Federal courts have consistently trimmed back attempts by states to write their own immigration laws. The Supreme Court overturned much of the Arizona immigration law in June, and federal judges have done the same to parts of laws in several Southern[...]
Read The Full Article:
"You Were Right, Sylvester." This was originally posted here April 29, 2011 and was the 26,000th essay on DocuDharma.Scaredy Cat [...]
Read The Full Article:
That cynical ploy of the Romney/Ryan plan to gut Medicare, but to keep the senior vote by putting those cuts off on the next batch of retirees, is looking increasingly empty. That's because their plan to repeal Obamacare, and to "restore" the $716 billion in provider cuts, means that Romney/Ryan will either have to make up those funds with revenues or with cuts to current seniors, because without that money, Medicare becomes insolvent by 2016. The Republican allergy to new revenue pretty much determines they'll squeeze that money out of seniors, and Romney advisers are admitting it.
Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie was the first to admit they'd target current seniors by raising the eligibility age for Medicare. And now another adviser is admitting that benefits cuts are definitely on the table.
Avik Roy, an outside health care adviser to the Romney campaign, admits that committing to billions of dollars in higher Medicare spending in the near-term will make it difficult for Romney to achieve its separate goal of reducing overall federal spending to modern lows. But he notes thatRomney could make up the difference elsewhere in the budget or, by ?mak[ing] other changes to the Medicare program, such as increased means-testing, that don?t alter the program?s basic structure.?Means testing would apply to people on Medicare now, and it would be a cut to benefits, benefits that retirees earned through years of work and contributing to the system.
That's not the only thing seniors would be losing under Romney/Ryan. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, with it goes the $4.1 billion seniors and disabled people have saved on prescription drugs. That amounts to an average of $768 in annual savings for Medicare patients, a significant chunk of money for anyone on a fixed income. Also gone with repeal are the free cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services.
Romney and Ryan are lying, no surprise, when they say that anyone on Medicare now won't see a change in their benefits. They're playing a shell game with American seniors.
From the August 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
I appeared on ?The Big Picture? on RT last night to discuss Assange?s speech and the asylum decision. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) appeared during the same segment as well. Sam Sacks filled in for Thom Hartmann, who[...]
Read The Full Article:
Ending Medicare as we know it may be the best-known part of the Romney-Ryan plan, but there's so much more there that people will just hate as they learn about it. That gives the Obama campaign the chance to peel off a piece at a time to let people know about it, a new set of Republican policies to hate practically every week between now and the election. Up now: education, particularly college aid.
On Tuesday, Obama planned to tell voters in sharply contested Ohio that Ryan's budget proposal would cut $115 billion from the Education Department, remove 2 million children from Head Start programs and cost 1 million college students their Pell Grants over the next decade. The line of criticism will be coupled with television ads.A radio ad running in Ohio says that Ryan's budget "could cut Pell Grants for up to 356,000 Ohio students." And in his planned remarks at a Columbus, Ohio, event Tuesday, Obama says:
That?s his answer for a young person hoping to go to college?shop around, borrow money from your parents if you have to?but if they don?t have it, you?re on your own.The Romney campaign's response is that college costs have increased under President Obama, which is one of those charges that's true as far as it goes?except that the president does not set tuition levels, and Romney's charges depend on no one looking at his record in Massachusetts. Romney likes to tout a program in Massachusetts that gave free tuition at state universities for high-scoring high school students.
That?s not an answer. There is nothing a parent wants more than to give our kids opportunities we never had. And there are few things as painful as not being able to do that. But right now, as we?re still fighting our way back from the worst economic crisis in most of our lifetimes, many parents are struggling just to make ends meet. And I do not accept the notion that we should deny their children the opportunity of a higher education and a brighter future just because their families were hit hard by the recession.
There was only one problem: due to the structure of university costs in Massachusetts, free tuition meant little because non-tuition fees are egregiously high. For example, the scholarship covered only 7 percent of total costs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, according to the Boston Globe. And while tuition leveled out, other college costs grew by 63 percent during Romney's tenure.So those charges about Obama making college less affordable might be convincing as long as no one looks at Romney's past record or his plans for the future, or notices that Obama has added $40 billion in Pell Grants along with other initiatives to make college more affordable.
But for all of that the overall numbers in the race have moved very little. When we polled in May McCaskill was getting only 8% of the Republican vote, and even with the controversy around Akin she’s only pushed up to 10% of it. GOP voters dislike McCaskill so much they’re not going to vote for her no matter what their nominee does. Independent voters haven’t moved at all either. In May they supported Akin 45-41, and even though they don’t like him on tonight’s poll we still found him leading 45-41 with them. [Public Policy Polling]
IT’S HARD TO not go back to what drove my brother from the Republican Party and caused his political troubles in Missouri when I look at the Todd Akin rape victim, self-aborting physical phenomenon, which stipulates that women are expected to be incubators for rapists, which by the way, is a view Paul Ryan shares. He just wasn’t stupid enough to vocalize it. Mitt Romney’s already said he’d sign “personhood” legislation. So the political party that allowed my brother to co-sponsor the ERA bill in the Missouri state senate, as well as support a woman’s right to choose in that body as well, is now a fundamentalist hot bed of extremists who will be allowed to take the entire country off the one subject that’s most important: how we get this country back to a We Build Things society again.
While the PPP poll is depressing, Survey USA, while revealing the hot bed fundamentalism across Missouri, also reveals some hope there.
54% statewide, including a majority of men and women, and a majority of those in 4 of the state’s 5 regions, say Akin should quit the race and allow another Republican to run in his place. 35% say Akin should continue his bid to unseat McCaskill. A large majority, 76%, do not share Akin’s views on rape and pregnancy. But it is important to note that 13% do share his views, including 16% of pro-life voters, 19% of conservatives and 24% of African Americans. Akin says that he mis-spoke. But 55% in Missouri don’t buy it.
The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday.
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the draft platform declares. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
Conservatism is a philosophy that includes not involving government and politics in people’s lives too directly, certainly not with a purpose of controlling them. But today’s Republican Party thinks they have that right, with Missouri a leading light in that backward view, which will never win in the end. It’s just too bad there aren’t any Republicans willing to start a coalition inside that party to push back on what’s taking way too much energy out of the political conversation.
What’s the matter with Todd Akin is the same thing that’s wrong with the Republican Party today, which is drawing the Democratic Party further right as well, because they’re trying to sop up people offended by the current Republican stance on women’s freedom, which is founded on the notion that women aren’t equal to men when it comes to self-determination. That a woman’s womb makes her hostage to government fiat.
The result is more people on the left and right who won’t vote and who can blame them?
So, with Republican fundamentalism ruling, Pres. Obama and the Democrats are embracing fiscal conservatives in order to cobble together just enough to tilt elections in their direction, while not making the progressive economic argument that is powerful at a time when building a new American economic engine should be everyone’s focus.
Here’s a news flash for religious conservatives, wherever they reside in the political pantheon, because Democrats have also embraced politicians with these views; see Stupak-Pitts and Pres. Obama’s gratuitous executive order. A woman finding herself in the throes of an unplanned pregnancy that she can’t abide will always find a way to get an abortion. Even if it puts her own life in danger.
In this Roman Catholic stronghold, where abortion is deeply stigmatized, reproductive health providers tell stories of women going to pharmacies across the border in Mexico, in search of a drug they hope will terminate unwanted pregnancies. [...] In a 2010 study he published in the journal Reproductive Health Matters, a 30-year-old Texas woman reported that she started taking misoprostol in her 13th week of pregnancy. She bled so badly that she had to be admitted to a hospital. The woman said cost was the factor behind her decision to try misoprostol instead of visiting a clinic. But she had no regrets. ?If I was put in the exact situation all over again,? she was quoted as saying, ?I?d probably do it again.? [Texas Tribune]
What Todd Akin represents, which is why Mitt Romney and Republicans want him out of the race so badly and why Paul Ryan called him himself, is the callousness and controlling fundamentalism embedded in today’s Republican Party whose “big tent” fantasy doesn’t include women who demand what men have inherently, which is the civil and human rights to have control over our own body. He also is a reminder that Paul Ryan was one of the co-sponsors to a bill in January 2011 that intended to redefine rape as “forcible,” as if there is any other kind.
That Pres. Obama joined their language yesterday by invoking it in his press conference wasn’t picked up by any outlet or new media site anywhere. To remind, after saying “rape is rape,” he said: “?or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape, I think those are broader issues?? It was likely said to find common ground and since Republicans are so extreme no one is going to pick gnat crap out of pepper. In fact, to my knowledge, I was the only one to even question its outrageous utterance. Readers around here didn’t even find it very shocking, because compared to what Republicans are intending for women at least Pres. Obama has put the largest expansion of power in U.S. history in women’s hands by making contraception free, as well as a host of other reproductive health care options. The forgotten detail is he also chose politics over science on Plan B. These are inconvenient facts that are ignored when looking at Romney-Ryan in the White House. But it’s part of why women continue on this tread mill of individual freedoms.
Until a strong Republican pro women’s freedom and self-determination coalition develops inside that party our country will remain unable to solve the larger issues facing us.
Until Democrats refuse to compromise and coddle their own religious conservatives on matters of women’s fundamental rights of freedoms we’ll keep talking about this subject election after election.
When are political fundamentalists who want government out of food stamps, but expect that same government to police a woman’s body, going to be ostracized and made the pariahs they deserve to be?
Todd Akin is the poster boy this election. In 2010 it was Bart Stupak, and guess what, he ended up winning the argument, because Pres. Obama, Democrats and so-called progressives in Congress let him.
However, this doesn’t matter when you’re looking at the alternative, which is poised to make Todd Akin’s philosophy the one on which they’d govern if Romney-Ryan were elected.
TM Note: The title is a take off on “What’s the Matter with Kansas?,” a book by Thomas Frank.
image via Shutterstock
PLEASE FORGIVE ME, but know I still believe what I said I did, however, I know now not to ever utter the words.
He’s Todd Akin and he approved this lie.
SAVE US FROM fundamentalist Republicans. And from so-called “Feminist Perspectives on Rape.”
Rep. Todd Akin has, unwittingly to be sure, harmed the pro-life movement, his senatorial race in Missouri, the Republican Party, and therefore quite possibly the nation. [...] While he should not have used the term “legitimate rape,” he could have explained later that, given the expanded definitions of rape, not all claims of “rape” are truly rape. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Feminist Perspectives on Rape states, for example, that “we must recognize that, in some cases, ‘yes’ also means no … The man may threaten to sue for custody of their children, to derail her green card application, to evict her, or simply to sulk and make her life miserable for days should she refuse to have sex. Which (if any) of such nonviolent coercive pressures should be regarded as rape, either morally or legally, is a matter of some controversy.” – Dennis Prager
As a woman who grew up amid the modern feminist revolution, I reject this so-called feminist “philosophy” completely. Rape is not a term to be utilized for convenience to make a point, but applies only to the physically violent power assault against a woman (or a man, let’s remember).
But Prager’s utilization of this outlandish example of feminism, as well as his usage of the term “legitimate rape,” is further illustration of why the Republican platform will affirm the Akin-Paul Ryan theory of women reproductive rights.
At least Prager gets this part correct:
The far greater problem was Congressman Akin’s other comment: “From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy is] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” As one wit put it about such a comment: that was worse than wrong, it was stupid. Akin should say so. And so should the pro-life movement. Unless — and this would be upsetting — he, and the movement, don’t think this comment was stupid. Pregnancy from rape is rare because a “woman’s body shuts down”? Who told Akin this? And why would he believe it, even if some doctor did tell him this?
T-Mobile, based in Belleveu, Washington, has endorsed marriage equality in the state, contributing $25,000 to the ballot initiative Referendum 74. ?T-Mobile has a long-standing focus on creating an inclusive workplace environment for our employees,? T-Mobile interim CEO Jim Alling said. “Our support of this issue is a reflection of our culture, how we do business, and our belief in the fair and equitable treatment of all employees.? T-Mobile joins a number of other Washington-based companies supporting the state’s marriage equality law, including $200,000 from Microsoft and $2.5 million from Amazon. This support has given marriage equality proponents a fundraising edge heading into the fall.