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!