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My favorite Kevin Smith line: â€œThe sky didnâ€™t fall in 2008 when the voters repealed same-sex marriage. The sky didnâ€™t fall in Maine either the next year in 2009, when the voters repealed gay marriage passed by the legislature.â€
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 Ignore the WMUR/Granite State poll, that show 62% of New Hampshire residents have no desire to see this repealed in favor of the 29% who do.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 couldnâ€™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 didnâ€™t fall the day that your Jesus was supposedly killed. It didnâ€™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 citizenshipâ€¦
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:
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:
â€œWhat 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.”â€”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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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama
Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.
“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.
“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.
“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.
None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.
“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
That is also false.
The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.
“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.
“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”
Trump Under FBI Investigation for Potential Violation of the Espionage Act Legal Experts Say
‘Simply Jaw-Dropping’: Legal Experts Also Stunned Over Top Secret, Confidential Contents of Cartons FBI Seized From Mar-a-Lago
“A search warrant viewed by POLITICO reveals that the FBI is investigating Donald Trump for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and removed classified documents from the former president’s Florida estate earlier this week,” Politico reports.
The New York Times also confirms.
“Federal agents who executed the warrant did so to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”
Based on the search warrant released to far-right media outlet Breitbart News, multiple legal experts also say Donald Trump, the former president is under FBI investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act.
“A federal magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe evidence of the crime of ESPIONAGE to be found at Mar-A-Lago. Repeat 5 times,” writes former U.S. Attorney and DOJ official Harry Litman, now an LA Times legal affairs columnist. He also notes that “top secret/compartmented is stratospherically high classification. Scandal he ever had in [those documents] the first place.”
Top national security lawyer Brad Moss writes: “18 U.S.C. 793 – Espionage Act. That’s for willful/grossly negligent removal of information relating to the national defense. 18 U.S.C. 2017 and 18 U.S.C. 1519 – that’s for concealing federal records.”
Moss also retweeted this statement by veteran Cox Radio Capitol Hill correspondent Jamie Dupree:
“So the leak of the Trump search warrant via Breitbart indicates that former President Donald Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act and for Obstruction of Justice.”
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler also confirms, writing: “The hilarious thing is that since Brietbart doesn’t even know what a Supervisory Special Agent is, they probably don’t realize they’ve confirmed that Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act.”
Western New England University School of Law law professor Jennifer Taub also confirms, writing: “Donald Trump is being investigated for espionage.”
The Wall Street Journal was first to publish details of what FBI agents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday. Legal experts have been calling Friday afternoon’s revelations “jaw-dropping.”
FBI agents “removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the WSJ report states.
Despite initial reports the FBI seized between ten and 12 cartons of documents and other materials unlawfully removed from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, there were 20 cartons retrieved. That is in addition to the 15 cartons the National Archives were forced to retrieve earlier this year.
“The list includes references to one set of documents marked as ‘Various classified/TS/SCI documents,’ an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.”
The classified/TS/SCI markings are the most important.
Legal experts say the search warrant was “broad,” and indeed the Journal reports the warrant “shows that FBI agents sought to search ‘the 45 Office,’ as well as ‘all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.'”
Late Thursday evening The Washington Post revealed FBI agents were looking to retrieve classified documents “related to nuclear weapons,” making Monday’s raid all the more important, and Trump and his teams handling – or mishandling – of those documents all the more egregious.
The George Washington University Law School’s Professor of Government Procurement Law, Steven L. Schooner, says, “removal of, failure to account for, & failure to return (under subpoena) ‘classified/TS/SCI documents’ is, ugh, simply jaw-dropping, and that’s regardless of whether it’s nuclear-related.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Watch: Boebert’s Mic Cut After Going Over Time and Refusing to End Lie-Filled Rant
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) refused to end her remarks attacking popular Democratic legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act, and after being repeatedly warned – four times – she was over time as she ranted and delivered falsehoods on the House floor her microphone was finally cut.
Congresswoman Boebert, part of the far-right fringe that has taken over the Republican Party, yelled and wagged her finger as she spread misinformation.
In an ironic twist the pro-gun activist and former owner of Shooters Grill angrily – and falsely – claimed the bill mandates the hiring of 87,000 armed IRS agents.
“What are we doing here? What are we passing this so-called Inflation Reduction Act if inflation is at zero percent?” she asked.
Inflation in fact for the month of July was flat, coming in at zero percent, which brought the annual inflation rate down from 9.1% to 8.5%.
“Well in fact it’s the inflation enhancement act,” Boebert, a spreader of conspiracy theories falsely argued, calling it “just another con game by the Democrats,” which also is false.
She then went on to claim the IRS would have more “armed agents” than the Defense Dept.
After being warned four times she had gone over time her mic was cut, but she was subsequently granted additional time.
The Colorado Congresswoman, a pro-gun extremist, went on to lie that the Inflation Reduction Act “hires 87,000 IRS agents and they are armed and the job description tells them that they need to be required to carry a firearm and expect to use deadly force if necessary,” she shouted, calling it “armed robbery.”
The bill will enable the IRS to hire new employees, but nowhere near 87,000. Only a tiny fraction, about 300, would be armed, and not for nefarious purposes like “armed robbery.”
“Though the job is really about sniffing out income and accounting irregularities to build legal cases,” CBS News reports, “one of the potential duties is ‘conduct[ing] or participat[ing] in surveillance, armed escorts, dignitary protection, undercover operations, execution of search and arrest warrants, seizures, etc.,’ the job listing states.”
Boebert began by calling “supporters of this legislation insane,” falsely implied the Inflation Reduction Act increases taxes on ordinary middle-class Americans, while mocking “Green New Deal initiatives.”
Seconds after her “armed robbery” remarks Boebert again ran into overtime. Her mic was cut after the second warning.
Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, who spoke immediately after her, blasted the Colorado Congresswoman.
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