Wednesday, February 01, 2017

NEWS: 8-Year-Old American Girl Killed, Steve Bannon, No Justice No Super Bowl, Ukraine War, Republicans Ignore Senate Rules, Anti-LGBT Discrimination, Bone Marrow, Trump Unhinged, Standing Rock 2.0

Draft Of Executive Order On “Religious Freedom” Unveils Sweeping Plan To Legalize Anti-LGBT Discrimination: “It’s Shocking in Scope”
Obtained by The Nation and The Investigative Fund, the four-page document, “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” unveils a sweeping agenda to enshrine discrimination. If signed, it would grant broad exemptions for businesses and individuals to discriminate in employment, housing, goods and services—even government contracts—based on gender identity, sexual orientation, reproductive choices and more. The order would also protect the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that act in accordance with the belief that “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life.” If the EO is signed, adoption agencies could deny children to gay parents, schools could fire transgender teachers, and Kim Davis could go back to denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. “It’s shocking in scope,” Maggie Garrett of Americans United for Separation of Church and State told Reveal. “It uses religion as an excuse to discriminate against almost anyone. It targets LGBT people and women, but those of minority faiths and non-theists and almost anyone else will be affected.” READ MORE

No Justice, No Super Bowl: Real Patriots Won’t Be in the Stadium, They Will Be Outside — Shutting the Super Bowl Down
There is no question — the United States has been taken over by a neo-Confederate, white nationalist that has begun completely dismantling the federal government and cleansing the nation of its minority populations. The Trump led GOP has already succeeded in taking steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ban Muslims, dismantle the Department of Justice and shut out the media. He has all but castrated the authority of the EPA, the FDA and the State Department. He has placed a gag order on all federal agencies, placed the former executive of a white supremacist publication at the head of National Security and is planning to lift sanctions on Russia. He wants to make the people pay for a racist wall between the United States and Mexico, increase law enforcement and pass additional Jim Crow laws to kill, deport and arrest minorities, and has all but taken the first steps towards World War III. READ MORE

Gay Men Can Now Donate Life-Saving Bone Marrow. Will Blood Follow? 
The impact of allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood is impossible to underestimate. In 2014, a report from UCLA's The Williams Institute found that striking down the ban on MSM donations could increase the blood supply by 4 percent each year and could help save the lives of more than a million people. Be the Match, a nationwide organization that helps potential volunteers sign up for the National Bone Marrow Registry, relaxed its policies on MSM donation in December 2015. While Be the Match said lifting the MSM tissue ban has generated excitement among LGBTQ donors, few are initially aware of the policy change. READ MORE

Deadly Yemen Raid That Killed American Girl ‘Approved by Trump’
President Donald Trump personally approved the U.S. raid in Yemen that reportedly left two Americans dead—a Navy SEAL and an 8-year-old girl. The Guardian reported Wednesday that U.S. military sources confirmed Trump’s ties to the raid, which was launched to obtain intelligence on operations by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and during which 14 people died. It is the subject of a preliminary inquiry to discover whether the claims about civilian deaths merit a full investigation. READ MORE

Trump Hijacks Black History Month Event With Unhinged Rants About Fake News And The Media
President Trump couldn't help himself. During what was supposed to be a listening event, Trump hijacked the platform to complain about fake news, media bias, and to call the press the opposition party. READ MORE

New Fight Ahead for Standing Rock Sioux 
The Trump administration is preparing to remove a major obstacle to construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, North Dakota lawmakers said Tuesday — news that will reopen a fight with an American Indian tribe that has protested against the contentious energy project. In a statement, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said the Pentagon will notify Congress shortly that the Army Corps of Engineers is granting an easement needed to let the pipeline cross below Lake Oahe. In December, the Obama administration put the easement on hold to allow for a more thorough environmental review and consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux, who have opposed the pipeline project, which crosses Lake Oahe, the source of their water supply, half a mile from the reservation. READ MORE

Facing Democrats Obstruction, Republicans Ignore Senate Rules and Do Whatever the Fuck They Want
After Democrats refused to show up for the vote on Cabinet nominees Steven Mnuchin and Rep. Tom Price—an obstruction tactic waged amid intense pressure from the left, which has strengthened in reaction to Trump’s absolutely terrifying first week—Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has, as the Washington Post puts it, “suspended his committee’s rules” and advanced both nominees anyway. Quorum rules require a member of the minority party to participate in confirmation votes. “Today, for the first time in history, the Senate Finance Committee broke the rules to push through on a partisan basis two nominees,” the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden, said in a statement. READ MORE

While Trump Fiddles, Putin Steps Up The War in Ukraine
Using artillery, tanks and rockets, combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian forces along the front lines in eastern Ukraine on Sunday and early Monday morning, highlighting once again that the February 2015 ceasefire has failed. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 Ukrainians, and displaced about 1.7 million people, according to estimates by the U.N. and other humanitarian aid groups. The conflict—Europe’s only ongoing land war—retains the potential to escalate into a major, larger conflagration. READ MORE

Steve Bannon (L) and Donald Trump (R)
This Is How White Supremacist Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World 
Donald Trump’s newly named chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon laid out his global nationalist vision in unusually in-depth remarks delivered by Skype to a conference held inside the Vatican in the summer of 2014. Well before victories for Brexit and Trump seemed possible, Bannon declared there was a “global tea party movement” and praised European far-right parties like Great Britain’s UKIP and France’s National Front. Bannon also suggested that a racist element in far-right parties “all gets kind of washed out,” and that the West was facing a “crisis of capitalism” after losing its “Judeo-Christian foundation,” and he blasted “crony capitalists” in Washington for failing to prosecute bank executives over the financial crisis. READ MORE

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