Texas State Sen. Wendy Davisbecame a household name Tuesday night when, standing in a pair of iconic pink sneakers, the Fort Worth Democrat spent 11 hours filibustering to prevent the passage of a sweeping anti-abortion bill supported by prominent Republicans.
Davis, 50, a teenage mother who graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to win a seat in the Texas Senate, couldn’t use the restroom, eat, drink, sit or lean during the filibuster, according to Texas rules.
But she could talk.
Davis received at least 13,000 story submissions from women who hoped she would read them on the Senate floor.
BY STEPHANIE CONDON
A comprehensive immigration reform bill passed with strong support in the Senate on Thursday, bringing Washington one step closer to accomplishing a major milestone that both Democrats and Republicans have long sought.
Now, however, the bill goes to the House, where, at best, it faces significant headwinds.
The measure passed 68 to 32, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding over the Senate chamber and the senators all casting their votes from their desks. Senators are rarely seated at their desks for votes — the largely symbolic move is typically reserved for confirming Supreme Court nominees or major votes, such as the 2010 Affordable Care Act vote or the 2011 resolution commending troops and the intelligence community for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Fourteen Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two Independents in voting for the bill, including Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, R-N.J., the Republican who was appointed to his seat this month after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. No Democrats voted against the bill.
After the legislation passed, President Obama released a statement commending the Senate and urging the public to lobby the House to pass some version of the bill.
“As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye,” he said. “Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen.”
Retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright was the second-highest ranking member of the U.S. military, and a key Obama adviser who served as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Legal sources tell NBC News Cartwright has been notified he’s the target of a Justice Department criminal investigation into a leak about a covert U.S. cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program. NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.
By Michael Isikoff
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
Legal sources tell NBC News that the former second ranking officer in the U.S. military is now the target of a Justice Department investigation into a politically sensitive leak of classified information about a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program.
According to legal sources, Retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has received a target letter informing him that he’s under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a massive attack using a computer virus named Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gen. Cartwright, 63, becomes the latest individual targeted over alleged leaks by the Obama administration, which has already prosecuted or charged eight individuals under the Espionage Act.
Last year, the New York Times reported that Cartwright, a four-star general who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2007 to 2011, conceived and ran the cyber operation, called Olympic Games, under Presidents Bush and Obama. According to the front-page story by chief Washington correspondent David Sanger, President Obama ordered the cyber attacks sped up, and in 2010 an attack using the Stuxnet worm temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.
The Times story included details of the Olympic Games operation, including the cooperation of Israeli intelligence and the way the virus was introduced to an Iranian nuclear facility. It described meetings in the White House Situation Room and was based on interviews with “current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program.”
If two heads are better than one, then San Antonio’s newest amphibian is the best animal in the zoo. The emerald green turtle, which arrived on June 18 and went on display Tuesday, has two noggins conjoined near the neck. Zoo officials named the Texas cooter Thelma and Louise, in tribute to the 1991 movie starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis about a female duo on the run. The turtle, which is actually a pair of unseparated twins, is healthy and eating with both heads.
“The first day I saw her and held her, she seemed like she had a split personality,” reptile curator Craig Pelke told the Associated Press. “The right side was looking around and very curious, and the left side was trying to bite me.”
The tiny green reptile is less than two inches wide, with a shell only slightly larger than a penny.
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In a lot of ways, the most interesting and amazing aspect of yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage is that they reflect public opinion. How did public opinion on gay marriage change so dramatically and so fast? Here are a few potential answers: Ellen, Will, Grace, Cam and Mitchell (from Modern Family, where we just might see a — now legal — gay marriage next season). It might sound silly to link pop culture with sweeping changes in the way Americans view an issue. But the fact is that it’s a lot harder to hate people with whom you have no interaction. And in the past decade, millions of Americans have welcomed gay individuals and couples into their living rooms by way of the television. Consider the numbers. In a recent poll, “27 perecent of respondents said gay TV shows like Glee and Modern…
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