What did Wisconsin Republicans do this week?
They continued to attack voting rights:
"On the last night of the legislative session, Republicans, at the very last minute, sprung a new bill to cut down early voting even further. The bill they sprung on everybody last night would force every county clerk in the state to shut down early voting at 5 p.m. on every weekday and offer no voting on weekends at all. So no early voting after work and no voting on weekends."
"The Republicans in Wisconsin came up with a new twist on their voting restrictions. Republicans want you to declare, when you vote, if you are a poor person. And if you say that you are a poor person, that you do not have the right documentation to show to be allowed to vote because you cannot afford to get that documentation, you have to sign a form swearing that you are poor. Once you’ve done that your ballot will be put in a separate pile from everybody else’s and your ballot will be marked as a ‘challenged ballot.’"
And then it all gets even weirder and even worse. Watch the video.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are announcing something good today. We are about to rescue the Republicans, who have gotten themselves in the unhappy position of the dog who caught the car." — John Dingell (D-Michigan)
Rachel Maddow. Legally Blonde references. Democrats being witty. These are a few of my favorite things…
Wisconsin GOP Doesn't Trust Women Not to Lie About Rape
Rachel Maddow plays powerful video of Wisconsin State Representative Mandy Wright’s personal disclosure about having been raped by a cousin at 8-years-old but not having filed a police report - a circumstance Wisconsin Republicans are hoping to use as an excuse to block access to a legal abortion for the victim should such abuse result in pregnancy, because they believe women lie about rape to obtain abortions.
Rep. Wright (D-Wausau) tells the story of her own rape as she pleads with her Republican colleagues not to pass a bill that would force women to receive unnecessary ultrasounds and would not allow insurance to cover contraception. It is heartbreaking and very very very important to watch.
Tumblr still won’t let me embed videos (or reply to my help requests…any day now, Tumblr!), but the video is linked above and I really hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it.
New GOP bills take reproductive decisions away from women
Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the aggressive and relentless anti-choice agenda of Republicans.
The bill even specifically establishes a nationwide ban on having an abortion in the event you find out your fetus is nonviable — it cannot live. A determination of that sad circumstance is often not made until 20 weeks into the pregnancy, but if you find out tragically that the fetus has no brain or no skull or its lungs are not going to be developed and it cannot survive, Trent Franks’ nationwide abortion ban would apply to those cases specifically as well. So if your doctor tells you your pregnancy cannot produce a baby that will live, Republican Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona will nevertheless force you to carry the nonviable fetus to term and go through child birth because he says so. Nationwide. No exceptions. A woman cannot make that decision herself. She cannot make that decision with her family or her doctor. Trent Franks will decide that for you.
This is what the Republicans are doing with their power in the House of Representatives. With the power that they’ve got in the states, they’re being even more aggressive.
Tumblr won’t let me embed videos right now, so I’m sharing the link instead, but you’ll definitely want to watch the video.
No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there’s one thing the past few years have shown: Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure that women have access to quality affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a President who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.
The Beltway common wisdom on this is wrong. The social conservatives have triumphed in the Republican Party. And you could tell it — not from what they say to the Beltway press — you can tell it from how they are using the power that they have in governing all over the country.
You cannot distill this stuff out of the Republican Party. This is the Republican Party. If you kicked them out of your bedroom, they would have no idea where else to go.
--Rachel Maddow 4/5/13 (via rachelmaddowquotes)
On the Republican side, Iraq was a war of liberation if you ask them in 2013. On the Republican side, the Iraq war is what kept us safe so we wouldn’t get attacked again like we did on 9/11 if you ask them in 2012. “That smoking gun could have been a mushroom cloud! Thank God we went in!” They are still there arguing that. We have been through two presidential election cycles since then. It is now 10 years after the war and the war is over, and this is still the line at the top-tier of the Republican party — trying to sell us the same lies that got us into that war in the first place.
Rachel Maddow, on what the Republican party still doesn’t understand about the Iraq war.
Let the record show: that you can be a United States senator for 21 years, you can be 79 years old, you can be the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most recognizable and most widely respected veteran public servants in your nation. But if you are female while you are also all of those other things, men who you defeat in arguments will still respond to you by calling you hysterical and telling you to calm down. They will patronize you and say they ‘admire your passion, sweetie,’ but of course they only deal in facts, not your silly girly strong feelings. It is inescapable, you can set your watch by it.
--Rachel Maddow, discussing Senator Ted Cruz’s condescending lecture to Senator Dianne Feinstein during a Senate debate on gun control. March 14, 2013. (via mamaatheist)