Thursday was a slow polling day after two busy ones. President Obama's chances of winning the Electoral College dropped incrementally on the decline in the stock market.
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I am so smart. S-M-R-T.Because Republicans know that the bond between patient and doctor is sacred and that government meddling with that is the worstest thing ever conceived by anyone, an injustice that will not be tolerated, and so on and so forth?oh wait, here's the newest proposed anti-abortion rules from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. To participate in Texas' newly revamped/disemboweled Women's Health Program (now Medicaid-funds-free, because freedom!), your doctor can't so much as "promote" abortion, by which we now mean doctors in Texas aren't allowed to even talk about it anymore:
And what exactly does it mean to ?promote? abortion? Providing a patient with a referral to a facility that performs abortions, referring to abortion as ?within the continuum of family planning services,? ?furnishing or displaying? information to a patient that ?publicizes or advertises an abortion service or provider,? or displaying a ?brand name? of a healthcare provider that performs abortions.That "continuum of family planning services" thing is interesting. I guess it means that you can still mention abortion, so long as you make it clear that it is not an actual valid medical option but an abomination unto the Lord and Rick Perry, and for more information consult your local pit of fire.
Among the things that can be taken from this: One, that if you're a doctor in Texas, free speech can go to hell. Two, that whole business about government not getting between doctors and patients? Oh my God, that one was a riot, wasn't it? Yeah, so never mind that, it can go to hell too. Three, this is important enough to Rick Perry's Texas that all you poor folks can especially go straight to hell, especially you women, and take your damn doctor-patient relationship and free speech and Medicare with you.
I wonder how long it is before Republic of Gilead doctors aren't allowed to say "vagina" anymore. Or maybe they'll just do away with lady-part doctors entirely.
People will reject the incumbent, but only if they think that could lead to some improvements. It appears Mitt Romney is currently failing to cross even this rather law threshold.[...]
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Was there an eyewitness to the Trayvon Martin shooting?...[...]
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Our regular featured content-On This Day In History July 12 by TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by TheMomCatThese featured articles-LIBOR Effects on US Loans by TheMomCatThis special feature-2012 Le Tour - Stage 11 by ekhornbeckFollow us on Twitter[...]
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On his radio show on Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh opined that President Obama skipped the NAACP convention because he feared tough private meetings with the group’s leadership and because “He’s confident they’ll boo Romney, simply ’cause Romney’s white. He’s confident of that.” As Mother Jones notes, many white candidates and leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, have spoken to the group in the past, without incident.
Our Guest Blogger is Billy Corriher, Associate Director of Research for Legal Progress.prosecute reporters who publish sensitive national security information. In a hearing on Wednesday, the leadership of a House Judiciary Sub-Committee said such actions are needed after a series of New York Times stories included information leaked from government sources. In his testimony, Army Col. Ken Allard accused reporter David Sanger of ?systematically penetrating the Obama White House as effectively as any foreign agent? and putting Americans at risk by reporting on the government?s cyber-attacks on Iran.
Journalists from the Times have published important stories with information on the assassination of Osama bin Laden and President Obama?s ?kill list? of suspected terrorists. The story of the ?kill list,? in particular, is vital information for anyone concerned about the government potentially abusing civil liberties in the ?War on Terror.? The administration has placed at least one American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, on the list and killed him in a drone strike. If the Times had not acted, we would know very little about how the ?kill list? is composed.
But Republicans charge that publishing leaked national security information is endangering the American public. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) called for subpoenaing journalists and demanding they expose their sources. ?You either answer the question or you?re going to be held in contempt and go to jail, which is what I thought all reporters aspire to do anyway. I thought that was the crown jewel of the reporter?s resume, to actually go to jail protecting a source.?
Another Republican suggested the media?s watchdog role is unnecessary because whistleblower laws allow citizens to report wrongdoing to the government. In other words, we don?t need to know anything about our government?s national security actions, because we can trust the government to police itself.
Some even suggested the Obama administration has leaked information for political gain. The chair of the subcommittee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), said the administration could be ?weakening our national security and endangering American lives.? Like the ?Fast and Furious? investigation, this could end up being another Republican witch hunt for information that could embarrass the Obama administration.
The accusations of intentional leaks seem far-fetched, given that the administration has vigorously prosecuted government employees who leak classified information. The administration has resurrected the World-War-I-era Espionage Act to crack down on leakers, and Attorney General Eric Holder has assigned federal prosecutors to initiate criminal investigations into recent leaks. Republicans should ask Bradley Manning how the administration deals with those who leak classified information.
The stories that alarm Republicans provide vital information on the actions our government takes in the name of protecting us from terrorism. When George W. Bush was president, he faced harsh criticism for abusing executive power in the realm of national security. Bush moderated his administration?s most egregious practices after the public learned of them. Imagine that the Bush administration had instead prosecuted the journalists who exposed Abu Ghraib or the warrantless wiretapping of Americans.
It is fundamental to our democracy that Americans know what their government is doing. Newspapers already use caution in reporting sensitive information, and reporters must be able to do their job without the threat of jail time hanging over them. Our constitution establishes a robust right to freedom of the press. If the government imprisons journalists, it is trampling on the free speech rights that Americans cherish.
When the government sought to stop publication of documents related to the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court wouldn?t let it happen. Justice Hugo Black stated,
In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people . . . . In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly.
District Judge Tim Kelley ruled on Tuesday that he cannot block Louisiana’s controversial voucher program from going into effect next month because of a state law that prohibits injunctions when state officials claim they will cause a deficit. Superintendent John White and Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater claimed that an injunction would cause a $3.4 billion–the amount spent by the state to educate students–deficit in the education budget. Opponents countered that an injunction would merely prevent money from being distributed, saying ?That?s just kind of crazy. ? There?s no way that not spending money can cause a deficit.” Even though no injunction was granted, the case challenging the program’s constitutionality is ongoing.
The U.S. Agriculture Department has issued a natural disaster declaration for more than 1,000 U.S. counties facing severe drought. This disaster declaration is the largest ever from the Agriculture Department and includes one-third of counties and spans 26 states. Some 53 percent of the Midwest is facing moderate or severe drought, but areas beyond the drought’s borders could pay higher world grain prices, due to a poor harvest.
This disaster declaration makes farmers eligible for disaster assistance, but lawmakers will continue to remain silent on the root cause: Climate change. The year of record heat isn’t a chance occurrence, but comes from a climate system on steroids, “juiced” by manmade greenhouse gas emissions.