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Watch: Former President Barack Obama Endorses Joe Biden for President – Praises His ‘Character and Experience’

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Full transcript:

Hi everybody. Let me start by saying the obvious – these aren’t normal times. As we all manage our way through a pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen in a century, Michelle and I hope that you and your families are safe and well. If you’ve lost somebody to this virus, or if someone in your life is sick, or if you’re one of the millions suffering economic hardship, please know that you’re in our prayers. Please know that you’re not alone. Because now’s the time for all of us to help where we can and to be there for each other, as neighbors, as coworkers, and as fellow citizens.

In fact, over the past weeks, we’ve seen plenty of examples of the kind of courage, kindness, and selflessness that we’re going to need to get through one of the most difficult times in our history. Michelle and I have been amazed at the incredible bravery of our medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line to save others. The public servants and health officials battling this disease. The workers taking risks every day to keep our economy running. And everyone who’s making their own sacrifice at home with their families, all for the greater good.

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes, or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods, or our houses of worship. It also has to be reflected in our national government. The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience; honesty and humility; empathy and grace – that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors offices. It belongs in the White House.

And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.

Choosing Joe to be my Vice President was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now.

He’s someone whose own life has taught him how to persevere; how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down.

When Joe talks with parents who’ve lost their jobs, we hear the son of a man who once knew the pain of having to tell his children that he’d lost his.

When Joe talks about opportunity for our kids, we hear the young father who took the train home each night so he could tuck his children into bed – and we hear the influence of Jill, a life-long teacher.

When Joe talks to families who’ve lost a hero, we hear another parent of an American veteran; a kindred spirit; somebody whose faith has endured the hardest loss there is.

That’s Joe. Through all his trials, he’s never once forgotten the values or the moral fiber that his parents passed on to him, and that made him who he is. That’s what steels his faith – in God, in America, and in all of us.

That steel made him an incredible partner when I needed one the most.

Joe was there as we rebuilt from the Great Recession and rescued the American auto industry. He was the one asking what every policy would do for the middle class and everyone striving to get into the middle class. That’s why I asked him to implement the Recovery Act, which saved millions of jobs and got people back on their feet – because Joe gets stuff done.

Joe helped me manage H1N1 and prevent the Ebola epidemic from becoming the type of pandemic we’re seeing now. He helped me restore America’s standing and leadership in the world on the other threats of our time, like nuclear proliferation and climate change.

Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery. And I know he’ll surround himself with good people – experts, scientists, military officials who actually know how to run the government and care about doing a good job running the government, and know how to work with our allies, and who will always put the American people’s interests above their own.

Now Joe will be a better candidate for having run the gauntlet of primaries and caucuses alongside one of the most impressive Democratic fields ever. Each of our candidates were talented and decent, with a track record of accomplishment, smart ideas, and serious visions for the future.

And that’s certainly true of the candidate who made it farther than any other – Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s an American original – a man who has devoted his life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations. He and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but we’ve always shared a conviction that we have to make America a fairer, more just, more equitable society. We both know that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. And the ideas he’s championed; the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people, will be critical in moving America in a direction of progress and hope.

Because for the second time in twelve years, we’ll have the incredible task of rebuilding our economy. And to meet the moment, the Democratic Party will have to be bold.

You know, I could not be prouder of the incredible progress that we made together during my presidency. But if I were running today, I wouldn’t run the same race or have the same platform as I did in 2008. The world is different; there’s too much unfinished business for us to just look backwards. We have to look to the future. Bernie understands that. And Joe understands that. It’s one of the reasons that Joe already has what is the most progressive platform of any major party nominee in history. Because even before the pandemic turned the world upside down, it was already clear that we needed real structural change.

The vast inequalities created by the new economy are easier to see now, but they existed long before this pandemic hit. Health professionals, teachers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, cleaners, the people who truly make our economy run – they’ve always been essential. And for years, too many of the people who do the essential work of this country have been underpaid, financially stressed, and given too little support. And that applies to the next generation of Americans – young people graduating into unprecedented unemployment. They’re going to need economic policies that give them faith in the future and give them relief from crushing student loan debt.

So we need to do more than just tinker around the edges with tax credits or underfunded programs. We have to go further to give everybody a great education, a lasting career, and a stable retirement.

We have to protect the gains we made with the Affordable Care Act, but it’s also time to go further. We should make plans affordable for everyone, provide everyone with a public option, expand Medicare, and finish the job so that health care isn’t just a right, but a reality for everybody.

We have to return the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, and lead the world in reducing the pollution that causes climate change. But science tells us we have to go much further – that it’s time for us to accelerate progress on bold new green initiatives that make our economy a clean energy innovator, save us money, and secure our children’s future.

Of course, Democrats may not always agree on every detail of the best way to bring about each and every one of these changes. But we do agree that they’re needed. And that only happens if we win this election.

Because one thing everybody has learned by now is that the Republicans occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not interested in progress. They’re interested in power. They’ve shown themselves willing to kick millions off their health insurance and eliminate preexisting condition protections for millions more, even in the middle of this public health crisis, even as they’re willing to spend a trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy. They’ve given polluters unlimited power to poison our air and our water, and denied the science of climate change just as they denied the science of pandemics. Repeatedly, they’ve disregarded American principles of rule of law, and voting rights, and transparency – basic norms that previous administrations observed regardless of party. Principles that are the bedrock of our democracy.

So our country’s future hangs on this election. And it won’t be easy. The other side has a massive war chest. The other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth. On the other hand, pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us of what is real, and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It’s reminded us that good government matters. That facts and science matter. That the rule of law matters. That having leaders who are informed, and honest, and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart – those kind of leaders matter.

In other words, elections matter. Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness. And to change that, we need Americans of all political stripes to get involved in our politics and our public life like never before.

For those of us who believe in building a more just, more generous, more democratic America where everybody has a fair shot at opportunity. For those of us who believe in a government that cares about the many, and not just the few. For those of us who love this country and are willing to do our part to make sure it lives up to its highest ideals – now’s the time to fight for what we believe in.

So join us. Join Joe. Go to JoeBiden.com right now. Make a plan for how you are going to get involved. Keep taking care of yourself, and your families, and each other. Keep believing in the possibilities of a better world. And I will see you on the campaign trail as soon as I can.

Thanks.

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Palm Beach Lawmaker Sues Local Paper Over Attempt to Access Jeffrey Epstein Records

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The Palm Beach Post is reporting that the local County Clerk of the Courts is asking the courts to make the paper pay the legal fees he incurred while blocking attempts to access grand jury records related to a 2006 Jeffrey Epstein investigation.

Getting right to the point, the Post’s Jane Musgrave wrote, “Despite insisting he wants the public to know why serial molester Jeffrey Epstein escaped serious punishment 15 years ago, Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts Joe Abruzzo wants to punish The Palm Beach Post for trying to open secret records that could do just that.”

As the report notes, Abruzzo employed the Tampa law firm belonging to Shane Vogt to fight the request at a cost of $32,794 and, in a motion before Circuit Judge Donald Hafele, seeks double that plus additional costs.

At issue are the grand jury transcripts that the Florida lawmaker successfully kept away from the paper.

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein’s secret $500K settlement revealed in Prince Andrew legal dispute: report

Explaining the Post’s case, Musgrave wrote, “The newspaper went to court after records showed only one teen was called to testify to the grand jury even though dozens told police Epstein sexually abused them at his Palm Beach mansion.”

“Further, sources familiar with the grand jury proceedings said the 14-year-old girl was vilified by state prosecutors,” she added. “Rather than focus on her claims of abuse, lieutenants for then-State Attorney Barry Krischer quizzed her about her online social media posts where she talked about drinking and boys, they said.”

The report continued, “In court papers, The Post’s attorneys argued that releasing the records would reveal what happened and whether Krischer bowed to pressure from Epstein’s high-octane defense team.”

You can read more here.

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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