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DOMA: $10 Billion Waste Threatens Conservative Movement’s Survival

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To regain relevancy and survive, conservatives — Republicans, libertarians, Tea Party members, independents — must clearly choose between returning to their true, core principles (e.g., fiscal responsibility, limited government) versus continuing to waste public funds on policies of social oppression.

The best example of a restrictive policy that dooms the conservative movement is the 18-year-old DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).

The law’s true goal was to boost conservatives’ election results, but the sponsors falsely claimed that its purpose was to save money. That was untrue. It saves nothing. It consistently loses money. The savings that conservative authors promised never even started.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear conservative arguments, conceived, drafted, and bought with taxpayer dollars, claiming that outlawing same-gender marriage saves government money because it bans couples from programs they already paid for. But even after 18 years, conservatives can offer no evidence that supports this claim, because they know it’s false. That’s why they blocked the Congressional effort to require the General Accounting Office to itemize the costs and savings of repealing DOMA.

Despite conservatives falsely claiming that they were saving money, and then blocking an audit that would prove whether their claim was true, the approximate losses from DOMA’s federal fiscal fiasco have been public knowledge for nine years.

In 2004, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that if state and federal governments honored same-gender marriage nationwide from 2005 through 2015, the net effect would benefit the federal budget’s bottom line — by nearly $10 billion. Even though expenses would increase for federal programs such as veterans, pensions, and Social Security, those costs would be more than offset by: (1) decreased costs for programs such as elderly/disabled benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare, and (2) increased tax revenue because people pay more taxes when they’re married than when they’re single. Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that over the last decade, the number of same-gender couples grew in every single state, and grew nationally from 358,390 to 646,464 couples. Had the Budget Office known nine years ago about that 80% increase, and also known that actual couples are 15% more than Census figures indicate, then the net $10 billion calculated in 2004 would have been estimated as far larger.

Beyond the federal red ink lost each year, DOMA — and measures like it — are increasingly threatening the very existence of the conservative movement. There are only a few remaining pockets of conservatives who still oppose same-gender marriage, and each of those groups is shrinking. Potential and former conservatives say that the stifling positions against social issues are what stop them from joining up, make them leave, and keep them from returning.

In this environment, laws like DOMA all will eventually be: (a) repealed because they are wasteful, (b) overturned because such discrimination is unconstitutional, or (c) never passed in the first place. In November, Minnesotans voted down a ban on same-gender marriage, Iowans voted to retain a Supreme Court justice who ruled in favor of marriage equality, Mainers created a new law for it right at the ballot box, and Marylanders and Washingtonians chose to keep existing laws for marriage equality. Now lawmakers in 12 more states are poised to do likewise. That will bring the total to 22 states, covering 45% of the nation’s people.

Meanwhile, flying in the face of progress and working to keep DOMA intact are the same people who authored it: older conservatives. Of the 279 Republicans in Congress today, 99% are blocking its repeal. Their party platform is committed to writing DOMA’s discriminatory language directly into the U.S. Constitution.

Sixteen conservative attorneys general just filed a legal brief defending DOMA, in which they argue that banning same-gender couples from marriage encourages more mixed-gender couples to marry, and more of them to procreate, and to breed more often. They also argue that families with children by prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, foster care, and/or adoption are inferior, and deserve fewer legal rights.

Ten conservative U.S. senators just filed a legal brief defending DOMA, in which they argue that denying federal benefits to same-gender couples saves government money because that denial discourages them from marrying.

Twelve conservative attorneys general just filed a legal brief defending California’s same-gender marriage ban, in which they argue that same-gender marriages cause “disintegration“ of mixed-gender marriages.

For all four of these claims, the conservatives behind DOMA offered not one shred of proof, even to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ten states have been marrying same-gender couples for up to ten years, but conservatives couldn’t find even one mixed-gender couple who avoided a wedding, curtailed their breeding, or disintegrated.

So far, none of the conservative arguments made for defending DOMA have survived courtroom scrutiny. Every argument attempted to date — scientific, historical, cultural, legal — has failed. The new ones being test driven this month at the U.S. Supreme Court are some of the weakest ever offered.

What potential conservatives are seeing and hearing now is just too discordant for them to tolerate. If the old guard doesn’t stop supporting DOMA-like measures, and doesn’t stop claiming to save money when they know they’re really wasting it, then the conservative movement will never recover all of the sympathy, influence, and control that it needs to survive.

The last batches of young, educated voters are about to jump ship for good, and no one’s stopping them.

 

Image via Wikipedia 

skitched-20130320-084004Ned Flaherty is an LGBT activist currently focused on civil marriage equality, and previously on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. He writes from Boston, Massachusetts, where America’s first same-gender civil marriages began in 2004. He suffered a childhood exposure to Roman Catholic pomp and circumstance, but the spell never took, and he recovered.

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Biden Campaign Hammers Trump Over Infamous COVID Comment

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Four years ago today then-President Donald Trump, on live national television during what would be known as merely the early days and weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggested an injection of a household “disinfectant” could cure the deadly coronavirus.

The Biden campaign on Tuesday has already posted five times on social media about Trump’s 2020 remarks, including by saying, “Four years ago today, Dr. Birx reacted in horror as Trump told Americans to inject bleach on national television.”

Less than 24 hours after Trump’s remarks calls to the New York City Poison Control Center more than doubled, including people complaining of Lysol and bleach exposure. Across the country, the CDC reported, calls to state and local poison control centers jumped 20 percent.

“It was a watershed moment, soon to become iconic in the annals of presidential briefings. It arguably changed the course of political history,” Politico reported on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s beach debacle. “It quickly came to symbolize the chaotic essence of his presidency and his handling of the pandemic.”

How did it happen?

“The Covid task force had met earlier that day — as usual, without Trump — to discuss the most recent findings, including the effects of light and humidity on how the virus spreads. Trump was briefed by a small group of aides. But it was clear to some aides that he hadn’t processed all the details before he left to speak to the press,” Politico added.

READ MORE: ‘Cutting Him to Shreds’: ‘Pissed’ Judge Tells Trump’s Attorney ‘You’re Losing All Credibility’

“’A few of us actually tried to stop it in the West Wing hallway,’ said one former senior Trump White House official. ‘I actually argued that President Trump wouldn’t have the time to absorb it and understand it. But I lost, and it went how it did.'”

The manufacturer of Lysol issued a strong statement saying, “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” with “under no circumstance” in bold type.

Trump’s “disinfectant” remarks were part of a much larger crisis during the pandemic: misinformation and disinformation. In 2021, a Cornell University study found the President was the “single largest driver” of COVID misinformation.

What did Trump actually say?

“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said from the podium at the White House press briefing room, as Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx looked on without speaking up. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection, inside, or almost a cleaning, ’cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me.”

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Within hours comedian Sarah Cooper, who had a good run mocking Donald Trump, released a video based on his remarks that went viral:

The Biden campaign at least 12 times on the social media platform X has mentioned Trump’s infamous and dangerous remarks about injecting “disinfectant,” although, like many, they have substituted the word “bleach” for “disinfectant.”

Hours after Trump’s remarks, from his personal account, Joe Biden posted this tweet:

Tuesday morning the Biden campaign released this video marking the four-year anniversary of Trump’s “disinfectant” remarks.

See the social media posts and videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

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‘Cutting Him to Shreds’: ‘Pissed’ Judge Tells Trump’s Attorney ‘You’re Losing All Credibility’

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New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan heard arguments in court Tuesday morning without the jury present after prosecutors in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office accused Donald Trump of violating his gag order ten times, via posts on his Truth Social account.

Judge Merchan did not rule from the bench, but is expected to announce his ruling possibly as early as later Tuesday. Prosecutors asked for Trump to be held in contempt, and outlined four possible responses. Merchan refused one response but agreed three were possible.

Among them, Merchan might fine Trump and issue a stern warning that could threaten jail time if he violates the gag order in the future.

From the bench, Merchan had directed attorneys to create a timeline of events to show if Trump was reacting to what the ex-president’s attorneys called “attacks.”

“We’re gonna take one at a time, otherwise it’s going to get really confusing,” Judge Merchan said to Trump lead attorney Todd Blanche, as Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien reports. McBrien noted the judge “wants to get the timeline of these posts, reposts, and replies clear.”

RELATED: Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

Trump’s attorneys appeared to suggest if his posts are “political” they should not be subjected to the gag order, which bars Trump from making “public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

“Blanche says that the witnesses are making money, documentaries, TV interviews about Trump, all while Trump is gagged and threatened with jail if he responds,” McBrien also reported. “Merchan wants to get into what was actually said rather than interpret and ‘read between the lines.'”

Blanche earlier had insisted Trump was aware of what the gag order requires.

“‘Just to set the record very straight and clear: President Trump does know what the gag order’ allows him to do and not do,” MSNBC contributor Adam Klasfeld reported.

One of the larger issues discussed appears to be Fox News segments made by host Jesse Watters. One aired hours before then-juror number two asked to be excused, saying they no longer felt they could be impartial.

RELATED: Judge Warns Trump to Not Incite Violence or Make Threats to Officials as Jr. Posts Link Featuring Photo of Judge’s Daughter

MSNBC’s Katie Phang posted this exchange between the judge and Trump’s lead attorney:

“Now, Merchan asks Blanche about what Jesse Watters, in fact, said.

Blanche: No.

Merchan: “So your client manipulated what was said and put it in quotes?

Blanche: I wouldn’t say it was a manipulation.

Merchan: This isn’t a repost at all. Your client had to type it out. Use the shift-key and all.”

It did not go well for Trump and his legal team.

At one point Judge Merchan told Blanche, “You’re losing all credibility.” McBrien reports when Merchan said that, “there was an audible gasp from the press.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal weighed in:

“This isn’t quite like watching a full blown car accident, but it’s certainly like watching a fender bender,” McBrien also noted.

“This is going very badly for Trump already,” reported Courthouse News’ Erik Uebelacker. “Judge Merchan is losing his patience with Blanche, who can’t seem to prove that any of Trump’s attacks are ‘responses.'”

Attorney George Conway went further: “Blanche is flailing. This is painful to watch. Merchan is cutting him to shreds.”

Continuing, Conway wrote (not in quotation marks) Merchan said: “I’ve asked you several times to show me the post that the defendant was responding to. You haven’t done so once.”

He called the judge’s remark “BRUTAL.”

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

“Basically, Blanche is pretty much arguing there’s a ‘running for president’ exception to the gag order that has been specifically directed at the man running for defendant,” Conway adds. “Merchan now getting pissed at Blanche’s unresponsiveness and evasiveness.”

Klasfeld also characterized the exchanges as “brutal.”

“Merchan says he’s going to ‘reserve decision on this,’ after brutal arguments for the defense.”

Trump has been criminally indicted in four separate cases and is facing a total of 88 felony charges, including 34 in this New York criminal trial for alleged falsification of business records to hide payments of hush money to an adult film actress and one other woman, in an alleged effort to suppress their stories and protect his 2016 presidential campaign, which could be deemed election interference.

Image via Shutterstock

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‘I’m Not Suicidal’: Kari Lake Pushes Hillary Clinton Murder Conspiracy Theory

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake is promoting a conspiracy theory suggesting Hillary Clinton wants to assassinate her. Her remarks came just one day before she lost her attempt to have the Supreme Court review what some have called her conspiracy-theory fueled lawsuit about electronic voting machines.

“Lake, who filed the lawsuit during her failed campaign for governor in 2022, challenged whether the state’s electronic voting machines assured ‘a fair and accurate vote.’ Two lower courts dismissed the suit, finding that Lake and former Republican state lawmaker Mark Finchem had not been harmed in a way that allowed them to sue,” CNN reported Monday.

Also on Monday Law&Crime reported that when she filed her lawsuit, a Dominion Voting Systems spokesperson “rejected Lake’s cybersecurity claim, telling Law&Crime it was ‘implausible and conspiratorial.'”

Democracy Docket, founded by top Democratic elections attorney Marc Elias, called it “the end of the road for a conspiratorial lawsuit,” and Lake and Fincham, “election deniers.”

READ MORE: ‘Old and Tired and Mad’: Trump’s Demeanor in Court Detailed by Rachel Maddow

Lake, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has yet to concede the 2022 election, which she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs, has a history of pushing exaggerated and baseless claims.

On Sunday, as MeidasTouch Network reported, Lake promoted an old, anti-Clinton conspiracy theory but twisted it to try to make it appear she was in danger from former U.S. Secretary of State and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lake on Newsmax listened to a clip of Secretary Clinton calling Trump’s fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin a “bromance,” and saying the ex-president is “just gaga over Putin, because Putin does what he would like to do: kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive, you know, journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance.”

Then Lake promoted a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory by responding, “Oh, boy. Oh, that’s really rich coming from a woman like Hillary Clinton, who’s, how many of her friends have just like, mysteriously died or committed suicide?”

“I mean, honestly, that’s rich of her. What President Trump wants is to root out the corruption and deliver our government back to We The People and she looks very nervous. She talked about her friend Mark Elias, Mark Elias has meddled in in his and his cohorts have meddled in the elections.”

She called Democratic policies, “destructive, deadly and frankly, in some ways, diabolical,”and added, “it’s almost comical that Hillary Clinton is talking about Trump wanting to kill his opponents.”

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

“I just want to say as I’m as I’m speaking about this topic, I want everyone out there to know that my brakes on my car have recently been checked and they work. I’m not suicidal. And Hillary, I don’t mean any harm to you. Please don’t send your henchmen out to me. We understand what you’re about. ”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

 

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