Amanda Terkel

Jailtime For Pregnant Soldiers? The Army Has Made Getting Pregnant a Punishable Offense

Major General Anthony Cucolo, who is responsible for operations in northern Iraq, has issued a controversial new policy -- which went into effect on Nov. 4 -- that allows throwing women servicemembers on active duty in jail if they become pregnant:

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Lunatic Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio Issues New Order Forcing Inmates to Listen to Christmas Carols

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, run by the controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, released a “news brief” this week announcing that it will be forcing the system’s 8,000 inmates to listen to “Christmas music” during the holiday season, even though Arpaio has faced six lawsuits over the issue in the past two years. From the statement (written in Christmas-themed red and green fonts):

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Right-Wing American Family Association Misfires in the War on Christmas

It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the American Family Association (AFA) has already taken up arms in the War on Christmas. On Nov. 11, the right-wing organization announced that it was urging its followers to boycott Gap Inc. (Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy) from now until Christmas Day because the company refuses to say the word “Christmas”:

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Rape Victim Confronts Vitter Over Vote for Impunity for Contractors

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones’ Halliburton/KBR co-workers gang-raped her while she was working in Baghdad. The company then detained her in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would be heard in private arbitration only.

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Right Wing Falsely Asserts Right Wing Boogeymen Bill Ayers And Jeremiah Wright Visited The White House

Early Friday evening, the White House voluntarily released nearly 500 visitor records of "individuals visiting the executive mansion between Inauguration Day and the end of July." The easily-searchable list includes some famous names like Michael Jordan, Michael Moore, William Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright. Of course, the mere suggestion of Ayers and Wright has sent the right wing into a tizzy.

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Joe Lieberman Plans to Campaign For Republicans in 2010

After joining with Republicans this week in a promise to filibuster health reform if a public option is included, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) tells ABC News that he plans on campaigning for some GOP candidates in the 2010 elections:

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House Health Reform Bill Outlaws Treating Domestic Violence As a Pre-Existing Condition

This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled the re-tooled Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962). The bill will cost $900 billion over 10 years, extending health coverage to 36 million Americans (6-7 million more than the Senate Finance Committee’s version). As Igor Volsky points out, it also “includes a national public option that reimburses physicians at negotiated rates and requires individuals to acquire coverage and large employers to provide it.”

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Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License in Louisiana

The AP reports that Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell has refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple because he believes that such marriages don't usually last very long:

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Sotomayor Comes Out Swinging on First Day in the Court

Yesterday was the Supreme Court’s opening day, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor took an active role in oral arguments. Sotomayor “displayed no reticence on the first day of her first term on the court; in the two cases on the docket, she asked as many questions and made as many comments as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.,” reported the Washington Post. “The only sign of her newness was that she at times forgot to turn on her microphone before posing a question.” McClatchy also observed that in just an hour, she actually asked “more questions than Justice Clarence Thomas has asked over the course of several years.” Thomas has gone three years straight without posing a question during oral arguments.

Michele Bachmann Dodges Question About Murdered Census Worker

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was in St. Louis, MO [this weekend] for the right-wing How to Take Back America Conference, which features panels such as "How to stop feminist and gay attacks on the military" and "How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists." The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel attended the conference and attempted to catch up with Bachmann to ask her about the murdered Census worker in Kentucky, but she evaded his question:

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