When a single politician says something insane, we tend to write it off as the mutterings of a feeble mind. But when there is a long history of anti-abortion politicians saying that women can't be impregnated when raped, then perhaps it's not just a new tactic in the War on Women, but a renewed attack on science-based reality.
Michele may have crazy eyes, she may say crazy things, but did you ever think she'd apply for dual citizenship with a European country with mandated health insurance? Former Presidential nominee and perpetual font of amusement, Michele Bachmann is now officially a Swiss citizen.
45 years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that birth control (for married women) was legal and that the US Constitution guaranteed privacy to women seeking reproductive services. That privacy ruling was instrumental in subsequent cases [pdf]regarding the legality of birth control and pregnancy termination. And while many states are pushing through new termination restrictions; some states are now pushing through "Personhood" laws that grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses. These laws ban abortion without exception, ban certain forms of birth control, ban in-vitro fertilization, and forbid the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The legislations are being marketed by a "Conceived by Rape" bus tour. [more inside]
Abortion has always been a hotspot in the culture wars. But of late, the anti-abortion movement has had some huge wins, often sliding in under the radar of pro-choice supporters. Idaho bans abortions after the 20th week, claiming that mother's shouldn't have the right to make a fetus uncomfortable. Nebraska also banned abortion after the 20th week, so did Oklahoma. Oregon, Minnesota, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio are also considering joining the 31 states that currently have such a ban. Virginia passed a law that will shut the doors of almost every abortion clinic in the state. And various areas are now enacting laws that suggest a fetus is significantly more important than the carrier of said fetus. One judge ruled that a girl couldn't have an abortion because she had bad grammar. It is quite possible that women who are in their 40s right now may be the only generation of American women that possessed full reproductive rights for their entire child bearing years.
The Justice Department - brought to you by the letters ORLY? The left gets to hate him because he "is the RIAA's favorite lawyer". (Note however, that the RIAA has still never actually won a judgement against a file sharer.) The right gets to hate him because he was the lawyer for Terry Schiavo's husband. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Thomas J. Perrelli, Obama's selection for associate Attorney General. [more inside]
Heck of a Job, Tommy! State Department investigators have found that Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the State Department office that oversees foreign broadcasts misused his office for personal and political gain. Mr. Tomlinson’s position at the broadcasting board makes him one of the administration’s top officials overseeing public diplomacy and puts him in charge of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
The Red Cross has been ordered to stay out of New Orleans. Critical firefighting equipment is being left untouched. Chicago's offer of manpower and equipment is "snubbed" by FEMA, according to the Mayor. FEMA "forgets" to tell the military to airdrop food and water to the survivors. Northern Command has been ready for days, just waiting for the President to give the orders. Feds delayed paperwork giving permission for National Guard to act. Louisiana begged for federal help on Sunday in a formal request, but the Bush administration says they didn't know anything about problems until Wednesday. Meanwhile, reporters apparently grow weary of the spin doctors.
Safia Taleb Al Souhail was recognized by President Bush's SOTU address with this introduction: "Eleven years ago, Safia's father was assassinated by Saddam's intelligence service. Three days ago in Baghdad, Safia was finally able to vote for the leaders of her country -- and we are honored that she is with us tonight." This year's chairwarmer is an interesting person for the President to have chosen to highlight in his speech. Especially considering how much work she's done for the neocon movement, the fact that she hadn't lived in Iraq for 30 years, was an American-placed a member of the Iraqi interim government, and the fact that she's the new Iraqi ambassador to Egypt. You may also remember that she was paraded in front of us back in 2002 as justification for going after Saddam. , It's interesting to note that her sister blames the US for her father's death, saying that the CIA sold him out because they needed Saddam in power at that point. Shades of the incubator story, no? More research ongoing at KOS.
We libertarians can be forgiven for suspecting that legal sanctions against vice are not the concern of normal, healthy human beings. They are the concern of busybodies. And busybodies, for the record, are people who spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what other people do in private. They hatch plans to catch their victims, engage in voyeurism as they peep into windows, and then break into homes and businesses to arrest their prey with the help of professional“busybody enablers”(pdf) called vice cops.
Viacom's CBS today rejected a request from liberal group MoveOn to air a 30-second anti-President Bush ad, saying the spot violated the network's policy against running issue advocacy advertising. This, despite running anti-drug and anti-smoking ads. So, is it only issues about which they disagree?
Sunday, Bloody Sunday... On the night of 30 January 1972, Murray Sayle was sent by the Sunday Times to Londonderry to report on the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed civil rights marchers by British Army Paratroopers. The article he wrote diverged from the official line; it was never printed. Twenty-six years later, his lost copy was unearthed by the new Inquiry. In what follows, he returns to Derry to give evidence. His original article is reproduced in full, along with a map marking the locations of the dead and wounded, and a memo Sayle wrote to the editor of the Sunday Times when the article failed to appear.
Threat of 'dirty bomb' softened Attorney General John Ashcroft on Monday overstated the potential threat posed by "dirty bomb" suspect Abdullah Al Muhajir, Bush administration and law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Ashcroft's remarks annoyed the White House and led the administration to soften the government's descriptions of the alleged plot. "I don't think there was actually a plot beyond some fairly loose talk and (Al Muhajir's) coming in here obviously to plan further deeds," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told CBS on Tuesday. So, does this mean he'll actually get treated like an American citizen and get to see a lawyer?