Female Democrats in the Georgia House
of Representatives protest abortion bill.
(RhReality)Acting on contentious legislation passed by the Republican-dominated state House and Senate, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill Tuesday that forbids abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy except when the woman's life is at risk. No exceptions are allowed for rape or incest. The bill, HB 954, effectively cuts six weeks off allowable time when abortions are now permitted in the state.
It wasn't the total victory the law's drafters had hoped for, however. In spite of vigorous opposition from forced-birther lobbyists, abortions will be permitted in cases where there are "irremediable" fetal congenital or fetal abnormalities "incompatible with sustaining life after birth." So hurrah for a small victory in two years' of the worst series of defeats for the women's reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide 39 years ago.
?Women should not be forced to adhere to legislative directives that are based on unsound medical science," said Leola Reis, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based Planned Parenthood Southeast.Science? Puhleez.
Like similar bills in Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, the Georgia bill was passed on claims fetuses feel pain after 20 weeks. Neuroscientists say this is not the case. But that makes no never-mind to the ideologues eager to keep nibbling away at safe and legal abortions until they vanish.
None of the fetal-pain laws has yet been challenged in court.
The Guttmacher Institute, which, among other things, analyzes policy relating to reproductive and sexual health, reports that in 2012 so far, 944 bills have been introduced in 44 state legislatures relating to reproductive health and rights.
Included in these is legislation in 14 states that restrict abortion later in pregnancy but prior to fetal viability. Nine states, in addition to Georgia, would put the new limit at 20 weeks postfertilization, equivalent to 22 weeks gestation. Last month Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that would ban abortions 18 weeks after fertilzation. making it the nation's most restrictive law in that regard.
The Jose Rodriguez lessonPerhaps it's a bad idea to trust the executive branch to wield the most extreme powers in the dark, with no checksBy Glenn Greenwald, SalonTuesday, May 1, 2012 09:44 AM EDTAs I noted last week - and as Pierce elaborated on - the[...]
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And aside from Shep Smith, you could say the same thing about Fox News.
A Washington Post article that essentially told readers that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would focus on issues that matter to business in his discussions with Chinese leaders. The most important issue for workers in dealing with China is a drop[...]
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Scientists send open letter to anti-GM protesters pleading with them not to destroy 'years of work'Charlie Cooper, The IndependentWednesday 02 May 2012Scientists working on a new generation of genetically modified crops have sent an open letter to[...]
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The Elizabeth Warren campaign brings out the big guns in support of her campaign: President Obama:
Elizabeth Warren. She?s a janitor?s daughter who has become one of the country?s fiercest advocates for the middle class. She came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle class families.The footage is from his announcement appointing her as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, her brainchild. Warren got the new agency going, ready for Richard Cordray to step in as its permanent director and hit the ground running and immediately start scoring successes.
The very existence of the CFPB, along with Warren's singular focus on leveling the playing field for America's working families, has made her the primary target of Wall Street. They're terrified of what she could achieve in the Senate. At the same time, they have a very useful lackey in that Senate seat already, as the Boston Globe's barn-burner story on Sen. Scott Brown's campaign finances shows. Keeping him in office?and Elizabeth Warren out?is one of their top priorities.
The contrast between these two candidates, and the very real extent to which they represent Wall Street versus Main Street, could not be more clear.
Jose Padilla sued Yoo over memos he authored for DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel which were used as legal justification for U.S. officials to use harsh interrogation techniques that his legal team said amounted to torture, the Associated Press reports.
The suit was tossed out by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Yoo, now a professor at Berkley, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Yesterday, meeting behind locked doors, rows of metal barriers, and armed guards, Hershey?s shareholders heard that the chocolate giant had made more than $1 billion in profits globally in 2011.
They also learned from the 99% that Hershey?s has gone from an iconic American brand to an icon of corporate greed.
More than 100 Pennsylvanians marched on Hershey?s shareholder meeting under the banner of the 99% coalition?ordinary people who have united to build an economy and a democracy that works for all of us, not just for the 1%. All around the country this spring, members of the 99% are challenging 1% board members and executives who have expanded inequality, threatened democracy, destroyed our environment, and put profit ahead of the survival of families and communities.Pennsylvanians from the 99% entered the Hershey?s shareholder meeting and held management?s feet to the fire for destroying hundreds of permanent, living-wage jobs and subcontracting to replace them with temporary, sub-minimum wage jobs for exploitable guestworkers. They challenged Hershey's use of child labor in Africa, and illegal discrimination by the Milton Hershey School against a 13-year-old HIV-positive boy.
Outside, joined by labor, civil, and human rights leaders from NGA, SEIU, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Pennsylvanians marched and delivered powerful testimonies about their fight against the depths of Hershey?s greed.Our demands to Hershey?s:
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
The Washington Post broke the story yesterday with Jennifer Rubin?s piece, Richard Grenell hounded from Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives. Grenell had served in the George W. Bush administration as communications director for the U.S. representative to the United Nations. His appointment to the Romney campaign was announced on April 19 (the same day the Romney campaign announced he?d be the commencement speaker at Liberty University). The ?anti-gay conservatives? began efforts to oust him almost immediately.
They succeeded. Or Romney failed. Or a combination of both. The questions now are about what this says about Romney, the Republican Party, and who?s running the GOP show.
From the WaPo piece:
Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney?s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.
In a statement … Grenell says:
?I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign … . While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama?s foreign policy failures … my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues .. . I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.?
Claiming it?s a ?non-issue? really doesn?t work. As Rubin notes, the National Review and Daily Caller ?reflected the uproar by some social conservatives? regarding Grenell, even though Grenell also created a stir on the Left, too. Paul Schindler, at Gay City News:
Conservatives? mistrust of Grenell is curious given the ex-spokesman?s willingness to take on prominent LGBT progressives. In a tweet earlier this year, he went after the woman who is television news? best-known lesbian.
?Rachel Maddow needs to take a breath and put on a necklace,? his Twitter account, @RichardGrenell, read on January 26.
Rubin notes that the pressure from ?social conservatives? and the ?reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman … left Grenell essentially with no job.? She also reports that ?senior officials from the Romney campaign,? along with ?respected Republicans? attempted to persuade Grenell not to resign.
Among the first and biggest critics of Romney?s appointment of Grenell was Bryan Fischer at American Family Association, who routinely talks about ?vicious, mean-spirited homosexuals.? Learning of Grenell?s resignation, Fischer claimed a victory. From Right Wing Watch:
It was just last week that Bryan Fischer was declaring that if Mitt Romney wants to win in November, he?d ?better start listening to me.?…
… during the second hour of Fischer?s daily radio broadcast, the news broke the Grenell had in fact resigned from the campaign and Fischer … declar(ed) it a ?huge win? for the Religious Right because it means that they have forced Romney to back down and taught him that he cannot do anything like this again … .
How much credit Fischer and like-minded GOP-ers contributed to Grenell?s resignation is a very important question, of course. As Aravosis puts it:
This is the part where Romney either says something, or comes off as a pushover. Guess which one he?ll do.
Ron Hill at Republicans 4 Freedom has a nice round-up of ?What People are Saying About Romney?s Gay Aid?s Resignation,? including this:
Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic (writing on HuffPO)
?Allowing Grenell to resign ? just fuels the confidence and status of bigots who undermine big tent, inclusive democracy.?
Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast:
?If opposition to marriage equality is a litmus test for gay inclusion in the Romney campaign and administration, then there will be scarcely a single openly gay person willing to sign up to play any part in it. It has come to this.
Okay, there are significant differences, but there?s no way Obama?s infamous ?evolving? view of marriage equality can be avoided at this point, or the willingness of some ?gay persons? to ?play a part in? his administration. But back to Schindler, who points out the ?litmus test? reality:
DailyCaller.com … challenged New Jersey Governor Chris Christie?s suitability as Romney?s running mate, citing his appointment of Bruce Harris, an openly gay Republican, to the State Supreme Court.
The statement from Log Cabin Republicans seems to give Romney a pass, and includes asserting Grenell was ?hounded by the far right and far left.?
HRC, of course, has a different perspective:
Mitt Romney capitulating to the demands of extremist anti-gay groups is nothing new.
One of the best analyses I?ve read is from Ron Hill in What Richard Grenell?s Resignation Means For Mitt Romney and the GOP:
The real loser in the Richard Grenell fiasco is both Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
The Republican supporter of marriage equality appears to have been hounded out of the GOP by far right extremist. Whether this is true or not, the implications for the GOP are clear:
1) It reinforces the GOP?s image among moderates and independents as a narrow-minded and intolerant party dominated by religious zealots … .
2) It reinforces Mitt Romney?s image as a politician who is either afraid or unwilling to take a principled stand and stick with it. …
Romney knew Richard Grenell was gay before he hired him and knew that some would object. Why didn?t Romney come to his defense and quell the unrest … ? …
And will Log Cabin Republicans withhold an endorsement? If not, LCR will have no credibility left come 2013.
For the Democrats, and the Obama campaign, the questions are about whether they will continue following the further Right movements of a Republican party which, when it comes to ?social issues,? continues following the ?far right extremists.?
(Richard Grennel photo via Towleroad)
Oh those fiscal conservatives. It's impressive how they know so much about balancing budgets while lecturing others about their crazy spending habits.
Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts -- owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid.This reminds me of an annoying 20-something American traveler that I overheard last week telling someone that she's "um, like a fiscal conservative." Can someone please tell me what that means and who might have ever fit such a description. I always hear that type boast about it but have yet to see it in the real world. After all, the guy who spent the US into recession with his reckless tax cuts and wars was supposed to be a fiscal conservative.
Campaign watchdogs said the size of Gingrich's debt is extraordinary -- and could have been avoided if the candidate and his team had been more disciplined.
"He was reckless in running up these bills, especially in the last month or so of the campaign when it was quite clear that Mitt Romney would be the nominee," said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Citizen Union.