Meet Alabama’s governor: an anti-choice, equal opportunity offender

bentleyEarlier today I blogged about Alabama’s new bill which places major restrictions on abortion clinics. Well, meet the man who will sign this bill into law, the charming champion of the war on women, Governor, Robert Bentley. Bentley is not only the duly sworn chief executive of his state, but a licensed physician, who like all physicians has taken an oath to do no harm and to only heal. But when he signs, he will be not only undermining the rights of women throughout his state but undermining their health.

Who is Robert Bentley MD? Well, he seems to be an equal opportunity harmer, degrading the lives of not only women but other groups that are not of his tribe—wealthy, white, male, and Christian.

In 2011, he signed into law an immigration bill considered at the time the most restrictive in the nation, bypassing even Arizona. The law obliges schools to investigate students’ legal status, and resulted in many immigrants not sending their children to school. The law made it illegal to give a ride to an immigrant, hire an immigrant, and just be an immigrant—in that police were able to arrest anyone they suspect might be here illegally.

At his 2011 inauguration, he urged all non-Christians in the audience to become Christian.  He told the audience, if you have “not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

Last November, like many other Republican governors, he announced that Alabama would not accept two provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act. The state would not set up state health insurance exchanges nor would it accept federal funds for expanding Medicaid, the program that provides medical care to the nation’s poorest residents.

When Dr. Bentley was running for office, he ran an ad that suggested he served as a physician in Vietnam, though he did not.  The ad features a photograph of a nurse and a doctor, with the caption “Hospital Commander Vietnam War” accompanied by a voice-over stating that Dr. Bentley “healed troops wounded in Vietnam.” But Bentley worked at a North Carolina hospital during the war, and the doctor in the photo is not him though the ad gives the impression it is.

Governor Bentley is a strong advocate of “school choice,” and officially proclaimed Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2013  “Alabama School Choice Week” which advances education reform favoring charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online learning, and homeschooling. Sucks to be in public school!

You truly are, Governor, a renaissance man of bigotry and heartlessness.

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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