by kara on May 29, 2019

We’re finally seeing how voter suppression, mass incarceration, the war on women and the demise of labor all feed off each other. Something conservatives figured out 50 years ago.

  1. Abortion is being criminalized in state after state, punishing poor people and people of color.
  2. We have no attorney general.
  3. Prosecutions of Trump’s political opponents seem inevitable.
  4. War crimes are being rewarded.
  5. Foreign adversaries have been invited to interfere with our elections, again.
  6. We’re denied even basic knowledge about how effectively we’ve already been hacked.
  7. The census is being rigged to reinforce minority rule for at least another decade.
  8. The Trump Administration is trying to start a war with Iran and the press is proving it learned nothing from Iraq.
  9. And the federal courts are lost, probably for the rest of our lives.

When did we first begin to get our ass kicked after the monumental victories of the 60s, despite a few good months in 2009 and 2010?

Was it when Democrats barely defeated the man who pardoned Nixon, failing to pass any sort of labor reform under Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? 

Was it the shift to policies that prioritize incarceration over social services? 

Was it a fear of prioritizing the courts or anything that boldly protected or expanded abortion rights, though Roe remains far more popular than any conservative policy? 

Was it the failure of expanding on the success of the Motor Voter Law? Was the tipping point just two bad elections — 2014 and 2016?

Obviously, it was the not the moment Trump — the personification of all that’s wrong with conservatism but not the cause of any of it — was “elected.”

The Powell Memo of 1972 lays out a master plan that has largely become a reality. a blueprint for corporate domination of american democracy

U.S. President Richard Nixon holds a commission that he will present to Lewis F. Powell Jr., left, and another will be given to William Rehnquist, right, at a White House ceremony in Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1971. The two men were appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

People on the left tend to think systematically about policy, which is why Democratic policies lead to better job growth, more people insured and a inclusion for those who have historically been denied rights. But when it comes power, conservatives get it. And the left has gotten served.

This is why appeals to trust the elders of the Democratic Party are starting to ring increasingly hollow to so many. Nancy Pelosi is the singularly most successful Congressional leader of the century. She must have a plan for Trump, right? We have 243 years of democracy under our belt – surely there are systems in place to deal with this, right?

Let’s hope she’s giving Donald Trump a master class in dealing with narcissistic personality disorder and that she knows that he wants nothing more than for the House Democrats to bumblefuck their way into a speedy impeachment, so that it can skedaddle on over to the fucking Senate before things deteriorate for Trump, the turtle fuck can throw a show trial, it’ll lose, and then the GOP can hit the 2020 campaign running before the end of 2019.

I want Trump impeached, I want it NOW. But, the reality may be that the practical impact of impeachment was wildly diminished when the shit for brains 1990’s Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over a consensual sex scandal and could fuck us over. I don’t know. We are all grappling with the unknown, and need to return to normalcy, the feeling that somebody has got this. They’ve led us back to power before to deal with losing wars, financial crises, wacked budgets. Now, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to restore the rule of law after the rise of authoritarianism.

But what we all feel is that we are getting our asses kicked. And we need a plan. It’s clear that reproduction rights fighters have failed miserably and that they have no plan. They have failed women on every level. We have to take back the narrative and restructure this debate.

Whereas it’s obvious that the forced birth lobby in America has been operating in a well-coordinated fashion to end the legal right of women to seek an abortion. Like the Sons of Jacob in A Handmaid’s Tale, they want to take away a woman’s right to control her own reproductive decisions and hand those decisions over to misogynistic religious conservatives.

This is what is happening this year, 2019, 46 years after Roe vs Wade:

Outright bans on abortion (10 states)

  • Alabama – Makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years. No exception for rape or incest
  • Arkansas – Bans abortions after 18 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergencies.
  • Georgia – Bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected which can be as early as 6 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape and incest if a police report is filed and to save the mother’s life or if the fetus is nonviable.
  • Kentucky – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill. Struck down by federal judge, will go to the Supreme Court.
  • Mississippi – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill.
  • North Dakota – Bans most second trimester abortions except in the case of emergency. Punishes doctors only.
  • Ohio – Similar to Georgia’s heartbeat bill.
  • Louisiana – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • South Carolina – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • Missouri – Near passage of a heartbeat bill (no exceptions)

Trigger laws – Complete bans if Roe is overturned (14 states)

  • Kentucky
  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Pre-Roe abortion bans still in place (7 states)

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

These are not all happening right now and this quickly by accident. This is a concerted, decades long effort by the forced birthers. They are moving quickly now, not because public opinion has finally swung in their favor – because it has not – but because they finally have what they have been waiting for: someone as dumb and craven as Donald Trump to hold the highest office in the land, and a compliant Supreme Court to be delivered to them. With Trump and McConnell, their moment has finally arrived.

If you think Republicans are willing to negotiate on the forced birth issue, disabuse yourself of that notion please. In Michigan, House Republicans passed a bill that would prohibit the use of dilation and evacuation procedures to end late-term pregnancies involving nonviable fetuses. When confronted with the fact that D&E procedures are the safest and least painful way to deal with these tragically sad situations, we have Republican assholes like Michigan State Sen. Kim LaSata, who became angry after testimony that by banning standard second-trimester procedures for abortion, the Michigan legislature would be putting women into painful and dangerous scenarios. Sen. LaSata’s response was the kind of Jesus empathizing you might expect from a good Christian:

Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful! And you should allow God to take over!! And you should deliver that baby!”

The women who are put in the position of having to get a D&E are women who have already been pregnant for quite awhile. Many, if not most of them have already chosen names and decorated their nursery. But Ms. LaSata isn’t content for them to have to go through that excruciating mental and psychic trauma of losing that baby after all of that. She wants them to deal with physical pain and suffering, too. In her deranged mind, it’s God’s will. For forced birth proponents, women are simply host bodies, there to deliver children no matter how painful or how dangerous or how potentially fatal that may be for them. Even if the child will be born dead.

Being overly draconian isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. It’s the actual intent. In their effort to remake American in the model of the Republic of Gilead, they are pushing things so far that they are guaranteed to be sued which will allow them to take their case to the Trump-stacked Supreme Court which has made it quite clear that precedent, the so-called principle of stare decisis, is nothing but a quaint concept in American jurisprudence today.

Forced birth conservatives have recently invented a new kind of abortion. One in which an expectant mother is having a bad day, gives birth, and then the doctor stabs a perfectly good baby in the head for no reason other than pure cruelty and blood thirst. 

Remember that hilarious time when the media pretended that Hillary Clinton had “defended an accused child rapist and laughed about his lenient sentence,” because 40 years prior she had been ordered by the court to represent a criminal defendant, and she actually did her job? Remember when they spent months reporting that she had given speeches to Goldman Sachs for money!!!(I had a respectable, very rich man I know actually complain about Hillary’s paid speeches as a “money grab”), while ignoring the part about Donald Trump getting paid $150,000 by a Ukrainian oligarch to Skype in for a 15-minute talk, and then routing the cash through his charitable foundation where it would be conveniently un-taxed?

Last week, Senator reporters were outraged that Elizabeth Warren got paid in actual American currency for practicing law. The blatant sexism in the coverage has overtaken the nothingburger story itself. How dare Elizabeth Warren get paid fair market value for her labor! If she had minutes in the day left over after being a law professor at University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, she should have spent them advising students and organizing the office Christmas party, or writing letters of recommendation for their male peers. You know, the uncompensated shit that women do just because they have always done it.

The woman is running for president against a man who routinely stiffed his creditors, who ran a scam “university,” and whose main “achomlishment” is managing to go bankrupt running a casino — a giant machine that takes in quarters and gives back nickels. And the woman gets WHAT IS SHE HIDING???? Donald Trump is waging several legal battles to hide his taxes and finances from the American voters. But please, tell us more about Elizabeth Warren’s scandaloushourly compensation for hard-earned expertise, which she voluntarily disclosed on her own campaign website.

We see you coming, assholes. We saw it last month with all those How Is Bernie Even Getting Paid to Write a Book if He Says Billionaires Don’t Deserve a Tax Cut? stories. As if Elizabeth Warren getting $425,000 over a period of years is exactly the same as the Trump kids getting a billion dollar windfall if we abolish the estate tax. How can you say you really oppose homelessness if you live in a house? If she really supported ending the plight of the poor, she’d get rid of the pantsuit and wear a barrel held up by suspenders!

Doug McLeod, a Mississippi state Representative was a co-sponsor of the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” banning most abortions in Mississippi, a bill that Republicans have been claiming they support because they just love fetuses so much, and not because they love controlling women so much. Well, he was arrested this past weekend for punching his wife in the face while very drunk, because he wanted to have sex with her, and she did not get undressed fast enough. He punched his beloved so hard that there was blood on their bed and floor. She had to barricade herself in the room with another woman to call the police while Rep. McLeod banged on the door, threatening to kill her dog.

The deputies’ report said when they arrived, McLeod was holding a “glass of alcohol” and replied “Are you kidding me?” when they notified him that they were there because of a reported domestic assault. Mr. Special was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and released him on a $1000 bond. Mississippi law does not prohibit those with domestic violence misdemeanors from owning weapons, which I would imagine is not a very fun fact if you happen to be Doug McLeod’s wife. Remember a few months ago when Republicans and the NRA were all upset because the new Violence Against Women Act included a provision banning those with misdemeanor domestic violence charges from owning a gun? This alcoholic, rage punching lawmaker is who they were fighting for. This is the kind of fella they wanted to make sure could still have a gun. You know, in case his next wife failed to get naked fast enough.

And shit like this is why we do not believe the forced birther people. At all. For even a second. Certainly, if they really cared about “life,” they would not be giving Doug McLeod the chance to do a post-birth abortion on his wife with a gun he can legally purchase in their state.

If this was about “preserving life from conception forward”, we’d see mass protests outside fertility clinics where fertilized human eggs are discarded. Ain’t happening. Just like male masturbation won’t be considered genocide, blowjobs cannibalism, ultrasounds child pornography and Viagra an illicit drug. Yeah, the whole “personhood” thing isn’t really well thought out.

Many men are the product of a culture that teaches male entitlement. Men are entitled to women, to sex, to jobs, to money. It is why you haven’t seen so many women in fields like art or TV comedy until recently – women are raised to believe we have to have a more realistic prospect of making a living. My parents were a little alarmed that I wanted to be an artist, for those reasons. Men are raised differently. No woman I knew growing up in the 70s and 80s would have conceived of a job in art or comedy. The real problem are the men who are raised in this culture of entitlement who if they don’t get what they feel they are owed, become livid and blame women Men like Elliot “Incel” Rodger, or the guy who murdered those women in an L.A. Fitness center. You don’t see women committing crimes like this because we are not taught to feel entitled to these things. They create environments where they can be as repulsive as they like, without consequences and are in fact rewarded for being cruel and offensive. When they leave their bubble, they discover that other people do not feel this is an acceptable way of behaving and the things they felt entitled to become even further out of their reach, they feel even more rejected and more angry and more dangerous.

The only way to stop more people like this is to stop teaching men to feel entitled. Start with not telling them they are so so fucking special because of their dicks, or their whiteness. Stop with the “boys will be boys.” Start by telling them there’s no such thing as “friendzoning” and that women are allowed to not be sexually attracted to them. Start by telling them to listen when we say that we don’t want their “compliments” on the street, and that we don’t have to be flattered by them. It’ll work out better for all of us. And stop handing out trophies to men who claim to be progressive but are still fucking misogynistic. We often tolerate them, and refuse to stand up to them.

Men, you can use your voices to stand up to men behaving badly toward women, whether in real life, or on the internet (which is also real life, because we are real people tip tapping away). Men who believe themselves superior to women do not listen to women. And they probably won’t change because of anything you say, but they will be afraid to behave that way if you guys stand up to them.

Maybe spend a few minutes reflecting on your behavior. Do you freak out when a man you admire is accused of inappropriate behavior, and start blaming the woman because she had a glass of wine or was perceived as flirtatious? Do you lose your mind when a woman respectfully disagrees with you or stands up for herself to a man? My point is, you don’t have to be an Elliot Rodgers or a Sarah Sanders to be part of the problem.

We all have live in this shitty and fucked up patriarchy. We are raised in it and steeped in it and all our ideas are shaped by it. Oppressing women is part of the very fabric of our society. We all have learning and unlearning and growing and changing we need to do. Even if you are a woman raised with horrible ideas about yourselves as women. Or a man raised with horrible ideas about women. It’s okay not to be perfect. That just means you are like everyone else, but it’s not fine to never examine yourself for things that need to be fixed. I guaran-goddamn-tee you that you need a tune-up.

The fight for the soul of our country is now underway and it’s not happening at the federal level. it’s happening at the state level. If you think you can skip voting because you’re somehow not wild about the eventual Democratic candidate for president in 2020 (or any of the other down-ticket races, for that matter), you are complicit in converting the United States of America to the Republic of Gilead. And now you should get off your asses like the rest of us and work overtime to retake Democratic control of our state legislatures before it is too late.

Suggested reading: Read The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement,Rick Perlstein’s genealogy of the modern conservative movement, Ari Berman’s Give Us the Ballot, Jane Mayer’s Dark Moneyand Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chainsto begin to answer these questions.

 

The man who made his career being anti-establishment and anti-government is now…. defending the Trump administration.And telling us that we are fools not to trust our own government. Do we need more proof it is now a holy owned subsidiary of the Kremlin?

I’ve been saying for a long time, I sincerely believe GG has been hitting the sauce too hard and it’s taken a toll on his cognitive functions. He’s just another freaked out, up-speaking, brittle, intolerant reactionary, which is imo a symptom of alcohol or drug abuse.

 

by kara on May 1, 2019

“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

Allow me to pass this through my “Professional Person Writing to Boss” translator.

Ahem.

You Fucking Asshole.

You have taken 3 years of hard work and dragged it down the shitter with you, and you’re making me, my colleagues, and the whole process look bad as well.

I handed this to you on a silver platter. All you had to do was copy and paste parts of it, and put it out there. All. You. Had. To. Do.

But no, you just has to poke your dick into the pie, and here we are at the end of the road, at the bridge too far. This will not stand.

You see how this works? I just state the facts, and people know what to do with them, just as they know what to do when you don’t state the facts.

Good day, sir. I said: Good Day.

 

A little reminder to Bill Barr about what happens to some AGs who are apparently unaware of the law

William Barr is supposed to be at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, and then the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. But he says he just may have to skip, because the Democrats have suggested they might ask questions in a way that doesn’t please him.

William Barr is scum, in the John Mitchell/Ed Meese/Alberto Gonzalez class of utterly shitty, inappropriate criminal garbage scum sitting the AG’s chair. And like all the Republicans in charge of everything right now, he’s a natural born fascist.

Now that Republicans have made it clear that they no longer do the whole “rule of law” thing, is, who’s gonna make him? What do the Democrats do if the entire Republican apparatus simply refuses to acknowledge the rule of law, except when it’s their turn to enforce it?

I mean, this is happening up and down the system. In states where Democratic governors succeeded Republican governors but the legislatures and courts remain majority-Republican, they’re simply refusing to allow the governors to do governor things: they’re changing the laws, they’re revising the standards, they’re openly and deliberately defying the outcome, the way Mitch did when Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Court.

It’s down to the pettiest little things. In the House, Teabagger shitheads like Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are refusing to abide by the House dress code (the code may be silly, but it’s the code), in order to show their disrespect for the majority. They’re interrupting, refusing to attend meetings, and sabotaging proceedings as well.

The whole “you’re not the boss of me” thing is merely silly if it’s a matter of refusing to wear a jacket and tie even though the rules say you must. But it’s fucking dangerous if it’s a matter of refusing to respond to a subpoena.

We’re gonna need a longer wall to line all of these bastards up against. One that Mexico might actually pay for?

Enough Said

by kara on April 26, 2019

 

Fox News has always been a poison on the populace, especially when applied to the brains of the duller Republican elders amongst us. But even through its alarming racism and mistruths, there was a funny quality to it. Yee-haw, is it time for the War on Christmas? Is Santa Claus black? Outrages over Obama’s choice of suits, mustard, and fiction books on vacation. It’s always been a clubhouse for slimy perverts who finance their groping habit by shouting word salad at aging Boomers. But now we have a Trump TV, almost literally a state run network. Whether that “state” is Russia or the Trump White House is still unclear.

The victims of the asinine “fair and balanced”, 24 hours a day immersion has rocked the foundations of families for at least one entire generation. Formally kind, open minded people now openly mock feminists and hybrid cars. Aging Kennedy Democrats morphed into enraged and unreachable Fox News fanatics who dwell in bubbles of denial and will believe anything, no matter how bizarre. BLM is spying on them via their smoke detectors, climate change is “fake news”.

I know many people who have basically lost family members, thanks to the deep psychological brainwashing tactics of this Australian terrorist’s propaganda network. Father and uncles forcing rageful one-sided discussions of conservative politics at Thanksgiving dinner, or baiting sons and nieces and in-laws into idiotic debates over climate change.

 

.

Rupert Murdoch ruined my family and my country. If a genie gave me wishes I would hope his private plane crashes into the sea and every single person that works for Fox News gets trapped in the building and burns alive.

This quote is from a post I happened upon that tore me up and threw me away.

Read it here:

I hate what they’ve done to almost everyone in my family 

from the site:

Welcome to Hell World

IMPEACH

by kara on April 25, 2019

It is dead simple:

Nothing really moves trump’s numbers. His floor is around 35 and ceiling is around 47.

Bill Clinton had a SIXTY THREE percent approval rating when they impeached him. The Starr investigation was almost cartoonish in its partisan motivations and Had saturated the media largely due to the fact that Ken Starr is an attention whore.

These are completely different scenarios. Here we have a member of the president’s own party delivering 400 pages of criminal and ethical crimes to the public. In saner times members of his own party in congress would turn on him and vote to convict because their constituents would hold them responsible.

The failure to secure a conviction is transparently due to partisanship, but I this scenario the constitution DEMANDS impeachment.

We aren’t going to move trump’s base voters. But 18 months of crime documented on live teevee through hearings and the news will move the low info center right voters to us, or suppress their will to vote.

This is a no brainer. Impeach the motherfucker

Be a Millionaire like Bernie! Learn how!

by kara on April 17, 2019

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, finally disclosed 10 years of tax returns on Monday, providing a more detailed look at his finances than his half-assed offering  (tax return for only one year), when he ran for the White House in 2016. Hillary Clinton pushed him to divulge years of tax returns, as she had done. At the time, Mr. Sanders said his wife did their taxes. “We’ve been a little bit busy lately,” he said, pompously, during a debate. “You’ll excuse us.

Sanders had repeatedly promised to release those pesky taxes, but has been evasive, prompting speculation that he does not want voters to know what is in them. He has said he and his wife, Jane, who serves as an adviser to his presidential campaign, prepare the returns themselves, he claimed.

As the disclosure of his millionaire status sunk in, Mr. Sanders has come under criticism for his expanding personal wealth. A post on the website ThinkProgress last week called Mr. Sanders’s millionaire status “very off-brand and embarrassing,” and a video suggested he had stopped referring to “millionaires” after he became one himself.

In an interview with The New York Times last week, Mr. Sanders acknowledged that he had become a millionaire.

“I wrote a best-selling book,” he said. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too”. Ok. Let’s think about that statement. This is endemic of his whole problem. He fails to acknowledge, at the least, or understand at the worst, that he wrote a best selling book because he cashed in on his popularity. That it didn’t matter what he wrote, it was going to be a bestseller. That he didn’t have to put near as much effort into writing it as some Joe Blow off the street would. That his bestseller status was for all intents and purposes handed to him on a platter. Also, I just don’t like Bernie. At all. His old “My way or the highway. I’m a Democrat when I need the money and campaign machine” bullshit does not sit well with me. As other candidates start to overtake him in name recognition and he feels they are taking away “his” issues, he will go full on populist demagogue because I think he feels this is owed to him.

Bernie Sanders is part of the 1%. He has been there for a while now. And, again, it’s not the money he has. It’s how he made it. If he made any of it by writing books and selling them on a book tour which he has called others out on, or getting paid for speaking which he has called others out on, or Wall Street investments which he has called others out on, he’s a hypocrite. He has called his opponents out on so many ways they make their money that he is kind of limited in how he could have amassed his over $2M.

Also: $2 million in net worth, after 25 to 30 years in Congress is some pretty piss poor investing. Lord knows what crazy ass shit he’s blown his money on in the past.

 

Barr. Jesus Christ. A natural born fascist, an Opus Dei Catholic with a profound hatred for democracy and a stupefying willingness to shatter democracy on behalf of a cabal of dark money billionaires, because these Federalist Society types tend to believe the whole Enlightenment was our big mistake.

Can we stop calling Bill Barr “normal” and giving him the benefit of the doubt now? The idea that membership in Opus Dei is in any way compatible with a nominally Enlightenment-inspired constitutional republic is ludicrous on its face. No one with any Opus Dei ties should serve in the US government. Bill Barr is Louie Gohmert with hair. What the hell else does Bill Barr believe? Does he believe the Pizzagate conspiracy theory? Does he believe windmills cause cancer? Does he believe Alex Jones’s boner speed meth pills are real nutritional supplements? Does he believe Glenn Greenwald makes some good points sometimes?

WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE DEALING WITH?

I don’t see how this tide of fascism is stopped in this country. I honest to God believe we’ve passed the point of no return. In any case, Barr is serving the same function at Justice that McConnell is in the Senate and Roberts and his majority on the Court. And there’s no-one in a position to stop them. The icing on this horrid cake is our billionaire press, which might have saved us with some good reporting—there was a point until fairly recently when that would have been enough—but which is obviously, god help us, determined to double down on the horrendous malpractice of 2016 that got us into this hell on earth in the first place. They will blow smoke to keep the Republicans in power in 2020, or die trying.

As it turns out, when a handful of multi billion dollar corporations control the news, and when their executives are profoundly contemptuous of democracy and its institutions, then the consequence is a press that is more outraged by Joe Biden’s wandering hands than by a president who instructs border guards to break the law and lie about it in court, or an Attorney General engaged in reckless obstruction and smears.

The New York Times—which helped to set the tone for the relentless media attack on Secretary Clinton in 2016— is already treating Barr’s demented and dangerous remarks with the same Vaseline-lensed deference the Times showed to Mr. Hitler and his chums some 85 years ago.

Apparently, the very rich old men who are bankrolling this horror show believe they’ve come up with the magic formula to get the fascism without the 50 million dead and the shattered cities: to get the prison camps without the death camps: to get the censorship and the paramilitary toughs maintaining public order, without the murders, rape squads, and other fascist games. Maybe they’re right.

But, yeah, Joe Biden sniffed someone’s hair and put his hands on their shoulders.