Your blogger

My photo
When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Josh Romney tweeted a photo of himself posing with vehicle wreckage after rescuing four people from the car that allegedly slammed into a residential home early Friday morning.

“Was first on scene to big accident, see pic of car in the house. I lifted 4 people out to safety. All ok. Thankful,” the son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted with the accompanying photo:

While the Romney son received plenty of praise and gratitude for his actions, which took place in an unknown location, the New York Daily News reports that some on social media have criticized him for “humble-bragging” and posing for a “tourist-like” photograph near a serious car wreck.

Tweeting and posing is ridiculous and slightly off-putting, but this is what the Romney's do, it's their modus operandi.. It's very sick and twisted - that "Good Samaritans" are bragging about their good deeds.

When I got wind of the story, I too thought it was lame, that is until the NFTOS email bag was littered with comments about this.

Teabaggers were telling me this was no different than the Obama photos showing the President in the situation room during the Bin Laden raid. OK tin foil hat society I'll bite.
Let's compare: 
the President follows the killing of the most wanted man in the word and his staff sends out the photo to news organizations who might be interested.

the spoiled son of a failed Presidential candidate personally sends out a photo of himself standing next to a car that damaged a house, then pats himself on the back for doing it.

If you indeed deserve a pat on the back, let someone else do it for you, even if the deed was good, at the end of the day Josh, you come across looking like a douche bag. If the shoe fits! 

Roger West

Friday, November 29, 2013


A Pizza Hut manager in Indiana says he was fired because he refused to open on Thanksgiving Day. Tony Rohr, an employee of more than 10 years, told his managers that Pizza Hut could “be company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off.”

They instead asked him to write his resignation. Still defiant, he explained his decision in the letter:
I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company ...... I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.

For employees at Pizza Hut, Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two days of the year they were guaranteed to have off. When Pizza Hut, retailers, and other restaurants choose to open on Thanksgiving, many American workers that already struggle to take holidays off have little choice but to comply. The U.S. is the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation days.

This year, more stores than ever are opening during the Thanksgiving holiday to get a jump on Black Friday sales. But some have defied the pressure to open and will instead let workers enjoy time with their families. The stores that open, meanwhile, risk consumer backlash for leading the trend.

Some of the larger retailers pay employees extra for working the holiday, but there is no guarantee. A Ohio state lawmaker wants to change that with a bill that would have stores pay three times normal wages if they open Thanksgiving. Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts already have laws that bar big retailers from opening on Thanksgiving Day.

Why is it that we bitch about Walmart employees having to work, yet we no doubt expect those in the military, the police, the fire department, those working utilities, the bus lines, the roadways, the television stations, the cable company, the gas stations, the airlines, and the grocery stores to keep on working? We don't seem to mind stripping them of their right to be off - just as long as the so-called "greedy corporations" don't do the same. Either we want everyone to have the day off or we don't.

I dislike the greedy bastards as much as anyone, but lets stand for all who have to work on Thanksgiving, not just those who work for Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Roger West

Thursday, November 28, 2013


From our family at NFTOS to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Roger West

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Want your boss or employer muddling in your healthcare? Watch Rachael Maddow on why you may not have a choice, or do you?

Video courtesy of MSNBC


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


When police took George Zimmerman into custody for domestic violence charges earlier this month, the man who killed Trayvon Martin was armed with five firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition, according to a warrant released by police on Tuesday.

Zimmerman’s girlfriend alleges that he assaulted her, brandishing a shotgun in her face and telling her she would “regret” calling 911 for help. According to the warrant, a 12-gauge high capacity shotgun wasn’t the only weapon he was carrying. He also had an AR-15 assault rifle and three handguns — a Glock 19, an Interarms .380-caliber, and a Taurus 9mm.

He used a different handgun, a Kel-Tec 9 mm pistol, on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

Now that Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with assault, he is no longer allowed to carry a firearm. His concealed carry permit should be suspended under Florida law.

But none of his prior run-ins with the law — including his fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and a previous allegation of domestic violence — prevented Zimmerman from carrying a weapon before. In fact, after he became a national figure over Martin’s death, Zimmerman told reporters that he had “even more reason” to have a gun, and his lawyer confirmed that he was “carrying a weapon.” A gun advocacy group from Ohio even sent him a $12,150.37 check to buy more firearms.

It's no wonder the gun nuts hold Zimmerman up as a shining example of their nutbaggery, he's everything they want to be.

Roger West

Monday, November 25, 2013


A member of the Delta County School Board in Colorado is defending comments she made during a public meeting in which she criticized proposed new policies that would add a layer of protection for students who identify as transgender.

During the board’s October meeting, Katherine Svenson sounded the alarm over Massachusetts and California’s recently adapted policies that protect students who identify as a different gender than their biological one. “I just want to emphasize,” she said. “Not in this district. Not until the plumbing’s changed. There would have to be castration in order to pass something like that around here.”

Parents, community members, and even a few of her fellow board members criticized Svenson for her comments, but she is standing behind her comments.
“I don’t have a problem if some boys think they are girls,” she told the local CBS affiliate last week. “I’m just saying as long as they can impregnate a woman, they’re not going to go in girls locker room.”

The law in California that Svenson criticized gives transgender students the right to use the restrooms of the gender they identify as. Svenson’s remarks echo the criticism that the National Organization for Marriage has leveled during their campaign to overturn the California law.

“I do not want a naked boy in front of a young girl in the shower or bathroom even if he sincerely identifies as a girl,” said NOM’s Brian Brown last week during a fundraising event for the anti-equality organization.

California and a handful of other states are beginning to take action to curb the harassment and bullying of transgender students by adding new protections into state law, but that has so far done nothing to curb the rising number of instances of incendiary rhetoric being directed towards transgender people, especially transgender youth.

The issue has taken center stage in Colorado after the Pacific Justice Institute, an organization that is campaigning heavily against California’s law, began running an ad aimed at a Colorado trans teenager that alleges she is “harassing” her classmates by using the women’s restrooms. Though there is no law in the books protecting trans students in Colorado, the state’s Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of transgender students earlier this year by arguing that students have the right to use the restrooms of whichever gender they identify as.


Sunday, November 24, 2013



Philadelphia became the first city to pass a bill banning people without a federal firearms manufacturing license from using 3D printers to make guns earlier this week, in a move that lawmakers described as “preemptive” and “based upon internet stuff out there.” But the measure passed unanimously by 10-member council and comes as a federal law banning firearms that can go unnoticed by a metal detector is set to expire early next month.

Lawmakers are desperately trying to keep pace with the evolving technology. While 3-D printed gun are still “affordable only in industrial or commercial settings” — printers currently range between $1,500 and $8,000 plus the cost of printing materials — experts say the “technology will eventually trickle down to consumers, who are already able to purchase plastic printers at affordable prices.” 3D printers can also manufacture bullets and metal guns.
“As technology progresses, three-dimensional printers will become more advanced, less expensive and more commonplace,” Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said after the vote. “As instructions for the manufacture of guns via 3D printing technology are already available on the Internet, we could be looking at a recipe for disaster.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Bill Nelson , and Rep. Steve Israel have introduced legislation that expands the undetectable firearms law to ban 3D-printed guns, require guns to be recognizable as guns, and them to contain significant metal. Several states — including New York, California and Washington D.C. — are considering similar restrictions.

Earlier this month, officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) built and tested a 3D gun called the Liberator. The weapon, which is invisible to metal detectors, is capable of “firing with enough power to injure vital organs” and its designs “were downloaded more than 100,000 times in just two days before federal officials demanded their removal in May.” ATF officials said they were concerned individuals could carry the weapons past metal detectors into “schools, sporting events or government offices” (the Liberator’s design calls for a metal piece, though that part is non-vital and can easily be taken out.) 3D guns can also be made “without serial numbers or unique identifiers, hindering.”
“Proposed legislation to ban 3D printing of weapons may deter, but cannot completely prevent their production,” a Department of Homeland Security intelligence bulletin admitted in May. “Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is heavily funded by large gun manufacturers, has remained largely silent on the issue.

Roger West

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Bill Maher last night compared Democrat Presidential God John F. Kennedy, to the Right Wing Nut Job God named Ronnie Reagan.


In a related story, Tom Brokow recounts when JFK was killed , when the kind hearted conservatives were quacking - "About time somebody shot that son-of-bitch".

These unlettered knuckle dragger are truly no different today than they were 50 years ago. May God keep blessing us with these benighted blowhards!

Roger West

Friday, November 22, 2013



Senate Democrats pushed through a historic change to the chamber’s rules on Thursday, doing away with filibusters on executive appointments and most judicial nominations in a bid to ease the gridlock gripping the chamber.

The move, known as the “nuclear option,” passed by a vote of 52-48, with all but three Democrats voting to reform the chamber’s rules and every Republican opposing the measure.
“I support the step a majority of Senators took today to change the ways of Washington by changing the way Congress does business,” President Obama told reporters at the White House. 
“This gridlock has not served the cause of justice. In fact it has undermined it.
“A majority of Senators believe, as I believe, enough is enough,” he said. “Public service is not a game. It is a privilege.”


The mid-session revision to Senate rules will prevent use of the filibuster to block executive and judicial nominations, with the exception of Supreme Court nominees. It lowers the 60-vote threshold to move forward on such nominations to a simple majority. The change does not apply to legislation, meaning that all bills will still require 60 votes to clear the Senate.

Fed up with the pattern of obstruction that has grounded the chamber’s business to a halt, Senate Democrats cast aside the minority’s objections and moved ahead with the first change to filibuster rules since 1975, when the chamber reduced the threshold required to surmount a filibuster from 67 to 60. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid argued that curbing abuse of the filibuster was a necessity for the hidebound institution to function properly.
“The Senate is a living thing,” the Nevada Democrat said during a speech on the Senate floor. “To survive, it must change.”

I can only say, it’s about freaking time!

Roger West

Thursday, November 21, 2013

GOP's Plan Of Attack Against Obamacare

A memo circulated among House Republicans this week details the GOP's plan to relentlessly attack the Affordable Care Act over the course of the next several months, the New York Times reported.

The memo contains a number of talking points that echo some of the GOP's most dire warnings about the health care law.

"Because of Obamacare, I Lost My Insurance.” reads one.

“The Exchanges May Not Be Secure, Putting Personal Information at Risk,” reads another.

According to the Times, GOP strategists intend to use the next several months to "gather stories of people affected by the health care law — through social media, letters from constituents, or meetings during visits back home — and use them to open a line of attack, keep it going until it enters the public discourse and forces a response, then quickly pivot to the next topic."

Read the memo here.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Rachel Maddow explains how marriage equality is spreading in America, and how the American Taliban goes full bore anti-gay.


Roger West

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


One of George Zimmerman’s terms for making bail after his arrest for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend mean he cannot access any firearms. But Florida law should have required officials to suspend his gun license regardless of the bail hearing, even if determining whether officials are following that law is difficult in Florida.

According to a Florida statute that states the Department of Agriculture “shall, upon notification by a law enforcement agency, a court, or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and subsequent written verification, suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify such person from having a license under this section, until final disposition of the case.” Zimmerman’s arrest for aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, is a disqualifying crime.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees concealed carry weapons permits, could not confirm any details about Zimmerman’s license because an individual’s information is exempt from public record.

Enforcing the statute is another matter entirely. Many states issue concealed carry permits through a law enforcement agency. In Florida, it’s a civil agency, Agriculture, which creates an extra reporting step that leaves room for miscommunication and mistakes. A 2007 Sun-Sentinel investigation found that concealed carry permits had been given to “1,400 people who pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies, 216 people with outstanding warrants, 128 people with active domestic violence injunctions and six registered sex offenders.” While felons are prohibited from owning weapons, gaps in background checks likewise led to3,479 arrests of felons carrying illegal guns in 2012. In fact, Florida’s lax laws means it often supplies out-of-state permits for people who would be rejected in their home state.

In 25 states outside Florida, a person with Zimmerman’s record — his shooting Trayvon Martin and history of domestic abuse, and two incidents of domestic violence just this year — would likely not be eligible to carry a concealed weapon in the first place.

When Zimmerman was charged for Martin’s death, activists demanded that Governor Rick Scott suspend Zimmerman’s concealed carry permit. Scott’s administration refused, arguing that “short of a permit holder being convicted of a felony, the state does not have the authority to revoke a permit.” One condition of Zimmerman’s bail had been that he could not access guns or alcohol.

Since he was acquitted of charges over Martin’s death, Zimmerman legally bought himself a new assault rifle and shotgun that he reportedly has had with him in the car, in his holster, and in his home.

Since writing this blog, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed that it moves to suspend a license for permit holders charged with felonies once the department learns of the charges. License holders receive a notice of their suspension by mail.


Monday, November 18, 2013


George Zimmerman's Newest Mug Shot [How Many Is This Now?]

Less than six months after walking away from the trial over Trayvon Martin’s death, George Zimmerman was arrested Monday afternoon by Seminole County law enforcement over a domestic dispute reportedly involving a girlfriend. He is being held without bail, and there are no specific charges released yet.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Zimmerman’s new girlfriend, age 27, had been in the car two months ago when he allegedly threatened his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman with a gun.

In September, Zimmerman was involved with another disturbance at his home. Shellie Zimmerman placed a frightened call to 911, in which she described seeing Zimmerman punching her father and with a gun in his holster. Police never recovered one, and after Zimmerman threatened to press counter-charges, his wife announced she would not press her own.

Since the trial, Zimmerman has bought himself a new gun with the help of a fundraiser from a gun advocacy group. 

Zimmerman is the O.J. Simpson of this era, and hopefully the rope that holds the noose around this asshat's neck is getting shorter - so that the next one dead or injured is George Zimmerman, and not another innocent human being.

Since this story broke I've been asking people, is there a limit to how many times you can use stand your ground as a defense in the state of Florida, or is it like an all you can kill buffet?

So now I am really confused, is it now too soon to talk about gun control? Or is it now too soon to talk about abusive relationships? Can a gun hugging GOPer please step up and help me, I'm not sure what not to talk about?

Roger West

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Ever notice how all things good and bad are President Obama's fault?

According To Media Reports, Obama Is Responsible For At Least 8 ‘Katrinas’

On Friday, the New York Times ran a lengthy piece comparing the troubled roll-out of Obamacare — including a dysfunctional website and the cancellation of some existing individual insurance policies — to President Bush’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina, a tragedy which cost at least 1,833 people their lives. ABC’s Good Morning America featured a similar segment, and both outlets relied on former advisers of George W Bush to bolster their point. But this is just latest in a long line of “Katrinas,” that Barack Obama is responsible for, according to the media. Here is a sampling:

1. BP Oil Spill
“It’s getting baked in a little bit in the media that BP was President Obama’s Katrina.” [NBC News, Brian Williams, 8/29/10]

2. Bank Bailout

“A CHARMING visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it. A 90 percent tax on bankers’ bonuses won’t fix it. Firing Timothy Geithner won’t fix it. Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed. It would be foolish to dismiss as hyperbole the stark warning delivered by Paulette Altmaier of Cupertino, Calif., in a letter to the editor published by The Times last week: ‘President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.’” [New York Times, Frank Rich, 3/21/09]

3. Benghazi Consulate Attack And The IRS

“When House Republicans decided to reopen investigations into the White House and State Department response to the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, few thought it would inflict any serious damage to the president. Then came an admission from the IRS that it had unfairly singled out conservative groups for scrutiny during the 2012 campaign…This is President Obama’s Katrina moment. If he cannot regain control of the narrative, he will face the same loss of public confidence suffered by President Bush.” [Baltimore Sun, 5/19/13, Todd Eberly]

4. Hurricane Sandy

“I want to show you this report by our own David Lee Miller of a public housing unit in New Jersey, and — I’m sorry, in Brooklyn — devastated. This is Obama’s Katrina. And now the people are seeing that the gas lines and the suffering and the millions without power, the millions without heat, the millions — the ten and thousands that have lost their homes, and the cries for help.” [Fox News, Sean Hannity, 11/5/12]

5. Unemployment

“‘Will The Unemployment Crisis Be Obama’s Katrina?’ There’s a Category 5 storm about to make landfall, and the president and the officials in charge of preparing for the approaching disaster don’t seem to be particularly worried. Sound familiar? Just as Katrina exposed critical weaknesses in the priorities and competence of the Bush administration, the unfolding unemployment disaster is threatening to do the same for the Obama White House.” [Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, 11/23/09]

6. The Underwear Bomber
“To the list of phrases it may be best for political leaders to avoid after a major security incident, add ‘the system worked’ right after ‘Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.’ Just as the public did not really share President George W. Bush’s assessment of how things were going after Hurricane Katrina, so too was there a good deal of skepticism when President Obama’s homeland security secretary declared faith in a system that failed to stop a guy who tried to blow up a passenger jet on Christmas Day.” [New York Times, 12/29/09]

7. Haiti Earthquake

“‘Haiti: Obama’s Katrina.’ Four years ago the initial medical response to Hurricane Katrina was ill equipped, understaffed, poorly coordinated and delayed. Criticism of the paltry federal efforts was immediate and fierce. Unfortunately, the response to the latest international disaster in Haiti has been no better, compounding the catastrophe.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/25/10]

8. Obamacare

“‘Health Law Rollout’s Stumbles Draw Parallels to Bush’s Hurricane Response.’ President Obama is now threatened by a similar toxic mix. The disastrous rollout of his health care law not only threatens the rest of his agenda but also raises questions about his competence in the same way that the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina undermined any semblance of Republican efficiency.” [New York Times, 11/14/13]

Four years ago, the New York Times derided comparing every Presidential error to Katrina as “a Category 5 cliché.” Melissa Harris Perry, writing in the Nation in 2010, was even harsher: “These metaphors reduce catastrophe to an object lesson, implying that the effects of the disaster have been resolved, that the plot has been resolved and that the continued suffering of our fellow citizens is little more than a literary device.”

For Louisiana Republicans, Hurricane Katrina is Obama’s Katrina — a recent poll found more blame Obama than Bush for the federal response to the 2005 tragedy.

Roger West

Saturday, November 16, 2013



Bill Maher's New Rules ended last night by scorching the Supreme Court and the American Taliban for their “naive” thoughts on racism and campaign finance and how America’s way past the point of not being corrupted on those two issues.

Maher first took on the ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act, mocked the idea that “racism had been cured” and that “other than shopping at Barney’s… there was no evidence anymore that black people needed special protections.”

And as for John Roberts‘ astonishment that people think the South is more racist than the North, Maher cited slavery, the KKK, and the fact that “Paula Deen lives there.”

Maher also addressed the Citizens United ruling and the assumption that more money in politics doesn't lead to corruption, “which is true except for always.” He found it troubling how “naive” conservatives appear to be about America.
“That is the problem with today’s conservatives. They are too sentimental about how wonderful America is. Racism? That’s over. Moneyed interests? They couldn't corrupt us if they tried!”
And when the Supreme Court gave more power to the people, they reacted with the line from Animal House: “You fucked up, you shouldn't have trusted us!”


Roger West

Friday, November 15, 2013



During an exchange on the House floor on Friday afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that the House could not vote on the approved bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill that was passed in June because he didn't want to “repeat the mistakes” of the Affordable Care Act website launch.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) pressed Cantor to bring a vote to pass for the Senate immigration reform bill, arguing that a vote on immigration reform should occur by the end of the year because it can attract at least 218 votes. Cantor responded that Senate Democrats and White House officials have been unwilling to talk and instead insist on a “my way or the highway kind of mode of operation”:
HOYER: Bring it to the floor and see if the House thinks it’s a bad bill. See if the House believes that it’s a bill that is not worthy to be considered and passed as a fixing of a broken immigration system … He has the power to bring that bill to the floor. 
CANTOR: We don’t want a repeat of what’s going on now with Obamacare. That bill, constructed as it is by the Senate, last-minute-ditch effort to get it across the finish line … let’s be mindful, Madam Speaker, of what happens when you put together a bill like Obamacare and the real consequences to millions of Americans right now, scared that they’re not going to even have health care insurance that they have today come January 1. [...] 
[...] I’d say to the gentleman again. The track record of this administration and the majority in the Senate has indicated an unwillingness to sit down and talk. They've not done so, certainly the White House has not done so on the immigration issue, did not do so on the health care issue, and again it doesn't help the American people for their insistence on a “my way or the highway” kind of mode of operation.

Watch it.

Cantor’s excuse is just the latest iteration of House Republicans refusing to bring immigration reform to a vote. In August, Rep. Steve King called reform “a waste of time,” and said that the House should focus its attention on Benghazi. In October, Rep. Tom Cole said that the government shutdown made it unrealistic to pass immigration reform.


Thursday, November 14, 2013



Rachel Maddow reports on how gun laws enabled Idaho lawmaker Mark Patterson to have a gun license, despite being guilty of attempted rape and lying about it.

I am going to just leave you with the video to watch today. This is one of the most disturbing stories I’ve seen and written about in quite some time. What gun problem you ask? Why gun legislation you ask? The story speaks for itself, utterly disgusting!

MARK PATTERSON Video courtesy of MSNBC

Roger West

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Cross posted from thinkprogress:

Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a national abortion ban that would chisel away at the constitutional rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. Now, their Democratic colleagues are striking back with some abortion-related legislation of their own. On Wednesday, a group of pro-choice senators plan to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, a measure intended to stem the barrage of state-level restrictions on reproductive rights.

Despite the fact that Roe is still technically the law of the land, state legislatures have still managed to attack abortion access from all angles. Ever since the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision gave states the power to regulate abortion to protect the “health of the mother,” anti-choice lawmakers have rushed to enact several different types of restrictions that supposedly achieve this end. Those state laws — which include forced ultrasound requirements, mandatory waiting periods, restrictions on the administration of the abortion pill, and burdensome clinic regulations — have continued to mount. According to the Guttmacher Institute, this strategy peaked in 2011, when lawmakers enacted a record-breaking 92 new abortion restrictions at the state level.

Now, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal , a group of Democratic lawmakers wants to change that. According to Roll Call, which obtained a copy of the legislation, the new bill would preempt state’s efforts to indirectly restrict abortion by requiring new laws to be medically necessary. The measure emphasizes that new abortion regulations shouldn't decrease access to abortion services or require doctors to go against their best judgment.

While the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 wouldn't immediately supersede the existing state restrictions, it would set the stage for court challenges to officially overturn them.

“This assault on essential, constitutionally protected rights has gone on too long,” Blumenthal writes in an op-ed published on the Huffington Post. “We are introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 this week to end it, once and for all. Our bill would stop states from subjecting reproductive health care providers to burdensome requirements that are not applied to medical professionals providing similar services.”

It’s rare for women’s health supporters to go on the offensive. With the notable exception of California, which recently enacted several pieces of legislation to expand access to abortion, women’s health supporters are typically preoccupied with defending themselves against a steady stream of anti-choice attacks. Even in progressive states like New York, it’s proven difficult for pro-choice lawmakers to enact any proactive measures to move the ball forward on reproductive rights. Indeed, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 represents the first piece of national legislation in nearly a decade that is specifically intended to protect — rather than undermine — abortion rights.

Planned Parenthood is applauding the initiative. “As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we see firsthand the terrible impact that these restrictions have on women — cutting thousands of women off from access to safe and legal abortion, and from basic preventive health care,” the group’s president, Cecile Richards, said in a statement. “This bill would ensure that a woman’s constitutional rights don’t depend on her zip code.”


Tuesday, November 12, 2013



The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that between 40,000 and 50,000 uninsured Americans signed up for health care coverage in the 36 states where the federal government is running the Obamacare exchanges, offering the very first estimate of the administration’s progress in implementing the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to release official figures later this week. That number “will include people who have paid for a health plan and those who simply picked a plan and put it in their online shopping cart,” the Washington Post notes.

But the initial estimate doesn't tell the whole story about how many people are connecting to coverage. Here is what you need to know about the enrollment figures:

1. More than 500,000 have signed up for insurance overall. Avalere Health, a consulting firm tracking sign-ups, estimates that at least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid and another 49,000 people enrolled in coverage in 12 states and the District of Columbia that are operating their own exchanges. Significantly, that state number don’t appear to include enrollment from California, Massachusetts, or Oregon. Thus, all told, more than 529,000 have enrolled in coverage.

2. People are enrolling despite an error-ridden website. Some enrollees — particularly the younger and healthier population who does not absolutely need coverage — may be putting off enrollment given’s technical glitches or are waiting until the website is fixed to sign up. The administration reports that more visitors are now successfully getting through the enrollment process from beginning to end, but the website is still struggling to process enrollees and deliver accurate and verifiable information to health insurers. “Given all of the web site problems, I think 50,000 sounds pretty good, if this is actual private plan enrollments through the federal marketplace,” Tim Jost, a professor at William & Mary said. “I am surprised it is that high. But I hope it picks up for November and takes off for December. ”

3. The Massachusetts experience predicted low early enrollment. In the first four months of enrollment in Commonwealth Care — the Massachusetts health care exchange for subsidized care — 15,560 of an estimated 80,000 uninsured who qualified for coverage signed up and after the first full year, one-third of the total eligible population — 122,000 people — became insured. The road to nearly universal coverage was gradual, as enrollment didn't fully ramp up until almost a year after the initial rollout. Significantly, early enrollment data also showed a high number of Medicaid enrollees.

4. New public programs slowly ramp up to coverage. “Enrollment in new programs begins slowly and often takes several months to build momentum,”said Avalere CEO Dan Mendelson. Indeed, The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D experienced this very same enrollment pattern. As Stan Dorn, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center said, “It’s like any other human activity, it takes time to figure out how to do it right. CHIP, a bipartisan Clinton-era initiative that primarily provides health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, initially fell far short of enrollment goals and more than half of the seniors who signed up for Medicare Part D didn't do so until after the initial enrollment period and enrolled despite the Bush administration’s well-publicized initial glitches in extending coverage to low-income beneficiaries.

5. The government didn't market Obamacare. Given the technical glitches plaguing the site, the administration and outside groups couldn’t deploy a big public campaign urging uninsured people to sign-up for coverage and did not run a heavy media campaign in the 36 states where the federal government is operating the exchanges. As a result, news about reform was saturated by the website’s problems and likely depressed enrollment.

6. People less likely to sign up now for coverage that begins in January. “One would assume that people who are older and in poorer health would be the most persistent, at least initially, in navigating the federal website despite all the glitches and inability to complete the process,” Edwin Park, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said. This may be part of the reason why the insurance risk pools are coming in older than originally predicted. Administration officials say they expect younger people to enroll in coverage closer to the deadline (and when the first bill is due).


Monday, November 11, 2013


Cross posted from thinkprogress:

On Saturday, nearly 40 armed men, women, and children waited outside a Dallas, Texas area restaurant to protest a membership meeting for the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

According to a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action (MDA), the moms were inside the Blue Mesa Grill when members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) — an open carry advocacy group — “pull[ed] up in the parking lot and start[ed] getting guns out of their trunks.” The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.

MDA later released a statement calling OCT “gun bullies” who “disagree[d] with our goal of changing America’s gun laws and policies to protect our children and families.” The statement added that the members and restaurant customers were “terrified by what appeared to be an armed ambush.” A member of OCT responded by tweeting, “I guess I’m a #gunbullies #Comeandtakeit.”

This is not the first time that gun advocates have rallied at MDA events. In March, a group of armed men crashed a MDA gun-control rally in Indianapolis. Other gun advocate groups will hold rallies this upcoming December 14th, the anniversary date of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Licensed gun owners are allowed to carry concealed weapons, but Texas is one of six states that prohibits open carry of firearms. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a likely Republican successor for Gov. Rick Perry, has vowed to permit concealed handgun owners to display their firearms in public. Four GOP contenders for lieutenant governor similarly hope to put in place open carry laws if elected.


Sunday, November 10, 2013



Cross posted from thinkprogress:

An electrician best known for mailing homophobic fliers to thousands of Houston voters attacking the city’s lesbian mayor narrowly won an election to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees after he misled voters into believing that he is African American. Dave Wilson defeated longtime incumbent Bruce Austin, who actually is black, in an overwhelmingly African American district.

Wilson’s campaign fliers were filled with black faces that he admits to simply pulling off of websites, along with captions such as “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” Another flier announces that he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which is the name of an African American former state representative. Only by reading the fine print will voters discover that the “Ron Wilson” who actually endorsed Dave is his cousin. The cousin lives in Iowa.

In an interview with a local TV station, the anti-gay activist turned higher education policymaker did not deny that he intended to mislead the electorate, instead justifying his actions by claiming that “[e]very time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters.”

It’s worth noting that Wilson was likely able to get within striking range of a 24-year incumbent member of the board due to a wave of scandals involving insider dealing by board members. Nevertheless, he defeated the incumbent Austin by just 26 votes, so it is likely that Wilson’s deceptive campaign tactics helped push him over the edge to victory.

The Houston Community College Board of Trustees governs the college and has the power to approve the school’s “educational program.” Previously, Wilson unsuccessfully tried to scuttle the campaign of victorious Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker by mailing a flier to 35,000 voters featuring a picture of Parker standing by her same-sex partner and the caption “IS THIS THE IMAGE HOUSTON WANTS TO PORTRAY?”


Saturday, November 9, 2013



Bill Maher's "New Rules" last night was a scathing examination of religious people who would love to do things like take care of the starving and needy - that is if it wasn't always for some personal conflict getting in the way.

Maher said these Christians should “just admit you’re selfish” and come to terms with the fact that their actions do not “mirror the spirit of Jesus.”

Maher ran the spectrum of "republican Jesus" ideology, from republicans pushing for more food stamp cuts, to a Christian family that left a homophobic note instead of a tip for their gay waiter. Maher said they repeatedly emphasized the line “not share” to show “they've really absorbed the message of Jesus.”

Maher mocked the Christian message of “I believe in charity, just not for people who need it” and concluded that “there’s always a good moral Christian to tell everyone you meet to fuck off and die.”


This evolution of "republican Jesus" started when the Bible bangers started their "born again" nonsense. That stated, all you simply have to do is be born again - to receive your free get out hell card and to get into heaven. This was an abomination of Christ's teachings, which stressed love thy neighbor and aid the poor.

As always, when 'republican Jesus" rears his ugly head, I love to end with my most famous quote: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mahatma Gandhi

Roger West

Friday, November 8, 2013



Continuing from yesterday's blog - where Rachael Maddow picked apart Ken Cuccinelli piece by piece - last night was no different, as Maddow skewered Cuccinelli, literally roasting him for his less than ethical ways while being Virginia's Attorney General and then eviscerating the Cooch for the "Coup" attempt over Transvaginal Bob.

While the State of Virginia was concentrating on Virginia's disgraced Governor Bob McDonnell's "gifts" from Star Scientific CEO Johnnie Williams - and soon-to-be-ex-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who also took gifts from Star Scientific -considered a never-before used tactic/section of the Virginia Constitution to force McDonnell to be declared unfit for office.

That's right readers, as first reported by Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and further reported by Politico, The Cooch and Transvaginal Bob had a particularly acrimonious relationship - all hands in the Star Scientific goody bag aside - all stemming mostly from the Cooch's irritation towards McDonnell's preference for Lt. Gov Bill Bolling to be the 2013 GOP Gubernatorial nominee.

As the Star Scientific scandal heated up, Cuccinelli presupposed that McDonnell would be federally indicted and prepared to make a dramatic break from McDonnell by declaring him "unfit for service" and therefore, which seems to be a bit ironic - would put Lt. Governor Bolling as Virginia's acting Governor.


It is truly great fun for me to watch the GOP/Tea Party eat there own, specifically when its two of the most deviant Conservatives to ever hold office in the state of Virginia.

To often the case with these right wing nut jobs, Republicans take a worse beating from irony than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme products.

Roger West

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I love Rachael Maddow. The dissection of the GOP in her reporting is bar none top shelf material. In an age where 'bullshit mountain" [Fox News] piece meals content to appease the unlettered GOPer , its soothing to see real journalism taking place during Maddow's hour segment on MSNBC.

In the clip below, Maddow tells the story of the reality, the after effects, the state of the GOP, after the Virginia gubernatorial race - how the GOP and the Tea Party have major issues ahead. But in perfect true to form GOP fashion, they ignore the facts and the obvious - and deny that any problems exist.

The GOP is truly the party of hubris. When you alienate African Americans, women, students and the elderly alike - and you find yourself wondering and asking why you lost an election, - one doesn't need to be Einstein to be able to connect the dots.

MADDOW Video courtesy of MSNBC

As long as the GOP links themselves to the tea party, they shall always remain the pimple on the ass of society, and therefore solidifying that they never ever occupy the oval office again.

If you look at the exit poll data via the NY Times, the picture isn't rosy for the GOP, especially with gender gaps, color gaps, age and educational gaps. Cuccinelli performed very poorly compared to his Republican counterpart in 2009 - in nearly every group, including his base: white men and women and Republicans. He also failed to get the same level of support among independents, almost a third of the electorate, with the Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, picking up 16 percent of respondents.

Should the National Democratic base -  stay steadfast, resolved and engaged like Virginia's liberal base, then the conservatives are indeed in trouble in the 2014 mid-term elections. Needing only 17 seats to retake the house of representatives, at this point in the game, anything is possible.

Roger West

Wednesday, November 6, 2013



Ken Cuccinelli — the loudest critic of health care reform — went down in a ball of flames last night, paving the way for the “bellwether for national politics” to expand Obamacare to nearly 400,000 Virginians.

By defeating this radical teabagger, voters rejected one of the most openly-right wing politicians this country has to offer. Terry McAuliffe repeatedly hammered the point that Cuccinelli was focused on his own agenda of climate change denial, anti-LGBT discrimination, restrictions on women’s reproductive health, steadfast opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and blocking any gun violence reduction efforts.

The good guys [and gals] of Virginia win this round. While only 38% of registered voters voted this go around, the final word was -even with Obamacare looming in the air, that Virginian's do not want Radical Right Wing Nut Jobs, the tin foil hat society running their state.

Why did the republican ticket lose you ask?: list from thinkprogress

He fought against all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.

Cuccinelli once boasted that his first campaign won by mobilizing churches on abortion and taxes — while misleading the press into think he was concerned about transportation. His 2002 campaign website laid out Cuccinelli’s abortion views clearly: “Ken believes that human life begins at conception, and that human beings should be respected and protected from conception to natural death,” it said. “Ken would seek to require sonograms to be part of a 24-hour waiting period with an informed consent requirement. Ken opposes abortions that are not for the purpose of saving the mother’s life.” He sought defund Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell research.

He pushed for a ban on third trimester abortions — making no exception for serious health risks on the woman — and bullied the state Board of Health to implement “safety” regulations for abortion providers designed to force clinics to close. He has also highlighted his opposition to RU-486 and his support for a “conscience” law protecting the “right of professionals to refuse to perform an action that is inconsistent with their moral convictions” — such as providing emergency contraception — “without losing their job.” Cuccinelli frequently attacks Planned Parenthood and has suggested that the fact that abortion clinics in Virginia are in urban areas with large African American populations is an example of white racism. His “ultimate goal,” he has said, is to “make abortion disappear in America.” Instead, Cuccinelli helped fund “crisis” pregnancy centers that lie to women to manipulate their reproductive health choices.

He called a safe sex fair “soft porn” and sought to censor it.

In 2005, Cucinnelli used his position as a state Senator to try to censor a university sexual education event he felt was “pushing a pro-sex agenda and an anything goes agenda.” Cuccinelli, however, was outraged that his alma mater George Mason — a public state university — would host an event he believed “really just designed to push sex and sexual libertine behavior as far, fast and furiously as possibly.” Upset that information about sexuality — other than abstinence only — would be presented to adult college students, he said it was symptomatic of the “moral depravity that has crept across this commonwealth and this country.” The university’s administration emphatically rejected Cuccinelli’s suggestions that they cancel the event and it was repeated in future years.

His war on sodomy may have helped set free sexual predators.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state sodomy bans as unconstitutional in 2003, a bipartisan group in the Virginia General Assembly proposed updating the state’s law that made oral and anal sex a felony (even between consenting married adults) to comply with the ruling by eliminating provisions dealing with consenting adults in private and leaving in place provisions relating to prostitution, public sex, and those other than consenting adults. Cuccinelli, then a state senator, opposed the bill in committee and helped kill it on the Senate floor. In 2009, he told a newspaper that he supported keeping restrictions on the sexual behavior of consenting adults: “My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. … They don’t comport with natural law.” As a result, the law was never updated and the courts struck down the entire law earlier this year — throwing into question the convictions of numerous sexual predators.


He said Catholic Church creates a “culture of dependency on government, not God.”

In a stunning 2012 speech at a Christian Life Summit, Cuccinelli took aim at the Catholic Church for its advocacy on behalf of the poor, immigrants, and the uninsured. Because the Church’s leadership has advocated for the government to provide a social safety net, a role he believes is the responsibility of the Catholic Church itself, Cuccinelli said, “they have made themselves out to be nothing but the largest special interest group in America.” Rev. Gerry Creedon, pastor at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City, Virginia, added that the Church can’t do it all alone. “Not everything can be done with charity,” he explained, “The tithes of our church can’t deal with the housing crisis [or hunger]. Those are issues that go beyond private donations.” In a June 2011 speech to the Virginia Christian Association, he mocked a Catholic diocese newspaper for including in its voter guides both issues like poverty assistance and health care access for the uninsured, in addition to the issues he deems more important, such as abortion.

He turned his climate change denial into an illegal witch hunt.

Cuccinelli’s denial of climate science was extreme enough — frequently asking his audiences to exhale carbon dioxide together in unison just to “annoy the EPA.” But as Virginia Attorney General, he took it a step further, launching an illegal fishing expedition against former University of Virginia climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann. State courts rejected as unfounded his theory that Mann committed fraud in seeking government funding for climate change research.

His office improperly aided fossil fuel companies.

Much of Cuccinelli’s fundraising came from dirty energy companies. But a six-figure donation from Pennsylvania-based CONSOL Energy came under heavy scrutiny after his office was accused of improperly aiding Consol and others in a class-action lawsuit brought by southwest Virginians over coalbed methane extraction rights. The state judge in the case called the behavior of Cuccinelli’s senior assistant attorney general shocking and referred the matter to the Virginia’s inspector general — who found she had acted “inappropriately.”

He took thousands in gifts from the a controversial tobacco executive.

Though Cuccinelli initially failed to disclose them, he received more than $18,000 in gifts from controversial Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Williams provided the attorney general with free lodging at his homes, $6,711 worth of supplements, transportation to New York City and Kentucky, and an elaborate $1,500 Thanksgiving dinner. Though as of 2012, Star Scientific has reported annual losses for a decade, just one Virginia elected official or candidate invested upwards of $10,000 in the company: Cuccinelli. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Star Scientific is the only significant holding he has reported since his first filing in 2003. Cuccinelli, whose position makes him the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawyer, did not follow state disclosure law and disclose this investment in a timely manner. After the controversy became public, he sold off the stock and grudgingly donated the estimated value of the gifts he received to charity.

He questioned President Obama’s legitimacy as president.

Cuccinelli dabbled in birtherism in 2010, telling a questioner that the idea that President Obama was secretly born in Kenya “doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility.” After the 2012 election, Cuccinelli embraced a conspiracy theory proposed by right-wing radio host that President Obama had only be re-elected because of voter fraud. he completely agreed assertion that investigations were needed to determine why President Obama lost “every one” of the states with photo identification requirements for voting, yet won re-election. Of course, Obama won four states with photo identification requirements for voters and studies have shown Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

He fought against LGBT equality at every possible opportunity.

Cuccinelli’s anti-LGBT rhetoric and record may be unmatched by any other Virginia gubernatorial candidate in history. He actively pushed for state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent any legal recognition of what he terms “what they’d like to refer to as ‘homosexual families,’” authoring a resolution calling for a federal amendment to invalidate any same-sex marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or “other relationship analogous to marriage.”

He has opined that “giving public sanction to homosexual marriage ends up redefining marriage and it’s certain to harm children.” He even opposed a state bill that allowed private companies to voluntarily provide health insurance benefits to employees’ domestic partners, warning it might “encourage this type of behavior.” His advisory opinion that Virginia’s public colleges and universities should rescind their non-discrimination policies was called “reprehensible” by a former Republican state legislator. Asked in this campaign about his previous claim that the “homosexual agenda… brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” Cuccinelli conceded that his views about “the personal challenge of homosexuality have not changed.”

He bragged about his “A” rating from the NRA at the site of a mass shooting.

Cuccinelli’s strong opposition to gun violence prevention efforts extends to even modest steps like universal background checks. Asked about the subject at an October debate a Virginia Tech, where a mass shooting in 2007 killed 32 people, Cuccinelli made clear that he opposed expanded background checks and boasted his “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. In a 2011 speech to a gun rights group, he called the notion of gun bans on campus “crazy.”

He embraced radical “tenther” theories about the U.S. constitution.

Cuccinelli espoused a radical interpretation of the constitution that the federal government should cede much more power to the states under the 10th Amendment. His 2013 book No Apologies called Medicare “despicable," dismissed Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps as deliberate attacks on Americans’ freedom, and argued that all welfare and anti-trust laws are unconstitutional.

At a 2010 Tenth Amendment rally in Richmond, he told supporters of the view that “what we can do, where we live, is advocate again to bring back to life the 10th amendment, to bring back to life those boundaries in our constitutional system that were supposed to be the critical checks in the checks and balances system. Without them, we lose – gradually, we lose our liberty.” In one of his briefs challenging health reform, Cuccinelli suggested that Congress is allowed to regulate “commerce on one hand” but not “manufacturing or agriculture.” This is exactly the same discredited vision of the Constitution the Supreme Court implemented in the late 19th and early 20th century, and it would strike down child labor laws, the minimum wage, the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters, and countless other cherished laws.

Virginia has historically been a conservative-leaning swing state, backing every Republican presidential nominee from Richard Nixon through George W. Bush and electing a Republican governor by a 59 to 41 landslide in 2009. But polling showed Cuccinelli out of step with their views on climate change, background checks, marriage equality, and abortion rights.

Yes Virginia, we have our own version of the Taliban, its called the Tea Party.

The Cooch rallied against Sodomy, and lost, rallied against women, and lost [with a resounding and overwhelming thud], rallied against the LBGT, and lost.

Things to take away form this election: that only 38% of Virginian's who could vote did so. Many moderate republicans jumped ship and voted against the Cooch. That over 900 thousand Virginian's voted for E.W. Jackson. And this number alone, is by far, the most concerning one, as Jackson, is by far the most radical, most disgusting human to ever run for office. Really Virginia, 900 thousand votes, this show us just how far back in times some Virginian's are willing to go back - and that unlettered GOPers still exist in great numbers in rural areas of my state, but.......

The best news from this race is - besides women's rights, is that the NRA cannot bully Democratic Virginian's, that any grade from the Guns Over People is irrelevant. Virginia dodge a bullet if you will, because the Cooch was shoulder deep in the NRA's posterior - we now have a Governor-Elect who says "I don't care what grade I got from the NRA". For the record McAullife sported a "F" grade, the lowest the gun huggers have to offer.

Virginia conservatives are crying it their beer today, crying foul because they lost, because the Libertarian stole or split the votes from the GOP - no RWNJ, you lost because progressives and true moderate GOPers, along with logical thinking Virginians said, "hell no, not on my watch"!

Roger West

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


If your a women, a minority, and veteran, a worker, a student, there is no other choice for you if you want to keep what's yours.

This election is just as big, implications are just as high as the Presidential election - because true governing is at the State level.

MADDOW Video courtesy of MSNBC

It's time to turn Virginia BLUE readers! It's time to set the precedence in this county, that vagina probing, radical right wing extremism is not welcome in this country!

There is a reason why the conservative tries to disenfranchise voters - because the lower the turn out, the better their chances to win.

So no big blog today -  other than to say, if you're a Democrat - get off your posterior and go vote, your livelihood as you know it depends on it.

Exercise your most powerful right, and remember, voting has consequences, sever consequences.

Roger West

Monday, November 4, 2013


From thinkprogress:

In an important, if likely temporary, victory for abortion rights, the Supreme Court took a major abortion case off its docket on Monday. The Court’s brief order does not explain the justices’ reason for doing so — it simply provides that “[t]he writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted. Nevertheless, it is likely that the justices decided that a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision muddied the issues presented by the case to such an extent that it made sense to wait to decide an important question regarding the ability of states to restrict the use of medication abortions.

Though the Supreme Court agreed to hear Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice earlier this year, it also asked Oklahoma’s highest court to resolve two questions regarding the scope of an Oklahoma law banning certain forms of non-surgical abortions induced by medication. Last Tuesday, Oklahoma’s justices answered these questions by explaining that the state law at issue in Cline outlaws all medication abortions — including methods of terminating a pregnancy that were specifically approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Thus, if the U.S. Supreme Court were to rule on Clinethey would have to answer the much larger question of whether an abortion procedure that’s specifically been approved by the federal government can be banned by a state, rather than considering a narrower question of whether specific methods of abortion lacking FDA sanction can be targeted by states.

In the short term, Monday’s order means that a conservative Supreme Court that’s shown considerable eagerness to restrict abortion rights in the past will not decide a major abortion case. In the medium term, however, the question of medication abortions is likely to be in front of the justices again very soon. Texas recently enacted a law that, among other things, includes restrictions on medication abortions that are narrower than the restrictions in Oklahoma. A challenge to the Texas law is barreling towards the Supreme Court, and would likely present the justices with the opportunity to decide a medication abortion case if they choose to do so.

Nevertheless, the fact that the justices turned aside an opportunity to uphold the very broad Oklahoma law may offer a small ray of hope to supporters of abortion rights. For the moment, the justices seem uninterested in endorsing an expansive ban on medication abortions, even if there may be five votes to uphold a narrower ban like the one in Texas.