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04/19/2007


This Year's Anti-LGBT Speakers At The Values Voter Summit Are...

Values Voter Summit

I suppose it would be glib, however accurate, to say, "All of them," but Media Matters highlights some of the more notorious homophobes, many of whom we have covered before.

Speakers at this year's conference include:

Ben_carsonBen Carson - a "conservative hero" who compared gay marriage to NAMBLA and was subsequently forced to step down as a commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University, despite his backpedaling attempts to apologize.

Jerome Corsi - a Tea Party wingnut and World Net Daily writer who claimed that Obama was "gay married" to his Harvard Pakistani roommate, and issued the usual slew of nonsense about gay marriage leading to polygamy, pedophilia, etc. Rachel Maddow had fun picking his conspiracy theories to pieces.

Mike Huckabee - Governor Huckabee has never been a friend of the gays, but in recent news he slammed the Supreme Court for striking down DOMA, used his Fox News show to lie about transfolk, and is trying to start up an anti-gay alternative to the Boy Scouts called Trail Life USA.

Todd Starnes - the Fox News commentator doesn't seem to like anyone, but especially not Obama and tried to twist the President's support for gay Olympic athletes to him imposing a litmus test and why can't he just support all of our athletes like a real American?

Cal Thomas - a Fox News pundit who snidely commented that Rachel Maddow is herself an argument in favor of contraception, but actually had the sense to realize years ago that the fight against gay marriage was a losing one. He still thinks it's an indicator of the ruin of civilzation, though.

Allen West - the vile former Florida Congressman claimed that anti-gay workplace discrimination doesn't exist, defended calling homosexuality a chosen behavior, and fired an intern for being pro-gay. Naturally, he is now a Fox News contributor.

(image via Media Matters)


Meet Groundswell, The Secret Right Wing Group That Wants To Wage A '30 Front War' With Democrats And Other Republicans

Blog_groundswell
Mother Jones broke the story yesterday, after obtaining documents about the covert group. Groundswell, which is comprised of high-profile hyper-Conservatives such as Ginni Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), former UN ambassador John Bolton, and former FL congressman Allen West, seeks to "fundamentally transform the nation." They have begun holding weekly secret meetings in the offices of Judicial Watch, where they "cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and 'clueless' GOP congressional leaders."

The group also includes certain congressional aides and journalists. While Groundswell is, by no means, the only group that meets to discuss strategies for legislation and PR, the clandestine nature of the group does raise questions about what exactly the group has to hide. In the exposé, Mother Jones noted that...

"Though members have been encouraged to zap out tweets with a #GSW hashtag, a message circulated to members of its Google group noted that the role of certain advocates should be kept 'off of the Google group for OPSEC [operational security] reasons.' This 'will avoid any potential for bad press for someone if a communication item is leaked,' the message explained."

Did we mention that one of the group's core members has a spouse that's a member of the Supreme Court? Just making sure...

An internal document describes the origins of this coalition:

"Groundswell evolved out of conversations among conservative leaders after the November elections. This is the eighth meeting. Now others are asking to be included. Growth needs to be strategic; it should be made up of senior level people willing to collaborate. It is important to keep a balance of social conservatives, national security conservatives, and constitutional conservatives. Outreach has occurred to incorporate groups with extensive reach: Heritage, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, AFP [Americans for Prosperity], FRC [Family Research Council] and the NRA, among others…Our country is in peril. This is a critical moment needing critical leadership. We want to protect the strategic collaboration occurring at Groundswell and build on it. Please be careful about bringing guests and clear them ahead of time."

Ginni ThomasNote the inclusion of anti-gay groups such as Heritage and the FRC. Thus, it isn't all that surprising that many of the internal documents released concern the group's strategies for opposing marriage equality. One mocked Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, saying that he “is sending messages to the party… If we were all gay illegal aliens, the party likes us."

Mother Jones' expose proves rather extensive. Those interested in reading it in its entirety can do so HERE. For those wishing for a more concise list of highlights, Queerty was kind enough to oblige:

"Other memorable quotes from the group’s memos:

  • 'We’re failing the propaganda battle with minorities.'
  • 'Conservatives are so busy dealing with issues like immigration, gay marriage and boy scouts there is little time left to focus on other issues. These are the very issues the Left wants to avoid but we need to magnify.'
  • 'We are in a real war; most conservatives are not prepared to fight.'
  • 'We need to be more clever than the Left on this… Something amusing and easy for LIVs [low-information voters] to understand.'
  • 'We must reclaim the language and put ‘a face’ on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!'

If Americans ever needed an example of how the GOP really feels about them, these memos are it."

Perhaps, if these hyper-conservatives make a genuine effort to fix the nation's education system, then they wouldn't need to "write articles on [a] 4th grade level"...


Homophobic Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) Joins FOX News

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who has compared homosexuality to choosing an ice cream flavor, has said anti-gay workplace discrimination doesn't exist, opposed DADT repeal, and fired an intern for retweeting a pro-gay tweet, has joined FOX News as a contributor:

WestIn making the announcement, Shine said, “Representative West’s congressional and military experience along with his fearless approach to voicing key issues will provide a valuable point of view to the FOX News lineup.”

Currently, West is the Director of Next Generation TV Programming with PJ Media. Prior to that, West served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida, representing the state’s 22nd congressional district, from January 2011 to January 2013. While a member of Congress, he served on the Armed Services and Small Business Committees. Additionally, West was a member of the Tea Party Caucus.


Anti-Gay Florida Rep. Allen West Concedes to Patrick Murphy

After two weeks of refusing to accept that vote-counting by officials in St. Lucie County, Florida, favored his opponent Patrick Murphy, including a recount which extended Murphy's lead, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) conceded the race late Tuesday, Politico reports:

WestWest acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit. That difference was just outside the 0.5 percent threshold to automatically trigger a recount of all votes.

Said West in a statement:

“For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly. We have made progress towards that goal, thanks to the dedication of our supporters and their unrelenting efforts to protect the integrity of the democratic process. While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election...I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”


News: Nate Silver, Jeremy Renner, Marriage Money, Gaza

1NewsIcon Miami bar Tobacco road has been many things in its 100 years, including a gay bar.

Cookies-food-green-marijuana-weed-Favim.com-2217411NewsIcon With weed food possibly going mainstream in Colorado and Washington, CBS News takes a look at some cooks crafting foods that will make you smile.

1NewsIcon Some low ball estimates for immediate revenue Maryland, Maine and Washington could enjoy once same-sex marriages get up and running: "Wedding-related spending for in-state couples is projected be about $16 million in Maine, $63 million in Maryland and $89 million in Washington."

1NewsIcon On Dean Chambers' attacks on Nate Silver and his "voodoo statistics": "There was more than a touch of homophobia to the criticism (Silver is gay), not to mention an aversion to scientific rationalism that has come to characterize certain segments of the conservative right. (Gawker compared the attack to "something like a jock slapping a math book out of a kid’s hands and saying, 'NICE NUMBERS, FAG.'")"

1NewsIcon An Israeli airstrike on Gaza City killed eleven people today.

1NewsIcon Oh, Rupert Murdoch: "Why is the Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?"

Allenwest1NewsIcon Tea Party Rep. Allen West's supporters are losing their minds after election officials failed to meet a recount deadline, meaning that, as expected, Democratic rival Patrick Murphy will take West's seat in Washington, though not before more right wing protests, of course.

1NewsIcon Adam Roberts somehow got great chefs to share their best kept culinary secrets. Now he's passing them on to you. How delicious.

1NewsIcon "Because You're So Sweet"

1NewsIcon Just for the record, David Beckham is not leaving the LA Galaxy to play in Australia.

1NewsIcon Michael Fassbender rubbed up on co-star Ryan Gosling while shooting Terrence Malick's new film in Mexico.

1NewsIcon The happiest of birthdays to Rachel McAdams.

1NewsIcon Check out Fiona Apple's new track for This Is 40.

1NewsIcon Don't expect marriage equality in Pennsylvania, at least not without federal or SCOTUS intervention: "Gov. Tom Corbett and many in the Republican-controlled General Assembly oppose gay marriage, and state law barring it would have to be repealed or struck down by a court. Those on both sides of the issue say the commonwealth's political climate has not forced lawmakers to take a stand on the issue, which isn't viewed as a high priority."

Rennersnl1NewsIcon Jeremy Renner and the SNL cast had a ball sending-up The Avengers last night.

1NewsIcon The origin of Twitter-born words: "Jacob Eisenstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues examined 30 million tweets sent from US locations between December 2009 and May 2011... After collecting the data, the team built a mathematical model that captures the large-scale flow of new words between cities. The model revealed that cities with big African American populations tend to lead the way in linguistic innovation."

1NewsIcon Cynthia Deford, a lesbian mother in Washington state, has started a petition to ban teachers from campaigning for political causes in school after her daughter's teacher wore a button supporting a ban on gay marriage there.


Allen West Demands Recount as Ballot Tally Shows He Lost

With 100 percent of the vote in, Florida Congressman and teabagger Allen West has lost to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by approximately 2,500 votes.

Allen_westSaid Murphy last night:

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the voters of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches. I pledge to be a representative who will work across the aisle, listen to all points of views, and work to end the divisiveness in Congress. Our country faces many challenges, and by working together we will continue to move our country forward.”

West is refusing to concede.

Writes his campaign manager Tim Edson:

"This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome.  Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance.  This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome.  Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance.  There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.

Late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections "recounted" thousands of early ballots.  Following that "recount" Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.   In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed, in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results.  The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor's office last night could only be described as complete chaos.   Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County.   We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly,  and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary."


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