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Kathleen Sebelius, Other Top Democrats Address DNC’s Largest-Ever LGBT Caucus

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Rep. Tammy Baldwin and DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan among speakers at DNC’s LGBT Caucus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Hundreds of LGBT Democratic National Convention delegates and their guests attended a caucus meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Charlotte Convention Center. Speakers at the event included Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, openly lesbian North Carolina state Senate candidate Deb Butler, openly gay North Carolina state Rep. Marcus Brandon, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Wisconsin’s openly lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

Rick Stafford, LGBT caucus chair and activist, hosted the event alongside Raymond Buckley, the first openly gay president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. Stafford noted that this is his tenth convention and his ninth as an openly gay politician. The caucus itself highlighted the immense progress made by the LGBT community since President Barack Obamaís initial election, particularly the visibility gained by the amount of LGBT officials elected to public office over the last few years.

“The sheer size of this caucus is but one example of the progress we’ve made toward equality,” said Rep. Baldwin who, if elected, will serve as the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.

Further cause for celebration came from the release of the Democratic Party Platform earlier Tuesday, which contained a plank affirming the party’s commitment to marriage equality. Many attendees were visibly moved during the caucus, as the party’s support for marriage equality evidences the culmination of decades of work for many veteran activists.

“I wanted to be here,” said Weingarten during her speech, “not just as a lesbian, not a member of the LGBT caucus, but as a member of the platform committee when the marriage plank passed without any dissent.”

The dire necessity for the LGBT community to reelect Obama served as the visible theme unifying all speeches during the caucus. Multiple speakers emphasized how virtually all progress gained over the past decade would be lost under a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan administration.

“There has been a lot of progress in a relatively short period of time, but there is still a lot more to do,” said Secretary Sebelius. “November is the most important election of your lifetime — and my lifetime.”

Sebelius also highlighted the importance of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and the imperative nature of the legislation for the LGBT community.

Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, was the final speaker at the event. Kerrigan is the first openly gay man to serve in the position.

The caucus itself closed with a roll call of all LGBT delegates state by state, in similar fashion to the traditional roll call at the convention itself. In all, the Democratic National Convention is playing host to over 500 openly LGBT delegates, more than any other political convention in history.

Image via Twitter by Weston Clark 

Democratic National Convention coverage provided by The New Civil Rights Movement and QNotes.

James Nichols is a contributing writer at QNotes. Established in 1986, QNotes is the leading LGBT community newspaper of North Carolina based in Charlotte.

Make The New Civil Rights Movement your Democratic National Committee 2012 convention headquarters — read all our DNC 2012 articles here!

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

The ‘White Power Movement’ Is Ramping Up Its Attacks on Energy Infrastructure – Anti-Terrorism Expert Explains Why

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Professor, historian and author Kathleen Belew, one of the United States’ top experts on white supremacist and white nationalist terrorism, has often stressed that violent, racially motivated attacks shouldn’t be viewed as isolated incidents, but as part of a broader movement. And when Belew made a Monday night, February 6 appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” she explained how a Maryland woman’s alleged role in a plot to attack five energy substations in the Baltimore area fits into the overall “white power” game plan.

Earlier in the day, law enforcement officials had announced the arrest of Maryland resident Sarah Beth Clendaniel, who, they allege, conspired with fellow white supremacist Brandon Russell in that plot. Clendaniel and Russell, according to officials, hoped to completely disable energy infrastructure in Baltimore and deprive the city of electricity for an extended period of time.

During her conversation with Maddow, Belew emphasized that this was not an isolated incident. White supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis, according to the professor, are targeting energy infrastructure in general — not just in Baltimore, Maryland.

READ MORE: Why the power grid is an ‘attractive target’ for domestic terrorists and white supremacists: report

Belew, author of the 2019 book, “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America,” told Maddow, “The electrical part may be new, but infrastructure attacks by this movement are not new. This is a strategy that was pioneered by a group called The Order in 1983…. Infrastructure attacks are one kind of violence among several others that are all laid out in a strategy in common in order to bring about what the movement seeks, which is the overthrow of the United States and the creation of a white ethno-state — mass violence against communities of color and even genocide against non-white peoples.”

According to Belew — who teaches at Northwestern University in the Chicago suburbs — attacks on energy infrastructure and the January 6, 2021 insurrection are both part of the “white power” game plan.

Belew told Maddow, “Infrastructure attacks sit next to a show of forced violence like the January 6 attack on the Capitol and mass casualty violence like the Oklahoma City bombing. All of these exist together within one broad ideology in the white power movement.”

READ MORE: Terrorism expert explains why the Great Replacement theory is so central to white racist ideology

Watch the full video at this link.

Image via Wikimedia and a Creative Commons license

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COMMENTARY

Right-Wing Outraged Over Falsely Thinking White House Press Secretary Said National Security Council Is Using ‘TikTok’

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For decades White House press secretaries, military officers, and reporters have used the words “tick-tock” to denote an overview of a conversation, or a chronological telling of a series of events – and not the now-popular Chinese app “TikTok,” which some allege has major national security implications.

And yet, the far-right-wing website Daily Caller, a veteran Fox News host, and many others on the social media site Twitter attacked Karine Jean-Pierre Monday afternoon, after the White House Press Secretary told the press: “I know there was a tick-tock that went out to all of you from the National Security Council that was pretty detailed on how everything broke down for the past week.”

Inside Elections’ Jacob Rubashkin mocked The Daily Caller, (which was founded by Tucker Carlson,) for getting something so basic so wrong.

READ MORE: Morning Joe Reminds Viewers of the Last Time the Koch Network ‘Stopped the Craziness’ in GOP Primaries

Longtime journalist Keith Olberman blasted several people on Twitter who assumed the worst, including veteran Fox News reporter David Asman.

He didn’t stop there.

 

 

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News

House Ethics Committee Begins Questioning Santos Staffers

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The U.S. House Committee on Ethics has begun questioning staffers for embattled Rep. George Santos, who on Friday was accused of sexual harassment and improper hiring practice by a prospective aide the New York Republican interviewed and hired.

CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona, reporting the committee’s questioning, calls it “a sign that the committee is looking into some of the allegations against Santos, though it doesn’t necessarily mean a formal investigation has been launched yet.”

“It is unclear what exactly the committee asked these staffers about, but multiple ethics complaints have been filed against Santos,” Zanona adds.

READ MORE: Watch: Democrats File Ethics Complaint Against George Santos After GOP Leadership Calls It an ‘Internal’ Matter

Most recently, a prospective staffer filed a complaint that the congressman made an unwanted sexual advance.

Two New York Democrats last month also filed an ethics complaint against Santos over his financial disclosure reporting.

 

 

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