Saturday, December 17, 2022


Had a nephew who wanted to see STRANGE WORLD while everyone in the family was planning to see the new AVATAR film (Stan's reviewed it, by the way, "AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER left me in tears").  So I said we'd just go ourselves and we did.

He loved it.  He's six.  


I actually loved it too.  I loved the colors -- it's an animated film.  I also thought it was funny and had enough thrills to interest grown ups.  I'm not a big DISNEY fan.  I like the film if it looks good -- meaning that real thought went into colors and style.  So the DISNEY animated films I like are never things like CINDERELLA which was so basic and boring it could have been stick figures.

I like SLEEPING BEAUTY for the look -- the darkness, the vines, all of that.  And I like NEMO and DORI for the underwater colors.  

STRANGE WORLD has great colors and great style.  Strongly recommend it.




 Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot;'


Friday, December 16, 2022. THE DAILY CALLER smears US House Rep Katie Porter.

We're back to the hearing.  I knew we would be but I thought we'd be covering another part of it.  When I realized we had to cover US House Rep Katie Porter's part, I thought I could just pull up some coverage and grab a link to their story and a paragraph or two to excerpt.

But  no one's covered the story.  

Katie is being lied about by a media outlet, outright lied about, and where's our media watchdogs?  Caught sleeping on the job again.

When Republican Yvette Herrell demonstrated that she didn't know how to listen at the House Oversight and Reform Committee's Wednesday hearing about the attacks on LGBTQ+ persons, I was appalled and felt she was deliberately mishearing (and had been passed bad summaries by her staff).  Bryanna Lyman is at THE DAILY CALLER.  Is that why she feels free to lie about US House Rep Katie Porter?

"Grooming."  As we've had to point out (such as here) and "pedophile" are being applied to members of the LGBTQ! community. It's a lie and it's always been a lie.  Anita Bryant used the lie to scare the nation in the seventies -- may she rot in hell (and take Glenn Greenwald with her).

The two terms are wrongly applied to LGBTQ+ people intentionally to harm them and, as Alastair Patton-Garcia noted recently, it's to 'other' the community.

These are intentional lies that are told  by homophobic people with the intent to stoke hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community.

For those who don't know, pedophiles are people who pursue children (those under the age of consent) for sex.  That would be people like Scott Ritter, the former United Nations employee who is now and forever a registered sex offender who served time in prison for attempting to have sex with girls.  Pedophiles do exist.  It is inaccurate to portray them as gay people or as transgendered people  Most are, like Scott Ritter, straight people who are married.  That's the reality when you look at the figures.  

"Grooming."  This is supposed to refer to those adults who are interested in having sex with underage people (children) and so they 'groom' them -- they ease into it slowly, they make them think they're friends, they then attempt to abuse that trust by leading the person into a sexual affair.  You could look at US House Rep Lauren Boebert's convicted husband as a groomer -- you could say that's why he was exposing himself in that bar to those women.

In the past, nut jobs like Anita Bryant would lie and insist that gay people groomed and that they had to because ''they can't reproduce.''

So today, the liars go on FOX NEWS or they chat with professional losers like Aunty Gigi . They repeat these lies in an attempt to scare people and whip up a mob sentiment against LGBTQ+ people.

That's what the goal is, that's why Republican members of Congress make the statements they do.  It's not for nothing that this Committee hearing featured one Republican after another who could not say "gay" or "LGBTQ+."  That was the topic, after all.  Instead we got nut jobs like Yvette Herrell who wanted to tell the witnesses (who, unlike her, actually knew what they were talking about) that there are other "hate crimes" -- do they know how many cops are shot each year?

You just want to slap someone like that because they're so damn stupid.

A police officer is trained, is armed.  It's called "in the line of duty."

There's no reason that a guy holding hands with his boyfriend should be attacked.

And, Yvette, not to be robbed.  The attack wasn't motivated by a crook needing money.  It was motivated by hate when four homophobic, hateful men saw two men in love.  Alex Bolliner (LGBTQ NEWS) reports

Four men in Florida were sentenced to probation and community service for the vicious 2018 beating of a gay couple at a Pride event because the couple was holding hands.

The attack on Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Logonov made national headlines at the time, taking place as the two were leaving a restroom in Lumus Park after Miami Beach’s Pride parade. The brutal attack was caught on security video.

“They start to hit us, like beating us, hard,” said Chalarca.

“It was, like, instant. I got hit, and they knocked me out,” said Logunov, who said that the attackers called him a “fa***t” in Spanish. “We probably provoked them because we were walking together, holding hands. It was gay pride, South Beach was full of gay people.”

Chalarca and Logonov were hospitalized.

Police searched for the attackers, releasing images from surrounding security cameras. Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso, Adonis Diaz, and Pablo Figueroa later surrendered to police and were charged with aggravated battery with hate crimes enhancements and could have faced up to 30 years in jail.

But under a plea deal last month, the charges were reduced to two counts of battery with prejudice. All four of the assailants got five years probation and 200 hours of community service, and they have to go to an anger management class.

As Elaine observed when she covered it, "They should have served hard time.  They made a decision to attack two men, they beat the men so badly that they were hospitalized.  Yet they walk with probation?"

If Yvette can't grasp the difference between police being shot in the line of duty and two unarmed men being attacked because they held hands, she's a damn fool.  Congress already has way too many of those.  

Gay people are being attacked, they're being beaten, in schools they're being tormented and told they don't exist.  Suicide rates are high.  And there's no need for homophobes in the first place, but I'll be damned if I am silent while they try to destroy people.  And Yvette to stop pretending she decries all violence when she made it through an entire hearing where she didn't decry violence against LGBTQ members or, for that matter, even acknowledge them -- no mention of lesbians, no mention of gay males, not mention of bisexuals, no mention of transgender persons, no mention of queer people.  

Republican politicians are very eager to lie about LGBTQ+ persons, they just aren't eager to acknowledge the very real violence the community is experiencing.

Twitter, since it was taken over by self-described “free-speech absolutist” Elon Musk, has seen a dramatic rise in the use of the anti-gay slur “groomer” among a cluster of high-profile anti-LGBTQ accounts, according to a new report.

According to a study by Media Matters and GLAAD released Tuesday, nine prominent anti-LGBTQ accounts had an over 1,200% increase in Twitter users’ retweets of the accounts’ tweets with the “groomer” slur in the one-month period after Musk’s Oct. 27 takeover compared with the month prior.

The accounts also showed an increase of more than 1,100% in mentions of the right-wing media accounts in tweets with the slur. The accounts analyzed in the study are: Tim Pool, Jack Posobiec, Jake Shield, Gays Against Groomers, Blaire White, Allie Beth Stuckey, Andy Ngo, Seth Dillon and Mike Cernovich. In addition, the Libs of TikTok account saw more than a 600% increase in its mentions with “groomer” language, going from nearly 2,000 to nearly 14,000 over the same timeframe.   

Oh, look, Andy Ngo, Aunty Gigi's ward.  

So THE DAILY CALLER article notes that Katie decried the terms "groomer" and "pedophile."  They, however, 'report' it in such a manner that Katie supposedly agrees with the terms being applied to LGBTQ but doesn't want them used.  


Katie knows they're lies and she was noting the damage that the terms are doing.

Here's what Katie Porter actually said in the hearing -- and we're only pulling her praise for Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney.  She was speaking to the second panel made up of Human Rights Campaign's Kelley Robinson, Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf, National Center for Transgender Equality's Oliva Hunt, Inside Out Youth Services' Jessie Pocock and The Williams Institute's Ilan Meyer.

US House Rep Katie Porter: I wanted to start with Ms. Robinson, if I could.  Your organization recently released a report analyzing the five hundred most viewed, most influential Tweets that identified LGBTQ people as so called "groomers."  The groomer narrative is an age old lie to position LGBTQ+ people as a threat to kids and what it does is to deny them access to public spaces and it stokes fear and it even stokes violence.  Ms. Robinson, according to its own hateful content policy does Twitter allow posts calling LGBTQ people "groomers"?

Kelley Robinson: No, I mean Twitter along with FACEBOOK and many others have community guidelines.  It's about holding users accountable and acknowledging that when we use phrases and words like "groomers" and "pedophiles" to describe people, individuals in our community that are mothers, that are fathers, that are teachers, that are doctors,  it is dangerous.  And it's got one purpose -- it's to dehumanize us and make us feel like we're not a part of this American society and it has real life consequences.  So we are calling on social media companies to uphold their community standards.  And we're also calling on any American that's seeing this play out to hold ourselves and our community members accountable.  We wouldn't accept this in our families, we wouldn't accept this in our schools.  There's no reason to accept it online. 

US House Rep Katie Porter: So I think you're absolutely right and it's not just this allegation of groomer and pedophile, it's alleging that a person is criminal somehow and engaged in criminal acts merely because of their identity, their sexual orientation, their gender identity.  So this is clearly prohibited under Twitter's content yet you found hundreds of these posts on the platform.  Your team filed complaints about these posts, correct?

Kelley Robinson: Yes.

US House Rep Katie Porter: And how often did Twitter act to take down these posts which violated its own content policy?

Kelley Robinson: Very rarely.  

US House Rep Katie Porter: So from our calculation, it looks like about 99% of your complaints.  They basically acted on one or two of the 100+ complaints you filed. Instead of taking them down, Twitter elevated them.  Allowing them to reach an approximate 72 million users.  This is not just about what happens online.  What happens online translates into real harm in people's lives.  Ms. Popcock, you provide services to a community that experienced the devastating LGBTQ attack.  Can you provide some examples of the link between speech online and the attacks against providers like you.  

Jesse Pocock: We know really, I mean, online threats, in addition to creating an atmosphere of bullying for young people, it also creates an atmosphere of delegitimizing our real professional trained work at INSIDE OUT YOUTH services.  And it is just so critically important that we can continue doing the work that we do.  But I want to tell just one quick story because it's beautiful.  We have an online community center and it is moderated by peer advisors and when asked how many issues of like fighting or contention do you deal with on the disport server our young people tell us "Well, it doesn't happen very often."  So I'm here to tell you that our young people have figured out how to moderate platforms in positive, productive ways?  Twitter, FACEBOOK, everybody else can figure it out too.  

US House Rep Katie Porter: Absolutely.  Ms. Robinson, your report notes that these radicalizing posts, these 'groomer' posts, these other posts that attack LGBTQ communities are related to acts in the real world -- what happens online is often reflective of what happens in the real world.  After Governor DeSantis of Florida passed his so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, what trends did you observe online with regard to 'grooming' related discourse.  

Kelley Robinson: Unfortunately, we saw a 400% increase on Twitter of this sort of hateful language.  Particularly calling our community members groomers and pedophiles.  And we know that rather or not the bills move into effect, the lasting impact of that online bullying of defining our communities in that way, it sticks -- especially with our kids. 

US House Rep Katie Porter: My time has expired but I just want to say I'm proud today, I'm proud to stand with the gay community and I'm proud that you're all here as part of our country and giving us testimony.  I yield back, Madam Chair. 

Get it?

Bryanna Lyman pretends she didn't -- I guess the clue's there in the last name that she's a liar.  She owes Katie an apology.  She also owes Kelly Robinson an apology because she lies about her as well.

Robinson were offering expert testimony which is why Bryanna Lie Face doesn't quote her.  She's selective -- as she is with Katie.

"Groomers."  We've dealt with that garbage before.  It's inaccurate and it's a smear.  That was the point both women were making.

Bryanna Lyman did not misunderstand the women, she deliberately lied about them.  It's outrageous.  

I don't usually rail against THE DAILY CALLER.  I don't read it.  When they've sent something to the public e-mail account, if it was worth noting, we did.  Otherwise, I had no opinion of it.  I am now appalled by it.  They are deliberately lying.  They have printed a deliberate inaccuracy in order to smear LGBTQs people and they have deliberately lied about what was said in a Congressional hearing.  I don't think it gets worse than that?

We've reported on hearings repeatedly at this site over the years.  I've only been appalled by the coverage one other time.  (Generally, I'm appalled by the non-coverage.)  That was when pretty much every outlet covered a hearing and they all offered nonsense except for THE NEW YORK TIMES.  It was an important hearing, on the future of the US in Iraq.  It mattered, what was discussed mattered.  Senator Kay Hagan, for example, made important points (to the witnesses Leon Panetta and ), about how the 'withdrawal' was a drawdown and how some of the US troops 'leaving' Iraq were going to Kuwait and would continue to cross the border back and forth.  There was so much worth noting in that hearing.  In fact, we covered it -- community wide -- in the following:  the November 15, 2011 "Iraq snapshot," the November 16t. 2011 "Iraq snapshot," November 17, 2011 "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)," Kat's "Who wanted what?" and THIRD's "Gen Dempsey talks '10 enduring' US bases in Iraq."    That's all covering one hearing because it was that important.

Again, only THE NEW YORK TIMES covered the importance, the substance of the hearing.

NBC?  ABC?  Various newspapers?  They wanted to have fun and josh and joke.

At the beginning of the hearing --

Let me stop there.  Having sat in on multiple hearings, let me explain for anyone unaware how this goes.  Big media outlets send someone in.  They have copies of the prepared remarks.  They sit for the first 30 or so minutes of a hearing -- that might last two or even four hours -- and rush off -- leaving the hearing -- to 'cover' it.  

They miss the hearings over and over, the bulk of the hearing is completely missed by Big Media and it happens over and over.

John McCain was in the Senate.  In his initial round of questioning, he tore into Leon Panetta over something.  It was no big deal.  The press treated it like it was.  They reported it as though it was a big deal.  That's all they took away (and delivered to news consumers) about a hearing on the US' future role in Iraq.  All they offered was: Catfight between McCain and Panetta.  As I've noted numerous times here, I know Leon and have known him for years.  I don't think I used that to explain how insipid the press was for running with that nonsense. (I may have, but I don't think I did.)  It was performative nonsense and Leon didn't take it seriously.  Nor did McCain who, in the second round, was kidding and joking with Leon.  

That outraged me because the media was ignore real and serious issues -- how many troops were leaving, what troops were being stationed in nearby countries, that talks were ongoing regarding another SOFA, what aspects were being handed over by the Defense Dept to the State Dept -- to instead focus on 'Catfight in Congress!'

There they just weren't doing their job.  And I've seen coverage where people got something wrong -- like they had a quote that they attributed to the wrong person.  

I have not seen someone do what Bryanna Lie Face has done -- deliberately lie.  

If that's THE DAILY CALLER's standard, they need to shut down.  Again, this is not, "Oh, they're right-wing so I hate them!!!"  We have linked to them before when they've e-mailed something that was germane to what we were discussing.  We have linked to other right-wing sites as well -- especially with regards to Iraq because, for years now, they're more likely to cover it than msm or left sites.  But what THE DAILY CALLER has done is deliberately lie about what a member of Congress and what a witness said.  She has lied and she's lied to incite.  That's outrageous and an abuse of The First Amendment.  This is libel.  And it's not an accident and it's not a minor detail in the report.  Bryanna Lie Face has built her entire report around a lie.

I have no idea how THE DAILY CALLER thinks it's okay to print that.  Should Kelley Robinson decide to sue, I bet they'd rethink their policy.  (They're lying about Katie but she's a public official and has a higher threshold and may honestly not feel it's worth it to sue.)

They should be ashamed of themselves.  

And THE DAILY CALLER needs to know that they are now seen as liars.  Not a news source, but as liars.  

They didn't take issue with what Katie and Kelley said.  They didn't say, I disagree.  They took what the two women said and deliberately lied about what they said.  That's why they offer a few words here and a few words there as quotes.

And it's offensive that they're lying about what two women said, it's offensive that they're claiming to be a journalism outlet and they don't follow basic journalism, and it's offensive that they are doing this to spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community.  

By the way, after she published her garbage Brianna Lie Face gushed on Twitter about her how dad took her to see The Who: "I was lucky enough to see The Who in May with my dad ans sister and folks let me tell you, BEST CONCERT EVER." 

Is she really that dumb?  

She wants to lie about Katie Porter and Kelley Robinson and claim that they are a danger to children and then wants to gush about what a great band The Who is? From CRAPAPEDIA:

Townshend accepted a caution from the Metropolitan Police (the Met) as part of Operation Ore, a major investigation on child pornography conducted in 2002–2003. The Met stated that "it was established that Mr Townshend was not in possession of any downloaded child abuse images". Townshend was on a sex offenders register for five years, beginning in 2003, after admitting he had used his credit card to access a child pornography website.[144][145] Townshend claimed he accessed the images as research in a campaign against child sexual abuse[146] – specifically, to prove that British banks were complicit in channelling the profits from paedophile rings.[147] Authorities could not prove that the website accessed by Townshend involved children, and no incriminating evidence was found on his personal computer.[148]

Glad you had the time of our life watching Pete perform.  Now cross your legs, Brianna, your hypocrisy's showing.

So many idiots.  So little time.  Yes, the person behind the attack on Florida's Pulse Clubm was a right-wing extremist.  It's too bad that Pat Fallon is a damn idiot.

I don't know how you get so stupid and still make it to Congress.  And, trust me, I'm aware hate merchant idiots like Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert are in Congress.

But the idiot that is Pat Fallon is on a whole other level.  ISIS emerged in Nouri al-Maliki's second term.

Brandon Wolf survived the attack on Club Pulse and, for some reason, that made Pat Fallon want to attack Brandon.  

He tried to put the words of Democratic members of the Committee into Brandon's mouth -- Brandon correctly told him those weren't his words.  But Pat Fallon is both an idiot and a bully so that's how he gets off.  Watching him try to intimidate Brandon, you got the feeling that if the press hadn't been present, Pat would have loved to have committed his own hate crime against Brandon.

And for the record, US House Rep Cori Bush spoke after Pat Fallon.  That's why she addressed the White supremacy issue to begin with -- the one we noted yesterday had Ranking Member James Comer sputtering.  Cori's remarks did not take place in a vacuum.  They were a response to Pat Fallon trying to pour is hate towards Democratic members of the Committee onto Brandon Wolf. 

  • Daniel Davis Aston, 28
  • Kelly Loving, 40
  • Ashley Paugh, 35
  • Derrick Rump, 38
  • Raymond Green Vance, 22

The shooting also left twenty-five people injured.

But the Republican side wanted to ignore the issue of the hearing which was violence aimed at the LGBTQ community.

So you got Pat Fallon (who also practiced Flordia's "Don't Say Gay" throughout the hearing) declaring that "crime is out of control against everyone" and, as noted earlier, Yvette's lament -- and apparent surprise -- that cops are shot at.  Yes, Yvette, this is a new development, you go study up on it.

So as Pat attacked Brandon Wolf, he wanted Brandon to know that the attack on Club Pulse -- an attack that Brandon survived -- was carried out by an American who had pledged allegiance to ISIS and this was not, Pat Fallon kept insisting, a right-winger.

Uh, yes, it is you stupid fool.


ISIS emerges in Iraq during Nouri al-Maliki's second term.  It is an extremist, right-wing, fundamentalist organization of terrorists.  

Somehow, despite approximately a decade of terrorism carried out in Iraq,  Pat Fallon never understood what the group stood for:

IS is a theocracyproto-state,[170] and a Salafi jihadist group.[42][41][43][44][45][171] ISIL's ideology has been described as a hybrid of Qutbism,[37][38][39] Takfirism,[37][40][41] Salafism,[42][45] Salafi jihadism,[42][41][43][44][45] Wahhabism,[42][41][43][44] and Sunni Islamist fundamentalism.[43][44][172] Although ISIL claims to adhere to the Salafi theology of Ibn Taymiyyah, it rebels against traditional Salafi interpretations as well as the four Sunni schools of law and anathematizes the majority of Salafis as heretics. ISIL ideologues rarely uphold adherence to Islamic scholarship and law manuals for reference, mostly preferring to derive rulings based on self-interpretation of the Qur'an and Muslim traditions.[173]

According to Robert Manne, there is a "general consensus" that the ideology of the Islamic State is "primarily based upon the writings of the radical Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood theoretician Sayyid Qutb".[174][175] The Muslim Brotherhood began the trend of political Islamism in the 20th century, seeking gradual establishment of a new Caliphate, a comprehensive Islamic society ruled by sharia law. Qutb's doctrines of Jahiliyya (pre-Islamic ignorance), Hakimiyya (Divine Sovereignty), and Takfir of entire societies formed a radicalised vision of the Muslim Brotherhood's political Islam project.

They are fundamentalists filled with hate -- you'd think Pat Fallon would recognize himself, it should be like looking in a mirror for him.

I filled in for Kat last night and noted I'd try to respond to the e-mails regarding  Tara Reade.  Quickly, here it is.

Tara Reade was on Tucker Carlson's show at some point this week.  Don't care.  Tucker's a hateful homophobe.  

Tara is saying Joe Biden penetrated her with his fingers.  I thought that was what she always said but maybe not -- maybe she didn't explain it -- or, more likely, didn't explain it in depth enough for some people to grasp what happened. 

I don't like Tara and I think she's an idiot.  I also believe every word she has said with regards to Joe.  I believe she was assaulted.

I've gone into why I don't like her, we don't need to note that again.  The idiot part may be more spread out.  So briefly . . .

1) She just went on Tucker's program.  Just.  The time to do that was in 2020 before the election.  She didn't want to be 'used.'  Whatever, I'm tired of the stupidity.  I'll give April Oliver a pass but everyone after -- including Mary Mapes -- I just don't have sympathy.  April was involved with a big report from CNN and TIME.  And the chief source got pushback from the Pentagon so he retracted his statements.  Doesn't matter.  They were on videotape.  He decided to back out and CNN did a witch hunt and tried to treat it as something other than journalism.  By every journalism measure, April and Jack Smith nailed down all they needed to in order to report.  The media is not  your friend.  It's never your friend.  Yes, I was surprised this decade when, out of nowhere, THE WASHINGTON POST decided to a hatchet job on offline me, but I was surprised because I wasn't doing anything to get press attention.  Someone had a long standing grudge to work.  But the media is not your friend, they are never your friend.  They are there for a story and they'll use you to get it.

Tara should have understood that.  She should have understood that not going on Tucker or whomever's show in 2020 was not going to make her more believable.  It was just going to deny her a large platform from which she could make her case.  April, Mary and many others have been stupid because an 'investigation' was taking place.  Unless you're part of the team investigating, that 'investigation' is not going to be in your favor.

Tara was being shut out of the media when she wasn't being attacked by the media.  It was stupid on her part not to have grabbed every opportunity available.  And any real survivor would have understood her doing just that.

2) Some people are saying she's now a right-winger.

It doesn't help that she's promoting a registered sex offender (Scott Ritter) or that she's jumping up and down like the pep squad for various conservatives.  Tara's not right-wing.  She may become it, but she's not there yet.  She was a partisan and, like many partisans, she thought she knew all about life and political theory.  She may know all about life, she knew very little about politics.  Go back to those early YOUTUBE interviews and grasp that she never should have been put on camera.  I'm sure she herself would groan if she went back and watched them.  We all get there on our own time.  What some are seeing as right-wingerness in her currently is really just her adjusting her stance.  The same partisanship she believed in (but didn't term it that) is what attacked and turned on her when she spoke out about Joe.

3) If Tara had come to me, told her story and I was writing it up, I needed to tell her what I had learned.

That did not happen with regards to her reporter and Time's Up.  She should not have been blind sided to learn that they were (mis)using her.  The reporter on that story should have told her.  That same reporter also should have been the one to report the call Tara's mother made to LARRY KING LIVE.  Not to say, "She says her mom called in to LARRY KING LIVE."  That reporter should have done their duty and located the call and reported on it.  (No one does their duty.  Sharon Stone's lying through her ass and people are repeating it. 'I didn't work for 8 years because I couldn't get hired due to speaking out on AIDS!'  Can she ever stop lying?  And what idiot reporters are reprinting that without checking her filmography and learning that there is no such gap in her employment.)  Yet Tara continued to defend the reporter.  I don't think she does now -- at least not as vocally -- due to who her new cohorts are.

4) Alyssa Milano shot off her mouth.

I immediately called her out here.  It was newsworthy that Alyssa spoke and what she said.  Alyssa didn't believe Tara.  She explained that she knew things we didn't.  


Did someone slip it into the script for a bad TV movie?

No, as I pointed out, Times Up was leaking on her.  Not only did I point it out, that reality was also told to the reporter covering her story.  It shouldn't have taken the Cuomo scandal for the media to tell the truth about Times Up.

And I said to tell the truth.

The media's smear jobs were fed to them by the Biden campaign.

We stood alone -- Ava and I -- in calling out the PBS 'scoop' of all those people who worked with Joe at the time and never, ever heard about the assault.

First off, you don't show up at the office and say, "Hey, everybody, can you give me just a second.  A few minutes ago, our boss assaulted me.  Okay, thank you.  If anyone's headed for the cafeteria, I could use a Diet Coke."

Second, PBS didn't do an investigation.

An investigation of me is not me handing you a list of names I've written and telling you to talk to them.  Joe's campaign made that list.  Every name on that list had already been vetted by his campaign before the list was handed to PBS.

Time and again, even her reporter failed her.  That included failing to do an update.  Tara lied! She compromised judicial cases!!  Remember those claims.  It's a typical Biden move (look at Beau's efforts to discredit people) and then, when the press looks elsewhere, no charges are brought because nothing was done wrong.  A report should have noted, no later than January 2021, that Tara didn't lie about this or that and that no court verdict was overturned by her actions.

I don't like Tara.  I have said from day one that I believed her and I still believe her.  That's why I noted that she needed to demand the records.   I don't like her but I do believe her.  She needs to pursue her case.

Let's wind down with this:

The following sites updated:

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Twitter Dumps

C.I. (of THE COMMON ILLS) filling in for Kat.  She's tired, the roundtble tonight for the gina & krista round-robin ran hours.  So I'm filling in and  I'm going to cover something coming up in a few e-mails.  Today on CNN THIS MORNING (their new morning show), they had a segment that probably few saw.  Very few are watching the new morning program.  Elaine has rightly explained the problem is Don Lemon and that, if he can't adjust to mornings, he needs to be dumped.  In the morning, they want you likeable.  People are waking up, having their coffee, easing into their day if they're lucky.  He needs to stop thinking he's still anchoring a nighttime product.  When Katie Couric went from NBC's TODAY to THE CBS EVENING NEWS, she had to make adjustments.  Norah O'Donnell has had to as well.  If Don can't turn it around, CNN needs to find something else for him.

Oliver Darcy was on the segment.   He was making two claims.

The first was that The Twitter Files don't matter because there isn't any evidence Twitter and the government worked together to censor information.  The second was that Elon Musk was wrong to release the internal e-mails to Bari and Matt.  (I'm typing Matt for the first time.  I'm trying to honor a promise but I've got a feeling it's going to crash and burn.  My apologies, I kept it for nearly two decades.)  

On the first assertion.

Do The Twitter Files -- a series of Tweets -- actually several series of Tweets -- prove what Oliver says they don't.

I question the wording.  Is this how he speaks or was it trying to be cute?

Reality: The FBI -- in complete opposition of their charter as well as the Constitution (specifically The First Amendment) -- illegally went to Twitter and told them that a laptop (that was in their possession since December 2019) or hard drive might emerge in the lead up to the election and it would be Russian disinformation.  This reality is not dependent upon The Twitter Files.  Meta/FACEBOOK's Mark  Zuckerberg appeared on Joe Rogan's program back in August and discussed the FBI coming by FACEBOOK ahead of the election with warnings.  

This was illegal.  Who ordered it?  

Donald Trump's an idiot.  I've always known that and it's why I've always avoided him in real life.  But one of the stupidest things he's done since The Twitter Files began being released (dumped) was failing to raise this issue, failing to note the actions were illegal and asking who ordered these actions?  That last one should especially concern him because he was President of the United States.

I don't believe in Richard Nixon's theory of the law, so let me be clear, if Donald had ordered the FBI to do it, it still would have been illegal.  But he did not order it.  So who did?

I don't believe field agents went rogue on their own.  They may have.  I don't believe that they did.  

I don't believe it because there's too much overlapping -- such as coordinating the warning to social media with the release from the 'intelligence' 'experts' who lied that the Hunter Biden laptop had all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation -- as well as the media -- which NEWSWEEK 'forgot' in their fact check -- which immediately began removing any qualifiers or doubt from the statement.  

I don't believe a few rogue field agents could have pulled that off.

This seems to have the hallmarks of an organized campaign, of an actual FBI operation that was well planned. 

The Twitter Files highlight that.  But, again, that's backed up by other things including Zuckerberg's interview.

Should Elon Musk have released the e-mails to someone else?

He can release to whomever he wants, first and foremost.  Would there have been a benefit to releasing them to an organization the size of CNN?  Sure.  We might actually have a report -- a real report -- and not just Tweets.  Were there any drawbacks to handing them to CNN?  I would worry that anything related to Biden would be heavily censored due to CNN's history in the last six years (we can go back further but, certainly, in the last six years, CNN's reputation has been brutally destroyed -- by people like Don Lemon, in fact).  So there would be benefits to going with CNN and there would be benefits to avoiding CNN.  

Elon Musk made his decision.

There's also the secret agreement that Bari and Matt made with Musk for access.  We still don't know that agreement.  

Had The Twitter Files been offered to CNN and had Musk put the same condition on it, CNN might have had to refuse.  There are certain agreements that no journalist or outlet should enter into.  Did Matt and Bari?  We don't know because we don't what the agreement was.  

Again, it was Musk's to release and he made his choice on who.

Darcy looks like a whiney little kid stomping his foot.  It's not a good look.  It's also not a compelling segment.  They really need a producer and either a new camera operator or to free the one they have currently.  It feels like 1970s daytime TV.

For those of you (community members) who e-mailed regarding Tara Reade, I actually had her in today's snapshot but had to pull it because it was too long.  I'll try to work it into Friday's snapshot.  The snapshot, by the way, will continue to be called the "Iraq snapshot."  I'll try to always include something about Iraq in it.  There are days when Iraq will be the focus and days when it won't.  Even when it's just a little bit about Iraq, other topics will help the Iraq news be seen -- something Rebecca long ago proved at her site.  The hearing covered in the snapshot that I'm about to put below this will again be covered in tomorrow's snapshot.  Ava and I are also toying with a possible way to include it in our media piece for THIRD (we are including it in our piece for Friday's gina & krista round-robin).  

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapsot;"

Thursday, December 15, 2022.  The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on violence against LGBTQ+ members.

We'll start with this.

Michael Anderson:  I was bartending that evening when the attack began.  I felt more terrified than I ever have before.  I ran for my life that night and hid -- praying and hoping the violence would end.  When I stared down the barrel of that gun, I realized I stood no chance against a weapon of that power, magazine capacity, and seemingly automatic firing rate.  While I prepared for my life to end in that moment, I prayed.  I panicked.  And I prayed some more.  God must have heard my prayers because two brave men stopped the shooter moments before he would have inevitably found me.  I saw my friend lying on the floor, bleeding out, knowing there was little to no chance of surviving the bullet wound.  I had to tell him goodbye while I continued to fear for my life, not knowing if the attack was truly over.

James Slaugh: The events of November 19th were a nightmare come true.  Right before midnight, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, my boyfriend Jancarlos and I were about to leave when a shooter walked in.  Several POPs rang out and I immediately felt a searing pain in my arm.  I fell over knowing I had been shot.  My right arm wasn't working but I was able to call 911.  I saw everyone on the ground, glass panes shattered and blood running from my arm and chest where shrapnel had come through.  Jancarlos was next to me, shot in the leg, but thankfully alive.  To my horror though, I saw my sister bleeding out.  She had been shot over five times. My heart rended ed as she tried to dial 911 with her good arm.  I called out to her and I heard no response.  I don't want to imagine what may have happened had the shooter not been taken down.  Five wonderful people were still murdered and may we never forget their names 

Matthew Haynes: When I opened Club Q twenty years ago, Colorado Springs was a very different place.  There were picketers greeting our opening.  I'm proud to have remained in Colorado Springs over the years -- even when we did not feel welcome.  Club ! has been a home for the community for 20 years.  We are proud to say it will once again become the home for our community.  One man full of hate will not destroy us.  Club Q is for everyone regardless of who they love and how they present, regardless if this is different than how you or I may love.  LGBTQ venues and small business across our nation are extensions of family for us all.  And, for many, they are the only places we can find acceptance.  Club Q will need all the resources available to help us rebuild what was stolen from us.

Michael, James and Matthew survived last month's shooting at Club Q.  The three were testifying before The House Committee on Oversight and Reform.  US House Rep Carolyn Maloney is the Chair of the Committee.  

Carolyn leaves Congress next month.  She was first sworn in in January of 1993.  She used her last weeks in Congress to focus on a very important issue -- at least important to most people.  It wasn't important to any Republican on the Committee and I do have to wonder if they're unaware that they have members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies of the community in their districts?  It would be great if, in 2024, these 'representatives' could be voted out. 

  • Daniel Davis Aston, 28
  • Kelly Loving, 40
  • Ashley Paugh, 35
  • Derrick Rump, 38
  • Raymond Green Vance, 22

The shooting also left twenty-five people injured.

Michael, James and Matthew made up the first panel before the Committee.  The second panel was made up of Human Rights Campaign's Kelley Robinson, Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf, National Center for Transgender Equality's Oliva Hunt, Inside Out Youth Services' Jessie Pocock and The Williams Institute's Ilan Meyer.

We'll note this exchange:

Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney:  The violence that took place at Club Q follows years of long efforts by some state lawmakers to erase LGBTQ+ people from school curriculum, limit their access to healthcare and undermine their ability to fully participate in society.  Now state lawmakers are not alone.  They're have been many actions here in Congress pushing the same kind of draconian, extremist policies.  For example, more than 30 House Republicans introduced their own version of Florida's "Don't Say Gay or Trans" law which would restrict federal funding for schools that include LGBTQ+ people in their curriculum.  I'd like to ask Ms. Robinson: How would a federal policy suppress even mentioning LGBTQ+ persons in classrooms further undermine the ability of LGBTQ+ Americans to live authentically and safely?  Ms. Robinson?

Kelley Robinson: Thank you for the question.  And it's so critically important what we teach our kids matters.  We're teaching curriculum that not only shows how important history is and what we can be in the future but also what we value, who matters, who deserves dignity and respect.  If we erase LGBTQ+ people from the curriculum, it erases a value in our lives.  As Brandon said, this is our opportunity to be better and we can do that.  And it starts with how we educate our children.  And I also want to be clear that when we allow the pieces of legislation to move forward that erase our communities, that dehumanize us, what it does is create a dangerous environment that does support and feed these seeds of hatred that exist in our world.  It's not only dangerous, it's violent to our people. 

Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney:  Thank you.  Ms. Pocock, what would a federal "Don't Say Gay or Trans" law mean for the LGBTQ+ youth navigating their communities across the country from your experience?

Jessie Pocock: Yes, you know, we worked really hard on a similar "Don't Say Gay" bill that was being proposed in our, uh, in our state and, you know, the truth is that we all need mentors and examples that we can grow into and see ourselves in.  And when our -- When we as a nation are hiding our faces or our experiences or our contributions to this nation, it really impacts young people and their ability to see others like them and their ability to learn how we've contributed to this nation.  But more than that, it's erasure and it hurts.  And so our young people tell us that what they see and hear and feel when school board members or politicians are advocating to erase them is that they feel like they don't belong.  They feel like their public schools are not for them.  And so it is so critically important that we are always cheering these young people on.  And one real simple way to do that is to give them access to folks like me and those of us on the panel who are LGBTQ and incredible human beings in this world because they can be too. They just need us to support them and show them how. 

Committee Chair Carolyn Mahoney:  Thank you.  Following the enactment of Florida's "Don't Say Gay or Trans" law, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric on social media surged by more than 400%.  Astonishingly. Dr Meyer, what is the relationship between this surge and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and the kind of violence that took place at Club Q last month?

Dr Ilan Meyer:  I think it was mentioned already in the panel, this kind of incitement encourages people to enact what they think is righteous because of religious convictions and other types of ideologies that are portrayed on social media wrongly and clearly this is creating an environment where such violence is seen as not only acceptable but, as I said, righteous and desirable and causing LGBT people a lot of harm -- not only in the -- those of them who actually experience violence, but also everybody in the community who witnesses it,

 A note.  Many Democrats in the hearing use LGBTQIA.  Some used the more common LGBTQ or LGBTQ+.  I myself haven't used LGBTQAI here.  It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual.  That's an expansive term and it's good to expand.  We'll try to use it here in the future.  

Let's move to two idiots.  First, Yvette Herrell.  She showed up for a moment in the hearing and completely misunderstood everything had been said -- most importantly when she completely distorted Dr Meyer's remarks, twisted them to make them something he never said.  I am not going to sully his reputation by repeating her nonsense here.  She also didn't understand basic English as evidenced by her distortion of what Dr Pocock was speaking of.  (Or maybe her staff just wrote her poor crib notes -- she wasn't present for the remarks from either that she elected to comment on.)

Another idiot?  Ranking Member James Comer used the hearing to repeatedly play a victim.  Most infamously where he all but sobbed while proclaiming of the hearing:

Unfortunately, Democrats are using Committee time and resources today to blame Republicans for this horrendous crime.  This is not an oversight hearing.  This is a "blame Republicans so we don't have to take responsibility" for our own defund the police and soft on crime politics.



Defund the police and soft on crime policies?

Let's, for the sake of argument, insist that's true.

What the hell does that have to do with the shooting?

Three patrons of the bar -- Richard M. Fierro, Thomas James and an unidentified trans woman -- took the shooter out.  This wasn't a case where the police were outside the club waiting to come in.  Does Comer really believe what he said?  If so, can he pass a drug screen?

If he can't, that would explain the hair.  Did no one on his staff have a comb?  You can't get those cheap hair cuts and not comb.  I don't have to comb.  All I have to do is run my fingers through my hair.  But I pay for a good haircut.  The upper right side of his hair looked like he cut it himself.  And someone please tell him to sit on his jacket's coat tails or not to wear the jacket.  Is he that stupid?  Does he not know you sit on the jacket to get a crisp and clear line on the shoulders?

Comer also lost it during US House Rep Cori Bush's time.  

For those who don't know, unlike the Senate, members of the House have only five minutes each round for questioning and comments during a hearing.  Five minutes.   And any sensible person knows not to interrupt a committee member during their five minutes (five each round).  But there was Comer sputtering of Bush's remarks -- while she was speaking, "That -- that -- Madam Chair -- I mean, my G**."  If you're new here, out of respect for all, we do not allow what some see as blasphemy to go up here -- for any deity.  We always censor God if it's being used in vain.  That's why we're censoring Comer.  I'll also add that I believe he was using the name in vain.  I could be wrong.  You could also read it as he was calling Carolyn Maloney his God.  I don't think that's the case but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Not that he earned it.  

He gave an opening statement that was over 640 words long.  In it, he did manage to decry attacks on African-Americans, on "Asian communities, Jewish communities and Christian communities" on "churches and pro-life institution," on "all races and ethnicities"  . . .  He left "on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen."  

Know who else he left out?


That's what the hearing was about but in his opening remarks he did not note them.  (He referred to victims!  Yes, he did.  And, sorry, the victims included straight people.)  A hearing about violence against LGBTQ+ and Comer can whine about himself but can't say, even once, that attacks on LGBTQ+ are wrong.  "Republicans condemn violence in all forms," he insisted . . . while refusing to decry violence against that community.  Shameful.

He's full of it.

And everyone needs to grasp that.  Do not say, "Well he said all forms."  Yes, he did.  And then he went on to specify groupings, many, many groupings.  None of which were lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgenders.  That is reality.  Those were his own words and he wrote his opening statement out ahead of time.  He included every word he wanted.  He didn't want to include LGBTQ+.  Don't pretend otherwise unless you're an Aunty Gigi (a self-loathing closet case who is more worried about impressing straight conservatives than in defending his own rights and those of his family.  Aunty Gigi is best exemplified by Glenn Greenwald).

Let's also note that he looked like he wanted to puke when Michael Anderson testified the following:

To my fellow LGBTQ community, events like this are designed to discourage us from speaking and living our truth.  They are designed to scare us from living openly, courageously and proudly.  We must not succumb to fear, we must live prouder and louder than ever before.  We must continue to be who we are, for who we are is exactly who we are meant to be.  And to the children watching this, feeling you may not be like other kids:  I understand you and I see you.  You deserve to be exactly who you are, no matter what anyone has to say.  In the words of my personal gay icon Christina Aguilera, you are beautiful no matter what they say.  Words can't bring you down, so don't let them bring you down today.

I'm sure the Aunty Gigis will insist that by not naming them, Comer was being kind -- after all so many others in his Republican Party trash them out right with one lie after another.  They'll pick the belly lint and be content pretending its chocolate covered cherries.  Too bad for Aunty Gigi, the rest of the country's not so pathetic.

Again, five people were killed in the attack on Club Q and twenty-five were injured (but how nice for Comer to try to make it all about himself).  James Slaugh spoke of his sister who was injured in the attack:

I have always struggled with my sexuality, not because I deny who I am, but because many others do -- because others want to hurt me for being me.  My coming out story involves my family and their support.  My sister Charlene paved the way for me to accept myself.  After she was forced out of the closet and ultimately the house by our mom who -- at the time -- believed being gay was a sin, our household went through a transformation.  In the end, love won, as it always will.  Our mom became loving and accepting.  She chose her children and it was this road to my sister and I had to endure that allowed me to feel safe enough to say, 'Hey, Mom, I like guys.'  She recently passed.  But before she did, for the past 15 years, she has been an advocate for our community, especially in her religious circles.

Comer was imitated by his fellow Republicans on the Committee.  Virginia Foxx, Fred Keller, Jody Hice also couldn't say gay or trans -- maybe they thought were in a Florida school?  

Couldn't mention the L or the G or the B or the T or the Q.

We need to note Glenn Grothman because he did say "gay."  He truly did.  Speaking of people murdered in the US this year, he decalred, "I assume some of them were gay -- I don't know."  


He didn't know.

I guess that passes for compassion and awareness for Republicans on the Committee.

It was funny to watch the Republicans run from the terms.  Jody Hice, for example, freaking out and frothing about how people "blame Republicans for these attacks" without ever saying who the attacks were on.


Hice did say that "the rise of hate crimes concerns me, it concerns all of us" and went on to identify the "hate crimes" as mean people who said Trump staffers should have difficulty finding employment.

Yes, that is the great hate crime, Hice, you nailed it.  

And he offered this statement -- without saying who said it or whom it was said to -- as an example of a hate crime, "You're all trash.  I hate you and I wish you harm."

Jody, when your wife speaks to you like that, consider marital counseling.

Jody did manage to say, as he got really angry about someone being denied service at a food establishment, "This was not LGB community, this was Christians!''


Dr. Meyers tried to explain what a hate crime was during the hearing and it sailed right over the Republicans heads.


For other coverage of the hearing, see Ruth's "Allies are needed (House Oversight Committee)," Kat's "Respect for Marriage Act is only step one, more needed," "Cori Bush speaks some truth in Committee hearing," Trina's "LGBTQ youth need a safe nation (Dr. Jessie Pocock)," Mike's "Texas, come claim your idiot (House Oversight Committee)," Stan's "Shontel Brown, Chris Wallace, Wonder Woman" and Rebecca's "glenn greenwald wants to be the biggest bitch there is ."  

Let's not the Committee's press release on the hearing:

At Oversight Committee Hearing, Survivors of Anti-LGBTQI+ Violence Underscore Dangers of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism

Dec 14, 2022
Press Release
At Oversight Committee Hearing, Survivors of Anti-LGBTQI+ Violence Underscore Dangers of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 14, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing to examine how the surge of anti-LGBTQI+ policies advanced in legislatures across the country and the proliferation of extreme anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric are fueling violence against LGBTQI+ people in the United States, including the mass shooting that took place at the LGBTQI+ nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs last month.


“Last month, a person with an AR-15-style assault rifle entered Club Q—a nightclub that served as a haven for LGBTQI+ people in the Colorado Springs community—and opened fire on unsuspecting bar patrons and staff.  The attacker’s depravity robbed us of five innocent lives—Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Derrick Rump,” said Chairwoman Maloney in her opening statement.  “Let us honor them by recommitting to the bold action necessary to ensure that every person in the United States can experience the freedom to live authentically and safely—regardless of who they love or how they identify.”  


The Committee heard testimony from Michael Anderson and James Slaugh, survivors of the deadly Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Matthew Haynes, founding owner of Club Q.  The Committee also heard testimony from Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign;  Brandon Wolf, survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting;  Olivia Hunt, Policy Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality;  Jessie Pocock, CEO and Executive Director of Inside Out Youth Services; and Ilan Meyer, Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy at the Williams Instititue


Survivors of anti-LGBTQI+ violence and expert witnesses emphasized that Republicans’ extremist rhetoric and harmful policies have contributed to surging violence, intimidation, and an unprecedented rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community. 


  • Mr. Anderson testified: “It was places like gay bars and clubs that helped me embrace who I was and formed me into the man I am today … If you are fortunate enough to intimately know LGBTQ people, you will find some of the kindest, funniest, accepting, and most welcoming people. Those are the people that found a safe place in Club Q and deserve to once again have that safe space … I can still hear the rapid firing of bullets today.  It’s a sound I may never forget.  It’s a sound I hope no one here or anywhere else in this country has to hear.”


  • Mr. Haynes testified: “I know that we, our Club Q community, are in the thoughts and prayers of many of you.  Unfortunately, these thoughts and prayers alone are not saving lives. They are not changing the rhetoric of hate.  None of us ever imagined that our little bar in Colorado Springs would be the target of the next hate crime, and I again repeat that we were targeted for the next hate crime … When you take hate and access to military style assault weapons, putting those together is total carnage.”


  • Mr. Slaugh testified: “ I don’t want to imagine what may have happened if the shooter had not been taken down that night.  Five wonderful people were still murdered and may we never forget their names.  Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, and Kelly Loving.  We miss each of you.”    


  • Responding to Rep. Cicilline, Brandon Wolf testified:  “Words have consequences...people should be accountable for the things that come out of their mouths and when you’re willing to traffic in cheap shots and bigotry against a marginalized community that is already seeing hate against it on the rise, already seeing violence rising across the country, when you’re willing to traffic in those things to score political points, you have to be accountable for what happens next. you have to hold yourself accountable for the impacts of your words.


Witnesses detailed the growing list of harmful anti-LGBTQI+ policies championed by Republicans at every level of government and the ways in which they are undermining the ability of LGBTQI+ people to live authentically and without fear.


  • In response to a question from Rep. Bush about the proliferation of Republican bills targeting LGBTQI+ people, Ms. Robinson stated:  “It’s a crisis that we are experiencing.  We are trying to be able to live freely, safely, and wholly as our true selves in every aspect of life.  And what we see is continued legislative attacks paired with extremist rhetoric.  And when some of these bills are moving forward whether or not they are enacted, they have a devastating impact on our community.”


  • Responding to a question from Chairwoman Maloney about the threat of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” law, Ms. Robinson testified:  “When we allow these pieces of legislation to move forward, that erase our communities, that dehumanize us, what it does is create a dangerous environment that does support and feed these seeds of hatred that exist in our world. It’s not only dangerous, it’s violent to our people.”


  • Brandon Wolf explained the impact of Florida’s law limiting discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools:  “We’ve seen books being banned with LGBTQ characters across the state.  We’ve seen teachers being told to hide their family photos in their desks.  We've seen school districts like Miami Dade County refusing to recognize LGBTQ history month for instance, saying that it might violate the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law.  Those are just some of the impacts.  They’re weighing most heavily on LGBTQ families who fought really hard to see their loved ones recognized and respected.  It's weighing on teachers who are fleeing the profession, we have over 9,000 teacher vacancies in Florida in part because they’ve been undergoing character assassination over the last couple of years. And finally it’s weighing most heavily on LGBTQ young people.  The Trevor Project tells us that almost two thirds of trans young people are experiencing poorer mental health outcomes because of policies like House Bill 1557 in Florida.  So in short, the debate over the humanity of LGBTQ people is making life harder and less safe for people, especially in the state of Florida.”


  • In response to a question from Rep. Raskin on how extreme Republican laws affect the mental health and physical safety of LGBTQI+ youth, Ms. Hunt testified:  “When children are told that they’re not part of society, it teaches them that they don’t belong, that they are lesser-than, and that they are not as worthy as their classmates and as their peers.  And that’s not the message that we should ever be teaching to young children anywhere in this country.”


Witnesses and Democratic Members emphasized the need to take bold action to push back against extreme anti-LGBTQI+ policies and advance the health, safety, and rights of LGBTQI+ people


  • Responding to a question from Congresswoman Norton on the importance of the Equality Act, Mr. Wolf testified:  “It’s important because we are not afforded the same nondiscrimination protections as other people. I say this as a person in the state of Florida. One of the things we’ve worked on with Equality Florida for years is implementing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in our state, so what does that mean?  It means protecting people from being denied housing because we have a boyfriend, not a girlfriend.  It protects LGBTQ people from being fired because we have a picture of our spouse on the desk.”


  • Responding to questioning from Rep. Raskin, Ms. Pocock explained: “We know that when you build an inclusive classroom you have young folks who are more engaged, who are more likely to show up in school, and so the best thing that we can do is prevent negative outcomes by creating an inclusive classroom, an inclusive church, an inclusive home.  That is hands-down, the research shows, the very best thing we can do for young people.”



117th Congress

We may return to the topic tomorrow.  I've got enough my notes to do so and it was an important hearing.

Turning to Iraq, MIDDLE EAST EYE reports:

A coalition of anti-war groups and rights organisations have signed a letter urging congressional leadership to put forth a measure to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for Iraq.

The letter, sent to senators Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, and Patrick Leahy, as well as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, among others, urged the lawmakers to take action on what it referred to as a "long overdue repeal".

As of Wednesday, 37 organisations had signed the letter.

"Repealing this outdated and unnecessary law would constitute a basic act of constitutional hygiene while also ensuring that the 2002 Iraq AUMF cannot be misused to breathe new life into an unforeseen national security crisis, driven by an unchecked president," the letter said.

"This scenario has already played out once, in early 2020; there is nothing to prevent it playing out again, until Congress takes the 2002 Iraq AUMF off the books."

And we'll note CENTCOM issued the following:

Dec. 14, 2022

Release Number 20221214-10


BAGHDAD – On Dec. 13, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, visited Baghdad, where he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Shia’ Al-Sudani, Minister of Defense Thabet Mohammed Saeed, Chief of Defense Lieutenant Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah, and commander of Joint Operations Command for Iraq Lieutenant Gen. Qais Al-Muhammadawi AI-Abbasi.

The leaders discussed the current security situation in the region, as well as opportunities to strengthen cooperation and coordination. They spoke of progress in the development of the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces. They also discussed ongoing operations to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

Qais provided Kurilla with a tour of the Joint Command Center as well as a review of the Iraq command’s joint targeting process. He also recognized U.S. Soldiers assigned to Operation Inherent Resolve for their work alongside Iraqi forces.

These engagements strengthen bilateral relations between the U.S. and Iraq and reaffirm CENTCOM’s commitment to the security and stability of the Middle East.

The following sites updated: