Posts tagged "GOP Fail"


This Republican Bill Would Require People To Get Court Approval To Date Or Have Sex

GOP Bill Would Force People To Seek Permission From A Judge To Have Sex

This GOP bill would legislate the private lives of consenting adults, both men and women, and forces them to ask a court if they can have sex with someone or date them. Image: Seth Dickens

Once again, Republicans have topped themselves. In the race for introducing legislation that restricts personal freedom the most in America, the Massachusetts GOP has reached a new low.

A GOP bill would force people to seek court approval to date and have sex.

For years, Republicans across the country have sought to police what citizens do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. They’ve tried to outlaw anal and oral sex, even for married couples. And they certainly want to ban gay sex. But now, they want to force people to seek permission from a judge before they can engage in sexual relations.


S787 is slippery slope that could be a model for legislation in red states in their war on women.

The bill is bad enough as it is. It legislates the private lives of consenting adults, both men and women, and forces them to ask a court if they can have sex with someone or date them. It’s a clear violation of personal liberty and privacy. But it’s also a slippery slope that could give Republicans a new idea to push in their war on women.

Republicans already want to make it harder for women to obtain a divorce. And the GOP isn’t a fan of women having sex outside of marriage. The right-wing has been totally obsessed with restricting the sex lives of women. And now they have a brand new tactic they can use to make women’s lives even more hellish.

In states where Republicans control all branches of government, they could easily craft a bill that bars any woman from dating or having sex with other partners during a pending divorce. And even if such bills are also applied to men to make them seem more fair, the bottom line is that sex lives would be decided on the whims of a judge. And if that judge is a sexist conservative male, he could simply give men permission to pursue other relationships and deny women from doing the same. After all, women’s sex lives are often more criticized then those of men, and are therefore most likely to be affected by such a law.

In short, this Massachusetts bill is a dangerous one that could lead to worse versions in other states. It’s a way for sexist conservatives to punish women for seeking a divorce and a way for them to legislate what women do in their bedrooms.

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This week, the Michigan House of Representatives took up HB 4643, legislation which was introduced by Republican Tom McMillin, that imposes massive fines against citizens who exercise their basic first amendment rights.

Under this law, citizens can be fined up to $1,000 per day for picketing.

Michigan’s extreme right wing Governor, Rick Snyder, along with the state’s predominately GOP/tea party legislature, have passed some of the most controversial laws in the country. From the state’s insane Emergency Manager law, which grants the governor power to remove any elected official and replace that official with a hand picked lackey of the governor himself, to the much hated Right To Work legislation that was passed by the legislature only after the voters were locked out of the capital, to the state’s extreme anti-abortion legislation and it’s widely condemned ‘rape insurance‘ bill, the fanatical right wing politicians that have seized hold of Michigan have made it all too clear that what the voters want is of no consequence to them. 

As if all of that were not enough, however, this week the Michigan House of Representatives took up a bill that will require judges to impose a fine of up to $1,000 a day for picketing workers. An additional fine of up to $10,000 a day is also to be levied against any labor organization found to be leading or organizing a strike.

Not only is this law a direct attack on labor, but a direct attack on rights guaranteed to all citizens under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Here’s a video from the House Floor. Representative Jim Towsend (D) introduced three amendments to the proposed house bill, in order to protect citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly. At the end of the video the Speaker of the House can be heard to say “Amendments not adopted.”

Are Michigan workers making too much money?

What’s up with all of these anti-worker bills in Michigan? Why would the state’s representatives be launching attacks against workers? Are Michigan’s super high wages keeping employers from opening businesses in the state? Not hardly. In fact, Michigan workers are not earning anything close to super high wages.

In 2012 Michigan average income ranked 35th in the nation. What’s even more telling, however, is that between 1980 and 2000 (the last year figures were available) the income of the poorest families in Michigan increased $1,465, or 8.9 percent, and the income of Michigan’s middle class citizens increased $4,186 or 8,8 percent. During the same time period, however, the income of Michigan’s wealthiest citizens increased $66,799, or 48 percent.

Between 2000 and 2010, Michigan personal income increased 18.5 percent, while the personal income for people living in the rest of the country increased 45.2 percent. And most telling of all, Michigan personal income growth ranked 50th out of 50 states and Puerto Rico, over a thirty year period.

Who is writing the laws in Michigan?

So while the statistics tell us that Michigan wages are not keeping pace with the rest of the country, that the rate of inequality between the rich and the poor is steadfastly growing for the past several decades, and the average income for Michigan’s working class citizens is all but stagnant, Michigan republicans keep crying that high wages are keeping businesses out of the state. Still, the facts say something very different.

A 73 page report from Progress Michigan asks the all important question “Who Is Writing Our Laws In Michigan?” The answer is not surprising. The detailed report shows the extent of ALEC’s activity within the state. Michigan is also home to the right wing think tank known as the Mackinaw Center For Public Policy. Both organizations are deeply entrenched in the state’s legislative and policy making decisions.

It’s obvious the policies being herded the Michigan legislature have little to do with helping the people of the state or even of addressing problems that actually exist in Michigan. Instead the legislation is being written by right wing think tanks and pushed through by the state’s right wing legislature, who are all too happy to do the bidding of their corporate benefactors, at the expense of citizens and workers.

HB 4643 which is now in its third reading before the House, must also be signed by Michigan’s right wing governor, before it becomes a law. There is little chance that a bill given this much attention by the state’s legislature will not pass the House. Given Rick Snyder’s track record on signing extreme right wing bills into law, my guess is that the citizen’s of the state will yet again be suing their government in federal court, over a clear violation of constitutional rights.

h/t: Randa Morris at Addicting Info

H/T: Rebecca Leber at Think Progress Justice

This is so embarrassing for Republicans, who’ve taken to attacking Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis (TX) on whether or not she was technically divorced at the age of 19 when living alone in a trailer with her daughter.

Apparently the Texas Republicans haven’t met Wendy Davis yet. Wendy Davis is a fighter for all people, and she isn’t about to let a few cheap shots at her family or her personal struggles take her down. State Senator Wendy Davis issued a statement today, saying in part, “The truth is that at age 19, I was a teenage mother living alone with my daughter in a trailer and struggling to keep us afloat on my way to a divorce… I am proud of where I came from and I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”

Conservatives were claiming that Davis lied about her status at the age of 19, but as I explained earlier, before the divorce one gets the separation and before the separation, one gets the unraveling of the relationship which often impacts the living situation. Then there is the time spent after filing for divorce. Welcome to reality.

But since Republicans don’t seem to live in reality, Senator Davis felt compelled to offer her biography to clear things up:

Wendy Davis Early Biography

- Wendy Davis’ parents separated for the final time when she was 11, and they were divorced by the time she was 13 years old. Even though the divorce settlement called for child support, Wendy’s father was not able to provide significant income for the family.

- Wendy and her siblings were raised primarily by her mother, who had attended school only into the ninth grade, and whose own father had only a sixth grade education.

- Wendy’s mother worked at a Braum’s ice cream store to support the family. Wendy started working at age 14 to join her siblings in the support of the family.

- Despite the financial struggles at home, Wendy was a good student and attempted to attend to college after graduating high school. She was unable, however, to make ends meet economically, and left believing that a college education was just not available to her.

- Wendy left home at 17, married when she was 18 and had her first daughter Amber when she was 19. She and her husband lived in a trailer, and Wendy continued to live there with Amber after they were separated. As a single mother at age 19, she often struggled to make ends meet. Wendy filed for divorce when she was 20 and she and Amber lived for a short time with her mother. The divorce became final when she was 21.

- After learning about flexible class options from a Tarrant County College brochure, Wendy discovered that she could get back into college. She moved into an apartment with Amber and began attending classes while working multiple jobs.

- Tarrant County College gave her a gateway to higher education. She excelled in classes as she worked hard. She did well enough to get into Texas Christian University, which she attended with the help of financial aid and scholarships.

- While working at her father’s dinner theater during college, Wendy met and later married Jeff Davis, a Fort Worth attorney. While married to Jeff Davis, Wendy had her second daughter Dru and continued to excel academically. She graduated first in her class from TCU. Wendy applied and was accepted to Harvard Law School. As Wendy has said before, Jeff helped her fulfill her dream of attending Harvard by cashing in a 401k and later they took out loans.

- While at Harvard, Wendy and Jeff arranged her schedule and that of her daughters, Amber and Dru, so that they could be together often. The girls lived in Boston during Wendy’s first year. In subsequent semesters, Wendy commuted weekly and Wendy’s mother played a daily caretaking role to assist the family.

- Following her graduation from Harvard, Wendy came home to Texas, completed a judicial clerkship, worked as a successful attorney at the law firm Haynes and Boone and later worked as an officer in their family’s title company.

- Ultimately, Wendy’s marriage to Jeff failed. The couple separated and shared custody of Dru who was still a minor. Dru lived in the family home with Jeff. After sometimes contentious proceedings, the divorce from Jeff became final and the two parents shared custody of their daughters Amber and Dru. Wendy was constantly present and sharing in the support and raising of her daughters as they grew up, attended college and have taken on jobs of their own.

- Wendy and her daughters remain very close. She and Jeff Davis have a healthy and respectful relationship based on their mutual love of their daughters.

In their efforts to avoid discussing policy, Republicans went for the jugular attacking Wendy Davis, her family, her history as a single mother, her time spent in a trailer, and the relationship between her and her now ex husband. They did this based on the idea that she could not be a single mother if she were technically still married, even if she were living alone with her daughter.

This is patently absurd and pathetic.

Republicans have done nothing but embarrass themselves, especially now that Wendy Davis has set the record straight with a truth bomb.

h/t: Sarah Jones at PoliticusUSA


Republicans want to blame Pres. Obama for the weak economy, but we’ve seen them block proposals that could help improve it time and time again.

This is only just the latest example:

Why do you think this happens?


23 “small government” Republicans set on controlling women through the very government they say is too big and controlling. Where are the women?

Hannity Announces Plan to Outline the ‘Conservative Solution Agenda for America’ (via

By Heather January 1, 2014 8:48 pm I thought Rush Limbaugh was the head of the Republican party? Who knew it was actually Fox’s Sean Hannity? We all already know that right-wing hate radio talkers and the pundits on Fox “news” are leading Republicans…


It took Sen. Bernie Sanders less than a minute on MSNBC to completely destroy the Republican arguments against raising the minimum wage.

Sen. Sanders said,

Look. Here’s the story. The story is that the national minimum wage is seven and a quarter an hour. I think most people understand that’s a starvation wage. Individuals can’t live on it. Families can’t live on it. If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which to my mind doesn’t go as far as it should, that would be a raise for 30 million Americans, vast majority of them are adults. And that’s just not people making seven and a quarter an hour. It’s people making eight bucks an hour, nine dollars an hour.

And at a time when almost all new income is going to the top 1%, it is time that working people, lower income workers get a raise, and we have got to do that. Now if the Republicans refuse to go along with that, and I very much hope that they will go along with it. I hope they understand that the overwhelming majority of the American people across the political spectrum understand that we have got to raise the minimum wage, so I hope that we can get this done.

Sen. Sanders (I-VT) took apart the major myths that form the backbone of the Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage. The Vermont senator pointed out that most minimum wage workers are adults. There are families who are trying to live off of the minimum wage. These people can’t live off of $7.25 an hour, and that minimum wage earners are working are the working poor.

Americans who are earning the minimum wage aren’t students who are working after school jobs. They aren’t living with mom and dad. These are adults who are working in mostly service industries to support themselves, and/or their families. Raising the minimum wage would be a huge step towards lifting millions of people out of poverty.

If Republicans want to lessen the need for food stamps and other assistance programs, the best way to do this would be to reward work by increasing the minimum wage.

It took Bernie Sanders about a minute to destroy the Republican rationale for not raising the minimum wage, and if Republicans try to argue this issue they will face a similar kind of humiliation as political leaders on the left will easily dismantle their conservatives myths and old wives’ tales surrounding the economic damage that is caused by increasing the minimum wage.

As Sen. Sanders demonstrated, Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the minimum wage. House Republicans never met an unpopular position that they couldn’t embrace, but if they choose to fight this losing battle it could cost them their seats in 2014.

America’s low wage workers have had enough, and Senators like Bernie Sanders are leading the charge against income inequality born out of starvation wages.

From the 12.30.2013 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live:

h/t: Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA


Oklahoma Legislature Will Save Christmas From Whoever Keeps Doing War On Christmas
Don’t worry, Christians! The brave and smart members of the Oklahoma Legislature are working on saving the Sacred Baby Festival from all those pagans and liberals and secular humanists who are trying to ban Christmas forever, just like they made sure that no one can ever forget that the 10 Commandments exist. They’ve introduced two “Oklahoma Merry Christmas bills” that would protect Christmas, apparently in the belief that the scary bearded atheists in Chick tracts are real people, haw-haw.
The bills, HB2316 and HB 2317, would “permit school districts to display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations,” which seems like awfully non-Jesusy language for laws aiming to protect The Only Holiday That Matters (plus Hanukkah, according to the sponsors). Before you know it, some weirdo will sneak in Saturnalia or the Winter Solstice, and also too Oklahoma will be overrun with Druids.


Oklahoma Legislature Will Save Christmas From Whoever Keeps Doing War On Christmas

Don’t worry, Christians! The brave and smart members of the Oklahoma Legislature are working on saving the Sacred Baby Festival from all those pagans and liberals and secular humanists who are trying to ban Christmas forever, just like they made sure that no one can ever forget that the 10 Commandments exist. They’ve introduced two “Oklahoma Merry Christmas bills” that would protect Christmas, apparently in the belief that the scary bearded atheists in Chick tracts are real people, haw-haw.

The bills, HB2316 and HB 2317, would “permit school districts to display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations,” which seems like awfully non-Jesusy language for laws aiming to protect The Only Holiday That Matters (plus Hanukkah, according to the sponsors). Before you know it, some weirdo will sneak in Saturnalia or the Winter Solstice, and also too Oklahoma will be overrun with Druids.


Last winter, shortly after President Obama won his second term in office, many Republicans rallied behind a pair of election-rigging plans designed to make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win White House again. Though the two plans differ in important ways, the crux of both plans is to rig the Electoral College by requiring blue states to award a significant portion of their electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates — all while ensuring that red states will award 100 percent of their electoral votes to the Republican as well. Though these election-rigging plans appeared dead after a wave of Republican officials came out against them, one of them has just returned to life in California.

On November 22, a man named Hal Nickle filed a proposed ballot initiative in California which would change the way that state allocates electoral votes to ensure that a large chunk of California’s 55 electors go to the GOP, even though Californians consistently prefer Democratic candidates to Republicans. Rather than allocating all of California’s electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, as nearly all states currently award their votes, the election-rigging initiative would allocate the states votes proportionally according to the percentage of votes won by each candidate. Thus, if this plan had been in effect in 2012, Mitt Romney would have received 37.12 percent of California’s electors — adding 20 to his overall total.

The trick behind this proposal is that if would only change the law in California, while leaving red states free to award all of their electors to the Republican:


If enacted in enough blue states, this plan would make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win the presidency no matter how they performed in the popular vote.

h/t: hIan Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Even if Democrat Mark Herring ends up with more votes than his Republican rival Mark Obenshain in the tightly contested Virginia attorney general’s race, he could still lose.

Herring is currently ahead of Obenshain by a follicle–the current official count states that Herring has 164 more votes than Obenshain out of more than two million cast. A recount is all but guaranteed and litigation seems likely. But even if after the dust clears Herring remains in the lead, under Virginia law, Obenshain could contest the result in the Republican dominated Virginia legislature, which could declare Obenshain the winner or declare the office vacant and order a new election.

“If they can find a hook to demonstrate some sort of irregularity, then there’s nothing to prevent them from saying our guy wins,” says Joshua Douglas, an election law expert and professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law.  “There’s no rules here, besides outside political forces and public scrutiny.”

An election contest is a specific post-election procedure for disputing the official outcome of an election. Different states have different rules for election contests–some put them in the hands of the courts, others in the hands of the legislature. Obenshain couldn’t simply contest the election out of the blue. He’d have to argue that some sort of irregularity affected the result. Still, Virginia law is relatively vague in explaining what would justify an election contest, and historical precedent suggests that co-partisans in the legislature are unlikely to reach a decision that hurts their candidate.

“History shows that contests in the legislature are generally more politicized than if they’re adjudicated in the judiciary,” says Edward Foley, a professor at Moritz College of Law. That applies to both parties–but it’s Republicans who have the majority in the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia state senate is evenly split, but Republicans have the majority in the state house. A spokesperson for Obenshain didn’t respond when asked directly if, after exhausting all other avenues, Obenshain would pursue an election contest.


That discrepancy could be the basis for a court challenge, because legal experts believe the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore requires jurisdictions within a state have to have uniform rules for counting votes. But if even if Obenshain loses in court, he could turn to the Virginia legislature with an election contest. The law states that Obenshain needn’t prove that Fairfax’s decision to allow more time for voters to argue their eligibility in order to go forward with an election contest, he need only “specific allegations which, if proven true, would have a probable impact on the outcome of the election.”

Obenshain may not have to prove that an irregularity would definitely have swung the election. “Virginia law permits a contest where a candidate can show a ‘probable impact’ on the result of an election, which is a relatively lax standard compared to other states,” says Foley.

Nevertheless there is a substantial political risks to this approach. Virginia Republicans could incur a severe political backlash if Virginians see them as thwarting the will of the electorate or subverting the results of an election simply because they didn’t like the outcome. Between a recount and potential litigation, we’re also still a long way away from a potential election contest.

Yet a campaign to persuade voters that the close election was simply the result of Democratic shenanigans at the polls isn’t inconceivable, especially with a base convinced that in-person voter fraud, which is very rare, is a deciding factor in elections. If after all options have been exhausted, Obenshain decides he wants to take his case to the state legislature, the only thing stopping Republicans from ordering a new election or declaring him the winner would be fear of a political backlash or their own self-restraint.

“It’s absurd to have a partisan legislature have the final say in who wins a close election, particularly with so few standard to guide it,” says Douglas. But it could happen.

If the Virginia GOP decides to steal the election for Attorney General to put in Mark Obenshain instead of Mark Herring, who was duly elected by the people of Virginia for that spot, then the state’s GOP will be hurt severely as a form of backlash. 



A Buncombe County Republican precinct chairman has been asked to resign after making “offensive” comments on “The Daily Show.”

Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell said Don Yelton officially stepped down from his position Thursday.

In a segment that aired Wednesday night, Yelton blasted “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything,” one of a slew of racially inflammatory comments he made in the interview. 

Mitchell called the remarks “offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.” 

"Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon," Mitchell said in a press release. "This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party."

According to the release, this isn’t the first time Yelton has clashed with local party leadership.

"Yelton was recently reprimanded and removed from his position as a precinct chair in Buncombe County for a period of time in 2012 through 2013 and was then re-elected to precinct chair by two votes (his wife and himself) at the 2013 convention, placing him back on the Buncombe County Executive Committee," said the statement, which also noted that Yelton neither sought nor got approval to speak on behalf of the GOP. 

The state party leadership also issued a statement calling for Yelton’s resignation.

Yelton told the Asheville media on Thursday that he stands by his comments.

"I’ve been laughed at by Democrats since I left the party. They try to make me look like a fool," he told WLOS-TV. "This is being picked up in Raleigh, across the state. They’re trying to say, ‘Look at this guy. He’s racist.’ The whole question isn’t about racism."


America won’t forget this one!

(via recall-all-republicans)



The GOP got ZERO of their demands last night.