78 mayors of cities large and small today are joining together in Washington, D.C. at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of MayorsÂ to sign a statement supporting same-sex marriage equality, as part of an effort called “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.” The bipartisan coalition, which notes that same-sex marriage is good for the economy and for families, is chaired by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego, and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. The effort was created by Evan Wolfson’s Freedom To Marry campaign.
The full statement, which all the mayors are signing today, reads:
As mayors of great American cities, we proudly stand together in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. We personally know many gay and lesbian people living in our cities who are in committed, loving relationships, who are active participants in the civic life of our communities, and who deserve to be able to marry the person with whom they share their life.
We are proud that at its 2009 annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution stating that: â€œThe U.S. Conference of Mayors supports marriage equality for same-sex couples, and the recognition and extension of full equal rights to such unions, including family and medical leave, tax equity, and insurance and retirement benefits, and opposes the enshrinement of discrimination in the federal or state constitutions.â€
Our cities derive great strength from their diversity, and gay and lesbian families are a crucial part. Studies have shown what we know through our hands-on experienceâ€”that cities that celebrate and cultivate diversity are the places where creativity and ideas thrive. They are the places where todayâ€™s entrepreneurs are most likely to choose to build the businesses of tomorrow. Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry enhances our ability to build this kind of environment, which is good for all of us.
We stand for the freedom to marry because it enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do. We look forward to working to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage with the person with whom they share their life.
Noticeably absent from the list is Dallas, Texas, mayor Mike Rawlings. The Dallas Voice reports that Rawlings, “says he ‘personally’ supports same-sex marriage but doesnâ€™t sign things related to social issues that donâ€™t directly impact city affairs.”
Here’s the list. Is your mayor on it? If not, ask them!
Current Mayors for the Freedom to Marry:
|Michael Bloomberg – New York, NY (Chair)||Thomas Menino – Boston, MA (Chair)|
|Annise Parker – Houston, Texas (Chair)||Jerry Sanders – San Diego, CA (Chair)|
|Antonio Villaraigosa – Los Angeles, CA (Chair)||Samuel Adams – Portland, OR|
|Tom Bates – Berkeley, CA||William Bell – Durham, NC|
|David Berger – Lima, OH||Richard Bloom – Santa Monica, CA|
|Cory Booker – Newark, NJ||Bruce Botelho – Juneau, AK|
|Ardell Brede – Rochester, MN||Christopher Cabaldon – W. Sacramento, CA|
|John Callahan – Bethlehem, PA||Stephen Cassidy – San Leandro, CA|
|Craig Cates – Key West, FL||Mark Chilton – Carrboro, NC|
|Joshua Cohen – Annapolis, MD||Chris Coleman – St. Paul, MN|
|Dennis Coombs – Longmont, CO||Joy Cooper – Hallandale Beach, FL|
|Frank Cownie – Des Moines, IA||John Duran – West Hollywood, CA|
|Paul Dyster – Niagara Falls, NY||Rahm Emanuel – Chicago, IL|
|Bill Finch – Bridgeport, CT||Peter Fosselman – Kensington, MD|
|Bob Foster – Long Beach, CA||Laura Friedman – Glendale, CA|
|Ava Frisinger – Issaquah, WA||Marie Gilmore – Alameda, CA|
|Mike Gin, Redondo Beach, CA||Vincent Gray – Washington, D.C.|
|George Heartwell – Grand Rapids, MI||John Hieftje – Ann Arbor, MI|
|Bobby Hopewell – Kalamazoo, MI||Sylvester James, Jr. – Kansas City, MO|
|Edward Kelly – Cleveland Heights, OH||Mark Kleinschmidt – Chapel Hill, NC|
|Mark Kruzan – Bloomington, IN||Don Lane – Santa Cruz, CA|
|Timothy Leavitt – Vancouver, WA||Edwin Lee – San Francisco, CA|
|Lee Leffingwell – Austin, TX||Craig Lowe – Gainesville, FL|
|David Lublin – Town of Chevy Chase, MD||Karen Majewski – Hamtramck, MI|
|Jan Marx – San Luis Obispo, CA||Mike McGinn – Seattle, WA|
|Alex Morse – Holyoke, MA||Lori Moseley – Miramar, FL|
|Jeri Muoio – West Palm Beach, FL||David Narkewicz – Northampton, MA|
|Don Ness – Duluth, MN||Michael Nutter – Philadelphia, PA|
|Frank Ortis – Pembroke Pines, FL||Kitty Piercy – Eugene, OR|
|Steve Pougnet – Palm Springs, CA||Jean Quan – Oakland, CA|
|Thomas Richards – Rochester, NY||Clarissa Rowe – Arlington, MA|
|Matthew Ryan – Binghampton, NY||RT Rybak – Minneapolis, MN|
|Robert Sabonjian – Waukegan, IL||Helene Schneider – Santa Barbara, CA|
|Ann Schwab – Chico, CA||Pedro Segarra – Hartford, CT|
|Eric Senter – Franklinton, NC||Jeffrey Slavin – Town of Somerset, MD|
|Paul Soglin – Madison, WI||Marilyn Strickland – Tacoma, WA|
|Angel Taveras – Providence, RI||Nick Tell – Manhattan Beach, CA|
|Elizabeth Tisdahl – Evanston, IL||Setti Warren – Newton, MA|
|Bruce Williams – Takoma Park, MD||Dana Williams – Park City Park, UT|
Image: Mayor Parker of Houston speaking at the launch of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, via Freedom to Marry
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Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’
The monthly jobs report released Friday morning is being heralded as “robust,” “upbeat,” and “stronger than expected,” as unemployment again dropped to a near-50-year low (3.7%) while the economy added another 199,000 jobs.
“It’s the little engine that could, and this little locomotive keeps a chugging along…” declared professor of economics and public policy scholar Justin Wolfers.
“So the last three months have seen jobs growth at a very healthy average rate of +204k per month,” he added. “For context: Average monthly job growth from Jan 2000 to Dec 2019 was +87k.”
“If I had asked you a year ago to sketch what you thought a soft landing might look like,” he said, praising America’s post-COVID pandemic economy, “it’s likely you would have pretty much drawn the current economic data.”
On Thursday, Wolfers had discussed the incongruence between what economic data consistently shows about the strength of the U.S. economy, and what Americans are telling pollsters.
“There’s no question people are telling pollsters they’re miserable about the economy. But riddle me this,” he asked, “Why can’t we find evidence of this pessimism in anything other that public opinion polls? Every non-poll based indicator of confidence suggests folks are optimistic.”
Heather Long, The Washington Post economic columnist, offered this view in response to Friday’s jobs report.
“Step back for a minute and look at this US job market,” she wrote.
“4.7 million more jobs than pre-pandemic
Below 4% unemployment for two years
Wages growing faster than inflation
Women (ages 25 to 54) at an all-time high for labor force participation”
Even Fox News was forced to deliver positive comments while reporting on Friday’s monthly numbers.
“Overall you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive,” admitted pro-Trump Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We’ve got more jobs created than expected.”
Speaking to the former chief economist of The White House National Economic Council under President Trump, Bartiromo said, “Joe LaVorgna, you’ve been saying this, the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.”
Watch below or at this link.
it’s time for my favorite Friday tradition — Maria Bartiromo having to cope with announcing another strong jobs report pic.twitter.com/bsOIQToEwe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist
Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.
““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”
Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”
And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.
“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.
None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.
Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”
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