NPR reports that the House finaly voted for The Respect for Marriage Act:
The legislation passed 258-169 in the House Thursday with bipartisan support, after passing through the Senate last week with a 61-36 vote. Twelve Republican senators voted in favor of the bill.
Several LGBTQ members of Congress spoke on the House floor ahead of the vote, including Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., the first openly gay person of color in Congress.
"This bill will pass today but it is a reminder of the necessity of our vigilance in the fight for the human rights and need to hold the judicial branch accountable," Takano said. "We must rise to the challenge and we will prevail."
The bill would require that all states recognize same-sex and interracial marriages performed in any other state. It would not require that states individually allow these marriages to be performed. The measure also would recognize these marriages for consideration of federal benefits such as Medicare and Social Security.
Finally. Now the measure goes to Joe Biden. If he signs it (he says he will), it becomes the law of the land.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Thursday, December 8, 2022. A lot to cover, mainly Joe Biden's dereliction of duty and how he better take action immediately or face a deserved impeachment. And I don't say that with glee or happiness. We've held the snapshot for an hour as I tried to think of any justification for his inaction -- legal justification. There is none. Here we go.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continues to deflect questions related to the bombshell 'Twitter Files' after calling it 'old news' during her briefing on Tuesday.
She declined to comment on Wednesday when asked if Biden's team ever formally or informally communicated to the Twitter team that Hunter Biden's laptop was hacked.
It's not old news that the FBI visited social media execs and lied that a laptop might emerge shortly before the election and that it was Russian disinformation. The FBI knew about the laptop because they'd had the hard drive in their possession for nearly a year. They knew it was real.
Why did they lie to social media execs?
That's not old news and it never will be. They lied to influence the outcome of an election.
That's not their role. That's now why they exist. Heads should roll over their behavior.
And let's return to yesterday's main point: the spokesperson declaring that releasing information about what took place is "unhealthy" for the country.
No, it is not unhealthy.
Sunlight is never unhealthy to democracy.
And anyone who claims it is? That's who needs to be rebuked.
And now? It's Joe Biden who needs to be rebuked.
The White House has taken no action at all. Information dumped last Friday has the FBI lying to cover up a story. Yes, the story involves Crack Head Hunter Biden.
Now, let's put everything on pause for just one moment.
A number of idiots -- including on the left -- wanted to insist oh, Hunter's just a drug addict who has problems, stop looking, turn your heads, blah blah blah.
That was bulls**t then and it's bulls**t now.
There's a reason you probe these stories and it's not to learn how many dildos Hunter took up the ass.
It's because his father could end up president and you need to determine whether or not Hunter is going to compromise him.
We don't need to figure that out anymore.
In fact, we now have grounds for impeachment.
I'm not calling for Joe Biden to be impeached.
But the events of the last few days are stronger than any reason we had to impeach Bill Clinton or, yes, even Donald Trump.
On Friday, information was released that showed a federal law enforcement agency went around lying and intimidating the media to influence the outcome of an election.
Where is the president?
Where the hell is the US president?
Joe has previously insisted Hunter did nothing wrong.
Okay, well, let that rest for a moment.
Joe is President of the United States. The information released demands accountability ASAP.
Where's his support for a Congressional investigation? Where's his public demand for answers? Where is his statement to the American people that this never should have happened?
Or, for that matter, that he wasn't a part of it?
Because we need to know that, as a citizen when he ran for president, he wasn't trading on favors to break the law. The FBI's actions are not just appalling, they're also illegal.
Joe is the President of the United States. He is the head of the executive branch of the US government. The FBI falls under that branch.
I don't need to hear the uneducated Karine Jean-Pierre make another joke or issue another threat.
This is a serious matter and it should be treated as such.
The FBI acted in a criminal manner. That has been exposed. It is time for the President of the United State to stop hiding and to make a statement on what has happened.
Joe hasn't made it yet. He should have made one on Saturday.
But he's compromised.
At best, the only reason he's only compromised is because it's his son. At worst? He might have been knowingly profiting from Hunter's actions and the pay-to-play scheme. Or, for that matter, he might have been involved in the FBI's actions -- calling in favors from his earlier political career, for example.
But, for right now, let's just take the best option for his dithering: It's a story involving his son.
I don't give a damn about your son. You had the crack head before you became president. You're now president.
If you can't handle the job, step down.
And this is why those of you on the left -- and please note, I'm not talking about the liars who dismissed the laptop as nothing back in October of 2020. I'm talking about people who had podcasts and people who 'covered' it by telling us, "Oh, he has a drug problem, poor Hunter."
F**K POOR HUNTER. The country is more important, democracy is more important, than the deserved and earned shame Hunter has brought down upon himself and his family.
Sorry, Katie Halper, I'm looking at you. I'll name you because you're the only one I can name without going into a holy tear. If I name anyone else who had too much sympathy for Hunter Biden and too little for the American people if a compromised person became president, we'll be spending the whole snapshot on their many errors and lies. With Katie, I can say she was too sensitive to Hunter and that's all I have to say because she's got a strong record otherwise.
I'll go further, in fact, I'll even praise Jimmy Dore for not falling into that trap that so many others did. He treated it as a serious story from the start. Good for Jimmy. Thank you, Jimmy.
I don't care that Hunter had strippers shove dildos up his ass.
I do care that he could compromise a presidency.
And that's why you don't pretend like a grown and middle aged man is a child and offer excuses for looking the other way as his father runs to become president.
Well then he needs to get accountable. He needs to work his program. He doesn't need the press covering for him or excusing him. Or pretending -- and we pointed this out in real time -- that a woman rescued him -- with love, of course. That's not how recovery works.
And all you idiots did was excuse it.
And you created the moment for this.
Joe Biden should have acted immediately. As soon as that information dropped last Friday, he should have met with the White House attorneys to craft a response. Not just a statement but a plan of action to let the American people know that FBI was being reigned in and that this would never, ever happen again. That he was appalled and outraged by what was exposed last Friday.
He's paralyzed because he's compromised and you can thank all the people who whored for him, you brought us to this point.
The FBI acted illegally and this became public seven days ago. SEVEN DAYS AGO. And yet the president has nothing to say. There's has been no statement decrying what took place, no statement to assure the American people that this is not going to be ignored -- despite the White House spokesperson asking for it to be ignored.
I'm real sorry that Joe Biden's having to choose between Daddy and President -- but here's reality, it is no choice. He's the president and he wanted to be it so he needs to act as the President.
His refusal to do so? In the face of what has been exposed, his sinking his head in the sand and not saying a word, his taking no action and his spokesperson trying to Twitter and the press what to do? That is the very definition of high crimes and misdemeanors.
He is failing a president, he is demonstrating dereliction of duty.
These are grounds for impeachment.
I have tried to avoid this issue since Friday in part because there's no report from the one who did the dump and in part because I knew when I got pissed enough I'd say what no one has the guts to say: These are grounds for impeachment.
He needs to take action immediately.
As President of the United States.
He's failed to do so.
His failure makes it clear that he is now compromised by Hunter.
Had the press done their job, we wouldn't be at this point. Joe now has to decide if he is going to honor his Constitutional oath and to serve the American people or if he's going to step down immediately as President.
That is what is called for right now.
The American people know that a federal law agency interfered in an election and did so to impact the outcome. That's illegal. Heads to need to be rolling at the FBI. But the American people need to hear from the President that this is unacceptable, that it doesn't matter that he benefited from it, it was wrong for the FBI to act in this manner.
This is Politics 101.
And yet we have no grown ups in the room apparently.
No one wants to state the obvious.
His actions are grounds for impeachment. His actions right now are saying "I can't act as president and demand accountability because it might hurt my son."
He wanted to be president and now he is. It's time to act as a president.
If he delays any longer, then let him face the impeachment he now deserves.
New topic . . .
The subject line read: “Scott Wiener will die today,” according to the Standard. The author, who used the name Zamina Tataro, called Wiener a pedophile and accused him of grooming children.
The name Zamina Tataro was also used in a different bomb threat last month against a school in Ontario over the attire of a trans teacher.
Wiener, who is gay, said it was one of many death threats he had received this year.
“This latest wave of death threats against me relates to my work to end discrimination against LGBTQ people in the criminal justice system and my work to ensure the safety of transgender children and their families,” Wiener tweeted, noting that extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and right-wing activist Charlie Kirk had recently tweeted homophobic lies about him.
The suspect accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is facing 305 charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and bias-motivated crimes.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, wore yellow prison attire for Tuesday's court appearance, which was to hear the charges against them. Aldrich did not speak.
Ten days ago, Human Rights Watch released the following:
The Iraqi government under former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi failed to deliver on promises of legal accountability for state security personnel and state-backed armed groups responsible for killing, maiming, and disappearing hundreds of demonstrators and activists since 2019, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 40-page report, “To Sleep the Law: Violence Against Protesters and Unaccountable Perpetrators in Iraq,” details specific cases of killing, injury, and disappearance of protesters during and after the 2019-2020 popular uprising in central and southern Iraq. Al-Kadhimi took power in May 2020 promising justice for the murders and disappearances, but when he left office in October 2022, his government had made no concrete progress on holding those responsible to account.
“After two and a half years with al-Khadimi in power, his promises of justice for vicious violence against peaceful protesters turned out to be empty, and killers are walking free,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Protesters sacrificed so much to improve conditions in the country, even giving their lives, but their government couldn’t even provide them the bare minimum of justice in return.”
Nearly 500 demonstrators were killed in just the first few weeks of the uprising by Iraqi security forces and state-backed armed groups, according to the United Nations. Violence against protesters persisted even after protests ended, through a targeted assassination campaign against prominent activists, most of whom were perceived as influential voices in the protest movement.
Six months after taking office, former Prime Minister al-Kadhimi established a Fact-Finding Committee to investigate the violence carried out by state security personnel and armed groups against protesters and activists. But the committee has yet to release any substantial information about its findings, not even disclosing the cases it examined, much less the results of investigations it carried out.
Human Rights Watch examined the cases of 11 Iraqis subjected to violence because of political protest and activism. Five of them were killed, including two women. Another five were injured, and one was kidnapped and disappeared.
The victims and the families of those killed or disappeared filed legal cases with police and judicial authorities, but after initial interest from the authorities, such as police collecting details of these cases, the legal complaints went nowhere. There was virtually no follow up from the authorities about the status of their investigations or attempts to identify and hold those responsible to account.
As some interviewees insisted, their cases were simply “put to sleep.”
Emjad al-Dehemat, 56, was a prominent activist in Amara, the capital of Maysan province in southeast Iraq. On November 6, 2019, weeks into the protests, al-Dehemat was assassinated after leaving a meeting with a senior police commander in Amara’s main police station, said other activists who also attended the meeting. The killing occurred only a few hundred meters from police headquarters.
His brother Ali al-Dehemat, 52, filed a legal case with the authorities with little result. No arrests have been made in the case. Fighting for justice for his brother, Ali received death threats and was forced to flee Amara, moving from city to city for fear that he, too, would be killed.
Despite the lack of progress in investigations and legal accountability, the Iraqi government has financially compensated most of the families of those killed. According to the UN, most of the families of protesters killed have received financial compensation from Iraq’s Martyrs Foundation, a state entity.
The government also promised to compensate the thousands of protesters maimed or injured during the protests. But only a small number of victims have received compensation for their injuries, and they have only done so after long waits – in some cases up to two-and-a-half years – and at great financial cost. Many have hired lawyers to help with their claims, and some said they had to pay bribes to officials to resolve their claims.
The new Iraqi government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani should release information about the Fact-Finding Committee’s investigations into the killings, injuries, and disappearances of demonstrators during and after the uprising. The government should also urge judicial authorities to release information about the status of ongoing investigations and cases.
Al-Sudani’s government should also redouble efforts to compensate victims of the violence, including by establishing a clear and concise compensation policy for those injured, and laying out straightforward steps that minimize bureaucratic hurdles to receiving compensation.
“The 2019-2020 uprising brought down a government and instigated early elections, and the protesters demanded accountability for perpetrators of the violence they suffered,” Coogle said. “The new prime minister can and should work to deliver the justice his predecessor did not.”
The following sites updated: