June 7th, 2012

Pride & Prejudice

Abortion opponent says letter 'divinely inspired'

A Kansas abortion opponent accused of sending a threatening letter to a Wichita doctor claims in court documents that her message was "divinely inspired" and protected by the freedoms of speech and religion.

Angel Dillard's latest assertion was included in a flurry of recent defense filings in federal court. The Valley Center woman is being sued by the U.S. Justice Department under a law aimed at protecting access to abortion services.

The government's lawsuit claims Dillard, of Valley Center, threatened Dr. Mila Means when she wrote her a letter last year saying that thousands of people from across the United States were looking into the doctor's background.

"They will know your habits and routines. They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live," the letter said. "You will be checking under your car everyday — because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it."

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Hillary Clinton 'Overweight,' Author Ed Klein Tells Fox News

For some, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Bangladesh in early May, the country's human rights record wasn't the top news. Nor was her speech on the recent tensions within the country.

Instead, the Drudge Report splashed a photo of Clinton's makeup-free face, calling her "au natural," as she merely sported black framed glasses and red lipstick.

Now, amidst the mounting rumors that Clinton will run for President in 2016 -- the knives are really coming out.

The latest attack on Clinton's appearance came from Ed Klein, an author who has penned a number of controversial and criticized books, including "The Truth About Hillary", which delves into Clinton's private life.

"At this very moment that we're speaking right now, Brian, [the Clintons] are already thinking seriously about running in 2016," author Ed Klein told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. "She'll be 69 years old. And as you know -- and I don't want to sound anti-feminist here -- but she's not looking good these days. She's looking overweight, and she's looking very tired."

Klein, a former New York Times magazine editor continued to comment on her appearance.

"I think she's going to take some time off, get back into shape. And if her health holds out-- that's a big if, of course -- if her health holds out, there's no question in my mind she and Bill -- two for the price of one -- will run in 2016."

Hillary isn't the only female politician to have her appearance attract media attention.

Whether it is Sarah Palin's glasses or Nicholas Sarkozy reportedly poking fun at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for taking a second helping of cheese after claiming she was on a diet, our society is seemingly comfortable judging female politicians on issues beyond their policies.

As Jezebel explains, this is the consequence of a society heavily conditioned to airbrushed photos.

It's not enough that Chancellor Merkel has a Ph.D. in Physics and is essentially viewed as the de facto leader of the E.U. Nor is Hillary Clinton's success as a lawyer, senator and secretary of state enough.

And when female politicians don't comply with societal expectations of beauty -- by foregoing makeup or taking an extra helping of cheese -- style and appearance can seem to trump policy, at least in some media reports.


A.N. Struggled pretty damn hard not to bold the entire last part of this article. Also, I'm bitterly unsurprised that the appearance-related attacks have started so soon. Because we all know that men are allowed to be thin, fat, tall, short, bald, gaunt-faced or not, but if you're a woman and you somehow deviate from the generally accepted standards of beauty, you're fucked.
sirius, joker, y so

Birth Control Pill Tax: Forbes Writer Argues Women On Hormonal Contraceptive Pills Should Pay More

While President Obama wants to grant women access to free birth control, this guy thinks women ought to pay more for access to contraception -- $1,500 per year more, to be precise.

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AN: Forehead smack. Forever. So many causes but it all comes down to the cootch as the root of every evil. PS: If I posted this twice, sorry! My internet cut out the first go around.

EDIT: Eeek! SAUCE! I'm sorry I thought I added it the first go around! :|

California to investigate anti-gay group over undisclosed donors

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 17:34 EDT

The state of California’s ethics office announced Wednesday that it would investigate the National Organization for Marriage for allegedly trying to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars it received in 2008.

NOM was formed in 2007 to pass Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage. According to the group’s 2008 Federal Tax Return, they received a $10,000 contribution from Romney’s Alabama PAC, Free and Strong America, in October 2008. However, that donation was allegedly not reported on NOM’s filing with the California Secretary of State.

In addition, NOM allegedly failed to report another $275,000 it received from 10 other contributors.

“The National Organization for Marriage has spent tens of millions of dollars to take marriage rights away from millions of Americans over the last four years,” said Republican gay rights activist Fred Karger, whose complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission in April led to the investigation.

“NOM is allowed to participate in these elections, but it must obey all state and federal laws and report where all of its money is coming from. Once again it looks like they got caught.”

Karger, the head of Californians Against Hate, has previously worked as a senior consultant for Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. He was also the first Republican to enter the 2012 presidential race.

Karger began tracking the activity of NOM in 2008. The following year, he filed a complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission regarding NOM’s refusal to disclose its donors.

The ensuing investigation forced NOM to turn over several confidential documents, which explained the group’s plan to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” and other political strategies.

“The Maine Ethics Commission and Attorney General’s office have done a phenomenal job of gathering evidence in the money laundering case I filed against NOM on August 24, 2009,” Karger said. “The 29 Exhibits they collected are proving to be NOM’s undoing. NOM’s veil of deceit and lies has finally been lifted.”


In which covert contributions to NOM are its undoing.

Florida, DOJ Clash Over Voter Removal Efforts

Florida’s attempts to remove ineligible voters from the rolls has drawn a rebuke from the Justice Department and set up a showdown between the state and U.S. government leading into November.

Gov. Rick Scott told WNDB radio in Daytona Beach Wednesday that the state plans to respond to the Justice Department’s order that Florida cease all voter verification efforts because the process in use violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

According to the Voting Rights Act, Florida must obtain federal approval before making any changes affecting voting in Monroe, Hillsborough, Collier, Hardee and Hendry counties because of a history of minority-voting trouble in each area.
The Justice Department also notified the state that it was in violation of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which requires all voter roll maintenance to stop 90 days before an election. In Florida’s case, this should have been May 16, 90 days before this year’s August 14 primary.

Some Republican lawyers in Tallahassee are arguing that because county officials are responsible for the recent roll maintenance, the federal statutes identified by the Justice Department are not applicable.

Democratic opponents of the purge say the recent effort amounts to voter suppression, and disproportionately affects minorities, specifically Hispanics, Florida’s largest immigrant population. Sen. Bill Nelson even compared recent efforts to a similar 2000 purge, just before the general election kept some eligible voters from casting ballots.

“In the 2000 Florida election, at least 1,100 eligible voters were wrongly dropped from voting rolls in an attempt to purge a list of felons,” Nelson wrote in a letter to Gov. Scott. “Many of those who were dropped showed up to vote and were told they could not. And in a presidential election decided by 537 votes, that erroneous purge may have been a factor.”
Members of Gov. Scott’s administration have countered that the efforts are solely to ensure that ineligible voters are unable to participate in the upcoming elections.

“We’ve been acting responsibly through this process,” said Chris Cate, spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, to the Miami Herald. “And our letter will reiterate that while addressing the concerns raised by DOJ. We have continued our efforts to identify ineligible voters.”

Update (6:35 p.m.):
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner in an official release Wednesday rejected Justice Department claims that recent attempts to remove ineligible voters from the rolls are in violation of federal law.

“The Department of State respectfully disagrees with DOJ’s position,” Detzner wrote. “The actions taken by Florida to identify and remove non-citizens from its voter rolls ensure that the right to vote of citizens is protected and is not diluted by the votes of ineligible persons.”

Detzner posed four questions for clarification regarding the National Voters Registration Act for the Justice Department to respond to by June 11.

  • rjdaae

Dock From Japan Tsunami Washes Ashore on Oregon Beach

When the tsunami hit the northern coast of Japan last year, the waves ripped four dock floats the size of freight train boxcars from their pilings in the fishing port of Misawa and turned them over to the whims of wind and currents.

One floated up on a nearby island. Two have not been seen again. But one made an incredible journey across 5,000 miles of ocean that ended this week on a popular Oregon beach.

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  • yeats

‘Slutty Wednesday’: NY high-school students protest dress code

Stuyvesant High School is considered one of New York City's top public high schools, but some of the students there think a recently imposed dress code is just dumb.

The New York Post reports that about 100 students decided to protest the code, which bans girls from exposing their shoulders, midriffs, lower backs, bras and underwear, by having a "Slutty Wednesday," during which they intentionally broke the conservative dress standards.

"We work our asses off here, and school is about learning. Clothing is not important," ninth-grader Lucy Greider told the Post. Greider says she's been brought into the office 10 times this year for violating the dress code, which was introduced last fall. "A lot of the classrooms don't have a/c's and when it is 80 degrees outside and it is really hot, it's perfectly OK to show a little skin."

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source, with video.

edit: all right, mea culpa for not posting this article, which explains the really shitty sexism and sizeism that this policy enforces....which is why the students adopted the term "slutty wednesday" in the first place. i hope this will clarify things/chasten some of you.

Gay marriage law to pass in parliament

Peter Stanners
June 7, 2012 - 13:13

Same-sex couples will be able to be married in Danish churches as soon as June 15 while those in civil partnerships will automatically be granted the status as 'married'. Below, Eigil og Axel (right) Axgil leave Copenhagen City Hall on 1 Oct 1989 as the first couple to enter in a same-sex union (Both photos: Scanpix)

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OP note: this is my first post. I hope I did it right.

President Obama's Pride Month Proclamation

President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2012

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2012

By The President Of The United States Of America

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Original proclamation at whitehouse.gov

Cynicism aside, I still find it gratifying to see the President of the United States speak positively about LGBTQ people.

Michigan Anti-Abortion Bill, 'Most Extreme' In The Country, Barrels Through State House

A massive, 60-page omnibus bill that drastically limits abortion access and could shut down all abortion clinics in the state is being rushed through the Michigan State House of Representatives on Thursday.

The bill was introduced just last week, but lawmakers held a hearing for it on Thursday morning and are sending it to a full House vote on Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan said about 90 people showed up at the Health Policy Committee hearing to testify against the bill, but Committee Chair Gail Haines (R-Waterford) abruptly ended the hearing and cut off all testimony after a Michigan Right to Life spokesperson and only a few others were able to speak.

"We had a lot of doctors there and members of the committee asking questions about what the full ramifications of a lot of these provisions could be, and quite frankly a lot of folks couldn't answer them," said Meghan Groen, a spokesperson for PPMSM.

Specifically, the omnibus bill would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape victims, the health of the woman or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly. It would require health centers that provide abortions to have surgery rooms, even when they don't provide surgical abortions. It would require doctors to be present for medication abortions and to screen women for "coercion" before providing an abortion, and it would create new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains.

The bill would also ban "telemedicine" abortions, or the use of technology to prescribe medication for abortion services and the morning-after pill.Collapse )