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Posts tagged ‘GOP’

Government Mandated Medicine

Gabriel —

Last week, I told you Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was getting ready to sign the “ultrasound bill,” an atrocious proposal that would force all women considering abortions to get ultrasounds and require their doctors to ask if they’d like a picture.

Well, he signed it.

We didn’t stop the bill this time, but we did make sure the entire country knew exactly what was going down in Virginia.

There are still 450 other bills on birth control and abortion in state legislatures across the country. With a far-right faction of the GOP holding a majority in many of them, it’s unclear how many we can stop. But let me just say this: We need to be prepared to win in November.

As long as women’s rights are being attacked, we’re going to keep fighting back — in Congress and in the states.

Say that you’re ready to stand with Democrats as we stand up for women. Add your name today.

We’re taking on this fight both nationally and in the states. In Virginia, that meant helping to fund the state party’s rapid response communications team — they pushed back on the ultrasound legislation, supported the Democrats who opposed it, and publicized peaceful protests of it at the capitol. That work helped put this bill on the national radar.

Right now, New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and many other states are considering similar legislation.

The Texas legislature is in the midst of a bitter fight to eliminate state support for a wide range of women’s health services. They’ve already eliminated two-thirds of their funding for women’s health, closing more than half of the state’s Planned Parenthood and other clinics. And now they’re voting to reject aid for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. They claim they’re doing this to fight abortion, but what they’re actually doing is denying hundreds of thousands of women access to basic health care.

Clearly, this fight is about more than abortion and birth control.

I won’t stop speaking out across the country about a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and Democrats in the states won’t stop pushing back against these bills.

I hope you won’t stop fighting either.

Support the fight state by state and nationwide. Stand with the Democrats today:

http://my.democrats.org/Stand-for-Women

Thanks,

Debbie

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair
Democratic National Committee

Health Care In U.S. Is Best?

From Nation of Change
IWatch News
by Wendell Potter

Despite GOP Claims, U.S. Health Care Nowhere Near ‘Best’ in the World

A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

“I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner said at a press conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”

Boehner is not the first nor the only Republican to try to make us believe that the U.S. has the world’s best health care system and that we’re bound to lose that distinction because of Obamacare. I’ve heard GOP candidates for president say the same thing in recent months, charging that we need to get rid of a President who clearly is trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing, something that isn’t broken in the first place.

Well, those guys need to get out more. Out of the country, in fact. They need to travel to at least one of the many countries that are doing a much better job of delivering high quality care at much lower costs than the good old USA.

If they’re not interested in a fact-finding mission abroad, then perhaps they might take a look at two recent reports before they make any other statements about the quality of American health care.

Last week, the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) released the results of its most recent study of the health care systems in its member countries, including the U.S., plus six others, for a total of 40. And those results are illuminating.

If Boehner and his fellow Republicans had characterized the U.S. system as the most expensive in the world, they would have been right on target. But they would have been way off base by calling it the best.

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

Foreign Policy Falsehoods

From Nation of Change – Politics

Foreign Policy Themed GOP Debate Full of Falsehoods
by Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson and Robert Farley
IWatch News/News Analysis
Monday 14 November 2011

We found several exaggerations and misstatements in the latest Republican presidential candidates’ debate.

Romney issued a hollow threat to take China’s currency manipulation to a world body that doesn’t actually deal with overvalued money, and he claimed federal spending consumes more of the nation’s economic output than it really does.

Gingrich overstated U.S. aid to Egypt by a factor of two, and he claimed Obama repudiated former president Mubarak “overnight,” when in fact the president took seven days before he publicly urged Mubarak to begin an “orderly transition” of power.

And Bachmann claimed that “we have no jail” for terrorists captured on “the battlefield,” overlooking the 1,700 men being held without trial at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The debate took place Nov. 12 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., among eight candidates: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. It was sponsored by CBS News, the National Journal and the South Carolina Republican Party. The first hour of the 90-minute event was carried live on CBS, which said it planned to broadcast the final 30 minutes the following day on its Sunday show “Face the Nation.” Questions were focused on foreign policy.

Romney’s Hollow Threat on WTO and China

Romney threatened to haul China before the World Trade Organization to address currency manipulation. But as Huntsman suggested, the WTO isn’t a good forum for that.

Romney: “[T]hey’re a currency manipulator. And on that basis, we also go before the WT — WTO — and bring an action against them as a currency manipulator. … We can’t just sit back and let China run all over us.”

Huntsman: “… First of all, I don’t think, Mitt, you can take China to the WTO on currency-related issues.”

Huntsman — a former U.S. ambassador to China — is correct. WTO rules don’t cover currency manipulation, according to a 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service:

CRS, Jan. 28, 2011: The WTO has rules against subsidies, but these are very narrow and specific and do not seem to encompass currency manipulation.

To be sure, the CRS report said it is “debatable” whether WTO rules against unfair trade subsidies can be interpreted to cover a deliberately undervalued currency. But it added: “[T]o date [the WTO] has done nothing to suggest that trade issues linked to currency manipulation are within its zone of responsibility.” The CRS said that a president might seek to amend WTO rules so that they clearly cover currency manipulation, but that is “not easy.”

Overall, we judge that there’s less force behind Romney’s WTO threat than he would have viewers believe.

Gingrich Wrong on Aid to Egypt

Gingrich was wrong when he said Egypt receives $3 billion a year in foreign aid from the U.S. It actually receives about half that.

Gingrich: “You’re giving some countries $7 billion a year. So you start off — or — or in the case of Egypt $3 billion a year.”

The Congressional Research Service said in a June 15, 2010, report that Egypt is the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, and had been receiving an average of about $2 billion a year since 1979. However, U.S. aid to Egypt has been “trending downward,” CRS said. It now receives a total of about $1.55 billion — roughly $1.3 billion a year in military assistance and $250 million in economic aid.

The level of military aid has remained consistent, the CRS report said.

CRS, June 15: In July 2007, as a part of a larger arms package to the region, the United States announced that it would provide Egypt with $13 billion in military aid over a ten-year period. Since Egypt has already been receiving approximately $1.3 billion a year in military assistance, the announcement represented no major change in U.S. assistance policy toward Egypt.

Similarly, the State Department also says on its website that “U.S. military aid to Egypt totals over $1.3 billion annually.”

However, the CRS says in its report (and in a separate report issued in February 2011) that economic assistance to Egypt has been “significantly reduced” in recent years — in part due to a 10-year agreement known as the Glide Path Agreement that was reached in 1998 that maintained military aid but reduced economic aid.

CRS, Feb. 4, 2011: Thus the United States reduced ESF aid to Egypt from $815 million in FY1998 to $411 million in FY2008. For FY2011, the Administration is requesting $250 million in ESF (Economic Support Fund) Egypt, the same amount it has received since FY2009.

NationofChange is a 501(c)3 nonprofit funded directly by our readers. Please make a small donation to support our work.
For fiscal year 2012, the Obama administration requested $1.55 billion in military and economic assistance for Egypt, the CRS said in a September report titled “Egypt in Transition.”

Read complete article at Nation of Change.

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