Speaking at an LGBT event tonight at the White House, President Obama took credit for liberal LGBT progress since he took office six-and-a-half years ago.
Obama said, according to a White House transcript: "Together, we ended 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.' (Applause.) We passed a historic hate crimes bill named in part after Matthew Shepard. (Applause.) We lifted the HIV entry ban, and this summer, we’re going to be updating our national HIV/AIDS strategy which will focus on eliminating disparities that gay and bisexual men and transgender women face. (Applause.) We strengthened the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims. (Applause.) Hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid are now required to treat LGBT patients the same as everybody else. (Applause.) The pillar of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. (Applause.) Just yesterday, we announced that insurance companies that cover federal workers will no longer be able to prohibit gender transition services. (Applause.)"
He added, "When I became President, same-sex marriage was legal in only two states. Today, it’s legal in 37 states -- (applause) -- and the District of Columbia. A decade ago, politicians ran against LGBT rights. Today, they’re running towards them. (Applause.) Because they’ve learned what the rest of the country knows -- that marriage equality is about our civil rights, and our firm belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law."
But what Obama failed to mention is that he opposed same-sex marriage when he came into office. "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman … What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it's not simply the two persons who are meeting," Obama said in 2004.
"That doesn't mean that that necessarily translates into a position on public policy or with respect to civil unions. What it does mean is that we have a set of traditions in place that, I think, need to be preserved, but I also think we need to make sure that gays and lesbians have the same set of basic rights that are in place.
NPR’s “Race Card Project,” a series of stories on the topic of race and society, found another way to make us confront our own latent racism as well as the lingering racism in society this week by telling us the story of a white guy named Jamaal.
Every spring, thousands of American higher learning institutions and tens of thousands of high schools send their graduates off with a commencement ceremony. A centerpiece of the event, as old as American education itself, is the commencement speech. At their best, these speeches furnish students with wise and inspiring advice for the future. The choice of speaker is also part of the message; it signals the sort of person of whom the university, college, or high school approves.
If you pay any attention to the ways in which radicalism dominates the culture of the university these days, you're likely to feel as though you've gone through the looking glass. "White privilege." "Trigger warnings." "Rape culture." All of this (and much else) has turned academia into a bizarre, Orwellian simulacrum of itself.
President Obama talked about spending a lot of money tonight -- on preschool care, community college, new infrastructure, and a variety of tax preferences for middle- and lower-income earners. All financed by new taxes, primarily on the wealthy.
Put simply, in the face of the most Republican Congress since the 1920s, President Obama has offered a defiantly liberal agenda. It has precisely zero chance of passage.
If Chris Hughes knew anything about journalism, he’d throw a big party in New York and another in Washington and the media wags now heaping abuse on him would be hailing him as the last of the Medicis. But the 31-year-old owner and editor in chief of the New Republic doesn’t know a damn thing about journalism, which is why scores of hungry and thirsty journalists won’t shut up.
President Obama labeled the U.S. government "the most important organization on earth" and said that he'd "squeeze every last little bit of opportunity" from his position as president of the United State over the next two years. Watch here:
Tom Harkin, the top Democrat in Iowa, tells ABC News that he has serious questions about where Hillary Clinton stands on the issues:
"But some Democrats still have their doubts," says ABC's Jonathan Karl. "Some progressives are a little uneasy with Hillary Clinton and is she going to be too hawkish on foreign policy, is she going to be too moderate on economic issues?"
Erica Payne, founder and president of the left-wing Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface the cover of Paul Ryan's new book, which is hitting shelves today.
"Hi Daniel," Payne writes in an email. "Just a heads up, Paul Ryan's new book comes out today and his publisher is furious! It turns out that they accidentally shipped it with the wrong cover, and they need your help to make things right.
Someone I'm related to by marriage has written a superb column on the problem of media ignorance. The fact I'm not a disinterested observer shouldn't stop me from noting that the column and the event that prompted it has attracted some attention. The piece is pegged to a much discussed interview talk radio star Hugh Hewitt conducted with Zach Carter, the Huffington Post’s “senior political economy reporter.” Hewitt asked Carter why he was spouting off various critical opinions related to Dick Cheney and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Certainly, Carter's not alone here -- the rise of ISIS has had liberal journalists queuing up to insist President Obama bears minimal responsibility for the disintegration of the situation in Iraq. Joe Biden bet his vice presidency Iraq would extend the Status of Forces Agreement, and had they not failed, it might well have prevented the current mess. But here we are.
I read with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation the unexpected announcement earlier this month that President Rebecca Chopp is departing Swarthmore to become the chancellor of the University of Denver.