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As you know, Congresswoman Debbie Schultz and I are totally BFFs. We go shopping on Rodeo Drive and have pedicures and recreational abortions every couple of weeks. And this kind of thing is the reason I love her:
Debbie Wesserman Schultz, new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, drew a battle line in Washington when she accused the Republicans of “waging war on women”. From here.
But the best part is the fucking hilarious response this provoked from Rep. Kristi Noem
“The Republican agenda is indeed pro-woman. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-entrepreneur, pro-family and pro-economic growth.”
As far as I can tell, the logic here is “we are pro-women because we are pro-jobs, as you can see by our total failure to discuss jobs because we are too busy waging war on women, which proves that we are pro-women”. I’m sorry, you have just failed to convince me. She isn’t quite deserving of the Asshole of the Day hat, just some general scorn. I’ll let Miranda take care of it.
An alternative thought about the economy: “Suppose we enacted a modest fiscal stimulus program specifically designed for maximum job creation. My personal favorite is a tax credit for firms that add to their payrolls, but there are other options. And suppose we combined that with a serious plan for reducing future deficits—and enacted the whole package now. Then we could, in a sense, have our cake and eat it, too.
A package like that is not fantasy. I believe that a bipartisan group of economists, if given the authority, free of political interference, would design some version of it. But that’s not how budget decisions are, or should be, made. And as long as one political party clings to the idea that government spending kills jobs, it’s hard to see how we extricate ourselves from this mess,” - Alan Blinder, WSJ.
Anyway Puffin, I must fly. I have real-life meetings all day today.
I have heard a heartwarming report that this billboard actually exists somewhere in Fort Wayne, Indiana:
These folks (a great Facebook group btw, definitely worth following) seem to think that it is real and not photoshopped. And Puffin, I can’t adequately express the depth of my hope that this is real. After all, Mike is a past winner of the Asshole of the Month award here at MacGuffin and Puffin. Unfortunately, until I get some sort of verification, I can’t quite make myself believe it. Some cursory googling has revealed bugger all. (Also it sure looks photoshopped…..)
MacGuffin (who would very much like to have 20 minutes alone with Mike Pence in a dark alley.)
I can’t really add a whole lot to this. I think Reich pretty much summed it all up. Gold star for being excellent and articulate and explanatory and stuff. Rock on Reich.
So basically, we’re fucked.
And now for some gratuitous space porn. I said I was awarding him a star and here
it is they are. Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, otherwise known as Orion’s Belt. Go here to read more (seriously, do it, it’s really interesting. Nerd out)
So theres a great big wildfire burning in Arizona right now. Actually there are several. And do you know who caused half the state to go up in flames? The illegal immigrants coming over the border!!!!
Give me a fucking break. Excuse me while I fill out a citizenship application for a country with slightly less xenophobic hysteria. Like Chechnya.
“There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,” says McCain “The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.”
Evidence? What evidence? Would you care to share it with the class Senator, or are you too busy being a bigoted turd-nugget and pandering to the basest instincts of your electorate? He doesn’t say. Probably because it’s fucking laughable, or it would be if it weren’t such a racist, prejudiced, damaging, horrible thing to say.
McCain said that illegal immigrants set such fires either to send signals, keep warm or distract law enforcement agents. But he did not specify which fires allegedly had been started by illegal immigrants, nor did he identify his sources or provide details of the “substantial” evidence he cited.
Yes, how dare they try to keep warm. Illegal immigrants should just be miserable all the time. After all, they are not American and are therefore not deserving of basic human dignities. Like not freezing your butt off at night. Also there is no possibility that people other than illegal aliens might have gotten cold. Not destitute Americans who have been victimized by the slashing of social programs in this country. No chance. Nope, it’s obviously them sneaky Mexicans!
Oh and check this out, I think I’ve found his “substantial evidence,” (also from the CNN article)
Local media outlets have reported anecdotal cases of fires breaking out in areas where illegal immigrants have been known to cross the border.
So…. what I get from this is that there are lots of fires in Arizona and also lots of illegal aliens and sometimes the fires and the aliens happen in roughly the same place. You know who else is in Arizona a lot? American citizens like JOHN MCCAIN. Maybe he set the fucking fire. Sarah Palin’s been there a lot too, maybe she’s behind it all.
But when ABC talked to the actual Forest Service they said this:
When asked if there is substantial evidence that some fires were caused by illegal immigrants, as McCain said at a news conference Saturday, Berglund said: “Absolutely not, at this level.”
“There’s no evidence that I’m aware, no evidence that’s been public, indicating such a thing,” he said.
They did however, say this, again from the ABC article:
Tom Berglund, spokesman for the federal group managing the Wallow fire that McCain toured Saturday, said the cause of the fire has been determined as “human,” specifically an “escaped campfire,” meaning the campfire sparked beyond the confines of the rocks containing it.
Of course there is no possibility that the fire might have been set by American citizens who were, oh I don’t know, CAMPING? No of course not, it must have been set by evil scheming Mexicans. Now heres my big question. Did they cross the border, set fire to America, and then stay in America, or did they cross the border, set fire to America, and then go back to Mexico?
Fuck this forever and fuck Senator McCain especially
MacGuffin, who is especially irritable due to unforeseen dentistry
I found something cool today. It’s a series of paired photographs from Mark Laita’s collection Created Equal. What he’s done is juxtapose photos of polar opposites (the baptist minister and the Klansmen, for example) while also showing their similarities.
In America, the chasm between rich and poor is growing, the clash between conservatives and liberals is strengthening, and evil and good seem more polarized than ever before. At the heart of this collection of diptychs is my desire to remind us that we are all equal, until our environment, circumstances or fate molded and weathered us into whom we have become.
Some of the pairings are delightfully funny, like this one, titled Fur Trapper/Woman With Dog. (Frankly, while the trapper is totally BA, that lady scares the living daylights out of me. She looks predatory. I’ll bet she eats shredded credit cards for breakfast)
Or how about Astronaut/Alien Abductee
Others are interesting and yet quite amusing, like Polygamist/Pimp.
Somehow I find these utterly fascinating Puffin.
MacGuffin (with a hat tip to Andy Sullivan, who originally found these)
Prepare yourself for a rant of epic proportions. I’m fucking furious.
So the House passed HR3, aka the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, aka the let’s redefine rape act, aka the let’s destroy women’s reproductive rights act, aka the let’s keep doctors from making the right medical decisions act, aka the totally pointless act that ‘codifies’ a rule that was already in existence even though it shouldn’t have been (the Hyde amendment), aka the worst piece of legislation since the Patriot Act. I am, not unexpectedly, right royally pissed the fuck off about this. Open Congress summarizes the bill thusly:
This bill would make permanent and expand the Hyde amendment restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions. It seeks to prohibit even indirect funding streams that may potentially come in contact with abortion services. For example, it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies or medical cost tax deductions, even if the abortion is paid separately with personal funds. Women who use tax-free Medical Savings Accounts would have to pay taxes on the costs of abortions.
Slate is less circumspect:
HR3 eliminates any tax credits or deductions taken by individuals or employers for health insurance, if that insurance plan covers abortion, even if they don’t use the service.
Quite how this qualifies as ‘small government’ I do not know. Apparently the GOP wants to limit the government’s ability to control the blatantly amoral shenanigans of corporations, but it’s totally necessary for zillions of civil servants to spend countless hours fiddling the tax code around to make sure that no money that was ever touched by the government can even indirectly pay for a legal medical procedure. And that, apparently, is a good use of my tax dollars. Yes, it is much more important than auditing Wall Street executives who are stashing cash in small Caribbean islands. Those baby-killing wimminz are much more deserving of IRS scrutiny. The government fucking prints the cash dudes, at a certain point it’s all government money unless we plan to go back to the barter system, in which case me and my knitting buddies will school the crap out of all of you. We actually know how to make stuff, assholes.
Also apparently we have completely forgotten about job creation. At the juncture I will do something I’ve never done before and quote John Ashcroft in defense of my own argument: “While women need the right to birth control and abortion, we also need to be able to have and raise children, and that means equal opportunity, good jobs and equal pay.” We’ve been distracted by all those gay teacher’s unions having abortions! After them! But on the other hand we have created a whole new profession: abortion auditors. It will now be up to the IRS aka the Ninja Abortion Squad, to make sure women don’t spend any government money on abortion.
Because H.R. 3 bans using tax credits or deductions to pay for abortions or insurance, a woman who used such a benefit would have to prove, if audited, that her abortion “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.” Essentially, the bill turns Internal Revenue Service agents into “abortion cops.”
The taxpayer would have to prove that she had complied with all applicable abortion laws. Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then “on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger,” Owens says. “It would be fairly intrusive for the woman.”
The Daily Kos has a good breakdown of how totally ridiculous this is.
HR3 would disallow tax deductions for your health care expenses if your private insurance plan covers abortion. Not if you actually get an abortion. And not if a member of your family does. All it takes for you to see your taxes hiked is if the private insurance plan you selected and paid for with your own money permits coverage of abortion at all. For anyone. Even if you never get one and never plan to. If you bought a plan that agrees to cover abortion if someone else totally unrelated to you needs one, then you lose eligibility for any tax deductions for the cost of your insurance, and your tax bill shoots up. Republicans take your cash, because you agreed to buy a plan that might someday pay for someone else’s abortion.
Or as the ACLU put it:
It manipulates the tax code so as to penalize millions of Americans by taking away tax credits to small businesses that offer insurance plans that cover abortion along with other pregnancy-related care and by precluding families from deducting medical expenses related to abortion.
How is this not the GOP telling me how to spend my own money? Apparently I lose my tax break for privately purchasing a health plan that covers abortion, even if I never plan to have one, even if I were physically incapable of getting pregnant, even if I don’t have a fucking uterus. All this, of course, is taking place while Texas approves a tax break for people who want to buy yachts worth $250,000 or more. So…. I lose my tax break if I buy an insurance plan that might, once, maybe, cover an abortion for a woman I’ve never met, but tax breaks for quarter million dollar yachts are totally cool. Maybe I can recoup the money I lost because of my health insurance by buying a quarter million dollar boat. Of course if I had a quarter million to spare I would just fly to a civilized fucking country (like Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Cambodia, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, North fucking Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Vietnam or Yugoslavia) and get a goddamn abortion.
Because you know what? Whether you like it or not, abortion is a perfectly acceptable option. And don’t give me that ‘adoption not abortion’ crap. For one thing, as Barbara Ehrenreich points out, “no one has been able to figure out, even with expert counseling, how to use adoption as a method of birth control, or at what time of the month it is most effective.” Pregnancy is difficult, dangerous, and should be done right, with care and attention and, if possible, love. To quote Garret Hardi, “Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children… There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born.” No one should be forced to remain pregnant. Surely we can cope with this idea by now.
Pregnancy is not some walk in the park. Aside from everything else, it’s dangerous. Almost 30% of births in the US are by caesarian section, which is major surgery that involves cutting your abdomen open and surgically removing the baby. And that’s fairly common. There can also be terrible terrible complications, even in the perfectly planned births of healthy babies to healthy mothers. Stories like John and Sherry’s are terrifying, impossible to predict, and they do happen. Pregnancy and birth are major medical events. Even when everything goes perfectly it’s difficult, painful, exhausting, and it completely disrupts your life, as it should, since it’s a big fucking deal. It’s not something that can be shrugged off with an ‘oh just have the baby and put it up for adoption.’ We who are pro-choice don’t think that pregnancy is not a big deal. We realize exactly how big a deal it is and we demand the right to make the intelligent, informed, responsible decision not to have the baby. Some of us are not willing to sacrifice 9 months of our lives to an unwanted pregnancy and are not willing to remain celibate in order to ensure that the problem doesn’t come up. (Note please that no one is asking men to abstain from sex in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Apparently using condoms fulfills the responsibility quota for men, but not for women.) When men remain celibate in order to completely eliminate the risk of unwanted pregnancy then I will too. Heterosexual sex without procreation will cease to exist and the lesbians will have all the fun. But wait, there is a better option than celibacy. It’s called birth control, and failing that, abortion. Get the fuck over it.
And don’t you dare even bring God up. If you seriously intend to tell me that I have to drop out of school or take time off work in order to spend 9 months growing an unwanted life and then push a 7 pound thing out of my vagina because the inaccurately reported words of some mythological dude told you it was morally right then I will laugh in your face. You might have a faith as deep and true as can be, but I, for one, do not believe in this ‘God’ person, and if you think that I’m going to let your insanely outdated cultish belief in a supernatural deity influence my medical decisions then you have another think coming.
The GOP position on health care “calls for ‘improving public health through flexibility and innovation’ and ‘giving patients and providers control over treatment options.” Unless those options include abortion, apparently. Y’all saw this video right?
That mother’s baby was being crushed to death inside her. The mother and the doctor were prevented by law from making the right medical decisions on behalf of the mother’s child/the doctor’s patient (both the mother and the fetus, although fetuses aren’t people, so it’s not actually the doctor’s patient, but you know what I mean.)(Also, can we have an episode of House about this? House would never stand for the government telling him what he could and couldn’t do for his patients.) Besides, if you truly believe that a fetus can feel pain (it totally can’t by the way) then how the fuck was it right to sentence this mother and child to three weeks of torture?
But according to Joe Pitts (R-PA) author of the abominable Protect Life Act, this is all fine and dandy, because “abortion is not health care. Abortion is the most violent form of death known to mankind.” More violent, apparently, than Danielle’s fetus being crushed. Or, you know, people being chopped up by machetes in Rwanda, or being stoned to death for being gay.
This leads me to Chris Smith, the reprehensible republican representative from New Jersey who, during the House debate, said that future generations “will note with deep sadness, that some of our politicians, while they talked about human rights, never lifted a finger to protect the most persecuted minority in the world: the child in the womb.” (emphasis added)
GET FUCKING REAL
1.) For fuck’s sake don’t let the Jews hear you say that. No seriously, that’s heinously disrespectful to actual people who have actually been persecuted. As opposed to a bunch of cells in some teenager’s uterus.
2.) You are a total fucking douche and as far as I’m concerned you must be morally bankrupt and I hope you someday realize what you have done and I hope your wife/daughter/everyone you know is ashamed of you and tells you so to your face. Seriously, how the fuck do you live with yourself?
3.) More persecuted than the women you are denying health care to? Because “the most immediate effect if HR3 passes into law would likely be that every insurance company in the country would drop abortion coverage, as no employers or individuals are likely to take a tax raise just to keep a plan that covers abortion services. This will result in more dead pregnant women, since insurance companies will also drop coverage for expensive late term abortions that are used to save women who develop conditions such as eclampsia later in their pregnancies, a service that can cost thousands of dollars.” Via.
4.) More persecuted than the victims of Joe Pitts’ Let Women Die Act, which would “allow hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.” Currently, “if a hospital can’t (or wont) provide the care a patient needs, it is required to transfer that patient to a hospital that can, and the receiving hospital is required to accept that patient. In the case of an anti-abortion hospital with a patient requiring an emergency abortion, ETMALA would require that hospital to perform it or transfer the patient to someone who can. Pitts’ new bill would free hospitals from any abortion requirement under EMTALA, meaning that medical providers who aren’t willing to terminate pregnancies wouldn’t have to — nor would they have to facilitate a transfer. The hospital could literally do nothing at all.” I would like to think that no doctor would allow that to happen, but these days I’m not so sure.
5.) Also those fetuses are apparently more persecuted than, say, all the rape victims who were not ‘forcibly’ raped. Because yes, the forcible rape thing is back. Like a bad penny, this piece of cold hard shit just will not go away. Forcible rape. As if there were any other kind of rape. As if there were some other, non forcible way to force your penis (or whatever) into your victim. Or violate them in whatever other way. Violation is, by nature, forcible; that’s why it’s a violation. Rape is the act of forcing someone into sex, but according to the new forcible rape language, it’s not rape if the victim says no but does not physically fight off the perpetrator, or if the victim is drugged or threatened, or if the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, or if it’s statutory rape. I guess this means it’s open season on coma patients. They didn’t fight the perpetrator off and they didn’t say no, so…..? And also, you know, when uncle Lester the molester threatens to beat the shit out of his 15 year old niece unless she keeps quiet about what he’s doing to her, that’s not rape any longer. And if he knocks her up she can’t have an abortion on medicaid, and her insurance wont pay for it, and Planned Parenthood will be gone or inaccessible. This is going to be a great new world guys.
For all these reasons and many more, Chris Smith, Joe Pitts and the authors of HR3 win the Asshole of the month award for May, even though we’re only 5 days in. I can’t imagine anyone is going to beat this in the next 25 days.
MacGuffin, who is seriously disillusioned with America in general these days
It has come to my attention that my previous posts have not reached you. I will correct this post haste. In the meantime, I’ve found a most ingenious way of adding credibility to any crackpot theory.
Thank the kind people at Mother Jones for their simple, step by step instructions.
PS. This would make fabulous wall art for your upstairs bathroom.
A new meme has come to my attention. Edit: Ok, actually I’m trying to start a meme. Upload this picture to facebook and tag the corresponding people. I’m finding this hugely entertaining.
So far I’m a pot smoking little devil, a rebellious woman, a lewd woman, a non homemaker, and a Jesus mocker. I had no idea I’d been so busy. Unfortunately I’m not a party animal, a so called christian or an ankle biter. (Aren’t ankle biters children, by the way? Perhaps this fellow has gotten pillow biters and ankle biters confused.)
Go check out We Say Gay, a site set up by Tennessee students to oppose SB0049.
“Tennessee is trying to pass bill SB0049. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill would prohibit speaking about homosexuality at middle schools and elementary schools, while talking about heterosexuality would be fine (‘(2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.’) Kids at my nephew’s high school are protesting it. The bill goes to vote tomorrow.”
Head over to We Say Gay to support these students- both the ones targeted by the bill and the ones who are so valiantly fighting against it on behalf of their fellow students. This is wonderful and it’s so great to see young kids with their priorities in order.
Please sign the petition, subscribe to the blog, plug it any way you can. This is wonderful and gives me some hope that maybe the world isn’t totally screwed. If kids like this still exist then maybe there’s hope for us after all.
These kids earn a whole pile of gold stars.
Did you know that the only reason women menstruate is so that they can avoid having sex with their partners and have an excuse to eat lots of chocolate? Neither did I. Thank god the clever folks at HonestAds have clarified this for me. (Note: it is possible that this is meant to be a send up of this kind of advertising. But frankly it didn’t come off that way. So there is some token balance, and now I shall return to my rant.) See, I was under the clearly incorrect impression that my period was merely a slightly annoying bodily function that we are all hopefully grown up enough to deal with.
But no! I was wrong….Imagine how shocked I was to discover that my uterine wall has a secret agenda! It turns out menstruation is a giant plot to deny men sex! Because, you know, it’s all about the menfolks. My uterus’s need to shed it’s lining once a month is all part of a cunning plan to keep men out of my hoo-hah. I did not realize this! It all makes sense now. My period is clearly one of my oppressive tools of sex-denying torture. It’s the wimminz number one excuse to withhold sex, which is, as we all know, one of the primary goals of all women everywhere.
I’m so glad HonestAds has legitimized this. I mean, usually I’m helpless to withstand the carnal advances of my lover, and I simply have to clutch the counterpane and think of England. It will be such a relief to be able to shirk my wifely duties once a month with a clear conscience! Cause, you know, women can only say no to sex once a month. In fact, women can only assert themselves and control their own bodies when they have the red shield of menstruation to hide behind and make the decision for them. And then, you know, it’s not really me saying no, it’s just that no man would want to have sex with a woman on the rag. Someone should really notify every man I have ever dated, since apparently none of them got that memo. (On the other hand, I did once have a tampon-crucifix nailed to my bedroom door to keep my little brothers out. Tampons are to some men as garlic is to vampires. All you have to do is wave it at them and they run screaming from the room.)
From now on I shall spend the last 5 days of every month reclined on a chaise lounge, eating bonbons and grapes peeled for me by my totally pussywhipped boytoy. It’s my entitlement, dammit! Yeah, I love getting my period, it means I can eat all the chocolate I want while I blueball my boyfriend. It’s my favorite time of the month! During that 5 day window I’m entitled to act like a bitch and I can just blame it all on the menses! Because that’s what my period is, when you come right down to it. It’s all just an excuse to be mean to men, and indulge myself with chocolate. Cause everything about the female body is really just about men.
Also, true fact, the only possible result of not being able to have sex is male sexual frustration. Shout out to hetero-normative thinking, and a total denial of the female sex drive!
I am disgusted Puffin. Thoroughly disgusted. What is the plural for ignoramus? It’s very important that I know this, because the people who came up with this are ignoramuses. Ignorami? Ignoramæ? Help me out here.