Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last Call For A Heart(beat) Habit To Break

Guess what's back, kids?  The GOP nutjob Heartbeat Bill!

Republican lawmakers in Ohio on Thursday advanced a bill that would ban abortion as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. 
H.B. 248, the so-called "Heartbeat bill," advanced out of the House Health and Aging Committee by a party-line vote of 11 to 6. If it passes the Republican-controlled House and Senate, doctors who perform abortions after the imposed limit would face a fifth-degree felony. Opponents warn the bill would ban abortions before some women even realize they're pregnant. 
“The members of the Health Committee are so callous that they refused to add amendments to provide exceptions for victims of rape and incest or to remove criminal penalties that could be used to imprison doctors that provide abortion care," said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. "The chilling effect of this crusade is being felt throughout the medical community and will no doubt result in talented physicians leaving Ohio to practice in other states.”

HB 248 would essentially eliminate abortion in Ohio, and the anti-choice nutjobs in the Ohio GOP have been trying to muscle this bill through now for two years.  The only reason it's not law is because the bill is even too extreme for some Ohio Republicans, who fear that an inevitable court battle over the bill would actually tell America the truth about the "pro-life" movement: that its goal is to eliminate safe and legal abortions in the US and return women back to the days of back alleys and black markets to get them.

The bad press might finally clue working-class white women in to the fact that the GOP wants to regulate them like chattel.  Wouldn't go so well for them in 2016 and they know it, especially if they, you know, need Ohio in order to win the White House.  Most of all it would blow a giant hole in John Kasich's 2016 plans.  If he signs the bill, he's done for as a moderate, and if he vetoes it, frankly there's enough Republicans in the Ohio State House to override it and he gets both sides angry at him.

So will this bill pass the Ohio House and Senate?  We're about to find out, and pretty quickly.

I've Got One Word For You...

Legendary (and the superlative is absolutely applicable here) director Mike Nichols has passed at the age of 83, and his body of work speaks for itself.  He was the man in the chair on some of the most famous films and most treasured Broadway plays over the last 50 years.

Mike Nichols, a gifted director whose film, TV and stage hits such as "The Graduate," "Working Girl" and ''Angels in America" amplified the aspirations and tragic losses of generations, has died. He was 83. 
The Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning director's career spanned more than six decades, and ranged from stand-up comedy with then-partner Elaine May, to Broadway and Hollywood classics of surreal, caustic humor and tortured personal dramas. 
The husband of journalist Diane Sawyer, his death was confirmed by ABC News. 
Nichols won a Tony Award for directing his very first play, "Barefoot in the Park," and would win eight more Tonys for directing "The Odd Couple," "Luv," "Plaza Suite," "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," "The Real Thing," "Monty Python's Spamalot," and the 2012 revival of "Death of a Salesman." He also won for producing the 1977 musical, "Annie." 
He also received an Oscar nomination (one of five throughout his career) for directing his very first film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), and won the Academy Award for his second feature, the Dustin Hoffman classic, "The Graduate."

And yes, as a kid I got to see Annie on Broadway, although I was only 4.  The Graduate is still an amazing movie, and the rest of his film works were by and large the movies I grew up with: Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, The Birdcage, Wolf, and Primary Colors.

Primary Colors in fact was the movie that got me to pay attention to politics as a kid in his early 20s who thought he knew everything already (that and Bulworth).  Clinton's impeachment nonsense broke soon after and the rest made me a Democrat for life.

Here's to you, Mike.


The White House Needs Better Messaging Though

The President's prime time address to the nation tonight on immigration?  The networks aren't carrying it, because In The Tank For Democrats or something.

The White House is exasperated with the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC -- for skipping out on President Barack Obama’s Thursday primetime address on his executive actions on immigration.

“In 2006, Bush gave a 17 minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6000 national guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10 minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook,” a senior administration official told POLITICO.

When the president wants to make a primetime address, White House officials will reach out to the big networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS, to gauge whether they would consider running the speech live before putting in a formal request for airtime.

But on Wednesday morning, with plans underway for a Thursday night address on Obama’s plans to issue executive actions on some of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades, those feelers came back with a negative report. None of the major networks wanted to take time away from their primetime programming for Obama’s 8p.m. speech. So the administration did not send out a formal request to the networks and took to Facebook to publicize the speech with a special video message from Obama along with a link to the livestream.

You know who is showing the speech live?  Telemundo and Univision.  And this isn't the first time the networks have told this President that they refuse to carry his speech, either. 

But you'd better believe the networks will be full of Republicans reacting angrily to the speech tonight.  Hard to get your message across to the people when the networks refuse to broadcast it.

Maybe this White House will finally learn to go around them.


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