Not being John Stauber, I'm not obsessed with what George Soros does (or with the fact that he's Jewish). Right-winger Stauber can't stop Tweeting about Soros who apparently donates so money to The Human Rights Campaign among other groups. I say that because HRC has an important press release:
Florida is enacting a record six expressly anti-LGBTQ+ laws this year, more than the last seven years combined
Tallahassee, Florida – Today, the
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization,
condemns Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a slate of anti-LGBTQ+
bills designed to scale back the freedoms of LGBTQ+ people and other
Florida is enacting a record six expressly anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law this year, more than the last seven years combined.
Today, Gov. DeSantis signed HB 1069, which silences
educators by prohibiting any instruction on sexual orientation or gender
identity from Pre-K through 8th grade, SB 254, an extreme gender
affirming care ban, and HB 1521, an anti-trans bathroom bill.
Gov. DeSantis has also signed SB 266, which doubles down on
his attacks on academic freedom, and SB 1580, a “License to
Discriminate in Healthcare” bill that will allow healthcare providers
and insurers to deny a patient care on the basis of religious, moral, or
A sixth bill, SB 170, which would discourage cities from
passing non-discrimination ordinances by raising the barriers to
proposing ordinances and making it easier to challenge ordinances in
court, is still to be signed by DeSantis.
Don't Say LGBTQ+ Expansion Bill (HB 1069): In an intentional effort to erase transgender and non-binary people from the curriculum, HB 1069 bans instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity from Pre-K through Grade 8, creates an anti-LGBTQ+ definition of sex based on reproductive function, and would force school staff and students to deadname and misgender one another. In April, Florida’s Board of Education also voted to expand Gov. DeSantis’s shameful “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” bill from 2022 to all grades.
Extreme Gender Affirming Care Ban (SB 254): Even among the crowded field of extreme and damaging bans on best practice, age-appropriate health care, this bill stands out as particularly mean-spirited. SB 254 would penalize providers by inflicting criminal penalties (including felony penalties) on providers who give gender-affirming care; it would take licenses away from those providers; and it would prohibit Medicaid from covering gender-affirming care for transgender youth or adults. It would also forbid public funds, including those of a public university, public hospital, city or county, and Medicaid, from being used to provide benefits that include gender-affirming care – for transgender people of all ages. And – uniquely – it allows the state to use gender-affirming care or the “risk” of such care for a child as a reason to give Florida family courts exceptional jurisdiction to set aside another state’s custody determination. By singing this bill, DeSantis is disrespecting the United States Constitution as well as the rule of law, not to mention transgender Floridians, their families, and their medical care providers.
Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill (HB 1521): HB 1521 criminalizes transgender people for using the restroom that matches their gender identity. The bill prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities in schools, public shelters, healthcare facilities, and jails.
MAGA Takeover of Higher Ed Bill (SB 266): SB 266 doubles down on Gov. DeSantis’s attacks on academic freedom. The bill would allow the state Board of Governors to give direction to universities on removing majors and minors in subjects like critical race theory and gender studies and would prohibit spending on programs or activities that support such curricula.
License to Discriminate in Healthcare (SB 1580): This bill will allow healthcare providers and insurers to deny a patient care on the basis of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. It creates a license to discriminate by allowing healthcare employers to discriminate in hiring, and it bars medical Boards from disciplining doctors for spreading misinformation.
In response, HRC President Kelley Robinson has released the following statement:
“Gov. Ron DeSantis and extremist legislators in Florida are some of the most anti-LGBTQ+ politicians in America. DeSantis has made clear that demonizing LGBTQ+ people will be the center of his legislative agenda and presidential run. As a result, the rights of millions of Floridians are being rolled back by politicians who are attacking the LGBTQ+ community at a breakneck pace to pander to the most extreme fringes of their base.
From doctors’ offices to classrooms, they show no shame in assaulting the freedoms of those different from them. They are trying to whitewash history and use the power of the government to punish, erase, or attack anyone they disagree with, including Black and LGBTQ+ communities. They are denying transgender children and adults access to life-saving, best-practice medical care, contradicting guidelines recommended by every major medical association – representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States.
The Human Rights Campaign will continue to fight to ensure all LGBTQ+ youth can access the healthcare they need, feel safe in school, and have access to an education that allows them to see themselves in their school’s curriculum and society. The entire country should be alarmed by Gov. DeSantis’s form of hateful politics. He is an existential threat to every LGBTQ+ person in Florida and beyond.”
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country.
More than 220 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of
transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender
people in a single year to date. This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 125 gender-affirming care bans — bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 14 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma;
More than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed;
More than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bills, and;
45 anti-LGBTQ+ drag performance ban bills.
Americans believe the amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is excessive, agreeing it is “political theater.” Likely voters across all political parties look at GOP efforts to flood state legislatures with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as political theater. Recent polling indicates that 64% of all likely voters, including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” (Data For Progress survey of 1,220 likely voters, 3/24-26, 2023).
By comparison, last year in 2022 politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, 29 of which were enacted into law. These efforts — the result of a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes seeking to slander, malign, and stigmatize LGBTQ+ people — only yielded a less than 10% success rate, as more than 90% of anti-LGBTQ+ bills were defeated. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children. By the end of the 2022 state legislative season, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children were enacted into law.
More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
According to the latest data this year from PRRI,
support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Florida and nationwide: 80%
of Florida residents support nondiscrimination protections, and 66% of
Florida residents oppose refusal of service on religious grounds. About
eight in ten Americans (80%) favor laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people
against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.
This reflects a dramatic increase in the proportion of Americans who
support nondiscrimination protections since 2015, when it was 71%.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
As an African-American, a woman and a lesbian, I'm on DeSantis' hate list three times. I can't imagine how much you have to hate this country to back Ron DeSantis.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
On 13 December 2003, in Operation Red Dawn, Saddam was captured by American forces after being found hiding in a hole in the ground near a farmhouse in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit. Following his capture, Saddam was transported to a US base near Tikrit, and later taken to the American base near Baghdad. Documents obtained and released by the National Security Archive detail FBI interviews and conversations with Saddam while he was in US custody. On 14 December, US administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer confirmed that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit. Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.
Saddam was shown with a full beard and hair longer than his familiar appearance. He was described by US officials as being in good health. Bremer reported plans to put Saddam on trial, but claimed that the details of such a trial had not yet been determined. Iraqis and Americans who spoke with Saddam after his capture generally reported that he remained self-assured, describing himself as a "firm, but just leader."
British tabloid newspaper The Sun posted a picture of Saddam wearing white briefs on the front cover of a newspaper. Other photographs inside the paper show Saddam washing his trousers, shuffling, and sleeping. The US government stated that it considered the release of the pictures a violation of the Geneva Convention, and that it would investigate the photographs. During this period Saddam was interrogated by FBI agent George Piro.
The guards at the Baghdad detention facility called their prisoner "Vic," which stands for 'Very Important Criminal', and let him plant a small garden near his cell. The nickname and the garden are among the details about the former Iraqi leader that emerged during a March 2008 tour of the Baghdad prison and cell where Saddam slept, bathed, and kept a journal and wrote poetry in the final days before his execution; he was concerned to ensure his legacy and how the history would be told. The tour was conducted by US Marine Maj. Gen. Doug Stone, overseer of detention operations for the US military in Iraq at the time. During his imprisonment he exercised and was allowed to have his personal garden, he also smoked his cigars and wrote his diary in the courtyard of his cell.
On 30 June 2004, Saddam Hussein, held in custody by US forces at the US base "Camp Cropper," along with 11 other senior Ba'athist leaders, was handed over to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity and other offences.
A few weeks later, he was charged by the Iraqi Special Tribunal with crimes committed against residents of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt against him. Specific charges included the murder of 148 people, torture of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others. Among the many challenges of the trial were:
- Saddam and his lawyers contesting the court's authority and maintaining that he was still the President of Iraq.
- The assassinations and attempted assassinations of several of Saddam's lawyers.
- The replacement of the chief presiding judge midway through the trial.
On 5 November 2006, Saddam was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam's half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges. The verdict and sentencing were both appealed, but subsequently affirmed by Iraq's Supreme Court of Appeals.
In 2011, Justice Thomas's undisclosed private jet and yacht trips from highly political Republican billionaire Harlan Crow were sent to the Judicial Conference’s Financial Disclosure Committee for a determination as to whether Thomas may have broken the law. It also came to light during that era that Justice Thomas had for years failed to disclose income his wife received from the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank with frequent business before the Court.
Recent reporting from the Washington Post revealed that in 2012, Leonard Leo, the orchestrator of right-wing influence campaigns around the Supreme Court, directed payments of at least $25,000 to a consulting firm run by Ginni Thomas and asked that her name be left off the paperwork.
In April, bombshell reporting by ProPublica exposed that Justice Thomas and his wife accepted extravagant vacations worth as much as $500,000 on the dime of Harlan Crow and did not disclose the travel. That report was later followed by an additional ProPublica story detailing Crow’s purchase of a string of properties from Justice Thomas and his family members, which was not properly disclosed. Further reporting by ProPublica indicates that Crow paid for multiple years of tuition for Justice Thomas’s grandnephew to attend private boarding schools.
Congress created the Judicial Conference through statute and with passage of the Ethics in Government Act, Congress imposed clear financial disclosure and recusal rules that apply to the Supreme Court.
One month ago, Congressman Hank Johnson and I wrote to the Judicial Conference of the United States, asking it to look at recent reports that Justice Clarence Thomas violated the Ethics in Government Act by failing to disclose gifts of travel and luxury vacations provided by a right-wing billionaire. The Judicial Conference's responsibilities under that law are quite clear. If there is 'reasonable cause to believe' that Justice Thomas willfully failed to file, then it must refer him to the Justice Department for investigation.
But US District Judge Mark Wolf, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, said on Wednesday that the full Judicial Conference did not receive notice of the complaints sent to leaders of the conference and therefore couldn’t decide how the body should act on them.
“This concerned me because the issues raised by the letters were serious,” Wolf said in testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee looking into court ethics.
“Pursuant to established conference policies and procedures, if the committee (on financial disclosures) had considered the letters, my colleagues on the Judicial Conference and I should have been informed of them in its reports to the Conference, even if the committee was not recommending any action by the Conference,” he said.
“Such information would have afforded me and the other members of the conference the opportunity to discuss and decide whether there was reasonable cause to believe Justice Thomas had willfully violated the act and, if so, to make the required referral to the attorney general,” Wolf added.
In addition to establishing the Judicial Conference, Congress hasenacted legislation addressing a number of specific ethical matters. Inparticular, Congress has directed Justices and judges to comply with bothfinancial reporting requirements and limitations on the receipt of gifts andoutside earned income. The Court has never addressed whether Congressmay impose those requirements on the Supreme Court. The Justicesnevertheless comply with those provisions.
john stauber really is disgusting. he used to be a media critic. today, the transphobe tweets:
Last week the Pulitzer Prizes were announced, and noticeable among the accolades for strong, authentic journalism was the absence of awards for individual New York Times pieces.
For more than a year, The New York Times has published irresponsible, biased coverage of transgender people, and repeatedly elevated the views and opinions of the small fringe of anti-LGBTQ activists, often without identifying their connections to anti-LGBTQ groups, amplifying inaccurate and harmful misinformation about transgender people and issues. Three months after a coalition of GLAAD and more than 100 coalition partners sent a letter to The New York Times demanding fair, accurate, and inclusive trans coverage, the Times did not receive any Pulitzer Prizes for individual articles, nor for Investigative Reporting (the prize went to the staff of The Wall Street Journal), Explanatory Reporting (awarded to Caitlin Dickerson of The Atlantic), National Reporting (awarded to Carline Kitchener of The Washington Post), Feature Writing (awarded to Eli Saslow of The Washington Post), Commentary (awarded to Kyle Whitmire of AL.com, Birmingham), or Editorial Writing (awarded to Miami Herald Editorial Board, for a series written by Amy Driscoll). The complete list of prizes is here.
The Pulitzer Prizes recognized robust, inclusive, and empathetic reporting on vulnerable communities, with winners representing topics of massive impact on diverse, marginalized, and voiceless people—indigenous and Black populations, children, immigrants, detainees, prisoners—and stories that did not trade in an artificial “both sides” dynamic that has characterized the Times’s transgender coverage. The prizes included recognition of work that featured inclusive reporting of vulnerable communities by journalists who are members of those communities, including awarding the prize for General Nonfiction to Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa for their book, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Viking).
Despite what the Times’s leadership has claimed, more precise and empathetic journalism can and should include reporters whose own backgrounds and experiences reflect the people they are reporting on. Ignoring critiques as “activism” and silencing colleagues from oppressed backgrounds reflects a moral, intellectual and emotional failure across the Times’s leadership. In the three months following the coalition letter, the Times has refused to publicly acknowledge its coverage failures, respond directly to the letter, or meet with trans leaders.
GLAAD continued its protest of The New York Times on May 9, with a digital billboard at the entrance of the New York Times building in Manhattan.
Also in awards news this past week, on May 13, GLAAD announced recipients for the final 18 of this year’s 33 categories of the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City hosted by producer, Critics Choice-nominated actor and GLAAD Award winner, Harvey Guillén.