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State Department quietly creates commission focused on ‘fresh thinking’ about ‘natural rights’ – code for anti-LGBT

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The U.S. State Dept. on Thursday quietly published a notice in the Federal Registerannouncing it creating a new commission to provide “fresh thinking” about “natural law and natural rights,” which is the religious right’s code for anti-LGBTQ.

The “Commission on Unalienable Rights” will “provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights,” the notice states.

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Politico reports human rights activists are “surprised,” and “privately said they worry that talk of the ‘nation’s founding principles’ and ‘natural law’ are coded signals of plans to focus less on protecting women and LGBT people.”

In fact, Christian extremists, anti-gay hate groups, and other factions of the religious right often argue against LGBT civil rights, including same-sex marriage, as violations of “natural law.”

The newly-formed Commission on Unalienable Rights will directly advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It appears it may be headed by his Director of Policy Planning, Kiron Skinner, whose name appears at the bottom of the notice.

Pompeo is a far right religious extremist who has openly stated the function of politics is to “fight these battles” because there is a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture,” as The New York Times has reported. He has also said the Bible “informs everything I do.”

Skinner is a highly-accomplished and noted scholar who recently caused an international stir. Professor Skinner at a public forum on national security told attendees that America’s upcoming competition with China would be especially bitter, as Foreign Policy reported, because, she said, “it’s the first time that we will have a great-power competitor that is not Caucasian.”

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The Trump administration has a horrific record on human rights here in the U.S. and internationally. At home, Trump has now rolled back or rescinded every protection for transgender people codified under President Barack Obama, including but not limited to evicting transgender Americans from the U.S. Armed Forces. He and has administration are working to remove hard-won protections across the board for LGBTQ people and women. Internationally, the President repeatedly praises and protects dictators who are responsible for the murder of their own people. Just one example: Trump’s claim that he and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “fell in love.”

But Trump has also prioritized defending, promoting, and even creating special rights for Christian conservatives over U.S. law and over decades of U.S. foreign policy.

The Commission on Unalienable Rights appears to be the next step in the process.

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Boris Johnson steals reporter’s phone after refusing to look at photo of sick boy sleeping on hospital floor

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When a reporter challenged him to look at a photo of a 4-year-ole goy forced to sleep on a hospital floor, UK prime minister Boris Johnson grabbed the reporter's phone and stuffed it in his pocket for a portion of the interview, all the while refusing to look at the photo.

The photo was of Jack Williment-Barr who had to sleep on the floor due to a shortage of hospital beds due to the country's National Health Service (NHS) funding crisis. He was waiting to be treated for possible pneumonia.

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Ex-FBI director’s consulting firm drawn into investigation of Giuliani’s secretive foreign dealings

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Buried deep in an examination into Rudy Giuliani's ever-evolving relationship with Donald Trump's administration, the Washington Post reports that a consulting firm started by a former director of the FBI has been drawn into a possible criminal investigation of the former New York City mayor.

While the big news in the report indicated that Attorney General William Barr has been counseling, "Trump in general terms that Giuliani has become a liability and a problem for the administration," the Post also reports that Giuliani's foreign entanglements are creating problems with others in his orbit -- in this case ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh.

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‘Not going to do their dirty work’: Kellyanne Conway snarls when asked about White House stonewalling Congress

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday brushed aside questions of why the Trump White House was refusing to send legal representation to House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings.

As reported by CBS News' Mark Knoller, Conway was asked by reporters about whether it was wise for the White House to refuse to participate in Monday's hearings, as they could provide an opportunity for President Donald Trump's attorneys to provide exculpatory evidence.

Conway, however, said it was "not a tough decision" about whether to participate because the White House didn't want to be seen "colluding with an illegitimate process."

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