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Thomas Roberts And Trevor Project Talk Anti-Gay Bullying, Teen Suicide

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David McFarland, acting Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project joins MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts to discuss the spike in anti-gay bullying, teen suicides, “no promo homo” policies, and Michele Bachmann.

READ: Michele Bachmann’s Top Ten Anti-Gay Quotes

McFarland says that yes, he absolutely believes that the anti-gay policies — known as “no promo homo” –  at the Anoka-​Hennepin school district, which is Michele Bachmann’s alma mater, and in others around the nation are to blame for the spike in teen suicides, and thinks Michele Bachmann “has not made change in that district.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Transcript via MSNBC:

>>> blaming the school’s policies.
>>> and the tragedy in oslo. is the man a terrorist?
>>> welcome back. it is a mental health crisis. it is now under federal investigation in minnesota. nine teens openly gay or perceived as take in as we talk about the one district. the district is denying any role in the bullying or the suicides. when we look at it from the aspect of parents and the people that are living through this, i want you to take a listen to what one mom whose son committed suicide said this week.
>> teachers don’t speak one way or the other. often times bullying gets overlooked. staff know about it. they don’t intervene. when things are reported, there is no follow through on it. i found out after justin died that according to one of his friends, he, according to a counselor in the school, he was at the top of her worry list. i never got a phone call.
>> david, do you believe the school district’s policies and the one that is referred to as “no homo promo” and that is the cause for the spike in the suicides there?
>> absolutely, thomas. it is an unfortunate situation we are seeing in the country and certainly needs to be addressed.
>> david, it is important to point out there are eight other states limited to instruction on homosexuality. this is a map that limits instruction on homosexuality. alabama and arizona and also in louisiana and mississippi, south carolina, utah. when we think about this and see what is going on in these states, what are you hearing from your colleagues about similar rises in bullying and suicides in those areas?
>> it is an issue that needs to be addressed in the country. there are individuals addressing this topic. it needs to change. youth in our schools should be able to be provided with a safe place. if they are feeling isolated or alone or in crisis, they should be able to have the resources in those schools to reach out and to be able to have those conversations whether it is with a counselor or teacher or administration.
>> david, critics say minnesota school policy on homosexuality has been pushed by conservative religious groups. one letter was, ” open your eyes, people, parents, do you really want your children attending a gsa where homosexual behavior is affirmed?” david, i can only imagine what it is like for an lgbt youth to hear that. what can a trevor project do for students and parents in the district?
>> thomas, it is a great question. this is a harmful message for the youth to be hearing. particularly in our schools. you know, we at the trevor project are there around the clock with a number of programs. the trevor lifeline is a 24/7 lifeline that youth can reach out. if they are feeling alone or isolated, they can speak to someone on the other end that is a trained counselor. we, at the trevor project, have workshops like our lifeguard workshop that addresses suicide prevention which is being presented and discussed across the country in many school districts. in fact, in the school district area in the county that you are talking about, we made numerous attempts to make ourselves available to the superintendent to the district to put those workshops into the schools. we have been denied that conversation. we have been in that area with other schools whether it be public or private instituting the workshops to help the teachers and help educate the school systems that are really in need to provide services for your youth and families.
>> this is congresswoman michele bachmann’s district. she hasn’t commented on these cases that have been happening at her alma mater high school. do you think politics is playing too much a risk here when it comes to saving at-risk youth?
>> politics plays a role, but at the end of the day, we are all human beings. michele bachmann has a voice. she can use that voice with a powerful message. how she chooses to use that voice to this point has not made change in the school district. there are many great voices to help create that change. michele is one individual that can make that happen. you know, we talk on a consistent basis with many politicians across the country and walk the halls of the congress and senate. we talked to both sides of the aisle. democrat and republican. everyone wants our youth to feel safe and have the educational programs to help school systems across this country. why this school system doesn’t want that is a big question. that needs to change.
>> david mcfarland from the trevor project. thanks for your time. i want to pass along to everyone out there, if you or someone is feeling bullied or at risk of suicide for anyone across the board. it doesn’t matter if you are part of the lgbt community. you can call the trevor project lifeline at 866-488-7386. this lifeline is free and confidential.

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Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

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After the Alabama Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that frozen embryos are “children,” causing several medical facilities to pause their in-vitro fertilization services, Republicans rushed to get ahead of the growing national outrage.

Many Republicans insisted that although they oppose abortion and support the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, they did not think it would have effects this far-reaching. And they insisted, repeatedly, on-camera, they absolutely support in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

“Once you pass a law or accept the view that life begins at conception, IVF & some forms of birth control are at risk, along with abortion. It was never ‘just’ about abortion & women pay the price for all of it,” wrote professor of law and MSNBC legal contributor Joyce Vance on February 23. Three days later she added, “It’s pretty simple. If life begins at conception, IVF is off the table. If you make an exception for IVF then we’re just having a conversation about who you’re willing to make exceptions for.”

Republicans insisted they were willing to make an exception for IVF.

RELATED: Nikki Haley: Frozen Embryos Are ‘Babies’

For years, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who has given birth to two children with the help of IVF, has tried to pass legislation to protect IVF.

Republicans each time have killed the bills.

Her latest attempt was Wednesday.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) on Wednesday spoke against the bill.

Sen. Duckworth stamped out Hyde-Smith’s claims, saying, “She said at one point the bill would allow for chimeras — human-animal hybrids — it does nothing of the sort. All the bill says if you want to seek reproductive technology you can …”

Sen. Hyde-Smith then killed the bill by formally objecting to Duckworth’s bill on Wednesday, which the Illinois Democrat tried to pass via unanimous consent.

It was the second time in two years Sen. Hyde-Smith has killed that bill.

They’re hanging this on Hyde-Smith. But the entire senate gop has now united to block a federal law to keep ivf legal,” observed Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall. “They’re all coming out saying that frozen embryos are equal to living children.”

READ MORE: Democrats Discredit GOP Claims on IVF as Republicans Try to Regain Ground After Fallout

Also on Wednesday, the lone House Republican supporting legislation to protect IVF withdrew her sponsorship of that bill.

The Biden campaign on Thursday blasted Republicans for claiming to support IVF then killing the bill that would have protected it.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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‘Injustice’: Experts Condemn Supreme Court’s ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ Trump Decision

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Legal and political experts were stunned by the Supreme Court announcing Wednesday it will take up Donald Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, despite there being no contradiction in the lower courts. Compounding experts’ surprise and concern over granting certiorari was the length of time it took to announce the decision, and that they will not hear arguments until April 22.

“The Supreme Court heard and decided Bush v. Gore in THREE DAYS. THAT was expediting a case of national importance,” noted Tristan Snell, the former New York State prosecutor who led the successful investigation and $25 million prosecution of Donald Trump’s Trump University. “The Supreme Court apparently now thinks expediting means THREE MONTHS. Clearest evidence yet that SCOTUS is corrupt and broken.”

Professor of law and MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann, the former FBI General Counsel who served at DOJ for decades, asked: “Why on god’s green earth did the S Ct [Supreme Court] not take the case earlier when the Special Counsel sought review directly from the District Court? They have really played into Trump’s hands.”

He adds: “The Supreme Court is going straight for the capillaries: an issue the DC criminal case does not raise, namely the outer bounds of a presidential immunity doctrine.”

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

Weissman Thursday morning noted that the Supreme Court’s actions essentially make Trump “de facto immune.”

Foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and author David Rothkopf replied, “I think you have answered your own question. The only reason to handle this the way they did is to, at best, play Trump’s delay game and, at worst, set the stage for one of the most indefensible, corrupt decisions (or outcomes) in US history.”

“Those who did not understand the urgency of stopping the threat posed by Trump, MAGA and the dark money right, those who did not actively hold them accountable with every available institutional tool, may have been the undoing of American democracy…no matter their intentions,” he noted.

“Let’s not beat around the bush, decision by the Supreme Court to hear the Trump immunity case is outrageous and, at its heart, fundamentally corrupt,” Rothkopf also wrote. “The Appeals Court decision was bullet proof and there is no case Trump has any sort of immunity. The decision not to hear it until late April makes further significant trial delays likely. They are deliberately delaying the trial without any reasonable legal reason to do so. This is a political decision and, in my estimation, an ugly one.”

“If a special counsel had been appointed early in 2021,” Rothkopf also wrote, “if Trump obstruction of justice had be prosecuted, if Trump had not been granted special treatment on his theft of classified documents, if the classified documents case had been brought in DC as it should have been, Trump might very well be in jail now.”

READ MORE: Comer Announces Public Hearing After Hunter Biden Closed Door Testimony

He also pointed to this monologue from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, calling it “correct.”

University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University Laurence Tribe blasted “the SCOTUS decision to slow-walk Trump’s outrageous immunity claim — the claim everyone knows would be rejected 9-0 by any self-respecting court.”

Noting the Supreme Court could have taken up the case back in December, Tribe told CNN, “There’s nothing new under the sun” in this case. “It doesn’t make any sense to stretch this out this way.”

“We can be sure that they want to use this case to settle a whole broad range of issues, contrary to their supposed practice of deciding no more than you must decide. In fact, the Chief Justice once famously said, if we don’t have to decide something, that means we have to avoid deciding it. He’s obviously violated that mandate here and the struggle within the court results in injustice for the nation.”

Tribe also slammed the Court for choosing to announce it will decide “the broadest possible question.” He suggests they could stretch it out even more, by taking the case, hearing it, then sending it back to the lower courts again.

Daily Beast columnist and “recovering attorney” Wajahat Ali observed: “A thoroughly corrupt Supreme Court with right-wing justices bought out by conservative billionaires and beholden to Christian nationalism should not be expected to side with justice, the rule of law, or democracy. Elections matter.”

CNN Senior Supreme Court Analyst Joan Biskupic on Wednesday said, The fact that they delayed this order … suggests that they certainly did not embrace the urgency that Special Counsel Jack Smith tried to impose upon them, way back in December.”

“Former President Trump’s effort to run the clock has a partner in the Supreme Court at this point,” she notes.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

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Comer Announces Public Hearing After Hunter Biden Closed Door Testimony

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer announced he will hold a public hearing with Hunter Biden after the president’s son testified behind closed doors for most of Wednesday.

“I think this was a great deposition for us, it proved several bits of our evidence, that we’ve been conducting throughout this investigation, but there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review,” Comer told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“So this impeachment inquiry will now go to the next phase, which will be a public hearing. And that’s something that I think everyone in the media has been asking a lot of questions about. Something that I know that Mr. Biden and his attorney both demanded, just as I said, when we said we were going to do the deposition first, we will have a public hearing next.”

It’s unclear what other witnesses Chairman Comer and Chairman Jordan will present.

Comer claimed that parts of Hunter Biden’s testimony contradicted some of their previous witness’ testimony, although he refused to elaborate.

READ MORE: Court Denies Trump Request to Pause $454M Bond Requirement Amid His Cash Liquidity Claim

Hunter Biden stated in the opening remarks he released publicly Wednesday morning that Chairman Comer and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan had built their “entire partisan house of cards on lies told by the likes of Gal Luft, Tony Bobulinski, Alexander Smirnov, and Jason Galanis.”

“Luft, who is a fugitive, has been indicted for his lies and other crimes; Smirnov, who has made you dupes in carrying out a Russian disinformation campaign waged against my father, has been indicted for his lies; Bobulinski, who has been exposed for the many false statements he has made, and Galanis, who is serving 14 years in prison for fraud.”

Politico described Hunter Biden’s opening statement as “blistering.”

“I am here today,” the President’s son began, “to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business. Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never.”

Watch Comer below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

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