Posts tagged Virginia
Posts tagged Virginia
The ad, attacking President Obama, declared, “WE’VE SEEN STORMS IN VIRGINIA, BUT NONE LIKE THIS…”
Below an image of ominous storm clouds is the stern visage of President Obama staring out into space. Next to it is this text:
Barack Obama’s policies have added $4 billion in debt each day he’s been in office.
America CAN’T AFFORD this debt.
Our friend says the flier says it was produced by Americans for Tax Reform. That’s the anti-tax group run by Grover Norquist, a leading conservative movement leader and prominent Obama critic.
Virginia is a key swing state. President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are locked in a dead heat in the Old Dominion, according to the most recent polls.
Easy. In Virginia, first Governor Bob McDonnell signs a law that says abortion clinics will be subject to the same regulations as hospitals. (Not outpatient clinics that do things like plastic surgery or oral surgery, mind you, just abortion clinics.)
Then you pass a bunch of regulations for new hospital construction (like minimum hallway widths and specific ventilation systems), and remove the clause that exempts existing hospitals.
Voila! All 20 abortion providers in Virginia will have to make costly renovations, endangering their ability to continue operating.
The Virginia Board of Health didn’t want to do it. When they passed the regulations in June, they grandfathered in the existing clinics. But Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli threatened the Board with legal and financial consequences if they failed to remove the exemption, and for good measure, Governor McDonnell appointed a new Board member - Dr. John Seeds, vice chairman of the anti-abortion group OBGYNS for Life. Lo and behold, they got what they wanted.
Google ‘Virginia’ ‘Cuccinelli’ ‘abortion’ to learn more.
See also Mississippi, Utah, and Arizona.
Republicans are currently leading in four states with Democratic senators: Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Victories here would raise their total from 47 to 51 if nothing else changes. However, three states are ties: Arizona, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Republicans already hold two of these, Arizona and Massachusetts, so wins here would net them one more seat (Virginia) bringing their total to 52 absent any other changes. However, Angus King is certain to win the seat of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who is retiring in disgust. If he decides to caucus with the Democrats, the Republicans best case scenario is 51, but that is enough. Actually, one other state might be competitive: Missouri. But after Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” the Republican Party and all Republican-allied superPACS closed the money faucet, so he is on his own against a well-funded incumbent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
There is a map of the Senate races and descriptions of all of them here or click on the word “Senate” at the top of this page.
If things continue along the current trajectory, Obama could be elected President but the Republicans would control both chambers of Congress. This could lead to the mother of all deadlocks, with absolutely nothing happening for four years as the Republicans block every Obama initiative, possibly even any Supreme Court appointments that come up. However, Obama has one ace up his sleeve that he could use to make a deal with the Republicans. All the Bush tax cuts expire at pumpkin time on Dec. 31. If Obama is reelected, he could simply tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to refrain from calling a special session of the Senate after the election. This would automatically end all the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans would be livid, but desperate to reduce the top rate. In January, they could pass any bill they wanted to but Obama would veto it. Finally they would be forced to make a deal with him. Absent a deal, the top rate would go up, something they want to avoid at all costs. That would probably be Obama’s only leverage for the foreseeable future. Of course, Congress could chicken out and kick the can down the road, freezing the Bush tax cuts in place for only 2 more years.
On the other hand, it is not a given that the Republicans will get their best case scenario. Elizabeth Warren could pick up the seat of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and some of the ties could break for the Democrats. Also, the four pickups mentioned above are not sure things, either. One thing that everyone agrees on is that the Senate will be closely divided. Politico has a good story on the Senate races.
The controversial part of the Virginia ultrasound bill has been removed from the bill that just passed the Virginia State House:
The Virginia House of Delegates passed on Wednesday a revised version of a GOP-sponsored informed consent bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound at least 24 hours before having an abortion. The new bill, which requires women to receive an external, transabdominal ultrasound rather than a more invasive transvaginal ultrasound, passed by a vote of 65-32.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) revoked his support for the original bill just minutes before the House began debate on it, saying that the government did not have the power to require the transvaginal procedure.
"Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state," McDonnell said in a statement. "No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure."
"For this reason … I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision," he said.
I applaud Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for stepping in and stopping the most controversial part of this law from passing.
Also, it has come to my attention that a similar bill passed in the Texas State House a while back, around the time that Rick Perry started his presidential campaign. However, that bill still had the transvaginal ultrasound part still intact.
I consider today a victory in Virginia womens’ rights.
First off, let me say I’m glad the legislation has been changed. It’s not quite as invasive, but it is still a pile of bullshit. The ultra-sound is unnecessary and costly. It should not be forced at all in any form.
That being said, don’t applaud this douche, Gov. Bob McDonnell. He has advocated some of the most repressive legislation against women, the LGBTQ community, and all Virginia citizens during his time in politics. Within a month of taking office, though he professed that he wouldn’t seek to discriminate against LGBTQ while running for office, he revoked a previous executive order which had protected LGBTQ persons from being fired due to their sexual orientation. Really. He and the legislature are currently pushing through legislation that will make permanent an executive order he already passed that will basically bar same-sex couples from adopting in the state of VA. The legislation also bars adoptions on the basis of other criteria including political party affiliation. Really. While in the legislature he introduced legislation that would make it illegal to curse in email (how the fuck would anyone know) in the state of VA. Again, really.
The legislation in question, the vaginal probe, was actually his brain child. In the past McDonnell has advocated more restrictions on all types of birth control (particularly hormonal), less pay for women and outlawing abortion rights all together in VA. All this in the name of “protecting the family”.
McDonnell revoked his support for this bill for two reasons. First, the activism of the women of VA against the bill. Two days before, women showed up at the capital in silent protest of the bill. As a result, the state House postponed their vote on the legislation. The women had also been waging a national protest as well as flooding the mail boxes of their representatives protesting the invasive procedure. Public outcry stopped this vote.
Second, McDonnell is one of the favorites for Vice President and this vote wouldn’t have looked good on the national scale. The GOP cannot rail against TSA pat-downs while insisting that it’s okay for “the government” to probe a vagina without consent. It just didn’t look good. I think he got a call from the big-wigs of the GOP and was told to back off a little.
This man had no problem with probing. He has publicly said that working women are contributing to the downfall of society. He’s openly stated that birth control is a bad thing and that women shouldn’t work outside the home. While in the state legislature he voted against giving women equal pay. He has no problem with the probing. He wants to be VP and the publicity over this bill was getting to hot and was severely disfavored by the national public. I don’t commend him. I commend the those in VA who stood up and fought this legislation tooth and nail and called it out for the assholery it is. Congratulations Virginians- YOU did it!
Rick Santorum thinks Woodstock and the Democratic Party are pretty much the same thing, thereby proving he has no idea what either entails.
“Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.”
— Rick Santorum discussing the Democratic Party at a 2008 forum, “Press & People of Faith in Politics.”
And I’m not shocked by this statement, particularly in the context of current politics.
I’m sure folks have heard of the “Hey, now the state can rape you” bill, a.k.a. the Virginia ultrasound bill. Essentially, this bill mandates an ultrasound before an abortion, and if it is too early in pregnancy, a trans-vaginal ultrasound must be performed. A picture is worth a thousand words. This procedure is medically unnecessary and is being demanded under the guise of those seeking abortions having “all the information” about what they’re about to undergo.
Apparently, medical professionals are no longer the best sources of said information and must be ordered by the state to provide invasive medical procedures BECAUSE THAT’S NOT BIG GOVERNMENT AT ALL. This is only small government if the definition has switched to government small enough to fit in my uterus.
Justifications provided by the bill’s defenders include women had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” Therefore, Del. Kathy J. Byron, is justified in insisting, “if we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have.”
Though nothing infuriated more than this gem from CNN’s Dana Loesch:
That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth. […] There were individuals saying, “Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?” What? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.
Really? You determined that yourself? No one in the history of ever was coerced into sex? And then got pregnant?
Yeah… no. And guess what? Consenting to sex does not equal consenting to pregnancy and your vagina becoming property of the state to be poked and prodded. Ever heard the “Well, she IS a slut…” - or something similar - justification for rape? This is pretty goddamn close. Once you’ve consented to someone probing your vagina once, you’ve clearly consented to all penises and objects.
I propose a new criminal defense strategy. Let’s call it the Loesch-Virginia defense. It works like this:
Defendant: “Your honor, I could not have possibly raped the woman in question. Clearly, she has consented to a pseudo trans-vaginal procedure and is a notorious whore. It’s HER fault for carrying that baby around town and advertising her own promiscuity. It’s not my fault for acting on HER signals and assuming she wouldn’t mind being penetrated against her will. Therefore, I’m using the Loesch-Virginia defense.”
Judge: “I’ll allow it.”
All sarcasm aside, I’m proposing an amendment to the bill. Erectile dysfunction impacts millions of men each year. While its cause can be psychosomatic, it can also be a symptom of a much more serious medical problem. Millions of prescriptions for Viagra are written each year, often after little medical consultation. Now, I want men to have all the information before making such a significant decision - ingesting this drug can lead to irreversible vision loss and cardiac arrest.
Before prescribing this drug, I propose the state mandate doctors performing a digital rectal exam. This can check for an enlarged prostate, a common cause of erectile dysfunction, even if the physician has ruled out that cause or the patient wishes to not undergo the procedure. Basically, if men want this:
Deal with this:
Besides, I’m sure some men seeking this prescription have engaged in consensual anal play before, right? So it’s not a big deal, right? Riiiight… because it’s not actually about sex itself.
It’s about moralistic preaching from a party of no ideas and a fractured base. It’s ginning up a war on the wimmenfolk to try to win an election. From Politico:
“I feel like the world is spinning backwards,” said former Rep. Patricia Schroeder, who has often related the troubles she has as a young married law student getting her birth control prescriptions filled in the early 1960s. “If you had told me when I was in law school that this would be a debate in 2012, I would have thought you were nuts. And everyone I talk to thinks so, too.”
Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University, also sees the chance of a huge female backlash if the Republicans overreach. “If women feel they are being targeted again, that women’s health is on the line — that’s not an argument you want to make in an election year,” she said.
Make no mistake - the war on contraception and abortion has nothing to do with religious liberty and information. It is about distraction - the policies put forth by the GOP in 2012 tanked the economy in 2008. The Democratic Party is not comprised of saints either. But really? A war on birth control?
For your convenience: Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
And the GOP platform of A Handmaid’s Tale 2012 marches on… I have higher aspirations than being a brood mare for the state, thank you.
Eric hasn’t held a Townhall this year, but last night was supposed to be an “Advisory Council Meeting” open to the public. The citizens who had been struggling to no avail to get a meeting with Cantor weren’t invited to the meeting, but with the help of Progress Virginia and Virginia Organizing, they rented the ballroom upstairs from their Representative in hopes of being heard.
Those hopes were soon dashed when the hotel management of the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center asked them to leave, citing various unverified concerns until landing upon “conflicting events” (also known as the human condition or the People versus the Koch Brothers). The Daily Kos reported, “…(T)he hotel was not comfortable with competing events. This is even though the activists had rented the ballroom a few days beforehand. Additionally, Scholl pointed out that “Cantor had the only other event” in the hotel that night.”
The conflicting event was Cantor, downstairs, busy with his “Advisory Committee Meeting” that was “open to the public”. In fact, the “meeting” was billed thusly, “Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia’s 7th District invites his constituents to attend the next Cantor Advisory Council Meeting.”
The protesters departed peacefully and reconvened across the street in a Toys R Us parking lot, where they rallied for jobs while Eric Cantor stayed cozy in his ivory tower of privilege, ignoring their desperate pleas once again. Cantor’s desperate constituents carried signs that read:
“I Need a Job to Pay My Bills” and “Whose Side Are You On?”