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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

HHS Being Sued Over Policy Giving Special Religious Rights to Healthcare Professionals Over LGBT People and Women

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Roger Severino

The Trump administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is facing two separate lawsuits just filed by the ACLU and by Planned Parenthood. The filings seek to strike down a new policy that would give people of faith special religious rights to discriminate, especially against LGBT people and women.

The new policy, slated to go into effect July 22, would provide “conscience protections” to health care workers and professionals. Those protections would allow, say, a doctor to not perform an abortion, even to save the life of a mother. They would allow, for example, a physician or nurse practitioner to reject a gay man on the grounds his very being violates their religious beliefs.

Courthouse News’ Adam Klasfeld posted a portion of the lawsuit which says the Refusal of Care Rule would “allow almost any health care provider – including hospitals or individual workers in the health care setting … to refuse to provide, assist with, or refer for virtually any health service, based solely on a personal objection.”

The rule would also make it legal to withhold information from patients, and without telling them.

The new HHS rule is merely the extension of a Trump administration plan to decimate the rights of women and minorities, under the guise of religious freedom. It is being enacted by Roger Severino (photo), a far right wing religious extremist who now heads HHS’s Office for Civil Rights.

News about the new rule first leaked in April.

“Patients want doctors who match their values,” Severino said, defending the proposed rule weeks later.

Severino once served as the CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a far right wing religious legal organization. He also worked for The Heritage Foundation, and for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. The Human Rights Campaign has called him a “radical anti-LGBTQ activist.”

In early 2018 Severino created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, in order to prioritize supposed cases of anti-religious discrimination among medical professionals.

“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 said in a statement at the time.

 

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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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