In a scathing column in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin launched a full-throated attack on evangelical Christian pastor Franklin Graham for his homophobic comments about Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, saying Franklin’s brand of bigotry is fading fast.
According to the conservative, Graham elevated the profile of the South Bend, Indiana mayor — and in a good way for the Democrat.
“South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been rising in the polls and sweeping in fundraising dollars (from Hollywood, among other places), thanks to poised town hall and interview performances, an impressive intellect, his genial and calm demeanor, and his generational change message, which does seem to have resonance,” Rubin wrote. “He has also handled his sexual identity and marriage with such grace and dignity (at the recent Victory Fund gathering, for example) as to impress both straight and LGBTQ audiences.”
Rubin claims that Graham’s vile tweet attacking Buttigieg was an unintended boost to his campaign, coming as it was from an apologist for President Donald Trump’s myriad sins.
“As if Buttigieg had not gotten enough credit for his character, he caught a break: The hypocritical evangelical leader Franklin Graham, who has rationalized Trump’s infidelity and racism, ignored his lies, cheered his inhumane immigration policy and behaved as a political hack rather than a religious leader,” she wrote cutting right to the chase.
Using polling data, Rubin lectured Graham, telling him anti-gay bigotry no longer animates voters –with only evangelicals manning the trenches against the LGBTQ community.
“More than six in ten (62%) Americans say gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry legally, while only about half as many (30%) are opposed.” she reported. “That was a 10 percent increase in support for same-sex marriage from 2015 ‘when a smaller majority (53%) of Americans supported same-sex marriage, and almost four in ten (37%) opposed this policy. And they represent a 26-point increase from 2007, when over one in three (36%) Americans supported same-sex marriage, while a majority (55%) were opposed’.”
Rubin then dropped the hammer on Graham.
“Graham’s generation may be the last that condemns gay marriage. The PRRI report found that 53 percent of young white evangelical Protestants (ages 18 to 29) favor the legality of same-sex marriage, compared to just 25 percent of white evangelical seniors,” she wrote. “Nearly 6 in 10 young Republicans (ages 18 to 29) favor the legality of same-sex marriage, compared to only 28 percent of Republican seniors.”
She then added, “In sum, Buttigieg gets the benefit of being attacked by a right-winger whom progressives revile, gets to underscore a message of generational change and acceptance and gets to demonstrate what a class act he is. The other candidates must be wondering why some GOP hatemonger doesn’t attack them.”
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Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed
Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.
“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.
Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.
Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.
A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.
Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticketed via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
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