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Is Dan Savage The Gay Ann Coulter?

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I like Dan Savage. Well, I used to. Until this week. Dan is on a roll. If anything, I think maybe Dan’s upset that he’s not the one who got kicked out of an Ottawa college speaking invitation. But Dan Savage is using anti-gay slurs to insult the same people who are targeting the LGBTQ community. And that is unacceptable.

So, let’s play a game. Name the author of the following statements:

  1. Al Gore is a “total fag.”
  2. “…but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I’m – so, kind of at an impasse, can’t really talk about [John] Edwards…”
  3. “Ken Cuccinelli Is a Fag.”
  4. “Transgendered Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna Betrays His Community.”

Are you sure?

OK. Well, probably it was pretty easy for you. #1 and #2 are from conservative author Ann Coulter, and they’re from my piece last year, “The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Ann Coulter And The Business Of Anti-Gay Hate Speech In America (Part One).”

Sadly, #3 and #4 are from liberal, gay author and activist Dan Savage.

#3 is the title of Dan’s column today in The Slog.

#4 is the title of Dan’s column yesterday in The Slog.

See where I’m going here?

Savage is doing this on purpose. Yesterday, in response to the immediate uproar his column received, Dan wrote this:

UPDATE: I’m getting some very angry emails about this post. What can I say? I’m so sorry. I wrote the post in a hurry but that’s really no excuse. But I promise that in all future posts about Rob McKenna I will not fail to include a link to the Facebook page “Washington Tax Payers OPT OUT of Rob McKenna’s Lawsuit.”

So, what’s the big deal here? Well, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is NOT “transgendered.”*

Savage, evidently, thinks insulting someone by calling them a “fag,” or “transgendered,”* is funny.

It’s not.

Trans people and the entire LGBTQ community have enough challenges without having those in a leadership position offering our identifications as insults. “Fag” and “Transgendered”* (as Savage wrote) are not intrinsically insulting — except when they are used as insults.

Yesterday, a great number of the comments in Dan’s post pointed out how Dan had crossed a line and pointed out how offensive it was. In “How to squander your credibility as a civil rights advocate,” Lurleen of Pam’s House Blend weighed in:

Dan Savage is a gifted Seattle-based gay writer who has done so much wonderful advocacy for our community.  Steven Colbert refers to him as “the spokesgay”, a role he seems pleased to fulfill on national television and in The Stranger, the newspaper he writes for.  People speaking from such powerful platforms have a special responsibility to not embarrass and misrepresent the people they purport to speak for, and today Dan has greatly embarrassed and misrepresented this lesbian with this diary at The Stranger’s blog, the SLOG.

With action on ENDA hopefully right around the corner, I can only wonder how Dan could possibly think it was reasonable to use a negative and baseless accusation of transgenderism and transexual history against an elected official who he has a political disagreement with.  This absolutely sickens me.  Major fail, Dan.  Shame on you.  You make LGB people look like the very homobigots you rail against daily.

I agree.

And here’s another real danger. Abdication of leadership and responsibility.

Dan Savage is a recognized LGBTQ leader. People listen to him and assume what he says is be “OK.” So, while yesterday Dan took some heat in his column’s comments, today, with the following disclaimer, a great many of his readers just laughed it off.

For the record: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay. I mean, obviously. So while this particular state attorney general—this bigoted douchebag—might not like being called a fag, I trust that my fellow fags aren’t going to think I’ve insulted them by calling this guy a fag.

That’s the danger of taking your role in a community for granted. As members of the LGBTQ community with a platform, we all have a responsibility to uphold higher standards and to be role models for the people we serve. Dan abdicated his leadership and responsibility when he chose to use those words. He discredited his great work when he did it twice.

Using “fag,” or “transgendered,” is the same offensive concept that says it’s OK for blacks to call someone the “N” word, because they’re black.

Well, it’s not OK.

It’s not OK to use labels to insult people, labels that relate to the the very “who” of who someone is.

I expect it, unfortunately, from the Ann Coulters of this world, and I’m prepared to fight back. But I’ll also fight the Dan Savages if I have to, although I’d rather be fighting with them than against them.


*For the record, Savage uses the word “transgendered.” It’s actually inappropriate, and he should have used the word “transgender.” My use of it is in quotes, as I am quoting him.

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News

Florida’s Rubio Challenged Over His Past Opposition to Disaster Relief — and Gets Fact-Checked

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With Florida reeling from the massive amount of damage — estimated in the billions — inflicted by Hurricane Ian, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) was asked by CNN host Dana Bash how to reconcile his request for financial help from the federal government given his opposition to similar requests from other states following a natural disaster.

In a rare appearance on CNN, Rubio tried to explain away his complaints about other funding bills by stating he felt they were larded with pork-barrel projects that he didn’t feel were justified.

“Senator, you wrote a letter Friday to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for disaster relief dollars for desperately needed resources to rebuild Florida communities,” host Bash began. “After Hurricane Sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on the $50 billion relief package.”

“I know you supported a smaller version,” she continued. “But why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn’t vote for a package to help theirs?”

RELATED: Florida GOP senator cornered on CNN over delayed evacuation order before Hurricane Ian hit

“Oh, I’ve always voted for hurricane and disaster relief,” the Florida Republican protested. “I’ve even voted for it without pay-fors. What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because they included a roof for a museum in Washington, d.c., for fisheries in Alaska. It had been loaded up with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”

“I would never put out there we should use a disaster relief package for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things people want around the country,” he continued. “So I think that’s that’s the key at moments like this. In Sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they really did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy. I voted for every disaster relief package especially that’s clean and I’ll continue to do so. When it comes to Florida, we’ll do that again and make sure the package is clean and doesn’t have stuff for other people in there.”

“I read the congressional research report and the roof was damaged.” Bash corrected him. “In any event, my question is about the future. Are you telling me that if Hurricane Ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you’ll vote no?”

“Sure. I’ll fight against it having pork in it– that’s the key,” he responded.

Watch below or at the link:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage

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Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.

Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.

“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.

Trump’s post generated outrage online.

“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”

“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.

Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”

Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”

Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”

 

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Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after military service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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