26 April 2012

GOP to women: You can pay your student loans, or you can have pap smears

The House will vote Friday to extend current rates on federally funded college loans for one year, Speaker John Boehner announced on Wednesday in what is seen as an attempt to blunt President Barack Obama's momentum on an issue popular with young voters.

Boehner said the extension will be paid for with funds from the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration's signature health-care law. [...]

The Republican proposal [...] covers the $5.9 billion cost by dipping into a fund in the Affordable Care Act called The Prevention and Public Health Fund. According to health.gov, the fund is intended to promote wellness, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies (CNN).
Specifically, the GOP proposal uses funds earmarked for cervical and breast cancer screenings to pay for extending the lowered rates. Got that, college-educated women? This is what the GOP thinks of you. They beg the question that money for the extension has to come out of the Affordable Care Act to begin with, as opposed to any other government program or billionaires' tax loophole. And then after deciding that the ACA is totally the best place out of the federal budget to seek funding, they zero in and go directly after what they call a "slush fund" for women's preventive healthcare.

My "portfolio" of law school loans includes one federally subsidized loan. Doubling the interest rate on that loan would increase my monthly payment by about $25, for an added $300 per year. At least the GOP's math is right: that's about the same cost as one pap smear and one mammogram.

23 April 2012

Little old lady unable to get Pennsylvania poll-approved ID

And this year's mass disenfranchisement of Pennsylvanian women begins:
[A] 91-year-old grandmother [went] to a PennDot office, looking for a photo ID so she could keep her 70-year voting record intact.

Joyce Block of Doylestown Township is such a dedicated voter that [Doylestown Borough Council President Det] Ansinn took her from the hospital in a wheelchair to vote in 2010 because she couldn't get an absentee ballot.

She has an old voter registration card with her married name, but she has never had a driver's license.

Block had all the documents on the Department of State checklist - birth certificate and Social Security card, both with her maiden name; her marriage certificate; deed to her house; Peco bills; plus her IRS refund check.

That wasn't enough to satisfy PennDot, Ansinn said.

Her Hebrew marriage license was rejected because the PennDot worker couldn't read Hebrew.

And the deed and Peco bill were rejected because they had her married name, not her maiden name.

The state worker suggested she take legal action to switch the ownership of her home to her maiden name, which she hasn't used in 60 years. Then, maybe, she will be allowed to vote in the November election (Inky).
Emphasis added. Women in photo ID states, check your wallets! And make time now to obtain a poll-acceptable ID -- the process can take weeks, or even longer if your only option, as is evidently the case with Ms. Block, is to modify the deed to your home.

20 April 2012

No, really: a huge number of women will be disenfranchised in November

Another 8 weeks, another job interview scheduled.

Add to my previous dataset the new statistic that this will be for a "J.D. preferred" job, not an actual attorney position. With an accordingly dismal salary expectation.

But back to photo ID requirements for voters. Current lawsuits challenging voter ID laws are attacking them via the 14th and 24th Amendments or as a Voting Rights Act problem. But you know what would be neat? Since one third of American women do not possess a piece of ID that meets the requirements of these photo ID laws (PDF), it would be really neat to see a disenfranchised woman or class of women bring a § 1983 action against one or more of the states enacting the voter ID laws, on the grounds that it deprives them of their 19th Amendment right to vote regardless of sex.

Barring a massive "get your female voting friends and family to the DMV" awareness-raising effort, in some states one third of the female electorate will be disenfranchised in November. That is an outrageously huge fraction, and it will be a huge number standing alone. I'm actually really surprised that no one is pursuing this issue as an unconstitutional sex discrimination problem. But what do I know? I'm just an unemployed lawyer.

Friday jukebox: Syd Straw

Seven schools in seven states and the only thing different is my locker combination.

19 April 2012

Women will be disenfranchised this November

Have been keeping myself busy with non-paying work, a couple of trips up and down the Northeast Corridor, and academic politics. My most recent stabs at employment in a venue where someone else would cut my paychecks have gotten nowhere. I've been advised by a very interested party to simply take the J.D. off my resumé. However, as the advice did not include any correlating advice as to what to do with the 3 school years and 2+ underemployed years that would then go "missing" off the resumé, I've so far declined to follow it.

In the meantime, we appear to have a definite GOP nominee for president. Bizarrely, some polls are putting him at a dead heat against President Obama. Did the poll-takers not speak to any women at all?

Speaking of which, women voters in photo-ID states need to beware, and they need to beware fast. Fully one third of American women over 18 do not possess a valid photo ID, one that the pollworkers will accept, reflecting their legal name (3-page PDF), mostly for marriage or divorce reasons. Pennsylvania just enacted a voter ID law that will permit ID-less voters at the primary election next week, but will disenfranchise people without photo ID in November. The process can take weeks because of documentation requirements, and the rule in November will be strict.

This is going to be huge. You think the ACORN debacle was stupid? Do you want to take a stab at what the 2-digit percentage will be of women across the country who won't be allowed to vote for president in November?

-tap tap-

Is this thing on?