Archive for July 12th, 2013

#TAMPONGATE IN TEXAS! Legislature Orders Troopers Confiscate Tampons- But Allows Guns in Austin State House

Posted on July 12, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

smuggleSome days, it is as if America has forgotten the past 50 years or so- and nowhere has that been more apparent over the course of the past decade than in state legislatures throughout the country. Today’s story out of Texas, however, raises the bar for simple jackassery, abandonment of common sense and ridiculousness, as lawmakers decide the rights of women to access safe healthcare options.

Which is to say, Paul LePage just loves Rick Perry today!

Quickly, here’s the deets via HuffPo:

again

    State troopers are confiscating tampons, maxi pads and other potential projectiles from those who are entering the Texas capitol to watch the debate and vote on a controversial anti-abortion bill. Guns, however, which are typically permitted in the state capitol, are still being allowed.

    Several people tweeted that troopers were taking the objects before allowing entrance into the gallery.

More reports confirmed the actions of troopers:

    Rick Perry‘s Texas Republican state government continues to embarrass itself, demean and wage war on its women citizens. As if calling into a special session the Texas state legislature for the sole purpose of closing 37 of the 42 women’s clinics that are qualified to perform abortions, leaving only five in the nation’s second-largest and second-most populous state weren’t bad enough, this afternoon Texas state troopers confiscated maxi-pads and tampons from scores of women who wanted to attend the anti-abortion debate.

Think Progress:

Bloom County circa 1985 cartoon sums up today's confusion in Austin TX.

Bloom County circa 1985 cartoon sums up today’s confusion in Austin TX.

    According to Jessica Luther, a freelance writer and pro-choice activist who has been coordinating much of the push-back to the proposed abortion restrictions over the past few weeks, Senate officials are confiscating any objects they believe may cause a similar disruption in the gallery during Friday’s vote. Protesters aren’t allowed to carry water bottles or even feminine hygiene products, just in case they might throw them at lawmakers.

    Even though the Texas legislature may not be comfortable with feminine hygiene products, it’s a bit more relaxed when it comes to firearms. Individuals with concealed carry licenses are permitted to bring their guns into the Senate gallery. In fact, a Texas Republican recently insinuated he might do just that during the current special session.

Business Insider opined:

    As the Texas Senate took up debate on controversial abortion legislation today, security at the statehouse confiscated tampons, maxi pads, and other potential items that could be thrown from women entering the building.

    It sparked what’s surely one of the most unusual hashtags ever on Twitter: #tampongate.

And so with this in mind, an online game of substituting “Tampon” for “gun/arms/weapons” in famous quotes oft used by gun rights advocates just writes itself.

A quick sampling:

texas

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all (wo)men capable of bearing tampons.” – Richard Henry Lee

    “The Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights is my Concealed Tampon Permit, period.” – Ted Nugent

    “Happiness is a warm tampon.” – John Lennon

    “I have a very strict tampon control policy: if there’s a tampon around, I want to be in control of it.” – Clint Eastwood

    “One (wo)man with a tampon can control 100 without one.” – Vladimir Lenin

    “The right of the people to keep and bear tampons shall not be infringed.” – James Madison

    “Tampons in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.” – John Adams

    “No free (wo)man shall ever be debarred the use of tampons.” – Thomas Jefferson

    scared-tampon“I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my tampon and keeps on shooting.” – Che Guevara

    “A woman who demands further tampon control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.” – Larry Elder

    “It’s better to have a tampon and not need it than to need a tampon and not have it.” – Christian Slater

    “I’ll give you my tampon when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” – Charleton Heston

    “When tampons are outlawed, only outlaws will have tampons.” – Clark Goddard

    “The right of the people to keep and bear tampons shall not be infringed.” – James Madison

An updated live blog via BurntOrangeReport has been set up of the ongoing debate in Texas. The latest:

    “The floor debate started with Senator Glenn Hegar laying out HB 2, which was substituted for SB 1 after passing the House.

    Senator Royce West peppered Hegar with questions about his support for a woman’s right to choose. Hegar danced around the issue, citing Roe as precedent. Hegar did not come right out and call for Roe to be overturned or state his own personal opposition to abortion rights, though he has previously campaigned on overturning Roe v Wade.

    As debate continued, Senator Bob Deuell made the charming remark that low-income abortion seekers are “unsophisticated patients” who need the legislature’s help.

    Yes, Senator Deuell actually said that poor and less-educated women need the legislature to make decisions for them.”

Missing Ann Richards and Molly Ivins today…

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(UPDATED) Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: Warns that “126th Isn’t Over Yet”; “Playing Politics is Easy, Governing is Hard”

Posted on July 12, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE: Apparently Senate President Justin Alfond also took offense with much of the Governor’s weekly address, as he issued this statement moments ago:

Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, right, and House speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, speak to reporters after both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of the state budget, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.  (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, right, and House speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, speak to reporters after both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the state budget, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

      ALFOND RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR’S RADIO ADDRESS

    AUGUSTA— Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland released a statement in response to the following assertion made by Governor LePage in his radio address:

      “Playing politics is easy; governing effectively is hard. As Chief Executive, I take my responsibilities on behalf of the people of Maine seriously.

      Our Administration has worked hard to change the attitude within government and has brought more transparency to government than any recent administration. We work with citizens and businesses to solve problems. We strive to be efficient and responsible with taxpayer dollars. And we only introduce public policy that benefits Mainers and our state.”

    President Alfond replied:

    “The governor certainly has changed the tone in Augusta. He has made politics one of the most contentious and divided in our state’s history. He has vetoed more bills than any other governor, he has lobbed insults that require censorship on TV, and he has continued to put his stubbornness ahead of the best interests of Maine people. We deserve better than this.

    The governor’s radio address shows no connection to what he does every day. It’s insulting that he thinks Mainers aren’t paying attention and that he thinks he can get away with his irresponsible behavior.”

    ###

Audio link and link to address as shared by the governor’s office.

All other links below are not as originally shared, nor are stresses. ~AP

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St. Patty's DayMaine’s first 126th Legislative session was plagued by misguided priorities and political games.

Democratic leadership chose their strategy, which was to attack and delay.

Hello. This is Governor Paul R. LePage.

Playing politics is easy; governing effectively is hard. As Chief Executive, I take my responsibilities on behalf of the people of Maine seriously.

Our Administration has worked hard to change the attitude within government and has brought more transparency to government than any recent administration. We work with citizens and businesses to solve problems. We strive to be efficient and responsible with taxpayer dollars. And we only introduce public policy that benefits Mainers and our state.

There are nearly 500 new bills that will become law in October or earlier as a result of this session.

In one of the most appalling moves of the session, however, some Democrats took a stand against the Administration at the expense of our military men and women. A Governor’s bill was submitted supporting Maine’s uniformed military members having access to public schools.

Military recruiters told our Administration several schools in southern Maine only allow minimal access of recruiters. Those high schools brought to our attention were Oak Hill, Noble, Wells, York, Kennebunk, Gorham and Yarmouth. We also were informed that two additional high schools, Portland and Yarmouth, refused uniformed recruiters from stepping on campus.

Democrats have claimed there is no problem, but in the same breath some Democrats have said uniformed military service members may intimidate high school students. So, the father or mother who arrives in uniform to pick up their child from school is threatening? The thought is preposterous.

Paul LePageOne Democrat even said he’s “more inclined to believe our local superintendents than a military recruiter.”

I’d bet my life on the word of a recruiter over a superintendent any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

As I prepare to go to Gettysburg, I am disgusted by these behaviors. The Democrats blatant rejection of this bill sends a message to all military service members – past and present – that they are not welcome in Maine’s public school system. The disdain is evident and it is a sad day for Maine when we cannot come together in agreement to support our troops.

Maine has a proud and long-standing tradition of service to our state and country. We have the largest number of veterans per capita in the nation and we owe our heartfelt gratitude to our troops who defend our freedom and sacrifice time with their family, friends and communities to serve.

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    NOTE: It is well known that our governor himself, unlike many men of his age, was not in the military during Vietnam and in fact, was living in New Brunswick raising his first family at the time. Paul LePage never served in the military in any capacity and has in fact been a harsh critic on numerous occasions of our nation’s Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama.

    Maine's First Lady Ann LePage attends VA ribbon cutting ceremony in Lewiston with US Congressman Rep. Mike Michaud, who is now running for her husband's office in 2014.

    Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage attends VA ribbon cutting ceremony in Lewiston with US Congressman Rep. Mike Michaud, who is now running for her husband’s office in 2014.

    Repeatedly the job of honoring Maine’s citizens who have served their country has fallen to First Lady Ann LePage, who has done a far better job of representing our state well than her husband ever could; our state is and should be grateful for and proud of our First Lady’s tireless work. That Governor LePage is speaking up so strongly is just another example of odd and inappropriate behavior, which the state has gotten rather used to over the course of his tenure.

    Here are statements released from Maine veterans serving in the 126th Legislature, regarding LD 1503, link to the various roll calls here:

    “I’m a Vietnam veteran. I have a Bronze Star. I belong to the American Legion. But I don’t want to see this sort of cynical misuse of patriotism for political ends,” said Rep. Charlie Priest, D-Brunswick. “This issue is about local control. It’s not about whether we love the military or not. Of course we love the military.”

    Priest is a Navy veteran who earned a Bronze Star for his service in the Republic of Vietnam in 1970 and 1971.

    “I’m very disappointed that this bill was used as a political tool to try to divide us. I’m a veteran and I’m a patriot. I know what side I’m on,” said Rep. John Schneck, D-Bangor, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Navy and is a member of the American Legion. “As far as I can tell, the ‘problem’ the bill addresses doesn’t exist. No factual evidence of a problem has ever been produced.”

    “This bill is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t appear to exist. We want our military to succeed and we also want to leave decisions to educators and parents in keeping with our time-honored tradition of home rule,” said Rep. Bruce MacDonald, D-Boothbay, the committee’s House chair.

———————————————————————–

Military service is not for everyone and this bill did nothing to force students into serving. It simply forbade school administrators from refusing recruiters in uniform to visit with students interested in exploring life’s options.

I encourage Mainers to find out where politicians stand on this important common sense bill before they cast their next vote. I assure you that this will not be the last time this bill is introduced.

I do not form opinions about policy based on party lines. Our Administration identifies the problem, reviews the options, and develops a plan. I stand by my principles and I don’t know any other way than to fight for what I believe in.

Maine has challenging issues that must be addressed. While we have the lowest unemployment rate in years, we need to become more competitive.

Electricity prices must be lowered and government spending must be curbed. I want Maine businesses to have the opportunity to thrive and create new jobs, and I want you to keep your hard-earned money not give it to government.

Furthermore, the taxes the Legislature just raised on you were completely unnecessary.

——————————————————————-

NOTE: Um… who’s zooming who? His own PARTY offered their own late budget, as it became readily apparent that the LePage budget was set to force municipalities to raise taxes on every Mainer, to counter the unfunded $400 million tax cuts to the wealthy passed by the GOP led 125th Legislature.

Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), called the proposal from legislative Republicans to restore $368 million to the state budget “a step in the right direction.” But he cautioned members of the Legislature’s budget-writing appropriations committee to reject the Republican proposals to tax nonprofits and take over the assets of the Maine Health Access Foundation to raise additional revenues and seek other “realistic revenue alternatives.”

    “Yesterday, legislative Republicans acknowledged the need to break with the governor and restore $368 million to the state budget in order to avoid property tax increases on hardworking Maine families,” Martin said. “Some of the most conservative members of the Republican Party joined in this appeal that includes new revenue. MECEP has maintained all along that Maine working families need a budget that funds our schools, protects our elderly and disabled, and gives our economy a boost without crushing property tax increases. Republican admission that additional revenues are needed to balance the budget is a step in the right direction.

    Yesterday’s proposal did not include realistic revenue alternatives,” Martin said. “The proposals to tax nonprofits and take over the assets of the Maine Health Access Foundation amount to a ‘hail Mary’ pass in the wrong direction. There are much better alternatives that we urge members of the appropriations committee to consider.”

Perhaps Governor LePage was somehow unaware of the effects of his budget as proposed upon his former city of Waterville… a reminder, via current Mayor Karen Heck:

    Karen Heck, Waterville’s Mayor, has long been outspoken in her criticism of tax cuts and how those cuts affect municipalities, as was her predecessor, Paul LePage. She laid out a bleak picture:

    “Even the best of these (Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee) proposals means a loss of nearly 50% million to municipalities over the next two years. We have been cutting services and trimming payroll for several years. We simply cannot absorb that kind of cut without raising taxes. Revenue sharing is an obligation, a bill the state should pay.”

He also has yet to acknowledge this clip:

——————————————-

I don’t know what Mainers will remember most about this first session. Perhaps it’s the recruiter bill or maybe that the hospital welfare debt was finally paid. Quite frankly, the tax increases disturb me the most.

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(Or maybe it will be these… )

More on that last, as LePage’s repeated statements of how the Administrations’ words were not heard by Appropriations is an out-and-out bald-faced lie. Both Commissioners Mayhew and Millett were heard by the AFA committee and the Governor knows this to be true. The Governor’s arrival to AFA on May 19th’s special session was at the 15 minute mark of this 45 plus minute recording:



——————————————————————————

And the way I look at it: the 126th isn’t over yet. So, in January we will have a plan. A plan that repeals the tax increases and is designed to move Maine forward.

The question is will Democrats choose to fight against me again or work for the Maine people.

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