Rick Scott Up 3 Points Over Bill Nelson Per Mason-Dixon Poll

On Tuesday, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategies released its latest survey on the upcoming U.S. Senate race between Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). According to the poll conducted July 24-25 of 625 registered Florida voters, Scott has 47-44 percent lead over Nelson, which is a shift from a poll conducted in February when Nelson was up 45-44 percent. The Mason-Dixon poll is in line with many other recent polls that also show Scott with a slight edge over Nelson. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average of the race, Nelson is up 1.2 percent. Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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Catholic leaders fight Irish government’s plan to force church’s hospitals to provide abortions

Nearly 67 percent of Irish voters approved a measure earlier this year that would not only make abortions legal, but it would also force Catholic hospitals to provide them, LifeNews reported.

But Catholic leaders are fighting back against the legislation.

“Faithful Catholics will make no compromise on the issue of abortion with the spirit of this evil age,” Father Patrick McCafferty of Belfast wrote in a letter published by Irish News. “Abortion is a matter of life or death. To intentionally terminate the most defenseless among us, is indicative of what is at the heart of human society, which must be rejected and opposed at every turn.”

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference recently published its code of health care ethics, which forbids Catholic hospitals from performing abortions, according to The Catholic Herald.

What’s the story?

The Republic of Ireland voted May 25 to repeal its constitution’s eighth amendment, which outlawed abortion. Pro-life groups have called the vote a “tragedy of historic proportions,” according to LifeNews.

The repeal will allow women to have abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy for any reason and up to six months for specific reasons, including abortions for unborn babies with disabilities.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference code of ethical standards has called on hospitals to refuse to perform abortions.

“No health care facility or practitioner should provide, or refer a patient for, an abortion, i.e. any procedure, treatment or medication whose primary purpose or sole immediate effect is to terminate the life of a fetus or of an embryo before or after implantation. Such procedures, treatments, and medications are morally wrong because they involve the direct and deliberate killing of, or a direct lethal assault on, an innocent human life in the earliest stages of development,” the code states, according to Iona Institute for Religion and Society.

About 20 hospitals in Ireland are Catholic-affiliated, according to LifeNews.

What do pro-abortion lawmakers say?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently said that there should be a separation of church and state.

“Religious bodies are, of course, entitled to come up with their own ethical guidelines but the ones that should be followed in publicly funded hospitals are those of the medical council and that is what I would very much expect to happen.

“My view is that we should separate the Church and state; that the Church should no longer be at the center of public life, but it shouldn’t be excluded from it either,” the prime minister said recently, according to LifeNews.

Simon Harris, the minister of health, proposed conscientious objection rights that would allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions but it would also require them to refer women to a physician who would perform the abortion. And Catholic hospitals would still be required to provide the abortions.

“Conscientious objection is for individuals, not institutions,” Harris said.

The health minister also told She Magazine he would oppose any amendment to prohibit eugenic abortions.

What do pro-life lawmakers say?

Pro-life legislators are working on amendments that could provide some protection to unborn babies, according to Life News.

Advocates have promised to continue fighting to protect unborn babies, mothers, and physicians’ rights.

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During testimony, ICE official has to teach Dem Senator Hirono that illegal immigrants do, in fact, break the law

During testimony, ICE official has to teach Dem Senator Hirono that illegal immigrants do, in fact, break the law
There are times, brief though they may be, when I think there’s hope. No, I don’t hope that one political side or the other will emerge victorious and preside over a newly enlightened land. Political fights have existed since the dawn of humanity, and they’ll be ongoing until its end. However, I do catch myself hoping that people in positions of power would at least understand the basics of the issues they’re debating.

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Planet Fitness Loses Locker Room Case

Planet Fitness Loses Locker Room Case
MIDLAND, MI – A Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of a former Planet Fitness customer who argued that her rights under Michigan’s consumer protection law were violated when the club did not disclose its unwritten policy and canceled her membership because she complained about a man in the women’s locker room.

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Transgenders furious over man changing to female on birth certificate for cheaper car insurance

Members of the transgender community are angry over a Canadian man’s move to legally change his gender to female on his birth certificate and driver’s license in order to get cheaper automobile insurance, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

While the 24-year-old Alberta man — referred to as “David” by CBC News to protect his identity — said he made the gender switch to save just over $1,000 annually on insurance, some transgenders said it was “stunt” that “cheapens” their cause.

“It sort of casts doubt on everybody else’s motives for making those changes,” Marie Little, a former chair of the Trans Alliance Society, told the network. “I think it gives ammunition to people who want to take rights away from trans people.”

The loophole

It used to be that Albertans had to produce a doctor’s note to switch gender markers on their personal documents, the CBC said. But in June the government halted that requirement for adults, which opened the door to simply mark their genders as M, F or X — the latter being for those who don’t fit into male or female binaries, the network said.

While “David” told the network he didn’t mean disrespect to the trans community and only wanted to save money, Marni Panas isn’t sympathizing.

“Whether he says, ‘I didn’t mean to do harm to the trans community,’ is irrelevant because the impact is very real to a community that is already quite vulnerable,” Panas, a transgender woman, told the CBC. “And he lied, so that really speaks to this person’s integrity. I certainly would question this person’s motives. It ends up being a big stunt.”

Legal consequences?

A Calgary official told the network that “David” could face legal consequences for his gender switch.

Stephanie McLean, a legislator in the New Democratic Party, tweeted that his actions amount to perjury and could have serious legal consequences, the CBC said.

Calgary lawyer Christine Viney added to the network that those who change their genders on paper to save on car insurance could run into trouble when they make a claim.

“If someone looking for car insurance knowingly misrepresents a fact they need to share in that application, then that’s a misrepresentation,” Viney told the CBC. “And the effect of that is that a claim by the insured can be invalid under the policy.”


Panas told the network that gender markers shouldn’t be on government-issued IDs since “they serve no purpose” and are “irrelevant.”

Service Minister Brian Malkinson added to the CBC that his office has no evidence of people changing their gender markers just to get cheaper car insurance — and those who do are “making a mockery out of something that can have a real, profound impact on people’s lives.”

“Having a system that empowers people to change their gender marker[s] is about respecting, protecting, and advancing human rights,” he said to the station. “Our goal is for Alberta to be a modern and inclusive province — one where people aren’t punished by a system that makes it difficult for them to express their own gender identity.”

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Dem Rep, Gubernatorial Candidate Spotted Drinking, Dancing on Puerto Rico Trip to Assess Hurricane Recovery Progress

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D., N.M.) was spotted dancing and drinking during a two-day trip to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess the infrastructure and recovery process in response to Hurricane Maria.

Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor in New Mexico, joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif) and about a dozen other Democrats to ensure the islands "have the money needed to not just recover," but to "rebuild better than before," according to the St. John Source.

After touring the islands, Lujan Grisham wrote on Twitter, "It’s clear after seeing the landscape in-person that more work must be done to come together to find solutions that lift up the island’s residents’ and economy."

Lujan Grisham drew attention to the need for further action on the islands, but what she didn’t mention was her social activities of dancing and drinking at the Chandelier Bar, a ritzy hotel bar within the El San Juan Hotel. The hotel, where most of the delegation stayed, is described on the website as being "synonymous with Puerto Rican luxury hospitality."

It is unclear exactly what Lujan Grisham and her colleagues paid to stay at the hotel, but during the weekend, room prices range from $300 to just under a $1,000 per night, according to the website. The hotel, which is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, includes many luxury amenities like tennis courts, multiple pools, and a spa.

In the pictures obtained from a tracker, Lujan Grisham is seen drinking with Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D., N.Y.) on at least one occasion at the Chandelier Bar. She is also seen dancing with an unidentified man at the hotel.

In addition to the pictures showing the group at the Chandelier Bar, the tracker said the Democratic delegation went to Entrevinos, a wine bar that doubles as a restaurant, near the hotel for dinner. It is unclear whether each member of Congress paid for their own meals or if they were expensed on the taxpayers’ dime.

Lujan Grisham’s office responded to a request for comment on the trip’s expenses by turning the attention on her gubernatorial opponent, Rep. Steve Pearce (R., N.M.), and the "failed Republican Party."

"It’s disgusting that Steve Pearce is attacking a Hispanic woman for working to help Latino populations devastated by his failed Republican Party in Congress and Donald Trump," spokesman James Hallinan said, "and even worse that Pearce is resorting to smearing Hispanic members of congress rather than putting forth solutions to help our fellow Americans recover from a devastating natural disaster."

The Republican Party of New Mexico sent out a tweet last Friday slamming Lujan Grisham for being a "no show" at the Coalition of Educational Leaders meeting, the Independent Community Banker’s forum, and the Independent Petroleum Association forum. Hallinan, Lujan Grisham’s newly minted spokesperson, responded on Twitter by saying ‘Just WOW…,’ evidently offended by the critique. The reason the congresswoman was absent, he said, was because she was "meeting w/ first responders & disaster recovery officials to find solutions 4 hurricane victims."

"Shameful. Hope you take this down immediately," Hallinan tweeted.

He also did not mention in his tweet that his boss was drinking and dancing at a luxury hotel.

Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues toured Puerto Rico to determine what needs haven’t been met since the Category 4 storm hit the island more than 10 months ago. The storm caused an estimated $100 billion in damage to the territory.

"There is a contract with the federal government and people that was not fully honored, in my view," Pelosi said. "We need perhaps in our legislating, in our advocacy, to find a way to speed things up, to cut red tape, to reduce bureaucratic obstacles … Time is the most valuable commodity. It makes a big difference in people’s lives."

UPDATE 1:59 P.M.: This piece has been updated with comment from Lujan Grisham’s spokesperson.

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Kim Kardashian: ‘I Have Nothing Bad to Say About the President’

Monday on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Kim Kardashian West said she had nothing bad to say about President Donald Trump while telling the story of lobbying the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson. Kardashian West said, “I’m very hopeful, and I’m very grateful. I’m hopeful that more good things are going to come out of our conversations.” On her husband Kanye’s support of Trump, Kardashian West said, “To make it clear when Kanye —we would talk about it and would talk about policies, he doesn’t necessarily agree with his policies. He likes his personality and how he made it to be president when everyone really underestimated him.” She added, “I have nothing bad to say about the president. You know, he’s done something amazing. I am very focused. I don’t agree with everything either. I had no idea what to expect going in there, and I was like, ‘Look, I’m going to be focused.’ It really turned my idea around in this category.” Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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