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Breaking: Arkansas Lawmakers Send ‘Right To Discriminate’ Bill To Governor’s Desk

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The Arkansas legislature has just passed a sweeping pro-discrimination bill, and is sending it to their Republican governor’s desk.

On Monday the Arkansas Senate passed a sweeping bill that bans every town, city, and municipality in the state from passing or enforcing non-discrimination ordinances. The legislation just passed the House today, and now is on its way to Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.

The legislation, billed as an “emergency” bill, is being masqueraded as a commerce bill, designed to make doing business across the state easier, and more inviting to out-of-state companies.

“This bill creates uniformity for business, and citizens for that matter, that our employment laws will be the same throughout the state,” GOP Rep. Bob Ballinger said today, as Buzzfeed reported. “There are some things on a statewide basis we deal with all the time, such as murder and fraud — a variety of things that need to be uniform.” 

Arkansas State Senator Bart Hester, whom NCRM profiled yesterday, defended his legislation, saying, “civil rights need to not be a volatile situation.”

LOOK: ‘Singled Out’ GOP Lawmaker To End All LGBT Protections ‘Because I Am Married To One Woman’

He also, now infamously said, “I am singled out as a politician. I am singled out because I am married to one woman,” he told Buzzfeed. “I want everyone in the LGBT community to have the same rights I do. I do not want them to have special rights that I do not have.”

What it actually does is strike down all local ordinances that prohibit discrimination, effectively amounting to a war on the LGBT community, which already faces serious discrimination in The Natural State. 

Sen. Hester, who last year spoke at an anti-gay marriage rally, had said he was “infuriated” that local cities and towns were passing legislation to protect their LGBT citizens from being discriminated against in housing, employment, and education.

 

Image via Flickr

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Ocasio-Cortez Takes Victory Lap After Amazon Goes to NYC — Even After She Helped Block $3 Billion in Subsidies

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the progressive leaders in New York City credited with blocking $3 billion in public subsidies for Amazon to open an additional headquarters.

But Amazon is moving into NYC despite the lack of subsidies.

“The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city’s west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Amazon is taking the space without any of the special tax credits and other inducements the company had been offered to build a new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the company said.”

“The new lease represents Amazon’s largest expansion in New York since it stunned the city by abandoning those earlier plans. Amazon pulled back after facing a backlash from some politicians and activists over the roughly $3 billion in financial incentives the city and state had extended to woo the company and the 25,000 new jobs it had pledged to create,” The Journal explained.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, took a victory lap after her argument that the subsidies were unnecessary was vindicated.

“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, and corporate giveaways,” she tweeted.

Here are some of her previous thoughts on the company:

 

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RACISM IS RACISM

Nikki Haley Tries to Stop National Outrage: It Was Other People Who Saw Confederate Flag as ‘Service, Sacrifice, Heritage’

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Former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is trying hard to stop the national outrage over an interview she gave in which she suggested the Confederate flag stood for “service, and sacrifice, and heritage” until white supremacist Dylann Roof slaughtered nine Black church-goers attending a Bible study class.

Haley’s exact words were: “Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always going to be there, but, you know, people saw it [the Confederate flag] as service, and sacrifice, and heritage, and, but once he did that there was no way to overcome it.”

Haley took to Twitter and pushed back by posting the text of a speech she gave when she called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds.

Rather than say directly what she apparently wanted to say, Haley retweeted tweets like these that deliver the message that she didn’t call the Confederate flag an icon of service, sacrifice, and heritage – other people did.

But given that the flag represents an actual attack on the United States of America – the Civil War – and has been used by white supremacists, including the KKK, and others to subordinate, discriminate against, and attack Black people and other minorities, it’s hard to see how splitting hairs makes the former South Carolina governor any better.

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THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

READ: White House Attacks Impeachment as ‘Completely Baseless’ in Letter to Congress Suggesting It Will Not Participate

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The White House has just sent Congress a letter attacking the impeachment inquiry as “completely baseless” while suggesting to the Judiciary Committee that neither the president nor his attorneys will participate in any manner. Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a deadline of Friday 6 PM for a response.

Claiming Congress has “violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness,” which is false, White House Counsel Pat Cipillone also falsely claimed the Committee has not “heard a single shred of evidence” against the president.

The tone of the letter is highly-partisan, calling the impeachment a “charade,” claiming congressional Democrats have “wasted” Americans’ time, and saying if Democrats adopt Articles of Impeachment it will constitute an “abuse of power.”

None of those statements are true.

Read the full letter below:

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