Nicholas Kristof: "... rape kits are routinely left untested in the United States.... The lackadaisical attitude toward much sexual violence is seen in another astonishing fact: Sometimes, women or their health insurance companies must pay to have their rape kits tested.... In 31 states, if a rape leads to a baby, the rapist can get visitation rights.... One way to start turning around this backward approach to sex crimes would be to support the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (Safer) Act, a bipartisan bill in Congress that would help local jurisdictions count and test their rape kits."
Once again Maureen Dowd trashes all comers, but she's harder on Republicans today. And she does write this: "... rapists can assert parental rights in 31 states." Seems to be the theme for the day, & for me, both informative & shocking.
Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic:
- [Richard Mourdick] believes that whenever conception occurs, God intended it and it is a gift.
- He further believes that rape is one way in which conception sometimes occurs.
- Thus he believes that conception through rape is a gift from God and furthermore intended by God.
- Mourdock believes that life begins at conception.
... Thanks to contributor Diane for the link. Read Coates' entire post. As Diane writes, "Ta-Nehisi Coates dealt with the issue of the extreme pro-life position in a succinct, meaningful way. Taking down the flawed logic in a couple paragraphs."
Tom Friedman: "... you don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and be against common-sense gun control.... You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and oppose programs like Head Start...." CW: if you'd like to think Friedman got it right for once, you might want to skip the last major paragraph.
** Robert Pear of the New York Times: "The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state. These multistate plans were included in President Obama's health care law as a substitute for ... the public option.... Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies."
Nate Silver: "The FiveThirtyEight forecast model has found the past several days of battleground state polling to be reasonably strong for Barack Obama, with his chances of winning the Electoral College increasing as a result. The intuition behind this ought to be very simple: Mr. Obama is maintaining leads in the polls in Ohio and other states that are sufficient for him to win 270 electoral votes." ...
... "Fortune Favors the Brave." Paul Krugman: "... what the auto rescue and the bin Laden strike have in common is that they were both very courageous decisions -- decisions that could easily have gone wrong, that faced lots of second-guessing. You can criticize Obama for many things (and I have, and will in future), but he showed true grit when it mattered, and now seems likely to reap the reward.... If Romney has Big Mo, it looks like this:
John Heilemann of New York magazine: "... there is a small but nontrivial possibility that come November 7, we will find ourselves facing an outcome that would trigger a national political meltdown, in which a large portion of each side decries the election result as illegitimate." Heileman presents four possible nightmare scenarios. ...
... Josh Marshall of TPM on the "illegitamacy" of a president who wins the Electoral College but not the popular vote: "... to those making these arguments I would make the following points: Get over it and most of all STFU." ...
... Steve M. of No More Mr. Nice Blog agrees with Marshall.: "Yes, it's true that the Electoral College is ridiculous. But it's also true that both campaigns have been trying to win 270 electoral votes, not 50% of the popular vote plus 1 -- and Mitt Romney is on the verge of losing that contest. If this were a popular vote race, the candidates wouldn't be practically living in Ohio and other swing states...."
Welcome to Climate Change. Helene Cooper of the New York Times: "With Hurricane Sandy heading toward a collision with an early winter storm and expected to reach the East Coast late Sunday, Mr. Obama, more than his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, must figure how to marshal the government's response while also rallying votes ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. It is a delicate balance, made more so by the fact that some of the swing states necessary to Mr. Obama's re-election hopes -- Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire -- are in the storm's projected path." ...
... Update. Steve Peoples of the AP: both presidential candidates have altered their schedules because of the East Coast storm.
Alex Mooney of CNN: "In the latest sign of just how tight both presidential campaigns view the race, President Barack Obama rallied voters on Saturday in New Hampshire -- a battleground state that carries just four electoral college votes. Obama carried the state by a 10 points four years ago, but his fortunes in the Granite State now are considerably more in doubt."
AP: "Vice President Joe Biden says Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are fleeing from their record to appear more moderate than they are. Biden says the GOP ticket has backtracked on issues, ranging from a GOP budget he says would slash Medicare to a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Biden said Romney and Ryan 'are counting on the American people to have an overwhelming case of amnesia.'"
The New York Times Editors endorse President Obama for re-election. Oh, and this about Willard: "Mitt Romney ... has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney's true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney's choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that."
Curtis Hubbard of the Denver Post discusses the editorial board's endorsement of President Obama & the makeup of Colorado's electorate. The endorsement, published October 19, is here:
... BUT the Des Moines Register buys the bullshit, endorses Romney, even though it was apparently not a unanimous recommendation. These people must read only one newspaper.
Frank Bruni: "I still think [President Obama will] win this thing, and I think he'll win it because he's a seriously intelligent, thoughtful leader more in tune and in touch with Americans' lives than his sheltered opponent is.... But this campaign has illuminated nothing so brightly as the limits of his magic, along with shortcomings that he would carry with him into a second term (should he get one) and would be wise to address."
For Salon readers who are somehow persuaded by Matt Stoller's nihilistic lnihilistic exhortation to vote for a third-party candidate because Obama & Romney are pretty much alike, Scott Lemieux of Lawyers Guns & Money responds: "[Stoller's] latest ridiculous argument in favor of throwing the election to Romney has all of the same transparent defects as his previous ones, the most notable being a lack of an argument for how throwing the election to someone who is far worse than Obama on most things and better on nothing will work any better than it did in 2000."
Mike Baker of the AP: "Of the 11 states with gubernatorial elections in November, eight of them are currently led by Democrats. Each of the most competitive races is a GOP pickup opportunity. The numbers suggests that Republicans will soon claim 30 to 33 governorships after holding just 22 of those seats a few years ago."
"Remember the Supremes." Jay Reeves & Mark Sherman of the AP: "The Supreme Court could say as early as Monday whether it will consider ending the Voting Rights Act's advance approval requirement that has been held up as a crown jewel of the civil rights era."
CW: contra Right Wing World conspiracy theorists journalists, Oliver Knox of Yahoo! News writes, "The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th. 'Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi,' National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email."
Jason Deans of the Guardian: "Arthur Sulzberger Jr, chairman and New York Times Company, said in an internal email on Thursday that he was satisfied [incoming NYT CEO Mark] Thompson 'played no role' in the cancellation of BBC current affairs show Newsnight's investigation into the Savile sex abuse allegations in late 2011, when he was still director general. Thompson is due to begin his new job on 12 November. Thompson's knowledge of the Newsnight story and allegations about Savile has come under intense scrutiny since Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times public editor, published a blog on Tuesday saying it was “worth considering now if he is the right person for the job" in light of the scandal enveloping the BBC." CW: thanks for clearing that up, Pinch.
New York Times: "Massachusetts shut down another compounding pharmacy after a surprise inspection last week found conditions that called into question the sterility of its products, state officials said Sunday."
Guardian: "Detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal have arrested Gary Glitter on suspicion of sexual offences in the first of what is likely to be a series of arrests of suspected associates of the late DJ. The glam rocker, who was a friend of Savile and appeared on his TV shows, was arrested at his London home early on Sunday by Scotland Yard officers..., which is following about 400 lines of inquiry involving 300 victims -- mostly young girls but also a few boys -- of alleged sexual exploitation by Savile and others."
AP: "As Hurricane Sandy barrelled north from the Caribbean -- where it left nearly five dozen dead -- to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes." The Weather Channel's main report is here. With video.
AP: "A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada, but there were no reports of major damage.... [It was] the biggest quake in Canada since 1949.... The U.S. Geological Survey said the powerful temblor hit the Queen Charlotte Islands just after 8 p.m. local time Saturday at a depth of about 3 miles ... and was centered 96 miles ... south of Masset, British Columbia. It was felt across a wide area in British Columbia, both on its Pacific islands and on the mainland." ...
... Reuters: "A tsunami warning [triggered by the Canadian earthquake] for Hawaii has been downgraded to an advisory on Sunday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said."
AP: "Syrian troops shelled rebellious suburbs of Damascus and clashed with rebel fighters in several other areas of the country Sunday, the third day of what was meant to be a four-day holiday truce...."
AP: "Lawyers have denied a report that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's family has amassed $2.7 billion in "hidden riches," a Hong Kong newspaper said Sunday. The New York Times said in a lengthy article Friday that most of the alleged wealth was accumulated by Wen's relatives after he rose to high office in 2002."