Justice Prevails

infograf-yall-all

I became a supporter of this movement in the mid-1990s at a time when the odds of success were roughly zero to none. It was personal for me and mine, of course, but there was a larger purpose too. This is our legacy — our generation’s — a hard-won gift to future generations of young people that will enable them to grow up without stigma and go on to lead full and productive lives. Sometimes justice prevails. This is one of those times.

Andrew Sullivan, then affiliated with the GOP, was one of the first advocates of gay marriage. I saw him speak on the topic at an event in West Hollywood in 1996 or so. He’s posted a brief history of those early days here.

Why Aren’t BMW and Adidas Condemning the Rebel Flag?
Now flying over the South Carolina state capitol

Now flying over the South Carolina state capitol

Both BMW and Adidas have plants in South Carolina but neither company has shown any interest in asking state legislators to stop flying the Confederate flag* over government buildings.

When these companies decided to take advantage of the cheaper, mostly non-unionized labor there, they made a decision to identify with the state. So why aren’t they speaking up? After all, it’s their state now.

WTF? Obama Visits Marc Maron’s Garage
He wore a tie?

He wore a tie?

I stay about two years behind in listening to my WTF podcasts. Until today, I never skipped ahead to listen to this or that guest being interviewed by Marc Maron, no matter how big a fan of the person I was, because there is a continuity to the episodes and I prefer to work my way through them the hard way.

That changed today. When I started to sync my iPod before walking the dog this morning, I saw that Marc’s guest for the episode dated 6/22/15 was Pres. Obama. Yes. That Pres. Obama. How could I not listen in real (so to speak, since it’s a podcast) time?

I couldn’t.

Media Ignores Jeb’s Meeting with Top Polish Official Who Was Fired Because He Criticized America
Jeb Bush, left, with Radoslaw Sikorksi, one day after Sikorski resigned as speaker of the parliament because he'd criticized the United States

Jeb Bush, left, meeting with Radoslaw Sikorksi, one day after Sikorski was fired as speaker of Poland’s parliament because he’d criticized the United States

Imagine for a moment the fusillades of criticism that would be barraging Hillary Clinton right now if she’d gone overseas and met this week with a top foreign official one day after he’d been fired because he’d been caught on tape referring to his country’s longstanding alliance with the United States as “worthless” and “bullshit,” and describing the asymmetrical relationship between the two countries as being analogous to his country giving America a “blowjob.”

Now imagine what the Beltway media elite and their right-wing imitators at Fox and elsewhere would say if, instead of Clinton, the presidential candidate who’d met with this scandal-plagued, America-hating foreign leader was Jeb Bush.

Jeb ‘Looks Weaker And Weaker’
He's accused of funding violations and could face email and foundation scandals - but, not to worry, the D.C. media elites always have the Bushes' backs

photo-jeb-tanking

The Cook Political Report represents the gold standard in political polling and prognosticating. When Charlie Cook or his lieutenants cite a trend, you can take it to the bank. This week one of Cook’s top experts, Amy Walters, published an analysis of Jeb Bush’s all-but-announced presidential campaign that is likely sounding alarms throughout the Republican Party’s establishment wing. The headline, written in neutral Cookspeak, says it all: “Jeb Goes from Fragile Frontrunner to Underdog.”

Bet Chris Christie Wishes He’d Never Suited Up for That Game
Somewhere near Fort Lee, whoever advised him to do this is packing up their desk

ChristieBall

Enjoy this awesome pic of the awesome governor of New Jersey, who appears ready to play ball. Yes, just the one ball.

Worse Than Benghazi: After Reagan Ignored Warnings, 220 Marines Were Killed by a Terrorist in Beirut
But Democrats led By Speaker Tip O'Neill blamed the terrorists, not the president, for the murders
Left: The U.S. peacekeepers' command center and barracks before the explosion; right: Service members pick through the rubble following the Beirut bombing Oct. 23, 1983. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the bombing that resulted in 220 Marine deaths. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps History Division)

Left: The U.S. peacekeepers’ command center and barracks before the explosion; right: Service members pick through the rubble following the Beirut bombing Oct. 23, 1983. (Photo from the United States Marine Corps History Division)

In 1982, seven years into the Lebanese Civil War, Pres. Ronald Reagan ordered 2,400 Marines into Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping mission. As peacekeepers, the Marines operated under rules of engagement that prohibited them from firing their weapons unless they’d been fired upon first — and even then they could only respond with the same type of weapon that had been fired at them.

There were other restrictions. Violence in the city was so bad that they were confined to their base at the Beirut airport. Eventually, the entire American force, which also included Army and Navy personnel, moved into a large, modern office building that had been repurposed to house their command center as well as living quarters. (The building is referred to in many accounts as the “Marine barracks.”) And yet the gates to the facility were ordered to remain open at all times, and the sentries who manned the gates were to be unarmed.

In Washington, Reagan ignored warnings from his senior advisers that he’d put American troops in harm’s way.

How Much Does Obama Hate Israel? 1.9 Billion Times
Bunker busters

Bunker busters

One of the many persistent right-wing lies about Pres. Obama is that he hates Israel. It may be true that he’s not fond of the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, a despicable figure who is closely aligned with Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a cabal that makes no secret of its contempt for the president. But there’s no evidence that Obama loves or hates Israel any more than he likes or dislikes any of America’s allies.

Writing in the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf summed up this particular right-wing myth about the president last summer:

Bush’s CIA Briefer: Cheney and Bush Lied about Iraq Nukes
Republicans insist that the Bush-Cheney administration relied on faulty intel instead - because incompetence may be excusable but starting a war based on lies is a war crime
Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on  intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball"

Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball”

Why did George Bush and Dick Cheney invade Iraq? Their foundational rationale for the invasion was to prevent Saddam Hussein from using nuclear weapons they claimed he had. Based on what we know now, of course, those claims were either lies or they were based on faulty intelligence. Republicans are desperate to assert it was the latter — that Bush and Cheney were merely incompetent and relied on bad data — because if the former were true, if Bush and Cheney knowing lied about their rationale for taking the country to war, they were guilty of a massive war crime and, by all rights, should be sitting the Hague today.

Earlier this week, Mike Morell, the CIA officer who served as George Bush’s chief intelligence briefer, confirmed that the claims by Bush, Cheney and others that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons were lies.

Video and transcript follow…

Rubio & Braman — By the Numbers

Marco & Norman

Marco & Norman

Tampa Bay Times has some interesting insights into the relationship between presidential candidate Marco Rubio and his Miami billionaire patron Norman Braman. Recently, Braman announced he was giving Rubio $10 million to help finance his campaign.

It appears Rubio is accustomed to feeding at the Braman trough. Here are some numbers that illuminate their relationship:

Enumerati

  • 3 out of 5

    Floridians are flunking the state’s new written driver license test. “State officials expected some applicants would have trouble adjusting to a new written test implemented in January but acknowledge it erupted into an unexpected problem when they discovered more than 80 percent of drivers in some counties were unable to pass,” reports the Tampa Bay Times.

  • $1 billion

    Amount some think will be spent on political advertising on Facebook to reach its 189 million users during the 2016 election cycle, according to the New York Times.

  • 24%

    Donald Trump’s lead in the GOP presidential race with 24%, followed by Jeb Bush at 12%, John Kasich at 7%, Scott Walker at 7%, Marco Rubio at 6%, Ben Carson at 5% and Rand Paul at 5%, a new Monmouth poll in New Hampshire finds.

  • 48%

    Of Jewish Americans support the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration while 28% oppose it and 25% hadn’t heard enough to form an opinion, an LA Jewish Journal survey finds.

  • $15 million

    Amount “two low-profile Texas brothers” have donated to support Sen. Ted Cruz, “a record-setting contribution that amounts to the largest known donation so far in the 2016 presidential campaign,” CNN reports.

Poetic Justice

The GOP contenders don’t want pollsters to ignore ’em,
So they can make the debate cut and get a national TV forum.
So their comments get outrageous
And insulting and shameless,
And the only thing that’s lacking is political decorum.

Verbatim

  • I don’t care what his actual positions are. I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.

    — Billionaire Mark Cuban, telling Business Insider that Donald Trump is “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time.”

  • Trump’s key lieutenants tend to fit the same consumer profile that his discount luxury brand targets: They are men with middle- and working-class roots; lacking in elite credentials; mesmerized by made-for-TV displays of lavish wealth. They are impressed with brashness and bored by subtlety. They are amused by dirty jokes and averse to irony. They are likely to buy a Trump-branded necktie sometime this year, and if they feel like splurging they’ll get the matching cufflinks, too.

    — McKay Coppins writes on Buzzfeed.

  • Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That’s what prepping for this debate is like.

    — GOP strategist John Weaver, on Twitter.

  • The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are I think part of just a general pattern we’ve seen… that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad. Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines but it’s not the kind of leadership that’s needed for America right now.

    — President Obama, quoted by ABC News, on Mike Huckabee’s inflammatory comments on the Iran deal.

  • These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country — who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms — to carry them. I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.

    — Rick Perry (R), telling CNN that if people could bring their guns to the movies, they could prevent the movie theater shootings.

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Infografix

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Libertarianism: The misguided belief that trading the yoke of big government for the yoke of big business will make the whip sting less.

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