I could have written on a number of political things today. I could have written about the CNN debate between Bernie Sanders and the slithering lying fuckwad Ted Cruz over healthcare that aired last night. Or I could have written about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education when she knows nothing about the public education system in America or the upcoming conformation of racist homophobic Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and thus the protector of civil rights. Or how Neil Gorsuch is a step backward for our country as a Supreme Court Justice. Or the Muslim ban which the Trump administration says is not a ban, but you know it is a ban because that’s what they originally called it. There were any number of things I could have written about, but I am sick of politics. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what new fuck-up Trump has accomplished today. Because let’s face it, he fucks something up every day he’s in office. Will we even recognize our country after he is done?
Category Archives: Politics
Twelve days into his unquestionably chaotic tenure, President Donald Trump sparked the ire of liberal voters once again by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Though Trump touted Gorsuch for having “earned bipartisan support,” much of the Democratic pushback so far has stemmed from the fact that Republicans refused to consider Merrick Garland, who was former President Barack Obama’s pick for the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, for nearly a year.
Trump’s choice of Gorsuch, a conservative federal appeals judge in Colorado, received a chilly response from LGBTQ groups in particular. Though his background on queer issues is limited, Gorsuch famously sided with the conservative Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, who sued the federal government in 2013 after seeking an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, citing their religious faith. He’s also been an outspoken admirer of Scalia, who was staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ rights.
A number of advocacy groups, including GLAAD and PFLAG, decried the judge’s nomination almost immediately. The president’s choice of Gorsuch, officials wrote, re-affirmed their doubts regarding his views on the LGBTQ community as a whole.
“Numerous times in the last 11 days we have shared our concern that civil rights―for the LGBTQ community, for women, for immigrants, for people of color, for all marginalized communities―would erode under this administration,” Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm wrote in a statement on PFLAG’s website. “Now, with his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court, it is clear our concerns were more than justified.” Added American Civil Liberties Union’s Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, “Gorsuch’s record, including his decision in the Hobby Lobby case, raises questions about whether he would allow businesses and individuals to opt out of nondiscrimination laws based on religious objections.”
It’s a black day for America and the world. Democracy will die today. I am honestly scared of what is to come in the next four years. We will have a president without morals. We will have a president who lacks intellectual curiosity. I can’t believe we have stooped so low that we elected a reality tv star as president.
A professor at University of Vermont was recently asked: Is Trump a fascist? His response was “Not yet.” What did he mean by that? By most definitions of fascism, the fascist needs a militia of their own. As of now, he lacks that. He is however a nationalist. He uses race as a scapegoat. He’s anti-equality. He believes that government should be run like a business. He believes that he can rule through executive order and suspension of the law.
Last week, Trump set the United States back at least fifty years with the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama beginning in 1975. In 1981, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. The Senate confirmed him and he held that position for 12 years. Sessions’ office investigated the 1981 killing of Michael Donald, a young African-American man who was murdered in Mobile, Alabama by a pair of Ku Klux Klan members. Session’s office did not prosecute the case, but both men were arrested and convicted.
Then in 1985, Sessions prosecuted three African American community organizers in the Black belt of Alabama, including Martin Luther King Jr’s former aide Albert Turner, for voter fraud. The prosecution stirred charges of selective prosecution of Black voter registration and was based on no more than 14 tampered ballots. The defendants, known as the Marion Three, were quickly acquitted. Interviewed in 2009, Sessions said he remained convinced that he did the right thing, but admitted he “failed to make the case.”
Sessions has referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” because they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” At his 1986 confirmation hearing for a US District Court seat, Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Whether what Figures testified to or not was true, it is readily apparent that Sessions cares little for civil rights other than those of his own race.
If his Civil Rights record wasn’t bad enough, Sessions as Alabama Attorney General became famous for outlawing sex toys in Alabama. Not a dildo could be bought, which left safe sex educators to be forced to use bananas to educate on the proper use of a condom. As Attorney General, Sessions also worked to deny funding to student Gay-Straight Alliances at The University of Alabama, Auburn University and The University of South Alabama, stating “an organization that professes to be comprised of homosexuals and/or lesbians may not receive state funding or use state-supported facilities to foster or promote those illegal, sexually deviate activities defined in the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.” He accomplished little else in his two year tenure before becoming a senator.
As a Senator, he was one of nine Senators who voted against a Senate amendment to a House bill that prohibited cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment of individuals in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government. Sessions has taken a strong stand against any form of citizenship for illegal immigrants. Sessions was one of the most vocal critics of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. He has advocated for expanded construction of a Southern border fence.
Furthermore, Sessions has been a vocal opponent of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He criticized the foundation for distributing books related to Islam to hundreds of U.S. libraries, saying “Using taxpayer dollars to fund education program grant questions that are very indefinite or in an effort to seemingly use Federal funds on behalf of just one religion, does not on its face appear to be the appropriate means to establish confidence in the American people that NEH expenditures are wise.”
Sessions has been an opponent of same-sex marriage and has earned a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest LGBTQ advocacy group. He voted against the Matthew Shepard Act, which added acts of bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate-crimes law, commenting that it “has been said to cheapen the civil rights movement” Sessions voted in favor of advancing the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, a U.S. constitutional amendment which would have permanently restricted federal recognition of marriages to those between a man and a woman. Sessions voted against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
Sessions is against legalizing cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use. “I’m a big fan of the DEA”, he said during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions was “heartbroken” and found “it beyond comprehension” when President Obama claimed that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol. In April 2016, he said that it was important to foster “knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about… and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
So when someone asks why are so many gays afraid of Trump? I can simply and easily point to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. The Attorney General is the safeguard of civil liberties and human rights in the United States, but Jeff Sessions does not believe in civil liberties or human rights. He is a bigot. Trump’s appointees so far have been largely bigots: Sessions, Bannon, and Flynn. How much more must he do before people realize we are in the process of losing fifty years of progress.
You will no doubt be shocked to hear that a crazily homophobic federal judge has been tied to a gay sex scandal. But here’s the fun twist this time: Donald Trump is thinking about nominating him to the Supreme Court.
The man in question is William Holcombe “Bill” Pryor Jr., an eleventh-circuit judge and former Attorney General of Alabama. He’s married (to a woman), has two daughters, and he really really really hates queers. He’s said that queer people should be arrested for having consensual sex in their homes; that being gay is harmful; and he voted to keep kids in orphanages rather than allow them to go to supportive same-sex adoptive parents. Trump says he’d consider Pryor for the Supreme Court.
What a bunch of jerks.
He is also, allegedly, featured in nude photographs that floated around on BadPuppy in the 90s. It sure looks like him! The man in the picture is looking glumly at the camera, on full display, and is identified as “Bill Pryor.” Various unnamed officials have identified the photo as authentic; but then again, it’s easy to claim all kinds of things anonymously.
For his part, Pryor says it’s not him, just like every other Republican caught doing something sexual.
For now, Trump hasn’t said anything about Pryor’s potentially-naked past. But lots of other legitimate legal observers have heard the rumors, and are only too happy to spread them. Maybe that’s the silver lining to Trump’s impending presidency: it’ll force some truly shocking secrets out into the open.
You can see the NSFW shot of possibly-Pryor here, along with some very wild theories on the topic.
Just a few short days ago we all believed we were on the verge of ushering in a new era of equality – filled with hope and promise. But in a crushing blow, we find ourselves in a very different place, experiencing a rush of emotions.
I know many of you are having trouble putting your feelings into words – many of us are heartbroken, stunned, angry – and for many, even scared. But to every LGBTQ person across this nation feeling disheartened and questioning if you have a place in our country, know this: YOU DO.
It will take time to fully process the outcome of this election, and the enormous challenges we now face. But one thing is certain, we must move forward with greater strength and resolve than ever before. And we must do it in locked arms together. We must stand together and keep a check on the tyranny that Trump promised to bring to this country. Stand up for what we believe in.
Today is Veterans Day. Since the founding of this country veterans have fought against tyranny to make us all safe. They have fought to make the world safe for democracy. Let’s not let democracy slip through our fingers.
Tuesday night’s election results threaten the extraordinary progress we’ve seen toward LGBTQ equality in recent years. We don’t have answers today about what comes next. This much is clear – we are going to need new strategies, new approaches in the push for full equality.
I know that people are feeling so many different things – from anger, to despair, to resolve, to finding some solace in a long-view perspective. I’m also hearing a lot of people express fear, especially those in our country who have long been under attack – communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women, and survivors of rape and sexual assault.
For 240 years the republic has survived and it will survive this tragedy. In the last two Democratic presidents, we had HOPE and CHANGE. Now we have to hope for change in 2018 when we can take back Congress and 2020 when we can take back the White House.
We also have to fight and resist the change that Trump has in store for us. Already the KKK are dropping fliers in Alabama that say “Sleep well tonight knowing that the Klan is alert and awake.” And that they will “hold Trump’s promises close.” If that isn’t sickening enough, patrons of the Bourbon Pub, a gay bar in New Orleans, were greeted with shouts of, “Get ready, fags,” by hecklers after the election.
If nothing else we must stand up to the bigotry, misogyny, and hypocrisy that is Donald Trump. He says he will act differently as president than he did as a candidate, but it was the way he acted that got him elected. He will still clamor for the spotlight as president and get wilder and wilder in what he does and says. I am truly afraid of what’s in store for us.
The pundits will spend countless hours trying to figure out just what combination of events led Trump to pull the most stunning political upset since Truman’s defeat of Dewey in 1948. Was it that Clinton was too damaged and establishment of a candidate? Was it that the polls seriously underestimated Trump’s appeal? Was it that white working class voters were making one last stand for dominance, motivated by hate? Was it the economy, improving but slowly?
What does it all mean for us? As with so much else in Trumpland, it’s almost impossible to tell. Trump has sent so many mixed signals in a campaign characterized by chaos that what actually happens when he takes over the reins of government simply can’t be predicted.
On the one hand, Trump doesn’t really seem to hate us the way he genuinely hates many other groups, like immigrants, Muslims, and Latinos. In fact, Trump made a favorable remark about us at the Republican convention. At his rallies, his campaign distributed LGBTQs for Trump signs, an unimaginable turn of events from previous GOP presidential campaigns. These aren’t the marks of a man who bears us the deep-seated ill will of a hard-core homophobe.
On the other hand, he’s surrounded himself with a nasty cast of characters who have no such qualms. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was a pollster for the National Organization for Marriage. His political adviser, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, can always be counted on to spout some homophobic nonsense. And then there’s Mike Pence, in a category by himself.
Moreover, none of the potentially moderating forces in the GOP ever fully backed Trump. That role fell to some of the worst figures in the religious right, who gladly stepped up to support Trump even after he was caught on tape admitting to sexual assault and accused of the same by more than a dozen credible women. They will be lining up at the Oval Office door on January 20, with the full expectation that their support will be repaid, and not just with a Supreme Court appointment.
So what happens? Probably a genuinely weird mixture of both nice words from Trump and vicious policies from his backers. Of course, that will pale in comparison to the sufferings of a lot of other people (and the economy). It’s going to be a really rough ride for the next four years.
Let’s just hope it’s not as rough as as a lot of us think it will be now.
How could America do this to themselves? I am so disappointed. I thought we had this won. We were going to have our first female president, and a good qualified one. The maniac couldn’t win, but he did. I’m ashamed of my country, and I fear what is to come in the next four years.
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:
—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.