PHILADELPHIA — On an October afternoon nearly a month ahead of the presidential election, Mohamed Kabba hustled into the mail-in voting center at Tilden Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia with an air of urgency.“As an immigrant, there’s a lot at stake for me,” said Kabba, 64. He left Sierra Leone 30 years ago — but the past four divisive, unpredictable, and chaotic years have been like nothing he’s experienced in America.Head-spinning highlights include: President Trump’s impeachment, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, divisive battles over Supreme Court appointments, countl...
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Watch: Speaker Pelosi excitedly announces House passage of Same-Sex Marriage Protection bill – 169 Republicans vote no
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriages at the federal level and requires states to recognize those marriages if they were legal at the time they were entered into. The legislation comes after far right Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for cases to overturn rulings that made constitutional contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.
The final vote was 258-169. All Democrats voted yes, 39 Republicans joined the Democrats, but 169 Republicans voted no.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.
Far right House Republicans who have built their political careers by attacking the LGBTQ community, voiced extremist attacks on the bill.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) broke down in tears as she begged her colleagues to vote against protecting the marriages of same-sex and interracial couples.
Hartzler, first elected to Congress in 2010, has been a spokesperson for a Missouri anti-LGBTQ organization, and worked to block passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) equated same-sex marriages with polygamy, bestiality, and "child marriage."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in one of her final acts in that role, gaveled in the vote.
Watch below or at this link.
Two prominent reporters are crossing the picket line in a one-day strike by New York Times journalists.
Peter Baker, the newspaper's chief White House reporter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning White House correspondent Michael Shear told colleagues they would not participate in the 24-hour work stoppage, sources told Semafor.
The New York NewsGuild, the labor union that represents the newspaper, said about 80 percent of its members signed pledges to participate in the strike, and the refusal by Baker and Shear reflects a divide between many in the newsroom and some older staffers in the D.C. bureau who feel the union should focus primarily on compensation and worker protections rather than cultural and social issues that have been included in bargaining proposals.
Shear had been among dozens of staffers who signed on to a letter protesting an increase in union dues for employees making more than $140,000 a yea, and Baker has famously said he doesn't vote to protect himself from potential political bias.
"I try hard not to take strong positions on public issues even in private, much to the frustration of friends and family," Baker said. "For me, it's easier to stay out of the fray if I never make up my mind, even in the privacy of the kitchen or the voting booth, that one candidate is better than another, that one side is right and the other wrong."
Rep. Mat Gaetz (R-FL) said this week that he could block Republicans from electing a Speaker of the House for up to two months after they take the majority in January.
Gaetz told conservative podcaster Lou Dobbs that he is one of at least five Republicans who are banding together to prevent Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from becoming Speaker.
"The true question is whether or not Republicans will get into the posture of realizing that this is a process of elimination exercise or if we're going to begin our term in the majority unable to elect a Speaker," Gaetz said. "And I've got to tell you, Lou, that could be a very real possibility."
"We could go to the floor, no person could be able to achieve 218 votes, and we might have to work that out for a while," he continued. "And it might not be easy, and it might not be quick."
Gaetz said he wanted Republicans to "make the right decision" rather than "have a bunch of handwringing and bedwetting about whether it's going to take us two weeks or two months to figure it out."
Listen to the audio clip below.