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5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case



The U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning handed down a ruling in the case brought by a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his Christian beliefs.

Many initial reactions from pro- and anti-gay observers and groups have been wide ranging, and many have been wrong. (Perhaps most of all, Donald Trump Jr.)

Here are five of the most important things you need to know about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al:

1. The ruling does not allow discrimination against same-sex couples, LGBT people, or anyone else. It changes no laws and sets no precedents.

2. The ruling applies to one person only: Jack Phillips, the anti-gay Christian baker. Again, it does not set precedent, it cannot be used by others to discriminate against anyone. Period.

3. The only “person” the ruling is against is the Colorado commission that ruled against the baker – and not because of the commission’s overall conclusion, that Phillips engaged in unlawful discrimination. The Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling says that the commission acted with “hostility,” in this one case, against Phillips.

4. The Court’s ruling calls for Americans to find a way to be tolerant towards each other, respecting the rights of gay people and the rights of people of faith. (It does not state those are two opposing groups.)

5. If anything, the Supreme Court’s ruling is in part a win for the LGBT community and supporters of equality. Here’s the key passage from the Court’s majority opinion: “these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

You will no doubt see huge proclamations of victory from the anti-gay right. If they say anything other than what’s above, chances are good they’re false.


Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr and a CC license


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‘Here Are the Facts’: Pete Williams Destroys Trump’s Claim–Says Only States, Not the Feds, Can Open or Close Businesses



NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams has some news for President Donald Trump: You’re wrong.

Williams is a consummate professional who for 27 years has consistently without bias reported the major stories on his critical beat: the Supreme Court, the DOJ, and DHS. He has won three Emmy awards.

On Monday Williams responded to tweets President Trump posted, falsely claiming that he alone has the power to open or close the nation’s economy, and that he would do so shortly.

The President is wrong, as Williams notes.

“For the purpose of eliminating confusion, here are the facts,” Williams says, almost mocking Trump. according to NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian. “The authority to require businesses to close in a public health crisis is what is known as a ‘police power,’ and it is reserved by the Constitution to the states, not to the federal government.”


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Fox News Refutes Trump’s Claim He Has No ‘Financial Interests’ in Saudi Arabia



When You’ve Lost Fox News…

Fox News is pushing back against part of President Donald Trump’s tweet storm late Tuesday morning, during which he claimed, among other things, that he has no business in Saudi Arabia.

The operative word here is “in,” perhaps, but the larger picture is that Trump very much has financial interests in Saudi Arabia, or at least, with Saudi Arabia.

Fox News Research, a verified Twitter account belonging to the conservative cable TV news network, made clear that the President has tremendous financial interests in Saudi Arabia. That country is under international scrutiny after what appears to be the state-sanctioned murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Here’s what Fox News Research dug up:

Hows’s that for “no financial interests in Saudi Arabia”?

CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski offers this video of Trump bragging about his financial relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“They pay me millions and hundreds of millions.”


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The GOP Is Attacking Progressives for ‘Extremist’ Views Like Medicare for All – Guess Who Supports It?



The Republican Party’s talking points of late – aside from Donald Trump has “done nothing wrong” – are either that the only thing Democrats are running on is being anti-Trump, or Democrats have no policies at all, or their policies are “extremist.”

Republicans are also trying to paint one Democratic primary upset in New York as if the entire party has become Socialists.

Every one of those talking points are false.

And regardless of your personal view on Socialism, the Democratic Party isn’t the “Socialist Party,” as Republican politicians and voters insist.

But maybe they should be looking a little harder – at their own beliefs.

In a lengthy just-published article, “Inside the progressive movement roiling the Democratic Party,” Reuters includes the results of their new poll.

One of the questions: Would you support or oppose a policy of Medicare for all?

Guess who supports the policy of Medicare for all?

Obviously a majority of Democrats, by a huge margin: 84.5%.

But also, a majority of Republicans: 51.9%.

Overall, seven out of 10 Americans support Medicare for all. Less than one out of 10 Americans are undecided. Just 20.6% are opposed.

But remember, it’s the Democrats who have “extremist” policies – which Republicans agree with.

Call it “extremist,” call it “Socialism,” call it whatever – Americans are for Medicare for all.

Image by Molly Adams via Flickr and a CC license

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