Tennessee U.S. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is retiring after his term ends and will not seek re-election in 2020. Alexander, who is 78, has been in state and national politics for decades.
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) December 17, 2018
Alexander is virulently anti-LGBT. Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples have the right to marry, Sen. Alexander led a coalition of Republicans to block passage of a bill by then-Senator Al Franken, to protect children from anti-LGBTQ bullying in school.
Two years earlier Alexander voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have protected LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace.
He has also voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Alexander is opposed to abortion, but he’s also opposed to efforts to reduce teen pregnancy. Sen. Alexander voted against a bill that would have reduced teen pregnancy through education and contraceptives.
While some consider Alexander to be among the more bipartisan members of the Senate, he has voted against ObamaCare and against other related bills. He has voted against gun control, even voting to repeal the assault weapons ban. He has also voted to allow criminals to own guns.
Alexander also opposes renewable energy like wind power.
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NBC News Chief Who Hired Hugh Hewitt, Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren and ‘Protected’ Matt Lauer Is Out – Thank Maddow
Tried to Turn MSNBC Into Fox News
Andy Lack is “stepping down” from his long time post as Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. He is expected to exit by the end of the month in what Axios calls a “corporate shakeup,” but The New York Times says is criticism of his leadership led by, among other, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.
During Lack’s tenure NBC News and MSNBC gave shows to right wing pundits like Hugh Hewitt, and former Fox News anchors including Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren. He “was widely thought to have protected Matt Lauer” against grotesque sexual harassment complaints while sidelining Ronan Farrow, whose investigative work on Harvey Weinstein earned him a Pulitzer when he left and brought it to The New Yorker. Under Lack, admired journalists like Melissa Harris-Perry and Joan Walsh saw their contracts were not renewed, and it took a weeks-long social media campaign to save Lawrence O’Donnell’s show.
A brilliant 2017 editorial by Jodi Jacobson, then-president and editor in chief of Rewire.News, demanded Lack’s immediate resignation. Jacobson cited Lack’s “willingness to undermine good journalism, his desire to transform a leading network known for producing fact-based journalism [MSNBC] into Fox-Lite, and his apparent willingness to protect sexual predators for the sake of profits.”
The Times says “Rachel Maddow was among those at NBC who had put pressure on the news division’s leadership team.”
Twitter Suspends Over a Dozen Accounts of Far Right Wing ‘Proud Boys’ Group Along With Its Founder: Report
Group’s Founder Claims Suspension Is ‘A Coordinated Attack to Prevent Trump From Getting Re-Elected’
Twitter has suspended more than a dozen accounts associated with the far right wing group called “Proud Boys,” and the account of the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes (photo), who happens to be the co-founder of VICE Media.
Twitter says they were suspended “for violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups,” Buzzfeed reports.
“We can confirm that these accounts have been suspended from Twitter and Periscope for violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups,” Twitter said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Buzzfeed adds that Proud Boys’ “members have taken part in violent rallies across the country, including one last week in Portland.”
Proud Boys “deny connection to the so-called alt-right but speak alongside avowed neo-Nazis at rallies, saying they are defending free speech,” Buzzfeed adds.
The far right wing website Gateway Pundit, known for spreading fake news, claims the suspension is “permanent.” That claim has not been verified by NCRM, nor did Buzzfeed report the suspension as permanent.
But Gateway Pundit claims McInnes is calling the suspension “a coordinated attack to prevent Trump from getting re-elected.”
It’s unclear how suspending a dozen or so Proud Boy accounts will stop Trump from getting re-elected.
“It’s pointless however because he’s already won and ironically, it’s because of moves like this,” McInnes added, according to the far right site.
The next presidential election is in November of 2020.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Proud Boys as a hate group, and has published a detailed review of the group.
Another Top Trump Administration Official Suddenly Quits
Greg Sheehan Rolled Back Several Key Obama-Era Protections
Last June Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke created a position for Greg Sheehan, who was serving as the Director of the State of Utah’s Wildlife Service. Brought in as the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as of Thursday, as The Hill reports, Sheehan has resigned as the acting head of the federal agency.
A member of the pro-hunting group Safari Club International, Sheehan is seen as the “driving force” behind the Trump administration’s decisions to remove protected animals from the Endangered Species list, and to allow elephant trophy imports.
He also is responsible for dismantling Obama-era environmental protections that banned the use of certain pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges. Those pesticides “contribute to killing wild bees and other pollinating insects crucial to the refuge ecosystem,” according to the Independent.
In a statement explaining why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to allow the use of dangerous pesticides in some 50 wildlife refuges, Sheehan had cited the needs of hunters who shoot geese and ducks.
During Sheehan’s decision making process to roll back the bans on importing so called “big game” trophies, including those of African lions and elephants, the senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity noted an unusually close partnership between Sheehan and hunting groups.
“As you look through these documents you see these clear connections between trophy hunting organizations and in particular Sheehan,” Tanya Sanerib of the CBD said. “The level of access that trophy hunting organizations have is not common.”
In a letter Sheehan bragged about his time at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, saying he was proud of “opening more than 380,000 acres of our Refuge System to new hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses.”
Sheehan reportedly resigned to spend more time with his family.
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