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Repubs continue their war of People of Color


These Republican efforts to crush minority voting are so obvious that I had to ask myself how they dare to do it in the glare of daylight. Usually when rogues do dastardly things, they wait for cover of night—like cockroaches raiding the kitchen pantry.

But these Republicans seem to have no fear or shame. Instead, they boast of their crimes. Where do they get their effrontery?

From Trump, of course. They have learned from him (and he learned it from Goebbels) that the Big Lie works. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,” the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment remarked, “people will eventually come to believe it.” Hence the 30,573 lies Trump told during the course of his blighted presidency.

These Republicans knew that Trump lied almost every time he opened his mouth. At first, they were appalled—privately, of course. They’d heard his prevarications about Obama’s birthplace, and, later, about the size of his inaugural crowd and the fakeness of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so they knew he was a pathological liar. But they saw, also, that he got away with it—not with Democrats or the legitimate news media, but with Republicans, who loved Trump’s boastful chutzpah. Popularity is the mother’s milk of politicians, and so they decided to back up Trump’s lies. Later, they decided to lie themselves, and this is where the Republican Party is today: hoisted on the petard of its own unnatural tendencies. Like a serial killer who knows that time is running out, but who lusts for additional spoilage, these Republicans double down every day on lies. The depravity of the Arizona “recount,” with its bamboo-laced ballots, is the most recent example. It would be completely insane, were there not so many others.

How long can Republicans maintain these lies? Goebbels had the answer. “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.” Trump’s lies do have severe consequences for the American people, the most important of which are the undermining of our democracy and the resulting erosion of civil liberties. But there are economic consequences too: working class Americans can’t get ahead because Republican tax policy is heavily stacked against them, and because their wages are limited due to Republican favoritism of corporations. If Republican voters, especially the working class, understood how negatively Trumpism is impacting them, they might become Democrats, or at least Independents. Hence (Goebbels again), “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

This is where Fox “News” and other conservative media outlets come in. Their role is not to disseminate news, and it is not to tell the truth. It is to repress facts that are “the enemy of the State”—the Republican state. It is to repress voting. People of color are not stupid, as Republicans insist they are. People of color know exactly what’s going on. They see how Republicans keep trying to marginalize them. They know they lost ground economically under Trump. They know that Trump tried to kill them by gleefully letting the pandemic spread unchecked through their communities. They understand that Republicans don’t want them to vote, and they know why: because people of color tend to vote Democratic. They heard Trump when he said, on his favorite T.V. program, Fox & Friends, that if every American voted who was eligible to, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” There it was, a dastardly thing said in broad daylight. Republicans said they liked Trump because he told it like it was and always spoke his mind, and it was true. He spoke the “truth” of segregation, of Jim Crow, of voter suppression laws, of white supremacy. He did it openly, and saw his popularity among Republicans soar higher and higher. No wonder Republican politicians sold their souls and jumped on to the Trump train.

Well, here we are, already thinking about the 2022 elections. McCarthy is widely said to be favored to become the next Speaker. Anything is possible, but I have to believe that the American people are finally realizing what a horrible disaster Trump was, and are grateful to be done with him. But I’ve been wrong before about Trump. In 2011, I predicted he was done. What did I know, in my blue bubble? What do I know now?

Why are the super-rich so opposed to taxes?


How much money does anyone need, anyhow? I used to work for a very wealthy family. They spent money like it was water. Their wealth was unfathomable, yet they still resented what few dollars they paid. During the 2016 Republican primary season they were inclined to support Ted Cruz—yes, that Ted Cruz, the most disreputable man in Washington now that Trump has left town. Cruz, they figured, would lower their taxes so that they could buy more mansions, planes, baubles.

Now we have President Biden, who is promising “to reward work, not just wealth,” by raising the tax on capital gains and on giant corporations.

Imagine that, rewarding work, not wealth!

Republicans, predictably, are bitterly opposed. Most Republican congressmen are not rich, but they hope to be, which is why they carry water for their billionaire corporate paymasters, who they assume will someday reward them when, having been tossed out of office in a Democratic wave, they can then land a cushy job in P.R. or on some do-nothing Board. Perhaps that is the vision of Rep. Kevin Brady, the Republican from Texas’s 8th Congressional District. “Another economic blunder by the Biden administration,” Brady thundered about the President’s tax plans. “It punishes investment in local businesses,” he added.

Brady knows something about “local businesses.” One of the nation’s largest oil companies, Anadarko Petroleum (acquired by Occidental Petroleum in 2019) is headquartered in Brady’s District, and—surprise!—Anadarko has been one of Brady’s top campaign contributors.

Well, it would be fun to spend a couple weeks tracing the nefarious connections between rightwing Republicans and the secret money they feed on. I’ll leave that to Jane Mayer. Meanwhile, all of this begs the question of why Republican voters—the little guys, the working stiffs—are so opposed to raising taxes on the rich.

I mean, it’s not like poor Republicans have any love of billionaires. I think we all resent the .01 percent, maybe not personally, but in terms of the way they consistently rake off the national wealth for themselves, and then buy Republican politicians to help them keep the scam going. I imagine some Appalachian dirt farmer in Kentucky, who can barely afford to repair his car or put food on the table for his family—the kind of person showcased in the book and movie, Hillbilly Elegy.

This man is dignified, unashamed of his calloused hands, proud of his roots, and damned if he’ll beg for help from anyone, especially “the gummint.” He’s a devout Christian (even if he doesn’t always live his life in a Christian way), and he thinks most city dwellers are more or less perverted, if they’re not actual Communists and terrorist sympathizers. He has little more than a grade school education, but he doesn’t trust elite college graduates anyway; what do they know of his life? His granddaddy may have voted Democrat back in the day, but he, himself, is a solid Republican, a Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell guy. And because they tell him that taxing billionaires will make him even poorer than he already is, he’s against taxing billionaires. Does our poor Kentucky dirt farmer ever sit down and think things through, like why raising Charles Koch’s taxes would hurt him? Koch is worth $63 billion-with-a-“b,” and his dark money may be the single most potent force in the American anti-tax movement. The answer is, it’s most unlikely our farming friend ever puts his mind through such mental contortions. He’s not inclined to critical thinking, and besides, he trusts good ole Mitch and good ole Rand, and that’s all there is to it. Doesn’t the Greatest Christian of modern times, Trump, say the same thing? “I hope they don’t raise your taxes, but if they do I told you so,” he warned his fans in his so-called “farewell address” on Jan. 20, just two weeks after fomenting insurrection. Of course, by “they” he meant Biden’s Democrats, and when he predicted “they” would raise “your” taxes he did not explain that Biden has no intent of raising taxes on “them,” the little people, but only on the superrich. However, this truth was concealed from Republican voters (who, watching Fox “News,” didn’t even know what Biden was proposing), and our farming friend in Kentucky was given more reason than ever to remain a Republican. “I’m a poor man,” he said to his friends at the local honky-tonk, where a few nights a week he can escape his crushing existence. “I can’t afford to pay no more taxes.” Fist bumps and clanging beer mugs around the bar! Toasts to “President Trump, who won the election.” Somebody says “Hang Pence” The band swings into Dixie. A man drapes himself in a Confederate flag and, brandishing a Glock 19, screams, “From my cold dead hands!” A woman, drunk and reeling, begins singing “God bless President Trump.” Our poor dirt farmer, among his people, is happy.

The dark side of police reform


So self-absorbed and out-of-touch is Oakland’s “Reimagining Public Safety” task force that they are able to publish blatant nonsense under the guise of fact and get away with it.

Well, no more.

They say the reason for “Reimagining” (which, let’s be honest, is merely the new politically correct word for “defunding”) is because “Many residents feel less safe in the presence of OPD.”

Now, this is a grammatically correct statement. It has a noun-subject (“Many residents”) and a verb (“feel”), so that it appears to represent reality. But does it? Who are these “many residents”? Has a census been taken?  No one asked me. I could say, with equal certitude, “Many residents feel safer in the presence of OPD.” I know I do, and so do most people I know. So just because a statement makes technical sense doesn’t make it true.

And who feels “less safe in the presence of OPD”? I’m sure that the rioters who throw rocks and bottles at cops feel “less safe,” as well they should: if you attack a police officer, you should feel unsafe. I suppose, also, that the defund-the-police people who commandeer City Council and Police Commission meetings don’t feel safe in the presence of cops (at least, they say they don’t), but you know and I know that, if they were mugged or their homes invaded, their first phone call wouldn’t be to John Burris but to 9-1-1.

But these downtown rioters are not normal Oaklanders. In many cases they’re white, privileged druggies who espouse vaguely radical extremist politics they think are fashionable and make them appear “progressive.” They also in many cases are anarchists who believe in no government at all. How else can you explain their fondness for smashing store windows, setting garbage cans on fire, wrecking bus stops and looting Targets and 7-Elevens? Does any of that help People of Color?

Here’s another whopper from the Reimagineers. “After 17 years under the Negotiated Settlement Agreement, OPD still has 7 of 51 tasks that are in complete [sic].” Let’s get to the bottom of this famous “negotiated settlement.” In 2003, following allegations of police misconduct, OPD and the City of Oakland hired a so-called “Independent Monitor” to oversee “reforms.” That monitor was Robert Warshaw. In 2014, according to OaklandWiki, Warshaw was paid $502,000. A year ago, the Oakland-based civil rights attorney, Pamela Price, reported that since 2009, Oakland has “paid [Warshaw’s] two companies more than $8 million.”

It’s very difficult to obtain transparent information about Warshaw but two things are safe to say: He’s cleaning up financially as “Mr. Monitor” and he appears to have a lifetime sinecure; as long as he can allege that there remain “tasks” for OPD to complete, he’ll continue to make his money. So here, again, the Reimagineers resort to rhetorical trickery. They seem hell-bent on crushing OPD, and Warshaw is helping them do it. The Reimagining-Warshaw-Defund Complex fiddles while Oakland burns.

Here’s another spurious claim by the Reimagineers: “Significant investment is being made into less effective Punitive Enforcement versus more effective Community Empowerment & Crime Prevention.” Can someone tell me why locking up bad guys is “less effective”? Less effective than what–“Community Empowerment” and “Crime Prevention” programs? Nobody knows what those things are. They sound good…Who could be against “Crime Prevention”? I admit that my view of such programs is informed by reporting I did when I was a working journalist. I was investigating “violence prevention” programs in Oakland and stumbled upon a horrifying system of mutual back-scratching, secret financing and virtually non-existent accountability to see if the programs were actually preventing violence. The fact that, despite all of Oakland’s crime- and violence-prevention programs over the decades, crime and violence are at or near all-time highs is a terrible indictment of such programs. Yet we have a City Council that–having thrown up their hands because they don’t have the slightest idea how to actually combat crime–throws money at dubious social justice warriors who simply perpetuate the failed approaches of the past. I could make the same indictment of “Community Empowerment” programs. What “communities”? How do you “empower” a community? Fruitvale, Adams Point, Temescal—these are communities with lots of different people. The way to empower a community is for its people to live lives of decency and ethical consideration of others. There is no other way, especially not in Oakland, where grifters are always on the hunt for the main chance: free money from the city or its charitable partners to do things that sound and feel good, but in the end are monstrous wastes of time.

All this, by the way, is not to say that I don’t believe certain aspects of police reform are called for. Oakland’s MACRO program has some good points. And there’s room for improvement in the way we recruit and train cops, and how we deal with issues concerning the use of force and misconduct. But the Reimagineers take things way too far. They’ve been pretty successful up until now because no one has been organized or articulate enough to expose them and speak for the People, and because Oakland is a super-liberal city susceptible to the kind of rhetoric the Reimagineers indulge in. But I keep my finger to the wind, and I feel a change in the weather. In this battle (for that’s what it is) between moderates and radicals, we moderates are gaining the upper hand.

My friend, Gavin Newsom


I have known our Governor, Gavin Newsom, for 30 years, and am proud to call him my friend. For all that time, I have respected, admired and liked him—never more so than when, in the winter of 2004, as Mayor of San Francisco, he startled the world by marrying gay people in City Hall, one of the bravest acts of political courage in American history.

We met in 1991, when I was a neophyte wine writer at Wine Spectator and Gavin was a tall, thin, earnest young 24-year old with a dream. He’d been as in love with wine as I was, and already was quite knowledgeable about it, so his choice of a career was hardly a surprise: He was working to open his first wine shop, PlumpJack, in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow District, and he asked me to be part of a weekly tasting panel. The idea was for a small group of us (which included his late father, William, then on the California Court of Appeal) to gather every Friday afternoon (I think it was) and taste through the wines distributors had dropped off during the week for sampling. These salesmen very naturally hoped PlumpJack would carry their wares, but Gavin was insistent on one thing. “I want to be able to tell the public,” he said, “that my friends and I have personally tasted every bottle on our shelves, and can recommend each one.” No wine would be sold at PlumpJack that did not meet our very rigorous standards!

This went on for months. Finally, the Big Day came: PlumpJack opened. It was a hit from the start, and a very intense time for young Gavin, who had few employees and was buried in work. From time to time, I’d drop by. His tiny office was up a narrow flight of steps that led to a sort of attic room. It was cramped and stuffy. There I’d find Gavin, at his desk, inundated by paperwork. But he always found time to chat.

Then came a day in 1996 when I read that the city’s Mayor, Willie Brown, had appointed Gavin to San Francisco’s Parking and Traffic Commission. I don’t think I, or anyone who knew Gavin, was surprised that he was entering public service (or politics, to call it by a rougher name). Gavin’s friends understood he had bigger things in mind than wine. From there, Gavin’s trajectory was meteoric: on to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors (where he was the youngest member), and then the Mayoralty itself (2004-2011). After a brief setback during which he failed in his bid to become the Democratic nominee for Governor in the 2010 election, Gavin went on to become Lieutenant-Governor (under Jerry Brown) until his spectacular victory in 2018, when he was elected Governor of California, capturing 62% of the vote over his hapless Republican opponent.

I call him “Gavin” in this post, but ever since he became Mayor, I’ve referred to him, out of respect, by his title, whether it’s in person or through emails. I’ve watched every aspect of Gov. Newsom’s political career: he is what I would call a “moderate-liberal,” business-friendly and socially progressive, not some wild-eyed leftist as his mendacious Republican enemies would have you believe. Gay marriage was radical, I suppose, but Gov. Newsom—who inherited his Irish-American father’s starry-eyed idealism—realized that if gays weren’t permitted to marry,  the American democracy was not working. For this, Mayor Newsom came under savage fire from conservative Christian rightwingers (Jerry Falwell likened same-sex marriage to “a legalization of bestiality”), but in my eyes that merely elevated the Mayor even higher.

Newsom has been a good Governor. Of course, not long after he was sworn in, the COVID pandemic hit. As Governor he was already dealing with huge issues: California’s increasingly worse wildfires and the homelessness crisis. To throw COVID on top of all that seemed beyond anyone’s ability. But Gov. Newsom has governed adroitly, and his famous “wonkiness” has served the state well. Yes, there were ups and downs: the COVID closure rules seemed to change often, and everybody seemed to find something to complain about. But there was a reason scientists called it “the novel coronavirus.” It was new. Nothing like it had ever existed before, except, possibly, in the 1918-1919 flu pandemic (which hit the Bay Area very hard). I looked around at the other States and beyond, to the countries of the world, and saw that every leader everywhere was struggling with what to do and how to get it done. Gov. Newsom managed the crisis successfully; California now has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in the U.S.

Of course, it isn’t surprising that Gov. Newsom’s enemies—and almost every one of them is a rightwing trumper—are now seeking to recall him. Republicans have been unable to win statewide office in California for a long time, which frustrates the hell out of them. They fear Gov. Newsom as the attractive and capable politician that he is: a grave future risk to them and their party. So they’re doing what they do best: trying to take him down with lies and smears.

It won’t work. I have predicted (and I have shared this with him) that he will win the recall by double digits. When he emerges victorious from this pathetic Republican recall at the end of this year, he will be stronger than ever, with a glittering political career before him and the eyes of the nation upon him.

Welcome to the Coalition for a Better Oakland!


The Coalition for a Better Oakland is the name of a political action group I have co-founded with a few colleagues. Our goals are twofold: to end the blight of homeless encampments that are polluting our parks, underpasses and sidewalks, and to support the Oakland Police Department, which is embattled on all sides, fighting a record surge of crime and at the same time having to deal with the insanity of the “defund the police” crowd.

For the last several years I’ve felt increasingly isolated in my city. Could I be the only one worried about these twin issues of cops and camps, which after all are interrelated? During the pandemic, I turned to social media, especially, to share my thoughts. I discovered that I was not alone. Many others felt the same way I did. I then found myself being censored and blocked from My political views, apparently, were at odds with those of the anonymous censors who can throw someone off the platform with no warning, no explanation, and no right of appeal. I began to see the connections between the censors at and the various radical groups who seemed to have such an outsized influence at City Hall. Both were not interested in anyone’s views except their own. Both indulged in what we now call “cancel culture.” It was all very discouraging.

I have now abandoned and will not return. (Their latest salvo into cancel culture was to inform users that the term “Black Lives Matter” is acceptable, but that “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” will be cause for expulsion.) But before I abandoned that dreadful platform I met (in the digital sense) a group of like-minded men and women and it is with them that I have started the Coalition for a Better Oakland. The exciting news is that, after months of delay, we will launch our website this Monday; and I will certainly share it here with you. We hope to become a political force in the city. We want to endorse candidates in future elections, and we want to influence the debate in the City Council, the Police Commission and in the City Manager’s office. For too long the radicals on the extreme left have been the ones to dominate meetings, hold demonstrations and intimidate politicians, including our Mayor, Libby Schaaf, into positions they clearly are uncomfortable with, but feel compelled to accept. We believe that we—the Coalition—represent the thinking of a majority of Oaklanders, most of whom are too busy getting on with their lives to be able to spend time on the computer researching issues or showing up at City Council meetings. We want to inspire that majority, rally them to our side, and tell the current crop of Oakland leaders that their day is done.

One of the things I, in particular, have had to do is protect our young Coalition from being a Trojan horse for rightwing extremists. When you’re supportive of the cops, and when you’re saying that homeless people do not have the right to set up tents wherever they want, you tend to open yourself to the charge of being a white supremacist trumper. I am a lifelong Democrat—everyone who knows my blog knows that since September 2016, I did everything in my power to take Trump and his Republican Party down. I fail to see why a moderately-progressive liberal like me cannot at the same time be a strong cop supporter. How did Democrats allow Republicans to own the issue of crime and policing? I don’t know, but it’s time we reseized the initiative.

And by the way, I’m convinced that the reason Democrats lost so many seats in the Congress during the last election, despite Biden’s victory, is precisely because of the stupid “defund the police” movement. The American people hate it, they’re afraid of it, and they find the people arguing in favor of it distasteful and irrational. My own feeling is that the reaction against the “defund” movement has already set in. Fewer and fewer politicians are using the phrase. As a political slogan, it’s easily the dumbest I’ve heard in my life. Yet here in Oakland, ambitious politicians still insist on 50% cuts to OPD’s budget—even though the local media is telling us that the neighborhoods most impacted by crime want more cops on the beat, not fewer. It strikes me that the people who are most insistent on “defunding” are (a) politicians who don’t give a damn about anything except power and (b) well-off white suburbanites who are appeasing their own guilt.

Well, I wanted to share this news of the Coalition for a Better Oakland with you. On Monday (barring some unexpected glitch) I’ll be able to give you the link, including sign-up information.

Have a great weekend!

Why a gay Jew should be president


The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony. –Susan Sontag, “Notes on ‘Camp’”, 1966

Sontag wrote these words a long time ago, when her New York City seemed the center of the universe, and other forces such as evangelicism and radical Islam were yet to make their appearance on the stage. Still, her formula retains a certain validity. The police reform movement stems as much from Jewish moral seriousness as it does from the concerns of the Black community (and the two historically have been intertwined). I could argue, too, that we actually live in an age of post-irony, in which the distinction between “earnest” and “ironic” sensibilities has become muddied (perhaps only temporarily), a trend that was further exacerbated by Donald Trump’s assault on truth.

“Jewish moral seriousness” is a nice and true phrase. The ancient Jews invented what we think of as “morality.” It stemmed from the need of the tribe to stay united in the face of tremendous adversity, which resulted in the moral demand that, for instance, all male children be circumscribed, and more importantly in the conception of a single God (monotheism), which has formed the basis of Western civilization. From Jewish moral seriousness issues the righteous demand that all men are created equal, and that the Law itself, if it has any value, must treat all equally, in order to further the cause of freedom. (This truth, by the way, also lies at the heart of the Democratic Party, which is why that party has been so closely identified with Jews.)

Jews are taught to take these things literally and seriously. Jews have been at the forefront of every modern struggle for freedom and liberty (themselves the bases of the Passover celebration). Even more than now, in the 1960s, when Sontag wrote, Jews were an intrinsic part of the Black civil rights movement, providing much of the intellectual armor for Dr. King, and providing also many of his foot soldiers. (Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered by the KKK along with their friend James Chaney in 1965, both were New York Jews.) Jews made up a significant percentage of those advocating for women’s rights and gay rights in the 1960s and 1970s, and even in today’s Black Lives Matter movement, more than 600 Jewish organizations, representing a majority of American Jews, signed a full-page ad in the New York Times supporting BLM; and they did so on the 57th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic march on Washington.

But what about “homosexual aestheticism and irony”? Sontag herself defined “camp” as “one way of seeing the world,” namely, “in terms of the degree of artifice.” For me, the epitome of artifice, of “homosexual aestheticism and irony” has been exemplified by Andy Warhol and his art, and the way he implanted that irony into the culture—or reflected it. When Warhol said, “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it,” he was highlighting this irony: there was “something” behind the “nothing,” but who could tell the difference? Warhol not only highlighted the artifice of modern art in all its grimy commercialism, but the artifices of America itself.

I have both my feet firmly planted in “Jewish moral seriousness” and “homosexual aestheticism and irony,” so if Susan Sontag is correct, then I am “the pioneering force of modern sensibility.” But to tell you the truth, I don’t feel like the Zeitgeist. I’ve always felt like the Outsider. This is, I suppose, for the dual reasons that (1), the world is such an amoral or immoral place that anyone driven by “moral seriousness” must feel like an alien. And (2), “homosexual irony” is not the easiest mindset with which to pass through this world. One is constantly caught in the inbetween-ness of things as they present themselves and the ambiguous semiotics that lay below the surface. Being “in the closet” is the perfect metaphor for this inbetween-ness. Homosexual irony suggests that nothing is as it appears; all is layers, artifice, make-believe.

Were homosexual irony all there was, it would lead to a huge moral catastrophe in the world. But Jewish moral seriousness rides to the rescue by imbuing the world with meaning. Trump in his own weird way caught the essence of homosexual irony: ambiguity can be helpful to a devious and greedy man. What he completely misses is moral seriousness. His daughter and son-in-law may profess to be Jewish, but their particular cult is rigid and ideological and thus immune to the real “moral seriousness” of Judaism. Which leads me to wonder: wouldn’t it be great to have a gay Jew as president?

News from the future: the Republican majority


March, 19, 2025 – Washington, D.C.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, says he will introduce legislation to revoke the right of same-sex Americans to marry, a move that would echo the recent House of Representatives vote to take that right away from gay people.

McConnell made his remarks at a meeting of American Christian Women for President Trump, a conservative group led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). McConnell also hinted that he is prepared to reinstate laws prohibiting gays and transgendered people from serving in the U.S. military.

“Sooner or later, we Republicans have to steer our great country back onto the high road of morality and decency,” McConnell said. “And now that we have the presidency as well as big majorities in both Houses of Congress, we’re going to do just that. These alphabet people better look out.”

In the November, 2024 elections, Republicans regained control of the Senate when they won 8 seats, while in the House, a Republican gain of 42 seats gave them their first majority since 2017. That election also brought President Donald Trump back into the White House, giving Republicans near-total control of the government.

LGBTQ leaders reacted to McConnell’s remarks with distress. “This represents a crushing blow to 20 million LGBTQ Americans,” said former internationally-acclaimed wine critic Steve Heimoff. “We will be bringing our grievances into the streets.”

President Trump, reached on his golf course in Bedminster, NJ, praised his party’s efforts to restrict marriage to opposite sexes. “Everybody knows there’s never been a more family-values president than me,” he said. “I’m proud of the Republicans for being pro-family, pro-America and anti-Antifa.” Trump added that he will push for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from adopting children. “God meant for our precious babies to be brought up by straight people, not perverts,” he said.

In other news, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said his caucus will introduce legislation to defund all U.S. government underwriting of alternative-fuels, including wind, solar and hydroelectric. “America was founded on coal and oil, and that’s where we’re staying.” He called global warming “a Democrat hoax” and accused Democrats of “selling our birthright to terrorists and rapists.” McCarthy said other GOP priorities include quitting the Paris Climate Accords, which former President Biden rejoined in 2021, and leaving the World Health Organization, which he called “a front for socialist cancel culture.”

Republicans were overjoyed by McConnell’s anti-LGBTQ remarks. “Finally, America has been returned by Almighty God to true spiritual leadership,” said the Rev. Franklin Graham. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that Christians could be proud of the job President Trump is doing. “As everybody knows, President Trump is one of the great Christian leaders, possibly the greatest since Jesus Christ himself. Frankly, I doubt that anyone else has the will power and strength to resist the incursion of the Democrat, Satan, on our country.”

Polls suggest that Americans on the whole continue to support gay marriage, although that support appears to be slipping since the November elections. The Gallup Organization reported that 54% of Americans are in favor of gay marriage, down from 61% last October. Support among Republicans is only 4%, while Democrats support gay marriage by 76% to 24% opposed.

Taylor Greene meanwhile announced that her House Christian-White Caucus is working on legislation to restore all Confederate names and statues in places where they have been removed. “I ask you why in God’s name Stonewall Jackson should not have an honored place in the State Capitols of America,” she said. “Just because he owned slaves doesn’t make him a bad person.” She confirmed reports that she is working on obtaining funding from private sources to have Donald Trump’s visage added to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. “In my opinion and that of most decent Americans, President Trump was a greater president than any of them. He deserves to be honored and adored.”

In related news, the former Joint Committee to Investigate the Causes of the Jan. 6 Insurrection, which began under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has changed its name to the Joint Committee to Celebrate the Jan. 6 Freedom Festival. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced legislation to make Jan. 6 a national holiday. “We ought to recognize the specialness of this date, which is comparable to July 4 in the history of America,” he said in a statement. President Trump’s Attorney-General, Ron DeSantis, said that all persons convicted of participating in the Jan. 6, 2020 event will be issued pardons. “These patriots need to have their names cleared forever,” he announced, adding, “The true insurrectionists is [sic] the Antifa-gay-terrorist-atheist cult of pedophiles and baby murderers who follow Hillary Clinton. We will find them whatever rock they try to hide under.” The Associated Press reported that thousands of new holding cells are being erected at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba, apparently in anticipation of an infusion of political prisoners from the U.S. They added that voter registration records “are being examined in 40 States” and that registered Democrats “will be required to identify themselves before special Tribunals appointed by Republican elected officials.”

Asked whether this constitutes “a crackdown” on Democrats, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) replied that “It is not a crackdown because, well, it’s not if we say it isn’t.” He said that, while being a Democrat “is not necessarily a crime, it is unnatural, and we Republicans were elected to reject this sick form of racial and ethnic interposition and nullification in the words of our great President Trump.” Paul said that special Republican “Decency Squads” are being organized across the country to ensure compliance with “Republican-Christian values” and that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a noted fashion designer, is designing uniforms for its members, who are expected to number at least 100,000. Asked what kinds of designs she has in mind, Ms. Trump said, “In all honesty, I haven’t got that far, but I do like the cut of those Waffen-S.S. Panzer uniforms. They’re kind of sexy, don’t you think?”

President Trump’s schedule for this week includes more golf at Bedminster. He is set to speak at a Wednesday rally of the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham AL, and at the First Annual QAnon Qonvention, held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort, on Friday. Entertainment at the event, the White House announced, will be provided by rocker Ted Nugent, actor Jon Voight and football star Tom Brady. The newly-formed Trump Boys & Girls Choir will sing their own special rendition of “The Horst Wessel Song.”

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