Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Has The Promise Of Obama Been Broken For Now, Or Forever?
Part I: That Was Then
“They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?”
So many of us fought hard, worked hard, in our own ways. We gave our money. We gave our time. We gave what felt like our souls. All for building a dream, with peace and glory ahead. All because this honorable, poetic, honest, and at times, challenged, man embodied our dreams of a better world, a new world. We knew he could build a better America. We knew he could save us from Republican greed and dishonesty and bigotry and hate. We knew he could save us from Republican empire and class building and warfare. He told us we were building a dream, and so we followed him. He knew how to use the tools of today to bring us a smarter, better, more human tomorrow. And he promised us something no one else ever had: inclusion. He spoke to us. By name. He spoke to us as if we were (almost, at least) just as good as he was. We gave him everything we had. Some gave all they could just to ensure that, together, we would realize the promise of Obama. But now, many are wondering if his were false promises. Many are seeing promises broken. And many are answering, “NO,” to the question, “Brother, can you spare a dime?”
“Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?”
We were all kids with drums. We all felt like kids. We all felt like children of the 60’s. Standing together, singing in perfect harmony. We had a dream. His dream. Our dream. We sang our dreams to each other through emails and phone calls and heard his name grow louder and louder. We were his army. Manning phone banks. Knocking on our neighbors’ doors. Wearing his “Obama” and “Change” buttons on our khaki suits, our tee shirts, his bumper stickers on our cars, his magnets on our refrigerators. We were his half a million, hell, we were his million-man army.
“Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!”
We were successful. Obama was elected. By a strong margin. He gave us the tools and we made them work. We made our own tools. We networked like crazy. We responded to all his emails. “Please, just $25.” We gave him our money. We built his railroad. We built his shining tower. And once it was done, once he was elected, we gave him time and space to do the nation’s business, putting our needs, our hopes, on hold. We stood in line, waiting for bread. But then he took those hopes and threw them in our face. He ignored our dreams, our needs. And if that weren’t bad enough, last week he compared our relationships to those of marrying children and to incest. We have to wonder, why? Why invoke incest and marrying children to defend DOMA, a law you claim to want to repeal, Mr. President? Why? Don’t you remember us, and your promises to us? Weren’t we buddies? Weren’t we pals?
“Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,”
But as another song goes, money makes the world go round. And in many respects it’s true. But money, withholding money, also makes people stand up and take notice. The gay community is strong. And rich. Very rich. Look at our demographics. Gays are more likely (thanks to the establishment we fight against) to be single, childless, with a greater disposable income, and greater say over where we invest both time and money than our married, child-raising, heterosexual counterparts. Make no mistake, many, a great many of us would like to be afforded the right to marry, many of us don’t even have the right to raise children, and we’re working for those rights, but as it stands now, stripped of that which defines many, marriage and families, we are in a sense a class of privilege: financial privilege. And President Obama and DNC Chair Tim Kaine, would do well to remember that.
Part II: This Is Now
“Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!
Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?”*
The President’s gay agenda is all but invisible. (Click here to view what one enterprising person thinks of Obama’s plan for gay rights.) Certainly, there is no plan to bring the gay community the rights we have fought for. And many are fighting back. At the June 25 Democratic National Committee Fundraiser, several key gay Dems will be conspicuous in their absence: award-winning gay blogger Andy Towle, and author, political strategist and civil rights activist David Mixner. Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend is asking others to drop out in protest:
If you feel so inclined, pleaseÂ politely contact our out LGBT representatives on the Hill to ask them why they still plan to hold the event in the wake of lack of leadership re: DADT repeal and the horrible DOMA brief and 2) do they see anything problematic about financially supporting a party that runs for cover when our issues come up on the Hill.
She then lists contact information for Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jared Polis, three openly-gay Congressmen.
But if withholding money from the DNC to highlight our power and remind people the importance of our cause isn’t enough, perhaps this is: Forbes Magazine, that bastion of capitalism, the icon of industry, today ran an article titled, “The $9.5 Billion Gay Marriage Windfall.” They write, “If half of the same-sex couples got hitched, Forbes estimates that the industry would reap nearly $10 billion in additional revenue.” And continue with,
“There are 781,267 same-sex couples living together in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau’s 2005-07 American Community Survey. The Williams Institute, a research arm of UCLA’s law school, predicts that if gay marriage were legalized nationwide–only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Iowa and (as of earlier this month) New Hampshire allow it now–about half of those couples would tie the knot within three years.
Talk about a stimulus package.”
Our lawmakers need to understand the following:
DOMA is unconstitutional. It violates not only our Constitution but our principles of fairness and equality. And it is unacceptable.
DADT actually weakens our nation by putting at risk the tens of thousands of gay and lesbians serving in our military. Imagine trying to do a good job, putting your life and career on the line every day, only to go to sleep each night knowing tomorrow you could be fired just for being gay. Imagine sending your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend off to war, not knowing if you’ll ever see them again, and knowing if you never do, the knock on the door, the call in the dead of night, won’t be on your door, won’t be to your phone. It is unacceptable.
ENDA will protect millions and millions of gay and lesbian Americans who simply want to continue to do their jobs without harassment or fear of termination just because they are gay. That is unacceptable.
The gay community isn’t the problem. We’re the solution. Enact Hate Crimes (reportedly it will happen this week.) Enact ENDA. Repeal DADT. Repeal DOMA. Watch the economy strengthen. Watch families being formed. Watch families get stronger. Watch children being raised in loving households by two parents. And watch our military men and women grow even stronger and more secure.
Or don’t. And see what happens to the Obama Administration and to the Democratic party. Obama has the ability to change this all. We spent our political capital on him. He needs to spend his political capital on us. Not later, not in a possible second term. But soon. And, he needs to apologize. Or there may not be a second term. And that would be a shame. Because, despite his obvious blind spot for the gay community, I still believe Obama can become the greatest president in decades. We elected him for a reason. Because he is the right man for our time. But if he fails the gay community, it will be his fault, no one else’s. His fault, but the results of that failure will be our burden. We need to force his hand – he won’t do it if we do not.
Today I received a very nice message from a reader. He writes, in part,
“…how can others help you with your mission? I donate $ to HRC and GMHC already.”
Well, here’s my answer:
Times are tough. First, if you need money, stop donating to the DNC, or to the HRC. If you don’t, don’t start. If you donate to charities like GMHC, the Gay Mern’s Health Crisis, by all means, please continue to do so.
Second, money talks, but the promise of money can talk more. Take whatever money you might have donated to the DNC, to a Democratic candidate, and put it aside. then write them a letter. Email is OK, but if you really mean business, write them a letter. Maybe send thema photocopy of a check made out to them in the amount you were going to donate, and tell them that WHEN they vote to repeal DADT, WHEN they vote to repeal DOMA, WHEN they vote to enact ENDA, THEN you’ll make good on your promise. If you’ve sent them money before, remind them of that.
So, you say, you don’t have time? Well take some of the funds you were going to donate and donate them to yourself, in the form of hiring a neighbor’s son or daughter to save you time by waling your dog, cleaning your home, cutting your lawn, running some errands. Take that time and start writing your letters to the people we put in office to do the right thing. Tell them you’ve started your own stimulus program in your neighborhood. Tell them, until they cast their vote for civil rights, for a stronger nation, you can’t spare a dime.
*”Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)
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Trump Indicted by Grand Jury: Reports
Donald Trump’s attorneys have been notified a grand jury has voted to indict the ex-president on numerous federal charges and ordered to appear in a Miami court next Tuesday, according to ABC News, CNN, and NBC News. Trump on his Truth Social account made a similar claim..
“Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in the special counsel’s classified documents probe, sources familiar with the matter tells CNN,” the network reports. “Trump has been charged with seven counts in the indictment, according to another source familiar with the matter.”
CNN has two sources confirming that Trump has been indicted pic.twitter.com/xY7aFXo9dL
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 8, 2023
“We’re learning from our sources that there appears to be at least seven counts here,” ABC News’ Katherine Faulders reported on-air, ABC News online reports.. “This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal to false statements and representations.”
MSNBC on-air reports NBC News has confirmed the Trump indictment, and NBC News online reports the indictment is “in connection with his mishandling of more than 100 classified documents that were discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, making the twice-impeached former commander-in-chief the first former president to face federal criminal charges.”
Watch this currently ongoing ABC News live streaming video:
BREAKING: Former Pres. Trump has been indicted for a second time, sources familiar confirm to @ABC News.
@PierreTABC joins @DavidMuir: “This is perhaps one of the most consequential investigations the Justice Department has done in recent memory.” pic.twitter.com/klwOQjGoiK
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 8, 2023
In three separate entries on his Truth Social platform, Trump writes: “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted,” along with several false allegations NCRM will not publish.
“I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,” he adds.
He also declares he is “innocent.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
‘Where’s the Money?’: Biden Laughs Out Loud, Mocks GOP’s Allegations
Just as his press conference with the U.K. Prime Minister was coming to a close and reporters were asked to remain seated, a jovial President Joe Biden stayed and took several questions from reporters desperate to ask about Republicans’ baseless and unsubstantiated claims he accepted millions in bribe money when he was vice president.
Shouting “bribery allegations,” one reporter told the President, “Congresswoman Nancy Mace says there’s damning evidence in an FBI file that you sold out the country.”
As a smile worked its way across the President’s face, the reporter continued saying: “Do you have a response to congressional Republicans?”
The President did.
“Where’s the money?” he deadpanned.
“I’m joking,” he added.
READ MORE: Watch: Stunned Bill Barr Speechless After Fox Host Asks Why DOJ Is Pursuing Trump ‘In the Middle’ of an Election
“That’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden ultimately responded, denying the claims which were fueled by FBI Director Chris Wray’s decision to allow the entire House Oversight Committee, in eluding far-right Republicans, access to an old FBI form documenting a second-hand tip alleging bribery.
NBC News Peter Alexander then threw a curious question at the President.
“Mr. President, what do you say to Americans to convince them that they should trust the independence and fairness of the Justice Department when your predecessor, Donald Trump, repeatedly attacks it?”
Biden quickly became less jovial.
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
“Because you notice,” he said very seriously, pointing his finger at the reporter, “I have never once, not one single time, suggested to the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative bringing a charge or not bringing a charge.”
“I’m honest,” he stressed.
Foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf responded to the video clip, stating: “Questions like these are not serious journalism.”
Watch below or at this link.
REPORTER: Nancy Mace says there’s evidence you sold out the country
JOE BIDEN: It’s a bunch of malarkey
REPORTER: What do you say to Americans to convince them that they should trust the fairness of the DOJ?
BIDEN: I haven’t once suggested what they should do. I’m honest. pic.twitter.com/TacFfZwFvG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 8, 2023
Watch: Stunned Bill Barr Speechless After Fox Host Asks Why DOJ Is Pursuing Trump ‘In the Middle’ of an Election
Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, once one of the ex-president’s top defenders, appeared stunned and speechless Thursday afternoon when a Fox News host surprised him by asking why the U.S. Dept. of Justice is pursuing a criminal investigation against Trump over classified documents while he is running again for president.
“Why is this process happening so quickly in the middle of a presidential election?” Fox’s Martha MacCallum asked. She neglected to mention that Donald Trump reportedly announced his presidential campaign to avoid being charged.
Barr, who is on record stating he opposes Trump’s actions surrounding the hundreds of classified and top secret documents he likely unlawfully removed from the White House and refused to return, paused for several seconds before replying.
“Uh,” Barr finally replied, “This, this was a fairly simple case,” he said, appearing to defend DOJ.
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
“The Mar-a-Lago case. This is a case that can be done relatively quickly, and that’s why I thought, it’s the main – because it’s a very limited question,” Barr explained, shifting gears. “It relates to, ah, one collection of documents and and why they weren’t given to the government once they were subpoenaed. And it’s a pretty simple case.”
Moving on, MacCallum asked, “And you believe that the charge will be obstruction, based on what you’ve said before?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Barr responded, seeming to not want to bet pinned down to an answer, “if I had to bet I think that that there’s going to be an indictment here on that basis, but it’s not going to be because he took the documents, or even had the documents for a while. I think it’s because they believe that he acted deceitfully once the government tried to get the documents back.”
On Tuesday, Barr spoke with CBS News to refute his ex-boss’s “witch hunt” claims, said the ex-president had “jerked” DOJ around over the hundreds of classified and top secret documents he refused to return, and added there was “no excuse” to do so.
READ MORE: Biden Launches Major Initiative to Protect LGBTQ Community Ahead of Massive White House Pride Celebration
Watch Barr below or at this link.
Fox’s Martha MacCallum asks why the Trump classified documents case is “happening so quickly in the middle of a presidential election.”
Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr: “This was a fairly simple case.” pic.twitter.com/GkhPvvZEAE
— The Recount (@therecount) June 8, 2023
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