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Mike Pence Is Clearly Not Happy With Olympic Skater Adam Rippon Saying He Supports Anti-Gay Conversion Therapy

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Pence Calls Rippon ‘Misinformed’

Olympic skater Adam Rippon clearly had thought a lot about Vice President Mike Pence heading up the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea when he told USA Today Sports earlier this week he would not go out of his way to meet him. And Mike Pence clearly didn’t give a lot of thought about his response, but clearly he was angry that the nation’s first openly-gay athlete to qualify for Olympic winter games knew enough about his anti-gay beliefs to deliver an educated blow.

Rippon told USA Today Pence “funded gay conversion therapy,” saying, “I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick.” 

Pence’s office released a statement denying Rippon’s claim.

“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” the statement says, according to The Nation’s Dave Zirin. “This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

But Pence does support – or has supported – “conversion,” or “reparative” therapy, that falsely purports to make gay people straight. Judges have ruled conversion therapy is fraud. Nearly every major medical association in the U.S. and many around the world have positions stating it sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) not only do not work, but can be harmful. There are too many cases that show it can lead to suicide or suicide attempts.

Mike Pence didn’t bother to make a statement against conversion therapy and just how harmful it can be, although he could have. He didn’t care to take this opportunity to show actual support for the nation’s first openly-gay athlete to qualify for Olympic winter games. He didn’t care to apologize for his past statement supporting conversion therapy. He didn’t care to use this opportunity for anything except pushing back against Rippon.

At The Nation, Zirin notes that Pence’s website for his 2000 congressional campaign (here’s an archived copy) included the position that “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

The Vice President calls Rippon’s remarks “baseless.” Clearly they are not. He says Rippon’s “accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact.” Clearly that’s false.

Rippon didn’t totally refuse to talk with Pence.

“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation,” Rippon also told USA Today.

“He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump,” the Olympic skater added. “But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”

Zirin also talked with Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler.

“The most important piece of what Adam said about Mike Pence is his willingness to sit down with the vice president for an open conversation,” Zeigler told Zirin. “We have let the divisions in our country get way out of hand, and Adam’s openness to conversation with someone he disagrees with shows the leadership we’ve come to expect from our greatest American athletes. I wish we would all take his lead.”

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

 

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News

‘Minneapolis Is Burning’: Shocking Videos Emerge as Protesters Seek Justice for George Floyd

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Protesters and police clashed for a second night in Minneapolis as the former cop who killed George Floyd remains a free man.

Photos and video from the scene show at least one business burning.

Here are some of the images from the protest:

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POLITICIZING THE DOJ

DOJ Spokesperson Tells Fox News Bill Barr Is Opening Investigation Into Unmasking by Obama Administration During 2016 Election

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Dept. of Justice Spokesperson Kerri Kupec says Bill Barr has authorized the opening of an investigation into “unmasking” that took place before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election by the Obama administration. It is the latest move by the Attorney General to further politicize the DOJ in an effort to re-write history as President Donald Trump would like it told.

Barr has tasked John Dash, a U.S. Attorney in Texas, with conducting the investigation.

Kupac made the announcement on Fox News Wednesday night, telling host and frequent Trump advisor Sean Hannity that Barr has concerns about the “frequency” and the “motivation” of unmasking requests.

“When you’re looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation,” Kupac told Hannity, “who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events.”

Unmasking, the act of requesting to learn the identity of a U.S. individual caught up in Intelligence Community telephone intercepts of foreign actors, is perfectly legal, which Kupac noted.

The Trump administration escalated unmasking requests, nearly doubling them in 2018, as this LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist notes:

But Sean Hannity painted a far different picture for his Fox News supporters.

“I have been told by my sources now Kerri, for years, that there have been unmasking at an increase of three-fold in the second term of the Obama administration. Um… I’ve been told that even members of Donald Trump’s family have been unmasked. Members of the media have been unmasked.”

Hannity could have actually done some basic research to get actual facts.

It’s important to note that in administrations that don’t politicize intelligence and turn the Dept. of Justice into a weapon for the president’s re-election, any announcement of a major investigation would be made in a non-partisan environment like the DOJ’s press briefing room, and all regular media outlets would be included.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING IDIOCY

‘Political Hack’ Kellyanne Conway Destroyed for Condescendingly Comparing Standing in Line to Vote to Buying Cupcakes

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White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for the second time on Wednesday is drawing outrage for her offensive remarks. After painting a target on the back of the Twitter executive responsible for preventing disinformation and hoaxes, she’s now under fire for comparing standing in line to vote to standing in line to buy cupcakes.

On Wednesday, Conways remarks drove her to the number two slot on Twitter’s top trending items, just below the SpaceX launch.

“People are very proud to show up and go to the polls,” Conway told reporters. “They really are. I mean they wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake for an hour to get a cupcake,” she said, somewhat condescendingly.

“So I think they can probably wait in line to do something as consequential and critical and constitutionally significant as cast their ballot.”

Not all of America waits in line to buy cupcakes in Washington, D.C. And those who wait in line the most to vote generally live in poor and minority neighborhoods.

Americans can and do wait in line, often for hours, to vote. They shouldn’t have to. In the middle of a pandemic Americans want the opportunity to not contract – or spread – the deadly virus the President she works for has made even worse.

One American, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, had the perfect response to Conway’s condescension.

His remarks were echoed by others:

And still others had a few words to share about Conway’s comments:

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