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The Violent Response of Governor Rick Perry’s The Response

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Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on August 6 co-hosted the oxymoronic “non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting,” known as “The Response,” with his million-dollar financial supporter, the American Family Association. While only 30,000 attended, the violent results of their evangelical experience were felt by some, immediately. Jay Morris explains, in this first-hand account.

 

On Friday, August 5th, I left the office, rushed to pick up fellow activists, headed to our designated meet-up spot in San Antonio and loaded up the pick-up truck to head to Houston, Texas. We had been planning this trip for some months knowing that we could not let Governor Rick Perry’s alliance with a hate group go unchecked. Activists from all over Texas were converging on Reliant Stadium to respond to The Response.

READ: Texas Governor Rick Perry And The Hate Group

There was a lot of excitement on the road to Houston, and I’ll admit there was a lot of nervousness as well. Most of us in the Texas-sized pick-up truck had stood in the middle of crowds of evangelicals before. Instead of experience calming us, it perhaps made us even more nervous as we had seen mob mentality escalate into fits before.

On Saturday morning, we met up with other GetEQUAL TX organizers near Reliant Stadium. Few of us had slept more than three hours the night before, and several had not slept at all. We covered ourselves in sunscreen, discussed our positioning and marched toward the west entrance of Reliant Stadium where we would set up shop for the day. Few, except for the Houston Police Department, paid much attention to the crowd of people carrying rainbow flags and a coffin as they pulled into the stadium parking lot to join the Texas Governor and the hate group, The American Family Association.

By 9:00 a.m. we were already experiencing the discomfort of the heat. Our spot on the West side of the stadium provided us some shelter from the scorching sun, but sweat still beaded up on our faces and soaked our clothing. It was around this time we held the first of our three funeral processions of the day, honoring the lives of those LGBTQ people who had been murdered or taken their own lives as a result of the hate spewed by organizations like the American Family Association.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=8fp5CXPL5iM%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

Shortly thereafter, we encountered the very hate we were there to protest against, a man in a different Texas-sized pick-up truck who continued to circle the stadium, passing us, squealing his tires and revving his engine, causing black exhaust clouds to plum around us. After a few times of this, he took it a step further, jumping the curb and pushing several of us back away from the street with his vehicle. In spite of the large police presence, this assault went unnoticed by the authorities (or perhaps it was simply disregarded.)

As you’ll note by the above video, our first procession was led by a band, which just happened to appear at the event and agreed to lead the procession. By the second procession around 10:00 a.m., we were band-less, but our voices would not be silenced. We rounded up our group and some others who were standing by, locating a lone drummer, and prepared them all to sing “We Shall Overcome” as we marched down Kirby Avenue honoring and remembering our fallen brothers and sisters.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=2JRnlzewRis%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

Near noon, we held our third and final procession of the day, and as we strolled down Kirby Avenue, many others joined behind:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=pgfCthjznQ8%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

Immediately after this procession, we entered the cross-walk and headed to pack up the coffin, signs, rainbow flags and other items. Several participants of The Response were leaving for lunch or other affairs. As if to prove our point that their rhetoric leads to violence, a man in yet another Texas-sized pick-up truck turned out of the parking lot, punched the gas and came barreling at us, missing us by only a foot or two. The miss was likely intentional as we were sitting ducks in the cross-walk had he wished to actually harm us, but his message was clear – he will protect his heterosexual privilege at all cost, even violence.

WATCH: Rick Perry’s Love Of Hate Group Examined By Lawrence O’Donnell

After lunch, several of our organizers headed back to the stadium for the close of the event. One of them, John Dean Domingue, was met by a Response attendee who, in her zeal to save his soul, thought it acceptable to begin pushing him toward the stadium saying, “Have you been inside? You need to come inside.” John Dean later noted that before the event, those arriving weren’t very hostile at all, but upon leaving they were much more apt to push their views on the protesters by shooting the finger, shouting and otherwise shoving protesters.

This was The Response generated by the supposed prayer event. Perhaps fear, violence and intimidation are exactly how the American Family Association, presidential want-to-be Rick Perry and the evangelical hate machine will confront the crisis faced by America. If so, we can expect more crises and more murdered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should Perry and his evangelical lot get their prayer of a presidency answered.

 

Jay Morris is a State Lead for GetEQUAL​.org, a founding member of the Direct Action Network San Antonio, a writer for Ignite San Antonio Magazine, and blogger at jaysays​.com. You can find him posting randomness on Twitter or engage him in conversation on Facebook.

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Questions Swirl Around Herschel Walker as New Report Shows His Georgia Residence Was Rented Out for Over a Decade

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Where Herschel Walker lives has been a question since before he officially announced his candidacy as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Numerous reports have looked into claims he lives in Texas and not the Peach State, which some Georgia voters might find problematic, but new reporting exposes what could lead to tax or voting fraud investigations.

Walker’s Georgia home, according to reporting from The Daily Beast‘s Roger Sollenberger, is owned by his wife, who for years has rented it out.

When Walker announced his candidacy, after a strong push from Donald Trump, it “was widely known at the time that the Republican hopeful had been living in Texas for decades, though he has claimed to maintain a residence in Atlanta for ’17 years.’ Less widely known, however, was that Walker’s wife collected tens of thousands of dollars in rental income for that residence, according to his 2021 financial disclosure forms.”

READ MORE: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

While it is unclear if the home was rented out when Walker officially launched his Senate run, the “house doubled as the Walker campaign’s first official address when he launched his bid in August 2021. Fulton County tax and property records show the home is solely owned by Walker’s wife, Julie Blanchard, who also collected rental income from 2020 and 2021 ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, according to the disclosure—defining the asset as ‘Georgia residence.'”

CNN last week reported that “Republican Herschel Walker is getting a tax break intended only for a primary residence this year on his home in the Dallas, Texas, area, despite running for Senate in Georgia.”

“In Texas, homeowner regulations say you can only take the exemption on your ‘principal residence,'” CNN’s K-File reported. “Walker is listed to get a homestead tax exemption in Texas in 2022, saving the Senate candidate approximately $1,500 and potentially running afoul of both Texas tax rules and some Georgia rules on establishing residency for the purpose of voting or running for office.”

READ MORE: Raphael Warnock Blasts Herschel Walker Over Kanye West Endorsement: ‘My Mama Told Me Birds of a Feather Flock Together’

Even after he launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate Walker still filed for the Texas tax exemption.

On Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a nine-page complaint filed with the state’s Attorney General’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The complaint alleges “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony in August 2021 when he registered to vote in Georgia,” and “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony when he voted in the 2022 Georgia primary and general elections.” These are allegations and have not been investigated by authorities.

When he announced is candidacy, “Walker’s main GOP rival challenged him to ‘move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections’ before running,” The Journal-Constitution notes. “Warnock’s allies have taken a similar line of attack, framing the Republican as an out-of-state charlatan.”

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Trumps Latest Tactic? Attacking Special Counsel’s Sister-in-Law

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Donald Trump is going all-in on attacks against the family of special counsel Jack Smith. Instead of mounting a defense for his actions, Trump deployed one of his top tactics: attacking anyone trying to hold him accountable.

One of Trump’s right-wing allies posted a claim that Smith’s sister-in-law, who is allegedly a psychologist and whose patients were “crying” and “sobbing” over Trump’s 2016 election.

“And I’m supposed to get a fair shake from this person, who’s under tremendous pressure from his family, but he is actually worse than they are?” Trump rambled on his personal social media site. “Can Republicans, and fair-minded people, generally, allow this to happen? Jack Smith is nothing less than a hit man for Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder, and Andrew Weissmann. Weaponization. Our Country is in big trouble, a real mess!”

Smith was hired by Trump’s administration to serve as an acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee during Trump’s first year in office, his biography states. During this same time, the new Trump Justice Department was firing most of the U.S. Attorneys hired under President Barack Obama’s administration. One of those biggest names was Preet Bharara, who helped Trump with the transition while serving as the U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York. He was fired the same month that Trump hired Smith in 2017.

 

 

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ANALYSIS

Trump, Wanting to Change News Cycle, Appears to Confess to ‘Openly and Transparently’ Taking Classified Docs

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It’s been a tough month for Donald Trump.

After Republicans failed to produce the red wave he claimed he would have been responsible for if it happened, but could not be held responsible if it did not, then refused to take any responsibility, Trump has been held responsible by left and right wing pundits, and even some GOP politicians.

Trump then moved forward with his 2024 presidential campaign announcement, which was widely panned as “low energy” – so low that several guests trying to leave early appeared to be refused access to the exits.

Days later Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that because Trump announced he is running for President, a Special Counsel has been appointed to two of the DOJ’s investigations into Trump. (Some say that’s good news for Trump, some say bad.)

READ MORE: ‘Fraud’: Legal Expert Stunned After Trump Appears to Admit He Used DOJ to Interfere in Florida’s 2018 Election

And then a three-judge panel basically destroyed Trump’s attorney who was arguing the former president’s appeal in his case against the U.S. Government. Trump is arguing both that he declassified all the documents but also they are all his property.

That was all before last week.

Six days ago Donald Trump sat down with his invited guest, the antisemite and racist Kanye West, embattled after losing hundreds of millions in endorsements over his antisemitic remarks. That would have been bad enough, but West brought infamous white supremacist and antisemite Nick Fuentes, along with (reportedly) Milo Yiannopoulos and Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.

Since Wednesday the media has exploded with calls for Trump to denounce white supremacism and white supremacists. He has refused.

READ MORE: Republican Senator Denounces Trump’s Dinner With ‘Racist Antisemites’ – Critics Say His Claim ‘This Is Not the GOP’ Is False

Multiple advisers have urged Trump to denounce Fuentes, who has a long history of promoting white supremacism, but he has been “rejecting” their advice, The Guardian reports, “over fears he might alienate a section of his base, two people familiar with the situation said.”

Desperate to change the media narrative, late Monday afternoon Trump appeared to confess to stealing thousands of items (some counts say 13,000) including 300 documents with “Classified” and “Top Secret” headers.

“This fully weaponized monster, Jack Smith,” Trump said of the special counsel investigating him, “shouldn’t be let anywhere near the political persecution of ‘President Donald J. Trump.’ I did nothing wrong on January 6th, and nothing wrong with the Democrats’ fix on the Document Hoax, that is, unless the six previous Presidents did something wrong also,” Trump claimed on his Truth Social platform.

That’s when – in a departure from his previous suggestions that the classified documents, which he also claims to have declassified, may have been planted – Trump appeared to confess to the crime.

“When will you invade Bill and Hillary’s home in search of the 33,000 emails she deleted AFTER receiving a subpoena from the U.S. Congress? When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?”

It’s the, “not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?” that has set off many.

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, one of the first to notice Trump’s statement, wrote: “Imagine Trump’s lawyers may not love the final line of his latest Truth Social post. ‘When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?'”

Some are suggesting the part, “not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?” appears akin to a confession.

Top national security attorney Brad Moss responded to Dawsey’s tweet, writing, “He has the right to remain silent. Anything he says can and will be used against him. He has the right to an attorney. If he can’t afford one, one will be appointed for him by the courts.”

Journalist Touré commented: “In which Trump admits to taking documents, charges other former POTUSs with also taking documents (without evidence), and says he took the documents in a way that’s somehow better than the way that those other stealing POTUSs did. Same ol Trump.”

 

Image: Shirley Preston / Shutterstock

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