FOF #801 – Gay Republican

Jul 16, 2008 · 1985 views

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It’s not easy being pink, especially when you’re a gay Republican, or part of the Pink Elephant party, as I like to call it. You’re an outsider both in gay circles and in the Republican […]


  1. Marcus says:

    Hi Juantana! Thanks for you comments. I, too, have been all over Europe, including Sweden. I try not to be presumptuous but girl can exaggerate! The fact of the matter is that Sweden pays one of the highest income taxes in the world (as high as 56%) . They don’t have a shitty lifestyle but when you are taxed that much the rest is pretty obvious.

    A point that I did not make on the show is that there is a HUGE difference between emergency healthcare for everyone and socialized medicine. If you think the quality of healthcare is a problem now, you would die if we turned to socialized medicine. The quality of healthcare plummets and you will be waiting in lines and lines of people just to get looked at. Like you said, no system is perfect but our healthcare system is miles ahead of other countries where people literally die before they get treated. That is what socialized medicine does for you!

  2. Sweden is problematic for many reasons. Why not make a comparison to a country like Japan?

  3. Marcus says:

    Hi Trickytoro!

    Actually, the tables are turning on that stat that everyone seems to quote regarding the inequitable pay for women. This is simply not true in many cases today, in fact it is the opposite. More women than men are in college today, more women are getting hired over men in multifarious positions across the board.

    As I said in my earlier comment, why should my hard earned dollar be distributed to programs and people who I feel should not be supported. Of course, the money that people who work their asses of for should keep it. I just don’t understand your line of thinking.

    As to your comment about limiting access to wealth…The wonderful thing about this country is that ANYONE who has a good idea, who is willing to work hard and practices some sense of ingenuity can realize their goals. Yes, we do have a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but we are an incredibly generous country and l think A LOT of people forget about that.

    Finally, not sure how you want me to defend my comment about the Civil Rights Act, it is fact and one that doesn’t need to be defended. Both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, over 80% of Republicans voted for. This far exceeds the Democrat record. This is why I get really irritated when people automatically think that Dems are for gay and civil rights. There are so many haters in the democratic party and history proves that!

  4. Juantana says:

    >>>The quality of healthcare plummets and you will be waiting in lines and lines of people just to get looked at. Like you said, no system is perfect but our healthcare system is miles ahead of other countries where people literally die before they get treated.

    Well, looks like another ‘agree to disagree’ because its simply not true. If you actually talk to the folks that are in these countries (guys and gals? anyone? Bueller? 😉 you will see that their healthcare is miles ahead of ours. Folks totally die *here* waiting for healthcare even with insurance (my partner back in the 90’s died from melanoma at 30 but not before racking up 2 mortgages worth of failed treatments & they made up some story about it being pre-existing and dropped his ins), and we pay so much more when folks dont go due to cost and then something serious happens – and some go to India for surgery at a tenth of the price here – hell most of their docs train here anyway so whats the diff? NPR is actually doing a really great series on European healthcare systems and so far everyone I heard is happy with it and happy paying a bit more to get it. Personally I think we could have some form of universal healthcare at our current tax rates, that is they would roll back the tax cuts for the rich Bush put into place. My French teacher’s American husband fell off a horse in Normandy and broke his arm, everything was taken care of for free, even unrelated tourists can get healthcare when on holiday sometimes. He reached for his wallet and everyone just laughed at him. Wouldn’t you think that the first thing that any modern leading country would do would be to take care of all its citizens? Its just tough to argue this one and I’ve always thought leaving healthcare up to Capitalistic insurance companies to control was nuts.

  5. It would be historically inaccurate for either party to claim responsibility for the act. Events were already set in motion and I would argue congress was simply responding to the tides of the nation in which brutal images of oppressed peoples were being splashed across TV screens and the mighty organizing power of blacks themselves.

    George H.W. Bush opposed the Civil Rights Act in his 1964 run for the U.S. Senate.

    Ronald Reagan, in his 1966 campaign to become governor of California, endorsed repeal of California’s Fair Housing Act, saying, “If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, it is his right to do so.”

    President G. W. Bush has described his relationship with the NAACP as “basically nonexistent.”

    And, the NAACP’s has consistently given the Republican Congress failing grades on its Federal Legislative Report Card.

    The idea that anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps is pure fantasy and ignores the fact that just by virtue of being white, or being a person of color, or being poor you are going to have different access to the system. Its well documented that poor people and people of color get the shit end of the stick and if you’re a woman of color or a poor woman of color forget it. You’re going to serve longer prison sentences for the same offenses as your white counterparts. You’re going to have less access as a whole.

    Male CEO’s outnumber their female counterparts more than 2:1

    Out of all the fortune 500 companies only a dozen are headed by women. The reasons are complex and they start at the bottom with access and carry on into hiring/working practices. The idea that we’ve suddenly corrected office place equality in 30 years is absurd.

  6. Marcus says:

    I could pull out dozens of Republicans who have fought for civil rights. Both parties should be shameful; however, the record speaks for itself. Republicans win HANDS DOWN!

    Since the first civil rights act of 1866, passed by Republicans in Congress, Republicans have been pro civil rights.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were signed into law under a Democratic President. However, it was the Republicans in Congress who made possible the passage of these Acts, for even though the Democrats controlled both Houses by wide margins, they still could not garner enough of their own votes to pass the bills. In fact, in the House, only 61% of the Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act (152 for, 96 against) while 80% of Republicans voted for it (138 for, 38 against). In the Senate, only 69% of Democrats voted for the Act (46 for, 21 against) while 82% of Republicans did (27 for, 6 against). The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would not have been possible without the strong, cohesive support of the Republicans. In fact, all Southern Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act, including Sen. Al Gore, Sr., who voted with the Southern Democrats against civil rights whenever the occasion arose.

    Around 1890, Democrats instituted what became known as “white primaries” to keep blacks from being placed on the ballot. Democrats also developed poll taxes to keep blacks from voting. It was not until 1966 that the poll tax was ended, and it had only been in 1944 that the “white primaries” had finally ceased. Significantly, it was not Democrats, but the Republicans, who had long championed the repeal of the poll tax. The Republican platform declared: “We demand that every citizen of the United States shall be allowed to cast one free and unrestricted ballot, and that such ballot shall be counted and returned as cast.”

    Three African-Americans have presided over Republican National Conventions, while only one, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke in 1972, has made it as high as Vice-Chair – not even Co-Chair – of a Democratic National Convention.

    In 1966, Republican Edward William Brooke III of Massachusetts became the first black to be elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote.

    In 2001, there were 39 black Members of Congress: one Republican and thirty-eight Democrats. The black Republican (one of 271 combined Republicans in the House and the Senate) was elected by his Republican peers to a position of Republican leadership in this Congress; but of the thirty-eight black Democrats (from among the 262 combined Democrats in the House and the Senate), none was elected by his Democratic peers to any leadership position.

    Black media personality R.D. Davis of Alabama correctly observes, “History tends to unilaterally and falsely depict Republicans as racists when Democrats truly deserved this title.”

  7. Marcus says:

    PURE FANTASY!! Are you kidding me? This country’s foundation is on the shoulders of people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Do know how many people are success stories despite their background?

    It is unfair to argue by selective observation. The CEO example does not wash and it does not apply to the majority of the people. Most people will never be a CEO and the 2:1 ratio sounds generous. I expect that it would be even worse, as that is the ceiling.

    I could give an example to start to dispel your argument that you are screwed if you are black and a woman, but it would be arguing by selective observation. OPRAH WINFREY, can you think of a worse background by a black woman who has been a huge success despite her adversity? Drugs, poverty, sexual and physical abuse, no parental guidance. This list goes on and on. However, there are countless faces who have made it despite their circumstances so don’t tell me that it is a fantasy that you can’t pull yourself up!!!

    You can recognize this fact but also understand that their is HUGE inequity and that there are people of advantage. This will always be the case. From a Darwinian perspective, there will always be winners and losers. The sooner we accept that and work to do the right thing despite this fact, the better off we all will be!

  8. Uncle Thomasina, er excuse me, Condi Rice is black too but that doesn’t make her a friend of blacks.

    The CEO example points to something deeper and more endemic.

    I guess I was wrong. Since Oprah made it and became a billionaire then anyone should be able to. And if they dont its their own damn fault. They weren’t strong enough to survive and after all only the strong should and do survive. The poor and disadvantage are that way because they are lazy. You totally convinced me. I am going to register Republican now.

    Fuck the poor! Creme de la mer for everyone!

  9. Interesting show…but I would have liked to get to know more about Marcus` political views.

    I agree with him, the Iraq war is not the main reason the for the high gas prices. You have to look at it from a global perspective. The high and fast growing demand in China, India and the middle east is the main driver. The Iraq war may also be one factor because of the instability it caused in the region. I assume the oil price will remain on a high level and is more likely to increase.
    It is a problem for the global economy but I think it will hit the U.S. economy pretty hard because:
    1. The weak dollar, due to the financial crises and high oil price
    2. A misallocation of resources since the 1950`s: U.S cities are not as concentrated as European or Asian cities. Living, working and shopping are not close together. Often huge housing areas which are far to the next supermarket and city center and due to bad public transport you have to use the car.
    3. Most American airlines`fleet are quite old in average. High gas prices hit them harder because their old airplanes are not fuel efficient and high investments are necessary to replace old airplanes with new ones. But most of them have high dept and cannot afford to replace them as fast as they should. So it may be a matter of time till major American airlines go bankrupt.
    4. Mismanagement of all major American car companies: concentrating mainly on big, not fuel efficient trucks, cars.

    Marcus said on the show, universal health care is affordable or only with high taxes like 80 %.
    WRONG ! European countries can afford it, so can the USA !

    First I have to say socialism to certain degree is good and necessary. I would never vote for the left wing party (SPD-social party of Germany) here in Germany, because their understanding of socialism goes to far. But the right wing party (CDU- Christian democratic union) support socialism to a certain degree, including universal health care.

    It is affordable ! As a student I pay only 50 Euro plus 20 Euro for an extra teeth assurance. I have to pay only 50 Euro because students are support through the tax system. If you work in Germany it depends on your income. The maximum would be about 480 Euro every month. If you earn more then 48.150 Euro a year, you can change to a private assurance company or you can stay in the government owned assurance.
    But the system will change due to higher costs. Everyone has to pay for the government assurance, if you want extra service you can get an additional private assurance.
    In the USA it should be not a problem at all to finance universal health care because they have fewer old people, the demographic situation regarding age is much better than in Europe. Hence the cost of universal health care would be probably lower in the USA.

    Marcus: “f you think the quality of healthcare is a problem now, you would die if we turned to socialized medicine. The quality of healthcare plummets and you will be waiting in lines and lines of people just to get looked at. Like you said, no system is perfect but our healthcare system is miles ahead of other countries where people literally die before they get treated. That is what socialized medicine does for you”

    Are you kidding ? If I want to see a doctor I can get an appointment usually at the same or the next day in Germany. First you have to go the general doctor, if further test are necessary he will send you to specialist. At a specialist you get an appointment within week. BUT if you have pain, high fever or something urgent you can an appointment at the same day. For surgeries there also not long waiting times.

    So universal heath care can be affordable and can provide a health care system with good high standards. It is not only black and white, and socialism to a certain degree can be good !
    Everyone could have a car accident one day or might get seriously ill.
    Maybe you are not able to work anymore, you are kicked out of the private assurance and end up being poor. Would you still think universal health care is bad ?

    Marcus: “Are you kidding me? This country’s foundation is on the shoulders of people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Do know how many people are success stories despite their background?”

    I am sure there are more people who haven`t made it because of their background, even they have worked very very hard, than people who pulled up themselves and who made it.
    It is easy to say socialism is not good in general and it just make people lazy. But it is possible to establish a good welfare system where people are still motivated to work, feel responsible for themselves and so on.

    Marcus: “From a Darwinian perspective, there will always be winners and losers. The sooner we accept that and work to do the right thing despite this fact, the better off we all will be!”

    I don’t know what to say…We are humans not animals ! You should always keep in mind, today you might be a “winner” because you are healthy, you can have a comfortable life and can afford what you want to buy. But as I said you before you could get ill or lose everything. Then your 400 pairs of shoes and tons of clothes wouldn’t help you ! But a universal health care system and other support by the government would.

  10. I was thinking as I listened to the second half of the show. What proof is there that this guy is Republican – other than his word. Any receipts for contributions made to the Republican Party?

    I got the distinct Jerry Springer feel that maybe he just wanted to be on the show in a benign “controversial” way. The wig thing made me think attention seeker.

  11. If it’s not evident by his comments, I don’t know what to tell you.

  12. Wow…I just came back to this comment thread after a few days away. Work it OUT, Feast of Fools.

    And Marcus — you’ve got my love. 🙂 I respect that you’re on here standing up for yourself. We’d disagree on a lot, but it’s nothing personal. You keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

  13. jimberly says:

    Up by the bootstraps – like all the corporate giveaways, write-offs, tax incentives, freebies? Like big pharma writing the Medicare Part D bill and making themselves a nice chunk of change? Like big oil writing the energy bill? Yep – great examples of people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps. The American Dream.

  14. jimberly says:

    As for the American Dream fantasy that all people need to do is work hard and they will get ahead. Tell that to the millions of folks who are working two and three jobs – and getting behind, losing their homes, losing their savings…. Their hard work and determination is not enough.

    A state that is humane provides assistance to those who need it, helps everyone get and stay employed, does not allow people to have no health care, no food… A just state recognizes that when one suffers, we all do…

    Republican policies are absolutely antithetical to the idea of government providing support and help – their goal is to essentially drown social welfare type policies and programs in the bathtub… See Hurricane Katrina for a wonderful example of Republican policy and program in action. See New Orleans 3 years later for an update.

  15. Marcus says:

    You can argue all you want about the American Dream being a fantasy, but the definition of a fantasy is a supposition based on no solid evidence. The fact that a lot of people have not realized their dreams should not diminish the countless people who’s dreams have been realized because of the possibilities that only this country can provide. With all the problems this country has it still is one of the best places in the world to be a woman, ethnic, or a person who has alternative views on religion, politics or power.

    It is simply not fair to assign Republicans to a party who does not provide support or help. This is so far from the truth. I invite you to do your research. For example, look at what Bush as done for AIDS in Africa with the help of Bono. Truly unprecedented. This country helps nations all around the world, so don’t tell me Republicans are antithetical to the idea of helping and support. That is outrageous!

  16. Marcus says:

    On a lighter note. Some of you were inquiring about the products I mentioned on the show. If you go to my myspace page, I have started a blog that provides information about the products I use. I’ve started with YSL, Touche Eclat. For those who do not want to spend the money, I have provided the cheaper alternative that is comparable.

  17. Oh by the way Purple Puddle Nut (wrote: “Absinthe is ILLEGAL in the United States.”)

    Absinthe IS now legal in the U.S. since 2007.

    “That thujone itself was present only in the smallest amounts and that it’s the combination of Wormwood along with other herbs such as hyssop and calamus which create the drink’s notable characteristic of mystically lucid clarity. After much legal wrangling demonstrating this data to the FDA, the government overturned the ban with set stipulations that the thujone would remain at a low 10 parts per million.”

  18. Marcus is a find, that’s for sure. I really do appreciate him coming here, and this show sparking a great discussion on what it means to be an Amercian, our economy and hopes for Universal Health Care.

  19. Marcus says:

    And don’t forget guyliner Faustos! If we can’t agree on politics we can at least all agree to look prettier! Muah!!! I love you guys! Thanks for all your comments!

  20. Fausto are you asleep at the wheel or is Marcus a plant/hoax? You are really gonna tell that Bush has done anything to alleviate the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Really? Faith based inititatives. Abstinence only programs that totally ignore the patriarchal nature of sexual power dynamics. All sarcasm aside, what Bush has done for AIDS in Africa should offend you to your very core.

  21. Marcus says:


    I cannot believe how wrong you are on so many levels. Where are you pulling these claims from? I have a guess…..

    Please research the facts before you open you mouth.

    Ever since President Bush launched his Millennium Challenge Account for African development (March 2002) and his $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (January 2003), I’ve been arguing – to the consternation and apparent dismay of almost all who bothered to listen – that Bush has done more (and offers the best solutions) to help Africans than any other world leader in modern history. Yet, one would be hard-pressed to find any politician in America (who is not a Republican), Europe or Africa who has publicly acknowledged this revolutionary and salutary fact.

    Well, since rock stars and actors have become the more credible statesmen of our time, perhaps their endorsement of my argument will inspire Bush’s die-hard critics to suspend their pathological hatred of him and show due regard for his leadership on aid to Africa.

    Rock star and acclaimed humanitarian Sir Bob Geldof: President Bush is a bloody hero to Africa – no matter what ungrateful Africans, jealous Europeans or stupid Americans say!

    In this respect, Live 8 organizer Sir Bob Geldof – perhaps the most recognized, informed and passionate campaigner for African relief and sustainable development – has been most adamant and complimentary of Bush’s efforts.

    And, in an interview published in the 27 June 2005 issue of TIME magazine, Geldof echoes my frustrating attempts to disabuse critics of their ignorance and political biases concerning Bush’s support for Africa with the following remarks:

    America doesn’t have a lack of empathy; they just don’t know the issues as well. Actually, today I had to defend the Bush Administration in France again. They refuse to accept, because of their political ideology, that he has actually done more than any American President for Africa. But it’s empirically so.

    But this is not Geldof’s first public declaration of support for or defense of Bush’s policies on Africa. In fact, more than two years ago he joined a small chorus of AIDS activists who were beginning to comment on the stark differences in the amount of funds allocated by liberal President Clinton and Bush to fight AIDS. The lead vocalist in this regard was Melvin Foote, executive director of the nonpartisan constituency for Africa, who observed that “[Bush’s] $15 billion commitment is unparalleled….Clinton offered $300 million, parking-meter money, even though he knew it was a tremendous challenge.” And, in this context, Geldof harmonized his views as follows:

    Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn’t talk but does deliver….You’ll think I’m off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical, in a positive sense, in the approach to Africa since Kennedy.

    The President and the rock star Bono – The odd couple amongst famous missionaries for the African cause

    Rock star Bono, perhaps the most visible member of this chorus, has been diplomatic though no less adamant in his acknowledgement of Bush’s leadership:

    I believe the president is sincere in his convictions to put America up front in a way that hasn’t been done before on these issues….If the Millennium Challenge Account and the AIDS initiative go through, we have to be prepared to really stand up and applaud this president’s leadership because it is potentially life changing and life saving for millions of people.

    But not to be drowned out by rock stars, actor and AIDS activist Richard Gere became an apostate within the ranks of Clinton’s Hollywood worshippers in 2003 when he stunned the audience at an AIDS benefit – at which Senator Hillary Clinton was guest of honor – by delivering this daring and now notorious line:

    Senator Clinton, I’m sorry, your husband did nothing for AIDS for eight years.

    Impolite, but relatively true!

    Now, I can’t imagine anyone will ever accuse Geldof, Bono or Gere of being right-wing nuts or converts to Bush’s Forest Gump crusade to transform the world according to his notions of democracy. Therefore, where my assertions on this point have been summarily dismissed, perhaps their praise of Bush will help his detractors appreciate the importance of being earnest when it comes to recognizing those who are truly helping the poor.

    After all, oppressed and starving Africans couldn’t care any less how anyone feels about Bush’s war in Iraq or his apparent lack of concern about global warming. Moreover, the only thing that should matter to anyone concerned about their plight is that Bush is providing the most aid whilst insisting that African rulers treat their people humanely and stop hording national resources for their personal use.

    Finally, it is understandable that the imperious French would be averse to the utterance of anything positive about Bush’s leadership – especially on matters involving the African continent where they retain delusions of colonial noblesse oblige. But it is incomprehensible that so many African leaders and their political enablers in America (from carping liberal politicians to conscientious academics like Jeffery Sachs) seem as impervious as the French are to Bush’s unprecedented generosity (and compassion).

    But perhaps Geldof’s endorsement will help them see that their visceral political prejudices are blinding them to (and making them resentful of) the moral and political authority Bush has earned when it comes to global strategies to cure Africa’s ills and make poverty history. And, this recognition is especially critical when one considers the improbability of European leaders following through on their grand G8 Plan for Africa (a $55 billion package) when they can’t even agree on a budget to fund the operations of the EU.

    Therefore, even though liberals clearly begrudge the fact that Bush is not only Africa’s most generous patron but also its most reliable supporter, it behooves them to put up or shut up and just give the man his due!

  22. Marcus says:

    That last article was from Anthony L Hall.

    Also take a look at the Drop the Debt Campaign which Bush and Bono worked to get passed. Regardless, what political affiliations you have, facts are facts. I just can’t believe how you can completely ignore reality because of your disdain for my party. Unbelievable. Why is it that I am able to recognize all the good things that Democrats have done, acknowledge the wrongdoings of my party and work to try to do the right thing together, but so many Liberals cast stones, blame and bitch and totally ignore the facts. For what gain?

    Face it, both parties have made egregious mistakes but the only way we can improve our country and the world is to work together!

  23. Marcus says:

    I want to be clear that I criticize President Bush for ALOT of things he has done while in office but it makes me want to gnash my teeth to powder when I hear misinformed people say that he has done nothing for AIDS in Africa. Uggggg. You should be ashamed of yourself with that comment.

    As I said on the show, he has spent money like a Democrat since he has been in office, including TRIPLING the aid to Africa not only for AIDS but another HUGE problem Malaria.

    Know the facts!

  24. PEPFAR II (2009 to 2013) is doing something very different in Africa than it is on the hill in DC. Bush has insisted that funding be kept at its current size—in fact, flat-funded every year for the next five years. In his 2008 Budget Request he made a request of $5.77 billion for global HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programs, $4.97 billion coming from the foreign operations account and $792 million from Labor, Health and Human Services. This is a net increase of $977 million over levels approved for fiscal 2007 in the continuing resolution. However, all $300 million requested by the President for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is in the Labor-H budget, meaning that this funding will have to compete with all money for domestic AIDS and other domestic poverty-related programs, de-emphasizing the importance of the global pandemic and the Global Fund itself. As it stands the Senate Budget Committee cut $2.2 billion from the President’s requested increase.

    A number of members of Congress, including Senator Biden and a number of members of the House, are on record supporting a much higher figure, $50 billion, and the reason being is that we need to include many more things in this program in order to be effective. We need to support healthcare system strengthening. We need to do more on TB and malaria. We need to do more to help orphans and vulnerable children. And with enough support, African countries can use those resources effectively.

    What of the earmarks that requires a certain amount of money be spent on abstinence-only programming? These kinds of earmarks leave women and girls unable to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and leaves everyone with a lack of knowledge that could save their lives and the lives of others.

    Family planning does little for women with 5+ children who dont have control over their own bodies. When a woman goes to an HIV/AIDS clinic for her HIV/AIDS treatment or for treatment to prevent the transmission of the virus to her newborn when in labor, The Bush administration has said under no circumstances should she get those kinds of services. She should go elsewhere, some other clinic, some other place.

    Lastly I urge everyone to watch a film by Population Action International which can be viewed on the Global AIDS Alliance website.

    Title: Abstaining from Reality

    Synopsis: US Restrictions on HIV Prevention, which tells the story of a young Kenyan woman, Juliet Awuor, who contracted HIV/AIDS and became pregnant because she and her boyfriend did not know the proper way to use condoms. Juliet’s baby subsequently contracted HIV and died. Filmed in Kenya and Uganda, Abstaining from Reality demonstrates the grave consequences of the US government’s abstinence-only approach to HIV prevention. In particular, the film explores how the ideologically driven programs of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief fail to address the realities of women’s lives—realities that put them at disproportionate risk of HIV/AIDS. The film urges a balanced, comprehensive approach to HIV infection that provides full, accurate information and offers a range of services that empower individuals to make informed decisions.

  25. November 2006. A report released by the Center for Public Integrity examines PEPFAR. The report, titled “Divine Intervention,” is the result of a year-long investigation and is the first of its kind to examine the policies, politics and goals of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief known as PEPFAR. The center worked with reporters in eight countries In a joint investigation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. They found that PEPFAR’s faith-based ideology–including promotion of abstinence–often trumps science. The report states, “PEPFAR is failing to stop the global spread of AIDS and failing to help lead the world to stop this deadly disease. Instead of empowering people we are restricting them. We have a flawed framework with flawed policies.”

    Key Findings:

    In 2003, President George W. Bush asked Congress to appropriate $15 billion for an international AIDS initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — a plan that, while seeking to treat those infected with HIV/AIDS and prevent the spread of the disease, is hindered by conservative ideologies.

    In a joint investigation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Center for Public Integrity found that PEPFAR actually restricts the use of funds because of its ties to faith-based organizations that promote abstinence-only programs and overlook the importance of other courses of action such as condom use.

    Read the full report here:

  26. Marcus says:

    You can spout off all the liberal demagoguery you wish. The facts remain that we have provided more funding than any past president. Funny how you completely ignored the fact that Clinton did ZERO, NADA to help in comparison to Bush. Your claims about PEPFAR’s ideology confounds the actual benefits that have come from our investment in Africa.

    The fact that you still ignore what we have given makes me ill and it is clear that you are sooooo left that you are ignorant to reality. You can always point to how our contributions have been hindered but the fact still remains that we have done more for the cause than any other country and any other president. It is the oldest debate trick in the book to single out specific examples of how someone got turned away or how the system has failed someone to try and discredit the overall benefit. Again, unbelievable! You need to think more big picture my friend. Sorry but you are DEAD wrong on this one!

  27. You’re absolutely delusional.

  28. I am going to have to rely on research since I’m not an expert on Clinton era AIDS policy.

    from the Nation June 21, 2006:

    Bush’s AIDS plan is a particularly thorny gift. Widely touted as having quadrupled US AIDS funding from Clinton Administration levels, it nonetheless circumvents the multilateral Global Fund, an imperfect but more transparent and accountable body. Moreover, according to a recent GAO audit PEPFAR’s emphasis on abstinence hampers the ability of grantees to “respond to local prevention needs,” and nine countries have decreased funding for mother-to-child transmission programs to meet abstinence promotion requirements. So onerous are these and other US dictates against prostitution and abortion that many African activists at UNGASS+5 expressed envy at the ability of Brazil–a relatively wealthy nation–to decline US AIDS funding altogether.

    At the moment, such independence is impossible for AIDS groups from poor nations who depend on the vital treatment dollars attached to PEPFAR. “A work of mercy” is how Bush introduced his AIDS plan in 2003. But the UNGASS review made clear that what people with AIDS need now–besides more money, more doctors, more nurses and more drugs–is not mercy but power. It was, after all, the militancy of groups like ACT UP and South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign, which exposed the injustice of government neglect of people with AIDS, that placed treatment on the agenda to begin with–not UNGASS or the noblesse oblige of the powerful who signed the declaration that emerged from it.

  29. In regards to TT’s comment: “Fausto are you asleep at the wheel or is Marcus a plant/hoax?”

    Marcus are his and not mine, but I appreciate him sharing them as I appreciate yours as well.

    Please dont attack me for having someone you disagree with on our program. Just because you don’t agree with the guest doesn’t mean it’s a bad descion to have them on. The idea is to stir a passionate discussion here, which by the response it’s had, seems to have worked. Don’t you think so?

  30. Fausto I should have been more clear. I was responding to the last few posts of Marcus’ on Bush’s AIDS policy and your postings on make-up. I am glad you have dissenting views on the show and I think at this point the thread has gone beyond comments on the show.

  31. Marcus says:

    Sounds like you are an expert of biased research and have no clue as to what really is going on in our country and beyond such as Africa. Have you even been to Africa and seen what Americans have done to help? Because I have and it makes me ill to hear you criticize the contributions we have made. I am flabbergasted at your comments. Why don’t you start putting your obvious intelligence (although clearly misguided) to good use and turn your hostility and negative attitude around? If you are so unhappy with what we have done, I invite you to move because we are unequivocally the most generous country in the world. Please pick up a history book because you are the one who is delusional if you doubt that!

  32. jimberly says:

    While it is PEPFAR that will likely be the one thing Bush can really count as a success due to the work of his administration – and advocates are indeed grateful for the 48 billion in new spending that was just passed by the Senate, and that the new bill lifts the crazy HIV/AIDS travel and immigration ban. It will pass the House this week and undoubtedly be signed by Bush – the bill is not all roses without thorns. There are still some heinous ideological problems with it – some onerous strings attached to the American largesse which makes it very hard for all the money to be used in the most appropriate and needed ways, and I will share with you the statement of the executive director of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS – one of the world authorities) below. Namely, it remains troubling that the PEPFAR bill continues to put an emphasis on abstinence only (never mind that they are proven to be ineffective at home in the US and MOST people in the world do not choose this form of protection) and grotesquely inhibits the work of organizations reaching out to sex workers – who are one of THE most vulnerable populations on the planet.

    But before we get to the SIECUS guy…. while Bush and his gang of compassionate conservatives have made AIDS a key policy and program priority in the developing world, here in the USA – about 500,000 people living with HIV/AIDS – of the little more than a million – DO NOT have regular access to treatment and care. Recall that the context of this lackof care is 48 million or so uninsured, and millions more under-insured. The vast majority of people living with HIV/AIDS are poor and disadvantaged and are in this 48 million. Funding for the federal programs that provide care and treatment (such as as the Ryan White Treatment and Modernization Act for HIV/AIDS – formerly Ryan White CARE Act) has remained essentially flat for 7 years and the increases the community have been able to secure have not been enough to fight the effects of inflation and certainly have not remained in line with the growing numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS. And in terms of funding for prevention – same bad story, but a little worse. A recent analysis by Johns Hopkins University shows that, adjusted for inflation, the buying power of the CDC’s domestic HIV prevention budget declined 19 percent between fiscal 2002 and 2007. Still, President George W. Bush’s budget request to Congress for fiscal 2009 seeks a $1 million reduction for domestic HIV prevention activities at the CDC. Meanwhile, it is likely the CDC will soon be releasing new numbers that show our annual HIV infection rate is not 40,000 a year, as has been reported for the last 10 years, but more like 50,000 – 60,000. LifeLube links to this story here

    Statement of Joseph DiNorcia, Jr., President and CEO of SIECUS, on the Senate’s Passage of PEPFAR (website for SIECUS –

    “It is a shame that something as noble and good as PEPFAR has become tainted by the ideological nonsense of the outgoing administration. This bill represents the same war on evidence-based prevention that it did five years ago and, if left unchanged, will likely only continue to destroy a comprehensive approach to prevention. Provisions such as an ongoing and disproportionate emphasis on abstinence-until-marriage, a prostitution pledge which has nearly obliterated outreach to this population, a lack of common sense integration between family planning and HIV-prevention work, and a stricter conscience clause all represent the worst of our politics. Further, these provisions will continue to undermine what ought to be the most outstanding evidence of American compassion because they extend the domestic, social-conservative assault on mainstream American values into an international arena in the most cynical of ways.

    “It speaks volumes that President Bush is certain to sign this bill with enthusiasm, and to champion these same ideological provisions in the process. Certainly, there are things to laud in the bill. It lifts the travel ban on HIV-positive persons, explicitly recognizes the needs of men who have sex with men in tackling the epidemic, and significantly increases investment in treatment. But, the continued denial of HIV services to sex workers and the failure to explicitly support the integration of family planning/reproductive health services with HIV services are inexcusable omissions.

    “In large part, it is money that has corrupted the process of reauthorizing this law, and it is money that made many advocates and members of Congress turn a blind eye to the ongoing denigration of prevention efforts. Therefore we call on the next administration to work with a new Congress to ensure that future prevention investments reflect authentic compassion for those countries and people affected by HIV and AIDS.”

  33. jimberly says:

    “In truth, it is beyond criminal the way the Bushites, in the mindless embrace of abstinence, have undermined the use of condoms.”

    – Stephen Lewis, co-director of AIDS-Free World, a new advocacy group in the United States, chairman of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and former UN envoy on AIDS in Africa.

    His quote is from a July 19 op-ed in the Globe and Mail about Elizabeth Pisani’s book – “The Wisdom of Whores – Brothels, Bureaucrats and the Business of AIDS”. It can be found here

  34. kenner says:

    Hot show Guys. I want to come out of thr closet today after hearing Markus. I, to am a proud Republican. Our do nothing congress with a lower public opinion rate should be ashamed. Thanks for having a great show. We are a diversed community, like the reach of the population.

  35. Marcus says:

    Ahhh! Of all all the comments, I am most happy about yours Kenner. If you want to know the truth the real reason why I wanted to be on the show is to demonstrate a different side of being gay. A different point of view. I do think Republicans are the gayest party. GOP should be Gay Ole Party! Look at all the Republican politicians who have been caught in gay sex scandals. Unfortunately, they are bound and tied to the right’s view of morality and so called “family values”. My greatest wish is for people to realize that being conservative is not incommensurate with being gay! Thanks for your comments!

  36. Superboy says:

    We have diversity in the gay community- there are smart people, and there are dumb people. Which ones vote for political candidates who create laws to limit their ability to get married? Which ones vote for political candidates who fight against HIV/AIDS funding? Which ones vote for political candidates who stop Equal Rights Amendments?

  37. Dear Gay Republicans,

    I know that you don’t think the government should support the arts and that they should rely on contributions from benefactors so I am asking you to now make a donation to the Feast of Fools. We can’t provide your agenda with a platform without your support.

    Thank you for your support,

  38. Dear Gay Democrats,

    I know that you think the government should support the arts but you know that we can’t rely on them as benefactors so I am asking you to now make a donation to the Feast of Fools. We can’t provide your agenda with a platform without your support.

    Thank you for your support,

  39. jimberly says:

    Nicely played Felion.

  40. Cray says:

    All I have to say is that after reading all of these comments, I’m already through my first bag of roasted wasabi soy nuts… You boys should calm down some or else I’ll have to go back to the store.

  41. Gosh – I have to admit to not reading the whole thread, but it makes me glad to live in Europe. Now if only we can toss the hypocrytical Christians out of the government who are spitting on what should be a clear division between government and religion. But then Bush has been doing the same thing. And Fausto, the weather here does indeed suck, but so do the locals. In a good way.

  42. Curtis says:

    OOOO the bug-a-boo red herring of socialism…. tremble in fear, it’s 1951! yawn.

  43. As a member of the US youth socialist party i found this show very interesting. the only comment im going to make is that I encourage people to look up socialism, and make their own opinions about it. I think that by living in the united states, we as a society are sort of brainwashed into thinking a certain way about other government systems. if anyone’s interested heres the party website, take some time and read up about what were about.

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