I never thought I’d be spurred to defend GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers, but the misogyny coming from the right, in the wake of her helping torpedo the 20-week abortion ban, is appalling.
The boys over at Red State are leading the charge, with sexually insecure sad sack Erick Erickson calling her “the GOP’s Abortion Barbie” (his sick nickname for Wendy Davis) and now another Red Stater, Aaron Gardner, asking “Is Renee Ellmers worthy of life?”
In a country where abortion providers have been murdered and clinics bombed, that’s a particularly ugly provocation.
Gardner justifies his threatening question by explaining he’s the product of rape - his biological grandfather apparently raped his grandmother — and that the rape exemption to the abortion ban that Ellmers supports somehow makes the case that he’s not worthy of life.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) invited Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to Minneapolis last week after Perkins said that Muslims had established “no-go zones,” in the Minnesotan city.
In response to a caller on Perkin’s show, “Washington Watch,” on Friday, who claimed that the “Muslim community” had established “no-go zones” in France, Perkins said that while he could not verify the “military-type training,” he did accept that Europe — and some American cities — had these so-called “no-go zones.” (The no-go zones in France are a debunked conservative myth.)
“I mean, we saw the effect of that in France, where they have like 700 no-go zones, where authorities have allowed basically Sharia law to be imposed,” Perkins said, according to audio posted by Right Wing Watch. “There are some areas in this country that, in effect, that has occurred. Dearborn, Michigan, is one of the places. There are some places in Minneapolis. I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as what we’ve seen in Europe. It’s been more by the effect that that’s occurred.”
Power was being restored Sunday to tens of thousands of people who lost electricity in Southern California after fierce Santa Ana winds gusting as much as 89 mph toppled trees and power poles.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Saturday’s outages affected more than 54,000 customers — mostly in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
The Santa Ana winds downed numerous trees and power poles across the region. The damage included a large billboard that blew down in Burbank, while a big tree fell into the kitchen of a house in Van Nuys.
In a blatant example of exactly how Republicans feel about civil rights and human rights, the GOP has deleted those words from the name of a Senate subcommittee that is responsible for issues including voting rights, hate crimes, racial, religious, ethnic, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation discrimination.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa (photo) is now the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after Republicans took over the Senate in the November elections. Responsible for subcommittee assignments, Grassley, along with the subcommittee’s new Chair, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, have changed the name of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil and Human Rights to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution.
It’s a clear reminder and example of exactly what Republicans hold dear, and what they have contempt for.
Federal investigators are cracking down on what they say are sham universities that exploit the visa system for foreign students.
At least half a dozen schools have been shut down or raided by federal authorities in recent years over allegations of immigration fraud. Like Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, California, they had obtained permission from immigration officials to admit foreign students.
But investigators say most offered little or no instruction or didn’t require all students to attend classes, instead taking advantage of the visa system for profit.
In an unusual turn of events at the Texas trial now under appeal, the state was caught red-handed: Four of the state’s five expert witnesses were forced to change their testimony on the stand when confronted with emails showing they had lied about who had written their reports.
Just how extensive and improper Rue’s contributions had been wasn’t known until a 2:30 a.m. document dump during the trial. That’s when the state’s lawyers finally turned over to the clinics’ attorneys emails they had withheld, despite a court order requiring them to turn over all the witnesses’ communications with Rue. The emails show that Rue sent drafts of rebuttals to expert reports to the purported rebuttal authors before the authors had ever seen the reports they were meant to be rebutting. Deborah Kitz, a witness testifying as an expert in the management of medical facilities, claimed under oath that no one else had contributed to the writing of her rebuttal. But she wrote to Rue, “I see ‘my’ report that you returned to me yesterday references my review of a report from a Dr. Layne-Farrar. I’ve never seen that report.” Similarly, Mayra Thompson, an OB-GYN, failed to review the sources she purported to rebut. Thompson admitted that she was unfamiliar with eight of the nine studies relied upon by the expert she claimed to critique, and she could not identify a single published study to support the opinions expressed in her own report.
There’s more. Sociologist Peter Uhlenberg, the author of a book claiming that scientific material must be tested against the Bible and “some findings must be rejected as contrary to a Christian understanding of reality,” denied ever discussing his opinions with Rue. Yet emails show him asking Rue what he should do about contradictory evidence. Rue helpfully suggested leaving the most recent data out of Uhlenberg’s report.
Alabama became the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling Friday, as the issue of same-sex marriage heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama’s refusal to recognize their 2008 marriage performed in California. The ruling is the latest in a string of wins for advocates of marriage rights. Judges have also struck down bans in several other Southern states, including the Carolinas, Florida, Mississippi and Virginia. The U.S. Supreme Court announced this month that it will take up the issue of whether gay couples have a fundamental right to marry and if states can ban such unions.
Alabama plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand have been a couple for more than 14 years and have an 8-year-old son together who was conceived with the help of a sperm donor. They filed a federal lawsuit after a court refused to recognize Searcy as the adoptive parent of the boy because they were not spouses under Alabama law.
The Supreme Court’s announcement Friday that it would consider lethal injection, potentially reshaping the way executions are carried out in the United States, comes just a week after the justices declined to stop an execution in Oklahoma. But it also comes after several erratic years of executions around the country, as states have changed their protocols again and again, scrambled to obtain the necessary drugs and faced criticism for effectively experimenting with capital punishment.
And, pivotally, the Supreme Court’s action comes after a year with three high-profile, problematic executions. All three executions drew an unusually large amount of attention to the problems facing lethal injection in this country, and all three executions involved the sedative midazolam.
The justices said they would take up a case presented by three inmates currently scheduled to be executed by Oklahoma over the next six weeks, with the first of these executions planned for next Thursday. The petition had originally been put forward by four inmates, rather than three, but Charles Warner, the fourth inmate, was put to death in Oklahoma last week.
The town that was once controlled by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs before his arrest faces divisions between those who still follow his teachings, and others who wish to erase his mark from the community. (Jan. 23)
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The President’s State of the Union address included a proposal to address America’s largest category of consumer debt: home mortgages. The proposed lowering of the FHA mortgage insurance premium—from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent—would be one of the most immediately impactful governance changes emerging from this high-profile speech. This change represents about $900 dollars in the pocket of every homebuyer who finances, or refinances, with an FHA mortgage in the next year alone—an estimated 800,000 people. Plus, the reduction in cost will allow an estimated 250,000 additional families to buy a home for the first time during the next three years.
Big news, right? Imagine the stampede if the President had said, “homebuyers, line up outside for your $900 checks.” Yet, if you blinked during the SOTU, you missed it; the President simply said “…things like lower mortgage premiums will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families.” In fact, even if you didn’t blink, you might not have known what he was referencing.