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Angie’s List CEO rejects Republican ‘fix’ to Indiana religious freedom bill as ‘insufficient’

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Bill Oesterle (Screen shot)

Despite Indiana lawmakers’ best efforts to revise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law last week by Governor Mike Pence, the recommendation website Angie’s List will not be expanding its corporate campus, claiming that the alterations to the bill do not go far enough.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma sounded optimistic when he said that revisions designed to protect the rights of members of the LGBT community against discrimination means that “every Hoosier’s rights are protected and won’t be infringed upon by the enactment of RFRA.”

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“Hoosier hospitality had to be restored. Indiana does not discriminate against anyone: gay, straight, lesbian, black, white, religious, non-religious. RFRA was considered an exclusion of the LGBT community and nothing could be further from the truth,” he continued.

“We welcome everyone, we discriminate against no one. Many of us have family members who are gay. We never intended for this law to discriminate.”

Senate President David Long (R) also sounded sanguine, saying that “in reaching the agreement to clarify the law cannot and will not be used to discriminate against anyone, anywhere at anytime. Hopefully, the change to this law will put an end to what this law was misinterpreted to be.”

But Bill Oesterle — the CEO of Angie’s List, whose planned expansion of its Near-Eastside corporate headquarters would have created 1,000 new jobs and pumped $18 million into the local economy — called the lawmaker’s “fix” inadequate.

“Our position is that this ‘fix’ is insufficient,” he said. “There was no repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination in Indiana.”

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“Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning,” Oesterle continued. “That’s just not right and that’s the real issue here. Our employees deserve to live, work and travel with open accommodations in any part of the state.”

Representatives of Eli Lilly and Co. and Salesforce.com attended the announcement at the Statehouse and expressed their satisfaction with the amended bill.


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2020 Election

Trump’s Supreme Court gambit killed his last chance of defeating Joe Biden: Conservative columnist

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On Thursday, writing for The Washington Post, anti-Trump conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin outlined how the president blew his final, best chance to turn around the public perception of the presidential race, and define it on his terms rather than Joe Biden's.

"With a president whose performance is as rotten as Trump’s (Gallup also shows him with a 43 percent job approval rating), his only hope was to make his opponent even more unappealing than himself," wrote Rubin. "Trump, however, never settled on an effective attack on Biden and, in any case, cannot stand ceding attention to anyone else. Trump’s performance, his lies, his antics, his insults, his crackpot conspiracy theories, his attacks on the media and his financial scandals have remained front and center. In other words, Trump’s raging narcissism has prevented him from doing what was necessary to give him a reasonable chance to win reelection."

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2020 Election

Fox News host predicts impeachment for President Biden — right after inauguration

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Fox News' host Greg Gutfeld ranted on Thursday that the day after Vice President Joe Biden is inaugurated that Republicans should impeach him.

Yelling into the camera, Gutfeld ranted that Trump got rid of ISIS and stopped North Korea from setting off nuclear weapons, both of which aren't true.

"So, now we're all talking about are "words, words, words' as opposed to Joe Biden's deeds," he continued. "There's a foreign policy issue we should discuss. He has compromised himself. And to Jesse's point, once -- If he actually wins, impeachment proceedings start the day after inauguration."

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COVID-19

US gives full approval to antiviral remdesivir to treat COVID-19

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The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday granted full approval to the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, after conditional authorization was given in May.

Gilead said the drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, was the only specific treatment for Covid-19 approved so far under a more rigorous process.

However, other treatments have received authorization for emergency use, though that approval can be revoked once the public health emergency sparked by the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Other medications, like the steroid dexamethasone, are also being used in the fight against Covid-19.

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