North Carolina Lawmaker Reveals Why He Refuses to Support Repeal of Anti-LGBT Law HB2
North Carolina State Representative Dan Bishop introduced HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill” that set off a national debate about the rights of transgender people. Unlike most anti-LGBT legislation, the text of HB2 does not position it as a “religious freedom” law, but an email sent by the bill’s chief sponsor and purported author exposes its religious roots.
A public records request by the Charlotte Business Journal uncovered an email sent by Rep. Bishop on April 5, just two weeks after HB2 was passed and signed into law, and soon after PayPal announced its decision not to expand to the state because of the law.
“I donâ€™t fear man. I fear God,” Bishop said in an email sent to a Charlotte resident, suggesting he believedÂ the bill was somehow necessary for religious reasons.”So I wonâ€™t be backing down, and the good news is that right now the GOP caucuses in the House and Senate are hanging tough.”
HB2 passed through the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, all on March 23. The law, which has been labeled both illegal and unconstitutional, bans transgender individuals from using the public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
In the same email, Bishop said, â€œThe best hope is that Phil Berger (NC Senate President Pro Tempore) has nerves of steel, and because of that, I am pretty confident that the Senate will not be changing that law. At least not in this session.â€
Backlash from HB2 has caused several companies to cancel planned expansions or pull business from the state. Lionsgate canceled a planned production shoot and Stephen Schwartz halted all productions of the musical “Wicked” over the bill. PayPal and Deutsche Bank canceled expansion plans in North Carolina. Several performers including Bruce Springsteen and Maroon 5 canceled performances in the state while others donated proceeds from their concerts to charity.
HB2 was introduced in response to a Charlotte ordinance adding LGBT protections to existing laws protecting against discrimination in the city. Bishop condemned the ordinance when it was introduced, saying in a news release, â€œA small group of far-out progressives should not presume to decide for us all that a cross dresserâ€™s liberty to express his gender nonconformity trumps the right of women and girls to peace of mind.â€
The state is being sued by the Department of Justice for violating Title VII with HB2, which they say is equivalent to sex discrimination. The ACLU is also suing Governor Pat McCrory over the law.
Bishop seemed to have expected some backlash after HB2 was passed. â€œI stepped in front of the train quite deliberately, but the beating is every bit as bad as I expected, and then some. I need the Lordâ€™s help and your prayers.â€ Bishop also wrote in the email.
Image: Screenshot via Dan Bishop/YouTube
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State Dept. Kicks National Public Radio Reporter Off Plane After Pompeo’s Unhinged Attack on NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly
The State Dept. has kicked a reporter for National Public Radio off Secretary Mike Pompeo’s plane just days after he attacked a different NPR reporter and even issued an astonishing and false statement accusing her of lying.
PBS NewsHour’s Nick Schifrin reports Michele Kelemen is the NPR reporter, part of the State Dept. press pool, who was removed from Pompeo’s trip to London and Kiev.
State Department removes @NPR‘s @michelekelemen from @SecPompeo plane–where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation–during upcoming trip to London, Kiev. Comes after @SecPompeo accused media of being “unhinged” after @NPRKelly interview and subsequent back and forth.
— Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) January 27, 2020
Last week Pompeo blasted NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, claiming she had agreed to his remarks on Ukraine being off the record. She had not. At the end of the interview Pompeo reportedly forced Kelly to point out Ukraine on an unlabeled map. Kelly anchors “All Things Considered,” has a master’s in European studies from Cambridge, and is an an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching classes in national security and journalism.
Pompeo issued a press release suggesting she had incorrectly identified Bangladesh when asked to point out Ukraine on the map, which is highly doubtful given her education and background, including being a State Dept. correspondent for two decades.
Schifrin adds the State Dept. Correspondents’ Assoc. has issued a statement condemning the removal of Kelly.
State Dept Correspondents Association’s @shauntandon:”We can only conclude State retaliating against @NPR as result of this exchange..State press corps has long tradition of accompanying secretaries on travel,we find it unacceptable to punish individual member of our association”
— Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) January 27, 2020
Here’s Pompeo’s astonishing press release from last week attacking Kelly:
The Secretary of State has issued this statement regarding his NPR interview: pic.twitter.com/Jp6vl3wny9
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 25, 2020
Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr
‘Bizarro World’: Internet Explodes as Pam Bondi Defends President on TV: ‘Frat Houses at Trump University Must Be Wild Now’
Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, possibly best-known for refusing to join a fraud investigation into Trump University that ultimately led to the President of the United States forking over $25 million, is right now defending President Trump on national TV during the Senate impeachment trial.
As many on social media noted, Bondi refused to join that investigation that led to a $25 million payment from the president, but was only too happy to accept a $25,000 donation from Donald Trump for her re-election campaign, just as she was deciding on whether or not to investigate him.
Bondi rocketed to the number two trending item on Twitter within minutes of speaking.
On social media some are calling it “bizarro world”:
Pam Bondi, who ended an investigation into Trump University as AG of Florida within weeks of Trump donating to her campaign, is going to defend the President on the topic of corruption. We are in bizarro world.
— David Pakman (@dpakman) January 27, 2020
Some posted evidence:
Copy of the $25,000 check from Trump to Bondi after she mentioned she might be looking into fraud complaints at Trump University https://t.co/e5uBSfw9z4
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) January 27, 2020
Some say Bondi has experience “overlooking allegations made against Trump”:
Pam Bondi’s job is to attempt to persuade the public to overlook the allegations in Trump’s impeachment.
And when it comes to overlooking allegations made against Trump, she’s got experience.https://t.co/xjqhK2rR1C
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 27, 2020
Some mocked the “frat houses” that never existed at the now-defunct Trump University:
The frat houses at Trump University must be wild now that Pam Bondi is up.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) January 27, 2020
Pam Bondi, who dropped an investigation into Trump University after Trump’s foundation gave her campaign $25,000, is here to lecture us about corruption pic.twitter.com/XH5nlwGrqK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 27, 2020
Trump made an illegal campaign contribution to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, and she’s the lawyer the Trump defense team chose to talk about corruption? https://t.co/fRBKu0EL2J
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 27, 2020
Ah, we’ve arrived at the “I’m not impeached, you’re impeached” part of the proceedings in which Pam Bondi will lecture us on corruption and why Biden should be impeached. https://t.co/L3HwBThROV
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) January 27, 2020
This Pam Bondi presentation about Hunter Biden is the Trump team achieving in a Senate trial what Trump couldn’t get Ukraine to do: publicly smear the Bidens.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 27, 2020
Pam Bondi is engaged in government-sponsored slander of a private citizen.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 27, 2020
‘Ken Starr Punched Himself in the Face’: MSNBC Host Calls Trump Team’s Opener a ‘Total, Unmitigated Disaster’
Legal expert and MSNBC host Ari Melber explained Monday that former independent counsel Ken Starr could not have been a worse person to give an opening statement for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Host Nicolle Wallace explained that she was satisfied with not being yelled at on television by Trump’s team, as other lawyers have done. But Melber explained that beyond the volume level, the Trump team isn’t on a successful trajectory.
“This is the first big TV lawyer that we’ve seen deployed, that Donald Trump added to the team,” said Melber. “This was a disaster for Republicans, a total unmitigated legal and constitutional disaster. Ken Starr, at no point in this dramatic, at times, mournful opening, explained in any factual or legal way what’s different. If anything, he drew attention — and there are senators who understand the history — he drew attention to the fact that the last two times in modern history we’ve had impeachments: Clinton and Nixon.”
“They were for less!” exclaimed Wallace.
“They were for abuse of power among the original articles,” Melber agreed. “There were three articles for Nixon, one abuse of power, four initially for Clinton, one abuse of power. Hearing this mumbo jumbo of technical crime vis-à-vis high crime, abuse of power is the ultimate high crime. And so listening to this it was remarkable because Ken Starr is ‘Mr. Abuse of Power’ and I was listening interested, ready, open-minded to hear him somehow distinguish, explain, foreign policy. Nothing. He came up empty.”
Melber went on to call it a case of Starr vs. Starr like he was “shadow-boxing with himself.”
“I think constitutionally it may or may not resolve this case but for lawyers and senators watching constitutionally and anyone paying attention thought, ‘That’s odd.’ You asked a panelist earlier, ‘Well, what’s in his mind?’ We don’t know but we know what’s in his hands, his own hypocritical history,” Melber continued.
Watch the full exchange below:
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