Trump Dispatches CIA Director to Look Into DNC Conspiracy Theory
CIA Director Mike Pompeo continues to do questionable things at the urging of President Donald Trump. The latest: Pompeo met with the purveyor of a disputed theory about the internal Democratic National Committee emails that were released last year — a theory that runs counter to the intelligence community’s own long-standing conclusions about the matter.
Intelligence sources told CNN that many people inside the CIA were very uncomfortable with the meeting.
One high ranking official said, “The entire intelligence community needs to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the American public.”
Hey GOP: Still Want to Undermine Health Care? Think Again
In Virginia, where Democrat Ralph Northam was elected governor, voters said health care was the top concern in the race. Northam won 60 percent of women voters, and ran TV ads pointing out that he supports abortion rights and his opponent does not. Abortion is health care.
In Maine, voters took health care to the ballot more directly. On Tuesday, Maine was the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot box, and the expansion won by nearly 20 percentage points. If Governor Paul LePage complies with the new law, 80,000 Mainers will have access to health care next year.
Speaking of health care, on November 1 – the first day of open enrollment – more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than one million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to about 750,000 last year, according to The Hill.
These are just the latest signs that Republicans’ constant attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are a terrible electoral strategy. Central Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi, tasked with helping to craft a new health care plan, recently stunned government watchers when he announced he would not seek re-election. His opposition to the ACA inspired weekly protests outside his offices and his popularity diminished as he found his position at odds with Ohio hospitals, doctors, nurses and every other medical group.
Women Legislators, Staff Call for More to be Done to End Sexual Harassment at Statehouse
Earlier this week, Democratic women lawmakers joined with 22 legislative staffers to sign an open letter calling for more to be done to end harassment in the workplace, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
State Sen. Charleta Tavares authored the letter, stating, “This behavior exploits an elected position of power to create a hostile and intimidating work environment for women whose jobs are often in the hands of the perpetrator.”
The letter follows the recent resignation of Cliff Hite from the Ohio Senate after he was accused of repeatedly harassing a woman who worked for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.
In Washington D.C., pols are grappling with sexual harassment allegations facing Roy Moore, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. Several high-profile Senators, including Ohio Republican Rob Portman, say he should drop out if the allegations about him are true.
The most serious one centers on allegations that he targeted and fondled a 14-year-old girl.
Letter: If Violent Pickets Targeted Male Pattern Baldness Clinics, a New Law Would Address It
With violence on the rise outside reproductive health care centers, more women are urging legislators to pass a bill that would help crack down on clinic violence.
House Bill 234, the Clinic Protection Bill, would make it a crime to impede access to a clinic and make it a crime to harass or intimidate its employees. The city of Columbus has a local ordinance that guards against this type of violence but one’s safety should not be determined by ZIP code.
The 2016 Clinic Violence Survey found that 34.2 percent of U.S. abortion providers reported “severe violence or threats of violence” in the first half of 2016 — up from 19.7 percent in 2014.
Central Ohio resident Carol Veronica put her concerns in a letter to the editor published in the Columbus Dispatch:
Regardless of one’s position on abortion, we all should agree that those who work in reproductive health-care facilities or visit them should be free from violence and intimidation as they enter and exit the facilities. If these were clinics treating male pattern baldness, our legislators would act quickly to try to end the violence.
You can read her full letter here.
House Bill 234 had its first hearing; the bill’s supporters fear that it will be its last.
Voters Reject Drug Pricing Ballot Issue and Pass Crime Victims Bill of Rights
Ohio voters had clear and decisive opinions on both state ballot issues this week. They resoundingly rejected Issue 2, the Drug Price Relief Act, which would have forced drug makers to lower prices in some circumstances after doctors, nurses, labor leaders and industry experts opposed the amendment, according to the Toledo Blade.
Issue 1, also known as Marsy’s Law, passed with a record 83 percent of the vote. Marsy’s Law is a constitutional amendment that outlines 10 specific rights of crime victims. Without major organized opposition to the amendment, it sailed through on election night.
For more details about Marsy’s Law, check out The Plain Dealer.
Bicyclist Fired for Flipping off Trump’s Motorcade Learned Her Values Growing up in Ohio
Central Ohio native Juli Briskman was fired after a photo of her flipping off the President’s motorcade went viral, and she used it as her Facebook profile picture. Briskman argues that she was off duty and never mentioned her employer and she stands by her decision.
Briskman said, “I’m thinking DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.”
Read more from the Columbus Dispatch.
Tax Reform Plan Would Hurt ALL Aspects of Higher Education, Portman Loves it Anyway
The American Council on Education, along with dozens of other higher education associations, outlined their concerns over the GOP’s proposed tax overhaul in an open letter sent earlier this week. The letter specifically states:
“This legislation, taken in its entirety, would discourage participation in postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities.”
For a specific breakdown of the higher-ed related changes in the tax plan, check out this summary at cleveland.com.
The Resistance Turns One and Proves It Can Do Much More than March
In Youngstown, Carla Baldwin became the first African-American woman to win election as Youngstown Municipal Court judge. She told WKBN that she hopes that she “becomes the norm.”
In New Jersey, a Republican official who mocked the Women’s March by noting that he “hoped they were home in time to make dinner” was ousted by… a woman who participated in the march and was offended by his remark.
Virginia saw the first openly transgender woman, Danica Roem, elected to its state legislature, defeating the fella who sponsored a bill that would have restricted which bathroom she could use.
In addition to having strong support from resistance groups, another common theme amongst election night winners across the country: candidates who supported or championed women’s reproductive rights won.
Progressive Calendar Alerts
November 10 – 12: Sustainability Jam Columbus
November 14: Interrupting Racism
November 16: Relationship Between Lgbt Inclusion And Economic Development
November 18: Climate Legacy Time Capsule