Women Across America Aren’t Closing Their Eyes (and Mitt Romney’s startling pessimism)

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April 28, 2012

The President of the United States of America spoke to the Women’s Leadership Forum last night — you can read about it at The Hill — but here’s the gist of it:

I probably don’t need to remind you that while our own Governor did not join those offensive assaults on women, the Republicans in our state legislature did try to force women under duress to have ultrasounds, telling them they could cover their eyes but attempting to legally bind them not to shut up their ears. They ultimately lost  in their mission to abuse women, but bless their hearts, they tried.

Meanwhile, Etch-a-Sketch Romney is busily trying to scrub his campaign of the conservative stances that tricked many Republicans into supporting him, which undoubtedly will anger and de-motivate the conservative pundits and the already angry yet active grassroots conservative volunteers who make up the heart of not just Freedom Works and the Tea Party but also the Republican Party. Romney will do anything and say anything and that’s going to resonate with his core and with independent voters he’s now seeking to dupe.

In addition to shifting his positions (he hasn’t gotten on board with Marco Rubio’s “amnesty” plan yet but he’s courting the Senator and toying with Hispanic voters, again enraging the racists at the base of his support), Romney is trying to reframe the Obama campaign’s message about “Fairness” — like millionaires who got a temporary tax cut ten years ago probably need to accept the “temporary”-ness of it in light of the fact that it contributes mightily to the nation’s debt crisis — by talking instead about “unfairness.”

Here’s Mittens trying his darndest:

“We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.”

First of all, the government is (and has been for a long time, edging out the dead-end jobs of the “service industry”) the nation’s largest employer. So that’s a lot of families to threaten, and a lot of votes.

Secondly, Mitt Romney’s plan for America is apparently to fix the problems by creating even more people who don’t have health care or money for retirement. Even if you want to engage in the Republican Party’s class warfare here and resent people who work for the government the benefits they have, your predatory self-interest should probably leave you wanting a little more. Mitt Romeny apparently believes that if we all have nothing then everything will be more fair. While true, the plan does positively nothing to address how people who already have nothing — no retirement, exponentially escalating family health care bills — are going to be helped by dragging more people into their world of troubles.

Thirdly, this is a really pessimistic view of America. Mitt Romney has a vision, and it is dark.

Fourthly, further destroying the already broken tax structure which delivers temporary tax cuts for the wealthy in perpetuity by increasing the debt that’s already been created by those tax cuts and making more of them… doesn’t actually “stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger debts on to the next.” In fact, it — yes — perpetuates it.

But bless his heart, too.

Health & Welfare Committee Votes Down the Fetal Seance Bill

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March 22, 2012

As noted Tuesday, the Fetal Seance Bill was floating around the House and waiting for a committee hearing. That happened and the Bill to torture women proved itself to be not viable:

A proposal that would have required doctors to allow women seeking abortions to see ultrasound images was voted down Thursday in the Kentucky legislature.

The House Health and Welfare Committee rejected the measure 9-5, despite an appeal from its sponsor, Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, who said it would ensure women receive vital information needed to make their decisions.

Even worse, other measures to insult the intelligence of women also failed:

It was not the only anti-abortion bill that died in the committee Thursday. Others would have required a face-to-face consultation with medical providers and would have barred abortions in instances where doctors hear fetal heartbeats.

Guess we’ll have to wait till next year.

[More from the Herald.]

Kentucky Republicans Losing the War on Women; Fetal Seance Bill doesn’t go far enough in goal of torturing women

March 20, 2012

The Kentucky State Senate last month passed a bill that would require doctors to force women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound.

If the woman refuses to look at the forcible ultrasound, the doctor would be required to explain the image at length and in detail.

It is unclear what happens if the woman both averts her eyes and plugs up her ears and screams. Hopefully both doctor and patient will be imprisoned for a very long time.

The bill, SB 103, was received in the House on February 15th. On the 21st it was assigned to the Health and Welfare Committee on How Best to Torture Women (CONTACT INFO).

On March 14th, it was posted to committee. There are 9 days left in the session. According to the schedule (PDF) the H&W Committee meets every Thursday at Noon.

The same basic bill was passed by the Senate last year and then defeated narrowly in the same Committee.

Kentucky’s proposed law is not isolated. As part of its general platform, the Republican Party is unfurling across the nation a slew of bills aimed at treating women like the sluts they are, too stupid to make their own decisions, too weak to control their own bodies.

As the Sunlight Foundation and the Guttmacher Institute note, The GOP’s War on Women has given us similar bills and laws across the United States:

Source: Sunlight Foundation; Guttmacher Institute

The bill Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed Wednesday requiring women in his state to undergo ultrasound screening before they can proceed with an abortion represents the latest victory for anti-abortion activists pushing to get similar legislation enacted nationwide.

Seven states already have laws on the books requiring pre-abortion ultrasound screening, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that focuses on reproductive health policy. At least 18 more states are considering similar bills.

Above is a map showing states that either have or are considering ultrasound legislation, including states that have legislation but are considering further changes. Light purple states are those that have already enacted legislation; medium purple are states where legislation is under consideration. Dark purple states have laws on the books but are considering changes.

Guttmacher and Sunlight ran bills from 13 states, including Kentucky’s SB103, through a textual analysis, finding strong similarities.

In some cases an entire passage was replicated across bills with exception of one word, such as the use of “that” instead of “which,” causing the technology to overlook those instances and not count them as matches.

The bills largely matched a “model bill” written by a far Right Wing, Anti-Woman lobby group — meaning state legislators were too damn lazy to write their own woman-hating bills. (Sorry to shock you with news that mysoginstic dudes across the country are a lazy bunch of round-heeled, tax dollar guzzling whores.)

The bills — all varying degrees of awful, starting at totally awful and going up to reprehensibly awful — aren’t the only Republican Platform-pushed “War on Women” legislation going on in these blessed United States.

In Georgia:

In today’s news about more men who want to control women’s bodies, Georgia’s state representative, Terry England, wants to force us to carry stillborn fetuses to term–just like cows and pigs do, he says. Because, you know, women are just like barnyard animals.

England was speaking on the floor of the Georgia legislature in favor of HB 954, a bill which makes it illegal to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks, which is fine for him to take that stance and many people would even agree with that. However, he was pushing for that law to also apply to women who are carrying a stillborn fetus or one that is likely to die before it reaches term, making it illegal for women to have the dead fetus removed until their bodies do so naturally.

Rep. England went on to compare women to cows and swine:

Life gives us many experiences…I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.

In Tennessee, legislators haven’t gotten around to forcing women to deliver dead babies (yet) but they are working on a law that would expose the identities of women seeking abortions and the doctors who provide them:

Tennessee lawmakers will consider a controversial measure on Wednesdaythat could intimidate women seeking abortions by requiring that the names of doctors who perform the procedures be published online. The legislation, known as the Life Defense Act of 2012 or House Bill 3808, would restrict access to the procedure in to ways:

The first would require doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital near where they perform abortions, while the second would require the Department of Health to release more information on abortions, including the name of the doctor who performed the procedure and demographics about the women who receive them.

And in Oklahoma, more of the awesome Republican Party’s woman-hating same:

A new Oklahoma law will require the details of every abortion to be posted on a public website. Proponents say this will prevent abortion — apparently by shaming and burdening women and doctors.

The law (which you can look at here — it’s HR 1595) mandates that a 34-item questionnaire be filled out by abortion providers for each procedure. The questionnaire doesn’t include the woman’s name or “any information specifically identifying the patient,” but it does ask for age, race, level of education, marital status, number of previous pregnancies, and the county in which the abortion was performed, information which opponents of the bill argue would be enough to identify a woman in a small town. The questionnaire also asks about the mother’s reason for the abortion, her method of payment, and even what type of insurance she has, as well as whether the fetus received anaesthetic and whether there was “an infant born alive as a result of the abortion.”

All of which leads us to two things:

1) Will Kentucky’s Health and Welfare committee terminate this ludicrous bill not even really written by a Kentuckian?

2) When are Kentucky Republicans going to get their act together and really start performing their jobs? They’re getting embarrassed by Republican legislators in other states. The Kentucky Republican Party is losing the War on Women. We are very disappointed in them. Step up your game! Hate women harder!

Fetal Seance Bill Passes; Kathy Stein one of 4 voting against, Dorsey Ridley one of 32 voting for

February 15, 2012

The Senate made their annual vote yesterday on the Fetal Seance Bill, this year’s episode centers on SB 103 which makes it criminal for doctors not to force women to closely inspect an ultrasound of the inside of their own body before having an abortion.

The thinking behind this bill is pretty simple: Women are really stupid. Like really, really stupid. So because women are so g-ddamned stupid, they don’t understand anything about their bodies. That’s what this bill is all about, and that’s what 32 Senators voted to affirm.

That’s not to say these 32 misogynistic Senators don’t have hearts. They surely do!

The Fetal Seance Bill forces doctors (why is government getting between citizens and their doctors?) to “display the ultrasound images” so that the stupid woman can see it.

But the bill does not force the woman to look at the ultrasound. That stupid woman is granted the power to avert her eyes as the doctor is forced by state law to describe the images in great depth so that the stupid woman with the averted eyes is forced to picture the image in her mind. Because women are really stupid and they haven’t already fully considered the choice they have made with their own bodies before going to see this doctor.

Women are also so stupid that they need some stranger with cold hands in a lab coat to explain what they are doing because women are so stupid they just don’t understand, they can’t comprehend it. It’s not their fault… women are just made that way.

And the best part of this bill — the proof that the Senators who voted for this bill are actually decent people and not totally insane? — comes at the very end:

Neither the physician nor pregnant woman shall be subject to any penalty if the pregnant woman refuses to look at the presented ultrasound images.

How decent of them.

But what if she plugs her ears and goes “LALALALALALALALA” really loudly? Can we put her in jail then?

Here’s the vote:

It passed 32-4. Voting against, Shaughnessy, Harper Angel, Clark and… Lexington’s own, Ms. Kathy Stein.

Those four senators don’t believe women are basically incompetent versions of regular human beings.

Dorsey Ridley on the other hand.

Dorsey Ridley, the good senator from the great county of Henderson, voted “Yea,” lending his voice — yet again — to the worldview that believes it is better to torture a woman than trust her to make up her own mind.

Dorsey Ridley does still, as of this moment, represent Henderson and perhaps his vote accurately reflects his constituents. But Dorsey Ridley is the senator Damon Thayer (and Williams, Stumbo and Beshear) are trying to ram down Fayette County’s throats under the redistricting map. Currently the map that makes Ridley the Senator for Fayette County and expels Kathy Stein from office has been ruled unconstitutional. But if that changes, if the disenfranchisement bill wins out and Ridley somehow becomes the representative of downtown Lexington, where women are treated as respected members of the community not total morons, then good ol’ Dorsey’s gonna need to change his tune.

Senate Committee Passes Mandatory Ultrasound Bill; How will Dorsey Ridley vote?

January 27, 2012

The Fetal Seance Bill is back as a Senate Committe passed two bills — SB102 mandating “face-to-face counseling” for women 24 hours before an abortion because women are so freaking stupid they aren’t qualified to make their own decisions, and SB103 which would force doctors (at risk of $250,000 fine) to show women considering an abortion an ultrasound of their fetus… and if those stupid women try to look away, the doctor has to keep shoving it in front of their faces.

The first one passed 8-3 and the second passed 7-3.

Voting against? Sens. Tim Shaughnessy and Perry Clark of Louisville… and Kathy Stein of Northeastern Kentucky.

Sen. Kathy Stein, a Lexington Democrat who has consistently opposed such measures, said the bills are a means to substitute the judgment of lawmakers for women who may be poor or subject to domestic violence and facing the difficult decision to seek an abortion.

“We need to trust adult women to make decisions for themselves,” Stein said.

Lexington’s new Senator, Dorsey Ridley, has previously voted in favor of similar woman-hating bills — SB179, SB40, SB79.

So long as Ridley occupies Kathy Stein’s seat, he’d better vote exactly as Kathy would vote. This may be our first glimpse of our new Senator’s intentions. He told Lexingtonians at the rally for Kathy Stein last Saturday that he’d represent us… and representing Lexington means standing up for the equal rights and dignity of women.

What’ll it be, Dorsey?

Abortion = Slavery, says Rand Paul

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October 26, 2011

In Fort Wayne, Indiana… ladies and germs, Senator Rand Paul!

“I think the life of the unborn is a pretty important issue and rivals something like the issue of slavery,” he said during a discourse on Kentucky’s Henry Clay – whose Senate desk Paul occupies – and slavery in the 1800s.

What really gets me about this is that, you know, he’s right. We don’t pay the unborn anything. And they’ve got to work all day long. And the other thing we do with all the babies we do abort? That’s right, we make millions of millions of dollars off of them and build up massive amounts of wealth for our country, positioning it for greatness and creating a continuing class of people — you know, the aborted class — who, while one day in the future we may have to pay, we will never have to pay fairly. Also, educating and housing the aborted is significantly cheaper, too.

Rand’s not the first to make this obvious (and fair) correlation. He follows Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck and, here, Rick Santorum:

Ed Whitfield responds to evangelicals mad at him for poisoning the unborn

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September 27, 2011

Pro-life Christians Challenge Congressional Republicans on Mercury Regulation

Ouch. That’s the headline on TIME mag’s story about the Evangelical Environmental Network and their ad-campaign targeting Ed Whitfield and other deregulation Republicans. (We mentioned this a couple weeks ago, with audio of the Whitfield ad.)

Ed Whitfield added into the TRAIN Act a hold on EPA regulations of mercury emissions. The Christian Evangelicals didn’t like this because mercury’s not good for unborn entities (nevermind living breathing ones).

“I expect members of Congress who claim that they are pro life to use their power to protect the life, especially the unborn,” says a local pastor and mother in one of the ads. “I can’t understand why Congressman Ed Whitfield is fighting to stop the EPA from enforcing its plan specifically meant to protect the unborn by cleaning up dangerous mercury pollution.” The ads have run on 120 Christian and country radio station in Whitfield, Barton and Upton’s districts for the week prior to the Train Act vote. More than 100 evangelical pastors and leaders have also signed the “Evangelical Call to Stop The Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn,” including representatives from over 10 Christian colleges, National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson and Christianity Today’s Editor-in-Chief David Neff. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops submitted similar concerns.

Well that’s a lot of evangelicals!

What says you, Ed Whitfield or office thereof?

“This is an activist environmental group parading under the banner of evangelical Christianity and the right to life,” Whitfield’s chief of staff John Sparkman told TIME. “I don’t think it will have resonance in our district.”

Yeah. Neither will the unborn when they die of mercury poisoning, Sparkman.

For the record, the TRAIN Act passed, along with its mercury poisoning, thanks to Whitfield, Ben Chandler and our other non-Awesome Congresspeople.

Ed Whitfield (R-KY) Wants to Poison Your Unborn Baby with Mercury?

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September 16, 2011

1st District Congressman Ed Whitfield, chairman of the GOP House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Power, has been banging the regulation drumbeat for months, trying to claim that it is the regulations that give mega corporations mild headaches and keep regular people safe that are the true cause behind the nation’s slumping economy. If we had no regulations, goes Whitfield’s argument, everyone would have a job.

It’s a fantastical sort of thinking.

Earlier this week, Ed’s subcommittee successfully represented Big Business by targeting EPA rules that “would delay limits on mercury from cement-plant smokestacks and on toxic releases from industrial boilers at factories such as refineries and chemical manufacturers.”

Great idea, right?

Forgetting the effect Ed’s pro-mercury initiative may have on people living near the smokestacks or just living in general, perhaps there is still a way to make Ed Whitfield care about the repercussions of his blindly business friendly actions.

Here’s a press release that came out yesterday:

Evangelical leaders and pastors delivered letters to the House and Senate Bi-Partisan Pro-Life Caucus and launched a major multi-state radio ad campaign asking pro-life members of Congress to stop trying to gut EPA regulations on mercury pollution and instead uphold and act on their pro-life principles. As part of this effort, leaders have focused on Reps. Ed Whitfield (KY-1), Fred Upton (MI-6) and Joe Barton (TX-6) because of their efforts to remove restrictions intended to prevent mercury poisoning in the unborn.

And what do these ads say?

In the ads, Rev. Tracey Bianchi, a mother, describes the dangerous effects of mercury poisoning on the unborn, including permanent brain damage and developmental challenges. “I believe that every life is a precious gift from God,” says Rev. Bianchi in the ad. “And I expect members of Congress who are pro-life to use their power to protect life, especially the unborn.”

Oh heck, just give it a listen. Here’s the radio spot aimed at Congressman Ed Whitfield:

Ouch. That’s cold.

As the press release goes on to state:

“One in six babies born in the U.S. have harmful levels of mercury in their blood. Pro-life members of Congress should be doing everything they can to protect the unborn from this threat. For the life of me, I can’t understand why some are trying to block the EPA from regulating mercury levels when they know the unborn will pay the price,” says Rev. Mitch Hescox, President of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

And Mother Jones points out:

All three of the legislators rank high on the scorecards put out by anti-abortion groups; Whitfield has a 96 percent score on the National Right to Life scorecard, while Barton got an 88, and Upton has a 74 percent. (They haven’t fared as well on environmental scorecards, as you might guess.)

So what does Congressman Ed Whitfield have against the unborn? Why is he putting the lives of the unborn at risk for the sake of a few lousy bucks? And even if rolling back these regulations could magically create millions of new jobs, could the mercury-poisoned children created by Congressman Whitfield’s legislation actually do those jobs?

Something to think about, Ed.

In Blow to Galbraith Campaign, Kentucky Right to Life Endorses David Williams

September 13, 2011

Well this one stings:

In a press conferences in Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky Right to Life PAC conferred its endorsement on Williams, as KRLA Executive Director Margie Montgomery called Williams “the most significant leader the pro-life movement has ever had in Frankfort.

Gatewood’s campaign (more on his record here or here, since they have nothing about it on their campaign site) surely could have used this key endorsement in their continuing effort to eat into the disaffected Williams base.

On a brighter note… if David Williams really is the “most significant leader the pro-life movement has ever had in Frankfort” then things are looking up for true defenders of freedom.

Williams had this to say for himself:

“I will stand up for every unborn baby. I will fight for their right to live, to get a good education, and to give them a state where they can find a good job and raise their own family,” Williams said. “My opponent and his running mate believe abortion should be legal. They hold those of us who are pro-life in low esteem. They will spend the next four years doing absolutely nothing to protect life, and in fact have extremely troubling views about those who are pro-life,” Williams said.

Now if only we could get Williams into the governor’s mansion and Bill Johnson into the Secretary of State’s office, we could bar all homeless veterans from voting en masse and grant voting rights to “every unborn baby.” Because they have a voice, too.

And, for whatever it’s worth, the Williams campaign has some harsh words for Beshear and his stance on abortion, so here’s the Governor talking about the issue in his own words:

This should put an end to this merger charade

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August 4, 2011

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz has spoken about the proposed hospital merger in Louisville:

Kurtz also said in a brief interview he couldn’t foresee a situation in which University or Jewish hospitals would operate under Catholic ownership without also following the formal Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Heath Care Service.

In a CJ story a few days ago about the proposed merger, one doctor pointed out that in his experience CHI always defers to local bishops.

So all this blathering by University Hospital officials about their magic solutions to these issues that they won’t share with anyone (hints at separate facilities, etc.) … well, we are still waiting to hear them. Kurtz appears to have laid down the gauntlet on this one. Hopefully this helps put an end to this outrageous merger proposal.




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