Trina: Let me start with this from LGBTQ NATION:
The MAP’s five-part report on the national trend, entitled Under Fire, notes that states are restricting access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth and adults; passing religious exemptions to deny medical care for LGBTQ+ people; increasing the difficulty of obtaining accurate identity documents listing trans people’s correct gender identity; censoring coverage of LGBTQ+ issues in schools; and increasing the targeted harassment and violence of queer people, all while eroding voting rights.
Bans against gender-affirming care don’t only target minors. Some state laws are trying to redefine “minors” to include adults up to age 26 or to exclude transition-related care from Medicare and state health insurance plans.
Concurrently, four states have banned trans and nonbinary people from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates — something that makes it difficult to obtain other forms of ID that are more commonly used on a day-to-day basis. Nine states ban trans people from using bathrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity. Ten states have passed policies that effectively make it illegal for schools to use a transgender student’s name and pronouns, and 23 states ban trans student-athletes from playing on sports teams matching their gender identity.
Numerous states have passed “Don’t Say Gay” laws censoring discussions of LGBTQ+ people, and multiple states have passed laws forbidding schools to accommodate trans students. These laws often allow people to sue or fire LGBTQ+-supportive teachers or to purge LGBTQ+-inclusive books from schools and public libraries.
Even worse, “Too many people face barriers to voting or live in gerrymandered states where they effectively aren’t able to elect lawmakers who reflect their values on LGBTQ equality and other issues,” said Brian Hinkle, Senior Voting Policy Researcher at MAP. “Our opponents know this and have spent years creating these systemic barriers on purpose for political gain.”
If someone wants to vote Green, fine. If they want to vote however fine. But we need to know what our vote means. We're not voting Green because there is a plan by the Republican Party to strip people of their rights. That's dreamers -- and that's even the children of immigrants -- children born in this country -- that the Republican Party thinks they can strip of citizenship. 'B-b-b-but the Constitution!' Doesn't matter. Nothing does with an illegal and corrupt Supreme Court. We saw it with ROE. We saw it when it rewarded the hate merchant Lorie Smith out of Colorado. 'It would deny her religion if she had to design a website for a same-sex marriage but this Court opinion is not to be expanded upon, honest, pinky promise.' It's already being used to deny the rights of gays and lesbians. And the GOP extremist goal is to overturn marriage equality. Why? Because they believe it is the first time the government has recognized legal rights for gays and lesbians. They think if they overturn this, they can overturn anything. They have also defined same-sex relationships -- living together, marriage, dating, what have you -- as pornography. They don't do that for straight relationships. But they do it for same-sex relationships and their plan is to further attack LGBTQ+ rights by doing that and arguing that free speech does not apply to pornography. They want to now move on to outlawing birth control. They think they have the perfect Court to do this with. They think they can achieve all their dreams and rebuke every advance this country has made in the last 70 or so years on race, gender and equality.
Trina (Con't): Ava, talk about that a for moment.
C.I. (Con't): And to this video report from THE HUMANIST.
Councilors in Mount Dora, a historic and eclectic small city famous for its antiques stores, art galleries and festivals, voted last month to affiliate with Safe Place, which seeks to give victims of hate crimes or bias a temporary shelter if they feel threatened.
Jim: But it's really sad that in the 21st century, people are having to plan sanctuary cities because there's so much hate and backwardness out there. It's really, really sad.
Kat: And, back to the safe cities, is that what we're looking at in the future if these creeps destroy our country further? We'll need safe cities to keep our rights? I mean this is A HANDMAID'S TALE. That's what this is. And that's what they want. And Sarah Palin and the other freaks? They're not warning about 'civil war.' They are actively calling for it. And I wish Elaine were here because there was a point she made regarding Marjorie Taylor Green, "How is a member of Congress repeatedly calling for secession not a violation of her oath?" I would really like some news outlet to put that question to Marjorie.
Trina: I'd like to hear Marjorie answer that question as well, Kat. I'd also like to hear the US Army Reserve explain why Tulsi Gabbard, active in the Army Reserves, can Tweet of her commander-in-chief:
Biden Admin’s “accomplishment” is that America has gone to hell in a handbasket since he took office: - Successfully gotten our country into a new cold war and hot proxy war with Russia. - Succeeded in driving Russia and North Korea into each other’s arms. - Handed over control of our border to the cartels and human traffickers - Handed over our cities to criminals. - Undermined our democracy. - Divided our country. - And the list goes on… The Democrat elite don’t want to lose their power. If they need to replace Joe Biden, they will.
Trina (Con't): C.I. and I could say more on that topic but let me leave it there. Uhm, I do want to go back to something that you were saying, C.I., about change? How much time are we supposed to give people to catch up with life.
C.I.: I hear you and I agree. Some people just need to hate others. That's reality. But some people are scared. A lot of the garbage on that flash drive, for example, is scared people trying to sound like they're not -- that's especially the case when they're bitching about the masks, for example. COVID -- which is still present -- was a pandemic and it scared a lot of people. When Ava and I wrote "TV: The future is out there" back in March 2020 we began looking at the pandemic in 1918 and, in later pieces, looking at the way that impacted the emotional response at that time. And, for some people, the entire world is moving too fast and they will need time to adjust. I've also covered how the attacks on LGBTQ+ today echo the earlier attacks in the 70s and how those hate merchants overreached. A few months ago, I wrote that I thought we'd reached the tipping point and that Americans had reached the point where they weren't fond of Moms For Bigotry or the lies being pushed. History can inform. And so my point here is, some people just needed time to adjust -- and may need further time -- and that group, okay, that's how it is. And how it would be on numerous topics. But this homophobia from professional hate merchants? That's not changing and they need to be called out. That group is hateful at the core and will do anything and everything to destroy this country. We need to realize that group is a danger to democracy and to the whatever this country is supposed to aspire to. So how much time do you give someone? I guess it depends upon which grouping you put them under. I don't have time for racists or homophobes or sexists. I don't. My time is limited and needs to be focused on things that actually matter. Transgender persons, for example, are more likely to go through a period of being homeless -- 30% of the transgendered population reports that they've been homeless, 29% live in poverty, they experience discrimination at work, they experience discrimination when trying to utilize public accommodations. These and other issues go to why you have such a high rate of attempted suicide in that population. I get that Billy may have a problem with change but at the end of the day I'm more concerned with the realities that Pam, a trans woman, has to live with than with Billy's comfort zone.
Dona: I have a relative who has recently come out. And it's been interesting. We've talked about it and one of the benefits of this awful time we're living with these hate merchants? My family member feels more accepted among the family because of it. Our grandmother, for example, was the big fear. But she just hugged and said, "Honey, there are enough crazy people harming others right now. It's going to take me a minute to wrap my head around all of this but, of course, I love you and I'm so glad that you trust me enough to share this with me." And when I think about that, I have to go back to the YOUTUBERs on the left who are silent through all of this. People I know personally are actually being awakened to discrimination and the need to push back by what the hate merchants have done. Where as the YOUTUBERs just seem to want to act like it's not happening. What would do the Katie Halpers live in? It's not my world. It's not most of our worlds. And one thing I want, one outcome, is that in 20 or so years, when this is behind us so we can all agree how awful and hateful some people acted? I want it remembered that Katie Halper and others did nothing. The same way people call out Ronald Reagan today for his silence during the AIDS crisis, I want it remembered that disgusting trash like Katie Halper refused to stand up and be counted. That she actively worked with multiple transphobes and that she remained silent as people were targeted. I want their legacy to be reality.
Jim: I'd agree with that and I find it hilarious that she's spent so many years calling out Chuck Todd for all that she found lacking in him when the reality is that she's probably even worse than Chuck Todd. Her silence in the face of all these attacks on LGBTQ+ people and her continued support of her transphobe buddies like Matt Taibbi and Aaron Matte -- that's her legacy. That's how she should be remembered.
Wally: And speaking of hilarious, someone we long ago put on the list of "Hate Merchants" at THIRD is in the news. LGBTQ+ hater Kristi Noem is in the news. Did she talk again about how wrong and sinful gay people are? No, she's in the news for having sex with a man who is not her husband. Kenzie Bryant (VANITY FAIR) reports:
The Daily Mail has published an explosive report that South Dakota governor Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski, a former Donald Trump
aide, have been having a secret affair “for years”—at least since 2019.
Noem’s spokesperson told the tabloid, “This is so predictable that you
would attack Governor Noem less than a week after she endorsed Donald J.
Trump as the 47th President of the United States.” Neither have denied
the Daily Mail’s reporting, and Vanity Fair has reached out to both of them for further comment.
A “family values” Republican, Noem has three children with her husband, Bryon. They’ve been married for over 30 years. Lewandowski married his wife, Alison, in 2005, and they have four children.
Lewandowski has a reputation of being just one of the many characters that Trump can’t quit. Trump’s original campaign manager, Lewandowski was fired in June 2016 after “a series of incidents that the Trump family worried had cast the candidate in a negative light.” These may have included, but were not limited to, aggressively handling a reporter and protester, reportedly calling a coworker a “fucking bitch,” and reportedly calling a staffer to yell at him as the staffer’s grandmother was having her Last Rites read. Soon, though, Trump brought Lewandowski back in the fold.
Noem stoked speculation that she’s angling to be Trump’s running mate for 2024 with an early endorsement of the indicted man for president. Trump received her endorsement onstage in North Dakota last week, where a Trump-Noem 2024 graphic reportedly appeared on a screen behind them. “I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country,” Noem said when introducing the former president.
The Daily Mail claimed it has a long list of receipts including “stays at luxury resorts where their intimacy was observed and noted.” They allegedly took private planes on donors’ dimes, and would disappear frequently. Rumors of their alleged affair surfaced briefly in 2021, via far-right conservative website American Greatness, but Noem issued a strong rebuke of the story. She said it was “total garbage and a disgusting lie,” and she was “proud of the God-fearing family” that she raised with her husband. Lawyers for Lewandowski dismissed the allegations as “rumors.”
Cedric: Glass houses, right?
Dona: And while we're talking about hypocrites, Lauren Boebert. LGBTQ NATION reports, "The man who was with anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) when they were kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice reportedly co-owns a Colorado bar that has hosted LGBTQ+ events, including a drag show."
Jim: And this is the sort of thing that leads Americans to think, "Yeah, these aren't the people to listen to."
Trina: And they are most definitely not people to listen to. This is a rush transcript and I thank everyone who was able to participate. And I thank Ava and C.I. for taking notes and for typing this up.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Starting in Iraq.
Elizabeth Rosenberg, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the US Department of the Treasury, arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday to make “progress on int’l [international] anti-money laundering & banking reform” to “help combat corruption & support international invest in Iraq,” US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rosenberg met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani on Wednesday, discussing joint US-Iraq financial cooperation “and the Iraqi government’s measures to implement financial and banking reforms to reduce corruption in all its forms,” said a statement from Sudani’s office.
The group came to prominence in 2007 for attacks against U.S.-led Coalition forces in Iraq, and was known for uploading videos of its attacks on American forces on the internet. The militia's main tactics were to fire rockets and mortar shells at U.S. bases, sniper attacks, and detonate roadside bombs along routes where the forces moved.
In mid-2008, U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a crackdown against the group and the "Special Groups", the US military term for Iran-backed militias in Iraq. At least 30 of its members were captured during those months. Many of the group's leaders were also captured and US officials claimed that "as result much of the leadership fled to Iran".
On 2 July 2009, the group was added to the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The group was held responsible for numerous IED attacks, mortar, rocket and RPG attacks as well as sniper operations, targeting US and Iraqi forces, including a November 2008 rocket attack that killed two U.N. workers.
On 12 February 2010, a firefight with suspected members of the group occurred 265 km (165 mi) southeast of Baghdad in a village near the Iranian border, the U.S. military said. Twelve people were arrested, it said. "The joint security team was fired upon by individuals dispersed in multiple residential buildings ... members of the security team returned fire, killing individuals assessed to be enemy combatants," the military said in a statement. The Provincial Iraqi officials said many of the dead were innocent bystanders, and demanded compensation. They said eight people were killed.
On 13 July 2010, General Ray Odierno named Kata'ib Hezbollah as being behind threats against American bases in Iraq. "In the last couple weeks there's been an increased threat ... and so we've increased our security on some of our bases," Odierno told reporters at a briefing in Baghdad.
On 6 June 2011, Kata'ib Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in eastern Baghdad killing six U.S. soldiers. Another five soldiers were also wounded in the attack.
On 29 June 2011, Kata'ib Hezbollah fired IRAM rockets that struck a US base near the Iranian border – COP Shocker. The attack resulted in the deaths of three American soldiers. A videotape of the rocket attack was published online by the militia.
The Al-Qa'im border crossing has seen hastened military activity as the group is expected to play an important military and security role as the crossing with Syria is officially opened on September 30, 2019.
Another 128 school library books here are being reviewed — and will be permanently removed if found to have sexual content, district officials told the School Board this week.
All the books stem from continuing challenges made by the local chapter of Moms for Liberty, a conservative political group, over the past two years.
Among the books most recently removed: Alice Walker's "The Color Purple," which won a Pulitzer Prize; and "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison. New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult no longer comes up in a search of books available in the district's libraries, as 20 of her 30 novels made the list of challenged books to review.
In 2022, Moms for Liberty asked for 156 books to be removed, citing sexual or racial content. In February 2022, the School Board removed just five of them. Since then, the group found an additional 98 books to be challenged, said chapter President Jennifer Pippin.
In Chester County, Pennsylvania -- a suburb of Philadelphia -- Ronna Dewey, a mother with a recently graduated son, was alarmed when calls for the removal of certain books started occurring in her district in 2021.
"Two of the books in particular that they were targeting were written by and about people who identify as part of [the LGBTQ] community," Dewey, whose son is gay, told ABC News. "And so, it felt really personal to me. It felt like a direct attack on my son and my family."
Schools in many parts of the U.S. have become a battleground and parental involvement is one of the topics at the center. Fights in school board meetings, including in Chester County, have erupted over how race, sexual orientation, gender and other topics are brought up, or taught, in the classroom.
Moms for Liberty, in particular, has come under fire over its political ties and its calls to remove material from schools that, critics say, feature LGBTQ+ characters and promote racial inclusivity. The group has responded to this criticism in the past, calling it “laughable” and saying it lacks credibility.
Despite the seemingly contentious discussion about the state of the U.S. education system, a recent Gallup poll found parents are generally satisfied with the quality of their children's K-12 education.
At least 76% of parents of K-12 students say they are "completely" or "somewhat" satisfied with the quality of the education their oldest child is receiving.
Katie Paris, a mother in Ohio, and the founder of Red, Wine and Blue -- a progressive political mobilizing group -- said she saw these topics coming under attack during school board meetings.
"Anything that mentioned words like 'diversity' or 'inclusion' or 'equity' those all of a sudden, were becoming kind of lightning bolt controversial phrases," she told ABC News. "But just this small minority of people who were getting very loud … and I think parents were concerned about the impact that this was going to have on their kids."
"Our suburban communities are becoming more diverse, and we have a lot of pride actually in the steps for the progress that we're making together, in terms of better understanding [what it means] to really respect our differences and grow together in these communities and thrive in a diverse environment," she continued. "For me, as a parent, I know that for my kids to be successful, they need to be exposed to reality, and diverse viewpoints, learning real accurate history."
Elliot’s bill was introduced during a five-day special session that was originally called to address redistricting legislation. Though the bill ultimately did not make it to the floor, Elliot warned that this would not be the end of his interest in the archives department, telling Alabama Daily News, “What I was proposing was minor compared to what’s coming.”
This is new territory for IHP, which is headquartered in Birmingham and works to preserve LGBTQ+ history across the American southeast. Since Dr. Sullivan and her cofounder, Josh Burford, launched their project in 2018, presentations have largely taken place without scandal. But in a political climate that is partly characterized by attacks on trans youth, gender-affirming care, and abortion services, it seems another element of queer culture is now under attack: history itself.
“There's something insidious about coming after archives, coming after history,” Dr. Sullivan tells Teen Vogue. “It's like, 'Let's go after the people. Let's push them back in the closet. Let's eradicate them from public view, and then let's erase any trace of the progress that they had made and that they were here previously.'”
Alabama legislators’ move to censor queer history comes at a time when a record number of anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide, most of them targeting health care, high school sports, and school bathrooms. Archives have so far mostly flown under the radar, but censorship has been on the rise in the form of book bans and restrictions on Black history curricula, critical race theory, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Says Molly Tepera, a digital archivist at the University of Texas at Dallas, book bans are easier for politicians to execute because they’re about censoring individual titles, not entire collections. Dr. Sullivan says it’s all part of a broader “anti-intellectualism” trend.
Ron DeSantis is only 44, but he may already have a kind of dementia that threatens US security, given this exchange with CBS News’s Nora O’Donnell on using the US military against drug cartels in Mexico…
O’Donnell: “Would you send missiles into Mexico?”
DeSantis: “We would use all available — the tactics, I think, can be debated. If you have something you want to accomplish, people would brief you on the different ways you’d be able to do it. So, that would be dependent on the situation.”
O’Donnell: “But launching military forces into Mexico is a much different standard, that’s why I’m asking the question.”
DeSantis: “The reality is they’re overrunning our border … Do we just throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do about it?”
Lastly, I wasn't planning on reviewing Naomi Klein's new book. I like the book but I wasn't planning on reviewing it. I'll look at my schedule for tomorrow later and see if I have time to do a review on Saturday. Warning, I don't do fluff. I have a serious problem with one aspect of the book. If I do a review, I will probably focus on that because no one else probably is. But I do think it's a good book and I do think it's worth reading.