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This and that – open thread

Tidbits from the mailbag…

UPDATE: added a couple of items at the end, including a snippet from Howard Dean’s speech @ Stonewall Dems.

Several of you emailed me about the Lear jet that went down in Long Island Sound — it was registered to Crazy Pat Robertson. The pilots died, the passengers escaped without serious injury. Do you think the reverend may have bought his jet with profits from his Age-Defying Shake, or the shake-down dollars in his pocket from his shadow charity operation endorsed by the Bush and FEMA for Katrina relief, Operation Blessing. (h/t Holly, Rona, and Fritz, who said “Okay, how is crazy Pat going to explain this as the will of God? “)

* The Washington State pharmacy board says drugstores can refuse to sell ‘morning-after’ pill (h/t Paul). Disgusting. “We are not dispensing machines. We are professionals who have as many rights as anybody else.” — Rod Shafer, executive director of the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Rep. Shay Schual-Berke, D-Normandy Park, the only physician in the Legislature, said she was extremely concerned about the board’s endorsement. “The language they’re considering adopting is so vague that to me it opens the door for any pharmacist to (decline) to fill any prescription for any reason,” Schual-Berke said.

* While we’re on the topic of womb control: Tribal council outlaws abortion (h/t stefani). The Oglala Sioux tribal council banned all abortions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and suspended President Cecelia Fire Thunder on Tuesday, charging that she solicited donations on behalf of the tribe for a proposed abortion clinic without the council’s approval.

* The awesome Terrance Heath of The Republic of T sat down to talk to PoliticsTV (thanks to David Grossman). He gives a good skewering of the DNC for its lame-ass stance on gay rights issues, the marriage amendment and a lot more. Here, here!

* Jude Nagurney Camwell of Iddybud Journal has a great post on why there is no need for a federal marriage amendment and the hypocrisy of the rightwing bible beaters: We must ask ourselves: “Is this amendment proposal really a pressing and dire necessity?” With all of the (many) pressing problems of a dangerous and wanting world, we see a hyper-focus on “saving” marriage by Republicans today. (And some of them have not been adept at “saving” their own personal unions).

* Cell Whitman passed on even more info on “ex-gay” therapist Richard Cohen and his Moonie background.

* The Galloping Beaver has a good takedown of an unhinged column by Watergate felon-turned-fundie Charles Colson on the marriage amendment.

Over at, Colson has written an unbelievable piece attempting to make a connection between same-sex marriage and crime entitled (if you can believe this) Marriage and Crime. The deadly connection.

And the amendment is essential to protect the sanctity of marriage. Now, some don’t like the moral or philosophical arguments for a marriage amendment. Others dislike dealing with a contentious social issue at all or simply do not like amending the Constitution. My response to these people is, “Do you want to continue to see our prisons fill with kids who have been raised like feral children in the wilderness? Do we want to risk further damage to the integrity of the family?”

* Dana of Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms writes in to report that nearly 130 blogs took part in Blogging for LGBT Families Day on June 1. You can visit her site for a full recap and the list of the participating blogs. Dana adds:

Additionally, it’s worth noting that President Bush has declared this Sunday, June 4, to be National Child’s Day, a time to “reaffirm our commitment to America’s children.” This, one day before he speaks in favor of an amendment that would do great harm to children of LGBT families. The contributions to Blogging for LGBT Families Day confirm this.

* Howard Dean speaks to Stonewall Dems at the national meeting. You can read his speech here.

“It is wrong to discriminate in housing. It is wrong to discriminate in health care. It’s wrong to discriminate in hospital visitations. It’s wrong to discriminate in hiring. It’s wrong for our tax code to be discriminatory. And it is wrong for any group of Americans to live in fear of hate crimes. We believe that every taxpayer should have the same government services and benefits as any other American.

…”I am proud to lead a Party that has led the fight for hate crimes legislation, and fought for laws banning any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and on sexual orientation… And I am proud to lead a party that understands that using marriage as a wedge issue and scapegoating groups of Americans to win elections is morally wrong.

Is it me, or is Dean speaking in code in the bolded statement above? Is he saying marriage equality without saying it? And will the DNC endorse candidates who don’t support equality — that’s the real test.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding