Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Call For Meanwhile, Out In The Rest Of The World

Other things out there besides Black Friday sales, shifty grand juries, and movie trailers, folks.  Some of it is pretty unrelentingly awful.

Gunmen set off three bombs and opened fire on worshippers at the main mosque in north Nigeria's biggest city Kano on Friday, killing at least 81 people, witnesses and officials said, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants.

Blasts from the coordinated assault rang out as scores of people packed into the ancient building's courtyard for afternoon prayers. "These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming," said local reporter Chijjani Usman.

The mosque is next to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in Africa's most populous country and a vocal critic of Boko Haram. The emir, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present.

Boko Haram, a Sunni jihadist movement which is fighting to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, regards the traditional Islamic religious authorities in Nigeria with disdain.

It has attacked mosques that do not follow its radical ideology in a bloody near six-year campaign that has also targeted churches, schools, police stations, military bases and government buildings.

"After multiple explosions, they also opened fire. I cannot tell you the casualties because we all ran away," a member of staff at the palace told Reuters on Friday.

After the attacks, angry youths blocked the mosque's gates to police, who had to force their way in with tear gas.

Not a fan of religion, even less so when it's used as a basis for murdering dozens of people.  Boko Haram is a problem, and while it's not our war to fight, pretending that they'll just give up and go away is also not an option.  President Goodluck Jonathan says he won't rest until all these militants are dead, but that hasn't exactly been the case when it came to the girls these bastards kidnapped earlier.  They've created nearly a million refugees alone from the fighting and terror campaigns in Nigeria's north.

Puts things here in harsh perspective, right?

The War On Women, Post 2014 Midterms Edition

Democratic voters stayed home in 2014, and as a result, Republicans at the state level are more powerful than ever.  Their first order of business?  Making it even harder to get a safe, legal abortion procedure in a number of states.

Republicans now hold two-thirds of the state legislative bodies, after winning control of 11 more chambers. They completely control the legislature in more than half the states, adding Nevada, New Hampshire and West Virginia to that list earlier this month. And they gained two more governor’s seats, so they will hold 31 next year.

Republican leaders who will control the U.S. Senate come January say they want to take up abortion this year, perhaps on a House-passed bill that would limit the procedure after 20 weeks. But the reality is that Senate Republicans will still fall a few votes shy of the 60 needed for controversial major legislation. It’s the states where Republicans can enact more abortion limits.

“We came out of Nov. 4th with a lot of momentum,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the research and education arm of Susan B. Anthony List, which is dedicated to electing candidates who oppose abortion. He expects the number of anti-abortion measures proposed in the states to reflect that. “I think we’re about to get another uptick.”

Thirteen states have passed bans on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — so-called fetal pain bills — and a couple have enacted earlier limits tied to when a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which can be six or seven weeks into a pregnancy. Several of these state laws are being contested in court, and the arguments may eventually end up in the Supreme Court. But that hasn’t deterred more states from eyeing such legislation; in Ohio, a House panel approved a fetal heartbeat bill just a few days ago.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards predicts that 2015 will bring more attempts to enact restrictive state laws. She said she expects “state legislative attacks on women’s health, even though the vast majority of the public wants elected officials to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion, birth control and preventive health care.”

So yes, these laws are going to end up in front of the Roberts Court.  There's no reason to believe that they will rule in favor of women here, and "small government conservatives" and "libertarians" are going to be pushing for even stricter regulation of women's reproductive systems.

But that's what YOU voted for, either in truth, or by sitting home and saying "there's no difference between the two parties, why should I care?"

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