‘Harmful to the Global Effort to Protect the Rights of All People and a Waste of Resources’
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday was sent letters signed by hundreds of human rights organizations, activists, and supporters, along with religious and political leaders demanding he abolish his newly-formed anti-LGBTQ and anti-women “Commission on Unalienable Rights.”
Pompeo claimed it was an effort to “provide fresh thinking” about the government’s role in the promotion and advocacy of “natural law and natural rights,” which is right-wing code for anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice. The Secretary chose to head his nascent organization an anti-LGBTQ anti-choice activist, Mary Ann Glendon (photo above, with Pompeo at the launch of the commission.)
One letter being sent Tuesday by more than 180 rights groups — including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Disability Rights and the Anti-Defamation League — demands that the commission be abolished. The groups say the commission is being overseen by clergy and scholars “known for extreme positions opposing LGBTQI and reproductive rights,” including some who they say have defended “indefensible human rights violations.”
One of the three letters calls on the Secretary to “immediately disband” his Commission on Unalienable Rights.
Another of the letters, this one from Catholic theologians, was signed by more than 110 people, and calls for the “immediate dismantling of this commission,” NBC News says adding that the “letter adds concern that the commission will be used to downplay the needs of the poor, immigrants and refugees.”
One of the letters, organized by Human Rights First is respectful but scathing. It begins:
We, the undersigned U.S. foreign policy, human rights, civil liberties, social justice, and faith leaders, experts, scholars, and organizations, write to express our deep concern with the Department of State’s recently announced Commission on Unalienable Rights. We object to the Commission’s stated purpose, which we find harmful to the global effort to protect the rights of all people and a waste of resources; the Commission’s make-up, which lacks ideological diversity and appears to reflect a clear interest in limiting human rights, including the rights of women and LGBTQI individuals; and the process by which the Commission came into being and is being administered, which has sidelined human rights experts in the State Department’s own Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL).
Fox News has always been bad — but this week shows it’s willing to destroy democracy for Trump
Fox News has been detrimental to democracy all along, but one journalist and historian believes it's gone fully off the rails this year and become a threat to national security.
Talk show host Stephen Colbert has been mocking the conservative network's commitment to "truthiness" for nearly 15 years, but 2019 has seen Fox News push out Russian disinformation campaigns and attack democracy itself to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment, reported Garrett Graff for Wired.
Donald Trump Jr. got special permission from the Mongolian government to kill endangered sheep
The rocky highlands of Central Asia, in a remote region of Western Mongolia, are home to a plummeting population of the largest sheep in the world, the argali. The endangered species is beloved for its giant curving horns, which can run over 6 feet in length.
On a hunting trip this August, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one.
His adventure was supported by government resources from both the U.S. and Mongolia, which each sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip. It also thrust Trump Jr. directly into the controversial world of Mongolian trophy hunting — a polarizing practice in a country that views the big-horned rams as a national treasure. The right to kill an argali is controlled by an opaque permitting system that experts say is mostly based on money, connections and politics.
Republicans plan to flood House with amendments to sabotage impeachment debate: CNN
On Wednesday, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that House Republicans are planning to use the markup process for the articles of impeachment, scheduled to take place on Thursday, to introduce a flood of amendments designed to cripple the process.
None of these amendments are likely to have the votes to pass — but they will force House Democrats to waste time voting them down rather than crafting the particulars of their case.
"Tomorrow is when we see the real art of legislating on Capitol Hill," said Raju. "The House Judiciary Committee will consider votes on amendments to the articles of impeachment. Republicans are expects to offer a flurry of amendments aimed at undercutting the articles, to gut the articles, and the democrats are expected to beat back every single one of them. Those votes expected to be along party lines."