Planned Parenthood Forced to Cut Back in Indiana

Categories:  Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult, Planned Parenthood, Republican Insanity

You may remember that Indiana was pulling their contributions to Planned Parenthood and that this would eliminate primary healthcare for approximately 10,000 low income women in the state. Planned Parenthood was continuing to provide services using donations to pay for them, but starting today has had to make large cutbacks in Indiana.  Rachel Maddow had a good segment on this tonight.  The Indiana action is clearly against federal medicaid laws so it may be pulled back after a judge rules, but until then, the Republicans are denying health care to its citizens.  I believe that President Obama should cut all Medicaid funding to the state of Indiana. That will hurt people, but it is also about the only way to stop these idiots from more of these actions. My understanding is that since the federal Medicaid administrator has already found this illegal, the administration could cut off funds immediately.  Every time someone calls them on their actions, the republicans back down, but they won’t back down if no one calls them. Governor Mitch Daniels makes the wall of shame for his part in this.

He Probably Wants Them To Cringe When He Looks at Them Too

Categories:  Republican Insanity

Ryan Fattman (I’ll bypass the obvious jokes), state GOP Rep. from Massachusetts thinks undocumented women who are raped should be afraid to talk to the police.

My though is that is someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward. If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things.

Fattman is in favor of the new federal immigration program (Secure Communities Program) that would have police turn undocumented rape victims directly over to the government for deportation.

So, kudos to Obama for allowing this type of assinine program to come forward. There’s been plenty of studies showing that the best way to reduce crime in immigrant neighborhoods is to build trust between the authorities and the community.  I guess the president thinks that he can capture the Hispanic vote no matter what.

I also have been reading about a Chicago area DA who is charging a women with illegal recording because she tried to report a policeman groping her and internal affairs wouldn’t file the report. So to me the logical extension of this type of law is that a few bad apple policemen and employers will start raping and stealing from people and threaten them with deportation if they resist.  I know this is probably happening anyway, but no need to help these guys out. 

Anyone care to wager on the odds of Fattman hiring an illegal maid for a bit of rape?

A Chance To Fight Back

Categories:  Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult, Fighting Back, Health Care, Planned Parenthood

The state of Indiana has passed a law making changes to Indiana Medicaid, including banning funding to Planned Parenthood.  As we know, very little of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion related (3% from the Planned Parenthood 2008-9 annual report), so the effect of this change is to deny basic healthcare services to many women.  In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers are the primary or even exclusive sources of health care for many women.

The Obama administration is pushing back. HHS sent a letter to Indiana informing them that their plan will improperly bar beneficiaries from receiving services.  Specifically, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick wrote, “Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice.” If Indiana chooses to continue down this path, then the federal government could conceivable cut off all Medicaid funding to Indiana.

Obama has shown time after time that he is not willing to stand firm on any issues and is always looking to find a compromise, but my fervent desire is that he will decide to use this case to break that pattern.  I know that many people will be harmed if Medicaid is shut down temporarily in Indiana, but every time he caves in to these right wing wackoes, many other people are harmed and the wackoes are encouraged to come up with even more harmful plans.  This is a heartless numbers game of picking your stands where they do the least harm. In this particular case, Obama can stand firm against a bad idea and limit the damage to one state.  He should be able to sell it as yet another republican attack on Medicaid since that is exactly what this is. 

Indiana has 60 days to appeal, but so far they haven’t shown much interest in changing their law. We will monitor this one over the summer and update it as new changes occur.

Pete DeGraaf for The Wall of Shame

Categories:  Attempts to Ban Abortion, Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult

A republican from Kansas (where else) who thinks that rape is pretty much like a flat tire. We should just plan ahead and carry a spare.  Here’s the exact quote:

DeGraaf: We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?

Bollier: And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy”

DeGraaf: I have spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.

This was part of a debate on further limiting abortion rights in Kansas. If I understand it correctly, DeGraaf and his cronies want to ban insurance companies from covering any abortions. So that kind of makes his comment about having life insurance a complete load of crap.

Activist When They Want to Be

Categories:  Fighting Back, Republican Insanity

Many of you may have heard of this legal case that’s been making its way through the courts. A high school cheerleader in Texas (where else) was raped by a member of the basketball team. He  plead guilty to a reduced charge and was let back on the team. Later, the cheer squad wanted to cheer for him specifically by name in support of a free throw attempt. The rape victim refused to cheer for her rapist and stood silently with her arms crossed.  This being Texas, of course she was expelled from the sqad. Her parents sued and the case made its way to the supreme court which refused to hear it. So the net result - tacitly supported by the highest court in the land and explicitly supported by the 5th Circuit Court is:

  • The rape victim is denied a high school activity because she won’t cheer her rapist
  • The victim’s parents will be forced to pay the school district $45K in legal fees
  • The rapist is allowed a high school activity because he copped a plea
  • The official policy of the USA is that this is just peachy

The legal case as I understand it essentially pitted the girl’s assertion that her right to free speach was violated when she was forced to cheer her rapist against the district’s assertion that she agreed to be an agent of the cheer squad and therefore was required to participate in any cheer they came up with.

I’m not a lawyer and I have no idea what the legal precedents would dictate in this case. What I do know is there is a clear cut Moral and Seeker of Justice position here and that is to allow the victim to non-disruptively recuse herself from cheering her rapist.  But as we’ve seen on a number of recent occasions (particularly the Citizens United case), this Supreme Court doesn’t give a rats ass about legal precedent either. They’ve had not problem going way out of bounds to rule in favor of their big business cronies and they don’t seem to believe that they should ever recuse themselves no matter how involved in a case they are. Apparently they don’t think anyone else should be allowed to recuse themselves either.

This is one of those cases that is just obviously wrong. The victim got some additional victimization piled on and the people that should have been penalized weren’t.  I’m not counting the rapist here as he went through the courts and received a sentence that may or may not have been appropriate, but at least he was punished for his crime (disclaimer – since he plead down he is probably an alleged rapist not an official rapist). Here are the people that should be penalized in this case:

  • The cheer leader coaches for trying to force the victim to cheer for her rapist. This is a small town in Texas. I’m sure they all knew what went down but didn’t care or wanted to punish the victim
  • The other cheer leaders. This would have been a great opportunity to back up their teammate and all refuse to do this particular cheer.
  • The school officials that pushed this case and kicked the victim off the squad. They are clearly a bunch of dickheads for their actions. I hope the citizens they represent drum them out of their jobs but I’m guessing that won’t happen.
  • All the courts that ruled in favor of the district.  The 5th Circuit Court stated that the victims act “constituted substantial interference with the work of the school“. Give me a break. I’ve been to a lot of high school athletic events and I’ve seen a lot of cheerleaders that got out of sync with the rest of the squad and didn’t complete the cheer.  None of these games were cancelled, none of the athletes were denied scholarships due to subpar cheerleading, none of the school districts went insolvent due to lost ticket revenue, …
  • The Supreme Court. Just another good reason why our representatives in congress should be trying to impeach a few of them. I know we don’t have the votes right now, but everytime a “regular” (i.e. not a millionaire or celebrity) US citizen is denied justice it damages our country.
  • Rick Perry (R), Governor of Texas. Just because.

House Republicans Show Their Colors Again

Categories:  Attempts to Ban Abortion, Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult, Health Care, Republican Insanity

Well the house passed H.R. 3 which pretty much shows how Republicans view women.  Good summary story on Kos is here with a link to the National Women’s Law Center who say the bill will increase costs and taxes for millions of women and businesses.  The vote was 251 to 175.  16 Democrats were among those voting yes. Here’s the rollcall if you want to see what your representative did.

A Not So Good News Story

Categories:  Attempts to Ban Abortion, Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult

The Republicans in the house are still attempting insert language that will prohibit victims of “non-forcible” rape whatever that is from receiving any federal funcing if they seek abortions.  I wrote about this earlier. Its pretty typical behavior from the slimy weasels. They tried to push through a bill that most Americans disagree with. When there was push back on that, they dropped the offensive language, but they are trying to insert the equivalent of a presidential signing statement by crafting a committee report with similar wording.  If the law is ever challenged, then the courts typically allow examination of the committee report to clarify intent.  Here’s the story courtesy of Mother Jones.

A Good News Story

Categories:  Uncategorized

The Department of Labor just announced a revised equal opportunity policy that includes a prohibition on discrimination due to pregnancy.  Here’s a good article.

Rebublicans Introduce 916 Anti-Women Bills in Last 4 Months

Categories:  Attempts to Ban Abortion, Attempts to Make Abortion Difficult, Health Care, Republican Insanity

We all know that the republicans have been very busy this year attacking Women’s rights, but I didn’t realize just how busy. I seem to remember Rachel Maddow stating that they had found somewhere on the order of 300+ pending bills. Now I’ve found a report by the Guttmacher Institute that claims there have been 916 bills introduced in 49 state legislatures (the only reason its not 50 is that Louisiana hasn’t convened yet).

I don’t have any idea how accurate the report is, but there is a reasonable amount of supporting data on the website. Also, just based on the number of news reports about some of these bills we know there are a lot of them out there.  I was surprised that there are over 900 however.  Now I’m guessing that there are probably a lot of these bills introduced every year and most of them don’t have much chance of being passed. The scary thing this year is that a number of state legislatures are packed with batshit crazy right wing tea party types and every other republican is afraid of them, so some of these bills are being passed.

Here’s hoping that at least some republicans will have the courage to vote for what the majority of Americans want and expect. You wouldn’t think it would take courage to support a majority position…

Straight Talk At Last

Categories:  Fighting Back

I’ve been watching and listening to the debates in congress over the budget, Planned Parenthood, and aside from Bernie Sanders, there don’t seem to be many senators or congressmen that are willing to say anything in plain english.  But yesterday was finally a bit better. 

Nancy Pelosi (D CA) spoke at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Women, Mondy and Power Summit and said, “There is actually a war on women”. 

Later in an interview with CNN, she said, “If you are talking about jobs, their pay in the workplace, health care … no longer is being a woman a pre-existing medical condition. They want to change all of that. So in every aspect — whether it is employment, whether it is education, whether it is health care, whether it is retirement, whether it is collective bargaining, which affects women as well — women have a lot to lose with the ideological old-style agenda of the Republicans.”

Patty Murry (D WA) said, “We are not going to throw women under the bus to give them an agreement to keep this government open.”

Dianne Feinstein (D CA) said, “It’s an opportunity for the right wing in the House to really sock it to women. I don’t usually use this language, but I really believe this is true.”

Rob Andrews (D PA) said, “We value medicare”.

Of course while they probably fended of the most recent attempt to cut Planned Parenthood functing  (I read one analysis this morning that suggested Boehner didn’t actually agree to pull the rider), they still won’t drop the gloves and go after the blatant lies that the republicans keep spewing.  Case in point, John Kyl (R AZ) keeps claiming that Planned Parenthood spends 90% of its funds on abortion when he fully knows that the real number is around 3% and that no federal funds are spent on abortion related services.  When will someone stand up on the floor of the senate, call him out as a liar, scold him for his actions and propose that he be censured.  Its not that hard. And don’t tell me they are not allowed to be uncivil.  Nothing happened to Joe Wilson when he called the President a liar and nothing happened to Dick Cheney when he told Patrick Leahy to “Fuck Off”.  But both of those comments got a lot of press.