Friday Reads: Buffoon and Boycott addition

Good Morning!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter B.  Here’s some great letter B words.  There’s a BUFFOON lose in London and he has some friends we should be BOYCOTTING.

Well, I’m waking up thinking I should check the TV and make sure Romney hasn’t created such an international stir that the British have declared war on us!  I’m sure Hillary will have to head there to patch things up a bit.  I certainly hope that they look at his likeability ratings and realize that NO one likes him over here either.  He’s considered an oaf on both sides of the pond.

Upon winning an Oscar for her performance in the 1984 film “Places in the Heart,” Field famously declared: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

Romney’s problem is that right now, some key voters don’t, as underscored in the polling co-sponsored by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

The NBC News blog “First Read” dug deep into recent results concerning “undecided” voters — the very ones who could tilt the election. Unimpressed with the president’s performance, “these should be people willing to fire Obama and vote for Romney — EXCEPT that they don’t like him very much at all,” First Read noted (complete with the capital letters).

Focusing on undecided voters unearthed in surveys over the last three months, the pollsters found Obama’s unfavorable/favorable rating stands at a poor 42 percent/29 percent. The figures for Romney, though, are worse — 44 percent turn thumbs down on him, with just 16 percent viewing him favorably.

And in a separate look at a voter segment much prized in such key states as Florida, Colorado and Virginia, the same pollsters found that twice as many Hispanics view Romney negatively as positively, 44 percent to 22 percent.

So, how bad is he in the eyes of the Brits?  Why, he’s worse than Princess Dumbass of the North (with due credit to Charles Pierce for the name). They’ve declared him “in shambles”.

The British reaction to Mitt Romney has gone from openness, to skepticism, to mocking, to concluding that Mitt Romney is worse than Sarah Palin.

Daily Mail Political Editor James Chapman has been providing the world a play by play of Romney’s British implosion via his Twitter account. Romney started things off by criticizing London’s preparedness for the Olympics. He then forgot the name of British Labour Leader Ed Miliband, and then he admitted that he had been given a secret briefing by MI6. This led the British to ask aloud if they have another George W. Bush on their hands, “Romney blunders again by revealing he’s had (supposedly) top secret briefing by John Sawers, MI6 boss. Do we have a new Dubya on our hands?”

After his visit to Whitehall, Chapman offered two of the kinder reviews of Mitt Romney, “Serious dismay in Whitehall at Romney debut. ‘Worse than Sarah Palin.’ ‘Total car crash’. Two of the kinder verdicts.” Chapman also reported another verdict from British meet and greet with Mitt, “Another verdict from one Romney meeting: ‘Apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity’”

 Getting compared to Sarah Palin is one thing, but being called worse than Palin is an indication of the epic display of fail that Romney is putting on in London.

If you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse for Mitt Romney, you were wrong. How does one top being unfavorably compared to Sarah Palin? If you’re Mitt Romney, you get mocked in front of 60,000 people.

The Telegraph
is reporting that London Mayor Boris Johnson mocked Romney’s readiness comment, “Quite a moment from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Shortly after Rix had lit the flame he really went for it in Hyde Park. He referenced Mitt Romney’s ‘London isn’t ready’ quip and shot back in style. “Are we ready?” he called and the crowd went wild. There may even have been a hint of the Obama-friendly “Yes we can!” in there – he may have jumped into a winning scenario but I’ve not heard a politician get that reaction before.”

This is a “charm offensive”?  ROFLMAO!

The Guardian has a running and updated list of all of his gaffes to date.  Go grab the popcorn my friends!!!

There are two things you should know before you “look out of the backside of 10 Downing Street”, as Mitt Romney did on Thursday.

Firstly, in Britain, “backside” means “ass”. As in the part of the body. Secondly, “10 Downing Street” is often used in political reporting as a synonym for a press spokesman for the prime minister, in the same way as “the White House” can say things or have opinions.

We haven’t looked quite this bad since Dubya was caught trying to massage Merkel.  We know Obama was a lousy gift giver his first time over there and FLOTUS hugged Her Majesty.  But, all of that looks mildly folksy compare to the Romney mishaps!  I bet they’re glad they’re rid of us!

I’m not sure you’ve been watching the Chick-Fil-A dust up but it’s getting rather interesting.  Chick-Fil-A has an over the top born again evangelical, bible thumping approach to business.   They’re real fussy about who they sell franchises to and like other corporations that are either hyper Mormon-based or Opus-Dei Catholic-based, they’ve been sending tons of money to tank civil rights movements.  The Mormon Church church and related Mormon businesses funded tons of anti-ERA propaganda and groups in the 1970s and 1980s along with plenty of anti-black civil rights in the 1960s.  Many were aligned with the right wing hate group The John Birch Society.  It’s one of the reasons I refuse to stay at a Marriott.  A huge portion of that money funds basic hate group movements against the ERA and abortion rights but it’s been upped to include GLBT civil rights too.  Same goes with Domino’s Pizza whose owner practices an extremist brand of Catholicism.  We’ve know around here that Country Kitchen and Chick-Fil-A are associated with evangelicals and have been known to fire any openly gay employees.  Believe me, I’ve had plenty of run ins with a lot of these religious extremists. They are hateful and they embrace the role of the martyr eagerly. So, don’t groan on this, but Chick-Fil-A has a “biblically based” mission statement.

Here’s some basic facts on Chick-Fil-A’s corporate citizenship profile.  It’s pretty awful!

Here are the basic facts about Chick-fil-A in regards to LGBT issues:

  • Chick-fil-A has given at least $5 million to anti-gay organizations, including known hate groups and proponents of ex-gay therapy, since 2003, including almost $2 million in both 2009 and 2010.
  • Chick-fil-A has a 0 rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which signifies that the company does not offer one protection, one benefit, or even one diversity training for its LGBT employees.
  • Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy openly admitted that he would probably fire any employee who “has been sinful or done something harmful to their family members.”
  • It has recently come to light (thanks to Jeremy Hooper) that current Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has used the following language to describe supporters of same-sex marriage:
    • “We are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”
    • “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
    • “We see all the twisted up kind of stuff that’s going on. Washington trying to redefine the definition of marriage and all the other kinds of things.”
    • “We are suffering the consequences of a society and culture who has not acknowledged God or not thanked God—he’s left us to a deprived mind. It’s tragic and we live in a culture of that today.”

That is outright condemnation. That is open discrimination. Now, Chick-fil-A said last week that it will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” which sounds nice, but as the HRC score indicates, there is nothing to substantiate such a claim. There is no policy on the company’s books that actually protects LGBT people from discrimination, and funding hate groups cannot be justified as “honor, dignity, and respect.”

With all of the facts at hand, there is no accurate way to portray Chick-fil-A as any kind of “victim.”  There is also no accurate way to reduce Chick-fil-A’s words and actions to merely defending “biblical principles.” This is — in every way, shape, and form — a company proactively engaging against the interests of LGBT people, and that is the quite justified reason for outcry.

Many politicians are now working locally to ensure Chick-fil-A’s over the top hatred and discrimination does not show up in a neighborhood near them. Local politicians in places like Boston and Chicago are trying to block expansion of the company in their neighborhood.  It’s not likely legal, but it’s calling attention to corporate donors that fund anti-civil rights movements.  Protestors disrupted a grand opening of a storefront in San Diego.  Quite a few businesses–including the Muppets–are refusing to partner with Chick-fil-A.  Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has been very vocal about the
company’s policy and statements.

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Emanuel said Wednesday.

“What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city.”

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is using the same argument to block Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Chick-fil-A already has one Chicago store — at 30 E. Chicago near Loyola University’s downtown campus.

“Same sex marriage, same-sex couples — that’s the civil rights fight of our time. To have those discriminatory policies from the top down is just not something that we’re open to. …We want responsible businesses,” Moreno said.

If you support marriage equality and basic civil rights, here are 10 companies to boycott. Domino’s Pizza is on their list too.   I told my Department Chair at UNO that I wouldn’t come to staff meetings until he started buying pizza some place else.

Another case of CEOs and management using their prominent position and hefty salary to put down gays and lesbians, Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan is a co-founder of the Thomas More Law Center, which recently defended the San Diego Fire Fighters who won a lawsuit claiming they were sexually harassed by being forced to March in a gay pride parade. Monaghan also financed a 2001 ballot initiative to remove sexual orientation from Ypsilanti, Michigan’s, non-discrimination ordinance. David Brandon, the current CEO, opposes gay marriage and brushed off questions about Domino’s decision not to extend health benefits to spouses of gay employees when asked about in 2006 saying when he ran for Regent of the University of Michigan, explaining why he doesn’t support non-discrimination by saying,

“I don’t understand why we continually have to have discussions about who should and who shouldn’t be included, in terms of our nondiscrimination policy, because I think identifying specific, special-interest groups or specific entities within the institution almost implies that unless you’re on that list, then somehow we think you should be treated differently than people who are on that list. It should not be about lists.”

How They’re Faring: So so. Domino’s lost about half of its stock value in the crash, but has been steadily gaining traction since and now trades at $6.49/ share, down from a 52-week high of $15.33.

What You Can Do: Weirdly, just about everyone from all sides of the political spectrum have called for a boycott on Domino’s. Conservatives decry their decision to open a halal-only branch of the pizzeria in the UK and the National Organization of Women boycott the store for the company’s decision last year to donate $50,000 to a pro-life group.

The more daylight that gets shown on these horrible companies, the better.  Alternet reports that more big companies have left ALEC which has been one of the biggest right wing groups that have actively worked against all civil rights movements. Turning up the heat is working.

Two more large American companies, headquartered in the Midwest, have responded to their customers and cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): General Motors (GM) and Walgreens. This brings the total to 30 corporations and four non-profits — 34 total private sector members — that have cut ties to the right-wing corporate bill mill.

General Motors “In Motion” Away from ALEC

General Motors Headquarters (Source: AP)GM is the $149 billion-a-year maker of Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC brand name cars, among others. About 26 percent of the company is owned by the United States government, which backed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2009. It was founded in 1908 in Detroit and remains headquartered there. It employs 209,000 people, as of May 2012. Chevrolet alone sold more than 763,000 passenger cars in 2011.

Although the full extent of GM’s ALEC membership is not known, it was a member in 1992. In 2011, it paid for a seat on both ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force and its Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force. The commerce task force is the primary source of anti-worker and anti-consumer legislation such as the “Paycheck Protection” and “Right to Work” Acts and other “model” bills that limit workers’ rights and drain labor unions of resources for protecting employees, undermine consumer protections, favor the Wall Street financial agenda, and limit the ability to cap exorbitant interest rates on credit cards and big bank fees.

Here’s a list of FIVE food chains to avoid if you want to put your money and mouth where you values are.  Waffle House is one to avoid.

The breakfast joint has given $100,000 this election cycle to the Karl Rove super PAC American Crossroads. Mother Jones ’ Tim Murphy reported on the donation:

This is surprising because one doesn’t normally associate Big Waffle with big scary super-PACs, but also not that surprising: CEO Jim Rogers Jr. is a longtime supporter of Republican causes, and the company’s political action committee has given exclusively to Republicans (in considerably more modest quantities). His ties to Romney date back to 2006, when he joined the finance team of Romney’s political action committee, Commonwealth PAC.

Now a word from our sponsor … the Beetles sing all about the Letter B.

Ah, there’s just one more letter B word that I’d love to embrace!!!  Yes, this post just brought out my inner BITCH.   I’d shout the word vagina a few times but it’s not the letter V’s turn today.  Join me in not wasting money or votes on the folks that pay to take away our civil rights and liberties.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?