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



In a hastily-called press conference Monday morning, Indiana’s two top GOP lawmakers tried to do damage control, throwing Governor Mike Pence under the bus.

Apologies – video starts immediately.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (image, top) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long hosted a press conference this morning to try to control some of the damage done by Governor Mike Pence Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week,” and by their anti-gay “religious freedom” bill the governor signed last week.

Pence of course gave a cringe-worthy interview Sunday, refusing to answer six or eight questions about discrimination, but going so far as to say preventing discrimination against LGBT people was not on his “agenda.”

Republicans Bosma and Long, both of whom have worked for years to keep LGBT people as second class citizens, falsely characterized Indiana’s RFRA as being one of many laws in 30 states that are all extremely similar to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In fact, the Indiana law is nothing like the federal law – it is the most wide-sweeping law of its kind –  and very dissimilar to many state RFRAs.

The two GOP lawmakers are refusing Democratic state lawmakers’ calls to pass an LGBT non-discrimination law, but – in closely-parsed statements – acknowledged they were considering passing another bill that would clarify that their RFRA was not created with the intent to discriminate.

“To the extent that we need to clarify through legislative action that this law does not and will not be allowed to discriminate against anyone, we will do just that,” Long said.

Bosma added, “To the extent that might be the effect of the bill, we are prepared to encourage our legislative colleagues to take immediate action.”

LISTEN: Indiana Restaurant Owner Says He Discriminates Against Gays, Glad The Law Supports Him Now

Ironically, GOP lawmakers had the opportunity to do just that when they were considering amendments to the bill, but refused to include any that would have stated the bill’s intent was not to allow or support anti-LGBT discrimination.

In what might be a stunning acknowledgement, House Speaker Bosma admitted he has “been listening to legal experts, some of whom support gay marriage some of whom don’t, who have called for this change.”

Those legal experts are likely the mostly anti-gay activists who signed on to a letter of legal advice advocating for the RFRA law to begin with. Those “experts” include National Organization For Marriage co-founder Robert P. George, anti-gay activist Douglas Laycock, and Robin Fretwell Wilson, co-author of the divisive Utah non-discrimination and religious protection laws.

Bosma also talked about the backlash over the past few days, saying it was the result of “miscommunication and misinterpretation by both opponents and proponents.” 

“There was a mantra from opponents that it allowed denying service, and then, unfortunately, some proponents concurred,” Bosma said.

The two lawmakers were only too happy to use the Governor’s poor performance as a political shield, and said they were forced to hold the press conference as a result of Pence’s poor performance Sunday.

The Indy Star reports that during today’s presser, “Bosma said ‘the fact that [Gov. Pence] did not answer questions clearly’ was part of the reason for Monday’s news conference. “I think it raised the spectre that (discrimination) was the effect or the intent, and that’s why we’re standing here today,” he added.

One interesting note: Governor Pence, Speaker Bosma, and Senator Long all used almost identical language and talking points in their media appearances yesterday and today as Family Research Council spokesperson Peter Sprigg did this morning on CNN.

Why is that?

Here’s the full 29-minute press conference, should you care to watch the lawmakers’ obfuscation, mischaracterizations, and falsifications:


Image: Screenshot via The Indy Channel


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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre



On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.

CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.

“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.

“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.

“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.

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‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’



Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”

Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.

“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theoryrepeatedly, and used the term “invasionrepeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Blames ‘Video Game Industry’ for El Paso White Supremacist Terrorism: ‘We’ve Always Had Guns’

“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.

Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..



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7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies



Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.

Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.

Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.

“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”

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