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I’ve always viewed New York as the classic “nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”…but part of me wants to move there just so I could vote for Anthony Weiner in the 2012 election:


There are a lot of men who want to tell women what we can and can’t do with our bodies. Sadly, many of those men can be found in the Senate and the House of Representatives in D.C., and in state legislatures all across the country.

Speaking as a random sample of the female of the species, let me just say this: back the fuck off, gentlemen.

And I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Don’t want to provide funding for Planned Parenthood? Fine. But don’t think you’ll be getting any in the foreseeable future.

Of course, if I’m being honest, none of the gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) in question would have had a shot with me anyway. But presumably they have women in their lives, or would like to. Though they also, for the most part, seem to be a bunch of homophobic bastards in public, kind of causing one to wonder if they’re hiding a male lover or twenty in the closet.

But I digress.

If you’re the kind of woman who ordinarily would be dating, marrying, or otherwise having sex with one of the men who is supporting cutting funding for women’s health services, here is your big opportunity to strike a blow on behalf of low-income women everywhere.

And all you have to do is, well, stop doing it.

At least stop doing it with the sort of men who want to cut funding for women’s health care.

Hell, you probably won’t even be giving up all that much. The uptight moralizing bastards probably aren’t any good in the sack anyway. I don’t speak from personal experience, mind you, but I’m guessing we’re talking strictly missionary with the lights off.

Lie back and think of England, sweetheart, it’ll be over quickly.

And if you can’t imagine giving up sex for any prolonged period of time, well, it’s not as if there aren’t alternatives.

Not comfortable with indulging those bi-curious impulses? Well, let’s just say diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, sisters.

The word is vibrator.

And if you simply must have a partner of the male persuasion present to get your freak on, well, there’s a whole lot of guys out there who do support adequate funding for women’s health care (and a woman’s right to choose when and if she wants to have a baby).

They’re called liberals.

Mark my words, though, a few weeks or months without the pussy, and we’ll be hearing a change in tune in state and federal legislatures across the country.

Either that, or be witness to the largest Republican “coming out” party in history. Which would itself be a Very Good Thing. Maybe then our LGBT friends would finally get the same rights and protections straight people enjoy.

Major h/t to Crooks and Liars for the video link.

jane doe

P.S. Hell, as long as we’re at it, why stop with funding for Planned Parenthood? Let’s demand equal pay for equal work, adequate funding for childcare for low-income working women, and mandatory insurance coverage for the pill and other forms of birth control. And state-subsidized chocolate for when we’re PMSing.


Inevitable, but worth watching if you haven’t seen it already:

Whoever is running against Rep. Boehner for his House seat this fall should just play this video as their campaign commercial. That’s probably all it would take to get his weirdly-orange face out of national government.

jane doe


Today, President Obama signed the much-fought-over health care reform bill into law.

Almost immediately, a group of thirteen Republican state attorneys-general filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to overturn the law.* I suppose we should be grateful that their rationale for overturning the statute has nothing to do with alleging that Barack Obama is secretly a Kenyan Muslim and thus not eligible to be president.

While the new law represents an improvement over the current system, and it will make health insurance available to many who are currently regarded as uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions, I do not believe that it will truly halt runaway health care costs.

The main problem, of course, was that the Obama administration and Congress would not look outside the current mostly for-profit health insurance paradigm for more effective ways to provide health care to the people of this country.

Someone please explain to me how insurance companies add any value to health care services? When did adding a middleman to any transaction ever drive costs down? Their role, if they want to be profitable, is to deny and/or place limitations on the health care services ordered by patients’ physicians.

And in exchange for this, they claim a hefty share of every health care dollar.

Yes, if we are doomed to retain the insurance company paradigm, the health reform bill represents a marked improvement over the existing system. But will it truly provide insurance coverage at a reasonable rate to everyone who needs it?

Somehow, I doubt it. Especially since the public option did not survive the legislative process. But the individual mandate did survive the process, so now those of us with no employer-sponsored insurance are at the mercy of all those mostly-for-profit insurance companies.

If we were serious about fixing our broken health care system, Congress would have given serious consideration to moving to a single-payer system. Take the profit-driven insurance companies out of the equation, and you will find that costs drop significantly, while consumer satisfaction will increase (so long as the system is adequately funded to meet public needs, that is). Plus, health care dollars will actually go primarily to providing health care, rather than to driving up insurance company shareholder profits.

Of course, talk of a single-payer system prompts the teabaggers – excuse me, Tea Partiers – and the sort of people who actually believe what they hear on Faux News to panic and scream about socialism and death panels. (Do they really think insurance companies don’t deny care – even though denial will mean a patient’s death – on cost/benefit grounds?)

Call it socialism if you must. I assure you, my feelings will not be hurt if you call me a socialist, as I don’t view it as an insult or a badge of shame the way certain people (cough*teabaggers*cough) do. Heck, while you’re at it, call me a liberal and a feminist as well. No skin off my nose.

But some services should be socialized. We already have a number of services that fall into this category at either the state or federal level: Medicare, Social Security, police and fire protection, public education, road and highway maintenance, and food safety inspections, to name just a few. We have the government provide these services because it is the most efficient and cost-effective way to ensure that everyone benefits from these services.

Why shouldn’t health care be in the same category?

jane doe

* A copy of what purports to be the district court filing can be found here, though I question whether it is the lawsuit as filed – the document contains numerous errors that should have been caught at the proofreading stage.


Okay, if you’ve been paying any attention to the ultra-paranoid wingnut Rep. Michele Bachmann (R – Minn) or the late-night comedians who mock her, you’ve already heard that there are those on the right-wing fringe (also known as Republicans in good standing) who are objecting to the upcoming 2010 census as some sort of sinister left-wing plot.

A sinister left-wing plot mandated by Art. 1, Sec. 2 of that document of the radical left known as the U.S. Constitution.

Bachmann and others have announced their intention to boycott the census next year because…well, I’m a little unclear why, actually…apparently it has something to do with ACORN (the right’s favorite villain after Obama and the Clintons). And they are urging others on the lunatic fringe to boycott it as well.

Now, personally, I’m actually okay with large numbers of people in the red states boycotting the census, because the net effect if they do is that they will lose further representation in the House of Representatives, resulting in additional representatives being apportioned to the blue states. Fewer Republicans in the HoR? Sounds good to me.

However, I do feel obligated to point out to Rep. Bachmann that she might want to be cautious in her public statements about her intentions with respect to the 2010 census.

See, she’ll still be in office when it occurs (barring any revelations that she’s been hiking the Appalachian Trail like Gov. Sanford of South Carolina). And when she was sworn in, part of her oath was to uphold the laws and constitution of the United States.

And the census is required by both the laws and the constitution. As is participation in same.

Now, I’ve been known to criticize unjust laws and even engage in a little civil disobedience from time-to-time, in spite of my own oath to uphold the laws and constitution back when I was practicing law.

On the other hand, this blog (read by literally tens of readers) is about as high-profile as my own comments ever get. Nobody is pointing a microphone or a television camera at me.

Of course, they’d have to find me first, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, if Bachmann refuses to participate in the census, well, she’s pretty much giving a road-map to anyone who might be inclined to make an example of her by prosecuting or impeaching her for her refusal to participate every time she opens her mouth in front of a TV camera and announces her intent to boycott the census.

Just sayin’…

jane doe


Okay, it’s not an original piece, like Funk Vigilante‘s excellent Worst President Ever, but the video matchup put together by blog The Full Ginsberg (apparently a reference to going on all five Sunday news talk shows in one day) is still pretty good:


…with this morning’s jaw-dropping announcement that Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is leaving the Republican party to join the Democrats.

I say jaw-dropping, but really, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a few more moderate Republicans follow in his footsteps.

With McCain’s resounding loss in November, the Republican Party has been lacking a clear voice and leader, leaving it increasingly vulnerable to the rantings of the more extreme elements within it.

People like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck. And let us not forget the extremely scary Newt Gingrich.

And the visibility of those more extreme voices further marginalize the party, causing more and more moderate Republicans to abandon their party for independent or democratic status.

Meanwhile, no matter how much the Faux News people want to holler about socialism, Obama has if anything brought the Democrats closer to the middle than they were before (something that pisses off liberals like yours truly, but whatever).

Given the apparent public distaste for the extreme positions currently adopted by many high-profile Republicans at the moment, one is forced to wonder about the logic of the proponents of such positions.

I have my own theory about this. Regular readers of this blog will not be at all surprised to learn that it relates to terror management theory. But I will save that speculation for a subsequent post … check back in a day or so for that.

Meanwhile, in other news, I think the Department of Justice should open a war crimes investigation into the activities of the Bush administration. Just sayin’…

jane doe


Ordinarily, I focus on national politics in this blog.

There’s a good reason for that. See, I am currently living in Colorado Springs. Mecca for evangelical Christians and right-wing hotbed. Looking at local politics is just too damn depressing.

So for the most part, I ignore it, and focus on the national issues.

Every now and then, though, something from local politics intrudes on my consciousness, and I feel like I have to say something.

This is one of those times.

Our local embarassment of a state senator, Dave Schultheis, cast the only vote against a measure that would provide for HIV testing of pregnant women. The idea behind the bill is that it would allow doctors to take appropriate steps to prevent an infected mother from passing the virus on to her child during delivery (which is when infection of the child usually occurs).

Now, there may be good privacy-related reasons to argue against mandatory testing in other circumstances, though I think the health and safety of the child should trump privacy concerns, since knowledge of the mother’s infection status can allow doctors to take steps to prevent transmission of the disease to the child.

But Schultheis wasn’t making a privacy-based argument.

He was making an “AIDS is punishment from god for immoral behavior, and if the child gets the disease the mother will feel guilty” argument. In his own words:

What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior. (Quote courtesy of the dead-tree edition of the Colorado Springs Independent.)

Nothing like condemning a child to life with an incurable and ultimately fatal disease in order to teach his or her parents (who are already similarly condemned) a lesson.

Forget the fact that many women with HIV were infected with the virus as a result of their husbands’ cheating. We have to PUNISH these women and make them feel GUILTY for their husbands’ behavior.

How utterly appalling.

The good news is, Schultheis was the only state senator to vote against the bill. It passed. Pregnant women and their doctors will have the information necessary to prevent HIV transmission to newborns, in spite of Schultheis’ moralistic myopia.

If you’d like to let Schultheis know what you think of his position, you can e-mail him at senatorschultheis@gmail.com

jane doe


…for Republicans to use to apologize to Republican Party de facto leader Rush Limbaugh if the dare to say something that offends him. Apologize to Rush today!

jd


So apparently, the Justice Department has just released nine Bush 43 era White House legal memoranda detailing the rationale/justification for various violations of our civil rights. Yay for that transparency thing, guys! This is how our government is supposed to work.

The Huffington Post has an article about it here, and you can find copies of the actual memoranda here. I’m off to read them now, myself, and may comment on them later…

jane doe


Oh, good. Something I can mock a bit. It’s very difficult to be appropriately snarky when you generally support the speaker…

Is it just me, or does the opening of his response sound like he’s narrating a bad history film clip targeted at junior high school students? Condescending much?

Maybe that’s too harsh…after all, Obama is a very tough act to follow…but you’d think that the Republican party would have gone for one of their best speakers, wouldn’t you? And his excessive hand gesturing looks weird.

Also, what was that weirdness about his dad working out an installment plan to pay for his delivery? Is that his way of saying health care coverage is overrated?

“Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.” Um, does someone want to point out to him that the reason the government did squat during Katrina is that Bush – a member of Jindal’s own party – ignored briefings about how bad the damage from the storm was likely to be and appointed political cronies instead of competent individuals to head up important disaster-relief agencies like FEMA? “There is a lesson based on [hurricane Katrina]: The strength of America is not found in our government.” Well, not in a government run by incompetents for the benefit of the wealthy, maybe…

I’m sorry, I can’t listen to this anymore. He’s just too obnoxious to listen to. And the way he is twisting the truth and ignoring obvious facts, I’m surprised the cognitive dissonance isn’t causing his skull to implode. It’s certainly giving me a headache…

jane doe


Okay, first of all, whose brilliant idea was it to have the State of the Union speech on Fat Tuesday?

I didn’t watch the speech live. Not that I was out Mardi Gras-ing, or anything. I just kind of spaced until after it was over. I’ve gotten so in the habit of watching podcasts for news coverage (Countdown and the Rachel Maddow Show, natch) that I don’t turn the TV on anymore…and most of the time, I don’t miss anything except a few commercials with this approach.

So I kind of blew it last night, and missed Obama’s SOTU.

Fortunately, everything is available on the internets these days, so I can watch the speech and Jindal’s response in the comfort of my favorite coffee shop. Following are my thoughts on his speech, in more or less chronological order, along with a few quotes so that the comments aren’t arriving in a vacuum:

  • Okay, did he just say hello to every single person in the chamber before taking his place at the podium? Also, did the Shrub get a standing ovation just for being presented the last couple of SOTUs he gave? I think I would have remembered that…
  • Jeez, could Hillary’s suit possibly be a more vivid color?
  • Also, somebody needs to explain to Nancy Pelosi that she is also on camera during these speeches and needs to not mess with her hair.
  • A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.” Yeah, Dubya, he’s talking to you.
  • Let the record show that when President Obama said, “And tonight I am grateful that this Congress delivered and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law,” the Republican half (oops, sorry, significantly less than half) of the chamber sat on its hands, while the Democratic side gave itself a standing ovation.
  • “And that’s why I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort, because nobody messes with Joe.” Okay, that’s a sound bite that’s going to end up in the history books…
  • “Already, we’ve done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last 30 days than we’ve done in the last decade.” Not that that’s difficult to have done, since Dubya and his minions did exactly nothing on the health care reform front, beyond adding a Medicare drug benefit that was written by Big Pharma. Oh, and vetoed SCHIP every chance it got…which is why the Obama administration can claim to have done so much.
  • Forty three minutes after his introduction before he actually says the word “Iraq”, and then only to talk about the no-bid contracts there… okay, granted I am radically opposed to those contracts and the Halliburtons and Blackwaters running around that country acting in our name on cost-plus contracts (anyone who’s seen my reviews of the movie War, Inc., and my comments on Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine knows my position on this). Just seems like he should be talking about Iraq and Afghanistan more than this…
  • “We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.” Hallelujah! I had a HUGE argument a few years back with a friend who does business consulting who took a gig on behalf of an Indian company trying to get American jobs. His rationalization was that he was helping American corporations operate more efficiently, and couldn’t see or didn’t care that he was sending American jobs overseas. Or maybe he just wanted to remain in denial… (Are you reading this, my friend? You know who you are…)
  • Okay, this is amusing. At the part of his speech where Obama reveals that families making less than a quarter million a year won’t see their taxes go up a dime, all the Democrats in the chamber stood up right away, but initially the people on the Republican side of the chamber remained seated. Then it apparently occurred to some of them that staying seated on this point might not look real good to all the less well-off citizens who vote against their financial interests in supporting the Republican party, and some of them started standing up, too. Out of touch much, Repubs? Remember, if it were just the rich people voting for you, you’d maybe have four or five congressmen and a senator or two…maybe.
  • Ooh, another mention of Iraq and Afghanistan, this time in connection with the budget. They’re including the “full cost” of fighting these conflicts in the budget, instead of doing supplemental things that make it harder to track how much the government is spending…very nice. “For seven years, we’ve been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.” Yeah, Bush, he’s talking to you…again…
  • Ah, 46 minutes into a 58 minute speech, finally we get to actually ending the war in Iraq: “Along with our outstanding national security team, I am now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.” Yay!
  • “And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat Al Quaida and combat extremism, because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world. We will not allow it.” Um, sorry, does this mean we’re going to be fighting Pakistan, too? Aren’t they ostensibly one of our allies? Or is he just talking about launching raids into the remote areas of Pakistan where the government really doesn’t have any power?
  • At least he is doing more than just mouthing platitudes about “supporting the troops” and talking about DOING things to help them out: increasing pay, increasing recruiting, and expanding health care benefits for vets. That’s something…
  • And 49 minutes in he mentions closing Gitmo, “…because living our values doesn’t make us weaker. It makes us safer, and it makes us stronger. And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture. We can make that commitment here tonight.” Yeah, that’s aimed at you again, Duhbya…
  • “New era of engagement”…”cannot shun the negotiating table” … “lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors”…Groovy
  • And of course, something inspiring to close on: “I know that we haven’t agreed on every issue thus far. There are surely times in the future where we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. I know that. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground. And if we do, if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis, if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity, if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then some day, years from now, our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, ‘something worthy to be remembered.’” Very nice.

This wasn’t nearly as much fun as blogging Bush’s SOTUs, which were so damn mockable…still, it’s a nice change having a president who is capable of speaking without completely mangling the English language. Which is actually damning with faint praise – Obama is one hell of a public speaker.

Jindal’s response next…

jane doe

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