While Missouri, with 10 electoral votes, appears likely to wind up in the Mitt Romney column in November, the Senate race has taken center stage and remains up for grabs.
Read The Full Article:
GOP officially wants to take your rights away
and give them to this.
Which is still not a person.Great timing, guys:
Republicans drafting their party's official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.Of course it took them only a few minutes to officially adopt the position that is already the official position of the Republican Party. All in favor of continuing to take rights away from women? Probably a unanimous "aye" on that.
The vote to endorse the party's long-standing opposition to abortion and support for a "human life amendment" took place at a meeting of the GOP's official platform committee in Tampa, the site of next week's Republican National Convention.
The party's official stance on abortion was approved after just a few minutes of discussion. [...]
"Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the platform language declares. "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."
What makes it awkward, of course, is that, as Jed Lewison explained, "There is no daylight at all between Todd Akin's position on abortion and the GOP's official position on abortion." So while Republicans are running around pretending they're offended by what Akin said, they just voted to support what Akin said.
Here's the comedy gold, though:
Just one little problem with that:
Paul Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Life Act, which defines a fertilized egg as a person and grants it "all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood." No exceptions.Okay, two little problems:
HUCKABEE: Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?The entire Republican Party believes this shit, from Todd Akin to Mitt Romney and all the Republicans in between. Anyone who disagrees is forced out of the party. (Cough Arlen Specter cough.)
They can pretend to be "offended" by Akin all the want, but he was just saying what they all believe. And now it's official.
Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) on Mike Huckabee's radio showTodd Akin just now on Mike Huckabee's radio show: "I want to make things absolutely clear: we are going to continue this race for the United States Senate."
10:23 AM PT: Akin?with Huckabee's help?is really doubling down on his anti-abortion views. He says he didn't mean to offend anyone, but he is standing by his views. "It's the whole significance of the idea that our creator blessed us with life," Akin says. So he's staying in, and making abortion a centerpiece of his campaign.
10:28 AM PT: "I misspoke one word in one sentence," says Akin, asking if "there is no justice here."
10:40 AM PT: Part 1 of Aiken's interview with Huckabee is now at the top of the post.
10:52 AM PT: Here's Part 2 of Aiken's interview:
Honestly, some days I can?t tell real news from The Onion. Representative Todd Akin?s staggering comment on Sunday about the female body?s amazing ability to reject unwanted sperm actually made my jaw drop. If only it didn?t represent what so many people believe, as Amanda Marcotte explained so clearly here yesterday. The good news is that it flushed those beliefs out into the open. As she said, it?s not a gaffe; it?s an insight into the anti-choice movement?s distrust of women and its ignorance of science. (The fact that Akin?s on the House Science Committee is just one of those hilariously horrifying Onion-style bits of data: Do we really live in a country where a ?don?t confuse me with the facts? anti-science ideologue makes policy about ? science?) That magical thinking behind Akin's statement arises from an attitude similar?in ideology, not in degree?to that behind honor killings, in which raped girls who refuse to marry their rapists are killed by male relatives for sullying their family's honor. The idea is that rape somehow brings shame on the woman, not the rapist. If they weren?t lying, if they didn?t want it, their bodies would reject the sperm.
So while the political folks make unwitting sex jokes in their responses and headlines (Akin called his comment ?ill conceived??you can?t make this stuff up!?and TPMCafe wrote ?Akin Advisers Make Preparations For Withdrawal Tomorrow?), let?s look at some of yesterday?s smart commentary and reporting about how this reveals what too many Americans actually believe.
At TheAtlantic.com, the brilliant Garance Franke-Ruta (a Prospect alumna) reported on the recent history of this widely believed canard, with detailed sources.
The thing is, his comments were hardly some kind never-before-heard gaffe. Arguments like his have cropped up again and again on the right over the past quarter century and the idea that trauma is a form of birth control continues to be promulgated by anti-abortion forces that seek to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. The push for a no-exceptions anti-abortion policy has for decades gone hand in hand with efforts to downplay the frequency with which rape- or incest-related pregnancies occur, and even to deny that they happen, at all. In other words, it's not just Akin singing this tune.
Akin himself has tried to clarify that he?s talking about ?legitimate rape? and ?forced rape,? which themselves are extremist rape definitions?absurdly narrow, designed to exclude out such forms of sexual violation as statutory rape, drunken or drugged rape, coercive rape, marital rape (I mean, isn?t the marriage certificate a license for him to have sex?), or date rape. Nick Baumann at MoJo has a good summary of how Akin fits into that effort, reporting that:
Pro-life advocates believed they needed to include the word "forcible" in the law to preempt what National Right to Life Committee lobbyist Doug Johnson called a "brazen" effort by Planned Parenthood and other groups to obtain federal funding for abortions for any teenager by (falsely) claiming statutory rape. Abortion rights groups, Johnson warned, wanted to "federally fund the abortion of tens of thousands of healthy babies of healthy moms, based solely on the age of their mothers." Richard Doerflinger, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' top anti-abortion lobbyist, echoed Johnson in congressional testimony, arguing that the "forcible" language was "an effort on the part of the sponsors to prevent the opening of a very broad loophole for federally funded abortions for any teenager."
(Check out Sady Doyle?s and Amanda Marcotte fabulous and successful twitter campaign against this redefinition last year here.) Remember when Whoopi Goldberg was making excuses for Roman Polanski, saying that isolating, drugging, and assaulting a 13-year-old wasn?t really ?rape-rape?? This campaign would be like that, but with the force of law.
But wait, there?s more. The idea that the female body has magical powers to decide under what conditions it will allow a spermatozoa to pierce its ovum goes way, way back, beyond the past 25 years. It?s literally a medieval idea. Next up: the sun goes around the earth. Vanessa Heggie at The Guardian reported on this at some length:
The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:
"If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman's consent she could not conceive."
Reuters picked this up in its reporting, and added the more contemporary interpretation of the myth, noting that the new rape apologists believe that stress and trauma prevent pregnancy. But the facts are otherwise:
Although the trauma of rape might impair a woman's fertility months or years later, said Levy, "you're not going to interrupt something (like the release of an egg) that's already started."
In fact, several reports noted, rape victims may have a higher-than-average conception rate. After all, these women are not planning to have sex, and so may be less likely to be using contraception. And do rapists whip out their condoms first? (Remember that the overwhelming majority of rapes?including intoxication and date rapes?are committed by a very small minority of repeat predators).
The ideology underlying this slip-up, in which Akin expressed the views of millions of Americans, matters profoundly for women. As the indefatigable Irin Carmon noted at Salon:
Another study found that as many as 22,000 of 25,000 pregnancies resulting from rape in a given year could have been prevented by access to emergency contraception ? the same pill that Akin wants to universally ban. That, too, is a matter of latter-day policy debate, as we learned when the Obama administration capitulated to people like Akin by declining to make it over the counter for everyone, including those adolescents who might not want to ask their dads, stepfathers or uncles to take them to a doctor for a prescription.
All this is of a piece with the amazing and horrifying series of anti-contraception and anti-female sexuality comments we saw last winter. (Can you say ?aspirin between your knees??) Komen has been rightly kneecapped by its brief and ideological attempt to defund Planned Parenthood?s full range of reproductive health services?breast cancer screenings, emergency contraception, vasectomy counseling?with even founder Nancy Brinker stepping down from the presidency (although she?ll stay the CEO), news buried during the August doldrums.
We?re back in a full-on culture war over whether women should be able to control their own bodies or should be punished for having sex (or even for having reproductive systems!). We can thank Representative Akin for bringing that to our attention once again.
Oh, and just in case you need the reference for conversations with your Uncle Joe, here are the facts, from the NIH:
RapeHuman rightsSex crimesGynecologyPregnancyAbortionEmergency contraceptionDate rapePro-life movementPlanned ParenthoodUnintended pregnancySpousal rapeSocial Issues
Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women.
Holmes MM, Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG, Best CL.
We attempted to determine the national rape-related pregnancy rate and provide descriptive characteristics of pregnancies that result from rape.
A national probability sample of 4008 adult American women took part in a 3-year longitudinal survey that assessed the prevalence and incidence of rape and related physical and mental health outcomes.
The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.
Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.
The GOP platform committee adopted language on Tuesday supporting states that have passed voter ID and proof of citizenship laws. The citizenship amendment, proposed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), would support laws that make voters prove their citizenship before they are allowed on the voter rolls.
"I think it's important that the Republican Party stand firmly behind the principle that we verify citizenship. There are a lot of other states that would like to move in this direction, and this platform will give them a boost in doing so," Kobach said.
GOP delegates supporting the amendments alleged that Democrats were stealing elections through voter fraud.
"I think we have to acknowledge and be bold that people on the progressive side are willing to cheat in ways we could never before fathom," Tamara Hall from Montana said. Hall said she had a disabled daughter who cannot read, write, count or tell time who voted without her permission.
"For cookies and milk they had her vote," Hall said. "You have no idea the extreme these people will go to to steal an election."
But GOP delegate Clarence Mingo from Columbus, Ohio said that the GOP had to be careful not to make the issue political.
"I think it is very important and critical that this language not be used for strategic political purposes," Mingo, an African-American, said. "Our efforts in this regard must be sincere, and that's to prevent voter fraud. Any other message or any other suggestion that the party or this platform is attempting to suppress votes for political gain I don't think will help our cause much, and that's certainly not the intent of this body.
"But I do think it's terrifically important that we demonstrate sincerity in this regard in that we highlight the fact that this is about voter fraud and not political gain," Mingo added.
Video of the debate over the citizenship amendment is embedded below.
Over the course of the campaign, Romney assured the American public that his financial disclosure forms told the full story about his finances. Now we know they didn't -- when he released his 2010 tax returns, he was forced to amend those forms to include his offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Switzerland. Mitt Romney wants Americans to "just trust him" when he hasn't been forthcoming in his disclosure forms and his running mate, Paul Ryan, has proposed a plan that would reduce his tax burden to less than one percent, while raising taxes on middle class families by an average of more than $2,000? Mitt Romney should come clean with the American public, explain what he's hiding and why he thinks it's fair that middle class Americans should pay far higher tax rates than he pays now and what he would pay under Paul Ryan's plan.
Read The Full Article:
Republicans couldn't give two piles of bullshit about jobs or the economy - or about people in general.
However, to protect/gain power, they must suffocate the electorate. They must stop people from voting.
Read The Full Article:
Rep. Steve King gave a tepid defense of Todd Akin Monday, while every other Republican in the universe was pushing him toward the exit. King also may have stirred up a controversy of his own: "I just haven't heard of that being a circumstance that's been[...]
Read The Full Article:
The European Central Bank spent most of yesterday rejecting any hope of an imminent intervention in the European bond markets, to put a cap on the spread between the yields of the cheapest and most expensive sovereign bonds. But Ambrose Evans-Pritchard[...]
Read The Full Article:
Even though Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds had a hugely stupid "both sides do it" post as well, Jonah takes home the gold today. Because to people who can breathe through their nose, there's a glaring, obvious difference between a politician who engages in hyperbole (Biden), and a politician who clumsily but very accurately describes their actual beliefs and policy preferences (Akin).
Biden, as far as I can tell, has never introduced any anti-slavery bills -- but Akin has co-sponsored "legitimate rape" laws. And as David Frum pointed out, this view about rape and abortion that Akin articulated is quite common in Republican ranks. This was hardly just a "gaffe."
And let's be clear about something else.
The idea that Republicans are responsible about policing their own when one of them says something offensive and crazy is itself, offensive and crazy (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here -- ah, screw it -- just go to Media Matters).
The only reason the GOP is stepping in this time is because they know Akin has single-handedly put control of the Senate in jeopardy. If he were in a safe seat, they'd yawn. But when even Michelle Malkin admits you've stepped in it, you've screwed the pooch good.