‘License to Discriminate’ Bill Had Passed by Large Margin in House
The West Virginia Senate has just killed an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill that, like many RFRAs across the nation’s legislatures, would haveÂ made discriminating against LGBT people â€“Â especiallyÂ same-sex couplesÂ â€“ legal, by letting anyone or any company, corporation, or organization claim to have a “sincerely held religious or moral belief” against same-sex marriage or even LGBT people in general.
Senators defeated HB 4012, the newly-renamedÂ â€œReligious Freedom Protection Act,â€Â by a vote of 27-7.
HB 4012 had been amended from the House version to add some protections for LGBT people, but even then, at that point, it had become toxic.
â€œThe WV Senateâ€™s rejection of House Bill 4012 is a resounding victory for Fairness West Virginia, our allies, our supporters, and Mountaineers everywhere,â€Â Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the Fairness West Virginia, said in a statement.
â€œWith similar discriminatory legislation being considered in states across the nation, West Virginia sent a clear message to the world that Mountaineers do not tolerate discrimination. This action proves once again that bipartisan support for nondiscrimination principles is a guiding force in our state.â€
The bill had passed the House in a 72-26 vote.Â
During debate, DemocraticÂ Delegate Mike Pushkin delivered a memorable and impactful speech, reminding his fellow delegates that “baking a cake is not persecution.”
â€” Mike Pushkin (@pushkinforhouse) March 2, 2016
Here’s the bill being voted on an defeated:
The ACLU of West Virginia also weighed in on the bill’s defeat.
“What the West Virginia Senate did today was to stand firm against misguided efforts to turn back the clock to a time when we look at each other as enemies,” Jennifer Meinig, Executive Director of the ACLU of WV said in a statement posted to Facebook.Â “Instead, the Senate chose to see each and every one of us as part of the fabric of our society, each valued for our own individual talents and traits.”Â
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
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Embattled Trump-Appointed DHS Inspector Was Given Phones of Secret Service Agents in July, Raising ‘New Questions’: Report
Senior Secret Service leadership confiscated the cell phones of 24 agents and handed them over to the embattled Trump-appointed Inspector General of the Dept. of Homeland Security as he was launching his criminal investigation into the deleted text message scandal. The Secret Service, DHS, and former Trump officials at the Pentagon have been under fire after the IG, Joseph Cuffari, belatedly revealed texts from January 5 and 6, 2021, had been deleted.
“The agency handed over the phones ‘shortly after’ a July 19 letter was sent by Inspector General Joseph Cuffari’s office,” NBC News reports.
“The revelation that Cuffari’s office has had access to the phones since late July or August raises new questions about the progress of his criminal investigation into the missing text messages and what, if anything, the public may be able to learn about communications between agents on Jan. 6, 2021,” NBC adds.
Cuffari reportedly learned in December of 2021 that the cell phones of Secret Service agents directly involved in protective operations on the day of the insurrection, had been wiped and text messages deleted. He did not report this to Congress until July of 2022, despite his staff taking action.
CNN, however, has reported Cuffari actually learned of the deleted texts in May of 2021, which if accurate would mean he waited more than a year to inform Congress. Nor did he inform the National Archives, which is required by law to retain those records.
Cuffari has been seen by some as covering for Trump loyalists. His own staff is calling for his firing.
“Department of Homeland Security (DHS) watchdog staff recently called on President Joe Biden to remove their boss, Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, according to a blistering letter obtained by the Project On Government Oversight,” POGO reported last week. “‘The highest priorities of an inspector general are integrity and independence,’ states the letter. ‘IG Cuffari and his inner circle of senior leaders have fallen short in these areas time and time again.'”
In April of 2021 The Washington Post reported Cuffari “blocked investigations proposed by career staff last year to scrutinize the [Secret Service’s] handling of the George Floyd protests in Lafayette Square and the spread of the coronavirus in its ranks, according to documents and people with knowledge of his decisions.”
Noted political scientist Norman Ornstein, who sits on the POGO board, in late July called the situation a “coverup of treason.”
POGO, he wrote, “has been calling for a long time for the resignation of DHS IG Joseph Cuffari. He sat on the information of missing texts from the top DHS ‘acting’ officials, put there by Trump to do his bidding. Stinks to high heaven. Coverup of treason.”
DOJ Demands Return of Emails Peter Navarro Sent From Private Account for Government Business
The Department of Justice is seeking a court order to compel Peter Navarro to return government documents he took after leaving the Trump administration.
Investigators are seeking the return of emails he sent while working on the White House coronavirus response, which they say were sent from a private account for government business to discuss ventilators, activating National Guard units, and the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, reported CNN.
“There is no genuine dispute of fact that Dr. Navarro used at least one unofficial email account to conduct official business, that those records are the property of the United States, and that Dr. Navarro has refused to return the records to the United States. Indeed, his counsel has expressly admitted as much,” wrote Justice Department lawyers.
“Because Dr. Navarro remains in possession of property that belongs to the United States,” the lawyers added, “this Court should issue a writ of replevin requiring Dr. Navarro to return what he wrongfully continues to possess.”
The National Archives discovered the emails were missing after the DOJ sued Navarro earlier this year in a records dispute related to a House investigation.
Fox News Host Claims ‘Whites Are a Minority in California’ So Dems Want ‘On-Ramp’ for Undocumented Immigrants to Vote
Fox News personality Jesse Watters is making undocumented claims about undocumented immigrants and voting in California, the nation’s most-populous state, along with false claims about voter ID and precisely which race is the majority in the Golden State.
“Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states acceptable for voting,” the ACLU says. “These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Such voters more frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining government-issued photo ID card.”
That’s very different from falsely claiming Black Americans are “incapable of handling an ID.”
Watters went on to say, “But, I guess illegal aliens are perfectly capable of having a state-issued ID to use it for welfare.”
That too is false.
Undocumented immigrants are almost exclusively ineligible for federal government welfare programs.
“What I think is going on here is, right now, whites are a minority in California. Hispanics are the majority race in that state,” Watters claims.
Depending on your definition, that’s false, according to the U.S. Government.
Those who reported being “white alone or in combination” with another race is listed as 54.6% for California for the actual 2020 Census. “White alone” is listed as 41.2%.
“Hispanic or Latino” is listed as 39.4% of the population in California. “Not Hispanic or Latino” is listed at 60.6%.
“And white Democrat politicians like Gavin Newsom see the writing on the wall and they’ll do anything they can to cling to the political machine,” Watters claimed. “Now, this looks like an on-ramp to voting, if I was just being suspicious. But, being suspicious has made me very, very successful.”
The segment began with “Judge’ Jeanine Pirro saying “Liberal states and cities from coast to coast putting illegal immigrants over their own residents.” Pirro was lamenting a bill Newsom signed into law she says that will allow “illegal immigrants to acquire a government-issued state ID.”
Just before the 2016 election Watters did a man-on-the-street segment in New York City’s Chinatown and for nearly five minutes engaged in racist, anti-Asian, and downright offensive behavior. Vox’s Libby Nelson put it this way: “Fox News fit an impressive number of offensive Asian stereotypes into 5 minutes.”
Watch below or at this link.
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