The National Organization For Marriage late last night released a fundraising email loaded with shockingly offensive commentary about NOM President Brian Brown‘s dinner table marriage debate with noted LGBT author and activist Dan Savage. The email, a whopping 2525 words, uses hackneyed NOM tricks — like hate mongering, fear mongering, claims of religious and biblical superiority — and of course, ends with a fundraising plea, a pretty tacky exhibition of pure greed. Overall, Brown displays the fact that he’s unwilling to engage in true debate, consider anyone else’s position — and is a very bad guest.
“Let me pose a question to the Dan Savages of the world,” NOM President Brian Brown posits, dehumanizing his host as he fear-mongers to his supporters. “Once gay people were a powerless and defenseless minority.”
Now, you have organized, protested, and become powerful through the use of democratic freedoms and intellectual debate, a powerful cultural force in our time. What use do you intend to make of your power?
“Liberty when men act in groups is power,” as Edmund Burke said, and before we congratulate them, or they congratulate themselves, it behooves us to look at what use they intend to make of the growing cultural power.
[All bolding is Brian’s, not ours.]
What does Brian want his supporters to think we’re going to do with our “power”?
As an aside, here’s an excellent graphic, via Zack Ford at Think Progress,Â that addresses this very issue:
So, what are we going to do with this so-called power that the LGBT community supposedly has (which we don’t)? Get married. Raise families. Try to be happy, and live our lives.
In another breath, Brown states:
Dan Savage called us here at NOM liars. He thinks we are telling lies, because we say things he doesn’t believe.
“Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor’,” he told me. “I do believe NOM is in the bearing false witness business and routinely bears false witness against LGBT people.”
“NOM tends to do it through linking and surrogates,” he said, echoing the absurd arguments of Scott Rose and now also Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
NOM and its related businesses, like the Ruth Institute, have blatantly ignored truth and the law. And Â yes, it is true that “NOM tends to do it through linking and surrogates,” as with the pastor who spoke at NOM’s anti-gay marriage rally, and said, as NOM officials stood by, not uttering a word in response to this statement, translated from Spanish:
“Gays are worthy of death.”
NOM did not issue a statement apologizing or refuting that statement. The only acknowledgment of it came fro Â Maggie Gallagher, who wrote in the comments section of one of the many articles we published on the subject.
On that note, NOM certainly was quick to blame the LGBT community and theÂ Southern Poverty Law Center for theÂ Family Research Council shooting. NOM not once has come out to support our community or offer condolences — much less take any responsibility for contributing to a climate of hate Â — when pastor after pastor after pastor has announced children who might seem to be gender non-conforming be “knocked” and beaten, that all gay people should be rounded up and put in pens, to “die out,” or that gay people are responsible for any one of a number of natural tragedies, like hurricanes and earthquakes.
Not. One. Peep. Courtesy of the folks atÂ NOM, the National Organization For Marriage.
Meanwhile, often, sometimes daily, the anonymous “NOM staff” blogger(s) on the NOM Blog will publish excerpts of articles designed to attack the LGBT community, so NOM can claim it didn’t state those lies and half-truths and cherry-picked items, someone else did. Perhaps Brian should start actually reading the NOM blog?
We should note Brown mentionsÂ The New Civil Rights Movement’s own Scott Rose, who has written dozens of articles on NOM, and the Regnerus flawed anti-gay “parenting” study, which Brown brought up during his debate with Savage. Rose is responsible in large part for the actions taken by the University of Texas and the publisher of the Regnerus “study” that have led those associated with the Regnerus study to, as one reviewer employed by the publisher stated, call it “bullshit.”
Certain members of the gay community, embraced and endorsed by as powerful a voice as Dan Savage’s, are out trying to destroy a young scholar’s careerâ€”not debating and refuting his study, or accepting the challenge of coming up with random samples of gay parents raising children as Regnerus didâ€”but trying to end his career because he published a study in a peer-reviewed journalâ€”but Dan absurdly claimed that this attempted destruction of Prof. Regnerus’ career is our fault.
Well, that’s false. Regnerus’ peers and the LGBT community are trying to stop NOM, anti-gay organiztions, and hate groups from using a debunked and wildly flawed “study” that harms the entire LGBT community, the children we are raising, and empirical truth and facts. Regnerus’ career is not our focus, but he traded his reputation to advance his anti-gay agenda and his bank account, and that is unacceptable.
Sadly, the Regnerus study has now appeared in Supreme Court amicus briefs and a federal court judgment against a same-sex marriage case.
Almost the entire fundraising letter is skewed, fictional, divisive, attacking, offensive, and just plain ugly, but Brown couches it in religion so thinks that makes him right. It does not.
And he positions himself as the battling warrior hero, which is just plain dumb.
Comments like, “As I told Dan face to face,” “I went on to tell Dan in his own home,” and this gem:
I called for this debate with Dan Savage to show that Iâ€”with your support and helpâ€” that we would go anywhere to defend the principles that you and I hold dear.
Even into the Seattle, Washington home of a homosexual and his “husband,” right, Brian? Because that’s what you really wanted to say, isn’t it?
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You pointes to this passage from Brown’s email:
But leave it to the National Organization For Marriage, while thanking Dan for having him to his home, to pointedly downgrade Terry and Dan’s status:
Let me first begin by saying thank you to Dan Savage for the invitation to come to his home and the chance to meet his partner and his child.
Dan has since told the moderator, Mark Oppenheimer, that he regrets having the event at his home because his role as host interfered with his full prosecution of me (and through me, all NOM supporters):
“Playing host put me in this position of treating Brian Brown like a guest,” he said. “It was better in theory than in practice â€” it put me at a disadvantage during the debate, as the undertow of playing host resulted in my being more solicitous and considerate than I should’ve been. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d go with a hall.”
So I want to make sure and thank Dan Savage and his partner for opening their home to me.
And Hooper notes:
Probably not that big of deal to Brian, since his career is quite literally built around taking away certain kinds of Americans’ legal statuses. But surely a huge deal to Dan, Terry, and *their* son.
Perhaps we should just be thankful Brian didn’t go with colleague, associate, or Player #2.
Yes, overall, Brian Brown is a bad guest. But he’s also a bad citizen, working hard to jam down people’s throats his idea that marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman — not two men or two women — and making the LGBT community out to seem evil.
That not just bad public policy, that’s not just bad citizenship, that’s not just bad business practice, that’s just plain bad.
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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticket via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is pushing baseless conspiracy theories about the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon floating over the United States – currently, over Montana – that the Pentagon is tracking, and he’s being widely mocked for his unfounded fear-mongering.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner set the stage perfectly for the far-right Republican from Kentucky, declaring the balloon is “the size of three buses” and that “China says was taken by wind – wind that we can’t substantiate.”
The Kentucky congressman who has falsely described President Biden as “compromised,” and stated he is going to target and investigate him, told Faulkner, “I have concern this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale.”
Comer, 50, a former agriculture commissioner, lamented about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming it hurt the reputation of America’s military and Commander in Chief.
The balloon, he said, should “never have been allowed” to cross over into the United States.
“My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” he asked, pushing unfounded theories while echoing the far-right’s false claims the COVID-19 virus was developed as a bioweapon and escaped the lab in Wuhan, China.
After suggesting it might have bioweapons, he then said it was “very concerning” the balloon was not shot down before reaching the U.S. – which could have spread the alleged bioweapon.
Faulkner, seen by some as a propagandist, then jumped in to exhibit her surprise that “people on Capitol Hill were not briefed” about the balloon.
“Calling for the president to ‘shoot down’ the craft,” The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona adds, “some in the GOP called the president ‘Beijing Biden’ while claiming this is further proof that ‘Communist China’ doesn’t ‘fear or respect’ Biden.”
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer to Fox News: “My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” pic.twitter.com/0r9JmBl4zo
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 3, 2023
“Honestly,” communications strategist Doug Gordon noted, “just surprised he didn’t find a way to include Hunter’s laptop into that conspiracy theory.”
“Actually, he did later on,” Baragona replied.
National security expert Denver Riggleman, the Republican former U.S. Congressman from Virginia who assisted the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, tweeted: “Bioweapons? FFS”
Referring to Comer’s unfounded bioweapons claim, one Twitter user observed, “Isn’t that more reason not to shoot at it? I’m not saying I know what to do, but logic would dictate ‘don’t shoot at balloons full of bioweapons.’ Right?”
Another noted that the Oversight Chairman should have been listening to the Pentagon’s briefing “taking place now instead of running to get on Fox to talk about something he has no expertise in.”
Another, mocking Comer, noted: “If they were sending a bio weapon, why would they park it over sparsely populated Montana? *rolls eyes*”
Watch the video above or at this link.
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