The Honesty Was Nice While It Lasted

So here is the title of the original post I was writing about this:

Trump Says Something Anti-Abortion Activists Have Been Drooling for Decades to Hear a Politician Say, Anti-Abortionists Promptly Do What They Do Best: Lie.

Yeah, that’s a mouthful.  But since this is Foster Disbelief and not The Daily Mail, I decided to scrap it and start over.

For some reason Donald Trump, the(gag) front running candidate for the Republican presidential (I just threw up a little) nomination, had a sit down interview with Chris Matthews the other day.  I didn’t watch it.  I actually stayed as far away from the television as I possibly could when MSNBC aired the interview.  No thank you.  I can suffer through a Trump interview to see if anything is newsworthy.  I can tolerate watching Chris Matthews on MSNBC because I respect the other voices that make up MSNBC’s political coverage.  Matthews interviewing Trump is just a black hole of idiocy that I won’t even pretend I would willingly put myself through.    (Seriously, listening to Matthews go on about the possibility of a Clinton/Kasich unity ticket during one night of MSNBC’s primary coverage had me contemplating either switching to Fox News or puncturing my ear drums with an ice pick.  He’s the liberal answer to Bill O’Reilly.  Something that, along with the ideological purity police, is something we really don’t need.)

And seemingly for no reason but to punish me and force my poor ears to hear clips of the interview all week, Trump decided to show anti-abortion activists that he really was one of them, honestly, scout’s honor, no take backs, no crossed fingers, he swears.

At a taping of an MSNBC town hall that will air later, host Chris Matthews pressed the Republican presidential front-runner Trump for his thoughts on abortion policy. Trump said he’s in favor of an abortion ban, explaining, “Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it,” according to a partial transcript from Bloomberg Politics.

Matthews asked if there would be a punishment for women who received abortions if they were made illegal. Trump responded, “There has to be some form of punishment.” He elaborated that the punishment would have “to be determined” and the law will depend on the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation battle and the 2016 election.

Matthews, to his credit (I feel dirty for typing that), was all over Trump like a bad toupee rather than allowing the reality show star to word salad his way out of the question.  Progressives immediately held it up as yet another extremist view held by Trump,  Wow, that’s a surprise.  Liberals were going to disagree with Trump’s position on abortion no matter what he said.  Trump’s running as a Republican, which means he has to be “pro-life.”  (What a great political system we’ve built on the corpses of the founding fathers.  Sigh.)  What was surprising was the response by anti-abortion activists as they rushed to distance themselves from Trump.

The central goal of the pro-life movement may be to eliminate abortion, but to the vast majority, the responsibility doesn’t lie with the woman getting an abortion, but the doctor who is providing it.

Even the most staunch pro-life groups were quick to express their disappointment with Trump’s initial statements. Susan B. Anthony List and March for Life, two of the country’s most prominent anti-abortion groups, tweeted that women who have abortions need “healing and compassion” and that punishment is “solely for the abortionist who profits off of the destruction of life.”

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and a long-time pro-lifer, says that the responsibility of an illegal abortion “should fall on abortion providers, not the women who turn to them in desperation.”

“If Donald Trump is going to run successfully as a pro-life candidate, it’s time he started listening to the pro-life movement,” he says.

Trump’s Republican rivals said much of the same.

“But of course women shouldn’t be punished,” Republican candidate John Kasich said. “I don’t think that’s an appropriate response. It’s a difficult enough situation.”

Fellow GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz echoed Scheidler’s sentiments, saying in a statement that being pro-life isn’t just about the “unborn child,” but the mother as well – something that is “far too often neglected.” The movement, he said in a statement, is about “creating a culture that respects her and embraces life.”

“Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world,” he said.

Me thinks the activists doth protest too much.  The only reason pro-life people claim they don’t want the woman punished is because that is a horrifically unpopular position in the larger population.  I am sure some anti-abortion activists honestly do not want the woman punished beyond being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, just as I’m also sure some of them really want to reduce the amount of abortions and would support proven programs such as Colorado’s IUD program,  and some of them think those who shoot abortion providers are murderers.

And if the majority of anti-abortion activists share those beliefs, if they truly want to end abortion and not punish women for being sexually active, if they’re “pro-life” position prohibits the assassination of providers and the bombing of clinics, then those people need to make that clear and stop providing cover for the more extreme members of their movement.

It is the same argument I make to “moderate” Christians.  Shrugging your shoulders and saying that the gay haters aren’t “real Christians” doesn’t cut it.  In fact, going from the Bible, most of the time the fundamentalists have more textual support for their position.  Hey “moderate pro-lifer?”  When you call abortion “murder” and insist it is the “American Holocaust,” you are giving coverage to the clinic bombers and doctor killers, just as the moderate Christian who argues for the infallibility of the Bible protects the anti-gay bigots.

Watching Ted Cruz attack Trump over this issue is even more rich.  The “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition that Ted loves pointing out, is co-chaired by the president of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman.  Newman wrote the book “Their Blood Cries Out,” which was written before anti-abortionists began softening their language to find more support.  Here’s a telling passage (and I urge you to read the whole article from Right Wing Watch.)

While Newman never explicitly calls for the execution of women who have had abortions, as he does abortion providers, he makes very clear that he sees these women as equally culpable for the supposed crime.

He tells the story of a woman in California accused of paying two men $1,000 and some “sexual favors” to murder her husband. Both the woman and the men who executed the hit, he reports, received the same sentence. How, Newman asks, is this different from abortion?

There was no outpouring of public concern from the community declaring her a victim of society. There were no help centers set up to give aid to all future contract killers so that they might find alternatives to murdering their husbands. The churches did not welcome her on the condition that neither of the parties would discuss the crime. There was no legislation brought forward by the National Organization for Women to pardon her and all future murderesses. There was no sympathy publicly expressed for her — only the satisfaction that comes from witnessing justice.

Why, then, do we consider any differently the women who seek to hire killers to murder their pre-born children? Why the hesitancy to say that not only the mothers, but also the fathers who willfully abort their babies, are guilty of murder? Why is there such outrage expressed at the notion that those who know of the crime but do not intervene, like most of the churches in America, share a portion of the guilt?

Who holds the fathers, the mothers, the neighbors, the pastors, and the bystanders guilty? Who would dare?

God can! God does!

By comparing abortion directly to any other act of premeditated contract killing, it is easy to see that there is no difference in principle. However, in our society, a mother of an aborted baby is considered untouchable where as any other mother, killing any other family member, would be called what she is: a murderer.


When Newman endorsed Cruz, Ted was quick to play up the endorsement on his campaign website.
“I am grateful to receive the endorsement of Troy Newman,” Cruz said. “He has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years, and works tirelessly every day for the pro-life cause. We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice.”
How extreme is Newman?

“Today’s scheduled execution of Paul Hill is not justice, but is another example of the judicial tyranny that is gripping our nation. A Florida judge denied Rev. Hill his right to present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day. Our system of justice is based upon ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ but in Rev. Hill’s case, there was no justice because the court prevented him from presenting the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action.

“There are many examples where taking the life in defense of innocent human beings is legally justified and permissible under the law. Paul Hill should have been given the opportunity to defend himself with the defense of his choosing in a court of law. [Operation Rescue West press release, 9/3/03, via Media Matters]

How about banned from Australia extreme?

Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, had been scheduled to begin a speaking tour in Australia on Friday. But immigration officials canceled his visa before he left the United States after Australian politicians raised concerns that he might encourage violence against abortion providers or women seeking the procedure.

He managed to board a flight from Los Angeles despite not having a valid visa but was detained by immigration officers at Melbourne Airport while trying to enter the country on Thursday.


Terri Butler, a Labor member of the Australian Parliament, had called for the government to revoke Mr. Newman’s visa this week. In a letter to Mr. Dutton, she cited passages from a book that Mr. Newman co-wrote that called for abortion doctors to be executed. [New York Times10/2/15]

Anti-abortion activists may spend the whole week screaming that they don’t want women punished for having an abortion.  Just like they claim they aren’t against contraception when it serves their purposes, just like they claim they are against violence in the aftermath of each clinic bombing or doctor assassination.

What matters is their language when no one is watching.  The stuff they say when they are surrounded by only true believers.  As they continue to escalate the debate with inflammatory language.  As they publish the names and home addresses of providers.  As they unscientifically claim one contraception method after another is actually abortion.

It is about ending abortion.  It is also about taking reproductive control away from women and forcing them back into the kitchen.  If it was honestly all about abortion we live in a nation that is rich enough to practically eliminate elective abortions.  Abortion could be nothing but a procedure that occurs only during the current “exceptions.”  Rape, incest and the life of the mother or non-viable pregnancy.  We could provide every woman of reproductive age contraception.  We could turn abortion into an incredibly rare procedure, rather than one that is more common than anyone realizes.  But there’s no slut shaming involved there, and it doesn’t serve to reinforce the patriarchy.

Trump says some insane shit.  Trump takes some extreme positions.  Don’t buy the lie that this (even though he did walk it back later) is one of them.  This is a mainstream belief in the GOP.  It just isn’t one they like outsiders to know about.


Move Over Todd Akin, It’s Pete Nielsen Time!

Remember Todd Akin?  Remember how he said that abortion restrictions didn’t need exceptions for rape because “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy?  Remember how he lost a senate race that should have been a cake walk mainly due to that comment?

After the amazing crash and burn Akin performed for the nation back in 2012, you would think that Republicans would learn a lesson from the whole fiasco.  You’d be wrong, of course.  Why?  Damned if I know.  Maybe it’s because some of them really believe, with zero evidence, that, ahem, “legitimate” rape is too traumatic to result in conception.  Or maybe it is an “ends justify the means” situation, where as long as it results in punishing women for being sexual beings.  What, you thought I was going to strike that out and end the sentence with “less abortions?”  Why?  When has the so-called “pro-life” movement ever supported something with an actual chance of lowering the number of abortions?  They can say they care about the unborn child all they want, but until they stop opposing common sense measures, like Colorado’s long term contraception initiative for an example, measures that are actually effective at lowering the rate of abortion, why should any of us give them the benefit of the doubt as to their motives?  They aren’t just protesting Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities; they want it all shut down, because this has much more to do with women’s sexuality than the fate of some fetuses.  Nothing should prove that faster than the speed at which they cease caring about the child upon birth.

Whatever their reasons may be, they keep beating that same old drum.  Today’s “Wait, What?!?” is brought to you by the Idaho legislature.  “I da Ho?  Well then close your damn legs, ya slut!”

From The Spokesman-Review:

During the hearing Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, said, “Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident. That may be true with incest a little bit.”


Nielsen stood by his remarks after the hearing, saying pregnancy “doesn’t happen as often as it does with consensual sex, because of the trauma involved.”

Asked how he knew that, he said, “That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know.”

He added, “I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot.”

Why, may I ask, has this man “explored this a lot”?  Hopefully it is for work, and not an attempt to figure out how likely his daughters would be to get pregnant if he…….

Moving on….

The scientific consensus on the issue is that rape is as likely to result in pregnancy as consensual sex, and some studies suggest the rate of pregnancy is higher in rape. A 2003 study that appeared in the scientific journal “Human Nature,” for instance, found that the rate of pregnancy from rape exceeded the rate of pregnancy from consensual sex by a “sizable margin.”

Is it any wonder if a percentage of the anti-choice brigade decides to ignore scientific consensus?  Members of the GOP already freely ignore the scientific consensus when it comes to evolution and global warming, what would make this a bridge too far?  Of course, in those cases the only people being called “liars” are scientists and biology teachers.  I wonder if they stop and think that by holding on to the “legitimate rape doesn’t cause pregnancy” thing that they are directly calling every rape victim who got pregnant from her attack a liar?

Something tells me they just don’t care.

Good News, Women! Apparently Forcing You to Have a Wand Shoved in Your Vagina While Lecturing You with a Medically Inaccurate, Condescending Script is Illegal!

In a decision that is sure to mystify Scott Walker, the Supreme Court decided not to review North Carolina’s Treat Women As If They Are Children Law (I fucking refuse to call it by its actual title, “A Women’s Right to Know Act,” because seriously?) on Monday,, rendering the condescending law unconstitutional in a rare bit of good news in the fight for women’s bodily autonomy.  The North Carolina law was a “forced ultrasound” law that required women seeking to terminate their pregnancy to undergo an ultrasound*, regardless of medical necessity, and, while lying on the exam table half naked, have the doctor first describe the image to her, and then read her a prepared statement designed to convince her not to have an abortion.  The little lady could close her eyes and plug up her ears if she so desired, but the doctor would have to complete his script or risk losing his license to practice.

It was a particularly draconian bit of compelled speech forced on patients in a particularly vulnerable position (half naked on an exam table, hours before a medical procedure), which is why it was blocked last year by a panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit. That court’s ruling gives some useful context for the severity of the law as it compares to other informed consent laws, so it’s worth including here:

Informed consent frequently consists of a fully-clothed conversation between the patient and physician, often in the physician’s office. It is driven by the “patient’s particular needs and circumstances” … so that the patient receives the information he or she wants in a setting that promotes an informed and thoughtful choice. This provision, however, finds the patient half-naked or disrobed on her back on an examination table, with an ultrasound probe either on her belly or inserted into her vagina… Informed consent has not generally been thought to require a patient to view images from his or her own body much less in a setting in which personal judgment may be altered or impaired. Yet this provision requires that she do so or “avert her eyes.”

Rather than engaging in a conversation calculated to inform, the physician must continue talking regardless of whether the patient is listening… The information is provided irrespective of the needs or wants of the patient, in direct contravention of medical ethics and the principle of patient autonomy. Forcing this experience on a patient over her objections in this manner interferes with the decision of a patient not to receive information that could make an indescribably difficult decision even more traumatic and could “actually cause harm to the patient.” … And it is intended to convey not the risks and benefits of the medical procedure to the patient’s own health, but rather the full weight of the state’s moral condemnation.

Forced ultrasound laws are just another arrow in the anti-choicer’s quiver of laws designed to sound perfectly reasonable and in the best interest of the women in question while attempting to hide there true purpose, which of course is the piecemeal elimination of abortion services.  Based on public opinion and this ruling, it seems as if requiring an invasive medical procedure no matter the opinion of the women’s doctor is a bit of an overreach with this tactic, although what the ruling means for the 10 other states with forced ultrasound laws is a bit of an unknown until they each work their ways through the courts.  Sadly it seems like a rare overreach, with many similar “the state knows what’s best for those flighty women folk” laws filling up state law books.  Hospital admitting privileges, ambulatory surgical center requirements, and waiting periods all seem like good ideas on the surface and seem as if the health and safety of women are the priorities of the laws rather than making it more and more difficult for lower income women to access abortion services, until you scratch a bit and see a little deeper.  Admitting privileges?  Abortion very rarely has complications, and in the rare case of one the providers lack of admitting privileges is not going to lead to the woman dying in the street, refused care at the hospital.  Of course, with the large number of hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church and the simple fact that many secular hospitals don’t want to deal with the protesters and controversy that granting admitting privileges to a provider would invariably bring turns this seemingly well-intentioned regulation into a nifty way to eliminate abortion access.  Waiting periods are condescending, but what harm can be caused by insisting on a day or two waiting period to think about such an important choice?** It seems like a minor inconvenience, and I am sure it is for the upper class women seeking abortion services.  For the poorer woman who has to take multiple days off work, possibly arrange childcare on multiple days, and somehow procure transportation, quite a distance away in many cases, not once but now twice, the minor condescending inconvenience becomes a sometimes insurmountable hurdle.  The ambulatory surgical center law is quite similar.  After all, the lawmakers only want the women to receive their abortion in modern medical centers that are prepared to handle any possible emergency.  What do us pro-choice people want anyway?  A dirty table in a strip mall with a dumpster out back filled with fetuses?  Of course, requiring a surgical center for a procedure that for many women can be accurately described as “taking a pill at home” seems a bit….., over concerned for the woman’s health?  Which of course, is the point.  The anti-choice right doesn’t give two shits about the health of the woman as long as she is forced to carry her pregnancy to term.  Luckily, once you examine laws such as these their true purpose becomes clear as crystal, and the courts will definitely strike them down, right?


Not if you judge from the actions of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld nearly all of the provisions of HB 2, Texas’ extreme antiabortion law that requires abortion clinics to meet the hospital-like standards of ambulatory surgical centers, and mandates that abortion providers receive admitting privileges from nearby hospitals. The decision is expected to shutter all but a handful of abortion clinics across the state.

Sorry poor women.  You just aren’t as equal as your rich sisters.

Apologies for crushing the good news under the bad.  *shrug*  That’s just the state of reproductive health at the moment.


*North Carolina’s now dead law did allow women to decide what type of ultrasound they would receive, so at least it wasn’t a forced rape in addition to the medical procedure and lecture.

**  Funny how the same exact people who think women need a mandated waiting period to make up their flighty little minds about abortion, get outraged if you suggest that maybe people should have to wait a day or two to buy a handgun.

GOP Ad Makers Decide to Treat Women “More Like Adults,” Condescension Predictably Follows

I would almost give them credit for trying if I didn’t picture late night discussions in GOP war rooms that go something like this:

GOP Strategist: “Goddammit, we’re still losing the chick vote by double digits.  I don’t get it, no one has said anything about the fact that pregnancies caused by rape are a myth this week.  Why won’t they vote for us?”

GOP Ad Exec 1: “Bitches be crazy.”

GOP Ad Exec 2:  “I think Frank is on to something, sir.  Bitches, in fact, are crazy.  All of them, even the ones on our side.  They are just a bit less crazy.”

GOP Strat: “Yes, yes, yes Thomas.  Everyone knows that bitches be crazy.  But that doesn’t help us.  We need ideas.  Even our female candidates are losing the chick vote.”

GOP Ad E2: “Duh.”

GOP Ad E1: “Seriously sir, of course they are.  Everyone knows that women hate other women and never want to see them succeed.  It’s why Hillary will never be President; all women love to knock other women down a peg or two.  Its in their genes.”

GOP Strat: “Okay.  So there is nothing we can do in those races.  What about the ones we have men running in.  What can we do?  Frank, you look like you have an idea…”

GOP Ad E1: “It is brilliant, sir.  So we know that the only reason Obama won the chick vote is because he’s a smooth talking rich guy who also taps into female desire.  Women know he is rich enough to take care of them, and while his I.Q. would normally be a turn off, he’s half black so he still has that animal side, that danger side….”

GOP Ad E2: “What Frank is trying to say, sir, is that chicks voted for Obama cause he gives them all the positives of a white guy, while still swinging 12.”

GOP Strat: “I think I see where you are going.  So we make an ad that implies Obama is a shitty boyfriend.  That he leaves the toilet seat up, goes to sleep 10 seconds after sex, spends all his time drinking with his friends, and all that kind of shit.  Should we try to compare him to Ray Rice while we’re at it?”

Both GOP Ad Execs together: “NO!”

GOP Ad E2: “For fucks sake sir, what are you trying to do, have the Democrats win every race?  Compare Obama to Rice and the Dems take the House.”

GOP Strat: “I am confused.  Why would comparing Obama to a domestic abuser get the democrats votes?”

GOP Ad E1: “Bitches be crazy.”

GOP Ad E2: “They love that shit.  Especially from a black man.  It adds to the sense of danger and shows them that their man isn’t a pussy.”

GOP Ad E1: “But the rest of your idea is good.  We’ll paint him as a horrible boyfriend, a guy any chick would be dying to get away from.  We will capitalize on the Ray Rice thing though, we can throw in a line about how Obama would have just stood there and took all that shit from Janay.”

GOP Ad E2: “No, scrap that part.  We can’t be sure it won’t backfire.  After all, “

All three, at once: “Bitches be crazy.”

GOP Strat: “Hey, make sure the bimbo in the ad can pass for a spicy latina minx.  We’re losing the Hispanic vote as well.”

However the strategy session actually went, Salon has the story on the ad campaign that resulted:

Republicans are relieved that so far, there’s no Todd Akin in the 2014 election cycle. Yet even without a clueless GOP candidate blathering about “legitimate rape,” the party still trails Democrats among women voters, even in races that feature female GOP candidates, and it could cost them a chance to take back the Senate. So Americans for Shared Prosperity is riding to the rescue with an ad so condescending to women it might have been made by Todd Akin. It rivals that “Creepy Uncle Sam” ad that backfired on the Koch brothers’ Generation Opportunity.

In the 60-second spot, which ran on the Sunday shows as well as reportedly in Colorado and North Carolina, a lovely, latte-skinned young woman in a pink shirt and pearls is sitting on her white sofa, complaining about a man she met online: “In 2008, I fell in love. His online profile made him seem so perfect. Smart, handsome, charming, articulate.” We see her MacBook screen, and there he is: the cad she calls “Barack,” President Obama.

Yes, admaker Rick Wilson and Americans for Shared Prosperity believe the way to convince women to vote for Republicans is to compare the president to a bad boyfriend. Obviously they think we’re idiots who put romance before reason, even in politics.

Naturally it diminishes Obama, too: Our first black president is just another pair of pants, a smooth-talking liar who let us down. But hell, he is kind of cute, which is obviously why he won the women’s vote over John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Oh, and he’s also “articulate.”

The ad is clearly targeting the most loyal Democratic constituency: College-educated and unmarried women voters who may or may not be white. (Barack’s soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend could be Latina.) Creepily, the language makes it sound like not merely an unhappy relationship but an abusive one. He’s spying on her emails and text messages — an NSA reference, I guess – and she only “stuck with him because he promised he’d be better.”

But don’t worry: They try to get some politics in there, too. “He thinks the only thing I care about is free birth control, but he won’t even let me keep my own doctor,” the fed-up woman tells us.

The ad is linked to in that quote.  Watch it, sigh, and wonder what happened to our political system.  A bit of commentary from Salon:

Maybe the worst thing about the ad is that its sponsors are utterly clueless about how demeaning it is. John Jordan, the wealthy California winery owner who runs Americans for Shared Prosperity, told Politico that the group’s goal is “to communicate with women voters in a way that outside groups and campaigns haven’t.” Well, they’ve certainly accomplished that. But then he went on. “The purpose of this is to treat women voters more like adults than either Democrats or Republicans have.”

If this is what they come up with when they’re treating us “more like adults” – I guess Jordan didn’t actually say “like adults” – imagine what they’d do if they were treating us like children?

While not every woman (or man) will find the ad insulting, I agree with Salon’s Joan Walsh’s suggestion for the worst thing about the ad.  I can see this ad being suggested.  I can even see a small group thinking it was a good idea, even if that group included a woman.  But at some point, someone had to realize a large portion of the exact group they are trying to win with the ad, intelligent, moderate, single women, would find the ad demeaning and insulting, with its tactic of using “girl stuff” like relationship issues rather than just talking to the audience like they are politically interested, intelligent, moderate single women.  So either the people responsible for creating an ad campaign targeting moderate single women is so out of touch with their intended audience that they didn’t realize a portion of them would be immediately turned off by the ad, or they simply didn’t care that their ad would offend a portion of the very audience they are trying to reach.

I’m not sure which would be worse.

Perhaps the GOP will realize someday soon that the way to win women voters is by supporting policies that women agree with.  When you are against the Violence Against Women Act, against any legislation dealing with the depressingly still with us problem of income inequality between the sexes, so against abortion that you have traveled into the realm of valuing the life of the fetus far more than the life of the mother, while double-talking enough about birth control that people are starting to actually worry that the GOP would try to ban contraception if they ever had both the Presidency and the Congress, it is going to take far more than an ad campaign, any ad campaign, to tilt the scales enough to matter.

Try backing away from the more misogynistic elements of your base, while telling the fading members of the “contraception is holding an aspirin between your knees” generation that time has passed them by, and they should keep quiet for the good of the party.  Advance policies that actually benefit women, or that are at least not openly antagonistic to a majority of the population, and your results will dwarf any ad campaign.  Especially one as insulting as this.

After that we can start dealing with your problems with…..well, everyone who isn’t an angry white male.


Yet Another Insulting Law Restricting Abortion Access

Earlier in the year, Missouri, a state with the grand total of one abortion clinic, passed a bill that would require a 72 hour waiting period between a patients first clinic visit and the procedure.  The bill was promptly vetoed by Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, preventing the state from becoming the third to impose such a law.  Since the state already has a 24 hour waiting period, you could be forgiven for wondering what pressing women’s health need justifies the increased waiting period.  And since there is exactly no reason for the increased waiting period other than “trying to stop them sluts from killing their babies,” you could also be forgiven for assuming this is just another of the right’s endless attacks on reproductive health care.  The reason for the increased waiting period, according to state Rep. Kevin Elmer, is so that women seeking abortion services have more time to think about a decision they already made, since they already went to the clinic to get an abortion.  Apparently, in anti-abortion fantasy land, waiting periods protect women who go to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, only to find themselves strapped to a table with a vacuum bumping around their uterus the second the test comes up positive, as the doctor laughs and says, “Oh, you didn’t want this one, did you?”

Waiting periods are not needed.  Women do not find themselves at the abortion clinic by mistake.  “Oh shit, I thought this was a crisis pregnancy center!”  By the time the woman arrives at the clinic, she has already made her decision, and she has decided the best thing for her at this point in her life is an abortion.  It is degrading and insulting for the government to force a woman to then wait 24, let alone 72, hours to make sure she is making the right decision.  It is a misogynistic view that assumes women are flighty, making major decisions without thought, and that they need a paternalistic figure head to put them in “timeout” to analyze their choice.  While some current trendy abortion restrictions attempt to masquerade as legitimate concerns about the health of the woman (such as requirements for hospital admitting privileges, and ambulatory surgical center standards, which serve no purpose other than closing clinics, but at least sound like they are in the woman’s best interest), this restriction, along with mandatory ultrasounds, falls firmly into the “women are too stupid to know what an abortion is” camp.

Waiting periods do real damage to reproductive health access.  Many opponents of abortion access make the argument that a 24 (or 72 I guess) hour waiting period isn’t an obstacle for legal abortion access.  Rational observers should be able to see this as a lie even if they do not personally see how a waiting period harms a woman’s right to choose; if it wasn’t a hurdle, if it wasn’t a deterrent, then anti-reproductive health advocates wouldn’t be pushing for it.  The foes of reproductive choice may have a point about it not being a hardship, as long as the woman has sufficient means; if she has enough money, what is two trips to the clinic instead of one?  And if she doesn’t want to wait, she can always fly to a state with different laws.  The true hardship falls on the backs of all non-wealthy women.  There is only one clinic in the state.  A 72 hour waiting period means two trips to the clinic, whatever distance that may be.  It means at least two days off of work.  It means extra expenses.  It is yet another hoop set up by anti-abortion lawmakers, who have decided that since Roe V. Wade stops them from outlawing abortion, they will try to force women seeking their right to jump through so many hoops that they give up and go home.  Pro-life until the child is born, then the GOP washes their hands of it, except to rail against single mothers on vitriolic talk shows and in crayon scrawled letters to the local newspaper.  They want abortion outlawed, but they are also against sex education and contraception access.  How a party that is anti-sex gets anyone elected, I will never understand.

Why am I writing about this today?  Because the Missouri legislature is holding a special veto session to strong arm the bill into law:

Earlier this year, Missouri passed a law that would require people seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours from their first clinic visit before they can access care. There are only two other states in the country, Utah and South Dakota, with such a restriction on the books. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the measure, in part because it lacked exceptions for rape or incest.

But as Molly Redden at Mother Jones reports, Republican lawmakers are planning to use a special veto session to take another vote on the measure, hoping to override Nixon’s veto. And as Redden points out, they stand a good chance of doing just that:

A vote could come as early as September 10. If the bill receives the two-thirds majorities in the House and the Senate required to override Nixon’s veto Missouri would become the third state, after South Dakota and Utah, to impose a three-day waiting period, the longest in the country. A veto override is nearly certain: In May, when the bill first passed, it received a veto-proof majority in the House and was one vote shy of this benchmark in the Senate; a Republican Senator who was absent that day intends to support the bill.

What will the next restriction be?  All abortions must have the consent of the fetus to be aborted?  Women must listen to a looped recording of a crying baby interwoven with a booming voice that shouts “That is what your baby will sound like in 7 more months.”?  A 72 hour waiting period, during which you are handcuffed to a nun who alternates from explaining how you will burn in hell, to telling you that God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary all crawled up your vagina to lovingly place the fetus in your womb, to just crying uncontrollably?

How about a 72 hour waiting period before a man is allowed to take Viagra?  You know, so he is absolutely sure he wants to have sexual intercourse, since there is a possibility it could lead to a pregnancy.

The Fall of Governor Ultrasound

Strange.  It seems that throwing your wife under the bus is not the key to acquittal.  I’d say that the ex-Governor should ask his lawyers for his money back, but who am I kidding?  McDonnell’s lawyer was probably another “gift.”

It seems like it was only yesterday that Virginian Governor Bob McDonnell was dominating the news cycle, insisting that Republican lawmakers such as himself knew better than medical doctors.  He was the elected Governor of the State of Virginia, a position that gave him the knowledge and the expertise to realize that what women truly needed before having an abortion was an ultrasound wand slammed inside of them as part of a medically unneeded procedure.  When the medical professionals opposed him, arguing that the ultrasound was unnecessary and invasive, he argued that forcing women to undergo a procedure that they did not want was in their best interest.  “What gives these smug medical doctors the right to disagree with me?,” I am sure he thought to himself during the controversy. “Sure, they went to medical school, and did all of that outrageous work it takes to become a doctor,” he almost certainly continued, talking to himself out loud as he walked through his house, “but I am the one who got elected Governor, and more important than that, I went to Regent!”

In spite of his M.A./J.D. from Christian Broadcasting Network University (which changed its name to Regent University for some unknown reason), doctors still claimed the invasive ultrasounds were medically unnecessary. Thanks to pundits such as Rachel Maddow nicknaming him “Governor Ultrasound” and refusing to shut up like good little media lapdogs and let the elected men run this country like God intended,  this was starting to threaten his national political aspirations.  Insisting that sluts have wands shoved inside them for no relevant reason may play in parts of Virginia and other southern states, but so would stoning white women who take part in interracial relationships, removing the right to vote from non-whites and those not in possession of a penis, and “fixing” income inequality through a complicated system of forced servitude.  On a national platform, legislating the forced entry of any object into vaginas is not a political winner.  So Governor Bob backed off a bit.  The sluts would still have to pay for a medically unnecessary ultrasound, but they would be spared the insertion of the wand into their body.  Whether or not each procedure was to be witnessed by a clinic protester, with sign, pulled into the office off the street to shout hellfire at the patient by Government order is unknown.  Yet even with this concession to the evil Satan sexting women, they would not let poor Bob alone: (When he went on national talk shows to talk about his policies.)

The host asked the governor a pretty straightforward question: “You backed an abortion bill initially that included a very invasive procedure as part of an ultrasound that the state would have required and then you backed off of that. Were you wrong to support that initially or did you simply back off because the political heat got turned up the way it did?”

What a vile smear-disguised-as-a-question  by noted left wing attack hound David Gregory!*  The way the press went after Governor McDonnell, you would think that he publicly endorsed a proposal to require women, against the wishes of physicians, to undergo an invasive, medically-unnecessary procedure, because some right-wing culture warriors wanted to shame patients, and when that became politically toxic, ended up signing an only-slightly-less outrageous measure that still requires Virginians to undergo state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds, to satisfy the demands of far-right activists.  What slander.  Let’s look at the facts:

He publicly endorsed a proposal to require women, against the wishes of physicians, to undergo an invasive, medically-unnecessary procedure, because some right-wing culture warriors want to shame patients. McDonnell ended up signing an only-slightly-less outrageous measure that still requires Virginians to undergo state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds, to satisfy the demands of far-right activists.

See?!?  Oh, the things poor Governor Ultrasound had to deal with.  And after all his maneuvering to be the obvious choice for Vice President, Mitt went ahead and picked equally-insane-but-much-more-attractive Paul Ryan to add “failed Vice Presidential candidate” to his CV.  While stewing over not being chosen, Governor Ultrasound almost certainly sat at his desk, stroking a black cat with white ears.  I totally believe that he then said, “You will regret this, Romney.”   “Sure, one or two homosexuals may ignore your policies and vote for you because of Paul’s sculpted abs, his bulging biceps, his stylish hair, and his hypnotic eyes,” he would have said if I was writing a script for a gay porn film with this plot, as he tried to ignore his engorged member.  “But I am a culture warrior, Mitt.  I was going to make doctors give it to those sluts, no matter what their medical opinion was,” he more than likely shouted to the empty office, before turning on the intercom and asking the secretary to send in Steven, the new intern with the deep blue eyes and lips that made you wonder.  “Tell him to lock the door behind him, Stella, and you can go home for the rest of the day as well,” he finished telling the secretary, in this fantasy version of the Governor’s Mansion as he undid his belt.  “I was a culture warrior,” he could have sighed.

It seemed like only yesterday.  I am sure the former Governor of Virginia longs for those yesterdays, no matter how disappointing it was to be passed over for an office taken so seriously that Sarah Palin was the previous candidate for his party, no matter how annoying it was to be called “Governor Ultrasound” by openly sinning homosexuals, no matter how disgusting it was to have to spend time talking about that icky pit of sin that women have between their legs, for now Governor Ultrasound is facing years spent with convicts who feel he should have to submit to forced internal ultrasounds**, if he is unfortunate enough to drop the soap.

Yes, the mighty Governor is guilty.

Jurors in the public corruption trial of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have found the couple guilty of several corruption counts. The McDonnells faced a 14-count indictment that alleged that they lent the prestige of the governor’s office to a Richmond area businessman and that, in exchange, the businessman lavished them with gifts and money.


the verdict — Robert McDonnell guilty of 11 charges; Maureen McDonnell guilty of nine, we will have to wait until the couple’s sentencing Jan. 6 to know what their fate will be. The couple could face decades in federal prison, though their actual sentence could fall well short of that.

The jury of seven men and five women spent nearly three days deliberating before announcing a verdict that left members of the McDonnell family in tears. The verdict, writes The Post’s Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman, sends a message that jurors, ” . . . believed the couple sold the office once occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans.”

Note: the jury did acquit the couple of several charges pending against them — both were acquitted of lying on loan documents — but the verdict means, jurors thought the McDonnell’s lent the prestige of the governor’s office to former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in a nefarious exchange for his largesse.

Poor Gov. Ultrasound.  He just wanted to be Vice President and to force doctors to shove things into dirty, slutty vaginas.  After all, it was the only way to make those stupid sinning seductresses realize that a pregnancy resulted in a baby being born, and abortion is the murder of babies, not a cosmetic procedure that removes body fat, firms up the breasts, tones the buttocks and thighs, and is a feel good milestone in a woman’s life, one that all women should experience as much as possible, like Planned Parenthood teaches.

I bet his wife snuck in to the jury room and cast a feminist spell on the jury, forcing them to convict the innocent McDonnell.  Before you even say it, she had to let herself get convicted as well, otherwise the conspiracy would have been exposed.  Don’t worry, Obama will pardon her.  Just you wait and see.  Planned Parenthood got to her, and told her that they wouldn’t let her have anymore abortions if she didn’t get him in trouble with the law.  Planned Parenthood is like that; the first abortion is free, and after that they got you hooked.  Next thing you know they have you accusing some poor man of rape to get your next abortion fix.

Our doomed nation.


*It physically hurt to write that sentence, even as satire.

**I apologize for that.  With rape culture as bad as it is, I probably shouldn’t be making a rape joke, even a prison rape joke.  But this is Gov. Ultrasound, who was trying to make women who wanted an abortion submit to having another person insert an object into their vagina for no medical reason, no matter what the woman herself or her doctor thought, which is veering quite near to state-sponsored rape, so I couldn’t resist one prison rape jab.  And he was enough of a bastard to try to get off by blaming his wife and painting her as a crazy, vindictive bitch, so fuck that guy.

Gov. Bob McDonnell Acquitted!!! Take that, Dems.

It is official.  After a disgusting campaign to smear and tarnish the reputation of former Virginian Governor Bob McDonnell, the jury has returned and vindicated the Republican, acquitting him and his wife of ludicrous charges of falsifying loan documents.  Public apologies to the defendants should be required from both the prosecutors office and the liberal media.  He should sue them for defamation of character.

Both were acquitted on charges of falsifying loan documents.

See?  Just ignore the part that came before that:

A Virginia jury has found former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of numerous counts of corruption during their time in the executive mansion. Bob McDonnell was found guilty on 11 corruption charges while Maureen was found guilty of eight corruption charges and one obstruction of justice charge.

Who cares?  He is innocent!  Of 3 out of 14 charges!

Schedule the parade.  Book him on The Factor!  Have Rush clear an hour of his imbecilic ravings.  He’s as innocent as O.J.

A Side Dish of “Notpology” Alongside the Main Course of Misogyny

I have to admit that I had no idea who Cee Lo Green was until the beginning of 2012.  Perhaps I was aware of his existence, perhaps I had read his name at some point in time, or heard it spoken in polite conversation,  but without a doubt, I knew less about him than what I currently know about the guy who is married to Mariah Carey.  (Fun Fact:  The only thing I know about the guy who is married to Mariah Carey, is that he is married to Mariah Carey.)  Then Cee Lo performed at NBC’s New Year’s Eve celebration, and decided to change the lyrics of some song written by some guy named John Lennon.  After reading about the idiocy on a few atheist blogs, I promptly gave him the attention he deserved and completely forgot all about him, other than a small note deep in my long term memory, marking him as “that guy so full of himself that he changed Lennon’s lyrics to Imagine.”

Sadly, Cee Lo Green has once again caught my attention, and this time it isn’t for something as idiotic-but-harmless as changing the lyrics to a classic song because he didn’t agree with the message.  No, this time, Cee Lo decided that the world was interested in his views on rape,  and it turns out that we are quite interested in what he has to say:

Displaying the clear thinking and sound judgment that usually accompany a Twitter rant, Green declared that women who have “really been raped REMEMBER!!!” before helpfully clarifying the definition of rape for the women of the world:

For some weird reason, Green deleted his Twitter account shortly afterwards (it’s since been reinstated), although he first took the time to explain that he only meant to start a “healthy exchange” about what a creep he is. The only bright spot in this deeply disappointing scenario is that Cee Lo forgot to blame the victim for not wearing anti-rape nail polish, but that’s probably just because it hadn’t been invented in 2012.

Umm.  Did he just claim that if the woman is unconscious, it doesn’t count?  *head desk*

Oh, wait.  There is an update to this story!

In case you were too busy clinging desperately to all that is pure and good in this world, over the weekend Green ignited some major controversy by stating on Twitter that rape doesn’t count if the victim is unconscious—a move that was especially tasteless, considering he had just pleaded no contest to drugging a woman on a date in 2012. After his statements attracted immediate backlash, Green deleted his Twitter account, which lasted all of one day.

But now, his social media confidence restored, Green paused between posting links to his own songs on YouTube to issue an apology for all those things that he may or may not have said—even though they were definitely said—on his verified Twitter account:



Well damn, notpology accepted!  I wonder what evil group of Cee Lo haters were responsible for attributing comments made on your verified Twitter account to you?  How horrible and unfair!  As for the final part of the notpology, well, two out of three ain’t bad.  The comments were definitely idiotic and untrue, but I have a hard time believing you tweet ignorant shit like that just for the “lulz.”  Oh, shit.  There I go, attributing things tweeted from your official verified Twitter account to you.  Sorry!

Congrats, Cee Lo!  You are now filed away in my mind as “that rape apologist.”

Fuck you.


What Earned the Front Page Headline Today?

Oh, Altoona Mirror, you right-wing fish wrap struggling to fill space until the beginning of Penn State football season.   Is a busload of Catholic high school students off to protest something they don’t yet have the age, experience, or maturity to form an informed opinion about really front page news?  Was highlighting the innocent naivety of these protesters really urgent enough that it couldn’t wait for the weekly Religion section?  Or is this just your editorial viewpoints creeping from the opinion page where they belong into the supposedly objective “news reporting” sections?

Perhaps I judge too harshly?  Maybe these students have nuanced views that truly add something to the ongoing debate on abortion.  Let us look in and see:

For Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School sophomore Sophia Griffin, it’s simple.

Human life begins at conception, she believes, and therefore abortion is wrong.

Griffin is one of 95 BG students riding on two buses to Washington, D.C., today to participate in the 41st March for Life, held annually on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

“Once you believe it’s a person [in the womb], there’s no justifiable reason to kill,” said Griffin, reached by phone through Robert Sutton, BG religion teacher and director of campus ministry.

Or maybe not.  While I have nothing but respect for Sophia getting involved in an issue she cares about instead of sitting home on the couch waiting for others to change the world, I have absolutely no respect for her opinion in the matter.  She is a sophomore at a Catholic high school.  While I do not know this for a fact, I am under the assumption that she never has had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.   Without ever having to face the decision herself, she seeks to take the choice out of the hands of every woman in the nation.  Pay attention to her choice of words.  “(T)here’s no justifiable reason…”  I do not see an exception for rape, incest, or the health of the mother in that statement.  While I hope Sophia never has to face the situation, a situation I hope no woman ever has to face, would she feel differently if the fetus in her womb was fathered by a rapist?  By a relative?  Would she feel different if she was the single mother who could barely afford the child she already has?  Would her mind change if she was a sophomore in college watching her educational dreams  fall apart because of one bad decision?

The Catholic church in my area, and I am sure in many others, makes a habit of busing teenagers out to protests.  It increases the attendance, and makes for a much better photo op, but the vast majority of these teens have never thought about the true implications of what they are fighting for.  For so many, it has become “baby good, abortion bad!”  But the abortion issue has never been one that is black and white, no matter how much those who call themselves “pro-life” want to make it one.

Local lawyer Tom Forr, chairman of Citizens Concerned for Human Life Blair County, which is sponsoring the BG buses and another bus that will pick up passengers at two parochial elementary schools, has been to 33 of them, starting in 1979.

Asked why he does it, he quoted Nellie Gray, the Texas-born lawyer and Catholic convert who founded the march: “We cannot let this anniversary go unnoticed and unprotested.”

Gray brooked no exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest, said Forr, who predicted she’d one day become a saint.

“Every life has value,” he stated.

Every life does have value.  Those of us on the side of women’s rights and choice do not want an explosion of abortions all over the world.  We look to a future without abortion, where the procedure is unneeded.  As the one opposing voice the Mirror quoted pointed out:

Katherine Muller, an abortion rights advocate and member of the Blair County Democratic Committee, doesn’t see

the issues in the same terms.

Quoting Hillary Clinton, Muller wrote in an email – reflecting her caution in commenting on the incendiary topic – “I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion.”

Instead, “being pro-choice is about supporting and protecting a woman’s right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices,” Muller wrote. “This is done through accurate education about health, contraception and access to those choices.”

Yet the very same people protesting abortion are also against access to contraception which would do more to lower the number of abortions than criminalizing them.  Does anyone honestly believe the Catholic church would stop at abortion if they won the fight to overturn Roe V. Wade?  The Church doesn’t attempt to hide their opposition to contraception.

There is a follow up question I would love to ask Sophia.  It is easy to manipulate inexperienced students who have never had to face the decision themselves to be anti-choice.  After all, babies are cute.

I will close this piece with a quote I find so telling as to the mindset of some on the anti-choice side.  This is a issue that is practically all shades of gray that one side insists on seeing in nothing but black and white terms.  Watch Mr. “Robert Sutton, BG religion teacher and director of campus ministry,” say all the right things about reaching out to the other side and trying to see the issue from other viewpoints while at the same time shutting the door on any compromise:

“You always have to be sensitive where people are coming from,” Sutton said, talking about the need for dialog with abortion rights advocates. “You can’t know until you walk in someone’s shoes.”

But taking human life can never be a solution, “despite hard decisions that have to be made or difficult situations that people find themselves in,” Sutton said.

You don’t want a dialog.  You want to preach at them.


The Republican War on Blow Jobs

First they were trying to end legal abortion.  Then they decided that contraception, far from being a basic health care right, is actually “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”  And now, continuing their quest to shrink government until it does nothing but monitor your bedroom and legislate your vagina, they are coming for your fellatio, your cunnilingus, and of course, all of your anal play.

Yes, Virginia may indeed be for lovers, but if Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli gets his way, it will be for only vanilla penis in vagina type lovers.  From Mother Jones:

Virginia gubernatorial candidate and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli launched a website promoting his effort to enforce the state’s law banning oral and anal sex.

What law would that be?  Well it would be Virginia’s Anti-sodomy law, of course.  Now I know what a lot of you are probably thinking, so let me take a moment to address that.  Ahem….

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