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Obama To Attend Religious Event Sponsored By Group Tied To Uganda ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

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President Barack Obama Thursday morning will attend the 61st annual National Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, a radically conservative religious right evangelical organization known to many as The Family.” Members and associates of The Family have been tied to legislation in Uganda, known as the “Kill The Gays” bill of 2009, that mandates the death penalty for the “crime” of being gay.

Members of The Family, past and present, include current and former Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, John Thune, John Ensign, and Strom Thurmond. Other members of The Family include Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, the late Chuck Colson (of Watergate and Manhattan Declaration fame,) disgraced former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and disgraced former Congressman Chip Pickering.

READ: Senator Inhofe Lied To Rachel Maddow About His Knowledge Of Uganda’s Kill The Gays Bill Says Author

Members of the Fellowship Foundation, aka, The Family, have been closely linked to the rise in anti-gay hate in Uganda. Popular author Jeff Sharlet has written several books tying the group to religious anti-gay hate.

READ: 

“David Kato’s Death Result Of Hatred Planted By U.S. Evangelicals”

American Christian Fundamental Extremists Are Behind The Anti-Gay Hatred In Uganda

“The National Prayer Breakfast’s organizer, the Fellowship Foundation, has historically held conservative evangelical positions, and was linked to legislation in Uganda that would make being gay a capital offense,” Time Magazine’s Elizabeth Dias writes today:

The Breakfast is not a White House sponsored event—the National Prayer Breakfast leadership and Congressional offices handle the invitations, and the President just comes to speak. But this relationship has drawn criticism from marriage equality advocates in recent years. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent letters to Congressional leaders urging them to boycott the breakfast in 2010, and that same year gay rights activists organized competing prayer events in 17 cities. Last year, Occupy the Faith held a countering “People’s Prayer Breakfast” with gay rights groups.

The controversy over the breakfast organizers is a perennial one, but this year protests are scarce. Get Equal, co-sponsor of last year’s People’s breakfast, expects to release a statement and focus instead on countering anti-gay legislation in Uganda. CREW did not send letters, but executive director Melanie Sloan did tell TIME that they still urge lawmakers to boycott the event. Overall, the urgency appears mitigated.

READ: Tony Perkins: Uganda President ‘Leading His Nation’ With ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

Late last year, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, tied American evangelical leaders and at least one anti-gay hate group leader to the Ugandan Kill The Gays bill. Whether or not they’re tied to The Family, they’ll likely be at the National Prayer Breakfast. HRC called out Pastors Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, T.D.Jakes, and others, tying them to Uganda:

HRC has called on American faith leaders to reach out to their influential friends and colleagues in Uganda to urge them to condemn the bill and work to halt consideration. American Christian faith leaders have been active in Uganda for decades and have significant ties to Ugandan political leaders and faith leaders. Such influential American faith leaders, including Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and voices from the Trinity Broadcasting Network, have a moral obligation to urge their Ugandan friends and allies to condemn the bill.

President Obama no doubt is in a precarious position. Every president since Eisenhower has attended.

Of course, there’s always a good time to break tradition.

Better yet, the President Thursday morning can use his presence to clearly and forthrightly challenge the expected 3500 religious and political leaders to practice what they preach: God’s love — real love, not their bastardized, twisted definition of it — and stop their anti-gay hate.

 

Image: President Barack Obama speaking at the 2009 National Prayer Breakfast, via Wikimedia

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Impeach Biden, Fire Fauci and Expel Waters in Red-Meat Alabama Speech

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke Friday night to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, an event for which the media had been told to leave after a press availability beforehand.

But the conservative Alabama website www.yellowhammer.com managed to be in position to report on Greene’s remarks. It happily described the event as one that “went off with no disruptions and instead, spells of raucous applause from the attendees.”

The reporting did offer a glimpse into what Greene says behind closed doors when tossing out the rarest of the red meat. Here’s how that went:

“Greene kicked off her speech by reiterating three of her ‘favorite things’ she often says while speaking before crowds,” Yellowhammer reports.

“That’s like three of my favorite things: impeach Joe Biden, expel Maxine Waters — we’ve got to take out the trash in Washington, D.C. — and fire Dr. Anthony Fauci,” she said to applause.

“I’m not going to apologize for saying what I’m about to say, but I’m a big fan of President Donald J. Trump,” she continued. “That’s how I always test my crowd. Then I’m going to tell you something else: I believe Trump won the election.”

The website added, “Greene spoke for an hour and hit some highlights of her first seven months in the U.S. House of Representatives, including her interactions with U.S. Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

What she had to say about those three was left to the imagination. But Yellowhammer did report that Greene reiterated her comments from earlier in July distancing herself from fellow wacko Mike Lindell’s claims that Donald Trump would be reinstalled as president in August.

That’s not news: Greene pushed back against Lindell publicly earlier in July. But unbiased observers would have been choking on their fried green tomatoes listening to Greene impersonating a sober voice of reason in Alabama:

“I will tell you this: Sometimes you hear people saying crazy things like, ‘President Trump is going to be back in the White House in August,'” she said. “That is not going to happen. Please don’t believe anyone who is telling you those kinds of things. I get so frustrated with that. There are three members of Congress sitting right here that will tell you that’s not going to happen. The process for putting President Trump back in the White House — it’s not there.”

“We don’t have a constitutional process for that,” Greene continued. “So, I don’t want anyone to get their hopes up over something that is not going to happen. What we’ve got to do is reveal the fraud that took place in the 2020 election — reveal it, then hold people accountable that made it take place, make sure we have good election laws, get rid of this crazy absentee ballot voting, make sure our machines are OK. Then we win in 2022 and 2024.”

Somehow, hearing Greene use the phrase “crazy things” when discussing someone else’s conspiracy theories is a bit much. She gets “so frustrated” with people becoming misinformed by this one? Really?

Greene is just a few short years away from spreading the grossest of QAnon craziness, from 911 denial to Pizzagate to Frazzledrip to Jewish space lasers and more. She was not some QAnon apologist: She was full Q.

Here’s how that was recaptured in a Business Insider analysis laying out the litany of Greene’s wildness:

“Greene said “Q” is “someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump.” And she said, “There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it.”

That was four years ago, not four decades. Within a year came Greene’s unspeakably cruel deceits claiming that mass shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas were “false flag” events staged to promote gun control.

As Business Insider noted, “A recently resurfaced video from earlier that year shows Greene accosting David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, who was 17 at the time, in Washington, DC. Hogg was in town to advocate for gun control at the Capitol. Greene followed the teen down the street, calling him a “coward,” just weeks after the shooting at his high school killed 17 people.”

Now, instead of stalking some poor young survivor on the streets outside the nation’s Capitol, Greene works in the building. In another time, Greene was the sort of individual who might have been housed in an institution for troubled souls.

In 2021, tragically, that’s the Republican caucus in Congress.

 

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NUTS

100 Minutes of Whining: Here Are the 7 Most Absurd Moments From Trump’s Arizona Grievance Festival

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Donald Trump spoke for over 100 minutes during a long-winded speech at a “Rally to Protection Our Elections” in Phoenix.

Much of Trump’s speech was focused on repeating his debunked lies that he won the 2020 presidential election, when in reality he was defeated by Joe Biden.

But he also found time to bash much of America while praising the local extremists behind Arizona’s audit of the vote in Maricopa County and listing his many perceived grievances.

Trump attacked Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), all the Republicans who are “worse than Democrats,” Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), soccer’s United States Women’s National Team, and said his supporters have to “fight” against everyone who said he lost the election with language that echoed his speech that preceded the January 6th insurrection.

Much of the speech was just bizarre due to the combination of Trump brazenly lying about things that happened while also pontificating on the delusions that populate right-wing media.

Here are the seven most ridiculous moments from the speech.

7. Trump is so out-of-touch you thinks Americans must show their papers to purchase groceries

Despite being ridiculed when Trump spoke of this delusion in the past, Trump falsely claimed Americans need to show identification to purchase groceries as he pushed voter I.D. laws.

6. Trump imagined what he would do if he were Native American

Trump complained about the Cleveland Guardians baseball team and praised the racist logo the team retired. “If I was an Indian, I’d sue. Sue them Indians,” he said.

5. Trump argues America is becoming a communist country

“Like it or not, we are becoming a communist country. That’s what’s happening, that’s what’s happening,” Trump said without providing any evidence. “We are beyond socialism.”

4. Trump explains how it hurts Republicans at the polls when his supporters believe his election lies

Trump repeatedly mentioned during his speech his belief that when his supporters believe his false claims of election fraud, it makes them less likely to turn out to vote. Trump said this is how Republicans lost control of the U.S. Senate.

3. Trump explains how a politician repeating lies creates disinformation

During a speech that will keep fact-checkers busy, Trump explained disinformation in a way that seems to perfectly describe why he traveled to Arizona to repeat his “Big Lie” about election fraud.

2. Trump describes his unconstitutional fantasy of being reinstated as president

Despite both the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department warning this conspiracy could fuel more violence by Trump supporters, the former president discussed being reinstated.

1. Trump gaslights America by lying about his attacks on democracy and voters

Of the many lies Trump told, one of the most absurd had to be his claim that, “I am not the one trying to undermine American democracy— I am the one trying to save American democracy.”

 

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DISASTER

Republicans Boot Only Person With Elections Experience From AZ GOP’s $9 Million ‘Audit’ Fiasco: Report

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Republicans once referred to Ken Bennett as the “director” of their widely-panned audit of votes in Maricopa County, but he has reportedly lost his privileges to even enter the building where the fiasco is taking place.

Bennett, who served as Arizona’s Secretary of State and president of the state Senate, was the one person associated with the recount with experience in elections. He was officially listed as the liaison to the state Senate, which paid $150,000 of the $9 million the audit is reportedly costing.

“Questions are mounting about who is in control of the long-running partisan review of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results — the Arizona Senate, which ordered it, or the outside firms that are running it,” The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening. “On Friday, Ken Bennett, the Senate liaison to the audit, was not allowed into the building at the state fairgrounds where the audit is taking place, a day after he shared data with outside critics from an ongoing ballot count.”

“While this work is supposedly being overseen by Senate representatives, many times that oversight is not there,” the newspaper noted. “The Cyber Ninjas have for weeks resisted getting outside checks of the audit, insiders say.”

Reporter Ryan Randazzo explained why the outside review is threatening.

“The data Bennett provided to outside analysts, Larry Moore and Benny White, showed the results of the ongoing machine count of the ballots tracks very closely with the the county’s tally,” the newspaper reported. “If that trend continues, it may call into question the results of Cyber Ninja’s count, because [Senate President Karen] Fann has said that the Cyber Ninjas’ count did not match the county’s.”

The newspaper reported Cyber Ninjas spokesperson said any decision to ban Bennett was made by Fann’s office.

 

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