Cool and crisp in SF. Here’s what grabbed my attention this morning:

* READ YOUR BIBLE YET TODAY? Read the Bible in the last week. Believe in the Bible’s accuracy. That makes you “Bible-minded,” according to the American Bible Society. And you are not alone in Little Rock. It’s been judged the 8th-most “Bible-minded” city in the country.


* AND SPEAKING OF RELIGIOUS FERVOR: Red meat for the Religious Right was, of course, part of Mike Huckabee’s anti-birth-control-pill, anti-woman shenanigans at a Republican meeting last week (out of control libidos, etc.).  I’m not sure quite how to characterize his even wackier remarks in which he said that Republicans criticizing each other is the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust. If he really means the kind of person who’d call another Republican a RINO is the kind of person who’d also send them to the ovens, well, that tells you a little about the kind of people you’ll find in the Republican Party.

Anyway, I got an e-mail yesterday from former Huckabee staffer Leslie Rutledge, who’s a Republican candidate for attorney general. I guess you could say she understands the kind of person who votes in a Republican primary, if not necessarily in a general election. She told the Washington Times that she really liked Huckabee’s remarks about Republicans needing to be on the same team. Proud to have the Huckster on HER team, she said. 


OH AND WHY NOT KICK MIKE HUCKABEE AROUND SOME MORE: Gail Collins works out on the Huckster’s jaw-flapping in the New York Times today.

Basically, Huckabee seems to be telling us that the Republican Party will not insult women by suggesting the federal government should require health insurance policies to include birth control pills in the prescription drug coverage.

He appears confident that women will find that an attractive proposition.

Huckabee was at a meeting of the Republican National Committee that was supposed to be pondering ways to close the gender gap. Instead, he laid bare a fact that the party has always tried desperately to hide — that its anti-abortion agenda is also frequently anti-contraception.

Once upon a time, Republicans took the lead when it came to helping women get access to birth control. Now, the whole party is hostage to an anti-abortion movement that harbors a wide-ranging contempt for sex outside of marriage, combined with a strong streak of opposition to any form of artificial birth control, even for married couples.

“What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” Rush Limbaugh said of Sandra Fluke, the law student who was lobbying for inclusion of contraceptives in health care plans. However garbled his language, Huckabee’s control-their-libido harks back to the same mind-set.

Well, Leslie Rutledge is on board. Being on board with Huckabee requires negotiating some ups and downs. Yes, he denied Medicaid coverage for an abortion for a retarded teen raped by her stepfather. But, yes, he did sign legislation mandating birth control coverage in health insurance policies. The kinder Huckabee has been replaced, Collins writes, by a Muslim-bashing talk show host always reaching for the quotable line, no matter how stupid. As when he suggested a school massacre was somehow the result of the end of forced prayer in public schools. And no backtracking on this latest, because, if nothing else, Huckster can sniff a money line. Writes Collins:


And there was no backtracking after the “Uncle Sugar” speech. In fact, Huckabee sent an email to his supporters replaying his remarks. Then he asked for a donation.

* AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND UALR: A heads-up for you. Conservative activists are raising a stink because of a program at the UALR Law School to provide essentially remedial work to students who otherwise don’t qualify for admission (not strictly based on race, either). If the students do well in a six-week summer program, they’ll be considered again for admission. The program has been grossly mischaracterized, as this blog report explains. But the fireworks are just beginning, sounds like, at a law school that has been struggling with race-related issues for years. The proposed program is going through some revisions and further law faculty consideration.