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  • Lawmakers play political football with women's health, making it hard to obtain birth control pills
    on September 26, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Sept. 26 is World Contraception Day. Its purpose is to educate people about the importance of family planning and access to contraception. Despite the Republicans’ repeated attempts to block women’s access to any kind of reproductive justice, having access to contraception remains a vital part of women’s equality—one that is essential for our health and well-being, and that of our families.  But in 2017, it is still incredibly difficult to get birth control pills in the United States. Though over-the -counter birth control is available around the world, women here are required to see a doctor in order to get a prescription.  There are 102 countries in the world where you can buy birth control pills without seeing your doctor, but the United States isn’t one of them. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has endorsed the idea of true access to over-the-counter birth control since […]

  • U.S. admiral: 50-50 chance of a conventional war with North Korea. He gives nuclear war a 10% chance
    on September 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Not a few people have suggested that Pr*sident Donald J. Trump, the guy who has embarrassed even a few Republicans with his 6th grader tweets and colossal ignorance, is wagging the dog over North Korea to distract attention from his political incompetence and the Mueller investigation. Perhaps Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and his foreign minister are doing the same to divert attention from their problems.  Do they mean what they say? Or are they just spouting off for the home audience with no intent to go to war? Maybe it’s all just a bluff. But if this competitive waving of twangers is just bluffing with the idea of ratcheting up the bellicose rhetoric until the other side blinks and backs off, it’s a damned risky move.  So risky, in fact, that retired Admiral James Stavridis told Los Angeles Times reporter Barbara Demick Sunday that he puts the chances of a conventional war in Korea at 50-50 and a nuclear […]

  • Puerto Rico dying? Obamacare repeal failing? Time for an anti-abortion vote in the Republican House
    on September 26, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Campaign Action Puerto Rico's 3. 5 million citizens, U.S. citizens, are facing "near-death conditions" following Hurricane Maria. "Just yesterday, we have been canvassing one by one all of our elderly homes, finding our elderly―and I’m not kidding―we [had] to transfer 11 of them in near-death conditions, no food, no water, no electricity and really the sanitary conditions were deplorable," reports San Juan's mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz. So what's the U.S. House of Representatives doing about it? Nothing, unless you count scheduling a vote on an unconstitutional abortion ban some kind of help. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that the House would vote on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," on Oct. 3. The bill last passed the House in 2015 but was blocked by Senate Democrats. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), would make it a crime to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the […]

  • Senate Republicans already considering the next way they're going to ruin health care in America
    on September 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    With just four days to go in this round of trying to kill Obamacare and every indication that they are going to fail, Republicans are planning the next totally partisan assault. The only way Obamacare is going to be repealed is with Republican votes, so they chose to get the job done through the budget reconciliation process, which can't be filibustered in the Senate. Since it's not likely to happen this time, they're talking about trying it again with the next budget resolution. There is nothing to suggest Obamacare repeal would get any easier in the coming months and doing so may significantly hobble the Republican majority's other chief legislative priority: tax reform. But facing a floundering repeal push, wrath from the base and a frustrated President Donald Trump, Republicans may have no other choice but to keep pushing to uproot the law. "We've got to do both," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said of tackling both Obamacare repeal and tax reform next […]

  • Jefferson Sessions, attorney general and Most Precious Snowflake, can only speak in a 'safe space'
    on September 26, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is set to make a speech at Georgetown University. The topic of that speech: free speech. The environment of the speech: anything but. More than 130 students who had followed official channels to register for a seat in the auditorium were told they could attend, Lauren Phillips, a student at the school, wrote in an email Monday night. But the students were later suddenly uninvited because they were not part of a group that, Phillips believes, would ensure a sympathetic audience. The attorney general of the United States, in a speech at a major university on the topic of “free speech,” is requiring a sympathetic audience scoured of any student who might object to anything he says. That’s despite the fact that in applying for these seats the students agreed not to disrupt Sessions’ speech. It’s a level of delicacy that makes snowflakes look like cast iron. … students “find it extraordinarily […]

  • Trump to take break from rage-tweeting the NFL for visit to a devastated Puerto Rico
    on September 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Campaign Action This announcement comes just hours after Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets appearing to blame Puerto Rico for its problems following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Trump’s visit will come nearly two weeks after Maria hit the island, where more than three million U.S. citizens may go up to six months without electricity: President Trump will travel to Puerto Rico next Tuesday to survey damage from Hurricane Maria, which has ravaged the island and left Americans there without power and struggling to find food and clean water. As Mark Sumner noted, leaders on the island have been begging for relief, because what has actually gotten there has been woefully inadequate. “Donald Trump could have ordered the armed forces to conduct an emergency air evacuation of the island, moving hundreds of thousands of the most directly threatened to safety. He didn’t.” The people of Puerto Rico are suffering, and it took days of […]

  • Ryan Zinke says a third of the Interior Dept. is 'not loyal to the flag' as he attacks environment
    on September 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Now that he’s completed his plan to bring mining and clear-cut logging to National Monuments, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zink has looked around his own department. And according to the AP, what he’s determined is that one third of the Interior Department is composed of traitors, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday that nearly one-third of employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Donald Trump, adding that he is working to change the department’s regulatory culture to be more business friendly. The Trump regime is one in which you can head up a department whose name you’ve forgotten and whose purpose you never knew, run something that doesn’t even interest you, or head up a department you actively want to destroy, so long as you show the one critical trait: Loyalty to Trump. Dedication to the nation is off the table. Efficiency is not an issue. Knowledge is an actual detriment. Loyalty is what counts. People […]

  • In the end, Republicans allowed just five Americans to witness their lone hearing on health care
    on September 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Campaign Action Five—that's the total number of U.S. citizens who were finally allowed to remain in the Senate Finance Committee's hearing on the GOP's Graham-Cassidy healthcare repeal bill. As large hearing rooms that could have accommodated hundreds of onlookers sat empty, Republican Finance chair Orrin Hatch gaveled the meeting to order with about 20 disabilities rights activists present. Outside the hearing room doors, a line of hundreds of interested citizens snaked through the halls. But even 20 proved too many when they started chanting, "No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!” After they were forcibly removed by Capitol Police, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes: [Finance Committee Chairman Orrin] Hatch returned after seven minutes and started scolding: “If you can’t be in order then get the heck out! . . . Shut that door and keep it shut!” Who he was yelling at wasn’t clear, because after the mayhem the […]

  • Republicans meet today to decide whether to take another Trumpcare vote
    on September 26, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) finally decided she would be principled on Monday afternoon, ending the will-she-or-won't-she speculation about the latest really awful Obamacare repeal attempt from her Republican colleagues. That should be the death blow to the bill, with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) also saying they will vote no. But no one trusts Paul to do anything he says he will, and Cruz is just holding out for a bribe or two, so this isn't over yet. In fact, leadership seems to be thinking, forcing a vote on this terrible bill might make it pass. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) did not rule out the possibility of holding a vote on the proposal despite clear signs that it did not have sufficient support to pass. Many Republicans feel pressure from voters to keep pushing to repeal the ACA before moving on to other issues. “There are a lot of people who want to vote yes and be recorded as voting yes,” Cornyn said, adding that the […]

  • Cartoon: Take a trip back to Normal America-Land
    on September 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen […]

  • Donald Trump finally notices Puerto Rico—long enough to blame them for their problems
    on September 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    On Monday evening, Donald Trump finally got around to mentioning Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria finished passing over the island. And what he delivered was a level of cruelty usually reserved for four-year-olds holding  a magnifying glass above ants. xTexas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017 Trump followed this initial tweet with a couple of followup. They did not make things better. It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water, and medical are top priorities — and doing well. #FEMA  Donald Trump finally deigned to notice three and a half million Americans in Puerto Rico. Americans without […]

  • Morning Digest: Two final polls have Roy Moore far ahead in today's Alabama Senate GOP runoff
    on September 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● AL-Sen: We have some last-minute polls of today's GOP Senate runoff in Alabama, and they both point to a clear win for former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Cygnal gives Moore a 52-41 edge against appointed Sen. Luther Strange, while the GOP pollster Trafalgar Group has him up 57-41. Indeed, as of Monday evening, every single poll that's been released has shown Moore ahead, and even Strange’s best poll—which was paid for by his free-spending allies at the Senate Leadership Fund—still found Moore with 41-40 edge last week. It's worth noting that both of these late polls were in the field Saturday and Sunday, just after none other than Donald Trump held a rally for Strange in Huntsville on Friday […]

 

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