Dick Cheney In a Tie With President Obama on Gay Marriage

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in an appearance today at the National Press Club, offered support for marriage equality


“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”

As someone who believes that marriage equality is a civil rights issue, I might quibble with the details of Cheney’s statement, but the spirit is the same. Good for him.

I would like to point out to others, like Sam Stein and my friend Lee Stranahan, that Cheney’s position is not more liberal than President Obama’s. I would place them in a tie. While that doesn’t grant the President “head of the table” status at our next “Drinking Liberally” meeting, it is more accurate.
Cheney’s statement would seem to necessarily include opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, which matches the President’s stated support for a legislative repeal of DOMA.

The President is also on record as opposing Proposition 8, and does not support bans on gay marriage. It is noteworthy that both Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod claim not to have spoken to the President about the California Supreme Court’s decision upholding Prop 8.

I do agree with Lee about this:

…his position on this issue is wrong and looking more wrong as the weeks progress. The best place for a politician to be on civil rights issues is slightly ahead of the curve and that moment is now. President Obama is still currently on the wrong side of history. He needs to reconsider and lead.

As I’ve said before, the President can’t continue to try to thread the needle here, yet claim leadership on gay issues. That kind of leader doesn’t end up in a tie with Dick Cheney.//

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President Obama’s Speech on National Security: Post-Speech Analysis

alex01thumbI was lucky enough to be at Obama’s speech earlier today, with my little cub reporter notepad and crappy Sony Cybershot (which I was soon forbidden from taking pictures with as I was not in the photographer area). I was a little intimidated by the seasoned reporters I was sharing the press enclosure with, and wrote down things from the speech that I happened to notice or find interesting in my shaky, practically illegible handwriting. (It helps so people can’t steal what you’ve written if they can’t actually read it over your shoulder. Or at all.) Continue reading

Air Force One Fly-By Photo, Report, and Resignation Letter




White House: Obama Teleprompter Story Not True

White House: Obama Telepromter Story Not True

After Barack Obama’s first prime-time press conference, there were stories circulating among the right-o-sphere/PUMA-ocracy about Barack Obama’s teleprompter.  The story went, in part, that he used the prompter during the Q&A, not just his opening remarks.  (Not true, you can see on any broadcast that the screens lowered into the floor at that point.)

The other part of the story was that the White House is in the process of installing a video screen into the podium, so the President can get “Cliff notes” during press conferences.  I asked Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton about it today.

He laughed, and said, “Have you seen that anyplace credible, from any credible source?”

That depends on your definition of “credible,” I suppose.  The American Spectator claimed to have hard reporting on the videoscreen story, although anonymously sourced.

Burton went on to say that the story is completely false, there is no, nor will there be, a videoscreen.

Really, the story is a little ridiculous on its face.  The White House is “trying” to install a frickin’ videoscreen?  The kind you can get put in your minivan at any K-Mart?

So, don’t believe everything you read, kids.

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Stimulus Bill State-by-State Impact Data

The White House released impact data on the stimulus bill.  Full text of the press release after the jump.
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Top 5 Candidates for Secretary of Commerce

In light of Judd Gregg’s withdrawal as the 2nd nominee for Secretary of Commerce, I thought it would be helpful to the President if I put together a list of potential replacements.

I think the process so far has really pointed up what is truly important in a nominee. Bill Richardson was eminently qualified, but had to bow out due to a “distracting” grand jury investigation. Judd Gregg was a good bipartisan choice, but turned out to be more unipartisan than he’d thought.

It seems clear that this next pick needs to accomplish something other than those two goals. Here are my choices:

5 – Shelley Hack: Drop-dead beautiful, famous for awesome “Charlie” commercials, and the 6th (and in my expert opinion, best) Charlie’s Angel, picking Hack would show the American people that the search has ended. Obama could issue policy guidance over an old-fashioned speaker phone.Continue Reading Top 5 Candidates for Secretary of Commerce

Obama and Palin to Appear at Dinner Honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee?

Update 3: Some great quotes from Alfalfa Club Dinner history:

Sen. David Boren: “(Club) President (Alan) Simpson failed miserably … to resolve the most pressing issue facing our club. He failed to assuage the powerful forces demanding that we admit women. But tonight I’m here to announce a Bush-type compromise. We will admit women … posthumously.”

Pete Domenici: “My fellow Alfalfans, I have a secret weapon in our upcoming campaign. I’m blessed with the talent of … whipping the electorate to a frenzy. Just like the singer Tom Jones, women often throw their panties at me when I speak. It happened again just yesterday. I just don’t know what got into Senator (Barbara) Mikulski.”

Also, I reported earlier that the club began admitting women in 1994. They began admitting black men in 1979. Maybe this is all a sign of how far we’ve come, I don’t know, but it disturbs me that there seems to be an attempt to hide things about the club. In news accounts from prior years, the fact about Lee is offered as a throwaway. Why omit it this year?

Update 2: 3:30pm – Spoke to the White house press office again, they currently have no comment, other than to confirm that the President will be attending the dinner. Also, it turns out that, until 1994, the Alfalfa Club Dinner was, like hair dye for graying beards, Just for Men. That year, Hillary Clinton attended with President Bill Clinton, and the club inducted 3 female members, including Liddy Dole and Sandra Day O’Connor. I also found an old invitaion to the 1961 dinner.

Update: 12:16 pm – I got about 3/4 done with this story before I found out about the Robert E. Lee thing. It bugged me that nobody seemed to know about it. at first, I thought it was some joker screwing with Wikipedia, but I found the reference in that old WaPo article, too. So, I called the White House press office. The spokesman I talked to said it was the first he’d heard of it. I asked if the President was aware that the Alfalfa Dinner was in honor of Robert E. Lee’s birthday, and if he had a comment about it. I am awaiting their response.

Continue reading Obama and Palin to Appear at Dinner Honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee?

Barack Obama to be Sworn In Using Lincoln Bible

According to a press release by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, President-Elect Barack Obama will be sworn in using the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for that purpose:(via email)

Washington, D.C. – On January 20th, President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration. The Bible is currently part of the collections of the Library of Congress. Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. President-elect Obama will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.

Against the advice of most of his staff, Obama will also be sworn in while wearing a comically tall top hat, and has asked to give his inaugural address from a podium made from a series of interlocking “logs.”

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Continue reading Barack Obama to be Sworn In Using Lincoln Bible

Topless Barack Obama Photos Meant to Ease Rick Warren Sting?

Topless Barack Obama Photos Meant to Ease Rick Warren Sting?

President Elect? More like President Select…Beef, that is!

Some hot new pix of Barack Obama are burning up the web, and showing the world that while we may not have a prime minister, our chief executive certainly is a prime cut of beef.

The pix are available at BauerGriffin.com, which is crashing (probably from all the traffic), but Huffpo has the Full Monty of the sample pictured here.

As a formerly in-shape dude myself, I feel pretty confident in saying that the POTUS-E was totally “Oops! posing” for that shot, and I think I know why.

The President-Elect has taken a lot of heat, lately, from the LGBTQ community and its allies among the decent, for inviting homophobe and Tim-Allen-sidekick-lookalike Rick Warren (we would also accept Future Mark McGwire) to give the inaugural invocation.

This beefy pose is obviously an attempt at reconciliation. How sucessful it is is anyone’s guess. What do you think?%Poll-24251%

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The Cult of Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate

The Cult of Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate

The story of a group calling themselves the “We the People Foundation,” who are questioning the authenticity of Barack Obama’s natural-bornedness, has gotten a lot of attention this week due to their purchase of a full-page ad demanding access to the original birth certificate. On a related note, I am taking out a full-page ad demanding access to Jessica Alba’s sock drawer.

As it happens, my Unusable Signal co-host, Christina Cedeno, is also the proprietor of YestoDemocracy.com, a website that has been following this story since the dawn of time. If you have the inclination, you can click here to see the extremely thorough research they’ve done on this issue.

Because of her familiarity with this issue, I asked Christina to weigh in, and she graciously agreed. Here is her take on the issue, followed by my own brief commentary.

An Open Letter to We The People Foundation…and the Cult of the Certificate of Live Birth


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