‘Weâ€™re Not Going to Allow Government Funds or Government Buildings to Be Used for Social Engineering’
A Republican Texas state lawmaker on Tuesday dismissed concerns about anti-transgender violence by saying “dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up” wasn’t a problem when he was younger.Â
During a panel discussion featuring Cain and two other state lawmakers, the Texas Tribune‘s Evan Smith noted that the transgender community considers SB 6 discriminatory.
“You say in response to that, what?” Smith asked Cain. Â
â€œAt your own risk, but we shouldnâ€™t be penalizing people,” Cain responded, presumably referring to potential penalties for businesses that violate trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances. “It wasnâ€™t a problem when I was a child. Was it a problem when you were a kid? I donâ€™t remember dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up. It wasnâ€™t a thing, and now I think weâ€™re encouraging it.”
Last year, LGBT issues came up during Cain’s GOP primary, in which he eventually defeated longtime incumbent state Rep. Wayne Smith, who’s considered an establishment Republican.Â
A campaign flier attacking Cain suggested that he’s gay, and referenced Houston voters’ decision to repeal the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). Smith denied responsibility for the flier:Â
â€” Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 20, 2016
“Houston voters want to keep men out of women’s locker rooms and restrooms,” the flier stated. “District 128 voters should keep Briscoe Cain out of men’s restrooms as well.”Â
â€” Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 20, 2016
The flier, which included several photos of Cain as well as an image of two men kissing outside a public restroom, alleged he was “well known to those who frequent Montrose area night clubs and gay bars,” referring to the city’s gay neighborhood.Â
Cain, then 31, told the Houston Chronicle that photos of him in the flier likely were taken from his MySpace page when he was much younger.Â
Also during Tuesday’s discussion, Smith asked Cain what problem SB 6 is attempting solve.Â
â€œThere is a real problem, which is laws here in Texas in certain cities â€¦ that want to force public accommodations, to force private businesses to accommodate someone deciding to go into the bathroom …” Cain responded. “[SB 6] is just to say, ‘Look, weâ€™re not going to allow government funds or government buildings to be used for social engineering.”Â
Cain’s published contact information: 512-463-0733, Briscoe.Cain@house.texas.gov, or Twitter.com/BriscoeCain.
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Pentagon to Order Members of the Military to Comply With Biden Federal Employee COVID Vaccination Requirements
The Pentagon said Thursday evening it will order members of the military to comply with President Joe Biden’s requirement that all federal employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or face a regime of regular testing, social distancing, mask wearing, and travel restrictions.
“Although those steps fall short of a mandate,” The New York Times reports, “Mr. Biden also ordered the Defense Department to move rapidly toward one for all members of the military, a step that would affect almost 1.5 million troops, many of whom have resisted taking a shot that is highly effective against a disease that has claimed the lives of more than 600,000 Americans.”
It was not clear how far the requirement for Pentagon employees would reach.
While estimates vary, the Pentagon noted on its website around 2016 it employs “over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel,” along with 1.1 million who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces.
The news comes as The Washington Post published a disturbing leaked CDC report on the delta variant that, coincidentally in military terms, “argues officials must ‘acknowledge the war has changed.'”
It reveals the delta variant is “so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold.”
It also refers to unpublished data that finds “vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people infected with delta have measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant.”
Given the new information about the delta variant mandating the vaccine would appear to be a matter of national security.
‘Basically Outlaws Responding to This Pandemic’: Texans Blast Abbott for New ‘Right to Infect’ Order
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire after signing a wide-ranging COVID-19 executive order Thursday that bans any mask or vaccine mandates, bans anyone requesting or requiring proof of vaccination to obtain goods or services, but promotes “personal responsibility” as the means to control what is quickly becoming a new Delta variant-fueled wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the CDC Texas has had over 47,000 new COVID cases and 240 new COVID deaths in the past seven days, with a huge 15%-19.9% positivity rate. Since the start of the pandemic Texas has, under Governor Abbott’s leadership, seen nearly 3.1 million coronavirus cases and almost 52,000 deaths. Texas reports just 52% of its population 12 and older has been vaccinated.
Abbott’s executive order says, “There are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment,” and “no person may he required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.”
“Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing. and other mitigation practices,” and vaccines “will never be mandated by the government,” although “it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one.”
The order also overrides and voids any “COVID-19-related limitations imposed by local governmental entities or officials.”
One local Texas NBC affiliate reports, “Abbott pushes personal responsibility over government mandates as pandemic surges.”
Here’s what some Texans are saying:
For months, Governor Abbott has been clear: He believes that everyone has the right to infect, but that our schools and local governments must be denied the right to take important steps to protect neighbors from infection.
— Lloyd Doggett (@RepLloydDoggett) July 29, 2021
What are Governor Abbott and Dan Patrick doing to get Texans vaccinated?
Everyday, they seem to be working overtime to thwart any effort to end this pandemic.
Texans are dying and our economy is suffering from the lack of vaccinations.
I just don’t get it. https://t.co/g5k7WquVoA
— Mike Collier (@CollierForTexas) July 29, 2021
Abbott already had taken away cities’ & counties’ ability to enact & enforce mask mandates
Now Abbott’s taken away the power to put restrictions on businesses, the other big tool he and local officials previously used to curb the spread of the virus
— Joshua Fechter 📝 (@JFreports) July 29, 2021
We’re going to do worse than nothing in TX. Cruz has already come out against masking and Abbott has done nothing helpful either as of late. They’re creating and fostering distrust. The distrust will lead to deaths 🙁
— Elizabeth – MS4 (@DrEToBe) July 29, 2021
“Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19”
YOU HAVE PROVEN YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT TEXANS.@GregAbbott_TX bm
— Raziel McAllen (@razielmcallen) July 29, 2021
Greg Abbott out there slicing sandbags before the storm.
— Richard Whittaker (@YorkshireTX) July 29, 2021
Abbott: As hospitalization and positivity rates skyrocket, we can see that Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Big lie 2.0.
— SB Jones (@sarahbjones) July 29, 2021
King Abbott has spoken- Texas… you’re on your own.
— genevieve (@genvc) July 29, 2021
Dozens of House Republicans Refusing to Wear Masks March to Senate Side for ‘Taste of Freedom’
After falsely blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the newly-announced mask mandate on the House side of Congress, dozens of Republicans Thursday afternoon engaged in a performative protest, not against the coronavirus but against efforts to end the pandemic. What appeared to be 50 or so House GOP lawmakers marched over to the Senate side of the Capitol Hill building for what one called a “taste of freedom.”
The Attending Physician of the United States Congress, following updated CDC guidance this week ordered anyone on the House side of the Capitol to wear a mask if in a group, regardless of vaccination status, but did not make the same order for the Senate side.
While Dr. Brian Monahan did not explain why the rules were different, at last cxount only about half of the Republicans on the House side have said they are vaccinated. Almost every Republican on the Senate side is. All Democrats on both sides are fully vaccinated. Dr. Monahan’s office announced fines and possible removal for repeat offenders.
Among those in the maskless pack making their way to the Senate side were Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Chip Roy.
Roll Call’s Chris Cioffi and The Hill’s Scott Wong posted video:
NOW: large maskless group of House GOP members has just crossed onto the Senate side and asked to enter the Senate Chamber. pic.twitter.com/gfmEAQMWbj
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) July 29, 2021
House Republicans are protesting the mask mandate by walking to the Senate, where masks are not mandated by Capitol physician pic.twitter.com/sFD6AVnbr3
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) July 29, 2021
GOP Massie: says the House GOP members are over here “for a taste of freedom.”
“You don’t have to wear a mask on the Senate side.”
Massie said they have the same attending physician, but he’s given different directives to each chamber.
Here’s video of them asking to enter. pic.twitter.com/A79S38d9UE
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) July 29, 2021
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