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NY Marriage Equality Update – Breaking News – No News Isn’t Good News

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The same-sex marriage equality battle in New York is taking place in Albany, the state capitol, and in New York City, home to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As of this moment, Senators are conferencing in Albany for the third morning in a row in the marriage equality bill. Rumor has it Cuomo may hold them past their session end date of Monday if other business is not finished, like rent regulations.

The Albany Times-Union just reported that, “as well as the ongoing same sex marriage, rent-regulation/tax cap debate, senators will also likely talk about the unresolved question of how to handle the defunct OTB [Off Track Betting] system in New York City.

“Also undone are the health exchanges which under President Obama’s health care legislation are supposed to be set up this year, with the failure to do so resulting in a potential loss of federal funds.”

NY Mayor Bloomberg has taken a leadership role all of a sudden — demanding of the Republican-majority Senate “to take a vote” – and to understand why, you have to understand a few things about New York politics.

First, a long-time history of corruption still hangs over Albany.

Long-time readers know all too well the fact that last year, now-former State Senator Pedro Espada was sued by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, now Governor Cuomo, for allegedly diverting $14 million to himself, his campaign, friends, and family, from Espada’s Bronx clinic, after years of allegations and investigations into Espada’s campaign finance activity, including his repeated refusal to file campaign finance records.

Espada’s partner in crime, at least in Senate politics, former State Senator Hiram Monserrate, last year became one of the very few New York State Senators ever to be expelled. Monserrate was convicted for criminal domestic abuse, which involved slashing with a broken glass his girlfriend’s face, dragging her by the hair — on video tape — through his lobby, then driving her around town to different hospitals to find one in which he, as a State Senator, would not be recognized.

And then we have Senator Carl Kruger, the man long-rumored to be gay, who was outed by the federal Department of Justice after being indicted in a million-dollar federal bribery scandal — with his boyfriend. Senator Kruger has always voted against marriage equality, but we’re pleased to report that, now he’s been outed, and since he is still a Senator, despite his indictment, he will vote for the bill. Perhaps he and his boyfriend, if convicted, can get married and share a cell in Otisville.

So, now that you know a little about the past, it should come as now surprise that rent control has emerged as a major football in the New York marriage equality battle. Seems rent control regulations mysteriously expired this week — it’s not like there was a specific date and no one in Albany owns a calendar — so now the focus is on arm wrestling over the rent-regulation/tax cap bill.

Of course, Mayor Bloomberg, being the mayor of eight million citizens, has a lot to say about rent regulations. So Bloomberg has been in Albany lobbying and conferencing with the Republican majority in the Senate.

The other football in the marriage equality “game” is the one publicity-hound Senator Greg Ball has been tossing around: so-called religious exemptions. It’s not enough that religious organizations, like the Catholic Church are exempt from having to marry same-sex couples, and that religious, “benevolent” organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus — one of the most anti-gay organizations around — are exempt under the bill, but Senator Ball is demanding that caterers, hotels, and florists — essentially anyone who might have anything at all to do with a wedding, should be exempt from (God Forbid!) having to do business with “the gays.”

Pretty soon David’s Bridal Shops, The Men’s Warehouse, and CVS’s film developing kiosk will also be included as exempt from having to do business with us, along with AT&T (brides and grooms make phone calls, right?) and Amazon.com.

Of course, the religious organizations state-wide are taking this opportunity to get their ransom lists demands in.

“Should the bill pass without adequate protection, it will have potentially far-reaching consequences for our ministries, both in terms of contracts to provide services and potentially to challenges to not-for-profit status,” said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the state Catholic Conference, the policy and lobbying arm of Roman Catholic bishops in New York,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Religious leaders and some legal scholars are urging the state to include a specific provision for individuals or businesses, like florists or caterers, that refuse to offer services to gay couples. Other states with gay marriage don’t grant such protections, which gay-rights advocates say would open the door to outright discrimination.

“No one is going to lose out because of this. There’s another florist down the block,” said Mordechai Biser, the general counsel of Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group. “We’re not talking about a situation in the South when blacks couldn’t eat at a lunch counter.”

But this, evidently, means we’re making progress. Not long ago, anti-gay bigots were loath to compare the African-America battle for civil rights with the LGBT battle for civil rights.

 

 

 

 

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COMMENTARY

McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), sat down for a freewheeling hour-long interview with Donald Trump Jr., the son of the one-term twice-impeached ex-president currently under multiple criminal investigations including for absconding with hundreds of classified intelligence documents.

McCarthy, who had to battle his own Republican caucus 15 times before finally being granted the Speaker’s gavel, is now tied even more to Donald Trump. Trump reportedly was “working the phones,” making calls to House Republicans for days – and even hours before the final vote – strong-arming them to support the weakened McCarthy.

In one segment of the interview, McCarthy tells Trump Jr., “you know what? I’ve been around you guys privately. It is a real family that has real love for one another. And really, it stems of what [Donald Trump] did as a father.”

READ MORE: Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’

Don Jr., a bit choked up, comes out and says point-blank he wishes his father would “show some of that” love.

“I appreciate that, ya know, I want him to show some of that.”

Just before those remarks, McCarthy, again praising Donald Trump, says he’s a great father and grandfather, claims none of the ex-president’s children are “into drugs,” “have problems,” or “laptops” – presumably a dig at Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

“I’ve watched him too, the pride he has [in] his children – and this is what I’ll say to you: Look, raising a family is not easy. You know – you’re a great father. But they don’t see him as a grandfather – I see your kids walk up.”

READ MORE: ‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

“But you know what? You think of your life, okay? He was successful,” McCarthy continued, praising the disgraced ex-president. “He comes from a successful life. I’ve watched all you kids, as brothers and sisters love one another. You’re not into drugs. You don’t have problems. You don’t have laptops. You don’t have these other things,” McCarthy claimed.

Trump Jr. interjected, saying, “According to the press I’m really into drugs.”

Also in that interview, McCarthy admitted to “flipping cars” (buying for one price, quickly selling at a higher price) when he was in college, only to say it was illegal.

“I didn’t have the athletics to get a scholarship. I went to junior college, which was a great school,” McCarthy says. “But while I’m going there, I meet this guy that owns a liquor store but has a car dealer license – I’ll let you figure out how I met him,”

“But one day I say, ‘I’ll give you 100 bucks if you take me to L.A.,’ because L.A. has these car auctions – you got to be a dealer to get in there.”

READ MORE: ‘X-Rated’: Christian Nationalist Mastriano Promises Bill to Ban Public Drag Shows After High School’s ‘Queer Prom’

“So I started going down there, I start flipping cars, to pay my way through college. I find out later it’s illegal but I don’t know why I do it, I’ve been an entrepreneur, right?”

Don Jr. again interjects, telling the camera, “By the way, just just so you understand. We may have to cut this. Nancy Pelosi is gonna try to figure out how to impeach you for doing something like that.”

Trump Jr. also criticized most members of Congress who he said don’t have the same “hustle” as he does. He claimed his father made him work minimum wage jobs and he worked “for tips,” which both agreed was important.

“Like, no one’s ever had to make payroll. No one’s gonna sign the front of a check as opposed to the back,” Trump Jr. complains.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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BREAKING NEWS

DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.

“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.

But NBC News goes one step further.

“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”

READ MORE: Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.

The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.

DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.

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News

Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’

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U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the former Speaker of the House, told reporters she has no intention of watching just-released video of the almost fatal, brutal attack on her 82-year old husband, allegedly by a hammer-wielding, far-right conspiracy theory promoting extremist.

DePape had “posted antisemitic screeds and entries defending former President Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper formally known as Kayne West who recently made antisemitic comments,” CBS News reported one day after the attack.

Earlier Friday, before the video had been released by a judge’s order, Rep. Pelosi said did not know if she would watch the video.

Later, Friday afternoon, Pelosi said she would not.

READ MORE: Pelosi Attack Video Release Leads to Criticism of Musk, Right Wingers Who ‘Trafficked in Homophobic Conspiracy Nonsense’

“As you know, today there was a release of some information. I have not heard the 911 call. I have not heard the confession. I have not seen the break-in, and I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”

Prosecutors have described the attack as “near-fatal.”

She also thanked “people for all of their prayers,” and for “asking about the progress my husband is making, and he is making progress, but it will take more time.”

Apparently choking up, she added that she would not be making any more statements about this case as it proceeds, except again to thank people and inform them of Paul’s progress.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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