Trump Administration Siphoning HIV/AIDS Funding For Child Detention Centers

As the public battle about family separations at the U.S. southern border rages on, reports show the Trump administration is taking money from HIV/AIDS programs to fund further separations.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is looking ahead at the possibility that 25,450 more beds for immigrant children could be needed by year’s end.

The office, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, was apparently surprised when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new “zero tolerance” policy that families would be separated if caught crossing the border without authorization.

Under the policy, parents are imprisoned and children have been placed in cages that Sen. Jeff Merkley, who visited a facility, described as resembling “dog kennels.”

Now, in preparation for a new surge of family separations, the HHS is not only asking for supplemental funds, but according to Slate is also planning to reallocate money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

The Ryan White CARE Act was introduced in 1990 by Sen. Ted Kennedy weeks after the death of its namesake Ohio teen, who had been infected with HIV via a blood transfusion to treat his hemophilia. The bill was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

According to the program’s website, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program “provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.” 

Slate’s reporting indicates the process of transferring those HIV/AIDS funds has already begun.

This is just one more example of the Trump/Pence administration's bias against the LGBTQ community which is massively impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Vice President MikePence famously pledged to siphon funding from the program in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.

On his 2000 Congressional campaign website, Pence posted:

“Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.

“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Additionally, HHS is moving $79 million from refugee resettlement programs. The loss of those funds will undercut medical assistance and social services for refugees in the United States.

(h/t Slate)

Here Is Where Trump's Potential SCOTUS Picks Stand on LGBTQ+ Rights and Abortion

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27th, and ever since we’ve all been curious (to put it mildly) whom the president would appoint to fill the position.

It’s hard to overstate how much is at stake here; the next Supreme Court appointee could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade or gay marriage, and will absolutely form and shape life in this country for decades.

Trump has reportedly narrowed the field down to three potential choices. Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; Amy Coney Barrett on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; and Raymond Kethledge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. All of these candidates are conservative… to varying degrees. 

Trump intends to announce his top choice at 9 p.m. ET on Monday July 9.

Here’s where the candidates stand on the issues:

Brett Kavanaugh

In the 2017 case of Garza v. Hagan, which determined whether or not an undocumented woman could have an abortion in ICE custody, Kavanaugh’s stance was that Kavanaugh honored Roe v. Wade as the precedent here, which suggests he wouldn’t overturn it if elected.

There isn’t much information available on Kavanaugh and LGBTQ+ issues. According to a piece in the LA Times, his rulings are “predictable” and he has a tendency to uphold court precedent, which could be a good thing in terms of upholding gay marriage.

That said, Kavanaugh is also known as an advocate of “religious freedom.” As we saw in the gay wedding cake case earlier this year, this can be a damaging thing.

In the case of Kavanaugh, it’s honestly hard to predict how things could turn out if he is appointed.

Raymond Kethledge

Kethledge was appointed by George W. Bush. According to Time, Kethledge has said he will uphold Supreme Court precedent. This would, of course, be good news for LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights.

He hasn’t made any rulings on LGBTQ+ rights or abortion so far in his career so nothing is  completely clear.

Amy Coney Barrett

Trump appointee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the most extreme of the three potential Supreme Court picks. She belongs to a highly conservative, controversial sect of Catholicism called “People of Praise,” and many are concerned her religious views could affect her work as a judge.

In 2013, she wrote an article in Texas Law Review arguing that Roe v. Wade and other similar cases needn’t be upheld as settled law. This kind of thinking could also, of course, threaten same-sex marriage rights.

In a 2006 commencement address at Notre Dame Law School, Barrett is quoted as saying:

“Your legal career is but a means to an end, and that end is building the Kingdom of God. “


Stay vigilant and informed.

h/t: http://fortune.com/2018/07/06/trump-final-three-scotus-nominee/

Bipartisan Lawmakers Attempt To Write Trans Military Service Into Law

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives is looking to protect transgender military service members with a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The amendment, if adopted, would codify the Obama-era open-service policies into law, thus blocking Donald Trump’s proposed ban of trans service members.

The proposed amendment to the NDAA was drafted by Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier (Calif.), A. Donald McEachin (Va.) and Susan Davis (Calif.) and moderate Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), whose son is transgender.

The House Rules Committee, which will determine which amendments will actually get a vote on the floor of the House, is set to meet Monday and Tuesday this week. Votes on the NDAA are scheduled for later this week.

As you may recall, Donald Trump surprised folks when he tweeted from out of nowhere that he wished to place a ban on transgender service members in the U.S. military.

In August of last year, Trump told reporters that he was "doing the military a great favor" by attempting to ban trans service members.

In October, a federal judge effectively blocked Donald Trump's proposed ban on transgender service members in the military saying the ban was "driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally."

Last month, top military leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps said they have seen no evidence of morale, discipline or unit readiness problems with transgender troops now serving openly in the military.

Trump's ban is currently in legal limbo as four different federal courts have placed a hold on the executive order.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman of the Western District of Washington observed while Trump says he consulted “generals and military experts” about the trans military ban last year, his lawyers couldn’t name one general or military expert that he actually talked to. 

In her injunction against the ban, Judge Perchman wrote that the proposed ban was “devised by the President, and the President alone.”

(image via Flickr/photographer Ted Eytan)

Randy Rainbow Parodies Disney Classic "Rudy And The Beast"

Here’s a little pick-me-up for Hump Day - political satirist Randy Rainbow shares his musical take on Rudy Giuliani’s recent media meltdown set to the title song from Disney’s 1991 animated classic, Beauty And The Beast.

Tales about his crimes
Taller than a tree
Michael Cohen defends
Then on Fox and Friends
Rudy spills the tea...

It's the magical media bromance we knew we never needed.

Watch the "tale as old as time" unfold below.

Happy Hump Day!

18 Republican Lawmakers Say Donald Trump Deserves A Nobel Peace Prize

18 Republicans from the House of Representatives are campaigning for President Donald Trump to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

After North Korea announced that its working along with South Korea for an end to the war between the two countries, many people were amazed. Even more were surprised when North Korea shared that it will stop its nuclear testing.

During the heat of the conversation, many pointed their fingers towards Donald Trump and stated that he was the cause of these new revelations. One of the reasons for this is that Trump’s new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un secretly three weeks ago.  

That said, many are also pointing out that the collapse of North Korea’s nuclear test site probably had some influence on North Korea’s announcements.

Despite that last note, several Republican lawmakers are pushing for Trump to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 18 House Reps from the Republican party have joined together to nominate Trump for the prize.

“Although North Korea has evaded demands from the international community to cease its aggression for decades, President Trump’s peace through strength policies are working and bringing peace to the Korean peninsula,” write the lawmakers in their nomination letter. “We can think of no one more deserving of the Committee’s recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.”

Leading the charge of the nomination is Rep Luke Messer from Indiana, who has something to gain from Trump’s nomination.

Messer is preparing for a big primary this coming Tuesday. He’s trying to become the GOP nominee for a spot in the U.S. Senate. If he wins, he will then face Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly for the position in November.

Republicans vying for the GOP nomination have been trying to appease to Trump supporters, and Messer’s pursuit of a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump may be the extra push he needs to win.

We’ll see if Messer and Trump win or lose their respective races.

Kathy Griffin Takes Back Her Apology for Trump Decapitation Photo

Kathy Griffin is taking back her apology almost a year to the day after she posted a photo of her holding a decapitated photo of President Donald Trump

The legendary comedian, who was present for the White House Correspondent's Dinner this past weekend (and had quite a lot to say about it, as seen on her epic Twitter thread), stopped by The View on Monday morning to discuss why she is rescinding her apology.

“I take the apology back. And the sons, Don Jr. and Eric,or as I call them, Eddie Munster and Date Rape (she spoke similarly of them in our exclusive interview here). Look, I’m not holding back on this family. This president is different. And I have been through the mill."

"I wanted to make a statement about what a misogynist he is," she continued. "And also I remember the eight years of the photos of the Obama lynching, and nobody said anything. Right? That was all okay. Facebook. That was all on Facebook. People were going to rallies with pictures of Hillary’s head decapitated at Trump rallies.”

See the rest of her interview here.  Do you think she is smart for rescinding her apology right as her career is doing another major 180?




Should Celebrities Support Kanye West's Trump Endorsement?


Kanye West recently returned from a Twitter hiatus with a vengeance - making up for lost time with rapid-fire tweets creating a straight-up mind meld with his followers, sharing everything from details regarding his shoe line Yeezy, his management shakeup, his life in The Sunken Place with wife Kim Kardashian, and, most notably, the "dragon energy" he shares with Donald Trump. 



This was proceeded by multiple posts feverishly aligning Kanye with Trump, and now West's fans - including his Hillary-supporting wife Kim, are having to mitigate West's political tweets in this polarizing climate. Is he simply shaking up the status quo? Boldly exercising his First Amendment Rights? Or is he normalizing the bigotry and hate that Trump has expressed through moves such as the trans military ban? 

Depending on which of Kanye's celeb pals you talk to, the answer could be any of the above. His wife defended Kanye, stating

He’s a free thinker, is that not allowed in America? Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card?

Chance the Rapper initially seemed to support Kanye as well, tweeting:

Black people don’t have to be democrats.

But he later expanded on his statement after the president called out Chance as an ally:



Outspoken Democrat John Legend texted Kanye urging West to think twice before he supported the president, but days later was caught partying with West. Now Kanye has released the pro-Trump (and possibly pro-trolling his critics) song "Lift Yourself" featuring the rapper T.I. While T.I. is not a Trump supporter, he is on the track, and by proxy is supporting Kayne's message (even if he offers a counterpoint in the song.)

Does coming for Kayne simply add up to a modern-day witch hunt, or should his famous friends hold him accountable for molding impressionable young minds? Whatever the case, West will always have one very famous supporter...



GASP: Which RuPaul's Drag Race Queen Voted for Trump Allegedly?

There's a new mystery on RuPaul's Drag Race, and no it doesn't involve which queen will utter the words "Miss Vanjie" next.

It looks as if one of the queens from season 10 may have voted for our current president Donald Trump.  One particular Twitter user took a screenshot from contestant Asia O'Hara's Instagram story, with the caption "Wondering if I should release which season X Queen voted for Trump..." 

Of course, this particular Twitter user decided to pair it with a photo of last week's judge Shania Twain, who found herself in a hot mess express kind of a situation over the weekend when she said that she would've voted for Trump had she been a citizen, but it does raise the question as to who Asia is actually talking about.



Who do you think voted for Trump (allegedly) from this year's cast, and why? 

Roseanne Contests Trump's Claims Of Reboot Ratings Boost - "It's All Me!"

Roseanne Barr has a storied and well-documented past of supporting both Donald Trump as well as acknowledging some of the more creative conspiracy theories of the far right. I.e., allegedly, the idea that Democrats are Satan-worshiping child-molesters. Barr's Roseanne revival scored massive ratings and even earned her a personal congratulatory phone call from her pal, Trumpinator himself. 

But that congratulatory attitude of Trump's soon turned to self-congratulatory as he boasted about his contribution to the show's success during a speech in Ohio, according to The Hill:

Look at ‘Roseanne'! Look at her ratings! Over 18 million people [watched] — and it was about us! The fake news hasn’t quite figured it out … but they will.

The folks at TMZ stormed Roseanne at LAX airport on Tuesday to get her thoughts on Trump's comments, to which she simply stated:

Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha. It's all me.

Trump has the skin thickness of a grape, and he usually doesn't take too kindly to any comments that could be construed as negative. Just last week, Roseanne tweeted:

President Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month. He has broken up trafficking rings in high places everywhere. notice that. I disagree on some things, but give him benefit of doubt-4 now.

This was supposedly in reference to a 4Chan conspiracy theory - the one about satin-worshiping liberals - that Barr had briefly addressed in a since-deleted tweet. But even as one of the relatively few celebrities whole-heartedly supporting Trump, I wouldn't be surprised if her declaration of being solely responsible for the series reboot's success comes back to haunt her. It's just great to know that the President of the United States has something to occupy his time. 


Bernie Sanders Considers Presidential Run, Again! 

Bernie Sanders Considers Presidential Run, Again! 

Is He The One To Defeat Trump? 

#HELP! Like most of America – especially more than a handful of the LGBTQ community – I'm a little terrified of Donald Trump running our country. I mean, seriously, where the heck am I supposed to start with the nonsense? Honestly, at this point, I really don't even care he had an affair on his wife with a porn star. It's the mass amount of lies, a revolving door of White House officials, and the whole...starting a nuclear war with Dictators which terrifies me more. We all know recently he banned some Transgender people from joining the Military – which is confusing – and still, the presence of Mike Pence haunts me at night. I may be in an unpopular opinion here, per usual, but I would much rather see Trump in the White House than someone who openly believes the LGBTQ community can be changed with conversion therapy. Either way, it's like choosing between gonorrhea and the clap: Either way, you're screwed. After Hillary Clinton's shocking loss in the 2016 Election: Who could be the person to usurp the Trump Administration?  

According to New York Daily NewsBernie Sanders may be entering the 2020 Presidential Election! Alright, here come your torches and whatnot I'm sure! But, I was definitely more for Sanders than Clinton when the election began and after an embarrassing loss for the Left; are we going to push a familiar face – and one who potentially could've beat Trump in the Electoral College? Sanders represents Independents and gained a plethora of votes for Clinton after his loss. However, some of us who were feeling the bern, didn't follow through with our votes for the Left – or Right. Allegedly, Sanders wants to be fully prepared before he announces his official decision he will be in the running again in two years. Sanders will be 78-years-old should he run: Making him the oldest President ever during their time served.  

Is Sanders the best candidate to represent for the Democratic party come 2020? Is there anyone else the Donkeys are eyeing as we near closer and closer? Please, no celebrities: Oprah Winfrey included. For the love of God, we need a lifeline – and someone who will take the W.  

This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.