Author Archives: Citizen Observer
So you think Obama is just supporting Gay Marriage and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) suddenly for political reasons? Where have you been? Did you just awaken from a coma? President Obama is the most pro-gay president in the history of the United States. The accomplishments racked up for the LGBT community are significant milestones in the history of the progress towards greater equality. It will be very difficult to ever exceed this much support.
I Challenge you to honestly read each and every single one of these accomplishments and declarations and really think about it. Don’t just skim through! Some very important things have changed thanks to President Obama. See for yourself what has been done. The following list of declarations, actions and accomplishments are still happening and have been brought together from the various sources on the internet and from Obama/Biden’s website Progress For LGBT Americans. Remember to check back on this post periodically to get all the latest updates.
Jan 19 — President-elect Barack Obama visits an emergency homeless shelter for teenagers in the nation’s capital as part of his commitment to the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
Jun 17 — “Ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same–sex partners of federal employees.”
Jun 29 — “Hosted the first-ever White House LGBT Pride reception.”
Aug 12 — “Awarded the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, to Billie Jean King and Harvey Milk.”
Oct 21 — “Created a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders.”
Oct 28 — “Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.”
Oct 28 — “President Obama’s Remarks at White House Hate Crimes Act Reception
Jan 4 — “Lifted the ban that prohibited people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States.”
Feb 10 — “Secretary Sebelius Awards Funding for a National Technical Assistance Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders.”
Mar 23 — “Enacted the Affordable Care Act, reforming health care in America by lowering costs, expanding choice, and improving health care quality.”
Apr 15 — “Ensured hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian patients.”
“She did not die in vain” – Anderson Cooper interview of Janice Langbehn who was denied the right to see her partner of 17 years at the hospital before she died, which led to this new directive by President Obama.
May 28 — Presidential Proclamation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Pride Month, 2010
Jun 15 — “President Obama speaks at a White House reception marking LGBT Pride Month.”
Oct 1 — “Awarded a grant to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center to work with LGBT foster youth.”
Oct 19 — “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a message to the LGBT community, “Tomorrow Will Be Better”
Oct 21 — “Recorded “It Gets Better” video to support LGBT youth experiencing bullying.”
Nov 17 — “Vice President Joe Biden releases “It Gets Better” video.”
Dec 22 — “Signed the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.'”
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer : Obama’s Stance Changes on Defense of Marriage Act 2/23/11
Mar 16 — Senator Feinstein Introduces DOMA Repeal Legislation “Respect for Marriage Act”.
Jun 29 — “President Obama makes remarks at an event to observe LGBT Pride Month at the White House”
Jul 1 — Supported Karen Golinski’s case against DOMA.
Under Secretary of Defense Dr. Clifford Stanley – Pentagon: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy Repealed.
Think Progress: Highlights from DADT repeal certification conference.
- Top Eight Pro-Lgbt Arguments in the Obama Administration’s Anti-DOMA Brief
- Top Five Homophobic Statements From Boehner’s DOMA Briefs
From February 23, 2011 ACLU Client Edie Windsor sees promise…
Sep 15 — “Ended the Social Security Administration’s gender ‘no–match’ letters.”
President Obama Repeals “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” – Veterans speak
Oct 1 — “Addressed the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner for the second time.”
Oct 13 — “Alison Nathan becomes second openly gay appointee to be confirmed to the federal bench under President Obama’s nomination.”
Oct 20 — “Awarded Citizens’ Medal to Janice Langbehn, lesbian mother whose story paved the way for hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples.”
Oct 31 — “Included specific data on health needs of lesbian and bisexual women in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s ‘Women’s Health USA 2011’ federal report.”
Nov 1 — “In his presidential proclamation of National Adoption Month, President Obama called for equal treatment for same-sex adoptive parents.”
Dec 1 — “On World AIDS Day, recommitted the U.S. to creating an AIDS–free generation.”
Dec 6 — “Created first-ever U.S. government strategy dedicated to combating human rights abuses against LGBT persons abroad.”
Jan 28 — “Announced HUD’s new rule protecting against housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Feb 2 — “Announced White House LGBT Conference Series to address issues affecting LGBT Americans, including health, housing, and safety.”
Feb 7 — “Promoted equal access to quality health care by enabling searches for health plans with same-sex partner benefits on Healthcare.gov.”
Feb 13 — “Proposed a 2013 federal budget for an economy built to last, including providing security for the LGBT community.”
Mar (no specific date given) — “Ensured transgender veterans receive respectful care according to their true gender through the Veterans Health Administration.”
Mar 15 — “Michael Fitzgerald, fourth openly gay nominee under President Obama, is confirmed to the federal bench in California.”
Mar 16 — “Came out against North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which would prohibit same-sex marriage in the state.”
May 9 — The day after the passage of the North Carolina state ban on all non traditional man + woman marriages including gay marriage, President Obama and Vice President Biden openly came out for Gay Marraige.
May 14 — The Obama Administration announces plans to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Jun 1 — Presidential Proclamation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Pride Month, 2012
Jun 15 — President Obama holds Gay Pride Month Reception at White House
Jun 26 — Pentagon Celebrates Gay Pride For First Time.
Oct 25 — Obama Endorses Marriage Equality … Three Times (Washington, Maryland, & Maine)
Dec 29 — Obama urges passage of Illinois marriage equality
Jan 11 — Obama Endorses Rhode Island Marriage Equality Effort
Feb 7 — Nominated openly gay Department of Justice attorney Todd Hughes to fill a seat on the Federal Circuit.
Feb 22 — Urges Supreme Court to strike down DOMA.
Feb 28 — Justice Department announces it will urge the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California, wading into the protracted legal battle over Proposition 8 and giving gay-rights advocates a new court ally.
Mar 4 — Senate confirms first openly gay Asian-American to the federal bench.
Mar 13 — Comes out against the constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage.
Mar 13 — Beau Biden speaks out in support of Gay Marriage in Delaware. “All Delawareans should be able to marry the person they love, the person who they want to spend their life with. The freedom to marry is the fundamental, defining civil rights issue of our time.”
Mar 18 — Hillary Clinton comes out for gay marriage.
Mar 20 — Nominated openly gay attorney Elaine D. Kaplan, the current general counsel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as one of two nominees to become a judge on the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Apr 30 — President Obama called NBA player Jason Collins to express his gratitude for coming out as gay.
Jun 11 — U.S. Senator Patick Leahy re-introduces immigration amendment to ensure Bi-national same-sex couples receive the same benefits as their straight counterparts.
Jun 19 — President Obama urges international community to embrace LGBT equality in Berlin speech.
Jun 21 — President Obama nominates two more openly gay men to diplomatic posts.
Jun 21 — United States Congressional Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) announce bill to repeal dishonorable discharges given to gay veterans.
Jun 25 — For the first time, a Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, Attended and Celebrated LGBT Pride Month at the Pentagon.
Jun 26 — U.S. Supreme Court strikes down key part of the Defense of Marriage Act and dismisses California Prop 8 case.
Jul 25 — Both Parties in Congress work on a bill that Congressional Representatives Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) with the help of LGBT veterans have crafted that restores veteran benefits and retirement. Additionally the bill hopes to give them the ability to appeal their dishonorable discharge to be changed to honorable discharge and all mention of sexual orientation removed from the record for everyone who has been discharged for the sexual orientation since World War II.
Aug 8 — Pentagon to Offer 10 Days Paid Leave for Gay Service Members to Travel to States Where They Can Marry.
Sep 27 — Judge Mary Jacobson of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled on Friday in favor of marriage equality on the basis that the state’s current system of civil unions precludes gay couples from receiving the federal benefits of marriage.
Oct 21 — New Jersey Governor drops challenge against Gay Marriage ruling. New Jersey becomes 14th state to allow Gay Marriage.
Be sure to check out the Human Rights Campaign’s comprehensive resource:
“Obama Administration Policy, Legislative and Other Advancements on behalf of LGBT Americans”
This updated resource includes Regulatory and Policy Changes, Support of Pro-LGBT Legislation, Personnel, and Other Pro-LGBT Actions for your review.
So you say Obama was just doing all of this just to get re-elected November 2012? Well if that’s his secret plot to get my vote, then I’m proud to say he’s earned it a thousand times over.
In supporting the LGBT Community as consistently and with intelligent contemplation, I personally give Obama an A+ triple check five gold stars and a second term in office!
– Citizen Observer
Excellent history of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
Mitt Romney’s company, Bain Capital, from which he made his fortune, boasts on their website about their Outsourcing Acumen.
It takes about 10 Indian Employees to make up 1 American Employee in pay. Why would they hire American for ten times as much?
Mitt Romney Chief Adviser: Romney Is Like ‘Etch A Sketch’
Republicans are the Kings of Outsourcing
In October 2004, George W Bush signed several tax breaks and other measures which rewarded companies for sending jobs overseas. This practice had begun in earnest around 2000, but the lid blew off the top after Bush signed this legislation.
In 2010, Democrats introduced a bill that would prohibit firms from taking deductions for business expenses associated with expanding operations in other countries. Republicans blocked it and derided it as “election year politics”. Republicans won the election, while American jobs continued to be lost. Where are the Jobs Jobs Jobs Republicans ran on in 2010? In a uterus somewhere they haven’t found yet?
As if that wasn’t a slap in the face to Americans who needed good paying jobs, the Republicans DID IT AGAIN when they obstructed Democrat’s attempts to make it more difficult for companies to outsource and put Americans out of work and in the bread line so that these companies will be rewarded for hiring slave wage labor in other countries for pennies on the dollar with no labor laws or regulations. Republicans have NO room to talk about anything related to the Economy At All unless they are prepared to Apologize for Destroying it.
Sensing Romney was on the shortlist for Vice President picks in 2008, Michigan Democrats released the following ad:
Happy Birthday Citizens United! It’s been a great two years for you and we are so looking forward to whatever wonders you will bring us this election year.
They may be cute as a button, but there’s a reason they call it the “Terrible Two’s”. Whether it be children, relationships or fascist takeovers of nations, this seems to be the time that all hell breaks loose. According to Dr. Iannelli at About.com | Pediatrics,
To help you cope with this normal stage in your child’s development, you should always remember that your child isn’t trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. He is just trying to express his growing independence and doesn’t have the language skills to easily express his needs. This can also be the reason why your toddler frequently gets frustrated and resorts to hitting, biting, and temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.
Our present situation began to quickly develop when a conservative political group called Citizens United wanted to show an unflattering movie about Hillary Clinton during the primary elections of 2008. They eventually succeeded in winning on January 21, 2010 when the Supreme Court decided that corporations and unions could spend unlimited funds on political ads during campaigns. That is why we now are swamped with political ads and huge amounts of cash flowing into corporate politicians and into corporate media to influence our government’s laws to benefit the corporations and businesses, usually at the expense of the people and the environment.
Once the Supreme Court makes a decision, it’s final. The only way to get around them is to pass a Constitutional Amendment. That can be even harder than convincing a Tea Partier that Obama is cool. The main ingredient we need is a true grassroots movement and politicians who are willing to champion our causes… which seems to have happened, thankfully. In no small way, the Occupy Wall St. movement has changed the national conversation and has begun to change the corporate tide into a popular movement for democracy and economic fairness and opportunity.
These protesters have not been identified with OWS, but the spirit of protest nevertheless continues on:
Realizing the problems we face starts with understanding the corruption of money in our election process. The movement to energize and educate people to realize the need to amend the constitution has gained strength and spread quickly. Several cities and states, including Montana, Vermont, Colorado, New York City, New York, Los Angeles, California, and Oakland, California, have passed amendments and resolutions supporting a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United. Six Democratic Senators as well as a Democratic Congressmen have introduced separate constitutional amendments to ban corporate personhood. Endless online petitions and groups have formed to combat Citizens United. This blog itself was conceived from the frustration from those abominable political ads born from the Citizens United decision.
If you haven’t already familiarized yourself with Citizens United, please take a moment to review the following videos. It is important that every person become capable of explaining and answering questions about this extremely dangerous threat to our nation’s existence.
The Guardian UK: Senator Bernie Sanders: We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy
Robert Reich, Chairman of Common Cause – Progressive Explanation
Visit www.amend2012.org to join the effort!
As expected, the folks who want that corruption so they can indeed allow private entities to control our government with the power of financial influence find all sorts of ways to distort the reality. Watch CATO try to deflect accusations of corporate corruption of the government and turn it around to be government corruption of business. Poor helpless innocent businesses. If only there were no labor laws, minimum wages, environmental protections, pollution regulations, or social programs, those poor over-burdened billionaire corporations could find a way to use the trillions of dollars they are just sitting on to hire people out of the goodness of their golden hearts. It’s either that or the jobs are going to China and India!
So there you see the Conservative – Libertarian destructive combination doing their very best to enslave the ninety-nine percent of us while they roll around naked in the fruit of our labor.
CATO Institue – Koch Brothers Explanation
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” ~ Franlink Delano Roosevelt
Thom Hartmann and Bernie Sanders talk about the constitutional amendment on Brunch with Bernie (42 minutes)
Friday January 20, 2012
How soon we forget how lethal anti-abortion political media can be. Following the death of Dr. Tiller, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ran a special called The Assassination of Dr. Tiller which described the history and developments leading up to the tragic events.
One main high profile media attacker of Dr. Tiller was (and still is) Bill O’Reilly of FOX News. His relentless attacks are well documented in many places including Salon.com, Wikipedia, and the New York Times. As expected, Bill O’Reilly retaliated against the “left wing loons” by claiming he was just reporting what others were saying, which PolitiFact and Media Matters rated as False.
Indiana University School of Journalism – 2007 O’Reilly study generates national attention: Professor Mike Conway looks at the situation systematically, dispassionately.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Randall Terry using Tim Tebow to promote extreme anti-choice ad: “Defend Tim Tebow: Give to a Pro-Life 2012 Super Bowl Ad’ Campaign Begins“
Three years after Dr. Tiller’s assassination, we have the 2012 presidential election. Anti-choice Operation Rescue founder and convict Randall Terry, a fake Democrat running against President Obama who Terry says is “slaughtering children”, wants to show graphic anti-abortion ads during the Februray 5, 2012 Super Bowl XLVI that will apparently show aborted fetuses (see low quality video below). Because it is political and not a commercial advertisement, the FCC has a 45 day rule banning censoring political ads ahead of an election, including primaries.
|What can we do?||
Wikipedia: Activist Randall Terry has said he is planning to run an ad featuring graphic photos of aborted fetuses during Super Bowl XLVI. It is unlikely that Terry will be allowed to air the ad, given that the networks have a policy under equal time rules to reject all political and issue related advertising during the Super Bowl.
To be honest, it is unclear if there is anything that can be done other than to raise our voices in protest. Perhaps purchase airtime to promote gay marriage showing two guys kissing… that would be enough to generate massive outrage, but accusing the president of slaughtering children and showing abortions? Just what the Doctor ordered!
Ever wondered what happen to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s Nipplegate? Well it seems it’s finally all said and done, everything was eventually thrown out. But an interesting side note: according to Wikipedia, “The media watchdog group Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a statement that same day condemning the halftime show, announcing that their members would file indecency complaints with the FCC and the council supported the FCC’s decision to investigate the halftime show immediately.” That group, Parents Television Council, is one of the conservative media watchdogs founded by L Brent “Obama looks like a ‘skinny, ghetto crackhead‘” Bozell. If FOX News had a rabid activist hell bent on destroying all things liberal, it would be Brent Bozell. Bozell works with many media activist groups, including the Catholic League, ForAmerica, FOX News, and Media Research Center that Bozell founded: The Media Research Center operates on a self-reported $10 million annual budget, using what it calls “the most comprehensive media monitoring operation in the world” to track major televised broadcasts and print news with the goal of “documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.”.
The question is, will Bozell’s right wing media advocacy group Parents Television Council file FCC complaints against an aborted fetus like they did about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction? Is their definition of “decency” limited to only right wing decency or does it represent all decency? Is a dead baby more decent than a nipple?
- FindLaw blogger Stephanie Rabiner: Court Throws Out CBS’s Janet Jackson Super Bowl ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’
- Parents Television Council: PTC Condemns Court Decision Overturning Super Bowl Striptease Indecency Fine
It’s perfectly clear to this observer that Randall Terry is not running a serious campaign for presidency. The primary goal seems to be an anti-abortion attack on the President so Terry can broadcast and “normalize” his message that President Obama is a “baby killer”. Not to mention cash in on the lucrative “anti-abortion industry” as well as further his group’s goal of denying women the right to their own bodies, and preaching intolerance against homosexuality. This kind of emotional attack of gruesome imagery of abortions and extremely disturbing thoughts can impact the viewer or listener in very traumatizing ways. This reaction can lead to stochastic terrorism in unstable individuals such as Scott Roeder, Dr. Tiller’s murderer. It wouldn’t be the first time that extreme anti-abortion imagery in the media caused someone to become violent enough to terrorize and murder people. The pen is mightier than the sword and when vitriolic words combine with audio and disturbing video, those ads become an army of sword wielding soldiers coming into your living room to terrorize your children. If it was a gay male orgy campaigning for a candidate, there’s no way it would be broadcast. It shouldn’t. Neither should such a controversial issue as abortions during a time when children are guaranteed to be present.
Advocate: 31 year old adopted gay son of anti-choice and anti-gay activist Randall Terry dead in car crash.
|Lift Your Voice||
After seeing such an obscene ad, the parents will likely need to explain to their children what abortion is and how the ads can say things like “Romney and Obama are slaughtering children”. What can be done? A parental advisory sticker before the ad? Can’t the Super Bowl just reject all political ads? I guess we’ll just have to get used to it, unless you would like to join us and let your voice be heard:
|Company||Website||Phone and Other Info|
|2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI||Super Bowl Address:
425 West South Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225
|National Football League (NFL)||NFL Mailing Address:
280 Park Ave. 15th Floor, New York, NY 10017.
NFL Phone (212) 450-2000
NFL FAX (212) 681-7599
|Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Sign the Change.org Petition to Chairman, Federal Communications Commission: Forbid the airing of a graphic anti-choice ad during the Super Bowl
Sign Activist Blogger Lynn Hamilton’s Care2 petition on facebook to Get Dead Fetuses Out of the Superbowl!
In this observer’s view, this is not about the freedom of speech, but is very closely shaving the edge of it. It’s about simple decency during family programming, which doesn’t even apply to all cable or satellite channels. Yes, we must always be very careful about what we determine is “indecent”, but the Super Bowl is not the place for controversial politics, it is the place for Families and Children to get together and enjoy an all-American sport, in this observer’s humble opinion. Some politics are way too toxic at this point for viewing by minors. Injecting some of the worst toxic imagery into our already unraveling social cohesion could have very lethal results. Just ask Doctor George Tiller.
Every now and then, the truth slips out. Fourteen years ago in 1998, a TV Funhouse skit for Saturday Night Live about media monopolies was shown once, then banned for allegedly not being “funny” enough. Yet for the comedy it lacked, its truth took up the slack.
From Huffington Post:
“In March of 1998, the popular “TV Funhouse” cartoon segment on “Saturday Night Live” featured one particularly political short called “Conspiracy Theory Rock!”. In it, corporations like GE and FOX were depicted as a “media-opoly,” and their cartoon figureheads devoured smaller news companies in a scathing “School House Rock” parody (a controversial move at the time, considering GE owned NBC).”
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Law of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment,news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
So who gives a crap if media companiess form huge monopolies? Maybe then I will finally be able to fit more Kardashians in to my daily schedule!
Yes, we all hope to do that, but there is a reason that businesses tend to monopolize: Power. What power does the media have? Control over our thoughts, our lives, our choices, our government, our laws, everything – because we allow it by trusting what we see. Sadly, there aren’t enough people that simply want to shut off their hypnotelevisions to make a significant impact in the propaganda being promulgated straight into their minds.
Thanks to the Citizens United decision of 2010, the Media Empires have discovered an UNLIMITED new blood vein from which to suck UNLIMITED amounts of funds from politicians who are using that media airtime to, for the most part, convince you to vote against your own best interests. Particularly the Republicans who not only lie out loud, but use fabricated ideologies to make you think if we just eliminate regulations on corporations and cut all social programs, prosperity will flourish. The above SNL Skit includes a brief slide on this very subject.
Q: Who gains from Citizens United?
A: The Media Monopolies, the Corporate powers who stand to gain from friendly legislation, and the Politicians who use them for power.
Q: Where does all that money come from?
A: From donations to political campaigns, often in huge sums from anonymous donors funneled through Super PACs and other fabricated entites. Some of that also comes from small individual donations, but when it comes to pro-corporate politicians, the money flows from big pockets.
Imagine how all those millions could help the economy, feed the hungry, heal the sick, educate the next generation…
Q: Where does all that advertisement money GO?
A: To the Media-opolies.
Media manipulation is now sold to the highest unlimited bidder who only has two things in mind when they plunk down those huge wads of cash to get airtime: Power and Money. Not the power to be the best selling toilet paper or healthiest candy bar on earth… but the power to parasitically drain the life blood from the consumer and throw them away while continuing to consolidate their power at the expense of freedom, fairness, the environment, life and the world. Right now a very controversial pair of bills called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) are being supported by the major media networks that experts believe will severely inhibit freedom and innovation by turning the internet into a cyber police state. Fortunately for now, the Obama Administration recently came out against these two bills.Notably, there has been a near media black-out of coverage by the same media networks that support these bills.
The power the media networks have over their victims/viewers is strong partly because the victims willingly relinquish their minds to the images and sounds pushed into their homes. Often we already agree with most of the stuff coming from our preferred media networks, so it fits like a glove. We who have broken free from the powerful hypnosis of the media have the responsibility to try to save anyone we can from the death-grip of this parasitic disease. In most cases, the only way to drive a stake into the heart of the lies and propaganda, is by sharing the truth, repeatedly, annoyingly. Never stop shining the light of truth, no matter how futile it may seem. Someone may be learning from you, you just may not know it.