Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Last Call For Anti-Choicers In Albuquerque

As expected, the vote on a municipal ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Albuquerque has gone down in flames.

Voters in Albuquerque defeated a proposal on Tuesday that would have outlawed most late-term abortions in New Mexico's largest city in the first test of such a measure on a municipal ballot in the United States.

The measure, which would have barred doctors within city limits from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless a mother's life was in danger, was rejected 55 percent to 45 percent.

Abortion rights advocates hailed the outcome as a victory against out-of-state anti-abortion activists seen as spear-heading an initiative.

Supporters of the measure predicted that similar proposals would gain ground in other cities and states across the country.

Except you know, where the anti-choicers try to turn it into no abortion ever.

The proposed 20-week cutoff on abortions in the Albuquerque measure allowed for few of the exemptions permitted in most late-term abortion bans enacted in other states in recent years. It contained no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and would have waived the ban only to save a mother's life or if continuing her pregnancy risked "substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."

Lost by 10 points.  So what now, Team Freedom Unless You're Talking About Vaginas?


Will The Honey Badger Finally Push The Button?

Sen. Harry Reid has barreled forward without giving too much of a damn about the Republican Party's tender feelings, but he's been skittish to make any major changes to the Senate's filibuster rules.  That is until the Republicans blocked all three DC Circuit Court federal judges nominated this month for no reason other than President Obama was doing it.  Apparently, this is enough of a violation of the "gentleman's agreement" for Honey Badger Harry to push the Big Red Button.  Greg Sargent:

Senator Harry Reid appears set to go nuclear — before Thanksgiving. 
With Senate Republicans blocking a third Obama nomination to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells me Reid is now all but certain to move to change the Senate rules by simple majority — doing away with the filibuster on executive and judicial nominations, with the exception of the Supreme Court – as early as this week. 
At a presser today, Reid told reporters he was taking another look at rules reform, but didn’t give a timeline. The senior leadership aide goes further, saying it’s hard to envision circumstances under which Reid doesn’t act.
“Reid has become personally invested in the idea that Dems have no choice other than to change the rules if the Senate is going to remain a viable and functioning institution,” the aide says. That’s a long journey from where Reid was only 10 months ago, when he agreed to a toothless filibuster reform deal out of a real reluctance to change the rules by simple majority. 
Asked to explain the evolution, the aide said: “It’s been a long process. But this is the only thing we can do to keep the Senate performing its basic duties.”

If this finally is the last straw, the Republicans broke that particular bunch over and over again.  No Senate in history has used the filibuster to block nominations as much as the GOP has to block President Obama's picks for federal positions.

The difference is Republicans are making the argument not that the nominees are bad, but that President Obama doesn't have the right to make nominations period, because it would "change" the makeup of a federal court to favor the President's party.

Reid has concluded Senate Republicans have no plausible way of retreating from the position they’ve adopted in this latest Senate rules standoff, the aide says. Republicans have argued that in pushing nominations, Obama is “packing” the court, and have insisted that Obama is trying to tilt the court’s ideological balance in a Democratic direction — which is to say that the Republican objection isn’t to the nominees Obama has chosen, but to the fact that he’s trying to nominate anyone at all
Reid believes that, having defined their position this way, Republicans have no plausible route out of the standoff other than total capitulation on the core principle they have articulated, which would be a “pretty dramatic reversal,” the aide continues. 
“They’ve boxed themselves in — their position allows them no leeway,” the aide says, in characterizing Reid’s thinking. “This is not a trumped up argument about the qualification of a nominee. They are saying, `we don’t want any nominees.’”

So once again we're in a situation where 43 other Presidents could do things that apparently this President should not be allowed to do.  One has to then ask "well what's different about President Obama?"

What indeed, Republicans?

Push the button, Harry.

La Coke-a Nose-tra

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why drug testing welfare recipients is utter nonsense.

In September, Rep. Trey Radel voted for Republican legislation that would allow states to make food stamp recipients pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs. In October, police busted the Florida Republican on a charge of cocaine possession
“It’s really interesting it came on the heels of Republicans voting on everyone who had access to food stamps get drug tested," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told BuzzFeed Tuesday. "It’s like, what?” 
The House over the summer approved an amendment by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) that would let states drug test people on food stamps. The amendment passed by voice vote, meaning members' individual yeas and nays were not recorded. Radel later voted in favor of a broader food stamps bill that included Hudson's measure. 
In support of his drug testing legislation, Hudson cited the many state legislatures around the country that had considered similar requirements for other means-tested programs in recent years. 
"This is a clear and obvious problem in our communities as nearly 30 states have introduced legislation to drug test for welfare programs," Hudson said. "We have a moral obligation to equip the states with the tools they need to discourage the use of illegal drugs."

But not, of course, the people who make the laws to test welfare recipients for drugs.  Because welfare recipients, unlike members of Congress, have so much spare cash lying around for drugs.  But let's continue to tell ourselves those people are the problem, and not Republicans in Congress doing coke.

Of course, now we're all supposed to feel sorry for the rich right-wing broadcaster turned Congressman, earning $174,000 a year plus his multi-million dollar media relations company in Florida.  But you won't see him lose that salary or his company over this.  He'll get a slap on the wrist, and hell, probably get more famous for "beating addiction". So he can stay in Congress and vote to make sure that lesser plebes don't get that nice treatment program he'll get.

Nice job if you can get it.


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