There was only one problem with their glorious horses head in the conservative wingnut bed - the White House apparently never disclosed the same documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee when they were requested during consideration of Kagan's[...]
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Elizabeth Warren (Mike Theiler/REUTERS)If the GOP could be more baldly pro-Wall Street, pro-Chamber of Commerce, pro-Koch brothers it's hard to imagine how. They're the party of, by, and for the privileged and are making no effort whatsoever to conceal that now. They don't even want you to have more understandable agreements with your bank for your credit card or your mortgage. They want you to be at the mercy of their well-heeled cronies. How else to explain their unrelenting war on the relatively toothless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- House Republicans on Wednesday detailed a new barrage of legislative measures they plan to pursue that would dilute, delay and curtail powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
"This is just the beginning of what will be an ongoing dialogue of how to better reform the CFPB," said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican during a hearing on Wednesday. "The current structure simply puts too much power in the hands of one individual and does not allow for sufficient oversight of the regulations put forth by the bureau."
Among the latest legislative efforts, Republicans say they want to:
- Replace the job of director of the bureau with a five-member committee.
- Make it easier to overturn and veto consumer bureau rules.
- Prevent the bureau from flexing any new powers until the Senate confirms a director.
- Stop consumer bureau financial examiners from going on ride-along banking examinations with other regulatory agencies until the bureau is up and running.
It must be bemusing for Elizabeth Warren to strike such terror in the hearts of so many Republicans, who continue to insist that it's really not about her. "'This is not about Elizabeth Warren, it's about giving one person total, unbridled authority,' said Bachus, an Alabama Republican." It's about her as an effective leader, which they absolutely do not want for the CFPB, because they are fundamentally opposed to consumer protection.
They want you to be ripped off, and will fight to the death for the right of Wall Street to screw you.
(H/T Chris in Paris)
The White House meeting has adjourned. Obama is about to make a statement in the White House briefing room. Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid issued this statement moments ago: "We have narrowed the issues, however, we have not yet reached an agreement. We[...]
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In brief remarks to the press carried live on national TV, President Obama said he and Speaker Boehner had narrowed the issues and made progress since yesterday on the budget negotiations. But given where things stand and the rocky road to get to this[...]
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Okay, it's not demonic, but my God, clearly this baby doesn't have to worry about the Andromeda Strain.
Click here to view this media
Eman al-Obeidi's first on-camera interview with CNN's Nic Robertson is seen above.
(CNN) -- When Eman al-Obeidy approached journalists last week at Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, she did more than accuse Moammar Gadhafi's men of rape.
She also became the face of the anti-Gadhafi movement.
Since the highly publicized incident, which ended with a hysterical al-Obeidy being whisked away by government minders, the 29-year-old lawyer from Tobruk has been celebrated as a symbol of Libyan defiance.
"Many Libyans I know online on social media are holding up Eman al-Obeidy as a hero," said Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born journalist who writes columns on Arab and Muslim issues. "And many people across the region -- Egyptians, Syrians -- (are) demanding to know where she is and fearing for her life."
Kelly Askin, a lawyer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, lays out the case against the Gadhafi regime.
(CNN) -- The raw courage demonstrated by Eman al-Obeidy in persisting in telling her story of alleged repeated gang rape and torture in Libya is helping to change the dialogue in Libya and the Middle East about the use of sexual violence as a weapon of repression.
Since Obeidy burst into a hotel filled with journalists last week and told them of being raped by loyalist militia, Gadhafi supporters have deployed a range of vile tactics in a bid to undermine her that are painfully familiar. They called her a drunk, a prostitute, a pornographer, a liar, mentally unstable -- impugning her honor and that of her family.
When those tactics failed, they implied it was all somehow her fault, claiming she was scheduled to meet one of the men she says attacked her. Others threatened to sue her.
They are no doubt frustrated and surprised that the ways commonly used to silence women have not silenced Obeidy, who has been tenacious in her desire to tell her story. She is fortunate that her family is supporting her, reportedly rejecting offers of money, property or security if they would only denounce her.
In other cases, survivors of such treatment in this region of the world have found themselves shunned by their families and communities because of the resulting social stigma.
Last month, the U.N. Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court, which is now investigating reports of attacks on civilians and other violations of international law.
If Gadhafi and his supporters are found to be responsible for not only failing to protect women like Obeidy, but also for policies that explicitly or tacitly encouraged, or simply ignored, the use of rape warfare, she could find herself receiving some measure of justice for the heinous crimes allegedly committed against her.
New York artist Louisa Bertman with an even more graphic and disturbing assessment of the crimes of Gadhafi.
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
There's nothing as American as apple pie, right?
And a pie is the simplest way of understanding - in a generalized sense - the political battle over the economy.
As long as the US economic pie was becoming larger, Americans - with the exception of the poor - were more or less willing to live on their piece of the pie. Of course, beginning with the Reagan era, corporations and the super rich have worked to get a larger slice of the piece for themselves, so much so that the top 5 percent of US citizens allegedly hold more wealth than the other 95 percent.
With the gradual off-shoring of jobs (particularly manufacturing) and growth of economies in other parts of the world, the American pie started to shrink - and shrink some more.
This has created a crisis that follows the line of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." While Americans are finding themselves with a smaller economic pie and therefore smaller slices, multinational corporations and wealthy families are taking advantage of the fear and confusion to actually increase their overall total share of the pie by even further reducing the slices received by workers and the poor.
If Paul Ryan's draconian budget plan were ever to be adopted, the slices that the rest of us receive may be reduced to just a scattering of crumbs as our share of an increasingly smaller pie continues to decrease.
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In a dramatic turnaround in a state Supreme Court election full of dramatic turnarounds in Wisconsin, Waukesha County's clerk has announced that due to human error, vote totals for the city of Brookfield had not been included in the final totals for her[...]
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Idaho state Rep. Brent CraneA good friend of mine has taken the path many of us have done because of the relentless war on women being prosecuted across our land. She's gone from outrage to depression. Who can blame her?
The latest battle, if you can call it that given the pitifully inadequate fight put up by our side, took place in Idaho over Senate Bill 1165. Like the Nebraska bill passed last year and the Kansas bill passed last week and the Missouri bill passed today, SB 1165 prohibits abortions after 20 weeks on the grounds of "fetal pain." But it goes further than the other bills. It permits no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormality or the mental or psychological health of the pregnant woman. If the governor signs the bill, which he is likely to do, the new law would make it a felony to perform such abortions and it would allow spouses and other relatives to seek legal injunctions against a physician who violates the prohibition.
According to the Spokesman-Review:
State Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said the bill would force parents of infants with severe deformities who won?t survive to carry the pregnancy to term, rather than letting them decide how to react to the situation on their own. ?These diagnoses were made right at about 20 weeks,? said Rusche, a pediatrician who has handled three such cases. ?To knowingly force someone to carry a baby to term when they know it?s not going to survive I think is cruel.?
But that makes no never-mind to state senators who passed the bill on a party line vote of 24-10 two weeks ago. Or to the 54 Republicans of the 70-member state House of Representatives who passed it Tuesday. (All 13 Democrats and a lone Republican opposed.) Because, you see, God has a plan.
The Idaho bill?s House sponsor, state Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, told legislators that the ?hand of the Almighty? was at work. ?His ways are higher than our ways,? Crane said. ?He has the ability to take difficult, tragic, horrific circumstances and then turn them into wonderful examples.? ...
Tanya Somanader at ThinkProgress gets it exactly right:
Crane?s belief that good can come from such horrific circumstances may be one shared or embraced by a sexual assault victim. However, that interpretation, that belief, that choice should be made by the woman ? not forced upon her by law. The right to choose is not about the ?innocence? or ?guilt? of the fetus ? or of the woman for that matter. It is about a woman being able to decide whether she is willing and able to carry a pregnancy to term.
The Idaho attorney general has ruled that the bill is unconstitutional because it violates the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on viability standards. The Spokesman-Review said Idaho had spent nearly $750,000 fighting unconstitutional anti-abortion laws passed during and after the 1990s. In one case, taxpayers were on the hook for $380,000 in attorney fees the state was ordered to pay to Planned Parenthood of Idaho after the group challenged a 2005 parental notification law.
Back in the days when Idaho had leaders who took the separation of church and state seriously, a governor by the name of Cecil Andrus chose to overcome his personal anti-abortion views by vetoing what would then have become one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws. He risked his reelection chances by doing so. In a veto statement issued April 1, 1990, Andrus said: "The bill is drawn so narrowly that it would punitively and without compassion further harm an Idaho woman who may find herself in the horrible, unthinkable position of confronting a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest."
The current bill with its bogus fetal pain claims would be terrible enough even without the lack of exceptions. It would be dreadful even without bringing God into it. But it's no surprise. The anti-abortion troops have been relentlessly working in this direction since 10 minutes after Roe v. Wade was decided. And they'll keep going, seeking out every workaround they can until they reach their ultimate goal, which is no secret: coerced birth.
So, yes, it's depressing. And, yes, it's outrageous. If only those two could be combined into an effective political strategy for defeating the woman-hating forces that have seized so much of our nation by the throat.
House Republicans squashed a Senate plan Wednesday to let voters cast ballots early and sent back to the Senate a bill requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls.
Under the bill approved by the Republican-controlled House, voters must bring a driver?s license, passport, military ID or other photo ID to the polls in order to cast a ballot. Under current law, voters only have to present a voter registration card that does not include a photo.
?Until recent times, people of color have been denied the right to vote,? said Rep. Joe Neal, D-Richland. ?I can remember when my parents were going to vote for the first time because they were not allowed to vote prior to that. I can remember in the mid-1960s how difficult it was for many people of color to vote in this state through intimidation, through outright threats designed to keep poor people, people of color, away from the polls. Isn?t it interesting in a state with this history we would consider this bill.?