It was a largely suspense-free proceeding: Jeffries had been running unopposed for the top spot, and in recent years, he had emerged as the de facto heir apparent to Pelosi. When the Speaker announced she would not seek another term in leadership on November 17, top Democrats quickly endorsed Jeffries as her replacement.
But the moment holds plenty of significance for House Democrats, who will navigate the post-Pelosi era in the minority after a narrow defeat in this year’s midterm elections. For one, Jeffries is the first-ever Black leader of any party—in either chamber of Congress—building on the historic run of Pelosi, the first woman to serve as Speaker.
And at 52 years old, Jeffries will be the youngest of the “Big Four” congressional leaders. For much of the past 20 years, House Democrats were led by the aging troika of Pelosi and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC). Democrats’ increasingly young caucus is now led by a Brooklynite who is prone to pepper his statements and tweets with references to Notorious B.I.G. lyrics.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, November 30, 2022. The Respect for Marriage Act passes the Senate, Tucker Carlson's hate speech is written by his gay underling, chemical weapons attacks are apparently okay when carried out by Turkey, and much more.
Starting in the United States, Senator Tammy Baldwin's office issued the following yesterday:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released
the following statement following the Senate vote, 61-36, to pass the Respect for Marriage Act.
“Today, an overwhelming majority of Senators stepped up to protect the freedoms and rights of millions of Americans in same-sex and interracial marriages. I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to get the job done for millions of loving couples in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Senator Baldwin. “Millions of same-sex and interracial couples made this moment possible by living openly as their authentic selves, changing the hearts and minds of people around them. This legislation will protect the hard-fought progress we’ve made on marriage equality and I look forward to the Respect for Marriage Act becoming the law of the land.”
Video of Senator Baldwin’s floor speech prior to the vote on final passage can be found here.
, "The final vote was 61-36. The bill was supported by all members of the Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans, the same dozen GOP members who backed the bill for a and CNN) reportprocedural vote earlier this month. The House will now need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House is expected to pass the bill before the end of the year – possibly as soon as next week." Ledyard King, Rachel Looker, Sean Rossman and Savannah Kuchar (USA TODAY) note, "Senators approved the bill in response to concerns the Supreme Court – with a 6-3 conservative majority – would reverse its 2015 decision recognizing the legitimacy of gay marriage just as it overturned in June the Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion access."
Senator Lindsey Graham elected to vote against the measure. But then, Lindsey's been showing 'respect for marriage' his entire adult life -- 49 years of confirmed bachelorhood. He Tweeted, following the vote, about things being ''woefully inadequate.'' Lindsey, Lindsey, a little package shouldn't prevent you from getting married. I'm sure there are many people who'd be okay with it -- not everyone's a size queen. But you do you, keep being the nun of the Senate -- Sister Lindsey Graham, devoting himself to politics. Praise be the upper house. You grab that Legislative Branch, Lindsey, grab it with both hands.
Some political evolutions develop over decades, then accelerate in an instant. That’s how it happened for Democrats, who were divided over same-sex marriage during former President Barack Obama’s first term until then-Vice President Joe Biden announced his support 10 years ago. Obama followed, and the rest of the party was not far behind.
It’s been a slower trickle for Republicans. Portman, Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were on a fairly lonely island in favor of same-sex marriage for years. And as he left Congress in 2016, former Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) — another early supporter — castigated his party for being too intolerant on the issue.
This summer, 47 House Republicans’ surprising support for the same-sex marriage bill spurred a sustained push from Tillis, Portman and Collins to take action — a veritable GOP tidal shift. As former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) put it on Tuesday: “Times change. And senators change.”
Rights groups and other supporters of marriage equality celebrated Tuesday after 12 Senate Republicans joined with all Democrats present to pass protections for same-sex and interracial partnerships.
The Respect for Marriage (RFM) Act does not confirm the right of same-sex couples to marry nationwide, as the U.S. Supreme Court did in Obergefell v. Hodges, but rather requires states to recognize their marriage licenses. It also does not block states from banning same-sex marriage if the high court's 2015 ruling is overturned—as Justice Clarence Thomas teased in his concurring opinion for the June decision that ended national abortion rights.
While some have criticized the legislation for falling short of what's needed and pandering to religious groups, the 61-36 Senate vote was still widely heralded as historic progress. The amended version is expected to again pass the Democrat-held House—which initially passed the bill in July—before reaching the desk of President Joe Biden, who reaffirmed that he "will promptly and proudly sign it into law."
"As the votes in Congress attest, LGBTQ+ people belong and are part of our families, our communities, and our country. This is a critical victory on the road to the day when all people are fully protected from discrimination and have the freedom to make decisions about their lives and families," said Mary Bonauto, senior director of civil rights and legal strategies at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), who argued the Obergefell case.
The Respect for Marriage Act does not require all states to legalise same-sex marriage.
It requires states to acknowledge same-sex marriage from different states and ensures federal benefits for same-sex married couples.
It also includes a ‘religious liberties’ amendment, which allows non-profit religious organisations to refuse to host same-sex weddings.
Jim Obergefell, who led the case for the national legalisation of same sex marriages, said he is ‘frustrated’ with this amendment and its failure to enforce same-sex marriages in all states.
A recent Gallup poll found 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage becoming a legal right.
At CNN, Zachary B. Wolf offers an overview of The Respect for Marriage Act. Following the Senate vote, US President Joe Biden released the following statement:
With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act,
the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth:
love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person
they love. For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard
the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and
their children are entitled. It will also ensure that, for generations
to follow, LGBTQI+ youth will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead
full, happy lives and build families of their own.
Importantly, the Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement. I’m grateful to the determined Members of Congress — especially Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, and Feinstein — whose leadership has underscored that Republicans and Democrats together support the essential right of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples to marry. I look forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation and sends it to my desk, where I will promptly and proudly sign it into law.
Staying on the topic of elected officials, Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is now trying to speak directly to trans kids and talk them out of transitioning. It’s not going well.
“If you’re under 18 and people are telling you to cut off your breast or have a surgery that turns your penis inside out to make a ‘vagina’ you’re a victim of child abuse,” Greene tweeted. Gender-affirming genital surgery is not performed on minors and top surgery is only performed on minors in rare circumstances and is much rarer than breast augmentation surgery among minors.
“Get away from those people and find safe people who tell you that you’re already perfect,” she continued. “Grow up first.”
Conservatives like Greene have been trying to reframe their desire for transgender kids to change into cisgender kids as “they’re already perfect,” even though Greene and others like her are asking them to change their gender identities. Opponents of transgender rights often support conversion therapy for trans people, which inculcates the false notion that trans people are not “already perfect.”
People reacted negatively to Greene’s statement.
The break up of her 27 year marriage coincides with her 'reach out' -- wonder what that's about? Poor nutty Marjorie. Staying with insanity, let's turn to hate merchant Tucker Carlson as Michael Signorile lifts the curtain to expose the actual wiz behind Tucker:
On his first Fox News broadcast following the November 19th mass shooting at Club Q, the LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs in which five people were murdered and at least 17 were injured, Tucker Carlson was undaunted, continuing his relentless smearing of LGBTQ people as “groomers” who are dangerous to children.
After a perfunctory condemnation of the violence, Carlson pivoted back to railing against “drag time story hour for fifth graders” and “genital mutilation of minors” while a graphic image behind him blared, “STOP SEXUALIZING KIDS.”
The following night, Carlson promoted the grotesque view that the staff and patrons of Club Q — where a drag performance was scheduled on that Saturday night of the attack — had it all coming to them. He brought on a guest who said the shooting was “expected and predictable,” and that “it won’t stop until we end this evil agenda that is attacking children.”
Twisted enough. But even more shocking is the little-known fact that a gay man helped craft, mold and disseminate these bloodcurdling distortions and the horrendous demonization against his own community.
A gay man supercharges Carlson’s promotion of Florida’s odious “don’t say gay” law, which stigmatizes queer kids, teachers and parents — a brutal campaign in which Carlson at one point said teachers who don’t comply “should get beaten up.” And a gay man empowers Carlson’s crusade against trans teens and and their parents, a crusade in which Carlson stated that hospitals should expect violent threats for providing gender-affirming care.
That gay man, Justin Wells, helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence. A mass shooting that happened in the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.
Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people.
Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of “replacement theory” and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda. Wells is Senior Executive Producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and also holds the title of Vice President of Tucker Carlson Digital Products.
“He’s been promoted to a level that no other producer has been since, maybe, David Tabocoff at O’Reilly,” a former Fox employee told me, describing how Tabocoff, who was at Fox with Bill O’Reilly for 16 years, produced O’Reilly’s shows, all of his various specials and interviews, and oversaw his entire brand, including his merchandising.
“I think that Justin has more power than Tabby [Tabacoff] ever had,” another Fox employee, a former producer, countered. “And there’s not another show that out-rates it. Influence-wise, everyone who’s conservative wants to be on Tucker.” Indeed, Wells has his own website, independent of Fox News’s site, JustinWells.com, something that surprised the former Fox News producer.
On the site, Wells touts his accomplishments: “Television Creator & Journalist. Senior Executive Producer & Vice President at Fox News Media.” It brims with photos meant to convey his power and importance: Wells, out on remotes with Carlson, helping to craft the story; Wells, shoulder-to-shoulder with military Special Forces in front of their Airbus chopper; and Wells, meeting with former President Donald Trump. The site describes Wells as “leading the Tucker Carlson Team across multiple platforms at Fox News Media,” and lays out the Carlson Fox empire he oversees.
Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of Media Matters, the media watchdog group that is laser-focused on Fox News and Carlson, observed, “It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin.” In a clip highlighted by Media Matters in which Wells was interviewed by Carlson on Carlson's show last year as Carlson’s Fox Nation documentaries began launching, Wells brags about the latitude Fox News executives give him: “They believe in what we're doing and have since we launched ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’”
It’s beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people. This story is not, however, about a warped closet case, tormented by self-loathing, hiding his true self while bashing those like him. And thus, this story is not an outing, which involves exposing someone who covers up their sexual orientation while publicly presenting as heterosexual — though it certainly may be a startling revelation to a great many. It is, rather, about connecting the dots regarding a reality that seems to have been hiding in plain sight.
Also note that REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT continued their conversation on the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.
Turning to Iraq, there's one story we have to note, from ANF:
Seher Aydar, deputy for the Red Party (R) presented a question to the minister of Foreign Affairs. The question reads as follows: “The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons as well as the destruction of such weapons. 193 countries have signed the convention, including Turkey, which is accused of using chemical weapons. The International Association of Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (IPPNW) Switzerland and Germany write in a report that an independent investigation into possible violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention is necessary. The World Medical Association is also calling for an independent investigation.
Will Norway contribute to an independent investigation?”
The Minister for Foreign Affaris, Anniken Huitfeldt, said in her answer: “I am concerned about increased military activity in northern Iraq. Norway is concerned that warring parties in all contexts comply with international humanitarian law, including the rules on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. We expect all parties to respect international law.
Turkey, like Norway, is a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC). The member states undertake to destroy any existing stockpiles of weapons. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitors that all member states comply with the Convention's provisions and carries out regular inspections. Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and the convention's total prohibition is an important contribution to global peacekeeping work. Turkey is a party to all basic international disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.
Allegations of violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention are something Norway takes very seriously. Norway, like the OPCW, monitors all information about possible violations of the convention. I am familiar with the report the representative refers to. These are so far unconfirmed claims and which have not been on the agenda of the OPCW's decision-making bodies. Norway will continue to have a dialogue with related countries on the matter.”
This is not the first time that we've noted Turkey's likely use of chemical weapons in northern Iraq. Can someone at WSWS please explain what your organization's silence says? Or, for that matter, your non-stop support of the Turkish government in every attack they carry out on Iraq? Is it that you hate the Kurds or are you just so in love with the authoritarian regime in Turkey?
The possible use of chemical weapons has allowed even Noam Chomsky to find his voice on the issue. So why not WSWS?
The following sites updated: