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Texas GOP Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Eliminate LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections Statewide

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A Texas Tea Party Republican State Senator has just introduced a bill that copycats Arkansas legislation that is about to become law. 

Freshman State Senator Don Huffines ran on a platform of “limited government, in cutting spending so we can decrease taxes,” while touting his belief in the “traditional family” and creationism. Sometimes, those goals are at odds, so Huffines has opted to walk away from his “limited government” beliefs in order to attack the LGBT community.

The fifty-something year-old successful real estate developer has introduced a bill that copycats highly-controversial legislation that is about to become law in Arkansas.

Claiming though not offering proof that it will improve commerce and attract business into the state, Huffines’ bill simply removes the right of local Texas towns and cities to create any non-discrimination protections that do not already exist in Texas state law.

The bill, SB 343, is actually more sweeping than that – it removes the right of towns and cities to create any law “more stringent than a state statute.”

Huffines’ spokesperson categorized the legislation as merely a bill that “aims to curtail local laws that hinder free enterprise and businesses or hamper liberty, counter to the free market, limited government policies enacted by the state.”

The New York Times reports that Huffines’ limited government beliefs go just so far.

“Local control is not a blank check,” Huffines says. “I think there’s really no end to” local laws that he claims have been hindering the supposed “Texas miracle” of economic growth.

Texas Observer’s John Wright reports that after Huffines was elected, he “slammed the Boy Scouts’ decision to lift its ban on gay youth.”

“I think it was a big mistake what the BSA did,” Huffines said. “They can’t be trusted not to open the door for more infiltration from the gay agenda. Eventually we’ll have gay Scouts and gay Scoutmasters and gay troops. They’ll keep coming until their mission is fulfilled.”

Wright notes that if Huffines’ bill becomes law, it would reverse LGBT protections for 7.5 million Texans, including those in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Plano and San Antonio.

Dallas Morning News Rudy Bush labels Huffines “an unserious lawmaker,” and notes that “city councils that have voted to protect gay citizens from employment discrimination would see their laws trumped by a so-called small government Republican with a religious bent against the way they live their lives.”

 

Image via Facebook
Hat tip: Texas Observer

 

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Justice Clarence Thomas Believes Media Criticism of Decisions ‘Jeopardizes Any Faith’ in the Supreme Court

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Justice Clarence Thomas complained about the harsh criticism the Supreme Court has received since allowing a controversial anti-abortion law to go into effect in Texas.

Thomas delivered the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, where he complained about media criticism, The Washington Post reported.

“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference. So if they think you are anti-abortion or something personally, they think that’s the way you always will come out. They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician,” Thomas said.

“That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions,” he said.

A second Post report on the speech noted Thomas’ remarks on the ongoing mistrust of the court.

“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s problematic.”

The newspaper noted the lecture was interrupted by protesters who yelled, “I still believe Anita Hill.”

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

‘Genius’ Madison Cawthorn Mocked for Claiming the Constitution Prohibits Airlines From Requiring Vaccinations

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is once again being mocked, this time for yet again not understanding the very basics of American democracy.

On Thursday the Republican from North Carolina claimed it is “illegal” and unconstitutional for airlines to require passengers to be vaccinated, because “you actually have a constitutionally protected right to free, unrestricted travel within the United States.”

That last part has a tiny shred of truth to it. Just not in the way Congressman Cawthorn thinks.

(Those inteested in the legal mechanics should examine this and this.)

Anyone could take a minute to come up with arguments why his claim is false, including that anyone driving a car is required to have a driver’s license and insurance, and wear a seat belt.

The freshman Congressman was quickly mocked:

 

 

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News

29 Months Later Bill Barr’s Super Secret Russia Special Counsel Files His Second Indictment – for Alleged Lying

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In April of 2019 then-Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut to open and lead an investigation into Russia – not into how Russia has been attacking the United States via cyber warfare, undermining Americans’ trust in American institutions, and using social media to do it, but into whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warranted in opening an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including its investigation of Donald Trump.

On Thursday, 29 months after Barr first appointed John Durham (photo, right) to lead that super-secret investigation, 11 months after Barr secretly turned Durham into a special counsel to ensure the investigation would continue past his and Trump’s tenure, and after spending untold millions of taxpayer dollars, the Dept. of Justice has announced Durham has obtained a second indictment.

“A prominent cybersecurity lawyer was indicted on a charge of lying to the F.B.I. five years ago during a meeting about Donald J. Trump and Russia, the Justice Department announced on Thursday,” The New York Times reports.

The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, “of the law firm Perkins Coie, which has deep ties to the Democratic Party — is accused of making a false statement about his client at the meeting.”

Mr. Sussmann’s defense lawyers have denied the accusation, saying that he did not make a false statement, that the evidence he did is weak and that who he was representing was not a material fact in any case. They have vowed to fight any charge in court.

At issue is who was Sussman working for when he “relayed concerns by cybersecurity researchers who believed that unusual internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.”

Apparently not at issue is if the Trump Organization or campaign had a secret communications channel to a Kremlin-linked organization.

Frequent viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are likely familiar with her reporting on Alfa Bank, including this segment from October 2018:

Durham has not obtained any indictment against anyone in Russia, any Russian operatives, any Trump Organization or campaign official, or anyone who may have been involved in Russia’s attack on the United States.

The only other indictment Durham has obtained from his two-plus year investigation? The Times in 2019 reported on a “low-level” FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who “altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap,” on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.

One expert calls the indictment “weak.”

 

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