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Is Hawaii About To Pass A Same-Sex Marriage Bill? ‘Very Likely’ Says Governor

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Hawaii‘s Democratic governor Neil Abercrombie is prepared to call a special session of the state legislature if they can come up with enough votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill. Unlike Texas, where Republican governor Rick Perry recently called a special legislative session to take away rights — like a woman’s right to choose — Hawaii will “very Likely” be able to hold a special session and extend the civil right of marriage to same-sex couples, the Governor says.

The timing couldn’t be better. Fresh off the Supreme Court’s evisceration of DOMA and effective killing of Prop 8, Hawaii also has a Democratic governor, and a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. And if that isn’t enough, there’s strong support among the religious community in the Aloha State.

“I think we can put together something that can achieve a solid majority, that will give us the opportunity to establish marriage equity in the state of Hawaii commensurate with the recent Supreme Court decisions, and will satisfy and resolve the issues that are presently before the appeals court on the mainland,” Abercrombie told a gathering of state Democrats, according to the Washington Post:

Abercrombie’s chief of staff, Blake Oshiro, is working on language with the state attorney general’s office, the Star-Advertiser reported Monday. State Senate leadership says they have the votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

An AP article notes support among the religious community: 

More than two dozen Hawaii faith leaders of various religions signed a resolution Monday calling the state to pass a law legalizing gay marriage.

Jewish, Unitarian, Methodist and other leaders read and signed the poster-sized declaration at an interfaith brunch at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.

“It’s all about standing on the right side of history,” said Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church.

Watch:
Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Video and screenshot via Hawaii News Now

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Has Been Notified He Is Target of DOJ Investigation – Insists ‘It’s Not True’ He’s Getting Indicted: Reports

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Attorneys for Donald Trump reportedly have been notified the ex-president is a target of a criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents. The ex-president denies he is being indicted.

The Guardian Wednesday evening reported federal prosecutors told Trump’s attorneys last week he is a target of the long investigation that is now led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. That investigation, experts believe, could lead to obstruction of justice and Espionage Act charges.

“Trump’s lawyers were notified before they met on Monday with the special counsel Jack Smith leading the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the senior career official in the deputy attorney general’s office and made the case that prosecutors should not indict the former president in the matter,” The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports.

Politico also confirms The Guardian’s reporting, stating: “Federal prosecutors have notified former President Donald Trump in a letter that he is the target of a criminal investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

Earlier Wednesday, a conservative website reported federal prosecutors had informed Trump’s attorneys he is a target and likely to be indicted. That website is run by John Solomon, who Trump named as his official representative to the National Archives last year. That move reportedly gave Solomon access to non-public administration records related to Russia, Politico reported.

READ MORE: Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump

Later Wednesday, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported via Twitter she had been in touch with Trump.

“Trump tells me minutes ago he has NOT been told he’s getting indicted, when contacted. ‘It’s not true,’ he said, adding again he hasn’t done anything wrong,” Haberman tweeted at 2:40 PM.

“When I asked if he had been told he’s a target, he demurred, saying he doesn’t talk directly to prosecutors,” she added.

Haberman says she used the Solomon report as the basis for her conversation with Trump.

Less than one hour after Haberman says she spoke with the ex-president, he again posted an angry rant on his Truth Social platform.

“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, the “No Collusion” Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX #1, Impeachment HOAX #2, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS,” he rambled.

Trump made clear he expects House Republicans to protect him: “REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MUST MAKE THIS THEIR # 1 ISSUE!!!”

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Mark Meadows Reportedly Agrees to Plea Deal – Attorney Denies

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Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House Chief of Staff and former North Carolina Republican Congressman, reportedly has accepted a plea deal from the Dept. of Justice in exchange for pleading guilty to federal charges.

According to The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg, Meadows has also been co-operating with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigators, which several legal experts have recently suggested was likely happening.

“Over the course of the last year, grand jurors have heard testimony from numerous associates of the ex-president, including nearly every employee of Mar-a-Lago, former administration officials who worked in Mr Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operation, and former high-ranking administration officials such as his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows,” Feinberg reports at The Independent.

“Mr Meadows has already given evidence before the grand jury and is said to be cooperating with the investigation into his former boss,” the article, published Wednesday afternoon, states. “It is understood that the former North Carolina congressman will plead guilty to several federal charges as part of a deal for which he has already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.”

In an update to its reporting, The Independent adds Meadows’ attorney denies he would ever enter any guilty plea:

“A source who was briefed on the agreement claimed that the alleged agreement will involve the ex-chief of staff entering pleas of guilty to unspecified federal crimes but an attorney for Mr Meadows, George Terwilliger, denied that to The Independent. Mr Terwilliger said that the idea that his client would enter any guilty pleas was ‘complete bulls***’ but did not address the matter of immunity in a brief telephone conversation with this reporter.”

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But in addition to breaking news that Meadows allegedly has accepted a plea deal, The Independent reports Trump is expected to be indicted under a portion of the Espionage Act. NCRM has not verified either of these reports.

“The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday.”

“The Independent has learned that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits ‘gathering, transmitting or losing’ any ‘information respecting the national defence,'” The Independent adds.

In early June, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean remarked, “Meadows has a really good lawyer, a former deputy AG, who could guide him through cooperation and a minimal plea deal of some sort.”

That attorney, George Terwilliger, played coy when asked about his client’s possible grand jury testimony. Terwilliger told The New York Times in an article published late Tuesday, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

Former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman on Tuesday said, “I’ve already observed Terwilliger’s skill in representing Meadows. But if he got him an immunity deal–as opposed to a guilty plea + promise to cooperate deal–he is a wizard. [Would] think that Meadows is way too culpable to merit a pass, but if Smith [couldn’t] make case w/o him…”

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a former JAG attorney, tweeted on Tuesday:

“Mark Meadows had three options: 1. Take the Fifth Amendment. 2. Voluntarily cooperate. 3. Cooperate because he was given immunity or a plea deal. Based on the public reporting, it appears he did 2 or 3 above. This makes it more likely Donald Trump will be indicted, again.”

Meadows is a former chair of the far right House Freedom Caucus, and former chair of the House Oversight Committee.

NYU Law professor of law Ryan Goodman, a former U.S. Dept. of Defense Special Counsel, Wednesday morning said it is “NOT a big if” if Meadows has been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.

 

This article has been updated to include remarks from Ryan Goodman, and The Independent’s additional reporting with comment from Meadows’ attorney.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Anchor’s Bad Week: Slammed for ‘Complete Lie,’ Accused of Making Up Story During Primetime Guest Hosting Gig

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After firing its star host, Tucker Carlson, Fox News has been scheduling its other anchors to fill in as guest hosts on a week-by-week basis, with some viewers, if not network brass, seeing these as auditions.

This week Harris Faulkner, host of the far-right network’s “The Faulkner Focus” and co-host of “Outnumbered,” filled in during what was once Carlson’s slot.

Reaction online has not been positive.

On Monday, Faulkner claimed she had been kicked out of a restaurant for praying, in what The Wrap called a “blistering, biblical monologue about the ongoing ‘attack’ on the Christian faith in America.”

“We know who we are. And we know who’s we are,” Faulkner told the dwindling Fox News audience. “For those of us who believe, we must be bold in our faith right now. When you gather in public spaces pray thankfully over your food, even when the server gives you the stink-eye, or tells the manager that your peaceful grace is triggering them. Had it happen to me. I’ve been asked to leave a restaurant for openly bowing my head in prayer hands. In America. It’s all good. They don’t deserve my money anyway.”

Many demanded Faulkner name the restaurant, or provide proof. Among them, The Daily Beast’s senior media reporter Justin Baragona, who tweeted, Monday night, “I’m going to ask Fox News PR if Harris Faulkner can provide the name of the restaurant and date when this happened. Will update if I receive a response.”

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Baragona has yet to state he’s received a response.

Another doubter is Republican former Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who wrote: “We need the name of this restaurant and when it happened. If true that’s awful. IF it’s not true… which seems most likely the case… then there needs to be accountability. Lies are not the tool of the Lord. And the USA isn’t his god.”

During that same monologue, as The Daily Beast noted, Faulkner told Fox News viewers: “Women and children are being redesigned by some sort of mad leftist science experiment.”

“It’s as though people on the left have more free time than anybody else. They want to acronym and pronoun us to death,” she said, apparently taking a swing at the LGBTQ community. “Well know this: the Lord has determined I am a woman, and my pronouns are U.S.A.”

“We are in a spiritual fight for the soul of America,” she also claimed, “and if you think that’s not true, take a look around at what’s going on. The devil has gotten into some people. The worst part of experiencing our country ripping at the seams is that our enemies are massing, feasting on the tastiness of our weaknesses.”

Baragona pointed out, “In her first night on primetime filling in for Tucker’s old timeslot, Harris Faulkner drew 1.59 million total viewers and just 105,000 in the 25-54 advertising demographic, finishing behind CNN and MSNBC in the demo. Tucker averaged 3.26 million total viewers last quarter.”

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Former CNN media reporter Brian Stelter added, “And Jen Psaki was filling in at 8 on MSNBC,” suggesting MSNBC might have had fewer regular viewers during that time slot.

But the real outrage came on Tuesday, when Faulkner delivered what many deemed an outright “lie,” and served up proof of their accusations.

Faulker told Fox News viewers, “You know, we didn’t actually close schools in 1918, during the Spanish flu pandemic.”

That’s false. Provably false.

“And sometimes we make dangerously bad decisions, like pandemic lockdowns and keeping our own children home from schools when a virus was hurting them far less often than adults,” she said, ignoring the fact that family transmission often started with children (see below.) “You know, we didn’t actually close schools in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic. We didn’t even have penicillin back then. We did sacrifice. We suffered but then we pressed on. Our enemies hate us for surviving, but they would love to be like us.”

“This is blatantly untrue and takes about 3 seconds to fact check,” observed Media Matters for America’s Kat Abu.

And fact check many did.

Some noted that penicillin is an antibiotic, not an antiviral, and would have had no effect on the “Spanish flu,” an erroneous term (the first case identified was in the U.S.) for what is broadly known as the 1918 flu pandemic. The CDC says, “The 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic, sometimes referred to as the “Spanish flu,” killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 people in the United States.”

READ MORE: Buttigieg: Republicans Are Targeting LGBTQ People Because They ‘Don’t Want to Talk About’ Their Own ‘Radical Positions’

Attorney Brad Moss, calling Faulkner’s claim a “complete lie,” also tweeted: “Utter and total falsity. You would think these fools would have some shame after paying Dominion hundreds of millions of dollars.”

And he came with receipts, including a screenshot of a New York Times article from October, 1918, noting the entire state of Pennsylvania had “indefinitely” shut down all schools, churches, theaters, and “all places of public assemblage.”

Others pointed to a PBS article from 2020 that reads: “During the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, when an estimated 675,000 people died in the United States alone, the majority of public schools were closed for weeks to months on end. But three major cities — New York City, Chicago, and New Haven — kept their schools open amid valid questions and concerns about safety.”

So false was Faulkner’s claim, a readers’ note was added to video of it. It points to a study that states: “During the 1918–19 influenza pandemic, many local authorities made the controversial decision to close schools.”

Others on social media pointed to an article published last week by the University of Minnesota: “More than 70% of US household COVID spread started with a child, study suggests.”

As for Faulkner’s claim that, “Our enemies hate us for surviving, but they would love to be like us,” the U.S. ranks 15th worst among all countries around the world in COVID deaths per capita.

Meanwhile, Baragona also weighed in, noting: “Throughout the height of the pandemic, Harris Faulkner would only broadcast her show from the safety of her house.”

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