Justin's Political Corner

Jul 26

Boehner's Lawsuit Turning Into Messaging Goldmine For Dems -


Boehner's Lawsuit Turning Into Messaging Goldmine For Dems

Now this is more like it. House Democrats aren’t sitting idly by while John Boehner tries to assuage his angry right wing with a lawsuit instead of impeachment. No, they’re making Republicans pay for their folly by forcing votes that make them look like rubes and fools.

Steve Benen:

Democrats asked for a provision that would require Republicans to regularly disclose how much this lawsuit was costing American taxpayers. Republicans said no.

Democrats asked for a conflict-of-interest measure that would prevent lawmakers from hiring lawyers for this case who lobby Congress. Republicans said no.

Democrats asked for a separate conflict-of-interest amendment that would stop Congress from hiring a law firm for this case that has a financial stake in the implementation of the ACA. Republicans said no.

Democrats asked for a disclosure requirement that said congressional contracts with outside counsel would be disclosed before they’re approved. Republicans said no.

Democrats asked for a measure that would require Republicans to explain where the public funds will come from that will pay for the lawsuit. Republicans said no.

There were 11 proposed improvements in all, Each were defeated with zero Republican votes.

read more

Right-Wing Christians Tell Kids 'Convert or Go to Hell,' Then Accuse Liberals of Indoctrinating Christian Kids -

h/t: Amanda Marcotte at AlterNet

Jul 25

ESPN Reporter Makes Ill-Advised Rant About Violence Against Women, Then Doubles Down On Twitter [TW: Abuse Apologism, Abuse Culture, Abuse Enablism, Victim Blaming, Victim Shaming, Sexism, Misogyny, Violence Against Women] -


UPDATE — 3:30 p.m. ET

While addressing the recent suspension of NFL running back Ray Rice, ESPN Commentator Stephen A. Smith made several off-putting comments about women provoking attackers.

Rice was suspended for two games after being arrested for allegedly knocking out his then-girlfriend, which led Smith to warn women not to “provoke wrong actions”:

We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that.

But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I’m going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I’m going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I’m going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I’m going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I’m going to be tempted to do.

But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you.

Smith’s colleague and ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle did not take kindly to the rant and responded on Twitter.

So I was just forced to watch this morning’s First Take. A) I’ll never feel clean again B) I’m now aware that I can provoke my own beating.

I’m thinking about wearing a miniskirt this weekendI’d hate to think what I’d be asking for by doing so @stephenasmith#dontprovoke

I was in an abusive relationship once. I’m aware that men & women can both be the abuser. To spread a message that we not ‘provoke’ is wrong

Violence isn’t the victim’s issue. It’s the abuser’s. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting. Walk. Away.

Smith responded to the criticism himself on Friday afternoon with a lengthy series of tweets. He apologized to Beadle, but also repeated his point about women and provoking attackers.

This will be a long tweeted message, folks. So please stay with me and let me finish my complete thought before respondingb/c i'm ANNOYED

In discussing the Ray Rice ruling earlier today on @ESPN_FirstTake, me and @RealSkipBayless ventured into discussing domestic violence.

Upon hearing what I had to say, although admitting I could’ve been more articulate on the matter, let me be clear: I don’t understand how on

earth someone could interpret that I somehow was saying women are to blame for domestic violence. And when I saw @MichelleDBeadle — a

colleague I have profound respect for — tweet what she tweeted, enough is enough. Something needs to be said right now. REPEATEDLY i said:

There is absolutely no excuse to put your hands on a women. REPEATEDLY, I said dudes who do that need to be dealt with. REPEATEDLY, I echoed

when confronted by it in the past — when someone was stupid enough to touch a loved one of this man, raised by 4 older sisters, a mom and

numerous female relatives and loved ones, that man was dealt with. From that point, I simply asked: now what about the other side.

If a man is pathetic and stupid enough to put his hands on a woman — which I have NEVER DONE, btw — of course he needs to pay the price.

Who on earth is denying that? But what about addressing women on how they can help prevent the obvious wrong being done upon them?

there’s only but so much that can be done after the fact….once the damage is already done. Nothing more. My apologies to@MichelleDBeadle

And any woman out there who misconstrued what I said. I have always — and will always — find violence against a women every bit as

horrific as women, themselves, find it. Always have. Always will, which my personal behavior exemplifies. I’ll strive to be more articulate

in the future. But be clear, I wasn’t BLAMING women for anything. I was simply saying to take all things into consideration for preventative

Beadle has responded on Twitter.

In a week in which LGBT & domestic abuse issues have been primarily discussed in one-sided formats, I stand by my words.#communicatebetter

UPDATE: Smith issued another statement on Twitter saying he “sincerely” apologizes for poorly articulating his thoughts.

My series of tweets a short time ago is not an adequate way to capture my thoughts so I am using a single tweet via Twitlonger to more appropriately and effectively clarify my remarks from earlier today about the Ray Rice situation. I completely recognize the sensitivity of the issues and the confusion and disgust that my comments caused. First off, as I said earlier and I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever. I understand why that important point was lost in my other comments, which did not come out as I intended. I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn’t trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life. I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.

Source: Mike Hayes for Buzzfeed

Michelle Beadle v. Stephen A. Smith

Michelle Beadle = a lady with integrity and smarts. 

Stephen A. Smith = a classless turd who needs to have his bare butt spanked by a dominatrix on national TV for his naughty victim blaming behavior. 

Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) = a lady of integrity. Stephen A. Smith (@stephenasmith) = a classless turd. #TeamBeadle

— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem) July 26, 2014

BREAKING: Second Florida Court Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban In As Many Weeks -


A second Florida judge has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and unenforceable. It is the second such ruling in the state in as many weeks. Like last week’s ruling, the decision has been stayed pending appeal, so same-sex couples cannot yet begin marrying in Florida.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel opened her decision with an excerpt from Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that overturned all bans on interracial marriage. Referring to passages like, “The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious… discriminations,” she noted that the language “applies equally” to the case at hand. She suggested it was “disingenuous” of the state to ignore it in their arguments.

Zabel dismissed many of the arguments made by Florida in court, including attempts to define “marriage” as inherently only being between a man and a woman. “The inquiry is not whether there is a right to same-sex marriage,” she emphasized, “but whether same-sex couples can be excluded from the right to marriage.”

Arguments about childrearing also fell flat, particularly because of Florida’s own jurisprudence; state courts previously knocked down laws banning same-sex couples from adopting in 2010. Not only does the court record show that same-sex couples make equally effective parents, but it demonstrates that child-rearing is a separate issue from marriage altogether. “Rather,” Zabel wrote, “the marriage bans merely prevent same-sex couples from having their already existent families and partnerships recognized in the same manner as opposite-sex couples,” which harms the children they are already raising.

Noting the country’s long history of overcoming prejudice and discrimination, Zabel concluded that, “as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken.”

Source: Zack Ford for ThinkProgress

The Minnesota Twins Responded to Domestic Abuse Allegations in a Way That Puts the NFL to Shame -


While the NFL was getting reamed for the weak punishment it handed down to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for allegedly beating his then-fiancée unconscious — a two-game suspension, really? — baseball’s Minnesota Twins dealt with a similar issue in a way that should make its fans proud.

In a month’s time, four-time All-Star and Twins legend Chuck Knoblauch was scheduled to be inducted in the club’s Hall of Fame prior to a game at Target Field. But on Thursday, the organization announced it was canceling the event.

That’s because the previous night Knoblauch had been arrested for allegedly attacking his ex-wife by throwing her head into the wall and hitting her in the arm and chest.

The reason for the former athlete’s anger? His ex-wife told police that he was upset that she had not been sleeping in the same bedroom as their child.

This isn’t the first accusation of domestic abuse levied against Knoblauch. He had previously been sentenced to a year of probation for abusing his previous wife in 2010.

At first glance, one might think that by canceling the Hall of Fame ceremony the Twins were just recognizing the poor timing of the event and would instead wait to induct Knoblauch once the uproar had died down.

That doesn’t appear to be the case.

"There are no plans to reschedule," Twins President Dave St. Peter said on Thursday.

St. Peter wouldn’t rule out Knoblauch ever being inducted: “Never is a strong word,” he allowed. Still, he explained that the club has no intention of honoring the former second baseman.

The prior generation of baseball stars (including longtime Knoblauch teammate Kirby Puckett) may have been able to largely get away with domestic abuse allegations, just like Rice escaped with a slap on the wrist this week.

Yet that’s not the case for Knoblauch. And rightly so.

Source: R.J. Rico for Mic

#GAGov: Will an ethics scandal—and Jimmy Carter's grandson—bring Georgia's GOP governor down? -

h/t: Patrick Caldwell at Mother Jones

Kyrgyzstan Has Invented a Harsher Antigay Law Than Russia [TW: Anti-LGBT Bigotry & Discrimination, Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia] -


LGBT activists in Kyrgyzstan are reaching out to the international community in hopes of averting a disaster that could stem from pending legislation that would rival Russia’s draconian antigay law, according to the blog 76 Crimes.

Russia’s notorious nationwide ban on so-called gay propaganda makes it a crime to speak, write, or demonstrate in support of LGBT people and equality, claiming such advocacy “promotes nontraditional sexual relationships” to minors. However, the proposed Krygyzstani law would go further.

While Russian lawmakers have claimed the law is necessary to “protect children” from the dangers of homosexuality, the proposed law in the former Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan law doesn’t even try to couch its repression in a faux concern for youth.

If passed, the Kyrgyzstani law would criminalize any positive comments about homosexuality, “sodomy, lesbianism, or any other forms of non-traditional sexual behavior,” made through any form of electronic or print media to any person of any age.

LGBT rights activists in Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim country of 5.6 million people, say they have “exhausted almost all domestic means to stop the bill,” reports 76 Crimes. The activists see no other choice remaining but to reach beyond their borders for support.

Kyrgyzstani LGBT rights activists are especially eager to increase pressure on members of the country’s Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh (equivalent to a unicameral parliament) from non-western countries — specifically from Latin America and Asia, according to 76 Crimes.

Yet it was a South African LGBT media outlet that appears to be the first to respond to the Kyrgyzstani activists’ plea for help. “Gay activists in the Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan are calling for international support as a proposed Putin-style anti-gay law is set to limit the rights of LGBT people,” wrote Luiz Barros in Johannesburg-based Mamba Online.

Kyrgyzstan already has a climate of hostility toward LGBT people, noted Human Rights Watch when news of the proposed law first hit in March. At that time, Human Rights Watch called on the Jogoku Kengesh to withdraw the bill.

“This draconian bill is blatantly discriminatory against LGBT people and would deny citizens across Kyrgyzstan their fundamental rights,” said Hugh Williamson, the group’s Europe and Central Asia director in March. The organization also urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe — which will consider Kyrgyzstan’s application for special “Partnership for Democracy” status with it April 8 — to “send a strong message that the bill is unacceptable, and make clear that partnership status is wholly incompatible with legislation of this kind.”

The Kyrgyzstani activists’ plea for help from international supporters of LGBT rights was specific in its call to action, listing five ways ordinary people can help. Those methods include getting the word out on the proposed propaganda ban via social media, direct outreach to elected and appointed officials, and word-of-mouth; organizing town halls, informational lectures and protests; asking donors to review their giving policies toward Kyrgyzstan; imposing sanctions by governments and nongovernmental organizations; and advocacy for better asylum policies for LGBT people from Kyrgyzstan.

According to the CIA’s World Fact Book, 75 percent of Kyrgyzstanis are Muslim, while another 20 percent are Russian Orthodox — while five percent are “other.” Russian Orthodoxy and much of the Islamic religious establishment have been driving forces in antigay oppression worldwide in recent decades.

Portland, Oregon Ice Cream Shop Hit With ‘Scary’ Anti-Abortion Harassment -

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

Michele Bachmann on OCU's Faith and Liberty: "Children With Ebola And People From 'Terrorist Nations' Part Of Immigrant 'Invasion'" -

See Also:  
Justin’s Political Corner: On OCU’s Faith and Liberty, Bachmann calls for the impeachment of President Obama
Justin’s Political Corner: During her guest stint on Faith and Liberty, Homophobe extremist Michele Bachmann says that “gays want adults to prey on children”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Michele Bachmann Says 'The American People' Must 'Call For The President's Impeachment' -

See Also: Justin’s Political Corner: Michele Bachmann on OCU’s Faith and Liberty: Gays Want To Let Adults ‘Freely Prey On Little Children Sexually’ 

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

Christian Groups Rush To Denounce Obama LGBT Non-Discrimination Orders -

(Source: projectqueer)

New Anti-Choice Group Launches With Michael Peroutka Lecture On How Roe v. Wade Isn't Actually The Law -

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

BROKEN RECORD: Congress May Be Headed For Another Government Funding Fight -


Could the federal government shut down again this fall?

Th idea sounds absurd on its face, especially one month before an election, and one year after Republicans took a drubbing in the polls for forcing a shutdown over Obamacare.

But it could happen. Congress is currently on course for a battle to keep the federal government funded when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Even though the two parties agreed to a discretionary spending level of $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015, the appropriations process has screeched to a halt over extraneous policy issues and procedural disputes. And so a stopgap measure appears inevitable.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Thursday the House will consider a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown once Congress returns from summer recess on September 8. The funding measure will probably expire in mid-November, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a deputy majority whip, told TPM.

Once Congress returns from the August recess, it’ll have a mere 10 working days to agree to a bill before the government partially shuts down. And there are two contentious issues in particular that are roped in with the CR debate.

The first is reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which supports billions of dollars in U.S. exports and thousands of American jobs through loan guarantees and other products. Its charter expires on Oct. 1, and many House conservatives, including incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), are enthusiastic about shutting the bank down, bashing it as an emblem of corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Senate Democratic leaders recognize that and may force the issue by attaching renewal of the bank to their CR.

"Well, the thing we’d like to do is pass a long-term approval of the Export-Import Bank but we certainly don’t want to let it expire. We’re weighing all options," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, told TPM when asked if leadership will attach Ex-Im to the CR.

Passing such a bill through the Senate shouldn’t be a problem. Democrats broadly support Ex-Im renewal and a significant number of Senate Republicans do, too. “I think we do need to have an Export-Import Bank because we do need to be global competitively,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said. “We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

The question, in that case, becomes whether House Republican leaders back down and accept such a bill. That would anger conservatives who are campaigning to shut the bank down and cost Republicans some support within their own ranks.

"I think it should be a clean CR," Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told TPM. "I may end up opposing a CR if it has [Ex-Im] attached to it. Because I oppose the reauthorization."

The second issue is the battle over President Barack Obama’s recently proposed rules on coal-fired power plants to combat climate change. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who faces a tough reelection fight in his coal-heavy state, has aggressively fought to attach his amendment blocking the rule to appropriations legislation — an idea Senate Republicansstrongly support — and has vowed to continue offering it on all government funding measures.

The problem is Senate Republicans would arguably feel most of the pain of a government shutdown in the Nov. 4 elections, jeopardizing their chance to win the majority. So it’s unclear they’ll push the issue. With Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promising that the amendment won’t fly in the Senate, McConnell faces a choice: filibuster government funding legislation or surrender his best opportunity to reverse the climate change rules.

McConnell will want to avoid doing anything that damages his odds of becoming majority leader in January. But his fighting words make it hard to back off.

"Everyone knows the administration’s war on coal jobs is little more than an elitist crusade that threatens to undermine Kentucky’s traditionally low utility rates, splinter our manufacturing base, and ship well-paying jobs overseas," McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor, promising he’ll "keep fighting" for his amendment.

Portman said he’s hopeful that because both sides have agreed on how much the government should spend, “I think we can avoid a government shutdown.”

Cole, a Boehner ally, also expressed hope Congress can avert a shutdown.

"I think so," the congressman told TPM, although he added that it’s not a certainty. "Could you stumble into a bad situation? It’s always possible. But I think people are working hard to avoid that sort of thing."

BE WARNED: Michele Bachmann Will Most Likely Run For President Again: Gays Pursuing 'Tyranny,' 'Deviancy,' Polygamy, and Child Rape [TW: Extreme Anti-LGBT Bigotry, Extreme Homophobia, Extreme Biphobia, Extreme Transphobia] *PART I OF SEVERAL POSTS THROUGHOUT TODAY -


Many may have forgotten, but Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann got her start in politics by being one of Minnesota’s most anti-gay activists. Like many, the school board was her stomping ground, and Bachmann quickly gained a strong base among the radical religious right. 

Bachmann claimed “the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”  She insisted it is “child abuse” to even discuss homosexuality with children. And she’s called being gay “the very real issue of sexual dysfunction.”

LOOK: Michele Bachmann’s Top Ten Anti-Gay Quotes

After Rep. Bachmann’s disastrous 2012 presidential campaign, for which she, her husband, and her campaign have been the target of several ethics investigations by several entities, including the Office of Congressional Ethics, the nation heard less and less from the four-term, 58-year old, Evangelical Christian Congresswoman, who announced last year she will not be seeking a fifth term.

Less and less, until now.

This week Bachmann announced, “there’s a chance I could run" for President.

And on Wednesday, Rep. Bachmann gave an interview with the conservative radio show, “Faith & Victory,” and harkened back to her extremist anti-gay roots.

Calling it “the rise of tyranny,” Bachmann claims there is “legislation being pushed all across the United States to punish people who don’t agree with” LGBT equality.

"It’s the basis for hate speech laws across the United States," Bachmann said. "This is an effort to have government coerce, force, speech and behavior, and it’s being pushed and advocated by the gay community."

Bachmann, who has spent decades railing against the LGBT community, same-sex marriage, and even gay people raising children, now claims that she supports a “diversity of opinion,” but the LGBT community does not.

"Today," Bachmann continued, "the big push is on transgender."

"I believe we’re going to see coming an effort for multiple in marriage. Not just tow, but multiple in marriage. I think they want to legalize that."

"Also, they want to abolish age of consent laws. We would do away with statutory rape laws, so adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”


Editor’s note: This is the first in a short series of excerpts from Bachmann’s interview — stay tuned for more later in the day.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Hat tip and audio: Right Wing Watch