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Local Iowa Editor: ‘The LGBTQXYZ Crowd And The Gaystapo’ Are ‘The Enemy’

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That map you see above is a map of the state of Iowa. The little red dot is the tiny town of Newton. Population 15,254. 

A local Newton, Iowa newspaper editor wrote a lengthy religion-based piece on his personal blog (not the paper’s website) warning about what he sees as the gay community’s attempts to change the Bible.

In “The deceivers are hard at work,” Bob Eschliman, editor of the Newton Daily News, a small, Monday-Friday paper with a circulation of 4000, wrote:

I’d like to talk a little bit about deceivers among us, most notably the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo effort to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature “right with God.” A few weeks ago, I came across the website for the Queen James Bible (because King James was a flaming homo, don’t you know). The editors are very keen to let folks know they didn’t remove passages from the Bible, but instead reworded them to “make it more relevant.”

“If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.”

That post was published last week.

Iowa, as you know, has had same-sex marriage since its Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that its ban on marriage equality was unconstitutional.

Veteran journalism blogger Jim Romenesko reports:

I asked Eschliman in an email if his paper can cover gay issues fairly and objectively when he’s declared gays the enemy. I also asked if he’d let one of his reporters write a similar blog post.

Yesterday, Romenesko published an update:

Shaw Media’s Newton Daily News has dismissed editor Bob Eschliman for a post on his personal blog blasting “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” for trying “to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”

Fired.

Noting that the “The First Amendment does not eliminate responsibility and accountability for one’s words and actions,” Eschliman’s now-former bosses wrote that while he “is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

In the past week, we have lost some of that public trust that is so vital to our existence. Today, we hope to begin earning it back.

There will be some who will criticize our action, and mistakenly cite Mr. Eschliman’s First Amendment rights as a reason he should continue on as editor of the Newton Daily News.

As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.

From Brendan Eich to Donald Sterling to Bob Eschliman to David and Jason Benham, people are saying, “No, you cannot treat our fellow Americans that way any longer.” It doesn’t matter if it’s racism or homophobia or misogyny or any one of a number of hate-based beliefs. Americans have had enough.

(Funny how the crowd that ran to Brendan Eich’s defense was no where to be found when Donald Sterling’s hate was exposed. Funny how it’s not OK for someone to lose their job for their personal beliefs when it comes to homophobia, but about racism, that’s another story. It shouldn’t be — because at its core, it is the same story.)

Noting that America is “rapidly approaching” a “tipping point,” Dan Savage today observes:

Once upon a time white people used to be able to go on TV and say the most racist shit imaginable (argue against legal interracial marriage, argue in favor of segregation) and keep their jobs and be invited back on TV to say that shit a second time. Then one day you couldn’t say that shit (not on TV, at least) and keep your job and be invited back to say that shit again. Opinions that used to be considered “respectable” were suddenly toxic career enders. We are rapidly reaching the same tipping point on LGBT issues. You can believe whatever you want, but you have to be careful when and how you express your anti-gay animus. Because it could cost you.

In 2009 while at Fox News, Glenn Beck unleashed and enabled the anti-immigrant, racist, anti-gay, anti-women crowd with his “not racist – not violent – no longer silent” motto that indeed enabled racism and hatred.

In small towns and big cities, all across the country, Americans are saying it’s time for that evil genie of hate to be locked back up in its bottle.   

Image via Wikimedia

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage

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Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.

Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.

“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.

Trump’s post generated outrage online.

“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”

“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.

Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”

Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”

Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”

 

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News

Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after military service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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'PRIORITIES'

Red states are lining up to stop Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

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Six red states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina — are suing the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden over Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year.

The Biden administration based its plan on a 2003 law. According to the Justice Department, the law, initially meant to help military members, says that Biden can reduce or erase student loan debts during times of national emergency.

The red states’ lawsuit, filed Thursday in Missouri, said that Biden’s plan was “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers.” The lawsuit adds that, since Biden recently declared the COVID-19 pandemic as over, he can’t use it as a justification for his wide-scale debt relief plan, ABC News reported.

“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said of her state’s lawsuit. “The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”

The states argued that Biden’s plan inflicted a “number of ongoing financial harms” to student loan providers and also “will ultimately disrupt revenue to state coffers.” They also argued that Biden’s plan violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a law regulating how federal agencies ensure that presidential policies are well-reasoned and explained, the aforementioned publication reported.

Despite these claims, the White House has said it will continue with its plan, confident it can survive a court challenge.

“Republican officials from these six states are standing with special interests, and fighting to stop relief for borrowers buried under mountains of debt,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said Thursday. “The president and his administration are lawfully giving working and middle class families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January.”

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