Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More GOP Outreach To The Womenfolk

Another fine example of how the Republican Party is striving to connect with women voters.

During an interview on Tuesday with religious conservatives, Mr. Bush suggested that the federal government has overfunded women’s health.

“I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” Mr. Bush said at a Southern Baptist Convention event in Nashville.

Amid a storm of Democratic mockery, Mr. Bush backtracked within a few hours, saying he had misspoken.

Oh, really?  Do tell.

Failing to provide or fund services such as cancer screening, contraception, or yes, even abortions touch the lives of women, obviously, but they also impact their families, their co-workers, and anyone who cares for a person’s health

But here’s a far better elucidation of the issue from someone far more eloquent than me.  Take it away, Sen. Warren.

I’d like to think that this kind of mindset from Mr. Bush, no matter how much back-tracking he does, will crater his campaign, but knowing the GOP and their base of misogynists, especially when it comes to reproductive rights, he’ll probably see a bump up in the polls.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Short Takes

The Persian Gulf states are on board with the Iran nuclear pact.

President Obama announced major goals to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.  Expect major power outrage.

Major wildfires continue to devastate California.

Senate Democrats blocked an attempt by the GOP to defund Planned Parenthood.  It’s not over.

Tropical Update:  Invest 95L moves inland.

The Tigers had the night off.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Short Takes

As noted below, Cuba and the U.S. re-opened their embassies in Washington and Havana.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to support the Iran nuclear agreement; votes to lift sanctions.

The military plans to increase security at recruiting centers following the shooting in Chattanooga last week.

Greek banks re-opened on Monday for the first time in three weeks.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a restrictive abortion bill.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-4.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Short Takes

The Supreme Court stays Texas abortion law.

The Supreme Court lets controversial lethal injection method stand.

Greece’s debt crisis freaked out the stock markets.

Some southern states are going along with marriage equality.

Someone else I don’t care about is no longer on TV.

The Tigers had the night off.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015

Short Takes

Holes cut in hull in capsized ship; toll reaches 75.

In or out?  Some folks in Congress want to force a debate on what to do with troops in Iraq and Syria.

Hillary Clinton pushes for voting rights expansion.

F.D.A. backs the female version of Viagra.

China suspected in breach in federal computer system.

The Tigers lost again.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ladies Man

Women of America, have no fear; Scott Walker knows what it’s like to be pregnant and therefore he has every right to tell you what’s what.

“I mean, I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months where they’re most concerned about it,” Walker said of pregnancies caused by rape and incest.

You would think after the debacles of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Richard “God Intended It” Mourdock, Republicans would just STFU about anything to do with the human female reproductive system.  But no, they can’t seem to keep their mouths shut.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Annals of Small Government, More Freedom

From the folks who complain about big government meddling in every aspect of our lives:

The House on Wednesday voted to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, approving a revised version of a bill that Republican leaders had abruptly pulled in January amid objections from some of their own members.

The measure passed in a 242-to-184 vote, with one member voting present. The bill dropped a provision in the original version that would have required women who became pregnant through rape to report their assault to law enforcement authorities to be eligible for an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Under the new bill, such women would have to receive counseling or medical treatment at least 48 hours before having an abortion. In cases involving minors, abortion providers would have to alert the authorities for the girls’ protection, it says. The bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would also make it easier to sue a noncompliant abortion provider.

“No matter how it is shouted down, or what distortions, deceptive what-ifs, distractions, diversions, gotchas, twisting of words, changing the subject or blatant falsehoods the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters,” said Representative Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who introduced the measure, “this bill is a deeply sincere effort, beginning at their sixth month of pregnancy, to protect both mothers and their pain-capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion on demand.”

Because we all know that women are just too flighty to be counted on to control their own bodies, men must do it for them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Short Takes

South Carolina police officer charged with murder in shooting death.

Rahm Emanuel wins 2nd term in Chicago mayoral race.

Kansas basically outlaws abortion.

Russia hacked the White House computer system.

Secretary of State Kerry will meet his Cuban counterpart at Latin American summit.

R.I.P. Stan Freberg, 88, one of the funniest men in the world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bitter Little Pill

Somebody was not paying attention in high school biology.

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question Monday from Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

The committee approved the bill 13-4 on a party-line vote. Barbieri, who sits on the board of a crisis pregnancy center in northern Idaho, voted in favor of the legislation. [Emphasis added.]

Damn, there go my hopes for a painless prostate exam.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Random Thought

Not that it’s any of my business, but why are the Republicans in Congress hell-bent on bringing up two topics — abortion and immigration — that have proven to be toxic for them in recent elections?  Do they really want to drive away women and Hispanic voters even more than they already have?

But hey, who am I to tell them what to do.  Please proceed.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Short Takes

The Taliban slaughter students in school in Pakistan.

Hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, ends with two of them and the gunman dead.

Newtown families plan to sue maker of the gun used in the massacre two years ago.

Supreme Court turns down Arizona abortion law case.

Senate finally approves Surgeon General nominee.

Greenland melting models may be wrong… and bad for Florida.

Frozen director apologizes for “Let It Go.”  (Too late.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life In Tennessee

Via TPM:

On Election Day, Tennessee voters will be asked to do something very unusual: Amend the state constitution to eliminate all protections for abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and when a woman’s life is in danger.

The ballot initiative “Amendment 1″ is the culmination of more than a decade of plotting by anti-abortion advocates, who are finally ready to strike. It says:

“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

The amendment itself doesn’t impose a new law, so it cannot be challenged in federal court. But it wipes out all state protections for abortion, paving the way for Tennessee Republicans — who control the governor’s mansion and enjoy massive majorities in the legislature — to enact restrictive abortion laws.

I have a few questions: If Amendment 1 passes and the state legislature bans any form of abortion, who will pay for the care of the child who is born from a rape or incest, or will the mother be forced to be reminded every day of the crime for the rest of her life?  What if the mother dies or is incapacitated from the pregnancy?  Who will provide for the care of a child that is born with a horrendous birth defect and may be incapable of any kind of meaningful life?  Who will provide for the care of the women who are brutalized by this law, and how many women in Tennessee will die because of it?  I don’t see any language in the amendment about that.

Unwanted or dangerous pregnancies happen no matter what happens in the courts or in the legislature, and the human body doesn’t pay attention to the voters or the screeching of misogynist religious fanatics.  Abortion is a reality, and no amount of political pressure or Jesus-shouting fear mongering will change that.

As Steve Bates puts it, “This isn’t about religion and this isn’t about the fetus.  These people hate women.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Personhood

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post noted the other day that “personhood” — the idea that a fertilized human egg has all the rights of a fully-born person — is making a comeback in several Senate races.

This has already appeared in the Colorado Senate race, but it will likely become an issue in other races, too. In Colorado, the Republican candidate, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, renounced his previous support for Personhood after entering the contest, admitting it would “restrict contraception,” but Dems seized on the reversal to argue that Gardner only supports protecting women’s health when politically necessary.

Gardner co-sponsored the “Life at Conception Act,” which provides for Constitutional protection of the right to life of each “preborn human person,” defined as existing from the “moment of fertilization.” The Pro-Life Alliance describes this as a “Personhood” measure.

Other GOP Senate candidates are on record in similar fashion. Co-sponsors of the Life at Conception Act include Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Steve Daines of Montana, both expected general election candidates. Meanwhile, according to McClatchy, three leading GOP Senate candidates in North Carolina — Thom Tillis, Greg Brannon, and Mark Harris — all favor a “Personhood” constitutional amendment that would “grant legal protections to a fertilized human egg and possibly ban some forms of birth control.”

Leaving aside the sketchy science that goes along with the idea — after all, scientific facts in the debates such as climate change or teaching “creationism” in schools never matter — the idea behind personhood is control; mainly control of women and their bodies.  From the moment of conception, which, by the way, is very hard to pinpoint — it’s not like a bell rings when it happens — a second person is inhabiting her body and she cannot do anything about it other than host it.

Personhood has been on the ballot before.  It’s lost in places like Colorado and even in Mississippi where abortion is being legislated out of existence with the same legerdemain the states used to prevent integration when that was fashionable.  (Still is in some places.)  But like every perverse trend the control freaks come up with and seems like a lost cause, they have a way of coming back from another direction.  Zealots never give up.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pure Michigan Madness

When did the Michigan legislature go completely medieval?

Michigan residents who buy health coverage in the private marketplace after Thursday will not have access to abortion coverage, even if a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

On that day, a new state law goes into effect that prohibits insurance companies from covering abortion services unless customers purchase separate add-ons – called riders – to their insurance plans ahead of time.

No insurance companies will be offering those riders to new customers in the private marketplace after Thursday, according to the state’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

This is insane.  I cannot fathom the mentality of people who believe this is anything but a horrific way of trying to prevent abortions.  It has nothing to do with “preserving life.”  It is all about control and the belief that women are incapable of making decisions about their own bodies and their own lives.

The people who passed this monstrosity and the governor who signed it into law can whine and carry on about how they are all so “pro-life,” but the kind of life they seem to favor is that of cruelty, shaming, and smug patriarchy couched in the sickly sweet stench of religious fervor and bumper-sticker answers.

Rape and incest are things the state needs to use every weapon to defend its citizens against, not turn its back and say “Sorry, you’re on your own.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Trill of It All

Among the more interesting “new civilizations” Star Trek explorers met were the Trill.

The Trill (or Trills) is the name of a humanoid species native to the planet Trill. A small percentage of the Trill population co-exists with a sentient symbiotic organism known as a symbiont inside their bodies. The resulting joined Trills have personalities which are a synthesis of the two beings including the memories, and to some extent the personalities, of the previous hosts of the symbiont.

According to one Virginia Republican, we have a large population of them living here on Earth:

A pregnant woman is just a “host” that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views.

Martin, the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, wrote a lengthy post about his opinions on women’s bodies on his Facebook wall last week in response to a critical Valentine’s Day card he received from reproductive rights advocates.

“I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,” Martin wrote. “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”

Mr. Martin later changed the wording from “host” to “bearer of the child” because he was only kidding about the “host” bit and sheesh, some people have no sense of humor.

But it does encapsulate the view by a lot of so-called Right to Lifers: a clump of cells the size of the head of a pin becomes more important than the woman.  She is merely the host to the symbiont.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Friday, December 13, 2013

Misogyny In Michigan

This is what happens when you turn a state over to seriously hateful people.

Michigan lawmakers passed a controversial measure on Wednesday that will ban all insurance plans in the state from covering abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger. The law, which takes effect in March, will force women and employers to purchase a separate abortion rider if they would like the procedure covered, even in cases of rape and incest.

Supporters of the “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act” argue that it allows people who are opposed to abortion to avoid paying into a plan that covers it. Opponents have nicknamed it the “rape insurance” initiative, because it would force some women to anticipate the possibility of being raped by purchasing the extra abortion insurance ahead of time.

“This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) during debates. “Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens’ initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.”

The Michigan State Legislature first passed the measure last year, but Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not “believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”

But the anti-abortion group Right to Life of Michigan was able to collect more than 300,000 voter signatures on a petition this year to force a second vote on the measure. Having been passed by both chambers, the bill automatically becomes law now, even without Snyder’s approval.

This law will no doubt be challenged in court, but the people who voted for it need to be voted out of office, and the so-called “right-to-life” people need to find a nice quiet island in the middle of Grand Traverse Bay where they can scrape gull crap off the rocks for the rest of their lives.

See Sen. Whitmer’s testimony here.