Rick Perry: Outlawing All Access To Abortion Is ‘My Goal’

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/12/11/1319871/rick-perry-abortion-goal/

By Tara Culp-Ressler
on Dec 11, 2012

At a press conference on Tuesday organized by the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) reaffirmed that his ultimate legislative objective is to restrict all women’s access to abortion services.

Members of Texas Right to Life are currently pushing their state’s legislators to pass a “fetal pain” bill that would ban abortions after just 20 weeks — despite the fact that there’s no scientific evidence that fetuses can actually feel pain at that point. As the Huffington Post reports, Perry not only enthusiastically endorsed such a measure, but also confirmed his “goal” to continue passing restrictive legislation to limit women’s Constitutional right to choose:

To be clear, my goal, and the goal of many of those joining me here today, is to make abortion, at any stage, a thing of the past. While Roe v. Wade prevents us from taking that step, it does allow states to do some things to protect life if they can show there is a compelling state interest. I don’t think there is any issue that better fits the definition of ‘compelling state interest’ than preventing the suffering of our state’s unborn. […]

Again, the ideal world is a world without abortion. Until then, however, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.

Perry does not support legal abortion access for women who have become impregnated from rape or incest, a far-right position that cost several anti-choice candidates their seats in last month’s election.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/12/11/1319871/rick-perry-abortion-goal/

Michigan mounted police trample pro-union protester with horse

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/11/michigan-mounted-police-trample-pro-union-protester-with-horse/

By David Edwards
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Michigan State Police mounted on horseback reportedly knocked down at least one pro-union demonstrator at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

Video posted by the Lansing State Journal shows a man laying on the ground as several mounted police awkwardly try to move their horses through a crowd of people protesting the so-called “right to work” legislation being pushed through by Republican lawmakers.

Protesters boo and try to shame the police while the man appears unable to get up.

“That’s fucking bullshit!” one protester shouts. “Bullshit!”

“Get that fucking horse out of here!” another man yells.

Lansing State Journal‘s Dave Wasinger later tweeted confirmation of the incident.

“Just now able to send out this tweet: At least one protester run over by police horse (abt 15 min ago.) Protesters not happy,” Wasinger wrote.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that several other scuffles had occurred between demonstrators and State Police “armed with tear gas canisters, pepper spray and batons.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/11/michigan-mounted-police-trample-pro-union-protester-with-horse/

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Michigan State Police assaults senior citizen protester

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Right to Work: As Goes Michigan, So Goes The Nation

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/right-to-work-as-goes-michigan-so-goes-nation

By Ruth Conniff,
December 11, 2012

As the world watches massive labor protests at the state capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, today, Wisconsinites are seeing a repeat of the struggle in Madison two years ago.

Only this time the stakes are even higher.

Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, and a coalition of now-familiar rightwing millionaires (the Koch brothers as well as Michigan Amway heir Dick DeVos) have banded together to pass right-to-work legislation in Michigan, the birthplace of the United Autoworkers.

What does it mean if Michigan, cradle of the industrial labor movement in America, becomes a right-to-work state?

“That’s the thing, isn’t it?” says Jane Slaughter, the editor of Labor Notes, the Detroit-based publication that has been the voice of union activists for the last 33 years.

If Michigan passes right to work legislation, as governor Rick Snyder and the Republicans who control the state legislature have promised, “can Wisconsin be far behind?” asks Slaughter.

What about Pennsylvania, where anti-union Governor Tom Corbett has said right-to-work legislation would be too controversial to pass.

“That’s exactly what our governor said,” Slaughter points out.

“Are we going to be a right-to-work nation, except for New York or California?” Slaughter asks.

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/right-to-work-as-goes-michigan-so-goes-nation

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ALEC’s So-Called “Right to Work” Bill as Political Revenge in Michigan

From The Center for Media and Democracy:    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/12/11902/alecs-so-called-right-work-bill-political-revenge-michigan

by Lisa Graves
December 11, 2012

As concerned workers come together across Michigan in protest, partisan politicians are poised to make one of the strongholds for America’s blue-collar worker rights into a so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) state — in accordance with the ALEC blueprint to change to state laws at the behest of some of the biggest corporations in the world. Yet, 42 corporations, including General Motors, have distanced themselves from ALEC this year after ALEC’s role in controversial and divisive legislation was exposed.
RTW — Brought Home to You by ALEC (and the Kochs, of course)
At issue is a bill spearheaded by ALEC legislators so beholden to their corporate benefactors that they think it’s legitimate to vote in secret as equals with corporate lobbyists on model bills like RTW through ALEC “task forces,” as the Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch/ALECexposed has previously reported. Key provisions of the Michigan RTW bills (for instance, HB 4054) are taken almost verbatim from the ALEC template.

That agenda is part of a corporate wish list of Charles and David Koch, the oil billionaires who have spent millions trying to popularize extremist ideas and move them from the fringes into binding law. David Koch’s group of political operatives known as “Americans for Prosperity” (AFP) — which I call “Americans for Greed” — is backing the divisive legislation in Michigan.
RTW — Brought to You by Vengeful Partisans and Very Lame Ducks
But the bill rushed through the statehouse for the governor to sign is also poisonous political payback in a state where President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by almost 10% of the vote (nearly half a million votes), despite millions spent by the Kochs and other bilionaires in campaign donations as well as dark money operations to get Romney in the White House and to get laws changes to their liking.

Michigan was a landslide loss for Republicans, who also lost seats in the state legislature in Lansing, a loss which will take effect when the next class of legislators is sworn in this January.

The get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort in Michigan was built on workers banding together to knock on doors, make phone calls, and get people to the polls on election day. Volunteers from organized labor unions were not the only ones working to get people to vote. AFP and others backing Republicans knocked on doors too, and Romney won the vote of 50,000 more Michiganians than John McCain did in 2008, but fell far short of winning the state’s 16 electoral votes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/12/11902/alecs-so-called-right-work-bill-political-revenge-michigan

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Senator Gretchen Whitmer Furiously Slams Republicans over Right to Work Legislation

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Limits on Unions Pass in Michigan, Once a Mainstay

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/us/protesters-rally-over-michigan-union-limits-plan.html

By
Published: December 11, 2012

LANSING, Mich. — With Democrats and labor leaders vowing retribution at the ballot box and beyond, the Republican-dominated Michigan Legislature on Tuesday approved sweeping, statewide changes to the way unions will be financed, substantially reducing their power in a state that has long been a symbol of union might and an incubator for the American labor movement.

 As thousands of incensed union members filled the Capitol rotunda and poured out onto its lawn chanting “shame, shame,” labor leaders and Democrats said they would immediately mount an intense, unceasing campaign to regain control of the Legislature and the governor’s office by 2015.

But advocates of the legislation, which outlaws requirements that workers pay fees to unions as a condition of employment, lauded the day as a historic turning point for economic health in Michigan, and some Republicans predicted that their victory here would embolden other states to enact similar measures.

The legislation, which Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, signed almost immediately, is the latest in series of setbacks to organized labor in states where it has traditionally been strong, like Indiana and Wisconsin. National labor leaders predicted a backlash and said they were weighing options in the courts and in future elections.

“We are not going to end it today,” said Lee Saunders, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We will be in the streets,” he said, adding, “If we have to work it through 2014 and change the makeup of the legislatures, that’s what we’ll do.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/us/protesters-rally-over-michigan-union-limits-plan.html

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