Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Observations from the Window 2.12

Yesterday was a slow news day as it only had a Pope abdicating, the holy quit as Jon Stewart called it, and a North Korean nuclear test. Today could be much more entertaining with President Obama's State of the Union speech, followed by Senator Marco Rubio's Republican rebuttal, followed by Senator Rand Paul's wingnut rebuttal to the Republican rebuttal of the SOTU. Lost in all the excitement is today being Mardi Gras and there being a late Flyers game in Winnipeg tonight. Hard entertainment decisions have to made.

Mardi Gras and the Flyers game are self explanatory but the State of the Union has entertainment value above and beyond the politics of it. Almost a year ago the aging mentally challenged hair guitarist and gun freak Ted Nugent threatened President Obama's life. You might say it was just more nutjob radio induced hyperbole but the Secret Service took it serious enough to call him in for a chat. Tonight Nugent will be Texas GOP Congressman Steve Stockman's guest at the address. One can only hope Nugent talks to the press at any possible time before during and after the Obama speech. Nugent's attendance should also answer the NRA's question as to why the President and his family need protection.

Than there is Rand Paul. The only reason to watch this speech is find out what nutjob minds are thinking in cloud coo coo land or on the dark side of the moon. Enough said about him.

This brings me to Senator Rubio who Time has christened the savior of the Republican party, el salvador if you will. The Florida Senator may well be the GOP's only current hope but has problems all his own. He is the GOP leader on immigration reform where he takes a predictable hard line even though he himself is the son of Cuban refugees and whose grandfather and childhood idol, Pedro Víctor García, was ordered deported only to be saved by the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The law still grants Cuban Americans special privileges Rubio apparently doesn't want to grant other immigrants.

Than there are Rubio's stands on gay and lesbian rights where again he doesn't seem to be the savior of anybody. He supports allowing states to grant same-sex couples the right to marry while at the same time supports limiting marriage to one man and one woman, I'm not sure how this works. Rubio says he is "against discriminating against people," but wont take a position on the long stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He supports the federal government honoring states decisions on gay marriage but also supports DOMA which specifically prohibits the government from acknowledging those same decisions. Now we come full circle to his strongest issue, immigration. He doesn't believe same-sex couples should be included in immigration reform because he thinks it would just cloud the issue and once again says it should be left to the states. I repeat, how does this work as immigration is constitutionally a federal issue.

For Rubio's benefit I'll finish with this video.

"Every day tens of thousands of lesbian and gay binational couples fight for the right to live together in the United States because the federal government refuses to recognize their marriages for immigration purpose. Becky and Sanne: Fighting DOMA to Keep Their Family Together."

Published on Jan 31, 2013

Becky/U.S. and Sanne/Netherlands, Asheville, NC:
Becky and Sanne first met while traveling around India several years ago. Though able to live freely in The Netherlands, the first country in the world to grant full marriage rights to same sex spouses, they are raising their 2 year old daughter, Willow, in Asheville, North Carolina, near the family, mountains, and community they love. By sharing their story, they hope to publicize the plight of binational couples while promoting a world in which Willow never has to suffer discrimination for having two moms.

For more information and how you can help:
The DOMA Project
The Devote Camapaign

update - The Violence Against Women Act re-authorization passed in the Senate today by a vote of 78 to 22. All 22 votes against it came from Republican men including, you guessed it, Florida's own Marco Rubio. I somehow doubt he will explain his love of violence against women in his SOTU rebuttal tonight. The bill now goes to the House where it faces wingnut opposition to a provision in the bill that would restore tribal authorities’ ability to "prosecute non-Indians who commit violence against the members of their tribe" on tribal land. Honestly, I do not make this shit up.