Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.

 

 

 

 

Wait. What’s That I Hear? No, It Can’t Be… It’s the GOP War on Women, 2015 Edition!!!!

Dear GOP.  Please hire Erick Erickson as your head of campaign strategy for 2016.  Please?

With that out of the way, let’s get to business.

As the videos continue to flow from the Center for Medical Progress (ahem, cough, great name), edited in a way that makes the editing of the film Expelled look totally honest and above board by comparison, anti-abortion extremists continue to use them as evidence in their witch hunt against Planned Parenthood.  Surprised?  Of course not, since this is a well-coordinated, multi-front attack on women’s access to reproductive health care.

“Well known” political hack and editor of the site where logic goes to die, Erick “Triple K” Erickson has laid out a challenge to the GOP on Red State, declaring the issue of funding for Planned Parenthood the hill the Republicans should win or die on. (Super big hat tip to Mock, Paper, Scissors for this one.  “Hi guys!”)

Republicans in the Congress are beginning to use the word “try.” They will try to defund Planned Parenthood. But the President has a veto and they do not have the votes to override the veto.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 47% has moved from try to “can’t.” He says Republicans cannot defund Planned Parenthood because of the President’s veto.

This is really, really simple.

If Republicans do not defund Planned Parenthood, they will see a great portion of their base vanish overnight. That is not an exaggeration.

Ummm.  Yeah, actually that is an exaggeration.  In fact, it is a textbook example of an exaggeration.  When the 2016 version of the dictionary gets released, it would not shock me to see Mr. Erickson’s statement there beside the word “exaggeration” as the given example.  Republicans are not going to defund Planned Parenthood, and a great portion of the lunatic fringe “base” is going to do what they do best: “rabble, rabble, rabble,” then move on.  Why?  Because Erick’s claim,

Planned Parenthood, we now know, is killing living children who have already been born, cutting them up, and harvesting their organs.

is bullshit ripped from a context-free, heavily edited hit video that even the far right anti-abortion activists, at least those with working brains, know is, well, bullshit.  The terrifying reality, however, is that this claim will be believed, not by anti-abortion organizers and politicians who are just cynically reaping the propaganda benefit of the videos, but rather by some of those “on the front line” protesters who really believe they are fighting a war, who are already of questionable mental stability with, unfortunately, unquestioned access to firearms.  Yeah, I hate to say this, but the above claim about Planned Parenthood will more than likely cost someone their life.  (But remember, right wing terrorism isn’t a problem)

But fear not, ye Republicans who realize that defunding Planned Parenthood is an outright impossibility under the current administration, good ole E-Squared (once again, hi Mock, Paper, Scissors!) has the tactic you need to succeed! (Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please listen to him!)

If Abraham Lincoln’s Party cannot go to war against that where war is not bullets, just a government shut down until the President relents, then Abraham Lincoln’s Party needs to be put on the ash heap of history. It really is that simple.

Okay, ignore the fact that if Lincoln was alive today the current Republican party would have him labeled a communist liberal social justice warrior and Erick Erickson would be writing hit pieces about him at Red State as we speak.  Did you catch it?  Here, let me help:

just a government shut down until the President relents

You got it now, didn’t ya?

a government shut down

Here, let me give it the bolding it deserves.

a government shut down

Maybe some italics even?

a government shut down

I know it’s too much information, but I think I need to change my shorts.

OMG, can you please shut down the government over this?  Pretty please?!?  How about right before the 2016 election?  Well, not “right before,” we need it to be long enough before that our senior citizens miss a Social Security check or two.

Republicans, I totally agree with Erick here.  Shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.  Wait, hold on…..  I mean:

OMG, Republicans, whatever you do, please DO NOT shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood!  It would be such a political home run for your party, it would crush us progressives and hand the election to the GOP nominee on a silver platter.  Please, oh please, DO NOT shut down the government over this.

Did I sound believable?  Too eager?  Not seemingly frightened enough?  I’ll work on it.

Erick!  Do not let this ball drop!  The country depends on you sir.

Hmm. A “Wait, What?!?,” a Jumped Shark, or Just Plain Disgusting?

Don’t get me wrong, fighting the war to end slavery was a moral good, its just that sometimes I wish these people were from a different country so we weren’t associated with them.

From Alabama, surprise surprise, courtesy of ThinkProgress:

Alabama officials are currently seeking to prevent a pregnant prison inmate from obtaining a legal abortion by stripping her of her parental rights, in a case where a lawyer has been appointed to represent the interests of her fetus.

Because inmates don’t have rights, and women shouldn’t, of course.  Come along and get depressed with me.

An unnamed woman, who is referred to in court documents only as Jane Doe, is asking for permission to travel to Huntsville to end her pregnancy. She says she was unable to get an abortion before she was taken into custody and is now feeling desperate. “I am very distraught, and do not want to be forced to carry this pregnancy to term,” she wrote.

Jane Doe — who has to get permission from the court to be transported to the nearest clinic because prison officials consider abortion to be a non-emergency procedure — is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues that it would be “cruel and unusual punishment” for the state of Alabama to deny her constitutional right to abortion.

Yet another reason why, as poor as I am, I still give money to the ACLU.  Forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term because she is incarcerated is, if not cruel and unusual punishment, at the least all kinds of fucked up.  So, what tactics will Alabama use to force this women to incubate a baby for the state?

Now, as Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly prepares to argue against this request, he is asking the court to strip Doe of her parental rights so that she will no longer have the right to end her pregnancy. In a hearing to determine the outcome of the case, which is expected to be decided by Friday, the state court appointed an attorney — known as a “guardian ad litem” — to serve on behalf of Doe’s fetus.

Yep, they are attempting to take away her parental rights before the fetus is even viable outside the womb.  And if you can manage to look past what this says Alabama thinks about women and their “rights,” it doesn’t get any better.  This clump of cells will be better represented than Jane Doe would no doubt be, if not for the probable pro bono work of the ACLU, and definitely represented more effectively than every single “innocent until proven guilty” defendant who has to rely on a public defender.  Unless, to be fair, this particular guardian ad litem happens to also be representing 300 other cell clumps each week.  That would be quite doubtful in most states, but this is Alabama.

“It appears to me that what the state is attempting to do is turn Jane Doe into a vessel, and control every aspect of her life, forcing her to give birth to a baby, which she has decided she does not want to do,” Randall Marshall, one of Doe’s attorneys, told the Huffington Post. “The case has certainly moved to this new dimension, but welcome to Alabama.”

Hey, I finally get to use a slippery slope argument!  If this tactic works, what exactly is stopping Alabama from forcibly impregnating all fertile female inmates?  I mean, if it is in the interest of the state for fetuses to be carried to term in prison, and if women are nothing but incubators, which is what a decision for the state in this case would literally mean, then isn’t that the obvious next step?  What’s that?  This case is different because she needs to face the consequences of being sexually active?  Fine then, only forcibly impregnate the sexually active female inmates.  After all, Alabama apparently has a pressing need for unwanted prison babies.

Hell, that is less of a stretch than marriage equality leading to legalized pedophilia.

Hey, as long as you’ll let all your citizens immigrate freely to another state if they so desire, I’ll help you file the succession paper work.  Think about it!  No more Obama, no more Obamacare, no more pesky separation of church and state, and as a third world nation, think of all the sweet aid you’ll get from European nations and the UN!  You can even fly that damn flag whenever you want.  Do it now and we’ll let you take Mississippi and Georgia as well.

 

Yeah! Those Sex Gods Aren’t Getting My Childre….Wait, What?!?

Proving once again that “WingNutDaily” should be its legitimate name rather than just a nickname used by us evil liberals, Patrice Lewis’ latest column at WorldNetDaily is a bit…..  Oh hell, I’d call it a bit delusional, but the thing is practically grounds for a involuntary psych commitment.  I refuse to link to WND since I have no idea what I would catch, but that’s what RightWingWatch is for, right?

The indoctrination taking place in school is nothing short of disgusting. Rather than concentrating on reading and writing, math and science, history and geography, students are instructed from kindergarten on the variations in human sexuality, encouraged to choose their gender du jour, and otherwise spoon-fed stimuli far beyond their capacities to comprehend.

1. Citation needed.
2. Seriously, if that is what you think is going on in public schools then you really need to pay attention to sources other than WingNutDaily.
3. Of course, if you want to know who really wants to limit concentrating on, say, science and history, I suggest you either find a mirror or look to where you get your information from.  Considering the actions of those in Texas to manipulate public school history standards to teach a politically biased version of the subject, the outright denial of climate science by practically the entire Republican party, and the far right’s drive to remove the linchpin of biology from class and replace it with a religious myth, those on the right really shouldn’t be lecturing people on education.
4. Citation fucking needed.

In contrast to the “empowerment” bleat put out by feminists trying to justify their slutty behavior, sexualization teaches girls they’re not worth much more than the sum of their body parts. Forget what’s between their ears – the only thing that’s important is what’s between their legs. Anything it takes to attract a sex partner – makeup, clothing, behavior, language – becomes the focus of sexualization. Rather than learning to express themselves with their unique talents, gifts, interests or skills, girls are encouraged to flaunt their bodies.

Oh this is fucking rich.  Want to talk about teaching “girls they’re not worth much more than the sum of their body parts”?  How about purity pledges, purity balls, and just about every Christian teaching on the importance of a woman’s virginity on her wedding night?  “Girls are encouraged to flaunt their bodies”?  How about girls are encouraged to shut the fuck up, make her husband a sammich, and lay down and take it whenever he desires?

Perhaps the worst thing, tying into my earlier post, is that right now there are some people reading her column amazed and outraged that they have removed all the real subjects from public schools in favor of bell to bell sexual indoctrination, and they will talk to other people and vote as if that was actual fact, worrying that they have to:

Protect your children. Don’t sacrifice them to the sex gods.

Someday I may understand the cognitive dissonance required for followers of a religion that teaches that lying is a sin to outright lie more than Bristol Palin with a check from Candie’s in her hand.

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?

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.

Stop Gloating.

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately:  I understand.

Believe me, oh how I understand.

First there were the years of seeing him, his innumerable younger siblings, and his parents on their hit television show, produced and aired on a channel that once was known for educational programing*. Train wreck watchers who tuned in for the creepily trashy Toddlers & Tiaras or its sad, exploitative, insulting-to-both-the-audience-and-the-subject spinoff Here Comes Honey Boo Boo could stay tuned and wash off some of the filth with the equally creepy but wholesomely presented Duggar family.  Yet as horrifying as the Quiverfull movement is to people not still living in the 1500’s, as outdated as the unquestioned patriarchal family structure seemed in the 21st century, as abusive as forcing your older children to play parent to their younger siblings may be, and as illegal as pretending that Michelle Duggar was providing all her children with a adequate education definitely was, they were still just a minor blip on the pop culture radar screen**.  Sometimes people would notice the family and ask an embarrassing question, such as “are the girls all0wed to go to college?”,  and the family would have to make some sacrifice such as allowing their older daughters to take classes online from a Christian university, but on the whole they were just a minor little freak show that most people viewed as wholesome and harmless.

And I really believe that most people thought it would stay at this level.  If it would have, perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today.  We’ll never know where that untraveled path would lead, because for some reason the Duggar family wanted more of something other than children.  Was it fame?  Power?  Money?  Whatever it was, the Duggars were suddenly everywhere, with their faces confronting grocery shoppers all across the nation seemingly every week as arranged marriages of their daughters were hyped as media events similar to the stylings of one Kim K… I forget her last name.  Maybe you know who I’m talking about.

And while their daughters arranged marriages were used as publicity for their show, publicity that worked I will point out, with Jessa’s wedding drawing their largest amount of viewers ever, they also pulled a Duck Dynasty, attempting to roll their celebrity/fame/infamy into a politically influential position with the conservative base of the Republican party.  (Of course, knowing that Quiverfull families are birthing out endless babies to be warriors for Jesus against the forces of secularism, also known as the “out-breed the atheists” strategy for winning the culture wars, it really isn’t a surprise that they would turn to politics eventually.)  First we had Michelle Duggar recording a horrifically trans-phobic robocall in opposition to an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas that painted trans women as an evil on par with Catholic priests, fighting for the right to use the proper public restrooms and locker rooms only so they could spring out of the toilets and molest little girls.  Next, Jessa Duggar apparently looked at the controversy and publicity her mother was enjoying and decided that she too could say something horribly offensive and took to social media to compare the aborting of a potential life in a procedure that is almost always performed well before the point of viability to a collection of cells that not only lack thoughts and feelings, but also the ability to feel pain, to the systematic attempted extermination of an entire religion mistaken as race of people through methods that caused practically infinite suffering.  Yes, she compared abortion to the Holocaust.

And then there was Josh. (Information in this paragraph taken from Josh Duggar’s Wikipedia page.)  Perhaps inspired by his fathers two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, Josh quickly took to politics, first serving as a consultant, then working on Mike “The Huckster” Huckabee’s primary campaign in 2008, and then with Rick “My Sheets are Stained with” Santorum in 2012.  This experience earned him the role of the Executive Director of FRC Action in June of 2013, a high profile role with the Family Research Council, a job he used to rub elbows with buckets full of high profile Republicans, including a large percentage of those involved in the 2016 Goat Rodeo.
Yes, from eldest of 19 children, to used car salesman, to cock-gobbling*** with Rick Santorum, to full on roman orgies*** with the whole field of Republican presidential candidates, Josh Duggar seemed to most like a man with a rich future in the conservative movement and possibly national politics before him.  After all, he appealed to the base, and he had name recognition and minor celebrity.  Who better for the GOP to mold into a future candidate?  (Assuming they continue being, in the words of Gov. Bobby “Jesus, compare his speeches from 2012 to his current ones.  Is it even the same person?” Jindal, “the stupid party.”)

Oh, how low one can fall so quickly.

And when someone falls, especially someone as smug, smarmy, bigoted, hate-filled, and obnoxious as Josh Duggar, the first impulse is to point and laugh.  And mock.  And gloat.  And rub his whole families little noses in it.

But this is much too serious for that.

Josh Duggar is an admitted serial child abuser.  He sexually assaulted 5 female children, including some of his younger siblings.  For some reason, the State Trooper who dealt with the case let him off with a warning and the understanding that Josh would receive counseling.  Rather than counseling, his family shipped him off with a family friend for a month or three, then lied to the police about it.  The victims who were members of the Duggar clan almost certainly never got any form of counseling.  In fact, if you read the vomit inducing section on sexual abuse in the home schooling books they use, they probably blamed the victims for dressing like little sluts.

Josh was a teenager molester who should have received a ton of counseling, at the minimum.  His victims deserved to receive all the help they could be provided in order to deal with the abuse.  Instead, the Duggar’s worldview allowed them to brush this serious incident off, treat it like a joke by sending Josh off with a family friend while claiming he was at a counseling center, and sweep it under the rug until the whole shit show exploded in their faces.

This is not the time to gloat.  This is the time to feel bad for the victims of Josh’s abuse, and for that matter, for Josh himself, who never received the treatment a confused teenager who performed his horrific actions obviously needed.  It is the time to speak up about Quiverfull and the whole patriarch uber alles culture that provides so much cover for rape culture and sexual abuse of children.  And it is time to make sure Discovery Networks does more than just pull 19 Kids…. off the air until the media frenzy dies down.  TLC needs to cancel this train wreck immediately.

When a picture of Rick Santorum fisting Bobby Jindal while Mike Huckabee alternates gobbling each of their cocks shows up…..  Then we gloat.  Got it?

*Yeah, the letters in TLC stand for “The Learning Channel.  I may be mistaken, but I believe TLC was the first of the edutainment channel dominoes to fall for the sake of the almighty ratings point, a trend that resulted in travesties such as Finding Bigfoot, Ancient Aliens, Mermaids, and Chasing UFO’s, amongst other “evidence based” programing.

** I started to do a little research into how many people actually watch this trash, but quickly suffered an attack of ADHD.  In September 2014, the season premiere drew an audience of 3.29 million, but this was in the midst of a complete media saturation of everything Duggar as the girls get close to their weddings.  The summer finale that preceded this episode that aired in June 2014 only drew 3.18 million eyeballs, assuming everyone watching had both eyes and were using them both to watch the show.  Stupid humor aside, it drew 1.59 million viewers, or less than half the September premiere.  (Numbers taken from this Variety article.)  Going from the Wikipedia page, it seems that until the media push really started in earnest around season 8 in the spring of 2014, the show could claim anywhere between one million and one and a half million viewers, with some episodes bottoming out around .86 of a million, and the odd episode approaching 1.6 million.  As the wedding craze started, more eyes tuned in, with the show’s ratings ping ponging around with anywhere from 1.5 million viewers to 3 million, peaking at 3.53 million for Jessa’s wedding.  So people watch, and it is a huge deal for TLC, but it isn’t exactly a cultural juggernaut.

*** All cock-gobbling and roman orgies are assumed, based on well-known hypothesis’ as to the cause of extreme homophobia.  Excepting some very disturbing alt political slash fiction pages, there is no known accounts of any cock-gobbling occurring between Santorum and Duggar.

Have you ever seen a dancing, singing, cartoon labia? Now you have. You are welcome.

Don’t get any ideas, I am still on hiatus.  But I was posting this video to Facebook and my comment got a bit long, so I moved it over here.  First, the video:  (Watch it, it is so worth it.)  From a Swedish children’s program, aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. You don’t need to understand the language to get the message.

 

 

Of course, this could never air in the United States, since by the age of three American children know that the bits under their underwear are naughty, sinful, nasty things that definitely do not sing and dance to catchy tunes, unless that is Satan’s current plan to get kids to look at or touch said bits. By six years of age, US kids should understand that those bits are only to be used by married people, and even then only for procreation, in one position, with neither participant receiving any joy or pleasure from the nasty, dirty, sinful, evil, horrific, monstrous, bad, naughty act.

Of course, they will soon become teenagers and ignore those teachings, deciding instead to imitate what bunny rabbits do when they think no one is watching their cute little floppy ears. But never fear, thanks to abstinence only education, American teens won’t know what they are doing or how to use contraceptives, so not only will it be a sub par experience, but there is a good chance they will be punished for their sin with a baby. (Silly me. I meant to say that it would be a sub par experience for the girl, and she would be punished with a baby. Because the boy doesn’t need to know what he is doing to enjoy the act, and its not like he can get pregnant.) And isn’t that preferable to the Swedish method where kids are given knowledge?

In case you were wondering for some reason, let’s compare the two nations approaches to sex ed, shall we?

Round 1:  % of women who reported giving birth before the age of 20.

You know the United States is going to kick some Swedish ass on this one.  We have abstinence only education and they have…..hell, they probably have sex parties instead of gym class.  Anyway, survey says.…..

  • United States: 22%
  • Sweden: 4%

Wait…..that can’t be right.  I know, Swedish taxes are so high that sperm can’t afford to fertilize the eggs.  That has to be it.  I’m sure we’ll get the next question.

Round 2:  % of women who reported no contraceptive use at  recent intercourse.

Dude, we got this on lock down.  We have abstinence only education in the states, our teens don’t know what contraceptives are, and if they do we’ve taught them that they don’t work, so why bother using them, am I right?  Survey says……

  • United States: 20%
  • Sweden: 7%

Booo-ya!  I told you we would destroy those socialist skiers.  Handed them their asses by 13 percentage poi..What’s that?  We want people to use contraceptives?  So the lower number is better?  Are you sure about that?  That doesn’t sound…You are sure.  Positive?  Positive.  Okay……

Alright, it seems that Sweden wiped the floor with us again.  But so what?  That’s Sweden.  They kick everyone’s ass at everything, as long as tanks aren’t involved.  We probably destroy other nations.  Like the “pregnant before 20” question.  Sweden is probably an outlier.  Let’s look at the numbers of a few other places:

  • Great Britain: 15%
  • Canada: 11%
  • France: 6%

Oh, what the flying fuck.  Ya know what?  Teenage pregnancy is a good thing, there, we fucking win. 

What about the other question?  I bet the Brits refuse to use condoms, just like us Merikkkans.

  • France: 12%
  • Great Britain: 4%

Ummm.

Look!  Obama’s trying to take your guns!

 

Those who miss my writing and want to see what I am up to while this blog is on hiatus are welcome to come to my Tumblr, With a Trebuchet, to read me writing about A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO show, Game of Thrones.  If you do stop by, please leave the politics and social issues here.  Thanks, and I will be back once I unburn myself out.  I won’t give a time frame other than this: I will definitely be back to cover the presidential election campaigns.  So even if this turns into a long break, I will be back before the first primary vote is cast.