A Pennsylvania high school football team has had their entire season canceled after reports surfaced that the torture technique was being used to haze players.
Supermodel Chrissy Teigen set off a backlash of hate with a recent Tweet on comparing American gun culture with the shooting in Canada.
New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown pounced on the latest Ebola news to blame “political correctness” for blocking a travel ban experts have rejected.
Faced with a drought in California, Savannah Cemetery has stopped watering its plots, pivoting to a more "prairie style" place of rest.
Is Gov. Scott Walker in trouble of losing his seat to Democratic challenger Mary Burke?
Give it a go!
What do economists think of the Republicans' jobs plan? ''I don't think you would get a rush of hiring from passing these bills," one said.
Photographer Diana Walker discusses her new book, which contains a collection of her behind-the-scenes photos of Hillary Clinton over the last 20 years.
Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd joins Andrea Mitchell from the road to discuss the tightening gubernatorial race in Wisconsin.
On Friday Queen Elizabeth sent her first official tweet from @BritishMonarchy marking her entrance to the social media world.
President Barack Obama met on Friday with Dallas nurse Nina Pham after she was declared cured of the Ebola virus.The White House announced the event in the Oval Office one hour before it was scheduled to happen, reserving a few moments before the meeting for photo-only press coverage. Pham had contracted the virus while treating an infected patient at a hospital in Dallas. She was released on Friday from the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.The meeting came within one day of a New York City patient being reportedly diagnosed with the Ebola virus.
A spokeswoman for the South Carolina Democratic Party had a hunch why TPM was getting in contact with her on Friday. "If you take a look at the actual video it’s really clear that he got tongue tied and did not say anything like what folks are tweeting online," Kristin Sosanie, the communications director for the South Carolina Democratic Party, told TPM in an email, even before we'd had a chance to explain why we were reaching out.Sosanie's suspicions were correct. Earlier in the day, TPM came across a video of a campaign rally on Thursday night for South Carolina state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic challenger to Gov. Nikki Haley (R). The video had been posted online by a South Carolina newspaper, the Florence Morning News.Addressing supporters at an event in Florence, S.C., a fired up Sheheen said Haley's days in office we numbered."And we are going to escort whore out the door," he said, before quickly correcting himself."We're gonna escort her out the door."The verbal flub drew an immediate reaction from the crowd. As some of the attendees howled, Sheheen tried to sheepishly regain his footing."Y'all," he said with a laugh. "Think about it, y'all. Alright, calm down out there."Shortly after her preemptive email on Friday, Sosanie reached TPM by phone."He has a very heavy southern accent and it just garbled together and the crowd kind of laughed," she explained. "And he very clearly re-enunciated to make himself clear."Sosanie said she didn't think the Haley campaign had said anything about the goof, and she emailed an official statement to TPM shortly after the phone call."Sen. Sheheen’s words last night just jumbled together, and the video proves it. He clearly did not say that," the statement said. "The line 'escort her out the door' became garbled, and he re-enunciated immediately afterwards in the speech to make himself clear. Any outrage is just fabricated controversy.”
Is it safe to joke about the Palin brawl now? In an interview with the New York Times Magazine published Thursday, Bloomberg Politics' Mark Halperin and his co-editor John Heilemann were asked if they'd rather split a six-pack with Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton. "I'll go with Hillary Clinton right now, only because she’s a little more relevant to our forward-looking lives," Halperin responded. "But when the Palins drink, apparently exciting things happen."Halperin was no doubt referring to the epic, booze-fueled fistfight that some members of the Palin family, namely Bristol and Track Palin, were involved in back in September at a house party. The story was revived this week after the Anchorage Police Department released photos and audio from the scene of the brawl.Sarah Palin herself finally addressed her family's involvement Thursday on Facebook."Looking at the reports, it strikes me as bitterly ironic that the same people who tell us there is a 'war on women' have no problem laughing at the recording of my daughter crying as she tells police about being assaulted by a man," Palin wrote. "I'd like to say shame on the media and those on the left laughing at her or at any young woman in a similar situation, but I no longer think they have any shame."h/t Mediaite
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said during a radio interview this week that gays shouldn't be allowed in the military because their proclivity toward "getting massages all day" would make the nation vulnerable to terrorism. Gohmert's comments, highlighted on Friday by Mediaite, were made during an appearance Tuesday on Christian talk radio show "Point of View" as part of his criticism of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."I've had people say, "Hey, you know, there's nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks." Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it's a different kind of fighting, it's a different kind of war and if you're sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into the big, planned battle, then you're not going to last very long. It's guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and, you know, if that’s what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did, as people have said, "Louie, you have got to understand, you don't even know your history." Oh, yes, I do. I know exactly. It's not a good idea.Watch the video below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown expressed alarm on Friday about the first diagnosed case of Ebola in New York City, and attacked his opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), for "waffling" on a travel ban."The way to stop mass infection is by swift and decisive action, including a travel ban and quarantining health workers returning from countries where Ebola is prevalent," Brown said in a statement. "This is not a time for political correctness; it's a time for common-sense prevention mechanisms." What Brown refers to as political correctness happens to be the consensus view among public health specialists, who warn that a travel ban would be ineffective at best, and counterproductive at worst in protecting Americans from Ebola. Experts have said a travel ban wouldn't stop affected individuals in the Ebola-stricken African countries from traveling elsewhere before coming to the U.S., and have argued that it would hamper the flow of aid to help stop the virus at its source.Brown's statement came on the morning after a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea reportedly tested positive for the virus in New York City."Ebola has now spread to New York City, the largest city in the United States and less than 300 miles from New Hampshire," Brown said. "The person who brought it there passed through enhanced screening at the airport and exposed himself to countless other people by riding the subway, taking a taxi and going bowling. Still, Senator Shaheen is waffling on a travel ban."
Palin says coverage of family's drunken brawl reveals depth of media's rage against conservative women.
Reporting on Thursday night about news of the first Ebola patient in New York City, Fox News host Megyn Kelly was apoplectic. She lambasted the victim, Dr. Craig Spencer, who had recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea before testing positive for the disease himself, saying he had been "irresponsible" after his return to the United States.“You tell me if I am wrong, which very well might be the case," Kelly said to Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor. "But you are over there treating Ebola patients. You’re well aware of the contagiousness of this disease. He comes back into New York City. He knows he’s been handling Ebola patients, and he’s here for a week? He doesn’t tell anybody and if he starts to feel symptomatic before his 103 fever, he’s still out there bowling and taking taxis and not quarantining, not just self-quarantining?”Siegel "completely agreed with that" and said it didn't sound like Spencer took "personal responsibility at all." But other officials abreast of the situation have not agreed with Kelly's assessment. New York City health commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett confirmed that Spencer, a physician for Doctors Without Borders, did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola until Thursday morning. That means that he wasn't symptomatic when he went bowling and took a taxi on Wednesday.Moreover, health officials on Friday were forced to revise their initial reports that Spencer had a 103-degree fever on Thursday. His fever was actually 100.3 degrees, they said.And as for Kelly's harsh assessment that Spencer had acted irresponsibly, well, other medical professionals seem to disagree."He is a committed and responsible physician who always puts his patients first," the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, where Spencer is on staff, said in a statement. "He has not been to work at our hospital and has not seen any patients at our hospital since his return from overseas. Our thoughts are with him, and we wish him all the best at this time."Dr. Irwin Redlener, an expert on disaster preparedness and a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, echoed those sentiments, saying during a Friday morning radio interview that Spencer was "very responsible."
It's rare for Sarah Palin to admit embarrassment, but she said on Thursday her family's drunken brawl in Alaska was downright humiliating.The former GOP vice presidential nominee took to Facebook to finally address her family's involvement in a bloody, booze-fueled brawl that took place last month in Anchorage."What happened on the night in question wasn’t funny. It was humiliating and frightening," Palin wrote in her post. "My kids aren’t proud of what happened, nor are they seeking sympathy by playing the victim card – that’s why they haven’t commented on this for all these weeks." Palin posted links to two blog posts written by her eldest daughter, Bristol Palin, describing the night's events and criticizing the media for their coverage of the incident.Sarah Palin herself also had a sharp critique of the media."Looking at the reports, it strikes me as bitterly ironic that the same people who tell us there is a 'war on women' have no problem laughing at the recording of my daughter crying as she tells police about being assaulted by a man," Palin said. "I'd like to say shame on the media and those on the left laughing at her or at any young woman in a similar situation, but I no longer think they have any shame."Her post comes three days after Anchorage police released audio recordings and photographs gathered after the melee. Various eyewitnesses and the public records made it clear that Sarah Palin herself was at the party and even had brief interaction with police.Palin closed our her post with a short aside."Now Todd and I are headed to an exciting middle school girl’s basketball game along with dozens of other families proud to cheer on their daughters."See Palin's post below:
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested Wednesday that if he makes it to heaven, he won't find himself in the company of any gays. In an interview with the Jefferson Herald, King discussed a preliminary document produced during Catholic bishops' recent synod that stated gays had "gifts" to offer the Christian community. That historic welcome was utimately scrapped.King was asked specifically whether he thought divorce or cohabitation were sins. The synod's preliminary document had called for the church to respect divorced Catholics and stated that in regard to homosexual unions, "it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners."“I think that I’ll not comment on that part,” King told the newspaper. “I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to heaven. So let’s stick with that principle.”The Iowa Republican demurred when the Jefferson Herald pressed him to say whom he included among the "condemned."“Let me say it isn’t to me to pass that judgment, and those who choose a lifestyle that I’ll say is not one that’s annointed [sic] and favored by my faith — or their faith, for that matter — that’s between them and God," he told the newspaper.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said during an interview on Wednesday following a shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada that the U.S. needs to forget about political correctness and "go all out with surveillance" of Muslims.“With ISIS making a concerted effort to bring about these domestic attacks we have to go all out with surveillance,” King said during an interview with NewsmaxTV's "America's Forum." “We have to monitor what’s happening in those communities and we have to be quick to call it terrorism.” He said Muslim communities and mosques "often are incubators of this type of terrorism.""We can have all the technology in the world, the fact is we have to find out what's happening on the ground in these Muslim communities and we can only do that through increased surveillance," King said. King criticized what he described as "morons" at the New York Times editorial board, the Associated Press and the American Civil Liberties Union, who protested the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslim communities."The fact is we have to find out what people are thinking," King said. "We have to find out who the radicals are."Watch the interview below. His comments start about about the 6:15 mark.h/t BuzzFeed
Real estate mogul Donald Trump went on an epic, birther-tinged Twitter rant against President Barack Obama Thursday night after a doctor showing symptoms of Ebola was admitted to New York City's Bellevue Hospital. Trump railed against the President for failing to implement a travel ban for flights from West Africa and called for him to resign if the doctor tested positive for the virus."If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa, has Ebola, then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!" he tweeted.For the record, the doctor, Craig Spencer, has since been diagnosed officially with Ebola. Three people who were in close contact with him have been quarantined as well.Trump, who was one of the main voices demanding that Obama supply his birth certificate during the 2012 presidential campaign to prove he was born in the United States, also resurrected the birther conspiracy theory in his rant. "I never thought I'd say it in my lifetime, but President Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Sotoro, is a far worse president than Jimmy Carter!" he tweeted.Ebola has been one of the billionaire businessman's favorite topics over the past few months. Trump has said that American workers who are combating the deadly virus in West Africa must "suffer the consequences" and questioned how the Obama administration could handle the outbreak given its response to the Benghazi attacks. He even managed to find a silver lining in the panic surrounding the disease: no more shaking hands.Here's Thursday night's Twitter rant in full: There is a good possibility that a person who treated patients in West Africa and who FLEW into New York has Ebola. Touched many, bedlam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2014If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2014Ebola has been confirmed in N.Y.C., with officials frantically trying to find all of the people and things he had contact with.Obama's fault— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014I have been saying for weeks for President Obama to stop the flights from West Africa. So simple, but he refused. A TOTAL incompetent!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014I never thought I'd say it in my lifetime, but President Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Sotoro, is a far worse president than Jimmy Carter!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014President Obama, you are a complete and total disaster, but you have a chance to do something great and important: STOP THE FLIGHTS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014This post has been updated.
Taxi Industry Ad: Sure, Take Uber ... if you don't mind getting raped.
A senior adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted and then deleted a "bad joke" Thursday night that appeared to blame Ebola on Obamacare. On the heels of the news that a doctor who recently had been working in Guinea tested positive for Ebola in New York City, Cruz's deputy chief of staff, Nick Muzin, tweeted "Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S.""Senior Advisor & Dep. Chief @SenTedCruz. Fmr. Director of Coalitions for @HouseGOP" pic.twitter.com/j6RpxYW08k— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) October 24, 2014Muzin later deleted the tweet and called it a "bad joke."Earlier tweet was a bad joke, my sarcasm did not translate well online. Deleted.— Nick Muzin (@nickmuzin) October 24, 2014
It's tough being Chris Christie: the New Jersey governor says comments he made this week on the minimum wage debate are being misunderstood. “My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them,” Christie said Thursday while stumping for a GOP congressional candidate at a diner in Bordentown Township, N.J., as quoted by the New York Daily News. “But that’s OK. I’ll be very clear. I’ll say it again.”“The President wants to focus (on minimum wage) because he’s a class warrior,” he added. “What he wants to focus on is the minimum wage. I don’t believe that that’s what our focus should be. Our focus should be on creating better paying jobs for everyone in our country.”Christie had said Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington that he was "tired of hearing about the minimum wage.""I don't think there's a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying, 'You know honey, if my son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized," he told the audience. "Is that what parents aspire to for their children?"Those comments drew a rebuke from U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez earlier Thursday at a Bloomberg event in Washington.“Chris Christie’s got his head in the sand if he’s getting tired about the minimum wage,” Perez said."I mean, we suck. We really do," the labor chief added, noting that the United States federal wage floor ranks third lowest out of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Over the past few weeks, efforts by Democratic-leaning groups to register and turn out black voters have dominated politics in Georgia. On Thursday the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that Republicans in the state had released a new radio ad on a black gospel radio station aimed at African American voters. That ad came after Georgia Democrats caught national attention for a mailer connecting the importance to voting to the events in Ferguson, Missouri earlier in the year. Emphasizing out reach to African American voters is by no means limited to Georgia, but it's critically important in this election cycle for two reasons: First, there's been an increasingly heated fight between a Democratic-aligned organization in the state and Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R). Second, the outcome of that fight could have an immediate impact on the super-tight races for governor and U.S. Senate in the state. The fight is between a group called the New Georgia Project, which is run by Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D), and aims to increase the number of registered voters in the state. The group has targeted minority voters recently, a growing constituency in the state. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a new analysis that found that 30 percent of the 5.1 million active voters in the state are black. That, according to the Journal-Constitution, is almost a 67,000-person increase of black voters from 2010. White voters have declined as a portion of the total amount of active voters in the state.Last month Kemp opened up an investigation into the New Georgia Project after, according to Kemp, getting about 100 complaints alleging voter registration fraud. The problem is that NBC News affiliate 11Alive News obtained records showing there had been only seven complaints filed of that claim. Earlier this month The New Georgia Project, which is officially nonpartisan, filed a lawsuit with Kemp's office and the boards of elections in five counties, saying that Kemp had not processed up to 40,000 new applications to vote. Kemp has shot back that the lawsuit and the claims behind it are "frivolous." Earlier in the week the New Georgia Project settled with DeKalb county and there will be a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court on Friday. Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University, said that Democrats increasing minority turnout could boost candidates in both the Senate race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue and the gubernatorial race between state Sen. Jason Carter (D) and incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal (R). "If the Democrats are able to have a robust turnout among minority voters. That, along with robust turnout progressive whites, could actually make this extremely competitive," Gillespie said. But Gillespie cautioned that the move to register more minority voters — who, she said, are probably more likely to vote Democratic than Republican — is less likely to be an immediate return on investment. "I think this strategy of trying to make sure that you go out and register as many potential Democratic voters as possible was part of a longer term strategy," Gillespie said. "Looking to 2018, looking to those demographic shifts that would favor Democrats and just making sure that you're making sure that all those potential voters become actual voters."Abrams (pictured), in an interview with TPM, refused to even entertain the idea that Kemp has been motivated by partisanship or possibly preventing Democrats from gaining an advantage in this election cycle. She said, speaking as the leader of the New Georgia Project, that even before the lawsuit her group tried to meet with Kemp and be as transparent as possible about its goals. "Either party has the opportunity to market to these new voters. These are African American, Latino and Asian voters and the GOP has made a strong push in the state of Georgia — or at least a strong showing — of talking about reaching out to minority voters and the Democratic party has a strong history of reaching out to the same population," Abrams said.But, speaking in her role as a top Democrat in the state legislature, Abrams said it's understandable why some could view resistance by Republicans to registering minorities to vote as based on partisanship. "Well, as the House Minority Leader, not as the leader of the New Georgia Project, I can tell you that the difficulty the Republican party will consistently have with minority voters is that the rhetoric doesn't match the reality of their policies," Abrams said. "You can not claim to believe in economic security but refuse to raise the minimum wage in the state of Georgia."Recent polling has strongly suggested the possibility that the Georgia Senate race could go into a runoff between Perdue and Nunn, which would occur on January 6, 2015. It's not clear that the newly registered voters would make much of a difference there. Gillespie noted that it's hard to get minorities to turn out to vote and it's even harder to do that in a runoff election. "Turnout in runoff elections is always lower than turnout in the general election," Gillespie said. Similarly, University of Georgia political scientist Trey Hood, who monitors demographic shifts, expects that new minority voters will probably have an impact farther down the line than rather than in this election cycle. "I don't know that it's going to make a difference right now, in this election cycle. I'm looking at longer term trends and I think those really could have an impact in the future. Political operatives, elective office holders don't always have a big picture of things," Hood said. "They may really believe honestly that this election is going to come down to these 40,000 voter registration forms that are in dispute, most of which would apparently be Democratic voters. If you're asking me whether the balance of the election is going to come to that, the answer's 'no.'"Hood noted that even when people are registered to vote, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily come to vote. "It's not likely that this is going to translate to a one-to-one vote at the polls," Hood said.
Uber and the traditional taxi industry have been at each other's throats since the upstart came onto the scene in 2010, but the feud has escalated to a whole new level with vicious campaigns demonizing each other that feature allegations that drivers have sexually assaulted their passengers.Who's Driving You, the anti-Uber initiative founded earlier this year by the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, is paying to promote a tweet that reads: "A passenger was sexually assaulted by an uberX driver. Listen to this 911 call." It then links to a YouTube video. "We are trying to make consumers and leaders aware of the dangers involved in using so-called ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft," Dave Sutton, a spokesman for Who's Driving You, said in a phone interview Thursday. "It could be a scary thing. ... We certainly have seen that term 'fear-mongering,' but I feel like we have tried to be accurate. It's a very real concern."The tweet linked to a 10-minute YouTube documentary produced by the industry. It starts with a Sept. 19 call to 9-1-1 in Orlando, Fla. According to the Tampa Tribune, Orlando police arrested a Uber driver on Sept. 26 for allegedly groping a woman he had picked up.Uber and its allies have returned the favor in kind. Taxi Facts, their answer to Who's Driving You, launched last month. It's "dedicated to using real facts and data to expose #BigTaxi and how it operates," as its Twitter bio says. Its content, like its counterpart's, has been rife with reports about unwanted sexual advances by taxi drivers and threats of violence.On Thursday, for example, the group was pushing out a BuzzFeed listicle about "taxi horror stories.""He then suggested I pay him ‘in other ways’ while touching his crotch." http://t.co/LmU08vcFei— Taxi Facts (@taxifacts) October 23, 2014#HailFail:"The two of us sat there wide eyed, drunk and convinced that he was going to take us somewhere to kill us." http://t.co/xM9Iq432eD— Taxi Facts (@taxifacts) October 23, 2014"Cities across the country have murderers, sex offenders and other convicted criminals driving passengers," Taxi Facts says in one of its blog posts about the taxicab industry.Both groups also collect tweeted complaints against their competitor, like these that Who's Driving You posted from presumed Uber and Lyft passengers.Behind the scare tactics, there is a broader public policy debate is over industry regulation and the taxi industry's dissatisfaction that Uber and its ilk are not subject to the same rules that it is. The established taxi industry has fought the encroachment of the ride sharing startups. In Arlington, Va., for example, Uber has been banned (and then unbanned) from operating. The company in turn has hired David Plouffe, a former top adviser to Barack Obama, in August as a "campaign manager."Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco had threatened Uber and other ride-share companies with legal action because their claims about the background checks conducted for their drivers were not true.So those broader issues and the questions of safety are connected in the eyes of the industry, Sutton said."We're not crying foul because of competition. Competition involves having a set of rules, a single set of rules, and following it to the best of your ability and may the best team win," he said. "They're providing cheaper service, but they're able to do it because they're underinvesting in a couple of key things that protect people."Uber asked TPM to submit its questions about Who Driving You's tactics, the substance of the debate and its retaliation in the form of Taxi Facts in writing. It did not provide answers as of press time.UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. ETA spokesperson for Taxi Facts reached out to TPM with comment."Threatened by competition for the first time, Big Taxi has waged a national smear campaign against innovation," Erin Pelton said in an email. "TaxiFacts was launched to set the record straight about Big Taxi's atrocious record."Image credit: Shutterstock.com/Konstantin Sutyagin.
This summer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took 17 minutes to explain what it means to be a progressive to the audience Netroots Nation – a conference of thousands of likeminded activists – and not once did she say "abortion." As the crowd escalated into near-Beatlemania through screams and applause that seemed to echo off the 'Elizabeth Warren for president' signs waving through the air, her speech promised that her fight was "a fight over economics, a fight over privilege, a fight over power. But deep down it is a fight over values." She named a bevy of long-range and deeply controversial goals she said progressives are willing to fight for: financial regulation, living wages, preserving entitlements, equality legislation, and immigration reform. It was the perfect moment to offer a full-throated vision of justice for women, one that recognizes that unfettered access to abortion is a cause for celebration as a matter of human dignity. That women must be in charge of their own health, humanity, and have power over their own lives – even if and especially when they are already pregnant.But that is not what Warren did. Instead, the closest she came was when she began to close out her speech with an insistence "that corporations are not people, that women have the right to their bodies, that we will overturn Hobby Lobby." From a strategists’ perspective, she got the messaging perfect: Birth control is a mainstream value and not specific to the progressive movement. About half of the country disapproved of the Supreme Court's ruling that corporations can assert religious beliefs and force their employees to pay upwards of $1,000 more per year for contraception (while paying full premiums into their insurance plans, no discrimination discount available). More than two in three women voters oppose allowing employers to opt out of the birth control benefit. Between the ages of 15 and 44 more than 99 percent of sexually experienced women have used at least one contraceptive method. Birth control is basic medical care and if five men on the Supreme Court don't accept it, most women in this country do – progressive or not.But more fundamentally, access to abortion — while harder to tackle politically — very much can and should be part of Warren’s cannon of progressive populist issues.Progressivism affirms the role government can play as a force for good in people's lives, especially in giving everyone a shot to prosper. Forcing women to complete pregnancies they do not want or that would threaten their health does not help them to flourish, no matter what the smiling pictures of babies supplied by the anti-abortion rights movement would lead you to believe. Pregnancy and abortion are bread-and-butter, mainstream economic issues. Nearly one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Whether abortion is considered or not, completing a pregnancy and having a child, including an additional child, can dramatically change a woman's employability, financial status, and ability to provide for herself and her family. This is a distinction that voters get, and progressives should hammer home: A new poll commissioned by the National Institute for Reproductive Health shows that 62 percent of voters in Pennsylvania think laws that make it harder to access abortion can have a negative impact on a woman's financial stability.What's more, bodily autonomy is a human right — that includes sexuality and the sheer joy of sexual pleasure, which shouldn’t be the exclusive province of men. Nor should it be extended only to women with the economic resources to buy their way out of a national reproductive health care crisis wrought by restrictions upon abortion. Yes, birth control can be effective, but even perfect access to contraception could never end the need for abortion. Women should be able to have sex, end pregnancies if they want to, and have control over their own futures. These are progressive values.As a bloc that champions the moral obligation society has to support the have-nots, progressives have a special role to play in ending abortion funding restrictions. Make no mistake: abortion funding bans are as insidious as headline-grabbing laws that ban abortions, close clinics, and force needless obstacles upon patients and providers. Abortion funding bans do not change the minds of women who have decided abortion is best for them. Rather, they tell women with fewer resources, especially women of color, that their decisions don't count and their futures will be dictated and enforced by others. By targeting those who can least afford to bear children, abortion funding bans have the power to turn cycles of poverty into tornadoes that tear through generations. This is not what a progressive vision of America looks like. Making change requires that progressive leaders talk about expanding abortion rights eagerly, often, and as an interlocking effort with other economic, racial, and social justice initiatives. This is not something that is implied by defending access to contraception. Nor is it something that can be ushered in effectively through code phrases like "protecting the right to choose" or "defending women's rights." In Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Katha Pollitt argues that abortion is good for society. Progressive political leaders should take a page from this book. They must say the "abortion" word out loud and with pride, because it is a common practice no one should be ashamed of and because wide availability to abortion strengthens women's lives and the opportunities available to them. To the extent this is a culture war – a stigmatizing term designed to turn discussions to other 'serious' economic issues, i.e., the economic struggles facing everyone but people who have sex – it is a culture war of the most important kind: meaningful opportunity for all. Abortion is something progressive leaders must be willing to say. To paraphrase Sen. Elizabeth Warren, it should be something progressives are willing to fight for and win.Ironically enough, a September piece in The Daily Beast suggested that the Democratic Party is struggling with infighting between a progressive "Elizabeth Warren wing" and an "establishment" wing represented by organizations like EMILY's List, which explicitly aims to elect pro-choice women candidates. (EMILY's List endorsed Warren.)"Obviously it is important to have women's voices in the room when policy decisions are being made, and we have a substantial way to go on that, but in a Democratic primary, the biggest debate is going to be between the Elizabeth Warren wing and the establishment wing," Robert Borosage, founder and president of Campaign for America's Future told The Daily Beast. "And their screen doesn't take those distinctions into account. They are explicit about that, that they aren't on the progressive side." This is a false frame, one that pits the universe of economic issues faced by people who can't become pregnant against the universe of economic issues faced by people who can. It's also inaccurate. Women may get talked quite a bit during elections, but they are hardly the establishment in the elected leadership of the Democratic Party. Women in both parties hold less than one of five seats in Congress! David Freedlander, the article’s author, made the especially fuzzy claim that "the Democratic Party has largely coalesced around issues of abortion rights." If by coalesced we mean the practice of each year authorizing a budget with abortion funding restrictions with nary a peep of protest (a practice in direct conflict with a party platform that explicitly affirms abortion rights "regardless of ability to pay"), then okay.Because of messages like these, because of policy failures like these, and even more because of the greater moral leadership provided by Warren and the progressive movement she represents, it is critical that leaders like her embrace the A-word, and it is critical for the Netroots-style base to give them robust applause for doing so, even if other issues are what most drive them.A brief response to some likely criticisms of this piece from those who consider themselves supporters of reproductive rights: Yes, Warren is pro-choice. No, the Hobby Lobby case wasn't about abortion. Neither is giving "women … the right to their bodies" an embrace of a stigmatized word and procedure. It's not strategically stupid to talk about abortion from the left on the brink of a critical election. We are always on the brink of a critical election. Even those most electorally minded should consider that half of respondents to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released October 19 say their views are closer to Democrats on the issue of abortion; only a third say that for Republicans. And about that donkey in the room: Yes, it sounds like Warren is beginning to change her posture toward the repeated calls that she run for president to present a progressive alternative to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In fact, asking more from her now is the best thing supporters of reproductive rights could do for both theoretical candidacies. Whether it's asking Warren to run or asking her to become an abortion champion, you don’t get what you don’t ask for – and she might be able to nudge Clinton away from her stigmatizing mantra of "safe, legal, and rare." As a rock star within the progressive movement and the Democratic Party as a whole, Warren has been traveling the country stumping for Democratic candidates. It may well be the case that she says the word "abortion" during those visits, especially when standing beside candidates such as Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who has made support for abortion rights a centerpiece of his campaign. Let's hope a full-throated embrace of abortion makes it into her next national speech.Erin Matson is an organizer and writer. She has served as an editor at large for RH Reality Check and a vice president of the National Organization for Women.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley really did not want to run against Monica Wehby. She had the résumé of a formidable challenger: a pediatric neurosurgeon, a pro-choice mom in socially liberal Oregon, and a Republican woman to rebut the Democratic talking point about a GOP "war on women." The subject of a friendly front-page New York Times profile in March, she went on to attract accolades from Mitt Romney and national Republicans, and outside money from conservative entities like the Koch brothers.Another reason the first-term senator was concerned: his favorable ratings were hardly stellar."He polls like a generic Democrat. There's no great groundswell that Merkley is a great guy and we should reelect him," said Jim Moore, a professor of political science at Pacific University. "With a weakness like that, Wehby on paper looks like she should be a great challenger."Democratic operatives set out to tarnish her in the primary in the hope that Republican voters would instead nominate a far-right candidate. They failed.And yet, in a stroke of luck, Wehby turned out to be a dream opponent for Merkley anyway. Her campaign has — slowly and painfully — self-destructed due to scandals and stumbles, making the once-concerning Oregon race a rare bright spot in a slog of an election year for Democrats. Eleven days away, she's down 21 points in the latest major poll, and needs a miracle to win.So, how did it all go wrong?It started with a May 16 report that she had been accused of "stalking" her ex-boyfriend last year and trying to enter his house without permission. She survived the primary four days later, but her general election campaign got off on the wrong foot amid new reports that her ex-husband accused her of "ongoing harassment" in filings to police. Then came revelations that her health care plan was plagiarized from Karl Rove's group. Pouring fuel on the fire, her new health care plan was also found to be plagiarized — from her former GOP opponent, whom she dispensed with by attacking him on health care.Perhaps most damaging was her tendency to go underground when facing fire."The key moments were not necessarily the actual whiffs of scandal around Monica Wehby. They were her reaction to those whiffs of scandal," Moore said. "They took three to five days to come through. So something would happen and there would be a deafening silence. Or in one case there would be a flippant remark like, 'Dr. Wehby is busy in surgery saving children.' So even if the voters weren't following the actual whiffs of scandal, they certainly had a feeling that the campaign kind of disappeared when put under pressure.""You can look at a résumé all you want — she's not doing the basic stuff you have to do to win a statewide race. Her campaign management looks to be borderline incompetent," he said.Vice President Joe Biden, right, listens as Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks during a campaign rally in Portland, Ore., Oct. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)Despite that, Merkley admits he was worried in August and September when the Koch brothers swarmed Oregon's airwaves with millions of dollars in television ads bashing him as a debt-hiking tax-and-spender. While the ads were running over the summer, his lead shrunk in his internal polls. But by the end of September, even the Kochs gave up on Wehby, and her campaign has since gone downhill."It was kind of a brutal two months," Merkley told TPM in an interview."Show me a candidate who's not worried when the airwaves are flooded with an out-of-state powerful organization like the Koch brothers doing negative attack ads, and I'll show you a candidate who's not paying attention," he said.Wehby declined to be interviewed for this article, but her campaign provided a written statement to TPM, expressing cautious optimism about her prospects."Dr. Wehby is focused on turning around an economy here in Oregon where unemployment is above the national average, the labor force is the weakest it's been in recorded history, and one in five Oregonians are now on food stamps," said Dean Petrone, her campaign spokesman. "If voters take a hard look at where Senator Merkley's policies have left them, versus where Dr. Wehby's will take them, then our campaign has every reason to believe Oregonians will change their Senator on November 4."While Wehby has attacked Merkley throughout the campaign as a liberal ideologue, he has responded by bashing her as a generic national Republican who copies her ideas from Karl Rove and the congressional GOP. "She's laid out a very clear right-wing agenda that included things like supporting a tea party budget that would eviscerate core programs in America," he said. "She came out against [the] equal pay for equal work bill.""You had basically an Oregon values campaign that I was running and a Koch brothers values campaign that she was running," the senator told TPM. After the two candidates squared off in their only scheduled debate on Oct. 14, Merkley approached his opponent off camera and told her, "I think you and I will be the two happiest folks in Oregon when this campaign is over."Wehby agreed.
Green Bay Alderman randomly starts quizzing a Muslim women about whether she supports terrorism after she emailed asking about bus service on election day.
A Green Bay, Wisc. alderman has refused to resign after he randomly asked a Muslim woman if she condemned radical Islamic terrorism.Heba Mohammad, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate, emailed Alderman Chris Wery to ask why bus service is not free on Election Day. Wery replied to say he would look into it, and then proceeded to ask Mohammed about terrorism, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette."I am just curious, you are the founder of the Muslim Student Association at UWGB?" he asked in the email. "Across the country there seem to be some problems here and there with some MSA's. I just want to be assured that your group in no way promotes or defends militant Islamic ideology.""Do you and the MSA condemn both of those as well as terrorist groups such as HAMAS?" he then asked.Mohammed was taken aback by Wery's questions and did not answer him."That's kind of hurtful, to be honest," Mohammed told the Press-Gazette.Wery apologized on Thursday."I phrased it wrong. It was the wrong setting," he told the Press-Gazette. "And I apologized for that."But amid fervent criticism, Wery refuses to resign."I believe in both freedom of religion and freedom of speech," he said in a statement on Wednesday, according to the Press-Gazette. "Being elected does not mean I lose my freedom of speech."Green Bay City Council President Tom DeWane said that Wery will meet with the school's Muslim Student Association.H/t Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
At least five chain stores have decided workers won't have to come in on Thanksgiving.The post Costco Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving Because Employees ‘Deserve The Opportunity’ To Be With Family appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The lawsuits accuse the bank of retaliating against employees who tried to report multiple instances of sexual harassment.The post Bank Manager Pressured Female Employee To Sleep With Executives, Employees Allege appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The fourth-largest mortgage servicing company has systematically faked key documents in foreclosures for years, according to a New York regulator, despite a national legal settlement in 2012 that was supposed to put a stop to such abuses by the industry.The post Mortgage Giant Accused Of Faking Documents To Justify Foreclosures appeared first on ThinkProgress.
With food charities around the country already stretched beyond capacity, a couple dozen towns are setting out to make it even harder to feed one of the neediest groups: homeless people.The post Fort Lauderdale Votes To Make It Harder To Feed The Homeless, Joining Two Dozen Other Cities appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Change.org's paid family leave benefits look to be the most generous in the tech industry.The post Tech Company Will Offer 18 Weeks Of Paid Family Leave To Both Parents appeared first on ThinkProgress.
When asked what the minimum wage should be, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) responded, "How would I know?"The post Governor: I Don’t Know What The Minimum Wage Should Be Because ‘The Private Sector Decides Wages’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Unless bankers change the internal culture that rewards executives and employees for financial misdeeds, a top banking regulator said Monday, they will end up forcing the government to break their companies up into smaller firms.The post Fed Official To Big Banks: Change Company Culture Or Risk Being Broken Up appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Sequestration may have faded from the headlines, but it's still very real for a variety of vital programs.The post The Forgotten Victims Of A Capitol Hill Budget Fight appeared first on ThinkProgress.
At the same time, the share of wealth owned by the 1 percent has tripled since the 1980s.The post Virtually All Americans’ Wealth Has Dropped To Where It Was Three Decades Ago appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Venture Capitalist Says Tech Companies Are Diverse Because White People Have Different European BackgroundsMonday October 20th, 2014 07:01:11 PM Bryce Covert
Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen claims tech companies aren't "systematically discriminatory."The post Venture Capitalist Says Tech Companies Are Diverse Because White People Have Different European Backgrounds appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The bonus is an attempt to boost Italy's birthrate, which hit record lows this year.The post Italian Prime Minister Proposes ‘Baby Bonus’ for New Mothers appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Gov. Mike Pence (R) is moving to tighten the rules for food stamps even though federal officials say the Indiana economy is still too fragile to justify it.The post Indiana Plans To Cut Tens Of Thousands Off Food Stamps appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says that a New York high-frequency trading firm committed fraud. But it's letting the company pay a million dollars to put the matter to rest without admitting or denying anything.The post Company Accused Of Committing Fraud Will Pay Just $1 Million To Settle — Without Admitting Anything appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Lisa Su will be paid less as CEO of AMD than the man before her because she isn't new to the company, it says.The post Tech Company’s First Female CEO Will Make Less Than The Man Before Her appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The incident raises questions about the state of maternity leave in the U.S.The post Judge Won’t Delay Hearing For Lawyer’s Maternity Leave, Then Berates Her For Bringing Baby To Court appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would reduce spending on public assistance programs by $7.6 billion a year.The post Hate Government Spending? Here’s Why You Should Love A Higher Minimum Wage appeared first on ThinkProgress.
More than 40 workers and supporters were arrested in New York and DC while calling for a $15 wage.The post PHOTOS: Walmart Workers Arrested In Protest For $15 Wage appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Rather than funding increased services for homeless people, the Port of San Diego is considering using money to buy them one-way tickets out of town.The post San Diego Considers Giving The Homeless One-Way Bus Tickets Out Of Town appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Satya Nadella said that his advice that women shouldn't ask for a raise was "just plain wrong."The post Microsoft CEO Apologizes For Equal Pay Remarks, Pledges Efforts On Diversity appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Change is coming to TV (finally) and Netflix seems to be caught in the middle.The post How Netflix Is Taking The News Of HBO’s Streaming Subscription appeared first on ThinkProgress.
For the first time, "Arizona was not the deadliest place to cross the border,” the Associated Press reported. The post 307 People Died Crossing The Southern Border Last Year, And That’s The Lowest It’s Been In 15 Years appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The law reduces the costs of bringing a pro-gun lawsuit, it deputizes the NRA to police gun laws enacted by city and town councils, and it gives the NRA an incentive to file as many suits as it can as quickly as possible.The post Pennsylvania Lawmakers Sneak Big Gift To The NRA Into Bill Banning Copper Theft appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed," the pope said.The post Pope Francis’s Radical Defense Of Prisoners’ Rights appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“I think those who are trying to read into those specific orders about what the president may decide are a little too cleverly trying to divine what the president’s ultimate conclusion might be,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said this week. The post Conservatives Flip Out Over ‘Amnesty’ Because The Government Solicited Bids For Card Stock appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"I just want to be assured that your group in no way promotes or defends militant Islamic ideology or Sharia law," the alderman's email read.The post City Councilman Randomly Asks Muslim-American Constituent If She Will Condemn Sharia Law appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“Brown’s death also should serve as a tragic reminder that marijuana is not harmless, that it is not just like alcohol or ‘safer than alcohol,’ that its consumption often leads to impairment that is very difficult for the public to measure."The post Leading Opponent of Marijuana Legalization Suggests Pot Contributed to Michael Brown’s Death appeared first on ThinkProgress.
This group wants African Americans to think that immigration reform will take their jobs away. The post Fake ‘Progressive’ Group Pits Blacks Against Immigrants In Nasty TV Ad appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The NYPD's propensity to target African Americans and Latinos extends even to the most banal offenses. The post ‘Biking While Black’ Can Get You A Criminal Summons In New York City appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“People of God are responsible for treating our neighbors as ourselves,” Damon Schroeder, Immigration Alliance's executive director said. The post Why Evangelical Churches Are Getting Into The Legal Services Business appeared first on ThinkProgress.
On average, officers gave out 19 citations each day for the past 21 months.The post San Antonio Cops Gave Out Over 12,000 Citations Targeting Homeless People Since 2013 appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) isn't too keen on the First Amendment.The post Pennsylvania Governor Signs Free Speech Ban Targeting Criminal Offenders appeared first on ThinkProgress.
New York State agreed to a settlement Tuesday that the New York Civil Liberties Union called "historic" for improving the abysmal access to lawyers available to indigent criminal defendants.The post New York Agrees To A Fix Its Disastrously Broken Public Defender System appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez's opinion accuses the overwhelming majority of federal judges who have sided with marriage equality of "inexplicable contortions of the mind or perhaps even willful ignorance."The post BREAKING: Federal Judge Rules Against Marriage Equality, Mocks Other Judges In Angry Diatribe appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A tragic August death at an Arizona gun range made national headlines due to its horrific circumstance: a nine-year-old girl shooting and killing her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun.The post Is The Federal Government Trying To Put Gun Ranges Out Of Business? appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A new study found that rampant election spending is linked to more prosecution-friendly votes. The post The Surprising Way Political Ads Are Impacting Judge’s Decisions On Alleged Criminals appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Citizens United is back, and they are spreading conspiracy theories about Latinos.The post How A Notorious Conservative Group Tricked A Scholar Into Joining Their Attack On Latino Voters appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"Let me emphasize something... Immigration is a part of Ebola," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told a local CBS affiliate last week. The post The Nativist Roots Of Ebola Hysteria appeared first on ThinkProgress.
It's unclear how many other police departments are using the same technology.The post North Carolina Police Officers Have Been Secretly Tracking Phones For Years appeared first on ThinkProgress.
It is likely the Supreme Court will have much more to say about voting rights before the term ends in June. The post The Right To Vote Just Lost A Battle In The Supreme Court, But The War Comes After The Election appeared first on ThinkProgress.
During the campaign, Mayor Bill de Blasio said marijuana possession arrests can have "disastrous consequences for individuals and their families."The post New York Mayor Campaigned Against Pot Crackdowns, But Possession Arrests Are Still Soaring appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Processed request in 0.03799 seconds.