Friday, October 24, 2014

Last Call For Cincy's Last Abortion Clinic

It looks like the Planned Parenthood surgical center in Cincinnati has finally been cited for lack of a hospital transfer agreement, and has until next week to come up with a solution or risk being shut down for good.

The Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center was last inspected in June, but the health department waited until last week to notify the clinic that it was out of compliance with acontroversial state law passed last year. That could be the first step in moving to revoke the clinic's surgical license, which would make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without an abortion clinic, according to an Enquirer analysis.

Abortion clinics in Ohio now must have agreements with private hospitals willing to take abortion patients in an emergency. Many private hospitals are religious and have declined to form agreements with abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood found itself in such a situation and asked the health department to grant an exception to the rule -- a so-called "variance," which is allowed by law. 
The clinic placed the request more than a year ago and has yet to receive a response, Planned Parenthood spokesman Rick Pender told The Enquirer. 
"We have received the letter, and it is accurate in its statement that we do not have a transfer agreement," he said. "But what we have pending, for more than a year, is our variance request, which the health department has not acted on."

The other two clinics in southwest Ohio are in the same boat.  Mercy Health, formerly Catholic Health Partners (I bet you're seeing where this is going) is the largest hospital chain around.  They've basically bullied everyone in the area to revoke their transfer agreements or face their wrath, and everyone folded, most notably the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Now it's looking like the Campbell Center has until next week to come up with a plan or risk being shut down.  In fact, it's looking really, really grim for all three clinics.

But Ohio keeps electing Republicans, and the horrific anti-choice bill "moderate" Gov. John Kasich signed into law may get rid of all Ohio clinics.

Which of course was the point.

Getting Away From It All

Greg Sargent argues that Ebola allows Senate Dems to attack President Obama on something that's not going to hurt them with their base, and with a new case of the disease in NYC, the last week and change before the midterms may be defined by that response.

As I’ve reported before, Democrats are using Ebola to achieve distance from the President, who continues to be deeply disliked by constituencies who still are populated by voters who remain undecided, and could be tipped towards Republicans by a feather-push from something like Ebola remaining in the news. At the same time, this sort of criticism is unlikely to alienate the core Democratic voters whose turnout will be crucial, and who might feel less motivated if candidates break with Obama on core Democratic issues. Either way, the politics of Ebola may now be back.

The fact that America's fate may be decided by such self-pissing fear is insane, but there you have it. The reality remains that if Dems turn out, they'll win.  If they don't, Republicans will win big.  And out media has neutered, trivialized, and drenched our political process in such banalities that the voters don't give a damn any more which party destroys the country at this point.

This seems to be especially the case with my generation, older Millennials who've been around the block enough to recognize the problems with our country, but have been kidney punched relentlessly by politics to the point of apathy. "Why vote, they're all going to screw us over anyway" is something I hear a lot these days.

I respond "If you don't vote, that becomes a certainty, now doesn't it?"

Ebola shouldn't be deciding this election. Voters should.

Privilege 101 In Iowa's Senate Race

It's not that Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst said the following a couple years ago in Iowa at an NRA event:

"I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere," Ernst said at the NRA and Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa. "But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family -- whether it's from an intruder, or whether it's from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important."

It's the fact that, as Steve M. points out, it's a perfect example of privilege.

Ernst feels free to make this reckless statement, to a crowd that didn't find it the least bit objectionable, because she feels pretty safe in the assumption that she'll never be called to back those words up with actions. That's because she lives in a country where, regardless of all the hotheaded rhetoric, the government never really tyrannizes people like her and her audience, i.e., heartland white people of some means
If Ernst and the crowd she was addressing were African-American, and had to get used to staggeringly high incarceration rates, as well as routine stop-and-frisk episodes and traffic stops for themselves and their children, they'd have to ask themselves if they were really so damn brave that they'd take up arms against the government. But they don't have to worry about that. So Ernst can just let loose this way with a barrage of irresponsible talk about insurrection.

So yes, it's a perfect example.  As a veteran, Ernst should know better than to so blithely treat firearms as a propaganda piece instead of something that can, if necessary, kill.  But that's not what the NRA crowds want to hear.  They want red meat.

Oh, sure, there was that crazy David Koresh a generation ago, and there was Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge shortly before that. But in this century there's been one situation of this kind involving conservative white people: the standoff at Cliven Bundy's ranch. And in that situation, Bundy and his pals didn't actually have reason to put a bullet in anyone because the Bundyites were conservative heartland whites, and a government run by a widely despised black guy, and with an even more loathed black guy as attorney general, was never really going to risk messing with them.

Whether they'll admit it or not, white right-wing heartlanders know that the jackbooted government thuggery they have Walter Mitty fantasies about resisting happens to them only after they engage in the most extreme provocation. So they talk the talk, knowing they won't ever to have to walk the walk.

They pick a fight knowing it won't come, because it fulfills the lizard-brain need to lash out.  It's precisely because Joni Ernst can say things like this and still be in the running for a Senate seat that proves everything she says is idiotically wrong.  If Barack Obama really were the tyrant they said he was, and Eric Holder was his bag man, Joni Ernst would have been dealt with in a rather permanent fashion, yes?

Of course the barbaric yawp response to this is "And it's because we're ready to use these weapons that keeps the government from going after us" like somehow, the US armed forces that Ernst belonged to wouldn't wipe the floor with a bunch of average guys with guns if that what Barack Obama wanted to happen.

Now imagine that black protesters in Ferguson, Missouri told the cops "I do believe in the right to carry...I believe in the right to defend myself and my family...from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important" and see how long before that same government executes them on the streets like dogs for daring to exercise that right.

Black people get killed for picking up a BB gun in Wal-mart, remember?  I don't hear Joni Ernst saying anything about the right to resist government when it comes to government brutality suffered for centuries by black people.

Funny how that works.

No wonder Ernst is spending the last days of the race dodging the press.  Somebody might ask her questions, and we can't have that.  But she seems to think this might hurt in a close race, because ten days before the election she's already taking steps towards getting a recount motion started.

You think she'll lose gracefully?

Not this person.


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