As President Obama descends upon Manhattan Thursday afternoon to attend three Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraisers — including “Gala with the Gay Community,” an LGBT Democratic fundraiser — Democratic lawmakers in Albany are doing everything they can to vote on Governor Cuomo’s same-sex marriage bill, while Republican lawmakers are doing everything they can to stop the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile, as the President walks into the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan at 5:30, dozens, and possibly hundreds of LGBT activists, organized by three major LGBT grassroots activist organizations, will participate inÂ â€œA Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality,” to “give the LGBT community and their allies an opportunity to gather together in unity as they raise the urgency for full LGBT equality now.” And while Obama isn’t officially the target, his mere presence makes him so.
“I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful long-lasting gay or lesbians unions,” Obama has said, acknowledging that it is “something that means a lot to them.”
“My baseline is a strong civil union that affords them legal protections,” Obama said just after signing the DADT repeal bill into law.”I recognize from their perspective, it’s not enough.”
In July, 2010, President Obama took a moment to say goodbye toÂ departing Associate Counsel to the President Alison J. “Ali” Nathan, (photo above, left,) and Meg Satterthwaite, and their twin sons Oliver and Nathan, in the Outer Oval Office. In March of this year,Â President Obama nominated the former Associate Counsel for the United States District Court for the Southern District of NewÂ York.
â€œAlison Nathan is aÂ distinguished individual who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout her career,â€Â said President Obama.Â â€œI am grateful for her decision to serve the American people from the District CourtÂ bench.â€
President Obama will get asked, either by a reporter, a heckler, or a demonstrator — or all three — if he has “evolved” in his stance on same-sex marriage equality, a position that he has said he “wrestles” with. In fact, media reports now say he is prepared to answer.
And he better have an answer. Activists from GetEQUAL — the people who literally chained themselves to the White House fence over and over and over until DADT repeal legislation was passed — Queer Rising, and Join The Impact, all very effective grass-roots activist organizations, will be out in force awaiting the president this evening.
But short of Obama announcing full support for full, equal, civil marriage, the LGBT community, our supporters and allies, and, indeed, 53% of the American people will not be happy about his answer.
In a world where everyone has a position on everything, and in a world where the most anti-gay bigot can easily — and, fairly accurately — state that their position on marriage equality is the same as the President of the United States, a president arguably among the most liberal in a generation or two, or three, Obama must stand for something more.
When anti-gay marriage equality activists like Carrie Prejean, Maggie Gallagher, and David Tyree, all claim their position is the “same as the president’s,” and when an increasing number of conservative Republicans have already “evolved” further than he on the issue of marriage equality, the “hope and change” champion (not to mention the self-monikered “fierce advocate,”) is left with little choice.
Obama must stand for hope and change. And whether or not it is hard for him to embrace equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, he really has little choice at this point.
While this president has done far more than any president in our history for the LGBT community, there is so much more that must be done. What is the hold up? Why is he waiting so long?
Obama, a constitutional scholar who, like it or not, in 1996 said he supported same-sex marriage, has been consistent in his belief that DOMA, Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional, and has refused to defend it in federal court. He has signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He has extended many benefits, albeit only via executive order, and therefore, easily undone by his successor, to LGBT Americans and families.
After Obama signed into law the bill that provides the pathway to repeal of DADT, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Obama immediately began talking about DOMA and other work that needed to be done. He could have taken a victory lap and told the LGBT community he was done until after the 2012 elections, but he didn’t.
When DADT repeal was signed, Obama made it clear that he believed he had created the climate and environment that allowed all necessary parties to come together.
I believe he is doing the same with marriage equality.
As I told Politico,Â Obama is letting the country “see” his “struggle,” see him “wrestling” with the concept of marriage equality, see him “evolving.”
The question, I believe, is not if Obama will embrace full civil same-sex marriage equality, but when. And, if the question is when, will it be while he is still President Obama , and not private citizen Obama?
If he wants it to be as President Obama, he needs to come out in support of same-sex marriage equality now, or surely he will lose his base, and all hopes of a second term.
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In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.
McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.
His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.
“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.
“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”
Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.
McCarthy continued with his angry attack.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”
House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.
Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
That’s actually false.
The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.
Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”
McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”
He then served up what some might say is a threat.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”
18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.
McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.
“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”
“Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump. That is an assault on democracy.”
— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, before Biden gives remarks in Philadelphia, attacks the lawful Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/qDwPSzrYs8
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2022
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Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee
The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.
The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.
The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.
Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’
Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.
The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.
“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.
“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.
The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.
In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”
The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”
The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.
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