Jeb Bush is wading into the wedding flowers and cakes wars, trying to appease all, and failing.
Back in April, during the middle of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s self-created implosion over a discriminatory “religious freedom” law designed to marginalize LGBT people, Jeb Bush headed to California to try to woo high-value Silicon Valley donors. It didn’t end well, after Bush offered support for Pence’s anti-gay discrimination.
Salon’s Joan Walsh had written it was “all such bad timing â€“ as he headed to Silicon Valley to raise megabucks for his Right to Rise PAC. Bay Area businesses like Twitter, Yelp and Salesforce, plus valley titan Apple, had all blasted the law.”
Campaigning in San Francisco on Thursday, Jeb Bush’s timing also could not have been worse.
The Republican presidential candidate, second now to Donald Trump, made a big media deal of stepping into an Uber car Thursday morning, which turned out to be the same day a judge ruled Uber should be forced to pay the State of California $7.3 million for its failure to follow state regulations.
â€” Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 16, 2015
Riding “shotgun,” Bush pulled up to a San Francisco startup, Thumbtack, where he shared his views on the third rail of politics â€“ notÂ “entitlements,” although he spoke to those too â€“ but whether or not a Christian florist should have to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding, along with other wage discrimination and LGBT civil rights issues.
TIME reports that a ThumbtackÂ employee “who identified himself to Bush as being gay asked about Bushâ€™s position on legislation to ban discrimination of LGBT Americans. ‘I donâ€™t think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,’ he replied.”
â€” Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 17, 2015
â€œThe fact that there wasnâ€™t a law doesnâ€™t necessarily mean you would have been discriminated against,â€ Bush told the gay employee. Small comfort to the millions of LGBT Americans who have been discriminated against, no doubt, and ignoring the fact that in more than half the states across the nation, LGBT employees have had access to no legal protections and have been fired just for being LGBT.
Bush “added that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, the country must work to carefully balance the rights of those seeking to marry and the religious beliefs of those who oppose those unions.”
Citing the frequently-used example by religious freedom advocates, Bush said that in the case of a florist approached by a gay couple, â€œyou should be obligated to sell them flowers, doing otherwise would be discriminatory.â€ But he said that the objecting florist should not be required to participate in the wedding, a fine line that he hopes will appeal to all sides of the debate.
In other words, a florist, Bush believes, cannot discriminate against gay people for being gay, but they can if the very same gay people are getting married.Â
CBS News quoted Bush’s comment a bit more fully:
“If you’re a florist and you have that deeply felt belief, you should if a gay couple comes in and says I want to buy flowers you should be obligated to sell them flowers. Doing otherwise would be discrimination. But if that couple asks you to participate in the wedding, and you said, based on my conscience I shouldn’t or I won’t, you should not be fined, you should not have to close your business down.”
The religious right over the past year or more has been using the phrase “participate in” to include even the act of, say, merely arranging flowers or baking a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple.
And Bush’s words are wholly consistentÂ with what he told Pat Robertson’s CBN News in May, telling reporter David Brody that he supports the concept that wedding-related vendorsÂ â€“ bakers, florists, photographersÂ â€“ should be given the legal right to discriminate against same-sex couples getting married, based on their professed religious or moral beliefs.
Brody asked the former Florida governor if he is “OK” if wedding vendorsÂ donâ€™t provide their services to same-sex couples.
â€œYes, absolutely if itâ€™s based on a religious belief,” Bush had responded.
TIME goes on to note that when the gay employee “followed up to ask specifically whether he would support anti-discrimination laws for LGBT Americans for their housing and employmentâ€”the next target for gay rights marriage advocatesâ€”Bush said he would at the state level.”
â€œI think this should be done state-by-state, I totally agree with that,â€ Bush said.
Again, timing is everything.
Later in the day yesterday, the EEOC released an historic and groundbreaking ruling, stating that gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees are covered by and included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it comes to employment discrimination. In other words, at the federal level, nationally, not “state-by-state,” as Bush prefers.
Bush also agreed that wages should be equal between men and women, but insisted “there are laws to make it so, and they should be enforced,” not added to.
As for “entitlements,” what many Americans call government programs like Social Security and Medicare, CNN’sBush had to say:
Bush at Thumbtack: entitlements are an “unsustainable enterprise,” adds “it will overwhelm the next generation” pic.twitter.com/f2FdykmKUv
â€” Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) July 16, 2015
So how did Bush fare at the six-year old San Francisco startup?
International Business Times reports that the “gay employee” who asked Bush about discrimination isÂ Jake Poses, Thumbtack’s vice president of product.Â
“I appreciate him saying I shouldn’t be discriminated against, but I do believe that if he had more conviction about it, he should [handle it at the federal level],” Poses told IBTimes.
“I give him credit for understanding that startups in San Francisco are having a real and measurable impact on the lives of many Americans,” Poses said. “IÂ probably will not vote for him, but that is because I put a premium on views on social issues. I think that actually is the pervailing view of most people in theÂ Silicon Valley community. That’s part of the ethos of what’s out here.”Â
Not the first time Bush has failed when visiting Silicon Valley.Â
All in all, not a great day, some might think.
â€” Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 16, 2015
Q: What motivates you to be prez? Bush: I don’t know if you know this but my dad was prez and my brother was prez.
â€” Salvador Rodriguez (@sal19) July 16, 2015
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GOP Senators ‘Feel Blindsided’ Administration Had Bombshell Bolton Book and Didn’t Tell Them – Experts Call It a ‘Cover Up’
Republican Senators are angry and “feel blindsided” the White House did not tell them it had a draft copy of John Bolton’s upcoming book before they defended President Trump’s lies that he did not extort Ukraine. The New York Times late Sunday revealed it had obtained the unpublished manuscript in which Bolton writes that in August Trump told him he wanted to continue to withhold aid from Ukraine until they agreed to manufacture “dirt” on Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.
One fo the authors of that NY Times article, Maggie Haberman, Monday added to her reporting, via Twitter:
Per sources, some GOP senators privately pushing White House for information on who at administration had visibility into the manuscript over the last month. Senators feel blindsided.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 27, 2020
But many are convinced that Republican Senators had to have known that Trump was lying about his “perfect call” with Ukraine President Zelensky, as they lied for him.
And some experts are pointing to Haberman’s tweet and doubting they didn’t know – and accusing the lawmakers and Trump of engaging in a “cover up.”
If any R’s are looking for cover – an excuse (not that they need one) to break ranks & end Trump’s cover up, they’ve got it now. It’s likely the last chance to put country over party & save the republic. That there is so little hope this can happen is Trump’s chief accomplishment https://t.co/aApO8qpIZo
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) January 27, 2020
Understand why this is important: GOP Senators (and even House) have staked their careers on a defense story that the White House encouraged. Now they look like they were part of the cover up.
They were betting Trump had all this nailed down better. https://t.co/3YHMV9XPlH
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) January 27, 2020
“How do you expect us to assist in your cover up if you don’t tell us what we’re supposed to be covering up?” 🙄 https://t.co/yGO1oUmjbK
— scary lawyerguy (@scarylawyerguy) January 27, 2020
Senate GOP outraged that they weren’t more closely kept in the loop on coverup. https://t.co/93JWicXVq0
— Michael Czin (@MikeCzin) January 27, 2020
‘Cool Story Bro’: Trump’s Latest Bolton Lie Sinks Like Lead Balloon as Americans Grow Tired of President’s Perjury
President Donald Trump kicked off the week with a lie about John Bolton. Sunday night The New York Times revealed the manuscript of the President’s former National Security Advisor’s upcoming book includes the bombshell that Trump told Bolton in August he wanted to continue to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden.
Monday morning Trump tweeted his latest lie, claiming the House “never” asked Bolton to testify, and claiming the Senate had no right or responsibility to get testimony from his former advisor. Both are lies. The House asked, but Trump ordered Bolton to not testify.
The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020
And Americans know Trump is lying.
Judging from Trump’s Twitter feed over the past 8 hours, he’s totally freaked by the news about John Bolton’s book.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) January 27, 2020
FACT CHECK- This is just another Trump lie: House Democrats summoned John Bolton to testify in October – He said no unless ordered by a court. https://t.co/JnOIEFlpbJ
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 27, 2020
fact check: yes they did, and Bolton replied that he would only testify once a challenged subpoena worked its way through the court system. no one had time to wait months for that to happen, but cool story bro, I can’t wait for your nitwit worshipers to scream at me about it
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) January 27, 2020
They asked several times — you blocked him from testifying.
But thanks for giving this more attention.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) January 27, 2020
You just shifted from ‘I never did this’ to ‘they never asked for the truth.’ It has never been more entertaining to watch a trapped rat.
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) January 27, 2020
Ok that’s another lie🙄 https://t.co/SP82j26Abf
— Samantha (@sammiecoop27) January 27, 2020
— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) January 27, 2020
This is a lie. https://t.co/HqETkoOZ37
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) January 27, 2020
“We regret Mr. Bolton’s decision not to appear voluntarily, but we have no interest in allowing the administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months. Rather, WH instruction that he not appear will add to the evidence of the President’s obstruction of Congress.” https://t.co/BSvCn8HDK6
— toddr (@todtalks) January 27, 2020
Sir, impeachment is forever, and so is John Bolton‘s testimony. Unlike you, he will speak under oath because he’s not afraid of the truth. Now would be a good time to resign, but hopefully you can still negotiate a pardon from President Pence. Enjoy!
— Jennifer Taub (@jentaub) January 27, 2020
Unpublished Bolton Manuscript Exposes Trump’s Ukraine ‘Drug Deal’ Tying Military Aid to Dirt on Biden: New NYT Report
The unpublished manuscript of John Bolton‘s forthcoming book exposes what the former Trump National Security Advisor allegedly had called a “drug deal,” when referring to the president’s extortion scheme of Ukraine, a New York Times report reveals. Trump, according to the draft, personally told Bolton of the illegal act, including tying congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine manufacturing “dirt” against former Vice President Joe Biden, who early emerged as Trump’s top political opponent.
“President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton,” the Times reported late Sunday.
Those facts wholly destroy the president’s defense which his legal team have been arguing before and now during his Senate impeachment trial. The revelation, just before the trial resumes Monday afternoon, might make it extraordinarily difficult for Trump’s defense team to continue that line of defense.
“Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates.”
Senate Democrats tried last week to subpoena Bolton to testify, but Republicans killed all such efforts.
The Times’ report also states Bolton submitted the manuscript to the White House, which means they are aware of the existence of the allegation – and continue to engage in obstruction of Congress, one of the two Articles of Impeachment.
Maggie Haberman, one of the author’s of Sunday night’s bombshell, posted this tweet:
SCOOP: Bolton book draft, circulated to associates and sent to WH for review process, describes a convo w POTUS where he says he doesn’t want to release withheld aid till Ukraine turned over material related to investigations @nytmike and me https://t.co/N3Tsce4gR7
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 26, 2020
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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