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John Boehner Blows Off Teen DREAMers Asking Him To Pass Immigration Reform



Two teenaged DREAMers happened upon Speaker of the House John Boehner having breakfast at a diner. They invited him to sit with them and talk about immigration reform. What do you think he did?

Sure, I suppose you could say that like anyone else, the man just wanted to have a quiet breakfast at his usual morning hangout. But “the man” here truly is “The Man.” He’s John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House. He’s the man who becomes President if the President and Vice President, god forbid, die or are themselves unable to hold office. The Speaker of the House is the single person who gets to decide what bills will ultimately get voted on. He sets the agenda.

And John Boehner’s agenda is to keep Congress in session as few days as possible, to repeal as many laws — especially Obamacare — as possible, and to obstruct and grind Washington to a halt.

But we’re talking about two kids, who don’t fully understand why they’re not even second-class citizens — they’re just second class, in the eyes of the law. Period. These kids are DREAMers: here through no fault of their own, “illegally.”

The DREAM Act, by the way, is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It’s a bipartisan bill that has been wallowing in Congress since 2001. We’re not talking fancy new radical legislation here, by the way, we’re talking a bill introduced by Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Orrin Hatch.

John Boehner knew he was on camera yesterday morning. His Secret Service detail can be seen in the background. They knew, and you can see how uncomfortable they were.

The Speaker of the House had two choices: he could ask the kids to sit down and he could talk to them as any good parent would talk with their kids or their neighbors’ kids, or he could blow them off, try to be “polite,” but not have an honest conversation and not give them the respect they deserve, as human beings.

John Boehner chose the latter.

The two teens, according to Carmen Lima, 13, and Jennifer Martinez, 16, were “in town as part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and its Keeping Families Together: Youth in Action events this week,” according to America’s Voice, a progressive organization working to reform our nation’s immigration laws and policies.

The image of an old white man sitting down eating while two teenaged girls stand, trying to talk with him, reeks of privilege and a total lack of empathy. These girls, these young women, invited the man to breakfast, to sit with and talk with them, and he blew them off.

The sound in the video is not the best, but you can read the transcript below:




Carmen Lima: Would you join us for breakfast?

John Boehner: No, I’m just going to eat breakfast up here.

CL: Oh, okay. Do you think we can like talk while you wait for your food?

JB: Yeah, sure.

CL: Okay, so hi—I’m Carmen Lima, I’m 13, and you’re a father, right?

JB: Yeah.

CL: So how would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of ten that you were never coming home?

JB: That wouldn’t be good.

CL: Huh?

JB: That wouldn’t be good.

CL: That’s what happened to me. I thought I was never going to see my dad again because [inaudible]. And I cried so hard when my mom told me that, at the age of ten.

JB: Well, I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done. It’s, uh, you know, not easy—not gonna be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that I’m going to get this done.

CL: So we can count on your vote for immigration reform?

JB: I will try to find a way to move the bill forward. Thanks.

Jennifer Martinez: I just wanted to share something else really quickly. My name is Jennifer Martinez,

I’m 16 years old, and I came from up in Washington on the West Coast, and when I was 12 years old, I left my dad on an airport [inaudible] in Mexico, not knowing if I’d ever see him again. But I was lucky—I wasn’t separated from my dad for longer than a couple months. But many kids don’t get that luck—they miss out on years with their parents, years with family. And imagine—you said you’re a father—imagine missing out on your kids’ football games and soccer games.

JB: [inaudible] I understand.

JM: So we would really, really appreciate it if you would do everything in your power to move this bill forward.

JB: All right. I agree with you. Thank you.

JM: Thank you.

CL: Thank you, Speaker Boehner.

Video and transcript via America’s Voice

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‘Simply Nonsense’: Judge Shoots Down Rudy Giuliani’s Desperate Bid to Escape Liability



A federal judge peevishly shot down Rudy Giuliani’s last-ditch effort to avoid a jury trial in a libel suit brought by a mother-daughter pair of Georgia poll workers.

District judge Beryl Howell denied the former Donald Trump lawyer’s request by repeatedly noting that his attorney had missed deadlines in the case filed by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, and she rejected his argument that mistakes by the pair’s counsel justified a shift from a jury trial to a bench trial.

“This is simply nonsense,” Howell wrote in a footnote to her order. “Giuliani’s counsel’s two-sentence email cited three out-of-circuit, non-binding cases, dated between thirty and nearly fifty years ago, without any express statement that Giuliani planned to seek a bench trial or that he would do so in reliance on this cited authority.”

Howell found Giuliani liable for defamation in a default judgment August and has ordered him to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the two women, and she fined him more than $100,000 in September after he failed to comply.

The jury trial will determine Giuliani’s penalty for falsely claiming Freeman and Moss had engaged in fraudulent activities following the 2020 election, which he claimed had cost Donald Trump re-election and led to a deluge of violent threats toward the two women.

Giuliani is among 19 defendants, including Trump, who have been charged in a racketeering case in Fulton County related to efforts to overturn the ex-president’s election loss.


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On World AIDS Day, DOJ Says Tennessee Law Discriminates Against Those With HIV



World AIDS Day

The Department of Justice celebrated World AIDS Day by calling out a Tennessee law that discriminates against people with HIV.

The DOJ released a report Friday that the state’s aggravated prostitution law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. A person arrested under the aggravated prostitution law is normally changed with a misdemeanor, and faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. However, if the person arrested has HIV, the crime becomes a felony, and if they’re convicted, they would face between three and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”

READ MORE: Activists Arrested After AIDS Funding Protest in Kevin McCarthy’s Office

The law was originally passed in 1991. It classifies HIV-positive sex workers as violent sex offenders, according to WKRN-TV. This means that in addition to the sentence, those convicted are put on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, usually for the rest of their lives.

The DOJ advised the state—and particularly, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which enforces the statute most frequently, the department says—to stop enforcing the law. It also calls on the state to repeal the law and remove anyone from the registry when aggravated prostitution is the only offense. If this doesn’t happen, Tennessee could face a lawsuit.

Tennessee isn’t the only state to have laws applying to only those living with HIV. In 1988, Michigan passed a law requiring those with HIV to disclose their status before sex, according to WLNS-TV. The law is still on the books, but was updated in 2019 to lift the requirement if the HIV-positive person has an undetectable viral load. The law now also requires proof that the person set out to transmit HIV.

Laws like these can work against public health efforts, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH says these types of laws can make people less likely to be tested for HIV, as people cannot be punished if they didn’t know their status. In addition, critics say, the laws can be used to further discriminate. A Canadian study found a disproportionate number of Black men had been charged under HIV exposure laws.

World AIDS Day was first launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to highlight awareness of the then-relatively new disease. The theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead,” calling on community leaders to end the AIDS epidemic.

Featured image by UNIS Vienna/Flickr via Creative Commons License.

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John Fetterman Says Bob Menendez ‘Senator for Egypt,’ Should Be Expelled Next



Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) called Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) a “senator for Egypt,” and said he needed to be expelled from Congress, much like the now-former Representative George Santos.

Fetterman appeared on The View on Friday. The live broadcast aired as Santos had been kicked out of the House. When host Joy Behar asked what he thought of the vote, Fetterman immediately replied, “I’m not surprised.”

“If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate? And, you know, Santos’ kind of lies were almost, you know, funny,” Fetterman said. “Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, you know, not New Jersey. So I really think he needs to go.”

READ MORE: ‘See How Easy That Is to Say?’: GOP Mocked for ‘Weaponization’ of DOJ Claims as Democratic Senator Gets Indicted

Host Sunny Hostin then asked if Fetterman was uncomfortable with expelling Menendez, as, like with Santos, he had only been indicted, not convicted.

“He has the right for his day in court and all of it, but he doesn’t have the right to to have those kinds of votes and things. That’s not a right,” he said. “I think we need to make that kind of decision to send him out.”

This September, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. He is accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold and a car, as well as giving “highly sensitive” information about U.S. Embassy staffers in Cairo to the Egyptian government, according to USA Today. Menendez was forced to step down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was replaced by Ben Cardin, Maryland’s Democratic senator.

Menendez denied wrongdoing, and has refused to resign, despite many calls to do so from both Democrats and Republicans.

“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” Menendez said in a statement following his indictment. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”

This is not Menendez’s first brush with the law. Menendez was indicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges. He was accused of helping Salomon Melgen, one of Menendez’s campaign contributors, by intervening in a dispute with federal regulators and helping Melgen get a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.

In 2017, Menendez’s trial ended with a hung jury, and the Department of Justice declined to retry the case, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Menendez denied all wrongdoing.

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