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America is a pro choice nation

By: bayofarizona Thursday November 19, 2009 1:12 pm

The Hyde Amendment is a limitation rider[pdf] to the annual HHS appropriations bill, which expires automatically at the end of every fiscal year, September 30. A 50% majority could simply refuse to extend it.

Any language at all in this healthcare bill, such as the Capps Amendment, which seems to be similar to the current Senate bill, will need an affirmative vote to repeal, which would also require 60 votes in the Senate.

This is not a compromise. A true compromise would be no language at all and letting Congress add another rider in every budget. That would truly be keeping with the status quo.

I never really realized the depth of support that reproductive rights has among the public.

John Sides has a brilliant discussion regarding public opinion on abortion, with some pretty graphs from the National Election Studies and the General Social Survey of the Univ of Michigan:

The NES says
41% believe a woman should always have a choice.
An additional 18% approve if "need is established."

The GSS has numbers even higher for "health of the mother," which, by the way, is an exemption which is not included any legislation that anti-choicers want. This is what John McCain used airquotes to deride.

A lot of hay has been made about some polls show that the public opposes government funds. Others show support:

Large majorities of Catholic voters support health insurance coverage for abortions—either in a private or a government-run scheme:
   * when a pregnancy poses a threat to the life of a woman (84 percent)
   * when a pregnancy is due to rape or incest (76 percent)
   * when a pregnancy poses long-term health risks for the woman (73 percent)
   * when test results show a fetus has a severe abnormal condition (66 percent)

Regardless, since when have we used public opinion to decide what to believe in? The war in Iraq was supported by the public. Does that mean we should have given up on fighting it? Most polls never ask whether people actually care. They don’t ask whether it is a dealbreaker. They don’t ask whether it will affect their vote. From a Pew Poll:

Pew finds that just 52 percent of voters rightly identify Obama as pro-abortion ("pro-choice" in the poll’s terminology") and only 45 percent know John McCain is pro-life on abortion.
A stunning 38 percent of voters don’t know where either Obama or McCain stand on the issue of abortion. Some ten percent wrongly identify Obama as pro-life and 17 percent think McCain supports abortion.

Does anybody really think that the 38% of people who don’t know where the candidates stood on the issue give a shit damn about issue either way? Are they going to change their vote because of it? In the end, isn’t that what the ‘centrists’ are claiming?

There also seems to be an assumption that a pro-choice vote only hurts you. This is not true:

   * Obama gains 13 points among pro-choice Independent women (who make up nine percent of this electorate) and nine points among pro-choice Republican women (who account for five percent of this electorate), when they hear McCain’s anti-choice record.
   * When these groups are combined, this movement equates to a gain of 1.6 points overall in the general election race against McCain.

I am sure no amount of data would convince the ChINOS (Choice in Name Only). So I guess this diary is not meant for them. However, 56% of those who voted for Democrats are women (Only 22% of Democrats in the House are. I am sure these two facts are completely unrelated to this discussion).

The main point of this diary is this:

We need a fucking scalp.

For example, let’s take a look at Collin Peterson:

As Chair of the Agriculture Committee he watered down the energy bill.

He voted against the stimulus (one of only 11 to do so).

And of course, he voted for Stupak but against the overall bill.

For fucksake, he voted for the goddamn war in Iraq! But not for some reason, the war in Kosovo. I guess he is only against ‘Democrat wars.’

Exactly how many Dem interest groups can this guy shit on before someone does something? He has been in office nearly two decades, just like Stupak. I don’t suppose we can give these districts to Canada

I noted in a previous diary how there is no exception for aborting dead fetuses in any laws that anti-choicers push for. I’d like to just note for the record that dead fetuses are not, in fact, alive. In addition anti-choicers voted against helping women get pelvic exams, among other things. Are they pro-cervical cancer?

Even if you accept their reasoning, there is still no reason why these anti-choice politicians should be rewarded. They should at least be stripped of their committee assignments:

Perhaps more important, nominations for committee chairmanships and memberships were not required to be based on seniority. Also, on the request of ten Members, nominations could be separately debated and voted on by the Caucus.
Another set of seniority reforms was adopted in 1973. A secret ballot vote on any committee chair was permitted at the demand of 20 percent of the Caucus.

The Steering committee co-chairs are Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and George Miller of California. I have not been able to find out the other members.

In addition, two congressmen from California, Dennis Cardoza and Joe Baca, both ostensibly pro choice, voted for Stupak. All california districts have been gerrymandered safe, other than a few Republican districts due to changing demographics. Cardoza is chair of the Blue Dogs.

Cardoza had NO opponent in the general election. Apparently local republicans did not even bother putting up some random activist. Obama won his district, as well as those held by Stupak, Peterson and Baca, with over 60% of the vote. Winning the primary is tantamount to winning the seat.

President Obama previously did not support the Hyde Amendment, though now it is apparently an American tradition.

There has to be a consequence for betraying the pro-choice position. Otherwise politicians will walk all over it. We need someone to make an example of.

When the mafia breaks one guy’s kneecaps, no one else in the neighborhood is late on paying.

Other useful links:

Shanikka from dailykos has a brilliant post with some fascinating history of the Hyde Amendment, among other things.
A lot more analysis about public opinion:
John Sides of the MonkeyCage.
Ed Kilgore of the Democratic Strategist.
Catholics for Choice
Nate Silver and Ed Kilgore at 538.


Stop federal funding for erections on demand

By: bayofarizona Tuesday November 10, 2009 12:54 pm

People who have a religious moral disagreement with abortion should not have to pay for it.

But I ask those who agree with me, including that brave moral giant, the Great Bart Stupak of Michigan to follow the logic of our beliefs to their glorious conclusion.

I am against subsidizing erection on demand. You have a consitutional right to an erection, but why should I forced to pay for it? All medications for these erections of convenience, which make immoral sex acts much easier, are covered by taxpayer dollars! Some people claim that it is a necessary treatment to a medical condition. But it meets all the criteria of an elected, not medically necessary treatment:

I have a treatment for you: Stop having sex, you fucking mimbos! And that treatment is free! I don’t have this so-called erectile dysfunction, so obviously it does not count as a real issue.

You may disagree, but I am simply following what my God, namely The Framed Painting Of An Old Fashioned Bathtub That The Guy I Am Subletting My Apartment From Thought Would Be Funny To Hang Above The Toilet, believes. You can believe what you want to believe, but I should not be forced to pay for things that conflict with my belief system, as interpreted by me and no one else.

I would like to mention more pearls of wisdom that as a person of faith, are more wisdomic and pearly than anything said by those who don’t agree with me.

I believe that members of the glibit and illegal community have a right to education. But why should I pay for it? I am okay with the concept of public education, don’t get me wrong. But Real Americans deserve it, because they are what make this country great. But if gays and illegals want an education, why can’t they pay for it? If there is a demand, there will be a supply. That’s the beauty of capitalism! Okay, the schools may be underfunded, but schools are typically funded by property taxes, and inner city schools are underfunded anyway! There is no change in the status quo. No rights are being taken away – education is not even mentioned in the constitution. It is a choice.

I know most people agree with me. The votes in Maine and California prove I am right (The vote in Washington does not prove anything at all). And the true centrist Max Baucus took out funding for illegals in his healthcare bill, which proved that Obama and his lead Obamabot, Queen Botox of San Fagcisco, attempted to put it in. Why would they cave if it were not true? Wouldn’t they have just stood their ground and spoke the truth, much as the Great Joe Wilson did? He did it in the chamber of the people, where Presidents have always been called out on their lies, except during the period 1789-2009.

Another moral giant in this cause is the Great Pete Sessions, who does not want to pay for the myriad problems of woman-americans. This makes him similar in most respects to the Great John Kyl of Arizona. In this exchange he was even heckled by a woman-american! I am surprised she managed to sneak onto the Senate floor.

I should mention in sadness that the Great Pete Sessions is one of the few out of these good men to be photgraphed engaging in this outstanding display of moral fiber. I am sure the others do as well, but they are too humble to tell the world about it. I certainly hope to reach that high standard of morality as often as I can.

I know I will get flamed, trolled and Hr’ed for this, but I am just telling it like it is. I am speaking for the silent moral majority whether you like it or not.

By the way, don’t even think of trying to threaten the Great Bart Stupak. He is a member of the spiritual haven C Street,
along with those other moral giants, the Great John Ensign, the great Chip Pickering, and the Great Mark Sanford. This makes him a deeply religious man, and obviously morally superior to you. But in addition to that, he won his district with only 65% of the vote. He is endangered, and can’t afford to vote any other way. As we all know, the only real majority is 80 percent. He needs to vote for conservative values to get re-elected, even if he did not believe in them. He would be even more endangered in a primary, and would suffer if godless socialests got together and funded a progressive challenger, or put any kind of pressure on his donors, which include trial lawyers and labor unions.

I am sure he does it for principled reasons, however, just like all pro-lifers are. All of us wish we we lived in a better society, where women are put in prison for having abortions, as anyone who contracted out the murder of a human life should:

Anyone who does not admit this obviously does not believe that a fetus is a human life worth exactly the same as you or me, and has some kind of ulterior motive for claiming to oppose abortion and wishing to restrict abortion access.

I should also mention that political considerations forced a compromise exception for cases involving a danger to the mother’s life, rape, or incest. But it is consistent with his belief that the health of the mother does not matter. And you know what? John Mccain agrees.

This is an important point.
Jane Doe vs United States (2005) enlightens as to what will happen. This is the basic rule of the Glorious Hyde Amendment:

[N]one of the funds provided by this joint resolution shall be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term; or except for such medical procedures necessary for the victims of rape or incest when such rape or incest has been reported promptly to a law enforcement agency or public health service.

I am not sure how the ‘promptly’ thing is defined with regards to ‘rape’. But if she is too scare because her significant other or father might beat her, she’ll probably wait too long. Score one for the good guys!

The statute under which CHAMPUS operates prohibits payment for abortions with one single exception — where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term…. Abortions performed for suspected or confirmed fetal abnormality (e.g., anencephalic) or for mental health reasons (e.g., threatened suicide) do not fall within the exceptions permitted within the language of the statute and are not authorized for payment under CHAMPUS.

Forcing a woman to give birth to a fetus which has a 67% chance of being stillborn, and only a 2% chance of survival after 7 agonizing days is pro-life, full of compassion, and family valued-ness.

But only poor women would be forced to give birth? Middle class women would get away with it, right? But there’s the rub!

By subsidizing the medical expenses of indigent women who carry their pregnancies to term while not subsidizing the comparable expenses of women who undergo abortions (except those whose lives are threatened), Congress has established incentives that make childbirth a more attractive alternative than abortion for persons eligible for Medicaid. These incentives bear a direct relationship to the legitimate congressional interest in protecting potential life.

One of those so called slippery slopes! This time it benefits us, unlike when Thurgood Marshall fought for civil rights. Having the Hyde Amendment, makes it easier to pass other regulations restricting abortion! Thank God those squishy liberals are so quick to compromise. Maybe they secretly agree with us! Maybe that’s why we are so successful in sneaking it through the back door and shoving it down their throats!

If he keeps his seat, next stop: Banning birth control! YEEEEEEAAAAAAARGH!

Tax Cuts versus Social Security: A Short History

By: bayofarizona Wednesday June 10, 2009 1:20 pm

During the discussion regarding then-President Bush’s tax cut in 2001, Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, appeared before Congress in January of that year and stated he was worried about surpluses getting too large.

This would have some negative effects. If too much of the national debt was paid down, there would not be enough bonds for the Federal Reserve to conduct open market operations, the method the Fed uses to affect short term interest rates.

It would also be too much of a temptation for the government to do something irresponsible with the money, such as invest it in the stock market or national infrastructure. Republicans used his arguments very well during the debate.

(As an aside, I want to get an a little dig at the supposed centrism of the Democrats who supported those tax cuts. They made a big deal about decreasing the total expected cost of the tax cuts to 1.3 trillion over 10 years, down from an original 1.6 trillion. But this was accomplished by fiddling with sunsets and delaying implentation of certain cuts, with the net effect of reducing almost none of the costs.)

There were several things that made Greenspan particularly dishonest. He never