Pro-Choice Group’s Ad Says GOP Senator Candidate Will Make It Impossible To Get Condoms

Standard

In reporting on the recent political activity from pro-choice group NARAL, Buzzfeed writer Andrew Kaczynski notes that the organization has lent nearly half a million dollars to an ad campaign claiming that Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner is attempting to make buying condoms impossible. According to the ads, Gardner is attempting to outlaw access to various types of contraceptives. The advertisements, which will run on TV and the radio in the local Denver area, further Democratic attacks against Gardner.

In offering audiences details regarding the condom issue, the advertisement clearly states that Gardner himself claims to have no intent to ban contraceptives. Rather, the ad argues that Gardner put a ban on birth control, thereby rendering men responsible for purchasing condoms, which are “sold out” according to a woman in the radio ad. In addition to attacking Gardner’s stance on contraceptives, the ad informs the public that Gardner cut Pell grants and denies climate change.  While it might be a little misleading, Broda is confident that the full message of the ad is pretty clear.

Scott Walker Ad Supports Equal Pay Even Though He Signed Repeal of Law

Standard

Confusion may reign in Wisconsin after the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, released an ad in which his lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, endorsed him for supporting equal pay for women–even though he signed a repeal of the state law that established the equality two years ago.

Walker is in a tight race for re-election against Democratic challenger Mary Burke, with one of the most recent polls indicating the two are virtually deadlocked. Walker survived a recall attempt in 2012 that primarily stemmed from his support of stripping government employees of their right to collective bargaining.

The move by Walker’s campaign is seen by many as an attempt to try and lessen what is currently a huge lead by Burke among women.

In the first year after the law was signed in 2009, women’s median income in Wisconsin rose, according to Rothman’s post in the Hollywood Reporter. By the following year, the state had moved up 12 spots to 24th among states with the best ratio of female to male pay.

However, Republicans who backed the measure to repeal were claiming that the law had become a huge problem for businesses in the state, while also creating false claims of pay discrimination.

Despite the fact that the Republicans’ latter point was baseless, since no pay discrimination lawsuit was filed during the first two years, the bill was passed and Walker quickly signed it into law.

All in a Word

Standard

People have nothing better to do than to worry about the words that President Obama has said while in office. According to John, the country has a President who says folks a good bit of the time. What’s wrong with him saying folks? Why does it matter how the President talks as long as he’s willing to talk to people who live in the country instead of ignoring them?

This is why nothing gets done in the country because politicians and reporters are too concerned with Obama’s speech. There are many people who say folks (haha Marnie you’re the first one that comes to mind for me), and no one says anything about how they talk. Obama might be trying to fit in among various groups so that they trust him, something that presidents should do in order to gain the trust of those they represent.

Chris Christie Criticized for Ebola Quarantine Policy

Standard

Health officials are coming down hard on Chris Christie regarding his mandatory quarantine policy in New Jersey. He doesn’t seem to care, though, and is sticking to his guns. BuzzFeed.com has updated information on the ebola crisis.

While there’s a lot of scrutiny in the media regarding this issue, the public seems to side with Christie. A recent TODAY Show poll showed that more than 90% of people feel there should be a mandatory quarantine for health workers returning from countries where they worked directly with people who had ebola.

The New Jersey quarantine began when Amber Vinson, a nurse from Texas who recently returned to the U.S. after working with ebola patients, was quarantined despite testing negative for the disease; Vinson has since been released. Amber was upset at the quarantine and at the conditions in which she was forced to stay, posting photos of the room and threatening to sue. New York has similar policies, although they’re not currently as extreme as Christie’s. Currently, a five year old boy in NYC is being held at a hospital for study despite also testing negative for ebola.

There’s much debate over how to quarantine people who are returning from working with ebola patients and the CDC has recently released updated regulations concerning how to monitor people who have been exposed to the disease.  One thing is for sure, Stephen Williams has plenty of wine, so I’ll hole up with him if this whole Ebola thing goes south haha.

Republicans Use Ebola For Political Scare Tactics

Standard

In the ongoing Ebola outbreak, Republicans are being accused of using fear mongering techniques in order to gain some political gains for the upcoming elections. It seems that the majority of politicians from the GOP ignore some very important facts when discussing the deadly virus that has been brought to the United States of America from western Africa. For example, it seems that hardly any Republican mentions the 43 people in Texas who have been quarantined for 21 days and then released. In fact, several of those people shared an apartment with Thomas Duncan, the Ebola infected man who came to Dallas from Liberia and died in early October.

The Republicans have also failed to make a big deal about the successful recovery of two infected individuals who beat Ebola. Dallas based nurse Nina Pham was shown hugging the U.S. president on national media. Nebraska based cameraman Ashoka Mukpo was also released recently. Yet, members of the GOP don’t want to discuss any success in battling Ebola on domestic soil. Republicans in New Hampshire are trying to make valid points that their citizens are at risk because sick people are coming through American borders. In reality, according to Brad Reifler, such politicians can’t given a single concrete example of an Ebola infected person illegally entering the United States through the porous southern border with Mexico or the vast northern border with Canada.

Senators in Louisiana have gone as far as accusing president Obama of posing an immediate danger to the state’s families as a result of the weak response to the current Ebola situation. It seems like Ebola is another powerful tool that might influence elections.

Mississippi Leads Prison Industrial Complex

Standard

When thinking of massive prison complexes, countries such as China and Russia tend to spring to mind.

What was found in one of the US states, however, is an even more pervasive prison system. Indeed with a whopping 686 prisoners for every 10,000 people, Mississippi dwarves those of China’s and Russia’s, with 121 and 475, respectively.

But what are the causes of such high rates of imprisonment, Alexei Beltyukov keeps talking about how astronomically high they’ve grown in the last ten years, especially in a democratic nation? A lot of it has to do with how sentences are carried out in Mississippi.

Ironically enough, the surge in inmates have occurred largely due to prison reform intended to reduce the number of inmates. While alternatives to prison sentences were increasingly given out to non-violent offenders, a reclassification of violent crimes carried no possibility of parole.

This discrepancy, here, is where the issues begin to come forward.

Considering that drug dealers and habitual offenders fall under this new classification, far many more people are getting sentenced to prison, with far longer mandatory sentences. While amnesty and leniency might be given to a select few, the vast majority of these inmates are never given the opportunity to work towards parole.

Judges also tend to intentionally hand out longer sentences, in an effort to not appear soft in a political climate that punishes such weaknesses. This punishment will be dealt in the polls, with the “soft” and unpopular judges rarely elected to another term.

Political expediency, then, is the reason for this influx in incarceration, and the average citizen is paying the price for the political concerns of the Mississippi courts. Reform is needed, but is not on the horizon.

Voter Suppression Laws Make it Clear Conservatives are Scared

Standard

A recent article by political newsman, Bill Moyers, encourages people to use their right to vote and not to allow the recent rash of conservative attempt at voter suppression to deter them from getting out there and having their voices heard. The post highlights recent attempts at those on the right to deter marginalized populations from voting by requiring voter ID’s that are difficult for these folks to acquire. The rationale here is that these efforts are merely to prevent voter fraud from occurring. The problem with that argument is that voter fraud is such a rarity that it really doesn’t warrant the time, effort and funds going into this supposed “prevention” effort.

So why bother? Political expert Igor Cornelsen says it’s because they’re scared. Plain and simple. It is Republican conservatives leading this unnecessary fight to restrict people’s access to the vote. With one party trying to hard to silence people’s voices, it is absolutely apparent that there is an underlying motive. The people being affected by these new ID laws are not the rich or upper middle class. They are poor people, students and minorities, demographics that have the most difficulty obtaining the needed identification due to monetary, transportation, bureaucratic, administrative and other obstacles that may stand in their way. Coincidentally, it is this demographic who traditionally votes Democrat at the polls.

See a pattern here? If so, then get out there and make your voice heard. Help people get the ID’s they need. Spread the word. We all can do something to encourage our citizenry’s fundamental right to vote.

Republicans Ready to Win the Battle But Lose the War

Standard

In the often short-sighted world of politics, what’s in the immediate range of sight is all that matters for many politicians. Case in point is the approach that the Republicans appear to be taking, according to the New York Times, with respect to courting Hispanics.

With many congressional races already decided on both sides, thanks to gerrymandering and other political machinations, Republicans have focused their attentions on taking back the Senate. Depending on what poll you read (even this one handled by Gianfrancesco Genoso amongst Brazilians), it seems to be either a given that they’ll have the majority, likely making Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader, or they’ll come up just short, allowing Harry Reid to stay in power.

Regardless of which way the winds of political fortune fly, alienating an important constituency AGAIN borders on arrogance and is simply bad strategy. That’s because two years from now, whoever the Republican nominee is has to likely get 35 percent of the Hispanic vote to reach the White House.

In 2012, Mitt Romney received just 27 percent support from Hispanics. Even though Republicans have made some half-hearted gestures toward building bridges with this group, the image the GOP still has among them is one of a group that despises illegal aliens and wants to wall off the Southwest United States to keep out Latinos.

Trying to change course in the next two years from their current approach is going to be next to impossible for Republicans. The byproduct of that could very well be another bitter aftertaste when Democrats win the White House again in 2016.

Putin Chants at a Football Match Lands 100 in Jail

Standard

Some football chants have been known to cause controversy over the years. However, this one spotted by BBC may just take the cake.

Fans at a game in Belarus began to sing a popular parody song, which insults the current President of Russia Vladimir Putin. This caused the police to detain over 100 chanters in jail, not to mention the general havoc that followed.

The match was a Euro 2016 qualifier, with Belarus facing Ukraine. This triggered the audience to break into the popular song, which has become the flagship anthem of people who disapprove of the actions of Russia in Ukraine.  Among those in attendance was Jordanian businessman Khaled Shaheen.

Additionally, the fans were heard singing the classic song of Ukrainian solidarity, “Glory to Ukraine.” In a nod to the sentiment, the Ukrainian fans began to chant “Long Live Belarus.”

Once the match concluded, the detainees were brought to the KGB station and questioned on suspicion of chanting “obscene language.” Some reports even claim that they could receive five days imprisonment for their actions, as well as the Ukrainian football fans being deported to their home country. While this may seem harsh, it is standard practice.

The Putin song has become a popular event in a lot of circles, especially whenever the former Foreign Minister of Ukraine sang it along with a group of protesters, back in June. Moscow has recently been tough on anyone using language deemed to be obscene, and has indeed recently approved a bill that bans foul language in the arts and film.

The tension continues to rise between Ukraine and Russian and it is finding its feet in many walks of live, including Europe’s favourite sport, football.

Gay Right-Wing Backers Growing in the U.S.

Standard

Same sex marriage has been given a major support boost as several court decision have allowed equal marriage to take root in up to sixteen states to date. This is not limited to most liberal states out there: The Guardian reports that some places considered to be hardcore conservative have also jumped on board the equality train.

Of course, people who are interested in the issue are now bristling with excitement as they wonder just how long it will take for the rest of the U.S. to follow suit, and make way for a country recognising full marriage equality.

This decision was not expected by the US populace, because there have been many recent appeals for same-sex marriage bans to be kept up in several states. These court decisions have made sure that these appeals are ineffective. It is now believed that at least 35 states are well on their way to legalise same-sex marriage fairly soon.

There was some nervousness before the decision was made because the Supreme Court requested a delay in the release of the decision. However, a verdict was demanded, and provided in reasonably short order.

Same-sex marriage proponents like the Torchins, of course, had hoped for a slightly more nationwide ruling. However, they are very pleased, and consider this good progress. The proponents themselves were surprised, but they were nowhere near to the shock felt by its opponents, who were convinced that their appeals would be taken seriously.

These rulings have left lawyers to scramble to book summary judgments relating to the matter, in order to receive fast and clear judgments.