Actress Alex Borstein won the award for a best supporting actress in a comedy series during the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday. When accepting her award, however, she told a touching story about her grandmother's bravery fighting the Nazis.
After a few quick jokes, Borstein announced that she was dedicating her award to the "strength of a woman."
"To my mother ... to my grandmother," she said. "They are immigrants, they are Holocaust survivors. My grandmother turned to a guard. She was in line to be shot into a pit. She said, 'What happens if I step out of line?' And he said, 'I don't have the heart to shoot you but somebody will,' and she stepped out of line. And for that, I am here and my children are here. So step out of line, ladies, step out of line."
Borstein's character in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is a kind of comic sherpa to lead Mrs. Maisel to stand-up stardom. While the show is set in the 1950's in a posh New York neighborhood and a traditional Jewish family, Borstein plays a feminist realist ready to take on the male-dominated stand-up scene.
The Biden administration is launching a three-pronged plan to protect members of the LGBTQI+ community, including protecting their safety and civil rights, supporting LGBTQI+ children, and protecting students from book bans.
"Over a dozen states have enacted anti-LGBTQI+ laws that violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans, and are cruel and callous to our kids, our neighbors, and those in our community," the White House said in a statement Thursday. "The Biden-Harris administration stands with the LGBTQI+ community and has their backs in the face of these attacks."
The initiative will be announced during President Joe Biden's Thursday evening Pride event, which Reuters reports will be "the largest White House Pride Month celebration in history." In a "a deliberate contrast to a cascade of Republican legislation and other attacks targeting LGBTQ+ people," President Biden will host "thousands" on the White House South Lawn.
"This year we're seeing a disturbing surge in violent threats against LGBTQ community organizations," Biden White House domestic policy advisor Neera Tanden told reporters. "In too many parts of our country, LGBTQ Americans are being targeted for who they are, and that, simply put, is discrimination."
President Biden has directed three federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to "launch the LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership. The Partnership will work hand-in-hand with LGBTQI+ community organizations to provide critical safety resources to ensure these organizations can remain safe spaces for the community," the White House says. "In acknowledgement of the mistreatment that LGBTQI+ communities have often faced in interactions with law enforcement, the Partnership will also work to build trust between LGBTQI+ organizations and federal law enforcement agencies."
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Kristen Clarke, will chair regular meetings with the U.S. Dept. of Justice's LGBTQI+ Working Group, focused on "issues related to discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community."
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on Thursday will "issue a Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth to provide evidence-based practices for mental health providers. HHS will also issue a guidance to states and communities on using federal funding to support mental health services for LGBTQI+ youth."
The administration points to the disproportionately large number of LGBTQI+ youth in the child welfare system, and notes that "far too often" they "experience trauma, including being exposed to so-called 'conversion therapy,'" which Biden has spoken out against before. HHS says it "will issue a Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth to provide evidence-based practices for mental health providers. HHS will also issue a guidance to states and communities on using federal funding to support mental health services for LGBTQI+ youth."
The White House also says it is working to "Shield LGBTQI+ kids and families from discrimination," and "Address LGBTQI+ youth homelessness." It also points to its efforts on "Protecting Americans from book banning," and "Uplifting LGBTQI+ communities."
In December, President Biden signed a law protecting same-sex and interracial marriages.
You can watch the video above or at this link, and read the entire White House announcement on its website.
US President Joe Biden (C-L) and First Lady Jill Biden (C-R) appear on the Blue Room Balcony with family members to watch fireworks from the White House on the day of the inauguration
US President Joe Biden (C-L) and First Lady Jill Biden (C-R) appear on the Blue Room Balcony with family members to watch fireworks from the White House on the day of the inaugurationUS President Joe Biden (C-L) and First Lady Jill Biden (C-R) appear on the Blue Room Balcony with family members to watch fireworks from the White House on the day of the inauguration(AFP)
After the former president's lawyers received a DOJ notice memorializing that their client is the target of an investigation into his handling of classified materials after leaving office, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to rage, "No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong.”
He then added, "REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MUST MAKE THIS THEIR # 1 ISSUE!!!”
As MSNBC's Steve Benen noted, Trump-supporting lawmakers can make threats but they have no power over stopping special counsel Jack Smith's endeavors.
Pointing out "Trump genuinely seems to believe that congressional Republicans have a role to play in his intensifying legal troubles," he recalled a previous letter sent by GOP lawmakers in April, who demanded a "'legislative solution," to be approved by Congress, is 'required' to prevent federal prosecutors from pursuing the case further."
That, he notes, never came to pass.
As for the former president's latest demands that GOP lawmakers stand between him and the DOJ, Benen wrote, "I honestly don’t know what he expects congressional Republicans to do. Congress has no control over who is or isn’t indicted. It’s possible that Trump has imagined a scenario in which lawmakers pass a bill to defund the special counsel’s office, thereby derailing the investigation, but even if the GOP-led House were to take up such a measure, it obviously couldn’t pass the Democratic-led Senate or receive President Joe Biden’s signature."
"What we’re seeing, in other words, is a desperate criminal suspect scrambling to find someone, anyone, who can help rescue him from a crisis of his own making," he added. "Whether Trump understands this or not, his pleas won’t work."
The Supreme Court stunned political observers on Thursday in the closely watched Allen v. Milligan case, ruling that Alabama likely violated the Voting Rights Act's prohibition on racial gerrymandering when it drew a map that packs most of the state's Black voters into a single congressional district — and the decision could make it harder for Republicans to hold the House of Representatives in 2024.
The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by all three liberal members of the court along with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, was a surprise to court watchers, who had expected the Court to weaken the Voting Rights Act protections and find Alabama's map permissible.
Roberts was previously involved in several decisions weakening voting rights and representation, including striking down the requirement for preclearance of election law changes for Southern states in 2013, and prohibiting federal courts from policing partisan gerrymandering in 2019.
Mark Joseph Stern, a legal analyst, called the decision "a HUGE surprise and a major voting rights victory."
The decision means that it is likely Alabama will have to redraw its congressional districts to create a second majority-Black district, pending further litigation in lower courts.
It could also potentially affect other states that face similar litigation arguing they improperly minimized Black representation in their districts, like Louisiana and South Carolina. Lower courts have both ruled those maps unconstitutional; the Supreme Court put the Louisiana decision on hold, and has agreed to review South Carolina's map.
Redrawing congressional districts in Southern states to increase Black voting power would almost certainly have the added effect of electing more Democratic representatives to these states, experts say. That would put in jeopardy the slim, five-seat majority Republicans won in the 2022 midterm elections.