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President Obama is going to sign an Executive Order (Imperial President!) on Monday preventing federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. The order will prevent the non-hiring or firing of people based solely on sexual orientation and only applies to organizations, for-profit or non-profit, that contract with the federal government. This is a good policy, since there is no federal law and few state laws protecting LGBT people from religious bigots in their jobs. As expected, the religious bigots are in an uproar, having sent a letter to Obama demanding they be given special rights to be exempted from the order. Obama refused to grant any exemption, so these groups will most likely sue for the right to practice their bigotry against employees.

Of course, the bigots have turned to the right-wing noise machine to press their case that they should be allowed to discriminate. One of the people they turned to was Neil Munro at the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s alternative conservative digital rag. Mr. Munro pulls out all the stops in writing his story, checking his journalistic integrity at the door.

He’s expected to sign a regulation on July 21 that would force religious groups that get federal contracts to give up federal funding if they don’t submit to progressives’ claim that homosexuality and heterosexuality are morally equivalent.

The Executive Order does not say anything about moral equivalency. It merely says that if you want do business as a federal contractor, you cannot make hiring and firing decisions based solely on sexual orientation. Company or non-profit owners are still free to believe whatever they want.

Gay and lesbian groups cheered the decision, but many religious groups will contest the regulation as a violation of the constitution’s “wall of separation” that protects religious groups from government dictates.

The government is not “dictating” anything that violates any “wall of separation.” The separation between church and state, which conservatives usually despise because it interferes with their desire to have a Christian government, prevents the government from endorsing a state religion or preventing the free exercise of a religion. This order does neither. The order prevents endorsement by not allowing one particular religious view to be a criteria for employment in support of the US government and business owners are still free to preach bigotry against gays to their hearts’ content.

Many religious groups, such as Catholic Charities, seek and accept federal funding because it helps them carry out charitable missions that exemplify their religion and are also sought by government.

Unless they abandon their religious beliefs relating to men and women, the family and sex, they be forced to give up federal funding.

Again, Munro is lying about the order. No one is being forced to “abandon their religious beliefs.” If they believe it is righteous to discriminate, they can choose not ask the government for a federal contract. No one is being forced to compete for federal contracts.

Once Obama signs the regulation July 21, the religious groups likely will sue in courts for a reversal.

They’ll sue because an existing law — the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act — bars regulators from imposing unnecessary burdens on religious groups.

And this is where we get to the crux of the argument. Since the Supreme Court bastardized the definition of a person in the RFRA in the Hobby Lobby decision, the bigots believe they can use it to gain special privileges. This will fail, though, because the government is not regulating anything in this instance. Everyone has the right to compete for a federal contract if they meet the standards imposed by the awarding agency and the agency has the authority to dictate the standards. The government can and does impose requirements in every single contract. They require that employees be paid the prevailing wage for the location the work will be performed in. They say a company must be no larger than a certain size in order to compete. They insist that a minimum standard of benefits be provided to employees. If a business does not like the restrictions imposed on the competition, they have every right to not ask the government for a contract award.

The religious bigots will continue to use the Hobby Lobby decision to try and gain the right to openly discriminate against whomever they don’t like. If you accept that a company or group cannot hire or fire an employee for the sole reason of their sexual orientation, then you have to accept that they can discriminate for any reason whatsoever. You have to support the contention that a company is allowed to only hire whites, or Hispanics, or Asians, etc. You have to believe that a woman who gets pregnant without being married can be fired on the spot. You also have to accept that a company can dismiss an employee because he had a beer and a cigarette after work. If you believe bigotry is okay in one instance, you have to believe it is okay in all instances.

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Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: July 19, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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Sorry that I’ve been dropping the ball here lately. Still in the contracting silly season. We’ve won one, but we still have two more to go.

Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: July 11, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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You guys pretty much wore the last one out, so here’s a fresh one for you.

Regardless of what the Teahadists say, the ACA is working and people are satisfied with what they’re getting; even Republicans:

Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans. Even 77 percent of people who had insurance before — including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year — were happy with their new coverage.

This is typical of the extremist Republicans. They will wail about how something is the end of the world as we know it, but when people start to actually feel the effects those people realize it’s not so bad. In most cases, it turns out pretty good. The good news for us is that there will be some of those Republicans who will wake up and realize they were being lied to by their Party leaders and reconsider if they really want to support those kinds of people in upcoming elections.

Joni Ernst won the Iowa Republican Senate nomination by appealing to the Teabaggers, but I guess she doesn’t have the courage of her convictions. She is obviously lying here, but was it in January when she was trying to win Republican-only votes, or is it now when she has to get votes from outside the rabid rightwing bubble?

January 2014: I do think that yes, he should face those repercussions, and whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment.

July 2014: To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the president should be impeached.

 

January: He has become a dictator. He is running amok. He is not following our Constitution.

July: I obviously do not believe the president is a dictator, but his repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one.

 

Iowa voters should be aware that if they vote for Ernst, they are getting someone who will tell one group one thing, then turn around and lie in their face when she gets caught.

Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: July 5, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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Sorry I was late with this. I’ve been working on a lawnmower.

In the same week that we have one of Fox’s news blondes reviving the Bill Ayers story with an “exclusive” interview, we have much more recent news of a sitting Republican Governor pallin’ around with terrorist, as the Quitta from Wasilla would put it. Maine’s Governor LePage met with Sovereign Citizens, a domestic terrorist organization last year. LePage tried to pass it off as just meeting with constituents, saying he listened and agreed with some things, but not others. He also lied about several aspects of the meetings in his defense.

Gov. LePage insinuated that it was a single random meeting by saying that he has never refused a meeting with any group of people. In reality, it was 8 meetings over a 9 month period, according to documents released pursuant to a FOIA request. LePage also said that a 5-page memo from his legal counsel concerning the Sovereign citizens didn’t exist, but the reporter who broke the story has the memo posted on his blog. LePage stated he avoids using email for the specific reason of thwarting FOIA requests, but that people can have copies of his notes, which are coded so only he can read them.

The Sovereign Citizens are recognized by the FBI as a domestic terrorist organization. Sovereign Citizens believe the US government is illegitimate and have been involved in the murder of several police officers. One has to ask why Gov. LePage met with them so many times over such a short period, since it has been shown by his legal counsel’s memo that he knew who they were. What were they conspiring about? I’m sure Caribou Barbie will be asking those questions anytime now.

Back in 2008, just before Obama’s election, John Cole at Balloon Juice posited a theory that we had passed “peak wingnut.” His theory held that the American people and the press had reached saturation on the wild stories of Obama being a socialist, Marxist, gay, Muslim, etc. and had reached the point where those crazy claims were ridiculed or dismissed outright by the public. Cole’s theory was quickly disproven when the goat fucking child molester Erick Erickson posted about convicted felon Frank Marshall Davis’ claim that Obama was molested as a child by a gay pedophile. Since that episode, peak wingnut has been suspected a number of times, but is now suspected to be an impossible state. I submit that we now have definitive proof that peak wingnut cannot exist within the current political environment.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a beautiful city nestled in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. The downside is that it is the central hub of El Paso County, one of the reddest counties in Colorado. Colorado Springs is the home of Focus on the Family, the creation of the despicable James Dobson. Dobson was also responsible for the creation of the hate group, Family Research Council. Last Tuesday, Colorado held their primary and a man by the name of Gordon Klingenschmitt won the Republican nomination for State House District 15, which represents eastern Colorado Springs. Now, some of you are probably saying, “Klingenschmitt? I’ve heard that name somewhere before.” You would be right.

Gordon Klingenschmitt was a US Navy Chaplain who was court-martialed in 2006 for wearing his uniform while participating in a political protest outside of the White House. Klingenschmitt was protesting alongside other luminaries such as Rep. Walter Jones and Judge Roy Moore. Klingenschmitt willfully disobeyed the lawful orders of his superiors by wearing his uniform after being told he was forbidden to do so. After his conviction, Klingenschmitt was thrown out of the Navy, to the cheers of his fellow conservative, Christian Chaplains.

After his national disgrace, Klingenschmitt continued to support himself by becoming the uber-wingnut. Here are just some of the things Klingenschmitt has said and may actually believe:

  • Demonic spirits are controlling the FCC and are using it to “molest and visually rape” your children.
  • Demonic spirits are behind the homosexual agenda.
  • Obamacare causes cancer.
  • Demonic spirits are behind gun control, the Bible forbids gun-free zones and the Bible demands people be allowed to arm themselves against “left wing crazies.”

Klingenschmitt is indistinguishable from the Taliban in that he believes the law should only protect those of his religion. Not just Christianity, but his extreme brand of Christianity. Now, there are plenty of these theocrats running around. Most notably are the “Dominionists,” who believe the country should be ruled in accordance with biblical law. In this case, though, Colorado Springs Republicans (and it was only Republicans because Colorado has a closed primary system) have actually nominated one of them to represent them in the State Legislature and he didn’t run unopposed. That means a majority of Republican voters in this district willingly chose to align themselves with Klingenschmitt’s beliefs. That is the lunacy and outright evil we are dealing with in the forces trying to take over the Republican Party. Klingenschmitt is just a slightly more extreme version of Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann, Steve Stockman, and Louie Gomert. The biggest difference is that, with the exception of Bachmann, those people didn’t really let their full freak flag fly until after they were elected. Once elected to safe Republican seats, they felt unrestricted in the batshit crazy things they could say, whether they believed them or not.

Don’t be fooled, though. Klingenschmitt is a true believer. He really sees demons under every rock. He is a complete adherent to the principle of stoning gays in the public square. He is committed to the principle that the laws only protect Christians and all others are merely peons subject to his Christian whims. And the saddest thing of all is that in Colorado Springs he just may win.

Weekly B4V Sucks Thread

Posted: June 27, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread
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It’s all yours.

Boehner is going to sue the President for something, but he doesn’t know what it is yet.