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Obama: Gays, Not Gay Marriage, Have A Friend In The White House

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President Sidesteps, ‘Misunderestimates’ Importance Of Issue:
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Last night, in Part II of the NBC News Special: Inside The Obama White House, Brian Williams asked President Obama, “Do gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry in this country have a friend in the White House?”

The President’s response:

“I think gays and lesbians have a friend in the White House because I’ve consistently committed myself to civil unions, making sure that they have the ability to visit each other in hospitals, that they are able to access benefits, that they have a whole host of legal rights, that they currently do not have. I don’t think it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is. That isn’t traditionally the federal government’s role.”

Now, let me translate:

“I think gays and lesbians have a friend in the White House” The question was, “Do gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry in this country have a friend in the White House?”, not “Do gays and lesbians have a friend in the White House?” Notice, no mention of the term “gay marriage”. He couldn’t even say the words.

“I’ve consistently committed myself to civil unions” Civil unions? Civil unions are the poor man’s gay marriage. Civil unions are to marriage what a 10-speed Schwinn is to a BMW motorcycle. Civil unions don’t give couples full equality in either rights or recognition. It’s strange how dated and out of touch his answer sounds on the same day the sixth state in the union delivered marriage equality to its citizens.

“making sure that they have the ability to visit each other in hospitals, that they are able to access benefits, that they have a whole host of legal rights, that they currently do not have.” Yeah, Mr. President, I know by making that statement you think you sound like you feel our pain, but you do not. Because marriage equality isn’t just about rights, its about recognition. It’s about being treated equally. It’s about being seen as equal. With all due respect, Mr. President, that’s something you should really feel our pain on.

“I don’t think it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is. That isn’t traditionally the federal government’s role.” Again, yeah? Mr. President, then repeal DOMA. You said you would, but now it’s off your agenda. It’s off your website, too. DOMA, the federal Defense of marriage Act, that Bill Clinton signed in 1996, does two things, and very much put the federal government “in the business of determining what marriage is”. First, DOMA tells states that they do not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, such as other states. Second, DOMA says that the federal government cannot (not, doesn’t have to, but cannot) treat same-sex marriages as marriages. Period. So, Mr. President, if, by “traditionally” you mean, pre-1996, great, repeal DOMA. If by “I don’t think it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is” you mean, the federal governement should have nothing to do with marriage, then, by all meands, get out of the marriage business and repeal DOMA. There are no other ways around the question. There are no other ways around your answer.

Mr. President, in the past few weeks you’ve started to take some heat on your gay marriage stance, or lack thereof. This is just the beginning. Gays right now are on luke-warm. We’re moving into par-boil. Next comes steam and a riolling boil. We’d all like to avoid that. You hinted good news was coming for us, and told us to be patient and wait. We’re waiting, but time’s all but up.

Mr. President, repeal DOMA. Repeal DADT. Enact ENDA. And god-damn it, make the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill law. You have the power to make these realities. You are an extremely popular president, with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. It’s time, Mr. President. It’s time. Because if  much more time passes, you may not have a friend in over ten million gay and lesbian houses.

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News

Wealthy Florida Community Got COVID Vaccine Before Anyone Else — Then the Governor Got a $250,000 Contribution

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have scored big in the CPAC Straw Poll last weekend, but his citizens aren’t likely to appreciate wealthy communities being able to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Florida’s elderly are still struggling to sign up to get their first dose of the vaccine, but in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys, everyone was vaccinated in January.

A Jan. 22 newsletter sent to the Herald revealed that the Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo despite the rest of the state struggling to get the vaccine, “Over the course of the last two weeks, the Medical Center has vaccinated over 1,200 homeowners who qualify under the State of Florida’s Governor’s current Order for those individuals who are 65 years of age or older.”

“We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated,” the newsletter message continued. “At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear.”

The Herald questioned whether the Republican donors who live in the area are behind the decision to give quick and easy access.

“In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis’ political committee live in Ocean Reef,” said the report. “All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

One donor, in particular, gave Gov. DeSantis an extra $250,000 after the area got their vaccines in mid-January.

Read the full report at the Miami Herald.

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CORRUPTION

Trump DOJ Refused to Open Criminal Investigation Into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao IG Says Was ‘Warranted’

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The Trump Dept. of Justice refused an Inspector General’s request to open a criminal investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine’s Chao’s possible misuse of her office. Chao resigned one day after the January 6 insurrection.

“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday, The New York Times reports. The Times cites “a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”

The Inspector General’s report reveals the IG’s office had “referred its findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on December 16, 2020, and the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section on December 17, 2020, both of which declined prosecution.”

Mother Jones‘ David Corn weighed in, saying the report “shows Elaine Chao apparently violated federal ethics rules in multiple ways, including directing official staffers to do personal tasks.”

In one instance, Chao had her staff pressure a store to do a repair job for her father. “Tell them I’m the secretary of transportation,” she said.

“The report said the Justice Department declined to investigate her promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary in the Trump administration,” the Times notes, suggestion there is no question Chao engaged in “promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary.”

The Times adds: “The inspector general’s investigation detailed a series of instances where Ms. Chao directed her staff to spend federal government time and resources to help with matters related to the shipbuilding company and her father.”

A search of the IG’s 44-page report reveals the word “father” appears 82 times.

Read the Times’ full report here.

 

 

 

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News

Jim Jordan’s Campaign’s Funds Reporting Is Off by Millions and May Trigger an Investigation: Report

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The campaign committee for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is under scrutiny after apparent mismanagement of funds leading to an under-reporting of nearly $3 million over a two-year period. The problems are so severe “experts say that the dollar amount — errors totaling some $2.87 million — may trigger an FEC investigation,” according to The Daily Beast.

Over the past three days the Federal Election Commission has sent Jordan’s campaign committee ten notices “in reply to more than a dozen amended reports correcting errors that the campaign caught in a sweeping review of filings, going as far back as 2018. One of the filings discloses errors in spending and raising totalling $1,470,286.48.”

Jordan’s campaign has about a month to respond. Failure to “adequately respond” could result in enforcement action.

Campaign spokesperson Kevin Eichinger told The Daily Beast: “There was never any money missing from the account…In fact, the campaign’s cash balance is actually higher than previously listed on the campaign finance reports,” which is also not a good sign.

“The error occurred when the former campaign treasurer inadvertently double-reported certain fundraising expenses,” Eichinger adds. “When the error was discovered, the campaign hired an outside expert to conduct a comprehensive audit and file the appropriate amendments.”

Read the full report here.

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