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America, I Live In New York City, I’m Gay, And I’m A “Real American” Too

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This land was made for you and me.

I have spent the past few years writing extensively about the GOP, the religious Right, and the fight for civil rights for the lesbian and gay community. I’ve written about the machinations of radical politicians like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, radical hate groups like “Focus On The Family,” and of course, our President. Over the past two weeks, with the “outing” of former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, some say there’s been a change in the air. (It seems there are a few Republicans who actually do not hate the LGBT community.) This renewed debate has given me even more insight into (and in some cases, contact with,) Republicans.

Republican politicians like Ken Blackwell, Republican hate-group chiefs like Maggie Gallagher, Republican columnists like Don Feder, and countless other right-wing pundits and policy-makers.

And, it seems, one woman, who read a piece I wrote about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, titled, “Top Republican Wants Americans ‘Scared For Their Country’s Future’.” Via Facebook, she says,

“I am scared for my country David, perhaps in NYC you all enjoy the crazy things happening there. Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ. Americans need to be scared, our beloved country is going to the dogs under Obama!

“just read your article and heck yes, we are scared! Scared of Washington giving our country away, scared of behind closed door politics, scared of people who don’t love this country, and people who aren’t PROUD of America (Michelle Obama). I am scared this country continues to go in the wrong direction…away from our beliefs…away from our constitution, away from the laws that have served us well for OVER 200 yrs. Come to MS David, see how the real people live.”

Now, I don’t generally spend a lot of time on the casual Facebook musings of people I don’t know, but this one caught me not for it’s point of view or passion, but for its sincerity.

I truly believe this woman (I don’t think it’s fair to name her. If you need to know who she is contact me,) speaks for many Americans.

But so do I.

She says, “I am scared for my country David…” Of course she is. She is scared because people like Haley Barbour and John Boehner, all her local and national Republican politicians, and their master, Fox News, TOLD her to be scared!

She continues, “perhaps in NYC you all enjoy the crazy things happening there. Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ.” And then ends with, “Come to MS David, see how the real people live.”

There you have it. “The real people.” “Real Americans.” “Real Americans” think people in NYC aren’t “Real Americans.” Well, guess what? We are. New Yorkers are the backbone of this country. We move the wheels of the financial industry, the fashion industry, the art world, the entertainment world, museums, even, my Dear “Real Americans,” FOX “News,” which, if you hadn’t noticed, is based right here in little old Midtown Manhattan, right across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

That’s THE Radio City Music Hall, which hosts things like the Tony Awards, that you “Real Americans” love to watch. Oh, and speaking of the Tonys, New York City is home to Broadway, which tourists across the world use as a paragon of live theatre.We’re also home to the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers.

I, for one, am tired of “Real Americans” telling New York City’s citizens that we’re a great place to visit, but we’re not part of your “Real America.”

Recently, the surviving members of the iconic folk group “Peter, Paul and Mary” (a group, by the way, that was formed right here in New York City,) had to issue a “cease and desist” letter to the National Organization for Marriage, who had been using their song, “This Land Is Your Land,” at their hate rallies. The song, written in 1940 by Woody Guthrie (who grew his career in, yes, New York City,) is perhaps the most-recognized American folk song. No doubt, every “Real American” knows it goes like this:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Dear “Real Americans,” did you happen to catch that?

“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island.”

That’s Manhattan, the center of New York City.

Now, getting back to our Facebook reader, who says, “Here in the south, we don’t like the crazy things that are happening; like the Mosque and ‘cultural center’ near GZ. Americans need to be scared, our beloved country is going to the dogs under Obama!”

Really?

Well, Dear “Real Americans,” here in New York City, we don’t like that many of you are applying your hate and bigotry to our issues. New York City is the melting pot of the melting pot that used to be America. Yet, the American melting pot has cooled and separated, and the Republican party is to blame. The 90% white, mostly-highly-religious Republican Party that hates New York City and hates the LGBT community, is no more the face of “the American People” than a dandelion is the face on a grassy knoll.

This land was made for you and me. Not made for you or me. Not made to be intolerant, hateful, war-mongering, fear-mongering, divisive, selfish, or theocratic.

And yet, and contrary to our Facebook reader who claims Michelle Obama is not “PROUD of America,” (I believe the First Lady IS proud of America, by the way,) I am proud of America. I love my country, despite the fact that almost every day its people give me more and more reason to not be. Despite the fact that I’m still a second-class citizen, denied the very rights our worst pop-icons, for example, Bristol Palin, are delivered at birth and flaunt and toy with to the endless delight of the main stream media gossip machines. Despite the fact that there are, yes, 1138 federal rights that a great many, especially those in the Republican Party, want me to continue to be denied.

Yes, America, this land IS your land, and mine. But until we learn to use it and its resources, including its people, wisely, and to respect and honor our differences, it will go down — in flames. The choice, I’m afraid, is yours, AND mine, as well.

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News

Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority

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Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.

Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.

The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.

An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.

Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”

With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.

RELATED: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”

The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.

Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”

 

 

 

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CRIME

Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case

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A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.

Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”

Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”

The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”

Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.

According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts

The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.

MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Image via Shutterstock

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News

Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand

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Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.

McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.

“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.

But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.

READ MORE: Watch: McConnell and McCarthy Shunned as Congressional Gold Medal Recipients Refuse to Shake Their Hands

“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”

McConnell could not.

“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.

“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.

McConnell ignored the question.

During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.

READ MORE: Far Right Republican Slammed by Raskin for Trying to Derail Respect for Marriage Bill with Failed Religious Amendment

In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”

“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.

McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.

He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.

According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.

Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.

Watch McConnell below or at this link.

 

 

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