Friday Morning ReadsPosted: March 1, 2013
I’ve been a little out of the loop recently since I have a friend here to visit. So, I’m going to start with a Happy 65th Birthday wish to Bernadette Peters because I saw her in concert last night. She’s 59 in this youtube but she wore the same dress and did this song. I was shocked!! shocked! to hear that she told us that it was her first time!!!
It was a night of Broadway songs and overtures with the Louisiana Symphony Orchestra.
So, the House passed the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act which is finally on its way to the President for his signature.
After months of delay, GOP leaders allowed the bill to come to the floor only after a Republican substitute version of the legislation — set up as an amendment to the Senate’s bipartisan bill — failed, 166-257. The House amendment was expected to fail, but allowed members to vote for a version of VAWA while not supporting the Senate bill.
Still, House leaders were under pressure from members of their own party to pass the Senate version without any changes. Nineteen House Republicans sent a letter to Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner urging them to pass a bipartisan version of VAWA.
This is the third time Boehner has allowed a bill to pass with a majority of Democratic votes.
Democrats for the most part were united in their opposition to the House version, arguing it stripped out important protections for LGBT and Native American women. Sixty Republicans joined them in opposition. Only two Democrats, Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, supported the House version.
In the last Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) played a critical role in blocking reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In this Congress, Cantor was so eager to get VAWA passage over with, he told House Republicans yesterday to either clear the way for the already passed Senate version or risk causing a “civil war” within the party.
It’s Friday, March 1, and that means the federal government has crossed the much-hyped and dreaded deadline for the fiscal reductions known as the “sequester.”
The members of Congress who for voted for the Budget Control Act – and the budget cuts contained within – and President Barack Obama who signed it into law on Aug. 2, 2011, may not have believed the day would arrive, but now it has.
But today is only the beginning of the beginning.
For one thing, Obama must sign an order formally starting the “sequester” or spending reductions – which according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office – would amount to $42 billion in the current fiscal year.
And White House aides have indicated that the president is not likely to put pen to paper on that order until after he meets with congressional leaders, a meeting slated for Friday morning.
Once Obama signs the order to start the spending cuts, any furloughs of federal workers could not begin at least for another 30 days due to federal regulations and to collective bargaining agreements which the government has with the unions that represent roughly half of the federal workforce.
I guess Transvaginal Ultrasounds are fine as long as your representative doesn’t feel it’s all that relevant for him.
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) declined to take a position last week during a town hall meeting on whether transvaginal ultrasounds should be mandatory for women seeking abortions, saying he has never heard of the practice and couldn’t weigh in on it because “I haven’t had one.”
Ultrasound requirements are a top priority for anti-abortion advocates in Wisconsin and other states. Similar legislation in past years has landed Republicans in political hot water, and this time around many GOP leaders are distancing themselves from proposed ultrasound requirements.
Duffy has described himself as “100 percent prolife without exceptions” (though he also said “To qualify, I believe that if we have the life of a mother as an issue, the mother’s life takes priority, but we must make every effort to save the life of the child.”) Asked about one of the main goals for the pro-life movement, however, Duffy said he had not heard of transvaginal ultrasounds at all.
A Democratic operative recorded Duffy’s exchange with the questioner at a Feb. 21 townhall meeting in Spooner, Wisc. Through his congressional office, Duffy declined to comment or clarify his views on mandated ultrasounds.
Arkansas became the eighth state Thursday to enact a near-ban on abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy, and by next week it could outlaw most procedures from the 12th week onward, which would give it the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The Republican-led Senate voted 19-14 along party lines to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill barring most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy that was based on the disputed notion that a fetus can feel pain by that point. The Arkansas House voted to override the veto Wednesday. A simple majority was needed in each chamber.
That law, which took effect immediately but which will likely be challenged in court, includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Senate President Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, voted to override the veto, but later told reporters he wasn’t sure the new law would survive a constitutional challenge.
“If it was an easy answer, then people wouldn’t be raising that subject,” he said after the vote.
After overriding the veto, the Senate voted 26-8 in support of a separate measure that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 12th week of pregnancy. In addition to the exemptions for rape, incest and the mother’s life, it would allow abortions when lethal fetal conditions are detected.
The proposed 12-week ban, which would ban abortions from the point when a fetus’ heartbeat can generally be detected through an abdominal ultrasound, would give Arkansas the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Yes, the religious extremists in this country have taken over a number of state legislatures. Look for more violations of your civil rights–except the right to arm yourself with a nuclear bomb–in a state near your.
So, I’m going to make this short this morning . What’s on your reading and blogging list today?