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Tennessee district attorney faces investigation after bragging about refusing to recognize same-sex spouses

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A controversial Tennessee District Attorney is now facing an official state investigation after leaked audio exposed him bragging about refusing to recognize same-sex spouses as legally married, and doing so based on his religious beliefs. Those beliefs, Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott claimed, mean he doesn’t have to use the law to protect LGBT people.

The state Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility is now investigating Northcott, the Tennessean reports.

Northcott, in a 2018 speech to pastors bragged that his God does not recognize the marriages of legally-wed same-sex couples. He explained that since “there’s no marriage to protect,” he does not use domestic violence laws to protect victims in those cases.

“Well the reason where I came down in my evaluation was the reason that there’s extra punishment on domestic violence is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage,” Northcott told attendees at the Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference. “And I said, ‘There’s no marriage to protect.’ So I don’t prosecute them as domestics,” meaning, domestic violence cases.

Northcott has also attacked Muslims in Facebook posts, calling Islam “an evil belief system,” a “growing threat,” and likening it to the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacist hate groups.

“I will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace,” Northcott wrote.

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Last week, in light of the revelations, over 200 Nashville lawyers called for the state to conduct an ethics investigation.

In late May the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the state board over Northcott’s anti-Islam remarks. CAIR received a letter Friday indicating an investigation has been opened.

The Tennessee Holler was the first to report on both sets of remarks by Northcott.

Northcott reportedly has said he will not resign.

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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large

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There’s a growing chorus of U.S. politicians, antitrust scholars and consumer watchdogs calling for stricter antitrust treatment of Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants. Some even say they should be broken up.

Most recently, U.S. lawmakers launched a sweeping review to determine if these companies have become so big and powerful that they are stifling competition and harming consumers, while federal regulators are also gearing up to take action.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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