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Trump Creates New ‘Conscience and Religious Freedom Division’ at HHS to Support Discrimination by Health Care Professionals

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“No One Should Be Forced to Choose Between Helping Sick People and Living by One’s Deepest Moral or Religious Convictions” Division’s Chief Announces

The Office of Civil Rights at President Donald Trump’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a new division created to help ensure discrimination by medical professionals who chose to cite their religious or moral convictions when refusing to treat certain patients or when refusing to perform certain functions. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division was officially announced in an HHS press release Thursday.

Transgender people, women seeking contraception or abortion services, gay, lesbian, bisexual people, people living with HIV/AIDS seem particularly at risk for further – and now federally-sanctioned – discrimination under the Trump administration.

No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions,” said Roger Severino (photo), Director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Severino, whose resume includes positions at far right wing organizations, has a long history of publicly opposing transgender people.

In short, under the Trump administration’s new policy and new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, health care workers could, for example, refuse to treat a transgender patient, just because they are transgender. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people all could be refused a doctor’s appointment or told at an emergency room they have to seek help elsewhere. Unmarried sexually-active women could be refused contraception, or forced to shop around for a doctor willing to perform a medically-necessary abortion. Same-sex couples seeking a pediatrician for a newborn child could also be refused.

NCRM first reported Wednesday that the complaint portal website for the Office for Civil Rights at HHS had already been updated to include greatly expanded language on Federal Conscience and Religious Freedom Laws.

Invited guests attending Thursday morning’s announcement include Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) who vigorously pushed her now-failed bill that would have banned the Pentagon from spending taxpayer funds to support medically-necessary treatment of transgender service members.

Also invited is Senator James Lankford (R-OK) who infamously said in 2012, “race and sexual preferences are two different things. One is a behavior-related and preference-related and one is something inherently — skin color, something obvious, that kind of stuff.”

Both GOP lawmakers have ties to the Family Research Council.

“Severino is a defender of the discredited practice of conversion therapy, argued transgender service members ‘dishonors’ the military, and insisted that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is ‘based not on any sort of hatred but, in fact, out of love,'” GLAAD noted in a statement Thursday.

“Any healthcare worker who has moral objections to providing medically necessary care to an entire vulnerable population is in the wrong line of work,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said. “Denying a transgender person – or any person – life saving care if they walk into an emergency room is far from a moral act, it is unjust and dangerous. Trump, Pence, and Trump’s appointees have tried time and again to establish blatantly bigoted policies that harm transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and history will neither forget nor forgive this Administration’s attacks on its own people.”

The Catholic Health Association says that “the Catholic health ministry is the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation. Every day, one in six patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital.” The organization represents health care facility operators that employ nearly 750,000 health care workers. Due to a rash of mergers many hospitals that appear secular are actually controlled by religious organizations.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Tucker Carlson Attacks Biden With Same Words Found in ‘Manifesto’ of Accused El Paso Mass Shooter

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Tucker Carlson is the face of Fox News. 3.3 million Americans tune in nightly to his top-rated show – the number one cable “news” show in the month of August – including among the key demographic advertisers love: viewers 25-54 years old, according to Forbes.

Wednesday night Carlson ramped up his white nationalist and white supremacist attacks on President Joe Biden, which is a regular theme on his Fox News show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” using the same words that the white 21-year old suspected mass murderer in El Paso, Texas did in his “manifesto,” right before he allegedly gunned down 23 innocent Americans in August of 2019. (He has pleaded not guilty. Two years later, his case has yet to go to trial.)

Carlson and the suspected shooter talked about the “great replacement,” a conspiracy theory that claims white people are being “replaced” by people of color and minorities. (Remember the neo-Nazis marching in Charlotte, chanting, “you will not replace us”?)

And he talked about “eugenics,” a grotesque term tied to the Nazis, as if it were a guiding principle of the Biden administration.

In “What is the Great Replacement?” The New York Times published this about the alleged El Paso mass murderer:

“Echoing the man accused of fatally shooting dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, the El Paso gunman’s manifesto mentioned the ‘great replacement,’ a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide.”

Tucker Carlson’s racist rhetoric reached fevered heights back in April, eliciting headlines like “Tucker Carlson’s latest white supremacist tirade might be his most dangerous yet (MSNBC),” “White Supremacy Has Its Coming Out Party, and Tucker Carlson Is There,” (Daily Beast), and an Associated Press report that reads: “The Anti-Defamation League has called for Fox News to fire prime-time opinion host Tucker Carlson because he defended a white-supremacist theory that says whites are being ‘replaced’ by people of color.”

Fox News did not fire Tucker Carlson, and if anything it appears they support his white supremacist words.

Carlson this week has not disappointed his superiors, which include Fox Corporation board members Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, and Republican former U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

On Wednesday, Carlson told his millions of Fox News viewers that President Biden has intentionally orchestrated an “unrelenting stream of immigration,” as Media Matters reported (video below).

“Promising the poorest people on the planet that they can have endless free taxpayer funded services if they show up and break your laws? That’s not just stupid, it’s suicidal,” Carlson said.

“For generations, middle-class Americans have had access to the best healthcare in the world, but not anymore. That’s over for good. Our system cannot handle this many destitute newcomers, period. Imagine what hospitals are going to look like a year from now. How about schools?”

In 2019 The Washington Post reported the El Paso mass shooting suspect’s manifesto “mentioned a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of Texas and expressed worries that the United States was in the process of a ‘cultural and ethnic replacement.’ It cited fears that immigrants would swamp taxpayers with free health care and other benefits, take over jobs and intensify the strain on environmental resources.”

“But why?” Carlson continued Wednesday. “Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country,” he claimed, having quoted Biden from 2015, only seconds later twisting his words. “That’s the reason, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly-arrived from the third world.”

“And then Biden went further,” Carlson continued, “he said that non-white DNA is the quote, ‘the source of our strength.’ Imagine saying that. This is the language of eugenics, it’s horrifying. But there’s a reason Biden said it.”

Biden did not say “non-white DNA,” as Carlson implied.

In 2015, Tucker Carlson’s own far right wing website, Daily Caller (which he sold last year) reported on then-Vice President Biden’s “introductory remarks at a three-day summit to address violent extremism:

“I’m proud of the American record on culture and economic integration of not only our Muslim communities but African communities, Asian communities, Hispanic communities,” Biden said. “And the wave still continues. It’s not going to stop. Nor should we want it to stop. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I think we can be most proud of.”

Embracing immigration was part of the theme of the summit — stated numerous times by Biden — that “inclusion counts.”

“We are a melting pot,” Biden said of the U.S. “It is the ultimate source of our strength. It is the source of who we are.”

After falsely accusing Biden of using “the language of eugenics,” Carlson Wednesday went on to say: “In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it’s happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”

The “great replacement” is not a “political term.” It’s a white supremacist conspiracy theory.

Watch:

 

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CORRUPTION

‘Very Credible’ Allegations Against Matt Gaetz Were Divulged to Dilbert Cartoonist Before Becoming Public: Report

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Three days before news broke of a child sex-abuse investigation involving Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, Trump-loving Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams and an employee of the Israeli consulate began a text-message exchange concerning the FBI probe.

In a bizarre, largely overlooked aspect of the ongoing Gaetz investigation and scandal, Adams and Jake Novak, broadcast media director of the Consulate General of Israel in New York, had apparently become friends on social media, Politico reported Thursday.

“Scoop I can’t report: Rep. Gaetz is the subject of a sex with minor…. I trust the source. Charges/accusations apparently ‘very credible’,” Novak wrote to Adams, adding “told ya” after news of the investigation broke, and decrying claims from Gaetz’s father alleging that he and his son had become victims of an “extortion” plot.

Adams responded by repeatedly casting doubt on the allegations against Gaetz and said “the extortion counterclaim sounds credible. Has witnesses apparently.”

Novak then suggested he was personally involved in an effort to get $25 million out of Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, to help free Bob Levinson, an American hostage in Iran whom most intelligence officials believe is dead.

“The backstory is this is screwing up my efforts to free Bob Levinson,” Novak wrote. “I’ve got a commando team leader friend of mine nervously waiting for wire transfers to clear.”

Novak later told Adams that “the real documents do not extort. And we only asked for $25 million as an estimate at first. We came way down.”

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Stephen Alford on charges that he tried to defraud Gaetz’s father. Alford, a Florida developer, allegedly told Don Gaetz that in return for financing the Levinson rescue effort, he would use his influence to ensure the congressman “receives a presidential pardon, thus alleviating all his legal issues.”

“The allegation that a foreign official may be involved in a shakedown scheme of a U.S. congressman — a highly unusual development in its own right — could help provide a fuller picture of a scandal that has captivated the nation’s capital but where many pieces are still unknown,” Politico reported, adding that while the Israeli official’s apparent involvement “doesn’t speak to Gaetz’ guilt or innocence,” it is “concerning.”

Ronald E. Neumann, a career former ambassador and president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, told the site: “It’s certainly problematic, if it’s true. Anytime you have criminal or potential criminal behavior, and somebody who’s part of a foreign embassy or consulate, it’s a problem.”

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AYKM?

Susan Collins, Under Fire for Refusing to Support Abortion Rights Bill, Endorses Racist Pro-Trump Ex-Governor

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is under mounting criticism for refusing to support a Democratic bill that would make access to abortion the law of the land, as the U.S. Supreme Court, experts believe, prepares to reverse its historic 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Senator Collins, who repeatedly claims to be pro-choice, is being criticized after years of supporting then-President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees at every level of the federal judiciary, including two of his three Supreme Court picks.

According to the progressive group Suit Up Maine, Collins voted to confirm of 208 of Trump’s judicial nominees. She voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, but against Amy Coney Barrett, reportedly because she felt the vote should not take place so close to an election. But Collins did vote to put Barrett on the federal bench in 2017.

The anger against Collins on social media has been palpable Wednesday, but it may be about to get worse.

According to NBC News affiliate News Center Maine, Collins just endorsed former Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage for a third term. LePage was term-limited after two consecutive terms, but announced in April he is running once again.

For those who don’t remember, LePage is a Trump acolyte known for making outrageous and vulgar remarks, is anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, and pro-death penalty. He opposes legalization of marijuana, opposes renewable energy, supports “school choice,” opposes ObamaCare, wants to reduce the number of hospitals in the state, and has made racist remarks.

Related –
Gov. Paul LePage: I’m Not Racist, You C*cksucker, But People of Color are “The Enemy”

This was Gov. LePage in 2016:

“As Maine recovers from the pandemic, Paul is the best candidate to grow our economy,” Collins said Wednesday in a pre-recorded video endorsing LePage, who once called himself “Baby Trump.”

The outpouring of outrage against Collins is tremendous.

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