Harold Ford Walks Into The Lion’s Den, Gets Mauled
Tonight in Manhattan’s LGBT Community Services Center, the heart of New York City’s gay community, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. spoke before a raucous crowd of hundreds of active citizens and dozens of members of the media. He received a strongly-worded and angry, unfriendly welcome before even beginning his speech. Throughout the twenty-six-minute meeting, which Ford left after the Q&A session but before making his final speech as he was shouted off the stage, taunts, screams, waving signs, and at one point a loud explosion of confetti permeated the small, overheated meeting room.
Ford, who has yet to officially announce his intention to run against incumbent New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed by now-embattled Governor David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat upon her acceptance of the position of U.S. Secretary of State, has been making the rounds, attempting to drum up support, but has found little. His New York Times profile a few weeks ago served to portray him as an effete Merrill-Lynch Vice President fond of pedicures and expensive lunches. It hasn’t gotten better for him since.
Ford was ushered in just before 6:00 PM and actually began his speech a few minutes early. He spent a short time discussing his move from Tennessee to New York City, and oddly spent several minutes talking about his wife and their decision-making processes, which, personally, felt as if he were reminding the LGBTQ audience he had a wife. On a personal note, it felt very out of place.
Lt. Dan Choi, still in the National Guard, and a staunch Kirsten Gillibrand supporter, was in tonight’s audience and asked Ford questions. Ford thanked the Lieutenant for his service, and reminded him that then-state Senator Gillibrand did not have a strong record on LGBTQ rights, but changed. Choi accused Ford of wanting to fire Gillibrand, just as the military has tried to fire him.
Also on hand was former NYC Council candidate Yetta Kurland who has been a true friend and advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Ford was asked several questions that had been collected from the audience, questions on abortion, his definition of his pro-life vs. pro-choice claims, civil unions, same-sex marriage, hate-crime legislation, gun rights and the second amendment, and his votes on the Patriot Act, all pointing, as one questioner stated, to someone with a very conservative stance on issues.
On civil unions, Ford confessed, “I falsely and wrongly believed that the two were equitable and I turned out to be wrong.”
Over and over Ford made statements like, “You may choose to not vote for me.” The audience took the opportunity to agree.
At one point, trying to prove his importance to the LGBTQ movement, Ford stated, “I would hope that you could at least accept the fact that the reason that numbers and support for marriage equality continues to go up is because people like me change our minds.”
That statement was met with resounding cries of, “You lie!” “No more lies!” and “New York doesn’t want you!” from the crowd. Signs reading, “Anti-gay liar,” and “Snake Oil Harry” were often waved in the air in response to some of Ford’s statements. At one point, about half-way through, an audience member accused the unruly demonstrators of behaving as Tea Partiers.
Perhaps the most volatile and telling moment, what many will no doubt refer to as Ford’s Sarah Palin/”Bush Doctrine” moment in weeks to come, was his response to a critical question for the LGBTQ community. “Do you disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Lawrence vs. Texas?” Lawrence vs. Texas was the landmark Supreme Court 2003 ruling that struck down sodomy laws, and effectively made unconstitutional any laws that outlawed homosexuals or homosexual acts.
Ford’s response was, “Tell me what that decision is?” Ultimately, Towleroad’s Corey Johnson outlined the decision to Ford.
Ford’s visit was not unsurprisingly unsuccessful. He needed to say, “I support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I support repeal of DOMA, I support passage of ENDA, and I support the LGBTQ community.”
He failed to do so, or to make that crystal clear.
Walking into a room of hundreds of LGBTQs and their supporters, trying to defend your prior positions against that community and “enlighten” them, convince them that you have changed your ways and now support them and their issues automatically demands you educate yourself on the issues before showing up.
New York should not vote for Harold Ford, should he chose to run. Not just because of his prior position on issues, but because he clearly has no grasp of them. Watch the video and note his slim grasp on issues and his own prior positions. He proved he is not a man of great reasoning or intelligence, conviction, or passion. He may or may not support the LGBTQ community, but he doesn’t understand us, or New York, and worse, has made little attempt to do so.
Note: Apologies for the poor quality of the photos. I’ll search for better from other sources online and try to bring them to you.
You can watch the complete set of videos from the meeting now, here.
For more, visit, Good As You, (who has better video!) TPM, Towleroad, Gay City News.
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Fail’: Critics Blast Youngkin for Claim Trump Is a Victim of ‘Politically Motivated Actions’ Just Like ‘Parents in Virginia’
Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, is under fire after remarks he made Friday morning defending Donald Trump after the ex-president was indicted on what has now been revealed to be 37 federal felony counts related to the Dept. of Justice’s criminal probe into his handling of hundreds of classified and top secret documents.
Youngkin Friday suggested that the prosecution of Donald Trump, which includes Espionage Act charges, conspiracy charges, and obstruction of justice charges among others, was just like the alleged prosecution of parents.
Gov. Youngkin, often wrongly portrayed in the media as a moderate Republican, may have been attempting to invoke the false yet viral far-right claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland was investigating and prosecuting parents for merely speaking at school board meetings. That claim came about after Garland issued a letter asking the Bureau to come up with strategies to address violence and violent threats directed at school board members. Some who have promoted that erroneous claim, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, have falsely claimed Garland called ordinary parents “terrorists.”
On Friday, Youngkin tweeted about the Trump indictment, saying, “These charges are unprecedented and it’s a sad day for our country, especially in light of what clearly appears to be a two-tiered justice system where some are selectively prosecuted, and others are not.”
“Parents in Virginia know firsthand what it’s like to be targeted by politically motivated actions,” he added.
“Regardless of your party, this undermines faith in our judicial system at exactly the time when we should be working to restore that trust,” Youngkin concluded, remarks that themselves could undermine faith in our judicial system.
Days before his election, Youngkin also promoted the false Garland claim, even after the Attorney General that same day explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee his letter directed the FBI to investigate not ordinary parents, but people who were organizing attacks on school board members.
Candidate Youngkin appeared on Fox News in October 0f 2021 (video below) and falsely told Tucker Carlson, “What happened today was, of course, Merrick Garland doubled down. He said, ‘No, I’m absolutely maintaining my position that the DOJ and the FBI should be investigating parents.’ Parents who are trying to stand up for their children when there’s been a sexual assault in a school bathroom. We have a board of education and in Loudoun County that tried to hide it from parents, hide it from hiding from the public, and they move this child into another school and then that child again committed another sexual assault.”
READ MORE: DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
Youngkin made education and “parents’ rights” a campaign issue when he ran in 2021. His opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, during a debate said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” While experts claim it didn’t swing the election for Youngkin, it at least established him nationally as focused on education and “parental rights,” a mantle Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly co-opted.
The Washington Post, alternatively, on Friday focused on Youngkin’s “two-tiered justice” remarks, reporting: “Youngkin’s suggestion that a rich White man — he didn’t actually name Trump — had been victimized by a ‘two-tiered justice system’ drew fierce pushback, with many critics noting the governor’s opposition to the notion that racial and ethnic minorities face systemic racism. The Republican won the governorship on a promise to purge ‘critical race theory’ from K-12 classrooms, though it was not part of any curriculum. Once in office, Youngkin launched a tip line for parents to report on teachers discussing ‘inherently divisive’ concepts in schools.”
Youngkin, who technically is a “populist conservative” but swings far-right on social issues, was quickly chastised for his tweet.
“You know what you are staying is wrong and incendiary. Shame on you,” declared former CIA officer John Sipher. “These charges stemmed from a grand [jury] of Florida citizens. Trump will have access to a Fair process. But instead you spread information to anger and confuse people. You are stoking misinformation and violence.”
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes took a different approach, mocking the Virginia Republican.
“It’s the pivot to ‘Parents in Virginia…’ in the third sentence that elevates this to art,” he wrote.
“The moderate, genial suburban dad in a fleece vest suggests that the only way to restore confidence in the justice system is to place Trump above the law,” wrote The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, also mocking Youngkin.
“Youngkin is pro-Trump, as usual–even though Virginia voted heavily AGAINST Trump in both 2016 and 2020. When it comes to Donald Trump, Liz Cheney has more courage in her pinky than Youngkin does in his whole body,” observed Larry Sabato, the well-known professor of politics, political analyst, and founder and director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The vice president of research for the liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, Liz Charboneau, called Youngkin’s tweet an “especially stupid statement when a large portion of your state has a security clearance, handles classified documents, and has never been charged under the espionage act.”
Conservative Mona Charen, a syndicated columnist and Policy Editor at The Bulwark: “So here’s our answer as to whether Youngkin is a man of character. Fail.”
The Lincoln Project’s Michelle Kinney tweeted, “Youngkin twisting himself into pretzel to weave a vaguebook repudiation of Trump indictment and his weirdo anti vaxx anti trans ‘parents rights’ obsession into one tweet. It reads like Veep dialogue.”
Historian, professor, Holocaust expert Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn tweeted, “Hey dude, the Pentagon is literally in your state. Maybe stop in and have a chat…”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Watch Live: Special Counsel Jack Smith Holds News Conference After Trump Criminal Indictment Unsealed
Special Counsel Jack Smith will hold a news conference Friday at 3:00 PM ET, after the U.S. Dept. of Justice unsealed its 49-page 37-criminal count indictment against Donald Trump. The indictment also names a Trump aide.
Legal experts reviewing the indictment were stunned at not only the level of detail but the manner in which Trump treated classified documents, including allegedly storing them in boxes on the stage at Mar-a-Lago, in a bathroom, a shower, and a bedroom.
Former Dept. of Defense special Counsel Ryan Goodman, now an NYU professor of law, calls the indictment “devastating,” and concludes: “Extraordinary risks to U.S. national security. Foreign adversaries would pay tens of millions for that info.”
READ MORE: ‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report
Smith, who was appointed by Donald Trump as an acting U.S. Attorney, also prosecuted war crimes cases at The Hague. he also was the head of the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.
Watch video of his full news conference below or at this link.
WATCH: Complete statement from Special Counsel Jack Smith: “Today an indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.” pic.twitter.com/llUlrvpVe4
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 9, 2023
This article has been updated to include full video of the completed news conference.
'EXTRAORDINARY RISKS TO U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY'
DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
The U.S. Dept. of Justice has unsealed its 37-criminal count, 49-page indictment in its case against Donald J. Trump, which includes the previously unknown and damning charge that the ex-president showed classified information to people who were not authorized to see them. One legal expert says America’s enemies would pay “tens of millions of dollars” for the classified documents.”
The indictment includes a Trump aide known in previous news reports as Walt Nauta.
“Dissemination is a much more serious crime,” former top DOJ official Andrew Weissmann said on MSNBC, referring to even allowing someone to see classified information.
READ MORE: ‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report
Two of the critical passages alleging dissemination:
“In July 2021, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey (‘The Bedminster Club’), during an audio-recorded meeting with a writer, a publisher, and two members of his staff, none of whom possessed a security clearance, TRUMP showed and described a ‘plan of attack’ that TRUMP said was prepared for him by the Department of Defense and a senior military official. TRUMP told the individuals that the plan was ‘highly confidential’ and ‘secret.’ TRUMP also said, ‘as president I could have declassified it,’ and, ‘Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.'”
“In August or September 2021, at The Bedminster Club, TRUMP showed a representative of his political action committee who did not possess a security clearance a classified map related to a military operation and told the representative that he should not be showing it to the representative and that the representative should not get too close.”
Politico’s Sam Stein points to this photo in the indictment that allegedly shows dozens of boxes of documents “stacked on the ballroom stage at Mar-a-Lago.”
Trump, for a period of time, stacked boxes from his time at the White House on a ballroom stage at Mar-a-Lago pic.twitter.com/uEO9WMrH2j
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 9, 2023
Another damning passage of the indictment states:
“The classified documents TRUMP stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack. The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods.”
Former Dept. of Defense special Counsel Ryan Goodman, now an NYU professor of law, calls the indictment “devastating.”
“I have looked at all prior prosecutions under the Espionage Act and have never seen egregious facts like this,” hew writes. “Trump ‘stored his boxes containing classified documents .. in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.'”
Goodman concludes, “Extraordinary risks to U.S. national security. Foreign adversaries would pay tens of millions for that info.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith will speak to the media at 3 PM ET.
Read the full indictment below or at this link.
The United States of Americ… by ABC News Politics
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