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A Right Wing Blogger Who Joked About ‘F*ggots’ Was Just Confirmed as a Federal Appeals Court Judge. Thanks, Republicans.



John K. Bush’s Wife on Board of Group That Raised Millions for Senate GOP Majority Leader McConnell

Republicans in the U.S. Senate just confirmed John K. Bush as a judge to sit on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush is a former right wing blogger who for over a decade penned fake news stories supporting Donald Trump’s birtherism and other far right wing conspiracies under a pseudonym on his wife’s blog. As an attorney he once said in a public speech he did not want to be mistaken for a “faggot.” It apparently was meant to be funny.

Bush thought it appropriate to say, quoting Hunter S. Thompson, “I come here every year, and let me tell you one thing I’ve learned—this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of faggot.” 

The final vote on his nomination was 51-47, entirely along party lines. Every Republican present voted for Bush. On the Republican side, only Senator John McCain, recovering from brain surgery and diagnosed with cancer, was absent. 

Bush frequently used an extremist website known as WND for his blogging material. That website is known for spreading false information, and was highly active during the height of birtherism. 

He also has equated abortion and slavery, and drawn parallels between Barack Obama and Monica Lewinsky, as Quartz reported last month. 

27 LGBTQ civil rights groups, led by Lambda Legal, joined together to oppose Bush’s lifetime appointment to the federal bench. Their call was ignored by Senate Republicans.

During the Judiciary Committee vote, Chairman Chuck Grassley admonished Committee Democrats, saying, “Democrats certainly set the standard that prolific bloggers who write with no holds barred are certainly eligible to be judges,” He added, “I don’t think we should change that standard now.”

One group that advocated tirelessly against Bush is the Alliance for Justice.

“While Bush pontificates on a broad swath of issues, one common theme runs throughout his writings: Bush displays a remarkable contempt for any issue he deems liberal or progressive, often launching into personal attacks on individuals he disagrees with,” the Alliance for Justice, opposing his nomination, noted in May.

Bush’s wife sits on the board of a group that raised $14 million for the re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentuckian, the AFJ also notes. 

Bush’s wife, Bridget Bush, who is also an attorney in Louisville, served on the board of directors of the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition. The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is a 501(c) (4) organization that played a pivotal role in aiding Senator Mitch McConnell’s reelection bid in 2014. The group raised over $14 million during the course of the campaign, spending over $7 million on expenditures expressly advocating for McConnell. According to a news report at the time, “[c]ampaign  finance reformers say the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is the epitome of ‘dark money’ nonprofit groups that have little or nothing to do with promoting social welfare, as their IRS designation would suggest.”

And it appears that bought him a seat on the federal bench.

Bush’s nomination to the Sixth Circuit appears to have come at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bush has been acquainted with Senator McConnell since at least 2002 when Bush authored an amicus brief on McConnell’s behalf in a case involving Kentucky’s campaign finance laws,” the Alliance for Justice writes.

In his paperwork to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bush explains that in November 2016, presumably after the presidential election, he met with Senator McConnell in Louisville where Bush “expressed [his] interest in serving as a federal judge.” Bush says that he has “been in contact with Leader McConnell and representatives from his office since that time.”

The AFJ also notes, “Bush failed to make clear he would be an impartial judge. Senator Tillis questioned whether, given his blog posts, Bush could be impartial on the bench. Tillis asked Bush, ‘[d]o you think that impartiality is an aspiration or an absolute expectation?’ When Bush responded, ‘[i]t is an aspiration. I will do my best to be impartial,’ Tillis fired back, ‘I actually have a concern with someone who thinks impartiality is an aspiration. I think it’s an expectation.'”

The group also observes “Bush has advocated stripping First Amendment protections from the press,” which, given his decade of fake news blogging, seems ironic.

LGBT organizations and activists are outraged.

While it is incredibly disappointing that a majority of the United States Senate would hand a lifetime appointment to someone who has such open disdain for so many Americans, we will not be deterred,” Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal’s Director of Strategy said in a statement. “Lambda Legal will continue to resist, push back, and fight against any nomination this administration puts forward who does not believe in equality and dignity under the law, for all Americans. We are thankful to those Senators who held their ground in opposing this nomination, and will be shoulder-to-shoulder with you in future confirmation fights, particularly on nominees with anti-LGBT extremist positions and records.”

LGBTQ people now has every right to believe any case that comes before soon-to-be Judge Bush’s court will not receive a fair and impartial ruling. 

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Dem Wants Probe Into Allegations of Congress Members Drinking During Contempt Hearing



House Oversight Republicans held a contempt of Congress hearing for Attorney General Merrick Garland while lawmakers allegedly were drinking alcohol and acting “pretty ugly” during Thursday night’s proceedings. Now, they are the ones accused of behavior “embarrassing to our institution” by Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who wants an investigation.

“Members of the panel ultimately advanced a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland on a party-line vote, but the far more striking takeaway was the personal attacks and theatrics lobbed between lawmakers in both parties — as Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) struggled unsuccessfully to gain control for more than an hour,” Politico reported Friday, adding: “both Republicans and Democrats acknowledged some members had been drinking that evening.”

Who was drinking remains a secret.

“A House Republican described the hearing as ’embarrassing’ and ‘a four -alarm dumpster fire,'” Axios reported. “The session quickly devolved into chaos, with Democrats blasting the GOP for postponing the hearing so several members could visit former President Trump’s trial and Republicans heckling them in response.”

One Democrat during the hearing spoke up.

READ MORE: Why Alito’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag Story Just Fell Apart

Ranking Member Raskin “said it was ’embarrassing to our institution’ and that he ‘constantly’ instructs his members to maintain a ‘high level of dignity and respect and decorum.'”

“We have some members in the room who are drinking inside the hearing room … who are not on this committee,” alleged Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM).

The Hill adds that Congressman Raskin said, “I didn’t see the drinking,” and that “the gentlelady from New Mexico, Melanie Stansbury raised it, she said there are members drinking in the room, and that’s something that is worth investigating if there was in fact drinking taking place.”

One unnamed House Republican told Axios, “This place is so stupid.”

The evening’s events quickly took a bad turn when U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), violating decorum, interrupted Ranking Member Raskin barely 30 seconds into his remarks.

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

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Why Alito’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag Story Just Fell Apart



Justice Samuel Alito’s defense for why there was a “Stop the Steal” flag flying at his Alexandria, Virginia home three days before Joe Biden’s inauguration, ten days after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, just fell apart.

The entire justification for a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice with lifetime tenure who refuses to recuse himself from cases including ones related to the 2020 election, which ethics experts and U.S. Senators say he is obligated to do so, is a dispute with a neighbor, according to The New York Times‘ original reporting, and a Fox News reporter.

Critics say his defense doesn’t justify flying a U.S. flag upside down, a symbol of the Stop the Steal movement used by insurrectionists.

In brief, Fox News’ Shannon Bream reports Justice Alito “told me a neighbor on their street had a ‘F— Trump’ sign that was within 50 feet of where children await the school bus in Jan 21. Mrs. Alito brought this up with the neighbor.”

“According to Justice Alito, things escalated and the neighbor put up a sign personally addressing Mrs. Alito and blaming her for the Jan 6th attacks,” Bream wrote. She added Alito “says he and his wife were walking in the neighborhood and there were words between Mrs. Alito and a male at the home with the sign. Alito says the man engaged in vulgar language, ‘including the c-word’,” which prompted Mrs. Alito to hang the American flag upside down as the insurrections did on January 6.

RELATED: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

Court watchers and critics have called into question Alito’s judgment. Senate Democratic Judiciary Chairman Dick Durban has called for the Justice to recuse himself from all cases related to the 2020 presidential election, NBC News is reporting.

Critics are asking if Justice and/or Mrs. Alito’s response to an alleged dispute with neighbors was appropriate, but now Justice Alito’s telling of events is being called into question entirely.

Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), says no school children would have been waiting for school buses at the time the Alito’s flag was photographed upside down, because schools had moved to virtual learning during the COVID pandemic at that time in the area the Alitos reside.

Further calling into question Justice Alito’s claims, CNN’s Holmes Lybrand, a former fact-checker for The Weekly Standard, reports none of the Alitos’ neighbors remember the alleged dispute the justice recounted.

“I spoke with some of Justice Alito’s neighbors who said they remember the American flag being flown upside-down at his home but didn’t recall any neighborhood drama surrounding it,” Lyband reports. “Each neighbor I spoke with reiterated multiple times how kind and well-liked the Alitos are.”

In its report that broke the story, The New York Times noted, “The half-dozen neighbors who saw the flag, or knew of it, requested anonymity because they said they did not want to add to the contentiousness on the block and feared reprisal.”

READ MORE: Trump Appears to Violate Gag Order After Judge Threatened ‘Incarceration’


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Alito Tells Fox News Story Behind His Home’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag but Critics Unconvinced



Editor’s note: The spelling of Fox News host Shannon Bream’s last name has been corrected.

Justice Samuel Alito on Friday appeared to compound concerns over the bombshell New York Times report revealing a flag associated with the January 6 insurrection and the “Stop the Steal” movement was flying at his house just before Joe Biden was inaugurated and while the Supreme Court was reviewing a 2020 election case.

Alito, whose far-right positions including writing the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade, have infuriated and frustrated the left, once again has found himself the subject of apprehension over his impartiality and grasp of ethical norms.

In a rare move, the embattled justice, who now faces strong calls for his ouster, spoke immediately to the news media to address those issues, and revealed the story behind the decision to fly the “Stop the Steal” flag at his home.

Confirming again it was his wife who put the flag up, Alito seemed neither remorseful nor cognizant of the great ethical and credibility violation that act represented.

RELATED: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

“I spoke directly with Justice #Alito about the flag story in the NYT,” Fox News host Shannon Bream reported late Friday morning via social media. “In addition to what’s in the story, he told me a neighbor on their street had a ‘F— Trump’ sign that was within 50 feet of where children await the school bus in Jan 21. Mrs. Alito brought this up with the neighbor.”

“According to Justice Alito, things escalated and the neighbor put up a sign personally addressing Mrs. Alito and blaming her for the Jan 6th attacks,” Bream continued.

“Justice Alito says he and his wife were walking in the neighborhood and there were words between Mrs. Alito and a male at the home with the sign. Alito says the man engaged in vulgar language, ‘including the c-word’,” she wrote. “Following that exchange, Mrs. Alito was distraught and hung the flag upside down ‘for a short time’. Justice Alito says some neighbors on his street are ‘very political’ and acknowledges it was a very heated time in January 2021.”

The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol chastised Bream, noting she got Alito’s side of the story without “trying to see how it compares with the accounts and recollections of others involved. If only the anchor had the resources of a ‘news’ channel to seek out the truth!”

Some critics responding to Bream’s report say Alito’s explanation doesn’t make their perception of his actions — or his wife’s – any more reasonable.

Former George W. Bush administration official Christian Vanderbrouk commented, “Sam Alito is unapologetic for desecrating an American symbol as part of a neighborhood feud.”

READ MORE: Why Are One in Five GOP Voters Still Voting for Nikki Haley Over Donald Trump?

“Interesting claims by Alito,” attorney Robert J. DeNault remarked. “Not sure it’s reasonable to think any person would react to a neighbor disagreeing — even crassly or rudely — over Trump by hanging an American flag upside down. Does not feel credible to contend Alito’s upside flag was divorced from MAGA symbolism.”

“Alito speaks to Fox about New York Times report, continues to attribute it to his wife, but does not explain why his wife’s reaction to a ‘fuck Trump’ sign and being insulted was to hang an American flag upside down in the days after Jan. 6.” observed CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere. “Suburban neighborhood disputes happen all the time – over lawn care, noisy children, Christmas lights… all sorts of things. Not many instances of an escalated response being a now very politicized symbol of military distress.”

“Friendly reminder the entire GOP and Fox News is screaming on practically a daily basis that Judge Merchan needs to recuse because of the work his adult daughter separately does,” national security attorney Brad Moss offered. “But yeah, this is no biggie.”

READ MORE: ‘Long History of Playing Games’: Biden Campaign Shuts Down Trump’s Tantrum

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