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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Amy Coney Barrett Blasted for Use of ‘Sexual Preference’: A ‘Dogwhistle’ Used ‘By Anti-Gay Activists’

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s responses during the first day of questioning in her Supreme Court confirmation hearing are being highly criticized. In just the first hour of questioning, Coney Barrett refused to tell Senators if she would overturn the Affordable Care Act, a woman’s right to abortion, or same-sex marriage.

But it was her responses to a question about discrimination that led many to express outrage.

Coney Barrett insisted she has never discriminated against LGBTQ people based on “sexual preference.”

The phrase itself is offensive to LGBTQ people. Aside from being outdated, and demonstrating Judge Coney Barrett’s views are antiquated, it is a term that makes clear those who use it believe being LGBTQ is a choice.

“The term ‘sexual preference’ is typically used to suggest that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a choice and therefore can and should be ‘cured,'” according to GLAAD. “Sexual orientation is the accurate description of an individual’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex and is inclusive of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, as well as straight men and women.”

And as attorney and author Jill Filipovic notes, Judge Coney Barrett indeed has discriminated based on “sexual preference.”

Attorneys Mark Joseph Stern and Sasha Samberg-Champion both link Judge Coney Barrett’s use of the offensive term to her ties to the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Journalist Michelangelo Signorile sums up the case perfectly:

Here’s how many are responding to Coney Barrett’s offensive remarks:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Busted: Hard Core Republican Caught Trying to Bring Gun Onto the House Floor

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One of the Republicans in Congress who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election after the deadly insurrection of Trump supporters was shown to be a security risk on Thursday.

“New security measures outside the U.S. House chamber prevented a Republican lawmaker from bringing a gun onto the House floor Thursday. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who has repeatedly flouted the magnetometers that were installed near the House chamber after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, set off the metal detectors while trying to enter. When an officer with a metal detector wand scanned him, a firearm was detected on Harris’s side, concealed by his suit coat. Police refused to let Harris in, and the officer signaled a security agent that Harris had a gun on him by motioning toward his own firearm,” HuffPost correspondent Matt Fuller reported Thursday.

“HuffPost witnessed the interaction and later confirmed with a Capitol official that Harris was carrying a gun. HuffPost watched Harris try to get another member to take the gun from him so he could go vote. The member, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), told Harris he didn’t have ‘a license’ and refused to hold the weapon for him,” the publication reported. “Harris then left on the elevators and 10 minutes later returned to the House chamber. He placed his cellphone and keys on a desk to the side, did not set off the magnetometer and was allowed to enter the House floor to vote on a waiver to allow retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as President Joe Biden’s defense secretary.”

Harris isn’t the only Republican who may be a security risk.

“During a security briefing with Democratic members early last week, some lawmakers suggested that members should have to go through a metal detector to get on the House floor. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has said she’ll carry a gun around D.C., which does not allow the open carrying of a firearm, and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) told his local paper that he was armed when insurrectionists stormed the Capitol,” HuffPost reported. “On Thursday, HuffPost saw Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rick Allen (R-GA) and Boebert all refuse to be wanded down after setting off the magnetometer.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Ex-Texas Cop Accused of Violent Attempt to Prove Voter Fraud Was Hired by Anti-LGBTQ Activist’s GOP Group

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Mark Aguirre is accused of running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint. The ex-cop was hired as a private investigator by a group whose CEO is GOP activist Steven Hotze (photo).

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HOUSTON — A former Houston police captain was arrested after allegedly running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint — what prosecutors say was part of an elaborate attempt to find evidence for a false conspiracy theory of widespread voter fraud in Harris County.

Mark Aguirre, who was working on behalf of a powerful Republican megadonor’s group to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in Harris County, was arrested Tuesday, according to the Harris County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors say Aguirre’s claims were baseless and that he was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country, whose CEO is prominent Texas right-wing activist Steven Hotze.

Hotze was among a group of Republicans who unsuccessfully sued to have nearly 127,000 Harris County ballots tossed out this year. Hotze was also among Republicans who tried — and failed — to stop Gov. Greg Abbott from extending early voting during the coronavirus pandemic, a suit for which Aguirre had provided an affidavit, stating that he was involved in an investigation into a “wide-ranging and fraudulent ballot harvesting scheme” in Harris County.

Jared Woodfill, a spokesperson and attorney for Hotze, confirmed that the Liberty Center hired a company led by Aguirre to investigate election fraud. The company contracted approximately 20 private investigators to work on claims of fraudulent ballots in Harris County and other places in Texas during the 2020 election. Woodfill said he was aware of Aguirre’s arrest but had not yet heard Aguirre’s side of the story.

“[Hotze] did not direct or lead any of the investigations,” Woodfill said, noting that Hotze instead sent tips and information to the team for the investigators to decide how to follow up. “The [Liberty Center] employed the investigation team that looked into the allegations.”

Aguirre told authorities he believed the air conditioner technician he threatened Oct. 19 — whom he had surveilled for four days with the help of at least two other unidentified people — was the mastermind of the supposed election fraud scheme and that fake ballots were being transported in the technician’s truck. He told police that he believed the technician had as many as 750,000 fake ballots in his possession, according to an affidavit by the Houston police officer who responded to the incident.

“There were no ballots in the truck,” according to a Harris County district attorney’s office press release. “It was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.”

Aguirre also told authorities that he and other unidentified suspects had set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in Pearland for days ahead of the incident. He refused to identify the other people he worked with, according to the Houston police report.

Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the technician’s truck to get the man to stop and get out, according to a court document describing probable cause for the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pointed a handgun at the technician and forced him to the ground, according to the affidavit.

“We are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”

Aguirre was arrested by Houston police Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Hotze is an active GOP donor and is one of the most prolific culture warriors on the right. He’s a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage and was a key figure in the unsuccessful push for the 2017 “bathroom bill” in the Texas Legislature. This summer, he infamously left a voicemail for Abbott’s chief of staff telling him to shoot and kill people protesting the in-custody death of George Floyd.

This article was originally published by The Texas Tribune.
Image of Steven Hotze via Facebook

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Watch: Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert Are Campaigning for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on the ‘Save America’ Bus Tour

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The two Georgia GOP incumbent Senators facing a tough January 5 runoff election, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, are getting help today from several low-level Republicans as part of the right wing Club for Growth’s “Save America Bus Tour.”

Former President Barack Obama and President-elect Joe Biden will both soon be traveling to Georgia to help get out the vote for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who are in the January runoff elections against Perdue and Loeffler.

And while President Donald Trump campaigned for the two Georgia incumbents last week, as expected his rally was mostly a grievance session that focused little on motivating Georgia Republicans to vote.

The stakes could not be higher. If Ossoff and Warnock win, the U.S. Senate will effectively be split 50-50, allowing Vice President Kamala Harris to provide any tie-breaking votes, giving Democrats control of the Senate. And given Democrats already control the House, President Joe Biden would be free to unleash a progressive agenda while reversing as much of the Trump destruction as possible.

That’s why it’s comical that campaigning today for Senators Perdue and Loeffler are not GOP bigwigs, but castaways like former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, whose popularity has dropped so far she’s rarely invited onto national television anymore.

Here’s Palin on today’s bus tour, attacking Democrats and calling for a “restoration” of America, despite Republicans having controlled the White House and the Senate for the past four years.

CNN Politics’ DJ Judd is on the road covering today’s “Save America” tour. He’s posted some photos. Despite the Club for Growth claiming it will spend $10 million to help elect the two Republicans, it does not appear there’s much of a turnout.

Also on today’s guest list is Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, accused of being a racist and a liar. She’s perhaps best known as a promoter the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

Congressman Louie Gohmert, apparently fresh from his coronavirus recovery and a very public lost tooth mid-speech yesterday, is also on the bus tour.

Here he is praising Greene:

Joining them is former executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed, who was the target of a Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforcement action in the 1990’s, and later linked to the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Rounding out today’s campaigning for Perdue and Loeffler is U.S, Rep. Jim Jordan, who still faces multiple allegations about his alleged role in the Ohio State sexual abuse claims against the team’s physician, Richard Strauss.

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