It's like clockwork. Hilary Rosen made an ill-phrased but cogent point about Mitt Romney hiding behind his wife when it comes to understanding women's issues. Rosen made no disparaging remarks on motherhood, nor dismiss the difficulty of raising children. Still, it was poorly phrased and tellingly, Democrats like President Obama, the First Lady and the DNC were quick to criticize and distance themselves from Rosen.
Rosen apologized and was made to do it again on Wolf Blitzer's show for good measure. So are we done with this? Can we move on to the substantive portion of the Rosen's comments regarding how Republican policies are so draconian that many American women are needlessly suffering?
Of course not, you silly liberal. Now it's time to attack Hilary Rosen for her "attack" (and again, could the people in the Republican Party please grow some thicker skin? I've been called worse names by members of my own family than what Hilary Rosen said of Ann Romney). And there's no one more opportunistic, more misogynistic, more willing to dive deep and wallow in the ugly morass than the Catholic League's Bill Donohue.
Democratic strategist and CAP Action board member Hilary Rosen is a single mother of twins who had to go through the expensive and challenging process of adoption with her then partner Elizabeth Birch. Now, she?s trying to stick up for other mothers who don?t have the luxury of millionaire husbands to help fund their child-rearing duties, and the backlash is getting ugly. Catholic League president Bill Donohue attacked her family on Twitter this morning:
@CatholicLeague: Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.
Somehow, Rosen?s family is less valid, less worthy of respect because she adopted her children. This insults not just lesbian couples, but all non-birth mothers. In fact, it seems like few even recognize that Rosen is a mother at all, perhaps an inherent cultural consequence of her choice (or lack of choice) to not be a stay-at-home mom. Consider this Twitter quip from Alice Stewart, who until this week was Rick Santorum?s National Press Secretary:
@alicetweet: Being a mother is the most valuable work a woman can do, my heart goes out to @hilaryr children if she doesn?t believe that
So very classy, those Republicans. It's terrible for Hilary Rosen to diminish Ann Romney for her great good fortune to be able to make the choice to stay home with her kids. But it's perfectly acceptable to diminish Hilary Rosen for being a lesbian, an adoptive parent and a working single mother.
Brian Beutler has a great piece on how DC poobahs' recent critique of the Buffett rule is, as he puts it, an "exceptionally obtuse and decontextualized treatment that pretends the parties aren't at a complete impasse on tax reform, gets some of the facts[...]
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Dems declare victory in combatting the "war on women" -- and withdraw. [...]
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George Zimmerman to seek release on bail next week, his lawyer says.[...]
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Roger Ailes: Newt "isn't going to get to come back to Fox News."[...]
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We've got the definitive rundowns on the weird day that was yesterday -- in text and video forms. [...]
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Now that the 2012 presidential election is decided and Romney is the Republican nominee (in the sense that he's the only one left), it's OK to talk about what the current resident is up to, right?
After all, he's going to be the unfettered future resident, as he and I both see it.
So let's start at the beginning, with the government's War on Government Whistleblowers (my emphasis and reparagraphing):
For two years I have been writing about the criminalization of whistleblowing, or as Glenn Greenwald has put it more aptly, the ?war on whistleblowers.? I?m an attorney with the Government Accountability Project, the nation?s leading whistleblower organization.I hope you noticed that use of the No-Fly List. It's not there for nothing; it's for the State to beat you with, any time it wants.
How did I get into this line of work? Because I myself was a whistleblower when I worked as a Legal Advisor at the Justice Department and blew the whistle when my advice not to interrogate ?American Taliban? John Walker Lindh without an attorney (and, parenthetically, not to torture him) was ignored and then ?disappeared? from the file in contravention of a federal court discovery order.
After I blew the whistle, the Justice Department retaliated against me by, among other things, placing me under criminal investigation, referring me to the state bars in which I?m licensed as a lawyer based on a secret report to which I did not have access, and putting me on the ?No-Fly? List.
While the Bush administration treated whistleblowers unmercifully, the Obama administration has been far worse. It is actually prosecuting them, and doing so under the Espionage Act ? one of the most serious charges that can be leveled against an American.And why is he doing this, according to the writer?
At first I thought Obama?s war on whistleblowers was meant to appease the intelligence establishment, which saw him as weak.And there are plenty more examples, including this:
I soon recognized this assault as a devious way to create bad precedent for going after journalists. All the Espionage Act cases involve allegations that the government employee ?leaked? information (or retained information for the purpose of leaking it) to journalists.
[For example, the] government?s spectacularly failed case against NSA whistleblower Tom Drake claimed that he allegedly retained allegedly classified information for the purpose of leaking it to Siobhan Gorman, then with the Baltimore Sun. It turned out that he disclosed unclassified information about a failed and wasteful (multi-billion dollar) NSA spy program that compromised Americans? privacy.
In the most extreme proof yet that the war on whistleblowers is also a war on journalists, Glenn Greenwald?s explosive piece last night detailed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repeatedly detaining and interrogating Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentarian Laura Poitras, who has filmed three of my NSA clients for the third installment of her War on Terror trilogy.The Greenwald piece she refers to is here. A taste:
Not surprisingly, her latest film will be about the government?s ever-expanding secret domestic surveillance, NSA treating our nation like a foreign country for spying purposes, and the war on whistleblowers.
One of the more extreme government abuses of the post-9/11 era targets U.S. citizens re-entering their own country, and it has received far too little attention.This is the State in action. Bush grew the State to a certain humongous size. Obama is growing it larger. And I'm not talking budget; I'm talking reach and will-to-power.
With no oversight or legal framework whatsoever, the Department of Homeland Security routinely singles out individuals who are suspected of no crimes, detains them and questions them at the airport, often for hours, when they return to the U.S. after an international trip, and then copies and even seizes their electronic devices (laptops, cameras, cellphones) and other papers (notebooks, journals, credit card receipts), forever storing their contents in government files.
No search warrant is needed for any of this. No oversight exists And there are no apparent constraints on what the U.S. Government can do with regard to whom it decides to target or why.
In an age of international travel ? where large numbers of citizens, especially those involved in sensitive journalism and activism, frequently travel outside the country ? this power renders the protections of the Fourth Amendment entirely illusory.
In Oklahoma, state lawmakers are poised to enact an ?open carry? law which would allow residents with a permit to display their guns in grocery stores, libraries, and anywhere else in public. The measure is expected to be passed by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.
Oklahoma law currently requires that people must generally conceal their handguns. In 2010, then-Gov. Brad Henry (D) vetoed an open carry bill because state police expressed concern that it would make it hard for them ?to distinguish criminals from law-abiding citizens.? Keith Barenberg, the president of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, maintains his concern: “Law-enforcement officers will be that much more jumpy and nervous if they see a gun.” And such confrontations could lead to loss of innocent life. As Norman McNickle, president of the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs, put it: ?How does the first arriving officers know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? It makes their job exponentially harder.”
Proponents of the ?open carry? legislation, like Tim Gillespie, director of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, claim the measure is necessary because ?we live in a dangerous world.? So dangerous, according to Republican state Senator Ralph Shortey, that people need the open display of guns to help fend off attacks from wild turkeys:
During committee discussions, Shortey argued that he shouldn’t be required to pay fees and get a license to carry a weapon. Here’s how he justified that:
“I was in oil and gas,” Shortey said. “I was out on a lease at one time and I got attacked by a turkey. Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person. And so I beat it with a club. That was all I could do.
“I wish that I had a gun with me,” he said. “And I started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn’t want to get attacked by a mountain lion. Turkeys are bad enough.”
The Tulsa World opined, ?Open-carry is needed to protect us from enraged turkeys? Seriously?? The editoral joked, ?Maybe Oklahoma’s stand your ground law covers turkey attacks.?
Sen. Shortey is full of ?asinine? ideas. As ThinkProgress noted earlier this year, Shortey introduced a ludicrous and unnecessary bill that would prohibit the manufacturing and sale of food ?which contains aborted human fetuses.? He also has proposed legislation to ?abolish the state Court of Criminal Appeals and?to eliminate the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s power to review the constitutionality of laws.?
Yesterday, the administration defended its decision not to issue an executive order prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting by arguing that the administration would rather build support for the more comprehensive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). “The approach we?re taking at this time is to try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained during an eight minute exchange with journalists at his daily briefing. “And I would make the comparison here that pursuing that strategy, the passage of ENDA, is very similar to the approach the President took for the legislative repeal of ?don?t ask, don?t tell.?
But the reporters remained dubious, pressing, “if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?” NBC’s Kristen Welker wondered, “Is this a political calculation”?
Carney stressed that the campaign did not shape the administration?s decision but suggested, remarkably, that in this case, the president was willing to make that perfect the enemy of the good — abandon interim reforms that would have extended protections for millions of Americans in favor of sweeping comprehensive change that has little hope of advancing in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The argument is untenable — unbelievable — and even Carney’s comparison of employment nondiscrimination to the legislative repeal of DADT falls flat on closer examination.
After all, before Congress passed legislation that eliminated the policy in December of 2010, the Defense Department took a series of steps to ease the implementation of the ban. In February of 2010, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a 45-day review into how the Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell military policy could be enforced more humanely, and in March of that year, he announced more lenient guidelines for enforcing the ban against homosexual conduct and behavior. The new rules limited enforcement of the policy to those cases where servicemember actively outed themselves.
Obama ultimately rejected calls to use executive authority to end the discharges, but his administration did accelerate the repeal process through administrative action. And that approach, to use Careny’s words, should be “instructive here in terms of the approach the administration [should take] at this time.”
– North Korea’s failed attempt at launching a satellite into orbit may be a cause of embarrassment for the country’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, who is now widely expected to move ahead with a third nuclear test as a show of strength.
– The U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are finding themselves divided over how best to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions while defusing the possibility of military confrontation with the Islamic Republic. The New York Times reports that officials from those countries “acknowledged in recent days significant differences over what a nuclear accord should look like.”
– Syrian anti-government demonstrators faced beatings but no widesscale shelling or shooting from security forces as a ceasefire took hold and was “relatively respected” by the government, said a spokesman for international envoy Kofi Annan. The envoy announced that an advance team of a about a dozen U.N. observers is ready to enter Syria.
– A multinational team of weapons experts has secured and destroyed 5,000 LIbyan man-operated portable air defense systems (MANPADS) left after the fall of Qaddafi’s regime, but the team has been unable to rule out the possibility that a number of the weapons may have been smuggled out of Libya or acquired by terrorists.
– Pakistan’s parliament unanimously submitted new guidelines to improve strained relations with the U.S. that calls on the U.S. to suspend its C.I.A. program of unmanned drone strikes against militants on the ground that it violates Pakistani “sovereignty.”
– The intelligence chief of Egpyt’s deposed Mubarak regime, Omar Suleiman, revitalized his career by announcing a run for the presidency — apparently operated from the intelligence ministry — and collecting the necessary signatures. But lawmakers quickly drafted a law barring former regime officials from running, though it’s unlikely to be signed by the military’s transitional leaders.
– Vice-Chief of the Joint Staff Adm. James Winnefeld said this week that the military’s reconfigured posture in Asia does not solely revolve around China. “I don’t think China should view this as a threat,” he said. “We can all get along out there.”
– Adm. Bill McRaven, the head of U.S. special operations, is mapping out a potential Afghanistan war plan that would replace thousands of U.S. troops with small special operations teams paired with Afghans to help an inexperienced Afghan force face Taliban forces as U.S. troops withdraw.