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GOP Intellectual Malpractice: Syrian Refugees And Paris Attacks Edition

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Opinion: 25 GOP governors now illegally refusing refugees, and all based on a fake Syrian passport. 

The level of Republican inhumanity and stupidity, and refusal to look for facts has reached new heights.

Remember George W. Bush and the lies he and his administration told in the run up to the Iraq War? 

Bush didn’t look for facts, and when confronted with them, he dismissed them. You’re seeing today by Republicans that same level of intellectual malpractice, a lack of curiosity about facts, a pandering to the base and an almost viral race to the bottom of the barrel of stupidity.

At least 25 of America’s 31 Republican governors today (and sadly, Democratic governor Maggie Hassan) have issued press releases, tweets, and executive orders mandating – and boasting – their state will not accept any Syrian refugees. Unfortunately, it appears none of them bothered to actually check if they have the authority to refuse refugees here legally, though an extremely rigorous federal process.

And, of course, these “pro-life” “conservative Christian” governors, it turns out, do not have the authority to refuse refugees.

But what they do have is the ability to grandstand and to turn the tide of public opinion against the very people running from terrorists, and have Americans see them as terrorists, so when they do get to America (insert obligatory “land of the free, home of the brave” quote here) many will likely become victimized by a pathetically ignorant, Fox News watching populace that equates “Muslim” with “terrorist.”

To be clear, even France has called the murder of 129 people in the Paris attacks, not to mention the hundreds who have suffered injuries, “an issue of internal domestic security.”

Or, to be even more clear, as ThinkProgress reports, “All of the attackers from Friday’s massacre in Paris so far have been identified as European Union nationals, according to a top EU official.”

That story about one of the terrorists having a Syrian passport is either fake, or his passport was.

Here’s the list of Republicans who have stated America should refuse Syrian refugees, or have stated they will not allow them in their state, all based on a false story about a Paris attacks terrorist with a fake Syrian passport.

Republican Governors:

Robert Bentley of Alabama
Doug Ducey of Arizona
Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
Rick Scott of Florida
Nathan Deal of Georgia
Butch Otter of Idaho
Mike Pence of Indiana
Terry Branstad of Iowa
Bruce Rauner of Illinois
Sam Brownback of Kansas
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Paul LePage of Maine
Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
Rick Snyder of Michigan
Phil Bryant of Mississippi
Pete Ricketts of Nebraska
Chris Christie of New Jersey
Pat McCrory of North Carolina
John Kasich of Ohio
Mary Fallin of Oklahoma
Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Bill Haslam of Tennessee
Greg Abbott of Texas
Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Matt Bevin, governor-elect of Kentucky

GOP Presidential Candidates:

Donald Trump
Ben Carson – no religious test, but an “ideological” one
Marco Rubio
Ted Cruz
John Kasich
Rand Paul 
Jeb Bush – only Christian refugees
Carly Fiorina
Chris Christie – no Syrian refugees, “not even 5-year-old orphans
Lindsey Graham
Mike Huckabee
George Pataki
Rick Santorum

Image by Mike Licht via Flickr and a CC license

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EQUALITY

US State Dept. Ends Anti-LGBTQ Discriminatory Trump-Era Policy Targeting Same-Sex Families

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The U.S. State Dept. under Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday ended a Trump-era policy targeted directly against LGBTQ families. The policy, supported by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, mandated that children born outside the United States to parents who are U.S. citizens must be biologically related to both parents, or they would not be allowed to be granted U.S. citizenship.

The discriminatory policy ensnared only same-sex couples, and hewed to Pompeo and Trump’s anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant  beliefs.

In a statement U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said the “updated interpretation and application of the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] takes into account the realities of modern families and advances in ART [assisted reproductive technology] from when the Act was enacted in 1952.”

In one case NCRM reported on in 2019, the Pompeo State Dept. actually allowed one of two biological twins to be granted U.S. citizenship but prohibited the other from the exact same rights.

The non-profit group Immigration Equality in a statement Tuesday said the Trump-era policy had affected “many married same-sex couples,” and noted that “the Immigration and Nationality Act has never required a biological relationship for married parents. As such, every federal court that heard the issue found that the State Department’s policy was inconsistent with the statute.” 

Related:

Biden’s LGBTQ Executive Order Is Just the Start – Here Are the Other Pro-Equality Actions the Administration Is Taking

Confirmed: Trump Is Using the State Dept to Wage War on Legally Married American Same-Sex Families

 

 

 

 

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News

FBI Investigating ‘Massive’ Alleged Campaign Finance Scheme to Help Fund Susan Collins’ Re-Election: Report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating an alleged campaign finance scheme it characterized as “massive” involving a political action committee aligned with Senator Susan Collins, and direct donations to the Collins’ campaign. The Maine Republican won re-election in November despite polling that showed her Democratic challenger beating her.

“A recently unsealed search warrant application shows the FBI believes a Hawaii defense contractor illegally funneled $150,000 to a pro-Collins super PAC and reimbursed donations to Collins’ campaign. There’s no indication that Collins or her team were aware of any of it,” Axios reports.

The report shows that Senator Collins, who sits on the Defense subcommittee of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, helped the contractor secure an $8 million Navy contract, before most of the donations were given. That contractor is the Martin Defense Group, formerly known as Navatek.

A shell company was allegedly used. Federal contractors are prohibited from donating to super PACs.

“Former Navatek CEO Martin Kao was indicted last year for allegedly bilking the federal government of millions in coronavirus relief loans,” Axios reports.

The Collins Campaign “had absolutely no knowledge of anything alleged in the warrant,” a Collins spokesperson, Annie Clark, told Axios.

Maine voters elected Collins “to a fifth term by 9 points. No Maine senator has been popularly elected five times. It was a far cry from previous supermajority wins,” The Bangor Daily News reported at the time, “but resounding after every public poll showed [Democrat Sara]Gideon ahead. Democrats had pinned their hopes of flipping the Senate on Maine, leading to more than $200 million spent on the race.”

Here’s a copy of the search warrant:

 

 

 

 

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'PATHETIC'

‘I’m Pissed’: Top House Dem Blasts McCarthy’s ‘Character and Fitness to Lead’ After Opposing Jan. 6 Commission

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The top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee is furious with Kevin McCarthy after the Republican Minority Leader on Tuesday pulled his support for a January 6 Commission Tuesday. McCarthy had initially supported one and even set demands on how it should be structured. Democrats honored McCarthy’s demands but he pulled the rug out from them anyway.

“I’m pissed to be honest with you,” Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) told reporters, after reading McCarthy’s statement, as Talking Points Memo reports.

“What’s frustrating to me is that this does not seem to be a disagreement over substance or policy,” Chairman McCarthy added. “I do think this is an issue of character and fitness to lead.”

“I assume what happened is that Trump got wind of what we were doing and called up the minority leader and said ‘I don’t like it,’” McGovern said with “disgust,” TPM reports, calling it “pathetic.”

Fox News notes McGovern said he was ‘stunned” and called McCarthy’s statement “alarming.”

“If there’s anybody in this chamber who doesn’t believe it’s important to get to the truth about what happened on the sixth, or who wants to make believe that what happened on the sixth didn’t happen on the sixth, like a typical tourist day on the Capitol, they are not fit to serve in this chamber,” McGovern said.

Fox News report he was “raising his voice,” and added: “It is pathetic.”

McGovern wasn’t done. On Twitter he blasted McCarthy even more.

“We gave him what he asked for. But now? He’s going back on his word. He cares more about worshiping Trump & spreading The Big Lie than upholding his oath.”

Some political experts are calling McCarthy’s move an “open-air cover up” and “a replay of the GOP attempt to scuttle the Russia investigation.”

 

 

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