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OPINION: How Many Lies Did the Sponsor of North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Bill HB2 Just Tell on MSNBC?…

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…And How Many Did Chuck Todd Let Him Get Away With?

I think I just saw one of the worst interviews “Meet the Press” has ever conducted. Host Chuck Todd just interviewed the Republican lawmaker who was the primary sponsor of North Carolina‘s anti-LGBT law, HB2. Rep. Dan Bishop showed up with a huge smile on his face, as if he just won a huge prize. And he had – Bishop and his GOP colleagues rammed through both sides of the General Assembly what some have called the most anti-LGBT bill in the nation. And he managed to get it done, from “debate” to signing by the governor, in well-under 12 hours.

But back to “Meet the Press.”

Chuck Todd was extraordinarily, and visibly, uncomfortable with the issue of LGBT civil rights. I’m pretty sure (feel free to tell me I’m wrong) he said “transgendered,” a few times, and had to carefully pronounce “sexual orientation and gender identity,” and even “LGBT.”

Nope, I’m right:

Worse than his discomfort was his obvious lack of knowledge of the subject.

This is an issue with broad implications for the LGBT community, and sure, it’s a national debate where many people have differing opinions. But what’s never up for debate is asking an important question and allowing the person you’re interviewing to wriggle and slither out of an answer – yet Todd did that repeatedly.

I’m not the only one who’s furious:

Bishop’s first words were literally, “It’s funny how misimpressions get started, Chuck.” That’s a heads-up, a gift, actually, to any journalist worth their salt that their guest intends to, and is prepared to, obfuscate and try to twist the facts. Apparently, Chuck Todd didn’t get that memo.

Bishop began his lies by claiming that HB2 is a “business regulation” bill. It is not, and it’s extremely clear what its intention was, since Republican lawmakers, especially House Speaker Tim Moore and Gov. Pat McCrory made numerous public statements about their intentions.

Bishop went on to claim, “what we did was restore common sense,” and Todd totally let that pass. It’s not common sense to force a transgender woman into the men’s room, or to force a transgender man into the women’s room.

He also gave the usual sexist trope about concern for women’s privacy. Why not concern for men’s privacy too? Two words: misogyny and paternalism.

Then there was this.

“Do you believe your bill prevents discrimination against gays and lesbians in North Carolina?,” Todd asked, ignoring the fact that HB2 really targets transgender citizens. “You don’t feel like you’ve rescinded protections?,” Todd continued. (Why would Rep. Bishop’s feelings have any journalistic rationale in this interview?)

“Absolutely not,” Bishop claimed, because Todd let him when he said “feel.”

“We worked very hard to preserve every piece of protection that North Carolina law, or Charlotte law, provided before the City Council went off the cliff and opened up women’s bathrooms to men,” Bishop claimed. That’s untrue, as best as I can see – maybe legal experts can weigh in.

Chuck Todd did not even try to push back on that. “Rep. Bishop, transgender women are not men,” was all he had to say. He did not.

And notice how Bishop wholly ignores the nine locales in North Carolina whose nondiscrimination protections he and his compatriots literally voided with the stroke of Gov. McCrory’s pen?

And there’s more.

“Let’s take Caitlyn Jenner. Which bathroom would she legally be allowed to use in North Carolina,?” Todd later asked. 

To this day, no one who listened to Rep. Bishop knows, because he never answered the question. Bishop responded by saying that HB2 only covers restrooms in public buildings. 

And, stunningly, he said, “the notion that [HB2] undermines discrimination protections is absurd.” 

Of course it is because there aren’t any. North Carolina has no statewide protections for LGBT people!

Todd asked the Jenner question again, and Bishop again obfuscated. Since he doesn’t know what’s on her birth certificate, he can’t answer the question. Which was a goldmine that Todd was incapable of mining.

When asked, “How do you check to see if somebody’s following the law?,” Todd actually let Bishop get away with, “The question is one of custom.” 

Seriously?

Because just a few decades ago, in North Carolina, it was “custom” to not allow Blacks use the same restrooms as whites.

Later, calling LGBT activists and supporters of Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance “dishonest,” Bishop says those people “can point to no protection that’s been rolled back.”

Rep. Bishop can tell that to the residents of Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange counties, and resident of cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, and towns including Boone, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill.

Rep. Dan Bishop did not actually answer most of Todd’s questions– or he just flat-out lied, or both. I’ll let legal minds dig into that more. And again, NBC News’ preeminent journalist enabled him. Todd literally handed the anti-LGBT community a blank check to twist truth and tell lies and have the platform of what is supposed to be a liberal network on which to do it. 

Memo to MSNBC: You have actual, and excellent, journalists on staff. One of your two best, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, should have been asked to interview Rep. Bishop, not Chuck Todd. What a shame.

 

EARLIER:

North Carolina Gov. McCrory in Hot Seat as Apple, Google, NBA, Many Others Denounce Anti-LGBT Law

Pat McCrory Says He Signed the Broadest Anti-LGBT Bill in the Nation to Prevent Government Overreach

NC GOP Governor, Lawmakers Race to Rescind Charlotte’s LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

 

Image: Screenshot via MSNBC

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NOT A DEMOCRAT

Leaked Audio Reveals Bloomberg Calling Progressives and Elizabeth Warren ‘Scary’ and Admitting He Wanted Romney to Beat Obama

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Audio recordings leaked to CNN reveal billionaire Mike Bloomberg calling progressives, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, “scary,” and admitting he wanted Republican Mitt Romney to beat President Barack Obama in 2012, despite having endorsed Obama for re-election. Bloomberg made the remarks at a private, closed door Goldman Sachs event in 2016.

The former Republican NYC mayor turned independent also told supporters at the 150-year old $1.3 trillion  international bank and investment house that had he run for president in 2016 he would have done so to “defend the banks,” which he also referred to as his “peeps.”

Bloomberg became a Democrat in 2018.

Asked about the rise of the far right in Europe Bloomberg chose to address the state of American politics.

“The left is arising. The progressive movement is just as scary,” he says in the audio. “Elizabeth Warren on one side. And whoever you want to pick on the Republicans on the right side?”

The Bloomberg campaign has confirmed the authenticity of his remarks, but a spokesperson claims Bloomberg’s comments about banks were “a joke.”

The remarks in context do not appear to make his claim of wanting to “defend the banks” actually a joke, rather, he admits it would have been unpopular.

“Well, to start, my first campaign platform would be to defend the banks, and you know how well that’s gonna sell in this country,” Bloomberg said, apparently as a “joke,” in his remarks.

“But seriously,” he continued, “somebody’s gotta stand up and do what we need. A healthy banking system that’s going to take risks because that’s what creates the jobs for everybody. And nobody’s willing to say that. The trouble is, these campaigns in this day and age, really are about slogans and not about issues anymore. And in this election you’re going to see people are voting and they either love or hate, mostly hate both, but who you hate the least. That’s what they’re going to vote for. And they’re not going to vote on issues.”

Another “joke” Bloomberg made was using Predator drones on “everybody that’s annoyed me or screwed me for the last 74 years, and bang-bang-bang-bang.”

Listen:

 

Image by Asia Society via Flickr and a CC license

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Religious Right Activists Petition Pompeo’s ‘Unalienable Rights’ Commission to ‘Make the Family Great Again’

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The commission created by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reconsider U.S. human rights policy, ostensibly according to the principles of unalienable rights and a particular interpretation of natural law, held its most recent public meeting at the U.S. State Department on Friday, where the Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse used the Q&A time to read a statement and submit a petition that urges President Donald Trump and Pompeo to “Make the Family Great Again.” Morse claimed that “the family itself has human rights.” Morse is essentially asking the commission to endorse the idea that the so-called “traditional family” has “fundamental” rights that equal or exceed those of individuals.

When the Commission on Unalienable Rights was created last year, anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Brown called it an “extraordinary opening to push for clear and consistent recognition of the natural family,” adding that it “gives us a forum to challenge American foreign policy that has in the past advanced the extreme agenda of the left that has been cloaked in the language of so-called human rights.”

The Ruth Institute started as a project of Brown’s National Organization for Marriage, so it’s not surprising that Morse shares his view about the potential for the commission to help them advance their anti-equality agenda. Morse’s petition signers include an array of U.S. and international anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ activists, including Gary Bauer, Janice Crouse, Robert George, Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, Rick Scarborough, and Sharon Slater. Among the signers from outside the U.S. is Levan Vasadze, the businessman and anti-LGBTQ activist who hosted the 2016 World Congress of Families global summit in the capital of Georgia, the former Soviet republic.

The petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to “work for recognition of the following fundamental rights”:

  1. The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  2. The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  3. The right to life from conception to natural death.
  4. The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state.

Human rights advocates, LGBTQ-equality activists, and others are concerned that the commission—dominated by conservative academics—was created to provide intellectual justification for bringing human rights advocacy in line with right-wing complaints about human rights “inflation.” And they worry that most commission members aim to put a right-wing interpretation of religious liberty into a top tier of rights that would exclude other rights recognized by the U.S. and the international community since the founding of the United Nations. The commission has been holding monthly public meetings, hearing from speakers expressing a range of views, and taking public questions. Its report is expected sometime this spring.

Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have also spent the past year mobilizing a new “pro-family” coalition of conservative and authoritarian governments designed to resist any international agreements or action by U.N. agencies that recognize reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality (which is deemed to be “anti-family”), and comprehensive sex education.

Morse claimed a few years ago that the goal of “radical feminists” and “sexual revolutionaries” was to expand the power of the state to take control over family life—and that they were using divorce and gay marriage to do it.

The Ruth Institute bills itself as “a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.” It promotes “those who have walked away from a same sex lifestyle” and other “survivors of the sexual revolution.”

Morse’s statement at the State Department was promoted by One News Now, a news arm of the American Family Association.

RELATED STORIES:

Hundreds of Orgs, Political and Religious Leaders Demand Pompeo Abolish His Anti-LGBTQ ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’

Rights Activists Alarmed as Pompeo Installs Anti-Gay Anti-Abortion Activist to Head New Commission on ‘Natural Law’

State Dept. Quietly Creates Commission Focused on ‘Fresh Thinking’ About ‘Natural Rights’ – Code for Anti-LGBT

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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UGLY AMERICAN

Trump Butchers Language During Massive India Welcome Rally — as Crowd Walks Out on His Speech

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President Donald Trump butchered several Indian words during a speech on his first official visit to the country.

Trump addressed a massive public rally Monday in Gujarat, the home state of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and struggled to pronounce several words, reported BBC.

The U.S. president bungled his pronunciation of Ahmedabad, the city where he was speaking, and the name of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda.

Trump, who entered to the music of Elton John, also called the Vedas — ancient Hindu texts — the “Vestas.”

BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan reported that crowds began leaving midway through Trump’s speech, which came after Modi spoke.

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