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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Elizabeth Warren Backs Scott Brown for VA Secretary

Source: The Daily Beast/Huffington Post

Elizabeth Warren on Thursday offered an endorsement of her one-time senate opponent Scott Brown for the position of secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. According to multiple reports, Brownwhom Warren unseated in Massachusetts 2012 Senate raceis being considered for the position, alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. In an interview with Boston radio station WGBH, the outspoken liberal senator said, If Scott Brown is the nominee for Veterans Affairs, I have no doubt that he would put his heart and soul into trying to help veterans. She added: And I would put my heart and soul into trying to help him do that. You bet Id support that. Brown later thanked Warren for her praise, tweeting, My thanks to @SenWarren for her kind words. If nom. for SecVA, I will welcome her support, passion and help to serve our Vets. #truce.

[link:http://redirect.viglink.com/?formatgo&jsonpvglnk_148062934477613&key0de604de366e10157cd309534403dfb2&libIdiw6wg0uz0101k4gd000DLmzfybug6&lochttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailybeast.com%2Fcheats%2F2016%2F12%2F01%2Felizabeth-warren-backs-scott-brown-for-va-secretary.html%3Fvia%3Ddesktop%26source%3Dcopyurl&v1&outhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2Fentry%2Felizabeth-warren-scott-brown_us_5840641be4b09e21702d485a%3Fsection%3Dpolitics&refhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailybeast.com%2F&titleElizabeth%20Warren%20Backs%20Scott%20Brown%20for%20VA%20Secretary%20-%20The%20Daily%20Beast&txtRead%20it%20at%20Huffington%20PostREAD IT AT HUFFINGTON POST]


Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/12/01/elizabeth-warren-backs-scott-brown-for-va-secretary.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

DADT repeal complete, Scott Brown receives gay award

September 21, 2011


Despite the award and his vote on DADT, Brown is unlikely to receive much in the way of support from gay rights organizations in his election next year. The Massachusetts Democratic Party, in response to the speech, held a press conference reminding people that Scott Brown has “been a staunch opponent of equal marriage, he is opposed to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. When he was in the state Legislature, he voted three times for a constitutional amendment to ban equal marriage and opposed funds for the commonwealth’s commission on gay and lesbian youth.”



Senators Launch Bipartisan Effort To Protect DREAMers From Trump

Source: Talking Points Memo

A Republican senator and a Democratic senator have joined forces to try to protect DREAMers and shield them from deportation as concerns mount that President-elect Donald Trump could repeal President Barack Obama's executive action to protect them.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) went to the Senate floor Thursday morning to announce his plan to work with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had already told Politico Wednesday he was moving forward with a bill.

DREAMers are individuals who came to the U.S. illegally when they were still children. Many of them have little if any connections with their home countries, having grown up in the U.S. Obama took executive action in 2014 to protect them from deportation. Legislative language is still in the works, but Durbin told reporters Thursday that the plan would be to give DREAMers protected status for a set amount of time until a broader immigration reform bill could be worked out in Congress. Senators passed a comprehensive immigration bill in 2013, but it stalled in the House of Representatives. Durbin suggested that he thought Republicans and Democrats might try again down the road.

Durbin said he and Graham have been discussing the issue of DREAMers ever since Trump was elected in November. There are 744,000 DREAMers that would be affected if Obama's executive action giving them protected status was rolled back. Without a status, they would not be able to legally work in the United States.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/graham-and-durbin-launch-battl-e-to-protect-dreamers

Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense

Source: The Washington Post

By Dan Lamothe December 1 at 4:00 PM

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to be secretary of defense, according to people familiar with the decision, nominating a former senior military officer who led operations across the Middle East to run the Pentagon less than four years after he hung up his uniform.

To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exception just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950.

An announcement is likely by early next week, according to the people familiar with the choice.

Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command in spring 2013 after serving more than four decades in the Marine Corps. He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-has-chosen-retired-marine-gen-james-mattis-for-secretary-of-defense/2016/12/01/6c6b3b74-aff9-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html?utm_term=.198e681d6838&wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-politics%252Bnation

Senate Dems Urge Obama To Declassify Info On Russia And US Election

Source: Talking Points Memo

Several Senate Democrats are calling on President Barack Obama to declassify information related to the Russian government and the U.S. election.

We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public, a letter from Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, dated Nov. 29, reads. We are conveying specifics through classified channels.

The letter is signed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) as well as Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

There has been widespread speculation about possible involvement from the Russian government in Novembers election, primarily due to an early October letter from the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence that formally accused Russia of directing hacks of Democratic political organizations and operatives.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/senate-democrats-obama-declassify-russia-election

Gay in the age of Trump - by Brock Thompson

Just a heads up: This isn’t a cheerful piece.

We as a community need to brace ourselves. For us in the LGBT world, the big question on our lips is how bad will the Trump era be for gays and lesbians? After all, he did throw us a bone in that 60 Minutes interview a few weeks ago, saying he was “fine” with gay marriage. I was waiting for him to tack onto that, “as long as they don’t throw it in your face.” But just how bad will the next four years be for us? I’m here to say, it won’t be pretty. And perhaps we’ve had it too good for too long with the White House bathed in rainbow colors and pride celebrations in the East Room. Don’t get me wrong, we had lots to celebrate. But there is still plenty of fight left. And there are still plenty of folks out there that would rather not have us around. So for the next four years (I hope so, anyway), the fight will take place on three fronts.

Nationally. The next four years could be death by a thousand pricks. And those pricks are your Huckabees and Pences and scores of other hypocritical evangelicals now emboldened and in high office and ready to hand down policy. While gay marriage may be safe, I’m wagering we will see dozens of micro-policy aggressions handed down from Washington aimed at our communities. Everything from military base chapels not permitted to host same-sex weddings, to no more pride flags waving over our embassies abroad. It’s difficult to say what this could look like exactly. The scope could range from adoption, bathroom bills, to the halting of gay and lesbian historic places being recognized by the National Park Service. There could be macro-policy aggressions as well; a national religious freedom bill will be coming our way soon, allowing business owners to refuse to serve LGBTQ patrons citing “religious convictions.”

The States. If the states are the laboratory for democracy, so too are they the proving grounds for all sorts of hateful legislation aimed at LGBTQ Americans. After all, the religious freedom bills got their debuts in places like North Carolina and Mike Pence’s Indiana. A dozen other states have their versions printed and ready. Beyond those, there are other forms hate can take when it comes to legislation. Take the example of a bill coming out of the Texas Statehouse (of course) that would require teachers and guidance counselors to out students to their parents. A horrifying idea, conceived simply out of spite, but these are the bills we will have to fight, and they will be coming from all directions.

The Trickle-Down Hate. Again, there are already plenty of stories coming along in this regard. Trump kicked over a rock. And from underneath it emerged more people, again emboldened by his election, that now feel their hatefulness has legitimacy. All in all, the fight will be long. And for the right, getting rid of our thus-far champion achievement, gay marriage, will be difficult, almost impossible really. I think everyone, right and left, was a little stunned at just how popular last year’s Supreme Court decision was. But like Roe v. Wade, the right can chip away at the idea over years, making gay marriage so ugly to some that attending your gay wedding might very well be out of the question.



LGBT Federal employees frightened over Trump

In an ominous sign reminiscent of the George W. Bush era, many LGBT federal government employees contacted by the Washington Blade over the last two weeks declined to speak about the incoming Trump administration, saying they are “frightened” and “on guard,” raising concerns that workers will be forced back into the closet after eight years of a supportive Obama administration.

Representatives of eight of the 10 LGBT federal employee organizations that set up booths in D.C.’s 2016 Capital Pride Festival or marched in the Capital Pride Parade declined to talk to the Blade about the possible impact of the incoming Trump administration on LGBT federal workers.

Another five LGBT federal employees based in Washington agreed to speak to the Blade about their concerns over how LGBT federal workers may be treated under the Trump administration; all but one spoke on the condition that they not be identified.

“To be honest, people are concerned and there are people that are frightened,” said a gay administrator with a federal agency who asked not to be identified. The administrator, who is an active member of his agency’s LGBT employee group, said he and his LGBT colleagues’ concerns aren’t directed as much toward President-elect Trump but instead are focused on the people Trump has named so far to head key federal agencies.



Four hopefuls for DNC chairman set to square off as proxy battle for party's soul heats up

Four Democrats who hope to lead their national party through a time of diminished power will face off Friday at a forum in Denver. The “Future of the Party Forum” comes as the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee has emerged as a proxy battle for the direction of the party with President-elect Donald Trump preparing to enter the White House and Republicans retaining control of both chambers of Congress.

The hopefuls planning to participate Friday include Ray Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party; Howard Dean, a former governor of Vermont; Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman; and Jaime Harrison, the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Several others are also eyeing the race, including Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who earlier this week laid out her vision of where the DNC should head in a Medium post. The proposals from Hogue, who has yet to declare her candidacy, include re-examining the electoral college, in which Trump prevailed despite losing the popular vote to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The most visible of the contenders has been Ellison, who has rolled out dozens of endorsements, including those of Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Ellison, a favorite of the party’s progressive wing, also has the backing of some establishment Democrats, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the Senate's incoming minority leader.



Trump had a different take on flag burning when he visited David Letterman last year


As the conversation turned to freedom of expression, Letterman brought up flag burning.

“Here’s the example that I’m always proud of as an American,” the host told Trump. “People, to demonstrate, they think, we’re really gonna stick it the United States. ‘We’re going to set fire to the flag.’ ”

“Yeah, right,” Trump said.

“And people get — ‘Oh my God!’ ” Letterman said. “Well, no. If that’s how you feel, go ahead and burn the flag. Because this country is far greater than that symbol, and that symbol is standing for freedom of expression.”

“Sure. You’re 100 percent right,” Trump said, noting that Letterman seemed worked up about the issue. “I understand where you’re coming from. It’s terrific.”



Trumps Takeover of the GOP Is Complete

Washington Post: “One by one, Republicans who stood up to Trump or questioned his statements and antics have made a pilgrimage to Trump Tower to kiss the president-elect’s ring, or joined his administration, or decided uncharacteristically to just keep their mouths shut.”

“And at long last Tuesday night, the figurehead of the “Never Trump” movement also capitulated. After an intimate dinner with Trump of frog legs and diver scallops at a fine Manhattan restaurant (in a Trump-owned building, naturally), Romney publicly acquiesced.”

“In an apparent attempt to secure Trump’s trust in him as a possible secretary of state, Romney lavished praise on the president-elect… Romney’s turnabout illustrates the power that comes with winning — the ability to reshuffle the political hierarchy.”



Warner Says He Won't Run for President

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) told the Wall Street Journal that he won’t run for president.

“Mr. Warner, who as Virginia’s governor in 2006 laid groundwork for a potential 2008 presidential campaign, including visits to New Hampshire, said the time for him to be a national candidate has passed and he is not considering a White House campaign in 2020.”

Said Warner: “I think that window is probably shut.”


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