Democrat Representative Bart Stupak’s end run around the leadership during the House vote on health care reform stunned me, but it shouldn’t have.
All week long I’d been getting emails from Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) that access to abortion was threatened, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi was and is a supporter of reproductive freedom, and it never occurred to me that she’d have to choose between passing health care reform and compromising women’s right to decide what to about unplanned pregnancy.
I haven’t yet heard President Obama’s address to the Muslim world from start to finish. Instead, I caught sound bites and longer passages on the radio of a car I was driving yesterday across mountainous terrain. What I pieced together from three different public radio stations was refreshingly candid and at the same time sensitive to all.
As with his earlier address on race in America while still a candidate for election, the president treads where no other U.S. politician has dared to go. Unlike other presidents, Obama can speak of Islam from the familiarity of having lived in the world’s largest Muslim nation (Indonesia) and his paternal connections to the religion in Kenya.
Talk radio show host Michael Savage claims to have ten million listeners. From his home in the affluent San Francisco suburb of Larkspur, he sends out a constant stream of anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and, oddly, autism-scorning diatribes that are more popular than they ought to be. One of his listeners apparently was Jim Adkisson, the man charged with shooting eight people in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville on July 27. Two of them died.
In the hours after Adkisson was thrown to the floor and arrested and roughly 200 congregants had been evacuated, police said they found copies of Savage’s Liberalism is a Mental Disorder , Let Freedom Ring by conservative talker Sean Hannity, and The O’Reilly Factor by Fox Television’s Bill O’Reilly in the shooter’s home.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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