What We're Reading -- June 15
Good morning, everyone and happy Friday! Mitt Romney kicks off his six-state bus tour today and heads to New Hampshire, where women will be watching. He’ll hit the road and head to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the next couple of days. But for today, here’s what we’re reading this morning….
Catholic Bishops might hire a spokesperson, in a more aggressive campaign against birth control. “Medium is message? Catholic bishops debate hiring a spokesperson” — “The nation’s Catholic bishops, gathered in Atlanta this week for their annual spring meeting, have discussed various issues of great import for the church, from their policies against sexual abuse to their campaign on behalf of religious freedom. But the suggestion on Thursday (June 14) that the hierarchy consider hiring a chief spokesperson for the first time ever prompted the most intense soul-searching so far. The debate reflected a tension between the historic reluctance of individual bishops to cede their own pulpits and the recognition that the bishops have been losing the media war in recent high-profile controversies…. Wester [Bishop John Wester, head of the bishops’ communications committee] made his suggestion in a presentation that focused on pushing the USCCB to experiment more boldly with social media and other means of spreading news — and the gospel — in a wired world. ‘We have to be in on the digital conversations, and we have to listen as well,’ Wester said.”
Sandra Fluke endorses Barack Obama for President. “Fluke: Why this election is so personal” — “The stakes are high this November, for the strength of our economy and the direction of our country. For me, like a lot of us, the stakes are also personal: The choice I make in the voting booth will significantly affect my friends, my loved ones and my generation. Like many millennials, I am concerned about the job market and costs of college. And I'm worried about access to affordable health care for all. But I could never have predicted just how intensely personal this election would become. When I was publicly attacked for testifying before members of Congress, I became even more keenly aware that the rights that generations of women fought so hard to achieve could be rolled back easily. That began a national conversation that I believe highlighted President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney's vastly different values and visions. Obama is committed to rebuilding our economy upon the values of fairness and opportunity and the belief that all Americans, both men and women, must have the rights they deserve. That's why I'm proud to endorse his re-election.”
Two female state representatives were banned from speaking on the floor of the Michigan state House. “State Rep. Barb Byrum banned from speaking after proposing amendment applying abortion rules to vasectomies” — “LANSING, MI -- State Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, said Thursday she believed she was banned from speaking on the floor of the state House of Representatives because she introduced an amendment Wednesday that would apply the same controversial abortion regulations to vasectomies. ‘The state does not regulate vasectomies,’ she said in an interview Thursday. ‘If we're concerned about making sure babies are born, why are we not talking about vasectomies?’ In a widely circulated video, Byrum can be seen asking to speak about her amendment. She was not recognized by Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, who told her she was ‘out of order’ for attempting to speak. ‘I had heard a rumor that they were uncomfortable with me saying vasectomy, which is a medical term,’ Byrum said. Later in the video, state Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, was chastised for her statement as well. Byrum said she was informed of the ban by Minority Floor Leader Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek, who was apparently notified by Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland.”