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Texas GOP Leaders’ Anti-Trans Rhetoric Already Hurting State Economically, Expert Says



With Bizarre Tweets Texas Governor Shoots for the Moon, Lt. Governor ‘Shoots’ at Restrooms

Anti-transgender rhetoric from Texas GOP leaders, like that of Gov. Greg Abbott (above), is already hurting the state economically, according to Jessica Shortall, managing director of Texas Competes, a pro-LGBT coalition of employers. 

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Abbott have been outspoken in their opposition to last week’s directive from the Obama administration requiring public schools to allow trans students to use the restrooms of their choice. 


Shortfall said their incendiary comments on the issue, picked up widely by national media, could impact Texas employers’ ability to recruit talent from out of state, especially among the millennials who’ll make up 75 percent of the workforce 2030. 

“Even just the rhetoric is a problem,” Shortfall said, adding that effects on recruiting don’t get as much attention as cancelled concerts or conventions. “When you lose talent, that’s not like a big announcement. It flies much more under the radar.” 

Lt. Gov. Patrick posted the strange tweet above, literally turning a public restroom logo, and thus, the “debate,” into a fight for Texas independence:

Patrick, who leads the state Senate, is vowing to pass anti-trans legislation next year similar to North Carolina’s HB2, which has cost the Tarheel State an estimated $87 million, according to media reports. (One estimate puts the annual cost at $5 billion, including federal funding losses.) But Patrick has dismissed potential economic backlash over anti-LGBT legislation as “bluff” and “bluster.” 

“It’s nonsense,” Patrick said during a press conference at the Texas GOP convention last week. “It’s part of the propaganda of the political left. So big deal, some artist doesn’t want to come to some arena, they’ll fill the day with an artist who does. You know, greed works for the entertainment industry. If there’s an open date in a concert hall, someone will book it.” 

Later, I asked Patrick whether he’s prepared to stand up to the Texas Association of Business, the state’s chamber of commerce which came out against anti-LGBT legislation last year, as well as the 900-plus employers who’ve joined Texas Competes, including more than 30 from the Fortune 500. 

“Yes I am, and so are the people of Texas, so are their employees,” Patrick said. “The Texas Association of Business, which I usually agree with. .. their association is wrong on this. This is not about equal rights. No one’s denying anyone their rights.” 

In a post responding to Patrick this week, one business leader disagreed. 

David Wyatt, co-founder of Wyatt Brands, an Austin-based public relations firm, wrote in the post titled “Bigotry has no business in Texas,” that he has “nothing to gain from the State government endorsing discrimination and a lot to lose.” 

“First there is the human rights issue,” Wyatt wrote. “If people are being oppressed and denied, then I must think of our team, our clients, and our vendors. … Then there’s the lost business from brands, events, and companies cancelling their Texas plans to make their own statement of support for the LGBT community. As a service business, I miss out on serving their marketing needs. 

Wyatt added that the statements from Patrick, Paxton and Abbott are inconsistent with messages from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. On a website called Texas Wide Open for Business, the economic development office claims the state “combines its wide horizons and accommodating climate, its diverse population and healthy markets and a stubborn pursuit to create an excellent environment for business.” 

“With one hand, Texas is waving in businesses to set up shop in the state with a promise of diversity and an excellent environment while with the other hand we’ve got our fingers crossed,” Wyatt wrote. “Either that or this is a good-old-boy secret handshake that implies ‘we’ll let you do business here the old, straight, white guy way.’ I believe that our responsibility as Texans, as taxpayers, and as business owners is to use our influence to fight for equity so that when fear and tradition unjustly persecute a quiet majority, that we can give them all a fair shot at making Texas great.

“So I say to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, the people at ‘Wide Open for Business,’ and anyone else that would use bigotry (believed or just projected for political leverage): Don’t let the bathroom door hit you where the good Lord split you!“ 



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Trump Indictment Is a Massive 34 Counts: CNN



When he appears in New York next week, Donald Trump will face a 34-count indictment.

CNN’s John Miller on-air Thursday evening announced, “I am told by my sources that this is 34 counts of falsification of business records, which is probably a lot of charges involving each document, each thing that was submitted, as a separate count.”

Attorney Tristan Snell, who assisted in the successful prosecution of the Trump University case for the New York Attorney General’s Office, responded via Twitter:

“This is WAY more than expected. If this is correct, it could mean that the indictment covers FAR more than the Stormy Daniels hush money — like Karen McDougal hush money or other hush money/catch-and-kill cases.”

READ MORE: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’

“My hunch for a while,” Snell adds, “given [David] Pecker’s involvement and the drawn-out timetable of the indictment, plus the TWENTY interviews of Michael Cohen with the DA, showed that something far larger than Stormy might be in the works.”

“May still be wrong, of course. But 34 counts is a LOT!”

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Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’



Donald Trump’s attorneys were notified Thursday afternoon a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict him on felony charges related to his alleged hush money payoff of a porn star he reported slept with.

The ex-president’ attorney recently said if indicted Trump would travel to New York to turn himself in.

The Office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has just issued a strongly-worded statement saying it is “coordinating” with Trump’s attorneys for his “surrender.”

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond

The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery posted the statement to Twitter.

NBC News explains the process, noting he is expected to be arraigned next week.

“After the indictment, Trump will be arrested and taken into custody. He will likely have a mug shot and fingerprints taken,” NBC reports. “Trump will then appear in court to be arraigned, where he will hear charges and enter a plea. Two sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that the former president is likely to be arraigned next week. Trump will either be jailed or released while pre-trial hearings take place.”

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‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond



Just past 5:00 PM ET The New York Times broke the news that Donald Trump, the ex-president, had been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on felony charges.

It is a historic moment.

Legal experts are weighing in to help guide Americans through an event that has never before happened in this country.

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman says the fact that this is the first time in U.S. history a president is facing criminal charges is itself a problem.

“I think it would have not been a novel event,” Ackerman said on MSNBC, “if we had done this 49 years ago with Richard Nixon, and he had not been pardoned, this will not be a big event [that] it is today.”

READ MORE: New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted

“Everybody should be held accountable,” Ackerman added, citing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s earlier remarks. Cohen testified repeatedly before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump late Thursday afternoon after a three-hour session.

Ackerman lamented that despite over 30 people being indicted during Watergate, “Richard Nixon was pardoned, he wasn’t held accountable.”

“I think this is very important,” Ackerman continued, “establishing a principle, a line in the sand, that even if you’re the President of the United States, and you commit a crime, you can’t stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and just shoot somebody.”

Ackerman was referring to Trump’s infamous comments during the 2016 election, when he bragged he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Attorney and civil rights activist Maya Wiley, also on MSNBC, said, “It’s important and sobering that we had somebody who had the highest office of this country who has now ben indicted for his behavior, his acts, in order to win that office, but also faces what are more shoes that will drop, I believe.”

“It is a sobering moment for this country, that we are witnessing this happened to somebody who was entrusted with such power who has now had a jury of his peers, because that is what a grand jury also is, say we believe he had to face the music.”

READ MORE: Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law, called this a “moment where we would do well to seriously assess who we are as Americans and who we are not as Americans, because we re all so familiar with Donald Trump’s tactics.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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