The former governor of South Carolina with a novel approach to hiking the Appalachian Trail endorses Donald Trump first, and asks him to do something second. He has obviously not read "The Art of the Deal." Neither have I, to be honest, but I assume Trump recommends a tougher approach to negotiating than that. With his particular experience, I'd have thought Rep. Sanford would know better than to give it away for free. But it seems clear that Trump is not going to release his tax returns, no matter what anyone says.
It became official yesterday, August 15: Vincent Orange is gone from the D.C. Council. This City Paper article from 2010 shows some of the reasons why I consider this good news. In addition to having called his rival mayoral candidates in 2006 morally unfit for supporting marriage equality (he lost badly in that race), he falsely took credit for reforms at Pepco (and wrongly invoked my name while doing so).
Orange did some good things, though one bill he moved for us he only did after another Councilmember (I believe it was Jack Evans) held up one of his bills until Orange marked up the bill we wanted. Orange finally decided to support marriage equality after we had won. But he was the least trustworthy member of the Council, and his self-promotion was endless and exhausting. Democratic At-Large nominee Robert White, who is expected to be appointed to the vacant seat on an interim basis, will be a breath of fresh air on the Council.
Mike Pence Is the Real Extremist on the GOP Ticket—Here’s How He Left a Trail of Victims in Indiana https://t.co/as8Q2Fvpvd— The Influence (@TheInfluenceOrg) August 16, 2016
"The irony is that Trump appears to be the extremist when he is a hollow grifter with a personality disorder. Mike Pence is the real deal."
(Hat tip: Ernest Hopkins)
Breaking: D.C. Police chief stepping down for NFL security post https://t.co/ifRPkYpt5s— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 16, 2016
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier's departure comes after nearly ten years in the job. We have had our ups and downs, but a variety of LGBT community groups, including GLAA, have engaged with her and other MPD brass to address police-related concerns. Already today I and several other local advocates were contacted by the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affairs for input on the occasion of Chief Lanier's departure.
That outreach by Mayor Muriel Bowser's office is a welcome contrast with the lack of outreach by former Mayor Adrian Fenty ten years ago. Fenty had explicitly stated, in response to GLAA's 2006 candidate questionnaire, "I will include members of the GLBT community in the search process when I appoint a new Police Chief and new Fire/EMS Chief." But in the event, his entire process evidently consisted of inviting Cathy Lanier to breakfast and offering her the job. Mayor Bowser has already done better than that on the day Chief Lanier's departure was announced.
We hope that the new police chief will continue working with the LGBT activists and groups that have worked with Lanier. A key document in this regard, which deserves close study by the new chief, is the March 2015 "Report Card: Status of Metropolitan Police Department Implementation of Recommendations from the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force and Community Response," which was issued by a coalition of groups including GLAA as well as Casa Ruby, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (now the DC Anti-Violence Project), HIPS, and Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC).
In May 2015, I discussed LGBT-related police issues at a press conference launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct (CALM).
If Mayor Bowser and her staff continue their consultations in the manner they began today, the selection process for a new police chief promises to be a productive one. In the meantime, we thank Chief Lanier for her service and wish her well in her new post.
This would be an impressive achievement, since Obama was a state senator in Illinois when President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11.
Nico Hines and the Daily Beast put gay Olympians from oppressive countries at risk, and took a full day before taking the exploitive article down. I agree with Cyd Ziegler and Amina Fonua.
My column this week looks at the odd alliance between the religious right and the utterly heathenish Trump.
Please explain to to me what this means other than encouragement of an assassination. He has sunk to a level we have never seen before in a major-party candidate.
The fun continues! Sean Hannity approvingly tweeted a quote of Ben Carson saying, "It really boils down to one candidate who is of the people & one who is the epitome of the established ruling class." Dear Mr. Hannity, Dr. Carson is a loon. What's your excuse? Grief over Roger Ailes? #StepBackHesGonnaBlow
Our friend Pepe Julian Onziema, one of those arrested, has tweeted:
Do not be fooled. The arrests last night at #prideuganda2016 event were not based on security scare, but pure homophobia and transphobia.— TheNilote (@Opimva) August 5, 2016
Obama, what a slob. Could he get Mexico to pay for a wall? Fat chance. He couldn't even get them to pick up a check. I eat at the best restaurants, never pay a cent. I've slept with the top women in the world. I've had more foreign affairs than an airline pilot, believe me. But he reads briefing papers, oh, I'm so impressed. I could take a leak on his briefing papers. I don't need a briefing. Only pussies need a briefing. Oh, Mr. President, our nukes are just for show, you can't really use them. Fuck you! I'm the president. I don't like your attitude, I'll fire a missile up your ass. Hey, look at Mika over here wetting her panties. Don't worry, honey, I'm just joking with you. Where's the band? Play Hail to the Chief again. I love that. First rate theme music. Makes you wanna bomb somebody. Let 'em know who's in charge.
(Pardon me. I was just channeling The Donald. But then I remembered that when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you, so I stopped.)
Read my column, "Trump Reflects White Male Fragility," and let me know what you think. https://t.co/uef38mbiDT— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) August 4, 2016
Charles M. Blow is right. If you have watched some of Trump's recent rallies, you know that the racism and sexism he is tapping into are real and ugly and frightening.
Our friend, British human rights activist Peter Tatchell, talks about the personal price he has paid for his decades of activism.
One more reminder that we are not done. This is just a temporary hold, not a ruling on the merits. But we have so much work left to do.
Happy 55th birthday to the finest president of my lifetime.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall...." - Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013
Wayne Grudem, a Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, writes at the conservative website Townhall.com about why he supports Donald Trump. His article, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice," acknowledges several of Trump's character and behavioral flaws and then says it doesn't matter if the alternative is worse. He goes into a long list of issues on which he claims that Trump is better than Hillary Clinton.
I could not disagree more with Professor Grudem, so here I will respond to several of them. Given the enormous gulf between the candidates with regard to experience and qualifications, this election should not be close. The fact that the race is close should be a stark reminder not to treat the frightening prospect of a Trump presidency as something to dismiss lightly. Perhaps you may find some of my arguments useful in making the case to friends and family members who are sticking with Trump despite his almost daily barrage of appalling statements. Here goes, for what it's worth.
Abortion. I am sick of the religious bullying on this issue. The utter contempt for people making different choices in this area is very disturbing. I am personally troubled by abortion, and think that the ideal situation is for unwanted pregnancies to be prevented through contraception. But the question of whether to continue or end a pregnancy is not my decision. It is up to the woman. You can say a thousand times that this makes me pro-abortion, but that is not true. Respecting people's right to make a different choice than mine does not mean I agree with that choice. The point is that IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
As for contraception, the Catholic Church, in which I was raised, is stoutly opposed to it. A leading anti-choicer, former senator Rick Santorum, has made it clear that he does not just want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized contraception for married couples, and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which did the same for single women. I find it stunning that people in this day and age are willing, much less determined, to mind their neighbors' business in such an intrusive way. The constitutional separation of church and state protects everyone by prohibiting us from imposing our religious dictates on one another.
John Oliver takes on the belief by Trump and his minions that they can create feelings, and feelings are equal to facts. He doesn't mention it, but this recalls Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Newt Gingrich is shown brazenly asserting that people's "feeling" that crime is up and the economy is down, which the evidence shows is the opposite of the truth, is just as valid as the correct information cited by a reporter. He refers to the FBI crime report as the work of "theoreticians."
So whipping up crowds into a fury over Trumped-up lies makes the lies true. This insanity is what you are voting for if you don't vote Democratic. Because the GOP is in thrall to nihilism in service of power at any cost, even if the cost is treason.
There are activists, then there are grievance collectors. With the country threatened by fascism and nativism, these folks were busy swallowing Republican smears to nurse their bitterness over not getting everything they wanted. They were never Democrats.