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Rabbi blasts NY gov hopeful after gay apology: ‘Has he discovered now he has a gay nephew?’

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An Orthodox Brooklyn Rabbi who had formed an alliance with New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino says he no longer supports his candidacy.

Why? Because Paladino said he was sorry for anti-gay comments in which he said that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed into thinking being gay is acceptable.”

On Tuesday, after widespread outrage, Paladino apologized for “poorly chosen words” and said, if elected, he would “fight for all gay New Yorkers’ rights.”

The rabbi who helped write the brainwash quip isn’t happy. Yehuda Levin says Paladino “folded like a cheap camera” after criticism.

The New York Times‘ Elizabeth Harris adds:

Rabbi Levin said he was especially upset that Mr. Paladino gave him no notice that he planned to back away from the comments.

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“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich,” Rabbi Levin said. “While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”

Mr. Paladino, of course, had not become gay, but had announced that he wanted to clarify that he embraced gay rights and opposed discrimination. In explaining his views, Mr. Paladino and his aides noted that he had a gay nephew who worked for the campaign.

That seemed to bother Rabbi Levin as well. He accused Mr. Paladino of deciding to apologize because “his gay nephew or his family told him so.”

“He discovered now he has a gay nephew?” the rabbi said. “Mazel tov! We’ll make a coming-out party!”

Harris’ full story is available here.

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2020 Election

New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers

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As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.

Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

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‘A true public health emergency’: 70+ medical groups sound alarm on climate crisis

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Groups lay out action agenda to advance climate solutions and strengthen resiliency

Scores of medical groups on Monday called the climate crisis "a health emergency" and laid out what they framed as a blueprint for the public and private sector to take swift action.

The agenda is signed by over 70 groups, including the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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Citing CIA’s dark history, librarians protest agency’s recruiting at their conference

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"Everything they stand for is a violation of the values of librarianship, so we protested."

A group of librarians demanded the American Library Association abide by its values on Friday as they staged a protest of the CIA's presence and recruitment at the professional organization's annual conference.

At the convention, which is taking place June 20-25 in Washington, D.C., the CIA is among the hundreds of exhibitors.

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