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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Gets Major New Weapon: Truth

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Today, Media Matters for America, a watchdog group focused on battling conservative misinformation, released a report entitled, “Myths and falsehoods on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” detailing nine current lies the media and conservative groups are using to kill repeal efforts, and the truth behind them.

In conjunction with this report, Media Matters reports, “a coalition of leading organizations and activists joined together to issue an open letter to the news media demanding that reports on DADT remain accurate and fair.”

I’m glad to see the fourteen organizations below working together, as I have often called for before. It’s only through this type of teamwork that we will reach our success.

The letter, below, is addressed to “Interested Parties.” One assumes, that would mean, Fox News, and the GOP side of Congress.

I hope you’ll take a moment to read these media myths, and arm yourself with the truth. It will set us free, and free those brave servicemembers from living in fear while risking their lives to protect ours.

Here’s the letter, and may I say, Bravo!

Interested Parties:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has announced he will be the chief sponsor of legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. The proposed repeal signifies a crucial step forward in the long-overdue process of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve honestly and proudly in the United States armed services.

Since its inception, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law has resulted in the firing of at least 13,500 servicemembers and has reportedly cost the military an estimated $555.2 million. Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly has proven successful for many of our closest allies and enjoys broad support in the United States among the public and top military leaders alike, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and former Joint Chiefs Chairmen Gen. Colin Powell and Gen. John Shalikashvili.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell proponents too often paint a distorted picture of what a repeal would mean. Today, Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review detailing how opinion pages and cable news talk shows have been flooded with falsehoods and anti-gay rhetoric to support the dubious argument that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is working.

Myths that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would adversely affect unit cohesion, retention, or the HIV rate among servicemembers are not based in reality. Similarly, the anti-gay rhetoric permeating many of these arguments only serves to cheapen the national discussion on this important issue.

Because news outlets continue to repeat these outrageous myths, a coalition of organizations is banding together to combat misinformation about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. As Congress moves forward on this legislation, we will be vigilant in ensuring that news reports are accurate and fair. The public deserves an honest debate — not one marred by blatant falsehoods and anti-gay attacks.

Signed,

AMERICAblog

John Aravosis, Editor

Lt. Dan Choi

US Army Infantry Officer and Arabic Linguist, West Point Graduate, Openly Gay and still serving

Courage Campaign

Rick Jacobs, Founder & Chairman

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Jarrett T. Barrios, President

Human Rights Campaign

Joe Solmonese, President

Knights Out: West Point LGBT Grads

Becky Kanis, Chair

Media Matters for America

Eric Burns, President

National Center For Lesbian Rights

Kate Kendell, Executive Director

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Rea Carey, Executive Director

National Security Network

Heather Hurlburt, Executive Director

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director

Servicemembers United

Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director

Truman National Security Project

Rachel Kleinfeld, CEO & President

VoteVets

Jon Soltz, Co-Founder & Chairman

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Biden Campaign Hammers Trump Over Infamous COVID Comment

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Four years ago today then-President Donald Trump, on live national television during what would be known as merely the early days and weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggested an injection of a household “disinfectant” could cure the deadly coronavirus.

The Biden campaign on Tuesday has already posted five times on social media about Trump’s 2020 remarks, including by saying, “Four years ago today, Dr. Birx reacted in horror as Trump told Americans to inject bleach on national television.”

Less than 24 hours after Trump’s remarks calls to the New York City Poison Control Center more than doubled, including people complaining of Lysol and bleach exposure. Across the country, the CDC reported, calls to state and local poison control centers jumped 20 percent.

“It was a watershed moment, soon to become iconic in the annals of presidential briefings. It arguably changed the course of political history,” Politico reported on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s beach debacle. “It quickly came to symbolize the chaotic essence of his presidency and his handling of the pandemic.”

How did it happen?

“The Covid task force had met earlier that day — as usual, without Trump — to discuss the most recent findings, including the effects of light and humidity on how the virus spreads. Trump was briefed by a small group of aides. But it was clear to some aides that he hadn’t processed all the details before he left to speak to the press,” Politico added.

READ MORE: ‘Cutting Him to Shreds’: ‘Pissed’ Judge Tells Trump’s Attorney ‘You’re Losing All Credibility’

“’A few of us actually tried to stop it in the West Wing hallway,’ said one former senior Trump White House official. ‘I actually argued that President Trump wouldn’t have the time to absorb it and understand it. But I lost, and it went how it did.'”

The manufacturer of Lysol issued a strong statement saying, “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” with “under no circumstance” in bold type.

Trump’s “disinfectant” remarks were part of a much larger crisis during the pandemic: misinformation and disinformation. In 2021, a Cornell University study found the President was the “single largest driver” of COVID misinformation.

What did Trump actually say?

“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said from the podium at the White House press briefing room, as Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx looked on without speaking up. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection, inside, or almost a cleaning, ’cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me.”

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

Within hours comedian Sarah Cooper, who had a good run mocking Donald Trump, released a video based on his remarks that went viral:

The Biden campaign at least 12 times on the social media platform X has mentioned Trump’s infamous and dangerous remarks about injecting “disinfectant,” although, like many, they have substituted the word “bleach” for “disinfectant.”

Hours after Trump’s remarks, from his personal account, Joe Biden posted this tweet:

Tuesday morning the Biden campaign released this video marking the four-year anniversary of Trump’s “disinfectant” remarks.

See the social media posts and videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

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‘Cutting Him to Shreds’: ‘Pissed’ Judge Tells Trump’s Attorney ‘You’re Losing All Credibility’

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New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan heard arguments in court Tuesday morning without the jury present after prosecutors in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office accused Donald Trump of violating his gag order ten times, via posts on his Truth Social account.

Judge Merchan did not rule from the bench, but is expected to announce his ruling possibly as early as later Tuesday. Prosecutors asked for Trump to be held in contempt, and outlined four possible responses. Merchan refused one response but agreed three were possible.

Among them, Merchan might fine Trump and issue a stern warning that could threaten jail time if he violates the gag order in the future.

From the bench, Merchan had directed attorneys to create a timeline of events to show if Trump was reacting to what the ex-president’s attorneys called “attacks.”

“We’re gonna take one at a time, otherwise it’s going to get really confusing,” Judge Merchan said to Trump lead attorney Todd Blanche, as Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien reports. McBrien noted the judge “wants to get the timeline of these posts, reposts, and replies clear.”

RELATED: Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

Trump’s attorneys appeared to suggest if his posts are “political” they should not be subjected to the gag order, which bars Trump from making “public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

“Blanche says that the witnesses are making money, documentaries, TV interviews about Trump, all while Trump is gagged and threatened with jail if he responds,” McBrien also reported. “Merchan wants to get into what was actually said rather than interpret and ‘read between the lines.'”

Blanche earlier had insisted Trump was aware of what the gag order requires.

“‘Just to set the record very straight and clear: President Trump does know what the gag order’ allows him to do and not do,” MSNBC contributor Adam Klasfeld reported.

One of the larger issues discussed appears to be Fox News segments made by host Jesse Watters. One aired hours before then-juror number two asked to be excused, saying they no longer felt they could be impartial.

RELATED: Judge Warns Trump to Not Incite Violence or Make Threats to Officials as Jr. Posts Link Featuring Photo of Judge’s Daughter

MSNBC’s Katie Phang posted this exchange between the judge and Trump’s lead attorney:

“Now, Merchan asks Blanche about what Jesse Watters, in fact, said.

Blanche: No.

Merchan: “So your client manipulated what was said and put it in quotes?

Blanche: I wouldn’t say it was a manipulation.

Merchan: This isn’t a repost at all. Your client had to type it out. Use the shift-key and all.”

It did not go well for Trump and his legal team.

At one point Judge Merchan told Blanche, “You’re losing all credibility.” McBrien reports when Merchan said that, “there was an audible gasp from the press.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal weighed in:

“This isn’t quite like watching a full blown car accident, but it’s certainly like watching a fender bender,” McBrien also noted.

“This is going very badly for Trump already,” reported Courthouse News’ Erik Uebelacker. “Judge Merchan is losing his patience with Blanche, who can’t seem to prove that any of Trump’s attacks are ‘responses.'”

Attorney George Conway went further: “Blanche is flailing. This is painful to watch. Merchan is cutting him to shreds.”

Continuing, Conway wrote (not in quotation marks) Merchan said: “I’ve asked you several times to show me the post that the defendant was responding to. You haven’t done so once.”

He called the judge’s remark “BRUTAL.”

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

“Basically, Blanche is pretty much arguing there’s a ‘running for president’ exception to the gag order that has been specifically directed at the man running for defendant,” Conway adds. “Merchan now getting pissed at Blanche’s unresponsiveness and evasiveness.”

Klasfeld also characterized the exchanges as “brutal.”

“Merchan says he’s going to ‘reserve decision on this,’ after brutal arguments for the defense.”

Trump has been criminally indicted in four separate cases and is facing a total of 88 felony charges, including 34 in this New York criminal trial for alleged falsification of business records to hide payments of hush money to an adult film actress and one other woman, in an alleged effort to suppress their stories and protect his 2016 presidential campaign, which could be deemed election interference.

Image via Shutterstock

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‘I’m Not Suicidal’: Kari Lake Pushes Hillary Clinton Murder Conspiracy Theory

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake is promoting a conspiracy theory suggesting Hillary Clinton wants to assassinate her. Her remarks came just one day before she lost her attempt to have the Supreme Court review what some have called her conspiracy-theory fueled lawsuit about electronic voting machines.

“Lake, who filed the lawsuit during her failed campaign for governor in 2022, challenged whether the state’s electronic voting machines assured ‘a fair and accurate vote.’ Two lower courts dismissed the suit, finding that Lake and former Republican state lawmaker Mark Finchem had not been harmed in a way that allowed them to sue,” CNN reported Monday.

Also on Monday Law&Crime reported that when she filed her lawsuit, a Dominion Voting Systems spokesperson “rejected Lake’s cybersecurity claim, telling Law&Crime it was ‘implausible and conspiratorial.'”

Democracy Docket, founded by top Democratic elections attorney Marc Elias, called it “the end of the road for a conspiratorial lawsuit,” and Lake and Fincham, “election deniers.”

READ MORE: ‘Old and Tired and Mad’: Trump’s Demeanor in Court Detailed by Rachel Maddow

Lake, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has yet to concede the 2022 election, which she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs, has a history of pushing exaggerated and baseless claims.

On Sunday, as MeidasTouch Network reported, Lake promoted an old, anti-Clinton conspiracy theory but twisted it to try to make it appear she was in danger from former U.S. Secretary of State and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lake on Newsmax listened to a clip of Secretary Clinton calling Trump’s fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin a “bromance,” and saying the ex-president is “just gaga over Putin, because Putin does what he would like to do: kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive, you know, journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance.”

Then Lake promoted a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory by responding, “Oh, boy. Oh, that’s really rich coming from a woman like Hillary Clinton, who’s, how many of her friends have just like, mysteriously died or committed suicide?”

“I mean, honestly, that’s rich of her. What President Trump wants is to root out the corruption and deliver our government back to We The People and she looks very nervous. She talked about her friend Mark Elias, Mark Elias has meddled in in his and his cohorts have meddled in the elections.”

She called Democratic policies, “destructive, deadly and frankly, in some ways, diabolical,”and added, “it’s almost comical that Hillary Clinton is talking about Trump wanting to kill his opponents.”

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

“I just want to say as I’m as I’m speaking about this topic, I want everyone out there to know that my brakes on my car have recently been checked and they work. I’m not suicidal. And Hillary, I don’t mean any harm to you. Please don’t send your henchmen out to me. We understand what you’re about. ”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

 

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