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OPINION

Lindsey Graham’s Queer Predicament

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Why the South Carolina senator’s sexual orientation is a story for journalists, Twitter lights up with #LadyG

This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.

Let’s begin with Aaron Schock, while I have your attention.

First elected in 2008, he’s the disgraced, former Republican congressman from Illinois who stood against LGBTQ rights — including voting against “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, and coming out against marriage equality — though it was an open secret in Washington and in queer circles that he was gay throughout that entire time. There was discussion that he was gay even before the White House picnic in 2010 and the photo of him in white pants, teal belt and pink gingham shirt that went viral, but he’d denied it in 2004 in an interview.

The youngest person elected to Congress when he took office in 2009, Schock was allowed to present himself in the media as a bachelor whose college friends had all married while he was too busy in politics — but who would presumably marry when the right woman came along.

And yet, the open secret persisted. Schock denied he was gay again when I asked him on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012 for a response to those who believe he is gay and that he had voted against his own people.

“Those questions are completely ridiculous and inappropriate,” he said, becoming tense. When I asked if he was thus confirming that he was not gay, he replied, “I’ve said that before and I don’t think it’s worthy of further response. I think you can look it up.” Then he stormed off.

Schock resigned in 2015 after a report about his Downton Abbey-inspired office set off a chain of investigations about his lavish lifestyle using taxpayer dollars and campaign funds. He was eventually indicted on 24 counts ( though, with a good lawyer, he struck an outrageous sweetheart deal in which all charges were dropped if he paid back the IRS and his campaign).

Then, this past March, Schock finally came out as gay, after living it up as a private citizen for some time, visiting gay vacation destinations and party spots, enjoying the very liberation that he worked with our enemies to try to destroy.

Twitter lights up with #LadyG

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, too, has been discussed as gay for years, with those on both the left and the right hinting at it or saying it outright. He, too, has denied he is gay, most recently in 2018. (To be fair, some of the attacks on Graham that have relied upon gay innuendo — from both the left and the right — have been homophobic, and I’ve defended against that myself.)

To read the remainder of this article, visit Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter.

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OPINION

Right Now Trump Is at His Virginia Golf Club – It’s His 365th Day at One of His Properties Since Becoming President

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Friday, July 3, 2020.

9:52 AM ET.

“The President’s motorcade arrived at Trump National Golf Club, in Sterling, VA,” the White House press pool reports.

To greet him were “a woman near the entrance holding a ‘Trump is a Traitor’ sign and separately a man giving the motorcade a thumbs up.”

While today is a federal holiday to observe Independence Day, many Americans are working, and many Americans – 11% as of Thursday’s report – would like to be but are unemployed.

Today marks the President’s 365th day at a Trump-owned property since he was sworn in on January 20, 2017. It’s also his 273rd day at one of his golf resorts, according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

More than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports “the U.S. labor market is operating with about 15 million fewer jobs than in February.”

After the golf outing, which is not listed on the official White House schedule, President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump will leave the White House at 4:45 PM ET for what will essentially be a 12-hour round trip journey to preside over 1 hour and 50 minutes of fireworks at South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore.

Across the country 2.8 million people have been infected with coronavirus, 131,544 people have died. America ranks 27th in per capita testing. The U.S. also ranks first in total cases and total deaths (number 1 is worst,) and ninth in per capita deaths (number 1 is worst.)

One former Mt. Rushmore official, citing risk of wildfire – which is why fireworks have been halted in recent years, until today at the President’s insistence – called holding the event “insane.”

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OPINION

Legal Experts Muse About Barr Attempt to Fire SDNY Prosecutor and Prosecution of Epstein’s Alleged Procurer and Trafficker

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The FBI arrested Ghislaine Maxwell in New Hampshire Thursday morning. The prosecutors are from SDNY, the Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office. That’s the same office for which Attorney General Bill Barr claimed U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Berman two weeks ago was “stepping down.” He then tried to fire Berman until Berman ultimately resigned once he was certain his deputy, Audrey Strauss, would be named his successor, and after Barr claimed President Trump had fired him.

That was less than two weeks ago.

Now some legal experts are hinting or musing about Barr’s sudden and ham-handed out-of-the-blue attempt bury Berman and today’s arrest of alleged procurer and sex trafficker for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell. Allegedly, some say, Donald Trump has a lot to fear if Maxwell talks.

Others may also have a lot to fear, as LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney notes:

But first, here’s the now acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, speaking about today’s arrest and indictment of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Here’s what some legal experts are saying right now:

Attorney, Yahoo News contributor, and frequent political commentator Luppe Luppen:

CNN Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig:

NBC News National Security Contributor Frank Figluzzi, a former FBI Assistant Director weighs in on Honig’s tweet:

Alex Acosta of course is the former Trump Labor Secretary who was forced to resign in the wake of national outrage over the sweetheart deal he gave to Jeffrey Epstein when he was a prosecutor.

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News and MSNBC Legal Analyst:

Meanwhile, other legal experts are mocking alleged Epstein “pal” Alan Deershowitz:

Finally, this tweet from May is making its way around Twitter again today:

 

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OPINION

‘It’s Real’: Trump Campaign’s New T-Shirt Insignia Looks a Lot Like a Nazi Symbol — and People Are Noticing

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President Donald Trump’s campaign is promoting a new shirt that features an eagle clutching a shield with the American flag and ribbon displaying his campaign. The Nazi Reichsadler is an eagle clutching a shield with a swastika.

While eagles have been used since the Roman Empire to signify power, the only eagles clutching a shield in their feet appear on Nazi memorabilia and Trump’s campaign shirt.

It’s a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by those on Twitter, Wednesday. Specifically, the Republican-run Lincoln Project posted the images together, saying, “Come on.”

One person tried to claim that it was similar to the American symbol, which was specifically designed with plenty of symbolism in mind. In the left foot, the eagle is gently holding an olive branch, symbolizing peace. In its right foot are 13 arrows, with the claws out, to symbolize strength. In its mouth, the eagle is holding a banner with E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one).

You can see the comments from Twitter below:

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