July 31, 2009

Old Glory Insurance

By Brady Bonk

Why does this old SNL spoof remind me of Republigoats these days?

July 30, 2009

Abortion Abortion

By Brady Bonk

So, what happens when a country bans abortion outright? Guess guess guess. C’mon. Guess.

If you guessed “unintended consequences of the new policy adversely affect women’s health care almost immediately,” well, you must have already seen the Amnesty International report about Nicaragua. Our friends to the south completely banned abortion in July 2008, and the results are extraordinary.

There are no exceptions. Nada:

The current law makes no provision for pregnancies where serious complications arise which require urgent and decisive treatment, such as a termination, in order to prevent the death or serious damage to the health of the pregnant woman or girl.

Health professionals who provide information about or who carry out abortions in Nicaragua can be sent to the slam, according to the AI report. The thing is, though, that such conditions don’t just affect abortion. It affects a whole range of medical treatment for women. Doctors are scared out of their minds about taking on risky pregnancy cases because, if there’s a complication or a miscarriage, they might be held criminally liable.

The new legal framework disempowers doctors and health professionals by making it harder, if not impossible, for them to make timely decisions about how to treat complications during
pregnancy. Doctors have now to consider the legal implications of administering medically indicated treatment to pregnant women for conditions unrelated to the pregnancy in case the effects of the treatment place them at odds with the law.

*

…The impact of criminalizing abortion in all circumstances extends far beyond this. It also restricts the provision of medically indicated treatment, such as cardiac surgery, which may, despite the best efforts of medical staff, end in the termination of the pregnancy.

Support for an outright prohibition of abortion == support for the rotting away of quality health care for women. Generally. I bet you four dollars that the incidence of obstetric fistula skyrockets in Nicaragua in the next few years.

The report is here. Thanks to Feministing.

Filed Under: Down Goes Griswold!

Thought of the Week

By Papa Bonk

The Republicans are a side show here compared to the failure of the Democratic Party to get its shit together and govern the country.
John Heilemann.

Heilemann, a columnist for New York Magazine, was a guest on Bill Marr’s July 24 show. He noted that when Busch was in charge, holding narrow margins in the House and Senate, the GOOP managed to the execute its agenda and get the work done that it intended to do. We are now in the second Democratic administration in 20 years with a decent majority in BOTH houses, and neither seems to be able to implement the agenda they were elected to implement.

Obama and Clinton could both be cut some slack for the broad scope of their ambition. Each introduced some notions that the center right has thought to be radical… such as Gay rights, or that challenge well-organized, well-funded opposition, such as health insurance reform. By comparison the GOOP had nothing on its agenda (except to invade Iraq and undermine the Constitution).

Heilemann points out this is all the fault of Congress, which for some reason can’t figure out that failure here will ultimately destroy the Democratic Majority.

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons
July 29, 2009

By the Time I Sell and Lease Back Arizona

By Brady Bonk

This. Is batshit. Insane.

Call it a sign of desperate times: [Arizona] Legislators are considering selling the House and Senate buildings where they’ve conducted state business for more than 50 years.

Dozens of other state properties also may be sold as the state government faces its worst financial crisis in a generation, if not ever. The plan isn’t to liquidate state assets, though.

Instead, officials hope to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again. The complex financial transaction would allow government services to continue without interruption while giving the state a fast infusion of as much as $735 million, according to Capitol projections.

This country has just suffered its worst economic crisis in generations, a crisis largely based on complex financial transactions involving real estate. Arizona, is now really a good time to bankroll your operations on complex financial transactions involving real estate?

Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed such sale/leaseback provisions along with most of the rest of a fiscal 2010 state budget plan sent to her by the Legislature.

But the provisions are expected to return as part of a GOP-led legislative budget proposal surfacing this week. Although Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman called sale/leaseback deals “one of the governor’s least favorite options,” he conceded the likelihood that they’ll play a key role in any plan to close a state shortfall estimated at $3.4 billion.

The state may have little choice. Reserves already have been drained, easier fiscal gimmicks are virtually tapped out, and there’s no political will for spending cuts of the size and scope needed to close the deficit.

It figures that this batshit insane scheme is being led by a bunch of GOOPers. If it involves liquidating the commons to private interests, these assholes are all for it. Friends, the word “fascism” gets thrown around a lot these days. I only wish more people actually understood it. Because this here is what “fascism” actually is.

House Majority Leader John McComish called the payments preferable to a tax increase, as proposed by Brewer, or alternative fiscal schemes such as selling future income from state Lottery sales in exchange for a lump-sum payment.

“What are our choices?” asked McComish, a Phoenix Republican. “We could cut more, or we could raise taxes more. Borrowing over the long term, we think, is better for the people, better for the economy.”

God knows that anything is better than raising taxes. The horror. The horror. The horror.

By the way, as part of this brilliant maneuvering, Arizona will also consider contracting out the management of its prisons. That’s always such an awesome idea, injecting the profit motive into the penal system! I feel so much better knowing that some fat cat CEO somewhere stands to improve his net worth by locking more people up! That’s so awesome and is exactly the way justice should work!

Note to self: Do not move to Arizona.

To CNN:

By Brady Bonk

I have never been a faithful Lou Dobbs viewer, and, frankly, I have not been a faithful CNN viewer since your network’s exhuberant cheerleading of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, which I found to be utterly vapid. However, as a former newsman myself and a general observer of the media and of public policy, I feel compelled to write to you today to express to you that your man Lou Dobbs has become an embarrassment to your network, and I for one think it is time for you to consider putting him back out to pasture yet again.

As adroitly observed by Jon Stewart, Dobbs was swinging around the laden birther gauntlet not days after substitute Dobbs anchor Kitty Pilgrim thoroughly debunked the matter on Lou’s own air. Dobbs’ inability to prevent such a stark contrast in editorial stances on his own air should be a source of concern in and of itself for CNN. But that Dobbs continues to make hay about this ridiculous fringe accusation despite that it’s been thoroughly disproven, despite that its espousers are quite clearly motivated not by concern for the Constitution or for good government but by good old-fashioned racism, and yet that Dobbs continues to beat this drum on his air and then seems to backpedal from it by unicycle, well, CNN, it’s clear that you have some ‘splainin’ to do. Dobbs has proven himself unfit to broadcast. He is little more than a lizard-brained race baiter, one more tool in the arsenal of those who would stir up those nasty coals. His continued broadcast career at CNN is acidic to your network and to the country. It’s time to cut him loose.

Sincerely,
Brady B. Bonk

Filed Under: The Liberal Media
July 28, 2009

You Heard it Here First (and Other Notes)

By Papa Bonk

First Gay President?…. Lindsey Graham’s measured, statesman-like endorsement of Judge Sonia to the Supremes raises a question. Is he running for President? It’s a crap shoot, of course, but with all the hopeless crazies in the GOOP lineup, Graham looks like a rational choice. Will the First Gay president be a GOOPer?

Hilary was Magnificent…. And if you missed Madame Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Meet the Press Sunday you need to go see it. We got a thorough review of the U.S. position on the very hottest hotspots, including some support for the Vice President on what some common taters were calling a major gaff (Biden’s recent comments on Russia). More important, we got a clear message. Hilary loves her work, is a valued member of the Obama team, and wouldn’t have it any other way. She doesn’t even mind if he does not agree with her. Hilary demonstrated the many reasons why she was a great candidate for President of the United States… maybe in 2016, although she is now denying it.

Health Care Lessons … Without a Public Option its not reform.

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons
July 27, 2009

Health Care Reform Mantra

By Brady Bonk

Update: I swear I wrote this BEFORE I saw Howard Dean say basically the same thing on TRMS tonight. Programming Note: Dean will host Countdown Tuesday-Wednesday. Nice.

Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform. Without a public option, it’s not reform.

Filed Under: Health Care Reform

A Hospitality Suggestion

By Brady Bonk
When President Obama has Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates to the White House for a beer, he should consider a choice of beers that would slap those birther assholes right in their stupid faces.

He should serve Tusker.

Just a suggestion.

July 25, 2009

Good Stuff

By Brady Bonk

Have just begun reading “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” by Susan Jacoby.

Filed Under: The KIAV Book Club
July 23, 2009

Joe the Dumber is Old Hat

By Papa Bonk

I think the GOOP may have found a new Joe the Dumbass Plumber in the form of Officer James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department. Today he is whining because, during a national press conference, Barack Obama sided with his victim, Professor Henry Lewis Gates, not with the boys in blue. Soon he will be making the rounds of the right wing noise machine, and follow Joe the Dumber on the campaign trail.

The unfortunate incident in Cambridge is small potatoes compared to other incidents of bad cop judgement. Amadou Diallo got blown away. The Mayor of Berwyn Heights, MD had his dogs killed and house ransacked by a police department run amuck. Gates was merely handcuffed and booked.

The Professor’s crime was getting pissed off when a cop came uninvited into his home and treated him rudely. Gates had every right to be pissed. He was in his own home, minding his own business. The cops demanded ID, which he gave them. Then the cop got pissed because Gates refused to kiss his ass and instead demanded to know who he was and why he was bothering Professor Gates in his own house. In a case like this, good judgement on the cop’s part would have been to apologize and walk away. Don’t expect good judgement.

Now Officer Crowley is saying he was wronged (I think cops think that citizens owe them a duty of nice treatment at all times) and the President is showing disrespect for police officers. Crowley has already been talking on local radio about how abused he is. Next it will be Fixed News and Bill O’Liar, Lush and the rest of the gang. Maybe he will geta book deal oft of it?

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons