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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

New Trump Administration Directive Lets Federal Contractors Discriminate Against LGBT People – For Jesus

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A new Trump administration directive allows anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The directive specifically exempts any faith-based organization – a “religious corporation” – that has a federal contract from anti-discrimination requirements, and wrongly cites the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision to do so.

A U.S. Dept.of Labor directive issued Friday and signed by Craig E. Leen, the Acting Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) actually takes language from the SCOTUS ruling and mis-applies it.

Federal contractors employ about one-fifth of the nation’s workforce. Nico Lang at INTO was the first to report on the new directive.

The new policy memo directs OFCCP staff reviewing contracts and contractors that they “cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices” and must “proceed in a manner neutral toward and tolerant of . . . religious beliefs.”

That is language taken directly from the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece ruling.

The directive also cites the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, and states: “faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for . . . [Federal] contracts.”

That language appears to be taken directly from a May White House memo rebranding the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

But legal experts are crying foul, saying the OFCCP’s directive misinterprets the Supreme Court cases. For example, the Masterpiece ruling stated the Colorado Commission that ruled against the anti-gay Christian baker had acted with animus toward his religion. It did not state that anti-LGBT discrimination was now legal or acceptable.

Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, adds that the memo is actually “contrary to established law.”

“This directive seems designed to undermine the current requirement that federal contractors may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran,” Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told INTO. “In the past, the Department of Labor has made clear that religious contractors may prefer members of their religion, but may not discriminate on any of those bases.”

“By eliminating that important qualification, the new directive is confusing at best and at worst sends a dangerous and false message that such discrimination is now permitted,” he continues.

Minter calls the memo “contrary to established law.”

And the Human Rights Campaign in a Monday night email says the DOL is “encouraging federal contractors to discriminate against their LGBTQ employees.” HRC notes that at “the same time” the new directive was published, the “DOL also removed information from its website concerning frequently asked questions about nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and the limited scope of allowable religious exemptions.”

“Previously, the site made clear religious organizations receiving federal contracts may prefer members of their religion, but no exemption would be granted for discrimination against an employee ‘on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.’ That language has now been deleted.

 

 

 

 

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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

State Dept. Kicks National Public Radio Reporter Off Plane After Pompeo’s Unhinged Attack on NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly

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The State Dept. has kicked a reporter for National Public Radio off Secretary Mike Pompeo’s plane just days after he attacked a different NPR reporter and even issued an astonishing and false statement accusing her of lying.

PBS NewsHour’s Nick Schifrin reports Michele Kelemen is the NPR reporter, part of the State Dept. press pool, who was removed from Pompeo’s trip to London and Kiev.

Last week Pompeo blasted NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, claiming she had agreed to his remarks on Ukraine being off the record. She had not. At the end of the interview Pompeo reportedly forced Kelly to point out Ukraine on an unlabeled map. Kelly anchors “All Things Considered,” has a master’s in European studies from Cambridge, and is an an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching classes in national security and journalism.

Pompeo issued a press release suggesting she had incorrectly identified Bangladesh when asked to point out Ukraine on the map, which is highly doubtful given her education and background, including being a State Dept. correspondent for two decades.

Schifrin adds the State Dept. Correspondents’ Assoc. has issued a statement condemning the removal of Kelly.

Here’s Pompeo’s astonishing press release from last week attacking Kelly:

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr

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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

‘Like the Gestapo’: GOP Congressman Blasted for Asking Sworn Witnesses if They ‘Actually Voted for Donald Trump’

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“This is what evil looks like”

U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, Republican of California, is under fire for what many are calling an entirely inappropriate question of the four witnesses who raised their hands and swore to tell the truth during Wednesday’s impeachment hearing.

Congressman McClintock asked the witnesses, “Could I begin, just with a show of hands, how many on the panel actually voted for Donald Trump?”

Not only was the question inappropriate, it was phrased as if not voting for Donald Trump was somehow a violation of law.

The witnesses were rightly outraged.

On social media Congressman McClintock’s question was attacked, with some comparing it to Gestapo tactics, “pathological cult thinking,” and more.

 

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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

‘Deranged Police State Fever Dream’: Internet Explodes Over Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Incredibly Fascist’ Video for 9/11

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Former New York City mayor, now President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani observed the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by posting a chilling, creepy, and many are saying “fascist” video in the early morning, tweeting “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” in all-caps.

The highly-edited video opens with staged images of people protesting fascism, as a young child slowly sings “America the Beautiful.”

The camera closes in on a lone police officer starting at the protestors, who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

In an apparent flashback the officer seems to be remembering his life: a police badge is pinned on his shirt, a flag-draped coffin of a U.S. service member is carried past him, and a young boy sits in front of a television set watching footage reminiscent of fire fighters raising a flag in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

He then flips down the clear shield on his helmet, and the camera shows him whipping out a club – just as the protestors jump the barricade.

The words “This We’ll Defend” flash on the screen.

The video is looped, repeating until the user stops it.

NBC News’ Ben Collins explains the video is “a ‘banned from the Super Bowl’ ad that skirted the rules and got conservative media attention.”

Response to the disturbing clip was astonishment, confusion, anger, and outrage – and with many decrying it as clear fascism.

Take a look:

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