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Maggie Gallagher: The Cold Heart Of A Craven, Careless, Professional, Paid Propagandist

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Editor’s note: This guest post by Scott Wooledge was originally published at Daily Kos and is published here with his permission. Scott Wooledge writes at the Daily Kos under the handle Clarknt67.

Maggie Gallagher, front woman for National Organization for Marriage, trying desperately to spin the disastrous showing marriage equality opponents had at Thursday’s legislative hearing in New Hampshire, posted an interesting talking point she seemed to think had value to her organization’s blog. Praising her compatriot in bigotry, Kevin Smith from Cornerstone Action PAC, who is like her, a professional homophobe that collects a salary to testify against the equal rights of gay people, Maggie says:

My favorite Kevin Smith line: “The sky didn’t fall in 2008 when the voters repealed same-sex marriage. The sky didn’t fall in Maine either the next year in 2009, when the voters repealed gay marriage passed by the legislature.”

Let’s look at what she’s really saying there.

Maggie Gallagher and her crew are saying, “Hey, it’s not such a big deal. Just go ahead and do it. They did it elsewhere.”

She’s suggesting lawmakers ignore the will of the people. Ignore the WMUR/Granite State poll, that show 62% of New Hampshire residents have no desire to see this repealed in favor of the 29% who do. University of New Hampshire pollster Andrew Smith, who directs the UNH Survey Center, called it more than opposition but rather “powerful resistance.”

Let’s look at how the breaks down by intensity:

Clearly not only the numbers, but the passions lie in defending New Hampshire’s marriage equality.

And this was demonstrated very clearly in Thursday’s hearing.

In droves, supporters took time out of their day to discuss the humanity of the people these repeal bills would hurt. They spoke for themselves, their partners, their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents. Maggie’s group is imploring legislators to ignore it all, because, well, they’ll get over it.

Ignore Paul Ober (left) who bravely came out of the closet to his friends and his hockey team to testify, because he said, “this is too important.” Ignore Craig Stowell who stood up for his brother, and said, “no one has the right to take away his freedom to marry.” Ignore Linda Maloney who stood up for her daughter saying, “when I found out from Courage Campaign that NOM, the so-called ‘National Organization for Marriage,’ was trying to take that right away from my Cait, I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”

Maggie’s saying to lawmakers, “Everything you saw Thursday, ignore it.” Ignore these 600+ people who took time out of their day to come and testify, to plead with the lawmakers on behalf of equality, respect and simple common decency. The pictures told an amazing story, I provided many here. For the more empirically inclined, here’s a look at how the turnout for the day breaks down:

“Let’s ignore unprecedentedly lopsided turnout.” If the will to repeal exists in the the Granite State, there was scarce evidence of it Thursday. But hundreds and hundreds of people did take the time out of their day to come and testify, to plead, demand and argue their case before the lawmakers.

“But ignore all that,” says Maggie, because “they’ll all get over it.”

As one poster put it succinctly at Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

Please note that the sky didn’t fall the day that your Jesus was supposedly killed. It didn’t fall the day Eve got a craving for fruit. The sky has NEVER fallen down, no matter what horrendous or marvelous things have been done underneath it.

What DID happen on the days you mention is that hearts were broken, families were punished, children were harmed, love was judged unimportant, people were relegated to second class citizenship…

But the broken hearts of gay people and their families are of no consequence to Mrs. Gallagher. If you can stomach it, here’s Maggie’s testimony on video:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=a1m0jSCOFvo%3Ffs%3D1%26hl%3Den_US

Note she says:

“It is not discrimination to treat different things, differently.”

The subject on the table is not the sorting of one “thing” from another. The sorting is that of people. And treating different people differently is a pretty good working description of “discrimination” as we understand it.

There are Freudian slips, and then there are Freudian slips. For Maggie, I consider this a doozy. This is where we see what a cold and heartless person she is at her very core. Maggie views gays not as people, but mere “things.” The dehumanization of gay people is time-honored tactic of the anti-gay crowd that makes up the base of Maggie’s support.

Looking very closely at the underbelly of Maggie’s supporters is, in fact, recommended. Maryland State Senator James Brochin, who previously opposed marriage equality took in Maggie and her supporter’s testimony and said:

“What I witnessed from the opponents of the bill was appalling. Witness after witness demonized homosexuals, vilified the gay community, and described gays and lesbians as pedophiles. I believe that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather people are born one way or another. The proponents of the bill were straightforward in wanting to be simply treated as everyone else, and wanted to stop being treated as second-class citizens.

This is more than a tactic to this mob–without whom NOM would cease to exist–it is a firmly held world view. Gays are not humans, but monsters, who molest children and live lives of depravity and disease, and we’d all be better off if they were jailed, or executed. Proudly held by one of the few souls that turned out for a National Organization for Marriage rally held this summer:

The expression of these world views have been documented extensively by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And NOM’s gleeful distribution of lies and slander about LGBT Americans earned them a spot on SPLC’s list of 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda.

Legislators would be wise to understand whose counsel they are considering, what their history is and the dangerous and potentially expensive consequences of listening to them.

This fall, NOM meddled in Iowa’s Supreme Court elections with feckless disregard for the collateral damage to the judiciary there, ousting the three Justices for affirming LGBT rights. The effect for every Iowan when National Organization for Marriage selects their Justices for them may well be disastrous for years to come on a host of rulings.

Maggie herself has a very sordid past as a unethical propagandist, having shamelessly collected a paycheck from the Bush administration to write allegedly “objective” journalism pieces in her syndicated newspaper column on Bush policies. Her conscience apparently felt there was no conflict of interest there or cause to disclose the sources of her dual incomes.

Now, Maggie draws a good paycheck from National Organization for Marriage’s multi-million dollar war chest, swooping from state to state testifying against the equal protection of LGBT Americans. She can never provide a compelling reason why this is such an imperative, beyond “it’s always been this way.” Which at one point, was a pretty compelling argument to deny women voting rights, or African Americans their basic freedom. Or, ironically, her right to marry her Hindu-practicing East Indian husband.

But, even as she can find time in her schedule to attend hearings to lobby lawmakers in New Hampshire, Maryland and Rhode Island, when it was time to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to present hard evidence, not slurs, propaganda, innuendo and dog whistles, Maggie took a pass. She was one of the many, many marriage equality opponents that didn’t have the courage of their convictions to testify in a court of law in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the Federal Constitutional challenge to Prop 8. She worked tirelessly to pass Prop 8. She had the time, she attended the trial, watching from the bench. So why not step up and defend it?

Plaintiff attorney David Boies has a theory. As he said on Face The Nation:

“a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can’t do that.”

Rather than a witness stand, Maggie is much more comfortable in the bully pulpit, free of the rules of evidence or threat of perjury.

It’s well-documented that Maggie and her crew can’t or won’t follow the law. They steal music and art work with impunity and they have been dogged by legal and ethical investigations in every state they’ve operated, in California, Iowa, Rhode Island, Washington, Maine and others.

They are accused of violating campaign finance law in the state of Maine, by not disclosing their donor list as compelled by law. In defense, they filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law. Yesterday, they lost.

The ruling, handed down late today, is being praised by supporters of Maine’s campaign spending disclosure laws. “This is an important decision for Maine voters, because they need to know who is influencing them on ballot questions,” says Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election practices.

….

The challenge was brought by the National Organization for Marriage, which spent $1.9 million dollars in a successful campaign to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law in 2009. The Ethics Commission had determined that NOM was required to disclose the identities of its donors, but the group refused, and filed suit on grounds that Maine’s requirements were unconstitutional on a number of fronts.

Such a pity that the taxpayers of Maine are burdened with the cost of defending a law against a legal challenge from a group that has consistently shown no respect for the truth, the law or other human beings.

If NOM, an out-of-state special interest group, prevails in New Hampshire, it will clearly be an expensive proposition for the taxpayers there, as well. One wonders how many Colorado state taxpayer dollars were wasted in the failed defense of Colorado’s discriminatory law, in the Romer v. Evans case?

If repeal goes through, it is a near certainty that it will only be a matter of time before an advocacy group steps up and challenges the law, in State or Federal court, or both. Just a few organizations that are sure to look into taking it on might be the Americans for Equal Rights (who funded the Prop 8 challenge), American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (all of whom are currently challenging the Federal Defense of Marriage Act).

The NH Attorney General will then be tasked to defend a law that few people wanted passed in the first place. It will be a long, divisive and expensive and wholly unnecessary battle.

And don’t expect Maggie to swing back to New Hampshire and defend these laws if they pass. She’ll be MIA, just like she was to California. I am reminded of a one of my favorite literary quotes:

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

So, while taxpayer dollars are wasted paying the Attorney General’s office to defend it, Maggie and her friends will be laughing all the way to the bank, collecting money to “protect marriage” even as they run roughshod over it.

How much does Maggie herself hate gays? Who know? At the end of the day she’s happy to collect a paycheck feeding off the crowd that does. She doesn’t care a bit about the devastation and chaos she and her organization leave in their wake in states across the country. They devastate families, state budgets, the political, electoral and judicial systems without a care in the world and just move on to the next state.

In November, voters had the good sense to stop NOM in their tracks, rejecting their call for the scalp of Governor Lynch on the issue of marriage equality. Let’s hope lawmakers also have the good sense to stop an out-of-state special interest group from dictating the policies of the Granite State.

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News

Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority

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Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.

Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.

The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.

An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.

Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”

With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.

RELATED: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”

The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.

Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”

 

 

 

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CRIME

Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case

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A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.

Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”

Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”

The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”

Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.

According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts

The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.

MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Image via Shutterstock

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News

Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand

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Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.

McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.

“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.

But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.

READ MORE: Watch: McConnell and McCarthy Shunned as Congressional Gold Medal Recipients Refuse to Shake Their Hands

“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”

McConnell could not.

“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.

“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.

McConnell ignored the question.

During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.

READ MORE: Far Right Republican Slammed by Raskin for Trying to Derail Respect for Marriage Bill with Failed Religious Amendment

In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”

“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.

McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.

He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.

According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.

Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.

Watch McConnell below or at this link.

 

 

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