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.


Beware of Lame Ducks Bearing Quacks

November 12, 2010

From Politico:

As Democrats discuss what, if anything, they can deliver to the base in the lame-duck session, one possibility may be the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, seen by many as the easiest lift among various pieces of stalled gay rights legislation. 

My colleague Jonathan Allen reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked about wanting to do ENDA on a leadership conference call today.

Pelosi didn’t set a timeline, but Allen’s source said she appears to want a vote before the lame-duck session ends.

On some Facebook thread somewhere I warned that something like this might happen: Whilst everyone is watching for DADT, someone will slip an ENDA amendment onto some other bill.

And, of course, it will be the Barney-HRC, permanent-employment-for-straight-acting-gays variety of ENDA.

In fact, assuming that this does occur, I predict that – as a ‘compromise’ to get it through – not only will it not include trans people, it will include federal pre-emption language that will wipe out existing state and local trans-protections by making the Barney-HRC, permanent-employment-for-straight-acting-gays definition of ‘sexual orientation’ the national norm.


Confessions of an ObamaBot

July 12, 2010

Perhaps the title is too declarative.  I’m still not sure.  

Perhaps this image is a bit too harsh.  

 

Again – I’m still not sure. 

What am I sure of?  

Its July 2010.  

Someone with less credibility than Joe Solmonese declared me to be an idiot some weeks back.  The orifice of origin of that declaration speaks for itself, so I’m not as concerned about it as I am about something else. 

Was I an ObamaBot? 

Why does that matter? 

Well, the recent anger – at Pam’s (here, here, here, here and here) and Bilerico – directed against pleas not to stop giving money to the DNC, not to mention the reality that, as I type, ENDA is like the four-headed, man-eating haddock fish-beast of Aberdeen, makes me wonder about what led to this reality. 

A comment on one of the threads at Pam’s: 

That might be a very solid case that people who supported Obama over CLINTON were wrong, but not that McCain/Palin would have been a better choice than Obama. 

Ah yes…Barack vs. Hilary. 

Remember that?  The question of which of the two was more LGB(T)-friendly? 

Plenty of people insisted that the woman I referred to as HRC’s HRC was the only one who could be trusted.  Plenty of people said it was Obama.

How to decide?

Well, I focused on this, the trans-inclusive Illinois version of ENDA, which was passed early in 2005, during the final days of the 2003-04 legislativbe session: 

Public Act 093-1078 

SB3186 Enrolled     LRB093 20455 WGH 46241 b 

AN ACT concerning human rights.  

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: 

... 

(O-1) Sexual orientation. “Sexual orientation” means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth. "Sexual orientation" does not include a physical or sexual attraction to a minor by an adult. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barack Obama was still in the Illinois Senate during that session. 

However, by the time that that bill took its whirlwing trip through the Illinois Senate and Illinois House – and on to the shadow of Rod Blagojevich’s hair – Obama had left the Illinois Senate for the U.S. Senate. 

So, that bill did not stand as evidence of his feelings about LGBT matters one way or the other.  However, earlier that same session there had been SB 101

093_SB0101 

                                     LRB093 04011 WGH 04050 b 

1        AN ACT concerning human rights. 

2        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
3    represented in the General Assembly: 

4        Section 5.  The Illinois Human Rights Act is  amended  by
5    changing  Sections  1-102,  1-103,  3-103,  and 3-106 and the
6    heading of Article 1 and adding Section 1-101.1 as follows: 

… 

 9        (O-1)  Sexual  orientation.   “Sexual  orientation” means
10    having or being perceived as having an  emotional,  physical,
11    or  sexual attraction to another person without regard to the
12    sex of that person or having or being perceived as having  an
13    orientation for such attraction, or having or being perceived
14    as   having   a   gender-related  self-identity,  appearance,
15    expression,  or  behavior,  whether  or   not   traditionally
16    associated with the person’s designated sex at birth. 

And, perhaps most importantly, there is that bill’s official history

 

Senator Obama did not cast a vote on SB 101, but he did sign on as a co-sponsor of it – which, for purposes of determining the gay-friendliness (not to mention the trans-friendliness) of presidential candidate Obama, should have been even better than a record vote. 

And it should have been indicative of the future.

Yet, here we are in July of 2010, and the federal ENDA still is like the four-headed, man-eating haddock fish-beast of Aberdeen

Is President Barack Obama the one to blame? 

I still can’t bring myself to heap upon him the derision that I rightfully direct at those such as the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool, St. Barney, The John, Gramma Frumpp, The Shamvocate, the Luna-Tick, Queer Channel Media and the entirety of the overpaid, underworked transphobic gay mafia. 

I will, however, deride the term “fierce advocate,” because I simply do not see any fierce advocacy in favor of anything that will alter the legal status quo that allows this multiple-degreed, multiple-law-licensed, frequently-published-in-scholarly-journals, 45-year-old woman to be professionally marginalized into economic oblivion – and which allows me no legal recourse against those who take advantage of that status quo. 

And look, I get it – there are no absolute guarantees.  Moreover, we can’t say ‘our money bought ENDA.’  That would be, well… You know what that would be. 

But I do think that, even if there were no campaign dollars at issue, in light of just how much noxious shit that George W. Bush wanted and was able to ram through far-lesser-majority Republican Congresses than that which Obama saw on Capitol Hill in January 2009 (What did he not get?  The FMA and total privitization of Social Security, but what else?), I think all of us had a right to expect at least a vote – a committee vote – on a real ENDA (and I won’t even talk about DADT, DOMA, et. al.)  So I think we had a right to expect that our Democratic president – even taking into account that his name is Barack Obama and not Lyndon Johnson – could at least cause some movement on ENDA in Congress. 

Did Rahm – or someone else – convince him that that would be ‘spending political capital’, and too much of it? 

Well, I think  the votes of the LGBT  populace counts as ‘political capital.’ 

And I think that that ‘political capital’  has definitely been lost – not spent, but flushed. 

We have nothing to show for it – and congressional Democrats can’t expect to end up with anything to show for it in November. 

Can they? 

I hope not. 

Maybe I was an ObamaBot, but I still don’t think so.  My support for him was based on a verifiable track record – a verifiable pro-LGBT history not then shared by either Bill or Hillary (she had been in the Senate for over a full term; where was the more-than-the-nothing-we-were-getting-from-Ted-Kennedy support for T-inclusion in ENDA?).  I stand by it: My support for him then was justified.  The next-to-nothing that has happened since then doesn’t change that. 

It does, however, make me very sad.

I assume we all remember Animal House?  And what happened to a certain car that Flounder was responsible for?

Otter: Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can help.
Flounder: [crying] That’s easy for you to say! What am I going to tell Fred?
Otter: I’ll tell you what. We’ll tell Fred you were doing a great job taking care of his car, but you parked it out back last night and this morning… it was gone. We report it as stolen to the police. D-Day takes care of the wreck. Your brother’s insurance company buys him a new car.
Flounder: Will that work?
Otter: Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.
Bluto: [thrusting six-pack into Flounder’s hands] My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.

The truth is that the Democratic control of Congress is only going to be less come January – if not completely gone, converted into a Boehner-orange blur of corporate-christianist psychosis (Majority Whip Michele Bachmann, anyone?).

The truth is that that Democrat fate was sealed the instant that Nancy Pelosi and/or Harry Reid and/or Barack Obama made the calculation to play nice with the radioactive sludge that calls itself the GOP – and the truth is that the point of no possible turnaround on that fate became clear when the DC Dems decided not to make hay while the Democratic sun was shining.  (The hate-crime law?  That’s not enough hay to keep even a single cow alive.)

Was trusting the Dems – whether led by Obama or Hillary – in 2008 a Flounder-esque fuck up?

No.  It was the choice we had against the specter of President Fakey McMaverick and V.P. Milfy McMooseburger.

However, believing any promise that Dem, Inc., makes to appease our anger between now and November would be the equivalent of giving the keys to our car not to Otter but to Bluto (John Belushi may have died, but never forget what became of John Blutarsky – and, likely, whatever trustworthiness he may have had.)

No ENDA, no support – of any kind.

Period.


NY Times: Just Another Shill For the Human Right Scampaign

November 13, 2007

[UPDATED – 11/12/07: 12:36 pm CST] 

From the NY Times of Nov. 9:

It’s frustrating to take equality one step at a time. But that is how equal justice has been won in this country.

The incremental nature of the nation’s long march toward equal justice is captured by this Timeline of Federal Civil Rights Laws, prepared by the Human Rights Campaign.

Well, if HRC sez so, it must be so. Yuk. Yuk. Yuk.

As I’ve stated here, token bits of history – particularly distorted bits – don’t change the nature of evil being perpetrated in the present.  That doesn’t stop the presently-privileged from rationalizing.  From the comments to the NY Times piece:

As it states in the article, “it was important to take the victory that was achievable.” As a lesbian who is 67 let me remind us of the progress that has been made in the past 50 years. In the late 1950’s we were dodging vice-squads,uttering passwords to plain doors to get into the back room; there was no such thing as a rainbow bumper sticker or a public committment ceremony. Baby-steps, baby-steps, forward ever forward for our lives. We can, we will!

I submitted a comment in response (as I’m typing this post, it has yet to clear), pointing out that “In the late 1950’s” at least one state had already legislatively approved of transsexuals and transsexualism – and asking her (and all others who have been deluded into believing that HR 3685 is anything other than an abject act of subjugation by the privileged against the already-marginalized) why such pro-trans “baby-steps” were not the increments that were praised, lauded and followed by our ‘leaders’.

“History teaches us that progress on civil rights is never easy,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, expressing regret about the exclusion but nevertheless urging an “aye” vote. “It is often marked by small and difficult steps.”

I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that those who are being stepped on by Barney’s ENDA see it a wee bit differently.

UPDATE

My comment went though – and it looks like ‘TwiloMike’ got a bit miffed at my calling out Barney Frank:

I understand your frustration and I feel for the plight of the trans community. What I don’t understand is the insult you leveled at Barney Frank and the gays who support HR 3685. A dose of realism, please. The bill which includes transsexuals will not pass. It won’t even come close and noth gays and the trans community will have to wait longer. If progress is to be made today, then a compromise seems necessary.

I don’t see Mike volunteering to be compromised, do you?

Of course, progress doesn’t have to be made today. It can be delayed… oh… say… decades, while mainstream America learns to view trans people with the same barely-welcoming gaze that it currently has for gays.

I don’t want to wait those decades. I will continue to advocate for the acceptance of the trans community and legal protections for it, but I certainly don’t appreciate the sentiment that the advance of gays without transsexuals is an oppression of transsexuals by gays. Your accusation stems from “misery loves company” and twists reality to generate maximum perception of victimhood.

Gays aren’t looking to oppress transsexuals. Where the heck did you even get such an idea?

That last paragraph caused me to laugh so hard that I spewed on my monitor; I had to switch it out.  Consequently, my response took a while to start.  It hasn’t posted yet on the NYT website, but here it is:

Nice try, Mike. 

From the actions of Barney Frank and his apologists of today (at HRC and on gay-primacy-centric blogs such as those of John Aravosis and Chris Crain) back to the exterminationism philosophy of Janice Raymond to the initial round of exclusion-as-policy in the early 1970s, the gays and lesbians who have appropriated for themselves the collective role of official community policy advocates have oppressed trans people not simply by omission but often by active comission.

One does not get to benefit from disasters than one causes – be it setting a forest fire or causing an explosion that creates a crater in the middle of a baseball field.  You quite artfully dodged addressing my position about trans issues – and people – being more accepted early on than gay and lesbian issues and people.  That is a landscape is no longer the case.  Why?  Hint: It is *not* because of trans people volunteering to have our issues and our lives – and our history – be subjugated to the needs and wants of people who hate us for existing.

I demand trans inclusion in ENDA and all civil rights bills not because of the fear I have of discrimination by right-wing christianists but because of the fear I have of discrimination by transphobic gay men and lesbians such as those who are most insistent that trans people have no place in ENDA.

Period.

Seriously, Mike – have you absolutely no familiarity with the lies and duplicity that HRC has used to subvert trans political viability in Congress? 


The Ugly is in the Fix

November 12, 2007

Deb Price on Black Wednesday II – though, needless to say, as someone who will benefit from Barney’s ENDA, she isn’t quite willing to call the vote what it is.

The vote on Wednesday was stuffed with surprises — who could have imagined a lawmaker explaining “gaydar” on the House floor? — lessons and tears. One disappointment — that transgender people were not included — is a reminder of the hard work ahead.

Years of lies and deception by HRC and its Capitol Hill minions that wrought Black Wednesday II = “One disappointment.”

Yeh – that’s the ticket.  But, then, Deb isn’t the one who will be on the short end of that “One disappointment.”

Interestingly, one of the people mentioned in this ‘snapshot of the day’ that she’ll “cherish” will will be on the short end of that “One disappointment.”

‘The beauty is in the mix’: That eloquent description by Pelosi of what makes her hometown of San Francisco special was the real message of the day. Rep. Susan Davis of California told a sweet story about a male-to-female transgender landscape architect, while Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington talked of Dave Kopay, his “boyhood hero,” who helped the University of Washington Huskies reach the 1964 Rose Bowl, went on to play pro ball with such teams as the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, then came out as gay.

Care to guess who?


Word to the Wise: That’s Cyanide, Not Salt

November 6, 2007

Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle on the Barney-orchestrated ENDA vote:

The vote has been repeatedly delayed, with the latest debate-but-no-vote ploy surfacing last week. That bold decision has now been made official with a vote on the overall bill, sans transgender, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon after French President Nicolas Sarkozy addresses Congress.

In case you wondered, the House dining room menu has switched back to French fries from “freedom fries.”

If its being served anywhere near (geographically or temporally) ENDA 3685, it ain’t gettin’ anywhere near my mouth.

After weeks of delay and behind-the-scenes skirmishing among Democratic leaders, the House will debate but not vote Wednesday on including transgender people in a job discrimination bill.

The apparent point of the exercise is to pacify the transgender community and their allies while shielding increasingly precious freshman Democrats, whose concerns now seem to dominate every controversial policy in the House.

Martinez Democratic Rep. George Miller has assured the conservative-leaning freshmen whose victories in 2006 gave Democrats their new House majority that they would not be forced to actually vote on the transgender issue.

The issue blew up in Democratic leaders’ faces last month when in hopes of passing landmark gay civil rights legislation during their first year in power, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., pulled transgender people out of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act known as ENDA, for fear it would fail.

The manuever opened an angry split between the openly gay Frank and much of the gay community.

A nice choice of wording.  It alludes to the fact that a vast majority of the discord related to this is of Barney Frank’s (and, yes, the Human Right Scampaign’s) making.


Where ENDA is now (as of last night)

October 24, 2007

This is a copy of the article on ENDA that will run in tomorrow’s issue of Colorez!, southern Arizona’s GLBTS newsmagazine. Props to ENDAblog contributor justkelly, from whom I stole the headline pun that was just too good to not steal.

The Never-ENDA Story: the Baldwin Amendment, a Veto Threat, and Another Delay

By Kynn Bartlett

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a landmark civil rights law designed to protect GLBT employees from workplace discrimination, is stalled again after a tumultuous fortnight of political wrangling — and some GLBT-community in-fighting.
As reported in the Oct. 11 issue of Colorez!, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducted a “whip count” of the Democratic members of the House and found there were not enough votes to pass ENDA with gender identity protections included. There were, Frank said, enough Democratic votes to overcome Republican opposition if gender identity language were removed from the bill; ENDA would pass the House if it only provided protection based on sexual orientation.
“I am convinced that we have the votes to pass in this House a bill that has been the number one goal of the gay and lesbian and bisexual community and our allies for many years, a bill to ban discrimination based on employment,” said Frank on Oct. 10, in a speech on the floor of the House. “I think it will be an extraordinarily good thing for America if we are able to do that.”
Frank introduced H.R. 3685, a revised version of ENDA that addresses sexual orientation, and H.R. 3686, a version only for gender identity. These bills were designed to replace Frank’s H.R. 2015, the version of ENDA introduced in April 2007, which included gender identity for the first time since federal legislation establishing protection from workplace discrimination was first proposed in 1974.

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