Earlier this week, an Arizona Senate panel approved HB 2800 on a party-line vote. The Arizona Senate Committee on Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform’s move came on the heels of support from the Arizona House, which approved the legislation earlier this month.
If HB 2800 is indeed passed by the full Senate, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is expected to sign the legislation into law, stripping state funding from any group such as Planned Parenthood that performs abortions.
Unfortunately, the move would have a pronounced impact on poorer Arizona women who rely on places like Planned Parenthood for many of their health care needs. As the following chart shows, abortion accounts for just 3 percent of the patient care provided by Planned Parenthood. The other 97 percent included mammograms, STI treatment, and other health services.
If passed, Arizona will join a growing list of Republican-led states to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. The largest was Texas, who last year stripped the women’s health provider of approximately $47 million in state funds. As a result, 12 clinics were forced to shut their doors, many in rural areas with few other health care providers. Other states, such as New Jersey and Wisconsin, have taken away funds as well.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who is running for Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat, criticized the state legislature, calling the Senate panel’s approval was an “extremely misguided” decision. “As a longtime health care professional,” Carmona told ThinkProgress, “I can say without hesitation that restricting access to reproductive health care is detrimental to the health and safety of women. Period.”
Arizona state law already prohibits using tax dollars for abortions. The real effect of HB 2800 would be to take away necessary health care services to low-income Arizonans.
Did you see the big smack down last night between MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)? The dean of disinformation mostly just repeated his well-worn falseshoods about global warming, which Maddow shot down.
But there was one remarkable admission from the former Chair of the Senate Environment Committee:
“I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”
In short, learning about the (supposed) high cost of the solution is what turned him from a believer in climate science to a denier.
Yes, you always have to take what Inhofe says with a grain of (smelling) salt, but this admission confirms what many of us have been saying for years (see Krauthammer (6/08): ”The real reason conservatives don?t believe in climate science”). As the NY Times explained about a 2008 denial conference, ?The one thing all the attendees seem to share is a deep dislike for mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gases.? If you can’t abide the cure, you’re much more likely to deny the disease.
The journalist Michael Kinsley famously said, “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.”
Watch it (4 minutes in):
[Apologies for that absurd ExxonMobil Keystone tar sands ad.]
It’s long been clear that it’s far more costly not to act (see Scientists find ?net present value of climate change impacts? of $1240 TRILLION on current emissions path). And the International Energy Agency explained last year, ”Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.?
Ironically, the kind of denial and delay Inhofe is promoting guarantees much bigger and more intrusive government in the coming decades, for two reasons:
Tragically, Inhofe’s home state is among those poised to suffer the worst and ultimately depopulate. As we saw in the 1930s Dust Bowl, abandonment is the most common adaptation strategy when faced with prolonged drought -- and the droughts Oklahoma will be seeing in the coming decades will make the Dust Bowl seem wet and cool by comparison (see “Must-read NCAR analysis warns we risk multiple, devastating global droughts even on moderate emissions path“).
The other memorable part of the exchange occurs about 7 minutes in. Maddow points out that Inhofe gets a lot of money from fossil fuel companies and the Kochs, so shouldn’t a “reasonable person” think that his “anti-global warming, pro-fossil fuel stance is sort of just what your donors are paying for.”
Inhofe first says “Big Oil” isn’t really that big. Seriously. The “Top Five Oil Companies Made $1 Trillion in Profits from 2001 Through 2011.”
Then he starts to ramble about some article that showed environmentalists far outspent industry. He claimed it just appeared in “a very liberal publication” — by which he means the journal Nature (!) one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world.
But what he was actually referring to was a 2011 study by Matthew Nisbet of American University (that got covered in Nature at the time). Of course, that study was thoroughly debunked by one of its original reviewers — see Leading expert withdraws name fromClimate Shift report, explains how key conclusion that environmentalists weren?t outspent by opponents of climate bill ?is contradicted by Nisbet?s own data.?
Indeed, I showed the reverse was true, with the help of that reviewer — see “Climate Shift data reanalysis makes clear opponents of climate bill far outspent environmentalists.” The data actually suggest opponents of the bill far outspent environmentalists during the climate bill debate of 2009 and 2010:
Maddow of course was stunned by Inhofe’s claims:
?So you think that the environmental groups have more money they spend on this issue [climate change] than the entire energy industry?? a skeptical Maddow asked.
?Absolutely,? Inhofe replied confidently. ?You get the MoveOn.org, the George Soros, the Michael Moores, all the Hollywood elites and all your good friends out there. Yeah, they sure do.?
?I would put Michael Moore up against Exxon on this any day,? Maddow said laughing.
As Raw Story noted of the exchange:
However, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, environmental groups spent $22.4 million on lobbying efforts in 2009, while the energy industry spent $175 million.
What a surprise that the debunked Nisbet report is now nothing more than a talking point for the top antiscience denier in the country.
The ExxonMobil ad that accompanies the Maddow clip is an ironic coda on this whole discussion. The fossil fuel companies keep spending a staggering amount of money to push their views, whereas enviros have sharply scaled back their relatively modest spending.
Personally, I’m not certain that giving so much air time to a well-practiced disinformer is a great idea. I suspect Maddow’s underlying goal was to zing him on his ties to Ugandan anti-gay politicians in the second segment. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this.
Last month, ThinkProgress Green reported that the corporate-funded Heartland Institute was creating a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” With support from an anonymous donor, Heartland will pay $100,000 a year to David Wojick, a coal-industry consultant who believes “CO2 is not pollution,” to produce materials disrupting education of the facts of man-made climate change. Wojick’s work would counter efforts like the “Climate Literacy” guide developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Foundation.
In an interview with the subscription-only Climatewire, Wojick said that teaching the facts of climate change is “wrong” because that’s just “one side of the debate”:
Wojick believes climate materials developed for teachers in 2009 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program portray a one-sided description of the man-made impacts that he says do not exist. Although thousands of scientists and educators contributed to the development of the materials, called “Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science,” Wojick described them as part of the “dangerous AGW school of thought.” He was referring to anthropogenic global warming.
“That stuff is wrong,” Wojick said yesterday. “I mean, that’s teaching one side of the debate. In fact, if you look through the Climate Literacy stuff, there’s no indication of a debate. The concept of a debate is not raised. So you obviously can’t use that stuff to teach the debate.”
The notion that accepted scientific facts must be presented as only “one side of the debate” is a scary one indeed. Perhaps in Wojick’s world, science teachers should have to spend equal time explaining that gravity might not exist, the moon might be made of green cheese, and that the Earth might be flat.
One in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute?s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents attributed to the Heartland Institute and sent to us from an anonymous and then unknown source. The source later revealed himself. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (?2012 Climate Strategy?) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the “2012 Climate Strategy” document as it determines the document?s authenticity.
Candi Cushman is Focus on the Family’s so-called “expert” on education and bullying, which made her a prime candidate for GLAAD’s new Commentator Accountability Project (CAP). She regularly promotes ex-gay therapy in schools, opposes anti-bullying initiatives, and claims that the LGBT movement is trying to indoctrinate students by “sexualizing” schools. But she’s not happy about CAP, which she mistakenly calls a “blacklist,” because she think it promotes hate against Christians:
?Hate? is wrong. So let?s talk about ?hate,? ?extreme rhetoric? and ?animus.? I submit for your review just a few of the comments we?ve received from those who disagree with our stance on marriage and sexuality. Normally, we wouldn?t subject our audience to this sort of language, and please consider this a warning, but I think it?s necessary to expose the irony here.
- ?You *expletive* tyrannical theocRAT heterosupremacist gay bashers. Take your gay-bashing, kill-the-Jews Bible, stick it down your Jesus koolaid drinking throat and choke on it.?
- ?YOUR *expletive* BIBLE IS ALL ?HEARSAY?
- ?the bulk of bullying comes from what kids learn in Church about hating others??
- ?You are murderers? You are evil, murderous sons and daughters of *expletive*?
- ?Expect retribution on a biblical scale?
It?s worth noting that the first three comments listed were posted to the Day of DialogueŽ Facebook page?which, keep in mind, has an audience comprised mostly of students, ages 13-17. What exactly was the purpose of those comments? To intimidate teens from sharing about Jesus with their friends? It?s also interesting to note that the only comments that ever mentioned ?hate? on that student-oriented page appear to have come from adult, gay activists.
She is trying to compare a few inappropriate reactionary Facebook comments to a spokesperson spreading harmful misinformation on national television. And of course, she doesn’t bother to mention why the Day of Dialogue encourages teens to “share Jesus with their friends.” Its whole premise is to respond to the Day of Silence, the GLSEN-organized protest against anti-gay bullying, by motivating children to be vocal in their Biblical condemnations of homosexuality as “sickly and weak” and something gay students “struggle” with. Though Cushman claims to oppose bullying, all of her actions and rhetoric serve to reinforce a dangerous climate for gay students.
GLAAD’s project is not an “intolerant” call for “censorship,” but an attempt to hold harmful rhetoric like Cushman’s accountable. In schools, bullies can sometimes get away with their actions by claiming their victims started the fight, but in the age of accountability, the real bullies’ actions are well documented.
A reminder that the same always-wrong warmongers who started the Iraq clusterfuck are now beating the drums for war in Iran. For the same un-American, war-profiteering reasons, but to far, far worse effect.
Shock And Awe is the fith track on Blow Up Hollywood's CD The Diaries of Private Henry Hill
President Obama with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in August 2010. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Politico's Joseph Williams sallies forth with a story titled "Labor's lost love for Obama returns," a perfect example of how political reporters miss the big questions by trying to fit labor into the standard narratives of political reporting. You see, "After three years of spats, President Barack Obama and the unions have embraced each other again" and "The AFL-CIO became the latest major union to support Obama?s reelection when it endorsed him this week." (The AFL-CIO, of course, is not a union. It is a federation of unions.) So the story as Politico tells it is unions loved Obama in 2008, then got mad, but then he started talking about jobs and now they just love him again, no questions asked. Why did they get mad in 2009 and 2010? Things like this:
The White House?s failure to communicate its position angered the unions, [a former government official who worked closely with the White House on labor issues] said, but the administration thought defeat on the EFCA was a foregone conclusion.The thing is, if organized labor "had the sense" the Employee Free Choice Act was on the agenda, it's because people in the Obama administration told union leaders that was the case. One can question the decision by union leaders to believe the Obama administration on that, particularly as the claim that this union priority would become an administration priority immediately after health care reform was being made at the same time environmental leaders were apparently being told an energy bill would be the next priority. But it's not like union leaders just decided, on their own, to believe that the White House would support EFCA even as people in the administration were flatly telling them otherwise.
?Organized labor had the sense EFCA was going to get done,? the former White House aide said. ?We thought we?d already lost that fight.?
But, according to Politico's 2012 election narrative, Obama gave some pro-union speeches and pushed some jobs legislation and poof, unions were uncritically back on his side.
And, okay, yeah, maybe the stark comparison between the fierce anti-union positions of the Republican presidential candidates and Obama's theoretical, if not usually fiercely fought, support for union rights has something to do with it. Maybe it's that, in the words of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, "Elections are choices. They're not referendums." But either way, to hear Politico tell it, 2012 will be 2008 all over again as far as union support for Obama goes.
In fact, the AFL-CIO at least has made a serious point that it will not be campaigning for Obama in 2012 and then relaxing, relying on him to push through the legislation unions care about. Instead, the labor federation will be working in 2012 to prepare union members to keep campaigning, after the elections, for a pro-worker agenda. That's a significant shift and one that speaks to the clear view that while a second Obama term is necessary if unions and non-union workers alike are not going to be completely trampled starting in 2013, a second Obama term without a strong progressive movement in the interests of working people is in no way sufficient to end the dominance of the top 1 percent.
The Senate's transportation bill, which passed earlier this week, is more bipartisan than good. The bill lasts for two years rather than the 5 years requested by the White House, and it funds at about 2/3 the level in the President's budget request,[...]
Read The Full Article:
That's a newly released "budget preview" from Rep. Paul Ryan (Sociopath-WI), but with no specifics at all it appears to be more of an audition tape for Ryan's much greater political ambitions.
Here's the core of the message:
?What if your president, your senator and your congressman knew it was coming? What if they knew when it was going to happen, why it was going to happen, and more importantly, what if they knew what they needed to do to stop it from happening and they had the time to stop it, but they chose to do nothing about it, because it wasn?t good politics? What would you think of that person? It would be immoral. This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we?ve ever had in this country. And look what?s happening. This is why we?re acting. This is why we?re leading. This is why we're proposing and passing from the House a budget to fix this problem. So we can save this country, for ourselves and for our children?s future.?The end of video, with Ryan walking into a room with lights and a camera set up, suggests that this is just the first installment in the Paul Ryan commercial. He's set to introduce his budget next week. This is the budget that will break the debt deal signed into law last August and threaten yet another government shutdown.
Apparently Ryan thinks dramatic music and the force of his personality will convince the nihilists in his party that the $19 billion in further cuts his budget is purported to contain is enough when they want $116 billion slashed, or that it will bring Democrats to their senses and they'll ignore the fact that he's playing brinksmanship, again.
Or he's auditioning for that VP nod from the GOP presidential candidates. Which is just as likely as any other interpretation, considering the lack of actual content provided.
Whoa! This is huge news!
State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.This means that the Senate will be divided equally between 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats once Galloway's resignation is effective. Now there are two big questions to answer. The first is how Galloway's vacant seat will be filled. We have a strong candidate in the form of Rep. Donna Seidel, who had already been planning to run in the recall; presumably, she'll seek Galloway's seat regardless. The other is whether Republicans will be forced into a power-sharing arrangement in the Senate, with the chamber split between the two parties. We'll bring you more on both of these issues as we learn it.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) confirmed her plans Friday and said he believed Galloway would make an announcement later in the day.
Fitzgerald said Galloway was resigning because of health issues in her family. He said he was confident she could have won the recall election.
The recall election against Galloway would still move forward even though she would no longer occupy the seat, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, which runs state elections.As long as Galloway resigns before the election, though, her name will not appear on the ballot.
For today's edition of "Musicians Who Died Too Young Doing Schoolhouse Rock," we have Jeff Buckley with "Three is a Magic Number." Yes it is.
And a bonus link: here's De La Soul's version.