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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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AMERICA'S FASCIST PRESIDENT

Trump Personally Asked What ‘Tanks’ Could Be Used to Break Up George Floyd Protests: Report

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast detailed how President Donald Trump himself has been behind the push to use the military to control the protests against the police killing of George Floyd — to the extent that he actually asked about specific military equipment that would be available for that purpose.

“[Defense Secretary Mark] Esper, along with other cabinet secretaries, stood next to the president during the remarks in the park after participating in an hour-long call with governors in which he said they needed to ‘dominate the battlespace’ to quell the protests,” reported Erin Banco, Spencer Ackerman, and Asawin Suebsaeng. “But three senior Pentagon officials who spoke with The Daily Beast said they viewed the secretary’s comments on the call as a way to publicly show support for the president. They did not expect the department to actually implement a plan that would reflect the president’s rhetoric and force additional troops upon the states.”

“These Pentagon officials added that it was the White House, not the Defense Department, that was pushing for active military might in the streets,” continued the report. “In particular, the president has pressed aides and Pentagon officials for graphic details on the kind of armored vehicles, military units, aircraft, and even ‘tanks’ that they could potentially send to maintain order in U.S. areas rocked by protests and rioting, according to two people familiar with recent discussions.”

Trump has frequently shown a fondness for using the military to broadcast his strength. In 2019, he held a controversial military parade in Washington to mark the Fourth of July.

 

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BYE

Nine-Term White Supremacist GOP Congressman Goes Down in Defeat

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U.S. Congressman Steve King, a nine-term Republican of Iowa, has just lost his primary to a GOP challenger. It’s a huge fall from grace: In 2014 The Des Moines Register labeled the former earth-moving company founder a “presidential kingmaker.”

But his racist, white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, biphobic remarks and disturbing ties to far right radical European politicians – including one he endorsed who has ties to a neo-Nazi, finally caught up with him.

Iowa Republican Randy Feenstr, a state lawmaker, beat King Tuesday night.

Feenstr handily won because he offered voters a far right Christian conservative platform without the messy extremism, and because King was effectively useless after being stripped of his committee assignments after being condemned for making white supremacist remarks.

The New York Times calls King’s  defeat “most likely the final political blow to one of the nation’s most divisive elected officials, whose insults of undocumented immigrants foretold the messaging of President Trump, and whose flirtations with extremism led him far from rural Iowa, to meetings with anti-Muslim crusaders in Europe and an endorsement of a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties.”

Feenstr faces retired professional baseball player J. D. Scholten, a Democrat, in November.

King was infamous for his offensive comments.

In early January of 2019, King stepped too far over the line, even for the GOP.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he asked in a New York Times interview, ending any question of where he stands, and branding him a white supremacist.

Until that point, King had perhaps been best-known for accusing undocumented immigrants of having “calves the size of cantaloupes” from “running drugs across the Mexican border.”

In 2018 King met with representatives of a far-right party in Austria — and used the financial backing of a Holocaust memorial group to do so.

The following year, in August, King asked, if not for rape and incest, “would there be any population left?

He has compared transgender service members to eunuchs, predicted a race war between “hispanics and the Blacks,” and insisted that throughout history no other “subgroup of people” have contributed “more to civilization” than whites.

 

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THIS IS NOT OK

Trump’s DC Military Operation: Up to 2100 Soldiers in Riot Gear Armed With Bayonets for Operation ‘Divine Law and Order’

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President Donald Trump hasn’t stormed U.S. cities across the country yet but as Washington. D.C. is not a state, and therefore has no governor, he can pretty much do as he pleases.

That includes a military operation on the streets of the nation’s capital, called “Operation Themis.”

“In Greek mythology,” the Associated Press reports, “Themis was a titaness of divine law and order, whose symbols are the scales of justice.”

Trump, who fancies himself a “wartime President,” as he has claimed, on Monday told America, “I am the President of law and order.”

Up to 2100 U.S. military troops in riot gear will be mobilized to maintain that “divine law and order.” They will be armed, and have bayonets as well.

Related – Local DC Reporter: ‘Major Movement of Military Hardware and Personnel’ Into Downtown Washington

For Monday’s operation, “President Donald Trump ordered military aircraft to fly above the nation’s capital,” the AP reveals, “as a ‘show of force’ against demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd, according to two Department of Defense officials.”

Helicopters buzzed the ground, reportedly flying less than the minimum required 1000 feet above the ground, to “intimidate” protestors.

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