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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Polar bears had a good day.  President Obama announced today an override of a Bush Administration regulation to the Endangered Species Act.  The rule,  announced  just weeks before Bush left office, made it easier for federal agencies to launch projects that could affect endangered species without consulting with government scientists.  Obama said, the overturning of the regulation will restore “the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act, a process undermined by past administrations.”

“The work of scientists and experts in my administration, including right here in the Interior Department, will be respected…”For more than three decades, the Endangered Species Act has successfully protected our nation’s most threatened wildlife, and we should be looking for ways to improve it, not weaken it.”

Environmental groups have praised Obama’s actions and so have I.

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There you go.  Congress has passed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Let’s hope our economy turns around.

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The outcry over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren has been loud and clear among the media, politicians and all over the web.  The gay community is outraged, and like I said, I’m very disappointed about Obama’s decision.  I don’t respect Rick Warren’s views on his fellow gay Americans.  He clearly doesn’t understand our right to be treated as equals and has made huge efforts to stop that fight.  So, it’s hard to accept this decision.  Especially since our right to marry the one we love, has been stripped away.  An action Warren contributed heavily to make happen.  Obama hasn’t had a chance to expand legislation to help the gay community.  He hasn’t had a chance to protect our rights.  He did have a chance to give us hope and a preview to what an Obama presidency will be like for the gay community.  And so far, for most, it doesn’t look good.  Representative Barney Frank, the first openly gay Representative, had a few words on the controversy.

I am very disappointed by President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to honor Reverend Rick Warren with a prominent role in his inauguration.

Religious leaders obviously have every right to speak out in opposition to anti-discrimination measures, even in the degrading terms that Rev. Warren has used with regard to same-sex marriage. But that does not confer upon them the right to a place of honor in the inauguration ceremony of a president whose stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause.

It is irrelevant that Rev. Warren invited Senator Obama to address his congregation, since he extended an equal invitation to Senator McCain. Furthermore, the President-Elect has not simply invited Rev. Warren to give a speech as part of a series in which various views are presented. The selection of a member of the clergy to occupy this uniquely elevated position has always been considered a mark of respect and approval by those who are being inaugurated.

And then there is the lovely Rachel Maddow.

Now, I respect Rep. Barney Frank and Rachel Maddow, two prominent figures of the gay community. I commend their efforts to show their frustration and disappointment.   But again, it would be wrong, for me, to completely write off Obama, who hasn’t had a chance to push his civil rights agenda yet.  I’m not saying both Frank and Maddow have done that, but I have started to hear others believe Obama is anti-gay.  I think we should still express our disappointment and frustration, and spark debate and discussion.  However, we should be careful to not look so hateful doing so, and give Obama the benefit of the doubt.  Like the San Francisco mayor said, in the second video, we should engage and not spread angry bitter hate.

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I’ll admit it.  I was a little upset when I heard Rick Warren was chosen to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.  Rick Warren was clearly outspoken about changing the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage.  He wrote in October that same-sex marriage is “a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.”

“For 5,000 years,  every culture and every religion — not just Christianity — has defined marriage as a contract between men and women…There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population.”

Rick Warren also talked about his reasons for supporting the same-sex marriage ban on Beliefnet.com.   His said, his primary concern was the threat of his right to free speech.  Warren also believed same-sex marriage would be the equivalent to marrying brothers and sisters, an “older guy marrying a child”, and men having multiple wives.  When asked why religious conservatives focus on same-sex marriage, Warren said, “We love to talk about other people’s sins.”

But, you know what?  Rick Warren is not going to serve in Obama’s Administration.   Obama may disagree on social issues with Rick Warren, however Obama is going to be our next President.  He will make the decisions.  I think it’s clear Obama wants his inauguration to  send a bipartisanship message to the country.  After all, Rick Warren received harsh criticism from his constituents when he invited Obama to speak at his church about AIDS.  Like gay activists urging to rescind Obama’s invitation, Warren was also asked to rescind his invitation because of Obama’s views on abortion and gay rights.  Earlier today, Obama talked about his visit to Warren’s church and defended his decision.

“I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak despite his awareness that I held views that are entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights and issues like abortion.  Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak.  And that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign is all about: that we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.”

Yes, it’s disappointing.  Rick Warren, who disagrees on an issue that is very personal to me, will give the invocation at this historic inauguration.  However, I will respect Obama’s decision.  I don’t see this as a setback for gay rights.  Obama has said he wants to reach out “across the aisles” and listen to all points of views.  I haven’t given up on Obama.  He is not even in office yet!  I still believe he supports the LGBT community and I hope he’ll stick to his civil rights agenda and expand legislation in support of gay rights.

This historic inauguration is a day for all Americans to share, no matter what views we have.

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Obama’s administration is still taking shape and so far a powerful and diverse team has been chosen to lead our nation.  Today, Obama appointed openly gay Nancy Sutley for the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  The deputy mayor for Energy and Environment for Los Angeles supported Hillary Clinton in the primary and previously served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Regional Administrator for the EPA under the Clinton administration.

In recent years, we have seen states and cities take the initiative in forging innovative solutions on energy.  Nancy has been at the cutting edge of this effort…she will bring this unique experience to Washington, and be a key player in helping to make our government more efficient, and coordinating our efforts to protect our environment at home and around the globe.

Nancy Sutley is the first prominent openly gay public official Obama has appointed to his administration.

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So, I’m not going to lie.  I was a bit freaked out by the job report yesterday.  It’s chilling to hear the unemployment rate go past 6.5%.  But, I felt a little better listening to Barack Obama’s response to the rising number of Americans losing their jobs.

The key parts of his plan include a switch to make public buildings more energy efficient claiming our “government pays the highest energy bill in the world.”

Obama will create jobs by making, what he calls, “the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.”  Investing tax dollars in “new and smarter ways” by enforcing a rule to the states to “use it or lose it.”

My favorite part of the plan, Obama wants to “modernize and upgrade” schools across the country.  He wants to repair schools, make them more energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms.  Turning these schools into “21st century schools.”

Obama then added the need to renew our information superhighway.  Obama said, “every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.”  He wants to take advantage of the Internet and “modernize our health care system.”  Making sure hospitals and doctor’s offices are using “cutting edge technology and electronic medical records”  to cut red tape, and prevent mistakes.  Obama claims this will save “billions of dollars each year.”

I certainly hope Obama can accomplish these goals.  We need take advantage of the technology that is out there and become a strong 21st century nation with a secure future.

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Joe the plumber!

No, America isn’t that messed up.

But, what’s going on?  I just heard on the radio, Hillary Clinton has accepted the offer for secretary of state.  Then I find the Clinton camp saying, “We’re still in discussions, which are very much on track.”  These leaks are so funny, but the secretary of state leak, I find annoying.  Oh, they had a discussion.  Oh, Clinton was offered a position.  Oh, Clinton is considering.  Oh, Clinton wants a new role in the Senate.

Oh, spill it already!

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