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SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL is receiving extra Secret Service protection at public events, because of an extremist Republican, Tea Party branch, who made rhetorical threats that can’t be taken lightly. These are the same people who come to rallies with guns at their side, not even concealed.
“We have to kill the Claire Bear ladies and gentlemen,” Boston said. “She walks around like she’s some sort of Rainbow Brite Care Bear or something but really she’s an evil monster.” – St. Louis Post Dispatch
When I left Missouri decades ago, it was a right wing, anti-feminist factory. Today, it’s a state that continues to disgrace itself politically.
Republican Senate hopeful John Brunner firmly repudiated the wacko Tea Party cretin. Unfortunately, as Dick Lugar’s loss proved yesterday, they’ve infiltrated the party of Reagan so that they’re now wagging the dog.
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday chided President Barack Obama for using a cartoon character named "Julia" to explain how his policies benefit women and middle-class voters.
"Liberals envision government guiding and providing every need of every citizen," Romney said, reading from a teleprompter in Lansing, Michigan. "Government will be at the center, the most important player in our lives."
"Have you seen, by the way, the president's vision for the future?" he asked. "To help us see it, his campaign has even created a little fictional character. It's on the website, living an imaginary life filed with happy milestones for which she will spend the rest of her days thanking President Obama. It's called 'The Life of Julia.' And it's a cartoon."
"Julia progresses from cradle to grave, showing how government makes every good thing in her life possible. Weak economy, high unemployment, falling wages, rising gas prices, the national debt, the insolvency of entitlements -- all these are fictionally assumed away in a cartoon produced by a president who wants us to forget about them."
Romney added: "By the way, what does it say about a president's policies when he has to use a cartoon character rather than real people to justify his record?"
The Obama campaign unveiled the interactive cartoon, "The Life of Julia," on its website last week. It attempts to show how the character would be affected differently by the policies of Obama and Romney throughout her life.
The website suggests, for example, that Julia would not have been enrolled in the Head Start program at the age of three under Romney's budget cuts. Julia's education might also suffer if Romney cuts funding for public education and allows Pell Grants to expire, according to the Obama campaign. The fictional character also benefits from Obama's policies on health care for young adults, fair pay for women, low interest rates on student loans, birth control coverage, prenatal care, small business loans, Medicare for seniors and Social Security.
"What does it say about the fiction of old liberalism, to insist that good jobs and good schools and good wages will result from policies that have failed us time and again?" Romney remarked on Tuesday. "President Obama is looking in the wrong direction. Looking backward won't solve the problems of today, nor will it take advantage of the opportunities of tomorrow. His are the policies of the past."
"The challenges of the present and the promise of tomorrow must be met by a new and bold vision for the future, and I will bring it."
I'm sitting here thinking about all of the blood, sweat and tears poured into this battle to defeat Amendment One here in NC. It looks like is NC had the highest turnout for a primary here in a quarter century -- 37%. Only 18% were expected to vote.But[...]
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Pam Spaulding, blogmistress of Pam’s House Blend, is an inspiration to all citizen journalists. Carrying a day job, living with chronic pain and disability, Pam tirelessly advocates for fairness and equal rights. Pam lives with her wife in North Carolina, they are an interracial couple. Pam campaigned, along with individuals, organizations and churches, against Amendment One– a law that bans all unions, gay or straight, except traditional marriage. This will affect straight couples when it comes to such rights as visitation in the hospital. It might just foul things up enough to discomfort the average North Carolinian.
About a year ago I heard Maggie Gallagher of NOM (National Organization for Marriage) testify in the Rhode Island State House that we should put marriage equality to a popular vote. Putting the rights of a minority to a majority vote is almost a guarantee that those rights will be denied, as we see in North Carolina.
Pam links here to the day after Amendment One…
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality is ready to roll with an equality action following the results of today?s primary. Its WE DO Campaign involves LGBT couples in Southern communities requesting ? and being denied ? marriage licenses in order to call for full equality under federal law and to resist unjust state laws. During these actions clergy, family and friends stand with them. She shares her feelings about passage of Amendment One.
This is a hard night. As I sit in Wilson, N.C. I?m thinking most about the LGBT youth across the state who, for months now, have been hearing increasingly vitriolic messages that they are less than. My heart is heavy for them, and heavy with the news that Amendment One has passed.
But that?s not all that I feel. Looking forward, I feel deeply hopeful about what is possible ? tomorrow and in the years to come. This hope comes from knowing people like you and from knowing that we are building a new southern equality movement that, I truly believe, can accelerate the path to full federal equality.
We can?t change the results of this vote, but we can determine what comes next. Tomorrow when kids across the state wake up, I want them to know that this story isn?t over.
Follow the link above if you want to know what is happening nationwide.
I hope to get Pam’s autograph at NetRoots Nation. She is always worth reading. You can visit the Blend here.
I’ll probably be hearing more about this in church. The Unitarian Universalist Association has a campaign for human rights called, Standing on the Side of Love.
Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar, a mainstream conservative, didn't vote Tuesday when Harry Reid tried to break the Republican filibuster against the legislation that would prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July. Lugar didn't vote-- he surely would have backed the filibuster-- because he was, as you know by now, back in Indiana trying, without success to stave off a primary from the "teabaggers"... and funded by Wall Street. A primary factor in Lugar?s defeat last night stems from the power of the banksters' craven lobbyists.
The Indiana Republican can be viewed as a demonstration of Wall Street?s political muscle. In the words of Politico, ?The banking industry is making an example of Sen. Dick Lugar.?
In a rare loss for Wall Street, the Senate last year rejected legislation to delay a rule to limit the amount banks can charge businesses for credit card swipe fees. The financial industry mounted an incredible lobbying campaign-- as Bloomberg reported, banks hired high priced K Street hacks, used conservative blogs like RedState, and developed Beltway advertising-- to pass the measure. But a coalition of big box retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, along with small businesses and other vendors, persuaded enough legislators from both sides of the aisle to kill the measure and limit the fees. The rule affected some $16 billion in bank profits.
Lugar was among the few Republican senators up for reelection in 2012 to vote against the banks. As Anna Palmer and Robin Bravender reported, bank lobbyists decided early on to use the Indiana primary today to make an example out of Lugar:
Financial Services Roundtable?s Scott Talbott, Lisa Nelson of Visa, Peter Blocklin of the American Bankers Association and Vincent Randazzo of PNC hosted an inside-the-Beltway fundraiser for Lugar?s opponent, Richard Mourdock, this week. The Electronic Payments Coalition, which represents the industry, also sent out an email fundraising blast that included the event. [...]
The ABA supported Mourdock on June 23-- soon after the Senate vote on the swipe fee amendment-- sending him a $5,000 check, according to federal campaign filings. [...]
?There are just a lot of sour grapes out there,? said a GOP financial services industry lobbyist.
But with more battles over swipe fees on the horizon, bankers want to make it clear that there will be consequences for Republicans who vote against them.
Lugar has also been pummeled by front groups tied to the financial services industry. The Club for Growth, which is funded by several highly ideological hedge fund managers and investors, has aired numerous attack ads against the senator. FreedomWorks, run by Dick Armey, who served as a bank lobbyist after retiring from Congress and C. Boyden Grey, a current lobbyist working to chip away at Dodd-Frank, also ran anti-Lugar ads.
It is extremely disappointing that Republicans in the Senate today voted to ask millions of students to pay an average of $1,000 each in order to protect a loophole that allows millionaires to dodge payroll taxes. On July 1, more than 7.4 million students across the country will see their interest rates double unless Congress acts. We?re pleased that despite failing to address it in their budget, Republicans in Congress now profess to be concerned about this coming rate hike. But now it?s time for them to stop refighting old political battles and prove they?re serious by proposing a real solution to keep rates low for students without burdening middle class families or undercutting preventive health care for women. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to prevent rates from doubling and ensure that students continue to get a fair shot at an affordable education.
Last night, voters went to the polls in four states: Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Below is a recap of key results from Tuesday's primaries:
? IN-Sen (R): By the end, everyone expected Treasurer Richard Mourdock to beat Sen. Dick Lugar. The only thing surprising was Mourdock's margin, a meaty 61-39. Now Mourdock will have to deal with Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly in the general election, in a race suddenly made much more competitive by his dethroning of Lugar, who had served for six terms.
? IN-02 (D): Establishment choice and Iraq vet Brendan Mullen won a narrower-than-expected 54-46 victory over Some Dude Dan Morrison. He'll face GOPer Jackie Walorski in the fall to try to hold this now-much-redder open seat for Team Blue. (Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly is running for Senate.)
? IN-05 (R): Former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks thwarted a comeback attempt by ex-Rep. David McIntosh, who had the backing of both the Club for Growth and the Campaign for Primary Accountability. Dem state Rep. Scott Reske will try for a longshot pickup opportunity in this seat left open by GOP Rep. Dan Burton's retirement.
? IN-06 (R): Former state Rep. Luke Messer held back a big field to win the nomination with 40%. (Tea partier Travis Hankins was second with 29%.) In this dark red seat (open because Rep. Mike Pence is running for governor), Messer is a virtual lock to win in November.
? IN-08 (R): Freshman Rep. Larry Bucshon hung on in a rematch against badly underfunded teabagger Kristi Risk, but hardly in convincing fashion, winning by just 58-42. Democrats will put forth ex-state Rep. Dave Crooks in what is their best pickup opportunity in the state.
? IN-09 (D): Former Miss Indiana Shelli Yoder entered the race late but with a lot of energy, powering her to a 46-22 win over former Lee Hamilton aide Robert Winningham. (Retired Brig. Gen. Jonathan George, originally a touted recruit, took just 17%.) Yoder will square off against GOP freshman Todd Young in an uphill race.
Head below the fold for the rest.
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- According to Rep. John Larson (D-CT), an overwhelming majority of House Democrats side with Vice President Biden in support of marriage equality.
- How much money has the LGBT movement contributed to members of Congress who aren’t concerned about nondiscrimination protections for federal workers?
- Some good news out of North Carolina: Rep. Marcus Brandon (D), the only openly gay legislator in the state, won reelection in his primary rematch.
- The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics allegedly rejected a transgender patient due to his “condition.”
- The bullied gay student who carried a stun gun to school to protect himself has been expelled.
- For the first time, federal workers will have the opportunity to disclose their sexual orientation when they fill out their national workplace survey.
- The FDA has granted initial approval to the first drug designed to help prevent HIV infection.
- A trans woman is “in hiding” in Sweden to avoid deportation back to Russia.
- The San Diego City Council has unanimously approved renaming a street after LGBT civil rights hero Harvey Milk.
- Former ex-gay leader John Smid discusses his changing views and the DVD release of This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, a documentary about the ex-gay residential program he ran.
- The Campaign for Southern Equality offers hope beyond Amendment One:
Just as Utah implements a new law forcing women to wait three days before having abortions, a new study finds that these mandatory waiting periods and laws requiring counseling before the procedures does not affect women’s decisions. In fact, the report published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that 87 percent of women were highly confident in their decisions before counseling ahead of an abortion procedure.
Researchers gathered data from pre-counseling needs assessment forms and clinical intake forms of roughly 5,000 women at one abortion clinic in 2008. State laws adding waiting periods and mandating information that doctors must tell their patients assume that women need time and counseling to make their decisions, but the study’s data show that these assumptions are wrong:
In nearly nine out of 10 cases, women expressed high confidence in their abortion decision before they received any counseling; these women would likely not benefit from additional mandated counseling or delay. Furthermore, one-size-fits all policies may not address the complex needs of women who experience ambivalence, have negative beliefs about abortion, feel pressured to have an abortion, have spiritual concerns about abortion or have low levels of social support.
Past research has indicated that forcing a woman to view an ultrasound before she has an abortion did not change her mind, and now this report shows that other state laws adding barriers to abortion services do not help women either.
Julia Orayen has posed nude for Playboy and appeared barely dressed in other media, but she made her mark on Mexican minds Sunday night by carrying an urn filled with bits of paper determining the order that candidates would speak. Not that viewers were looking at the urn. She wore a tight, white dress with a wide, tear-drop cutout that revealed her ample decolletage. The image was splashed across newspaper front pages and websites by Monday.
“The best was the girl in white with the cleavage at the beginning,” tweeted former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, who is also a New York University professor.
Orayen’s name jockeyed for third and fourth place throughout the day under Twitter’s Mexico City trends, where a click revealed her previous work, including an almost-nude spread commemorating Mexican Independence Day in which she appears in minimal garb modeled on images of Mexican founding father Jose Maria Morelos.
Alfredo Figueroa, director of the Federal Electoral Institute responsible for organizing the debate, blamed the incident on a production associate hired by the institute to help with the debate. The institute later issued an apology to Mexican citizens and the candidates for the woman’s dress.
The problem here isn’t really the dress, or the fact that Julia Orayen has posed nude. It’s that the debate organizers thought that what the event really needed was a hot female presenter to kick things off. I can’t imagine it ever crossed their minds to hire a man for this position?because of course we need reminders that often in politics, men are supposed to be the main characters while women are their pretty supporting players?or that they specified professional attire for the presenter. I’d be curious as to what candidate Josefina Eugenia Vázquez Mota, the lone female candidate in the race, thought of the fact that some of her rivals apparently went all goggly-eyed when Orayen came on stage. They, and Figueroa shouldn’t apologize for Orayen’s dress. They should apologize for turning a serious process into a stupid, sexist spectacle.