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Senators Introduce New Glass-Steagall, ‘Motorcyle’ Abortion Bill Passes, and More

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Posted on Jul 11, 2013

A Different Vehicle: A motorcycle safety bill that North Carolina Republicans duplicitously turned into an anti-abortion measure has passed the state’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives. The legislation, which bars certain types of abortions, imposes strict regulations on abortion clinics and increases “penalties for unsafe movements by drivers that threaten the property and safety of motorcyclists,” was approved Thursday by a 74-41 vote. As Rep. Beverly Earle, a Democrat who spoke out against the bill said, “I ride a motorcycle. And I want to let my motorcycle buddies know that when I vote against this, it’s not because I’m not concerned about their safety on the highways.” The legislation now heads back to the Senate, where Republicans there previously tried to stealthily insert the anti-abortion provisions into a bill that would ban Shariah law. (Read more)

Glassmakers: It’s about time! A bipartisan group of senators that includes Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., John McCain, R-Ariz., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Angus King, I-Maine, has introduced an updated version of the since-repealed 1933 Glass-Steagall Act aimed at curbing perilous Wall Street practices and minimizing the risk of future government bailouts by once again separating commercial and investment banking. “Despite the progress we’ve made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten the economy,” Warren said in a press release put out by her office. “The four biggest banks are now 30% larger than they were just five years ago, and they have continued to engage in dangerous, high-risk practices that could once again put our economy at risk.” (Read more)

Waging War: Way out-of-touch conservative billionaire Charles Koch—who is worth $43 billion—claims in a new $200,000 ad campaign running in Wichita, Kan., that Americans who make $34,000 a year ought to consider themselves lucky because that’s more than 99 percent of the world makes. Koch also says the “secret” to helping poor people out while growing the economy is to cut the minimum wage. How easy and convenient for someone who, along with his brother David Koch, has a net worth that’s roughly 1 million times that yearly figure. P.S.: Despite what Charles Koch says, there’s evidence that raising the hourly income of the lowest paid workers to $9 would add as much as $48 billion to the economy by the next year.  (Read more)

Senator’s BuzzFeed List: Sen. Richard Blumenthal became the first elected official to write an op-ed for BuzzFeed when he took the issue of student loan rates to the website Thursday, one day after the Senate failed to retroactively lower them. Student loan rates increased from 3.4 to 6.8 percent July 1 after Congress failed to prevent them from doubling. Using the site’s signature GIFs to deliver a serious message to a younger audience, the Connecticut Democrat’s “listicle” gave 11 reasons why student loan rates needed to be fixed. As Blumenthal explained to Politico: “I know about BuzzFeed and thought that it would be a very smart way to reach students and young people about a very serious subject but make it somewhat interesting and fun.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Sarah Slamen, the courageous Texas woman who was hauled away by state troopers Monday after confronting a Republican lawmaker who interrupted her while she was delivering impassioned testimony against the state’s controversial abortion bill, was able to speak without breaks for nearly five minutes when she was a guest Wednesday night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show “The Last Word.” When asked to continue with her testimony from Monday, Slamen said: “What I would say to all the Republicans on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, is that I understand why you’re so careless with our health care. You see, all of your constituency lies east of I-35, where the five clinics remaining after that bill gets passed, will be. None of your constituents are west of I-35, so I guess the lives and their families just don’t matter to you.”

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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