JCCs and Schools in 12 States Attacked Just Today
500 Headstones Overturned at a Jewish Cemetery on SaturdayÂ
“A member of my family evacuated from a JCC today. He is three years old.”
While it’s just mid-afternoon 20 Jewish schools and community centers across the nation have receivedÂ bomb threats from both inside and outside the U.S. Federal law enforcement says the attacks are “coordinated.”Â
Today marks at least the fifth day this year that terror attacks targeting mostly Jewish children, and elderly people, have occurred. Additionally, at least two Jewish cemeteries this month have been attacked, with hundreds of of gravestones being overturned. On Saturday, a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia suffered a massive attack. Originally reported as 100 headstones, a new report saysÂ more than 500 headstones were overturned.Â
Today, organizations in at least 11 states â€“Â Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to theÂ JCCÂ AssociationÂ ofÂ NorthÂ AmericaÂ â€“ received bomb threats, but minutes ago NBC News’ Peter Alexander posted a list that also includes Rhode Island, bringing the total to 12 states:
BREAKING: In total, 20 bomb threats received today by JCC’s (13) & Jewish day schools (7). Full list of sites here. pic.twitter.com/TIwyDSCzot
â€” Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 27, 2017
â€” Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 27, 2017
“The calls range from individuals phoning in bomb threats to â€œrobo calls,â€ which are either machine-generated voice threats or recordings,” CBS News reports, calling it “a nationwide investigation.”
“The FBI is also examining whether hacked communication devices were used. Whoever is behind the calls may have hacked into other peopleâ€™s phones, communication devices, and/or email addresses and is using those means to make the threats.”
In Scarsdale, New York, 100 children had to be evacuated earlier today:
Today’s attacks bring the total since Trump becameÂ President to at least 89 attacks against schools and community centers.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer today took the extraordinary step of denouncing the recent attacks.
â€œThe president continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned into the reports of further vandalism at Jewish cemeteries,â€ Spicer said. â€œThe president continues to condemn these and other forms of anti-Semitic and hateful acts.â€
Press Sec: Pres. Trump “deeply disappointed and concerned” by new incidents of vandalism and bomb threats against Jewish communities. pic.twitter.com/MVMaNGSZVJ
â€” ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Some responses via Twitter:
â€” Roben Farzad (@robenfarzad) February 27, 2017
just to put this in context- when you hear a JCC received a bomb threat and had to be evacuated- most of those are fucking preschools.
â€” Ari Fishbein (@arifishbein) February 27, 2017
â€” sandy wheatley (@regal480) February 27, 2017
A member of my family evacuated from a JCC today. He is three years old.
â€” (((Carly Pildis))) (@CarlyPildis) February 27, 2017
â€” Samantha Levy-Arnold (@TheSamanthaLevy) February 27, 2017
â€” (((Mark Russell))) (@MarkusJRussell) February 27, 2017
â€” Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) February 27, 2017
This infuriates me. Kids evacuated from a JCC while POTUS barks at a Jewish reporter to sit down and offers only perfunctory disapproval. https://t.co/Eg88zzKHvl
â€” Mr. Media Training (@MrMediaTraining) February 27, 2017
My son was evacuated this morning in a #JCC bomb threat. This is not normal. It is not ok. It’s not the future I want for any of our kids.
â€” Andrea Flynn (@dreaflynn) February 27, 2017
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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges
Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.
Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.
The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.
“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”
Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.
In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”
Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Respect for Marriage Act a second time, approving even stronger religious liberty protections after the legislation was changed in the Senate. But this time was different – this time Republicans really showed up, in even bigger numbers, to vote no.
And it’s worse than it looks.
The bill once again did pass, and will now be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
But how we got here does not bode well for the future of civil rights.
On July 19, the bill passed the House 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting yes and all 157 no votes also coming from Republicans.
On Thursday the bill passed in a 258-169 vote, with just 39 Republicans voting yes and all 169 no votes again coming from Republicans.
Just looking at the overall vote totals, comparing the vote in July to the vote on Thursday, it’s easy to think eight Republicans (47 minus 39) switched their yes vote to no.
It’s a bit more complicated.
And it’s the no votes that are striking. Because in reality, this time a lot more Republicans voted no.
Eight Republicans who did not vote in July showed up this time to vote no. Only one who did not vote in July voted yes on Thursday.
Another six Republicans switched their vote from yes in July to no on Thursday.
Two who voted yes in July did not vote on Thursday.
One switched from no to yes.
One switched from yes to present.
One who voted no in July is now deceased.
Republicans on the House floor on Thursday made their message clear.
Republicans like Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, a former anti-LGBTQ activist who worked for an organization created to block same-sex marriage. She literally cried own the floor begging her colleagues to vote no. And Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who said practically everything wrong in society can be traced back to same-sex marriage.
Here’s the breakdown. (If they are not listed they voted no.)
Here’s how we get to eight fewer yes votes:
Bentz Republican Oregon Yes to No
Mast Republican Florida Yes to No
Meuser Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Perry Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Salazar Republican Florida Yes to No
Van Drew Republican New Jersey Yes to No
Owens Republican Utah Yes to Present
Kinzinger Republican Illinois Yes to Did Not Vote
Zeldin Republican New York Yes to Did Not Vote
Herrera Beutler Republican Washington No to Yes
Here’s how we get a lot more no votes:
Babin Republican Texas Did Not Vote to No
Burchett Republican Tennessee Did Not Vote to No
Diaz-Balart Republican Florida Did Not Vote to No
Finstad Republican Minnesota Did Not Vote to No
Hartzler Republican Missouri Did Not Vote to No
Lucas Republican Oklahoma Did Not Vote to No
McKinley Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Miller (WV) Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Gallagher Republican Wisconsin No to Did Not Vote
Sempolinski Republican New York New Member to No
Yakym Republican Indiana New Member to No
Brady Republican Texas No to Did Not Vote
Walorski Republican Indiana No to deceased
Kellyanne Conway Serves up Some Alternative Facts About Herschel Walker’s Failed Election Bid
Kellyanne Conway, a political strategist who also served as White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, recently delivered critical remarks leveled at Republican senators.
According to Conway, Republican lawmakers did not stand behind Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the days leading up to the state’s highly publicized election runoff.
Walker, who was endorsed by Trump, lost the election by less than 100,000 votes.
On Wednesday, December 7, Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” where she voiced her concerns about the election.
According to Mediaite, Conway also “railed against Walker’s fellow Republicans for abandoning him.”
“To the 49 Republican senators, where were most of you?” Conway asked while appealing to other Republican lawmakers to support members of the party. “Why weren’t you in Georgia?”
“They all should have been because they should’ve been there in some form, town hall, in person, saying the following: ‘I serve in the United States with Raphael Warnock. He’s a terrible senator. He doesn’t represent Georgia. He’s not fit to serve. He votes with Joe Biden. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that doesn’t do that. He said nothing when they pulled out of Afghanistan. He said nothing that Joe Biden has been to Delaware 174 days and down to the border zero days.’ That’s what needs to happen. Where were the other senators to say, ‘I want Herschel Walker, not Raphael Warnock in the Senate with me?'”
Conway’s remarks come shortly after another prominent conservative went on a rant about Walker; however, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) perspective is starkly different from Conway’s.
Speaking to far-right influencer Steve Bannon, Greene said that Walker’s campaign rarely reached out for assistance; something she describes as “insulting.” During the interview, Greene insisted, ″They only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting.”
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