President Barack Obama today announced his support for same-sex marriage. Six years after his 1996 declaration offering “unequivocal support for gay marriage,” which morphed into a proclaimed support only for same-sex civil unions, today President Obama joined with at least half of Americans who support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. In late 2010 President Obama admitted he was “evolving” on same-sex marriage but has refused to move further until this week, prompted by Vice President Joe Biden‘s announcement on Meet The Press on Sunday that he is â€œabsolutely comfortableâ€Â with same-sex couples marrying.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point Iâ€™ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,â€ President Obama told Robin Roberts of ABC News this afternoon.
ABC NEWS adds:
â€œItâ€™s interesting, some of this is also generational,â€ the president continued. â€œYou know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and weâ€™re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldnâ€™t dawn on them that somehow their friendsâ€™ parents would be treated differently. It doesnâ€™t make sense to them and frankly, thatâ€™s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.â€
Roberts asked the president if First Lady Michelle Obama was involved in this decision. Obama said she was, and he talked specifically about his own faith in responding.
â€œThis is something that, you know, weâ€™ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but itâ€™s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think thatâ€™s what we try to impart to our kids and thatâ€™s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better Iâ€™ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better Iâ€™ll be as president.â€
Peter Wallsten at the Washington Post today had noted that “the calculation has shifted since the Biden remarks put a harsher light on Obamaâ€™s efforts to navigate the issue. Suddenly, a president who hoped to portray himself as a confident and steady decision-maker â€” while painting Romney as a serial flip-flopper â€“ risked looking weak and indecisive,” and added:
If Obama shifts, it will reflect a prevailing view on his team that the political risk of alienating anti-gay marriage voters was now superceded by the danger of tainting his image as a strong leader.
In that October, 2010 interview with gay blogger Joe Sudbay the President made his now-famous quote, that “attitudes evolve, including mine”:
I think itâ€™s a fair question to ask. I think that — I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.
But I also think youâ€™re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.
And I care about them deeply.
Then days before Christmas that year, again in an interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News, the President offered a more-developed version:
Now, with respect to the issue of whether gays and lesbians should be able to get married, Iâ€™ve spoken about this recently.Â As Iâ€™ve said, you know, my feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. Â I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions, and they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.
At this point, what Iâ€™ve said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have.Â And I think â€” and I think thatâ€™s the right thing to do. But I recognize that, from their perspective, it is not enough. And I think this is something that weâ€™re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.
But in a little-known 1996 local newspaper political poll — and before his change of heart, mind, or strategy — then state-senate candidate Barack Obama wrote,Â “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
While U.S. President Barack Obama has achieved more on the front for civil rights for LGBT people than any other sitting president — including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and a refusal to defend DOMA in court — his promise to the LGBT community to be a “fierce advocate” for gay rights feels to some to have fallen flat.
In December 2008, President-elect Barack Obama, walking what would be one of many tightropes on the issue of civil rights for the gay community,Â picked evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration — then defended the choice after a firestorm erupted by saying,Â “I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on, and I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.”
In addition to at least half of all Americans who support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry whom they love, the President joins Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan,Â along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the vast majority of Democratic Representatives and more than two dozen of U.S. Senators, and more than 100 mayors.
Also supporters of same-sex marriage are more than a dozen Governors and more than two dozen former Governors, former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
The motivation behind President Obama’s “evolution” — and his decision to announce it six months ahead of what has already become a contentious election season — may be the fact that as The Washington Post notes, “At least one in six Obama bundlers are gay … making it hard for the president to ignore the growing frustrations.”
Noting that “leadership is about doing whatâ€™s right when it is neither easy nor convenient,” late this morning, before the President’s announcement, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart wrote:
Leadership on issues of civil rights is never easy or convenient because it requires bringing people to a just destination when they are not quite ready to get there. Still, thatâ€™s no excuse for inaction. Thatâ€™s not say that Obama has ignored the inequities facing gays, lesbians and their families. Heâ€™sÂ done moreÂ than all of his predecessors combined. But having his words match his considerable deeds would be the very definition of leadership.
The questions now become, given Obama’s new position, what will it mean in practice — will he help to push for new equality laws? — and will the LGBT community flock toward him?
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‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
Right Wing Social Media Platform Parler Announces Kanye West Will No Longer Buy It in ‘Interest of Both Parties’
After Kanye West‘s antisemitic and racist remarks last month, which led to him being deplatformed by Twitter and Instagram, the extremist artist and rapper announced he was purchasing the right wing “free speech” social media platform Parler, which performs little content moderation.
On Thursday, hours after West went on far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show and praised Adolf Hitler, Parler issued a statement saying by mutual agreement West would not be purchasing the platform.
But the Parler statement, which came from its parent company, also claimed the decision had been made weeks ago.
“In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” Parler said on Twitter. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”
On Thursday, stunning many, West told Alex Jones, “I see good things about Hitler,” as Consequence reported. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
When West had agreed to purchase Parler, he stated, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
CNBC reported last month that “Parler, which initially launched in 2018, was swept up in controversy last year over the role it played in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol building. That led a slew of tech companies, including Google and Amazon, to blacklist the service, rendering its app and website inaccessible.”
Owens, promoting nationalism, told young supporters in London, “Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”
“But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism.”
Hitler was responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people.
Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock
‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’
“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones, as Consequence reports. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
In between those two remarks West launched into a plethora of lies about all the good things Hitler has done, including inventing the microphone (false) and highways (also false.)
West doubled down, exclaiming, “I like Hitler,” and said, “the Jewish media has made us feel like Nazis and Hitler have never offered us anything of value to the world.”
West, who brought a white supremacist with him to dine with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week, today also claimed he loves everyone but injected antisemitic tropes about contracts and pornography.
“I think most Jews are great people,” West said, while claiming, “I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”
West, who goes by “Ye,” astonishingly “took credit for popularizing antisemitism,” Consequence reports, “saying, ‘No one in high school knew what antisemitic meant until Ye made it popular.'”
That, too, is a lie.
The outrage online is palpable.
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted, “JUST NOW: ‘I see good things about Hitler, also. The Jews… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.’
— Kanye West on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.”
“This is Nazism,” he added. “When are we going to say ENOUGH?”
Many pointed to a wildly offensive tweet posted by GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who heads the House Judiciary Republicans. After nearly two months it was removed within minutes of West praising Hitler.
U.S. Rep. Eric Falwell (D-CA) blasted Jordan, saying: “for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing.”
For 2 months Jim Jordan refused to delete this tweet. Even after Kanye declared war on Jews. As he usually does, Jim looked the other way. Only after Kanye praised Hitler today did Jim delete the tweet. We have the receipts, Jim. And for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing. pic.twitter.com/kqzwkNW2pq
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 1, 2022
Funny to learn exactly where the line is for the Republican party.
It’s not explicit but vaguely deniable antisemitism. No, it apparently only kicks in at openly praising Hitler. https://t.co/vMdJmG4Qci
— Dylan Reeve (@DylanReeve) December 1, 2022
Kanye had to literally praise Hitler and the Nazis before Jim Jordan’s House Judiciary Republicans deleted their pro-Kanye tweet. If you want to understand just how extreme the modern GOP is. https://t.co/il7QAg2EiO
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 1, 2022
Sam Stern of Politico and MSNBC took a wider view.
“We’re all gawking at Kanye saying he sees ‘good things about Hitler’ but i can’t escape the absolute dread that people who know no better and look up to this man and stumble upon this interview will be moved, even on the margins, by him,” he tweeted. “This is not a clown show. It’s dangerous.”
As did actor Josh Gad:
“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me. It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform. No one who says “I love Hitler” should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”
There is video online of Kanye West’s vile remarks. NCRM will not post or link to it.
Image via Shutterstock
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