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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,359

Journal Archives

Republican agenda: 400,000 more abortions a year and increases in Medicaid-related costs..

reposting this,
with a more compelling title..

nytimes: Republicans vs. Women [View all]

Even with a persistent gender gap in a presidential election year, House Republicans have not given up on their campaign to narrow access to birth control, abortion care and lifesaving cancer screenings. Far from it.

A new Republican spending proposal revives some of the more extreme attacks on women’s health and freedom that were blocked by the Senate earlier in this Congress. The resurrection is part of an alarming national crusade that goes beyond abortion rights and strikes broadly at women’s health in general.

These setbacks are recycled from the Congressional trash bin in the fiscal 2013 spending bill for federal health, labor and education programs approved by a House appropriations subcommittee on July 18 over loud objections from Democratic members to these and other provisions.

The measure would bar Planned Parenthood’s network of clinics, which serve millions of women across the country, from receiving any federal money unless the health group agreed to no longer offer abortion services for which it uses no federal dollars — a patently unconstitutional provision. It would also eliminate financing for Title X, the effective federal family-planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for sexually-transmitted diseases. Without this program, some women would die, and unintended pregnancies would rise, resulting in some 400,000 more abortions a year and increases in Medicaid-related costs, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading authority on reproductive health.


NRA “point man” recants

Source: Salon

Monday, Jul 30, 2012 11:20 AM EDT

NRA “point man” recants

The Republican lawmaker who killed gun safety research teams up with the scientist he targeted
By Alex Seitz-Wald

In 1996, Mark Rosenberg and Jay Dickey were arch-rivals in a key battle over guns. Rosenberg ran the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dickey, a Republican member of Congress from Arkansas, was spearheading an effort to eliminate it. The issue was publicly-funded research conducted by the Center that exposed the public health dangers of gun ownership. The powerful National Rifle Association was not pleased, and Dickey took up the cause, first trying to kill the agency outright before successfully stripping funds for gun research and putting into law new prohibitions on this kind of inquiry. At a hearing in May of that year, he accused Rosenberg of secretly “working toward changing society’s attitudes so that it becomes socially unacceptable to own handguns.” Dickey’s amendment effectively stopped all government research into the hazards and potential solutions for a society with an estimated 270 million privately-owned guns.

But just over 15 years later, Dickey has had a change of heart and he and Rosenberg have come together together to publicly call for for restoring public funding for research into gun safety. In a joint op-ed in Washington Post Sunday, Dickey and Rosenberg write, “We were on opposite sides of the heated battle 16 years ago, but we are in strong agreement now that scientific research should be conducted into preventing firearm injuries and that ways to prevent firearm deaths can be found without encroaching on the rights of legitimate gun owners.”

“One of us served as the NRA’s point person in Congress,” the op-ed continues, noting that Dickey’s amendment “sent a chilling message” to gun researchers. “Since the legislation passed in 1996, the United States has spent about $240 million a year on traffic safety research, but there has been almost no publicly funded research on firearm injuries,” they note, even though firearms kill almost as many Americans every year (about 31,000) as motor vehicle crashes (about 33,000).


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/30/former_nra_point_man_recants/

Voter ID Could Swing Swing States


Monday, Jul 30, 2012 08:36 AM EDT

Voter ID could swing swing states

Voter ID laws could affect 5 million people; the dark money universe grows; and other top Monday stories
By Alex Seitz-Wald

Voter ID laws could swing swing states: Politico finally accepts what progressive critics have long argued — new Republican-backed voter ID laws, ostensibly meant to combat voter fraud, could disenfranchise millions of voters and potentially sway the election. The beltway paper reports: “At least 5 million voters, predominantly young and from minority groups sympathetic to President Barack Obama, could be affected by an unprecedented flurry of new legislation by Republican governors and GOP-led legislatures to change or restrict voting rights by Election Day 2012.” Voter ID laws have been implemented in many swing states and could tip a very close election in these states by shaving off a few tenths of a percent or more from Democratic-leaning demographics. “To the extent that it’s a political tactic to try and game the system,” said Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks these laws, “It does make sense that that [swing states] is where we see a lot of that because that is where it could make a difference to the outcome.” The Obama campaign is fighting some states’ laws with legal challenges, but the vast majority are likely to survive through November.

Florida’s former Republican Party chairman recently said in a sworn deposition that party officials had met to discuss “voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting.” Still, for the moment at least, Obama has an overall edge in the 12 swing states, The Hill reports today.
Dark matter universe: Astronomers say dark matter makes up a huge portion of our universe, even though we know almost nothing about it, and the same goes for dark money in the universe of campaign finance. The Huffington Post’s Paul Blumenthal reports that dark money — spending from outside political groups that don’t have to disclose their donors or much else to the public — has made up almost half of all spending thus far: ”Through July 26, politically involved groups that do not disclose their donors have spent at least $172 million on campaigns that include television, radio and Internet advertising…Total spending by these groups is likely far greater, since they are required to report only a fraction of their spending to the FEC. Politically involved independent groups that publicly disclose their donors, including super PACs, have spent $174 million so far this election cycle.”


Open support, advocacy, defense of the NRA should not be allowed here, IMO

they are a RW org that bribes and threatens our government leaders. It is disgusting to see NRA supporters on DU.

Being in Awe Can Expand Time and Enhance Well-Being


Being in Awe Can Expand Time and Enhance Well-Being

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2012) — It doesn't matter what we've experienced -- whether it's the breathtaking scope of the Grand Canyon, the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis, or the exhilarating view from the top of the Eiffel Tower -- at some point in our lives we've all had the feeling of being in a complete and overwhelming sense of awe.

Awe seems to be a universal emotion, but it has been largely neglected by scientists -- until now.

Psychological scientists Melanie Rudd and Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management devised a way to study this feeling of awe in the laboratory. Across three different experiments, they found that jaw-dropping moments made participants feel like they had more time available and made them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others.

The researchers found that the effects that awe has on decision-making and well-being can be explained by awe's ability to actually change our subjective experience of time by slowing it down. Experiences of awe help to brings us into the present moment which, in turn, adjusts our perception of time, influences our decisions, and makes life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.

Is the NRA a right wing organization?

Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears, by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship


Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears

July 17, 2012

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Ask any magician and they’ll tell you that the secret to a successful magic trick is misdirection — distracting the crowd so they don’t realize how they’re being fooled. Get them watching your left hand while your right hand palms the silver dollar: “Now you see it, now you don’t.” The purloined coin now belongs to the magician.

Just like democracy. Once upon a time conservatives supported the full disclosure of campaign contributors. Now they oppose it with their might — and magic, especially when it comes to unlimited cash from corporations. My goodness, they say, with a semantic wave of the wand, what’s the big deal?: nary a single Fortune 500 company had given a dime to the super PACs. (Even that’s not entirely true, by the way.)

Meanwhile the other hand is poking around for loopholes, stuffing millions of secret corporate dollars into non-profit, tax-exempt organizations called 501(c)s that funnel the money into advertising on behalf of candidates or causes. Legally, in part because the Federal Election Commission does not consider them political committees, they can keep it all nice and anonymous, never revealing who’s really behind the donations or the political ads they buy. This is especially handy for corporations — why risk offending customers by revealing your politics or letting them know how much you’re willing to shell out for a permanent piece of an obliging politician?

That’s why passing a piece of legislation called the DISCLOSE Act is so important and that’s why on Monday, Republicans in the Senate killed it. Again.


Affordable Care Act: What’s Changing and When


What’s Changing and When

View items by selecting blocks on the timeline, or click the arrows.
You can also see all of the timeline items on one page in printable format.
Read the Affordable Care Act in full or browse it section by section.

Time-line on the Affordable Care Act (great resource)


What’s Changing and When

View items by selecting blocks on the timeline, or click the arrows.
You can also see all of the timeline items on one page in printable format.
Read the Affordable Care Act in full or browse it section by section.

Euro crisis: Another day, another flirtation with disaster


Euro crisis: Another day, another flirtation with disaster

Rising yields, rising ire in the world's largest trading bloc. It must be Monday in Europe.

Thomas MuchaJuly 9, 2012 14:09

For those with the stomach to watch it unfold, Europe's debt crisis has assumed a sickeningly familiar pattern.

It goes like this:

European leaders talk.

The markets force government borrowing costs higher.

European leaders talk again.


That scenario played out yet again today as 10-year yields on both Spanish and Italian bonds rose to dangerously high levels. Meanwhile, European finance ministers prepared to meet again to discuss the latest problems.

Spanish debt costs topped 7 percent Monday, while Italian yields rose to more than 6 percent, after falling to about 5 percent last week.

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