Wisconsin Republicans On Joint Finance Endanger Women’s Health With Party-Line Vote

Do  Wisconsin Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee just pick and chose which parts of the modern era that wish to reside in?   In other words do they still opt for their BlackBerry and GPS units at the same time they are consigning women to the back of the bus when it comes to reproductive health care?  Do these elected Republicans really scorn the level of modernity over women’s health rights  that most of their fellow citizens endorse, and very much enjoy?

It was hard to watch the Planned Parenthood issue get debated in Joint Finance. I have no need to care about conservative constituencies, and certainly no need to wonder if a teabagger is lurking to challenge me come the next election.  Yet I wondered why there was a complete lack of awareness among the elected Republicans about the needs, and yes the RIGHTS of women when it comes to reproductive health issues.  

When it was over by a party-line vote of 12-4 about $1 million a year had been cut in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood. This was not a good outcome for the state, or for the women these Republicans claim to honor and represent every election cycle.

The damming consequences of the amendment that passed would disallow any abortion providers in Wisconsin, or those affiliated with those that perform abortions or even just make referrals, from receiving a state grant targeted for women’s health programs.  In other words funding for women’s health services such as cervical cancer screening,  annual exams, or even birth control that is provided by agencies such as Planned Parenthood would be eliminated.  The reason is that even if an agency talks about abortion as an option, but the procedure is not actually performed by that agency, funding to that agency would still be eliminated.     

That is just plain crazy!

That low-income women in rural districts without health care might not have other options than visiting Planned Parenthood or a similar agency for exams seemed lost on the Republicans.  Since the GOP seems averse to national health care I wonder what solutions they favor and are willing to pay for so all women can have their medical needs met?

The average citizen in Wisconsin understands that it is not acceptable for some to still think there is a right to snoop into the private places and dictate what a woman should do with her body.  This is 2011, and yet in the Joint Finance room Wednesday I am sure some of the audience were checking their calendars just to be sure.  The debate that was underway makes me wonder how someone elected to office can still be so woefully misguided and uneducated about basic issues impacting women.

One of the other aspects to the measure that passed prohibits men from receiving family planning services through a state program!  I have no idea why this makes sense to Republicans.  Yet it passed.  I would think the more accurate and timely information that an agency could provide would only allow for people to make better choices.  Those wiser decisions impact all of society in a number of ways from preventing the spread of STD’s to lowering the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

At the end of the day one questions lingers.

Just what happens to make an otherwise seemingly intelligent legislator come to view Planned Parenthood as the boogeyman?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Will Seek Bail, Again

Rikers Island must be less than accommodating for the needs of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  News comes today that Strauss-Kahn will do just about anything to be granted bail.  The fact this man is a flight-risk, and a mjor one, should give all pause when thinking this issue over.  Strauss-Kahn could have just acted like a gentleman in the first place, and never seen the inside of Rikers Island.

Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund who is accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, filed papers on Wednesday asking a judge to release him on bail.

Shawn P. Naunton, the lawyer who drafted the bail application, indicated that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be willing to be confined to a location in Manhattan, wear an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor his movements and post $1 million bail in cash.

The request will be heard at 2:15 p.m. Thursday by Justice Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The lawyers’ action, while not unexpected, was unusual in its timing; such requests are usually made after defendants learn whether they have been indicted. Mr. Strauss-Kahn will not know if he has been indicted until Friday.

The move also indicates the urgency with which the lawyers are trying to free Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who has been in protective custody on Rikers since Monday, when a Criminal Court judge denied him bail.

The application suggests that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be subjected to 24-hour home confinement, though it does not specify how that would be enforced or where he would be staying.

Picture: Arnold Schwarzenegger, With Maid, Mother, Other Woman

Republican family values getting all stirred up.  This photo was taken three years before the ‘love child’ was born.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pitbulls

More and more is surfacing about the way Arnold Schwarzenegger was able to avoid bad press that would have upended his marriage, and political life.  No one can be surprised another Republican, one that belongs to the party of ‘family values’, has such a checkered past.  If you listen to FAUX News,however, it is only the liberals with colorful histories.  Not only has Schwarzenegger real baggage, but it is interesting to think about those who once wanted to change the U.S. Constitution so Arnold could run for President.  I am assuming those folks do not recall they once considered such a thing…..

Schwarzenegger’s reputation as a womanizer was well known before the Los Angeles Times broke the news Monday night that he had fathered a child with a household staffer more than a decade ago. Over the years, scores of women had come forward claiming that Schwarzenegger had behaved in a way that was predatory to them. From time to time, rumors of an out-of-wedlock child made their way into print. But no one could really prove the allegations, and his wife Maria Shriver was a beacon of support for her husband.

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger apparently went to great lengths to minimize the damage his sexual behavior could cost his career and his marriage. And, it seems, there was much to hide. A well-placed source who worked with Schwarzenegger during the filming of 1999’s End of Days told The Daily Beast that two different women on the film were talked out of filing charges against Schwarzenegger for groping them in a rough manner. Reached Tuesday night, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger declined to comment, saying he wanted to be respectful of the family’s request for privacy. A message requesting comment from Shriver’s rep wasn’t returned.

For many years, Schwarzenegger employed pit-bull attorney Marty Singer—whose legal threats to journalists are the stuff of legend—to stamp out negative stories and discredit women who claimed he’d misbehaved in front of them. Even Anthony Pellicano, the disgraced private investigator currently serving a 15-year sentence for wiretapping, racketeering, and wire fraud, reportedly worked on Schwarzenegger’s behalf for a time, sifting through his client’s own trash to suss out potential enemies.

Newt Gingrich Campaign On Life-Support

I like to see the mechanics of political campaigns,  regardless of the person or party.  So I am watching with interest to see if the Newt Gingrich campaign can survive the self-inflicted wounds from the past weekend.  The gaffe that started this mess was when Gingrich labeled, correctly I think, Congressman Paul Ryan’s much-touted Medicare plan as too “radical”.  That set off howls from conservatives, and then a series of gestures from Gingrich to quiet the noise-makers.

While there have always been doubts about the ability of Gingrich not to do or say something rash and intemperate, no one thought he would implode this soon. It has only been about a week since he became an announced candidate!   So now the question is can Gingrich do or say anything that will again put his campaign for the White House on track. 

I suspect it will be very hard, as most who will be the money-givers, and die-hard supporters are not interested in glory laps for any candidate.  They want a winner!  The stakes are too high to have a feel-good race.  From my point of view it seems Gingrich wants to be in the race for the sake of himself, as opposed to the needs of the Republican Party.

Having said that however, the GOP would be wise to understand what Gingrich said, even if it was stated in less than an artful way.

Newt Gingrich has always been a blow-hard who wraps himself in the intellectual part of his party.  Gingrich is correct to say that the GOP needs to not come across as radical in its approaches to win in 2012, and that Ryan’s proposal is aimed in the opposite direction from the sensible way to run a race for the White House.  But it is also true to say that for all the years and all the interviews given by Gingrich it appears that little was learned.

Bluster and bombast are not good characteristics on the campaign trail.