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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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COMMENTARY

Watch: Trump Says He Will Be the ’47th President’ – Is He Skirting Federal Campaign Finance Law?

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In video posted Wednesday to Instagram Donald Trump appears to say he will be the “47th President,” which would indicate once again he has decided to run again.

That video (below) was also reported by the New York Post, which notes, “Trump hasn’t publicly said if he is planning to run for the White House again — but he has repeatedly teased a second campaign and has been holding rallies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”

The right wing PJ Media adds, “this might have been the ultimate Freudian slip,” and says it suggests a re-election campaign.

Trump has not officially announced he will run for several reasons, as Rolling Stone explained last October:

Trump very much seems like he is running for president in 2024, which according to campaign finance law should prohibit him from coordinating with super PACs like MAGAA, or his leadership PAC Save America, which together brought in north of $80 million in the first half of this year. Trump is able to coordinate with those PACs, though — and use their money to finance his travel, his campaign-style rallies, his God knows what else — because he hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy. The former president is then, in essence, running what appears to be a shadow campaign designed to skirt campaign finance regulations while holding the still-distant race for the Republican nomination hostage.

“As long as Trump doesn’t explicitly announce he’s running for president,” Rolling Stone added, “he can essentially raise as much money as he wants from whomever he wants, and spend it unfettered by the restrictions or transparency requirements imposed upon actual candidates.”

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CRIME

Trump DOJ Investigation Statement Contains Two Key Revelations: Former FBI Official

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Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok explained two key revelations in an exclusive CNN interview with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“Major news this morning in a story that CNN broke overnight,” CNN’s John Berman reported. “For the first time, the Department of Justice is publicly acknowledging that it is looking into a specific aspect of the plot from high-level Donald Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election.”

“We learned that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake electoral college certifications from 2020 that falsely declared former President Trump the winner of seven states, states that he lost,” he explained.

RELATED: DOJ confirms probe of fake Trump electoral certificates: ‘Our prosecutors are looking’ at referrals

“The fake electoral certifications were signed by Trump allies, who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.”

For analysis, Berman and co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Strzok.

Berman noted Monacco’s “carefully chosen words.”

“How do you read it?” Berman asked.

“Well, absolutely. You know, in my experience, any time the Department of Justice or FBI makes a comment on an ongoing investigation, particularly at a high level, those words are very carefully chosen and they’re very closely scrutinized,” Strzok replied. “Certainly, when you hear them coming from the deputy attorney general herself, I have no doubt that the intention and the plan to do that was probably — went up to the attorney general and certainly the office of the attorney general.”

“And it’s important when you’re looking at a statement like that to read it very carefully and there are two things I see in there.” he explained. “One, prosecutors are looking at it. What that means to me is they are examining the allegations, they’re looking at federal law, they’re seeing what the elements of the particular crimes that might be involved are and are looking where the evidence falls and doesn’t fall.”

“And the second thing, the last point is she says she can’t comment anymore on ongoing investigations. That means exactly what it says, that means right now there are investigations — plural — that are open and ongoing within the Department of Justice about this matter,” he explained. “So that’s a very significant event and to me it indicates just how high the level of investigation is now going within DOJ.”

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News

Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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