Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Republican-majority legislatures in many red states are gorging themselves on new laws to restrict safe, legal abortion out of existence, but things have been pretty stable for the women of Tennessee, a state that has 14 doctors providing abortion, compared with a mere eight in Alabama and two in Mississippi. Because of this, 1 in 4 women getting an abortion in Tennessee hails from out of state.

One major reason it’s relatively easy to get a safe abortion in Tennessee is a state Supreme Court decision in 2000 that held that “a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution,” meaning that medically unnecessary abortion restrictions are largely unconstitutional.

Now anti-choicers are pushing back, advocating for a ballot measure called Amendment 1 that would amend the state constitution to single out abortion as the one medical procedure not covered by the privacy rights enshrined elsewhere in the state constitution. “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” reads the proposed amendment, and activists on both sides of the issue are pouring money into the campaign to determine whether state legislators can be free to pass laws restricting safe abortion access in the state. “We’ve been trying to put this back to a neutral position to say that the legislators should be the ones setting this policy, not liberal courts,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told an audience at a fundraiser last November.

So far, polling data shows that the anti-abortion side isn’t doing well in the polls, with 71 percent of voters opposing attempts to give the legislature more power to regulate abortion and even a majority of Republicans disliking this proposed amendment.

Anti-choice efforts to turn public opinion in their favor seem misguided, if you ask me. According to ThinkProgress, “They’ve even enlisted Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who star in the TLC reality show ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ to drum up public support for Amendment 1.” People may like that TV show, but if you’re trying to persuade voters to support anti-choice laws, it’s probably not wise to put extremist Christian fundamentalists who believe you should have a bazillion children at the front of your campaign. For most of us, living like the Duggars sounds like a nightmare, regardless of your position on abortion. Putting them out front only serves to confirm people’s worst fears about the end goals of the anti-choice movement. 

 

H/T: Peter Montgomery at RWW

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

Less than seven hours after being asked about the racist legacy of rock entertainer Ted Nugent, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians this evening cancelled ascheduled performance next month by the controversial performer.

Tribal officials sounded completely caught off-guard earlier in the day when Hatewatch called and asked why the tribe – with a sterling record of combating hate and standing up for equal rights – had booked Nugent.

Heather Keen, the public relations director for the tribe, announced the decision that Nugent’s scheduled for Aug.4 was being abruptly cancelled.

“Nugent’s history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to Tribal Council’s attention earlier today” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Keen said in a statement e-mailed to media outlets.

“The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has always been about human rights – for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity,” the statement said.

Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, issued a one-sentence statement about the cancellation, without explaining how Nugent got booked in the first place.

“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way,” Allen said in the statement.

Laura Stensgar, the executive director of marketing for the tribe’s Coeur d’Alene Casino, apparently either made the decision or oversaw someone who booked Nugent. Many of his racist remarks have been made from the stage during rock performances, during which he sometimes wears an Indian headdress.

“We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses,” Stensgar said.

“Unfortunately, when we booked him, we were looking at him from an entertainment perspective, as an 80s rock ‘n roller, who we thought folks might enjoy,” Stensgar said.

“We take the comments and concerns of our community very seriously and we apologize to anyone who was offended by the idea that we would promote these kinds of attitudes. We will do our best to avoid such mistakes moving forward,” Stensgar added.


H/T: Bill Morlin at SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog

thepoliticalfreakshow:

nunn obama

In a poll by Landmark Communications released Sunday, Democrat Michelle Nunn has a commanding lead against both of her potential challengers in Georgia’s US Senate race. Against Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) Nunn is up by eight points, 49% to 41%. The poll also shows her with a nice lead against businessman David Perdue as Nunn leads him 48% to 42%. Perdue and Kingston are heading into a GOP primary runoff this coming Tuesday. The survey shows Kingston with a sizable lead as he is ahead by seven points, 48% to 41%.

While Nunn holds leads against both men, the thought is that she’d prefer to face Kingston in the general election. Atlanta-based political analyst Bill Crane had the following to say after this poll was released.

“I think Michelle Nunn would prefer to run against Jack Kingston. Twenty-two year incumbent, PAC money, special interest, her preferred race is the race that I think she’s going to get.”

Nunn taking the Georgia Senate seat would put a huge crimp in the plans of Republicans who feel they can take over the US Senate this November. Currently, the GOP needs to net six seats in the midterm to become the majority party in the Upper Chamber. Losing a Senate seat in a deep-red state that was previously held by a Republican will almost certainly prevent Republicans from taking over the Senate. While it is nearly a given that Democrats will lose seats this November, it is looking more and more promising that they will be able to retain control of the Senate.

Besides this race, Dems have a very good chance of flipping another Republican-held seat. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in real danger of losing to Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes this November. Polls show the race in a virtual tie and Grimes has been able to energize Democrats in Kentucky. Also, McConnell’s insistence on running against Obamacare is likely to backfire as the health care law has been a raging success in Kentucky. Toss in the fact that Grimes has attracted national attention, with big names coming to Kentucky to campaign for her, and all the arrows point to an embarrassing loss for McConnell.

H/T: Sean Sullivan at The Washington Post

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes attacked an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees, accusing the Obama administration of being “hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda.”

On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating LGBT employees. The order amends existing non-discrimination executive orders to include sexual orientation and gender identity. As BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner reported, the order “contains no additional religious exemptions … beyond those already contained in existing executive orders.”

Fox’s Starnes attacked the executive order in a July 21 post on FoxNews.com, accusing the Obama administration of endangering religious liberty and “bullying religious groups that hold viewpoints it deems inappropriate”:

The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. And that includes religious Christian colleges and universities that provide financial aid to students.

[…]

"If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith - then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith," Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.

[…]

"The mask is coming off of the homosexual movement’s agenda. They really do not believe in religious liberty. They want forced affirmation of homosexual and transgender conduct to trump every other consideration in the workplace - including religious liberty."

[…]

The Obama administration seems hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda. Resistance is futile.

Starnes’ commentary is typical of the Fox News personality, who’s made a career acting as the network’s mouthpiece for some of the country’s most extreme anti-LGBT hate groups. The Family Research Council’s (FRC) Sprigg, for example, has called for the exporting of gay people out of the U.S. and endorsed the criminalization of homosexuality. Pastor Robert Jeffress, another critic cited in Starnes’ post, is notorious for his extreme comments about LGBT people and Muslims.

Starnes’ fear-mongering about the executive order’s lack of religious exemptions grossly mischaracterizes the scope of the directive, which merely extends existing non-discrimination protections to include LGBT employees of federal contractors. As the New York Times editorial board recently explained:

This is not a question of religious freedom. It is a question of whether to allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate in employment against a particular group of people… [T]he presidential order … would extend those rules to companies that receive federal contracts in states without those kinds of anti-bias laws, protecting millions more people.

Mr. Obama’s resolve is being tested. There is no good reason to give religious employers a special privilege to inflict undeserved pain by, for example, refusing to hire someone to work on a government-backed project just because she happens to be a lesbian, or firing a capable employee who marries someone of the same sex.

h/t: Carlos Maza at MMFA

mediamattersforamerica 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

From the 07.21.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW

Mitch McConnell: say one thing, do another. Let’s send him packing in November at the ballot box by replacing him with Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

H/T: Sahil Kapur at TPM