Oct 16 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #858

ON THE RECORD ….

“[I]f the Republicans wanna lose guys like me, and a whole bunch of still God-fearing Bible-believing people, go ahead and just abdicate on this issue (gay marriage), and go ahead and say abortion doesn’t matter either.” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in an interview with the American Family Association’s radio show. 10/09/14

“You’re twice as young as I am. You’re a punk. You’re a coward. And my name is Bob Beckel. I would like you to call you any time, any place, and let’s let you and I discuss it ’cause you’re a coward, you’re a punk, you pick on people and you deserve to have your ass kicked. And I wanna do it, so get in touch with me. … And bring a knife, punk.“ — Bob Beckel in an on-air message directed at Conservative author Jason Mattera who chased IRS official Lois Lerner around a suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood as she walked her dogs.

“I stopped him once from trying to send a Gitmo terrorist to Leavenworth. I shall do it again, I shall do it again and if he tries it again I will shut down the Senate,” — Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) vowing to block all legislation in the Senate with a prolonged filibuster if President Obama tries to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.10/10/14

“It doesn’t matter if there’s one, 100, or 1,000. Amongst us, who would be that one person who would like to have our vote canceled out by a vote that was cast illegally?” — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) defending his state’s voter ID law during a gubernatorial debate against Democratic nominee Mary Burke, saying that the number of would-be fraudulent voters the law stops doesn’t matter. In response Burke cited studies that found hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites don’t have the proper identification to vote under the voter ID law but those Wisconsin residents still aren’t trying to commit voter fraud. Burke pointed out that the majority of the people in question are minorities. 10/11/14

“Less than 24 hours after GOP congressional candidate Mark Greenberg said he favored universal FBI background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms, the National Rifle Association dropped his rating from an ‘A’ to an ‘F.'” — The CT Mirror 10/10/14

“Could we have a worldwide pandemic? The Spanish flu in 1918 killed 21 million people, the plague in the 14th century killed 25 million people; I’m not saying that’s going to happen, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I think we should have travel restrictions at this point in time coming from Africa,” — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), despite every reasonable and responsible fact to the contrary, implying a mass pandemic might happen, encouraging the American people to panic. 10/03/14

“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here. Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready. … We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference.” — Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health suggesting that a vaccine likely would have already been discovered were it not for budget cuts. 10/12/14

“Done. Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done.” — Ann Romney on a potential 3rd presidential campaign by her husband. 10/14/14

“Kentucky Kynect is a website. It was paid for by a $200 million some odd grant from the federal government. The website can continue. But my view the best interest of the country would be achieved by pulling out Obamacare root and branch.” — Senator Mitch McConnell(R-KY) promoting the idea of an empty website selling nothing. 10/14/14

McConnell is suggesting that Kentuckians replace a valuable, paid-for federal benefit with one that would impose steep new burdens on the people of the state alone, knowing it’ll never happen.
Once you grasp it all, then it becomes obvious why McConnell’s contradiction is theoretically so dangerous. He isn’t just painting a shiny gloss on a controversial position. He’s exploiting the public’s confusion over it, playing voters for fools by peddling absurdities. — Brian Beutler in The New Republic. 10/14/14

 

IN THIS ISSUE

FYI 

1. Voter ID Laws Accomplish Their Objective: Reducing Turnout of Blacks, Young People
2. Andy Borowitz: CNN Defends New Slogan
3. The Daily Show: Democalypse 2014: Winning The Lady Vote
4. The DAILY GRILL
5. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Shell’s deadliest crude
6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)
7. Late Night Jokes for Dems
8. Courts Strike Down Voter ID Laws in Texas and Wisconsin
9. Sen. Roberts vows to ‘shut down the Senate’ if Obama empties Gitmo
10. Republican senator blocks funds to combat Ebola
11. Colbert Report: Republicans Are People Too
12. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’14
13. Carl DeMaio accused of sexual harassment
14. Fox Follies – The Ebola Edition
15. The Planet Just Had Its Hottest September On Record
16. The GOP Faces a Disaster If They Don’t Take the Senate
17. Scathing Quotes From Judge Posner’s Dissent Against WI Voter ID

OPINION

1. Abby Haglage: Ebola Panic Is Worse Than the Disease
2. Michael Hirsh: Panetta Is Trying to Rewrite History
3. Sally Kohn: GOP strategy won’t fool women
4. John Kerry : The Gathering Storm
5. NY Times Editorial: The Big Lie Behind Voter ID Laws
6. Kristen Doerer: Will the Right’s Relentless War on Women Prove a Boon to Dems in the Midterms?
7. Albert R. Hunt: Midterm Voters Drown in Dark Money
8. Juan Williams: Even a Senate victory won’t heal GOP divisions
9. Sally Kohn: Ebola Scare-Mongerer Rand Paul Wants You to Think You’re Going to Die

1. Voter ID Laws Accomplish Their Objective: Reducing Turnout of Blacks, Young People

Hey, guess what? If you pass a photo ID law, you reduce voter turnout. The nonpartisan GAO studied the effect of photo ID laws and, after applying all the usual demographic controls, came up with compared Kansas and Tennessee to similar states without photo ID laws:

Voter turnout was reduced by 2-3 percentage points in both states. But of course there’s more to the story. Some groups were more strongly affected than others. Here are the results for Kansas:

Turnout effect among registrants who were 18 years old in 2008 was 7.1 percentage points larger in size than the turnout effect among registrants between the ages of 44 and 53.

Turnout was reduced among African-American registrants by 3.7 percentage points more than among Whites in Kansas.

The reduction in turnout for people registered to vote within 1 year prior to Election Day 2008 was 5.2 percentage points larger in size than for people registered to vote for 20 years or longer prior to Election Day 2008.

Victory! Turnout plummeted among blacks, young people, and college students. What more could an enterprising Republican legislature want? 10/09/14 Read more at  http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/10/chart-day-kansas-successfully-reduces-voting-rate-blacks-young-people

2. Andy Borowitz: CNN Defends New Slogan

The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

He added that the network expected to see strong ratings growth as a result of having the words “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die” on-screen twenty-four hours a day.

Part of Zucker’s new strategy was on display during Tuesday’s edition of the network’s signature program, “The Situation Room,” in which a visibly ill-at-ease Wolf Blitzer appeared dressed as The Grim Reaper. More at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

3. The Daily Show: Democalypse 2014: Winning The Lady Vote

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/13azji/democalypse-2014—winning-the-lady-vote

4. The DAILY GRILL

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr. —  Judicial Watch 10/08/14  Note: In late August JW reported that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).

VERSUS

“Categorically False.” — Department of Homeland Security Debunks Right-Wing Fiction That ISIS Attempted To Cross The U.S.- Mexico Border 10/08/14

 

“I’d like to know who’s in charge.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) calling for President Obama to nominate an “Ebola czar” to coordinate the administration’s response to the deadly virus. 10/12/14

VERSUS

“Thanks to NRA power and Senate cowardice, we are left with no surgeon general during a time when, we not only have Ebola arriving on our shores, but are also dealing with the mysterious Enterovirus, which is infecting and contributing to the deaths of children in the U.S.” — Krystal Ball and Anne Thompson 10/08/14

5. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Shell’s deadliest crude

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6azeWZ2ra54

6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Fox Analyst: Obama Believes Military Should Be Fighting Ebola, Not Defending Our Country http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/09/fox-analyst-obama-believes-military-should-be-f/201094

NRA’s Ted Nugent: “We The People … Don’t Believe That Our President Is A Christian” http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/09/nras-ted-nugent-we-the-people-dont-believe-that/201091

Fox Bristles At Court Rulings That Shut Down Restrictive Voter ID Laws http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/10/fox-bristles-at-court-rulings-that-shut-down-re/201116

Laura Ingraham Worries Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Will Face Discrimination http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/10/laura-ingraham-worries-anti-same-sex-marriage-a/201114

Challenged On Absurdity Of Southern Border Fence, Hannity Says He’d Put A Fence On Canadian Border Too http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/10/challenged-on-absurdity-of-southern-border-fenc/201123

GOP Civil War: Huckabee Demands Republicans “Grow A Spine” And Oppose Marriage Equality http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/12/gop-civil-war-huckabee-demands-republicans-grow/201128

Chuck Todd Calls Out Media For Helping GOP Irresponsibly Push Ebola Fears To Win Votes http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/12/chuck-todd-calls-out-media-for-helping-gop-irre/201125

NRA Radio Show Guest Says “Shrill” Gun Safety Leader Emasculates Her Husband http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/13/nra-radio-show-guest-says-shrill-gun-safety-lea/201130

Limbaugh: Highest Levels Of Our Government And Media Think Americans Deserve To Get Ebola http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/10/14/limbaugh-highest-levels-of-our-government-and-m/201151

Deranged Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama Intentionally Wants “To Infect The Nation With Ebola”http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/14/deranged-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-obama-int/201148

After Smearing Surgeon General Nominee, Fox Wonders Why There Isn’t A Surgeon General To Deal With Ebola http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/10/14/after-smearing-surgeon-general-nominee-fox-wond/201147

7. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“Obama was actually in his office yesterday. He met with his Secret Service director to talk about the recent White House security breaches. First they had to address the elephant in the room. Not metaphorically — an actual elephant wandered into the room. Security’s just awful.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A new study estimates that only 3.4 percent of Americans will vote in the midterm elections next month. But on the bright side, 100 percent will still complain about the results.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Kim Jong Un is missing. Nobody’s seen evil North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for about a month now. And his daughter, Kim Kardashi Un, is worried sick.” –David Letterman

“This weekend a man in Oregon who is an advocate for the open carry of firearms was robbed at gunpoint. The thief apparently made off with the man’s entire argument.” –Seth Meyers

“Vladimir Putin turned 62 years old today. It must be tough buying him a gift. What do you get for the man who has everywhere?” –Jimmy Fallon

“Today is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, as those of you who are friends with him on Facebook know.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“It’s interesting that in spite of all of Russia’s troubles, Putin has an 80 percent approval rating, which I guess is something that happens when your pollsters carry machine guns.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Today is Vladimir Putin’s 62nd birthday. When he got his presents he said, ‘You didn’t have to get me anything. I could have just taken it.'” –Seth Meyers

“Archaeologists in Arizona have discovered the remains of a 1,300-year-old village. They found dwellings, stone tools, and hundreds of ballots cast for Senator John McCain.” –Seth Meyers

“A group in Russia has nominated Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. When Putin heard this he said, ‘I’m all about achieving piece — piece of Ukraine, piece of Poland. I hope to win many more pieces.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Evil Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He will not be able to attend the ceremony. That week he will be invading Poland. ” –David Letterman

“The Obamas celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary. It was a quiet late-night supper. It was just the Obamas and a couple of White House fence jumpers.” –David Letterman

“They’re doing everything they can to tighten security at the White House. Today, on the roof of the White House, they added one of those fake owls.” –David Letterman

“Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned, and in her closing statement she said, ‘I’m leaving, not because of the breaches in security, but I don’t think I can take the pressure of the upcoming trick-or-treaters.'” –David Letterman

“We also learned the new head of the Secret Service used to work for cable company Comcast. So now intruders can only sneak into the White House between the hours of 10:00 and 2:00.” –Conan O’Brien

“After a photographer was accused of harassing the royal baby Prince George, lawyers for Prince William and Kate Middleton said that their son ‘must be permitted to lead as ordinary a life as possible.’ They then added, ‘Now get away from our castle!'” –Seth Meyers

A group in Russia has nominated Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. When Putin heard this he said, “I’m all about achieving piece — piece of Ukraine, piece of Poland. I hope to win many more pieces.”– Jimmy Fallon

Today President Obama gave a speech in California to motivate young voters by discussing his commitment to new technology. Ironically, nobody heard him because they were all staring at their phones. — Jimmy Fallon

New York state is spending $750 million to open a solar plant in Buffalo, which will create thousands of jobs. Most of those jobs will be shoveling the snow off the solar equipment. — Jimmy Fallon

Nobody had seen North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for a week, then a month, and now six weeks have gone by and nobody’s seen him. They really started to get worried when he didn’t show up at the Clooney wedding. — David Letterman

Over 200 airplane cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport in New York have gone on strike over fears about the spread of Ebola. But then they saw LaGuardia Airport and decided to take their chances with Ebola. — Seth Meyers

The White House has re-evaluated its security and today they announced they’ll start locking the front door. They’re also going to start asking who’s there when someone knocks. – Conan O’Brien

8. Courts Strike Down Voter ID Laws in Texas and Wisconsin

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election.”

“The Supreme Court’s action was seen as a setback for Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who, along with a Republican-controlled Legislature, approved the law in 2011. He faces a re-election challenge from Mary Burke, a Democrat.”

“Around the same time, a federal trial court in Texas struck down that state’s ID law, saying it put a disproportionate burden on minority voters.”

“Thursday’s ruling from Texas, issued after a two-week trial in Corpus Christi, found that the state’s voter ID law ‘creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose,’ Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos wrote.” 10/10/14 http://wonkwire.rollcall.com/2014/10/10/courts-strike-voter-id-laws-texas-wisconsin/

9. Sen. Roberts vows to ‘shut down the Senate’ if Obama empties Gitmo

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Friday vowed to block all legislation in the Senate with a prolonged filibuster if President Obama tries to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/220390-roberts-threatens-to-shut-down-the-senate-if-obama-tries-to-empty

10. Republican senator blocks funds to combat Ebola

“James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has withheld approval of the $750 million to bolster Ebola response efforts saying that it would add demands on a defense budget already stretched thin.

A spokeswoman for Inhofe said Thursday that there is no change in his decision after approval from the other committees.

Staff members of the Senate panel are hoping Inhofe will change his mind. 10/09/14 http://thehill.com/policy/defense/220288-house-approves-750m-in-ebola-funding-still-held-up-in-senate

11. Colbert Report: Republicans Are People Too

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/xfjyum/republicans-are-people–too

12. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’14

Forget the federal health-care law or the state of the economy. Less than a month out before November’s midterm elections, the Republican Party has had a simple message on the campaign trail and in TV ads: fear. “Republicans have made questions of how safe we are — from disease, terrorism or something unspoken and perhaps more ominous — central in their attacks against Democrats.

Their message is decidedly grim: President Obama and the Democratic Party run a government that is so fundamentally broken it cannot offer its people the most basic protection from harm,” as the New York Times puts it. We’ve written over the last couple of weeks that the Secret Service and Ebola stories touch on the loss of faith in institutions (to protect the president, to keep scary diseases from our shores). But the advertisements we’re seeing go well beyond faith in institutions or government competence. They’re about fear. And frankly, they come when there’s no evidence of ISIS coming across the border and when (remarkably) there’s still been just one confirmed case of Ebola in the United States. Now we understand why Republicans are picking up this theme — but some of these candidates are walking a fine line; there is a Chicken Little aspect here regarding Ebola and it can border on the irresponsible.  http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/fear-loathing-campaign-trail-14-n222911

13. Carl DeMaio accused of sexual harassment

Charges of sexual misconduct, plagiarism and burglary have pitted a former staffer against a high-profile congressional candidate just weeks before the midterm elections. CNN video 10/10/14 Read more at  http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/10/politics/carl-demaio-sexul-harrassment-allegations/index.html

14. Fox Follies – The Ebola Edition

Fox “News” fights so many battles simultaneously: The War Against the IRS, Benghazi, Christmas, Fast and Furious, Affordable Care Act, Nutrition, and Illegal Immigrants, to name a few. Boiled down, it’s a never-ending War Against POTUS.

This week the Fox “News” Fear-Mongering Industrial Complex launched The War Against The War Against Ebola. Eighteen years of a steady the-government-is-not-to-be-trusted drumbeat is now paying dividends, because it no longer seems crazy when Fox’s Chris Wallace Fear Mongers About Ebola Being Spread By Illegal Immigrants; or when avuncular Peter Johnson, Jr., Fox Analyst Suggests The Federal Government Is Holding Back Ebola Treatments. Even Loofah Lad went the full Ebola: O’Reilly Suggests Obama Won’t Protect U.S. From Ebola Because He’s Too Partial To Africans.” 10/10/14 Read more at http://www.politicususa.com/2014/10/10/friday-fox-follies-obamas-ebola-edition.html

15. The Planet Just Had Its Hottest September On Record

Last month was the warmest September globally since records began being kept in 1880, NASA reported Sunday. January through September data have 2014 already at the third warmest on record. Projections by NOAA make clear 2014 is taking aim at hottest year on record. 10/13/14 Read more at  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/13/3579242/nasa-hottest-september-on-record/

16. The GOP Faces a Disaster If They Don’t Take the Senate

If next month produces a big Republican year, with the GOP gaining control of the Senate and expanding its majority in the House, it will say little or nothing about 2016, when a presidential electorate and a very different Senate class combine to create the makings of a substantially good Democratic year.

But if the GOP fails to capture the Senate this year, 2016 could turn into an unmitigated disaster for the party. And for that reason, Republicans are under extremely heavy pressure to take back the Senate in November. — Stuart Rothenberg 10/14/14 Read more at  http://blogs.rollcall.com/rothenblog/author/srpoliticsaol-com/

17. Scathing Quotes From Judge Posner’s Dissent Against WI Voter ID

—”Some of the ‘evidence’ of voter-impersonation fraud is downright goofy, if not paranoid, such as the nonexistent buses that according to the ‘True the Vote’ movement transport foreigners and reservation Indians to polling places.”

—”Even Fox News, whose passion for conservative causes has never been questioned, acknowledges that ‘Voter ID Laws Target Rarely Occurring Voter Fraud.'” [Link included in the original.]

—”As there is no evidence that voter-impersonation fraud is a problem, how can the fact that a legislature says it’s a problem turn it into one? If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials?”

—”There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.” 10/14/14 Read more at http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/richard-posner-dissent-voter-id

1. Abby Haglage: Ebola Panic Is Worse Than the Disease

Over the course of a decade, funding for our hospital preparedness program has been virtually cut in half, from its peak of $500 million in 2003 to around $250 million in 2014. Insufficient training, technology, and equipment to handle an Ebola epidemic, says Redlener, are byproducts of these cuts. “We have lost the surge capacity that we once had and that we once aspired to.”

Rather than convince other Americans that they too have Ebola, Dr. Irwin Redlener the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, thinks the case should motivate the nation to refocus on disaster preparedness. The Ebola epidemic, he’s quick to clarify, is not the disaster itself. “I can understand why people are frightened by this it’s in a category of violent illnesses that end very badly,” he says. But feeling anxious and unsettled about an epidemic that your own nation seems underequipped to handle isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “People look at Ebola in America, they are looking at what’s going on in Africa and are probably rightly distressed about the problem,” says Redlener. “It may not be rational but I don’t think it’s going to harm the country.”

Whether our individual panic over Ebola is justified or not remains to be seen. But with no sign of an epidemic in the U.S. it seems, at the very least, irrational. Norman agrees. “In our mind’s eye we see very graphic images of people going crazy; dying in the streets,” he says. “Indeed dying in the streets is happening—but it’s happening in Africa.” 10/09/14 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/09/ebola-panic-is-worse-than-the-disease.html

2. Michael Hirsh: Panetta Is Trying to Rewrite History

According to a senior administration official who has worked with Panetta in the past, the level of anger at him goes well beyond Vice President Joe Biden’s mild criticism of Panetta’s book as “inappropriate.” Officials were incredulous when the former Pentagon head sought to justify his suddenly public slaps at Obama as evidence of his loyalty, telling “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose on Wednesday: “It’s exactly because I am very loyal to this president and because I want him to succeed that I think it’s important to raise these issues now … So that hopefully in 2½ years, you know, we can make sure that he really does have the kind of legacy that I think he deserves as president.”

On Tuesday, Panetta told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that had the administration armed the fractious Free Syrian Army, as he’d advocated, then “we would at least be in a better position to have in the rebel operation a group that we would have worked with, known, helped arm. And frankly what it would have done is would have given us better eyes on the ground to see what was happening with regards to al Qaeda and [ISIL].” But several administration officials remember that Panetta was as concerned about arms falling into the hands of radical Islamists as the president was.

Asked by email Wednesday morning what he thought about the severe criticisms of Obama’s leadership in the book, along with statements the former Pentagon chief has made in a slew of recent media interviews, another senior administration official swiftly responded by sending a long list of statements – with key points neatly highlighted in yellow – that Panetta has made about Iraq, Syria and other issues going back to 2006, when Panetta served on George W. Bush’s Iraq Study Group and recommended an early drawdown. 10/08/14 Read more at  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/panetta-is-trying-to-rewrite-history-111719.html

3. Sally Kohn: GOP strategy won’t fool women

If they’re going to pull out a victory in the midterm elections, Republicans need to win over women. But they’re doing everything in their power to alienate them, from pushing extreme anti-abortion measures that even most Republican voters oppose to blocking equal-pay legislation to, well, just opening their mouths. A leading Republican congressional candidate in Georgia recently said, sure, a woman can run for office if she is “within the authority of her husband.”

A report actually commissioned by Republican groups and reported in Politico found that women view the party as “intolerant” and “stuck in the past.” The report found that women are “barely receptive” to GOP policies.

In other words, Republicans are losing female voters faster than their anti-contraception policies can produce them.

The Republican Party has do more than just talk about domestic violence and women’s opportunity and actually support the real policies that support women’s freedom and choices — or otherwise, women will keep choosing to vote for Democrats. 10/9/14 Read more at  http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/09/opinion/kohn-republicans-women/index.html

4. John Kerry: The Gathering Storm

The science is clear, the threat is present, and the impacts will be felt in every corner of the globe.

The good news is that, science hasn’t just given us ample warning on climate change; modern technology and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic have also provided us with the solution. Unlike many of the other global challenges we face, we know exactly how to address climate change. The answer is clean energy. It’s as simple as that. The technology is out there. The policies aren’t complicated.

But there’s one thing that’s standing in our way — all over the world — and that’s the political will globally to make the tough choices that will bring about the clean-energy future we need.

At the State Department, we’ll make sure climate change is front and center the broader context of international diplomacy, including by doing all we can to ensure that the world comes together around a global agreement at the Climate Conference in Paris next year. A good global agreement will not single-handedly eliminate the threat of climate change — but the fact is, it’s sure as hell hard to solve this problem without one.

Whether we’re able to address this threat will be a real test of global cooperation — and global leadership. But we couldn’t have a stronger stake in the outcome. If we put the future of the planet that unites us ahead of the issues that divide us, we can meet this challenge, and leave future generations the healthy, sustainable planet they deserve. Onwards. 10/09/14 Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johnkerry/the-gathering-storm_b_5962026.html

5. NY Times Editorial: The Big Lie Behind Voter ID Laws

Voter ID laws, as their supporters know, do only one thing very well: They keep otherwise eligible voters away from the polls. In most cases, this means voters who are poor, often minorities, and who don’t have the necessary documents or the money or time to get photo IDs.

In her remarkable 143-page opinion in the Texas case, Federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos found that the law violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act, and that by forcing registered voters to track down and pay for qualifying documents, it functioned as an “unconstitutional poll tax.”

Most striking of all, Judge Ramos found that the rapid growth of Texas’s Latino and black population, and the state’s “uncontroverted and shameful history” of discriminatory voting practices — including whites-only primaries, literacy restrictions and actual poll taxes — led to a clear conclusion: Republican lawmakers knew the law would drive down turnout among minority voters, who lean Democratic, and they passed it at least in part for that reason. Judge Ramos’s finding of intentional discrimination is important because it could force Texas back under federal voting supervision, meaning changes to state voting practices would have to be preapproved by the federal government. (Texas appealed the ruling; a federal appeals court is now considering whether to put it on hold until after the election.)

Eventually the issue will be back before the Supreme Court, which last reviewed a voter ID law in 2008, when it upheld an Indiana law because there was no clear evidence showing how it would harm voters. Thanks to the work of voting-rights advocates and the extraordinarily thorough rulings of Judge Ramos and Judge Lynn Adelman, who struck down Wisconsin’s law, the evidence is in.

The next time voter ID laws reach the justices, they should see them for the antidemocratic sham they are. 10/13/14 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/opinion/the-big-lie-behind-voter-id-laws.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

6. Kristen Doerer: Will the Right’s Relentless War on Women Prove a Boon to Dems in the Midterms?

On Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider the Texas law that shut down thirteen clinics in the state, leaving only eight abortion clinics open in a state where 5.4 million women are at reproductive age. The Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and Planned Parenthood challenged the original ruling last Tuesday on the basis of the constitutionality of a provision in the law that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the abortion clinic—a measure many doctors claim is unnecessary. The measure effectively closes most abortion clinics in Texas.

This law is just one of the latest attacks on women’s rights in the Republican war on women. But will it, and all of the anti-woman legislation and court decisions leading up to it, amount to a greater voter turn out in the 2014 midterms? Will it encourage more single women—who overwhelmingly favor Democrats—to vote?

The jury is still out on whether the right’s recent attacks on women’s rights will turn out the voters needed to prevent anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive, anti-equal pay Republicans from gaining or keeping office this election season. And in the remaining twenty-four days until Election Day, Democrats need to capitalize on the recent events in order to enlist women’s support.

In the end, the results of the 2014 midterm elections will serve as a test of how much voters, and candidates, really care about women’s rights. 10/10/14 Read more at  http://prospect.org/article/will-rights-relentless-war-women-prove-boon-dems-midterms

7. Albert R. Hunt: Midterm Voters Drown in Dark Money

Already there has been $100 million of dark money spent in the 2014 congressional elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By Election Day, that number will more than double.

There is a simple rationale for giving dark money rather than making upfront donations to political action committees, including the Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC or Rove’s American Crossroads PAC, which require disclosure. Dark spending provides the influence and access that comes with big money without the accountability or the attention from critics. When the Republican Governors Association inadvertently disclosed the identities of secret dark money contributors, it embarrassed major companies such as Microsoft, Wal-Mart Stores and Aetna, which each gave $250,000, believing their donations were cloaked in anonymity.

When he fought campaign-finance reform years ago, Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell suggested the real antidote was disclosure. Now he says forcing disclosure would run afoul of the First Amendment and would harass groups such as the Humane Society.

The top dark money practitioners are a diverse lot led by the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the groups affiliated with Reid and Rove, they include the National Rifle Association, the League of Conservation Voters and the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a vehicle for secret money to support McConnell.

One thing is certain: When it counts, the political beneficiaries of those secret donors will be made well aware of their benefactors and their needs. 10/12/14 Read more at  http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-10-12/midterm-voters-drown-in-dark-money

8. Juan Williams: Even a Senate victory won’t heal GOP divisions

If, as seems quite likely, Republicans in the Senate end up with more than 50 seats but fewer than the filibuster-proof figure of 60, the GOP leadership will have trouble maintaining party discipline. On pending issues from immigration reform to rewriting the tax code and increasing energy production, a GOP Senate majority is at risk of a Tea Party versus Establishment implosion.

Just think about being the Republican Majority Leader responsible for keeping Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in line.

That has been the political dynamic in the Republican-majority House. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) controls the agenda but lacks the votes to attend to major legislative issues — such as immigration reform — without being stymied by extreme conservative demands from the unruly Tea Party caucus.

Now the prospective Republican Senate will have to negotiate with that often-divided Republican House. Boehner is hoping to increase his governing majority in the midterms to the point where he can afford to lose the votes of some of the Tea Party crowd and still win passage of a bill.

Absent a major shift in the House, fights among Republicans in the lower chamber will likely stall any legislative agenda from the prospective GOP Senate majority.

Then again, even before making deals with the House, the GOP Senate will have to prove it can keep its own members marching to the beat of the same drum. That is why Graham took an early shot at Rubio. 10/13/14 Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/220474-juan-williams-even-a-senate-victory-wont-heal-gop-divisions

9. Sally Kohn: Ebola Scare-Mongerer Rand Paul Wants You to Think You’re Going to Die

The former head of the Republican Party in South Carolina recently tweeted that anyone in the United States who has Ebola should be euthanized immediately, adding a lynch mob dimension to the panic

Why? Partly, it’s the “any excuse to criticize anything on Obama’s watch” mindset. But also just as the news media plays to or even inflames such fears to drive ratings, Republicans stoke fear to drive votes. Simply put, when voters fear for their safety, they vote more Republican. Scaring voters, whether about ISIS or Ebola, is good for the GOP.

As fear about ISIS grew among Americans, so did support for Republican leadership on foreign policy. An October 6 poll found that just 11 percent of Americans are “very worried” they will be exposed to Ebola. If Republican panic hyping continues, aided and abetted by media coverage, look for that number to rise—along with the electoral outlook for Republicans next month

And meanwhile, look for Rand Paul to carve out his own corner of this advantage by stoking anti-government sentiment as well—the same October 6 poll found that 42 percent of independent voters are not confident in government’s ability to handle any Ebola outbreak. As that number grows, so does the potential voting block for a anti-government libertarian Rand Paul presidency.

“Could we have a worldwide pandemic?” Rand Paul asked in another interview. “The Spanish flu in 1918 killed 21 million people, the plague in the 14th century killed 25 million people; I’m not saying that’s going to happen, I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Actually, Rand Paul, despite every reasonable and responsible fact to the contrary, you not only implying a mass pandemic might happen but clearly encouraging the American people to panic.

Your own dad said that’s dangerous. Take his advice. 10/12/14 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/12/ebola-scare-mongerer-rand-paul-wants-you-to-think-you-re-going-to-die.html

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