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Trump Admin Creating Policy to Allow Health Workers With Religious or Moral Objections to Discriminate

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New Rule Would Reorganize HHS Office for Civil Rights and Allow Federal Government Outreach to Groups Working to Enable Discrimination

The Trump administration is preparing new policy to enable health care workers claiming religious or moral objections to discriminate against transgender patients, or to refuse to perform or assist in performing abortion services. According to Politico the new rule could be announced in time for Friday’s March for Life, an annual anti-choice rally held in Washington, D.C., organized in part by the religious right to drive support for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Roger Severino, Trump’s highly controversial Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services, reportedly is spearheading a reorganization of the division to enforce compliance and dole out punishments to organizations that might violate the new protections. 

Not only would this new office “punish organizations that don’t allow” health care workers “to express their moral objections,” but it would “also conduct outreach and technical support to help others who are seeking to strengthen protections for these workers,” Politico reports.

In other words, a taxpayer-funded arm of the federal government might actively partner with, for example, the Family Research Council to help undermine the civil rights of transgender patients or women seeking abortion services. It could be like OSHA but instead of ensuring safe working conditions it would ensure health care workers are allowed to discriminate against transgender people and women seeking abortions. 

Just days ago the complaint portal website for the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services was updated to include greatly expanded language on Federal Conscience and Religious Freedom Laws.

Here’s a screenshot of the page on January 13:

old_a.jpg

Here’s a screenshot of the page today:

new_a.jpg

The updated page includes an entirely new category of complaint: Violation of Conscience or Religious Freedom.

Severino has a history of anti-transgender positions, notably when he was the Director of the DeVos family’s Center for Religion and Civil Society, Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. He also served as legal counsel for the right wing Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Politico adds that Severino “has repeatedly stressed that strengthening conscience protections for health care workers is a top priority for his office.”

His appointment was condemned by LGBT civil rights groups last year.

“Severino has called the efforts of agencies such as OCR to protect transgender people from discrimination an ‘abuse of power‘ wielded ‘to coerce everyone…into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology,'” a joint statement signed by eight progressive and LGBT civil rights groups charged.

UPDATE –
The DNC is blasting the Trump administration over this move:

“Once again, women and the LGBTQ community are under attack from the Trump-Pence administration. Days before the anniversary of the Women’s March, Republicans are giving health workers a license to discriminate against women and members of the LGBTQ community,” DNC Director of Women’s Media Elizabeth Renda and Director of LGBTQ Media Lucas Acosta tell NCRM in an email statement. 

“It wasn’t enough to try to strip transgender Americans of their right to serve, roll back access to birth control, and attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. Now Trump, Pence, and their Republican cronies want to allow health care workers to discriminate and rip away access to medical care. This rule is unethical and dangerously undermines public health.” 

“This proposal is further proof that Republicans continue to push forward an agenda completely out of step with the American people and American ideals. Democrats will continue to focus on how to improve access to health care for all Americans regardless of gender, orientation, or income.”

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RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY

Jerry Falwell Jr. on Leave of Absence After Request From Board of Trustees – Just Days After Unzipped Pants Shot

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Jerry Falwell, Jr., the President and Chancellor of Liberty University, has been asked to take an indefinite leave of absence, just days after he posted, deleted, and later offered a strange and some say possibly intoxicated explanation about a photo showing him and a young woman in a strange state of undress.

MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez:

National Review’s David French adds the request came from the Board of Trustees:

Liberty University is one of the world’s largest Christian universities. Falwell, Jr. is a close ally to President Donald Trump. This is far from his first stunning scandal.

This is one of a few photos he posted Monday. There was a strange video as well. All were quickly deleted.

Falwell, Jr. then called into a local Virginia radio station, explaining the woman his arm was wrapped around was his wife’s assistant.

“You know it was weird, cause she was, she’s pregnant, she couldn’t get her pants up, and I was, trying to like – my, I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either,” Falwell told WLNI. “And so I just put my belly – I just put my belly out like hers, and it was just, um, she’s my wife’s assistant and she’s a sweetheart. I should never have put it up and embarrassed her because, um, anyway, I’ve apologized to everybody and I promised my kids, I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”

Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) called Falwell’s behavior “appalling,” and called for him to step down.

Related:

Trump-Loving Jerry Falwell Jr Personally Approved $1.2 Million No Money Down Real Estate Sale for His Personal Trainer

Jerry Falwell Jr Sends Racy Photos of His Wife to University Officials — and Rants About His Penis Size: Report

Jerry Falwell Jr’s Denials Backfire — as Photographer Posts More Shots of Him Partying at Miami Beach Nightclub

 

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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Top US Counter Intelligence Official Formally Announces Russia Working to Attack Biden, Helping Trump Win Re-Election

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The top counterintelligence official in the United States government has just released an official statement saying the Intelligence Community is actively working to help President Donald Trump get re-elected.

“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’ This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia,” states National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina.

“For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”

Evanina does not limit his assessment to Russia. China and Iran, he says, prefer Biden to win the election – which would account for Trump’s recent attacks on both countries, while refusing to challenge or confront Russian President Vladimir Putin on any issue.

“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”

“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections.”

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) says Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and other top Democrats, have been urging Evanina to release this information to the public.

But he warns that President Donald Trump is unlikely to act on it.

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'PEOPLE CAN’T EVEN AFFORD BUSES AND HE’S ROBBING THE COFFERS BLIND'

‘Robbing Us Blind!’: Photo of Trump Exiting Air Force One Leads to Angry Allegations Against His ‘Decadent Lifestyle’

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Trump on Air Force One

President Donald Trump is taking a few days off to focus on what seems to have become his full time job: getting re-elected. Trump jetted to Ohio on Thursday, held a campaign-style event at a Whirlpool factory, paid for by the U.S. taxpayers, then headed off to a fundraiser where he raked in $5 million. Trump will headline two $250,000 per person Hamptons and New Jersey fundraisers this weekend, and at least one other where the price of entry will cost up to $50,000.

Meanwhile, a photo taken by CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller has many spitting mad.

“Pres Trump steps off Air Force One in Morristown NJ to transfer to Marine One for the short flight to his golf club in Bedminster,” Knoller tweeted Thursday night.

It clearly hit a nerve, and the responses show it.

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