Category Archives: Trump Derangement Syndrome

Abortion is not negotiable: Democratic Party Draws A Line In The Sand On Abortion Rights

tom perez

The DNC future: Agree with us or go

A personal/religious belief shall not go against the collective thinking of the demorat platform.

Tom Perez is the best thing to happen to the RNC (and yes, I mean RNC)!

From HuffPo: Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez became the first head of the party to demand ideological purity on abortion rights, promising Friday to support only Democratic candidates who back a woman’s right to choose.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.” 

Perez’s statement follows the DNC’s controversial embrace of Heath Mello, a Democratic mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, whose years-long history of voting against abortion rights in the state Legislature drew fire from progressives this week. Daily Kos, a liberal website that raises money for lesser-known Democratic candidates, pulled its endorsement of Mello this week after discovering his history on the issue, and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue slammed the DNC for adding him to its cross-country unity tour.

“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women — one of the most critical constituencies for the party — of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid,” Hogue said in a statement.

Perez initially defended the DNC’s acceptance of an anti-abortion Democrat. “Our job at the DNC is to help Democrats who have garnered support from voters in their community cross the finish line and win ― from school board to Senate,” Perez said. “The biggest threat to women’s reproductive rights is the relentless Republican attacks on women’s health care, including legal, accessible abortion services. And I won’t let anyone get in the way of our fight to protect a woman’s right to choose.”

But Perez changed course Friday and delivered a big victory to the reproductive rights movement, saying that he “fundamentally disagree[s] with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health” and that “every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same, because every woman should be able to make her own health choices. Period.” 

Perez’s statement will likely alienate some high-profile anti-abortion Democrats in the party, including Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Edwards said at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 that the party might be more successful in the Deep South if it allowed more anti-abortion candidates to rise in the ranks. 

“It’s hard to remain a big-tent party if you have a very small platform,” he said. “We have to make our voices heard.”

Reproductive rights advocates agree with Perez that the party must stand firm on the issue. Hogue celebrated the victory for the movement on Friday.  “Kudos to Chair Tom Perez and the DNC for recognizing that we are a stronger party when we stand for our core values,” she said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “Women across the country who are, and have always been, the heart and soul of the Party, are breathing a sigh of relief to know that the DNC has our backs, and we look forward to a day when we don’t have to fight this fight again.”

h/t Twitchy

DCG

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Weinstein Co. to Challenge MPAA’s R Rating of Transgender Teen Drama

3 generations movie

Actors Fanning, Watts and Sarandon

Because it would be a “tragedy” if high school students couldn’t see this film.

From Hollywood Reporter: The Weinstein Co. (TWC) will challenge the MPAA’s decision to assign an R rating to its upcoming transgender drama 3 Generations. TWC was told that the film, which stars Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon and was directed by Gaby Dellal, received the rating due to language and some sexual references.

In its bid to downgrade the R rating to a PG-13, TWC has enlisted attorney David Boies, who is the company’s go-to lawyer for high-profile cases (Boies also represented TWC in its battle with Warner Bros. over the use of the title The Butler).

The MPAA offered a statement in response to TWC’s promise to fight the 3 Generations rating. “Under the Classifications and Ratings Administration (CARA) rules, the ratings board and appeals board maintain confidentiality and do not comment publicly about the process for movies under review,” MPAA spokesperson Chris Ortman said. “Any filmmaker who objects to the given rating can choose to go to the appeals board.”

TWC has a long history of challenging the MPAA’s ratings, sometimes successfully. The Michelle Williams-Ryan Gosling starrer Blue Valentine initially received an NC-17, but it was knocked down to an R. The company’s best picture Oscar winner The King’s Speech also received an R, which remained in place, but TWC managed to get a PG-13 rating for an alternate version.

Boies helped get the rating changed on the documentary Bully. Initially given an R for reasons similar to 3 Generations, TWC challenged the rating because it wanted the film to be more accessible to its intended teen audience. The film eventually received a PG-13.

“This film is a beautiful and touching story about family and identity,” said Watts, who stars in the film as the mother of the protagonist Ray, played by Fanning, and who also is an executive producer. “It is important for teenagers to see it and the R rating doesn’t reflect today’s society. 3 Generations doesn’t have a bad bone in its body. It’s an expression of love, acceptance, strength and honesty — values that could not be more necessary right now.

Added TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein: “Gaby, Naomi, Susan and Elle made this movie to share its message of acceptance and inclusion with all generations. The fact that an R rating would prevent high school students from seeing this film would truly be a travesty. The MPAA and I were able to come to an agreement on Bully, and I am confident that we will be able to do so again.”

The film follows Ray, a teenager who has struggled with the body assigned to him at birth and is determined to start transitioning. His single mother Maggie must track down Ray’s biological father (Tate Donovan) to get his legal consent to allow Ray’s transition. Dolly (Sarandon), Ray’s lesbian grandmother, is having a hard time accepting that she now has a grandson. The film follows their journey as each character confronts his or her own identity and learns to embrace change while ultimately finding acceptance and understanding.

“3 Generations is an important movie for everyone to see, especially transgender youth who are feeling isolated or fearful and their families,” said Sarandon. “It’s ridiculous to have an R rating, which would prevent this audience from seeing the film.”

Added Dellal: “As a mother and a filmmaker, I want to speak to kids, to parents and to grandparents everywhere in a common language of love and inclusion about a subject matter that is not only real and complicated, but one that is important and alive today. There are kids all over this country that are still too fearful to speak out and to step out; they’re too alone to fight, lacking the kinds of support that would let them feel free to be themselves. Our story wants to humanize this family experience, and to take the mystery out of the secrets. I hope the MPAA will reconsider this R rating and encourage children to see this story and feel connected.”

DCG

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposes income tax for city’s ‘high-end’ households

ed murray

A sure-fire way to get re-elected: Another tax

The devil is in the “high-end” number, which Murray doesn’t define.

And this proposed tax, combined with his alleged sexual assault allegation, just may not get Murray re-elected. But then again, it’s socialist Seattle.

From Seattle Times: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will propose a city income tax on “high-end” households, he said Thursday night during a forum for mayoral candidates. On stage with six challengers in a Lake City church, Murray said he would send a proposal in the “next few weeks” for a City Council vote. He didn’t offer many details.

 “We all know that Washington state has a regressive tax system,” Murray told a crowd at the forum hosted by the 46th District Democrats.

“We can all argue about what we’re going to do about it. Those discussions have been going on since I was a kid in this city. But what I’m going to send to council is a proposal for a high-end income tax.”

Thursday’s event was the first such candidates’ forum in the 2017 race for mayor and came two weeks after a 46-year-old Kent man sued Murray for alleged child sexual abuse decades ago.

The mayor has adamantly denied the accusation and similar allegations made by two other men, who also claim Murray abused them as teenagers in the 1980s. Murray has vowed to remain in his job and continue running for a second term.

This week, former Mayor Mike McGinn and urban planner Cary Moon declared bids. They joined Murray at Thursday’s forum, along with educator and activist Nikkita Oliver, who entered the race earlier.

The mayor’s income-tax proposal came as a surprise to many in the crowd and seemingly to McGinn, who in launching his campaign Monday had called for an income tax.

For weeks, a coalition of local organizations led by the Transit Riders Union has been drumming up support for a city income tax under the slogan Trump Proof Seattle.

When asked about the campaign previously, Murray said he had supported the idea at the state level when he was a lawmaker in Olympia, but stopped short of backing Trump Proof Seattle, describing it as ill-fitted to pay for immediate needs.

Washington has long lacked an income tax because of a restrictive state law and voters have said no to statewide proposals before. A 2010 statewide initiative proposing a high-earners tax was defeated.

A Seattle tax likely would be challenged in court and could serve as a legal test case with statewide implications. “It’s going to be challenged,” Murray told the crowd Thursday. “It’s too soon to cheer … But if we win in court and we can get that high-end income tax we can shift our regressive taxes on sales tax and on property tax onto that high-end income tax.”

Asked after the forum to clarify his plan, the mayor said the income tax would be accompanied by reductions in other taxes that hit poorer people harder. During his term as mayor, Murray has backed a number of property- and sales-tax hikes.

The income tax wouldn’t be completely revenue neutral because some of the new revenue would be set aside to backfill potential cuts in federal funding by the Trump administration, Murray said.

“He didn’t steal it. I think he finally saw the wisdom of the idea,” McGinn said after the forum, reacting to Murray’s proposal. “Elections have a way if doing that sometimes.”

Murray said his initial plan is to propose a resolution stating the city’s intent to pass an income tax rather than an actual ordinance putting it into effect. That could potentially leave open the option of asking voters to weigh in later on the ballot.

Oliver declined to immediately comment on Murray’s proposal. Moon answered during a lightning round that she would not support a local income tax. Also taking part in the forum were Jason Roberts, Mary Martin and Alex Tsimerman.

During the lightning round, every candidate expressed support for allowing more duplexes and triplexes in neighborhoods now zoned for single-family houses, including Murray, who put forward and then quickly withdrew such a change in 2015.

DCG

DOJ issues ultimatum to NYC and other ‘sanctuary’ cities

trump and jeff sessions

Works for me.

From NY Post: The US Department of Justice on Friday gave New York City and eight other local governments that provide “sanctuary” to illegal immigrants until June 30 to prove they’re not violating federal law by refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

The ultimatums from President Trump’s administration were accompanied by an accusation that many of the targeted jurisdictions are “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”

“New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance,” the DOJ said in a news release.

A related letter to the director of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice warns that the feds could withhold funding, suspend or terminate grants, declare the city ineligible for future funding or take “other action, as appropriate.”

A City Hall spokesman called the threat “nothing new.”

“This grandstanding shows how out of touch the Trump administration is with reality,” spokesman Seth Stein said.

“Contrary to their alternative facts, New York is the safest big city in the country, with crime at record lows in large part because we have policies in place to encourage cooperation between NYPD and immigrant communities.”

Letters were also sent to officials in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami; Clark County, Nev.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; Cook County, Ill., and the state of California.

DCG

Trump admin negotiates release of Egyptian-American aid worker from Cairo jail

hijazi and trump

Hijazi meets with Trump

The demorat-controlled media has been largely silent about this. The release of these aid workers is a very good thing. Yet it wasn’t accomplished by their savior, Obama, so it shall not be mentioned.

From Fox News: The Egyptian American charity worker who was sent to prison for three years in Cairo met with President Trump Friday at the White House. “We are very happy to have her back home,” Trump said. “Thank you very much.”

The White House has been working for weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to secure the release of Aya Hijazi, 30, as well as her husband Mohamed Hassanein and four other humanitarian workers.

Wade McMullen, managing attorney at the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization which has been advocating on Hijazi’s behalf, told National Public Radio that Sisi’s visit to Washington came during “a short window of time before the final verdict” in Hijazi’s case.

McMullen said during the trip, “senior administration officials were engaging with Egyptian officials on Aya’s case.”

Hijazi became the face of Egypt’s crackdown in 2014, She had her husband were sentenced to prison on May 1,2014 on child abuse and trafficking charges that have been widely criticized and dismissed by multiple human rights workers and U.S. officials as false.

Hijazi is a graduate of George Mason University and grew up in northern Virginia. There was virtually no evidence brought against her, her husband or the four humanitarian workers.

DCG

Bruce Springsteen releases anti-Trump song

bruce-springsteen

Love can conquer hate…

Oh goody. I’ve never bought any of his music and won’t start now.

From Yahoo: Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has denounced US President Donald Trump as a “conman” as he collaborated on a new protest song released Wednesday.

Joe Grushecky, a Pittsburgh-based heartland rocker who has worked in the past with Springsteen but has had much less commercial success, titled his song “That’s What Makes Us Great” — a play on Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

An energetic rock tune that sounds like it could have come from Springsteen’s E Street Band, the song halfway through features The Boss singing verses on his own. “Don’t you brag to me that you never read a book / I never put my faith in a conman and his crooks,” Springsteen sings in clear reference to Trump.

Springsteen and Grushecky come together for a chorus that urges mobilization against Trump. “It’s up to me and you / Love can conquer hate / I know this to be true / That’s what makes us great,” they sing.

While the song is not his own, it marks some of the most overtly political lyricism of Springsteen’s career alongside “American Skin (41 Shots”) about New York police officers’ 1999 killing of unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo.

Springsteen — whose songs have often told the plight of working-class Americans of the type who provided crucial support to Trump — largely stayed out of direct politics until 2004 when he campaigned for John Kerry in his failed bid to defeat president George W. Bush.

In November, Springsteen joined Hillary Clinton in a major election-eve rally in Philadelphia, where he denounced Trump for his “profound lack of decency,” and later played a somber, private show for Barack Obama’s staff as they left the White House.

Grushecky told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he wrote the song around the time that Trump took office and that he sent it to Springsteen, who liked it and agreed to give it “the Bruce treatment.”

Grushecky said he had been outraged by Trump since the time the tycoon mocked a journalist with disabilities. “That to me is appalling. I have special needs people in my family and in my neighborhood. I worked with special needs people my whole life, and I was really offended by it,” he told the newspaper.

Wonder if Grushecky wrote a song after Obama’s Special Olympic joke? I’m being sarcastic, of course.

DCG

Tom Perez: The new foul-mouthed face of the DNC

Excellent choice demorats!

DCG