Gov. Bobby Jindal is using his last months in office to pave the road for his 2016 presidential run, regardless of the costs to his state.
It was a brazen act of sheer self interest, a testament to the danger of unchecked ego combined with political power.
Monday morning Governor Bobby Jindal opened this year’s session of the Louisiana state legislature with a 22-minute oratory that sounded in part more like a presidential campaign ad than aÂ speech helping a co-equal branch of government set a rational vision for the future.
Jindal focused on three issues: balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes, improving education in Louisiana by killing Common Core, and passing a sweeping anti-gay “religious freedom” bill already labeled as worse than Indiana’s.
It was that portion of the speech that smacked ofÂ sheer self interest and unchecked ego.
HB 707, the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, was introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson. But in the wake of the firestorm caused in Indiana and Arkansas by their “religious freedom” bills, lawmakers in the Pelican StateÂ have little desire to vote on or pass this anti-gay legislation.
But with an eye focused on 2016 and his White House aspirations, Jindal has latched onto this bill as a flag of religious liberty he can wave in the air, his banner of bigotry he thinks can open the door to the Oval Office.
“There is a nationwide push by the far left to weaken the First AmendmentÂ to the Constitution,” Jindal charged.
“We either believe in religious liberty or we don’t. In Louisiana, I believe we do,” he touted.Â
“Let me be crystal clear â€“ I absolutely intend to fight for the passage of this legislation,” Jindal said of HB 707, “and any other that seeks to preserve our most fundamental freedoms.”
“And here in Louisiana, as long as I’m your Governor, we will protect religious liberty and not apologize for it.”
The 43-year old Oxford graduate told the lawmakers in the chamber he wanted to “clear up some falsehoods” about the bill.
“All this bill does is provide necessary protections for individuals to prevent adverse treatment from the state based on religious beliefs regarding marriage.”
And he warned that “people, charities and family-owned businesses are at risk of being penalized by the state because they believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”
EqualityÂ Louisiana says “the bill clearly is targeting gay and transgender people by focusing on religious beliefs about marriage,” and warns that it “aims to make actions legal â€” such as denying the same sex spouse of an employee access to life-saving benefits such as health insurance.”Â
Jindal sailed on, denying the Marriage and Conscience Act has anyÂ impact on gay people at all, but rather, saying it protects Christians.
“In the United States, a state should not be able to take adverse action against an individual for holding a sincerely held religious view regarding marriage. That would be true discrimination,” Jindal concluded.
Unlike his tax and education remarks, Jindal’s preaching about the “religious liberty” bill received not a single clap, not one lawmaker applauding.
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Former Trump CFO Nearing ‘Unexpectedly Favorable’ Plea Deal With Manhattan DA: NYT
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who worked for the Trump family since 1970, is nearing a plea deal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his case, according to The New York Times. Charges include conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.
Weisselberg, who is 75, could walk away with a minor prison sentence of just five months, the Times reports, calling it “an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.”
The plea deal would not include any cooperation on broader issues related to Donald Trump. Legal experts have said Weisselberg knows nearly everything that the Trump Organization has done.
“His plea deal, if finalized, would bring prosecutors no closer to indicting the former president but would nonetheless brand one of his most trusted lieutenants a felon.”
Earlier this year Manhattan D.A. Bragg came under intense criticism after he seemingly halted his office’s longtime investigation into Donald Trump.
One of the prosecutors who worked 0n the Trump case but quit when Bragg ended it called it a “grave failure of justice,” and said Trump was “guilty of numerous felonies.”
“Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation,” Law & Crime reported. “These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment.”
In 2018 The New Yorker reported “Allen Weisselberg, the firm’s longtime chief financial officer, is the center, the person in the company who knows more than anyone.”
Does Trump Still Have Classified Docs? DOJ May Think So After Asking Judge to Keep Affidavit Sealed Former Fed Says
After the National Archives had to travel to Mar-a-Lago earlier this year to take back 15 cartons of documents and other items from the Trump White House, and even after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home last week, could it possible the Dept. of Justice thinks the former president is still holding onto classified documents?
One former federal prosecutor says that one of two distinct possibilities, after DOJ asked a federal judge on Monday to not unseal the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.
“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” the Dept. of Justice’s filing states, ABC News reports. “In a footnote, department officials write that they ‘carefully considered’ whether they could release the affidavit with redactions, but the redactions necessary to ‘mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.'”
“Interesting tidbit,” writes The New York Times’ Alan Feuer. “Prosecutors acknowledge they’ve been interviewing witnesses and say the release of the warrant application could ‘chill future cooperation by witnesses as ‘investigation progresses.'”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotto says the Dept. of Justice may think Trump still has more classified documents – or there are charges coming in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Mariotto writes: “This suggests DOJ is continuing its investigation, which means one of two things: 1) DOJ *still* isn’t convinced they have all of the classified material Trump took when he left office. 2) They have an ongoing criminal investigation of this matter that could result in charges.”
“That’s potentially very important news,” Mariotto adds. “Many national security pros thought that the main (if not only) purpose of the search warrant was to secure sensitive material, not to build potential criminal charges.”
“The government does not object to unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant whose unsealing would not jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation, subject to minor redactions to protect government personnel.”
Man Taken Into Custody and Charged After Allegedly Making Death Threats Against FBI Following Mar-a-Lago Raid
Federal agents have taken a Pennsylvania man into custody after he allegedly made death threats against the FBI on the far right wing social media platform Gab, following last week’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Trump supporters have been increasing their level of threats of violence and civil war against the left and the FBI since last Monday when federal agents confiscated 20 cartons worth of items that had been removed from the White House, including highly classified documents.
“Adam Bies was charged with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal law enforcement official after the social media exploitation team in the FBI’s National Threat Operations Section referred a tip about a Gab post by the user ‘BlankFocus,'” NBC News reports. “The user, according to a FBI affidavit, posted that employees of the bureau deserved to die.”
Bies allegedly wrote on Gab, “I’m ready for the inevitable. Once you accept reality for what it is instead of what you want or to be, you can move on with your life and get prepared for the inevitable outcome. I already know I’m going to die at the hands of these piece of shit child molesting law enforcement scumbags.”
According to authorities Bies also wrote his “only goal is to kill more of them before I drop. I will not spend one second of my life in their custody.”
“Records show that Bies was taken into custody,” NBC News adds.
The New York Times’ Alan Feuer posted screenshots of a few of Bies’ alleged threats.
“I am going to f**cking slaughter you,” one of the threats reads. “I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die,” says another.
In one of his posts on Gab he appears to be addressing the far right platform’s Christian nationalist and antisemitic founder, Andrew Torba.
Just in: Prosecutors charge a PA man w/multiple online threats against the FBI for posting violent messages on Gab in the days after agents searched Mar-a-Lago.
“I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die.”
“I am going to f**cking slaughter you.” pic.twitter.com/KY6EY0BQiQ
— Alan Feuer (@alanfeuer) August 15, 2022
Torba, who has been called a consultant to far right Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, has declared America is a “Christian nation,” Christians are “taking back” America from Jewish people, he has said, and bragged how they have “Christian nationalists” who are current members of Congress, along with a multitude of Christian nationalists who are running for elected office at the local, state, and national levels.
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