Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Will Of The People ... For South Carolina

This is from the group Carlos and I joined last night, to help another same-sex couple, and ourselves and many others, fight for equality in South Carolina .....

The Will of the People … And Mothers
By Sheryl McAlister, a freelance writer based in South Carolina, and editor of Old Broad & New Trix

At the center of a lawsuit in South Carolina demanding basic civil rights were the bold and courageous words of a 13-year-old boy: “Do it, Mom,” this young man said of the filing. “I don’t care what people know. I’m not ashamed.”

Much has been and will continue to be written in the coming weeks and months about the legal battle currently being fought by a young couple and their attorneys. Filed nearly one year ago in Federal District Court, the suit seeks to allow the couple’s legal marriage to be recognized in South Carolina. The case seeks to overturn South Carolina’s 2007 Constitutional Amendment against marriage equality.

A grass roots group has assembled to support the legal battle and raise funds for the ongoing administrative costs associated with the filing. The Columbia attorneys – Carrie Warner and John Nichols – are working pro bono.The group was organized by a pair of sisters, who wear the fact that they’re different like a badge of honor. Endorsed by a legendary figure in South Carolina’s civil rights movement, the group is poised for action with a singular focus.

I will resist the temptation to use the cliche about the strength of small groups of people dedicated to a cause. We’ll see how this plays out. But, truthfully, it was nearly overwhelming to look around the table and see a dozen middle aged or older people focused solely on the story of a young family simply trying to live its life and the courage of a young lawyer and her colleague fighting to help them do just that.

They didn’t ask for help. But they welcome it. They didn’t ask anyone to foot the bill for them. The attorneys are donating their time. They came to the meeting because we asked them to share their story. And here it is.

A young couple – a South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper and a military veteran – married in Washington, DC, in 2012. They have made South Carolina their home to raise their family, which includes 3 children. When the youngest son was born, he faced catastrophic health issues that required around-the-clock parental and medical attention. His twin sister was in the hospital with his birth mother just after they were born. His biological mother was denied access to him at another hospital because “she wasn’t his legal or birth mother.”

This is the story of 2 mothers. The lawsuit had its genesis in their desire to protect their child. In fact, the LGBTQ civil rights movement in South Carolina was started 25 years ago by a mother’s desire to support her child. No political agendas. Just maternal instincts.And they are a powerful weapon.

It took about an hour before the group, gathered last night at a local Columbia restaurant, unanimously decided to go all-in. We were proud of this couple and their attorneys, particularly the lead attorney who had seen a need and filled the void early on. We were proud of all they represented, and we were eager with anticipation of what a victory would mean.

You see, marriage discussion didn’t really occur during the lives of most of the people around that table. Early on when you realize all the rules weren’t written for you, you learn to work around them. You don’t actually break them because they don’t protect or apply to you anyway. You just do the best you can with what you do have. You don’t spend a lot of time focusing on what you don’t have.

The Declaration of Independence provides each of us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while The United States Constitution outlines how the government will function. But while we each have those rights, the law only lets certain people go so far in the pursuit of them. I’d like to believe if this country’s founders knew better, they’d have done better.

I actually think Oprah originally said “If you know better, you do better.” The image of a billionaire, black, business woman wagging her finger at the founding fathers makes me almost giggle.

These South Carolina women are not ordinary activists. But then, the real heroes in a movement don’t usually start out that way. They are simply trying to protect their children.

Marian Wright Edelman once said: “The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.” Her statement is one of the fundamental truths in this debate.

Earlier this week, the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for other Southern states, including South Carolina.Carrie Warner, John Nichols, Tracie Goodwin and Katie Bradacs are ready.

Godspeed.
#####

Copyright 2014 Sheryl McAlister

Random Musings

Last night Carlos and I, along with Further-Round-The-Way-Gays David and Neal, traveled to Columbia to have dinner with a group of gay men and women to discuss ways in which we can spread the word, educate, and fundraise for the lawsuit brought by Tracie Goodwin and her wife Katie Bradacs against the state of South Carolina to have their marriage recognized, and legalized, in the state.

It was a fascinating group of people, some of whom I’ve met before and consider friends, and some I’ve only heard about, like Harriet Hancock, or as some call her in South Carolina, Mother of Pride.

Harriet has been an ally to the LGBT community in South Carolina since her son came out to her in 1982, Yes, 1982; she learned her son was gay and she founded the Columbia chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays [PFLAG].
  • In 1985, Harriet co-founded Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services [PALSS], which has become the primary AIDS service organization of South Carolina’s Midlands.
  • In 1989, after an LGBT community picnic, Harriet and small group of gay and lesbian South Carolinians organized the first South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride March. As the march moved from an annual event to an organization working on LGBT issues, the name changed to the Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement and is now called the SC Pride Movement.
  • In 1991, Harriet worked with the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council ad hoc Committee on Civil Rights for Lesbians and Gays to make sexual orientation a part of Columbia’s nondiscrimination employment policy; the work of that committee was the inspiration for the Human Rights Ordinance passed by both the City of Columbia and Richland County councils in recent years.
  • In 1997, Harriet received the Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBT organization in the country.
  • In 2011, Harriet received a personal invitation from President Barak Obama to attend a reception at the White House in Washington, DC in honor of LGBT Pride Month. She was one of only 12 national leaders selected to meet the President in a private session before his public speech.

Harriet remains active with the LGBT Center which bears her name — the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center — as Vice-President and she was elected to the Board of the SC Pride Movement for 2012.

I am thrilled to have met her and to be able to, in some small way, work with her and learn from her, and from all the other folks who’ve stepped up in our fight for equality in South Carolina. With the recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Courts regarding Virginia, this fight may nearly be over.
Speaking of equality … hold your applause for that amazing segue … the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear six marriage equality cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee on August 6.

That could be the next big celebration in our march!
So, as if TV wasn’t stupid enough, now The Mama Grizzly Bore™, that failed vice-presidential candidate and rogue loudmouth for wingnuts, has launched her own channel!

Yes, for $9.99 a month, or $99 a year, you can listen to crazy rant and rave about all things wacknut like impeaching the president.

Good luck, enjoy, and I hope you don’t miss those IQ point falling by the wayside.
Speaking of impeachment … damn the segues and full steam ahead … when the GOP began sputtering, as they do, about impeaching the president, they hoped that America would say, “Hell yeah.”

Well, America did say that, only they said it to the Democrats by way of donating almost v$8 million to the party.

So, keep prattling against Obama GOP, you’re his greatest fundraiser!
We’ve been watching The Strain on FX. It’s kind of a vampire-meets-virus-meets-alien story that is creepy and icky and gross, and engrossing.

It also stars the delicious the delicious Corey Stoll. That’s him, on the right, as he appears in The Strain, wearing a rug, and that’s him on the left in his bald glory.

He’s totes adorbs either.
Note to Lindsay Lohan: when someone asks you what your tattoo says, and you have to hoist your twenty-seven year old breast to look at it, perhaps it’s time for a lift, or at least, a bra.

Plus, you have the belly and flat ass of a sixty-year-old alcoholic woman.

Just saying.
So, this week in California, Governor Jerry Brown was in Mexico on a trade mission, so Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom would be governor; but Newsom was attending a Special Olympics event on the East Coast so the job fell to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. But he was in Chicago, so, following the line of succession, the job went, for a few brief hours at least, to Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

An openly gay woman.

Yes, California, for a speck of time, was governed by an openly gay woman! Atkins was the nation's second openly gay governor, following New Jersey Governor James McGreevey’s brief stint as an "out" governor before resigning in 2004.
In the stupid file, one of our clients at work—who is a raging racist and avid anti-Obama-ite—was ranting about the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, and then twisted it into an argument about those immigrant children, telling anyone who would listen, that the kids were bringing Ebola to “Amurrica.”

Feel my pain.
And, segueing again, this is an actual church sign in Harlem where apparently God is not love and people who are gay should die.


Lovely. 

This Is Hobby Lobby

In July 2010, Felicia Allen was hired as a part-time cashier at a Hobby Lobby in Flowood, Mississippi. Soon after she began working, she discovered she was four months’ pregnant with her third child and, because she had only been employed a short time, she did not qualify for leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act—something Hobby Lobby offers for maternity leave.

Felicia Allen went to her supervisor.
“I asked her would I lose my job due to me being four months and only having five months before I have my child. She told me ‘no.’ I felt like everything was OK. I had talked to my boss, and she let me know that everything would be OK. I would still have my job.”
But five months later, when the time came to take her leave of absence to have her child, that same supervisor told her she would be terminated for taking unpaid time off to have a baby, but she could reapply afterwards if she wanted her job back; side note: she tried to come back to work three weeks after her child was born but she was denied..
“I was like, I can’t get fired. She can’t terminate me because I have to go have my child. I started asking everybody on the job, ‘Can they do this?’ And even the assistant manager who had just got hired [said,] ‘No, that’s not right.’”
And it got worse. The so-called Christian craft store then tried to prevent Felicia Allen from accessing unemployment benefits and she was not allowed to sue the company for those benefits. See, Hobby Lobby, which likes to crow about operating its business based on “Christian” values—like firing a pregnant woman then refusing to rehire her—requires  its employees to sign a binding arbitration agreement saying they cannot sue the company to resolve employment disagreements, but instead go through arbitration. Companies like Hobby Lobby claim arbitration is better for both parties because it tends to take less time and money, and usually employers are required to cover employees’ legal fees.

But Hobby Lobby has a different arbitration policy from most corporations in that it allows for “Christian-influenced” arbitration. The mutual arbitration agreement Felicia Allen signed gives employees the option of an arbitrator through the nonprofit American Arbitration Association [AAA] or the Institute for Christian Conciliation [ICC], run by a nonprofit called Peacemaker Ministries which views arbitration as “a process for reconciling people and resolving disputes out of court in a biblical manner”:
Generally, Christians are not free to sue other Christians, at least not until they have exhausted the process that Jesus sets forth in Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. God instructs Christians to resolve their disputes within the church itself, with the assistance of other Christians if necessary.
Christians can’t sue Christians, but Christians can fire a pregnant woman and then tell her she cannot be rehired.

At the end of the arbitration — during which Allen says Hobby Lobby’s corporate office gave a false version of events, claiming she could have taken off personal leave but chose not to — she won her claim for unemployment benefits, but felt she had been wrongly discriminated based on the fact that she was pregnant. And so, in February 2012 she tried to sue, but her lawsuit was dropped because of that arbitration agreement she was forced to sign.

These days Felicia Allen works at Xerox while pursuing an associate’s degree in accounting and says she is through with Hobby Lobby.
“How can you be Christian and lie about something to hinder your employee or don’t want them to come back after they’ve had their baby? Or you’re taking up for your manager knowing that they had done the wrong thing. I feel like that’s not being Christian at all. That’s why I don’t even shop there anymore. I used to shop at that store all the time.”
Naturally, Hobby Lobby has no response because, well, liars and hypocrites. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Architecture Wednesday: The Shipping Container House

This is the Shipping Container House, comprised of 31 21-foot shipping containers stacked three stories high to create a 6,000 square foot, four bedroom, four bathroom home.
Stretched over three levels it features an open plan first floor with kitchen, living and dining spaces, and three bedrooms on the second floor and the master bedroom taking the entire third level. There is a reading room--in my house we call that a bathroom, but in this house it's its own room; a rumpus room--it's been a while since I rumpused; a study, art study, home office, workshop, gym and a saltwater pool.
It's rustic, industrial, urban and chic, designed to incorporate the industrial look of the containers--graffiti and all--along with warm woods, interesting angles and soaring voids. 
I always wanted to be a hobo and sleep in a boxcar, but now as a homo, maybe I just need a boxcar house?

Who Do I Hafta F**k To Get This Job? Oh ... The American People

I have been thinking about looking for a new job — a difficult feat in our tiny town — that might be more conducive to my Lazy Man Aesthetic. I don’t mind working, but like most folks, I like my time off a bit more. But where to look … what to do … good pay … light work load … Congress!

I’ll run for Congress; even though the idea of a gay ex-Californian agnostic being elected to Congress from South Carolina is a stretch, I’m liking the $174,000 paycheck, the pension for life, the free health care, the travel perks and the vacation time.

See, from yesterday, July 29th, through November 12th, our overpaid, barely working US House of representative will work about 14 days; they will take the entire month of August off, work just eleven days in September, and just two days in October, and then not again until after November 12th after the elections! How can I get that schedule?

But then, while working that schedule, I’d also have to complain about the President not doing his job; I’d come up with that catchphrase, “Fundraiser in Chief” and talk about how many rounds of golf he’s played while the world crumbles around him. But, I’d be doing so while on vacation myself, working just 14 days out of the next 106 days.

And we owe this brilliant master schedule to soon-to-be-kicked-to-the-curb lapdog of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, who set this schedule after bragging about working even less days last year! Cantor even wrote on his little blog thingy that these few working days have “created certainty, increased efficiency and productivity in the committee process.”

Really? Cuz I still see nothing getting done. There will be no new jobs bill, no infrastructure bill, no minimum wage increase, no action on climate change, no immigration reform—even while they use that as a political wedge issue, and no equal pay for women. What they will do, every chance they get, is talk about impeaching the President and suing him because he’s trying to get things done without their help because they’re on vacation!

Seriously, people, is this what want … deserve … need … from our politicians? Is this what we expect? While a great many of us work full-time, some working two and three jobs, just to make ends meet, our elected officials who work for us are taking nearly four months off.

And it’s only getting worse. Last year the House worked 135 days — that’s 27 out of the 52 weeks each year; but they worked thirty five days off between July and November. Now they’re down to 14 days; what’s next? Not working at all? They’re on the fast-track toward that schedule because this year they have worked just 133 days; twenty-two weeks out of the year.

And for that they earn an average of $174,000 a year. Let’s do a little math, shall we? Take that $174,000 and divide it by the 133 days they’ve worked and you get $1,539.82 a day. How many of us wouldn’t sell our mothers for the chance to make $1,500 a day while getting four months a year vacation time?

And then they rail about President Obama taking 61 vacation days during his second term — two years and seven months — while the GOP House takes off 165 days in just four months.

Who do I have to f**k to get that job?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wisconsin AG Van Hollen Outdoes Arizona In Marriage Argument

 Was it just this morning that I read about Arizona’s ludicrous argument against same-sex marriage saying it shouldn’t be legalized because it’s never been legalized?

Yeah, and I thought that was lame, until I stumbled upon Wisconsin’s attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, who says that while the U.S. Constitution doesn’t require states to grant rights — such as the right of same-sex couples to marry — it does bar states from depriving citizens of fundamental rights —such as the right of same-sex couples to marry. So, Wisconsin is not required to allow Carlos and me the right to marry, but Wisconsin cannot deprive me of that right. Huh?

Van Hollen, arguing in a brief filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is appealing a federal judge’s decision that declared Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional saying the decision amounted to the creation of a new right of gay marriage, and that allows the feds more control in an area traditionally controlled by states.

Here’s the deal: it’s not a new right of same-sex marriage, because same-sex marriage is no different than opposite-sex marriage; it’s simply allowing same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples. Same-sex marriage will be no different than opposite-sex marriage … except it might be more fabulous.

But then Van Hollen put on his Fonzie leather jacket, went to Hollywood with the Cunninghams, and jumped the shark by comparing marriage equality to abortion:
“Although the constitutional right of privacy protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion and precludes government from prohibiting or punishing her exercise of that right, there is no corresponding obligation on government to affirmatively endorse or support her exercise of the abortion right.”
My right to marry has absolutely nothing to do with a woman’s right to choose; an abortion is not a marriage, but I guess if you’re a Republican attorney general then it’s best to throw abortion into the mix to rile up the base.

Adding another argument to his case — because so far his reasons are lame and ridiculous — Van Hollen said that sexual orientation has not been declared a “suspect class” subject to heightened protection like gender or race so it doesn’t deserve the same kind of deference in equal protection claims.

But sexual orientation is just like gender and race in that it isn’t a choice; it just is, and should be treated the same.

And finally, because all the lame arguments were used up, Van Hollen went all Arizona on us and said that Wisconsin has historically defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and voters supported that in a 2006 amendment to the state constitution and so it should just stay the way it is.

So, he’s willing to let the people decide on the rights of others? That might be his undoing because the tide is changing and one day, unless, and when, Wisconsin’s marriage ban is overturned by the courts and the ruling stands, the good people of Wisconsin will realize that same-sex marriage hurts no one, but banning it hurts a great many people.

And for no good reason. 

Arizona's Ludicrous Argument Against Marriage Equality: "Because"

I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage equality these days … go figure … what with Carlos and I planning to tie the knot — and not around our necks — sooner rather than later, and with each week seeing yet another state diving into the equality pool … Hello Virginia … and with the idea of attending a meeting tomorrow night Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, a lesbian couple who’ve filed a federal lawsuit challenging the South Carolina Defense of Marriage Law, and their attorneys to see how we, as a community, can get South Carolina moving forward.

It’s almost all I can think about, and, while I don’t agree with the arguments against marriage equality, I do listen to people who have a rational point of view about it; and I consider someone’s faith a rational POV. But, and this is a huge butt, a Kardastrophe-sized butt, if you will, my argument is plain and simple: you cannot use your religious faith to enact laws when we have, or at least should have, a very clear separation between religion and government. I can understand your faith saying marriage is one man and one woman and you can believe that all you want, but don’t push that belief on me, m’kay?

And then I read the argument in Arizona for fighting against same-sex marriage and, well, it’s just ludicrous.  The state's lawyers argue Arizona was never seeking to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, but that the state has always defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman and so that’s the way it should stay.

Well, if that’s the case, Arizona, why change laws allowing women the right to vote? Why change laws allowing interracial couples the right to marry? I mean, if you don’t change the laws because the laws have always been a certain way, then why change any law ever?

:::crickets:::

Caleb Dalton, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom — because freedom would be lost if The Gays can get married — says:
"If you look through the common law and the history of Arizona back to territorial days, marriage was a contract between a man and a woman. That's been the understood definition of marriage. The recent laws that the plaintiffs have challenged didn't change anything. They merely reaffirmed that definition."
Hmmm, so the law was always a man and a woman — remember though, a white man and white woman, or black man and black woman, but never ever mixed — then why the need to reaffirm the law? I mean, if the speed limit is 55 on the highway, do you pass a law to reaffirm that the speed limit is 55?

:::crickets:::

Those Alliance attorneys have set out their arguments like this:

• Arizona regulates marriage for the primary purpose of protecting relationships that would produce children and let those children grow up with a biological mother and father.

I say, if marriage is for the sole purpose of creating children then why are infertile couples allowed to marry? And why are couples who choose not to have children allowed to marry? And why doesn’t Arizona remove children from single-parent homes if the idea is to have children raised by a mom and dad?

:::crickets:::

• They argue that redefining marriage would cast doubt on the value of a mother and a father raising children, which undermines the state's interest in promoting stable homes.

If the state had such an interest in promoting stable homes then every single child in an abusive home would be removed at once and placed into a safe home. It doesn’t take a mother and a father to raise children, it takes a person, gay or straight, male or female, or a couple , gay or straight, who want to raise a child to ensure that child is raised and nurtured and loved.

• Changing marriage laws would weaken the institution rather than strengthen it.

There is no argument for this and just because you say it doesn’t make it true. My marriage — when it happens — will have no relationship to, or influence on, any other marriage.

So, let me make this queer for you Arizona; marriage has changed from the moment it began. It used to be the woman was property of man, so, um, is that how Arizona wants to play it? Or does Arizona want to play it that a man can have as many wives as he wants because marriage used to be like that, too? Maybe we should have arranged marriages, between families, to strengthen power and financial clout? Maybe we should go back to not allowing people to marry outside their faith? Their race?

See, it’s changed, a lot, since it began, because times have changed and opinions have changed, and people realize that love is love and what the hell difference does it make if Bob marries Carlos?

It doesn’t change marriage, it only makes marriage more meaningful to more people. It doesn’t hurt anyone else’s marriage because if it did, we’d have heard about that by now. It doesn’t cause locusts to swarm or hurricanes to smite cities or earthquakes to rumble.

It’s a simple case of ‘I do’ and just because you argue that your law has been one man and one woman since the olden days doesn’t mean the law shouldn’t change.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Marriage Equality Inches South ....

Earlier today a federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will settle the issue as early as next year.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry that is paramount to state marriage laws:
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."—Judge Henry Floyd
The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina [emphasis mine]. The panel's decision will not take effect for at least 21 days while circuit clerks defending the state's ban decide whether to appeal to the full appellate court or the Supreme Court.

It’s getting closer, y’all!

UPDATE:
The latest news is that the Attorney General of North Carolina has now said he will no longer defend that state's marriage ban in light of the Virginia ruling!

UPDATE # 2
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson  says South Carolina’s gay marriage ban remains intact and he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision about gay marriage.

South Carolina ... and Alan Wilson ... you disappoint me.

WTF? A Keira Knightley Two-Fer

Lotsa folks think Keira Knightley is one of the most beautiful women in the world, and while I might not agree 100%, she does have a certain something ....

That I call horrendous taste in fashion.

Look #1: Is her slip falling down? Do women still wear slips? Is this some kind of 21st century hoop-skirt-looking monstrosity? Or is it just an Epic Fail?

Look #2: Did a flock of seagulls take many a dump on this dress? And what's with the posture? That stoop-shouldered stance doesn't make this mess look any better and only reminds me that, in this look, Keira is a pirate's dream: sunken chest.

Just sayin'.

ISBL Asshat of the Week: Congressman Curt Clawson

We all know this has been a Do-Nothing Congress for the last, well, since Obama took office, but is it too much of a stretch to say that, while some members ‘do nothing’ other members ‘know nothing’?

Case in point, our nominee for this week’s ISBL Asshat of the Week. Florida Republican Congressman Curt Clawson; for the record, Clawson is the man who replaced Congressman Trey Radel who was arrested in a drug bust a few years back.

During a recent hearing at the Capital, Congressman Clawson was speaking to two U.S. government officials, Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, as though they were visitors from another country when, in fact, they hold senior positions at the U.S. State Department and Commerce Department:
“I am familiar with your country; I love your country, and I understand the complications of so many languages, and so many cultures, and so many histories, all rolled up in one. … Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I’d like our capital to be welcome there. And there to be freedom of capital, and I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?”
Remember, he is speaking to two Americans, but, apparently, because their names sound foreign and because they have brown skin, well, they must be foreigners. In fact, Arun Kumar, is alleged to have laughed openly at Clawson’s remarks — perhaps the “I am familiar with your country” remark — while  Nisha Biswal responded like this:
“I think your question is to the Indian government. We certainly share your sentiments. And we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the US.”
Stunned deeper into stupidity, Clawson muttered, “Of course. OK. Let’s see some progress.”
And then, following Clawson’s opening statement, Congressman Eliot Engel, the full panel’s ranking Democrat, noted that Biswal and Kumar work for the United States:
“Thank you both for your service to our country, it’s very much appreciated.”
Clawson, of course, as Republicans are apt to do when it comes out that they have no idea what they are saying, or even to whom they are speaking, later apologized:
“I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball.”
Something to learn, say, before running for public office, might be knowing the men to whom you are speaking, and know the topic at hand before sitting down.

But, failing that, I guess, with a Do-Nothing Congress, and men like Clawson in office, maybe it’s a good thing they get nothing done, because just think of all the damage they could cause if they knew what was going on.

Curt Clawson, the ISBL Asshat of the Week.