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Major Businesses Slam Georgia’s Anti-Gay “Religeous Freedom” Bill

Another conservative idea from the extremist right which is a stupid idea has put Georgia in the headlights of major corporations in the state, and has opened the door to exodus of at least one corporation.

The NFL has decided it really doesn’t want a Superbowl in a state where it’s paying customers can be discriminated against because someone’s “religion” tells them they don’t have to deal with gays, minorities, or other religions based on whatever whack-job interpretations some back-alley ignorant arsed so called preacher comes up with.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Greg Kirk, a Republican

NFL Wants to Sack Anti-Gay Bill in Georgia

The NFL’s threat to re-evaluate Georgia’s Super Bowl dreams has the governor thinking twice about signing a controversial bill that would allow faith-based organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Roger Goodell, chairman of the National Football League is on the cusp of becoming America’s newest gay icon.

Goodell, who has an openly gay brother, and the NFL, have emerged as staunch allies in gay rights advocates’ efforts to defeat HB 757, the controversial religious freedom bill that passed the Georgia legislature late last week.

HB 757 began the year as “the Pastor Protection Act,” a measure giving clergy the right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. But after two trips through the Georgia state House and Senate, the bill now gives faith-based organizations the right to hire and fire people who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” as well as the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find “objectionable.”

The bill would also make it illegal to force an individual to attend a gay wedding.

With every expansion of the bill, Georgia legislators were warned by local business leaders not to do to Georgia what Indiana legislators did in 2015, when their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act led to an immediate nationwide backlash, including more than 400 million #BoycottIndiana tweets in the week the bill passed.

A year later, local tourism officials estimate the city lost at least 12 conventions and $60 million in direct business as a result.

Brandon Lorenz, communications director with the Human Rights Campaign, called Georgia’s HB 757 “an Indiana-style bill that blatantly promotes discrimination.”

“The Georgia legislature took a bad bill and made it worse.” Lorenz said. “This is a bill that has all kinds of avenues for harm and discrimination for Georgians.”

Along with LGBT advocates, major players in Georgia’s business community have ripped the legislation.

Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines oppose it. Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and Jack Dorsey have all spoken out against it. SalesForce CEO Mark Benioff, who has 16,000 employees in Georgia, has warned he’ll pull as much of his business as possible out of the state, tweeting last week:

“Once again Georgia is trying to pass laws that make it legal to discriminate. When will this insanity end?”

But in a state where football is practiced like a religion, it has been the loud and unanimous objections of the sports community that has raised the greatest doubts about whether Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the bill.

In addition to the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves, who called the bill “detrimental to our community and bad for Georgia,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank warned the bill would have a “long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”

“One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia,” he said.

Blank has taken the lead in the city’s efforts to bring the Super Bowl to the city, including with a new $1.7 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium already under construction in downtown Atlanta. But on Friday, Goodell and the NFL dropped a bomb on Atlanta’s hopes of hosting the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls when it said the RFRA bill would endanger the city’s bids if Deal signs it into law.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow

 

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Georgia Senate Debate and Pro-KKK Legislation

You can’t expect people who hate the government to run it. Here what would be under the most favorable terms described as a poorly written Bill…

Gets blown up.

WATCH: Black Georgia lawmaker forces sponsor of ‘religious liberty’ bill to admit it would protect the Klan

Prior to the Georgia State Senate passing a “religious freedom” bill designed to offer protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage, a black lawmaker was stunned when one of the authors behind the bill blithely dismissed the fact that it would also protect the Ku Klux Klan.

The Georgia First Amendment Defense Act was sponsored by GOP Sen. Greg Kirk, who was asked on the floor of the senate by black State Senator Emanuel Jones, if he understood the implications of the bill he authored.

“We’re all familiar with the terms KKK, meaning the hate organization Ku Klux Klan,” Jones asked Kirk.

“I’ve read about them, yes,” Kirk responded.

“Some of my heritage have done a lot more than just read about them,” Jones bluntly stated. “My concern is, couldn’t that organization — if they chose to do —  so identify themselves as ‘faith based’?,” Jones asked, referring to the hate group which has a history of calling itself faith-based.

Stating that he was “not an attorney,” Kirk conceded, “I guess they could, Senator,” before adding, “I’m not sure.”

“So there’s nothing in your legislation that would stop them, is that correct?” Jones pressed.

“That’s right,” Kirk said.

“Does that present a problem for you, Senator?,” Jones continued.

Kirk paused before conceding, “No.”

The white senator then added “I’ve read about those groups [but the bill] certainly isn’t directed towards them, it’s directed towards churches, towards ministers, and towards organizations that provide adoptions and organizations that provide help to the homeless, and so forth. It’s for equal protection as well.”

Continuing to ramble, Kirk bizarrely used the dancers accompanying singer Beyonce at the Super Bowl to point out that the Black Panthers would also be protected.

“I guess that’d be kind of a similar group that we’re talking about, and I guess they could fall under this as well,” he explained.

 

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The US Senate’s Diversity Problem…

No real surprise here in America’s Last Plantation. Not much has changed since the 70’s when “The Hill” was one of my assigned accounts and I had reason to frequent the Capital and Office buildings.

The invisible folks of color who actually make the physical machinery of the Capital run

The Senate Has Plenty Of Racial Diversity, But Not The Kind You Brag About

High-level Senate staffers are overwhelmingly white. Low-level service workers are overwhelmingly black and Latino.

To a casual observer, the halls of Congress look pretty white. But according to Anthony Thomas, people of color abound there, so long as you know where to find them.

“It’s all black and Hispanic people downstairs,” said Thomas, a 23-year-old African-American from the suburb of New Carrollton, Maryland.

Thomas works as a dishwasher in the Senate cafeteria in the basement of the Dirksen building. His duties include catering special parties held in the Capitol and the Senate office buildings, where lawmakers and staff rub elbows with lobbyists and other power brokers. Though there are exceptions, it’s mostly white people drinking and dining, and people of color like Thomas cleaning up after them, he said.

A report released in December by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff — chiefs of staff, legislative directors and other folks who ultimately shape the laws we all live by — a mere 7.1 percent are people of color, researchers found. Yet people of color comprise 36 percent of the U.S. public at large. (There may well be more diversity among mid- and low-level Senate staff, but no such numbers are available.)

So where is all the Senate’s diversity? Apparently, much of it is concentrated at the opposite end of the power structure.

For the past year and a half, a group called Good Jobs Nation, funded by the Change to Win federation of labor unions, has been organizing janitorial and food workers in the Senate offices and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The group compiled a database of 160 rank-and-file employees it assumes would be eligible to vote if workers filed for a union election. (SEIU, a member of Change to Win, lost a union election among Senate dining employees three years ago, though the union could file for another election.)

When the group examined demographics, it found the makeup of the service workforce to be the exact opposite of the senior-level Senate staff.

The low-wage workers were almost exclusively people of color — a whopping 97 percent, according to a demographic breakdown Good Jobs Nation provided to The Huffington Post (the breakdown did not identify individual workers). That number shouldn’t be all the surprising, given the demographics of D.C. — a majority of residents are people of color — and the way low-wage food and janitorial jobsalready skew heavily toward minorities in the U.S. at large, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A caveat: This was not a scientific study. The database was compiled through on-the-ground outreach done by the group’s organizers, not through government records or an official survey. And since the group is only organizing rank-and-file employees, the numbers don’t account for middle management, where the workforce appears more mixed. Yet the figures should ring true for anyone who’s taken a close look at the workers cleaning the dishes and mopping the floors in the Senate.

“I think what’s happening at the Capitol reflects a larger trend in our economy — the gap between the knowledge economy workers and the service-sector workers,” said Joseph Geevarghese, director of Good Jobs Nation. “You’ve got a class of workers who are higher paid, and then you have an underclass of service workers who are low-paid and struggling to make ends meet.”…More

A fairly representative sample of the higher level staff, this one from Iowa

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Nuke ‘Em, Harry!

Harry Reid has had enough…

So have virtually all Democrats in the Senate.

Let’s hope at least 51 Democrats have the cajones to hang on – and not go Yellowback Donkey.

Reactionary Rethugs have derailed and objected to virtually every President Obama appointee, abusing rules which were put there to protect the Minority Party Vote in the Senate…Not as a tool to bring the entire legislative process to it’s knees as a policy.

Senate poised to limit filibusters in party-line vote that would alter centuries of precedent

The Senate on Thursday opened a contentious debate about striking down the long-standing filibuster rules for most presidential nominations, with Democrats appearing poised to do so on a party-line vote that would alter nearly 225 years of precedent.

Infuriated by what they see as a pattern of obstruction and delay over President Obama’s nominees, Democrats tried to trigger the so-called “nuclear option” by bringing up one of the judicial nominees whom Republicans recently blocked by a filibuster.

“It’s manifest we have to do something to change things,” Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in remarks on the Senate floor to open the debate. Reid argued that the Senate has wasted way too much time on things that should be relatively routine — like approving judges and executive-branch nominees.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) responded by accusing Democratsof a power grab and suggesting that they will regret their decision if Republicans regain control of the chamber.

“We’re not interested in having a gun put to our head any longer,” McConnell said. “Some of us have been around here long enough to know that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot.”

McConnell then addressed Democrats directly, saying: “You may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” he said.

Shortly after 11 a.m., the senators began voting on a motion to reconsider the nomination of Patricia Millet to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That vote could set in motion a complicated parliamentary process that would end with a simple-majority vote to set a new rule, allowing for swift confirmation of executive branch nominees and most selections for the federal judiciary without having to clear a 60-vote hurdle.

If Democrats go through with the threat, it will pave the way for confirmation of several nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit who have recently been stymied by GOP filibusters, amid Republican assertions that the critical appellate court simply did not need any more judges…

 

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Standing Tall – Texas Senator Wendy Davis

Another Progressive standing up for her beliefs -Texas Democrat Senator Wendy Davis staged an 11 hour filibuster last night bringing the Rethugly Senate to it’s knees in trying to pass the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation in the country…

So…When we’ve got folks with this kind of grit willing to stand up against Rethugly evil…

WTF can’t President Obama and Senator Harry Reid kick some Rethugly ass?

They can start by filling every single Federal Court Judicial vacancy, and dropping the nuclear option on Rethugly intransigence tying up the judicial appointments.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Domestic terrorism, General

 

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The Marathon Bombers…And Gun Control

Not much is being said about this, and it certainly hasn’t risen to the attention of the mainstream media – but…

How exactly did the Boston Marathon terrorists get their explosive material to make a bomb?

 

Boston

 

I took a bit of artistic liberty with Michael Ramirez’s excellent and poignant cartoon commentary to add a bit of truth.  The “cowards” in this case sit in the US Congress.

You see – the explosive material for the bombs constructed by the Tsamaev brothers  is commonly available in just about every gun store, and gun show in America.

Now in an America where Homeland Defense is busily putting cameras in just about every spot except up your ass – although if some Republican Senators have their way they will be able to shove them up women’s vaginas… Why is it harder to buy a joint of Marijuana than the tools to kill and maim dozens of your neighbors? (Speaking of – what the heck is the deal with the pot heads in Denver shooting up- instead of smoking –  the joint?)

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned into an advocate for drug use – but guns in America are now paraphernalia for addicts and drug dealers…. And mass killers.

And no sportsman, we aren’t talking about your trusty Remington shotgun here.

This is what I am talking about …

Gunpowder

 

This is a one pound container of “gunpowder” (It’s not really “gunpowder” anymore, but it is the fuel which goes bang when you pull the trigger). It also comes in 8 lb packages.  You see – there is a group of, in vast majority law abiding, shooters who like to make their own bullets. (And no – I don’t mean to pick on NORMA, as far as I know they are a perfectly law abiding company with no criminal connection, and there is no published evidence that their product was used in the Boston bombings). However – I can buy this “explosive” in many states he same way I can buy ammunition which already has been assembled containing it – cash and carry. Which apparently is exactly what the Boston Marathon terrorists did.

No – this isn’t C4 or SEMTEX or any of the vastly more powerful Military explosives used by international terrorists. Nor is it Ammonium Nitrate, previously featured in the Oklahoma City Bombing, currently starring in the leveling of an entire Texas town. But you walk into your local store and ask for a block of SEMTEX or C4, and there is a very good chance you will be invited to visit at your local Federal Law Enforcement Office, and get to met some swell FBI or ATF guys with a very limited sense of humor. Indeed – to purchase Ammonium Nitrate which is a common ingredient in many fertilizers requires a background check to make sure you are going to fertilize the fields instead of blow up a buildings.

Ergo in the NRA’s version of America (and 46 Senators), it’s easier to buy “gunpowder” than fertilizer.

So… The 46 azzwipes who voted down watered-down gun legislation are not only guilty of enabling the Newtown killer… But international terrorism via the Boston Marathon terrorists.

Do you really want to live in an America where you have to have armed guards so the kiddies can go to the playground and swing on the swing set?

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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The Cost of the NRA’s Version of the 2nd Amendment…

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in American Genocide

 

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