The Koch-Sucking, Anti-Union, Anti-Education Bastards of Michigan

November 30, 2011

C&L is highlihgting some of the anti-teacher shenanigans being ramrodded though the Michigan Legislature (Hi, Paul Scott! How is life in reality treating you?!!? Have you got your gig at Fox ‘News’ yet?), including seemingly bland provisions that have no purpose other than screwing teachers over on healthcare and pensions:

It’s not an accident that this is happening in Michigan. Michigan, after all, is the home of Betsy and Dick DeVos, ardent opponents of all public schools. They aren’t afraid to throw millions at that goal, either. One of her very favorite charities, along with her pals the Kochs, is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Ostensibly a think tank, Mackinac is a non-profit organization which exists to write, lobby and serve as advocate for right wing dream legislation.

Emails published on Monday by the Michigan Education Association clearly show that Mackinac was coordinating with Republican state legislators in Michigan to not only limit teachers’ collective bargaining rights, but they were also deeply involved in the policy surrounding health care costs. In one email from Jack McHugh, Mackinac senior legislative analyst and editor of MichiganVotes.org to state Representative (and chair of the House Education Committee) Tom McMillin with copies to several other Mackinac policy wonks, McHugh says this:

I personal think 20 percent is OK, because it changes the employee incentives (and we do believe in incentives!)

But a hard cap is OK too.

Do we care who runs the operation? Maybe, for this reason: Our goal is outlaw government collective bargaining in Michigan, which in practical terms means no more MEA.

I’m reminded of our calls to eliminate ISDs [Internal Service Departments] (and Ruth’s work to expose them): The legislature keeps giving them more things to do, making it ever more difficult to abolish them.

Mackinac’s stated purpose and programs on its 990 filing are as follows:

 

 

Nowhere in that description do I see anything suggesting that research and analysis also includes one-on-one advocacy, determination of legislative goals, and efforts to attain those goals, nor do I see any stated goals that include “eliminating” state agencies or teachers’ unions. Do you?

I don’t.

This pic wasn’t part of the C&L piece.  I simply saw this billboard when I was driving through Michigan back in August.  It applies here, though.


One More Reason that the World Will be Better with Barney Frank Gone from Congress

November 30, 2011

And this one doesn’t even require you to take an opinion on trans-inclusion (in ENDA or anything else); it simply requires you to recognize a professional hack who has no real interest in solving any real problems – someone who, within seconds of first being elected to Congress in 1980, spewed out an intention to stay there for 30 years and then ultimately couldn’t even keep his word on that – when you see one.

“People on the left and people on the right live in parallel universes,” [St. Barney] mused. “No longer do people get their information from a common media source, and then diverge in how they interpret it. The left is on MSNBC and on the blogs. The right is on Fox and on talk radio. And what happens is, people know different facts. These are echo chambers. People hear agreement with themselves.”

How thoroughly full of shit was St. Barney on this?  Well, its another of those rare instances where I have to agree completely with The John:

The progressive blogs and MSNBC are opinion journalism.  Fox and Limbaugh are partisan disinformation and misinformation in the proud tradition of the Soviet Union (who raised lying to an art).  And yes, there’s a huge difference.  Opinion journalism is the op ed pages on a good day.  Disinformation and misinformation is the garbage “journalism” that Rupert Murdoch reeked on the rest of the world – think British tabloids at their worst –  before he imported his filth to America, under the warm embrace of the Republican party.

Disinformation is what Cong. Frank tried to sell his own community after he first denounced the administration’s abominable brief [defending DOMA], and then just a few hours later proudly defended it, claiming (incredibly) that he hadn’t actually read the brief when he first spoke out against it, but now that he had read it, he thought it was just peachy.

The world would have been a better place a lot faster had Barney Frank acted more like a blog and less like Fox News when his own community needed him the past three years.  So spare us the false comparisons.

And then, of course, there’s ENDA – but I promised I wouldn’t pile on with that.

I wouldn’t want to upset the real inhabitants of Oz, now would I?


Hilary Rosen: Consumate Substanceless Spinmeister and Corporate Lobbyist

November 29, 2011

Shillary at HuffPo:

 As long as I have been trekking to Capitol Hill to seek fairness for the LGBT community…

Okay, lets stop right there.  The next time that Hilary ‘Recording Industry Mouthpiece Most Responsible for the File-Sharing Legal Troubles of Anyone Who You May Know Who Had Legal Troubles Over File-Sharing’ Rosen does anything to seek “fairness” for “T” will be the first.  Now, the rest of the sentence:

…Barney [Frank]’s office was always my first, last and middle stop.

Well, that pretty much proves my point.

For the next 25 years, Barney fought for us.

I want to see the definition of “us” in the ex-Mrs. Elizabeth Birch lexicon.  Actually, I don’t need to; history tells me it doesn’t include T-anything – and that it doesn’t include anything LGB that doesn’t also have a $ attached.

When he burst out of the closet door in 1987, the splinters went flying.

Funny, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen “splinters” used as a synonym for “male prostitutes” before. That is what she meant, no?

It was because of Barney that the Americans with Disabilities Act protected people with HIV in the workplace. It is because of Barney that countless amendments taking away civil liberties for LGBT people did not pass the Congress ….

Of course, those clauses in the ADA that affirmatively discriminate against trans people – and which helped to wipe out existing trans-positive precedent under the Rehabilitation Act – did pass Congress.  I wonder if St. Barney even noticed them?  Or was he too busy dealing with the Stephen Gobie scandal at the time to, if by some chance he actually isn’t the transphobe that his career shows him to be, expend any energy on those?

Over the years, some in the LGBT community resented his all-powerful hold over our political agenda. They mistakenly thought that he was too unwilling to push his friends. I never felt that way.

Funny what money allows you to feel, no?

Is support for the LGBT community in good hands in Congress? We have a great Minority Leader Pelosi in the House, many friends and three smart and committed openly gay members of the House (one of whom, Tammy Baldwin we hope will be in the Senate next year). And in the Senate, Leader Reid has proven to be loyal and steadfast in his commitment.

Doesn’t it just give you goosebumps when a totally-out-of-touch-with-the-real-lives-of-non-millionaire-LGBTs shill for HRC uses words like “loyal” and “steadfast”?  It just makes me want to go by a used car from her.

But Barney is in a class by himself.

For that we should be ever so glad.

Time will tell of the impact of his leaving

I stand by my prediction – and I stand by my decade-plus opinion that St. Barney was as much of an impediment to any version of ENDA passing (even the version that transphobes such as himself claim that they wanted) as the corporatist christianist party.

There won’t be another like him.

Y’know…

Maybe Dubya’s opposition to human cloning wasn’t so ludicrous after all.


By the Way…

November 29, 2011

I’m still waiting for anyone to provide any verifiable evidence that the late obnoxious thug Mary Daly ever – to any degree, much less completely – backed off of her published exterminationist 1970s view of transsexuals.


Funny How Conservative Media Expects America to Give a Pass to Conservative Adulterers

November 29, 2011

From the conservarag Houston Chronk:

On Monday evening, Atlanta TV station Fox 5 aired an interview with Ginger White, who alleges that she had a 13-year-long affair with Cain. An affair that allegedly ended shortly before Cain announced for Prez. She never worked with him, and said he was a gentleman throughout.

It will be interesting to see how what Newt Gingrich describes as “the party of family values” responds to this latest sexual allegation involving Cain. Cain’s lawyer said “No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.”

[How much of] these allegations, if true, really should matter in evaluating Cain as a candidate[?] Wasn’t “MoveOn.org” founded after passing a petition asking Congress to “censure President Clinton and move on” in the wake of his sexual scandal?

Really?

Lets see…

If it was a 13-year affair and it endedbout a year ago, that would mean that it got going while the Republicans were hijacking American government to conduct an adultery-centered religious inquisition against Bill Clinton in hopes of leading to his removal from office.

And speaking of Clinton, what of all of the pre-presidency allegations (many of which were true) that were used against him in 1992?  Something tells me that there might be some record out there of Herman Cain doing a ‘rah! rah!’ to Republican efforts to derail candidate Clinton based on “his or her private sexual life.”

Cain is just another corporatist sleazebag who expects special rights not only for his money but for his shlong.  We all know he isn’t really running for president; he’s just following the Wasilla Grifter’s game plan to make money off of the process – but hopefully enough of this shit will dereal even that.

Meanwhile…

What say you, Mr. Calista Gingrich, about the allegations of adultery against a presidential candidate?


ENDA – a Legitimate ENDA – Now Actually Has a Chance to Become Law

November 28, 2011

From TPM:

Boston.com, citing various media sources, reports that Barney Frank will not seek reelection.

CNN has confirmed the news, citing a statement from Frank’s office, but did not post the text of his statement. National Journal reports that Frank will make the announcement at the Newton City Hall this afternoon.

From the National Journal:

He won a closer-than-expected re-election bid in 2010, taking 53 percent of the vote, his lowest total since first winning his Newton- and Tauton-based district in 1980.

Maybe all of his other usual supporters ran off to Oz.

A Congress without St. Barney is a Congress that will actually give serious consideration to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – and a Congress without St. Barney is a Congress that actually might not be predisposed against a legitimate (read: non-trans-exterminationistic) ENDA.

Good riddance to the “asexual blob” of institutionalized gay male transphobia.

Perhaps he’ll leave quickly enough that the munchkins won’t have time to hit him in the butt on the way out…

or not.


J. Edgar Hoover is Masturbating in His Grave

November 27, 2011

Clearly, this is the sort of stuff that got the guy off:

Earlier this year, ThinkProgress obtained 75,000 private emails from the defense contractor HBGary Federal via the hacktivist group called Anonymous. The emails led to two shocking revelations. First, that an assortment of private military firms collectively called “Team Themis” had been tapped by Bank of America to conduct a cyber war against reporters sympathetically covering the Wikileaks revelations. And second, that late in 2010, the same set of firms began work separately for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican-aligned corporate lobbying group, to develop a similar campaign of sabotage against progressive organizations, including the SEIU and ThinkProgress.

In presentations obtained by ThinkProgress from the e-mail dump detailing the tactics potentially used against progressives, HBGary Federal floated the idea of using “fake insider personas” to infiltrate left-leaning groups critical of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s policies.

It was called COINTELPRO.

Now its just the ‘pro-growth agenda.’