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GOProud Gay Conservatives: Born This Way?



Have you ever wondered if, just as people are “born this way,” to be gay, they may also be “born this way” to be conservative or liberal? Studies show that indeed, people may be genetically predisposed to become liberal or conservative. So, can we fault our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters if they are born Republican? (Can we fault them also for being birthers?)

Perhaps not, but that doesn’t give them the license to attack without cause their fellow Democratic, Liberal, Progressive, Independent, or even Republican/Conservative gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. And the anti-Left rhetoric and hate — especially unprovoked — coming from GOProud, its founders, and supporters, is unacceptable.

GOProud claims it is, “committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.” No mention in there of constant anti-Left and at times, anti-gay hate.

READ: Gay And Straight Teen Suicide Attempts Higher In Conservative Regions.

Coincidentally to Mike Signorile’s excellent post today in the Advocate, calling GOProud — the gay Tea Party Republican group — “self-loathing,” this past weekend I “hung out” in a conversation on GOProud’s Facebook page.

READ: GOProud On NPR Again Attacks “The Gay Left” As “The Most Intolerant”

Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud’s co-founder, who has said, “Our organization’s number one goal between now and November 2012 is defeating Barack Obama,” posted a link to the Advocate’s review of an NPR interview with LaSalvia, about which I had also written. I was appalled at an initial comment by a reader in the thread, which said,

“If the Left and the Democrats really supported equality for gays, they could have proved it by repealing DOMA and passing ENDA when they had control of Congress and the White House. They didn’t, because they don’t. They were dragged kicking and screaming into repealing DADT. Obama is viciously anti-gay. Gays who are conservatives and/or Republicans are fiscal conservatives. There is plenty of support for gay equality among fiscal conservatives. Our battle for equality is with social conservatives on the Right AND the Left who believe in imposing their values through the coercive powers of government.”

(emphasis mine.)

Wow. Just wow.


“If Obama and the Democrats supported equality for gays, Prop. 8 would not have passed and gays would have federal equality right this minute.”


Usually I don’t bother with these social media battles — I used to, but realized what a time-suck they are. But I could not help myself!

“I’m so sorry. I was under the obviously false impression that Obama signed the Hate Crimes bill into law, and that he refused to defend DOMA, and that he is the first president to even mention positively and consistently the LGBT community,” I responded, rather infuriated. “I must have read the news wrong today when I thought I saw that Obama’s DOJ today encouraged an LGBT supportive environment in schools I missed the news that detailed how John Boehner decided to not spend $500+ million unappropriated tax dollars on defending DOMA, and how he is pushing for ENDA to pass, along with the DREAM Act. And how could I have missed the news when Newt Gingrich fought tooth and nail against Bill Clinton and the Democrats against DOMA and DADT? I guess my Wall Street Journal subscription must have expired when Denny Hastert railed against Bush and fought to get ENDA passed, and begged George W. to not use marriage equality as a wedge issue to drive his base of rigious bigots to the polls. Thank you for straightening me out.”

And true to their leaders’ behavior, the fireworks ensued.

But what I was honsestly surprised at was the level of ignorance and the embrace of misinformation that almost every person who commented exhibited. Evidently, even gay Republicans watch Fox News, which, as we know, is responsible for the highest level of misinformation in the cable news world.

Some more ignorance from the GOProud group:

“What exactly has Obama done for gay america?”

“Don’t say he brought an end to DADT, because that’s a joke. If he wanted that done, it would have been done while he had the entire 3 branches of gov’t.” (No, the President cannot control all three branches, which include the Supreme Court — especially not this Supreme Court!)

“If Obama and the Democrats supported equality for gays, Prop. 8 would not have passed and gays would have federal equality right this minute.” (Um, Obama was a Senator when Prop 8 passed, and Prop 8 is a state referendum, not a federal issue. There was little he could have done, aside from speak out more than he did. And, Prop 8 and DOMA are not the same. Wow.)

“The Left exploits and abuses gays without shame and you lap it up and beg for more. And you get the worst of all worlds because not only do you support people who believe it is their holy duty to kill you for being gay — Muslims and illegal immigrants from anti-gay and anti-feminist cultures — AND put THEIR interests ahead of those of gays — you also are fighting the fiscal conservative principles that provide the financial liberty that gays need to survive because of employment discrimination. Why are you such a self-loathing doormat?” (Pot. Kettle. Black…)

“The “gay left” have hijacked the gay movement…”

“The left is too focused on “social justice” issues.” (Right… Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner? And why have Republicans introduced over 600 anti-abortion bills this year alone?)

“I am certain that Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and FOX NEWS do not hate Gays…absolutely certain. FOX NEWS is the only major media organization that presents the news through the prism of capitalism and limited government…I appreciate that bias.”

My reponse also included,

“YOU folks here are the Republicans. Why don’t you stop wasting your time bashing the Left, and start focusing on your Republican elected officials to support repeal of DOMA, and support ENDA, and stop trying to delay DADT repeal.
The Left is FAR from perfect. But we’re trying. Like I said, what Republican elected officials are working to repeal DOMA, working to make ENDA happen, working to get DADT certified? If you folks, and your illustrious leaders Jimmy and Chris would stop bashing the Left and maybe partner with us, together we could get things done.
Honestly, it’s pretty embarrassing that we all share something in common and yet we can’t put aside our differences and fight the real opposition – the people who are actively oppressing us.
I hope someday that will happen. But until the bashing and name-calling stop, it won’t.

I also chided,

“just stop the Glenn Beck parroting and start getting your side to do its job.
The left is too focused on social issues?
The GOP has introduced over 600 anti-abortion bills this year alone.
Get on the damn phone and call your elected representatives and tell them to focus on creating real jobs, not abortion, not banning same-sex marriage, not anything but jobs. Have you?”

Born this way? Perhaps. But you have to admit, it takes a lot of self-loathing, as Signorile wrote, to be gay and against the right of LGBT people to marry, to be in favor of DOMA, to be against ENDA. It just does.

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Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT



Enmeshed in a web of deceit and possibly under federal criminal investigation, U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is now apparently unable to lawfully spend money or accept donations via his political campaign, which reportedly now may also be in violation of FEC rules.

On Tuesday the embattled freshman Republican announced he was temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments, reportedly after a conversation with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Before the end of the day his campaign treasurer filed official paperwork notifying the Federal Election Commission she had resigned.

“Nancy Marks’s resignation effectively leaves the Santos campaign unable to raise or spend money and in seeming violation of federal rules,” The New York Times reports, calling her his “longtime campaign treasurer and trusted aide.”

“Mr. Santos’s financial operations, which are the subject of several complaints filed with the F.E.C. and are being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement,” The Times adds. “It also leaves the Santos campaign in disarray, effectively rendering it unable to raise or spend money and placing it in seeming violation of F.E.C. rules.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In fact, FEC rules state: “If a committee’s treasurer is absent, the committee cannot make expenditures or accept contributions unless it has designated an assistant treasurer or designated agent on the committee’s Statement of Organization.”

The resignation comes after last week’s stunning report revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended FEC filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds.

Unlike political candidates, campaign treasurers are held to an actual standard of truth, and can be personally – and legally – liable if they report false information.

FEC rules also state, “the treasurer can be named and found liable in his or her personal capacity if he or she knowingly and willfully violates the Act, recklessly fails to fulfill duties imposed by the law, or intentionally deprives himself or herself of the operative facts giving rise to the violation.”

READ MORE: Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away

Santos may find it difficult to hire a new treasurer: “Even when an enforcement action alleges violations that occurred during the term of a previous treasurer, the Commission usually names the current treasurer as a respondent in the action.”

The Times adds, “The lack of clarity over who, if anyone, is operating as Mr. Santos’s treasurer has already caused confusion. On Tuesday, a joint fund-raising committee associated with Mr. Santos filed paperwork to end its operations. Ms. Marks’s signature was on the paperwork, even though she had resigned as the committee’s treasurer the week before.”

Marks’ resignation also comes after someone affiliated with the Santos campaign falsely listed a well-known Republican treasurer on the official FEC forms as the treasurer for his campaign. As one expert put it, that’s a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

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Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court



The highly controversial and highly unpopular U.S. Supreme Court isn’t just facing a historic loss of confidence, it’s now facing yet another ethics scandal that is likely to lower even further public opinion of the far-right institution that in under two decades has seen its approval rating slashed.

Although it will not hear arguments, the issue before the Supreme Court and the American people’s view of it, is, should a Justice’s spouse – in this case the spouse of Chief Justice John Roberts – be able to make millions of dollars recruiting attorneys who are placed into top law firms that argue cases before it?

That’s the latest allegation, and already a spokesperson for the Court has issued a statement denying any ethical violations.

The New York Times reports that “a former colleague of Mrs. Roberts has raised concerns that her recruiting work poses potential ethics issues for the chief justice. Seeking an inquiry, the ex-colleague has provided records to the Justice Department and Congress indicating Mrs. Roberts has been paid millions of dollars in commissions for placing lawyers at firms — some of which have business before the Supreme Court, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times.”

Jane Sullivan Roberts left a law firm where she was a partner after her spouse was confirmed as Chief Justice.

READ MORE: Failed Leak Probe Will ‘Add to Public Distrust’ and ‘Accelerate Partisan Rancor’ Surrounding Supreme Court: Analyst

“Mrs. Roberts, according to a 2015 deposition,” The Times reports, “said that a significant portion of her practice was devoted to helping senior government lawyers land jobs at law firms and that the candidates’ names were almost never disclosed.”

Documents in that case “list six-figure fees credited to Mrs. Roberts for placing partners at law firms — including $690,000 in 2012 for one such match. The documents do not name clients, but Mr. Price recalled her recruitment of one prominent candidate, Ken Salazar, then interior secretary under President Barack Obama, to WilmerHale, a global firm that boasts of arguing more than 125 times before the Supreme Court.”

That case involves “a former colleague of Mrs. Roberts,” Kendal Price, a 66-year-old Boston lawyer, who “has raised concerns that her recruiting work poses potential ethics issues for the chief justice.”

“According to the letter,” sent by Price to DOJ and Congress, which the Times reports it obtained, “Mr. Price was fired in 2013 and sued the firm, as well as Mrs. Roberts and another executive, over his dismissal.”

The Times cites two legal experts, one who sees no ethical concerns with the situation, and one who does.

But critics are expressing great concern over this latest ethics issue, as they have been for years.

Doug Lindner, Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy for the League of Conservation Voters, pointing to the Times’ report,  remarked: “Another day, another ethics concern about another life-tenured conservative justice on the most powerful court in the world, which has no binding ethics rules.”

READ MORE: Marshal ‘Spoke With’ Supreme Court Justices, Excluded Them From Signing Sworn Affidavits in Leak Probe

Indeed, the lack of a Supreme Court code of ethics has been repeatedly condemned for years, including by some of the nation’s top critics.

On Sept. 1, 2022, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin tweeted out her opinion piece: “Ginni Thomas pressed Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory .. just another insurrectionist.”

Norman Ornstein, an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor for the Atlantic, responded:

“Another reminder of how unethical is Justice Clarence Thomas, while Chief Justice Roberts turns a blind eye and continues to resist a code of ethics for a Supreme Court now distrusted by a majority of Americans. This defines the Roberts Court.”

The following month Ornstein slammed the Roberts Court once again.

“It is a stain on the Supreme Court that Chief Justice Roberts refuses to support a Judicial Code of Ethics, and stands by silently while Clarence Thomas flouts ethical standards over and over and over,” Ornstein charged.

Less than one month later he again unleashed on Roberts.

“Roberts is culpable,” he tweeted. “He has resisted over and over applying the Judicial Code of Ethics to the Supreme Court. This is Alito’s court, and it is partisan and corrupt.”

Ornstein is far from the Court’s only critic.

“If Chief Justice Roberts really wanted to address Supreme Court ethics, he would have immediately worked to implement a Code of Conduct after Clarence Thomas failed to recuse from cases involving January 6th despite having a clear conflict of interest,” the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted a year ago in May. The following month CREW published an analysis titled: “Chief Justice John Roberts is wrong: the American judicial system is facing a major ethics crisis.”

Meanwhile, in late November Politico reported that Democrats in Congress were outraged at the Roberts Court.

“Two senior Democrats in Congress are demanding that Chief Justice John Roberts detail what, if anything, the Supreme Court has done to respond to recent allegations of a leak of the outcome of a major case the high court considered several years ago,” PoliticoJosh Bernstein reported, referring to the leak of the Dobbs decision that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision – itself a massive ethics crisis for the Court.

READ MORE: Revealed: Four Supreme Court Justices Attended Right-Wing Gala — Further Endangering SCOTUS Credibility

“Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) are also interested in examining claims about a concerted effort by religious conservatives to woo the justices through meals and social engagements. They wrote to Roberts on Sunday, making clear that if the court won’t investigate the alleged ethical breaches, lawmakers are likely to launch their own probe.”

Whitehouse and Johnson “also criticized the high court’s response to a letter they sent Roberts in September, seeking information about the court’s reaction to reports in POLITICO and Rolling Stone about a yearslong campaign to encourage favorable decisions from the justices by bolstering their religiosity.”

Nothing has changed.

When the Roberts Court earlier this month announced its lengthy investigation did not find the draft Dobbs decision leaker but also did not include the Justices themselves, Stokes Prof. of Law at NYU Law School Melissa Murray, an MSNBC host, tweeted, “This is a Roberts Court leitmotif–The Chief loves to handle things–even big things–in-house. Ethics issues? No need to get involved, Congress. We’ll sort it out ourselves. Leak needs investigating? No need to call in an actual investigative body, the Marshal will handle it.”

Pulitzer prize winning New York Times  investigative reporter Jodi Kantor, pointing to how the Justices were not thoroughly investigated during the leak probe, in earlier this month said: “Last week the court released statements that confirmed the gap between how the justices and everyone else were treated.”

“The whole situation amplifies a major question about the court: are these nine people, making decisions that affect all of us, accountable to anyone?”

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‘Can Be Used Against You’: Trump Took Big Risk Pleading the Fifth 400 Times in Deposition Says Legal Expert



A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.

The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times — but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.

“I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth,” Weissmann said. “It’s important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case.”

“One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there’s this witch hunt, he left out jurors,” Weissmann added. “The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that’s everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That’s one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment.”

Watch video below or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock

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