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NAACP’s Julian Bond Attacks NOM, Tells AC360 Gay Rights Are Civil Rights

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Julian Bond last night told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that gay rights are civil rights and all these rights are “exactly the same” and “universal.” Cooper was discussing with Bond this week’s shocking revelation that NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, published in internal memos its “strategic goal” is to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks, two key Democratic constituencies.”  Calling that “scary,” Bond, the iconic former chairman of the NAACP, and now its Chairman Emeritus, was speaking about civil rights for the LGBT community in relation to civil rights for the African-American community, and said they are the same.

READ: Carrie Prejean And David Tyree Were NOM’s “Glamorous Non-Cognitive Elite”

Dr. Bond, who also was a founder of the illustrious Southern Poverty Law Center, called the revelations of NOM’s strategy, “one of the most cynical things I’ve ever heard of or seen.” Bond added, “Now the idea that these people are just pawns that can be played with, the black people who oppose gay marriage, and the black people who support gay marriage, just can be moved around like pieces on a chessboard, it’s just scary.”

 

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Here’s the transcript, via CNN:

COOPER: I want to read you from some of this internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage. They say, “The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks, two key Democratic constituencies.”

They go on to say that they should recruit African-Americans to oppose gay marriage, to serve as spokespeople, and then provoke the gay marriage base into calling those spokespeople bigots, which would then drive a wedge. What do you make of this?

JULIAN BOND, FORMER CHAIRMAN, NAACP: It’s the most — one of the most cynical things I’ve ever heard of or seen spelled out in this way. Now the idea that these people are just pawns that can be played with, the black people who oppose gay marriage, and the black people who support gay marriage, just can be moved around like pieces on a chessboard, it’s just scary.

COOPER: Scary?

BOND: Yes.

COOPER: They released a statement that said, quote, “Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right. Gay marriage is not a civil right.” You see the push for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans as a civil rights movement?

BOND: Very much so.

COOPER: As an extension of the civil rights movement. BOND: Of course. It is exactly the same. It’s a right that all Americans have, and no reason why gay and lesbian people ought not to have these rights, too. These are universal rights.

COOPER: But to those who say, look, this has nothing to do with civil rights, and there are many African-Americans who actually get offended by the comparison to the civil rights movement, among African-Americans.

BOND: We ought to be happy that other people, including gays and lesbians, and many other people have imitated the black movement for human rights. They’ve adopted our songs; we ought to be happy. They’ve adopted our slogans; we ought to be happy. They’ve adopted the way in which we went about it, in a nonviolent way, generally speaking. We ought to be proud of that, that we served as examples to others.

And when the others imitate what we did to gain their rights, we ought to be first in line to say, “Can I help you. You helped me. Can I help you?”

COOPER: When this memo went out — it was 2009 — polling showed that, among African-Americans, only 32 percent of African-Americans were in favor of same-sex marriage.

There’s a recent NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll that showed 50 percent of African-Americans are now in favor of it. Do you feel like the tide of history is moving in this direction?

BOND: Absolutely. Absolutely. As more and more people think, “Gee, that guy who sits next to me in church, he’s gay, and he seems to be OK. The guy who works next to me on the job, I think he’s gay, and he seems to be OK. So I know all these people who are gay, and they’re all right with me.”

COOPER: Do you think some people who, African-Americans, who do not like the movement for equality being described as a civil rights movement, do you think they feel that that in — somehow takes away from the struggle that African-Americans…

BOND: Yes, I think there’s a — wrongly so. Wrongly so. But I — if they knew that Brian Ruskin (ph), a gay man, was the guy who put together the March on Washington, and it wouldn’t have been the success it was, had it not been for him, I think they’d feel differently about it.

If they knew that throughout the history of the black struggle for civil rights, black and white and Asian and Latino gay people and lesbians participated and sacrificed alongside their black brothers and sisters, I think they’d feel differently about it.

Because this is not — we don’t have a patent on rights in this country. Black people don’t have a patent on fighting for civil rights. This is something all Americans want to do and should do. And we ought to be proud that others have imitated us. COOPER: It’s interesting to me that in the past, you have not had a lot of straight people championing this cause, and yet you have, sometimes at great — you’ve received a lot of criticism for it.

BOND: Yes, I have. But I think, you know, I served in the civil right movements beside black people and white people, and gay people and lesbian people, and I often thought to myself, these people are helping me. Can I help them? Shouldn’t I help them?

And when the gay movement, which is an old movement in this country, became more and more prominent, and it became something that people like myself, straight people, could join in and participate, I was eager to play whatever part I could. Because this is something, I think, important to all of us. I don’t care if you’re gay or straight. This is something you ought to be concerned about.

COOPER: Just on another topic, I’d just like to get your thought on the shooting of Trayvon Martin. What is your impression of what happened and of the debate that’s…

BOND: I can only go by what I read in the papers or see on TV, that what seemed to happen is this police wannabe followed him, against the orders of the police, got out of his car, confronted him in some way. We don’t know what happened then.

But we do know that Martin is dead. He’s shot in the chest. He’s killed. And I can’t imagine what he might have done or could have done that would make that happen, that would prompt that. That would make that excusable.

COOPER: Julian Bond, thanks for being on.

BOND: Thank you.

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Democrats Discredit GOP Claims on IVF as Republicans Try to Regain Ground After Fallout

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One week after the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled frozen human embryos are “children,” causing several medical institutions to pause their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) programs, Alabama and the GOP have seen tremendous nationwide anger, upset, and confusion from the left and the right over the decision, the Christian nationalist chief judge, and the Republican Party that set this in motion.

Now, GOP lawmakers and political groups are trying to regain ground after some Republicans quickly embraced the decision that, as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre predicted Tuesday, would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.”

“As a reminder,” Jean-Pierre added, “this is the same state whose attorney general threatened to prosecute people who help women travel out of state to seek the care they need.”

President Joe Biden condemned the Alabama ruling: “The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.”

But U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) cheered his state’s Supreme Court, while appearing to not fully grasp what IVF is.

READ MORE: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Biden Campaign Blasts Trump Christian Nationalism Plans

“I was all for it,” he said of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, calling young people “our number one commodity.”

But when pressed, Tuberville declared, “I’d have to look at the entire bill, how it’s written, I have not seen it,” referring not to legislation but the ruling.

And when told that women will now not be able to have IVF treatments, Tuberville repeatedly replied it was “unfortunate.”

On Thursday night, speaking to a group of religious broadcasters, Donald Trump denounced the Alabama ruling and vowed to protect IVF. On Friday, the beleaguered Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued a memo directing Republicans to defend IVF. Also Friday, the Attorney General for the state of Alabama, mentioned earlier by the White House Press Secretary, effectively suggested he would ignore the state supreme court’s ruling, promising to not prosecute IVF families, as ABC News reported.

But Democrats are making clear that despite whatever claims or promises Republicans make, the IVF ruling is the direction conservatives are taking the Republican Party.

READ MORE: Smirnov Scandal: Experts Call for Investigations, Warn GOP of Possible Conspiracy Charges

“First Republicans banned abortions so women couldn’t terminate a pregnancy. Now they are coming for IVF so women can’t begin a pregnancy. The GOP agenda is about one thing: government control of women,” observed U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (photo).

CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox reports a new NRSC memo “instructs [GOP] candidates to reject clearly and concisely government attempts to restrict access to IVF.”

Just hours later, Sen. Murphy responded, saying, “umm the chairman of the NRSC sponsored the bill to ban IVF.”

He added, “newsflash: no matter what they tell their candidates to pretend, when they get power they use it to control women.”

The NRSC’s goal is to help get Republicans elected to the U.S. Senate. It is chaired by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, a MAGA Republican and member of the Senate’s Pro-Life Caucus.

As Bloomberg’s Matthew Yglesias notes, Senator Daines is an original co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act.

The Center for American Progress’ Colin Seeberger adds, Daines “quite literally has been a longtime co-sponsor of the Lifetime at Conception Act, which would establish legal protections for the unborn just as the Alabama Supreme Court ordered and has led to the suspension of fertility care across AL.”

Meanwhile, Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz notes that the “text of GOP‘s most recent platform claims that ‘the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed’ and calls for a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions — and jeopardize IVF — by granting 14th Amendment rights to fetuses.”

READ MORE: Why Was GOP’s Star Witness Re-Arrested? He May Have Been Trying to Flee the Country: Report

Indeed, as The New York Times reported, far-right Christian conservative Tony Perkins, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ extremist group Family Research Council, called the Alabama Supreme Court ruling a “beautiful defense of life and the Alabama Constitution.”

Friday afternoon Donald Trump followed up his vow to protect IVF with a social media post that claims in part, “Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America. Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

Former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer responded, asking: “Why would anyone believe this? In 2016, Trump pledged no cuts to Medicaid and then spent four years trying to gut the program.”

And as Axios reports, “House Democrats’ main super PAC is promising to pour money into attacking Republicans on fertility treatments in the wake of a controversial, first-of-its-kind Alabama Supreme Court ruling, Axios has learned.”

“Trump’s call came a day after President Biden’s re-election campaign blamed him for the ruling, noting his appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade,” Axios adds. House Majority PAC, in a memo set to be released Friday, listed nearly a dozen current and former House Republicans in competitive districts who have co-sponsored at least one version of the Life at Conception Act between 2021 and 2023.”

See the social media posts and video above or at this link.

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Why Was GOP’s Star Witness Re-Arrested? He May Have Been Trying to Flee the Country: Report

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The re-arrest of Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant who allegedly may have provided House Republicans with Kremlin propaganda that was the basis for their efforts to impeach President Joe Biden and attack his son Hunter, raised some eyebrows on Thursday.

Smirnov, once considered House Republicans’ Jim Comer and Jim Jordan’s star witness, was re-arrested even after a magistrate judge ordered him released, and at his attorneys’ offices, raising eyebrows from even national security experts, insisting there had better be a good reason for it.

Now, according to a noted legal expert, it appears there was.

“A California judge seems to be suggesting [Smirnov’s] lawyers are complicit in his efforts to flee, in a remarkable line ordering detention for the FBI source whose lies propelled Biden impeachment efforts,” writes professor of law and MSNBC legal contributor Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney.

READ MORE: ‘Insultingly Stupid’: Trump’s Move to Toss Out Classified Docs Case Torn Apart by Experts

U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in his order wrote on Thursday: “It has come to this Court’s attention that counsel for defendant has sought an emergency hearing in the District of Nevada to arrange the release of Defendant Smirnov, likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States.”

After detailing Smirnov’s arrest and release, Judge Wright ordered his re-arrest, adding: “The U.S. Marshal Service is advised there is to be no deviation from this Order.”

Just Security’s Adam Klasfeld calls Judge Wright’s order “wild,” and adds that Smirnoff’s lawyers released “a terse statement about the extraordinary order.”

“They did not respond to questions about the language in the judge’s order suggesting a ‘likely’ aim to ‘facilitate’ their client ‘absconding from the United States.'”

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Vaccine-Laced Lettuce and Tomatoes? Tennessee GOP Lawmaker Worried

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A Tennessee Republican state lawmaker says he’s worried Tennesseans might overdose on vaccines if they eat too many tomatoes.

State Rep. Scott Cepicky claims vaccines can already be added to foods like lettuce and tomatoes, and to tobacco products, so he has filed legislation to require grocery store items containing vaccines to be labeled.

“University of California Riverside has already perfected the ability to put human vaccines into our lettuce right now,” Rep. Cepicky told his fellow lawmakers Wednesday while discussing his legislation. “Also, tomatoes, has the ability to do that also per UC Berkeley. And then big tobacco, RJ Reynolds and stuff has perfected the ability to put a human vaccine in tobacco products.”

NCRM could find no evidence supporting his claims, although researchers starting in 2021 were studying if it is possible to do so.

Cepicky, who has been endorsed by U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), warned, “there is no law, deeming those that when you go into a grocery store, you should know as a consumer, this head of lettuce is a head of lettuce. The head of lettuce right next week could contain a vaccine in it. All we’re saying is if it does have the vaccine in it, make sure it’s listed as a pharmaceutical so people can get the proper dosage.”

READ MORE: ‘Insultingly Stupid’: Trump’s Move to Toss Out Classified Docs Case Torn Apart by Experts

Facing some pushback from Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Cepicky went on to say, “This is more of a consumer protection bill right here, is to make sure that if you’re going in to buy tomatoes, and there’s a polio vaccine in there, that you are aware of what you’re buying has a polio vaccine. The problem you have is if it’s not treated as a pharmaceutical, being the size and difference between you and me, how many tomatoes do I have to eat to get the proper dosage versus how many tomatoes that you have to eat? And if you eat too many do you get a overdose?”

Asked if his legislation was necessity, Cepicky added, “Well, if you’d have a child that is allergic to a certain vaccine, and it’s not disclosed, when you go to buy that, that vegetable, whatever it is, and your child dies from that, I would think that having place is going to make sure that that is treated as a pharmaceutical so that the consumers know exactly what they’re buying.”

Anti-vaxers gained a foothold during the COVID pandemic, spreading false claims about vaccines. Last year the fact-checking website Snopes deemed it “false” that “mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines has entered the food supply via genetically modified plants bred to contain it or through the consumption of vaccinated livestock.”

“Claims regarding COVID-19 vaccines ‘in your salad‘ have persisted on the internet and recirculated due to misreadings or misinterpretations of several press releases or scientific research,” Snopes added, “Mike Flynn, during a September 2021 podcast appearance, referenced this research, describing it as ‘putting the vaccine in salad dressing.'”

READ MORE: Kremlin Infiltration of Congress Alleged by Ex-Trump Prosecutor: Republicans ‘Duped or in on It’

Flynn, the former Trump U.S. national security advisor, is a far-right Christian nationalist and Trump MAGA activist.

Tennessee lawmakers voted to move Rep. Capicky’s forward.

Watch Rep. Capicky’s remarks below or at this link.

 

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