The official story about the violent clearing of Lafayette Square so Donald Trump could have a photo op has changed several times, and it’s still filled with lies. Lie after lie has come from the Trump administration—Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the White House itself. The protesters were violent, they’ve claimed. Falsely. The protesters were warned to move, they’ve claimed. Also falsely. There was no tear gas, they said. Also falsely. There were a lot of reporters on the scene, and The Washington Post did a video reconstruction of what happened that clearly shows the lies.
But the Trump administration and U.S. Park Police (an agency with a loooong history of being the bad guys when it comes to protest) keep making those false claims. So The Washington Post went to other officials who were in on the planning, and found that, yup, the Trump administration and Park Police are lying, specifically and in particular about the claim that there was a plan in place to expand the security perimeter before Trump’s decision to do a photo op outside St. John’s Church.
Thursday night, after a completely farcical coronavirus press briefing from President Donald Trump, the White House put out a transcript of the event that falsely showed Dr. Deborah Birx supporting one of his ridiculous ideas. By Friday morning, the White House was forced to issue a correction of it
The White House violated federal law by withholding security aid approved by lawmakers for Ukraine, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog said on Thursday, in a blow for U.S. President Donald Trump as the Senate prepared to hold a trial on whether to remove him from office.
The White House reportedly told the Defense Department that it needed to send away the the USS John McCain so that it was not around when President Donald Trump visited Japan. Named after Trump’s Republican critic, the ship had to be “out of sight” by the time Trump arrived for a visit to the Yokosuka base. Trump has denied knowing about the order, but did not say that he would find out who issued the order and fire them. The idea of White House staff dictating the movement of warships is extremely serious and the Navy should have refused. These warships have missions and are not props. Moreover, the people serving on these ships are not some collective pariah due to petty politics.
The McCain is an Arliegh Burke-class destroyer and part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 of the Seventh Fleet anchored at Yokosuka Naval Base.
I have actually long opposed the naming of ships (or other public properties) for politicians. I would love to see a ban on such practices. It is a way for agencies to curry favor and budget increases by appealing to the inexhaustible ego of politicians.
It has been a long wait, but the crowd outside the Supreme Court cheered when they heard the news that marriage equality will now be legal across the country:
2. President Obama Hails the Marriage Equality Ruling as “A Victory for America”
Said the President in an emotional speech:
This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they have reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law; that all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.
This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether they’re marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move or even visit another.
And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.
What an extraordinary achievement, but what a vindication of the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things; what a reminder of what Bobby Kennedy once said about how small actions can be like pebbles being thrown into a still lake, and ripples of hope cascade outwards and change the world.
Those countless, often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud. America should be very proud.
You can watch the President’s full remarks below:
3. Plaintiff Talks About the Importance of This Ruling
Shortly after the marriage equality ruling was released, the White House sent out the following letter attributed to Jim Obergefell, the namesake of the consolidated cases:
My husband John died 20 months ago, so we’re unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court’s decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.
Today, for the first time, any couple — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I’m humbled to be part of that.
John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John’s impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.
Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.
Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.
A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.
Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion’s lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.
Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.
I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John’s death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.
Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.
Today is a momentous day in our history. It’s a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:
Equal Justice Under Law.
4. The White House Changed its Profile Picture
Across its social media platforms and in its emails the White House currently looks like this:
I think we’re definitely somewhere over the rainbow now, right?
5. States Already Move to Start Performing Same-Sex Marriages
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, states like Georgia have already begun issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Just two hours after the ruling the state’s attorney general, Samuel Olens, issued a memo saying that the ruling “requires Georgia to recognize same-sex marriage in the same way it recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.”
Shortly after that, Emma Foulkes and Petrina Bloodworth became the first same-sex couple in Georgia to legally wed now that Georgia’s ban has been ruled unconstitutional. You can read more on that here.