INTEL REPORT--Vice President Mike Pence just can’t help himself. America’s best known anti-LGBTQ politician, the former governor of Indiana, says he doesn’t want to talk about Pete Buttigieg, the out Democratic presidential candidate from the Hoosier state, but he continues to do it.

Possibly because the media won’t let him escape the topic. Even Fox News is questioning Pence over his snide attacks on the mayor of South Bend that questions the gay candidate’s religious faith.

“If he wins their party’s nomination, we’ll have a lot more to say about him,” Pence told Fox News’ Shannon Bream in an interview this week. But he continued to say he didn’t like Buttigieg’s “assertion and others’ assertion that was critical of people of our religious beliefs, broadly.”

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INTEL REPORT--Facing the possibility of being imprisoned yet again in the coming days for refusing to testify before a secretive grand jury, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Sunday warned of the grave threat the Trump administration poses to press freedoms.

"I think that ultimately what they really want is, they want to go after journalists," Manning said during an interview on CNN when asked whether the Trump administration's effort to extradite WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange to the U.S. is a danger to the free press.

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INTEL REPORT--American Christian extremist Steven Anderson (photo above), best known for his hateful diatribes and calls for violence against LGBTQ people, has been denied entry into 26 European countries this week. The Arizona pastor has already been banned from Jamaica, South Africa, the UK, and Canada; he was arrested and deported while in Botswana in 2016. 

Anderson planned a trip to the Netherlands to do some “soul winning” according to the Netherlands Times. After activists pointed out Anderson’s history, State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security responded by not only banning Anderson from entering Dutch boundaries, he made sure that Anderson wasn’t allowed entry into the entire Shengen Area.

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Photo: Shutterstock

INTEL REPORT--First it was the word “gay.” For decades, conservatives objected to people using the word to describe homosexuality on the grounds that it corrupted a perfectly good word and prevented it from being used to mean cheerful. No less an institution than The New York Times refused to use the word until well after its meaning was widely accepted. 

Now the right has conceded that battle, even using “LGBT” to show that it’s entered the 21st century. But what the right isn’t about to do is abandon its desperate battle to de-gay the rainbow.

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INTEL REPORT--“Socialism,” snarled Donald Trump at a recent pep rally of far-right Republicans. The obedient crowd of Trumpistas snarled back in unison: So-sh’ll-izz-ummm! 

There you have the entire intellectual content of the GOP’s 2020 re-election strategy under Generalissimo Trump: Slap Democrats with a scurrilous campaign branding them as Lenin-Trotsky-Stalin re-incarnate. 

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INTEL REPORT--A person who said they were going to donate $7600 to a GoFundMe for a baby with cancer changed their mind when they found out that the baby had two mothers, blaming the baby’s cancer on “God’s way” of saying that lesbians shouldn’t raise kids.

Callie June, 18 months, has stage 4 nueroblastoma, a type of nerve cancer, and her moms Tiffany and Albree Shaffer have been by her side ever since the diagnosis.

Her moms have incurred a lot of debt to pay for her care and one of them quit her jobs to take care of Callie. So someone in her extended family set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.

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INTEL REPORT--Two of the gay men who posed for a photo at Coachella with closeted former Congressman Aaron Schock have apologized, saying they had no idea who he was. They assert they had just met when he asked to be included in the picture that has outraged the LGBTQ community.

Schock, a Republican, actively opposed LGBTQ rights while he was in office. He was caught on video later that night making out with another man while shoving his hand down the man’s pants.

 “Rob [Masi] and I have been out since we were 14 and 15, respectively; and living as proud gay men in a loving relationship, who hope to get married one day. We are entirely against Aaron Schock’s values, views and actions,” Will Rossi wrote in a post on Instragram.

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INTEL REPORT--Amazon is a company that’s drunk on profits and market share.

Last year, the online retail giant netted $11 billion in profits while paying $0 in taxes. The company controls nearly half of all online sales in the United States, and its Amazon Web Services division is the leader in providing cloud-based computing services, counting Netflix and the U.S. government among its major clients.

You’d think that with all this money, Amazon would be a leader in tackling climate change, since it’s the biggest threat to our planet — and since Amazon uses massive amounts of energy. However, after taking some steps in the right direction on clean energy, Amazon has since made it clear that profits are the only thing that matters.

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INTEL REPORT--The GOP ex-congressman whose sexuality was DC’s worst-kept secret has been spotted making out with another man at Coachella. Former Representative Aaron Schock who made a splash in the nation’s capital with his clothing choices, Instagram photos, and interior decorating choices, resigned after being accused of illegally using campaign funds to finance his over-the-top lifestyle. 

Schock was a reliably anti-gay vote for Republicans, despite the parade of young men who visited his DC apartment, and his outing by journalist Itay Hod in 2014. Hod claimed he had walked in on his male roommate and Schock showering together. 

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INTEL REPORT--As we continue to follow along with the soap operatic saga known as Jussie Smollett’s Chicago case, many have expressed a desire for it all to be over. The rollercoaster of plot twists — including the biggest of them all, when all charges were dropped, abruptly — sent everyone in a tailspin, and frankly, it was exhausting.

Though current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was basically blowing smoke out of his ears like a character straight out of a Looney Tunes scene featuring a villain with foiled plans, newly-elected Mayor Lori Lightfoot believes the city has other priorities. Earlier this month, Emanuel demanded the 36-year-old actor-singer fork over $130,000 to recoup costs to the Chicago Police Department for allegedly wasting the force’s resources and to take care of billable “overtime hours.” 

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INTEL REPORT--American Media Inc. is actively seeking to sell off the National Enquirer, according to three people familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The decision to sell came after the hedge fund manager whose firm controls American Media became “disgusted” with the Enquirer’s reporting tactics, according to one of these people.

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INTEL REPORT--There is no question that racial resentment was a major driver of support for Donald Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016. At the height of the race, a lot of Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate tried to distance themselves from his highly charged rhetoric.

New research suggests these efforts were in vain—which was good news for the Republicans in question. It seems that Trump's ethnic hostility ultimately worked to their advantage.

"We find that racial animus among voters helped Republicans at multiple ballot levels," write political scientists Carlos Algara and Isaac Hale of the University of California–Davis.

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INTEL REPORT--According to The New York Times (NYT), Facebook is creating its own cryptocurrency. It would be used on WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, to facilitate transactions between users. 

Facebook’s move is clearly to counter the threat from up and coming messenging rivals Telegram and Signal. NYT said that the Facebook secret effort to build its own cryptocurrency “started last year after Telegram raised an eye-popping $1.7 billion to fund its cryptocurrency project”. 

Between Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, which Facebook owns, there are a collective 2.7 billion users. If Facebook decides to back the value of its own digital coin with a basket of foreign currencies, then it could potentially become the largest central bank in the world — because that’s what central banks do; print money backed by their country’s economy and foreign currency reserves.

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