Mike And Ike, a 72-year old candy brand, are splitting up, and anti-gay Christian conservative Tony Perkins is hopping mad, claiming the 99-year old company is “sexualizing candy,” and “chipping away at the value of marriage,” despite the fact no one every claimed Mike And Ike were ever married — or civil unioned, or domestic partnershipped.Â Mike And Ike’s manufacturer,Â Just Born, Inc., of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,Â launched the inventive marketing campaign three weeks ago, announcing the “couple” was splitting up for “creative differences,” and some pundits — like Perkins, who sees a gay threat behind every turn — automatically assuming the pair were lovers and not business partners. In fact, Just Born told The Morning Call,Â “These guys are best friends, candy-making partners,” he said. “Others have chosen to see it another way, and that’s fine.”
Tony Perkins is the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center certified anti-gay hate group,Â Family Research Council, and a premiere entrant in GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project (CAP).
Brian Tashman atÂ Right Wing Watch, which has the audio, published this transcript of Perkins’ attack on the candy manufacturer:
These days, you can’t get a sugar high without experiencing a cultural low. Hello, I’m Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. There’s trouble in candy land. After more than 70 years together, Mike & Ike are calling it quits. The duo is staging a gay divorce as part of a new ad campaign to draw in younger customers. In this society, even candy has an agenda! From Facebook to Tumblr, the fruity pair says, “The rumors are true. We just couldn’t agree on stuff anymore.” Starting this summer, the company will spend $15 million on billboards and TV commercials that poke fun at the breakup. It’s just another subtle example of society chipping away at the value of marriage. And I don’t know what’s more disturbing–that advertisers think divorce appeals to kids or that sexualizing candy will make people buy more. After a year-long build-up, the company will reveal if the couple reconciles. Until then, look for Mike & Ike to have a distinctly liberal flavor.
Zack Ford at Think Progress offers some wise insight:
Perkinsâ€™ overreaction is humorous, but also telling. This silly anecdote speaks to two important tactics that conservatives employ. First, they promote the idea that any portrayal of characters that are gay is negative and â€œsexual.â€ Plenty of fictional opposite-sex couples have clearly been in romantic relationships for decades (Mickey and Minnie,Â Kermit and Miss Piggy, etc.), but no one is concerned that they are somehow â€œsexualizingâ€ children. Secondly, Perkins insinuates that anything gay is â€œliberal,â€ which is far from the truth. Sexual diversity cuts across all races, religions, and political ideologies, regardless of how hate group leaders like Perkins try to relegate the LGBT community into some uniform â€œcultural lowâ€ category.
Sam Kennedy, at The Morning Call noted earlier this month that “as ad campaigns go, this one seems to be off to a good start,” and added:
So far, theÂ NewÂ York Times has published a story on the matter. And a headline on the Huffington Post website reads: “Mike And Ike Head For Gay Divorce In New Ad Campaign.”
Of course, whatever the nature of Mike and Ike’s relationship, it couldn’t possibly have had the force of law in Pennsylvania, a state that has yet to legalize same-sex unions.
Mike and Ike, whoseÂ packagingÂ bills the candy as “the original fruits,” was introduced in 1940. In their early years together, both Mike and Ike brandished mustaches. Mike later switched to the clean-shaven look (even though it accentuated his chubby cheeks).
According to the Mike and Ike Facebook page:
“Yes it’s true. We should have seen it coming. Mike and Ike have split up over creative differences about Mike and Ike candy, and they have left the building. We never thought it would come to this. â€¦ Mike has decided to pursue a music career. Ike wants to be an artist.”
Fanciful story lines aside, Just Born marketing manager Donald Houston said Facebook is an ideal outlet for reaching the candy maker’s target audience: teenagers.
“That’s where they are,” he explained. “It allows us to have that two-way communication. They can comment.”
In its campaign, scheduled to run for a year, Just Born is making use of other electronic media as well. The Facebook site links to a blog that featuresÂ videoÂ commentary from celebrities such as Greyson Chance, a teen pop singer, and Eden Sher, a star on the ABC sitcom “The Middle.” In one video, NBA player Lamar Odom emotes, “When I heard the news, I was devastated.”
Meanwhile, hitting store shelves is Mike and Ike packaging with one or the other name seemingly blacked out by felt-tip marker. A similar billboard campaign is planned for the summer.
The company’s Facebook followers increased ten-fold, and there’s even a Mike And Ike Tumblr blog.
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‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump
Legal experts are now weighing in on Thursday’s bombshell, massive and months-long reporting from The New York Times that reveals, among several previously unknown allegations, that then-Attorney General Bill Barr and his special counsel, John Durham were handed apparent evidence of suspicious financial acts by Donald Trump, and proceeded to create a false public narrative that Durham’s investigation found evidence of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump, suggesting it was on the part of the FBI, not the president, in order to protect the president.
“On one of Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham’s trips to Europe,” The Times reveals, “according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes.”
The Times adds that “Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump.”
“Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”
Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert who literally wrote the book on the U.S. Constitution, calls the Times’ report “jaw-dropping.”
“When Durham unexpectedly found evidence of crimes committed BY rather than AGAINST Trump, he and Barr deliberately deceived the nation into thinking the opposite! This deep dive by the NYT is as jaw-dropping as anything I’ve read in the past decade,” Tribe says.
Law professor and former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill, one of TIME’s 2021 most influential people in the world, accused Barr of “gaslighting” the public.
“Every line of this article must be read,” Ifill implored. “Horrifying breaches of professional ethics, misuse of DOJ investigative resources, and deliberate lies to, and gaslighting of the public. A grotesque perversion of the appropriate role of Attorney General.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known MSNBC legal contributor and professor of law, also calls it “jaw dropping.”
“Jaw dropping reporting. Lots here including an explanation of why Durham’s colleague resigned: under pressure from Barr to release an ‘interim’ report damaging Clinton & the FBI as the election drew near, Durham had a draft prepared that wasn’t factual,” she says.
Andrew Weissman, the former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who spent 20 years at DOJ, including working under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calls Barr “corrupt.”
“Can anyone really be surprised by this?” he asks. “Barr was just so corrupt and so corrupted the DOJ.”
MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor and the first woman to serve as US General Counsel of the Army was troubled by the picture The Times painted of how close Barr and Durham were, when special counsels are supposed to have great autonomy and not be shaded by any Attorney General interference.
“Even more troubling than Barr and Durham frequently having drinks and discussing the investigation is the fact that the only crime they discovered on their foreign trip was Italian intel about crimes by Trump,” she says via Twitter. “I want to know the status of that investigation!”
Some legal experts lament that despite the bombshells in The Times’ report, it appears nothing will come of it – certainly nothing from the House Republicans.
Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin sardonically asks, “Surely McCarthy and Jim Jordan’s new Select Committee on ‘the Weaponization of the Federal Government’ will focus on this story and the actions of Bill Barr, John Durham and Donald Trump. Surely, right? Right?”
Wine-Banks also points to House Republicans’ new committee investigating what they claim is “weaponization” of the federal government.
“Barr’s relationship with Durham, his pressure on him to reach a certain result and their failure to follow up on Trump’s crime revealed during the investigation is what weaponization of the DOJ looks like — not what Republicans want to investigate now.”
Pete Strzok, who spent 26 years at the FBI including as Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Counterintelligence Division, and led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, speaks from experience.
“I can see Barr allowing the stunning amount of craziness (a gentle choice of word) described in this article,” he writes. “But does anyone in the current OAG or ODAG care about this? Durham has reported to AG Garland for twenty two (22) months now.”
“This,” Weissman adds separately, pointing to The Times article, “is all about the Trump weaponization of the DOJ – but we know that the House Rs won’t give a damn about it.”
Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.
An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.
In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”
The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.
Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.
Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.
“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.
Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.
Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.
In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”
Patch, which published a screenshot of what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”
Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.
“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.
“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.
“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”
Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.
While on his way to the House floor, I asked George Santos about his recently leaked Facebook comment saluting hitler.
— sarah fishkind (@sarahefishkind) January 26, 2023
Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.
In an interview with JNS at the RJC meeting last month, Santos said, “as I always joke, I am Jew-ish” and repeated his claim about his grandfather “fleeing Hitler” in 1940.https://t.co/OTkCVt0uam pic.twitter.com/U3kn2ZNFhu
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) December 21, 2022
Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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