Election '10

On Asking Experts, Part Two, Or, What's An LBGT Voter To Do?

It’s been a few days now since we began a conversation that addresses the issue of how frustrated some number of LBGT voters are with the Democratic Party this cycle; this because they find themselves either frustrated at the lack of progress on the civil rights issues that matter to them, or because they see both the Democratic and Republican Parties as unreliable partners in the struggle to assure equal rights for all.

In an effort to practice some actual journalism, I assembled a version of an online “focus group” at The Bilerico Project (“daily adventures in LBGTQ”), with the goal of gathering some opinions on this subject in the actual words of those frustrated voters.

Part One of this story focused on “stating the problem”, and today we’ll take on Part Two: in this environment, with Election Day staring us in the face, what is an LBGT voter to do?

As before, there are a variety of opinions, including a very informative comment I was able to obtain from a genuine Member of Congress, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania’s 8th District, and that means until the very end you won’t hear much from me, except to help “set the stage” for the comments that follow.

On Asking Experts, Part One, Or, Do Democrats Really Understand Their LBGT Problem?

Stories begat other stories, or at least they do for me; this two-part conversation came from a comment that was made after I posted a story suggesting that voting matters this time, especially if you don’t want environmental disasters like the recent Hungarian “toxic lake” that burst from its containment and polluted the Danube River happening in your neighborhood.

Long story short, we are going to be moving on to ask what, for some, is a more fundamental question: if you’re an LBGT voter, and the Democratic Party hasn’t, to put it charitably, “been all they could be” when it comes to issues like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Federal Defense of Marriage Act...what should you do?

Now normally I would be the one trying to develop an answer to the question, but instead, we’re going to be posing the question to a group of experts, and we’ll be letting them give the answers.

And just because you, The Valued Reader, deserve the extra effort, for Part Two we’ve trying to get you a “Special Bonus Expert” to add some input to the conversation: a Democratic Member of Congress who represents a large LBGT community.

Halliburton Gets $2 Billion Contract For Florida "Cardboard Condos"

Miami, Florida, September 13, 2018 (FNS)—Facing pressure from voters to “do something” following the disaster caused by the privatization of Social Security, the White House today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding a $2 billion contract to the Halliburton Company for the purchase of 22,000 “cardboard condos” that will be installed in public parks around the Miami area in an effort to alleviate the problem of homelessness among the impoverished elderly.

“Having homeless senior citizens drag their appliance boxes all over the city reduces the community’s aesthetic appeal and leads to complaints”, said Halliburton spokesman Tendei Furlough. “The new modular design, combined with our ability to print attractive images on the outside of the boxes, guarantees both increased protection from winter weather and fewer complaints from affected neighborhoods.”

FEMA’s Director of Emergency Housing Resources Spike Fromula agreed: “We thought we had a real problem with homelessness in a number of our major cities after the Social Security safety net collapsed...but now, we think...well, we think we have a way to wrap the problem up in a neat little package.”

On Why Voting Matters, Or, Could You Outrun The Toxic Red Flood?

It is about a week before early voting begins for a bunch of us around the country, and that means this may be one of the last times I have to convince you that, frustrated progressive or not, you better get your butt to a ballot box or a mail-in envelope this November, because it really does matter.

Now I could give you a bunch of “what ifs” to make my point, or I could remind you how we spent all summer watching oil gush into the Gulf, and how that came to be...but, instead, it’s “Even More Current Event Day”, and we’re going to visit Hungary for a extremely real-world reminder of what can go wrong when the environmental cops are considered just too much of a burden by the environmental robbers—and if today’s story doesn’t scare you to death, I don’t know what will.

It ain’t Texas, but we will surely visit a Red River Valley...and you surely won’t like what you’re gonna see.

On Fence-Straddling, Or, And Now, A Few Words From Blanche Lincoln

Those of you who’ve followed my work over a period of time know that I’m usually the one suggesting moderation and keeping everyone in the big tent, and, even in this most difficult year, I’m the one telling folks that sometimes you just have to hold your nose and vote for the candidate that sucks less.

And even though the last thing I’d ever want is a Speaker Boehner or a Leader McConnell (or even worse yet, DeMint), the fact remains that there are two Democratic Senators I would actually vote against, even if the candidate that sucks more does win...and those two are Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson.

One of those two is up for re-election this year, and thanks to a particularly ridiculous vote by Senator Lincoln, we found ourselves in a bit of an email exchange, which is what we’ll be talking about today.

On Fear: The Islam Edition, Or, Do You Know My Friend Wa’el?

We last got together about ten days ago, when I put up a story that hoped to explain to the Islamic world that, Qur’an burning aside, we don’t really hate either them, or our own Constitution.

I pointed out that, just like everywhere else, about 20% of our population are idiots, that this means about 60,000,000 of us might, at any time, be inclined to burst into fits of random stupidity, such as the desire to burn Qur’ans to make some sort of statement, and that the same First Amendment that protects the freedom of stupid speech also protects the rights of Islamic folks to freely build mosques…and finally, that this apparent “paradox of freedom” is exactly why the US is the kind of country that many Islamic folks the world over wish they lived in as well.

I then went off to enjoy my Godson’s wedding, and I ignored the posting until the next Monday.

On the two dozen sites where it could be found, this was apparently considered to be a fairly innocuous message…with one giant exception, which is what we’ll be talking about today.

Long story short, some portion of this country’s population has some bizarre ideas about Islamic folks…but maybe if they knew my friend Wa’el, they might see things a bit differently.

On Homeland Security, Or, We Visit A Terrorist Gathering Place

I can’t give away too many details, for security reasons, but I can tell you that this particular distribution center is located about three miles from the Boeing Company’s Renton, Washington, manufacturing site. (The assembly lines for the 737 family of aircraft and the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon antisubmarine patrol aircraft are all located on the property.)

Off to the southwest of the Boeing plant are dozens of nondescript commercial buildings, all one or two stories tall—including some that store, produce, or process components and subassemblies that will eventually make their way over to that Boeing plant.

On Saving 319,000 Jobs, Or, Legislation Keeps Teachers Teaching

As I pick up the pace of work again, coming into the midterms, I have to get some stories cleared off the desk in order to make room for some others, and that’s what we’re about today.

We’ll be talking about saving more than 300,000 of this country’s most important jobs, and paying for it in a way that is not only good policy, but is a real problem for Republicans who are yelling “no new taxes!” once again while pretending they care about actually paying for actual spending and actually want to cut actual unemployment.

We have a bit of work to do today, but we want to keep it somewhat short...so let’s get going.

On organized fearmongering revealed, or, “Lock up the kids … it’s the gay!”

The airwaves (and the print and blog waves, for that matter) are filled with the news that a Federal Judge in California has declared that State’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, which could clear the way for the resumption of same-sex weddings in the State.

Ordinarily, this would be the point where I would present to you a walkthrough of the ruling, and we’d have a fine conversation about the legal implications of what has happened.

I’m not doing that today, frankly, because the ground is already well-covered; instead, we’re going to take a look at some of the tactics that were used to pass Prop 8, as they were presented in Judge Vaughan’s opinion.

On the smartest investment ever, or, wanna restart the economy?

It’s been a while since we had to have a real heart-to-heart, the Obama Administration and I, and last time it was because Rahm Emanuel had been a bit snippy toward those of us who are carrying the water for this Administration.

We need to have another one of those conversations today; this time the circumstances are a lot more positive—in fact, if the Administration follows my suggestions here, we have a real chance to put the Democrats on the road to victory, not just this November, but also in 2012.

What I’m proposing will create hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs, and it will stimulate millions more as we create a national source of discount electrical power that can be used by business and consumers alike.

Here’s the best part: it’s no “pie in the sky” promotion I’m offering here; we’ve already done the same thing before, it’s been working out well for almost three quarters of a century...and even better than all that...my idea first pays for itself, and then...it actually makes the Federal Government a profit, forever after.

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