Oh Fuck. Can’t be happy for 3 minutes.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

Oh, the joys of living in nDakota. Or sDakota, for that matter. I loathe republicans. Their constant embrace of utter stupidity, it’s, oh, here:

North Dakotans will no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon after Republican Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation lifting restrictions, a victory for gun rights advocates that came a week after South Dakota’s governor vetoed a similar bill.

The law, which takes effect on Aug. 1, mandates that gun owners only need a North Dakota driver’s license or state identification card for at least a year before they can carry a concealed firearm in public.

The measure, signed late on Thursday, was approved by the Republican-controlled legislature despite concerns over public safety if the state made it easier to carry hidden weapons. Advocates framed the issue in terms of the constitutional right to bear arms.

“North Dakota has a rich heritage of hunting and a culture of deep respect for firearm safety,” Burgum said. “As a hunter and gun owner myself, I strongly support gun rights for law-abiding citizens.”

Yeah, because everyone know you go deer hunting with a fuckin’ handgun. Not enough fuck, just not enough. nDakota isn’t exactly a hotbed of crime, so there’s no supposed justification there, either. There’s such a “culture of deep respect” that bigoted white dudes think it’s funny to drink, get in their truck full of guns, and go threaten Indians and other brown people with them. Yeah, respect my ass. Godsdamn gun fondlers, you love those things so much, go fuck one. I won’t be feeling better, being surrounded by a fucktonne of people who are also very bigoted, and not prone to cool thinking things out, being able to hide guns all over. Also, this is a state where all manner of knives are legal, but it is illegal to conceal one, so yes, if you have a little bitty pocket knife, in your pocket, that’s illegal. But guns? Yeefuckinghaw. Well, at least the hospitals will be doing more business. And the funeral homes. I have to get out of here.

Full story here.

Bannon’s Hit Shit List.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

According to multiple Trump administration officials speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, the president is angry that his first big legislative push is crumbling before his eyes—and his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is advising him to take names and keep a hit list of Republicans who worked for Trumpcare’s defeat.

“[Bannon] has told the president to keep a shit list on this,” one official told The Daily Beast. “He wants a running tally of [the Republicans] who want to sink this…Not sure if I’d call it an ‘enemies list,’ per se, but I wouldn’t want to be on it.”

One aide described it as a proposed “hit list” for Republicans not sufficiently loyal. Courses of action stemming from any related tally is yet to be determined, but the idea and message is that “we’ll remember you.”

Two senior Trump administration officials with direct knowledge of the process told The Daily Beast that Bannon and Trump have taken a “you’re either with us or against us” approach at this point, and that Bannon wants the tally of “against” versus “with us” mounted in his so-called West Wing “war room.”

“Burn the boats,” Bannon (in his typical, pugnacious style) advised Trump, according to one official involved. Burning one’s boats is a reference to when military commanders in hostile territories order his or her troops to destroy their own ships, so that they have to win or die trying.

Sources also said that others including Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, endorsed the idea of the running list, and that Trump agreed with the idea.

The Daily Beast has the full story.

The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

This post brought to you with a leaden heart sinking in a simultaneous sea of fury and despair. It’s going to be a roundup, because I just can’t. I can’t.

Trump budget boss: If you want insurance to cover maternity care, lobby your state legislature. Trumpcare: Giving you the freedom to purchase health insurance that covers nothing.

On Thursday, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus tentatively worked out a deal: Trump would agree to remove mandatory coverage of “essential services” from his health care bill in order to win the far-right caucus’ support for it.

Essential services include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, emergency services, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drug coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, every health insurance plan sold in the US must cover them.

White House says maternity care won’t be more expensive for women —if they’re on a family plan: A story of male priorities on women’s health care, in two acts.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that women wouldn’t have to worry about paying more for maternity care under Trumpcare, as long as they’re on a family plan.

The exchange came as a reporter pressed Spicer on reports that the GOP is considering repealing Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits mandate — a requirement that all insurance plans cover services such as hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

Spicer called the furor over these benefits a “philosophical discussion,” and argued that repealing them was a way to bring premiums down.

The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill: Several official Twitter accounts lobbied Congress in support of the AHCA bill.

On Thursday morning, as the Trump administration frantically tried to save its deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act replacement bill, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted out a message to Trump’s dwindling pool of supporters urging them to call their congressperson in support of the American Health Care Act.

Hours later, similarly worded tweets were sent from the official @POTUS account and Donald Trump’s personal account.

But as some people were quick to note, directly lobbying Congress in support of (or opposition to) a bill using federal dollars—including White House staff who earn federal salaries—is strictly forbidden under 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

The Trump White House seems confused about how pregnancy works: Let me teach you about the birds and the bees.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that, if a faction of the most conservative House Republicans gets its way, will eliminate the requirement that insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits. These benefits include maternity care, a fact that the Trump White House views as an opportunity to pit men against women.

It’s a common joke among the Affordable Care Act’s opponents. Why should a man pay for women’s health care? Hilarious!

At least with respect to maternity care, however, there’s a very simple answer to this question. Because of the unusual nature of pregnancy, either everyone must pay for pregnancy coverage, or no one will have pregnancy coverage.

The reason why is a problem known as “adverse selection.”

In last ditch effort for votes, Trump says goal of Trumpcare is to end Planned Parenthood: Trump quite literally plays politics with women’s health.

A photo of the House Freedom Caucus and Mike Pence went viral on Thursday, and for good reason — it showed that in a discussion over the future of women’s health insurance plans, the only people in the room were white men.

In a bid to get the far-right Freedom Caucus on board, President Trump and GOP leadership (again, all men) offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates that health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

According to reports, however, the Freedom Caucus still doesn’t think the bill goes far enough. And on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to levy one more threat at its members, dangling women’s health coverage in front of them as bait:


The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

There’s many ways in which Trumpcare would disproportionately affect women. It would price abortion care out of reach for many women, even some on employee-sponsored plans. It would roll back Medicaid and charge seniors more for health insurance, hurting two populations that are predominately female. With the new revisions, it will roll back maternity coverage.

And, as Trump alludes to, it would federally defund Planned Parenthood —which in practice, actually means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Trump knows this.

Le Pen: It’s Now the World of Putin and Trump.

French far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen delivers a speech on December 13, 2015 in Henin-Beaumont (AFP Photo/Denis Charlet).

French far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen delivers a speech on December 13, 2015 in Henin-Beaumont (AFP Photo/Denis Charlet).

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen met with Russian diplomats in Moscow on Friday in a trip that comes just a month before the French presidential elections.

The National Front leader met with Russia’s State Duma International Affairs Committee and said she would adopt a more positive approach toward Russia if elected, state-owned Russian news agency TASS reported.

Le Pen is currently expected to make the second round of voting in the French presidential election, but pollsters predict that she will lose to centrist Emmanuel Macron, the current frontrunner.

Yes, well. Let’s not forget all the predicting that Trump would lose. Here’s hoping French people have a whole hell of a lot more sense than Americans.

Le Pen has expressed pro-Russian views and favors closer integration between France and Russia. The far-right politician has publicly stated that she sees the disputed region of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as part of Russia and wants the European Union to remove sanctions on Moscow.

“I see no reasons that would justify the current hostile attitude of the French authorities toward Russia,” said Le Pen on Friday, according to TASS. “We have always believed that Russia and France need to maintain and develop the ties that have bound us for a long time.”

[…]

The Kremlin on Wednesday denied reports that the conservative presidential candidate, Francois Fillon signed a $50,000 deal with a Lebanese billionaire, Fouad Makhzoumi, to set up meetings for him with Putin. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the meetings took place but said the report that Fillon had been paid to arrange it was “fake news.” Fillon’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing.

One of Macron’s top aides has accused Russia of interfering in the election by using state-run media to share “false information” about the centrist candidate, Sky News reported.

I was reading about the Fillon scandal the other day. In France, it was enough to destroy his chances, unlike here behind The Gold Curtain, where people are embracing the scandals. Full story here.

Do the Scandals Matter? Not to Trumpholes.

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Click for full size.

A poll done by Morning Consult and Politico shows that the constant quake of scandals simply don’t matter much to Trumpholes. If anything, it solidifies their faithfulness to the Tiny Tyrant. That’s a prime marker of how fascism operates, and it emphasises, starkly, just how much The Resistance and all manner of activism simply cannot stop, or slow down at all.

The full story is here.

Ware Christians Offering Cake.

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While perusing Right Wing Watch yesterday, I came upon a story, told by one Lance Wallnau, about a magic cake. This cake was so gosh darn magic, it completely changed someone’s sexual orientation.

While streaming a video over Periscope last weekend, right-wing pastor Lance Wallnau received a message from a viewer saying that she needed prayers that would help deliver her son from homosexuality. That message prompted Wallnau to recall an incident he heard about recently in which a gay bar owner was supposedly delivered from his life of sin after eating a cake which had been prepared and prayed over by Christians.

As Wallnau told it, there were some hookers who used to hang out at a bar who were saved by a fellow patron who had found Christianity. Together, Wallnau said, these individuals “baked a cake for the owner of the bar, who was gay and very adamantly anti-Christian” and prayed over it that he would leave homosexuality.

They didn’t pray for him to lose his adamantly anti-Christian views? Oh, what am saying, of course praying away the gay was much more important. Anyway, on with the magical cake!

“It was an anointed cake,” Wallnau said, “and they made the cake and gave it as a gift. And when he ate the cake … the power of God hit him.”

The “presence of God” fell upon the bar owner, Wallnau recounted, and he then got baptized, at which point “the spirit that was working him got broken off,” thus freeing him from his life of homosexuality.

Aw, I’m disappointed. No recipe? How are you supposed to concoct the special anointing oil? I grew up Catholic, that shit’s serious, you have to have the magic recipe! So, ware Christians bearing cake. Now I’m wondering, is there a special cake us atheist types can make and offer? Perhaps a really good magical cake recipe for republicans?

Via RWW.

Cool Stuff Friday.

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I really, really don’t want to spoil the surprise here. I’ll just say I was laughing myself silly, and this is someone who is delightfully familiar with the flat rat phenomenon. Go see!

One of my most favourite authors, Jim C. Hines, came out of model retirement for a good cause:

Click for full size!

Click for full size!

And, from The Creators Project, Vintage Posters can now be yours, for free!

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1490115310194-destination-moon-vintage-poster-wwwfreevintageposterscom

If the posters of today still had the look of those of yesteryear, would they still get tagged and trolled as often? Much work today, it seems, lacks the graphic audacity of yore, opting instead for forms and formats we’ve become accustomed to. That’s why, when you find vintage posters in flea markets, you find prices that might suggest they were just printed.

Many of these posters are available online, but it’s often difficult to find high enough quality to print them beyond standard A4 printer paper sizing. Finally, our savior: FreeVintagePosters.Com. The name explains the concept rather well. From Soviet propaganda posters and advertisements for airlines of the 60s, it’s up to you—there are several categories ranging from “Sport” to “Film” to “Nature” and everywhere in between. At Creators in France, we’ve been redecorating. Check out a few of our favorites below:

Head on over to see their picks, or go straight to FreeVintagePosters.com.