CHICAGO — Two years ago, as the city of Chicago reeled from a bloody battle between police officers and protesters over a prominent statue of Christopher Columbus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot launched an ambitious review of public monuments she said would be “a racial healing and historical reckoning project.” This week, the Chicago Monuments Project finally released its long-delayed report recommending a series of new public memorials across the city and the removal of several statues that the commission flagged for honoring white supremacy or disrespecting Indigenous peoples. Whether Lightfoot will...
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Former President Donald Trump’s legal headaches include not only all the investigations he is facing —from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis to New York Attorney General Letitia James — but also, the various civil lawsuits he is up against. One of them has come from journalist E. Jean Carroll, who filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump. When Trump’s lawyers tried to stop a deposition in that case, they received a stern rebuke from U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a Manhattan courtroom: “Stop wasting time. It goes forward.”
The witness in the case who is scheduled to give a deposition is Stephanie Grisham, former White House Press secretary in the Trump Administration and author of the 2021 book, “I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House.” Grisham was the third of Trump’s four White House press secretaries, coming after Sarah Huckabee Sanders and before Kayleigh McEnany (now a pundit for Fox News).
Grisham, according to Bloomberg News, takes prescription painkillers, which Trump lawyer Michael Madaio pointed out when he was trying to stop her deposition. But Kaplan didn’t see that as any reason why the deposition shouldn’t go forward.
Madaio argued that being on prescription painkillers would affect the quality of Grisham’s deposition, telling Kaplan, “The issue is: The witness advised early in the deposition that she is currently on painkillers, and we were aware that in a related case, she recently filed a notice of unavailability for deposition based on the fact that she was on the same painkillers — and that she would not be able to competently testify based on the fact that she was on painkillers. She remains on the painkillers today.”
But Kaplan wasn’t swayed. When the judge asked Grisham if she could understand the questions being asked during the deposition, she responded “yes.”
Carroll alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York City department store during the mid-1990s — an allegation that Trump has vehemently denied. Although Trump hasn’t faced any criminal charges because of that incident, Carroll filed a civil defamation lawsuit against him.
In Carroll’s defamation complaint, she argues, “When Carroll’s account was published, Trump lashed out with a series of false and defamatory statements. He denied the rape. But there was more: he also denied ever having met Carroll or even knowing who she was. Through express statements and deliberate implications, he accused Carroll of lying about the rape in order to increase book sales, carry out a political agenda, advance a conspiracy with the Democratic Party, and make money. He also deliberately implied that she had falsely accused other men of rape. For good measure, he insulted her physical appearance.”
'It was mentally destroying him': Oklahoma GOP Governor halts gender-affirming care for transgender youth
In Oklahoma, the OU Health hospital is counting on federal pandemic relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
However, Republicans in that state have given OU an ultimatum: if they want to receive $108 million in Rescue Plan funds, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital will have to stop providing gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Oklahoma's Republican Governor Kevin J. Stitt signed this into law on Tuesday.
Watch below to hear what Governor Stitt had to say about the new law Wednesday in his appearance on the conservative podcast by Clay Travis and Buck Sexton.
'It was mentally destroying him': Oklahoma GOP Governor halts gender-affirming care for transgender youth | RawStory.TV'It was mentally destroying him': Oklahoma GOP Governor halts gender-affirming care for transgender youth | RawStory.TV
Washington Post reporter Kimberly Kindy, in an article published on October 4, explains, “The move, which Oklahoma Gov. Kevin J. Stitt (R) signed into law on Tuesday, marks the first time conservative state lawmakers have successfully tied gender-affirming care to the receipt of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the $1.9 trillion effort to restart the economy and harden medical care during the coronavirus pandemic. Oklahoma Republicans, who were pushed into action through a campaign led by a pair of conservative podcasters, hailed the move as necessary to restrict the type of medical care for young transgender patients that has riled the party’s base this year.”
Officials for OU Health, according to Kindy, have not said “which services will halt as a result of the legislation.” Kindy reports that “parents of transgender children who are receiving care at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital say they may have to travel to Kansas or Colorado.”
One Oklahoma parent who isn’t the least bit happy about this development is Shane Poindexter, whose 14-year-old transgender son has been receiving hormone suppression drugs through OU Health.
Poindexter, interviewed by the Post, said of the treatment, “It is someplace they can go and be who they are and be accepted. Kids are bullies; it was mentally destroying him. The love and affection from that place is amazing. We don’t know what we are going to do now.”
Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign is also highly critical of the bill that Stitt signed into law on October 4.
Oakley told the Post, “It’s so outrageous and unbelievably mean-spirited. It’s literally about COVID relief. It’s about restarting the economy.”
Kindy notes that the “push to end OU Health’s transgender care was accelerated by two conservative podcasters,” Mark Ousley and Megan Fox, who “last month began demanding action from legislators on their programs and social media.”
“The target of their ire was the Roy G. Biv Program at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, which for the last six years, has offered mental health counseling and hormone therapy, including puberty blockers,” Kindy explains. “In a handful of cases, it has also referred patients transitioning from female to male to surgeons for mastectomies. Mark Ousley appealed to his 20,000 Twitter followers and listeners to his Oklahoma-based ‘UnWokable Podcast’ in mid-September to call on lawmakers and demand OU Health’s federal money be withheld. He was later joined by Megan Fox, a conservative podcaster who broadcast the calls she made to lawmakers and provided her 23,000 Twitter followers with scripts to do the same.”
Stewart Rhodes called for violent action on Jan. 6: 'They won’t fear us til we come with rifles in hand'
Stewart Rhodes was calling for violence ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection in a bid to keep Donald Trump in power.
An FBI agent testified Friday that text messages exchanged between the Oath Keepers founder and Republican operative Roger Stone in a group chat discussed a scheme by Doug Mastriano, then a Pennsylvania state senator and now the GOP gubernatorial nominee, and other Republican legislators to reject President Joe Biden's election win.
“I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!" Rhodes texted on Dec. 15, 2020, according to investigators. "He must do it NOW before Jan. 6. And he needs to give the state legislators time to decertify before Jan. 6. In at least three of these states.”
Rhodes, who is on trial for seditious conspiracy, repeatedly urged the former president to invoke the Insurrection Act, and the Oath Keepers leader seemed to expect deadly violence would result from his efforts.
"But he needs to know that if he doesn’t do it we will," Rhodes told other members of his right-wing militia, "and if we have to do it ourselves without him as Commander in Chief, it will be exponentially harder, and many more of us will die."
Rhodes then sent a message directly to Oath Keepers lawyer Kellye SoRelle, who has also been charged in the case, indicating the Jan. 6 demonstration required violent action.
“This will be DC rally number three. Getting kinda old," Rhodes told her. "They don’t give a sh*t how many show up and wave a sign, pray, or yell. They won’t fear us til we come with rifles in hand.”
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