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Despite the 72 degrees here in Manhattan, there’s a crispness in the air. It’s fall, the season that is supposed to represent the beginning of dormancy, a shortening of summer’s long days and fun times, a letting-go of play and a return to the seriousness of work.

And yet, I don’t think America had a fun summer.

We had the attack of the birthers and deathers. We had play-cowboys with real guns attend presidential speeches and congressional town halls. For all our focus on health care this summer, few have realized the tremendous irony shooting us in the face: America is a country in the midst of a nervous breakdown.

Bob Herbert reminded me of this, yesterday morning when he wrote,

“Looking back at the past few months, it’s fair to wonder if the country isn’t going through a nervous breakdown… We need therapy… The first step, of course, is to recognize that we have a problem.”

A problem, indeed.

I often write about “the gay community.” Truth be told, there isn’t one. Like the “straight community,” there are many. Both have many different ideas, ideals, morals, goals, and behaviors. And yet, some within “the gay community” spent a good part of the spring trying to get what the “straight community” already has: civil marriage.

Legal recognition of our equality is what a great many of us are trying to obtain. But there are a few things, perhaps more important, that we need to achieve first: an across-the-board recognition within the gay community that we actually want and deserve equality, and that we have the willingness to fight for it. And the one pre-requisite that has to happen before any of this: we have to start acting like it.

Herbert wonders if America is going through a nervous breakdown. I think the gay community is.

Despite our marriage equality wins this spring, despite our collective temper-tantrum that led to the Hate Crimes Bill making its way through Congress and talk of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the gay community is too silent on matters that affect us just as much if not more deeply than those the rest of the country is confronting.

Yes, there are bright spots. Grass-roots organizations and individuals are making a difference every day. My fellow gay writers and bloggers work long days, often without any compensation, to help move the ball forward. And we’re having some success.

But the straight community, in the form of conservatives, gay marriage opponents, and the religious right, have enslaved us for far too long. And its taken its toll.

Because most of us can’t get married, we approach relationships differently. Our opponents like to say we have all the rights we need (and deserve.) What they don’t talk about is the security they have that comes in the form of societal recognition. We know that the bond of marriage is not only a goal, but an aid to maintaining a relationship through troubled times. It’s a lot easier to walk away when there are no legal issues, common property, children, or even the reaction of family, friends, and neighbors to stop you.

And because we don’t have this responsibility, we often don’t act with the same level of responsibility that straights purport to have. Much to our detriment, and, dare I say, much to the secret delight of our foes, we are still acting as teenagers, more interested in fun and sex for today than taking a healthy interest in achieving equality tomorrow.

While there are a great many long-term same-sex relationships, gay relationships aren’t necessarily long-lasting – not because we’re not capable or desirous of long-term relationships, but because society has not put the same focus on same-sex marriage that it has on “traditional” marriage.

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Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat



U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.

That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.

“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.

“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”

“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.

READ MORE: ‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote

Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.

“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.

McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”

“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.

READ MORE: Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately

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‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote



U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.

“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”

AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.

READ MORE: Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos

“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.

“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”

“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.

“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”

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Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos



In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.

“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.

“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.

“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.

READ MORE: Jim Jordan, a ‘Significant Player’ in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results, Running for Speaker of the House

“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”

Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”

“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”

“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”

Watch below or at this link.


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