Paul Ryan today, explaining that while he doesn't fully agree with Mitt Romney's latest position on abortion, he's "comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."
Look, I'm proud of my record. I don't? I'm proud of my record. Mitt Romney is going to be president. The president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction.Two things:
It's a fantasy to assume Ryan would accept a half-measure from Romney without pushing for more, and it's an even bigger fantasy to assume Romney would be able to withstand pressure from his party's base on the issue.
CHARLOTTE, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Democratic National Convention Committee today announced the following additional speakers for the 2012 Democratic National Convention:
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth
Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University Student
Denise Juneau, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Montana
Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America
Eva Longoria, Obama Campaign Co-Chair
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, together with the women of the U.S. Senate
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Previously announced speakers include: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention, President Bill Clinton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Elizabeth Warren.
The DNCC will unveil additional convention program details and speakers in the coming days. The first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President on Thursday, September 6 at Bank of America Stadium.
George W. Bush with his ideas guy, Tommy Thompson.Tommy Thompson, Republican candidate for Wisconsin's open Senate seat, jumped on the bandwagon condemning Todd Akin this week. Like Romney, he had to sleep on it and see which way the political winds were blowing, but he got there eventually. On Monday he said it was up to Akin and the voters of Missouri, but by Tuesday he was demanding Akin step down. He called Akin's comments "ignorant at best and outrageous," and also said, "Regardless of gender or party, we all have a moral responsibility to come together in opposition to crimes against women and support an exceptions for abortion in the abhorrent situations where rape is involved."
Of course, that "abhorrent situation" isn't considered in the Republican platform. That platform calls for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exception for rape or for incest. That's the same abortion plank as in the 2000 GOP platform, a platform that was written by none other than Tommy Thompson. The Wisconsin Democrats have the goods, quoting a July 2000 report from the Capital Times:
?Not long after he uttered those words, Bush made Thompson the idea man?tapping the four-term governor to chair the committee charged with drawing up the 2000 Republican platform?The current plank pledges Republicans will appoint only judges opposed to protecting reproductive rights, who favor blocking any taxpayer funding of abortions and who will punish doctors who perform abortions. It also supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion even in cases where rape, incest and a threat to the life of the mother are involved.? [Capital Times, 7/29/2000]
Has he had another change of heart since then? Does he really now support an exception for rape, or will he be a vote in the Senate for a total abortion ban?
Wisconsin voters sure deserve to know.
Four years ago, Barack Obama beat John McCain among women voters by a healthy 13-point margin. That gap was doubtless made larger by McCain's shameful performance in the final presidential debate, when during an exchange about reproductive rights he used air quotes to mock the very idea of the "health of the mother." Now, just as the Republican Party risks immolating itself with a draconian anti-abortion platform consistent with the views of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, Americans are learning that Paul Ryan, too, dismissed the health of the mother exception as "a loophole wide enough to drive a Mack truck through."
Ryan's jaw-dropping disregard for the health and safety of American women came during the 2000 debate over the so-called "partial birth abortion" bill. As NPR explained, the very rare intact dilation and extraction (used only 2,200 times out of 1.3 million procedures performed in 2000) was resorted to precisely to protect the health of the woman in certain late-term pregnancies. The alternative, NPR noted, "can involve substantial blood loss and may increase the risk of lacerating the cervix, potentially undermining the woman's ability to bear children in the future."
Mitt Romney's new running mate was having none of it. During a House debate on April 5, 2000, Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin told the House that "the women I have spoken to wanted nothing more than to have a child and were devastated to learn that their babies could not survive outside the womb. They made difficult decisions with their doctors and families to terminate pregnancies, to preserve their own health and in many cases their ability to try to have a child again." Afterward, Paul Ryan rose to denounce that position:
Mr. Speaker. I just have to take issue with the comments that have been preceding this debate. This is not a political issue. This is a human issue. Let me just say this to all of my colleagues who are about to vote on this issue, on the motion to recommit. The health exception is a loophole wide enough to drive a Mack truck through it. The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless.(Continue reading below the fold.)
CNN's COSTELLO: The Romney campaign rolling out yet another commercial blasting President Obama for stripping the work requirement out of welfare. Republicans are expected to attack the President on that point at their convention, too, but is it true? Our fact checker Tom Foreman has been sifting through the evidence. CLINTON: Join me as I sign the welfare reform bill. CNN's FOREMAN:...
There's a report out today from the current deputy Prime Minister of Syria that they would be "ready to discuss" the resignation of Bashar al-Assad and the transition to a new government. That the statement came while the deputy PM was in Russia for[...]
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A great deal of discussion about television’s breakout period has focused on the extent to which television has equaled, or even replaced the novel in the best shows’ sprawling explorations of huge groups of characters, social issues, and the idiosyncrasies of American life. But last season, and I think in this upcoming season of television, we have a number of shows with different ambition that are struggling within their forms: they want to be movies or miniseries, and are trying to figure out how how to stretch their plots over 22 episodes, much less multiple seasons. The prime existing example of that kind of show is Revenge, the story of a woman coming back to have her way with the people who framed her father for complicity with terrorism, a decision that lead to his death. The show initially started with its protagonist, Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) doing in an enemy per week, but given how short her enemies’ list really was, the show lost momentum after she got rid of the easy marks and had to stretch out her stalking of the Big Bads. It’s a setup that might have worked brilliantly and nastily as a six-episode miniseries, but got ponderous towards the end, and is hard to imagine working all the way through a second season unless her battle escalates to full-on trench warfare in the Hamptons:
This fall television season features a number of new shows, all of which I like, but none of which seem sustainable over the long term. On ABC’s Last Resort, the crew of a nuclear submarine refuse their orders and take over a small tropical island which they declare independent. The idea of taking Gotham hostage with a nuclear weapon barely seemed plausible over a period of nine months in The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s hard for me to see how a viable stalemate would persist for years or the conspiracy around the orders the crew got to nuke Pakistan can stay undetected and unbusted for that long either. Nashville, also on that network, features a rivalry between two country singers played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, but it’s hard to believe they can remain in a perpetual state of animosity?tours last only so long?or what the show plans to do after playing out its B story, about the Nashville mayoral election. Fox’s midseason show The Following, about a serial killer who develops a following during his imprisonment, has an even more limited premise: there can only be so many people willing to sign up to commit mass murder or to stab themselves in the eye to mess with the FBI. The case can’t go on forever unless the show wants to abandon its core dynamic, a rivalry between Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy. That show, at least, is beginning with a 15-episode season because that’s the number per year Bacon was willing to commit to.
To an extent, it seems like Revenge was written with the expectation that it couldn’t possibly get a full-season order, and the same may be the case with Last Resort, which is excellent, but high-concept and will air in an extremely difficult 8 PM Thursday timeslot. But it’s really too bad that networks don’t have some quarterly or mini-series sized time slots that they could use for concepts that are fascinating, but don’t fit neatly into the 22 episode season. The season length is essentially arbitrary, and in so much as it has a rationale, it’s a commercial rather than an artistic one, a way to get to the syndication threshhold of 100 episodes as quickly as possible without burning out actors or writers. But miniseries or shorter runs could be a way to make truly must-see TV again, as appeared to be the case with Kevin Costner’s run on Hatfields & McCoys earlier this summer. I understand the difficulties of sinking resources into one-time productions for a business model that’s based on monetizing the same content multiple times.
But when I think about it, I still think one of the shows I enjoyed last season was ABC’s The River, a horror story about a group of Amazonian explorers who go looking for their long-lost leader. The show had its flaws, including some casting problems. But when it was cancelled after the short run of its first season, it went out with a genuinely terrifying image, of the river shifting to trap the crew forever. That, more than a clear resolution or explanation, or wringing everything out of the characters that could possibly be obtained with them, was some thrilling television. There wasn’t a repetitive episode, a moment that made me feel like the show was in a rut, just a scary economy to the show’s forward progress. I’d rather have less of a good concept executed well than one wrung painfully dry, as CBS is doing to How I Met Your Mother right now. And I’d love for networks to find their way to building some flexibility into the schedule to give stories the amount of space they actually need. It’s not only in my interests. If the broadcast networks are going to complain that cable’s beating them in awards nominations because those networks only need to produce eight to fifteen episodes of a show, the broadcast networks might consider whether it would behoove them to play the game, at least sometimes, by the new rules.
Our guest blogger is Melissa Boteach, director of Poverty to Prosperity at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Sixteen years ago today President Clinton signed the law that did away with guaranteed income assistance for poor families with children and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It was a watershed moment in poverty policy that fundamentally changed the landscape for struggling families.
For too many poor children, this 16th birthday is anything but sweet. As a present they get increased child poverty rates and a campaign from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that demagogues their families.
When TANF was first enacted, child poverty fell significantly and racial and ethnic disparities closed. Many politicians attributed these positive trends to the law?s new work requirements and time limits on income assistance. While these factors likely pushed more mothers into the labor market, the Clinton-era rates of economic growth and rising wages, along with the president?s policies on increased access to childcare and tax credits for working families, also played a significant role.
When the economy tanked, those gains began to unravel. As a flat-funded block grant, TANF lost the ability to respond to increased need in tough economic times and has lost approximately 30 percent of its value since 1996.. During the Great Recession, several states actually decreased their caseload as poverty rates rose each year. And today, only about 27 percent of poor families with children can access the program as opposed to the two-thirds of poor families with children that did in 1996:
Given that reducing child poverty was never a goal of the original legislation, perhaps this is not surprising. The current design of TANF?s work participation rates encourages states to help the easiest to employ families over those that face serious barriers to work and need more help. Moreover, the incentive structure of the program is focused on caseload reduction as states receive incentives for kicking people off the rolls regardless of whether or not they have found employment.
What states did not receive from the program was an incentive to cut poverty.
One silver lining from welfare reform was that many progressives thought enacting these reforms would take welfare ?off the table? as an issue for demagoguery. No more fake welfare queens in Cadillacs used to drive a wedge between voters and foster working-class resentment. The American public would know that people on income assistance were required to work and that assistance was temporary.
Unfortunately, today, on TANF?s 16th birthday, the Romney/Ryan campaign is running false ads about families on income assistance in swing states, claiming the Obama administration wants to ?gut work requirements? and ?hand people checks.? Those claims are not only blatantly false ? the Obama administration is trying to improve employment outcomes for low-income families through a waiver system Romney supported as governor ? but a cynical maneuver that threatens to undermine bipartisan consensus that states could innovate with new approaches to improve employment opportunities for vulnerable families.
The pre-1996 welfare system had its flaws and was in need of reform. But record of conservative reform efforts is clear: Today, there are more children poverty, more working poor families, and unfortunately more demagoguery. As we move forward, we need to focus on creating an income assistance program that puts child poverty reduction and not caseload reduction as the central goal and addresses the fundamental barriers that families have to accessing sustainable employment.
Judge Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock, Texas, announced on a local television station that he would personally join the resistance against a United Nations’ takeover of American sovereignty, which he says will occur if Obama is reelected:
[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN. Okay, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario here. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. We’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy.
Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops — with the little blue beanies. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. Okay. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’. “And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said ‘you gonna back me’ he said, ‘yeah, I’ll back you.’”
This is not Judge Head’s first foray into the deepest cesspools of anti-Obamaism. In 2009, Head posted a picture of nine people who were arrested while wearing Obama t-shirts, accompanied by the text “Did you ever see anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, or for you older folks, an Eisenhower?, Gerald Ford?, Ronald Reagan?, even Nixon?, or any political t-shirt? There MUST be a message here, but I can?t quite grasp it, or maybe I?m afraid to.”
Moreover, Head’s brand of paranoia is hardly limited to low-level county officials in Texas. Ted Cruz, the Texas GOP’s U.S. Senate candidate, published an article last January claiming that billionaire George Soros is leading a global United Nation’s conspiracy to eliminate the game of golf.