Bookmark this for tomorrow, it’ll come in handy:
In a historic move this week, Uruguayan President José Mujica has signed into law a bill that waives criminal penalties for abortion in the first 12 weeks of gestation, with certain procedural requirements, and in the first 14 weeks of gestation in the cases of rape.
The law marks a significant development in realizing women’s human rights and preventing unsafe, clandestine abortions in the region.
Read more after the jump.
© 2012 Reuters
A huge development on the women’s rights front.
RIP George McGovern: “We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace,” his family said in a statement. The liberal politician, who died at 90, was such a symbol of liberal politics that he had the word “Govern” right in his name. The South Dakota politician lost in the 1972 presidential election to Nixon, 520 electoral votes to 17, though Nixon’s streak of dirty politics showed up after the election in the form of the Watergate scandal. (photo by George Tames/The New York Times)
Monica Crowley, a Fox News analyst and WABC talk radio host, is spending today bashing Barack Obama throughout Colorado. She’ll speak at rallies sponsored by Americans for Prosperity in Loveland, Northglenn, Westminster, Golden, Aurora, Colorado Springs and Pueblo as part of what’s billed as the group’s “second statewide Obama’s Failing Agenda Bus Tour.”
So much for “fair and balanced.” Fox News Channel is doing the RNC’s work on the ground in a key swing state. Note, AEP wouldn’t use the word “stumping,” they’re bashing Barack Obama, not promoting anyone else.
According to a press release for the event, “this tour will educate Americans on the most harmful aspects of President Obama’s big-government agenda…” The group adds that “The Failing Agenda bus tour is an issue advocacy effort by Americans for Prosperity and does not expressly advocate for the success or defeat of any candidate for public office.” But you get the drift.
To be clear, AEP does not count itself a pro-Romney group. It’s an anti-Obama group. There.
Romney said the phrase (“binders full of women”) while answering a question that first went to President Barack Obama about inequalities in the workplace and fair pay for women. Obama answered the question by focusing on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which he signed into law.
Romney took a different route in answering the question. He talked about his time as Massachusetts governor and how he wanted to hire some women – and not all men – for his cabinet.
“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Romney needed help finding women for posts. There were no women in at the top of the all-male Bain Capital. “Binders Full Of Women” was certainly an awkward phrase to say and it failed to even work as an answer to the question. Instead, it reminded people of a time when women wore girdles or women in China bound their feet as status symbol that allowed them to marry into money. For some, it sounded like a great idea for a Halloween costume.
And like Big Bird, it became an instant meme.
Romney then went a bit patriarchal, reminding me of the Dabney Coleman character in the 1980s movie, “9 to 5.”
“Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”
He continued, saying that his chief of staff couldn’t work late because she had to be home “making dinner” and “being with them when they get home from school.”
Romney said, “Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.”
Do fathers not have to get home and cook dinner? Do they not want to be there for their children when school is out? After all, there are such things as single dads who balance children and work. Mitt Romney has obviously been watching too many episodes of “Leave It To Beaver” on TV Land on the campaign trail. The days of Donna Reed are long over, Mr. Romney.
Mitt Romney mounted a big foreign policy display on a flag-draped stage at the Virginia Military Institute on Monday, serving up a lot of tough-sounding sound bites and hawkish bumper stickers, some of them even bumping up somewhere close to the truth, to give the appearance that he would be stronger and more forceful on international affairs than President Obama.
He seems to consider himself, ludicrously, a leader similar to the likes of Harry Truman and George Marshall, and, at one point, he obliquely questioned Mr. Obama’s patriotism. The hope seems to be that big propaganda, said loudly and often, will drown out Mr. Obama’s respectable record in world affairs, make Americans believe Mr. Romney would be the better leader and cover up the fact that there is mostly just hot air behind his pronouncements.
Mr. Romney’s stated policies in Monday’s speech, just as they have been in the past, are either pretty much like Mr. Obama’s or, when there are hints of differences, would pull the United States in wrong and even dangerous directions. His analysis of the roots of various international crises is either naïve or deliberately misleading.
One new element is Mr. Romney’s assertion that the threats have “grown worse.” He desperately wants to undercut the edge that voters have given Mr. Obama on foreign policy, even before he ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden. But he offers no real evidence to back up that particular claim, and if it were true that the threats have been so much worse for so long, it’s odd that Mr. Romney hasn’t really talked about them before.
Militancy in the Arab world is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by both candidates. The Obama administration has been seized with the challenge of extremists from Yemen to Somalia to the Philippines and beyond since taking office and has used various strategies to deal with it. But, as much as Mr. Romney wishes voters would believe otherwise, it was President George W. Bush’s unnecessary war in Iraq that gave Iran more room to maneuver and fueled anti-Americanism.
The situation has become more complicated since the Arab Spring revolutions that brought Muslim countries more freedoms — and more turmoil and more ways for extremists to create trouble.
But it is not, as Mr. Romney seems to think, one big monolithic struggle against those who are seeking to wage “perpetual war on the West.” There are different strains of Islam and many kinds of Muslims with different political agendas. To create smart policy, American presidents have to see the nuances, not just the slogans, and be willing to work with many different kinds of leaders.
Buried deep in the tax returns released by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign are references to dozens of offshore holdings with names like Ursa Funding (Luxembourg) S.à.r.l. and Sankaty Credit Opportunities Investors (Offshore) IV, based in the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Romney, responding to opponents’ barbs about his use of overseas tax havens, has offered a narrow defense, saying only that the investments, many made through the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital, have yielded him “not one dollar of reduction in taxes.”
A review of thousands of pages of financial documents and interviews with tax lawyers found that in some cases, the offshore arrangements enabled his individual retirement account to avoid taxes on its investments and may well have reduced Mr. Romney’s personal income tax bills.
But perhaps a more significant impact of Mr. Romney’s offshore investments has been on the profit side of the ledger — in the way Bain’s tax-avoidance strategies have enhanced his income.
Some of the offshore entities enabled Bain-owned companies to sidestep certain taxes, increasing returns for Mr. Romney and other investors. Others helped Bain attract foreign investors and nonprofit institutions by insulating them from taxes, again augmenting Mr. Romney’s bottom line, since he shared in management fees based on the size of each Bain fund.
The documents — which include confidential Bain prospectuses and foreign regulatory filings, many previously unreported — illustrate how these tax-avoidance strategies are woven into the fabric of Bain’s deal making. While hardly a novel concept and not unique to Bain, the inevitable result is that elite investors like Mr. Romney are able to increase their fortunes in ways unavailable to most taxpayers.
Obama currently leads Romney by ten points in Ohio, nine points in Florida and 12 points in Pennsylvania. Which wouldn’t be a problem (for Romney) — if between now and November 6th, we could just get 290 million people to move to Arkansas.
Number-crunchers over at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics realized today that between April 2011 and March 2012, there were 300,000 more jobs created than originally estimated. If this upward revision is correct, President Obama is now in the green for job growth, having overseen a net gain in roughly 100,000 since taking office. This has just been an astonishingly bad week for Mitt Romney. source