Whether women have access to abortion services and birth control is a longstanding and divisive issue in politics, and it has flared up from time to time in this campaign despite the candidates’ reticence to dwell on such hot-button topics.
Anti-abortion and abortion rights supporters stand face to face in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, during the annual March For Life rally. There’s been a lot of heated talk this year by Democrats contending that Republicans are waging a “war on women.” That’s hyperbole, retorts the GOP, but there are indeed stark differences between the two parties over these volatile issues. However, the next president _ Obama or Romney _ could have huge influence over the future of abortion policy if vacancies arise on the Supreme Court. For example, if two seats held by liberal justices were vacated and filled by Romney-nominated conservatives, prospects for a reversal of Roe v. Wade would increase.
Where they stand:
President Barack Obama supports abortion rights. His health care law requires contraceptives to be available for free for women enrolled in workplace health plans.
Republican Mitt Romney opposes abortion rights, though he previously supported them. He says Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling establishing abortion rights, should be reversed, which would allow states to ban abortion. He would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood, a major provider of abortion and contraception, and has criticized mandatory coverage for contraception as a threat to religious liberty when it’s applied to employers, such as Catholic hospitals, that disagree.
Why it matters:
There’s been a lot of heated talk this year by Democrats contending that Republicans are waging a “war on women.” That’s hyperbole, retorts the GOP, but there are indeed stark differences between the two parties over these volatile issues.
Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which Republicans opposed and want to repeal, vastly expands women’s access to copay-free preventive health care, including contraception.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and many conservative Protestant evangelicals have denounced this contraception mandate, saying it violates religious freedom. The provision generally exempts houses of worship, but faith-affiliated employers would have to comply.
Obama’s campaign has been running ads aimed at female voters, noting that Romney supports overturning Roe v. Wade and has assailed the contraception coverage requirement as a “war on religion.”
Were Romney to be elected, his ability to push through tough federal abortion restrictions would probably be limited unless Republicans gained firm control of both chambers of Congress.
However, the next president – Obama or Romney – could have huge influence over the future of abortion policy if vacancies arise on the Supreme Court. For example, if two seats held by liberal justices were vacated and filled by Romney-nominated conservatives, prospects for a reversal of Roe v. Wade would increase.
“That’s bigger than everything else combined, because of the long-term consequences,” said anti-abortion activist Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life.
Another issue of contention is the federally financed family planning program known as Title X. Romney has proposed ending the program, as well as all other federal money for Planned Parenthood. Obama supporters say this could be harmful to the large numbers of women who rely on Planned Parenthood clinics for affordable birth control, breast-cancer screenings and other services.
Aside from the presidential and congressional elections, there’s a lot riding on the results of state-level elections. Anti-abortion activists hope for further gains to accelerate a dramatic trend of the past decade: the enactment of scores of laws restricting access to abortion in states with Republican-controlled legislatures.
Among these measures are laws in several states prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, on the disputed premise that fetuses can feel pain at that stage; and a South Dakota law requiring doctors to warn women seeking abortions that they face increased risk of suicide by undergoing the procedure. In Mississippi, the lone abortion clinic is threatened with closure because of a new law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.
In some parts of the country, abortion providers already are so scarce that women with an unintended pregnancy face a choice between reluctantly bearing a child or traveling hundreds of miles for an abortion. Election results could reduce access even further in some states.
NEW YORK (JTA) – Throughout a half-century of international diplomatic work, I have learned to tell the politicians from the friends and the charlatans from the statesmen. Charlatans scream. They tell you what you want to hear and call other people names. Friends and leaders need not rely on rhetoric or boisterous bravado. They produce results and act on principle.
President Obama is such a friend and leader. In his 3 1/2 years in office he has deepened and strengthened the relationship between the United States and Israel. And today, Obama continues to implement a comprehensive pro-Israel agenda that has made Israel safer and more secure.
Under Obama, U.S. financial aid to Israel is at its highest levels ever. During the past four years, Israel has avoided becoming engaged in any substantial frontal military engagements, advanced its notable economic development and remains prepared for negotiating a comprehensive peace. Obama as president has led a mutually beneficial resurgence in the exchange of strategic technology, intelligence and cooperation between U.S. armed forces and the Israel Defense Forces.
Standing by Israel, Obama opposed the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and blocked its recognition at the United Nations. He supported Israel’s right to defend itself and confronted head-on the now-discredited Goldstone Report that condemned Israeli defensive action off its coast. He also ordered the United States to withdraw from the Durban Review Conference, whose namesake conference was supposed to be about racism but instead became an anti-Israel hate-fest. Obama stated unequivocally that “The United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations or in any international forum.”
Going even further, Obama has taken the floor of the United Nations to declare that “Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate” and that “efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will be met only by the unshakable opposition of the United States.”
When Fatah and Hamas joined political forces and pressured Israel to enter negotiations with them, Obama told the world that “No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction,” concluding that “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with Palestinians who do not recognize its right to exist.”
And this is also why Obama has taken such a strong stand against the Iranian nuclear program — the single greatest threat to the State of Israel and the stability of the Middle East. After years of inaction and neglect by the Bush administration, Obama constructed an international coalition to impose the most crippling sanctions ever on the Iranian regime. These sanctions have already chocked off Iran’s access to many capital markets and have had a profound effect on the way Tehran finances its nefarious operations. Covert U.S. operations targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure reportedly have also slowed their rate of progress.
While his opponents can talk tough on Iran, the president is doing what is necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Nevertheless, despite clear facts and substantial evidence, political partisans and opponents of the president continue a coordinated campaign to distort reality in a brazen attempt to fool the public. The same type of people who called Obama a closet Muslim and claimed he was not born in the United States now exercise linguistic calisthenics to obfuscate the truth and portray the president as hostile to the Jewish state. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Not long ago, while sitting in the Oval Office, Obama looked me in the eye and said, “My commitment to Israel’s security is bone deep.” He did not have to say it. I already knew that President Obama would never forsake the Jewish state, its security and its people. His record of performance is crystal clear and the charlatans cannot change that.
My father before me actively supported Jewish communities around the world and prior to 1948 closely worked with those establishing the modern State of Israel. For more than a half century, I have worked with successive Israeli governments and U.S. presidents — Republican and Democrat — to provide for the safety and security of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
My family has loved, worked, invested in and supported the State of Israel, its security and its people since before its founding. We have not always agreed with its policies, but we have always been there to support and defend its government and people. We are connected to every facet of Jewish life and want nothing more than Israel’s peace, security, vibrancy and prosperity. I am confident that President Obama shares our values and I shall confidently vote for him in November.
(Edgar M. Bronfman is the former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and the former president of the World Jewish Congress.)
We are honored to announce an upcoming concert in Charlotte that we have been asked to help market – INVASION – #INVCLT
On June 30th, Invasion Charlotte is taking the city by storm! 5 hours of music and a free Harley give-a-way. You don’t want to miss Invasion on June 30th – free to get in and free to win the Harley! Why is the Invasion concert in Charlotte free you might ask? Well, ask POD, ask Love and Death, ask Flame and This’l – we are simply here to promote #INVCLT!
June 30th – doors open at 3:30pm – free concert – free Harley – free Invasion!!!
P.O.D. is Invading Charlotte on June 30th at Memorial Stadium!
“Music comes down to passion,” says P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval. “There are not a lot of bands out there today who have that. But I think that feeling is coming back around again.”
P.O.D. (Payable on Death) certainly has the right to talk about passion in music. Passion has been front and center since the band formed in 1992 in San Diego, CA, and all the way up to the release of their eighth and latest record,Murdered Love. Over the last two decades, the group has sold over 10 million albums (including 2001’s triple platinum record Satellite), garnered four No. 1 music videos, three Grammy nominations and over a dozen rock radio hits, including “Southtown,” “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation” and “Goodbye For Now.” Music trends have come and gone, but P.O.D.’s fanbase has seemingly only grown stronger.
Love and Death is Invading Charlotte on June 30th at Memorial Stadium!
Former Korn guitarist Brian Head Welch marks a new beginning with the announcement that his band will now go by the name Love & Death. “I put this band together in 2009” states Welch. “Since then, we’ve experienced some very intense highs and lows. Michael Valentine, Dan Johnson, J.R. Bareis and myself have toured around the world playing a lot of killer shows, but we’ve also had some heart shattering difficulties along the way as well. To us, the name “Love and Death” symbolizes everything we’ve been through as a band over the last few years. We love this band so much and we’ll go through hell to connect with our fans. We’ve proven that to ourselves over and over again.”
Flame is Invading Charlotte on June 30th at Memorial Stadium!
Flame is a hip hop recording artist with Clear Sight Music. He has released six albums including: Flame, Rewind, Our World: Fallen, Our World: Redeemed, Captured, and The 6th. Our World: Redeemed was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Thi’sl is Invading Charlotte on June 30th at Memorial Stadium!
A lot of people ask me, “Why do I do what I do, the way I do?” I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, in one of the worst neighborhoods in America, in one of the worst times in the country’s gang history. In my neighborhood just like a lot of other neighborhoods around the world, it was plagued with violence and drugs. Where I grew up 75% of the males believe that there is one way to make money and that’s trapping or as you would say selling drugs…
The Rep is Invading Charlotte on June 30th at Memorial Stadium!
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA LONG ENOUGH THEN THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU HEARD OF “THE REP”. THIS ARTIST, ALSO KNOWN AS BRANDON KAGEL, IS A NATIVE TO THE FASTEST GROWING CITY IN THE US. HE WAS BORN INTO A JEWISH FAMILY AS A TRIPLET WITH TWO SISTERS AND AN OLDER BROTHER. ALTHOUGH, HE DID MAKE THE NEWS FOR HIS MIRACULOUS ENTRANCE HE IS BETTER KNOWN FOR HIS ABILITY TO CREATE MUSIC AND TOUCH LIVES.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) — The United States plans to go ahead with a nearly $11 billion sale of arms and training to Iraq despite concerns about the country’s future, officials said.
The sale is also seen as a message to Iran.
Under the agreement signed by the governments of each country, the United States will provide advanced F-15SA combat aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
The sale comes amid U.S. and Saudi concern about the military intentions of Iran.
The Saudis are concerned about Iranian efforts to influence events in Iraq, which is on the Saudi border; the U.S., meanwhile, has warned Iran against any effort to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil transport traffic, saying “any disruption will not be tolerated.”
Iran’s government warned this week it might restrict the Strait of Hormuz if Washington levies new sanctions targeting Iran’s crude exports over concerns about its nuclear program.
In announcing the new arms deal with Saudi Arabia, White House spokesman Josh Earnet said: “Valued at $29.4 billion, this agreement includes production of 84 new aircraft and the modernization of 70 existing aircraft as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics.”
“These F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by the Boeing Company, are among the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world,” Earnest said.
Some are calling this a ‘publicity stunt’, but the mayor of New Haven is calling for new legislation to allow illegal immigrants in the area to be able to vote in local elections. Do you think this is fair or appropriate? Does the fact that a person pays taxes outweigh the fact that they are not actual citizens of a country?
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that illegal immigrants pay taxes indirectly through rent and send their children to local schools — and therefore should be able to vote. The proposal would also lead to a more engaged community, he said.
Under the plan, immigrants who are in the U.S. legally or illegally, and may not vote now, would still be unable to vote in state or federal elections.
Elizabeth Benton, a spokeswoman for DeStefano, said the proposal is “nothing new,” nothing more than two dozen states that have seen similar legislation.
“We’re not seeking to apply this to any other city, this is about New Haven and what we think makes sense for New Haven,” Benton told FoxNews.com. “New Haven prides itself on being a diverse, welcoming community and part of what makes New Haven such a interesting place to live is our international residents.”
Benton said the proposal will be delivered to the state Legislature early next year.
“We want every adult in our community … to be able to vote in local elections that affect their families and futures,” she said. “This is not an immigration issue so much as it a New Haven resident issue around participation in our community.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, meanwhile, said on Wednesday he was not “particularly comfortable” with the idea.
“I think there are obligations that run with citizenship and there are privileges that run with citizenship,” Malloy said.
Malloy, also a Democrat, said he was willing to “hear the mayor out” on his proposal, which follows the lead of other cities.
Labriola, however, was not as open-minded.
“Mayor DeStefano presides over a city in decline and one that already has a dubious record of voting integrity,” he said. “The citizens of New Haven would be better served by a mayor who focused on jobs and economic development rather than a publicity stunt.”
New Haven made national headlines in 2007 when the city approved a program providing municipal identification cards for all residents — including illegal immigrants — to provide services such as banking and using the library.
In the face all of the recent sexual allegations, Herman Cain has just announced in Atlanta that he will suspend his campaign for the president of the United States. In spite of this decision to suspend his campaign, he will continue to push his agenda.
Herman tried to bolster support in his speech by commenting;
“The voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media…”
“If you look at the top 3 candidates, I am in the final 4…”
“As false accusations about me continue, they have sidetracked my mission for the American people…”
While campaign aides have given the impression of a campaign in full swing, scheduling a slew of rallies in key battleground states in the run-up to his announcement, the candidate’s numbers have taken a dive.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has soared in the polls, while Cain has fallen back into the territory now occupied by other former frontrunners who lost their luster among primary voters.
“Polls suggest his popularity has taken a deep hit.
A Des Moines Register poll released Friday showed Cain’s support plummeting, with backing from 8 percent of Republican caucusgoers in Iowa, down from 23 percent a month ago.
Fundraising has also fallen off. He issued an email appeal to supporters on Friday asking for donations, in an attempt to gauge whether his financial support has dried up.
“I need to know that you are behind me 100 percent,” Cain told backers. “In today’s political environment, the only way we can gauge true support is by the willingness of our supporters to invest in this effort.”
With all of the recent unwarranted ‘sprayings’ many citizens are calling for a broad outlaw of pepper spray all together. Would this keep us safer, or infringe on our God-given rights as Americans? Have we proven ourselves to be incapable of using pepper spray in a responsible manner, or should that have any bearing on whether or not a protective device is legal or not?
For those with asthma, taking other drugs, or subject to restraining techniques which restrict the breathing passages, there is a risk of death. The Los Angeles Times has reported at least 61 deaths associated with police use of pepper spray since 1990 in the USA. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) documented 27 people in police custody who died after exposure to pepper spray in California since 1993. However, the ACLU report counts any death occurring within hours of exposure to pepper spray. In all 27 cases, the coroners’ report listed other factors as the primary cause of death, though in some cases the use of pepper spray may have been a contributing factor.
The US Army concluded in a 1993 Aberdeen Proving Ground study that pepper spray could cause “[m]utagenic effects, carcinogenic effects, sensitization, cardiovascular and pulmonary toxicity, neurotoxicity, as well as possible human fatalities. There is a risk in using this product on a large and varied population”. However, the pepper spray was widely approved in the US despite the reservations of the US military scientists after it passed FBI tests in 1991. As of 1999, it was in use by more than 2000 public safety agencies.
The head of the FBI’s Less-Than-Lethal Weapons Program at the time of the 1991 study, Special Agent Thomas W. W. Ward, was fired by the FBI and was sentenced to two months in prison for receiving payments from a peppergas manufacturer while conducting and authoring the FBI study that eventually approved pepper spray for FBI use. Prosecutors said that from December 1989 through 1990, Ward received about $5,000 a month for a total of $57,500, from Luckey Police Products, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company that was a major producer and supplier of pepper spray. The payments were paid through a Florida company owned by Ward’s wife.
Pepper spray has been associated with positional asphyxiation of individuals in police custody. There is much debate over the actual “cause” of death in these cases. There have been few controlled clinical studies of the human health effects of pepper spray marketed for police use, and those studies are contradictory. Some studies have found no harmful effects beyond the effects described above.
Direct close-range spray can cause more serious eye irritation by attacking the cornea with a concentrated stream of liquid (the so-called “hydraulic needle” effect).
The American political system in the last decades nurtured a system where the bubbles seen over the years have exploded on the Wall Streets recently. The accumulated grievance borne from the system would now be difficult to be redressed through the usual political system. In other words, to redress the problem would need drastic change than mere advocacy for reforms on the superstructure without overhauling the system to benefit everyone on the national wealth.
The decline in income distribution is a result of the broad inequality created by the 1% versus the 99%. The past trend on income growth in the last 30 years reveals increased in income for the top rich by 275% while the bottom 20% income grew only by 18 %. The sharp distinction of the top and bottom level is attributed to the declining productive force at the bottom 20% whose jobs have been taken away elsewhere around the world for accessing cheaper labor while productivity remained intact for the middle class. Further, the jobless situation is created by the corporate self-interest whose pursuit for profit compelled for retrenchment without social responsibility rendering millions jobless. The super rich control the system for increased investment abroad that enrich them more and more and the bottom level got reduced to poverty condition overtime.
It is argued that the top 1% super rich in a 15 trillion dollar economy equalized the economy through tax contribution whereby the super rich pay 29% (in Reagan’s era) to 38% in the present time. It is felt that the wealth acquired from overseas investment does not exploit domestic source and therefore, the slogan on ‘income inequality’ in a world of glaring inequality everywhere is a media ploy to distract. Besides, the general income does not indicate much difference from the 1990s to the 2000s except that the rich gets much richer now. The Tea Party and the Wall Street occupiers consisting of only 20 % against the super rich 1% cannot be considered to be representing the entire American society or looked upon as a threat to the system.
The argument in the defence of the system seems to have forgotten ”inclusion’ and have ignored the overall decline in the socio-economy of America. The statistics against the global trend revealed the sinking American life in terms of infrastructure, education, health (obesity over 30%), the huge national deficit hung on the mercy of China and that too with the burden of a mandatory responsibility towards social security expenditure.
Defending national interest entails adopting an approach of a ‘constructive dissent’. Such a posture postulates for an honest solution to exploring the possibilities to increase revenue, may be by deploying Robin Hood’s tax and broadening the tax base as 51 percent of Americans do not pay tax, reduced military expenditure but earn from defence technical cooperation, deploying Americans in American owned corporate and practice austerity. It is important for America not to ignore the implication of the 20% discontentment as a significant prelude to the future and contemplate on modifying the capitalist structure rather than glossing it with superstructure reforms for a possible catastrophe. The internal arrangement will then guide the foreign policy suitably.
Ms. Margaret Gangte is an author of Journal articles.
The White House and NASCAR are downplaying a Sunday incident in which some race fans booed first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Biden.
Obama and Biden served as grand marshals for the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to promote their Joining Forces project on behalf of military families.
Listening to the video, it is hard to gauge the intensity of the critics, as much of the crowd was drowned out by a military flyover and other pre-race noise.
“The NASCAR community and the vast majority of those attending our race Sunday welcomed the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden and the military families in attendance,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs. “We are proud to support military families across the country and proud to support the Joining Forces initiative.”