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 Constitutionâ€™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.
Former EBay CEO and GOP nominee for California GovernorÂ Meg Whitman
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal
Former Bush Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
Former U.S. Senator of Missouri and ordainedÂ Episcopal priestÂ John C. Danforth
Ronald ReaganÂ White House Chief of StaffÂ Kenneth M. Duberstein
Sen. John McCain’s former Press Secretary Crystal BentonÂ
Sen. John McCain’s formerÂ National Spokesman Tucker Bounds
Gov. Scott Walker’s former Deputy CampaignÂ Manager Dan Blum
Former U.S. Congresswoman Mary Bono
Komen for the Cure founder and formerÂ US Ambassador to Hungary under George W. Bush Nancy Brinker
Alex Castellanos, CNN contributor and GOP strategist
U.S Senator Susan Collins (Maine)
BushÂ National Security AdvisorÂ Stephen Hadley
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (Illinois)
CNN’s Ana Navarro
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Dir. Tom Ridge
CongresswomanÂ Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Mitt Romney Press Sec. Andrea SaulÂ
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 extremelyÂ 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.
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White House Adds 20 Percent Increase to ‘Best Case’ Projection of Coronavirus Deaths
The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state’s governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.
On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done “a very good job.”
On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.
Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.
It’s now telling Americans that it is expecting up to 240,000 coronavirus deaths – as the best case scenario.
Dr Birx showing model for potential number of dead in US. With “no intervention,” the model shows 1.5 to 2 million deaths. “With intervention” shows 100,000-240,000 deaths. Still very sobering.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 31, 2020
Trump spent a good portion of Tuesday’s coronavirus press briefing claiming that “a lot of people” wanted him to do nothing and just “ride it out.” He noted that deaths then would be 1.5 million to 2.2 million. He used those numbers to pat himself on the back, saying again that by comparison 100,000 to 240,000 “is a very low number.”
It is not. It is directly attributable to the President’s refusal to take seriously the coronavirus pandemic from the start, to Trump’s refusal to provide enough tests, and to Trump’s refusal to provide enough medical equipment and supplies.
After ignoring experts and refusing to take necessary action for two months, the White House is laying the foundation for a future claim that 100,000-240,000 American deaths is a win.
That’s 2-4 times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War over the course of a decade.
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) March 31, 2020
White House Official Admits Trump Has Politicized Coronavirus Response – Favoring Red States to Grab Electoral College Votes: Report
“The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection”
President Donald Trump has politicized the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, from how it allocates medical equipment and supplies like PPE, to how it responds to requests from red state governors versus blue state governors – and a White House official is freely admitting it.
The Trump administration is sending red states like Florida – which has helped elect with the winner of every presidential race consistently since 1996 – all the coronavirus personal protective gear (PPE) that it has requested, while blue states which he has no chance of winning – like New York – are getting a fraction of their requests filled.
Trump is strongly supporting Florida’s new Republican governor, Ron DeSantis (photo, with Trump), who refused to close his beaches during spring break. That move alone allowed college students to potentially carry the coronavirus back to their friends, families, and dorm mates throughout the nation, fueling the pandemic.
“Officials in Florida have pointed to the close relationship between DeSantis and Trump as a helpful tool in shaping federal policy,” The Washington Post reports. “The two speak almost daily. Trump has formed an especially close relationship with DeSantis, a former congressman whose pugilistic defenses of the president helped him secure a race-changing endorsement in his 2018 bid for governor. Trump will probably need the 29 electoral votes of his adopted homestead to win reelection.”
The Post suggests it was DeSantis’ complaints that fueled Trump’s threat this past weekend to quarantine the tri-state area..
I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
“During a phone call on Saturday, DeSantis complained about people with the coronavirus traveling from New York to Florida. Minutes later, Trump publicly said he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He ultimately decided against it.”
It’s not just policy that Trump is helping DeSantis with.
“One White House official said Trump is attuned to the electoral importance of Florida in November, giving added weight to the arguments DeSantis has made to the administration that his state’s economy should reopen as soon as possible.”
“The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection so when DeSantis says that, it means a lot,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank. “He pays close attention to what Florida wants.”
“Three days after requesting 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators and other equipment on March 11, Florida received all of the items,” The Post continues. “The state received an additional shipment less than two weeks later. As of late last week, it was awaiting a third shipment.”
Trump’s Schedule is Empty Because He’s Spending His Days Chatting With Titans of Industry, World Leaders, and Celebrities
President Donald Trump isn’t jetting off aboard Air Force One every few days to preside over MAGA and KAG campaign rallies anymore, now that his pandemic is keeping much of the nation – including the president – at home. World leaders have stopped calling – at least in person – so his televised Oval Office diatribes have come to an end, at least temporarily.
Trump’s calendar has been looking pretty empty these days (not a dramatic change from pre-pandemic days.)
Here’s Trump’s public schedule for tomorrow. (Public schedules don’t include all of a president’s activities.) pic.twitter.com/dst1Nybqbg
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 31, 2020
NCRM scoured Trump’s published schedule.
He hasn’t held an actual campaign rally since March 6.
He hasn’t held a fundraiser since March 8.
He received (or at least had scheduled) just seven “daily” intelligence briefings in March – up from just three in February.
Trump has met with supply chain distributors, nurses, tourism industry executives, bankers, and pharmaceutical executives.
And daily he’s held his nationally televised coronavirus task force press briefings, which are little more than toned-down campaign rallies during which Trump freely spreads lies and misinformation, and which the news networks all-too-often air live, unmoderated, and un-fact checked.
According to my The Washington Post, however, Trump has been filling his days, with phone calls. To celebrities and sports figures, along with business and world leaders. Just how much of that is aiding the war effort against the coronavirus is anyone’s guess.
“The 73-year-old, who famously loves to kibitz on the phone, is known for reaching out to cable news hosts, rich friends and assorted associates at all hours to shoot the breeze,” The Post reports. “Cooped up in the White House for weeks now, except for a brief trip to Virginia on Saturday, Trump appears to be working the phones even harder than usual. Corporate executives, governors, celebrities and foreign leaders looking to get something from the U.S. government seem especially eager to secure a telephonic audience with the president.”
Just how much help Trump is giving the national fight against that “invisible enemy” – the coronavirus – which he says has made him a “wartime president,” is another story.
Trump talked with famous chef Wolfgang Puck, promising him the would have the IRS will restore the tax deductibility of meals and entertainment for corporations.
“I’ve directed my staff to use any and all authority available to give restaurants, bars, clubs incentives to stay open,” Trump said.
He’s talked with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, NFL star Tom Brady, and “friends in New York who have been stricken by the coronavirus.”
Of course, Trump has called in to Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, and Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning show as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and China’s President Xi Jinping also made Trump’s call sheet. Russia and China reportedly are sending the U.S. supplies to help fight COVID-19, although exactly what remains unknown. Trump infamously sent China 17.8 tons of medical supplies, including PPE, in February – after being warned there would be a tremendous shortage.
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