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Senate Republicans Advance Federal Judge Nomination of Right Wing Blogger Who Joked About ‘F*ggots’

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Nomination Now Heads to Full Senate 

Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday pushed through the nomination of John K. Bush, an attorney and a former pseudonymous right wing blogger who once delivered a speech in which he joked about not wanting to appear like a “faggot.” Bush, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to the the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, has made his very anti-gay views known. He also supported Trump’s fanatical birtherism. Thursday’s vote was 11-9.

Bush is married to a woman has helped raise a reported $14 million for the re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Both men are from Kentucky. 

“For nearly a decade,” Quartz reported last month, Bush “contributed regularly to Elephants in the Bluegrass, a political blog run by his wife, under the pen name G. Morris. In posts, he drew a tenuous parallel between Barack Obama and Monica Lewinsky and equated slavery to abortion as two of America’s greatest tragedies.”

“While blogging,” Quartz’s Lola Fadulu reported, “he consistently cited WorldNetDaily, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed an extremist group for peddling conspiracy theories and white nationalism, including the lie that Obama was not born in the United States.”

Quoting a passage from Hunter S. Thompson’s The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, the Alliance for Justice notes, Bush thought it appropriate to say in a speech, “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 AFJ also notes that “in a 2011 blog post, Bush criticized the State Department for modifying passport application forms to account for the possibility of same-sex parents in A Parent 2’s Outrage:

Henceforth, the application will ask for ‘Mother or Parent 1’ and ‘Father or Parent 2.’ I suppose that’s better than ‘Thing One’ or ‘Thing Two’, but Hillary’s hybrid hardly eliminates my confusion. . . . . It’s just like the government to decide it needs to decide something like which parent is number one or number two. When that happens, both parents are subservient to the nanny state— more precisely, a nanny Secretary of State.

The Human Rights Campaign notes Bush “has criticized rulings striking down sodomy laws targeting LGBTQ people,” and “doesn’t fully commit [to] Obergefell as settled law.”

During his confirmation hearing in June, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) grilled Bush, saying he questioned his “judgment,” in the video below. “This man should not be a federal judge. He should not have a lifetime appointment. I’m done,” Franken concluded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VobjkluW3LU

Franken asked Bush “about blog posts that cited alt-right reports containing conspiracy theories and false information, such as the claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.,” NPR reported at the time.

“In a testy exchange, Franken pressed Bush on how he decided which sources to rely on for information, pointing to one source which Franken called a ‘white nationalism’ propaganda organ filled with ‘hate speech.'” That website is World Net Daily, or WND.

Bush dodged the question several times, until Franken asked bluntly if Bush “felt free to put posts out that cited sources that you knew were not credible.”

“No,” Bush replied. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying that as a blogger, I was making political statements.”

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana seemed unpersuaded.

“Mr. Bush, I’ve read your blogs,” Kennedy said as he stared at the nominee. “I’m not impressed.”

Bush’s nomination now heads to the full Senate, which will likely vote to confirm him. 

Some responses:

Law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent:

Law professor & vice dean at American University Washington College of Law:

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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News

‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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