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CNN contributor: Michelle Obama, Lilly Ledbetter speeches like ‘Vagina Monologues’

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CNN political analyst Erick Erickson, a Republican pundit and right-wing blogger for RedState.com, exclaimed Tuesday night on Twitter that the first night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which featured equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter and First Lady Michelle Obama, was much like watching “The Vagina Monologues.”

“First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected,” Erickson wrote. He later apologized by explaining that he didn’t mean to offend anyone, but did not retract his remarks.

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“‘Sorry that I need to believe half the human race has nothing of value to add in order to feel good about myself,’ is another, more appropriate apology,” Raw Story blogger Amanda Marcotte retorted, writing Wednesday for Slate.

She wasn’t alone in her anger, either. A group of feminist activists called UltraViolet joined in by circulating a petition calling upon CNN to end its relationship with the Republican blogger. Their petition was also shared by the Women’s Media Center, which asked why CNN would pay someone who “derides” speeches from women in such a manner. “Fire him!” they demanded.

“He hears powerful, eloquent women talking about crucial issues and that’s his reaction?” UltraViolet’s petition explains. “Perhaps it shouldn’t be that surprising, given his history of insulting women. Earlier this year, he defended Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke, saying ‘her testimony before congress that American taxpayers should subsidize the sexual habits of Georgetown Law School students because, God forbid, they should stop having sex if they cannot afford the pills themselves.'”

It’s not the first time Erickson has danced with controversy, either. He once said President Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize due to “affirmative action quotas,” called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter “the only goat-fucking child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court,” and even jeered that “ugly feminists” should “return to their kitchens.”

Those comments and a litany of others raised alarms at media watchdog group FAIR when CNN announced in 2010 that they were hiring Erickson, prompting them to warn that the network was “scraping the bottom of the barrel” and urge readers to contact CNN and ask that they reconsider. Despite those prior comments and FAIR’s best efforts, the network has kept Erickson on as a regular political analyst.

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CNN had not issued a statement about Erickson’s comparison of the DNC’s speeches to “The Vagina Monologues” at the time of this story’s publication, and Erickson did not respond to a request for comment.

The Vagina Monologues,” a landmark piece of feminist literature and performance art, features women discussing their genitals in a frank, sometimes erotic and sometimes unflattering manner. The DNC’s first night of speeches did not exclusively feature women, and while many spoke about defending women’s health care, the word “vagina” never came up.
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Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

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Rapper fatally shot while ‘walking away’ by California security guard after dispute over face mask

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A California security guard is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting a 1990s-era rapper while "walking away" after a dispute over face masks.

CNN reported that 50-year-old Jerry Lewis was killed by Umeir Corniche Hawkins at a market in Southern California on July 5.

A dispute occurred between the two men because Lewis was reportedly not wearing a mask.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Hawkins shot Lewis in the back as he walked away after the two had multiple encounters over the face mask.

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Supreme Court stuns experts with 7-2 ruling in Trump tax case

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In a 7-2 decision that surprised many court observers, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney seeking his tax returns.

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who were nominated by Trump, both joined the majority in ruling against the president.

"Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding. We reaffirm that principle," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision.

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GOP has all but given up on containment — instead they’re feeding Americans to the ‘coronavirus meatgrinder’: op-ed

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Writing in The Week this Thursday, Ryan Cooper says that as the coronavirus continues to spike across the country, Republicans have essentially abandoned efforts to stem the spread. "Instead they are feeding the American people into the coronavirus meatgrinder," he writes.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is focused on protecting companies from liability if they infect their employees or customers, while President Trump threatens to cut off funding from schools that don't open in the fall.

"For months now Republicans have been positing a tradeoff between pandemic containment and the economy, as if we just cancel the lockdowns then everything can go back to normal," Cooper writes. "What they stubbornly refuse to understand is that the virus is the problem. As we are seeing, even in this benighted country a critical mass of people will not go about their normal activities if they are afraid of catching a dangerous disease. Similarly, Sweden did not officially lock down, and as a result it has suffered six-12 times as many deaths as its Scandinavian neighbors — yet its economy took just as bad a hit as theirs. Now that Norway, Denmark, and Finland have contained the virus and are reopening safely but many Swedes are still staying home, the economic damage will be even worse in relative terms."

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