1. Ryan co-sponsored a “personhood” amendment that would give legal rights to a fetus starting at conception. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, an anti-abortion measure declaring that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and in-vitro fertilization.
2. Ryan supports banning all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. In addition to his support of the personhood amendment, Ryan won his congressional seat in 1998 by emphasizing his opposition to all abortions without exceptions. But this puts him at odds with Mitt Romney, who has said he would allow exceptions in cases or rape and incest.
3. Ryan voted to ban abortion coverage from being included in the state health insurance exchanges. The Stupak amendment that Ryan backed would have prevented women from purchasing plans that cover abortion services through the exchanges set up under Obamacare — even when using their own funds.
4. Ryan compared Roe v. Wade to the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision. “Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court—charged with being the guardian of rights—has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it ‘disqualified’ a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results,” Ryan wrote in 2010. After the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford, “the second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973,” he added.
5. Ryan has supported defunding Planned Parenthood. In 2011, he voted for an amendment that would block Planned Parenthood and the health care organization’s affiliates from receiving any funds in a 2011 continuing appropriations bill.
• Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice presidential running mate cements the Republican ticket’s overwhelming opposition to LGBT equality. In fact, Ryan has a voting record to reflect every anti-LGBT position that Romney has taken.
• Entitlement: Ryan, who’s supposed to be the warm, regular-guy on the ticket, gave a whiff of that odd Romney entitlement today at the Iowa State Fair. Asked whether he supported efforts to provide federal relief to farmers struggling with the state’s historic drought, Ryan waved off the reporter. “We’ll get into all those policy things later,” he said, adding, rather unbelievably, “Right now I just want to enjoy the fair.”
• Reagan Budget Adviser Blasts Paul Ryan’s Budget As An ‘Empty Fairy Tale’: Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget — which gives massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, drastically slashes funding for social programs, decimates state budgets, and still ends up ultimately raising the deficit — has garnered critics ranging from Catholic bishops to top economists. Yesterday, former President Reagan’s budget adviser, David Stockman, added his voice to the dissent. – In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.
• Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign sought to distance the former Massachusetts governor from Paul Ryan’s controversial Medicare privatization plan on Saturday, but by Monday, Romney fully embraced his running mate’s proposal.
• Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon) Takes Issue With Mitt Romney Linking Him to Paul Ryan: “Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’” Wyden said. “I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out, I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget.”
• 7 Scandals That Reveal the Real Mitt Romney. Some great reporting reveals a self-serving man who is often tone-deaf to his impact on others and whose internal compass seems to spin wildly.
• So, when American voters are evaluating a candidate, they’re entitled to look at one or two years’ worth of returns, but when Romney is evaluating a candidate, he’s entitled to more. Hmm. Also note, Ryan went on to say he would only share with the public returns for two years, even though he gave more to Team Romney, and by way of explanation, the Wisconsin Republican changed the subject.
Right Wing Idiots:
Ordinarily, Congress easily passes an agriculture bill called the “farm bill,” but that was before the worst Congress ever. This year, the Democratic Senate approved the measure, but House Republicans are blocking it, despite the assistance it would provide to drought-stricken farmers.
Yesterday, President Obama was in Iowa, one of many states hard hit by the drought, and reminded voters of legislation that needs to pass. “Unfortunately right now, too many members of Congress are blocking the farm bill from becoming law,” Obama said. “I am told that Gov. Romney’s new running mate, Paul Ryan, might be around Iowa the next few days — he is one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities.”
The comments apparently rankled House GOP leaders.
On its website and in an email Monday, House Speaker John Boehner’s office said President Obama needs to take personal responsibility for the drought ravaging the Midwest.
Obama, “continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself,” reads a release from Boehner’s office posted online and distributed to reporters Monday. The quote was attributed to Boehner himself in a Financial Times story. The online post and the press release came from Boehner spokesperson Kevin Smith.
Now, opinions can certainly vary when it comes to the president’s strengths and weaknesses, but Boehner seems to have taken admiration of Obama’s powers to a whole new level — the House Speaker seems to think the president can singlehandedly create drought conditions.
• Samuel Wurzlbacher — known to most as Joe the Plumber — made an appearance at a fundraiser for a Republican Arizona State Senator candidate over the weekend, and told the audience that the way to solve the country’s immigration problem is to station troops along the border and have them “start shooting.” The comment was first made at a Friday evening fundraising dinner for Lori Klein, the Republican candidate for her state senate district: “For years I’ve said, you know, put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting. I’m running for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say. But you know what, it’s how I feel…I want my borders protected, I’m very very adamant about that.”
On Friday night, there were two pellet-gun shots on a mosque in the Chicago suburb Morton Grove. No one was injured, and 51-year-old David Conrad has been charged for shooting on the outer wall of the building as people prayed inside.
This was just days after Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) delivered a town hall speech on the “real threat” of radical Muslims in the U.S. “trying to kill Americans every week.” Walsh made these comments just 15 miles from Morton Grove mosque:
“One thing I’m sure of is that there are people in this country – there is a radical strain of Islam in this country -– it’s not just over there –- trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11,” Walsh said.
Walsh went on to claim that radical Islam had found its way into the Chicago suburbs, including some that he represents.
“It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here,” he said.
Texas A&M University Shooting:
• Multiple people shot, including law enforcement, near Texas A&M – 3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M University. A Texas constable and two others were killed Monday in a shooting near Texas A&M University, police said. Rhonda Seaton, a spokeswoman with the College Station police department, told CNN that the three people killed were the constable, the man authorities say exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers and an unidentified civilian. A few minutes earlier, Asst. Chief Scott McCollum, from the same police department, told reporters that multiple people had been shot in the incident, which occurred around noon just a few blocks from the Texas A&M campus.
• Thomas Caffall, 35, of College Station, Texas A&M shooting suspect, had mental ‘difficulties,’ mom says.
• Syrian forces rounded up residents in a massive raid in the central district of Damascus and bombarded rebel strongholds around the capital, as fighting also raged in the second city of Aleppo, activists have said.
• President Mohammed Morsi shook up Egyptian power structures by dismissing, among others, defense minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and the transitional military council head Lt. Gen. Sami Anan. Morsi took for himself extraordinary powers that had belonged to the figures as part of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the transitional military authority that took power after the government fell last year.
• More Washington insiders are coming to the conclusion that Israel’s leaders are planning to attack Iran before the U.S. election in November in the expectation that American forces will be drawn in. There is widespread recognition that, without U.S. military involvement, an Israeli attack would be highly risky and, at best, only marginally successful.
• Syrian opposition officials claim the CIA is controlling weapons flow to Syrian insurgents. The allegations, if true, reveal a division between the U.S. State Department, whose stated policy is to assist the removal of the regime of President Bashar Assad and U.S. intelligence services, which are, Syrian opposition forces say, attempting to monitor and manage the tempo of the Syrian insurgency’s armed efforts against the regime, The Australian reported Monday.