Shorter Question Everything
• Personhood Ohio auctioning assault rifles to fund anti-abortion effort. The founder of Personhood Ohio says that God “willed the apostles to sacrifice their lives” so he has decided to auction of his personal assault rifles and over 2,500 rounds of ammunition to raise funds for banning abortion.
• Ohio Abortion Bill Contains Unprecedented Restrictions. The Ohio House of Representatives is considering an anti-abortion omnibus bill that would force doctors to tell their patients how much personal income they would lose if they did not perform abortions. The bill also makes ultrasounds mandatory for any woman seeking an abortion, requires doctors to give women medically disputed information about pain felt by fetuses and mention the debunked link between abortion and breast cancer, lengthens the mandatory waiting period before an abortion, and threatens physicians with a felony and an unprecedented fine of up to $1 million if they fail to comply with the laws.
• War on Women: Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) pushed the envelope on the House floor yesterday calling for children to take classes on traditional gender roles because fathers are “a little bit better” at some things than mothers.
• Christian Domestic Discipline: ‘Spanking for Jesus’ movement lets God-fearing husbands feel good about punishing their wives. A Beginning Domestic Discipline “Beginner’s Packet” reported on by Jezebel instructs husbands on how to best manipulate their wives using psychological tricks and corporeal punishment. The manipulation tactics range from taking away privileges like “going out with friends” to bare-bottomed spankings with a wooden paddle. Experts, however, view the household arrangement as little more than the symptom of disturbed minds. Forensic psychologist Jim Alsdurf told The Daily Beast that Christian Domestic Discipline appeared to be more of an unhealthy and distorted way to fulfill a suppressed sexual desire than a religious lifestyle. “No fool in his right mind would buy this as a legitimate way to have a relationship,” Alsdurf said. “A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.”
• Now That Plan B Is Available To All Women, Conservatives Want To Restrict It On The State Level. Earlier this month, the Obama Administration dropped its fight to restrict over-the-counter emergency contraception for young women. Now, Plan B will be available without a prescription for women of all ages — but that move hasn’t exactly made social conservatives happy. Anti-choice groups are already trying to figure out how they can lobby for state laws that will restrict access to emergency contraception despite the Obama Administration’s position.
The Far Right
• GOP and Tea Partiers: it’s like deja vu all over again. There was a certain irony to the timing. Yesterday, the House Republican leadership began a new outreach effort to leaders of the Latino community, trying to repair years of damage. And during their discussions, and assurances about the GOP’s sincerity, a far-right rally was underway on the national mall featuring anti-immigrant speeches from one Republican after another. To help underscore the larger problem, consider the fact that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) appeared at the event, spoke briefly in Spanish, and was heckled. It’s true that immigration wasn’t the only subject discussed yesterday — the legion of far-right lawmakers were also eager to talk about the IRS. Imagine that.
• The founder of the border-activist Minutemen is suspected of being a child molester.
• Arizona: The co-founder of the Minutemen civilian border patrol group that for several years watched for unauthorized immigrants crossing to Arizona from Mexico, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of molesting three young girls. Chris Simcox, 52, who co-founded the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps in 2005, was booked into a Maricopa County jail in connection with the molestation of three girls under the age of 10, said Sergeant Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.
• FLASHBACK: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Failed To Investigate Over 400 Sex Crimes, Including Molestations Of Undocumented Children. The AP reports that, over a three-year period ending in 2007, Arpaio “inadequately investigated” or in some instances didn’t even work more than 400 sex-crimes reported to his office. The cases “include dozens of alleged child molestations.” In El Mirage, Arizona, where Arpaio provided contract services, he failed to follow through on at least 32 reported child molestations — with some victims as young as 2. Many of the children were undocumented immigrants.
• Virginia Republican pleads guilty to dozens of counts of voter fraud. A Virginia Republican and supporter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to perjury and 36 counts of voter fraud. Adam Ward, 28, claimed he collected more than 11,000 petition signatures for Gingrich during the Republican presidential primaries, in an effort to ensure the candidate’s embattled campaign had a spot on the state’s ballot. Over 4,000 of those petition signatures turned out to be fake, according to NBC News affiliate WVIR-TV.
• Following a speech at an anti-IRS Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemed to blame gay and lesbian people for the discrimination they face in the workplace.
• KKK member, accomplice created lethal X-ray system, FBI says. Two New York state men have been charged in a bizarre plan to develop a mobile X-ray system that would be used from afar to silently kill people that they deemed “undesirable,” federal officials said. Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, were arrested Tuesday after an undercover operation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support for use of a weapon of mass destruction, according to the criminal complaint. The suspects intended to use the device to harm and kill “enemies of Israel,” a Department of Justice news release said. Undercover agents allegedly heard Crawford, a self-described member of the Ku Klux Klan, state that he “harbors animosity towards individuals and groups that he perceives as hostile to the interests of the United States” and refers to them as “medical waste.” He specifically identified Muslims as belonging to this group, according to the criminal complaint.
• Let’s do that, then: To try to stop an effort to end filibuster on just Presidential nominees Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatening to end the filibuster completely. McConnell’s threat is basically if Democrats don’t allow Republican to continue the obstructionism that is destroying the Senate they will eventually make this destructive obstructionism impossible.
• FBI director tells Congress agency uses drones for surveillance on U.S. soil, though only on a “very, very minimal basis.” “We are in the early stages of doing that, and I will tell you that our footprint is very small, we have very few, and have limited use. And we’re exploring not only the use, but the necessary guidelines for that use,” Mueller told senators at a hearing this morning when asked about the use of drones.
• US Lawmakers Seek Deep Cuts to NASA Climate Research. It’s not enough for them to fund and support a massive public relations campaign to convince the American people to look the other way, as the effects of climate change become increasingly obvious. Now the Republican Party wants to destroy the scientific agency that studies the causes of climate change for clues on how to stop the onrushing train: US Lawmakers Seek Deep Cuts to NASA Climate Research.
• A new analysis of health care premiums proposed under the Affordable Care Act concludes that health plans will cost even less than originally expected. That’s likely because the insurance marketplaces will encourage more competition between insurers.
• Yahoo is releasing inactive Yahoo IDs so that users can score a better email address. This means you can finally have [email protected] instead of [email protected], for example. Sounds great, right? It’s actually a spectacularly bad idea. It means that people will be able to claim Yahoo IDs and use them to take over other people’s identities via password resets and other methods.
In other news
• Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum announced his resignation after he was arrested on 14 criminal charges, including fraud and corruption, officials said.
• Sao Paulo, Rio revoke transport fare hikes as protests continue. Brazil’s two biggest cities agreed on Wednesday to revoke an increase in public transportation fares that set off demonstrations that have grown into nationwide protests against poor public services, inflation and corruption. The decisions, made separately in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, followed another day of protests across Brazil, which also included a march by demonstrators around a major international soccer game in the northeastern city of Fortaleza. This month’s transport fare hikes, which came as Brazil struggles with annual inflation of 6.5 percent, stirred a groundswell of other complaints, leading to the biggest protests to sweep Brazil in more than two decades.