Saturday, February 19, 2011

Speak Up for Planned Parenthood or Lose It

When we were young and poor, Planned Parenthood was the place women could go for birth control pills, PAP smears, checkups, at an affordable price. It was a life-saver for all of us in our college days, Planned Parenthood meant there was a whole world of things we didn't have to worry about. A bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese ( five for a dollar) on top of the old spool table, and you had it made. It never occurred to me that there was anything sinister about the organization.

Then a few years ago I heard a woman talking about PP as if all they did was abortions. I never thought about it, but that would be part of the service they provide, helping women maintain control of their own reproduction, planning being a parent. The woman who mentioned it was rabidly anti-abortion and so I took her words to mean that the anti-choice organizations were badmouthing Planned Parenthood in a systematic way, making this uniquely positive pro-woman organization into something evil.

Last month Planned Parenthood was struck by an embarrassingly poor hoax, and the organization made the mistake of backing down when they should have held their ground. A fake pimp and prostitute went into an office and asked about services for their underage illegal immigrant hookers, and the Planned Parenthood clinic manager talked to them and tried to get them to come back. She then reported them to her supervisors, who reported them to the FBI. Planned Parenthood leadership however was embarrassed and fired the woman, as if underage foreign sex slaves do not need help or deserve to see a doctor. It was pure cowardly politics, giving in to the bullies, and as expected it has backfired on them.

Now the House of Representatives has voted to take their funding away. The Republican majority has declared war on women and this is one of the many ways they are going to send women back to the kitchen and keep them pregnant.

There was a lovely campaign on Twitter, women tweeted their thanks to Planned Parenthood. Millions of women have benefited from the array of services Planned Parenthood provides, and this was their chance to say thank you. Someone named Jeanne Brooks has compiled some of the thank-yous on a site called "Storify." (I actually have a Storify account but haven't figured out how to make it worthwhile...) You can follow her clippings HERE.

Here are some of the thank-yous she accumulated.
Thanks for saving taxpayers $4 for every $1 you spend on contraception for those who want it. #thanksPPFA
# For helping an estimated 800,000 women a year avoid abortion, a painful costly surgery. #thanksPPFA
Family planning is not a luxury item. #thanksppfa #prochoice
#thanksppfa for making sure my cervical cancer was treated before it became full blown.
#thanksppfa for helping me and my college girlfriend get tested for STDs way back when #negativebtw
I like #thanksppfa meme. Are boys allowed to participate? Because we also benefit from women having access to contraception.
@badler Not just from women having access to it - PP got my husband a low cost vasectomy. & don't forget all those free condoms! #thanksppfa
For providing me with cervical & breast cancer screening when I didn't have access to health care after college, #thanksPPFA
PPFA gave me BC when I was an uninsured freelancer and allowed @dfreelon and me to avoid having kids until we can support them #thanksppfa
#thanksppfa for risking your own safety every day to provide sexual health care to those who need it most
Planned parenthood helped me help get 2 HS friends safe abortions. And helped me navigate a surprise pregnancy: Milo, now 2.5. #thanksppfa
#thanksPPFA for being a trusted source of information, care, counsel, and service for hundreds of my students, young and old.
In college, I went to Planned Parenthood for confidential HIV testing w/my now-husband. #thanksPPFA
#thanksPPFA for serving all people who come in, even if they're outside the next day protesting against you, or vote against funding you.
Many #transfolk of all varieties rely on #PlannedParenthood for ALL their sexual & gender health care. Alternative is NO care. #thanksppfa
For offering me the HPV vaccine when I was without healthcare after college, #thanksPPFA
#thanksppfa for giving early prenatal care my clients who chose to continue their pregnancies and had to wait for Medicaid to kick in.
Just said #thanksPPFA with a (tiny) donation, because if the Republicans won't send my tax $ to them, I'll just do it myself, dammit.
@billhofing @annfriedman @chrislhayes @joanwalsh In college, PP was my only option 4 GYN care. #thanksppfa
It is absolutely necesary to have a place like PP where you can walk in, pay $35, see Nurse Pract immediately and get BC prescri #thanksppfa
#thanksPPFA for providing good sex ed, including info on abstinence, contraception, STI prevention, healthy relationships, queer sexuality.
#thanksppfa for taking care of my sister when she desperately needed it. #love
#thanksppfa for educating millions of young (and old!) women and men about their bodies and reproductive health #thanksppfa #thanksppfa
#thanksppfa for being there just in case
Planned Parenthood provides cheap, safe healthcare. I've been there for myself and w/ friends. Don't believe the lies: #thanksPPFA
I was youngin w/ a girlfriend alone 4 hrs on walk home...I'd stp & grab handfuls of condoms from PP & was nevr asked a question #thanksppfa
#thanksppfa for providing many friends in my life a central place for women's health
I often used Planned Parenthood even after I got insurance, because the experiences were always so positive #thanksppfa
In the late '70s & early '80s, young women rarely had health coverage. We depended on Planned Parenthood for privacy & respect. #thanksPPFA
@annie5050 I can't imagine how anyone navigates those early years w/o it, even now! #thanksPPFA
I'd like to thank Planned Parenthood for providing contraceptives to my ex-gf, if they hadn't I would have been a gay dad. #thanksppfa 1/2
And thanks to my high school for teaching me that Planned Parenthood existed #thanksppfa 2/2
In the dark ages, before plan b was over the counter, planned parenthood was there for me for a few oh crap moments. #thanksppfa
#thanksPPFA for the contraception and the morning after pill! have you gone to Planned Parenthood? if so #thanksPPFA!

Planned Parenthood has been a national treasure and an incredible benefit to women in our country. I have the feeling that nearly all the women who read this blog have had some experience with the organization, it keeps a low profile and simply offers to help those who need it.

If you don't speak up and demand support for Planned Parenthood, this organization that has shaped the values of generations by giving women control over their own lives is going to go the way of ACORN.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Speak Up for Planned Parenthood or Lose It"

thanks for giving us a choice

I pick:

lose it

February 19, 2011 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too. Lose it.

Good riddance.

February 19, 2011 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make your tax deductible donations to Planned Parenthood here

February 19, 2011 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if a private charity can't survive without government assistance, isn't it really a government agency?

thus, we must decide if this is an appropriate government function

to the extent it is, it seems more appropriate as a local function, where the needs can be assessed more accurately and the use of the funds monitored more closely

in the words of the immortal David Gates:

this isn't what the governmeant!

February 19, 2011 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If an energy company like Exxon/Mobil can't function without government subsidies, isn't it really a government agency and shouldn't all profits made with government subsidies be turned in to the US Treasury?

February 19, 2011 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they don't get subsidies, the government gives them tax breaks in order to control them

by saying that failure to tax is a subsidy, you reveal your sympathy with Marxism, which famously believes that property is theft

our countries' assets aren't the property of the government to dole according to political whim

our countries' assets are the property of individuals, who have earned them in exchange transactions with others

the more appropriate question is: why are corporations taxed at all?

they are owned by citizens who pay taxes on the income when it is distributed so why should the income be taxed twice?

Barack Obama has followed a pattern in his proposed budget that he began in the health care debacle:

increase spending a hundred billion and raise taxes 200 billion and tell everyone you're lowering the deficit

he is proposing to eliminate many corporate breaks and then keeping corporate tax rates the same

the fact that we have the highest corporate tax rates in the world is ruining our economy

our corporate tax rates are twice Canada's, for crying out loud!

if Obama doesn't leave the WH in 2013, we may not have an economy left

February 19, 2011 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, it doesn't make any sense to tax corporations. They simply work the tax into the price of their products and pass it on to the consumer.

February 19, 2011 3:13 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

So the Republicans have voted to defund Planned Parenthood…

…the place that hands out free condoms, writes prescriptions for birth control pills, and provides low cost vasectomies.

Wow, the Republican plan to wipe out abortions is this country is ingenious and subtle.

O.K., too ingenious and subtle for me – someone’s gonna have to explain it to me.

Have a nice day,


February 19, 2011 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsk. Tsk. What ever will we do without free condoms, vasectomies and birth control prescriptions from Planned Parenthood?

Shudder. The horror of it all.

February 19, 2011 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


many types of abortion are already effectively banned because so few doctors are willing to risk tarnishing their reps by doing them

Americans are now mostly pro-life, are the numbers grow year-by-year

to get rid of abortion, we'll simply have to lock up a handful of miscreants

murder of the weak must be banned if we want to consider ourselves civilized

February 19, 2011 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Republican majority has declared war on women"

unborn female children are the beneficiaries of Republicans' commitment to end abortion

meanwhile, the liberal media has shown that it has little concern for women, as it has suppressed this story:

"Among the least analyzed aspects of the Egyptian revolution has been the significance of the widespread violence against the foreign media covering the demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The Western media have been unanimous in their sympathetic coverage of the demonstrators in Egypt. Why would the demonstrators want to brutalize them? And why have Western media outlets been so reticent in discussing the significance of their own reporters' brutalization at the hands of the Egyptian demonstrators?

To date the most egregious attack on a foreign journalist in Cairo's Tahrir Square took place last Friday, when CBS's senior foreign correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and brutally beaten by a mob of Egyptian men. Her own network, CBS, took several days to even report the story, and when it did, it left out important information. The fact that Logan was brutalized for 20 to 30 minutes and that her attackers screamed out "Jew, Jew, Jew" as they ravaged her was absent from the CBS report and from most other follow-on reports in the US media.

The media's treatment of Logan's victimization specifically and its treatment of the widescale mob violence against foreign reporters in Cairo generally tells us a great deal about the nature of today's media discourse."

February 19, 2011 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in the meantime, FOX News reports a caliphate is being formed by "extreme Islam" with help from "hardcore socialists and communist left," and now also with the help of (drum roll please) the anti-Christ!

February 19, 2011 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's bizarre that the Logan story was buried for four days. You'd think that CBS would want to warn other female reporters.

So much for protecting women.

February 19, 2011 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More from the opinion piece from the Jerusalem Post Anon quoted

"A 2005 report by the Cairo-based Association for Legal Rights of Women submitted to the UN explained that Egyptian women are constitutionally deprived of their basic rights, including their rights to control their bodies and property."

By defunding Planned Parenthood, House Republicans are trying to deprive American women of their constitutional right to privacy.

February 19, 2011 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

half the murdered unborn children are female

does the privacy of the strong have more importance than the life of the weak?

you hold a morally bankrupt position

btw, the status of women in Egypt is about the same as women anywhere outside countries with a Judeo-Christian heritage

Egypt's real problems will only be solved by conversion

February 19, 2011 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Arab world's problems will be solved by democracy and the people having a chance to debate and decide on norms and standards that are appropriate for citizens of the modern world -- it's going to take them a while!

February 19, 2011 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, they have democracy now and polls show they want to impose sharia and destroy Israel

how long do you think it will take them to get over it?

February 19, 2011 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you make this stuff up yourself, Anon, or do you subscribe to some psychotic's talking points?

February 19, 2011 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

make up what?

what I've said is publci information

February 19, 2011 7:25 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, he had a public meeting with the House Republican congressional leadership, at which they vigorously challenged the ideas he had campaigned on, asserting that it would be contrary to the will if the people if those ideas were implemented. After considerable back and forth, President Obama said to Minority Whip Cantor, "Eric, we won."

The Republicans refused to accept that rationale, and spent the next two years attempting, with great success, to use procedural rules to obstruct implementation of the President's program.

Now the Republicans, with a large majority in the House (but no majority in the Senate) are making the same argument President Obama made in 2009: "We won."

In effect, both sides have asserted that they speak for the American people as a whole, who have spoken through the previous election.

In a country in which only a small majority of the electorate votes in presidential election years, and only a minority of the electorate votes in off-election years, the argument of "We won" has much less force than if we had, say, 90% turnout.

I am curious to hear what the participants in this blog think about this.

February 20, 2011 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking up for Planned Parenthood

"When it comes to family planning, apparently the ability to decide whether or when to have a child isn't part of Republican family values.

That's the message the GOP-controlled House sent by voting to cut not only all of Planned Parenthood's $75 million in federal funding for family planning but also the entire $317 million Title X budget. Title X money helps pay for birth control, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer testing, prenatal care, sex education and vasectomies for men. About 4.7 million Americans get health care from clinics funded by Title X money, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Indiana Rep. Mike Pence represented his successful gutting of the funding as a victory in preventing abortion, even though the Hyde Amendment, enacted in 1977, prohibits federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. And President Barack Obama signed an executive order last year preserving the funding ban under the new health care reform law.

In addition to the money from from Title X, which was signed into law by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970, Planned Parenthood and other health care providers receive Medicaid money for health services to low-income people. Under Pence's amendment, approved in a 240-185 vote, Planned Parenthood wouldn't be allowed to receive any federal dollars, including money from Medicaid.

This assault on Planned Parenthood isn't new. Twelve years ago in Colorado, the state Legislature and health department took away Planned Parenthood's Title X funding by prohibiting family planning money for clinics that also offered abortions. Instead, the federal money has gone to health departments and independent clinics in the state. If the Title X money is cut, that means almost 50,000 people in Colorado might not get access to birth control and other health services.

Planned Parenthood estimates that one in five women have received health care from one of its 800 clinics at some point in their lives. I'm among them.

Almost 40 years ago, growing up in a rural community, a guidance counselor gathered together the girls in sixth and seventh grade. We all received copies of "Our Bodies, Ourselves," the now classic tome on women, health and sexuality. We were told about the dangers of having sex at a young age. We were also told that if we planned to have sex, we should consider using birth control -- and the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic was the place to get it.

I certainly didn't need such services then. But I did once I went to college. And for many young college women, Planned Parenthood is the first place they go to seek birth control.

There's a sliding fee scale, so if you don't have health insurance it's cheaper than going to a doctor's office. With more than 800 clinics around the nation, there's typically a Planned Parenthood nearby.

And, let's face it, going to Planned Parenthood to get birth control is easier for many young women than going to their family physician.

But let's face this, too. Almost 80 percent of Planned Parenthood's clientele are age 20 and over. Seventy-five percent of the people who use its services are at or below 150 percent of the poverty level -- $33,525 for a family of four in 2011.

Opponents of the House action hope to reverse the family planning cuts in the Senate, where Democrats have a narrow majority.

Guttmacher, which tracks statistics on reproductive health and abortion, predicts the cut in Title X family planning money would mean a one-third increase in unplanned pregnancies -- and abortions.

Is that what the GOP hopes to achieve?"

February 20, 2011 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More babies for adoption!!!

February 20, 2011 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The better to fill those orphanages or "children's homes" Newtie's Contract with America wanted to reinstate.

"Many Republicans were loath even to repeat the dread word. So it was left to a lowly House staff member who handles welfare policy for the Republican conference to deliver its likely epitaph. Were Republican lawmakers serious about the orphanage option? "If they were, they have buttoned their lips. This thing has been mercilessly crucified," he says. "I would not be surprised if they strike the provision from the bill, because it's given us so much grief."

Gingrich's orphanage proposal, however, seems punitive -- not to mention odd, coming from a man who was born to a 16-year-old mother eight months after she left his abusive father. It would violate federal law, which mandates family- based care over institutions, and ignore the public policy consensus -- first expressed by the Teddy Roosevelt White House -- that "no child should be deprived of his family by reason of poverty alone."

It would also be a budget buster. According to an analysis done for TIME by the Child Welfare League of America, the annual welfare cost of one child living with his or her mother is $2,644. The same child living with a foster family costs the public $4,800 a year. The average cost for the child's care in "residential group care," today's closest approximation of an orphanage, is $36,500."

February 20, 2011 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking up for union members too

"If Fox News, Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart were honest they would cease using inflammatory, violent rhetoric like ‘thugs’ and ‘riots’ to describe the nurses, firefighters, teachers, college students, families and allies who have taken over the capitol of Wisconsin to fight for rights.

Madison News Release:


Law Enforcement Praises Protesters’ Conduct

On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights. You conducted yourselves with great decorum and civility, and if the eyes of the nation were upon Wisconsin, then you have shown how democracy can flourish even amongst those who passionately disagree. As of 5:00 p.m., no major incidents had been reported. There have been no arrests. However, discourse and discussion was – at times – loud and heated. That was to be expected. As previously indicated, the goal of law enforcement has been to provide a safe environment for democracy to take place. That goal has been realized for yet another day."

"Incredible story from a pizza place on State St. in Madison:

Ian’s Pizza on Facebook:

This is astounding! As of right now, Ian’s Pizza on State’s normal in-store and delivery operations are on hold — due to the high volume of calls, we are only processing orders donated to the protesters. By our (rather harried) count, we’ve heard from 30 states and 5 countries (including Egypt, Korea, and our northern friends, Canada). Wow.

Thank you!

To our regular customers: We really apologize, but… wow."

February 20, 2011 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, David, not all "wins" are equal. If I "win" the right to steal someone's money (without telling them that I planned to steal it), and someone else "wins" the right to give it back, there's a great distinction there.

February 20, 2011 5:35 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anon writes that "not all 'wins' are equal."

If you view all taxes as stealing, then your view sort of makes sense, although by your own standard, it still does not work in the Obama context, since his policies were pretty clear during the 2008 election campaign.

American tradition holds that "taxation without representation is tyranny." If you want to amend it to say that "taxation is tyranny," even when set by elected representatives, then you are seeking to radically change the American social contract.

February 20, 2011 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

different anon here, David

I don't think some level of taxation is inappropriate

the problem is that liberals and leftists often speak as if successful people only get to keep their created resources as an indulgence of government and that they are receiving a special privilege

in our country, the fruit of one's efforts has always been considered to be foremost our own

taxation for common concerns, such a security and law enforcement is correct only to the extent necessary and as agreed to by a substantial consensus

that's the original American contract

"Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, he said to Minority Whip Cantor, "Eric, we won."

The Republicans refused to accept that, and spent two years using procedural rules to obstruct the President's program.

Now the Republicans are making the same argument President Obama made in 2009: "We won."

In a country in which only a small majority of the electorate votes in presidential election years, and only a minority of the electorate votes in off-election years, the argument of "We won" has much less force than if we had, say, 90% turnout.

I am curious to hear what the participants in this blog think about this."

we have a democracy where 100% of adults may vote, at their own discretion

when they don't they have concluded that they don't care enough to chime in and are exercising their right to abstain

Obama was elected, as is now clear, not because of acceptance of his political philosophy, but because people had rejected that generation of Republican leadership, who, frankly, had become lethargic and dispassionate

people had become tired of the interventionist foreign policy and were scared by Democratic hyperbole of an economic downturn that was timed in such a way that the American people didn't have time to decipher the cause of it

still, polls consistently showed that we remained a right of center country with a commitment to small government, low taxes and individual liberty and responsibility

so, Republicans could use every legal tactic at their disposal and remain united because they knew they had the support of the people

Democrats, on the other hand, could not win, despite overwhelming majorities in the two legislative houses and occupancy of the executive house because they knew the people rejected the huge expansion of government they were creating

right now, we are in a period of creedal passion, with believers in the original American contract energized

if Democrats fight against the American people, in legal ways or not, they will lose

Democrats claim to have convinced themselves that if Republicans force a shutdown, Americans will flock to the Democratic side, as in the 90s

we'll see if they are courageous enough to maintain that gamble

if neither side blinks, don't expect a repeat of the Clinton-Gingrich drama

Americans realize that we are really broke this time and can't afford the debt we currently have, much less the excessive expansion of it that Obama wants

there are many ways to begin to attack that deficit but I think the one Americans have the least qualms about, and state workers in Wisconsin may be surprised to hear this, is the excessive benefits afforded to government workers

February 20, 2011 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a poll released by Gallup today shows Obama's approval rating in free fall again

after the Tucson shooting and the State of the Union address, things seemed to picking as his approval rating climbed into the upper fifties

now, every poll since Valentine's Day shows less than half of voters approve with Gallup having only a 48% approval

buh-bye, Barry!!

February 20, 2011 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the "win" post...I should actually have used the word "squander." If I win the right to "squander" someone else's money....

February 21, 2011 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAIRO -- Iran's first attempt in decades to send warships through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean on Europe's - and NATO's - southern flank could further destabilize the Middle East, a region already reeling from an unprecedented wave of anti-government rebellions.

Egypt's new military rulers, who took power from ousted Hosni Mubarak a little more than a week ago, have granted two Iranian warships passage through the strategic waterway - something Israel has made clear it views as a provocation.

February 21, 2011 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

a poll released by Gallup today shows Obama's approval rating in free fall again

However, the most recent FOX News poll shows Obama's approval rating at 51%, the highest FOX News polling has found Obama's approval rating to be since September of 2009.

The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of all polls shows Congressional approval at 25.8% with Congressional disapproval at 67.0%. Gallup shows that split at 20% Congressional approval vs. 73% Congressional disapproval. Every poll counted in the RCP average agrees that Congress gets high disapproval ratings and low approval ratings.

At the same time, the RCP average of all polls for Obama's approval rating is 48.8% while his disapproval is 45.3%. Further, only Rasmussen shows Obama with a higher disapproval than approval rating, but all the other polls show more voters approve of Obama than disapprove.

These polling results indicate citizens of this nation approve of Obama's leadership much more than they approve of Congress's.

February 21, 2011 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Pro-Democracy Revolution spreads said...

With unrest sweeping his country, where is Africa's longest-serving leader?

Libya's Moammar Gadhafi briefly plunged into crowds of his countrymen near Tripoli's Green Square last Friday, riding atop a truck surrounded by supporters. It was likely an attempt to portray the hoards taking to the streets as his own backers, rather than anti-government demonstrators, as is now overwhelmingly the case. He didn't speak publicly and hasn't been seen since then.

Just three days later, it's unlikely he'd survive crowd-surfing the larger, angrier crowds that have swept westward after claiming control of Libya's second-largest city, Benghazi, to the capital Tripoli today. Snipers opened fire on protesters trying to seize Green Square before dawn, and demonstrators broke into the offices of state-run TV channels. Violent crackdowns by plainclothes security forces have killed at least 233, according to Human Rights Watch.

But amid all this turmoil, Gadhafi -- the self-described "Brother Leader" and "King of Kings" -- is nowhere to be found. He could be walled up in central Tripoli's Bab al-Aziziya barracks -- target of an American bombing raid in 1986. Or he could have left the Libyan capital or even the whole country already.

"Nobody really knows, and that's the way he operates," Charles Gurdon, a Libya expert who runs Menas Associates, a political risk consultancy in London, told AOL News.

Instead, one of Gadhafi's six sons, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, went on state TV around 1 o'clock this morning to proclaim that his father is still in charge and will "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet." He repeatedly insisted that Libya "is not Tunisia or Egypt" -- neighbors to the east and west where popular demonstrations in recent weeks have overthrown dictatorships that had been entrenched for decades.

But judging from the scant few videos and reports emerging from Libya, scenes from across the country do look increasingly like those from Cairo or Tunis in recent weeks.

Early today, witnesses reported seeing smoke rising from two sites where a police station and security forces are based in Tripoli. After live bullets flew in the streets, the Libyan capital is shut down, with schools and government offices closed. Internet and phone service to abroad have been cut off amid a huge, violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Gadhafi's decision to let his son Seif speak to the country early Monday could be a bit of a PR stunt, because of the younger Gadhafi's reputation as a moderate reformer. At age 38, he has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, is rumored to have had an Israeli girlfriend at one point and wrote an op-ed for The New York Times last year. He's considered more palatable to both pro-democracy demonstrators and the West.

February 21, 2011 10:37 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Different Anon writes:

1. "the problem is that liberals and leftists often speak as if successful people only get to keep their created resources as an indulgence of government and that they are receiving a special privilege"

I believe this is a straw man. It is simply a way of saying that the idea that people who benefit the most from our societal structures -- structures that, in the modern age, could not exist without effective government action -- and who can afford paying the most, should, in fact, pay more. It is not that their income is at the sufferance of government. Rather, that it is perfectly reasonable to assess the concept of fair share in the way I just outlined.

2. "taxation for common concerns, such a security and law enforcement is correct only to the extent necessary and as agreed to by a substantial consensus.
that's the original American contract"

I don't know where this "substantial consensus" as "the original American contract" comes from. Nothing in the Constitution requires supermajorities for tax legislation -- although the Republican misuse of the filibuster (and Senator Reid's lack of backbone) has created a de facto supermajority to pass anything in the Senate. But that is an extra-constitutional development.

3. "Democrats, on the other hand, could not win, despite overwhelming majorities in the two legislative houses and occupancy of the executive house because they knew the people rejected the huge expansion of government they were creating."

Demcrats won most of what they wanted in the House; the Republican misuse of the filibuster cause failure to enact, or a huge delay in enactment, creating the sense that the Congress simply could not function. As a result, a majority of American voters gave up and did not come to the polls in 2010. As is always the case when the middle of the electorate thinks nothing will ever change, a committed minority has an excellent chance of winning power. That is my assessment of what happened in 2010.

February 21, 2011 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Unions speak up said...

The only bit of union support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is evaporating as the executive board president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association expressed regret for their earlier endorsement of Walker. The union went one step further and even apologized for it..

By in large the budge bill contains a significant carve out for local police officers, firefighter and the Wisconsin State Patrol--groups that supported Walker in his election bid. Critics have called the carve out political payback and a key step in trying to pit government workers against each other.

Meanwhile members of the police and firefighters unions member marched Sunday in a sixth day of protest and in support of those unions whose benefits and rights are in the cross-hairs.

And the Madison Chamber of Commerce is losing patience with Walker as well, suggesting his remaining supporters come from outside of Wisconsin, such as the powerful Koch brothers, Walker's second largest campaign contributor.

Here's where the story stands now.

So far the unions have agreed to all the financial concessions in Walker's bill. The remaining fight is over the rights of workers to negotiate with their employer. That's it. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with breaking the union.

Despite those concessions Walker refuses to negotiate with anyone, even moderate Republicans. And Walker refuses to answer why he's seeking to end collective bargaining rights if this is solely a matter of balancing the state's budget.

February 22, 2011 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no doubt that government budgets are in trouble. The big lie is that the reason is excessive spending.

Public budgets are in trouble because revenues plummeted over the last two years of the Great Recession.

They're also in trouble because of tax giveaways to the rich.

Before Wisconsin's budget went bust, Governor Walker signed $117 million in corporate tax breaks. Wisconsin's immediate budge shortfall is $137 million. That's his pretext for socking it to Wisconsin's public unions.

Nationally, you remember, Republicans demanded and received an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They've made it clear they're intent on extending them for the next ten years, at a cost of $900 billion. They've also led the way on cutting the estate tax, and on protecting Wall Street private equity and hedge-fund managers whose earnings are taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent. And the last thing they'd tolerate is an increase in the top marginal tax rate on the super-rich.

Meanwhile, of course, more and more of the nation's income and wealth has been concentrating at the top. In the late 1970s, the top 1 percent got 9 percent of total income. Now it gets more than 20 percent.

So the problem isn't that "we've" been spending too much. It's that most Americans have been getting a steadily smaller share of the nation's total income.

At the same time, the super-rich have been contributing a steadily-declining share of their own incomes in taxes to support what the nation needs -- both at the federal and at the state levels.

February 22, 2011 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to a deal that will limit further debate on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights for public workers and lead to a vote on the measure later Thursday.

The deal was announced shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday following an unprecedented 40-hour debate that began Tuesday morning with only short breaks in between.

Democrats agreed to limit further amendments to just 38 with a 10-minute time limit on each one. If they take the maximum time for each, with no breaks, that would put the vote around noon.

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan says democracy is being limited with the agreement and Democrats still plan to strenuously make their arguments over the last hours of debate.

The Associated Press.

February 24, 2011 7:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home