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Archive for June 26th, 2014

McDaniel Freaks Out Over Cochran’s Black Voters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

McDaniel Freaks Out Over Cochran’s Black Voters
Some National Republican leaders are cringing after Chris McDaniel followed his loss in the Mississippi GOP Senate primary with complaints about voting “irregularities” because some black Democrats crossed parties and voted for Sen. Thad Cochran. “The more the tea party complains about how black voters vote for Republicans, I think they look racist and stupid,” said GOP consultant John Feehery. “We’re trying to get black voters. Now that one of our candidates got black voters, we should be happy about it.” On election night, McDaniels refused to concede and told a crowd of his supporters, “There is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual, about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.”


Stocks open lower on Wall Street, led by banks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Stocks open lower on Wall Street, led by banks
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving lower on Wall Street, led by a decline in banks.

High court rebukes Obama on recess appointments
WASHINGTON (AP) —


Todd Akin blasts Hillary Clinton for fighting “legitimate” rape claim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Todd Akin blasts Hillary Clinton for fighting “legitimate” rape claim
The congressman derailed by his “legitimate rape” theory says Democrats are the real perpetrators of the “war on women”

Democrats admit the future looks bleak for immigration reform
A year after legislation passed the Senate, Democrats make one last push to get Republicans to act


Fox’s Kilmeade: “It Is Almost Treason For” Obama “To Be Focusing” On Climate Change

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox’s Kilmeade: “It Is Almost Treason For” Obama “To Be Focusing” On Climate Change

From the June 26 edition of Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends:

Previously:

Fox News Cites Birther To Claim NASA “Faked” Global Warming

Fox Nation On Cap-And-Trade Bill: “Treason? House Passes Direct Assault On Industrial Base Of America”

Fox’s Brian Kilmeade Suggests Only “Corrupt” Climatologists Believe In Climate Change


10 Reasons Why Iraq’s Bloodbath Is Not W’s Fault

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

10 Reasons Why Iraq’s Bloodbath Is Not W’s Fault
Larry Elder, RealClearPolitics
1) In 2011, President Barack Obama pronounced Iraq “self-reliant and democratic,” and “a country in which people from different religious sects and ethnicities can resolve their differences peacefully through the democratic process.” In 2010, Vice President Joe Biden called Iraq “one of the great achievements of this administration.” Obama ignored pleas by top generals who advised against pulling out without leaving a residual force. 2) Nearly everybody assumed Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Of the newspaper editorials that opposed the war, not one…

Does Mary Burke Have What It Takes to Topple Scott Walker?
Scott Conroy, RealClearPolitics
MARINETTE, Wis. — Mary Burke spends just about every waking hour these days focused on trying to become governor, but the Wisconsin Democrat admits to harboring a secondary goal as she campaigns around the state. The former business executive and state commerce secretary is running neck-and-neck with Republican Gov. Scott Walker. And if she is able to beat him in November, Burke could end the ambitious first-term governor’s likely 2016 presidential campaign before it even begins. “What we have seen here in the last 3½ years in Wisconsin under Scott Walker is the Tea Party…

GOP Poll, Not Its Policies, Gets Women’s Priorities Right
Stephanie Schriock, RealClearPolitics
Big news. Republicans now have their own poll to tell them exactly what the rest of us have known for years — women care about the economy. Their poll says what all polls say. Women want their government to focus on helping them get a fair shot for their families: economic opportunity, health care, education – basically, the Democratic platform. When Democrats talk about “the Republican war on women” — no matter how hard the GOP tries not to understand — we mean a substantive series of policies that roll back the clock and decrease economic opportunity for women and…

Keeping Up With the Clintons
Debra Saunders, RealClearPolitics
It’s time to pass the hat for Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state has tried to distance herself from her weeks-ago assertion that after husband Bill left the White House, the couple were “dead broke.” She told PBS that the line was “inartful,” but only after she told a British paper that she does not count herself among the “truly well-off.” Nobody knows the troubles she’s seen. In the United Kingdom pushing her latest book — for which she received a reported eight-figure advance — Clinton told The Guardian that the Clintons should not be seen as out-of-touch swells: “We pay…


Mortgage cap ‘insures against boom’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Mortgage cap ‘insures against boom’
Plans by the Bank of England to cap riskier mortgage lending is an important “insurance policy” for the UK economy, MPs and the industry say.

Labour: PM mishandled Juncker talks
Labour accuses David Cameron of “badly mishandling” efforts to block Jean-Claude Juncker from the EU’s top job.

VIDEO: Guide to London’s pro and anti-EU groups
Some may think Brussels and Strasbourg are full of EU and European institutions, but London has plenty of its own.


Odds tilt toward GOP Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Odds tilt toward GOP Senate
Republicans are in the strongest position since losing the Senate eight years ago.


Kerry Turns Up Pressure on Russia Over Ukraine, Warning of New Sanctions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Kerry Turns Up Pressure on Russia Over Ukraine, Warning of New Sanctions
Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia needed to take steps in the coming “hours” to pressure separatists in eastern Ukraine to give up the fight.



In the Shadows of Shrines, Shiite Forces Are Preparing to Fight ISIS
Security officials in Iraq’s Shiite holy twin cities, Karbala and Najaf, scoff at the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying their defense forces are ready to meet the threat.



News: Slain Libyan Rights Activist Documented Her Last Hours Online
One of Libya’s most prominent civil rights activists, Salwa Bugaighis, was assassinated in her home in Benghazi on Wednesday, shortly after she posted an image of militiamen outside her home on Facebook.




What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Other Laws That Protect Clinic Patients

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Other Laws That Protect Clinic Patients

This ruling is about as narrow as one could reasonably expect from the current U.S. Supreme Court.

The post What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Other Laws That Protect Clinic Patients appeared first on ThinkProgress.

buffer zone

CREDIT: AP Photo/Bill Sikes

The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated buffer zones around Massachusetts abortion clinics Thursday morning, in a ruling that held a Massachusetts law that effectively barred anti-choice activists from protesting less than 35 feet from a clinic was unconstitutional. The ruling was a blow for the reproductive rights community, but its outcome wasn’t a surprise to many.

The Massachusetts law was among the nation’s broadest in barring most individuals from standing less than 35 feet from an abortion clinic. As the court recognizes in McCullen v. Coakley, this law was instituted to protect the public health and safety of both patients and employees at the clinics, particularly from stalking and harassment that has turned violent in many instances. In Massachusetts, this violence included clinic shootings less than 20 years ago that killed 2 employees and wounded 5 others. Harassment and stalking around clinics can also dissuade many individuals from visiting clinics altogether.

But narrower laws in Colorado and a number of cities and localities could survive the majority’s relatively narrow ruling, led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. While the four justices who wrote separate concurring opinions would take a hatchet to all restrictions surrounding abortion clinics, the five who signed onto the majority opinion applied a scalpel that may not necessarily affect many of the other existing laws.

“This really was very narrowly crafted to Massachusetts,” said National Abortion Federation President Vicki Saporta.

The court rejected the assertion of the four concurring justices. While these justices would have struck down Massachusetts’ law as inherently disfavoring anti-abortion speech, the five-justice majority held instead that the law could not punish such a broad swath of conduct.

“The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted inter­ests,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote for the majority, calling Massachusetts’ law “exceptional” among all 50 states (while also incorrectly suggesting that Massachusetts is the only state with a fixed buffer zone). To elaborate on this point, it cites several other laws that it presumably would uphold, seemingly because they punish particular types of conduct rather than barring everybody within a certain distance. Punishing “harassment,” for example, would be permissible. It cites as an example a New York City law that creates a protected zone of 15 feet, but specifically prohibits “follow[ing] and harass[ing]” another person within that protected distance. If it wanted to protect against physical violence, the court suggests it could pass a law similar to the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 (FACE Act), which punishes ‘physical obstruction,” “injury,” and “intimidation.”

By the Guttmacher Institute’s count, there are at least 12 other cities whose buffer zone laws may be challenged in light of today’s ruling. But many other laws, including Colorado’s “bubble zone” law that prohibits individuals from getting within a certain distance of an abortion patient, are more specific about the types of conduct they prohibit, and thus might very well survive the Supreme Court’s new test.

Chicago’s “bubble zone” law, for example, bars individuals from getting closer than 8 feet to someone entering an abortion clinic with the intent of handing them a leaflet or speaking to them without their consent. It is unclear whether the court would deem this close enough to “harassment” or another harm the state is authorized to prevent. And it is unclear whether another similar law with a different sized buffer zone would survive scrutiny. But the Court is clear that it favors more specificity in these laws.

The Massachusetts law arose from a failed attempt at protecting abortion clinic patients and staff. In fact, Massachusetts used to have a narrower law that was deemed wholly ineffective. That law prohibited individuals from getting closer than six feet to a person entering an abortion clinic to counsel or persuade that person without their consent. But even police officials testified that this moving buffer zone, often known as a “floating” or “bubble” zone was nearly impossible to enforce, and that onerous crowds were collecting around the edges of the prohibited zone.

To better protect the safety of those inside the clinic, Massachusetts passed the 35-foot buffer zone. This new law prohibits anyone from entering that zone, with the exception of passersby, patients, employees, and law enforcement personnel. And advocates say it’s the only thing that’s worked. To address similar problems of chaos, violence, and harassment in its state, New Hampshire just last month passed a buffer zone law that establishes a smaller zone — 25 feet — but with very similar language.

While McCullen will prevent Massachusetts and other states from using what they have determined is the most effective means to protect people entering these clinics, one thing that is clear from the rhetoric of the four concurring justices is that this ruling is about as narrow as one could reasonably expect from the current U.S. Supreme Court. In one of the concurring opinions, Justice Antonin Scalia lamented that even today’s ruling invalidating Massachusetts’ law on narrow grounds “carries forward this Court’s practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents.”

The post What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Other Laws That Protect Clinic Patients appeared first on ThinkProgress.


My Final Post: So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

My Final Post: So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You
From: Greg Mitchell

Will the Tea Party Actually Ditch the GOP?
From: The Christie Watch
Let’s hope so.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law That Keeps Anti-Choice Protesters 35 Feet Away From Abortion Clinics
From: Dani McClain

Massachusetts’s 35-foot buffer between health clinic patients and anti-abortion advocates has been ruled unconstitutional.

Putin’s Ukraine Policy Backfires
From: Bob Dreyfuss

Whatever Russia may have wanted to accomplish in Ukraine since last November, it has accomplished the opposite.