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NY Marriage Equality Update – Breaking News – No News Isn’t Good News



The same-sex marriage equality battle in New York is taking place in Albany, the state capitol, and in New York City, home to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As of this moment, Senators are conferencing in Albany for the third morning in a row in the marriage equality bill. Rumor has it Cuomo may hold them past their session end date of Monday if other business is not finished, like rent regulations.

The Albany Times-Union just reported that, “as well as the ongoing same sex marriage, rent-regulation/tax cap debate, senators will also likely talk about the unresolved question of how to handle the defunct OTB [Off Track Betting] system in New York City.

“Also undone are the health exchanges which under President Obama’s health care legislation are supposed to be set up this year, with the failure to do so resulting in a potential loss of federal funds.”

NY Mayor Bloomberg has taken a leadership role all of a sudden — demanding of the Republican-majority Senate “to take a vote” – and to understand why, you have to understand a few things about New York politics.

First, a long-time history of corruption still hangs over Albany.

Long-time readers know all too well the fact that last year, now-former State Senator Pedro Espada was sued by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, now Governor Cuomo, for allegedly diverting $14 million to himself, his campaign, friends, and family, from Espada’s Bronx clinic, after years of allegations and investigations into Espada’s campaign finance activity, including his repeated refusal to file campaign finance records.

Espada’s partner in crime, at least in Senate politics, former State Senator Hiram Monserrate, last year became one of the very few New York State Senators ever to be expelled. Monserrate was convicted for criminal domestic abuse, which involved slashing with a broken glass his girlfriend’s face, dragging her by the hair — on video tape — through his lobby, then driving her around town to different hospitals to find one in which he, as a State Senator, would not be recognized.

And then we have Senator Carl Kruger, the man long-rumored to be gay, who was outed by the federal Department of Justice after being indicted in a million-dollar federal bribery scandal — with his boyfriend. Senator Kruger has always voted against marriage equality, but we’re pleased to report that, now he’s been outed, and since he is still a Senator, despite his indictment, he will vote for the bill. Perhaps he and his boyfriend, if convicted, can get married and share a cell in Otisville.

So, now that you know a little about the past, it should come as now surprise that rent control has emerged as a major football in the New York marriage equality battle. Seems rent control regulations mysteriously expired this week — it’s not like there was a specific date and no one in Albany owns a calendar — so now the focus is on arm wrestling over the rent-regulation/tax cap bill.

Of course, Mayor Bloomberg, being the mayor of eight million citizens, has a lot to say about rent regulations. So Bloomberg has been in Albany lobbying and conferencing with the Republican majority in the Senate.

The other football in the marriage equality “game” is the one publicity-hound Senator Greg Ball has been tossing around: so-called religious exemptions. It’s not enough that religious organizations, like the Catholic Church are exempt from having to marry same-sex couples, and that religious, “benevolent” organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus — one of the most anti-gay organizations around — are exempt under the bill, but Senator Ball is demanding that caterers, hotels, and florists — essentially anyone who might have anything at all to do with a wedding, should be exempt from (God Forbid!) having to do business with “the gays.”

Pretty soon David’s Bridal Shops, The Men’s Warehouse, and CVS’s film developing kiosk will also be included as exempt from having to do business with us, along with AT&T (brides and grooms make phone calls, right?) and

Of course, the religious organizations state-wide are taking this opportunity to get their ransom lists demands in.

“Should the bill pass without adequate protection, it will have potentially far-reaching consequences for our ministries, both in terms of contracts to provide services and potentially to challenges to not-for-profit status,” said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the state Catholic Conference, the policy and lobbying arm of Roman Catholic bishops in New York,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Religious leaders and some legal scholars are urging the state to include a specific provision for individuals or businesses, like florists or caterers, that refuse to offer services to gay couples. Other states with gay marriage don’t grant such protections, which gay-rights advocates say would open the door to outright discrimination.

“No one is going to lose out because of this. There’s another florist down the block,” said Mordechai Biser, the general counsel of Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group. “We’re not talking about a situation in the South when blacks couldn’t eat at a lunch counter.”

But this, evidently, means we’re making progress. Not long ago, anti-gay bigots were loath to compare the African-America battle for civil rights with the LGBT battle for civil rights.





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‘This Is It, Make No Mistake’: ‘Nihilistic Moron’ Trump Heading for Another Indictment Says George Conway



George Conway mocked Donald Trump as a “nihilistic moron” for risking years in prison by hoarding classified documents at his private resort at Mar-a-Lago.

The former president appears to be headed toward a second indictment, after he was charged with fraud in Manhattan, and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” discussed the latest developments in the quickening investigation by special counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago case.

“There is a sense of real panic growing at Mar-a-Lago, reflected in Trump’s Truth Social tweets but also those even calmer heads in the room say, ‘Look, we’re concerned, we feel like a charge could be coming.'”

Trump’s attorneys met Monday with officials at the Department of Justice to argue against an indictment, and conservative attorney George Conway said that showed an indictment was likely imminent.

FROM EARLIER: William Barr: ‘Unguided missile’ Rudy Giuliani completely to blame for first Trump impeachment

“We are approaching the very end,” Conway said. “I kept hearing this ear worm in my head as I was coming to the studio this morning, ‘This is it, make no mistake.’ We’re getting down to the final strokes of this race, and what’s clearly really remarkable about it is that of all the things that this man has done, eight decades of lying and cheating and stealing, this case, this documents case, is probably the easiest, shortest, simplest and yet carries the most severe penalties, likely penalties, of any of the cases, any of the legal issues that he’s ever faced.”

“Now people will say, you know, he really, in a just world, he would go to jail for what he did on Jan. 6, the weeks approaching Jan. 6,” Conway added. “And I kind of agree with that, but for this man who is basically a nihilistic moron, for him to go to jail potentially for a long time, these Espionage Act charges bring very heavy sentences to potentially go to jail for something so pointless and silly and useless as keeping these documents is actually kind of fitting.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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‘Recycling Stale and Debunked Burisma Conspiracy Theories’: Raskin Refutes Comer’s Claims as ‘Effort to Smear Biden’



It is an internal FBI document used to record an informant’s unverified statement, and House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer wants it.

On Monday after weeks of threats and intimidation, Chairman Comer announced he will seek to obtain a contempt of Congress conviction against FBI Director Chris Wray, who refused to hand over to the committee the document, known as an FD-1023, which allegedly contains allegations of unlawful activity by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Ranking Member Raskin late Monday afternoon released a statement slamming Comer.

READ MORE: Comer Struggles to Defend Need for Internal FBI Document on Biden as He Seeks Contempt of Congress for Director Wray

“As the FBI explained at length during today’s briefing, and in previous conversations leading up to today’s accommodation, releasing this form publicly could place the Confidential Human Source in grave danger and undermine the integrity of FBI programs and investigations going forward,” Reskin said in a statement. “Yet, rather than acknowledge these legitimate law enforcement concerns, Chairman Comer has declared his intent to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress to further promote debunked Republican conspiracy theories.”

“We now know what I had long suspected: that Chairman Comer’s subpoena is about recycling stale and debunked Burisma conspiracy theories long peddled by Rudy Giuliani and a Russian agent, sanctioned by former President Trump’s own Treasury Department, as part of the effort to smear President Biden and help Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign,” Raskin revealed.

Announcing,”here are the facts,” Raskin wrote, “the FD-1023 form, which we reviewed first-hand today, records what a Confidential Human Source told the FBI about conversations he had with individuals in Ukraine. The source, who has been described as highly credible by the FBI, told the FBI he could not provide any opinion on the underlying veracity of the information provided by these Ukrainian individuals.”

“Chairman Comer’s actions prove that his interest in issuing this subpoena was never about seeking the truth, but was always about weaponizing the powers of this Committee to hold Director Wray in contempt as part of MAGA Republicans’ efforts to discredit and ultimately ‘dismantle’ the FBI.”

READ MORE: ‘Indictment Anytime’: Experts Explain Significance of Trump’s Attorneys Meeting With DOJ – Warn Plea Deal Possible

Indeed, then-President Donald Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an infamous July, 2019 telephone call, to “do us a favor though.”

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump said, according to a declassified transcript released by the White House.

On Sunday Rep. Raskin told CNN Comer “admitted” this is an attempt to help Donald Trump. “It’s all about the 2024 campaign.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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Comer Struggles to Defend Need for Internal FBI Document on Biden as He Seeks Contempt of Congress for Director Wray



House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer (R-KY) Monday afternoon announced he will seek to obtain a contempt of Congress referral and conviction against FBI Director Chris Wray.

For months conservatives have been talking about a document supposedly damaging to President Joe Biden that the Federal Bureau of Investigation only recently verified exists. It is not classified, but it has also not been proven accurate. It was deemed so spurious even then-Attorney General Bill Barr questioned its credibility.

Chairman Comer has demanded Director Wray not only show him the document – which the Bureau did Monday – but hand it over to the Oversight Committee.

After the FBI, according to Comer, refused to hand over the document, Comer announced, “we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings.”

On Monday, Comer said the FBI is using the document as part of an ongoing investigation.

READ MORE: Grassley Admits He Doesn’t Care if GOP’s Accusations Against ‘Vice President Biden’ Are True or Not – He Vows to Pursue Them

Comer announced he will seek contempt of Congress charges against Wray even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation briefed him Monday on the document, allegedly from an unverified whistleblower, claiming then-Vice President Joe Biden engaged in an unethical or unlawful act.

Some reports say the document alleges Biden accepted a bribe in exchange for enacting a policy decision, although there has been no evidence to support that claim.

When asked by a reporter why he is pursuing a contempt of Congress charge against Wray, since he has now seen the document and been briefed on it, Comer struggled to defend his actions.

“So why do you need to document at hand? You just got a chance to view it, so why do you need it? Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?” the reporter asked.

“Well,” Comer replied, “if, let’s just look at what what I’ve read in a lot of the media accounts. and and with statements that Ian Sam’s has made from the White House, that, ‘There’s no merit to this. this is crazy. This is a conspiracy theory.’ And you’re just supposed to take my word or, or the FBI’s word, I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this, or that, uh, you, you’re gonna write that the source is unverified wherever, remember, the main reason they’re not wanting to make this public is because they’re concerned about the source.”

Comer also told reporters, “All I know is there’s an ongoing investigation. They’ve confirmed there’s an ongoing investigation, using, this information. I assume that ongoing investigation is in Delaware. I don’t know that.But I assume that.”

Meanwhile, Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin was asked about Comer’s remarks that the document is part of an ongoing investigation.

Shocked and stunned, with his jaw literally hanging open, Raskin looked around as reporters told him what the chairman said, and he replied, “then I must have missed that because I had not heard that this is part of any ongoing investigation.

Comer, according to the clip below, also described the source of the allegation as “highly credible,” but Raskin appeared to correct Comer, saying the highly credible source “reported a conversation with someone else.”

Raskin has previously described the document as a “tip,” containing “unsubstantiated, second-hand claims.”

READ MORE: ‘Untrue and Hateful’: Nikki Haley Slammed for ‘Damnable Lie’ of Blaming Teen Girls Contemplating Suicide on Trans Kids

The unverified document, called an FD-1023 form, “has origins in a tranche of documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Justice Department in 2020, people briefed on the matter said,” CNN has reported.

“According to Comer,” CNN added last week, the FD-1023 form, “dated June 30, 2020, says [a] foreign national allegedly paid $5 million to receive a desired policy outcome, based on unclassified and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”

“The allegations of wrongdoing by the then-vice president,” CNN added, many originating from sources in Ukraine, were dubious enough that Attorney General William Barr in early 2020 directed that they be reviewed by a US attorney in Pittsburgh, in part because Barr was concerned that Giuliani’s document tranche could taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation overseen by the Delaware US attorney.”

Watch the video clips above or at this link.


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