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Diaz Aide: Senator Says On Gay Marriage No Separation Of Church And State



Editor’s note: This guest post is by Susan T. Bodansky, a straight ally who cares enough about marriage equality for all citizens that she traveled to Albany, New York — where same-sex marriage is currently being debated — to support our cause. After learning of her visit to Senator Díaz’s office, I asked her to write a very detailed account of everything that happened, which she generously provides below.

The obvious question is how can Senator Díaz continue to fulfill his duties as a New York State Senator, and represent all his constituents, when he consistently places the Bible and  his position as an ordained Pentecostal Minister, above the Constitution?

Last Monday several friends and I attended the Rally for Marriage Equality in Albany. We had already met with our local legislators and were waiting at the elevator. Two gentlemen came by and mentioned that they had come from Senator Díaz’s office and suggested that we try to stop by there as well, even though the Senator wasn’t there. Feeling that it was important to let him know we were there and that Marriage Equality was important to us, we decided to visit his office.

Inside we found his two assistants – a middle-aged white woman and a young black woman. We all signed his guest book and explained to the older woman why we were there. We told her that we believed that marriage was a civil right and that we hoped Senator Díaz would vote to extend this right to all citizens of New York.

She very nicely explained that she would pass along our message, but that she knew the Senator felt that this — same-sex marriage — was against what he believed in from the Bible. I said that I was sure that the Senator was aware that in the United States there was a separation of church and state and that the Bible wasn’t a part of the Constitution.

Others around me, including the gentlemen who had urged my friends and me to stop by Senator Díaz’s office also reiterated the viewpoint that all New Yorkers should have the right to marry, and one of the gentlemen gave the assistant a copy of the bills we were supporting.

She also told me that while she wasn’t speaking for Senator Díaz, she has heard him say many times that the Constitution doesn’t specifically state that there is a separation of church and state, but that Congress and the government was not allowed to mandate any specific religion.

It was very disconcerting that we would have to argue such a well-established concept as the separation of church and state. I went on to point out to her that the young black lady at the next desk might not have had the opportunity to work in this building 50 years ago without the civil rights acts passed then, and that none of us who were women, including herself, even had the right to vote less than 100 years ago.

She continued to listen to all of us very politely and promised to relay all of our information to Senator Díaz.

Until last Friday, I was completely unfamiliar with Senator Díaz other than having heard his name, since he is not my local representative. As I was leaving his office, I noticed a large, smiling poster of the man hanging on the wall. Only then did I realize that he was a man of color. I found it so appalling that such a man, who is old enough to remember the Civil Rights Acts, and to have so benefitted by them in his lifetime to have become a Senator – that this man in particular would deny civil rights to others was shocking and of course hypocritical.

In many ways, the entire day last Monday was surreal to me. As a child of the 60s, I was too young to have participated in any of the protest marches of those days. I was stung by the irony that back then, many young adults wanted to “live together,” while our parents exhorted us to get married. Now, as the parent of adult children, I find myself trying to convince “the establishment” to let people get married.

After all, what is more conservative and more of a basic civil right than getting married and having a family?

Susan Bodansky was married in New York State where she has lived her entire life. She hopes that her two children and all of your children will also be able to marry whomever they want in New York.

Image via a video by Blabbeando.

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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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