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Did The Dead Put Al Franken Over the Top?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:50 pm - June 4, 2009.
Filed under: 2008 Congressional Elections

While current vote totals in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes for the state’s Senate seat have Al Franken up by 312 votes over Norm Coleman, a recent “review of Minnesota’s statewide database of registered voters revealed at least 2,812 deceased individuals voted in last November’s general election, according to a new report by the “traditional values” advocacy group Minnesota Majority.

Looking at this study, Jim Geraghty asks, “it would be useful to know the vote breakdown of these 2,800 or so votes.

While we may not be able to determine how the dead voted, there is a standard that gives us a pretty accurate estimate.  It’s from the City of Chicago which has a long history of dead men people voting.  Overwhelmingly the dead in the Windy City prefer the party of Richard Daley, a pioneer in the electoral rights of the formerly living.  Going with the Chicago rule whereby the dead vote by a margin of approximately 7.48 to 1 for the Democrat, 2,437 of the dead voted for Franken, with 375 voting for Coleman.

Some may have voted for Third Party candidate, Dean Barkley–alas, the Chicago rule does not consider Third Party candidates.  Also to consider, Franken has a name that is likely to make a dead voter more amenable to his candidacy.

So, it seems Franken picked up 2,062 votes from dead voters (give or take a few hundred).  Remove those from his tally and the lead returns to Coleman (who was ahead on election night and remained ahead until the Franken campaign persuaded canvassers to include previously rejected absentee ballots, where Democratic counties had more liberal standards for including such ballots than did Republican counties).

It seems that the dead really did put Franken over the top.

Some Gay Activists Are Not Lickspittles

These activists are “STARTING TO NOTICE that Obama is not about to do anything for them.

So it seems that not all gay and lesbian activists are bowing and scraping to this Democratic President, some are speaking out about his inaction on issues near and dear to their hearts.  According to Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin at Politico:

Gay rights campaigners, most of them Democrats who supported Obama in November, have begun to voice their public frustration with Obama’s inaction, small jokes at their community’s expense and deafening silence on what they see as the signal civil rights issue of this era.

Simply put, the White House prefers political expediency to principle:

The White House has been reluctant to spend its political capital pushing Obama’s highest-profile pro-gay positions believing, White House allies say, that it could detract from priorities like health care. And it may be even less likely to do next year, with midterms approaching.

With Barack Obama, it’s all about getting and retaining power for himself and his partisans.

Some new kind of politics. Kudos to those gay activists who are calling him out and taking him to task for his failure to follow through on his campaign promises.

Obama Ignores Plight of Gays Living Under Islam

SPECIAL UPDATE from Dan:  I will offer a $25 contribution to the first non-Republican gay organization which criticizes the President for this omission.  If none do so by Monday morning, I will give that to GOProud.

I wish I could say that I picked up on this myself, but I must give full credit to New Zealand blogger Darren who writes at The Fairfacts Media Show and the No Minister blog and who emailed me earlier today.

Why did President Obama completely ignore the persecution and pogroms of gays where Islamic law is the rule of the land?  It is happening in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and even Egypt.  (The list goes on and on actually….)

Gays living under strict Islamic law (whether in a nation or a region) are subject to death.  Women(as a group) actually have better lives in the Muslim faith than do gays and lesbians.  Although gay men seem to be particular targets of the horrific state/mosque-sanctioned atrocities.

Has Obama not seen the photos of young gay men being hanged in Iran?

hanged

It is outrageous for President Obama to ignore this issue while he addressed so many others today.  He let a lot of people down today by taking a walk on this serious human rights threat to gays in many Muslim countries and communities.

UPDATE: GOProud becomes first American gay organization to challenge Obama on Islam and gays.

“President Obama’s silence today on the treatment of gays and lesbians in Muslim countries is shameful.  The penalty for simply being gay in Muslim countries like Iran is death.  Even in Egypt, the country where President Obama spoke today, gays have been subject to arrest and imprisonment.

It is intolerable for President Obama to turn a blind eye to the type of human rights abuses occurring at the hands of Islamic extremists throughout the world.  If the United States is to maintain its position of moral leadership in the world, then this administration must make it clear that basic human rights for all should be respected.”

I am really beginning to wonder why the American gay and lesbian activists were so hot for Obama to begin with.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

WaPo: Media Infatuation With Obama Unhealthy

The Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson was obviously on another planet last year.  He has JUST now discovered this amazing fact:

The Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time.  Has any recent president basked in so much favorable media coverage?

My snarkiness aside… Samuelson raises a lot of good points in his column.

On the whole, this is not healthy for America.

Our political system works best when a president faces checks on his power.  But the main checks on Obama are modest.  They come from congressional Democrats, who largely share his goals if not always his means. The leaderless and confused Republicans don’t provide effective opposition.   And the press — on domestic, if not foreign, policy — has so far largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer.

That is a pretty damning observation to be printed in the equally complicit Washington Post.   But the best part of his column?  The facts.

[A] study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism… concludes: “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House.”

The study examined 1,261 stories by The Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC, Newsweek magazine and the “NewsHour” on PBS. Favorable articles (42 percent) were double the unfavorable (20 percent), while the rest were “neutral” or “mixed.” Obama’s treatment contrasts sharply with coverage in the first two months of the Bush (22 percent of stories favorable) and Clinton (27 percent) presidencies.

Unlike George Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama received favorable coverage in both news columns and opinion pages. The nature of stories also changed. “Roughly twice as much of the coverage of Obama (44 percent) has concerned his personal and leadership qualities than was the case for Bush (22 percent) or Clinton (26 percent),” the report said. “Less of the coverage, meanwhile, has focused on his policy agenda.”

Very dangerous indeed.   But there are some signs of good news…..

Another Pew survey shows that since the election the numbers of both self-identified Republicans and Democrats have declined. “Independents” have increased, and “there has been no consistent movement away from conservatism, nor a shift toward liberalism.”

Samuelson concludes:

The press has become Obama’s silent ally and seems in a state of denial. But the story goes untold: Unsurprisingly, the study of all the favorable coverage received little coverage.

If not for the blogosphere and talk radio, many of the critical questions wouldn’t be asked at all.  And Democrats want to silence those outlets as well.   Stay tuned….

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Have Conservative Legal Scholar Draft Measure to Overturn 8

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 am - June 4, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage,Legal Issues

Reading the first comment to my post on why, I believe, the Prospects Don’t Look Good for Overturning Proposition 8 in the Golden State, I wondered if a reader had been stealing glances at my notes for he had done a great job anticipating an issue which I plan to start addressing with this post and hope to consider regularly for the next few weeks:

So, Dan, this looks like a great opportunity to start working with / providing consultation-advice, and build some bridges.

Work on the side, provide input in any way that makes you feel comfortable, or will you close the door on this opportunity to be part of the change?

Basically, I’ve been scribbling notes on strategies for overturning Prop 8.  Right now, I don’t think it would be smart to push this issue for 2010 and it might be better to wait until 2012, but the success of the legislation in New Hampshire may make it easier to address the issue sooner rather than later.

There, while the Governor peronally opposed gay marriage, he signed legislation providing for his state to recognize it because it included language spelling out “that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.”

If that gay marriage opponent could be persuaded to sign a bill recognizing same-sex marriages, then other gay marriage opponents could be persuaded to vote for similar legislation.

In short, do in California what the legislature in New Hampshire did after Governor Lynch first vetoed the bill–include a provision addressing the concerns of gay marriage opponents.  And their strongest argument is that state recognition of same-sex marriage could prevent churches and other religious institutions from defining marriage according to the dictates of their faith.

So, include such a provision.  And have a conservative legsl scholar draft it. Thus, when pushing this measure, advocates can point to his authorship. It would give the measure credibility on the right and make it more difficult for social conservatives to raise the religious freedom objection which they used so effectively last fall. (more…)

New Hampshire Recognizes Gay Marriage the Right Way

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:40 am - June 4, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Republican Form of Government

I had delayed in posting on New Hsmpshire’s recognition of same-sex marriages, thinking that I might have something profound and original to say, but (in past posts on legislative recognition of gay marriage),  I’ve pretty much said everything I have to say about this.

I could go on about the hyperbolic language of the releases that have cluttered my e-mail boxes.  It seems that most gay organizations don’t understand the meaning of the words “freedom” and “legal.”  (It seems they believe you need some kind of government imprimatur to be free.)

When the folks at Freedom (sic) to Marry announce that New Hampshire Becomes Sixth State to Embrace Freedom to Marry, it almost sounds like people who had previously gotten married in the Granite State had to hide their unions lest they be persecuted.  The same holds for those who announce that it’s now “legal” for gays to wed in New Hampshire. You mean, they had been jailed in the past for getting married?

All that said, I am pleased with the way things progressed in New Hampshire, particularly pleased with the final result for the same reasons I was pleased with the processes in Vermont and Maine.  In the Granite State, we really saw the benefit of the legislative process.  There, instead of judges announcing a decision in accordance with the court calender, there was a real back-and-forth between the elected Governor and the elected members of the legislature.  The Framers would have been pleased at that deliberative process.  If people don’t like the result, they can hold their representatives accountable at the ballot box.

Governor John Lynch, an opponent of gay marriage, opposed the initial bill because of his concerns that it might not protect the liberty of churches to define marriage according to their creed.  But, when he vetoed the initial legislation, he proposed a compromise, asking for language spelling out “that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes“:

The revised bill added a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage.

It also clarified that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same-sex spouses of employees.

As we see, this process allowed the law-making body to address citizens’ concerns.

There’s something else in this process which could help advance gay marriage in other states.  Advocates can show how they persuaded a gay marriage opponent (Lynch) to sign a bill recognizing same-sex marriage.  With the appropriate religious liberty provisions in the statutes they propose, they may be able to persuade other such opponents.

And so I end on the subject of my next post (planned before I had learned of the good news from the Granite State.)