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Religious Right Furious Fire Chief Fired After Publishing Book Comparing Gays To Pedophiles

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has fired his fire chief over publication of a controversial, anti-gay, religion-based book – without telling him first, and then for insisting he will continue to spread his faith in the firehouse.

For several months in 2009, Kelvin Cochran was FEMA’s Administrator for the United States Fire Administration. But Cochran returned quickly to Atlanta, and became the city’s new Fire Chief. Today, he’s not serving the people of Atlanta, he’s out of a job, fired after a one-month suspension, by Mayor Kasim Reed.

Last year, Cochran wrote and self-published an ugly book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?, that uses religion to support his anti-gay beliefs. Calling them “unclean,” the book compares gay people to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals. The book also has anti-Semitic and anti-women passages. Not only did he publish the book, he handed it out at the firehouse, and reportedly discussed its contents with his employees – something many might feel makes for an uncomfortable work environment.

In the book, Cochran writes that his “job description as a fire chief of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department” is to “cultivate its culture for the glory of God.”

Cochran also identified himself in the book as Atlanta’s Fire Chief, without clearing the book with the City. Mayor Reed reportedly was concerned some might think the City of Atlanta endorsed the book or its contents, which it does not.

During his suspension, Cochran reportedly made clear he would continue to make anti-gay statements upon his return.

“When you have more than 1,000 people working under your command, you can’t go around publicly suggesting that some of them are perverts on a par with those who indulge in bestiality or child sexual abuse, as Cochran did in a self-published book,” Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes today. “When you serve as a top manager in a government that has pledged not to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, you can’t suggest to workers that such discrimination might be justified, as Cochran did by distributing copies of that book to his subordinates. (Apparently, Cochran had been advised by the city ethics office against publishing the book, but chose to do so anyway.)”

Mayor Reed held a press conference explaining his decision, and issued a statement saying that Cochran’s “actions and decision-making undermine his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce.”

“Every single employee under the Fire Chief’s command deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide employment decisions. His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension have eroded my confidence in his ability to convey that message.

“Chief Cochran also failed to notify me, as Mayor and Chief Executive of the City of Atlanta and his employer, of his plans to publish the book and its inflammatory content. This demonstrates an irreconcilable lapse in judgment.”

At least one firefighters’ union supports the mayor.

“Atlanta Professional Firefighters Local 134 would like to commend Mayor Reed and his administration for their decision to terminate Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.”

Of course, the radical religious right is furious.

The scandalized Ralph Reed, former executive director of the infamous Christian Coalition who now heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition, “urged members and supporters to email and call the mayor to reverse the suspension and to tell him to stop ‘infringing on religious freedom,'” the Georgia Voice reports.

And last year, virulently anti-gay Tea Party leader Erick Erickson of RedState.com and Fox News “encouraged his followers to purchase Cochran’s book,” the Washington Post reports, “writing that the fire chief was facing suspension for ‘publicly professing Christian beliefs.'”

Today, Erickson added more falsehoods to the flame:

And then there’s this:

The Christian right is doing what it always does: disseminate false facts and play the victim.

 

Image via Wikimedia

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Busted: White House Counsel Worked to Keep Whistleblower Report From Congress – WaPo

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President Donald Trump’s White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

“The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president,” The Washington Post reported Friday. “The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint.”

In addition to confirming the WSJ report, The Post also furthered the story with new reporting on the role of the White House in the scandal.

“White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced, officials said, helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump,” The Post reported. “Cipollone’s involvement reveals a more direct White House role in the dispute than has previously been reported.”

Read the full report.

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IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES

Trump Urged Ukraine President ‘About Eight Times’ to Work With Giuliani to Get Dirt on Biden’s Son: WSJ

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Donald Trump “repeatedly pressured” the president of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to get dirt on the son of his top political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a July phone call Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky “about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani,” the Wall Street Journal says.

But the Journal’s reporting in the second paragraph offers details that appear to minimize what experts have been suggesting actually happened. The Journal’s report also does not name sources or even suggest if they are White House or intelligence community officials.

“Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation,” the Journal says.

That would lessen the magnitude of the allegations against President Trump, although they would still be impeachable offenses.

Related: Trump to Meet With Ukrainian President Amid Bombshell Whistleblower Allegations

The Trump team has become expert at controlling the national conversation and forging a narrative that bends most elements of truth, then getting the conservative base to believe them.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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IMPEACH

Some Among Democratic Base Grow Increasingly Frustrated as Pelosi Issues Statement Chastising Trump Over Whistleblower

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Statement  Does Not  Say ‘Impeachment’

Some among the Democratic base appear frustrated with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who has not been supportive of the majority of House Democrats who want to impeach President Donald Trump. Friday afternoon the Speaker quietly issued a lengthy statement responding to the bombshell news that a whistleblower has filed a “credible” and “urgent” complaint with the intelligence community.

Pelosi’s statement, which was not posted to her social media accounts as of this writing, made its way through Twitter via a handful of reporters.

“If the President has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy,” Pelosi said, as a Politico congressional reporter pointed out:

Nearly two-thirds of House Democrats support impeaching Trump, or beginning a formal impeachment inquiry at the very least, according to Politico. But the majority of the nation does not, nor do a majority of Democratic voters, according to recent polls.

“Only 37 percent support beginning impeachment proceedings, while half oppose it,” Politco reports, citing its own polls.

Speaker Pelosi’s statement concludes with this:

“We will continue to follow the facts and explore every possible option to ensure the American people get the truth. We would hope that Republicans would join us in supporting the Constitution.”

Some online are calling her statement “weak,” while others are disappointed with the lack of specific threats of action, and others are expressing exasperation with the Speaker not supporting impeachment:

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