Have you read Scott’s previous post here, Remembering â€œThe Homosexualsâ€?
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day, posted at the bottom.
A grassroots effort to put Speaker Boehner squarely in the heat of a hot national spotlight for his decision to move forward with the defense of the unconstitutional law, Defense of Marriage Act.
GetEqual, Credo Action, Equality Ohio, Impact Cincinnati, and Human Rights Campaign, have all joined forces today to put the heat on Speaker Boehner’s despicable unilateral decision to defend bigotry.
At 2:00 pm ET, five GetEQUAL Ohio activists will enter Speaker Boehnerâ€™s West Chester office to deliver 33,233 CREDO Action and GetEQUAL petition signatures. asking that he not spend tax-payer dollars defending DOMA. After delivering the petition signatures they will ask to speak to their representative. Simultaneously, there will be a solidarity protest/rally outside the office, where GetEQUAL Ohio activists will be joined by Equality Ohio and Impact Cincinnati.
What can you do to support this action and demand Speaker Boehner protect the rights of ALL Americans by focusing on job creation and not discrimination?
Join the virtual protest. Speak out and tell him, he’s taking America off-track with this decision.
Call his West Chester office: (513) 779-5400
If the line is busy, call his Washington DC Office: (202) 225-6205
Speaker Boehner is Â scheduled to have a Press Conference Today at 4:30. The larger and louder this protest is, the more likely he is to be confronted by the press with similar questions. This is the time to roar on this issue.
Just four hours ago, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi tweeted:
Lend your voice to hers, and these activists. Ask Boehner, why are you wasting your time and taxpayer money on divisive social issues?
Of course, you’re welcomed and encouraged to improvise. But if you need a little help, these sample questions have been provided by Michael Cole-Schwartz, Director of Media Relations for Human Rights Campaign.
- There are as many as nine lawsuits in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA. Â Will House Republicans intervene in all of these lawsuits?
- Who will represent House Republicans in court? Will the House hire outside private counsel to defend the cases? If pro-bono legal counsel will be asked to represent the House, who will that be? Will a conflict and ethics check be conducted? Will the BLAG be consulted on strategic decisions related to the litigation?
- How much taxpayer money will this all cost?
- What will the House argue in defending DOMA? Â Will they go back to Congressâ€™s 1996 arguments for passing the law â€“ that it is necessary because marriage equality is â€œa radical, untested and inherently flawed social experimentâ€ and contrary to the â€œmoral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) moralityâ€?
- The Justice Department stopped defending DOMA because they concluded that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation should receive a higher level of scrutiny by courts. Â Will the House Republican leaders disagree? Â If so, will they argue that gays and lesbians have not suffered a long history of discrimination? Â That sexual orientation is somehow relevant to an individualâ€™s ability to contribute to society, when they have four openly-gay colleagues? Â That gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation, a position at odds with every major psychological organization? Â That gays and lesbians are politically powerful, ironically in defending a law passed by Congress specifically to disadvantage them?
- Do they think theyâ€™ll win, especially given that in two DOMA-related cases in Massachusetts, a federal judge appointed by President Nixon has already found Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional even under the lowest level of scrutiny that gives great deference to the legislature?
- Apart from these cases, will Republican House leadership do anything to address the inequalities that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face?
Social Media Outlets
Updates To Come
Check back with in the hour for updates on how the signature delivery went.
Update: Well, I called and spoke to a staffer. I actually played really dumb. I said “Now, I hear he’s going to be addressing this issue at a press conference today?” And she told me he was not. I reconfirmed and said, “Really? I heard otherwise.” And she said “not today.” Which could mean, the activists are misinformed, the staffer is misinformed, or the game plan for today may have suddenly changed? Hmmmm… Well, public schedules do change in DC, quickly and without notice.
Anyway, I went on in my best earnest voice to express my deep and great concern that nine Constitutional challenges were a lot of work, how much was this all going this cost? She didn’t know. Would he be reporting back to the taxpayers an accounting of these monies? She said she’s share my concerns with the Congressman.
Breaking News On Sit-In Action by GetEqual
This just in from GetEqual. Will post pictures or more news when I find it.
GetEQUAL Ohio Activists Refusing to Leave
Speaker Boehner’s West Chester Office
Focus on Job Creation, Not the Destruction of American families!
West Chester — Minutes ago, activists from GetEQUAL Ohio — a direct action LGBT civil rights group associated with the national organization GetEQUAL — entered Speaker Boehner’s West Chester office to demand the Speaker not use tax-payer money to defend Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Â At this moment, five protesters are holding a sit-in, demanding to speak to their representative.
GetEQUAL State Organizer Tom Morgan issued this statement, “Later today the Speaker will be meeting with his bipartisan legal advisory group to consider whether to defend DOMA. Â We strongly encourage the Speaker to heed the advice of Rep. Pelosi and the millions of Americans who are demanding the Speaker focus on job creation and not discrimination.”
Shortly after President Obama announced his decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, Speaker Boehner responded, “It is regrettable that the Obama administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy.”
GetEQUAL Ohio Western Region Organizer, Sean Watkins, responded to Speaker Boehner: “You continue to speak about fiscal responsibility. You have dismal unemployment rates. You’re unable to balance the budget. Yet, you’ve decided now is the appropriate time to divert your focus and spend taxpayers’ money and government resources to defend a law that enforces discrimination — a law that the Attorney General and the President have declared unconstitutional. This isn’t leadership, this is one more example of government over-reach and waste.”
The protest began when a group of people entered Speaker Boehner’s office to deliver 33,233 GetEQUAL and CREDO Action petition signatures urging the Speaker to focus on job creation, not discrimination and to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act. Â After being denied their right to speak to their Representative, five of the activists began their sit-in.
In addition to Sean Watkins, other activists participating in the sit-in include:
Willmington College student and GetEQUAL Ohio activist Liz Mills explains why she decided to participate in today’s action: “Harvey Milk said it perfectly, ‘Hope will never be silent!’ Â I have plenty of hope that DOMA will be repealed and I will not be silent! Â Today I’ve chosen to sit-in for those in the LGBTQI community who canâ€™t — to let my hope radiate and spark in the hearts of others a sense of urgency to stand up for their rights.”
Mills’ girlfriend, Morgan Bonney, is also participating in today’s sit-in and offers her reason for taking action: “I’m ready to wake up this nation and tell them that ‘Silence = Consent.’ I will never be silent! Â Second-class is NOT equal and I will continue to fight for my equality by standing up to the type of religious-based bigotry Speaker Boehner stands behind in his decision to tear apart American families.”
Nineteen-year-old Jesse Bonney, a constituent of Speaker Boehner, issued this statement: “The equality of people is a basic right! Â While I recognize we as a growing country have a long way to go, I believe this sit-in and the use of non-violent civil disobedience brings us one step closer to equality, one step closer to a truly united country.”
Thirty-year-old Wilmington College student Karay Martin expressed her growing frustration with the Speaker: “We, as a people, are protected under the Constitution equally. Â Everyone has the right to live a life that does not suffer from discrimination — it is innate to our understanding of who we are as a country.”
An outdoor protest is also taking place, as well — including members of Equality Ohio, Impact Cincinnati, and GetEQUAL Ohio — to voice objections to the Speaker’s continued refusal to extend equality to ALL Americans.
Where: Â Speaker Boehner’s West Chester office, 7969 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Suite B
When: Â Wednesday, March 9, at 2:00pm
The activists have been locked out of the office and are waiting to deliver the petition to Boehner’s staff. Right now they are outside of the doorreading the 33,233 names of those that have signed on to stand up and fight back against discrimination. More information to follow.Where we are heading now is to make sure that we prove the point to Speaker Boehner that he agreed to protect America’s house and yet he is still shutting out LGBT American’s from basic equal rights protections.
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Dr. Oz Campaigned in Front of Hitler’s Car at a Fundraiser Hosted by Matt Gaetz’s In-Laws and Rick Scott’s NRSC: Report
New Jersey celebrity doctor turned Pennsylvania Republican senatorial nominee, Dr. Oz, asked high-dollar donors for campaign cash Thursday night while standing in front of a car – emblazoned with a red swastika flag – that actually was used by Adolf Hitler. The fundraiser was hosted by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz‘s in-laws and Republican Senator Rick Scott‘s National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
Ironically, it was all predicted by “The Simpsons.”
Calling it “quite a choice,” Jezebel reports, “Dr. Mehmet Oz attended a $5,000-a-plate fundraiser hosted by sex pest Matt Gaetz’s in-laws on Thursday night at the Lyon Air Museum and stood in front of one of Adolf Hitler’s cars, which made it into the background of attendees’ photos.”
“The museum is full of WWII memorabilia, and yes, it is just a museum,” the website explains. “Twitter user Larry Tenney shared a screenshot from Instagram stories showing Oz standing on a small podium next to a TV monitor showing the logo for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a hashtag #TheOzShow. Jezebel confirmed the image as coming from the account of Shane Mitchell, who attended the event.”
Dr Oz at a fundraiser in Orange County, CA, last night literally standing alongside a vehicle once owned by & used as a touring wagon by Adolph Hitlerhttps://t.co/DXDQ0CRAQY
— 𝙻𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚢 𝚃𝚎𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚢 📷 🏳️🌈Make #GoodTrouble (@LarryTenney) October 7, 2022
The NRSC is chaired by Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott, who has come under fire for somehow spending millions of dollars in donations, but not on Senate campaigns. Scott, the former Florida governor, was the head of a healthcare corporation that was forced to pay the largest health care fraud settlement in history.
Oz is running against – and slightly behind – Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman.
Jezebel has much more in its report, including that the “chair of the event, Palmer Luckey, is Gaetz’s brother-in-law and the billionaire founder of Oculus VR.”
“Luckey is a Donald Trump supporter and, in 2017, he was photographed with Steve Bannon and white supremacist Chuck C. Johnson, with both Johnson and Luckey flashing a white power gesture. Luckey claimed on Twitter that the gesture being a hate symbol was ‘fake news’ and that people do it to ‘playfully mimic Trump.'”
“Potentially not unrelated to his politics, Luckey is also the head of a military technology company called Anduril that makes surveillance equipment used on the US border and is now making drones. The company has multiple contracts with the Department of Defense and Gaetz, meanwhile, sits on the House Armed Services Committee.”
“Dr. Oz began the week with a story about him killing puppies,” observes The Forward’s Jake Wasserman, “and now is ending it standing in front of Hitler’s car. Truly a landmark in the history of U.S. Senate campaigns.”
Sawyer Hackett, a communications strategist and advisor to former HUD Secretary Julián Castro noted “The Simpson’s” and Fetterman seem to have predicted this all.
Before there was Dr. Oz, there was Dr. Nick.
They say the Simpsons always predict the future – and once again, they nailed it. pic.twitter.com/hx5ivJtpdg
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) October 3, 2022
Earlier this week @JohnFetterman said Dr. Oz was a Simpson’s character.
Then he did this last night. pic.twitter.com/0ycqFO14nZ
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 7, 2022
32 days before election day and Dr. Oz is giving speeches in front of Hitler’s car. https://t.co/kMGv9WwCuY
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 7, 2022
Biden Names and Shames ‘Socialist Republicans’ Who Voted Against His Infrastructure Bill but Are Begging Him for Funding
President Joe Biden spoke about the September jobs report praised by leading economists Friday afternoon, and took a few moments to criticize the “socialist Republicans” who publicly voted against the critical infrastructure legislation that is an important part of his economic agenda, while privately begging him for funding for their districts.
“There’s a report, you guys can, as they say, as my grandkids say, ‘Google it,’ but a report that came out on CNN that says, ‘Republicans called Biden infrastructure program socialist.’ Then they asked for the money,” the President said mockingly.
“And it goes through all the Republicans, the most conservative Republicans, who called it ‘socialism,’ and how they’re asking for it. A guy named Paul Gosar,” President Biden said, referring to far-right wing white nationalist U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona.
“He’s written three separate letters to the administration, asking for projects in his district,” Biden said, appearing to read from the CNN report. “He says they enhance the quality of life and ease congestion, boost the economy.”
Biden. leaning into the microphone, told supporters, “Voted against it, says it’s all socialism.”
“Go down the list. Kentucky Representative Andy Barr.”
Mocking the GOP lawmaker he mimicked him saying, “The biggest socialist agenda.”
“Three different projects he wants, citing the importance of safety and growth in his district.”
“Rand Paul,” President Biden continued. “I go down the list. Look it up,” he said waving the pages of the report.
“Socialist,’ he said mockingly.
“I didn’t know there were that many socialist Republicans,” Biden deadpanned.
“Think about it. I’m serious,” the President urged. “Let’s get serious about taking care of ordinary people. Regular people like I grew up. Folks, look, you can’t make this stuff up. You got to say, I got to say, I was surprised to see so many socialists in the Republican caucus.”
Watch below or at this link.
Biden calling out Republicans who called the infrastructure bill socialism but still asked for money: I didn’t know there were that many socialist Republicans pic.twitter.com/ueK42ZBxBm
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 7, 2022
‘Just a Disgrace’: Former DOJ Officials Express Concern, Call for Resignation of FBI Director Wray
Christopher Wray, the Trump-appointed Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is in hot water as former Dept. of Justice officials express concern, with some calling for his resignation.
“Christopher Wray has a problem and it’s coming from inside the house,” says Asha Rangappa, a former FBI Special Agent, a senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, a legal and national security analyst, and a CNN commentator.
Rangappa was responding to a damning report on Thursday from NBC News Justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly.
“Another former Oath Keepers member testifies that he tried to tip off the FBI and other officials after he recorded an Oath Keepers call he was concerned about in Nov. 2020, before Jan. 6,” Reilly tweeted.
“Did anyone call you back?” the Oath Keeper was asked.
“Yeah, after it all happened,” he responded.
“On Nov. 9, 2020,” The Washington Post explains, “as Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes told members of his paramilitary group to get ready to fight for President Donald Trump in the streets of Washington, one listener was secretly recording, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.”
“An ‘increasingly alarmed follower’ recorded the meeting and shared it with law enforcement, prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler said Monday in the federal trial of Rhodes and four others accused of a seditious conspiracy to keep Trump in office. But the tip, sent to the FBI on Nov. 25, 2020, was apparently ignored.”
NBC News Justice and Intelligence Correspondent Ken Dilanian, responding to the Post’s report, tweeted: “The FBI got [a] tip in November 2020 about the Oath Keepers’ plans for an armed fight in DC–but apparently ignored it. This is the latest evidence of a massive failure to act on available intelligence that all but predicted Jan. 6th. The FBI has no comment.”
Attorney Andrew Weissmann spent 20 years at the U.S. Dept. of Justice, including serving as chief of the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section. At the FBI, Weissmann was director of the Bureau’s Enron Task Force, and served as FBI General Counsel. He also held a management role on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Late Thursday night, also responding to Reilly’s tweet, Weissmann declared: “Wray has to go. It’s just a disgrace. With not an ounce of expressed remorse.”
Weissmann is not alone.
Former SDNY Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli says, “I am joining [Andrew Weissmann] in calling for the resignation of Christopher Wray @FBI director for, at the very least, gross incompetence, & at the very worst, turning a blind eye to the 1/6 insurrection that was to happen. He is partially responsible for the death & destruction.”
Reilly’s tweet about a major tip getting ignored by the FBI received a great deal of attention.
Journalist JJ MacNab, a Fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, responded to it, saying, “I can tell you from personal experience, this rings true.”
Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein also responded to Reilly’s tweet, writing: “Another tip, sent before J6 to FBI. That’s two early tips from Oath Keepers. Plus Jackson Reffitt, son of convicted J6 attacker guy Reffit. There were So. Many. Warnings.”
Wray became the Director of the FBI in August of 2017. FBI Directors are appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate, for a 10-year term. Presidents can fire FBI Directors technically for any reason, but doing so can lead to calls of politicization.
Donald Trump, as president, infamously fired FBI Director Jim Comey, one day later telling top Russian officials inside the Oval Office doing so removed “great pressure” on him from the Russia investigation.
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