Wednesday, October 17, 2018

McConnell Again Threatens Cuts: To Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and More

Source: — Compiled by Peter G. Peterson Foundation

GOP's Platform for Deficit Reduction
(Soc.Sec., Medicare, Medicaid, et al)

Leave it up the GOP solve budget and deficit and spending problems, right? Yeah, like returning to old stomping grounds: Blame and then cut entitlement programs (i.e., Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – the biggies for them).

After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for DOD Sen. GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said recently that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and more).


·        On October 16, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on Congress to rein in government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to slow America's increasing national debt and thus cut the blooming deficit.
·        He called the debt disturbing, and said it's driven by those three entitlement programs (he didn’t mention the tax cut that the Congress passed that has contributed to the debt increase).
·        The nonpartisan CBO projects that the GOP tax cuts would add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

McConnell further says: “It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem.”

My 2 cents – oops note for old Mitch: The deficit grew 17% to $779 billion in 2018 and he still says:It’s a bipartisan problem: The unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.” 

Further note that under Mitch: The deficit has increased some 77% percent since you became the Senate GOP majority leader in 2015 and pushed this historical GOP-geared tax cut for the top. 

Now he and apparently along with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) both say the only way to reduce the gigantic deficit is entitlement reform, i.e., scale back and cut entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

(Psst Mitch: The GI bill and VA care are also entitlement programs for the disabled and extremely handicapped Vets – so cut them, too, um?).

Just don’t take any responsibility right Mr. and Mrs. GOP for that huge tax cut – that BTW favored the top 1-5% of richest in the country along with giant Corporations – and your big donors, too. 

NOTE: No DEMS voted for that gigantic tax cut – and in fact many warned of the exploding deficit – which is now in our collective face.

Now, based on what McConnell and others have said, I suspect for people like me who worked for 44 years and paid into SS and Medicare faithfully – now you want us to give that up and pay your mess?

So, do DEMS now have a tremendous issue? “You betcha they do…!!!”


Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, October 15, 2018

GOP: Always Looking for Someone, Anyone to Blame Except Themselves

A truism if ever there were one ...

Po’ whittle GOP – they want us to feel sorry for them while praising and supporting their new tactics and apparently their new motto which seems to be:
“Don’t blame us for anything, blame the DEMS, Hillary Clinton for losing, the failed NY TIMES, Fake News, and the Russian hoax chased by Mueller and congress.”

Two links and similar stories:
(1)  This one with this headline“The party of personal responsibility is now the party of “the libs made me do it”

(2)  Then this one with their headline“CNN's conservative pundits are helping the GOP fear monger over scary liberal protesters”

A few points:

In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, right-wing media and Republican officials have found a new favorite scare tactic: hyping nonsensical claims of radical Democrats and an “angry mob of scary, violent, liberal protesters trying to disrupt American values and take over the country.”

This transparent effort at turning out Republicans to the polls has been parroted by a number of right-wing pundits paid by CNN for their political analysis.

Right-wing media, especially the Trump-aligned Fox News Channel, responded to the confirmation battle of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by accusing Democrats, protesters (many of whom were sexual assault survivors) and the left broadly of violent radicalism. Republican politicians, including the president, have been quick to echo these claims.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) argued that Democrats “encouraged mob rule” during the Kavanaugh hearings, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commended Republicans for standing “up to the mob.”

During an October 9 rally in Iowa, Trump – who regularly called for actual violence during the 2016 campaign and who said last year that there were “very fine people” at a white supremacist rally that resulted in one person dying – condemned Democrats as an “angry left-wing mob” that is “too dangerous to govern.” Trump insisted that the party cannot be trusted with power because “you don't hand matches to an arsonist.”

Conservative denouncements of left-wing violence are obviously absurd, and markedly hypocritical, but that hasn’t stopped right-wing CNN pundits from fear mongering about the supposed “mob behavior” of the left.

Examples:

1.  On CNN with Anderson Cooper 360 commentator Steve Cortes called it “scary that the left has been using mob tactics and “violence to a dramatic degree.”

2. On CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, political commentator Alice Stewart claimed that the GOP was correct in calling protesters a “mob because they were banging on the doors of the Supreme Court and chasing senators out of public restaurants and yelling at senators in an elevator.”

3.  CNN Matt Lewis equated protesters to the alt-right and specifically white supremacist Richard Spencer before host Don Lemon interrupted him. He then accused the protesters of “mob behavior,” and got into a heated exchange with Lemon about whether activists disrupting people who are complicit in the administration’s inhumane policies constitutes mob action.  

4.  Then on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper, network contributor Scott Jennings argued that the Kavanaugh hearings showed conservatives “what life would be like if you let the angry mob take over,” and claimed that if he were running a campaign he would use “video of this angry mob.” 

There is, of course, tremendous irony here:

1. CNN hired Corey Lewandowski as a political commentator after Lewandowski was forced out of the Trump campaign for assaulting a reporter.

2. CNN was also duped by conservatives earlier this year into fretting over “civility” as it conflated examples of liberals being rude with conservatives being racist.

3.  CNN’s model of false balance and “both sides” punditry and its obsession with employing and hosting a roster of right-wing ideologues is nothing new, but it does continue to lead to the espousal of extremist opinions on the network.

Thanks for stopping.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Georgia Voter Suppression: Alive and Well and Apparently Full-time Full Speed Ahead

At times no one's hands are clean on cheating to win
(Overall, the GOP has mastered the skill)

Newly a week has gone by on this story and the sub-title is worrisome as expressed a 6-minute video clip with Sen. Markey (D-MA) and Chris Hayes on his MSNBC show “All In” from Media Matters (October 12, 2018):

National TV news stations drop the ball on Georgia 
voter suppression

ABC, FOX, and NBC all have completely ignored the news that Georgia's secretary of state (also the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate), is sitting on tens of thousands of voter applications, while CNN and CBS just began covering the story.

First the video clip:

Introduction to the story:

Georgia’s secretary of state and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Brian Kemp, is blocking the voter registrations of tens of thousands of people in his state, potentially keeping them away from the polls on November 6 in his face-off against Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams during the midterm election, too.

His voter suppression tactics, which disproportionately affect Black voters, aren't new, but they are a direct assault on voting rights, and most national TV news stations have completely ignored the story.

On October 9, The AP reported that Kemp has “cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012” through purges of voter rolls, including almost 670,000 registrations in 2017 alone.

Additionally, the AP found that Kemp is currently holding up 53,000 new voter registration applications; nearly 70 percent of those applications come from Black citizens, in a state that is 32 percent Black. The applications are ostensibly being held because the information on them does not exactly match state or federal records, but these disparities could be as minor as a missing hyphen or a typo.

The Bottom Line: Many Georgians may be unaware that their applications have been put on hold or that they’ve been purged from the voter rolls, and now that the October 9 deadline to register to vote has passed, Kemp may have successfully suppressed their vote come November.

Related story here from the Daily Beast – “Republicans Have a Secret Weapon in the Midterms: Voter Suppression

My 2 Cents: Simply stated what and who can do anything about this, right Mr. and Mrs. GA government, or even Federal officials, or even to the USSC quickly?

Yes, states do have control over their own election process, but this also interferes in the Federal midterm cycle, ergo: May need USSC intervention.
So, stay tuned … we apt to see a big battle since this simply underscores the underhanded tactics of the GOP win at any cost, and in this case it could cost plenty for our entire election process. 

Action is needed to rectify this ASAP.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Science Deniers (Trump, et al): Does He Know Medicine is an Art Based on Science

Under attack more so with the same culprits 
(Hardcore GOP righties)

The EPA is under direct attack and mostly from within like reported on from the NY TIMES, National Geographic (their running list of Trump’s policy changes), and from the LA TIMES.
More recently reported on by the NY TIMES (this update) and a few more headlines below:

My intro: Just image for a minute that every science denier in the country gets into a powerful political office. They are ready to axe everything they personally dislike regardless of what any science (climate, medical, or other field) along with studies and years of evidence to prove a case that is not a Rush Limbaugh-based BS line spreading across GOP-Conservative la-la America.
Well surprise, surprise: They are now in power and doing great policy change damage. But, the real damage is staring us right in the face as this latest NY TIMES article underscores about the nutty professor, Donald J. Trump “hoax” policy pusher – and again at the EPA which happens to be his #1 target. Even with that nutcase and proven corrupt former EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, now booted out of office on a string of ethics charges, Trump is the one who still wields awesome power for damage and boy, is he ever. 
What follows relates to the sustained Trump craziness and it underscores the failure of this all GOP-run congress to hold him accountable – instead we now apparently have only two branches of government: Trump’s and the Judicial (but, that may change drastically in short order thus giving him whole enchilada as they expression says. But that is a topic for another day).

BACKGROUND:
WASHINGTON — Days after the Senate confirmed him as administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, appeared at the CPAC Conference and when he was asked about addressing a group that probably wanted to eliminate EPA, he responded this way:
I think it’s justified. I think people across the country look at the EPA the way they look at the IRS.” (The CPAC cheered like crazy).
(I Note: That is a crazy view to hold. Pruitt cannot presume or pretend to know what people think about the EPA or the IRS — we all hate the IRS (smile).
In the days since, Pruitt, the former OK AG, who built a career out of suing the EPA has moved quickly to stock the top offices of the agency with like-minded conservatives, many of whom are skeptics about climate change and all of them intent on rolling back environmental regulations that they see as overly intrusive and harmful to business.
(I now insert a huge whoa and WTF moment:  “Harmful to business?” How about harmful to human life)?
Pruitt has drawn heavily from the staff of his friend and fellow Oklahoma Republican, Sen. James Inhofe, Mr. Science Denier Bigtime, who is also known as Congress’s most prominent skeptic of climate science. A former Inhofe chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, for example who became Pruitt’s CofS at EPA.
Another former Inhofe staff member, Byron Brown, will serve as Jackson’s deputy.
(I Note: Nice and cozy, um?).
Andrew Wheeler, a fossil fuel lobbyist and a former Inhofe chief of staff, is a finalist to be Pruitt’s deputy administrator, although he requires confirmation to the position by the Senate
Now sprinkle in Mr. Climate Change is a Hoax himself, Donald J. Trump, who is making these appointments and his first budget proposal to Congress, wherein he plans to cut the EPA and under his axe: Cut their overall budget by some 31% (to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion), and eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.
(Yeah, that Donald J. Trump – “Mr. Job Creator”)…!!!
Some Specific Areas in the Trump Budget Proposal to go bye, bye or their missions reduced:
1.  Federal vehicle and fuels standards: It has been barely a year since Volkswagen agreed to pay as much as $14.7 billion to settle claims stemming from its diesel emissions cheating scandal, and the EPA has accused a second automaker, Fiat Chrysler, of evading emissions standards. But the proposed budget cuts would all but eliminate the $48.7 million federal budget for vehicle tests and certification. The Trump budget foresees getting automakers themselves to pay for testing through fees.
(I Note: Getting those potentially guilty likes the VW cheating to pay vs the EPA, well isn’t that like hiring Fox to guard the hen house or known bank robbers to act as bank security guard – hey just asking.)
Even if automakers agree to that, it takes time to set up, and any funding shortfall in the meantime would mean a significant paring back of the work at EPA’s emissions testing labs that now work to catch cheaters.
2.  Tap water: Case in point: Flint, MI – still reeling from its tainted water crisis, and unsafe levels of lead have turned up in tap water in others places: city after city. Still, the EPA is looking to decrease grants that help states monitor public water systems by almost a third, to $71 million from $102 million, according to an internal agency memo first obtained by The Washington Post.
The Public Water System Supervision Grant Program has been critical in making sure communities have access to safe drinking water.
In Texas, for example, state-contracted workers collect drinking water samples across the state, an effort funded in part by federal grants.
Much of the risk to the country’s water supply stems from its crumbling public water infrastructure: a networks of pipes, treatment plants and other facilities built decades ago. Although Congress banned lead pipes in 1986, between 3.3 million and 10 million older ones remain, primed to leach lead into tap water.
3.  Criminal and civil enforcement: Sharp cuts in the agency’s enforcement programs could curtail its ability to police environmental offenders and impose penalties. The budget proposal reduces spending on civil and criminal enforcement by almost 60 percent, to $4 million from a combined $10 million. It also eliminates 200 jobs.
Recently, the EPA fined Sunoco Pipeline, a subsidiary of the operator behind the Dakota Access pipeline, nearly $1 million over a 2012 spill. The spill sent 1,950 barrels of gasoline into two waterways near Wellington, OH forcing the evacuation of 70 people.
One activity that could get an increase is the security for Pruitt, EPA administrator (which partly would later cost him the job) who seeks 10 additional full-time staff members for a round-the-clock security detail — a first for an EPA chief, who usually has only door-to-door protection, thus more than doubling infrastructure and operations staff.
Story continues on the proposed cuts here.
Trump later said his mention of China’s role a joke, but he has a lengthy record of using the word “hoax” to describe climate change. (FYI: Politifact in 2014 rated his claim that climate change is a “hoax as Pants on Fire.)
Back on December 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, SC, “Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, okay? It's a hoax, a lot of it.”
That’s three times using “hoax” in one sentence.
Trump has also used the word on Twitter since his 2012 tweet.
On Jan. 25, 2014, Trump tweeted, “NBC News just called it the great freeze — coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?”

Now it's my honor to recognize the “Deniers Wall of Shame (more will be added later I am sure):
My 2 cents: The real hoax, if any at all is Donald J. Trump. He may in fact be kind of “draining the swamp” (but, in most of the cases he had no choice with some of firings and resignations for serious ethical and financial malfeasance and such), but the problem is Trump keeps refilling the swamp with the same kind of scummy officials. Harsh statement you say? Not as harsh as the crazy policy Trump is leveling on all of us – except of course the big GOP PAC contributors and their special interest BFF’s.
It’s time to wake up America – next month in the 2018 mid-terms would be a great starting point. Think about it – if not things I guarantee you will get worse under Trump Empire, Inc.
As a parting reference, note this from CNN – a story related to the subject of science deniers hitting the CDC: According to the Washington Post, policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been told by others in the Trump administration that the use of seven specific words and phrases would be prohibited (and, no, not George Carlin’s banned 7 words you can’t say on TV).
This list of those 7 Trump words to be banned are: “Vulnerable, Diversity, Entitlement, Transgender, Fetus, Evidence-based, and Science-based.”

The decision has not only been deemed as reckless and dangerous, but an offense to the scientific community. This goes far beyond an attack on lexicon or word-choice. 

A ban on words not only creates barriers for scientists who need to communicate, but also breaks public trust in the areas they are meant to investigate and research. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

GOP Weak Candidates, Little Money, Poor Press: Restrict Voters for Easy Win Yippee

GOP rationale: Supported by the NRA, Alt-Right, 
Morons, and most Red States

GOP phony vs. real agenda vis-à-vis voter ID laws


Whew boy, here we go again.  

This update and the USSC case in a nutshell comes from here (Mother Jones) – who does great writing on this subject. This short introduction and background on the latest USSC voter ID law ruling (6-2 and BTW: Justice Kavanaugh did not vote):

The case in a nutshell: North Dakota’s 2017 voter law ID was challenged by Native residents who alleged that the law disproportionately blocked Native Americans from voting. 

This past April, a federal district court, Judge Daniel Hovland, blocked large portions of the law as discriminatory against Native voters, writing in part: “The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses. Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a current residential street address will never be qualified to vote.”

Facts bearing on the case: According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “…the U.S. Postal Service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.” As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under the North Dakota new law — a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters.

Judge Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring, but now will impact the General Election next month since in September, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect, and now the USSC upholds that ruling.


My 2 cents: Simple in one word “Sad.” Or in more than one word, crappy deal and one as usual favors the GOP in mostly RED states and yes, by slick, clever design.

The GOP philosophy is simple and the evidence supports my contention: If we can’t win with good candidates, tons of money, nasty Ads, and such, then rewrite the laws and control who votes … better known as “voter disenfranchisement.” 

The GOP on this harsh policy in ND and elsewhere for other weak, limb reasons should be ashamed. But, they are not.

Thanks for stopping by.

More good stuff below that includes a state-by-state interactive map – you can do your own research and then bookmark the site for future reference [just click your state on map and data and more info] seen here – FYI.

FYI: Voter ID laws are in mostly RED states, and as I said, it’s a weak cover for voter suppression. Some more examples and stats below in that regard.
For example, people are 3,615 times more likely to report a UFO sighting than they are to commit in-person voter impersonation, according to national data.
A few facts re: GOP argument these new laws prevent fraud:

Wisconsin: The non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU found only seven cases of voter fraud out of 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin during 2004, which amount to a fraud rate of 0.0002 percent. Republicans in WI at the time and many since continue to say there was much more. Plus, this: all seven of those cases involved persons with felony convictions who were not eligible to vote after being released from prison and they thought their right to vote still existed.

During the Bush years: After an extensive probe from 2002-07, the DOJ found out of 300 million votes cast only 86 were fraudulent, and most of them again, were felons, or even a few immigrants ignorant of voting law and thought they were eligible to vote as a permanent U.S. resident (Green card holder).

Some argue: “We must show an ID to fly, to drive, or to buy beer, so why not to vote.” I say as simple as possible: That is a red herring. Having or getting that kind of license is not a constitutional guaranteed right – voting is a constitutional right all things being equal, age, address, residency, etc.” In short: This is a GOP solution seeking a problem – where one does not exist.

The striking statistic has surfaced at the same time as the news that a new voter ID law in PA could render nearly 10 percent of the state's residents ineligible to vote in the presidential election this fall.

Mother Jones assembled the numbers in order to fact-check claims by many Republican lawmakers that their states are facing rampant voter fraud. Since 2011, 24 voting restrictions have passed in 17 states. This fall, new laws could affect more than 5 million voters in states representing 179 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. More data follows:  

Studies indicate low-income and minority voters are most often disenfranchised by laws requiring voters to have government-issued photo IDs. For example, 25 percent of voting-age African-Americans don't have valid IDs. Put 13 confirmed cases of voter impersonation into perspective this way:

1. Each year, 15 Americans are crushed to death by their furniture or televisions.

2. Fourteen are injured by exploding toilets, and 100 are accidentally set on fire by their doctors during surgery.

3. Americans are 3 million times more likely to have a favorable view of North Korea than to commit voter fraud.

4. In PA: The fake and phony voter ID / voter fraud issue continues, apparently unchecked.

5. GOP voter suppression claims are alive and well in PA, but since 1999 only 12 cases of fraud of any kind out of over 31 million votes – and that equates to 0.00004%.

Great example is the case of 93-year old Ms. Viviette Applewhite from PA, who has voted for over 50 years cannot now since she can't meet the new state voter ID requirement.

She like millions of Americans of her generation, and many others, do not have a birth certificate, which is the main new requirement to get a new voter ID and be able to vote.  Imagine she were your mother, grandmother, or great grandmother. Guess what? I suspect she is a DEM, too.

My earlier links related to this subject (Please NOTE: Some links may not be valid or up to date, or even have been deleted - if so, I am sorry in advance):

Sunday, October 7, 2018

W/H via Conway: Sends Message to USSC for Kavanaugh as Docket-Ready Issue

Roe v. Wade: Ready for any RED State to Resubmit for Review 
(Believe it – it is a very valid assumption)

History of Roe v. Wade: The legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) on January 22, 1973 ruled (7–2) that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional – the majority opinion was written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun. The high court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which it found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (e.g., [“… nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”].

The case began in 1970 when “Jane Roe”—a fictional name used to protect the identity of the plaintiff, Norma McCorvey — instituted federal action against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas county, TX, where Roe resided. The Supreme Court disagreed with Roe’s assertion of an absolute right to terminate pregnancy in any way and at any time and attempted to balance a woman’s right of privacy with a state’s interest in regulating abortion. In his opinion, Blackmun noted that only a “compelling state interest” justifies regulations limiting “fundamental rights” such as privacy and that legislators must therefore draw statutes narrowly “to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.” 

The court then attempted to balance the state’s distinct compelling interests in the health of pregnant women and in the potential life of fetuses. It placed the point after which a state’s compelling interest in the pregnant woman’s health would allow it to regulate abortion “at approximately the end of the first trimester” of pregnancy. With regard to the fetus, the court located that point at “capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb,” or viability.
Repeated challenges since 1973 narrowed the scope of Roe v. Wade but did not overturn it. 

In Planned Parenthood of SE PA v. Casey (1992) the Supreme Court established that restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if they place an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus is viable.
  
Further, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), the court invoked its decision in Casey to strike down two provisions of a Texas law that had required abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

And, here we are possibly today with what I believe to be this:

W/H messaging for Kavanaugh re: Roe v. Wade.... direct and pointed from the messenger: “Alternative Facts Conway” her latest to him and RED base and this headline:

Background leading up this point: Texas might for example might ask for review (probable route for court review and reversal) – the case in question:
The Supreme Court struck down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities that were specifically designed to shut down clinics. The 5-3 ruling (June 26, 2016) held that the 2013 Texas law placed an undue burden on women exercising their constitutional right to end a pregnancy established by Roe v. Wade in 1973. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined liberal members of the court in ruling that both key provisions of the law violated a woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion.
Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the court, said that the appeals court that upheld the law was wrong in its approach, noting that courts are required to “consider the burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits that those laws confer, and raises questions of medical uncertainty and is also inconsistent with this court's case law.”
1. Three conservative justices - Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito - dissented.
2. This nationwide legal precedent that the two provisions in the Texas law were unconstitutional, now also hampers other state laws already in place.
3. Texas lawmakers said the 2013 law was aimed at protecting women's health.
4. Doctors and abortion providers said the regulations were medically unnecessary and intended to shut down their clinics.
NOTE: Since the law was passed, the number of abortion clinics in Texas, the second-most-populous U.S. state with about 27 million people, has dropped from 41 to 19.

The harsh Texas law required abortion doctors to have “admitting privileges” means a type of formal affiliation that can be hard to obtain at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic to enable them to treat patients needing surgery or other critical care. The law also required clinic buildings to possess costly, hospital-grade facilities including: having a certain corridor width, swinging motion doors, floor tiles, parking spaces, a specific elevator size, certain ventilation, and even the angle that water flows from drinking fountains.
Justice Beyer also wrote:We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.”
Will history repeat itself?
The Supreme Court has been a dangerous battlefield for pro-choice advocates since 2006, when the appointment of Justice Samuel Alito gave conservatives a solid grip on the nation’s highest Court.
Indeed, not long after Alito joined the Court, he provided the key fifth vote in Gonzales v. Carhart, which effectively overruled a 5-4 pro-choice decision and appeared to provide groups opposed to abortion with a blueprint they could use to undermine reproductive freedom. Carhart upheld a ban on a procedure called “intact dilation and extraction,” which many physicians believe to be the safest method of aborting a fetus under certain circumstances.
Significantly, in upholding Carhart, the Court held that lawmakers enjoy “wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty.”
My Insert and the possible impact of that: If GOP-hired lawyers or lawyers representing strong anti-abortion groups, and if they can convince courts that there is genuine disagreement about the medical value of a law that restricts abortion, then Carhart seems to suggest that it should be upheld. This is what pro-choice advocates fear the most. 
It didn’t take long before anti-abortion advocates and their allies in state legislatures began to test just how far the courts were willing to push Carhart — and whether they would sustain anti-abortion laws based on the illusion of medical uncertainty.

The Texas law at issue is HB-2Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.” The case current pending before the Supreme Court is the culmination of this strategy by abortion opponents. Masterminded by Americans United for Life, a sophisticated group that drafts model legislation for state lawmakers eager to restrict access to abortion, HB2 in Texas imposes expensive architectural and other requirements on abortion clinics and often-difficult-to-obtain credentialing requirements on abortion providers. On the surface, HB2 appears to be a rather ordinary series of health regulations.
H2B defenders argue that its requirement for abortion clinics to comply with the costly standards Texas imposes on “ambulatory surgical centers,” for example, will make these facilities safer for women by bringing them into compliance with standards that are already imposed on many other facilities that perform surgeries. (Note: On the surface that sounds good, but the ever-infamous but….).
But, if a court (any court) digs just a few inches below the surface, however, it rapidly becomes clear that the law imposes potentially crippling burdens on abortion clinics, often with no apparent health benefits whatsoever. The ambulatory surgical center requirement, for example, applies even to clinics that perform no surgeries all at — many clinics only offer medication abortions, which are induced by pills taken orally.
Before HB2, Texas had 40 licensed abortion clinics. If the law takes full effect, a trial judge wrote that “only seven facilities and a potential eighth will exist in Texas that will not be prevented . . . from performing abortions.”
A decision upholding HB2 would likely endanger these remaining abortion clinics as well, because it is almost certain that states like Texas would try to push the envelope even further if they scored a big victory in the Supreme Court. Once the courts permit states to enact sham health laws whose real purpose is to restrict abortion, the only limit on such restrictions may be lawmakers’ ability to pass clever laws. A decision upholding HB2 could allow abortion opponents to turn packs of wolves loose in abortion clinics, so long as those wolves are dressed in sheep’s clothing.
Fortunately for abortion providers, the possibility that Texas will win outright review in Whole Woman’s Health appears to have died with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. At oral argument, the Court’s four liberals took turns pummeling Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller as he tried to defend the law.
My 2 cents: Now, the stakes remain high or higher since in the Whole Woman’s Health case in large part because Texas won its case in the conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
So, if the Supreme Court were still split 4-4, that Fifth Circuit decision would  remain in effect, but now with Kavanaugh confirmed – that may be a moot point.
Stay tuned – this is a biggie for sure and longtime goal and dream for the conservative GOPers.
Thanks for stopping by.