UPDATE: I’ve been reminded that I am not a constitutional scholar. So, let me offer you a link to a letter penned by 10 of our country’s leaders in just that. All of them, conservatives included, concluding that the president’s actions are indeed constitutional. This letter is in addition to the 33-page report developed by the Justice Department concluding the same. :)
Let’s discuss immigration. Let’s discuss the President’s executive order.
Let’s discuss the lunacy of those who want to make this about something other than our country’s totally broken immigration system.
This is an unconstitutional power grab. No it isn’t. And you know it isn’t. There is not a single credible legal reading of this executive order that deems it as anything but a legal act of the executive branch. The President is not changing the law. He is changing the administration’s priorities in enforcing it. It is reversible by the next president. Anyone saying it is unconstitutional is speaking to people who either don’t know any better or don’t care to know any better as long as what they are hearing fits their current world view. ie, the willfully stupid.
This an unprecedented power grab. Well, if so, we’d better go back and impeach Reagan and HW Bush then, right? Presidents make executive orders all the time. This why they are called Executive Orders. They exist. They are things that happen. Obama’s are no more unprecedented than Lyndon B. Johnson’s. You can hate what this particular EO does, but you cannot make shit up about its rarity or constitutionality.
This grants amnesty to Illegals! If by “Illegals” you mean human people who are here without papers. Then sure. But not all of them. Only those who have been here more than 5 years, who have children who are American citizens or green card holders. Who have no criminal record. Many children of these people the Republicans like to call “illegals” currently serve in our armed forces. Currently pay taxes. Currently act as upstanding citizens in our society. My point is that these “illegals” are PEOPLE. Human people. This EO seeks to ensure that families who are already established here and are law-abiding are not separated. I just cannot see anything wrong with that.
This proves Obama is a tyrant! Yes. Living under the tyrannical Obama regime. Where your family is disappeared when you speak out against him. Where your business is ruined, your daughter’s honor stolen, your sons tortured. Your home burned to the ground for daring to speak out against Der Fuhrer. Yes, the hell you endure here in the United States of America for disagreeing with the President. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. Last time I checked he had not come for your guns either, breaking all predictions to the contrary since 2007. And the Black Panthers have also not yet convened a Muslim Brotherhood-sponsored Death Panel for your sick grandma. So if Obama is going to really be the tyrant folks were hoping for, he’d better get on it ASAP before his term runs out.
This is a political move to embarrass Republicans! Listen. Being embarrassed requires you to have a sense of shame. So, no. I don’t believe the GOP can be “embarrassed” by the President. I mean, just look at their leading lights. You have Senator Coburn–a sitting US Senator!–predicting (I would say encouraging) violence against the President of the United States in advance of this EO. You have Ted Cruz talking about impeachment and unconstitutionality when even HE knows it’s foolery. We like to talk about Cruz as if he is stupid. But he is not. He is a Harvard-educated shrewd politician. He does not believe for a minute that Obama’s order is impeachable. But he likes that YOU believe it. His upcoming run for the presidency likes that YOU believe it. He is 100% okay with feeding into whatever part of YOU needs to believe it, because then you know who to vote for. There is nothing more important to Ted Cruz than Ted Cruz. Trust me. And, not for nothing, but Barack Obama did not spring Immigration Reform on an unsuspecting Congress or public. He RAN ON IT in 2007. He talked about it several times a year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. He issued a similar order in 2012 that–whaaa??!!–did not rend the fabric of our society or bring down our economy. It probably affected your life so minutely that you don’t know or remember the executive order I’m even talking about. In 2013, the Democratic-led Senate got 14 Republicans to sign on to a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that PASSED! It was sent to the House where it languished and died. Why? Because John Boehner knew that any immigration bill would Unleash The Crazies of his party before a national election, and would lay bare once and for all that he has no control over them. If the Republicans in the House so disagreed with Obama’s approach to immigration reform they should have passed a bill to create their own. Boehner even told Obama that the House would not pass comprehensive reform, but would rather do it piecemeal. To Boehner’s surprise and I’m sure dismay, the President said, Fine. Still no bill. So to say after the fact that the President of the United States is using political chicanery to “spring” something on Congress is laughable on its face. Immigration Reform was one of candidate Obama’s signature campaign pledges. So once again, you can disagree on the substance of that reform, but you cannot make up or disregard actual facts to fit your narrative now. The House could have passed immigration reform last year on the heels of the Senate’s passage. But it didn’t. And so the President acted.
If people want to debate what our immigration policy should look like, that’s a valid debate. If people want to have a Come To Jesus navel gaze about our country’s philosophy and belief system as it relates to immigration, that’s a valid gaze. But if people want to pretend that something legal is illegal, that’s invalid. If people want to demonize entire groups of individuals about whom they know nothing, that’s invalid. And if people want to pretend they live in a country on the brink of lawlessness, that’s not only invalid, it’s absolutely breathtakingly ungratefully stupid.
I know I’m supposed to be totally stoked about Lammily, the new “average” Barbie doll for girls. And I am. Ish. I like that her proportions are normal and that she still looks awesome. I like that her skin is not fluorescent white. I like that she has no impossible thigh gap.I like the concept, I like the intention behind it. I like it. But can I draw the line at her acne and stretch marks? Please?
What is the value in adding zits and stretch marks to a doll for kids? I mean, why not add some unshaved pubic hair and morning breath? Perhaps it can come with a tampon/pad accessory kit just to make it all as “real” and “normal” as possible. And lets have her boyfriend Kennily fart five times an hour and not shave on weekends. Maybe he’ll have athlete’s foot too! Oh man, the make believe scenarios my daughters can concoct with these “real, normal” dolls!
“Kennily, does this ballgown make me look fat?” “No, Lammily. It’s not the ballgown that makes you look fat; it’s the fat that makes you look fat!”
“Kennily, let’s dance and share love’s true kiss until the clock strikes midnight!” “Okay, Lammily. But first I gotta take a dump.”
“I can’t wait to play beach volleyball with my best friend Skipperly! Oh, crap. My eldest just woke up with a fever. Raincheck, Skipperly.”
Come on, people! Yes, let’s not skew our daughters’ perceptions of beauty. But let’s also let them dream. Let them have aspirations. Let them maintain some magic. Let them see a “normal” doll and think nothing of it. But “normal” doesn’t have to mean “warts and all.” It doesn’t have to introduce cystic acne vulgaris or post-pregnancy striae in order to be normal. In fact, I guarantee that if I give my girls this doll those will be the ONLY things they see. not because they are conditioned to want perfection in a doll but because they will be distracted by these unnecessary features they do not understand.
So let’s agree that girls shouldn’t be pondering the meaning of size F breasts with an 18 inch waist. But neither should they be pondering random adult skin conditions. Sometimes there is such a thing as too real.
Preach it, Aunt Esther. So many stupid people in the news recently.
First, the GOP. Of course. They are going to impeach Obama if he signs an executive order on immigration. Oh, you mean, if he does precisely what Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush did during their terms? Ah yes, I recall the similar efforts to impeach them back then…No. Wait. I forgot the golden rule of the GOP: It’s Okay If You’re A Republican. These clowns ought to go ahead and start impeachment proceedings. Do it. Please. Because it will prove once and for all that a)you have absolutely no understanding of, nor respect for, our Constitution and b)that you are the unable-to-positively-govern asshats I predicted you’d be just one week ago.
Next up: Chris Christie telling us that Barack Obama was re-elected because he’s a light skinned black without the “Negro dialect.” Okaaaaay. And you are what, Governor? The obese guy without the jolliness? The thin-skinned idiot without the anger management classes? On what planet is it okay to say that about someone? And on what planet does some guy WIN in the United States BECAUSE he’s black?! Oh yes, all the advantages of being a black man in America! As evidenced by the enormous number of white men who just CANNOT WAIT to be mistaken for Black men! How can I, white male, find a way to be perceived as a Black male? Cause that’s when the RESPECT and EASE just come rolling along! I’ll get every job I apply for! If I’m of large stature, the police will not assume I’m a criminal! ! will easily win elections without even campaigning, what with my enviable status as a black man–without the Negro dialect, of course. Idiot.
Next on the sh*t list is Mama June of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo fame. You know the show. LIttle Honey Boo Boo, Red Neck pageant queen. I can barely bring myself to recount the details of this story, so awful are they. In short, Mama June just separated from Honey Boo Boo’s Dad, Sugar Bear, to hook up with an old flame who just happens to be a convicted child molester. Horrible, right? His conviction was for a separate instance of abuse, but he was arrested several years ago for molesting Mama June’s elder daughter, Honey Boo Boo’s big sister. You read that right. She is dating the man who sexually molested her teenage daughter. She says she’s not real convinced that the molestation occurred. Which is to say that she did not and does not believe her own child’s accusation. It gets worse. Her younger daughter was present in the room while the abuse was taking place, and so potentially witnessed her sister being sexually abused by the man her mother is now dating. So many awful, horrible, sickening feelings about this ongoing family catastrophe. Not the least of which is that this man is now in the company of Sugar Bear’s daughter Honey Boo Boo. If i were him, I’d be mounting a posse to go get my daughter out of harm’s way. Like, yesterday. In all of this, the pervasive sense of moral bankruptcy is evident. What kind of parent disbelieves a child who says she has been sexually assaulted by a man? What kind of parent continues to date that man? Ugh. Moral bankruptcy.
Next is Nancy Pelosi. (Hey, I’m into equal opportunity rage blogging). This week the Democratic leadership denied Representative Tammy Duckworth a proxy vote. She is 8 months pregnant and has been advised not to travel. Which means she cannot get to DC. Not for nothing, but she is also a former Iraq War veteran who is an amputee after sustaining injuries in the conflict. So one would think that she is no malingerer. Both Pelosi (Dumbass-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (Moron-CT) said that it would be a slippery slope if they allowed this proxy vote. IDIOTS. It’s only a slippery slope if you already know you don’t have the balls to say no next time. Right? So if Jim Bob Hoohaa, esteemed Member from Crackcorn, Indiana wants a proxy vote because it’s his Aunt Flossie’s birthday and he can’t make it to DC, you can just tell Jim Bob to go pound sand, right? It’s only a slippery slope if you lack courage and fear conflict. Which, as I’ve said in other forums, describes the Democratic Party to a T. Give the woman her proxy vote. For the love of God–and 8 month pregnant women! Geez.
And finally, but no less rage-ily, we have to talk about people on FB and The Comments Section who just echo right wing talking points verbatim. Which they think makes them look smart, but just makes me sad for the level of stupid we currently tolerate in America. One person just did a whole post about how Obama is “doing nothing” about ISIS. That he’s working on his golf game! ha ha ha! LOLz! That he is kowtowing to Muslims and letting them slaughter Americans without retaliating. So if by “nothing” you mean being the President Who Has Taken Out More Terrorists Than Any Other, then yeah, I guess that’s nothing. If you mean that he is the We’ll Fuck You Up The A** With Our Drones-iest President, then yeah I guess that’s nothing. The President with the largest Kill List in history, including the leader of the Somali al-Shabab group? Then yeah, I guess that’s nothing. Just because he is not rhetorically dick-swinging like John McCain or (ha!) Mitt Romney, doesn’t mean he isn’t doing the work. Just because he is not immediately sending troops to nail ISIS today (you don’t seem to get that this is precisely what ISIS wants, do you?), doesn’t mean it isn’t on the table. But to boldly post that the President of the United States is “doing nothing” is not only incorrect, it’s stupid and moronic and demonstrative of your basic lack of understanding of our country, its political process and its foreign policy. But Sean Hannity said it, so it must be true. And let me add this about the ISIS hostages. You want to know why they are killing Americans and Brits? Because those other countries who had hostages PAID ISIS RANSOMS to retrieve their citizens whereas the US and the UK said Fuck That. And that European money is what funded these evil executions. So if you really want to talk about who is enabling ISIS terrorism, give our friends in places like France and Belgium a call. If you can locate them on a map.
Differing perspectives on one story. That of a respected rabbi in DC coming out to his congregation.
I obviously share the perspective of the first article which is, to put it plainly, YAWN. An upheaval, to be sure, for his family (he is married with three kids). But for me and his congregation? The response should be to treat this as the theological non-story that it is. Or, more accurately, as the synagogue president put it: “We understand that Rabbi Steinlauf will be undergoing a challenging personal transition in the coming months, and we extend to him patience and a generous spirit.”
The third article by an Orthodox rabbi not surprisingly wishes Rabbi Steinlauf well–and wonders aloud why he doesn’t climb back into the closet he so excellently resided in for years. You know, for the benefit of those around him.
What about his congregants? Well, if they loved and trusted him before this announcement, I can’t imagine why any decent human being who claims to live by the principles of Judaic lovingkindness would suddenly be unable to love and trust him now.
What about his wife? What I find most interesting in all of these articles is the assumption that HE is divorcing HER. He should stay married! What about the kids!? Nowhere does it occur to anyone that perhaps SHE is divorcing HIM! From the articles above, it is clear that his wife has supported him in his questioning and in his coming out. A rabbi herself with a career of her own, she doesn’t sound to me like some poor sad sack of a woman being abandoned by this terrible gay man being gay. Perhaps she is the one who is seeking the divorce, for the benefit of her entire family. In the end, it sounds mutual and respect-filled, and honestly, like none of our damn business.
What about his kids? The short answer is that they are not alone, and if the Adas Israel community is as I remember it to be from my days in DC, they will be enveloped in the support and love of their community.
In short, I offer support to Rabbi Steinlauf and his family. To his community. And to every human–child or adult–who is wrestling with this question. Harvey Milk said it best (understanding that it’s Easier Said Than Done):
“Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.” –Harvey Milk
The Dems lost last week. And you know what? We deserved it. “Shitshow” doesn’t even begin to describe the election debacle that occurred. Or, more accurately, the BS loser-mentality shenanigans that preceded it.
Alison Grimes in Kentucky? That race was yours to lose. Mitch McConnell’s approval rating was 39% approve/50% disapprove. LOWER than President Obama’s numbers! You LOST to this weasel, and you know why. When asked if you voted for the President your answer should have been an honest Hell Yeah. Did McConnell vote for Romney? DERP! It’s a non-freaking issue. You’re a Dem, you voted for the Dem candidate for President. McConnell is an R, he voted for the R candidate. I know what your consultants were trying to do: to deny McConnell the soundbite to replay in commercials. But there were ways around that. You should have answered YES and then said why. But you showed a lack of courage that tainted the rest of your campaign. YOU DESERVED TO LOSE because of your cowardice.
And so it went across the country. When Dems vote Dems win. When Dems stand for something Dems win. When Dems show the courage of their convictions, Dems win. And, in my opinion, so do the millions of people counting on them to improve our country, to keep wages increasing, to protect our environment, to ensure equal opportunity, to create jobs. All of those candy-assed Dem candidates who ran from President Obama? You failed yourself. You failed your campaign. But more than anything, you failed all of the hard-working Americans who were counting on you to win so you could make a difference in their lives.
Cowards deserve to lose. But all is not lost. The GOP ran on not being Obama. Mazel tov to them. Now, can they govern? Do they even want to? The National Review just ran this article: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392082/governing-trap-editors
It advises the Republicans to not govern. Yep. Do not govern. Because if you do solve some problems and improve the lives of the American people (ie, do your fucking JOBS) by working with a Democratic president, then what’s to say the electorate won’t think a Dem president/GOP Congress is a good idea in 2016? And we can’t have that. So, in order to be seen as the party that will fix the government, you must first BREAK the government and keep it broken just long enough to deny any “credit” to the other party. That is some real patriotism there, friends. Also note the concern that the Tea Party will fracture/sabotage any mainstream efforts to work with the President, so don’t put forward any bills that might stir up that hornet’s nest. In essence, don’t do your damn jobs because it will expose the giant rift in your party. Fabulous.
So. the challenge remains. In the next two years, the Democratic Party must find its balls. And the Republican party must show they can govern when given all the power. For the party that mocks anyone who “blames Bush” they have spent much time and energy blaming Obama. Well, BHO isn’t on the ballot anymore, and never will be again. So let’s see what you got, Republicans. Because if you can’t get it done in the majority, then maybe you just can’t get it done at all.