Tag Archives: Politics

Call for Bloggers!

Sharing this so that interested bloggers may participate.

Dear blogger friends,

You’re invited to take part in a Planned Parenthood Blogger Bee!

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Planned Parenthood will be holding a National Day of Action to lobby the Senate for health care reform that ensures women’s access to reproductive health care. In order to get the word out as quickly and widely as possible, Planned Parenthood is asking bloggers to write about the National Day of Action and the negative impact that the Stupak amendment would have on health care reform if it is included in the final legislation.

Under the Stupak amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today. It is imperative that women and their allies make their voices heard, so that they do not become second-class citizens in a newly reformed health care system in the United States. The first step will be to make sure everyone has the tools they need to inform themselves and others about the new health care system under the House-passed bill and the Stupak amendment.

We ask that on Wednesday, Dec. 2, you use the key points (after the jump) to inform your readers and spread the message that we will not accept health care reform that leaves women worse off than before.  To participate, send the name and url of your blog and your Twitter name if you have one, to Constance DeCherney at constance.decherney@ppfa.org by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. If you sign up, your blog will be listed and linked on Planned Parenthood’s Action Center and included in a special Planned Parenthood (@PPact) Twitter List.

For more information on health care reform and the Stupak amendment, visit us at http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/healthreform.

We need to hear from you! Help us protect women’s access to reproductive health care!

Best,

Christie Petrone
Senior Press Officer – Health Care
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Click here for some Key Points to include in your post

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, Pay Attention!

hoodwinked

I’m pretty disgusted right about now. I was asleep, knocked out due to my sickness and woke up at midnight to find that the House had passed a health care reform bill (HR 3962). Sounds good at first, especially since we have been trying to get SOME form of legislation moving through the process. Unfortunately, this is not what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that most people had/have no idea that today, in what felt like a backdoor sneak move, Representative Bart Stupak put forth an amendment on a Saturday morning to the proposed health care bill. Oh, it got passed, by the way. What is this bill that you probably didn’t know was even being discussed?

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment would purportedly allow women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion.  But such abortion riders do not exist because women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or medically complicated pregnancies that require ending the pregnancy.  These so-called ‘abortion riders,’ which would be the only insurance policy through which abortion care could be covered in the ‘exchange,’ are discriminatory and illogical.  Proposing a separate ‘abortion rider’ or ‘single-service plan’ is tantamount to banning abortion coverage since no insurance company would offer such a policy.*

Take some time. Read that again. How ridiculous is that? While folks were on Twitter talking about brunch, football and #threewordsaftersex, anti-choicers were hijacking health care reform and using this opportunity to revolutionize American health care as a stage for their anti-abortion agenda. Dude… not here. Not this fight. SMH. Don’t be mistaken, taking away abortion coverage (in both private insurance plans and the public option) will not deter people from having unprotected sex. It will not result in a significant decline in abortions sought or performed. It will not only hurt the people you think it might hurt.

Abortion is legal. Until Congress passes a law otherwise (that passes Constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court), it is legal. I can’t get hype about HCR, and trust me I WANT to be so hype about HCR, when people are trying to use the backdoor to chisel away at my rights. It’s sneaky and I don’t want my government to work that way. Please believe that the NRA folks would not be down for this. You see how they get when someone even breathes gun control. The Second Amendment gets trotted out like it was the 11th Commandment.

I took a Legislation & Public Policy course in law school. I’m currently taking Politics & Policy in my MPA program. Even without those classes, I know some BS okey doke when I see it. Game recognize game, right? This is a CLASSIC example of how you get a piece of legislation to FAIL. Instead of coming out and saying no to HCR (which will make you look bad, for sure), you say yes but also get on board with an amendment that will alienate so many people that it’s sure to bring down the whole house. This is some back to the drawing board shit if I’ve ever seen it, yet so many folks are just happy to have something, I bet they won’t raise a fuss. You are so used to accepting crumbs from the gov’t that you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in. Meanwhile, those that are AGAINST what you believe in are up ALL night, working hard. No, really. They’re up ALL night. Crazy does not sleep. But listen yall, don’t drink the kool aid. This is not the HCR we want. It’s the HCR we’re settling for.

Find out how your representative voted on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment. If they were on board with the amendment and you are not, please call your rep and let them know how poorly they’ve represented you this weekend.

Definitely hit up your Senators. Ball’s in their court now.

*Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Read the whole statement here.

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Now I'm pissed, Pay Attention!, Politics, Swiped, What kind of fuckery?

Brick City

I’ve been watching the Sundance Channel’s miniseries Brick City about the struggle of Newark, New Jersey’s mayor and residents to live in the city and bring it out of crime, poverty and despair into the city of progress and hope it once was. According to the Sundance Channel,

Created and directed by the award-winning filmmakers Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin, BRICK CITY, is a five-part documentary series that fans out around the city of Newark, New Jersey to capture the daily drama of a community striving to become a better, safer, stronger place to live. Against great odds, Newark’s citizens and its Mayor, Cory A. Booker, fight to raise the city out of nearly a half century of violence, poverty and corruption. In the five one-hour episodes of BRICK CITY the lives of Mayor Booker, citizens on the front lines, and key figures re-making the city – from developers to gang members and youth mentors – intertwine in a portrait of a city at a critical moment in history.

Creep & Jayda

This is true reality television, minus the roses, foxtrots, hot tubs and eliminations. Episodes 1 & 2 introduced us to the shows dynamic personalities. There’s Mayor Cory Booker in his second term, Police Director Gary McCarthy, Earl Best aka Street Doctor, a community advocate, and then there’s the story of Jayda and Creep. I bet viewers will be sucked into the couple’s story because it’s so real, gritty and unusual. Jayda’s a former member of the Bloods gang and Creep is an ex-Crip. The story of these star-crossed lovers is like a real-life Romeo & Juliet or Westside Story. It’s captivating seeing them turn their experiences into positive messages mentoring Newark’s youth, but there’s also real drama in their relationship with one another. Continue reading

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Filed under Pay Attention!, Politics, Routine Ramblings, television

When’s the last time you were in a public library?

That’s the question posed to me after I shared a post about the impending closing of Philadelphia’s public library system. I assume the thought behind the inquiry was that no one really uses libraries anymore so what’s the big deal? I say that public libraries are still a big deal to many people and I am one of them.

When is the last time you used the services of a public library? Was it back when you were still trying to understand the Dewey Decimal System and the card catalog? For me, I’d say about three weeks ago. I meant to go yesterday but had a bunch of errands to run and didn’t make it. I have a library card for every city I’ve ever lived in. Poughkeepsie, Brooklyn, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Philadelphia. I still have the cards! I use public libraries for a quiet place to get away, a place to use the printer or wireless internet access. I *gasp* check out books and have been known in the past to check out movies as well. When I was a kid, I loved to go to the library and look at the microfiche from years past. In fact, I went into a local branch of TD Banknorth two days ago which used to be called the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank. It’s an old building and must have been a bank back when folks drove down Market Street with a horse and buggy. There were framed pictures of the city back then – black and white scenes capturing daily life of a time long gone by. While I was waiting to see the next teller I thought to myself, “I should go by the library and look up some more of these photos.” See, I’m the kind of person who likes to do that stuff every now and again. When I’m struck with the desire to borrow a book, flip through microfiche, or just have some peace I’m glad I can go to a local library branch and do so.

I get the other side though, I do. You can rent movies through Netflix and RedBox or you can watch them on your computer. You can read books online or get a Kindle and carry ebooks wherever you go. Many Americans have internet access at home or at work. Starbucks and Barnes & Noble provide big cushy chairs you can lounge in all day. What use do public libraries serve in 2009? As a person who has access to all of those things but still uses the library on occasion, I feel that attitude is pretty elitist and doesn’t consider the numerous people who don’t have access. Continue reading

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Filed under current events, Pay Attention!, Politics, Routine Ramblings

Joe Wilson is a jerk (I know)

You know who Joe Wilson is by now. He’s the Representative from SC (R) who, in a most bizarre and disrespectful outburst, shouted “You lie” during President Barack Obama’s address to Congress yesterday. Joe Wilson must be crazy. Joe Wilson must have underestimated the power of the internet. Joe Wilson is having a bad day. Joe Wilson is a jerk. Joe Wilson peed in your soup.

Ok, I can’t verify that last one (unless you’ve recently had soup with a republican legislator from South Carolina). That’s from the Joe Wilson Is Your Preexisting Condition meme. Check the site reminiscent of the always fun Barack Obama Is Your Bicycle site. As if you needed more reasons to dislike Joe Wilson. Ha! I think the homies Snoop and Dr. Dre said it best, “You tryna check my homie, you best check yaself cuz when you dis [the Prez] you dis yaself. (muhfucka!)”

Joe Wilson Preexisting Condition

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Filed under Funny like "haha", Routine Ramblings

To Congress: Fully fund violence against women prevention

Once again, here’s a way that you can participate in that CHANGE our new president was yapping about as well as help women and families. Please read and contact your elected officials. I will.
Swiped from Ann over at Feministing:

Both statistically and anecdotally, incidents of violence against women increase as the economy falters. As Obama prepares to release his budget, now’s the time to ask him and Congress not to reduce funding for preventing violence against women and helping survivors. According to Women’s eNews:

Congress is currently authorized to spend up to $175 million a year for the program. But the actual allocation of federal dollars is subject to a congressional vote, and lawmakers last year set aside $123 million; over $50 million less than was approved. That was a slight cut from fiscal 2007, when Congress spent $125 million on the program. Women’s safety advocates also want Congress to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act, a broader anti-violence law originally passed in 1994 that provides some funds for domestic violence shelters but also sets aside money for a wide range of other services relating to sexual and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. But with an ailing economy curtailing federal revenues from taxes, and lawmakers focused on economic-stimulus efforts, more money for discretionary social programs that combat domestic violence could be hard to come by.

In other words, the tanking economy means there’s a greater need for these services, but less money to provide them. Marcella at abyss2hope writes,

I am asking each US citizen who reads this post to contact President Obama, your 2 senators (or 1 if you live in MN) and your representative and ask them all to support the reauthorization and the funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. After you contact your representatives, please ask those you know to do the same.

Again, contacted your elected officials HERE.

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Filed under Pay Attention!, Swiped

Where were you?

Where were you when you saw America elect its first Black/African-American President of the United States? When Barack Obama became the 44th person to serve as Commander-in-Chief? When we made a change like never before? When we took “hope” from more than a cliche campaign buzz word to the next level?

I was in Philadelphia. I was with friends, new and old. I was on South Street going crazy. I was happy. I only took a few pictures and brief video. I may upload more later from friends who were with me.

Sorry the quality isn’t that good. People were in motion the whole time!

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Filed under Routine Ramblings