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Celebrities and Politicians Applaud AOC’s Speech Condemning Rep. Yoho’s Remarks and a Culture of “Violent Language Against Women”

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  • On Monday, Rep. Ted Yoho called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch.” He later addressed the insults but failed to deliver a full apology for them.
  • Ocasio-Cortez then gave a speech Thursday, condemning his comments and the sexist culture that allows them.
  • “I want to be clear that Rep. Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me because I have worked a working class job,” she said during her ten-minute speech. “I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’sThis is not new. And that is the problem.”
  • She also called him and others out for using wives and daughters as shields or excuses for sexist behavior, reminding him that she is someone’s daughter too.
  • Now, fellow politicians like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Hollywood stars like Olivia Wilde, Chrissy Teigen, and Mark Ruffalo, are praising the congresswoman for her response.

AOC Shoots Back at Yoho

Celebrities and politicians are praising Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Ny.) for her powerful speech condemning recent remarks Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) levied at her in front of the Capitol.

On Monday, Yoho called the New York congresswoman a “fucking bitch” along with a slew of other insults. Yoho addressed his comments, but only apologized for the “abrupt manner of the conversation.” He went on to say that he could not apologize for his “passion.” 

Ocasio-Cortez delivered a scathing speech on the House floor criticizing Yoho’s initial offenses, as well as his non-apology.

“I want to be clear that Rep. Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me because I have worked a working class job. I have waited tables in restaurants, I have ridden the subway, I have walked the streets in New York City,” she said.

“And this kind of language is not new. I have encountered words uttered by Mr. Yoho and men uttering the same words as Mr. Yoho while I was being harassed in restaurants. I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s, and I have encountered this type of harassment riding the subway in New York City. This is not new. And that is the problem.”

She went on to say that other men, Republicans in particular, have called her similar names and that the issue of misogynistic language in politics, as well as the rest of the world, extends far beyond this single incident. 

“It is cultural,” Ocasio-Cortex explained. “It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports men.”

Politicians and Celebrities Respond

Her ten-minute speech quickly caught the attention of many online, including other leading politicians and Hollywood stars. Actress Gabrielle Union and singer Janelle Monae both called Ocasio-Cortez’s speech a “must watch.”

“I’m sorry you had to do it. But I’m so proud that you did,” wrote director Ava DuVernay. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Ca.) thanked her for speaking out against this kind of sexist behavior. 

“We cannot be silent,” she wrote.

“Imagine what we could get done if women didn’t have to deal with things like this,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) added.

“I am Someone’s Daughter Too”

In a moment that struck a particular chord with many, Ocasio-Cortez criticized men for repeatedly using their wives, daughters, and other women in their life as a defense when they are accused of sexist behavior. This was a strategy Yoho opted to use when he brought up his wife and two daughters while addressing his remarks. 

“And that I could not let go. I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse, to see that — to see that excuse — and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate, and accept it as an apology,” she said. 

“And I do not need Rep. Yoho to apologize to me. Clearly, he does not want to. Clearly, when given the opportunity, he will not, and I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women and using abusive language towards women,” she further stated. “But what I do have issue with is using women, our wives, and daughters, as shields and excuses for poor behavior.”

“I am someone’s daughter too,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“Having a daughter does not make a man decent,” she added. “Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.”

Many shared this specific clip to applaud the congresswoman for expressing this frustration that many have held for so long. 

“I am so sick of men using their daughters as evidence of their empathy for women,” actress and director Olivia Wilde wrote. 

“If Luna turns out to be half the woman Alexandria is, I will have won,” model and television personality Chrissy Teigen said of her four-year-old daughter. 

Former FBI Director James Comey also shared her words on this subject. 

“So many ‘tough guys,’ so few men,” “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo said. 

Actress Jessica Chastain also called for men to stop using the women in their lives as shields.

So far, Yoho has not further responded to the situation.

See what others are saying: (The Independant) (New Yorker) (Los Angeles Times)

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Sen. Baldwin Estimates “13 or 14 Republicans” Will Vote for Respect for Marriage Act

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The senator told Rogue Rocket she believes the legislation will pass “with a broad bipartisan majority.”


Respect for Marriage Act

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wi.) told Rogue Rocket that she believes as many as “13 or 14” Republican senators will vote on a bill to codify protections for gay and interracial marriage.

The legislation, dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act, was proposed in response to concerns about the future of marriage equality in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Not only did Roe’s reversal undermine the right to privacy and thus the foundation of the precedents that protected essential rights, Justice Clarence Thomas explicitly called for the court to reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case that established same-sex marriage.

“The first thing [the bill] does is it repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which sets up a federal definition of non-recognition of marriages between two people of the same sex, and so that would no longer be the law of the land,” Baldwin explained.

“And secondly, it says that the federal government, through a constitutional provision called ‘full faith and credit,’ will give full faith and credit to the acts of states,” she continued. “So if you’re legally married in a state that solemnized same-sex marriages, the federal government will recognize that marriage as well as other states being required to respect that marriage.” 

In July, the House passed legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support from 47 Republicans, which is nearly a quarter of the caucus. The proposal also appears to be broadly backed by the public. Recent polls show that 70% of Americans support gay marriage.

Ongoing Battle

Republican senators, however, have been hesitant to vote for the bill ahead of the midterm elections, as Democratic leadership had intended. As a result, the senators leading the charge — including Sen. Baldwin — asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to push a vote until after the midterms, and he consented.

Sen. Baldwin said many GOP senators wanted a clarification that the bill would protect religious liberties and not create a new mandate requiring religious institutions to respect gay or interracial marriage.

She noted that there has been clarifying language put in the legislation to ensure that it just pertains to state recognition of marriage.

“I think the other issue that was being raised — that only time will help us settle — is an accusation that this was going to be a push before the midterm elections,” she added. “And so it was a political act rather than something that we’re doing because we’re very serious about passing this into law and very serious about protecting people’s rights.”

“So it seems pretty clear to me that we gained greater support after the midterms than we had prior to the midterms,”  Baldwin continued. “I do believe we’re going to pass it. I do believe that we’re going to pass it with a broad bipartisan majority.

Citing the clarifying language added to the bill, the senator said she thinks “there will be some additional momentum because of the time we’ve taken with this.”

 “I feel like we were told in pretty clear terms that we would have some people support only if the vote came after the midterms,” she added.

When asked how many Republicans she believes will ultimately vote in favor of the bill, Baldwin responded: “If I were if I were to give you my best-educated guess, I think we’ll have either 13 or 14 Republicans join us.” 

“I’m pushing to have this vote as close to the midterms after they pass as possible. So maybe in mid-November, […] plenty of time before the end of the year and before the membership actually changes,” she noted. “But also, we need to appeal to that compassionate side of some of my Republican colleagues who, you know, this is about a vote that you’re going to take that may well affect a niece and nephew, a cousin, a dear friend.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Hill) (CNN)

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Supreme Court Begins Contentious New Term as Approval Rating Hits Historic Low

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The most volatile cases the court will consider involve affirmative action, voting rights, elections, and civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community.


High Court to Hear Numerous Controversial Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday officially kicked off a new term that will be marked by a number of very contentious cases.

The justices, led by a conservative super-majority, will hear many matters that have enormous implications for the American people.

The first case the court will hear this term involves a major environmental dispute that will determine the scope of government authority under the Clean Water Act — a decision that could have a massive impact on U.S. water quality at a time when water crises’ have been heightened by climate change.

The case also comes amid increasing concerns about federal inaction regarding climate change, especially after the Supreme Court significantly limited the government’s power to act in this area at the end of its last term.

Cases Involving Race

Several of the most anticipated decisions also center around race, including a pair of cases that challenge affirmative action programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

For over four decades, the high court has repeatedly upheld that race can be a factor in college admissions to ensure a more equitable student body. Despite the fact that multiple challenges have been struck down in the past, the court’s conservative super majority could very well undo 40 years of precedent and undermine essential protections.

The high court will decide a legal battle that could significantly damage key voting protections for minorities set forth under the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The case in question stems from a lower court opinion that invalidated Alabama’s congressional map for violating a provision in the VRA prohibiting voting rules that discriminate on the basis of race.

Alabama had drawn its map so only one of its seven congressional districts was majority Black, despite the fact that nearly one in every three voting-age residents in the state are Black. 

States’ Power Over Elections 

Also on the topic of gerrymandering and elections, the justices will hear a case that could have a profound impact on the very nature of American democracy. The matter centers around a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court to strike down the Republican-drawn congressional map on the grounds that it amounted to an illegal gerrymander that violated the state’s Constitution.

The North Carolina GOP appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, arguing that the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause gives state legislatures almost total control over how federal elections are carried out in their state under a theory called the independent state legislature doctrine.

“That argument, in its most extreme form, would mean that [sic] no state court and no state agency could interfere with the state legislature’s version of election rules, regardless of the rules set down in the state constitution,” NPR explained.

In other words, if the Supreme Court sides with the North Carolina Republicans, they would essentially be giving state legislatures unchecked power over how voting maps are designed and elections are administered.

LGBTQ+ Rights

Another notable decision the justices will make could have huge implications for the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights more broadly. That matter involved a web designer in Colorado named Lori Smith who refused to design websites for same-sex couples because she believed it violates her right to religious freedoms.

That belief, however, goes against a Colorado nondiscrimination law that bans businesses that serve the public from denying their services to customers based on sexual orientation or identity.

As a result, Smith argues that the Colorado law violates the right to free speech under the First Amendment. If the high court rules in her favor, it would undermine protections for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado and likely other states with similar laws.

Experts also say such a ruling could go far beyond that. As Georgetown University’s Kelsi Corkran told NPR, “if Smith is correct that there’s a free speech right to selectively choose her customers based on the messages she wants to endorse,” the Colorado law would also allow white supremacists to deny services to people of color because that “would be a message of endorsement.”

Record-Low Approval Rating

The court’s high-stakes docket also comes at a time when its reputation has been marred by questions of legitimacy.

A new Gallup poll published last week found that the Supreme Court’s approval rating has sunk to a record low. Specifically, less than half of Americans said they have at least a “fair amount” of trust in the judicial branch — a 20% drop from just two years ago.

Beyond that, a record number of people also now say that the court is too conservative. Experts argue that these numbers are massively consequential, especially as the U.S. heads into yet another highly-contentious court term.

“The Supreme Court is at an important moment,” Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs told The Hill

“Trust in the institutions has vastly diminished, certainly among Democrats, and many have a close eye on how they rule on other vital matters. If decisions seem to keep coming from a very pointed political direction, frustration and calls for reform will only mount.”

See what others are saying: (The Hill) (CNN) (The Wall Street Journal)

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Biden Mistakenly Calls Out For Dead Lawmaker at White House Event

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The remarks prompted concerns about the mental state of the president, who previously mourned the congresswoman’s death in an official White House statement.


“Where’s Jackie?” 

Video of President Joe Biden publicly asking if a congresswoman who died last month was present at a White House event went viral Wednesday, giving rise to renewed questions about the leader’s mental acuity.

The remarks were made at the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, which Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-In.) had helped convene and organize before her sudden death in a car accident.

The president thanked the group of bipartisan lawmakers who helped make the event happen, listing them off one by one, and appearing to look around in search of Rep. Walorski when he reached her name.

“Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” he called. “I think she wasn’t going to be here to help make this a reality.” 

The incident flummoxed many, especially because Biden had even acknowledged her work on the conference in an official White House statement following her death last month.

“Jill and I are shocked and saddened by the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana along with two members of her staff in a car accident today in Indiana,” the statement read.

“I appreciated her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America.”

The Age Maximum Question

Numerous social media users and news outlets presented the mishap as evidence that Biden, who is 79, does not have the mental capacity to serve as president. Others, meanwhile, raised the possibility of imposing an age maximum for the presidency.

Most of the comments against the president came from the right, which has regularly questioned his mental stability. However, the idea of an age limit goes beyond Biden and touches on concerns about America’s most important leaders being too old.

While Biden is the oldest president in history, former President Donald Trump — who is 76 and has also had his mental state continually questioned — would have likewise held that title if he had won re-election in 2020.

These concerns extend outside the presidency as well: the current session of Congress is the oldest on average of any Congress in recent history, and the median ages are fairly similar among Republicans and Democrats when separated by chambers.

There is also a higher percentage of federal lawmakers who are older than the median age. Nearly 1 out of every 4 members are over the age of 70.

Source: Business Insider

What’s more, some of the people in the highest leadership positions are among the oldest members. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), is the oldest-ever House Speaker at 82, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) — the president pro tempore of the Senate and third person in line for the presidency — is the same age, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is 80.

As a result, it is unsurprising that a recent Insider/Morning Consult poll found that 3 in 4 Americans support an age max for members of Congress, and more than 40% say they view the ages of political leaders as a “major” problem.

Those who support the regulations argue that age limits are standard practice in many industries, including for airplane pilots and the military, and thus should be imposed on those who have incredible amounts of power over the country.

However, setting age boundaries on Congress and the President would almost certainly necessitate changes to the Constitution, and because such a move would require federal lawmakers to curtail their own power, there is little political will.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Business Insider) (NBC News)

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