Whose pain matters?

Since there are currently no pressing problems facing our great nation, the US House of Reprehensibles has just passed HB 36, a national ban on abortions after 20-weeks. Charmingly entitled “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the legislation would force a pregnant patient who is carrying a fetus that is dead, dying, or incompatible with life to carry it to term and give birth, unless the patient is in grave danger of death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

According to reality, fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 28 weeks. But since conservatives are highly allergic to reality, perhaps Your Liberal Media™ might helpfully report on this egregious tripe from another angle. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that a fetus is indeed capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.

SO FUCKING WHAT?

You know what’s really painful? Giving birth. (So I’ve heard – I personally dodged that bullet thank Vishnu.) I would like my legislator to promptly propose a bill entitled The Pain-Capable Pregnant Person Protection Act, which provides free abortions on demand to anyone who wishes to avoid the pain of childbirth. The bill should have no problem passing in this congress, seeing how the majority is so concerned about sparing citizens from painful medical procedures.

Why I despise religious leaders, conservative Democrats and The New York Times, Reason No. 918,287,499.

[CONTENT NOTE: abortion rights.]

If I had known it was a link to the Times, I never would have clicked on it. But in my defense, I was reading a decent if lightweight article about Rep. Maxine Waters [h/t Alyssa] elsewhere, when I happened upon this passage:

Waters’ forthright condemnation of right-wing media came as a relief—and a rallying point—for Democrats sick of mainstream articles urging them to abandon abortion advocacy, or talk less about trans rights, or stop speaking out against sexism and racism. Critics have argued that these moves are necessary to broaden the party’s appeal and win back white working-class voters who swung from Barack Obama to Trump, and are credited with winning the election.

What fuckery is this? I wondered. How and why would “mainstream articles” possibly justify such demonstrably counterproductive nonsense?

So I clicked on “abortion advocacy.” And down the NYT rabbit hole I went.

Fuck.

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New petition: hold terrible Democrats accountable.

resistfistOn our Freethought Resistance page, I posted a new petition (via CREDO Action*) to Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen demanding he refuse to allocate campaign funds to any Democratic senator who votes or strikes a deal to advance the confirmation of right-wing extremist Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Directing your activism time, energy and resources toward Democrats, particularly with regard to primary campaigns, is vitally necessary. A primary challenger does not need to win in order to pressure the prevailing candidate to move left on issues that matter. There are far too many corporatist, corrupt conservatives in the party, particularly in leadership positions. If we want to put the pressure on where it counts, we need to take every opportunity to go after wayward conservative Democrats in every way possible. (Yeah I’m looking at you, Chuck Schumer.)

Read the background on the petition and then please sign if you are so inclined.

Because fuck these d00ds, that’s why.

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*CREDO is a lefty activist mobile company: every month it allocates a portion of its revenue to various activist non-profits, as voted and allocated by its customers. (CREDO is, for example, Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate donor.) Consider switching to CREDO as your mobile carrier, and stop funding anti-democratic corporations that fund conservatives like AT&T. They offer pretty much all the same deals on phones, contract buyouts, incentives, fees, etc.

#muschniwogdowis of the day: business as usual.

The ‘defense’ budget is three quarters of a trillion dollars. Profits went up last year well over 25%. I guarantee you: when war becomes that profitable, we’re going to see more of it. –Chalmers Johnson

Until it is no longer the case that Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves, I am just going to continue to insist that #muchniwogdowis is simply the GREATEST ACRONYM EVAR™!!!11!!!

Today’s demonstration of its awesomeness is an Op-Ed in The Nation by former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) entitled Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War? Look at Their Donors. He is “fed up with the DC policy elite who cash in on war while presenting themselves as experts, at the cost of other people’s lives, our national fortune, and the sacred honor of our country.”

It’s kind of adorable that Kucinich thinks our country has some sort of “sacred honor” going for it. Nevertheless, I have always liked this d00d.

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Ahh, the distinct scent of Squirrel Person scalp.

noDWS

DEATH TO SQUIRRELS EXCLUSIVE!
unretouched congressional portrait of
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the notorious Debbie Wasserman Squirrel, chair of the DNC, finally resigning under pressure from every angle on the eve of the party’s nominating convention.

Readers of this blog will no doubt recall her breathtaking incompetence, as well as her habit of standing with Republicans on their despicable votes on issues as diverse as the Drug War, the TPP/TTIP trade deals, private prisons and payday lenders. She has long been under heavy fire from multiple DNC Vice chairs, rank and file Democrats, the Sanders campaign and high-profile progressive groups and pundits, who accused her of deliberately orchestrating Democratic primaries to favor Clinton over Sanders and then lying about it. None of that got her fired of course, even though all of it is true. If anything, it could only have helped boost her position among her fellow conservative Democrats Squirrel People, who have long held the power center of the Democratic Party.

But then some Russian hackers got hold of the DNC’s email, and Wikileaks published them. Among the more damaging disclosures was her team trash-talking big donors. You see, if there was one thing Debbie Wasserman Schultz was exceptionally good at, it was fundraising. And, well, I’m sure you can see why that would turn out to be her Achilles heel.

Naturally, she proved as hard to get rid of as a squirrel infestation.

Two reliable sources say Wasserman Schultz was trying to make top aides take the fall, rather than take personal responsibility. Until the end, she struggled to understand what a lightning rod she’s become.

“There was a lot of drama,” a Democratic member of Congress involved in the discussions leading up to her resignation [said]. “She made this as painful as she could. She did not want to go… She wasn’t going to resign until the president called her. She put a lot of people through hell.”

Even the Clinton camp pressured her to resign, which, you know, holy shit. It finally took a phone call from President Obama—who originally installed her as head of the DNC in the first place—to get her to see that her run as DNC chair was finished.

In a statement, Obama said he was “grateful” for Wasserman Schultz’s service. “Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth,” the president said.

Democratic strategist and Clinton ally Donna Brazile will be taking over as the interim chair.

Brazile, a vice chair of the convention, also was caught up in the leak. Asked for comment in an email from a Washington Post reporter about negotiations between the Sanders campaign and the DNC about the composition of the party’s convention committees, Brazile forwarded the reporter’s request to DNC officials.

“I have no intentions of touching this,” she said. “Why? Because I will cuss out the Sanders camp!”

Meanwhile, the Democrats mentioned as permanent replacements are:

former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, [Squirrel Person and former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] Rep. Steve Israel of New York and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. All are loyal supporters and trusted allies of Clinton.

So not to worry. It’s all good now.

__________

UPDATE:

Usually conservatives aren’t very good at this, but I have to admit this is a fine specimen of mockery:

CoORUu4VYAAgZnf.jpg_large

Hahaha. Awesome.

Thoughts on Paul Jay interview with Henry Giroux.

Paul Jay of The Real News had an interesting discussion (in two parts) with author and scholar Henry Giroux about a potential Trump presidency and its implications for democracy. In normal times, I would find Giroux laughably hyperbolic when he says, for instance, that under a Trump presidency the world is in serious danger of nuclear war, or that political dissent would be criminalized.

These are not normal times.

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Your liberal media.

imageNew York State Capitol building.
CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia

The city of Albany, New York and its surrounding area is the third most populous metropolitan region in the state and 38th in the country. Over a million people live in the Capital District alone. The Capitol building is recognized as one of the most beautiful state houses in the nation, but it has an ugly side: it has long been home to the most dysfunctional and corrupt legislature in the country. Although pundits prefer euphemisms like “conservative Democratic political machine,” the entire scam is actually run by the Squirrel People, along with their BFFs and natural allies among Dick Cheney’s Lizard People. It should surprise no one that leading up the recent New York primary, the Squirrel People of Albany were loyal campaigners for Hillary Clinton; she was (and is) supported by every name brand Democratic politician in the state. Albany’s Times Union, the largest local newspaper in the region, endorsed her. Clinton won the New York primary handily by about 15 points, collecting 139 of the state’s delegates to Sanders’ 108.

Interestingly, Sanders beat Clinton in the Albany metropolitan region by almost 7 points—but Albany’s Times Union didn’t report it.

The Times Unionarticle posted on the night of the primary didn’t mention Sanders’s victory at all. Instead, the article, headlined “Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton win in New York,” gave the impression of a Clinton and Trump sweep. “New York,” it proclaimed, “turned out to be the state where the presidential front-runners regained their mojo.” Although the article devoted a good deal of attention to the activities of primary voters in the capital district, it somehow omitted reporting on whom they had voted for.

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Casualties of conservatives.

[CONTENT NOTE: suicide.]

I woke up this lovely morning to a news alert from The Washington Post about soaring suicide rates in the U.S.:

The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday.

Well, not exactly. Ten paragraphs later, we learn that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have seen an even greater rate of increased suicides than whites. There’s even a colorful graphic and everything:

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Squirrel people collude to maim and kill Mississippi women.

Mississippi has been all up in the news lately, most notably for its attempt to wrest the championship title from North Carolina for Worst Asshole State:

Mississippi is making headlines today after Governor Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 into law, which allows private businesses to deny service to LGBT customers, and to anyone who has had sex out of wedlock. The bill states that it means to protect the “religious freedom” of Mississippians who believe marriage is solely defined as between a man and a woman, that sexual intercourse should only occur within the boundaries of that definition of marriage, and who don’t believe male or female genders can be changed.

Under House Bill 1523, any church, religious charity, or private business can decline to provide services to those whose lifestyles do not meet that criteria. As ThinkProgress reported, businesses can also fire employees whose lifestyles are in alleged violation of a business owner’s religious freedom…Perhaps the cruelest element of the new law states that a religious-based suicide hotline can refuse counseling to an LGBT caller.

These Christians sure seem super nice. After all, who would Jeezus shun? And how soon until we have a constitutional amendment guaranteeing USAmericans the right to SNIFF ALL THE PANTIES?

Anyway, it should hardly come as a surprise to students of the conservative menace that the Mississippi legislature also passed a bill this week outlawing a safe and effective abortion procedure (D&E), thereby effectively banning abortions after 14 weeks. It will also not come as a surprise that the state senate passed the bill 40-6. What may come as a surprise is that ten of those 40 doucheweasels are Democrats Squirrel People. And there are nine more of them in the House:

The house voted on final passage of the bill Tuesday with an 85-32 vote, approving the amended version passed by the state senate. Nine house Democrats joined with the Republican majority in voting for final passage.

On the bright side though, it’s very reassuring that the Mississippi government doesn’t have any serious problems to solve, so they have the spare time to sit around determining which particular tools and procedures doctors in the state are permitted to use when performing legal medical procedures upon penalty of felony charges, $10,000 fines and two years in jail.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has said that it is his goal to “end abortion” in the state, has not yet said whether he will sign the D and E ban.

There is no way to “end abortion.” There is, however, a way to end safe and legal abortion—and the Squirrel People are on the job.