Saturday, September 16, 2023

The LGBTQ+ Roundtable

Trina: Let me start with this from LGBTQ NATION:

Bans on gender-affirming care are just the tip of the iceberg that is a “coordinated effort to eliminate LGBTQ+ people of all ages from public life,” according to a new report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an organization that tracks policies on LGBTQ+ issues and voting.

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.

“The number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in just the first two months of 2023 is more than the anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in all of 2012, 2013, and 2014 combined,” the MAP wrote. “At the same time, concerted efforts are underway to reshape access to the ballot and undermine democracy; in 2023, at least 380 bills have been introduced in state legislators that would restrict voting and undermine democracy,” the group added.

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.” 

Trina (Con't): This week, Ava and C.I. wrote "Media: Hypocrisy, thy name is THE VANGUARD" and this is from that:

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.

Ava:  This isn't happening by accident, these attacks on the LBGTQ+ community.  They are part of a plan.  C.I.'s covered at THE COMMON ILLS more than once but a lot of people are still unaware of what's going on.  It's planned and it's part of a Republican plan to destroy the country.  It's called Project 2025 and it's a blueprint for what they want to do if they, the Republican Party, wins back the White House in the 2024 elections.  Fright-wing hate mongers came together and made up their wish list.  Some of it gets more attention -- the part that lays out firing federal workers to replace them with loyalists to a president -- not to a Constitution.  This is a very real threat.  And these hucksters pimping Cornel West are a huge problem.  We are not attacking the Green Party and many of us -- including C.I. and myself -- are on record saying if you're voting for the Green Party in 2024 to build the party, that's great, that's wonderful.  But Cornel is not the Green Party's presidential nominee.  I don't care how many times some liar on YOUTUBE tells you otherwise.  The Green Party will determine their nominee at their 2024 summer political convention.  Not until then.  

Trina: Thank you.  Now C.I.'s picked a few videos on the topic of Project 2025 that we're including in this roundtable.

C.I.: While text outlets including THE GUARDIAN and SALON have covered  Project 2025 seriously, it's largely been ignored among the big YOUTUBERS.  You can refer to this video that Kyle Kulinski did on it.

C.I. (Con't):  And to this video report from THE HUMANIST.

C.I. (Con't): POLITICS BY TABITHA did the video below which is a very useful primer.

C.I. (Con't): And that's only one of many videos Tabitha has done on the topic so refer to her YOUTUBE page for even more.  And I'll note WALDORF NATION.

C.I. (Con't): There are more videos by right-wingers thrilled by destroying the rights of LGBTQ+ people, of women, of people of color, of immigrants.  The 'name' YOUTUBERs are ignoring it.  And if you feel you did a great video and I ignored you, ask yourself if you talked about people?  If you did it -- like two lefties I saw -- and only talked about the federal employees, we don't need you.  Attacks on reproductive rights need to be called out, attacks on immigrants need to be called out, attacks on people of color need to be called out and attacks on LGBTQ+ people need to be called out.  Don't have time for your nonsense if you can't address it.

Trina: Thank you.  And thank you to Ava and C.I. because they're the ones taking notes and typing this up.  I do not put publications  or outlets in all caps.  Some in the community do.  Because Ava and C.I. are the ones doing the notes and typing it up, it's going to utilize the all caps.  This is a roundtable and participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and  Jim;  Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and me, Trina of Trina's Kitchen None of us are surprised by Project 2025 -- this is in keeping with the plans on a thumb-drive purported to possess Glenn Greenwald's browser history.  The drive was dropped off at C.I.'s agent. Since she's had the drive, C.I.'s worked through it slowly and shared it with the community and also with journalists and advocates she trusts.  She saw the article from LGBTQ NATION that we started at the top with and she texted me about the article wondering if I could cover it because she would if I wouldn't?  I said no problem.  And said that without looking.  Once I looked, I thought, "Oh, this is bigger than me."  So I sent out a text asking who hadn't posted for Friday already?  I didn't want to double dip on anyone who'd already posted and worked a full week.  So when those participating texted back that they hadn't posted yet, I asked if they wanted to do a roundtable?   And they all did.  So thank you to everyone participating.  If you wish to comment on this roundtable, e-mail because there are several people who work the public e-mail account for THE COMMON ILLS.  That said, C.I.'s usually the only one who goes into it on the weekends so it may be Monday before your e-mail is read.  I will start.  As the mother of a gay son, I am outraged by what the hate merchants are doing.  And I'm further outraged that they've gotten away with so much.

Jim: Agreed.  I want to start by noting C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" today which addressed how the media repeatedly fails on the LGBTQ+ issue.  Mike Pence, as C.I. points out, was asked this week by the mother of a transgendered person why he was attacking trans rights.  He claimed -- as Ron DeSantis did before -- that in his state, you can't even get a tattoo at 16 so you shouldn't be able to have this blocker or that medicine or whatever.  Ronald made that claim about Florida.  C.I. called the nonsense out when Ron made it.  This morning, C.I. had to call out the nonsense with regards to Indiana -- Pence's home state.  Both men lied or are stupid.  Neither state says no tattoos until you're 18.  Both allow for tattoos with parental consent.  So two points here.  First, why is it that paid 'journalists' are letting these lies sail by and not be called out when C.I. can and does catch them.  Second, this isn't an accident.  As C.I. points out, these politicians are lying to get support for their policies.  They're the ones making the false argument that in their state you can't get a tattoo before the age of 18.  The reality is that you can with parental consent.  By the same token that has been the policy -- in all but the state of Oregon -- in the US and that should be the policy.  But if they tell the truth, they don't get to advance their hate as the push to chip away at actual parental rights.

Kat: And that's why I was glad Jim was participating.  I knew he'd bring up the snapshot and I knew he'd credit C.I.  I want to do the same, credit C.I.  She's got enough on her plate and she does this with no charge to anyone and yet she's the one doing the work, not the so-called journalistic outlets.  And she's right that they lie about the tattoos so that people at home will say, "Oh, you can't even get a tattoo?  Well we shouldn't allow blockers then!"  No, you can get a tattoo with parental consent and it should be the same with regards to your medical treatment.  That's between your parents and your doctor.  And for a bunch of right-wingers, I find it very telling that they're ready to rip parental rights to shreds. 

Betty: Agreed with everything you've both said.  And, as C.I. points out, letting this lie go unchecked means the media is promoting this hatred.  Whether they intend to or not, they're promoting it.  And, to toss this out there, my brother -- who I love with all my heart -- is gay.  And I'm not taking kindly to these hate merchants coming after him.  I am way younger than him.  I leaned him constantly growing up.  He was there for me anytime I had a problem, he was there for me in times of joy.  I love music and he's the one who taught me about music.  It makes me want to cry to see these hate merchants trying to turn back the clock on equality.  I am outraged.  Sorry, I lost my point.  Okay, so the media refusing to fact check results in hate being advanced.  But it goes beyond that.  There are the people on the 'left' -- they claim -- who are part of this as well.  That's the ones who join in and that's the ones who stay silent and I'd like for us to spend some time on those types.

Trina: Certainly.  Okay, let's do the ones who claim to be left -- or until recently did -- who amplify the hate.

Mike: I'll start.  And, Trina's my mom so, obviously, I have a brother who's gay.  And, like Betty, I love my brother and you come for him, you're coming for me.  I'll toss out Jimmy Dore.  In his exchange with Cornel West, he kept tossing in trans -- if they were trans, Cornel would care, if they were trans -- Can he just shut up a moment and grasp that he has lost us and we're not coming back.  His hatred of trans people -- which included that stupid joke in his so-called stand up routine -- make it clear that he's a grifter and he's a hate merchant.  I feel sorry for anyone that I ever steered towards his program back when I thought he was someone decent because he was fighting for Medicare For All.  He and his grifting squad are disgusting.

Ty: Agree and I'm jumping in because 'Black' -- please put that in air quotes -- Sabby Sabs is in his grifting squad.  She recently brought on some White boy transphobe, Link Lauren, that you usually have to go to FOX "NEWS" for.  He's gay and a transphobe so he's basically Glenn Greenwald.  And they had their little talk and I thought Sabby is just disgusting and a grifter and a creep.I'm sick of these people.  They are not left wing, they are grifters and the door needs to be closed in their faces -- we all need to be Michael Corleone at the end of THE GODFATHER closing the door on Diane Keaton's Kay.  

C.I.: I need to jump in, I'm sorry.  I didn't know Ty was bringing up Link Lauren.  THE COMMON ILLS community is a very vocal community and it's all over.  Thanks to them, when Bully Boy Bush pretended to buy a home in Highland Park, Texas, we knew not only that he didn't -- he was too cheap -- but we also knew that he bought a house that wasn't up to code or completed and we had the floor plan and posted it. Thanks to those same DFW members, we knew the rumors about Harriet Miers and were able to post those rumors and it killed her nomination and sent her southern Republican supporters scampering away as quickly as they could.  I don't know Link Lauren, don't know of him.  But, like Ty, some were offended by Sabby's interview with him, some DFW community members, and they want it know that he wrote a column that they see is "100% lies" and "completely false" -- I found those two e-mails just now, there are others but they repeat that line of thought.  Here's a third e-mail, "He completely lied in a column where he attacked LGBTQ+ people as 'groomers' and worse while claiming that he had been at a 2017 pride event and it didn't have this and it didn't have that.  To which I say, 'Bitch, you're a lying drama queen.'  I was at that same pride event.  And I was a foot and a half away from him in Oak Lawn aka 'Gay Town' in Dallas.  It was on Cedar Springs and the little drunk cry baby was crying between Hunky's and the Kroger parking lot -- not having fun as he tries to pretend in his column.  He was convinced someone shouted 'Queer!' at him when five guys joined the parade walking up from Reagan Street onto Cedar Springs.  We laughed at him -- this was a gay Pride parade, the five guys were taking part in the parade, and though there were tons of gays present someone supposedly yelled 'Queer' and, due to his self-obsession, it had to be yelled at him.  I will further add that his claims in the column attacking the NYC parade compared to the more 'sedate' one he had been at in Dallas?  That's a complete distortion.  All lies.  We were the same as the one he attended in NYC, the one that he's spitting on.  He was a self-loathing closet case in Dallas and rumored to need to be degraded by any partner he was lucky enough to get on those rare instances when he could interest a man.  He's a liar, he's a fake and he left Dallas in part because we, the LGBTQ+ community, couldn't stand him."  This is one of the things I've tried to work into a snapshot since Sabby's interview aired and the e-mails started coming in; however, I really haven't been able to.  But Ty referencing this hideous person means I have to make a point to include it now.  So that's what DFW community members have said.  I don't know, I wasn't there.  They've never been dishonest before on anything that they've e-mailed in.

Dona: I'm glad you brought that up.  He sounds disgusting.  And Max and Ugly Blumenthal, they're disgusting with their transphobia as well.  Although his ugly wife is disgusting regardless.  These are not left people.  They dismiss these attacks.  Either they are too stupid to grasp just how large this issue is or they just don't care.  

Betty: I'd guess the latter.  They don't care.  Remember Max's ugly wife has made remarks making it clear what she really thinks about trans people.  

Dona: Right.  And this is big.  It was big if it were just the attacks on trans persons.  But it's not.  It's much bigger than that.  They are the first ones being targeted.  

Ty: DATA LOUNGE is a gay themed site and you get these elderly gay men like Glenn Greenwald on there who'll start carping that trans rights don't matter and that they're LGB only, no T, and blah blah blah.  Others, younger gays and lesbians, will try to point out that we either all stand together or we'll be defeated.  The Glenn Greenwalds don't appear to care.

Isaiah: They seem to think they can token their way along, be the club mascot for MAGA and they'll be unharmed.  They're idiots.

Jess: I think you're right, Isaiah, but I also think that some are into something different.  That browser history that's supposedly Glenneth's is all about gay subs and MAGA alphas and how each wants to dominate the other.  Meaning, I think Glenneth may be the kind who gets off on being dominated and reduced to sexual slave.  Jim's laughing but it could happen -- there are chubby chasers so someone could be interested in Glenneth again some day.  But, yeah, he'd sell everyone out, I can see that completely.

Cedric: Like Jim, I want to note the snapshot for Friday.  I want to echo what C.I. said about the press repeating the lies of Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence.  This is not minor.  They are being confronted with how they are harming transgendered people and their response is to lie and the press response, sadly, is to repeat the lie and not fact check it.  It shouldn't be up to the woman running THE COMMON ILLS website to have to say over and over, "That's not your state's law.  Someone under 18 can get a tattoo if they have parental permission."  This is not a minor point.  DeSantis and Pence are making their argument for what they're doing with lies and these lies need to be called out.  Their arguments are so weak that they have to resort to lying.  And when the press doesn't call them on the lying and doesn't point out that what they say the law says is not what the law says, then the press is promoting transphobia.  And I find that very disappointing.  Very, very disappointing. 

Stan: It's like what world are we living in?  How did we end up here?  Three years ago, would anyone have guessed that these hate merchants would be tolerated?  That's what the press is doing, that's what the so-called left on YOUTUBE is doing.  They're tolerating it at best.  At worst? They are actively participating in spreading and fostering hate and this hate doesn't result in someone throwing a Kleenex tissue at you, it resorts in people being killed.  Lauri Carleton, an apparently selfless and great person to know was shot dead by a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporter because she displayed Pride flags.  Shot dead.  The woman's children now don't have a mother.  Her husband is now a widower.  She gave to her community and helped out anyone she came across in need.  And because she displayed Pride flags some lunatic -- who supported RFK Jr. and who loved Matt Walsh -- murdered her.  

Wally: That murder truly should have started a national dialogue about how the hate merchants had poisoned everything and how we needed to take a serious look at where the county was headed. 

Betty: Exactly.  Lauri was the woman we all know who checks in on those in need, who offers to help when you need help, she's the person we all knew no matter what city or town we lived in.  And that's who gets shot dead.  We should have recoiled in horror and this is should have been a CNN townhall.  We can't afford to lose the Lauris, they're the ones who keeps our neighborhoods functioning, they're the ones who you count on in your area.  And for someone like that to be shot dead, that should ahve been a national dialogue -- both in terms of guns and especially in terms of this out of control hate speech and effort to destroy LGBTQ+ people. 

Trina: Alight, good points.  Anyone else disappointing us?

Ava: Naomi Wolf going over to the dark side.  That's disappointing.  And since at least 2008, C.I. and I have documented all the things wrong with that woman.  But to see her get in bed with anti-LGBTQ+ hate merchants and misogynist men?  That's more disappointing than her being a Trump supporter.  And what C.I. has said is true: She doesn't get back in.  Left-lite wants to let her back in a decade from now?  Well then they're pathetic.  But no feminist should sign off on it.  And I mean real feminist.  You're on the left and you're a woman?  Doesn't make you a feminist.  There are a lot of women who are not feminists and I want to be clear on this, no feminist should support forgiving her.  First off, she's done real damage.  Second off, this is a pattern with her -- as C.I. has pointed out over and over and may point out in a book review shortly. There is no forgiveness.  She is not to be let back in.  

Isaiah: Before we close this down, let me note Matt Taibbi.  He's just human filth.  He knew better but didn't care.  And how he attacks trans rights and trans people.  F**king Uncle Fester look alike.  He grifts to the right and it should call into question everything he's ever done or written.  It should all be suspect now.  

Betty: Me! Me! Trina! Me!

Trina: Okay, Betty.

Betty: Moving to the silent.  The disgusting Katie Halper.  Matt's roll dog.  Now she rolls it with Aaron Matte.  She and Matte are disgusting.  They bring on convicted pedophile Scott Ritter and yet they can't cover LGBTQ+ issues.  That ugly woman's gotten away with enough already.  Her 'streams' are in the tank and her career has faded. She's a fake and she always has been.  There's no excuse.  She used to play, on WBAI, that she was a feminist -- as though Spencer Ackerman's 2008 roll dog would be a feminist.  She used to pretend like she cared about gay people.  She stopped that long ago.  She's a grifter.  And a huge disappointment.  

Trina: Thank you.  Who else do we notice remains silent?

Mike: I'd say Graham Elwood.  Maybe he thinks gay is just too 'icky' to discuss?  It's amazing that, in Florida, Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis had to pass don't-say-gay when all these supposedly left YOUTUBERs are more than willing to go along with it without any arm twisting from Doo-Doo. 

Kat: This is an organized effort on the part of the right to destroy the LGBTQ+ community and after that they'll come after the rest of us on the left.  That's what Project 2025 makes clear, in writing.  And it's what's been noted for over a year at THE COMMON ILLS.  This doesn't end with trans people, this doesn't just expand to then go after LGBTQ+.  It's going go after reproductive rights, it's going go after single-mothers, it's going go after everyone who's not a White, straight male, Christian married to a stay-at-home, docile Christian woman.   I don't know why you wouldn't want to stand up for LGBTQ+ people all by themselves but if that doesn't do it for you, you'd think some sort of self-preservation would kick in.

Isaiah: You'd think.

Ty: I wonder what these 'left' people who are silent and the grifters think happens next?  

Trina: In terms of?

Ty: Well for one thing, where is their future audience.  Gen X on up to today's teens?  Not confused or troubled.  They are pro LGBTQ+.  Where do these grifters think they're going to go when their aging audience dies?  

Jess: I think they don't think that far ahead and also they're not grifting from the common person.  C.I., what show?


Jess: THE VANGUARD had a piece about how the rich man that funded Jimmy Dore funded them briefly.  He was a $5,000 a month patreon.  And they talked about how weird it was not to have to worry about rent for the first time ever --

Ava: I think he was $5,000 to Jimmy or someone else.  I think he was $1,000 or $2,000 to THE VANGUARD.

Jess: Probably right.  So the minute they dispute something Jimmy's grifting on, the money disappears.  But Jimmy continued to get his $5,000 a month from that one person just for spreading lies about COVID and probably for attacking transgender people.  There's always going to be some disgusting rich person eager to buy a grifer like Jimmy Dore.

Mike: I don't get the hatred.  Why do you have to hate?  Or why do you choose to?

C.I.: For some, the issue is change.  Most people are resistant to change by nature.  Some that are, they realize that and force themselves to grow.  Others don't want to.  They plant their feet and don't want to know.  A cure for cancer would be shot down by these type of people.  So when, for example, SNOW WHITE is being remade and she's going to be played by a Latina, it's time for them to lose their lunch as they struggle.  

Trina: Struggle with?

C.I.: Well not reality.  Reality isn't a fairy tale.  

Betty: That's so true.  Her name is "White!"  I see that online about the new SNOW WHITE Rachel Zegler.  I don't get it.  And I wonder about the people who don't grasp that a Latina or Latino can also be White when it comes to race.  That's apparently too much for today's right wing racists to grasp.  But again, she's a completely fictional character.  They don't seem to grasp that.

Isaiah: It's just hate, hate, hate.  And I don't get it.  

Stan: I'm with you, Isaiah.  I went to college in the 90s, we believed in equality.  We believed in fairness.  These hideous grifters who walk around with a chip on their shoulder and it's like the worst thing in the world to them is that a few movies now have leads of color.  That's got them up in arms and ready to revolt.  Do you know how many times, as a kid, I would tune into the fall TV season and see no kid with skin color the same as me?  I'm so sorry racist bigots that only 97% of the lead roles are going to White men.  That must be a tragedy for you all.  A huge unending tragedy. 

Dona: They loathe the word "diversity."  If you don't look like them, you don't matter.  That's the reality.  

Ava: Sad but true.

Cedric: And to these Glenneth Greenwalds who want to go along with the hate against the transgendered and think the haters won't come after him next?  It's a war on diversity and I just have to hear that for my skin to crawl -- my Black skin.  And maybe not being White like Glenneth allows me to grasp how it's just a skip and a stone's throw for them to come after me next. 

Wally: But someone like Glenneth won't make that connection because he never has.  He's never been part of any struggle.  He hid out most of his life with regards to being gay, passing among staight right-wingers often by attacking openly gay men.  He's never been part of a struggle.  He doesn't care about diversity for that reason.  He's always been in the room when decisions were made so he doesn't care.  And it shows just as surely as that awful red dye he puts on his hair shows that he's too cheap to go get done professionally.  

Stan: You know, we used to be challenged.  When I was in school and college, I was challenged.  It wasn't enough to know what you knew when you walked into the classroom.  You were supposed to learn more.  You were supposed to try to learn about people different than you.  That's why the attack on our education system by these hate merchants like Ron DeSantis doesn't surprise me at all.  Attacking LGBTQ+ people, attacking Black history or women's studies?  It's about attacking knowledge, it's about attacking education and willing into being a population that doesn't know anything and never learned anything.

Mike: And, that's such a good point, Stan, the thing is though, they don't get that.  Florida students right now are going to suffer in the near futrue because of Doo-Doo DeSantis' actions with regards to education in Florida.  They will learn far less and they will be seen as less educated.  And that's just the right now impact.  If Doo-Doo and his ilk get their way, we are destroyed as a country.  We can't compete on the world stage if we're destroying our education system.  And, as Elaine points out often, Doo-Doo doesn't grasp education.  What you can look up online or do with a calculator, that's not education.  Education is not repeating memorized factoids.  An educated mind is a mind that hears something and can process it, that can hear something and know further information is needed.  An educated mind is one that can analyze.  Doo-Doo just wants rote and rote will rot us.  It's not 1817.  We're in the 21st century and if we want to compete we need for our children to be highly educated.

Betty: I'm sorry but I marvel over DeSantis' delusion that he's the one we need to look to for education or ethics, he the man who oversaw torture at Guantanamo

Kat: Since we're on the topic of Ronald, I want to note this from THE GUARDIAN about what's happening in Florida:

A central Florida city is moving forward with plans to join the popular national Safe Place initiative protecting LGBTQ+ people and others, despite opposition from Republicans who consider it a “deceptive and coercive” political mandate.

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.

The program began in Seattle in 2015 as a voluntary partnership between the police department and local businesses, which displayed rainbow stickers in the shape of a police badge to denote their participation. The effort has since been adopted in more than 350 cities nationwide, including dozens in Florida.

But four Republican state politicians from Lake county, in which Mount Dora sits, took exception to the city’s declaration, accusing the city in a letter last month of “virtue signaling”, and insisting they would explore “all legislative, legal and executive options available” to oppose a move they say contravenes “Biblical principles”.

Jess: What a bunch of sad, hateful and ignorant people.

Kat: It just makes me want to pray that God delivers to them the punishment that they so deserve for the hatred they heap on others.  They are disgusting.  And I'm tired of your so-called Biblical principles.  I was raised Catholic, not a word you say fits into my Biblical principles. 

Trina: Well, Kat, don't forget that we have additional books in our Bible.

Kat: True.  I doubt a lot of non-Catholics even know about that.  But they really need to stop trying to speak for people of faith.

Isaiah: I liked C.I.'s suggestion last year about a church.

Mike: Yeah.

C.I.: I argued that the LGBTQ+ community, which includes many people of many faiths, needs to move towards an official church so that the LGBTQ+ community can also demand religious rights. 

Trina: Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten that.  That was right after DOBBS was handed down.  

Ty: I'm all for it.  Come up with our own church -- I'm gay -- and are own worship services and then let's get the same freedom of religion that the right wing screams for.

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):

Friday, September 15, 2023.  The US Treasury Department's Elizabeth Rosenberg meets with officials in Iraq -- including one that has some shocked, Robert F. Kennedy Jr's poll numbers continue to drop, media malpractice is all around as Ron DeSantis is allowed to lie repeatedly on CBS EVENING NEWS and as Mike Pence lies about his state's law (just as Ron did before him) and gets away with it because, goodness, my, oh, my, it's so 'hard' for the media to fact check and do their damn job apparently.

Starting in Iraq. 

The US Treasury’s assistant secretary is in Iraq to meet with top officials on combatting corruption and the smuggling of the dollar abroad as the Iraqi dinar’s value continues to plummet and dollars remain scarce in the market. 

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. 

Not everyone was pleased with the meet-up. 

October 11, 2020, Kataeb Hizbollah and the US government declared a cease fire.  That ended on both sides in February 2021. Kataeb Hizollah ended it on February 15, 2021 when they attacked a US base in Erbil (KRG part of Iraq).  For the US government, it ended on February 26th when they launched air strikes on Kataeb Hizbollah in retaliation for the attack on the US base.

The group came to prominence in 2007 for attacks against U.S.-led Coalition forces in Iraq,[35][51] and was known for uploading videos of its attacks on American forces on the internet.[52] 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.[53]

On 15 March 2007, four U.S. soldiers were killed in eastern Baghdad when IEDs planted by Kata'ib Hezbollah detonated near their unit.[54][55]

On 25 September 2007, Staff Sgt. Zachary B. Tomczak was shot dead by a Kata'ib Hezbollah sniper in Baghdad. His killing was captured on video and posted online by the KH militia.[56][57]

On 4 October 2007, U.S. Army Spc. Avealalo Milo was killed by a Kata'ib Hezbollah sniper shot in Baghdad. The attack was recorded and subsequently published online by the militia.[58][59]

On 4 June 2008, Kata'ib Hezbollah conducted a rocket attack that was meant to target Coalition forces but instead killed 18 civilians in Baghdad.[60][61]

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".[62][63]

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.[51]

In December 2009, the group intercepted the unencrypted video feed of MQ-1 Predator UAVs above Iraq.[64]

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.[65]

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.[66]

On 6 June 2011, Kata'ib Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in eastern Baghdad killing six U.S. soldiers.[67] Another five soldiers were also wounded in the attack.[68]

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.[69] A videotape of the rocket attack was published online by the militia.[70]

In July 2011, an Iraqi intelligence official estimated the group's size at 1,000 fighters and said the militants were paid between $300 and $500 per month.[71][72]

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.[73][74]

Across the country, the hate merchants lie and sport stupidity.  Which was Mike Pence doing recently? Wednesday, NEWS NATION held a townhall where former US Vice President Mike Pence, now running for the GOP's presidential nomination, took questions.  Charlie Nash (NEWS NATION) notes one mother asked the following:

Melissa McCollister: Good evening, vice president. I am an LGBTQ member and I have trans individuals in my family. Recent anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law all around this United States, including here in Iowa. So far, in 2023, 15 transgender individuals and gender-nonconforming people have been murdered. The vast majority of those people have been Black and Latinx transgender women. It is very hard for me to ask these questions after just hearing what I heard. What is your policy plan to protect the transgender community, specifically Black and brown trans women from historically high levels of violence?

 You can read Nash's article for the long winded response from Mike Pence.  We don't have the time (as Ben Taylor sings).  What we do have time for is to correct the record.

It's the same incorrect information that Ron DeSantis declared and we called him out.  He's the governor of Florida, he should know Florida law.  Pence was governor of Indiana until 2017.  He should know the state's law.

More to the point, when are journalists going to do their damn job?

I'm really not in the mood.  

Here's the part of Mike Pence's response that is factually wrong:

For me, what adults do in their lives, decisions that they make, including transgender adults, is one thing, but for kids under the age of 18— there’s a reason why we don’t let you drive ’til you’re 16. In the state of Indiana, you can’t get a tattoo until after you’re 18, you can’t drink until after you’re 21, that’s because we understand that kids don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions.

"In the state of Indiana, you can't get a tattoo until after you're 18."  No.

That is wrong. 

It sounds wrong.  It should sound wrong to everyone.  And it is wrong.  It was wrong when Ron lied about Florida law.

All I did when I looked at the statement was GOOGLE "indiana tattoo laws for minors" and what do you immediately find out?  

That, say it with me, requires parental permission if you're under the age of 18.

Okay, I get ticked when reporters don't care about facts.  A NEWSWEEK editor can tell you how long I screamed over the phone at him in the 90s when they did a filler article about sex on TV and talked about how Matthew Perry's Chandler Bing on an episode of FRIENDS handcuffed Rachel's boss (Alison La Placa) while they were in a sexual relationship.

Do you see the problem?

Chandler didn't handcuff her, she handcuffed him.  And I still can't let it go.  All these years later.

Or the response which was, "It's just a TV show."  It's a TV show you elected to assign a writer to write about and then elected to publish an article about.  It does matter.  It's also true -- and I raised this in real time as well -- that the culture norms of the 90s were a lot more comfortable with a man handcuffing a woman.  Look at all the 90s films with any BDSM elements -- I'm talking mainstream films -- the worst is Madonna's BODY OF EVIDENCE but they're all pretty awful and they all feel the need to have the handcuffed man or the spanked man assert his 'dominance' over the woman.  (Reality, many S&M relationships have women in charge.)  

So they weren't reflecting reality, NEWSWEEK wasn't, but it was lying.

And that's the case with the media that covered Ron DeSantis lie and NEWS NATION covering Mike Pence's lie.  They're just typing up remarks.  They're not doing any real work and they're certainly not doing journalism.

If you are a parent or plan to be a parent or hope to be a parent and you hear a claim about how children can't do this or that, you're natural reaction should be, "Really?"

And, parent or not or not ever want to be, if you're in the media and someone's making claims about laws regarding children, you should immediately take five seconds to GOOGLE.

Lies have fueled the attacks on the transgender community.

At this late date, I don't feel like forgiving any 'journalist' who can't do their damn job on this subject.

Pence lied in front of a group of people, cited the Bible, tried to play caring and understanding while endorsing parents being stripped of rights.  It's not your damn business what medical attention a parent and a doctor decide is needed.  It's not your damn business.

But to justify this break with basic rights, to act like it's normal, Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence both resort to the exact same lie: You can't even get a tattoo if you're under 18!!!


In Indiana, as in Florida, someone under 18 can get a tattoo if the parent gives permission (Florida also allows medical tattoos -- Indiana law makes no mention of them).  

And that's how it should be.  If your parent (or legal guardian) says you can get a tattoo at whatever age, that's not my business.  

But they lie -- Ron and Mike -- and the media helps them lie so that we'll all cluck and say, "Oh, can't even get a tattoo why should they be allowed to be on hormone blockers or have surgery"?  Why?  Because the parent and the doctor have made the private, medical decision that is legal and should remain that way.  

THE NEW YORK TIMES has done so much damage with regards to the trans community and that goes far beyond their nonsense that egged on Bette Midler to make a fool of herself on Twitter.  (I'm with Kim Brown -- I don't work for Musk, I'll call it what it's known as: Twitter.) The paper has lied over and over and intentionally misled.  People think "liberal paper."  No, not really.  It not only did not lead on climate change, it never leads on science.  Look at their archives and see how they responded to the science on extinction level events.  That's not a pretty tale and, time and again, NYT has been reactionary with regards to science and medicine.  Look at their hideous and homophobic coverage of AIDS and grasp that we were calling that out in real time.  Don't say, "Oh, it was the 80s."  Yes, it was the 80s and, yes, their coverage was homophobic and, no, there was no excuse for it.

And when politicians start insisting that they have the right to interfere in your child's medical treatment that you and the doctor you have elected to take your child to because, they lie, you can't even get a tattoo when you're under 18, it is the job of the press to state, "This is not true."  

Instead, they keep letting Ron DeSantis and now Mike Pence lie.  

Journalism is supposed to hold the powerful accountable and that includes calling them out when they lie -- or, if you prefer, when they misspeak -- out of malice or stupidity.

It's not too much, especially on a charged topic like this, to expect journalist to do their damn jobs.  

When they fail to do so, they allow the lies and misinformation that created the culture of fear to begin with to flourish.  So do your damn job.  The hate merchants are very focused on the destruction they want to carry out.  If you're not up to the job of covering what's going on, admit it and quit.  Stop pretending you're a journalist if you're not doing your job.

The hate merchants of Moms For Bigotry remain busy.   Colleen Wixon (Treasure Coast Newspapers) reports on a school in Florida:

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."

If you're wondering, Shannon Grady is the hate merchant there.  She's a Moms For Bigotry hate merchant.  ABC notes:

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.

Some parents are arguing their children don't need to be exposed to certain topics at certain ages while some parents on the other side of the debate say they trust the schools and teachers to determine which topics and materials are age-appropriate for the students.

And who's unhappy?  Not most parents with kids enrolled in schools:

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."

TEEN VOGUE explains what's going on:

Recent Republican efforts to curtail the preservation of LGBTQ+ history are threatening to erase the past. In June, Maigen Sullivan, PhD, cofounder of the Invisible Histories Project (IHP), gave a talk on Alabama’s Lesser Known LGBTQ History at the Alabama Department of Archives & History. The backlash was swift. Before the event even took place, state representative Jamie Kiel condemned it as part of a “woke liberal agenda”; soon after, Senator Chris Elliot authored a bill that would slash $5 million from the department’s total annual budget.

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 youthgender-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 carehigh 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 curriculacritical 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.

In other news of hate merchants, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  Whiner and crackpot Junior.  We told you at the start of last month his support was dropping.  That was obvious, you just had to pay attention.  In the middle of August, Katherine Fung (NEWSWEEK) had the hard numbers:

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows Kennedy with 13 percent support from Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters, a 3.5 percentage point decrease from June's survey.
The most recent poll, conducted from August 10 to August 14 among 1,632 likely voters, also showed a slight uptick in support for self-help author Marianne Williamson. She received 9 percent support in August, compared to 8 percent in June. Biden also saw a bump from 70 percent support to 72 percent in the last two months.
Those numbers are part of a national trend that shows Kennedy on a downward trajectory. He had a RealClearPolitics average of 20 percent in April, a stronger-than-expected showing that fell to 16.8 percent in June. As of Wednesday, his average from the polling data aggregator is 13.3 percent.

Quinnipiac has a new poll and Marianne's only dropped 1% (to 8) whereas Junior is now polling at 11%.   In June, he had 16.5% support in the Qunnipiac poll.  He's lost 5.5% support in four months. If this trend continues, he'll be in the single digits in no time. 

 Last week the RFK, Jr. Redemption Tour took him to the friendly confines of the Jimmy Dore Show, where he continued to grunt out slanders about Palestinians: “We give 800 million a year to the Palestinian Authority, which uses that money to pay bounties to Palestinians who kill Jews. Not government officials, but civilians. So if you go to Israel…Uhm…So if you kill a Jew anywhere in the world and you’re a Palestinian, the Palestinian Authority will pay you money for that…There’s this mentality, especially on the liberal left, that portrays Israel as a kind of occupying nation sitting on Palestinian land and the whole thing is a lie from start to end.”

Speaking of poor polling and likely voter drop off, Ron DeSantis.  Mike covers Doo-Doo Ron Ron Desantis at his site regularly, so be sure to check that out.  Due to poor polling, we're seeing a 'new' Ron of late.  Why he doesn't hate anyone.  He's not racist, he's not homophobic, he won't arrest women for having abortions. 

In case you forgot, as Aretha sang, Ron was supposed to be the front runner.  He's never been.  And his support has slid down so far that last week his campaign began saying that a second place win in Iowa would be great.  (In Iowa, the GOP does a primary.  The Democrats do a caucus.)  In case you forgot, when he failed to live up to the polling promises early in the campaign, they began calling mannish Casey DeSantis his "secret weapon."  Those days are long gone.  Casey couldn't save her friend's job on his campaign and she couldn't save Ron.  There are no more "secret weapons."

There is only reality and that reality decrees Ron needs to drop his war on 'woke' because it has run off voters and because that jibes with recent elections where the GOP's learned the hard way that 'woke' is not an issue animating voters.  So now Ron has to say new words.

And he wants to be believed.

But should we waste our time on that nonsense?


Appearing on CBS EVENING NEWS yesterday with Norah O'Donnell, he lied over and over.

Florida Gov. and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis said the NAACP is pulling a "stunt" by calling Florida hostile to Black Americans, other minorities and LGBTQ+ people. 

The NAACP has issued a warning that Florida is "openly hostile for African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals." In an interview with DeSantis, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell asked if he would represent the entire country, and whether everyone could feel welcome in DeSantis' America. 
"A hundred percent," DeSantis responded.

No, he would not.  A real journalist who was prepared for the interview would have immediately offered examples of how that is not his history.

Let's focus on that first part of the report.  A "stunt."  The NAACP is pulling a "stunt."  Yeah, sounds like he's changed (that was sarcasm).  In case you forgot, he 'revised' the Florida curriculum.  This was done by his hand picked crew.  And they decided that slavery was nothing but a government works program -- kind of like FDR's WPA? -- that imparted valuable skills and knowledge.

And he has the audacity to accuse the NAACP of pulling a "stunt."  We're not done yet.  Because of his actions, Ryan Palmeter killed three African-Americans in a Dollar General shooting in Florida. The three killed were 19-year-old Anolt Joseph "AJ" Laguerre Jr., 29-year-old Jerrald De'Shaun Gallion and 52-year-old Angela Michelle Carr.  At the press event to garner attention on the backs of the dead, Ron DeSantis was booed loudly by the majority of African-Americans present.  We're still not done.  Then he ran back to the campaign trail and when an African-American who was a veteran of the US military 'dared' to question him, Ronald exploded and had the man kicked out of the campaign event.  

And he wants to accuse the NAACP of pulling a "stunt."

He went on to toss out figures that really have no bearing such as, "But in Florida, our unemployment rate amongst African Americans is way lower than New York, California and these blue states."  Florida is tied with Maryland with 3.6% unemployment rate among African-Americans.  Per the data from the Economic Policy Institute for 2023, the following states have African-American unemployment rates lower than 3.6%: George, Alabama (the lowest of the 50 states with 2.2%), Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Maryland (which is tied with Florida) is a "blue state" as are New Hampshire and Vermont.  He continues to struggle when it comes to being honest and truthful.  

A state judge on Saturday rejected congressional district boundaries affecting communities across North Florida, saying they unconstitutionally restrict Black voting power and that Florida’s Legislature must redraw them.
“By dismantling a congressional district that enabled Black voters to elect their candidates of choice under the previous plan, the enacted plan violates … the Florida Constitution,” Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh in Tallahassee ruled.
In the 55-page ruling, he also noted that throughout history "Florida has been a state home to discrimination in voting."

Golly Ronald didn't mention that (and Norah O'Donnell didn't raise it).  But it's the NAACP that's pulling a "stunt"?  

Back to the report on the very bad interview:

Still, O'Donnell pointed out that because of DeSantis' policies in the Sunshine State, some minorities and members of the LGBTQ community think he would discriminate against them. DeSantis said some of the blame for that lies with the media. 

"Well, part of the reason they think that is 'cause of narratives that are put out by media," DeSantis responded. "I mean, for example, when we had the fight with Disney over the elementary education about, should you have things about sex and gender identity telling a second grader that their gender's fluid? We said, 'Absolutely not.' Parents in Florida agreed. And throughout — the country I think agreed with that."

He wants to mention DISNEY?  With all the money he's lost Florida and is losing Florida because of his war with DISNEY?  Interesting.  

He lies again -- did Norah not push back -- "over the elementary education."  And then he wants to say second grader.


Because he's a liar who wants to make his actions seem far less extreme than they were.  If Norah didn't push back, shame on her.  Here's reality  CBS NEWS viewers were deprived of:

The Florida board of education has voted to expand the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, banning classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation to all grades.

Under the original Parental Rights in Education law, which was signed into law last year, instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation was banned for K-3 students, but teachers in grades 4-12 were allowed to offer this kind of instruction if it was deemed developmentally appropriate. What developmentally appropriate means is up to the Florida department of education to determine.

But under the expansion, which was proposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration last month and approved on Wednesday, all public school students will be banned from learning about these topics, unless required by existing state standards or as part of reproductive health instruction that students can opt out of.

Eesha Pendharkar (EDUCATION WEEK) reported the above on April 19th.  Norah interviewed Ronald on September 13th -- five months later -- and didn't know that?

If that's the case, heads need to roll among her staff. Someone should have prepared her for that ahead of the interview.  

No this doesn't end in elementary school and Ronald knows that.  He lied to make it seem less extreme.

He is liar, a damn liar. 

And only an idiot's going to believe him when he claims that he'd be welcoming of all Americans. Let's note that again:

In an interview with DeSantis, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell asked if he would represent the entire country, and whether everyone could feel welcome in DeSantis' America. 
"A hundred percent," DeSantis responded.

No, he's not going to.  And let's note that American citizens are people born in this country (as well as those who seek citizenship).  I can forgive Norah for not knowing one thing.  She's paid a lot of money to sit at that desk but she's only one person.  I cannot forgive her when the entire interview is one mistake after another.  He's going to be welcoming to all Americans?

She should have confronted him immediately about his plan to strip American citizens of citizenship. Max Greenwood (MIAMI HERALD) and Ana Ceballos (TAMPA BAY TIMES) reported at the end of June:

Andressa Reis, a 29-year-old from Coconut Creek, repeatedly refers to her U.S. citizenship status as a “privilege.” She was born in Florida after her newlywed Brazilian parents, who were in the United States at the time, decided to start a family.
“It was pretty common within my community to have people who were undocumented,” Reis said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “So I grew up recognizing the privilege I had. I didn’t have to go through a quarter of the fight that most people do.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, is promising that if he is elected president, he will eliminate the constitutional guarantee of citizenship for children born in the United States to migrants who entered the country illegally.

DeSantis made the promise to end birthright citizenship this week as he unveiled a host of hardline immigration policies meant to appeal to conservative voters. Former President Donald Trump also vowed years ago to do so through an executive order and, though he never followed through, has renewed the promise for the 2024 campaign.

Norah let him lie on national TV.  The media doesn't do their job over and over and it's how these hate merchants get away with so much.  We long ago noted that the backlash against them had started and it has.  But let's never forget that the media helped publicize these hate merchants and their programs by refusing to call out lies over and over.  People around the country suffer right now because the media refused to do its job.

Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) zooms in on this section of the interview:

 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.

The following sites updated: