Friday, July 17, 2015

Last Call For Exceptionally Stupid

Republicans want to codify into law the ability to claim religious exceptions to marrying same-sex couples, but as usual they're so awful at legislating that the bill would allow people to claim religious exceptions to break a multitude of laws, including existing protections for pregnant women in the workplace.

In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, Republicans are pushing legislation that aims to protect Americans who oppose these unions on religious grounds. But critics say the language is so broad, the bill creates a license to discriminate that would let employers fire women for getting pregnant outside of wedlock.

The First Amendment Defense Act prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person -- which is defined to include for-profit corporations -- acting in accordance with a religious belief that favors so-called traditional marriage. This means the feds can't revoke a nonprofit's tax-exempt status or end a company's federal contract over this issue.

The bill specifically protects those who believe that marriage is between "one man and one woman" or that "sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage." Ian Thompson, a legislative representative at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that in addition to targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the bill "clearly encompasses discrimination against single mothers" and would hobble the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal body that protects women from sex-based discrimination, to act.

This scenario isn't merely hypothetical. There are a number of recent cases where religious schools have fired unwed teachers for becoming pregnant. A Montana Catholic school teacher who was fired for having a baby out of wedlock, for example, filed a discrimination charge last year with the EEOC. While the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized a ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws, that exception is somewhat limited, not necessarily covering educators employed by Catholic schools who teach about exclusively secular subjects.

James Ryan, a spokesman for the EEOC, said the commission could not comment on pending legislation in Congress.

Nice folks, the party of  "we want you to have the ability to fire people because they had sex without being married."

Keep it up, GOP.

Reality Trumps Fantasy Once Again

Why no, Donald Trump isn't going to "win the Hispanic vote" any more than he's going to be our next President.

Hispanic voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Donald Trump’s controversial comments on illegal immigration, according to a new Univision poll. 
Seventy nine percent of Hispanic voters polled find Trump’s comments offensive, and 71 percent hold an unfavorable view of Trump.

While a majority of those polled say they don’t think Trump’s comments represent his party, Trump and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trail Hillary Clinton badly among Hispanic voters. 
Clinton would win 64 percent of Hispanic voters over Bush in a hypothetical matchup. That includes a five point lead in Bush’s home state of Florida, a 42-point lead in Nevada, a 14-point lead in North Carolina, and a 46-point lead in Colorado—all swing states. 
She’d fare even better in a matchup against Trump, where she wins the Hispanic vote by a 70 to 16 percentage point margin.

So the real news isn't that Trump will lost the Hispanic vote by 54 points to Hillary, it's that Jeb! Bush would lose to Hillary by nearly 40 points too. Trump is nowhere near alone at completely losing the Hispanic vote. She demolished Ted Cruz by 47 points, Marco Rubio by 41 points, Rand Paul by 47 points, and Scott Walker by 49 points.

President Obama beat Mitt by 42 points in 2012, and I expect the GOP will fare even worse this time around.

Post-Racial America Update

Oklahomans showed President Obama this week precisely what they thought of him when he came to visit the state to talk about federal prison reform.

Supporters of the confederate flag have their own message to send to President Obama.
In Durant this morning, trucks lined up awaiting his arrival, and now supporters are in Bricktown. 
Supporters want to let the President know the Confederate flag, they say, stands for heritage, not hate. The organizer of the event is someone you might not expect to see standing behind this cause. 
Its a red, white and blue that, for many, carries a message of hate… but that’s not the point these folks want to get across. 
“We don’t believe it’s a symbol of racism,” Andrew Duncomb, an organizer who calls himself “the Black Rebel” says. 
“Hell, I’m just out here supporting my flag, not racists, I don’t want no problems with anybody,” a supporter said. 
A message contrary to the thousands gathering weeks earlier in South Carolina to remove the very same flag. 
They’re blaming the racist problems on the flag and not on the real problems of America. Through the race lies the people who carry and harbor the hate inside,” Duncomb says.

Yeah, showing up to greet this president with Confederate flags waving high.  Classy move, Sooners. Next time get hoods, yes?

Also points for finding that one black guy that thinks the flag is okay, so that it somehow obliterates the value of the tens of millions of Americans who are embarrassed and upset at what that flag of actual, literal traitors to our country means.

Good think racism is over, right?


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