Overreach 4

I thought we might be finished, I thought Republicans might retreat from some from their extremist anti-womyn, anti-contraception, anti-human medieval belief that females are chattle. Did they, nope, they doubled down dug themselves a trench of quicksand. It is unbelievable what these dudes are willing to do to destroy their party with their public jihad against womyn.  In their massive opposition to prescription drug coverage for womyn they remind  me of the old story of Bison following each other mindlessly off a cliff, this cliff being the cliff of fair and equal access to  prescription drug coverage for womyn.

Yesterday began with Daryl Issa’s, Chairman of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, holding a hearing hilariously and ironically titled:  “Lines Crossed:  Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” It was great because of course Congressman Issa had no womyn on his original panel of dudes he called to testify on behalf of Issa’s conclusion which came long before he called this hearing,  It is obvious that for Issa and his pals in congress that hearing on contraceptive coverage was held to find a way to get to no, using whatever possible including banning womyn who are pro-choice from testifying at the hearing.

That is how the day began, but as we moved quickly into afternoon we heard Rick Santorums SuperPac guy Mr. Foster Friese. Friese stunned Andrea Mitchell when he made the statement that womyn in his era used and asprin between their legs as their form of contraception, which I guess explains all those teenagers getting married in the 1950′s and early 60′s.  He was doing what all those old guys do, he was inferring that womyn who use  contraception are sluts. Yikes, and all Santorum’s staff can say, is that Friese doesn’t work for the campaign. Umm, Okay.

Overreach is the word of the day, Republicans are carrying on in Newt’s footsteps, they love overreach, although they don’t see it as overreach. Issa and his crew make excuses, THIS ISN’T ABOUT CONTRACEPTION, they scream, no, no, this is about RELIGIOUS FREEDUMB. You stick with that dudes, and you will see your party shrink enough for us to drown it in the bathtub, to quote your leader Grover Norquist.

This is part and parcel of what Julian Sanchez , David Frum, Jon Chait were discussing all last year, the Epistemic Closure of the Republican Party. It isn’t only the case that Republicans are purging some of their best thinkers from their club, David Frum from the American Enterprise Institute or Andrew Sullivan a man who was once considered a “good conservative” and Bruce Bartlett, who was fired by a right wing think tank called the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2005 for writing a book critical of George W. Bush’s policies, who has written that he even lost a great many friends and been shunned by conservative society in Washington, DC after his book came out, sacrilege!

And then of course there is this little piece of information from a survey conducted by Democracy Corps, which finds the Republican brand:

is in a state of collapse — over 50 percent of voters give the Republican Party a cool, negative rating. The presidential race and the congressional battles are interacting with each other to drive down their lead candidate, the party, and perceptions of the congressional Republicans.”

According to that survey those voters who gave Democrats victories in 2006 and 2008 are back, in a big way, in particular among unmarried womyn.  Their direct assault on our rights is going to kill off their chances in the fall, it will mostly likely affect those running down ticket as well, this issue alone will relegate Republicans to a smaller and smaller slice of the electorate.  And they don’t seem to care one bit.

Distorting Reproductive Health: The Anti-Woman Beltway Media 2

There has been a frenzy of media discussion about a recent Health and Human Services decision regarding birth control. Let’s go over some facts:

The regulation:

Requires employer who offer health insurance with prescription drug coverage that contraception would be required coverage. If and only if the insurance offered already covers prescription drugs. What they were saying is that contraception is one of those drugs that must be covered. This had nothing to do with a co-pay or any other media driven distortion of the issue. This is a fact.

The other fact that has been ignored by the majority male beltway media is this:

In December of 2000, the US EEOC made it clear that an employer’s failure to provide coverage of contraception, when it covers other prescription drugs and preventive care, is a violation of protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; those protections for employees’ benefits include no exemption for religious employers.

Beltway pundits continue to present this issue as an argument about co-pays and that all religious organizations will have to buy insurance that covers birth control and that is all a lie, a huge god damned lie that those beltway pundits have deliberately twisted this issue, even though the issues is about prescription drub coverage. When we make the analogy that those plans cover Viagra but not contraception it is the truth, no matter how much yelling those men do, no matter how much they twist the issue, this is about prescription drug coverage, why the hell does no program on cable present this issue correctly?  It angers me. We also know this, cable tv shock jock shows are deliberately leaving women out of this conversation.

What happened? Why did the media grab this story and distort it until they controlled every aspect of it. They were fresh off the highs of the Komen Story, lots of people paid attention to that story and they realized how important and divisive is the issue of Reproductive Health, and how it is so damn good for ratings. This is a better issue than abortion which is like arguing religion, can’t.be.done.These kinds of media frenzies most often give the Republicans an advantage. They are always able to ragify their crowds. The president has a quieter group, far more enraged than those Republicans and this issue is going to bury Republicans in the fall. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) Mo is expected to offer an amendment that would permit any employer or insurance plan to exclude any health service, no matter how essential, from coverage if they morally object to it. This Think Progress report has the language of the bill. Suffice it to say it is Roy’s attempt to get some publicity for himself, knowing full well that this amendment is DOA.

We womyn can see exactly what is going on here. Another Think Progress report after analyzing guests on this issue on the cable shock-jock shows they prefer not to have women on their shows. The Think Progress report Of the 146 guests who have come on cable news shows to discuss the decision between Monday and Thursday, 91 were men. Congressmen, and I mean men went nuts, all over the beltway. Joe Scarborough and Mika couldn’t even be bothered to have a woman on their show to  balance the views, no, they took the dive into all the anti-woman rhetoric they could, they began the lie that this was about convents having to carry insurance coverage for birth control, whey convents are explicitly exempt. I expect Faux Gnus to distort and lie about the issue, but MSNBC let those men carry on the, allowed those men to distort the issue. It is disgusting what they did, they are supposed to report issues fairly, they are not supposed to control the trajectory of legislation or regulation over the American people, in particular over womyn. I never see them protesting the coverage of Viagra, Cialis, but women get the short-shrift because everyone seems to believe our bodies are not our own, but our bodies can be controlled by society at large.

To than attitude I say Fuck You very much Beltway Media and the rest of you anti-woman asshats, you’ve been pwned by the President. Here is the message you should take from our anger, we will not let this happen again. You will not create a political football with our bodies again without us (we womyn) banding together fiercely fighting back against the misinformation you willingly and happily spread.

Chris Matthews Constitutional Lawyer(?) Vs. David Boies 4

Well I had the displeasure of watching Chris Matthews have a complete meltdown over this Health and Human Services regulation requiring church-affiliated employers to cover birth control. I really mostly like Matthews because he usually has a pretty lively show, but there are times well he sure does insist he knows things he simply doesn’t know. Like today, when he insisted he knew this regulation would be struck down by the Supreme Court because it is a definite limit on First Amendment rights of religious people. Well let’s go to the tape!

One thing we know for sure, Sister Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Association in Washington has talked to innumerable Catholic Reporters in DC, because to a person, when they are ranting about this regulation they mention her, those Reporters mention her name. She above all has made a huge issue of something she and many of those Catholic Hospitals she presides over already must comply, according to a 2000 EEOC decision.

First Chris introduces us to the old white guy, Catholic brigade in Congress who insist this is the worst thing that has ever happened to the country and to religious entities. As you can hear him insist, he is advancing the idea from some senators and men in the house of representatives that this is for sure not Constitutional.

Let’s be clear  in December of 2000, the US EEOC made it clear that an employer’s failure to provide coverage of contraception, when it covers other prescription drugs and preventive care, is a violation of protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; those protections for employees’ benefits include no exemption for religious employers.

This is very important and all the regulation HHS is requiring simply codifies that EEOC ruling. Chris Matthew is completely wrong and  he has worked hard to distort this issue. When you listen to him rant, you can see he has no comprehension of what exactly is going on here. He wrongly insists that convents will have to cover nuns with contraception. Sorry  Chris, wrong, wrong, wrong, you are completely wrong. But he rants on, even so far as making the claim that David Boies would lose if this goes to the Supreme Court, hahaha, I guess because Chris knows the law better than David Boies! I wonder how many cases Chris has had before the Supreme Court of the United States? hahahah… right NONE.  Does he want to stick with that? Hmm it made him look like and utter fool.   Boies is fairly knowledgeable about the law! Hahahaha, I know that is an understatment. Chris simply rants and rages about this terrible, horrible awful thing. David Boies, what does he know about the Constitution, Chris Matthews knows more about the Constitution than some damn Constitutional Lawyer. Take that Boies.

Chris meltdown is epic near the end, where he yells at John Heilemann and basically calls him a shill for the administration! Of course Heilemann was ill prepared to offer proof to Matthews and no-one has mentioned the 2000 EEOC ruling. Why didn’t Heilemann know this, but why is Chris freaking out about this, does he miss his days as Bill Clinton’s executioner?  The study of state regulations on this issue was not done by the administration of course but it was done by the Guttmacher Institute. They are not an shill of this administration. Their Mission:

The Guttmacher Institute advances sexual and reproductive health and rights through an interrelated program of research, policy analysis and public education designed to generate new ideas, encourage enlightened public debate and promote sound policy and program development. The Institute’s overarching goal is to ensure the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health for all people worldwide.

Chris of course gets the issue completely wrong, and makes the claim that the administration is lying about those 28 states who already have this regulation, he made  the claim this is propaganda, and yet according to the Guttmacher study, Heilemann is completely correct.  Chris deliberate distorts the issues of course, I think because he likes to hear his own voice and is convinced he is always correct. He tipifies all that is wrong with cable-tv shock jockery, as they ascribe to the theory that the louder one yells the more right you are. So even though he seems to think this rule will require convents to have this kind of health coverage but of course they are one of the exemptions. Duh Chris! Holy Crap dude.

David Boies is a reasonable person, with a quiet demeanor, he doesn’t believe this would go to the Supreme Court, ever, because of the 2000 EEOC rule. It is amazing to me the media has been allowed to blow this issue up out of proportion, they have been allowed to make it some sort of scandal, some sort of first amendment issue.  Matthews is out in front of the political distortion making false claims and yelling anyone down who doesn’t accept his false claims.  Most of those pundits on the east coast are Catholics it seems and they are towing the line of those repulsive cardinals and bishops who covered up child abuse for all those  years, these men have no relationship with an actual god or with being close to god, or purporting to know God’s will, they ignore God’s will when they want too.  But when it comes to women, as usual, the Church, it used to be my church too, shows just how much they do not respect women, but that has been going on for centuries. Their willingness as usual to involve themselves and their institution in politics should spell the end of their non-profit status.

This episode should be another link to the power of cable tv shock-jockery and how they pull the political strings by making an issue out of something that has been in existence since December of 2000. When they decide to make an issue out of a non-issue politicians respond, no matter what the majority of Americans believe.

This time we need to place the blame for this compromise that is coming not because of congress or the President but cable tv shock-jock BS, they actively decided to control this issue and effect change. I am so tired of us allowing them to control the US through this kind of faux-news.

Chris Matthews Vs. David Boies

I may re-splice this a later today and will include it in an update.

Rep. Jack Kingston: Bailouts for Him but Not for GM 3

Today on Martin Bashir’s show on MSNBC I caught an amazing clip of Bashir interviewing one Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia. The discussion gets lively at the 1:07 mark. Bashir asks a simple question of Kingston, who voted against the bailout of General Motors, this was a lead into the widespread Republican criticism of the General Motors Superbowl commercial.

By now everyone has heard of the Karl Rove proclaimed and hyped controversy of the Pro-Obama General Motors commercial that the most liberal man in Hollywood participated in,  no not Alec Baldwin the other super liberal man in Hollywood, Clint Eastwood who went all in on his Obama, Kenya loving, Mao worshiping, fascist, socialist from Hawaii, Africa, lovin’.

Kingston is still disgusted by the Bailout of General Motors, making the claim that bankruptcy was the way to go and the company would have been better going through bankruptcy. Of course he went on to insist that the company and economy would be better had GM gone through bankruptcy, even if lots of Americans lose their jobs. Kingston also insisted that GM is using public dollars for those pro-bama advertisements.

Poor Mr. Kingston, no one takes his advice. But Mr. Kingston is a purist, he insists there should be no bailouts for anyone not corporations not wall street not anyone or anything, unless of course it has to do with him and the value of property he personally owns.

Recently Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) got $6.3 million in taxpayer dollars to fix-up the beach next to his island vacation home, he insisted that would not affect the value of his property either, this is necessary and must be done, it is to preserve the environment. We all know Jack Kingston as a friend to environment.

Check out the video of Bashir’s smackdown of Kingston!

Today in Outrage: Old Male Pundits Unite to Exclaim Dismay About Stuff that Already Happens 2

Oh geez. Really? I didn’t really pay attention to this so-called outrageous action by HHS’s new regulation mandating the coverage of contraception for women without a co-pay. Those bastards, I didn’t know I should be outraged about something that already happens.

I also found out via Old Pundit Alpha aka Mark Shields, who exclaimed on PBS the other night, “This is going to be cataclysmic for the Whitehouse”. Waa… he continued on rather histrionically about how horrible this decision would turn out to be. Then I noticed Old Pundit Beta aka David Brooks, sitting there ready,leaning forward oh so hard and so ready to respond to this burgeoning controversy, the greatest mistake ever made by any administration, “This,” he said, “is the most under-reported story of our time all religious people resent this intrusion into their lives, even if it has already happened in 28 states!!!”

Check out the 30 seconds of amazing punditry which predicts an election over contraception and the simmering anger of Catholic women.   THE HORROR, THE HORROR, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES TO YOUR RON PAUL, END OF TIMER, BUNKERS OUR DEMOCRACY IS OFFICIALLY DESTROYED AND THE PRESIDENT LOSES NOW, HE SHOULD JUST WITHDRAW ALREADY. Umm, say what?

Disclaimer:

No Womyn, Catholic or Otherwise were force fed birth control pills in the writing of this blog.

CrossPosted @ DAGblog

The Komen Memos and the War on Reproductive Health 1

Today Jeffrey Goldberg exposes the Komen Memos, prepared early in January to obfuscate the firestorm they knew would occur when they made moves to target Planned Parenthood in a larger war that the ultra right is waging to curb no vanquish complete access to health care for women. We aren’t just discussing abortion now, we are also discussing contraception and ultimately whether or not women can make choices for their own bodies without interference.

Today we all know Komen reversed their decision because of a sustained backlash against the group for politicizing the health of women.

December 16, 2011: According to this memo sent out to Affiliates for SGK that grant eligibility criteria had been rewritten, bullet point 2 states this:

Further, should Komen become aware that an applicant or its affiliates are under formal investigation for financial or administrative improprieties by local, state or federal authorities, the applicant will be ineligible to receive a grant. An organization may regain its eligibility once the investigation is concluded if the organization and its related affiliates are cleared of any wrongdoing.
This was Komen’s warning shot to Planned Parenthood.
The internal documents in the form of memo’s to Officers and Directors on the Foundations Talking Points regarding changes. Of course this indicates they knew there would be a firestorm of criticism about their action to assist Republicans in their efforts to close Planned Parenthood all over the country. We know Komen expected criticism from talking point 3 and onward, these talking points are all about how to answer questions regarding unfunding the mammogram program for low income and underserved populations.
However the lie that more groups than Planned Parenthood are involved in the revised eligibility code because the Komen talking points point to no other organizations that will no longer receive funds from Komen due to the new criteria.
Three pages of talking points which defend the Foundations decision to unfund a planned parenthood program that helps people obtain what could be a lifesaving procedure.
Komen’s reversal is good, but what is exposed is that the Foundations efforts to assist ultra right conservative Christians in their war on women and reproductive rights. Komens willing participation the War on Women is disappointing,Why did Komen throw itself into the middle of the political battle over women’s reproductive health? Why did they take the side of the hard right forces that have not just demonized women’s health issues, but have undermined access to care.
Let’s look back at 2011 briefly. According to a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institutue, the first half of 2011 916 measure were introduced by legislatures across the country related to reproductive health and rights and by March of 2011 15 new laws passed.
  • expand the pre-abortion waiting period requirement in South Dakota to make it more onerous than that in any other state, by extending the time from 24 hours to 72 hours and requiring women to obtain counseling from a crisis pregnancy center in the interim;
  • expand the abortion counseling requirement in South Dakota to mandate that counseling be provided in-person by the physician who will perform the abortion and that counseling include information published after 1972 on all the risk factors related to abortion complications, even if the data are scientifically flawed;
  • require the health departments in Utah and Virginia to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics;
  • revise the Utah abortion refusal clause to allow any hospital employee to refuse to “participate in any way” in an abortion;
  • limit abortion coverage in all private health plans in Utah, including plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange; and
  • revise the Mississippi sex education law to require all school districts to provide abstinence-only sex education while permitting discussion of contraception only with prior approval from the state.
It wasn’t that long ago that alternet did a great overview of the 10 worst states for women. It’s a good read and has some great information about states where women aren’t considered full citizens. This is happening all over the nation, the continue degradation of women as full citizens of the United States.
Komens move has shined a harsh light on its own behavior but also gives us some insight into exactly how far ultra-right will go in order to shrink access to health care for women, by targeting poor women these groups have overplayed their hand. And I thank them for that, because women will be paying close attention this election year. It is very public now, just how far Republicans are willing to go and how far their surrogates are willing to go to make sure women do not have access to health care. They will do anything to rid the nation of legal and safe abortions, even so far as cratering a Foundation that used to be considered non-partisan. Thanks for letting us know that wasn’t true, the truth does set us free and it sets our money free. I don’t know that Komen can recover from this, and I am not sure they should.

Watch out ladies, Republicans and their surrogates don’t think we can make our own decisions, nor do they believe we should be able to speak freely with our health care professionals. They will do whatever it takes to make sure we head backwards to 1961 before Griswold, they are stripping us of our rights as full citizens and we need to fight back.

The Lies of Donald Trump & Mitt Romney 1

Donald Trump has endorsed Mitt Romney and while he did he completely misrepresented what the CBO’s Tuesday announcement on economic outlook over the the next year.

Trump either deliberately or as a result of piss-poor comprehension skills  misrepresented a new report just released by the Congressional Budget Office which said the economic outlook will improve dramatically “but only if Congress can resist enacting budget-busting laws like another extension of the Bush tax cuts, which would more than double the projected deficit.” Trump left that part out though, wow shocker.

Why does Mitt Romney think that Donald Trump can help him in this election or in any election or even as a reference for a job as a janitor, Donald Trump is a publicity hungry joke. Does he really have any credibility among the general population? Come on, no way, everyone sees what kind of man Donald Trump is, he is a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac, and and he well known to exploit the stupidity of people, i.e. his birther shtick, anyone who has ever invested properties, believing he was going to run for President, etc and so on, mostly we know  Trump doesn’t have much of a relationship with the truth.

I don’t know how this endorsement is going to help Mitt Romney. Let’s talk about how Trump’s inflammatory introduction talking about how “those people” in the world are laughing at us, presumably because of our President and that they are somehow taking advantage of us because of the President. Donald is the true TBag isn’t he, but this is The Donalds segue into misrepresenting what the CBO report said. Somewhat breathlessly he tells Mitt, Mitt’s wife and the Press that he didn’t mention this to Mitt but that the CBO director said unemployment has really gone up and is above 9% and will continue to go up and that that the economic growth outlook will only be 1%.  He looks excited, like he is  going to impart some amazing information that only he has access too, too bad he didn’t seem to understand what he’d read! Did he really graduate from Wharton? With skills like that I think he went to

But why on earth has Romney decided that he needs the endorsement of Donald Trump, is he that afraid of Newt Gingrich? Really? Are the TBaggies in that much control of the Republican Party that one must seek the endorsement of the irrelevant orange skinned birther with a second rate the reality show, and myriad of business bankruptcies?

I don’t know but Mitt doesn’t seem to be very confident in his own ability to win.

Carry On Republicans, this is just great, you are becoming irrelevant.

Washington State Senate Approves Gay Marriage Bill 1

It was just a few years ago, 2006 to be exact that the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a 1998 law that banned gay marriage. Our state Supreme Court refused to overturn the ban:

“The Legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents,” wrote supreme court justice Barbara Madsen.

Wednesday evening the Washington State Senate moved to turn that around. The vote was 28-21 in favor of making Washington State the the 7th state in the Union to codify marriage as a legal right for all citizens of the state of Washington.  So in the end, the vote wasn’t close, a clear majority in our state senate has voted in favor of equality for all, which is deeply embedded in our state constitution, and this time.

It was days ago I received two phone calls, on each of my home lines, from the National Organization for Marriage, asking questions about how I felt about this upcoming legislative action. The questions they asked were skewed of course, but I knew what they were attempting to do. It also angered me to have this organization yet again, stick it’s nose into our business. But this time as you can see from the vote, their attempt to derail this legislation was ended. They will probably attempt to overturn it with an initiative in a year or two, but this time, the State Supreme Court will have every reason to uphold the legislation and not bend to the will of outside homophobic groups intent on limiting the human rights.

Now we await the state House of Representatives, but we know the bill will pass, we know there is a majority of people in the house who will vote yes on this bill and our Governor will sign it into law.

Under state law, opponents have 90 days from the end of the session to collect 120,577 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. The regular session ends March 8.

If opponents aren’t able to collect enough signatures, gay and lesbian couples would be able to be wed starting in June. Otherwise, they would have to wait until the results of a November election.

Congratulate us, we are almost there.

CrossPosted @DAGBlog

Susan G. Komen’s Epic Fail 11

The Susan G. Komen foundation hours ago pulled the money they grant to Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms citing a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. I predict this is going to turn into an epic failure on the part of the Foundation.

What do you think will happen? Deciding to pull funding for a program that helps low income women receive mammograms, seems like you might be penalizing the people who most need these services . Women are going to be completely outraged at your actions, as once again our health care needs are subject to politicization, and now an organization that once helped is assisting those who would hold our needs hostage.   I am dumbfounded at your reprehensible decision that jeopardizes the health of poor women.  You know you going to have to reverse this horrendous decision, right, you have to know this, because the announcement has caused what now appears to be a mini-firestorm, but by tomorrow will be totally out of control. The longer this goes on the worse your publicity, and the more money the Foundation loses. But it isn’t just money that the Foundation is set to lose here, it has also suddenly lost the air of non-partisanship, and the appearance of a willingness to participate in the politicization of reproductive health, and in doing so, you were willing to sacrifice those who can’t fight back.

Your excuse for pulling this funding is beyond insulting to anyone who is in a semi-conscious state, seriously, “planned parenthood is under congressional investigation” is pretty lame.

Let’s unpack this excuse, so aside from the fact that Republican congresses have been investigating Planned Parenthood since the 1980′s, what makes this time so different? Are the charges more serious this time? No of course they are not. The investigation is being conducted by  Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, Republican of course, and it seems to be the run of the mill investigation that every Republican Congress conducts, you know the one I am talking about,  the one where congress tries to find evidence that PP is using federal funds to conduct abortion services. Every investigation is merely a ruse to pull all funding from Planned Parenthood services.

Why on earth would a Foundation that does so much good let politics seep into their decisions, I think this decision is going to deeply damage the Foundation. The only question is, will they ever be able to rebuild their once stellar reputation.

CrossPosted @ DAGBlog