Italyâ€™s Lower House of Parliament passes a motion on civil unions on the heels of Irelandâ€™s marriage equality vote.
When Ireland passedÂ its same-sex marriage referendumÂ last month, they did so with a whopping 62 percent â€œYesâ€ vote, and became the thirteenthÂ European Union country to recognize marriage equality. All eyes quickly turned to socially conservative Italy as the politicians in that country put the legal recognition of same-sex relationships on the fast track.
“What joy,” Roberto Speranza, leader of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party, said in response to Irelandâ€™s vote. “Now it is Italy’s turn.”
The Telegraph also quoted Italian Democratic Senator Andrea Marcucci’s support for passing a civil union law. “The moment has arrived,â€ he said, â€œfinally, to approve this before the summer’s end.” Well, it looks like Italy is right on track to do just that.
On Wednesday the Lower House of Italyâ€™s Parliament passed a motion on gay civil unions. Many similar measures have been presented and rejected in the past, but Wednesdayâ€™s vote marks the first time a same-sex union motion was passed in the Lower House.
According to ANSA, the motion commits the government “to promote the adoption of a law on civil unions, particularly with regard to the condition of the people of same sex,” and to ”ensure equal treatment throughout the nation.”
The Catholic Church has historically been against same-sex unions, and according to the Pew Research Center, 83 percent of the countryâ€™s population identify as Catholic. Pope Francis has been seen as a liberal leader though, and has shown signs of being less aggressive towards the LGBT community. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
While the Pope is still against same-sex marriage, he seems to be open to recognizing same-sex relationships in some form. The Huffington Post quotes him as saying, “matrimony is between a man and a woman,” but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” The Pope has yet to release a statement on the civil union measure.
Yesterday, Greece also introduced a bill that would extend insurance, taxation, and inheritance rights to gay couples. That countryâ€™s bill will be voted on in July and is expected to pass without difficulty.Â
Editor’s note: The title of this article has been updated to read “motion,” instead of “bill.”Â
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House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs
As House Republicans move closer to shutting down the federal government at midnight on Friday the details of their spending cut demands are becoming clearer, including their largest single target: the U.S. Department of Education, and specifically, a program that funds schools for low-income children.
As Semafor’s Jordan Weissmann explains, “Republican hardliners are pushing the government toward a shutdown so that they can force frontline members of their party to take a symbolic vote in favor of cutting federal funding for low-income public schools by 80%.”
Calling Tuesday “a big test for House Republicans,” The Washington Post reports the House “will vote on a procedural motion — a rule — to advance four of the 11 remaining individual spending bills the House hasn’t passed. If the vote fails, the chamber’s Republicans will seem even more unable to govern.”
“The vote is a last-minute play to appease a small group of hard-line Republicans and demonstrate that the party is working to enact deep, year-long spending cuts — but it will do nothing to prevent a government shutdown on Sunday,” The Post warns. “The only viable way to prevent a shutdown — which now seems likely — is to pass a continuing resolution, or CR.”
House Republicans want to cut spending “by $58 billion more than the amount to which President Biden and McCarthy agreed in May when they struck a deal to raise the debt limit, according to an analysis by Bobby Kogan and Jean Ross of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.”
About one-quarter of that $58 billion, if Republicans get their way, would come from the Dept. of Education, which has long been a target of the GOP. Many Republicans in recent years have called to get rid of the agency entirely.
“Removing the agency that protects students’ civil rights and distributes federal education funds has received an increasing amount of Republican support in recent years, including from Donald Trump,” The American Independent reported in March, when 161 House Republicans voted in support of eliminating the Department of Education.
Now, House Republicans want to cut “a single program that provides funding for low-income schools, known as Title I education grants,” The Post adds, gutting it “by nearly 80 percent, saving $14.7 billion.”
“Democrats have warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts could cost up to 224,000 teachers their jobs, and teachers unions have mobilized to lobby against them,” The Post notes.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona posted a map detailing how many teachers could lose their jobs under House Republicans’ proposal.
Extreme House Republicans are threatening to shut down the government unless they can cut education programs that support 26 million students by 80%.
Here’s what this means for your state ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zhfmYPPYqa
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) September 22, 2023
See the Secretary’s post above or at this link.
Menendez Quickly Losing Support as Flood of Democratic Senators Call on Him to Resign ‘For the Good of Our Country’
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Senator Booker, the latest Democrat to call on Sen. Melendez to resign, and to update the tally.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is losing support as more of his Senate Democratic colleagues formally call on him to resign after he was indicted again, this time on federal bribery charges that included allegations of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold bars.
As of Tuesday morning, at least ten Democratic U.S. Senators have now called on the twice-indicted senior Democratic Senator from New Jersey to resign, as they cite the gravity of the charges against him.
U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) was the first to call on Menendez to resign, on Monday. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) followed later that day.
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Tester (D-MT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) all called on Sen. Menendez to resign. by 11 AM, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also called for him to resign.
Minutes later, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Senator Menendez’s Democratic New Jersey colleague, also called for him to resign. The New York Times reported Sen. Booker’s decision “to condemn Senator Robert Menendez underscores the deepening crisis Mr. Menendez faces after his indictment.”
According to the Dept. of Justice, Sen. Menendez, along with his wife Nadine Menendez, not only are alleged to have received bribes, he is charged with doing so in a scheme “to use his official position to protect and enrich” those he allegedly accepted funds from, and “to benefit the Government of Egypt.”
“Among other things,” the DOJ alleged, Senator Menendez “agreed and sought to pressure a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect a business monopoly granted to” a New Jersey businessman “by Egypt, disrupt a criminal case undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to associates of” another New Jersey businessman, “and disrupt a federal criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey against” a third New Jersey businessman.
Former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman on Sunday called Sen. Menendez “a walking national security threat.”
“Imagine US official charged with selling US secrets, embassy security, US defense policy – and showing up for work the next day,” he added.
“From a purely legal perspective, Menendez appears to be a dead man walking,” Goodman continued. “The kind of forensic and documentary evidence in the Indictment is exceptionally strong for these types of cases. It looks inevitable that he will be going to prison.”
Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’
During a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Donald Trump appeared to confuse former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush with his brother, former President George W. Bush, while bragging to supporters how he beat him.
Jeb Bush, who was largely considered to be the default Republican Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election when he launched his campaign, dropped out in February of 2016 after the South Carolina primary.
“When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” Trump said, before claiming he was “up by about 50 points” over Bush. “They thought Bush because Bush was supposedly a military person.”
“You know what he was…He got us into the Middle East,” Trump claimed, wrongly. “How did that work out?”
“But they also thought that Bush might win. Jeb. Remember Jeb? He used the word ‘Jeb,’ he didn’t use the word ‘Bush,’ I said, ‘You mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ and then they immediately started using the name Bush,” Trump claimed.
The ex-president went on to continue denigrating Jeb Bush, accusing him of bringing his mother to campaign with him.
“Remember,” Trump said, “he brought his mother, his wonderful mother who’s 94 years old and it was pouring and they’re wheeling her around and it’s raining and horrible. I said, ‘Who would do that your mother, 94 years old. How desperate are you to win?”
Media Matters’ Craig Harrington, commenting on Trump’s latest gaffe, observed: “In the past two weeks, Donald Trump has:
– Warned that Joe Biden might start ‘World War 2’
– Confused his 2016 election opponent (Hillary Clinton) with former President Barack Obama
– Confused his 2016 primary opponent (Jeb Bush) with former President George W. Bush.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Trump: When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win… They thought Bush because he was supposedly a military person. He got us into the Middle East pic.twitter.com/lT8OVvg76H
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 25, 2023
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