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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 10:58 AM
Number of posts: 5,548

Journal Archives

Virginia House puts off ultrasound bill again

Source: The Maddow Blog

The Virginia House of Delegates again today decided to put off voting on the Senate's version of a bill to require women seeking an abortion to first undergo medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds. They also let the vote "pass by" yesterday, with a more than a thousand demonstrators lined up in a silent protest outside.

Democratic Delegate David Englin writes:

Quick update on Va. GOP's vaginal penetration ultrasound mandate: The Senate version of the bill (Senate Bill 484) was scheduled for debate and final vote today, but House Republicans again made a motion to push off the debate and vote by another day. The same happened for Senate Bill 349, the so-called "conscience clause" bill that allows state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against GLBT families and youth.

House Democrats then attempted a parliamentary maneuver that would have killed the ultrasound bill forever, but that failed on a party-line vote. Therefore, both bills are now scheduled for debate and vote tomorrow.

Virginia Republicans are suddenly running scared of their own social agenda!


INFOGRAPHIC: Why We Should Be Glad We Didn’t ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’

Source: Think Progress

“If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye,” said Mitt Romney in his 2008 op-ed for the New York Times that was entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” Of course, General Motors and Chrysler were rescued by the federal government, and as a result, the US auto industry is surging just a few years later.

General Motors recorded its highest ever profit in 2011 and regained the title of world’s largest automaker from Toyota, while Chrysler returned to profitability for the first time in more than a decade.

Amazingly, just last week Romney defended his demonstrably false statements about the auto rescue, and claimed that it was “crony capitalism on a grand scale.” “The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better,” Romney said.

But take a look at how the government’s intervention in the auto industry has saved Detroit from the brink of collapse:


You can view a bigger version of the graph at the link.

Turning children's art into stuffed animals.

What a great small business!

Link: http://childsown.wordpress.com/

20 Cats As Fonts

More: http://www.buzzfeed.com/animals/cats-as-fonts

Women (still) are not livestock

Source: ACLU of Illinois

Chicago – In an effort to deny women in Illinois access to safe and effective medical care, leaders of the movement to bar access to reproductive health care, including contraceptives, are introducing a bill on women’s health care through the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. The measure, House Bill 4117 sponsored by Representative Thomas Morrison, may be heard by that Committee as early as Tuesday afternoon, February 21st. The bill, drafted by a group of well-known, anti-abortion activists committed to shutting down all facilities providing safe and effective reproductive health care to women, creates excessive and unnecessary regulations on health care facilities that do not increase health and safety for women.


The Illinois House rejected a measure similar to House Bill 4117 last year after a lengthy debate on the floor of the House. During the course of that debate, opponents of the legislation made clear that Illinois already enforces vigorous regulations on all health care facilities in the State – including women’s health care clinics. Given the State’s current economic challenges, legislators also were unwilling to adopt this medically unnecessary regulatory scheme drafted by politicians, not physicians, that would cost the State more money to oversee.

Again this year, the proponents of this legislation have chosen to hold the hearing for the bill in the Agricultural and Conservation Committee, a body without any expertise in public health care. Indeed, last year the Committee heard debates over muskrats and hunting before considering this measure.

“We heard the debate in the Agricultural Committee last year,” added Connell. “Those legislators know a lot about livestock, crops and salt licks. They do not know women’s health.”


And then there is this:

The second bill — House Bill 4085 – would force all Illinois women seeking abortion, regardless of individual health circumstances, to view an ultrasound of the fetus or sign a statement documenting the reasons for her refusal. Imagine how traumatic viewing this ultrasound could be for some women, particularly those terminating for health reasons or because of rape or incest, and if they refuse to view the ultrasound, having to justify their decision in a written statement! The bill also increases costs for women seeking essential health care and increases the cost of regulation for a state agency already financially strapped.


*emphasis is mine.

Fox Pundit Says Women In The Military Should ‘Expect’ To Be Raped

Source: Think Progress

The Pentagon announced new rules last week easing the ban on women serving in combat. While conservatives like Rick Santorum are a little uneasy with the news, the announcement only formalizes military practices that were already taking place.

But Fox News contributor Liz Trotta’s commentary on the matter took the issue to a whole other level. She’s not really concerned about the “controversy” surrounding the Pentagon’s announcement. For Trotta, the issue is having “women once more, the feminist, going, wanting to be warriors and victims at the same time.” She cited a recent Pentagon report that violent sex crimes in the military have increased over the last 6 years and said women should “expect” it, decrying more levels of bureaucracy to support women who have been “raped too much“:

TROTTA: But while all of this is going on, just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on a new Pentagon report on sexual abuse in the military. I think they have actually discovered there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it’s strictly been a question of pressure from the feminist.

And the feminists have also directed them, really, to spend a lot of money. They have sexual counselors all over the place, victims’ advocates, sexual response coordinators. … So, you have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/02/13/424239/fox-women-miliary-expect-raped/

Sunday is Darwin Day. How Will You Celebrate It?

Source: AlterNet

Photo Credit: Tim Green

Despite the white beard, Charles Darwin isn’t Santa Claus, but like Christmas, Darwin Day comes once a year, and when it comes it brings good cheer. Across the country and around the world, at colleges and universities, schools and libraries, museums and churches, people assemble around February 12 to commemorate the life and work of the British naturalist. But it’s not just about Darwin: it’s about engaging in—and enjoying—public outreach about science, evolution, and the importance of evolution education.


Knowledge about science and enthusiasm about science education sometimes seems to be in short supply. Nearly all scientists (97%) agreed with “humans and other living things have evolved over time” in a 2009 poll—but only 61% of the general public agreed. The general public was equally shaky about what scientists believed: only 60% believed that scientists generally agreed that humans have evolved over time. And is this level of ignorance about the science of evolution reflected in the educational system? You’d better believe it.


And if you’re in the United States, one in every eight of public high school biology teachers in your country is presenting creationism as though it were scientifically credible, according to a national survey conducted in 2006, despite the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community that it is anything but. And the same survey suggested that six out of ten of public high school biology teachers are not presenting evolution with the accuracy, breadth, and confidence that’s needed for their students to attain a basic level of scientific literacy.

With a steady drumbeat of ignorance of, skepticism about, and hostility toward evolution among the general public, Darwin Day comes as a welcome respite every year: it can be a relief to be among people who understand evolution, and appreciate that it—and not creationism—belongs in our schools. But for whatever reason you attend your local Darwin Day celebration, whether for the company or the talks or the films or the face-painting or the refreshments, you’re sure to have a splendid time. Oh, by the way: save me a slice of cake.


Tuskegee Airmen visit the White House

The President and the First Lady host Tuskegee Airmen along with cast and crew members of the movie Red Tails for a screening at the White House.

World Press Photo competition 2012 winners - in pictures

The first prize in the Contemporary Issues Stories category was won by Stephanie Sinclair of the US, on assignment for National Geographic magazine. Tahani (in pink), who married her husband Majed when she was 6 and he was 25, is posing for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen, 10 June 2010. Nearly half of all women in Yemen are married as children

Photograph: Stephanie Sinclair/VII Photo Agency

The second prize in Spot News Stories was won by Niclas Hammerstrom from Sweden, for the newspaper Aftonbladet in Utoya, Norway, in July, 2011. Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people on 22 July on the small island of Utoya outside Oslo

Photograph: Niclas Hammerstrom/Aftonbladet

This image of the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan in April, 2011 by Yasuyoshi Chiba of Agence France-Presse won first prize in the People in the News Stories category. The photograph shows Chieko Matsukawa with her daughter's graduation certificate as she finds it in the debris in Higashimatsushima, in Miyagi prefecture

Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

The second prize for People in the News Singles category was won by Tomasz Lazar of Poland, with this picture of an arrest of protesters during a demonstration against police tactics and income inequality in Harlem, New York City, 25 October 2011

Photograph: Tomasz Lazar/Reuters


At CPAC, Mitch McConnell Calls Conservatives ‘Simply More Fun Than Liberals’

Source: Think Progress

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has an interesting new recruiting strategy for conservatives. “Conservatives are more simply more fun than liberals, and there is a reason for that,” he told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference this morning. “We’re always right.” Watch it:

Speaking in 2009 to CPAC, McConnell made the same argument, commenting, “Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when you can be with Rush Limbaugh?”

My plans for a rockin’ time out don’t generally include hanging out with my friends in conference rooms getting all self-congratulatory about our stances on policy, but to each his own. If McConnell wants to rebrand conservatism as America’s most entertaining ideological movement, he’s probably going to have to come up with a better reason people should believe him.


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