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This Weekend: 2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening



This weekend I’ll be in Philadelphia joining dozens of my fellow LGBT bloggers, writers, authors, and activists at the 2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening, generously sponsored by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and funded by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Bil Browning, founder of The Bilerico Project, will be our host.

I’m really looking forward to seeing some great friends and colleagues, and meeting a good many people whose byline, Twitter avatar, email address, or voice-on-the-phone is usually our only contact.

Via our host, Bil Browning:

This year’s convening is focusing on coalition building. We’ll have presentations on immigration reform, international issues, the aging queer community, transgender-specific issues, and the labor movement. Philadelphia Mayor Nutter will address the group during lunch on Saturday while Cleve Jones and David Mixner will do a Q&A session at Friday night’s reception and dinner.

It’s been exciting to see how the convening has grown since I hosted the first one four years ago. This will be our biggest group of bloggers, editors, and journalists I’ve invited and I’m really proud of how diverse the group will be this year. We have the top folks in the field coming this year – and we really reflect our community. Most of the top gay blogs are run by white guys and a huge portion of our community newspapers too. I’m hoping that some of the introductions made this week will lead to a larger inclusiveness of some of the smaller voices as sources for the big guys.

Bil also posted this alphabetical list of attendees:

David Badash (New Civil Rights Movement)
Matthew Bajko (Bay Area Reporter)
Matt Baume (Gay Marriage Watch)
Andrew Belonsky (Towleroad)
Trish Bendix (AfterEllen)
Sarah Blazucki (NLGJA board member)
Lester Braithwaite (Queerty/GayCities)
Bil Browning (Bilerico Project)
Sean Bugg (Metroweekly)
Kelli Busey (PlanetTransgender)
Faith Cheltanham (BiNetUSA)
Jen Christensen (NLGJA board president)
Jen Colletta (Philly Gay News)
Matt Comer (Q Notes)
Laura Douglas-Brown (GA Voice)
Andres Duque (Blabbeando)
Kevin Farrell (Unicorn Booty)
Zack Ford (ThinkProgress)
Chris Geidner (Buzzfeed)
EJ Graff (American Prospect)
Lucas Grindley (The Advocate)
Jeremy Hooper (Good As You)
Andy Humm (Gay USA)
Ben Jenkins (Between the Lines)
Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God.)
Ileana Jimenez (Feminist Teacher)
Rebecca Juro (Rebecca Juro Show)
Ed Kennedy (AfterElton)
Sue Kerr (Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondants)
Mark King (My Fabulous Disease)
Jamillah King (Colorlines)
Shaun Knittel (Seattle Gay News)
Will Kohler (Back2Stonewall)
Michael Lavers (Washington Blade)
Rod McCollum (Rod 2.0)
Noah Michelson (Huffington Post)
David Mixner (
Grace Moon (Velvet Park)
Ann Northrop (Gay USA)
Sue O’Connell (Bay Windows)
Jason Parsley (South Florida Gay News)
Eric Resnick (Gay People’s Chronicle)
Monica Roberts (Transgriot)
Mike Rogers (RawStory)
Erin Rook (PQ Monthly)
Matthew Rose (NLGJA)
Steve Rothaus (Miami Herald)
Dana Rudolph (Mombian)
Paul Schindler (Gay City News)
Mark Segal (Philadelphia Gay News)
Aishah Shahidah Simmons (Filmmaker)
Kate Sosin (Windy City Times)
Adele Stan (Alternet)
David Stern (Frontiers)
Angela Thomas (Philly Gay News)
Jos Truitt (Feministing)
Michael Tune (NLGJA Executive Director)
Jose Antonio Vargas (Define American)
Daniel Villareal (
Rex Wockner (Freelance)
Scott Wooledge (Daily Kos)

If there’s anyone you’d like me to reach out to or any questions you’d like me to ask, send me a tweet, and use hashtag #LGBTmedia13 — and follow that this weekend for all the updates from the conference!

By the way, we’ll still have plenty of great content, including our regular columns, for you this weekend, so be sure to stop by!

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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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