For better or for worse, America will be truly changed after November’s midterm elections.
Eight months from today, America will vote for thirty-nine Governors, the entire U.S House of Representatives — all 435 seats — and thirty-six U.S. Senators. And that doesn’t even include state legislatures or local elections. Forty-six states will hold elections for some form of state legislative office. And there will be mayoral elections in fifteen major U.S. cities and countless others. Untold numbers of elected officials, from Congressmen and Governors to dog catchers, will be on the November 2 ballot. Primaries have already begun for some of these seats, in Illinois and Texas.
This is a major election, and while not a presidential election year, many seats are up for grabs, especially as term limits are automatically throwing incumbents out of office. Voter anger is high — as is America’s obsession with politics. And rightly so. Whether that anger turns out to more people showing up at the polls is always the question, but those the most angry are often those who show up to “throw the bums out.” Yes, if you’re the incumbent, you could be on thin ice. (Who’s on the thinnest? HuffPo says these eight.)
For better or for worse, or perhaps both, the America we knew just a decade ago has been erased. Much of the progress we saw in the Clinton years has been eviscerated. And what we thought was progress in the Bush years was wiped clean before he even left office.
There’s much at stake here. Too much to not get involved.
Right now I’m in the middle of looking at all the races I can, and figuring out where I want to focus. I’m committed to removing the homophobes, like Virgina Foxx (remember her horrific comments about Matthew Shepard? Fight back. Join FireFoxx!) and Iowa’s Steve King from office. And there are so many more.
What’s at stake? Who controls the House and the Senate. Whether states have Republican or Democratic governors. Whether cities have Democratic or Republican mayors.
Why does this matter? Well, while the Democrats have been no friend to the LGBTQ community, the GOP has been actively hostile. Let me stress that before you start writing me mail about how I shouldn’t support the Democratic party. I’m not.
Let me also say, vote for a candidate and not a party. If you’re going to contribute money, do not contribute to a political party — contribute to a candidate who fully supports LGBTQ rights. Do your homework. Does your candidate support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA? Do they support enactment of ENDA? Did they vote for or against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill? Do they support same-sex marriage — not just civil unions, but marriage? And are they brave and transparent enough to be squarely on the record on all these points?
Don’t know? Can’t find their position anywhere? Call them. Write them. Demand a response.
Aren’t getting one? Ask me and I’ll do my best to find out.
So, again, why does this matter? Because governors sign — or veto — same sex marriage legislation. Governors and mayors include — or exclude — the LGBTQ workforce from their anti-discrimination policies. (Thank you again, newly sworn-in Virgina Governor Bob McDonnell, for removing protections for LGBTQ state workers, even though you campaigned on an agenda that you claimed wasn’t about social issues, but financial ones.)
Why does this matter? Because there still are Republicans who would like to not only ensure DOMA doesn’t get repealed, but that there’s a federal marriage amendment written into the constitution that clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Think that’s impossible today? Not when support for same-sex marriage in some polls is slightly declining, and not when the last time the Federal Marriage Amendment was voted on was less than four years ago. (And not when just two weeks ago, Senator Mike Pence called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage!)
We’ve seen the pendulum swing both ways.
It’s important, no, vital, that we see the pendulum swinging our way, that we, as a country, move more to the left than to the right, that Democrats get the message that we aren’t a “center-right” nation, that Democrats realize that voting for Democratic ideals is why we put them in office.
Please. Get involved. Involve your friends, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, everyone you can. When people have the ability to vote on our rights, when we are second class citizens, when the Party of No could become the Tea Party, when the wall between religion and politics becomes slimmer and lower, when corporations become people and money becomes speech, yes, I’d say our very lives are at stake.
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Christian Right Facing ‘Credibility’ Issues — Just as They Try to Force Their Will on Everyone Else: Analyst
On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC’s ReidOutBlog, Ja’han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of “credibility” — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.
Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.
The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.
“First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that’s facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to ‘biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'” wrote Jones. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school.”
“That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists,” wrote Jones. “In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there ‘are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,’ and that Southern Baptists ‘must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'”
All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of “defending children.” And this is “an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to ‘fix.'”
You can read more here.
Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
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