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Better Believe It

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Obama's gay marriage move has no impact on policies: Still Hasn't Signed Anti-Discrimination Order



Obama's gay rights move has no impact on policies
Associated Press
May 10, 2012


President Barack Obama's announcement that he supports gay marriage brings the presidential stamp of approval to the divisive social issue but does not carry swift policy changes along with it.

Obama described his decision as a personal position. White House officials said his decision would not affect current policies. The president said he continued to believe that marriage is an issue best decided by states.

Read the full article at:

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/obamas-gay-rights-move-1435384.html


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Obama Still Has Not Signed 'Nondiscrimination Executive Order'
By DANIEL HALPER
May 10, 2012


President Obama made what's being heralded as a big announcement on same sex marriage. "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told ABC News in an interview broadcast this morning. Obama's the first sitting president to come out in favor of same sex marriage.

But what this might actually mean in terms of policy is a little murkier. Perhaps most pressing is the issue of a so-called "nondiscrimination executive order" that gay-rights groups have been pushing. The president has refused—and continues to refuse—to sign it.

"The order, which has been drafted for months awaiting the president’s signature, would prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity," the Washington Post reported. "It has become a major focus for gay-rights groups, but in recent weeks activists began to worry that the White House might opt against approval."

This is not the only policy issue that Obama has steered clear of. Already Obama has indicated that while he believes "same sex couples should be able to get married," he also believes states should be able to ban gay marriages. This is particularly pertinent in light of Tuesday's vote in North Carolina to ban same sex marriage. The ban overwhelmingly passed.

Read the full article at:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-still-has-not-signed-nondiscrimination-executive-order_644332.html


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Obama on Gay Marriage: I Support it, and Support States Banning it
By DANIEL HALPER
May 10, 2012


This morning on ABC, President Obama said that he thinks same sex marriage should be allowed. "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," the president said.

But he also reaffirmed his belief that same sex marriage is a states' rights issue, and that it's therefore OK for states to ban the practice:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what's recognized as a marriage.

I think it's important to recognize that-- folks-- who-- feel very strongly that marriage should be defined narrowly as-- between a man and a woman-- many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. They're coming at it because they care about families. And-- they-- they have a different understanding, in terms of-- you know, what the word "marriage" should mean. And I-- a bunch of 'em are friends of mine-- you know, pastors and-- you know, people who-- I deeply respect.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-gay-marriage-i-support-it-and-support-states-banning-it_644324.html


#!
Posted by Better Believe It | Sat May 12, 2012, 12:23 AM (146 replies)

Catholic school in Arizona forfeits championship baseball game because the other team has a girl!



School forfeits title game — other team has girl
by Tyler Lockman
May 10, 2012


Having never fielded a baseball team before this season, Mesa Preparatory Academy was thrilled with an undefeated season that had them in position to play for the Arizona Charter Athletic Association's 1A state championship at Phoenix College Thursday night.

They had gone undefeated in the regular season and done so with just 11 players. The feel-good story turned a bit sour this week, though, when their championship opponent forfeited the title game because Mesa Prep's starting second baseman is a 15-year-old female, Paige Sultzbach.

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, a fundamentalist Catholic school in Phoenix, declined to play Mesa Prep because of a strict parish policy prohibiting participation in co-ed sports. The school is affiliated with the U.S. branch of the Society of Saint Pius X, a group of conservative priests who broke away from the Catholic Church in the 1980s over church reforms.

In a statement to FOX News, an Our Lady of Sorrows official said the school had no choice but to forfeit: "Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty,” the statement said. "Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls."


Paige Sultzbach joined the Mesa Prep baseball team because the school did not have a softball program.

Read the full article at:

http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/05/10/12/School-forfeits-title-rather-than-play-a/msn_landing.html?blockID=726830&feedID=3702

Refusing to play a baseball team because it has a girl player is showing total disrespect "for women and girls". BBI
Posted by Better Believe It | Fri May 11, 2012, 01:13 PM (196 replies)

The Subsidized Student Loan Scam: What subsidy are they talking about, anyhow?

May 10, 2012
How the US Government is Profiteering Off of Struggling Students
The Subsidized Student Loan Scam
by DAVE LINDORFF


Inflation, according to the government’s own statistics, is running at 2.7%. In other words, the government, which is the lender in the case of Stafford Loans, is already making 0.7% on its “subsidized” loans to undergraduates. And the inflation rate has been considerably lower in prior years, so the government has actually been making out like a bandit longer term. If it were to start earning 6.8% on these loans, the Treasury would be raking in huge profits on a loan program which is supposed to be helping make college affordable for lower income and middle-income students.

Remember, unless the government secretly suspects that the Occupy Student Loans movement is going to succeed in convincing millions of students to simply refuse to make payments on the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, these loans are about the safest financial instruments known to man. Thanks to years and years of legislative actions to chip away the rights of student borrowers, student loans have become more like indentures than simple acts of borrowing money. Student borrowers are not protected by state usury laws, they are not allowed to declare bankruptcy if they cannot pay, the federal government, and any private collection firms that take over defaulted student loans are allowed to garnish not only a borrower’s wages without even having to go to court, but can also claim income tax refunds and even Social Security payments, raising the prospect that former students who cannot repay their student loans could be driven into the street in their old age as their retirement checks are stolen from them. Of course the government can also ruin a borrower’s credit and can prevent a graduate from getting a professional license. The government is even, as I wrote earlier here, pressing colleges to withhold official transcripts from graduates who fall behind in their repayments, making it impossible for them to apply for jobs or for higher degrees (that’s a wretched policy that Obama, currently portraying himself as the friend of college-aged voters, could put an end to with a simple order to his Education Secretary Arne Duncan).

The truth is that both political parties, and particularly the Republicans, want to make money off of student borrowers, while pretending to be helping them to go to college.

Instead of fighting over whether to set the rate at its current rip-off level of 3.4% or to raise it to a truly extortionate 6.8%, Congress and the White House should be declaring a moratorium on student loan payments, to continue until the unemployment rate among recent graduates and among the general working population falls back below 5%.

Read the full article at:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/10/the-subsidized-student-loan-scam/
Posted by Better Believe It | Thu May 10, 2012, 05:27 PM (1 replies)

Glenn Greenwald: "Obama deserves credit for his actions in this civil rights area" (LGBT equality)



Obama “evolves” on marriage
The president deserves credit for his actions in this civil rights area, regardless of his motives
By Glenn Greenwald
May 9, 2012


President Obama today became the first American president to endorse same-sex marriage, telling ABC News‘s Robin Roberts: “it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” His record on LGBT equality has not been perfect, but it is one area where he has been quite impressive. He engineered the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. His Justice Department is refusing to defend the constitutionality of DOMA in court, a very unusual step. He has ushered in a series of important federal spousal benefits for gay employees of the federal government. And now, for the first time, the office of the American President is officially supporting a policy that a mere decade ago was deemed truly radical: same-sex marriage. Those are real achievements. And, as virtually all polls reflect – underscored by last night’s landslide defeat for marriage equality in North Carolina — they carry genuine political risk. He deserves credit for his actions in this civil rights realm.

It’s worth making two additional points about this. First, the pressure continuously applied on Obama by some gay groups, most gay activists, and (especially) rich gay funders undoubtedly played a significant role in all of these successes. As David Sirota explained today, this demonstrates why it is so vital to always apply critical pressure even to politicians one likes and supports, and conversely, it demonstrates why it is so foolish and irresponsible to devote oneself with uncritical, blind adoration to a politician, whether in an election year or any other time. When someone who wields political power does something you dislike or disagree with, it’s incumbent upon you to object, criticize, and demand a different course. Those who refuse to do so are abdicating the most basic duty of citizenship and rendering themselves impotent.

When it comes to assessing a politician, what matters, at least to me, are actions, not motives. If they do the wrong thing, they should be criticized regardless of motive; conversely, if they do the right thing, they should be credited. I’ve had zero tolerance over the last three years for people who pop up to justify all the horrible things Obama has done by claiming that he is forced to do them out of political necessity or in cowardly deference to public opinion; that’s because horrible acts don’t become less horrible because they’re prompted by some rational, self-interested political motive rather than conviction. That’s equally true of positive acts: they don’t become less commendable because they were the by-product of political pressure or self-preservation; when a politician takes the right course of action, as Obama did today, credit is merited, regardless of motive.

It should go without saying that none of this mitigates the many horrendous things Obama has done in other areas, nor does it mean he deserves re-election. But just as it’s intellectually corrupted to refuse to criticize him when he deserves it, the same is true of refusing to credit him when he deserves it. Today, he deserves credit. LGBT equality is one area — and it’s an important area for millions of Americans — where he has conducted himself commendably and deserves praise. That was true before today, but even more so now.
Read the full article at:

http://www.salon.com/2012/05/09/e_3/singleton/
Posted by Better Believe It | Thu May 10, 2012, 12:56 PM (4 replies)

Take part In the postal letter carriers national food drive this Saturday, May 12th!



Take part in Letter Carriers' food drive Saturday
8 May 2012


Remember to place a bag of non-perishable food items near your mailbox early on the morning of Saturday, May 12, and your letter carrier will pick it up. That’s the date for the 20th annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive, organized nationwide by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

The food drive is the nation’s largest one-day food collection, helping to restock local food shelves. The metro area goal for this year’s food drive is to collect more than 1.2 million pounds of food, which will be distributed to local emergency foodshelves by Second Harvest Heartland.

Letter carriers will be picking up donated food along their routes and bringing the donations to local post offices and to waiting trucks at selected Cub Foods locations.

Volunteers will be needed at the Cub Foods locations to help unload letter carrier vehicles and load the larger trucks. For a list of locations, and to volunteer, visit http://www.2harvest.org/site/PageServer

http://www.workdayminnesota.org/index.php?news_6_5229
Posted by Better Believe It | Thu May 10, 2012, 12:41 PM (20 replies)

Activists Want Democratic Party Convention to Move out of North Carolina After Amendment One Passage

Activists Want DNC Convention to Move out of North Carolina After Amendment One Passage
By: David Dayen
May 9, 2012


As you know, North Carolina passed Amendment One, a constitutional amendment initiative that not only puts the existing ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution, but will also ban civil unions and domestic partnerships and could actually make things difficult for heterosexual couples that co-habitate. Despite – or perhaps because of – confusion about the consequences of the measure, 61% of voters supported the amendment yesterday.

But there’s another wrinkle with this outcome. The 2012 DNC convention will take place in Charlotte, with President Obama set to accept the nomination at Bank of America Stadium, where the NFL’s Panthers play. And some activists are unhappy about the fact that Democrats will celebrate in Charlotte four months after the state took rights away from LGBT families.

For the record, President Obama formally opposed Amendment One. He didn’t campaign against it, as Bill Clinton did, but he did send the message that he rejected discrimination and the denial of rights and benefits to same-sex couples. After the vote, Obama’s campaign released a statement where he pronounced himself “disappointed in the passage of this amendment.”

The larger point here is that this controversy isn’t likely to go away. And the DNC convention, instead of a PR event for the President’s re-election, could be dominated by this conversation about gay rights, from the addition of a marriage equality plank to the platform to the protest against the convention site. There are already waves of criticism against the selection of Charlotte – North Carolina is a right-to-work state, there are no union hotels in Charlotte for attendees to stay at, it has a reputation as “Wall Street West” and is the home of Bank of America – and this just gets layered on.


Obama plans Convention speech at Bank of America Stadium

Read the full article at:

http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/05/09/activists-want-dnc-convention-to-move-out-of-north-carolina-after-amendment-one-passage/
Posted by Better Believe It | Wed May 9, 2012, 05:46 PM (12 replies)

President Obama Fine With Gay Marriage as Long as It Doesn’t Try to Flirt With Him



President Obama Fine With Gay Marriage as Long as It Doesn’t Try to Flirt With Him
by Erin Gloria Ryan
May 8, 2012


After Vice President Joe Biden said that he thinks gay marriage is just fine and dandy and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agreed that he didn't have a problem with it, either, the President's been in a bit of a No Homo mode. I mean, he's sort of okay with the idea of gay marriage, as long as the gay marriage doesn't hit on him or anything.

The Washington Post reports that Biden and company's glittery pronouncements have caused some tension in the White House. In one corner: those who believe that the President has an obligation to the progressive public (and his gay donors) to support equal rights. But in the other corner: those who worry that Obama's expressed support of same-sex marriage could alienate the black community or people in swing states like North Carolina, which is considering adding an anti-same sex marriage amendment to its constitution in a vote that will occur today.

Critics point out that the President's stance has been "evolving" for the last two years, and that excuse doesn't fly anymore. He can't regress and pretend that he never even entertained the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage; that would be flip-flopping, and he can't come right out and endorses same-sex marriage, because in the eyes of some swing state voters, he may as well be officiating at gay weddings himself. But is Obama's reticence to lend public support even warranted? Did he even have a ghost of a chance of getting the votes of people who would be swayed by the marriage issue? At least half of Americans now support the legalization of same-sex marriage, including many small government Republicans. Even social conservatives have stopped pretending they can win the battle against modernity; last year, when New York passed gay marriage, Republican party leaders gave members the go ahead to vote however they wished. She's not the first beauty queen to wade into the issue of same-sex marriage, but Miss North Carolina has taken a stand against her state's same sex marriage ban. The Tarheel State's Governor has announced that supporting Amendment 1 will make her stomping grounds basically look like a bunch of backward open mouth-chewers.

When Miss North Carolina is more socially progressive than a Democratic president, it's maybe time for the President to reassess whether or not he's really talking like a Democrat. Gay marriage is a wildly popular cause to support because people like to support things that win, and at this point, it's not a matter of if it will be made legal, it's a matter of when. And it would be a shame for the President to find himself on the wrong side of history on this issue.

http://jezebel.com/5908555/president-obama-fine-with-gay-marriage-as-long-as-it-doesnt-try-to-flirt-with-him
Posted by Better Believe It | Tue May 8, 2012, 12:32 PM (11 replies)

Gay Marriage, Obama and a Poll Tested Campaign

Gay Marriage, Obama and a Poll Tested Campaign
By: Jon Walker
May 8, 2012




This is a small drop in support from 2011 and slight reversal of a recent trend. Slightly more Americans support same-sex marriage than oppose it, but the nation is basically evenly divided. Given that people who actually turn out to vote tend to be older than the general adult population, it is possible that the actual voting electorate is slightly opposed.


This is basically why President Obama has adopted the incredibly weaselly position that he is still “evolving” on gay marriage. With the country so evenly divided the political thinking is that actively supporting marriage equality would hurt him with half the electorate that opposes it, but it won’t really gain him anything.

While equality supporters would love to have a sitting president’s official backing, the Obama campaign seems to be banking on the fact that given how bad Mitt Romney is on LGBT issues, marriage equality supporters have nowhere else to go. Taking full advantage of the two party system allows a campaign to expect support for simply being least bad.

http://elections.firedoglake.com/2012/05/08/gay-marriage-obama-and-a-poll-tested-campaign/
Posted by Better Believe It | Tue May 8, 2012, 12:18 PM (7 replies)

In the US, you can still say almost anything, but someone just may be listening in



Meanwhile, in the land of the free…
In the US, you can still say almost anything, but someone just may be listening in
By Dan Gillmor
May / June 2012


In December 2010, the major payment systems used to buy goods and services online decided that Wikileaks was no longer an acceptable customer. Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal summarily cut off service, putting Wikileaks into deep financial trouble and further marginalizing an organization that had become an object of fear and loathing inside the US government and other centers of wealth and power.

While many in the new media world sounded an alarm, the response of journalists from legacy news organizations was mostly silence, except to take note of what had happened. By ignoring the implications of what had happened—a financial blockade of an organization engaged in recognizably journalistic pursuits—traditional media people demonstrated how little they understood or appreciated the information ecosystem in which they also exist. And by failing to object, loudly, they gave tacit assent to tactics that should chill people who genuinely believe in free speech.

This is not just an issue for journalists in places like China or Saudi Arabia or Russia, where governments are creating more and more stringent restrictions on what people can say and do online. It is an American matter as well. In the developed world, Hollywood and other corporate interests have taken the lead in threatening the Internet’s freewheeling nature—and they’ve had plenty of help from government.

The Obama administration has pushed gratifyingly hard to open up speech for dissidents in dictatorships, and decried censorship elsewhere. Yet the US government has also acted to curb online communications it deems objectionable. While this clampdown is often in service of the copyright lobby, the tactics have sometimes smacked more of authoritarian regimes than of the American tradition. The administration’s campaign against Wikileaks and prosecutions of journalists’ sources highlight the vulnerability of journalism, and the public’s right to know, in this networked age, what government is doing in our names and with our money.

Read the full article at:

http://www.cjr.org/feature/meanwhile_in_the_land_of_the_f.php

Posted by Better Believe It | Mon May 7, 2012, 03:23 PM (0 replies)

Wells Fargo fires employee for 1972 shoplifting conviction! The banksters can kiss my ass!


Wells Fargo fires employee for '72 shoplifting conviction
By Tom Murray , WTMJ News Team
May 7, 2012


MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee woman is now unemployed after Wells Fargo, her employer, discovered she committed a crime more than 40 years ago.

Yolanda Quesada was fired when a background check revealed she shoplifted in 1972.

Quesada says she was a good employee, and has the pins, certificates and photos to prove it. But her supervisor walked her out the door last week after more than five years of service at Wells Fargo.

"I think there's more important things in life than something I did 40 years ago," Quesada says.

See the TV interview at:

http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/07/11578176-wells-fargo-fires-employee-for-72-shoplifting-conviction?lite
Posted by Better Believe It | Mon May 7, 2012, 03:16 PM (102 replies)
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