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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Over 50 House and Senate Republicans Urge Supreme Court to Rule That Discriminating Against LGBT People Is Legal

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Brief falsely suggests LGBTQ people do not exist, but rather are choosing “actions, behaviors, or inclinations.”

53 members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are urging the nation’s highest court to rule against LGBTQ people when it hears three landmark cases October 8. The lawmakers, all Republicans (list below), say the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not – and should not be interpreted to – protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, including their own constituents.

In a grotesque and ignorant reading of a key portion of the 55-year old legislation the Republican lawmakers suggest LGBTQ people do not exist, but rather are choosing “actions, behaviors, or inclinations,” which is false.

“Title VII’s sex discrimination provision prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sex; it does not prohibit discrimination because of an individual’s actions, behaviors, or inclinations,” the lawmakers say in the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court.

“What the statute actually prohibits is discrimination ‘because of [an] individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,’” the Republicans insist.

The Advocate notes the brief “demeans the plaintiffs bringing actions forward to the court,” including claiming one of the plaintiffs only claimed he was gay so he could sue for wrongful termination. It also repeatedly misgenders a funeral director who is a woman and transgender, referring to her as “he.”

The brief also wrongly claims a correct interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ people would “adversely” affect “the protection of women’s rights.”

And in a nod to the Hobby Lobby case, the brief proclaims that the “funeral home is a closely held corporation whose principal is a Christian,” strongly suggesting it is his First Amendment right to fire someone because they are LGBT.

The friend of the court brief was co-authored by Ken Starr, the former head of Baylor University who resigned in disgrace. Starr is also known for having defended Jeffrey Epstein, for being an attorney representing supporters of California’s anti-gay Prop 8, and the infamous special prosecutor whose work led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

It is unknown if taxpayer funds were used to pay for the brief.

Republican Senators who have signed the amicus brief include Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, Mike Braun, John Cornyn, Kevin Cramer, James Inhofe, James Lankford, and Mike Lee.

Republican Representatives include:
Robert B. Aderholt (AL-04), Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Brian Babin (TX-36), Jim Banks (IN-03), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Ted Budd (NC-13), Michael C. Burgess (TX-26), Doug Collins (GA-09), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Bill Flores (TX-17), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Paul A. Gosar, (AZ-04), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Andy Harris (MD-01), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Jody Hice (GA-10), George Holding (NC-02), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Steve King (IA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Mark Meadows (NC-11), Alex X. Mooney (WV-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Pete Olson (TX-22), Gary Palmer (AL-06), John Ratcliffe (TX-04), David Rouzer (NC-07), Van Taylor (TX-03), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Mark Walker (NC-06), Randy K. Weber (TX-14), Ron Wright (TX-06), and Ted S. Yoho (FL-03).

Those concerned can contact their Senators and Representatives by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Republicans Confirm Anti-LGBTQ Extremist Who Never Tried a Case to Lifetime Appointment as Federal Appeals Court Judge

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Every Republican in the U.S. Senate but one just voted to hand Steven Menashi, an anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, misogynistic right wing extremist, a lifetime appointment as a judge on the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

No Democrat voted for Menashi. Senator Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to vote against his nomination. The final vote was 51-41.

Menashi, who is just 40 years old, is not only unqualified to sit on a federal appeals court because he has never tried or argued a case, his history should have been deemed automatically disqualifying.

HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendary reports Menashi, “currently Trump’s White House legal aide, compared race data collection in college admissions to Germany under Adolf Hitler; denounced women’s marches against sexual assault; opposed the ‘radical abortion rights codified in Roe v. Wad’; accused the Human Rights Campaign of having ‘incessantly exploited the slaying of Matthew Shepard’ for political benefit, and claimed that a Dartmouth fraternity wasn’t being racist when it held a ‘ghetto party’ attended by white students donning Afros and carrying toy guns.”

If that weren’t enough, Menashi “also spread the Islamophobic myth that in 1913, Gen. John Pershing executed Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig fat.”

That last one is a favorite of President Donald Trump’s – except he prefers the tale told with “pig’s blood.”

There’s actually more.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Menashi also helped devise an illegal Education Department effort to use private Social Security data to deny debt relief to thousands of students cheated by for-profit colleges.

Despite – or more likely, because of – all this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McxConnell on Thursday called Menashi “impressive.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) had a different perspective.

Former Obama DOJ official Vanita Gupta, now the President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR):

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Anti-LGBTQ Extremists, Right Wing Activists and Establishment Republicans Pen Letter Urging Trump to Not Fire Mulvaney

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A Who’s Who of Anti-LGBTQ Extremists

An assortment of 79 prominent hate group leaders, anti-LGBTQ activists, and far right wing activists representing a swath of the religious right and the establishment GOP have penned a letter praising Mick Mulvaney and urging President Donald Trump to not fire him as acting chief of staff – and to make his role permanent.

It’s no secret the far right and religious right have not just won a foot in the Oval Office door, but a proverbial key to the White House. They helped get Trump elected and have enjoyed a warm open-door policy with the president ever since.

Now they’re taking advantage of that special relationship to make their desires known, this time, publicly.

Signatories to the letter (which is published at the Conservative Action Project) include the head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, Tony Perkins. Tea Party activist and prominent DC lobbyist Ginni Thomas, who also just happens to be the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (Both have worked together to achieve their dream of a ban on transgender service members.)

Others who have signed the letter praising Mulvaney as the “most successful Chief of Staff in this administration to advance the Trump pro-America agenda,” are former Ohio Secretary of State  Ken Blackwell, who has served at Perkins’ Family Research Council as the hate group’s “Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment.”

Washington Times columnist and Tea Party Patriots cofounder Jenny Beth Martin has signed the letter. So has long-term veteran anti-gay activist Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who has represented many far right Republicans, and the NRA.

Also, former U.S. Senator (R-SC) and former Heritage Foundation president, Jim DeMint, an anti-gay activist and right wing religious liberty extremist. Former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), also an anti-LGBTQ activist and religious extremist. And failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” activist Elaine Donnelly.

“As director of the Office of Management and Budget and as acting White House chief of staff, Mulvaney has overseen the office most responsible for implementing the Trump agenda throughout the government,” the letter says, according to Politico. “His attention, vision, and commitment to the president’s policies have been evident from the beginning of the administration to today. We believe the president should make him permanent in the chief of staff role.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Matt Gaetz Interview Devolves Into Shouting Match After He Proclaims He ‘Should Be Allowed’ Into Closed Hearings

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) led a crowd of Freedom Caucus members to storm a secure room where Democrats and Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee have been holding depositions.

According to committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), once depositions are finished the open and public hearings will begin. He explained the depositions are important to do in secret so witnesses don’t coordinate with each other as they seemed to do in the Russia investigation.

An MSNBC interview with Gaetz on Thursday began after he overheard the introduction and sound of a Q&A with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), who mocked the Republicans as a bunch of angry white men conducting a stunt. Gaetz was livid asking why his whiteness had anything to do with it.

“Did she say we were a bunch of white men? What does the fact that we are white men have to do with our desire to represent the millions of constituents we serve?” he asked rhetorically. “I was deeply offended. When Jackie Speier walks in I don’t say, ‘a white woman comes in.’ This is the type of Identity politics from the left that seems to permeate any substantive or procedural arguments they make and it’s sickening to me that’s how we would be thought of. People we serve are diverse and it’s just really kind of sickening.”

Gaetz represents the Florida First District where 77 percent of his district is white.

“We started on this conversation on the idea that Republicans walked into this secure area of the capitol yesterday, including some Republicans who could have just gone in and participated as members of those committees as the rules allowed. What was the point of this? Was this really anything more than a stunt?”

Gaetz proclaimed it was to highlight the inequities and lack of “due process” in the investigation. Investigations don’t have due process, proceedings are where due process occurs. Until then, the Republicans in the room are there to ask questions of the witnesses behind closed doors. Republicans who want to posture for the cameras, however, can’t do so publicly in the classified room.

“We’re showing a picture, I don’t know if you can see it, some of the members of Congress walking in, your Republican colleagues, who could be in the room anyway, 47 are on the committees able to go in and participate on depositions and many have in these depositions,” MSNBC host Hallie Jackson shot back, chuckling.

“I’m speaking for myself,” Gaetz shot back. “I should be allowed. I tried to go in last week as a member of the Judiciary Committee and that’s a reasonable thing to do, on September 12th, Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said I am hereby launching the impeachment inquiry, the impeachment investigation. So, I think the bizarre element here is that you would exclude members of the committee that launched the impeachment inquiry from the factual development that Adam Schiff is trying to do in secret…”

Schiff, who runs the Intelligence Committee, is running depositions pertinent to his committee, where Nadler is running his own investigation through the Judiciary Committee.

“I think that’s why we were trying to get in there, but like, I only speak for myself. I should be allowed in that room as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Armed Services Committee and they wouldn’t let us in. It begs the question of what are they hiding,” Gaetz said. The Armed Services Committee doesn’t have anything to do with the impeachment inquiries.

Jackson shot back that neither of the committees he is on are conducting depositions, which seemed to anger Gaetz, who began yelling back and forth with the host. Gaetz’s committee hasn’t subpoenaed anyone.

“I don’t know that. I don’t know that. No,” Gaetz insisted.

“It is a fact,” she shot back.

“It’s not a fact. Now you’re shifting ground. Go back and look at the 12th hearing of the Judiciary Committee,” he shouted. “You cannot misstate that as a fact. How can you tell me it’s a fact that my committee is not involved when it was the Judiciary Committee who launched the investigation.”

Jackson explained that the Judiciary Committee may be launching their own impeachment inquiry, but they are not doing closed-door depositions, which Gaetz would be able to be part of. Schiff’s Intelligence Committee is.

“You’re playing the game, Hallie,” Gaetz claimed, saying that Democrats are only strategically leaking testimony and he can’t verify if the testimony is true. There are nearly two dozen Republican members on the committees on the impeachment inquiry.

“So you don’t trust the Republicans on these committees?” Jackson asked.

“I want to see the consequence of their work,” he claimed. “It’s not — they put out their opening statement we engage in cross-examination, you want to ask me about the opening, but I don’t have the benefit of the cross-examination to be able to test the allegations made in the opening statement.”

He went on to attack Schiff for creating the “rules” where he is not allowed to ask questions. As a fact-check, members who are not on the committees don’t get to ask questions. If Gaetz wanted to ask questions to witnesses he probably should have gotten a seat on the relevant committees, but his Republican leadership did not put him on said committees.

Watch below:

 

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