Wednesday Evening Reads: Boxer steps up for women and Romney steps back on Blunt

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Good Evening

There have been destructive storms throughout the midwest, watch out they may be heading your way.

Massive storm system claims 9 lives in Midwest, heads east – CNN.com

A powerful storm system, which left a trail of destruction and nine deaths in its wake across the Midwest, moved Wednesday evening into the Mid-Atlantic region, putting more communities at risk.

The storms first hit before dawn, with one tornado packing 170 mph winds as it smashed Harrisburg, Illinois, killing six. A smaller tornado caused significant damage in the music resort city of Branson, Missouri.

Nearly 200 people were hurt, authorities said Wednesday.

We are expecting bad weather here in Banjoland, I can hear the distant rumbling…

More activity was possible in northern Alabama, extreme northern Georgia, southern and eastern Kentucky, northern Mississippi, western North Carolina and much of Tennessee, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

So this is going to be a short post, the electricity goes out so easy here…with so many trees, if one large branch falls in the wind it can create a domino effect.

I am so disgusted with Democrats who act like republicans, Sen. Manchin will vote for Blunt amendment on contraceptive care – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will vote for Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) amendment on the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

“While I would have preferred that both sides would have come together around a solution like we had in West Virginia, I am voting in favor of this measure to protect the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America,” Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin also notes that in his home state, West Virginia law requires contraceptive coverage but also guarantees “religious freedom for employers or institutions that object to such services.” The law requires health insurance companies to also provide contraceptive care but exempts religious institutions that object based on “religious tenets.”

He must not have listened to Boxer’s speech today:

msnbc video: Democrats attack GOP war on women

…it is pure partisan politics and we are here today to say it is not going to pass. the right wing of the republican party does not speak for most of the women in this country.

She kicked ass today on the floor…I have tried to find a video clip of her…but couldn’t.

Romney stuck his foot in it again, first he comes out against Blunt and then he is for it.  Romney comes out against `Blunt-Rubio’ – The Plum Line – The Washington Post

I just got off the phone with Heath, and he graciously played me the audio. Heath asks Romney if he’s for the “Blunt-Rubio” amendment, and defines it. Romney replies:

“I’m not for the bill. But, look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”

That’s pretty remarkable. If Romney knew what he was saying, the Senate GOP caucus, which is set to vote on this amendment tomorrow, may feel as if Romney has pulled the rug out from underneath them. And this has become an important issue for conservatives. So it’ll be interesting to see how the base reacts to this, particularly since the GOP primary is anything but over and Rick Santorum — who’s perceived as a more reliable social conservative — is likely to use this to attack Romney, who will be under continued pressure to connect with social and religious conservatives.

Then, as usual, he backtracked his comment.

UPDATE II: It’s not clear which bill Romney opposes. It was described to him as “Blunt-Rubio,” which is a term some use to refer to the Blunt amendment, because Rubio co-sponsored. But the bill was described to Romney more narrowly, in keeping with another Rubio amendment that just focuses on contraception. The question is what Romney was opposing when he said, “I’m not for the bill.”

UPDATE III: The Romney camp now says he’s for it:

“Regarding the Blunt bill, the way the question was asked was confusing,” a spokesman told TPM. “Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith.”

I guess the question was a bit convoluted, as the Blunt Amendment and the Rubio version are worded a bit differently .

However, it still does not excuse the fact that Romney is an ass.

One more link for you. It is a very good piece about the number of women writing, or lack of women writing, for the news media: Do Women Count?

Here is the answer.

Apparently, not in the news media.

Yesterday, after I made some snarky comment, a friend asked me if I was Eeyore. The truth is, I’m a mash-up of Eeyore and Tigger. Tigger bounces up and down gleefully whenever I talk about gay rights. But today I’m talking about the ladies again, so get ready for Eeyore.

The online magazine VIDA just released its count of female::male bylines in influential literary and political outlets—”thought leader” magazines, as they’re called. The numbers are absolutely dismal. In The New Yorker and The Atlantic, there are nearly three male bylines to one female. In The New Republic, the byline ratio is four to one. In Harper’s, it’s five to one.

VIDA’s introduction and its press release say nice cheerful things, like, “But we at VIDA aren’t discouraged by this fact—we know that significant cultural change takes time.”

But time isn’t making significant changes. Well, okay, in 2005, the Columbia Journalism Review found that the byline ratio in The New Yorker was 3.5 to one, and in The Atlantic it was six to one, so yes, things have inched up a bit. (In The Atlantic, though, consider which women are writing. As Caryl Rivers notes in her dead-on analysis called “The Atlantic’s Woman Problem,” “The leitmotif of much of what the Atlantic publishes about women is that female gains are dangerous—to children, to families, to marriages, to themselves, and to men.” I have a great editor at The Atlantic Online who has assigned me some very interesting stories. But she’s female—and outnumbered.) But women actually make up more than 50 percent of English literature and journalism school graduates. We’re not talking about Larry Summers’ leaky science pipeline here. We’re talking about the subject at which girls are, stereotypically, supposed to be outstanding, and where they concentrate in high numbers: reading and writing.

Please…I encourage you to read the rest of this article by EJ Graff. In this anti-woman environment, her article really makes a point about the attitude  women have been fighting against for years, and the lack of progress we have made…depressing but needs to be said.

Have a safe evening, and be aware of any serious weather that might be heading your way!


22 Comments on “Wednesday Evening Reads: Boxer steps up for women and Romney steps back on Blunt”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    A few more links:

    I believe Ralph mentioned this earlier today:
    North Korea Agrees to Suspend Nuclear Work, U.S. Says – NYTimes.com

    The GOP really is grasping at straws: RealClearPolitics – Odds of a Brokered Convention Are Increasing

    And in Europe, the cold weather is causing more deaths:
    Fuel poverty deaths three times higher than government estimates – Home News – UK – The Independent

    The number of people dying as a result of fuel poverty is three times higher than government estimates suggest, according to new academic research.

    Some 7,800 people die during winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly, says fuel poverty expert Professor Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster. That works out at 65 deaths a day.

    Fuel poverty is defined as when someone needs to spend 10 per cent or more on heating their home.

    The new total – calculated using World Health Organisation guidance and official excess winter death figures – is four times as many fatalities as happen in road accidents each year.

    The previous government estimate put the total of deaths relating to fuel poverty at just 2,700 a year. That was included in a report last year by Professor John Hills, who is expected to produce his final recommendations on fuel poverty next month.

    […]
    …the latest WHO research suggests that 30 to 40 per cent of the excess winter deaths can be attributed to fuel poverty.

    “The 2,700 figure published by Professor Hills is peculiar. I see no justification for it,” said Professor Liddell.

    “I believe the figure of 7,800 is much more realistic as it is based on WHO’s most recent estimates of deaths relating to cold and damp homes.”

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      One more, Obama camp hits Romney for supporting Blunt amendment | The Raw Story

      “In one hour, Mitt Romney showed why women don’t trust him for one minute. It took little more than an hour for him to commit his latest flip-flop. Even worse, he ended up on the wrong side of an issue of critical importance to women,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said.

      During an interview with the Ohio News Network on Wednesday, Romney said he did not support the proposal, which was introduced as an amendment to an unrelated transportation bill by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Later that day, he said on the Howie Carr Show that he actually did support the Blunt amendment and had “simply misunderstood” the question before.

      “The Blunt Amendment would allow any employer to deny their female employees coverage because of that employer’s own beliefs,” Cutter added. “With his support of this amendment, Mitt Romney is taking important health care decisions about contraception, mammograms, and cervical cancer screenings among other issues out of women’s hands and into the hands of their bosses.”

      “While Mitt Romney may be in a race to the bottom with Rick Santorum to see who can pander most to the far right-wing, his embrace of extreme policies like the Blunt Amendment would have real life consequences for millions of women.”

      The Senate is expected to vote on the amendment on Thursday.

  2. ralphb says:

    I would urge anyone who has a chance to watch Rachel Maddow’s show this evening, maybe when it repeats later. Her initial segment about politics in the US and why we are where we are is just plain brilliant. The segment’s title is “They went that a way”.

    Her interview when she received the Steinbeck Award this weekend was also very good and is available online. It’s very long but I thought it was well worth watching.

    • ralphb says:

      Joe Manchin is predicted by her hypotheses on politics in America.

    • Saw pieces of it & she’s exactly right. The further to the right the Repugs run, the more the Dumbs follow them. Hell, if the right (& Fox) are going to call ALL Dumbs Liberals, then let them do something really Liberal. Make the damn Repugs chase them for once. I’ve said for years that every movement needs a really radical element to get the opposition to sit down at the table & talk to those they consider reasonable. But if you start “reasonable” you will be labeled as The Radicals. It sure worked for a while with PETA as the super radicals in animal rights – it helped HSUS make some gains with establishment types. This is why Obama should have started health care with single payer on the table. The final bill would have been much better. The Dumbs play chess with the Repugs by first removing all their pawns from the board. DUMB – DUMB – DUMB.

      • ralphb says:

        I guess you really missed a lot of the point. She wasn’t talking about some negotiating strategy but about the difference in structure between the parties. The fact is there is a long term conservative movement while there really is not a liberal movement in the US.

        As can be seen from the 2008, and earlier, elections Democrats tend to coalesce around candidates and be supportive of “their” candidate in spite of some policy differences. Republicans are 180 opposed from that. They support policies and, in the final analysis, don’t care a lot about the identity of the candidate. That’s not necessarily the case with the newer tea partiers but they’re not established Republicans and will never be in the current party.

        • Thanks for filling in the details. I tried to stay up to watch the repeat, but didn’t make. Hipefully it will be posted online & I’ll be able to watch it.

  3. ralphb says:

    I posted this earlier but I don’t know if anyone read it. If not, that’s a shame because it’s one case of Obama doing the right thing for a good reason.

    How Obama Ignored The NDAA’s Military Custody Provision

  4. Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama’s Christian creds: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/franklin-graham-apologize-obama-faith-race_n_1307758.html Black Christian leaders called him out on his racism & accused him of “bearing false witness.” When is someone going to call Mr. Sanctimonious out for the same thing?

  5. ralphb says:

    Romney’s only principle

    If he weren’t so smug, it would almost be possible to feel sorry for Mitt Romney. Beyond the flip-flopping, has any worse actor ever attempted the role of presidential candidate? It’s beyond Romney’s powers to persuade most people of his sincerity about things he does believe, much less the many tenets of contemporary GOP faith he probably doesn’t share — assuming for the sake of argument that anybody, including himself, knows which is which.

    There’s little doubt, however, that Romney believes he deserves to be president, in rather the way the fictional Lord Grantham deserves to preside over Downton Abbey. It’s his inability to conceal that sense of entitlement that makes him such an awkward politician.

    Gene Lyons has Willard’s Number.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    U.S. District Court Judge sends racially-charged e-mail about Obama.

    The subject line of the email, which Cebull sent from his official courthouse email address on Feb. 20 at 3:42 p.m., reads: “A MOM’S MEMORY.”

    The forwarded text reads as follow:

    “Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

    “A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?'” the email joke reads. “His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!'”

    Cebull admitted Wednesday to sending the email to seven recipients, including his personal email address.

    Naturally, he’s a GW Bush appointee.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist. He said the email was intended to be a private communication.

      “It was not intended by me in any way to become public,” Cebull said. “I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended.”

      Cebull said his brother initially sent him the email, which he forwarded to six of his “old buddies” and acquaintances.

  7. ralphb says:

    Balloon Juice: WE HAVE LIFTOFF

    Sometimes John Cole cracks me up.