Meeting at Charlie’s ~ BrianInNYC

Rangel_in-district

As most of you know yesterday afternoon myself and fellow members of HRC (The Human Rights Campaign) met with Congressman Rangel’s chief  of staff.  HRC is having aNo Excusescampaign this month,  attempting to set up a face to face meeting with every member of Congress during the summer recess.   We were a nice mix of a group, all of  us bringing something different things  to the discussion.  Unfortunately the congressman wasn’t available,  his chief of staff, a charming man who’s name escapes me  was eager to hear what we had to say and genuinely seemed sympathetic to our concerns.

Of course Charlie Rangel is very sympathetic to our cause so part of the purpose of our visit was to express our gratitude.  The couple to the right of the picture discussed issues to being gay parents, health care benefits and such.  The couple in the middle of the picture discussed immigration issues.  One of the members of the couple is a German national but since their marriage isn’t recognized here in the US, she is unable to get permanent residence status as a spouse would in a heterosexual marriage.  The gentleman to my left told of how was thrown out of ROTC when he came out.  I discussed the immorality of DOMA  and Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell, stating just how offensive it that we have such laws here in the United States.  Expressing my hope  that the congressman would take a higher profile on these civil rights issues and despite the fact we are living in very difficult times there really isn’t an excuse to expect us  to patiently wait for our civil rights and be acknowledge as full fledged Americans.  I tried not to sound too soap boxish but some how suspect I failed in that, big surprise!

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Meeting at Charlie’s ~ BrianInNYC

  1. nannymm

    Good job, Brian! It’s too bad you did get to meet with Charlie Rangle, though. I bet he’s be really interesting to chat with.

  2. TempeBev

    Great picture and good job. I hope your meeting will help start the ball rolling to eliminate DOMA and DADT.

    New topic: Now the headlines are “Obama’s lost Summer” and “How Obama Lost His Credibility,” by Krugman. Am I naive to believe that the Obama administration is surprised to just realize that they have not been making the progress they wanted for healthcare reform and are just now waking up to that fact? That topic seems to be on the web this morning and radio talk shows. I would sincerely like to believe that the administration, with all their qualifications and intelligence, did not have their collective heads in the sand and were unaware how things look. “There is no plan B.” Please tell me they’re not stupid. Who is being duped?

  3. nannymm

    I don’t think they’re stupid, Bev, just naive and a bit too cocky. And it may cost them, and us, dearly.

  4. TempeBev

    I’m afraid you might be right, Nanny

  5. eProf2

    Now, Brian, all we need is 217 more reps and 60 senators to work on DOMA to bring equal rights to all.

  6. nannymm

    Here’s a interesting op-ed by Eugene Robinson. Please note, Brian, that Gene wouldn’t keep telling me to “calm down” and “relax.” 😀

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082003038.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

  7. nannymm

    You know, Rachel was right last night. WTF is this 60 votes in the Senate about? We need to put an end to this filibuster “Bull pucky” and go back to 51 votes to pass legislation. The repugs are abusing the filibuster and the damned stupid dems are letting them get away with it. And we’re in the majority???
    From where I sit, it sure doesn’t look like it!

  8. eProf2

    Rachel was wrong about the filibuster inasmuch as the Constitution says the Senate makes its own rules — from day one. Rule 22, which has been in existence since the 1820’s, includes procedures on the filibuster.

    Interestingly enough, the filibuster rule of 60 members to stop the talk and vote on the measure was changed in the 1960’s from 66 down to 60. But, you’re right, Nanny, the Dems have allowed the filibuster rules to prevail when they can be bypassed with reconciliation votes (also in Rule 22) and they don’t test the will power of those filibustering by saying, “go ahead, start the filibuster and talk as long as you can under the rules. We’ll see if you can keep your own members talking that much.” It only takes 17 members of the Senate to pass a cloture petition which then requires a vote of 60 or more to stop the filibuster. At that point, the bill goes back to committee or the talking starts afresh.

    I think if the majority leader were to challenge the Reps into conducting these filibusters the American people would scream to high heaven that nothing is getting done because the Reps are abusing Rule 22. But, Reid has to get some huevos, too, and insist on the Reps putting up or shutting up.

  9. nannymm

    Thanks for the correction, eprof. You’re right, of course about Senate rules. But this abuse of them has got to stop. Harry Reid, are you listening?

  10. dnd

    I think the reason people are so ambivalent about health insurance reform is because those from 21 to 65 don’t understand how much it is costing them.

    Before I floated the idea that health insurance benefits should be taxed like normal income. Many economists and policy experts agree. But politically that won’t fly.

    So how about this: your health insurance benefit must be on your W-2, you must put it on your 1040. Then you can deduct it from your AGI. And people who don’t get these benefits at work but buy their own premiums can deduct their premiums from their AGI.

    Of course there’d have to be a cap on how much you can deduct, but when people realize how the insurance companies are screwing them, they may be a little more passionate about health insurance reform.

  11. nannymm

    “when people realize how the insurance companies are screwing them, they may be a little more passionate about health insurance reform.”

    I’m shocked that so few people seem to get it now. During the campaign season, people were screaming for reform. Are their memories that short?

  12. Is it just me or does anyone else find it absurd the news networks are speculating about 2010?

  13. dnd

    It’s August Brian. Nothing else to report. The cable cabal is praying that Sarah Palin will make a public speech so they’ll have something salacious to report. It’s that or reporting the controversy of Michelle Obama wearing shorts on her summer vacation.

  14. nannymm

    Hey, maybe Obama will go swimming again. That will keep ’em all talking for a few days. 😉

  15. Advertise on NYTimes.com
    Fed Chairman Says American Economy Is Poised to Grow

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/business/economy/22fed.html?_r=1&8au&emc=au

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