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The Left Column

Judi Lynn

Arizona law requires abortion providers to tell women procedure is reversible

(AP) Arizona lawmakers approved legislation that requires abortion providers to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion.

Advocates on both sides of the issue said it’s the first time such a reversal requirement has passed in the US, though Arkansas also is considering similar legislation. Critics say there’s no science to back up the requirement.


Dem Senator Devised A Fantastic Response To Tom Cotton's Iran Letter

(TPM) Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would like to prevent Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) from sending any more letters to Iranian leaders about the nuclear deal, prompting her to file an amendment to block just that.

She introduced an amendment on Wednesday that would defund "the purchase of stationary or electronic devices for the purpose of members of Congress or congressional staff communicating with foreign governments and undermining the role of the President as Head of State in international nuclear negotiations on behalf of the United States," according to the Huffington Post.


Congresswoman Says She’s ‘Sat Here Too Long,’ Discloses That She Was Raped And Had An Abortion

(Think Progress) This week, Ohio State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D) stood up during a legislative debate about a proposed abortion ban and revealed publicly for the first time that she had been sexually assaulted, became pregnant, and had an abortion.

“You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion, and I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak that voice,” Fedor told her fellow lawmakers, who are attempting to outlaw abortion procedures after just six weeks of pregnancy. “What you’re doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I’ve sat here too long.”


Funds for safety went to utility execs' pay instead, (Calif.) PUC president says

(LAT) Money collected from ratepayers and earmarked for pipeline safety was instead spent on executive pay raises by the state's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., in the months before a deadly pipeline explosion in 2010, lawmakers were told Wednesday.

“In some cases, the utility did divert dollars we approved for safety purposes for executive compensation,” the new president of the Public Utilities Commission complained to members of the state Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee at an oversight hearing.


House Passes GOP Budget To Privatize Medicare For 5th Straight Year

(TPM) The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a far-reaching budget blueprint for the fifth consecutive year that partially privatizes Medicare.

The budget was approved Wednesday by a vote of 219-208, overcoming Republican defections.


Ted Cruz’s logo: A burning flag, Al Jazeera’s logo or a Pentecostal church logo?

(WaPo) Sen. Ted Cruz is the first major contender to announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, so his every move is being scrutinized, including his new logo. What does it look like? It depends on who you ask.


Obama Says U.S. Won’t Rule Out Withholding UN Support for Israel

(Bloomberg) President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of allowing a Palestinian push for statehood through the United Nations as part of a U.S. reassessment of its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We’re going to do that evaluation,” Obama said at a news conference in response to a question on whether he would consider supporting Palestinian statehood at the UN. “We’re going to partly wait for an actual Israeli government to form.”


Obama Ribs GOP: Obamacare Didn't Bring 'Death Panels, Doom'

(TPM) President Barack Obama ribbed Republican efforts to undermine Obamacare and their failure to offer a serious alternative on Wednesday from the White House.

"I mean we have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn't turn out to be the case —death panels, doom, a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress," Obama said, smirking during a speech highlighting the fifth anniversary of his signature healthcare law. "The budget they introduced last week would literally double the number of uninsured in America."


Krugman: Repubicans are "desperately trying to claim that the economic recovery is an illusion

(NYT) Just about everything I write evokes vituperative reactions from the usual suspects, but never so much as when I point out awkward facts. So there was a lot of mud-slinging when I pointed out last summer that California’s economy — which conservatives said was doomed by tax increases and generally liberal policies — was in fact experiencing an impressive recovery.


Ted Cruz Going On Obamacare

(CNN) Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare. The newly announced 2016 Republican presidential candidate told CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act -- a law he has been on a crusade to kill. "We'll be getting new health insurance and we'll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we'll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange," Cruz said.

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