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Dear President Clinton: Where’s Your Apology For DOMA?, NYT’s Bruni Asks

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In “Dear President Clinton,” New York Times’ op-ed writer Frank Bruni aptly asks today, “Where’s your apology for signing the Defense of Marriage Act?” DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act President Bill Clinton signed in 1996, bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and affords the states the option to not recognize legal civil same-sex marriages from other states or countries.

“What a year you’ve had, the kind that really burnishes a legend,” Bruni, who is openly-gay, writes today at the Times. “At the Democratic National Convention, on the campaign trail, in speeches aplenty and during interviews galore, you spoke eloquently about what this country should value, and you spoke unequivocally about where it should head. Such a bounty of convictions, such a harvest of words, except for one that’s long overdue: Sorry.”

“Where’s your apology for signing the Defense of Marriage Act?,” Bruni posits.

Acknowledging that in “2009 you at last said that DOMA should be wiped off the books and you endorsed same-sex marriage, getting out ahead of many Democrats who still had elections to worry about and weren’t yet seeing, in polls, as much public support for same-sex marriage as they wanted to see,” Bruni continues:

In 1996, with an overblown worry about your re-election and a desire not to seem too liberal, you put your name to that execrable decree. And you’ve never wholly owned up to that, never made adequate amends. It’s past time, and it’s almost time for Hillary, who is about to step down as secretary of state, to catch up with other cabinet members and President Obama and make her presumed support for same-sex marriage explicit, which she has never done.

Her role as the nation’s senior diplomat discourages her from wading into domestic political matters: that’s the tradition and etiquette. But the gag order will soon be lifted, and I could make the case that it’s irrelevant anyway; that marriage equality is a matter of human rights, not politics; and that she’s powerful and beloved enough to have said whatever she wanted, at least once Obama finally laid down his marker.

In any case she, like you, has been largely on the sidelines during this vital chapter in our country’s march toward greater social justice. What a shame, given that no two people have been larger in the Democratic Party over the last quarter-century and given the party’s deserved pride in its embrace of same-sex marriage now. The two of you should be a more integral part of that pride. You should be at the very epicenter of this. It’s strange and it’s sad that you’re not.

DOMA is a nasty bit of business, in practical as well as symbolic terms. It denies federal pension, health care and medical leave benefits — among many other protections and considerations — to same-sex couples who have been legally married in the growing number of states that permit it. In the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, those couples are singles and when one dies, the survivor has to pay estate taxes, for example, that heterosexual widows and widowers don’t.

This disparate treatment has rightly come under legal challenge, and many federal courts have now ruled that it violates the Constitution’s equal-protection clause. The Supreme Court late last week weighed which, if any, of these cases to take. An announcement is expected soon. With any luck, the nation’s highest court will dismantle DOMA, a decision that wouldn’t create marriage equality coast to coast but would change the tenor of debate in states considering the legalization of same-sex marriage.

After you signed DOMA — which, it must be said, a large majority of Democrats in Congress also supported — your defensiveness often trumped any suggestion of regret. As recently as 2008 you claimed that it’s a rewrite of history “to imply that somehow this was anti-gay.” You dodged the subject in your 2004 memoir, “My Life,” whose 957 pages didn’t include any mention of DOMA, as Frank Rich noted in New York magazine last February.

Bruni is right to challenge former President Clinton — before Hillary Clinton leaves her State Department post — on his ugly and evil contributions from the past. The former president, were the world perfect, not only apologize, but twist some arms behind closed doors to force GOP leaders to agree to repeal.

Hillary today is more popular than she has ever been. If she wants to win the White House in 2016 the Clinton family, together — Hillary has never said she supports marriage equality —  will need to right this wrong.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Desperate Scramble to Stop Steve Bannon From Going to Prison

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On July 1, criminally-convicted former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon is expected to begin his four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress after a federal appeals court in May rejected his last-ditch claim he was merely following advice of counsel by ignoring a lawful subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has a plan to make Bannon’s conviction and prison sentence disappear – and that of former top Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who is currently serving his four-month prison sentence.

“I fully support and am co-sponsoring @RepThomasMassie’s resolution to rescind the subpoenas for Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro by repudiating Nancy Pelosi’s illegitimate J6 committee,” Congresswoman Greene wrote on social media Tuesday.

“Nancy Pelosi violated House rules by refusing to accept McCarthy’s appointed Republicans on the committee. Now, our Republican-led House must nullify any actions taken by the illegitimate J6 committee,” Greene wrote, falsely.

Two federal courts have ruled the House January 6 Committee was legally constituted.

READ MORE: Matt Gaetz Ethics Committee Sexual Misconduct and Drug Use Probe Expands

“We must also hold the J6 Committee members accountable for the destruction of the committee’s records,” she clamored, also falsely.

The New Republic‘s Hafiz Rashid is mocking the Georgia GOP lawmaker: “MTG’s New Plot to Save Trump Allies From Jail May Be Her Stupidest Yet.”

“Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene seems to think you can just rewind time,” TNR writes. “Unfortunately for Greene and other House Republicans, rescinding the subpoenas doesn’t magically mean no crime was committed.”

Bannon, who served as Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign CEO, his Chief White House Strategist, and Senior Counselor to the President, before returning to the far-right wing website Breitbart, where he was a founding board member and later, executive chairman.

But now Bannon, a far-right provocateur, hosts the “War Room” podcast, which Media Matters last year called “the media home of Project 2025 and Trump’s retribution plans.” Last year he called for Rep. Greene to become Speaker of the House.

Project 2025 is The Heritage Foundation’s massive plan to remake the entire Executive Branch, fire thousands of civil servants, and turn the Dept. of Justice into an arm of the next Republican President.

“Bannon has continued his usual activities, such as telling a Turning Point Action convention audience Saturday who exactly will be on Donald Trump’s anticipated ‘retribution’ list and naming Justice Department officials,” TNR added. “But now, after escaping prison once thanks to a Trump pardon over a border wall fraud scheme, he will soon be behind bars, and not in a minimum-security prison camp as he wants, but in a low-security prison like Rikers since he still has an open criminal case against him.”

READ MORE: Whoopi Goldberg Mocks ‘Crook’ Trump for ‘Black Church’ Trip

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Matt Gaetz Ethics Committee Sexual Misconduct and Drug Use Probe Expands

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The House Ethics Committee has expanded its ongoing investigation into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), releasing a rare statement revealing it is now investigating the Florida Republican congressman for allegations of sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, accepting improper gifts, dispensing special privileges and favors to individuals, and obstruction.

The statement detailed the direction of its probe while announcing it has issued dozens of subpoenas and spoke with numerous individuals. It also announced certain allegations will not continue to be investigated.

The bipartisan Committee adds that “at this time” it “will take no further action” on allegations Gaetz “may have shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe or improper gratuity.”

No reasons were given for expanding the probe nor for appearing to step back from pursuing certain  aspects.

Under Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, Gaetz, a top Trump follower, had been under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking of a minor and alleged illicit drug use.

READ MORE: Stephen Miller Furious as Biden Moves to Protect Undocumented Spouses of US Citizens

“Investigators are examining whether Mr. Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws,” The New York Times had reported in 2021, citing unnamed sources. “A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value. The Justice Department regularly prosecutes such cases, and offenders often receive severe sentences.”

The House Ethics Committee had also opened an investigation in 2021, but on Tuesday noted it had paused that probe at the request of the Dept. of Justice, but “reauthorized” its investigation after DOJ withdrew its request.

“On April 9, 2021, the Committee announced it had initiated a review into allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct,” the Ethics Committee said in Tuesday’s statement.

Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan characterized the Committee’s statement as “very unusual,” and adds it “[s]ays Gaetz hasn’t cooperated with the investigation.”

Despite “difficulty in obtaining relevant information from Representative Gaetz and others,” the Ethics Committee revealed it “has spoken with more than a dozen witnesses, issued 25 subpoenas, and reviewed thousands of pages of documents in this matter.”

The Committee notes that Gaetz maintains his innocence. It often indicates an expected date for resolution, updates, or further announcements but did not on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Whoopi Goldberg Mocks ‘Crook’ Trump for ‘Black Church’ Trip

HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery called it “an unusual public statement.”

“Apparently aware the ethics committee would be making a statement about its investigation, Gaetz claimed on social media on Monday afternoon that he’s been the subject of four committee probes and all were closed,” HuffPost reported Tuesday.

On Monday Gaetz targeted former GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“’This is Soviet,’ Gaetz said of the latest ethics investigation,” HuffPost noted. “’Kevin McCarthy showed them the man, and they are now trying to find the crime.’ ”

In April, McCarthy declared he was no longer Speaker “because one person, a member of Congress, wanted me to stop an ethics complaint, because he slept with a 17-year old.”

While McCarthy did not name Gaetz, the Florida congressman has denied that allegation and never been charged for it.

Also on Tuesday Noah Bookbinder, president of the government watchdog Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), announced thew organization is suing DOJ for “documents explaining why the Justice Dept. chose not to prosecute” Gaetz.

Watch McCarthy below or at this link.

READ MORE: Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

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Stephen Miller Furious as Biden Moves to Protect Undocumented Spouses of US Citizens

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Former Trump Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller expressed outrage as news began to break Monday that President Joe Biden will announce protections for about 500,000 undocumented immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens, along with making it easier for Dreamers to get work visas.

“The president’s executive action will shield undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation, allow them to obtain work authorization, as well as ease their path to permanent resident status, the three sources told PBS News,” PBS NewsHour‘s Laura Barrón-López reported. “The announcement will be made at a White House event marking the 12th anniversary of an Obama-era action that protected undocumented youth brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.”

Calling it “New Actions to Keep Families Together,” the Biden White House issued a a fact sheet Tuesday, explaining that “President Biden is announcing that the Department of Homeland Security will take action to ensure that U.S. citizens with noncitizen spouses and children can keep their families together. This new process will help certain noncitizen spouses and children apply for lawful permanent residence – status that they are already eligible for – without leaving the country. These actions will promote family unity and strengthen our economy, providing a significant benefit to the country and helping U.S. citizens and their noncitizen family members stay together.”

There are conditions in place.

READ MORE: ‘Morally Bankrupt Loser’: Top Trump VP Contender Wants to Deport 20 Million People

“In order to be eligible, noncitizens must – as of June 17, 2024 – have resided in the United States for 10 or more years and be legally married to a U.S. citizen, while satisfying all applicable legal requirements. On average, those who are eligible for this process have resided in the U.S. for 23 years.”

Stephen Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy that ripped minor infants and children not only from their parents but even separated them from their own siblings, was outraged.

PBS’s Barrón-López had first shared the details of the Biden plan Monday on social media, noting in part, “President Biden will announce protections tomorrow (Tues) for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and ease work visa access for some Dreamers, per 3 sources briefed by the White House.”

Miller’s response: “Shorter: Biden to give unconstitutional amnesty to illegal aliens during a border invasion.”

Earlier on Monday Miller had written, “Big news: Biden to announce an unconstitutional executive amnesty for illegal aliens during a border invasion and in the aftermath of multiple gruesome raped and murders of Americans at the hands of Biden-freed illegals. This is an attack on democracy.”

READ MORE: Republicans in 10 States Have Now Used Courts to Block Biden’s LGBTQ Student Protections

Miller, who has been called a conspiracy theorist, a white nationalist, and a white supremacist, and appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s list of anti-immigrant extremists, was largely responsible for the separations of more than 5000 infants and children, “with no tracking process that would allow them to be reunited,” an investigation revealed, PBS reported in 2022.

The separations proceeded, NBC News reported in 2020, despite the Trump administration having been warned by its own Dept. of Homeland Security General Counsel, John Mitnick, that: “a court could conclude that the separations are violative of the INA, Administrative Procedure Act, or the Fifth Amendment Due Process clause.”

While not an attorney, Miller is the founder of a law firm that has filed lawsuits to protect white Americans, including “white straight men” and “white males” from alleged discrimination.

Miller also has been promising MAGA activists that if Trump returns to the White House, he “will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown.” Miller and his America First Legal group are part of Project 2025, which has prepared a plan for the movement to “take the reins of government” in a new Trump administration.

READ MORE: Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

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