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I have been a fan of the Olympic Games since I was a child.  I love sport, and the dreams and drama exemplified by Olympic competition.  I have watched at least some of every Olympiad on television or in person since 1980.  In anticipation of the next Games, I have been watching the news out of Russia and giving great thought to how I feel and what I think should be done. It has become clear to me that the only choice is a boycott of Russia, of the Olympic Games, and of the Olympics’ TOP (The Olympic Programme) sponsors.  

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Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:16 AM PDT

To lose my Best Man on Easter Sunday

by TexasAMC

Scott and Frank in Baton Rouge, 2008
Scott, I have not had to work very hard in the past decade to separate our differing views from our close friendship. Somehow, because of the nature of our bond, this was never an issue. You have been loving and supportive of me throughout my life, without respect to the fact that I am gay and you’ve always known that. I consciously refrained from commenting to you on Catholic views of abortion and homosexuality because I knew your point of view, you knew mine, and I would never want to risk offending you. However, your recent and public campaign against marriage equality has crossed that line in our relationship. I can only imagine that you do not have a very close friend in your life who is gay – one with whom you interact on a deep and regular basis – and so you cannot see how you have hurt other people. I want to show you how you have.
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:34 AM PDT

The Truth about Paul Ryan and ENDA

by TexasAMC

Bob Dole recently turned down campaign contributions, and I must tell you that I totally support that actions on his part - not because they were gay, but because they were stupid.  What the hell is a gay Republican?  'We disapprove of our own lifestyle!'

- Paula Poundstone, Comic Relief 1996.
Gay Republican groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) are searching their souls this weekend, looking for reasons why their organizations should support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate. By searching the way back machine, they found that Rep. Ryan voted in favor of the passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act in 2007.  Based on thin ingredients, GOProud and the LCR have baked up a cake that reads "Paul Ryan supports LGBT Americans."  There is only one problem with this.

The cake is a lie.

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In November, Minnesota voters will respond to a legislative constitutional amendment proposal (from Ballotpedia):

Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?
While the amendment is supported by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, it is opposed by individual churches and synagogues and groups of varying faiths.  Also, while the Republican Party of Minnesota has not officially endorsed the measure, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is outspoken in its opposition.

In addition to faith and political groups, corporations are now raising their voices on this issue. On Wednesday, June 15, General Mills Chief Executive Office John Taft told a group of gay and lesbian professionals that General Mills "do[es] not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy."  (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)  Within four days, the always excellent Jeremy Hooper had predicted that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) would be ready to lead a boycott against General Mills.  The evidence?  On June 16, NOM purchased the domain name dumpgeneralmills dot com.  (No free links for you, NOM!)

Right on cue, yesterday afternoon (June 25), NOM announced their petition and boycott threat at their blog.

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In my geekier moments, I like to research things.  You know, things like "facts," which can then be used to demonstrate, or "prove," other things.

Today, I decided to tackle again the task of finding facts to prove that Fox News Channel is not news.

I think I have succeeded.  But you will have to go below the fold to see how.

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Health insurance reform has passed Congress and been signed into law by President Obama, ushering in the most sweeping overhaul of health care in over a generation.  So what happens now?  I think it is instructive to look at two questions.  First, Republicans are loudly clamoring for repeal.  Can it happen?  Second, what parts of this law are so socialist, Marxist, communist, or any other "-ist" that they pose a threat to freedom, democracy, Mom, apple pie, baseball, and the future of America?

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Associated Press:

Alabama Attorney General Troy King's office is reportedly under investigation by federal authorities.

Reports published Tuesday said at least six former members of King's staff went before a federal grand jury meeting in Montgomery last week. They were asked about investigations and their possible connection to allies of the Republican attorney general.

[edited to note: King is a Republican]

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Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:59 AM PST

Leaving Rush Limbaugh

by TexasAMC

I lost a friend today over Obama's budget, of all things. He displayed a graph on his blog showing the dramatic increased in proposed deficit spending in Obama's next budget. I explained to him that a large part of the reason for this was that Obama eliminated a lot of accounting tricks used by the Bush administration, particularly regarding war spending, to make the deficit look better than it was. He response to me was that I needed to stop "drinking the Koolaid [sic]". And so I explained to him that the reason I was able to stay good friends with some of our mutual friends with whom I disagreed was because we could discuss and disagree and be civil. If he was unserious enough that he had to resort to name-calling, then we could no longer be friends. Sure, that was my choice, but we face serious problems, and now is not the time for people without solutions to get in the way.

Yesterday, on a drive across North Carolina, I listened to Rush Limbaugh's address to CPAC. And I have come to the same conclusion about him.

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We should all stop searching for one fatal blow to derail Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to Barack Obama's Senate seat.  Instead, we should honor the Senate's history by employing a complicated, undemocratic process to achieve our goal.  If successful, it would scare off anyone from accepting the appointment, and it would be completely constitutional.

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Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:03 PM PDT

The Fear That Dare Not Speak Its Name

by TexasAMC

I have been away from this keyboard for awhile because many things have been happening.  I fell in love.  I moved to North Carolina.  I searched (and search) for work.  I am settling into a new home.  I am making new friends.  And I am consuming voluminous amounts of political information as the election campaigns reach the final stretch run.  I have decided it is time to put all those things on hold, because something terrifying is happening.  And I have a specific audience in mind as I write.

This is for my aunt, a pro-choice Democrat who has unspecified fears about voting for a black man with a funny name.  This is for my sister, a born-again Republican who seems to have forgotten everything my father worked for and everything she learned in her youth in a union household.  This is for Will and for Scott, two men who I love like brothers, whose minds I don't expect to change, but who I desperately want to understand my fear.

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Let me see if I am clear on all this...

Me and my fellow taxpayers in Raleigh are already on the hook for $724.6 million in approved spending for the war on Iraq.  That money could provide 345,581 children with health care for a year.  That amount could more than cover the estimated 260,000 North Carolina children who are uninsured.

The total cost for this blunder of a war is likely to exceed. $3 trillion.  That's $3,000,000,000,000, once you account for restocking our military, providing lifetime benefits to veterans and surviving families, and recovering our economy.

But now fiscally responsible Republicans are coming to a tax-and-spend liberal like me to ask for more money?

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On Tuesday, September 9, the major candidates in the North Carolina governor’s race met for a debate on WRAL.  Around one-fifth of this debate focused on education.  Both candidates avoided specific details of their own ideas for public education, but they spent plenty of time attacking each other, primarily on vouchers.  The Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, botched the explanation of her opposition to vouchers and left herself open to criticism on the issue with a misleading advertisement.  The Republican candidate, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, stated that striving for a higher education is "elitist", and outline certain categories of students that should be eligible for vouchers as a relief from public schools.  Let’s look at the facts.

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