Via Washington Post reports:
The Trump White House on Monday instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, escalating a standoff that threatens to impede the transfer of power and prompting the Biden team to consider legal action.
Officials at agencies across the government who had prepared briefing books and carved out office space for the incoming Biden team to use as soon as this week were told instead that the transition would not be recognized until the Democrat’s election was confirmed by the General Services Administration.
The team is evaluating its legal options and growing increasingly alarmed that the stalemate could drag on and impede its work. The campaign has prepared for weeks for the possibility that Trump would not move forward with a peaceful transfer of power.
On Tuesday, the coronavirus’ U.S. fatality toll topped 227,000 Americans dead and the nation averaging more than 70,000 – 90,000 new cases per day. Ironically also on Tuesday the Trump administration triumphantly declared victory over the COVID-19 pandemic in a new 62-page report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy listing what it claims are the scientific and technological accomplishments during Donald Trump’s first term which includes “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.”
Despite the fact that the pandemic is far from over thanks in no small part to the Trump administration’s mishandled response this new falsified report proves that the Trump administration has not only surrendered to the pandemic but is also trying to to steer public attention away from its failure to control the spread.
A recent report from Columbia University estimates that the “abject failures” of government agencies under Trump resulted in between 130,000 and 210,000 avoidable deaths attributable to COVID-19. Meanwhile Trump Trump is pushing insane, conspiracy theories that the media is trying to sow fear ahead of the election and that health officials are exaggerating COVID-19 deaths because “doctors get more money and hospitals get more money.”
Just one month after a gunman shot and killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. House Republicans on Tuesday plan to hear a bill that would enable widespread discrimination against LGBT people. The legislation, “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) is the idea that discrimination should be excused when it is justified by religion.
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans to consider FADA. The anti-LGBT bill has 171 different co-sponsors, nearly all of them Republicans.
FADA grants special rights to individuals with a “religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” and it extends special treatment to individuals with anti-LGBT so called “religious beliefs”.
The core provision of FADA “the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with” a religious objection to marriage equality or a faith-based belief that sexual relations must be reserved to a marriage between people of the opposite sex. Subsequent provisions define the term “discriminatory action” to include a broad range of sanctions against religious objectors who themselves engage in discrimination. The government cannot deny tax subsidies to religious objectors who discriminate against LGBT people, or deny them a grant or benefit, or, under a catch-all provision, “otherwise discriminate against such person.”
FADA would also roll back critical protections for LGBTQ people and their families, a majority of which were implemented under the Obama Administration. Here are just some of the protections that FADA could weaken:
- Executive Order 11,246 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. However, under FADA, the federal government would be required to continue to contract with a business with a record of discriminatory employment practices against married gays and lesbians if that employer cited their belief that same-sex marriage was wrong as the reason for the discrimination.
- Currently, hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid must allow a patient to have any visitor they request—including a same-sex spouse. Under FADA, a hospital could state that allowing such visits would sanction same-sex marriage and would be a violation of their religious liberty.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development has also recently issued guidance that shelters receiving HUD grants must not discriminate against same-sex married couples. An organization could cite FADA and provide their religious conviction against same-sex marriage as a reason to put a same-sex couple back on the street.
- Despite protections in the Fair Housing Act and strong administrative guidance from HUD, commercial landlords could be empowered to violate fair housing laws by refusing housing to a single mother or same-sex couple based on religious belief that sexual relations are reserved to different-sex married couples.
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides explicit protections from discrimination against LGBTQ beneficiaries. However, under FADA, an emergency shelter receiving VAWA funds to provide services for survivors of intimate partner violence could turn away someone in a same-sex marriage because of their personal religious belief.
- The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act grants a statutory right to 12 weeks of leave for personal illness or caregiving – including caring for a spouse. The Department of Labor has issued clear administrative guidance that these rights extend to same-sex married couples. However, under FADA, closely held businesses or not-for-profit organizations would be allowed to discriminate by refusing to let an employee care for their sick same-sex spouse despite these clear federal protections.
Although President Obama would surely veto the bill, both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have promised to sign it.
“Tina! BRING ME THE AX!’
The United States Senate today voted 56-43, NOT TO APPROVE a motion to invoke cloture and move to consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, containing both the DREAM Act and the DADT repeal amendments.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted “no” on the motion to invoke cloture, reportedly a procedural move so he can bring the bill back to the floor at some point for another vote. If Reid had voted “yes”, that would not be possible.
All Republicans voted “no.” (FUCK YOU ALL!) And aside from Reid as noted above, the only two Democrats who voted “no” were Sen. Blache (Lame Duck) Lincoln and Sen. Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas.
The probability that a DADT Repeal will now bw passed over the next few years if the Republicans take the Seante in November are almost ZERO.
This is not unexpected, but still beyond fucking disgusting. And as for the COMPLETELY FUCKING USELESS Democrats and our “fierce advocate” they have but a few days to seize the moral high ground here and issue an immediate executive order stopping all DADT dismissals but most probably the next kick to the balls will be Obama and the DOJ appealing the court ruling that found DADT unconstitutional.
Only in the US Senate can a vote of 56-43 be a loss. Sheer madness..
And speaking of Madness. The Democrtaic Senate Press Conference will not have actual groups were involved in the repeal effort standing there but none other Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign!
God, I need a drink. And a VISA.