State Sen. Daniel L. Squadron provides the details on how New York City will be helping those in the black out area get the essentials:
It's going to be days and weeks until things are back to normal in parts of our city. In the meantime, it's important to stay safe and make sure you're prepared for the possibility of extended power outages, vastly reduced transit services, and overtaxed city services.
The City is setting up food and water distribution sites throughout the blackout zone in Lower Manhattan. The sites that will open at 3PM Thursday south of 14th Street are as follows:
• 10th Street between Avenues C and D
• Catherine Street between Monroe and Cherry Streets (Smith Houses)
• Pitt and Houston Streets
• Grand and Clinton Streets - water only
• Bowery and Division Street (Confucius Plaza)
Maybe some of you can get word to friend's still down there?
Meanwhile, portions of lower Manhattan are slowly regaining power, but the International Business Times reports it will still be a little while for electricity to be flowing as normal: "All Manhattan customers of underground electrical power will have service restored by Saturday, Con Edison has promised. The exceptions will be residences or business with excessive water damage that could interfere with electrical operations."
In 2004, when she hosted a public access show called Speak Out!, Sandi Martinez claimed to know people who had been "cured" of gay desires and now realize that their gay "lifestyles" were empty.
"We've seen former homosexuals come out, who've been saved out of the lifestyle, who will tell you it was the love of God, that their lives were sad and empty and meaningless," said Martinez, currently a GOP candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate, during a 2004 Speak Out! episode in which she also slammed Halloween "not something that Christians should be involved in" and called it "a pagan invasion."
Martinez also implied in that episode that LGBT people don't deserve civil rights, saying, "They want to follow the same avenue of civil rights that many groups have done… The homosexual community has quite often used, 'we have our rights to do this, we have our rights to do that, and you're discriminating against us, etc.'"
Asked about the remarks, Martinez's campaign manager, Tom Firth, accused Lowell Sun reporter Grant Welker of "hav[ing] an agenda" and denied those comments were ever made. "There was no such remarks on the video. To suggest otherwise is a clear distortion and biased reporting."
Martinez, who told Welker "I don't consider what you're doing reporting," claimed she would take time to review the tapes and provide a longer comment but never called him back. Firth meanwhile insisted "[Martinez] doesn't have any anger toward homosexuals or cultists."
During Mitt Romney's reign as Governor of Massachusetts, Marc Solomon was head of MassEquality, the lead group fighting for LGBT rights in the Bay State. His position gave him a unique view inside the current GOP presidential candidate's anti-gay policies, and today at AlterNet, Solomon is using his knowledge to hit back at the Log Cabin Republicans' pro-Romney endorsement.
I'm sad to say that Romney is someone whose track record is one of turning to LGBT people as an easy point of attack when the going gets tough, in order to burnish his socially conservative credentials, and someone whose personal interactions betray no genuine empathy for gay people, gay families or gay youth, not even when he has taken an oath (and made political promises) to stand up for them.
I won't speculate on what led the Log Cabin Republicans to put forward their "qualified endorsement," but I can say it takes no speculation to know what a Romney presidency would portend for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The record is clear.
As part of his argument against Romney, Solomon cites Romney's refusal to grant birth certificates for the children o f legally married same-sex couples and his knee-jerk destruction of a state-based commission meant to protect LGBT youth.
And then there was Romney's October 2004 Wall Street Journal op-ed equating a state Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality and the 1857 Dred Scott decision that said black slaves were property and therefore not protected by the U.S. Constitution.
From Romney's op-ed, called "A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Marriage":
With the Dred Scott case, decided four years before he took office, President Lincoln faced a judicial decision that he believed was terribly wrong and badly misinterpreted the U.S. Constitution.
Here is what Lincoln said: "If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
By its decision, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts circumvented the Legislature and the executive, and assumed to itself the power of legislating. That's wrong.
The Dred Scott decision was of course over-turned with the ratification of the 14th amendment giving black people citizenship in 1868.
Earlier this week, an advertising company with ties to the Republican Party sent out text messages reading "Stop Obama from forcing gay marriage on the states." These messages, sent as texts from an email address, go around existing Federal Communications Commission rules limiting unsolicited texts, and now Human Rights Campaign is calling for a full investigation.
From Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed:
The company, ccAdvertising, has not admitted to sending the messages. But the dummy sites used to send the messages were registered to company executives.
Additionally, one of those executives — Gabe Joseph — is known for using questionable tactics, according to Republican operatives familiar with his past activities.
Although there are rules against sending unsolicited, traditional SMS messages, because they were technically emails, they fall outside current FCC regulations. An FCC spokesperson told BuzzFeed that, for now, the "question is open in front of the Commission."
In addition to calling out the operation's legally hazy tactics, HRC is accusing them of intentionally sending out misleading messages, which HRC lawyer Robert Falk equates with "an attempt to defraud and harm gay-rights advocates."
Fred Sainz, HRC's vice president of communications, said "it’s unsurprising that our opponents are employing such underhanded tactics and trying to attack equality from behind shrouds of secrecy."
"It’s unacceptable to launch these types of despicable attacks from dark corners, and it’s incredibly irresponsible to send out unsolicited messages to people who have no desire to receive this type of vitriol," he said.
Read HRC's entire complaint AFTER THE JUMP.
FCC Complaint 103112
In a debate with Democratic campaign rival Jim Graves this week, Minnesota Congresswoman and virulent conservative crusader Michele Bachmann claimed for some reason that she does not engage in political speech.
"That's one thing I do not do, is political speech," she said, giving the audience a good belly laugh in the process.
Take a look at a short video of Bachmann getting unintended chuckles and The Young Turks' analysis AFTER THE JUMP.
Andrew Shirvell was fired from his job at Michigan's Attorney General's office in 2010 after harassing gay University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong and his alleged "homosexual agenda".
Shirvell has since been ordered to pay Armstrong $4.5 million for defamation and emotional distress.
It's unlikely Shirvell has that amount of money, but he'll soon be receiving unemployment benefits that could help pay his tab:
Shirvell's original request for unemployment benefits was denied because he was dismissed for misconduct.
But Ingham County Judge Paula Manderfield last month ordered Shirvell to get unemployment benefits, claiming he "was fired for constitutionally protected speech" rather than misconduct.