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Obama: Our “Profoundly American” LGBT Work Is “At The Heart Of Who We Are”

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President Obama last night spoke at an LGBT fundraiser in the home of a same-sex couple, Karen Dixon and Dr. Nan Schaffer, in NorthwestWashington, D.C. Highlighted are his comments specifically related to LGBT issues, starting with, “And so the work that we’ve done with respect to the LGBT community I think is just profoundly American and is at the heart of who we are.”

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release

February 9, 2012

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT CAMPAIGN EVENT

Private Residence

Washington, D.C.

7:09 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Laura, for the wonderful introduction — the best introduction that a Cubs fan has ever given me. (Laughter.) The rivalry is fierce in Chicago, but I’ll make an exception here.

And I want to thank Karen and Nan for opening up their incredible home. (Applause.) To all of you, and to everybody who helped put this together, thank you so much. I am very grateful.

I’m going to be very brief at the top, because I want to — usually in these things I like to spend most of my time in a conversation. I do want to acknowledge that I have as good a Cabinet as I think any President in modern history has had. And one of the stars of that Cabinet is sitting right here, Kathleen Sebelius. (Applause.)

All of America has gone through an incredibly difficult, wrenching time these last three years. And it doesn’t matter whether you are black or white, whether you are Northern or Southern, rich or poor, gay or straight; I think all of us have been deeply concerned over these last three years to making sure that our economy recovers, that we’re putting people back to work, that we stabilize the financial system. The amount of hardship and challenge that ordinary families have gone through over the last three years has been incredible. And there are still a lot of folks hurting out there.

The good news is that we’re moving in the right direction. And when I came into office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month, and this past month we gained 250,000 — that’s a million job swing. (Applause.) And for the last 23 months, we’ve now created 3.7 million jobs. And that’s more than any time since 2000 — or, yes, since, 2005 — the number of jobs that we created last year, and more manufacturing jobs than any time since the 1990s.

So we’re making progress on that front now, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Today, we announced a housing settlement, brought about by our Attorney General and states attorneys all across the country. And as a consequence, we’re going to see billions of dollars in loan modifications and help to folks who are seeing their homes underwater. And that’s going to have a huge impact.

In my State of the Union, we talked about the need for American manufacturing — companies coming back, insourcing, and recognizing how incredibly productive American workers are; and our need to continue to double down on investments in clean energy; and making sure that our kids are getting trained so that they are competing with any workers in the world, and are also effectively equipped to be great citizens and to understand the world around them.

And we talked about the fact that we’ve got to have the same set of values of fair play and responsibility for everybody — whether it’s Wall Street or Main Street. It means that we have a Consumer Finance Protection Board that is enforcing rules that make sure that nobody is getting abused by predatory lending or credit card scams. It means that we have regulations in place that protect our air and our water.

And it also means that we ensure that everybody in our society has a fair shot, is treated fairly. That’s at the heart of the American Dream. For all the other stuff going on, one thing every American understands is you should be treated fairly; you should be judged on the merits. If you work hard, if you do a good job, if you’re responsible in your community, if you’re looking after you family, if you’re caring for other people, then that’s how you should be judged. Not by what you look like, not by how you worship, not by where you come from, not by who you love.

And so the work that we’ve done with respect to the LGBT community I think is just profoundly American and is at the heart of who we are. (Applause.) And that’s why I could not be prouder of the track record that we’ve done, starting with the very beginning when we started to change, through executive order, some of the federal policies. Kathleen — the work that she did making sure that hospital visitation was applied equally to same-sex couples, just like with anybody else’s loved ones. The changes we made at the State Department. The changes we made in terms of our own personnel policies. But also some very high-profile work, like “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

And what’s been striking over the course of these last three years is because we’ve rooted this work in this concept of fairness, and we haven’t gone out of our way to grab credit for it, we haven’t gone out of our way to call other folks names if they didn’t always agree with us on stuff, but we just kept plodding along — because of that, in some ways what’s been remarkable is how readily the public recognizes this is the right thing to do.

Think about — just take “don’t ask, don’t tell” as an example. The perception was somehow that this would be this huge, ugly issue. But because we did it methodically, because we brought the Pentagon in, because we got some very heroic support from people like Bob Gates and Mike Mullen, and they thought through institutionally how to do it effectively — since it happened, nothing’s happened. (Laughter and applause.) Nothing’s happened.

We still have the best military by far on Earth. There hasn’t been any notion of erosion and unit cohesion. It turns out that people just want to know, are you a good soldier, are you a good sailor, are you a good airman, are you a good Marine, good Coast Guardsman. That’s what they’re concerned about. Do you do your job? Do you do your job well?

It was striking — when I was in Hawaii, there is a Marine base close to where we stay. Probably the nicest piece of real estate I think the Marines have. (Laughter.) It is very nice. And they have this great gym, and you go in there, you work out, and you always feel really inadequate because they’re really in good shape, all these people. (Laughter.) They’re lifting 100-pound dumb bells and all this stuff. At least three times that I was at that gym, people came up, very quietly, to say, you know what, thank you for ending “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Now, here’s the thing. I didn’t even know whether they were gay or lesbian. I didn’t ask — because that wasn’t the point. The point was these were outstanding Marines who appreciated the fact that everybody was going to be treated fairly.

We’re going to have more work to do on this issue, as is true on a lot of other issues. There’s still areas where fairness is not the rule. And we’re going to have to keep on pushing in the same way — persistently, politely, listening to folks who don’t always agree with us, but sticking to our guns in terms of what our values are all about. What American values are all about.

And that’s going to be true on the issues that are of importance to the LGBT community specifically, but it’s also going to be true on a host of other issues where we’re just going to have to make persistent steady progress. Whether it is having an energy policy that works for America; whether it is having an immigration policy that is rational so that we are actually both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants; whether it’s making sure that as we get our fiscal house in order we do it in a balanced way where everybody is doing their fair share to help close this deficit. It’s not just being done on the backs of people who don’t have enough political clout on Capitol Hill, but it’s broadly applied and everybody is doing their fair share.

On all these issues, my view is that if we go back to first principles and we ask ourselves, what does it mean for us as Americans to live in a society where everybody has a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, we’re playing by a fair set of rules, everybody is engaging in fair play — then we’re going to keep on making progress.

And that’s where I think the American people are at. It doesn’t mean this is going to be smooth. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be bumps in the road. It’s not always good politics — sometimes it’s not. But over the long term, the trajectory of who we are as a nation, I believe that’s our national character. We trend towards fairness and treating people well. And as long as we keep that in mind, I think we should be optimistic not just about the next election, but about the future of this country.

Thank you. (Applause.)

END

7:20 P.M. EST

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Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

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After years of being the right wing’s punching bag, Hunter Biden is fighting back.

The 52-year old attorney, investor, lobbyist, father of five, and Navy veteran who just happens to be the son of the President of the United States, is calling for state and federal investigations into how his personal, private information from his now-infamous laptop was disseminated, according to CBS News.

Biden is also threatening a defamation lawsuit against Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

The “flurry of letters to the Delaware attorney general, the Department of Justice, the I.R.S. and attorneys for Fox News and Carlson,” CBS reports, “represent an aggressive new strategy for the president’s son, who is facing long-running federal criminal investigations, as well as new probes promised by congressional Republicans, according to a source familiar with Biden’s approach.”

“This marks a new approach by Hunter Biden and his team,” the source told CBS News. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him.”

Biden lost his mother and sister in a car crash injuring him and his brother when he was just two years old, and later, that same brother, Beau Biden, the longtime Delaware Attorney General, died from an aggressive cancer of the brain.

CBS reports Biden’s “computer data that was turned over to the FBI showed no evidence of tampering or fabrication, according to an independent review commissioned by CBS News.”

READ MORE: ‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

But The Washington Post last year hired two forensic investigators, and they reached different conclusions.

“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” said Jake Williams, who the Post describes as “a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative who once hacked the computers of foreign adversaries.” The other investigator, Matt Green, the Post says is “a Johns Hopkins University security researcher who specializes in cryptography.”

“The drive is a mess,” Green told The Post.

The Post found that “the lack of what experts call a ‘clean chain of custody’ undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.” The “clean chain of custody” refers to the fact that countless individuals have had access to the hard drive.

“The vast majority of the data — and most of the nearly 129,000 emails it contained — could not be verified by either of the two security experts who reviewed the data for The Post,” the newspaper reported. “Neither found clear evidence of tampering in their examinations, but some of the records that might have helped verify contents were not available for analysis, they said. The Post was able in some instances to find documents from other sources that matched content on the laptop that the experts were not able to assess.”

Meanwhile, CBS News also reports that in a ” letter sent Wednesday, Biden attorney Bryan Sullivan demanded that Fox News and Tucker Carlson devote airtime to retracting statements made about Biden paying ‘rent’ to his father, ‘in what Mr. Carlson implied was essentially a money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle prior to his election … and alluding to Mr. Biden having unauthorized access to classified documents because of his presence at President Biden’s house.’ Sullivan writes that the claims were false, and even after others acknowledged as much, Carlson continued to make them.”

“The letter, which cites California’s defamation statute, notes that the Daily Caller website retracted an article that made similar claims.”

Image via Wikimedia and a CC license

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Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

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Out of all the unethical actions reportedly taken by U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) – lying about his education, work, ethnicity, and funding, while mysteriously becoming rich overnight – some feel one of the worst things he allegedly did was abscond with thousands of dollars from a GoFundMe charity drive raised to help a veteran’s dying service dog get the care they needed to live.

“Of all the Santos outrages, none has cut more deeply with the public than his (alleged) theft of money from a disabled Navy veteran & his dying dog,” tweeted Larry Sabato, the famed political scientist. “How low will Santos go? This low.”

Now, the Dept. of Justice is investigating the alleged charity fraud scheme.

The veteran, Richard Osthoff, says two FBI agents contacted him on Wednesday, “on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York,” Politico reports.

“Osthoff gave the agents text messages from 2016 with Santos, who he says used his plight to raise $3,000 for life-saving surgery for the pit bull mix, Sapphire — then ghosted with the funds, as first reported by Patch.”

READ MORE: ‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

ABC News’ Will Steakin caught Congressman Santos in the halls of the Capitol and asked him if the FBI had contacted him.

Santos, appearing angry, said he had “no clue” about the issue, and said he had never met Osthoff – although Osthoff told Patch he only spoke to Santos, and only a few times.

“He talked to you more than he talked to me,” Santos said, although it was unclear if he was referring to the FBI or Osthoff, or someone else. “I haven’t been reached out by them.”

Attorney Joshua Schiller told Politico the reportedly missing charity funds could be a quick way to prosecute Santos.

“I think there is an urgency here because Santos is currently in a position to make laws,” Schiller said. “I can think of examples where the government used a lesser indictment to seize assets and try to cause the defendant to plea to a deal before bringing a second or third indictment on more serious charges, and I bet that is the case here.”

In January Patch reported on the heartbreaking story.

“Two New Jersey veterans say George Santos promised to raise funds for a lifesaving surgery for a service dog — then disappeared,” the report says.

“In May 2016, Richard Osthoff was living in a tent in an abandoned chicken coop on the side of Route 9 in Howell, New Jersey, with his beloved service dog Sapphire. A veteran’s charity gave the pit mix to Osthoff, a disabled veteran who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2002, he told Patch.”

READ MORE: Watch: Kevin McCarthy Leads Over a Dozen Republicans in Prayer at Event Co-Sponsored by Five Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups

“When Sapphire developed a life-threatening stomach tumor, Osthoff, now 47, learned the surgery would cost $3,000. A veterinary technician took Osthoff aside and told him, ‘I know a guy who runs a pet charity who can help you,’ Osthoff recounted.”

The GoFundMe drive was successful, raising over $3000, but the person running it, believed to be Santos, put Osthoff though several hoops, forcing him to travel from New Jersey to Queens to see a different vet, who then claimed he could not operate on the dog.

Sadly, without the surgery, there was no hope for the dog.

“Sapphire died Jan. 15, 2017. After being out of work with a broken leg for over a year, Osthoff couldn’t afford the dog’s euthanasia and cremation, he said.”

“I had to panhandle. It was one of the most degrading things I ever had to do,” Osthoff told Patch.

Patch’s report includes screenshots of text messages and Facebook posts that include a photo of the ailing dog.

Watch the video of Rep. Santos above or at this link.

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‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is being mocked for his handling of the run-up to critical negotiations over the debt ceiling with President Joe Biden – negotiations that, if they fail, could shut down the federal government and even throw the economy into a tailspin.

McCarthy first decided to take his fight – which includes drastic cuts to life-saving Social Security and Medicare, a non-starter for Democrats – not to the Oval Office but to Twitter.

“Mr. President: I received your staff’s memo,” tweeted the Speaker, still damaged from having to make still-secret promises to his own caucus members while taking 15 tries to get elected. “I’m not interested in political games. I’m coming to negotiate for the American people.”

That memo, according to CNBC, “sought to portray the 3:15 p.m. ET meeting as a showdown, one between a Democratic president who will protect Social Security, Medicare, health insurance and food stamps, and a House Republican majority that will demand cuts to these programs in exchange for helping Democrats avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt.”

Meanwhile, many on Twitter responded by accusing him of trying to act like a “tough guy” with the President.

READ MORE: Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

Comedian Dana Goldberg mocked McCarthy, tweeting, “Nothing says ‘I don’t want to play games’ like tweeting a response to the President of the United States.”

Former Lincoln Project Executive Director Fred Wellman had even harsher words for the Speaker.

“You were elected by a bunch of idiots in Bakersfield and made Speaker by a handful of insurrectionists and nutjobs. You don’t speak for the American people. You barely even speak for the House of Representatives, Kev,” he said.

Wednesday morning, again not taking his battle to the Oval Office, McCarthy aimed higher.

At the National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance, a far-right wing event sponsored by several Christian organizations, at least five of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, McCarthy prayed for God to open his and President Biden’s hearts.

READ MORE: Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

“Father, I want to lift up those who are not here today. I want you to open their hearts,” McCarthy prayed, asking for “the patience of Job,” and “the intellect the leadership that you gave David.”

“Father, I want to lift up the president. Father, you know I will meet with him today. Father, I ask. I asked that you open both of our hearts that you put our meaning, our meaning that seeks your truth.”

Later, McCarthy, heading to the White House, told reporters, “I’ve got a big plan. The first question is does the President wants to continue reckless spending or find a way that we can be responsible, sit down and find common ground where we put ourselves on a path to budget. Make a balanced budget,” he said, according to NBC News’ Kyle Stewart and CNN’s Manu Raju.

Many were unimpressed.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) asked, “His big plan is to ask the president a question?”

Georgetown Law professor Josh Chafetz offered this in response:
“Step 1: Ask loaded question
Step 2: ???
Step 3: … also ???”

Journalist Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, noted: “McCarthy’s opening position: A balanced budget. So basically cut a quarter of federal spending or he’ll burn down the world.
I’m sure the political media will be outraged.”

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas asked, “If he’s got a plan, where is it?”

The Biden-McCarthy meeting began at roughly 3:17 PM and ended at approximately 4:41 PM, according to observations from Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman.

McCarthy talked to reporters after his meeting with the President, saying he felt they could find some “common ground.”

After first tweeting about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then literally praying to God on-camera in public about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then talking to reporters about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, McCarthy stood outside the White House after his first round of talks with the President and told reporters: “I’m not going to negotiate this in the press.”

Watch below or at this link.

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