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Texas lieutenant governor calls on Christians to support bathroom bill

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The Texas lieutenant governor said on Monday he has enlisted Christian pastors statewide to help him win approval for legislation heading to a sate Senate committee this week that limits access to public restroom access for transgender people.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican and conservative Christian who guides the legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled Senate, told a news conference at the Capitol the Texas Privacy Act is a common sense measure to keep sexual predators out of bathrooms.

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Critics contend the bill infringes on the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Business groups say it will cause economic damage, pointing to a similar measure North Carolina enacted into law last year that led to travel and commercial boycotts.

Allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity rather than their birth gender has become the latest flashpoint in the long U.S. battle over LGBT rights.

Patrick announced the start of a “one million voices” campaign, with pastors enlisted to win support from their congregations for the legislation. Committee debate starts on Tuesday.

“North Carolina was the tip of the spear. We will be next to pass a bill that focuses on privacy, a person’s privacy, and public safety,” Patrick said, adding there will be no economic harm if it is enacted.

Before Patrick spoke, the U.S. Supreme Court scrapped plans to hear a major transgender rights case and threw out a lower court’s ruling in favor of a transgender Virginia student after President Donald Trump rescinded a policy protecting such youths under federal law.

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A business group including some of the largest employers in Texas, such as American Airlines, sent a letter to Patrick this month opposing the bill, saying it is “discriminatory legislation that jeopardizes the positive environment for our Texas business operations.”

Patrick may be able to push the bill through the state Senate, but analysts do not expect it to make it through the House.

Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican who drives the agenda in that body, has shown tepid support, saying there are worries in San Antonio, an area he represents that is slated to host the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

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“It may be likely that the bill will pass the Senate, but it will be dead on arrival in the House,” said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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These 7 details from the damning Sharpiegate report show it was a dark omen of Trump’s destructive potential

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While it was dismissed by some as an overhyped media obsession, the presidential scandal that has come to be known as "Sharpiegate" was, in fact, an early warning sign of the truly catastrophic potential of Donald Trump.

The story arose out of Hurricane Dorian, which began its deliberate march up toward the East Coast of the United States in late August and early September of 2019. It ravaged the Bahamas, and officials feared the damage it could inflict stateside. But then came a Trump tweet on Sept. 1, and later comments to reporters, in which he warned that Alabama was in the storm's path. He said it was among the states "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

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Florida governor finally releases the true numbers of people hospitalized with coronavirus

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finally caved in to pressure to release the actual numbers of coronavirus cases in the state's hospitals.

Until Friday, DeSantis had refused to reveal the true numbers, leaving many in the state unaware of just how bad the cases were. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a whopping 7,000 Floridians are in hospitals hoping they survive the virus.

"The data, which for the first time breaks down the number of people in the hospital with coronavirus, was promised by the state two weeks ago," the report explained.

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace asks why Bill Barr is trying to ‘erase Robert Mueller’s investigation’ before November

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace returned to television Friday night to address what she called outright corruption in the Trump White House after another example of the president trying to escape the consequences of the law.

Wallace began by calling Attorney General William Barr nothing more than Trump's "bouncer."

"He has been intellectually overestimated from day one. He is not a mastermind of anything," said Wallace. "He is Donald Trump's body man."

She cited "well-sourced spin" coming from the White House Friday evening, because there were people that she said were "enlisted" with trying to talk Trump out of commuting Roger Stone's sentence. She anticipated that Barr and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone may huff and puff about the act, but that they won't quit over it. "And we should remember their names forever. They are all accomplices in the greatest corruption of one of the most sacred powers."

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