Shorter Question Everything
If anyone has ever earned this honor, it’s John Lewis. This needs to be made into a reality.
• Pelosi mulling ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Act’ to overturn Supreme Court decision. Former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday that Congressional Democrats are planning new legislation to render ineffective Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the historic 1965 legislation that guaranteed equal access to the vote for all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity. According to The Hill, Pelosi is already considering naming the prospective bill after civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D). “I would like to see something…called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” she continued, saying that Congress could follow Chief Justice Roberts’ recommendation and re-write Section 4′s criteria.
• GOP voter ID push gathers steam after SCOTUS ruling. One voter ID law denounced as a “poll tax” looks to be back in force. And several others are gathering steam. Those are the early consequences of Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision eviscerating the Voting Rights Act. In the 48 hours since the ruling was announced, Republicans in several states have said they’ll move ahead with voter ID laws that disproportionately affect blacks and Hispanics. And other states look poised to join them. Texas is ground zero for measuring the impact. Just hours after the ruling was announced, Attorney General Greg Abbott said the state’s voter ID law “will go into immediate effect.” The law—the strictest in the country, and described by Attorney General Eric Holder as a “poll tax”—had been blocked last year under Section 5, after a federal court found it discriminated against blacks and Latinos, who, numerous studies show, are more likely than whites to lack ID. On Thursday, the Supreme Court officially threw out that ruling.
• Don’t you dare mess with Tammy Duckworth
• Dempsey: No-fly zone in Syria would be ‘act of war’. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey on Wednesday said the Obama administration should be given the chance to exhaust all diplomatic options to end the Syrian civil war, urging caution over calls for the U.S. to establish a no-fly zone in the country. Dempsey told reporters on Wednesday that the Pentagon could “if asked to do so, establish a no-fly zone” in Syria to aid opposition forces seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. But he said that proponents of that move should understand it would be “an act of war.” “If we choose to conduct a no-fly zone, it’s essentially an act of war, and I’d like to understand the plan to make peace before we start [another] war,” Dempsey said.
• Ex-Pentagon general target of leak investigation, sources say: Legal sources tell NBC News that the former second ranking officer in the U.S. military is now the target of a Justice Department investigation into a politically sensitive leak of classified information about a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program. According to legal sources, Retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has received a target letter informing him that he’s under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a massive attack using a computer virus named Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gen. Cartwright, 63, becomes the latest individual targeted over alleged leaks by the Obama administration, which has already prosecuted or charged eight individuals under the Espionage Act.
• On Edward Snowden, Obama rejected the suggestion that he might order the military to intercept any plane that might be carrying the leaker. “I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,” the president said.
• No Benghazi “Stand Down” Order Was Given: Another Fox Narrative Falls Apart. Narrative Was Pushed In 85 Fox Primetime Segments. A claim pushed dozens of times by Fox News that security forces were ordered to “stand down” during the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks on a U.S. diplomatic facility collapsed after the commander of those security forces testified that he received no such order. Now even Republicans are admitting that a “stand down” order was never given. According to The Associated Press, Gibson told a Republican-led congressional committee on June 26 that he was never ordered to “stand down.” This is not the first time the Fox “stand down” narrative has been discredited. The day before Hicks’ May 8 testimony, a Pentagon spokesman stated that there “was never any kind of stand down order to anybody.” After Hicks’ testimony, a Pentagon spokesman further explained that the security forces in Tripoli “were told to stay” in Tripoli to help with the security there. On June 12, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reaffirmed this point, telling Congress: GEN. DEMPSEY: They weren’t told to stand down. A stand down means don’t do anything. They were told to — that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi but was at Tripoli Airport.
• Keep an eye on this one: “Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to House Republicans formally demanding that they call the author of the now-infamous audit on IRS targeting of conservative groups to come back to the Hill and testify under oath — where he’ll be pressed to explain why the audit failed to detail that progressive groups had also been targeted.”
Stupid things rightwingers say
• Pennsylvania Dem silenced by opponent citing ‘God’s law’. As is the case in many states, many in Pennsylvania are considering how to proceed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, and on Wednesday, state Rep. Brian Sims (D) of Philadelphia rose to address the issue with his legislative colleagues. But Sims, the first openly gay member elected to the state House, was not allowed to deliver his remarks — one of his colleagues raised a procedural objection to block him from speaking. And why is that? Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who prevented Sims from addressing the chamber on DOMA, explained himself this way: “I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,” Metcalfe had told WHYY of Philadelphia.
In other news
• The Senate approved a comprehensive immigration reform bill by a 68-32 vote on Thursday afternoon. The bill now moves to the Republican-led House of Representatives, where it faces an uncertain future.
• Guilty plea in killing of man linked to Rob Ford scandal. Plea means Crown won’t disclose potential evidence in mayor scandal. The killer of a man seen in a widely publicized photo tied to the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford crack cocaine video scandal has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter for the slaying. The plea deal comes just over 2½ months after admitted killer Nisar Hashimi turned himself in to police in connection with the shooting death of Anthony Smith outside a Toronto nightclub in March. It also means evidence surrounding the crack video controversy won’t have to be presented in open court. Toronto criminal defence lawyer Edward Sapiano, who is not involved in the case, called the plea deal “unprecedented.” “In 20 years of practice I have never seen a guilty plea on a homicide without disclosure,” said Sapiano. “And in less than three months! There is absolutely something going on here.”
• Worries Over Growing Political Violence in Egypt. Thousands of Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi gathered in Cairo on Friday afternoon as Egypt’s highest religious authority warned of the possibility of “civil war” after days of escalating tensions and episodes of deadly violence.
• The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, announced Thursday that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in the April 15 attack.
• Forced birth: First and foremost, it’s cruel, arbitrary and monstrous to tell any woman that she must simply carry a fetus to term as if it were a mere minor inconvenience. Beyond the mere principle of civil rights and freedom involved, it’s an insult to women that severely underestimates the expense and danger involved in pregnancy. Some pregnancies go very smoothly, but many do not. Secondly, however, it’s particularly monstrous in the context of a society that does not provide remotely adequate worker protections for pregnancy, childbirth, post-natal care and nursing–for women or men for that matter. To tell women what they can do with their bodies and to underestimate the problems with pregnancy is horrible enough. To do so while failing to provide free universal healthcare and worker protections isn’t just patriarchal and monstrous, but downright punitive. It’s the result of a sick, twisted culture whose highest priority is punishing women for daring to have sex outside of their husband’s strict jurisdiction. And every culture that places punishing women for being sexual beings ahead of basic human rights should be humbled and brought to heel, with half its population emancipated from the monsters who would shackle them to their wombs.
• Mansplain: Rick Perry is very disappointed that a grown woman doesn’t understand her own life and experiences in exactly the same way he and the attendees of the National Right To Life Convention do. First he defines what her life means, and then sorrowfully recounts how she just hasn’t learned the right lessons from his definition of her life.
• Rick Perry at his mansplainingist worst: “Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances,” Perry said at the National Right to Life Conference held in Dallas, Texas. ”She was the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, and that every life matters.”