Reproductive rights on the line, Democrat smacks down voter fraud lies, and President Obama


Midweek news you need to know, and your President Obama pic of the day.

Welcome to a new daily series at Shareblue Media, providing you with links to important news, interesting stories, useful information about actions of resistance, and a picture of President Barack Obama to remind you what competent leadership looks like.

  • Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was spotted at the White House Tuesday, and unsurprisingly, it was for a terrible reason — he's joining up with anti-choice activists to push for a "total abortion ban":

    Three prominent anti-choice lobbyists reportedly met with a top White House official on Tuesday to discuss a nationwide total abortion ban pending in the U.S. Congress.

    The three met with abortion rights antagonist Vice President Mike Pence’s director of domestic policy to discuss the House’s “heartbeat bill,” according to conservative journalist Emily Miller. Neither the president’s nor the vice president’s public schedules indicated that they were in attendance.

    The bill is modeled on an attempt from Ohio, helped along by one of those three activists, Janet Porter, whose extreme anti-choice views made her unwelcome even on Christian talk radio.

  • In other infuriating news, the Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a small win on the bigoted Muslim travel ban:

    Without comment, the court blocked a federal appeals court ruling from last week that would have exempted refugees who have a contractual commitment from resettlement organizations from the travel ban while the justices consider its legality. The ruling could impact roughly 24,000 people.

    The Court is expected to hear arguments over the ban in full on October 10. And yet again, it'll be all eyes on Justice Anthony Kennedy.

  • ThinkProgress nailed it on Kris Kobach's lies about New Hampshire voting: "Kris Kobach watches his voter fraud lie get fact-checked. It didn't go well." Indeed not:

    In a Breitbart column last week, Kobach claimed that he had definitive proof that more than 5,000 out-of-state voters cast fraudulent ballots in 2016, tipping the Senate and potentially presidential race to Democrats. During the second meeting of his voting commission in New Hampshire Tuesday, Kobach called his evidence “anecdotal” and said he’s not sure he used the right word when he wrote that it “appears” there was fraud.

    New Hampshire Democratic Secretary of State Bill Gardner was right next to Kobach, and said in no uncertain terms, "The result as we have recorded it is real and valid." And Maine Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap drove it home:

    [Dunlap] explained how domicile laws work for voting. Despite what Kobach claimed in his column, college students and other temporary residents with out-of-state ID’s can cast ballots in elections because their domicile, where they spend a majority of nights, is in the state. “When it comes to voting, where’s your pillow?” he explained.

    Dunlap continued to fact-check Kobach, saying that accusing someone with an out-of-state ID of committing voter fraud is like accusing someone who has cash of robbing a bank.

    Not that pesky things like facts will dissuade Kobach from his voter suppression fixation.

  • Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings also took Kobach et al to task on Twitter, and it was glorious:

    Louder for the people in back, Rep. Cummings!

  • After a postponement following the horrific shooting during a congressional baseball team practice, hearings on the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE), originally scheduled for mid-June, took place Tuesday. The SHARE Act itself is nothing troubling, but legislation folded into it — the mendaciously named Hearing Protection Act — is cause for great concern.Introduced by South Carolina Republican Sen. Jeff Duncan, the measure would "make it easier to buy silencers for firearms, a process which currently requires registration and a background check under the National Firearms Act ... Under Duncan's measure, silencers, also known as suppressors, would be removed from the National Firearms Act. Purchasers would need to only undergo a less extensive, instant background check."Republicans supporting the measure claim that making silencers easier to obtain would help hunters protect their hearing, which they say is the main use of such tools. But Democrats in the room strongly disagreed.

    Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) said silencers muffle the distinctive sounds of a gun and make it more difficult to identify where shots are coming from.

    “It is for this reason that silencers are so heavily regulated and why so dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands,” he said. “We should not make it easier for anyone to obtain these weapons of war.”

    John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, agrees vehemently with Gomez:

    "Silencers distort the sound of a gun, and in the wrong hands, they put people's safety at risk. NRA leadership and their friends in Congress have gone behind closed doors to try to prop up lagging gun sales by making it easy for anyone to buy a silencer without a background check. This sham bill is a giveaway to the gun lobby, which cannot be allowed to use Congress to put profits ahead of public safety."

  • Sorry, Trump — it's not that easy to erase years of racist garbage:

    The Trump Organization has reportedly edited out a reference in President Trump's corporate biography that highlights his involvement in the birther movement, which aimed to prove the baseless assertion that former President Obama was not born in the United States.

    The Internet is forever, Donald, keeping both your bigoted birtherism and 2nd grade spelling errors alive for posterity.

  • Speaking of massive embarrassments to humankind: Sean Hannity. The Fox News anchor will soon be in a new time slot, one which puts him up against MSNBC's ratings juggernaut, Rachel Maddow. Shareblue Media's Eric Boehlert predicts it will not go well for old Hannity, and the Washington Post's Paul Waldman was intrigued by that idea. As are the rest of us, as we get the popcorn ready.
  • Hillary Clinton's much-anticipated new book is finally on bookstore shelves, and before, during, or after you read it, rather than listen to the drivel from Twitter trolls, do yourself a favor and listen to the woman herself: She gave smart, strong, and entertaining interviews to Refinery29 and Vox's Ezra Klein.
  • The world said goodbye to a brave and wonderful woman, as Edie Windsor, a gay rights activist whose fight for the recognition of her own marriage led to the landmark Supreme Court case guaranteeing marriage equality across the country, passed away at the age of 88.President Barack Obama's words on her passing said it all:

    America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right.

    Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America.

    I had the privilege to speak with Edie a few days ago, and to tell her one more time what a difference she made to this country we love. She was engaged to her partner, Thea, for forty years. After a wedding in Canada, they were married for less than two. But federal law didn’t recognize a marriage like theirs as valid – which meant that they were denied certain federal rights and benefits that other married couples enjoyed. And when Thea passed away, Edie spoke up – not for special treatment, but for equal treatment – so that other legally married same-sex couples could enjoy the same federal rights and benefits as anyone else.

    In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. And because people like Edie stood up, my administration stopped defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. The day that the Supreme Court issued its 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor was a great day for Edie, and a great day for America – a victory for human decency, equality, freedom, and justice. And I called Edie that day to congratulate her.

    Two years later, to the day, we took another step forward on our journey as the Supreme Court recognized a Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality. It was a victory for families, and for the principle that all of us should be treated equally, regardless of who we are or who we love.

    I thought about Edie that day. I thought about all the millions of quiet heroes across the decades whose countless small acts of courage slowly made an entire country realize that love is love – and who, in the process, made us all more free. They deserve our gratitude. And so does Edie.

    Michelle and I offer our condolences to her wife, Judith, and to all who loved and looked up to Edie Windsor.