Channel 12 simply can’t say no to anti-choice goose chase

25 Apr 2016 12:25 pm
Posted by: Donna

Channel 12 abortion reportNothing inflammatory here!

Last month there was a big buzz in the local anti-choice rumor mill about a “born alive abortion” that had allegedly occurred at a Phoenix clinic. I reported on the absurdity of the whole allegation at that time and how the MSM ought not allow themselves to be played by wild-eyed anti-abortion zealots. But, apparently, Channel 12 in Phoenix sees a real public interest in helping those zealots to harass abortion providers and in giving out potentially identifying information about a patient (her age), as they did on the Thursday 10pm broadcast.

The police reports shows the mother, 27, had been scheduled for an abortion, but went into what the report called, “spontaneous labor.” The doctor at the clinic near downtown Phoenix told police she had checked for a fetal heartbeat before the procedure and found none. She said she believed the baby would be stillborn.

The reports said a nurse went to weigh the fetus, which is standard procedure, and thought she saw it move and struggle to breathe. “Oh my God this fetus is moving,” the reports claim she said.

Staff at the clinic then called 911 and paramedics began CPR while transporting the baby to Banner University Medical Center, the report said. But doctors there did not find a heartbeat and pronounced the baby deceased within a few minutes.

Under federal law, abortion clinics have to provide medical care to a baby that survives an abortion.

“Nobody did anything wrong,” Kat Sabine, executive director of the Arizona chapter NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Absolutely, nobody did anything wrong. The doctor, in fact, did everything right.”

So it appears that this was not even an abortion but a stillbirth that happened to take place at a clinic, where the staff there did everything they were supposed to do in that situation. 12 News could have left it at that and redeemed themselves with a mea culpa for having been suckered by anti-choice conspiracy loons. Sadly, no, they could not do that. Instead, they ended the segment by interviewing some gross anti-choice dude from his book-lined office and let him insinuate that something criminal had indeed taken place at that particular clinic and also that any pregnancy outcome that is not a full-term healthy infant is cause for suspicion.

Pro-life activist and lawyer John Jakubczyk said the uproar wasn’t over whether the abortion was legal, though he has questions about that. He said it was a moral protest.

“Maybe the child was born and only lived for a moment, maybe the child lived for a lot longer than a few moments. I don’t know,” Jakubczyk said. “But I do know this; you had a human being who was born, you had a human being who died.”

It is truly chilling to realize how successfully anti-choicers are enlisting local news stations in their crusade to criminalize women’s health care.

Don’t coopt the voting rights movement to whine, “independent” voters.

20 Apr 2016 01:35 am
Posted by: Donna

Wherein I express my annoyance with a certain type of holier-than-thou “independent” voter”

The New York primary took place Tuesday and a big story about it, at least on cable news and social media, was how massive numbers of “independent” voters suffered “voter suppression” due to not being able to cast a vote in the partisan primary. The deadline to change one’s party affiliation in New York (as opposed to a new voter registrant, which was last month) was all the way back in October.

I will say, from a purely partisan standpoint, that such an early deadline is a terrible rule as it impedes party building. Most people are paying little attention to the Presidential race a full year out from it, so New York political parties who agreed to the onerous deadline out of concern for voters from one party tampering with another party’s primary elections were missing the forest for the trees. Those kind of shenanigans rarely change outcomes anyway so it’s not a good idea for parties to foreclose their ability to use the Presidential primary as a way to recruit new registrants via conversion.

But those are the current rules in New York, and while I understand there have been issues with people alleging that their registrations were changed without their consent (as is known to have happened in Arizona with DMV and other clerical errors), in most cases the sturm und drang over supposed “voter disenfranchisement” has come from people (from New York and elsewhere) who have willingly opted out of registering with a party but who still think they’re entitled to have a say in picking the leadership of the very parties they disdain as filthy corrupt scum. It’s amazing, really.

I realize there are many reasons a voter may choose to be unaffiliated with a political party and not all are bad (most are, though, IMHO). And it is entirely your prerogative as a voter to do that. But unless you happen to be in a state where you are graciously allowed to interfere (my description) in partisan candidate selection, you do not get to have it both ways. If you chose not to register with a party in a closed primary state (such as New York or Arizona), then you relinquished your opportunity to vote in that primary. That is not voter suppression and you are not disenfranchised because of it.

Filling in a party preference on the voter registration form is a very simple matter that enables you to vote in the primary. It’s not a blood oath or a promise of your firstborn. In a closed primary state, it’s an obvious wise move, as the blogger Atrios explains:

As I said, I think New York’s deadline is ridiculous, but requiring people to make the effort to switch parties a week or a month out isn’t. And in closed primary states, don’t be an idiot and register as an independent. Nobody cares. You haven’t stuck it to The Man by asserting your independence. You’ve just made your life harder if you ever do want to vote in a primary.

Believe you me, Arizonans, the people who are most invested in wanting you to shun “party labels” (especially you liberal leaners) and be “independent”, thus ceding collective power, can most definitely be described as The Man.

There is perhaps no opinion of mine that gets people riled up more than my take on “independent” voters. Sorry, I just don’t find that the vast majority of them that I encounter live up to the hype about them as free-thinking, objective, special snowflakes who give more careful consideration to their political choices than we yucky partisans do. Quite the opposite, very often. So I don’t give them the tender sympathy they’ve grown to expect in so many quarters. Whatever. As I said, be an unaffiliated voter if you want. Your choice. Just don’t act like it makes you John Lewis.

Sanders supporters continue to make the incredible claim that Clinton “stole” Arizona primary

18 Apr 2016 01:55 am
Posted by: Donna

Hillary somehow cheated in every primary, in every caucus. Okay.

Even when such a thing was literally impossible, such as in the Arizona primary. There was no conceivable way that the Clinton campaign could have, in advance of the deadline to register as a party voter on February 22, 2016, flipped a sufficient number of Democratic registrations of voters who would have voted for Bernie Sanders in Maricopa County to “independent” for Sanders to lose the Arizona primary. This was a feat not only beyond the mind-reading capability of the Clinton people here, but also beyond their ability to convince Helen Purcell, the Republican County Recorder, to go along with that. But supporters of Bernie Sanders continue to make such claims.

Which is why I cannot take them seriously.

You can disagree with Hillary Clinton on policy direction. I respect that. But I will never respect you when you pull things directly out of your ass to impugn her.

“Nice” John Kasich has not-so-nice things to say about rape

15 Apr 2016 12:04 pm
Posted by: Donna

There are so many things wrong with what GOP Presidential candidate John Kasich said here that it’s hard to know where to start. Well, I guess the beginning of it is a good place because that’s where Kasich tried to make an awkward joke about leaving the town hall right then. Because you know how Republican men have been scolded not to mention rape, tee hee. Then there’s the description of female college students, which make up more than half the people attending college at this time, as “coeds”. WTF, people, is it still 1965 in some of your worlds? But the truly appalling thing about Kasich’s answer is how he characterized sexual assault as something that is either the victim’s fault (because she went to a party and drank) or something she needs to “reflect on” (because you know how girls are apt to become hysterical and make up stories to get some nice boy in trouble).

I read the statement several times to be sure that I wasn’t seeing any reference by Kasich to the perpetrators of rape, but no, none was there. Rape is either something that just happens to careless women or a lie they tell to cover up consensual sex (because if you call women “coeds” like it’s 1965 there’s a good chance you also think we live under the same sexual mores where it was shameful for a young unmarried woman to not be a virgin). In fairness, it does seem that Kasich was trying to give a thorough answer and one that conveyed his caring to the young woman, but unfortunately he’s so wedded to anti-choice ideology that he’s incapable of anything approaching actual empathy for a woman, even one who has been raped. What you get instead from him is this demonstration of “benevolent” sexism, which is a thin cover for the uglier misogyny that undergirds many of his policies as Governor of Ohio. Such as when he signed abortion bans with no exceptions for rape and a law denying rape victims access to emergency contraception.

And he’s the “nice” Republican running for President.

Doug Ducey joins Scott Walker in demanding ability to drug test food stamp recipients

13 Apr 2016 04:46 pm
Posted by: Donna


For some reason it has escaped notice here in Arizona, but Governor Doug Ducey put his name on a letter from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), who chairs the Agriculture Subcommittee in Congress, about the supposed need to drug test SNAP recipients so as to break their “dependence on government”.

Dear Mr. Aderholt:

As you know, multiple states have recently enacted drug-testing provisions as part of the state-based requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP or food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service administers this program at the federal level, but disagrees with these drug-testing efforts.

We believe that Congress specifically gave states the flexibility to decide whether to implement this common-sense reform in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. This Act provides that “States shall not be prohibited by the Federal Government from testing welfare recipients for use of controlled substances nor from sanctioning welfare recipients who test positive for use of controlled substances.” 21 U.S.C. § 862(b).

Since SNAP and other welfare programs typically have job training requirements as a core element, we write today to express our sincere confidence that drug testing recipients of SNAP benefits is not only lawful, but will aid in our ability to move individuals off of this welfare program and back into the workforce as productive members of their communities. After all, drug testing and potentially getting treatment to be drug free doesn’t make it harder to get assistance; it makes it easier to get a job. We look forward to working with you on this important issue.


Governor Scott Walker; et al.

As has been repeatedly demonstrated, this type of drug testing is needlessly humiliating and a complete waste of time and money.

According to state data gathered by ThinkProgress, the seven states with existing programs — Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah — are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferret out very few drug users. The statistics show that applicants actually test positive at a lower rate than the drug use of the general population. The national drug use rate is 9.4 percent. In these states, however, the rate of positive drug tests to total welfare applicants ranges from 0.002 percent to 8.3 percent, but all except one have a rate below 1 percent. Meanwhile, they’ve collectively spent nearly $1 million on the effort, and millions more may have to be spent in coming years.

Duh. Drugs are expensive, which is why if the Governor and other Arizona Republicans were really concerned about people misusing government subsidies to buy drugs they’d do well to look toward drug testing the affluent parents of K-12 students receiving tuition tax credits. I mean, shouldn’t we be thinking about the well-being of those children and of the productivity of their parents?

That one comment that makes it all clear

12 Apr 2016 12:45 am
Posted by: Donna

*Apologies for the long absence as the Democratic Diva site was down. I had been posting regularly at Blog For Arizona in the meantime, so you can check out the posts there.

This guy.

The competition for Worst GOP Arizona Legislator Ever is stiff these days, given Rep. David Gowan’s not-smart snit toward reporters having the temerity to *gasp* report on things he’s doing. That’s pretty bad but, purely on the basis of shocking callousness, I’m going to have to go with Senate President Andy Biggs (pictured), who is currently running for Congress, while refusing to consider a bill that would provide health care to 30,000 Arizona children from low income families.

EJ Montini finds it to be pretty appalling:

Since the beginning of the legislative session Senate President Andy Biggs — who won a $10 million Publishers Clearing House prize a few years back – has refused to give Arizona’s hard-luck poor kids the health care they deserve.

Biggs has not allowed the senate to vote on a proposal to restore health insurance coverage to children in low-income families.

Back in 1998 then-Gov. Jan Hull signed the KidsCare program into law. The money comes from the federal government. The legislature took Arizona out of the program in 2010.

Now Arizona has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country.

The idea behind House Bill 2309 is to restore that funding to Arizona’s version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

There are at least 30,000 good reasons to do to.

“I don’t support KidsCare,” said Biggs.

Wow, Biggs sure seems nice.

They say you should never read the comments, and that’s probably a good idea for your overall mental tranquility, but sometimes commenters (who are real people, sitting at their computers and typing their real thoughts into them) provide a useful glimpse into how certain people think. By which, I mean right wingers.

Here’s commenter “Luis Diehard Flores”, who poses in his profile picture with his wife and small children:

If democrats really cared about children they wouldnt be the biggest proponents of abortion.

Those of us who have paid careful attention to anti-choicers know that they are mainly driven by the desire to punish women for sex. But they’ve been given a free ride in the court of public opinion to pretend that it’s about “saving babies”, which enables them to cloak themselves in fake altruism as they cruelly oppose any help to poor people. They’re “pro-life”, which means exactly nothing having to do struggling people having decent lives and everything to do with making them as miserable as possible.

Out for the rest of the week

17 Feb 2016 08:39 am
Posted by: Donna

I’m off to Nevada to volunteer for the Hillary Clinton campaign. See you all next week!