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.
New: @PPFA and the @ACLU filed separate lawsuits in SDNY suing @HHSGov for issuing a rule that “would allow almost any health care provider” to deny “virtually any health service” — or withhold info on health care options — based on personal objections alone. @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/xVrTAjy1oy
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 11, 2019
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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State Dept. Kicks National Public Radio Reporter Off Plane After Pompeo’s Unhinged Attack on NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly
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.
State Department removes @NPR‘s @michelekelemen from @SecPompeo plane–where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation–during upcoming trip to London, Kiev. Comes after @SecPompeo accused media of being “unhinged” after @NPRKelly interview and subsequent back and forth.
— Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) January 27, 2020
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.
State Dept Correspondents Association’s @shauntandon:”We can only conclude State retaliating against @NPR as result of this exchange..State press corps has long tradition of accompanying secretaries on travel,we find it unacceptable to punish individual member of our association”
— Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) January 27, 2020
Here’s Pompeo’s astonishing press release from last week attacking Kelly:
The Secretary of State has issued this statement regarding his NPR interview: pic.twitter.com/Jp6vl3wny9
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 25, 2020
Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr
‘Like the Gestapo’: GOP Congressman Blasted for Asking Sworn Witnesses if They ‘Actually Voted for Donald Trump’
“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.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2019
On social media Congressman McClintock’s question was attacked, with some comparing it to Gestapo tactics, “pathological cult thinking,” and more.
An member of the government just asked private citizens to state whom they voted for in 2016. https://t.co/rVh25UkMjn
— David Lytle (@davitydave) December 4, 2019
Astonishing that McClintock is grilling witnesses like the Gestapo about whether they voted for Trump in 2016 during a public hearing. Professor Karlan’s outrage is all of us. https://t.co/Zf1DfcL0w4
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) December 4, 2019
Imagine if my husband as a vascular specialist asked someone bleeding out on his table who they voted for?
Only Trump supporters believe that no expert can act professionally and ethically above their particular political belief system. This is pathological cult thinking. https://t.co/hKJ8kpqTGu
— AntiNarcopathyPharmD (@narceducator) December 4, 2019
And they say Trumpism is a cult https://t.co/FjRFHOVttK
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) December 4, 2019
This is what evil looks like. This is a direct attack on every citizen. Voters should show him the hand. https://t.co/L4HCgWznjc
— Tom Buck (@Tombotee) December 4, 2019
Hoping @RepMcClintock gets voted out of office. Asking expert witnesses who they voted for as a means to somehow discredit them is outrageous and unbecoming for a member of Congress. #ImpeachmentHearing https://t.co/IKTWM8EkJP
— Kristine Anne Canidae🐶 (@Xaenie) December 4, 2019
This is totalitarian. https://t.co/Quwo65UVfE
— ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ ᴡʀɪᴛᴇʀ (@ObiterDictum101) December 4, 2019
Autocratic intimidation. Disgusting. https://t.co/wjfPwG3aqb
— Oliver Griswold (@originalgriz) December 4, 2019
.@GOP has sunk to such complete moral & constitutional bankruptcy that they don’t even recognize how disgusting of a moment this is. Just because #MAGA Republicans are happy to raise their arm in fielty to a criminal doesn’t change #American voting rights. #Impeachent = 🇺🇸 duty https://t.co/NWqI4EdNSb
— Gaby Dow (@GabrielaDow) December 4, 2019
Watching democracy die https://t.co/VNiXZdZSIR
— MannequinHybrid (@MotJuinCattleya) December 4, 2019
This is some disgusting North Korea level bullshit. https://t.co/jT7Z8AQuOf
— Jeremy (@JeremyCman) December 4, 2019
The GOP is the new mob. Swear fealty and allegiance to the boss or die. Burn it to the ground and salt the earth where it stood. This is insanity. https://t.co/gSdHUrcDa2
— Science Suburbanman (@SciSuburb) December 4, 2019
‘Deranged Police State Fever Dream’: Internet Explodes Over Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Incredibly Fascist’ Video for 9/11
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.
GOD BLESS AMERICA! pic.twitter.com/VklXvWggKJ
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 11, 2019
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.”
This is not the start of a dystopian David Fincher movie about a cop who lost his mind (good guess!).
It’s a “banned from the Super Bowl” ad that skirted the rules and got conservative media attention. He cut off the logo of the t-shirt company at the endhttps://t.co/gjWNfKYcvF
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) September 11, 2019
Response to the disturbing clip was astonishment, confusion, anger, and outrage – and with many decrying it as clear fascism.
Take a look:
This video from Rudy honors the Republican tradition of using the memory of 9/11 to attack people who had absolutely nothing to do with it, and it’s incredibly fascist to boot. https://t.co/mgTxpLPgLT
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 11, 2019
Rudy Giuliani was always a fascist. Now he’s just more comfortable being open about it. https://t.co/NdfJGLqTOv
— דער ייִדישר אַרבּעטער (@JewishWorker) September 11, 2019
Rudy Giuliani was never more popular than the 3 months after 9/11/01. It was because he displayed empathy, compassion, and stoicism — not this deranged police state fever dream. https://t.co/zvY5EK1FAd
— Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) September 11, 2019
Wtf, Giuliani? On 9/11.
The theme moving forward — we’ll defend our minority rule, via all means necessary.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) September 11, 2019
Rudy’s been an out-fascist for a long, long time https://t.co/ZEg4AzL4OE
— Jason (@longwall26) September 11, 2019
Once upon a time, Rudy Giuliani was an attorney who understood the First Amendment. https://t.co/mgnjSbuwVo
— Bad Fox Graphics (@BadFoxGraphics) September 11, 2019
Well… Rudy is certainly on brand
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 11, 2019
welp it’s just Mayor 9/11 celebrating fascism on 9/11 day https://t.co/hkxrqSM7io
— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) September 11, 2019
nothing says “i remember 9/11 and respect the freedoms that were attacked” more than a video comparing social justice protesters to terrorists https://t.co/VFcyxhlzZu
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 11, 2019
not sure what’s more risible here: Giuliani’s slobbering fascism, or the fact that he has to use an unattributed commercial for a shitty clothing brand to do it https://t.co/qL4s76t63T
— Patrick Blanchfield (@PatBlanchfield) September 11, 2019
This is an ad for fascism, holy shit. I think Giuliani sucks, I’ve been worried about the right’s nationalism, etc, but I’m still floored at how explicitly pro-fascist this is. These protesters are protesting fascism, it’s on their sign, & this cop is gonna maul them for it. Wtf! https://t.co/wmi7ig5B8x
— Regular UltraDavid (@ultradavid) September 11, 2019
I’m sorry but this is deranged https://t.co/hgz4SjU4QS
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) September 11, 2019
Gaslighting America on 9/11? Now this is DEPLORABLE https://t.co/y9OlhEZRpS
— Cass OMalley 🏳️🌈 (@CassOMalley1) September 11, 2019
9-11 First Responders died so police could quash protest and deport immigrant families?
Rudy was a terrible mayor but he will be remembered mostly for being a pathetic Trump flack https://t.co/A0fqk5G9We
— Nathan Newman 🧭 (@nathansnewman) September 11, 2019
Holy fuck Rudy.
1. You just reminded everyone how you used the police against the Black community while you were NYC mayor…
2. …how you had to be hauled into court 20+ times over free speech violations.
3. If this is what’s on your “mind” on 9/11, you’re the problem. https://t.co/VHMPFNsJut
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) September 11, 2019
Because the true message of 9/11 is that we need riot police to beat up some protestors https://t.co/GJdQepBNxt
— 🕷Dante Atkins🕷 (@DanteAtkins) September 11, 2019
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