A Texas schools superintendent was secretly recorded telling librarians to pull off shelves books related to LGBTQ people and issues, and other books that “do not conform,” whether they like it or not, because the county is “conservative,” and he was getting complaints. Shortly after, the school district pulled 130 titles, mostly with LGBTQ themes, according to a report by NBC News, The Texas Tribune, and ProPublica.
A 10-minute video (below), published by NBC News, includes some of the remarks made in January by Granbury, Texas schools superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn, including when he directs librarians to remove from shelves any of 850 books identified as unacceptable by Texas GOP state Rep. Matt Krause. Krause is a far right wing lawmaker who previously worked at Liberty Counsel, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
“We are going to pull books off the shelves, especially any of the 850 books that were put forth by Rep. Krause,” Glenn can be heard saying in the secret recording, “we will pull any of those books in our library, plus any that we think do not conform.”
Glenn opened up the meeting with librarians by saying, “I want to talk with you about our community. If you do not know this, you’ve been probably under a rock.”
“Granbury is in a very, very conservative community. And our board is very, very conservative.”
Glenn told librarians if they held any political views that were not conservative, they had “better hide it.”
“In the days that followed,” according to the report, “the district embarked on one of the largest mass book removals in the state, pulling 130 titles, most of which featured LGBTQ characters or themes.”
“And I’m going to take it a step further with you,” Glenn can also be heard saying in the recording. “There are two genders. There’s male, and there’s female. And I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women. And there are women that think they’re men. And again, I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there’s no place for it in our libraries.”
“Later in the meeting,” the report states, “Glenn clarified that he was specifically focused on removing books geared toward queer students: ‘It’s the transgender, LGBTQ and the sex — sexuality — in books,’ he said, according to the recording.”
Now, following a complaint filed by the ACLU of Texas and reporting by NBC News, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into the North Texas school district, the report adds.
The ACLU “accused the district of violating a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.”
ACLU attorney Chloe Kempf says Glenn’s comments and the district pulling LGBTQ-themed books have created a “pervasively hostile” environment for LGBTQ students.
“These comments, combined with the book removals, really send a message to LGBTQ students in the districts that: ‘You don’t belong here. Your existence is shameful. It should be censored.’”
One nonbinary Granbury High School student said, “I don’t feel incredibly safe or welcomed by a large majority of the students at my school,” and they said they don’t report harassment because they don’t feel their complaints will be taken seriously.
“I’ve been called slurs. I’ve been verbally attacked. I’ve been physically attacked. But it kind of feels worse when the attacks are coming from adults, from the people who are supposed to keep us safe.”
NEW: A Texas school superintendent was secretly recorded ordering librarians to remove LGBTQ-themed books from shelves.
Now the federal government is investigating the district. https://t.co/nmJf9SAhRi
Listen to the audio recording from January 2022: pic.twitter.com/ZuKwguayGZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 20, 2022
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‘They’re Not Taking My Gas Stove’: Joe Manchin Teams Up With Hard Core Republicans to Promote False Claims
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is again promoting the false claim that the federal government is planning to remove gas stoves from private homes, after news last month revealed once more the open-flame appliances are responsible for hundreds of thousands of cases of children’s asthma.
“They’re not taking my gas stove out,” said Manchin, who has made millions from coal and protects his state – which ranks in the top five for production of natural gas – at every turn.
Manchin, a rare breed of conservative Democrat, announced in a Senate hearing on Thursday that he is teaming up with Republican Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford to fuel the unfounded fears of the federal government coming to rip gas stoves out of Americans’ homes – fears promoted by the right.
“Gas stoves have been in the news lately and I’ve come out strongly against the Consumer Product Safety Commission pursuing any ban of gas stoves,” Manchin declared, despite there being no possibility of that. “In fact, I’m introducing legislation today with Senator Cruz that would ensure that they don’t and separately sending a letter to the commission with Senator Lankford.”
“I’ve always been a proponent of energy efficiency,” Manchin continued, “but the draft proposes efficiency levels that DOE [Dept. of Energy] says at the highest level, up to 96% of gas stoves don’t currently meet. I don’t like where I think they’re going with this and I tell you one thing, they’re not taking my gas stove put. My wife and I would both be upset.”
Manchin went on the claim the Biden administration is “looking to find ways to push out natural gas.”
And he warned the feds to stay out of his kitchen.
“Like I said before,” Manchin declared, “the federal government doesn’t have any business telling American families how to cook their dinner.”
The federal government does have a responsibility, by law, to warn Americans of health and safety issues in their homes. For decades it has been doing just that.
But the West Virginia Senator went even further, stating: “retrofitting or removing stoves that people have had for years is not going to happen.”
Manchin isn’t just blowing smoke – he has a lot at stake in the “gas stove war.”
“West Virginia is the fourth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in the nation,” according to a federal government December report.
“At every step of his political career, Joe Manchin helped a West Virginia power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business. Along the way, he blocked ambitious climate action,” The New York Times reported last year. It called the West Virginia Democrat “the single most important figure shaping the nation’s energy and climate policy.”
Watch Sen. Manchin below or at this link.
“They’re not taking my gas stove out!” pic.twitter.com/P4zFGC6Kqp
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 2, 2023
‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)
Trump White House press secretary turned Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been chosen by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address next week.
Speaker McCarthy hailed Huckabee Sanders, 40, as the nation’s “youngest governor” on Thursday afternoon in remarks to reporters (below).
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 2, 2023
The former press secretary was quickly endorsed by Trump, ran a campaign carefully crafted away from the press, and has no relevant experience to run a state.
“Can Sarah Huckabee Sanders be elected governor without ever taking questions or talking specifics about public policy?” Arkansas Times’ senior editor Max Brantley asked rhetorically last summer, calling her campaign “stealth.”
“Her inauguration marks the first time in 42 years Arkansas will have a governor without any experience in elected office,” the AP noted last month.
“She clearly has some national aspirations,” University of Arkansas political science professor Janine Parry told the Associated Press last month. “In order to fulfill those, it’s likely she’ll have to show some capacity for governance.”
According to Speaker McCarthy, she has already accomplished a lot in her first 23 days as governor.
Although McCarthy did not offer any specifics, CNN did: “Within 48 hours of being sworn in as governor, Sanders signed a flurry of executive orders, with one targeting critical race theory ‘to prohibit indoctrination’ in schools and another banning the use of the term ‘Latinx’ in official state documents.”
After the announcement was made, Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday. What America needs – and what Republicans are offering – is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave.”
But in a joint statement with McCarthy and McConnell, Huckabee Sanders took a much different tone.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats. We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America – to be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs, and opportunity for all.”
Responding to the news, critics online pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ history that was fraught with controversy and false claims in the Trump White House.
Indeed, conservative critic Charlie Sykes on MSNBC pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ ties to Trump, telling Andrea Mitchell that Huckabee Sanders was “a firehose of misinformation and disinformation” during the “Trump era,” and noted she has been “prioritizing the culture war” in her short tenure as governor.
“Yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years,” he added.
GOP taps Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver the Republican response to Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday, a pick that Charlie Sykes says is “yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years.” pic.twitter.com/eXAasOQWQ9
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 2, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him
Kyle Rittenhouse, who skyrocketed to fame in right-wing circles after shooting and killing two protesters during a social rights march in 2020, is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s father, according to PBS.
The lawsuit was filed by John Huber, the father of one of the two victims, and also includes city officials and police officers. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed motions from the city officials, police officers and Rittenhouse to dismiss the civil rights case in its entirety.
Huber’s lawsuit states that Rittenhouse conspired with police officers to intentionally cause harm to the protesters who were marching in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was injured by a Wisconsin police officer.
Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, drove to the demonstrations in Wisconsin and was a minor at age 17 at the time.
In the ruling Adelman said Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants. Huber was killed after Rittenhouse was running after he shot and killed his first victim in the parking lot of a car dealership and Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard to disarm him. After falling to the ground Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded another protester Gaige Grosskreutz, who also has filed a civil lawsuit against Rittenhouse.
Huber’s lawyers and private investigators needed over 100 hours to locate Rittenhouse to serve him with the civil lawsuit paperwork, eventually serving him at his sister’s house. Rittenhouse’s lawyers tried to argue the case should be dismissed because he was not properly served. The judge dismissed that claim.
Rittenhouse has become a popular Republican right-wing speaker at public events and has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Jacob Blake was shot and injured, but not killed, as originally reported.
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