Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last Call

Republicans working on jobs legislation?  Sure, if by "jobs legislation" you mean "punishing the dirty whores of DC for having sexytime."

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed an amendment to pending cybersecurity legislation that would outlaw some abortions in the District of Columbia.

The measure matched a bill from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that the House considered Tuesday. Both efforts would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. except when the mother's life is threatened, and imprison or fine doctors who disobey.

Lee's amendment comes as senators wrap up work on a cybersecurity bill authored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Lieberman asked his colleagues Tuesday afternoon not to file any more non-germane amendment to his bill.

The statement came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed submitting an amendment to repeal healthcare reform, and after Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) filed an amendment to limit the purchase of high-capacity gun magazines. 

See, this is all Frank Lauterberg's fault.  I guess the GOP ran out of time doing nothing before they could introduce their amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would force every Democrat in office to resign effective immediately, herd all homosexuals into tastefully decorated internment camps, and roll back voting privileges to only land-owning white men.

A Big Something For The Ladies

Over at MSNBC's new blog Lean Forward, Sandra Fluke weighs in on the multiple provisions in the Affordable Care Act that take effect today involving substantive changes in new and renewed insurance plans for women's health.  Among the new provisions:

- It guarantees them a free annual well-woman visit, and if needed, follow-up visits. That visit will now include a no-cost screening for domestic or intimate partner violence. For sexually-active women, the visit must also include a free annual screening for HIV and counseling for other sexually transmitted infections.

- It entitles women over 30 to a DNA screening for HPV (human pappilomavirus) every three years, regardless of pap smear results. Detecting and treating HPV will reduce these women’s risk of cervical cancer.

- It allows pregnant women to receive a free screening for gestational diabetes, not only ensuring that they receive care during their pregnancy, but reducing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in later years. They are also entitled to comprehensive support for breastfeeding, including assistance for moms struggling to breastfeed, as well as equipment like breast pumps, which is especially important for new moms returning to work outside the home.

- Finally, perhaps the best known benefit of this policy is that adult women can access contraception at no cost. This includes any FDA-approved form of contraception, including sterilization procedures, but not any form of abortion. To reiterate what we've said from the start: Access to contraception allows women to control the timing of pregnancies, ensuring that mothers and their children are as healthy as possible.

And these provisions will help all women.  Personally, having known someone whose life was saved by early screening for gestational diabetes, that third provision is no joke and I applaud it.  All of these benefits for women are things the GOP is vowing to now eliminate, so there's a pretty clear choice for your vote in November.  Don't tell me there's "no war on women" when these provisions would be among the first to go if the GOP had their way.  This is what the Democrats fought for, so if you are a woman or have a sister, mother, aunt or niece, you have every reason to applaud these changes that will save money and save lives.

Use that vote in November.

Cruz-ing To Victory

Still a couple of states out there with primaries for congressional candidates, Texas went to the polls yesterday to decide who will run for retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson's Senate seat, and the victor on the GOP side is America's newest Latino Tea Party darling, Ted Cruz.

Former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, a tea party-aligned conservative once regarded as a long-shot candidate, has won the Republican runoff in Texas, where he will be the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in the November election. The Associated Press has called the race for Cruz over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Cruz will be a heavy favorite over Democratic nominee Paul Sadler, who also won a runoff on Tuesday.

Cruz, an emerging conservative star whose father emigrated to the United States from Cuba, has drawn comparisons to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and has been lauded by national conservative political pundits and groups for over a year. His victory is a major blow to the Republican establishment in Texas, which lined up squarely behind Dewhurst. It’s also a victory for the tea party and national conservatives who lined up behind Cruz even when a surprise win appeared unlikely. 

There was no surprise, actually.   The Tea Party saw an opportunity to buy themselves a Senate seat for yet another reactionary, misogynistic dipstick and while Cruz's opponent, Texas Lt. Gov David Dewhurst, was a shoo-in 2 months ago, getting a Latino senator from Texas became a top priority for the Club For Growth crowd.  Millions poured into the race from outside the state as Cruz pounded "establishment" candidate Dewhurst, all while Cruz was a former Dubya administration legal flunky.

This is the kind of seat-buying that Citizens United made possible.  It's also a massive warning to Republicans:  if your plans are anything other than scorched earth for the 98% and fealty to the richest 2%, you will be replaced by a Tea Party nutjob, because the money to buy your seat is pocket change to the guys at the top.

Indiana, Nebraska, now Texas.  Republican "moderates" are being eliminated at the primary level, leaving behind Tea Party goons who only care about wrecking the country for the gain of their wealthy masters.  If you thought this Congress was contentious, wait until January.

Oh, So THIS Is What Crazy Looks Like

As Rainey drew within 4 feet, Roop grabbed his 9mm Glock from his pocket and fired once, striking Rainey in the shoulder, he told police. Rainey fell to the ground, screaming, ‘You shot me,’ in what Roop described as an “antagonistic” manner, according to the report.

Roop said he was still in fear and thought Rainey was reaching for something, so he shot Rainey once more in the back of the head, “for effect,” the report said. A company order brochure and cell phone were found near Rainey’s body.

If someone shot me without reason, my attitude might be described as antagonistic as well.  Witnesses say he shot the man in the shoulder, waited several seconds while nothing happened, and then shot the man in the back of the head, execution-style.

So, first we have the obvious.  No Trespassing signs are not permission to shoot anyone who comes near.  Shooting someone fatally when they did not show aggression is number two.  And third, this man is batshit crazy and has been on record as being a problem.  Let's take care of this quickly, and pray that our loved ones never come into contact with a man like Roop.  It's a scary thought, because out here in Manly Man Country, you can't swing a stick without hitting a jerk like this.

Scary times.

Girl Locked In Closet To Have Awesome Birthday

According to reports, a Kansas City girl was locked in a closet for years.  Years.  While her mother faces charges for the crime, the little girl's 11th birthday is coming around, and in an act of awesome, the world is paying attention and showering her with gifts and a party.

There is no way to make up for years of missed slumber parties, happy days at school, and social development (not to mention physical development, as she weighed 35 lbs at the time of her rescue).  However, this is a darned good start.  I hope her mother realizes total strangers are willing to reach out to her daughter in a way that she was never able to.

From the Kansas City Star:

Five weeks ago, authorities found the 10-year-old — known in police records only as LP — locked in a dark and tiny closet, her 32-pound body frail and malnourished. Authorities believe she was kept hidden inside her mom’s Kansas City apartment for several years, not allowed to play outside or go to school. Her mother reportedly kept a bowl and a bottle behind the couch where the girl would sometimes eat.
LP’s story tugged at people across the city and the country, from Georgia and Washington, D.C., to Colorado and California. And for the past couple of weeks, the cards and donations, gifts and well wishes have poured in.
Because of that, once LP turns 11 on Wednesday, she’ll have at least 400 cards to open, and large boxes of school supplies, coloring books and toys to look through. Also, a new bike and a birthday party hosted in her honor, where kids from her neighborhood plan to sing “Happy Birthday” on video.
All of this from hundreds of strangers who say they simply want her to know she’s loved.
She was released to her mother once, after having food withheld so she wouldn't go to the bathroom so often, and the article lists a whole career of abuse performed on this little girl.  But now she is safe, eating and recovering, and knows people care.  It's the first steps on the path to recovery, but she has a long road ahead.

Good luck, kiddo.

Read more here:

The Billionaire Next Door

New Yorker's Jessica Pressler talks to billionaire Jeff Greene, who has an almost sanguine take on America's class warfare.

It’s strange to imagine someone like Greene, who counts Mike Tyson as a close friend, and who has a streak that caused the L.A. party girls to refer to him as “Mean Jeff Greene,” feeling vulnerable. It’s hard to think of any superrich person as vulnerable, just as it’s hard to think that a bear with outstretched claws and giant teeth is more afraid than you are. But over the past few months, it’s become clear that rich people are very, very afraid. Sometimes it feels like this was the main accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street: a whole lot of tightened sphincters. It’s not a stretch to say many residents of Park Avenue harbor vivid fears of a populist revolt like the one seen in The Dark Knight Rises, in which they cower miserably under their sideboards while ragged hordes plunder the silver.

“This is my fear, and it’s a real, legitimate fear,” Greene says, revving up the engine. “You have this huge, huge class of people who are impoverished. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we will build a class of poor people that will take over this country, and the country will not look like what it does today. It will be a different economy, rights, all that stuff will be different.”

More often than not, fears like these manifest as loathing for the current administration, as evidenced by the recent wave of Romney fund-raisers in the Hamptons. “Obama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals,” one matron blurted at a recent party at the Pierre for Dick Morris’s Screwed!, the latest entry into a growing pile of socioeconomic snuff porn geared toward this audience.

Greene, a registered Democrat, isn’t buying this school of thought. “It is kind of a problem in America that so many Americans believe if they elect a different president, everything is going to be fine. This whole idea of American exceptionalism, that we’re the greatest, when people don’t have health insurance, don’t have housing,” he says, swinging past the guesthouse, which has 360-degree views of the bay, and the staff house, which does not. “There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,” he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,” he says. “At some point, if we keep doing this, their numbers are going to keep swelling, it won’t be an Obama or a Romney. It will be a ­Hollande. A Ch├ívez.

Greene's not so far off the mark, I'm thinking.  America's only going to put up with this crap for so long before Something Will Have To Be Done, and when that happens, it's going to get ugly. I'm thinking that a Romney administration would absolutely make that happen before the end of his first term.

Here's hoping for Obama, of course.

Dear America

"Mitt Romney had the best foreign policy trip of all time over the last week.  If it wasn't for that awful liberal media that covered the things he actually said or did, you would have known that too."

--John Hinderaker, Power Line

Bonus Verbatim Stupid:

By any reasonable standard, Romney’s trip has been successful. Yet press coverage has been unrelentingly negative. This AP story sums up the press’s angle well: “Another hiccup? Romney’s foreign trip not smooth.” To hear the AP tell it, Romney has committed one blunder after another.

If our press just ignored all the moronic, insulting, amazingly daft things that Mitt Romney says on a regular basis, why he'd be Ronald Effing Reagan.  I'm sure of it!


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