Recent Posts

Front Page

~ Invited Guest Commentary ~

by Invenium Viam on August 3, 2015 · 0 comments

Honor our Founding Mothers: Finish the Job!

by Betty Folliard

Betty Folliard

Betty Folliard is a former state legislator, founder of ERA Minnesota and Executive Producer and host of A Woman’s Place ( on AM950Radio.


After 92 years of struggle, American women still don’t have legal equality.


According to an Opinion Research Survey, 96% of Americans believe women and men should have equal rights, 88% want an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) added to our Constitution — but a whopping 72% of Americans somehow are under the false impression that the U.S. Constitution already guarantees equal rights for women.


It doesn’t.


What we have are patchwork laws unevenly meting out legal protections against gender discrimination cases. The Constitution governs all courts in the land and absent an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) these laws are nails without a hammer.


The U.S. media has an obligation to accurately report this reality; however there remains a dearth of articles focused on women in our media.


All four sectors of the press/media in America are male-centric, according to the 2015 Status of Women in the U.S. Media report put out by the Women’s Media Center; and as a result issues regarding women’s equality rarely get coverage. Women are mentioned only 24% of the time in any news stories whatsoever: and of that 24%, only 6% ever mention equality or inequality; so overall, these issues get aired a mere 1.44% of the time.


Contrary to popular opinion and polarizing political reporting, the ERA didn’t die — it went dormant. Pushback from the right continues to spread untruths, to focus on red herrings, and to conjure up fear; but the ERA movement perseveres and will ultimately prevail because women are on the right side of history on this matter and we won’t take no for an answer.


We can now see light at the end of this tunnel. Today many national coalitions and organizations of women (and a few good men) have reinvigorated the fight to ratify the ERA.


This year alone:


• There’s legislation at both the state & national levels aimed at removing the artificial deadline that was slapped on equal rights for women and finally ratifying the ERA into our federal constitution (FYI: there’s no such thing as an expiration on equality);

• The documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” opened this year, educating a whole new generation about the struggle for women’s rights in America;

• A new book “Equal Means Equal” written by Jessica Neuwirth unveils gender discrimination cases that went all the way to the Supreme Court only to be rejected because the Constitution doesn’t protect women against sex discrimination. In it, Neuwirth points to the 4 key issues that an ERA would help rectify: pay inequity, violence against women, pregnancy discrimination, and laws that discriminate against men;

• A film by that same title – “Equal Means Equal” – produced by Kamala Lopez will soon be released;

• In October, the film “Suffragette” starring Meryl Streep will open in theaters;

• And Helene de Boissierre-Swanson, a former legal professional & co-founder of Katrina’s Dream, has now walked the entire breadth of the U.S. to raise awareness of the need of the ERA in our U.S. Constitution.


On Women’s Equality Day – August 26th 2015 — Helene will culminate her walk across America with a final ERA march and rally to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to help finally pass the ERA. ERA Minnesota will be there. Women (and a few good men) from all across the country will be there standing up for legal equality. I’ll be speaking at the rally. You’re invited. Join us!


Like Suffragists of old, Helene de Boissierre-Swanson has endured homelessness, starvation, deprivation, and molestation on her solo walk across the USA all for the ERA.


Helene offered press access in each un-ratified state along her journey from California to Florida and up to Washington, D.C.; but not one national media outlet deigned to pick up this story.




Honor our Founding Mothers by finishing the job. Ratify the ERA.


There are Democrats running for president, really

by Eric Ferguson on July 31, 2015 · 2 comments

Usually when only one party’s nomination process is getting covered, it’s because it has such a big advantage in the district in question that the other party has no realistic chance. Pick, for example, any one of roughly 90% of congressional districts. So it’s kind of strange that the Republicans are getting all the attention in the presidential race since the election is probably a toss-up and if it isn’t, it’s because the odds favor Democrats a bit. However, Democrats just can’t match the Republicans for entertainment value. Not even close. Much as the media wants to pretend Bernie Sanders is somehow equivalent to Donald Trump (he called Mexican immigrants rapists, but you called yourself a democratic socialist, and isn’t that just as crazy?), and as much as we’re learning the phrase “Clinton rules” regarding how any unproven allegation will be treated very seriously, the truth is no Democrat has the headline grabbing crazy to compete with Republican candidate … hard to pick out just one. And so many. Figuring out how many they have was faster by multiplication than addition, at least until Jim Gilmore became the 17th and made it a prime number.
Anyway, there really are Democrats running. Here’s a bit of Hillary and Bernie. This first video is an interview Bernie gave Vox (Vox not Fox, that’s not a typo). You might notice something that makes him a stronger candidate than the media generally give him credit for. He’s able to give a straight answer to a question in a few words, and then he can elaborate if given time (which he is here) to show he knows what he’s talking about. I’m guessing that comes from being a frequent guest on liberal talk radio, which may have a puny audience (liberals, did you even know we have our own talk radio?) but taking calls gave Bernie a lot of practice answering questions within commercial radio’s time limits from the sort of people who vote in Democratic primaries.

This video is a clip of Hillary speaking to the National Urban League. TPM found this the newsworthy bit as she went after Jeb Bush, but I listened to the whole speech and thought another part was more interesting. Alas, unlike someone at TPM, I couldn’t work out how to clip and embed the part I wanted. C-SPAN, why must you make embedding so difficult? So I give you this link to the whole program. The part I recommend starts at 49:20 and goes to 55:15. She eloquently talked about how we need to change our attitudes on race, and particularly how those of us who haven’t had to live with discrimination have to start listening to those who have, and stop assuming our experience is the same as everyone else’s. Her whole speech goes from 41:00 to 1:05:00. This is TPM’s clip:

Comments below fold.


Hillary Clinton as the devil, image from – one of many such images on the internet

The fringe right craziest thing I’ve heard this week — the claim that Hillary Clinton is a Satanist.  There are multiples of that actually; but I’ll share only a brief glimpse of the insanity here.

From Yahoo!


Is Hilary Clinton a satanist?
My Pastor tells me that this is so



to the silly Youtube video about a secret term paper (secret here doesn’t mean secret, and not leaked either'; also  Hillary Clinton has been a Methodist for years).



To the really funny comment I came across on Right Wing News from some yobbo who thinks he scared Hillary Clinton into running away and hiding by calling her a Satanist.


Christopher John Rozell

July 29 at 11:07pm

CJR- She ran in that building because my sign exposing her Satanic ways scared her half to death! They even put my quote in there and my name Christopher John Rozell! Heck yeah, talk about making a stand and a difference! That’s how you be a True patriot and defend this great nation of the United States of America We The People!

Here is what the coverage of the crazies actually wrote, and it certainly was not an endorsement of  this nutjob as clear, cogent or serious political discourse or discussion:


One group of protesters arrived before 4:30 p.m. with signs — one saying “Hillary Clinton is Satanic / I have Proof!” and “GOD Bless AMERICA.”

“I used to be a Hillary Clinton supporter until I researched and educated myself on her,” Christopher John Rozell of Painted Post said.

What is the big fuss about? NOTHING.  Here is the real deal about the supposedly secret paper Hillary Clinton wrote back in college, demonstrating  that the right wing nut knee-jerking would qualify as an audition for the Rockettes:


In fact, however, the thesis had been unlocked after the Clintons left the White House in 2001 and is available for reading at the Wellesley College archives. In 2005, investigative reporter Bill Dedman sent his journalism class from Boston University to read the thesis and write articles about it; one of the students, Rick Heller, posted his article online in December 2005.  The thesis is also available through inter-library loan on microfilm, a method reporter Dorian Davis used when he obtained it in January 2007, and sent it to Noonan and to Clinton critic Amanda Carpenter at Human Events, who wrote a piece on it in March. Although publishing the thesis violates copyright,  it can nevertheless be found on various websites.

The suppression of the thesis from 1993 to 2001 at the request of the Clinton White House was documented in March 2007 by reporter Dedman, who read the thesis at the Wellesley library and interviewed Rodham’s thesis adviser. Dedman found that the thesis did not disclose Rodham’s own views much. A Boston Globe assessment found the thesis nuanced, and said that “While [Rodham] defends Alinsky, she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology.”  Rodham’s former professor and thesis adviser Alan Schechter told that “There Is Only The Fight . . .” was a good thesis, and that its suppression by the Clinton White House “was a stupid political decision, obviously, at the time.”

Was it a stupid decision?  Or just setting up the crazies for a little ridicule?  I’m inclined to think it was more the latter than the former.


Of course, other right wing nut crazies claim Hillary Clinton is an illuminati witch, the anti-Christ, or possibly a man, to a lizard people shape shifter who is not even human.  One example below of the many such ridiculous things believed on the right.  Again from Yahoo!’s special corner for crazy people:


Is Hillary Clinton A Man?

I have heard rumors that Hillary Clinton is actually a man, and that his/her lover…is tv’s, Cokie Roberts. Is this true?


The public is with Planned Parenthood

by Dan Burns on July 31, 2015 · 0 comments

LnYAxnmXFRKfSBF-556x313-noPadAs usual, the right-wingers are vastly overrating the extent to which the public is purportedly on their side.

Sixty-three percent of registered voters oppose cutting off federal funds to Planned Parenthood, according to a new poll commissioned by the organization.
The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Hart Research Associates, finds that along with 63 percent of voters overall who oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, 68 percent of independents also oppose the move. The poll finds that a “bare majority” of 53 percent of Republicans favor defunding, while 34 percent oppose the move.
The survey finds that voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports funding Planned Parenthood over one calling to end funding, by a margin of 58 to 26 percent.
(The Hill)

This is potentially a great thing, though actually getting it into law will take a lot of changes for the better in the overall quality of our political “representation.”

The EACH Woman Act, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), over seventy Congressional Co-Sponsors and with the support of thirty-six women’s health, rights, and justice advocacy organizations, ensures coverage for abortion for every woman, however much she earns or however she is insured.
For too long, politicians have interfered in women’s health decisions by banning insurance coverage for abortion care.
Whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, every woman should have coverage for a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion. When health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion – not just childbirth – and people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
(All Above All)


atomI got an email from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and checked some things out. There’s a link in this article to the full UCS report.

The electronic age of communication is making it easier for activists, companies, and lobbying groups to use state open records laws—designed to promote transparency—to harass academic researchers they disagree with, a scientific integrity group warns in a new report. The findings underscore the need for states to revisit how the laws are implemented and for universities to clarify how they balance privacy, transparency, and academic freedom in responding to requests for e-mails, letters, and other documents, the report argues.
“[I]ndividuals and well-heeled special interests across the political spectrum are increasingly using broad open records requests to attack and harass scientists and other researchers and shut down conversation at public universities,” warns the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which was unveiled today at a session of the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) in San Jose, California. It documents numerous examples of university researchers becoming engaged in often lengthy and complex battles with outside groups requesting internal records…
“These companies, organizations, and activists may disagree with researchers’ findings or even dislike an entire field of study,” it states. “They request all materials on a topic in a university’s possession, including researchers’ draft papers, emails, and even handwritten notes. This strategy can curb the ability of researchers to pursue their work, chill their speech, and discourage them from tackling contentious topics.”

The psychology of all of this is not difficult to discern. The plutocrats see science – knowledge and rational thinking – as a threat to their unearned privilege. So motivated reasoning kicks in, and they tell themselves that scientists are a) wrong and only in it for themselves, and b) guilty of the ultimate sin, being “anti-market.” (In fact, if it was really all up to “the markets,” and the big corporations had all of their government goodies withdrawn, most would go belly-up in no time. More, from the always excellent David Cay Johnston, here.) Therefore, this targeted harassment is justified, even good and righteous. It’s all pretty vile.


Ban pedophiles, not gays.  Gays are not automatically pedophiles or sex predators.  Conservatives know, or should reasonably be expected to know this, but prefer to hate “the gays”/LGBT community anyway, while ignoring the very real predatory pedophilia of heterosexuals.


The crazy, dishonest, and ignorant radical religious right do this by engaging in blatant homophobic propaganda.  Propaganda, as a working definition, is a combination of animus and factually false claims that negatively target a group with the intention to manipulate the emotions of the gullible against them, and occasionally to manipulate the gullible for additional agenda purposes.


The Minnesota Family Council is big on using scare tactics and pushing narratives that are false.  They seek ways to legalize and to try to justify hateful and discriminatory actions to victimize against anyone who does not conform to their extremist agenda.  And like so many conservatives do, they try to assert they are victims, when they are nothing of the kind.  Any group with so little regard for the truth is no supporter of either truth, or anything or anyone other than hate and bigotry.


Minnesota Family Council falsely claims they are “strengthening the family and advancing truth.  All gay kids and adults have families; those families are not ‘strengthened’ by discrimination and hateful propaganda.  Minnesota Family Council has routinely shared supposed news items that were factually false, without ever bothering to do the most minimal fact checking before promoting them.


NO ONE is forcing any church in the United States to alter their ugly religious views or teachings.  There is no valid threat to churches from the Boy Scouts or any other advancement of the LGBT community towards dignity and equality.


The Boy Scouts HAVE had a problem with HETEROSEXUAL pedophile predators in the past, so it is not as if their prior policy was serving them well.  Rather the assumption that heterosexual men were consistently safe with boys was a fallacy that should have been obvious based on the organization’s own pervert files. Just as one law suit was settled in Minnesota, another one was filed against them for the same thing, one of five such law suits in the past two months, with four others currently open.  According to the STrib, the attorney who filed the most recent suit has spoken with other men who claimed to have been similarly victimized, so the numbers of pedophile victim suits may go higher.



At the time of the alleged abuse, Opalinski was a leader for the St. Paul-based Boy Scout Troop 12 and was also an Explorer advisor for Troop 2012.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court; it’s the fifth such lawsuit to be filed in Minnesota in the past two months and the fourth to name Opalinski as the alleged abuser, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The Northern Star Council is facing at least nine lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by former leaders or volunteers, MPR News reports. They were allowed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act – the same state law that has led to the spate of legal action against the local Catholic Church.

Contrary to the common mis-perception among conservatives, the target of pedophiles is often one of accessibility rather than sexual orientation.  We consistently see conservatives demonstrating extreme ignorance on a wide range of issues relating to sex, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, and reproduction.  This is just one more.



clowncarI’m skeptical of the notion that other Republican candidates are trying to match the crudity of Donald Trump, but I see where said notion comes from. After Trump’s rise in the polls, and with other candidates getting desperate at the thought of missing the cut for the debates, we’re seeing this stuff:
Rick Perry responded to the movie theater shooting in Lafayette by saying we need more guns in movie theaters. Right, because all those action-hero-wannabes will spin around, pick out the right target, and hit the target, maybe all in the dark. Meanwhile, police will identify the shooter among the wannabes by … mind reading?
Ted Cruz called the Senate majority leader, whose caucus Cruz is ostensibly a part of, a liar — while speaking on the Senate floor. Democrats may detest Cruz, but Republicans have to put up with the guy face to face. If any of his colleagues have endorsed him, I can’t find the evidence of it.
Mike Huckabee said the nuclear deal with Iran is like marching Israelis toward the door to the oven. Or, as a former ambassador to Israel put it, “There are serious issues to be debated here but for anybody to equate what the president’s doing to what Adolph Hitler did in World War II is just extraordinary. And in some ways it’s a form of incitement, and we’ve seen the results of that 20 years ago in Israel. There was the same kind of incitement against Yitzhak Rabin and that led to a tragic outcome.” I wish I could feign surprise, but whenever peace is made, the people who want war go nuts, sometimes including acting out violently. Here’s hoping Nazi comparisons are as bad as the craziness gets. If you don’t want to be labeled crazy, here’s what I do when making Nazi comparisons: stop talking. It’s better to appear dumbstruck for a moment, because the Nazis were so unique, that if you compare anything to them, pretty much guaranteed, you will look nuts; or at least grossly ignorant of history.


School deformers will not relent, regardless

by Dan Burns on July 28, 2015 · 0 comments

abandoned2About the only area in which I don’t agree with many other progressives, regarding the federal role in education, is federal standards. I’m seriously concerned that (largely) eliminating them would allow states run by right-wingers, who are generally confused and scared by real intelligence and knowledge as they lack both, to have schools teaching as little legitimate fact and reasoning ability as they can get by with, and spend the rest of their time trying to drill nonsensical, failed right-wing doctrine into kids’ heads.
I acknowledge that there is a strong counterargument. Namely, that the assaults on public schools enabled by No Child Left Behind, with its test-until-you-drop federal “accountability” provisions, are already resulting in that.
There really is a movement, mostly financed and run by the same kinds of despicable, greedhead parasites that have been f*cking up everything else that they touch for a long time now, to destroy public education in the U.S. The public, which loves public schools, seems unaware. I suspect that it’s a phenomenon similar to that regarding Social Security and Medicare, where people just refuse to believe that anyone would seriously want to destroy them. That they would is regarded as just cartoonish evil, like, to take a vaguely recollected name from my long-lost youth, Dick Dastardly. That’s a big advantage that the deformers have. And despite a lot of big negatives in the charter movement (which are not the fault of charter students or teachers), they’re still hard at it.


Should the onerous provisions imposed on schools by NCLB indeed be lifted, lots of struggling schools will breathe easier without the “failed” brand looming over their buildings. But if this new flexibility comes to pass, it’s no time to take a victory lap if you’re someone who believes teachers, parents, and students should have a voice in how their local schools operate.
As anti-democratic pressures appear to be easing on the federal front, they are ratcheting up in states across the country. In fact, the next form of education “reform” may be as bad or worse than what NCLB imposed…
The danger, in particular, comes in the form of new policies being taken up by an increasing number of states to create special agencies – usually made up of non-elected officials – with the power to swoop into communities, take over local school governance, and turn schools over to private management groups often associated with large charter school chains.
(Campaign for America’s Future)


image from

Our problem with gun violence is that the people who have the guns in this country, across the spectrum of society, all seem to believe that it is acceptable, EVEN DESIRABLE, to shoot people who in their minds offend them or don’t adequately conform to how they thin someone else should behave.


RARELY are these shootings genuinely and unavoidably life threatening when the escalation to lethal force occurs. The very essence of the problem, however much some of the gun huggers deny it, is the desire to escalate violence and force because they WANT TO DO SO, their very identity, including sometimes their gender identity as masculine,  manly men, depends on it.


Just having a gun with you, on you, or in your hands, messes with your perception and increases your paranoia and sense of threats, which in turn fuels the escalation, in addition to the other factors fueling escalation – like conservative authoritarianism.


From a 2012 Notre Dame University study, via ZDNet, demonstrating that having or holding a gun makes you see bad things that aren’t there:

Study: Carrying a gun can make you more paranoid
…the researchers subjected volunteers to a series of five experiments in which they were shown multiple images of people on a computer screen and determined whether the person was holding a gun or a neutral object such as a soda can or cell phone. Subjects did this while holding either a toy gun or a neutral object such as a foam ball.

The researchers varied the situation in each experiment — such as having the people in the images sometimes wear ski masks, changing the race of the person in the image or changing the reaction subjects were to have when they judged the person in the image to hold a gun. Regardless of the situation, the study showed that responding with a gun created a bias in which observers reported a gun being present more often than they did responding with a ball. Thus, by virtue of affording the subject the opportunity to use a gun, he or she was more likely to classify objects in a scene as a gun and, as a result, to engage in threat-induced behavior, such as raising a firearm to shoot.

The researchers showed that the ability to act is a key factor in the effects by showing that while simply letting observers see a nearby gun didn’t influence their behavior, holding and using the gun did.

The science tells us that those who carry guns around, legally or otherwise, get into more conflicts and confrontations.  From the most recent study on gun ownership and aggression by Jeffery Swanson by way of the Huff Po:


Study: People Who Own a Lot of Guns Are More Likely to Get in Fights, Carry Guns Outside the Home
The new study compares rates of impulsive, angry behavior with access to guns. Swanson and his research colleagues asked 5,653 respondents to answer questions about their own behavior, and also asked these same research subjects if they owned and/or carried guns. The subjects lived in cities, suburbs and rural areas throughout the United States, and roughly one-third stated that they owned or had access to firearms, which seems to be what we consider the national firearm ownership rate to be today.

Every respondent was asked whether they had tantrums or angry outbursts; broke something in anger; lost their temper and got involved in physical fights. These are classic indicators of impulsive, angry behavior, with the tantrums/outbursts being the least serious, the fights being the most serious and the breaking of some object in between. Both the owners and non-owners of guns reported engaging in all three types of behaviors, with tantrums being three times as common as physical fights for both groups, and the percentage of gun owners and non-gun owners engaging in any of the three anger indicators being about the same.

What struck me as I read the survey results was that overall, there was not a great difference between gun owners and non-gun owners regarding to what degree they admitted engaging in any form of impulsive, angry behavior. Where the difference was clearly pronounced was among the 5 percent (roughly 290 people out of 5,600) who admitted to owning 11 guns or more, which was the only gun-owning group whose penchant for getting into fights was significantly higher than people who owned no guns at all. For that matter the percentage of the 11+ gun-owning group to get into physical altercations was substantially higher than gun folks who owned fewer guns.

Where the number of guns owned by individuals seemed to be a real risk issue can be found in the correlation between number of guns owned, engaging in any of the three anger indicators and carrying a gun outside the home. The good news in this survey was that less than 5 percent of the respondents reported that they walked around with a gun. The not-so-good news is that folks who owned six or more guns and carried a concealed weapon reported that they engaged in at least one of the three impulsive behaviors four times more frequently than persons who owned five or fewer guns.
This is the first study I have seen that finds a correlation between numbers of guns owned and a propensity to carry one of them around. As such, it undercuts the usual pro-CCW argument that people carry guns to defend themselves against crime. …

Here’s another observation: aggressive, combative, ANGRY PEOPLE,  WITHOUT GUNS, DID NOT THREATEN TO OR SHOOT OTHER PEOPLE, whatever else they did.



The Flag is a symbol of the entire country, but as the WaPo, and Snopes all noted, the right wing nuts tried – again – to use it as a mechanism for propaganda (a manipulative form of lying to exploit an agenda) and division. Manipulative dishonesty about respect for the flag, from how the flag is flown, to the pledge of allegiance, is a persistent tactic on the right.


Conservatives are angry all the time because they believe ugly things which are factually false, and because they do so by choice, when verifying the facts can be easily done in our modern age of information.  The right, especially the extreme right, prefers a pretext to hate others, especially a pretext to malign the president specifically, or anyone they consider “other”/liberals/lefties generally.


By keeping the right wingers upset over FAKE issues, the right is able to distract and misdirect their adherents away from arriving at any consensus on valid facts and issues, and from finding any common ground with the rest of the nation, either independent or on the left.  Informed people focus on entirely different topics.


What they do is equally deliberate ignorance and blind adherence to a toxic ideology; it is a targeted form of hatred.  It is evil, and has no valid place in a nation of representative government.


In this instance, after the shooting in Chattanooga, there was an outcry that Obama did not direct those federal flags under his authority to be flown at half-mast.  This was a hijacking of a tragedy for intentional, calculated dishonest right wing exploitation.  THAT is horribly disrespectful of those five members of our armed forces who died tragically. It was not ONLY the usual suspects from the right wing nut propaganda machine, but a rather extensive laundry list of right wing politicians, notably presidential candidates, those who currently or in the past held office, and Trump, jumping on the hate bandwagon.


There is no set time period before or during which this is done, and Obama was within the norm for doing so this past Tuesday.  Typically what is considered the duration of the flags at half-mast is the significant factor for the degree of honor or respect shown. The flags in front of Congress, under the control and direction of the current Republican leadership, followed the same schedule to fly at half-mast, without any criticism or acknowledgement of the right, applying a hypocritical double standard for determining patriotism or the lack of it.


Here is the latest image of flag propaganda, in a very real sense flag ‘porn’ to the extent that rabid conservatives appear to experience an orgasmic catharsis over each new opportunity to foam at the mouth.  The FACTS are that Obama NEVER ordered flags flown at half-mast for Whitney Houston (there is something a bit racist in some of the images used in this propaganda) THAT was ordered by Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, because Houston was born in New Jersey.  Christie took some heat for doing so at the time, so it is not like this was some big secret on the right or anywhere else.


As noted by the fact-checking site,,

You’ve probably seen outraged social media posts and headlines about the White House flag lately, most of which go something like this: President Barack Obama ordered the White House flag to fly at half-staff to mourn Whitney Houston’s death, but failed to do so for the five soldiers slain in Chattanooga, Tenn.
This perceived breach of flag etiquette sparked a flurry of memes on the Internet and jabs on the campaign trail, particularly among conservatives and GOP presidential hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Donald Trump. Fox News columnist Todd Starnes suggested the race of the victims was a factor in Obama not lowering the flag.
After the July 16 shooting, governors such as Rick Scott of Florida and Bill Haslam of Tennessee ordered flags at half-staff, joining local officials who took matters into their own hands absent White House action.
Easton, Pa., Mayor Sal Panto Jr. drove to the city center at a resident’s request on July 18 and lowered the American flag himself. Panto, a Democrat, told local media: “I’m fully aware I don’t have the authority to do this, but I feel I just had to remind the president.” In Madison, Fla., the county sheriff ordered the station’s flag at half-staff July 20. A Facebook post from the sheriff’s office explained, “The Sheriff advised that our President may not honor the fallen Marines with the Capitol’s flags, but we will.”
This perceived breach of flag etiquette sparked a flurry of memes on the Internet and jabs on the campaign trail, particularly among conservatives and GOP presidential hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Donald Trump. Fox News columnist Todd Starnes suggested the race of the victims was a factor in Obama not lowering the flag.
Even Red Sox legend Curt Schilling tweeted out a curve ball, though he insisted it wasn’t directed at the White House: “Flags at half mast for Whitney Houston? 4 Marines and 1 Navy serviceman assassinated by a terrorist on our soil…..nothing?”
The message eventually reached Washington. Republican leaders of Congress lowered the flag atop the U.S. Capitol on July 21. Obama followed suit hours later, ordering the White House flag to fly at half-staff until sunset on July 25.
As early as 2013, various memes have compared Obama’s respect for Houston to his inadequate mourning of Navy SEAL and the inspiration for American Sniper Chris Kyle, child star Shirley Temple Black, and the first general officer killed in Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene.