Seven years ago this week, then-president George W. Bush stood in front of the nation, and lied. He lied to the world, he lied to America, he lied to you, he lied to me.
To build the case to attack Iraq, President Bush spoke these now infamous words,
“America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof â€” the smoking gun â€” that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
There was no smoking gun. There was no mushroom cloud. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
We were fooled. We were deceived.
Personally, I will forever remember that day, as I stood in front of my television, watching his address. For me, an ardent Bush opponent from day one, those powerful words brought me to the edge of believing in a possibility. They enabled me to think, “OK. Wait. My president thinks we’re in immediate and mortal danger. He must know something I do not. I have to believe him.”
And so, just a little, just enough, I did.
While I never supported the Iraq war, I was sufficiently convinced that there might be a threat.
And there was no threat. Not even close.
Our president outright lied.
Presidents do that. Hard as it may be is for us to imagine, presidents and lawmakers — even those on “our side,” weigh their options, then, sometimes, they lie.
It’s time for us, all of us, to stop believing their lies.
There was no “smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
Here are some of the GOP’s lies the LGBTQ community is fighting today:
Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will lead to a loss of “unit cohesion.” Repeal of DADT will not lead to a loss of unit cohesion. The “unit cohesion” claim was made up after DADT to explain it. Every other country that allows gays in their military knows this to be false. And repeal of DADT will not cause us to lose a war. If anything, the 13,000 men and women — within their ranks a tremendous number of Iraqi translators — kicked out of our military for the crime of being gay, has made winning far more difficult. And it’s not a far leap to make the case, as Nathaniel Frank does, that without DADT, 9/11 might not have happened.
Repeal of DOMA will lead to incest, bestiality, child abuse, polygamy, and the destruction of the institution of marriage itself. Those who currently are, or are interested in, practicing incest, bestiality, or polyamory, will not “come out of the closet,” as it were, when gay marriage becomes law. And it is well-documented that gays are equally good parents. As for destroying marriage, if anything, the reverse is true. Gay marriage may indeed save the institution of marriage. States that have banned gay marriage and boast a high proportion of traditional Christian conservatives also have the highest level of divorce. Massachusetts, the first state to offer marriage equality, has one of the lowest.
Signing into law the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act will not lead to the imprisonment of priests. Signing into law the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act will lead to the imprisonment, upon stricter federal charges, and with federal dollars being used to support investigations and prosecutions, of people who harm and kill to satisfy their hate.
Signing into law ENDA will take away rights. Signing into law ENDA will allow men and women who happen to be LGBTQ to be more productive in their jobs, because they know that cannot be fired just because of who they are. Remember, in 39 states, right now, you can be fired for being gay.
But the danger is not in the outrageous lies we hear and dismiss.
The danger is in lies so cleverly crafted, ensconced in terror and intimidation, with hatred and fear of a calamitous future at their very essence, that, as human beings, we are forced to believe them, for the mere possibility of their becoming truth is too dangerous to allow.
And the danger is in the lies we’re told that are strong enough to take us from one point to another. Like Bush’s “Mushroom Cloud” speech took me to the brink of belief.
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Shadowy Right Wing Group One Step Closer to Overturning Arizona City’s New LGBTQ Civil Rights Protections
A group hiding behind a two-page website that lists no actual persons or physical address has submitted enough signatures to get a repeal of Mesa, Arizona’s new LGBTQ civil rights protections law onto the ballot for the November 2022 election.
According to news reports no one seems to know who founded United for Mesa, a Political Action Committee created days after the Mesa City Council passed the non-discrimination ordinance. The website lists an email address, phone number, and P.O. Box.
“Give the People a Voice,” the website urges, meaning they believe citizens should vote on civil rights, something studies show overwhelmingly ends with the majority voting to deprive the minority of equal rights. It also claims the “Mesa City Council just passed an ordinance WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF MESA RESIDENTS,” which is false. In a representative democracy, citizens elect leaders to make these very decisions for them.
Calling the group “below-the-radar, with no official leaders or posted public meetings,” the East Valley Tribune reported last month that “Unofficial leaders like Barbara R. Parker rallied like-minded troops via Facebook and other outlets.”
“Thank you to every petition signer and gatherer who helped save Mesa!” Parker posted Thursday night.
“Thank the Lord! I have never seen so many people working so hard to get signatures,” wrote Paula Smith in a comment to Parker’s post. “It’s been amazing! I’m so thankful everyone’s hard work paid off!”
“Thank you everyone for going the extra distance, so we may all have a voice in such an important decision,” added Charmon Puhlmann, a bus driver for Mesa Public Schools.
Political consultant George Khalaf’s firm, The Arizona Republic reports, “is leading the referendum effort against the ordinance,” but it does not mention what, if any, relationship he has with United for Mesa.
Last year the Arizona Capitol Times reported Khalaf was a political consultant to Republican state Representative Nancy Barto, in an article discussing an anti-transgender bill.
An email to United for Mesa did not receive a response by press time.
‘It’s Not National God Day’: Pat Robertson’s Reporter Mocked for Attacking Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation
David Brody, a political analyst for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), is getting criticized for attacking President Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation. Brody, a Trump acolyte, slammed the proclamation because it doesn’t include the word “God.”
President Biden’s proclamation clearly was written to be as inclusive as possible, something he has strived to achieve with nearly everything he does.
“Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance,” Biden a devout Catholic, says in the document. “Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans. Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed.”
He goes on to talk about the First Amendment protecting “the rights of free speech and religious liberty, including the right of all Americans to pray.”
But that wasn’t good enough for Brody, a far right wing Christian, who appeared to believe that the proclamation should honor only Christians.
Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation has been released and it doesn’t even mention God once! How do you release a proclamation about prayer and not mention God at all? Of course it mentions climate change & racial justice. Truly, this is pathetic…and not surprising! pic.twitter.com/czOQx3ioHj
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) May 6, 2021
Former Trump personal attorney Jenna Ellis chimed in, replying to Brody with this slur:
Who is he praying to?? The BLM gods?
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) May 6, 2021
On social media Brody was blasted.
Why, it’s almost as if America is a nation in which there are some people who believe in God and others who don’t, and he wants his language to be inclusive of everyone rather than exclusive to theists.
— Dr. James G. Gilmore (@jamesggilmore) May 6, 2021
Which god of the over 4200 religions?
Joe respects everyone’s religious beliefs, not just yours.
You should give him and everyone else the same amount of respect. pic.twitter.com/hMDYuxCUpB
— John Birchman 😷 ⬅️6️⃣➡️ (@johnbirchman) May 6, 2021
I see that “the divine” is mentioned. Why is that not good enough for you? Do you believe in divinity?
— Middle Molly: Fully vaccinated plus SIX weeks! (@MiddleMolly) May 6, 2021
Because not everyone in this country is from the same religion, genius.
— hondo64ou (@hondo64ou1) May 6, 2021
It’s “National Day of Prayer” not “National God Day”. Not everyone prays the same way.
— ArabSnowflake (@AnisahMichael) May 6, 2021
A national Day of Prayer is not about promoting a specific expression of faith but about prayer as an activity in which each individual connects with their transcendent dimension in order to align themselves with their highest values and wisdom and receive the grace of acceptance
— Constance (@jconstance61) May 6, 2021
The clue should be “many religions”. It’s a message meant to be all encompassing, not to exalt one religion alone. Biden speaks to all Americans, not just those who worship your preferred deity.
— The Dragon of East Rock is half vaxxed (@eastrockpark) May 6, 2021
It’s about the National Day of Prayer not “National Day of God” so it’s pretty easy to figure out why it repeatedly references prayer & doesn’t need to mention God.
Easy, unless of course you’re steeped in faux outrage in an effort to rile people up. Not very Christian of you.
— Brent (@brenticles42) May 6, 2021
No, it actually does not, and THAT is the point. He’s president for everyone, not just Christians.
— Mark Sniadecki (@MarkSniadecki) May 6, 2021
Which god should Joe Biden have mentioned?
— Dr Robin 😷 (@Robinindfw) May 6, 2021
Because not all of us pray to a god?
— Josh Jakob Architect (@JJakobDesign) May 6, 2021
George Conway Muses if Giuliani Was Dropped ‘On His Head’ and Warns He’s ‘Going to Go Through Some Things’
Conservative attorney George Conway is warning former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani he may be “going to go through some things.”
“The quoted words,” he explains in a just-published Washington Post op-ed, “come from the former president’s supposedly ‘perfect’ phone call with Ukraine’s president, and described what could happen to the American ambassador there, Marie L. Yovanovitch.”
Those “things” Giuliani may go through include “possibly being charged with a crime.”
Giuliani’s home and office were raided by the feds last week, and Conway says “the investigation marks yet another step in Giuliani’s unimaginable fall from grace. The once-respected former federal prosecutor, New York mayor (‘America’s mayor’!), presidential candidate and possible Cabinet pick, stands reduced to a laughingstock: shirt-tucking star of the ‘Borat’ sequel, headliner for a news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, and now defendant in a $1.3 billion defamation suit for having claimed that the long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez founded a voting software company that helped steal the presidency from Trump.”
He also calls Giuliani a peddler of “nutso election-fraud claims,” and says he “had firmly established himself as one of the world’s worst lawyers. He’s the bumbler who blurted out on national TV that his client, Individual-1, had reimbursed a $130,000 payment made to a porn star, a transaction that triggered a sprawling and ongoing New York grand jury investigation into Trump’s overall business affairs.”
“All this boggles the mind of anyone who has followed Giuliani’s lengthy career. It’s as though someone dropped him on his head.”
Conway offers some free advice to Giuliani and Trump:
“If Giuliani has anything to offer prosecutors to save himself, it would have to be Trump, the only bigger fish left. And it was arguably criminal for the then-president to have used his official powers to try to coerce foreign officials into aiding his reelection campaign. In fact, Giuliani’s admission that he wasn’t conducting foreign policy, but merely helping Trump personally, is exactly what would make the scheme prosecutable. The former guy just might want to rethink stiffing Giuliani on those bills.”
Read the entire op-ed here.
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