Tag: up

What We Now Know

In this Saturday’s segment of “What We Now Know,” Up host, Steve Kornacki up dates last week’s show and notes that the fight for real filibuster reform is not over. He discusses what they have learned this week with panel guests Mary C Curtis, The Washington Post; State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-NV); John Amaechi, former NBA player; and Mike Pesca, NPR.

Progressives Urge Filibuster Reform Revival In Senate

by  Sabrina Siddiqui, Huffington Post

Progressive and labor groups on Thursday renewed calls for Senate leaders to reform filibuster rules that have allowed Republicans to repeatedly stonewall presidential nominees and legislation, including gun control.

Fix the Senate Now, a coalition of more than 70 progressive and labor organizations sent a letter to Senate leaders focusing on judicial vacancies. Republicans have repeatedly used filibusters to block President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees. The coalition’s letter urges Senate leaders to change rules requiring 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Jeff Merkley Escalates Push For Filibuster Reform

by Sahil Kapur, TPMDC

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is teaming up with the liberal advocacy group Democracy For America to build public awareness of filibuster abuse and court supporters for reform.

“It’s now clear the experiment has failed. The Senate remains broken,” Merkley wrote to supporters. “Senate Republicans continue to force delays – even on bills with overwhelming public support, and even on nominees widely considered well-qualified.” [..]

Senate Democrats have the option to weaken the filibuster at any time with 51 votes, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has repeatedly threatened to use that “nuclear option” if Republicans don’t stop blocking presidential nominees. Hardly any Democrats have publicly ruled out using that option to fix the Senate. But behind the scenes, despite anger at the GOP now, there is concern that weakening the filibuster could come back to haunt them when Republicans return to power and, for instance, seek to weaken abortion rights.

Merkley insists he’d be just as strong a supporter of his plan if he were in the minority, arguing that the point of the filibuster is to debate, not to obstruct in the dark.

Obama ‘comfortable’ with FDA’s lowered age limit for ‘Plan B’

By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News

President Barack Obama said that he was “comfortable” with new federal regulations making emergency contraception available to women and girls over the age of 15, but said more study was needed to see whether it was safe to allow access to the “morning after” pill for girls younger than that. [..]

On Wednesday, the FDA agreed to lower the age limit to 15 for sales of “Plan B One-Step,” and to make the emergency contraceptive available in the general aisles of stores instead of behind the pharmacy counter.

Justice Department to appeal judge’s Plan B order

By JoNel Aleccia, Senior Writer, NBC News

U.S. Department of Justice officials have filed notice that they will appeal a federal judge’s order requiring the Food and Drug Administration to make the so-called “morning after” pill available without a prescription to all women without age or certain sales restrictions.

The department also has asked the federal district court to stay its order, which was set to take effect on May 6, according to Allison Price, a spokeswoman.

The move comes a day after the FDA agreed to lower the age limit to 15 for sales of non-prescription Plan B One-Step emergency contraception and to make the drug available in the general aisles of stores with pharmacies, instead of behind the counter.

Iraq Violence Leads To Deadliest Month In 5 Years

by Eline Gordts, Huffington Post

With more than 700 people killed in just 30 days, April was the deadliest month in Iraq in five years. According to the United Nations Mission in the country, 712 Iraqis lost their lives in acts of terrorism and acts of violence in the month of April. Nearly 600 of the dead were civilians.

The string of attacks continued in the first days of May. On Friday, a bomb outside a Sunni mosque in Rashidiya killed at least seven, the Associated Press reported. In a separate incident, nine police officers and four militants were killed during clashes Thursday evening in the northern city of Mosul.

What We Now Know

In this week’s segment of “What We Know Now,” Up’s new host Steve Kornacki the human element in how our clothes are made and the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh that killed 340 people. His guest Starlee Kine, contributor to “This American Life;” Ed Cox, chairman of the NY Republican State Comittee; former Rep. Nan Hayworth, (R-NY); and Timothy Naftali, former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library discuss what they have learned this week

Bangladesh factory collapse: police detain owners, as death toll exceeds 350

by Syed Zain Al-Mahmood in Dhaka for The Guardian

Reports of workers being ordered to Rana Plaza building on day before collapse despite cracks appearing and jolts being felt

Police in Bangladesh have detained two factory owners for criminal negligence over the deaths of at least 352 workers at an eight-storey building that collapsed on Wednesday – a day after warnings had been given that it was unsafe.

Two engineers who had been involved in issuing building permits for the Rana Plaza complex in Savar, just north of Dhaka, were also being held. The owner of the building was being sought by police, who have put border authorities on alert and arrested his wife in an attempt to bring him out of hiding.

On Saturday around 30 survivors were found and police say that as many as 900 people remain missing, trapped dead and alive under the twisted steel and concrete, through which rescue teams were still searching last night using electric drills, shovels, crowbars and their bare hands. Anger at the collapse has sparked days of protests and clashes, with police on Saturday using teargas, water cannon and rubber bullets on demonstrators who burned cars.

French Gay Marriage Bill Approved By France’s Parliament

from Huffington Post

Gay marriage has been legalised by the French parliament on Tuesday after weeks of divisive national debate on the issue.

The Socialist-majority assembly passed the measure by a large margin of 331-225.

Despite large and vocal public protests against same-sex marriage, polls suggest 55-60% of the public are in favour, reports the BBC.

And Then There Were Ten

by Dorothy J. Samuels, The New York Times

Rhode Island’s Senate – including all five Republican members – voted 26-12 on Wednesday in favor of legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. Once Gov. Lincoln Chafee signs the bill, which is expected to happen next week, marriage equality will be the law in every New England state (Rhode Island plus Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine) – a meaningful victory for civil rights and a proud distinction for the region.

What We Now Know

New Up host Steve Kornacki continues the traditional last segment of  highlighting what we have learned this week and asking his guests who they know know. Steve guests are former Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY); Rebecca Traister, Salon.com; Bertha Lewis, the Balck Institution; and Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner (D).

Dan Winslow pushes FEC on gay couples’ cash

by Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico

Dan Winslow, a state representative casting himself as the moderate choice in the April 30 GOP primary for John Kerry’s Senate seat, on Friday filed a request with the regulatory agency asking it to treat married gay couples’ contributions the same way it treats those from married straight couples.

Doing so would essentially disregard the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal law – and is being challenged in a pending Supreme Court case.

Gold, Long a Secure Investment, Loses Its Luster

by Nathaniel Popper, The New York Times

Gold, pride of Croesus and store of wealth since time immemorial, has turned out to be a very bad investment of late. A mere two years after its price raced to a nominal high, gold is sinking – fast. Its price has fallen 17 percent since late 2011. Wednesday was another bad day for gold: the price of bullion dropped $28 to $1,558 an ounce.

It is a remarkable turnabout for an investment that many have long regarded as one of the safest of all. The decline has been so swift that some Wall Street analysts are declaring the end of a golden age of gold. The stakes are high: the last time the metal went through a patch like this, in the 1980s, its price took 30 years to recover.

Positive Remarks on Female Politicans’ Appearance Hurts Them

by Sarah Seltzer, The Jewish Daily Forward

Think it’s no big deal that President Obama called Attorney General Kamala Harris the best looking Attorney General? I didn’t. Sure, I thought that it was an irritating reflection of sexism but not a big cause for banner waving. I particularly felt this way because of the outcry’s implicit condemnation of, well, me. Perhaps I too often make comments about the appearance of others, particularly those I see as interesting or attractive. I also believe that the affirmation of a public and powerful African-American woman’s beauty remains a novel and positive development in our screwed up racist culture. [..]

Now we have empirical reasons to explain why these words, mild as they were, were wrong. A study released by the Women’s Media Center’s Name It/ Change It campaign today indicates that any attention – any at all – to a female political candidate’s appearance damages her standing. [..]


No one’s talking about prosecuting Cheney, any more. Lots of distractions, these days. I hope the congress hasn’t forgotten about how important that is, too. All the happy talk in the world isn’t going to make everyone who lives outside our borders forget that we’re now officially a nation that tortures. Prosecuting the master mind under existing law would go a long way toward ending that (accurate) perception.

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