New Hampshire Republicans to Women: FUCK YOU

This makes me mad:

Until July 1, a low-income New Hampshire woman paid an average of $5 to fill a birth control pill prescription at any of the state’s six Planned Parenthood clinics. She might have even gotten the birth control for free, depending on her poverty level.

But since the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to cancel the state’s contract with Planned Parenthood, a woman now has to pay anywhere from $40 to over $100 for birth control pills at a regular pharmacy.

Councilor Raymond Wieczorek of Manchester added that he opposed funding for birth control and condoms altogether.

“If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?”

Is there anywhere ever, ever ,ever where denying women access to birth control measures has reduced pregnancies and/or adoptions? If there is, please tell me. Because prior to social conservative conventional wisdom giving the big “fuck you” to women does jack shit to promote their jihad against women’s reproductive choice.

“We can’t even provide patients with antibiotics for urinary tract infections or STDs anymore,” said Jennifer Frizzell, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She said Planned Parenthood has had to turn away 20 to 30 patients a day who are showing up to refill their prescriptions.

“We have to send them away with a prescription knowing that without insurance, they have to pay the full cost of that at a local pharmacy, and many patients have told us they’re not gonna have the money in their budget to afford to fill those prescriptions.”

Because the best way to “save” fetuses is to slowly kill the mothers.

I’ll have a longer post later. I just wanted to put this out there now.

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Republicans: Deficit Spend for Rich not Poor

I smell a worse person in the world award in Senator Kyl’s near future…

The jackass says :

Top Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted on Sunday that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit, even as he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns.

“[Y]ou should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes,” said the Arizona Senator during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “Surely Congress has the authority, and it would be right to — if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”

So we can’t spend $30 million to help the unemployed but we can spend $687 billion on tax cuts for wealthy Americans. This is your Republican party America…

If anyone wanted a prime example of someone placing their ideology over reality this is one if I ever saw it.

Russ Feingold For The Supreme Court??

With another one, possibly two, Supreme Court Justices within an arms reach of retirement, it’s never too early to start thinking of potential Supreme Court nominees. But here’s one out of left, no pun intended, field. Senator Russ Feingold. Matt Rothschild makes an excellent argument in favor of a Feingold nomination:

Feingold has the intellectual heft for the job, as he was a Rhodes Scholar and then graduated from Harvard Law School.

He is one of the staunchest defenders of civil liberties in the country, and he chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. Not afraid to stand alone, he was the sole Senator to vote against the USA Patriot Act. He also has led the fight against illegal domestic spying, and he has spoken out strongly against the shredding of due process in the Military Commissions Act.

And perhaps Feingold’s best qualification for a seat on the Supreme Court; the dude has balls. If you ever need a member of  Congress to give you a straight answer or tell it like it is, Feingold’s your man. For all of his hemming and hawing, I think Obama owes progressives a Feingold nomination to ensure a firebrand progressive has a seat on the court for many years to come.

It’s also worth noting that the Governor of Wisconsin, the state Feingold represents in the Senate, is held by democrat Jim Doyle. This is important because the major drawback with elevating any democratic politician to a higher office is the potential that he or she would be replaced by a republican. (Ask voters in Arizona how that one turned out). Thus, if Feingold were nominated he would theoretically be replaced by another democrat.

I’m particularly interested in Feingold, because his selection would represent a return to selecting non judicary figures for Supreme Court vacanicies. A little known fact, it was once very common to select non judges to the Supreme Court as a means to balance the types of opinions on the court. Some of our most famous Justices were not judges at the time of their nomination. Think Justice Hugo Black.

Should We Torture Dr. George Tiller’s Assassin?

Bill Maher asked an interesting question on his show this week that I think merits further discussion.

The Ticking Time Bomb Scenario is widely accepted as the main justifications for torture, according to torture supporters. The “Ticking Time Bomb theory” states there are certain situations where the prevailing evidence points to an individual holding important time sensitive information about impending terrorists attacks. In these situations, proponents of this theory argue that is both morally and legally permissible to torture this individual.

But here’s the question. If the ticking time bomb scenario is true, as torture supporters claim, should federal authorities torture Scott Roeder, Dr. George Tiller’s assassin, who claims to have knowledge of impending terrorist attacks on abortion clinics?

Interesting stuff huh? But wait, here’s part two.

Many torture supporters claim that the “harsh interrogation” tactics used by the Bush adminstration, IE waterboarding, were not in fact torture. If this is true and waterboarding is not torture, would “harsh interrogation” supporters support using similar techniques on Mr. Roeder?

If This Is Diversity, No Thank You

I’ve gotta agree with Ezra on this one. I have no idea why Janet Napolitano is being considered for a seat on the Supreme Court. She’s not young, she doesn’t have a great legal mind and she’s not particularly liberal.  On top of all that, she doesn’t provide the same opprotunities to “double dip” in the diversity category nor does she have a distinguished legal career. By all of the established liberal criteria, she’s the worst of all the candidates currently being mentioned.

Like I’ve said, I still need to do deeper research into each of the short list candidates, but I’m very dishearted from what I’ve read thus far. This isn’t to say that if nominated any of these candidates would be a bad Supreme Court Justice, but you can’t help but feel that Obama is blowing a huge opprotunity. (Think of it as taking a walk with the bases loaded when you could’ve hit  a grand slam.)

Promoting diversity on the court is a very important goal. But its only part of the puzzle. A young and vibrant court justice with a great legal mind would do much more to advance the rights of women and minorities, even if its a white male. But…and this is a VERY important but, Obama’s inability to select a great group of candidates should not be considered an argument against promoting diversity on the court. There are plenty of women and minorities candidates that would be home runs. It just appears that they’re not on Obama’s list.

Some AIG Executives To Return Bonuses

Huffington Post reports:

Fifteen of the largest 20 bonuses distributed by AIG, totaling about $30 million of their payments, have been returned, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Some of the bonus recipients have refused to give back the payments, others have been unable to be contacted, and other holdouts are still deliberating while they consider the tax ramifications, Cuomo told reporters during a conference call.

He added that 9 of the top 10 recipients had given back the bonuses.

In total, he predicts that $80 million will be returned, noting that only 47% of the payouts went to American employees of the embattled firm.

Cuomo praised those who returned the money for their responsiveness to public outrage, stating that they had “risen to the occasion.”

As much crap as I’ve given to AIG executives, I’m glad to say I tip my hat off to those who returned their bonuses. I also thinks this speaks volumes about the how they viewed their chances of recouping their bonuses in court.

The Feminist Movement Just Took A Step Back

46 of them to be exact.

Normally I wouldn’t blog about these types of issues. I’m not much of a gossiper especially when it comes to Z-list “celebrities”, but for someone this stupid I’ll gladly make an exception:

A 36-year-old Swedish countess divorcing a former CEO says she cannot live on $43 million.
Marie Douglas-David, a former investment banker, says she has no income and needs her 67-year-old husband, George David, to pay her more than $53,000 a week _ more than most U.S. households make in a year _ to cover her expenses.

Douglas-David has filed court papers showing she has more than $53,800 in weekly expenses, including for maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three residences in Sweden. Her weekly expenses also include $700 for limousine service, $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, and $8,000 for travel.

At that rate, Douglas-David would burn through $43 million in less than 16 years. The Census Bureau estimates that the median U.S. household income in 2007 was just over $50,000.

Here’ s the problem I have with divorce proceedings. Why is a non income generating spouse entitled to any money let alone 50%, the rule of thumb in divorces? If you didn’t bring any money into the household why should you take money out of the household when you leave. Emotional support, sacrifice, being accustomed to a certain standard of living are all legalese for empty rhetorical bullshit.

I don’t consider myself a hardliner on this issue. There are certainly circumstances where one party deserves an alimony payment. They worked while putting the other person through school, the coupled agreed that he/she would stay home to take care of the kids, etc. but these are special circumstances not defacto situations. You made the decision to get married and you have to deal with the consequences of your marriage’s failure. Both emotional and financial.

Marie Douglas-David. You’re not entitled to someone’s money because you were an innocent bystander while they acquired it. You’re not entitled to a certain standard of living. And most importantly, you’re not entitled to be rich. Marriage isn’t a retirement plan. Try earning your own way instead of surviving off of the teat of someone else.