Shira Banki, theÂ 16-year old girl who was stabbed at Thursday’s gay pride parade in Jerusalem, has succumbed to her wounds.
On Thursday several thousand people attended Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. It was relatively peaceful and joyous, until Yishai Schlissel allegedlyÂ started stabbing people. There were six victims, some treated at the scene, some transported to the hospital. One, a 16-year old girl named Shira Banki, was critically wounded. She died today in the hospital of her wounds.
â€” Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) August 2, 2015
Yishai Schlissel had just been released from prison weeks earlier, serving 10 years of a 12 year sentence for stabbing three people at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade.Â
Schlissel reportedly had made threats before his release, and after, but before the parade, “distributed hand-written anti-gay pamphlets calling the LGBT rally ‘shameful’ and ‘blasphemous,'” the International Business Times reported.
The ultra-orthodox Jew wrote: “It is incumbent upon every Jew to risk beatings or imprisonment and together to stop the desecration for the sanctity of His name. If we refrain from declaring war, they’ll feel free to spread this shame all over the world.”
He also gave interviews to media outlets heaping scorn on the gay parade.
An LGBT advocacy group,Â Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, had organized the pride event, the Washington Blade reports.Â
â€œThe LGBTQ community in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Open House mourn her death at the hands of a fanatic, consumed with hatred and fear. The knife that fatally injured Shira was sharpened by years of incitement,â€ the group said in a statement in response to Shira Banki’s death. â€œThat knife targeted all those who believe in a just society, where every woman and man can live freely, without fear of violence and persecution. That knife has wounded all those who believe in life and in Godâ€™s creation.â€
Shira Banki, 16 years old. May her memory be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/OtrQRFAJgA
â€” Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 2, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuÂ saidÂ in a statement,Â “Shira was murdered for courageously supporting the principle that each and every person has the right to live their life in security and respect.”
“We will not allow this loathsome murderer to undermine the basic values upon which the Israeli society is based. We staunchly condemn this attempt to sew the seeds of hatred and violence among us and will act to bring the murderer to justice,” he added.
â€” Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) August 2, 2015
Jerusalem’s mayor also denounced the “murder of this young girl at the Gay Pride Parade on the streets of Jerusalem.”
“We will continue to allow full freedom of expression in this city, we will continue to support all groups and communities, we will enhance education and tolerance for others in our school system, and we will not be deterred by those who are trying to prevent it,”Â Mayor Nir Barkat said.
The police have come under fire for not foreseeingÂ the possibilityÂ Schlissel would strike again.
Image byÂ Anna Ahronheim via Twitter
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House Republican’s Bill Aims to Put LGBTQ Children in Adoption and Foster Care at Risk
In September, the Biden administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services announced new proposed rules to protect LGBTQ youth in foster care or adoption agencies, and included the basic requirement that any child who identifies as LGBTQI+ be placed in a supportive environment, “free of hostility, mistreatment, or abuse.”
Now, a far-right MAGA Republican Congressman, Jim Banks of Indiana who is running for the U.S. Senate, has proposed legislation that could harm not just LGBTQI+ kids but all children awaiting foster care or adoption, by stripping federal funding from agencies that abide by the Biden administration’s protections for those children.
Rep. Banks is a far right-wing extremist who forged multiple congressional documents sent to federal agencies and voted to not certify the 2020 election. He is also an anti-LGBTQ activist and anti-science climate change denier who opposes a woman’s right to choose, Obamacare, and same-sex marriage.
“For too long,” the Dept. of Health and Human Services said in its announcement, “LGBTQI+ children have faced significant disparities in the child welfare system. LGBTQI+ youth are overrepresented in foster care, but face worse outcomes, including poor mental health, higher rates of homelessness, and discrimination just because of who they are in some foster care settings.”
“LBGTQI+ children often have unique needs and deserve care that affirms their identities,” HHS noted, stating its proposed rule “would require that child welfare agencies ensure that each child in their care who identifies as LGBTQI+ receive a safe and appropriate placement and services that help them thrive.”
It would also “protect LGBTQI+ youth by placing them in environments free of hostility, mistreatment, or abuse based on the child’s LGBTQI+ status,” and “would require that caregivers for LGBTQI+ children are properly and fully trained to provide for the needs of the child related to the child’s self-identified sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”
Fox News reports, “Banks’ bill, the Sensible Adoption for Every (SAFE) Home Act, would prevent child welfare agencies and related groups that receive federal funding from getting those funds if they refuse prospective parents who insist against the child’s stated LGBTQ status.”
That means parents could foster a 14-year old girl or boy who identifies as lesbian, bisexual, or gay and force they to say they are straight. They could adopt a 15-year old transgender boy, block him from any medication or counseling he might have been receiving, and force him to wear clothing that does not conform to his gender identity. Depending on state law, they could force an LGBTQI+ child into dangerous so-called conversion therapy that has been likened tom torture.
Congressman Banks told Fox News the “Biden administration is cruelly preventing countless children in the foster care and adoption system from going to loving homes just because parents are opposed to irreversible sex change procedures on kids,” falsely suggesting all LGBTQI+ kids are transgender and falsely suggesting all gender-affirming care involves “irreversible sex change procedures.”
“This isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. This is just plain wrong, and every sane person knows it,” Banks added.
‘Dystopian’: Potential Trump Cabinet Picks Send ‘5-Alarm’ Shock Waves of Terror
Attorney General Stephen Miller? Vice President Tucker Carlson? White House Chief of Staff Steve Bannon? CIA Director Kash Patel? A new report detailing a second Donald Trump presidency’s “loyalty first” potential cabinet nominees is sending shock waves over their extremist positions and in some cases an entirely insufficient level of experience for the job.
“Former President Trump, if elected, would build a Cabinet and White House staff based mainly on two imperatives: pre-vetted loyalty to him and a commitment to stretch legal and governance boundaries, sources who talk often with the leading GOP presidential candidate tell Axios,” the news outlet reported in an exclusive Thursday morning. “If Trump won in 2024, he’d turn to loyalists who share his zeal to punish critics, purge non-believers, and take controversial legal and military action, the sources tell us.”
Some of these possible picks for the very top levels of government hold or have promoted white supremacist, Christian nationalist, authoritarian, or fascistic policies or beliefs.
Axios calls them “full, proud MAGA warriors, anti-GOP establishment zealots, and eager and willing to test the boundaries of executive power to get Trump’s way.”
“They want to target and jail critics, including government officials and journalists; deport undocumented immigrants or put them in detainment camps, and unleash the military to target drug cartels in Mexico, or possibly crack down on criminals or protesters at home,” Axios’ Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report, adding, “They want to scrap rules that limit their ability to purge government workers deemed disloyal.”
“Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas — a former Army infantry officer known for his hard edge, and who wrote a New York Times op-ed in Trump’s first term supporting use of the Insurrection Act against civil disorder — would be considered to head the Pentagon,” according to Axios.
Most of the names mentioned in the Axios report are well-known, and they are being promoted by many surrounding the disgraced criminally-indicted ex-president.
“Donald Trump Jr. has floated [Mike] Davis, the former chief counsel for nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to be Trump’s interim attorney general — saying it would be a ‘shot across the bow of the swamp,'” Axios reports. “In his public auditions for the job, the bombastic Davis has promised a ‘three-week reign of terror‘ in which he would ‘put kids in cages’ and jail prosecutors and journalists who have gone after Trump — even telling MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan that he has ‘his spot picked out in the D.C. gulag.'”
Meanwhile, Melania Trump is pushing for “booted” Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson to be Trump’s running mate.
Other vice presidential possibilities mentioned include Arkansas governor and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, U.S. Senator J.D Vance, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Some close to Trump are promoting themselves for the vice presidential role, including U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
Axios also reports that “Johnny McEntee, Trump’s loyalty vetter and enforcer, [who] headed presidential personnel in the first term … might return to that role with even more power. He also could be Trump’s gatekeeper as head of Oval Office operations, or could be Cabinet secretary, riding herd on the White House liaisons to each department.”
“By late 2020, McEntee had explicit lists of top officials to fire and hire in a Trump second term, reaching far down the federal bureaucracy in a mission to truly ‘clean out’ the ‘Deep State.’ That project has continued outside of government with a $22 million presidential transition project led by the Heritage Foundation.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Axios’ Jim VandeHei, who co-authored the report, dove even further into how concerning these potential picks are, leading the Biden campaign to post a clip of a small portion of his remarks on social media:
Vandehei: For Trump’s Cabinet, Tucker Carlson could be the VP pick. Stephen Miller could be AG and has said that he wants detainment camps and mass deportations. Kash Patel has talked about using government to go after the media and could be the head of the CIA or NSC pic.twitter.com/u62nO4s5ZX
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) December 7, 2023
Vandehei went on to say, “you might like that, then you’re going to be electrified by this group but if you don’t like it, you’re probably going to be horrified by some of the picks. But what’s in common with all of these people is they share at least a willingness to do all the things that Donald Trump would say.”
And he reminded that none of Trump’s previous team that guarded the American people against his worst instincts will be part of a second Trump administration.
“None of those shackles will exist. He’s going to come in with a group of enablers and a group of executors. So whatever you thought about the first term, he’s going to be able to do things at a velocity rate he wasn’t capable of because he didn’t really know how to govern,” Vandehei added. “Now he knows a little bit better, but he’s surrounded by people and there’s these multimillion dollar efforts outside of his own orbit at the Heritage Foundation.”
“It’s not necessarily about substance,” he said of how the people choosing who becomes part of any next Trump administration would be, “it’s basically an ideological litmus test. Are you willing to believe wholly in Donald Trump, serve loyalty to Donald Trump and then implement his view of what the world should look like? If you can pass that test you might be one of the 50,000 people who get to come into [his] government.”
Meanwhile, critics responding to the Axios report are voicing extreme concern.
“This is about the most dystopian article ever written,” observed The Bulwark’s Tim Miller. “Like asking ChatGPT to write about a fantasy Trump administration cabinet that blends Nazis and celebrities in the style of 2008 Politico playbook.”
Former Biden Commerce Dept. official Caitlin Legacki wrote, “This Axios reporting should be a 5-alarm fire. Terrifying stuff in here and it’s barely making waves.”
U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) warned, “This is what is at stake in 2024 & lurking behind every single thing the extreme MAGA GOP is doing. Don’t lose the plot in their chaos or we will lose our democracy.”
New Jersey Treasury Dept. official Darryl Isherwood summed up what many seemed to be saying: “If this doesn’t scare you, you’re not paying attention.”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Image: Screenshot from Trump’s first cabinet meeting in 2019
Republicans Release Resolution for Expected Vote on Formal Biden Impeachment Inquiry
Republicans have released the text of a resolution ahead of an expected full House vote next week to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, despite having provided to the American people no actual proof of illegal activities or impeachable offenses.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, notes Republicans’ current impeachment inquiry “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted.”
The resolution for the formal impeachment inquiry all but admits Republicans have not produced proof to impeach President Biden, by drafting it with no actual allegations. It is a boilerplate document focused on how the inquiry should be conducted, laying out rules and regulations related to handling evidence and testimony of witnesses.
Like his predecessor, now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Mike Johnson has repeatedly pushed for the House to move forward on an impeachment trajectory, despite even some “mainstream” House Republicans voicing concerns over a lack of actual evidence.
“The speaker said he would move forward with a vote that Republicans have long avoided for fear that some in their ranks would refuse to endorse an investigation without incriminating evidence,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. “Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months, hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Last month, Vanity Fair reported “Republicans in Washington have all but owned up to the blatantly political rationale behind their impeachment inquiry against the president,” noting that in “a closed-door meeting, the House Speaker apparently suggested that Republicans can de-prioritize ousting Biden, given his waning popularity in the polls.”
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