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If Howard Dean Can Show Up At A “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Rally, Why Can’t Joe Solmonese?

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Howard Dean and Justin Elzie at DADT Rally 05-02-10

“If Howard Dean can show up at a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rally, why can’t Joe Solmonese?”

Justin Elzie, the first Marine to come out under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993, asked me that question after he, along with several other present and former servicemembers spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C. Sunday. A rally that former Vermont Governor and former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean showed up to and spoke at, but HRC President Joe Solmonese did not.

Howard Dean has no horse in this race. He’s not running for — or against — anything. These days, the six-term governor makes his living talking mostly about health care, not military policy. So what motivated Dean to speak? Chris Geidner at D.C.’s Metro Weekly wrote that Dean “was in the area for a Democracy for America fundraiser and supported the cause.”

At Sunday’s rally, Dean shared some of his thoughts on gays serving in the military

“If somebody is brave enough to take a bullet for the United States of America then they ought to have equal rights under the law when they come home just like everybody else does.”

“To kick talented people out of the military because they happen to be gay or lesbian makes no sense at all.”

“The fact of the matter is, the first guy who took a bullet for George W. Bush, when he sent our troops to Iraq, was…Eric Alva…Eric Alva is a gay man.”

Pity Joe Solmonese wasn’t in the area Sunday when Howard Dean was speaking to the crowd of 100 to 150. Pity Solmonese wasn’t in the area when just after Governor Dean spoke and six servicemembers once again were chained to the White House gates. (Some would say pity Solmonese was in the area the first time Choi chained himself to the White House gates.)

But the point is not that Solmonese wasn’t there. And it’s way too easy to point that out.

The point, is that there is a serious lack of leadership coming from Solmonese on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. But Solmonese is in good company. There’s also a serious lack of leadership coming from the White House.

It seems these days that the real leadership on DADT repeal is coming from grass roots groups like GetEQUAL, and SLDN, Servicemembers United, and Queer Rising. HRC and others may very well be working behind the scenes, but until they can prove the effectiveness of their actions, the growing sentiment in the LGBTQ community is, “What have you done for me lately?”

These direct actions from grassroots groups like Servicemembers United and GetEqual, and others who are responsible for Sunday’s rally and White House protest are what’s getting attention. While the community and the greater citizenry may be divided on the wisdom of these events, the fact is that they are keeping the plight of LGBTQ Americans in the news.

At yesterday’s rally, half a dozen past and present members of our nation’s armed forces, Tanya Domi, Jarrod Chlapowski, Evelyn Thomas, Brett Edward Stout, and Robin Chaurasiya, along with rally host Justin Elzie, all spoke in favor of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

And once more, six DADT protesters (this time, Mark Reed, Natasha Dillon, Alan Bounville, Ann Tischer, Nora Camp, and Eiona DiBona) chained themselves to the White House gates, the third time this year activists have done this to highlight the need to act urgently to repeal DADT.

Heck, Nancy Pelosi has shown more guts than President Obama on this issue. So have Carl Levin and Kirsten Gillibrand.

So, where is the Obama administration on this? Where is HRC on this? Why is it we’re seeing more bravery from members of our armed forces, Congress, and the grass roots, than from the Barack Obama or Joe Solmonese?

(image by Jamie McGonnigal.)

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News

GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

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Republicans will ban in-vitro fertilization (IVF) if Donald Trump is elected after the Southern Baptist Convention voted on Wednesday to condemn the practice, a political scientist is predicting. IVF involves manual fertilization of eggs, some of which are destroyed if not implanted, which is murder according to those who believe life begins at conception.

“The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with over 50,000 churches and over 14 million faithful, and has become a political force in recent decades,” Reuters reports. “The resolution called on ‘Southern Baptists to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation.’

Largely white and Republican, the Southern Baptist Convention is the second-largest Christian denomination in the U.S. after Catholics.

“The move may signal the beginning of a broad turn on the right against IVF, an issue that many evangelicals, anti-abortion advocates and other social conservatives see as the ‘pro-life’ movement’s next frontier — one they hope will eventually lead to restrictions, or outright bans, on IVF at the state and federal levels,” Politico reports Wednesday.

READ MORE: ‘Birth Control and Dental Dams and Food’: Fox News Host’s Rant Goes Viral

“Southern Baptists are the base of the Republican Party,” writes professor of political science David Darmofal. “Parties are responsive to their bases. The Southern Baptist Convention just voted to oppose IVF. Republicans will ban IVF if Trump wins.”

According to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) over 86,000 babies, about 2.3%, were born via IVF in 2021, largely due to infertility.

America already has a declining fertility rate, meaning that more people are dying than are being born, according to the CDC.

“The general fertility rate in the United States decreased by 3% from 2022, reaching a historic low,” CDC reports. “This marks the second consecutive year of decline, following a brief 1% increase from 2020 to 2021. From 2014 to 2020, the rate consistently decreased by 2% annually.”

READ MORE: ‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

The U.S. Senate on Thursday will vote on legislation to protect IVF.

Other critics are sounding the alarm as well.

“When Sen. Katie Britt and Sen. Ted Cruz say IVF is safe and Dems are fear-mongering, she’s lying, and today the SBC told on her,” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kyle Whitmire wrote.

“I could care less if Southern Baptists oppose the science of IVF that has helped so many people to have families that they otherwise would not have,” noted neuroscientist Bryan William Jones. “You be you. What I do care about is that Southern Baptists are working politically to PREVENT families from having access to IVF.”

The Biden campaign Wednesday afternoon posted video of Donald Trump praising the SBC and vowing, “I’ll be with you side by side.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

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News

‘Birth Control and Dental Dams and Food’: Fox News Host’s Rant Goes Viral

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A daytime Fox News host’s rant claiming Democrats are pandering to young voters by offering free beer and birth control at events has gone viral after equating the giveaways with what he says is a slogan from the ’50s and ’60s.

“I got to tell you, if they become the majority,” Fox News’ Harris Faulkner warned Wednesday, referring to younger voters, “we’re in trouble.”

“I mean, do you want people whose motto is – and they took this right out of the ’50s and ’60s – ‘battle by day, love at night’ – which means birth control and dental dams and food.”

The 18-second clip has been viewed 240,000 times in just three hours.

Faulkner appears to have been referring to a Tuesday Washington Post report by Michael Scherer, “Democratic efforts to lure young voters include beer and birth control.”

READ MORE: ‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

“The donor-funded experiments target younger voters in major metropolitan areas of a few key states who, if they do vote, tend to favor Democrats,” Scherer wrote.

“They want to make politics look different in the seven or so states that will decide the presidency — like a dance party, a comedy show or a place to chill out. Sometimes there will be free beer, manicures, boot shines, a rent check sweepstakes, a handout of contraceptive pills or cooling towels. All you have to do is show up, like it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and belong to something bigger. Oh, and someone might mention voting at some point.”

These events are not Biden campaign events, nor does the Post article suggest the Biden campaign is in any way involved, but Fox News included b-roll footage of President Biden as Faulkner presented her commentary. The articles also does not mention “dental dams,” or condoms for that matter.

As for Faulkner’s “battle by day, love at night” slogan, NCRM could find no specific reference to that.

Also during that Fox News segment, Faulkner suggested the Democrats using Hollywood and “manipulating these young people through their addictions.”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

The Post’s report mentions several Democratic groups and donors behind the party favors.

“No one throws more simultaneous parties than we do,” Dmitri Mehlhorn told The Post. The paper described him as “a donor adviser to billionaire Democrats like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.”

“There are 2.2 million humans in those states under 45 who are just nonvoters, but they do all kinds of other civic stuff,” Mehlhorn added.

Kevin Mack, the lead strategist for the Voter Project, which The Post reports “has been throwing parties this spring across Pennsylvania,” said, young voters “will take actions automatically. It is not a big push.”

This is far from a new idea.

“It is very 19th century in a way,” Columbia University political scientist Donald Green told The P0st. “Before the so-called progressive era reforms of 1880s, you would have a marching band, you would have entertainment, you would have free whiskey for a male-only electorate.”

Watch a clip from the segment below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

 

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OPINION

‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Wednesday celebrated Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. to meet with House and Senate Republicans, barely blocks away from where the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy itself took place. Many hold the-then president and his “Big Lie” responsible for the insurrection, and he has been indicted on charges related to it.

Johnson was asked if the ex-president is committed to and respects the peaceful transfer of power.

The Speaker’s response has angered some critics.

Johnson has a tenuous grip on his gavel and on the House GOP majority. He has already faced one vote to remove him, and survived it thanks to House Democrats. To shore up his power, Johnson has traveled to Mar-a-Lago to appear with the indicted and now criminally-convicted ex-president, and has promoted several pieces of legislation critics say only serve as messaging vehicles to please Trump.

Pointing out that this will be he first time Trump has met with both House and Senate Republicans in D.C. since the January 6 insurrection, a reporter Wednesday morning asked the Speaker, “are you committed or have you spoken about basically not doing anything like that again and committing to respecting the American tradition of peaceful transfer?”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

Johnson, whose emotions are often on view, repeatedly frown and looked irritated as the reporter spoke.

“Of course he respects that,” Johnson said frustratedly. “And we all do and we’ve all talked about it ad nauseam.”

“We’re excited to welcome President Trump back and he’ll be meeting with the Senate Republicans of course, after he has a breakfast with us. And there’s high anticipation here and great excitement.”

Ahead of Johnson’s remarks CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane had posted where Thursday’s meeting with House Republicans and Donald Trump will take place.

If there were no question about Donald Trump’s commitment to the peaceful transfer of power – and there is given to this day he calls insurrectionists, “warriors,” “victims,” “hostages,” and “patriots” – the Speaker would not need to be discussing it “ad nauseam.”

As a backbencher before being elevated to Speaker, Johnson was not just a little-known congressman, he was an architect of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Johnson spread election fraud conspiracy theories and lies, as a CNN investigation published in April confirmed.

READ MORE: Speaker Johnson on Why He Thinks Hunter Biden’s Conviction Is Valid but Donald Trump’s Is Not

Also back in April, Johnson tried to rewrite history, whitewashing the role of insurrectionists and those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, saying some of them were “innocent, you know, people who were there and just happened to be walking through the building.”

Highlighting those remarks, The New Republic reported, “the Republican leader seemed to suggest that the 2,000 people who charged the halls, destroyed federal property, and interrupted the peaceful presidential transfer of power—1,265 of whom have been charged by federal authorities—were actually mere innocent bystanders.”

Critics were quick to call out Johnson’s remarks.

Veteran journalist John Harwood responded, saying, “by lying here, Johnson shows he understands that what he and House GOP helped Trump do in Jan 2021, and what Trump intends to do again if necessary, is wrong.”

He added, “if he weren’t ashamed of it, he’d tell the truth.”

Award-winning CNBC/NBC News reporter Carl Quintanilla responded to Johnson’s remarks with a 4-second clip of a someone who appears to be attacking law enforcement with the American flag on January 6.

“Bullshit,” declared former Tea Party Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh. “Trump is humanly incapable of accepting an election loss. He will NEVER respect the peaceful transfer of power. And Mike Johnson knows that.”

The Biden campaign reposted the video and remarked, “(No, he clearly does not).”

Media critic and former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob responded with: “Mike Johnson is a lying traitor.”

Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn wrote: “Given that Trump has promised to pardon the 1/6 insurrectionist rioters who attacked the Capitol, he’s not showing much respect for the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power. Johnson is lying for Trump. That’s not very Biblical.”

Watch Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

See the video and social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: Many Republicans Don’t Believe Trump Was Indicted or Aren’t Sure – But Say He’s Not Guilty

 

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