TPM Cafe: Opinion

Before Massachusetts law established a 35-foot buffer zone outside of family planning clinics, protesters dressed as the grim reaper and holding scythes would approach patients, shout threats, and literally stand between a patient and the entrance to a clinic. The opponents of buffer zones claim that they have a right to “counsel” women within this zone.

But what anti-choice protesters do outside of abortion clinics has never been counseling, which involves facts and occurs with trained medical professionals. Since the establishment of buffer zones in our state in 2007, medical professionals have seen real improvement in the atmosphere around freestanding clinics. Patients are no longer spat on and the yelling is a little quieter. Women and their families feel less afraid and are at less risk of a physical altercation on their way into a clinic.

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Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip use the Israeli currency, the New Israeli Shekel, for their daily business. However, as the peace negotiation efforts of Secretary John Kerry stumbled (many would say failed) in late April, Israel took many punitive measures to punish Palestinians for not accepting full political submission.

One such measure is that Israel informed the Palestinian side that it would no longer allow Palestinian banks to transport their surplus Israeli currency to the Israeli Central Bank, an act that is unheard of in the world of banking. Israel is refusing to serve its own currency. In effect, Israel is declaring war on the Palestinian economy, risking the collapse of the thriving Palestinian banking sector, and disrupting the flow of basic goods such as electricity, petroleum, and natural gas into Palestine.

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The only public figure who comes close in recent memory to as much public scrutiny, ridicule, character assassination and professional humiliation as departed New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. And even though he is in rehab, he still has his job.

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I have a dream of walking into a classroom with a shirt that says “Trigger Warning: I’m the Prof” across the front.

Given the subject matter and space I teach in, I think it would be a valid critique the use of trigger warnings, but also a necessary intervention into the classroom space. There, I am designated to be the person who sits at the front of the room as a representation of knowledge and goals for the course.

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It’s just six months until Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker faces re-election, and he’s struggling. His years in office have been plagued by scandal, and the internal emails released as a part of the “John Doe” probe into possible illegal campaigning and coordination are doing little to help the governor’s already-battered image. Allegations of racism, sexism, and homophobia have been brushed off by Walker’s administration, and poll numbers show an incumbent whose race is in jeopardy.

With the race now neck and neck, both candidates are going to have to appeal to their bases like they never have before and passionately urge them to turn out on Election Day. However, the Burke campaign may have one advantage that has been working well in other states that Walker simply cannot replicate.

The women of Wisconsin.

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Having a glass of wine (or three) on a date and then retiring to the bedroom for some consensual sexing is not unknown in the liberal, feminist circles long-derided by the conservative media. So imagine my confusion when I read National Review writer and self-appointed expert on what “feminists” think, A.J. Delgado, argue that feminists “define rape as including any sexual activity in which the woman is not sober, claiming that consent is never truly given if one has had a few drinks.”

So sure is she of this assertion that she fails to cite any of the “prominent scholars and activists” that have offered this definition. I want to know who they are, so I can avoid drinking with them.

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According to the “Year of the Republican Establishment” narrative, it was the finest of nights for Mitch McConnell and his GOP elite friends. He crushed his own tea party opponent, Matt Bevin and the “Establishment” candidate for Senate in Oregon got lucky when a multi-faceted stalking scandal occurred after most voters had cast ballots by mail. And best of all, in a state where a wild primary threatened GOP calculations to take over the Senate, Georgia, the two “Establishment” candidates will meet in a runoff after snuffing potential Todd Akin clones Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey and possible trouble-maker Karen Handel.

It’s a nice picture, and welcome after the troublesome Senate results last week in Nebraska. But its linchpin, the Georgia Senate race, is a bit -- actually a lot -- more complicated than that.

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“What GM did was break the law,” Anthony Foxx, the secretary of transportation, announced as a news conference on Friday. The National Highway Safety and Transportation Agency imposed a $35 million penalty on General Motors, the largest ever imposed on an automaker, for its failure to correct and its cover up of known defects in the ignition switch of the Cobalt, a problem that contributed to at least 13 deaths.

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Last Thursday, the long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy aired its last episode that featured Dr. Cristina Yang, a surgeon who had been on the show from the very first episode. Played by Sandra Oh, Dr. Yang was arrogant, ambitious, caring, and brilliant—and a staunch supporter of reproductive rights who chose to have an abortion. And in this, Dr. Yang joins a very, very small list of lead female characters on a television show to not just talk about having an abortion, but also to realistically depict some of the reasons a woman might make that choice and what its wider effects can be.

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