Dick Cheney And Other Bush Administration Officials May Finally Go To Trial

 | Forward Progressives | July 30, 2014

Did you know six members of the Bush Administration may finally end up in court? While I’d really rather see Bush painting his self portraits in solitary confinement or Rumsfeld riding the bulls at Angola, that’s not going to happen. Our friends over at Quiet Mike have been following this story for a while and here’s the quick rundown for you:

Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit targeting six key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. In Saleh v. Bush, she alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a “crime of aggression” under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law. (Source)

Read more

US: Wyoming same-sex marriage lawsuit will be allowed to go to trial

Pink News | July 30, 2014

A Wyoming judge has declined to rule on the constitutionality of a state law that specifies marriage is limited to one man and one woman.

Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell also decided at a hearing Tuesday not to suspend a lawsuit filed by four gay couples and a gay-rights advocacy group pending a possible US Supreme Court ruling on the issue of same-sex marriage.

This past April, the state of Wyoming asked for a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the four gay couples asking to strike down its ban on same-sex marriage.

Read more

US: Former ‘ex-gay’ activist encourages national ban on ‘conversion therapies’

Yvette Cantu Schneider has become the latest former anti-gay activist to condemn harmful gay-to-straight ‘conversion therapies’, and has encouraged a nation-wide ban “as quickly as possible”.

Schneider told Jeremy Hooper of Good as You, in an interview conducted for GLAAD, that she now believes: “It’s damaging to take a child who is questioning his or her sexuality, or who may display qualities that are not in line with what our society considers normative for their gender, and communicate to the child (and parents) that there is something wrong with him, that in some way he or she is deficient.

“When their feelings fail to change, they’re left holding a big bag of shame instead of feeling empowered because they have embraced their authentic and multi-faceted self.”

Read more

Plaintiff’s ready as Ugandan Court Hears Case on Constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | July 30, 2014.

Judges inside the Court today

In Kampala, Uganda, the Constitutional Court heard arguments for the Petition seeking to nullify the Anti Homosexuality Act which was signed into law earlier this year.

Five of the Petitioners were in court: Prof. J Oloka-Onyango, Hon. Fox Odoi, Frank Mugisha, Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera and HRAPF. They were represented by five counsel: Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, Caleb Alaka, Francis Onyango, Nicholas Opiyo and Fridah Mutesi.

Five Justices of the Constitutional Court included:  Justice S.B.K Kavuma, Hon. Justice A.S Nshimye, Hon. Justice Mwanguhya, Hon. Justice R Opio Aweri Opio, Hon. Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bbossa.

The Attorney General was represented by Principal State Attorney (PSA), Ms. Patricia Mutesi.

The case started with the lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Mr. Rwakafuuzi introducing the legal team and the case for the petitioners, and informing court that the petitioners were ready to proceed.

Read more

Texas AG Greg Abbott: Gay Marriage Ban In State’s Interest

Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | July 30, 2014

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office is arguing that the U.S. Constitution allows Texas to ban same-sex marriage to promote the birth of children in “stable, lasting relationships.”

Abbott’s office filed a brief Monday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia declared the state law unconstitutional in February, but allowed Texas to keep enforcing its ban pending an appeal.

Read more

No, Teens Don’t Smoke More Pot In Medical Marijuana States

April M. Short | AlterNet | July 30, 2014

The U.S. federal government stubbornly continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance with no known medical uses. While our government blocks all research on the potential benefits of marijuana, clinical studies in  IsraelSpain and elsewhere confirm what patients in the 23 U.S. states with medical marijuana programs already know: it’s a miraculous treatment option for many known diseases, with the  potential to mitigate, and sometimes reverse, ailments ranging from cancer, PTSD and epilepsy to arthritis, skin abrasions, and chronic pain.

Since so many of the arguments against cannabis medicine are crumbling, marijuana prohibitionists are resorting to fear-mongering about the “safety of the children” to defend their position. They insist that allowing marijuana in any form will give kids the impression it’s okay to toke up, and teen marijuana use will spike.

But that argument is baseless, according to a  new report by D. Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen, and Daniel I. Rees of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The report, released in July, shows that the presence of medical marijuana does not lead to increased use among teens.

Read more

Mother of Ryan White Visits Nation’s Capital, Urges Congress to Maintain Commitment to People with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

National Policy Office – Washington, DC: 202-835-8373

Program and Administrative Office – Tampa, FL: 813-258-5929

For Immediate Release: 7.30.14

Media Contact: Carl Schmid |  cschmid@theaidsinstitute.org | 202-835-8373


Mother of Ryan White Visits Nation’s Capital, Urges Congress to Maintain Commitment to People with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Scheduled to Meet with Minority Leader Pelosi, Health Committee Leaders Reps. Upton, Waxman & Appropriators Reps. DeLauro, Lee

Washington, DC– As the fight against HIV/AIDS turns a new corner with growing evidence of the importance of AIDS treatment and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jeanne White-Ginder – the mother of Ryan White – the namesake of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, today returned to our nation’s capital to remind lawmakers of the continued importance of maintaining and fully funding the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.


White-Ginder joined The AIDS Institute – a national nonprofit that promotes action for social change through public policy, advocacy, research and education in the areas of HIV and hepatitis – at a press conference this morning at the National Press Club.  White-Ginder and The AIDS Institute discussed the critical need for continuing funding of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which provides medical care, lifesaving medications, and other essential services to poor people living with HIV/AIDS, and to seize upon the moment in order to dramatically increase the number of people in care and on treatment.


“When Ryan was a teenager living with AIDS in the early 1990s there was little the medical community could offer him, but we tried all we could,” commented White-Ginder at this morning’s press conference.  “Today, with proper treatment, thanks to antiretroviral medications, people living with HIV can live relatively healthy lives if they are first tested and linked to and retained in care.  I’m in Washington to urge members of Congress to fully fund the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program so the more than half a million people currently being helped by the program continue to receive life-saving care and the ones who are not can take advantage of AIDS treatment.”


“We are at a critical moment in the fight to combat HIV/AIDS in America,” said Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. “We can actually end AIDS if people are first tested and diagnosed, and then linked to and retained in care and treatment.  Not only does AIDS treatment help people live healthy lives but it prevents transmission of the virus.  With the expanded opportunities for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, together with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, we can greatly expand the number of people tested for HIV and brought into care and treatment.”


This afternoon, Jeanne White-Ginder and representatives of The AIDS Institute are scheduled to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA), and House Appropriator Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with others.


The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program acts as a payer of last resort and offers health care, prescription medications, and other essential services that help retain people with HIV in care and on treatment.  It also assists clients with paying insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses.


“Many Congressional leaders, from U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman and Senator Tom Harkin, have been true heroes for people living with HIV. I am afraid with their departure, along with several others and the loss of champions such as Senator Ted Kennedy, the U.S. Congress may forget about Ryan, the suffering of people with HIV in the United States, and the continuing need for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.  That is why it is imperative that Congress – and its emerging leaders – commit themselves to maintaining the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and ending AIDS in the United States and around the world.


“For almost 25 years, the Program has helped saved countless lives. I am here for Ryan to remind our leaders that we cannot forget him or the 650,000 others who have died of AIDS and the over 1.1 million people currently living with HIV in the U.S. It is my hope that during my visit to Capitol Hill, they will listen to the story of a mother and her son and the hope that people with HIV have today if they have access to the medical care, medications and other services that are offered through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program,” concluded White-Ginder.


The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is currently funded at $2.32 billion. Both President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate are proposing that this level of funding be maintained for next year.  To date, the U.S. House of Representatives have not acted on next year’s funding bill.


For a biography of Jeanne White-Ginder:  http://bit.ly/1pwclFF

For a fact sheet on HIV/AIDS in the US and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program: http://bit.ly/1xpbxXz 

For supporting charts and graphs on HIV in the US and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program: http://bit.ly/1ApNMmp.

Christians and Anti-Gay Groups of Uganda Fight To Save Anti-Homosexuality Act

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | July 30, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.50.55 AM

In a further attack against gays, the Christian and anti-gay groups of Uganda are trying a desperate move to try and defeat the Ugandan Human Rights defender Plaintiff’s from succeeding to prove that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed into law in February of this year, is unconstitutional. These are delaying tactics as many believe the Anti-gay law, once dubbed The Kill the gays Bill is indeed unconstitutional.

The Plaintiffs report update as follows:
“Today, 30th July 2014, three anti gay organisations: The Inter Religious Council of Uganda, Family Life Network and the Uganda Centre for Law and Transformation (UCLT) filed an application to be joined as parties.They cite both the Attorney General and the 10 Petitioners as respondents. Their application is Miscellaneous Constitutional Application No. 23 of 2014. The application is by Notice of Motion supported by affidavits filed by Bishop Joseph Serwadda of Victory Christina Center and Stephen Langa of Family Life Network (the one who hosted Scott Lively the last time he was here).

It was officially received by the Court today.

The Application has to be heard by the Court after being fixed for hearing. This means that it may not be heard tomorrow and that the hearing of the Petition will proceed. However, it may also be decided to hear it tomorrow since the case is ongoing. “

Does NASA’s Data Show Doomsday for New York City?

The Daily Take Team | The Thom Hartmann Program | Truthout | July 30, 2014

2014 730 water fwThe view of Hudson River sea level beyond the Lincoln Tunnel in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. (Photo: Joisey Showaa / Flickr)

If we don’t do something quick to stop global warming, some of the biggest cities in America could go the way of Atlantis in just a matter of decades.

Sam Carana over at Arctic News has taken the time to analyze the latest data from NASA, and what’s he’s projecting from that data is startling.

Sam suggests that global sea levels may rise rapidly over the next few decades; so rapidly, in fact, that we could see more than 2.5 meters of seal level rise by 2040, which is just 26 years from now.

And because, as Sam Carana points out, sea levels now look like they’re going rise exponentially – on a curve – as opposed to on a straight line, they will continue to rise even faster after 2040.

Read more

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival thinks trans women aren’t real women, or something

 | America Blog | July 30, 2014

Far be it for me to be an expert on what it is to be transgender, but how hard is it to understand that a trans woman is a woman, and she should be allowed to do, you know, woman-things like attending music festivals for women?

Apparently, real hard.

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is finding itself yet again in hot water for expressing its “intention” that only “womyn born womyn” attend the annual shindig.

We’ve written before about “safe women’s spaces.”  A friend of mine who is lesbian was uninvited from a women’s dance in San Francisco because her long-time once-lesbian partner had transitioned and become a straight man. And straight men weren’t permitted at the women’s dance, so a couple that had attended the dance for years was no longer welcome. And it hurt.

Read more