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Fill The Void



Sarah Palin got it right.

Well, just one thing: Palin knows how to fill a void. Who else was able to upstage two solid weeks of 24/7 Michael Jackson media coverage? From the moment she announced she was resigning as Governor of Alaska, she started making new headlines all over again, giving more interviews, releasing more statements, turning the weeks after Fourth of July into Palinpalooza.

From the moment John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his running mate last year, she worked hard to dominate headlines every day. Lord knows every “You betcha” hit YouTube – and every mistake and mis-characterization hit Mainstream America. Palin’s antics polarized the nation, but we knew everything she said and did. For better or for worse, Palin was the story. And for better or for worse, Palin remains a story. Like the Michael Jackson story on Larry King, it seems Palin will be forever with us.

The year is more than half over. Summer is half over. Legislatures are winding down, or are done. The fun flurry of whack-a-mole marriage equality news is gone. And with it, our ability to move our agenda forward, at least in the hearts and minds of average, ordinary citizens. There’s a void in the media and only a crisis – or leadership – will grab it.

It’s time for us to take the lead and run with it.

We know that with heightened awareness of our issues comes heightened support for our issues. The American people are good people, many of whom simply don’t know us, and don’t know enough about us to care about us. That’s why we need to stay in the headlines: to keep our message clear and consistent.

Have no doubt: The Religious Right will take over the conversation through Labor Day, if we let them.

Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, in an apparent Vulcan mind-meld with GOP Chair Michael Steele, just announced the creation of the “Faith and Freedom Coalition,” that claims to be “younger, hipper, less strident and more inclusive.” Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage is working hard with a new PAC in New York, and there’s an extended effort that’s making headway to repeal gay marriage in Maine. And the Values Voters Summit – an annual bigot fest, exactly two months away – is gearing up with a promise of a new assault on same-sex marriage.

In short, it’s the infamous “kinder, gentler bigotry” we’ve come to expect from the Religious Right and our opponents.

Despite a torrent of lies from Republican Congress members who labeled the Mathew Shepard Act, the “Thought Crimes Act,” and from groups like “Faith 2 Action,” which labeled it, “The Pedophile Protection Act,” the Senate late last night approved the bill. But the Religious Right may still get their way, as a threat looms by President Obama to veto the Military Appropriations bill the Shepard bill is attached to.

So let’s be honest: There will be little else happening in the LGBTQ rights arena until fall, and without a plan of action the chances of us keeping Mainstream America’s focus on gay rights through the summer are slim.

Let us not be deterred. We must take advantage of the opportunity this hazy lull provides!

Let’s look at some events that dominated headlines last August:

* The actor David Duchovny went into rehab for sex-addiction.
* Madonna and Michael Jackson celebrated their 50th birthdays.
* Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomination for President.
* Some Hallmark stores refused to sell same-sex greeting cards. The American Family Association also protested the free-market selling of those same-sex greeting cards.
* Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi wed in California – before Prop 8 passed in November.

Surely we can do more to get our message out this time around? The challenge is simple: Fill this media void with positive LGBTQ stories between now and Labor Day, until the regular political and legislative cycle resumes its natural course and we can move our message forward through political actions. Let’s keep the importance of our struggle in the eyes of our neighbors and fellow citizens. Let’s continue our national conversation on gay rights. Let’s help all Americans realize that we are their neighbors, their co-workers, their friends.

Politicians and pundits may take August off (remember George W. Bush’s extended August vacations?) but the American people – especially given this year’s economy – can’t afford to. Those who still have jobs can’t afford to go away. And we can’t afford to let our message slide – or our guard down.

The opportunity is ripe! Let’s fill the void of summer with positive messages that resonate with America. Let’s look to the Prop 8 lessons we learned too late. Let’s make it our mission to show America who we are. Lord knows Palin’s legacy of innanity will out-live her. And Lord knows we have a better message, a more honest message, a more important message than Sarah Palin did. Let’s spend the rest of summer working as hard as she did to help show America that the “real America” includes LGBTQ Americans, too.

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Trump Team’s Efforts to Rein Him ‘Wilted’ in Waco as He Invoked ‘Retribution and Violence’: Report



Any hope that Donald Trump’s new re-election team may have had that they could steer him into running a more conventional campaign appears to have been swept aside as he used his first major rally to whip up the crowd with a litany of grievances and personal attacks.

According to the Guardian’s David Smith, during Trump’s appearance in Waco late Saturday, the former president used his speech to “invoke retribution and violence” at his perceived enemies, with attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) who might possibly challenge him for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.

As Smith wrote, “Efforts by Trump’s team to steer a more conventional, disciplined candidacy have wilted in recent days as the 76-year-old unleashed words and images that – even by his provocative standards – are unusually dehumanising, menacing and dangerous,” before adding nothing the past week Trump used “increasingly racist rhetoric as he launched ever more personal attacks against Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, raising fears that supporters could try to lash out on his behalf. Trump even shared an image of himself holding a baseball bat next to a picture of Bragg.”

RELATED: Trump is giving his ‘violent followers’ time to get organized: former FBI official

According to the Guardian report, “Wearing a dark jacket, white shirt and no tie, he said: ‘I got bad publicity and my poll numbers have gone through the roof – would you explain this to me … It gets so much publicity that the case actually gets adjudicated in the press and people see it’s bullshit.'”

The former president also, once again, called his 2024 run the “final battle.”

“Our opponents have done everything they can to crush our spirit and to break our will. But they failed. They’ve only made us stronger. And 2024 is the final battle, it’s going to be the big one. You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over and America will be a free nation once again,” he told the crowd.

You can read more here.

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Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert



Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.

According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.

As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.

“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.

RELATED: Revealed: Emails show how Trump lawyers drove Michael Cohen to turn on the president

Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”

“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.

Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”

“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.

You can read more here.

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No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?



Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.

Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.

NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.

Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.

“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.

“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.

“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”

READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses

Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.

Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.

“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”

“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”

Image via Shutterstock

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