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300 Top Republicans (Yes, Republicans) Just Asked The Supreme Court To Support Gay Marriage

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You just won’t believe some of the names on this list of prominent conservatives and Republicans who want same-sex couples to have the legal right to marriage.

Let’s be honest. The Republican Party has been home to almost if not all of the most anti-gay politicians, religious leaders, activists, and power brokers in America. Which is not to say all Republicans are anti-gay, but when being anti-gay is embedded in the actual text of your party’s platform, there’s little room to claim your party supports equality.

So it should come as both a huge surprise and be viewed as a monumental event that over 300 prominent Republicans, some of whom have publicly spoken out against same-sex marriage or LGBT civil rights, have signed on to an amicus brief sent to the U.S. Supreme Court today.

As TIME points out, the brief states its signers “share the view that laws that bar same-sex couples from the institution of civil marriage, with all its attendant profoundly important rights and responsibilities, are inconsistent with the United States Constitution’s dual promises of equal protection and due process.”

Who’s on that list?

Here are a few of the more than 300 names:

Ken Mehlman, whose name is listed as the person behind the group of conservatives.

Rudy Giuliani

Charles Koch

Former EBay CEO and GOP nominee for California Governor Meg Whitman

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Former Bush Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz

Former U.S. Senator of Missouri and ordained Episcopal priest John C. Danforth

Ronald Reagan White House Chief of Staff Kenneth M. Duberstein

Mitt Romney presidential campaign Political Director and former RNC Political Director Rich Beeson

Sen. John McCain’s former Press Secretary Crystal Benton 

Sen. John McCain’s former National Spokesman Tucker Bounds

Gov. Scott Walker’s former Deputy Campaign Manager Dan Blum

Former U.S. Congresswoman Mary Bono

Komen for the Cure founder and former US Ambassador to Hungary under George W. Bush Nancy Brinker

Alex Castellanos, CNN contributor and GOP strategist

Mary Cheney

U.S Senator Susan Collins (Maine)

S.E. Cupp

Bush National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley

Abby Huntsman

John Huntsman

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (Illinois)

CNN’s Ana Navarro

Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Dir. Tom Ridge

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Mitt Romney Press Sec. Andrea Saul 

Perhaps one of the most interesting signatories is Ben Domenech, co-founder of RedState, now run by anti-gay religious right radical Erick Erickson, and co-founder of The Federalist, a conservative website that has published extremely anti-gay articles.

The one take away from the list is it includes many people behind leading anti-gay politicians, like Mitt Romney and John McCain. But it also includes many old guard Republicans, who grew up in a GOP decades before the politics of ignorance were embraced by the Tea Party. And it includes many younger Republicans, 61 percent of whom support same-sex marriage.

One final note about the list: It is extensive and there are many on it who likely deserve to be listed above. We opted to include some of the more surprising names, along with some of the better-known names. There are others who deserve recognition, and we offer our sincere thanks to each and every one.

Image by Pen Waggener via Flickr and a CC license
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THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE

‘Show Us the Flynn Tapes or Buzz Off’: Dem Rep. Swalwell Destroys Trump’s Former DNI in Epic Twitter ‘Bloodbath’

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Right now there an online Twitter battle between California’s Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell and President Donald Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell. Swalwell is winning, handily.

It all started last week when Rep. Swalwell said he didn’t trust Grenell, who was stepping down both as Trump’s Ambassador to Germany and as his acting DNI, after the Senate confirmed now-former Congressman John Ratcliffe. (Ratcliffe is legally ineligible to hold that position, but Senate Republicans confirmed him anyway.)

Grenell fought back:

And Swalwell slammed him for not doing his job, and taunted him for not releasing trump’s first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s transcripts/calls with Russian agents.

Grenell insisted the transcripts/calls would be released.

Swalwell waited. Grenell is no longer DNI (although he is joining the Trump re-election campaign.) Swalwell slammed Grenell. “Tick tock.”

And Swalwell hit back again, accusing Grenell of enabling the guy who spread “Russian propaganda” and “asked Russia to hack his opponent,” Donald Trump:

And then Swalwell schooled Grenell on actual facts, like Democrats were in the minority during the Russia investigations, and hit him with “show us the Flynn tapes or buzz off.”

More facts from Swalwell, facts the right likes to forget:

And this:

And more facts:

The battle is still going on.

Here’s what some are saying now that “Swalwell” is the top trending topic on Twitter right now:

 

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Draft of Trump Executive Order Would Have Barr and White House Collect Information on Social Media Users: Reports

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A draft of President Donald Trump’s social media executive order shows it would create disturbing structures that could allow the President of the United States to personally target social media companies he feels are taking action against his supporters, enable his supporters to report that action directly to the White House, and empower the Attorney General of the United States to collect publicly available “watch-lists” of social media users that monitor not only their online activities but their offline activities as well.

The draft is not final, but both the speed with which it will be signed and reports show it likely has not gone through interagency review, as CNN’s Brian Fung, who calls it “hastily conceived,” notes.

Reuters has confirmed a draft of the executive order, which President Trump has promised he will sign today.  They report it “requires the Attorney General to establish a working group including state attorneys general that will examine the enforcement of state laws that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts.”

The order directs the White House Office of Digital Strategy to turn back on the White House Tech Bias Reporting Tool, which the Trump administration created in 2019. It is currently dormant. The tool would be used to collect complaints of what social media users feel is online censorship by tech companies. Those complaints would be submitted by the White House to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

The White House Office of Digital Strategy was not designed for that purpose. It was created for the sole purpose of crafting and promoting the President’s agenda online, not for acting as a conduit to enable spying. The Office of Digital Strategy is headed by a former Heritage Foundation employee.

Reuters also reports Barr is to create “working group” that “will also monitor or create watch-lists of users based on their interactions with content or other users.” That reporting appears to be inaccurate, based on NCRM’s reading, and reporting by other outlets.

NBC News technology correspondent Jacob Ward reports the draft “directs the White House Office of Digital Strategy to collect publicly available information regarding ‘watch-lists’ of users based on their interaction with content or users’ and ‘monitoring users based on their activity off the platform.'”

An ABC News report appears to confirm that reading.

But Barr would be directed to create the group, which would include hand-picked state attorneys general.

The mere existence of any such lists, whether or not they are created by Barr or identified by the DOJ, can easily be politicized.

Stanford Cyber Policy Center’s Platform Regulation Director says this is a copy of the draft. She has annotated it as well:

 

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

Trump Promises to Sign Executive Order Today to Punish Tech Firms After Twitter Fact-Checked Two of His Tweets

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President Donald Trump on Thursday will sign an executive order in retribution for Twitter appending a “get the facts” label on two of his tweets that were not only false but designed to suppress the vote. On Wednesday Trump responded to the new labels by tweeting, “Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” which is false, and promising tech companies he would “strongly regulate, or close them down.”

That seeds of that promise will be sown today with an executive order that would lay the groundwork to make tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google legally liable for content posted to them by users. The Washington Post reports the order “could roll back the immunity that tech giants have for the content on their sites.”

Ironically, if implemented, it would force Twitter to delete many of the President’s own tweets. For example, he is currently engaged in an online smear campaign against Joe Scarborough, accusing the MSNBC host of murdering an intern who died of natural causes in 2001.

Just last night Trump posted a link to a video from a supporter that begins, “I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The speaker is reportedly an Otero County, New Mexico Commissioner and the head of Cowboys for Trump. President Trump tweeted his thanks:

Trump’s executive order would direct the federal government to reinterpret a law called Section 230, which “spares tech companies from being held liable for the comments, videos and other content posted by users on their platforms.”

The President’s intended changes “could mean potentially dramatic free-speech implications and wide-ranging consequences.”

Trump gleefully hinted at the executive order Thursday morning.

 

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