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Rep. Allen West’s Wife Joins Husband In Attacking Gays

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Angela West, the wife of Tea Party Republican Congressman Allen West, joined her husband’s attack on his gay constituents Monday, by calling them “intolerant,” after her husband was uninvited from a speaking engagement at local Florida business owners’ group. The group, the Wilton Manors Business Association, revoked their invitation to Rep. West after a boycott was threatened by a local LGBT activist group, the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Caucus, for West’s negative and offensive comments about LGBT and other social issues. In response, Rep. West had sent a letter to the Wilton Manors Business Association calling the LGBT group that threatened a boycott, “intolerable individuals.”

“So, it is better to make sure that the congressman does not speak. That he does not address small businesses in the area, politics and the economy? Sometimes it might be better to listen,” Angela West wrote in a Facebook note.

“However, if tolerance were to be achieved by an evening of discussion, it would have been discovered that Congressman West’s close relative is gay and married to his partner — we love and adore them both. It might have been interesting to meet a good fellow soldier, Sgt. Tammy Barnwell and her partner Lydia. They all served together with the Congressman in the Middle East. And maybe you could have discussed, after the business meeting of course, his views on DADT. What a novel idea, having a personal discussion with a Congressman.”

Perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that her husband forced the Wilton Manors Business Association to change the format of the event, from a meeting open to the public, to a closed-door meeting?

Perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that her husband, Rep. West, has said that “gay marriage is an oxymoron,” which will destroy society?

Perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that her husband has said, gays can change, but, “unless I’m Michael Jackson, I can’t change my color?”

Perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that her husband, despite his supposed friendship with the same-sex couple she just outed on Facebook (no, Don’t ask, Don’t Tell isn’t gone yet, thank you very much Mrs. West,) might be a bit encumbered by his statement, “it’s just a matter of time until [gays] break down the military.”

Perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that a “partner” in a male same-sex married couple is also called a husband — that marriage is the same for all couples.

And perhaps Mrs. West is unaware that it’s not only Rep. West’s stance on LGBT issues that offend many people. Comments like, “when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool,” certainly don’t make people want to embrace him. Nor do his anti-Islam activities. Nor his misogynistic actions.

Angela West, the Congressman’s wife, clearly is uninformed about her husband’s activities. Mrs. West is a political appointee — Republican Governor Rick Scott appointed Angela West to the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees, in addition to her full-time job as a financial advisor for Raymond James and Associates.

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Virginia School Districts Furious After Youngkin Flip Flops on Promise to Allow Local Boards to Decide Mask Mandates

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For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.

“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.

Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”

Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”

Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.

In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.

Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:

Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:

Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.

Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.

In poll after poll after poll after poll Virginia parents make clear they support mask mandates in schools, and Virginians overall support mask mandates, period.

 

 

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Top Democrats Renew Call to End Anti-Gay Blood Ban as Red Cross Announces First-Ever National Shortage Crisis

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Last week the Red Cross issued its first-ever warning of a blood shortage so dire it is calling it a “national crisis.” In response 22 top Democratic Senators signed a letter urging the FDA to once and for all end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood.

The nearly four-decade old ban was instituted during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 2015 the FDA reduced the complete and total ban to one where gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men could donate blood if they had abstained from sexual activity for one year. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged, threatening blood shortages, the FDA moved to a three-month prohibition.

“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” warns the Red Cross, citing a 34 percent drop in supply, CBS News reports.

“Any policy that continues to categorically single out the LGBTQ+ community is discriminatory and wrong,” the group of 22 top Democrats, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), say in their letter. “Given advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based policy for gay and bisexual men is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude an entire group of people, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”

Blood Shortage MSM Donor Deferral Letter FDA HHS Jan 2022 Final by David Badash on Scribd

 

Image by ec-jpr via Flickr and a CC license

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‘Unprecedented’: Trump Tried to ‘Exert Extreme Partisan Influence Over the Census Bureau’ Docs Reveal

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The Trump administration tried to exert tremendous influence over the 2020 Census, which is now being used in a nationwide redistricting program, often handing Republicans even stronger gerrymandered congressional districts and in some cases attempting to dissolve districts of Democratic members of Congress, while eliminating some majority-Black districts.

Then-President Donald Trump was directly and possibly “illegally” involved, as The Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School’s nonprofit public policy institute, reports. The Trump administration also worked directly with an anti-immigrant group that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of nativist hate groups, a “think tank” devoted to anti-immigration efforts, and with an individual known for “promoting voter suppression efforts.”

“The Trump administration attempted to exert extreme partisan influence over the Census Bureau,” The Brennan Center reveals . It filed multiple Freedom of Information requests with at least ten federal agencies and was forced to sue the Trump administration when it unlawfully refused to produce the requested documents.

The Brennan Center adds that “career Bureau officials pushed back at those attempts. An email among senior officials at the Census Bureau from September 14, 2020, discusses the Commerce Department’s ‘unusually high degree of engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented.'”

“Other records suggest that the Commerce Department planned to have Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [photo, above] make personal calls to Republican state governors to urge them to provide state administrative records to the Census Bureau to ‘enhance the frame from which citizenship status is determined.’ (The Brennan Center did not uncover evidence that Commerce planned to make similar calls to Democratic governors.)”

Citing a “a complete lack of public transparency,” The Brennan Center reports “President Trump issued a memo in July 2020 stating that he would illegally attempt to remove undocumented populations from the apportionment count due at the end of December 2020.”

The Trump administration collected or attempted to collect an unprecedented amount of personal data targeting usesrs of welfare programs from dozens of states: “28 states had entered into agreements to share Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) records with the Bureau, 21 to share Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) records, 30 to share Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) records, and three to share driver’s license data.”

Our FOIA records show Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, emailing directly with Secretary Ross in December 2019. The Center for Immigration Studies is an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group that “has a decades-long history of circulating racist writers, while also associating with white nationalists.” The email also refers to a call from Secretary Ross.

The Center for Immigration Studies was founded by eugenicist and white nationalist John Tanton.

“Commerce Department employees were also engaging with the anti-immigrant Heritage Foundation,” The Brennan Center adds. “An email chain shows a Commerce Department official putting political appointee Nathaniel Cogley into direct contact with Heritage’s Hans Von Spakovsky, an individual the Brennan Center has previously flagged for his extensive background promoting voter suppression efforts.”

 

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