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Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Republicans Proven Wrong, Yet Again - Anti-Abortion Laws Hurt Women

Even though at America’s founding the Constitution’s framers pretended they believed in equal rights, they certainly did not include women in that group. It is curious that since the Founders were definitely not evangelical adherents by any stretch, they embraced the ideology that a woman was subservient to a man and it is a mindset that persists to this day; particularly among evangelicals, Republicans, and the catholic cult. Subsequently, that triad of anti-women evil has been relatively successful in controlling women, and when possible hurting them, by prohibiting them from making their own healthcare choices; now there is research to prove it.
In the frantic race to see which Republican state can impose the harshest laws prohibiting a legal medical procedure, abortion, Texas evangelicals have enacted some of the harshest anti-women’s health measures in the nation. Now, a brand-spanking new report conducted and released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a noted research group out of the University of Texas, Austin, the state’s anti-abortion laws are hurting women and prohibiting from making their own reproductive health choices which is, after all, the goal of evangelical Republicans.
The researchers tracked Texas’ reproductive health policy over the past four years and discovered that the dastardly law, HB2, that imposes harsh restrictions on abortion clinics and providers anti-choice evangelicals claim improves patient safety cut the number of abortion providers from 48 to 18. Now, there only nine surgical centers remain to perform later abortions.
Forcing women’s health clinics to shut down not only restricts access to providers, but the few remaining are forced to turn women away or making them wait a month or more for a procedure. For the evangelical tyrants using their religious beliefs to control women’s choice, the Texas law is a raging success story; not so much for women hoping that in 21st Century American they just might have the right to decide when they give birth.
Evangelicals claim they hate later-term abortions, but as wait time to get an abortion increases, the proportion of abortions performed in the second trimester increases. To punctuate the intended harm on women these anti-choice religious laws create, later surgical abortions, although safe, are “associated with a higher risk of complications and are significantly more costly to women than an earlier medical abortion.” But that is one of the intended “consequences” of these religious laws, whether it is through greater expense or increased health risks, evangelicals will make women pay for not subjugating themselves to religious control and think twice before having “consequence-free sex;” something both evangelicals and the catholic cult forbids.
The researchers have been collecting data since HB2, considered one of the harshest anti-abortion measures nationwide, and one of the lead researchers was irritated that the evangelical Republicans lied and produced junk science to make their junk law. Daniel Grossman is, besides the lead researcher on the study, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at U.C. San Francisco and he said, “It was so frustrating to hear legislators behind these bills saying things completely not based on fact. We saw, on the ground, how women were adversely affected by these laws, and knew it was important to document.”
Professor Grossman said it is not uncommon for state-level empirical data on abortion clinics to be released years after a bill is debated, and eventually implemented giving lawmakers nothing whatsoever to “lean on during the initial fight,” and he is hopeful the Texas Policy Evaluation Project can fill this gap. “We saw such a delay in needed data collection. Meanwhile, all these laws are being passed in quick succession without real data to challenge them.”
Women’s health advocates did file suit against the provisions of HB2, but Grossman knew the state would not provide them with empirical data to mount a proper legal defense against the religious laws. “So instead, we stepped in,” Grossman said. “We visited each abortion provider and collected the data needed to stand up for them.”
Instead of suing the state of Texas for legislating according to evangelicals’ religion, the women’s health advocates are challenging the ridiculous requirement that all abortion facilities make costly renovations to bring their building codes in line with surgery centers. The research team found that only 22 percent of all abortions in Texas were being provided by surgical centers and warned that if evangelicals prevail in court, those clinics will be responsible for conducting abortions for the entire state. Grossman said that “It was difficult seeing these women late into pregnancy who really didn’t want to be. They were so angry at the state for making the decision for them. I can only hope we won’t be seeing more bills taking away these rights.”
This assault on a legal medical procedure, and the ability of women to make their own reproductive healthcare choices is not unique to Texas or evangelicals who embraced “anti-choice” as a cause célèbre on the advice of the United States coven of catholic bastards. This week the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against the powerful catholic hospital conglomerate, Trinity Health, for refusing to provide “appropriate emergency care to women suffering pregnancy complications, including miscarriages.” Refusing to save women’s lives is part and parcel of USCCB’s “Ethical and Religious Directives for catholic Healthcare Services that “prohibits its medical facilities from terminating pregnancies even if such care is urgently needed to protect a woman’s health or life.”
An attorney for the ACLU, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said, “For many women experiencing pregnancy complications, even when the pregnancy isn’t viable, abortion is the standard of care necessary, or they can develop infections, become septic or experience hemorrhaging.” They can even die, but protecting the woman’s life is not part of the religious “anti-choice” cabal’s mindset.
The catholics have been buying up hospitals, clinics, and merging with others and then enforcing the vatican’s 1968 humanae vitae edicts without regard for the health of the woman or a healthcare providers’ mandate to give medical care. Women’s health advocates documented emergency rooms and physicians in Trinity Health system typically sending women in distress home instead of offering standard procedures such as tubal ligation, or removal of a dead or unviable fetus. A Washington state healthcare advocate said “Women are told, ‘There’s nothing we can do for your miscarriage, go home,’ and many women believe they are getting medical advice; but in fact they are getting religious advice.”
According to the ACLU lawsuit, by refusing to preform emergency services to protect the health of a woman the Catholic-owned hospitals are violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requiring healthcare providers “to provide such medical treatment of the condition as may be necessary to assure, with reasonable medical probability, that no deterioration of the condition is likely to occur during transfer of the patient from a facility.” In other words, medical providers are required, by law, to provide the care women need and not send them searching for life-saving care elsewhere when they are already in an emergency room and in a medical emergency.
The only encouraging thing in the ACLU lawsuit, and something missing from every other response to attacks on women’s reproductive rights, is the remark that women are getting “religious advice;” not medical advice. No-one in their right mind believes for a minute any of these vile Republican attacks on women’s healthcare, or Planned Parenthood for that matter, are anything other than imposing religious control over American women. It is a fundamental part of evangelical and catholic dogmata that men have purview over every aspect of a woman’s life, and these hateful attacks are, if nothing else, all about controlling women and keeping them in subjection to, in this case, religious Republican men.
The religio-wingnuts and the USCCB cannot countenance that they lack the authority to single-handedly criminalize and abolish abortion, Planned Parenthood, or contraceptive use. Their alternative is pledging undying electoral support to Republicans who will do their bidding by passing harsh restrictions on women’s healthcare providers unless they give out religious advice in lieu of medical advice. Subsequently, not only are women being denied their constitutional rights, they are being harmed because religious advice cannot save a woman in a medical emergency, but then again, saving women was never the goal, controlling them is like it is the 16th, not the 21st Century.

Americans Fall In Love With Obamacare As New Poll Shows Growing ACA Support

According to the latest PPP Poll, more Americans support Obamacare than oppose it as Democrats have become unified in their support of the ACA.
PPP discussed the results, “Evidence continues to mount that the Affordable Care Act is just not a liability for Democrats anymore. Nationally we find that 42% of voters support it to 40% who are opposed. Those numbers are in line with what we’ve found in most swing states where we’ve polled on it over the course of this year. It’s a far cry from when we used to consistently find voters opposed to it by a 10-15 point margin nationally and in key states. One big reason for the change is that Democrats (73%) are more unified in their support of it than Republicans (70%) are in their opposition to it.”
It turns out that as more Americans have gained first-hand experience with the health care law, they have liked the results. Obamacare as a term has been demonized by years of Republican lies and smears, but the law itself is not the political anchor that Republicans had hoped it would be.
The worse news for Republicans is that approval of the law has been steady since people started experiencing the benefits of the ACA. Obamacare is closer to becoming a political asset than it is to being a liability for Democrats.
As more people gain coverage, it is going to be difficult to impossible for Republicans to be able to repeal the law. What makes 2016 so urgent for Obamacare critics is that if they fail to win the White House, it is likely that the ACA will be the law of the land for a very long time.
The public is finally catching up to what Democrats have known for a long time. Obamacare is a good thing for our country and the calls of hands off my Obamacare will only grow in the months and years to come.

The Hint


Gerrymandering made the House ungovernable. Here's how we fix it

by David Nir

McCarthy and Boehner—once masters of chaos, now its victims
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) and House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) speak to reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington October 7, 2015. McCarthy is vying for Boehner's House Speaker position at the end of the month.     REUTERS/Gary Cameron     - RTS3F0KIt's been an amazing two weeks. The forces of lunatic fringe wingnut nihilism pushed Boehner into an unexpected early retirement, and there's a good chance they also played a role in McCarthy's equally shocking demise as Boehner's heir apparent. To say the House is an ungovernable tire-fire is an extreme understatement.
But there's an even deeper reason for this state of affairs, one that goes beyond the Republican cabal's endless civil war: gerrymandering. Yep, that's absolutely right. In 2012, candidates who ran for the House as Democrats won 1.4 million more votes nationwide than those on the Republican ticket, yet Republicans still managed to retain control of the House. That was only possible because they drew a majority of the country's congressional districts.
With fair maps, though, Democrats would have an excellent shot at returning to power, and unlike Republicans, they have their act together. Nancy Pelosi was twice elected speaker without any fuss, and if Democrats won back the majority, she easily would be again. We'd actually have a properly functioning Congress instead of the nightmare hellscape Republicans have visited on us.
But there's actually something we can do about this: We need to elect more Democrats to state legislatures around the nation, so that Republicans can't run the table on us during the next round of redistricting in 2020. The fight starts this year in Virginia, where Democrats have a great chance to win back the state Senate next month and are poised to make gains in the state House as well.
It's a long-term project, but it's at the very top of the list for progressives. That's why we've endorsed half a dozen great Democrats who are running for the state legislature in Virginia.
So please donate $1 to all six Virginia Democrats and start the process of winning back the House from the chaos-loving maniacs called Republicans.

As the House devolves into mayhem, Wall Street starts to panic

by Joan McCarter
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C) pauses between answers to questions during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 10, 2013. U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are still weighing a short-term debt-limit increase, pos
As with everything the Republican cabal does to self-destruct, there's a downside for the rest of us. In the Kevin McCarthy-created chaos of a leadership vacuum in the House, Wall Street and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid are raising that red flag.
Chaos in the U.S. House of Representatives makes an already scary autumn even more uncertain for Wall Street with debt limit and shutdown fights looming and no one clearly in charge. […] "We will not mince words—this is the political equivalent of a dumpster fire," said Chris Krueger of Guggenheim Securities. "We are increasing our odds from 30 percent to 40 percent for some kind of accident that would keep Congress from raising the debt ceiling in time due to brinkmanship, procrastination, or political gridlock."
Reid echoed that sentiment:
"The utter chaos of the Republican cabal must not threaten the full faith and credit of the United States and the American people," Reid wrote. "While negotiations on a budget deal continue, we should work together immediately to take the threat of default off the table." "Republican chaos is likely to get worse before it gets better but the economic livelihood of the American people should not be threatened as a result of Republicans' inability to govern," he continued.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are—get this—accusing the White House of "playing politics" with the debt limit. This, from Blunt (R-MO), encapsulates their claim. "'There is nothing that the White House considers more flexible than the debt ceiling deadline.' […] Asked if the Nov. 5 deadline is an attempt to jam the Republican cabal Congress, he replied: 'Yes.'" That was before the House devolved into utter mayhem, so perhaps Senate Republicans would care to rethink that, and just might see the wisdom in current and maybe-forever Speaker Boehner taking care of this rather critical business sooner rather than later.

House Republicans Having No Good Very Bad Day. Let’s Point And Laugh At Them!

It’s hard out there for a Republican member of Congress right now, and not just because everyone in America, including their fellow Republicans, hates their maggot-infested guts. First, John Boehner tells his caucus he is sick of their bullshit, he is outta here, SEE YA WOULDN’T WANNA BE YA. Then his second-in-command, Kevin McCarthy, who doesn’t snuggle him nearly as good as that loser Eric Cantor used to, decides he doesn’t want the job either. (Cough cough sex ...

Boehner's Secret Plan Ripens (Okay, Sorta)

Nh0j7wqujkvjlobbm2wb Since there appears to be no significant House figure willing to run for Speaker, there's a massive push to cajole and pressure Paul Ryan into running. It seems crystal clear that he really, really doesn't want the job. But that doesn't mean he won't end up agreeing to take it. But here's the thing. People are starting to seriously moot the idea of Boehner remaining on in a caretaker role through the 2016 election. He doesn't need 218 votes. He's already Speaker. He doesn't need anything.

Speaker Ryan?

Here's a treasure trove of background info on the woman who inspired the man who could be the next Speaker of the House

We Now Have a Justice System Just for Corporations

Companies, of course, hire arbitration firms that rule in favor of companies.
In the last 20 years the Supreme Court has created a parallel judicial system to resolve disputes involving corporations that is effectively run by the very corporations whose behavior is under investigation.
Here is how that judicial coup against an independent judiciary occurred.
In 1925 Congress passed a simple 4-page law, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  Businesses that preferred a simpler and faster arbitration process in business-to-business transactions to costly and protracted court battles urged Congress to act because federal courts often refused to enforce many arbitration clauses. As one court ruling in 1904 explained, “… nothing would be easier than for the more astute party to oust the courts of their jurisdiction. By first making the contract and then declaring who should construe it, the strong could oppress the weak, and in effect so nullify the law as to secure enforcement of contracts usurious, illegal, immoral, and contrary to public policy.”
The FAA was a legislative attempt to satisfy businesses’ desire for speedy and affordable dispute resolution while also satisfying the judges’ desire for justice. Arbitration, a process in which both parties in a dispute agree to accept the ruling of an impartial third party, seemed an effective solution.
The result was a law very narrowly focused on commercial contracts voluntarily entered into by businesses of relatively equal strength. In a House floor debate Representative George Scott Graham (R-PA) summed up his colleagues’ intent, “[t]his bill simply provides for one thing, and that is to give an opportunity to enforce an agreement in commercial contracts and admiralty contracts—an agreement to arbitrate, when voluntarily placed in the document by the parties to it.”
For the next 60 years the law worked as intended. Courts consistently upheld arbitration awards between businesses but also consistently held that the FAA was procedural not substantive. Arbitration did not trump federal and state laws, and the FAA did not apply to employment or consumer contracts.
A New Wingnut Supreme Court Steps In
And then the composition of the Supreme Court dramatically changed.  Richard Nixon came to office declaring his intention "to nominate to the Supreme Court individuals who shared my judicial philosophy, which is basically a conservative philosophy.” During his first term promptly put four Justices on the Court.  In his two terms Ronald Reagan also put four Justices on the Court.
In 1984 the Supreme Court flexed its new conservative muscles. In a case involving the right of Southland’s 7-11 franchisees to sue under the California Franchise Law the Court reinterpreted the 1925 law as a Congressional declaration of a “national policy favoring arbitration”.  It further ruled that this national policy applied not only to federal courts but to state courts and was substantive as well as procedural.  No matter how one-sided the balance of bargaining power once a business signed a contract with an arbitration clause it was forced to abide by the decision of arbiters even if they ignored relevant state and federal laws and even if the decision-making processed was biased against the complainant.
Dissenting Justices vainly pleaded with their colleagues not to ignore the clear will of Congress and derail more than a half-century of uncontroversial implementation of the FAA. As Sandra Day O’Connor observed, “One rarely finds a legislative history as unambiguous as the FAA's.”
In 2001 the Court, by a 5-4 vote, extended the FAA to cover employment contracts. The four dissenters beseeched their brethren not only to look at the original intent of the law but to its actual text.  Section 1 of the law states, “nothing herein contained shall apply to contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.”  The clause was inserted at the bequest of the International Seamen’s Union and the more broadly based American Federation of Labor. “History amply supports the proposition that it was an uncontroversial provision that merely confirmed the fact that no one interested in the enactment of the FAA ever intended or expected (it) would apply to employment contracts,” noted the dissenters.

Lindsey Graham’s Explanation Why He Opposed Sandy Aid But Now Wants It For SC Flooding Isn’t Very Good

Aye, aye, aye.
It was not that long ago that the last hurricane blasted the East Coast, causing billions

Kasich Insults Young Female Voters: I Don’t Have Taylor Swift Tickets So Shut Up And Vote For Me

Image via FacebookOhio's idiot Kasich apparently thinks female voters just attend town halls to try and mooch tickets to Taylor Swift concerts.

Broadcast News Ignores That Americans Want Citizens United Overturned

Mother Jones Wins Against Billionaire Who Tried To Shut Them Up

Frank Vandersloot tried to silence Mother Jones, and failed.

Arkansas Officials Defend Students Who Cherry Pick First Amendment

The Truth Be Told


North Carolina Teabagger Candidate Needs Your Help Murdering People, We Think

Should somebody call the cops?It’s time to meet our new best friend, aren’t you excited? Her name is Kay Daly, and she is running for Congress in the North Carolina district currently served by Renee Ellmers, who is an obvious RINO. What’s so bad about Ellmers? Oh, this one time she said bitches might not be lyin’ when they say they’ve been raped. And she doesn’t even know the difference between LEGITIMATE RAPE and the other fake kind. But she’s done good Republican ...

Physician, shoot thyself

Carson, proving every day that brain surgeons aren't all smart, (thanks Andy Borowitz), has shot himself in the foot again, and again. This time, regarding the recent Oregon college campus shootings, he said, 'I Would Not Just Stand There And Let Him Shoot Me'. This doltish Republican pretender candidate also said that he "never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away." WOW. Doctor, shoot thyself. In the foot. Repeat.

WingNutDaily Hack: The Obama Administration Is Behind Mass Shootings

In a column titled “Is Obama ‘Weaponizing’ Vulnerable Citizens?,” Erik Rush of WingNutDaily writes that he is just asking the question as to whether government agents groomed, recruited and manipulated the perpetrators of the recent mass shootings in Tucson, Arizona; Aurora,... MORE

Forget Benghazi, Democrats Demand Special Committee To Investigate Gun Violence

Pelosi and House Democrats
As Republicans try to distract the country with Benghazi, House Democrats are putting the focus on a real national scandal by demanding a special committee to investigate gun violence.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) has introduced a resolution calling for a special committee to investigate gun violence.
Rep. Thompson said:
This House Majority has created committees to bully Planned Parenthood and harass a presidential candidate, all the while allowing mass gun violence to go unchecked and unexamined on their watch,” said Thompson. “There have been nearly 280 mass shootings since Newtown and Congress has done nothing. No votes have been cast. No bills have been debated. No proposals have even been considered. This Select Committee can change that.
We’re offering Republicans a seat at the table. We want to hear their thoughts and ideas. We want to work with them. No proposal is going to stop every shooting, but we can come up with solutions that stop some tragedies. Failing to come to the table is equal to sitting by and allowing mass gun violence to become America’s new normal. Congress has a responsibility to do better than that. We need to step up, pull together and address this problem. It is within our power to do something to help save lives. Let’s not waste it.

More than double the number the of Americans who were killed in the Benghazi attack died in the mass shooting at a community college in Rosenburg, OR. More than 10,000 Americans lose their lives to gun violence each year while less than one American on average dies from terrorism.
Mass shootings are a bigger threat to the safety of the American people than international terrorism, but Republicans have wasted millions of dollars each day while trying to explain away mass shootings by saying, “stuff happens.”
Republicans are busy hyping their bogus scandals for political gain while innocent Americans are dying every day. One doesn’t need a congressional investigation to understand that Republican priorities are costing American lives.

The Truth Hurts


Walker moves to dismantle non-partisan elections board, add to awful voting rights record

Scott Walker, viaWalker moves to dismantle non-partisan elections board, add to awful voting rights record
The move appears to be retaliation for an investigation the board conducted following Walker’s recall theft.

Anti-vaxxer group’s $250,000 study proves that vaccines don’t cause autism

Little boy looking at his arm while receiving vaccine (Shutterstock)Most experts today agree that the belief that childhood vaccines cause autism is based on bunk science. Even still, some advocacy groups claim immunizations are responsible for raising the risk for this neurodevelopmental condition, despite a growing body of research that shows there isn’t a link.

Wingnut Round-Up

Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: Fox Reports Another Fabricated Bathroom Incident To Attack California's Non-Discrimination Laws. Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Huckabee Says He Didn’t Name Shooters Or Terrorists On His Show — Except He Did. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Televa... MORE

Wingnut Urban Outfitters Now 'Asking' Employees to Work for Free

The Guess


Fox Sinks To Entirely New Lows In Shockingly Racist ‘Report’ On Muslim-American Community

Featured image credit: video screen capture via CAIR on youtube
Sending a reporter to mock, offend and insult people, while pretending to be “conducting interviews” is not journalism. The Fox News Network should have its license pulled.

O'Reilly Denies The Existence Of Child Hunger

After days of speculation, the truth has finally come out: Pope Francis did not hold a private meeting to express his support for Kim Davis's efforts to block gay marriage licenses.

According to an official Vatican statement, Kim Davis was among "several dozen persons" attending a reception at the Vatican embassy, "the pope did not enter into the details of the situation," and "his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support."Moreover, it seems that the pope did not request Kim Davis be invited.
According to press reports, one man was likely responsible for Davis's invitation: Carlo Maria Vigano, a conservative church official who was appointed by Pope Benedict as Vatican ambassador to the United States (formally called the "apostolic nuncio").
Having created an opportunity for lunatic fringe wingnut evangelicals to dishonestly hijack the message of the pope's visit to the United States, Vigano must now resign.

Bristol Palin pushes bogus claim that 10-year-olds are getting birth control in Washington state

Bristol Palin, oldest daughter of former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, at a book signing in Phoenix, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)“It is crazy that the government is offering a controversial form of birth control that can have serious life-long side effects to 10-year-old CHILDREN,” Palin wrote on her blog. “But then to do all of this behind a parent’s back is simply outrageous!”