Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last Call For Too Much Advice

It seems like everyone wants to tell President Obama how he can really hurt Vlad Putin this week, from Sen. Marco Rubio to Slate's Fred Kaplan to Russian dissident Alexey Navalny to Sen. John McCain to Rush Limbaugh.

Guys, I'm pretty sure President Obama can handle this, thanks.

Besides, would you take "objective" advice from any of these folks on pretty much anything, considering all five think we should be sending troops to Eastern European NATO countries like Poland to ratchet up the tension?

Rand Paul Lectures Us Again

Because Rand Paul really, really can't help himself with this "If you people were only smart enough to listen to me" garbage, this time as he goes to UC Berkeley to tell black folks that Democrats are the real racists, again.

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, says President Obama should be particularly wary of domestic spying, given the government’s history of eavesdropping on civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying,” Mr. Paul said, previewing remarks he planned to deliver to a group of students and faculty members Wednesday afternoon at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon,” he said. “The possibility for abuse in this is incredible. So I don’t care if there’s never been any evidence of abuse with the N.S.A., they should not be collecting the data.”

To recap, it takes a lot of balls to be a white guy who would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and believes business owners have the right to discriminate against customers based solely on race, creed, religion and/or sexual orientation to be speaking to the first black POTUS this way.  And now he is suddenly worried about black people and doesn't understand why we haven't turned against Obama over the NSA?  No.

His trip to the university here is the latest piece of a carefully constructed plan by Mr. Paul and his political operation to try to broaden his appeal beyond the Republican Party. Mr. Paul has had tough words for his party and its leaders lately, saying they risk shutting themselves out of power for years to come if they do not start convincing young people, blacks, Hispanics and others who have abandoned Republicans that the party can and will change.

He picked Berkeley as an ideal place to test out his message on a group of new potential supporters, he said, because the issue of domestic spying has deeply upset many liberals and turned many of the president’s loyal constituents on the left against him.

His message of course being "You people are stupid to not vote for me even though I'm clearly trying to manipulate you and split the left, leaving Republicans in charge of everything so we can abolish nearly all of the social and civil rights advances made in the last 80 years."

And we're not buying it, especially whenever President Obama does acknowledge race in America, he's immediately portrayed by Republicans as divisive.  Race doesn't matter unless it's a situation where Rand Paul thinks it should matter? 

Take your privilege and shove it, man.

And The Crap Came Back

Ohio Republicans aren't giving up on effectively criminalizing abortions, as this marks the third year out of four they've introduced their ridiculous "heartbeat" bill.

Ohio state Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

SB 297 allows abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected only to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman. It contains no exceptions for rape or incest, and would make performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected a fifth-degree felony. The bill also would create a joint legislative committee to promote adoption, and allow a woman who has had an abortion to file a civil suit against the physician for the “wrongful death of her unborn child.”

So not only would it become a felony to perform a medical abortion after just the first six weeks (before many women know they are even pregnant) but women could then apparently retroactively sue abortion providers right out of business, so it's not like any providers would be left anyway.

Another heartbeat ban passed the state house in 2011 but failed to pass the senate, and it has not received hearings or a vote since being reintroduced in the house in 2013. The recent senate reintroduction came the day before a federal court permanently struck down another extreme abortion ban in Arkansas, which would have banned the procedure after 12 weeks and defined viability as beginning with a fetal heartbeat. Attorneys who sued to block that law successfully argued that it unconstitutionally restricted abortion before a fetus is viable.

Which is great, but Ohio's existing abortion laws are very close to turning Cincinnati into the largest metro area in the US without any abortion providers whatsoever.

As more abortion clinics close in Ohio, few hospitals are willing to perform the procedure under any circumstance.

In 2012, fewer than 1 percent of the 25,000 abortions performed in Ohio occurred at a hospital.

State law prohibits public hospitals from performing abortions or entering into transfer agreements for care after one is performed. Even most private hospitals have bans on elective abortions or strict guidelines for when the procedure can be performed.

Some hospitals allow for abortions deemed to be medically necessary. Increasingly, though, that means only in the most dire circumstances, as when the life of an expectant mother is threatened.

Few hospitals in Southwest Ohio will perform an abortion due to a genetic anomaly of a fetus, said Dr. Roslyn Kade, medical director at Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.

“The hospitals used to induce all of those patients. That is something that has changed very recently,” she said. “Even if the pregnancy is not viable, these women have to go to (full) term or get referred, because they likely won’t terminate the pregnancy in the hospital now.”

Cincinnati could be without any abortion providers by the end of this year.  That's shocking.  The GOP only wants to speed that up.
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