Morning Must Reads: July 9

In the news: Egypt, Rick Perry, the budget, Alison Lundergan Grimes, ACLU, and Bin Laden

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The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

255 comments
Sue_N
Sue_N

One more update from the Observer: (bolding is mine)

5:09 p.m.: Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) proposed an amendment to improve teenagers’ access to sex education, thereby reducing the need for abortions. But you guessed it: GOP reps shot it down. Of course, the debate over HB 2 is about more than just abortion, even if the language of the bill doesn’t suggest it.

By the time you get to the bottom of this screen, a Texan teen will become pregnant. Statistically, this will be bad for her health. She’s more likely to receive poor prenatal care, to suffer from hypertension and anemia, to deliver her baby too soon. Moreover, the risk-taking behavior that got her pregnant also exposes her to sexually transmitted infections. One unplanned pregnancy often leads to another. Worse, if this teen mom is black or Latina or lives in rural Texas, her health outlook is especially bleak.

If this future teen mom attends a school district that promotes abstinence-only sex education then, ironically, she may still be carrying the pledge card she’d signed in health class: “Starting today, I pledge to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, as this is the only proven way to protect myself from out-of-wedlock pregnancy and STDs.” The problem? There’s no proof that abstinence-only programs work.

Trying to keep kids chaste until marriage is a big deal in Texas, driven by a socially conservative ideology at the state and local level. A 2011 Texas Freedom Network survey found that 75 percent of the thousand-plus school districts in Texas promote abstinence-only sex ed, though research shows that the abstinence-only approach doesn’t produce the desired outcomes. Nonetheless, the state health department funnels $6 million annually towards abstinence-only education. Moreover, some Texas towns experience spittle-flying fights if an evidence-based program is proposed. Yet the facts remain: the Lone Star State ranks third in the nation for teen pregnancies (huh, look at that, we are third; I guess we've recovered our ranking, yay), first for repeat teen births, and has one of the highest teen chlamydia rates in the U.S. Is there a correlation between Texas’ favorite form of sex ed and poor health outcomes? If so, why do Texans cleave to an education policy that doesn’t work?

Good question, especially when GOP representatives are currently defending a bill to reduce access to abortions but are also resisting access to effective sex education for that same group of people.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Well hells bells!  I'm hoping that Perry beats Christie in the 2016 GOP primaries.

Unless, of course, the GOP becomes sane by then...

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 As long as we are having a mini abortion debate, here is what Louie Gohmert has to say on sex ed. Seeing as we don't want to educate kids about sex, allow them access to Plan B or give them the right to abort. Guess its all about punishing people having sex.

Gohmert: Kids Don't Need Sex-Ed Because This Isn't The Soviet Union Submitted by Kyle Mantyla on Monday, 6/24/2013 2:35 pm

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green were joined by Rep. Louie Gohmert for a discussion about the dangers posed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the organization's "indoctrination" of students.

Predictably, Green, Barton, and Gohmet all repeated the absurd right-wing talking point that the SPLC has been "linked to domestic terrorism," but Gohmert seemed primarily dismayed by the idea that kids might be learning about sex.

Kids don't need to learn about these things, Gohmert insisted, because "mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody" but now such instruction is commonplace in public schools ... and it all reminds him of the Soviet Union:

Let the kids be innocent.  Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don't have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They'll find out soon enough.  And, in fact, ... mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody.  And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions.  It's just incredible.

And there is a natural law that parents should be involved in education, they should know about, they should be part of the training - that's a law of nature; Alan Keyes was just talking about it this weekend when we were together. That is such an important part of nature and yet that is the very thing that some of these liberals want to take away.

And it reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union back in the Seventies and I was shocked when they were saying 'no, the children don't belong to parents, they belong to the state.' And if any parent said anything in front of their children negative about the wonderful Soviet Union, then we will take their children away and give them to somebody more deserving.  And I just thought how horribly shocking that was, that of course parents were the ones who love the children, not the state. And I thought thank God that we don't have that in our country.

And now I've seen this coming with a lady from MSNBC saying "hey, children belong to the state" ... and it just sent chills because it took me back to the Seventies when that's what the Soviet Union used to say and we know how well that worked out.

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gohmert-kids-dont-need-sex-ed-because-isnt-soviet-union#sthash.NIeQMMqZ.dpuf

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Why Rand Paul Won't Get Rid of His Neo-Confederate Co-Author

File this one under "stories hiding in plain sight." Since 2007, one of the Ron Paul supporters most popular with the candidate's grass roots has been Jack Hunter. Since 2011, Hunter has been Rand Paul's co-author (he helped crank out The Tea Party Goes to Washington in a hurry) and a Paul social media director, showing up to events like the senator's speech to black students at Howard University. And long before any of this, Hunter was "the Southern Avenger," a radio personality with a name "borrowed from popular 90’s conservative talk radio host Ken “The Black Avenger” Hamblin." You can read all about it at Hunter's website, SouthernAvenger.com.

Yet this is the lede from Alana Goodman's new piece about Hunter and Paul.

A close aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator’s 2011 book, spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.

Well, yes—he's called "the Southern Avenger"! Hunter declined to talk about the piece, as did Paul's office. But the vibe I got from Paulworld was that this piece was received as a hit job, and that Hunter's role on the staff and as a booster of the candidate would be unchanged.

That's the Paul way. Nearly six years ago, as his donations were taking off, observant reporters noticed that Ron Paul was getting support from white nationalists. I spotted people reading Stormfront.org at Paul's Ames Straw Poll tent, and FEC-watchers noticed that Paul had taken $500 from Stormfront's avowedly white supremacist Don Black. By December of 2007, reporters were asking Paul why he didn't give back the money. He said this:

Why give it back to him and use it for bad purposes?
And I don't even know his name. I never heard of it. You know, when you get 57,000 donations a day, are we supposed to screen them and find out their beliefs? He sent the money for my beliefs. And if he promoting my viewpoints and my attitudes, why give it back to him if he has bad viewpoints?
And I don't endorse anything that he endorses or what anybody endorses. They come to me to endorse freedom and the Constitution and limited government. So, I see no purpose for me to start screening everybody that sends me money. I mean, it is impossible to do it. It is a ridiculous idea that I am supposed to screen these people.

Hunter, obviously, is much closer to Rand Paul than Black was to Ron Paul, and joking about killing Lincoln is not the same as founding a site where people predict the date the race war will begin. But this generally summed up Paulworld's take on the "associations" game. When Paul entered the 2010 race for Senate in Kentucky, I asked him whether his father's darker associations would be a problem. He didn't just disagree—he seemed offended by such a preposterous question.

He considers these questions preposterous because Paul knows he's not a racist. He's aware of, or confronted by, the argument that to blame federal power for racism is actually an excuse for racism. But like many conservatives, he finds the charge of "racism" to be terribly watered down by overuse. Why do white supremacists or Southern avengers like him so much? Well, they're misled—lucky enough, they've found Paul-style libertarianism, and they will discover that color-blind politics is a far better use of their time.

This probably sounds crazy to Paulite outsiders, but it doesn't to them. They don't think the left, or neoconservatives, are in any position to tell them about racism.



Sue_N
Sue_N

From the Texas Observer's (St. Molly's old stomping grounds) liveblog of the HB 2 debate in Austin:

"12:55 p.m.: State Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place [Houston area]), a moderate Republican, filed an amendment that would uphold the 20-week ban. However, it would make exceptions for cases like fetal anomalies, many of which are only diagnosed at 20 weeks gestation, and for rape and incest victims whose pregnancies might expose them to risk of suicide. Davis explained that, as a lawyer familiar with the case law pertaining to abortion, she thought that her amendments would give the bill a better chance of surviving a legal challenge by removing some of the ‘undue burdens’.

But perhaps feeling confident about the constitutionality of her bill, Rep. Laubenberg moved to table the amendment. Just before the vote, Rep. Davis argued that her amendments supported good policy making. Anyone who voted to table it was clearly only interested in politics, not good policy, she said.

The House voted to table the amendment by 89-56. Guess we know what Rep. Davis’ colleagues are most interested in then."

Davis was the only Republican to vote against the omnibus bill in the first special session. And Laubenberg, if you'll recall, believes that rape kits "will clean a woman out."

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Amtrak reports record ridership, GOP congress still has no idea why we need it.

Amtrak reports record June ridership

 Amtrak reported June ridership was the highest ever for that month, up 1.7 percent over the previous record, set in 2012. Amtrak said it carried 2.804 million passengers in June, up from 2.757 million in June, 2012. Through the first nine months of its fiscal year, Amtrak is on pace to exceed its all-time annual ridership record of 31.2 million passengers, set last year, the railroad said Tuesday. The announcement of record ridership came as Amtrak and its supporters try to stave off efforts in Congress to cut its $1.4 billion federal subsidy by 31 percent.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20130710_Amtrak_reports_record_June_ridership.html#ERLpe1pLGycFxRAV.99

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Out of curiosity what exactly makes a privileged white southerner an expert on what it was like to experience slavery?

Mike Huckabee Really Believes Abortion Is Like Slavery

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) attended a rally outside the Texas state capitol on Monday, firing up supporters of a controversial anti-abortion bill by saying abortion is like slavery.

From the Texas Tribune:

Huckabee compared abortion to slavery, asking if society could reject slavery and "come to the conclusion that one person can take the life of another person."

Huckabee has repeatedly made it clear that he feels this to be an appropriate parallel. In 2007, he made the comparison while rejecting abortion as a states' rights issue.

"It's the logic of the Civil War," Huckabee said, comparing abortion rights to slavery. "If morality is the point here, and if it's right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can't have 50 different versions of what's right and what's wrong."

Two years later, he told an anti-choice group that he believed the issue of abortion was resolved "150 years ago when the issue of slavery was finally settled in this country, and we decided that it no longer was a political issue, it wasn’t an issue of geography, it was an issue of morality." In 2011, he again argued against abortion rights being determined at the state level, saying that "it was wrong to own a slave in Mississippi and Michigan."

Texas lawmakers are currently in a special session, called by Gov. Rick Perry (R) after a lengthy filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and a raucous crowd kept the legislature from concluding work on legislation designed to restrict abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It would also threaten to shut down all but five abortion clinics in Texas.

The state House is expected to debate and vote on the bill on Tuesday.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@deconstructiva 

I'll be impressed when they throw a few of these crooks in jail instead of slapping them on the wrist.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@deconstructiva 

I've seen some of those places; what's out there 'boiling' all day into mushy food stuff is probably nothing compared to what goes on in the kitchen.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@fitty_three I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we don't have to worry about that any time soon.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@mantisdragon91 Let me repeat – Texas has the fourth highest teen birth rate in the nation. Texas state law mandates abstinence-based education as the primary focus of so-called "sex ed," and makes everything else optional. Parents can opt out of letting kids take sex ed.

Fourth. highest. teen birth. rate. Clearly, Louie, somethin' ain't working.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@mantisdragon91 

Real Americans aren't terrorists, they're freedom fighters against the tyranny of Obama and his Sharia Law Kenyan Communist Naziism.

Tero
Tero

@Sue_N 

I bet these same geniuses shriek and squeal about abortion being "murder". The feats of mental gymnastics it must take to be a conservative is astounding.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Sue_N 

Isn't this the same group that made the Obama targets?  These people and their supporters are one step away from being homicidal maniacs.

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

@Sue_N "Small government" conservatives hard at work, legislating decisions between women and their doctors without a care or a clue.  

So, is the next step to legislate which anomalies/disorders/abnormalities are permissible for a termination?  Only lethal ones?  

I know it's crazy, but in order to remove the "undue burdens" AND keep with the small gov't bit, they could just, I dunno, leave well enough alone and keep the law at viability (~24w), and not actually do any of this.  It would also keep gov't bureaucrats from interfering in healthcare decisions between patients and doctors.  Whoops!  That last one is only a concern when ranting against Obamacare, my mistake.    

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sue_N 

For profit air traffic controllers would be swell. Understaffed (even more then now), minimum wage right out of high school. I could just see the trick of saving a penny to pay billions for cleaning up after each crash.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Can you imagine what kind of legacy  BO would have if he were to somehow launch an interstate high-speed rail system?   Our kids would be set for the rest of their lives!

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@mantisdragon91 

Of course you don't need it.  I don't use it so why would you need it?  Now air traffic controllers....

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@mantisdragon91 

Well maybe he's talking about his belief that women don't have rights over their own bodies.  In a sense it is, yes, but I don't think he appreciates that he then supports slavery.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sue_N @mantisdragon91 

I thought the rightie theory went that if you have real sex ed teens will want to have sex and with abstinence you really promise to keep it in their pants until married. It should be illegal to keep practicing unscientific nonsense as part of a state or national policy. If it ain't working then get rid of it.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Tero

"This is how I think and this is what I like to do"?  Not that hard to figure out the gymnastics.

The trick is to stop presuming logic.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@AlistairCookie @Sue_N This is also the same party that complains there are too many dirty poors. Yet now they're forcing more to be born.

Of course, they can always just execute them later, so there's that.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@nflfoghorn He tried with the stimulus. I think your governor was one of the ones who refused the money. Goodhair even talked about one down here for a while, as part of his colassal land swindle, the Trans-Texas Corridor.

But that blew up in his face when people down here realized he would be seizing private land and then selling it to a Spanish company. I can't imagine why that didn't go over well with the locals …

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@forgottenlord @mantisdragon91

Now air traffic controllers....

Everyone needs.  I'm glad they at least had the sense to alleviate that crisis from the sequester furloughs, but I'd of course rather them just end the stupid sequester and do their jobs.

curt3rd
curt3rd

He is asking that abortions not take place after 20 weeks.  Some states allow up to 22 weeks, at that point it is a living person and should also have rights.  Its not an attack on women, its protecting an innocent baby.

Tero
Tero

@forgottenlord @Tero

"The trick is to stop presuming logic."

I would never presume such a thing. This is also why I find debating paulie and handy so meaningless; they don't want to debate, and they refuse to use logic or accept reality.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@forgottenlord @Sue_N I think the sticking point came when Texas ranchers and farmers realized Perry was planning on taking their land and selling it to a bunch of Spaniards. He somehow made the Texas Department of Transportation the bad guys, and people were actually shooting at TxDOT workers.

I was hoping that would actually end his political career here, but no such luck.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Sue_N

Yeah....normally they're all for screwing the fake Americans in favor of true entrepreneurs.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@forgottenlord @SirDonQuixotic

Safe travel was a big part of the decision, but the bigger impact for failing to allow air traffic controllers to work the schedules they were needed for would have been US (and Global) business travel.  Business travel is a driving force of the US economy.  In 2012 alone, U.S. businesses spent  $225 billion on domestic travel, supporting 3.7 million jobs and generating $35 billion in taxes.  Furloughing air traffic controllers has a ripple effect that hurt every industry, and it's the reason why Congress came together to quickly to get those people back to work.  As I said, I want more than anything else for Congress to get its act together and just end the sequester, but few problem created by the sequester are as big and damaging on the U.S. economy as a whole than furloughs to air traffic controllers.  Globally business travel accounts for $2 trillion annually.  I can assure you that delays/cancellations to US flights across the board would hurt you as a Canadian; you'd be surprised.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@SirDonQuixotic

Everyone needs a lot of things that were eliminated in the sequester.  I'll accept the pain, but everyone better feel it and if Congress is too chickens*** to feel the pain themselves, then they have no right to talk about shared pain.

(Well, ok, I'm Canadian so I don't feel the pain but....you get my drift)

Sue_N
Sue_N

@forgottenlord @curt3rd There is also the niggling problem that making abortions illegal will not stop abortions. Women will still have them. Keeping abortion legal ensures that abortions are safe, and that women aren't killing or maiming themselves. There were abortions in this country before Roe v. Wade. Texas women will have abortions after this bill is passed into law. They're just going to die doing it now.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@curt3rd 

Abortions have absolutely nothing to do with the poverty debate.  In my worldview, it is the right to self - the right to decide what to do with your body.  It's the same right that lets us reject medical treatment and protects us from rape and has nothing to do with the economics.  How is that hypocritical?

And you're still confusing the right to decide with the requirement to decide.  There is no requirement that poor women choose abortion.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

Because you're a moron.  I pointed out to you how we can work to minimize the need for abortions and you don't want to do it if you don't have to.  The only hypocrite here is you.

curt3rd
curt3rd

You libs are so hypocritical. We need to help everyone but its fine to murder babies. I just dont get it and I guess I never will. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

As forgotten pointed out to you above, the right to choose to have an abortion does not mean "I'm getting an abortion!"

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd You are correct curt, why help them abort fetuses that may or may not be viable, when we can let the kids die from malnutrition after birth or subject them to a life time of minimum wage do to lack of education. The country needs serfs don't you know.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Poor mothers, we should help them by killing babies. What kind of compassion is that?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@mantisdragon91

BTW: A new law needs to be passed that if employers wish to issue that form of payment, all fees on such payments must come out of the employers' pockets.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@curt3rd 

Single poor mothers work their buns off at three different minimum wage jobs with no benefits for 60 hrs a week tired, starving, trying desperately to raise good kids and still stuck on food stamps and medicaid because they remain below the poverty line.  Those are the "entitled" you speak of.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

So much for that sliver of compassion you were showing a moment ago.  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd And the GOP hurts single poor mothers everyday in this country. So what is your point exactly?

Tero
Tero

@curt3rd 

You are seriously embarrassing yourself dude. I would say quit while you are ahead but I don't think you ever were...

curt3rd
curt3rd

single poor mothers help themselves everyday in this country

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@curt3rd 

Raise the minimum wage to something approaching sustenance levels and then we can talk about whether they can "help themselves" or not.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

Single, poor mothers and infants are people that can help themselves?

curt3rd
curt3rd

More handouts to people that are able to help themselves is not doing anyone a favor.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

The fact that you consider helping these women and children an evil is astonishing.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Lessor of 2 evils when I have to chose a few more entitlements and lives of  hundreds of thousand of innocent babies.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@curt3rd 

A very interesting leap of logic.  Small flaw: you're confusing "should have the right to decide whether to abort" with "should decide to abort".  The former is "I leave it as your choice" while the latter is "no new children!!!".

But yes, if the US population as a whole decides that they're opposed to entitlement programs, then those programs should be ended through the due process.  As it so happens, America is not opposed to the existence of the entitlement programs so that is a little ways away.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

Yes, glad to hear you support entitlement programs.  Welcome to liberalism.

curt3rd
curt3rd

If you were the Senate and I was the House, I would make that deal.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd

Then the best thing you can do is ensure that many women who seek abortions for the typical reasons don't need to by improving their quality of life or caring for them and helping them in any way you can.  Give more access to realistic sex protection and education to young teens.  Offer more assistance to lower income women that wouldn't be able to afford the child.  Provide more welfare programs to young children and their parents that need the assistance.  Do something after they're born instead of only caring about their quality of life before they're born.

If it is life threating then she should make that decision

That's not what many of the GOP's proposed laws allow.

curt3rd
curt3rd

So according to you we should cut everyone off of entitlement programs.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@curt3rd 

My opinion: at any point, at any time, a woman should have the right to decide whether any individual can be dependent upon her.  If that scientifically means that the other individual will die because of it, it's unfortunate but that individual does not have the right to use her unwillingly.  If that individual can be saved scientifically, great.

curt3rd
curt3rd

If it is life threating then she should make that decision but if eveyone is healthy than I dont believe in killing babies especially after 20 weeks.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

It's a definition up for debate.  You could argue it's not a living human being until it's able to live on its own; until its actually born.  There are also medical ramifications to consider by denying a woman the right to an abortion after set dates.  What if something happens and she needs an abortion or she'll die?  It's her choice, not yours.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Make that decision before it becomes a living human being

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd

That hasn't been born yet.  It's the woman's body, let her and her doctor make the choice.