No More Bush(es)!

Former Florida governor James E. (“JEB”) Bush announced weeks ago that he is running for the Presidency of this country. He and the bat-guano-crazy Donald Trump are part of a demented field for the 2016 “GOP” presodential nomination. It consists of the 16 Horsemen of the Apocalpse plus Carly Fiorna. The reason thatI am concerned about Bush is that he is slick enough to pull the wool over enough people’s eyes to win in November.

As a resident of Florida, I have experienced the vileness of James E. Bush when he was governor from 1998-2006. He brought back the patronage system by eliminating the civil service system implemented by previous reform governors. He eliminated the Board of Regents and stacked iit’s replacement with conservative appointees. When activists staged a sitin at his office he told guards/police to “kick their [expletive deleted]s out! He was so mean that people were afraid to talk about how mean he was until he was out of office.

More recently he has said that workers do not work long enough hours and that he thinks Medicare should be phased out. Do not be fooled by his charisma and his efforts to moderate and soften his image. This man is a cruel extremist from an oligarchic family. We need him in the White House like a hole in the head.

The Time is NOW!

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The Florida National Organization for Women is had its state convention in Venice, Florida this past weekend. I wish that this event, held by one of the finest organizations around, got more coverage. Far be it from the corporate, allegedly liberal media to pay much attention to progressive organizations.

This one is greatly needed. The reproductive rights of women are under attack across the nation, including in Florida, where the Republicans dominate the state legislature and one of the county’s most pernicious rogue governors was re-elected last year.  Progress in narrowing the wage gap is slow. Women make up only 20% of the members of Congress. We still have not had a woman president and the woman who is the front-runner for the next term in the White House is mired in themselves fr scandal. Federally mandated unpaid leave is useless to most women and we have no paid-leave law.

We have a long to go towards equality for women. Feminist organizing is imperative. Progress is being slowed to a crawl by conservative excuse-making and male resistance. Men react to the efforts of women to free themselves from the shackles of stereotypes and glass ceilings by increasing the machismo and darkness and considering ares penetrated by women to be female. One one wonders if in the future men will end up living in caves and swing clubs like their ancestors because they consider everything else to be female.

This is the problem: dividing everything into male and female and heaping disrespect onto what is considered female. The time has come, is long past actually, to stop stereotyping people and to respect subjects and activities that have been identified with women. Enough is enough.

FEC Taking a Comments on Disclosure Laws

http://act.commoncause.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=7387&em_id=3487.5

The Federal Election Commission is seeking comments on how to improve regulations governing disclosure of campaign contributions until January 15 (next Thursday). This is our chance to push for them to require full disclosure, which the public has a right to. With the DISCLOSE Act stalled in the Congress, FEC action is imperative and urgent. Please use the above link to find the  link to the appropriate FEC page.

In related news, according to Common Cause an anti-corruption ballot referendum passed in Tallahassee, Florida. According to represent.us, the margin was approximately 2 to 1. Finally, according to the Huffington Post, the anti-corruption act includes:

  • lower limits on campaign contributions
  • a citizen-funding system
  • an independent authority to investigate campaigns.

This is a major victory, and by all accounts it was won with a left-right coalition that actually included members of the Tea Party. Hopefully it is the first of many triumphs. Democracy, fairness, and decency demand it.

Marriage Equality Rules!

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Marriage equality became the rule in all 67 of the counties of Florida today! Even rogue AG Pam Bondi had to concede the inevitability of this development and wished couples well. Clerks in some counties have resorted to ceasing to perform marriages at all, but they are still required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now we need a statewide ENDA in Florida and one nationwide. Rights for transgendered people are also essential.

Marriage equality is also sweeping the country, as the above chart from thenewcivilrightsmovement.com shows. They estimate that 70% of gay men and lesbians in this country live in a place where same-sex marriage is legal. Sometimes the “good guys” win in the end.

 

TransAction Florida

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Big it news here in Florida! Equality Florida has launched TransAction Florida! TransAction Florida is an initiative to promote equality for transgender people. It has a Facebook page and a Twitter feed so far.

Also of note is that Florida State Rep. Holly Raschein has proposed the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. This legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state law prohibiting discrimination.

Finally, the appeals of the handful of district court decisions striking down Florida’s gay marriage ban have been consolidated. The 11th circuit court of appeals has refused to overrule the expiration of the stay on the district court ruling. This means that, barring intervention by the right-wing U.S a Supreme Court, same-sex marriage will be legal in Florida! ūüéąūüéČūüéąūüéČūüéą Hurray!

This post was mostly sourced from Equality Florida.

Rogue Governors

This election cycle we have the chance to rid this country of the rogue governors who were elected in 2010:

Paul LePage (Maine)

Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania)

Rick Scott (Florida)

Rick Snyder (Michigan)

Scott Walker (Wisconsin)

 

All are being challenged, all are in tight races except for Corbett who is being routed by Democrat Tom Wolf. The race between Scott and Democrat Charles Crist in Florida is particularly close.

Let us get out and give these turkeys pink slips!

VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Tell TV Networks to Stop Running Misleading Koch Brother Ads | Democrats.com

,¬†Tell TV Networks to Stop Running Misleading Koch Brother Ads | Democrats.com. The Kochs are not only trying to buy control of congress, they are spreading lies to that end. That buck stops here. The Republican Party and the dreadful Mitch McConnell must not be allowed to take control of the U.S. Senate. The consequences are too painful to contemplate. Also, the “GOP”‘s rogue ¬†governors, Synder in Michigan, LePage in Maine, Walker in Wisconsin, Corbett in Pennsylvania, and Scott here in Florida, must be prevented from securing re-election. The dismantling of corporate control begins Nov. 4!

Voting in Your State – Nonprofit Vote

Voting in Your State – Nonprofit Vote. – this a link to a site where you can click on a state and look up your voting procedures. It is time to register and vote, people! Election Day is exactly five(5) weeks away! Early voting has started in some states. In Florida, six(6) days are now left until the early voting deadline!

Much is at stake! Republican rogue Governors who used low turnout to sneak in during 2010 are up for re-election in six states: Florida (Scott), Maine (Le Page), Michigan (Snyder), Ohio(Kasich), Pennsylvania(Wisconsin), and Wisconsin(Walker). Turnout is needed to beat these fiends, especially in Wisconsin, where an injunction against the deleterious voter I.D. law has been voided, and Ohio, where early voting has been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additionly, close races are occurring in a number of seats in the Senate, where six pickups would give the control of the U.S. Senate to the “GOP” ¬†and make Darth Dark Money (Mitch McConnell) Majority Leader if he is re-elected. Kentuckians, you must get out and vote Alison Lundergan Grimes to victory over him! Other close races are:

Bruce Braley (D) against nutty Republican Jodi Ernst in Iowa;

Mark Begich (D), who scored 90% on the Progressive Punch up to a year ago, fighting for re-election in Alaska;

Mark Pryor(D) against the extreme Tom Cotton in Arkansas;

Mary Landrieu (D) fighting for re-election in Louisiana;

Kay Hagan (D) fighting for re-election against an extreme Republican in North Carolina;

Mark UdAll (D) fighting for re-election in Colorado;

 

Democrats chances in the House are slim, but we must fight for every seat we can. If we do, we might put a scare into Darth Vainer (Speaker Boehner) and company. In particular, our extreme Congressperson Theodore “Ted” Yoho here in Florida District 3 is being challenged by Maryhelen Wheeler. She is so progressive that not only does this blog endorse her, the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) have endorsed. Let’s get out there and register and vote, people!

Alachua County Commission to vote Aug. 13 on adding sexual orientation and sexual identity to anti-discrimination ordinance

A decades old wrong is about to be righted in Alachua County, Florida this month. Nineteen years ago, in 1994, the Alachua County Commission voted to add sexual orientation to the county anti-discrimination ordinance. Opponents of gay rights responded with a county ballot referendum repealing the above mentioned measure and forbidding commissioners from taking such action in the future.

Supporters of gay rights formed an organization called No On 1 and fought the anti-gay initiative, but they lost. They then filed suit. The judge in the case chose to wait for a decision pending in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Romer v. Evans, in which the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a state anti-gay measure similar to the one in Alachua County.

The SCOTUS¬†decision, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, while reversing the Colorado Court’s striking down¬†of the portion of the anti-gay law repealing gay rights legislation, upheld the portion of the¬†state court’s decision striking¬† down the section forbidding the state government from enacting gay rights laws in the future. The judge in the Alachua¬†County case responded by treated the Alachua County initiative similarly: uphold the repeal of gay rights protection but invalidated the prohibition against passing any such measure in the future.

Although the future was left open, for the time being gay rights advocates unfortunately had to settle for inclusion of sexual orientation in the City of Gainesville’s anti-discrimination ordinance and inclusion of gender identity later. People were thus protected from discrimination on those bases in¬† Gainesville but not in the rest of the county. For nineteen years lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgendered had no recourse at the county level.

That was how things stood until June 25, when the County Commission voted 4-1 to vote, on Aug. 13, on once again including sexual orientation, and this time gender identity as well, in the county anti-discrimination ordinance where they belong, the dissenting vote coming from the lone Tea Partier on the commission. Romer v. Evans has finally led to the opportunity to rectify the wrong that was done in 1994.

The time for this action has come. Actually, it came long ago but was thwarted by a vocal, well-funded minority. It is indeed past time for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgendered to get their due, to be granted equal protection under the law. Alachua County and Gainesville should be ahead of the curve on progressive change. Hopefully the county commission will put Alachua County there on LGBT rights.

Dream Defenders gain hearing on ” Stand Your Ground Law”

A valiant group of activists who are members of Dream Defenders are staging a sit-in at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. They are demanding a special session to repeal the infamous “Stand Your Ground Law”, which appears to have been incorporated into the judge’s instructions to the jury in the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin (check out the livestream at ustream.tv/recorded/36789195). The demonstrators met with rogue Governor Rick Scott, but he refused to hold a special session. The Speaker of the Florida House, however, announced a hearing on SYG.

This hearing is a victory for the Dream Defenders and everyone upset by Zimmerman’s acquittal, but it is a very small one; it falls far short of a special session and no legislation was promised. What has been conceded is thus a tiny opening in what will likely be a prolonged struggle.

This struggle is for justice for Trayvon Martin, for sane law that does not allow someone like Zimmerman to get away with stalking an innocent teenager by claiming self defense in the confrontation provoked by that stalking, for a society in which African-Americans and members of other minority groups would not have to live in fear of losing their lives at the hands of those charged with protecting them.

Changing or repealing SYG is but the beginning of the struggle. We must change the attitude that led to Trayvon Martin’s death, the state of mind which causes whites to selectively fear nonwhites but deny race as a factor. We must break through such fear and denial. We must also prevent the steamrolling of nonwhites by whites on the issues involved, as usually happens. Minority concerns are as important as those of whites and merit equal consideration.