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Mike Pence Is Clearly Not Happy With Olympic Skater Adam Rippon Saying He Supports Anti-Gay Conversion Therapy

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Pence Calls Rippon ‘Misinformed’

Olympic skater Adam Rippon clearly had thought a lot about Vice President Mike Pence heading up the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea when he told USA Today Sports earlier this week he would not go out of his way to meet him. And Mike Pence clearly didn’t give a lot of thought about his response, but clearly he was angry that the nation’s first openly-gay athlete to qualify for Olympic winter games knew enough about his anti-gay beliefs to deliver an educated blow.

Rippon told USA Today Pence “funded gay conversion therapy,” saying, “I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick.” 

Pence’s office released a statement denying Rippon’s claim.

“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” the statement says, according to The Nation’s Dave Zirin. “This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

But Pence does support – or has supported – “conversion,” or “reparative” therapy, that falsely purports to make gay people straight. Judges have ruled conversion therapy is fraud. Nearly every major medical association in the U.S. and many around the world have positions stating it sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) not only do not work, but can be harmful. There are too many cases that show it can lead to suicide or suicide attempts.

Mike Pence didn’t bother to make a statement against conversion therapy and just how harmful it can be, although he could have. He didn’t care to take this opportunity to show actual support for the nation’s first openly-gay athlete to qualify for Olympic winter games. He didn’t care to apologize for his past statement supporting conversion therapy. He didn’t care to use this opportunity for anything except pushing back against Rippon.

At The Nation, Zirin notes that Pence’s website for his 2000 congressional campaign (here’s an archived copy) included the position that “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

The Vice President calls Rippon’s remarks “baseless.” Clearly they are not. He says Rippon’s “accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact.” Clearly that’s false.

Rippon didn’t totally refuse to talk with Pence.

“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation,” Rippon also told USA Today.

“He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump,” the Olympic skater added. “But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”

Zirin also talked with Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler.

“The most important piece of what Adam said about Mike Pence is his willingness to sit down with the vice president for an open conversation,” Zeigler told Zirin. “We have let the divisions in our country get way out of hand, and Adam’s openness to conversation with someone he disagrees with shows the leadership we’ve come to expect from our greatest American athletes. I wish we would all take his lead.”

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

 

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BAD PRESIDENT

Trump Faces Furious State Dept. Revolt for Trashing Career Diplomats on Ukraine: ‘People Are Fed Up’

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According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are facing a massive revolt by longtime staffers at the State Department for continuing to trash U.S. diplomats and members in the foreign service community who refuse to protect the president over his Ukraine misdeeds.

Politico notes, “They’ve been derided as a ‘Deep State,’ slurred as ‘Obama holdovers,’ threatened with draconian budget cuts and told that President Donald Trump doesn’t even need them. Now, America’s diplomats are taking their revenge.”

Describing diplomats and State Department officials who have already spoken with House investigators, Politico reveals that resentment toward the president runs deeper than just anger over his Ukraine troubles.

“Overall, the diplomats’ testimony has bolstered allegations that Trump tried to improperly pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival,” the report states. “But some also used the platform to air long-held grievances over Trump and his aides’ treatment of the State Department’s career staffers, several of whom were demoted or sidelined following attacks by the conservative media.”

According to Laura Kennedy, a former U.S. ambassador who still keeps in touch with former associates at State, “People are fed up, there’s a deep well of resentment that’s just bubbled toward the top.”

According to another source, some lower-level employees are worried their reputations may be sullied by the turmoil going on in Pompeo’s department.

In fact, Pompeo has infuriated the career diplomats with how he is running the department as well as his criticism of well-respected employees.

“State Department employees say they’re furious that he hasn’t publicly supported [former Ukraine Ambassador Marie] Yovanovitch, who testified that the deputy secretary of state, John Sullivan, admitted to her that she’d ‘done nothing wrong’ but was being recalled anyway,” Politico reports. “Pompeo took over the department in April 2018, after morale had sunk unusually low under Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson had largely sidelined career diplomats and seemed willing to go along with steep budget cuts Trump proposed for the State Department – cuts Congress has repeatedly blocked.”

According to a U.S. diplomat stationed overseas, “People are generally disappointed that Pompeo seems to have abdicated principled leadership in favor of political games.”

“But for now, as the impeachment inquiry leads their colleagues to Capitol Hill, State Department staffers feel like they matter, too. ‘They are sad, tired and scared,’ one former State Department official said, ‘though glad to see colleagues stand up and fulfill their oaths.’” Politico summed up.

You can read more here.

 

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr

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IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Trump Reverses on Illegal Hosting of G-7 at His Own Resort – Blames ‘Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility’

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President Donald Trump late Saturday night finally reversed his decision to host the G-7 at his Doral Miami resort in June of 2020. Ignoring numerous Republican lawmakers, legal experts, and bipartisan condemnation of his unconstitutional and illegal decision the president instead blamed the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”

Curiously, Trump announced his administration would “begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”

But on Thursday Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a rare White House briefing that the administration had conducted an exhaustive search for the best space to host the G-7 leaders, and fairly decided Trump’s Doral Miami resort was “perfect.”

Earlier: Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

Mulvaney went so far as to claim the White House had looked at 12 locations, including two in Utah, but decided on the Doral.

He also preemptively refused to release any emails or other items documenting the search process.

But if an actual search had been conducted, it would make sense to simply announce the 2020 G-7 would be held at the next “best” locale. Instead, Trump announced a new search would be conducted.

Why?

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READ THE CONSTITUTION

Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

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‘Bro Tweeted Out an Ad’

After tremendous public and private  bipartisan condemnation of his decision to host the 2020 G-7 at his own Miami resort President Donald Trump Saturday night appeared to be laying the groundwork of reversing the unconstitutional and illegal decision.

In an insane series of tweets the president did what he always does: blamed the media for holding his feet to the fire in accurately reporting the consequences of his actions.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms,” Trump tweeted, adding that “each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Also going “crazy” are Republicans and legal experts.

Should Trump host the G-7 at any of his properties he would reportedly be violating at least one if not several laws, and the U.S. Constitution.

Many quickly took to Twitter to express their condemnation yet again.

 

 

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