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LGBT Community Wracked in Grief: Funeral for Mollie Olgin; Candlelight Vigils Coast to Coast

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  Mollie Olgin’s family and friends prepare to bury her today in Corpus Christi, Texas after the unexplained attack on Olgin and her surviving girlfriend  Mary Kristene  Chapa,  has ignited the LGBT community and its allies in anger and sorrow   

 

Barely a week after most June Pride celebrations were held across the country, this afternoon, the family and friends of Mollie Olgin, 19 years old will be buried in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.  One week ago, she was spending time with her girlfriend Mary Kristene Chapa at the Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas when she was shot in her head and killed instantaneously by an unknown assailant.

Mary”Krissy” Kristene Chapa, also shot, remains in a local hospital in stable condition, who, according to statements by her brother Hilario, is making an “amazing recovery” and is  able to communicate by using sign language. She is also able to move on her right side, although no response from her left side yet.  Doctors say Krissy could have a complete recovery, although she does not have health insurance.

The Portland Texas Police Department released a description of the assailant yesterday, who is described at in his late 2o’s to 40, white or light-skinned Hispanic, dark hair, 5′ 8″ and approximately 140 lbs.  The police indicated that the women did not know their assailant.

Earlier in the week the  police department issued a statement this week indicating that there is no evidence thus far indicating that this was a hate crime, but their investigation continues.  The Texas Rangers, the Texan state police have opened an investigation.

Equality Texas, in partnership with the the Human Rights Campaign contacted the U.S. Department of Justice who offered assistance by its Community Relations unit.  In a statement issued by the group, Texas Equality thanked the Department of Justice for their quick response.

Vigils for the women began on Wednesday evening in San Francisco, organized by gay activist Cleve Jones, who issued a call to LGBT people and their allies and friends to come together across the country, to hold a vigil to the couple, calling the community together in a moment of terrible violence.

Last night the first Texas vigil took place in Mollie Olgin’s hometown of Corpus Christi.  Following this afternoon’s burial of Olgin, vigils will continue and have been organized throughout the country, including in Canada, according to Michael Divesti, a Texas gay activist and one of the leaders of GetEQUAL Texas.  The group is organizing two solidarity vigils in Austin and Dallas.  Divesti has been channeling his frustration, anger and frustration by organizing a central listing of vigils by publishing them on a dedicated page of GetEQUAL Texas website.

 

http://www.kristv.com/videoplayer/swf/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.5.swf

“Whether the attacks on Mollie and Mary Kristene were anti-LGBT, or not, and when something happens against any member of our community,” said Divesti,” we all feel threatened and recognize our mortality and vulnerability.”

For those who want to contribute on-line to Mary Christene’s insurance fund go to:  http://www.gofundme.com/kristene. Money orders and checks made out to:  Mary Christine Chapa Fund should be mailed to:

Prosperity Bank
1127 E. Sinton St.
Sinton, Texas 78387

Fort updated information on vigils around the country, go to the GetEQUAL Texas website for further information.

 

Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia.  Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues.  She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL.  Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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COMMENTARY

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

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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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News

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

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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

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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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