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Publisher’s Picks: Our Favorite Stories Of 2012



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2012 was definitely an election year of epic proportions, a watershed moment in history that no one alive will soon forget. But 2012 was also a year filled with amazing, terrifying, fantastic, terrible, wonderful, heart-warming, and heart-breaking incredible stories.

As publisher of The New Civil Rights Movement, one of my greatest satisfactions is sharing beautifully told tales that help people see the world just a little differently.

Sadly, many of those stories often get upstaged by events that are more “exciting,” or more scandalous, or shorter, or just more appealing to the lowest common denominator — and thus get more reads.

I love a well-told tale, news-you-can-use that’s as well-written as it is informative, op-eds that are meaningful, masterful, and take your breath away.

We all have stories we meant to read, wanted to read, bookmarked to read, later, but forgot.

So, today I bring you some of my favorite 2012 stories from some of our amazing writers — favorite because they’re well-written, impassioned, important, under-reported, and, or, well, really deserve your attention. These aren’t news stories as much as they’re just good stories. I looked through all the opinion and op-ed pieces our team wrote this year, and culled not the most popular stories but the very best tales. The list was long, but I wanted to ensure we shared at least these with you again.

I hope you’ll take a moment to read them all, check out the authors’ other works, and share them with your friends, family, social media followers, co-workers, and neighbors.

And remember to read:

2012 In Review: Obama Coalition Enshrines Liberals As America’s New Moral Majority



Publisher’s Picks: Our Favorite Stories Of 2012


John Culhane

Law, Unwrapped: Gay Marriage – Why Chris Christie Is Wrong On All Counts: NJ Governor Chris Christie’s desire to put marriage equality to a vote of the people is wrong. Civil unions are not equality. Only marriage can offer equality.


Tanya Domi

The GOP War On Women Demands A New Women’s Rights Agenda for America: “Feminism” with a capital “F” is making a roaring comeback, thanks to the GOP War On Women: misogyny on steroids. It’s time we demand a new women’s rights agenda.


Jean Ann Esselink

On Our Radar – The Straight Spouse Network: The Straight Spouse Network helps you when your wife tells you over breakfast that she is in love with another woman, and she is moving her in and you out.

Mother’s Day On Our Radar – Lesbian Supermoms Take On Family Equality: If their names were Ward & June, every right-wing “pro-family” group would be holding them up as an icon of family values. But their names are Jayne and April.

On Our Radar – Everyday People Fighting Everyday Bullies: Despite “Don’t Say Gay” bills or schools refusing Gay-Straight Alliances, across the US hopeful things are happening –everyday people are fighting everyday bullies. (With video)

On Our Radar – The Oxymorons Of The North Carolina Republican Party: The North Carolina Republican Party introduced a noteworthy new phrase into the Tea Party lexicon. “Sexual orientation is not an appropriate category.”

Father’s Day On Our Radar – Two Dads Say Thank You For The Gift Of Sons: A young unmarried mother in Vietnam gave Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen a chance to be fathers. Nine years later they gave her a new life in return. This Fathers Day, the generosity of the human heart is On Our Radar.

On Our Radar – The Romney Millions And The Damage They Have Done: Mitt and Ann Romney have decided they deserve adulation for giving ten percent of their wealth to the Mormon Church – one of the major funders of Prop 8. Today, the LGBT discrimination enabled by the Romney money is On Our Radar.

On Our Radar – The Crucible of Chris Armstrong: This week, a jury awarded out, gay University of Michigan graduate Chris Armstrong 4.5 million dollars after Andrew Shirvell, a former Assistant Michigan Attorney General, stalked and tormented him. Today Chris Armstrong, who showed remarkable grace under pressure, is On Our Radar.

On Our Radar – The “Health Of The Mother” And The War On Women: The Romney campaign announced last week that Mitt was mistaken when he said he believed in a “health of the mother” abortion exception.” What “health of the mother” really means to women is On Our Radar.

On Our Radar – Abstinence Only Sex Education, The American Version Of The Taliban: In Pakistan, the Taliban tries to keep girls uneducated and sexually repressed with beatings and bullets. In America, congress does the same thing with money. Today, abstinence only sex education and the lives it destroys are On Our Radar.


Clinton Fein

Yes, It Is Time For That Conversation: This is the time for that conversation. Let’s try regulating guns with the same fervor we do women’s bodies and protect our children with the same ferocity we do fetuses.

Susan G. Komen and the Cancer Within: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in the wake of its decision to defund Planned Parenthood ended up subjecting itself to harsh scrutiny from which it can’t run nor hide.


Max S. Gordon

Proud Americans, Be Who You Are: From Paul Ryan to Michelle Obama, and every American in between, it’s time for “us vs. them” to stop so we can be we. Equally.

An American Mourning: A Remembrance of Emmett Till, Rodney King And Trayvon Martin: Emmett Till, murdered fifty-seven years ago on this day, August 28th, in 1955. His death was a crucial turning point for the Civil Rights movement in America.

Whitney: Sister Can’t Fly On One Wing: Perhaps the drugs were Whitney Houston’s “black” scream, the expression of her rage at the dichotomy between the truth of her life and what we were watching onstage.


Zinnia Jones

Is This Really Just ‘Mainstream Christian Advocacy’?: Washington Post’s Dana Milbank describes the Family Research Council as “a mainstream conservative think tank,” “driven by deeply held religious beliefs.” Really?


Benjamin Phillips

Christian Pastors Partying Like It’s 538-332 BC: Every pastor preaching genocide must be met with 100 preaching love and acceptance. Christians must adapt their dogma for today, or fully embrace the Bible’s hatred.

God Hates Fags Is The Heart Of The Religious Right: From Tony Perkins to Bryan Fischer to Rick Santorum to Rick Perry to Stacey Campfield, “God hates fags” – the concept – is at the very heart and soul of the Religious Right.

Rick Santorum, The New President Of Jesus: Evangelical Christians have found the new president of Jesus, Rick Santorum, a man terrified of the future, who would destroy the very lives of LGBT Americans.

The Ballad Of John Edwards: If John Edwards were a character in a movie about the rise and fall of a politician from South Carolina the actor they would hire would look just like John Edwards.


Ian Rivers

Reflections On Romney: Why Being ‘A Bully’ Is No Laughing Matter: In the wake of revelations that Mitt Romney was a high school gay bashing bully, we learn that bullies are often viewed “as some of the coolest kids at school.”


Keph Senett

You’ve Probably Never Even Heard Of The Homeless World Cup — Here’s Why You Should: The 10th Annual Homeless World Cup, a soccer tournament played by homeless and socially-disadvantaged people, attracted over 50,000 spectators its opening weekend.


William Lucas Walker

Spilled Milk: Tea and Coco: I’m sure there are many people who’d rush to call me a bad parent for taking my daughter to tea with a drag queen. I’d say they’re wrong. I think every kid in America could benefit from an afternoon with Miss Coco Peru.

Spilled Milk: Strangers On A Train: Did you know September was Grandparents Month? Neither did I. God will smite you, as he does nonobservant Jews and sex fetish bloggers. Unless you do something about it, pronto.


Joseph Ward III

Can We Trust Christians? A Question For LGBT People And Straight Allies: Homophobic Christianity is rampant but there are over 5,000 congregations in the U.S. that have declared their unequivocal affirmation of LGBT equality.


Stuart Wilber

LGBT Images In Art: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Just Won’t Shut Up!: Four states have major exhibitions at notable museums which focus on works of art that are explicitly or implicitly depictions of LGBTQ subjects or iconography.


Images, top, by DonkeyHotey

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McCarthy Blocks Bipartisan Bill Approved by 77 Senators to Avoid Shutdown as He Moves to Pin the Blame on Democrats



Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy is saying he will not allow the House to take up a compromise bill supported by a large and bipartisan majority of Senators that would allow the federal government to continue operating past the midnight Saturday deadline.

“I don’t see the support in the House,” for the Senate’s proposed continuing resolution, McCarthy said on Wednesday, according to Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman. He also reports that “this is the most explicit he’s been” in saying “he won’t take it up and pass it as is.”

Chad Pergram, the Senior Congressional Correspondent for Fox News reports, “McCarthy says he won’t allow the House to consider the Senate’s stopgap spending bill to avert a gov’t shutdown for 45 days. 77 bipartisan senators supported the package on a test vote last night.”

Earlier Wednesday, inside the House Republican Conference’s meeting, Sherman reported that Speaker McCarthy “said he told” Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “that he cannot take up a bill that funds Ukraine and doesn’t fix the border.”

READ MORE: ‘Fire Sale Prices’: Biographer Predicts Trump ‘May Soon Be Personally Bankrupt’ and Could See His Assets ‘Liquidated’

“In other words,” Sherman adds, “if it wasn’t clear, the CR [continuing resolution] the Senate is taking up is dead on arrival in the House.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans, and especially Speaker McCarthy, are attempting to blame the likely shutdown on Democrats. House Democrats, Senate Democrats and most Senate Republicans have been working to avert a shutdown but Speaker McCarthy’s most extreme members have been pushing to shut down the federal government. Political observers say he could keep the government running by putting together a majority of House Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans to pass a continuing resolution, but would likely lose his Speakership as a result.

“A shutdown would furlough millions of federal employees, leave the military without pay, disrupt air travel and cut off vital safety net services, and it would be politically punishing to lawmakers whose job it is to fund government,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday. “The Republican McCarthy, pushed by a hard-right flank that rejects the deal he made with Biden and is demanding steep spending cuts, showed no interest in the Senate’s bipartisan effort — or the additional money for Ukraine.”

“’I think their priorities are bad,’ he said about the Senate effort.”

Political pundit and journalist Bill Kristol, a Republican who became a Democrat in 2020, Wednesday afternoon pinned the expected, coming shutdown on Speaker McCarthy.

READ MORE: ‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air

“One man, Kevin McCarthy, is responsible for the looming government shutdown, because he won’t bring to the House floor a funding bill supported by a majority of senators from both parties, the administration, and a majority of House members. It’s the Speaker’s Shutdown.”

Wednesday morning, The Washington Post reported, “Facing a potential government shutdown in four days triggered by House Republicans’ inability to unite to pass spending bills, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is trying out a new strategy: shifting the blame.”

“McCarthy is starting to point fingers at Democrats in a bid to pin a shutdown on disagreements over border security. It’s an attempt to rewrite the record of the past several weeks, during which House Republicans have been unable to pass a short-term bill to prevent a shutdown — even one that includes the border security policies his conference overwhelmingly supports.”


Image via Shutterstock


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‘Fire Sale Prices’: Biographer Predicts Trump ‘May Soon Be Personally Bankrupt’ and Could See His Assets ‘Liquidated’



Donald Trump, the one-term, twice-impeached ex-president who is running for the White House while facing four criminal indictments that include 91 felony counts across three jurisdictions, “may soon be personally bankrupt,” according to a journalist who has written two books on the man he calls a “self-proclaimed multibillionaire.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, author of “The Making of Donald Trump,” and “The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family,” reported on Tuesday’s decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. The judge ruled Trump had committed fraud for years, by massively inflating the value of his assets. He ordered Trump’s business certificates revoked and his assets dissolved.

“Donald Trump is no longer in business,” Johnston writes at DC Report. “Worse, the self-proclaimed multibillionaire may soon be personally bankrupt as a result, stripped of just about everything because for years he engaged in calculated bank fraud and insurance fraud by inflating the value of his properties, a judge ruled Tuesday.”

READ MORE: Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud

The ex-president’s “gaudy Trump Tower apartment, his golf courses, his Boeing 757 jet and even Mar-a-Lago could all be disposed of by a court-appointed monitor, leaving Trump with not much more than his pensions as a one term president and a television performer,” Johnston wrote.

Trump will likely appeal any ruling, but Johnston, who has chronicled Trump for years, says it’s “highly unlikely” an appeals court will reverse Justice Engoron’s decision.

“Barring a highly unlikely reversal by an appeals court, Trump’s business assets eventually will be liquidated since he cannot operate them without a business license. Retired Judge Barbara Jones was appointed to monitor the assets, an arrangement not unlike the court-supervised liquidation of a bankrupt company or the assets of a drug lord,” Johnston writes. “The various properties are likely to be sold at fire sale prices and certainly not for top dollar when liquidation begins, probably after all appeals are exhausted.”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

Johnston last year said “that the former president ‘knowingly’ committed dozens of tax crimes over the past several years,” according to Newsweek. Johnston’s comments in December came “shortly after Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee held a vote to publicly release Trump’s tax return documents,” and “published a report showing that Trump was not properly audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while he was president. The IRS has a policy requiring that a sitting president is audited each year while in office.”

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Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud



Donald Trump unleashed a wild rant Wednesday morning, targeting the New York attorney general and the Manhattan Supreme Court judge in the State of New York’s $250 million civil case against him. The judge on Tuesday declared the ex-president had committed fraud for years in building his real estate empire and ordered his business certificates revoked and holdings dissolved.

Trump has been warned to not make public attacks against or attempts to intimidate witnesses or officers of the court, or prejudice jurors in one of the criminal cases he is currently facing. Two weeks ago, after appearing to not heed those warnings, the Special Counsel prosecuting the ex-president for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election asked the judge presiding over that case to limit his speech.

Wednesday morning, Trump called New York Attorney General Letitia James “Racist.” He called Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “Deranged,” and “Trump Hating,” alleging he had “made up this crazy ‘KILL TRUMP’ decision, assigning insanely low values to properties.” Trump wrote the judge valued his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence at $18 million, and claimed (in all-caps) “it is worth possibly 100 times that amount.”

READ MORE: ‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air

The judge, however, according to The Hill, “found Trump consistently overvalued Mar-a-Lago, inflating its value on one financial statement by at least 2,300 percent. The ruling pointed to a Palm Beach County Assessor’s appraisal from 2011-2021, which estimated Mar-a-Lago’s value between $18 million and $27.6 million.”

“In his order,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “Justice Engoron wrote scathingly about Mr. Trump’s defenses, saying that the former president and the other defendants, including his two adult sons and his company, ignored reality when it suited their business needs. ‘In defendants’ world,’ he wrote, ‘rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air.'”

“That is a fantasy world, not the real world,” the judge concluded.

At the end of his diatribe Wednesday, Trump declared: “There is also an IRONCLAD DISCLAIMER CLAUSE!”

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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