The last two abortion clinics in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, the poorest part of the state, closed Thursday. Between the two, they served 3,000 people annually. The closings came after tough restrictions placed on abortion clinics were passed last year by the Texas legislature. According to the New York Times story, there were 44 facilities that performed abortions in 2001. Now there are 24, and when the law goes into full effect in September, the number could drop to six.
The clinics close as doctors are unable to get admitting privileges, as the law requires, at hospitals within 30 miles. Via the New York Times.
The many glorious bow ties of CPAC, via the Wire.
Kirsten Gillibrand blames the White House for the failure of her military sexual-assault bill to get through the Senate. As Senate votes go, it lost by get only 55 votes. Via the National Journal.
Charles Krauthammer says Putin made his move into Crimea because of Obama’s weakness. He didn’t mention Eisenhower’s weakness when Soviets sent the tanks into Hungary or LBJ’s when they sent the tanks into Czechoslovakia or George H.W. Bush’s when they divided up Moldavia or George W. Bush’s when the Russians went into Georgia or …
Does it seem like Republicans are rooting for Putin? Sally Kohn says you couldn’t be blamed for thinking so. Via CNN.
Charles Lane writes that though the Hitler comparisons are always wrong-headed, that this time it makes some small bit of sense. Via the Washington Post.
Does this seem like good policy, in any way? The USDA has approved a plan to allow chickens raised in the US to be shipped to China for processing and then returned to the US for sale and consumption. What mad “free-market” logic came up with this plan? Is it real?
Nebraska rancher Randy Thompson sued to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force-purchase his land as part of the plan to run the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the state. Thompson won. His tale will ring chords for northeastern plains Coloradans being swarmed by frackers: “Our family’s land is located on a rather large island in the Platte River that flows through Nebraska. The soil there is very sandy and the water table is extremely close to the surface, so close in fact that in the spring we often hit water while digging postholes just three feet deep. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that burying a massive high pressure pipeline full of tar sands oil and toxic chemicals four foot deep into this land would be a bad idea.”
[ Image: South Texas windmill by Jose Moncivais ]