Wednesday, February 17, 2016

From Our "What, No Rectal Ultrasound?" Dept: Bill Filed to Require Note From Wife Before Viagra Prescription and more

Abortion Ultrasound Bill Dies in State House

Senate committee votes for lawsuit over refugees

Rep. Sherry Jones Files “Viagra Bill”

Jeremy Durham says AG asked for his iPad, emails

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has requested Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham hand over all electronic devices and personal email accounts as part of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations, according to information Durham provided to the Williamson Herald.
Durham told the news organization Tuesday that he provided his state-issued iPad to Slatery's office. The Herald also cites a letter that Slatery reportedly sent to Durham on Feb. 12 that states the attorney general obtained a copy of the hard drive from Durham's state-issued desktop computer. Durham says he's not going to comply with all of Slatery's requests, including providing personal emails dating to 2013, until speaking with an attorney. Tennessean/Subscription

Abortion Ultrasound Bill Dies in State House

With even pro-lifers announcing their opposition, an especially outrageous anti-abortion bill died today in the state House. This one tried to intimidate women by making them sign waivers saying they were given the opportunity to see ultrasound images of their fetuses and hear their heartbeats before they could have abortions.

Three Republicans on the House Health Subcommittee said they would vote no before the sponsor—Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro—surrendered and withdrew his bill. The Republicans—who included the subcommittee’s chairman—said they were against the bill, not because it's an intimidation tactic and likely violation of abortion rights, but because they feared it could damage Tennessee's defense in court of abortion restrictions already on the books.

“When do we as a legislature ever—especially when it comes to the health of a woman—when do we ever wait for a bunch of judges to tell us what to do?” Womick shot back. “Because that’s what you’re doing. I don’t really care what the judges have got to say. This legislation is fully constitutional.”

Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, said the weekend death of Justice Antonin Scalia was a factor in his decision to oppose the bill.

"Especially with what has happened with the death of Justice Scalia, there is no guarantee where Tennessee’s statutes are going to stand," Hill said. "At best we’re going to have a 4-4 court on pro-life statutes. … it’s unclear whether what we have on the books will stand.”

Legislation forcing clinics to perform ultrasounds on all women has been introduced in many states—all attempts to place psychological pressure on women not to go through with the abortion. Pith in the Wind

Senate committee votes for lawsuit over refugees

A resolution directing Tennessee’s attorney general to mount a legal challenge to the federal refugee resettlement program is headed for a vote in the state Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee voted 9-1 on Tuesday to advance the measure (SJR467) sponsored by Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville. The measure would have the General Assembly hire its own lawyer if Attorney General Herbert Slatery were to decline to get involved.
The lone vote against the measure came from Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville, who said he was concerned that the measure would be perceived as being “unwelcoming.” Humphrey on the Hill

Rep. Sherry Jones Files “Viagra Bill”

So I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Tennessee’s Rep. Sherry Jones has her own “Viagra bill” making its way through the legislature, and that it apparently passed out of the insurance and banking committee and will move on to the health subcommittee. It already has a sponsor in the Senate, by the way.
HB 1927 reads, in part:
Before issuing a prescription for a drug intended to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction, a physician shall:
(i) Obtain from the patient a notarized affidavit in which at least one of the patient’s sexual partners affirms that the patient has experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction during the ninety (90) days preceding the affidavit’s date, if he has never been married, emancipated by a court, or otherwise freed from the care, custody, and control of his parents;
(ii) Conduct a cardiac stress test and obtain a result, described in writing, indicating that the patient’s cardiac health is compatible with sexual activity;
(iii) Notify the patient in writing of the potential risks and complications associated with taking drugs intended to treat erectile dysfunction, as well as provide alternatives to erectile dysfunction medications, counseling regarding erectile dysfunction, and possible physical and psychological risks of taking erectile dysfunction medications, and obtain the patient’s signature on a form acknowledging the patient’s receipt of the notification; […]
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. You know men never read directions or label warnings. Someone needs to help these poor dears. ED is a known “red flag” for heart disease, the number one killer of American men, after all.
There’s more. To get a refill, under this legislation, the ED patient has a few more hoops to jump through:
(A) Require the patient to be seen in-person by the physician in an office visit for prescribing each refill;
(B) Require the patient to undergo a cardiac stress test every ninety (90) days while the patient is taking the drug to ensure that the patient’s cardiac health continues to be compatible with sexual activity; and
(C) Require the patient to attend three (3) sessions of outpatient counseling within a period of not less than six (6) months after the drug initially is prescribed to ensure the patient’s understanding of the dangerous side effects of drugs intended to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and which counseling includes information on nonpharmaceutical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sexual counseling and resources for patients to pursue celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice. […] Southern Beale

It's OK Republican Voters, Tennessee's Lamar Alexander Is Undecided Too

For Tennessee Republicans who are still undecided in the presidential race, take heart: Sen. Lamar Alexander says he hasn’t decided on a candidate either.
But Tennessee's senior senator, himself a former presidential candidate, did take a shot at some of the frontrunners who talked over each other and resorted to name-calling over the weekend.
“I think the presidential primary has turned more like mud wrestling than the kind of debate that I would like to see," Alexander said Tuesday before speaking to the Murfreeboro Rotary Club. "It’s easy to talk about what’s wrong with the country. It’s also easy to make a list of what’s right with it. I think the next president’s job is to bring out the best in our country, and I think the most recent debates — especially the one last Saturday night — didn’t do that.” WPLN

Koch brothers' super PAC rakes in millions from Southern businessmen

Conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch and their wealthy allies are planning to spend close to $900 millionbenefiting their preferred candidates in the upcoming elections — likely more than either major U.S. political party. The billionaire brothers' network has reportedly already spent $400 million with the general election nine months away.
We now have new details about who's contributing to the Kochs' election-year political efforts — and seven Southern businessmen are among the $100,000-plus mega-donors.
While the Koch network's numerous social welfare nonprofits, think tanks, and limited liability corporations are not required to disclose their donors, the Kochs launched the Freedom Partners Action Fund (FPAF) in June 2014 as an extension of their Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit trade organization that raises money and disperses it throughout the network. FPAF was set up as a super PAC, an expressly political operation that under law is not allowed to coordinate with candidates and is required to disclose its donors. 
Because of that disclosure requirement, we know that in 2014 FPAF spent over $23 million on independent expenditures benefiting conservative U.S. House and Senate candidates. The bulk of those funds came from a relatively small number of wealthy donors, including 15 Southerners who gave $100,000 or more.
The latest reports are in, and they show that in 2015 only 20 individuals or corporations provided most of the $11.3 million FPAF took in. The top donor was Charles Koch, whose "1997 Trust" gave $3 million. The next two largest contributors were Chicago hedge fund manager Ken Griffin and Wisconsin roofing supply billionaire Diane Hendricks, each chipping in $2 million. Other major contributors were Amway founder Richard Devos of Michigan and his wife, Helen, and broadcasting magnate Stanley Hubbard of Minnesota. Facing South

Crockett Policy Institute

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