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Jeb Bush: Americans Don’t Know ‘The Facts’ On Indiana ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

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2016 likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush offered his opinion on Indiana’s discriminatory and anti-gay “religious freedom” law – and gets so much wrong in the process.

As Americans get to know Jeb Bush, two clear character traits are emerging.

First, he is cautious. Unlike some of his likely opponents, the elder Bush brother thinks before he speaks. He recognizes that every public statement, every opinion, every action, has weight, especially at this early stage.

And second, he is condescending. It’s not as clear or obvious as is his cautious and thoughtful nature, but it’s very much there.

Take Bush’s interview with Republican talk show host and law professor Hugh Hewitt yesterday.

(Hewitt, who teaches at the same university as NOM Chairman John Eastman, will conduct one of the 2016 presidential debates. He is known for his insightful and intelligent interviews, which is why Donald Trump‘s time with Hewitt was so embarrassing.)

Bush was asked to weigh in on Indiana’s highly-controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been the top headline around the nation since Gov. Mike Pence signed it into law Thursday.

LOOK: Ted Cruz Fundraising Off His Just-Released Statement On Indiana Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

Top multi-billion dollar corporations, like Apple, Inc. and Salesforce, multi-million dollar Indiana-based companies, like Angie’s list, states like Washington and Connecticut, and cities like San Francisco and Seattle, have all come out denouncing quite strongly this anti-gay bill as discriminatory.

Does anyone think Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, or Connecticut’s Governor Dan Malloy, did not consult with attorneys before issuing strong statements? 

Cue Jeb Bush, audio and transcript:

HEWITT: Earlier today, I watched Peter Hamby on CNN, which is on over your head, say that, and I want to quote him correctly, you don’t see a lot of Republicans rallying to Mike Pence’s defense right now. That’s a direct quote from Hamby. He’s a great reporter talking about the Indiana Religious Freedom Act. What do you make of the controversy? Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, great company, had a blast at it in the Washington Post yesterday. What do you think?

BUSH: I think if you, if they actually got briefed on the law that they wouldn’t be blasting this law. I think Governor Pence has done the right thing. Florida has a law like this. Bill Clinton signed a law like this at the federal level. This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to have, to be able to be people of conscience. I just think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all. 

HEWITT: You know, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed in 1993. It’s been the law in the District of Columbia for 22 years. I do not know of a single incidence of the sort that Tim Cook was warning about occurring in the District in the last 22 years. 

BUSH: But there are incidents of people who, for example, the florist in Washington State who had a business that based on her conscience, she couldn’t be participating in a gay wedding, organizing it, even though the person, one of the people was a friend of hers. And she was taken to court, and is still in court, or the photographer in New Mexico. There are many cases where people acting on their conscience have been castigated by the government. And this law simply says the government has to have a level of burden to be able to establish that there’s been some kind of discrimination. We’re going to need this. This is really an important value for our country to, in a diverse country, where you can respect and be tolerant of people’s lifestyles, but allow for people of faith to be able to exercise theirs.

[Bolding ours]

First, Bush has not read the bill, does not know the necessary details of the cases he’s cited, and most importantly, does not understand the context of any of this. It’s like he’s Rip Van Winkle and just woke up to this national story that’s based in two decades of events that he’s never observed first hand.

Second, if he had read Indiana’s RFRA, and the federal RFRA, he would immediately recognize how vastly different they are.

Finally, Jeb Bush thinks that once people know the facts they’ll come to support this law.

Really? 

Does the former Florida governor think people haven’t read the bill, or can’t think for themselves?

The condescension is subtle, but staggering.

 

Related:

Watch: Top Indiana GOP Lawmakers Throw Gov. Mike Pence Under The Bus

Exclusive: Activist Buys Domains Of Indiana Lawmakers Who Passed Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

How’s This For Proof Mike Pence Is Lying When He Says His Anti-Gay Bill Isn’t About Discrimination?

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
Transcript via Hugh Hewitt

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Trump’s Latest Racist Lie: ‘If You’re White You Don’t Get Therapeutics’

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Former President Donald Trump spoke at rally with Arizona Republicans on Saturday, where he made false and racially inflammatory comments claiming that white people are being denied access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. At the event, which was sponsored by Trump’s Save America PAC, he falsely charged “the left” with “discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating, white people to determine who lives and who dies,” adding, “If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white, you don’t get therapeutics.”

Trump’s wildly irresponsible charge was tailor-made to promote racial resentment and stoke the kind of anger and grievance that is fomented by white nationalists and has led to violence and mass murder. But it didn’t seem to bother his fans, including Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who tweeted his praise for Trump’s “epic speech,” adding, “This is how you win big in November.”

Indeed, Trump was in Florence, Arizona, “drumming up support for Arizona Republicans running for office,” reported the local Fox affiliate. His hour-and-a-half speech also included his standard lies about the 2020 presidential election nationally and in Arizona specifically and about the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection.

Among the Arizona politicians who spoke at the rally were Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents the area where the event was held, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Both of them are associated with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Right Wing Watch has documented multiple recent examples of Fuentes using his streaming show to spout blatant racism,  most recently to defend his use of the N-word.

In December, Rogers bragged about having been called “based” by Fuentes, describing it as “like knighthood.” At Saturday’s rally, she insisted that Trump won and is the “true president.” Rogers, who describes herself as a member of the Oath Keepers, was one of several rally speakers who sounded Christian nationalist themes. She ended her remarks with “Jesus is King!”—a declaration reminiscent of the chants of “Christ is King!” that could be heard repeatedly at Fuentes’s America First conference last year.

Gosar gave the QAnon adherents in attendance reason to cheer when he asked, “Do you feel the storm building?” and encouraged rally attendees to keep “building on this storm.” Central to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory is belief in “the Storm,” a day of reckoning when high-ranking Democratic officials and others would be rounded up and arrested for their alleged crimes.

Other officials and candidates who addressed the crowd included Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, former Trump administration official Richard Grenell, state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, state Senate candidate Anthony Kern, Trump-endorsed secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, and Trump-endorsed candidate for governor Kari Lake.

Their speeches collectively document the extent to which Trump has corrupted the Republican Party, with speakers repeating Trump’s lies about the election, calling on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 presidential election results, and denouncing Dr. Anthony Fauci (eliciting chants of “Lock him up!”). Biggs denounced the “fascistic Biden regime” and promoted the right-wing lie that the Biden administration is investigating parents simply for showing up at school board meetings.

Also speaking at the Florence event was Arizona’s Trumpist GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward, who claimed that there was cheating back in 2016 but that “we deplorables, we people who love this country, overwhelmed their cheating algorithm, and we’ve got to do it again in 2022, 2024, and beyond.” She said Arizona’s “audit” is still ongoing and that she hopes that “we’re gonna decertify 2020.”

in recognition that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, “about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans,” the guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease.

It is not clear that anyone in Trump’s Republican Party—which has made a bogeyman out of critical race theory and stokes white grievance as a power-building strategy—takes issue with the former president lying about white people being “denigrated” and denied access to COVID-19 care. That false claim was apparently in response to media reports about a December memo from the New York Department of Health. In recognition of the fact that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans, the department’s guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease. The guidelines do not disqualify white patients from receiving any treatments.

Some right-wing media responded to the guidelines with characteristic truthfulness and nuance; for example, writer Karol Markowicz tweeted, “white people need not apply.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished by permission.

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‘Sinema Is Hurting All Democrats’: Former Top Democratic Aide Reveals Dems Could Lose Senate Over Her Filibuster Failure

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A well-known former top Democratic aide is warning that U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s refusal to support changes to the filibuster could help hand control of the Senate to Republicans in the November election.

Adam Jentleson, who served as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is an expert on the Senate, says the Arizona Democrat is “hurting all Democrats.”

He points to this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju: “GOP planning to use Sinema against Mark Kelly.” Kelly is the freshman Democratic Senator, also from Arizona who serves with Sinema. His seat is a prime target for Republicans.

Raju quotes a top Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, who says: “I think there’s going to be a big contrast in Arizona where one senator said not withstanding her support for the legislation she believes it’s important … to have bipartisanship and one senator that doesn’t.”

Sinema and Cornyn in June (photo above) toured U.S. Customs and Border Protection migrant facilities in her home state of Arizona, as she held a press conference praising the filibuster.

Jentleson, who literally wrote the book on the filibuster, explains:

Up to nine Democratic groups and PACs, NARAL being the latest, have indicated they will pull support and funding from Sen. Sinema if she refuses to support necessary changes to the Jim Crow era filibuster.

 

 

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Utah’s Top GOP Lawmaker Tested Positive for COVID Twice Just Hours Before ‘Conducting Business as Normal’ – With No Mask

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Utah’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing right wing Republican Senate President opened the chamber’s 2022 session Tuesday by announcing he had just tested positive for COVID – twice. He then “joked,” saying he was actually negative.

But in fact Senator J. Stuart Adams had indeed tested positive for COVID, twice, just hours before heading off to work and “conducting business as normal,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Sen. Adams had been symptomatic last Wednesday and tested positive the following day.

Senate deputy chief of staff Aundrea Peterson falsely “said the senator has followed the CDC guidelines, has not had a fever since Saturday, and his symptoms had subsided.”

CDC guidelines make clear anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days or, if symptoms are declining, they must wear a mask around others.

“Adams was maskless when he opened the session Tuesday, including when he greeted Elder Gerrit W. Gong, one of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who offered an opening prayer,” the Tribune notes. “Adams wore a mask when he met with news media later in the day but was unmasked again when the Senate resumed business in the afternoon.”

Mother Jones reported that in April of 2020 Utah’s “legislature met in special session and set aside $6 million for the state to purchase and stockpile medications. Turns out a suburban pharmacist with connections to Senate President Stuart Adams had stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, the scientifically questionable treatment championed by President Trump.”

As it turns out, “the state had already purchased $800,000 worth of the drug from this pharmacy, Meds in Motion, at vastly inflated prices.”

Laster on Tuesday, the Senate voted to void local mask mandates.

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