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White House: Indiana Anti-Gay Law Not ‘A Step In The Direction Of Equality For All Americans’

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The White House has come out sharply criticizing the signing of Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today expressed criticism and concern over the signing of a discriminatory and divisive anti-gay law by Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence.

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, now that it is law, allows anyone to discriminate against anyone else by merely citing what they claim to be their sincerely held chosen religious beliefs. The LGBT community is believed to be the target of the law, but it allows and enables discrimination against anyone, including minorities and women.

“I have seen that there are a number of private businesses and nonprofit organizations that have said that the signing of this law prompts them to reconsider doing business in the state of Indiana,” Earnest said, as first reported today by Justin Snow at MetroWeekly. “All those business and some of those who are considering having conventions in Indiana have raised concerns about whether all of their employees can count on being treated fairly in Indiana.”

Among those Earnest was referring to are $4 billion software firm Salesforce, $50 million annual gaming convention Gen Con, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., Yelp, Hillary Clinton, George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s own tourism board, among many others.

“I think that is a testament to the kind of reaction I think a lot of people all across the country had, which is that the signing of the bill doesn’t seem like it’s a step in the direction of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans,” Earnest continued. “Again, that’s not just the view of the administration, I know that’s the view of the Republican mayor of Indianapolis and a whole host of nonprofit and private sector companies who have legitimate concerns about the impact of this legislation.”

 

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CRIME

Trump DOJ Investigation Statement Contains Two Key Revelations: Former FBI Official

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Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok explained two key revelations in an exclusive CNN interview with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“Major news this morning in a story that CNN broke overnight,” CNN’s John Berman reported. “For the first time, the Department of Justice is publicly acknowledging that it is looking into a specific aspect of the plot from high-level Donald Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election.”

“We learned that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake electoral college certifications from 2020 that falsely declared former President Trump the winner of seven states, states that he lost,” he explained.

RELATED: DOJ confirms probe of fake Trump electoral certificates: ‘Our prosecutors are looking’ at referrals

“The fake electoral certifications were signed by Trump allies, who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.”

For analysis, Berman and co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Strzok.

Berman noted Monacco’s “carefully chosen words.”

“How do you read it?” Berman asked.

“Well, absolutely. You know, in my experience, any time the Department of Justice or FBI makes a comment on an ongoing investigation, particularly at a high level, those words are very carefully chosen and they’re very closely scrutinized,” Strzok replied. “Certainly, when you hear them coming from the deputy attorney general herself, I have no doubt that the intention and the plan to do that was probably — went up to the attorney general and certainly the office of the attorney general.”

“And it’s important when you’re looking at a statement like that to read it very carefully and there are two things I see in there.” he explained. “One, prosecutors are looking at it. What that means to me is they are examining the allegations, they’re looking at federal law, they’re seeing what the elements of the particular crimes that might be involved are and are looking where the evidence falls and doesn’t fall.”

“And the second thing, the last point is she says she can’t comment anymore on ongoing investigations. That means exactly what it says, that means right now there are investigations — plural — that are open and ongoing within the Department of Justice about this matter,” he explained. “So that’s a very significant event and to me it indicates just how high the level of investigation is now going within DOJ.”

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

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Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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