This week in the GOP’s war on the civil rights of women and LGBTQ

The House on Tuesday approved a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, advancing a key GOP priority for the third time in the past four years — this time, with a supportive Republican president in the White House. The purpose of the bill is to create a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, which provides for access to abortion in the first 24 weeks.  With Trump’s backing, House approves ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy:

The bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is not expected to emerge from the Senate, where most Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans can block its consideration. But antiabortion activists are calling President Trump’s endorsement of the bill a significant advance for their movement.

The White House said in a statement released Monday that the administration “strongly supports” the legislation “and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.”

The bill provides for abortions after 20 weeks gestation only when they are necessary to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Under the bill, abortions performed during that period could be carried out “only in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” — note, not the life of the mother — and would require a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation to be present.

How Arizona’s congressional delegation voted:

Stricter Abortion Ban: The House on Oct. 3 voted, 237-189, to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization on the belief that the fetus can feel pain by then. This repudiates Roe v. Wade’s ruling that abortion is legal up to viability that occurs at about 24 weeks or later. A yes vote was to pass HR 36

Voting yes: Martha McSally, R-2, Paul Gosar, R-4, Andy Biggs, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8

Voting no: Tom O’Halleran, D-1, Raul Grijalva, D-3, Ruben Gallego, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9

Women’s Health Exemption: The House on Oct. 3 defeated, 181-246, a bid by Democrats to add an overall woman’s health exemption to HR 36 to go with exemptions already in the bill in cases of incest or rape or to save the mother’s life. A yes vote was to permit abortions after 20 weeks if necessary to protect the mother’s health.

Voting Yes: O’Halleran, Grijalva, Gallego, Sinema

Voting No: McSally, Gosar, Biggs, Schweikert, Franks

On Friday, the Trump Administration Rolls Back Birth Control Mandate:

The Trump administration on Friday moved to expand the rights of employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception and issued sweeping guidance on religious freedom that critics said could also erode civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The twin actions, by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department, were meant to carry out a promise issued by President Trump five months ago, when he declared in the Rose Garden that “we will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted those words in issuing guidance to federal agencies and prosecutors, instructing them to take the position in court that workers, employers and organizations may claim broad exemptions from nondiscrimination laws on the basis of religious objections.

At the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services issued two rules rolling back a federal requirement that employers must include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. The rules offer an exemption to any employer that objects to covering contraception services on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.

More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration. Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose those benefits.

The contraceptive coverage mandate, issued by the Obama administration under the Affordable Care Act, removed cost as a barrier to birth control, a longtime goal of advocates for women’s rights. But the mandate ensnarled the federal government in more than five years of litigation, which overshadowed many other aspects of the health care law.

The rules issued on Friday prompted more lawsuits and threats of lawsuits. The attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, and the attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra, filed lawsuits to block the new rules, which took effect immediately.

Both said the rules violated the First Amendment, which bars government action “respecting an establishment of religion.”

* * *

The new initiatives came a day after Mr. Sessions changed the Justice Department’s position on a related issue: whether a ban on workplace discrimination on the basis of “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The Obama administration had adopted the view that it does cover transgender people, but Mr. Sessions said the department should take the position in court that it does not.

Mr. Sessions’s guidance issued on Friday directs federal agencies to review their regulations with an eye to expanding their protections for religious believers. Conservative religious individuals and organizations have objected for years to nondiscrimination laws that have affected whom they can hire and fire, whom they can serve and how they can operate. The new directive affords them far broader latitude.

Tea-Publicans are crafting a broad exception to civil rights laws amounting to a “license to discriminate,” or a “get out of jail free card” if you prefer, based upon an idividual’s religious beliefs.

An individual could claim that his or her individual religious beliefs, a religion of one — and there are more of these people out there than you realize — as opposed to the doctrine of an established religious organization, is a matter of their religious belief to discriminate against others on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or sexual identity. This broad exception would swallow the rule of law. Sessions Issues Blatant ‘License to Discriminate’ With ‘Religious Freedom’ Memo:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions intensified the Trump administration’s “all-out assault on LGBTQ people” Friday by issuing a “religious freedom” directive to federal agencies that rights groups said would “categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law.”

Outlined in a 25-page memo (pdf), the directive lays out the White House’s “muscular view of religious freedom” first expressed in an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in May. The memo details 20 “principles of religious liberty” to which all federal agencies will be expected to adhere.

“Under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override concerns for the civil rights of LGBT people and anti-discrimination protections for women and others,” the Associated Press noted. “The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.”

In crafting the policy guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) consulted extensively with “religious and political groups with a history of opposing protections for LGBT people,” but not “specifically” with any LGBTQ rights organizations, Buzzfeed reported on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, the DOJ’s directive was met with effusive praise by right-wing lawmakers and religious organizations, and fierce condemnation by civil rights groups that argue the Sessions memo constitutes little more than a “license to discriminate” against the LGBTQ community.

Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, said in a statement on Friday that the Sessions directive is a “blatant attempt to further Donald Trump’s cynical and hateful agenda.”

Justice Department policy as outlined in the new memo “will enable systemic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families,” Griffin concluded. “Donald Trump and [Vice President] Mike Pence have proven they will stop at nothing to target the LGBTQ community and drag our nation backwards. We will fight them every step of the way.”

HRC argued in its press release that the Sessions directive would allow:

  • Federal contractors to deny services to LGBTQ people.
  • “Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, [to] refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple simply because of who they are.”
  • “A Social Security Administration employee [to] refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse.”

The new DOJ memo comes amid a flurry of policy moves by the Trump administration this week that will disproportionately affect women and the LGBTQ community, including a rollback of the federal birth control mandate and a reversal of government policy that protected transgender workers from discrimination.

In a statement on Friday, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, argued that the Sessions directive is “yet another mean-spirited attack against the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other minorities.

“Federal agencies, government contractors, and grant recipients should not be permitted to discriminate simply by citing a religious belief for doing so,” Gupta concluded. “We urge the federal courts to reject the radical efforts by this administration to justify discrimination on the basis of religion. We are strengthened as a nation when we work to protect and balance the rights and dignity of all.”

Gail Collins of the New York Times sums up what has been a bad week for civil rights in America. Out of Control on Contraception:

This week in the world of Washington and sex:

— The House of Representatives passed a bill banning late-term abortions.

— One of the co-sponsors announced he was resigning from office after word came out that he had urged his lover to have an abortion.

— The anti-abortion Trump administration announced it was going to let employers off the hook if they didn’t want to cover contraception in their employee health programs.

Is anything wrong with this picture?

Many people of good will believe the country’s commitment to human rights makes abortion immoral. Fair enough. The best way to avoid abortions is to avoid unwanted pregnancy, which means making it as easy as possible for women to practice birth control.

How can you fight against both abortion and contraception? There are only two possible explanations.

One is that you’re a hypocritical politician trolling for right-to-life votes without any personal convictions whatsoever. The suddenly retiring congressman from Pennsylvania, Tim Murphy, would appear to fit into that category. Everyone in Washington has now read the text his girlfriend reportedly sent, complaining that he was making anti-abortion posts on his Facebook page while responding to her news that she might be pregnant by suggesting a quick termination.

Farewell, Representative Murphy. If you hadn’t been forced to resign, you’d probably have come up with a terrific post extolling President Trump’s announcement. Even though I’ll bet you were a contraception fan in private life.

Let’s call the second category Many Variations on the Little Sisters of the Poor. They’re people of sincere religious conviction, trying to impose their own personal theology on Americans who don’t share it.
Some of them claim, with no scientific backing, that birth control involves fertilized eggs being expelled from the uterus and is therefore abortion. Others just believe that it’s immoral for a woman to have sex without accepting the possibility of pregnancy.

“To put it simply, contraception is anti-baby,” says the American Life League on its website.

O.K., not a sentiment most Americans share.

When the Obama administration was putting the Affordable Care Act into operation, it struggled long and hard to allow employers with anti-contraception convictions to avoid directly providing the benefits, while making sure women still got birth control as part of their health care plan.

The Trump backtrack wasn’t about protecting employers’ right to express their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It was about empowering them to impose those beliefs on their workers. “A landmark day for religious liberty,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

No, it wasn’t. It was a tough day for the First Amendment, for the people who’ve been struggling to make unwanted pregnancies, and abortion, as rare as possible.

It worked really well, though, for the hypocrites who want to kowtow to the religious right without any concern for the inevitable consequences.

Too bad Representative Murphy won’t be around for the celebrations.

61 Responses to This week in the GOP’s war on the civil rights of women and LGBTQ

  1. Response to “Tom” posted out of sequence because the “reply” option was not available:

    “The more I learn about this Trump fellow the less I like him.”

    Did that really need to be said, Tom? In dozens of posts, your hatred of Trump has long been made clear.

    “…How do Republicans sleep at night, knowing that…[Trump] is doing everything he can to make [the situation in Puerto Rico] worse?”

    It is hard to identify a particular comment out, but this has to be one of the dumbest things you have written, Tom. Stating that the President of the United States is deliberately doing things to make the situation in Puerto Rico worse is intuitively a stupid thing to say. What possible reason would Trump have to deliberately hurt Puerto Rico and make things worse? More to the point, what has he done to deliberately make things worse?

    • Trump isn’t slightly concerned about Puerto Rico as evidenced by this morning’s tweets. This is the idiot (or moron to use Rex Tillerson’s word) you are always defending. One would hardly recognize these as statements from a president of the US, obsessing over the NFL etc… But, of course, we’re talking about Donald Trump.

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 33m33 minutes ago

      The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago

      Highly respected author, Christopher Bedford, just came out with book, “The Art of the Donald, Lessons from America’s….” Really good book!

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

      With Jamele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have “tanked,” in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

      Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

      The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration is that the Democrats don’t want secure borders,they don’t care about safety for U.S.A.

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

      Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!

    • In other words, Stevie the Troll, you are defending the stupidity and unprecedented nonsense and alarming behavior of the most incompetent joke of a “president” in the history of this country.

      • Are you saying that a President can ONLY concentrate his/her time and energy on one crisis at a time? I would be very worried if Trump did nothing but discuss Puerto Rico in his tweets and messages. Presidents MUST be able to deal with many issues at the same time. Life is more complex than that and a “one issue at a time” President cannot be tolerated.

        • Yeah, the NFL is a real crisis. He must deal with it.

          Also, that Twitter war on Senator Corker. Must be dealt with.

          • Oh, Liza, you are a case study of someone who demands to be offended. Thank goodness that you didn’t hold Obama to such outlandish standards. If you had, who would you hold up as a personal hero for others to admire?

    • Trump is at war with Senator Bob Corker. Isn’t that cute?

      So presidential.

    • And another GOP attack on healthcare is coming.

      • Notice Trump’s tweet above about “I will be using the power of the pen etc…”. Andy Slavitt explains (at link):

        Andy Slavitt‏Verified account
        @ASlavitt

        1/ I am leaving 4 intense days in DC & now have a very different theory of what’s going on in HC. Will tweet soon.

        Follow if interested.
        3:37 PM – 5 Oct 2017

        https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/916069859066286081

      • “And another GOP attack on healthcare is coming.”

        As stupid as another attack would be, did you really think that Trump and the GOP were finished? Tenacity is one of Trump’s hallmarks.

        • Being a racist asshole and a misogynist are his most obvious hallmarks. He may be tenacious, but in a bad way.

          No, I didn’t expect them to quit trying to destroy healthcare. The GOP is too evil, we’re talking evil from the depths of hell, nothing slight about it.

          And you support them. I don’t forget that either.

          • “And you support them.”

            I am not that much in lock step with the GOP. I disagree with them on healthcare and destroying the ACA just for the sake of destroying it. Health care is too important an issue to be dealt with in such a frivolous manner.

            “I don’t forget that either.”

            Liza, I doubt you have ever forgotten anything you considered a personal slight or transgression. Nor do I think you have forgotten, or forgiven, anyone who disagreed with you. In fact, I suspect you treasure those memories above all others…

          • “The GOP is too evil, we’re talking evil from the depths of hell, nothing slight about it.”

            I had to laugh out loud when I read that. You have led a blessed life in that you obviously have never confronted real evil before. My prayer for you is that you never do confront evil that is of sufficient import to make you realize how silly that statement is. May you always live in such innocence…

          • Since I’m such an awful person why don’t you just f*ck off?

            I certainly wouldn’t spend my time conversing with such an awful person.

          • This response to Liza is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            “Since I’m such an awful person why don’t you just f*ck off?”

            I did not say you are an awful person nor do I think I even implied that. I don’t think that you are a bad person at all. Quite the contrary, in fact; I think you are probably a very nice person with friends and family that like and love you very much. I just think that you are misinformed on some subjects and I offer you contrary opinions. Obviously, you can ignore what I say just as you always do.

            “I certainly wouldn’t spend my time conversing with such an awful person.”

            I think I would. It would be interesting to read what they have to say and try and understand what makes them tick. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on them, but who knows? It is possible I could learn something from them…

  2. Off topic…

    Vice President Pence‏Verified account
    @VP

    I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
    10:08 AM – 8 Oct 2017

    Vice President Pence‏Verified account @VP 43m43 minutes ago

    At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience…

    Vice President Pence‏Verified account @VP 42m42 minutes ago

    …now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us…

    Vice President Pence‏Verified account @VP 41m41 minutes ago

    While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem

    Vice President Pence‏Verified account @VP 40m40 minutes ago

    I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.

    • Nice to know that President Phat Phuc’s stand-in is also a moron.

    • This faux outrage about disrespecting the flag and the anthem is intended to redirect the attention of the low information white masses away from what Colin Kaepernick was protesting to begin with, police brutality.

      • “This faux outrage…”

        Actually, Liza, the outrage is real. Imagine that…

        • Yeah, DT is a gung-ho, flag waving patriot from way back (not).

          Donald Trump’s Draft Deferments: Four for College, One for Bad Feet
          By STEVE EDER and DAVE PHILIPPSAUG. 1, 2016

          Back in 1968, at the age of 22, Donald J. Trump seemed the picture of health.

          He stood 6 feet 2 inches with an athletic build; had played football, tennis and squash; and was taking up golf…

          But after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels.

          The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall, exempting him from military service as the United States was undertaking huge troop deployments to Southeast Asia, inducting about 300,000 men into the military that year.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-draft-record.html

          • “Donald Trump’s Draft Deferments: Four for College, One for Bad Feet”

            Liza, are you seriously contending that anyone during the Viet Nam years who received deferments and never served in the military are unpatriotic and/or cowardly? If so, then that description applies to a large number of your democrat heroes and leaders. Personally, having lived through that period, and after serving two tours of duty in Viet Nam, that seems a tad harsh.

          • No, I am referring specifically to Donald Trump’s hypocrisy not anyone else at this time. Furthermore, I think you know that.

          • This response to Liza is out of sequence because there were no “reply” options available.

            “No, I am referring specifically to Donald Trump’s hypocrisy not anyone else at this time.”

            That hardly seems fair. You hold Trump to a higher standard than other people who did the same thing just so you can criticize him? That is not only unfair, it is illogical.

            “Furthermore, I think you know that.”

            No, I honestly did not know that. It was so illogical and unfair that it would never occur to me that was what you meant.

    • THE MAINSTREAMING OF COLIN KAEPERNICK’S PROTEST WAS ITS DESTRUCTION
      Trevor Beaulieu
      October 5 2017, 12:53 p.m.

      For more than a year, despite the attention, shows of support from Kaepernick’s fellow NFL players were relatively few and scattered. That changed on September 22 when Trump addressed a crowd at a rally in Alabama. Trump told the crowd, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out! He’s fired!’” Days later, on Twitter, Trump cast his opposition as being “about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem.”

      Trump’s remarks succeeded in singlehandedly shifting the discourse around Kaepernick’s protest. Whether it was a masterstroke or he stumbled into it, Trump turned the #TakeAKnee protests into a circus that rendered the gesture impotent.

      The national debate was no longer about the state-sanctioned murder of black people. Instead, it became the type of liberal-versus-conservative culture war bickering that typically dominates the news cycle. Talking heads began debating the issue in terms of free speech, anti-Trump #resistance talk. Think pieces popped up expounding on whether patriotic displays belong at NFL games, and how much the NFL was paid by the government to have them.

      https://theintercept.com/2017/10/05/colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protest-trump-nfl/

      • “THE MAINSTREAMING OF COLIN KAEPERNICK’S PROTEST WAS ITS DESTRUCTION”

        I find that rather funny. In the rush of faux outrage at what Trump said, those who fell all over themselves to jump on board the Kaepernick bus, took the oomph! out of what he had to say. I would bet that a significant number of those late comer, eager beavers, jumping up and down and saying “Me, too! Me, too!” likely had no idea what Kaepernick was protesting.

        Even though I find the situation funny, I must admit I feel a bit bad for Kaepernick. He genuinely believes in his cause and he took a lot of heat for it but stood his ground. I can, and do, respect him for that despite my firm belief he was wrong headed in the venue he chose to make his protest.

    • His colleagues, past & present, refer to him as Dense Pence for a reason…

      • One heartbeat away from the presidency…

        • Perhaps not. He seems to be involved with the Russian collusion up to his eyeballs, especially the obstruction of justice part. Best case scenario is winning back the House & Senate (not too confident of that with the DSCC & DCCC promoting lousy candidates) and then having Mueller lowering the boom.

      • “His colleagues, past & present, refer to him as Dense Pence for a reason…”

        Two points:

        (1) I read quite a bit, have an interest in the Trump Administration, and I was very aware during the 2016 election. I also follow this blog very carefully. It is very strange that I never read or heard the term “Dense Pence” until you mentioned it here, just now.

        (2) His “colleagues” refer to him as that, of just his political adversaries? There is a big difference.

        • Point 1. True, it hasn’t been mentioned on this blog.

          Point 2. It was his colleagues on both side of the aisle when he was an Indiana state politician.

          Only a dense person (like Pence) would enact constructive policies that are grounded in irrefutable science, like needle exchange programs, be trumped by his personal religious beliefs. Rates of HIV infections from dirty needles were going down until he overturned that policy. Then the HIV rates started shooting up again. The citizens of Indiana had Pence’s number which is why he probably would have not gotten another term as governor.

          • Edited for clarity: Only a dense person (like Pence) would allow constructive policies that are grounded in irrefutable science, like needle exchange programs, be trumped by his personal religious beliefs. Rates of HIV infections from dirty needles were going down until he overturned that policy. Then the HIV rates started shooting up again. The citizens of Indiana had Pence’s number which is why he probably would have not gotten another term as governor.

    • And for Phat Phuc’s VP to hop on this bandwagon at this time trying to make a news spectacle just shows me what a stupid mofo he is, perhaps worse than Trump. (Oh, God, did I really say that?)

      He wants so badly to be the president. Mostly lying low, waiting for Trump to implode, yet appearing at times to have his head so far up Trump’s ass he can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (ha ha, that just sort of came out while I was writing).

      God help us.

    • Ted Lieu‏Verified account @tedlieu 2m2 minutes ago

      Dear @VP: I served on active duty. Did you? Soldiers-including your father-fought to defend the Constitution, including freedom of speech.

    • I read this was staged. Phat Phuc confirms.

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 45m45 minutes ago

      I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.

    • Yep. This is what they do because they are too incompetent to govern.

      Tariq Nasheed‏Verified account @tariqnasheed 1h1 hour ago

      The whole “Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game over kneeling” ruse was just a publicity stunt to galvanize Trump’s anti-Black support base

      • “The whole “Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game over kneeling” ruse was just a publicity stunt…”

        Even if it was a publicity stunt, it worked. It got the point across quite nicely.

        • Perhaps on Fox News. Elsewhere, not so much.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Pence is a messy bitch who lives for drama.

            The stunt cost the American taxpayer $250,000.00 USD, for Pence and “mother” and SS detail to fly to the game for ten minutes and then back.

            “Until 2009, no NFL player stood for the national anthem because players actually stayed in the locker room as the anthem played,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith explained in 2016.

            NFL players is part of the Paid Patriotism scandal that cost US taxpayers millions of dollars.

            Come to think of it, Trump is a messy bitch who lives for drama, too. And come to think of it, Trump is the Queen Messy Bitch.

          • “Perhaps on Fox News. Elsewhere, not so much.”

            On the contrary, they were just discussing it on ABC World News at 6:00pm tonight. And on the day it occurred, all the major news networks were talking about it. Also, the big hoopla the left is making about how expensive the event was to “stage” is also ensuring that the subject remains in the news far longer than it would otherwise have been. After all, one cannot complain about the cost without describing what happened. The whole event made a big splash in the news and the whining about the cost is making certain that more people hear about what happened than would otherwise have been the case.

    • Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico…

      Carmen Yulín Cruz‏Verified account @CarmenYulinCruz 16h16 hours ago

      Increasingly painful to undestand the american people want to help and US Gov does not want to help. WE NEED WATER! @UN @washingtonpost

      • While this is happening to American citizens, the so called president and his vice president are engaged in silly stunts that they think will please their racist flag waving supporters and detract from their inability to govern.

      • FEMA director: ‘We filtered out’ San Juan mayor ‘a long time ago’

        By CONNOR O’BRIEN 10/08/2017 10:36 AM EDT

        In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” FEMA administrator Brock Long brushed off criticism from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has slammed the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. Cruz tweeted earlier Sunday that requests for assistance from FEMA in response to power outages at a San Juan hospital had gone unanswered.

        “We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise,” Long said. “The bottom line is, is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor.”

        http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/08/fema-san-juan-mayor-long-243575

      • If you’re on Trump’s “team”, it helps if you’re an a$$hole.

      • Sunday night, talkin’ trash …

        Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago

        Nobody could have done what I’ve done for #PuertoRico with so little appreciation. So much work!

        https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/917172144710103040

      • “…US Gov does not want to help.”

        Baloney! The government has done a lot and delivered tons of relief supplies. Shiploads of supplies have been unloaded and are available. When does Puerto Rico start doing something for itself? Where is the Puerto Rican National Guard and it’s assets? Surely the Puerto Rican people are capable of doing something to help themselves in conjunction with the outside aid that has been pouring in.

        • It is not “outside aid” you dumb fool (not the word I wrote and then changed). They are American citizens.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Trump just let the Jones Act waiver expire, effectively doubling the cost of food and water for Puerto Rico.

            The more I learn about this Trump fellow the less I like him.

            How do Republicans sleep at night, knowing that 4 million Americans are suffering and the leader of their party is doing everything he can to make it worse?

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Funny how the GOP claims to hate regulation and says government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers, but the Jones Act is government regulation, and it’s designed to pick winners and losers.

            Today’s GOP – Full of Shit Since 1980.

          • “It is not “outside aid” you dumb fool…”

            Puerto Rico is an island. Anything that is moved to the island comes from outside the island. Ergo, “outside aid”. It really wasn’t a hard to grasp concept, Liza.

    • How much did Pence’s stunt cost the American taxpayers? Do the math.

      Kevin Liptak‏Verified account
      @Kevinliptakcnn

      A C32 (AF2) costs $42,936/hour. Pence flew 2.5 hours from Vegas to Indianapolis and then flew back to LA
      12:12 PM – 8 Oct 2017

    • Mike Pence should be required to reimburse the taxpayers for his stunt today.

      Stupid mofo.

    • I can see why you are so disgusted…first of all, Pence is Trump’s VP. He could state that “Kittens are cute and puppies are fun!” and you would still be disgusted by what he had to say. You are hard wired that way.

      Second, Pence is speaking favorably about patriotism, our troops, the flag and respect for the National Anthem…all subjects the left finds irritating and, yes, even disgusting, at times. Again, you can’t help yourself, Liza.

      • GTFOH.

        Trump and Pence staged a stunt at a football game at the expense of the American taxpayers.

        PERIOD.

        • “Trump and Pence staged a stunt at a football game at the expense of the American taxpayers.”

          I am sure it was a staggering expense worth all the anxiety and garment rending taking place among leftists. Liza, your reaction is an example of “faux outrage”. You couldn’t care less about the expense but you love the opportunity to vocalize your hatred of Trump and associates.

          • Actually, it was a huge expense for a stunt.

            A lot of Americans work their asses off to pay their taxes while your heroes spend them on stunts.

            That is DISRESPECT.

        • “A lot of Americans work their asses off to pay their taxes while your heroes spend them on stunts.

          Have you hiding incommunicado for most of your life? ALL politicians squander taxpayer funds on stunts and boondoggles while in office. Even the sainted Obama did so.

          “That is DISRESPECT.”

          It is only if you are looking for an excuse to be offended. And if you are looking to be offended, then all pretense of logic, rationality and balance go out the window. It is rather easy to see that, if you want to be offended, you will be offended…even if it makes no sense to do so.

  3. “Tea-Publicans are crafting a broad exception to civil rights laws amounting to a “license to discriminate,” or a “get out of jail free card” if you prefer, based upon an idividual’s religious beliefs.”

    How horrible. Imagine trying to respect a person’s religious beliefs when it comes to subjects near and dear to the hearts and minds of the leftists. Well, maybe not all religious beliefs, but “Christian” religious views, which are always dealt with via scorn and ridicule by leftists. After all, we must show tolerance and understanding for the religious views of people who are “other than Christian”, but Christianity not so much.

    “An individual could claim that his or her individual religious beliefs, a religion of one…as opposed to the doctrine of an established religious organization…”

    Be honest, AzBM, it doesn’t matter if it is an individuals belief or an established religious organization, you are opposed to any exercise of religious freedom if it thwarts forcing compliance with the leftist sacred beliefs. Sorry, I should say, again, that the religious freedom of Christians is what we are discussing, not the “good religions”.

    “…the DOJ’s directive was met with effusive praise by right-wing lawmakers and religious organizations…”

    With you, AzBM, the term “religious organizations” is code speak for Christianity. I realize I am beating a dead horse here, but it is important to make it clear to everyone where the “problem” – in your eyes – really is.

    “The Trump backtrack wasn’t about protecting employers’ right to express their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It was about empowering them to impose those beliefs on their workers.”

    I see. It is quite acceptable, in your mind, to force compliance with leftists belief on how things should be done, but it is unacceptable if the reverse is true. Tolerance is a one way street, right?

    “…It was a tough day for the First Amendment.”

    When I first read that line, I thought I misread it. When I read it the second time, I realized you really meant it. You think that allowing people to exercise their 1st Amendment rights to religious freedom is a violation of the 1st Amendment. What kind of convoluted logic is that? It is Bizarro World thinking, AzBM.

    This was NOT one of your more reasoned or logical postings. I recognize that you are trying to rationalize the irrational, and that you probably realize that, but your contradictions – which you carefully avoided discussing – kept you from achieving your goal. But fear not…your message will be met with approval and understanding by your target audience. After all, they already believe what you are telling them so are an easy target.

  4. if you cared as much about working class manufacturing jobs going away and now retail jobs going away as you do about “YOUR” issues. the working class wouldn’t have abandoned the democratic party. rich donors give money not votes. they want free trade that destroys jobs here. hillary couldn’t carry non college white women who see their retail jobs going away like mens manufacturing jobs. ask a voter in michigan pennsylvania ohio or wisconsin who has lost their job why they should vote democrat to protect transgender bathrooms?

    • Off topic but interesting…

      Vice President Pence‏Verified account
      @VP

      I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
      10:08 AM – 8 Oct 2017