The Texas Women’s Health Program may soon be a thing of the past.

In their zeal to find jobs for all Texans in need, the Teabagger Legislators have again strayed from the path and to the fork to social issues, surprise surprise.

In 2005 the Women’s Health Program or WHP was created to provide health care for women, gynecological exams, related health screenings and birth control through the Texas Medicaid program.  In the bill creating the program in an attempt to keep Planned Parenthood out of the program an amendment was inserted by Greenville Texas Republican State Senator Bob Deuell which excluded any abortion provider from participating or administering any part of the progam that helps almost 100,000 uninsured women who earn under $1,604 a month.  However, the Health and Human Services lawyers claimed that the exclusion would be unconstitutional the amendment was axed and Planned Parenthood was allowed to participate.

Now our Elitist Legislators are following their fellow Teabaggers from other states in a full frontal assault on Planned Parenthood as a backdoor way to end abortion.  In committee vote to renew the program Deuell inserted language to not only excludes Planned Parenthood from participaqting but also completely defunds the entire program if Planned Parenthood sues to be allowed to participate.

In the anti-abortion atmosphere in Texas, Planned Parenthood is sure to lose out and leave almost 100,000 uninsured women helpless.  Duell claims that other options are available, private medical practitioners can pick up the slack.  The problem with this claim is that doctors in private practice don’t get the funding the family planning centers get thus are less likely to accept the poor women, who are unable to pay, as patients.

In his anti-abortion zeal, Duell puts politics above the financial well being of the state and cost countless jobs.   Typical Teabag logic.

Chewing Tabaccy costs to go down due to new House Bill

Now here is one that really takes the cake.  As many places across the country in an effort to reduce usage and save on public health costs have raised tobacco taxes, the Texas House of Representatives has once again shown how in tune they are by doing a 180 and going in the other direction.  Representative Allan Ritter, R – Nederland authored House Bill 2599, which the House passed  passed 83-53 last wednesday, to correct what he says corrects an unfair tax that’s been levied on pouches of loose-leaf tobacco since the Legislature in 2009 created a weight-based tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes and cigars.

Ritter claims this has resulted in loose-leaf tobacco products being unfairly taxed.  Ritter further claims that “It destroyed an industry,” and that the bill “brings back fairness” and €œfor all of us that chew tobacco, it’s a damn good thing.  He says the price for a pouch of tobacco jumped from about $6.00. Meanwhile, the price of cans of snuff such as Copenhagen, Skoal and Kodiak haven’t increased because they weigh about a third as much as a pouch of loose-leaf tobacco.  Ritter claims the industry has said that since the 2009 law went into effect, sales of loose-leaf tobacco plummeted 50 percent.

When Ritter laid out his bill only on House member raised a question. Representative Jason Isaac, R – Dripping Springs, stated “I just had to clarify. It’s cutting taxes to chewing tobacco?  We just created an incentive for people to use cancer-causing products.  When we have the fiscal problems that we have, it’s wrong to be cutting taxes on products like chewing tobacco.”

When asked by Isaac, if he would could live with the bill leading to more tobacco use in the state, Ritter responded, I’m very happy with that. Texas!  Then in true TeaBagger mode Ritter stated “Is this guy sure he’s a Republican?  He just supported a tax.  He’s a freshman legislator.  Somebody’s never getting elected again.”

An official state analysis of the bill says that the tax change would increase consumption of chewing tobacco and that sales “would rebound sufficiently” so that the state’s tax coffers wouldn’t be negatively affected. However Isaac said that the state ultimately would end up worse financially once Ritter’s bill becomes law. More chewers of tobacco would lead to additional long-term health costs as the state ends up dealing with more people with tobacco-related health problems.

With the current TeaBagger mentality of our State Legislators they do not see this as a health issue problem.  Thsy see it as a boon to the Health Care Industry.  More Oral Cancer = More Money spent with the Medical Industry. A Win-Win.  Ahhh, Priorities, Priorities.  And oh by the way, Ritter is reported to be an avid RedMan Tobacco chewer.

Texas Passes Emergency Anti-Abortion Bill Requiring a Sonogram 24 Hours Before an Abortion

The Texas Grand Old Partiers campaigned on jobs, jobs and more jobs as their main priority to save Texas’ sagging economy.  Prior to the elections the TeaBaggers were in all their glory in Austin with The Beckster, Ted Nugent and Gov. Perry repeating over and over how government should stay of our lives, get out of Texas or Texas should secede.  They evangelized about how the role of government should be to keep the brown skins out and provide jobs with no taxes.  Everything else was an unconstitutional invasion of our rights. The Gov. boasted with chest out that the bizness friendly laws he had pushed through had made Texas the envy of the nation.

Then lo and behold the elections pass with Texas making the Democrats feel like outcasts.  But, news soon comes out that Texas has mysteriously encountered a $27 billion budget deficit.  Almost overnight, amazing!!

How has our elected legislators spurred the economy?  Well, passing a bill to allow the privileged few who can afford a half million dollar yacht to skip on the taxes, this is sure to create thousands of jobs.  But the whopper is the legislation the Texas Legislature passed Friday which requires doctors to perform a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion and to describe what the sonogram shows. Unlike some even redder states, there was wording allowing exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormality. The Gov’ described this anti-abortion legislation as an €œemergency priority€ and put it on the fast-track to ensure prompt passage.  The Gov’ feels this is more important than jobs or the economy and that all Texans should have access to all the information when making such an important decision. The main reason is to further restrict abortion but the Gov’ doesn’t want to come out and say so. However he did say that the legislation “is a critical step in our efforts to protect life, and I look forward to this legislation reaching my desk very soon.

Texas leads the nation in uninsured citizens and no matter what your position is on abortion, the Teabaggers want to defund Planned Parenthood, where one could get a sonogram.  The Elitist Republicans however will require the female to pay for the test herself. Just another kick in the gut and another case of the so called Christians really caring for the poorer members of our society.

Whining that FEMA turned down Fire Assistance Request

Ten years into his quest to reduce the economy of Texas to 3rd world status, rallying with the TeaBaggers and advocating secession because Texas can take care of itself and be better off without the Unconstitutional Federal Government and learning that FEMA has turned down the state’s request for funds to pay fighting the west Texas wildfires, Governor Perry was quoted as saying “I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve. It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency. Our state has become a model for the nation in disaster preparedness and response, but Texas is reaching its capacity to respond to these emergencies. We will immediately look at all of our options, including appealing the denial, so Texans can receive the resources and support they need as wildfires continue to threaten life and property across our state.”

Weeks before the denial, Perry had insisted that Texas didn’t need Federal help and invoked the citizens of Texas to pray for rain to end the fires.  Unfortunately the rains came with a vengeance but in the wrong part of the state, causing severe damage in some areas.

Perry has requested:

  • Federal Assistance including aviation assets and firefighting resources to state and local agencies, and
  • Emergency Protective Measures €“ measures taken before, during and after a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, and protect improved public and private property.

Basically the request to help pay for the State’s efforts in putting out the fires.  As is well known, the policies of Governor Perry has resulted in a budget deficit of $27 Billion.  It has been the wholesale giveaway of needed resources to the rich and corporations and from the people of Texas which has caused this problem.  Ironically just this week the Republicans voted to pass a bill to put a cap on the taxes for folks purchasing yachts in Texas which Perry has said he will sign, see previous post for more on this ridiculous issue.

Perry is quick to show his disdain for the federal government but now that he needs them it is quite a different story that is sure to be spun as Washington’s political disdain for Texas.

Tax cuts for yacht buyers

If Texas was to secede how much crazier could things get?  The Republican lead legislature continues to show they have no concern whatsoever for those not in the ivory towers.  These Elitist Republican Representatives passed HB 2187, which caps the maximum sales tax to the first $250,000 of the sales price on sales of yachts. It was passed by an 8 to 3 vote along party lines, with Republicans supporting the measure.

This new tax break for the rich comes after the Elitist Republican legislators proposed cuts to education, nursing homes, and other basic government services.   The House’s budget cuts between $5 billion and $10 billion from public schools which relates to the loss of 80,000 to 100,000 education jobs state wide.

It boggles the mind as to what these people are thinking.  The Elitist Republican Legislature has once again told the citizens of the State that they prefer to cater to the people who can afford to go out and buy a half a million dollar weekend playthings and that the education of our children doesn’t matter.