Beyond new state efforts to restrict women’s access to proper reproductive health care, another, if quieter, threat is posed by mergers between secular hospitals and Catholic hospitals operating under religious directives from the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops. These directives, which oppose abortions, inevitably collide with a hospital’s duty to provide care to pregnant women in medical distress. This tension lies at the heart of a federal lawsuit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The suit was brought on behalf of a Michigan woman, Tamesha Means, who says she was subjected to substandard care at a Catholic hospital — the only hospital in her county — after her water broke at 18 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors in such circumstances typically induce labor or surgically remove the fetus to reduce the woman’s chances of infection. But according to the complaint, doctors acting in accordance with the bishops’ directives did not inform Ms. Means that her fetus had virtually no chance of surviving or that terminating her pregnancy was the safest treatment option.
Despite acute pain and bleeding, Ms. Means was sent home twice, and when she returned a third time with a fever from her untreated infection, she miscarried even as the paperwork was being prepared to discharge her again. The fetus died soon after.
Posted for the shear irony:
The Republican freakout over the Affordable Care Act has gotten so out of control and elaborate that the freakout is creating more “problems” now for Republicans to freak out over. It’s a dragon eating its own tail form of outrage creation. For instance, conservatives are up in arms because congressional staffers now can have insurance plans that cover abortion, which is supposedly an outrage because it’s a given in American politics that just because you work for the government, you private finances belong to a bunch of religious fanatics. (If you’re female.) But the reason staffers have this access is because Republicans made it so. Molly Redden at Mother Jones reports:
The bizarre story of how a conservative, anti-abortion Republican ended up expanding abortion access for congressional staff dates back to the initial fight over the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Here’s how it happened: The Obamacare exchanges were expressly designed to provide insurance to the uninsured, so congressional staffers—who, like most Americans, already had insurance—were initially excluded. Republicans claimed that this amounted to Democrats “exempting” themselves and their staff from Obamacare, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced an amendment that would force members of Congress and their staff to use the exchanges. Grassley’s proposal was intended to embarrass Democrats. But Democrats called Grassley’s bluff, and the law passed with his amendment.
But Grassley’s measure forced congressional staff out of the Federal Health Benefits Program, which federal law prohibited from offering any abortion coverage. Under the the federal plan, any congressional employee who wanted an abortion had to pay for it out of pocket. Now that they’re on the Obamacare exchanges, though, congressional employees will only pay out of pocket for abortion insurance. They’ll be able to choose any of the 112 plans available via Washington, DC’s health care exchange, only 9 of which do not cover abortion.
Could have put this under “Wingnuts,” but this happened awhile ago, so I thought “History” was more fitting. Anyone on the right wants to claim Republicans or conservatives never supported the Apartheid regime, here’s something else you can use to debunk them. This was also motivated by profit, so whoever says greed is good, has been proven wrong in this case as well. That also argues against these people simply being Wingnuts. It sounds like the folks at ALEC were motivated more by the fear of the lose of profits than ideology.
As the movement for public and private divestment from apartheid South Africa grew throughout the United States in the 1980s, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) aggressively mobilized against South African divestment, stymying state and federal efforts to sanction, isolate, and divest from the Pretorian regime, according to documents newly uncovered by People For the American Way and the Center For Media and Democracy.
ALEC used state and federal policy papers, monthly newsletters, “fact-finding” missions, panel discussions led by lobbyists on the payroll of the South African apartheid regime, and other means to pursue an anti-divestment agenda, one that relied solely on “corporate beneficence” to pressure the country to reform. This effort, in turn, was funded by corporations that were heavily invested in South Africa and had the most to lose from divestment.
I only learned of this yesterday, and was sad to hear that “Progressive talk” will end on KTLK 1150 AM on January 1st, to be replaced by wingnut radio. I can’t say I’m surprised by this. KTLK is a weak station that also carries Los Angeles Kings hockey games, UCLA football games, and other sports which often pre-empt scheduled programming, and as a result ratings suffered. KTLK has great shows like Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes, and also hosted Thom Hartmann before he moved show to conflict with Rhodes’, and it will be a shame when they all go off the air.
The largest media market in the world is about to lose its only non-Rightwing commercial talk radio station. Los Angeles’ KTLK 1150am will be flipped to a far Rightwing station featuring hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other rightwing talkers. “The changes are set to take effect for the first broadcast of 2014,” according to the Los Angeles Times this afternoon.
KTLK is owned by Clear Channel Communications, Inc., the nation’s largest owner of radio stations. Clear Channel is now owned by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital LLC. The talkers mentioned above who will be taking over the previously-progressive station are also syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks, the largest radio syndicator in the nation. The BRAD BLOG has long argued that the outsized control of our public airwaves enjoyed by Clear Channel/Premiere and a handful of other conglomerates —- including their ability to leverage our public airwaves (licensed from we, the people, in exchange only for their promise to serve the public interest) to distribute their own syndicator’s shows —- is a likely violation of U.S. v. Paramount, the 1948 anti-trust Supreme Court decision which found that the major movie studios could not also control the means of distribution by owning the nation’s largest theater chains at the same time.
As if ending progressive talk radio in L.A. isn’t bad enough, Clear Channel will now also reportedly be flipping its formerly progressive San Francisco talk station KNEW 960am (a move which they had threatened and then partially changed their mind about flipping in late 2011), over to a completely Right-leaning station as well, says the Times. That will leave San Francisco, arguably the most progressive city in the nation, without any commercial progressive talk radio outlet at all. But, as in L.A., listeners will still have many different Right-leaning talks outlets on our public airwaves to choose from, several of them owned by the same major corporation.
However, a commenter on this article pointed out something very important - this change amounts to a pretty big demotion for Rush Limbaugh:
Please know that I’m a progressive and a former listener to KTLK which I lived in L.A. until a year ago. And I’m a radio veteran of over four decades, so hear me out on this.
The sad truth is, due to a bad signal, zero publicity and waning quality of the available product, KTLK fell out being a contender a long time ago. They pulled a 0.3 this past month after a 0.2 and a 0.4 the previous 2 months.
However, what’s fascinating about this move is that Libaugh is being taken off the (literally, not corporately) clear channel KFI, whose 50,000 non-directional signal gets into Las Vegas in the daytime and into most of the western U.S. via skip waves at night. Here’s the coverage map.
Compare that to the anemic signal of KTLK: Here’s that map. It doesn’t go south of Long Beach…OC is where the conservative audience is, but the signal is iffy down there.
Between the two other 24/7 right wing stations, KABC (0.7) and KRLA (0.3), the total audience is right at a 1 share, meaning 99% of the available audience does NOT listen to conservative talk radio, despite the bluster and bravado. Rush being taken off KFI’s signal on 640AM and shoved up into the upper end of the AM dial at 1150AM is the radio equivalent of being put in the naughty corner.
And yes, Rush’s ratings have taken a hit on KFI since the “slut” incident.
So while this is bad news for progressive talk, the fact that Beck, Rush and Hannity will be confined to a bad signal on a bad dial location is cause for concern in right wing circles. Believe it.
So to go from a blowtorch like KFI to a station with a paltry reach like KTLK in the second largest media market in the country is a demotion indeed for El Rushbo. Like I said, I am saddened to not be able to hear Stephanie Miller or Randi Rhodes, but Limbaugh getting a karmic kick in the ass like this takes away a lot of the sting.
Many are saying that terrestrial talk radio in its last throes anyway, as many hosts have moved to Sirius and the like (beginning with Howard Stern), and it’s ironic that Limbaugh, who is credited with saving the genre on AM, may now be one of the main people who killed it.
Several hours later, she was fighting for her life in the small white van she drove, her attacker dragging her into the back seat, where her children’s art work and blankets lay, raping and strangling her, then tossing her body in a lake in Pontiac.
Bobby Lee Taylor, the man accused of her rape and murder, sat quietly this afternoon as Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton made closing arguments in the case.
“He wanted nothing more than to have sex with someone and if someone wasn’t going to give it, he was going to take it,” Walton told jurors. “She was a 32-year-old mother who was trying to go out and buy her child diapers.”
Pipeline - the most famous wave in the world. Day one of this years Pipe Masters contest began with near perfect Pipeline surf. Sometime during this contest, the ASP 2013 World Title will be decided. If Mick Fanning gets past the Quarter Finals, he will win the title, even if Kelly Slater wins the contest. Kelly is basically in the position of needing a miracle to win title #12 this year. That being said, he is the greatest competitive surfer ever, so don’t write him off just yet. If Mick loses in the Quarters or before, Kelly still has to win the event to claim the title. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this in pro surfing!
After all, Limbaugh is the man who launched 46 personal attacks on Sandra Fluke in 2012, including calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying in favor of affordable contraception, and little has changed since then. Just in the month of November, Limbaugh compared filibuster reform in the Senate to “allow[ing] women to be raped”; suggested that women in the military synchronize their menstrual cycles so they’d be “ready to be banshees”; read from a misogynistic parody site mocking marital rape; claimed ads promoting Obamacare’s coverage of birth control told young women “if you like being a prostitute, then have at it”; and claimed Democrats are turning women “into nothing but abortion machines.”
Limbaugh is not alone. Wall Street Journal editor James Taranto has mocked efforts to combat the immense problem of sexual assault in the military, and claimed “female sexual freedom” led to a “war on men.” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly attempted to tie the “War on Christmas” to “unfettered abortion.” Conservative blogger and Fox contributor Erick Erickson has called Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis “abortion Barbie” and attempted to smear her campaign by suggesting she was mentally unfit for office. And a Fox Business host recently asked if there is “something about the female brain that is a deterrent” to women working as tech executives.
That’s just a few of the most recent examples. The list goes on.
In 2003, I visited South Africa during the World Summit on Sustainable Development and spent weeks working alongside local organizers in townships around Johannesburg and learning about the strategies they used to thrive even under the oppressive apartheid regime. Everywhere I went, I was blown away by how powerful the women were. Vocal and forthright, they were often their communities’ spokespeople and leaders.
That experience of strong female leadership owed more than a little to the Constitution of 1996, put in place largely by Mandela. In its new Bill of Rights it listed not only race as impermissible grounds for discrimination, but “gender,” and then “sex” and then, uniquely, it also added “pregnancy.” And in case the meaning of that was not clear, the Bill of Rights went on (emphasis added):
Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right
a. to make decisions concerning reproduction
b. to security in and control over their body; and
c. not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.
More: Nelson Mandela, Feminist
At Least One Third of the Featured Speakers at Virginia GOP Retreat Say Medicare Is Unconstitutional
If the Virginia Republican Party wants to move past the far right candidates that shut them out of their state’s top offices last November, they may not want to take advice from people who believe that most of the Twentieth Century is unconstitutional.
This weekend, Virginia Republican activists and elected officials from around the state will gather at the Homestead Resort for the party’s first opportunity to take full stock of a disastrous election season that likely turned the GOP out of all three of Virginia’s top state offices. Tea Party Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid for the state governor’s mansion to very weak Democratic candidate. The party’s failed candidate for lieutenant governor was a right-wing activist who said Democrats are worse than the Ku Klux Klan. And their candidate to replace Cuccinelli is narrowly behind apparent Attorney General-elect Mark Herring (D), although a recount is currently pending.
The Virginia GOP’s dismal performance in 2013 is widely blamed on their failure to nominate candidates who appeal to voters beyond the party’s hardcore base. Cuccinelli, for example, authored a book that labeled programs like Medicare “despicable, dishonest, and worthy of condemnation.” And he has a long history of fighting to keep laws criminalizing oral and anal sex on the books. Yet, if the speakers program for this year’s meeting at the Homestead is any indication, Virginia Republicans appear to believe that they are doing just fine running candidates like Ken Cuccinelli.
The keynote speaker at the gathering’s 30th Anniversary Gala is Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). In a 2010 speech to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, Perry desribed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as unconstitutional attacks on “our founding fathers’ boundaries that they had put upon the federal government.” Perry also believes that the Seventeenth Amendment, which ensures that voters will choose their own senators, was a mistake. And he once suggested that Texas may have to secede from the union.
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The newest addition to the Family-Friendly RPGs Bundle of Holding, Eloy Lasanta’s “Camp Myth: The RPG,” is joining the Bundle of Holding today!
In the past, the addition of bonus titles has caused confusion. All previous buyers of the bundle — regardless of whether they paid higher than the average price to get the initial bonus games — all buyers receive the newly added game automatically on their Wizard’s Cabinet download page. This is their reward for buying early.
So, if you already bought a Bundle, at the core or bonus price, you’re cool. If not, feel free to check it out!
Also, one of the charities selected is near and dear to my heart: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Lastly, word on the street, Starsky, is there may be more additions to the bundle (cue mysterious music). So, buy now, and you’ll get extra games over the next couple days (roughly 2 days and 22 hours before it’s over!).