Our Lady J Releases ‘We Stand’ Live Video, Discusses Upcoming Debut Album

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/our-lady-j-we-stand_n_1720226.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

By
Posted: 07/30/2012

Our Lady J has made headlines by befriending “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe (and causing a scandal while doing it), raising money for her breast surgery by playing “Boob Aid” fundraising concerts and staging her brilliant “Gospel of Dolly” all-Dolly Parton cover shows.

A regular in the downtown NYC music and art scene, she moved to L.A. last year to record her first album and has been playing shows all over the city to test out new material.

Last week she released a live video of one of her new songs, “We Stand.” Fans who haven’t caught one of her more recent shows and who are only familiar with her piano and gospel choir-based songs may be a bit surprised to hear the new more electronic direction she’s headed in, but we can’t get enough of it.

We chatted briefly with Our Lady J to find out more about the origins of “We Stand,” her upcoming album, writing about being transgender and more.

After you read the interview, have a listen to “We Stand” (above) and if you can stop yourself from hitting “replay,” head over to her official website and follow her on Twitter for more info and upcoming show dates.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/our-lady-j-we-stand_n_1720226.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Transgender Patients Find Safe Haven at Bronx Family Practice

From DNA Info:  http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120730/longwood/transgender-patients-find-safe-haven-at-bronx-family-practice

By Patrick Wall
July 30, 2012

LONGWOOD — With close-cropped hair, a few arm tattoos and an easy smile, Q resembles many other young men his age — which suits him well, except when he has to visit a gynecologist.

Q, who is 26 and lives in Co-op City, was born female but has been transitioning into a man over the past several years.

In March, when Q arrived at a doctor’s office for a scheduled pelvic exam, the staff were so visibly rattled by his male identity that Q fled the clinic.

“They should be a little more compassionate,” Q said recently. “You see an old lady walk in with something wrong with her, you’re not going to look at her any different. So why would you look at us different?”

The experience reminded Q why he prefers Community Healthcare Network’s Bronx Health Center at 975 Westchester Ave.

That center and another location that the nonprofit network operates in Jamaica, Queens, have incorporated a program for transgender patients into their family clinics — an arrangement that the network says is the only one of its kind in the city.

The approach appears to be working.

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Gay Marriage Plank Will Be In Democratic Party Platform At Convention

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/gay-marriage-democratic-convention_n_1720030.html

Sam Stein and Luke Johnson
07/30/2012

WASHINGTON — A Democratic Party source confirmed to The Huffington Post that the party will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at the upcoming convention.

The news, first reported by the Washington Blade, represents a historic and phenomenal win for LGBT rights groups, which could hardly have envisioned progress being made so quickly on this front.

The Democratic source relayed that officials unanimously agreed at a recent platform drafting committee meeting in Minneapolis to adopt language endorsing same-sex marriage. Several steps must be taken before the language is codified. A full platform committee will consider the draft in a meeting in Detroit in two weeks. It will then go to the convention delegates in Charlotte for final approval. But the deal is more or less final.

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), a member of the drafting committee who recently married his longtime partner, told the Advocate that the decision was reached without dissent.

“The fact is, by every action that should be taken, the Democrats in Washington have repudiated DOMA,” he said, referring to the 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.

According to the Blade, the “language in the platform approved on Sunday not only backs marriage equality, but also rejects DOMA and has positive language with regard to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The exact wording of the language wasn’t immediately available.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/gay-marriage-democratic-convention_n_1720030.html

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“Women’s Choices” – Obama for America

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Republicans vs. Women

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/republicans-vs-women.html

Editorial
July 29, 2012

Even with a persistent gender gap in a presidential election year, House Republicans have not given up on their campaign to narrow access to birth control, abortion care and lifesaving cancer screenings. Far from it.

A new Republican spending proposal revives some of the more extreme attacks on women’s health and freedom that were blocked by the Senate earlier in this Congress. The resurrection is part of an alarming national crusade that goes beyond abortion rights and strikes broadly at women’s health in general.

These setbacks are recycled from the Congressional trash bin in the fiscal 2013 spending bill for federal health, labor and education programs approved by a House appropriations subcommittee on July 18 over loud objections from Democratic members to these and other provisions.

The measure would bar Planned Parenthood’s network of clinics, which serve millions of women across the country, from receiving any federal money unless the health group agreed to no longer offer abortion services for which it uses no federal dollars — a patently unconstitutional provision. It would also eliminate financing for Title X, the effective federal family-planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for sexually-transmitted diseases. Without this program, some women would die, and unintended pregnancies would rise, resulting in some 400,000 more abortions a year and increases in Medicaid-related costs, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading authority on reproductive health.

On top of that, the bill would prevent implementation of most of the Affordable Care Act, wiping out its numerous advances for women’s health. It would seriously weaken the requirement that employee insurance plans cover birth control and other preventive health services by allowing any employer to opt out based on personal religious beliefs or moral objections.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/republicans-vs-women.html

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Another $200 mln misspent in Iraq. Anybody surprised?

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White House wants Romney to explain Israel remarks

Looks like Plastic Man has got some Mitt’splaining to do…

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/30/white-house-wants-romney-to-explain-israel-remarks/

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, July 30, 2012

WASHINGTON — The White House called Monday on Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to explain recent remarks including his apparent endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a position that counters US policy.

Romney, in the midst of a three-nation tour, gave a speech Sunday in Jerusalem where he hailed the city as “the capital of Israel,” in apparent support of a position held by the Jewish state but never accepted by the global community.

The comment was swiftly rejected by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat as “unacceptable” and “harmful to American interests in our region.”

But after Romney made fresh controversial statements Monday to donors in Jerusalem including suggesting Israeli “culture” helped explain the country’s economic success — a position Erakat denounced as “racist” — President Barack Obama’s office urged Romney to clarify his comments.

“One of the challenges of being an actor on the international stage, particularly when you’re traveling to such a sensitive part of the world, is that your comments are very closely scrutinized for meaning, for nuance, for motivation,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said about the Monday remarks.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/30/white-house-wants-romney-to-explain-israel-remarks/

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Mitt’s Gaffs Just Keep on Coming. Gawd He’s even Dumber than Sarah Palin!

Mitt Romney Comments At Fundraiser Outrage Palestinians

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/mitt-romney-palestinians_n_1718496.html

By KASIE HUNT and KARIN LAUB
07/30/12

JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. Romney’s campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/mitt-romney-palestinians_n_1718496.html

Mitt Romney to rekindle cold war spirit with speech in Poland attacking Russia

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/mitt-romney-speech-poland-russia

After gaffe-strewn UK visit and controversial remarks in Israel, US presidential hopeful turns to symbol of anti-Soviet triumph

, Europe editor
guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 July 2012

Mitt Romney is to round off his campaign to boost his presidential foreign policy credentials by returning to a cold war symbol of anti-Soviet triumph and western-backed liberty in Poland.

Following a gaffe-strewn visit to Britain, where he queried the Olympic host’s fitness to stage the Games, and after stirring controversy in Israel by calling Jerusalem the Israeli capital and seeming to back unilateral Israeli strikes against Iran, the Republican White House contender arrived on Monday in Poland, where he is to deliver a setpiece speech on democracy and freedom.

The speech on the “values of liberty” at Warsaw University on Tuesday is expected to seek to rekindle the flames of US cold war righteousness by featuring a strong attack on Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s rollback of democratic gains, while also criticising the US president, Barack Obama, for allegedly sacrificing the interests and security of central European democracy in favour of realpolitik with the Kremlin.

Romney has previously described Russia as America’s “No 1 geopolitical foe”, in contrast with Obama, who has sought to press “the reset button” in relations with Moscow.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/mitt-romney-speech-poland-russia

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BBC Report: Bishop Romney Told Pregnant Mother “Give Your Child to The Church”

From I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists:  http://www.classwarfareexists.com/bbc-report-bishop-romney-told-pregnant-mother-give-your-child-to-the-church/#axzz229aecjNM

by icarus
30 Jul 2012

Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop for five years in the 1980′s in addition to being president of the Boston chapter.  The BBC interviews a former parishioner of the Boston Mormon church that Mitt Romney was bishop of; her name is Peggy Hayes.  She tells the BBC her story that she has never shared in an interview before.

Peggy got pregnant out of wedlock and Mitt Romney came to visit her; she says he told her to give her child up to the church for adoption.  She also says that if she didn’t give up her child to the church – Romney threatened to have her excommunicated from the church.

“I said well are you suggesting that I give up my child to the church.  And he pretty much said – yeah, that’s exactly what we we’re asking you to do … is to give up your child to the church.  And he said somewhat casually – well … you know you’re facing some serious consequences pretty much.  And if you don’t give up your child then you would considered to be in violation of the doctrines of the church.  And in effect what that would mean is that you would be excommunicated.”
~Peggy Hayes, former Romney parishioner

The Boston Globe did an entire article on this on 8/26/94 – a blog captured it (it’s currently behind a firewall) and you can read the entire story HERE:

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Spain angers feminists with plan to tighten abortion law

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/spain-angers-feminists-with-plan-to-tighten-abortion-law/

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, July 29, 2012

MADRID — Spain’s conservative government has provoked a storm among women’s groups with plans to tighten the country’s abortion laws to make the procedure illegal in cases where the foetus is deformed.

The government announced Friday it would alter an abortion law introduced by its Socialist predecessors in 2010 which gave women the legal right to abortion on demand for up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The 2010 law also allowed women the legal right to abort up to the 22nd week of pregnancy in cases where the mother’s health is at risk or the foetus shows serious deformities.

In cases of an extremely severe serious malformation of a foetus, an abortion could be carried out at any time if approved by an ethics committee.

But last week Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon came out strongly against allowing abortion in cases of a deformed foetus.

“I don’t understand why we should deprive a foetus of life by allowing abortion for the simple reason that it suffers a handicap or a deformity,” he said in an interview published in conservative daily La Razon on July 22.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/spain-angers-feminists-with-plan-to-tighten-abortion-law/

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Budget cuts: million jobs to be slashed?

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Happy birthday to Medicare

From The Houston Chronicle:  http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Happy-birthday-to-Medicare-3741814.php

By Margaret A. Nosek
Friday, July 27, 2012

With all the commotion surrounding the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it would be easy to overlook an important birthday: Today is the 47th anniversary of Medicare, the public health insurance program that covers our nation’s seniors and people with severe disabilities.

It’s a birthday that deserves to be celebrated, including here in the Lone Star State. Medicare provides 48 million Americans – about 3 million of them in Texas – with reasonably good access to health care, thereby easing their suffering, prolonging their lives, and reducing financial pressures on them and their families. Before Medicare was enacted in 1965, most retired older people were at risk of financial ruin when they got sick. Medicare changed that picture, and our state and nation are much better for it.

The Medicare program is not perfect, of course. It has burdensome co-pays and deductibles, and its benefits could be better. But it remains immensely popular, and it’s not hard to figure out why. A new study in the journal Health Affairs found that “Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older are more satisfied with their health insurance, have better access to care, and are less likely to have problems paying medical bills than working-age adults who get insurance through employers or purchase coverage on their own.”

Keep that in mind the next time you hear a politician or pundit argue that the Medicare program should be converted to a private voucher program, where seniors would get a flat amount to buy a health policy from a commercial insurance company. Such schemes are lucrative for the big private insurers but would be bad for most seniors, leaving them with inferior and progressively deteriorating coverage.

Complete article at:  http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Happy-birthday-to-Medicare-3741814.php

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The CEO Plan to Steal Your Social Security and Medicare

From Common Dreams:   http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/07/30-11

by Dean Baker
Published on Monday, July 30, 2012 by Common Dreams

Many people are following the presidential election closely with the idea that the outcome will have a major impact on national policy. However, according to Steven Pearlstein, a veteran Washington Post columnist and reporter, it may not matter who wins the election. In a column last week, Pearlstein told readers that the top executives of some of the country’s largest companies are getting together to craft a budget package that they will try to push through Congress and get the president to sign.

While Pearlstein clearly sees these backroom meetings of corporate chieftains in positive terms (he refers to them as “grown-ups” who have been noticeably absent from the conversation about the budget), the rest of us might view this plotting a bit differently. As Pearlstein openly acknowledges, this corporate coup is an end-run around the electorate. As corrupt as the political process may have become, at least we will get a vote in the election. Pearlstein’s plotters are not inviting the rest of us into the conversation.

Many of the same folks who brought the economy to ruin just a few years ago are now going to come up with a plan that is supposed to set the budget and the economy on a forward path. At the center of their proposal are big cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

The most popular Social Security cut among this gang is a reduction in the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by 0.3 percentage points. They are betting that ordinary people are too dumb to notice this cut since it is a relatively small amount each year.

However, the effect of this cut accumulates into a much bigger deal over time. After 10 years it is roughly 3 percent, after 20 years it would be close to 6 percent, and after 30 years it would be close to 9 percent.

Continue reading at:   http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/07/30-11

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