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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

666 New Texas Laws Go Into Effect Today. Here Are Some That Might Affect You.

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666 new Texas laws go into effect Sept. 1. Here are some that might affect you.” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Six hundred and sixty-six new Texas laws go into effect today. Debated, passed and signed during the 87th Texas Legislature, these laws include changes to public safety, health care and K-12 education.

Not every bill signed into law during the regular session will go into effect Sept. 1. Some bills went into effect as soon as they were signed. For example, Senate Bill 968, which banned “vaccine passports” in Texas, became law when Gov. Greg Abbott signed it in June. Other bills, like one that revises eminent domain negotiations between landowners and companies, will become law on Jan. 1, 2022.

The legislature is currently in its second special session, which Abbott primarily called to advance the GOP-backed voting restrictions bill. Lawmakers are discussing other topics, including changes to the bail system and limits on transgender Texans from competing on school sports teams. At least one more special session will be called this fall to address redistricting.

But in the meantime, here’s a list of the new laws you should know:

Texas’ 2022-2023 budget: SB 1 provides nearly $250 billion for Texas, with notable funds going toward public higher education. Abbott line-item vetoed the part of the budget that funds the Texas Legislature and the people who staff it — but lawmakers may restore funding during this summer’s second special session.

Permitless carry: House Bill 1927 allows Texans ages 21 and older to carry handguns without training or a license as long as they are not legally prevented from doing so.

Abortion restrictions: SB 8 prohibits abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. In lieu of government enforcement, private individuals can sue abortion providers or people who assist abortion after an ultrasound can detect what lawmakers defined as a fetal heartbeat. Embryos at this developmental stage don’t possess a heart. Medical and legal experts say the sound Republican lawmakers are referring to is the motion of electrical pulses stimulating muscle cells in a tube that will eventually become part of the heart. Abortion providers are suing to block the law. Additionally, HB 1280 would outlaw abortion in Texas 30 days after any potential U.S. Supreme Court decision overturns Roe v. Wade.

Medical marijuana expansion: People with any form of cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder now have access to low-THC cannabis for medical purposes. HB 1535 is an expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which allows people with conditions such as epilepsy and autism to access medical marijuana.

Reducing barriers to SNAP: SB 224 simplifies access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for seniors and disabled people on fixed incomes. Eligible individuals can forgo enrollment interviews and have a shortened application process.

Funding the “1836 Project”: HB 2497 establishes an “1836 Project” committee to produce patriotic Texas history materials, which will be distributed through channels such as when people receive driver’s licenses. The initiative’s name mirrors the “1619 Project,” a New York Times publication examining U.S. history from the arrival of enslaved people.

Social studies curriculum changes: HB 3979 limits teachers from discussing current events and systemic racism in class. The bill also prevents students from receiving class credit for participating in civic engagement and bans teaching of the “1619 Project.”

“Star Spangled Banner Protection Act”: Professional sports teams with state funding are required to play the national anthem before games under SB 4.

Reducing pre-K class sizes: Prekindergarten classes are now capped at 22 students — the same maximum class size of other elementary school grades — under SB 2081.

New state employee retirement accounts: SB 321 enrolls new state workers hired after Sept. 1, 2022, in a cash-balance plan, which deposits a percentage of a worker’s annual compensation in retirement accounts and is similar to a 401(k) retirement account. Currently, employees have defined-benefit retirement accounts based on employment position and previous salaries.

Shielding companies from car crash liability: HB 19 requires drivers of commercial vehicles — including Ubers, Lyfts and delivery trucks — to be found liable in court for causing a car crash resulting in injury or death before a case can be brought against their employer.

Active shooter alert system: HB 103 creates the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, which will notify Texans in the vicinity of an active shooting scene through their phones. The system can be activated by request of local law enforcement.

Police body cameras: HB 929 requires police officers to keep body cameras on during the entirety of active investigations. The law is named after Botham Jean, who was fatally shot in his apartment while eating ice cream by a Dallas police officer in 2018.

Banning unnecessary police chokeholds: Police officers are now prohibited from using chokeholds or excessive force during arrests unless necessary to prevent officer or bystander injury under SB 69. Officers who witness violations are required to report the incident.

Online ballot tracking system: HB 1382 creates an online tracking system for mail-in ballots and applications for mail-in ballots. The system will be run by the Texas Secretary of State.

Punishing cities who cut police budgets: If municipalities with a population of more than 250,000 reduce their police budget, HB 1900 allows the state to financially punish the cities by reducing sales tax revenues and preventing increases in property taxes.

Felony punishment for blocking emergency vehicles: HB 9 will make blocking access to a hospital or an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on a state jail felony. The bill was passed as a response to protesters being arrested for blocking ambulances during Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

Criminalizing homeless camping: HB 1925 makes camping in unapproved public places a misdemeanor crime that carries a fine of up to $500. Cities cannot opt out of the ban.

Disclosure: Lyft, Texas Secretary of State and New York Times have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/31/new-texas-laws-september-2021/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) numerous times heckled President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, including repeatedly calling him a “liar.”

Not in modern history has anyone so clearly disturbed the decorum of the nationally-televised event watched live by 40 million Americans. Not even U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously also called the President a liar – “You lie!” – during another nationally-televised event, that one by President Barack Obama in September of 2009.

Tuesday night Congresswoman Greene repeatedly yelled, “You lie!” and, “Liar!” at President Biden, who, ironically, was sitting one seat back from his current position the last time it happened.

Here is that moment:

Greene also heckled President Biden at other times throughout his speech – something she and Rep. Lauren Boebert did one year ago, also during the State of the Union.

Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger Tuesday night tweeted, “Did @RepMTG just yell ‘liar’?! Awful. Yet she will not be punished in response.”

READ MORE: ‘Salute Their Flags’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appears to Attack LGBTQ Americans and BLM During Angry GOP SOTU Response

He then called for Greene’s censure – and called for her fellow Republicans to do it.

The GOP should lead the censure of @RepMTG for her behavior,” Kinzinger tweeted.

He wasn’t done.

Posting a screenshot of Greene standing during the State of the Union heckling President Biden, with her thumb pointing down, Kinzinger asked, “My fellow Republicans… you really want this as a role model for your kids? Do you really think the next generation will want to be part of this? I don’t.”

Kinzinger went one step further, reposting a tweet likening Congresswoman Greene to the fictional Disney villain Cruella de Vil – a comparison many on social media had been making during the evening’s event.

“Representative Joe Wilson was formally rebuked by the House on Tuesday for his outburst during President Obama’s health care address,” The New York Times reported, less than a week after what was at the time an unthinkable act. “The vote came after a Congressional clash over civility that showcased the deep partisan divisions in the House.”

Congressman Wilson also apologized for calling President Obama a “liar,” barely hours after his outburst.

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” he said in a statement. “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”

Congresswoman Greene likely will not apologize, and likely will not face any formal rebuke.

 

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Salute Their Flags’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appears to Attack LGBTQ Americans and BLM During Angry GOP SOTU Response

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Arkansas GOP Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders appears to be targeting the LGBTQ community and its allies, Black Lives Matter activists and supporters, and all of the “left-wing” as she takes a national platform as the Republican Party’s chosen representative to deliver its response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

“Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech,” the former Trump White House press secretary is expected to say, based on excerpts from her prepared remarks. “That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”

The excerpts do not specify the “rituals,” “flags,” or “false idols” Huckabee Sanders is referring to, but no one on the left salutes the LGBTQ pride flag or Black Lives Matter flags or banners, and no one on the left forces anyone to worship or partake in any rituals.

“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” she will also say, in remarks that sound like the ex-president’s.

READ MORE: ‘Progress and Resilience’: Biden in SOTU Will Remind Americans He Is ‘Building an Economy Where No One Is Left Behind’

“And while you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day. Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight. Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech. That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”

And yet, Huckabee Sanders, ignoring her own direct attack on some American families during her State of the Union response, will then say: “Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities. Where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising. Where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man, woman, and child.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

The ‘White Power Movement’ Is Ramping Up Its Attacks on Energy Infrastructure – Anti-Terrorism Expert Explains Why

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Professor, historian and author Kathleen Belew, one of the United States’ top experts on white supremacist and white nationalist terrorism, has often stressed that violent, racially motivated attacks shouldn’t be viewed as isolated incidents, but as part of a broader movement. And when Belew made a Monday night, February 6 appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” she explained how a Maryland woman’s alleged role in a plot to attack five energy substations in the Baltimore area fits into the overall “white power” game plan.

Earlier in the day, law enforcement officials had announced the arrest of Maryland resident Sarah Beth Clendaniel, who, they allege, conspired with fellow white supremacist Brandon Russell in that plot. Clendaniel and Russell, according to officials, hoped to completely disable energy infrastructure in Baltimore and deprive the city of electricity for an extended period of time.

During her conversation with Maddow, Belew emphasized that this was not an isolated incident. White supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis, according to the professor, are targeting energy infrastructure in general — not just in Baltimore, Maryland.

READ MORE: Why the power grid is an ‘attractive target’ for domestic terrorists and white supremacists: report

Belew, author of the 2019 book, “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America,” told Maddow, “The electrical part may be new, but infrastructure attacks by this movement are not new. This is a strategy that was pioneered by a group called The Order in 1983…. Infrastructure attacks are one kind of violence among several others that are all laid out in a strategy in common in order to bring about what the movement seeks, which is the overthrow of the United States and the creation of a white ethno-state — mass violence against communities of color and even genocide against non-white peoples.”

According to Belew — who teaches at Northwestern University in the Chicago suburbs — attacks on energy infrastructure and the January 6, 2021 insurrection are both part of the “white power” game plan.

Belew told Maddow, “Infrastructure attacks sit next to a show of forced violence like the January 6 attack on the Capitol and mass casualty violence like the Oklahoma City bombing. All of these exist together within one broad ideology in the white power movement.”

READ MORE: Terrorism expert explains why the Great Replacement theory is so central to white racist ideology

Watch the full video at this link.

Image via Wikimedia and a Creative Commons license

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