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Republicans Urge Trump To Withhold Relief From Undocumented

Even though the current law limits stimulus checks Congress authorized in the coronavirus relief law to citizens and legal residents, more than three dozen Republican lawmakers insisted Donald Trump make sure that the IRS doesn't give undocumented immigrants a penny.

In a letter sent to Trump on Monday, 39 Republican members of the House, led by Ken Buck of Colorado, said they "are concerned that language and definitions contained in the CARES Act may allow illegal immigrants to also take advantage" of the relief checks.

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Mueller: Prosecutors Can Charge Trump After Presidency

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former special counsel Robert Mueller, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, informed Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) that the president can be charged with a crime after leaving office, a moment that appeared to stun the Republican representative.

Buck was in the middle of a line of questioning designed to criticize Mueller’s refusal to indict or exonerate President Trump for alleged obstruction of justice.

“You made the decision on the Russian interference,” Buck said. “You couldn’t have indicted the president on that and you made the decision on that. But when it came to obstruction you threw a bunch of stuff up against the wall to see what would stick. That is fundamentally unfair.”

“I would not agree to that characterization at all,” Mueller replied. “What we did was provide to the Attorney general in the form of a confidential memorandum our understanding of the case. Those cases that were brought, those cases that were declined. And that one case where the president cannot be charged with a crime.”

“Okay,” Buck replied. “But could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?”

“Yes,” Mueller said.

Watch the exchange below:

 

At Hearing On Equality Bill, Republicans Spew Anti-LGTQ Bigotry

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held a historic hearing on the Equality Act, a bill that would legally “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.”

And while Democrats on the committee asked thoughtful questions of the witnesses — including two people who had been fired or denied medical care because of their sexual orientation or gender identity — Republicans instead built straw men arguments about why transgender individuals shouldn’t receive the same protections as everyone else.

There was GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, the Texas crackpot who argued that allowing transgender women into women’s shelters with cisgender women (women who are not transgender) was a “war on women.”

“Women they seem to have more post-traumatic stress disorder on sexual assault, and yet we’re going to force them to have men in confined spaces in shelters where they’re seeking a refuge away from men inflicting violence on them?” Gohmert said, grossly misgendering transgender women. “And because we’re going to stand up here and say, ‘Well it’s just too bad we’re going to force men to be into your spaces and you’re going to have to like it I think is a war on women that should not be allowed.'”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who has gone to great lengths to protect Trump, suggested there are “bad actors” who would somehow pretend to be transgender to “exploit the provisions of this law for their own gain.”

“Consider this possibility, if President Trump were to say, ‘I am now the first female president.’ Who would celebrate that?” Gaetz said, eliciting boos from onlookers in the hearing room. “Would those who support the legislation think that was a good thing? Or would they be dismayed?”

Of course, this is a ridiculous straw man argument. Transgender individuals are discriminated against and subjected to violence at higher rates than cisgender individuals. And the thought that someone would pretend to be transgender to get rights that everyone else already had makes absolutely zero sense.

If you thought that was the worst of the comments from Republicans on the committee, well, you thought wrong.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) made possibly the most insane and offensive remark of the day.

He asked Jami Contreras — a lesbian whose infant daughter was refused medical care by a doctor because the doctor didn’t want to treat the child of a same-sex couple — whether a Jewish doctor should be forced to treat a Nazi.

Yes, Buck — who was just elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party — compared a child of lesbian mothers seeking medical treatment to a Nazi.

Contreras was clearly caught off guard by such a hateful question, comparing her gender identity to a Nazi, that she asked other experts on the panel to weigh in. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, a Jew himself, piped in to remind Buck that Nazis are not a “protected class.”

Of course, at the end of the day, this bill would simply provide the same equality protections to LGBTQ individuals and women that cisgender men have enjoyed for centuries. And Republicans reverted to such patently absurd and vile hypotheticals because there is no good reason not to codify those rights into law.

“No one is hurt when trans people live authentically,” the ACLU tweeted as Republicans spewed their vile bigotry. “Not in the restroom. Not in the locker room. Not on the court, field or track.”

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Ken Buck Is Back, And This Time He Says He Doesn’t Hate Women

Failed 2010 Senate candidate Ken Buck (R) is ramping up another run, and he’s determined to overcome the gender gap that destroyed his previous attempt to join Congress.

Buck, who has served as Weld County district attorney since 2004, is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to oppose incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) in Colorado’s 2014 midterm elections. The thought makes some Republicans cringe, given Buck’s disastrous failure four years ago.

In 2010, Buck rode a wave of Tea Party support to the Republican nomination opposing Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who was among the most vulnerable incumbents on the ballot. Throughout the campaign, Democrats eagerly turned Buck into an avatar for the far-right’s war on women. Buck himself provided the ammunition for these attacks; among other gaffes, he urged women to vote for him over primary opponent Jane Norton because “I do not wear high heels,” and suggested to a local newspaper that he declined to prosecute a suspected rape because it was merely “a case of buyer’s remorse.” Although Buck led Bennet in the polls for most of the race, on election night the Democrat scored a narrow victory. Bennet defeated Buck by less than 1 percent overall — but he ran up the score among women voters, winning them 56 to 40 percent according to exit polls.

Now Buck is running again, and with early polling finding him within striking distance of Udall, he hopes to avoid making the same mistakes twice.

“I ran in 2010 and the liberals — the progressives — did a masterful job of lying to the public about who I am,” Buck told the right-wing Daily Caller in a recent interview. “I’ve been a prosecutor for 25 years, I’ve helped people — rape victims, domestic violence victims, victims of senior fraud, in every way. I have spent my free time volunteering to help at-risk kids so they don’t choose a life of crime.”

“I decided if I was going to run again, I was going to make sure that I portrayed myself [in a way] that was honest and allowed people to make a judgment — hopefully on the issues — and not on some personality that the Democrats create,” Buck added.

To that end, Buck has released a new ad presenting a different side of him. In “Ken Cares: Stephanie’s Story,” Buck is not the misogynist Democrats successfully presented in 2010, but a crusading district attorney who went out of his way to protect Stephanie Drobny and her two young children from her abusive husband.

The web video is the first in a planned series of roughly 10, Buck told the Daily Caller. Unfortunately for the would-be senator, however, it will likely take more than a few touching ads to repair his image with women voters.

A softer touch will not change Buck’s unapologetically hardline positions on issues such as reproductive rights. Buck opposes abortion rights even in cases of rape and incest, and his wife — state representative Perry Buck — is at the forefront of legislative efforts to criminalize abortion in the state.

Buck also hasn’t stopped committing unforced errors that let Democratic attack ads pretty much write themselves. Most recently, he compared his past battle against lymphoma to being pregnant, saying, “It’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body.” (Note that this sympathy did not moderate his position on a woman’s right to choose.)

Ultimately, the biggest roadblock on Buck’s path to the Senate may not be women voters; instead, it could be money. Buck raised just $154,109 in the fourth quarter of 2013, leaving him with $262,347 in cash on hand. By contrast, Udall raised over $1 million in each quarter last year, and sits on a war chest of nearly $5 million as he awaits his general election opponent. In other words, for every ad Buck airs portraying his kinder, gentler side, Udall can afford to air several more reminding Coloradans of why they rejected Buck four years ago.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons