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Re: Amanda Simpson

January 8, 2010

I missed this in the news initially but XbradTC and Portlandic have both commented on the appointment of Amanda Simpson as a senior technical advisor to the Department of Commerce. A lot of transgendered people are looking at this a a big break-through, and it is, but I am really more interested in whether she is qualified for the job. This applies to any appointee in my opinion. In this case it appears Ms. Simpson is and I wish her luck in the position.

Another issue that has popped up in the course of this appointment is “transphobia”. A lot of people are offended by a joke by David Letterman that they feel

reinforces the age-old ‘tricked by a transwoman’ claim that so many hate crimes defendants use, such as in the recent case of murdered teen Jorge Mercado.

I say that if they can’t see that this makes people like that look foolish then they are the ones with the problem. Comedy plays off of and challenges stereotypes. That’s what makes it edgy and funny. It’s easier to be offended than to work within that framework however.

What I found much more offensive was World Net Daily’s treatment of the appointment. Constantly referring to Ms. Simpson as he and by her former male name reflects an ignorance and bigotry that I won’t forget anytime soon. I’ll be watching Chelsea Schilling and Kathleen Farah closely. I suggest others do the same.


Another Black Conservative asks What is wrong with the GOP establishment? Exhibit A: They hate Palin. Simple answer – she challenges the power of the establishment and isn’t beholden to them.

Bill Quick on Marbury vs. Madison

The notion that judicial review was a gigantic affront either to the Constitution itself, to the men who wrote it, or both, is hooey.

And as you yourself point out, “Of course, I realize we’d be screwed over severely most of the time if they quit exercising the power.”

If Marbury had not existed, we would have had to invent it. If anything, it has probably served to slow our long descent into slavery, not the opposite

Jonah Goldberg asks what can the GOP learn from Dominos

So far the GOP has shrewdly been the “party of no.” Since I disagree with so much of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, I happen to think that “no” is the correct position on the merits. But that’s not the point. Saying “no” has worked because that’s what most Americans say, too.

The trick for the GOP is to figure out what it will say yes to. Republicans are a bit like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Americans were sick of Bush and the Republicans back then, so they threw their support behind the Democrats by default. The Democrats over-read this support as a sweeping mandate for their agenda.


I’d tell the GOP to look not to Reagan in 1980 or Gingrich in 1994, as so many pundits suggest.

I’d look to Domino’s in 2010.


In their four-minute video (search YouTube for “the Pizza Turnaround”), executives, employees, and chefs at the company confront their harshest reviews head-on. They talk about how much it hurts to hear that their product “tastes like cardboard” and is worse than microwave pizza. But they admit the truth and commit themselves to starting over with more flavor, better crusts, and cheese that doesn’t taste like discount weather caulking. Domino’s says that the American palate has improved, and they want to update their recipe to take account of that fact.

The appeal of the campaign should be obvious: honesty. Domino’s admits they lost their way, and they want a second chance. They’re confronting the criticism head-on rather than denying it.


But the GOP’s troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn’t stop liking what the Republican party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

Paying attention Michael Steele / RNC?

2010 Prediction: The Year of the Paid Subscription

Many of the startups and media sites that define the e-commerce ecosystem are, at long last, making serious plans to make serious money. Hulu, the slick portal that picked up where TiVo left off in killing the idea of “appointment television,” is the free site likeliest to begin charging in 2010. Chase Carey, a top executive of News Corp., which owns 27 percent of Hulu, announced in October that “it’s time to start getting paid for broadcast content online” and “Hulu concurs with that.”

Jenn’s prediction – 2010 year of the death of Hulu. I already pay for cable and have a DVR. If Hulu starts charging I will make due with that. If that doesn’t cut it I will live without.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 10:54 am

    The directory does not list a phone number for “Amanda.”

    That quote right there tells me they kept referring to her as “he” as a deliberate insult. They’re essentially saying “That’s not his ‘real’ name, he’s just pretending/lying/deluded.” The list of comments by “Bloggers” (without references or links) just reinforces that. The last two seem to be token supportive comments (though they’re more neutral than supportive). Their ignorance is probably deliberate, because of their bigotry.

    That kind of article always make me extremely angry.

    As for Ms. Simpson, I’m glad she’s been able to have the success she has experienced. I wish we could all have as much success in overcoming society’s prejudices as she has.

  2. xbradtc permalink
    January 8, 2010 11:06 am

    1. re: Hulu- love it, but will never pay for it. There’s too many other options for free online TV. You’re right that if they go to a subscription model, they’ll tank.

    2. re: Amanda Simpson- I didn’t tell you my thoughts on this. I think this is pretty much a “diversity” appointment. Is she qualified? Pretty much, I guess. Is she the best qualified? I doubt it. But given that there’s always some level of playing to various constituencies in political appointments, I can’t get all up in arms about it. I believe it was The Corner that noted yesterday that there were a fair number of openly gay candidates that were getting elected to office, and the primary thing they had in common was that they weren’t running as single-issue candidates. They ran on conventional platforms and just happened to be gay. If Ms. Simpson follows that guideline, she won’t have too many problems.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      January 8, 2010 1:13 pm

      Best qualified is often pretty nebulous when it comes to government service. The absolute best qualified often don’t want to serve. Qualified will have to do. Is this a diversity appointment – probably but conservatives are guilty of that too so that doesn’t tweak me too bad as long as they are qualified.

  3. January 8, 2010 5:55 pm

    Everything I’ve read about Amanda Simpson suggests that she’s got the mad tech skillz to pull this off with aplomb.

    What perplexes me is that the Bureau of Industry and Security isn’t promoting the hell out of the appointment. You think maybe the White House told them to cool it until the Freepers and such calm down?

  4. January 11, 2010 2:57 am

    Seeing as how I know very little about transexuals except that since no one has ever asked my permission to be such, it’s not my business. I shall merely hope that Ms Simpson is good at whatever it is she was appointed to.

    I reckon that even if I was real interested, pro or con, about transexuals I’d still have a problem getting excited about Simpson’s appointment, seein’ as how I’ve gone nearly sixty-three years without ever knowing that there was such a position as senior technical advisor to the Commerce Department. I am actually fairly engaged, politically, to the extent that I was elected to three terms as a Republican Precinct Chairman so if I have never known or thought of the position, I suspect that most of everyone hollering, pro or con is in the same boat.

    In a way, Jenn, this is the ideal position for the “first transexual” appointment. Since hardly anyone knows persactly what her duties are, if she does well it will open up other areas, if she does poorly hardly anyone will know. I suspect that she will, barring sabotage, do well. Knowing she will be blazing a trail would make her less inclined, one hopes, to go for a job for which she would be only marginally competent.

    As an aside, Jenn, this is the first time I’ve ever clicked to your site because of your sexual identity. I followed a link from Little Miss Attila for my first visit, enjoyed the writing and the politics and so have dropped by every once in a while. So I saw the brouhaha about this appointment and figured you’d either know or have links. So, you did, thanks.

    Oh, and why the GOP establishment hates Sarah, it’s more than her challenging the establishment and not being beholden to them, as Governor she went after crooked Republicans as hard, if not harder, than crooked Dems. I believe she is offended by people who abuse their positions of power. How could the establishment not hate her.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      January 11, 2010 9:34 am

      I have to admit that I am not excatly sure what her duties will be either, but since BIS deals with exports of restricted technology it will probably have something to do with that. Given her background in Aerospace I think she is probably qualified for the appointment.

      This really isn’t the first transsexual appointment. After this article ran I was reminded by friends of some others. (Some of them I even know 😛 but because of discretion I will not name names.) This is just the first appointment high level enough to get attention.

      As for Sarah Palin, yeah you are right the GOP has had a mad-on for her for awhile because of the her doings in Alaska, but that’s part of her not being under their thumb.

      Finally thanks for the compliments I appreciate them.


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