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Gay Marriage: Is Obama Really About To Announce His Support?

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Is President Obama about to announce his support for including same-sex couples in the institution of marriage? Has President Obama completed his process of “evolving,” at least enough to say he now  “believes” in marriage equality? Is he paving the way, testing the waters, or just teasing?

All of a sudden there are some well-place serious rumblings, and while the LGBT community has suffered far too much teasing a-la Sally Field’s “You like me, you really, really, like me!,” these may be more strategic than we’ve seen before.

First, there’s Richard Socarides, currently president of Equality Matters, who, as one of the highest-level openly gay senior advisors, advised President Bill Clinton on LGBT issues. Socarides just penned a piece in the New Yorker that suggests that, “now, the remarkable new reality for Obama in this election is that supporting marriage equality is smart politics.”

A majority of independents and young voters already favor equal marriage rights. These are important voting blocks, and a key part of the President’s reëlection strategy. Support for gay rights will also help him energize liberals in the Party and others who think he has not acted boldly around core progressive issues such as immigration and the environment and on other civil-rights issues. Hard-right conservatives who strongly oppose marriage rights, meanwhile, will never support Obama anyway.

Socarides details several court cases that have supported or likely will support LGBT civil rights, and suggests that for Obama, there is really no choice.

If these federal appellate rulings come down in favor of gay rights, and especially if they are unambiguous in holding that the Constitution requires full access to civil marriage, the President will need to honor and abide by those rulings. Having a Democratic President, an African American at that, on the “wrong” side of federal-appeals-court rulings on civil rights is an untenable situation.

Then, there’s this.

Obama just sent a congratulations letter (image, top) to one of the first same-sex couples to marry under New York state’s new marriage equality law. Matt and Aaron Katz received this letter from President Obama, congratulating them on their “special occasion.” While it does not specifically state “marriage,” what’s curious is that the Katz’s have no known affiliation to the White House, nor have they been in the news. It appears to be a thoroughly random act — and frankly, the administration does not have time to hang out on Flickr and come across photos of the Katz’s same-sex wedding, then decide out of thin air and against administration policy to send them a note.

Buzzfeed, which also published a copy of the letter, writes that the Katz’s “have no idea why they received the card.”

Matt says, “I’m not sure why the letter got sent to us. Aaron and I were married on July 24th at Borough Hall. However, we had our wedding ceremony on July 23rd at my dad’s house the day before. Maybe word got out that we were outlaws for a day?”

And if that’s not enough to at least whet your palate, yesterday Politico, in a report titled, “Barack Obama preps pitch to gay voters,” noted,

It seemed at first a major violation of message discipline: Shaun Donovan, President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development, “absolutely” endorsed same-sex marriage in an interview last month, a position in contrast with his boss, who famously declared that his own views on the issue are “evolving.”

Perhaps more remarkable than Donovan’s statement is what happened in its aftermath: Nothing.

Chalk it up as just more toes-in-the-water testing for the Obama administration.

Politico adds,

Among gay activists, the Obama administration’s recent actions — including what they perceive as a signal from someone like Donovan — have fueled speculation that Obama may finally take a step they say would energize a core constituency and strengthen a largely positive but occasionally strained political relationship.

“The initial question the president faces is, does he come out for same sex marriage now or after the election?” said Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters, a gay rights organization. With polls trending toward public acceptance of gays and lesbians tying the knot, he said, “it may be riskier to wait.”

Endorsing gay marriage now, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote recently, could help Obama win back skeptical moderate voters and rekindle flagging enthusiasm among young people, who broadly support marriage equality.

“Mr. President, what better moment will there be? [Next year] you might lose,” she wrote.

Advocates argue that support for gay marriage could be Obama’s secret weapon for the 2012 election.

Is President Obama about to announce his support for same-sex marriage equality?

Maybe.

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Dominion Lawsuit: Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell and Rudy Giuliani Pushed Trump Lies for Fame, Glory — and Pillows

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Attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems accused Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell of spreading lies about Donald Trump’s election loss for fame and glory.

The voting technology company’s lawyers argued Thursday in a court hearing that Trump’s former campaign lawyers and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell believed they could attain power and influence by helping the former president remain in office by overturning his election loss with baseless claims of fraud and tampering, reported CNN.

“That’s the place they could get in-person audiences,” said Dominion attorney Megan Meier. “[Washington was] the place where Powell could become a household name.”

Attorneys for Giuliani, Powell and Lindell — who have been sued for $1.3 billion in the defamation suit — at times attempted to re-litigate the election during the four-hour hearing, which began a few hours after a New York court suspended Giuliani’s law license over his election fraud lies.

The former New York City mayor did not attend the hearing, but Powell and Lindell did.

Another attorney for Dominion argued that the case can remain alive in court, even if jurors find the defendants’ claims “improbable,” because the case isn’t about “the marketplace of ideas,” as Lindell’s attorney has argued.

“There is a quantum of information available to [Lindell] by the time he made these statements,” Clare said. “He made the preconceived notion that the election was stolen.”

The lawsuit accuses Lindell of using election lies and Qanon conspiracy theories to promote his pillow company.

“[He] sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” the suit alleges.

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FASCISM

‘Just Shoot Them’: Trump Told Top US General to ‘Crack Skulls’ and ‘Beat the F’ Out of Civil Rights Protestors: New Book

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President Donald Trump told America’s highest-ranking general and top law enforcement officials to “shoot” civil rights protestors in Seattle and Portland, “crack their skulls,” and “beat the f–k” out of them, according to a new book by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

“The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior,” CNN reports, citing excerpts from Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”

“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”

Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.

“Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.

But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (photo, right) refused, Bender reveals, with Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr often finding themselves the only ones willing to push back against the president.

General Milley, who made headlines Wednesday after delivering a stunning lecture on critical race theory and “wokeness” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was not pleased by it, also pushed back against Trump senior advisor, white supremacist Stephen Miller.

During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.

“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.

The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.

“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.

Read the entire report at CNN.

 

Image of President Trump and General Milley: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COMPETENCY?

‘No Time to Waste’: DeSantis Blasted for Going on Fox News as Biden and Miami Mayor Urge Him to Request State of Emergency

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Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is taking time to pose for the cameras and talk to Fox News in the wake of the stunning partial building collapse that more than 12 hours later has left 99 people missing, and feared dead.

DeSantis reportedly added an interview with far right Fox News host Mark Levin to his calendar for Thursday.

President Joe Biden during a news conference announcing a bipartisan agreement on, appropriately, an infrastructure bill on-camera Thursday afternoon urged the Florida Republican governor to ask for a declaration of a state of emergency, but DeSantis has yet to do so – nor has he declared a state of emergency himself for the Surfside disaster. President Biden appears to have ordered FEMA to Florida to assess the situation, which is the most they are allowed to do until the governor acts.

Also urging DeSantis to request a state of emergency declaration is Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who says “there is no time to waste.”

Apparently DeSantis believes there is, and many are blasting the likely 2024 GOP presidential hopeful.

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