Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pres. Obama Holds Post Election News Conference

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

At President Obama's first post-election news conference, he focused on the economy, responding to a reporter's question about the election outcome by saying "I've got one mandate. I have a mandate to help middle class families."

President Obama opened the wide-ranging news conference with a statement that his top priority has to be jobs, as the economy is in the first stages of a tenuous recovery. He said, "we face a very clear deadline" on jobs, taxes and the deficit, which "both parties agreed to," alluding to the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and budget cuts.

"There is only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together," he said, also saying that he would meet with leaders from both parties in Congress before the end of the week.

Questions from reporters focused on the economy and the "fiscal cliff," comprehensive immigration reform, and the scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus. Reporters also asked about the potential for Susan Rice to become the next Secretary of State, and about the death of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, among other topics.

Ben Feller, of the Associated Press, asked the Presi
dent to confirm that no classified information was compromised in the scandal involving Retired Gen. David Petraeus. The President said that the investigation was ongoing, and that he had great respect for Gen. Petraeus's service to the country prior to his resignation.

Updated: 3 min. ago
Two Cartoons from an earlier age one from 1899 the other from 1912

"Congress Will Come To Order!" 
by Clifford K. Berryman
Washington Evening Star, December 2, 1912
From the US Senate Collection, Center for Legislative Archives
The ultimate prize of a congressional election is control over the two houses of Congress: the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. This cartoon shows Congress following the pivotal 1912 elections when the Democrats swept into power and captured majorities both houses.

"What Have I Struck?"
by Clifford K. Berryman
The Washington Post, June 9, 1899
From the U.S. Senate Collection, Center for Legislative Archives
This cartoon shows sweat dripping from the Washington monument, as Mephisto, otherwise known as the devil, sits on a park bench fanning himself. With sweat pouring down his face, even the devil wonders what kind of deal he has struck to be stuck in such a hot climate.

The general’s duty
Last Updated: 11:04 PM, November 13, 2012
Posted: November 14, 2012

It turns out then-CIA Director David Petraeus made an unannounced trip to Libya last month to personally investigate the 9/11 Benghazi consulate debacle.

All the more reason, then, for Petraeus to be front and center when Congress takes up the matter, starting tomorrow.

But the former general has told friends he doesn’t want to testify, that any public appearance by him would turn into a media circus.

Too bad.

It’s his duty to do so — a word that once meant something to America’s military leaders, but apparently no longer.

Besides which, his testimony would almost certainly be private — which is why lawmakers are, on a bipartisan basis, losing patience with Petraeus.

Getty Images
David Petraeus

Indeed, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says the CIA won’t even let her see the field report he prepared on his Libya trip.

“We have asked to see the trip report,” she said. “One person tells me he’s read it, and then we try and get it and they tell me it hasn’t been done.

“That’s unacceptable,” Feinstein added. “It may have very relevant information to what happened in Benghazi.”

“May have” is putting it mildly.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Homeland Security Committee’s ranking Republican, calls it “absolutely imperative” that Petraeus testify, given all the “unanswered questions.”

That seems to be the sentiment — and Feinstein says she may subpoena Petraeus’ report if the CIA doesn’t turn it over.

Looks like the Obama stone wall is crumbling even before it’s fully built.

A nation Petrayed


Last Updated:2:18 AM, November 14, 2012

Posted:1:37 AM, November 14, 2012

Honey Trap. The phrase played a big role in the movie “Munich,” when a sexy assassin lured an Israeli hit man to bed and killed him.

Now questions are being raised about whether it might have played a role in the soap opera that brought down CIA boss David Petraeus and may end the career of our top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen.

“So-called honey traps are typically used by foreign spy agencies to ensnare top men, such as General Allen and former General Petraeus, in order to try to extract information out of them,” Wall Street Journal reporter Maria Abi-Habib said yesterday in an audio dispatch from Afghanistan posted on

There is no evidence the generals’ female friends are spies, but Abi-Habib says the affair has raised concerns “of a so-called honey trap, which was a very famous spy tactic used by the KGB.”

Wow. Just when you thought the plot couldn’t get any thicker, it does. Even cheap novels are usually more conventional with their story lines.

But this real-life tangle is so messy that a scorecard is in order. Jill Kelley is the woman who received the harassing e-mails from Paula Broadwell that set off the investigation that led to the discovery of Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus. Both Allen and Petraeus are close to Kelley, who lives in Tampa, and Allen succeeded Petraeus in Afghanistan and was nominated to be the next commander of NATO, a nomination now on hold.

As riveting as the “honey trap” theory is, there are also serious caveats. Although Allen reportedly sent up to 30,000 e-mail pages of correspondence to Kelley, some of it described as “potentially inappropriate,” there is no public evidence they had a sexual relationship. And reporter Abi-Habib doesn’t offer any evidence to support the “concern” she cited. I e-mailed her, asking for any details, but got no response.

Part of the anything-goes atmosphere stems from the fact that there are so many shocking events spilling out so quickly that it’s hard to get your head around them.

In ordinary times, the fact that the FBI was reading the e-mails of the CIA chief and discovered an affair with his biographer would have been sensational enough.

That the probe and discovery happened in the middle of a presidential campaign but was kept secret by the Justice Department until the votes were counted — that, too, would have been enough. The claim that President Obama didn’t know anything would ordinarily cause a political storm.

Yet the central issue — so far, at least — remains the connection to Benghazi. Petraeus’ bizarre role in affirming the White House political line that the murderous attack on the anniversary of Sept. 11 was not a preplanned terror attack but a spontaneous hijacking of a demonstration about an anti-Muslim video never made any sense. That narrative was false — there was no demonstration to be hijacked — and Petraeus would have come under withering questioning at a scheduled congressional hearing this week for spinning that yarn.

Instead, he is suddenly and conveniently out, his career and life in shambles and his testimony canceled. And all of that happens in the week between the election and the hearing.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy buff to wonder who benefits from the strange sequence and the torrent of leaks from the administration about the case. Petraeus’ silence becomes even more important with the ABC News report that he recently went to Libya to “personally investigate” the attack to prepare for his testimony.

Petraeus was the most acclaimed military commander of our era, and his behavior, which is said to include the use of anonymous e-mail names, is as tragic as it is puzzling. He set high standards for himself and his soldiers, according to Vernon Loeb, who helped Broadwell write her biography.

Loeb, an editor at The Washington Post, said in an essay that he never guessed that Broadwell and the general were having an affair. He had covered Petraeus in Iraq, and was deeply impressed by him.

“He’d always preached to his protégés that character was what you did when no one was watching,” Loeb said of Petraeus. “And he would always hasten to add, from his most public of perches, that ‘someone is always watching.’ ”

He was right about that. As this bizarre case continues to unfold, the whole world is watching.
CIA Director Petraeus quits over extramarital affair

Unless something happens that makes this story wild, more scandalous, or a security meltdown, this is the only blog entry on this subject.  I will post on the Benghazi committee's.

Petraeus said in a statement that he had shown "extremely poor judgment" in having an affair.

Paula Broadwell
Published: November 09, 2012
Updated: November 09, 2012 - 10:08 PM

David Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair.

The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation, according to officials briefed on the developments. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Petraeus carried on the affair with his biographer and reserve Army officer Paula Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation that led to the resignation publicly.

The FBI discovered the relationship by monitoring Petraeus' emails, after being alerted Broadwell may have had access to his personal email account, two of the officials said.

Broadwell did not respond to voice mail or email messages seeking comment.

Petraeus' resignation shocked Washington's intelligence and political communities. It was a sudden end to the public career of the best-known general of the post 9/11 wars, a man sometimes mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate. His service was effusively praised Friday in statements from lawmakers of both parties.

Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, told CIA employees in a statement that he had met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday and asked to be allowed to resign. On Friday, the president accepted.

Petraeus told his staffers he was guilty of “extremely poor judgment” in the affair. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

He has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, whom he met when he was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. She was the daughter of the academy superintendent. They have two children, and their son led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan.

Obama said in a statement that the retired general had provided “extraordinary service to the United States for decades” and had given a lifetime of service that “made our country safer and stronger.” Obama called him “one of the outstanding general officers of his generation.”

The president said that CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell would serve as acting director. Morell was the key CIA aide in the White House to President George W. Bush during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,” Obama said.

Administration officials said the White House was first notified about the Petraeus affair on Wednesday, the day after the election. Obama, who returned to the White House that evening after spending Election Day in Chicago, wasn't informed until Thursday morning.

The Senate and House intelligence committees were briefed on Petraeus' resignation only after the news was reported in the media, said a congressional staffer, speaking anonymously because the staffer was not authorized to publicly discuss the sensitive briefings.

The resignation comes at a sensitive time. The administration and the CIA have struggled to defend security and intelligence lapses before the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. It was an issue during the presidential campaign that ended with Obama's re-election Tuesday.

The CIA has come under intense scrutiny for providing the White House and other administration officials with talking points that led them to say the Benghazi attack was a result of a film protest, not a militant terror attack. It has become clear that the CIA was aware the attack was distinct from the film protests roiling across other parts of the Muslim world.

Morell rather than Petraeus now is expected to testify at closed congressional briefings next week on the Sept. 11 attacks on the consulate in Benghazi.

For the director of the CIA, being engaged in an extramarital affair is considered a serious breach of security and a counterintelligence threat. If a foreign government had learned of the affair, the reasoning goes, Petraeus or Broadwell could have been blackmailed or otherwise compromised. Military justice considers conduct such as an extramarital affair to be possible grounds for court-martial.

Failure to resign also could create the perception for the rank and file that such behavior is acceptable.

At FBI headquarters, spokesman Paul Bresson declined to comment on the information that the affair had been discovered in the course of an investigation by the bureau.

Holly Petraeus is known for her work helping military families. She joined the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up an office dedicated to helping service members with financial issues.

Though Obama made no direct mention of Petraeus' reason for resigning, he offered his thoughts and prayers to the general and his wife, saying that Holly Petraeus had “done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.”

Petraeus, who became CIA director in September 2011, was known as a shrewd thinker and hard-charging competitor. Broadwell recently wrote a piece in Newsweek about his management style.

The article listed Petraeus' “rules for living.” No. 5 was: “We all make mistakes. The key is to recognize them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear view mirrors — drive on and avoid making them again.”

Petraeus told his CIA employees that he treasured his work with them “and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.”

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Petraeus' departure represented “the loss of one of our nation's most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one's country.”

Other CIA directors have resigned under unflattering circumstances.

CIA Director Jim Woolsey left over the discovery of a KGB mole and director John Deutch left after the revelation that he had kept classified information on his home computer.

Before Obama brought Petraeus to the CIA, the general was credited with salvaging the U.S. war in Iraq.

“His inspirational leadership and his genius were directly responsible — after years of failure — for the success of the surge in Iraq,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday.

President George W. Bush sent Petraeus to Iraq in February 2007, at the peak of sectarian violence, to turn things around as head of U.S. forces. He oversaw an influx of 30,000 U.S. troops and moved troops out of big bases so they could work more closely with Iraqi forces scattered throughout Baghdad.

Petraeus' success was credited with paving the way for the eventual U.S. withdrawal.

After Iraq, Bush made Petraeus commander of U.S. Central Command, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

When the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was relieved of duty in June 2010 for comments in a magazine story, Obama asked Petraeus to take over in Kabul and the general quickly agreed.

In the months that followed, Petraeus helped lead the push to add more U.S. troops to that war and dramatically boost the effort to train Afghan soldiers and police.

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., said he regretted Petraeus' resignation, calling him “one of America's most outstanding and distinguished military leaders and a true American patriot.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein also regretted the resignation but gave Morell high marks, too.

Morell had served as deputy director since May 2010, after holding a number of top roles, including director for the agency's analytical arm, which helps feed intelligence into the president's daily brief. He also worked as an aide to former CIA director George Tenet.

“I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation,” Feinstein said of Petraeus, “but I understand and respect the decision.”


Brother defends Jill Kelley in Petraeus scandal

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

Jill Kelley's brother says she is a great mother and wife as details continue to come out in the Gen. David Petraeus scandal.
Duration: 2:40

Kelley who lives in south Tampa sparked the probe that uncovered Petraeus's affair.
Mon, 12 Nov 2012

The investigation into General David Petraeus' affair has lawmakers in Washington debating who knew what and when they knew it. There are questions for the general's other woman Paula Broadwell and a
Duration: 2:15

Who is Jill Kelly?

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

The Kelley's frequently socialized with the top brass at MacDill Air Force Base and considered the Petraeus's close personal friends, Jill Kelly has been linked to Marine Corps General John Allen thr
Duration: 3:42

Petraeus's affair has ties to Tampa

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

Jill Kelly, who shares a home with her husband on Bayshore, has been linked to Marine Corps General John Allen. It appears the two have exchanged thousands of emails.
Duration: 3:06

New video reveals more about Jill Kelley

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

New video released shows who Jill Kelley. the Tampa woman at the center of the scandal that led to the resignation of former CIA Chief David Petraeus really is like.
Duration: 3:24

Jill Kelley shared smooch with Gen. David Petraeus
She shared a smooch with one married general, sent reams of explicit emails to another — and now she’s....

Gen. David Petraeus spoke at Princeton University Saturday, saying that the military is moving from a combat to a support role in Iraq, and casualties in Afghanistan could be on the rise.

David Howell Petraeus (; born November 7, 1952) is an American former military officer and public official.

A single spiteful email led to Petraeus' downfall
Published: November 15, 2012
Updated: November 15, 2012 - 12:31 PM

It started in May with a spiteful email to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. An anonymous writer warned Gen. John Allen

Center of the scandal: Major players in Petraeus sex case
Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Her inbox brought down one top commander, her exchanges threaten another. Jill Kelley - wife, mother and Tampa socialite - has shaken the nation's military and intelligence communities with her e-mail.

Officials at MacDill Air Force Base have banned Tampa socialite Jill Kelley from the base because of her involvement in an ongoing investigation.

Jill Kelley case prompts review of 'Friends of MacDill'

Thu, 15 Nov 2012

The commander of MacDill Air Force Base has ordered a review of everyone admitted to the "Friends of MacDill" program, the Pentagon says, in the wake of the scandal that traces back to one of the program's members.

Official: Jill Kelley granted unescorted MacDill AFB access in 2010

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite at the heart of the David Petraeus sex scandal, received access based on her outreach and community relations with the base. It has been suspended due to the investigation.

Top U.S. officer investigated for emails to Tampa woman in Petraeus case

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT -- In a new twist to the Gen. David Petraeus sex scandal, the Pentagon said Tuesday that the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen . John Allen , is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman who is said to have received ...

Charlie Crist denies he dated Jill Kelley's twin sister

Wed, 14 Nov 2012


Officials: Emails sparked Petraeus probe

Sun, 11 Nov 2012

The collapse of the impressive career of CIA Director David Petraeus was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening emails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials.

A higher standard?

Thu, 15 Nov 2012

Do we hold our generals to a higher standard of conduct than our presidents?

Kelleys befriended Petraeus early in Centcom tenure

Mon, 12 Nov 2012

When Army Gen. David Petraeus took charge of U.S. Central Command in 2008, two of the first people he met were Scott and Jill Kelley, a South Tampa couple known for their support of the military.

Kelley's twin is fighting suit

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

The twin sister of the Tampa woman linked to Gen. David Petraeus' resignation as director of the CIA is being sued in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland for about $100,000 in unpaid legal fees.

Center of the scandal: Major players in Petraeus case

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

From the generals, the biographer and jealous mistress, and the Tampa socialite who has shaken the nation's military and intelligence communities with her e-mails, here are the individuals at the center of the David Petraeus sex scandal.

Without sin? Then cast the first stone

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

The sudden resignation of David Petraeus as CIA director over an affair makes me very sad, and quite angry. There's something wrong with a political system that destroys men of his talent over a very human mistake.

Police called to Kelley home by sister

Thu, 15 Nov 2012

Police are no strangers to the home of a Tampa socialite whose emails toppled a spymaster.

Jill Kelley asks for 'diplomatic protection' from cops

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

Tampa police have responded to the Bayshore residence four times in the last two days after Jill Kelley complained about media blocking access to the home.

Media sideshow forms outside Kelley house on Bayshore

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

Journalists are on watch outside the house of Jill Kelley, who reportedly received harassing emails that led to the case that forced former CIA David Petraeus to quit.

Fresh Squeezed Politics: Crist denies report that he dated Jill Kelley’s sister - from Breaking News

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Fresh Squeezed Politics: Crist denies report that he dated Jill Kelley’s sister from Tampa Bay breaking News - {summary} ...

Lawmakers criticize FBI investigation

Mon, 12 Nov 2012

Senior lawmakers called for an inquiry into the FBI's handling of the case of CIA Director DavidPetraeus on Sunday as new details and questions emerged about the investigation that led to his resignation last week.

Petraeus' mistress sent harassing emails to Tampa woman

Sun, 11 Nov 2012

The search for answers into David Petraeus' sudden departure as CIA director turned to Bayshore Boulevard Sunday, as word spread that a South Tampa woman had launched the FBI investigation that led to his resignation.

Official: Petraeus' mistress sent harassing emails to Tampa woman

Sun, 11 Nov 2012

WASHINGTON -- The search for answers into David Petraeus' sudden departure as CIA director turned to Bayshore Boulevard Sunday, as word spread that a South Tampa woman had launched the FBI investigation that led to his resignation.

Book: Petraeus urged to quit over Afghan drawdown

Thu, 29 Dec 2011

WASHINGTON — Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus was urged to resign as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly withdraw surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career.

Kerry being considered for defense secretary

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

President Barack Obama is considering asking Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David Petraeus .

The Petraeus tragedy

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

Politicians and commentators have been quick to see a conspiracy in the departure of CIA director Gen. David Petraeus , who abruptly resigned Friday after admitting an affair with his biographer.

Young, Rooney press for answers

Sat, 10 Nov 2012

Two local congressmen want answers about the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus , from whether national security was compromised by his extramarital affair to whether the former general is being used as a scapegoat.

Rep. Young wants answers to Petraeus scandal

Fri, 9 Nov 2012

Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young said he will meet with officials from the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday to try to learn more about whether national security was compromised by an affair that led to the resignation of director David Petraeus .

Latinos force GOP to negotiate on immigration
Jane C. Timm, @janestreet
9:30 am on 11/14/2012

Immigration activists protest outside of The Grand America in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is holding a campaign fundraising event, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)

Immigration reform is back on the congressional negotiating table after massive Latino voter turnout that overwhelmingly backed President Obama’s re-election Nov. 6.

On Sunday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced on separate talk shows that they were restarting talks on immigration reform.

“We have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing Hispanics,” Grahman said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

The Republican senator promised to “tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill.”

Schumer described a Democratic plan that would include a path to citizenship and a way for immigrants to work legally, along with a secure border.

The Latino community is large, but not particularly wealthy, so the “only way to get attention is to have huge voter turnout,” explains Brent Wilkes, the national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

And turn out they did: Latinos made up 10% of the electorate in 2012, compared to 9% in 2008 and 8% in 2004, according to NBC News.

They voted 71% for President Obama and just 27% for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. That percentage represents a continual decline of the Latino vote for GOP presidential candidates in the last few years: John McCain captured 31% in 2008; President George W. Bush earned 40% in 2004.

This trend has left Republicans scrambling to adapt to changing demographics that will no longer let the party rely on white voters for victory.

“That was the rallying cry,” Wilkes said. “We said if you want progress on the issues that matter to you, all you have to do is vote.”

Former House Speaker and onetime presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich called Romney’s far-right stance on immigration during the presidential race “a disaster” for the party on Tuesday’s Morning Joe. The Latino demographic is now a “make or break it” part of the electorate, he added.

“You can’t say I’d really like to get your vote over jobs, but by the way we’re going to kick out your grandmother,” Gingrich said. “It doesn’t work.”

Though his position evolved and softened somewhat during the campaign, Romney rejected plans from more moderate Republicans during the primary that included paths to citizenship, saying “amnesty is a magnet” that simply encourages more illegal immigrants.

Lynn Sanders, a race and politics expert at the University of Virginia, called it “imperative” that the GOP soften its stance on immigration in order to survive within the country’s changing demographics.

“It’s really imperative that the GOP soften or be more creative or be more open about people finding ways for immigration reform,” she said. “The GOP needs an immigration reform stance and they need that maybe for moral or human values, but they really need it for their own survival.”

House Speaker John Boehner. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The party’s leadership appears to have gotten the message—somewhat.

In an interview last week, House Speaker John Boehner endorsed passing “comprehensive” immigration reform, adopting the term of advocates pushing for citizenship.

“I’m not talking about a 3,000-page bill,” he said later. “What I’m talking about is a common sense, step-by-step approach [that] would secure our borders, allow us to enforce the laws and fix a broken immigration system.”

An aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor added that legislation would need to include a broader plan for the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, the Wall Street Journalreported.

“We understand that we can’t keep kicking this can down the road,” the aide said.

Latinos are the largest growing demographic in the country and political scientists have long predicted their future political weight.

“People have been saying Latino voters are a sleeping giant so much it’s a cliché in our field.” Sanders said. Now that that political giant has “manifested,” as Sanders puts it, the question of immigration reform is not when but how.

Perhaps one of the most symbolic questions is whether or not the party will support a path for illegal immigrants to gain legal, so-called guest worker status or full citizenship.

Wilkes, though, wasn’t convinced that a guest-worker measure would really attract votes for the GOP. Republicans who want to “get serious” about attracting Latinos to the party should “go all in” he said.

“Let people become citizens,” he added. “There’s no other real benefit to citizenship other than the ability to participate in democracy.”

More importantly, Wilkes said, citizens build stronger communities: workers can be unionized, they qualify for healthcare, and contribute to the economy long-term.

Placards and campaign stickers sit on a table at the Latino regional headquarters for the Obama campaign during election day of the U.S. presidential election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 6, 2012. (Photo by REUTERS/Sara Stathas)

LULAC partnered with other Latino advocates to register voters for 2012. Wilkes estimated it registered 300,000 Latinos. It also made 30,000 callers to voters on Obama’s behalf.

Obama’s field organizers also zeroed in on Latino voters, launching a voter education and Latino outreach program even before the Republican primary.

LULAC and other Latino advocates of the president were disappointed the president did not push for immigration reform during the first two years of his term when Democrats had control of Congress, but now expect reform to be accomplished by April 2013.

“We want to get the bill passed by April,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes, however, wasn’t surprised immigration reform wasn’t accomplished during Obama’s first term.

“The first minority president is going to focus on things that benefit everyone [in his first term], lest he be characterized as someone who is catering to minority groups,” he remarked.

Although he saw a Tea Party surge in 2010 that “wiped out” immigration reform efforts when Latinos were made into “scapegoats,” particularly in states like Arizona, Wilkes is optimistic following the election.

“Latino voters have showed they’re the difference makers in elections and the Tea Party is not,” he said.

NOW Today: The shakeup to come
Dax Tejera
9:16 am on 11/14/2012

While the drama of the Petraeus scandal plays out with all itstwists and turns, there are some real implications for national security – specifically the President’s team as it heads into the second term.

By most accounts, General Petraeus was expected to serve far longer in the president’s cabinet. His resignation, after just 14 months on the job, leaves a void yet to be permanently filled. General John Allen was slated to become NATO supreme allied commander, but his Senate confirmation is now on hold. And then there is the choice of replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) had been considered a top contender, but the new job now rumored for Kerry is Secretary of Defense (which apparently caught Kerry by surprise). The reason for the switch? Reports that the president prefers U.N. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for the job at State. That idea isn’t sitting well with some Senate members, who back their colleague Kerry and, for some, have issues with Rice related to her comments on the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks. So who will the President pick? It’s one of Washington’s favorite parlor games, and we’ll take a look with the insights of our panel.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oh, and a final note – thanks to all our viewers and readers for being with us. Today marks one year that NOW is on the air. We’ve got a lot in store for the next year, so keep tuning in – and reading in. And as always, keep us up to date via the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. We love continuing the conversation with you.

We Are All Savita Halappanavar: Catholic Hospital in Ireland Denies Woman Life-Saving Abortion

by Jodi Jacobson, Editor in Chief, RH Reality Check

November 13, 2012 - 9:37pm
Last month, a woman was admitted to a hospital in Galway, Ireland. She was 17 weeks pregnant with a wanted child. She was experiencing severe back pain. She was found to be miscarrying the pregnancy.

Within days, she was dead.

Why? Because she ended up in a Catholic hospital, governed by an ethic that even a non-viable fetus doomed to die is more important than a living, breathing 31-year-old woman.

It really is that simple. reports that Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, arrived at the hospital on October 21st. According to the story:

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country.”


So, the story continues, "She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

According to, Mr Halappanavar, speaking from Belgaum in the state of Karnataka, India, said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

The report goes on: "The dead fetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL."


Septicemia is bacteria in the blood (bacteremia) that often occurs with severe infections. Symptoms: Septicemia can begin with: Chills; High fever; Rapid breathing; Rapid heart rate. The person looks very ill. The symptoms ...
WebMD - Septicemia/Septicaemia

E. Coli Infection

ESBL (Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase) producing E. coli are antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli.
E. coli are very common bacteria that normally live harmlessly in the gut. ESBL-producing strains are bacteria that produce an enzyme called extended-spectrum beta lactamase, which makes them more resistant to antibiotics and makes the infections harder to treat. In many instances, only two oral antibiotics and a very limited group of intravenous antibiotics remain effective.

There are others so invested in their uninformed misogynistic ideology that they claim there are no situations in which a woman's life might be endangered by pregnancy. US politicians and Like, say, the recently defeated Congressman Joe Walshwill tell you that there are no circumstances under which women need abortions to avoid death or injury. 

The Republican platform doesn't include an exception for medically necessary abortion. And the Republican party is trying to put laws similar to those in Ireland on the books in the United States – laws that would allow emergency room doctors to refuse to perform abortions, even in cases where the pregnant woman's life or health depends on terminating the pregnancy. The GOP isn't exactly the most science-friendly or fact-reliant crowd in the world, but to them, women like Savita either don't exist or just don't matter.

Someone's daughter, wife, friend, perhaps sister is now dead. Why? 
Because a non-viable fetus was more important than her life. 
Because she was left to suffer for days on end in service of an ideological stance and religion she did not share. 
Because a wanted pregnancy went horribly wrong, and, because what must now be clear, there are people who don't care about the lives of women. 

This case happened in Ireland. But it is not isolated. Just this past summer, a teen in the Dominican Republic died because she was denied chemotherapy for cancer. Countless others die every day, but without press coverage we just don't see or hear about them. As Ipas notes, Women in El Salvador and Mexico have been put in jail for both abortions and "suspicious" miscarriages. Young girls in Argentina and Brazil, victims of violence and incest, have been denied safe abortion care. A total abortion ban in Nicaragua means that not only do women die for lack of safe abortion care, but that untold numbers of women and girls who are the victims of violence are forced to endure pregnancy and childbearing against their will.

And if they have their way, anti-choice fanatics in the United States want this country to join these others in denying women their very person-hood. 

  1. There is H.R. 3, the Let Women Die Act, passed in the last Congress by the rabidly anti-woman House majority. 
  2. There is the "Sanctity Of Human Life [As Long As You Are Not Female] Act," so strongly supported by recent Vice Presidential candidate and current congressman, Paul Ryan (R-WI). 
  3. There are heartbeat bans, and bans on medication abortion, laws that force doctors to lie to women, and laws that force women to undergo unnecessary trans-vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds. 
  4. There are attacks on Planned Parenthood and Title X, past and future. And in addition to the terrorism and accosting of women in evidence wherever safe abortion care is provided, there is harassment at clinics that do not even provide abortions.
These are the lives of your sister, your mother, your daughter, your aunt, your friends, and your colleagues. These are the lives at stake. These are the very people that the fanatical anti-choice and religious right see as "not people."

They are all Savita Halappanavar.

We are all Savita Halappanavar.

But we do not have to die at the hands of misogynists.

In honor of Savita Halappanavar; 

  • in honor of the nearly 22 million women worldwide each year who endure unsafe abortion  
  • in honor of the 47,000 women per year worldwide who die from complications of unsafe abortion and the estimated 10 times that number who suffer long-term health consequences; 
  • in honor of the millions of women who do not have access to contraception, who have no control over whether and with whom they have sex or and whether or with whom they have children, we can fight back. 
  • In honor of the young girls married young and the women forced to bear children long past the point they are able to care for more... 
for all these women, we must continue to act, to liberalize abortion laws, ensure every woman has access, remove the stigma, and trust women, like Savita, who know when it is time to end even the most wanted pregnancy.

Because she deserved to live. 

We deserve to live. 

We are people.

Nancy Pelosi to keep gig as House minority leader
Amanda Sakuma, @iamsakuma
10:43 am on 11/14/2012

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2102, with newly elected Democratic House members. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On the 10-year anniversary of being elected the nation’s first female minority leader in the House of Representatives, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said she would like to remain on as the top Democrat in the House.

Pelosi, flanked by the women of the Democratic Caucus, dedicated her speech almost entirely to women and paid homage to the female resurgence taking place in Congress after an election season of sustained focus on women’s issues.

“We must have the further empowerment of women,” Pelosi said. “When women came to the polls last week, they registered their support for those who understood the challenges that women face.”


Speculation stirred this week over whether the 72-year-old veteran of Congress would choose to leave her leadership position. Prior to Pelosi’s announcement, MSNBC’s own Rachel Maddow said it would be “a cold day in hell” before Pelosi would willingly step aside. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said she would be “surprised” if Pelosi gave up the position.

Pelosi’s decade-long reign over the Democratic Caucus reached a pinnacle when she claimed the House Speaker’s gavel in 2006, making her the first woman to be within two heartbeats of the presidency. Her leadership has been anything but predictable, even after the wave of Tea Party freshmen in 2010 ousted her from the speaker’s helm.

While some race results from Election Day are still out, Democrats are chipping away at the Republican majority and are expected to pick up an additional seven seats in the House.

“We do not have the gavel, we do not have the majority, but we have unity,” Pelosi said, after mistakenly commenting that the speaker’s gavel was in the hands of Democrats.

Prior to notifying the public, Pelosi met with the Democratic Caucus, including incoming freshman, on Wednesday to say she will happily stay on as their leader if chosen, which is all but certain.

“The message is clear from the American people,” Pelosi said to the Democratic Caucus before the press conference. “They want us to work together to get things done.”

Elections for leadership position within the Democratic Caucus are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29.

Senate GOP Blames Losses on Candidates
By Kyle Trygstad
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 8, 2012, Midnight

Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallDemocratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are getting credit for increasing their party’s majority in Tuesday’s elections. There will be 55 Democratic Senators in the 113th Congress.

Senate Republicans set out Wednesday to pin the blame for their stunning two-seat net loss in Tuesday’s elections. But instead of soul searching about why they failed again to capture the Senate majority, they tipped their hat to Democrats’ ability to outflank them.

Flawed GOP nominees in the eminently winnable races in Indiana and Missouri were the easiest scapegoats, but a whole crop of solid, mainstream recruits fell in swing states and other friendly Republican territory.

Though Republicans pointed to political headwinds for their losses in some initially promising races and bad luck in other areas, they said the results were mainly due to better execution by the Democrats.

“There’s definitely some frustration about Indiana and Missouri,” Republican pollster Dan Judy said. “I think there’s going to be a temptation on the part of some folks — and a concerted effort by Democrats — to say, ‘Well, the GOP just nominated a bunch of tea party crazies again, which is why they got wiped out.’ But I don’t think the map bears that out.”

After the last two Senate races were called midday Wednesday, Republicans ended the cycle with a net loss of two seats — a nearly inconceivable notion just a year ago, when Congressional observers gave the GOP good odds to win the majority. It turned into as bad a night as possible for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

As the 2012 cycle progressed,races that once appeared ripe for the picking fell off the table for Republicans, one by one, ultimately leaving Democrats with an expanded majority of 55 seats. Republicans entered the cycle needing to net four seats to flip the chamber. They were aided by the makeup of the cycle, as the party was defending just 10 out of the 33 seats up this year.

But distasteful comments about rape by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) essentially handed two victories to the Democrats in contests they were otherwise likely to lose, in states where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney cruised to victory. Republicans picked up just one Democratic-held seat and lost three of their own and not a single Democratic incumbent was defeated.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, led by Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) and Executive Director Guy Cecil, recruited strong candidates who ran near flawless campaigns and were successful in states few thought possible earlier in the cycle.

“The reason we were competing in North Dakota and Arizona is because of the candidates,” Democratic pollster Jef Pollock said. “Kudos to the DSCC, to Sen. Murray, to Guy Cecil, to the folks at the DSCC, for putting major league candidates in place that made many of these races competitive.”

A star recruit of Murray’s, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D), came up short in Arizona against Rep. Jeff Flake (R). But former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D), whose victory was the last to be called on Wednesday, defeated Rep. Rick Berg (R), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) defeated Rep. Denny Rehberg (R). Both victories came in states Romney carried by double-digits and against statewide elected officials.

“I still believe it’s all about the type of campaign a candidate runs,” Republican media strategist Erik Potholm said. “Heidi Heitkamp turned out to be a great candidate, ran an impressive campaign and she won in a tough state for Democrats.”

It remains unclear whether the NRSC and Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) shoulder all of the blame for Tuesday’s outcome in the coming days — Cornyn is running for the open Senate Minority Whip position. On Wednesday, several GOP Hill sources said the drubbing had led to speculation that Cornyn or other leaders could face a challenge.

But Mike Slanker, the top political adviser to Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.), one of the few success stories for Senate Republicans on Tuesday, lauded the NRSC and Executive Director Rob Jesmer for their efforts in what turned out to be a tough cycle for Republicans.

“My perspective on the NRSC this cycle is they did a hell of a job. They raised a bunch of money, they got it out the door, they helped us tremendously, they were an efficient operation,” said Slanker, who served as NRSC political director in 2008. “Some things are just out of your control, and they had a lot of that this cycle.

“Looking back, you take away two candidates who shot themselves in the foot, we win those two states,” Slanker added. “And Mitt Romney performs within a point or so in all these swing states and everything changes. It’s a different night.”

There is no doubt that President Barack Obama’s surprisingly strong re-election had some effect on the composition of the Senate, even though statewide races are often able to buck the national trend.

Democrats won the Senate races in the competitive presidential states of Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, where the Obama campaign’s turnout efforts were unmatched and Romney ran worse than expected.

Democrats also were able to put in play five Republican-held seats in Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Indiana and Maine, winning Massachusetts and Indiana and hoping that Maine’s Independent Senator-elect will caucus with the party. Few expected that in the weeks following the 2010 elections, when Murray was the only Democrat willing to chair the DSCC.

“When I took over the chair at the DSCC, we had a very large map, a lot of challenges that were handed to us,” Murray told reporters Wednesday. “And I told everyone I was going to fight to make sure we had a chance in every single state.”

The map again looks difficult for Democrats going forward, and they’ll be running in Obama’s second midterm election cycle, which has historically made things more difficult for the incumbent party. Even as Republicans were recovering from a rough Tuesday night, some found solace in the fact that 2014 is just around the corner.

“The silver lining for the GOP is that the Democrats have a lot of seats to defend in 2014, so we’ll have an opportunity to make some gains, and hopefully extend them in 2016 with an open presidential race,” Judy said. “But there’s no question that we need to improve on what we’ve done over the last two cycles.”

David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

Bipartisan Group Pitches Overhaul of Political Money System
By Eliza Newlin Carney
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 13, 2012, 3:23 p.m.

A bipartisan coalition that includes campaign reform advocates, academics, business leaders and tea party and Occupy Wall Street activists proposed a sweeping overhaul of the political money system Tuesday.

Dubbed the American Anti-Corruption Act, the plan “would completely reshape campaign finance, lobbying and advocacy,” declared lead organizer Josh Silver in a media conference call. “The revolving door as we know it would slam shut.”

Silver also announced the launch of a new organization and grassroots campaign dubbed Represent.Us that will work to build public support for the plan, and will target lawmakers who block it. The campaign “will actively work to unseat members from both major parties” who fail to support it, said Silver, the new group’s executive director.

The board of advisers includes former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter; convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff; Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig, founder of an anti-corruption group known as Rootstrikers; Richard Painter, a former ethics adviser to President George W. Bush; and GOP strategist Mark McKinnon.

The group’s proposal includes tough new restrictions on lobbyists and super PACs, broad new federal disclosure requirements, and a $100 tax rebate that voters could use to support candidates and political committees that agree to low contribution limits. It would limit lobbyist donations, block coordination between super PACs and the candidates they back, and strengthen enforcement by the FEC and the Internal Revenue Service.

“It would cut the link between what members are doing officially in their committees, and the people they are seeking money from,” said Potter, who is one of the plan’s chief architects, a politics lawyer with Caplin & Drysdale and founding president and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center.

The plan would also block members of Congress from raising campaign money from lobbyists with business before them, and it would subject unrestricted super PACs to the same contribution limits as conventional PACs.

Potter acknowledged that the proposal directly challenges the federal appeals court ruling known as v. FEC, which authorized super PACs to raise unlimited contributions. The Supreme Court had ruled in January 2010 in Citizens United v. FEC, to lift limits on independent corporate and union campaign spending. In v. FEC, a lower court ruled the following May that in light of Citizens United, contribution limits should also be lifted for organizations operating independently from candidates.

“It takes SpeechNow head on,” Potter said. He added that the Supreme Court never endorsed v. FEC, which he said was wrongly decided. The recent election showed that super PAC donations are “effectively corrupting contributions,” given the close ties between those organizations and the candidates they back, he said.

The Represent.Us campaign and the American Anti-Corruption Act come on the heels of what the Center for Responsive Politics predicted would be a $6 billion election. The plan is one of several that reform advocates are pitching to Capitol Hill, including disclosure legislation and a public financing plan that would match candidates’ low-dollar contributions with federal funds. Some Republicans are mulling changes that would deregulate the system and lift contribution limits on parties and candidates.

The Represent.Us plan “is truly dramatically different from anything that has ever been attempted before,” said Silver, who is co-founder and former CEO of the media advocacy group Free Press.

Also participating in Tuesday's call were Lessig, Painter, and Theodore Roosevelt IV, a Republican conservationist who is senior executive with Barclays. The campaign’s other advisers include Occupy Wall Street organizer Cecelia Frontero; Tom Whitmore, head of the D.C. Tea Party Patriots; investor Hadi Partovi; Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Better Markets; Nick Penniman, executive director of Fund for the Republic; David Levine, co-founder and executive director of the American Sustainable Business Council; and progressive strategist Susan McCue.
Five House Races Still Outstanding

By Abby Livingston and Kyle Trygstad Posted at 6:55 p.m. on Nov. 12

Rep. Ron Barber leads his GOP challenger, but the race has not yet been called. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Five House races remain unresolved almost a week after Election Day.

The two main developments since Friday in uncalled races were in California and Arizona. Earlier today, Democratic former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won the race against Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona’s 9th district. On Friday night, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R) formally conceded to Democrat Raul Ruiz. Here are the races still up in the air:
  • Arizona 2nd 
Democratic Rep. Ron Barber led retired Republican Air Force Col. Martha McSally by about 500 votes Monday afternoon. Arizona Democrats are increasingly confident he will hold onto the seat, based on the geographic trendlines they are seeing as the votes come in.
  • California 7th
Democratic physician Ami Bera’s lead over GOP Rep. Dan Lungren continues to increase. It hit 1,779 votes as of Sunday night. Once vote counting is finished the slim margin could make this race ripe for a recount, which must be requested by one of the candidates.
  • California 52nd
San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters, a Democrat, led GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray by 1,334 votes as of Sunday night, an increase of about 400 votes since the close of counting on Thursday. A recount is also likely in this race.
  • Florida 18th
Republican Rep. Allen West trailed Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy by more than 1,900 votes on Monday, according to the Associated Press, which has not yet called the race. West has not yet conceded.
  • North Carolina 7th
Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre has a slim lead over Republican state Sen. David Rouzer. The recanvassing process is expected to conclude by Nov. 16. By then, there should be more clarity on this race, though Democrats in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., are confident McIntyre will pull out the win.

Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital

In the worst way possible, a woman refused a life-saving abortion in Ireland has proved 'pro-life' advocates wrong

Savita Halappanavar, who was found to be miscarrying when admitted, died of septicaemia at University Hospital Galway

The Irish Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Audio: Kitty Holland speaks to Praveen Halappanavar (apologies for sound quality)The Irish Times takes no responsibility for the content
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KITTY HOLLAND and PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the fetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the fetal heartbeat stopped.

Intensive care

The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a fetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn't.”

Critically ill

At lunchtime the fetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren't functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Mr Halappanavar took his wife’s body home on Thursday, November 1st, where she was cremated and laid to rest on November 3rd.

The hospital spokesman said that in general sudden hospital deaths were reported to the coroner. In the case of maternal deaths, a risk review of the case was carried out.

External experts were involved in this review and the family consulted on the terms of reference. They were also interviewed by the review team and given a copy of the report.

Just two months ago, a consortium of Irish doctors got together to declare abortion medically unnecessary. They claimed that abortion is never needed to save a pregnant woman's life, and stated: "We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women."

I'm pretty sure Savita Halappanavar would disagree. I'm pretty sure she didn't get optimal care.