RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
666 New Texas Laws Go Into Effect Today. Here Are Some That Might Affect You.
“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.
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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/.
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Fox Host Says Democrats Don’t Believe in Heaven So They Play ‘Hard’ to ‘Perfect’ Earth
Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy blamed the differences between Republicans and Democrats on religious beliefs about Heaven.
On Sunday’s Fox & Friends program, co-host Pete Hegseth argued religion was liberating because people could realize they aren’t perfect. A video clip of the moment was shared on social media.
“It changes the way you look even at politics,” Campos-Duffy agreed. “And sometimes, you know, we look at how hard on the left they play. They really play for keeps. They play in a way that’s very, you know, a lot of times conservatives look at it and go, why don’t we play as hard as them?”
The Fox News host said Democrats were trying to perfect the Earth because they did not believe in Heaven.
“Well, for them, where we live right now, this place, Earth is it,” she opined. “So everything’s on the line here for them. They think, as you said, they can perfect this Earth. Those of us who have faith don’t believe that. And we believe how we act here determines where we go after. And so we had to behave.”
“And so even in politics, we don’t, you know, we act within those moral limits,” Campos-Duffy insisted. “And you know, the ends justify the means is sort of the rules for radicals. That’s not how Christians act.”
Watch the video below from Fox News or at the link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer
A self-described “Christian woman” who is a contributor to the far-right wing students organization Turning Point USA, is being widely mocked for posting a video attacking Chick-fil-A over claims the conservative, privately-owned, faith-based fast food restaurant chain recently hired a diversity officer.
“So I’m grieving,” the video, apparently by Morgonn McMichael (below), begins. “It’s lunchtime. I’m here with Aubrey. And we really wanted some Chick-fil-A but because they decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion corporate position, and also bow down to the woke lord because their ESG scores, and also I found out do you know their chicken is funded by BlackRock and Vanguard? Yeah their farms, they use Tyson and this other farm, BlackRock and Vanguard funded chicken.”
If you think that’s a mouthful just wait, there’s more.
“Chick-fil-A,” Morgonn continues, “you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman. All we wanted was some good fried chicken so now we’re gonna go to Cane’s, we’re going to try it out.”
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Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a Louisiana-based fast food restaurant with 600 locations in the U.S. and Western Asia.
“This is really difficult because there’s a Chick-fil-A is across the street. Now eating chicken fingers instead of chicken nuggets. I know, first world Christian woman problems, but no one will ever understand the love that I had for Chick-fil-A.”
“You know, we’re taking this boycott Chick-fil-A thing seriously, and it’s really difficult.”
The video was posted to Twitter by the anonymous group PatriotTakes, which has been described as a liberal political action committee. It quickly went viral, garnering over 2 million views in just eight hours. Late Friday afternoon Morgonn tweeted, “sarcasm and satire are things the left doesn’t seem to understand.”
For those who don’t know, Turning Point USA, a far-right Christian nationalist organization, was founded by the ultra-MAGA Charlie Kirk, now a member of the highly-secretive Council for National Policy.
CNP’s membership list also includes former Trump attorney, ally, and advisor Cleta Mitchell, and Ginni Thomas.
“CNP members range from the leaders of the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to the Southern Poverty Law Center designated anti-LGBTQ hate groups Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom,” Documented reported last year.
Turning Point USA was in the news last week after Rolling Stone reported: “Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA Teamed Up With a Registered Sex Offender.”
Meanwhile, over at TPUSA, Morgonn McMichael’s bio says she is “a Gen Z social media influencer from Texas whose effort to empower and inspire America’s next generation of young conservative female leaders through patriotic online video content has amassed over 100,000 unique social media impressions every week on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more.”
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“Morgonn has dedicated the last year promoting freedom of speech, religious liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government both online and across TPUSA campus chapters. Morgonn has also reached tens of thousands of viewers of all ages with her articles and appearances on Newsmax, Real America’s Voice, OAN, and Breitbart, offering insightful cultural commentary into the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Apparently, Chick-fil-A’s diversity officer (more on that next) is one of “the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Morgonn did claim Chick-fil-A “decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion” officer.
Well, stunningly, the company – long known for its hate-filled attacks on same-sex marriage – did, over a year ago.
A USA Today fact check found Chick-fil-A hired Erick McReynolds, its vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, more than a year and a half ago. The company even has a DEI page featuring him on its corporate website.
PatriotTakes also tweeted, “TPUSA Contributor Morgonn, who is now calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-a, previously said, Cancel culture is toxic’ and ‘needs to be canceled.'”
As some social media users pointed out, Cane’s Chicken Fingers is very pro-LGBTQ.
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“Since its inception in the early 2000s, Raising Cane’s has been a strong supporter of the LGBT community,” San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) reported in November. “The chicken chain was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. In 2015, Raising Cane’s was named one of the best places to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.”
In response to Morgonn’s video, Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman posted this screenshot from a Raising Cane’s tweet:
Does she know? https://t.co/JWFCMZmdYB pic.twitter.com/sjyvvKRMPL
— Ashton Pittman 🏳️🌈 (@ashtonpittman) June 2, 2023
Over at TPUSA, Morgonn has written content including a piece titled, “Disney’s Male Employee in a Dress Sparks Outrage,” that begins, “At Disney, anyone can be a princess — even a grown man.”
Also, “Disney in Decline: Company Loses Billions Due to Woke Agenda.”
Noted actor and activist George Takei weighed in, tweeting simply, “They’ve lost their goddamned minds.”
Watch Morgonn below or at this link.
A TPUSA Contributor learned Chick-Fil-A has a diversity, equity and inclusion officer:
“Chick-Fil-A you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman.…We’re taking this boycott Chick-Fil-A thing seriously.” pic.twitter.com/oFMCSeR2ie
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 2, 2023
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Watch: Fox News Smacks Down Far Right Republican Complaining He Gets Just 3 Days to Read Debt Ceiling Bill
Far-right House Republican Ralph Norman of South Carolina spent a good portion of Tuesday complaining about the debt ceiling bill, legislation that was brokered by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avert a national and global financial meltdown, but even Fox News isn’t interested in his complaints.
“It’s an insult, to get a 100-page bill, and be asked to decide on it on the spot,” Congressman Norman lied while at the Freedom Caucus’s press conference Tuesday.
“I won’t buy a microwave, unless I get it in writing,” Rep. Norman said, although it was unclear what “it” is.
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That video on social media went viral, with nearly one million views in just six hours.
you have 3 days to read it, bro pic.twitter.com/mnsXh2sKOv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 30, 2023
Congressman Norman previously has claimed children are being aborted after being born while also voting against legislation to protect child sex abuse victims, refused to wear a mask during the height of COVID because he was “tired” of them, voted for a federal vigilante “Don’t Say Gay” bill, denied the January 6 insurrectionists were Trump supporters, and urged the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Tuesday afternoon he continued his rant about having to vote on the debt ceiling bill while only getting three days to read it, but even Fox News was not putting up with it.
“We were on Memorial Day, and to get a call to come and support a bill, a negotiated bill that we hadn’t even read,” Norman complained.
“It’s like the [Speaker] Pelosi days. You gotta pass it before you can read it,” Norman said. For only one bill, the Affordable Care Act, which is 906 pages, and was written and negotiated over the course of more than a year, did Speaker Pelosi say it could only be read after it had been passed.
“But he is giving you 72 hours to consider it,” Fox News host John Roberts reminded Norman.
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“Pelosi didn’t do that,” he claimed.
“We ought to have a lot more time,” Norman insisted.
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“It’s only 99 pages,” Roberts also reminded Norman.
Norman, who has signaled he will not be voting for the legislation, insisted it’s “time to negotiate and go back to the table,” which will not happen.
RALPH NORMAN: It’s like the Pelosi days. You gotta pass it before you read it.
FOX: But he’s giving you 72 hours to read it.
NORMAN: We ought to have a lot more time.
FOX: It’s only 99 pages. pic.twitter.com/Yl7SQBMaw7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 30, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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