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The Rapture: This Week’s Religious Right Anti-Gay Hate Crimes

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Rapture-Causing Nazi-Like Gays Worthy Of Death

The Rapture is coming! The Rapture is coming! And the radical right — furiously working to get their last attacks on “the gays” in before they depart the Earth during Saturday’s promised Rapture — have been hard at work this week. Fresh from worship services, Reverend Rubén Díaz, who apparently works part-time as a New York State Senator when his anti-gay religious chores are done, was toiling away with his fellow Evangelical preachers at an anti-gay marriage rally in the Bronx this past Sunday, telling gays how evil they are. Díaz’s fellow preacher, the Right Reverend Ariel Torres Ortega of Radio Visión Cristiana stood on stage in front of a few thousand people, and in Spanish, with a fellow priest translating into English, said that gays should die.

READ: Kill The Gays NYC? Gays Should Die Says Pastor At NOM Marriage Rally

Specifically, Reverend Ortega said, gays “are worthy of death.” The translator did not pause or miss a beat, and neither did Reverend Díaz — who spoke just minutes later — nor did Díaz, the elected representative of hundreds of thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender constituents, bother to walk back or disavow that hate speech. It gives one pause to ask, if it’s illegal to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater, why isn’t it illegal to yell, “Kill the gays!” in front of a few thousand religious bigots?

While we’re pausing and musing, something Reverend Díaz, who does not believe in the separation of church and state when it comes to same-sex marriage, is allergic to, let’s think for a moment about what kind of person has not only the desire, but the time, to go to a rally in the Bronx and hang out in the rain, with other people whose sole focus that day is to make sure that two people who love each other are banned from walking into city hall, signing a few pieces of paper, and entering into a civil marriage? I mean, seriously, don’t these people have something better to do with their time?

Sunday’s Bronx anti-gay marriage hate rally, of course promoted and sponsored by Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage (NOM) — which has yet to respond to a petition demanding they denounce the “kill the gays” rhetoric — was headlined also by Brian Brown, NOM’s president. Thursday, saying his hate rally had a “festive atmosphere,” Brown said “the warm response of the people in the Bronx made it seem like, well, a ticker-tape parade, if the Bronx had ticker-tape parades.” No doubt ticker-tape parade heroes everyone are nauseous right now.

Characterizing his hate rally as “the march for dignity” — because until every last gay person, evidently, is forever banned from marrying, no opposite-sex marriage can ever regain its dignity — Brown said, “we march in love to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife.” Nothing like a little “kill the gays” hate speech to strengthen and protect the loving marriages of husbands and wives everywhere, right, Brian?

 


“I mean, ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis,” Fischer cried. “Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis.”

 


 

Speaking of hate speech, Bryan Fischer, the public face and voice of the certified hate group, the American Family Association (AFA), decided to educate his readers about hate crimes today.

Offering this definition from USLegal.com, that a “hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability,” Fischer responds, “If hate crimes involve threats or harassment motivated by prejudice against someone’s religion, homosexual activists are the worst perpetrators of hate crimes in America.”

Because, you see, Fischer blames LGBT groups and individuals for Olympic official Peter Vidmar’s decision to resign from the U.S. Olympic committee because of his anti-gay comments on same-sex marriage and his $2000 donation to the Yes on 8 campaign that brought us Prop 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in California.

“Vidmar makes his living as a motivational speaker, and has now been tagged by the Grand Inquisitors of the left as a homophobic bigot,” Fischer writes. “Good luck getting speaking gigs with that on your resume.” Does anyone care to point out that Fischer makes a fine living as a “homophobic bigot?”

You know who else makes a fine living as a homophobic bigot? Peter LaBarbera. LaBarbera’s claim to fame is that he founded a lie and hate-spreading organization (an organization of one, but still…) called Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). LaBarbera Thursday night via Twitter accused the media of being unable to deliver facts objectively because their livelihood is dependent upon drumming up controversy. I’ll leave you to put those pieces together to find the blatant hypocrisy.

READ: Rapture: Gays Are Responsible For Saturday Being Judgement Day

Speaking of blatant hypocrisy, note that neither Bryan Fischer, nor Maggie Gallagher, nor Brian Brown, nor anyone else on the Right, has denounced the Right Reverend Ariel Torres Ortega’s hate crime (it’s a hate crime, right, Bryan?) of saying gays should die. We’re waiting, and, given you folks will be Raptured in about 24 hours, there’s not much time left.

But wait. Of course, there’s more!

You see, hate crimes are only a one-way street. If you accuse someone of a hate crime, in Fischer’s mind at least, you’re absolved of any guilt of committing one yourself.

Case in point.

This week on his talk radio program “Focal Point,” Fischer accused gays of being Nazis. I kid you not.

The 60 year-​old conservative claimed “the homosexual agenda is just like Islam,” then said of gays — repeatedly — “they are Nazis.”

“I mean, ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis,” Fischer cried. “Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis,” Fischer, whose show on American Family Radio is broadcast by more than 180 radio stations in 40 states, repeated. “Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They’ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”

Let’s do that pausing and musing thing, an act that those of the radical religious right are allergic to committing. Let’s pause to solemnly remember that the Nazis killed an estimated six million Jews, and some put the total number of human beings murdered by Nazis at 11 to 17 million. We know that the Nazis targeted Jews and homosexuals specifically. How many millions of those were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?

But Fischer’s hate crimes and NOM’s anti-gay hate rally were not the only evidence of right wing gay-bashing this week. Despite three polls released this week showing that the majority of Americans accept their gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender neighbors, and want them be be given the right to marry — merchants of hate were selling their wares by the truckload.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has become infamous for using every tactic in the GOP’s book for stripping union workers of their rights, effectively stripped the rights of every same-sex couple to visit their loved one in a hospital. That’s right, Walker, an Evangelical Christian who has been married for 18 years and has two children, believes he has the obligation to prevent same-sex couples from holding the hand of their spouse — legal or not — as they lie in a hospital bed, perhaps going in and out of consciousness, perhaps leaving this Earth. Walker would rather see gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people die alone. How very Christian…

But none of this will matter much longer, you see, because when the Rapture comes on Saturday, all the good Christians, like Bryan Fischer, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, the Right Reverend (and part-time Senator) Rubén Díaz, the Right Reverend Ariel Torres Ortega and, especially Harold Camping, the man who has predicted the Rapture will come Saturday, will of course be gone.

Sadly, however, my dear gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends, you should know the Rapture that is coming on Saturday is your fault. Yes, Harold Camping, the octogenarian who believes so devoutly that Judgment Day is upon us, that the end of the world is nigh, blames the gays for these end times.

The prevalence of homosexuality, and the rapid acceptance of homosexuality is “a tremendous sign that we’re at the threshold of Judgement Day,” says Camping.

We now have six major nationwide polls that state without a doubt that the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage equality, we have polls that find a majority of Americans believe homosexuality should be accepted, we have polls that find a majority of Americans want the practice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell finally repealed (it has not yet been, despite a law signed by the president that paves the way for it to be,) we have polls that find that a great majority of U.S. Catholics support same-sex civil marriage, and we have polls that find a majority of Americans want DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act — already found by a federal judge, not to mention the President and the Attorney General to be unconstitutional — repealed.

Given all these facts, well, perhaps Camping is right: there is now a rapid acceptance of homosexuality. So if he says the Rapture is coming, who am I to disagree?

But allow me to quote Scripture as well.

Matthew 5:5 — Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the Earth.

 

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News

Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT

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Enmeshed in a web of deceit and possibly under federal criminal investigation, U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is now apparently unable to lawfully spend money or accept donations via his political campaign, which reportedly now may also be in violation of FEC rules.

On Tuesday the embattled freshman Republican announced he was temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments, reportedly after a conversation with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Before the end of the day his campaign treasurer filed official paperwork notifying the Federal Election Commission she had resigned.

“Nancy Marks’s resignation effectively leaves the Santos campaign unable to raise or spend money and in seeming violation of federal rules,” The New York Times reports, calling her his “longtime campaign treasurer and trusted aide.”

“Mr. Santos’s financial operations, which are the subject of several complaints filed with the F.E.C. and are being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement,” The Times adds. “It also leaves the Santos campaign in disarray, effectively rendering it unable to raise or spend money and placing it in seeming violation of F.E.C. rules.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In fact, FEC rules state: “If a committee’s treasurer is absent, the committee cannot make expenditures or accept contributions unless it has designated an assistant treasurer or designated agent on the committee’s Statement of Organization.”

The resignation comes after last week’s stunning report revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended FEC filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds.

Unlike political candidates, campaign treasurers are held to an actual standard of truth, and can be personally – and legally – liable if they report false information.

FEC rules also state, “the treasurer can be named and found liable in his or her personal capacity if he or she knowingly and willfully violates the Act, recklessly fails to fulfill duties imposed by the law, or intentionally deprives himself or herself of the operative facts giving rise to the violation.”

READ MORE: Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away

Santos may find it difficult to hire a new treasurer: “Even when an enforcement action alleges violations that occurred during the term of a previous treasurer, the Commission usually names the current treasurer as a respondent in the action.”

The Times adds, “The lack of clarity over who, if anyone, is operating as Mr. Santos’s treasurer has already caused confusion. On Tuesday, a joint fund-raising committee associated with Mr. Santos filed paperwork to end its operations. Ms. Marks’s signature was on the paperwork, even though she had resigned as the committee’s treasurer the week before.”

Marks’ resignation also comes after someone affiliated with the Santos campaign falsely listed a well-known Republican treasurer on the official FEC forms as the treasurer for his campaign. As one expert put it, that’s a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

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COMMENTARY

Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

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The highly controversial and highly unpopular U.S. Supreme Court isn’t just facing a historic loss of confidence, it’s now facing yet another ethics scandal that is likely to lower even further public opinion of the far-right institution that in under two decades has seen its approval rating slashed.

Although it will not hear arguments, the issue before the Supreme Court and the American people’s view of it, is, should a Justice’s spouse – in this case the spouse of Chief Justice John Roberts – be able to make millions of dollars recruiting attorneys who are placed into top law firms that argue cases before it?

That’s the latest allegation, and already a spokesperson for the Court has issued a statement denying any ethical violations.

The New York Times reports that “a former colleague of Mrs. Roberts has raised concerns that her recruiting work poses potential ethics issues for the chief justice. Seeking an inquiry, the ex-colleague has provided records to the Justice Department and Congress indicating Mrs. Roberts has been paid millions of dollars in commissions for placing lawyers at firms — some of which have business before the Supreme Court, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times.”

Jane Sullivan Roberts left a law firm where she was a partner after her spouse was confirmed as Chief Justice.

READ MORE: Failed Leak Probe Will ‘Add to Public Distrust’ and ‘Accelerate Partisan Rancor’ Surrounding Supreme Court: Analyst

“Mrs. Roberts, according to a 2015 deposition,” The Times reports, “said that a significant portion of her practice was devoted to helping senior government lawyers land jobs at law firms and that the candidates’ names were almost never disclosed.”

Documents in that case “list six-figure fees credited to Mrs. Roberts for placing partners at law firms — including $690,000 in 2012 for one such match. The documents do not name clients, but Mr. Price recalled her recruitment of one prominent candidate, Ken Salazar, then interior secretary under President Barack Obama, to WilmerHale, a global firm that boasts of arguing more than 125 times before the Supreme Court.”

That case involves “a former colleague of Mrs. Roberts,” Kendal Price, a 66-year-old Boston lawyer, who “has raised concerns that her recruiting work poses potential ethics issues for the chief justice.”

“According to the letter,” sent by Price to DOJ and Congress, which the Times reports it obtained, “Mr. Price was fired in 2013 and sued the firm, as well as Mrs. Roberts and another executive, over his dismissal.”

The Times cites two legal experts, one who sees no ethical concerns with the situation, and one who does.

But critics are expressing great concern over this latest ethics issue, as they have been for years.

Doug Lindner, Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy for the League of Conservation Voters, pointing to the Times’ report,  remarked: “Another day, another ethics concern about another life-tenured conservative justice on the most powerful court in the world, which has no binding ethics rules.”

READ MORE: Marshal ‘Spoke With’ Supreme Court Justices, Excluded Them From Signing Sworn Affidavits in Leak Probe

Indeed, the lack of a Supreme Court code of ethics has been repeatedly condemned for years, including by some of the nation’s top critics.

On Sept. 1, 2022, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin tweeted out her opinion piece: “Ginni Thomas pressed Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory .. just another insurrectionist.”

Norman Ornstein, an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor for the Atlantic, responded:

“Another reminder of how unethical is Justice Clarence Thomas, while Chief Justice Roberts turns a blind eye and continues to resist a code of ethics for a Supreme Court now distrusted by a majority of Americans. This defines the Roberts Court.”

The following month Ornstein slammed the Roberts Court once again.

“It is a stain on the Supreme Court that Chief Justice Roberts refuses to support a Judicial Code of Ethics, and stands by silently while Clarence Thomas flouts ethical standards over and over and over,” Ornstein charged.

Less than one month later he again unleashed on Roberts.

“Roberts is culpable,” he tweeted. “He has resisted over and over applying the Judicial Code of Ethics to the Supreme Court. This is Alito’s court, and it is partisan and corrupt.”

Ornstein is far from the Court’s only critic.

“If Chief Justice Roberts really wanted to address Supreme Court ethics, he would have immediately worked to implement a Code of Conduct after Clarence Thomas failed to recuse from cases involving January 6th despite having a clear conflict of interest,” the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted a year ago in May. The following month CREW published an analysis titled: “Chief Justice John Roberts is wrong: the American judicial system is facing a major ethics crisis.”

Meanwhile, in late November Politico reported that Democrats in Congress were outraged at the Roberts Court.

“Two senior Democrats in Congress are demanding that Chief Justice John Roberts detail what, if anything, the Supreme Court has done to respond to recent allegations of a leak of the outcome of a major case the high court considered several years ago,” PoliticoJosh Bernstein reported, referring to the leak of the Dobbs decision that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision – itself a massive ethics crisis for the Court.

READ MORE: Revealed: Four Supreme Court Justices Attended Right-Wing Gala — Further Endangering SCOTUS Credibility

“Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) are also interested in examining claims about a concerted effort by religious conservatives to woo the justices through meals and social engagements. They wrote to Roberts on Sunday, making clear that if the court won’t investigate the alleged ethical breaches, lawmakers are likely to launch their own probe.”

Whitehouse and Johnson “also criticized the high court’s response to a letter they sent Roberts in September, seeking information about the court’s reaction to reports in POLITICO and Rolling Stone about a yearslong campaign to encourage favorable decisions from the justices by bolstering their religiosity.”

Nothing has changed.

When the Roberts Court earlier this month announced its lengthy investigation did not find the draft Dobbs decision leaker but also did not include the Justices themselves, Stokes Prof. of Law at NYU Law School Melissa Murray, an MSNBC host, tweeted, “This is a Roberts Court leitmotif–The Chief loves to handle things–even big things–in-house. Ethics issues? No need to get involved, Congress. We’ll sort it out ourselves. Leak needs investigating? No need to call in an actual investigative body, the Marshal will handle it.”

Pulitzer prize winning New York Times  investigative reporter Jodi Kantor, pointing to how the Justices were not thoroughly investigated during the leak probe, in earlier this month said: “Last week the court released statements that confirmed the gap between how the justices and everyone else were treated.”

“The whole situation amplifies a major question about the court: are these nine people, making decisions that affect all of us, accountable to anyone?”

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News

‘Can Be Used Against You’: Trump Took Big Risk Pleading the Fifth 400 Times in Deposition Says Legal Expert

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A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.

The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times — but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.

“I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth,” Weissmann said. “It’s important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case.”

“One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there’s this witch hunt, he left out jurors,” Weissmann added. “The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that’s everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That’s one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment.”

Watch video below or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock

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