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Start Acting Like It



Despite the 72 degrees here in Manhattan, there’s a crispness in the air. It’s fall, the season that is supposed to represent the beginning of dormancy, a shortening of summer’s long days and fun times, a letting-go of play and a return to the seriousness of work.

And yet, I don’t think America had a fun summer.

We had the attack of the birthers and deathers. We had play-cowboys with real guns attend presidential speeches and congressional town halls. For all our focus on health care this summer, few have realized the tremendous irony shooting us in the face: America is a country in the midst of a nervous breakdown.

Bob Herbert reminded me of this, in his New York Times column this week when he wrote,

“Looking back at the past few months, it’s fair to wonder if the country isn’t going through a nervous breakdown… We need therapy… The first step, of course, is to recognize that we have a problem.”

A Problem, Indeed

I often write about the “gay community.” Truth be told, there isn’t one. Like the “straight community,” there are many. Both have many different ideas, ideals, morals, goals, and behaviors. And yet, across very different camps, many within the “gay community” spent a good part of the spring trying to get what the “straight community” already has: civil marriage.

Legal recognition of our equality is what a great many of us are trying to obtain. But there are a few things, perhaps more important, that we need to achieve first: an across-the-board recognition within the gay community that we actually want and deserve full equality, with all its rights and responsibilities, and that we are willing to fight for it. And the one pre-requisite that has to happen before any of this: we have to start acting like it.

Herbert wonders if America is going through a nervous breakdown. I wonder if the gay community is. I do know that our fractured, disinterested, distracted collective is neither doing enough to get better nor to make things better.

And yes, it’s been a constant game of win-lose-win-lose.

Taking a Toll

Despite our marriage equality wins this spring, despite our communal temper-tantrum that led to the Hate Crimes Bill making its way through Congress and the talk of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the gay community is too silent on matters that affect us just as much, if not more deeply, than those the rest of the country is confronting.

Take California. Less than one year after Prop 8 passed, less than four months after it was upheld by California’s Supreme Court, we can’t even get enough people to call Governor Schwarzenegger’s office to voice support for the proposed Harvey Milk Day bill. 100,000 people called – the majority reportedly in opposition to the bill.

Yes, there are bright spots. Grass-roots organizations and individuals are making a difference every day. My fellow gay writers and bloggers work long days, often with little or no compensation, to help move the ball forward. And we’re having some success.

But those in straight community, in the form of conservatives, gay marriage opponents, and the religious right, have enslaved us for far too long. And it’s taken its toll.

Because most of us can’t get married, we’ve approached relationships differently. Our opponents like to say we have all the rights we need – and deserve. What they don’t talk about is the security they have that comes in the form of societal recognition. We know that the bond of marriage is not only a goal, but an aid to maintaining a relationship through troubled times. It’s a lot easier to walk away when there are no legal issues, common property, children, or even the reaction of family, friends, and neighbors to stop you.

Acting Like We Want It

And because we don’t have this responsibility, some of us often don’t act with the same level of responsibility that straights purport to have. Much to our detriment, and, dare I say, much to the secret delight of our foes, many in our community are still acting as teenagers, more interested in having fun and sex today than taking a healthy interest in achieving equality tomorrow.

David Phillips wrote me about this, saying,

“DADT is perhaps the best word to describe most male couples I’ve known.”

I refuse to believe that’s true across the board.

While there are a great many long-term same-sex relationships, many gay relationships aren’t necessarily long-lasting – not because we’re not capable or desirous of long-term relationships, but – in part -because society has not put the same focus on same-sex marriage that it has on “traditional” marriage. Remember, the Bush administration spent $300 million a year to promote “traditional” marriage.

And no, I’m not blaming our shortcomings on society.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

So, as we move into the fall season, as we look to fight new battles for marriage equality, perhaps in New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and as we move back to fight again for Maine and California, maybe we should pause for a moment and ask ourselves, does the majority of the gay community really want marriage equality? And if we do, are we going to start acting like it?

Note: This post was originally published at The Bilerico Project.

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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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