clinton

ENDORSEMENT: I Have Voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton

NOTE: I wrote this back in June as “I will vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton” but decided to hold off from publishing it until now. Edited appropriately.

Hillary_Clinton_by_Gage_Skidmore_2
Hillary Rodham Clinton has completed the consolidation of the Obama coalition around her campaign, eight years after her first historic run. The Democratic pivot to the presidential election is now complete with Rodham Clinton at the helm.

I went to a Christian private school while HRC was a senator from New York, and I attended college while she served as Secretary of State. Since I wasn’t involved in local politics until maybe 2012, I didn’t follow her career or campaign. I’ve only found out more about her as a politician during these last two years. 2008 was when I started college, and I think I wrote in Ralph Nader in the general election because Obama came off as an “inevitable” candidate and I was interested in “bucking the trend”. I don’t remember participating in the primary that year, but it was my first presidential election of voting age.

HRC was someone who I remember my mother dismissing as “that woman who would take your kids away and put them all in government daycare”. I vaguely remember how she and Bill were mocked in jokes on TV in the 90s and 2000s.

She was someone who, from what I remember, came off as an ambitious, motivated First Lady who wrote, released and promoted popular autobiographies on her experiences for TV audiences. Her time as Secretary of State was when I first started taking notice of her as a multilateralist diplomat who would seek UN support to defend U.S. government interests abroad. She was someone who set a different tone from the Bush years of going it alone.

I was watching when the Arab Spring happened in 2011, which I think was the moment when Hillary and Obama, together, demonstrated the “lead from behind” strategy that kept us out of more overt war, stressed a reliance on drones and jets to assist Libyan rebels, and applying diplomatic and media channels to engage dissenters in the MENA region.

I remember Cablegate, when diplomatic cables showed how complicated we were in our relations with other countries. The release, which happened during HRC’s tenure, allowed the public to see the issues faced by our diplomats around the world. I think it helped her profile as a political figure, especially in relation to her public (but troubled) human rights stances.

In regards to our relations with the world, HRC emphasized restraint of our military capacity and the need to build bridges with other nations, even in the face of religiously-motivated violence abroad.

Unfortunately, I don’t think she broke enough with the Kissingerian tradition of “realpolitik”, and I don’t think it is possible in American statecraft to do so because of the vigilant free-market hawkery which has defined us for longer than HRC’s entire life. She is pretty standard fare as far as hawkery is concerned, just not an extremist like many of her predecessors.

HRC has cultivated her own political path over the last 16 years. I think she may not be the exact “New Democrat” that Bill and Jimmy Carter were in their presidencies. She had her highest political experience under Obama, and she is fully cognizant of how the Democratic party has changed. I don’t think she will move the party to the right of Obama like Bill did, particularly because to the right of the Democrats’ platform of civil rights and the ACA is the space occupied by the far-right which has demonized her constantly since she became First Lady in 1992.

HRC has no reason to tack to the right of Obama. At worst, she may be as corporate-friendly as Obama has been, despite the thankless, ungrateful behavior by corporate leaders over the ACA, net neutrality and climate preparedness. She has pinned her campaign on securing and maintaining the ACA, which will rub the proponents of single-payer the wrong way.

But her absolute bucking of the rumor-mongering regarding the FBI investigation into her private emails is polarizing. Sometimes, I don’t know who to believe – those on the right who DESPERATELY want her to go to prison for some sort of “treason” which is hard to pin down, those who despise her from the left for her “baby-killing” support for (multilateral, non-Bushian) intervention, those who find her “fake” for attempting to relate to audiences where they are, those who tentatively admire her for defending herself against and defying the GOP’s knife-edge vituperation, or those who see the severe criticism as unbridled good-ole-boy misogyny against a typical seasoned, multi-dimensional politician who just happens to be a woman.

HRC is a human being. She, like Barack Obama, like Bernie Sanders, and maybe even like George W. Bush, have multiple dimensions to their personalities. She has flaws, and she has triumphs. I don’t think her prior flaws disqualify her from the presidency any more than other presidents’ flaws disqualified them. As an African-American, I don’t think her past support for the “superpredator” thesis disqualifies her from being racially progressive since she has demonstrably removed herself from that position.

I wish to approach her with grace, magnanimity and an open mind until she proves otherwise as president. I think she can be a decent president, but the pressure should be on to keep a diverse socio-economic set of concerns at the fore of an HRC presidency and, hopefully, a more Democratic Congress.

So I think HRC, with a comparatively-decent resume, can be a decent president and can make more progressive choices with decent pressure from within the Democratic party. I can live with “Madam President” and “First Gentleman”. And I can work to see more progressive, single-payer-supporting, pro-labor politicians in state and congressional office in the years to come.

This is why I have voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton as of October 18, and encourage you to vote for her and all other downballot Democrats in Georgia on November 8, 2016.

President Obama’s November 2016 List of Endorsements

President Obama has made many endorsements for political office for the November 2016 general election. In addition to the rare endorsement made by the President in Democratic primary contests throughout the year, his office has announced that he will make an unprecedented raft of endorsements for downballot candidates this week, including U.S. Senate and House, governorships, state legislatures and even other state and municipal offices which will have faceoffs in November. His goal is to further state-level redistricting reform.

Here’s a list which I’m gleaning from Politico, CNN and other sources.

  • Hillary Clinton – President
  • Tim Kaine – Vice-President

Senate

  • Catherine Cortez-Masto – NV
  • Patrick Murphy – FL
  • Kamala Harris – CA
  • Tammy Duckworth – IL
  • Deborah Ross – NC
  • Katie McGinty – PA
  • Maggie Hassan – NH

House

  • Tom O’Halleran – AZ-1
  • Ami Bera – CA-7
  • Michael Eggman – CA-10
  • Salud Carbajal – CA-24
  • Doug Applegate – CA-49
  • Bryan Caforio – CA
  • Morgan Carroll – CO-6
  • Charlie Crist – FL
  • Stephanie Murphy – FL
  • Val Demings – FL-10
  • Joe Garcia – FL-26
  • Monica Vernon – IA-1
  • Jim Mowrer – IA-3
  • Cheri Bustos – IL-17
  • Brad Schneider – IL
  • Jay Sidie – KS-3
  • John Yarmuth – KY
  • Emily Cain – ME
  • Suzanna Shkreli – MI-8
  • Angie Craig – MN-2
  • Terri Bonoff – MN-3
  • Brad Ashford – NE-2
  • Carol-Shea-Porter – NH
  • Annie Kuster – NH
  • Josh Gottheimer – NJ
  • Jacky Rosen – NV-3
  • Ruben Kihuen – NV-4
  • Tom Suozzi – NY
  • Sean Patrick Maloney – NY
  • Collen Deacon – NY
  • Zephyr Teachout – NY-19
  • Steve Santarsiero – PA
  • Christina Hartman – PA
  • LuAnn Bennett – VA
  • Jane Dittmar – VA

Governors

  • Roy Cooper – NC
  • Kate Brown – OR
  • Sue Minter – VT

State Legislatures

  • Abigail Medina – CA AD-40
  • Josh Newman – CA SD-29
  • Cheryl Cook-Kallio – CA AD-16
  • Al Muratsuchi – CA AD-66
  • Tony Exum – CO HD-17
  • Robert Asencio – FL HD-118
  • Lisa Montelione – FL HD-63
  • Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich – FL HD-103
  • Nick Duran – FL HD-112
  • Daisy Baez – FL HD-114
  • Beth Tuura – FL HD-47
  • Rena Frazier – FL HD-59
  • Ben Diamond – FL HD-68
  • Debbie Mucarsel-Powell – FL SD-39
  • Rod Smith – FL SD-8
  • Linda Stewart – FL SD-13
  • Bob Buesing – FL SD-18
  • José Javier Rodríguez – FL SD-37
  • Juliana Stratton – IL HD-5
  • Eric Lesser – MA SD-1st Hpdn., Hpsh.
  • Lindsey Port – MN HD-56B
  • Erin Maye Quade – MN HD-57A
  • Jamie Becker-Finn – MN HD-42B
  • Mary T’Kach – MN HD-52B
  • Zach Dorholt – MN HD-14B
  • Duane Sauke – MN HD-25B
  • Andrew Carlson – MN HD-50B
  • Paul Rosenthal – MN HD-49B
  • Tina Kotek – OR HD-44
  • Jennifer Williamson – OR HD-36
  • Barbara Smith-Turner – OR HD-45
  • Paul Southwick – OR HD-37
  • Janelle Bynum – OR HD-51
  • Gena Goodman-Campbell – OR HD-37
  • Teresa Alonso Leon – OR HD-22
  • Tawna Sanchez – OR HD-43
  • Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant – WA SD-49
  • Lisa Wellman – WA SD-41
  • Mike Pellicciotti – WA HD-30a
  • Kristine Reeves – WA HD-30b
  • Jeff Wright – WI AD-51
  • Art Shrader – WI AD-50

Other states offices

  • Josh Shapiro – PA Attorney General
  • Kirk Caldwell – Honolulu HI Mayor

SAVE YOUR TEARS: Anti-LGBT Nations Offer FAKE Condolences to #Orlando

In the spirit of GetEQUAL’s dragging of homophobic U.S. congressmembers for their unjustified, useless condolences, let’s look at the countries offering condolences to Orlando which have anti-gay sodomy laws or criminalization of freedom of expression for LGBT people.

Seriously, they range from fines to imprisonment to torture to execution. But yet, they offer condolences and absolutely DO NOT MENTION THAT QUEER FOLKS WERE TARGETED.

Continue reading SAVE YOUR TEARS: Anti-LGBT Nations Offer FAKE Condolences to #Orlando

DRAG the Hypocrites: #GetEQUAL Reads anti-LGBT Politicians for Hollow #Orlando Condolences

When GetEQUAL is lit, they’re on fire.

The fine folks at this organization called out politicians left-and-right yesterday on Twitter for voting records, fundraising, and speaking engagements with anti-LGBT allies, specifically the Family Research Council. Almost all of 28 incumbent senators and 29 congressmembers called out have 100% voting records with the FRC.

Let’s read the grouped-by-state receipts, shall we?

Continue reading DRAG the Hypocrites: #GetEQUAL Reads anti-LGBT Politicians for Hollow #Orlando Condolences

Dilma, Cristina, Michelle and Hillary

Women Presidents of the AmericasIf there are any contemporaries to whom Hillary Clinton can be compared, they would be Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina and Michelle Bachelet of Chile.

They all succeeded their immediate male partisan predecessors: in Dilma’s case, the hugely consequential Lula da Silva of Brazil, both of the Workers’ Party; in CFK’s case, her husband Nestor Kirchner, both of the Peronist Justicialist Party; in Michelle’s first case, her predecessor Ricardo Lagos, both from the Coalition of Parties for Democracy. Hillary is on course to do the same with Barack Obama, both of the Democratic Party.

Dilma, Michelle and CFK, all left-leaning but much too economically-neoliberal-leaning to those further to the left, led problematic administrations and made fateful decisions which have inspired free-market-liberal backlash, and were the first, first and second female heads of state for their countries, respectively.

The decisions of Dilma, a social progressive who tacks to the free market, happened during a steep economic decline for Brazil but also tamped down on World Cup-related working-class protest, which did not endear her to the Workers Party’s base or target demographic. She has now been suspended awaiting impeachment for unclarified, politicized charges of corruption (which also await the majority of the Brazilian Congress) and sits under house arrest, and her ambitious former VP from a different, further-right party (the PMDB) now faces his own protests for corruption, racism and the ongoing recession in the America’s “sleeping giant”.

Meanwhile CFK’s decisions tacked harder to the populist left, particularly on Argentina’s long-running default to foreign investors. She was socially progressive, especially on LGBT rights. She herself faced scrutiny for an ability to play political, Louisiana-style hardball with her opponents in very problematic, colorful ways. She saw many political enemies, and faced criticism for corruption, poor relations with the press, and a face off with the agricultural sector. She was also suspected of being “controlled” by her husband until he himself died from cancer in 2010. CFK’s administration lasted much longer than the first woman to hold such office, Isabel Peron; Isabel, who was Juan Peron’s third wife and was the first female republican head of state in the world from 1974 to 1976, inherited a very problematic, economically-undermined administration which resulted in the coup of 1976 and her ongoing exile to Spain.

And Michelle Bachelet, a social progressive who is currently serving her second non-consecutive term as president (as per the constitution), is currently facing a low popularity level due to both an ongoing economic recession as well as a corruption scandal involving her family members (but not herself). Pro-LGBT, pro-women’s equality, openly identifying herself as a socialist in a country which was once ran by Augusto Pinochet and, like Brazil and Argentina, subjected to the bloody Plan Condor/La Guerra Sucia, Michelle came into office with an equal number of women and men in her cabinet.

Dilma, CFK, Michelle. All the few or first women to hold a presidency in the Americas. All center-left and progressive. All complicated, consequential, recent republican heads of state in the Americas who eventually get blamed for recession and/or corruption. All partisan inheritors of their highly-popular immediate male predecessors in office who end up defining themselves and striking it big for women’s equality in government. All held up to standards which demand less of men than of women.

Hillary, as president, may find herself in company populated by recent presidents of the other large nations of the Americas.