A Profile in Avoidance.

The couple with Donald’s daughter Ivanka at the 2004 Met Gala.
By Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

Vanity Fair has an interesting profile of Melania Trump, who, it seems, simply wanted a life of quiet avoidance cushioned by a great deal of money. Interesting reading, but also truly sad, a look at brittle, splintery, unhappy lives.

As the gorgeous wife of a Manhattan billionaire, Melania has had every opportunity to become a fixture on the gala-going benefit circuit. But that would presume an interest in social status or a cause. As Bytner recalls, “She was passionate about . . . Well, I can’t think what she was passionate about.”

[…]

Trump decided not to run in 2012, saying he wasn’t ready to leave the private sector. Four years later, the time had come. Trump’s official story is that he consulted with his family about his decision to run, and they all agreed. A former campaign aide recalls a conversation in which Melania told this aide that she didn’t want Donald to run, because she was terrified he might win. According to another Trump insider, “She never wanted this, and never had any interest.” (Grisham maintains that “Mrs. Trump has always been supportive of all her husband’s endeavors.”) Tolerating his boorishness—that she could do. Repeating a couple of lame sound bites to Joy Behar—fine. But serious campaigning for one’s spouse required far more actual effort.

Melania seemed to do her best to ignore the new reality, on the grounds that she wanted to be home for Barron. Over the course of Trump’s 17-month campaign, she rarely joined her husband at rallies, and the speeches she gave could be counted on one hand. Compare that with Michelle Obama, who spoke all over the country on Barack’s behalf, though she too had young children. During the primaries, Donald made do by re-tweeting a picture of Melania next to an unflattering shot of Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife, with the caption “The images are worth a thousand words.”

But then he clinched the nomination, and more Melania participation was required—which, alas, did not do her any favors. In February 2016, in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Melania expounded on illegal immigration, using her personal story as an example of model behavior. “I followed the law . . . . And you should do that. You should not just say, O.K., let me stay here. And whatever happens happens.”

The full article is here.

Oh, Evil Cleavage!

Michael Reagan has decided, in his defense of one Mr. O’Reilly, to focus on … cleavage! Surprised, right? C’mon, no one ever could have guessed that one, no, no. The sheer nerve of women, existing with those inconveniently placed bumps, let alone wearing something low cut. Oooh, the evil.

Conservative commentator Michael Reagan, the son of former president Ronald Reagan, defended Bill O’Reilly this morning over claims that the recently fired Fox News host sexually harassed women.

Reagan, a contributor to the conservative outlet Newsmax, shared posts on Facebook and Twitter insisting that if women wear “low cut dresses,” then men should consider suing “for sexual arousal”

There was a link to that tweet, I removed it as the tweet in question is now gone. It would seem Mr. Reagan got some feedback on that one which he didn’t like.

“If women are going to wear low cut dresses that show cleavage don’t be harassed when we men look. Or shld we sue for sexual arousal?”

Oh, so that’s how it works, women just have to decide we aren’t harassed. Ever. Then everything will be okely dokely!

Another deleted Tweet stated:

Hot Choclare used to be a compliment on your looks today it is called sexual harassment..@oreillyfactor

— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 21, 2017

It’s been replaced with this one:

If someone calls u brown sugar because u are in their eyes gorgeous and blk.2 them it’s a compliment 2 U it’s harrassment, then tell them.

Oh, the denseness of someone who absolutely refuses to get the point. What you think about anyone’s appearance, and how it affects your boner has no place at all in any relationship other than a mutually intimate one.

Via RWW.

Trying to Kill Planned Parenthood.

In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women’s access to reproductive health care on “National Pink Out Day’’ at Los Angeles City Hall. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nick Ut, File.

Yesterday, the Tiny Tyrant made a move to allow states to punish Planned Parenthood, and people at large, by allowing them to withhold federal funds. This is going to do a great deal of harm, especially in the more regressive states, of which there are too many. This is a direct hit on Title X, which is a devastating blow to healthcare, which the rethugs are all happy about, as they couldn’t come out and just repeal. As usual, poorer people and women will be suffering the most under this new move.

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Thursday that would allow states to withhold federal money for family planning services, such as birth control, from Planned Parenthood clinics and other women’s health centers.

The bill is a repeal of an Obama-era regulation that said states couldn’t withhold Title X funding, which covers family planning and preventative care, from organizations just because those organizations also provide abortion care. This bill would roll back that protection, emboldening states to try to restrict such funding.

The Senate passed the bill 51–50 in March, with Vice President Pence casting the tie breaking vote.

Four million people with low incomes rely on Title X for preventative health care. Roughly 1.5 million receive their Title X care at Planned Parenthood.

In practice, what this bill does is open the door for states to restrict these people from choosing certain health care providers — which may be, in many cases, the only health care provider nearby, the one they trust, or the only one that they can afford.

While the bill does not defund Planned Parenthood directly, it is part of a wider GOP attack on the women’s health provider — and will likely encourage further efforts to cut federal funding off from Planned Parenthood.

It is already legally prohibited to use federal funds for abortion care, thanks to the Hyde Amendment. Currently, Planned Parenthood gets federal funding through programs like Title X and Medicaid, which cover STD testing, cancer screenings, birth control access, and other health needs for people who wouldn’t be able to afford them.

In reality, federally defunding Planned Parenthood — as the GOP proposed to do in their failed health care bill  — actually means preventing people who rely on it from accessing health care. And while anti-Planned Parenthood politicians argue that people can go elsewhere, for many low-income and rural women and men, Planned Parenthood clinics are their only option.

Think Progress has the full story.

Elvis Gospel Albums, Catheters, Aaaaaaand…

Wow, that will bring in the dollars, won’t it? These are the replacements for all those national brands who fled Bill O’Reilly’s no longer erect ship. It’s sounding more and more likely that Bill’s vacation is going to be permanent, and all I have to say about that is Good Riddance.

Sherman also reports that James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, wants O’Reilly gone. Murdoch forced out longtime Fox News CEO Roger Ailes last summer over allegations of sexual misconduct.

O’Reilly has not addressed the new allegations of sexual harassment on his show. Fox News, with the exception of a lukewarm statement to the New York Times, has also largely remained silent. Silence, however, has not stemmed the controversy.

So far, at least 77 advertisers have publicly announced they will no longer air commercials during O’Reilly’s show. The number of ads on the show has dramatically declined and large national brands have been replaced with ads for Elvis gospel albums and catheters.

Think Progress has the full run down.

Moving on to a remarkable bit of language twisting by none other than Oscar Munoz, who should perhaps hand over the public speaking to someone with more than pieces of silver in their brain:

“We’re not going to put a law enforcement official… to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”

You did do that.

Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation and that Dr. David Dao, whom security officers dragged by his hands, on his back, from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

A system failure that prevented employees from using common sense. Right. Perhaps if your corporateness would allow employees to think and problem solve, this little public relations nightmare of yours wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I think everyone knows where to place the blame, Mr. Munoz, and it appears that the only “system” which failed is you.

Via Raw Story.

Tuesday Teen Tip, It’s A Trip!

I am so loopy, out of it with pain, and likely to be a space cadet for a day or two, until I have meds and couple of nights of sleep under me. Earlier, I was looking for a book, and came across this little tome I picked up at a thrift store some time back, because it made me laugh so much. In 1970, I was already well aimed down the hippie path, and I never saw this book then, which was when it was published. It is stuffed full of all that horribly cringeworthy advice that adults aimed at you when trying to be hip. If I remember, I’ll do some at random on Tuesdays. Naturally, all these incredibly groovy tips for tuned-in teens is aimed at girls only.

From the Boys! Boys! Boys! Where to find yours, and how to keep him that way section:

“Most boys hate sarcasm in a girl. You may be a quick wit with your girl friends, but cool it when he’s around.”

“Know enough about sports to keep up a conversation with boys, but don’t know more than they do.”

“Want to make sure whether or not he loves you? The following is as good a method as any. Place side by side a glowing ember and an ice cube. If the ice puts out the ember, then his heart is cold. But if the ember melts the ice, you’ve won him!”

From The Look You’ll Love, it’s still you – only prettier section:

“After you get dressed, have fixed your hair, and put on your make-up, look in the mirror. Something’s missing, right? Right! You forgot your smile – perhaps the most important “final touch” any girl can put on. A pleasant smile can turn even a plain girl into a beauty. And it can turn a beauty into . . . wow!”

[I hated fake smiling then, hate it now.]

“Eye drops are an important cosmetic. Use it before applying make-up for that starry-orbed look and to erase redness.”

“Fasten a mirror inside your notebook for peeks between classes to make sure make-up is still on.”

“Many girls put on their prettiest faces only for school or dates. They’ll spend Saturday morning in curlers and creams. But suppose he suddenly turns up and gets frightened away? Don’t make this mistake. Be your best you all the time. If curl you must, tie on an attractive kerchief. As for beauty creams – please, stay off the street. As a matter of fact, stay in your room! Beauty demands a price, and pay this one willingly.”

[I vaguely remember rolling my eyes over such as that ^.]

“Fasten on a super long, superfake braid and let it be perky down your back. Makes shorties look like tallies!”

[Oh, I remember those things, they were everywhere. Mine was real. Still is.]

That’s all for today, groovy gals and guys!

When “Telling It Like It Is” Is Not Acceptable.

DFL House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (screen grab).

DFL House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (screen grab).

When is ‘telling it like it is’ not acceptable? When the telling is done by a woman, aiming a pointed remark at white men. Uh oh.

According to The Uptake, the incident happened on Monday while the Minnesota House was debating a bill that would increase penalties for protesters who block roads, a tactic successfully used by Black Lives Matters.

DFL House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman noticed that many members had not been on the floor to hear Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (DFL) speech comparing modern day protesters to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. So Hortman used a procedure known as “call of the House” to force lawmakers to return to the chamber.

“I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” she said, exposing the activity of absent lawmakers.

Republican state Rep. Bob Dettmer objected: “I’m a white male. I respect everybody. But I really believe that the comments made by the Minority Leader were really not appropriate.”

“I have no intention of apologizing,” Hortman replied, adding that she was “really tired of watching women of color in particular being ignored. So I’m not sorry.”

[…]

However, Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) did think the statement was racist. Heather Carlson of the Rochester Post Bulletin reports that Davids thinks Hortman should resign over the comment. “I was greatly offended by minority leader Hortman’s racist statement about white males,” said Davids according to Carlson.

Mr. Davids has now gone the mortally offended route, and thinks Ms. Hortman should resign for saying something white men don’t like. He’s also claiming it’s racist. Idiotic Privilege, thy name is Davids.

Full story here.

Pres. Pussy Grabber Declares April To Be…

Hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

Hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month! Yep, you read that one correctly. If the Tiny Tyrant was remotely intelligent, I’d be very suspicious. He isn’t remotely intelligent though, and apparently he’s untouchable when it comes to irony poisoning. He’s also not doing anything remotely new. April has been Sexual Assault Awareness month since 2001. So, we basically have a known bullshit move on the part of Donnie. He picks up something that’s already in place, ignores the decades of hard work put in, so he can pretend he’s oh so great, and lookit, I’m doing something presidential! Don’t swallow the shit. This is not Donnie doing something right, this is Donnie grabbing onto the coattails of others, for the sole purpose of feeding his monstrous ego.

Nearly six months after tapes were released of him bragging about sexually assaulting women, Donald Trump declared on Friday that April is officially National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Citing the 300,000 people who are sexually assaulted or raped every year, Trump also proclaimed that his administration — specifically the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice — is stepping up to assist victims and prevent future attacks.

The bulk of his proclamation is a series of platitudes rather than a substantive plan to address rampant sexual violence and rape culture. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reportedly been told to establish a crime reduction and public safety task force to “develop strategies to reduce crime and propose new legislation to fill gaps in existing laws.” Trump also noted the importance of speaking out against sexual violence among peers, “mobilizing men and boys as allies in preventing sexual and relationship violence,” and showing women and children more respect.

:chokes, sputter: Excuse me? Nice talk there, to be sure, and as for standing up and doing the right thing, you’re going to turn yourself in over the rape and sexual assaults you committed, right?

“Together, we can and must protect our loved ones, families, campuses, and communities from the devastating and pervasive effects of sexual assault,” he said. “In the face of sexual violence, we must commit to providing meaningful support and services for victims and survivors in the United States and around the world.”

That might have warmed the black cockles of my heart, coming from anyone else. From the Tiny Tyrant? No, no. How in the fuck could anyone take that at face value from a man who views women as chattel, as a commodity, along with convenient holes just walking around, free for the grabbing? As for respecting women, oh please. The Tiny Tyrant has a long record of demeaning and disrespecting women.

But it’s difficult to take this proclamation seriously, coming from a man who was filmed suggesting celebrities “can do anything” to women — such as “grab them by the pussy” — and who has a long, documented history of the type of misogyny that allows sexual violence to thrive. He routinely reduces women’s worth to their looks, implying that women who have publicly accused him of assault are too unattractive for their stories to be true. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. Man, you don’t know, that would not be my first choice,” he said during a campaign rally. On the campaign trail, Trump also argued that women who are sexually harassed at work should quit, shortly before hiring serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes.

It’s also hard to treat seriously Trump’s plan to protect victims in the U.S. and worldwide. His proposed budget threatens funding to uphold the federal Violence Against Women Act and bolster support for survivors. One of his first acts as President was to reinstate the global gag rule, gutting foreign aid to much-needed health service providers if they offer abortions — the very types of providers who assist survivors of sexual violence.

Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, also donated to FIRE, a group that purportedly fights for individual’s freedom on school campuses and allegations of sexual assault. The group once wrote:

“Unfortunately, much of the feminist ‘war on rape’ has conflated sexual assault with muddled, often alcohol-fueled, sexual encounters that involve miscommunication, perhaps bad behavior, but no criminal coercion. As a result, the drunken hookups all too common on today’s campuses can lead to devastating charges and penalties.

Full story at Think Progress.

The Penis Seat.

Men using Mexico City’s metro trains got a shock when they sat down on a seat featuring a lifelike penis.

Campaigners against sexual violence placed the seat, which is moulded in the shape of a male body – complete with genitals, on public transport in a drive designed to show men the difficulties women face every day.

A note on the floor in front of the seat read: “It’s uncomfortable to sit here, but that’s nothing compared to the sexual violence suffered by women on their commute.”

A video promoting the stunt has been watched some 800,000 times on YouTube and is part of a UN Women campaign, alongside the Mexico City government, to tackle the problem of sexual assault.

In it, men can be seen leaping straight back up after trying to sit in the seat. Bemused, confused and disgusted expressions are seen on passengers’ faces as they catch sight of the moulding.

Mexico City moved in 2000 to make the first three carriages of metro trains women-only all day because of a surge in complaints about harassment, but it appears the problem remains.

This is a great idea, because it drives home the problem of harassment in a very real way, not only with the seat, but as you can see later in the video, the camera screens at the station were focusing in on men’s arses, much to their consternation and alarm. As a woman, it’s quite easy to laugh about the reaction of the men, because we spend whole lifetimes putting up with such shit, and it is always a difficult task to get the depth of the problem through to men. Here’s hoping this campaign does get more men to understand.

Holly Kearl, founder of the Stop Street Harassment campaign in the US, told the BBC: “Too often initiatives around women’s safety focus on what women should or should not do, so it is refreshing to see a creative campaign aimed at men.”

On YouTube, the reaction was not universally positive.

One angry male commenter condemned the video as “misandrist” and said it accused an “entire gender” over the actions of an “idiotic and uneducated percentage”.

A woman wrote under the video: “These misandrist campaigns make me angry. To other women I say, ‘Don’t you have sons, fathers or partners? Do you agree with generalising and demonising the male sex in this way?’”

As there has been little done to diminish centuries worth of generalising and demonising women, I’d say when that sort of shit stops, we can stop targeting those who commit the highest levels of harassment. Why is is alright to continue on with the “don’t do this! don’t do that!” garbage women and girls get from day one? Why is it not alright to target harassers and rapists? Those campaigns actually work. And the standard disclaimer: No, not all men harass, assault, or rape. All men do know other men who do those things. All men know other men who are sexist assholes, who tell very nasty jokes about women, who complain constantly about how evil women are, so it’s okay to do this or that, and so on. And the probability is very high that most men don’t tackle all those other men about that sort of stuff. Until men stand up to other men, we won’t get far.

Full story here.

Women, Success Is…

Ivanka2-1

Kali Holloway at Alternet has an outstanding article up about Ivanka Trump, and how many very gullible liberals insist on thinking she is some sort of liberal moderating force on the Tiny Tyrant. That could not be further from the truth, she’s every bit as ruthless, power hungry, egotistical, and conservative as her father. Ms. Kushner Trump also appeals to a certain type of feminist, one who is not remotely interested in intersectionality, and not all that interested in feminism, when it comes right down to issues. Ms. Kushner Trump’s most recent book is called “Women Who Work”, and let’s take a look at the above photo. Of all the women who might read this post, does that come close to representing you, in any way? Let’s hear it for those working women, if they are white, and part of the 1%!

Just a bit from the article here, the whole thing is well worth reading (emphasis mine):

The irony of all this is the feminism that Ivanka has upheld is steadfastly retrograde and classist, perpetuating an image of womanly success as a kind that requires they both do and have it all. You can see it in her fashion line’s Women Who Work campaign, which also happens to be the name of her forthcoming book. She measures women—and here she pretty much only means white women; the rest of us barely enter the picture except as occasional tokens—by the same yardstick used by the patriarchy and, not coincidentally, her father. Success is being rich, thin, attractive, the boss (at the office and in bed) and never once letting the difficulty of juggling it all make you bitchy. According to the rules of her brand of consumerist feminism, the first rule of fighting sexism—aside from living up to its every impossible expectations—is to never complain about sexism. In the Trump Carshe suggests, for example, “separating the real [sexual] harassment from the benign behavior that seems to come with the territory.” Learn to take unwanted advances as compliments, ladies!

“Frankly, I think the biggest message that Ivanka is espousing is that, sure, women can get a seat at the table … if they’ve already got a hefty leg up and they pander to the men above them,” Teagan Walsh-Davis, co-artistic director of The Jades theater group, told the Chicago Tribune. “I can certainly appreciate the idea of using your privilege for good…But her goals seem to be a lot more shortsighted. When she talks about advocating for working women, she’s talking about women who are already successful. She’s seeing ‘working women’ as a monolith of her own class. In her mind, it’s mostly women who have already made it. In the family leave plan she’s tried to propose, most of the tax benefits go to families earning over $100k a year.”

Trump voters get a lot of richly deserved derision for gullibly swallowing Trump lies despite all contradictory indications. The same might be said of Ivanka among (white) liberals, who’ve endlessly given her chance after chance, in the hope that the feminist glimmers they’ve seen will fully shine. It’s not that 45 isn’t listening to his daughter, who is pleading with her father to do the right thing. The reality is, Ivanka and her dad are on the same selfish, kleptocratic page. Despite all her up-with-women talk, Ivanka doesn’t pay interns and reportedly required a full court press to offer maternity leave to employees. In her new role in the White House—which makes her a high-ranking member of her father’s administration, but with no actual title so as to skirt anti-nepotism laws—she’ll continue to offer no advocacy for the vulnerable and marginalized.

She never even pretended to care about issues facing black women or other women of color, and it’s a safe bet that streak will remain unbroken. Expect her “deafening silence” on the destruction of Planned Parenthood to continue; her pushback on the GOP’s anti-women’s health care to be nonexistent. She’ll keep putting out empty, faux-enlightened statements for as long as it serves the administration and her brand, which she still controls and has refused to put in a blind trust, conflicts of interest be damned. The goal is to keep a line open between the White House and the Trump Organization, and to keep downplaying the threat of this administration by outright lying about it in soothing tones. Ivanka is Rose, feigining innocence before betrayal in the horror movie “Get Out,” she is the 53 percent of white women—the ones she was hired to speak directly to—who voted for Trump even though they knew deal but like the benefits of white supremacist patriarchy. Like those women, Ivanka has signed on to do the bidding of that system in exchange for personal gain.

It’s more of the same that we’ve seen from Trump’s team, and a reason to stay weary. Ivanka is a key part of the strategy. Start recognizing her as such.

Highly recommended reading!

The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan. UPDATED.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

As most everyone now knows, the bill was withdrawn before a vote. Yes, be happy. That said, go ahead and read all the following, and remember. Remember just what they wanted to do, and still want to do. We cannot afford to forget.

 
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.

Oh, the Stupid. Too Much.

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

See that list in the photo? Those are all things we are about to lose here behind The Gold Curtain. America the Fucked Up. CNN tackled Spicer, who was going with full out bluster, in an attempt to defend this monstrousness. I’m just going to remark on a bit of the stupid, I’m close to overdosing on it already today.

According to Spicer, “older men, older women” who had “gotten passed [sic] maternity age” were being forced to pay for maternity care, driving up the overall cost of insurance.

When, exactly, do men get past maternity age? There are men in their 70s who have very young children, under the age of 5. Also, a lot of women don’t have children until they are in their 40s, so can we at least define this “passed the maternity age” business? Then, if you don’t mind, would you answer as to why you think any of this is your fucking business? Also, y’know, lot of people out there, older ones, who have children who are now having children, and they have a vested interest in them having good healthcare. That sort of thing is called family. You should look it up.

“People who were at the younger end of the age scale were buying end-of-life benefits,” he added.

What, I wonder, do you mean by that one? It’s not in the least uncommon for younger people to make plans for the end of their life, that would be why people make wills, have insurance, and so on, you stupid dipstick of an idiot. What in the fuckety fuck makes you think being younger automatically rules out catastrophic health problems? Accidents? Terminal illness? Not everyone dies at the age of 100something. Most of us won’t make it that far. At your age, Mr. Spicer, I’d think you’d know just how fast it flashes past, and before you know it, you aren’t 25 anymore. Trying to have some safety nets laid out in front of you is one way to prepare, so you can have a good life that isn’t completely wiped out by one unforeseen complication.

The people in charge of the Fuck You Care Plan, now with added Fuck. You.!

Via Raw Story.

ETA: In the comments, I included a link to yet another callous rethuglican, who made a very nasty remark about mammograms. The tweetstream following his notpology is very long, and a good many people brought up a very important point: men also have breasts, and yes, they can get breast cancer too. This is not brought up enough, and men, seriously, if you find you have a lump, get your self to a doctor, immediately! Ignoring such a thing leads to one place: death. Also, manhandle your breasts every month, have a check for anything suspicious. If you have a partner, it can be fun to check each other!

The Male Breast Cancer Coalition.

The Christian God: An Ideal Sociopath.

Oklahoma State Rep. George Faught (Facebook).

Oklahoma State Rep. George Faught (Facebook).

Christians. The more you know about them, the more certain you become that this barbaric and disgusting religion has no place at all in any society which deems itself civilised. Not that I’d go so far as to describe America as civilised, it isn’t, especially when you line it up next to actually civilised countries. However, the bloodthirsty, empathy-free hatred practiced by Christians, too many of them infesting the Regime, does not speak well, even in a nation more barbaric than most.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House met to discuss engrossment of its controversial House Bill-1549, which would prohibit anyone from seeking an abortion in the case of a genetic abnormality.

Oklahoma State Rep. Cory Williams (D) asked Rep. George Faught — who authored the bill — if rape is the “will of God.”

“Well, you know, if you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple circumstances where that happened,” Faught began. “The Lord uses all circumstances. I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality unfortunately,” he said.

Williams followed up, asking if incest is the “will of God.”

“Same answer. Doesn’t deal with this bill,” Faught said. Williams argued that the questions matter to the legislation, given that Faught was unwilling to make exceptions in the case of rape or incest. “You are proffering a divine intervention as the reason why you won’t do that and so I think it is very important.”

Well, Faught is correct that the bible, an incredibly disgusting pastiche of tales, has rape and incest in it. More than just a couple of circumstances. There’s actually a fucktonne of rape in the bible, quite a lot of it is commanded by that ideal sociopath worshiped by Christians, Jehovah. Jehovah doesn’t have the slightest issue with rape, thinks it’s rather dandy. If you actually read the bible, which most Christians don’t, the sheer amount of rape in the bible is damn near overwhelming. Incest isn’t looked down on much, either. Of course it depends, many of the stories in the bible have more than one version, most of them contradictory. Jehovah didn’t think it was a bad thing to slaughter or sacrifice children, either. I suppose we should all count ourselves lucky none of the Christian sociopaths are trying to find a way to legislate that one.

 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Numbers 31: 17, 18.

Nice, ennit? That’s said by that wonderful hero Moses, by the way.

“This body wants to know — and myself personally — whether you believe rape and incest are actually the will of God,” Williams questioned.

“It’s a great question to ask,” said Faught. “And, obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened, but — so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life and can’t use anything and everything in someone’s life and I disagree with that.”

If it’s such a great question to ask, why don’t you just come right out with an answer? Easy enough: yes. Because that’s what you mean, but you don’t want to come right out and say it. Even Christians know this shit is disgusting, repugnant, and barbaric, which is why the little dance all around the question. They know they are deliberately backward people, who find any reason to indulge in monstrous behaviour.

And yes, you know, I fully understand just how aghast many Christians would be at the thought of saying rape and incest is okey dokey and “God” approved, but when it comes right down to it, you aren’t aghast enough, because the question involved is a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, and that’s where most all Christians screech to a halt. “Well, I don’t think that rape and incest stuff is right, but abortion, well, that’s wrong, and…” So, in the end, some Christians might find it in themselves to be oh so charitable and provide a rape or incest exception, but still be just fine with grinding women into the dirt when it comes to viewing them as full human beings who have every right to make their own medical decisions.

So many Christians just love to rail against people of other religious beliefs, one in particular these days, and often cite their horrendous treatment of women. Ah, that special blindness. Why in the fuck would a Christian think they treat women any better? A pox on all of you.

Via Raw Story.

The ‘Working for Women’ Award Goes To…

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Mike Pence! Aww, here ya go, you walking meatsack of sexism and hate:

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…Naturally, he’s being honored with a “Working for Women” award by the “Independent Women’s Forum,” a conservative non-profit for which Kellyanne Conway is a board member. Ah, it all makes sense now.

A press release sent to the Cut describes the…honor…thusly:

“The award recognizes an individual who values free markets, works to create a more dynamic and innovative work world, and celebrates the valuable contributions women make to society.”

According to its website, the mission of the IWF is to “improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty.” Just to be clear, an award from a group that celebrates “personal liberty” is going to a man who is working feverishly to curtail the rights of women to control their own bodies. This is like giving Idi Amin a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian efforts.

Jesus Christ. Every time I think they just really couldn’t sink any lower, they manage it. Pence is someone who has spent his whole career trying to destroy women. He certainly has no use at all for them as actual autonomous, thinking human beings. Of course, this “award” is coming from a group which does not view other women as full human beings either. It scares me to think of the near to insane level of cognitive dissonance ringing in the brains of women like Carrie Lukas and Kellyanne Conway. That might explain the inability to actually think, that ringing has got to be awfully loud.

Via Jezebel.