President Obama Earns a ‘D+’ in Fighting Global AIDS


On the eve of World AIDS Day, global AIDS and Africa solidarity organizations released a report card today evaluating President Obama’s first year in office-giving the President and his Administration a ‘D+’ for work so far. Advocates also called the White House’s World AIDS Day announcement that the U.S. will host the 2012 International AIDS Conference, due to the lifting of the U.S. ban on travel and immigration of people with HIV, "superficial" when contrasted with the AIDS promises the Administration is breaking.

"With new data showing that worldwide the number one killer of women of reproductive age is HIV, aggressive scale up of AIDS treatment is needed more than ever for the health of communities," said Asia Russell, Health GAP Director of International Policy. "We are disappointed to report that on his first World AIDS Day in office, President Obama has not made good on his promises to increase funding for effective, life saving programs to fight AIDS around the world."

The report, released by Health GAP, Africa Action, Treatment Action Group and Global AIDS Alliance states: "This report card gives President Obama a ‘D+’ for his first year as president. This assessment contrasts his one-year record to the promises he made to get elected, and takes into account the areas where some progress has been made, particularly on HIV prevention and support for integration of reproductive health and HIV prevention and treatment. It also takes into account pre-existing broad bipartisan support established during the Bush Administration for increased U.S. investment to fight AIDS. But one year is early in any Administration; President Obama still has the potential to carry forward a bold agenda on global AIDS. President Obama could earn an ‘A’ if he seizes this opportunity and if he crafts a budget request for FY2011 that puts U.S. investments in global AIDS back on track-and includes prominent support for a bold HIV treatment target to be achieved by 2013. There is urgent need for course correction by U.S. leadership in fight against AIDS." The analysis was based on four leadership areas: funding levels, treatment scale-up, effective prevention, and linkage between AIDS and other global health programs.

Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day.

Read more here.

President Obama Remembers Ryan White: Ends HIV Entry Ban

Do you remember Ryan White? Do you remember this young man who died, publicly, of HIV-AIDS?

I think of him from time to time, this brilliant young man who was "done too soon," who endured years of hatred, years of insults — because he got sick.

I remember, years ago, picking my son up from school on a spring afternoon. I was listening to WLS in Chicago (never a good idea these days), and I heard a caller condemn Ryan White to the depths of Hell. The caller was convinced, and argued, that this young man got what he deserved, that if he himself hadn’t sinned in his lifetime, then God must have killed him because one of his ancestors must have sinned horribly.

Yes, that was the argument.

Today, President Obama remembered Ryan White in a big way.

From White House blog:

Today, President Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. It represents our ongoing commitment to ensuring access to needed HIV/AIDS care and treatment. The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) worked very closely with Congress on this bipartisan legislation, and the consensus document developed by the HIV/AIDS advocacy community was an important part of the process. We were so pleased that Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan White’s mother, was here at the bill signing.

The Ryan White Program is the largest federal program specifically dedicated to providing HIV care and treatment. It funds heavily impacted metropolitan areas, states, and local community-based organizations to provide life-saving medical care, medications, and support services to more than half a million people each year: the uninsured and underinsured, racial and ethnic minorities, people of all ages.

The President also announced today the elimination of the HIV entry ban. Since 1987, HIV-positive travelers and immigrants have been banned from entering or traveling through the United States without a special waiver. In July 2008, Congress removed all legislative barriers to repealing the ban and paved the way for HHS to repeal the ban. A final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Monday, November 2nd and will take effect in early January 2010. That means that people who have HIV and are not U.S. citizens will be able to enter the U.S. starting in January next year. This is a major step in ending the stigma associated with HIV.

And the sad thing is, would Ryan White have died in 1990 — theoretically — if the Reagan Administration had given medical science the funding to find the cause of and fight AIDS instead of segregating it as a gay disease? Would an anonymous thug have come along and kicked over Ryan’s headstone if Reagan had been slightly more enlightened?

Yes, we still have to ask those questions. It could all happen again. We still have plenty of people in our society who are seemingly at war with science.

I’m starting to like this Obama as President of the United States.

However, this isn’t about President Obama.

This is about a young man who was gone too soon.

Peace, Ryan. We remember you still.

Ryan White

Obama to Tell Kids to Believe in Themselves. HE’S A WITCH!!!

Okay, Right Wing. Here’s the great, evil, mind-control speech the President of the United States intends to beam into your children’s brains tomorrow. Be afraid. Be very afraid.  After all…


You know the POTUS is up to no good when he tells kids, “Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”


He even dares to say (courtesy of our friends at ENEWSPF):

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.


And he goes on with his filthy, ugly lies:

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Further, he’s going to admit he’s human!

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Next, he’s going to try to fool them with EMPATHY!!!

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Read all the lies from the President of the United States!

And give me a break.

D.C. Catholic Church Goes to War Against Gays

I’ll let Change.Org cover this one.

From Michael Jones:

Archbishop Wuerl wants D.C. to put the question of same-sex marriage on a ballot, so that voters can decide whether gays and lesbians ought to have equal rights. There’s some of that good-ole religious compassion for ya’. According to Wuerl, only straight people getting hitched can provide the type of loving relationships that keep families and children stable.

To that, here’s a big cry of bullshit. Why? Because as Massachusetts has shown in their state, gay marriage has simply no detrimental impact on marriage or the family. In fact, five years after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, the state has some of the lowest divorce rates. And by low, we mean as low as they were 80 freakin’ years ago.

You’d think the Church would stop for a moment and recognize that. Or you’d think the Church would look up from it’s navel and see that in Washington, D.C., one out of three children live in poverty; the District has some of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the country; or that high school graduation rates in some areas of Washington stagger around the 55-60 percent mark. Surely those issues have to be more important that whether gays and lesbians have the right to marry, right?

Not if your faith runs as hollow as Archbishop Wuerl’s.

For the life of me, I don’t know why Wuerl is making this move, except to remind Rome that he’s still there, and still does not have the Red Hat.  I have a friend who knew Don Wuerl many, many years ago.  Back when Don Wuerl was Cardinal John Wright’s fair-haired boy.  He says Wuerl’s middle initial might just as well be “A” for “Ambition.”  Wuerl wants to be a Cardinal.  And maybe Pope.  That’s all he wants.

This attack against our LGBT friends is nothing more than an attempt to draw attention to himself, nudge the pope to make him a Cardinal.

This is not about Wuerl’s opposition to homosexuality.  This is about Archbishop Wuerl making a career move.  The ultimate career move Wuerl has been hoping for his entire life.

And he will succeed.

One of his predecessors in Pittsburgh did something equally inane.  In the 1980s, Bishop Bevilacqua came up with the brilliant notion that women should not have their feet washed in church on Holy Thursday.  I’ll not go into the absurd reasoning he used, but it was really silly.

Bevilacqua was eventually rewarded with the Red Hat, and he eventually became Cardinal Archbishop of Philadelphia.

The next year, Pittsburgh went back to permitting women to have their feet washed on Holy Thursday.

Look, Don Wuerl wants to be a Cardinal in the Catholic Church.  That’s all he’s ever wanted.  He’ll cry tears of joy when he finaly gets the Red Hat.

And our LGBT friends will have his shoe-prints on their faces.

Michael Jackson’s ‘Gone Too Soon’

Michael wrote this for Ryan White, 1971-1990.

I’m happy to post the song and video here for Ryan…  and Michael.