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Oil Pipeline Environmentalists Learn From Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Activists

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Environmental protestors are taking a page from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” activists and using the White House fence as a stage to make their voices heard against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Environmental protesters have been inundating the White House, staging sit-ins at the famous White House fence for over a week. They are determined to make the President stand up and honor his campaign promises that he would protect our environment and the people who look to his leadership. Actress Daryl Hannah lent her name — and handcuffed wrists — to the protest yesterday, as she and more than one hundred others decided an act of civil disobedience was necessary to get the attention of the President, and the People.

The Keystone Pipeline currently runs between Alberta, Canada and Oklahoma. With the proposed extension, Keystone XL, it would continue down to the Gulf Coast. The environmental group Tar Sands Action, which has organized a series of White House protests through September 3, says the pipeline “will pump 900,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an environmental and safety analysis, The Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was used to determine whether the concerns being raised over this project had foundation. The analysis mentions the risks of spills and the possible impact on the surrounding land and water yet pointed to the ability to mitigate and handle those situations effectively. Overall the analysis seemed to dismiss everything these environmentalists have been bringing to the attention of the public. When it came to the concerns over greenhouse emissions, they pointed to far away countries like Venezuela to show that we should be secure in the pollution that will be caused by this project.

With little hope of anything politically standing in the way, the Keystone XL pipeline would be a conduit shipping heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands reserves. Canada has been drawing from this reserve since the 1960’s and that has been used as a reason to allow this proposed pipeline. Even with environmentalists openly criticizing the pipeline however it seems it will receive a regulatory pass soon. If this happens there is a last stop that could be utilized, the President.

Since the pipeline is an international issue, the President is required to sign a permit that would allow this project to continue. This is where the activists are aiming their influence, as a demographic that came out in record numbers to vote for the man spreading hope.

Like many of the President’s supporters, the environmentalists in this country are feeling the sting of being left out in the cold. It was mentioned today that Jay Carney was asked aboard Air Force One about the President’s reaction to these protesters. “I haven’t talked to him about it.” said Carney. Yes, with over 400 protesters, celebrities and academics having been arrested you think that the President would have had concern over the people he is sworn to protect.

As we watch with interest and support in the coming week, the LGBT community can only stand and acknowledge that we too understand the position that these protesters are in. And members of the LGBT community, some in court this week, stood at the White House fence — often stood chained to the White House fence — to get Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed. There is hope that they too will feel some victory soon, otherwise it begs the question: How many more voters can the President toss aside?

 

(Image: Josh Lopez)

Growing up in Northern Ontario as a Jehovah’s Witness, Michael Talon experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.

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COMMENTARY

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

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As part of his 2024 campaign, Donald Trump is now declaring war against transgender people – especially transgender children – even vowing to use DOJ and Congress to make being transgender illegal under federal law, if elected President. He also promised to promote the “nuclear family,” an attack on same-sex couples and families. And he pledged to use the Dept. of Education to file federal civil rights charges against local school teachers who support transgender children – or even the very concept of being transgender.

In 2015, as his first presidential campaign took shape, Trump was falsely hailed by some LGBTQ Republicans as being “pro-gay.” In 2016, for a short while, Trump said transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” although less than 24 hours later he reversed course. But that same year he merged two powerful culture war issues, LGBTQ rights and illegal immigration, into a combined wedge issue to attack his Democratic opponent.

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he tweeted.

It was a lie.

Fast forward to 2023.

Trump’s promise on Tuesday afternoon to attack transgender Americans, despite medical evidence and expert opinions to the contrary. go much further than any other national Republican’s, and it’s clear he had help creating these new anti-LGBTQ policies. Right-wing extremist media promoted the ex-president’s assault on this highly-vulnerable population almost immediately.

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In his video he calls gender-affirming care “child sexual mutilation” and “left wing gender insanity,” suggesting transgender people did not exist throughout history, which is false.

“The left wing gender insanity being pushed in our children is an act of child abuse very simple,” Trump, in his unique oratorical style, begins in a nearly four-minute video posted on Rumble and on his Truth Social platform. “Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical and emotional mutilation of our youth.”

Nearly every major medical organization recognizes and supports gender-affirming care for children.

Just last August Dr. Moira Szilagyi, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest professional organization of its kind, said: “There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving. The decision of whether and when to start gender-affirming treatment, which does not necessarily lead to hormone therapy or surgery, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family.”

Trump is promising to make that care illegal, and to sign a federal law “establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth,” and one “prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“On day one,” Trump declared, “I will revoke Joe Biden’s cruel policies on so called gender affirming care. Ridiculous, a process that includes giving puberty blockers, mutating their physical appearance and ultimately performing surgery on minor children. Can you believe this?”

Dr. Szilagyi spoke to that falsehood last year, writing: “Critics of our gender-affirming care policy mischaracterize it as pushing medical or surgical treatments on youth; in fact, the policy calls for the opposite: a holistic, collaborative, compassionate approach to care with no end goal or agenda.”

Trump also promised to “sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease all programs that promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age. I will then ask Congress to permanently stop federal taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or pay for these procedures and pass a law prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“In all 50 states it’ll go very quickly. I will declare that any hospital or health care provider that participates in the chemical or physical mutilation of minor youth will no longer meet federal health and safety standards for Medicaid and Medicare and will be terminated from the program immediately.”

READ MORE: ‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling

Trump also promised to turn the executive branch into an anti-transgender machine for his personal political ends.

“The Department of Justice will investigate Big Pharma and the big hospital networks to determine whether they have deliberately covered up horrific long term side effects of sex transitions in order to get rich at the expense of vulnerable patients, in this case, very vulnerable. We will also investigate whether Big Pharma or others have illegally marketed hormones and puberty blockers which are in no way licensed or approved for this use.”

He also promised his “Department of Education will inform states and school districts that if any teacher or school official suggests to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body, they will be faced with severe consequences including potential civil rights violations for sex discrimination, and the elimination of federal funding.”

Trump did not waver in using the full power of the federal government to target and attack transgender children and LGBTQ families, while using local school teachers to carry out his pogrom.

READ MORE: $1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

“As part of our new credentialing body for teachers, we will promote positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers and celebrating rather than erasing the things that make men and women different and unique.”

“I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth. The bill will also make clear that Title IX prohibits men from participating in women’s sports and we will protect the rights of parents from being forced to allow their minor child to assume a gender which is new and an identity without the parents’ consent,” he said, appearing to correct himself by adding: “The identity will not be new, and it will not be without parental consent.”

“No serious countries should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender, a concept that was never heard of in all of human history, he declared, which is false. “Nobody’s ever heard of this, what’s happening today. It was all when the radical left invented just a few years ago, under my leadership this madness will end.”

Nearly every anti-LGBTQ claim Trump made in under four minutes is false or contrary to accepted medical and scientific studies and practice.

 

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Trump Could ‘Screw’ GOP With Self-Enriching Third Party Run: Conservative Author

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Former President Donald Trump is able to “screw” his own party with an independent or third-party run should they reject him in 2024, wrote conservative author Jonathan Last for The Bulwark on Wednesday.

Trump is currently the only Republican who has formally declared his candidacy for president, although multiple others like New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have expressed interest. Trump mainly appears focused on heading off a challenge from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attacking him as a “RINO globalist.”

“Sarah [Longwell] made a bunch of news this morning with her poll about Always Trumpers. I’m sure you’ve seen it. If not, the most interesting number is that 28 percent of Republican respondents said they’d vote for Trump over either an R or a D if he made a third-party run in 2024,” said the report. “Certain members of the Match Throwing Club . . . scoffed at this idea. Ross Douthat explains that, ‘Trump is unlikely to run third party and 28 percent of the GOP primary base isn’t actually going to vote for a spoiler if it’s DeSantis v. Biden.'”

This analysis, said Last, is just “wishcasting” — because Trump doesn’t actually need to pull 28 percent of the vote to spoil the election. Just a few points could do it, given how close the last two presidential elections ended up being.

READ MORE: Lead investigator blows the whistle on key finding Jan. 6 committee ignored in final report

It’s impossible to know for sure whether Trump would actually run third party if he lost the nomination, wrote Last — however, “I do know that if Trump were to lose the Republican nominating contest, he could bring in a lot of money by running a third-party campaign. And if the question is: ‘Trump could make a lot of money by doing X; will he do X?’ Well, then the answer is usually: Yes.”

Notably, polling doesn’t indicate that it’s likely Trump will lose the GOP nomination in the first place, with recent Morning Consult numbers suggesting he leads the pack by 17 points.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT

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Enmeshed in a web of deceit and possibly under federal criminal investigation, U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is now apparently unable to lawfully spend money or accept donations via his political campaign, which reportedly now may also be in violation of FEC rules.

On Tuesday the embattled freshman Republican announced he was temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments, reportedly after a conversation with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Before the end of the day his campaign treasurer filed official paperwork notifying the Federal Election Commission she had resigned.

“Nancy Marks’s resignation effectively leaves the Santos campaign unable to raise or spend money and in seeming violation of federal rules,” The New York Times reports, calling her his “longtime campaign treasurer and trusted aide.”

“Mr. Santos’s financial operations, which are the subject of several complaints filed with the F.E.C. and are being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement,” The Times adds. “It also leaves the Santos campaign in disarray, effectively rendering it unable to raise or spend money and placing it in seeming violation of F.E.C. rules.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In fact, FEC rules state: “If a committee’s treasurer is absent, the committee cannot make expenditures or accept contributions unless it has designated an assistant treasurer or designated agent on the committee’s Statement of Organization.”

The resignation comes after last week’s stunning report revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended FEC filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds.

Unlike political candidates, campaign treasurers are held to an actual standard of truth, and can be personally – and legally – liable if they report false information.

FEC rules also state, “the treasurer can be named and found liable in his or her personal capacity if he or she knowingly and willfully violates the Act, recklessly fails to fulfill duties imposed by the law, or intentionally deprives himself or herself of the operative facts giving rise to the violation.”

READ MORE: Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away

Santos may find it difficult to hire a new treasurer: “Even when an enforcement action alleges violations that occurred during the term of a previous treasurer, the Commission usually names the current treasurer as a respondent in the action.”

The Times adds, “The lack of clarity over who, if anyone, is operating as Mr. Santos’s treasurer has already caused confusion. On Tuesday, a joint fund-raising committee associated with Mr. Santos filed paperwork to end its operations. Ms. Marks’s signature was on the paperwork, even though she had resigned as the committee’s treasurer the week before.”

Marks’ resignation also comes after someone affiliated with the Santos campaign falsely listed a well-known Republican treasurer on the official FEC forms as the treasurer for his campaign. As one expert put it, that’s a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

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