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Breaking: Obama to Veto Defense Spending Bill if GOP Includes Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Provision

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Would Be Obama’s 13th Veto

President Barack Obama is prepared to veto a crucial $600 billion annual defense spending bill if Republican lawmakers insist on including a controversial provision that would effectively void his executive orders banning anti-LGBT nondiscrimination. Roll Call’s John M. Donnelly first reported the news, citing senior Obama administration officials who spoke at a White House meeting Monday with groups that oppose the provision.

The Russell Amendment, named after its sponsor, Oklahoma GOP Rep. Steve Russell, would allow any religious-based entity that has a government contract to discriminate against LGBT people in what conservatives claim is an effort to expand “religious freedom.” President Barack Obama has signed several executive orders prohibiting any discrimination against LGBT workers by government contractors. 

The provision was hotly contested by House and Senate Democrats earlier this year. The defense spending bill is known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has personally reached out to key lawmakers on the issue, the administration officials said at Monday’s meeting,” Roll Call reports, adding that “administration officials told their allies Monday that they have delivered just that message privately to [congressional] members in unequivocal terms.

President Obama has vetoed 12 bills previously and has staunchly defended what he sees as laws or executive orders that are critical to his legacy. One year ago Pres. Obama did not waver and vetoed the NDAA for issues related to spending “gimmicks” and the closing of Guantanamo.

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This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

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ANALYSIS

‘Basically Game Over’: Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Likely to Gut Abortion – and There’s a ‘Lot More on the Chopping Block’

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Legal experts are weighing in after listening to Wednesday morning’s Supreme Court oral arguments on abortion, and they’re almost entirely certain the 6-3 conservative majority will gut Roe v. Wade – the only question is how much.

Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter says there’s no question that the Supreme Court “seem poised to slash abortion rights” and maybe worse.

Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern predicts that, in his opinion, basically by the end of next year – six months after the Supreme Court hands down its decision in today’s case – half the states across the country will have abortion bans in place.

To those who say women can just travel to a state that doesn’t ban abortion, University of California, Irvine School of Law law and political science professor and election law expert Rick Hasen offers this question:

And Hasen made clear it won’t stop there.

He says, “it won’t end with overturning Roe and allowing guns outside the home. There’s a lot more on the chopping block coming in terms of voting rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, immigration, and more. Decades of work by the conservative legal movement is paying off.”

NYU law professor Melissa Murray agrees it’s not just about abortion.

Stern observes this one “question from Amy Coney Barrett is basically game over for Roe.” The far right wing faith-based justice says now that women can simply give up a child for adoption after giving birth means there’s no reason to not ban abortion.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

AOC Slams McCarthy and His GOP ‘Ku Klux Klan Caucus’ for Allowing ‘Violent Targeting’ of Women of Color in Congress

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is criticizing House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for refusing to deal with the members of his “Ku Klux Klan” caucus who are ignoring and allowing the “violent targeting” of women of color members of Congress.

The Democratic Congresswoman from New York, herself the frequent target of violent threats, pointed to this video of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar playing a death threat received after she was targeted by GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert:

“People truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting” Congresswoman Omar, Ocasio-Cortez says.

“Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of WOC members of Congress. This cannot be ignored,” she warns.

Congresswoman Boebert over the past week was exposed – on video – suggesting Rep. Omar is a terrorist three times, including in one video she herself posted to social media.

McCarthy has refused to take any action against Boebert.

 

 

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'BLAZING POSITIVE'

‘Massive, Dangerous, Likely Intentional’: Immunologist Blasts Trump for Ignoring Positive COVID Test Before Biden Debate

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A Harvard epidemiologist, immunologist and physician is blasting Donald Trump‘s decision to continue his activities as normal in September 2020, not go public with the results of his positive COVID test result, and continue business as usual – including participating in a debate against Joe Biden – revelations made in a new book by Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Mina says if Trump had been given a rapid COVID test the day of the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, President Trump “would have been blazing positive,” and calls the decision to not test “massive, dangerous and likely intentional.”

“The decision to continue to not test on [the] day of the Rose Garden superspreader event and on [the] day of the debate with now @POTUS Biden was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision,” says Michael Mina, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Was Trump the superspreader? For a year, I’ve suggested Trump was the likely superspreader at White House Rose Garden on 9/28/20,” Mina posits. “All were supposedly tested, so how would a superspreader enter? Now we know Trump tested COVID positive 2 days earlier.”

Citing Meadows’ new book, The Guardian reported Wednesday morning that Trump tested positive on Sept. 26, and shortly thereafter, before the Sept. 29 presidential debate, tested negative – but three days after the debate, on Oct. 2, again tested positive, and was rushed to Walter Reed hospital hours later.

Because Trump “was testing so frequently, he was [likely] detected using a molecular test at the earliest time, before becoming infectious,” says Mina.

“So when he immediately tested again with a rapid Ag test, it did not yet register positive because he was not YET infectious,” Mina explains. “Had he used a rapid test later that day or next day though, once he was becoming slightly infectious, he almost certainly would have been positive.”

 

 

 

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