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

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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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Silenced by Psaki: Reporter Pushing Right Wing Talking Points Can’t Answer Press Secretary’s Basic Questions About Them

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A reporter was silent after pushing right-wing talking points during the White House’s daily press briefing and being asked to explain her question. The Q&A was so disturbing one well-known political scientist weighed in on social media to declare the White House press corps an “embarrassment.”

“Just a quick question on inflation,” the unnamed reporter began as she asked her question on the administration’s plan to strengthen the social safety net and grow jobs. “Many believe that government spending is a big factor in the current inflation levels. Can you speak to concerns that spending plans that come out of Build Back Better aren’t paid for, and so could mean higher deficits and more inflation in the future.”

Psaki, a little stunned, confirmed she heard correctly: “Aren’t paid for? Build Back Better is paid for.”

The reporter was silent. As time moved on, so did Psaki.

“Entirely,” she added, definitively.

“Okay,” replied the reporter, apparently out of facts and with little understanding of what she was asking. “Can you speak to the concerns that are coming in that it’s not, actually?”

“Who are the concerns from though?” Psaki asked.

Silence again.

“Who’s saying it’s not paid for?” Psaki pressed.

More silence.

“Because there have been a range of economists saying it’s entirely paid for, and that has been a priority for the President. It has also been concluded by a number of Nobel laureates and experts from a range of economic experts on the outside that it will not contribute to inflation. So those are the global experts that we would point to, but there may be others suggesting something else, but I don’t know who those people are,” she said, allowing the reporter to offer a different response, to possibly retain her dignity.

“So if those bills do pass it will not raise taxes?” the reporter asked, which is an entirely different question.

“Well, something being entirely paid for means that part of that is the highest income Americans highest that companies would be asked to pay a little bit more. That has been part of the proposal and part of reforming the tax system to make it more fair,” Psaki explained.

“So they’re also not expected to contribute to future inflation, then?”

“The Build Back Better Bill? Again, it’s fully paid for, we would point to Nobel laureates and a range of global economists who have conveyed that it would not contribute to inflationary pressures.”

Watch:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Influential Far Right Conservatives Ballistic Over Breyer Retirement: ‘They Must Be Stopped’

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As soon as the news broke that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of the current session, right-wing activists began declaring that Breyer had been “bullied” into stepping down and therefore Republicans must do everything they can to block whomever President Joe Biden nominates to fill that seat.

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network and Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch both asserted that Breyer had been forced out of his seat on the court.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America declared that Biden must use the vacancy to unify the nation by appointing to the court a “constitutionalist” (which is conservative code for “right-wing ideologue”).

Proclaiming that the Senate is the “our last line of defense against radical leftist SCOTUS justices,” Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel used the opportunity to promote his own campaign.

Rep. Lauren Boebert proclaimed that Biden should take a hint from Breyer and “follow him out the door.”

Right-wing activist Brigitte Gabriel openly asserted that it doesn’t even matter whom Biden nominates, “they must be stopped.”

Right-wing commentator Matt Walsh demanded that the position remain vacant until following the midterm elections in November, insisting that “it would be an assault on our democracy” to confirm any nominee before then.

Taking things a step further, radical Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers called on the U.S. Senate to “filibuster, stall, delay and hold Biden’s Supreme Court pick until 2024.”

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

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Florida Dems Walk Out After DeSantis’ Surgeon General Refuses to Say if Vaccines Work

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Democrats on a Florida state Senate committee walked out of the confirmation hearing of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a far right-wing anti-science extremist after he refused to answer if vaccines are safe and effective, and why the Dept. of Health has stopped publicly posting COVID data.

Ladapo, who has been in the position for months, has ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist doctor who talks about alien DNA, demon sperm, and pushes hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure.

Asked if the COVID vaccines are effective, Ladapo refused to say “yes” or “no.” The Tallahassee Democrat reported Ladapo’s answers were “long-winded, indirect,” and that he “gave murky answers about his criticism of the Biden administration and his ability to work with the federal government, and whether he had a plan for ending the pandemic in Florida.”

“I would say that, that the, the question is a scientific one and it’s one that is answered with data. So, so, the, the question, the question is informed by data on specific outcomes and specific, specific therapies. So that’s a that’s the, that’s the scientific question.”

The Senator, polite but frustrated, pushed back: “Just a yes or no. Do vaccines work? In fighting against COVID-19? Yes or no?”

Related: DeSantis Vows to Fight FDA After COVID Treatment His Top Donor Invested in Is Found to Not Fight Omicron

“Senator,” replied Ladapo, an anti-vaxxer who opposes testing for the deadly coronavirus. “I just, I as a scientist, you know, I I, I am compelled to answer the scientific question, and I’d be happy to answer any specific scientific question that you have related to vaccines and COVID-19.”

So she tried again.

“Scientifically, does the, do the vaccines work against preventing COVID-19? Yes or no?”

“So, yes or no questions are not that easy to find in science,” Ladapo obfuscated. “So, I will I understand I think I have better clarity about your your question at this point. So what I would say is that the most commonly used vaccines in the United States, which would be the the Pfizer product and the product that was was developed by Moderna have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization.”

Later, he was asked why the state has stopped publicly releasing COVID data. He again obfuscated.

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