[This is the topic of COFFEE PARTY RADIO today at 11:30 Pacific, 2:20 Eastern, or podcast thereafter.]
Four decades have passed since that fateful day. As of this month, Dr. King has been gone from us longer than he was ever here. As we pass this milestone in history, we gather in Memphis to remind ourselves and the world that a bullet killed the dreamer -- but not the dream.
Dr. King had a vision of an America as good as its promise, and a world at peace with itself. That vision lives on in the hearts of hundreds of millions -- including two generations of adults and a rising generation of teenagers, all of whom have been born since Dr. King's passing.
The time has come for us to step forward. We must take full responsibility to advance the cause of justice, opportunity and peace in a new century. [MORE]
Jeanene Louden is the first elected Secretary of the Coffee Party Board of Directors. Her Coffee Party Radio show this week will reflect on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the work that is yet to be done to fully realize his dream. [MORE]
Xavier University, one of the oldest Roman Catholic colleges in the United States, will cut off birth-control coverage for its employees in July, a move that has divided faculty members and students on the Cincinnati campus.
The abrupt cancellation of insurance benefits at the Jesuit university in Ohio comes amid a furious dispute between the Obama administration and the nation's Catholic bishops over contraception. [MORE]
A New Hampshire lawmaker with a history of surprising statements suggested on Thursday that married couples who want to use contraception should practice abstinence instead of using birth control pills. [MORE]
President Obama knows how important women's health is, and he respects the right of every woman to make her own medical decisions. Watch the video to see his special message to Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters -- and then sign our letter thanking him for standing strong for women's health: [MORE]
A new law in Washington state is being heralded this week as the latest successful strike in the war against child sex traffickers. What isn’t getting any coverage is what the law actually does and what it will mean in practice — as well as the question of how effective it will be in screening out child traffickers. [MORE]
The image suggested came from none other than his wife, Ann, when a Baltimore radio interviewer asked whether it’s true that her husband is stiff. Yes, do go ahead and cover the children’s eyes.
“Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!” laughed the Mrs.
But, really, should we be talking like this? About unzipping the stiff and letting the “real Mitt” out? Goodness gracious, as Romney would say. What’s next, hot cocoa before noon?
Ann Romney’s comments coincided with the punditocracy’s swoon over her husband’s lack of popularity among the once-fairer sex. (Women have cojones now, you may have heard, while men are ransacking Viagra warehouses. Dots, anyone?) Recent polls show single women under 50 scrambling back into the warm embrace of Barack Obama after a brief flirtation with the Republican boy band — Mitt, Rick, Ron and Newt.
Blogger Courtney Martin examines the perennially loaded word "feminism." In a personal and heartfelt talk, she describes the three paradoxes that define her generation's quest to define the term for themselves.
A federal appeals court upheld California's statewide ban on using affirmative action in admissions decisions at public universities yesterday. Proposition 209, approved by California voters in 1996, bans public colleges and universities from considering gender, ethnicity, or race in the admissions process. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the ban once before. The court wrote in its decision that it had already established precedent in this earlier case. [MORE]
A controversial voter photo ID requirement will be on the ballot in Minnesota in November after the Republican-led legislature gave its approval on Wednesday.
The legislature's move bypasses Democratic Governor Mark Dayton - who vetoed a voter ID bill last year - and puts the proposed amendment to the state's constitution directly in the hands of voters.
The ACLU of Minnesota civil liberties group and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota have opposed the amendment and executive directors of both organizations said Wednesday they were considering several options including potential legal challenges.
"This is just voter suppression, they dress it up in a pretty gown and put lipstick on it, but it is voter suppression," said Charles Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota. [MORE]
As Women's History Month comes to a close, I am reminded that two very influential women in American history -- Clara Barton and Rachel Carson -- began their careers as employees of the U.S. Department of the Interior. [MORE]
Why being generic gives Romney little room to maneuver: When a poll showing an exploding gender gap in the presidential race was released on Sunday, Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, argued that “it goes beyond Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or...
When Gallup came out with a new poll showing the president opening up an 18-point lead with women, pundits blamed the war on women. But according to a new study, Republicans might have someone entirely different to blame: Ann Romney.
In fact, the academic study that helps explain the country's gender gap has nothing specifically to do with Ann Romney, but rather the fact that she doesn't work outside the home. A recent study by Sreedhari Desai, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that men in traditional marriages with stay-at-home wives had negative attitudes about working women and organizations led by women, and they were more likely to deny opportunities to women. [MORE]
Rachel Maddow reviews recent headlines of violence and intimidation at Planned Parenthood clinics in Wisconsin and traces the extremist anti-abortion, anti-contraception roots of unpopular Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. [MORE]
[One reason why I love Rachel Maddow; she talks about issues that most do not. DD]
Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire. So far this year, the bumpy road to marriage equality has played out in four states, with wins in three, and an unsurprising veto in the Garden State by Republican Governor Chris Christie.
Next up, North Carolina's voters head to the polls on May 8 to vote on Amendment One, a constitutional instrument that would bring the Tar Heel State in line with all its Southern neighbors in codifying discrimination against not only its LGBT citizens but all its residents. As in other states where this battle has raged of late, the vitriol has been high, opinions are voiced as fact, and efforts to obfuscate the impact of the Amendment widespread. This perfect storm was in evidence recently when The News & Observer of Raleigh published an op-ed titled "The Case for the Marriage Amendment" by John Long, a software engineer.
The public outcry to Long's op-ed was overwhelming, leading the paper to publish letters on its blog that same day. Repeatedly, the letters highlighted the "misinformation," "falsehoods," and "assortment of illogical and factually mistaken elements." This troubled us, too -- the blurring of the line between fact and opinion, but also between fact and fiction, which is why we think it's important to clarify what Amendment One is, and what it is not. [MORE]
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In 1966 the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights; and in 1976, after the Covenants had been ratified by a sufficient number of individual nations, the Bill took on the force of international law. [MORE]
Mitt Romney is not doing well with women voters. A new USA TODAY/Gallup poll shows that President Obama is faring much better than Mitt Romney in the swing states that will likely decide the next President of the United States – and women are part of the reason why. Of women under 50 years old, only 30 percent support Romney, while over 60 percent back the President.
The lack of support is mutual. Romney’s record on women’s health is hardly strong, and women voters, especially the young voters who tend to be pro-choice and pro-contraception, are likely responding to Romney’s affront on these issues. But it hasn’t always been this way. Over the course of his 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the presidency, Romney has moved significantly to the right on almost all women’s health issues. He calls it “evolving,” but, to many women, the “etch a sketch” candidate is just leaving them behind.
Need proof? Here are Mitt Romney’s top five attacks on women’s health: [MORE]
I am the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. I am also an employer. In the latest round of the War on Women being waged by Congress and the legislatures of the 50 states, much has been written of late about employers; what they want and do not want to insure, and most recently, how employers would be allowed to “weigh in” on the reproductive decisions of our employees. Spare me.
I have 500 employees in three states. Like most employers, I have a finite budget for the health insurance I offer my staff. My goal, as I see it, is to get them the richest package of services I can find for the money I have to invest. I consider the premiums I pay for this health care to be part of each employee’s compensation. I also know that covering my staff appropriately results in a happier workforce, with less downtime due to medically related absences, so the investment is good for business, as well.
Just as I would never dream of telling my staff what to do with their bi-weekly paychecks, I have no interest in telling them how to use their insurance benefits. After the premium is paid, it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. [MORE]
Defending her party after some of its members spent months going after contraception, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said today that birth control isn’t very important to women. “Women don’t care about contraception,” she said on The View.
The Obama administration has proposed big changes for the early childhood education program Head Start. Programs the government has labeled "deficient" must now compete for funds to continue operating. [MORE]