Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More "Beyond Normal" Crazy in the Texas GOP platform

By "beyond normal" I mean what passes for normal in today's Republican party. Anyway, here are my "favorite" crazy provisions of the 2012 Texas GOP platform

  1. "All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine."
    I really hope "without penalty" doesn't mean that schools can't require vaccinations for enrollment with only serious (i.e. Christian Scientist level) and medical exemptions, because disease knows no borders.
  2. We support the right of individuals to make their own dietary decisions. We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution or consumption of food. Government should not restrict non-genetically engineered seeds.
    Notice the "non-genetically engineered" provision. I guess Texas Republicans are scared of anything done by scientists so restricting GMO is cool.
  3. We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority
    Seriously, no critical thinking skills? Seriously, Texas?
  4. Juvenile Daytime Curfew - We strongly oppose Juvenile Daytime Curfews. Additionally, we oppose any official entity from detaining, questioning and/or disciplining our children without the consent of a child’s parent.
    Late night street parties in front of GOP committee member's houses, kids?
  5. Electronic Privacy – We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications except in cases directly involving national security, by court order. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any national ID program, including the Real ID Act and the use of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) on humans.
    Wait, they're cool with implanting RFID tags in visitors to the US? I guess then they wouldn't have the embarrassment of arresting important German auto executives who left their passport at the hotel. They could just check his RFID tag.
  6. We support the principles regarding the public economy as stated in the Republican Party Platform of 1932 to wit:
    Resolution Regarding the Public Economy
    Whereas, constructive plans for financial stabilization cannot be completely organized until our national, State and municipal governments not only balance their budgets but curtail their current expenses as well to a level which can be steadily and economically maintained for some years to come. We urge prompt and drastic reduction of public expenditure and resistance to every appropriation not demonstrably necessary to the performance of government, national or local. The Republican Party established and will continue to uphold the gold standard and will oppose any measure which will undermine the government’s credit or impair the integrity of our national currency. Relief by currency inflation is unsound in principle and dishonest in results. The dollar is impregnable in the marts of the world today and must remain so. An ailing body cannot be cured by quack remedies. This is no time to experiment upon the body politic or financial.
    So not only are they're going to follow Ron Paul to his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but they chose the GOP policy from when they caused the Great Depression?
  7. Federal Reserve System – We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. In the interim, we call for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve System and an immediate report to the American people.
    Sound Money – Our founding fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar.
  8. United Nations – We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil.
    I guess I'm a little surprised they consider "wicked New York" to be US soil instead of "communist country"(except of course for Ground Zero)
  9. We believe rental of a woman’s womb makes child bearing a mere commodity to the highest bidder and petition the Legislature to rescind House Bill 724 of the 78th Legislature.
    What ever happened to the support of free enterprise without government interference?
  10. We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”
    "recognized by our country's founders?"
  11. We strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family.

Did the Ron Paul wing mess with the Texas Republican platform?

So there is plenty of coverage of the 2012 Texas Republican platform's utter insanity, but the coverage seems devoted to insanity that is more or less in line with the crazy that passes for "normal Republican" these days. But some provisions seem to have some Ron Paul influence.

Patriot Act - We urge review and revision of those portions of the USA Patriot Act, and related executive and military orders and directives that erode constitutional rights and essential liberties of citizens.
Emergency War Powers and Martial Law Declarations - We strongly urge Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and end our declared state of emergency. Any Declaration of Martial law should be approved by Congress. Real ID Act - As the Real ID Act effectively creates an unconstitutional and privacy-inhibiting national ID card, we hereby call for its immediate repeal.
While some Republicans indeed have opposed the most egregious portions of the Patriot Act, the majority have not, except of course for the Ron Paul wing. As for the War Powers part, it's a little vague but it sounds like what they want repealed is the "state of emergency" provision. This may just be Obama Derangement Syndrome but it may be the Paul people. The same goes for Real ID.
Government Intrusion into the Internet – We oppose the government’s ability to shut down websites either directly or through intimidation without a warrant or judicial hearing.
This provision seems particularly Paul-oriented, as the biggest lobbiers for this provision has been various entertainment corporations (who generally command overwhelming support from both parties in such things except when particularly egregious).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vagina mentions by Republicans in Congressional Record

Rep. George Radanovich (CA), Jan 9, 2009, honoring county supervisor Dianne Fritz: "Supervisor Fritz has always been active in the community; she performed with the Vagina Monologs and other fundraising activities in support of the Mountain Crisis Services programs for victims" Rep. Ted Poe (TX), June 26, 2008, in support of the death penalty for raping children, "She was bleeding profusely from the vaginal area. The victim was transported to Children's Hospital. An expert in pediatric forensic medicine testified that the victim's injuries were the most severe he had ever seen from a sexual assault in his years of practice. A laceration to the left wall of the vagina separated her cervix from the back of her vagina , causing her rectum to protrude into the vaginal structure. The injuries required her to have emergency surgery." Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD), June 25, 2007, justifying his opposition to embryonic stem cell research. "And the sperm which are released in the uterus, in the vagina really, and then they make it up through the cervix into the uterus, they make their way all the way up the Fallopian tube, and some of them get out into the body. And if the ovum has not made it into the Fallopian tube, they may be fertilized out in the body, and we call that an ectopic pregnancy, and that has to be interrupted because neither the fetus nor the mother will make it if we let that continue." June 21, 2006, opposing embryonic stem cell research again. "Once in a while it is not picked up and the ovum will go on out here in the body cavity, and the sperm, which are released, of course, down in the vagina . They go up into the uterus, and then they swim against the current, by the way, because there is some little cilia in here" Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), December 8, 2006, discussing HPV: "Condoms are ineffective against HPV because the virus is prevalent not only in the mucosal tissue (genitalia) but also on dry skin of the surrounding abdomen and groin, and it can migrate from those areas into the vagina and the cervix." Sen. George Voinovich (OH), March 11, 2003, discussing the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act: " Deliberately and intentionally delivering into the vagina a living unborn child, or a substantial portion thereof, for the purpose of performing a procedure; that the person performing such procedure knows will kill the unborn child and does kill the unborn child. "

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pascrell-Rothman Results: Purely Territorial

Some people for whatever reason think that issues played a role in the primary. In fact the results were overwhelmingly geographical. Rothman won overwhelmingly in his former district's territory (Bergen), Pascrell won overwhelmingly elsewhere. But far more of the district had been represented by Pascrell In the Bergen part of the district (I believe Rothman had represented all of it, if not he represented well over 90% of it), Rothman won overwhelmingly, Bergen results. Rothman 14,483 (73.4%), Pascrell 5,376 (26.6%). In the rest of the district, which had mostly if not entirely been represented by Pascrell, Pascrell won (slightly more) overwhelmingly, Pascrell 24851 (84%), Rothman 4635 (16%). Of course, since more of the district was previously represented by Pascrell (a good portion of the old 9th went to the 5th and to the new Latino-majority 8th), this transformed into a solid victory for Pascrell.