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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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STEALING THE DEMOCRACY

‘He Is Planning to Do This’: CNBC Founder Says Trump Has Specific Plan to Stay in Office No Matter What Voters Decide

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Donald Trump at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the founder of CNBC walked viewers through a scenario where Donald Trump would attempt to remain president even if he is rejected by the voters in November.

Speaking with hosts, Tom Rogers along with co-author former Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO) explained the central point of their piece in Newsweek that proposes: “How Trump Could Lose the Election– and Still Remain President.”

According to Rogers, who began by saying his scenario was “not farfetched” he believes Trump has no chance of winning the election and will do anything to remain in office.

“This is how it happens, Biden wins,” he began. “I don’t just mean the popular vote, he wins the key swing states, he wins the electoral college. President Trump says there’s been Chinese interference in the election. He’s been talking about Biden’s soft on China — China wanted Biden to win so he says a national emergency; the Chinese have intervened in the election.”

“Why do I think that’s real?” he continued. “Just ten days ago he tweeted, he actually tweeted, ‘rigged 2020 election,’ millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries it will be the scandal of our times. so he’s laying the groundwork for this. So he does an investigation and [Attorney General Bill] Barr backs this up with all kinds of legal opinions about emergency powers that the president has.”

“Then what happens is it’s all geared towards December 14th. Why December 14th? Well, that’s the deadline when the electors of the states have to be chosen,” he elaborated. “Why is that key? Because that’s what the Supreme Court used in Bush v. Gore to cut off the Florida counting. They keep this national emergency investigation going through December 14th. Biden, of course, challenges this in the courts and says, ‘hey, we won these states, I want the electors that favored me named. The Supreme Court doesn’t throw the election to the Republicans as it did in 2000, instead it says, ‘look, there’s a deadline here.’ If they can’t be certified in these states because of this investigation going on, there’s a constitutional process for this.”

“What’s the constitutional process? It goes to the House of Representatives,” Rogers continued. “Everybody says, ‘that’s good. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats control the House. No. when a presidential election is thrown into the House of Representatives under the Constitution, it’s state-by-state vote. Each state gets one vote based on the number of Republicans and Democrats in that delegation. Today Republicans control the House on that kind of vote it 26-23 with on delegation, Pennsylvania split. Even if Pennsylvania was to elect a Democratic delegation, come this new election because it’s the new Congress that votes here, it would be 26 to 24 Republicans and Trump retains the presidency.”

He then concluded, “It is not so farfetched — he [Trump] is planning to do this.”

Watch below:

 

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News

Re-Election Campaign Spokesperson Pushes Mt. Rushmore Meme That Adds Trump to Monument of Famous Four Presidents

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Would adding President Donald Trump to the famous Mt. Rushmore monument to four of  America’s greatest president’s make it better?

A spokesperson and Trump re-election campaign “Rapid Response” official seems to think so.

Just hours before President Trump is set to travel to South Dakota’s famous 60-foot tall 80-year old carving, Abigail Marone posted a widely-circulated meme of the 45th President’s image, not only added to Mt. Rushmore, but in front of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.

Washington Post national political reporter Michael Scherer says “Democrats think the continued ego gratification of Trump is one of the best things they have going for them.”

The President traveling to South Dakota for a fireworks show he forced to have happen despite experts warning about the pollution of local drinking water and possible wildfires it could cause is one more addition to the long list of Trump ego gratification items.

Earlier: Right Now Trump Is at His Virginia Golf Club – It’s His 365th Day at One of His Properties Since Becoming President

Meanwhile, this Twitter user offered up an appropriate (fact check: true) response.

 

Image via Wikimedia

 

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OPINION

Right Now Trump Is at His Virginia Golf Club – It’s His 365th Day at One of His Properties Since Becoming President

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Friday, July 3, 2020.

9:52 AM ET.

“The President’s motorcade arrived at Trump National Golf Club, in Sterling, VA,” the White House press pool reports.

To greet him were “a woman near the entrance holding a ‘Trump is a Traitor’ sign and separately a man giving the motorcade a thumbs up.”

While today is a federal holiday to observe Independence Day, many Americans are working, and many Americans – 11% as of Thursday’s report – would like to be but are unemployed.

Today marks the President’s 365th day at a Trump-owned property since he was sworn in on January 20, 2017. It’s also his 273rd day at one of his golf resorts, according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

More than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports “the U.S. labor market is operating with about 15 million fewer jobs than in February.”

After the golf outing, which is not listed on the official White House schedule, President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump will leave the White House at 4:45 PM ET for what will essentially be a 12-hour round trip journey to preside over 1 hour and 50 minutes of fireworks at South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore.

Across the country 2.8 million people have been infected with coronavirus, 131,544 people have died. America ranks 27th in per capita testing. The U.S. also ranks first in total cases and total deaths (number 1 is worst,) and ninth in per capita deaths (number 1 is worst.)

One former Mt. Rushmore official, citing risk of wildfire – which is why fireworks have been halted in recent years, until today at the President’s insistence – called holding the event “insane.”

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