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Ear to the Ground

Wendy Davis Hailed as Hero, Frank Rich Slams David Gregory, and More

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Posted on Jun 26, 2013

Heroic Efforts: Thanks to Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster that went late into the night Tuesday, Senate Bill 5, an extremely restrictive piece of anti-abortion legislation that has the support of the majority Republican Party, is dead—at least for now (see below item). Davis attempted to speak for 13 consecutive hours without being able to sit (or even lean on her desk or chair for that matter), eat or drink, or take a bathroom break to block the bill. She was eventually halted by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a Republican, on “bogus procedural grounds” after about 11 hours. But bolstered by the support of her colleagues and a noisy, impassioned gallery of spectators that were clearly on her side, Davis ultimately accomplished her goal of stopping SB 5, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, close nearly all of the state’s abortion clinics, and restrict usage of the abortion drug RU-486, among other things. Now, the state senator is being hailed as a “feminist superhero.” And as Salon’s Joan Walsh writes, “Alongside the Castro brothers, Mayor Julian and congressman Joaquin, she’s one of the best reasons why Texas will turn blue in our lifetimes.” (Read more)

One More Time: After his party’s failure to ram through SB 5 before the special session ended at midnight Tuesday, Republican Gov. Rick Perry has called back the Texas Legislature for a second special session that will begin Monday. In addition to abortion, the special session will include the issues of transportation and juvenile justice. “I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas,” Perry said in a statement (presumably to ensure he would avoid the political gaffes he’s known for). “Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state. … We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.” (Read more)

Rich on Gregory: New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich slammed NBC News’ David Gregory for accusing Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald of aiding and abetting NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and asking him whether he should be prosecuted for that during an interview on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” “Is David Gregory a journalist?” Rich responded when asked about the incident in an interview. He then went on to defend Greenwald. “If Gregory had integrity and guts, he would have added that the journalist Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, who published the other set of Snowden leaks (and arguably more important ones), aided and abetted a crime. But it’s easier for Gregory to go after Greenwald, a self-professed outsider who is not likely to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and works for a news organization based in London,” he said. Rich added: “The new, incoming leadership of NBC News has a golden opportunity to revamp Sunday morning chat by making a change at Meet the Press. I propose that Gregory be full-time on Today, where he can speak truth to power by grilling Paula Deen.” (Read more)

Election Results: Lost in the shuffle of the Supreme Court’s rulings on the Voting Rights Act, the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, and Wendy Davis’ filibuster of Texas Senate Bill 5 was the Massachusetts special election for Senate on Tuesday. As expected, Democratic Congressman Ed Markey prevailed over Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez to take over the Senate seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry. Markey, who’s served in the House for 37 years, won by 10 percentage points, 55 to 45 percent. “I am going to the U.S. Senate to build a bold and bright future filled with optimism and opportunity for every family in the state of Massachusetts and across our great country,” he said after winning. (Read more)

Videos of the Day: After the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Proposition 8 rulings, the parties who brought the legal challenges reacted to their victories.

First, Edith Windsor shares her thoughts on her win in the DOMA case.

And watch the Proposition 8 plaintiffs as they are interrupted during an interview by none other than President Obama.

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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