October 4 is the vice presidential debate between Tim Kaine (D) and Mike Pence (ALT-R). Historically, debates between the vice presidential candidates do not attract a large audience. The exception was Joe Biden (D) vs Sarah Palin (silly party). That debate drew almost 70 million people to their televisions and computer screens, presumably a nice mix of rational folks and Sovereign citizens.

Mike Pence is Donald Trump’s running mate, and a lot of people know absolutely nothing about him. They might be unaware that Pence is the governor of Indiana, and as governor, Pence has been disastrous for education in his state. Mr. Pence is a fan of charter schools, and he despises Common Core, referring to it as a federal program, even though the federal government did not develop it:

Under Mr. Pence’s Republican predecessor, Mitch Daniels, Indiana was one of the first states to adopt the Common Core, a set of standards for what students in various grades should know, developed by the National Governors Association and other bipartisan groups. Under Mr. Pence, it was the first state to toss it out.

Like other Republicans who became Tea Party celebrities, Mr. Pence objected to the Common Core as a federal intrusion into local education policy — even though the federal government had no role in developing it. (source)

Mike Pence voted to repeal the ACA (Obamacare) and implemented an alternative in Indiana called the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. From Advisory.com:

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, under the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0, most beneficiaries with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) have the option of:

  • Obtaining basic health coverage; or
  • Making a monthly contribution of either $1 or 2 percent of their income—whichever is greater—to a health savings account in order to obtain more benefits, including dental and vision coverage.

Beneficiaries with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of FPL are required to contribute about 2 percent of their income (a max of $27) a month to health savings accounts—and can be locked out of Medicaid for six months if they fail to pay premiums. All beneficiaries also face some cost-sharing requirements, including copayments of up to $25 for unnecessary ED use.

Opponents of the expansion worry it harms low-income residents’ access to care, particularly among those who may fall behind on their premiums, and questions remain about whether the alternative approach will save money, Kaiser Health News reports.

Governor Pence is deeply anti-choice, voting time and time again to defund Planned Parenthood. Indiana has some of the most restrictive anti-choice laws in the country, including punishments for doctors if a woman reveals she is procuring an abortion based on the fetus’s race, gender, or disability. Banning gender-based abortions is a tactic aimed squarely at Asian women according to the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago:

As the report explains, laws banning sex-selective abortion have been introduced and enacted based upon a combination of implicit bias, factual inaccuracies and harmful stereotypes about Asian Americans. Rather than to combat gender discrimination, the report shows that sex-selective abortion bans are intended to limit access to abortion generally. In addition, the report includes findings from an analysis of recent birth data in the United States which shows that, rather than exhibiting a preference for sons, Asian Americans actually give birth to more girls than White Americans on average. The methodologies used for this and the other quantitative study provided in the report are available here: quantitative data analysis methodologies.

The report asserts that sex-selective abortion bans are in violation of article 5(e)(iv), because such bans are likely to reduce Asian American women’s access to reproductive health services, and thereby negatively impact their health outcomes. The laws’ legislative history demonstrates that Asian American women are assumed to be the population most likely to perform sex-selective abortions, and are therefore most likely to face scrutiny from health professionals when seeking reproductive services. Because of this stereotype, health care professionals may, without reason, deny Asian American women access to reproductive services in states where sex-selective abortions are banned. Asian American women may also choose not to seek reproductive services in the first place, because of the fear of being stigmatized. These bans further increase xenophobic stereotypes, and negatively impact Asian American women’s right to health.

Mike Pence has promised, if he and Donald Trump are elected, to send Roe v Wade to the ash heap of history.

We cannot delve into Mike Pence’s policies and beliefs without taking a look at how he feels about the LGBT community. Pence signed a bill that allowed Indiana business owners the right to discriminate against the LGTB community. The backlash against Pence’s bill was so strong, he eventually signed an amended version into law. Time Magazine compiled a list of Governor Pence’s statements and positions on LGBT men and women, including:

In 2006, as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the 100 most-conservative House members, Pence rose in support of a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Citing a Harvard researcher, Pence said in his speech, “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” Pence also called being gay a choice and said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.”

Pence disagreed with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and supports “bathroom bills,” calling the Obama administration’s directive government interference.

Mike Pence is anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-ACA, and supports charter schools. He is a conservative “Christian” who wants to overturn Roe v Wade, tried to give Indiana citizens the right to discriminate against the LGBT community, and is the running mate of a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic bully.

Tomorrow, we will take a closer look at Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine.



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