Over the weekend, Sarah Palindefended her use of the term "blood libel" last week in an online statement about the Arizona shooting. She spent several minutes arguing that she'd been unfairly accused by her favorite bogeyman, the media, of having had something to do with the shooting because she put out a map before the elections with gun sights surveyor's marks over several congressional districts before the election, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and wounded along with 14 others. Six were killed.
Women's E-newshas a good round-up of the anti-choice action several state legislators are geared up to take now that they have majorities in the assemblies and governorships in states where they didn't before. Expect to see pushes for pre-abortion counseling, a renewed debate over viability, and louder claims that early abortion-rights advocates were racist.
Laws even in states with heavily Republican and anti-choice populations will have real consequences for women, though, and it's another reason we need a renewed push for abortion rights at the state level.
Sarah Palinwill speak at a Safari Club International convention in Reno, Nevada, later this month. The Safari Club is a hunting and gun-rights group, and despite what most conservatives want to believe about liberals, I don't have a problem at all with hunting. The number of soft-hearted liberals who protest hunting for hunting's sake is relatively small; it's a conservative straw man. I grew up in Arkansas; hunting is an important tradition, and the population growth of animals like deer is so out of control because of predator loss that we probably should expand hunting licenses. Also, venison is delicious.
The Giffords shooting has raised a lot of questions about how we treat the mentally ill. The alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, exhibited signs we would recognize immediately as constituting a mental illness but appears to never have been treated and was able to get his hands on a gun.
Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on the number of job openings as of the last day of November. The number, a mere 3.2 million, is a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 14.5 million Americans still relying on unemployment insurance. That number doesn't count all those Americans who are no longer collecting unemployment because they're no longer eligible for benefits or because they've given up looking for work. It also doesn't count the high number of Americans who would like full-time work but are struggling to piece together a living instead from part-time jobs without benefits.