Day: February 1, 2011

Rep. Wasserman Schultz: Bill Redefining Rape To Prevent Abortions Is ‘A Violent Act Against Women’

It  appears the Honorable Congresswoman from Florida, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, sees the problem with “redefining rape” solely to prevent abortions, with clarity.  She  produces a cogent rebuttal to such an act against women…

Think Progress

House Republicans wasted no time in declaring their legislative priorities for the 112th Congress. The first: repeal health care for millions of Americans. The second: redefine rape. A day after repealing health care, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, a bill that would not only permanently prohibit some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions, but would change the language exempting rape and incest from rape to “forcible rape.”

[…]

And yet, 172 Republicans — including sixteen women — and lone Democrat Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL), chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus — readily support the new standard. Appalled at such a cavalier attack on women’s rights, one House member is not taking the change lightly. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) “fiercely denounced” her conservative colleagues for this “absolutely outrageous” dilution of victims’ rights. Enraged at the suggestion that “there is some kind of rape that would be okay,” Wasserman Schultz told The Raw Story that she considers the bill itself to be “a violent act against women”:

“It is absolutely outrageous,” Wasserman Schultz said in an exclusive interview late Monday afternoon. “I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.”[…]

“It really is — to suggest that there is some kind of rape that would be okay to force a woman to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, and abandon the principle that has been long held, an exception that has been settled for 30 years, is to me a violent act against women in and of itself,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable,” the four-term congresswoman added.[…]

Wasserman Schultz dismissed the effort as a nonstarter in the Democratic-led Senate and a guaranteed veto by President Barack Obama, but conceded that it may pass the GOP-controlled House. She called it “yet another example” of how the “extreme right-wing fringe of Republican Party has complete control over their agenda.”

More…

 

Rush Limbaugh Thinks Obama Is “An Increasingly Lawless President”

It just amazes me how Limbaugh and his ilk twist words around so that their very gullible listeners hear what they want to hear and that is, that Barack Obama is an other (not like them), or a crook, or a usurper.

Now Limbaugh actually goes on to tell his listeners that because of the high court ruling in Florida on the Affordable Health Care Act, which stated in part that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and because the entire act rests upon individual mandates, the result is that the entire Act is unconstitutional.

When I last read the constitution, I recall that everyone including the Obama administration had a right to “due process”.  In other words, if you disagree with a lower court’s decision, you then appeal the decision to a higher court.  In this instance, that court would be the United States Supreme Court.

Limbaugh tells his listeners,  in part:

“So, is Obama going to uphold the law and comply with the Constitution or not? Whatever a court does down the road is beside the point. The ruling of the day is the law is unconstitutional. It has been voided. The regime must legally deal with this. And, if they ask for a stay, then they are acknowledging the ruling and admitting that they understand it. It doesn’t matter that it might be overturned later. The law of the land is that it’s unconstitutional…”

It’s ironic how he says nothing about “due process”.   These people are simply outrageous…

Mediaite

We are in an “extremely serious constitutional crisis” according to Rush Limbaugh. With yesterday’s ruling by a federal court in Florida that the entire Health Care law should be thrown out, the White House has to figure out its next move. If President Obama doesn’t uphold the ruling, it will be another move by, what Limbaugh calls “an increasingly lawless president.”

Limbaugh compared the situation to Watergate and asked how people would have reacted if Nixon had ignored the Judiciary. He proposed that “the Liberals would have gone nuts about it.”

“So, is Obama going to uphold the law and comply with the Constitution or not? Whatever a court does down the road is beside the point. The ruling of the day is the law is unconstitutional. It has been voided. The regime must legally deal with this. And, if they ask for a stay, then they are acknowledging the ruling and admitting that they understand it. It doesn’t matter that it might be overturned later. The law of the land is that it’s unconstitutional. We have three branches. The Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. The Executive can’t tell the Legislative or the Judiciary what to do. This bunch thinks they can.”

After making his “lawless” comment, Limbaugh imitated Liberal callers (the “new castrati”) asking if he really meant it. Yes, he said. Yes he does.

Check out the audio below:

Did Keith Olbermann Return To Television With A Funny Cameo On Letterman?

The folks over at  Mediaite are not exactly Keith Olbermann’s biggest fans.  However, they literally gush over Olbermann in a surprise appearance on The Dave Letterman Show last night.   There is a question of whether or not this was a live cameo of Olbermann or a recycled tape from a previous Letterman appearance.

Keith tweeted this last night gives us a clear insight on the issue:  (…note the quotes around the word “cameo”.)

The avatar, for those who don’t recognize it, is from my “cameo” on Letterman tonight (looked surprisingly like a cameo from 2008!)

Mediaite

Ever since last Keith Olbermann’s sudden departure from MSNBC a week ago last Friday, both television insiders and loyal fans wondered when we could expect to see him back on “the tube.” Well we may have received our answer tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman in a funny gag that employed one of the most underused comedic devices: the element of surprise. Update below.

After Letterman spoke about the uprising in Egypt, he then threatened the audience “If anyone acts up, we’ve got a guy.” Jump cut to the self-aware and comically angry Olbermann looking over the shoulder of Biff Henderson.

Self-mockery is a tricky wicket for any known media personality to try to pull off, and often times it ends up feeling a little like a pathetic publicity moment. Not so in this instance, as Olbermann showed that he was willing to have a laugh along with the audience watching at home, even if it was just mocking his “angry” image. Well played, sir.

Update: Some on Twitter are suggesting that this clip was video shot from a show in the past year, and that it was only recycled for comedic purposes (it worked!) We will assign a crack team of researchers to spend countless hours investigating when this video was shot! The original post has been edited to reflect the unknown certainty of when this cameo bit was originally taped.

Watch:

The March Begins

 The power of a leaderless movement.  This is historic in every way…

The Daily Dish

EA:  1320 GMT: Al Jazeera is now putting out estimates of more than 2 million in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

The military is putting up barbed wire around the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis.

From The Guardian’s live-blog:

1.08pm: Protesters are now starting to march in Alexandria, Human Rights Watch Reports.

There is no clear route for the march, so a bit of confusion. 

The Harriet Sherwood, who’s in Alexandria, adds:

No one is running this, apart from the people themselves

 

Will The Supreme Court Uphold Health Care?

The Plum Line

As you’ve heard, a Florida judge has ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, meaning that two GOP-appointed judges have reached that conclusion, versus two Dem-appointed judges who have concluded the opposite. Only in this case, the judge, Roger Vinson, ruled that the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the law, meaning the entire thing has to be tossed.

I just checked in with Louis Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, to get his thoughts on the ruling.

* Seidman skewered one of the ruling’s core findings — that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it constitutes regulating economic inactivity. He argued that the constitution’s “necessary and proper clause” explicitly provides for the regulation of anything that “has an effect” on interstate markets.

“If Congress wants to mandate that insurance companies not discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, then Congress could rationally think it’s necessary to make sure that people participate in the insurance market” to make the ban on discrimination function properly, he said.

* Seidman, interestingly, said he thought the judge’s most controversial decision — that the mandate is not severable from the overall law, suggesting it needs to be tossed out entirely — had something to it.

“My own sense about that is that he’s probably right,” Seidman said. “The various segments of the law are sufficiently intertwined that it’s very hard to cut out the mandate and leave the rest unaffected. If [the mandate] is unconstitutional then I tend to agree that you can’t just sort of surgically remove one part of it and leave the rest intact.”

When I pointed out that there are other legislative means to replicate the mandate, calling into question whether the whole law should be scrapped, he argued that this isn’t for the courts to do.

* And finally, Seidman said the decision doesn’t matter a whit in the end.

“There is one person in the United States who will decide on this law, and that’s Anthony Kennedy,” Seidman said. “He’s not going to be unduly influenced by what a district judge in Florida says. All of this is just scrimmaging.”        More…