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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change. Don’t Win.

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Why Former USAF Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak’s
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Memories Don’t Apply To Today’s Military, Or To Today’s America, And Will Make Us Lose Every Battle, Foreign And Domestic.

This week saw more momentum toward repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Senator Joe Lieberman introduced his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill in the Senate. Congressman Patrick Murphy, author of the House’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill, headlined HRC’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Citizen’s Lobby Day. But in a New York Times Op-Ed, Merrill A. McPeak, the 74 year-old former Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, who retired more than fifteen years ago, urged America to, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change.”

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change.” What an exquisite epitaph, that should be engraved on the tombstone of the conservative movement.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change.” It’s the very language and practice that embodies and explains America’s financial crisis, America’s housing bubble, America’s health care crisis, America’s eduction crisis, America’s infrastructure crisis, America’s misguided “War on Drugs,” America’s misguided “War on Terror,” America’s diminished world reputation, and, well, most everything else that’s wrong with America today. Not to mention, most everything that was wrong with the America of yesterday.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” explains why the insurance and financial industries have been able to rule Congress without sufficient regulation.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” explains why this country has a secret child homelessness problem, yet allows the bigoted policies of some states to deny same-sex couples the right to adopt.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” explains when the NRA is quietly one of the most powerful and richest lobbyists in America, why school shootings have more than doubled over just the past few years, and why 32 Americans — eight of them children — die every day from gun violence.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” explains why people like California’s vehemently anti-gay state senator Roy Ashburn, who represents a stridently conservative district, ultimately had to go down in flames, pulled over and arrested for DUI after leaving a gay bar,

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change.” Frankly, it’s what head-in-the-sand ostriches and head-in-the-air, too-stupid-to-stop-drinking turkeys do. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” means we don’t move forward, we don’t solve problems, and we don’t win. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change” means we all lose.

Keeping quiet about issues that need improvement is not only bad for America, it’s downright un-American. Imagine if the Founding Fathers told folks, “Oh, that whole taxation without representation thing? We’ve decided on a policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change.'” America would still be an English colony.

Now, all that said, let’s look into what else McPeak is offering.

McPeak retired from the military in 1994, just one year after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was adopted. So, any experience with that law he may have had in his distinguished career would be minimal.

“I was one of the service chiefs when the “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise was reached in 1993. Until then, every person coming into the military was asked questions directed at establishing sexual orientation, and admitted homosexuals were automatically rejected.”

(Ah, the “good ole days,” right, McPeak?)

Second, McPeak is 74. He comes from a different time, a different world. Americans, and the soldiers of today, are far more comfortable with gay men and lesbians than the soldiers of his day, which ended in 1994.

Remember 1994? The Menendez brothers had their first trial, Apple sold its first “PowerPC,” Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered, Kurt Cobain committed suicide, and George W. Bush was first elected Governor of Texas. In 1994, a man named Marc Andreessen, founded a company called “Netscape,” which introduced its first version of something called a “web browser,” named the “Netscape Navigator.” And in 1994, Marc Andreessen spoke at the “first conference devoted entirely to the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web.”

That was 1994, McPeak’s last year in the military. My, things sure have changed, haven’t they?

McPeak’s argues are that the military is not about civil rights. “Why should exclusion of gay people rise to the status of a civil-rights issue?,” he asks. He says the money we expend on training “people who were eventually removed on account of homosexuality [is] minuscule.” And finally, and most importantly to him: the military is not about the individual, but the team.

“[I]t would be a serious mistake to imagine that personal performance is what matters in combat. Combat is not a contest between individuals, like poker or tennis; it is a team event whose success depends on group cooperation and morale. So the behavior that concerns us is not individual achievement but the social dynamics of relationships and groups. The issue is whether and how the presence of openly declared homosexuals in the ranks affects the solidarity of the unit.”

Let’s repeat that.

“[T]he behavior that concerns us is not individual achievement but the social dynamics of relationships and groups.”

This is McPeak’s main argument, that “homosexuals,” (as he writes clinically and disparagingly,) adversely affect “unit cohesion.” That argument is not just plain false. It is outdated.

Taking McPeak himself to task, along with The Times, Media Matters says it best:

“[N]umerous studies have considered and debunked the unit cohesion myth and the Times itself has reported on a prominent study that found that allowing gays to serve openly “does not undermine unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, morale, or overall combat effectiveness.”

As they did last month, as well:

Award-winning Joint Force Quarterly essay: Unit cohesion argument “not supported by any scientific studies.” In an essay published in the fourth quarter 2009 issue of Joint Force Quarterly — which is “published for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, by the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University” — Col. Om Prakash wrote of “don’t ask, don’t tell”: “[T]he stated premise of the law — to protect unit cohesion and combat effectiveness — is not supported by any scientific studies.” The essay won the 2009 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition.

Face it, McPeak, the “team” doesn’t have the problem you feel they do with “openly declared homosexuals in the ranks.” Perhaps you do, but today’s soldiers do not.

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‘Train Wreck’: Herschel Walker Criticized for New Ad Claiming God Helped Him ‘Overcome’ His Mental Illness

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After a damning article claiming he paid for one of his girlfriend’s abortions, Republican U.S. Senate nominee for Georgia, Herschel Walker, is out with a new ad that claims he has “overcome” his mental illness thanks to God, while he attacks his incumbent opponent, Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, who he baselessly says “doesn’t even believe in redemption.”

Walker’s own campaign compared the Daily Beast’s report – that says Walker even signed a card mentioning the abortion he reportedly paid for – to Donald Trump’s 2016 “Access Hollywood” video, which almost cost him the election.

Back then, Republicans denounced Trump for a few days before immediately coming back to support him. The Walker revelations are arguably worse, given the GOP’s attempts to ban all abortion, calling fetuses “unborn babies” that deserve all legal protections of born human beings, while declaring abortion murder.

READ MORE: Watch: Herschel Walker Says if Georgia Voters Don’t Elect Him They Won’t Even ‘Have a Chance to Be Redeemed’

And yet, not one Republican has denounced Walker. Donald Trump even rushed out a statement supporting him.

“Reverend Warnock’s running a nasty, dishonest campaign,” Walker says in his new ad, not mentioning – not even denying – that he paid for his girlfriend to have an abortion.

“The Reverend doesn’t even tell my full story,” Walker cries, as if that’s his political opponent’s job.

“As everyone knows, I had a real battle with mental health. Even wrote a book about it. And by the grace of God, I’ve overcome it,” he claims.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

“Warnock’s a preacher doesn’t tell the truth, he doesn’t even believe in redemption,” Walker says, a claim he has repeatedly made despite offering nothing to support the claim. Warnock has even written about redemption.

The ad was posted online by Walker’s deputy campaign manager.

It was immediately panned.

CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, the head of its fact-checking unit, says the new ad, “presumably in response to [the] Daily Beast story, mentions his book ‘Breaking Free’ being about [a] redemption story — it is worth noting the alleged abortion took place a year after the book was released.”

Speaking of redemption, Walker’s repeated attack that Warnock does not believe in redemption appears wholly false.

Warnock, who is also the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church until his assassination, criticized then-President Donald Trump in 2018 after the president called certain African nations “shithole countries.”

Trump signed a proclamation honoring Dr. King, in hopes of not losing more support.

“To sign a proclamation honoring Dr. King hours after this kind of hate-filled speech makes a mockery of Dr. King,” Rev. Warnock said on CNN. “I would argue that a proclamation without an apology is hypocrisy.”

“There is no redemption without repentance and the president of the United States needs to repent,” Warnock said, belying Walker’s recent claims.

Attorney Luppe B. Luppen expands on Kaczynski’s reporting.

“Walker published his book “Breaking Free” on April 1, 2008, approximately a year and a half before he reportedly wrote a check to reimburse a woman he had been dating for an abortion on September 17, 2009.”

Walker has stated he was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, which was once known as “multiple personality disorder” or “split personality disorder.”

Political consultant and former Republican, Tim Miller, now an independent and a well-known guest on cable news shows, panned Walker’s ad.

“The end of this ad is absolutely sick,” he observed.

Talking Points Memo founder and publisher Josh Marshall summarizes Walker’s ad:

“So the ad actually says warnocks a liar and then references mental health battle to I guess imply some or all of the stuff is true. Still I used to be violent and crazy but I’m totally better now is a tough closing message.”

Constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis, referring to the infamous “I am not a witch,” campaign ads, tweeted, “Did Christine O’Donnell direct this?”

University of Florida professor Michael McDonald took that one step further, commenting, “I am not a witch.”

Baptist minister Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor & President and author of four books on religion and politics blasts Walker.

“Ad is theological & political train wreck. He claims without evidence Warnock (Baptist pastor) doesn’t believe in redemption. And why is he asking voters to decide state of his soul. ‘Saved by Grace’ as political slogan? He’s acting like there should be religious test for office.”

Watch Walker’s new ad above or at this link.

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'HORRIBLE THINGS'

‘What I Saw Was Abuse’: Allegations of Dr. Oz’s Experiments Killing Hundreds of Animals Fact-Checked by Whistleblower

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Over the course of two decades Mehmet Oz, the “celebrity doctor” known as “Dr. Oz,” now the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s nominee for a U.S. Senate seat, was the “principle investigator” at a Columbia University research laboratory with “full scientific, administrative, and fiscal responsibility for the conduct” of his studies.

According to the website Jezebel, “a review of 75 studies published by Mehmet Oz between 1989 and 2010 reveals the Republican Senate candidate’s research killed over 300 dogs and inflicted significant suffering on them and the other animals used in experiments.”

It was far more than 300 dogs, too, according to Jezebel.

“Over the course of 75 studies published in academic journals reviewed by Jezebel, Oz’s team conducted experiments on at least 1,027 live animal subjects that included dogs, pigs, calves, rabbits, and small rodents. Thirty-four of these experiments resulted in the deaths of at least 329 dogs, while two of his experiments killed 31 pigs, and 38 experiments killed 661 rabbits and rodents,” Jezebel reported.

READ MORE: Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad

A whistleblower, veterinarian Catherine Dell’Orto provided testimony “about Oz’s research” and “detailed extensive suffering inflicted on his team’s canine test subjects, including multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which sets minimum standards of care for dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, and other animals in the possession of animal dealers and laboratories. The law specifically requires researchers and breeders to use pain-relieving drugs or euthanasia on the animals, and not use paralytics without anesthesia, or experiment multiple times on the same animal.”

Jezebel also reports “Dell’Orto testified that a dog experimented on by Oz’s team experienced lethargy, vomiting, paralysis, and kidney failure, but wasn’t euthanized for a full two days.”

“She alleged other truly horrifying examples of gratuitously cruel treatment of dogs, including at least one dog who was kept alive for a month for continued experimentation despite her unstable, painful condition, despite how data from her continued experimentation was deemed unusable. According to Dell’Orto, one Oz-led study resulted in a litter of puppies being killed by intracardiac injection with syringes of expired drugs inserted in their hearts without any sedation. Upon being killed, the puppies were allegedly left in a garbage bag with living puppies who were their littermates.”

READ MORE: Watch: Herschel Walker Says if Georgia Voters Don’t Elect Him They Won’t Even ‘Have a Chance to Be Redeemed’

That particular detail was so shocking U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), commented, “WTF.”

“Dell’Orto also noted that while Oz wasn’t the one who euthanized the dogs and puppies himself, ‘When your name is on the experiment, and the way the experiment is designed inflicts such cruelty to these animals, by design, there’s a problem.'”

Oz’s Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman summed up the allegations, tweeting, “Dr. Oz is a puppy killer.”

PEOPLE magazine followed up with Dell’Orto to fact check the Jezebel report.

It did not get any better for Dr. Oz.

“Dell’Orto tells PEOPLE she witnessed the inhumane treatment of dogs in lab experiments investigating aspects of heart function over which Oz served in the role of ‘principal investigator’ — including leaving dogs in pain and paralyzed for weeks, with no discernible research benefit, before they were euthanized or died,” People reports.

While others in the same role as Oz involved themselves personally in experiments to “ensure minimal suffering,” People reports, Dell’Orto says with Dr. Oz, “What I saw was abuse.”

“‘The puppies killed in the bag were killed by a vet tech,’ not by Oz, Dell’Orto tells PEOPLE.”

In another experiment one dog “was kept alive for 29 days post-operatively despite being paralyzed and with no clear research benefit, says Dell’Orto.”

“Horrible things that went on,” Dell’Orto said.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Kellyanne Conway Is Now a Religious Right Crusader Using Christianity to Attack Democrats as a Paid Fox News Contributor

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Former Trump 2016 campaign manager and Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway has remade herself multiple times. A pollster who once had as a client Todd Akin – the GOP lawmaker who made the phrase, “if it’s a legitimate rape” infamous – Conway also did polling for Donald Trump when he was considering a run for New York governor.

Once inside the White House Conway was one of the newsiest officials, often appearing before the Fox News cameras almost daily.

Fox News viewers will once again get to see the former top Trump aide almost daily – this time as a paid Fox News contributor who is using her Christian faith as a sword to attack Democrats.

Conway is the latest Trump White House official to be hired by Fox News, and while she’s not Trump’s spokesperson any longer, she may wrangle the gig into getting her old one back. Puck reports she is being considered to helm Trump’s expected 2024 presidential run.

READ MORE: Watch: Herschel Walker Says if Georgia Voters Don’t Elect Him They Won’t Even ‘Have a Chance to Be Redeemed’

In fact, the two have something in common.

“I will tell you why he wants to run for president,” Conways told CBS News on Friday. “Donald Trump wants his old job back.”

Conway joins a long list of her former colleagues at what has become a far right wing media outlet catering to promoting anything Trump, while downplaying any negative news about the former president who is currently being investigated by prosecutors in Georgia and the U.S. Dept. of Justice for an array of possible felonies, reportedly including ones under the Espionage Act.

Conway will be right at home working alongside Kayleigh McEnany, Mike Pompeo, Larry Kudlow, and Trump’s daughter-in-law and former Trump campaign official Lara Trump.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

In April Vox reported that “while he hasn’t been hired by Fox, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller — known for helping to develop Trump’s nativist immigration policy — has become a fixture as a guest on Sean Hannity’s and Laura Ingraham’s shows.”

“Since the start of President Joe Biden’s term,” Media Matters reported in February, “Fox News has hired at least nine editors who previously worked for former President Donald Trump’s administration, Republican campaign offices, or Republican politicians. Many of those editors now cover politics for FoxNews.com.”

On Tuesday Conway appeared on Fox News and attacked Democrats, saying Hispanic voters “see a Democratic Party that’s openly hostile to religion. They can’t even give their thoughts and prayers when there’s a tragedy. It’s only thoughts now.”

The Washington Post‘s Philip Bump calls Conway’s analysis “overly simple and, in part, … explicitly dishonest.”

“Kellyanne Conway claimed that Democrats are hostile religion, something that will surprise the vast majority of Democrats, who are religious,” he adds on Twitter. “There’s a reason that ‘religious’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘Republican.'”

One day earlier, in a segment with a chyron that reads, “The Importance of Religion,” Conway told her former and now current colleague, Larry Kudlow on Fox Business, “People are afraid to make the sign of a cross before a meal in public, they’re afraid to express their — they actually think their religion could get them canceled now, not just their politics, and think about that.”

Conway, perhaps best known for her “alternative facts” flub, offered no proof of her claim.

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