The Georgia State Senate has just passed a pro-discrimination, anti-gay religious license to discriminate bill, by an overwhelmingly large margin.
The Georgia State Senate has 38 Republicans and 18 Democrats. Together, they just passed a wide-sweeping anti-gay bill under the cloak of “religious freedom,” by a huge margin. The vote to close off discussion, and end any chance of amending the bill, was 38-17. The vote that passed the bill was 37-15.
The Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, SB 129, claims that laws “neutral toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise.” In other words, to allow for religious freedom the GeorgiaÂ State Senate is choosing to place the deeply held religious beliefs above those who do not practice religion.
The bill was sponsored and rushed through the Senate by Republican SenatorÂ Josh McKoon. The photos below heralding the vote were taken and posted to Twitter byÂ Michael R. Griffin,Â whose bio reads: “Pastor, Lobbyist, and Political Consultant.”Â
â€” Michael R. Griffin (@mikegriffinsr) March 5, 2015
â€” Michael R. Griffin (@mikegriffinsr) March 5, 2015
The legislation is “seen as a way to enable individuals and business to refuse services for LGBT people, or for clerk officials to refuse marriage licenses for same-sex couples in the event marriage equality comes to Georgia,” the Washington Blade reports.
The bill now heads to the Georgia House, where it will likely pass, and be signed into law by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.
The media is growing wise to these anti-LGBT bills, as they spread across the nationÂ â€“ and the tricks Republicans are using are being exposed.
“Georgia will deal with creeping sharia and marching socialism and also its unemployment rateâ€”among the highest in the nationâ€”just as soon as it passes this bill defending righteous, traditional Americans’ freedom to hate gays,” Gawker reports today.Â
Religious zealot, Fox News contributor, and Georgia resident Erick Erickson â€“ who just two weeks ago claimed the only difference between LGBT activists and ISIS is that ISIS murders people â€“ was thrilled today:
The religious liberty bill will not only pass the Georgia State Senate today, it will do so without any amendments to weaken it.
â€” Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 5, 2015
Some more responses via Twitter:
Georgia’s RFRA / Turn the Gays Away bill passes State Senate. http://t.co/lAYJrcDCLd
â€” TN Equality Project (@tnequality) March 5, 2015
â€” Project Q Atlanta (@ProjectQAtlanta) March 5, 2015
Image via FacebookÂ
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‘Shaping Policies’: Trump Official in Charge of Personnel at HHS Has Been a College Senior – Report
The Trump administration put a college senior in charge of personnel at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Catherine Granito. She appears to have graduated this spring.
A Politico report Monday afternoon, “Trump administration shakes up HHS personnel office after tumultuous hires,” revealed the stunning placement – including that she has been “playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”
HHS has an annual budget of $1.286 trillion. As of 2015 it had 79,540 employees.
“White House Liaison Emily Newman and her deputy Catherine Granito will be shifting full-time to the Voice of America’s parent organization, the United States Agency for Global Media, HHS chief of staff Brian Harrison told senior staff on Monday,” the Politico article states.
It adds that “Granito — an undergraduate at the University of Michigan as recently as this spring — had been in charge of the health department’s personnel while playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”
Granito’s LinkedIn page says she attended the University of Michigan until May as a student athlete playing lacrosse and notes she majored in English language and literature. A Google search shows that page listed her as an “advisor” at HHS.
Her Facebook page says she “Works at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
The recent Michael Caputo scandal appears to have involved Granito.
“Granito, who was in the class of 2020 at the University of Michigan, was involved in political appointees’ recent scrutiny of CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, a career civil servant. Caputo and his team raised concerns about Schuchat this spring after she publicly acknowledged missed opportunities in the nation’s response to the coronavirus.”
Image: Official White House Photo of HHS Sec. Alex Azar and President Donald Trump by Tia Dufour via Flickr
‘Streets Will Run Red With Blood’: Trump-Loving Senator Mocked for Ad Bragging She’s ‘More Conservative Than Attila the Hun’
A Republican U.S. Senator is being mocked and disparaged for her new TV ad which touts her “100% Trump voting record” and positions her as “more conservative than Attila the Hun.”
Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who was appointed in January, is running to keep her seat. Her main opponent is Republican Congressman Doug Collins.
The ad says she’s “the most conservative Senator in America.”
Now here’s an ad for you: Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s new spot is all about how she’s “more conservative than Attila the Hun,” and includes an actor portraying a grunting Attila who delivers orders to, among other things, “eliminate the liberal scribes.” pic.twitter.com/080nIJGwng
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) September 21, 2020
The ad “jokes” about murdering journalists and political opponents.
Loeffler is no stranger to controversy.
The Dept. of Justice closed its investigation into Loeffler’s coronavirus stock trading scandal in May. She is the owner of the Atlanta Dream professional basketball team and has been criticized for opposing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now her new ad is drawing criticism, too.
the ideal senator, according to someone trying to win conservative votes, is “jokingly” to the right of a despot saying “attack big government” and “murder people whose politics I disagree with” https://t.co/73tHXCtqCj
— Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) September 21, 2020
US senator advocates for killing journalists. Hilarious. https://t.co/Da9Zyyspml
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) September 21, 2020
“The streets will run red with the blood of my enemies. I’m Kelly Loeffler and I approve this message.” https://t.co/5K8VqRXE6D
— Eyes on the Right (@EyesOnTheRight) September 21, 2020
Again, this is the senator whose initial appointment last year was greeted with much punditry about how she’d appeal to moderate women in the Atlanta suburbs who were drifting away from the GOP and turning Georgia purple.
Now she’s comparing herself favorably to Attila the Hun.
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) September 21, 2020
I *think* this campaign ad for a sitting US Senator includes a very funny, haha, wink-wink nudge-nudge joke about murdering members of the press? https://t.co/35wHGmO6yC
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 21, 2020
The best part? Dumbass Kelly Loeffler mistakes Attila the Hun for Genghis Khan. Attila marched on Rome, not China. It’s too bad Republicans keep cutting education funding. https://t.co/bsh9zG9Hln
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) September 21, 2020
this ad is gross and dangerous but the Strangest Political Ad of 2020 award ought to go to this one for Bob Good, the Republican running for office in VA-05. https://t.co/qAyU9z7kLs pic.twitter.com/OIcj4oC4xf
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) September 21, 2020
Wait, wait — this is an ad *for* Loeffler? https://t.co/nszQtWumLw
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 21, 2020
Anymore skepticism about what’s happening here? https://t.co/rXDG1t4grb
— Jodi Jacobson 🩸🦷 #BlackLivesMatter (@jljacobson) September 21, 2020
Loeffler is more conservative than an authoritarian maniac who conquered, raped, and pillaged almost an entire continent? Cool cool. https://t.co/F7WNFwKYNA
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) September 21, 2020
Comparing yourself favorably to a pagan warlord best known for ravaging Western Christendom seems like a bold move https://t.co/Y73RAispGB
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) September 21, 2020
Look, I don’t like Atilla’s tweets either but he appoints solid conservative judges and cut taxes. https://t.co/E6JJZA7CY9
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 21, 2020
Not the most problematic thing about this ad, but Loeffler appears to be conflating Atilla the Hun and Genghis Khan. Atilla did not want to ‘fight China’ – he fought the Eastern Roman Empire and the Visigoths! #gasen https://t.co/6VKzlSoses
— Drew Godinich (@DrewGodinich) September 21, 2020
The Justinian Plague was likely brought to Europe by the Huns. It wiped out about half the population of Europe. https://t.co/YX7RcTiW9X
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) September 21, 2020
Just a little casual racism and insinuation that political opponents should be eliminated, NBD.
Kelly Loeffler must have hired Brian Kemp’s ad agency. You know, the one that had him pointing a rifle at a young boy who wanted to date his daughter?
Good times, good times. https://t.co/4udZ7oxfRg
— Holly Figueroa O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 21, 2020
Image via Facebook
Whistleblower Outs Kushner for COVID Task Force Failures: ‘Organized Crime Melded With Lord of the Flies’
A former member of the White House coronavirus task force explained why he blew the whistle on what he saw as deadly incompetence within the group.
Max Kennedy, Jr. — the 26-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy — told The New Yorker that he initially agreed to join the task force that was being put together by White House adviser Jared Kushner because of the serious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But it was such an unprecedented time,” he explained to The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. “It didn’t seem political—it seemed larger than the Administration.”
Kennedy recalled being shocked because a skeleton crew of unpaid task force volunteers were forced to use their personal laptops and email accounts to track down medical supplies.
“It was the number of people who show up to an after-school event, not to run the greatest crisis in a hundred years,” he observed. “It was such a mismatch of personnel. It was one of the largest mobilization problems ever. It was so unbelievably colossal and gargantuan. The fact that they didn’t want to get any more people was so upsetting.”
Kennedy said that one political appointee on the task force, Brad Smith, urged him to create a model that predicted a maximum of 100,000 deaths because existing scientific models were “too severe.”
“I don’t know the first thing about disease modeling,” Kennedy told Smith before declining the task.
Volunteers were also urged to pay close attention to Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and to ship medical supplies to her favored hospitals, Kennedy said.
Kennedy remembered Kushner stopping by the office with “an air of self-importance” on several occasions and promising to fix problems.
“But I never saw a single thing that Kushner promised change,” he said.
After quitting the position in April, Kennedy decided to defy a non-disclosure agreement by blowing the whistle in a complaint to Congress.
“I just couldn’t sleep,” he remarked. “I was so distressed and disturbed by what I’d seen.”
Kennedy said that the task force “was like a family office meets organized crime, melded with ‘Lord of the Flies.’ It was a government of chaos.”
“If you see something that might be illegal, and cause thousands of civilian lives to be lost, a person has to speak out,” he insisted.
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