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Aaron And Melissa Klein Head For Big (Money) Leagues With New Attorney

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Bakery Owners Accused of Anti-Gay Discrimination Move to New “Religious Freedom” Legal Firm 

In 2011 a woman and her mother walked in to Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a local Oregon bakery, to order a cake for the woman’s wedding. Aaron Klein, upon learning that Rachel Cryer was engaged to marry Laurel Bowman – a woman – told them they don’t bake wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, and the woman and her mother left, distraught. According to court documents, Rachel’s mother returned shortly thereafter, and that’s when Aaron Klein began citing Leviticus as his rationale for refusing them service.

Also according to court documents, Klein, after receiving a notice from the State of Oregon that discrimination charges had been filed, posted the document – which included the home address and contact information of the Bowman-Cryers – to Facebook, leading to countless death threats and other forms of harassment against the women and the two foster children they were attempting to adopt.

None of this will Aaron or Melissa Klein ever admit to in public, nor, likely, will their new attorneys.

The Kleins have received well over half a million dollars from concerned and supportive conservative Christians outraged that the husband and wife, “good Christians,” “lost their business,” or so the Kleins claim, and were themselves subjected to harassment.

The Kleins have also started a new business, of sorts: they are now stars on the religious freedom talk circuit, making the rounds to events sponsored by the likes of the Family Research Council and other anti-gay groups.

“The past three years have been devastating,” Melissa Klein says in a press release today from First Liberty, formerly the Liberty Institute. “Just because we couldn’t participate in an event that violated our religious beliefs, we lost our business. We were committed to serving everyone regardless of their circumstances at all other times.”

First Liberty in their press release describes Melissa Klein as the “former owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” and to show just how much compassion the young couple deserve, First Liberty proudly has placed a photo of the Kleins in front of their van, their van that says, “Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” with a web address: SweetCakesWeb.com. If you click on it you might be confused, because the Kleins, as you can see, are still very much in business.

Here’s the top of the press release:

Screen_Shot_2016-02-23_at_6.32.08_PM.jpg

Notice it breathlessly claims the Kleins “were forced to shut down their bakery.” It also claims they “lost their bakery for running their business according to their religious beliefs,” and that this is a “high profile case involving religious liberty.”

Which it is not, as the Kleins were ordered to pay the Bowman-Cryers $135,000 in damages, not fines, and not, contrary to what the right wing press and religious groups would like you to believe, because they refused to bake a wedding cake.

For the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of the case, read: 
Almost Everything You’ve Heard About The Anti-Gay Sweet Cakes Wedding Cake Case Is (Probably) Wrong

The Kleins have apparently dropped their now-former attorney and, like elected officials who want to make big money after doing their stint of public service, have signed on to a top firm. The only difference is instead of a signing with a speakers firm, they’ve signed with a law firm. First Liberty, headed by the infamous Kelly Shackleford, says it is the “largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom.”

But just like a speakers’ firm, the Kleins have their own page at Fist Liberty, and you can even use it to “Book an interview” with them.

The Kleins also now have a proper big-name attorney, C. Boyden Gray, who served as White House Counsel under President George H. W. Bush. Gray reportedly sits on the boards of the uber-conservative Federalist Society and the Koch Brothers’ Tea Party group FreedomWorks.

Although it’s not in the press release, the far right wing website Breitbart claims the Kleins’ new lawyers “add that there is a significant chance that this case may finally end up before the Supreme Court of the United States.”

 

EARLIER:

‘We Feel Like We Shouldn’t Have To Pay’: Sweet Cakes Bakers Say State Order Not ‘Legally Binding’

‘Sweet Cakes’ Baker Melissa Klein: The State Took ‘God’s Money’ From Us

Sweet Cakes Bakers Still Actively Fundraising, Cash Pouring In

Final Verdict In Oregon Bakers Case Comes To $135,000 – Right Wing Furious Over ‘Gay Fascism Tax’

 

Images: Screenshots via First Liberty

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‘This Is Insane’: Experts Blast McCarthy After He Approves George Santos Attending Classified Briefing on China

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), under multiple state and federal investigations, and even a criminal fraud investigation in Brazil, recently stepped down from his committee assignments pending House ethics investigations, but on Thursday he will be allowed to attend a classified briefing by the Pentagon on threats from China.

Santos is facing numerous investigations, including ongoing, pending, or possible investigations from the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nassau District Attorney, the Queens District Attorney, the New York State Attorney General, along with the House Ethics Committee.

CNN’s Manu Raju Wednesday afternoon reports: “Asked Speaker McCarthy if he’s OK with George Santos attending tomorrow’s classified briefing on China. ‘Yes,’ he told me.”

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene During House Hearing: It’s ‘Against the Law’ to Ban My Twitter Account

Experts are expressing outrage, and are calling allowing Santos to gain access to classified information a “threat to our national security.”

“George Santos should not be getting access to classified information,” the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) immediately responded.

Last month CREW published a report that states: “George Santos should not get intelligence information.”

READ MORE: Yes, the GOP Has Repeatedly Said It Wants to Gut Social Security and Medicare Before Calling Biden a ‘Liar’ – Here’s Proof

“Santos’s misrepresentations of large swaths of his background have proven his tendency to lie for power and personal gain. It is clear that he has not demonstrated the trustworthiness necessary to guard our country’s most closely guarded secrets,” it reads.

“Santos’s serial misrepresentations of the truth about a vast array of subjects have demonstrated an astonishing level of untrustworthiness,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder says in the report. “It would be a threat to our national security to allow him to serve on any committee where he would gain access to national intelligence.”

Retired U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, an academic specialist on international affairs including Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs, tweeted: “This is insane.”

Just last month Speaker McCarthy banned two top House Democrats, Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, from returning to the Intelligence Committee. While he claimed it was for national security reasons, some believe it was retribution for their roles in prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachments.

“I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more,” McCarthy wrote in a letter.

 

 

 

 

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Marjorie Taylor Greene During House Hearing: It’s ‘Against the Law’ to Ban My Twitter Account

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Members of Congress have access to vast resources to conduct the people’s business, including on-staff attorneys and the ability to contract experts, yet on Wednesday U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appeared to shun those assets while appearing before the TV cameras while misrepresenting federal law. She falsely declared that Twitter banning her personal account was “against the law,” and a violation of her First Amendment rights as she made clear she will use her newly-restored committee assignments to spread falsehoods, misinformation, and disinformation.

Greene now sits on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. During its third hearing of the year, “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” Greene appeared determined to extract vengeance for her personal Twitter account being permanently “suspended” – banned –before Elon Musk purchased the company and restored accounts of countless extremists.

At the beginning of her remarks Greene mentioned the witnesses, including former Twitter executives, and said: “You can consider your speech canceled during my time because you permanently canceled mine.”

“You see, you permanently banned my personal Twitter account, and it was my campaign account also, so let’s talk about election interference, shall we?”

“Let’s explain 52 United States law 10101: ‘No person shall intimidate, threaten or coerce or attempt to stop any other person for the purpose of interfering with their rights to vote or to vote as you may choose,'” Greene said, reading inaccurately from 52 U.S.C. 10101.

READ MORE: Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’

For reasons unknown, Congresswoman Greene decided that federal voting rights law applies to Twitter. It does not.

“You didn’t shadow ban or permanently ban my Democrat opponent,” Greene charged. “No, you did that to me. And that was wrong and it was against the law.”

It is not against the law for Twitter to shadow ban or permanently ban anyone, even a Member of Congress and their personal Twitter account.

“You see, not only that, was it was it me, that you violated my First Amendment rights, you violated countless conservative Americans,” she said, which again is false. The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

READ MORE: ‘Let’s Be Blunt’: Bannon Blasts Huckabee Sanders as ‘Not Intellectually Capable’ After ‘Insulting’ SOTU Response

Greene pushed forward.

“These were doctors that were trying to tell the truth about COVID,” she said, of people spreading false or misleading information and disinformation. “Doctors that were having success treating people with ivermectin that you all would not allow to be talked about.”

The FDA has made clear ivermectin is not a treatment for COVID-19: “The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.”

“These were parents complaining about their school boards, teaching gender lies in their schools, biological males entering their daughter’s bathrooms and sports,” she complained. “These were also people questioning the 2020 election. And guess what? That’s Americans’ First Amendment right. These were people talking about voting machines. You know what? Democrats did that in 2019 before the 2020 election,” she claimed.

Watch below or at this link.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Let’s Be Blunt’: Bannon Blasts Huckabee Sanders as ‘Not Intellectually Capable’ After ‘Insulting’ SOTU Response

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Arkansas Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican Party’s official response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address and was panned from all sides.

Many on the left were angered and outraged as she attacked LGBTQ and Black Americans in a lengthy speech that was tall on culture war rhetoric and extremism and short on policy or vision.

But even those on the right seems exasperated with her remarks.

READ MORE: Yes, the GOP Has Repeatedly Said It Wants to Gut Social Security and Medicare Before Calling Biden a ‘Liar’ – Here’s Proof

Lou Dobbs, the far-right-wing culture warrior and former Fox Business anchor, told former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that Huckabee Sanders’ speech was “unacceptable,” and, “an insult to President Trump” for “not mentioning his name,” as Media Matters reports.

“Sarah Huckabee went to Iraq with the President,” Dobbs recalled, which the former White House press secretary spent an unusually large portion of her remarks discussing, “and the First Lady in the dark of night, for Christmas, with our troops.”

“To not mention is name, to talk about ‘new leadership’ – it looked like the Governor’s Association had written much of that speech, and aligned themselves with Ron DeSantis,” Dobbs lamented, calling it a “lack of respect to POTUS.”

READ MORE: Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’

Bannon, convicted on two federal criminal contempt charges, agreed that her remarks were “an insult to Trump.”

“She does not exist, politically, if it’s not for President Trump,” Bannon continued. “I thought the speech was terrible.”

“If you’re going to give a counter speech, you’ve got to talk about important issues. Don’t get me wrong, the wokeism is very important. But it’s not quite the heart of the matter right now, right? It’s not the heart of the matter. She is not — the reason is she’s just not — she’s not intellectually capable of going to the heart of the matter, right? Let’s be blunt.”

“This was like written by Ron DeSantis and the entire RGA,” Bannon said, referring to the Republican Governors’ Association.

Watch below or at this link.

 

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