Hansen on the State Senate Ballot

Write-in candidate Jack Hansen received 1506 votes for the 24th State Senate District in the election may 20th.  Now certified by all three counties (Bucks, Berks and Montgomery) encompassing the District, he is an official candidate.  Obtaining ballot status this way is more difficult than going through the normal nominating petition process.  It requires 500 write-in votes instead of going door to door (in freezing weather) and simply obtaining signatures.

Bob Mensch is the incumbent Senator there and he’s a right wing mess.  Arrested a couple years ago for flashing a gun at another motorist on I-78 in Berks County in a road rage incident he showed his temper.  He didn’t think the other driver was going fast enough.  The only thing which can be fast enough about Bob mensch is the thought of him out of office.

Corbett Signs Abortion Ban Bill

Gov. Tom Corbett signed SB 732 yesterday meaning abortions in Pennsylvania will cease being available in six months.  That is when the bill goes into effect mandating that every women’s clinic providing abortion services meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical facilities.  The new rules require 400 square foot operating rooms, elevators capable of carrying gurneys, wide hallways, parking for ambulances, registered nurses working full time instead of only on days when abortions are provided, and other expensive, impossible to meet guidelines.  Few clinics can even meet these regulations which are designed for facilities using general anesthesia.

The entire intent of this bill was to outlaw legal, safe abortions in the Commonwealth.  If it was about women’s health, as conservatives argued, it would never have passed because it wil result in illegal, back alley clinics similar to Gosnell.  Women will die at the hands of back alley butchers operating in unhealthy conditions, in unregulated, uninspected and unlicensed centers.  Planned Parenthood will have to cease performing safe, legal abortions, something which is a legal medical procedure.  Then Pennsylvania taxpayers will begin paying for litigation until the law is declared unconstitutional which it clearly is.  The people of Kansas have now paid over $400,000 when they passed a similar law.  In Texas abortion clinics closed or stopped providing reproductive choices for women.  Lawmakers in Harrisburg knew very well what they were doing.  Legislators such as Margo Davidson were either delusional or liars.  As tragic as her family’s tragedy was now she is condemning other, countless families to the same fate.

Planned Parenthood issued this statement:

Planned Parenthood Statement on Politically-motivated Abortion Law

Despite the call for a veto from many health care providers and medical professional organizations and media outlets, like the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Governor Corbett signed Senate Bill 732.  Numerous health care providers, including dozens of hospitals, doctors, and victim’s advocate groups, opposed the bill. The new law was supported only by organizations opposed to legal abortion. No physicians, nurses, or others in the medical field were consulted in the drafting of the law.

Today Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates Executive Director Sari Stevens released the following statement in response to the new law:

“Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit health care provider with a longstanding record of providing exceptional patient care.  One in five American women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in their lives for professional, non-judgmental and confidential care.

“It is extremely disappointing that Governor Corbett signed this politically-motivated bill into law.  Make no mistake, this new law has everything to do with politics. The individuals and organizations that pushed Senate Bill 732 want to end all access to legal abortion care, without exception.  But whether for an unintended pregnancy or a devastating diagnosis during pregnancy, there is a need for physicians and licensed medical professionals to provide safe and compassionate abortion care in Pennsylvania.”

“In Pennsylvania alone, 120,000 patients each year count on Planned Parenthood to provide them with a wide range of preventive care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, well woman exams and prevention and treatment of STDs, and abortion care.  We are in the process of evaluating the law and are determining next steps to continue our work to keep women healthy.

State House Voting to Ban Abortion

The Pennsylvania House is currently debating SB 732.  This would require all abortion clinics to be regulated as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.  This would eliminate safe, legal abortions in Pennsylvania because of the huge expense required to meet those criteria.  For example this means having elevators capable of carrying gurneys, full time RN’s, wide hallways and such.  None of these are needed for safe abortion practices.  Requiring surgical centers using local anesthesia (abortion clinics) with the same requirements as those using general anesthesia (ASF) is unnecessary.  No medical provider supports this bill.  Social workers, domestic violence and rape centers oppose it and doctors oppose it.

What this bill is about is the banning of abortion.  It is a back door which is clearly unconstitutional and something which will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers.  Litigation will be introduced as soon as harm from this bill is caused and Pennsylvanians will bear the burden of those legal costs.  Kansas has already lost $400,000 due to similar litigation.

This bill was drafted as a result of the horrors of the Gosnell clinic.  Ironically it will result in more Gosnells as safe, legal, regulated and inspected clinics stop performing abortions.  If it costs a clinic $1,000,000 to renovate unnecessarily in order to comply the cost of abortions will become unaffordable for many women.  Of course rich women would still be able to afford having reproductive choice and they could travel to seek that care.

The logic behind using the Gosnell example as reason to close all abortion providers is ludicrous.  According tot hat logic we should close all charities because of Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile abuses.

Let’s remember that abortions are legal medical care in this country.  If government decides it can interfere in your personal health care decisions then why not pass universal, single payer health care?

Mike Turzai is trying to use this and other extreme legislation as a launching pad for his upcoming Congressional campaign.  He has the Republican caucus up in arms over trying to ram through his fringe agenda before Christmas.

Update:  The bill passed 151-44 meaning many Democrats voted to doom women to back alley butchers.  Ironically even Margo Davidson, whose cousin died as a result of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, voted to kill more women that way.

News & Notes October 14, 2011

The US House passed a bill yesterday allowing federally funded hospitals the right to refuse to perform abortions.  Of course our law says it is a woman’s right to have an abortion and this law would actually kill women.  When severe complications from problem pregnancies threaten a woman’s life hospitals would be able to deny her life saving treatment.  Republicans in Washington just became a death panel.

Herman Cain is topping the GOP presidential polls.  I sure hope he becomes their nominee because we’d have a field day with his flat tax proposal.  Flat taxes mean even more income redistribution to the richest Americans while shifting the tax burden to the poor.  Here’s a news flash:  trying to close the deficit by taxing the poor won’t work for one simple reason:  they don’t have any money.  This man is a total idiot and his 9-9-9 plan reduces taxes for the rich from 35% to 9% and would not fund Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

The eviction of Occupy Wall Street was called off by the corporation which owns the park.  Regardless NYPD paratroops marched to the protest scenes outfitted in anti-riot gear to engage in yet more police brutality of behalf of bankers who stole their pensions.  

The ComputerGate trial continues in Harrisburg where former State Rep Brett Feese authorized work for Republican House campaigns as head of the HRCC according to testimony.  

State Senator Bob Mensch was found not guilty by Judge Thomas Eshelman in Berks County on charges he showed a gun to a passing motorist on I-78.  I sat through the first trial in Bernville and there’s no way a person could hear and see the testimony and find him not guilty.

The National Respurces Defense Council is targeting Congressmen Tim Holden and Lou Barletta for votes supporting polluters:

There was a state dinner at the White House last night and, again, I wasn’t invited.  Was it something I said???

Congress passed yet another job killing free trade deal this week.  Jim Gerlach spoke in support of this new measure which will cost yet more American jobs.

A pesky government regulation requires airlines to do periodic maintenance on all of their planes.  This keeps them from falling from the skies.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court candidates will be debating on PCN today.  The event is at Widener University.

PA GOP: Jobs, Not Banning Abortion

As the country’s economic numbers begin slipping once again because Republicans aren’t focused on jobs and the economy except to cut thousands of them, what is their top priority?  In Pennsylvania it is abortion.  HB 574 and the Mensch Amendment in the Senate, approved this week, will effectively drive abortions underground once again.  The horrors of the Gosnell clinic will be repeated under the guise of preventing them, a truly Orwellian initiative.

Twenty four lay persons serving on a grand jury, with no experience or expertise in the matters, recommended the state put abortion clinics under the same regulations as ambulatory surgical clinics.  This would mean much larger surgical areas and the need to hire full time registered nurses even if abortion procedures are only done one day a week, the normal schedule.  24 people too stupid to get out of jury duty are wagging the tail of the state legislature.

The intent of the bill isn’t to make abortions safer and prevent more Dr. Gosnells it is to put all Pennsylvania abortion clinics out of business, a violation of women’s rights.  It will result in more Gosnell clinics and no place where a woman get a safe, legal abortion.

Any House or Senate member who voted for this is going to have me sifting through their campaign finance reports.  State election law states that no campaign funds can be used for any purpose other than effecting the outcome of an election, something routinely violated in the cesspool which is Harrisburg.  Official complaints will be filed with the state and fines are $250 apiece, not to be paid from campaign funds.  Its time we held these people accountable.


News & Notes May 11. 2011

Newt officially declared his candidacy for president today via Twitter.  Tomorrow he’ll announce he’s leaving wife #3 for yet another secretary.  It doesn’t matter since this election was over the night Obama killed Osama.

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana signed legislation defunding Planned Parenthood in that state.  Laws such as this are unconstitutional because they seek to deny women of their reproductive rights.  If we passed laws requiring all guns be turned over the right wing would be up in arms (literally) but deny women their rights and…what happens?

I’ll be interested to watch how Sen. Bob Mensch votes on a new bill about distracted driving.  His defense Monday to a charge of showing  agun to another motorist was that he was texting while driving.  Interestingly his lawyer never produced any documentation, easily obtainable from his bill, that that was so.

Donald Trump’s ratings as falling as fast as his show’s.

Andrew Breitbart is at it again, this time trying to prove college professors are liberal.  It appears the mainstream media is finally tiring of his highly scripted and fraudulent works.  What took them so long?

Why are Bush’s people constantly trying to claim he killed OBL?  he had 7+ years to do it but went after Iraq instead, let him get away from Tora Bora then closed down the CIA unit which was after him?  His torture policies wound up sending us down blind alleys with bad information and Obama proved that regular skilled interrogators are more effective than torture.  We already knew that though.

As people in Bradford County begin coming down with barium poisoning from Marcellus shale drilling state experts are saying they don’t have answers.  How many more Pennsylvanians will die before we do something?  Do we need natural gas this badly?

Former staffers for Sen. Bob Mellow are testifying before a grand jury.

A Messiah College student is being harassed because he’s gay at the Christian college.  Doesn’t sound very Christian to me.


Sen. Mensch Guilty of Disorderly Conduct

State Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) was found guilty this afternoon of disorderly conduct for displaying a handgun at another motorist on I-78 in Berks County on March 9th.  The Pennsburg lawmaker is a co-sponsor of the Castle Doctrine bill in Harrisburg which would allow motorists in such situations, should they feel threatened, to actually shoot the other driver.

A real estate manager from Easton who also commutes daily to Harrisburg testified he was passing a large truck going eastbound around 5 pm when another SUV pulled up directly behind him, apparently irate at his being in his way.  When the victim pulled into the right lane Sen. Mensch pulled alongside, slowed down and showed that he was holding a Glock pistol in his hand.  The frightened Easton man immediately called 911 and spoke to them until State Police arrived at the Love’s convenience store at the Shartlesville exit in Berks County.  Ironically both drivers exited at the store, Mensch to gas up and the victim for a his usual break.

Sen. Mensch testified that he was actually texting while driving and not holding a gun.  He thought the other man was tailgating and following him when, in reality, he was being instructed by police to get the registration number of Mensch’s state vehicle.  Before getting his gas Mensch testified he took his Glock and put it in the small of his back under his suit coat in fear of what might happen following the then recent shootings in Tuscon.  

Press from at least eight outlets sat in the courtroom while a parade of five character witnesses paraded tot he stand for the defense.  None were able to mitigate the powerful testimony of the victim and the corroborating 911 telephone calls.  Interestingly all through the prosecution case the Senator sat at the defense table nodding up and down affirmatively as evidence against him was presented.  He then took the stand and, as Magisterial District Judge Andrea Book judged, lied to the court about his version.  

Following the verdict Mensch said he was shocked and disappointed but wouldn’t answer any questions.  He plans on appealing to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas but faces a $300 fine.  The Berks County DA’s office answered numerous questions after the hearing and said they thought all of the character witnesses testified truthfully.  I asked if he thought any of them had a vested interest in helping the Senator and he seemed annoyed at my query.  In his cross of the witnesses, one a Green Lane police chief, one the President of DeSales University and another a local newspaper publisher, he seemed to be pointing out their vested interests in being on good terms with the State Senator.

Sen. Mensch’s obvious arrogance on the stand worked against him when early on he described the victim as “dallying in the left lane.”  It was easy to see this man getting angry at anyone blocking his way and doing something obnoxious in return.  Apparently he did and now he will pay a price for it, both financial and, likely, politically.