Speaking at a rally today, Pennsylvania State Representative Babette Josephs suggested that pro-life women are not in fact women, but 'men with breasts'. Apparently women cannot be truly women unless they support unfettered abortion.
Josephs' remarks came at a political rally sponsored by the Lancaster County Democratic Committee, in which she accused Republicans in control of the state Senate and state House of turning Pennsylvania into a "laboratory for the right-wing. They're trying all these experiments on us."
Then, she took specific aim at women lawmakers who co-sponsored the ultrasound bill, asking rhetorically, "I do not understand how a woman in this Legislature can say to herself: 'I'm not capable of making my own health decisions... but I can get elected and make them for somebody else.'
"What is wrong with these women? What are they thinking about?" Josephs continued. "Are they women? Or are they men with breasts."
This is sad on so many levels. To start, how is it that showing a woman an ultrasound prior to her having an abortion taking away her 'choice'? It provides her with more information, allowing her to make an informed choice. What is so scary about that? What is it that the folks who so vehemently call themselves pro-choice don't want her to see? Pro-life advocates are often smeared as withholding information or distorting facts in order to impose their morality on women. But what could be a better source of indisputable facts than showing a woman what is happening inside her own body?
There apparently isn't room for questions like these at Democratic rallies. Women who support measures that provide more information prior to an abortion are somehow saying that other women are incapable of making medical decisions for themselves. And then they are called 'men with breasts'. It is ironic that arguments like that still hold water.
Can somebody please explain to me how requiring doctors to let women see ultrasounds takes away her choice or provides her with 'misleading' information? Because it looks like the opposite to me. It also looks like the truth of ultrasounds is becoming harder to deny, hence the name calling. I would love to hear an honest answer to questions like these without the distractions of calling pro-life women 'men with breasts'.
Oral arguments for and against Obamacare begin in 10 days in our highest court. Meanwhile, The Hill notices a change in the Obama Administration defense of its signature accomplishment. Instead of focusing on the Commerce Clause, which states that Congress may regulate interstate commerce, the Administration is now arguing that the individual mandate should be upheld under the Necessary and Proper Clause, which states that Congress may enact laws that are necessary to carry out its powers. Although the Administration has made both arguments in previous briefs, the emphasis is decidedly more on the Necessary and Proper Clause than it used to be. Why the change? Some are saying that the Administration is hoping to win over Justice Scalia.
Written briefs in the landmark case increasingly have focused on a part of the Constitution that didn’t get much attention in lower courts.
Some legal experts say the shift could steer the case in a direction that would make Justice Antonin Scalia more likely to uphold the healthcare law’s mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.
Writing at the Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin points out that not only has the Necessary and Proper Clause argument done poorly in lower courts, but the Obama Administration's argument ignores the "Proper" part of the argument, leaving only the "Necessary" half. This is unlikely to impress Justice Scalia.
The federal government has in fact relied on the Necessary and Proper Clause throughout the litigation in the lower courts. So at most this is a shift of emphasis rather than substance. The actual logic of the argument is essentially the same as in the lower courts. And every lower court decision striking down the mandate has in fact considered and rejected the government’s Necessary and Proper Clause reasoning; the lower court decisions upholding the mandate largely ignored the issue because they concluded that the mandate could be justified under the Commerce Clause alone.
If the Obama Administration has decided to emphasize the Necessary and Proper Clause argument more, it is remarkable that their brief for the Supreme Court case almost completely ignores the biggest weakness in that argument: the possibility that the mandate is not “proper” even if it is “necessary.” Both Supreme Court precedent and the text and original meaning of the Constitution make clear that these are two separate requirements, both of which must be met. Yet the government’s approach to the case essentially transforms the Necessary and Proper Clause into the “Necessary Clause.” The amicus brief I wrote on behalf of the Washington Legal Foundation and a group of constitutional law scholars focuses on this very issue. It explains in detail why the mandate is not “proper” and therefore cannot be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause even if it is “necessary.”
Fans of the Second Amendment know that Maryland doesn't have the most gun-friendly laws out there. But thanks to a district court decision on Monday, that may be changing.
In the decision Woolard v. Sheridan, a Maryland statute requiring residents to have a 'good and substantial reason' for obtaining a concealed carry permit was struck down after a judge found that it violates the Second Amendment. Courtesy of the Volokh Conspiracy, here are the facts:
Plaintiff Woollard initially obtained a handgun carry permit after he was assaulted by an intruder in his home in 2002. The permit was renewed in 2005. At that time, the intruder had recently been released from prison, providing a “good and substantial reason” for Woollard to carry a firearm. In 2009, Woollard again sought to renew his permit so that he could carry a handgun for self defense. MSP Secretary Sheridan denied Woollard’s application, however, because Woollard failed to provide sufficient evidence “to support apprehended fear.”
The post definitely worth a full read for all the facts. What it boils down to, though, is that requiring a 'good and substantial reason' to carry a firearm in public is a violation of the Second Amendment. To quote the opinion, "[a] citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and substantial reason' why he should be permitted to exercise his rights...the right's existence is all the reason he needs." This case builds on DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, both of which state that individuals may invoke Second Amendment rights at home for self-defense. Now this decision holds that individuals may exercise their Second Amendment rights outside of the home, extending them to hunting. We'll see what happens after it heads to the Fourth Circuit.
While we're on the topic of self defense, the Cato Institute has a great study out. It's called Tough Targets and it details how Americans use guns to defend themselves. Not only does it make the point that armed citizens lead to a reduction in crime, but it comes with a map showing specific instances of individuals using firearms to protect themselves. When most media outlets report the number of firearm-related accidental deaths, it can be easy to forget that there are many times more people using firearms to stop crimes from ever happening. Every year, women, senior citizens and even hostages use firearms to protect themselves from becoming victims. My favorite anecdote is the one in which an 82 year old former beauty queen in Kentucky holds two would-be thieves at gunpoint.
On April 13, 2007, Venus Ramey spied an unfamiliar truck parked against her farm building, and immediately suspected that habitual scrap metal thieves had returned. Upon being confronted, one of them, Curtis Parrish, promised they'd leave. The 82-year-old woman leaned on her walker, pulled out a .38 revolver, said, 'no you won't,' and shot his car tire. She then held the two at gunpoint for police. Ramey is a former Miss America.
As is stated in Tough Targets, if harm reduction is the goal when it comes to firearms legislation, the lawmakers ought to consider the harm reduction that accompanies an armed citizenry. No one should have to ask a bureaucrat for permission to defend themselves. Hopefully decisions like the one in Woollard v. Sheridan mean that fewer people will have to.
Fox News is calling Georgia for Newt Gingrich, the first win of the night. His won among Tea Party voters, and voters describing themselves as conservative and evangelical. Voters who said that the right experience matters most also polled strongly for Gingrich. The only category he wasn't favored in was strong moral character, with those voters leaning towards Rick Santorum.
This was an important win for Newt. Not only does Georgia have a lot of delegates (76), but if he had not won, he would have been out, by his own admission.
More to come...
After putting his trash out 33 minutes early, a Queens man is fighting a $100 fine. According to a city statute, trash cannot be put out earlier than 4 PM the day before pickup. Raymond Janson put his garbage cans at the curb the day before, but did so earlier than the statute permits. He received a summons stating, "I did observe three 30 gallon plastic cans placed out on the public sidewalk on a non-collection day." The summons was written at 3:27 PM.
He tells Fox News, "I can't say how incensed I am over this. Not only at the excessive amount, but the nature of the summons."
WASHINGTON - Drivers who talk or text on their cellphones may hear from the Secretary of Transportation in a very personal way.
"I drive around on the weekends in Washington," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells WTOP about his informal road patrols.
When he sees what he describes as "my biggest source of irritation" -- somebody on a cellphone, LaHood takes action.
"What I've been doing is kind of honking at somebody if I see him on a cellphone."
LaHood says it's his way of "taking personal responsibility" to reduce driver distractions.
I suspect that being honked at by a total stranger probably compounds any distraction incurred by being on a phone, but maybe that's just me.
D.C. resident Patricia White has received 8 fines, totaling $2000 for not recycling old newspapers which she uses as cat litter. Ms. White told Fox News DC that she wanted to help the environment by shredding old newspapers and junk mail instead of buying cat litter from stores. Unfortunately for her, it is illegal to not recycle in DC, and she has incurred the Department of Public Works' wrath.
Dupont Circle resident Patricia White says she has been fined eight times for throwing homemade cat litter in her trash. The fines total $2,000. White says she shreds old newspaper and junk mail to use as cat litter. She believes she is helping the environment by reusing the paper and avoiding cat litter you will find in stores.
After being fined several times, White says she called the Department of Public Works inspector who issued the tickets. According to White, the inspector admitted to digging through trash looking for violations. White even appealed the violations in D.C. court. Judge Audrey Jenkins agreed with the inspector after White explained the situation. FOX 5 tried to reach Judge Jenkins, but her office has declined to comment.
Consider a typical day.After I awaken, I shower and dry myself with a towel that I’ve had for a few years. I use this towel day after day. I don’t discard it after one use. When it gets dirty, I toss it in the washing machine to clean it for further use. I recycle my towel.Then I brew coffee and fix breakfast. Each day I use the same coffeemaker that I used the day before. I clean it after each use, recycling it for the next time. My wife and I drink the coffee from mugs that have been used many times in the past. (Actually, one set of our coffee mugs was handed down to us after my wife’s parents used them for several years.) We also eat our breakfasts using dishes and utensils that are recycled from countless past uses. After breakfast, we don’t throw our mugs, dishes, and utensils away; instead we put them in the dishwasher to be recycled for yet another use.After breakfast, I dress myself in clothes that I’ve worn before and that I will wear again. My underwear, my pants, my shirt, my necktie, my belt, my coat, my shoes, my wristwatch, all are recycled from previous uses. And when I remove these clothes at day’s end, I’ll recycle them again, with the help of our automatic washer and dryer.When my wife and I drive to work, we drive automobiles that we used the day before and that we’ll drive for the next few years. We don’t junk them after a single use. Instead, we recycle them, day in and day out.The pots and pans that we use to prepare our meals, our toaster, our refrigerator, our television, our compact discs, our furniture, and, indeed, our house itself are all routinely recycled, use after use after use.My family and I recycle a lot! And we’re not alone. Everyone recycles a lot.
Well, it looks like the not-Romney pendulum may swing back again. CBS News reports that Sheldon Adelson is prepared to donate another $10 million to the Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Our Future. Goody:
What do you think this means? Is this going to give Newt Gingrich a much needed boost, or have conservative voters consolidated behind Rick Santorum? Over at HotAir, AllahPundit speculates that it may serve another purpose altogether:
Until now, people had operated from the assumption that Adelson had decided to hold off on any more interventions. Why the change? It can’t be that Newt Gingrich’s position has improved, because it hasn’t. He’s dropped steadily downward since Florida, and Rick Santorum has charged into the lead nationally while Gingrich has faded to the second tier.
Keeping Gingrich alive for another few weeks means preventing a conservative consolidation before Super Tuesday — and that seems to be Adelson’s motive.
No matter what happens, it's looking like a long slog before we have a nominee.
Getting money out of politics by...raising as much campaign cash as they can. Occupy is officially starting a PAC, which will enable them to raise money for or against candidates and to provide information about legislation and ballot initiatives.
The money that will be raised can be used by Occupy as a whole, from branches in Huntsville, Ala. to ones in New York City or Oakland, Calif.
“This PAC is for everyone and if they want to contribute they are more than welcome,” Thornton said. “This is going to be uber-transparent down to the cent. It will be egalitarian and democratic.”
Money will also be used for federal candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders because of their pledges to get money out of politics.
In one section when the application asks for the address of any other connected organizations, the response is “none and everywhere.”
As a big fan of unfettered campaign spending, I say, let the good times roll! It is ironic (and amusing!), though, to see people who want to hand over as much of the election process as possible to politicians adopting the same tools that they publicly decry.
After determining that a preschooler's homemade lunch was not healthy enough, a state worker required her to purchase a meal from the school cafeteria. The result was that instead of eating a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice, the student ate three chicken nuggets for lunch. According to the Carolina Journal, the state employee (who inspects each students lunch box) determined that the meal packed from home did not meet USDA nutrition standards.
The girl's turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs - including in-home day care centers - to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.
The girl's mother - who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation - said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a "healthy lunch" would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.
The story gets even stranger later. Although the HHS worker forced her to buy a school lunch because it did not meet nutrition standards, the mother later contacted the school, only to learn that the packed lunch did meet standards:
While the mother and grandmother thought the potato chips and lack of vegetable were what disqualified the lunch, a spokeswoman for the Division of Child Development said that should not have been a problem.
"With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that's the dairy," said Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division. "It sounds like the lunch itself would've met all of the standard." The lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable, but not both, she said.
There are no clear restrictions about what additional items - like potato chips - can be included in preschoolers' lunch boxes.
So what we have is a parent who packed her preschooler's lunch based on nutrition needs, but also on what she knew her daughter would eat. Then a government employee replaces it with a school meal because it is not nutritious enough, only for the student to gain even less nutrition and waste more food than if she had eaten the home packed lunch. It's almost like the government is trying to supplant parents duties and failing at it or something.