The Corporate Media Substanceless Hack Shuffle

From Crooks and Liars:

NBC will name Chuck Todd the new host of “Meet the Press” as soon as Thursday afternoon, according to people with direct knowledge of the network’s plans.

And to discuss the selection, this Sunday Meet the Press will have on John McCain for the entire hour – because America just doesn’t get to hear enough of the philosophy of the man it refused to elect president.


Joni Ernst: The Little Empty Head on the Prairie

From TPM:

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) argued that Congress should not be passing laws “that the states would consider nullifying.”

Ernst, the Republican nominee for Senate in Iowa, made the comments at a forum at the 2013 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and were flagged by The Daily Beast on Monday.

“You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator, why should we pass laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws,” Ernst said. “We’re right…we’ve gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment’s states’ rights. We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators —as senators or congressmen— that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line.”

Of course, as the Daily Beast pointed out, states can’t nullify federal laws.

Looks like the Sarah Palin Channel has its first second anchormoron.

Or, maybe the John C. Calhoun Channel needs its own pig-castrator.

Rick Scott’s Seamus

Looks like Gov. Fire Marshal Bill had no other use for his dog Reagan than as a prop.

Shortly after winning the GOP nomination in 2010, Rick Scott announced to the world through Facebook that his family had rescued a Labrador retriever.

And, with help from his Facebook friends, Scott gave it a name: Reagan.

Asked last week what had happened to the dog, Scott’s current and former communications directors refused to answer.

On Monday, the Times asked the governor to clear up the mystery.

“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn’t get better.”

I guess prop is better than poop – but a lying scumbag is a lying scumbag, meaning that, even though that proffered excuse one that some people have had to give after a shelter pet proved to be more than they could handle (it does happen), if you believe Rick Scott then you probably also believed Mitt the Flip when he said that Seamus enjoyed being in his car-rooftop dog cage.

But You Still Can’t Call Him a Natural-Born American Citizen

Under the teabagger, anti-Obama standard (foreign-born son of a non-U.S. citizen father – you know, what the teabaggers inaccurately claim Obama to be), Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president, despite this irrelevancy of a story:

Call him Ted Cruz, All-American

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, famously born in Canada, received official word Tuesday that he is no longer a dual national of the country of his birth.

How About a Worldly Worldview?

We all know the christianist psychopath codewords for the racism that they know that they can’t get away with stating explicitly.

But not as many people recognize the christianist psychopath codewords for advocating for the theocracy that they feel they are being discriminated against by not being allowed to inflict on any and all who don’t believe exactly as they do.

The one to watch out for: ‘christian worldview.’

It is presented as at worst benign and, beyond that, a positive that we will all benefit from.

Its a lie, of course.

Its a signal to christianist voters that, if given the opportunity, the candidate in question will inflict christianity on all – and with force of law.

…all of which brings me to an item currently up at Crooks and Liars which should strike fear in the heart of anyone who does not live in a walled estate or have the means to employ private security as a buffer between themselves and the kriminal kops that us peons have no defense from.

[I]n a series of cases this week about law enforcement searches of cell phones, we caught a glimpse of the Supreme Court’s real technology problem. Here’s what it comes down to: it’s not essential that the Court knows specifics about how technology itself works—and as Timothy Lee argues, that might even tempt them to make technology-based decisions that don’t generalize well. However, it is essential that the Court understands how people use technology, especially in areas where they’re trying to elaborate a standard of what expectations are “reasonable.”

So when Chief Justice Roberts suggests that a person carrying two cell phones might reasonably be suspected of dealing drugs, that raises major red flags. Not because of any special facts about how cell phones work, but because (for example) at least half of the lawyers in the Supreme Court Bar brought two cell phones with them to the courthouse that day. Should those attorneys (along with the many, many other people who carry multiple devices) reasonably expect less privacy because the Chief Justice is out of touch with that fact?

Roberts essentially demanded authoritative proof from an attorney that many people have more than one cell phone.  When the attorney notes that it was simply her observation that led her to make that assertion, the Racist Alzheimer’s Pin-Up Boy of 2014, Antonin Scalia, belched out in response: “You’ve observed different people from the people I’ve observed.”

Tony the Scowl hasn’t lived in the same world that real people live in since at least 1986, when the Senate bafflingly gave him his seat on the Supreme Court without any no votes.

Contrast that with Justice Kagan’s point about storage location in the same argument. Justice Kagan suggested, correctly, that people don’t always know what is stored on their device and what is stored “in the cloud.” The actual answer to that question should be immaterial; the point is that it’s absurd for a person’s privacy interest to hinge on which hard drive private data is stored on. Instead, the important fact here, which Justice Kagan recognizes, is that the distinction between local and cloud storage just doesn’t matter to many people, and so it can’t be the basis of a reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test.

If you’re feeling less generous, you might take Justice Kagan’s point as evidence that she herself doesn’t know where her files are stored. And in fact, that’s probably true—but it’s not important. You don’t actually need to know much about file systems and remote storage to know that it’s a bad idea for the law to treat it differently.

[A] real feeling for what people expect from their software and devices is something that has to be observed. If the nine justices on the Supreme Court can’t bring that knowledge to the arguments, the public suffers greatly. Again, Justice Kagan seems to recognize this fact when she says of cell phones:

They’re computers. They have as much computing capacity as laptops did five years ago. And everybody under a certain age, let’s say under 40, has everything on them.

Justice Kagan is not under 40, and might not have everything stored on a phone (or on an online service accessible through her phone). But that quote shows me that she at least knows where other people’s expectations are different.

In other words, she has a worldview that is focused on the world in which real people in the United States actually live their lives.

In 2005, Roberts bluffed his way onto the court with rhetorical nothin’ muffins like “My job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”

The problem is: He’s not making calls under the 21st century rules of baseball that real people actually living in the actual United States in 2014 utilize when they play baseball.  He’s judging plays made by the real people actually living in the actual United States in 2014 , but he’s using the Knickerbocker Rules of 1857.

He’s as unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court as is Tony the Scowl.

And the less said about Clarence Thomas, the better – until we have a Congress that is ethical enough to impeach him.

Stop it Jeff, You’re Killing Me

No – seriously.

You – and your organization – are killing trans people, and have been since 1980.

Op-ed: What Not To Do, When Calling Yourself a Transgender Ally

Jeff Krehely, the chief foundation officer of the Human Rights Campaign, discusses the importance of transgender advocacy, in light of the recent controversy surrounding Janet Mock and Piers Morgan.

What should you do when calling yourself a transgender ally?

For starters, maybe you should think twice about working for an organization that, since its founding in 1980, has had but 3 1/2 trans employees, only one of whom was a trans woman (and, as we all know, that trans woman was hired for no other reason than to get trans people to shup up in the aftermath of 2007 but she was purposely plucked from outside all known trans activism circles so, once hired, HRC could claim that it finally hired a trans woman while also not subjecting its employees to anyone who might actually educate Gay, Inc. about how things really are.)

But, if you are going to get rich in the world of Gay, Inc. permanent employment, then maybe you should expend some energy to get your employer to stop discriminating against trans women.

Just a thought.

Most white gay men like me — even liberal ones — didn’t have much incentive to pressure LGBT groups to expand their agenda, especially as the right-wing led efforts to outlaw our right to marry. Because of my own privileges, that was my main cause and my sole source of oppression in 2004 America.


I think that the Human Rights Campaign has done as much if not more on transgender issues than most other national [ gay and lesbian ] organizations. If you really look at the actual work.

You mean five years after Queen Elizabeth III said that?

A couple of years later, I stumbled into a professional LGBT job. And even though I could be hired with very little cultural competency when it came to transgender people….

Okay, stop. Lets think about that.

A couple of years after 2004.

If its four years, that would put things a full decade after Queen Elizabeth III’s claim re: HRC – and we all know how HRC ‘educates’ throughout the LGB( ) world, right?

Again, think about that.

It would appear that the “LGBT job” that he could be hired for with “very little curtural competency” re: trans people was with the “LGBT Movement Advancement Project.”

Again, think about that.

…things suddenly came to a head. In 2007, gender identity was dropped from the
House’s version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the LGBT movement
declared war on itself.

No, the “LGBT movement” didn’t declare war “on itself,” Jeff.  Your current employer continued (escalated?) its decades-long pattern and practice of political discrimination against trans people – committing civil and possibly criminal fraud in the process via Joe Solmonese’s guarantee that your current employer would only support a trans-inclusive ENDA – but pretty much everyone other than your current employer, Barney Frank, and a gay male law professor or two called HRC out for their bigotry.

The great mythical philosopher Emma Frost once pointed out to some mythical CIA-oids that use of the word “war” implies that both sides stand at least some chance of winning the conflict.

‘Declaring war on itself’ implies – well, no, it explicitly states – that both sides initiated the hostilities.  Using this to describe what happened in 2007 is an exercise in complete denial of the reality that trans people had spent years trying to deal with HRC in good faith only to be continualy lied to and to be ultimately victimized by an HR 3685 sneak attack.

What Not To Do, When Calling Yourself a Transgender Ally

Well, pushing HRC historical revisionism spin would be something I would expect an ally not to do.

But that’s just me.

I didn’t yet understand how keenly transgender people needed workplace equality.

Two questions here.

(1) Why aren’t you willing to explicitly name your curent employer as the key non-Barney-Frany entity responsible for trans people’s excision from ENDA in 2007 (and all years before that)?

(2) Why aren’t you willng now to openly question not only what sort of ‘education’ your current employer actually did on trans issues prior to 2007 but what sort of ‘education’ it was actually capable of doing given that, in 2007, it had in its history only ever had 1 1/2 trans employees?

At some point after 2007, Jeff continued the permanent Gay, Inc. employment journey with an “LGBT”-specific gig with the Center for American Progress, then-and-current home of legendary HRC transphobe executroid Winnie Stachelberg.

You can take the hack out of HRC, but you can’t take the HRC out of the hack it would seem.

[T]he transgender community isn’t the only group that will likely be left out of this narrower version of the legislation, including employees of small businesses, employees of religious institutions, and gay and lesbian individuals in the armed forces. But this bill was built on compromise; it was never intended to be the whole package, and should therefore be seen as a first step.

Yep, that Winnie Stachelberg.

And then in February 2013, Jeff alights at the Mount Olympus of Gay, Inc. permanent employment – HRC – as “vice president and chief foundation officer.”

2013, incidentally, would be thirteen years after he got a masters degree in public policy analysis – and it would be fifteen years after some trans lawyers got their degrees and law licenses (a helluva lot longer than that for some of us) and who have never gotten a sniff from Gay, Inc., much less three bites.


And February 2013 would be a month or so before….

“In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community,” HRC’s Fred Sainz, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, says in the HRC statement:

In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.

HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected. But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions. We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future. Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.

Jeff, at the time you drank the purple-n-yellow employment kool-aid – fifteen years after it claimed to be doing more on trans issues than anyone/anything else – your current employer couldn’t trot out a trans employee to deliver a fake apology on behalf of your current employer because your current employer had no trans employees which could kinda, sorta possibly maybe be at least part of an explanation why your current employer would have had a hand in the anti-trans incident at the Marriage Rally.

Have you actually about that?

Before, during or after cashing any of the paychecks you’ve received from HRC over the past year?

You know…a year in which it would appear that HRC has only increased its trans hiring by one – and, of course, not a trans woman?

I was an advocate, but I wasn’t an ally.

And you’re not currently an employee of an organization that doesn’t have a de facto ‘trans women need not apply’ sign on its front door.

The Toronto Transphobia Triple-Down

The mayor of Toronto is no longer the scummiest person in Canada’s largest city.


I had, and have, no reason to doubt the claims of the reader who sent the letter — but I can’t prove it, and those who claim it was a hoax can’t prove that, either. All I know is that I stand by the answer offered.

I regret, and deeply resent, that my column has been so egregiously misused.

Yes, with that, infamous Chris Farley impersonator Rob Ford was dethroned by Ken Gallinger.

those who claim it was a hoax can’t prove that, either.


Cristan Williams did.

Quite conclusively.

Since Gallinger wasn’t willing to fact check any of these claims, I contacted every Toronto YMCA with a pool and guess what?

No complaint or even rumor of anything like this exists in Toronto area YMCAs. Every Toronto area YMCA was shocked to learn that an unsubstantiated claim like this was propagated by the Toronto Star. Every Toronto area YMCA confirmed that nobody had made any complaint concerning anything even remotely similar to the claim made in the Toronto Star.

The claim is a hoax.


Who are we to believe?

A trans woman who goes to the trouble researching into whether the anonymous claim about an unidentified trans woman – a claim which smells of ‘cut and paste’ from both christianist and radphlegm anti-trans scripts – has even the slightest grounding in reality?  Or a guy who perpetrates an ‘ethics’ column and inflicts it upon readers who are expected to believe that “All questions come from real readers” even though the same ‘ethics’ columnist follows that pronouncement with the caveat, “Seven years ago, when we started this adventure, I had to “prime the pump” with made-up queries”?

The woman who who has not admitted to perpetrating a fraud because she has not perpetrated a fraud?  Or the ‘ethics’ columnist who has admitted that he has perpetrated a fraud but really, really, really, really, really wants everyone to believe that he now no longer does such things?

I even received a note from a Toronto police officer asking, very politely it must be said, to know the “when, where and who” of the incident. As someone who pays speeding tickets 10 days before due, I experience such a request, even politely proffered, as mildly threatening.

Wanna know how scummy Ken Gallinger is?  He’s forcing me to do something that I never do: defend a cop.

Yes, there has never, ever, ever, ever been a proven case of what Gallinger’s fake complainer complained of, but cops do have a job – you know, being cops.  If they get such a complaint, it isn’t unreasonable for them to at least lift a finger to see if the complaint is legit – if for no other reason than to investigate as to whether the complaint is fraudulent.

An ‘ethics’ columnist unleashes a story upon the world via the pages of the newspaper which allows him to claim to be qualified to author an ‘ethics’ column…

A story which, if true as described, could constitute a crime…

And a cop who gets wind of the alleged fact pattern asks about the alleged facts…

And does so politely?

And the po’ pi’ful ‘ethics’ columnist feels threatened?

Memo to Ken: Why don’t you ask CeCe McDonald about what it feels like to actually be threatened?

Failing that, why don’t you hang out with Rob Ford and do crack with him?

That would be stupid, obnoxious, unhealthy, yadda yadda yadda….

But it would be far more ethical than what you’re doing in the pages of the Toronto Star.