Elections have been known to turn on the slip of a tongue. Few presidential candidates have had a tongue as slippery as Donald Trump. He may have already sewn up the championship for loosest tongue ever long ago. But Trump’s dig at Hillary Clinton last week claiming that the only thing she had going for her was that she was a woman:
Toward the end of a news conference that capped off Donald Trump’s dominant Tuesday night, the self-proclaimed presumptive Republican presidential nominee uncorked a sexist and self-contradictory argument against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Asked by a reporter about an earlier remark he made about Clinton playing “the women’s card,” Trump said, “Well, I think the only card she has is the women’s card — she’s got nothing else going.”
“And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote,” Trump continued. “The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her, okay, and look how well I did with women tonight.”
Trump’s mouth has previously let it be known that Latinos were not welcome in his party, nor were blacks. He has done little to hide his disdain for women before especially with his statement that when (under his administration) abortion were illegal, women would be the only ones to be punished. But the statement against Hillary hit a new low for any political party.
Provided Trump is the Republican nominee – and it is looking like he can’t be stopped – his mouth should make it hard for anyone up and down the ticket to wear the label “Republican” without also garnering the baggage Trump has already put on that label.
Truth be known, Donald Trump’s biggest problem is that he is saying out loud what many Republicans have been saying in whispers for years. So the baggage is truly deserved.
Trump’s disparagement of Clinton has also being used as another great opportunity to point up how women are often treated as second class citizens in this country.
According to reports, the Clinton campaign has begun issuing “woman cards” to donors. Nothing like turning a gaffe by your opponent into a very positive campaign buzz and money generator for your campaign. Also nothing like having your opponent tell half the voting public that he doesn’t want their vote early in the campaign.
They Take a Stand Opposed By 75% of Iowa
Iowa House Republicans again this year inserted an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood from any state funding.
This is a truly unpopular issue with Iowans. As Beth Wessel-Kroeschell is quoted in the Mason City Globe-Gazette:
Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, cited a public opinion poll published by the Des Moines Register that showed 3 out of 4 Iowans support state funding for health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
“We have a mandate. This is simple,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. “Not only do Iowans overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood funding, family planning dollars, but it’s a program that works. It’s a program that gives people power and choice over their health care.”
It is very hard to grasp why Republicans are pushing so hard for this unpopular amendment, so let’s see if we can understand their impetus for bringing this up and voting for it.
The first reason to vote for such an unpopular measure is that it plays well back home. Even though a measure is unpopular statewide doesn’t mean it is unpopular in individual districts. Measures like this are geared to the religious voter. Supporting anti-abortion measures in any form is a sure way to keep the religious coming out to vote.
A second reason to vote for such an unpopular measure is that it punishes those who violate an unwritten moral code that frowns on sexual acts especially by women. While that may seem odd, men are not punished for sexual acts resulting in a pregnancy, only the women. If a woman becomes pregnant she should therefore accept the result of that sin, the sex act, by carrying the child to term and raising said child to adulthood. To follow this punishment even further, Republicans at all levels make it hard to get state aid to feed, clothe and educate this child.
A third reason to vote for such an unpopular measure is that it most frequently punishes the poor. Planned Parenthood is not used exclusively by poor women, but often for the poor it is often their only choice. We know how Republicans feel about poor people. It is their fault and they should suffer the consequences. If not having access to health care is part of that so be it.
One of the most overarching reasons for voting for any anti-abortion measure at a state level is to be part of the “movement conservative” across the US. The movement realized it could change more policy in the country working at a state level than trying to push a big rock uphill in Washington. Thus every little legislator in the smallest state is but a cog in the bigger movement. Note that in being part of the larger movement the individual legislator often does not represent his or her district.
Finally there is the desire to legislate one’s own moral and religious code into secular law. Such religious code in this country is usually found in some interpretation of one of the many variations of the bible. Stated in another way, Christians have been known to enact their religious code into law to punish those that are seen as morally weak in their eyes. As proof let us just consider all the so-called “religious freedom” bills that are rushing through various state legislatures.
Iowa is but one vote in the senate from being yet another state with a movement conservative legislature and governor all set to enact religious beliefs into law. Elections are extremely important.
This is just one of a number very unpopular measures that Republicans have been responsible for in the past couple of years. Many were solo jobs by the governor. But the governor is the head of the party in this state and not someone apart from the party. Who can forget closing the mental health facilities at Mount Pleasant and Clarinda? How about the line item veto of school funding last July? May pumping multi millions into fertilizer plants with few jibs to show for it got your blood boiling? Of course the big one was the governor’s unilateral privatizing of Iowa’s Medicaid system so the administrative companies could take a big cut of our tax dollars.
Really makes you wonder why anyone would vote for such scoundrels. But they do.
Chris Matthews stirred a real pot of controversy Wednesday night when he asked Donald Trump what the punishment for having an abortion should be if and when Trump becomes president and abortion is made illegal in the United States. Trump tried to BS his way through. However, little thought is ever given by the forced birth faction to the fallout from banning abortions beyond a woman now having a baby she probably didn’t want.
Matthews premise was that if abortion were illegal then an abortion would be a crime that must be punished. Should the woman be punished? Trump said yes immediately although he didn’t specify a punishment. Trump however said nothing about the abortionist (‘doctor’ was the word used, although we all know the abortionist will probably not be a doctor if abortion is illegal).
When Matthews asked if the father of the child should be punished Trump simply said “No.”
Amazing isn’t it folks? In the situation where an illegal abortion were to take place the woman according to Trump would be the only player. He later amended his statement to say that the ‘doctor’ should also suffer some punishment. Still he did not say the third person involved – the father – should suffer any punishment.
What wasn’t discussed – and hasn’t been discussed anywhere – is that even in today’s time of legalized abortion women are punished severely for not becoming pregnant in the way prescribed by religionist moralists that populate our state and national legislatures.
Depending on where a woman lives, if she becomes pregnant and for whatever reason decides that having a child is not a good idea, getting a legal procedure in the United States has been rendered nearly impossible. Especially across the South and west state legislatures have made access to a legal medical procedure nearly impossible by regulating abortion clinics into oblivion. Where legislatures have not been able to cause clinics to close through regulation they have severely limited access to them.
Beyond the regulatory gauntlet that state legislatures have thrown down to stop abortions, women often have to go through personal harassment just to be able to enter a clinic that could easily be described as terrorism. Despite the obvious threat to the safety of women entering clinics, The Supreme Court two years ago ruled that such protests were legal.
Thus when a pregnant woman takes charge of her own life she has to face a system that punishes her and often her physician or care giver for simply attempting to access a legal medical procedure. This in what is the purported home of freedom and liberty by those who do all they can to stop such access.
Now when groups go to such extremes to force women to have babies that will eventually grow into children, teens and finally full fledged adults you would think that they would work hard to set up programs to help such badly wanted children grow into well rounded adults by affording them good health care, good schools and decent food.
As we all know this is just the opposite of what happens in this country. Once the fetus is born and is a baby, those who worked so hard to keep the fetus from being aborted through legislation and other forms of harassment now abandon that child. A baby born into poverty in this country now joins the millions of citizens who are punished severely for the American sin of being poor.
We don’t need to enumerate what happens to the poor in this country. Since the so-called Reagan revolution, being poor has been treated as a crime. Therefore even in today’s American society where abortion is a legal procedure women are punished for seeking an abortion and punished if they are poor and carry the child to birth. If the family is poor, the child suffers, probably their whole life, for the so-called sins of the mother.
Through legislation and societal norms we are already punishing women who seek abortions. We are also punishing women who are poor and we punish the children of the poor for being born poor. Our Republican brethren are only concerned about forcing women to have their babies, care nothing about their pre-natal care and have set up a system that punishes such families if they are poor.
Best guess is they are trying to curry some form of favor from their god that will be redeemed when they reach their heaven. One would think that any favors earned from forcing someone to give birth would be negated by forcing any child or other citizen to live an impoverished life while others accumulate massive fortunes.
Not really sure what else America could do to level more punishment on women, but I am sure there are right wingers with legislation ready to go to punish women even more should they succeed in making abortion illegal. They won’t stop abortion for sure, but they may someday make it illegal.
Before you look around and think Iowa is a relative island of sanity in a ocean of misogynist hate, let me remind you that that is because Democrats control one house of the legislature by one vote. The state races this fall are every bit as important as the presidential race. If you haven’t noticed – much of the damage in this country in recent years has been done at the state level. Bob Vander Plaats and his ilk are champing at the bit to have Republicans in control of this state.
I am writing to express my disappointment in learning that the Iowa House Republicans will again attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
As it is not likely to come to a vote in the Senate, it would seem that this is somewhat of a waste of your time and my tax dollars.
I respectfully ask for a candid answer on why this will be brought up again.
Do you have reason to think that supporters of PP will “come to their senses” this time around?
Are you concerned that the part of your base who are vocal about this are not yet convinced of your sincerity in fighting family planning?
Are you afraid that Christ Himself won’t forgive you or believe that you are personally against abortion?
What has been the depth of conversation about this with your sisters in Christ who do support both the concept of family planning and the work of Planned Parenthood?
Are you aware that less family planning services will cause more abortions in the long-term?
I realize that many people feel that using tax money for this makes them feel complicit in the actual act. Are you offering me the option of defunding or subtracting from my tax bill the cost of programs that I feel disrespect Christ’s call to be the face of mercy to those in need?
We spend extremely unbalanced amounts of money on education versus imprisoning people. What kind of society prefers vengeance for wrongs rather than providing better foundations in the first place?
What kind of society throws the poor and mentally ill under the bus to make room for financial profits?
What kind of society tolerates industries poisoning the common water and soil?
Are you hoping that we who support PP will walk away from our convictions?
Are you looking for points of compromise?
Are you willing to compromise on school funding to achieve defunding PP? Would that be worth 10% allowable growth for the next ten years?
Are you willing to mandate cooperation with the Nutrient Reduction Strategy?
Willing to raise tax revenues on wealthy people and big business?
Speaker Upmeyer, governing requires compromise. Society is better off when women can make appropriate personal choices regarding child-bearing. Society gains nothing from restricting those options.
Please do not feed the wolves of animosity and divisiveness this year for issues that won’t create jobs, or clean the water we drink.
Urging you to consider why Christ did not throw the first stone,
October 29, 2015
Chelsea Kiene, 202.478.5328, email@example.com
Matt Sinovic, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVISORY: CAP Action, Progress Iowa to Host Iowa Women’s Economic Security Forum
Des Moines, IA — Too many working families are struggling to make ends meet and to respond to the competing demands of work and family. Every day, women and men across Iowa confront impossible choices between ensuring their families are cared for and working in order to get by. What’s more, mothers are the sole, primary, or co-breadwinners in more than 7 in 10 Iowa families. Unfortunately, our public policies have not kept pace with the reality of what women and families need to put economic security within reach and have a fair shot to get ahead.
On Thursday, November 5, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Progress Iowa will host a forum on women and family’s economic security and the concrete solutions needed so that working families can fulfill their obligations at work and at home without putting one or the other at risk. At the forum, state advocates, policymakers, and legislators will announce a legislative agenda and call to action for Iowa women and working families.
Sally Pederson, 45th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa (D)
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress Action Fund
Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO, Care.com
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director/CEO and Co-founder of MomsRising.org
Additional speakers and panels will be announced in the days leading up to the event.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
9:00 a.m. CT – 3:00 p.m. CT
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at email@example.com or Matt Sinovic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa’s own version of Sarah Palin – Joni Ernst – introduced a bill in the Senate to take probably the most reliable health care resource for women away from women when she introduced her bill to defund Planned Parenthood of any federal funds. Planned Parenthood for decades has been the go to resource especially for young and poor women. Planned Parenthood’s mission is to deliver top quality health care to any patient, no matter who it is.
Persuaded by a series of badly produced and edited that made PP appear to be involved in some illegal activities, Ernst quickly threw a bill together to pander to the rabid right wing evangelical base. Despite having major legislation that needs attention such as the budget, Mitch McConnell moved the Ernst bill to the front of the pack so it could be voted on thus allowing every Republican senator to have something to brag about back home during the August recess. As expected every Republican but one voted for the defunding bill.
Because of a new unwritten rule that Republicans used to stop any legislation from the Obama administration the bill failed the now needed 60 vote super majority. Had it been passed, the egregiously gerrymandered US House would have passed it in a second.
With that short history of Ernst’s pandering bill, my curiosity went to what iowa’s senior senator was thinking when he voted for it. In reality I doubt there was much fought that went into his vote.
* Did he think of the thousands of women in Iowa who have at some time in the past used the services of PP?
* Did he at all consider those who are currently using PP services?
* Did he at all consider the families of those women?
* Was their any consideration of what their alternatives were?
* Did his office poll Iowa women on what they would do if PP services were no longer available?
* What would he do about the increased number of unwanted pregnancies that resulted from the lack of access to birth control services?
* PP services have prevented abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies. What was his answer to the potential increase in abortions?
We all know the answers to these questions. Grassley most likely cast a perfunctory vote with little thought at all. Chuck Grassley is one of only 100 people who have major say on issues that directly affect your lives and the culture in this country. For the past couple years, Grassley appears to be phoning it in and following the dictates of his corporate sponsors.
Mr. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the committee that reviews the administrations judicial appointments. It is critical simply because the judiciary is one third of our government and judges must be in place to get the work done. Since he assumed the chair in January, the appointment of judges has pretty much stopped. Why? Because Grassley simply refuses to allow Obama any more appointments in his final 2 years. Grassley wants those seats to remain open until the next president, that he assumes will be a Republican. He is not doing this for the good of Iowa or the country. Grassley is doing this for party and his corporate sponsors.
Mr. Grassley sits on the finance committee that oversees Social Security. His positions on that major plan for seniors is troubling at best. With the amount of money he raises from the various members of the financial sector a person doesn’t need to dig hard to see why. Grassley has hinted at privatizing social security over the years. Grassley is also working hard to gut the post financial collapse reforms of the the Dodd-Franks bill. Think what his positions on these issues mean to your family. Was the Big Recession not enough for you?
Let us not forget Grassley’s stand on foreign policy. It can be summed up by saying that, like many Republicans today, Grassley believes war is good business. He signed that insane threatening letter to the Iranian government earlier this year and recently came out against the Iran deal that the administration negotiated. He is hard line on Iran and ready to send in your children into a fight.
Never forget how he personally fought the ACA. Consider how much the ACA reforms have done for families and individuals. Grassley wants to take all that away, but has no proposal for a replacement. Is this really the kind of representation Iowans want or deserve.
The Democrats do have a couple of candidates criss-crossing the state getting their names out. Tom Fiegan and Bob Krause are both former members of the Iowa legislature. Both are true blue Democrats that would make Iowa proud. Testing the waters at the current time is Rob Hogg, who is a current legislator. All of these candidates would represent real Iowans, not just the ones with the big checkbooks.
Mr. Grassley, 36 years is long enough. Iowa needs a senator who cares about Iowans and who is in touch with today’s problems, not stuck in the 1950s.
Wednesday evening Iowa’s own Joni Ernst proved once more that she neither understands issues nor has any idea what Iowans think when she introduced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
In a video on HuffPost the commentator says that the bill will redirect the money from Planned Parenthood to other “women’s health services.”
Of course Ernst claims she is doing this as a “mother and a grandmother.” This is to establish her credibility on the issue. Were she to actually listen to women, Ernst would know that most women, including Iowa women, want to have access to quality reproductive health care and counseling. Ernst’s bill is simply another iteration of the right wing’s war on women and the battle called eliminating abortion. It is so sad, but certainly a very cynical political move on the part of the Republican Party to have a woman submit such a bill.
Many women I know have used the services of Planned Parenthood of Iowa at some point in their lives. Planned Parenthood provided them with truthful, high quality medical services for women. They chose to use Planned Parenthood for various reasons but the bottom line is that PP was a trusted partner in their health care. The Republican party and Joni Ernst in particular would love nothing more than to once more take good quality health care away from women. It is shameful, just shameful.
The unspoken issue here is abortion. This is just another one of the constant attacks that right wingers launch on a legal procedure that is of great importance to women. Ernst must see herself as some kind of warrior in this battle and she is. She is just battling against her own interests and those of any female progeny. Abortions are not mandatory. Maybe she doesn’t understand that. But having safe, clean abortions performed by skilled personnel in proper settings available when needed should be the mark of a society that cares about women’s health.
One thing crusaders such as Ernst never bring up is that abortions will not be stopped even if the religious right get their way and clamp down on abortions withe the full force of law enforcement. How do we know this? Well, Abortion was illegal for a long time in the US before Roe v. Wade made it legal in the US in 1973. While there was no way to keep exacting records of those who accessed illegal abortion services, very well founded extrapolations have been made for abortions and their consequences for women. According to the Guttmacher Institute which deals in FACTS:
Illegal Abortions Were Common
Estimates of the number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 1960s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. One analysis, extrapolating from data from North Carolina, concluded that an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions occurred in 1967.
One stark indication of the prevalence of illegal abortion was the death toll. In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women—nearly one-fifth (18%) of maternal deaths recorded in that year. The death toll had declined to just under 1,700 by 1940, and to just over 300 by 1950 (most likely because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion). By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200, but illegal abortion still accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year. And these are just the number that were officially reported; the actual number was likely much higher.
Note that number rounded up is about a million. Now note that recent data pegs the number of abortions annually in the US at about a million. Again from the Guttmacher Institute:
• Some 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011, down from 1.21 million abortions in 2008, a decline of 13%.
So the number of abortions is still about a million in the US. Note also that the population of the US is nearly twice what it was 50 years back, so the percentage of abortions is much less. Note also that abortions now are performed in safe clean surroundings by trained medical personnel. Much unlike those 50 years ago. Yes, the back alley abortionist using dirty instruments was real. So the deaths, disfigurements and painful complications of botched abortions are a thing of the past. Joni Ernst and her religious colleagues have no problem returning us to those days. You may also note that lack of access to legal abortions will not stop women from seeking out this remedy.
One reason that abortion rates are down is the availability reliable contraception. Providing contraception is one of Planned Parenthood’s biggest contributions. The religious right also opposes access to contraception. Crippling Planned Parenthood would also cripple women’s access to contraception, especially for the young and the poor – those that need contraception services most. If you don’t believe that just think about the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.
Finally, the claim is that the federal money will be redistributed to other women’s health organizations. They will not name specific types or organizations. There is a reason for such ambiguity. You can bet those funds will be going to anti-abortion organizations. Most likely the money will end up in the hands of some anti-abortion religious counseling organization that exists only on federal money under the “faith-based initiatives” program. Faith based initiatives is an unholy alliance between government and religion that our founders feared the most. It should have never come into existence, and when it did should have been declared unconstitutional and aborted soon after.
Let us hope the women of Iowa and those Iowans who have women in their lives don’t forget this affront to women’s health care when Ernst is up for reelection. Her first 7 months have been embarrassing, now she crosses the line to shameful.
Planned Parenthood has been one of the top six targets of the right in this country for a long time. Depending on the talking points of the day it shares the bullseye with Social Security, Medicare, the ACA, immigrants and unions. This is a list I just made up on the spot, so you can certainly take issue with this assessment. The point is that the premiere women’s health care provider in this country has had a vendetta against for a long long time.
Unless you live under a rock you have heard that Planned Parenthood has once more made it to the top of the right’s hit list. The driver behind this ascent is a very flawed “documentary” that purports to show a clinic selling fetal tissue. If you want to see it you can look it up yourselves. Of course this is pure hokum, but with a corporate owned media that leans very right this has become a story that has been given legs.
So this is a good time to show Planned Parenthood some support. Please sign this petition and let them know that we have their back. Someone you know and love may be using their services someday.
Wouldn’t you have thought that after 3 judges were replaced by the new Terry Branstad that he and his party would pretty much get their way in the Iowa Supreme Court? Thus after appointing all the members of the Iowa Board of Medicine and having them go after telemedicine abortions it truly looked like there would be no trouble making a ruling against telemedia abortions stick.
It is what we like to call rigging the game. Remember when Bob Vander Plaats (R-Heaven) went after the three judges that were up for retention after the marriage equality decision? They only went after the three because that is all the law allowed to be up for a retention vote at one time. The retention vote was also used to drive up right wing voter numbers in an off year election. After a vicious campaign all three judges were escorted unceremoniously from the chambers and shiny new Governor Terry Branstad took to the task of replacing them.
The nomination and confirmation process was relatively uneventful. With a majority of the Court appointed by Branstad it surely might give one to think that Republicans may have a sympathetic ear in the chamber.
They appeared not to count on the integrity of the judges. Well, much as in the marriage equality case, the justices voted 6-0 that if you allow something for one citizen, then you must allow it for all. Oddly, this is in the Iowa Constitution. That is the guideline used by the justices. Always has been.
Here is an excerpt from the Quad City Times that lays the issue out succinctly:
“When Branstad’s appointees to the Iowa Board of Medicine outlawed the practice, Planned Parenthood of Iowa filed suit, claiming the selective ban was aimed squarely at discriminating against women, the only gender that would seek this prescription.
The Board of Medicine never discussed other applications of telemedicine. Its ban focused only on prescriptions of abortion-inducing drugs.
The Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling agreed with standards from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists affirming the practice safe. The court ruled: “In their view, the medically necessary information a physician needs to determine whether to proceed with a medication abortion is contained in the patient’s history, blood work, vital signs, and ultrasound images—which can be accessed by reviewing the patient’s records remotely or in person.”
Further, the court said Branstad’s board, “imposes some burdens that would not otherwise exist,” for women seeking these services.”
For those who heard a clip of Branstad’s reaction Monday morning he sounded like he had just been cheated by a business partner. He was sounded stunned and betrayed. At the end he brought up the possibility of a judicial retention fight by saying he wouldn’t be looking for judicial fight:
“I do respect the fact that the judiciary is a separate branch of government and the ultimate decision is with the people of Iowa as to whether they want to retain the judges or not,” the governor said. “So the position that I have consistently taken is not to advocate for or against the justices that are up for retention.”
Many folks forget that following the loss of their seats Justices Ternus, Baker and Streit were awarded a John F. Kennedy ‘Profiles in Courage’ award. At the ceremony Caroline Kennedy noted:
The three judges are interesting and courageous on many levels, … Like many of the people who get this award, they don’t consider that they are doing anything particularly courageous, they just feel they’re doing what’s right, they’re doing their job.
Have to wonder if we will have a repeat in 2016.
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2015
Contact: Josh Levitt
IDP Statement on Iowa Supreme Court Decision Affirming Women’s Right to Healthcare
DES MOINES – IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire issued the following statement in response to a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court this morning upholding a woman’s right to healthcare and expanding access to vital care and services for Iowa women:
“I applaud today’s decision by the Iowa Supreme Court in siding with women’s health care over the needless partisanship of Governor Branstad. All Iowa women, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status, should have access to treatments and services that are vital to their well-being. Today’s decision empowers women with the resources and information needed to take charge of their own health care decisions. That’s a major victory for Iowa women, their families and our state.”
Quick comment: The attempted takeover of the Iowa Supreme Court by Bob Vander Plaats and Branstad seems not to have worked the way they planned.