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Entries in contraception (52)

Wednesday
Nov062013

Koch Brothers Accused Of Bankrolling Republican War On Women, Based On Politico & RH Reality Check In-Depth Investigative Reporting

“The Koch brothers would have you believe that they have little interest in rolling back reproductive rights,” said Stan.  “But the proof is in their network’s spending patterns, which shows their willingness to deliberately harm women in pursuit of their goals.

In a close 48 to 46 election in Virginia, Kenneth Cuccinelli lost women voters 54-38!!!!! What does that say about the men voters???

As I predicted on Facebook yesterday morning, tens of thousands of Republican and Independent women in Virginia voted for Terry McAuliffe, creating a massive gender divide in Virginia  The Daily Beast reports: “The strategy helped McAuliffe rack up big numbers among women voters, winning them by a 54-38 margin even while narrowly losing among men. Linda Smith, an independent voter from Spotsylvania, told The Daily Beast that she voted for McAuliffe because she was turned off by Cuccinelli’s position on social issues. Jennifer Frederick, a Spotsylvania Democrat, put it more bluntly: “Cuccinelli scares the crap out of me,” she said.”

The gender-divide analysis needs clarification, however. It depends on whether voters are married or not.

Both female and male unmarried voters preferred McAuliffe by wide margins. He beat Cuccinelli by 25 points among unmarried men and 42 points among unmarried women, writes Huff Po. Polls indicated that unmarried voters made up about a third of Tuesday’s electorate.

Clearly some Cuccinelli voters didn’t share his views on limiting women’s abortion rights and access to birth control. Preliminary exit polls confirmed across a wide range of media that 60 percent of Virginia voters think abortion should be legal in all or almost every case where a woman seeks one.

In a late breaking story, The Raw Story reports that investigations by the website RH Reality Check and Politico found “that a network of organizations headed by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch has spent tens of millions of dollars funding the anti-choice movement.”

Senior Washington correspondent Adele Stan wrote Tuesday that tax documents show Koch-directed “pro-business” groups threw their money and resources behind legislative initiatives designed to shut down women’s health clinics and deny women access to contraception, reproductive health services and abortions.

“There is little doubt that the rash of anti-choice measures that flooded the legislative dockets in state capitols in 2013 was a coordinated effort by anti-choice groups and major right-wing donors lurking anonymously behind the facades of the non-profit “social welfare” organizations unleashed to tear up the political landscape, thanks to the high court’s decision in Citizens United,” Stan wrote.

“Helping to drive the right-wing offensive in the states and in Congress is a network of deep-pocketed business titans convened by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States,” she continued.

While the Kochs and their satellite groups profess to be interested more in business policy and deregulation than social issues, their true agenda is an all-out “war on women,” said RH Reality Check.

Politico detailed how the Koch network uses the shell company Freedom Partners as a clearinghouse. A bloc of around 200 donors give an average of $100,000 per year to Freedom Partners.

RH Reality Check’s President and Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson weighed in, mincing no words:

Over the past ten years, so-called pro-life groups and legislators such as Congressman Paul Ryan have increasingly been involved in efforts to deny women their rights while simultaneously shredding the social safety net on which the most vulnerable in this society depend. It is a marriage of ‘church and commerce’ not previously seen in the United States. Now it is clear that the Koch brothers are pouring money into a policy agenda that recognizes both corporations and fertilized eggs as people, but not the personhood of women. Koch money is directly fueling anti-choice battles in states like Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nebraska, and contributing significantly to a dangerous push for a national 20 week abortion ban at the federal level as well.”

Tuesday
Jun112013

Reports of Rampant Use of Prostitutes In State Dept Security | Israeli Judge Resigns After Saying "Some Girls Enjoy Rape" 

1.CBS News on Monday uncovered documents suggesting that the State Department may have covered up allegations that employees engaged in activities ranging from soliciting prostitutes to obtaining narcotics from an “underground drug ring.”

The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

2.Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward has been named as the new director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office within the Air Force. Woodward has served in the Air Force since 1983 and was most recently commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, which includes responsibility for the President’s Air Force One. She replaces Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, himself charged with sexual assault.

3. The Obama Administration announced on Monday that it will follow court orders, allowing the most popular morning after pill, Plan B, to be available over the counter to women of all ages, dropping its appeal of a federal court order.

The Justice Department had been fighting no age restrictions on Plan B One-Step without a prescription, going against the recommendations of its own FDA, medical professionals nationwide and women’s rights advocates who support Obama. In a letter to Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the administration said it would comply with his demands.

4. Salon profiles the involvement of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras’s in the revelations about U.S. government surveillance. Poitras is a MacArthur genius grantee who was nominated for an Oscar for 2006′s “My Country, My Country” on the impact of the Iraq War on ordinary Iraqis, the first of a trilogy of documentaries about American post-9/11 policies. The second documentary, “The Oath,” is followed by one in the works about whistle-blowers.

Laura Poitras is “one of the bravest and most brilliant people I’ve ever met,” Glenn Greenwald tells Salon.

5. Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni commented on the resignation of Israeli Judge Emeritus Nissim Yeshaya from his post as chairman of an appeals committee, after his courtroom comment that “some girls enjoy rape”.

“The judge announced his retirement and this is the right and fitting thing to do in this serious case,” said Livni. “Only this way, will the public’s faith in the justice system be restored. This wasn’t just some expression, but an invalid and twisted perception that women have fought for years, that lays the blame on the rape victim. Such a statement from the mouth of judge may, even if unintentionally, give legitimacy rape to warped minds.”

Monday
May132013

America's New Mothers More Educated Than Ever | Heritage Foundation's Jason Richwine Resigns

1. Federal judge Edward R. Korman slammed the Obama administration on Friday, denied the government’s request that he suspend his ruling making the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill available to women and girls of every age and without a prescription.

The Ronald Reagan appointed judge called efforts to delay distribution of the pill based on “frivolous” and “silly” arguments and not scientific evidence. Korman is so angry over the efforts by secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius to deny full implementation of the pill that he questioned her credibility and integrity.

Judge Korman postponed the enforcement of his order until today, allowing lawyers for the Justice Department to take their case to the appeals court. via NYT

2. In an attention-getting opening line, celebrity interviewer Lynn Hirschberg writes “The only thing that worried Michael Douglas about playing Liberace, the flamboyant Las Vegas superstar, was the fourteen-inch penis.”

Who knew!! Douglas opens up on playing Lee, as Liberace was known to friends, in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra’. The focus is the famed entertainer’s life with Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon, who was Liberace’s live-in boyfriend for five years.

The movie represents a return to public eye for Douglas, who reveals more of himself in questions about his battle with stage four cancer and his son’s imprisonment.

See graph larger

3. New mothers are more educated than ever, writes PEW Research. In 2011, 66% of new mothers had some college education, with 34% having a high school diploma and 14% not having finished high school.

The trend reflects a continuous rise in educational levels of all American women, as well as a decline in births set in motion with the Great Recession in late 2007. Between 2008 to 2011, the number of new mothers with no high school degree dropped 17%, as the number with only a high school diploma dropped 15%.

4. Co-author of the Heritage Foundation’s disputed immigration study Jason Richwine resigned on Friday, as questions mounted about the racially-charged conclusions in his previous work. Richwine as hired by the ultra-conservative think tank in 2010, and his departure comes less than five weeks after former Republican senator Jim DeMint assumed leadership of Heritage.

To date, the organization defends its methodology, one rejected by libertarian groups like the Cato Institute. The report argues that low-skilled immigrants have less education and lower IQs, making them likely to earn less money and need more taxpayer-supplied benefits.

In 2007, a similar Heritage report helped derail immigration reform, arguing that the plan would cost $2.7 trillion, instead of last week’s $6 trillion.

5. PEW Research reports that Hispanic high school graduates have passed whites in their rate of college enrollment. In post recession America, a record 69% of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college. As the rates of Hispanic college enrollment have risen from 49% in 2000 to 69% in 2012, the rate of college enrollment has dropped among white high school grads to 67%.

In 2011 only 14% of Hispanic 16-24-year-olds were high school dropouts, 50% less than the 2000 level of 28%. PEW suggests that some educational growth may be driven by declining employment among young Latino youths, where unemployment has risen by 7 points, compared to 5 points among whites.

Hispanics are less likely to be in a four-year college, be enrolled full time, and complete a bachelor’s degree.