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TV show and PayPal projects canceled in North Carolina in response to GOP’s anti-LGBT law

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Jobs are now officially being lost in North Carolina as a result of the state’s new law wiping out local protections for the LGBT community and regulating public bathrooms usage by transgender people — which was passed quickly by the Republican legislature and governor after the city of Charlotte had enacted an ordinance to allow transgender people to use public bathrooms matching their gender identities.

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In a recent radio appearance with Christian-right activist Tony Perkins, the state’s Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said that pressure from the business community against the new law was only part of a public posture for LGBT activists, and did not actually reflect the business community’s true opinions. “And one in particular said, ‘Well you know, they [LGBT groups] have a really strong lobby,’” Forest said, recounting a conversation he had with one business leader.

But now, actual businesses are taking their projects out of the state.

Lionsgate Films is canceling the pilot for a Hulu show — fittingly called “Crushed” — for which pre-production work had been set to begin in early April and then filming in May, The Charlotte Observer. The cancelation has just become public now — but the studio first informed local employees and contractors of the cancelation on March 24, one day immediately after Gov. Pat McCrory had signed the controversial new law.

The show, about an African-American family with a Napa wine business, will now film instead in Vancouver, Canada. (And while that’s in another country, it will at least have sunrises and sunsets coming from the proper directions out on the West Coast.)

The show’s local production coordinator Jennifer Irvine also faulted the state’s elimination of a tax credit program for TV and movie productions in 2014.

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“When we lost our tax incentives a year ago, I lost my work at that point,” said Irvine. “We were just starting to trickle back. And now when (McCrory) signed that bill, he tainted the film industry all over again.”

In addition, PayPal has announced the cancelation of a new global operations center in Charlotte, which the company said would have employed over 400 people in skilled jobs. The company had first announced the plans for the new office two weeks ago.

“In the short time since then, legislation has been abruptly enacted by the State of North Carolina that invalidates protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law,” PayPal said in a statement.

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“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte.”

The company also stated its “regret that we will not have the opportunity to be a part of the Charlotte community and to count as colleagues the skilled and talented people of the region,” but also that they “remain committed to working with the LGBT community in North Carolina to overturn this discriminatory legislation, alongside all those who are committed to equality.”


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2020 Election

Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him

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Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.

It’s worth just quoting in full:

He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.

Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:

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Angst-ridden Republicans should have acted when Trump put his reelection above national security concerns: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Senate Republicans are in serious trouble, especially in light of the stimulus bill they rolled out this week.

According to Rubin, the Senate GOP is in dire straits because "they have allowed the anti-government, anti-science Trump sycophants to disclaim any interest in the bill, thereby handing the reins to Democrats."

Rubin writes that some Republicans saying they want to see essential workers being taken care of in the bill are speaking up too late. "If only they they had some power in February to remove the unfit and corrupt president from office, instead of leaving him there to purge witnesses from his administration, seek vengeance on foes, force out inspectors general and botch the response to the coronavirus," Rubin writes.

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2020 Election

Facebook removes network of fake accounts that posed as Trump supporters

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Facebook said Thursday it took down accounts running a deceptive campaign out of Romania pretending to be Americans supporting US President Donald Trump ahead of the coming election.

The leading online social network removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages, and 88 Instagram accounts as part of an ongoing fight against "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.

"The people behind this network used fake accounts to pose as Americans, amplify and comment on their own content, and manage pages including some posing as President Trump fan pages," Gleicher said.

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