Showing posts with label Editorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Editorial. Show all posts

August 1, 2017

NJ Gov.Chris Christie Goes to Ball Pk Gets in The Face of Fan, Again






I remember when President Obama came to NJ about 8 years ago after the are was hit by a hurricaine that decimated the beaches and resident on low laying areas. President Obama invited Christie to AirForce One and they flew examing the damage. Governor Christie was so emotional and grateful for President Obama to have come in to help the area and give His highest priority that made Chrisite cry. He said he had never been on Airforce One and it was sad to see a guy that size with tears down the cheeks like a boy. Christie doesn't cry anymore and people don't shake his hand but by many other methods, mainly with fingers.

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Maybe New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should just stay away from ballparks and beaches, not to mention bridges.

The month of July hasn't been very kind to the governor. First, Christie angered New Jerseyans by spending part of the July 4 holiday lounging on a popular state beach that was closed to everyone else due to a partial government shutdown. The internet memes created from a photo of Christie relaxing in his beach chair quickly went viral.

And then there was the foul ball the governor caught at Citi Field earlier this month that elicited loud boos from the crowd. Even one broadcaster couldn't help making a sly commentary: "Nice to see him get from the beach here to the ballpark."

Now, at yet another baseball game at Milwaukee's Miller Stadium over the weekend, Christie, a bowl of nachos in hand, got within inches of a heckling Cubs fan to give him a piece of the gubernatorial mind.

In a video of the incident posted on Twitter, it's difficult to hear, but Christie says "You're a big shot," to the man, identified as Brad Joseph, who is wearing sunglasses and a Cubs jersey. "I appreciate that," Joseph is heard saying sarcastically.

Speaking with WISN 12 News, Joseph says he saw Christie coming up the stairs: "I yelled his name and told him that he sucked ... I called him a hypocrite because I thought it needed to be said."

Joseph said Christie made contact with his knee and asked if he wanted to "do something" or "start something."

"(He) was yelling at me. First, he told me, 'Why don't you have another beer?' which I thought was a decent come back, and I thought that was kind of funny," says Joseph. "Then he started calling me a tough guy."

Even before "beach gate," Christie was experiencing some of the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the country. In fact, they've been falling more-or-less steadily since his 2013 reelection, followed quickly by Bridgegate.

And Christie, who can't run again due to term limits, hasn't shown much empathy either over what NJ.com describes as "the global outrage" over the beach episode. In a radio interview last week, the governor said the flap has hurt his family and that he's avoided looking at the internet memes that have emerged as a result.

He said in Thursday's broadcast of Ask the Governor on NJ 101.5 FM that his family has been "more hurt by this latest episode than they've been hurt by anything else that has happened in the eight years and they don't understand people's unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance."

NPR 
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Many tears have passed away and Christie now can't run for goveror again because of term limits and Trump afer the election, have both become the men they relly are. Obnotious who care less about the voters because they care for number one first. They both used their position to acquire power. Not to solve problems. When Christie was passed over for the position he had been offered of Attorney General because Jarred Kutchner was opposed, after all Chrisite on the days he was working hard to do his job and politicly grow went after a billionaire, The head of the Family Kutcher. 

Who would have thought that one day that kid Jarred would have the power f Chrisitie to hae the ultimate orgasm. Not just to fly Air Force one but to Work in Washington with Doors open to the White House. Next it would be running for Presidet. Everything was writen on the carton of Breyers rockie road Ice cream. As far as Trump goes he could promised anything, as Trump would say it was a political campaign and you do what you have to but when he finaly gets where people have elected him to, he belives is all because of his own smarts that got him there. He does good if its also good for him and his otels and so many business. Doesn't even need the President's salary which is lunch money.  

To win it is required for many alliances working for themselves but believing this person will deliver on promises that contradict others he is also made, but they beleive he will deliver on theirs and are the ones that bring the votes together. 

As for many voters they vote for the "lesser of two evils" or because the other one went around prostituting, killing boys (many voter said this was a reason, it was put out by the pizza connection which was not unmasked by the FBI as made up stories. These ever competing political groups tell them those voters to beleive and they beleive. Others just stay home and thus voting for the candidate that won by neutralizing the vote of the one that lost. 

A percentage of voters and I have no idea how many are reading this. We get to know the person as a politician, never fall in love with a politician, politcians are not people you can totally trust. Liking a lot should be the most on that scale. Liking and respect should be the most a politicaian gets.

Adam πŸ¦Š
adamfoxie.blogspot.com

July 10, 2017

Anti Gay Messaging Really Hurts Kentuckys Economy




 Kim Davis who went to jail for refusing to issue Marriage licences, Presidential runner at the time Huckabee, pastor and a guy who use to dress as a farmer to appear at GOP rallies and take away some the richie smell.





We sometimes disagreed with their approach, but there’s no denying that Republicans went into 2017 determined to put their newly won power into boosting Kentucky’s economy. To that end, legislative leaders and Gov. Matt Bevin spurned attempts to pass a “bathroom bill.”

They wanted to avoid the jobs-killing flak that came North Carolina’s way in response to its bigoted anti-LGBTQ law. To their credit, they succeeded.

Yet, despite their efforts to protect Kentucky’s reputation as welcoming to all, they still managed to enact a law that California has branded as discriminatory against gay and transgender students.

We can’t know how much investment, tourism or business Kentucky stands to lose. We do know that being known as discriminatory is bad for business, which puts the new law at odds with the GOP’s pro-business agenda.

California’s action is arrogant, no doubt. Nonetheless, Kentucky lawmakers should revisit the potentially discriminatory clause singled out by California’s attorney general. The provision serves no purpose, could create unnecessary legal conflicts for Kentucky schools and hurt innocent students.

Because of it, Louisville is already losing conventions, says Mayor Greg Fischer. He and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray sought exemptions from California’s ban on state-funded travel for their cities, but were refused. Home to 1 in 5 Kentuckians, the two cities long ago outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

California AG Xavier Becerra based his decision on how Kentucky’s new law, which took effect June 29, might be applied, not on any acts of discrimination.

And, as Californians have said, their new law, which took effect Jan. 1, has problems of its own, such as hypocrisy. Gov. Jerry Brown recently traveled to China to make a speech and promote trade, even though China bans same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Pressuring other statehouses, even for a good cause, will inflame already painful divisions.

Making all this even more frustrating, Kentucky lawmakers of both parties voted for the new law knowing that it was unnecessary. Kentucky enacted a religious-freedom law four years ago. How many does one state need?

The 2017 version repeats longstanding laws, practices and constitutional protections regarding the religious and political rights of students with one possible exception — the clause that California’s AG identified as a means for discriminating against gay and transsexual students. It requires school boards and higher-ed governing boards to ensure religious or political student organizations can exclude students who are not “committed” to the groups’ missions. Boards also must ensure groups can define their own doctrines and principles. Students could adopt some noxious principles: racial or male supremacy, homophobia. But loathsome beliefs and speech are protected in our free society by the First Amendment, which also protects the freedom to associate with whom we choose.

Still, the clause could create an impossible choice for educators: How to enforce non-discrimination policies while obeying a law that forces them to support discrimination that, while ostensibly based on beliefs, is effectively based on race, gender, sexual orientation or identity. Unless some non-profit raises money by ginning up a test case, a la Kim Davis, that quandary might never arise. Millennials are known for tolerance and few of any age seek associates who believe they’re abominable.

The bill’s text was provided by the Family Foundation and is similar to laws in some states that California is not boycotting.

Rather than breast-beating and digging in, Bevin and Kentucky lawmakers should just delete the objectionable provision, acknowledging that its ramifications were not fully understood.

If schools are violating students’ rights, educating school officials about those rights would be more effective than a redundant law.

Lawmakers also should rethink their habit of enacting “off the shelf” bills supplied by interest groups.

California lawmakers should reconsider as well. Kentucky is one of eight states — including Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina — now under a travel ban that’s riddled with exceptions and appears to be inconsistently applied. Walling off public employees and university scholars from attending conferences in other states is bound to fuel resentments and is a peculiar way to support diversity and tolerance.



June 26, 2017

Dignity, Bigotry and Pride







Gay pride marches in New York City, San Francisco and in between this weekend will have plenty of participants — and also protests directed at them from other members of the LGBT community, speaking out against what they see as increasingly corporate celebrations that prioritize the experiences of gay white men and ignore issues facing black and brown LGBT people. 

The protests disrupted other pride events earlier this month. In Washington, D.C., the No Justice No Pride group blocked the parade route. In Columbus, Ohio, four people were arrested after a group set out to protest violence against minority LGBT people and the recent acquittal of a police officer in the shooting death of Philando Castile, a black man, during a traffic stop. 

“Nobody wants to feel dropped in a community that prides itself on diversity,” said Mike Basillas, one of the organizers of the planned New York City protest action by No Justice No Pride.

In Minneapolis, organizers of Sunday’s Twin Cities Pride Parade initially asked the police department to limit participation following the acquittal of police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the death of Castile. But organizers changed their minds after meeting Thursday with Janee Harteau, the city’s openly gay police chief who called the decision divisive and hurtful to LGBT officers.

On Friday, the organizers apologized and said they had neglected to consider other alternatives. They said the officers are welcome to march after all.

In Philadelphia, where racial relations in the LGBT community are beginning to mend after a year of community protests, the introduction of a rainbow flag — the traditional symbol of LGBT unity and diversity — that added black and brown stripes to represent blacks and Latinos has spilled over into a national debate.

The recent flare-up of racial tensions comes as no surprise to Isaiah Wilson, director of external affairs for the National Black Justice Coalition, one of the few national groups focused specially on black LGBT rights.

He said the broader LGBT-rights movement “has been whitewashed” — dominated to a large extent by white gay men.


“Black queer and trans folks have always been there, but our contributions have been devalued,” Wilson said.

He said major LGBT-rights groups need to be frank in discussing the issue of racism, as well as recruiting and supporting nonwhite leaders.

“Until the mainstream LGBT groups address this, we’re not going to move forward and you’ll continue to see this pressure,” Wilson said. “In my opinion, the pressure is good — it has us talking.”

Shannon Minter, a white attorney who is the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said LGBT people of color were justified in challenging racist aspects of the LGBT-rights movement.

“The real test will be, can the LGBT movement own up to its historic legacy of racism and evolve to be more accountable and inclusive of people of color?” Minter, a transgender man, wondered. “If not, then it will cease to be a major political movement.”

One reason for the tensions, according to some activists, is a racial divide when it comes to the LGBT-rights movement’s agenda. For years, many national groups focused on legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide — a goal achieved in 2015. For many LGBT people of color, there continue to be more pressing issues, such as economic inequality, policing and incarceration.

“In a lot of places, we’re just trying to survive,” said Wilson.

That divide has led to controversy when attempts have been made to address race, as in Philadelphia. The city drew criticism last summer when activists raised concerns that the Gayborhood — the city’s main gay enclave — discriminated against blacks. Gay blacks complained of dress codes banning Timberlands and sweatpants, of not being served in a timely manner at bars and of being stopped and asked for identification at clubs while white customers walked in unbothered.

In January, Philadelphia officials issued a report confirming longstanding racism in the Gayborhood and pledged to penalize businesses that did not make changes. Earlier this month, the city unveiled a new flag meant to be a more inclusive reflection of gay pride, with a black and brown stripe added to the existing rainbow motif. The flag’s introduction stirred heated commentary from supporters as well as those who felt it was interjecting race unnecessarily.

Pride organizers around the country have taken steps to address the criticisms. In San Francisco, Sunday’s pride event will be led by groups including the Bayard Rustin LGBT Club, SF Black Community Matters, African Human Rights, and Bay Area Queer People of Color. In New York City, the march organizers are putting a contingent of groups more focused on protest than celebration at the head of the event.

The LGBT community does need to confront these issues, said Michelle Meow, an Asian-American woman who is board president of San Francisco Pride, and “the pride celebration is a platform for that dialogue to happen.”

New York City spokesman James Fallarino said if there are any disruptions or protests during the event, “We’re going to make sure we do everything in our power to respect the people who are disrupting or protesting and to respect their message.”

___
By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press
Associated Press writers David Crary in New York and Errin Haines Whack in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

June 9, 2017

Intelligence Agencies That Don't Answer to Congress or You



 Admiral Michael Rogers




Two top U.S. intelligence officials told a Senate committee on Wednesday they could not comment on conversations with President Donald Trump, in answer to questions on whether he tried to pressure them to curtail the government's Russia probe.

"I'm not going to talk about theoreticals and I'm not going to discuss the specifics of any interaction or conversations ... that I may or may not have had with the president of the United States," Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Similarly, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss his own conversations with the president in a public forum.

Editorial

I don't know how you felt about the heads of intelligence officials  refusing to answer non confidential or secret questions to the oversight committee which is in power to help when these guys were confirmed (then they were butter with a hot butter knife on their heads, they also made an oath to answer questions to oversight from congress, particularly the senate). The committee is also in power to investigate the firing of ex FBI Comey as it relates to Russia and the President.

I would like to concentrate not on the ex congressman who was a backer of Trump and was rewarded very kindly for it but about a military officer working for the President of the US, then President Obama.
I'm talking about Admiral Michael Rogers which was working for Obama but had a bad reputation with others in the White House. Maybe those people in the Obama White House felt this Admiral was navigating towards the wrong waters. Actually he wanted to pitch for another team, the incoming Trump team.

When President Obama announced there was clear and convincing evidence the Russians were involved in hacking our process of elections and then we learn the Russians were talking to Trump's team, an investigation commenced under orders from President Obama and Congress.

While this is going on Trump Tower,  The White House top staff was asking for Obama to fire the Admiral, now they know he was meeting with an incoming President elect opposing everything the current president stood for and people that were possibly being investigated for conversations or ties to Russia. More reasons to get canned. As we know from Obama he sometimes seemed like a procrastinator because he always pondered important questions sometimes to death,  action usually delayed or not taken. For what ever reason in his mind Obama kept him. When Trump came in the Admiral got not the top position he was auditioning for but still a head in the Intelligence field. 

These Intelligence heads sitting in front of the senate select committee, keeping in mind the information you just read,  just picture these guys refusing to answer the question wether anybody had ever asked them to drop. go easy an investigation or have they discussed this meeting with the president. Director Coats was asked if he talked to Admiral Rogers before this session and Coats after taking about 9-10 seconds while he pondered which answer to give, remembering he was under oath said he could not answer at that time. What? They had no intention to helping by giving any information. They were literally taking the fifth with out legally taking it since that would have made them suspects of violation something. They had no legal right not to answer. The Senators were confused, except one who was confused which earring this was and he regressed to a year back to the investigation of a server. people say he is just too old, I say retirement if you are too old unless the senate is a club of manly old white guys. Is it?

These Intelligence guys are civil servants working for the American people?? and answering simple questions in relationship to the situation of Michael Flynn-Russia and Firing of Comey.
 Obviously they are not responding to the American people and not answering to a committee in the senate with security clearance to hear classified testimony even though the questions did not require answers that were classified.

  All the information I have on WaterGate came into mind and I read on my computer information that the intelligence agencies were not involved in Watergate. All the major crimes were committed by the President's lying and cover up including the men around him obstructing justice by protecting and lying for the president. With this particular meeting in the senate I realized this scandal was so much worse than WaterGate in which the President quit so he would not be impeached and probably go to jail. This thing is like an octopus with many legs and ways to hide and blend in with the environment around it.

This scandal has to do with having Russia (GRU group) help *elect a President (wether he asked or not) even though he publicly asked for them (Russians) to break into government and political computers.

 Russia *paying at least two of Trump's top people of which one resigned and the most important one,  General Flynn (National Security Counsel to the President) was fired for other reasons; 

*Obstruction of justice by firing the person (FBI) investigating this whole mess and his 

*Connection and colluding with Russia while at the same time giving them top confidential secrets and try to establish secret connections thru the Russian embassy while also trying to 

*reward them by lifting sanctions and undoing what the previous president did to punish the Russians for hacking the DNC computers and others.

 At this time Trump has announced his decision to bring back the 38 spies Obama kicked out,(WHY?? he wants more spies coming in? Russia is got plenty here already) and also giving them back the property in New Jersey which they used as headquarters to receive and ship out spies and also spy on the nearby Navy bases. We are saving a bundle by not having to have manpower stationed nearby trying to find out what they were finding out about us. 

 He has not implemented this decision because a letter he received from congress, mainly Republicans asking him not to reward Russia without getting anything back in return. But maybe he thinks Russia already put out. What other reason can a fair person conclude?
 If Obama did this I would not be happy either and he never had any friendly-friendly bromance with Putin like this President have. Doesn't that bothers You? Does it make sense? Has it ever happened before? No is never happened, Not even with a close ally!

I would be totally confused asking for answers if Obama changed his mind about the spies he kicked out and cancelling the sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. Trump wants to do all this because?? Better relations? You have better relations with a bully with nukes from a position of strength (learned this lesson in the Cold War), negotiate and do business. Not by opening Trump Hotels and Towers and selling Trump Beef we do this by common exchanges. "The sanctions can come down but you most withdraw from Ukraine". You must stop the Chechen killing and prosecuting anyone they suspect as gay. Them and their families if they are not turn in.  Chechnya to Russia is like Puerto Rico to the US. Different but still Russians and they are sustained by Russia. Putin Commands!! To this moment Putin denies such thing is happening. Chechen's say there are no gays in Chechnya, Putin does nothing, Trump does nothing. Trump won't even mention it. 

When you go to sleep at night don't let Chief Michael Rogers come to mind because neither he nor 
National Intelligence Director Coats answers to congress it seems and obviously to you nor me. Don't think that you have no secrets because the Intelligence agencies only answer to one man only who says he hates US Intelligence. So I guess they just keep the secrets. 

Don't think there are so many military secrets and the President would know all of them.  
They know what to feed the President while they want to protect him from the American people. The American people cannot be trusted to know too much, not because what you tell them you also telling the enemy because the enemy already knows most of our secrets only a very few ones which usually remain secret forever because they are never used or they were used and caused embarrassing damage.  Even the President is on a need to know basis. To know is power and our constitution has set up Congress to be a checkpoint for all these people making decisions nobody knows about.

Lets hope that the competent people investigating this super fiasco already has set us back as a nation and world power. If that is the worse of it then we'll be ok but there is so much more on the line. 
Lets hope that the senators investigating these issues put country ahead of all else. Politicians are criticized because they are always taking care themselves and their political life but in occasions of national distress wether it was a war or the executive branch which includes the President and these guys who thought they owe no explanations because they work for the 'man.'

WaterGate can teach us so much, particularly what was top secret then but can be found now on many neutral internet sites. We survived decisions to make war coming from the Oval Office, to decisions to obstruct justice because the President could not tell the truth, Sex on the Oval Office, Stupidity and drug use. Now this issue involves the Oval Office and most of the staff in the White House but also a nuclear adversary with grandiose ideas of coming back to a world role they had but will never be the same again, Putin does not know it yet (China does). 

Meanwhile he will shadow our ships, planes, coastline to show how reckless he is (he is a bully and can't help himself) and internationally will oppose what we support (Trump or no Trump, Putin does things for his own interests not anybody else's including Russians).

Adam Gonzalez
Publisher
 adamfoxie*Int. Blog








April 28, 2017

Trump’s Twilight Zone


NYT Editorial




Fans of old TV series may remember a classic “Twilight Zone” episode titled “It’s a Good Life.” It featured a small town terrorized by a 6-year-old who for some reason had monstrous superpowers, coupled with complete emotional immaturity. Everyone lived in constant fear, made worse by the need to pretend that everything was fine. After all, any hint of discontent could bring terrible retribution.

And now you know what it must be like working in the Trump administration. Actually, it feels a bit like that just living in Trump’s America.

What set me off on this chain of association? The answer may surprise you; it was the tax “plan” the administration released on Wednesday.

The reason I use scare quotes here is that the single-page document the White House circulated this week bore no resemblance to what people normally mean when they talk about a tax plan. True, a few tax rates were mentioned — but nothing was said about the income thresholds at which these rates apply. 

Meanwhile, the document said something about eliminating tax breaks, but didn’t say which. For example, would the tax exemption for 401(k) retirement accounts be preserved? The answer, according to the White House, was yes, or maybe no, or then again yes, depending on whom you asked and when you asked.

So if you were looking for a document that you could use to estimate, even roughly, how much a given individual would end up paying, sorry.

It’s clear the White House is proposing huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, with the breaks especially big for people who can bypass regular personal taxes by channeling their income into tax-privileged businesses — people, for example, named Donald Trump. So Trump plans to blow up the deficit bigly, largely to his own personal benefit; but that’s about all we know.

So why would the White House release such an embarrassing document? Why would the Treasury Department go along with this clown show?

Unfortunately, we know the answer. Every report from inside the White House conveys the impression that Trump is like a temperamental child, bored by details and easily frustrated when things don’t go his way; being an effective staffer seems to involve finding ways to make him feel good and take his mind off news that he feels makes him look bad.

If he says he wants something, no matter how ridiculous, you say, “Yes, Mr. President!”; at most, you try to minimize the damage.

Right now, by all accounts, the child-man in chief is in a snit over the prospect of news stories that review his first 100 days and conclude that he hasn’t achieved much if anything (because he hasn’t). So last week he announced the imminent release of something he could call a tax plan.

According to The Times, this left Treasury staff — who were nowhere near having a plan ready to go — “speechless.” But nobody dared tell him it couldn’t be done. Instead, they released … something, with nobody sure what it means.

And the absence of a real tax plan isn’t the only thing the inner circle apparently doesn’t dare tell him.

Obviously, nobody has yet dared to tell Trump that he did something both ludicrous and vile by accusing President Barack Obama of wiretapping his campaign; instead, administration officials spent weeks trying to come up with something, anything, that would lend substance to the charge.

Or consider health care. The attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed ignominiously, for very good reasons: After all that huffing and puffing, Republicans couldn’t come up with a better idea. On the contrary, all their proposals would lead to mass loss of coverage and soaring costs for the most vulnerable.

Clearly, Trump and company should just let it go and move on to something else. But that would require a certain level of maturity — which is a quality nowhere to be found in this White House. So they just keep at it, with proposals everyone I know calls zombie Trumpcare 2.0, 3.0, and so on.

And I don’t even want to think about foreign policy. On the domestic front, soothing the president’s fragile ego with forceful-sounding but incoherent proclamations can do only so much damage; on the international front it’s a good way to stumble into a diplomatic crisis, or even a war.
 
In any case, I’d like to make a plea to my colleagues in the news media: Don’t pretend that this is normal. Let’s not act as if that thing released on Wednesday, whatever it was, was something like, say, the 2001 Bush tax cut; I strongly disapproved of that cut, but at least it was comprehensible. Let’s not pretend that we’re having a real discussion of, say, the growth effects of changes in business tax rates.

No, what we’re looking at here isn’t policy; it’s pieces of paper whose goal is to soothe the big man’s temper tantrums. Unfortunately, we may all pay the price of his therapy.


Read my blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, and follow me on Twitter, @PaulKrugman.


April 24, 2017

As Side Effects of Gay Marriage You Have Health and Well Being






A few hours after I came out to my mother in person, she called me crying on the phone. She was not upset at the news, nor overly shocked, but she was worried. What kind of life was I going to have, she wondered aloud.

For my mum, who was raised in a coal-mining town in West Virginia, and who raised her kids in a blue-collar suburb of southeastern Sydney, being gay seemed like a kind of sentence: a lifetime of being treated differently, and – because it was what she had seen in so many gay men of her own generation – a lifetime of loneliness. 

A consensus, cross-party senate report has clarified issues surrounding same-sex marriage, including religious exemptions.
She's a mother; she didn't want that for her son.

That phone call sprung to mind this week as I was read reports about a US study of the health and financial benefits of marriage for those in the LGBT community. 
 
In 2014, University of Washington researchers surveyed 1800 LGBT people, 50 and older, in US locations where same-sex marriage is legal; roughly a quarter were married, a quarter were in long-term relationships, and the rest were single. The results released this month show that the married LGBT people were in better physical and mental health, had more financial resources and greater levels of social support than both their single counterparts and those couples who hadn't made it official.

It turns out that – as it is for heterosexuals – marriage is good for the health and wellbeing of lesbians and gay men. 

This is not surprising. Aside from tax exemptions and other governmental goodies to which marriage opens the door, the LGBT demographics that have taken the greatest advantage of same-sex marriage in the US are already those best positioned to prosper in the first place. That is, they're mostly healthy, wealthy and white.

But back to mum. For my mother, and many people like her that I know, these findings, and the very existence of a study like this, challenge long-held perceptions about what it is to live a "gay life" and to grow old as an LGBT person: the lonely life of a "spinster" or the much-gossiped about life of a "bachelor" (best pronounced with eyebrows knowingly raised, whispered to a friend as the "bachelor" in question passes you in the Woolies aisle). Being married well into middle age – let alone prosperously so – did not seem an option.

For many in mum's generation, raising their sons and daughters in the suburbs, the common narrative around older gay life – even if it veered wildly from the reality for a lot of the people living it – centred on difference and, frankly, suffering. Ours was a group ravaged by the AIDS crisis, under threat of violence, and one who often worked hard to keep our identities hidden. The long-held joys of gay life – finding identity in a community, the celebration of fabulous difference and creativity – were not always at the forefront of our public image.

As the LGBT community takes its place in the mainstream, the idea of a "gay life", from early adulthood to death, is changing. Many older gay men I know tell me they would never have imagined that the day would come when they could marry the man that they love; now they're the subject of the kind of bland "is marriage beneficial" studies that fuel morning-TV segments. The normalisation is racing towards completion.

As the study itself notes, for some, this is no great thing. Difference, so often cast as a negative, has long been a point of pride in the LGBT community; marriage is a construct of the very institutions, religious and governmental, that have been key forces of oppression. I admit that when I walked down the aisle myself two years ago, this thought weighed on me: should I be so happy to be doing something so normal?

The key thing is: I had a choice – I was able to ask that question.

As the LGBT community gains more rights, grows more visible, and as attitudes towards us shift, the possibilities for our futures expand. We can live as open bachelors, or in long-term couples, or get married, or do anything in between. Just like everyone else does. And as we live those various iterations, the stereotypical idea of a "gay life" will change, because there will be too many types – lived openly – to bring into a single focus.

I think my mother's response, and her concern, was fairly typical. But I think if I were coming out to her today, or in a decade, I wouldn't have gotten that follow-up call. She would be curious about the life I would lead – the possibilities are growing – but not concerned.

Joel Meares is a Fairfax Media columnist.

April 17, 2017

The Untrue in Trump and LGBT Rights




 The day before this was a rainbow flag




It was a jarringly unorthodox moment even for Donald Trump. At a rally in Colorado last October, an audience member handed him a gay pride flag that bore a handwritten endorsement: “LGBTs for TRUMP.” The candidate smiled as he unfurled the flag, displaying it for a few seconds. A spokesman later said Mr. Trump was “proud to carry the ‘L.G.B.T. for Trump’ rainbow flag on stage,” since he was campaigning to be “president for all Americans.”

It didn’t take long for prominent gay Republicans to proclaim that the Republican Party had, at long last, turned a corner on gay rights under Mr. Trump. After he was elected, some gay rights activists held out hope that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, would be staunch allies in the West Wing, considering that they had traveled in liberal circles in New York.

Yet, the nomination of several key officials, who have disparaged the L.G.B.T. community and sought to curtail the rights of its members, has exposed the narrative that Mr. Trump would be a champion of gay and transgender people as a fallacy. “It has been a catastrophe,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and a leading strategist behind a string of legal and policy victories the community achieved during the Obama administration. “Every twitch we’ve seen from the administration has been anti-L.G.B.T.”

At the Department of Justice, where former Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year delivered an impassioned speech telling transgender Americans, “We see you; we stand with you,” her successor, Jeff Sessions, wasted no time reversing course. The Justice Department in February withdrew guidance issued to schools on the treatment of transgender students, signaling that it would no longer consider their rights to be protected under a 1972 civil rights law.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which worked to expand access to health care for gay and transgender Americans, is now being led by Tom Price, who was a vocal opponent of gay rights as a congressman. The agency’s civil rights office, which oversaw regulatory changes that made it easier for transgender people to get insurance coverage for medical care, is now run by Roger Severino, an ultraconservative activist who last year accused the Obama administration of attempting to “coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology.”

Mr. Obama’s last secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, an openly gay man, was instrumental in nudging the Pentagon brass to allow transgender people to serve openly. Mark Green, a Tennessee state senator nominated to replace him, last year called being transgender a “disease.”

On Mr. Trump’s watch, federal agencies are rolling back efforts to collect data on the needs of L.G.B.T. Americans. Last month, Health and Human Services amended two surveys of the elderly to remove a question about sexual orientation. The Census Bureau, meanwhile, has scrapped plans to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey.

The only good news for the L.G.B.T. rights movement this year has come from the courts. Early this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay people from discrimination at work.

For the foreseeable future, the federal courts are likely to be the only avenue for progress. It’s not too late, of course, for Mr. Trump to act like the transformational Republican on gay rights that some of his supporters hoped he would be. He could, for instance, urge Congress to pass a federal anti-discrimination bill. Yet his record of empty talk makes that seem as unlikely as the sight of a Republican presidential candidate waving a gay pride flag.




April 7, 2017

Intricacies of Judge Wood/ 7th Circuit Decision on LGBT Rights





As you’ve probably heard, Judge Wood wrote an historic opinion Tuesday night, holding that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. The 7th Circuit overwhelmingly backed former adjunct professor Kimberly Hively’s right to sue her former employer, Ivy Tech Community College, for violating federal anti-discrimination law. Eight 7th Circuit judges joined Wood’s majority opinion, siding with Hively and her lawyers at Lambda Legal. Only three 7th Circuit judges dissented.

The 7th Circuit is the first court to rule en banc on whether federal law protects gay and lesbian employees. But it almost certainly won’t be the last – and that’s why Judge Wood’s opinion is so shrewd. By grounding the opinion in U.S. Supreme Court precedent, insisting that the 7th Circuit is merely interpreting the statute Congress wrote and explaining why two different Lambda theories lead to the same conclusion, Judge Wood is giving the next court to look at this issue all kinds of justifications to go along with the 7th Circuit.

Ivy Tech has already announced that it will not seek Supreme Court review of the 7th Circuit’s en banc decision. But the issue of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians is still red hot in other federal circuits.

Lambda lawyer Gregory Nevins, who argued for Kimberly Hively at the 7th Circuit, told me Wednesday that Lambda is about to notify the 11th Circuit of the 7th Circuit’s en banc holding. Lambda has asked the 11th Circuit to reconsider en banc a three-judge panel’s ruling last month in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital that Title VII does not cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (Nevins argued that case as well.)

There could also be an en banc request on the issue to the 2nd Circuit after its March 27 decision in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group. The 2nd Circuit panel said its binding precedent precludes a holding that Title VII protects gays and lesbians – but two members of the panel, including Chief Judge Robert Katzmann, said in a concurrence that it’s time for the entire 2nd Circuit to reconsider its precedent. (The 2nd Circuit revived Christiansen’s case on the theory that Omnicom engaged in impermissible gender stereotyping.)

Judge Wood’s majority opinion at the 7th Circuit acknowledged the foment in other federal circuits and anticipated what is likely to be the issue’s ultimate destination: “Notable in its absence from the debate over the proper interpretation of the scope of Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination is the United States Supreme Court,” she wrote.

So let’s look at how the judge girded the majority opinion for the poking and prodding it’s going to get from other courts. Significantly, Judge Wood spelled out clearly what the 7th Circuit majority is not doing: judicially “amending” Title VII to add sexual orientation to the law’s list of protected categories. “We must decide instead what it means to discriminate on the basis of sex, and in particular, whether actions taken on the basis of sexual orientation are a subset of actions taken on the basis of sex,” she wrote. “This is a pure question of statutory interpretation and thus well within the judiciary’s competence.” (Her restrictive definition of the court’s power contrasts with Judge Richard Posner’s concurrence in the case.)

Judge Wood explained how the Supreme Court’s own expanding view of sex discrimination informed the 7th Circuit’s analysis. Of particular note, she said, were the justices’ 1989 decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, which said employers may not discriminate against workers who don’t conform to sex stereotypes, and 1998 ruling in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, which said same-sex harassment is illegal. “The goalposts have been moving over the years, as the Supreme Court has shed more light on the scope of the language that already is in the statute: no sex discrimination,” the judge wrote.

Lambda had suggested two alternative ways to look at whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation amounts to sex discrimination. One is what Judge Wood called the “tried-and-true comparative method in which we attempt to isolate the significance of the plaintiff’s sex to the employer’s decision.” The other is to look at the line of Supreme Court cases, beginning with 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, striking down prohibitions on intimate relationships.

Judge Wood’s opinion said either approach works. “Although the analysis differs somewhat, both avenues end up in the same place: sex discrimination,” she wrote.

The comparative method asks whether if Hively had been a man involved in a romantic relationship with a woman she would have experienced the same alleged discrimination by her former employer. Through that lens, the majority said, sexual orientation is the ultimate form of gender non-conformity. Hively’s case, in other words, “is no different from the claims brought by women who were rejected for jobs in traditionally male workplaces, such as fire departments, construction, and policing. The employers in those cases were policing the boundaries of what jobs or behaviors they found acceptable for a woman (or in some cases, for a man),” the opinion said.

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“Any discomfort, disapproval or job decision based on the fact that the complainant - woman or man - dresses differently, speaks differently, or dates or marries a same-sex partner, is a reaction purely and simply based on sex,” Judge Wood wrote, citing, in addition to Hopkins, long-ago Supreme Court cases that barred employers from treated men and women differently with respect to marriage and parenthood. “That means that it falls within Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination.”

In the more subtle Loving analysis, the majority opinion substituted same-sex relationships for the interracial relationship in the Loving case. If a plaintiff in a same-sex relationship experiences discrimination he or she would not have been subjected to in a heterosexual relationship, the majority said, “this reveals that the discrimination rests on distinctions drawn according to sex.”

To back that conclusion, Judge Wood pointed to another cluster of Supreme Court cases, this line striking down state and federal laws targeting gays and lesbians for disparate treatment. That line culminates, of course, in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which said same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Lambda’s Nevins told me Judge Wood’s multiple routes to the same conclusion will help his side going forward. “Each argument has its benefits,” he said. “Each will appeal to different judges in different ways.” The key holding from the 7th Circuit, in the majority opinion, Judge Posner’s concurrence and a separate concurrence from Judge Joel Flaum, is that sex discrimination encompasses sexual orientation discrimination. “Just because there is another common phrase by which we call this discrimination doesn’t mean it’s the only one,” he said.

I asked Nevins if he’s concerned that by the time this issue gets to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch will probably have taken Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. With a laugh, he pointed out that Justice Scalia wrote the Supreme Court opinion in Oncale, the case concluding that, as a matter of statutory interpretation, Title VII protects employees from same-sex harassment. “If it is true that the motivation behind Judge Gorsuch’s nomination is that he is Scalia-like,” Nevins said, “then we will be A-OK.”

Reuters

March 30, 2017

$Money$(Russian Linked?) Being Pumped to Gorsuch Appt.

 πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°Editorial


This story posted by  on Esquire
The original tittle  Finally the Democrats are getting how politics work

There's been a lot of stirring on the Neil Gorsuch front. More and more Democratic senators seem disinclined to allow the Senate to give his nomination a vote. Chuck Schumer seems immovable on the subject. (The same cannot be said, alas, for Claire McCaskill, who seems distressingly ambivalent on the topic. My guess? She goes over the side.) Meanwhile, the Republicans are unsure whether or not they want to blow up the filibuster to install Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. (My guess? Boom!) A lot of this ambivalence, I believe, is rooted in their vestigial conscience as a party.
They know what they did to Merrick Garland. They know why they did it to Merrick Garland. At some level, they know how ridiculous their whining about how roughly Gorsuch has been treated sounds to anyone with a short-term memory that extends back to 2015. The longer this stretches out, the more time their vestigial conscience has to work on them. At the same time, Schumer's argument that a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should not be doled out by a president who is under FBI investigation is beginning to bite just a little. People are getting a little antsy about the amount of dark money pushing Gorsuch's case. And Gorsuch did himself no favors by trying to bury the Senate Judiciary Committee under an avalanche of smug non-answers. (Dark money? What's that? Is that trying to find the pants in which you left your wallet?) There's more going on here than there was a month ago.
So the job of bucking up the Senate majority is left to its good friends outside the caucus room. For example, the National Rifle Association has stepped up bigly. It's in for a million bucks, which, of course, will not cause Gorsuch to sacrifice his ability to judge a gun control case fairly. You can also tell how nervous Gorsuch’s supporters have become because, once again, we are seeing the Keep The Powder Dry argument floating through the discourse. This is the political strategy by which Democrats give the Republicans what they want on the assumption that they will be able to assert their power at some vague point in the future. The only minor flaw in this plan is that it never works. The Democratic Party must have an airplane hangar somewhere filled to the rafters with dry powder. Nonetheless, the idea is back again. Here’s some superb concern-trolling from a former Republican flack, brought to us by Tiger Beat On The Potomac:
The problem for Schumer and his caucus is this: Republicans are not bluffing when they say Gorsuch will be on the court one way or another. The squishes, the institutionalists, even the erstwhile "Gang" members are unwavering in their support. Gorsuch is well-qualified for the job, acquitted himself admirably by any measure, and if an unprecedented partisan filibuster is the only thing standing between him and the bench, the Reid Rule will be invoked for the second time.
Here it comes…
But saying Republicans have the political will to put Gorsuch on the court is different than saying there are 50 GOP senators who are otherwise prepared to end the filibuster. Their appetite is entirely a function of circumstance. Were Democrats to lay off Gorsuch, keeping their powder dry for the future and maintaining the moral high ground, it would be rather easy to imagine the Susan Collinses, John McCains and Lindsey Grahams of the world getting cold feet with a lesser Trump pick, particularly one who shifts the balance of the court rather than maintaining it. Which is to say that Gorsuch's nomination is something of a perfect storm for GOP procedural fortitude. Only seeing such a model jurist held hostage to cynical political whims would be enough to compel the righteous indignation necessary to go nuclear.
And then comes the point where the author shoots his own argument through the head, and gives anyone with that aforementioned short-term memory a chance to tell the author to piss off.
(I'll pause here so my friends on the left can let out a primal scream for poor Merrick Garland.)
Piss off.
What happened to Garland—who couldn't even get a private meeting with a single Republican senator—changed the political context irreparably. Because of that, you can't just tell the Democrats that it's to their advantage to wave off what was done to Garland, much less to roll over for Gorsuch, without sounding naΓ―ve or ignorant. History tells us that the fight for which the Democrats "keep the powder dry" never occurs. Recent history tells us that there is no compelling political reason to put Neil Gorsuch on the court ahead of Merrick Garland. If the Republicans want to blow up the filibuster to do it, they should suck it up and take the political risks that doing so entails.
HISTORY TELLS US THAT THE FIGHT FOR WHICH THE DEMOCRATS "KEEP THE POWDER DRY" NEVER OCCURS.
(I'm not entirely sure that those risks are that great, at least in terms of getting Republican senators re-elected.)
But one thing that makes me feel good about the building resistance to Gorsuch is that the Democrats in Congress seem at last to be bridling at the notion that "bipartisanship" is primarily the responsibility of their party, that they don't necessarily have to be the grown-ups in a room where childish vandals roam free, and that, sooner or later, the Republicans have to take responsibility in real time for the damage they do. Chuck Schumer is under no obligation to salve the consciences of the people who stiffed Merrick Garland—and, by the way, there is no requirement that the Supreme Court be "balanced" ideologically—by giving them exactly the result they wanted a year ago.
Touch off the powder for a change.

March 28, 2017

Two Pro Gay Marriage Decisions on SCarolina Reinforces Settled Law




                                                                                 


[By the Fort Mill Times Editorial Board]
 
South Carolina might be a little more progressive than it appears after the last few election cycles.

Well, York County, anyway.

Two local court cases this month – one in criminal court and the other in family court – are the first in the state to set precedents regarding same-sex couples since the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land by striking down laws or parts of laws that defined a legally married couple as one man and one woman. In the first case, a judge ruled same-sex couples married under state law, or “common law,” meaning they never obtained a marriage license, have rights to alimony and property following a dissolution. The next case involved a Fort Mill man who was convicted of domestic violence against his husband. 

Legal experts say the two rulings show courts are having to correct past discrimination against gay people.

In the latter case, the precedent should have a lasting effect on the criminal justice system and victims’ rights. It means some people convicted of violent crimes against a spouse or partner likely face stricter penalties. The difference between a domestic abuse conviction and one for a lower assault charge is the potential for more jail or probation time and subsequent punishment. In South Carolina, residents convicted of domestic violence are barred for years from owning guns or ammunition, and face stiffer penalties for subsequent offenses.

It is dismaying to think of the number of abusers who faced little or no punishment because they were part of a same-sex relationship.

The ruling in the dissolution of the common law marriage, one in which the couple had been together for decades, makes those cases what they should have been all along – unremarkable. Just as a judge is often called on to decide how to sort out the end of a relationship between straight couples considered married despite the lack of a license, as in division of property and assets and custodianship of minor children, now they will do the same for gay couples ending a common law marriage.

That is welcome progress, but not the end of the story. The state law defining household members for domestic violence does not recognize gay couples in a common law marriage. That means there are still too many people who may commit violence against a partner and not face the most serious charges, and a class of citizens without the legal protection they deserve.

That must change.

March 23, 2017

How isTrump aTerrible Pres?Don’t knowHowDemocracyWorks^Cats






Donald Trump was supposed to be the guy who would fix everything in Washington, but after two months in office he’s proving to be a terrible leader.

Trump was never very popular, but he got high marks for his leadership. Now that’s fading. In November just after the election, 56% of Americans thought he was a good leader — now it’s fallen to just 40%.

After two months, here’s what we know: He’s not going to fix everything. He’s not going to drain the swamp. He’s not going to make America great again. He’s not going to unite all Americans. He’s not going to replace Obamacare with something “terrific.” He’s not going to bring back the manufacturing jobs or the America dream. He won’t make America respected around the world. He won’t make us safer. 

Medicaid Work Requirement Added to GOP Health Bill(2.0)The House Republican health-care bill includes the biggest structural overhaul of Medicaid in its 52-year history — including work requirements for certain recipients. Why the change?  

Why not is He not? Because Trump isn’t the strong leader he pretends to be. Even if he believed in all the things he promised and wanted to accomplish them, he would fail because he doesn’t understand how to govern.


Trump is a failure because he ignored Ronald Reagan’s most important lesson about leadership: “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Trump is still a great campaigner, no doubt. He can work a crowd like few others can.

But working the levers of policy, administration, legislation and diplomacy is beyond him. His whole career, he was the boss of an organization that he controlled 100%, but governing in a democracy isn’t like that. Democracy is about compromise, about give-and-take, about sharing the credit and the blame. And successful governing is about getting results for the people who elected you, and for the ones you hope will vote for you next time.

There’s an old joke in Washington that running the U.S. Senate is like herding cats. But Donald Trump thinks cats can be herded. All you have to do is say in a stern voice: “I’m coming after you!”

The voters who believed Trump would be a transformational leader thought that he would set the agenda in Washington, just like he did a year ago in the primaries when he was running circles around the field of traditional Republican candidates. He mocked John McCain, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Those humiliated Republicans degraded themselves by crawling back to Trump Tower to lick the spittle off Trump’s boots, and Trump’s supporters loved it.

Trump’s core supporters believed that Trump would rule the Republican Party with an iron fist, bending it to their will. They believed that Trump would force the establishment Republicans to come up with an Obamacare replacement that would cover everybody at lower costs. They believed that Trump would protect the safety net — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — against the establishment Republicans who only care about how much taxes rich people pay.


They believed that Trump’s populist movement would transform Washington.

But that hasn’t happened.

On the policies that matter to people, all of the initiative is coming from traditional Republicans, not from the radical outsiders Trump brought in. Trump campaigned against Paul Ryan, but he now allows Ryan control his agenda. Trump campaigned against Goldman Sachs and rich elites, but he hired Goldman alumni and billionaires to run economic policy.

What’s the result of Trump conceding policy to the establishment Republicans he ridiculed during the campaign? Things like the train wreck of a “health care” bill and the “budget” blueprint, both of which confer huge tax cuts on the very elites that Trump once attacked, paid for by the evisceration of the public services that are vital to the very people who most enthusiastically supported Trump in November.

And what did Trump say when Tucker Carlson asked him if the “health care” bill would screw over his supporters?

“Oh, I know.”


The president said he knew that the bill would devastate struggling families all across our land, that it would drive 24 million people off health insurance, send premiums and out-of-pocket costs through the roof, and kill a bunch of people. And he didn’t care. Because Ryan told him that he had to repeal Obamacare before he took up any of his other causes, like rebuilding America’s infrastructure, or bringing back the jobs, or remembering the forgotten people.

And every compromise that was struck to get the conservatives in the House to back the bill only made it worse for Trump’s forgotten people.

Trump promised us that the greatest dealmaker in the history of dealmaking would be on our side in the corridors of power in Washington. Not only was he not on our side, he didn’t even show up. Trump was too busy tweeting insults at Snoop Dog and Arnold Schwarzenegger, enriching his family, and trying to cover up the fact that he hired people who were loyal to Vladimr Putin.

It was the bigly-est bait-and-switch ever.

It’s hard to fathom that it was only two months ago that Trump took the oath of office and mouthed these lies: “I will fight for you with every breath in my body — and I will never, ever let you down.”

I dare any Trump supporter to watch that inaugural address now.

Listen to this, if you can stomach it: “The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”

Trump promised that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Trump is a terrible leader because he has forgotten who elevated him to this sacred trust. A politician who forgets that is nobody.

February 24, 2017

Trump Promised to Protect the LGBT then Forgets What the ’T' is for



 Ironic but now the LGBT community can see him as he is “An Emperor with no clothes”



In a total surprise after Trump said he will protect LGBT students he has turn around and forgotten what the “T” stands for. on LGBT which he promise he will protect.  No wonder people say his level of reading comprehension is very low. How can a man run and after winning, again doubles down on his supports and commitment for this LGBT community then turns around and sticks a knife in them.
We’ve learn that is his m.o. (modus operandi).

 Right after his election he tried to backtrack with the whole gay community but changed his mind thinking of how unpopular that would be and besides the gay community has reached the backing of the law by the Supreme Court and in many legislatures in many states. It is said his son in law Mr. Jarrett and his daughter,  convinced him otherwise to reconsider and so he did but he would have never have changed his mind if it wasn’t that he realized he was going to get a lot of heat in his presidency too early on. He figures there is always later.

The Transgender community does not enjoy the advances the gay community has enjoyed.
That is why they fought so hard when some red states made an issue where there was none, about the use of the bathrooms. At the same time you saw the bigotry against this community since it is the least understood, come out.  Now people who never knew the so called problem existed now they were “scared, concern could not let it go on” There was legislation on the pike for the Transgender community but the Republicans had been dragging their feet for two years on this. Everyone thought with another Democratic administration their protections would advance but no luck there. They got a man that can turn his promises around on a dime! It’s still stinging and hurtful.  The Emperor with no clothes now and also fat wearing a speedo with a full shoulder nudge from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is dropping protections for transgender youth looking to use, of all things, a school bathroom.



For a national leader who continually talks about unity and public support, it’s a divisive and cruel move. He’s erasing a guarantee in the battle for equality and basing the decision on the doctrine of states rights, a cloak that bigots misuse to dodge federal directives — especially those dealing with civil rights.

The net effect overturns an Obama directive and needlessly reignites a culture war issue. It allows states and school districts to set the rules on whether to allow transgender students to use toilet facilities and locker rooms based on their gender identity, not birth certificate. But it also gives license to bullying and discrimination and deepens a sense of separation for an emerging minority.

During his campaign, Trump signaled sympathy, saying transgender people had the right to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.” But he also worked hard to win support from religious conservatives, who oppose the idea. Since taking office, he’s continued that shift by picking Sessions, a longtime foe of gay rights, as attorney general.
 
In California the reversal will have little impact since state laws and most school boards fully support transgender access. Nationally it will be another story. There are an estimated 150,000 transgender youths between 13 and 17 years old, according to the Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA law school.

The White House argues that the Obama administration went too far in using federal laws barring sex discrimination in schools. That, at least, was the legal rationale used by religious minded critics who talked up fears of sexual predators and wholesale loss of privacy.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reportedly struggled to convince Trump to stick with the access rule. But she lost out to Sessions, who viewed access as an intrusion on state powers and wanted no part of defending legal cases testing the law.

By backing away from transgender rights, Trump is punishing the group and rewarding his most strident followers. He’s also showing that his campaign rhetoric about tolerance can mean little when the pressure builds.

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