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For those of us who broadly support gay rights and, specifically, support the right of same-sex marriage, the last few days have been tough. Watching news coverage of people lined up to essentially deny others the right to legal recognition of a loving relationship with the person of their choice hurt to the core.  Given the impact it had on me, I can’t even begin to appreciate what it must have felt like for my gay and lesbian friends and family members.

As I read the news of a counter protest “kiss in” developing for Friday and saw the major hit Chick-Fil-A’s brand has taken, I began to realize this was just one setback in a fight that has momentum like never before.  While there is much work to be done and while gays and lesbians still face great challenges, let me share with you a few things that give me great hope for the future.  

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With all the bellyaching about taxes, teabaggers, and this general disdain from the radical right about the "gub-ment", I decided to take a peek at the tax spending by state.  I found some interesting results.  Follow below the fold for a pretty picture and a few comments.  

Poll

What should we do with these "socialist" red states?

15%20 votes
55%74 votes
22%30 votes
6%9 votes

| 133 votes | Vote | Results

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It used to be said, and perhaps it still is, that Republicans don't actually want to overturn Roe v. Wade because it would mean they'd have to give up the issue as an election year tool.  Perhaps we need to look in the mirror and wonder if the same logic doesn't apply to us liberals as well.  

Follow me below the fold for more...

Poll

How would you describe our reaction to Steele?

40%15 votes
29%11 votes
29%11 votes

| 37 votes | Vote | Results

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Healthcare will likely be thrust onto the front burner by the Obama administration in the coming weeks.  As this happens we have to be prepared to debunk the usual crap foisted upon us by those against univeral coverage.  

Last night I wrote about the challenges my parents are facing while being treated for cancer, even though they have good insurance. While some claim universal coverage would result in long lines, rationing, and bureaucracy, last nights diary demonstrated how our current system is already fraught with these problems.

Tonight I want to address an example of unfair pricing faced by the uninsured as well as those who are insured but get care that is recomnended by a doctor but considered "routine" vs. "medically necessary."  

More below the fold...

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In the past weeks I have seen first-hand the challenges caused by our current healthcare system, even for those with insurance. About 2 months ago my mom called to tell me she has breast cancer. It was a kick in the stomach, but mom is strong willed and, given the scientific progress made in this area, she was and remains optimistic she can beat it.  Eight days later my mom called again. When she asked if I was sitting, I figured it was serious and that maybe the cancer was worse than expected.  The actual news was probably just as bad.  My dad also has cancer – of the prostate.  

Over the last six weeks I have flown to see them twice: Once for mom’s lumpectomy and last week for dad’s prostatectomy. My dad has never been seriously sick a day of his life and we were all hopeful that he caught it early, like my mom did with hers.

Dad has worked hard all his life and now runs his own business.  He has some of the best insurance available. You wouldn’t think someone in that situation would be pushing for reform of the system. But, this is why I am writing.  Follow me below the fold for more...

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I've read with interest the discussion about Rick Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration.  While I can understand the concern about this development, I feel there is more of a silver lining than Kos or others have considered.  

In agreeing with another blogger, kos said:

Yeah. Where is David Duke's invitation? Or as Blue Texan notes, when do Phelps and Hagee get their invitations? Heck, throw up Tom Tancredo up there for good measure, so us Latinos can feel some of the hate!

I think this position is short-sighted and wrongly equates today's gay rights debate with the fringe that is today's racially-based hate groups.  

Follow below the fold for my reasoining

Poll

Warren speaking at the inauguration is

42%41 votes
41%40 votes
16%16 votes

| 97 votes | Vote | Results

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In all the attention Joe the plumber is getting, one fact is lost in the commotion.  Joe would probably get a tax CUT under the Obama plan.  Yes...a tax cut.  You see, taxes are paid on profits, not revenues.  And, best I can tell, there's not many small business plumbers out there with 250k in profits subject to taxes.  

Follow below the fold for details:

Poll

Under Obama's tax plan Joe...

47%43 votes
3%3 votes
6%6 votes
25%23 votes
16%15 votes

| 90 votes | Vote | Results

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I’ve been thinking hard about this bailout issue.  And the problem I havve, and most Americans I would guess, is that I just don’t have the knowledge nor the data to really understand the crises.  It's beyond most of us.  In cases like this, I have to rely on my elected officials to ask the tough questions, to grill the experts, to debate the issues fully, and be 100% sure of the decision.  Then, those leaders have to tell me the decision and make me believe it’s the right move.  

After 9/11 I had that kind of faith in President Bush.  He squandered it.   In 2003, I had the faith in President Bush, and I was fooled.  As much as I want to have that faith today, I just can’t.  He has been to fast and loose with the truth that I just can’t believe even if I want to.  So, where does that leave is?  

Jump below for more...

Poll

Let's say the bailout is the right decision. Would Bush's resignation give people confidence in the decision to do the bail out?

56%30 votes
43%23 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

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I wrote a shorter version of this as a comment but decided I needed finish it up and make it a full post.  My appologies for those who saw both versions...

Ever since Palin was named to the Republican ticket the abortion issue seems to have come back to the forefront of the election. I’ve been boiling about this ever since and just can’t keep it in any longer.  

To anyone basing their vote for McCain soley on the Pro-life issue, I ask you this:  

How many death related policies can the Republicans have before you will stop basing your vote on this one single issue?  Seriously.  How many?

Poll

What do you think?

64%31 votes
8%4 votes
16%8 votes
10%5 votes

| 48 votes | Vote | Results

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Both conventions are over and already we see McCain's slim lead fading into the ether.  

Today ARG released a poll showing Obama in a one point lead nationally. Polling was completed between September 6 and 8 and clearly shows a quick retreat of the gains McCain made in the days after the convention.  

Sep 6-8   (Aug 30-Sep 1)
Obama 47  (49)
McCain 46  (43)

This combined with another  poll out today with the same marginshow that the large swell following the RNC was short lived.  

As people get to know they real McCain/Palin ticket, they are certain to focus back on the issues despite efforts by McCain to make this a "personality" race.  

Follow below for some more and the Gallup update...

Poll

How many points will Obama be up by the end of the week?

9%43 votes
46%211 votes
38%177 votes
5%27 votes

| 458 votes | Vote | Results

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Given the attacks from the RNC, I think all of us could use a little primer on what Obama's time as community organizer actually looked like.  Just last week I mentioned to my wife that I wouldn't be surprised if they attacked that part of his bio due to lack of specifics.  Well, it seems the McSame camp vetted this part of Obama's bio about as well as they vetted Sameness McPalin.  

Follow below the fold for more...

Poll

How long till Obama swats the organizer line back into the cheap seats?

34%38 votes
24%27 votes
20%22 votes
18%20 votes
2%3 votes

| 110 votes | Vote | Results

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So now the truth is out.  All of the rumours about the Sarah Palin faking the birth of her baby were false (of course we are left with her poor judgement of flying at 8 months and then flying again when her water broke a month early...but that's ben covered).  And to rebut this, the McCain camp releases a statement in the middle of landfall of the hurricane saying that the daughter is actually pregnant now.

OK, that's fine. But what gets me is the implication that somehow Obama is to blame.  

The report at Reuters quotes a McCain official:

"The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama's name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change,'" a senior aide said.

With this logic, lets see what we can blame on McCain (below the fold):

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