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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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News

Legal Expert: Bill Barr Faces Potential ‘Criminal Investigation’

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge who gave prison sentences to two of former President Donald Trump’s close allies — his 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort and veteran GOP operative Roger Stone — was highly critical of former U.S. Attorney General William Barr in a recent ruling, describing his response to the Mueller Report as “disingenuous.” And legal expert Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, described Jackson’s comments as highly damning during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” this week.

Host Nicolle Wallace, a Never Trump conservative who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, told Katyal that Barr “misrepresented” the “conclusions” that Barr reached after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up the Russia investigation — asking Katyal to weigh in on the “political damage” that Barr did to the United States. And he responded that it gives him no pleasure to have been right when he appeared on MSNBC in 2019 and said that Barr was distorting the Mueller Report.

The 51-year-old Katyal told Wallace and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig — who also appeared as a guest — “I’m not sitting here feeling good about the fact that I and so many others were right two years ago. I mean, I desperately wanted to be wrong. And our system is set up to trust the attorney general. I mean, Barr was the attorney general of the United States, not the attorney general for President Trump. That’s what he was supposed to be — he was supposed to be for the people. But unfortunately, there was always a degree of corruption around him, and he constantly acted like one of Donald Trump’s personal attorneys.”

Katyal continued, “And now, with the new decision by the judge into his deception, he’s finally being treated like one of the gang — which he always was…. What you have in this decision by the judge yesterday — by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is a meticulous judge — is a statement that no, Barr actually lied to the court and to the American people. She called, you know, Barr’s actions, in the litigating position, disingenuous, which is something you almost never hear a federal judge say about any litigant — particularly not someone from the Justice Department and particularly not the attorney general of the United States.”

Katyal added that when a federal judge of Jackson’s stature describes one’s testimony before Congress as “disingenuous,” it’s “time to start thinking about retaining counsel, legal counsel.”

“There is the possibility of a criminal investigation into Bill Barr now,” Katyal told Wallace and Leonnig. “There’s also the possibility of civil and disciplinary actions against him as well.”

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News

Liz Cheney Secretly Organized Key Move to Block Trump From Using Military to Overturn Election: Report

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was the organizer of an open letter by all living former Defense Secretaries against the military intervening in election disputes.

The revelation was made to Susan Glasser of The New Yorker by Eric Edelman, a friend of Cheney’s who served as an advisor to her father.

“Cheney’s rupture with the House Republican Conference has become all but final in recent days, but it has been months in the making. Edelman revealed that Cheney herself secretly orchestrated an unprecedented op-ed in the Washington Post by all ten living former Defense Secretaries, including her father, warning against Trump’s efforts to politicize the military,” Glasser reported.

“The congresswoman not only recruited her father but personally asked others, including Trump’s first Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, to participate. ‘She was the one who generated it, because she was so worried about what Trump might do,’ Edelman said. ‘It speaks to the degree that she was concerned about the threat to our democracy that Trump represented.’ The Post op-ed appeared on January 3rd, just three days before the insurrection at the Capitol,” she reported.

It wasn’t the only action she took.

“Little noticed at the time was another Cheney effort to combat Trump’s post-election lies, a twenty-one-page memo written by Cheney and her husband, Phil Perry, an attorney, and circulated on January 3rd to the entire House Republican Conference. In it, Cheney debunked Trump’s false claims about election fraud and warned her colleagues that voting to overturn the election results, as Trump was insisting, would ‘set an exceptionally dangerous precedent.’ But, of course, they did not listen. Even after the storming of the Capitol, a hundred and forty-seven Republican lawmakers voted against accepting the election results,” Glaser wrote.

The joint letter was signed by Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld.

“American elections and the peaceful transfers of power that result are hallmarks of our democracy. With one singular and tragic exception that cost the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined, the United States has had an unbroken record of such transitions since 1789, including in times of partisan strife, war, epidemics and economic depression. This year should be no exception,” the former defense secretaries wrote.

“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived,” they explained. “As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, ‘there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.’ Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.”

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'EXISTENTIAL THREAT'

‘DEFCON 1 Moment’: Former Obama Advisor Slams Republicans Who ‘Hate Democracy’ and Warns It’s ‘Hanging by a Thread’

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“This is an existential threat”

David Plouffe, former President Barack Obama’s campaign manager and White House senior advisor, slammed Republican lawmakers who “hate democracy,” which he warned is “hanging by a thread.” He also urged the Dept. of Justice to be “all over” the recount on Arizona, but warned the white supremacists, QAnon and MAGA cultists have already decided that Trump won the state, despite the actual facts that Joe Biden won, a fact that Republicans in positions of power agree with.

“This is a DEF CON 1 moment for democracy,”  Plouffe told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “We’re not threatened by other nations or enemies, it’s a threat from within. Democracy is hanging by the thinnest thread in our country’s history. And what’s happening in Phoenix, Arizona, should be happening across the board of Roswell, New Mexico,” he added, apparently mocking Area 51 conspiracy theorists.

“It’s just crazy town. ”

“By the way there’s no question that the end of this ridiculous theatricality of the collection of white nationalists and QAnon supporters and Trump cult members are going to say, ‘you know, Trump should have won Arizona.’ We already know the outcome. But this is deadly serious. The Department of Justice needs to be all over this not just in Arizona, but all these efforts around the country.”

Plouffe called it “puzzling” because “you’ve got all these Republican elected officials who are in office because they chose to participate in the theater of democracy, and I’m not sure we’ve ever seen people in America hate democracy this much, because basically what they want to do is enshrine themselves in power and they’re doing it because they’re fearful of this ridiculous, shameful, historically incompetent cult leader down in Mar-a-Lago, who they all traipse down there and pledge allegiance to,” he said of Donald Trump.

“And none of them got into politics because they thought they were going to be weak-kneed and bending the ring to a cult leader but that’s where they’ve found themselves. Issues are secondary, their own careers in many respects are secondary.”

“Everybody who’s concerned about this country, not about who wins the next election or the one after that, but the entire enterprise is at risk here. This is an existential threat. And so it’s great to see DOJ, getting involved, to see a lot of groups like Mark Elias’ are starting to file lawsuits, but what ultimately needs to happen here and this won’t solve all of it is Congress must act.”

“They must pass voting rights legislation, and if they don’t because a few Democratic senators decide that protecting the filibuster, which of course has its roots in slavery and racism, you’re going to basically protect that, so that our democracy and our country can be handed over in permanence, to a party that increasingly is comfortable with white nationalism,” Plouffe said, it would be “tragic.”

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