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University Of Alabama Loses $15 Million Donation Over State’s Refusal To Support Same-Sex Marriage

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A same-sex couple with a record of giving to the University Of Alabama have pulled plans to donate their estate to their alma mater.

Elliott Mitchell and Clark West met at the University Of Alabama in 1972. They’ve been together ever since. Now in their 60’s, the couple, who married in Hawaii in 2013, live in Sarasota, Florida but retain their love for their alma mater. That devotion included a $1 million donation a decade ago. The couple, who made their money in real estate, have no children and decided to leave their estate, worth $15 – $18 million, to the school where they met.

But those plans changed when the couple realized that even if the Supreme Court were to rule that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage, the State of Alabama would continue to do everything it can to delay or even refuse to support those rights.

“They are going to contend every single right that inherently comes with that decision of the Supreme Court,” Mitchell, a real estate developer, told AL.com. “If they can find a sufficient reason to delay those benefits, they’re going to do it.”

“We just have to assume that any legal arrangement or any financial arrangement would not be honored in Alabama,” Mitchell added.

“He and I are just like everybody else,” West, a licensed mental health counselor, says.

The couple point to the story of Paul Hard, an Alabama man whose husband, David Fancher, was tragically killed in a car accident months after they married out of state. Hard had to sue to have his name listed on his husband’s death certificate, and has had to fight his mother-in-law in court over his rightful share of his husband’s estate.

“After 42 years together, we would not be allowed to visit each other on our death bed,” Mitchell said.

Explaining their decision to not donate their estate, the couple wrote a two-page letter to University Of Alabama President Judy Bonner and the Board of Trustees, saying they “realize there is no support in the legislature or initiatives at the University to create a dialogue” about same-sex marriage. “Instead, there is a very strong and continued effort by the state and the majority of its citizens to exclude this group in every way possible.”

The response they received?

None.

The University did issue a statement when contacted by AL.com, describing the couple as “loyal members of the UA family.”

 

Image by David Smith via Flickr an a CC license
Hat Tip: The Advocate

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DEEP STATE HYSTERIA

Undercover Operatives Waged Sting Operation to Discredit ‘Deep State’ Officials on Trump’s Enemies List: NYT

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Undercover operatives from right wing Project Veritas worked with a former British spy trained by Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince to wage a smear and sting operation to discredit “deep state” federal government officials on President Donald Trump’s enemies list while he was in office, including the National Security Advisor and FBI agents.

The New York Times broke the bombshell story, reporting that the “campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.”

“The campaign,” the Times reports, “shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump’s allies had about a shadowy ‘deep state’ trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president.”

“Central to the effort, according to interviews, was Richard Seddon, a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets. He ran field operations for Project Veritas until mid-2018.”

Last year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Seddon ran an expansive effort to gain access to the unions and campaigns and led a hiring effort that nearly tripled the number of the group’s operatives, according to interviews and deposition testimony. He trained operatives at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming.

The Times’ extensive reporting, which runs about 2700 words, does not reveal who initiated or who bankrolled the campaign.

The Times reports the operation was run out of a house that rented for $10,000 a month, and that it is not known if President Trump or his closest advisors, including family members, were aware of the operation or had anything to do with it.

“The operation against Mr. McMaster was hatched not long after an article appeared in BuzzFeed News about a private dinner in 2017. Exactly what happened during the dinner is in dispute, but the article said that Mr. McMaster had disparaged Mr. Trump by calling him an ‘idiot’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.'”

Those allegations were never proven, although they echo what some others inside the administration, like first Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had allegedly stated.

In the end, McMaster resigned amid far right-wing attacks, but no recordings of him calling Trump an “idiot.”

Read the entire New York Times investigation here.

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Newsmax Host Off Air After Online Outrage Over Antisemitic Remarks

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Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield will be off the air for the remainder of the week after massive outrage over his antisemitic remarks Wednesday night. Stinchfield claimed that American Jews’ “home country” is actually Israel, not the U.S., in a rant attacking President Joe Biden.

Eric Bolling, the former Fox News host who has seen his own share of controversy, in a tweet announced he will be covering for Stinchfield, which The Wrap reported.

“If you are Jewish and you are a Democrat and you are living in America today, how do you support an administration that turns its back on your home country?” Stinchfield had said, as Media Matters reported.

Outrage, especially from Americans who also identify as Jewish, was massive, as NCRM documented.

In March Stinchfield came under attack after claiming there was a “strong case” that President Joe Biden is “not really a Catholic.”

 

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CRIME

Active Duty US Marine Corps Officer Arrested for Alleged Role in January 6 Insurrection: DOJ

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has announced the arrest of a 40-year old active duty U.S. Marine, a commissioned officer stationed at Quantico, for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.

Citing court documents and security camera footage, DOJ in a statement says Major Christopher Warnagiris “violently entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris positioned himself in the corner of the doorway, using his body to keep the door open and pull others inside. When a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage captured shortly after 2:25 p.m.”

Warnagiris “is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Warnagiris will make his initial court appearance today at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern District of Virginia,” the DOJ said.

HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly adds:

On Wednesday several Republican members of Congress stated: “There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie,” the insurrectionists were merely “peaceful protestors,” and the attack on the U.S. Capitol looked like “a normal tourist visit.”

 

Image: DOJ

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