A Threat To Women And Workers


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What you Need To Know About Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court issued two important rulings this morning: one that makes it harder for women to exercise their right to choose, and a second that effectively eliminates a President’s ability to make recess appointments and could imperil unions down the road as a consequence. The remaining decisions this session are expected to come next Monday, including Hobby Lobby (can owners of a for-profit, secular corporation impose their religious beliefs on their employees?) and Harris v. Quinn (are public sector unions’ fair share fees that ensure all employees, regardless of whether they are members of the union, receive the collectively bargained-for benefits constitutional?)

The decisions today were both handed down unanimously by the High Court. Here’s more on what the implications are for each:

McCullen v. Coakley

The decision: The Court struck down a Massachusetts’ law establishing a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion providers, ruling in favor of anti-choice protesters who argued that being required to stay that far away from clinic entrances is a violation of their freedom of speech. The decision rolls back a proactive policy intended to safeguard women’s access to reproductive health care in the face of persistent harassment and intimidation from abortion opponents.

The argument: The Justices argue that the 35-foot zone in the Massachusetts law restricts “access to ‘public way[s]‘ and ‘sidewalk[s],’ places that have traditionally been open for speech ac­tivities.” Therefore, the opinion states, the law burdens “substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests.” The justices do not categorically deny the right for states to set up buffer zones protecting abortion clinics, but do effectively remove the Massachusetts law and threaten other similar safety measures around the country.

The implications: The decision is a blow to women. Since 1993, eight clinic workers have been murdered. There have been 6,400 reported acts of violence against abortion providers since 1977. According to the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which closely tracks threats and violence against abortion providers across the country, buffer zones have had a measurable impact improving safety in the areas where they’re in place.

BOTTOM LINE: The Supreme Court itself has a buffer zone around it’s 252-by-98-foot plaza, preventing protesters from demonstrating too close to the entrance. Surely it can see the need for abortion clinics, the subject of frequent and sometimes violent intimidation from their opponents, to have a reasonable buffer zone as well.

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning

The decision: The Court effectively eliminated the president’s power to make recess appointments in all but the most unusual circumstances. It limits the president’s constitutional duty to appoint leaders that keep our country working for all Americans, from making sure our elections are fair to protecting workers’ and consumer rights.

The argument: Prior to Noel Canning, a federal appeals court — the highest legal authority to weigh in on the question — confirmed that a president does indeed have the power to make recess appointments. Specifically, it ruled that sham sessions known as “pro forma” sessions held by the Senate every three days in order to defeat a president’s attempts to make these appointments were in fact not enough to stop him. Every single justice on the Supreme Court, however, disagreed with that ruling and voted against recess appointments today, although the Court split 5-4 on rationale. Five justices, overturning the appeals court, opined that these “pro forma” sessions were in fact enough to block a president from making recess appointments because “the Senate is in session when it says it is.” The four conservative justices went even further, with an opinion that could have retroactively invalidated thousands of recess appointments made by presidents past if it had garnered just one more vote.

The implications: The impact of this ruling goes beyond a legal technicality. President Obama took the risk of making recess appointments in the first place to fill a minimum number of seats on the National Labor Relations Board, a government agency with exclusive authority to enforce much of federal labor law. NLRB members serve five year terms, and unless at least three seats on the board are occupied, it is powerless to act. Therefore, the fullest impact of this decision will likely be felt in 2018, when the five year terms of the NLRB’s current slate of members expire. Even if the president at that time supports allowing federal labor law to function in 2018, he or she will be unable to keep the NLRB functioning if a majority of the Senate is determined to shut down federal labor protections.

More broadly, the decision underscores the importance of the Senate’s action last November to allow executive nominees to receive an up or down confirmation vote. Without last year’s change to the Senate rules, today’s decision would have empowered a small, but vocal minority, to use arcane procedure to block the government from being able to function properly.

BOTTOM LINE: In a technical ruling, the Supreme Court took away the president’s power to make recess appointments. While today’s court decision will have little immediate impact, its long-term effects remain unclear and could threaten the rights of workers across the country if the NLRB is dismantled. The House and Senate must find new ways to ensure that the politics of obstruction and shutdown do not limit the ability of our nation to function properly.

Stay tuned for more Court decisions on Monday. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, RSVP to join a rally hosted by NARAL in front of the Supreme Court that morning.

Women in the US need the “Women’s Health Protection Act.”


Womenshc

join Daily Kos and the National Partnership for Women & Families to encourage your senators to co-sponsor the Women’s Health Protection Act. Click here to sign and send the petition.
Attacks on women’s health are happening all across the country.

  • Louisiana just tried to close ALL the state’s abortion clinics;
  • At least ten states require ultrasounds for women seeking abortion care, even when doctors say there’s no need;
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last month that could end insurance coverage for abortion;
  • The Supreme Court will soon decide whether bosses can undermine the Affordable Care Act and endanger women’s health by denying their employees insurance coverage for birth control without co-pays;
  • And last year, states enacted the second-highest number of abortion restrictions… ever!

They are relentless, reckless and morally reprehensible.
The good news is that there’s a way to fight back: the Women’s Health Protection Act.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would allow women to make personal health care decisions unhindered by medically unnecessary restrictions designed to make it harder to access abortion care.
So please join Daily Kos and the National Partnership for Women & Families to encourage your Senators to become co-sponsors of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Please click here to sign and send the petition to your Senators.
Keep fighting, Rachel Colyer, Daily Kos

Consider …mydiet.com


   11 Healthy Food Swaps You Can Make Today

7 Foods You Should Avoid at All Costs

7 Food Supplements That Are Bad for You

7 Drinks You Should Never Drink Again

Easy Microwave Mug Cakes

By Joan Westlake

The microwave replaces the stove to make these cupcakes super quick and delicious. They’re ideal for a dorm room dessert or anytime you don’t want to wait for the 25-minute oven version that heats up the entire kitchen.

These miniature cakes are easy to personalize by adding fruit, jam, chocolate chips, caramels, or a splash of liqueur. Once you make your first batch, you’ll begin to see new flavor possibilities.

Equipment

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large spoon and spatula
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Four 8-ounce mugs, microwave-safe

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (you can use vegetable oil but it is lower in good fats and higher in saturated fats)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (omit if you want white cake and instead add a tablespoon of vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Your choice of toppings — icing, powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit, candy kisses, or whatever your heart desires

Instructions

  1. Beat the egg and add the rest of the wet ingredientsmug cake 2 Easy Microwave Mug Cakes
  2. Sift in flour and add the rest of dry ingredients.
  3. Mix until barely combined. Do not beat. Don’t worry if it the mix seems oily.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the four mugs, filling each about two-thirds full.
  5. One at a time, microwave each mug on high for two to two-and-a-half minutes. Don’t panic when you see the cake rising to the rim. It should hover there but not spill over.
  6. Remove the mugs from the microwave, cool a few minutes, add your favorite topping, and eat immediately. These dry out if they sit too long so you have an excuse to gobble them all up.

In this don’t overdo lifestyle we live, it makes sense to just do things in moderation if you ask me …ok, yes make sure your health numbers can support a little food cheating … Nativegrl77

Staci Appel for Iowa


With Staci’s potential opponents headed to a convention this week, we can only expect their extreme positions to get even worse as they try to appeal to the same Tea Party base that endorsed Rick Santorum just two years ago.

Nothing is more shocking, though, than Brad Zaun’s and Matt Schultz’s shared views on women. They’ve both signaled support for a proposal which would severely limit a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions.

This is precisely the reason that it is time for Iowa to Staci Appel Congress. For too long we’ve let men decide questions of women’s health – it’s time to give women a voice. Add your name today to stand with Staci against our opponents’ reckless proposal.

These so called “personhood amendments” are the latest far-right ploy to set women’s rights back nearly 50 years.

Staci is ready to take on whomever their nominee is this fall, but if it is one of these guys, this fight is going to be especially important to women across the country. This backward-looking regulation of women’s bodies needs to stop!

Join us today and stand against their reckless and outdated attempts to take away a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her body. They’re too extreme for Iowa, and that is exactly why it’s time for Iowa to send a woman to Washington.

Thanks for standing with us today.

Sarah Shepson
Appel for Iowa

Marco Rubio


Senator Marco Rubio Speaks out against Progressive Socialism, Big Government and our climbing national debt at Tax Day Tea Party Rally in Tampa, April 15, 2011. Event hosted by the Tampa 912 and Tampa Tea Party, partnered with 14+ Tea Party and Grass Roots Organizations, including “Americans For Freedom” founder Michael Pinson.

Friday, May 7, 2010 15:54 ET

Immigration flip-flop will cost Marco Rubio

The U.S. Senate candidate changes his position to fall in line with the Tea Party crowd

By Joy-Ann Reid

This originally appeared on Joy-Ann Reid’s Open Salon blog.

Marco Rubio has changed his mind about the Arizona immigration law, which he now supports whole-heartedly, to the point of actually advocating the deportation of children to Latin American countries where he admits the culture would be alien to them. In doing so, he may be joining an ignominious club, and so marginalizing himself in the quest for the votes of hardline conservatives that he loses all hope of gaining ground among Florida moderates.

Rubio has locked up conservative Republican votes for November. But to win, he needs to expand his base to include independents, who in Florida tend not to be nearly as right wing as Rubio’s new BFF, Jim DeMint (of South Carolina), or even as the state’s legislature, whose minority rule is cemented by gerrymandered districts. By moving to the far right in the immigration debate, Rubio may make Ann Coulter happy, but he could harm himself with fellow Hispanics (Rubio is Cuban-American, but the fastest growing group of Florida Hispanics are Puerto Rican, and their numbers are numerous in the critical central portion of the state) as well as with suburban whites, and younger voters, who tend to hold more moderate views.

And it can’t be stated enough that Rubio’s new stance on immigration ends, probably for all time, the possibility that he can be the right’s fishing lure to reel in Hispanic votes in 2012. Nearly seven in ten Hispanic-Americans are of Mexican origin, and the vast majority (just like the majority of all Americans, including Republicans) favor the “path to citizenship” that Rubio now stringently opposes. Thanks for playing, Mr. Rubio.

From Sara Haile-Mariam at Campus Progress:

Via Ben Smith, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives said in an interview with Human Events’ Jason Mattera today:

“And that’s why I’ve always believed that, no matter how well-intentioned it is. I understand the human stories that we’re going to…We’re gonna….There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that. The goal here is to have an immigration policy that works.”

It’s “gonna feel weird”? Really, Marco? That’s all you’ve got??? Campus Progress, your witness:

Rubio’s scenario of an ideal immigration system would require securing federal funding to deport over 65,000 young people who are undocumented citizens. It would require some sort of system to identify them, hunt them down, and facilitate their deportation. The proposal doesn’t sound weird as much as it sounds wrong.

Tell me about it. Rubio’s revised position on the Arizona law puts him squarely in opposition to himself, since he used to be considered a moderate on immigration, and even was accused by rabid anti-immigrationists in Florida of slow-walking related bills when he was Speaker of the House. This was Rubio in December:

“They’re God’s children, but they’re here illegally,” he recently told a Republican club in northwest Florida. “You can’t round up 11 million people because we don’t live in a police state. But you can’t grant amnesty either because if you do, you will destroy any hope of having a legal immigration system that works. You will send a message that all you have to do is come into this country, stay here long enough and we will let you stay.”

But Rubio now says you can indeed round them all up and deport them, and we should do so right away, including children who came into this country illegally without their knowledge, because they were kids, to which Ms. Haile-Mariam asks:

What I’d like to know is what I’m supposed to tell young people like Juan, Felipe, Gabby and Carlos collectively known as the Trail of Dream Walkers. These four young people walked from Florida to Washington, D.C., in support of immigration reforms like the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would provide three of them with a path to citizenship through education or military service.

Incredibly, Rubio has now taken a position to the right of Linda Chavez, the conservative, self-described “most hated Hispanic in America,” who wrote a stinging rebuke of the Arizona law this month, even attacking it’s grammar. Rubio had denounced the law for a time, too, with back-up from Jeb Bush. And not for nothing, but the law’s sponsor has ties to white supremacists and anti-Hispanic bigots, something obviously lost on Mr. Rubio, who now appears to be taking different advice than that offered by Jeb. He is, apparently, oblivious to the irony that his people, Cuban-Americans, have had the most liberal immigration policy applied to them, including allowing them to enter the U.S. without visas, via Mexico.

In South Florida, among the strongest supporters of immigration reform, including more liberal rules for admitting Haitian refugees into the country are Cuban-Americans, including all three Cuban-American members of Congress. Rubio has now also placed himself to the right of his own community.

Is Rubio becoming the Latino Clarence Thomas?

There is a reason why more blacks and Hispanics don’t join the Republican Party and the “conservative movement.” It’s not just their ideas, which often seem hostile to people of color, and which have had very real, negative consequences, not just for minorities, but for America. It’s that in order to be in the club, you have to sell a little too much of your soul, by becoming an ethnic parody (see Michael Steele) or by openly repudiating your own ethnic group in the strongest, harshest terms, in order to prove that you have more fealty to their notion of America, which often translates to a particular white historic and corporate elite, than to people who look like you. In an ideal world, there should of course be no ethnic tribalism in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic society. But America has not reached that ideal, and empathy for others, whether in your own ethnic group or not, is at minimum, a sign of civilization. To the right, however, empathy is seen as a threat, particularly when those being empathized with are not, to be blunt, white.

Too harsh?

Well think about the African-Americans who have earned favor among right wing Republicans: Alan Keyes, whose bug-eyed denunciations of Barack Obama (and his supposed threat to the republic) and zealous advocacy of the founding fathers, with no reference to the fact that had he been among them, they would have considered him a rank inferior, and enslaved him, have not stopped him from being taken seriously on the right; Clarence Thomas, whose self-pitying malevolence extends not just to affirmative action, which he grouses at having benefited from, but to anyone who isn’t at the economic apex of society; plus the equally bitter Ward Connerly, the reverse Robin Hood of affirmative action politics, who was indirectly responsible for Jeb Bush’s imposition of “One Florida” on this state.

Other conservative African-Americans, like Star Parker, excel at banging on about “welfare queens” and “race hustlers,” while contributing nothing, beyond the books they’re trying to sell (and the occasional long shot run for Congress), to the cause of improving struggling inner city communities.

There’s Allen West, whose clownish performances as the lone black member of the “tea party movement” have a Dave Chappelle quality to them that really make me miss the former Comedy Central show.

And let’s not even get started on Michelle Malkin, an Asian-American supporter of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

Likewise, conservative Hispanics are prized by the right for their willingness to condemn fellow Latinos for daring to come to this country and mow the lawn and pick tomatoes. But that has proved to be a brand of cognitive dissonance most people find difficult, if not impossible, to accept. In fact, there are notable exceptions; people who refuse to be the spokesmen for bigotry or extremism just to please the far right (think Michelle Bernard of the Independent Womens Forum, JC Watts, who left Congress saying he was tired of being a photo-op, and Gen. Collin Powell, the one Republican of any ethnicity with the cojones to denounce Rush Limbaugh without fear or apology).

Which brings us back to Mr. Rubio, who by the time we get to November, might not have much of his soul left to sell, or for that matter, much of a path to victory.