|—||Former President Jimmy Carter: Jimmy Carter Blasts ‘Nutcases’ Who Block Climate Action | EcoWatch|
Former President Jimmy Carter, in Aspen to receive a lifetime achievement award at the American Renewable Energy Day summit, pointed to “nutcases” who deny climate change, money in political campaigns and a Republican Party bent on blocking anything proposed by President Obama as obstacles to bringing the U.S. up to the renewable energy level of other developed countries.
The New York Times writes in an editorial:
In large parts of the country, women’s access to safe and legal abortion care is increasingly coming to depend on the willingness of judges to rigorously examine and reject new (and medically unnecessary) restrictions imposed by Republican legislatures.
In just that sort of searching review, a federal judge last week struck down as unconstitutional an Alabama law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The requirement — advertised, falsely, as necessary to protect women’s health — is one of the main strategies being deployed nationally by opponents of abortion rights to shrink the already inadequate number of abortion providers.
The decision, by Judge Myron Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, followed a 10-day hearing. The ruling is a big victory for Alabama women and should be an instructive model for other courts.
Richard Cohen writes:
Richard Nixon is not having an easy time of late. The Post alone has run at least three opinion pieces reminding us all that Nixon was a skunk who 40 years ago this month resigned the presidency and flew off to a short-lived exile in California. There the story of Nixon’s nefariousness supposedly ends. But it does not. He remains to this day a major political figure.
It was Nixon who devised and pursued what came to be called the Southern strategy. This was, in the admirably concise wording of Wikipedia, an appeal “to racism against African-Americans.” Nixon was hardly the first Republican to notice that Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation had alienated whites both in the South and elsewhere — Johnson himself had forecast that Southern whites would desert the Democratic Party. But Nixon was the GOP’s leader and, in January 1969, the president of the United States. The White House, it seemed, would not do a damned thing for African Americans.
When a Tennessee Supreme Court justice who had been targeted for defeat by conservative groups and business interests declared victory on Thursday night, it did not take long for grateful sentiments to give way to a bit of swagger.
“Tennessee justice is not for sale,” the justice, Sharon G. Lee, said after she thanked her supporters at a sports bar here. “They can spend all the money they want — I think they spent well over $1 million — but they cannot buy this election. They cannot buy our system of justice.”
But Justice Lee’s pronouncement is unlikely to deter or rattle conservatives who, eyeing the courts as an outlet to augment their public policy pursuits, have transformed monotonous judicial elections into full-throated campaigns brimming with consultants, television advertising, direct mail and major campaign spending.
What can you say, except congratulations? Gov. Nathan Deal, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Attorney General Sam Olens and the Georgia Legislature have approached the implementation of ObamaCare with one overriding goal: Deny access to health-care coverage to as many uninsured Georgians as possible.
In fact, it was a year ago this month that Hudgens made it explicit: “Let me tell you what we’re doing (about ObamaCare),” he bragged to a crowd of fellow Republicans: “Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”
Their effort has been wildly successful. In fact, if our leaders had been half as successful at, say, improving education, growing the economy or solving transportation as they have been at denying health coverage to their own citizens, Georgia would be in high cotton instead of in long-term decline relative to the rest of the country.
This week, we got a peek at the true scale of their success with the release of state-by-state data compiled by Gallup. The numbers tell us that a year ago, before implementation of ObamaCare, Georgia had the nation’s 7th highest rate of citizens without health insurance. Today, we have the 3rd highest rate of uninsured. Well done, gentlemen.
Gail Collins writes:
Wow, it appears that Republicans in Tennessee just gave a vote of confidence to a right-wing congressman-doctor who has a history of having sex with his patients and encouraging the women in his life to end inconvenient pregnancies by abortion.
This would be Representative Scott DesJarlais, one of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. The vote in Thursday’s primary was so close that they may still be recounting on Inauguration Day.
But the real point is that DesJarlais did not get resoundingly repudiated. When the campaign began, almost everybody expected him to lose big, including the Republican establishment in Tennessee … .
Okay, he’s not actually a Klingon. (That would be a much bigger story, right?!) But plumber David Waddell speaks the language. And he just qualified as an official write-in candidate for U.S. Senate in North Carolina.
In July, Tennessee began a drug testing program for applicants to the state’s welfare program. Since then, just one person has tested positive out of more than 800.
There are plenty of rich political donors shoveling obscene amounts of money to candidates of both parties, but after culling the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets database we found that of the 50 states where the wealthiest residents have made personal political contributions — meaning not from their company’s organization or PAC — close to 70 percent have given exclusively, or mostly, to Republicans.