Larger media have picked up on Tennessee's sideways-in attempt to find ways to hurt queer couples and their children. Turns out it's a multi-pronged attack. Go fig. Meanwhile, in Texas, they're trying to pass a bill to let doctors lie to pregnant women about the health of their foetus if the doctors think the woman might seek an abortion. This is abominable and in many cases life-threatening, not that they have any fucks to give about that. In other "women, fuck 'em, am I rite?" Trump greeted governors by welcoming them 'and their wives,' ignoring the women governors in the room.
Republican leadership response to the town hall pressure is to put up the ACA repeal they want, and dare their hesitant members to vote against repeal. I think this will probably work.
Yesterday was a terrible day for both truth/reality-based policy, and minority and immigrant policy. First, as expected (and predicted yesterday), the Republicans voted down the attempt to advance debate on Trump-Russia allegations. No surprise, but bad.
Second, the story is item four, but for the first source, LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE CRAP AS TRUMP IMPLIES ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM IS A FALSE FLAG. This is straight-up anti-Semitic neo-Nazi bullshit. Rightist Facebook has been saying for weeks that it's all liberal false-flags and/or just fake; now we've got Trump apparently going along with it. Fuck. That.
Third, Sessions's use of his office to enable minority suppression continues, announcing that the DOJ will 'pull back' on civil rights suits against excessive force by police departments. He also threw out the Justice Department reports on Ferguson and Chicago policing sight-unseen - except for summaries, which he scanned and declared "anecdotal," despite being years of research. To wit: if you want to do anything about police abuses and police violence, you're going to have to do it at state and local levels. And the Feds will have the attackers backs.
Trump also lied again about the US murder rate. I'm not going to repeat the figure, because the whole point of these lies is to take advantage of a failing of logic in the brain, to wit: IF YOU HEAR A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH, YOU WILL START TO BELIEVE IT, EVEN IF YOU KNOW IT'S A LIE.
The US murder rate - and crime rate in general - has been falling for years.
Trump knows that.
The lie is to make people start believing otherwise, in order to grow support for police crackdowns against targeted minority groups.
Similarly, it is a measured fact across many studies that immigrants are LESS likely to commit crimes than citizens. Trump spent a fair amount of time lying about that, as well. He's also setting up a US government agency to promote these lies, by generating propaganda about crimes committed by immigrants. The intent is to make immigrant crime seem pervasive, when it is actually less common than crimes by citizens, and yes, that's per capita. The intent past that, again, is to grow support for racist crackdowns.
Beyond that, on this topic, you never hear Trump mention The New York Times without a particular adjective. What adjective came to mind? I bet you know. THIS IS THE SAME EXPLOIT. This is why I will henceforth often be referring to The Resurgent New York Times, as a counter-measure. (Given their climbing subscription numbers, it is even truthful.)
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Tennessee has declared war on same-sex families: Inside the legislation that would eradicate nearly all rights for LGBT couples
A brace of bills in the Tennessee statehouse is aimed at rolling back gains made by during Obama administration
Nico Lang | Salon
27 February 2017
Heather MacKenzie bought her wedding ring at Wal-Mart. MacKenzie, now 38, proposed to her wife, Charitey, by driving to the top of Tiger Hill in Murfreesboro, a town located near the couple’s Tennessee home. The hill, a favorite spot for preteen sledders during the winter, looks over the entire town, as well as the vast expanse of the surrounding area. This was where the MacKenzies had their first date.
The pair said “I do” in June 2015, just days after the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalized marriage between same-sex couples in their state. The MacKenzies were wed in Nashville in front of the courthouse under a magnolia tree.
Over a year later, the couple are expecting a child: Charitey is 12 weeks pregnant with a son. A trio of recently proposed laws, however, could jeopardize the future of their growing clan. This legislation seeks to erase any hint of legal recognition for LGBT couples in Tennessee, all but declaring war on the families of same-sex parents living in the state.
Filed by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, House Bill 1406 would prevent a couple from listing on the birth certificate the second parent (the spouse not giving birth) after a woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination. The legislation would nullify a provision of the Tennessee Code Annotated 68-3-306, which was issued as part of the Vital Records Act of 1977. The law states, “A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”
If Weaver’s bill passes, Heather would not be considered the legal guardian of the child on the way. In order to gain that status, she would have to file for a second-parent adoption, a process that’s both costly and time intensive. The couple is raising a daughter the two adopted four years ago and it cost $6,500 for Heather and Chariety to gain her custody.
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GOP’s New Plan to Repeal Obamacare: Dare Fellow Republicans to Block Effort
GOP lawmakers gamble that setting bill in motion to strike Affordable Care Act will help break through intraparty disagreements
by Louise Radnofsky, Kristina Peterson and Stephanie Armour | The Wall Street Journal
27 February 2017
Republican leaders are betting that the only way for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act is to set a bill in motion and gamble that fellow GOP lawmakers won’t dare to block it.
Party leaders are poised to act on the strategy as early as this week, after it has become obvious they can’t craft a proposal that will carry an easy majority in either chamber. Lawmakers return to Washington Monday after a week of raucous town halls in their districts that amplified pressure on Republicans to forge ahead with their health-care plans.
Republican leaders pursuing the ‘now or never’ approach see it as their best chance to break through irreconcilable demands by Republican centrists and conservatives over issues ranging from tax credits to the future of Medicaid. The new strategy means the health-care law could be overhauled in three precarious steps -- reflecting the difficulties of concurrently repealing and replacing the law, as President Donald Trump had sought.
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Texas Lawmakers Advance Bill That Would Allow Doctors to Lie to Pregnant Women
Posted By Alex Zielinski on Mon, Feb 27, 2017
San Antonio Current
This morning, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs unanimously passed a bill on to the full Senate that would let the government decide what a pregnant woman deserves to know about the health of her unborn child.
Committee members, it appears, believe it should be up to the doctor to decide if a pregnant woman should know she's carrying a fetus with severe disabilities — especially if the doctor suspects she'll have an abortion if she finds out. If passed, the law would make it impossible for Texans to sue a doctor for intentionally withholding this kind of information about a fetus' health.
"It shouldn't be the policy for the state of Texas to excuse doctors from lying to their patients," said Blake Rocap, policy advisor for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, in his testimony before the committee. "That's what this bill does."
Supporters testified that Senate Bill 25 would protect doctor's rights and show respect to disabled children. Opponents said that disability rights argument is hollow, and simply a veiled attempt to undermine the basic liberties of Texas women.
"This bill places a unreasonable restriction on the constitutional right of a woman to make an informed decision about whether or not to have an abortion," said Margaret Johnson, testifying in front of the committee on behalf of the Texas League of Women Voters. "SB 25 is a not-so-subtle way to give medical personnel the opportunity to impose religious beliefs on women."
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Trump Says "Sometimes It's The Reverse," When Asked About Anti-Semitic Threats And Attacks
BuzzFeed News (on their Facebook page for some reason)
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
[ETA: Also at https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/trump-says-sometimes-its-the-reverse-when-asked-about-anti-s?utm_term=.grJ4Ez5o5#.tbzrA8BpB ]
WASHINGTON — Asked about the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks and threats across the nation, President Trump on Tuesday told a group of state attorneys general that "sometimes it's the reverse," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said of Trump’s comments in his and other officials' meeting with the president.
"He just said, 'Sometimes it's the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad,' and he used the word 'reverse' I would say two to three times in his comments," Shapiro said. "He did correctly say at the top that it was reprehensible."
Asked for further information about the purpose of the president's comments, Shapiro only said, "I really don't know what he means, or why he said that,” adding that Trump said he would be speaking about the issue in his remarks on Tuesday night.
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Republicans vote down attempt to advance debate on Trump-Russia allegations
By Mike DeBonis February 28 at 6:43 PM
The Washington Post
Republicans on Tuesday stifled a Democratic attempt to force the Justice Department to produce records related to its investigation of whether Donald Trump and his campaign had secret ties to Russia. A powerful GOP committee chairman said, however, that he would urge federal authorities to continue their probe.
The party-line House Judiciary Committee vote concerned a “resolution of inquiry,” an obscure legislative maneuver that allows Congress to demand documents from the executive branch. Under House rules, such a resolution must be debated in committee or be sent directly to the House floor.
The resolution was among the steps that members of the Democratic minority in the House have taken to pressure the GOP to toughen its oversight of President Trump and his administration. It asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide records that pertain to any “criminal or counterintelligence investigation” into Trump, his White House team or certain campaign associates; any investment made by a foreign power or agent thereof in Trump’s businesses; Trump’s plans to distance himself from his business empire; and any Trump-related examination of federal conflict of interest laws or the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
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Trump Greeted The Nation's Governors By Welcoming Them 'And Their Wives'
There are female governors in this country.
By Jennifer Bendery | The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump hosted the nation’s governors at the White House on Sunday night and welcomed them and their families ― well, the married male governors with daughters, anyway.
“He welcomed all the governors, their wives and their daughters last night,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told The Huffington Post on Monday. “It was weird.”
Brown, one of four female governors in the U.S., took the slight in stride.
“It was just ― I’ve been there before,” she said. “I think people forget that there are female governors in the world.”
Other women in charge of states include Govs. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) and Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.).
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AG Sessions Says DOJ to ‘Pull Back’ on Police Department Civil Rights Suits
by Pete Williams | NBC News
Feb 28 2017
Donald Trump's attorney general said Tuesday the Justice Department will limit its use of a tactic employed aggressively under President Obama — suing police departments for violating the civil rights of minorities.
"We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I'm afraid we've done some of that," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"So we're going to try to pull back on this," he told a meeting of the nation's state attorneys general in Washington.
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Sessions questions Justice Department reports on Ferguson and Chicago policing
By Adam Kelsey and Mike Levine
Feb 27, 2017, 8:38 PM ET
Newly minted Attorney General Jeff Sessions questioned reports published by his agency about policing in Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri, describing "some of it" as "pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically based."
While admitting that he had not read the reports, but instead viewed summaries, Sessions questioned the department's findings using the "anecdotal" critique and cautioned that there will always be some mistakes.
The Chicago investigation, released in January, found "systemic deficiencies" in the city's police department including violations of the U.S. Constitution.
The 161-page report, capping a year-long investigation, identified the use of deadly force by officers, "racially discriminatory conduct," a lack of investigation into cases, unfair advancement policies and poor support for officer welfare as areas warranting reform.
"In the course of its pattern or practice investigation, the department interviewed and met with city leaders, current and former police officials, and numerous officers throughout all ranks of CPD," the DOJ said in a release at the time.
"The department also accompanied line officers on over 60 ride-alongs in every police district; heard from over 1,000 community members and more than 90 community organizations; reviewed thousands of pages of police documents, including all relevant policies, procedures, training and materials; and analyzed a randomized, representative sample of force reports and the investigative files for incidents that occurred between January 2011 and April 2016, including over 170 officer-involved shooting investigations and documents related to over 400 additional force incidents."
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Trump falsely claims US murder rate is 'highest' in 47 years
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Updated 4:04 PM ET, Tue February 7, 2017
[Okay, here's the thing: IF PEOPLE HEAR A LIE ENOUGH TIMES THEY START TO BELIEVE IT'S TRUE, EVEN IF THEY KNOW BETTER. This is what he's doing, and he's doing it intentionally. That's what this story is about, that's what item 10 is about, it's why he literally used to keep a book of Hitler's speeches by his bed. It's _also_ why he keeps going after the New York Times in the same way. Every time he mentions The New York Times, there's an extra word in it, and it's the same word, and _I bet you know that word_, because your brain has _already_ associated them. This is why we need to write and talk about the RESURGENT New York Times all the time, and I think I need to write a separate post about this because it's important. ]
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump continues to decry a record-high murder rate that simply doesn't exist.
The President said Tuesday that the US murder rate "is the highest it's been in 47 years."
"I'd say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn't like to tell it like it is," Trump said during a meeting with US sheriffs at the White House. "It wasn't to their advantage to say that. The murder rate is the highest it's been in I guess 45-47 years."
But the reason there's no reporting on a 45- or 47-year high murder rate is because the US murder rate isn't even close to such record highs.
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Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
The (Resurgent) New York Times
JAN. 26, 2017
A central point of an executive order President Trump signed on Wednesday — and a mainstay of his campaign speeches — is the view that undocumented immigrants pose a threat to public safety.
But several studies, over many years, have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. And experts say the available evidence does not support the idea that undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crime.
“There’s no way I can mess with the numbers to get a different conclusion,” said Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, which advocates more liberal immigration laws.
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‘How genocides begin’: Internet stunned by Trump plan to set up VOICE program targeting immigrants
Tom Boggioni | Raw Story
28 Feb 2017 at 22:21 ET
President Donald Trump drew audible gasps from the assembled Congressional members as he announced that he had asked Homeland Security to create an office called VOICE: Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement.
It was hinted earlier in the day that VOICE would work with ICE as a liaison with “known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens,” presumably to highlight specific crimes when immigrants were involved.
While some Congressional members gasped, those following Trump’s speech and commenting on Twitter noted that VOICE would be used as a propaganda tool to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria, with one person noting this is “how genocides begin.”