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Obama Reverses Bush Birth Control Rules

WASHINGTON — (AP) The government has replaced a Bush-era rule that became a flash point in the debate over abortions, clarifying that doctors and nurses have a long-standing federal right not to participate in the procedures. Federal laws for years have forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or sterilizations, or to provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds. The regulation, instituted in the last days of the Bush administration, was supposed to strengthen those protections by adding a requirement that institutions that receive federal money certify their compliance with the so-called conscience laws,
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Craig Crawford: Obama’s Wisconsin Power Play

Is it legal for a president to lobby a state legislature? I guess so, but the constitutional implications are a bit worrisome. Obama’s “political machine worked in close coordination” with Wisconsin labor unions to organize protests there and in other states, according to the Washington Post. Their cause might be just, opposing cuts in benefits for public employees, but the proposed bill in the state legislature has nothing to do with the federal government. The Constitution’s Tenth Amendment supposedly reserves power over this sort of issue exclusively to the states. You’d think Obama’s troubles with Congress keep him busy enough
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Obama speaks to Bahrain’s king, urges restraint

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama spoke with Bahrain’s king on Friday night, urging restraint after the kingdom’s security forces ignored Washington’s earlier call for calm and opened fire on protesters demanding reforms. Full story on Reuters
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HuffPost TV: WATCH: Howard Fineman Discusses Government Shutdown On ‘Hardball’

The Huffington Post’s Senior Political Editor Howard Fineman, along with Mother Jones’ David Corn, talked to Chris Matthews tonight on MSNBC’s “Hardball” about the looming possibility of a government shutdown. Fineman said that President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner are both getting prepared to blame each other if a shutdown does occur. “The President and the Speaker are sort of like the pilot and co-pilot preparing for a crash that hasn’t happened yet…blaming the other person for the catastrophe that might come about,” explained Fineman. Speaking about the 1995 shutdown when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the
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Lawmaker seeks probe of White House secrecy pledge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A key Republican lawmaker on Friday called for an independent probe of an Obama administration practice that prohibited outside groups from participating in early discussions on rental housing policy unless they pledged secrecy. Full story on Reuters
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