GOP Senators Allowed No Amendments to Be Proposed to Fast-Tracked Bill â€“ Could Be Signed Into Law as Soon as Monday
The Georgia First AmendmentÂ Defense Act just passed the Senate by a vote of 38-14. The bill now makes its way back to the Georgia House, which only needs to agree on it. In all likelihood, given that a previous version passed unanimously, it will. The anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation could be signed into law by GOP Gov. Nathan Deal as soon as Monday, after the House reconvenes.
â€” GASenateDems (@GASenateDems) February 19, 2016
The bill, known as FADA, like many that have been making their way around the nation’s legislatures this year, makes anti-LGBT discrimination legal by providing special protections for people who wish to claim their religious faith prohibits them from performing certain acts, includingÂ baking a cake for a same-sex wedding, or allowing a child to be adopted by a same-sex couple.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State analyzed the legislation, and concludes the bill “allows any individual or ‘faith-based’ business, non-profit entity, or taxpayer-funded organization to ignore any law that conflicts with their religious beliefs about marriage.”
During the initial hearing Friday morning, Republican senators led by Sen. Greg Kirk (photo, lower center), moved quickly to engross the bill, banning any amendments to the legislation from being proposed.Â
â€” Regina Tweeta (@regina_tweeta) February 19, 2016
â€” Regina Tweeta (@regina_tweeta) February 19, 2016
In explaining the bill before the vote Friday, Sen. Greg Kirk claimed it does not impact any business, including its relationship with employees, and claimed “it is a live and let live bill.” Legal experts disagree.
Sen. Kirk is wrong– if a religious organization fired a janitor because they married someone of the same-sex, FADA protects them. #gapol
â€” Anthony M. Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) February 19, 2016
â€” Robbie Medwed (@rjmedwed) February 19, 2016
Sen. Kirk is not talking about housing discrimination. Why? Because FADA would evicerate the GA Fair Housing Act & local housing law. #gapol
â€” Anthony M. Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) February 19, 2016
In a letter to Georgia SenatorsÂ this week,Â Maggie Garrett, AU’s Legislative Director explains “any person, business, or taxpayer-funded organization could refuse anyone else rights, services, and benefits because they: are part of an interracial couple; are part of an interfaith couple; are a single mother; are part of a same-sex couple; are divorced; are remarried; live or have lived with a partner without being married; or have had sex outside of marriage at any time in their life.”
Just a few of the troubling real life consequences could include:Â a single mother and her child being denied safety at the domestic violence shelter; a hospital denying a man the opportunity to say goodbye to his dying husband; a cemetery corporation denying an interracial couple a shared cemetery plot; a restaurant refusing to allow a childâ€™s birthday party because his parents are divorced; or an unmarried couple and their child being denied a room at a hotel late at night after their car broke down.
Senator Kirk, who is also a minister, told his fellow lawmakers concerned about religious organizations denying help to someone because they are LGBT, “I have never known a faith-based organization to turn anyone away.”Â
“This law does not allow discrimination,” he falsely stated.
He then told the Senators that on Sunday, “I want you to look at those church membersÂ in the eye and tell them how you voted.”
Kirk: HB 757 protects those millions who believe in traditional marriage. #gapol
â€” Jon Richards (@SiteROI) February 19, 2016
Democratic Senator Emanuel Jones, who is Black, challenged Kirk on his definition of “faith-based organizations,” noting that the KKK would fall under that definition. Kirk then compared the Black Panthers to the KKK.
â€œI did see the Superbowl tribute to the black panthers, I guess that could be the same thing.â€
– Senator Kirk #gapol
â€” Robbie Medwed (@rjmedwed) February 19, 2016
Kirk, basically: My bill favors people who oppose same-sex marriage, so it’s equal protection! #gapol
â€” Zack Ford (@ZackFord) February 19, 2016
Despite excellent arguments by Democratic senators, the bill passed by a huge margin.
â€” Chris Oh (@ChrisdkOh) February 19, 2016
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.
Image by Lori Geary via Twitter
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‘Vice Superspreader’ Pence Accused of ‘Criminal Disregard’ for Campaigning After 5 Advisors Test Positive
Vice President Mike Pence is under fire for continuing to campaign for re-election despite five of his close advisors, including his Chief of Staff, Marc Short, have tested positive for coronavirus over the past few days.
ABC News reports “at least 5 individuals in the Vice President’s orbit have tested positive as of last night.” The New York Times has reported “up to five” have tested positive. Fox News reports “5 close to Pence test positive for coronavirus.”
The latest COVID-19 outbreak in the White House was exposed once again by Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs, who first reported Hope Hicks was positive. That report led to President Donald Trump having to admit he and the First lady had also tested positive in an outbreak that infected at least 34 people who had attended the White House Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
But unlike Senator Kamala Harris, who was exposed to an individual who tested positive and immediately self-quarantined, Vice President Pence will not. He is back on the campaign trail, with the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, saying doctors have cleared him to campaign.
On Sunday, Meadows claimed the Vice President is an “essential worker” and therefore must continue to campaign, which is false – campaigning is not part of his job as vice president.
After several aides, including his chief of staff, tested positive for Covid-19, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says VP Pence will keep campaigning: “Essential personnel, whether it’s the Vice President of the United States or anyone else, has to continue on” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/2ZWMmwUHG3
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
Meadows admitted on Sunday the Trump administration has no intention of even attempting to control the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” he told CNN. “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”
Meadows also tried to hide that Pence’s Chief of Staff had tested positive. The White House claimed he first tested positive on Saturday, but Meadows on Sunday slipped, admitting “he’s been quarantining these last few days.”
Americans are furious that Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is ignoring CDC
guidelines – and basic common sense – after coming into contact with five of his close advisors who are positive.
Here’s what many are saying:
This is the most important point this a.m. Pence is now a walking advertisement for the failure of his own task force, the recklessness of the Trump Administration and his spineless in the face of Trump. People will die because Mike Pence has neither character nor competence. https://t.co/o5kwod6vAK
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 25, 2020
Vice Superspreader Mike Pence can recklessly campaign all he wants, but I’m not getting within a mile of that infectious fuck
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 25, 2020
5 Pence aides have COVID, but Pence will stay on the campaign trail. Simply reckless. Angering.
— Voice of Reason (@RealJeffreyT) October 25, 2020
This is criminal and shows depraved indifference towards the lives of Pence Trump supporters and all Americans. Makes me wonder if Trump is still positive and willing to put his supporters at even greater risk https://t.co/kPAhIcTzJQ
— Richard Pollack (@richard_pollack) October 25, 2020
By going ahead with campaigning after at least 5 of his staff have tested positive, it’s hard to see how Pence isn’t guilty of reckless endangerment at the very least. https://t.co/Awk852ugym
— JimAndrews518 (@JimAndrews518) October 25, 2020
We are now up to at least 5 people in Pence’s orbit who have tested positive, and yet @VP is not planning to quarantine.
Instead, he plans to continue getting on a plane with staff, Secret Service agents & military personnel in order to keep campaigning in this final stretch https://t.co/kw3L1BkyMV
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 25, 2020
MOST RECENT DAILY CASE COUNT:
VICE-PRESIDENT PENCE’S STAFF: 5 https://t.co/TDUxD1UyuT
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) October 25, 2020
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 25, 2020
BREAKING: The coronavirus has turned the corner…..and was last seen driving straight into Mike Pence’s office, as 5 of his aides have now tested positive.
— cαηα∂α нαтεs тя☭мρ (@Trump_Detester) October 25, 2020
Has Pence’s office tested the fly? That might make 6 cases, not 5.
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) October 25, 2020
@VP @realDonaldTrump This is criminal level disregard for the health and well-being of the people who are around you. This is the most selfish and irresponsible administration in the history of the United States. I can hardly wait to vote you out!!! https://t.co/mqpxJWjAyo
— Tom Corn (@MrTomCorn) October 25, 2020
NYT reports VP Pence CoS, others in close contact, have tested positive for COVID19. All should be in quarantine. Hitting the campaign trail is an act of depraved indifference. https://t.co/6HLiyche70 https://t.co/fRBhO52gWR
— Dan Yurman (@djysrv) October 25, 2020
Mike Pence is coming to Minnesota on Monday after 5 of his staff tested positive for Coronavirus. We don’t want him here . He’s bad and toxic energy and is going to get people sick. Rally after rally is a catastrophic mistake.
— Jesse Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) October 25, 2020
Makes you wonder–Is Pence the head of the “Coronavirus task force” or is he the head of the “Coronavirus super spreader force”.
— Oreo (@OreoBuffy5) October 25, 2020
‘We Are Not Going to Control the Pandemic’: Trump Top Aide Meadows Makes Damning Confession During CNN Interview
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows waved the white flag on Sunday morning, admitting the administration has all but given up on trying to “contain” the coronavirus pandemic, saying they are directing their efforts to “vaccines and therapeutics.”
With “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper pointing cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, Meadows attempted to attack CNN over their coverage of the pandemic, to which Tapper replied, “It’s coming from all sorts of places because the pandemic is out of control.”
“So here’s what we have to do,” Meadows attempted. “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation.”
“Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?” Tapper pressed.
“Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Meadows shot back with Tapper insisting, “But why not make efforts to contain it?”
“We are making efforts to contain it,” said Meadows at which point the CNN host interrupted with, “By running all over the country and not wearing masks? That’s what the vice president is doing.”
Saying the administration needs to focus on “therapies or vaccines or treatments,” Meadows then changed the subject to attacking presidential frontrunner Joe Biden.
MEADOWS: We're not going to control the pandemic
TAPPER: Why not?
M: Because it's a contagious virus
T: Why not make efforts to contain it?
M: What we need to do is make sure we have the proper mitigation factors to make sure people don't die pic.twitter.com/0DYgk4rB3T
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 25, 2020
Court Slaps Down Trump’s Attempt to Intimidate Pennsylvania Voters
At a Friday night rally, Republican President Donald Trump talked about his attempts to have “poll watchers” in the swing state of Pennsylvania, an attempt that a local court recently ruled as illegal.
“I think we’re leading everywhere,” Trump said at the rally. “We think in Pennsylvania doing great. We got to be very careful Philadelphia. They play games in Philadelphia, and they won’t let us watch the count in Philadelphia… So we’re watching Philadelphia.”
Trump then told his White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to “please watch Philadelphia … because I don’t like what I’m hearing about Philadelphia…. I don’t like what I see going on in terms of what’s gone on over the past, and probably what’s going on. Think of it. They fought like hell that we can’t watch them. Count the vote, what’s wrong with watching? why can’t we have poll watchers? And so we’re in court right now poll watches in Philadelphia. But we’re doing great in Pennsylvania, gotta watch Philadelphia.”
"Why can't we have poll watchers? And so we're in court trying to have poll watchers in Philadelphia." — Trump pic.twitter.com/E4xCSFJqEk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 24, 2020
First off, the so-called poll watchers are needless seeing as there’s zero evidence of voter fraud at polling places, so Trump’s “watchers” are little more than intimidators meant to make Democratic voters nervous.
Second off, it’s not Meadows’ job to handle poll monitoring, election monitors or lawsuits. The White House Chief of staff serves as a “liaison among members of the President’s cabinet and the White House [and is] is responsible for directing, managing and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, and staff activities for the President.”
Third off, on Friday, local Judge Gary Glazer ruled that the Trump campaign’s attempt to have poll-watchers at the state polls isn’t allowed under state law. The Trump campaign had sent unauthorized poll watchers into satellite poll offices where local election officials register voters and help people fill out their mail-in ballots, but the officials kicked the watchers out.
Trump said his watcher should be allowed to monitor such offices, but a bipartisan Philadelphia City Commission said that the satellite locations don’t qualify as official polling stations and therefore don’t qualify as a place allowed by state law to have poll watchers. Judge Glazer agreed.
On September 27, Politico wrote that Trump had hired dozens of lawyers from three major law firms and recruited thousands of volunteer attorneys to contest election results in 17 key states considered vital to his re-election.
In response, Biden campaign spokesperson Michael Gwin told the publication, “The Biden campaign has assembled the biggest voter protection program in history to ensure the election runs smoothly and to combat any attempt by Donald Trump to create fear and confusion with our voting system, or interfere in the democratic process.”
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