I knew Wendy Davis, the Texas State Senator that effected the filibuster on the anti-woman bill that was being rammed through by Republican men in the Texas Senate, was appearing at the National Press Club. I scoured the Internet in order to get information on what she said. Sadly, most of the headlines seemed solely interested in whether she was going to run for governor of Texas or not.
Given that large platform, a platform where news is made, one would doubt that that would really be the story of her speech especially now. I found her speech on C-SPAN and listened to it in its entirety. This speech is the speech I expected her to make at that venue and she did not disappoint. Every Texan should listen to her speech. Ms. Davis' life story, empathy, and actions makes her that capsule of knowledge, empathy, and experience needed to lead Texas at this time in our history.
Ms. Davis' life story matters. It matters because her story is a story that is becoming more common in Texas, not less. The difference is while she had the support of the state to give her that helping hand, that help to provide access to success, Texas Republican leadership has caused the near total erosion of policies that provide upward mobility to its citizens.
Wendy's life experience from the age of nine made her the woman that she is today. She was the granddaughter who painfully wrote down the words of her grandfather who because of a stroke could barely speak. She notably states that Republican rule in Texas is tantamount to her writing whatever she wanted written as opposed to what her grandfather was attempting to say.
She speaks about having a mother with a sixth grade education, getting married, getting divorced, having a kid, all while living in a trailer in abject poverty. She speaks about not having enough for groceries and partitioning food to last while providing for her daughter. She remembers that if she had a flat or some minor mishap it meant using a pawn shop to make ends meet.
Wendy said the moment that meant the most to her in her was not her Harvard degree, TCU degree, or winning the Senate. It was standing with her first book when she started moving forward with getting a better education at Tarrant County Community College. She thought college education belonged to someone else. It wasn't until one of her coworkers gave her a Tarrant County Community College brochure that she gave it real thought.
Wendy Davis understands that her success was directly related to the opportunity afforded her from affordable college, scholarships, inexpensive healthcare, and other policies that gave her access to success. Under Republican leadership these opportunities are no longer there and as such her story is unlikely for most. She understands predatory lending from pawnshops and other payday lenders because she has been there. She worked in a bipartisan manner for energy delivery. She worked aggressively for women's issues. One of her best statements was that she wants common ground but takes a stand on sacred ground
Senator Davis when asked if she would run for governor stated that she would be seeking either reelection as Texas Senator or election as Governor. While not stating it specifically, Senator Davis explicitly made the case for why she would make a great governor. She implicitly laid out her case. It is up to Texans to give her that pathway. It is up to Texans to let her know that they are really willing and ready to make a change in the Texas body politic. Wendy all but said so all that this speech implies.
This was a rather silly week. With serious issues confronting the country, the mainstream media continued their obsession with a virtual sex scandal. This is the reason why most Americans are oblivious to the issues that materially affect them. It is the reason why the moneyed interests, the Plutocracy continuously have Americans voting against their own interest.
This afternoon I got an IM from my Conservative friend and blogger Bob Price. He had heard that the President was talking about the Trayvon Martin case. He was also concerned about all the rallies and activities in Houston and asked my thoughts on whether there would be problems. I told him I thought it would be peaceful. Moreover, after this radio show, I will be heading to downtown Houston to participate and document it.
After we got into some conversation where we had some different points of views, I asked him to have this discussion on air to bring you all into the conversation. Bob graciously accepted.
The President said that a lot of the racial discourse must occur outside the realm of the political because within the political sphere, discourse has become ineffective. It is evident he knows politicians on all sides would demagogue the issue.
I want to take the President's lead and discuss this issue frankly. Please join me in the conversation.
I drove to Austin yesterday morning at 5AM to the Texas Capitol to witness the mass people movement objecting to the bill that all knew would ultimately pass. We got back from Austin at 3:00 AM tired but impressed with what will ultimately occur in Texas going forward. People from all corners of the state were present.
By now everyone in America is aware that the War on Women's rights, the War on Healthcare, the War on Education, and the War on Labor have its epicenter in Texas. After-all, Texas has a robust economy that Governor Rick Perry advertises as he tries to entice other companies in other states to move their companies to Texas.
Ironically, Texas is business friendly mostly on the back of its working middle class. It is a union unfriendly state which means wages for the working middle class are low. Twenty five percent of its citizens have no health insurance. Business credits and tax breaks are plentiful even as education budgets are pilfered.
The last straw was the prostituting of women's rights. Texas new law makes the use of chemical pregnancy termination (RU-486) less practical. It creates an unfunded mandate to make abortion clinics, surgical centers, meaning all but five in the state qualify. It provides no sex education or family planning; this on the back of the state defunding of Planned Parenthood. In effect it ensures there will be more unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Out of this comes a business opportunity. Where Planned Parenthood once provided robust family planning and inexpensive pregnancy terminations, a difficult choice for most women, the new Texas will do it all for profit.
Texas women and women around the country get it. Passage of Texas HB2/SB1 was the last straw. The destruction on all the progress made over decades for the American working middle class will no longer be tolerated. The Texas GOP has revived the Texas Progressive Movement. This movement will spread throughout the Red States as rogue Republicans continue the Talibanization of the Party.
Folks, that is our call today. Let's talk about it.
Wendy Davis and her colleagues from the Senate, Senator Kirk Watson, Senator Rodney Ellis, Senator Sylvia Garcia, and Senator Jose Rodriguez are touring Texas by bus. Their intent is to rally and educate Texans in order that they will take corrective action for the current fraud that is the current legislature.
There were over 1000 souls in attendance even after a downpour followed by a very muggy humid heat. Attendees did not mind the heat, wet, or the mud. They gave the Senators and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood a fiery hot welcome. This rally exceeded expectation just as did last night's rally in Austin and last week's rally.
All of the attendees knew exactly why they were there. "I feel strongly about this issue," said Linda Walker, a veteran that served the country. "I didn't serve this country to be treated as a second class citizen."
Laura said that she was out rallying with everyone else because "I feel like women's rights are being taken away. It's not fair. It's not constitutional and that's not what special sessions are for, it's for emergency situations; not for something that is related to a woman's body," she said. "My grandmother fought for this. We shouldn't still be fighting for this," said Kara.
"Men need to stay out of our bodies, especially politicians. They have no say in what we do with our bodies," said Mandy. Mandy's friend Amanda said she has been registered to vote since she was 18. "They better bet their sorry butts that I will remember each one of my representative who voted no because they are not voting for me. They are not representing me," she said.
The roar of the crowd could be heard for several blocks in Downtown Houston. Following the event, the Senators mingled with many in the crowed for a while before returning to the bus.
A Texas Senate Committee listened to testimony for and against Texas Senate Bill 1. This bill will effectively close all but five Texas centers that offer women legal abortions among other many important services. It restricted pregnancy terminations to 20 weeks even though some issues may arise that necessitates said eventuality. Simply put, it takes away many women's rights and gives the government control over a woman's body. Many anticipated that the anti-choice movement would have flooded the Texas Capitol on Monday since they ensured that the rally would occur late in the afternoon when it is cooler and when more people are off from work. The anti-choice movement was only able to get out one thousand or so persons. Inasmuch as they brought busses from out of state, they were unable to match the true grassroots nature of the progressive movement that is sweeping across Texas.
Just the week before, the pro-choice movement brought out over five thousand persons. They rallied with resolve. They vowed to make their votes heard in order to turn around the talibanization of Texas politics by Republicans which is also sweeping through Red States throughout the country.
The grassroots nature of this pro-choice movement is simply a symptom of a bigger grassroots movement. While the anti-choice movement has been top down, puppets led by puppeteers, this pro-choice movement has morphed into more, a democracy grassroots movement. The signs were about the Senate anti woman bill and much more. The discourse among attendees included promises to work to bring Texas from 51st in voting to number one, allowing all its diverse citizenry to force Texas to reflect the will of every Texan, Liberal, Progressive, Conservative, Black, White, Latino, Asian, and everyone in between.
It has been very busy since the last show. It started with a whole lot of fun at the Gay Pride Parade in Houston, Texas where there was a special bounce in the participants because of the Supreme Court ruling.
Being a part of the 4th of July Parade in Kingwood Texas was fun even as the heat was near unbearable. Registering new voters and entertaining children at two booths in Town Center fulfilled that true 4th of July spirit.
But there was a lot of hard news this week. A drive to Austin Texas with several women for The 'Stand With Texas Women' rally featuring State Senator Wendy Davis while the highlight of the week, was an important and impressive event that showed politicians that there is a tipping point where the citizenry will react. We live streamed the entire event.
The overthrow of the President of Egypt by a citizen supported military coup should be probative. Citizens will eventually fight back when pushed to the brink whether it is Texas, the US, Egypt, or beyond.
Let's have a discussion about our citizens now taking a path to really take our country back. Could Wendy Davis in Texas or the popular uprising in North Carolina be the catalyst?
Rachel Maddow laid out the case in the abortion debate very succinctly on Meet The Press with David Gregory. In effect she made Former South Carolina and current Heritage Foundation president Senator Jim DeMint look like a man living in the dark ages. What was interesting is that he simply did not realize the offense most women take to a forced state instituted vaginal ultrasound procedure. Most women see this as a violation of their most private and personal being.
If one doubts what a trans-vaginal ultrasound entails, take a look at it
here. Does anyone believe if this type of invasive procedure was forced by the state on men it would ever be considered, let alone adopted? Does anyone believe if men were forced to pay for a state mandated personally invasive procedure that it would ever be adopted? Viagra being covered by most insurance policies while birth control pills are not in many policies while not as bad a case, is probative.
The saddest part of the debate was the answer to Rachel Maddow's question. Do they support force vaginal ultrasounds? Their answer was clear. One can only hope every woman in America is listening.
Jim DeMint: I am glad to see that a lot of states like Texas and Arkansas begin to consider this. The more the ultrasound has become part of the law where a woman gets the opportunity to see that there is a real child its beginning to change minds and I think that is a good thing. ...
Rachel Maddow: Women don't get the opportunity with ultrasound, the ultrasound bills are mandated by the state. So if a woman does not want an ultrasound, or her doctor does not want her to have an ultrasound, if the ultrasound is not medically indicated, the state government is stepping in and saying you must have this ultrasound by order of the state government. And because of the timing in a lot of these what is being mandated is a vaginal ultrasound. So it is an invasive vaginal forced procedure that a woman cannot say no to by order of the state government. And that is alright with you. I understand that. You feel like you have an interest strong enough to override a woman's desire to not have that happen to her that you can insist that it does as a legislator. But most American women I think are gonna balk at that. And if you want to make that a federal issue, I say that the Democrats are gonna be delighted to have that fight but as Republicans push this further and further, it's the Wendy Davis' of the world that are going to force you to make your argument (inaudible).
Jim DeMint: She is forgetting about the thousands of women who want an informed choice, who want the opportunity to get a free ultrasound which they can get not from Planned Parenthood. ...
Rachel Maddow: It's not free. ... Do you think women should be forced to have an ultrasound if they don't want one?
Ralph Reid: I think that should be litigated at the state level. In some states they have done it. In Virginia they decided not to. I think that is a matter of prudential judgment by the state legislature.
What a week we had. My head is still spinning. We have so many decisions. Should we talk about the Supreme Court overturning the Defense Of Marriage Act? Should we talk about the Supreme Court effectively restoring same-sex marriage in California? Should we discuss the Supreme Court effectively killing the Voting Rights Act? I don't know. Maybe we should cover all three.
Will this be the turning point in Texas? Will Republican women join progressive women in Texas to stop the RAPE effected by Republican men on all women? Too graphic? Hyperbole? Hell no. I have a wife, a daughter, a mother, nieces, aunts, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and many other women in my life, Many still reside in Texas. What is happening to women's rights in Texas specifically by out of touch, out of line, and un-empathetic Republican politicians is a crime against decency, morality, and humaneness.
Today State Senator Wendy Davis fought the valiant fight against the draconian Texas abortion bill Senate Bill 5. So what does Senate Bill 5 do? Jezebel says it best.
A brief reminder of how overwhelmingly shitty this bill is: it would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandate that clinics complete unnecessary upgrades, require doctors to gain admitting privileges at hospitals, and place new restrictions on medication abortion. Abortion advocates say it would close all but five clinics in the state. source
Senator Davis filibustered the bill for almost 13 hours. She did not eat, drink, use the bathroom, or leaned on any furniture. She stood her ground for thirteen hours for Texas women (and men). Republicans had to falsely claim her filibuster was not germane to the bill twice and helped by Senator Rodney Ellis once to stop the debate when it was obvious she would be able to hold her ground until the session had to come to a close.
The state capitol and chamber were filled up with those opposing the bill. The reality is most Texans opposed the bill. Republicans have never cared about the will of the people anyway. They've only cared about the will of their corporate interest, their failing ideology, and old conservative white men. To hell with everyone else.
Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster was not successful because of Republican fraudulent processes on the floor. They went against the rules of the Senate. Interestingly, the bill was passed after 12:00 midnight so theoretically it is invalid. However, rules do not matter in the Republican controlled Texas Legislature.
Inasmuch as Senator Davis was not successful, ultimately she showed Progressive Texans how to fight. It took a Texas woman with a steel spine to instill the fear in Republicans of the future at hand. Battleground Texas has started the mobilization to turn Texas blue. The Texas Democratic Party is working hard at empowering all Texas citizens. Texas is ready to have 'Governor' Wendy Davis or 'US Senator' Wendy Davis lead the way.