Standing Up for LGBT People and Equality Is ‘Sabotage’ Speaker of the House Says
For a month now the U.S. House of Representatives have been embroiled in a battle over LGBT civil rights. It started when Rep. Steve Russell drafted and passed an amendment to the nation’s critical military spending bill that would gut and nullify President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive orders banning anti-LGBT discrimination by any federal contractor. The Russell Amendment would carve out special rights for anyone who could claim a deeply-held religious belief that LGBT people should be discriminated against. The Russell Amendment literally would provide taxpayer money to enable and support legalized discrimination.
Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York came up with a solution. His bill would nullify the Russell Amendment, by codifying the President’s executive orders into law. As the full House voted, and time ran out, Maloney’s legislation passed.
But that was unacceptable to the Republican-led House.
Top leaders, supported by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, held the clock and the votes open, and colluded with at least seven Republicans who had voted for Maloney’s bill, to change their votes. They did, and the measure went from passing to failing.
Usually, when the majority party bends the rules and allows vote changes, Representatives are required to walk up to the clerk to change their votes. It’s a bit of decorum and integrity. Even that was too much for Speaker Ryan’s thugs, who allowed the seven saboteursÂ to kill the bill anonymously, or so they thought, from their desks. Democrats dug into the record and identified the anti-LGBT lawmakers, later vowing to unseat them.
As the votes were being changed and equality was being thwarted, House Democrats shouted, “Shame!, Shame!, Shame!,” but to no avail.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!”
US House floor erupts over vote on an amendment to protect LGBT people from discrimination. https://t.co/dDprhGNoLF
â€” NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 23, 2016
The bill was dead.
Or so we thought.Â
Rep. Maloney introduced his bill and attached it Wednesday night to another spending bill, a water and energy infrastructure bill. It passed, and even the maleficentÂ seven voted in favor of the measure.
But Rep. Ryan’s House henchmen were not done.
Also on Wednesday, two anti-LGBT bills were attached to the infrastructure spending bill.
One effectively overrides the Maloney bill, creating religious carve outs and allowing federal contractors to, yes, you guessed it, discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, in Jesus’ name.
The other would ban the federal government from withholding previously dedicated funds from the State of North Carolina in response to its illegal and unconstitutional anti-LGBT law, HB2.
Both of those bills passed.
But the infrastructure bill,Â a massive umbrella under which the two anti-LGBT and the one pro-equality bills were nestled, did not.
Georgia Rep.Â Rick Allen Thursday morningÂ told his fellow Republicans if they vote for it — because of its pro-LGBT part — they would be “going to hell.” He also read from the Bible and quoted Scripture. Some called it a prayer.Â
Some of his fellow Republicans, a few who had voted for Rep. Maloney’s bill, according to reports, were so offended they walked out.
Later Thursday morning the spending bill failed — a bipartisan decision, you could say.
Which brings us to Speaker Paul Ryan’s ugly lie.
Holding his weekly press conference, Rep. Ryan warmed up the crowd by denouncingÂ the long lines at airports and announcing legislation to help fix the TSA backlog.
Then he went for the kill.
Speaking about the House’s $37.4 billion infrastructure bill, which included the three LGBT-related amendments, Speaker Ryan attacked the Democrats, claiming they would rather scuttle the bill, and compromise America’s infrastructure, than allow it to pass.
â€œI want to talk about the vote we just had on the energy and water appropriations bill,” Speaker Ryan told reporters, “this is a very good bill,” he said, despite it failingÂ 305-112.
“It improves our energy infrastructure. It enhances our national security. It uses the power of the purse to stop harmful regulations,” Ryan proclaimed.
“But what we learned today is that the Democrats were not looking to advance an issue but to sabotage the appropriations process,” he insisted. “The mere fact that they passed their amendment, then voted against the bill containing their amendment, proves this point.”
Now. let’s think about that last statement for a moment.
Voting for an amendment that protects LGBT people, but voting against the full bill because it harms LGBT people is “sabotage”?
Of course Democrats and even moderate Republicans would vote for a bill that advances equality, and of course they would vote against one that reverses it, even harms LGBT people. That’s not sabotage, that’s just common sense.Â
“The mere fact that they passed their amendment, then voted against the bill containing their amendment, proves this point.”
That’s so illogical, so easily disproven, so embarrassingly false, of course it’s a lie, and an ugly lie at that.
Welcome to Speaker Ryan’s Republican House.
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Watch: McConnell Blasts GOP ‘Candidate Quality’ as He Admits Democrats Likely to Keep Senate
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a surprising admission Thursday: the GOP’s candidates running for Senate may not be good enough for Republicans to take control of the chamber he once led as Majority Leader.
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” McConnell responded when asked at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon about his projections for the upcoming November elections, as NBC News reported.
“Senate races are just different,” he explained. “Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly,” McConnell added, wrongly.
The country is not 50-50.
According to a Gallup poll conducted over a three week period in July, 28% of Americans identify as Republican, 29% as Democratic, and 41% as independent.
Thanks in large part to Donald Trump, “candidate quality” is definitely a challenge for the GOP.
There are 35 Senate seats up for (re)election in November, 14 are held by Democrats and 21 by Republicans. Possibly sensing the headwinds five GOP Senators and just one Democratic Senator are not running for reelection and are retiring.
The GOP pulling cash out of races it may think its candidates cannot win.
“As midterm election campaigns heat up in the Senate’s top battlegrounds, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is canceling millions of dollars of ad spending, sending GOP campaigns and operatives into a panic and upending the committee’s initial spending plan,” Politico on Monday reported.
Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight currently shows Democrats have a 64 in 100 chance of retaining the Senate, a number that’s been growing: On July 22 it was 50-50.
Watch Leader McConnell below or at this link:
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate … Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not sound too confident in Republicans’ ability to retake the Senate pic.twitter.com/XK8G451i01
— The Recount (@therecount) August 18, 2022
Herschel Walker Raked in Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Giving Paid Speeches While a Candidate for Senate: Report
Like nearly every candidate for elected office, entrepreneur and former NFL star Herschel Walker, the Republican Party’s nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia, has been giving speeches since he announced his run for office. Unlike nearly every candidate for public office, Walker has been charging for those speeches.
Not entrance fees for an audience to hear him speak, but actual speaking fees, paid by lobbying groups and even non-profits like a Boys & Girls Club in Georgia.
And he’s racked up big money doing it as a declared candidate for elected office.
The fees he says on his disclosure form he’s received range from $12,000 to $60,000.
After having served as a U.S. Senator and then as a U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was flogged by Republicans for giving paid speeches after leaving the Obama administration, during the time she was a private citizen and far from declaring any intention to run for office.
But Walker is making money as a candidate for elected office, according to The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberg.
A lot of money.
“Herschel Walker—who has so far only agreed to participate in the one debate that provides topics in advance—has earned $569,000 in speaking fees since Jan. 2021,” Sollenberger reports, citing Walker’s financial disclosure.
“More than half” of that $569,000 “came after he launched his Senate campaign last August.”
That means Walker has raked in well over a quarter million dollars while a declared candidate for public office.
NCRM examined Walker’s annual SEC filing, dated August 15, 2022. It lists his declaration of candidacy for office as August 24, 2021.
In February of this year Walker was paid $60,000 by the University of North Texas for its Kuehne Speaker Series. Last year, before officially declaring as a candidate for office Walker was paid $35,000 by the All Sports Association, and $25,000 by the Boys & Girls Club of Gainesville, Georgia.
These payments and many others – 21 in total – are listed under the section titled “Honoraria Payments or Payments to Charity in Lieu of Honoraria.” The filing asks, “Did any individual or organization pay you or your spouse more than $200, or donate any amount to a charity on your or your spouse’s behalf, for an article, speech, or appearance?”
Walker answered “Yes.”
The filing asks, “Who received payment?” For each of the 21 entries Walker indicated “Self.”
Under “Activity,” each response was “Speech.”
There are many others.
Three days after officially declaring himself a candidate Walker was paid $35,000 by the Texas Bankers Association. A few days later $20,000 by the Georgia Realtors Association. $35,000 in October by the Baldwin County Community Drug Foundation.
In December of last year the Atlana Journal-Constitution reported Walker is “the richest man in Georgia Senate race.”
“U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker is worth somewhere between $29 million and $65 million, and he pulled down about $4 million in income from late 2020 through late 2021, according to financial disclosures he filed late Wednesday,” the paper reported.
“About $400,000 of his earnings were from speeches he delivered to over a dozen groups, including charities such as the Boys and Girls Club that paid him as much as $27,000,” the Journal-Constitution confirmed at the time.
Walker, who was the subject of great controversy after The Daily Beast revealed in a series of reports that Walker, despite criticizing Black men for being absent fathers, has three secret children, and says he lied to his own campaign about their existence. In addition to his adult son, a popular social media influencer. One of the three is an adult but the other two and young children.
Walker has also taken money for speaking to anti-abortion organizations.
“He was paid $20,000 in October to speak to the Mid City Women’s Clinic in Hurst, Texas, and $27,000 in November to speak to the Pregnant Choice medical group in Augusta. Both are among a network of clinics that seek to deter abortions.”
Image: Screenshot via Facebook
Listen: GOP Candidate for Congress Says Garland Should ‘Probably’ Be ‘Executed’ – Later Claims He Was Just Being ‘Facetious’
New York Republican Carl Paladino, running for a U.S. House seat, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be “executed” in a radio interview this past weekend, and later when pressed backtracked, claiming he was just being “facetious,” as The Buffalo News first reported.
“So we have a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people like Garland,” Paladino said in an attack on President Joe Biden in a Saturday interview with the far-right wing Breitbart media site.
Garland “should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost,” Paladino said.
Paladino called Garland, a former U.S. Supreme Court nominee and former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a “lost soul” who is “trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible.”
“To raid the home of a former president is just, people are scratching their heads and they’re saying, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ ”
Later in the interview Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle asked Paladino, “Carl, what you just said about Garland, you said you think ‘he should be impeached and probably executed.’ Can you explain that? What do you mean by that?”
“I’m just being facetious,” Paladino replied. “The man should be removed from office. He’s shows his incompetence. He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he’s got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is is is very sad. And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he’ll he’ll stand there.”
Paladino, who is strongly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Chair of the House Republican Conference, has a long history of controversial remarks and actions.
Just last month the New York Post reported he “has a convicted sex offender on his company payroll who also now works as ‘assistant treasurer’ of his campaign.”
“Joel Sartori was controller of Ellicott Development when he was busted in 2013 for accessing child porn on a company computer,” The Post adds. “Sartori was convicted of two felonies — possessing and promoting kiddie porn — and sentenced to 10 years’ probation in 2017, court records show.”
As CNN has reported, Paladino has called Black people “dumb and hungry,” claimed they are “conditioned” to only vote for Democrats, while insisting he’s not “a racist.” He also said a woman who had accused Donald Trump of sexual assault “probably enjoyed” it.
Stefanik, the third most powerful House Republican, on June 3 praised Paladino as an “inspirational” leader, a “doer,” and “the kind of leader we need today.” That endorsement came just days before it was revealed Paladino in 2021 had called Adolf Hitler “inspirational,” and “the kind of leader we need today” (audio.)
Stefanik later doubled down on her endorsement despite Paladino’s praise for Hitler, a genocidal fascist responsible for the murders of approximately 17 million people.
As CNN also reported, in 2016, “Paladino had said he would like to see Michelle Obama ‘return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,’ and that he hoped Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.”
Listen to Paladino’s remarks about Attorney General Garland below or at this link:
Image: Screenshot via Facebook
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