Iranian authorities have destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers as part of a widespread crackdown against illegal devices they say “deviate morality and culture”. General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of Iran’s Basij militia, oversaw the destruction ceremony in Tehran on Sunday and warned of the impact that satellite television was having in the country. “The… Continue Reading →
As I pointed out the day after it happened, I didn’t see any women in those crowds of protesters. They’re going to move Turkey back to an oppressive, theocratic state:
In the days after a failed military coup shook Turkey, women say they are being silenced. From the start of the coup attempt by military officials on Friday through to the government’s crackdown in response, women’s voices have been almost entirely absent. Images of protesters on the streets are mostly men. The military leadership is entirely… Continue Reading →
That’s what a lot of smart people, included a former CIA station chief for Turkey, are saying. They believe Erdogan planned the coup himself as cover for seizing more power. And then there’s this from Politico:
A Playbooker well-wired with contacts in Turkey emails us: “This military action is a direct correlation to President Erdogan’s slow but steady focus on de-constructing the legacy of Ataturk and undoing Ataturk’s dream of a secular Muslim society and to replace it with a Islamic society based on fear. The President’s recent removal of the Prime Minister (with little international focus or concern) which was done against the constitution, his overhaul of the judiciary to put it under his control (that was unconstitutional), his recent speeches on women being ‘half-human’ if they don’t have babies and stay home to focus on having children, his push to create non-secular religious schools, his arrest of thousands of journalists, and his take-over of what was once a thriving free media with only one private, independent media still existing … and last but not least, his attempt now to change the constitution so he could be President forever. … All of these … forced the hand of the Military to want to overthrow the Erdogan regime and try to hold onto the last elements of Ataturk’s Turkey.”
OKay, so now Trump is waiting until Monday, but we know it’s Pence. And the only good thing I can say about this guy is that he’s doing the people of Indiana a big honkin’ favor by leaving.
He’s one of those assholes who campaigned for the Indiana governor’s mansion by hiding his hard-right beliefs on social issues and pretending to be reasonable and mainstream. But he’s about as right-wing a true believer as you can find, and Indiana voters found that out rather quickly. (In a 2011 interview, he bragged, “I was Tea Party before it was cool.”)
He’s the kind of guy who left the Catholic Church — because it wasn’t punitive enough for him.
His previous congressional career was a big clue. He opposed George W. Bush’s proposal to privatize Social Security — because it didn’t go far enough. He opposed campaign finance reform as “unconstitutional” and Medicare Part D as an “unfunded entitlement program.” But he also learned to suck up to the press (the New York Times called him “The Perfect Conservative”) and as the GOP turned ever rightward, he was already leading the parade.
That’s because Mike Pence has had his eye on the White House for a very long time. Being Donald’s running mate would be a good way to raise his national profile for his own eventual candidacy.
Mike Pence is a man who thinks religious “rights” mean employers should get to fire workers over their sexual orientation. Remember, this is the same governor who signed a “Religious Rights Restoration Act” that inspired a pizza shop to deny service to a gay wedding reception, and faced a huge backlash from the Indiana business community.
Pence sees values — his values — as the cure for almost everything, including AIDS. In 2003, this was what he said in response to President George W. Bush’s proposal to send $15 billion to Africa to fight the AIDS epidemic there: “The timeless values of abstinence and marital faithfulness before condom distribution are the cure for what ails the families of Africa.”
What a guy.
Here’s Mike Pence’s “values” in action. When Democrat Glenda Ritz was elected as Superintendent of Public Instruction (she ran on a platform of stopping the Republicans from the mindboggling things they were doing to destroy the state’s public education system, and she had bipartisan support — she won with a larger percentage of the vote than Pence), the first thing Pence did was … sign a Republican bill stripping this duly elected Democrat of any power or authority to do that job.
So you can see what he has in common with Donald: His real “values” are expediency, and power.
Political writer Ed Kilgore notes that Pence’s advisers include people from the Koch brothers network, and that the anti-tax Club for Growth likes him a lot. The Christian right also sees him as a martyr for taking so many hits for the right to discriminate against LGBT folk.
Here are some other things to know about Mike Pense:
- Pence wasn’t favored to win reelection this year, so taking the VP offer was a no-brainer.
- He tried to block Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana.
- Pence voted for every single trade agreement while he was in Congress. Will his usefulness to Donald as a culture warrior override his trade record?
In any event, Pence is a choice aimed at consolidating Donald’s support in the GOP’s Christian fundamentalist base. He will get that particular job done.
So this guy who’s running for Congress in Virginia posts a screen grab on his Facebook page and neglects to close his browser tabs:
Here’s what a man who has studied every ISIS attack has to say about their motives and goals. Important read!
Also, this is good, too.
One of the things we’re not allowed to talk about is that we could deal with global warming simply by encouraging people to limit themselves to two children. (I think you all know why.)
But look what we’re doing to rape victims in other countries:
This isn’t a situation where Congress has prevented the administration from acting. In fact, the solution is shockingly simple. The text of the Helms amendment only states that no U.S. foreign assistance money “may be used to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning.” Atwood says that “most legal scholars who have looked at this issue say it’s a wildly exaggerated interpretation of that law” to apply it to cases of rape, incest or life endangerment. Obama could simply issue an executive order clarifying that the law has exceptions—the same exceptions that already exist domestically—or he could publicly direct the head of the USAID to start writing the exceptions into its contracts.
In August, 81 Democrats in Congress wrote urging Obama to take this step. A group of 28 senators followed suit in October with a strongly worded letter about women raped in conflict. “We cannot be bystanders to such gross violations of the human dignity of these women and girls,” the letter read. “If the U.S. does not work to increase access to reproductive healthcare for vulnerable populations, particularly safe abortion services, there will be negative, long-term consequences.” And in November, Hillary Clinton was asked about the issue at an Iowa town hall. She didn’t commit to revising the interpretation of Helms if she were elected president, but said, “I do think we have to take a look at this for conflict zones.”
So far, though, the Obama administration has been unwilling to change the policy. Until that happens, women who are raped and become pregnant in developing countries and conflict zones are often unable to get a safe abortion. To understand what this means for a rape victim, how U.S. policy can warp an entire country’s health system and the course of a woman’s life, the best place to begin is Kenya.
The anti-abortion group “Army of God” believes Planned Parenthood got what it deserved. Nevermind that innocent people were killed. Virginia-based anti-abortion activist Donald Spitz, who runs the “Army of God” website, similarly stated after Dr. George Tiller was murdered that the he “reaped what he sowed” and hosts a page celebrating those who have been convicted… Continue Reading →
For years, conservatives have been placing roadblocks to make it harder for women to get an abortion, but the state of California has turned the tables, forcing Christian pregnancy crisis centers to notify women of their reproductive rights. NPR reported this week that a number of so-called pregnancy crisis centers were suing the state over regulations… Continue Reading →
Much like it is with our own politics, most of what this pope can accomplish is incremental. But he’s headed in the right direction:
Pope Francis, ending a contentious bishops’ meeting on family issues, on Saturday excoriated immovable Church leaders who “bury their heads in the sand” and hide behind rigid doctrine while families suffer.
The pope spoke at the end of a three-week gathering, known as a synod, where the bishops agreed to a qualified opening toward divorcees who have remarried outside the Church but rejected calls for more welcoming language toward homosexuals.
It was the latest in a series of admonitions to bishops by the pontiff, who has stressed since his election in 2013 that the 1.2 billion-member Church should be open to change, side with the poor and rid itself of the pomp and stuffiness that has alienated so many Catholics.
In his final address, the pope appeared to criticize ultra-conservatives, saying Church leaders should confront difficult issues “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.”
He said the synod had “laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families”.
He also decried “conspiracy theories” and the “blinkered viewpoints” of some at the gathering, and said the Church could not transmit its message to new generations “at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible”.
The outcome of the gathering, over which the pope presided, marked a victory for conservatives on homosexual issues and for progressives on the thorny issue of remarriage.
The final synod document restated Church teachings that gays should not suffer discrimination in society, but also repeated the stand that there was “no foundation whatsoever” for same-sex marriage, which “could not even remotely” be compared to heterosexual unions.
The 94-article document indicated that the assembly had decided to avoid overtly controversial language and seek consensus in order to avoid deadlock on the most sensitive topics, leaving it up to the pope to deal with the details.
The synod is an advisory body that does not have the power to alter church doctrine. The pope, who is the final arbiter on any change and who has called for a more merciful and inclusive Church, can use the material to write his own document, known as an “apostolic exhortation”.