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NEWS: Anderson Cooper, Limbaugh, Keith Ablow, Allen West, Obama’s Drug War, Facebook Gay Icons

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Anderson Cooper came out today. Smart he did it on a Monday, not a Friday, so we have the week to talk about it. McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed thinks “Coming Out Could Be Anderson Cooper’s Best Career Move Yet.” Meanwhile, El Rushbo, Rush Limbaugh, thinks it was all for ratings — while doubling down on his claims that Barack Obama is gay:

Anderson Cooper has come out of the closet.  He has admitted that he’s gay. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy.” It’s an AP story.  Wait a minute now.  It worked wonders for Obama’s fundraising.  It may be the best ratings move CNN’s made in I don’t know how long. (interruption) Well, I don’t know how odd it was.  A lot of people knew.  But now the stamp of approval, it’s now official.  Yeah, for those that didn’t know it might give CNN a ratings boost.  We’ll find out.  Yeah, maybe 120,000 up from 115,000.  Who knows.  They’ll take ’em.

On Sunday, Congressman Allen West, who once claimed himself to be a “modern-day Harriet Tubman,” said President Obama “does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.” West didn’t offer any proof, just as he offered no proof when he claimed there were 80 or so Communists in Congress.

Friend of the blog and Good As You founder Jeremy Hooper got to be the first to use Facebook’s new same-sex couple marriage icon. MSNBC notes “The writer, activist and author of the new book “If It’s A Choice…” updated his Timeline over the weekend with his June 2009 Connecticut  marriage to healthcare CEO Andrew Shulman with a photo of the happy couple, and a two-groom, cake topper-style image,” and added, “Hooper’s Timeline update with the new icon was soon followed by that of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who married Sean Eldridge on Saturday.”

In “Obama Will Seek To Scale Back Drug War In Second Term: Report,” the Huffington Post points to Marc Ambinder at GQ and writes, “President Barack Obama will take steps to draw down the nation’s decades-long war on drugs if he wins a second term.”

According to Ambinder, Obama’s “aides and associates” say that the president is looking to prioritize reform, a reflection of the president’s long-held beliefs that strict drug prohibition and enforcement policies have done greater damage to society than good.

Sources close to the White House also told The Huffington Post that the administration is looking at ways that it can reduce barriers to reentering society for those caught up in the drug war, such as a longstanding policy that denies federal financial aid to college students convicted of drug-related offenses, including possession.

Wait until the Right catches a hold of that…

Mother Jones catches Focus On The Family scrubbing a blog post that compared the horrific wildfires in Colorado with pre-marital sex. because, you know…

Fox News’ Dr. Keith Ablow, taking time off from attacking Chaz Bono, is now freaking out because Apple’s new iOS — the operating system powering iPhone, iPads, and iPods — will be able to receive emergency alerts from the government. Scary, scary stuff! Because now we “can instantly be distracted, en masse, at some critical moment.”

This literally means that Americans on these and other mobile devices can be forced to—at minimum—glance at information that the government wants to convey to them. And at some date in the future, it might certainly be the case that they have to acknowledge having read it. They can instantly be distracted, en masse, at some critical moment. Perhaps they will have to enable their Face Time system to show them reading WEA messages, while they do.

Physician, heal thyself.

Romney lied about role in Bain’s investment in medical-waste firm that disposed of aborted fetuses

Gallup: “Obama Now Leads Romney, 48% to 43%

Terribly sad: A 22-year old intern for the Associated Press, Armando “Mando” Montano, who was gay, was found dead in Mexico City on Saturday. 22-years old. MetroWeekly notes:

Montano had been a Metro Weekly Coverboy back in August 2011. Asked at the time what he was most grateful for, he replied, “To have a lot of supportive people in my life.”

Montano’s first AP byline was published long before his internship, in 2010, when Montano wrote about same-sex marriages being celebrated at pride in Argentina that summer.

 

In honor of Anderson Cooper coming out, The Daily Beast put together this video:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/271557391

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Republicans Force Another Biden Nominee – Another Woman – to Withdraw, After Calling Her a ‘Communist’

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Move Exposes Large Number of Women GOP Refuses to Confirm

Yet another of President Joe Biden‘s nominees – and yet another woman opposed by Senate Republicans – has been forced to withdraw her name from consideration for a top job in the Biden administration. Unsurprisingly, Senate Republicans are holding up a huge number of nominations, and unsurprisingly, a huge number of them are women.

“Saule Omarova, a Cornell Law professor whom President Biden picked for a key banking regulator job, is withdrawing from consideration for the post. Bank lobbyists and Republicans painted her as a communist because she was born in the Soviet Union,” The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon via tweet.

Omarova is not a communist, as she was forced to tell Republican U.S. Senator John Kennedy, who told her during her confirmation hearing last month, “I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”

The decision to pull Omarova’s nomination has exposed the Republicans’ tactics of slow-walking and worse, placing anonymous holds on countless Biden nominees.

President Biden is facing a huge hole in his administration, in large part thanks to Republicans.

According to the non-partisan Partnership for Public Service, which tracks 803 federal government executive branch positions requiring Senate confirmation, 235 nominations – nearly three in ten (29%) – are sitting in the Senate awaiting confirmation. Just 194 have been confirmed (164 positions have no nominees at all.)

Compared to his last three predecessors, President Biden is not getting the support he needs in the 50-50 Senate, as this chart from the Partnership for Public Service shows:

Any U.S. Senator can secretly place an anonymous hold on any presidential nominee, for any length of time, and Republicans – reportedly often Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley on Minnesota – have been taking extreme advantage of that rule.

Half of all of President Biden’s approved nominees have been women, but other women have been forced to withdraw, most notably Neera Tanden, whom President Biden nominated to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden and Omarova are far from the only women whose nominations may never get a vote.

“At least 21 women for top positions” in just the State Dept., The Hill reported last month, “including 16 ambassadors, four assistant secretary positions and the nominee for Director General of the Foreign Service — are having their confirmations stalled by holds.”

Just today Bloomberg Government reported Senate Republicans have placed a “blockade” on “dozens of key defense and foreign policy positions.”

Omarova was the victim of a concerted red-baiting effort by Republicans, lobbyists, and right wing media.

“Some lobbyists, including the incoming chairman of a group representing community bankers and the chief executive of another group that focuses on big banks,” The New York Times observes, “also shared a Wall Street Journal editorial suggesting that Ms. Omarova’s Soviet childhood meant that she could not be trusted.”

 

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Jan. 6 Committee Files Subpoenas for Phone Records of Over 100 People Including Many Trump Associates

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The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has officially issued subpoenas to wireless companies for the phone records of over 100 people, a “substantial” number of them Trump associates, in an effort to piece together the actions of Donald Trump and his inner circle on the day of the violent insurrection.

The records do not include actual voice or text content, but rather who called or texted whom, when, for how long, CNN reports, and possibly from where.

Included in the massive list is Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House chief of staff.

The data should give the Committee “the ability to draw a web of communications before, during and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.”

CNN adds that one subpoena it reviewed “requests ‘all call, message, Internet Protocol and data connection detail records associated with the phone number’ from November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The letter also asks for information related to phone numbers, IP addresses and devices that the account in question has communicated with.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Watch: MAGA Congressional Candidate Calls for All Laws ‘Contrary to God’s Word’ to Be Overturned

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Mark Burns, a MAGA pastor who is running for Congress in South Carolina, is an unabashed Christian nationalist who openly declares that “any policy that is contrary to the word of God” needs to be made illegal.

Burns appeared on the Real America’s Voice program “The Water Cooler” Monday, where he proclaimed that “the gospel of Jesus Christ should be [at] the center of American politics.” When asked by host David Brody what he meant by that, Burns declared that “any law that is against the word of God” must be overturned.

“Laws that are contrary to God’s word that are actively legal or laws today need to be overturned,” Burns said. “Any law that is against the word of God, that is clearly against what God has said in his word—in a nation that is a Christian nation, a nation that has the majority of citizens who actively believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that he is coming back again with omnipotent power in his hands—if it’s against the word of God and it’s actively a law today, then it should be overturned. We should have a moral compass, and right now in America, we’re losing that moral compass. The liberal left is slowly [chipping] away.”

Burns was a proponent of the movement to keep former President Donald Trump in power. He has made numerous calls for war, including on the eve of the Capitol insurrection when he riled up Trump loyalists at a Stop the Steal rally by telling them, “We’re ready to do war!”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is published here by permission.

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