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Archive for September 12th, 2014

Bill Maher: Islam More Dangerous Than Christianity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Bill Maher: Islam More Dangerous Than Christianity
Bill Maher clashed with Charlie Rose during an appearance on Rose’s Bloomberg Television program over the subject of Islam. Maher scoffed at Rose’s attempts to link Islam to Christianity and disavow radical Muslims as representatives of the religion. Rose contended that moderate Muslims do not approve of the actions of radical groups like ISIS and said that like devout Muslims, many Christians hold illiberal beliefs. “No, that’s not true. Not true,” Maher disagreed. “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it.”

Gun-Toting School Teacher Shoots Own Leg
A Utah elementary school teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg on Thursday, officials said. The teacher, who was not identified, suffered a leg wound after the weapon accidentally discharged in the restroom of Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville, Utah, around 8:45 a.m., according to Ben Horsley, communications director for the Granite School District. No one else was injured and the teacher remains in “good condition” at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. The teacher had a license to carry a concealed weapon in Utah, and Horsley said the teacher was not required to tell anyone she was armed.


Batters always at risk despite protection

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Batters always at risk despite protection
MILWAUKEE (AP) — For all the headgear, padding and other protection, batters are never really 100 percent safe at the plate.


Obama praises “optimist” Bill Clinton for starting AmeriCorps

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama praises “optimist” Bill Clinton for starting AmeriCorps
President Obama marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of AmeriCorps, a national organization founded to connect young people with service opportunities.

White House: U.S. “can’t dictate” makeup of Iraqi government
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the newly formed Iraqi government “reflects the diversity of that country.”


Rush Limbaugh Mocks NFL Pregame Show For Raising Awareness Of Domestic Violence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Rush Limbaugh Mocks NFL Pregame Show For Raising Awareness Of Domestic Violence

From the September 12 edition of Premiere Radio Limbaugh’s The Rush Limbaugh Show:

Related:

Brutally Honest Sportscaster Delivers Powerful Commentary On Ray Rice

Previously:

Limbaugh: Outrage And Shock Over Ray Rice Assault Proves That Feminism Isn’t Real

Limbaugh On Ray Rice’s Alleged Spousal Abuse: “How Bad Could It Have Been If She Said Yes To The Proposal”

Limbaugh: Violence Against Women Act Signed “Under The Guise That Women Are Being Beat To A Pulp In This Country”


The Advantage of the Reluctant Warrior

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Advantage of the Reluctant Warrior
David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — President Obama certainly didn’t go looking for another war in the Middle East. Indeed, he contorted himself almost to the breaking point to avoid one. But as he explained to the country Wednesday night, he had no choice but to respond with “strength and resolve” to the barbarous Islamic State that is ravaging Iraq and Syria. Obama’s decision to combat the Islamic State offers him a chance to reset American leadership and his own presidency after growing doubt at home and abroad about what, if anything, he was willing to fight for. His innate cautiousness is now actually a…


DUP’s Ian Paisley dies aged 88

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

DUP’s Ian Paisley dies aged 88
Former first minister and Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has died and his wife, Eileen, says the family is heartbroken.

UK to refund Chinese tourist visas
Chancellor George Osborne announces plans to refund the cost of up to 25,000 visas for Chinese tourists in an attempt to attract more visits to the UK.


Ex-President of Haiti Put Under House Arrest

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Ex-President of Haiti Put Under House Arrest
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was placed on house arrest in a corruption investigation, an order protested by his supporters whom claimed there was no provision in Haitian law for such a penalty.



Sinosphere Blog: Foreign Journalists in China See Decline in Reporting Conditions
Conditions for foreign journalists working in China have gone from bad to worse over the past year, according to a report issued on Friday by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.



Ebola Outpaces Global Response, W.H.O. Says
A doubling of the number of new cases in Liberia this week from the week before is of particular concern, the U.N. health agency said.




4 Other Policies That The Republicans Calling For Over-The-Counter Birth Control Could Endorse

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

4 Other Policies That The Republicans Calling For Over-The-Counter Birth Control Could Endorse

If candidates want to convince reproductive rights experts they’re serious about expanding access to contraception, here are some tips.

The post 4 Other Policies That The Republicans Calling For Over-The-Counter Birth Control Could Endorse appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Obama Contraception

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

Over the past several weeks, an increasing number of GOP lawmakers have come out in favor of making birth control pills available over the counter, a move that’s angered reproductive rights organizations who say candidates are merely pretending to care about women’s health issues to win over female voters. Experts say that the question of access is actually more complex.

According to two policy experts from the Guttmacher Institute — who recently published an article in Health Affairs on the topic — moving birth control over the counter is a really important step. But there are several other policies that should be pursued concurrently.

“We know that unintended pregnancy is a major public health issue in the United States; more than half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended,” Sneha Barot, a senior public policy associate at Guttmacher and one of the authors of the article, told ThinkProgress. “But there are a lot of barriers to women using and continuing contraceptives. We have to think about a number of ways to make it easier and more affordable for women to use contraception…There have to be a number of strategies.”

Here’s what the Guttmacher Institute recommends — and what Republican candidates could start talking more about if they want to convince the reproductive rights community they’re serious about expanding birth control access:

1. Protecting insurance coverage for all forms of birth control.

“We strongly believe that the contraceptive coverage guarantee under the ACA is a real game changer in getting to the larger goal around increasing contraceptive access and use among women,” Barot said. Guttmacher doesn’t want to see that coverage compromised, especially because there are some forms of contraception that will never be able to move over the counter. Long-lasting forms of birth control, like the IUD, will always require a doctor’s appointment for the insertion.

Plus, the convenience of being able to buy the pill over the counter is only one piece of a larger puzzle. It’s also important that women don’t face financial barriers to contraception. So, even if the pill moved over the counter, efforts to repeal Obamacare or roll back the health law’s contraceptive coverage provision would represent a serious threat to women’s ability to afford the different types of birth control they may need. That’s especially true considering the fact that it’s possible the cost of the pill will increase once it goes over the counter, something that happened with emergency contraception.

2. Ensuring that insurance plans will cover birth control without a prescription.

Right now, Obamacare stipulates that insurers must cover over-the-counter birth control. But in order to take advantage of that coverage, women still have to get a prescription for it. Similarly, federal Medicaid funds can’t pay for over-the-counter medications without a prescription. Advocates argue that eliminates most of the benefits of over-the-counter access because women will still need to make a trip to the doctor first.

And without changing those policies, experts are concerned that women will be forced to choose between easily buying birth control without going to the doctor or getting birth control without a co-pay. “Some women may make the calculation for them that it’s worth it to pay some out-of-pocket costs because of the convenience of getting the pill over the counter, and saving the costs associated with child care or taking time off work,” Barot said. “But for other women, the cost is more important than the convenience.”

3. Eliminating age requirements for buying birth control over the counter.

It’s not entirely clear what will happen if birth control is moved over counter, but the recent policy changes around Plan B — the most popular type of emergency contraception — provide a rough parallel. Once the FDA approved over-the-counter access to Plan B, the government imposed an age restriction on it, stipulating that young adults under the age of 17 still needed to get a prescription.

It’s possible that over-the-counter birth control pills will face a similar age cut-off for teenagers, something that advocates point out will limit resources for some of the women who are most at risk of unintended pregnancy. Some Republicans have already indicated that their recent embrace of over-the-counter birth control comes with these strings attached. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently introduced a bill urging the FDA to consider implementing the policy, but only for adults.

4. Letting FDA to move birth control onto pharmacy shelves without any political interference.

The battle over emergency contraception involved what one federal judge referred to as unnecessary “political interference” into the policy. The Obama administration essentially overrode the FDA to impose age restrictions on Plan B that weren’t based in science. Experts are concerned that approving over-the-counter birth control — which would likely require drug manufacturers to submit an application to the FDA — could face similar hurdles. Guttmacher is calling on Congress and the White House to stay out of that future medical process, as well as avoid a situation in which only certain birth control pills are approved for over-the-counter use.

***

The Guttmacher Institute concludes that increasing access to contraception requires a multi-pronged approach, and “political talking points will not do it.”

That sentiment has been echoed by several other leading players in reproductive health policy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the advocacy arm of the largest group of OB-GYNs in the country, released a statement this week warning GOP candidates against using over-the-counter birth control as a “political tool.” And several experts from Ibis Reproductive Health, a group coordinating a task force that advocates for moving oral contraception over the counter, recently published an op-ed accusing Republicans of employing a “political maneuver.”

The post 4 Other Policies That The Republicans Calling For Over-The-Counter Birth Control Could Endorse appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Ethiopian Activists Fight US-Backed Land Seizures

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Ethiopian Activists Fight US-Backed Land Seizures
From: Foreign Policy In Focus

Backed by US development aid, the Ethiopian government is seizing land, demolishing homes and cracking down on activists in a bid to expand its capital city.

Will DOJ Intervention Improve Policing in Ferguson?
From: Dani McClain

There's debate over whether federal government involvement will make a difference in Ferguson. Cincinnati, site of a police shooting in 2002, offers clues on how to address racially biased policing.

How VAWA Can Make It Easier for Women to Leave Their Abusers
From: Bryce Covert

The country has made real progress toward reducing domestic violence—but VAWA can do more in ensuring economic security for survivors. 


GOP’s Underhanded Birth Control Push

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 12th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

GOP’s Underhanded Birth Control Push
Lisa Wirthman, Denver Post
If Republicans’ newfound enthusiasm for birth control seems suspicious, it’s with good reason. Following the lead of Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner, a handful of Republicans in midterm races across the country are now embracing over-the-counter sales of birth control pills without a prescription.

What’s Not the Matter With Kansas
Kimberley Strassel, Wall St. Journal
Kansas Senate Republican Pat Roberts is in a re-election fix. There’s an important lesson for the GOP in this mess—though it’s not the moral the left is pushing.Democrat Chad Taylor, a state district attorney, last week terminated his campaign against the three-term Republican senator, a move that paradoxically made the race competitive. Mr. Roberts had been betting the Democrat would split the vote with independent candidate Greg Orman, leaving him a clear path to re-election. Mr. Orman is instead now consolidating Taylor support and leading the Republican in polls.

How Joni Ernst Became a Contender
Joel Gehrke, National Review
How did Iowa state senator Joni Ernst become a threat to Harry Reid’s Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate?“The Democrats have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Ms. Ernst, and at the best this race is a tie, it’s still a pure toss-up in what should be a marginally Democrat environment in Iowa,” a GOP pollster told NRO.This race was not supposed to challenge Democrats or drain their resources.