You’ve gotten this far, so it’s likely that you can find all the ways in which I predicted the outcome of this year’s Presidential election. There isn’t anyone as clear on the subject as Jim Wright, so I will let him tell you what I think of the situation, at least in part. Stonekettle Station: Bug Hunt
In January 2013, after the Sandy Hook massacre, I was moved to write this post. Last night I attended the Orlando memorial and vigil, combined with the movie Pride, which my art house theater showed for free. I held one of the candles early on in the evening, before the movie, to honor the dead. Continue reading “Orlando…”
This is not a link share, but my own opinion and you’re welcome to do with it what you will.
In the last two days I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion. If the Equal Rights Amendment as originally written is dead, then it’s time for a new and improved Equal Rights For ALL Amendment, that covers everyone, with no exceptions for race, gender or ability.
The amendment MUST make clear that this right transcends due process and extends to every individual person in the country. And by person, I am specifically excluding corporations, which are not now and never have been people.
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of gender, race or ability.
Section 2. Rights shall extend to every individual within the borders of the United States and its territories, regardless of nationality.
Section 3. The word “individual” shall not be construed to mean property held by an individual in the form of a corporation.
Section 4. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 5. This amendment shall take effect one year after the date of ratification.
I’ll make an appointment to see Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer if I have to.
If certain members of the Supreme Court can decide to ignore the 14th Amendment, because it’s not specific to equality and equity (which are similar but not the same), that’s proof enough for me that the states made a bad decision and that this needs to be addressed.
No riders, no “must ratify by” date limitation.
It’s long past time.
If you agree, spread the word: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pass-equal-rights-all-act-amendment-us-constitution/4TdbChJP [Petition now defunct. -CT]
On Friday I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my evening and I spent well over an hour browsing through Netflix in the hope I would find something interesting. Rather than one thing, I found many, but couldn’t decide, and in typical fashion I complained on Facebook. (First World Problems, I know.)
I received instant feedback from three or four friends who were paying attention when I posted, and I followed through on one of the suggestions last night instead of attending a party because I was simply not in a party mood. Mad Men was a disappointment in just two episodes. Between the overt misogyny and the smoking, I couldn’t handle a third episode.
Now I know the series I want to see, but I don’t have HBO. So far, of the clips I’ve seen, I would LOVE the show The Newsroom because in as much as I’ve only caught snippets, Jeff Daniels’ character is dead on right about his assessment of our country, meaning Aaron Sorkin, the show’s creator has it absolutely right. The clip near the bottom of the article linked below is in the opening salvo…I mean first episode of the series.
The article’s author, Mark Manson, also has it right.
I am terribly tired of the jingoism and the reliance on our past successes as predictors of our rosy future as a country. I feel like I have to apologize whenever I visit Canada. I learned an awful lot about perspective last summer during a family road trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Seen from the other side of the U.S. border, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 look very different.
Read and learn. And if you don’t like what you’ve read, consider that we are not what we once were and do something about it. Many, many lives are at stake here.
I hope to be less embarrassed by my alcoholic country than I have been when I visit another’s in the future. I still hold my hand over my heart when I sing the Star Spangled Banner or say the Pledge of Allegiance, but it’s increasingly difficult to be proud of that allegiance.
Tomorrow marks what will likely be a historic set of opinions handed down from the Supreme Court. I hope the justices, and we all by extension, can rise above the filthy rhetoric of the far Right and recognize our duty to all citizens regardless of their orientation. The Prop 8 and DOMA decisions will not fix everything, especially as long as Citizens United, the Patriot Act and ALEC are the guides by which our laws are created in at least a third of our states, but they could go a long way toward addressing equality for all Americans, regardless of whom they love.
I’m from New York state. New Paltz (where I received my BA in Theatre) was the first town in the state to recognize same-sex marriage as a right, a point of particular pride for me. This morning I got hammered for expressing an opinion that we should call it simply what it is, Marriage Equality, based on the following meme:
You want to call it Same Sex Marriage? That’s okay, though the phrase cuts out Transgender relationships for what I think are obvious reasons. If you want to hold the line at calling it Gay Marriage, recall, please, that Gay is not a catch-all phrase for the LGBTQ community at large, and I will hold you accountable for leaving out anyone in the discussion.
I’m going there because that’s where this discussion truly belongs. It takes us into territory that we are really only just starting to understand, but avoiding this aspect doesn’t help my trans friends unless we treat every single person as a person REGARDLESS of their orientation.
Sexuality is a trait, just like skin, hair or eye color. You are born Jewish if your mother is Jewish, because being Jewish is a genetic heritage, but you choose to observe (or not) the tenets of Judaism. Christianity is a choice. And if you choose to discriminate based on gender identification because your chosen faith tells you to, that’s still bigotry.
Those who want to withhold the right of marriage for SOME couples are choosing to do it on the basis of a TRAIT they do not believe exists. Being Gay is not a choice. You can’t choose to have green eyes if you were born with blue. Sure, you can choose to cover up that trait with green contact lenses, but that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that you still have blue eyes. And you can choose to marry someone of the opposite sex to reap the benefits obtained through marriage, but that doesn’t make you straight.
Dark skin is not as easy to disguise, but it was (and still is, at some level) the basis of discrimination. Anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books until 1968. It took us 300 years (give or take a bit) for the Supreme Court to take that ugliness on and it’s STILL a problem to this day, but at least now the courts have recognized the discrimination, even if our people haven’t. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation)
I’m thrilled that we’ve come as far as we have, but there’s still a very long way to go before it becomes safe to say that we are all free to be with and love whomever we want and to share what we have in a legally binding way. All I am saying is that there should NEVER be references to sexual or gender orientation when discussing rights and the law. As the popular saying goes, you don’t need a court system to give you rights. That’s why they’re called rights. I am arguing for equality under the law, regardless.
Marriage is a financial contract committed by people who want to share their lives and livelihoods with each other. In a more sarcastic mood, I would say that every couple has the same right to unhappiness that I have, but I truly know better.
We are starting to hear rhetoric that bothers the hell out of me because it sounds (on the surface) like the bigots have a hook. I want to take that hook away. Equality under the law is the only way to do that. Either everyone has the same rights to marriage or NOBODY does. That simple. Now this blog post, has sparked more, sometimes combative, conversation:
Blogging, in general, consists of opinion sometimes threaded with references to the articles that helped inspire the post in question. WordPress is easy to set-up and allows for free publication – vanity press for the 21st Century. The Cassie Times (this blog) also resides on WordPress. It costs me nothing to write, and you some time to read. It’s where I try to keep my more complex posts, because I like the ability to include multiple references, and that ability sucks in Facebook.
The post in question is a purely op-ed piece, without references to anything concrete. Opinions are free and open, guaranteed by the First Amendment. I haven’t read anything else. His comments about saying that being gay is a lifestyle choice tells me I’m pretty sure I’m not interested in the rest of his opinions, though he does raise several points.
This one in particular:
Why not have a ballot initiatve [sic] that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! But where would be the controversy in that? Then we wouldn’t be able to scream about hatey hate mongers and stuff.
…would be fine except that civil partnerships that aren’t for absolutely every person in the country are the definition of “Separate but Equal” and the moral equivalent of the Whites Only drinking fountain.
If you truly want to argue for civil unions, get yourself to your congressional representatives and argue your case for rewriting our laws or our constitution at the federal level, because anything else fails the test of Equality Under the Law.
State’s Rights has been the traditional bastion of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and every other separation you can name. Until we abandon its siren call, we will continue to harbor and encourage inequality on all levels of our society. Arguing for Civil Marriage for everyone without actually doing something about it means you keep a class of citizens in their separate place. No matter how you slice it, that’s wrong.
People already get married to reap the benefits of medical insurance and tax shelters. That they are not same-sex is irrelevant. Her point is invalid, unless she wants to come up with a valid test for love. And, since love is often secondary to an arranged marriage (which still happens in this country, depending on the couple’s ethnicity), that point’s invalid, too.
I don’t know about the rest of you and so can’t say that this would be the case for anyone else, but considering the cost of a wedding anywhere, let alone the church-sanctioned variety, I’d think very long and hard before selecting a location or an officiant who did not want to perform my ceremony. Frankly, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, including county clerks (ooh, government again) and justices of the peace who are more than happy to perform such ceremonies. If the priest or church doesn’t want me, I’m pretty sure I don’t want him, either.
The church had nothing whatsoever to do with my marriage, from beginning to end. I have found comfort in belonging to my Unitarian Universalist congregation, and I *might* (or might not) choose a UU minister to serve the next time – if there ever, ever is one – but I would at this point be just as happy to go to the county courthouse and do the deed right there. Having a church-sanctioned wedding and having a legally binding marriage are two totally separate things. The sooner everyone on the religious right stops flapping about rights infringement, the better off we will all be about the issue.
Your argument is (and remains) invalid. While I don’t like the idea of divorce, the act remains legal. Based on NOM’s rhetoric, there are plenty who would be happy to take that right away and turn the USA into Ireland. Fortunately, this country was founded on the separation of church and state for a reason.
All day, when I haven’t been plowing through deadline-driven work or cleaning up a huge backlog of filing, I’ve listened to news stories on NPR and reading articles about the aftermath of Election Day 2012. The news items all fall into roughly two categories of analysis:
1. We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong.
2. What now? How are we going to fix the mess we’re in, now that the game has changed?
One thing is crystal clear: The GOP miscalculated their margin of viability and they’ve gotten the wake-up call they deserve. Denial is a hard place to be, which is why I’ve thought all day about how to write this post without sounding like a gloating witch. Honestly, in the hard, cold light of day, we’ll get over this.
Rachel Maddow explains the 2012 election and its result in 3 minutes, 13 seconds of glorious truth.
The transcript here, because eventually the YouTube video will vanish again into the Memory Hole of the Internet:
Ohio really did go to President Obama last night and he really did win.
And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again.
And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.
And the polls were not skewed to oversampled Democrats.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.
And climate change is real.
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us.
And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns.
And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.
And the moon landing was real.
And FEMA is not building concentration camps.
And UN election observers are not taking over Texas.
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.
Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons, but it was also
possibly a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two-party system in government and the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to
confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems and we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff.
And if the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed door locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual lived truth of the world then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.
Last night the Republicans got shellacked and they had no idea it was coming
And we saw them in real time–in real, humiliating time–not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again.
And that will be a painful process for them I’m sure but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center.
You guys we’re counting on you. Wake up! There’s real problems in the world. There
are real, knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there.
If the Republican Party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation.
And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.
Since January, in ever-increasing ways, I’ve become thoroughly sick of the radical Right’s rhetoric. I honestly thought, after growing up during the 1968 riots and surviving ten presidents, many race-based assassinations (I was 16 days old when Kennedy was assassinated so I count his administration, too), that we were past all this thinly veiled racist, misogynistic, homophobic crap, but there is simply no question about what the GOP in general and the Tea Party in particular expected in this year’s Presidential race.
NPR’s probably got the best lock on the main deciding factors: The “brown” vote, together with a diverse coalition of citizens whose liberal politics and religious beliefs, gave President Obama the edge he needed to win, not just by popular vote but by an Electoral College landslide.
Facebook has images popping up on multiple feeds that compare the “red” states of 2012 to maps showing slavery states in 1860. These remarkable divisions are clear and extremely disappointing. Why aren’t we beyond this by now?
The summary works like this: If you choose to accuse every brown person (African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other) of being part of the 47% who suffer from greed and laziness, failing to tow the imaginary line of strict morality, expecting them to give up rights to healthcare, family planning and legal immigration, you get what you deserve.
Reducing a woman’s access to family planning and abortion, particularly in regard to rape, is going to get you booted out of office. Basing your agenda on abridging basic civil rights, regardless of your opinion over the appropriateness of private behavior isn’t just wrong, it’s reprehensible. And it will cost you a seat in the Senate or the House.
The GOP has barely retained their majority in the House, but they have lost ground in the Senate. Continued shenanigans with filibusters and the looming economic Fiscal Cliff will ultimately cost the Tea Party’s constituents, and there is absolutely nothing standing in the way if President Obama wants to clasp his hands casually behind his back while Sequestration kicks in, meaning GOP leaders will either find a way to compromise or find themselves on the other side of the Capitol’s chamber doors in two years (or less).
It’s game over for the obstructionists of 2010. They no longer have the mandate they once did for doing as they please. While most of the GOP’s supporters remain white, male, and over 50, that number has shrunk sufficiently to tip the balance in favor of those whom the social safety nets protect. Four years down the road, their majority will shrink even further, leaving more progressives in place, in areas with higher populations.
Of all the reactions I read in the last two days, Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) says it best with this post: Hemlock With A Small Side Of Schadenfreude. I warned my Facebook friends this morning to swallow whatever they had in their mouths before reading this article because Wright is dead on with his analysis, not just of the utter disappointment in Romney’s huge loss, but in the way the world will be now that the election is over.
I’ve posted the articles I found most useful or interesting below.
“We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong:”
In the end, we’re in for an interesting couple of months, while Congress figures out how to pull back from Sequestration, if it happens at all. No matter what, there’s a lot of healing that’s going to have to happen first.
In the end, despite heaps of cynicism and skepticism, my electoral college guesses proved right. I recorded my bets when states hit about 60% of precincts reporting in clear majorities, 75% or higher in closer races. I spent most of last night, into the wee hours of the morning, watching Huffington Post’s Election Results. This morning I checked back in and saw no overnight surprise upsets.
Interestingly, only a few of those listed in the Washington Post’s Pundit accountability summary got the numbers close to right. Three assumed Florida would go to Governor Romney, two to President Obama (the more likely outcome in the light of day), with the votes for third-party candidates appearing to affect Governor Romney (Gary Johnson) somewhat more than President Obama (Jill Stein), though neither one did enough damage to change the final numbers:
Josh Putnam, Davidson College: Obama 332, Romney 206.”Everything above is based on a graduated weighted average of polls in each state conducted in 2012,” Putnam wrote in explaining his methodology. “The weighting is based on how old a poll is. The older the poll is the more it is discounted. The most recent poll is given full weight.”
Markos Moulitsas: Obama 332, Romney 206. “Currently, national polling assumes a big dropoff from registered voters to likely voters. I don’t believe that’ll be the case, and we’re certainly not seeing it in the early vote—Democratic turnout is up. And the RV models have been more accurate historically.”
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: Obama 303, Romney 235. ”The model estimates that Mr. Romney would need to win the national popular vote by about one percentage point to avert a tossup, or a loss, in the Electoral College,” Silver writes.
Sam Wang, Princeton Election Consortium: Obama 303, Romney 235. “In terms of EV or the Meta-margin, [Obama has] made up just about half the ground he ceded to Romney after Debate #1.”*
Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect: Obama 303, Romney 235. “[I]f Obama wins on Tuesday, the political science on debates will have won out; they can shift the short-term situation, but they don’t fundamentally change the direction of an election.”
*NOTE: Since I first published this post, the Washington Post has revised Silver’s estimate to include Florida’s numbers, putting him up with the 332/206 numbers.
Here in Maryland, as in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington (as well as Iowa, where a judge’s status was in question because of his support for Marriage Equality), we have affirmed that Marriage Equality is right. In Maryland in particular, we have upheld the right for same-sex couples to marry by a majority of 52%.
Maryland also affirmed the Dream Act, and will now be able to hold our politicians involved in corrupt or criminal activity accountable, suspending them without pay. While I’m not thrilled to see gambling expansion in my state, the barn door’s already open, and there’s no turning back now, I guess. In Colorado, for the first time, a state (Colorado) has made recreational marijuana use legal, which will likely push the question to the Supreme Court. With luck, the Court will also address jailing for marijuana use and start to cut our prison population as well.
In general, I’m happy to have a quiet house today, and the sense that things will be calmer, at least for a while. Friends will find a way to mend relationships torn by political grief and misunderstanding.
Though the fiscal cliff still looms large, congress will hold its lame duck session shortly and (with luck) will see a way to steer clear of the threat to our programs. If not, I hope President Obama and the confirmed Democratically controlled Senate will find a way to smooth out the mess the Tea Party-controlled House has made of our politics in the last four years.
Meanwhile, I’m turning my attention to unfinished projects over what remains of November. I have a novel that needs serious revision, assorted tasks for work that are near completion, and the rest of 2012 to survive, assuming the world doesn’t end on December 21st. There are bills to pay, tax forms to file, chores that always need doing.
Life goes on, even as we fit the new changes into our lives and hope for the best.
I came out a very long time ago as a Straight Ally for Marriage Equality and I will be voting FOR Question 6. This ought to come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or my politics. I have many friends whose relationships with long-term partners have outlasted my straight friends’ marriages and my own. We should not have to vote on a matter of human and civil rights based on sexual orientation. The vote should be unnecessary and those rights should simply be recognized for what they are: basic and fundamental to each individual.
These questions should not be necessary but we still fight about context, putting words into the mouths of our founders even as we try to view and interpret our ruling documents in historical context.
I am often shocked and saddened by the claims I’ve heard from the other side of Equality questions, of why we shouldn’t support what is clearly a civil rights issue. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has a whole series of ads which are not seeing wide release because advertising is expensive (http://www.youtube.com/user/MDers4MarriageEqual).
There is no argument that is as valid as a human being’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially in the United States of America, where these are considered basic rights granted by birth and not privileges granted by government.
LGBTQ people have begun to recognize a level of freedom that, until very recently, they believed was unattainable except in the narrowest confines of private space. They are becoming less concerned about their safety, job stability, family reaction or bullying because of a fundamental shift in the views of society that have increased rapidly in the last few years. If we remove these rights, we become guilty of shoving these people back into the dark who might otherwise be welcomed as contributing members of society, for something as basic as the color of their eyes, size of their bodies or texture of their hair.
Beware the restriction of your rights and those of others.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. –Ben Franklin
[Edited to add]
It must have been something in the air this morning, because shortly after I posted the commentary below, news items began popping up on my feed declaring that the Federal Appeals Court has Struck Down DOMA. It’s only a matter of time before the question goes to the Supreme Court. And here’s the thing: Whoever sits as President in the next term will help decide whether DOMA will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, because it’s more than likely that at least one, possibly as many as three members of the Supreme Court will need to be replaced by the President as they retire.
This issue is far too important to leave to Romney or Ryan. Please consider this as you go to the polls and make your choice!