president richard

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Abortion rates hit historic lows, according to new report

  • Once again, statistics suggest that abortion rates drop as access to contraception improves.
  • New data from the Guttmacher Institute show abortion rates are at their lowest point since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision, NPR reported Tuesday. 
  • The report shows that in 2014, 14.6 abortions were performed for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. 
  • That’s down from when abortion became legal in 1973, when the rate was 16.3 abortions for every 1,000 women.
  • Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards chalked up the dip to readily available contraception.
  • “It shows that we’re finally doing a better job of helping women get access to birth control that’s affordable and that’s high-quality,” Richards told NPR. Read more
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Planned Parenthood x Tumblr — Never Going Back

Tumblr stands with Planned Parenthood. We believe that access to their vital healthcare services is a fundamental human right. In times like these, we must take it upon ourselves to support them on behalf of the millions of women who depend on them.

Join us on Sunday, March 12 at 6:00pm CT at Mohawk, 912 Red River Street, Austin TX during the SXSW interactive festival for the “Never Going Back” rally for Planned Parenthood.

The all-ages event is open to the public (RSVP here) and will feature live performances by Sleigh Bells, Girlpool (@girlpoool), Hoops, and PVRIS (@thisispvris). Planned Parenthood reps will be on site to share resources, literature and ways to get involved and stay active.

If you can’t join us in person, please join us in spirit with a donation to Planned Parenthood.

And if you’re in town early, Tumblr CEO David Karp and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards will be discussing the importance of activism and allyship on the SXSW stage on March 10 with moderator Aminatou Sow, Editor-at-Large at Racked (@racked).

anonymous asked:

Is there a particular reason for why some presidents officially include a middle initial in their names when running for office (ex. James K. Polk, Lyndon B. Johnson)?

No, there’s not really any specific reason. I think some of them probably feel like it makes them sound more distinguished (like, you know, how a certain current President uses “Donald J. Trump” in press statements), but that’s just a guess.

There are also a few Presidents who have actively tried to induct themselves into that small group of Presidents or political leaders who are referred to by their initials. Lyndon B. Johnson very much wanted to be known as “LBJ” because his career took off during the FDR years. Throughout the early years of his career, Johnson urged his staff to refer to him as “LBJ” in order to make it stick. Richard Nixon also wanted to be known by his initials – as “RN” – because of his hero, Theodore Roosevelt. When Nixon talked about Theodore Roosevelt he almost always called him “TR”, and he made a point of using “RN” in memos and got a lot of his staff to go along with doing so as well. Nixon even called his much-anticipated 1978 autobiography, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (BOOK | KINDLE), as part of his effort to establish himself as one of those Presidents instantly known by their initials. However, LBJ was, of course, far more successful in getting his initials over as part of his identity than RN.

Impeach Him Now

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is already drafting articles of impeachment related to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, believing there’s enough evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice to begin an impeachment inquiry (not to mention Trump’s blatant violation of the Constitutions emoluments clause by profiting off his presidency, and much else).

But Democratic leaders are pushing back, warning there aren’t enough facts to justify an impeachment inquiry at this point, and, in any event, such an inquiry would politicize ongoing congressional investigations. 

Baloney. 

Historically, the three previous impeachment inquiries in the House (involving presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton) rested on less evidence of obstruction of justice than is already publicly known about Trump.

Comey’s testimony to Congress is itself more than enough – confirming that Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty, asked Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, repeatedly told Comey the FBI investigation was a “cloud” on his presidency, and asked Comey to declare publicly that Trump wasn’t an object of the investigation

In addition, we have Trump’s interview with Lester Holt on NBC and Trump’s subsequent meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office. In both instances, Trump connected his firing of Comey with the Russian investigation.

Also bear in mind the obstructions of justice that caused the House to impeach previous presidents concerned issues far less serious than Trump’s possible collusion with a foreign power to win election.

Democratic leaders say they don’t want to talk about impeachment now because they’re worried about politicizing the current congressional investigations, which aren’t impeachment inquiries. Hello? Republicans have already politicized them. 

The real reason Democratic leaders don’t want to seek an impeachment now is they know there’s zero chance that Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, would support such a move. So why engage in a purely symbolic gesture? 

Democratic leaders figure that between now and the midterm elections there will be even more revelations from non-partisan sources – future testimony by Trump operatives like Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, early reports from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and leaks to the press – that will build the case, and fuel more public outrage. 

That outrage will give Democrats a strong chance of taking back the House and maybe even the Senate. Then they’ll really impeach Trump.

I can’t argue with the political logic of Democratic leaders. And if their strategy will lead to Trump’s ouster sooner than any other way, I’m all for it.

But here’s the problem. It’s not clear America can wait for the midterm elections, followed by what’s likely to be a long and drawn-out impeachment investigation, followed by a trial in the Senate. (Note that none of the presidents listed above was ever convicted by the Senate and thrown out of office.) 

With each passing day, Donald Trump becomes a greater danger to America and the world. We don’t have time. 

The advantage of introducing a bill of impeachment now – even attempting to do so – is that such an action might itself galvanize the vast majority of Americans who want Trump out of office. It could mobilize and energize people around the most important immediate issue facing the country. 

Never underestimate the power of a public aroused to action. It is worth recalling that Nixon resigned of his own accord before the House had even voted out an impeachment resolution. The American public demanded it. 

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Report: Special Counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner’s finances

  • According to the Washington Post, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the business dealings of Jared Kushner, a former New York real estate developer who currently serves as special adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.
  • “We do not know what this report refers to,” Jamie Gorelick, a lawyer for Kushner, told the Post, “It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russia. Read more (6/15/17)

Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside counsel for Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe

  • Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Mike Pence, confirmed to CNN Thursday that Pence has hired Richard Cullen, former attorney general of Virginia, to represent his interests as they pertain to special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
  • “I can confirm that the vice president has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel,” Agen said in a statement. Read more (6/16/17)

Trump admits he’s under investigation in Friday morning tweet storm

  • Trump on Friday admitted he was under federal investigation for firing now-former FBI Director James Comey
  • “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” Trump tweeted. “Witch Hunt.”
  • Trump not only fired Comey, but he admitted on national television that he was thinking of the Russia investigation when he made the decision. 
  • It’s unclear who the “man” Trump is referring to in his tweet.
  • It could be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. But Trump later told NBC’s Lester Holt that he was going to fire Comey no matter what Rosenstein had recommended. Read more (6/16/17)
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Trump’s Comey firing reminds many of Nixon’s 1973 Saturday Night Massacre

  • On Tuesday, President Donald Trump unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey, the man who happened to also be investigating his administration’s ties to Russia.
  • Almost immediately after news broke that Comey was out of a job, social media users began comparing it to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” where he too fired the man investigating his administration.
  • In 1973, Nixon was being investigated by a special prosecutor named Archibald Cox as part of an ongoing probe into the Watergate scandal, the Washington Post reported earlier this year. 
  • On Saturday, October 20 of that year, Nixon fired Cox and later accepted the resignations of his Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus, in what the Post at the time called “the most traumatic government upheaval of the Watergate crisis.” Read more (5/9/17) 

Donald Trump will follow up firing James Comey by meeting Russia’s top diplomat

  • President Donald Trump will meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday — less than 24 hours after he fired FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating the Trump campaign’s much-rumored ties to the Russian government.
  • According to a White House release, Lavrov and Trump will be convening in the Oval Office at 10:30 a.m. for a closed-door meeting. Read more (5/9/17)

Context: Our party of four has only one chef, a warlock named Leo, who has made our rogue cry numerous times through the good food for reference. At some point, our paladin has to help rescue the son of a guild president, Richard. The task is completed easily, but dealing with Richard himself has been exasperating at times. After reuniting him with his family, they decide to travel with us to their next location. Unfortunately, the guild president is terrible at cooking, and Leo shares the hashbrowns that he made with Richard and his sister.

Richard: “These are… really good.”

Leo: “Oh, thank you!”

Richard: “Didn’t you make these before back in that castle though? You’re really good at making these, but don’t you know any other recipes?”

Leo proceeds to stand up. “We are,” he begins, and by the words of his player, raises his hands out in the Jesus pose while giving a little twirl, motioning out to the snowy wastelands the whole group is traveling, “In the middle of absolutely fucking no-where.

Richard soon returns to breakfast.

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I’ve been working on a portrait series of characters from The West Wing, all done in Mischief software on my Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.  There will be a few more before I’m done, and I’m going to work on some kind of poster with them all in it.

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Marcus Scribner of ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ is taking action to protect the environment

I’m sometimes asked why I’m so passionate about environmentalism, and my answer is always pretty straightforward. As a Los Angeles native, clean air to breathe and water to drink are two things I don’t take for granted. I’m 17, but I grew up hearing the horror stories about what the city used to be like: Downtown Los Angeles smothered in a cloud of smog so toxic that students had to wear masks outdoors and drink water from wells contaminated with industrial pollution.

We still have a long way to go before everyone gets the clean water and air we deserve. But I’m proud of the progress my city has made. And that progress didn’t magically happen — it came, in part, because of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A lot of people, and young people in particular, might not know much about the EPA, so here’s quick history lesson: In 1970, President Richard Nixon – a Republican — signed into law legislation that established the EPA. Back then, there was overwhelming support to protect our environment (and considering just how awful environmental pollution was back then, it’s easy to see why.) Republicans and Democrats came together to pass some of the most ambitious environmental legislation ever. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, for example, are just two of the many important laws that EPA enforces to protect human health and the environment.

Today, many people my age might assume it was always like this: that clean air and water have always been seen as a right, essential for everyone. We never saw rivers literally on fire, because they were so full of highly flammable pollution. We never saw smog so thick it billowed over cities like a fog. That is what the United States was like when my mom and dad were kids.

Continuing the progress EPA is making to clean up our country is common sense. But you may have heard not everyone in Washington feels the same way. There are some elected representatives who claim that protecting the environment must come at the expense of prosperity.

But this could not be further from the truth. There are now more Americans employed in the solar industry than there are in the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined — and in 41 states plus Washington, D.C., clean jobs outnumber those in the fossil fuel industry. The clean energy revolution will continue and its benefits will be felt beyond those who are securing jobs.

But President Donald Trump is following through on his pledge to reverse much of the progress made under President Barack Obama. Through executive orders, the Trump administration has started to dismantle many protections that are designed to cut dangerous emissions from power plants, cars and trucks and the oil and gas sector.

To make matters worse, Trump also proposed to eliminate the EPA office responsible for coordinating environmental justice programs in its entirety. Vulnerable communities from Flint, Michigan, to Spartanburg, South Carolina, have much to lose if these unconscionable cuts become reality. Mustafa Ali, who recently resigned as head of EPA’s Environmental Justice office, said it best: that to protect public health and the environment is to “make the American dream a reality for all.”

I know many young people question whether they can have an impact on the direction of our country. Believe me, I understand as well. But I know that even in these uncertain times, we can rise up and make our voices heard to our elected leaders. With the March on Science and the People’s Climate March happening on consecutive Saturdays, young people around the world are letting us know that they want to be heard.

It’s a personal mission of mine to make sure the old days never come back — it’s why I work with Defend Our Future, a campaign empowering millennials to take action to protect the environment. Defend Our Future is making it as easy as possible for you to get in touch with your elected representatives. Please take a few minutes to send your senators and representatives a message. Let them know that you want them to protect EPA and our health. Even though I can’t vote yet, I have already reached out to my local representatives, and encourage you to do so as well, because together, we can and must defend our future.

— Marcus Scribner. Marcus Scribner plays Andre Jr. on ABC’s “blackish.” He is an honor student and has been honored with the Peabody Award, multiple NAACP Image Awards and several Emmy nominations.

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First 100 Days: Trump and the Degradation of the Presidency

Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.

From early in the Republic, we have looked at the office of the president as a focal point for the nation’s values. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts exemplified for generations of Americans the moral authority of the highest office in the land. It is not merely what these men accomplished, but how they did it; not just their policies but their positive effects on the institutions of democratic governance.

True, many of our presidents have fallen short of those ideals. But our disappointments in those individuals reflected the high expectations we have had for those who hold that office.

Yet under Trump, the moral authority of the presidency has all but disappeared.

I’m old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy invited the world’s great artists, writers, and philosophers to dine at the White House. The nation felt ennobled. 

Donald Trump invites Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, who once called President Obama a “mongrel,” and we feel sullied.

But it has not just been Trump’s vulgarity.

There have also been Trump’s lies – blatant, continuous, and unsubstantiated even after the lack of evidence has been pointed out repeatedly. 

They are not just any lies, but lies that deepen Americans’ suspicion of one another and undermine our confidence in our system of government – such as his repeated contention that “three to five million” people voted illegally in the last election, or that Obama spied on him during the campaign.

Prior presidents have embellished the truth and on occasion have lied about a particular important thing, such as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But never before Trump have we had a president who chronically lies, whose lies have become an integral part of his presidency even in the first 100 days.

There is also Trump’s vast family business, from which he continues to benefit even though the decisions he makes in office affect what he earns, and the almost certain decisions by foreign governments to curry favor with him by bestowing benefits on his business. 

Trump shrugs off such conflicts – even refusing to release his tax returns, even inviting his daughter and son-in-law, each with their own businesses and conflicts of interest, to join him at the highest reaches of the White House.

Some presidents have profited from their presidencies after they leave office through large speaking fees and book contracts. But never before Trump have we had a president for whom conflicts of financial interest during his presidency are so flagrant yet ignored.

The first 100 days has also been marked by Trump’s divisiveness – turning Americans against each other, legitimizing hatefulness toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans and African-Americans, fueling violence between his supporters and his opponents.

We have had divisive elections before. But after them, other presidents have sought to heal the wounds. Even after the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln famously asked us to come together without malice. 

Trump, by contrast, has fomented the warring camps – calling his opponents “enemies,” suggesting they are plotting against his administration, and staging rallies to encourage and fuel his bedrock supporters.

We have also seen Trump’s cruelty – toward refugees, undocumented immigrants, and the poor among us. He has issued a budget that would deeply harm the least advantaged Americans, and supported a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would also hurt those most in need.

He has refused asylum to refugees at a time when the world faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and unleashed immigration enforcers on 11 million residents of the United States, many of whom have been productive members of their communities for years. He has even deported people who have been here since childhood and know know no other nation.

Other presidents have on occasion been cruel. But Trump’s cruelty has defied reason. It is utterly unnecessary.

There has also been Trump’s affect on the rest of the world – legitimizing crude nationalism and hateful xenophobia. He has promoted France’s Marine Le Pen and encouraged authoritarians such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, while at the same time confusing our democratic allies and friends.  

Finally, there is Donald Trump himself – who in the first 100 days as president has shown himself to be narcissistic, xenophobic, paranoid, vindictive, and thin-skinned; who takes credit for the work of others and blames others for his own failings; who lashes out at the press and journalists when they criticize him, and who demonizes judges who disagree with him.  

We have before had presidents whose personality defects harmed their presidencies and tainted the office of the president, such as Richard Nixon. But Donald Trump is in a different league altogether. He exhibits the opposite of every civic virtue ever encouraged in our school rooms, town halls, and churches.

The first 100 days is an artificial landmark for presidents. But it does offer an opportunity to pause and assess what they have done. Too often, though, we think in the narrow gauge of policies and legislation.

With Trump, it’s important to think more broadly. Among the most significant legacies of his first 100 days is his degrading of the moral authority of the office of the president, and, thereby, of America.