Mike Huckabee opted to lie his way out of a Fox News interview when cornered about his attack on President Obama’s nominee to head the Army.
Saturday afternoon Mike Huckabee issued a disgraceful attack on President Barack Obama, and Eric FanningÂ â€“Â the man the Commander-in-Chief had just nominated to be the next Secretary of the Army â€“Â and the LGBT community.
“It’s clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America’s homosexuals than honoring America’s heroes,” Huckabee said, adding that President “Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he’s nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army. Homosexuality is not a job qualification.”
Thousands of his 1.8 million supporters on Facebook weighed in, most of them attacking the President for putting a gay man in charge of the Army, and a civilian to bootÂ â€“ despite the fact that it is a civilian position and the man Fanning is replacing is a Republican who never served in the military.
Huckabee so ginned up his base a good number of them called for the President to be tried for treason, with at least one demanding Obama be removed from office “by any means necessary.”
What the former Arkansas governor opted to leave out of his Facebook rant is that Fanning is by far the most-qualified man for the job, and is supported by the Secretary of Defense to take that role.
On Fox News Business Monday morning, Huckabee was actually challenged on his attack, with host Sandra Smith even pointing to a Washington Post piece praising Fanning’s qualifications.
“Is there any indication from the White House that they nominated him for any reason other than his qualifications?,” Smith asked.
Standing by his Facebook rant, Huckabee responded by asking why the White House was “making such a big deal and talking about” Fanning’s sexual orientation.
“What difference does it make?,” Huckabee, riled up, asked, before launching into a defensive tirade.
“I had people who were gay who worked on my staff, who have served in my administration when I was governor. I never went around saying, â€˜Hey, Iâ€™ve got some homosexuals that are working for me.â€™ Whatâ€™s the point? If theyâ€™re qualified, hire them. But hire them on the basis of qualification,” Huckabee said, ignoring that that’s exactly what the President did.
“My point is,” the GOP residential candidate stumbling in the polls continued, “that a personâ€™s sexual orientation is not a qualification, and I just think this president is so into symbolism, so into trying to prove to everybody that heâ€™s this open-minded guy, maybe heâ€™s trying to make up for the fact that until, gosh, what, just three years ago, he still took the position that many of us do, and that is that marriage, for example, is a biblical issue, and it is between a man and a woman. He had this sudden revelation that it is not that way anymore. And I just feel like that the president has made this such an agenda, and the agenda for the military is to focus on the best qualified people, because weâ€™re talking about life and death issues. And if he thinks Eric Fanning is the best for the job, nominate him, but leave his sexual orientation out of it.”
Smith responded that Fanning “is widely seen as very qualified for the job.”
And in fact, at no point could NCRM find the White House saying anything about Fanning’s sexual orientation during or since the announcement â€“ with one possible exception: on Saturday morning the White House posted to Facebook a link to a New York TimesÂ article. That article link reads, “Obama Names First Openly Gay Secretary of the Army.”
At no other point did the White House “make such a big deal” about Fanning’s sexual orientationÂ â€“ or actually even mention it at all.
Here’s the Obama administration’s announcement on Fanning’s nomination:
Eric K. Fanning, Nominee for Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense
Eric K. Fanning has served as Acting Under Secretary of the Army since June 2015.Â He has served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter since March 2015, including as Chief of Staff to the Secretary from March to June 2015.Â From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Fanning served as Under Secretary of the Air Force and as Acting Secretary of the Air Force in 2013.Â Mr. Fanning previously served as a Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013.Â Prior to joining the Administration, he was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.Â Mr. Fanning worked for Business Executives for National Security (BENS), first as the Washington Regional Director in 2001 and then as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development from 2001 to 2007.Â Prior to joining BENS, Mr. Fanning held a number of positions, including Senior Associate at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery in New York and Associate Producer at CBS News.Â He began his career in public service serving as an Associate Director of Political Affairs at The White House in 1996, Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1996, and as a Research Assistant for the Committee on Armed Services in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993.Â Mr. Fanning received a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
The media of course noted that Fanning would be theÂ first openly gayÂ Secretary of the Army, because that’s news. But the White House, except for a link to a New York Times article on Facebook, said not one word.
Huckabee is the one who made the biggest deal, and the most news about it.
Image: Screenshot via Fox News BusinessÂ
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Trump Considered Selling Puerto Rico: Ex-DHS Chief
President Donald Trump’s former acting Secretary of Homeland Security says the leader of the free world considered selling Puerto Rico.
Elaine Duke, who describes herself as a lifelong Republican, spoke with The New York Times in a “wide-ranging interview” about her 14 months working for Trump.
“Among her most searing moments during the response to the hurricanes came when she heard Mr. Trump raise the possibility of ‘divesting’ or ‘selling’ Puerto Rico as the island struggled to recover,” the newspaper reported.
“Can we outsource the electricity? Can we can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?” Trump reportedly asked.
Puerto Rico is an American territory, the island’s three million people are American citizens. The territory’s government estimates that 2,975 Americans were killed by the hurricane.
Duke also said she was not ready to support Trump’s re-election.
“That’s a really hard question,” she said. “But given the choices, I don’t know yet.”
Read the full report.
10 Hate Groups Got Millions in COVID-19 Government Loans Intended for Small Businesses
Several groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) got millions in government-backed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, money intended for businesses with 10 or fewer employees that have been harmed by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
The groups include the anti-Muslim organization The Center for Security Policy; the two anti-immigrant groups, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform; and three rabidly anti-LGBTQ groups, the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel and the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).
According to the SPLC, all three groups regularly fight against LGBTQ civil rights. The PJI has said gay marriage would lead to legalized polygamy and incest, LGBT History Month in schools promotes gay pornography, and compared gay marriage to Nazism.
Spokespeople for the Liberty Counsel have called homosexuality immoral, unnatural, and self-destructive; called same-sex marriage “destructive to individuals and … our very social fabric,” has said gay marriage would lead to a “rampant increase in diseases,” and have called LGBTQ rights a “direct assault on our religious freedom and freedom of speech.” The group is currently suing a Connecticut school board in order to ban transgender students from participating in high school sports.
The Liberty Counsel received somewhere between $350,000 and $1 million from the PPP program, and the Pacific Justice Institute received between $150,000 and $350,000.
The AFA has called transgender people sexual predators and child molesters, declared homosexuality as hazardous to one’s health, said Islam is a religion of intolerance and war, and claimed that gay men were responsible for “Adolph Hitler… the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
“Many of these groups that traffic in hate are already well-resourced, with a constant injection of funding from far-right mega-donors and dark money foundations,” Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the Arizona branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said to the Center for Media and Democracy.
“This just highlights more cases of vital funding getting into the hands of those who didn’t need it, while many small businesses in our communities came up empty and are having to fold,” Siddiqi added.
Facebook & Instagram Ban All Content Promoting So-Called “Ex-Gay” Conversion Therapy
On Friday, Facebook and Instagram announced a ban on all videos, images, and written content promoting so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy or reparative therapy, a widely disavowed and debunked form of psychological torture that purports to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The social media giant which owns both platforms said that the ban was merely an expansion of its policies banning hate speech and a progression of its pre-existing ban on conversion therapy ads.
“We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services,” said Tara Hopkins, Instagram’s public policy director for Africa, Europe and the Middle East, although the ban will apply to the U.S., South America and Australia as well.
Although Twitter and Vimeo both have bans on similar content, it’s unclear whether YouTube does as well. The Google-owned video-sharing platform came under fire in June 2018 for running conversion therapy ads before videos made by LGBTQ content creators. At the time, the platform said it didn’t allow ads that promote hatred or illegal services, but that could feasibly allow such ads to continue running in the 30 states where the practice remains legal.
Religious conservatives have previously fought bans on the practice as violations of their constitutionally protected rights to “free speech” and “religious freedom.” Proponents say that people should have the right to rid themselves of “same-sex attraction” and “gender confusion.”
However, the actual methods of ex-gay therapy have never been proven to actually change anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Such programs often tell clients to avoid masturbation, to exercise to exhaustion, to view queerness as physically disgusting or threatening to one’s health, or to “reframe” one’s desire onto opposite-sex partners. Other practitioners have used electroshock therapy, molestation, sexual assault, forced medication, or strict gender-typed dress and grooming codes to try and change people.
A 2013 survey said 84 percent of former ex-gay therapy clients still feel lasting shame and emotional harm from undergoing such “therapies.” Numerous conversion therapy advocates later come out as still gay, admitting that it doesn’t work and apologizing for ruining lives while lying to people about its effectiveness.
Most Americans oppose conversion therapy and almost every major American psychological, health and pediatric association does as well. In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear cases challenging the constitutionality of conversion therapy bans as violations against religious freedom, but it remains unclear whether the court will continue to refuse such cases now that it has a more conservative majority.
While the bans are helpful, some states still allow the harmful practice to be marketed towards adults or to everyone under the guise of “religious counseling.” Even states that ban the practice still allow abusive “teen discipline” work camps where parents send their queer and “troubled” youth to be “straightened out.”
Featured image by Daniel Tobias. (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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