In campaign stops/official appearances across the state, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tells a story that supposedly illustrates the need for the recently signed “Don’t Say Gay” law. It’s a sinister tale about unnamed persons at a public school who arbitrarily decide to reassign a child’s gender, change their name, change their wardrobe, etc., without parental involvement:
“We had a mother from Leon County, and her daughter was going to school and some people in the school had decided that the daughter was really a boy and not a girl. So they changed the girl’s name to a boy’s name, had her dress like a boy and on doing all this stuff, without telling the mother or getting consent from the mother. First of all, they shouldn’t be doing that at all. But to do these things behind the parents’ back and to say that the parents should be shut out. That is wrong,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Jasper, Florida, on Tuesday.
DeSantis told the same story the week before in Palm Beach County:
“Her daughter was in school up in Leon County, and some of the people at school decided that her daughter was really a boy and wanted to identify as a boy. So they changed her name. They changed her quote pronouns. They did these things without telling the mother, much less getting the mother’s consent,” said DeSantis, who is considered a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate.
It’s all a big fat lie. And the issue isn’t just that DeSantis is lying on the stump when he tells this story; according to Politico, the Don’t Say Gay bill itself was built on this foundational lie. We know the story is a lie because CNN and the local Tallahassee newspaper obtained emails exchanged between the mother, registered Republican January Littlejohn, and the school:
In an August 27, 2020, email to a teacher, Littlejohn stated, in part, “This has been an incredibly difficult situation for our family and her father and I are trying to be as supportive as we can. She is currently identifying as non-binary. She would like to go by the new name [redacted] and prefers the pronouns they/them. We have not changed her name at home yet, but I told her if she wants to go by the name [redacted] with her teachers, I won’t stop her.”
The teacher thanked Littlejohn and asked if she should share with other teachers.
Littlejohn explained it was difficult and confusing, and went on to write, “Whatever you think is best or [redacted] can handle it herself.”
In another email the same day, Littlejohn told the teacher, “This gender situation has thrown us for a loop. I sincerely appreciate your support. I’m going to let her take the lead on this.”
According to CNN, Littlejohn and her husband filed a lawsuit against the school, working with “attorneys from Child & Parental Rights Campaign, an organization based out of Georgia and Virginia, described on its website as ‘a nonprofit public-interest law firm founded to defend parents’ rights to shield their children from the impacts of gender identity ideology.'”
Florida Republicans who were behind the Don’t Say Gay bill claim the issue arose organically, but Vernadette Broyles, president and general counsel of the Child & Parental Rights Campaign, told Politico “the group gave suggestions to lawmakers for ways to ‘tighten the language,’ especially with regard to aspects touching on parental rights.'” Broyles’ organization is pushing similar bills nationwide.
Littlejohn has appeared on Fox News and also in public with DeSantis to defend the law. From a WFSU report last week:
“Social transition is a medical and mental health intervention that can lead to significant decisions that can impact the child’s mental and physical wellbeing,” Littlejohn, who is a licensed mental health counselor, said during her appearance with DeSantis.
“Often social transition is the first step toward medical transition and schools are grossly unqualified to be taking these steps without parental involvement.”
Littlejohn is a mental health professional. If she believes school personnel are “grossly unqualified” to handle the issue, it’s odd that she told the teacher “whatever you think is best” and to let the kid “take the lead on this” in the email exchange.
The superintendent whose teachers and counselors are being publicly smeared as “groomers” is defending his district:
“So, we had a guide to help teachers and administrators have conversations and protect and support children who came to them that were battling gender identity issues. Teachers and administrators don’t want to be in that space but our job is to protect and support children. Period,” said Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna…
Yet now, says Hanna, the Leon County School District has become the poster child for the argument that schools are indoctrinating kids and shouldn’t be trusted.
“It’s just a lie,” he said, “and unfortunately the Governor is using her [Littlejohn] as a prop, she’s using her child as a child to promote an agenda on a national level, and it’s just sad.”
It is sad, especially for the child who is being used as a political football. Transgender kids are vulnerable even when their parents are supportive and don’t cynically use them as props to push an ideological agenda. Let’s hope this kid comes through the manufactured political shitstorm with as little psychological damage as possible.
It’s worth pointing out that DeSantis is playing with fire here. Demagogues who lie to the public about threats to children have launched countless pogroms, massacres, murders, moral panics, etc. Such libels have resulted in untold deaths and ruined lives. Telling followers that Group X is coming for your kids is eliminationist rhetoric, and it is dangerous as hell.
CNN says the governor’s office claims to have been unaware of the emails. There are no excuses now that CNN has contacted them about the story, but DeSantis won’t stop telling the same discredited lie, much less admit the law he signed is based on bullshit as hinky as the “furries litterbox” foolishness.
In his monomaniacal quest for power, DeSantis has proved many times that nothing and no one is as important as his presidential ambitions. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt — or who dies — along the way.
All built on a lie, you say?
Well, he IS a Republican in a Confederate state, after all. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
[ed.: holy crap, first? me?]
Trump showed us all Republicans can lie like nutcases and the MSM will treat it as a valid point of view. Odd that Democrats can’t do the same thing, no?
Holy shit that is reprehensible.
Here’s a feel-good item with video: Idiot arrested for putting anti-Biden sticker on gas pumps
“DeSantis is playing with fire.” It’s time to consider the possiblity that DeSantis isn’t just being reckless, but actually using fire in the hopes of burning his enemies. That is, he’s not risking violence, he’s actively and consciously inciting violence because it will amp up the rage loop on which his political fortune depends entirely.
I fear that ordinary non-fascist/racist/intensely homophobic Americans have a hard time keeping abreast of the swift transformation of the American right into a full-on, pro-violence fascist movement.
Old Man Shadow
Of course it’s a lie.
And it’s not even a very good lie at that.
Somehow, some way, all of the very nice teachers you met, all of the teachers you’ve supported with stuff or money during the year, the people you’ve had parent-teacher conference with… the people who live and work in your neighborhoods… who do boosters and PTA… somehow all of these otherwise nice people you know and work with to better your child’s future are all pedophile scum trying to turn your kids into rainbow leprechauns at the next Pride parade?
@Leto: Haha, that is priceless! What a fucking whiny baby
ETA: When he gets out of jail, maybe he should consider redirecting the money he invests in stickers and spray to make the stickers harder to remove to his gas budget. Just saying.
A mother who is a mental health professional, using her non-binary child as a weapon and prop against non-binary and transgendered youth. Teaming up with a liar. Someone has fed this lady something ala Wormtongue and she’s decided to go down an ugly path.
plot tiwst: said parent or child is arrested because of some future bill by DeSantis -built on the fine work being done here.
As far as I can tell, much of DeSantis’ current political career is based on lies and deceptions all meant to appeal to the sullen, resentful and stupid.
@Old Man Shadow:
We will soon have kids encouraged to ‘rat out’ teachers – what could go wrong? Salem Witch Trials part deux.
I’m a little confused. Were the parents looking for a payout from the start or did this “parent advocacy group” find them and let them know they could make big money if they used their daughter as a pawn?
Mike in NC
For some reason Florida produces really shitty quality right-wing politicians that have absolutely no traction at the national level. Rick Scott wanted to be president but nobody took him seriously. Little Marco Rubio ran a pathetic campaign and people laughed in his face. DeathSentence seems no better than them. Maybe worse in fact.
@TM: Adding–this really is kin to Putin’s tactics in shrieking that Ukrainians are committing genocide against Russia. It is intended to serve as a license for murderous violence against Ukrainians.
Of course he’s lying and of course they believe him: it’s what they want to hear. It’s what they already believe, and they’re not interested in hearing facts or explanations; they’re interested in having their beliefs echoed and confirmed. They’re like scared little children who have to be told, over and over, that they’re good and everything’s ok, except in this case they’re scared little children with guns and a propensity to violence.
Welcome to the Republican Party.
How could you expose your child to harm like this?
How are schools supposed to protect themselves from this? There’s an email record in this one and yet it was used nationally by conservatives to push this agenda.
Schools need to go further than “in writing” when dealing with conservative parents who are on a national crusade? They’ll have to videotape every meeting or discussion with a parent or just leave themselves open to this? What does that do to the relationship of parents and schools? Entirely adversarial and also litigious?
This is going to do damage well beyond the panic. You know, their hero, Chris Rufo, gives speeches about he wants to destroy “institutions”. Could they make it any clearer? They want to destroy one of the few remaining public community assets we have.
Villago Delenda Est
Lies are what DeathSentence and the GQp peddle nowadays, and they have a base of chunderheads who go right along with it, because they firmly believe these lies will, at long last, finally fulfill their fantasies of hate.
@TM: IMO it’s worse, because by all accounts Russians didn’t think, and didn’t want to believe, that Ukrainians are committing genocide. Many have relatives who are Ukrainian &/or live in Ukraine. Putin is lying to them for his own purposes. De Santis is lying to people who want to believe , who already hate LGBTQ people.
De Santis has a much easier task, and it’s even more destructive of a functioning society, not to mention norms of civilized behavior.
It is normal (not at all universal, but normal) for assholes and bad parents to hate their children’s teachers. Even if the teachers agree that children are their parents’ property or loudly share the parents’ bigotries, teachers make a convenient scapegoat for a bad parent’s mistakes.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I ask myself: Who believes this shit? How? is the school going to the kid’s house in the morning to pick outfits? Does that “they” make the kids change at school? In which bathroom!//
then I remember, people who think The Apprentice was a documentary, and that Obama did Katrina, they believe this shit
one person who doesn’t believe this shit: Ron DeSantis. Even at my advanced age, I’m gobsmacked by the sheer contempt elitist Republican electeds have for their own base. It’s been true to a degree for as long as I can remember– if that story about Nancy Reagan not giving a damn about the right-to-lifers isn’t true, it’s truthy– but they’ve really ramped it up since trump taught them what they can get away with.
Use children as props in a lie?
Villago Delenda Est
@bbleh: The lot of them need to be sent to bed without their supper. Spankings would only encourage them more.
OT, but Slovakia is shipping their S-300 SAM systems to Ukraine.
TFG removed the floor for Republicans. I mean, the DeSantis lie about the school doesn’t even pass the “what the fuck are you talking about?” test. How dumb do you have to be to believe that a school – and public schools don’t do *anything* without a note from the parents – would do this?
And the demonizing of trans people is so obviously cynical. The politicians obviously don’t care. They demonized gay marriage (it was going to destroy the fabric of society argle bargle!) right up until Obergefell v Hodges and then they just dropped it and switched to trans women in bathrooms without having to explain anything. Just a new, less protected group to punch down on for their shitty base. Not a peep about gay marriage in the last 6 years.
I hope DeSantis turns out to be another charisma-free asshole who tanks at the national level. He seems sooooooo unlikeable, but in the wake of TFG I don’t even know anymore.
From the story, my guess would be that bigoted parents who refused to respect their child’s wishes at home started out willing to give the child some room at school. When that resulted in the child going further down the path they didn’t like, they withdrew that willingness and decided to blame the school for reality not obeying their bigoted wishes. After that, they’re a convenient and enthusiastic pawn for anti-trans activists looking for an example of the nonexistent problem they believe in.
My theory is that conservatives are terrified by the culture wars and in them lash out with a fury that only existential fear can explain, because popular culture does not have the anti-majoritarian features which are baked into the USA’s system of government. In government they can rule as a minority of the population by ruthlessly exploiting the structure of our system.
But pop culture does not work that way. The Mouse doesn’t care about cloture. There is no Electoral College on the app store. And so they keep losing, keep retreating, and they know it. And it frankly terrifies them.
Great job, panic promoters. Now every conservative parent is a political operative collecting information for a lawsuit.
This will go GREAT. No insane panic here- no sir.
How much is this going to cost public school districts? The far Right, fringe PTA are now intending to sue them out of existence?
I’d just like to renind everyone that these same people were screeching a year ago that “schools needed to get back to normal”. They cared SO MUCH about public school students they launched a litigious panic the minute schools reopened after the pandemic.
“Resisting arrest, eh?” [wap-wap-wap]
It’s a good question. Media are terrified of the Right so no one will ask it but the fishing email looks a little hinky to me. Are they setting schools up for Right wing outrage and lawsuits?
How do the normal people at a school protect themselves from this? Say you’re a parent who isn’t a GOP operative and just want the school to function. They can ride in and destroy your local public schools?
And yet she decided to put her own child through the ringer of national press coverage?
Since the thread, it is open. In interesting science news, a new measurement of the W boson mass just released to Science magazine is WAY off the theoretical expectation (7 sigma!!): https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abk1781
It’s pretty wild and there will be a public talk at Fermilab this afternoon at 4 pm CT: https://theory.fnal.gov/events/event/cdf-w-mass-2022/
@Mike S: Great question. It’s unclear from the reporting. Since we know the mother is a registered Republican and a liar, it’s reasonable to assume she’s greedy and unethical, so I suspect she contacted the advocacy group looking for a payout, and the advocacy group saw the legislative potential and contacted the Florida lawmakers.
The emails reveal that Littlejohn voluntarily threw her kid’s issue in the school district’s lap and told them to handle it. The ostensible grievance in the lawsuit hinges on the guide the district developed to manage these issues, which includes a warning to school officials not to “out” students to parents. That didn’t apply to Littlejohn since she contacted the school, but you can see how wingnuts would seize on an issue like that.
Thinking back on it, the original Don’t Say Gay bill included a provision stating that schools were legally required to out students.
Alison Rose ???
I’m honestly more disgusted with that mother. Someone like that should never have had children in the first place.
How could you meet with the superintendent, who wasn’t aware of the emails at the meeting and apologized and not mention that you initiatied it with emails to the school?
It’s just bad faith all the way down. Normal people can’t operate in this environment. They’ll all have to approach it from and adversarial, preparing for litigation, direction. We all work in Right wing politics now- they’ve hijacked us all into it. It’s operatives and counter operatives. Pure malice.
A mental health professional’s first order of business here is to refer her daughter to someone else for treatment so fail from the start.
Signed, Mental Health Professional (Ret.)
The words “bad faith” need to be used more in talking about these people.
It was more important that she own the libs by tricking the school into responding. Last time they’ll make that mistake!
This reminds me of that quote by Rove about creating new realities and while you are working on that we continue to make more.
They rely on the prejudice of their audience to hand wave. Evidence doesn’t matter.
@Old Man Shadow:
The problem is that it’s similar to the situation where (most) everyone hates Congress, but has a favorable view of their congressperson. They’re not telling them their kid’s teachers are doing this, they’re telling them that some teachers somewhere are doing it, and they must be stopped because your kid could end up with one of them, and someone else’s poor innocent baby you can easily imagine might be the victim right now.
It also plays the same way as the vaccine-autism lie — you wouldn’t want your kid to be one of them, and we never used to have them, so here’s who to blame for creating them. It’s definitely not your fault or something that just happens that you have to deal with, Mrs. I’m-conservative-because-I-don’t-want-anything-to-change.
@Kay: I love the superintendent quoted in the post. He’s honest about how schools get dragged into everything, and he’s not afraid to call a lie a lie.
@Leto: I peeled off a “Let’s Go Brandon” from a pump in Healdsburg, CA a week ago. It didn’t have much adhesive on it, came off cleanly.
I do not comprehend the mind that not only buys these things but carries them around in order to stick them on businesses’ property.
I genuinely don’t think the country would survive another pathological liar as president. Trump did profound damage. You can’t just hit it and hit it without it falling down at some point. It’s not endlessly resilient. That’s a fucking fairy tale.
It just makes me sad. Public schools are this country’s punching bag. Every societal issue gets dumped on them and there’s no shortage of assholes would eagerly join every pile on.
They should have sent an email back “we’re running a school. We’re busy. Whatever fucked up game you’re playing here we don’t want any part of it”.
If the country honestly elects another Trump, it doesn’t deserve to survive.
Ohio is right behind Florida with its own Don’t Say Gay Bill:
(Maybe one day I’ll learn how to embed links). This proposed bill also includes don’t say CRT, the 1619 Project, inclusion, diversity or just about anything else about race.
Of special note, one of the masterminds behind this is Mean Jean Schmidt. After a brief retirement after her stint in Congress, she felt the call to run for the Statehouse.
@cain: Read a story within the past week of Russian students who outed a teacher for mentioning the war. She now faces fifteen years.
@ian: It doesn’t say she is a licensed mental heath professional. She could be doing gay conversion therapies for all we know, and consider that mental health.
@Mike in NC:
Also the other Bush gov. Pretty much an also-ran even within his own family.
I feel like “cancel culture” panic inciters are not qualified to offer advice on panics, unless it’s how to start one. They’re sort of dumb “public intellectuals” and no political operation should listen to them. Find new, smart people to get us out of this mess – not the people who helped make it.
@Jay: Cool. If you like mechanical boomy things!
Or just people who went to school 60 years ago when schools did a lot without a note from the parents. And of course conservatives don’t absorb new information very well (that’s why they’re conservatives), so they think schools are still like they were when they went to school.
Yes. Gutsy to take the side of the truth and stick up for students and staff, with the winds blowing the way they are.
Anyone have suggestions for alternatives to boycotting florida? Donate to the Florida Equality group, or to the ACLU, or to Nikki Fried? Rebekah Jones seems to be doing great, and Matt Gaetz seems to be helping prove himself even less competent every week.
Oh, it’s all of a piece. They rolled the prior panics right into this new one.
RE: How dumb do you have to be to believe that a school – and public schools don’t do *anything* without a note from the parents – would do this?
I went to school eons ago, and even then notes were required for a lot of stuff. But it is absurd to believe that some mysterious “they” made a child dress or behave differently.
The people who believe this are just looking for an excuse to do something hateful.
It would seem reasonable for someone to sue those parents for custody of thatkid, for fear that one day they’ll be unavoidably hungry,
@eclare: Unsurprising – this regime is brutal to everyone.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I think, though, that more and more high-powered Republicans are true believers rather than cynical grifters. Look at the text messages between Gini Thomas and Mark Meadows as an example. Those were messages between people who genuinely believe in the BS. This is actually where the real danger is. As long as the people at the top are mostly grifters, there’s hope for back-room deals to do essential business like keeping the government running. But people who genuinely believe they’re in an existential war against evil aren’t going to compromise, even on the most minor thing.
Notice how the rhetoric makes no reference whatsoever to what the kid thinks, either way. It’s all a tug-of-war between unnamed sinister school authorities who arbitrarily decided this, and the child’s parents.
“I’m sorry, Isabella, we’ve drawn your name from the hat and you have to turn into a boy to make our sinister liberal trans person quota.” Schools do not do this; it’s absurd.
@Ohio Mom: I just got booster #2 from a Walgreens pharmacist wearing an official “Walgreens, Diversity, Inclusion” t-shirt. Somehow we both survived, along with his coworkers and everyone else there.
The media clutches its pearls and gets the vapors when Dems tell the truth about Republicans.
And that’s plenty bad enough, no need to lie. But they’d jump on the first provable untruth by a Democrat of any importance like it was the greatest political sin since Butter Emails.
Your typical evangelical/catholic Trump supporter.
10 kids out of the 33,000 student district have a plan for how the school should address their gender.
Would it have killed media to find those 10 families and ask how the plan came to be? They have a comparison group to test the GOP operative parent’s claim.
These lies can be fact checked. They really can. That this was such a high profile one and it fell apart with the slightest tug makes me wonder how many of the other outrage anecdotes are lies.
I feel the same. DeSantis seems to have all the charisma of Spam, but as I’ve said before, my predictometer has been busted ever since TFG came down that escalator in 2015, so I have no clue on this.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
No question. But I was thinking of people Ivy-Oxbridge types like De Santis, Cruz, and there’s no better example than John Kennedy of LA and his Mr Haney schtick. Graham and Rubio both play that game. Hawley and Cotton are harder to figure out. While I’m sure they look down on “the base”, there’s a strong That Boy Ain’t Right side to both of them that makes me wonder how firm their grip on reality is. I will not be surprised if we learn in the course of a presidential campaign that Cotton tortured small animals in his early adolescence.
I do not understand what the lawsuit is about. What exactly are they suing over? The mother asked them to handle the situation rather than actively parenting and seeking appropriate help for her own child. What am I missing here?
My niece embraced the “furries litterbox” hoax. First she posted on the Book of Faces a badly photoshopped picture “proving” it was happening in a Wisconsin school, then she claimed without any evidence it was happening in two of our local school districts. Her friends jumped on, saying public schools were going downhill and the only solution was to home school. Then people who actually had children in the local school districts came on, saying WTF, no this is not happening. And someone posted the Snopes debunking. So the niece retreated to “well, that’s what I heard” and general mutterings about society. Zero hope she thinks before passing on the next bit of disinformation.
Right wing and centrist Democrats are undermining Biden again. Actually Obama too, as the Iran deal was a foreign policy success for him. Oddly this doesn’t inspire the same vitriol as when a member of “The Squad” breaks with the administration. The center and Right in the Democratic Party can apparently undermine/oppose the Democratic President and remain Democrats, but the Left of center Democrats can not.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I get the exact same feeling about Cotton. How many pets went missing in his neighborhoods while he was growing up?
I still can’t believe his troops didn’t frag him in Iraq.
Alison Rose ???
@opiejeanne: Well hi there neighbor! (maybe, if you live there?) I’m in Santa Rosa :)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Kay: right, nobody here ever criticizes Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema or Josh Gottheimer! It’s crazy!
DeSantis says having Abrams to the north and Castro to the south would be a disaster.
not sure if anyone told him the Castros are gone and Abrams isn’t a communist.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Were there 50 outraged comments about the anti-Iran deal campaign deal these House Democrats have been running for two weeks? They’re mimicking Republicans. Again. They do it all the time and it isn’t just “Manchin and Sinema”.
@Leto: I got to tear down a variation on one of those when I filled up last week. The Trump sticker someone else put up proved to be resistant to removal, but more enterprising souls had scraped its face off at least.
That’s because the public hand wringing happening by Dems and the eventual punishment to said Dem is great for the bottom line.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Kay: I don’t know. I don’t generally count comments
I have actually remarked from time-to-time here how odd it is that Bob Menendez, the Joe Manchin of foreign policy, attracts so little attention from anyone, here or in the broader commentariat. I remember Rachel Maddow devoted a couple of segments to his trolling of the Iran deal in the Obama years. She never mentioned that her old college buddy Booker was usually signing the same letters as his senior Senator
The problem is, there are people living in it. “The country” may not deserve to survive, but 81 million of us Americans voted for Biden and Harris in 2020, and we deserve to survive.
I worry about this country holding together, and like Kay, I’m afraid our democracy wouldn’t be able to survive one more Republican President. But any way it came apart would likely be way worse than now. I don’t wish a civil war on anyone.
@Pennsylvanian: Here’s a link to the complaint. Basically, they’re lying, and I hope the judge dismisses the suit with prejudice and makes them pay the school district’s attorney fees.
Even worse Transphobic fuckery in Alabama:
A dark day for trans people. Alabama passes SB184 which forcibly medically detransitions all trans teens. It will withdraw youth from gender affirming care. It will force trans teens through the wrong puberty in front of all their peers. Terrible… I cry for these kids.
Alabama joins Arkansas and Texas in establishing felony penalties for youth transition, in a shameful resurgence in attacks on trans people designed to make it impossible to live and exist. This bill joins a bathroom ban that also passed today in Alabama.
If this caught you by surprise, you’re not following the right accounts. “Don’t Say Gay” wasn’t the end – there are 150+ anti trans bills.
The Texas “define child abuse enforcement initiative” is currently being heard in court as is Arkansas, but this bill takes the worst parts of those attacks and codifies it into law with felony penalties.
I’m not personally fond of them, but I’d like to see Ukraine get the best non-nuclear mechanical boomy things that we can give ’em, and as quickly as possible.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve said here before and I’ll say it again: Bob Menendez is a shitty senator and a crook.
This. This is “I heard from a friend of a friend that…” elevated into the national discourse, and into law.
Who do you ask, right? “This seems…exaggerated. I wonder if there are other families?”
The superintendent says there are. There are ten. Look into that. Obviously privacy is paramount but no one has to be identified- they’d just ask what the process was with those ten.
Oh, well. Since all of the conservative parents are incredibly fucking litigious and will be suing every public school they wander into, I suppose it will all come out.
@lowtechcyclist: Yes, I def make an exception in this case.
Alison Rose ???
@UncleEbeneezer: The people behind this shit are certified monsters. This is so abhorrent.
@Alison Rose ???: I was visiting my middle kid who had rented a nice little cottage near downtown for a month. We live near Seattle, and it was an attempt to get some sunshine, which we did. It was lovely there, warmer than here but not uncomfortable, about 68-70.
Yesterday it hit 72 here, and Sunday morning we’re getting some snow. The weather is out of joint.
@Betty Cracker: Thanks. That is fucking enraging.
That poor child
ETA: Where is the medical community?
Can’t say I was aware of this campaign, but I just don’t get it, even from Republicans.
Shouldn’t our retort be, “Why do you want Iran to have nukes?”
Hell, should run ads against the GOPers who are against the deal: “Senator Soandso wants Iran to have nuclear weapons.”
Villago Delenda Est
@Kay: The media PROFITS from these panics. Back in the 80s, in the Puget Sound area, local TV news could not sow “Satanic panic” fast enough, especially during sweeps, when they’d gain the most benefit for increasing their ratings and then charging advertisers more for air time.
Villago Delenda Est
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I would love to have a few beers with some NCOs from Cotton’s platoon in Iraq. I bet they’ve got some stories to tell.
I mean, maybe, but Biden’s biggest drops are with AA and young voters. If he was doing better with them he’d be at above 50. They’re also the most gettable.
Can’t the school district sue Littlejohn for defamation with these texts? And shouldn’t they be able to send a cease and desist, at least, to DeSantis? Otherwise, what good is evidence “in writing”?
I saw one on a McDonald’s drive thru speaker. Which made sense at all.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Villago Delenda Est: Adam has, I believe, said that Cotton had a very bad reputation in Iraq, he was kind of shunted off to a job where he couldn’t do any damage.
@Bostondreams: I agree that there would be a disaster between Abrams to the north and Castro to the south. Actually, there already is, come to think of it.
Last night we stumbled across the We The People cartoon video series on Netflix (produced by the Obamas!). Anyways, they are like modern-day versions of Schoolhouse Rock videos. Here’s the one for Active Citizenship featuring the music of H.E.R. Very cool!
@Mike in NC: Hey, you left out JEB!
Poor JEB!, he was supposed to be the golden Bush.
This is terrible.
As for the “groomers” smear, I’m tempted to start using it on conservative Catholics. I mean, they’re giving their money — STILL — to an organization that actively concealed actual sexual assault of children. At some point, you’re the company you keep.
Alison Rose ???
@opiejeanne: Ah, got it. Yeah, it hit about 90 here yesterday, which is not exactly typical for the area for early April…but also not exactly NOT typical, LOL. Climate change, whee!
RE: If the country honestly elects another Trump, it doesn’t deserve to survive.
Republicans and extreme conservatives are increasingly advocating replacing democracy with a white nationalist minority populist autocracy.
Some people understand this. Others are in denial. Some people believe that they will get by or survive no matter what.
Voters gloriously pushed back in 2020 and defeated Trump. They may do so again. I certainly hope so, and will support efforts to defeat Republicans again.
But red states are fighting Cultural Civil War 2.0. And an essential part of this means ignoring or dismantling any law or institution that fosters inclusion, tolerance, diversity, and anything which makes democracy real for everyone, as opposed to a toy of the elite.
If Republicans win on a national level in 2024, I don’t see them as ruling benignly.
ETA: I was listening to a radio talk show host talk about the Supreme Court, and suggesting that sometimes the country swings to the right, and other times it swings to the left. To him, it was no big deal, and shifts of ideology are just part of life. He seemed to imply that you are just supposed to role with the changes. I wonder if a lot of people feel this way, and how this affects their vote.
@VOR: Sounds like my wife’s sister-in-law. Gullible as hell. We were playing good hosts here in DC a few years ago and she pointed at the Capitol building and called it the White House. We gently corrected her and said it was the Capitol Building. She replied “What’s that??” SIGH
That’s why I had to hide her posts on Facebook. They just aggravated me.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
The Federalist wants good Americans to give their vacation money to the lady who sends books to any kid who needs them
anyone know if it’s true that Dolly Parton once got herself entered into a drag Dolly Parton look-alike contest… and lost?
@Ohio Mom: It’s stunning to me that states are actually trying to legislate that there are certain words that teachers can never say in class. How can you teach anything with that kind of restriction hanging over your head? It’s insane!
@Brachiator: Isn’t that basically the pitch of ALL republicans to their voters???
@Brachiator: I can’t believe anyone actually believes people at a school “decided” your child was a boy rather than a girl. Don’t they know schools don’t have time for crap like that even if anyone wanted to do it? They don’t have time to do all the crap that’s been loaded on them already, let alone spend time helping your girl dress like a boy (which a lot of girls already do, how could you tell the difference?). Wouldn’t the child be telling their parents the first time this happened? It’s certainly true that Trump showed them a lie doesn’t even have to be believable if you say it enough times.
Don’t say “slay.”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s easy to have this much contempt for your base when your base is, to use a phrase, “a basket of deplorables.”
The mother then lied that the school took the initiative to make all those changes, in order to advance this bill.
@UncleEbeneezer: I think this is about their fear that they won’t be able to tell who is trans if they don’t have to go through puberty. That’s why they want to force trans kids to undergo puberty, to make it a lot harder for them as adults. Just like they are terrified of gay men, they are terrified of transwomen. So much of this pathology is because of the fear of men, especially white men, of anyone who isn’t just like them. I know there are women who are like this too, but people don’t seem to be worried about lesbians or transmen like they are about transwomen and gay men.
As far as I can tell,
muchall of DeSantis’ current political career is based on lies and deceptions all meant to appeal to the sullen, resentful and stupid.
Fixed that for you……..
@opiejeanne: It’s been snow flurrying here today; tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the 60’s, and 75 on Sunday. Spring is nuts in April here.
@Mike in NC:
Maybe worse in fact.
I’d say that with DeathSantas there is no maybe involved. It is YES all the way down.
Regarding the story above, I think there’s a few variables here that should be considered:
This is why when issues like this come up, it’s often best to get everyone in one room so everyone is on the same page. A lot of institutions refuse to work that way though.
What rarely ever gets spoken about though is when we say ‘parents rights’, which parent do we refer to? There are usually two of them, and they can be diametrically opposed. I have seen that so many times. You want to know why colleges and universities automatically emancipate students and tell the parents to wait outside? This is why. It’s an impossible situation.
@Soprano2: It hit 101 yesterday. Didn’t drop below 75 until midnight.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
It’s true — assuming you trust the word of Dolly herownself:
@Kay: I didn’t hear about this before you posted it. Happy to load a bunch of vitriol on those guys.
They have not been exactly proficient in getting rid of those who don’t believe and follow their shitty “leaders.” So they want to get rid of anything that might make it “worse” for them and their bullshit. Reasonable schools, with things like actually helping kids be who and what they need and want to be, like teaching them something besides a thousands of yr old book of tales, you know like maths and government and physics and other actual science – that is against all their principles because it creates people who demand better and demand equality, and that goes against every fiber of their beings. They are rethuglicans. (Did I spell that wrong? No? I didn’t think so…) The world changing is against their teachings, the world can’t get better, there can’t be equality because that exposes them to being known for who they really are. Assholes – deluxe model.
@Brachiator: Didn’t he win by .4 percent of the vote? And he is acting like an autocrat. Sheesh.
@lowtechcyclist: If it does get to that point, I hope it’s a Czechoslovakia type situation instead of another civil war. It would be sad but less bloodshed.
If Former Guy runs again, DeathSantis isn’t getting the nom. Period.
@SiubhanDuinne: I suspect it is untrue, but Dolly likes to use it as part of her mythos. I heard the same story about Chaplin many years ago.
ETA. Not that he entered a drag contest! That he entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest, and came 3rd
@lowtechcyclist: And their retort has always been, the only way to ensure that Iran doesn’t get nukes is to carpet bomb Iran into the stone age and kill every last one of those religious zealots.
Saudi and Israel would prefer we would do that on our own dime on their behalf without asking questions.
@Alison Rose ???:
Someone like that should never have had children in the first place.
As we all know that isn’t always under absolute control of the participants doing the creating. I mean they could fix this when the first knowledge of the resulting process became known, but then in this case they are conservatives so that is possibly not an option they could accept or would even consider. They might even believe that their creation would carry on the idea that humans don’t have agency and have to develop into the same kind of people, with the same ideals – political and otherwise as their parents. IOW they might have the idea that they are stunning parents – as long as their kids display only the concepts and ideals they have – IOW their kids will be their clones. And if they defy that they can disown them.
@Martin: Those are reasonable questions, but the mother sounds like a true believer in her DeSantis for President campaign appearances, and the parents sound like they’re very much on the same page if you read their email exchanges that are excerpted in the complaint (link at #77).
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Absolutely. It’s not a black and white thing. I strongly suspect that part of what’s happening here is that people who start out as cynical grifters start to get high on their own supply. It’s the whole thing about people gradually becoming what they pretend to be. They can’t marinate in the bullshit for their whole career without absorbing some of it.
It’s not sad. It’s evil.
@SiubhanDuinne: I hate to say it, but I really think Dolly might be exaggerating a bit here. Its also a story that Chaplin also used to tell about himself. Not that he entered a Dolly Parton look alike contest. Although that would be awesome. But that he entered Charlie Chaplin look alike contests and lost.
Sister Golden Bear
Belated thanks, Betty (finally getting a chance to check in the BJ this morning).
BTW, check in with your trans friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. A lot of us are really having a tough time right now. It’s hard to see so much backlash/backsliding in a matter of a few years.
It’s a feeling not unlike seeing Roe vs. Wade effectively overturned, but that had been building for decades, whereas the SCOTUS’ landmark case upholding trans rights was less than <checks notes> two years ago. Back then, I thought maybe things would actually be changing for the better. Instead we’re back to 1979 with Anita Bryant and the Briggs Amendment.
@Roger Moore: Its one of the problems that is a big white liberal blind spot. They just kind of assume that once someone has any kind of wealth, they must be just using social conservatism as a cover to get a tax break and regulatory relief. So they get a pass. Like the owners of Chic-fil-A decided it was worth their time to spend money lobbying African countries to rewrite their sodomy laws to get…something. And wouldn’t do it here if they had the power to. Or that because the Opera House at Lincoln Center is named for a Koch Brother, they couldn’t possibly mean to do the things the groups their foundation funds say they want to do.
What do you have against Spam?
It is a thoroughly delightful food with little nutritional value – IOW it goes great with eggs or something, something, whatever, and it takes forever to go bad in the refrigerator.
@Roger Moore: Absolutely. I have heard that the best salesmen genuinely believe their bullshit in the moment. And can persuade themselves of the opposite, for the next sale. It is not rational, but it is a characteristic of a certain personality type who are certainly dominant in right-wing politics
@lowtechcyclist: The “campaign” against a revived JCPOA has been very low key, and is on the level of questioning the deal, not trying to derail it. These Democratic Representatives attracted attention because critics of our policy towards Israel are amplifying it for their own purposes, like tearing down Shontel Brown (OH-11). Florida Senate candidate Val Demings is another Democrat in the group.
Sister Golden Bear
Absolutely. It’s…. interesting…. how their God always seems to hate the same people they hate.
And as with the Q Anon folks, accusations of pedophilia aren’t conspiracy theories, they’re a justification for doing violence (legal or physical) against the people they want to destroy.
Republicans to Democrats: You did not win a mandate. You must do what we tell you to do.
Republicans when they win: We won. Screw you.
What do you make of this description?
Obviously, the new deal won’t be exactly like the 2015 deal, but if that’s the intent behind the referenced statement, then the publication is being blatantly misleading.
@Peale: Are we Shakespearean long-lost twins? Not only the same general reaction, but we used the same example and our replies are structured in a similar fashion. ?
@Ruckus: There are about 20 different varieties of Spam on the market today and you probably can find a dozen or so in the US. Some of them adapted to people who are looking at their sodium. Some who are looking for reduced fat. Some, like Tocino, Teriyaki, Jalapeno and Chorizo, reflecting the people who’ve moved here from around the world in the past 40 years. Some like Hickory Smoked and Bacon hearkening back to the pork cultural heritage of European settlers. Others like Single Serving, going after that market of the single user reflecting that families aren’t necessarily the norm. I’d say that SPAM in all of its diversity represents a social ideal better than the one-size-fits all SPAM haters want to admit. Its not perfect, mind you. There’s still lots of possible SPAMs that haven’t appeared yet. But they are at least trying.
Sister Golden Bear
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Absolutely true, and Dolly thought it was hysterically funny.
@Montanareddog: I don’t think so. I was just anticipating the smart assed comments to what I wrote might be. And if I liked them, I figured I’d steal the material in advance.
Bravo to whomever came up with that weaselly description.
This is 100% how white non-political normies see it. It’s easy to be somewhat circumspect about it when you don’t care too much because you don’t have skin in the game.
The whole thing stinks to high heaven, but the smearing-people-as-“groomers” part is particularly disgusting and despicable.
DeSantis is a murderer.
This is of a piece with their attacks on Roe. The core of Roe is that medical decisions should be between a doctor and their patient, and the government should just butt the hell out. The Republicans absolutely hate that. They think the government should get to decide, and it’s their right to insert their religious beliefs into your medical decisions.
No, they don’t, which is part of the problem. They think the schools spend all their time teaching CRT and indoctrinating students into becoming trans, which is why students are failing basic subjects like reading and math. Their beliefs about everything are regurgitated right-wing talking points.
@Baud: I think the problem these Democrats is that the new JCPOA is expected to be like the last one with the same sunset date of 2025. The Iranians made rapid strides in uranium enrichment once Trump walked away from the JCPOA and some people wanted to see a more restrictive agreement now. But the opposition is almost nominal because everybody knows the proposed agreement is better than nothing.
When German Defense Minister Scholz visited Israel last month he appeared with Prime Minister Bennett at a news conference. Scholz explained that a new JCPOA would provide meaningful constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and enhance region’s and the world’s security. Bennett didn’t bat an eye. Then he got up and said it was a bad agrement, and Scholz didn’t bat an eye. Scholz could have said, “Well, your generals tell my generals they will be relieved when a new JCPOA is in place,” but it’s true that the IDF will be relieved. Bennett was barking at a car he had no desire to catch.
I think there will be a new JCPOA signed soon. This issue of “Democrats undermining the President” has been blown up by people with a political axe to grind. A guy named Adam Jentleson is one of the instigators. He was clearly trying to discredit Shontel Brown in particular and in general, toss an apple of discord in hopes Democrats fight over it.
OMG. They attracted attention because they held press conferences attacking Biden’s Iran deal.
Shontel Brown ran on supporting Biden’s agenda.
We’re now going to blame Lefty Democrats for everything Right and center Democrats do? How can this possibly be their fault? It’s an executive function.
@Kay: Who is blaming Lefty Democrats for what other Democrats do?
I accept that there are Right wing, centrist and Lefty Democrats. I just object to every problem the Democratic Party has (and they have plenty) being attributed to the Left flank. It isn’t true. It won’t work politically not because it’s not smart but because it’s not true. It doesn’t fix the problems because they are in fact not the only problem.
Just once I would like to hear Nancy Pelosi say Republicans are radical on abortion. They’ve gotten rid of health and incest and rape exceptions! That’s radical! But no- instead I have to hear that some liberal Democrats used some “language” (or something) that she didn’t approve of.
We only scold in one direction. All political problems in the Democratic Party are attributed to the Left. It’s not a recipe for success. It isn’t going to get you where you want to go. Just once I would like to hear centrists in the Democratic Party take responsiblity for political failures. How can they possibly get better at this if they think they have no role at all in failures?
Honestly, I think it rises to the level of slander. The lawyers can weigh in here. But oh man, would I love to see some of these horrible people sued for every last penny.
There’s definitely a blind spot. I think a huge part of it is that white people have been taught to see racism as mostly an issue of manners: it’s about calling minorities bad names and being rude to them. Because of that, they see racism as being primarily something low class people participate in, because those low class people are rude.
This is obviously bullshit on two levels. At the simplest level, wealth and being brought up well are no protection against having bad manners. Anyone who’s hung around rich people should get this. They may display good manners to their social equals, but they can be truly despicable to people they see as beneath them. And, more importantly, the core of racism is about exploitation of minorities, not about bad manners. Who is more likely to engage in exploitation, the rich or the poor?
Sure, but Reagan was in office for eight years, and he didn’t do it. Shrub was in office for eight years, and he didn’t do it. Trump was in office for four years, and he didn’t do it.
Maybe someday they’ll get their wish, but it’s not gonna happen for another three years at least, and probably not ever. In the meantime, either there’s this deal, or Iran gets nukes. So they want Iran to have nukes.
It’s going to be very hard to prove. Yes, being a groomer is probably something morally disgusting enough that accusing somebody of it is probably slander per se. But at the same time, the people using the term that way would probably say that it’s intended as hyperbole and nobody in their right mind would take it seriously. Proving otherwise is going to be the hard part.
Nothing really. Meat loaf doesn’t have charisma, nor do mashed potatoes, but I enjoy them enough that I frequently whip up some of both during the cold weather. Stuff doesn’t have to have charisma to be good.
@Sister Golden Bear: We’re thinking of you. The half dozen trans acquaintances of ours haven’t been in contact since we moved half an hour drive away but we’re wondering how they are.
Have you considered leaving the country? Vancouver or Portugal may be safe but the Bay Area and Seattle may be just as safe but financially impossible for trans people from red states. I don’t have any idea about how to manage an underground railroad but there must be people who do. Hair brained scheme, probably, but the far right seems especially prone to violence.
I guess that makes sense, since if a Republican wins, it’ll be shit-canned anyway, and if the Dems hold, we can see how it’s going and extend it.
Middle Eastern foreign policy is an odd thing, for all the powers involved in the region. I suspect you may be right that some want Iran to get nukes.
I recall Netanyahu once criticizing Obama for being naive, and then praising authoritarian Muslim regimes that suppressed their populations and protected Israel, even though the official policy of these countries condemned Israel.
I also note that Saudi Arabia always gets propped up no matter what they do.
Games within games.
@Kay: She said that.
Pelosi Statement on Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization | Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Sister Golden Bear
@Dan B: Fortunately I live in the SF Bay Area, so I’d like to think I’m safer
But TFG after was elected I did join some “moving to Portugal” online groups.
Vancouver would be preferable—although I’m not sure I could handle the winters (I’m still enough of a SoCal gal that the eternal gray is a huge challenge.) But I’m too young to immigrate and be able to work, and still too many years away from being able to retire there.
So Portugal is the current back-up plan. Cost of living is cheap enough that I could retire. It’s a nice country that’s mostly LQBTQ+ friendly, that’s relatively accessible to the rest of Europe. But walking away from my life here is hard.
And I don’t want to give the bastards the satisfaction of driving me out. OTOH, there’s an entire side of my family that no longer exists because they weren’t able to leave in time. It’s something I think about more and more these days.
Some group of women will organize some sort of pushback to the radical anti-abortion laws. I’m sure of it. Shame that the Democratic Party won’t be part of that, although they will be the beneficiaries of it.
I think leadership should pitch in to their own Party elections. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable ask.
It’ll be like the Women’s March, where our “Party leaders” will show up after all the work is done and just glom onto the thing. I don’t know- what about starting something? Ya know, be IN FRONT of their voters instead of following behind them?
The House has already passed a bill. The Senate is a problem as usual. I obviously can’t say if women will deem it sufficient.
I relatively happy with them, given all they have to juggle. We’ll see if we get to build on it next year or not.
@Baud: I think the 2025 date was the sunset date for the first JCPOA and the Iranians successfully insisted that there be no extension. I don’t think the parties expected the U.S. to walk away from what was a good deal.
The expected sunset clause does not green light an Iranian nuclear weapons program. They insist they aren’t trying to develop nuclear weapons anyway, although they have done a very good job imitating a country trying to develop nuclear weapons. Critics of a new JCPOA say we are just kicking the can down the road, but this is hardly the first time that has been done.
The critics don’t have a solution of their own, I take it.
Well if that gets you a majority, why not. Kind of the converse of Adlai Stevenson. Fan: “You have the support of all intelligent people!”
Adlai: “Thanks, but I need a majority.”
J R in WV
All of ’em, Kay, All of ’em.
Restroom horror stories… I haven’t been in a bathroom without doors on the stalls since I was in the Navy boot camp. Which bathroom was so clean you could eat off the floor safely. No way to tell if a trans person is in one of those stalls, no way, no how!
Fiction, and shitty unbelievable fiction at that!
@Baud: Not a solution that the Iranians are going fo accept. They’re going through the motions, and nobody is paying attention to them except a few people with axes to grind.
Jentleson resents Shontel Brown beating Nina Turner with the financial help of the organization Democratic Majority For Israel (Turner complained of the “dirty money” behind her opponent).
When Jentleson accuses Brown of insufficient loyalty to Joe Biden he is making a bad faith argument. Brown has been completely supportive the President except in this matter that has little consequence anyway. I doubt if Joe Biden is one tenth as concerned about Brown’s supportiveness in this instance as Jentleson is pretending to be. Jentleson is carrying water for Nina Turner and anyone who says Turner would be more supportive of Biden than Brown is either gullible or lying.
@J R in WV:
The boys’ restroom in one of the elementary schools I went to was like that, mid-1970s. There were bullies and class clowns who would take the opportunity to harass people while they were on the toilet.
I just held it in for the entire day rather than go in there. I had a LONG bus ride and would get home late. Peed my pants more than once as a consequence.
None of this had anything to do with anyone being trans or claiming to be trans.
Haven’t seen that since.
Oh, No!! Mean Jean is back? I was hoping she had succumbed to some elder disease or a surfeit of melancholic spleen or something. Guess not…
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Now Nancy Pelosi is a Do Nothing on women’s rights.
Good fucking lord.
@Geminid: Now that I looked into this matter more, I see that Adam Jentleson is following The Intercept’s Ryan Grim’s lead on Shontel Brown and the JCPOA. Singling out Brown among the 20 Democrats involved in this effort is part of a more general fight against the power of pro-Israel groups in Democratic politics.
That is a debate worth having, but I think that portraying this as a question of loyalty to President Biden is disingenuous, maybe hypocritical. Especially when Jentleson goes on to posit that he would vote for Turner as the one more supportive of President Biden.