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Nikki Haley Really Thinks the “Women’s Issue of Our Time” Is Trans Kids Playing Sports

The Republican presidential candidate used her CNN town hall to scapegoat trans kids.

Chris Christie
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley believes that the biggest issue for women right now is transgender girls playing girls’ sports.

During a CNN town hall on Sunday, Haley blasted the idea of letting trans girls play on girls’ teams and grossly blamed inclusive sports policies for the high number of teenage girls who considered suicide last year.

“I mean, the idea that we have biological boys playing in girls’ sports, it is the women’s issue of our time,” Haley told CNN, which continues to let Republicans push extreme views and falsehoods on air.

How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker rooms? And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year?”

Haley’s comments are both offensive and factually incorrect. It has been scientifically proven that trans women and girls do not have a biological advantage over cisgender women and girls. Athletic ability varies from person to person, no matter their gender.

Haley also insists that girls need to be protected, a common argument among Republicans. Many of the laws banning trans people from playing on teams that match their gender identity do not address trans boys. This implies that cis women are weak and need extra protection, while also pushing the dangerous stereotype that trans women and girls are really just sexual predators. In reality, trans people—both men and women—are four times more likely than cis people to experience violent assault, including sexual violence.

While Haley was mostly correct that a third of teenage girls have considered suicide (the study was for 2021, not 2022), she vastly oversimplified and wrongly attributed the reason. The authors of the study, which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not cite any one reason for the spike in suicidal ideation among girls. But they said that Covid-19 may have increased people’s anxiety and sense of isolation.

The study also found that teen girls of color were more likely to consider suicide than white girls, and LGBTQ girls were more likely to consider suicide than heterosexual ones. Other studies have found that girls are experiencing increased rates of bullying, threats of sexual violence, actual sexual violence, and anxiety from social issues. So if anything, stances like Haley’s could actually increase rates of suicidal thoughts among teenage girls, because they make trans girls feel alone.

Norfolk Southern Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Ohio Train Derailment

After the disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the rail giant says it is not responsible.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Five months after the disastrous Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the rail giant is looking to dismiss a mass class action lawsuit it faces.

Norfolk Southern is seeking to shut down the case, which is in fact a consolidation of over 30 separate lawsuits filed against the railroad company.

“The first car to derail did not belong to Norfolk Southern,” the company’s legal team claimed in its motion to dismiss the slate of lawsuits, filed Friday evening. “Nor did Norfolk Southern construct the wheel bearing that allegedly ‘overheated’ and ‘caused the train to derail.’”

“And Norfolk Southern,” the memo continued, “as a common carrier, was required by federal law to transport vinyl chloride, a hazardous chemical with numerous industrial uses.”

In the motion, Norfolk Southern’s lawyers labored to argue that the plaintiffs’ array of claims fell short. “Norfolk Southern is committed to making things right,” the memo read, listing off efforts the company says it has pursued to assist the community: “millions of dollars” in financial aid, committing to create a health care fund, a property fund for homeowners who sell their homes, and a water-testing fund.

“Plaintiffs’ claims are based on conduct that Norfolk Southern allegedly undertook in this heavily regulated environment,” the company’s legal team continued, arguing that the claims against the company “would unreasonably burden railroad transportation” in general. In other words, how could Norfolk Southern be responsible when regulation of the industry already exists?

The finger-pointing legal argument is risible when you recall that Norfolk Southern has funneled some $100 million into politics since 1990, buying deregulation (yes, the same regulatory atmosphere the company now points to as giving it immunity). The company was a big proponent of rolling back an Obama-era rule that could have required trains, like the one that derailed in Ohio, to use updated electronic brakes instead of Civil War–era ones, for example.

East Palestine residents to this day report a range of troubling symptoms, including rashes, bloody stools, and vomiting bile. Some also say that Norfolk Southern is denying relocation assistance claims or reimbursements for expenses like chemical exposure tests—leaving people to pay out of pocket for it all. After the derailment, the company also reportedly left dozens of maintenance workers out to dry, directing them to clean up the crash site without giving them personal protective equipment.

The motion to dismiss the lawsuit comes after the Supreme Court followed the lead of conservative members of Congress in weakening the Clean Water Act, opening up even further avenues for corporations to try evading legal responsibility for their own disastrous actions.

In the meantime, Norfolk Southern also faces a since-consolidated lawsuit brought by both the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state of Ohio.

“No community should have to go through what East Palestine residents have faced,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in March upon the agency’s lawsuit filing. “With today’s action, we are once more delivering on our commitment to ensure Norfolk Southern cleans up the mess they made and pays for the damage they have inflicted as we work to ensure this community can feel safe at home again.”

Utah School District Bans the Bible for “Vulgarity” and “Violence”

The book was banned after a complaint that highlighted how easy it is to get books banned in schools now, thanks to Utah law.

Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

A Utah school district has banned the Bible for younger students after someone complained that it contained too much sexual content—in an interesting twist on the book bans sweeping the country.

Utah passed a controversial law last year intended to remove “sensitive material” from school libraries and classrooms. The law defines “sensitive material” as subjects that are pornographic or indecent. Anyone can request that a book be reviewed by a committee for propriety. School librarians and teachers saw a huge spike in review requests after the law was passed, mainly for books that dealt with racial justice, gender ideology, and LGBTQ representation.

In December, someone filed a review request with Davis School District officials for the Bible. The challenge specifically mentioned Utah Parents United, a conservative parents rights group that backed the book ban law. The person’s name was redacted when the request was shared with the local news outlet KSL.

“I thank the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United for making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient. Now we can all ban books and you don’t even need to read them or be accurate about it. Heck, you don’t even need to see the book!” the person said in the request, highlighting the ridiculous nature of book bans.

The person referred to the Bible as “one of the most sex-ridden books around” and pointed out the text mentions incest, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, and rape. They included a list of examples.

“You’ll no doubt find that the Bible … has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition. Get this PORN out of our schools!”

Davis School District officials decided last week to remove the Bible from elementary and middle school libraries. It would still be available in high school libraries “based on age appropriateness due to vulgarity or violence,” the school district communications director Christopher Williams told KSL.

Someone filed an appeal to the decision on Wednesday, asking that the Bible be made available to all age groups. State Representative Ken Ivory said in March that the challenge to the Bible was “a backhanded slap to parents that are simply trying to keep a healthy learning environment for all students in the schools.”

The decision about the Bible comes after reports of Florida schools banning a host of materials that all deal with racial justice, including the movie Ruby Bridges, the graphic novel Little Rock Nine, and The Hill We Climb, the poem read at Joe Biden’s inauguration.

As the person who challenged the Bible highlighted, the solution isn’t to unilaterally ban books. The solution is to learn from them so we can do better.

Ohio Republicans Introduce Bill to Make Guns Tax-Free

In a nation drowning in mass shootings, Ohio Republicans want people to be able to buy guns like duty-free airport gifts.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images
AR-15-style weapons on display

In Ohio, there are no background checks required for handgun purchases, people can carry guns without concealed-carry permits, guns don’t have to be securely stored away from children, and domestic abusers are allowed to keep carrying their weapons—even when facing restraining orders. But that’s not enough for the state’s Republican lawmakers, who now want to allow people to buy guns tax-free.

House Bill 189, introduced by state Representative Al Cutrona, would remove sales taxes from guns and ammunition and give gun and ammunition manufacturers tax incentives.

The tax-free purchases would give gun buyers even more privileged status than they already have in a country where guns come before children’s lives. “Rights guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights should not be taxed,” Cutrona said on the bill, justifying the notion of people paying their fair share of taxes on everything but machines meant explicitly for killing.

Internalizing the flimsy logic too: “Life” and “liberty” are also invoked in the Bill of Rights; both are taxed every day by the number of mass shootings in this country—268 so far this year, four of which were in Ohio in the last week alone. So too are they taxed by virtue of our environments being poisoned by fossil fuels or people’s liberties being infringed through mass incarceration and the police state. One wonders if Cutrona would use his strained logic there as well.

On gun manufacturer incentives, the bill explicitly aims to offset the federal excise taxes these companies (like many other industries) are subject to. In other words, Ohio Republicans want to fill the pockets of massive corporations that should be facing further, not less, regulation. Shame, given Ohio’s East Palestine has been in the front seat of witnessing the consequences of such a dynamic.

The push by Ohio Republicans follows a shocking exhibition of gun violence across the country, on both small and large scales. Kids have been shot for playing hide and seek or accidentally ringing the wrong doorbell; on a larger scale, mass shootings have left cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, in shock. Nevertheless, Republicans persist in their acceptance, and embrace, of such senseless, preventable death.

Does Trump Still Have a Classified Document?

A classified Pentagon document on a potential attack on Iran is suddenly unaccounted for.

James Devaney/GC Images

Former President Donald Trump may still have a classified document, one that details a potential Pentagon plan for attacking Iran.

Federal prosecutors for special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, obtained an audio recording of a meeting held in July 2021, during which the former president essentially admitted that he knows he can’t declassify documents at will. He brags explicitly about having kept a classified Pentagon plan to potentially attack Iran, and the sound of rustling papers can be overheard, as if Trump were waving that document around.

That meeting took place six months before Trump’s legal team sent 15 boxes of records and classified documents back to the National Archives, and more than a year before the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, seizing more than 100 documents.

But now, no one can find the Iran document.

Trump’s attorneys handed over material related to the document in mid-March, in response to another federal subpoena, CNN reported Friday, citing anonymous sources. But the legal team was unable to find the actual document in question.

Prosecutors were already skeptical that Trump had returned all of the classified documents he took. The special counsel’s team even reportedly asked a judge last year to hold Trump in contempt until he handed over all documents, but the judge declined. Trump’s team instead hired two outside people to search his properties again.

It is entirely unclear where the Iran document is, or if it was already returned to the government in one of the many boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago. Considering it lays out a plan to attack a foreign nation, it sounds like a pretty important document. Maybe someone should have kept closer tabs on its whereabouts.

Trump has been getting a lot of heat in recent weeks, as new reports continue to surface that he knew that he wasn’t supposed to keep classified documents and that he couldn’t classify them at will. But when asked about the recording during a Fox News town hall on Thursday, Trump denied all wrongdoing.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump said. “All I know is this: Everything I did was right.”

Elon Musk Calls to Imprison Therapists Helping Trans Kids

The Twitter CEO suggested throwing the medical professionals in jail, shortly after vowing to lobby for the criminalization of gender-affirming care.


Elon Musk wants to criminalize gender-affirming care, and he supports imprisoning any therapists and medical professionals involved.

The Twitter CEO on Friday morning promoted a transphobic documentary produced by the petulant, vicious, and dull extremist commentator Matt Walsh.

“Every parent should watch this,” said Musk, the global elite whose own daughter disowned him.

But that wasn’t enough. Amid his  bowing down to the far-right mob, which he so desperately wants to earn the approval of, Musk called gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18 “a major problem” that he will be “actively lobbying to criminalize.”

Far-right “thinker” Jordan Peterson hopped on to Musk’s tweet, adding his vision for what that regime would look like: “Prison. Long term. Without parole. No mercy,” he said, adding that he’d subject the therapists who support this medical care to such policing.

“Absolutely,” Musk responded.

Screenshot via Twitter

This is how the CEO of Tesla, which used to celebrate Pride Month, is beginning it this time. “Musk’s words are not an empty threat, as anti-trans bills, many criminalizing medical professionals, are sweeping across the nation in state legislatures everywhere.”

Reminder once again that the richest man in the world is not taking on the rich and powerful. He is not only doing the bidding of power-hungry governments but welcoming and promoting content that punches down on some of the most marginalized among us.

Judge Rejects Bid to Dismiss E. Jean Carroll Case Because Trump Is Oppressed “White Christian”

Yeah, that’s not why Trump is being prosecuted.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A judge denied an attempt by a Donald Trump ally to dismiss one of writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuits against the former president on the grounds that he is being treated unfairly for being a “white Christian.”

Trump was unanimously found liable in May for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s, and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. Carroll has two more defamation lawsuits against Trump pending: one from 2019 and one from last month after he bashed Carroll during the CNN town hall.

James H. Brady, a friend of Trump’s, filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss the 2019 suit, saying he was “unwilling to sit silent and watch another white Christian be treated as poorly and unfairly as I personally have been treated” in the New York courts. Brady has been sanctioned by New York state and federal courts for filing so many lawsuits that he clogged up the system.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over Trump’s May trial, summarily dismissed Brady’s motion the next day. Kaplan explained that there are only two reasons for someone to intervene in a civil suit. One reason is an “intervention as of right,” meaning the person is entitled via federal statute or has a financial interest in the matter. The second is by “permission of the court,” meaning the person has been granted the conditional right to intervene or they have a law- or fact-based defense for the main action in the lawsuit.

“Mr. Brady does not satisfy any of these criteria,” Kaplan said in his decision. “Accordingly, this motion is denied.”

Carroll accused Trump in her 2019 memoir of raping her in the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s. She initially sued him twice for defamation: first in 2019, when he said she made up the rape allegation to promote her book, and again in November for posts he made about her on social media. Her lawsuits are civil, not criminal, because she waited too long to report the assault to police.

A New York jury unanimously found Trump liable of sexual abuse and battery against Carroll and of defaming her in 2022. They recommended she be awarded a total of $5 million in damages.

Carroll is not the only woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault, but her case was the first to make it to a courtroom. Trump continues to vehemently deny all of the allegations, including by launching fresh vitriol at Carroll during the disastrous CNN town hall. So Carroll sued him for defamation again.

It hardly bears saying, but Trump is of course not being prosecuted (nor persecuted) for being a Christian. He’s being prosecuted because he’s a convicted sexual abuser who simply will not learn to keep his mouth shut.

Trump’s Pathetic Response to the Recording of Him Discussing Classified Documents

Trump was caught on tape bragging about keeping classified documents after leaving the White House. He has no good answer for it.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump is sticking to a tried-and-true method of responding to bad news: Deny everything.

Prosecutors for special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, obtained an audio recording of a meeting held in July 2021, during which the former president essentially admitted that he knows he can’t declassify documents at will. He brags explicitly about having kept a classified Pentagon document, and the sound of rustling papers can be overheard, as if Trump were waving that document around.

During a Fox News town hall on Thursday, Sean Hannity—a longtime Trump confidant—asked Trump about the recording.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump replied. “All I know is this: Everything I did was right.”

Trump then went on to accuse President Joe Biden of having almost 2,000 boxes of classified documents, “seven or eight” of which he had stashed in Chinatown, in Washington, D.C.

“Chinatown is very—it’s, it’s, it’s in favor of China,” Trump said, throwing a nice bit of xenophobia into the mix.

It’s no good denying or deflecting anymore, though. In addition to the recording of Trump acknowledging that he can’t declassify materials whenever he wants, Smith’s team also recently acquired a slew of records including handwritten notes, transcriptions of audio recordings, and invoices from Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran. A judge ruled in March that some of Trump’s attorney-client privileges could be “pierced” after prosecutors for Smith’s team found that Trump intentionally misled his own lawyers, including Corcoran, about keeping classified materials when he left office.

Those records reveal that Trump knew he wasn’t supposed to keep classified documents. Not only did he do so anyway, but Corcoran was also prevented from searching Trump’s office at Mar-a-Lago, where the FBI later found some of the most sensitive material.

Smith has not yet issued any criminal charges, but Trump has plenty of other legal struggles to keep him busy in the meantime. He is under investigation in Georgia for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and he was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records for paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump also was found civilly liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll—and last week, she sued him for defamation again over comments he made about her during a CNN town hall.

Elon Musk Personally Elevates Transphobic Video Originally Flagged as Hate Speech

“Every parent should watch this,” said the man disowned by his trans daughter.


“Every parent should watch this.” This is what Elon Musk—one of the world’s most powerful elites—said about The Daily Wire’s transphobic documentary What Is a Woman? hosted by the vicious and intellectually dull Matt Walsh.

Musk’s personal promotion of the video follows his total capitulation to the far-right media company’s personal complaints of being suppressed. On Thursday, Daily Wire co-founder and co-CEO Jeremy Boreing posted a Twitter thread explaining that Twitter reneged on a commitment to buy a package to host the showing of the entire 90-some-minute movie on a “dedicated event page and to promote the event to every Twitter user over the first 10 hours” (something that has never been done in such a way for any kind of content).

According to Boreing, after Twitter reviewed the film, they said they would not purchase the package and would limit the reach of the film, calling it “hateful conduct” due to misgendering. Twitter had removed “misgendering” from its safety policies, but the company told The Daily Wire they still consider it to be abuse and harassment.

After Boreing and company personally appealed to Musk, however, the tide turned.

“This was a mistake,” Musk said on Twitter. “Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.” Musk went on to say he personally uses someone’s preferred pronouns, just as he would someone’s preferred names, for the sake of “good manners.”

“However,” he continued, “for the same reason, I object to rude behavior, ostracism or threats of violence if the wrong pronoun or name is used.”

Afterward, the prospects for What Is a Woman?’s exclusive treatment crystallized. “Commenting & deliberate sharing will be allowed. Sensitive content just won’t be pushed to people unless they ask for it or a friend sends it to them,” Musk said Thursday night, explaining that the post would not be recommended to people who don’t follow The Daily Wire, nor would any advertising be associated with it.

Of course, this whole seemingly compromising, “measured” response blew up by Musk’s own hand, when he told his 141.8 million followers that “every parent should watch” the documentary. Which is to say, the content would be pushed to anyone who follows Musk or even follows someone who follows him, even if they did not ask for it—explicitly contradicting Musk’s own statement (setting aside the irony of Musk giving any parenting advice, given his own transgender daughter disowned him as a father after she turned 18).

What’s more, though, is that the contradiction certainly did not seem accidental.

“The Streisand Effect on this will set an all-time record!” Musk tweeted in response to a user encouraging people to watch the movie.

“The controversy will drive viewership,” Musk assured Boreing after The Daily Wire’s head complained about the “terrible day.”

Walsh, for his part, called the final outcome of “Elon Musk himself tweeting out the film and urging people to watch it” a “huge win.”

Again, Musk’s decision-making did not have all interests in mind. Also on Thursday, Musk tweeted that gender-affirming care “is a major problem” and that he will “be actively lobbying to criminalize” such care for people under the age of 18.

The episode comes after Musk has been quick to heed requests from Turkey and India to suppress free speech; the common denominator being a complete lack of principle or standards and a pathetic subservience to power interests on the far right. Musk, who often pretends to be a moderate, is neither, in his politics nor in his role as Twitter CEO.

Again, even if Musk was some universal free-speech maximalist, he wouldn’t have to personally promote videos that only happen to punch down against transgender people. He could, for instance, be promoting content that confronts the corruption of fossil fuel or weapon companies, or Big Pharma, or Israel’s treatment of Palestine. Instead, it just coincidentally happens that the “free speech” Musk advocates for is often language that attacks already marginalized people, and seldom challenges corporate interests that harm all of us.

Funny too Musk, again, one of the world’s biggest elites, thinks he is speaking truth to power. Fellow delusionally self-proclaimed moderate Tim Pool proclaimed Friday that “Elon is facing the reality of going up against the world’s political powers.”

“I am on team humanity,” Musk responded simply.

The Biden Economy Keeps Growing—and the Experts Hate It

Another 339,000 jobs added in May. Doesn’t Biden understand the economy is supposed to suck?

Now Hiring sign on a window
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Like Rasputin, the Biden economy refuses to die even as the Federal Reserve, Congress, and the nation’s bank executives try to club it to death. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reported Friday morning that 339,000 jobs were created in May. That’s pretty much in line with the average over the previous 12 months (341,000).

The Fed won’t be pleased. It has raised interest rates 10 times since March 22, with three quarter-point hikes this year, and Fed governor Philip Jefferson signaled in a speech this week that the Fed would not raise them again in June while it assessed the state of the economy. It may have to reconsider. Inflation has been drifting down for nearly a year, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell believes it necessary to increase unemployment significantly to keep it down. The BLS report said unemployment ticked up slightly in May, to 3.7 percent, which is still extremely low. (How can job growth increase while unemployment rises, you may wonder? The numbers are taken from different surveys.)

The Republican-controlled House did its best to wreck the Biden economy with its threatened refusal to raise the debt limit. But that dream died when it reached agreement this week with Biden on a package projected to reduce spending by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The debt ceiling bill cleared the House Wednesday and the Senate late Thursday, well in advance of the so-called “X date.” We’re still waiting to see what kind of revenge House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s hard-right flank will take.

Executives of three now-defunct midsize banks—Silicon Valley, Signature, and First Republic—threatened to bring on a recession through enthusiastic mismanagement enabled by deregulation. It’s mostly on the banking sector’s behalf that the Fed is contemplating a pause in interest rate hikes. But the Biden expansion continues, undaunted and undead.