Roe v Wade

The Moment Has Come For Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse: Put Up Or Shut Up, And Be Never Believed Again!

There are four Republican Senators who are drawing all the attention on the issue of Brett Kavanaugh:

Jeff Flake of Arizona

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

It is these four who will decide if Kavanaugh ends up on the Supreme Court, and besmirches the reputation of the Court.

Kavanaugh on the Court will never be accepted as legitimate by half the nation, particularly after he lost his temper and became partisan, worrying Court watchers that he would not recuse himself on cases involving left wing issues and Democrats, including anyone or anything that might show up in the Court regarding Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Kavanaugh lacks the judicial temperament, and self destructed in that rampage a week ago, and it is like an egg that has been broken, and it cannot be put back together again, even if he were to apologize.

It would paralyze the Court, or cause great controversy on many Supreme Court cases that will be divisive enough without his outburst.

So it is up to these four Senators to do what is right, even if it affects the long term career of Collins, Murkowski, and Sasse, with Flake retiring from the Senate.

The first and the third face election in 2020, and Murkowski in 2022.

Sasse may also plan to run for President, and it would be good if he demonstrated independence from Trump.

The two women want abortion to survive, but to believe Kavanaugh will not work to destroy Roe V. Wade, is to be naive.

So it is now that true “Profiles in Courage” are needed, as written about by John F. Kennedy in 1956.

23 Years Since Richard Nixon’s Death, Final Total Repudiation Of His Positive Legacy In Domestic Affairs

Richard Nixon died on Earth Day 1994, at the age of 81.

He died, knowing that the Watergate and related scandals under his Presidency, would damage his reputation forever.

But Nixon also left a positive legacy, which now, a generation later, is, finally, totally repudiating his time in office.

Nixon, for all his faults, was the most “liberal” or “progressive” Republican President since Theodore Roosevelt, and no Republican President since has been anywhere near as much so.

Nixon could have prevented a lot of reforms, with his veto, but instead went along with a Democratic controlled Congress, and signed into law the following:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Large increases in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the Food Stamp Program.

Enactment of the Supplemental Security Income program, providing a guaranteed income for elderly and disabled citizens.

Signed into law various environmental laws, and expanded national park land protection under the Department of the Interior.

Signed into law Title IX, guaranteeing equal access and opportunity to women in all educational and recreational activities in colleges and universities and public schools.

Signed into law the addition of Affirmative Action to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for women, and ethnic minorities, in education and in employment–race, color, sex, religion, national origin.

Nixon also endorsed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women, also backed by his successor, Gerald ford, but opposed by Ronald Reagan, and failing of being added to the Constitution during the Reagan Presidency.

Finally, one of Nixon’s four Supreme Court appointments, Justice Harry Blackmun, turned out to be a very progressive member of the Court, and was the author of the majority opinion in Roe V. Wade, the abortion case, which has continued to divide Americans 44 years later, and which the Republican Party is attempting to bring about its reversal, with one step being the addition of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Now, in 2017, President Trump and the Republican controlled 115th Congress seem to be on the road to destruction of all of these major achievements under Richard Nixon, a true travesty of justice.

We are witnessing the most reactionary, right wing extremist Congress and Presidency in American history, and progressives must fight tooth and nail to prevent this destruction of the “good side” of Richard Nixon’s legacy.

44 Years Ago: Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson; Abortion Becomes Legal; End Of Engagement In Vietnam War–We Must Learn From These Events!

44 years ago, on January 22, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Roe V. Wade, that women had a right to abortion in the first two trimesters.

44 years ago on January 23, announcement of an agreement to end US involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in Paris, therefore denying LBJ the ability to know of the peace agreement before his death, in a war that had forced him out of the Presidential race in 1968.

Looking back 44 years and to today in 2017, we can reflect that the Great Society of LBJ is under attack in a massive way, as is the New Deal of FDR. We are going backwards in so many ways under President Donald Trump.

Also, abortion rights are being taken away in many areas and by government policy, and the danger is that Roe V Wade could be reversed in a future Supreme Court decision, once a Trump appointed Justice is added to the Court. So women’s rights to control their own bodies will now face new restrictions, and will lead to more deaths, and abuses.

And our engagement in Vietnam, a massive mistake, has not been learned from, as now there are hints that Donald Trump is ready to send troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), committing us to a massive war in the Middle East, and with Trump asserting yesterday that America might just seize the oil of Iraq for ourselves, which would be a war crime, and a continuation of US imperialism overseas.

This is why we have intervened so much since World War II in other nations in the Middle East and in Asia, as well as Latin America.

And do not be surprised by a move to engage in war with Iran, in support of the right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and more warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas of the Palestinians.

This is not to endorse Iran, the Palestinians, or anyone else, but to point out, it looks as if we are on the way to another major military conflict, that will cost American lives and make tons of profit for the war industry. And we are likely to see a new generation of American military personnel who end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are unlikely to gain proper medical treatment for that condition.

In many ways, America has learned nothing from our historical experiences, and we are reverting to past mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.

48 Hours That Transformed History—January 22-23, 1973!

Forty three years ago today and tomorrow marks one of the most significant 48 hour periods in American history!

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson passed away at age 64 and the Supreme Court declared the right of women to have abortions in Roe V. Wade on January 22, 1973.

The next day, January 23, 1973, the announcement of an agreement to end the Vietnam War was made.

So we lost our most creative, reform oriented President since Franklin D. Roosevelt; and women gained the right to control their own reproductive lives,;and the war that divided the nation like no other since the Civil War finally was ending.

Today, 43 years later, we have seen attempts to cut back on the Great Society accomplishments by Republicans in Congress, only stopped by the veto of Barack Obama!

We have seen constant attempts to ban abortion, and restrictions put on women’s reproductive rights, a major social issue that will not go away!

And the effects of the Vietnam War still reverberate today, and more recent wars in Iraq and ongoing in Afghanistan continue to cause emotional political debate about commitment of American troops to fight overseas, including against ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East!

A book about those two days is appropriate by some scholar who can remind us of the tremendous significance that 48 hours of events can have on American history!

 

“Third Choice” Supreme Court Justices And Path Breaking Decisions On Abortion And Gay Marriage!

As the Supreme Court hears arguments today in the case of Obergefell V. Hodges, the gay marriage case, we are on the brink of a massive constitutional decision by the last day of June on this matter.

It now seems clear that the right to gay marriage in all of the states will be declared constitutional by a 5-4 or 6-3 vote, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and possibly, Chief Justice John Roberts, joining Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

The likely author of the upcoming decision should be Justice Kennedy, who has created a majority on three earlier gay rights cases decided by the Supreme Court, but even if not so, Kennedy is the person insuring that gay marriage will become the law of the land!

And this reality brings up an interesting situation: Justice Kennedy was the THIRD CHOICE for the Supreme Court of President Ronald Reagan, after the rejection of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, and if either had been confirmed by the US Senate, gay rights now would likely not be occurring as rapidly as it has been!

And it also fact that Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, selected by President Richard Nixon, after the rejection of Clement Haynesworth and C. Harold Carswell, the THIRD CHOICE, was the author of the momentous Roe V. Wade decision of 1973, legalizing abortion!

So it turns out that “third choice” Supreme Court nominees Harry Blackmun and Anthony Kennedy have had historic effects on two controversial issues that have divided the nation, but also move the nation forward on women’s rights and gay rights!

The Reality Of American Women In 2014

Having just celebrated Women’s Equality Day yesterday, the 94th anniversary of the 19th (Women Suffrage) Amendment, it is important for us to understand the condition and reality of American women in 2014.

Women still make 77 cents to a man’s dollar.

One in five college women will experience sexual assault.

Some companies deny birth control coverage to their female workers under the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Two thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and many are single mothers.

America is one of only a very few industrialized nations with no mandated paid maternity leave.

Many states have passed more abortion restrictions, interfering with a woman’s rights under Roe V. Wade in the past three years, than in the past ten years.

We still have women being fired for becoming pregnant.

Twice as many women as men live in poverty when over age 65.

Child care costs more than college tuition in 36 states, making it impossible for women to work and pursue a career, and make up for loss of support from men, so often the case.

These realities are unacceptable in a nation that promotes justice and fairness, or claims to do so.

So much work needs to be done, and we cannot sit on our laurels at whatever advancements have been made!

Three Significant Events In 24 Hours 41 Years Ago!

Forty one years ago, on January 22-23, three significant events occurred, all of which had a massive effect on the history of the United States!

Lyndon B. Johnson, the architect of the “Great Society” domestic reform programs, the greatest since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, died at age 64. Much of his Great Society remains part of our lives today, including:

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
War On Poverty (some elements of the program)
Medicare and Medicaid
Federal Aid to Education
Environmental Laws
Consumer Protection Laws
National Public Radio and PBS

Additionally, just hours after his death, the Vietnam War came to an end by a peace agreement in Paris, ending the combat role of American troops after twelve years of war under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The war had divided us, and still has an impact on the veterans of that war today, but at least the US now has diplomatic relations and trade with Vietnam, something that seemed impossible to imagine four decades ago, after the loss of 58,000 Americans in that war, and over a million or more in Vietnam itself.

The third event that transformed us was the Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade, allowing women control of their reproductive lives and their bodies, in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, as well as promoting contraception to avoid pregnancy.

The so called “Pro Life” movement, really anti abortion, has worked very hard to limit the rights of women, trying to cut the period of allowance of an abortion to as low as six weeks in Arkansas and 12 weeks in North Dakota, as well as 20 weeks in many other states, but thankfully, federal district court and circuit court judges have prevented the enforcement of such illegal limits. But the battle for women’s rights goes on.

So January 22-23, 1973, was indeed a very big day, a moment in history of tremendous significance!

Eight States In The South Central US Lead Fight Against Abortion, Defying The Rest Of The Nation!

A new Pew Research study demonstrates that the growing fight against abortion rights, guaranteed by Roe V. Wade forty years ago, but under constant attack in many Republican governed states and by evangelical right wing Christianity, is centered heavily in EIGHT South Central states heavily dominated by the Republican Party!

These states are Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where 52 percent in the poll wish to ban all abortions, except for the life of the mother, even making it illegal much earlier in the pregnancy, often before a woman is certain that she is pregnant in the first place!

The New England states are the highest percentage for abortion rights, at 75 percent; followed by 65 percent in the Pacific Coast states; 61 percent in the Mid Atlantic states; 59 percent in the Mountain West states; 50 percent in the Great Lakes states and in the South Atlantic states; and an even divide of 47-47 in the Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota. Only 40 percent support abortion rights in the South Central states, the only area to be negative!

The divide on abortion on support down to opposition used to be an 18 point gap, but now it is a whopping 35 points!

Once again, it is the GOP dominated parts of the nation, particularly the South and the Great Plains, which is, despite its small population overall, attempting to dominate and make social policy for the more educated, enlightened sections of the nation!

The question is why this is allowed to be so, as the other areas of the country are so far ahead socially, economically, educationally, and are in the 21st century, while in many ways, the GOP dominated states are living in the 19th century!

165th Anniversary Of Seneca Falls Equal Rights Convention: A Time For Women’s Rights Advocates To Plan Strategy For Future!

165 years ago this week, specifically on July 19 and 20, the momentous event known as the Seneca Falls Convention took place in upstate New York.

300 men and women gathered, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, and including the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, demanding equal rights for women, including the right of suffrage, participating in voting.

That fight for suffrage took 72 years, until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, and the move for the Equal Rights Amendment proposal of 1972 fell short by three states, and was declared dead in 1982.

But now there is an urgency to fight for that proposed amendment, despite the odds against it being ratified in the political climate we live in now, if for no other reason than to declare that the strategy of the future is that women are not going to allow backtracking on basic rights that have now been the law for years, specifically the Roe V. Wade decision on Abortion Rights forty years ago, plus the push for equal pay, equal treatment in the military, fighting against acceptance of rape by many politicians of the Republican Party, and the Religious Right desire to send women back home, not working, cooking and being available for a man’s desires in the bedroom!

There may be women who are willing to accept the Republican view on women in 2013, but they are NOT a majority, and if Betty Ford, the First Lady with President Gerald Ford, were alive and well today, she would be leading the fight for women’s rights, as she did when she was in the White House!

Having visited the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids yesterday, it reminded the author of how far the GOP has moved from the Ford Presidency experience, and remember that turn to the right began when Ronald Reagan challenged President Ford for the Presidential nomination in 1976, helping to cause his defeat, and the ultimate takeover of the Republican Party by the Right Wing led by Reagan!

So women, and men who agree that they deserve equal treatment, need to organize and fight for women’s rights, even now, 165 years after Seneca Falls!

Texas: State Legislature And Governor Out Of Control, With Filibuster Rules Outrageous!

Texas now becomes the state with the most outrageous and ridiculous Governor and state legislature, both totally out of control, with their filibuster rules the craziest and most unjust ever conceived!

Governor Rick Perry and the Republicans are determined to wipe out abortion to a greater extent than any other state, and were attempting to ram through restrictions that would make it nearly impossible for women to gain abortion rights under almost any circumstances in much of the state!

A courageous Democratic State Senator, Wendy Davis, attempted a 13 hour filibuster to stop the bill, and in the midst of chaos and anarchy unbecoming any state legislature, she was able to stop such legislation for the time being, but only under the most ridiculous rules imaginable, and only after being ruled out of order after ten hours of her filibuster!

Wendy Davis was told she must speak constantly for 13 hours by herself, with no food, no water, no bathroom breaks, and no leaning or sitting allowed. When she put on a back brace, she almost was ruled out of order, and when she went off topic somewhat, according to critics, her filibuster was declared ended after ten hours, but due to a breakdown of order, the bill banning abortion failed to come to a vote for now.

Wendy Davis is a true heroine, and Texas is shown as the sham of a state that it has become! It is out to deny human rights to women guaranteed by Roe V. Wade!

But the filibuster rules are even more outrageous, as no such rules exist in the US Senate, where anyone can talk about anything when filibustering, and can take brief breaks for food, water, and bathroom breaks. Can one imagine a United States Senator being told that he or she must live under the strict rules that Wendy Davis faced yesterday in the Texas legislature?

Texas is an example of the worst reality of states rights, and lawsuits should be brought to change the looney rules of a filibuster which is inhumane and makes Texas the laughing stock among states that would rank as the worst governed in America!