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You Can Forget My Taxes

Friday, November 07, 2008

By Melissa Ethridge
The Daily Beast

Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the gay-marriage ban in California—and she won't be paying the state a dime.

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either....(Click for remainder).


Larry King: Bill Maher on the Presidential Election

Part 1

Part 2


Can Obama Be FDR?

A new book shows how Obama needs to address the economic emergency, starting with practical help for families and individuals.

By Robert Kuttner
Chelsea Green Publishing

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Obama's Challenge by Robert Kuttner.

When Barack Obama takes office as America's forty-fourth president, he will face an acute, three-pronged economic challenge. The financial system will be in crisis to a greater degree than at any time since 1933. America's international imbalances will be on a worsening downward slide. And the economy will be in a deepening recession supercharged by falling consumer purchasing power, declining housing values, and cascading business losses.

In addition, he faces four chronic problems that recession will only intensify. The recession will exacerbate a thirty-year trend of increasing inequality and insecurity. The crisis in energy and climate change will be deepening; the unreliability and cost of health care will be relentlessly worsening. The decay of America's public spaces and facilities will persist. All of this will require a more activist use of government than we've seen in at least four decades.

As we saw in chapter 3, real obstacles to change are compounded by attitudinal ones. Assuming that he is not disabled by an undertow of dubious counsel, what exactly should Obama do? He will have no shortage of advice, much of it contradictory, and the risk will be either to aim too low or to run off in several directions at once before having a clear strategic plan.

At every step, he needs to restore confidence -- not just with inspiring words or grand aspirations, but by demonstrating that help is on the way. He also needs to transform prevailing ideological assumptions, so that the practical help attracts wide support and builds public approval for even bolder measures using activist government that will take longer to enact -- and to reclaim support for the more fundamental progressive idea that government plays a constructive and necessary role....(Click for remainder).


Why the Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban Won

The Christian right outmaneuvered gay rights activists when it came to reaching out to California's huge minority populations.

By Richard Kim
The Nation

Amid the honks and cheers of joy in the Castro and West Hollywood, there are quiet signs of anxiety and, as state election results come in, a growing sense of anguish. Something is not right in the Golden State. Even as Californians gave 61 percent of their vote to Barack Obama, a majority of them, 52 percent, voted to discriminate against another kind of minority -- gays and lesbians. For a brief window that began in the bridal month of June, California queers had the right to marry, thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling, and some 18,000 same-sex couples said "I do." Proposition 8 -- a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman -- now says "You can't!"

As I write, the results for the second most expensive campaign in the country after the presidency itself are not yet official. According to the No on 8 campaign, as many as 3 to 4 million absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, and gay activists are rightly refusing to concede until they are. But there is little reason to expect that those votes will tip the scales. Other numbers paint an even grimmer picture. If exit polls are to be believed, some 70 percent of African-Americans voted Yes on 8, as did 53 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Asians; each of these demographics went heavily for Obama; blacks by a 94-to-6 margin. Los Angeles County, heavily minority, went 50-50 on Prop 8. These results have shocked gay activists, who knew from earlier polls, for example, that black voters favored Prop 8, but they were seeing much smaller margins, closer to 50 percent.

The easy, dangerous explanation for this gap, and one already tossed around by some white gay liberals in the bitter aftermath, is that people of color are not so secretly homophobic. But a more complicated reckoning -- one that takes into account both the organizing successes of the Christian right and the failures of the gay movement -- will have to take place if activists want a different result next time. First, there's the matter of the Yes on 8 coalition's staggering disinformation campaign. Ad after ad told voters that without Prop 8, their churches would be forced to perform same-sex unions and stripped of their tax-exempt status; that schools would teach their children to practice homosexuality, and, perhaps most effective, that a smiling Barack Obama had said, "I'm not in favor of gay marriage." This last bit went out in a flier by the Yes on 8 campaign targeting black households....(Click for remainder).



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