For So Many Reasons This Was a Historic Moment
For about a century African Americans suffered under the weight of Jim Crow laws, legal segregation mandating separate restrooms, discriminationÂ in housing, education, credit, and many other areas. The infamous, horrendous, “separate but equal” concept, which was never equal, arose out of these laws and beliefs.
So consider for a moment the historical significance (and irony) of what took place on national television Wednesday night.
A Black woman, the anchor of a network news show, held the microphone for a Black man, who asked America’s first Black president, near the end of his second term in office, on national TV, “With all the pressing issues that you have before you right now, why is the issue of which bathroom a person uses such an issue?”
That woman of course is “PBS NewsHour” anchor Gwen Ifill, who is also theÂ moderator and managing editor of PBS’ “Washington Week.” Ifill hosted a town hall with President Obama in Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday.
Think for a moment of the irony of that question, but also, what an amazing moment in time this is, how far we’ve come, and yet, how far we still have to go. But how wonderful it is that the President of the United States, on national television, is advocating for the civil rights and equality of transgender people.Â
The real focus of the story is of course, the rights of transgender people, and how they are being forced to use restrooms and other public accommodationsÂ that do not correspond with their gender identity.
President Barack Obama’s response was, naturally, excellent.
“Somehow people think I made it an issue, I didn’t make it an issue,” the President noted. “What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools. And they get bullied. And they get ostracized. And itâ€™s tough for them.”
The man who asked the question was identified by the Washington Blade as “Arvis Dawson, who identified himself as a community organizer and said he supports equal rights, but has issues with transgender restroom use.”
The President reminded Dawson that in their generation people “suffered silently” but now transgender people are coming out and living their lives openly. He says schools asked for guidance.
“My answer is that we should deal with this issue the same way weâ€™d want it dealt with if it was our child,” Obama said. “And that is to try to create an environment of some dignity and kindness for these kids. And thatâ€™s sort of the bottom line.”
“I have to say what’s in my heart, but I also have to look at what’s in the law, my best interpretation of what our laws and our obligations are, is that we should try to accommodate these kids so they are not in a vulnerable situation.”
â€œNow, I understand that people, you know, for religious beliefs or just general discomfort might disagree,â€ Obama said. â€œAnd Iâ€™m not the one whoâ€™s making a big issue of it. But if the school districts around the country ask me, ‘What do you think we should do?,’ then what weâ€™re going to do is tell them letâ€™s find a way to accommodate them in a way that makes sure that these kids are not, you know, excluded and ostracized.”
After the video ends, the Blade reports President Obama continued, saying,Â â€œI have profound respect for everybodyâ€™s religious beliefs on this.â€
â€œBut if youâ€™re at a public school, the question is, how do we just make sure that children are treated with kindness. Thatâ€™s all. And you know, my reading of scripture tells me that that golden rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief.â€
â€œI just wanted to emphasize to you, though, itâ€™s not like I woke up one day and I said you know what we really need to do is letâ€™s start working on high school bathrooms,â€ Obama said. â€œI was thinking about ISIL. And I was thinking about, you know, the economy and Iâ€™m thinking about jobs. But one of the things that, as president, you learn is that you donâ€™t choose the issues all the time. The issues come to you. And then you have to make your best judgment about what you think is right, and Iâ€™ve expressed what I think is the best judgment that is consistent with our traditions and our laws.â€
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Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports
Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.
“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”
Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.
The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad
Republican Mehmet Oz is having a tough time in his entrance to Pennsylvania politics. The multi-millionaire celebrity TV doctor, running for a U.S. Senate seat, released a video which this week went viral with liberals – and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor John Fetterman – picking it apart.
In the video, an attack ad on President Joe Biden, who he is not running against, Dr. Oz says he’s shopping at “Wegner’s,” a grocery store that does not exist. Internet sleuths deduced he was shopping at Redner’s, although some believe he was at Wegmans — including a Newsmax TV host, who Oz did not correct.
Why did he get something as simple as the name of a beloved Pennsylvania grocery store wrong?
“I was exhausted,” Oz told Newsmax, after “campaigning 18 hours a day.”
He also admitted he gets the names of his children wrong.
Curiously, the 39-second video Oz recorded is from April, and it got criticized then, but he left it up – only for the Fetterman campaign to go after it again. Back in April it led to questions about his tremendous wealth, put at around $400 million, and calls of being a “carpetbagger,” as many say he actually lives in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.
Inflation is hurting American families. Under Joe Biden, gas prices are skyrocketing and food prices are rising. We must stop the reckless spending. This is outrageous! Thanks a lot, Joe. pic.twitter.com/8kNil6upn8
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 6, 2022
Politico reports the Fetterman campaign “said it had raised more than $500,000 from the crudité video alone — including a sticker of the non-existent ‘Wegners.’ ‘Oz clearly has never been in a grocery store before. That’s why this is resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania,’ said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager.”
The Fetterman campaign appears to have created a “Wegner’s Groceries” account on Twitter, and is pounding Oz with snark.
First ad campaign pic.twitter.com/nzSGbr1mK1
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Mmmmm 😋 crudité pic.twitter.com/SVqQDGOKEd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 16, 2022
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters do not appear to be impressed with Oz.
One Republican poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points.
“New poll conducted by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Pittsburgh Works Together shows big leads for Dems in the PA Senate and governors races. Fetterman up 18 points over Oz,” reports Politico’s Alex Isenstadt. The Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro is up 15 points over Republican Doug Mastriano, he adds.
Back over at Newsmax, here was host Shaun Kraisman hammering Oz:
Asked about mispronouncing ‘Wegmans,’ Mehmet Oz: “I was exhausted…I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth” pic.twitter.com/OZDjy0iN4d
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 17, 2022
“As you know, this video went viral,” Kraisman says, as Mediate reports. “You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more, putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegner’s – this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”
Kraisman later says, “I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegner’s? Can you explain that to them?”
“Yeah. I was exhausted. Well, you’re campaigning 18 hours a day. I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth.”
Kraisman also says, “it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about,” Oz replies, “and that we’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s what I’ll continue to do. I challenged my opponent. What have you done? Rolling your sleeves up in your own life to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania?”
Before he was elected Lt. Governor, Fetterman was elected mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, four times, and served for 13 years.
Oz concludes, “I’m the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges. Cost of living, crime, and our schools that afflict so many Pennsylvanians.”
Some have also questioned if Oz understands what job he’s running for.
U.S. Senators don’t have tremendous responsibility over their state’s cost of living, crime, and school issues. Nor do they “lead the Commonwealth,” as he said to the Newsmax host.
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