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On The Eve Of Christmas, A Navy Rabbi And Lesbian Army Captain Reunite To Bear Witness To DADT’s End

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Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff:  A Trumpet for Justice

There is a synchronicity to the rhythm of life when justice finally arrives. And so it was that my favorite rabbi in the world, and dear friend, Arnie Resnicoff, would deliver the invocation at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill signing, marking the beginning of the end of DADT–a “beshert” moment–the Hebrew word meaning destiny in all its perfection, and a story come full circle.

One week after Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President of the United States in 1992, in the absence of less developed policies, Clinton’s campaign pledge to allow gays to serve openly in the military dominated all news headlines and broadcasts–the news media had gone into a berserk frenzy about homosexuals in the ranks.

Less than two weeks later, by the time I took my seat as a discussant on a panel about diversity in the military at the Naval War College, (in my debut representing the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,) Clinton’s proposed policy to reverse the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military transcended all other issues to be discussed — including racism in the ranks and the controversial topic of women in combat — with an audience of several hundred senior Navy leaders in attendance.

On this auspicious occasion I met Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnie Resnicoff, whom I would come to know as a strong supporter and advocate for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. He has been morally brave over the course of many years by directly confronting the opinions of many of his peers and superiors and by challenging the military’s chaplain corps to always serve the troops first, without regard to a service member’s sexual orientation.

During the nearly three hours of “discussion,” I was personally attacked and relentlessly harangued by the Navy’s finest senior leaders, until its conclusion, when I mustered enough strength to push myself away from the table and walk to the back of the stage where I cried my heart out. Rabbi Resnicoff comforted me, as he put his arms around me and said, “You were so brave. I am so sorry this happened to you.”

In this awful moment, Rabbi Resnicoff, Arnie by this point, conveyed the compassion and generosity of a stranger, and affirmed the dignity of my personhood during an experience of profound cruelty and humiliation. It was a connection of a lifetime.

Arnie has always felt guilty about the way his fellow Naval officers treated me that day. On the eve of this week’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal act signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., which we would both attend, he wrote to me once more about this incident 18 years ago:

“I have been thinking about the conference at the the Naval War College where I first met you: the shabby way you were personally treated, and the way the ugly face of discrimination and prejudice showed itself in the words and actions of so many people around me…

“And, just as I believe that changes in the military had an impact on the larger issues of race relations in our nation, I feel that same can happen now…I think back at how hard it must have been for you to participate in that conference. There are combat zones away from the battlegrounds overseas, and that was one of them, back then.”

As I said, there is a synchronicity to the rhythm of life when justice finally arrives. In his beautiful prayer, Rabbi Resnicoff applies a healing salve to the psychic wounds we have sustained as second-class citizens, and reminds us of the greatness of America in believing that life can improve, as he calls upon divine wisdom to lead us into an unknown future of change.

“O Lord who made a world of change, You challenged us to mend, repair and change the world.

“Some lose faith and think that things will never change, But we Americans–of every faith–religious faith or not–Refuse to give up hope or abandon that most American of dreams: That we can make a difference, and that the future can be better than the past.

“Today we make a change as President Obama signs this bill into law, Today we recall that unity, not uniformity, is our goal, That we need not fear differences, Among those united to defend our nation’s freedoms and its dreams.

“Today we honor ALL brave men and women, Including those who served so long without the honor they deserved.

“O Lord our God, and God of generations past, Help us move forward, Toward a nation a little more united, more indivisible, A union a bit more perfect, founded on a great deal more respect.

“Let us pray that if the day has not yet dawned, When we can see the face of God in others, Then we see, at least, a face as human as our own.

“Lord, help us keep faith the day will dawn, When justice flows–for ALL–like mighty waters, When liberty will be proclaimed throughout the land, When every man and woman can stand tall, And none shall be afraid.

“And may we say, Amen.”

And so it is today, as we stand on transformed ground of our own making: Having realized the first dream of justice in America for gay and lesbian people–by the sheer dint of our effort, ingenuity and intelligence; by our anger and rage and by revealing our true hearts and dreams, others can and do see who we are–many, like Rabbi Arnie Resnicoff, are with us on this journey.  I celebrate him today and share the wisdom and compassion of a true friend in our struggle.

May we always be so generously blessed.

Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs atColumbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Instituteaffiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

(photo by Sammie Moshenberg: Rabbi Resnicoff and Tanya Domi at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill signing.)

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‘I’m Not Suicidal’: Kari Lake Pushes Hillary Clinton Murder Conspiracy Theory

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake is promoting a conspiracy theory suggesting Hillary Clinton wants to assassinate her. Her remarks came just one day before she lost her attempt to have the Supreme Court review what some have called her conspiracy-theory fueled lawsuit about electronic voting machines.

“Lake, who filed the lawsuit during her failed campaign for governor in 2022, challenged whether the state’s electronic voting machines assured ‘a fair and accurate vote.’ Two lower courts dismissed the suit, finding that Lake and former Republican state lawmaker Mark Finchem had not been harmed in a way that allowed them to sue,” CNN reported Monday.

Also on Monday Law&Crime reported that when she filed her lawsuit, a Dominion Voting Systems spokesperson “rejected Lake’s cybersecurity claim, telling Law&Crime it was ‘implausible and conspiratorial.'”

Democracy Docket, founded by top Democratic elections attorney Marc Elias, called it “the end of the road for a conspiratorial lawsuit,” and Lake and Fincham, “election deniers.”

READ MORE: ‘Old and Tired and Mad’: Trump’s Demeanor in Court Detailed by Rachel Maddow

Lake, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has yet to concede the 2020 election, which she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs, has a history of pushing exaggerated and baseless claims.

On Sunday, as MeidasTouch Network reported, Lake promoted an old, anti-Clinton conspiracy theory but twisted it to try to make it appear she was in danger from former U.S. Secretary of State and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lake on Newsmax listened to a clip of Secretary Clinton calling Trump’s fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin a “bromance,” and saying the ex-president is “just gaga over Putin, because Putin does what he would like to do: kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive, you know, journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance.”

Then Lake promoted a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory by responding, “Oh, boy. Oh, that’s really rich coming from a woman like Hillary Clinton, who’s, how many of her friends have just like, mysteriously died or committed suicide?”

“I mean, honestly, that’s rich of her. What President Trump wants is to root out the corruption and deliver our government back to We The People and she looks very nervous. She talked about her friend Mark Elias, Mark Elias has meddled in in his and his cohorts have meddled in the elections.”

She called Democratic policies, “destructive, deadly and frankly, in some ways, diabolical,”and added, “it’s almost comical that Hillary Clinton is talking about Trump wanting to kill his opponents.”

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

“I just want to say as I’m as I’m speaking about this topic, I want everyone out there to know that my brakes on my car have recently been checked and they work. I’m not suicidal. And Hillary, I don’t mean any harm to you. Please don’t send your henchmen out to me. We understand what you’re about. ”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Rally Behind MAGA’: Trump Advocates Courthouse ‘Protests’ Nationwide

 

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‘Old and Tired and Mad’: Trump’s Demeanor in Court Detailed by Rachel Maddow

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MSNBC top host Rachel Maddow, inside Manhattan’s Criminal Courthouse on Monday declared Donald Trump appeared “old and tired and mad,” as she delivered observations about the ex-president on trial for 34 counts of falsification of business records alleged in the alleged pursuit of election interference to protect his 2016 presidential run.

Trump “seems considerably older, and he seems annoyed. Resigned, maybe, angry. he seems like a man who’s miserable to be here,” the award-winning journalist told MSNBC viewers Monday afternoon.

“I’m no body language expert,” she conceded, “and this is just my observation. He seemed old and tired and mad.”

The New York Times’ Susanne Craig, from inside the courthouse Monday morning reported: “Trump is struggling to stay awake. His eyes were closed for a short period. He was jolted awake when Todd Blanche, his lawyer, nudged him while sliding a note in front of him.”

The Biden campaign was only too happy to pick up and report Craig’s observation, adding “feeble.”

Former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, pointing to his piece at The Atlantic, wrote of Trump: “He has charmed & conned, schemed & marauded his way through life. He was bred that way. But the weariness & vulnerability captured in courtroom images betray a growing sense in Trump that he could wind up as the thing his old man most reviled:
A loser.”

Watch Maddow’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

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‘Election Interference’ and ‘Corruption’: Experts Explain Trump Prosecution Opening Argument

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Prosecutors for the State of New York in their opening statement drew a direct line between the October 2016  “Access Hollywood” leaked audio and Donald Trump’s alleged “hush money” payoff to two women, including the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, telling the jury it was “election fraud, pure and simple.”

Legal experts are dissecting the prosecution’s opening argument. Professor of law, MSNBC contributor and former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann summed it up, saying New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg “squarely places the NY criminal trial in the election interference/corruption bucket– exactly what the DC and GA indictments allege, just 4 years later.”

“And the NY alleged ‘cover up’ is reminiscent of the two MAL [Mar-a-Lago] alleged obstruction schemes post-presidency, to keep prosecutors from uncovering evidence of that scheme,” Weissmann added.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo late Monday morning in his 45-minute opening argument told jurors, “This case is about criminal conspiracy and a cover up,” according to MSNBC’s Joyce Vance.

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“The defendant, Donald Trump, orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election,” Colangelo told jurors, CNN reports. “Then he covered up that criminal conspiracy by lying in his New York business records over and over and over again.”

“This was a planned, coordinated long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election, to help Donald Trump get elected through illegal expenditures,” Colangelo, a former U.S. Department of Justice Acting Associate Attorney General, told jurors.

“Another story about sexual infidelity, especially with a porn star, on the heels of the Access Hollywood tape would have been devastating to his campaign,” Colangelo added. “’So at Trump’s direction, Cohen negotiated the deal to buy Daniels’ story,’ and prevent it from becoming public before the election.”

“It was election fraud, pure and simple.”

Vance, an MSNBC legal analyst, professor of law and former U.S. Attorney, explains: “The scheme the prosecution is outlining is catch & kill to elect Trump-awful but lawful. Trump crossed the line into illegality when he created false business records to conceal his payments to Cohen to cover up the payments to Stormy Daniels.”

READ MORE: Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

“It’s always the cover up,” she adds.

Professor of law and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman adds, the prosecution told jurors “a straight election-interference story.”

Colangelo, Litman says, told jurors that Trump’s then personal attorney Micheal Cohen “then discussed the [Stormy] situation with Trump who was adamant he did not want the story to come out. Another story…on the heels of the Access Hollywood tape would have been devastating to his campaign.”

MSNBC legal contributor Katie Phang describes Colangelo’s opening argument, saying he is “working methodically and chronologically through the conspiracy, identifying the main characters and their involvement. He speaks clearly and succintly [sic].”

Trump has been criminally indicted in four separate cases and is facing a total of 88 felony charges, including 34 in his New York criminal trial for alleged falsification of business records to hide payments of hush money to an adult film actress and one other woman, in an alleged effort to suppress their stories and protect his 2016 presidential campaign, which could be deemed election interference.

Watch an MSNBC clip below or at this link.

 

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

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