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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‘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
Conservative Operatives Allied With the Trump White House Are Acquiring ‘Dirt’ on Journalists and Their Families
President Donald Trump’s war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump’s allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they “aggressively investigated” him.
The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.
“If the @nytimes thinks this settles the matter we can expose a few of their other bigots,” Schwartz tweeted, responding to an apology from a Times reporter who tweeted something anti-Semitic long ago. “Lots more where this came from.”
Those familiar with the operation explained that there are decades worth of public posts these conservative operatives have gathered to go on the attack as the 2020 election goes into full force.
“It is not possible to independently assess the claims about the quantity or potential significance of the material the pro-Trump network has assembled. Some involved in the operation have histories of bluster and exaggeration. And those willing to describe its techniques and goals may be trying to intimidate journalists or their employers,” The Times explained.
This isn’t the first time the public is hearing about a war between conservatives and specific journalists. CNN reported in 2016 that Fox News had built a dossier on a reporter who was writing a book at Roger Ailes.
In leaked documents acquired by NBC 7 San Diego, a secret database was revealed showing Trump’s government is watching at least ten journalists and immigration advocates. The advocates had ties to groups like Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras, neither of which are extremist groups.
According to The Times, the information published so far has removed all of the contexts and presenting the comments in a misleading way. The goal is to harm the targets professionally.
Trump Chillingly Tells Students’ Group the Constitution Gives Him ‘The Right to Do Whatever I Want as President’
Maybe the students attending Turning Point USA’s Teen Action Summit weren’t paying attention in whatever civics or history classes they recently took, but President Donald Trump on Tuesday went unchallenged when he told attendees the U.S. Constitution gives him unlimited power.
“Then I have an Article Two, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said.
Article Two, which defines the executive branch, including outlining impeachment, does not in any manner suggest the President has unlimited powers or the right to do whatever he wants.
Here’s President Trump making this chilling and fascistic claim in Washington, D.C. earlier today:
TRUMP: “Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
(Article 2 does not in fact empower the president to do whatever they want.) pic.twitter.com/qIFP1AbHw6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 23, 2019
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