Your tax dollars at work: contractor hid in Iraq for 7 years to escape rape charge

What a sleazebag. And he was escaping from paying for his heinous crime on your dime. (Mother Jones):

A Norfolk, Virginia, man was arrested on a military base in Iraq and brought back to the States in police custody this weekend for allegedly raping a “juvenile female,” then hiding out in the Middle Eastern nation as a contractor for the US government.

For seven years.

Norfolk police say Daniel Phillips, 46, was wanted in connection for the rape of an underage girl in 2004 and 2005, but when warrants were issued for his arrest, he secured employment as a military contractor in a computer-related position and left for Iraq, where he stayed until authorities started tracking him in December.

…The vetting process to become a contractor in Iraq varies from company to company, but it can be extremely thin. Once hired, these employees are supposed to go through a Contintental United States Replacement Center (CRC), an Army-run military processing facility such as this one in Ft. Benning, Georgia. There, they go through a weeklong medical and background screening, at the end of which they’re issued a microchipped military ID card and put on a military flight to their destination in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or wherever.

But apparently, none of that kept Phillips from staying on as an Iraq contractor for seven years, with military-sanctioned vacation jaunts back to the States, all while authorities sought his arrest.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

And This We Pray: Please, Jeebus, Put Christians In Charge Of America

Janet Porter prays that America “recognizes the lie of separation of church and state, which exists only in the Soviet Union.” (Soviet Union?) Janet also prays that Jeebus knock some sense into those 19 states without anti-gay marriage laws! Glory! Prai$e Hi$ Name! The donation plate is now being passed!

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

And the walls tumble down for Pastor Eddie Long: 3rd young man comes forward with sex charge

CNN has more on homobigot pastor Eddie Long’s alleged secret same-sex predatory behavior. Long has not returned CNN’s calls regarding this third suit; he plans to hold a news conference tomorrow. And you won’t be surprised that his church is still behind him.

Another civil suit has been filed against Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long, alleging coercion, negligence and fraud that involved a sexual relationship with a third young male, CNN has learned.

Through a spokesman, Long on Tuesday denied similar allegations in two other lawsuits by two men.

Long will hold a news conference Thursday morning, spokesman Art Franklin said.

Allegations that Long coerced two young male church members and employees into sex are “a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues,” the pastor’s spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

Pastor Eddie Long “categorically and adamantly denies these allegations,” spokesman Art Franklin said. “There’s been a lot of chatter since yesterday, but these complaints that have been filed are definitely without merit.”

…On the reaction from Long’s congregation, Franklin said, “Last night, it was a very spirit-filled worship service from a church family that loves its spiritual leader very much.” He said Long is drawing strength from his family, the New Birth family and other supporters.

“Before rushing to any judgment on Bishop Long and this court of public opinion taking place right now, I really do hope you will look at these guys that are throwing the mud and consider the source,” he said.

Asked how she can prove that sexual contact took place, Bernstein said, “I am ready to put them under oath. Bishop Long can spend money on the best attorneys in this world, and they can question those young men, and then I’ll get to question the bishop, and then we’ll really see what’s going on.” She said she will subpoena records of an “excessive number of phone calls” between Long and the young men, along with e-mails, credit card receipts and other items. Bernstein said she had alerted federal authorities about the situation

.

Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine called him “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Dan Savage: Why should we care who’s in charge if Dems never really do what they promise?

Dan makes a rather interesting argument. While on smaller issues, it matters greatly if the Democrats are in charge instead of the Republicans, on the big issues, the GOP rarely rolls anything back, and the Democrats rarely roll anything forward. And he’s right.

Here’s what happens to the gays and our issues when Republicans win the White House or control Congress: not a whole hell of a lot. There’s no progress on our issues under Republicans—all forward momentum ceases—but things don’t get appreciably worse.* We have to endure small outrages and insults, put up with slights, and be vigilant about legislative malice, but we don’t see a big rollback of previously secured rights. The Bush administration got everything it wanted out of Congress but it didn’t get the FMA or a ban on same-sex couples adopting. Eight years of Bush meant no progress at the federal level on our issues—lots of bullshit at the state level in the form of anti-gay marriage amendments (most of them orchestrated by some straight guy named Ken Mehlman)—but no ground lost.

When we open our wallets for Democrats—and vote for them—the hope is that electing a Democratic president and Congress will result in significant progress on our issues. That’s not just our delusional hope; that was an explicit promise made to us by Democrats. Once the Democrats were in power, everyone from Obama on down promised us, we would see real and significant progress on our issues: an end to DADT and DOMA, action on ENDA, a president willing to use the bully pulpit to aggressively defend our rights. But if, as we’ve seen, working to elect a Democratic president and give Democrats control of Congress results in no progress on our issues—no action on DADT, ENDA, or DOMA—then why the fuck should we bother?

If we get no progress under Democrats (just empty promises meant to excite their base), but no regress under Republicans (just empty threats meant to excite their base), why should we waste our time—and our money—worrying about who’s in charge




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Michaele + Tareq Salahi Have No Idea Where The Gay Bar Cover Charge Cash Went

Michaele and Tareq Salahi insist their private premiere party at a gay bar for The Real Housewives of D.C. was a fundraiser for "the troops," but they weren't in charge of running it, they were just VIP guests, so don't expect them to know where all the money went from charging admittance, OK? [P6]


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Queerty

—  John Wright