Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Last Call For The Road To Gilead, Con't

The road to Gilead runs through Red State Republican men (and women) who want to criminalize not just abortions, but miscarriages and contraception too, resulting in women filling for-profit prisons for "reproductive crimes" if they get their way.
A businessman turned state representative from rural Oil City, Louisiana, and a Baptist pastor banded together earlier this year on a radical mission. 
They were adamant that a woman who receives an abortion should receive the same criminal consequences as one who drowns her baby. 
Under a bill they promoted, pregnant people could face murder charges even if they were raped or doctors determined the procedure was needed to save their own life. Doctors who attempted to help patients conceive through in-vitro fertilization, a fertility treatment used by millions of Americans, could also be locked up for destroying embryos, and certain contraception such as Plan B would be banned. 
"The taking of a life is murder, and it is illegal," state Rep. Danny McCormick told a committee of state lawmakers who considered the bill in May, right after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked. 
"No compromises, no more waiting," Brian Gunter, the pastor who suggested McCormick be the one to introduce the legislation, told the committee. 
Only four people spoke against the bill during the committee meeting— all women. They pleaded with the lawmakers to grasp the gravity of the proposed restrictions, which went farther than any state abortion law currently on the books, and warned of unintended consequences. 
"We need to take a deep breath," said Melissa Flournoy, a former state representative who runs the progressive advocacy group 10,000 Women Louisiana. She said the bill would only punish women and that there wasn't enough responsibility being placed on men.
But in the end, only one man and one woman, an Independent and a Democrat, voted against it in committee. Seven men on the committee, all Republicans, voted in favor of the bill, moving it one step closer to becoming law.

A faction of self-proclaimed "abolitionists" are seeking to make abortion laws more restrictive and the consequences of having the procedure more punitive than ever before.
Emboldened by the overturning of Roe v. Wade, they say they will not be satisfied until fetuses are given the same protections as all US citizens — meaning that if abortion is illegal, then criminal statutes should be applied accordingly. While major national anti-abortion groups say they do not support criminalizing women, the idea is gaining traction with certain conservative lawmakers. And the activists and politicians leading the charge are nearly always men, CNN found. 
This year, three male lawmakers from Indiana attempted to wipe out existing abortion regulations and change the state's criminal statutes to apply at the time of fertilization. In Texas, five male lawmakers authored a bill last year that would have made getting an abortion punishable by the death penalty if it had gone into law. A state representative in Arizona introduced legislation that included homicide charges — saying in a Facebook video that anyone who undergoes an abortion deserves to "spend some time" in the Arizona "penal system." And a male Kansas lawmaker proposed a bill that would amend the state's constitution to allow abortion laws to pass without an exception for the life of the mother. 
While most in the anti-abortion movement believe that human life begins at conception, "abolitionists" are particularly uncompromising in how they act on their beliefs — comparing abortion to the Holocaust and using inflammatory terms such as "slaughter" and "murder" to describe a medical procedure that most Americans believe should be legal in all or most cases.  
Bradley Pierce, the attorney who helped draft the Louisiana bill, said his organization has been involved with many of the "abolition" bills that have been introduced in more than a dozen states. All of this proposed legislation would make it possible for women seeking abortions to face criminal charges. 
An overwhelming majority of Americans said in a Pew Research Center poll they don't believe men should have a greater say on abortion policy, but that is what is happening. Experts told CNN that the male dominance fits within the anti-abortion movement's current framing as being focused on "fetal personhood" and "fetal rights" as opposed to maternal rights. 
This movement to criminalize women who have abortions even to save their own lives? That's 100% men wanting control of women, full stop. Reducing them to birthing units, and if they die in childbirth, that's God's will. Or, you know, the will of the state putting them in jail for decades if they survive it.

"Maybe women shouldn't be having sex, the dirty sluts" is the inevitable response, never mind the rape and sexual assault millions of women go through each year.

That really is the road to the fictional Gilead from The Handmaid's Tale, complete with raging white supremacy on top of the misogyny, because it would be Black and brown women suffering the most from laws like this, when Black and Native women in particular have astronomical birthing mortality rates as it is.

No, this is about control. Dobbs was about putting women in their places, beneath a man that they serve.

Vote these assholes out.

The Manchin On The Hill, Con't

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin hasn't made a lot of friends this year, and as I said earlier this year, Senate Republicans have every reason to sink his environmental deregulation bill so that Manchin enacts the "consequences" he threatened a few months ago, those consequences being a party switch to the GOP ahead of midterms. Senate Republicans are well aware of this, and are telling Manchin his bill won't survive a filibuster, and to get on board with the GOP now.

Senate Republicans say Joe Manchin can’t count on them to save his energy permitting deal with Democratic leaders, potentially upending efforts to attach the centrist’s proposal to a must-pass government funding bill.

With progressives already balking, several Republicans said Monday night that they might not provide the votes needed to break a filibuster of permitting reform, a key cog of this summer’s Democratic climate, health care and tax deal.
Though easing construction of energy projects is a longstanding core GOP goal, the party’s senators said they were under no obligation to cough up perhaps a dozen or more votes that Democrats need to get Manchin’s vision done.

Republicans have introduced their own proposal, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and supported by nearly the entire GOP conference. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Democrats would have better luck attaching that Republican permitting legislation to this month’s government funding bill than adding Manchin’s plan, which remains unreleased.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that “I don’t think you can count on any Republicans to vote for something they haven’t seen.” But there’s another factor: Manchin’s agreement with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass their party-line domestic policy centerpiece this summer — with permitting reform as a side agreement, requiring votes from both parties to pass later.

“Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] engendered a lot of bad blood,” Cornyn said. “There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward.”

The uncertainty around Manchin’s proposal is the Hill’s central drama as Congress sprints to finish its work before the midterms. The Senate is expected to move first on a stopgap spending bill to avert a shutdown on Oct. 1, likely extending current government funding through Dec. 16.

Ukraine aid is likely to be included, though the GOP is expected to block coronavirus and monkeypox funding from the measure. That leaves the main question of whether Congress can approve Manchin’s proposal for speeding up construction of energy projects, including West Virginia’s Mountain Valley natural gas line.

Manchin is warning Republicans that it would be “horrible politics” for them to reject legislation that would speed up both fossil-fuel and clean energy projects.

“Something you’ve always wanted, and you get 80 percent of something, and you’re gonna let the perfect be the enemy of the good?” Manchin said. “It’s a shame that basically the politics is trumping policy that we’ve all wanted for the last 10 or 12 years.”

Negotiators still aren’t close to an agreement — making it highly unlikely that any bill will move this week, according to senior aides. Without a deal in the coming days, both chambers could be working right up until next week’s deadline, despite an eagerness among Democrats to avoid chaos in their final legislative stretch before the midterm elections.

Democrats believe Republicans are exacting revenge on Manchin and Democrats for steamrolling them this summer. The majority party passed a microchip bill with bipartisan votes, then announced a deal between Manchin and Schumer that plowed hundreds of billions of dollars into fighting climate change, imposed a corporate minimum tax and extended expiring health care subsidies.

“I think they just don’t want to give another win to either a Democratic Senate or a Joe Manchin,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
It's true, Republicans don't want to give Manchin another Democratic win. But a Republican win, where Manchin bails on the party, gets his pipeline for WV as part of must-pass budget negotiations, and his sub-Biden approval numbers back in his home state skyrocket again?
Manchin may take that deal.
The other theory is that he's bluffing, and there's plenty of evidence for that, too.

We'll see.

Vote Like Your Country Depends On It, Con't

We've now reached the campaign stretch where the reality of Republicans being the party out of power in a midterm is asserting itself as races in Georgia, Florida, and Texas are going to be at best, extremely close, and at worst, double-digit Republican wins.

The latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll paints a bleak picture for Georgia Democrats in November, with every statewide candidate aside from U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock facing a sizable deficit less than two months before the election.

The poll of likely voters released Tuesday showed the U.S. Senate race deadlocked between Warnock, who had 44%, and Republican Herschel Walker, who was at 46%. That’s within the poll’s margin of error
. An additional 3% of voters indicate they’ll back Libertarian Chase Oliver, while 7% are undecided.

That close race is one of the only bright spots for Democrats in the poll, which was conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Policy and International Affairs.

Gov. Brian Kemp led Stacey Abrams 50% to 42% in the AJC poll, one of the first polls that shows the Republican incumbent north of the majority-vote mark he needs to win a second term without a runoff.

About 1% of likely voters backed a third-party candidate, and 6% were undecided.

A majority of voters — 54% — approve of how Kemp is handling his job as governor.

Some 51% of likely Georgia voters want the Republican Party to win control of Congress, while 70% say the country is on the wrong track.

And just 37% approve of President Joe Biden’s performance in office, statistically unchanged since the last AJC poll in July. While Biden’s approval rating is rebounding in some other battleground states, he remains underwater in Georgia.
Further down the ticket, Democrats fare no better. Republican nominees for lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state had double-digit leads over their Democratic challengers. With less than 50 days until the election, there’s little time to reverse the trend.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has gained on Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the high-stakes race for Texas governor and now has a 9-point cushion, up from 7 points last month.

According to a new poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, Abbott leads O’Rourke 47% to 38%.

The poll, conducted Sept. 6-13, surveyed 1,268 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Abbott’s recent flood of TV ads, which for weeks went unanswered, and voters’ slight rightward tilt on abortion, the border and crime may have helped the two-term incumbent build on a 46%-39% lead in August, two political scientists agreed.

“A clear change in the election is that the Abbott campaign started advertising and they went negative while being the only campaign on the air,” said poll director Mark Owens, who teaches political science at UT-Tyler. “Registered voters who say they saw the advertisements supported Gov. Abbott 23% more often.”

University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus said Abbott’s “solid and even growing lead” is a natural result of “the incumbency advantage” — his edge in money, broadcasting airtime and name recognition.

After a spring and summer in which the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade and the mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school boosted O’Rourke, the traditional heating up of campaigns after Labor Day has brought Abbott to more friendly terrain on matters of most concern to voters, Rottinghaus said.


In Ohio, Florida and NC Senate races, Republicans remain ahead by 3-5 points at 538. Dems are holding the fort in Nevada, Arizona and NH however. The bright spot is Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman is looking like he's going to win.

That would make it 51-49 if Warnock can hold on. But the other Dem bright spot is Wisconsin, which is as close as Georgia right now. Mandela Barnes is in a neck-and-neck race with Sen. Ron Johnson.

The House, well, Republicans continue to have the same 70% odds that Democrats do in the Senate. We'll see.

Related Posts with Thumbnails