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May 05, 2011 03:43 PM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

–Benjamin Franklin


75 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. Congrats are in order to The Orange Man and the shrieking freaks in the Teapublican Party. Yet another opportunity to pass a bill to create jobs and help the economy was passed up in order to mandate control over those “lady parts”…

    The Republican-led House on Wednesday passed a controversial abortion bill that codifies restrictions against federal funding for abortion services and could discourage private insurers from providing coverage for abortion.

    The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” passed by a vote of 251 to 175. The vote was a signal that House Republicans are committed to satisfying their social conservative base, even as Congress continues weighty debates over the federal budget.

    Rep. Scott Garrett called the measure a “commonsense bill” that would “do away with the patchwork ban” currently in place to restrict federal funding of abortions.

    The legislation would impose a permanent bar on any federal spending for abortion care — including tax credits for private plans that cover abortion. Republicans have argued that the bill would simply codify the government’s commitment to the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions. (Lawmakers need to renew the amendment each year.)

    Democrats, however, call the bill an effective tax hike on insurance companies that choose to cover abortion. Most employer-provided private health insurance plans provide coverage for abortions.

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) called it an “attack on private insurance companies and small businesses.”

    “If you truly believe in the freedom of the individual and the wisdom of the free market, vote no,” she said.

    Keep it up, you collection of condescending dumbasses….  

    1. Do you really think they need much more help?

      Abortions in the United States

      Total number of abortions in the U.S. since 1973: 48 million +

      Abortions per year: 1,200,000

      Abortions per day: 3,288

      Abortions per hour: 137

      9 abortions every 4 minutes

      1 abortion every 26 seconds

      Surgical abortions in the United States (1965-2005)

      Since the first states decriminalized abortion in 1967, it is estimated that more thanВ 46,000,000 reported surgical abortions in the U.S. An estimated 1,878,990 were committed before Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that lifted all restrictions. An average of 1,300,000 babies are killed annually through surgical abortion.

      Chemical abortions in the United States (1965-2005)

      Because many contraceptive measures are abortifacients (drugs that induce or cause abortions), it is important not to overlook the number of children killed by chemical abortions. Since 1965, an average of 11 million women have used abortifacient methods of birth control in the United States at any given time. Unsing formulas based on the way the birth control pill works, pharmacy experts project that about 14 million chemical abortionsВ occur in the United States each year, giving a projectedВ total of well in excess of 560 million chemical abortions between 1965 and 2005.

      Planned Parenthood’s income break-down for 2006-2007 fiscal year

      PP clinic income: $356.9 million

      PP Government grants and contracts: $336.7 million

      Total profit: $114.8 million

      Total income: $1.02 billion

      2006 Planned Parenthood service numbers

      Number of abortions (medical and surgical): 289,750

      Total number of abortions per week: 5,572

      Adoption referrals: 2,410

      Ratio of adoption referrals to abortions: 1 per 120

      2007 Planned Parenthood Annual Survey

      Total number of PP clinics: 855

      Total number of non-express clinics: 814

      Express clinics: 41

      Total number of PP clinics that perform surgical and/or medical abortions: 287

      Total number of affiliates: 108

      Number of clinics that started doing abortions in 2007: 55

      Other random information

      Highest number of PP non-express clinics: 938 in 1995

      Total number of PP clinics in 2006: 859

      Number of states that do NOT give money to PP: 6 according to 2006 ALL study

      Percentages of U.S. Females, Age 15-44, Broken Down by Race (According to 2000 U.S. Census)

      Whites: 64.7%

      Blacks: 12.3%

      Hispanic or Latino: 12.4%

      Other: 10.6%

      Percentages of U.S. Women Who Obtained Abortions, Broken Down by Race (According to Center of Disease Control, 2004)

      Whites: 54.1%

      Blacks: 38.2%

      Other: 7.7%В В В В В В В В В В В В  В 

      Updated February 5, 2008

      1. A link to the American Life League? C’mon, even you can do better than that!

        Why do you want the Federal Government to mandate how a person can spend their money?

      2. Unsing [sic] formulas based on the way the birth control pill works, pharmacy experts project that about 14 million chemical abortions occur in the United States each year, giving a projected total of well in excess of 560 million chemical abortions between 1965 and 2005.

        Libby. Even for you…

      3. preventing ovulation in the first place.  No egg is released so there is no possibility of conception.  Not chemical abortion. Yes, once in a while an egg might get through but rarely.  With mandated science based sex ed everyone would know this. Probably why your side fights against it.  Wouldn’t want our children being taught facts in stead of propaganda.

        For the record, I’d be fine with science based sex ed that deals only with the biology of reproduction, disease transmission and birth control options without delving into social/moral issues one way or another.  Leaving all that to parents guidance is fine by me.  Just give kids the factual information exactly the same as in biology classes and we could clear up a lot of misconceptions and confusion without even attempting to influence anyone’s belief system or personal values in a public school context.  Supporting or discouraging belief systems is not the public school system’s job. Science is.

      4. For all you libs, the facts speak for themselves.

        If the 500+ million unborn hadn’t been murdered, America would be a better, stronger place:

        • With so many more workers, we wouldn’t need illegal immigrants to fill jobs. We would have secure borders for a change!
        • Your cherished social security wouldn’t be going broke. There would be more than enough workers to provide for the elderly who couldn’t be bothered to save for retirement.
        • There would be so many nannies available, we wouldn’t need a nanny state.
        • The Chinese couldn’t compete simply by virtue of their large population. They’d actually have to work!

          1. – There would be millions more people on unemployment

            – millions more homeless

            – millions more houses built, eating up the few open spces we have left

            – and Colorado would have more congressional districts to fight over.

              1. Whichever pols geek is doing it has been in politics for way too long. Poor bastard is right on the money.

                Hard to not react sometimes. Good for the political soul though.

      5. The Supreme Court ruled last month that Tax credits are not government spending, so this balderdash about taxpayer funding is just a bunch of hooey.

        When the Government spends funds from the General Treasury, dissenting taxpayers know that they have been made to contribute to an establishment in violation of conscience. In contrast, a tax credit allows dissenting taxpayers to use their own funds in accordance with their own consciences.

        In light of this established jurisprudence, whose statement sounds silly?

        Nancy Pelosi:

        “For the first time, this bill places restrictions on how women with private insurance can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance,” she said. “This bill will deny tax credits for women who buy the type of health insurance that they currently have – health insurance that covers a full range of reproductive care.”

        or Tony Perkins:

        We commend the bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives for finding common ground by permanently banning the flow of money between the federal government and the brutal procedure of abortion, compelling American taxpayers to hand over their hard earned dollars to pay for abortions can’t be justified, especially at a time when our country is facing an economic meltdown brought on by a failure to stop the out-of-control spending in Washington.

        You can’t have it both ways.  If tax breaks for religious schools aren’t government spending (and therefore immune from constitutional challenge), then neither are those for insurance policies which cover the constitutionally protected medical procedure abortion.

      1. STFU:

        Surveillance, Not Waterboarding, Led to bin Laden

        The torture program established by the CIA appears to have played a minor role, at most, in the intelligence effort that eventually lead to Osama bin Laden’s death. From the evidence released so far, electronic surveillance and old-fashioned intel methods were far more important.

        Check out the timeline presented by an Obama administration official on Sunday. The trail starts with al-Qaida detainees captured in the early days of the war on terrorism, when the Bush administration authorized the CIA to use abusive methods like waterboarding to extract information. Detainees identified a courier for bin Laden as a “protГ©gГ©” of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a “trusted assistant” of former al-Qaida #3 Abu Faraj al-Libbi. And they gave up the courier’s nom de guerre.

        Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in 2003, with al-Libbi following suit in 2005. A U.S. official tells the Associated Press reports that Mohammed gave up the courier’s nom de guerre, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, while in one of the CIA’s brutal “black site” prisons. As Marcy Wheeler notes, that’s not the same thing as saying the 183 waterboarding sessions Mohammed received led interrogators to the nom de guerre. But let’s be charitable to them and presume it did. According to the Washington Post, al-Libbi confirmed the alias as well.

        From what we know so far, that’s about all waterboarding yielded for the hunt for al-Kuwaiti.

      2. I do not need to see the pictures.  In this instance I am perfectly willing to take what the President says at face value.

        If it turned out that Bin Laden was not truly dead, then that would absolutely sink the President’s chances at re-election in 2012 and sound the death knell for the Democratic party.

        I just don’t think he is that stupid.  Regardless of what I think of him otherwise.

      3. Obama’s producing his birth certificates, both the legally required one in 2008 and the one that makes no difference just recently, did nothing to quell hardcore birthers there is no reason to believe producing images of bin Laden’s dead body would have any greater effect on birther/deathers (pretty sure the overlap in this country is close to 100%) in this case.  

        All we’d get would be loonies showing how it was photo shopped or how somebody who knew bin Laden didn’t recognize him.  I’m sure he looks quite different in death and missing a good sized piece of face so finding  people to claim it isn’t him in spite of DNA, scientific facial recognition and on the scene identification shouldn’t be too hard.  

        Suddenly the Muslims they love to bash would become witnesses whose word should be valued above that of our President, our military, intelligence agencies and state department, that is as long as it backed up their theory. Why cater to them?

        Funny story…when the word was the photo was going to be released Fox pundits were expressing  grave concerns.  Then when it turned out the photo wasn’t going to be released, that option became the questionable one.  Why play heads you win, tails I lose with these people anymore?  The majority isn’t buying the nonsense so who cares?

        1. Indeed, there’s already been a photoshopped fake picture of a dead Osama Bin Laden passed around, so you could almost not even blame them for thinking so… in this case, the president saying that they’ve conclusively identified the body is FAR stronger evidence than having a photograph.

          1. Also, conservatives think all SEALs are complete and utter dumbfucks. They hate the Armed Services, we know that, it’s kind of nice to see them so open about it.

              1. What droll wrote is really just a matter of what logically follows IF you demand to see the photos as proof of bin Laden’s demise.

                See Ralphie’s quote of the GJ Sentinel editorial.

                1. it has been a lot of fun to watch the Fox people run between common sense/troop thanking/torture praising and then backing off of it, not noticing that things work both ways.

      4. From an editorial in yesterday’s paper (sorry, no link because the editorial is behind a paywall)

        President Obama is right that Osama bin Laden is not a trophy. And photos of his death shouldn’t be triumphantly displayed like an enemy’s head on a pike during the Middle Ages.

        But it should be somberly released to end questions about whether he is still alive.

        I just shook my head…

        1. who will insist there is something suspicious about the photo not being produced just as birthers did about Obama’s supposedly not produced birth certificate. And if it is released they still won’t be anymore convinced than the diehard birthers were by the long form release.  

          There is plenty of room for reasonable people to disagree on whether releasing or not releasing is the better choice. But for those demanding release because they refuse to believe it really happened, the release wouldn’t convince them anyway. The people who won’t believe it’s not a huge conspiracy are the ones I think we are referring to as deathers.

          Notorious New York Republican Congressman King of the panel to investigate Muslims in America has been extremely gracious about this.  He believes the photo should be released but also says he understands why President Obama made his decision and that, though he disagrees, it’s a reasonable one. He is clearly stating that he won’t oppose the President on this and points out that the military brass asked the President not to release. He gives Obama credit for his handling of this mission and certainly believes bin Laden is dead without a photo, That’s a  clear example of someone who thinks the photo should be released but who is no deather.  

        2. At this evening’s GOP Presidential candidates debate sponsored by FOX news and the South Carolina Republican Party, several of the GOP minor light hopefuls expressed their wish to see the Bin Laden death photos and criticized President Obama for the lack of transperancy.

          The Punchline??

          The Associated Press decided not to cover the debate to protest limits placed on media coverage by its organizers. Fox News Channel and the South Carolina Republican Party, the sponsors, are barring still photographers from entering the hall in Greenville, S.C., during the debate. That is a change from past debates, when Fox permitted still photographers greater access. Reuters also has told Fox and the South Carolina Republican Party that it will not accept such coverage restrictions.

           Emphasis mine.

        1. They rush out details to satisfy the press. Remember all the misinformation that came out the first 48 hours after the Columbine shootings?

          I’d rather wait til they had all their shit together, personally, but most people want to know NOW! RIGHT NOW! OMG WHY AREN’T YOU GIVING ME THE NEWS??? The press reacts accordingly, and the government reacts in turn.

        2. this happens every time. The first info that’s rushed out contains errors and gets revised over the following few days.  Heck, Rep. Gabby Giffords was initially reported to be dead.  We no longer have a choice between instant and accurate. In the post-internet, social media age it’s going to be instant to be cleaned up later. The overwhelming majority realize that. Only  wackos use it as an excuse to fuel their wacko theories.

    2. from Newsweek – reading between the lines they jumped in with pre-concieved ideas on what would improve education and threw money at implementing those ideas. That rarely works.

      The one piece of good news I read in all of this is that Gates is finally concentrating on what should have been step 1 – figuring out what works.

      1. a) that Bill Gates is not always the smartest guy in the world?


        b) that the one size for all, 19th c. curriculum with some 20th c.  modifications is not the best way to run universal education  forever and ever?


        c) that anyone knows what works everytime everywhere?

    3. Dignified behavior by Obama and Bush.

      Very cool of Barack Obama to extend an invitation to GWB — regardless of what Americans think of his presidency overall, many 9-11 survivors and bereaved families would like to see him given some credit for his role.

      Also very cool of GWB to decline; he’s been surprisingly self-aware since leaving office.

      Sad that two politicians from opposite sides of the aisle being gracious and classy during a major news event is surprising enough that I’m bothering to post it here. But it is what it is, and I’m hoping the House leadership is taking notes.  

      1. Bush showed no class in declining the invitation. The GOP doesn’t want no stinking unity if it means involving Obama or any other Democrat.

        I give Bush credit for staying out of things and not leading the FauxNews charge. But this was not cool at all.

        1. Whatever was on his calendar should have been rescheduled so he could stand there in a black suit and white shirt and red tie and say something respectful.

      2. The President is definitely appealing, once again to our collective better angels.

        There’s no speech, but a very solemn ceremony of remembrance.

        A call for unity, one that as a nation we can heed to our credit or ignore at our peril.

        And I do so much agree with you on Bush. Self aware seems the perfect term.

        1. the agreement on uncle awol’s “newfound self awareness”.

          Seems the orchestrator of the carrier landing, “mission accomplished”, the sock in the crotch of his flightsuit, 4 bucks a gallon gas, “bring it on” and torture as a “new American value” told the New York Daily News through his spokesman that he was “rubbed the wrong way” by not getting proper credit from the President of the United States for “his role” in the operation that killed Bin Laden.

          Nope, he’s still the same snide, nasty, smirking spoiled brat and fuckup that fumbled, stumbled and tripped through the most disasterous presidency in our lifetime.

          As his “contribution” to the operation, he screwed up the fight against Al Qaeda from the jump, abandoned the hunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist in order to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, disbanded the unit hunting UBL, made up preposterous bullshit stories about WMD, outed a covert operation called Brewster Jennings through the office of his draft dodging vice president, and quite honestly, the list goes on and on.

          My mistake for thinking that “heh, heh, heh” uttering hack, quack, fraud and phony could or would ever be decent or anything but the loud mouthed, strutting frat boy he’s always been.

          On the other side of the coin, you have the President of the United States being magnanimous enough to mention Bush positively in remarks at the New York City firehouse today.

          The comparison of the quiet competency of President Obama and the bombastic, bragging  ineptitude of the former Texas Air Guard no-show is stark  

          1. like Curry to what must by law be an unaffiliated voter, there would have been complaints that he was trying to stack it with Democrats.  

      1. The last day they can cevene by law is may 15th. The Redistricting website says they are indeed convening that day (which is a Sunday).

        The only real problem is that that same day is the day of the Denver Marathon which goes past the Capitol mucking up traffic and parking for anyone wanting to go to the meeting of the RC.

    4. It’s 12:45 and Peak Politics already has two articles out on redistricting, one on Obama’s hypocritical bashing of the Bush era tactics which lead to bin Laden, one on education, and another one on a crazy truther. And you’ve got nada. Are you ceding the argument?

      1. You’re so right, beej. A record-setting two total comments have been entered at Peak Politics in the last 24 hours — they are truly dominating the conversation here in Colorado.

        1. The problem with us liberals is that we value things like our day jobs over producing masses of partisan angst as fast as some on the other side can.

          1. And, constantly pimping another blog crying all by its lonseome in the wilderness . . . congratulations kid, you’ve put yourself deep into Steve Harvey territory.  (I always knew you secretly admired the guy . . .)

        1. General: bin Laden Death Will Spook Afghan Insurgents

          In a talk with Danger Room readers on Wednesday, Stephen Grey, a Frontline reporter who recently interviewed senior Taliban commanders in Pakistan, said that the Taliban “is crucial FOR Al Qaeda but [I’m] less sure how much they matter to the Taliban… the Taliban has its own inspirations.” If he’s right, then losing bin Laden won’t spur the Taliban into suing for peace, let alone laying down their weapons. The Taliban’s support structure is more dependent on Pakistani intelligence than its old allies in al-Qaida.

          But at lower levels, Mills – nominated on Wednesday to head the Marines’ Combat Development Command – thinks the unexpected, dramatic killing of bin Laden might freak out the average Taliban fighter. “It’ll have tremendous impact in showing we’re able to reach out and get what might be perceived as a completely safe target,” he says. Marine special operations units in the southwest have already “decimated the insurgent command and control structure,” leaving operations to be run by Talibs in their early 20s rather than their mid 30s, another factor that might cause a Taliban rethink.

          Sorry Beej, but this isn’t a rehash of the Deserter President and his command negligence that let OBL bribe a Pashtun mercenary unit and slip away at Tora Bora. Obama is bringing the heat down on the bad guys, and it’s getting results…

      2. Has anybody heard Obama doing anything of the kind since getting bin Laden safely offed and and all that data collected? If you guys didn’t have straw men you’d have nothing at all.

    5. PI’d in the Senate Local Government Committee today.

      If you made a call or any contact opposing this rollback, you have my sincere thanks.

        1. Just one more little matter of winning against the lawsuit that was filed by the industry, but after that Colorado’s borrowers can relax (until next January, at least.)

    6. but luckily, the Taliban clan that’s holding him did not kill him in retaliation for the whacking of OBL…

      Taliban Release Video of Captured US Soldier

      WASHINGTON — A newly released Taliban video shows the only U.S. Soldier held captive in the Afghan war being blindfolded and led away by an insurgent. It appears a portion of the same video was released months ago.

      The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant websites, says the video released on jihadist forums Wednesday shows Spc. Bowe Bergdahl standing next to Sangin Zadran, a senior official in the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network in Paktika province. Sangin then blindfolds Bergdahl and leads him away.

      The release is the fifth since Bergdahl was captured in June 2009. The beginning portion — with Bergdhal just standing beside Sangin — was released in December.

      Now, this doesn’t look good for SPC Bergdahl…which means we can move his rescue mission up a notch and get him the hell out of enemy hands.

      I think there’s a special ops unit with a win under their belt that has nothing to do at the moment – President Obama?

      1. has been my worst fear since I was a child. I don’t know what movie I saw, or what I heard, but this is it. I can’t imagine the real terror he must feel all the time.

        Hurray for not being dead. I hope he makes it back safe and soon.

    7. for the crime of enforcing the law.

      This week Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) actually put forward legislation to defund the complaint filed against Boeing. How exactly Congress could defund one complaint of the National Labor Relations Board is unclear. But it is clear that the NLRB has always been a fully independent quasi-judicial body; threatening to defund the NLRB over holding a hearing on one case is like Republicans in Congress threatening to defund one Supreme Court hearing. It is a threat meant to intimidate the NLRB, whose budget has been under attack in the past…

      I’ve always maintained that the GOP hard right are really anarchists, and this is more proof of that.

      H/T to SLOG

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