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Washington State Tells Catholic Church It Can’t Collect To Overturn Gay Marriage

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Contrary to plan, Catholic Churches in the state of Washington will not be allowed to collect funds to help overturn that state’s impending same-sex marriage law. State law does not allow “bundling,” or third-parties, to act as intermediaries for contributions — even if they’re just accepting sealed envelopes. Voters in November will go to the polls to decide if the law supporting marriage equality Governor Christine Gregoire signed in February should stand, or be overturned.

Watch: Maryland Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill Into Law (Video)

“Last week, Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes of the Yakima Diocese asking them to announce a special collection that would go to Preserve Marriage Washington, which is fighting the same-sex marriage law that was passed earlier this year,” Oregon Live reports:

The diocese’s chief of staff, Monsignor Robert Siler, said Tuesday that the expected collection date was Sept. 8-9.

But Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, says no organization can be an intermediary for a contribution. She says the church can hand out envelopes, but either a member of Preserve Washington has to be on hand to collect them or parishioners must send them in individually.

Preserve Marriage Washington has lagged in fundraising so far, raising just $471,000 compared with the nearly $6.1 million raised by Washington United for Marriage, which supports the gay marriage law.

Washington United for Marriage announced Monday that the group has reserved $5 million for television advertising starting sometime after Labor Day.

In April, the Archdiocese of Seattle deployed parishioners and used Church funds and resources to help collect 120,000 signatures that put Washington State’s same-sex marriage law on November’s ballot, in an effort to repeal it.

Related: 

On Our Radar – Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain And The Growing Catholic Mutiny

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‘Hidden Hand of Politics’: Law Professor Scorches SCOTUS for Slow-Walking Trump Immunity

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On December 11, 2023, Special Counsel Jack Smith asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an expedited review of ex-president Donald Trump’s claim of absolute immunity. On December 22, the Court refused, offering no explanation.

Two months later, on February 28, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the question of the ex-president’s immunity claim, to “decide whether former President Donald Trump can be tried on criminal charges that he conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” as SCOTUSblog reported. The Court asked both parties to appear for oral arguments on April 25, more than four months after Special Counsel Smith’s first request.

Now, professor of law Leah Litman, who is also the host of the “Strict Scrutiny” podcast, in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday writes: “Something’s Rotten About the Justices Taking So Long on Trump’s Immunity Case.”

“For those looking for the hidden hand of politics in what the Supreme Court does, there’s plenty of reason for suspicion on Donald Trump’s as-yet-undecided immunity case given its urgency,” Professor Litman says. “There are, of course, explanations that have nothing to do with politics for why a ruling still hasn’t been issued. But the reasons to think something is rotten at the court are impossible to ignore.”

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

She notes that that timetable is “considerably more drawn out than the schedule the court established earlier this year on a challenge from Colorado after that state took Mr. Trump off its presidential primary ballot. The court agreed to hear arguments on the case a mere month after accepting it and issued its decision less than a month after the argument. Mr. Trump prevailed, 9-0.”

“Nearly two months have passed,” Litman says, since the Court hear oral arguments. “Every passing day further delays a potential trial on charges related to Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in office after losing the 2020 election and his role in the events that led to the storming of the Capitol; indeed, at this point, even if the court rules that Mr. Trump has limited or no immunity, it is unlikely a verdict will be delivered before the election.”

The Supreme Court is a “busy place,” Litman generously offers. She ignores that the Court has been taking on fewer cases each year, which led Vox‘s Ian Millhiser last month to observe that the Supreme  Court justices are “quietly quitting their day jobs as judges, even as they become more and more political.” He calls them the “most powerful, least busy people in Washington.”

Litman calls Trump’s claims “so outlandish they shouldn’t take much time to dispatch.”

The question before thew Court is this: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

“It does not take weeks to explain why these arguments are wrong,” she concludes.

The Supreme Court is next expected to hand down opinions Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21, although it is unknown which or how many opinions it will release on those days.

READ MORE: Republicans in 10 States Have Now Used Courts to Block Biden’s LGBTQ Student Protections

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‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

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Suggesting there is an actual “method to the madness,” as the saying goes, in April The New York Times published “The Method Behind Trump’s Mistruths,” implying the falsehoods and lies Donald Trump tells almost if not daily are part of some coherent and intentional plan.

The Times’ Angelo Fichera offered explanations for why Trump lies with tremendous frequency. A few excerpts: “He grossly distorts his opponents’ records and proposals to make them sound unreasonable,” “He exaggerates and twists the facts to make his record sound better than it is,” “He relies on both well-worn and fresh claims of election rigging to suggest he can lose only if his opponents cheat,” and “He makes unverifiable claims about what the world would have been like had he secured a second term.”

Tuesday night, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale, who started listening to or reading Trump’s every public statement during the 2016 election cycle, debunked 30 of the ex-president’s falsehoods and lies at his Wisconsin rally earlier that day. It took him just three minutes:

Barb McQuade, the well-known MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst, professor of law, and former U.S. Attorney responded to the CNN video: “The lies have become a tribal pose. Some Trump supporters believe his lies. Others don’t care. It is all about allegiance to the tribe over truth.”

Sarah Longwell, the executive director of the Republican Accountability Project and publisher of The Bulwark, earlier this year in The Atlantic wrote: “Trump Supporters Explain Why They Believe the Big Lie.”

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Desperate Scramble to Stop Steve Bannon From Going to Prison

“For many of Trump’s voters, the belief that the election was stolen is not a fully formed thought. It’s more of an attitude, or a tribal pose,” she added.

John Stoehr, editor of the Editorial Board, said of Dale’s fact-checking, “What interesting here is Dan Dale isn’t just fact checking Trump’s lies. He’s fact checking his delusions. More of that would highlight his habitual incoherence.”

Trump’s public remarks, in interviews and on stage at rallies, do seem to have taken a turn. Some critics, like Stoehr, have pointed out that at times the criminally-convicted ex-president’s words aren’t just false, they don’t make sense.

Journalist Aaron Rupar, founder of Public Notice, has watched and recorded countless hours of Trump’s remarks.

In this clip from just a few weeks ago, he says Trump was “not coherent.”

This video from earlier this month got a lot of attention, with Trump talking about shark attacks, and electrocution from boats.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump offered one reason why Trump might have injected sharks and electric-powered boats into a campaign speech, despite it being to a crowd in landlocked Nevada: Trump’s New York criminal trial was “centered on Stormy Daniels,” who “explained that one of their encounters overlapped with the Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’ programming. As the two sat in Trump’s hotel room, he volunteered how much he hated sharks and wished they all would die.”

But that semi-logical divining still does not explain Trump’s “cognitive questions” – perhaps best exposed most recently by the author of a new book on Trump, “Apprentice in Wonderland.”

READ MORE: Republican Who Declared His State a ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ Blocks Senate Bump Stock Ban

“Ramin Setoodeh, who interviewed Trump six times after he left office in 2021, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that there were points during those sessions when Trump seemed to think he still had some presidential powers,” HuffPost reports.

Saying he is the “journalist who spent the most time” with Trump, post-election, Setoodeh notes, “Donald Trump had severe memory issues.”

And while the anecdotes are disturbing, Setoodeh’s summation is far worse: “there was some cognitive questions about where he was and what he was thinking and he would he would, from time to time become confused.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins told Setoodeh, “you talked about his memory, you wrote that, you know, on some days I have the feeling he has no idea who he’s even talking to that he actually forgot, or didn’t remember that the two of you had spoken at your first sit down interview.”

Setoodeh responded, “right.”

It’s not just telling the truth Trump has a problem with, it’s his actual speech.

On Tuesday Raw Story‘s Sarah K. Burris reported on several verbal stumbles Trump made during his Wisconsin rally.

Trump, she wrote, “struggled to remember ABC News host George Stephanopoulos’ name, making a couple of efforts to pronounce it: ‘George Stopalopodis … George Stopodiaiiee.’ ”

“Trump mispronounced citizenship by calling it ‘citizensip.’ ”

“‘Joe Biden is forming granting mass–thinkit,’ Trump meandered in a section of the speech, with an excerpt of the video quickly spreading online.”

Back in March, Salon‘s senior politics writer Chauncey DeVega wrote: “In a recent conversation with Dr. John Gartner, a prominent psychologist and contributor to the bestselling book ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,’ the former faculty member at Johns Hopkins University told me that based on Trump’s speech, memory, recall, and other behavior, he appears to be ‘hypomanic’ and cognitively deteriorating at a rapid rate.”

DeVega quotes Gartner saying, “in my opinion, Donald Trump is dangerously demented.”

“I had to speak out now because the 2024 election might turn on this issue of who is cognitively capable: Biden or Trump? It’s a major issue that will affect some people’s votes,” Gartner said. “Not enough people are sounding the alarm, that based on his behavior, and in my opinion, Donald Trump is dangerously demented. In fact, we are seeing the opposite among too many in the news media, the political leaders and among the public. There is also this focus on Biden’s gaffes or other things that are well within the normal limits of aging. By comparison, Trump appears to be showing gross signs of dementia. This is a tale of two brains. Biden’s brain is aging. Trump’s brain is dementing.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

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Republican Who Declared His State a ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ Blocks Senate Bump Stock Ban

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In 2021, as the Republican Governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts signed a “largely symbolic” proclamation declaring The Cornhusker State a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” Now, calling the legislation a “show vote,” U.S. Senator Ricketts has blocked a Democratic bill that would have restored a ban on bump stocks, like the one used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Just four days ago, in a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a bump stock, that effectively turns an AR-15 into a machine gun, cannot be regulated under current law. Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion. The device is so dramatically lethal pro-gun President Donald Trump banned it in 2018.

In his concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito made clear: if lawmakers want to ban bump stocks, they can, by passing a federal law:

“Congress can amend the law—and perhaps would have done so already if ATF had stuck with its earlier interpretation. Now that the situation is clear, Congress can act.”

On Tuesday, Senator Ricketts blocked a bipartisan bill banning bump stocks – what the Supreme Court suggested and what Donald Trump had done – which was sponsored by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

READ MORE: ‘Morally Bankrupt Loser’: Top Trump VP Contender Wants to Deport 20 Million People

Bump stocks increase the rate of fire from approximately 45-60 rounds per minute, to 400-800 rounds per minute.

Senator Ricketts called the vote on banning the lethal accessory that effectively increases the rate of fire by a factor of ten, “another day in the Democrat summer of show votes,” and called the legislation “a gun-grabbing overreach.”

“This bill will not pass,” Ricketts also said, as the Associated Press reported. “It won’t pass because enough people in this building still believe in the Constitution, and the Constitution affords Americans the right to own a firearm.”

Watch Ricketts’ remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Desperate Scramble to Stop Steve Bannon From Going to Prison

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