Talk about being caught in the middle.
Mozilla makes the world’s second-most popular desktop browser, Firefox. Soon, however, that ranking may be in jeopardy.
Last week, a handful of Mozilla’s LGBT employees and supporters (we counted six, no doubt there were more) announced their disappointment with their new CEO, co-founder Brendan Eich. Eich, as the world now knows, donated $1000 to support Prop 8 in 2008.
A small software company, Rarebit, founded by a binational same-sex couple harmed by Prop 8, quietly announced they were boycotting all things Mozilla. That boycott spread via social media, and sites like The New Civil Rights Movement, which was among the first to report on it.
Soon, under mounting pressure and bad press, newly-promoted CEO Brendan Eich announced that Mozilla does not discriminate, and the company defended itself by first pointing to its health insurance benefits for domestic partners, then later by announcing that as an organization, Mozilla supports same-sex marriage. Eich never renounced his opposition to marriage equality — not ever.
But some marriage equality supporters were satisfied, while others were not.
Meanwhile, hidden in Eich’s statement was a tiny, minor apology for the hurt his actions in opposition to marriage equality had caused.
Now, the co-founder of the National Organization For Marriage and one of the most-active anti-gay activists in the world, Robert P. George, has demanded his fellow conservatives boycott Mozilla and Firefox.
“The employees of Mozilla evidently think that people like me, and perhaps you, are not morally fit to be employees of their company,” George wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. Of course, he was referring to an unknown quantity of Mozilla employees, but facts rarely get in Robby George’s way — consider his position on marriage equality, and the fact that he was highly-involved in the Regnerus anti-gay parenting “study.”
“They are attempting to force out their CEO because he made a financial contribution in support of the ballot initiative to uphold marriage in California as the union of husband and wife. The CEO isn’t out yet, but he has already caved to the pressure, apologizing for “causing pain” by supporting marriage. … That won’t be enough. His ‘sin’ is unforgivable under the new morality. He’ll soon be gone.”
“So I have just deleted Mozilla Firefox from my computer,” George says. “If I’m not morally fit to be their employee, I’m not morally fit to use their products. If you are a faithful Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Mormon, Orthodox Jew, Muslim, or member of any other tradition that believes that marriage is fundamentally the institution that unites a man and woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children born of their union, providing those children with the inestimable blessing of being brought up in the committed bond of the man and woman whose union brought them into being, or even if you believe in marriage thus understood quite apart from membership in any community of faith, I would ask you to do the same,” he writes.
Of course, over 55 percent of Americans support marriage equality, and “faithful Catholics” support it at a rate higher than the average American. Not only that, but there are many faiths, including Christian denominations, that not only do not oppose same-sex marriage, but actually marry same-sex couples in their churches.
George’s NOM co-founder, Maggie Gallagher, in a National Review blog post yesterday warned that Brendan Eich “now joins a growing number of people who face threats to their livelihoods unless they support gay marriage.” (She didn’t go quite as far as George in calling for a boycott.)
So, there’s really nothing left to do.
Firefox must immediately be relegated to the small portion of internet citizens who neither support nor oppose marriage, period. In short, if you believe in marriage for different-sex couples or for same-sex couples, you cannot (to use the words of Robby George) “morally” use Firefox.
It’s actually come to this.
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FDR, JFK, and LBJ: White House (Finally) Takes (Cautious) Victory Lap on Biden’s (Huge) Successes
The White House is coming off a year of approval rating declines, thanks in large part to Republican obstruction and attacks, but President Joe Biden, Democrats, and the nation now have a lot to celebrate.
“We now have a presidency where the president has delivered the largest economic recovery plan since Roosevelt, the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower, the most judges confirmed since Kennedy, the second largest health care bill since Johnson and the largest climate change bill in history,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, not known for bragging, told Politico’s Ryan Lizza. “The first time we’ve done gun control since President Clinton was here, the first time ever an African American woman has been put on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“I think it’s a record to take to the American people,” Klain added.
Lizza and Eugene Daniels of Politico’s Playbook note, “At the start of the summer, this conversation would have been vastly different. Now, gas prices have dropped, and the last CPI report hints that inflation may finally be trending down after hitting a peak. Election forecasters are writing pieces at least entertaining the idea that Democrats might not suffer the long-predicted midterm wipeout. And there’s that burst of legislative victories that were squeezed out of Congress in July and August that had Biden, a lover of alliteration, calling this period ‘a season of substance.’”
The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly observes, “Klain’s references to historical figures chimes with Biden’s own interests. The president has regularly consulted historians, among them Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss and Eddie Glaude Jr, while Jon Meacham, a biographer of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and George HW Bush, has been a close adviser in shaping Biden’s effort to restore ‘the soul of the nation’ after the presidency of Donald Trump.”
Pengelly adds: “Democrats control Congress by narrow margins. Opposition parties commonly do well in the first elections of a presidential term, and Republicans remain favoured to take control of one or both chambers. But legislative successes, most recently the passage of a major domestic and climate crisis spending plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, have given Democrats hope.”
With just 80 days to Election Day – less, if you include early voting – FiveThirtyEight put the likelihood of Democrats retaining their Senate majority at 63 in 100 chances, but give Republicans 78 in 100 chances of taking over the House.
You can hear Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Politico’s podcast here.
Trump Is Privately Admitting Dr. Oz Will ‘F–king Lose’: Report
Dr. Oz is going to “fucking lose” his race for a U.S. Senate seat “unless something drastically changes, Trump has said privately of his chosen man in the Keystone State, according to two sources who’ve discussed the midterm election with the ex-president,” Rolling Stone reports.
The magazine adds, “the former president is coming to the same conclusion that numerous party consultants and conservative bigwigs arrived at earlier this summer: Oz is very likely doomed.”
Trump seems to be taking this projected loss personally, given the Pennsylvania GOP nominee, like himself, has wide name-recognition thanks to his TV show.
“In recent weeks, some Trump allies have repeatedly flagged polling for the former president showing Dr. Oz down, at times by wide or double-digit margins, to his Democratic opponent. Trump has sometimes responded by asking advisers how it’s possible that someone who was that popular on TV for so long is doing so poorly in the polls. When Trump has inquired if the polling has been ‘phony’ or skewed, multiple people close to him have assured him that — as one of the sources describes to Rolling Stone — ‘this is not a matter of the polls being ‘rigged,’ there are major problems with this campaign and, more specifically, this candidate.'”
Indeed, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke just days before winning the Democratic primary for that Senate seat, is beating Oz in polls by double digits. One recent GOP insider poll showed Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points. The latest Fox News poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 11 points.
The Fetterman team is displaying massive political savvy with its mocking memes of the celebrity TV doctor, mostly around his “crudité” video from April. They’ve resurfaced it, making a mockery of the man they already claim doesn’t actually live in Pennsylvania, but is a carpetbagger from New Jersey.
Oz calling Redner’s, a local grocery store chain, “Wegner’s” in the video while complaining about the high cost of vegetables to make “crudité” has not helped the celebrity physician known for selling “diet scams” and “false and baseless medical claims,” and the Fetterman team has milked it for all it’s worth – even creating a parody account for the non-existent supermarket.
— Wegner’s Groceries (@grocerieswegner) August 15, 2022
37% of respondents in that Fox News poll added they are “extremely” concerned that Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz) “may not be familiar enough with the state of Pennsylvania to carry out the job of senator effectively.” Just 13% of respondents said they were “extremely” concerned that John Fetterman “may not be healthy enough to carry out the job of senator effectively.”
Fulton County DA Slams Lindsey Graham’s Efforts to Avoid Testifying: Causing ‘Substantial Injury’ to Grand Jury
Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is punching back hard at U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s efforts to avoid testifying to the Special Purpose Grand Jury (SPGJ) investigating efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney points to a new court filing in which Willis urges the judge to not indulge Graham’s efforts to delay.
A stay would “significantly harm” and “result in substantial injury to the Special Purpose Grand Jury,” Willis warns. She calls Graham’s testimony “crucial,” and notes that Graham has already delayed the grand jury’s work by six weeks by filing motions in “three separate jurisdictions.”
Granting Graham’s request “will ensure that the Senator’s involvement with the SPGJ will not be resolved for months.”
She notes on Monday U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May denied Graham’s attempt to delay his testimony, but on Wednesday Graham filed an emergency motion to get the court to grant his request.
In her conclusion she eloquently reminds Sen. Graham and the judge what the law is about.
“Senator Graham insists that he seeks to delay his appearance before the Special Purpose Grand Jury not just for his own sake, but also for the sake of the separation of powers, federalism, and ‘for the People,'” Willis writes. “The Special Purpose Grand Jury, however, is the People: a collection of citizens called together to perform their civic duty on behalf of their neighbors and families. They have sacrificed their time, effort, energy, and attention for months in order to investigate matters that affect themselves, their community, and the nation as a whole. The District Attorney asks that this Court deny Senator Graham’s motion in order that he, for a single day, can assist them in that great task without further delay. The People have requested Senator Graham’s testimony and stand ready to receive it. All that is left is for the Senator to meet them.”
Willis also explains exactly why the grand jury needs his testimony.
“As this Court recognized in its Order, Senator Graham’s testimony is sought by the SPGJ not simply because he possesses necessary and material information but also because he is expected to provide information regarding additional sources of relevant information,” Willis tells the court. “As a result, delaying the Senator’s testimony would not simply postpone his appearance; it would also delay the revelation of an entire category of relevant witnesses or information, each of whom would require additional time and resources to secure on behalf of the SPGJ.”
On Monday, Judge May wrote: “Senator Graham has direct personal knowledge of conversations with Georgia election officials which have been the subject of public dispute as to the nature of his inquiries and requests, including any implicit or overt suggestions to discard ballots or otherwise alter the election results.”
Judge May added, “the District Attorney described Senator Graham as a ‘necessary and material witness in [the Special Purpose Grand Jury] investigation’ not only because of his personal knowledge of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, but also because he possesses ‘unique knowledge’ concerning ‘the Trump Campaign and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.’”
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