Developing: State Pushes Bill That Appears to Ban Sale of Bibles

A new California pro-LGBTQ bill that would ban the sale or distribution of materials related to “conversion therapy” easily passed the state’s assembly on Thursday.

CBS News affiliate KOVR reported the final tally was 50-14. Assembly Bill 2943 now heads to the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The bill would make it an unlawful business practice to engage in any “transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” aimed at “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

Goods would include any books or written materials, while services would encompass counseling individuals seeking to address same-sex attractions.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “One key part of the debate centers on whether Assembly Bill 2943 would stretch beyond businesses that charge for (conversion) programs and extend to printed documents, even Bibles.”

The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual conduct is a sin and instructs Christians to abstain from it.

The Apostle Paul records that people he ministered to “were” homosexuals among other types of sinners, but they were transformed by the Spirit of God — through the renewing of their minds — into their new identities as born again children of God.

The Times reported that an analysis by the Assembly Judiciary Committee says the bill would apply only to services that purport to change a person’s sexual orientation and are offered “on a commercial basis, as well as the advertising and offering of such services.”

However, Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com told CBN News that the bill’s actual language is very broad and can easily be brought to bear on Christian ministries.

“So, this is a pastor speaking, you pay a ticket to hear him speak. He speaks about overcoming same-sex desires. Hey, that could be outlawed. A church sells a book about overcoming same-sex desires. There’s a sale, there’s a transaction, that could be banned,” Thomasson said.

“This is very expansive, very tyrannical and absolutely squashing free speech, religious freedom and basic choice of people. This is an anti-freedom, anti-American bill,” he added.

A basic freedom taken is the ability to seek the treatment of one’s own choice.

“AB 2943 would start by saying, ok, nobody can get counseling to overcome same-sex desires… ok, so no help for adult children, adults who were molested as kids and now they are adults and they say I want help to overcome these feelings. No help for you,” Thomasson explained.

Asked specifically about whether Bibles could be banned, Thomasson said it is entirely foreseeable that people might try to enforce the law in that manner.

“Well, you could see this law going into effect. A church bookstore selling the Bible, of course, selling a book about marriage or sexual purity or overcoming homosexuality or overcoming trans-sexuality. You could see a member of the public or even a member of the state government coming and saying, ‘Hey, that’s illegal,’” he stated.

The religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom released a legal memo in opposition to AB 2943 last month explaining why it likely does not pass constitutional muster regarding freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion.

“At its core, AB 2943 outlaws speech, whether offered by a licensed counselor, a best-selling author, or even a minister or religious leader,” the memo states.

“It targets a specific message—that an adult who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion can find help to address those issues—for censorship. The breadth of this censorship is staggering.”

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, also expressed concern about the bill.

“This proposed legislation goes to the very foundations of free speech and religious liberty and is both reckless and harmful,” Moore said in a statement Tuesday. “This bill essentially outlaws views of sexual ethics held by most Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims and many others, all over the world and throughout history. If passed, it would have a chilling effect on religious institutions teaching their own beliefs, and would be a harm to all citizens, religious or not, by eroding basic First Amendment protections.

“My hope is the California Senate would demonstrate a commitment to the Bill of Rights and refuse to pass this deeply destructive bill.” (For more from the author of “Developing: State Pushes Bill That Appears to Ban Sale of Bibles” please click HERE)

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DHS Secretary Issues a Stern Warning About the Election

By The Blaze. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a stern warning Tuesday to Russia about meddling in U.S. elections, and said that her department was in “crisis mode” over cybersecurity. . .

Nielsen was addressing an audience at a cybersecurity summit when she directly addressed the assessment by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. . .

“Two years ago, as we all know,” she continued, “a foreign power launched a brazen multi-faceted influence campaign to undermine public faith in our democratic process, and to distort our presidential election.”

“That campaign was multi-faceted – it involved cyber-espionage, leaks of stolen data, cyber-intrusions into voter registrations systems, online propaganda and more,” she added. . .

“We are in crisis mode—the Category 5 hurricane has been forecast and now we must prepare,” Nielsen said. (Read more from “DHS Secretary Issues a Stern Warning About the Election” HERE)

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Former Lobbyist Tony Podesta, Others Under Investigation by Federal Prosecutors Over Alleged Foreign Work

By NBC News. Former lobbyist Tony Podesta, Mercury Public Affairs partner and former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig are all under federal investigation by prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News on Tuesaday.

Those sources say this months-long investigation in New York follows a referral from the Special Counsel’s Office.

The existence of this particular probe was first reported by CNN, which characterized the investigation as looking into whether lobbyists and operatives failed to register their work as foreign agents. None of the people identified as being investigated have been charged with any crime.

In October, NBC News was the first to report that Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group were being investigated by Mueller’s office.

Tony Podesta is the chairman of the Podesta Group and the brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s former presidential campaign chairman. John Podesta is not currently affiliated with the Podesta Group and is not part of the investigation. (Read more from “Former Lobbyist Tony Podesta, Others Under Investigation by Federal Prosecutors Over Alleged Foreign Work” HERE)

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The Bible Trump’s New VA Secretary Chose to Be Sworn in on Tells You Everything You Need to Know

. . .During the swearing-in ceremony, Trump said of [Robert] Wilkie:

Robert Wilkie is the proud son of an Army veteran, an artillery officer raised on the base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. That’s a great place. On his daily walk to high school with the woman who is now his wife, he passed by the Fayetteville VA hospital, which bore the inscription: “The Price of Freedom is Visible Here.” It made a big impact. It was a price Robert saw firsthand through his own father, who was gravely injured in combat during the Vietnam War.

Robert went on to serve as an officer in both the Air Force and the Navy, then as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, and as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Robert also serves with distinction as Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Wilkie produced a worn-looking Bible. The Bible had an incredible story to it, which Wilkie shared with his audience.

“The Bible that I will take my oath on reminds me of the 100th anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars,” Wilkie said, referring to WW1, “It was a Bible taken into battle by my wife’s grandfather who had probably never ventured beyond three or four counties in North and South Carolina. But by the time he was 18, he was marching up the Champs-Élysées into the cauldron of the Meuse-Argonne.” (Read more from “The Bible Trump’s New VA Secretary Chose to Be Sworn in on Tells You Everything You Need to Know” HERE)

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There’s a Shutdown No One’s Talking About, and Levin Says ‘We’ll Never Recover’

Monday on the radio, LevinTV host Mark Levin addressed the government shutdown threat President Trump directed at the Democrats to pressure them into voting to fund a border wall.

“The Republicans are frightened by such a prospect,” Levin said. “And yet, I can’t think of a single government shutdown that has occurred during a Republican presidency that has had an undue negative influence on the outcome of the succeeding election.”

Levin noted the government shutdown in 2013 resulted in Republicans picking up seats in the Senate in 2014. He went on to argue that the $21 trillion national debt, if left unchecked, will shut down the American economy. And if a government shutdown is the only way to force the Democrats to cut spending, so be it.

“The debt is out of control,” Levin said.

Listen:

“You talk about a government shutdown … you’ll have a shutdown all right, and we’ll never recover from it,” Levin said. “The government is going to shut down, the economy is going to shut down if we do not get control over this debt and if we do not get control over the government.”

(For more from the author of “There’s a Shutdown No One’s Talking About, and Levin Says ‘We’ll Never Recover’” please click HERE)

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Here’s Another Big Fact the Obama Administration Hid to Pass Obamacare

Over the weekend, Politico ran a report about how a “Trump policy shop filters facts to fit his message.” The article cited several unnamed sources complaining about the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and its allegedly politicized role within the current administration.

One of the article’s anonymous sources called ASPE’s conduct over the past 18 months “another example of how we’re moving to a post-fact era.” Richard Frank, a former Obama appointee and one of the few sources to speak on the record, said that he found the current administration’s “attack on the integrity and the culture of the office…disturbing.”

For all its focus on the Trump administration, the Politico article omitted another key story—one I told its reporter about last week, but did not make it into the article. During the early years of the Obama administration, ASPE lay at the heart of the failure of the CLASS Act, a $70 billion Obamacare program.

As a congressional staffer conducting oversight of the CLASS Act in 2011-12, I reviewed thousands of pages of e-mails and documents from the months leading up to Obamacare’s passage. Those records strongly suggest that ASPE officials, including Frank, withheld material facts from Congress and the public about CLASS’s unsustainability, because full and prompt disclosure could have jeopardized Obamacare’s chances of passage. . .

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, or CLASS for short, intended to provide a voluntary insurance benefit for long-term care. Included as part of Obamacare, the program never got off the ground. In October 2011, HHS concluded it could not implement the program in an actuarially sound manner; Congress repealed the program entirely as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal enacted into law in the early days of 2013. (Read more from “Here’s Another Big Fact the Obama Administration Hid to Pass Obamacare” HERE)

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Nunes Sends Ominous Warning About What Was Really Redacted in FISA Documents

By The Daily Caller. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes claimed Sunday that the American public will be “shocked” when it sees the remaining blacked out portions of the FBI’s applications for spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“We are quite confident that once the American people see these 20 pages, at least for those that will get real reporting on this issue, they will be shocked by what’s in that FISA application,” Nunes said in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.

Nunes’ comments raise expectations about what information remains hidden behind 20-plus pages of the FBI’s fourth and final application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Page. . .

Nunes and his fellow Republicans on the Intelligence Committee asked President Donald Trump in a June 14 letter to declassify 21 pages from the final FISA application, which was signed by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The unredacted portions of the applications confirmed much of what has already been made public through two memos released earlier this year by Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence panel. (Read more from “Nunes Sends Ominous Warning About What Was Really Redacted in FISA Documents” HERE)

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FBI, DOJ Stalling, Hoping GOP Loses House in Midterms, Rep. Nunes Says

By Fox Business. President Trump’s team is likely reviewing requests to declassify parts of the heavily-redacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the 2016 election.

“I think his lawyers are looking at this to see if they can declassify it sooner rather than later,” said House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes, R-Calif., during an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But the sooner this comes out, the better off we all are because what I’ve said is what’s left that’s redacted, the American people really need to know what’s underneath it.”

Nunes, who along with his team sent a letter to the White House in June asking for just 20 pages of the FISA application to be declassified, remarked that he is unsure whether Trump himself has read the committee’s document, but added that Americans “will be shocked by what’s in that FISA application” if they look at the pages that could become declassified. The California Republican said the 20 pages contain the “bulk” of what the committee wants to see, though he wouldn’t be opposed to the release of even more declassified material from the application. (Read more from “FBI, DOJ Stalling, Hoping GOP Loses House in Midterms, Rep. Nunes Says” HERE)

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WATCH: Senior Obama Official Caught Doing Something REPULSIVE to Random Woman; Conviction Hidden!

By Daily Wire. New surveillance footage released on Friday shows one of Obama’s former senior officials taking a picture up a woman’s skirt in July 2016 at a D.C. Metro station.

William Mendoza, who was Obama’s director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted voyeurism after he resigned from his position in November 2016, the Daily Mail reported earlier this year.

Mendoza, who was making $140,000 a year working for Obama, was only given a 90-day suspended prison sentence in addition to a $100 fine and one-year probation.

(Read more from “Watch: Senior Obama Official Caught Taking Picture up Woman’s Skirt” HERE)

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Footage Shows Obama Official Following Woman, Proceeds to Take Photo up Her Skirt

By The Daily Mail. Surveillance footage exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com shows one of President Obama’s senior officials following a woman around a DC Metro station and taking a picture up her skirt with his cell phone.

William Mendoza was caught on security cameras carrying out the vile act while he was executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. . .

The video footage taken on July 5, 2016, contains five segments, put together as part of the Metro Police Transit Department (WMATA) investigation into Mendoza’s conduct.

The parts of the video are not in chronological order.

The first clip shows Mendoza following the woman wearing a jean skirt across the ticket hall and onto the escalator at the Union Station Metro with his cell phone in his hand. (Read more from “Footage Shows Obama Official Following Woman, Proceeds to Take Photo up Her Skirt” HERE)

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Russia Is Already Meddling in the 2018 Election – Here’s Who They’re Targeting This Time

By The Blaze. According to a report from the Daily Beast, the same Russian intelligence agency behind the cyberattack in the 2016 election is already meddling in the 2018 midterm election. . .

The report said that the alleged hacking attempts were aimed at staffers for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and used the same tactics that were successful against former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

The attacks involved links sent to the staffers’ email addresses that were made to look like official notices from their websites requesting a password change. The link provided also mimes official email address change websites, but sends the information to hackers.

“We did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks, and we saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates who are all standing for elections in the midterm elections,” said [Tom] Burt. . .

“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable,” McCaskill said to the Daily Beast. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.” (Read more from “Russia Is Already Meddling in the 2018 Election – Here’s Who They’re Targeting This Time” HERE)

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Russians Unsuccessfully Tried to Hack Computers of Democratic Sen. Claire Mccaskill

By NPR. Russian hackers trying to influence the 2018 elections made an unsuccessful attempt to breach the computer system of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of this fall’s most vulnerable Democrats.

The Daily Beast reported that McCaskill is the first known target of the Kremlin’s plot to interfere in this fall’s midterm elections after targeting the U.S. in the 2016 presidential election.

McCaskill has been a critic of Russia and of President Trump — who has at times doubted that any such interference happened at all and decried attempts by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate as a “witch hunt.” At a press conference last week after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump appeared to believe Putin’s denials over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies, though he later tried to walk that back.

In a statement, McCaskill said she “will not be intimidated” by the attempts, which occurred around August 2017.

“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable,” McCaskill said in a statement. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.” (Read more from “Russians Unsuccessfully Tried to Hack Computers of Democratic Sen. Claire Mccaskill” HERE)

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Obama Knowingly Funded Designated Al-Qaeda Affiliate

By Daily Wire. A new report released on Wednesday revealed that the Obama administration knowingly provided an Islamic terrorist-financing organization with hundreds of thousands of dollars despite the fact that the group had been designated as a terrorist-financing organization for a decade by the U.S. government.

Obama officials approved the release of well over $100,000 even after they were informed that the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) was affiliated with Osama bin Laden and Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), which eventually became al-Qaeda.

ISRA, also referred to as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), received a $200,000 taxpayer-funded grant from the Obama administration, which released at least $115,000 to the terrorist-financing organization. . .

World Vision had informed the USAID in 2014 that ISRA was on the designated terrorist organization list and subsequently had to wait for an assessment from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before they could receive the money.

OFAC confirmed in January 2015 that ISRA was a designated terrorist organization and rejected World Vision from obtaining “a license to engage in transactions with [ISRA].” (Read more from “Obama Knowingly Funded Designated Al-Qaeda Affiliate” HERE)

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Obama Administration Knowingly Funded a Designated Al-Qaeda Affiliate

By National Review. The Middle East Forum has discovered that the Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.

The story began in October 2004, when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), as a terror-financing organization. It did so because of ISRA’s links to Osama bin Laden and his organization Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), the precursor of al-Qaeda.

According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.

The 2004 designation included all of ISRA’s branches, including a U.S. office called the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA). Eventually it became known that this American branch had illegally transferred over $1.2 million to Iraqi insurgents and other terror groups, including, reportedly, the Afghan terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In 2010, the executive director of IARA-USA and a board member pled guilty to money-laundering, theft of public funds, conspiracy, and several other charges. (Read more from “Obama Administration Knowingly Funded a Designated Al-Qaeda Affiliate” HERE)

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Cohen’s Lawyer: There Are More Tapes. Trump’s Lawyer: Yeah, but There’s Just One Problem.

On Tuesday night, CNN aired an audio tape secretly recorded by Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in September 2016 in which the two discuss potentially buying the rights to a former Playboy playmate’s account of her alleged affair with Trump.

Asked by George Stephanopolous on “Good Morning America” Wednesday if there are more tapes featuring Trump, Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis said suggestively that “there are certainly more tapes,” but declined to reveal if Trump is on them.

But Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s current lawyers, says that the existence of more Cohen tapes is irrelevant to his client because Trump’s not on any of them.

“There are no other tapes with the president,” the former New York City mayor told Fox News Tuesday night. “We have all of the tapes in our possession. We have transcripts of all them. We are comfortable with them. … There are no others.”

As for CNN’s “bombshell” audio, to which Trump’s team waived attorney-client privilege to release to the investigators, Giuliani shrugged it off, saying, “There’s no indication of any crime being committed on this tape.”

(Read more from “Cohen’s Lawyer: There Are More Tapes. Trump’s Lawyer: Yeah, but There’s Just One Problem.” HERE)

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Michael Cohen Secretly Recorded Conversation With CNN Cuomo, Telling Him He Paid Stormy ‘on My Own’: Report

By Fox News. Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, secretly recorded a conversation with CNN’s Chris Cuomo and admitted in the tape to arranging—on his own—a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

The recording—which is about two-hours long—included topics ranging from the alleged years-old Trump affair with the former porn star to the payment, the report said. The reported tape could potentially be used by the White House to distance Trump from the Daniels payment and damage Cohen’s character.

Cohen reportedly assured Cuomo that he was not taping their conversation, and put the phone in his desk drawer. The phone appears to record the whole conversation.

“I did it on my own,” Cohen said about the payment in the recording, according to the newspaper. Cohen previously said he “facilitated” the payment with his own money and called it a “private transaction.” (Read more from “Michael Cohen Secretly Recorded Conversation With CNN’s Cuomo, Telling Him He Paid Stormy ‘on My Own’: Report” HERE)

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