Are you following the NXIVM trial? I have not been but I am thinking I need to.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
The ladies of ELLE want you to know that they're more than just fashion and make up. Well, golly, they're politics too -- as long as it doesn't get too hard or make them late for a mani-pedi. Madison Feller -- don't worry, that'll change when she snares a man (yes, I'm being sarcastic) puts almost as much thought into her post as she does into her order at Starbucks! Maddie tells us:
A number of Democratic candidates have expressed their support for reproductive freedom on their campaign websites, and after the bill passed in Alabama, Cory Booker gave the nation an idea of what his presidential plan would be, telling BuzzFeed News he would codify Roe v. Wade and end the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding from paying for abortions.
But while many Democratic candidates have come out against these laws, according to Axios, there are only three (three!!!) major 2020 presidential candidates who have disclosed written, detailed plans about reproductive rights: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kirsten Gillibrand. (Sen. Mike Gravel also has a plan on his campaign website, but this post will only address major candidates in the race so far.) Here, a look into each of those candidates' plans.
Among other things, Mike Gravel is proposing a Constitutional Amendment. And, Madison, he's not "Sen. Mike Gravel," he's former Senator Mike Gravel.
There's been no debate yet. The election is a little over 18 months away. But here's Madison insisting that she's not going to cover everyone standing up for abortion rights -- no, what would be the point of that? Democracy? Please, ELLE's still recovering from their in-depth, journaism exclusive earlier this year: "15 New Nail Colors for Spring 2019." Besides, Madison's already working on another hard hitting piece: "Do Deep Thoughts Cause Wrinkles" -- and a possible sequel, "ELLE Gals, We'll Never Have To Worry About Wrinkles!"
If abortion is your main issue, you should know all the proposals on it. First off, as we saw in 2008 when Barack Obama repeatedly said "Me, too!" whenever Hillary Clinton put forward a plan (her position on Blackwater, her position on the Status Of Forces Agreement, go down the list), a candidate proposing something can influence others in the race. Second, if someone's proposing an especially strong effort, you should include them because it is your issue and you should reward those behind with some basic recognition. If you don't, you're saying to all the candidates in the race, "I pretend this is my issue but I really won't get behind it so ignore it." Third, you are the press. It is your job to cover the candidates.
Oops, I lost Madison! Probably somewhere around "First off." Shiny object, Madison, look! It's a necklace! Okay, we've got her back again for a moment.
Per Rashaan Ayesh (AXIOS) these are the candidates with actual plans (beyond "I'll only appoint pro-Roe V Wade justices):
Candidates with policy plans for abortion:
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has made protecting abortion rights a central component of her platform, releasing policy details this week.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also released a plan to protect abortion rights.
- She wants to codify Roe v. Wade, should the courts overturn the decision.
- Warren intends to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, preventing states from limiting and blocking access to abortions.
- Warren proposes repealing the Hyde Amendment and President Trump's gag order that prevents providers in the Title X program from telling women how they can access abortions.
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) says he will codify the Roe v. Wade decision into law. Booker also said men are responsible to "speak out and to take action...because women are people," in a GQ Magazine op-ed..
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is tying abortion rights to health care. He said: "When we pass Medicare for All, we will be guaranteeing a woman’s right to control her own body by covering comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion." Sanders intends to fully fund Planned Parenthood and Title IX if elected.
- Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) proposes a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to basic bodily autonomy — including abortions and gender transitions. He also proposes banning "predatory" crisis pregnancy centers and laws that prevent private insurers from covering abortion costs.
- Marianne Williamson stated on her campaign site that she would actively resist any effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Elizabeth Warren's three part plan? Step two could be done right now so why isn't she doing it? Step two only requires that a member of each house of Congress propose it and then a vote takes place. Elizabeth is a US senator and could propose that measure immediately and use media attention to force a vote. And if Donald Trump refused to sign it into law? Congress could provide enough votes to overturn his veto and demonstrate real power and real leadership.
Her third part? Nonsense. Every Democratic president does that. Every Republican makes a point to undue it. It's back and forth and back and forth and a real leader would ensure that it stops. She has no third part to her plan.
And I doubt the sincerity of her second point. As we noted in "Editorial: No to expanding the Iraq War to Iran and no to candidates who don't call it out" at THIRD, Elizabeth Warren is against war on Iran . . . on May 14th. Though the tensions have only gotten worse and outlets like THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER are distorting reality to push the world close to war on Iran, Elizabeth hasn't said a thing since May 14th. She did 20 additional Tweets since May 14th but never mentioned Iran. Elizabeth's very good at statements, initial ones, she's just not very good at follow through.
Woops, we lost Madison! Someone was showing a powder blue eye shadow and Madison ran off to follow the salesperson.
Since the AXIOS article, Senator Amy Klobuchar (see yesterday's snapshot) has appeared on FOX NEWS and spoken about reproductive rights, declaring, among other things, "If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, I would make sure that we are codifying Roe v. Wade into law." That quote alone would move her into AXIOS' candidates who have a plan column.
I have a plan too. And it's that we make demands on Chris Wallace, Chuck Todd, George Stephanopoulos, Margaret Brennan, etc. The first demand? Stop waiting until a female candidate for president is sitting opposite you to ask about abortion. Roe V Wade is settled law and has been for several decades now. This is about reproductive freedom, yes. It is also about the law. It is also about access to healthcare. It is not just 'a woman's issue' but even if that is all it ever was, women vote. Every candidate for president should be asked these questions. Yet on the Sunday chat and chews, it's an issue only if a female candidate is on the show?
George had 3 candidates as guest on Sunday's THIS WEEK. He didn't ask any of them (2 men and 1 woman) about abortion -- he saved that topic for the show's roundtable. But if you look at the Sunday chat & chews, what you saw this week was that if a woman is on, she's going to be asked about it. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has made the issue a focus of her campaign so it does make sense to ask her. Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke at length about the issue on Sunday but she had not made it her issue prior to that. My point is, if only women are going to be expected to defend reproductive rights than maybe only women should be running?
Am I proposing a ban on male candidates? No. I am insisting that this issue -- which has driven so many elections -- is an issue that the media raise with all presidential candidates.
We lost Madison some time ago but we do not need a media that does the bidding of polling or political parties. If someone is a declared candidate, if they've done their FEC filing, if it's a year ahead of the election (when anything can happen), the media needs to be covering them. "Polling" is not an excuse for ignoring them -- everyone knows "polling" is based upon media coverage which increases name recognition. I say "everyone knows" -- clearly Madison doesn't which is why she should stick to writing about make up and if ELLE can't do any better than Madison, they should stop trying to 'cover' politics. ELLE's honestly never had a thought deeper than nail polish.
Barbara G. Ellis has an important essay at TRUTHOUT which includes the following:
Nevertheless, the DNC has been artfully blackballing the people’s choice ever since the 1924 national convention in New York City, when diehard delegates of 19 candidates refused to cave to their pre-selected nominees. This forced conventioneers to spend 16 hot summer days to cast 103 ballots under the party’s old two-thirds rule, which from 1832-1936 required a supermajority of delegate votes to win the presidential nomination. As a weary Massachusetts delegate complained to cohorts: “Either we must switch to a more liberal candidate or move to a cheaper hotel.”
Since then, the skills of DNC enforcers have come to rival those of the Russians accused of meddling in the 2016 election, in terms of their abilities to crush popular “outsiders” and their planks.
For good measure, after the 1980 nomination battle between Sen. Ted Kennedy and President Jimmy Carter, DNC fixers staved off delegate revolts with the insurance policy of hundreds of “superdelegates.” The change permitted loyal party luminaries — 865 in 2016 — to vote at Democratic conventions.
But that hard-fought contest led to furious Sanders DNC members forcing the party’s old guard to agree that superdelegates could vote only if candidates tied on the first ballot. Now, if voters want to overthrow the DNC’s pre-selected choice at the 2020 convention in Milwaukee next July, they will need 2,026 delegate votes at the outset. This means campaigners must make titanic efforts to get great numbers of ordinary people to participate in primaries and caucuses.
The DNC’s pre-selected ticket of Clinton and Tim Kaine in 2016’s “lesser-evil” election could explain why more than the 21 million registered voters decided not to vote. Millions more didn’t care to register or were denied that right by state-level voter suppression laws. Moreover, the combined third-party vote came to 7.6 million, thanks to tens of thousands defecting from both parties.
Democrats and progressives must center in on most Americans’ interests and issues, not the DNC’s fixation on Russiagate, defeating Trump rather than impeaching him, and stopping the Sanders movement. A mid-April CNN survey of Democrats and Independents reported that the top two issues among these voters were mitigating the impacts of climate change (96 percent) and passing Medicare for All (91 percent). Most respondents agreed that any Democratic nominee should support such poll-listed priorities as tuition-free public colleges, impeaching Trump, reparations to slaves’ descendants and restoring voting rights for prisoners.
War with Iran continues to be pushed. The issue was noted Sunday on THIS WEEK when Martha Raddatz interviewed former US Gen David Petraues:
RADDATZ: You've seen the reports about war planning, and certainly you go on both ends when you do war planning. I would say that 120,000 is possible. The president said, if we did anything like that, we’d use a hell of a lot more than that if we were attacked. Were those prudent measure -- measures to plan, like that?
PETRAEUS: I think it's absolutely right that they should be examining a variety of different options. It’d be actually derelict if they did not actually prepare for whatever could come.
But the truth is, let's remember that Iran is a country that has a population that is three times the size of Iraq when we invaded it, and a landmass that is three to four times the size of Iraq as well. And I think any thoughts about invading Iran, again rightly the president has shelved those I think, that would be an enormous undertaking. And he's right in his assessment, we would need a heck of a lot more troops than that, were we ever do something like that.
Now that doesn't mean we can't carry out very substantial, and very damaging, attacks from the air, that we can't do a lot to their maritime. Again, we can do in tremendous amount of damage.
I have some pretty good knowledge of that as the commander of the US Central Command, who actually did do a lot of contingency planning and even some rehearsals at various times when we thought we might have to execute some of those contingencies.
RADDATZ: Into Iran?
PETRAEUS: But the idea of an invasion...
Contingencies against Iran. This is publicly known.
RADDATZ: Yes. Right. Right.
PETRAEUS: Obviously, we were -- had to have plans. It was -- again, it was announced that we had plans if worse came to worse and we had to do something with the nuclear program. So -- but again, the idea of invading, I think, is -- is something that is certainly not seriously on the table.
RADDATZ: A lot of people will say that the danger now is miscalculation one either side, or some sort of accident or some sort of rogue actor in this, and that brings us to conflict.
PETRAEUS: Well you're exactly right. I think that is the concern that some incident escalates, gets out of hand, gets out of control. But this is where again you've got to have commanders on the ground who understand the rules of engagement.
Take the above for what you think it's worth. I do not support war on Iran. I'm also not a David Petraeus groupie. His work in Iraq was unimpressive. Gen Ray Odierno was better at achieving US military objectives in Iraq, my opinion. David was good at show boating, flirting and getting his way with the media. I said that long before his CIA position imploded -- in fact, I made those charges against David while he was in charge of Iraq.
The big news on Iraq this week has been a supposed rocket attack on the Green Zone (see yesterday's snapshot). Both THE DAILY BEAST and THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER have pimped these allegations to argue for war on Iran. Today, Mohamed Mostafa (IRAQI NEWS) reports:
Iraq denied on Tuesday press reports about a rocket launch that targeted the United States embassy in its capital’s heavily- fortified green zone.
The Counter-Terrorism Service made a statement denying the Daily Beast’s recent report, which quoted a security official saying an Iran-backed militia fired the missile on the facility.
The service said the statement attributed to senior service officials were “untrue”, disavowing any statements made except through its official announcements on its social media pages.
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