All posts by L. Wayne Ashley

Thanks for visiting!! My name is Wayne, and I live in Houston, Texas. I wouldn't consider myself a "diehard" liberal activist, but I definitely have a Progressive view on most issues. I'm a proud Millennial, and I feel like the voice of my generation in Texas gets overshadowed by the older, more established groups. This is my effort to change that. Please come back and read when you can.

Will Mitt Romney “Get Worse” on GLBT rights?

Even if Mitt Romney wants to be silent about his time as Governor of Massachusetts, pretty soon he’s going to have to speak out. Mitt Gets Worse… a new coalition initiative between the American Bridge and Courage Campaign Super-PaCs, is taking a very in-depth look at Romney’s record on GLBT equality in the Bay State. So far, it’s not looking very good for those that support full equality. Romney tried to aggressively roll back GLBT rights during his time as Governor.

An Ode to Bipartisanship

Things are so divisive in the 2012 election cycle, we forget that it wasn’t always this way. Even if Democrats really REALLY disliked George W. Bush, they did try to work with him at times, and did not sabotage every initiative he launched. A bill would pass, and Democrats would disagree, they would even run against it, but they didn’t filibuster every major piece of legislation in existence.

Take a look at this clip of President George W. Bush signing bipartisan legislation into law… the Obama-Coburn act. Judging from the campaign trail assaults, you would have thought these men never knew each other. But there they are.

Also what happened to the GOP’s vehement defense and support of disclosure measures? You sure wouldn’t know it from today.

Mayor Annise Parker on the Colbert Report!

According to Chis Moran of the Houston Chronicle, Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be on tonight’s episode of the Colbert Report. She’s slated to talk about Houston, and about being one of the nation’s most prominent openly gay politicians.

Though not at the national level, Houston Mayor Annise Parker presently serves the largest single electorate of any openly gay US politician. Though US House Representatives like Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and Jared Polis are on the national stage, their electorate is much smaller… approximately 700,000 people. The city of Houston is over 2 million people, and has now elected mayor Parker twice. That’s a huge share of the population, especially when you consider that her electorate is in the Conservative “stronghold” of Texas.

Mayor Parker’s record could be broken this fall, as Rep. Baldwin is running for a Senate seat in Wisconsin. It’s already hotly-contested by anti-gay forces in the GOP.

But for tonight, I will definitely be watching Stephen Colbert give the fair mayor a few good laughs. I wonder if he’ll ask her about running for the US House or Senate?

(Annise Parker and her Partner Kathy Hubbard. David J. Phillip/AP)

Please DON’T Release the Returns!

To say that Mitt Romney is having a “tough week” would be a GROSS understatement. The one question on the mind of America this week has been the following… Will Romney release his tax returns? He’s being pressured from both prominent Democrats and Republicans. So much so that the National Review posted a scathing editorial calling on him to “Release The Returns”. Yeah this is a true catch 22 for Mr. Romney.

But no one wants to discuss why he should NOT release his tax returns. I’m willing to go there.

Despite what may be hiding in the depths of Mr. Romney’s wealth, there is one aspect of his campaign that could receive even further scrutiny… His courage.

Does this man ever think for himself, or is he content to forever be a mindless puppet of the Right Wing? So far he has sacrificed his greatest legislative accomplishment as Governor Massachusetts and now has run against “Romneycare”. He had to reverse positions on the individual mandate and proclaim it is a tax so that he could himself around the latest GOP fetish talking point. The man can’t been hire the people he prefers for his staff! Foreign Policy staffer was forced out of his position with the Romney campaign because because he was openly gay.

But finally, Mitt Romney has taken TRUE stand against the GOP and decided that he will not release any further tax returns. Could this be the one glimmer of hope? Is this the issue that Mr. Romney has chosen to finally show that he can think for himself and make his own decisions? Is this the moment that Mr. Romney shows the American people that he has the personal conviction and strength to be President of the United States? Or is it yet another moment where he will submit to the whims of the Republican mantra? Only time will tell, but make no mistake about this… If Romney releases the returns, he becomes a weaker candidate.

If he stands his ground? Let’s not kid ourselves… he’ll still be a weak candidate. But the question remains… Will Romney be a real candidate, or will he just be “Puppet Mitt”?

What are your thoughts??

#PuppetMitt

He’s a Bainiac… Why Romney’s record matters

One thing is for sure about this election… It’s all going to come down to the economy. This November, Americans will be asked to go to the polls and for the candidates that they perceive as most capable of “fixing” and improving our stagnating unemployment rate. Short of some utterly catastrophic event, the economy is where the buck (and the VOTE) stops.

Yet as of late, the Obama campaign wants to shift the conversation to Romney’s time at Bain Capital. Clearly their latest memo shows that this is a subject they intend to keep in laser focus. But even the most avid supporters of the President have to step back and wonder… is this nagging really worth it? None of this changes the fact that Mitt Romney is a successful businessman.

But here’s what it does change… Romney’s reputation (or lack thereof) for telling the truth. He’s on record now for so many lies that it’s just going to be very difficult for Americans to take him at his word. There are virtually no reliable trends in his record… he’s claimed to be everything from “severely Conservative” to Progressive. To be put simply… he’s a liar.

Taken by itself, the situation with Romney’s time at Bain is one article of shiftiness. For most politicians, it would be miniscule and par for the course. But with Romney, it’s yet another bit of uncertainty to add to his rapidly-growing cloud. This is a serious problem for the Romney campaign… eventually he will have to start clarifying his political positions.

-Is he Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Why did he switch sides?

-Is he for or against gun control laws?

-Was he or was he not at Bain Capital between 1999 and 2003?

-If he had a “Retroactive Retirement” from Bain after 1999, why did he continue to take a $100,000 salary? That’s a whole lot of money to be doing nothing. -Did he oversee any restructuring of companies that involved outsourcing?

-If he’s really against the Affordable Care Act, why did he enact the progenitor of it in Massachusetts?

-If he’s running on a record of fiscal responsibility, then why did he leave Massachusetts $1 billion dollars in debt after his term as governor?

-Why didn’t he run for a 2nd term? What would cause the American people to elect him as President if he didn’t even have the initiative to get re-elected in his home state?

-Why only release 2 years of tax returns? What could be hiding in them?

The election is ultimately about the economy. But it’s also about a choice between two individuals. Obama’s record, good and bad, is there for us to evaluate. The history of record obstruction and deception within the GOP Congress is also there to evaluate. But with Romney, we’re still as clueless as we were before the first primary vote was cast. None of these questions have been answered clearly by him or his campaign. If he wants to be President of the United States, he’s going to have come clean about all of these questions. To go on simply flagellating from one ideology to the other is manic behavior at best, and not fit for what is at stake in this election. The nation’s challenges are too great for us to bet on someone shrouded in uncertainty.

So tell us Governor… Which Mitt are we going to get?

The ABCs of the GOP: I is for

ILLUSION

One thing is absolutely crystal clear about politics… it is hard work. Whether it be the media members that have to cover this ever-evolving rollercoaster of stuff, the super-smart staffers that have to be on-call all hours of the day and night, or the politicians themselves giving speeches and shaking the hands of millions of people, it’s HARD. Despite what they may say on TV, every person that you see as a Washington politician has worked very hard to get to where they are. Each one has run a successful campaign, and has the will of thousands and sometimes millions of voters.

From this, we know that the national Republican party works extremely hard to deliver their message and ideology. In many ways, delivery and discipline are their greatest strengths. But what is not a strong point of the current GOP?? Actually running the country. For their part, they are most just creating the illusion of doing that.

What more proof could you ask for than the 33rd vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act… 33 repetitive votes in just 18 months. Eventhough Republicans know that the result of the vote will be the same as the 32 other times they’ve tried it, they decided to do it again. Clearly the choice to do something like this over and over again is wasting the time of the American people. It may give the illusion of actual legislation, but it’s nothing more than running out the clock.

Well maybe I’m wrong about that…

The votes didn’t just waste our time. They also wasted our money. In trying to hold up this illusion of total outrage, the House GOP spent $50 million dollars of our tax money. For the party that claims to be such careful stewards of the public purse, these votes seem to be a pretty outlandish and useless expenditure. Meanwhile every day in this country, more teachers, firefighters and polieceman are laid off from work. How many of them would still have their jobs if Congress had decided to put that money to better use?

Speaking of illusions, it’s pretty odd how the GOP works in that regard. After three years of constant fighting and posturing, Republicans suddenly joined Congressional Democrats last week and passed the highway and student loan bill. This legislation could have been passed years earlier, but Republicans have been using the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as their latest energy whipping boy. Yet when the clock finally ran down to the wire and 2 million American Jobs were on the line, the GOP decided to compromise and Keystone was left out of the bill entirely. I’m glad for this, don’t get me wrong. But isn’t it a little hypocritical? If Keystone was so important to them, why is it suddenly not mentioned for weeks? If your greatest concern is the sky falling due to the deficit, then why is it ok for you to BORROW $105 Billion more dollars without paying for it. They’ve just INCREASED the deficit by voting on this bill, yet there is no outrage, the sky is not falling, and China has not invaded our shores.

Maybe all of those temper tantrums are illusions too.

The Trouble with Mitt: so many lies, so little time

The amazing team over at Buzzfeed has uncovered what is perhaps the most comprehensive (and potentially damaging) document on the GOP nominee yet… an entire record of Mitt Romney’s dealings. The 2008 Oppo File was compiled by the McCain campaign, and it leaves no stone unturned. It lists every controversial statement and questionable thing that has been said by, and could be used against Mr. Romney. This is really HUGE… every major story that is going to break about his past between now and November, this is likely to be a source.

It’s a 200 page document, but here are just a few tidbits that I’ve uncovered so far…

page 7— In October 2005, signed bill expanding family planning services, including abortion counseling and morning-after pill.

page 7— In December 2005, Romney abruptly reversed course and ordered Catholic hospitals to provide contraception emergency services to rape victims (That is even more strict than the national Affordable Care Act of 2010, which does not force Catholic hospitals to provide these services, but offers that the government will pay for them if they do).

page 8 Romney left his successor (as Governor of Massachusetts) to fill a budget deficit in excess of $1 Billion. That’s fiscal responsibility for you.

page 8— Romney refused to endorse the 2003 Bush tax cuts, saying he “wouldn’t be a cheerleader for the pain.”

page 11— Romney once called his state’s insurance law “a once in a generation achievement”. At least we agree on that.

page 11— At least two Bain Capital companies- Stream International and Modus Media– focused on outsourced technical support services, expanding facilities abroad while contracting operations in the United States.

page 133Romney proposed combining state Veterans Affairs with general welfare services. Apparently Veterans aren’t owed anything for fighting for our freedom??

And yes the current news of the day is in here.

page 136— Romney served as CEO of Bain Capital through August 2001, Even though he no longer ran daily operations.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg. Check it out for yourself. I’ll be doing some more in-depth research with this massive file soon.