Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 May 2017

6 May 2017. Ajamu Baraka: Healthcare is a Human Right, But You Have to Fight For It!

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Abortion Rate Hits Record Low: Thanks to Birth Control Advocates!

01 condom and the pill

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The Guttmacher Institute reported that the American abortion rate fell to a 30-year low, through a survey of known abortion providers in the country. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of abortions fell to 1.1 million a year, a drop of 13 percent. Overall, abortion was in a long-term decline for most of the time it’s been legal. In 1981, 29 women per 1,000 ages 15-44 had an abortion. In 2011, it was only 17 per 1,000. Anti-choicers should avoid congratulating themselves for the decline, however. As the Guttmacher press release indicates, this descent happened before the most recent wave of abortion restrictions began closing clinics. Instead, it seems that women are just getting pregnant less often. Over the same period, the birth rate was also in decline, hitting a record low in 2012.

Sorry, Mike Huckabee, it’s probably not because women decided that they find sexual intercourse debasing. Instead, pro-choice activists and groups like Planned Parenthood, with their tireless work at making contraception socially acceptable and affordable, should take the credit. Contraception use, especially highly effective long-term forms like the IUD, is up. Indeed, contraception has become universal, with 99 percent of sexually active women having used contraception before and 62 percent of women reproductive age using contraception now. In fact, it isn’t urbane single ladies haunting conservative nightmares… the Sandra Flukes of the world who delay getting married… who love birth control pills. Married women are more likely to use contraception than never-married women are. More women are also getting very early abortions with medication; the abortion pill figuring in 1 in 4 non-hospital abortions, up from 17 percent in 2008. Unfortunately, some states passed medically unnecessary laws, serving no other purpose but to turn what should be an easy way to get an abortion into a major hassle, stymieing efforts to increase access to medication abortion.

Since 2011, which is where this research ends, much changed in the USA. In the past year, the ability to prevent unintended pregnancy improved under the Affordable Care Act through the contraception mandate and Medicaid expansion, which will help reach low-income women who experience the highest levels of unintended pregnancy. Medically unnecessary but draconian state-level regulations in places such as Texas shut down many clinics… so many that the remaining ones can’t handle the overflow of demand. (This almost certainly reduces the number of abortions counted, if only because the number of people counting them is going down.)

However, that brings us to illegal abortion, which is notoriously hard to document yet seems to be rising in response to the shutdown of abortion clinics in red statesAs Lindsay Beyerstein reported in the New Republic, one doctor in the relatively small town of Harlingen TX reports having worked with about 100 patients since November who needed help with incomplete miscarriages, most of whom almost surely self-aborted with an ulcer medication available over the counter in México. Since the medication is effective at aborting a pregnancy entirely without a doctor’s help, the number of women in the area who resorted to this is likely many times that. An unintended consequence of shutting down abortion clinics is that it’s going to be harder to assess what the real abortion rate is in the USA. Of course, “out of sight, out of mind” is probably good enough for the anti-choice politicians who created this problem in the first place.

3 February 2014

Amanda Marcotte

Slate

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/02/03/thanks_contraception_the_u_s_abortion_rate_hits_an_all_time_low_mostly_because.html

Editor’s Note:

Do you want to cut induced abortions, both surgical and medicated? Then, you’d favour increased access to contraception… you’d favour keeping the social safety net strong and repeal the Clinton “welfare reform”… you’d favour increased education on sexual matters… you’d favour single-payer healthcare reform and the coverage of birth control services. Do note well that the so-called “Pro-Life” movement favours NONE of these things. The Pro-Life movement is a bunch of anti-abortion hypocrites who block sidewalks and wave placards to feel good about themselves as they advocate the warmongering and heartless GOP agenda.

I do NOT advocate abortion. I believe it to be a tragedy… indeed, many of my pro-choice friends have used the same words. I do NOT defend abortion… but I won’t demean that opposition by linking it to ruthless greedster politicians who have no other real aim but global hegemony and raking in the gelt. It’s NOT a black n’ white cartoon… although people like Trenham (a ranting konvertsy priest) try to make it so. Here’s the real-world choice… you can stand with Fr Vsevolod Chaplin and HH, who say that the use of contraception is licit via oikonomia, or, you can stand with loudmouths like Trenham (and that whole shake n’ bake Ancient Faith Radio crowd) who scream that it’s sinful. I seem to find that HH and Fr Vsevolod have MUCH more stature than Trenham and his pals do… and I’m not alone in thinking that.

Let’s do REAL Pro-Life… let’s end the wars in foreign parts… let’s end the bloodbath in Texas and other Southern states (with their promiscuous use of the death penalty)… let’s end the Clinton “welfare reform”… let’s end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and abolish the cap on FICA taxes (that’ll make Rush, Wet Willy, and Sarah pay their fair share for a change… watch ‘em howl!)… let’s see to it that there’s universal and untrammelled access to the best healthcare (and no doctor could “opt out” of the system to treat only rich patients)… THEN, and only then, could we call ourselves “Pro-Life”… everything else is a disgusting figleaf

BMD

 

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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Company Behind Troubled Obamacare Website Donated Heavily To Republicans In 2012

00 Political cartoon. He doesn't see. He doesn't hear. He keeps quiet (when he's paid enough). 02.11.13

Follow the money! Why is it that the congressmen who received the biggest windfalls from the insurance industry are the biggest opponents of the ACA? Just sayin’…

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The GOP argues that the federal contractor got a sweetheart deal from its ties to the Obama administration, but the company donated just as much to Republicans last cycle. That is, bipartisan favour-currying. Republicans’ new Obamacare attack line hinges on allegations that the contractor in charge of building the disastrous healthcare.gov website landed the gig through sweetheart deals from the Obama administration. However, according to Federal Election Commission records, that company’s PAC gave more to House Republicans than House Democrats during the 2012 cycle… including a 2,000 USD (64,900 Roubles. 2,085 CAD. 2,120 AUD. 1,485 Euros. 1,255 UK Pounds) cheque for the GOP’s chief scandal investigator, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). What’s more, executives of CGI Federal personally gave more than twice as much to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney than to President Obama. The contractor also feasted on more than 2.4 billion USD (77.9 billion Roubles. 2.5 billion CAD. 2.55 billion AUD. 1.78 billion Euros. 1.5 billion UK Pounds) worth of IT work dating back to the early Bush administration.

So far, none of that stopped the Republican National Congressional Committee from suggesting CGI netted hundreds of millions of dollars to create the dysfunctional website because of its ties to the White House. On Wednesday, the NRCC blanketed the Republican National Committee’s e-mail list, trumpeting a petition it’d started that’d urge Congress to investigate CGI-Obama ties. The e-mail noted the importance of finding out, among other pressing questions, “How did [CGI] get contracted to do it?” Twenty-eight hours later, the NRCC had its answer. The next missive declared, “NRCC Investigation of HealthCare.gov Finds Insider Deals Worth Over 400 Million USD (13 billion Roubles. 416.9 million CAD. 424.1 million AUD. 296.6 million Euros. 251.2 million UK Pounds)”. The e-mail itself doesn’t reference any evidence of “insider deals”, but the conservative Daily Caller had built the case for weeks by noting the company gave donations to Obama and other Democrats and that its executives visited the White House regularly.

Yet, FEC records indicate executives for CGI gave 5,550 USD (180,000 Roubles. 5,790 CAD. 5,890 AUD. 4,120 Euros. 3,490 UK Pounds) to GOP Romney and just 2,000 USD to Obama… not quite the behaviour of a company indebted to the president for its contacting jackpots. Also, the company’s PAC, CGI-AMS, gave 48,000 USD (1.56 million Roubles. 50,000 CAD. 51,000 AUD. 35,600 Euros. 30,200 UK Pounds) to 28 GOP members of the House, including 5,000 USD (162,300 Roubles. 5,200 CAD. 5,300 AUD. 3,700 Euros. 3,150 UK Pounds) to Tom Cole (R-OK), 6,000 USD (195,000 Roubles. 6,250 CAD. 6,360 AUD. 4,450 Euros. 3,770 UK Pounds) to Frank Wolf (R-VA), and 2,000 USD each to Issa, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Martha Roby (R-AL). Yoder, Wolf, and Cole also sit on the Appropriations Committee. Issa, Wolf, and Cole also received contributions from the PAC during the 2010 cycle. Attempts to reach Issa, Yoder, and Wolf were unsuccessful Thursday. The PAC gave 32,000 USD (1.04 million Roubles. 33,350 CAD. 33,950 AUD. 23,750 Euros. 20,100 UK Pounds) to 13 Democratic House members. They also gave 29,500 USD (957,400 Roubles. 30,750 CAD. 31,300 AUD. 21,900 Euros. 18,550 UK Pounds) to Democrats running for Senate and 19,000 USD (617,000 Roubles. 19,800 CAD. 20,150 AUD. 14,100 Euros. 11,950 UK Pounds) to Republican Senate candidates, reflecting a perceptive record of giving more to members of the parties in power in each chamber.

The bipartisan giving makes sense given that CGI’s first federal contract for IT work started in 2001 and, as a multibillion-dollar firm, has many lobbying interests in Congress. In fact, USASpending.gov, the federal site tracking government contracts, shows CGI was the contractor of choice for a wide range of computer systems work throughout the Bush administration, including hundreds of multimillion-dollar contracts for the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. The contract under which CGI did the Obamacare website work, in fact, began in 2007 as a contract with HHS to handle Medicare and Medicaid IT. Contracting experts say that when the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 with all of its tentacles intersecting with those programmes, there was almost no way CGI wasn’t going to get to expand the scope of their existing contract. Federal contracting rules are strict… to avoid political meddling… they favour entrenched large companies with track records. Moreover, if the case of CGI’s shoddy work doesn’t appear to represent partisan favouritism, it does appear to underscore broader problems with the system.

George Washington Law School professor Joshua I Schwartz, co-director of the GWLS Government Procurement Law Program, said, “This wasn’t a patronage deal. The one thing members and the President don’t seem to have is influence over who gets a particular contract. They just don’t”. Clay Johnson, a former Presidential Innovation Fellow under Obama who excoriated the White House and HHS for its handling of the site, nonetheless also believes that the problem stems from the procurement process and the biases that keep small nimble tech start-ups from getting this kind of work, saying, “The buck definitely has to stop somewhere, but I think it’s the public’s fault for turning a blind eye on this contract situation for so long. You don’t see members of Congress winning elections by campaigning for comprehensive procurement reform”.

18 October 2013

Steve Friess

BuzzFeed Politics

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stevefriess/company-behind-troubled-obamacare-website-donated-heavily-to

Editor’s Note:

In short, the Republicans lie, yet again. In any case, CGI is a Canadian, not an American company, meaning that the Republican allegations are pure hogwash and moonshine. They’re not tied to EITHER American political faction (as their political donations prove to all competent observers). However, the GOP base believes in such arrant nonsense such as Young Earth Creationism, Giving Your Heart to Jayzuss, the wisdom of Rush Limbaugh, the Global War on Terror, and Benevolent Capitalism. The real question is, shall the rest of us be gulled, too? God willing, we won’t…

BMD

Friday, 18 October 2013

18 October 2013. The Tea Party’s Mortally Wounded… But It’s NOT Dead Yet

00 Power to the People. 17.10.13

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The fight over the government shutdown did give the Tea Party a mortal wound. However, it’s NOT dead yet. They still believe that they can shut down all the social justice and social equity initiatives of the state. They do… even though they’re goners. That is, they’re quite unlike Jim DeMint, who saw the handwriting on the wall and became a stink-tanker, After all, these are people who believe in such fables as Young Earth Creationism and American Exceptionalism. Don’t waste your time arguing with such sorts, use your God-given life to oppose them wherever they pop up.

Orthodox people have a responsiblity to fight the konvertsy, who want to ally us with the Teabaggers. Don’t forget baba and dede… and what shit they had to endure from the bosses. We fought back then… we should fight back now. God willing, the konvertsy brats will leave us (and it can’t be soon enough), but they’re a clear and present danger today. I know from St T ‘s that our people haven’t drunk the Tea… the konvertsy will find it out soon enough, I’ll warrant. Keep vigilant, keep focused, and don’t let ’em spook ya… we’re on the right side. Remember who we are and where we came from…

BMD

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