Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Still Crazy. Texas, Ohio, Cruz et.cetera.

               Sometimes I feel as if I've strolled through Alice's mirror. The world seems to be surreal and absurd. And the right treats it as normal. Where to start? Where to start?

Hell, let's start with Texas. It always seems to be Texas. It appears to breed a certain kind of crazy. Always has.

A Federal Court has struck down portions of the abhorrent abortion statute Wendy Davis valiantly fought against. Naturally the right has gone batshit over it.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Klingon Empire) has weighed in. It's never a bad time to up your street cred with the anti choice posse. He declared it to be a common sense law to help ensure women's health and safety. He said it is Constitutional and will be upheld on appeals. Right. We've seen the grasp of reality Ted has.

At the value Voters Summit, he told the crowd that Obamacare forces Christian businesses to offer abortifacients or get slammed with millions in fines.Well, the pill is not one of those agents no matter how much the right thinks it is. Teddy is simply playing to his base with this rhetoric. Cruz has never met a lie to big to tell.

Abbot, the Texas Attorney General.and GOP candidate for Governor. has implied judicial overreach and vows to take it to SCOTUS. He may be hoping to force an assault on Roe v, Wade. Again riling the base.

Rick Perry also chimed in. No surprise there. He said He wants to protect Texas women from abortion mill horror stories. The Federales are preventing laws written by Texans that reflect the values and will of Texans. It's like reading a phantasmagoric Mad Lib.

Ohio. Again.

Governor John Kasich. whom I really have no use for, is always referring to his Faith when he makes decisions. Usually he invokes on abortion. Well last week he both surprised and amazed me. He decided to do an end run around the Tea Party dominated Ohio Legislature.

Ohio passed an awful State budget in June.Horrendous abortion regulations were slipped in, thus avoiding a ballot challenge. The income tax was cut, benefiting the wealthy. The sales tax was raised and more items and services were taxed for the first time, hitting everyone not rich.

The Legislature, going with the hatred of the ACA put language in to forbid Ohio from taking Federal dollars to enable Medicaid expansion.That surprised no one. Kasich wanted to expand and his GOP partners wanted absolutely no part of that.

Kasich framed the expansion as a matter of Christian teachings of helping the poor and sick. John talking the talk, walking the walk. Unheard of and unexpected. Usually these politicians use the Bible to justify hateful policies. So, I give John kudos for actually acting on his worldview in spite vehement opposition.

When the budget was passed many felt Kasich may use his line item veto to strike down those vicious abortion regulations. I disagreed. Every chance Kasich had he unfurled and flew his "pro life" banner. After all he has 2016 aspirations and need to stress his anti abortion credentials nationally. He let the abortion regulations stand as he vetoed the prohibition on Medicaid expansion.

The plan appeared to be to lean on the Legislature to get approval. The Republican President of the Ohio Senate talked of working on it through the Summer.That idea crashed and burned as the OK languished into Fall. So Kasich took a rather bold step.

Ohio has a controlling board that can make minor budget adjustments and spend Federal money not there when the budget was passed. There are three members from the Majority, two from the minority and one appointed by the Governor.

As soon as the idea of going to the Board leaked the Ohio Tea party Legislatures were up in arms. 39 of them signed a letter of protest to the Governor damning the move. There was even speculation Kasich may not have the votes on the Board to pull it off.

The Dems were a yes. Kasich's appointee was also a yes. It was the three GOP members that were iffy. Though most experienced Statehouse watchers felt the Gov wouldn't try if he didn't have the votes. As they did in the SB5 fight, the GOP leader in the Senate replaced a no vote with a yes. It passed four to two.

Now, the Controlling Board can't do anything to violate legislative intent. So, Kasich vetoed the prohibition on Medicaid expansion in the Budget BILL. Like any bill, it is not law until the executive signs it. The Legislature did not even attempt an override though they likely had the votes to do so. Thus it seems there is no violation of legislative intent.

Since it seems no one in the Republican Party has seen the ABC After School Special on how a bill becomes a law the Controlling Board is being vilified from the right. Since this action would provide healthcare to Ohio's working poor the Tea party reaction was predictable.

Six Republican legislators, along with The 1851 Center For Constitutional Law have filed suit. The basis is a violation of legislative intent. Maurice Thompson Executive Director of The 1851 Center wants to remind Governor Kasich he is not a King, The suit has been joined by, wait for it... two RIGHT TO LIFE groups. Cleveland Right To Life and Right To Life Of Greater Cincinnati which oppose expansion of Medicaid. They want it kept in the Legislature where it's easy for them to throttle it in it's cradle.

Prior to the Controlling Board's decision there was a move afoot to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot to force it over the Tea Party's desires. Since this action would expire in 2015, the ballot attempt will likely be pursued.

This battle is an example of the true values of the so called right to life movement.Protect womens health by denying them health care.

The lawsuit is groundless. The Ohio Supreme court is dominated by mainstream Republicans and will likely dismiss the suit as unfounded. The sooner, the better for Ohio.

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