Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Walmart pays employees “starvation wages,” on the heels of an announcement the company will increase pay to $15 per hour for only some employees.

    “Walmart pays wages so low that tens of thousands of their workers are forced to rely on public assistance in order to survive,” Sanders said Thursday in a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee. “They are forced to rely on food stamps to feed their families, paid for by the U.S. taxpayer; public housing to put a roof over their heads, paid for by the U.S. taxpayer; and Medicaid to get the health care they need paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.” […]

    Thenew policy by the Department of Housing and Urban Development represents one of the earliest federal anti-discrimination changes made by the new administration using an executive order signed last monthby President Joe Biden. The President’s order mandated agencies implement a recent Supreme Court decision prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace in laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

    Under the new guidance, HUD said it will be able to investigate complaints made under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 – which “prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability” – that are made by people “who alleged discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation.” The department said it will also look into those types of complaints made since January 20, 2020, the day Biden signed his order.

    “Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” Jeanine M. Worden, the acting assistant secretary of HUD’s office Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.”

    The department said the action was needed because of “a number of housing discrimination studies which indicate that same-sex couples and transgender persons in communities across the country experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their straight and cisgender counterparts when seeking rental housing.”

    The new policy also represents a starkpolicy difference from the Trump administration. Then-HUD Secretary Ben Carson issued a rule last summer that would have stripped protections for transgender Americans seeking housing in federally funded homeless shelters. That proposal is set to be finalized in April, though the Biden administration will likely seek to stop it from becoming effective.

    A number of LGBTQ advocacy groups applauded the administration’s new rule on Thursday, including the Human Rights Campaign, which said the policy will especially help transgender and LGBTQ people of color facing housing discrimination.

    “LGBTQ people can rest assured that if they are denied housing in an emergency or refused rental of an apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity they will have recourse under federal law,” Alphonso David, the group’s president, said in a statement.

    It’s DEFINITELY a CULT.  They are so thoroughly BRAINWASHED if would take a Herculean effort to deprogram all or most of them.  

    During this morning’s Fox and Friends, the co-hosts were lamenting the fact that GOP Senators like Ted Cruz will demand an audit of the vote on Wednesday, while Trump was calling for two days of protests in Georgia before the runoff elections.

    Co-host Steve Doocy claimed that the stunt being pulled by Republican Senators this week was their last chance to show support for Trump because after Wednesday, “it’s over.”

    Brian Kilmeade said Trump’s causing “anarchy” in Georgia before the runoff elections. The so-called president is calling for two days of protests based on the unfounded claims that their state “rigged” the election against him.

    Associate Presiding Civil Judge Daniel Kiley on Tuesday granted Snell & Wilmer’s request to withdraw as counsel of record for the Republican National Committee. The RNC had teamed-up with the Trump campaign and the Arizona Republican Party in the case, which alleges that Maricopa County incorrectly rejected some votes cast on Election Day.

    Snell & Wilmer partners Brett Johnson and Eric Spencer first moved to withdraw on Sunday, a day after the case was filed. Johnson and Spencer did not respond to requests for comment. Snell & Wilmer chairman Matthew Feeney said the firm doesn’t comment on its client work.

    Conversion ‘therapy’ is based on false ideology that a person’s gender or sexual identity can be changed or suppressed through practices ranging from psychiatric treatments such as electro-convulsion therapy to counselling therapies and spiritual intervention.

    However, survivors do not use the term therapy, as what they have endured is not therapeutic.

    They say the term misrepresents the most common, informal conversion practice of structured conversations with religious leaders.

    Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the Government had so far consulted with hundreds of members of the public as well as key stakeholders including survivors, as well as LGBTIQ advocacy and religious organisations to determine the best way to implement the ban.

    “We’re banning so-called conversion 'therapy’ and making sure the laws we put in place end this harmful, cruel, and bigoted practice once and for all,” Ms Hennessy said.

    From the age of 15, Patrick McIvor was told he was 'sexually broken’ and as an adult he tried everything he could to be heterosexual.

    But the 33-year-old, who now identifies as gay, believes he was living a lie first pushed on him by a pastor at his former church.

    “He said things to me like 'I know your father and he was absent around key development points in your life. When you were becoming a teenager he was busy with work’,” Mr McIvor said.

    “It was very loving and supportive in the way it was presented. When we met, it was something that I really wanted to take on board … so that I could do the right thing.”

    No one 'villain

    On the advice of this pastor, Mr McIvor contacted an international organisation who ran a gay conversion program, which in turn referred him to a local counsellor in eastern Victoria.

    “In our first session, he pulled out a biscuit tin and inside it was photos of other men who had done the program before me. A lot of them were wedding photos … and I felt incredibly hopeful,” Mr McIvor said.

    “We had this really warm, supportive friendship … and we stayed in contact afterwards.

    "That’s hard for me to reconcile because I’d love to be able to point to someone, anyone in all this and just [call them] a straight up villain. But there is none.

    Read More

    In the middle of a pandemic, Trump gives Americans a glimpse of his criminal mind


    Early voting starts in a few weeks, and the breakdown doesn’t look good for Trump, as Jonathan Lemire explains.

    “The first state is North Carolina, which is I believe September 3rd. That kicks off the early voting,” he said.

    “North Carolina a key battleground and other states begin on the days and weeks to follow. September 3rd is all of two months before Election Day. So a lot of votes are going to be banked. So the president trailing, and his campaign acknowledges that, are running out of time to change those voters’ minds. But it’s true, those who vote early tend to have their minds made up. They aren’t usually swing voters, they’re absolutely a factor here.

    “We were talking before about the polls, both campaigns agree that there are six battleground states to decide this election, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida. That’s setting aside somewhere now the president has to play defense and has had to spend resources and had to go the past week to places like Ohio, Texas. Georgia is another one he has to play defense. We don’t see, outside of perhaps New Hampshire, a place where Democrats will have to do the same now that the Trump campaign has ceded Minnesota is a wish that will go unfulfilled.

    Lemire explains Trump’s campaign can only afford to lose one more of the other side.

    "They can lose Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, but they have to win the rest of them, if they lose two the ball game is over, they can’t get 270 electoral votes,” he said.


    Do whatever it takes. We cannot have four more years at this and survive. We just cannot.


    “The problem is the White House and the task force could never organize themselves to lead a federal response and bring virus transmission down to containment levels. Instead they took a lazy and careless route, claiming schools are important, as we all know, and the teachers and principals need to figure it out. What they did was deliberately set up the teachers, staff, and parents to fail. It’s one of the most careless, incompetent, and heartless actions I’ve ever seen promoted by the executive branch of the federal government.”


    It's the same track they took with the entire Corona virus epidemic. They didn't set up any kind of plan or program to address the problem and offer a solution with any kind of real clarity. They took little to no action, and they stood back, shrugged and passed it off to state governors and city mayors and decided to let local people handle it. It's a very simple cop-out, but that needs to be recognized. It's a cop-out. It's surrender. The first major battle that the Trump Administration had to fight, and they surrendered for the even fielded an army.

    Writing in the Washington Post Wednesday Rubin noted that everyone except Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has been unwilling to stand up to Trump, which could spell disaster for anyone below the president on the GOP ticket.

    Covid-19: immunity may not be an option, either individually or as a herd…