Political Animal


May 12, 2013 9:49 AM Morning round up: U.S. one of the worst industrialized countries for mothers and other uplifting Mothers’ Day news

By Samuel Knight

*Happy Mothers’ Day, maybe — the U.S. is one of the worst places in the industrialized world to be a mother. That is, at least, according to a report published earlier this week by Save The Children. The NGO based its index on “the lifetime risk of maternal death, the under-five mortality rate, years of formal schooling, income per capita, and the participation of women in government.” The U.S. ranked 30th, according to the measure.

*Turkey’s foreign minister blamed the Assad government in a TV interview for two car bombs that killed 46 people in Reyhanli, a border down, on Saturday. Assad’s information minister denied that the Syrian government was involved, saying that the Turkish government, a steadfast supporter of Syrian rebels, “has turned the border areas into ‘international terrorist concentrations.”

Meanwhile, the United States and Great Britain have said they will “stand behind their NATO ally.”

*South Dakota Democrats appear to be avoiding a particularly messy primary in 2014, according to The Hill.

Rick Weiland’s decision to enter the Senate race is seen as a sign that U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson — the retiring senator’s son — will not enter the race.
Weiland and Johnson are both progressives, and political observers in the state said Weiland almost certainly would not have entered the race if Johnson were still considering a run.

Weiland, however, is far from state Dems’ front-runner.

Ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) is widely expected to enter the race and will make a decision by the end of the month, sources said.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) had polling showing Herseth Sandlin, with her more conservative voting record, would be more competitive in a general election against former Gov. Mike Rounds (R), the only announced Republican contender in the race.
Weiland would be a heavy underdog against Herseth Sandlin, and could ease her path to the general election, where she would be likely to face Rounds in the deeply red state.

*A Seattle Police Department official told Reuters’ Eric Johnson that the city’s force is going to equip at least a dozen officers with wearable cameras for a year long trial.

The pilot program comes after high profile police brutality cases in recent years — incidents that led to the ACLU to call on the Department of Justice to investigate the city’s cops.

Before being enacted, the plan must first pass a Seattle Police Officers’ Guild vote later this month “and would require amending state law or the parameters of use because of rules requiring dual party consent for audio recording.”

One major issue that calls into question the efficacy of the cameras is the fact that officers can activated or disable them as they please.

To protect and serve, eh?

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • esaud on May 12, 2013 11:28 AM:

    Hilarious roundtable over at Face the Nation: McCain, Graham, Ayotte, and Dick Durbin.

    They don't even bother to pretend anymore.

  • ComradeAnon on May 12, 2013 11:43 AM:

    Don't all police cars already have dash cams? Funny how so much footage seems to "disappear". Somehow I don't see Seattle's cinematography as being helpful to citizens.

  • c u n d gulag on May 12, 2013 11:45 AM:


    Doesn't the police being able to turn the camera's on and off at will, kind of defeat the purpose?

  • Joe Friday on May 12, 2013 12:59 PM:

    Ah, the ole' Rosemary Woods two-step.

  • Joe Friday on May 12, 2013 4:50 PM:

    Yet ANOTHER "Big" "Bold" "Innovative" RightWing Idea Goes Up In Flames

    A British woman who committed suicide has left a note blaming the coalition government's controversial "bedroom tax" for her death, local media report.

    Stephanie Bottrill died on May 4 after she was struck by a lorry on the M6 motorway near her home in Solihull, in the West Midlands, England.

    Her family told the Sunday People the 53-year-old grandmother left a note, saying changes to the country's housing benefit were responsible for the decision to take her life.

    In a letter to her son Steven, she said, "Don't blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government."

    Steven said her mother was finding it hard to pay the extra 80-a-month (~ $125 dollars) on top of her 320 (~ $500 dollars) rent bill after the introduction of the "bedroom tax" in April.

    The new legislation reduces housing benefit for claimants whose home has a spare room.

    According to the National House Federation, the measures will cost 660,000 working-age households an average of 14 a week.

    British Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls also accused the Tory-led government of "driving people to the edge of despair".

    Earlier in March, thousands of people took to the streets across more than 50 towns and cities in Britain to call for the British government to axe cuts to housing benefit for those with spare bedrooms.



    Happy Mothers Day