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Friday, April 12, 2013

Stories to Watch: 4/12/13

It strikes me that Pres. Obama's embrace of chained CPI as a way to get Republicans to agree to tax increases is bad politics for a couple of reasons. First, by trying to bargain entitlement cuts for tax increases, the president is acting pretty much exactly like the Republican's caricature of Democrats as "tax-hiking liberals." Meanwhile, he's not acting like a real Democrat and protecting Social Security. He's getting it from all sides because he's inviting it from all sides.


The anti-choice right has decided to whine that the media is ignoring a story about Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell ran a "pill mill" and was a butcher on the abortion side of his business, but bad doctors rarely rate national coverage. To be fair, Gosnell's office seems especially gruesome -- but still, someone who literally injected concrete into people's bodies only got a day or two of coverage and it was hardly wall to wall.

At any rate, it's hard to figure why the anti-choicers would want to highlight Gosnell, because he's noteworthy for the fact that he's not the norm. In fact, if the people complaining about press coverage had their way, there'd be a lot more Kermit Gosnells than there are now. Think about it: after Roe v. Wade, one abortion provider is a back alley butcher. Before Roe, they were common. As arguments in support of the "make abortion illegal everywhere and forever" cause go, Kermit Gosnell is a really lousy one. If anyone would have a reason to black out reporting on Gosnell, it should by all logic be the anti-abortion side. He represents the world they want us all to live in.


A report has the health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is deteriorating rapidly. One Vatican watcher says "we won't have him with us for very much longer." The Vatican claims the report is exaggerated, but the former Pope has seemed increasing frail since stepping down.

The RNC officially stakes out the minority position on marriage equality, reaffirming their stance against it. Two former RNC operatives take to the National Review to point out that this is shortsighted. You can't take the minority position on every social issue and expect to win elections. The math just doesn't work.

North Korea threatens to nuke Japan over Japan's promise to shoot down any North Korean missiles that come their way. Secretary of State John Kerry says any missile launch by the DPRK would be a "huge mistake."

A Harvard study concludes that racism cost Pres. Obama "roughly four percentage points of the national popular vote in both 2008 and 2012."

8 year-old Tennessee resident Aamira Fetuga followed state Sen. Stacey Campfield around the capitol until he withdrew an idiotic bill linking welfare payments to children's grades. Let me be clear on that; he pulled the bill. Nice work, Ms. Fetuga.

Twitter seems to be on the verge of launching a music service.

Finally, that story about the gay man who was arrested for refusing to leave partner's hospital bedside in Missouri is even worse than you think... and then still worse again.

[photo via Truthdig]

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