Monday, June 30, 2014

Emotional Reactions to SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Verdict

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Previous Related Post:
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby on ACA Birth Control Mandate

The Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that Corporations are allowed to be called religious entities, and therefore are exempt from laws concerning birth control. The Right Wing is rejoicing, because they think this is the next step in overturning Roe v. Wade and making Abortion illegal. Somehow their small minds have morphed birth control into abortion, even if no eggs are ever fertilized. Somewhere Rick Santorum is popping bottles and waving a Bible in the air. The stupid injustice of this ruling burns our country.

If health care is for everyone thanks to ACA, and birth control is supposed to be free for all women, then why should it matter where you work or what your boss thinks about your private choices?

SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby should beware the wrath of women. There are more of us in this country than religious fanatics. People will boycott Hobby Lobby in the short term, but hopefully women will line up to vote in both 2014 and 2016 so that a Supreme change can happen in the future.

Other companies will use this ruling to cut costs by suddenly finding religion, which is a shame for all their female employees. The slippery slope is that these companies will keep trying to push the envelope further and further with their hope of a forced-pregnancy white-male-authoritarian all-Christian America.

From Think Progress
If you’re one of the estimated 14,000 individuals who work at Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood — the companies who represented the two plaintiffs in the case — then you’re most immediately affected by Monday’s decision. Your employers no longer have to cover several types of birth control that they’re opposed to.

Both companies object to covering emergency contraception, which they falsely claim is a type of abortion despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. Hobby Lobby’s owners also take issue with two forms of intrauterine devices (IUDs), long lasting forms of birth control inserted in the uterus, for the same unscientific reason. So the workers employed by those businesses won’t be able to use their insurance coverage for those types of birth control anymore. They’ll presumably be able to continue using their health plans for other methods, like hormonal birth control pills, that their bosses don’t have a problem with.

But even if you don’t work at Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood, there’s a chance that your birth control coverage may be put into question. More than 70 other companies also sued for the right to stop following Obamacare’s contraceptive provision. According to the National Women’s Law Center, 48 of those cases are still pending. Now that the Court has sided with Hobby Lobby, it will be much easier for some of those companies to win their suits and opt out of covering certain types of contraception.

On Hardball last night, the Attorney for Hobby Lobby's Green family wouldn't say if they are satisfied with Justice Alito's "remedy" of letting the government cover female employees with the types of objectionable birth control. Watch attorney Lori Windham waffle on the question at about 8:07:

Rachel Maddow talked about the so-called "narrow scope" of the ruling. Alito says that groups such as Jehovah Witnesses can't use it to limit blood transfusions, or vaccines, or mental health, etc. But some other corporations wish to object to ALL birth control, so in the future the ruling will probably allow almost any restriction by employers based on THEIR religious beliefs, regardless of the "burden" on the employees.

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby on Birth Control Mandate

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The country sitting on pins and needles waiting for the Hobby Lobby case to be announced at the Supreme Court. Today is the last day of the session, and people are still reeling from the smackdown of Buffer Zones around abortion clinics.

Breaking - They've ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby - "closely held" corportations don't have to provide birth control if it is against their religion. Therefore, a corporation is now identical to a person with religious beliefs. Not to mention that this is a sexist verdict because it only applies to women, and puts their health care in jeopardy. Idiots!!!!!!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Feverish Fox Fear Porn About ISIS

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Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News went ballistic over the Middle East last week:

I've told you that you need to be afraid because they are coming for you (points at camera). The ISIS assault, the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria signals the beginning of the "Reverse Crusade." They ARE coming for us. To them, WE are the Infidels. But I for one am not willing to let one more American die or come home with fewer limbs from that part of the world. Americans have shed enough blood there.

My resolution? Air strikes. Bomb them! Bomb them! Keep Bombing them again and again, and I don't care how long it takes. Just take out ISIS. Take out their convoys. Take out those troops!

And even though our President says he "didn't know" - The TOLD us they were coming for us! The head of this band of savages, Abu al-Bagdadi, was released by the Obama Administration and started ISIS one year later in 2010.

. . . ISIS is a fanatical religious terrorist organization. And if you think they are nothing more than rag-tag rebels, you are WRONG!!! They are a sophisticated band of militants who add to their ranks by emptying out jails...

. . . Now, Mr. President, you may see yourself as a war hero. The truth? There has been a 60 percent increase in radical Islamist terrorism since you’ve been in office. And you keep letting these guys out! Like the Bergdahl trade and the five terrorists, you didn’t have the balls to try in GITMO or federal court. You were simply clueless. A paper tiger who only knows how to cut and run!

Bob Cesca on The Daily Banter described Pirro's rant quite well:
Pirro’s five-minute tirade had everything: finger-wagging, fear-mongering, misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, the phrase “cut and run” and, naturally, ball-shaming. It’s a cocktail of Obama Derangement Syndrome delivered with laser-like precision directly into the outrage cortexes of typical Fox News viewers, likely inducing octogenarian white-guy erections with tensile strengths not experienced since Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn splashed around in that magical pool in Cocoon.

GrafZeppelin127 on Daily Kos explained it as "The Truman Show In Reverse" - referring to the Jim Carrey movie about a man whose whole life has been filmed for reality TV
What we are watching on that YouTube video embedded above, what Bob Cesca describes today on his blog, is an IMPROV ACT. It is nothing more or less than a scene in an elaborate, ongoing, endless, perpetual, well-funded, well-orchestrated, non-stop 24/7 production of improvisational theatre, in which the performers get to make up the story as they go along and perform it for the audience. The person called "Jeanine Pirro" that we see and hear on the TV screen, is an actress, a character in a play. This is not a real person saying real things. She's an actress in character doing a performance piece.
. . . The difference between "The Truman Show" as portrayed in the movie and what we see on "Fox News" every day (such as the ugly fact-challenged rant by this character named "Jeanine Pirro" in the video above) is that Truman himself is not on the show. The audience does not tune in to watch Truman and see what happens; the audience is Truman. They don't know that they're watching improv. Just as Truman can't tell the difference between actors/characters and real people, Fox's audience in large part can't tell the difference between an improv act called "News," and news.

One strong response to this fire-breathing fear-mongering came from Russell Brand, a British comedian who took Pirro and Fox News to the woodshed over this tirade with a video entitled "Is Fox News More Dangerous Than Isis?". Towards the end, as he watches Pirro heap abuse on President Obama, even referring to his "b*alls," Brand says she reminds him of a dominatrix yelling at a masochist victim in a porn movie. Gives new meaning to the phrase "fear porn" to describe the nonsense Fox spews into the atmosphere day after day just to frighten their paranoid conspiracy-crazed viewers.

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She called them "Infidels"...Don't try to counter religious extremism with religious extremism!
. . . Imagine living with this woman. 'Get in there and cook my dinner! Cook it and cook it again! I don't care how long it takes!' . . . 'I will punch you and punch you again!'
. . . And don't call your fellow human beings savages.... Give aid for the refugees in the region. Try and help them and stabilize their region, and try to build infrastructure. Not the bombing, bombing, bombing system. 
~ Russell Brand

From Huffington Post
Brand fired back. "(Fox News is) ... a fanatical terrorist propagandist organization. This isn't reasonable, is it? Like the way she's talking? 'Bomb them! Bomb them!' She's worse ... She's the savage, she's totally espousing savage values."
"It's invective, just incendiary language, just volatile combative, angry language. That - I'm not being sensational - that is more dangerous than ISIS," he added. "That's attitude. That's far-reaching. That's affecting millions and millions of people."

Pundits at Fox pushed back and took Pirro's side:

From Washington Post
This is how Eric Bolling, co-host of the marvelous roundtable program “The Five,” played Brand’s rant: “First up, actor, musician and political provocateur Russell Brand has issues with Fox News and our own Judge Jeanine Pirro. Brand goes bananas in a ten-minute rambling and at times incoherent rant, comparing Fox News to the radical terror group ISIS.”
. . . During the discussion on “Hannity,” for example, Fox News’s own Geraldo Rivera said this: “But furthermore, where are the beheaded bodies here at Fox News? That kind of hyperbole only undermines any argument he has.”
When you’re disavowing studio decapitations, you’ve lost the PR war.

Supreme Injustice - Ruling Against Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

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Previous Related Posts:
Revolting Justice Scalia Urges Tax Revolt
Supreme Court McCutcheon Ruling on Elections
SCOTUS Brings Back Jim Crow
Republicans Attack Chief Justice Roberts Over Obamacare
Take Two Aspirin and SCOTUS in the Morning
Eatin' Broccoli with the Supremes


The Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that "buffer zones" around abortion clinics in Massachusetts shouldn't include public sidewalks. The ruling was in favor of "free speech" by the so-called "Abortion Counselors" who stand outside clinics with pictures of dead babies while screaming Bible verses at women seeking medical procedures.

From the Boston Globe
The US Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that banned protesters within 35 feet of abortion clinics, ruling that the law infringed upon the First Amendment rights of antiabortion activists.
The decision effectively overturns about 10 fixed-buffer-zone laws across the country, from San Francisco to Portland, Maine, but offers a framework for more limited restrictions around clinic demonstrations, legal experts said.
“They’ve approved the idea of this kind of law, just not the mechanism,” said Jessica Silbey, a Suffolk University Law School professor. “It was too broad.”

Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office defended the law in arguments before the court, said the decision left intact part of the law banning deliberate obstruction of clinic entrances.
“We will utilize all of the tools we have available to protect everyone from harassment, threats, and physical obstruction,” said Coakley, adding that her office’s Civil Rights Division was prepared to issue injunctions against “those who would threaten or harass.”


Jessica Valenti in The Guardian
The supreme court's decision is not as unanimous as it may seem, and it is not the end: pro-choice activists are expressing outrage, sharing stories and organizing on the Twitter hashtag #protectthezone, and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards says that the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts is "already working with legislature on a new bill to protect women from harassment".
But for the women seeking abortions in the days and weeks to come - and for the providers, workers and volunteers who put their lives on the line every day to ensure women have access to safe medical care - this ruling will impact them immediately. It will make women less safe, doctors and clinic workers more fearful, and violent harassers emboldened. This is not the "free speech" we're fighting for.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ann Coulter Hates Soccer and the Metric System because "Foreign"

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Previous Related Posts:
Twitter Punks Ann Coulter After She Mocks Michelle Obama
Ann Coulter Rants that Immigrants Will Finish GOP
Ann Coulter: Latinos are Lazy Underclass
Ann Coulter Defends "Retard" Slur


June 25, 2014

Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay.

(1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls -- all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they're standing alone at the plate. But there's also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.

In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised. There's a reason perpetually alarmed women are called "soccer moms," not "football moms."

Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That's when we're supposed to go wild. I'm already asleep.

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(2) Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.

. . . (6) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO's "Girls," light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is "catching on" is exceeded only by the ones pretending women's basketball is fascinating.

I note that we don't have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.

(7) It's foreign. In fact, that's the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not "catching on" at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.

(8) Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it's European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren't committing mass murder by guillotine.

. . . If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you:

No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

More at Link, Unfortunately


Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
~ Chris Preovolos, SFGate

. . . according to Ann Coulter the only object of sports is to cause either great physical or psychological harm to those who participate. Ann Coulter has a real, disturbing obsession with wanting people to get hurt in sports. Who hurt you, Ann Coulter? Who hurt you?
. . . The metric system is more rational because it’s based on decimals. Everything happens in powers of 10. It’s a lot easier to know that there’s 1000 meters in 1 kilometer versus 5,280 feet in a mile. This is not arguable. By the way, what does Ann Coulter’s fear of logical measurements have to do with soccer again?
~ Matt Yoder on Awful Announcing

It has been fun Ann, but it’s time to give it a rest. The only thing decaying is you.
~ Ben Cohen on Daily Banter

(Trumpets blare ... fade away into sound of one single, broken kazoo).
In the midst of the world's World Cup joy, the conservative ripped the sport on her website, writing "any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay."
She probably meant tooth decay, from increased nacho-eating in all those sports bars.
~ Tony Hicks, Contra Costa Times

Well, so much for the idea that Americans don't care about soccer.
The U.S. National team made it out of the so-called "group of death" Thursday to advance to the knockout round of competition at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Regardless of how much further the Stars and Stripes advance in the biggest sporting event on the planet, they already have revealed something that even casual observers can see.
Soccer is now woven inextricably into the fabric of American life.
Television viewership numbers continue to set new highs with each U.S. game.
~ Ed Foster Simeon, President/CEO at U.S. Soccer Foundation


Mississippi Chaos: McDaniel Charges Voter Fraud ~ Tea Party Leader Commits Suicide

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Previously Related Posts
Poutrageous: McDaniel Loses to Thad Cochran
Mississippi Courthouse Shenanigans


The chaos over the Republican Senate Run-Off Race in Mississippi continues. Seasoned politician Sen. Thad Cochran was declared the winner last Tuesday, but Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel refuses to concede amidst allegations of some type of voter fraud particularly aimed at Democratic black voters who crossed over for Cochran, although that is legal in Mississippi and this was an open election. In the midst of the election angst, a prominent Tea Party leader who was arrested for spying on Cochran's wife in a nursing home has committed suicide. He had been indicted by a grand jury and was facing a court date later in the summer. Many say he was devastated by the arrest and the effect on his legal career, but it's possible he somehow blamed himself for the loss of the election.

The outrage of the Tea Party in Mississippi isn't going away any time soon. They are going hyperbolic and nearly apoplectic over McDaniel's loss:

This is a win for the establishment, but it’s a win with an asterisk, because it’s so tainted that it might be one of those things where they’re going to be sorry they ever won the runoff in Mississippi.
~ Craig Shirley, a political consultant and the author of two respected biographies of Ronald Reagan, via National Review

This just threw gasoline onto the flames of the civil war. What happened yesterday in Mississippi will resonate for years to come. It will become the battle cry, just like the Alamo. We will remember Mississippi.
~ Richard Viguerie, the author of Takeover: The 100 Year War for the GOP’s Soul

And the McDaniel campaign is looking to find more votes, but local election officials in Mississippi say there is no proven voter fraud, which is refreshing to hear from a mostly Republican state.

From New York Times
The McDaniel camp charged that a partial review of the tallies in Hinds County had turned up nearly 1,000 ballots that were cast by voters who participated in the Democratic primary on June 3 and were ineligible under state law to vote in the Republican runoff. McDaniel aides said supporters were reviewing ballots across the state, although they have met resistance in about half of the counties they have approached.

Pete Perry, the Hinds County Republican Party chairman, said the McDaniel campaign’s claims were “wildly exaggerated.” In the Jackson precinct at Fondren Presbyterian Church, he said, the McDaniel campaign charged that 192 illegal votes had been cast by people who voted in the Democratic primary. But, he said, only 37 Democrats voted there on June 3.

“Instead of making wild accusations which stir up social media with cries of fraud and corruption, it would be much better for all involved — the voters, the candidates, the 500 poll workers in Hinds County — if we let facts enter into the conversation,” Mr. Perry said.

On Death of Tea Party Leader Mark Mayfield:

A prominent lawyer and leader of the Mississippi Tea Party, who was arrested in connection with photos posted online of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's bedridden wife, died on Friday of an apparent suicide, the man’s attorney said.
Mark Mayfield, 57, was a founding member of the state's Tea Party and had served as its vice chairman, the organization said.
. . . Police received an emergency call on Friday morning from his wife, saying her husband had just shot himself. Mayfield was found lying on the floor of a garage storage room with a single gunshot wound to his head, according to the police department in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
~ Reuters

Mayfield was one of three men charged with conspiring to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.
That incident was one of the most explosive events in the Mississippi Senate primary, which Cochran won in a runoff over Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel on Tuesday. McDaniel has refused to concede the race and suggests that voting irregularities may have helped Cochran win.
Mayfield, 57, an attorney and state and local Tea Party leader, was arrested last month along with Richard Sager, an elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of "extensive medical conditions." All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.
~ USA Today

Regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man who was always respectful and kind. He was one of the most polite and humble men I’ve ever met in politics. He was a loving husband, father, a pillar of his community, and he will be missed. We are saddened by his loss, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, his family and friends.
~ Candidate Chris McDaniel on his friend Mayfield

They killed him. They sent a SWAT team to his office, six officers, just to arrest him.
. . . I'm just crushed. Mark's death just kind of puts an exclamation point on how out of control this has all gotten."
~ Pat Bruce, president of the Madison (MS) County Conservative Coalition, Via Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

“A good man is gone today [because] of a campaign to destroy lives,” Keith Plunkett, a Mississippi GOP operative, tweeted. “To all ‘so called’ Republican leaders who joined lockstep: I WILL NOT REST!”
Plunkett deleted the post after others on Twitter responded negatively and accused him of using a tragedy for political gain.
. . . McDaniel allies have argued that the whole nursing home incident was politicized to get sympathy for Cochran in what became one of the nastiest races in memory.
“The politicization of the incident was beyond the pale,” Plunkett said. “It was an attack on a good man that is well respected. I’ve never met a person that had a bad word to say about him. It’s shocking to those in the state who knew the demeanor and quiet dedication of the real Mark Mayfield. He wasn’t the character he was being cast, and he didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.”
~ Politico

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Poutrageous - McDaniel Loses to Thad Cochran in Mississipi Run-Off

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Previous Related Post:
Locked-Up - Mississippi Courthouse Shenanigans


The Republican Senate Run-Off Election in Mississippi has turned into a big deal. Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel had been favored to win, but at the last minute Thad Cochran appealed to black Democratic voters who turned out in record numbers to vote AGAINST McDaniel. And thus began another strange night in American politics.

Cochran won the election, but McDaniel has so far refused to concede the race, and there's talk of a write-in campaign, a third party for Teabaggers, an investigation into the election, and general far-right Poutrage.

Make some popcorn and read what happened.

From Time
McDaniel lost in a runoff to the six-term incumbent Cochran by only about 6,000 votes, amounting to less than 2% of the total count. Many of those who pushed Cochran over the top were either Republicans who’d been unmoved to vote in the initial June 3 primary (in which McDaniel narrowly won but failed to secure the 50% needed to prevent a runoff), or Democrats who were inspired to vote for Cochran to prevent a Tea Party victory for McDaniel.
Turnout in Tuesday’s runoff was higher than in Round One, with about 55,000 more ballots cast, many of them by Democrats for Cochran. McDaniel supporters felt robbed; as their candidate took the stage at his election night watch party, the crowd chanted “Write Chris in!”

From Robert Costa in Washington Post
In a bitter and angry speech to supporters in Hattiesburg late Tuesday, McDaniel refused to concede and said, “we are not prone to surrender.” He cited “voting irregularities” and thundered that the “Republican primary [was] decided by liberal Democrats.”
“We’re not done fighting,” McDaniel vowed.
. . . McDaniel has drawn support from national tea party groups as well as conservative stars, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Chuck Woolery, the original host of “Wheel of Fortune.”


Sarah Palin Word Salad On Facebook
With Friends Like These, Who Needs Liberals?
As we pointed out last week (see:, there were several potentially illegal political games afoot in Mississippi to motivate Democrat voters to “switch” over to the GOP for a day to help save a 42 year Republican member of Congress. On top of that, millions of dollars from out of state liberal billionaires like Mike Bloomberg poured in at the last minute on that same incumbent’s behalf. You have to ask yourself why?
When a primary election is lost fairly, I am all for unifying behind the victor and joining forces to fight in November. When an election is questionable, with potential legal violations, politics MUST be put aside and the irregularities MUST be fully investigated. Regardless of party, we owe it to voters and to democracy within our Republic. The integrity of the vote speaks directly to the integrity of those who serve and the trust we ask the American public to put in our institutions.
I told Chris McDaniel last night that I stand with his effort to get to the bottom of this – he needs to know average, but tremendously concerned, citizens want to make sure the integrity of last night’s results in Mississippi are verified. Voting shenanigans never cease to amaze, but they had better cease altogether for the sake of ethical elections. And any GOP “architect” behind these abhorrent voting shenanigans should be ashamed of this Pyrrhic victory for the establishment.
If we find out it’s true that some of the characters alleged to have masterminded this Mississippi hijacking are the same ones who’ve tried to destroy other Republicans’ careers, they need to be taken to task and only be hired by unethical campaigns. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us. And if any news organization ignores a free and fair elections issue like this, then whether left-leaning or center right, their silence will speak volumes.
You can read more about this issue from an article last week here:

- Sarah Palin


From "The Marionettes Remain Uncut" by Erick Erickson on Red State
. . . the Mississippi race does crystalize for me the desires of many to start a third party. In essence, tea party activists are the RINOs. A Republican Party campaigning on making the Senate “conservative,” used liberal Democrats to preserve an incumbent Republican and defeat a conservative. The actual conservatives are the outsiders with the GOP establishment doing all it could to preserve its power at the expense of its principles.
. . . Mississippi is a crystalizing election in that sense. Cochran is, for all intents and purposes, a marionette. His strings are pulled by staffers and lobbyists. They drop him onto the stage of the Senate and pull up a string to raise his hand. These puppeteers are so invested in keeping their gravy train going that they will, while claiming to be Republicans, flood a Republican primary with Obama voters to ensure their gravy train continues.

And to be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. They won fair and square. They changed who the electorate was, which was allowed under the rules.
. . . Unfortunately for the Republican Party the fight continues. And as grassroots activists feel further and further removed and alienated from the party, it will become harder and harder to win. . . . we may just see an irreparable split. Then, and even worse, if party leaders and party base voters cannot reconcile themselves to a common candidate in 2016, God help us.
I continue to oppose a third party. I’m just not sure what the Republican Party really stands for any more other than telling Obama no and telling our own corporate interests yes. That’s not much of a platform.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mad Man ~ George Will's Retro-Rape Misogyny

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Conservative George Will wrote a column a few weeks ago man-splaining that rape victims on college campuses are getting too much attention from the Obama Administration. Why should our colleges and universities have to bother with sensitivity training, trigger warnings, or the plight of victims themselves?

The job of a university isn't to mollycoddle over-sexed teenagers, by golly! It's to make them read Hamlet!

From George Will's Column June 6, 2014
Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that . . . when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.
. . . Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.
. . . the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity
. . . Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

With no irony whatsoever, Will brings up a Shakespearean play that has both a male and female character, Hamlet and Ophelia, on the verge of suicide while obsessing over sex. It's pretty damn clear the Bard understood young people much more than George Will does. The whole point of Hamlet - as well as Romeo and Juliet - is that when adults ignore the problems of young people there is hell to pay, for them and for everyone around them. Those plays aren't called "Tragedies" for nothing. Will may think that focusing on the plight of the victim is the psychological equivalent of a selfie on Facebook, but the feelings of those involved is no less true today than 500 years ago when Shakespeare was writing.

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George Will is part of the Mad Men generation of the 1960s. His column could have been written by lothario misogynist Pete Campbell - Girls in mini-skirts and string bikinis are just asking for it. Throw in some hearty college lads with martinis and those sluts deserve whatever they get - Retro-Rape Misogyny at its worst.

In an interview with CSPAN Will refused to back down. Instead he blamed the Internets and our lack of critical thinking, missing the point once again, especially in defending young men accused of sexual assault. It's the age-old argument that male privilege is more important than female privilege, that no young woman should ruin the chances of a future medical student by telling the truth about rape. Will blindly ignores what the effect of rape might be on a young woman's future career as a doctor or lawyer, so he couldn't have been more tone-deaf to the modern world.

Via Washington Post
“Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position for certain people in civic discourse,” Will told interviewer Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, in an interview that will air sometime in July. “They go from a standing start to fury in about 30 seconds.”
The Internet has erased the barriers to public discourse, he said, and “among the barriers to entry that have been reduced [are that] you don’t need to read, write or think. You can just come in and call names and carry on. And we have all kinds of interest groups that think they will get attention . . . if they’re at maximum decibel levels.”
. . . By lowering the bar on such a serious crime, he said, many young men could be “permanently and seriously blighted” by legally unsubstantiated charges. He suggested they could be denied acceptance to medical or law school and that such allegations would invite “litigation of tremendous expense.”

The series Mad Men has shown us innocent Peggy Olson, who was used sexually by her boss, Pete Campbell, then tossed aside, and who has had to scramble her way to the top after giving up her baby. George Will's point is that Campbell's career was more important, whether Peggy had more talent or not. After all, Pete had more to lose - a family and a house in the country. Well, guess what? Misogynists tend to lose all that anyway because they screw around and their wives toss them out, which is what happens to Pete in the series.

But to George Will's generation, Peggy remains a slut, talented or not, end of story. Pregnant out of wedlock, she flees the office and has her baby, not sure of what to do. Meanwhile we get a glimpse of what the men in the office think of her - most believe she was pregnant with Don Draper's baby, but her lover, Pete Campbell stays in denial about his role in the affair, joking that Peggy has gone to a "fat farm." Because what does he care? Out of sight, out of mind, used and forgotten. Which is precisely the point of George Will's column - stop whining and get on with it, you selfish rape victims.

While it's true that Peggy Olson wasn't raped in Mad Men, George Will's advice for victimized young women is the same as Don Draper's advice to Peggy: "This never happened. It will shock you how much this never happened." In 1964 that might have been good advice, given the prejudices of the day. Now, not so much, and finally George Will is getting an education far beyond his 1964 counterparts.

Reaction to Will's Column has been swift and brutal:

Shannon Fisher, Board Member of UniteWomen.Org Wrote:
...The flippant and pompous tone of your piece, and the blatant allegation that there is a tangible (or intangible) benefit to having been sexually victimized, belittles the genuine suffering of the millions of women (and men) who have been raped. I would like to invite you to sit in a room with a sexual assault victim and, to his or her face, dismiss that person’s suffering as having been a means to attain a “coveted status.”

Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN doctor wrote:
You labor under the fear (as some men do) that there is an epidemic of false rape. That good young men will go to jail for consent withdrawn after the fact. And while false accusations likely do happen (the Duke Lacrosse case is a recent, well-known example) these are the exception and not the rule and each time a male with a platform spouts off about a false epidemic of rape it only makes it harder for women who have been violated to come forward.
. . . There is no woman who I have ever met personally or as an OB/GYN who thinks that surviving a rape confers some sort of privilege. I am genuinely curious if you interviewed a few young women hoping to earn their college rape badge or is that just a conclusion you reached looking at the issue of sexual assault through the myopic lens of misogyny?
Come spend a day in my clinic Mr. Will. Come see how the scars of rape linger even decades later.
There is no survivor privilege, just survivors.

From the Office of Dianne Feinstein, signed by three other Senators:
. . . In meetings our offices have held with law enforcement, students, administrators, parents and university officials, we found that the culture on campuses, including harassment by fellow students and college officials, discourages survivors from reporting or seeking much needed services in the wake of a traumatic attack. Additionally, recent legislative and administrative actions at the federal level have received positive feedback from both survivor advocacy groups and institutions of higher education.
Your column suggests that we – including some of us who have worked on this issue for many years – all have missed a subculture on college campuses where survivors of sexual assault are inducted into a privileged class.
The culture you described is so antiquated, so counterintuitive and so contrary to anything we heard that we hope you will make an effort to hear the stories survivors bravely shared with us about the struggles they face in addressing what has happened to them – often with little meaningful assistance from authorities expected to help them. In this instance, your writing, which purports to be based on accurate facts and figures, has not only shown a fundamental disrespect to survivors, but also includes a harmful rhetoric that has made addressing this issue so difficult.
. . .
Dianne Feinstein
Richard Blumenthal
Tammy Baldwin
Robert P. Casey, Jr.

Because of the column, George Will's column was dropped by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch permanently
Dear Post-Dispatch readers,
Starting today, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson replaces George Will on Thursdays and Sundays.
. . . The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

"We did run it, but going back we took a look and realized there was a lot of offensive imagery in that that victimized women. We had to take responsibility for that. We published it. We wish we wouldn't have."
~ Tony Messenger, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Editor, via CNN

And while the Chicago Tribune didn't totally break with Will, they didn't use that column. Here's why, via Media Matters
The Tribune, one of the largest papers in the country, told Media Matters that the paper turned Will's column down after reading it.
In comments to Media Matters, Bruce Dold, editorial page editor of the Tribune, explained why his paper, which runs Will on occasion, passed on the June 7 column.
"I thought the column was misguided and insensitive," Dold told Media Matters Thursday. "We didn't publish it. Marcia Lythcott, the Op-Ed editor, made that decision and it was the right call."
The paper has no plans to abandon Will permanently, however.
"That doesn't mean we pulled Will for that week, though. We don't anchor syndicated columnists," Dold explained. "We run George Will on occasion. I checked our archives and it looks like we've run him four times in the past year. We will continue to consider him on a column by column basis, as we do with other syndicated columnists we buy."

Click Here to Sign Change.Org Petition to Fire George Will
. . . after editorial page editor Fred Hiatt defended George Will's article, another opinion piece by Brad Wilcox and Robin Wilson on June 10 told women that they protect themselves against violence by getting married, since violence against women is less common in marriages than it is in unmarried relationships (a point that they make by misusing data). The conclusion here is that it's women's responsibility to end male violence by getting married — rather than it being men's responsibility to end male violence by not doing it. And the article's earlier version had a byline that added racism to misogyny: "The data show that #yesallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies."
The Washington Post should not be helping to promote defenses of rape culture and attacks on rape survivors. George Will and Fred Hiatt both need to go.