Dallas Dems throwing an Obama birthday party

President Obama

Today is President Barack Obama’s 50th birthday, and local Democrats are going to party.

The Dallas County Democratic Party is holding a celebration honoring the president’s big 5-0 tonight in the Atrium of the Infomart, 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway. The event begins with a reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by the party beginning at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 214-821-8331.

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Griggs knocks off Neumann in District 3

With 52 of 56 precincts reporting, challenger Scott Griggs leads incumbent Dave Neumann in the District 3 Dallas City Council race.

Griggs, endorsed by both Stonewall Democrats and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, appears well on his way to pulling off a rare upset of an incumbent.

With only four precincts left to be counted, Griggs has 57 percent of the vote to Neumann’s 43 percent. This one’s over.

—  John Wright

UPDATE: Rawlings continues to lead Dallas mayor’s race; Kunkle pulling away from Natinsky

With 202 of 555 precincts reporting, former Pizza Hut CEO Mike Rawlings continues to lead in the race for Dallas mayor. And it’s looking more and more like Rawlings will face former Police Chief David Kunkle in a runoff.

Rawlings has 43 percent of the vote, Kunkle has 30 percent, and City Councilman Ron Natinsky has 25 percent. Edward Okpa has 2 percent. Kunkle now leads Natinsky for second place by almost 2,000 votes, but there’s still a ways to go. Remember, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June runoff assuming Rawlings doesn’t eclipse 50 percent.

In other Dallas races, with 20 of 56 precincts reporting, challenger Scott Griggs has expanded his lead over incumbent Dave Neumann in District 3. Griggs now has 59 percent to Neumann’s 41 percent, and appears well on his way to a rare upset of an incumbent. Griggs is endorsed by both Stonewall Democrats and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

In District 14, with 11 of 59 precincts reporting, incumbent Angela Hunt maintains a hefty lead over gay candidate James Nowlin. Hunt has 63 percent to Nowlin’s 20 percent.

—  John Wright

Contact all five Dallas County commissioners and ask them to add transgender protections

County Judge Clay Jenkins says he was not aware that sexual orientation didn’t include transgender people.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed today that he’s requested an opinion from the District Attorney’s Office about adding transgender protections to the county’s employment nondiscrimination policy.

Jenkins’ request for information from county attorneys follows the Commissioners Court’s vote last week to add sexual orientation, but not gender identity, to the policy covering the county’s 7,000 employees.

Jenkins and Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, two newly elected Democrats who spearheaded the proposal to add sexual orientation to the policy, said they thought sexual orientation covered transgender employees, which experts say it does not.

Since then, Jenkins said he’s received about a dozen e-mails from people in the LGBT community — which he called a lot — asking him to revisit the issue.

“The reason that it’s not in there is not because we don’t support it,” Jenkins said of transgender protections. “I don’t want people to misinterpret that I wasn’t for one type of discrimination but somehow was for another type of discrimination. Nothing could be further from the truth than that.”

Jenkins said he’s asked the civil division of the DA’s office to assess the impact on county code of adding gender identity to the policy.

“It’s going to depend on getting three votes … and the first step is to look at what impact it would have,” Jenkins told Instant Tea. “I care about making sure that we have a welcome and open workplace for all, and discrimination against no one. I’m against any type of discrimination in the workplace. I’m for treating all people equally.”

Rafael McDonnell, of Resource Center Dallas, spoke during public comments of the Commissioners Court’s regular meeting Tuesday. McDonnell said he thanked commissioners for adding sexual orientation to the policy — which they did on a 4-0 vote with Commissioner Maurine Dickey absent — and asked them to go back and add gender identity.

McDonnell said Commissioners Court rules prohibit him from speaking again during public comments for a month, so he encouraged others in the community to sign up to speak in coming weeks. To sign up, call the clerk’s office at 214-653-7886. The Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays in the County Administration Building, 411 Elm St. in Dallas.

McDonnell and others also encouraged people in the LGBT community to contact all five commissioners to thank them for adding sexual orientation and ask them to add gender identity. Here is their contact info, with confirmed email addresses:

County Judge Clay Jenkins – 214-653-7949
Email: Clay.Jenkins@DallasCounty.org

Dist. 1 Maurine Dickey – 214-653-7552
Email: Maurine.Dickey@DallasCounty.org

Dist. 2 Mike Cantrell – 214-653-6100
Email: MCantrell@DallasCounty.org

Dist. 3 John Wiley Price – 214-653-6671
Email: John.Price@DallasCounty.org

Dist. 4 Dr. Elba Garcia – 214-653-6670
Email: Elba.GarciaDDS@DallasCounty.org

—  John Wright

Poll: U.S. divided in thirds on gay marriage

When it comes to same-sex marriage, the nation is divided roughly into thirds, according to a new poll from Daily Kos.

Thirty-four percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, 31 percent favor civil unions and 31 percent are opposed to any legal recognition for gay couples, the poll showed.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent, and Daily Kos says it will be asking the question every four weeks.

Not surprisingly, younger people and Democrats were more likely to support marriage equality, while Republicans, Teabaggers and older people were more likely to oppose it:

But there are some surprises in this poll, if one believed the claims that African Americans and Latinos are less tolerant than whites. In fact, this poll suggests the exact opposite. Of course, the sample sizes for both those demographics is small, so these numbers could just be a function of a large margin of error. It’ll be interesting to track them over time to see if they hold up as the number of Latino and African American respondents add up over time.

—  John Wright

Rep. Barney Frank On House Democrats’ Rejection Of Obama’s Tax Compromise

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

A subsidy for millionaires disguised as tax cuts

Hardy Haberman  |  Dungeon Diary

So even as the Republicans are spouting blather about deficits, they are behind the extension of the immensely expensive subsidy for millionaires that has come to be called the Bush Tax Cuts. The Democrats have relented in opposing these because the GOP held unemployment benefits hostage until the subsidies were extended.

Meanwhile Republicans will rail about spending and deficits while creating an even bigger hole to dig out of. I sincerely expect they are planning to get the nation so deeply in debt that the only way out will be to cut all Social Security and Medicare to make ends meet. The GOP is relentless and they will do anything to get their way, and they hate both programs, even though the American people love and need them.

The GOP is a party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich and don’t believe them when they say anything different. They will talk about class warfare and how bad it is, but they have already won the class war. All of us are working and paying taxes to support the wealthy of this country, and it’s getting worse.

Meanwhile the Democrats try to reason and negotiate with the Republicans. It hasn’t worked in the past decade why should it work now?

—  admin

GOP Senators Promise Capitol Hill Constipation On DADT Unless Democrats Give ‘Em Their Tax Cuts

You know those bratty kids at your cousin's wedding whose parents never seem to be around to STFU and learn some manners? That's how the Republican senators are acting today, signing a letter threatening to immediately end yesterday's bipartisanship hoax and shut down the chamber unless Democrats give in on Bush-era tax cuts. Which means they won't do anything about Don't Ask Don't Tell as part of the Pentagon spending bill. Are the Dems still unable to spin this as a Republican attempt to hurt our troops? C'mon, let's play the spin game with 'em!


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Queerty

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John Cornyn provides a copy of the GOP letter that threatens to doom DADT repeal

Via our old pal John Cornyn (don’t ever say he’s totally worthless), here’s a copy of the aforementioned Senate GOP letter that says Republicans won’t agree to do anything in the lame duck session until Democrats have done everything Republicans want to do. The letter, which Cornyn says was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning, has 42 signatures, which represents enough votes to block consideration of any legislation Democrats put forward, including a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.”

—  John Wright

When will we address THIS reason why the Democrats lost the mid terms?

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Per usual, Rachel Maddow destroys conservative lies. It bothers me just a bit that while all these reasons why the Democrats got swamped in the mid terms are floating around, very few are calling attention to the right-wing echo chamber which ratcheted up the lies against Obama and the Democrats, thereby scaring Americans and exploiting covert prejudices against Obama.

Saying “that's just how politics is” is a cop-out. Strangely enough, the same people who always claim about how sick they are with Washington or how Washington is broken seems to always be silent when it comes to calling lies out. You can't defeat a disease without naming it.

And don't even get me started on Fox News. The fact that for the first time in history, a political party has an entire “news” network – the number one news network at that – in its back pocket and pushing its agenda seems to escape everyone. This is a shame because it's significant. And ironic. The clarion call against Obama seems to be that he is a dictator and runs a regime.

Who's more of a product of a “regime?” President Obama or a network fueling a political party?

Lastly, the lgbt community really needs to pay attention to this because there is a case to be made – which I will get into later – in how the campaign of lies against Obama and the Democrats are similar to the campaign of lies the religious right wages against us.

How sad is it that those who market in lies can borrow for one another, but those engaged in truth and progressive ideas can't. Or rather don't.


Hat tip to Joe.My.God.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin