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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
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US judge temporarily blocks Mississippi abortion law

Source: Associated Press

The law could shut down the only abortion clinic in the state

A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a Mississippi law that could shut down the only abortion clinic in the state.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan in Jackson issued a temporary restraining order Sunday, hours after the new law took effect.

He set a July 11 hearing to determine whether to block the law for a longer time.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48037455/ns/us_news/#.T_Dv9b9RFwk

Mississippi's only abortion clinic, located in the Fondren district of Jackson, will stay open at least until July 11. A group of pro-abortion rights advocates and lawyers sent out a press statement tonight announcing the temporary injunction. Here is the statement, verbatim:

“Today’s decision reaffirms the fundamental constitutional rights of women in Mississippi and ensures the Jackson Women’s Health Organization can continue providing the critical reproductive health care that they have offered to women for the last 17 years.

#“The opponents of reproductive rights in the Mississippi legislature have made no secret of their intent to make legal abortion virtually disappear in the state of Mississippi. Their hostility toward women, reproductive health care providers, and the rights of both would unquestionably put the lives and health of countless women at risk of grave harm.

#“While we are pleased the court has decided to temporarily block enforcement of this medically unwarranted restriction, this battle is far from over. We will continue to fight alongside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization to ensure that the women of Mississippi are not relegated to a second class of U.S. citizens, denied the constitutionally-protected rights that other women nationwide are guaranteed.”

US judge temporarily blocks Miss. abortion law

In the order, Jordan wrote: "Plaintiffs have offered evidence — including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers — that the Act's purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi. They likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage. This evidence has not yet been rebutted."

Jordan also wrote that Jackson Women's Health Organization is "the only regular provider of abortions in Mississippi, and as of the Act's effective date, JWHO cannot comply with its requirements."

Report: Sources say Roberts switched vote in healthcare case


CBS News says it has confirmed that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote in the court’s landmark healthcare case.

The speculation had been based mostly around interpretations of the court’s written opinions. But CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford reported Sunday that sources "with specific knowledge of the deliberations" confirmed Roberts’s switch.

According to Crawford’s reporting, Roberts was against the individual mandate when the justices took their initial votes following oral arguments in March. He, along with the other four Republican appointees, believed it was an inappropriate use of Congress’s power to regulate commerce.

But the justices did not reach an agreement on how much of the law to strike down. Over the course of that debate, as the conservative bloc pushed hard to throw out the entire statute, Roberts changed his mind and voted to uphold the law, Crawford reported.

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

"He was relentless," one source said of Kennedy's efforts. "He was very engaged in this."

But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, "You're on your own."


McConnell: Ask Romney If Massachusetts Mandate Was A Tax


Ever since the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act as constitutional under Congress’ power to tax, Republicans have gone into full gear falsely characterizing the law as a “massive tax hike” on the middle class. But on Fox News Sunday today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to say whether or the individual mandate in Massachusetts — implemented by Mitt Romney — is also, therefore, a tax:

HOST CHRIS WALLACE: You didn’t answer my direct question: If the Obama mandate is a tax on the middle class, is the Romney mandate a tax on the middle class?

MCCONNELL: Well, I think Governor Romney will have to speak for himself about what was done in Massachusetts. I can tell you that every single Democratic senator voted for this tax increase and these $500 billion cuts in Medicare and it will be a huge issue in 2012. The Chief Justice has, in effect, said this will be decided by the American people. That’s why we have elections.

Watch it:

McConnell can't say how GOP will insure 30m after repealing ObamaCare


McConnell Can’t Answer How GOP Will Insure Americans After Repealing ObamaCare: ‘That Is Not The Issue’


McConnell Can’t Answer How GOP Will Insure Americans After Repealing ObamaCare: ‘That Is Not The

McConnell Can’t Answer How GOP Will Insure Americans After Repealing ObamaCare: ‘That Is Not The Issue’

Fox News’s Chris Wallace asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this important question on Fox News Sunday today and the senior senator from Kentucky had no answer. After McConnell meandered through the typical GOP talking points that they plan to allow the sale of health insurance across state lines and that they will institute medical malpractice reform, he finally settled on an answer: Insuring Americans “is not the issue”:

WALLACE: One of the keys to ObamaCare is that it will extend insurance access to 30 million people who are now uninsured. In your replacement, how would you provide universal coverage?


WALLACE: I just want to ask, what specifically are you going to do to provide universal coverage to the 30 million people who are uninsured?

MCCONNELL: That is not the issue. The question is, how can you go step by step to improve the American health care system. … We’re not going to turn the American health care system into a Western European system.

Watch the clip:


Al Franken: GOP Wants To Use ‘Wayback Machine’ On Healthcare

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) urged Democrats in a fundraising e-mail not to let their guard down after the Supreme Court’s health care ruling, likening Republican’s efforts to dismantle the law to the “Wayback Machine,” an internet time capsule that archives the web over time.

“I know you’re sick of getting fundraising emails this month,” Franken wrote on behalf of the DSCC. “Sorry. But, frankly, I’d rather annoy you than watch the far right unleash their Wayback Machine and erase health care reform and everything else we’ve fought to do.”

Reported by Benjy Sarlin

President Obama encourages support for wildfire victims, firefighters

Source: CNN

President Barack Obama advocated for private support of the victims and firefighters affected by and battling wildfires in Colorado in his weekly address, a message taped during his Friday visit to see the efforts and destruction firsthand.

"For those of you who can provide some help, you should get on the online site of the American Red Cross," Obama said from Colorado Springs. "They're very active in this community and you can make your contributions there. We're going to continue to make sure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Forest Service, our military and National Guard and all the resources that we have available at the federal level are brought to bear in fighting this fire."

"I know this is a little bit unusual," he said. "We don't usually do weekly addresses like this, but I thought it was a good opportunity for us to actually focus attention on a problem that's going on here in Colorado Springs."

"And one of the things that I told these firefighters is that we can provide them all the resources they need, but only they provide the courage and the discipline to be able to actually fight these fires," he said. "And it's important that we appreciate what they do not just when our own communities are struck by disaster."

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/30/obama-encourages-support-for-wildfire-victims-firefighters/


In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from Colorado, where he had just finished touring areas impacted by the devastating Waldo Canyon fire, meeting with first responders as well as families affected by the fires. The President thanked the brave firefighters and countless volunteers who are providing food, water, and shelter to those in need, and made clear that his administration will continue to bring all resources available to assist efforts to combat the fires. The federal government has marshaled thousands of firefighters, hundreds of fire engines, and more than 100 aircraft, including 19 airtankers that are available for us as of today, to support firefighting efforts in a number of Western states including Colorado.

Wildfire crews fight for health coverage in online campaign

'These are employees that time ... forgot,' union official says

A social media campaign started by a few seasonal firefighters is spreading, well, like wildfire.

The issue? Getting frontline firefighters who battle the nation's wildfires -- temporary federal employees because of the seasonal nature of their work -- into the government health care system.

More than 118,000 people have endorsed the idea on change.org through Friday afternoon. The group also has its own Facebook page.

A union official working on behalf of the 8,000 temporary federal firefighters told msnbc.com he had never seen such traction on an issue that's been around for decades.

Give Health Care to Firefighters Who Battle Wildfires

Facebook Page

President Barack Obama pauses with firefighters while touring the Mountain Shadows neighborhood on June 29 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

President Obama Threatens To Veto Bill That Defunds Wall Street Reform

House Republicans, after failing to prevent the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law from passing Congress, have attempted to undermine it by refusing to give Wall Street regulators adequate funds to do their jobs. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are short of the funding they require, and House Republicans recently voted in committee to fund the SEC $245 million below the Obama administration’s request for 2013.

However, should that funding bill actually reach President Obama’s desk, he has announced that he will veto it:

The 2013 Financial Services bill is heading to the House floor after being considered by the Rules Committee on Thursday.

“The bill severely undermines key investments in financial oversight and implementation of Wall Street reform to protect American consumers, as well as needed tax enforcement and taxpayer services. It also hampers effective implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” the White House statement reads.


Five Health Care Mandates Republicans Support


Republicans are in complete upheaval over Obamacare, fired up by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law yesterday. They have continuously claimed that the government is ramming this legislation down the throats of the American people, and now they are calling it an unwanted financial burden on everyday Americans. In fact, the individual mandate — the portion of the law that Republicans most vociferously oppose — wouldn’t even affect most Americans.

It might be time for Republicans to take a look back at their own record of health care legislation that they did like — and that forced American people, particularly women, into a lot of things:

Forcing women to get transvaginal ultrasounds:
Ordering women to cremate and bury their miscarried fetus:
Requiring doctors to lie to female patients:
Making a dying woman consult two doctors before she can get a life-saving abortion:
Mandating people pay extra to give medical device companies a tax break:

more at link
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