Republican war on women

NRA defends abusers and stalkers in fight against VAWA

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Talk about misplaced priorities:

House Republicans broadly object to at least four new policies added to the bill to reauthorize VAWA — which expired back in February when Democrats objected to GOP efforts to include a short-term extension of the law in a spending deal. But the most controversial are new provisions to lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking charges. Current law applies to felony convictions.

In order to understand why these changes need to be made, you need to understand how our legal system (usually) works. An extremely high percentage of those Domestic Violence "misdemeanors" started out as felonies, only to be plea bargained down. More than any other crime, Domestic Violence is a nightmare for prosecutors, and getting any conviction at all is considered a "win." So when you see that word (misdemeanor), don't assume it was just a casual push during an argument. The abuser most likely took a plea deal to avoid a jury hearing what really happened. I'm not just making that up, by the way:

No means No: Criminal summons issued for Cody Henson

NC Republicans need to clean their House:

Court records show a misdemeanor criminal summons has been issued for two-term Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania. The document names estranged wife Kelsey Henson as the victim. Last week, a judge issued a long-term protective order against the legislator after determining text messages his wife received amounted to "mental harassment."

State Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin and Democratic Women of North Carolina President Julia Buckner says Henson must resign. Buckner says "any form of domestic violence or abuse is categorically unacceptable."

Since neither GOP leadership or Henson himself seem ready to do the right thing, maybe a (NC) House resolution condemning domestic violence and cyber-stalking is in order? If Tim Moore refuses to bring that to the floor, both he and Henson should be plastered all over the front pages of NC's newspapers, so women in North Carolina would know just how (un)important they are. p.s. I didn't want to see his face today, so I put Gollum there instead. He has at least a few redeeming qualities...

Republican NC House member Cody Henson needs to resign

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He just got slapped with a 12 month domestic violence restraining order:

A North Carolina legislator committed domestic violence against his estranged wife, a judge found Tuesday during a civil proceeding, awarding her a yearlong domestic violence protection order. After a Tuesday court hearing lasting several hours at the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard, Judge Fritz Mercer ruled in favor of Kelsey Henson, wife of state Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania.

“After multiple, multiple, multiple times, I asked him to stop,” she told Carolina Public Press after the hearing. “He continued and refused to have any regard for my boundaries or well-being.”

A few things to contemplate: If Henson had misappropriated government funds, or bought a bunch of fancy ties with campaign donor money, he would probably have already been shamed out of office. Even by his own party. But domestic violence, cyber-stalking his ex-wife? Crickets. When abusing money is more unforgivable than abusing women, there is something desperately wrong with our system of values. And while I applaud this judge for having the guts to issue this order, stopping short of confiscating Henson's firearms could be a deadly mistake:

The anti-abortion extremists in the NCGA are at it again

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And as usual, Republican men are leading the charge:

House Bill 28 would ban abortions after 13 weeks unless there is a medical emergency. Current law in North Carolina bans abortions after 20 weeks.

House Bill 22 would require doctors to tell women who take the abortion pill that the process can be reversed halfway through. The bill would also require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide that information on its website.

It goes without saying the 13-week limit is not only extreme, but geared towards severely limiting a woman's choice. But the "abortion reversal" thing, especially forcing NC DHHS to sign off on such a snake-oil treatment, is fraught with both ethical and legal complications. Here's a little history about this "process":

GOP Legislator served with domestic violence restraining order

The face of an abuser:

State Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, was served with a domestic violence protection order late last month, records from the Transylvania County Courthouse show. His wife, Kelsey Henson, told Carolina Public Press on Thursday that she sought help for nearly a year from law enforcement and others from behavior she describes in court filings as harassment and emotional abuse.

She filed the paperwork on Jan. 30. Cody Henson was served with the protection order the next day, court records show. “Every time I tried to report it and called 911 or went to a magistrate to try to get help, I was denied,” Kelsey Henson said. “I truly feel that was because of his position.”

This is nothing short of infuriating. Every time these supposed "public service" people shied away from taking steps, they put her life at risk. It shouldn't matter "who" he was, only that he was out of control and a danger to this woman and her children:

Rachel Hunt pulls ahead of Bill Brawley after mail-in votes counted

In case you're still jaded, every vote does count:

Absentee ballots put Democrat Rachel Hunt ahead of Republican Rep. Bill Brawley on Friday night in one of the state’s closest legislative races. Brawley, who lives in Matthews, led by 52 votes on Election Day. But Friday’s count of absentee ballots gave Hunt a 64-vote lead, according to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

The race was one of the highest-profile in North Carolina, matching a powerful committee chair and the daughter of a four-term governor. It was also one of the most expensive. Hunt raised over $1.2 million and got about $900,000 in support from the state Democratic Party. Brawley raised over $410,000.

To be honest, when I saw reports that mail-in absentee ballots were yet to be posted, I assumed the worst. That Brawley's lead would actually grow. I've always associated mail-ins with octogenarian Republicans determined to make their regressive voices heard at least one more time, and I am deliriously happy to have that prejudice shattered. It's still way too close for comfort, and I have little doubt that Brawley will stretch this thing out as long as he can by demanding a recount. And he won't be the only one doing so:

Profile of a shameless misogynist

NC needs laws to better address sexual harassment in the workplace

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Because the lack of concern speaks volumes:

"If you have the terrible misfortune to be sexually harassed in North Carolina at an employer that has less than 15 employees, you literally have no claim in North Carolina," Noble said. "You don't have a federal claim, and you don't have a state law claim. And that's wrong."

If a victim works at a larger employer, they can file a claim under federal statute, Noble said. But that's more difficult, more complicated and more expensive. As a result, many people don't follow through. In the meantime, Noble said calls to her office about sexual harassment have increased 500 percent since coverage of the stories began appearing in the news media last fall.

Even that increase in wanting to "take action" represents just a tip of the iceberg. And when it comes to behavior such as this, men are more than happy to emulate other men who appear to be getting away with it. No doubt Republicans would say it should be left up to the civil courts to handle it and not an "authoritarian government." But in their next breath they will whine about too many lawsuits and the need for "tort reform." Don't look for any relief coming from that direction, because most of these folks live in a 1950's bubble. Which may explain why half of working women have been harassed in the workplace:

Trump drinks in adoration from anti-abortion crowd

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The panderer-in-chief is looking for an extremist edge in the 2018 mid-terms:

“Every day between now and November we must work together to elect more lawmakers who share our values, cherish our heritage, and proudly stand for life,” Trump said. He summed it up for the roomful of enthusiastic supporters: “The story is, ’18 midterms, we need Republicans.” Trump has long been an unlikely sweetheart for conservative and evangelical voters. But now, in the lead-up to the midterm elections, the thrice-married former Democrat who used to describe himself as “very pro-choice” has been offering catnip to conservative voters.

Last week, the administration unveiled a new push to strip funding from Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics. The initiative, which was formally unveiled Tuesday, is aimed at resurrecting parts of a Reagan-era mandate banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers.

Women's rights are being attacked on all fronts, which is why it's more important than ever for Democrats to not only hold fast to their principles, but push back against these misogynistic and regressive movements. I'm not a big fan of "purity tests" for candidates or elected officials, but this is one issue where no compromise will be accepted. And I'm pretty sure such a compromise would backfire on you anyway:

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